Planetary dieting and changing temperament

We briefly discussed in an earlier post how Ficino in his De Vita described how he would diminish the influence of the Saturnine melancholy to which he was prone by consuming food associated with the Jupiter, the most sanguine of the planets.

The idea is that one attunes one’s complexion or temperament to the complexion of the planet in a gradual way by fasting and introducing food associated with a particular planet. That is, if, as in the case of Ficino, one is melancholic and thus has a temperament that is Cold and Dry, this is altered by consuming foods that are (in Ficino’s example) of the nature of Jupiter who is Warm and Moist. This diet will gradually change the temperament of the native to match the complexion of the planet – from Saturnine melancholy and misanthropy we become, through regular consumption of eagles and peacocks (or perhaps more easily obtained Jupiterian ingredients), jovial, sanguine, affable and popular.

Continue reading “Planetary dieting and changing temperament”

A Quick and Dirty Guide to the Lunar Mansions – Using elections, Creating talismans

What are the Lunar Mansions?

Simply put, the Lunar Mansions are a form of Lunar Zodiac which splits the ecliptic into 28 sections. Although based on an older sidereal form, we will be using the Mansion system used in the Picatrix which is based on the tropical zodiac.

Each Mansion is said to have a particular effect (which you can find here or in one of the translations of the Picatrix), and the position of the moon in any of these mansions can be used either to simply elect a time to perform a certain action (e.g., with the moon in the 5th mansion, it’s a good to ask for favours from kings – or to ask your boss for a raise, if you do not work for your monarch directly) or to create a talisman for a magical effect (e.g., with the moon in the 3rd Mansion, it is a good time to make a talisman to bring good luck).

The great thing about using the mansions is that they can be utilised with whatever system you currently work with to add a little celestial oomph to your magick. As an example, if you do not want to create a silver ring bearing the image of a woman with her hand raised over her head for luck during the 3rd Mansion of the Moon, and would prefer to create a mojo hand instead, that is certainly another possibility.

Continue reading “A Quick and Dirty Guide to the Lunar Mansions – Using elections, Creating talismans”

Astrological talismans and their effects

Just as the influences of the planets and fixed stars reigning at a particular time and place are impressed upon body and soul of someone born at that time and particular place, it is possible to impregnate a physical object with a particular celestial influence.

A talisman is created through a combination of timing, with the construction taking place when the celestial influences are at their peak, an appropriate physical basis that has the ability to receive the influence of the celestial influence due to similarity or correspondence with the influence, 3) inscription with figures, divine names and symbols consonant with the influence, 4) invocation of spirits who rule over or direct the power of the planet or star to consecrate (literally ‘make sacred’) the talisman to indwell the talisman itself, and 5) intention, that is, giving the talisman a mission through the charge to the spirit or impressing the effect on the talisman through the imaginative faculty.

Continue reading “Astrological talismans and their effects”

Caring for your debilitated moon

We learned in our last little chat that a debilitated moon generally implies issues with our perceptive faculties, perhaps even our senses themselves, and with unconscious processes. This means that, for whatever reason, our senses do not always relay a clear and accurate reflection of reality – we receive an image slightly askew, distorted by our own mental filter through which we see events.

So, fate has given us some work to do. How do we fix this?

How to train your moon (now in 3D)

Continue reading “Caring for your debilitated moon”

The Manner and Wit of the Native

While the temperament is an internal and largely unchanging aspect of personality that determines character as well as the form of the body itself, the native’s manner describes his behavioural traits, those observable characteristics that are visible to others and mark him out as a particular sort of person. Jupiter as the planet ruling his manners and the native might be described as generous and affable; Saturn, austere and serious.

Continue reading “The Manner and Wit of the Native”

The Lord of the Geniture

Who is the Lord of the Geniture?

The Lord of the Geniture is, to put it simply, the most powerful planet in the natal chart (by essential dignity) which has the power to assist the native. Essential dignity is straightforward enough to determine, however a strong planet with weak accidental dignity, such as one in the 8th or the 12th house, is not going to be of much use to the native and therefore does not satisfy the conditions necessary to be Lord of the Geniture.

