Subplanetary Cycles


I’ve talked occasionally about my planetary system on twitter and in my last post about tie knots and planetary associations, and I’ve had a few pokes for clarification. I’ve been using my own system of assign subplanets to the day for a year and a half now, and it’s a fairly simple but elegant way of bringing a more nuanced planetary focus into my day to day life.

So what is a subplanet? Basically it’s a little bit of extra planetary “flavour” to a day. Each day of the week is associated planet, we all know that by now, but the subplanet is a slight tweak to that planetary energy, an extra focus if you will. Just like some systems have planetary-elemental combinations, this is planet on planet action. (Insert a Uranus joke here) For instance as I’m writing this first draft it is Thursday, the day of Jupiter, associated with wealth, growth, success, career, and so on, but if the subplanet of the day was Mercury for instance then the focus would be shifted to meld their attributes. It would be more about building wealth or growing your life based upon wit, knowing the right things, communication, hearing the messages you need, or even random luck or conniving trickery. If the subplanet was Mars then the focus would be shifted to a Martial aspect. Perhaps it becomes about having the strength to fight for what you need to develop and grow, or fending off those that would interfere or harm your kingdom, or just the vitality to rule the kingdom. These are just simple examples, the better you know and understand the planetary forces the more combinations and patterns you can find. It’s also not really a cookbook system, in the sense that no Mercury of Jupiter will be just like another Mercury of Jupiter. I find when I do my morning evocation of the planet and subplanet that different aspects of each might be emphasized. One day Venus might be about love, the next time art and things I value, the time after that attraction and magnetism. Depending on what I know is going on that day, and what my intuition draws me toward causes my combination to focus on different aspects of the planets which allows me to experience variations on even the same combinations.

Like a lot of things in magick I’ve found that it has built up its own force as I went along. At first it was more of an intellectual exercise, training myself to think in terms of planetary combinations, but fairly soon my life, internally and externally began to reflect these combinations. At first it was keyword combination, then it became nuanced and organic. While I don’t think there is an “objective” power in the pattern I’ve developed I think there is a power in the fact that it’s a pattern, and one that I work with and have conditioned myself to work with and access. (Of course, I’d argue that’s the same with almost anything in magick, that it’s training and conditioning over inherent forces. After all what reason on a deep level is there for planets to rule days of the week, or a seven day week? Humans decided that, but through use and training it has a magickal merit.)

Planetary hexagram

Planetary hexagram

So how do I actually figure out the subplanet of the day? On my altar I have the seven planetary seals (I use Jason Miller’s version of the Seals) arranged on their places of the hexagram, they’re on velcro, so I can switch them around daily. You don’t need that, you could use anything for the planets you can shift around (e.g. small candles) or just keep track on a list, but I find a visual reminder helpful. Every day I would take the planet of the day and put it in the centre, then whatever planet is in the planet of the day’s “house” (the native position on the planetary hexagram) becomes the subplanet.

Example Monday: Sun is now in the Moon's "House"

Example Monday: Sun is now in the Moon’s “House”

So for instance starting with all the planets in the right place, assuming it’s Monday, the Moon has to go in the centre which then puts the Sun in its place. You have the normal hexagram with the Sun and Moon switched, since the Sun is in the Moon’s house it is the subplanet of the day, making it Sol of Luna for the day. Then tomorrow Mars is put in the centre, and the Moon goes to where Mars was. Since the Moon is in Mars’s house the day is Luna of Mars. This cycle repeats and is fairly simple…with a small catch.

Example Tuesday: The Moon is now in Mars's "house"

Example Tuesday: The Moon is now in Mars’s “house”

Damn you Daystar! So since the Sun’s native position is the centre of the hexagram when the Sun is in the centre it would always be in its house, meaning there is no subplanet for any given Sunday. The way I get around this is to have the Sun share Saturn’s house. I see this as the Sun drawing down the forces from beyond into manifestation, giving them form and life. So when the Sun and Saturn share the same house that means Saturday and Sunday will have the same subplanet, and I’m fine with that. I start my planetary week (in this case) on the Sunday, so I feel that the Saturday subplanet being carried over links the weeks. This adds into another layer of my cycle, which I’ll address later.

