Friday, April 27, 2012

Passing of a Beloved Fury Friend

Stars - the Fireball Magical Cat

Last Saturday my girlfriend and I got back from a three day visit to see my father in Sun City, Arizona. He is now into his mid eighties, and with the recent passing of my mother, I felt he needed some company. My girlfriend, Grace, had never seen my father’s home, so we flew out there for a short trip. We left three of our cats in the house with plenty of food and clean cat boxes. They have a cat door to the house, so they’re free to come and go as they please. We have four cats, but one is ailing and needed to be put up with the dog while we were gone. I thought that the cats would be fine, and we have left them home before without any problems. They are usually quite happy to see us when we return, but cats are so independent that I wondered if they even missed us.

Since I moved out to this oversized house in Minnesota, I have had the company of several cats. Some of them have gone (taken by their masters when they left) but for a while we had four furry cats and one dog to keep us company. I must admit that cats are very magickal, and I am quite taken with them. My favorite cat is Jynx, who follows me around like a dog and spends as much time as he can at my side or laying by my feet - even when I am writing up documents in my office. I have to say that I am really close to Jynx, and he is very close to me as well. But that’s not who this story is about (thankfully).

One of the other cats (brought here by Grace) has the name of Stars, and he has been the most interesting, amusing, crazy, wild and wooly all-black Maine Coon that I have ever met. Sometimes he was obnoxious, waking me up in the middle of the night while tearing around the house. Other times he was astonishingly funny, with his Halloween cat impressions, leaping straight into the air with arched back; and he had the habit of being a living dust mop, picking up any and all debris from the outside world. He would leave a trail of debris from the cat door into the house, along with tufts of his generous fur. (One of my nicknames for him was “Pigpen.”) Stars loved the outdoors, and he hated winter because it really cramped his style. He would run up a tree and hug it like a big black Koala bear in the middle of winter, and he liked to stalk and attack nearly everyone, zipping out from behind a tree or bushes during the summer, and then prancing away.

He fancied himself a hunter, yet rarely caught anything; but it was fun to watch him stalk a chipmunk or squirrel, only to be left far behind and staring up an empty tree. One time I was startled when I saw him perched at the very top of our house, three stories up, sitting on the very edge of a slanting roof, staring down at the world like some kind of gargoyle. He was always on the move, and when the days were warm, he seldom came indoors, choosing to spend his time basking in the sun or hunting throughout the neighborhood. He often was perched atop an old dilapidated hunting stand that was located on the edge of the woods, sleeping in the shade, with his big bushy tail going back and forth like a clock pendulum. Stars liked to hang out with the rabbits and seemed to make friends with lots of other critters - except for rodents. He even invited a stray cat to come and live with us, and then we had four instead of three cats. Stars' cat friend was named Faust, and they often were outside together, although, seldom actually together.

I can remember one time late at night going to the door to help Stars deal with something that had frightened him (a rare occurrence), and when I got to the door and turned on the porch light, there he was, corned by a pissed off possum. Luckily my presence spooked the possum and it took off, while Stars decided (for once) to come in for a while. (The look on his face was worth a million laughs.) 

Another time he was treed due to something that had scared him during the night, and he managed to climb up (and then down) a tree that was around 50 feet tall. Stars made quite a racket on his way up the tree, so I was awakened and had to go and find out what was up. He was a veritable fireball and nothing ever seemed to phase him or slow him down. He was also totally fearless, insanely reckless, or at least until he ran into something that was a lot bigger than him. He had a very large outgoing personality, but he was also very affectionate when he felt like being that way. He would even attack our dog, slapping him a couple of times across the face with his claws and then running away - and our dog is a 70 pound Pitbull-Labrador combination. Grace and I would often come away with bloody scratches if we tried to pet him when he didn’t want to be petted. Other times, Grace would pick him up and cradle him in her arms like a baby, and he purringly loved every minute of it.

Stars was Grace’s cat, and he loved her more than anyone else. He was affectionate with me, and adored it when I took time to feed him some special food. His purr was loud and spasmodic, and his cry was like a soft rusty hinge. I wasn’t close to this cat, but he found many ways to show me that he loved and appreciated me, often rubbing up against my legs when I was walking the dog outside. Stars was FIV positive, so his life span was going to be short no matter what he did or how careful he was. Yet he wasn’t careful or cautious. He lived life in the fast lane and had no regrets for whatever befell him. Since winter disappeared early this year, he has had many more days of being outside during this period, and has made the most of it.

When we came home, we were greeted by two of our cats, and the next day, my girlfriend went and retrieved the other cat and our dog. However, Stars was missing. This wasn’t too surprising for us, since he was so often outside, but after the second day, we started to get concerned. Stars usually came home to stuff his face with food (he was a very messy eater) before going out again. As a sign of what was to come, before we had left, Stars had visited my girlfriend in the middle of the night and did his usual body walk and nose and facial licking exercise. That was a particular habit of his, and it didn’t matter if she needed to sleep or not. It was like getting a fish smelling facial with a purring accompaniment. However, during the two nights that we were home, Stars didn’t come to visit his mistress, so Grace was worried and so was I.

On Monday afternoon, Grace had some errands to run, and on her way back home stopped at the local vet office to see if maybe someone had dropped Stars off. He wasn’t there, of course, and on her way back home she spied something dark in the ditch by the side of the road nearly two blocks from our home. Normally she would have ignored it (it looked like a small pile of dirt), but this time, something urged her to stop and turn the car around and check it out. Alas, it was Stars laying there on his side. He had been dead for a couple of days, and the birds had taken his beautiful luminous green eyes. It was obvious that he had been hit by a car, maybe during the evening. Perhaps he was chasing something, or being chased by something, but it looked like his skull was heavily fractured. It had been raining for the last couple of days and it had been cool as well, so all traces of his last moments were washed away. She put his body in the car and drove him home, and then set him down in his favorite flower bed for a temporary respite.

After my phone conference for work was over, I went down to the yard to look over poor Star’s body. He was a sad sight, I must say. We had picked out a nice old purple pillow case to wrap him up in, and his favorite orange ball was placed in there beside him. I dug a deep hole in the sacred grove and we gently placed him into it. Grace said some words and put a few handfuls of earth on the cloth entombed kitty, and then I used the shovel to properly bury him. We then both embraced and bawled our eyes out after saying goodbye, and we are still feeling hurt and sad today. I never knew how much I loved that crazy cat until he was gone. He has left a big hole in our world, I suppose it was because he was one in a million.

We will create a more fitting memorial for Stars other than the stone that is covering his grave now, but I can’t seem to shake impressions that he is skulking around, waiting to pounce on something from out of the cover of some bushes. I have communed with his ghost (at least it seems that way), but he died the way he lived, a reckless fireball that was fearless and probably a little bit crazy, too. I think that he preferred to go out in a blaze of glory rather than what was awaiting him a few years in the future (since he was FIV positive), and maybe he knew that this life would be short. Anyway, he is now immortal and a permanent fixture of the ancestor spirits of the grove. I feel that he is now one of our guardians and will look after the house and grove when we go on another trip. I saw an image of him curled up and sleeping in the far end of the grove, near the statue of the Garden Nymph (where he is buried). He loved the outdoors, and now he never has to come back into the house ever again.

He was a very unique cat with an unusual personality. We will miss him greatly. May the Cat Goddess Bast assuage his cat-like soul.

Frater Barrabbas 

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Very Busy Spring

Looking at the calender, I am shocked by the fact that here it is nearly the end of April and I am deeply engaged with work, work and more work. I guess there’s no rest for the wicked, even though I haven’t even had any time to be wicked. The balmy days of March have become the nearly frigid days of April calends, even despite the flowers and leaves coming out early. It represents the peculiarity of the weather this far to the north. However, Beltain is coming, and following that, the celebration of May Day in the Twin Cities. This includes the madcap left-wing workers’ parade and the Heart of the Beast outdoor presentation. This year it will all take place on May 6, so perhaps the weather will have warmed up somewhat to make the occasion more enjoyable.

May Day is also when I must complete and turn in the revisions and resubmit my manuscript for the upcoming Llewellyn book “Magical Qabalah for Beginners.” I have added more text to certain strategic chapters to help make it more self explanatory and comprehensive, and I have also applied some of the new insights that I had when assembling my two classes on the Qabalah. Once I submit the manuscript with revisions, then it will be subjected to the more rigorous process of editing, where the manuscript will be refined, perfected and prepared for publication. The date when this book will be available is still Spring 2013, so I will inform you about the up-coming milestones, once they are achieved. Hopefully, I  will have a more definitive printing date in the near future.


