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The problem with Astrological Timing..and Baphomet

The problem with Astrological Timing is that once you start paying attention to it, you can't go back. And the further you delve into understanding how the stars affect how your magic works, the more attention and credence you give to proper astrological timing. Even with spur-of-the-moment rituals, I can't help but draw up a quick election to be sure nothing I'm working with is negatively afflicted. I'm a loooooonnnggg way from being an Adept when it comes to Astrology, but I can do this sort of thing comfortably now.

While I've been solid at paying attention to what's happening above during the last 3/4 years of my work, as I've delved into a thorough and deep study of classical astrology (currently studying Horary and Electional) I've become ever more sensitive to how constructive/destructive the stars can be upon a ritual. A properly elected ritual needs very little in the way of actual "ritual" to work properly. A poorly elected ritual WILL give you a pounding, or at best be completely ineffectual. Invoking a poorly-aspected Planet is a terrible idea, and I would guess it happens all the time because many Magicians these days are unaware of exactly how important it is to understand these things. I certainly was unaware for years.

 I wonder whether understanding of Astrological timing is something broadly understood in the Chaos or Wiccan traditions? The vast majority of Witches and Chaotes that I know are aware of the planets, but pay no attention at all to what they are doing (besides the Moon). The Witches I know (my wife being one of them...and my favorite) pay very close attention to the phase of the Moon and adjust their work accordingly. I get the "Here goes the pedantic ceremonial dude" look if I start to delve into it with some of my non-GD friends.....and a few of my own students, haha. Eyes just glazing right over.  Perhaps I'll start with Agrippa's descriptions , make some images for folk to look at while we talk. Sex it up a bit, I suppose. I know studying's not all that exciting for some folks, but being a Magician--a Theurgist--ain't all mead and honey-cakes. Once you learn the basics of Astrology, the mind-numbing bits (creating the Chart using an ephemeris) can be done by software. This is a good makes a lot fewer mistakes when it comes to the dry stuff. The art of the things is in understanding the relationships between Planet, Sign, and House. The importance of the Aspects, the push and pull between the Heavenly forces at a given moment. It's an Art that is full of beauty, if you've got the patience to learn it.

I had an interesting "encounter" whilst meditating and doing some "energy work" (there has to be a better term....but who would know what I was talking about if I used it. Perhaps LVX Work? What do we call filling our bodies with Light in circulation  when it isn't the Middle Pillar? We could say that we are refining the the Metals, burnishing the internal stars.....). It was a vision of a particular Hermaphrodite. Baphomet. Not the prettiest version of the Hermaphrodite out there, I gotta tell you. A viscerally physical version.  I'd come to an understanding of how the embracing of the feminine within oneself might manifest on different levels, including the Physical, when It appeared. It was a complicated image; the goat headed creature, with full breasts, musky and dense, priapic and full, penetrating itself and receiving itself. That last bit doesn't show up on the Tarot cards, but it's correct.  It spoke to me in image and sensation about the physical sexuality and sex-force. It was very, very interesting and would have made me very, very uncomfortable a couple of years ago. Well. Perhaps One year ago.....OK. I was still somewhat uncomfortable. But I was accepting, and was able to be receptive to the message in a way I surely couldn't have when I began the Theurgic work. Interestingly enough, I thought I was evolved in my sexual understanding Before I started the work. Turns out that wasn't quite the case. I think I'm well on the way now, though.




  1. I tend to use some of the planetary work to 'charge' up things, as I'm plugging time into my "magickal equation." I might also do it to take some charge out of something, or to undo something that I've noticed may or may not be influencing me. But beyond that, I don't take it into consideration very often. If you can bring things into the microcosm, they you can certainly kick them out of it. And that tends to work just fine.

    As for the moon? Actually, I do pay attention to that! But I guess I'm a witch-chaos hybrid, so it makes horrible sense. I've actually discussed creation a "Lunar Mansion Cycle" with my coven, but that may be too much work. (Why reinvent the wheel?)

  2. @Jack: The Lunar Mansion cycle is teh bomb. Little known fact: The Mansions are in the 8th Sphere, along with the constellations. Excellent for superheroes, I believe.

  3. Lunar Mansion Cycle? Sounds interesting.....and like a lot of work, very true.

    I wonder about avoiding the influence of the Planets--in my own experience, that would be like kicking my liver out, or a kidney. They seem to be necessary.

    But then again...I've never tried to give'em the boot, only guide their expression. Glad it's working for you! I'd be to paranoid they were still at work, just beneath my notice, to be at peace.