Illustrating the cycling of the planets and subplanets through all the combinations

Illustrating the cycling of the planets and subplanets through all the combinations

Now that the Sun shares Saturn’s home it allows us to cycle through all the planetary combinations. Once I’ve gone through every combination I do a week of pure planets, and then either start the cycle over again, or wait until an appropriately significant date to start over. Unfortunately this only works when you start it on a Sunday or Monday, you can start a cycle on any other day, but it won’t cycle “cleanly.” If you start on any other day some planets will show up more than once in a week, others will be absent, and the position of the planets will never reset, only repeat. This is because of the Sun being at home in the centre, so when it goes back to the centre on Sunday it interrupts the cycle. So I restart these planetary cycles on the Sunday/Monday following a notable date. Usually I just wait until a New or Full Moon, this time I restarted on the Sunday after the New Moon and Imbolc, seems to work. After six weeks the planets will return to their native positions, when this happens I do a pure planetary week. In that case I stop moving the planets around, and for that week I just do my invocations to the planet of the day, no subplanet, then either repeat, or wait until the appropriate date to restart it.

An issue that has come in in discussion of this system is that if you follow it it “limits” your experiences, you can’t really control when a subplanet comes up, and maybe Mars or Venus isn’t the best match for the day. First, if we’re thinking like that, we don’t control what planet rules each day, maybe today (Friday) isn’t a good day for Venus, and the same goes astrologically, we don’t decide when Mercury enters a new sign or when Saturn goes retrograde. Secondly, having a focus is more important than that focus being spot on in most cases. When I was studying the tarot my teacher told me to draw a card and embody it daily, and I asked was the card I drew symbolic of the day or what I needed to be to navigate it successfully? The answer stuck with me, basically it can be both, neither, and more, the point is to have a focus, too often we just drift around without a focus, but if we have a focus, even if it isn’t perfect for the situation, we’ll tend to do better. Put another way, think of your role-playing games, being a wizard or a thief might not be the perfect choice for any given situation, but you’ll do better focused on being one of them, than trying to be all of them. So claim the nuances and be them, find a way to make your focus work for the day. Though it’s my general advice, focus on making the decisions right, not the right decisions.

So don’t fret if you think the subplanet cycle might not match what you need, make it what you need. Embrace it, and let it move you forward. Lastly, while people will obviously have their own ways of invoking the planetary forces, for sake of completeness I thought I’d share mine. As mentioned previously I have my own set of Names for calling on the planetary forces and I use those. Once the planet of the day has been put into the centre of the Hexagram and my physical offerings laid out (a burning stick, incense, and food or salt) I simple pray. “Hail unto thee (Angel of the Day), ruler of (Name of the Planetary Sphere), master of the (Spirits of the Sphere), in the name of (God of the Sphere) I call you here to work with me, and walk with me.” I then multiple and share the offerings, then begin my request for the day that might be something like this (I’m using today’s planetary combo of Jupiter of Venus) “Hail Milara, grant me access I beg to the Venusian currents, may they flow through me and about me. May I be blessed by your powers of magnetism, may the beauty of the sphere grant me the gifts of attraction. Nurture my passions, that which I love, and through the gifts of Jovian flows may these passions be supported. May I have the wealth and space to pursue my desires, and draw into my life that which is required for it.”


Super Secret Lost Column CLXXXIV of Liber 777: Tie Knots


Like any good (?) ceremonial magickian my magickal correspondences are so heavily engrained that I can’t sneeze without linking it to a planet. (Okay, that was a joke, but now I’m thinking about bodily expulsion processes and planets…) For the first time in 14 years my hair is no longer blue so I have expanded my collection of dress shirts and ties to include colours other than blue, and that quickly ballooned to me getting a dress shirt and tie in the colours of every planet. This allows me to mix and match to either represent planetary days and sub-planets, or to dress in appropriate colours as a form of invocation. Yes, it’s a touch silly and cheesy, but have you seen most ceremonial magick paraphernalia? It’s not exactly the most serious and elegant much of the time.

Dammit Al, boxers go on your hips, and leopard rugs stay on the ground.