There has been quite a bit of hubbub on the Golden Dawn blogosphere, which seems to be typical of what has been occurring there as of late. The HOGD and A+O organizations are fighting a furious battle against obviously regressive reconstructive forces, which have been characterized by them as the McGoldenDawn. It brings to my mind the image of a kind of demented Ronald McGoldenDawn mindlessly and happily plugging his wares, along with the whole cohort of cartoon-like characters representing the varieties of fast-food occultism. We have been warned about this temptingly easy and cheap meal. It may temporarily fill you up, but in the long run, it will kill you with all sorts of industrial level diseases and malnutrition. I think that is a useful analogy about the current state of affairs. The additional revelation that the organization of SRIA (Societas Rosicruciana In Anglia, or the Soc Rose) is the godfather-like puppet master behind this conspiracy seems to make complete sense to me. Although, it also seems like a pathetically contrived conspiracy, since such a push against the A+O is doomed to failure. Also, those who are behind it don’t seem to be very intelligent or gifted.

However, I think that the overall motivating factor for individuals to attack the A+O is because they are terribly jealous and filled with a deadly envy. This is due to the fact that the A+O organization has a wealth of new materials that have never been published or revealed to the public, and they also have the trust and care of the secret chiefs. Thus they are blessed in a manner that no other Golden Dawn group has been blessed in the last century. So if David Griffin wishes to be overly dramatic, comical and passionate about the defense of his organization, then he has every right to be that way. Not being in his shoes, I don’t really know how I would react if I were in a similar situation. So to judge him harshly as some have done is to do the entire Golden Dawn a great disservice. (Just imagine yourself in his place, and ask yourself what would you do to protect the honor and integrity of the A+O?)

Just to give you an idea of how bankrupt certain reconstructionist groups have become, all you need to do is to compare them to myself and the humble little organization that I am helping to run. The Order of the Gnostic Star has a handful of members and a great wealth of ritual and liturgical lore. Most of this lore was designed and developed in directions and from sources that are not to be found in books or any other materials. In the library of the Order are a series of unique ritual systems consisting of hundreds of rituals and liturgical rites. Every year, more materials are being added to this foundation. How is that occurring?

First of all, the whole basis to our work is completely experiential, and the focus is mostly theurgic ordeals. We work our ritual magick to converse with spirits and aspects of Godhead within our spiritual hierarchy, and thereby discover new connections, new insights and new techniques. This new material is used to develop new lore, which in turn helps those who are using it to discover new insights. This process is self-feeding, producing a cycle of creativity that seems to be boundless. We obviously have some very dynamic inner plane connections that are powerfully active, making our tiny organization one that has a constantly evolving and growing foundation of lore.

Therefore, we are happy to keep our noses in our own business, and for the time being, seem to need nothing outside of that work to sustain us. Since we are gifted with this potent egregoric connection, we don’t spend any time grousing about other groups or declaring that this group or that is fraudulent. In fact, I am quite happy and satisfied with the progress that our own work is following, and I have discovered that it is often quite all-consuming. I don’t have time to be jealous of anyone else’s work, and I feel that someone like David Griffin is to be honored for what he is doing in regards to the lore of the A+O.

Since I have access to David, he does tell me some of the things that he is doing (or at least as much as he can considering that I am not under the Rose, as it were), and I don’t feel envious, jealous or spiteful. I am hoping that all of David’s work is a smashing success, since that will benefit many occultists and initiates following the Western Mystery tradition. He certainly doesn’t seem to be doing it to magnify or edify himself, so that makes him different than some of the other GD leaders whose opinions and diatribes I find myself constantly bombarded with whenever I search the internet. All of this reminds me of the way that Republican pundits declared that they wanted the newly elected president of the U.S. to fail, just because he wasn’t the leader of their party. If the president of our country is a failure, then we all suffer accordingly. I think that the same analogy can be used in examining how a number of pundits in the Golden Dawn community seek to vilify and disparage David Griffin and the A+O. Instead, we should wish him and his organization well, since it can only benefit everyone if he is successful.

David is very busy doing his work, which I might add is quite massive, and he has to interrupt that work to respond to the inanity and mendaciousness of those who are fighting against him and his organization. I can only wonder how much more he could accomplish if everyone just focused on their own work instead of seeking to glorify themselves as they attempt to uproot and demolish the very overall organization that they are supposed to be building and defending. They obviously have too much time on their hands, and they also seem to have a paucity of new lore and breakthrough insights. They are running on empty, since the Regardie Golden Dawn material is nearly exhausted in its capacity to enlighten or help determine self-mastery. Anyway, it all seems very simple to me, but then again, I have no stakes in the war of egos, but would see great merit in whatever new groundbreaking materials would become available to those of us who are initiates. I suspect that the one group who will truly amaze and astonish the western occult world in the near future will be the A+O, and not the overly glorified stooges of the McGoldenDawn franchises.


Very recently I saw a comment on one of my older blog articles about Michael Bertiaux. Incredibly, Allen Greenfield, who was the author of that comment, has whined that I have defamed his very fine reputation with rumors of his supposedly infamous initiatory relationship with that man. While I personally don’t know what transpired between Allen and Michael, I did hear quite a lot of salacious speculation from individuals who had inside knowledge of that affair. I can only report what I heard and also what I knew then about Bertiaux.

Michael never freely gave away any of his magickal secrets, lore and lineages. He always made someone pay a price of some kind for what he had to offer. Typically, it was some kind of gratuitous exchange, and it could be as supposedly harmless as giving him a picture of yourself and perhaps other personal possessions. (Although what he claimed to do with that picture and those personal possessions would trouble even a hardened magickal operator.)  Michael claimed that he sought some kind of compensation from his students as a natural part of his teachings, and that he could and would function like a psychic vampire if given the opportunity. He has even stated this fact in his written work (referring to some victim students as “human batteries”), so it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone if he did behave that way.

I happen to know one individual who was able to get consecrated by Michael Bertiaux and not have to give more of himself than what would be required just to be initiated. That person was my esteemed brother Lugh, who told me that he had to threaten Michael with physical harm in order to get him to behave himself. All I know is that if I had wanted Michael Bertiaux’s consecration and magickal lore, I would have had to give myself to him, body and soul. (Michael certainly made that clear to me and said as much.) That was the bargain, and I found it much too steep, while others eagerly sought what he had to give at any cost.

Of course, all of this happened thirty-four years ago, and at a time when Michael was in his prime. No one stays the same, and I am sure that Michael Bertiaux is very likely different today than he was back then. However, I have no interest in ever finding out, since I don’t need to bolster my episcopal lineage by tying it to him. I also have found very little useful material in his book, the “Gnostic Voudoun Workbook,” and the little material he gifted me before I cut ties with him. Keep in mind that I had to fend off Michael’s advances, and that he also behaved this way with my teacher, Bill Schoebelen, and anyone else who sought his knowledge and power in those times.

So I found Allen Greenfield’s claims of defamation to be quite ridiculous. How can I defame someone whose own spiritual and magickal corruption has become a monumental barrier to being anything other than a pathetic excuse for a human being. Allen, who was an honored seventh degree initiate of the O.T.O. and an inspector general, was kicked out of this esteemed organization because he publically claimed that the Outer Head of the Order was a fraud. 

I have had a number of encounters with Allen Greenfield over the last few decades, and I can say for a fact that everyone of them was quite negative, if not completely distasteful. I have described a few of those encounters in one of my previous blog articles, so you may remember me talking about him when spinning the tale about my past history. I might be a bit less disdainful of Allen if he hadn’t also sought to corrupt and negatively manipulate the local bodies of the O.T.O. in Atlanta. The sad fact is that there were two local bodies that were forcibly closed in the Atlanta area in the last couple of decades, and they can be pretty much attributed to the nefarious influences of Allen Greenfield. Perhaps now that the O.T.O. has kicked Allen out of their organization, the local bodies of the O.T.O. in Atlanta might actually be successful, but only if they keep him far away.

Perhaps it’s not ironic that I have met some really stellar individuals who are initiates in the O.T.O. over the long period of my occult career. Lon Milo Duquette is a brilliant and kindly gentleman, and Scott Stenwick is one of the foremost occultists and magicians that I have ever met. I went through the first four degrees of the O.T.O. and I have found that organization to be sound, successful and benevolently challenging. Many of the magicians that I have met who are initiates in the O.T.O. represent the cutting edge of magickal knowledge and expertise. I am proud to have been a member of that organization, and as an initiate, I would keep their confidences and implicitly respect those who are deemed their leaders. I have had other callings in the last few years, and allowed my membership to lapse after I had achieved the third degree, since by that time I had begun to follow an altogether different path than the O.T.O..