  4. @AIT: Oh, they are still at work, and I'm aware of that. Their effects on my operations have always been a slight bit problematic, and so I narrow it down by using microcosmic principles to trigger thaumaturgic reactions, and macrocosmic moments/planteraty influences/etc. to trigger some of the bigger theurgic effects I may need.

  5. @Fra Jack,

    Right on-that is an interesting approach. Extremely so....shows the kind of active, experimental approach to Magic one only seems to see in gents/ladies working outside of a group. You've given me some food for thought; there's a post in there somewhere.

    That is, assuming I understood that correctly. ;-)

  6. The Hexagram rites in the GD, I think, are supposed to allow the mage to bring down any particular planetary force as needed, aren't they? I used the invoking hexagram of Jupiter once when I was in a hurry and couldn't wait for the right timing, but I generally prefer to time it right anyway.

  7. @ Fra RO,

    Certainly, you can bring down the planets into your sphere at any time with the Hexagram ritual; it's just that the quality of the energies, the tuning of them, can vary based on timing. It's not a matter of them showing up so much as how they are expressed. I've noticed this especially when scrying and when charging telesmata.

  8. Ave et Care, Frater,

    As I got more into Astrology, I found that the intuitive times that I would pick for a ritual or invocation would be in harmony with the current Astrology, even when studied in hindsight. Equally, when I felt to steer very clear of anything non-physical, a little research would result in the discovery of rather unpleasant aspects.

    I agree that there is something of a resistance to 'study' in certain quarters of the field, but personally I find Astrology - both tropical and sidereal - fascinating. But I am a terrible bookworm, and remain quite contrite about it! :o)

    The last wonderful experience was at dawn with a recent planetary love-in with Venus in Her Rulership. Needing some musical succour, I was determined to hit that particular mark.

    The dawn ritual was effortless, needing only one solitary Hexagram to bring forth Her Force. And the results were abundant to say the least - She brought forth means from literally nowhere allowing me to get ALL of the musical wares I needed, as opposed to only part, which I had been quite willing to accept. Salve!
    Just when you think the Work is the complex symptom of severe OCD and a nerdy childhood... surprise!!!

    Hope all is well with you and yours,

    In LVX

  9. 93 you can certainly bring the planetary influence and utilize to some effect but if the planet is currently in a sign out of its element and opposed by stronger planet in its power at the moment you could be utilizing its weakest aspect therefore manifesting the counter/reverse of what was intended... if you really wanna get ocd yet certain of what cards are in your deck check out the decans!! 93 93/93

  10. Ave Frater AIT,

    I just wondered, which forms (if any) of mnemonic aid do you use in absorbing incantations into your memory?

    Do you simply assimilate them with frequent use, or do you employ any other kind of process of memorisation?

    Naturally the Spirit is as important as the Letter (if not more), but for those aspiring perhaps to the Officer roles in a Lodge, or effective fluid ritual, I imagine any tool of memorisation would be helpful.

    I thought it might be a useful question for the readers, as many who haven't had the intensive 'ritual drilling' experience of Freemasonry, which does help the memory considerably, or who are new to ritual magic, might wonder too?

    Yours fraternally,


  11. Ave Frater!

    BTW, I've 'bitten the bullet', and applied to join the august and venerable HOGD/A+O.

    All my fingers are crossed!

    In LVX,

  12. Care Frater Darren,

    I've experienced much the same as you have with the timing of ritual coinciding nicely with my intuition....a nice effect.=)Makes you feel especially tuned into the force.

    I have worked with Giordano Bruno's memory palace (the Songs of Circe) in the past, although most of my incantatory knowledge has been hard won...through endless repetition. One technique that I have used is to create a prayer of sorts out of the various incantation required for a ritual, and mentally intoning that prayer when the appropriate hour/tide/ascension comes along. Sundays are excellent for this sort of thing.

    I think you're right on about the 'drilling' that lodge experience gives being hard to come by these days for many GD magicians. Definitely my experience.

    What wonderful news, that you have decided to join us! Welcome, welcome, welcome Frater--if you have any trouble at all with the process, please email me and I'll do what I can do assist.

    Fraternally in LVX,


  13. Care Frater AIT,

    Thank you so much for your greeting. I shall certainly be keeping in touch.
    And thank you for your comments on memory - essentially it is to work repeatedly on one's invocations with the corresponding tides. That seemed the logical approach to me. I shall also look more closely at the Songs of Circe.

    Fraternally in LVX,



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