Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm a Cowboy!!! Modern Self Labelling

I've decided that I'm a cowboy. I don't have any cows, and in fact, never have had anything to do with cows. I don't have a horse, never had. I don't have a cowboy hat, I don't have spurs, never have. I've never done any ropin' or ridin' or cowpunching! But, I like the cowboy spirit, so I'm a SPIRITUAL cowboy! And nobody can tell me any different!

It seems ridiculous when I put it that way, but somehow acceptable when one claims to be a spiritual alchemist, though one never has entered a lab, or a traditional astrologer one when has simply mixed in a few traditional techniques along with their psychological natal analysis and progressed sesquiquadrate of Black Lilith.

Our contemporary consumerist/capitalist society is extremely adept at stripping off the surfaces of things for marketing, we get oddities like Samsara perfume, totally bizarre marketing since samsara is the endless cycle of suffering through birth and rebirth, but whatever, it SOUNDS exotic and oriental. Any cultural, religious or spiritual item can be stripped out of context and sold.

And why not, atheistic materialism and its attendant sub-philosophy of deconstructivism teaches us that everything is inherently meaningless, that we as individuals, in our true god-like power, create a semblance of meaning. We can always keep our options open, create an endless bricolage of diverse cultural items.

This is so ingrained in our outlook that we hardly notice it. My web site is called "Christopher Warnock Renaissance Astrology" When I got a merchant account I was forced to go out and register Renaissance Astrology as a trade name. This is like having to register "Chinese Grocery" as a trade name. I didn't chose the name because I liked the sound of it or thought it had an interesting cultural frisson, but because I do actually practice the authentic astrology of the Renaissance.

As my magical teacher Robert Zoller once said, there are a lot of astrologers flying false flags. 18th century pirates used to do this to trick merchant ships. The real problem is that when labels cease to accurately describe their referent then chaos and confusion ensues. I like combining different cultural elements myself, I am simultaneously a rather hippie looking lawyer, astrologer, budding Zen priest. But I'm not a cowboy! If you are not using traditional philosophy and 99% traditional methods and that 1% of modern technique in a traditional manner, you are not a traditional astrologer. This is not really just a value judgment, it is an attempt to avoid chaos.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Book: Cabala of Planetary Magic!!!

Renaissance Astrology Press is proud to present a new book by our own mage/jeweler, Wade Coleman, the Cabala of Planetary Magic!

Wade is a very experienced ceremonial magician and expert in the use of Cabala, particularly in Gematria. He's already published a major Gematria reference book, Sepher Sapphires and we are lucky to have his Cabbalistic expertise. Wade designs all of the backs of our Renaissance Astrology talismans, finding appropriate Hebrew Biblical verses and rectifying mistakes in planetary sigils and symbols.

Wade and I have worked together for over a decade and we now have the literary fruits of Wade's magical and talismanic work. Much of this material is unknown to me as I am not a Cabbalistic expert, but Wade is!

The Cabala of Planetary Magic in over 180 pages, explains in details how to use Cabala for making planetary talismans, plus discussing the various metals used talismanically.

Here is the Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Basic Elements of Talismans
Chapter 2 The Renaissance World View
Chapter 3 Gematria, the Magical Language
Chapter 4 The Tree of Life
Chapter 5 The Four Worlds of the Cabala and the Tree of Life
Chapter 6 Numbers that Answer to the Sephiroth
Chapter 7 Mottos
Chapter 8 The Construction of Planetary Seals
Chapter 9 Intelligences, Spirits and the Divine Names of the Planets
Chapter 10 Basic Design Principles
Chapter 11 Magical Images of the Planets
Chapter 12 Timing the Creation of Talismans
Chapter 13 Consecration
Chapter 15 Drawing, Casting and Engraving Talismans

Cabala of Planetary Magic is filled with detailed explanations of Hebrew, charts, pictures, sigils and symbols. This is a fabulous book if you are interested in planetary tables. Wade focuses in specifically on planetary tables and gives a very in depth explanation of their creation, use and variant forms. Highly Recommended!!!

Wade explains the Sephiroth and the Tree of Life and their talismanic uses, as well as relating other basic Cabalistic principles, like the Four Worlds and numerological principles to talismanic creation.

Cabala of Planetary Magic is an excellent source for anyone interested in Cabala, the planets and planetary magic.

Renaissance Astrology Press is releasing the Cabala of Planetary Magic in a hardcover 1st edition limited to 50 copies. The cost is just $45 plus shipping.

There is also a paperback, this is the second edition. It has been submitted to Amazon, but won't be available there for at least 60 days. Until the paperback appears on Amazon, the price is just $19.95 plus shipping. Once it appears on Amazon, the paperback price there and everywhere will be $24.95, so order now!

Folks, I can't tell you how pleased I am to release the Cabala of Planetary Magic. Finally the Cabalistic secrets that Wade has rediscovered are vailable! This book was a revelation even to me!

More Information Here

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fixed Stars?

Folks, I wanted to mention that I have just added a new fixed stars page to my website. This is a section, translated into modern English, of the medieval poet John Gower's Confessio Amantis, that talks about the rulerships
of the 15 fixed stars.

I think it is useful to review the fixed stars and their role in traditional astrology and traditional thought. In the traditional schema, the fixed stars are in the 8th sphere which is higher than the 7 planetary spheres. It is the fixed stars that rule over the planets and not vice versa.