However, even though I follow a different path today, I still respect the tenets and practices of the O.T.O. and I consider the writings of Aleister Crowley to be one of the greater sources of my occult studies and researches. I don’t consider myself an exclusive Thelemite, but I have found a life-long respect for that philosophy. Still, I think that Allen Greenfield has shown himself to be completely unworthy of that organization in every way, and I believe that they had good reason to expel him with extreme prejudice. So how could I possibly besmirch someone who has made it a lifelong career to be a complete jackass to everyone around him?


Some other interesting things to share with you, my readers, has to do with the recently translated Gospel of Judas. When the National Geographic came out with their translation, I didn’t jump on the band wagon and attempt to realize what that newly found codex actually means to us today. I admit, though, that I find the Gnostics of antiquity interesting and fascinating. So when another new Coptic codex comes along, I usually end up reading it. This time, back in 2007, I was involved in other things and didn’t get a chance to see the National Geographic special that painted a startling new image of the disciple who supposedly betrayed Jesus. It wasn’t until recently that I downloaded that special via Netflix, and I found its theme to be quite interesting.

Judas Iscariot has been vilified over the centuries as a greedy and selfish opportunist who exemplified the Jewish persona in the eyes of faithful Christians. Judas had become the excuse and euphemism for antisemitism, but with this new gospel, he was seen instead as the close confident of the messiah who was convinced by Jesus himself to betray him. Of course, this seemed a bit too good to be true, and as it turned out, a new and more careful translation has shown the opposite to be true.

The Gospel of Judas was written by Sethians, and it was a sinister literary tool crafted to discredit the apostolic succession of the twelve disciples, and so completely overturn the ascendancy of the emerging Catholic Christianity. I found this interesting bit of information in a book written by Dr. April DeConick, entitled “The Thirteenth Apostle.” This book is quite excellent, since it also gives the reader a thorough insight into the Sethian Gnostic tradition. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Gnosticism. The Sethians freely mixed the Judeo-Christian religious system with an applied occultism and magick, which makes it appropriate and relevant today, more than 1,800 years later. You can find this book on Amazon dot com, at this link.

In the future, I will write a more thorough article on this book. Right now, I need to get back into my manuscript and finish up all of my work. I also have another magickal working that will be performed on April 30, so there will be some more interesting data on the ongoing Portae Lucis working that I am seeking to accomplish just before the Summer Solstice.

Frater Barrabbas

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lunar Mysteries and the Art of Moon Magick - Part 4

Greater Wheel of Fortune

All of these factors regarding basic astrology seem to ignore one important consideration, and that is the personal cycle or wheel of fortune of the magician performing the magick. Even the most optimal and auspicious signs and portends will avail the magicians naught if they ignore important factors about their own waxing and waning material fortunes. Magick done during a weak trough in the personal fortune of the magician will produce nothing, or it might even cause losses and misfortune. Perhaps the most important knowledge that magicians can possess that will enable them to work magick on their own personal material circumstance is self knowledge, and knowing their own personal timing.

In the many years that I have worked magick I have discovered by accident and trial that certain times of the year are better for material based magick than others, and that there is a pattern to this cyclic process. What I discovered is that there is a personal wheel of fortune that systematically turns, so that half of the year has the potential for material increase and the other half is better suited for planing and positioning oneself for more optimal times, when action is met with results. The year is cut in half, and one half fosters increase, and the other, decrease.

It may not be true that the poorer half of the year actually experiences losses or setbacks, although this certainly can occur; rather the richer half of the year seems to effortlessly assist one in the pursuit of material gain and personal advancement.

The simplest way to determine this wheel of fortune is take one’s birthday and add to it exactly six months. So if you were born on January 5, (as I was), then your halfway date is July 5. So for me, the two most important dates are my natal return (birthday), and six months later in the year, which would be a point where the sun would be 180 degrees from its natal position. I am a Capricorn according to my natal sun sign position, and my annual halfway point is under the sign of Cancer. I have found that for me, the time of increase begins at the halfway point in the year, and proceeds to a climax at my birthday, and then declines until the halfway point is again achieved. For me, the best time to plan and reorganize is during the winter, after the holidays and before summer. After the summer vacation period, I am ready to start putting into action everything that I have learned and determined in the previous six months. 

First thing that you must do if you are calculating your greater fortune is to find that halfway point in your yearly cycle and note it down. Then look at the past several years and see if you can see a pattern as to when important material advancements occurred for you. It won’t be perfect, but I think that you will find that one of those half year cycles was more auspicious for you than the other, which is better for planning and regrouping.

A good way to highlight this analysis of the cycle of the greater fortune is to astrologically examine the transit sun to natal chart sun positions and what they mean. Looking over a book with these aspects defined will demonstrate just how important these two points in the solar cycle of any given individual. I have distilled the aspect definitions for these two points as they are defined in the book “Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living” by Robert Hand, p. 55 & p. 58.

Transit Sun conjunct Natal Sun aspect: This is the Solar Return, when the Sun returns to the position that it had when one was born. This aspect represents new beginnings, the ability to perceive the whole year ahead as if one were standing upon some metaphorical ascent and looking across time at the events for the coming year. Therefore, a birthday is an important point in anyone’s life, and it is a time of fruition and renewal.

Transit Sun opposition Natal Sun aspect: This aspect represents energies in life reaching a culmination, events cause realizations, revealing a critical point of success or failure. Situations judged to fail now appear to fail. The way to success opens up and is revealed.

So as you can see, the halfway point for the year is a kind of judgement point, a time and place where one thoroughly examines all of life’s activities, especially those that bear upon one’s fortune. Those objectives that are shown to be failing should be either adjusted or ended, and those efforts that appear to be gathering momentum for success should be steadfastly continued. New opportunities may also arise that will need to be judged as to their worthiness and a change in course may be called for to take advantage of them.

Lesser Wheel of Fortune

Correspondingly, there is also a lesser wheel of fortune that involves the Moon, and so this lesser cycle is more characterized by the emotions than by material gain, although it is true that if the emotions are not aligned with one’s greater material purpose, then all one’s endeavors will ultimately fail. This lesser wheel of fortune has the same basic components as the greater wheel. The natal chart lunar position is extracted, and the halfway point in this cycle is determined by plotting a position that is exactly 6 zodiacal signs ahead of the natal Moon position. Just break natal Lunar cycle from the point at the date of birth to a point 14 days later; this is the Lunar midpoint. So there are two halves to the month. One is auspicious for emotional expression, the other for generally for emotional internalization.

The key to this emotional wheel of fortune is that it’s better to perform magickal workings so that they achieve their climax up to but not far beyond the full moon. The waning moon represents particularly difficult times for me, and it’s much better to use that time for reflection, divination and contemplation, allowing the unconscious mind to unload some of its internal pressures and negative or dark-self perceptions in a controlled environment. It’s also a good idea to synchronize the greater and lesser wheels of fortune so that magickal workings and mundane actions involving material advancement occur during the better half for both patterns.

We can also analyze the transit aspects of the Natal Moon with the Transiting Moon and get a very clear idea of the kind of forces that are active. Like the Sun, we can examine the aspect where the Transit Moon is in conjunction with the Natal Moon, and the aspect where the Transit Moon is in opposition to the Natal Moon.

Transit Moon conjunct Natal Moon: This is called the Lunar return, and it occurs once every month. It represents the beginning of an emotional cycle. It’s a time of emotional sensitivity and emotional intensity. It has a magnetic effect, and tends to attract external events and people to its emanating field.

Transit Moon opposition to Natal Moon: This aspect represents deepening moods and powerful emotions. One becomes self-absorbed and loses objectivity, which tends to create emotional oppositions with others. It’s definitely not a time to be dealing with relationship issues, business partnerships or emotional issues involving family or friends.

(See “Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living” by Robert Hand, p. 104 & p. 105.)  

Both the Greater Wheel of Fortune (external life events) and the Lesser Wheel of Fortune (internal emotional events) will affect the magick that is to be worked on a practical level. The Greater Wheel has precedence over the Lesser Wheel, but both should be considered for a given strategic magickal working.

Epilogue - Moon Magick

We have covered all of the relevant material on the Moon from a scientific and occult perspective, and we have seen that the Moon is very relevant to material based magickal workings. We have also covered the fact that effective magick requires some kind of temporal signature to act as a link between the forces generated and focused, and the time and place where they are needed. And we have also examined the factor of timing, both from the standpoint of the Sun and the Moon, but also from the perspective of the individual who is working magick.

