Astrologia Previsionale - Astrologia oraria, elettiva, classica e Magia Astrologica
(BY GIACOMO ALBANO, PERUGIA, JULY 2016, 8TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF ASTROLOGY)
The main purpose of my work in the last years has been to reconstitute the relationship between Astrology and Magic. Even my attempt to promote the use of Electional Astrology is part of this line of research.
The kinship between Astrology and Magic lies in the analogical way of thinking based on the Great Chain of Being: all that exists – from the Archangels to emotions, from herbs to stones, from the parts of the human body to the planets - is organized in a vertical and horizontal system of correspondences. But to understand how Magic works- and in particular Astrological Magic - we should start from the conception exposed by the ninth century philosopher Al-Kindi in his “De radiis”. Al Kind is known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs”. According to Al-Kindi all things in the world are moved by the the motion of the stars, and the stars affect the world through their rays. Each star has its own nature, and therefore acts by emitting rays that transmit thier nature to the elemental world. The rays are therefore a vehicle of transmission of the influences from the "higher" to the "lower" world.
But according to Al-Kindi not only stars, but all things in the world emit rays, and it is through the rays that they interact by transmitting each other their nature, nor could it be otherwise, if we admit that they also are composed of stellar rays. And even human thoughts and emotions emit rays that can affect other things, so they are very important in magical operations.
Al-Kindi anticipated the discoveries of modern physics: everything is energy, and matter itself is a more dense form of energy. In modern terms we might conceive these rays as "magnetic fields." Their action causes a movement, which in turn is manifested in the phenomena that we observe in the material world. It seems clear that everything is the result of an indeterminate number of rays, and ultimately of the whole Cosmic Harmony. Everything is connected to all the other things by a series of links, whose knowledge is of fundamental importance for those who want to learn to act magically to produce certain changes. According to Al-Kindi, in order to produce a certain magical effects three elements are necessary: 1) the will 2) the visualization of the desired purpose 3) faith, or certainty that the desired thing will happen. But everything must be done under the astrological configurations more favorable to your purpose, so that the star rays can support the rays emanating from your will and your mental representations. Keep in mind that even the sounds and words uttered during the rite emanate rays. If all these conditions are present, a magnetic current rises in the astral world, which later will be carried to the material plane.
The Astral Plane, in fact, is an intermediate level between the Noetic and the Physical World. So things should first be created in the Astral World, and only in a second moment they can manifest themselves in the physical plane.
Astrological Magic aims precisely to use and manage all these rays in the best way, that is for the material and spiritual good of humans.
Now I will expound the main means that we can use to draw the desired celestial influences: the gathering and use of herbs and compounds of herbs and stones, music and song, planetary talismans and prayers, but also the techniques to attract more strongly favorable transits and neutralize the bad ones, and to conform our psychic and spiritual condition in order to receive at the best the celestial gifts.
All these means require more or less the same astrological conditions: the angularity of the planet whose influence you want to attract (better if rising or culminating), which should not be afflicted or combust and should be in its essential dignities. Of great importance is also the condition of the Moon, which in all the operations for the good (for example, love, wealth, health or success) should be increasing in light, neither afflicted nor combust, and possibly in conjunction or good aspect to the planet.
It should be also the day and the planetary hour of the planet.
The creation of a compound of herbs and stones
In both practical and theurgical Magic we use herbs, stones and sometimes also animals ruled by the God or Archetype whose energy we want to attract. If for example it is the Sun, you should use herbs, stones and solar animals, such as calendula, saffron, honey blonde, the heliotrope, gold, frankincense, amber, cinnamon, and among animals hawk, rooster and lion.
These things may be used separately (to draw the influence of a single planet) or in the form of compounds, if you want to draw the combined influence of some planets.
In his “De Vita coelitus comparanda” (a book I’ve recently translated into Italian) Marsilio Ficino explains how to use herbs, stones and compounds in order to attract celestial gifts.
However I want to go a bit further Ficino’s thought, particularly with regard to three aspects: 1) the Renaissance philosopher was interested in these compounds especially for "medical" purposes, namely to treat physical or psychic deseases, and in particular "melancholy" that often affects men of letters and intellectuals because of their saturnine nature that leads them to spend too many hours on the books. But I want to extend these Green Magic techniques to other purposes, not only of practical magic, but also for their ability to induce subliminal changes in the human spirit. My aim is to overcome the distinction between practical and spiritual Magic. Do not forget that the alchemist must learn to turn the material into the spiritual and vice versa, and to use certain things to cause changes on some aspects or dimensions of life that seem have nothing to do with them, because not connected to them by cause/effect relationships. Alchemists know how to recognize these hidden links, and may learn to do it experimentally, that is by a series of attempts 2) Ficino does not consider the transits on our natal chart when we use of compounds or other means to "receive life from heaven"; but experience shows that their effects are greatly enhanced if you use them during good transits of the planets that rule these substances 3) the traditional attribution of a certain thing at a certain planet is important, but there are also many other possible associations that bind to each others all the things of the world. These links are such and so many that they couldn’t be typed or typable, and therefore must be discovered by intuition, and above all by personal experience: there is nothing better than to make a series of tests in order to verify the effects that certain plants, stones or talismans produce in our lives.
