Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturn Rings from Magia Astrologica

I just discovered and translated an interesting section on the rings of Saturn from Magia Astrologica by P. Constantius Albinius, whom I had not previously even heard of!

Saturn Rings from Magia Astrologica

He merits a mention in the magisterial "History of Magic & Experimental Science" by Lynn Thorndike and the passage is of some interest to us as practitioners.

Written in 1611 we might well term this part of the late flowering of Renaissance astrological magic, but the theory and practice are still very recognizably in the tradition of Picatrix, written 600 years early and itself the product of a millennium of Neoplatonic/Hermetic theory and practice.

There are several things I find interesting about this section on the creation of the rings, sigils and talismans of Saturn. First, the author gives us some timing for the preparation of the materials similar to what we see in De Imaginibus of Thabit Ibn Qurra at chapter 10.

Next and I think most salient is the focus on the uniting the intent and acts of the mage in making the talisman. The author makes this point several times and mentions that if you use an artist or artisan to make the talisman, that you must ensure that they, too, have the proper intention to create the talisman.

This parallels what Picatrix says,

What is necessary in these workings, and cannot be dispensed with, is the union of your whole will and belief in the work, so that the power of your spirit is united with the power of the heavens; then all things will be accomplished effectively. Plato says in his book of aphorisms that when someone speaks a word with intention, and belief concords with it, whoever hears it is moved; and the converse, if you wish to do the contrary. This is the root of uniting the will with belief in prayer, and this first of all in asking that which you wish to ask from that Lord to whom you ought to pray.

Picatrix, Bk I, ch 5 Greer & Warnock trans at 39.
Note that I have one paperback and two hardcover editions of our translation of Picatrix book I & II available at the moment.

The union of the proper materials, characters, and timing along with the focus magical intent of the mage is key for the production of talismans. This is one of the reasons that I am so pleased to have Wade, who is a very experienced ceremonial magician, as the jeweler who is producing talismans for Renaissance Astrology!

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