The most important thing that we have learned in this article is that there is a complex interrelationship between the cycles of the sun, earth, moon and the internal cycles operating within the individual magician. Magicians who are contemplating earth-based magickal workings to effect their material situation need to determine their greater and lesser wheel of fortune so that they can know the best time to perform this magick. So it’s very important to have both the material factors and the emotions in as perfect alignment as possible to ensure a successful outcome.

A rule of thumb in determining the when and the how of lunar magick is that the need and the factor of necessity always trump timing. The nature of timing is always used for long term and strategic magickal workings, but not for emergencies or immediate needs. Still, lunar and solar considerations are always helpful, and it’s a good idea to use them wherever possible.

Before I sign off, here is a list of books that can be used to further research about the moon and its various qualities. All you need to do is to acquire these books (or some suitable alternatives) and assemble the material into your own “Book of the Moon” for pagan liturgies and ritual magick. I would also recommend Christopher Warnock’s mini-course on the lunar mansions. You find all of his course material at the website at this site - the price of these courses is modest and well worth it.

  • Alexander, Skye (1988) “Planets in Signs,” Whitford Press, West Chester, PA

  • Filby, John & Peter (1984) “Astronomy for Astrologers,” The Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northhamptonshire, UK

  • Hand, Robert (1976) “Planets In Transit: Life Cycles for Living,”  Para Research Inc., Gloucester, MA

  • Jackson, Nigel (2003) “Celestial Magic - Principles and Practices of the Talismanic Art,” Capall Bahn Publishing Sommerset, UK

  • Rudyar, Dane (1986) “The Lunation Cycle: A Key to the Understanding of Personality,” Aurora Press, New York, NY

  • Warnock, Christopher (2006) “The Mansions of the Moon,” Renaissance Astrology, USA

Frater Barrabbas

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lunar Mysteries and the Art of Moon Magick - Part 3

Lunar Mansions

The Twenty-eight Lunar Mansions are used specifically for talismanic magick, and they represent some of the most effective magick that one might want to generate. The mansions are represented by specific planetary qualities associated with a segment of the zodiac that is exactly 12 degrees and 51 minutes. The method used for determining the lunar mansion is astrological, based on lunar positions calculated from an ephemeris. In order for a mansion to be active, the moon should be in that specific zodiacal sign and degree period when the magickal operation is to be performed. Waxing and waning moons have a specific effect on the quality of the lunar mansion. A waxing moon is where the outcome is typically positive or a blessing, while a waning moon outcome is generally negative, or considered a curse. The period for performing positive magick based on the lunar mansion is always when the moon is waxing, from the point immediately following the new moon to just prior to the full moon. 

First use of the lunar mansions for magickal purposes probably goes back to the ancient Egyptians and Chaldeans, whose cultures were both avid in their observation and tabulation of astronomical phenomena. This is also true of the Indian culture, so the possible sources for lunar mansion work can be found in all three of these ancient cultures. 

Western magickal use and qualifications of the lunar mansions are adapted from the grimoire entitled the “Picatrix,” which was a purported 11th century Arabic magickal book, likely distilled from lost or now unknown Greek magical books. The lunar mansions are used to charge and empower magickal talismans. A talisman is blessed and charged at some point during the period of the lunar mansion, thus allowing the mansion to passively influence and impact the talisman. Since the moon travels through the zodiac at 14 degrees per day, it will only reside in a specific Lunar Mansion for slightly less than a day. In order to take advantage of a lunar mansion, the moon should be waxing within the lunation cycle, so any lunation type, from crescent type to just before full moon, can be employed. This short period of less than two weeks will limit the number of possible elective lunar mansions that can be employed during a specific seasonal period of the year.

Here is a list of the 28 mansions of the moon, as distilled from the book, “Celestial Magic” written by Nigel Jackson. I have also included the quality of the talismanic elemental (planet and element) as well as the associated Enochian senior name. Notice that the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn have three mansions, and the other signs, two.

  • Mars of Fire: Senior: Aaetpio  Mansion: Al Sharatain (#1 Horns of Aries)  - 0̊ Aries
  • Jupiter of Fire: Senior: Adoeoet  Mansion: Al Butain (#2 The Belly of Aries) - Aries 12̊ 51ʹ
  • Venus of Fire: Senior:  Aapdoce  Mansion: Al Thurayya (#3 The Many Little Ones - Pleides) - Aries 25̊ 43ʹ

  • Mars of Earth: Laidrom  Mansion: Al Dabaran (#4 Eye of Taurus, the Follower) Taurus 8̊ 34ʹ  
  • Sun of Earth: Iczhhcal Mansion: Al Haqah (#5 The White Spot) Taurus 21̊ 26ʹ 

  • Mars of Air: Habioro   Mansion: Al Hanah (#6 Brand or Mark, Little Star of Great Light) Gemini 4̊ 17ʹ
  • Jupiter of Air: Aaoxaif   Mansion: Al Dhira (#7 The Force Arm of Gemini) Gemini 17̊ 9ʹ 

  • Jupiter of Water: Saiinov   Mansion: Al Nathrah (#8 The Gap or Crib, Misty, Cloudy) Cancer 0̊
  • Saturn of Water: Ligdisa  Mansion: Al Tarf (#9 Glance of the Lion’s Eye) Cancer 12̊ 51ʹ
  • Sun of Water: Raagiosl  Mansion: Al Jabhah (#10 The Lion’s Forehead - the Brow of Leo) Cancer 25̊ 43ʹ

  • Sun of Fire: Senior: Edelprna   Mansion: Al Zubrah (#11 The Lion’s Mane) Leo 8̊ 34ʹ
  • Saturn of Fire: Senior: Arinnap Mansion: Al Sarfah (#12 The Lion’s Tail) - Leo 21̊ 26ʹ

  • Venus of Earth: Alhctga  Mansion: Al Awwa (#13 Wings of Virgo, the Barker) Virgo 4̊ 17ʹ
  • Moon of Earth: Lzinopo  Mansion: Al Simak (#14 Spike of Virgo, the Unarmed) Virgo 17̊ 9ʹ

  • Venus of Air: Ahaozpi  Mansion: Al Ghafr (#15 The Covering) Libra 0̊
  • Mercury of Air: Avtotar   Mansion: Al Jubana (#16 The Horns of the Scorpion) Libra 12̊ 51ʹ
  • Saturn of Air: Hipotga  Mansion: Iklil Al Jabhah (#17 The Crown of the Scorpion) Libra 25̊ 43ʹ

  • Venus of Water: Slgaiol  Mansion: Al Qalib (#18 The Heart of the Scorpion) Scorpio 8̊ 34ʹ  
  • Moon of Water: Laoaxrp  Mansion: Al Shaula (#19 The Tail of the Scorpion, the Sting) Scorpio 21̊ 6ʹ

  • Moon of Fire: Senior: Asndoad  Mansion: Al Nava’am (#20 The Beam, The Ostriches) Sagittarius 4̊ 17ʹ
  • Mercury of Fire: Senior: Anodoin Mansion: Al Baldah (#21 The City or District) - Sagittarius 17̊ 9ʹ

  • Mercury of Earth: Acmbicu  Mansion: Al Sad Al Dhabih (#22 Lucky One of the Slaughterers) Capricorn 0̊
  • Saturn of Earth: Lhiansa  Mansion: Al Sad Al Bulah (#23 Good Fortune of the Swallower) Capricorn 12̊ 51ʹ
  • Jupiter of Earth: Aczinor  Mansion: Al Sad Al Su’ud (#24 The Star of Fortune) Capricorn 25̊ 51ʹ

  • Moon of Air: Htmorda   Mansion: Al Sad Al Ahbiya (#25 The Butterfly - Lucky Star of Hidden Things) Aquarius 8̊ 34ʹ
  • Sun of Air: Bataivah  Mansion: Al Farch Al Mukdim (#26 Fore-spout, First Drawing) Aquarius 21̊ 43ʹ

  • Mercury of Water: Soaixnt  Mansion: Al Faragh Al Thani (#27 Lower Spout, Second Drawing) Pisces 4̊ 17ʹ
  • Mars of Water: Lsrahpm   Mansion: Al Batn Al Hut (#28 The Belly of the Fish) Pisces 17̊ 9ʹ

A good source for information regarding the Lunar Mansions can be found in the books “The Mansions of the Moon” by Christopher Warnock, and the “Picatrix” as translated by John Michael Greer & Christopher Warnock, and also the book “Celestial Magic” written by Nigel Jackson (which I mentioned above).