Rocking Mars of Jupiter (Not me)

Just saying one of the above looks a bit more silly and cheesy than the other…

It started innocently, when I realized if I had planetary ties and shirts I could use that to embody different combinations. On a day like today (in my system) of Venus of Mars I’d wear a green shirt and a red tie. (Sub-planets gets a bigger representation because they’re more subtle and I want to draw them out more) Or if I was going to an important meeting about my mortgage I could wear a black shirt and blue tie, for Saturn of Jupiter. Though when talking to a friend about this, it became even deeper, and more silly – linking tie knots to planetary forces. They suggested it as a joke, and without much thought I already had several associations in a matter of seconds and I thought I’d share the list with you, and my reasoning.

Saturn: Kransy Hourglass or Oriental knot
Jupiter: Full Windsor or Balthus knot
Mars: Merovingian
Sun: Trinity knot
Venus: Pinwheel/Trulove knot
Mercury: Van Wijk or Four-in-hand
Moon: Floating spiral

(Sidenote: None of these pictures are me. Originally I wanted to tie each knot in the right colour and take a pic but in general I suck at selfies, and I’m currently sick, so even though I’m wearing a Merovingian knot (yes, while home sick…) I don’t feel like taking pictures of myself. So all of these pictures just come from google and pintrest, if I use your picture and you want it taken down just let me know.)

HourglassI linked the Kransy Hourglass with Saturn for the cheesy, but obvious link of the hourglass, and Saturn being the planet of time, old age, and death. Also, linking the Triangle with Saturn this knot is essentially two stacked triangles.



Oriental knotThe Oriental knot seems like a good match for Saturn because it is essentially the simplest tie knot you can make. It is the most basic of tie structures possible. Saturn is the planet of structure, and when you look at the emanation of shapes and numbers Saturn is tied with three, the smallest number of sides possible on a geometric shape, the triangle. So the simplest structure really applies.

Balthus knotThe Full Windsor and Balthus knots both struck me as very Jovial knots, they’re very big and broad knots. Jupiter is about expansion and increase, so it makes sense the biggest knots are linked with Jupiter. They’re also classic “authority” knots, they’re simple but elegant and demand attention.

MerovingianThe Merovingian was the hardest knot to place, but I decided to go with Mars. The shape reminds me of a military epaulet. There is something in the shape that is reminiscent of a shield with a sword in front. Also, because of how it is tied you are required to wear a vest with this knot, so it’s as if it needs a chest plate. I could also see it being Jovial, it is very regal, and even Saturnian.


The Trinity knot is fairly solar to me. It forms a hexagonal knot, the shape of the sun. Also the sun is the center of the planetary triplicity of Saturn, Sun, and Moon. Also on a more joking side, the knot is visually similar to the recycling symbol, and the sun is about renewal.



TruloveThe Pinwheel, or Trulove knot is tied to Venus. It looks like a heart for Abyss’s sake, point one. Also, as Freeman pointed out on twitter, it looks like it’s having sex with your clavicle.

Van WijkThe spirals of the Van Wijk make me think of the flow and movement of Mercury. Not to mention the spirals around the tie body are reminiscent of the snake around both the Asclepius and Caduceus.

The four in hand seems Mercurial to me because it’s a quick and simple knot, literally can be tied in under ten seconds, and that speed and efficiency is Mercurial.

Floating SpiralLastly the floating spiral I associated with the Moon. The floating, slightly angled, and apparently unsupported knot just has a sort of dreamy quality to it.

Do folks have other suggestions? I know there a lot of knots I haven’t placed (yet?) I just categorized the ones I use the most.

Like I said, it’s fairly silly, on the other hand most magickal correspondences have an element of silliness when you look at them. Also, like in a lot of magick, you get out what you put into it. Just mixing colours and tying knots probably won’t get you anywhere, but when consciously thinking about what you’re doing that adds to the effectiveness, not to mention the long history of knot-based magick, I’m just taking it in a more dapper direction.

Planetary Balancing Ritual Set


Our body/mind/spirit is maintained by a delicate and unique balance of forces; too little is just as bad as too much, and one imbalance leads to another. While this is a philosophy I gleaned from the notion of lüng (rlung) in Tibetan Buddhism I find it applies to other forces in our lives.

