The primacy of electional astrology in creating astrological talismans
The most important aspect in the creation of an astrological talisman by far is the elected time, since it is this time period when a particular planetary energy is strongest that allows us to embody this intelligent spiritual energy in manifest form.
If you are a clock, or a clock-watching human, one moment may seem no different to another (except when it’s almost time to leave work), but to an astrological magician, time is an ocean that is filled with currents, tides, and spiritual denizens that can be identified, mapped and worked with. Time is alive, it is conscious and filled with spirits, influences, potentials, and forces. Each moment is unique and pregnant with potential of the astral forces operating at the time as described by the relationship between the various stellar bodies with one’s location on earth. It is these enormous potentials that the astrological magician takes advantage of to cause an effect. Everything else is secondary to this.
Like the tides of the ocean, some of them are pleasant and safe to sail upon, others are titanic and can be dangerous if you get in their way. They are neither good nor evil, no more than a tsunami is good or evil, but some of them can be harmful to humans unless care is taken. A skilled astrological magician is able to navigate these tides to skilfully arrive at their chosen destination. This requires a deep familiarity with these tides through study and observation. Luckily we have a few thousand years of astrological observations on which we can draw, and a deep, rich tradition to mine.
Electional astrology presupposes that you desire a certain result and are able to identify the planet, star or set of astrological conditions that are best suited to bring about the result that you desire. This is why the study of the traditional sources is necessary – without it, you are lost and certainly not doing astrological magic.
The traditional non-magical use of electional astrology, or the art of Inceptions as it was sometimes called, was simply to begin your action at a certain predetermined time. The mere act of initiating action at a certain time was the way in which one took advantage of the astrological tides of a certain time to make one’s journey to a particular place easier. Magical elections utilise the same principles but in addition called upon spiritual beings and the magician’s own abilities to cause desired results. The in addition is important since without the election you were not doing astrological magic to making the most of the potential of a moment in time, and are completely reliant on your own abilities and the sympathetic link that exists between any materia used and the planet that rules it.
As a very simple magical example, if you wanted to overcome enemies, you might elect for a time when Mars is very strong since Mars is the planet who rules war. You would ensure that Mars is not afflicted, since this would make it more unpredictable and dangerous. Likewise, you would ensure that the Moon is not debilitated since it is the Moon who transmits the celestial influence to us on earth. There are other much more complex magical elections which require an understanding of horary and electional astrology to create, but these are beyond the purview of this introduction.
Even presupposing an existing relationship between the magician and the spirit ruling a moment or planet in question, without an election, it’s kind of like the difference between asking a friend to help you move when they are busy, distracted, sick or tired versus when they are free, strong, healthy and willing to help. You might succeed, but the move is unlikely to be a pleasant or easy one, you are going to do most of the hard work, and your friend is likely to either not turn up or give up half way. Besides part of being a good friend involves only asking for help from someone who is in a position to help.
Creating a talisman of Saturn
To keep this simple and for the sake of clarity we’ll assume you’re in need of a good dose of discipline and have decided to construct a talisman of Saturn to imbue yourself with these qualities. Luckily, Saturn is essentially strong in his domicile at the moment, and I’ve provided a number of elections to choose from here and here.
The second thing to consider is the materia we use to construct the talisman. In this case we might decide to use a suitable planetary metal or gem. In the case of Saturn, we might use lead or blue sapphire. If we cannot get these, we might use paper and black ink to draw images and inscribe names, since the colour black is associated with Saturn. (You can find traditional correspondences in the Picatrix, Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and many other traditional sources.) We may also consider using myrrh as an incense and myrrh oil as an anointing oil to suffumigate and consecrate our talismans this resin is associated with Saturn.
The next thing we want to consider are the invocations, the spiritual beings we want to call upon that are consonant with the nature of the planet, and images that we will use to direct the planetary influence. The Picatrix has general invocations that are addressed to the planets and calls upon Angelic rulers and spirits that are unique to the Picatrix, but you can also use Qabalistic God names and Hebrew Angels, or an address or prayer to a Saturnine deity from the pantheon of your own tradition. You may use Agrippa’s planetary tables and planetary spiritual hierarchy in his Three Books of Occult Philosophy as a source for your talismanic images, or one of the images of Saturn described in the Picatrix, or even an image that describes the intended effect, e.g., an image of a person hard at work.
Once the hour of Saturn begins we start our invocations and call upon any Saturn angels and spirits we deem appropriate, we ask them for assistance with our goals, and, when the elected time has arrived ,we start inscribing our talisman aiming to have completed the construction as close as possible to the time of the election (generally it’s OK to begin 5 minutes before and end 5 minutes after this time).
The talisman constructed, we suffumigate it and anoint it with oil, and ask the Spirits we have called to imbue the talisman with their influence so that it aids us in our intended goal.
Now that the talisman has been created, it is the home of a celestial spirit who will aid you in developing your discipline. It is a living being and the chart of the election is in a sense its natal chart. According to tradition, electional astrology and the creation of images was used to house gods. Treat your talisman accordingly.
If you are interested in having me create an election for you, either for a planetary talisman for yourself or a particular goal or desire, feel free to drop me a message via the contact form and I will get back to you as soon as possible.