Important Solar & Lunar Interrelationships

Solar and lunar eclipses are the most auspicious times for working any kind of magick, and if magickal workings can be performed during those times, then they will be greatly enhanced and empowered.

Eclipses of the Sun and Moon occur when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in a specific and proper alignment. Not only are they auspicious, but are typically rare occurrences. This is especially true for solar eclipses, but not as much for lunar eclipses. 

Solar eclipses occur when the Moon is new, since it is then that the Moon is conjunct with the Sun.  If the altitude of the Moon to the ecliptic (celestial equator as seen from the Earth) matches so that the Moon appears to cover the Sun, then there is an observable eclipse somewhere on the earth. (Solar eclipses on average only last around 8 minutes if they are total eclipses, less so when they are only partial eclipses.)

Lunar eclipses always occur when the Moon is full and the Earth’s shadow falls upon the Moon. They are more common than Solar eclipses because the Earth’s shadow is much larger than the Moon’s shadow on the earth.

Moon’s altitude is the height that the Moon appears over the horizon. In the northern latitudes, the Moon is low when it’s near the southern part of the horizon, and high up when it’s near the center of the sky. (Of course, the reverse would occur when one is located in the southern latitudes.) When the Moon appears to be moving from the southern to the northern hemisphere, called the ascending node, and when appears to be moving from the northern to the southern hemisphere, called the descending node.

Points of intersection between the ecliptic and Moon’s altitude are the points where an eclipse can potentially occur. The inclination of the Moon towards the ecliptic is approximately 5 degrees and 8 minutes, so events where the Moon’s shadow would pass over the face of the Earth are rare, because they require an exact match between lunar altitude and the ecliptic.

A rule of thumb as to where the moon will appear in the sky during certain lunar phases and seasons is found the following table. The higher the northern latitude, the more pronounced is the position of the moon during a lunar phase. 

  • Spring: Moon is high in the sky when in the first quarter, down low when in the last quarter.
  • Summer: Moon is high in the sky during the new moon, down low when full.
  • Autumn: Moon is high in the sky when in the last quarter, down low when in the first quarter.
  • Winter” Moon is high in the sky during the full moon, down low when new.

(Of course, this is true only when the observer is in the northern hemisphere, and it would be the opposite if one were in the southern hemisphere.)

As far as the northern latitude is concerned, the most auspicious full moon is during the winter, and the most auspicious new moon and waxing moon phase is during the summer. During the spring, the full moon is part of the ascending node, and during the autumn, the full moon is part of the descending node. These two facts also have an impact on the magick, giving a greater impetus or slightly detracting from the magick that is worked during these two seasons respectively.

Additionally. In the northern latitudes, a Solar eclipse is most likely to occur during the summer, when the new moon is in alignment with the ecliptic, and a Lunar eclipse is more likely to occur in the winter. This is important to consider when seeking to incorporate either a solar or lunar eclipse into one’s magickal working.


Frater Barrabbas

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lunar Mysteries and the Art of Moon Magick - Part 2

Phases of the Moon and the Lunation Cycle

Lunar cycles, that mark the changing phases of the Moon, occur over a period of twenty-eight days. So there are a consistent occurrence of lunar cycles that make up the solar year, representing the oscillation of light and darkness, diminishment and increase, which change the apparent shape of the moon and also the times when it is present in the sky. The moon passes through the entire zodiac in a single month and its synodic period lasts 29 days and 12 hours, which is pretty close to the thirty day average period for a calendric month.

The moon also changes its shape as it makes its passage across the celestial equator, and this is due to the constant changing angular relationships between the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth. Thus, the moon travels swiftly through the zodiacal signs, averaging around 14 degrees in a twenty-four hour period. The sidereal period of the Moon is 27 days, 7 hours and 43 minutes. What this means is that the moon makes a complete revolution from any given point back to that point during that period. The sidereal period is, therefore, more accurate and so it is used by astronomers. When we say that the Moon makes its cycle in 28 days, that is an average approximation of the synodic and sidereal periods.

A full moon occurs when the Moon is at a point opposite of the Sun in relation to the Earth. Therefore, a full moon always occupies the exact point opposite of the sun within the astrological zodiac. A new moon occurs when the Moon is conjunct with the Sun in relation to the Earth.  Therefore, the moon is in same exact zodiacal sign and degree as the Sun when it is in the phase called the new moon. A new moon symbolically represents the time of renewal and reinvigoration, when seeds are planted and ovulation ideally occurs. Full moon represents when these processes reach their maximum potential, and it is the ideal time for harvesting and also for the onset of menstruation. The quarter phases are where the Moon is waxing from new to full, or waning from full to new, representing when the Sun and Moon at right angles to the Earth. (I am not implying that a woman’s period is directly aligned with the phases of the moon, although there is an ideal association between the cycles of the mon and fertility cycle of women.)

Moon rises in the middle of the day when it is waxing and in the middle of the night when it's waning. The direction that the “horns” or tips of the crescent moon are facing indicates whether the Moon is waxing or waning. Horns pointing to the east indicates a waxing moon, and horns pointing to the west indicates a waning moon.

The cycle of the moon is called the “Lunation” cycle. It’s symbolized on a personal level as the struggle for conscious evolution, beginning first with awakening into individual self-consciousness and egoic awareness. Moon also has two qualities that are expressed by the lunation cycle. These two qualities are the zodiacal positions that it occupies as it moves across the celestial equator in a single month, and the four lunar phases that it makes as it crosses the path of the sun and the earth.

The elemental quality that the four phases of the moon has are:

  • New Moon - Earth
  • First Quarter - Air
  • Full Moon - Fire
  • Last Quarter - Water

Four phases of the moon are defined in astrology as the specific angular relationships that occur between the moon and the sun. These angular relationships are broken into 90 degree quadrants. The qualities of the phases are symbolized by the aspects of conjunction, ascending square, opposition, descending square, and arriving again at conjunction.

  • New Moon to First Quarter (0̊ - 90̊) - individualism and impulsiveness
  • First Quarter to Full Moon (90̊ - 180̊) - maturation and fulfillment
  • Full Moon to Last Quarter (180̊ - 270̊) - formulation and objectification
  • Last Quarter to New Moon (270̊ - 360̊) - fruition and also dissolution

Lunation cycle is actually an extension of the well known four phases of the Moon, producing eight types that characterize the lunar qualities. Each lunation type has its specific properties, and is extremely useful for working earth-based magick that affects the material based concerns and enterprises for humans, and even animals.

The lunation cycle of the moon is called the lesser cycle of transformation because it represents the variations of the reflected power of the sun and is far more mutable and subtle in regards to its affects on the life cycle of the individual human being when compared to the sun. While the solar cycle symbolizes the greater cycle of transformation, representing the seasonal milestones as well as the annual and multi-year achievements, the lunation cycle is critical to the resolution of deep and internal issues and complexes as the self strives to become individuated and self-illuminated.

In the lunation cycle, the four lunar phases are broken into eight divisions (types) consisting of 45 degree segments.  Each segmental division of the Lunation cycle lasts approximately 3.5 days (84 hours). Each of the phases and the types of the lunation cycle are useful for a different kind of magick. Therefore, they represent a different mystery in the process of individual development. Lunation types include two states of the balsalmic (healing) and two of the gibbous (swelling) moons, adding four more types to the regular four phases.

Balsalmic phases are defined as the ascending and descending lunar crescent, which occurs just before and soon after the new moon. Gibbous phases are defined as nearly full, which occur just before and soon after the full moon. The following table was distilled from Dane Rudyar’s book “Lunation Cycle: A Key to the Understanding of Personality” (see pp. 50 - 56).

  • New Moon Type - 0̊ - 45̊- Emergence - Subjective, impulsive, novelty
  • Crescent Type - 45̊ - 90̊ - Expansion - Self assertion, self confidence
  • First Quarter Type - 90̊ - 135̊ - Action - Crisis in action, strong-willed
  • Gibbous Moon Type - 135̊ - 180̊ - Overcoming - Clarification, revelation & illumination
  • Full Moon Type - 180̊ - 225̊ - Fulfillment - Objectivity, formulation, manifestation
  • Disseminating Type - 225̊ - 270̊ - Demonstration - Disseminator of ideas, populist, teacher
  • Last Quarter Type - 270̊ - 315̊ - Re-orientation - Crisis in consciousness, inflexibility
  • Balsamic Type - 315̊ - 360̊ - Release - Transition, seed-state, germination

Looking over the above table, one can get a pretty good idea how to use the Lunation Cycle in magick and as well as pagan liturgy.