This philosophy bleeds a lot into my magickal work, which led me to “create” a ritual of Planetary Balancing, which is really just a sequence of existing planetary rituals for a specific end. I just sent this over to a friend who needed it and decided I’d post about it here. Our psyche and our lives are composed of a balancing act of planetary forces, we might not be aware of it all the time, but it’s always at play. The problem is –like the lüng in Tibetan Buddhism– these forces can become unbalanced, too much Saturn, not enough Venus, and this spirals your internal and external world out of control. It may start with one force, but it spreads, too little of one force leaves an “energy surplus” that has to then go elsewhere, then you continue trying to compensate for having too much or too little in certain areas and it just gets worse. It seems everything starts going wrong; your desires/impulses seem off, your focus is wrong, and the world around you just doesn’t want to cooperate, it has the same appearance as bad luck or a curse in many cases. This ritual is relatively easy to perform requiring time and a willingness to wake up early more than anything. It’s nothing star-shattering, but it’s useful.

Now I suppose if you were focused and astute you could simply work on the specific problem force, but I find most of the time if it is getting bad it is best to start fresh. Sometimes when your diet is out of whack and your body isn’t reacting well and it can be tricky to get your diet and body back to normal while your body is still struggling with whatever is wrong. What do you do? You fast, you detox. Eliminate everything, and slowly reintroduce it back into your life. This is the basic idea behind my Planetary Balancing. In regards to the process of the various rituals of the pentagrams and hexagrams I won’t give instructions on them, if you don’t know them, they’re everywhere online and in books.

I personally start this ritual on Saturday. Any day of the week would work, but I find the order of Saturn – Sun – Moon very effective to get things moving, this is related to my personal symbol set of the layers of Self. Dawn brings about the same planetary hour as the force of the day, in this case Day of Saturn, Hour of Saturn. At dawn perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and then the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram for the force of the day. The LBRP helps clear you out internally while the LBRH clears out the force of Saturn (in this case) in your life. The idea is to remove your internal mental/magickal detritus and the planetary detritus from you and your sphere/life. You’re flushing yourself and your world of these forces that may be unbalanced. Repeat this process for the entire week, obviously changing the planetary attribute with the day.

On the following Saturday (or whatever date you started on) wake up well before dawn and perform, in the same order as the week, all seven LBRP/LBRH. I haven’t tested this part to see if it is strictly necessary (which is unlike me I admit), but logistically to me it makes sense. Over the course of the week even though you’ve banished a force parts of it can begin to flow into your life again (nature abhors a vacuum), and the balance/compensation issues appear again. So I feel it is wise to give yourself and your sphere one final banishing of all the planetary forces.

Once dawn has arrived perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram followed by the appropriate Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram. I tested this and feel this is a better combination than two invoking rituals; the focus should be on invoking and reuniting with the planetary forces so the only invocation should be regarding these attributes. Again the LBRP clears out your internal detritus and establishes a baseline, a blank slate, or a vacuum even. Then you invoke the appropriate planetary force and since you are blank there is nothing to interfere with it flowing into you properly, nothing to disturb it or set it out of balance. Repeat this process for the entire week, again obviously changing the planetary attribute with the day.

On the following Saturday (or whenever) wake up for dawn and perform all seven LBRP/LIRH. Same as before, haven’t tried the ritual without it, but it makes logical sense to me. A week, in my experience, isn’t enough to totally unbalance a force, so your Saturn won’t be off-kilter by Sunday, but it is enough that things can warp a little and a little warp down the line can lead to a bigger instability. I think it’s helpful to give the planetary forces one last boost to balance them all out.

So over the course of two weeks you zero-out the planetary influences and slowly reintroduce them into your life, bringing them into balance. Now I’m sure you could achieve all this in less than two weeks, so why do I do it this way? For me at least, it is intense. I can’t say why it’s not like this when I do either LBRP-LBRH or LBRP-LIRH for other purposes, but this hits my life hard. Counter-intuitively the days I banish a planetary force are filled with those influences in positive active ways. I think it is as though my life is “using up” that last little bit of planetary fuel to clear it out. On the other hand the days I invoke a planetary force are filled with all sorts of little annoying mishaps related to the influences, like a series of retrogrades, even though the Sun and Moon don’t have retrogrades. It is as though the forces are kind of “clunky” when restarting from scratch. So you could try shortening it, but I find two weeks is a good processing period and spreads out the highs and lows that accompany this for me.

