More on Enochian astrological order

So I’ve been thinking a little more about the Enochian astrological order (both the Enochian heptarchical order as well as the order of ensigns of creation), and it occurred to me to think of Saturn as being the “standout” of the planets (Saturn ruling the Kabbalistic sphere of Binah, or Understanding, into which the system of Aethyrs slowly initiates the magician). Working from the Holy Table of Practice, one is closest to the ensign of Saturn facing south (and closest to the Sun when facing north); this mirrors the astrological rulership of Saturn ruling Aquarius, a sign opposing Leo, which the Sun rules. So I have given some thought to Saturn being at its most powerful compared to the other planets (in order to bring Binah to its peak strength), and have come up with another plausible rationale to the Enochian order of the planets (Venus, Moon, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Sun):

Venus (detriment) –> Scorpio
Moon (detriment) –> Capricorn
Saturn (domicile) –> Aquarius
Mercury (detriment & fall) –>Pisces
Jupiter (detriment) –> Gemini
Mars (fall) –> Cancer
Sun (fall/domicile)–> Libra/Leo

I wasn’t sure the strength to put the Sun in this configuration. Should it be at peak strength, wherein the individual comes to know the true core of what they are, and oppose Saturn, also at peak strength, drawing distinctions between who/what one thinks one is and who/what one actually is? Or should the Sun be at a lower power, willing to come into agreement with the discipline of Saturn?

In some ways, I think both views are correct and are supported by the Kabbalistic implications. If the former view is correct, then it’s emphasizing the link from a balanced personality, which we saw in my first exploration of the rationale for the planetary order (in which case it is a sephirothic order, not planetary per se). In this rationale, a symbolic Leonine Sun’s strength is stripped away of ego, and brings Tiphareth into enough fullness to be able to face the cosmic feminine of Binah.

If the latter view is correct, and the Sun is suggestive of Libra in its fall in this schema, then it joins Mars and Mercury as being in this condition. Both Mars & the Sun rule sephiroth–Geburah & Tiphareth–which have direct paths to Binah on the Tree of Life (heh & za(y)in, respectively). Saturn in its domicile strengthens Binah, the sephiroth nearest Binah are in their fall but not completely weakened, whereas the sephiroth farthest away on the Tree of Life from Binah are at their weakest (in detriment). The third planet to be in fall, Mercury, rules Hod, which is at least on the same pillar as Binah & Geburah, though it lacks a direct path (which is interesting, because it’s also in detriment). This configuration also emphasizes water, air, and earth placements–perhaps to allow the initiate up into the supernal, least dense sephiroth of Atziluth (often associated with fire compared to the lower three worlds of Briah, Yetzirah, & Assiah).

Let me know what you think in the comments!

My Rainbow Body Process, Part 2: Hod initiation

In my last update, I mentioned that I was going to upgrade my Hod initiation. I essentially went with Scott Stenwick’s method; hilariously, I had some trouble with the sephirothic invocation, which is very unlike me. Slippery Mercury & Hod!

After settling in, I went through the process of the vision. Archangel Michael took me through the portal and the nature of the vision was straightforward: orange colors along with a blue belt. I saw my natal Aries Mercury in the form of rams, headbutted along by Mars and Venus, which conjoin it natally. This was shown to me differently in the form of a thermometer (representing heat; my chart is very fire heavy lol), with the mercury inside being alternately bifurcated by Mars but rejoined by Venus (this is these planets’ respective natures). This is a sort of special vibration, but Mars tends to predominate. Interestingly, I had forgotten that these two planets, the nocturnal malefic and benefic, were united by the locked-in Mercury. “Locked in” isn’t the best position for Mercury, unable to express itself as it normally does, with freedom and agility. No wonder this seemed to be an issue to be resolved!

Hod, splendor, is brilliance and majesty–and has been described by Clark as form of rational intellect. Yet we all have different perspectives of this rationality, and this can be seen as the thoughts (Mercury) flowing through the rational structure of the intellect. Key to me in my vision was the necessity of having a flexibility of belief structure (a recommendation by Robert Anton Wilson in Prometheus Rising). Within a rigid belief system, thoughts can only go in so many directions, so many speeds, or so many times, without things getting bored and stilted. With a flexible belief system, however, thoughts have more places to go, and more of the splendor can be born witness to and integrated into the self. Kind of sounds important if a variety of aspects need to be added?

What is the prognosis? The I Ching noted a short-term prognosis of “Inner Truth” and a longer-term prognosis of “The Family.” So, receptivity to truth as it is, and then functioning according to truth in all its variety. “Variety”: that word, in Enochian (DAMPLOZ) shows up in the rainbow body call! Broadening truth and living it: sounds like a plan!