A powerful bell curve can be imagined when examining the key words used in this table. The latent powers of the unconscious mind emerge on or just after the New Moon, and then continue to grow as the moon waxes. From emergence, to expansion, to action, then to overcoming, the lunar energy reaches a climax with the Full Moon, whose forces are defined by the keywords: overcoming, clarification, revelation and inner illumination. Then the energy begins to wane, but a gibbous moon after full still has power and also an important role to play. So at this point, the lunation type becomes objectified and capable of communicating what has been precipitating within the unconscious mind. Then, there is a critical re-orientation or re-alignment, and finally, a release, where the energy fully submerges and all is once again outwardly quiet.

New magickal workings would typically start during or just after the New Moon phase, where a type of internalization is at its point of maximum effect. Then, one builds up the powers and magickal structures until on or just before the occurrence of the Full Moon, where the power is outwardly expressed as a climactic expression of force. Afterwards, the resolution that one is seeking through magick is either revealed or not. Then, with the exteriorization of all the energy, one seeks the solace of self-reflection, as the powers of the unconscious mind sink into its internal source. The waning moon, particularly at the point of the Balsamic type is useful for healing and for divination, so the entire lunation cycle is practical for the application of many kind of magickal operations.

Here are some key points about using the phases and types of the lunar cycle when you work magick. You should not only consider the astrological and astronomical environment (sun and moon signs), but also realize that magick is best served when performed at the most auspicious time. Therefore, timing is important!. The Sun and Moon are indicators of whether or not the time is right for a given magickal action. To unleash the most effective magick you must build up in a symbolic manner the “temporal snapshot” of your world, to establish the time and location where the magick is to be applied. This “temporal snapshot” is what I call the temporal link, and it’s amazing how many people don’t seem to realize how important making such a link is to the overall success of large-scale, magically assisted undertakings.

Small scale workings don’t really require a temporal link, but I have discovered, nearly by accident, that producing a temporal link for large scale workings helps to do two important things. These two things are:

  • To establish a temporal signature that will be intelligible to spirits and magickal forces,
  • To mark a spiritual mile-stone and to give it a focus in the present space-time continuum.

Establishing a temporal link can also be useful in establishing a time-limit for a given process to produce the results, even incrementally, that the magician is seeking.

The temporal link can consists of the following six elements (listed below). It should, at the very least, contain the combination of the seasonal, diurnal Solar aspects along with the phase/type for the Moon. These two elements will produce a symbolic expression of time. Additionally, the place (space or location) is defined as the exact point where the magick is projected into the earth (through the temple or grove).

The temporal symbolic link consists of:

  • Solar Hour as Planetary Hour
  • Sun in Zodiacal Sign - in relation to nearest Equinox or Solstice
  • Moon in Zodiacal Sign - Seasonal Moon in relation to the four phases
  • Lunation Type - 8 phases of the Moon
  • Geological matrix - latitude, longitude and altitude
  • Internal domain of the practitioner - natal zodiacal chart, progressed and transit chart.

Of these six items, the first four are most critical and used to determine the magickal equivalent of the temporal signature or link. In order to cause material manifestations and alterations one must first determine the temporal signature.

Moon in the 12 Zodiacal Signs and Full Moon Lore

As previously stated, the Full moon always occurs in the zodiacal sign opposite the Sun. It has specific astrological qualities, since the full moon represents a certain degree of fruition for spiritual and occult activities. The zodiacal sign that the full moon occupies is therefore quite significant, since it specifically qualifies it. There is also specific folklore that is associated with the full moon occurring during a month, and this folklore is often used to qualify any full moon working, whether liturgical or magickal.

First we will begin by examining the Moon in the twelve signs, so we can examine the qualities of those twelve aspects in greater detail. The moon signifies emotional energies and internal states of consciousness, and as it passes through the twelve signs, the qualities change and mutate according to the qualities of the astrological sign. (I have distilled these moon signs from the book, Planets in Signs, by Skye Alexander, pp. 71 - 96.)

Aries - boundless enthusiasm, assertive, emotional outbursts, highly energized, individualistic, impulsive, to live for the moment.

Taurus - easy going, placid, devoted friend and lover, simple and basic needs, emotionally centered and earthy, possessive, love of material things, luxuries, believes happiness can be bought, resistant to change.

Gemini - gregariousness, sociable, good communicator, restless, always seeking new stimulations, important of being unfettered, curious about everything.
Cancer - sensitive feelings, changeableness, emotionally expressive, heart rules head, strong empathy, maternal instincts, nurturing, protective of family and friends.

Leo - self confident, optimistic, cheerful, natural leader, always seeking attention, self centered, love of drama, creativity, strong willed.

Virgo - emotionally subdued, internalized, outwardly aloof, tight self-control, overly critical, self deprecating, helpful to others, service, selfless, concerned about the welfare of others.

Libra - emotional balance, need for harmonious interactions, displaced emotional expressions, sense of propriety, social tact and social awareness, compromising, indecisive, artistic, musical.

Scorpio - emotionally passionate, secretive, intensely sexual, seeks total union, jealous and possessive, can be vindictive, ruthless.

Sagittarius - happy go-lucky, optimistic, witty, affable, very sociable, loose emotional ties, importance of friendship, need to be free, disdainful of smothering and restrictive relationships.

Capricorn - emotionally internalized, unexpressive, deeply serious and sober, depressing, devalues self, fear of rejection, loyal, devoted to friends, family and lovers, reliable, practical, responsible.

Aquarius - unpredictable, explosive, sudden outbursts, strong sense of social justice, passionate about causes, rebellious, stubborn, willful, anti-authority, bohemian, radical, visionary.

Pisces - deep and intense emotions, secretive, introverted, psychic, empathic, compassionate, vivid imagination, reclusive, shy, seeks refuge, desires to be alone.

So the moon will acquire qualities depending on the sign that it is in as well as the sign that the Sun is occupying. Since the Sun changes its sign around the 20th of the month, the full moon will occur in the opposite sign. For each monthly full moon and its lore, we have two possible qualities for that full moon, depending on when in the month it occurs. Here is a list of three items to examine and research when planning on a full moon working:

  • When seeking to qualify the full moon, combine the astrological qualities with the seasonal Full Moon folklore.

  • Check almanacs and other sources of folklore to qualify the full moon for a given month.

  • Build up a booklet of Seasonal Full Moon lore and astrological considerations (Moon in 12 Signs) to use for liturgy and magick.

Here’s an example of what you might assemble as information for the full moon in the month of June.

June - Strawberry Moon or Mead/Honey Moon

After the abundant flowers of the previous month have bloomed and passed away then the fruits begin to form, and strawberries are some of the first fruits to be harvested. Flowers also bring the bees which gather the pollen and produce honey, and from that is brewed the beverage called mead. June is also the time of the Summer Solstice, and the advent of the warm days of summer, and the planting of the rest of the crops in the more northern and less temperate lands. This month is partitioned by Gemini and Cancer.

  • New Moon in Gemini - time for planning gatherings and celebrations
  • New Moon in Cancer - protection against harm, nurturing and growing
  • Full Moon in Sagittarius - happiness, fulfillment of pleasure, new liaisons
  • Full Moon in Capricorn - material gain through hard work and organization

I assembled most of my full moon lore from, of all places, the Farmer’s Almanac. You can find that source in an online web-page here. There are also lots of other sources for lunar folklore as well, since most pagan publishers will have a book or two on lunar folklore.


Frater Barrabbas

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lunar Mysteries and the Art of Moon Magick - Part 1

This is part one of a four part series on Lunar Mysteries and Moon Magick. I will be posting this series for the next four posting intervals. Moon magick and lunar mysteries are very important, so I think that these articles are timely and quite relevant.

Believe it or not, I once heard someone complain to a group of pagans that every full moon was practically the same, and that the monthly full moon rites that this person’s coven engaged in were boring and repetitious. When I heard this complaint, I was completely astonished! Obviously this person didn’t know very much about the moon, nor that each full moon that happens during the calendric year is unique and has a large body of folklore to go along with it. The moon is probably the most important celestial body in the sky, next to the sun, and certainly, it’s the most interesting. Yet hearing this complaint made me realize that the knowledge which I had acquired about the moon and lunar magick was not so common within the Pagan and Wiccan community. So for this reason, I decided that it would be prudent to put together an article on the lunar mysteries and the art of moon magick. If anyone is seeking to work magick that will affect their material aspirations, then knowing something about the moon is pretty important.