The Renaissance philosopher and astrologer Marsilio Ficino says,

"I have said elsewhere that down from every single star (so to speak Platonically) there hangs its own series of things down to the lowest...Under the celestial Serpent or the entire constellation of the Serpent-bearer, they place Saturn and sometimes Jupiter, afterwards daemons who often take on serpent's form, in addition men of this kind, serpents (the animals), the snake-weed, the stone draconite which originates in the head of a dragon, and the stone commonly called serpentine...By a similar system they think a chain of beings descends by levels from any star of the firmament through any planet under its dominion."

Ficino, Three Books on Life, Bk. III, Chap. 14, Kaske & Clarke trans, p. 311.

The confusion seems to have arisen from Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos where in Bk I ch 9 Ptolemy discusses the nature of the fixed stars and analogizes them to the planets for ease of understanding. For example, "The stars in the head of Aries, then, have an effect like the power of Mars and Saturn, mingled; those in the mouth like Mercury's power and moderately like Saturn's...." Tetrabiblos Robbins, trans at 47.

All Ptolemy is saying is that you can better understand the nature of the fixed stars which are less familiar than the planets, by understanding how they are similar to a particular planet or mixture of planets. The fixed stars are not exactly like the planets or under the rule of the planets. Even if Ptolemy says that a particular fixed star is like Saturn plus Mercury that doesn't mean that the fixed star = Saturn + Mercury or that it rules similar things or you can use Saturn or Mercury images for it or Saturn or Mercury ruled things for that fixed star. This is just a way understand by analogy roughly what the star is like. Each fixed star has its own nature, and in Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars and in Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy we have lists of the herbs, stones, sigils and particular properties of each star plus images and rulerships unrelated to their planetary nature.

So don't misunderstand Ptolemy and planetary nature listings of fixed stars, eg as listed in Agrippa! The fixed stars rule the planets and the nature of the planets and fixed stars, while having some similarities, can only be roughly equated. Take planets and fixed stars on their own terms!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Planetary Rulers of Mansions of the Moon?

I had an interesting question about the planetary rulers of the Mansions of the Moon.

In Vedic astrology the 27 nakshatra do have planetary rulers, but this is based on a planetary period sequence, similarly to firdaria. The sequence is Sun, Moon, Mars, North Node, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, South Node and Venus.

A number of traditional Western sources do give planetary rulerships for the Mansions, but each one is different, some use the Chaldean Order, some the days of the week order.

A majority of traditional sources on the Mansions do not provide planetary rulerships and those sources that do, don't agree on the system. The Liber Lunae, Sloane Ms 3826, a mid-Sixteenth Century English source gives a strange sequence of planetary rulerships, that doesn't follow the Chaldean Order or the days of the week. The Liber Lunae Mansions are contained in my Mansions of the Moon Book.

I would have to ask why logically the Mansions of the MOON would even have planetary rulers? Aren't these the Moon's Mansions? This reminds me of the confusion over planetary rulership of fixed stars. Because Ptolemy in Tetrabiblos says that fixed stars "have the nature of" various planets, this has been taken as meaning that the planets rule these fixed stars. Again, logically the fixed stars are in a higher sphere and in fact the fixed stars "rule" the planets.

My view is that having planetary rulerships for everything is like the modern Aries = Mars = 1st house. It is collapsing the nuances of traditional astrology and losing the underlying structure.

Still, there is some support in traditional sources, the problem is which source do you choose and then what does it mean if Mars, for example, "rules" the first mansion? I can see that the designers of Solar Fire were confused because they insist on giving the location of all the planets in Mansions. We can therefore puzzle over the meaning or to my mind, the lack of meaning, of Saturn in the 5th Mansion.

For more info on the Mansions check out my webpage, book,
Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course and Astrological Magic Full Course

Monday, March 5, 2012

Different Picatrix Editions?

I occasionally get questions about the different editions of the Complete Picatrix. Ok, all editions of Picatrix have the same complete translation of Picatrix. The only difference is that they look different with different fonts, and illustrations and we have added some additional pages from sources other than Picatrix to each edition.

It's a judgment call. Choices can cause confusion! Still, print on demand makes it easy to provide different editions since they are just sitting on a server somewhere until the order comes in, you don't have to do a print run and have physical copies sitting in a warehouse.

It's kind of cool, I think to have different editions because different people like different stuff. Lots of people like the "goth" Liber Atratus (Black Book) It has black letter fonts and woodcut engravings, plus a passage on astrological poisons from Ibn Washiyya's Book of Poisons. It's available directly from the Renaissance Astrology website, but you can also get the Liber Atratus on Amazon.

On the other hand, the Liber Viridis (Green Book) is fairly fab, very loopy Renaissance calligraphic fonts, lots of elaborate foliage ornamentation with a Green Magic focus. It's available directly from the Renaissance Astrology website.

Finally the Liber Rubeus (Red Book) this could be termed Liber Sanguinis "the Book of Blood" this shares the "goth" formatting of the Liber Atratus, but adds a macabre passage from the Arabic Picatrix about the creation of a divinatory head. This edition is only initiated when the Moon is in the 5th Mansion.
It's available directly from the Renaissance Astrology website

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Renaissance Astrology Facebook Page!

Wow! This is the week of pushing my comfort zone. I finally decided it
was time for a Renaissance Astrology Facebook page.

My ambition for the Facebook page is do more quickie posts, what I'm
up to, but particularly giving good elections for you'all to use.

So good ahead and like the page! Let's get moving!