Enochian astrological assignments of the Ensigns of Creation

[The TL,DR: the placement of Enochian astrological ensigns of creation seem to fit the astrological system of exaltation, with adjustments for sect across the equinox line of 0 degrees Aries/Libra). Enochian does not seem to fit the Planetary Joys, which fits the nature of the mystical nature of the sephira into which Enochian guides the initiate: Binah (and its associated Vision of Sorrow). Following the Enochian astrological placements on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life makes intuitive sense if you hold that the ensign of Mercury is referring to Raphael as archangel of Tiphareth and the ensign of the Sun as is referring to Michael as archangel of Hod.]

Episode 255 of The Astrology Podcast featured a discussion with Chris Brennan and Benjamin Dykes about the exaltation of the planets, based on the latter’s translation of Abu Ma’shar. The episode itself is worth a listen as it gives additional rationale to what was already put forward about the exaltation of the planets. This spurred my thinking about the reasons for the assignments of the planets in Enochian, specifically the heptarchical system and the ensigns of creation; the latter is shown below:

Enochian assignments to the Ensigns of Creation on the Holy Table of Practice

In the Heptarchical system, each planet is ruled by an angelic king and its prince, but while the king is always called on the day (e.g., the king for the sun is called on Sunday–though, as Stenwick points out, the king seems to have authority over the sephiroth which the planet rules: Sunday for Tiphareth, Monday for Yesod, etc.) and hour, the Prince is called on the day of the planet but the hour of the planet which follows the heptarchical order above (i.e., the prince for Sunday is called on the hour of the moon). The order above,

Sun–>Venus–>Moon–>Saturn–>Mercury–>Jupiter–>Mars–>(Sun, etc.)

Does not follow the typical hours scheme, which my sources tell me goes back to the Chaldeans, of:

Sun–>Venus–>Mercury–>Moon–>Saturn–>Jupiter–>Mars–>(Sun, etc.).

This seems like a minor detail, but it is one that has bothered me. After all, Dee would request the angels’s views of existing magic and they were known to reply, paraphrasing Jason Louv, “That’s nice,” in the way a parent comments on a child’s drawing, and then provide a corrected version of it (consider the similarity of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth to the geometry shown on the cover of this translation of The Sworn Book of Honorius, for example!). So what is behind the change to the typical planetary hourly rotation?

I wondered whether the exaltations might have anything to do with this. Here is a chart of the exalted planets in their signs:

By Meredith Garstin – Meredith Garstin, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4464225

Things do seem out of order, don’t they? But then I pondered how these planets might look if I included sect rulership:


Exaltations with Sect

Finally, it occurred to me that with the start of the zodiac being at Aries, and with Venus being closest to this, I should mentally orient my zodiac about Venus and then add sect into the matter. A mental flipping of the Enochian about this equinox axis looks like this:

Note that the flipped Saturn precedes Mercury in Virgo because it has 21 degrees to shift vs Virgo’s 15 degrees which separate it from the equinox.

Dykes also mentions the interesting zig-zag pattern if you follow the planets according to decreasing brightness:

and here’s the same order with Enochian–interestingly, the same zig-zag pattern does not appear. However, following the luminosity pattern (below) does not follow any of the individual parts of the Enochian counterclockwise path (second figure below), plus, malefics and benefics are both separated by 2+ planets, and the most luminous planets all occupy the highest three positions of the heptagon:

Enochian order, path of decreasing luminosity
Enochian heptarchical order

I also wondered whether the Enochian order of the planets also relates to the planetary joys:

Planetary joys, taken from the Astrology Dictionary.