In fact, the most important consideration for any large series of workings involving earth-based magick is to harness the mysterious cycle of the moon and its mythology and folklore. In order to accomplish this task, the occultist is obligated to sift through a lot of moon lore, both scientific, astrological and esoteric in order to truly understand the significance and use of the moon in the art of magick.

This article will attempt to perform that task for you and help you to examine all of the various elements required to become proficient at using the moon for both pagan liturgies and practical forms of magick. There’s a lot of material to cover, but I decided to pull together a selection of that specific lore that will help you to make this mastery a lot easier. I would advise you to acquire some books on astrology and also some books on the various folklore and myths associated with the moon. Having this knowledge at hand will certainly make your pagan full moon rites and practical lunar based magick much more effective and esthetically pleasing. Let us now move on to examine all of this material.

Occult Beliefs vs. Scientific Explanations

We live in age where everything is seemingly explained away by the prowess of science, where there are no unfathomable mysteries nor is anything capable of withstanding for long the inquiry of modern empirical minds. Everything is reduced to the objective eye of science, and yet, and still, the average person stands in awe of the  constant changing cycles of the moon. Science has debunked almost all of the myths about the moon, yet they persist in common discussion even amongst educated people. So it would seem that the moon still casts her spell on the minds of humanity, and the apparent lunar mysteries persist despite our scientific explanations and even our most adventurous explorations of her rocky crust.

There are good reasons why all the myths and folklore about the moon persist, and why they will probably continue to exert a powerful influence on the mind and soul of humanity until the end of time. As long as human beings live on this planet and experience the various phenomena of the moon, sun, planets and the stars, they will have a psychological impact on human sentiment - there’s no escaping this fact. We are complex psychological beings, and merely the apprehension of facts alone does not rule our life nor dispel superstition or emotional sentiment. We also need to consider that science alone does not have a monopoly on objective truth, and that dissenting opinions and the powerful influences of culture are just as compelling as the consensus of science and scientists. 

The moon changes its shape throughout the month, seemingly never to appear at the same place or in the same guise. As the moon transforms itself, the tides of the seas and oceans seem to obey its cyclic passages, and the darkness of night is turned into twilight, illuminating a spectral landscape. The basic nature of the lunar mystery is that the moon changes its shape and its brightness, seeming to follow an endless pattern of constant change. The moon appears during both the day and the night, but it’s at night time when the moon’s effect is most dramatic. The moon is a symbol of transformation and seems to represent all that is changeable and ephemeral in our world, including the life cycle of all things living and breathing on this planet. This mystery is the mystery of light and darkness, life and death, the changing seasons, which are seen in the apparent movements of the moon, sun and the earth, and their complex interrelationship.

Science has explained all of this phenomena in an undramatic manner, dispelling all of the myths and false assumptions made about the effects of the moon on the earth. We should examine these facts and then quickly pass over them because knowing what science has said about this topic does help to shape our opinions and clarify the occult beliefs and associated phenomena with the practice of ritual magick. We will not hold onto arbitrary beliefs and promote falsehoods in the guise of good occultism. Science has done an adequate job of explaining the objective and material universe that is both within and all around us, and we would be foolish to easily dismiss these carefully tested and empirically determined truths.

Still, science has nothing to say about the nature of the human soul, the nature of Spirit and the internal perceptions and sentiments associated with the human psyche. In fact science refuses to even examine a phenomenon unless it can be measured, and that measurement verified by repetition. Some might question the methods of measuring these phenomena and the theories that underlie them. These are topics that are outside of the supposed empirical universe, and therefore, are the topical areas most suited to the discourse of religious and occult philosophies.

Therefore, we shall refrain from stating that the moon’s gravitational effects or the effects of the light of the moon have any dramatic impact on individual human beings, animals or small inanimate objects. What is affected by the moon is the human mind, its perceptions, sentiments, and inner spiritual reflections, and these we will address in this article. Humanity has been staring into the night sky for untold millennia, and this fact alone has shaped human beliefs and opinions long before science was ever organized as an academic discipline.

We will focus on the folklore and psychological effects of the moon, sun and their apparent motion and alignments, and how these may be used to great effect in the practice of ritual magick. Therefore, we need to look at several items as we examine these interesting facts and their use in practical occultism. (Here is a list of seven items for us to consider.)

  • Phases of the Moon - four quarters, lunation cycle - psychology and basic folklore as well as assumed physiological effects. Considerations about elemental magick as associated with the lunar phases should also be examined.

  • Seasonal full moon folklore and astrological aspects of the full moon phenomenon. Each full moon has its own qualities and special characteristics, and these qualify the magic that is performed.

  • Twenty-eight lunar mansions - planetary and talismanic considerations. The lunar mansions can be used to project beneficial as well as baleful magical powers.

  • Solar and lunar interrelationships - eclipses both solar and lunar - cycle of light and darkness, life and death, as projected upon the wheel of the year. Also we should consider the tidal cycles such as spring, neap and proxigean spring tides.

  • Greater and lesser wheel of fortune - solar and lunar wheels of fortune - personal cycle of material and emotional increase and decrease.

  • Practical magic always has an element of timing in addition to initiative and action. Knowledge of one’s own personal wheel of fortune is a determinant of successful material based magic.

  • Key to integrating the lunar and solar cycles into one’s magic is learning to incorporate a type of lunar telesterion (temple) into one’s magick. This temple is defined in ritual magick as an energy field consisting of a vortex encompassed with a double gateway, where the mysteries of the seasonal sun and lunar phase are declared and expressed as a symbolic link, which also acts as a temporal link.

These seven items are quite important for the occult considerations in working magic and causing an impact in one’s personal material world. They also don’t in any way violate the premises currently vogue in the scientific community, since they are concerned with a domain that science has either nothing to say about or is incapable of making any kind of determination or measurement. But first we should examine some of the objective facts about the moon.

Some of the factual points that science does make, which we would have to incorporate into our thinking consists of the following items. From a scientific perspective the Moon is: 

  • A spherical rocky body that is the one and only satellite of the planet Earth,
  • Nearly a third of the size of the Earth ,
  • Distance from the Moon to the Earth is a mean distance of 238,600 miles,
  • Moon has a complex elliptical orbit around the Earth,
  • Equatorial radius is 1,080 miles,
  • Lacks an active magnetic field, so it likely doesn’t have a molten core,
  • Earth and Moon actually orbit each other, possessing a common center of mass that is not the center of the Earth, but only approximately 2,900 miles from the surface,
  • Moon and Earth exert a powerful gravitation pull on each other,
  • Moon pulls the oceans slightly out from the Earth as it passes closest to it. ( Actually, the Moon is pulling up on the oceans and the Earth is pulling down. The combination of these forces causes the tides.)

If the Moon did not exist, then the Sun would still cause diminished cyclic tides. Tides are the gravitational effect on large bodies of water - oceans, seas, large lakes, rivers, even the atmosphere and crust of the earth. (Large things are so affected, but not things that are relatively small.) The gravitation effect of tides is caused by a combination of the Sun, Moon and Earth. This interrelationship also causes solar and lunar eclipses and the lunar phases of full through new.

Moon’s gravitational force is only one ten-millionth of the Earth’s gravitational force, and the Sun’s is only 40% of the Moon’s force.  Therefore, the Moon’s gravitation effect has no discernable impact on animals or people. Lunar and planetary light is also insignificant, since it is merely reflected light whose origin is from the Sun. Sunlight, however, does indeed powerfully affect the Earth.

Some of the natural phenomenon associated with the period tides affecting large bodies of water has the following qualities:

“Because the earth rotates on its axis the moon completes one orbit in our sky every 25 hours (Not to be confused with moon's 27 day orbit around the earth), we get two tidal peaks as well as two tidal troughs.

These events are separated by about 12 hours. Offshore, in the deep ocean, the difference in tides is usually less than 1.6 feet. The surf grows when it approaches a beach, and the tide increases. In bays and estuaries, this effect is amplified. (Example: In the Bay of Fundy, tides have a range of 44.6 ft.).

Since the moon moves around the Earth, it is not always in the same place at the same time each day. So, each day, the times for high and low tides change by 50 minutes.” - (See the web page for the source of the above quotation.)

Spring tides are exceptionally strong tides that occur when the Sun, Moon and the Earth are in line, such as when the Moon appears to be full or new on the Earth. Neap tides occur when the Sun and Moon are at right angles to the Earth, canceling out their gravitational forces and producing a weaker variation of the high and low tides, such as when the Moon appears to be in either the first or last quarter.