How I make my planetary talismans

A talisman, strictly speaking, a visual seal (sigil) of magical intent that is energetically charged to bring wanted things toward you; it has typically been contrasted with amulets which repel unwanted things. In Western traditions nowadays, this line is a little blurry, so this post refers to both, but only those related to astrological talismans. Any time is possible to do magick. Elemental magick is always available, no matter the circumstances. Astrological magick is also always available, and can be tweaked via planetary banishing and invoking, but it’s a bit more like playing a game of cards, in which you can discard some cards and draw others.

I start my planetary talisman process based on the desired astrological energy. To do this, you need to have familiarity with basic astrology and what makes a planet’s energy strong as well as harmonious with other planets. Once the dominant planetary energy is selected, I pick the time and the base metal. Paper is fine but not as durable energywise as metal. Classically each astrological planet has its own metal; of the seven planets, only four have metals that are realistic to use nowadays: Saturn’s and Mercury’s metals (lead & mercury, respectively) are toxic, and the sun’s metal, gold, is toxic to your bank account! I substitute silver, the moon’s metal, for these three planets, because the moon is “closest” to the earth in the medieval tradition.

Once I have the metal picked, I begin the design; there’s not much imagination on my part in designing talismans. If a planetary talisman, I begin by looking up the magic square for that planet. This will be the center of the overall design, and also tells me the number of elements to incorporate into the talisman, including the numbers of the square itself (but not the grid). I usually go with the sum of a given row or column.

Once I have the number of elements, I incorporate the names of the selected deities and/or archangels associated with the planet & its sephira. In the Hermetic tradition, these can be found by looking them up ina correspondence resource such as 777, 776_1/2, or Thelemapedia (in the case of a Mars talisman, for example, I use row 27, and perhaps also row 5 for the sephira it rules, Geburah); these are all based on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (which itself is largely based on Agrippa: see below); I have yet to explore other similar orders’ materials such as Aurum Solis but this is forthcoming, I’m sure. I then start counting the letters in the deity names and try to use some combination of them that adds up the the planetary square total (in the case of the Mars talisman, 65). Also, I do one final check for the planetary seal from Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book 1, Chapter 33. My standard approach is to have the names parallel to each of the four sides of the square (placed according to the Four Worlds associations in the Kabbalah and/or stacked as necessary according to the hierarchy in which they fit; the planetary seal I break into four parts which go at the corners, in a rounded formation of long enough).

Once the design is complete, it comes to a method of charging the talisman. Here you’re asking the deity or angel to do you a solid and please charge your talisman. Angels work in the capacity of their deity, so appeal to that connection, and deities like it when you approach via the things they are connected to (such as the incenses or plants in a correspondence book like 777–the more the better, but there is diminishing returns, so don’t dip into your savings! If money is an issue, cultivate sincerity and it will make up for it). Use a picture of the appropriate animal, a small clipping of the appropriate plant, light the appropriate incense, etc. Next, perform the planetary invoking ritual (I use the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram) to call forth the energy associated with your astrological election. Then I usually will either do an invocation for the deity to temporarily inhabit my body (choose your deity wisely!) and provide a charge to the object, or a call to the angel by appealing to its deity. I will usually modify Liber Israfel for the former; for the latter, it depends on the system. Enochian has specific methods to call upon its angels; similarly, the Shem-Hamphorasch has its own 72 angels and various authors have books on contacting them. Once those methods are done you make your request to the angel(s) that you have called to charge the talisman for you.

One alternative to the entity method is energy work, such as Chi or Reiki (though the latter still accesses divine entities). Reiki is probably better since it explicitly calls on the energy of the heavens (which, you know, where the stars and planets are), but Chi could probably also be used, if you set a strong intention to only use the more terrestrial energy that fully reflects the celestial.

Here we come to a point not to be overlooked: timing is essential. Unlike other astrologers, my view of an event is to look at the definitive “birthing” portion. Just as astrologers typically use a birth time and not a conception time, events or even ideas have to be birthed and not just stirred or conceived. A seed doesn’t count as a new plant just because it’s been planted, or watered, or the like. The seed emerge from its shell and touch the air and light as well as put down its first root. I dwell on this point because, well, you have to time your actions to culminate as closely to the time you’ve elected.

That’s it: you now have a charged talisman!

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!

UPDATE: I think I’ve come to realize the nature of why the nocturnal sect rulers stay where they are while the diurnal rulers flip. This related to Aleister Crowley’s N.O.X. formula, which focuses around the supernal sephiroth. The idea is that this supernal light is so vast and limitless, it is blinding and as such is “dark” like the night. Since the Aethyrs appear to be initiation into Binah, the system leaving in place the night rulers—but moving the day rulers “out of the way” of initiation into the supernals—makes sense.