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”

What is horary astrology?

Most people are familiar with natal astrology, the branch of astrology that deals with the chart of a person born at a particular time. The central idea of natal astrology is that it is possible to draw up an astrological chart (the nativity) for the moment a person is born. This chart is a visual representation of the position of planets (which include the sun and the moon), certain stars and other celestial objects with respect to the location of the person (the native). These celestial objects have been determined by the astrologers of antiquity to have potent and particular effects, and through the analysis of these celestial objects in the chart it is possible to delineate the character, personality traits, and the probable future of the person concerned.

Continue reading “What is horary astrology?”

William Lilly’s “Aphorisms and Considerations for Better Judging any Horary Question” Better Organised and in Plain English

Although most of these are rather general statements that can be safely ignored in favour of more specific testimonies, they are still a useful guide in gaining a broad understanding of a horary chart.

Continue reading “William Lilly’s “Aphorisms and Considerations for Better Judging any Horary Question” Better Organised and in Plain English”


Mortal through I be, yea ephemeral, if but a moment
I gaze up at the night’s starry domain of heaven,
Then no longer on earth I stand; I touch the Creator,
And my lively spirit drinketh immortality.