Sunday, August 21, 2011

Electional Problems

Our traditional sources are not as helpful for electional as horary because they tend to list all 50 things it would be nice to have in an election and only occasionally give a nod to reality and say, "well, if you can't get all 50 things, just get the Moon waxing"

When it comes to using natal charts, again traditional sources tend to unhelpfully make broad, abstract pronouncements about how important the natal chart is and then neglect to give any practical advice about how to use the natal chart.

Gadbury's Nauticum Astrologicum is the exception. This is why I recommend it for anyone interested in traditional electional. Gadbury is talking about ships, but he gives 3 ways to do elections, from the natal chart, from a horary or just getting a good election plus actual examples!

Interestingly enough his first two examples, using the natal and horary as a start are not good elections. Very typical! It's hard enough to get a good election without trying to throw in extra natal or horary factors. My approach simply to try to get a good election without trying to monkey with the natal chart.

Couple of other comments about elections.

Whatever little consensus there may be about horary or natal, goes completely out the window with electional. Modern electional is almost completely just "make it up as you go along" and even traditional electional is highly idiosyncratic. It's hard to test, much hard to see whether electional is effective as opposed to horary, plus the fuzziness of traditional electional sources. It's a good area to pontificate about and then rip on other people's elections, easy to do since NO ELECTION IS PERFECT!

Generally clients take elections a bit too seriously, which is why electional clients are often a pain. Elections are not going to overthrow your natal chart, so if your finances are @#@%# in your chart, a good election is unlikely to make you a millionaire. Also elections are subject to the other higher cycles of fate like your city, country, the economy and the world's fates. So a good election for starting as a real estate agent in Las Vegas is also not going to do the trick all by itself.

I do elect important events, but sometimes I get the impression that clients think I don't step out the door without checking with the stars.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Renaissance Astrology Talismans in the British Museum

I am very pleased to announce that two Renaissance Astrology astrological talismans have been added to the permanent collection of the British Museum!

More info and links here. The British Museum website is loading rather slowly and takes awhile.

I think this is a real tribute to the incredible time, energy and effort we put into making authentic astrological talismans, following the ancient sources closely and penetrating through to the essence of the tradition.

Full Evocation to Physical Manifestation?

I had a post recently alluding to "full evocation to physical manifestation" This is one of the ideas bouncing around in contemporary magic and has come to mean that invocation of spirits isn't really complete unless they can be seen, heard, etc., physically.

I find it telling that our modern test of the efficacy and even existence of a spiritual being is its material manifestations. We have such an ingrained skepticism about the spiritual that unless we can touch, feel or see it, we question its existence. This again seems very natural, but is it a standard we even apply consistently?

When people ask me, "do you REALLY believe in astrology, magic, etc.?" I ask them in return, "Do you believe in atoms?" And that sounds like a nonsensical question to them. One believes, despite the sheer absurdity of it, in things like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairly, angels and God. On the other hand, despite having never seen, heard, touched or tasted an atom, despite it being impossible to ever have anything but a second or third hand experience of an atom, we have no doubt of their reality.

So with atoms we have an underlying constituent of matter, invisible, only discernible second hand, but consistent with the modern atheistic/materialist world view. On the other hand, spiritual beings or the Platonic Forms, similarly invisible, discernible materially only second hand through their effects on matter, we doubt because the spiritual is incompatible with the modern worldview.

Traditionally, the spiritual underlay the material and was the ultimate basis of the material. The closer the material corresponded to the spiritual, the more perfect it was.

The modern view inverts this, the ultimate test of truth is the material. This accounts for the popularity of the 13th sign, aka the constellational Zodiac.

I don't doubt that it is possible to physically see spirits and for them to manifest materially. I personally haven't done this, though I certainly see spirits from time to time, in my "mind's eye". What I question is the idea that physical manifestation is the appropriate test for the success of an invocation and seemingly the point of invocation.

It is definitely useful to be able, as I did yesterday, to invoke the 3rd Mansion of the Moon, and have a huge amount of business. But, as Jason Miller recently noted in a post for his Sorcery class, if you want to make money you'd do better getting an MBA and going into banking than using magic. I've often thought that the material results of magic and astrology are like shiny baubles that an infant is attracted to and reaches for. It may get us started on the path, but the fact that magic and astrology really do work and what that means in terms of the nature of reality is actually more significant.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Incorporation for Astrologers & Magicians?

I had an interesting question on one of my discussion groups asking if it wasn't a good idea to incorporate or form a limited liability company ("LLC") to protect against lawsuits if you were a professional astrologer or magician.

Key point for any business is that you are not going to be able to insulate yourself from liability for anything you do personally by setting up a corporation you control. If you commit malpractice or are negligent, etc., you are personally on the hook for it. Your corporate stock or LLC ownership interest, is an asset, just like your house or bank accounts and they can all be seized.

Now, a corporation or LLC makes sense if you own property or have employees. If you own a building, for example, you have it as a corporate asset and if someone slips and falls, through no personal fault of yours, then only the corporation's assets, including the building, are at risk. You have corporation and have an employee, they injure someone, you had nothing personally to do with it, again only the corporation's assets are at risk.