Perigee points are defined as celestial events where the Moon is closest to the Earth, and the Earth is the closest to the Sun. These events occur, of course, during specific times of the year and during specific seasons. Lunar perigee occurs twice a year, in late December through January and late June through July, depending on the northern or southern latitude. Solar perigee occurs once a year, also in late December. 

Every 18 months an unusually high tide occurs, and this is called a Proxigean Spring Tide. It occurs when the Moon is at its closest point to the Earth (called the closest perigee, or proxigee) and is in the New Moon phase (meaning that the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun). These are significant events in the astrological calendar of the practicing occultist - there are bi-annual (Lunar), annual (Solar) and semi-annual cycles (Lunar and Solar) that effect the tides of the oceans on the earth, and by analogy, the fortunes of individual human beings. (This is, of course, a very important point.)

Lunar affects on human behavior, also called the “Transylvania effect” have been pretty conclusively demonstrated to be false. This was done through an effective analysis of whether the full or new moon have any affects on any specific behavior, maladies or social phenomena, such as alcoholism, mental attacks, menstruation, violence, murder rates, and even stock market variations. All of these correlations have been found to be statistically insignificant. What does seem to be operating are people’s beliefs, cultural myths, folklore and emotional sentiments. Science would judge such causes as not being statistically relevant, but they do seem to impact behavior, and in an almost predictable fashion.

Still, there are some hotly contested areas of dispute within the various disciplines of medicine and biological research. Medical research still shows correlations between medical phenomena and either full of new moon - however, that research is in dispute. The final verdict is as yet unknown. We, however, will not engage in this debate because our topic is not determined by objective empiricism, but rather by psychology and culture. 


Frater Barrabbas

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Second Talismanic Working for the Portae Lucis

Inertia is a terrible force when contemplating an extended working that covers the period of four months. It also seems that the preparations for the Portae Lucis working are fraught with difficulties and issues that have bedeviled me from the very start. While I have managed to be hale and healthy for the next working in this series, there were other events that could have either postponed or even terminated this working. Let me tell you what I had to endure in order to complete the second talismanic working.

I had been working with an occultist friend who runs an online shop to purchase three inch metal disks. I chose brass for the Sun, silver for the Moon, lead for Saturn, and Zinc for Mercury. The brass and zinc disks were sent in a reasonable amount of time, but the silver and the lead disks had not yet arrived (I am still waiting for the lead disk as I write this article). I had corresponded with my supplier, but still the required disks didn’t show up. About ten days before the working was scheduled, I sent out a request to get my order filled as quickly as possible and received no reply. In fact I hadn’t heard from my supplier in around two weeks, so I started to worry about the working, and in fact, decided to assemble a plan B to fabricate the disks myself. I discovered an obscure warehouse on the other side of town that provided me with one foot square 18 gauge nickel silver and brass plates. I then needed to figure out how to cut out the three inch disks from the metal plates.

I was busily working on plan B in the days before the working, which hadn’t turned out so well for me. I decided that I might have to go to a machine shop to get disks punched out with a machine die cutter, but decided to try my hand it anyway. I managed to cut my hand attempting to hacksaw out one of the disks, so I went and got myself a high powered Dremel with cutting disks. While I was trying to figure out how to use the Dremel, I finally got an email from my supplier letting me know that the silver disk was mailed out that day, just seven days before the working. I was relieved, but still I managed to cut out one very rough disk that will need a lot of work before it could ever be used.

What I needed to finish it was a bench grinder but I had none at the time. However, on Monday, two days before the working was to be performed, the silver disk arrived in the mail, although it had been obviously cut in a hurry and the edges were rough and slightly jagged. I did what I could to smooth it out and polish it, and then I etched the mansion ruler angel sigil on it with an electric diamond tip etching pen. The disk was ready for the working with only a single day to spare, but at least I could complete that part without having to delay or reschedule. All in all, it was a bit nerve wracking to say the least.  

Then, on Wednesday night I performed the second talismanic working for the revised Portae Lucis. For this working I generated a fourfold empowered silver talisman of the Moon, under the auspices of the Lunar Mansion, Al Simek (Spike of Virgo, the Unarmed). This time, with a revised version of the rite that combines the elements of Fire, Air, Water and Earth to the planetary intelligence (Olympic Spirit), the working went quite well. Nothing was forgotten or had to be spontaneously evoked at the moment, which is what happened last time. However, what I did notice all too well was the power of inertia affecting me in no small way. I might have not been recently ill like the last time, but I did get a headache and felt fatigued early in the evening. I even found myself wondering if I could just perform the rite at another time and take it easy that evening. I made certain that such thoughts were sufficiently quelled (or laughed off) and I took a couple of Tylenol pills to get rid of the headache. Considering everything that I had gone through to get the silver disk prepared and ready, the thought of not doing the working was patently absurd.

I performed the Mass of the Goddess before the 9:47 pm CDT time when the planetary hour of the Moon would begin. The Mass rite was used to charge the five sigils and the silver talisman to make them ready for the actual working. A little after 10:00 pm, I set the magick circle and locked in the planetary hour of the Moon, and then performed the rites to invoke the combined four-fold talismanic elemental of the Moon. It went successfully well, except that there was one unusual issue that I felt compelled to rectify before actually starting with the talimanic invocation.

Just before I began the actual invocation, I heard a rather loud feline yowling just outside the door of my house. I suspected that some kind of altercation was about to occur, and that it sounded like the bully-boy cat named Faust was about to have a row with some other cat just outside my door. I didn’t want that to interrupt my working or distract me from what I was doing, so I cut a door in the circle and sealed it as I left to investigate. I went barefoot and in my robes outside in the cool moonlit night and saw Faust crouched down near another cat who was also crouched down. It was a temporary standoff, but it would soon become a full blown cat fight because Faust was an inveterate brawler. The other cat was my favorite (and the source of most of the house cat mischief), named appropriately, Jynx. I gave out my notorious big cat hiss and after making more racket than they were making, I managed to scare off both Faust and Jynx. The night returned again to the tranquility that I had desired for my working, and I went back in the house, opened a door again into the circle and then sealed it after I passed through.

The rest of the talismanic invocation went smoothly without interruptions, although I had a little bit of a problem with the programmed music. I felt the power build up to a proper crescendo and then it was focused into the silver talisman. All four talismanic elemental intelligences had been successfully invoked and fused into a single intelligence and force, and that was projected into the silver talisman. Once the rite was completed, I covered the talisman with a special cloth and began the incubation period of three successive days. The spirit gateway was closed, the power structures in the circle were sealed and the rite was properly ended. However, I felt completely drained of all physical power, and I was dead tired, mentally tipsy and barely on my feet. It was just around 11 pm when this working ended, so it had only taken me less than an hour to perform, but I felt like it had taken a lot longer and it was much more draining than I had thought it should be. All of this portends quite well for the final unveiling of the second talisman in this series.

You might be curious about how and why I am incubating the talisman after it’s charged. I incubate the talismans for around 72 hours or three days to allow for the charge to be completely absorbed into the talisman. Three days is very likely a traditional period of time for incubating a talisman, since the number three is typically found in most forms of invocative workings. How I do this is to stack the sigils together and place them in the center of my central altar where the septagram trigon is ensconced. I then place the metal talisman disk over the stacked sigils, and then I cover it with a small cloth. A vigil candle burns nearby and I also burn at least one or two sticks of incense daily to keep the atmosphere sacred and magically empowered. This incubation then continues in this manner, with candlelight and incense, for a full three day period. Once the incubation is complete, then I anoint the back of the talisman with a specially charged oil and place it into an appropriately colored velvet pouch. The talisman is kept in that pouch until it is needed, so in this manner it is protected from any contamination or harm.  

Since I had charged the solar talisman at the end of February, I have been meditating on it every single night nearly without fail. I keep it in a special ocher velvet bag, and the back is anointed with Sandlewood oil. I will anoint the new Lunar talisman on Sunday Easter morning (with Lotus oil), and will continue the meditation sessions after that point with both talismans. Around April 30, the Saturn talisman will be charged, and I will then meditate using all three talismans. I will continue to do this until the time when I have to deploy them in the final Portae Lucis working, which is scheduled for June 19. I look forward to continuing this working and experiencing the final stage just prior to the Summer Solstice. I suspect that this event will be likely the most auspicious and potent that I have ever experienced before. It may even make the coming summer to be glorious and quite a celebration of life itself.

Frater Barrabbas