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