Now astrologers and magicians in particular. Is there really any need to be concerned about being sued? I've heard crazy stuff like you should get malpractice insurance. First off, you can never stop anyone from filing suit, there's nothing anyone can do about that. Being incorporated or an LLC will NOT stop lawsuits. But seriously folks, there is almost no chance that an astrology or magic malpractice lawsuit could succeed. First off who sues over a reading that cost less than $100? Secondly, how are they going to prove malpractice, getting a prediction wrong isn't enough. Are they going to call in another astrologer or magician who testifies that you failed the national standard for astrology or magic or aren't licensed? No court is going want to hear conflicting testimony about astrological analysis or magical practice!

Being incorporated and being sued is for "legitimate" businesses, while astrology and magic are just borderline legal. You can still get prosecuted simply for being an astrologer in some cities and states. This is more of a problem than a lawsuit, depending on where you live and practice. Normally these cases get thrown out on 1st Amendment grounds with the courts saying even if we don't like astrology, we can't legislate people's philosophy or spiritual beliefs. But suing an astrologer or magician is like suing a priest, the courts are just not going to want to get involved, nor should they, unless there is actual fraud involved. Actual fraud would be someone who didn't believe in astrology just using it as a scam.

This is general advice and as always consult an attorney licensed in your locality.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Amazon Picatrix & Green Magic Mini-Course Launch

I want to celebrate the full fledged launching of the Complete Picatrix, now “official” with an ISBN, and available on Amazon! or the Renaissance Astrology website, Complete Picatrix

The Complete Picatrix will now be available in several newly revised editions, the Liber Atratus, “the Black Book” which is the edition available on Amazon, the Liber Viridis “the Green Book” our Green Magic edition (keep reading for info on the new Green Magic Mini-Course!) and the Liber Rubeus, “The Red Book”.

Each of these editions contains our authoritative complete translation of Pingree’s critical edition of the Latin Picatrix, but each edition adds its special material and has a different look.

The Liber Atratus and Liber Rubeus use black letter decorative fonts and woodblock engravings for a “goth” medieval look. The Liber Atratus adds a section on astrological poisons from Ibn Washiyya’s Book of Poisons. The Liber Rubeus adds a rather macabre section on the creation of a divinatory head.

The Liber Viridis uses Renaissance calligraphic display fonts and lavish foliage illustrations for a more Renaissance, “florid” look. The Liber Viridis adds a Green Magic introduction and special Green Magic Index.

Everyone that pre-orders through the Renaissance Astrology website before August 27, 2011 either the Liber Atratus, Liber Viridis, Green Magic Mini-Course or Liber Rubeus will get two free Picatrix pdf books.

The first free pdf is “Sigils from the Arabic Picatrix” this is 8.5 x 11 with 15 pages of sigils from the Arabic Picatrix. Very interesting and useful to compare with the sigils in the Latin Picatrix.

Second free pdf is the 77 page, “Picatrix Selected Translations” this contains selected Picatrix translations, some from the Arabic Picatrix, but more importantly my commentary on significant passages.

Here’s the standard order info, but if you already bought a copy of our translation of Picatrix Books I & II or the blue version of our complete Picatrix translation, keep reading for a GREAT deal!

The Liber Atratus is available from Amazon and from the Renaissance Astrology website Liber Atratus

The Liber Viridis is available only from the Renaissance Astrology website
Liber Viridis

As part of the Picatrix full launch extravaganza I am also introducing the new Green Magic Mini-Course. This course is an introduction to using traditional astrology and astrological magic for planting, harvesting and ecological magic through the Moon and her phases, Mansions and in the signs. The Green Magic Mini-Course also discusses how to use planetary rulerships and advanced Green Magic.

The Green Magic Mini-Course on CD includes a free copy of the Complete Picatrix Liber Viridis Green Magic edition, plus TPHP, the planetary hours program and Mansion Tracker, lunar mansions software. It also includes over 1000 pages of material on traditional gardening with traditional green magic material. The normal cost will be $69.95 plus shipping, you can order here

The Liber Rubeus is only available from the Renaissance Astrology website and only available intermittently on special request. Liber Rubeus orders will only be initiated when the Moon is in her 5th Mansion and each Mansion set will bear the date of its initiation.

You can order the Liber Rubeus here, Order before August 20, 2011 to catch the August 21-22 Moon in the 5th Mansion

If you have a copy of the earlier blue version of the Complete Picatrix with Nigel Jackson’s illustrations, you are in luck because this first edition is now out of print! You can expect to see the price increase as the antiquarian booksellers start jacking up the price.

But I have an even better deal. If you already bought a copy of our translation of Picatrix Books I & II or the blue version of our complete Picatrix translation you get an additional $10 off if you pre-order through the Renaissance Astrology website before August 27, 2011 either the Liber Atratus, Liber Viridis, Green Magic Mini-Course or Liber Rubeus.

E-mail me at and let me know the approximate date and e-mail address you used when you bought Picatrix Books I & II or the blue version complete Picatrix from me or just tell me the 2nd word in the 2nd chapter of the 2nd book of Picatrix. I will then e-mail you the special discount order page!