Flush out all the imbalanced forces introduce them back without the imbalance and instability and your mind and your life tend to reorganize. Personally I don’t do this often, maybe once a year, twice at absolute most, when I feel things are going wrong and there is no reason I can find for it. I perform this and by the end my life is back on track.

Stars and Planets, Sites and Programs


Inspired by a recent post on Rock and Root in which Scylla gave a list of websites/programs she uses for occult matters I figured I would share my own. All programs/sites are free unless I mention how ridiculously expensive they are.

Astrology, Planetary Hours, Astrological Magick

Chronos XP: This little program runs on your taskbar and calculates the Planetary Hours for you. You can set it (as I did) to pop-up every time the hour changes. It’s very handy for a moment to moment indicator if you think you need it, but you can also scan ahead over the day or several days to find the appropriate Planetary Hours for whatever your working requires. I’ve tested this against manually calculated Planetary Hours and it seems to be accurate, though two minutes off based on when another program places Sunrise/Sunset. I figured though if your doing something requiring planetary hours, and two minutes makes/breaks, you’re doing something wrong…

Astrolabe has a Planetary Hour calculator, which is largely accurate, just a minute or three off of my calculations and Chronos XP. Unfortunately most online calculator’s I’ve tested seem to be wrong, a common problem is they don’t switch between daylight savings time, so can be an hour off, and they may use a different time for sunrise/sunset, for what reason there I do not know.

Lunabar: I no longer use this program, but it was helpful and interesting when I did so I thought I’d share. This is like the Lunar parallel to Chronos XP, it displays an image of the current phase of the moon on your taskbar and lets you know what astrological sign it is in. Again you can search times to fine the corresponding dates and phases.

Astrolabe’s Astro-Weather: You can set this website to your location, and every time you load the page it will show you the current astrological chart. It also gives you a little one or two sentence “forecast” of the current situation. This forecast changes throughout the day, as the chart does. As a serious (re: nerdy) astrologer I have my chart memorized, so I don’t just get the vague general forecast of the day, but I can look and quickly figure out my own transits. I have two expensive astrology computer programs, but when I just need to see what the moment has and figure out my current transits, this is far quicker and easier and free.

Speaking of which, I have Astrolabe’s Solar Fire program (v7), it’s an investment, but not a bad one. It’s my second favourite astrology program. My favourite aspect that is largely unique to Solar Fire is the ability to animate charts. If you know you need to do a ritual tomorrow, you can put in the day, and progress the chart minute by minute or hour by hour to find the most appropriate astrological timing of the day. This is also very helpful when rectifying a chart. It also has the ability to search for specific astrological aspects, if you need Moon Squaring Mars, you enter that data and the program will search for you, I find this very handy for astrological themed magickal planning. This would be one of those horribly expensive programs, but if you’re a serious astrologer it may be worth it.

There is also Win*Star another expensive astrology program. It is (was?) my preferred astrology program until my laptop died and I got a computer with Windows 7, and my eleven year old astrology program could not be installed on this computer (as I have version 2.05). It still works on my desktop computer (Windows XP going strong) so I still have access to it, but not everywhere. It’s a strong and powerful program, hundreds of different chart designs for all sorts of different astrological systems. Also as someone who has worked as an astrologer, in my opinion it looks far more professional. When on the computer screen it’s elegant and minimalist in design, and the print outs are sleek and black and white. Solar Fire in both cases is big, bold, and colourful, not my taste. I also find the display and search of transits far more logically on Win*Star than Solar Fire.

For those who can’t afford (or are smart enough not to buy) such programs there is Astrodienst which has a fairly good online program, lets you draw up charts, and if you sign up they’re stored online so you can access your charts later or from a different computer.

The Naval Observatory Moon Phase Database: You can use this to find the moon phases over the course of several years. You can use this online if you don’t want to use a program like Lunabar. This is also helpful if you’re dealing with astrological magick, as it is important to locate the full or new moon closest to specific dates and birthdays, so this is helpful with that.