Note that the planetary joys are a house-based system, not a sign-based assignment of planets. Regardless, if we put Venus at the top of this pattern, this is the result:

Following the same order but using heptagonal spacing, we get:

Consolidated heptagonal view, planetary joys with Venus shown at top

If we flip this, once again about a vertical line, we get:

Flipped planetary joys, heptagonal pattern

This is now resembling the Enochian heptarchical assignments. A few things to note about the four “mis-placed” planets (according to the original Enochian system):

  1. The bottom-right three planets are all the heaviest and day-chart rulers (a familiar issue, as seen above!).
  2. Two of the planets, the Sun and Mercury, have archangels (Michael and Raphael, respectively) whose associations switch when considering the sephiroth they rule (Raphael is the archangel of Tiphareth, which is ruled by the Sun, while Michael is the archangel of Hod, which is ruled by Mercury). Thus, we’ve seen some flexibility in associations across these two sephiroth.
  3. Saturn and Mars, both malefics, also rule sephiroth on the Pillar of Severity (“on your left”) on the Tree of Life in Kabbalah–as does Mercury.
  4. The seven classical planets are slightly imbalanced towards the Pillar of Severity as it is; the Luminaries and Benefics together rule four sephiroth, two each on the Middle and Mildness Pillars (though the entire tree itself is balanced).

The Planetary Joys scheme as a means of understanding the Enochian astrological order seems to fall apart (though I’d appreciate any commentary to the contrary–I already tried changing according to sect as above ), but why? Trying to think about why this might be, my mind kept going back to the pillar of Severity–the topmost sephiroth of which is Binah, which is associated with the mystical Vision of Sorrow (as well as the Vision of Wonder). What does Sorrow have to do with Joy? The answer is nothing!

However, what would an initiation of Binah, (“Understanding,”) have to do with exaltation? Why, everything! The exaltation of the human(e) into the Divine, which of course has everything to do with Sorrow (for those who cannot Understand their own Divinity), but Wonder for those who can.

Let me return to the Tree of Life for a quick look at the path as suggested by the ensigns; I’ve removed the sephiroth names for simplicity and shown what happens if we follow the heptarchical path (the path of the sephiroth in order of their ruling planets):

It’s kind of a mess! There’s a jump from Yetzirah to Atziluth & back down again! Then I thought about changing the associations of Mercury to mean Raphael as ruler of Tiphareth, and the sun to mean Michael as ruler of Hod:

Revised Enochian path on the Tree of Life

This path seems faaar cleaner, and it makes more sense. A balanced person (Tiphareth) takes inventory of all the aspects of the surrounding sephiroth on the Tree of Life (much like the counting of the Omer), and then, having done all of this and found themselves with a solid foundation (Yesod), is initiated (via the Aethyrs) into Binah in Atziluth. After this, the initiate returns to this place of balance, but now with Divine awareness.

“If you’re not already solid in Tiphareth, you’re gonna have a baaad tiiiime.”

Just some thoughts!

Planets ruling Sephiroth on the Tree of Life

Perhaps it’s Uranus transiting over my natal sun right now that’s inspiring me to write a bit about the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. For beginners, I’ll just mention that the Tree of Life is an interesting model of consciousness. Based on the mythical tree in the book of Genesis (from which one could eat and live forever), the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (often abbreviated as ToL) metaphorically explains how divine energy can move from the heavenly to the earthly.

Most sephiroth on the ToL are considered to be ruled by celestial aspects or by the elements; the tenĀ sephiroth, or spheres (i.e., of consciousness/spiritual states) on the ToL and their respective rulers are:

  1. Kether, “The Crown”
  2. Chokmah, “Wisdom,” ruled by the Zodiac
  3. Binah, “Understanding,” ruled by Saturn
    (Da’ath, “Knowledge,” is considered to be a false sephirah; in some traditions it’s also thought to be all sephiroth at once, though I find this unhelpful and somewhat incorrect)
  4. Chesed, “Mercy,” ruled by Jupiter
  5. Geburah, “Strength,” ruled by Mars
  6. Tiphareth, “Beauty,” ruled by the Sun
  7. Netzach, “Victory,” ruled by Venus
  8. Hod, “Splendo(u)r,” ruled by Mercury
  9. Yesod, “Foundation,” ruled by the Moon
  10. Malkuth, “Kingdom,” ruled by the four elements

The rulership of these sephiroth differ from the astrological essential dignity of domicile, which holds that planets have greatest effectiveness in zodiacal sign (e.g., Aries, Taurus, etc.): the Sun is strongest in the royal sign of Leo, the Moon in the nurturing sign of Cancer, etc. There are further essential dignities including

Sephirothic rulership, however, is less about what brings the planet strength, but rather what brings the sephiroth completeness. The Splendor of all the possibilities of form to be made in the physical world is brought to completion by Mercury, which can flow from idea to idea, configuration to configuration. The Triumph of any given form, moreover, is brought to completeness when it is in fact a pleasurable one (for what is the point in Victory without the thrill?).