So let’s recap, new versions of the Complete Picatrix + Green Magic Mini-Course, free pdfs if you pre-order before August 27th and special $10 discount for pre-orders if you already bought a copy of our earlier editions! These special deals are not available if you order the Liber Atratus through Amazon, the special deals are just for orders through the Renaissance Astrology website!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Guardian Angel & Almuten Figuris

The guardian angel/personal daimon is extremely important in traditional theurgy and traditional astrology does indeed have a role to play here. The key part that astrology plays is in the identification of the planet of the personal genius.

Agrippa says,

Now the ancient Phylosophers teach us to know the nature of the Genius of every man, by Stars, their influx, and aspects, which are potent in the Nativity of any one; but with instructions so divers, and differing amongst themselves, that it is much difficult to understand the mysteries of the heavens by their directions.

For Porphyrie seeks the Genius of the Star, which is the Lady of the Nativity: but Maternus either from thence, or from the Planets, which had then most dignities, or from that into whose house the Moon was to enter after that, which at the birth of the man it doth retain. But the Caldeans enquire after the Genius, either from the Sun above, or from the Moon. But others, and many Hebrews think it is to be enquired after from some corner of the heaven, or from all of them. Others seek a good Genius from the eleventh house, which therefore they call a good Demon; but an evil Genius from the sixth, which therefore they call an evil Demon.

Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk III, ch 21.

My tendency is to agree with Robert Zoller's identification of the personal daimon/guardian angel with the almuten figuris whose calculation is provided for in Ibn Ezra's Book of Nativities. The almuten figuris, literally the ruler of the chart, is found through determining the almuten over a series of points in the natal chart.

Here is the Ibn Ezra method as set forth by Robert Zoller, which I use.

Find the essential dignities of the 7 planets in the degree of the Sun, the Moon, the Ascendant, the Part of Fortune, the previous syzygy (i.e. New or Full Moon closest to the nativity).

Add the point values for each planet. sign =5 , exaltation=4, triplicity ruler (day ruler by day or night ruler by night only) =3, term=2, face=1.

Then add 7 points for the day ruler, and 6 points for the hour ruler

Then add the following accidental dignity points to each planets' score

1st house =12
2nd= 6

The highest scoring planet is the almutem figuris.

The almuten figuris is indeed connected with the personal daimon or guardian angel. Iamblichos, in Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, notes that the personal daimon can indeed be determined from the natal chart. Wilder trans. (titled Theurgia at 270.

Iamblichos notes that,

"This [daimon] therefore is present as an exemplar before the souls descend into the realm of generated existence. As soon as the soul chooses him for leader the [daimon] immediately comes into charge of completing of its vital endowments and when it descends into the body it unites with the body and becomes the guardian of it common living principle. He likewise directs the the private life of the soul and
whatever the conclusions we may arrive at by inference and reasoning he himself imparts to us the principles."

Theurgia at 271.

Zoller citing Picatrix says,

"If the Almuten figuris is the Sun, the native will want to lead, express his creative power and be recognized. If the Moon, s/he will want to care for, be cared for, eat and make love, dream, etc. If it is Mercury, s/he will be diligent in the sciences, business and communications. Id it is Venus s/he will be a lover of beauty, of music, of men and women etc. If it is Mars, s/he will fight in order to dominate. If it is Jupiter, s/he will philosophize and teach. If it is Saturn he will retire from society, investigate hidden things and suffer adversity."

So the role of astrology is initially to simply identify the planet of and planetary spirit ruling the almuten figuris.

Next it is also possible to determine the name of one's personal daimon or guardian angel using traditional astrology. Agrippa lays out the method for this at Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk III, ch. 27 and explains various methods for assigning Hebrew letters to the degrees of the Zodiac for a particular natal (or other) chart and then deriving the name of the ruling spirit or angel. Note that this will not be Michael or Gabriel or another angel you can Google, but unlike the almuten figuris, will be unique to you and not shared with anyone else unless they were born at the exact same time, date and place.

I provide both the almuten figuris and name of the guardian angel/personal daimon as part of my Astrological Checkup and
Spiritual Path Reading
and Full Natal Reading

Once the planetary ruler of the personal daimon is identified then we have a good idea of the type of spiritual path we are best suited to, and a beginning idea of the method of contacting the personal daimon. For example, if Saturn is the almuten figuris, our path and method of contact is to "retire from society, investigate hidden things and suffer adversity"

Iamblichus in De Mysteriis, says that, "...the invocation of daemons is made in the name of the single god who is their ruler, who from the beginning has apportioned a single daimon to each individual and who in the theurgic rites reveals according to his good pleasure the personal daimon to each...when the personal daimon comes to be with each person then he reveals the mode of worship appropriate to him and his name and imparts the particular manner in which he should be summoned." IX 9-10 trans. Clarke & Dillon (SBL 2003) at 341.

So traditional astrology can be of immense assistance in the process of identifying and contacting the guardian angel/personal daimon. I can also say that doing the rituals and astrological talismans of the almuten figuris can be quite beneficial. I have had excellent results from mine!