Sunrise Sunset: If you have Chronos XP you don’t need this site as the first hour of day and first hour of night are sunrise and sunset respectively. If you’re doing anything like Resh or Abramelin that require sunrise/sunset workings, this site can be very handy.

Not an astrology program, but as an astrological magickian who loves the night sky I recommend Stellarium. It’s an amazing free planetarium program, it lets you see a visual representation of the night sky any date, any place, even other planets and moons…in case you’ve ever wondered what sunrise looks like from the western edge of Jupiter’s Red Dot. If you make use of constellations in your work, rather than signs, this could be useful or if like me you just love the night sky.

Another astronomy program, but even less practical than Stellarium, but again I find it nifty and thought I would share. This is the Wheel of Stars. This is a graphic representation of the stars in the sky, slowly rotating, and as they intersect the dividing line they play a note, the pitch, volume and panning of the notes are all based on the brightness, location, and BV measurement. Don’t really have a use for it, but I like it. It has a literal take on the Music of the Spheres.

I had intended to include more than just astrological programs and sites, but this post ended up being a bit longer than I expected, so I’ll put the other programs and sites in a separate post.

Also if you have any nifty sites, programs, or gadgets good for occultists feel free to share in the comments.

Falling Stars, Lunar Eclipse, and a Long Night


It seems as if the world of occult blogs is all excited about the lunar eclipse on the Solstice.

I’m excited too I guess, but I’m mixed. The eclipse occurs at 0130 EST (excluding the penumbra) of the 21st though using more traditional metrics such as sunrise starting the day and planetary hours that means the eclipse is really still part of the day before, but I’m told I occasionally nitpick. I keep seeing people claiming it’s the first lunar eclipse to happen on the winter solstice in over 450 years, or in nearly 500 years. The last one was in 1638 so apparently people are either using different math than I am, or not using proper sources. Of course it is a fairly uncommon event, while the last one occurred in 1638 it was the first one this side of the Jewish Carpenter’s birth. Though you’ll be happy to know if you survive another 84 years it will happen again.

Now the Sun and the Moon will both be Squaring Jupiter in Pisces, the sign it rules. So the Sun and Moon will be at “odds” with each other, and both having issues with a strong Jupiter in its more spiritual/religious aspect. The Sun is conjunct Mercury (but that happens a lot) and conjunct Pluto as well.

For me this eclipse holds special meaning, and not all of it has been figured out, but as the ritual is in a few hours we’ll see what get worked out. First let me talk about the solstice in my tradition. Winter Solstice we call Night of the Falling Stars. It is a celebration of the Family, in this sense Family is the belief that groups incarnate together for a time for various purposes. We celebrate the Family and our connection to each other. On the darkest night we light a beacon for the Family, we call to those who aren’t present and ask for them to enter our lives. We remember those who we know but aren’t present due to death or separation, we remember those who we know of but haven’t yet met, and we remember those who have come together in this life. In October during Dancing with the Family, we offer the Family, this side, and/or the otherside energy/merit/communion so they can do what they need to do. Now that they’ve been given the energy to do what they need, we invite them to join us one more. To those on the otherside in October we may help them seek out new birth, in December we call to those who have taken up new birth to find their way.

The astrology regarding this eclipse on the solstice is interesting and has some personal repercussions in my system. Our system has three “primary” planets, Pluto, the Sun, and the Moon. Yes, none of them are technically planets (though I’m still hoping we get Pluto back), but the term is used for more of the astrological sense. Now whenever all three planets are in aspect with each other it means something special for us depending on the aspect, and when we have an eclipse it is important because it removes either the Sun or the Moon from the equation. On the solstice we have the Sun and Pluto conjunct, opposing the Moon, but the Moon will be eclipsed anyways so it gets taken out of the picture. The Moon represents on the most basic level the Lower Self, the person who is here now. The “Moon of Kalagni” so to speak, is the person who just had a birthday, is attending university for two simultaneous degrees, likes to climb the Bluffs, solves Rubik’s cubes galore, has a soft spot for Babylon 5, likes blue, etc. The Sun is the Higher Self, the animating Soul, the part of me and Me (or you and You) that continues beyond death.