One consideration is whether to re-assign the planets Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto to the final two sephiroth. From personal experience of the higher sephiroth, my judgment is not to do so. Uranus, the planet some folks consider to rule Chokmah, is commonly considered among astrologers as a “wild card” planet and a rebellious planet. My experience of Chokmah (“Wisdom”) is that it provides an individual insight into an optimal approach to reality. Wisdom is an optimal means to govern one’s life because it is an incorporation of an undeniable aspect of nature, which can be succinctly declared in a Law. Rebellious Uranus doesn’t seem to fit this idea, though one could argue that the newly declared Law is a necessary reflection of a previously unseen aspect of reality.

Nonetheless, more fundamental to my judgment is the contrast between Binah (“Understanding”), ruled by Saturn, the greater malefic and Lord of Time, and Chokmah. Binah occupies the top of the pillar of Severity on the ToL, while Chokmah occupies the top of the pillar of Mercy (ascending the Middle Pillar of Mildness is often considered a standard goal of the Kabbalah). Saturn reflects the need for discipline and patience, and brings Binah (often described as all possibilities and thus bringing the initiate the Vision of Sorrow) to completeness by imposing its cold order and a logical connectivity of these possible states into a coherent flow (eliminating–bringing death!–to nearly all of them!). If feminine Binah is ruled by the Lord of Time, then masculine and protruding Chokmah, it follows, should be ruled by Space itself. Space and time being essential aspects of the universe, the Zodiac seems like the superior choice of ruler.

What rules Kether, the Crown? As you might guess, I don’t believe it is ruled by either Neptune or Pluto. My argument is that it lacks formal rulership, except that it is existence itself, which does have limits. Therefore, I would argue that perception rules Kether–reality perceives itself, no matter what, and therefore perhaps the best way to put it is that the Divine rules it, for the Divine is the Complete Perceiver, and initiates into Kether may partake of the perception of the Divine.

Some scholars suggest that the Biblical Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are the same tree. Eating of the Crown this Tree, I can tell you that the answer is yes: as I put it when first scrying the Enochian Aethyr of LIL: “This is the End of Death.”

Enochian initiation into Chokmah, Kether, Ain Soph Aur, & Ain Soph

Jason Louv contends that Enochian is a means to initiate into the Kabbalistic sephirah (sphere of consciousness) of Binah. The final seven Aethyrs, he argues, reveal the final to sephiroth of Chokmah and Kether, but these lock up if one has not initiated into these sephiroth. In my experience, this is absolutely true.

It is possible to request the Enochian angels show you how to initiate into these sephiroth and thus enable full visions when you scry the last seven Aethyrs. Assuming you have successfully scried through ZID, you should have begun the initiation into Binah and thus be ready for the following sephiroth. The process is long, but it is started very simply. What you do is make the normal call to the Aethyrs (“MADRIAX DSPRAF ___,” where the blank is filled in with the name of the Aethyr) and then substitute the Enochian word for the name of the sephirah (rather than the name of the Aethyr).

So, to initiate into Chokmah, you would use the word for “the secret wisdom,” ANANAEL. After making the call, follow the instructions of the angels and you will begin the initiation process. The same can be done for Kether (the highest sephiroth) as well as Ain Soph Aur and Ain Soph. I have tested this technique on three of the following four (once again, do not make this call until you have successfully scried through ZID–that itself should be challenge enough):

Chokmah (Wisdom): ANANAEL (Secret Wisdom).

Kether (Crown): MOMAO (Crown)

Ain Soph Aur (Limitless Light): MAOFFAS OLPIRT (Measureless Light)

Ain Soph (No Limit): MAOFFAS (Measureless[ness]).