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).
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!
[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.]
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,
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:
Things do seem out of order, don’t they? But then I pondered how these planets might look if I included sect rulership:
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:
I also wondered whether the Enochian order of the planets also relates to the planetary joys:
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:
If we flip this, once again about a vertical line, we get:
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):
The bottom-right three planets are all the heaviest and day-chart rulers (a familiar issue, as seen above!).
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.
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.
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:
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.