So during a lunar eclipse our tradition holds several ideas, but basically the Moon, the Lower Self isn’t part of the equation. What does this mean? All reality is cause and effect, how we move about and interact with the world and what we can do within it is related to this Lower Self. During a lunar eclipse we believe we can affect more changes with less interference from the Lower Self, both consciously and karmically. The part of the Lower Self that doesn’t believe in magick, or thinks we’re pushing too hard too far for a result, it is silenced, and the accrued karma associated with that Lower Self for that period cannot interfere with our workings. The lunar eclipse is the time to push yourself a little farther, and do what you usually can’t/don’t. Are you a competent magickian but can never get love magick to work? Try it during the eclipse, perhaps the part that can’t do love magick is associated with the Lower Self. We are both propelled forward and restrained by our past and Lower Self, but in this fragmentary moment we’re released from that.

It’s interesting to think what this means with Night of the Falling Stars. For this holiday Family firmly relates to the Sun level, the Higher Self, something spanning lives. So it is oddly appropriate that the Moon is not in commission during the ritual, leaving the Sun and Pluto to be the primary drives.

Currently it is a bit cloudy, but the satellites show it may clear up in the next eight hours. While being able to see it doesn’t matter (though for some reason we disregard eclipses that aren’t visible from our current location, odd disjuncture) it would be nice to be able to see it. I performed a ritual during the 2004 total lunar eclipse and the visual of the moon disappearing into a red haze was just amazing.

I recommend every magickian try something during the eclipse. Doesn’t matter what your system says about it, it’s the only time for the next 84 years you’ll have a chance to do it so why not take it? At very least go out and watch it. Eclipses are fascinating astronomical phenomena. What’s the point in living in such a brilliant universe if you’re not going to appreciate it?

Neptune: Deception and Dissolution


Neptune was officially discovered 164 years ago today by Le Verrier, Adams, and Galle.  After Neptune’s erroneous first birthday announcement in August (1) I was thinking about the Ruler of Illusion, Deception, Cloudiness, and Unreality.  As I live just a six-minute walk from the Bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario, I decided to sit high above the lake to think and meditate about Neptune, as ey are my least used, accessed, and understood planet.

Between the mistaken birthday announcement, the contention over who really discovered Neptune, and the three discoveries that didn’t establish Neptune as a planet, ey certainly seem to live up to the rulership of Illusion and Deception.  Sitting high above the Lake with the dark roiling waters spread out to the horizon I began a minor invocation of Neptune.  Slowly the roar washed over me and I felt submerged in the energy of Lake Ontario and Neptune, it may seem punny to use these terms but it is how it felt.

I came to understand another side of Neptune during this experience as I lost myself in the sights and sounds of the Great Lake.  Illusion and Deception are right, they are easily part of the Neptunian current but that takes such a pessimistic view of what Neptune rules.  Like a sand castle too close to the water’s edge I felt the waves slowly breaking down my definition, the hard lines separating me from it.  Neptune is about becoming lost in something bigger than your own self, about dissolution into something greater.  The drop of water experiencing the ocean.

Dissolution and Expansive experiences versus Illusion and Deception, it really seems to be the same experiences just understood in different ways.  If you experience Dissolution and get “lost” in the experience you can get caught in an illusionary reality.  If you have an Expansive experience and misinterpret its meaning you end up deceiving yourself, believe you are something or somewhere you’re not.  Without the wisdom and control to navigate the flows of Neptune these expansive experiences become something else, an illusionary quagmire.

This insight reaffirmed my association of Neptune with Daath.  Daath resides in the Abyss (to simplify matters), and a Magickian that fails to cross the Abyss properly or handle its energy becomes lost in delusion.  They commonly believe they have reached a state of false achievement, that they have transcended human consciousness and are embodying something higher.  On the other hand, if a Magickian conquers Daath they have achieved this goal, stepped past phenomenal consciousness and human understanding to a consciousness beyond.  The first is the Illusion and Deception side of Neptune, the second is the Dissolution and Expansive experience.  This idea bridges the two “opposed” images of Daath between Ceremonial Magick and traditional Jewish Qabalah, and perhaps I’ll expand on that at a later date.

(1) Neptune Nears The End of First Orbit

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