Continue reading “The Lord of the Geniture”

Temperament and Bardon’s Soul Mirrors

One particularly useful application of the calculation of temperament for the aspiring Hermeticist is as an aid and a guide to the creation of the Soul Mirrors described in Franz Bardon’s Initiation into Hermetics.

If you are not familiar with the author, the basic idea is that one spends some time in exacting introspection to identify and describe the largely unconscious characteristics that make up our personality. Bardon has one begin with the Black Soul Mirror which is a description of all of our negative characteristics. Bardon leaves it up to the student to determine what negative means to him, but these are, broadly speaking, qualities that hinder rather than help us. He tells us that “… you have to be pitiless and very strict with yourself when it comes to your shortcomings, failings, habits, passions, urges and many other negative character traits.”

Continue reading “Temperament and Bardon’s Soul Mirrors”

The Temperament or Complexion of the Native

One of the first techniques in the toolbox of the traditional astrologer used when interpreting a nativity was the calculation of the temperament of the native. Based upon then humoral theory of the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, whose school of medicine had an enormous influence on medieval medical theory and practice, the temperament offered a basic psychological description of the person being described in a nativity, their innate disposition through which they experienced the world and interpreted events.

Continue reading “The Temperament or Complexion of the Native”

Wealth and fate – astrology and magic


This was a response to a discussion about the utility of magic to overcome or change the restrictions placed on our financial circumstances by fate, karma and one’s nativity.

In traditional astrology there are significators of wealth in your natal chart which describe your future financial status and your ability to accrue wealth, as well as give indications where this money will come from (and, if afflicted, how you will lose money), but the amount of wealth you could accumulate was considered largely determined by the conditions of your birth. Here’s William Lilly on the traditional astrology answer regarding the question of fate and wealth:

“..for a beggar’s child may have a nativity equal with a king’s but then they are not both the sons of kings; therefore at what time an extraordinary direction happens, whereby a king obtains extraordinary or very great honour upon the influence thereof; the young beggar having the very same fortunate direction in his nativity, has no more falls to his share, then either to fall to some course of life, not so sordid to beg. A king has loans or money of his subjects; it happens the beggar has some more than usual bountiful alms from some good people.

A king performs some honourable exploit; a beggar has more than ordinary respect amongst his fellow beggars, for some neat piece of service he has performed for the fellowship; so that herein the one has honour according to his capacity, and the other such fame with his companions, which pleases him as well as honour.” (Christian Astrology, p616)

In Lilly’s day if you are born a beggar, you are never going to become king, and if your father was a stonemason, well, that’s going to be your profession too. Although the level of wealth you may achieve is still largely determined by the family you are born into, if you are lucky enough to live in a wealthy country, you likely have a lot more options than anyone born before you has ever had. Continue reading “Wealth and fate – astrology and magic”

Saturn – The Greater Infortune

If you were to consult any of the works of the medieval or traditional astrologers on the planet Saturn, you would likely find expressions like “(the greater) malefic”, “melancholy”, “decay”, “malevolence”, “restriction”, “death”, the “author of solitariness”, and, my personal favourite, “offensively acid, stinking”.

As the planet most remote from the earth and closest to the fixed stars, Saturn is far removed from our normal human concerns and daily routine. In fact, we try to avoid him as much as possible and the things he rules. We want the riches and honours promised by Jupiter but without the disciplined study and hard, often thankless, work that is often required; we want the effortless and exhilarating romantic relationships that Hollywood tells us we deserve (regardless of how awful a person we might be), but Hollywood neglects to mention the personal sacrifice and commitment that a long-term relationship with another requires. Unfortunately, like ageing, gravity, death and taxes (which, not coincidentally, are ruled by the Greater Malefic), we cannot escape the influence of Saturn.

Continue reading “Saturn – The Greater Infortune”