In his treatise “De natura rerum” Paracelsus exposes the so-called Signatura Rerum theory. According to the great Renaissance magician and doctor all things are characterized by a sign that reveals their invisible qualities and powers. On this theory are also based the traditional arts of physiognomy, palmistry, geomancy and many other divinations. But this principle also applies to all other things, such as herbs, flowers, seeds, bark, roots etc ... For example, according to Paracelsus the power of euphrasy to cure eyes is revealed by those spots similar to eyes that we can see on its corolla. Similarly pomegranate seeds relieve dental pain because they have the shape of teeth. In other cases - as Giorgio Agamben points out - "the resemblance is metaphorical: the thorny thistle will relieve acute pain and stinging; the syderica, whose leaves bears the form and image of a snake, is an antidote against all kinds of poisoning". The signatures are therefore "natural hieroglyphics through which God reveals the hidden therapeutic virtues of herbs".
Once again my advice is to extend this way of thinking even beyond the strictly therapeutic field. Enjoy yourselves observing things and humans in order to identify their signature and freely experience the use of various substances to see if using them you obtain the desired changes, not forgetting to collect in a magical diary your observations about the results you will get. I assure you that this is a very exciting adventure and that you’ll discover wonderful things. This is partly because many of these associations will be personal, that is only or especially valid for yourselves: the combination of your rays (or, if you prefer, of your personal magnetism) with the rays of a certain thing (be it an herb, a gem or a talisman) could ensure that it has an effect on you, but this does not mean that it will also have on people characterized by a different signature.
If you want to develop your ability to recognize signatures and their underlying ideas I suggest you study the Egyptian hieroglyphs. They are the real Book of Thoth, the Egyptian god of knowledge, because they are the best symbolic representation of Archetypes. The effort that you have to understand their multiple levels of meaning will accustom your mind to connect each others things apparently quite different, but based on the same higher order
And now some observations about human signatures. Each person has a temperament which places him under the predominant influence of a certain planet, so it has a certain constitution, a certain hair and eye color, and even an unmistakable smell...Blond hair are typical of solar and venusian people, red hair characterize Martian types, brown has affinity with Jupiter and black with Saturn. Similarly, fine hair belong to Mercury, while the Martians have thick and bristly hair. We can often observe a mixture of these principles.
The identification of these signatures has also important spagyric applications. Spagyrists believe that to cure a certain organ is preferable to choose a plant of the same nature of the person to be treated, so for a venusian man the herbs of Venus will work better than for a
But we can extend these principles beyond medical uses. So things magically related to a certain thing or person you want to attract could be used as a real "magic bait". They can also be used in rituals, and herbs may be not only carried in silk bags, but also be frictioned every day on our body, so as to attract what in nature corresponds to that particular function, including other human beings. Even frequent fumigations help, because inhaling scents means to absorb the principle conveyed by them. The principle is always the same: the attractiveness Magic must take place within you first, and only afterwards can also occur in people or things in the world "outside".
To understand these signatures you should use intuition and analogical thinking rather than rationality: in this way you can easily associate by analogy to a certain person or thing one or more plants, animals, minerals etc ... Usually a mixture of herbs is more effective than a single substance, and that's because to form the various things of the world (including humans) Nature combines several functions. It should also be said that each herb is often governed by more than one planet, and therefore could be used with particular effectiveness on a person or thing which has the characteristics of both planets. For example, jasmine is ruled by Venus, but also secondarily by the Moon, so it may well be used to act on a person
or thing which has a Venus/Moon nature.
Ficino’s therapy for melancholy is based on the combined use of what he calls "the Three Graces", that is the Sun, Venus and Jupiter, and among these especially Jupiter. But there are people who may have deficiencies of other functions, and these techniques can be easily adapted to them by simply changing the planets, and so also the things to use.
To attract the influence of certain planets you have to collect herbs, stones and other substances and make and use compounds when the relevant planet or planets are in the astrological conditions about which we have already said. Moreover, in the case of compounds, to attract the three Graces, Ficino recommends to mix solar, jovial and Venusians things when the Moon is in good aspect with both the Sun and Jupiter, or conjointed Jupiter and sextile or trine Sun. If it’s impossibile to have the Moon in aspect with both, you can be satisfied with one aspect or conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter. Keep in mind that the astrological timing should be possibly respected not only when we harvest herbs and make a compound, but also when we use it, and for more specific effects should also be taken into account the principles of Electional Astrology which may help us to obtain certain things.
More generally, you have to put together herbs, minerals and animals ruled by the planet whose favors you desire to receive. For example, according to Ficino: "You can get favors from Venus through animals governed by her, and even through stones such as carnelian, sapphire, lapis lazuli, brass (yellow or red), coral, and all multi-coloured (or green) and graceful flowers, musical harmony color, and pleasant smells and tastes ".
Human spirit is hot and moist like Jupiter, and just like it abounds more in heat than in moisture. So its nature is mostly jovial, secondarily solar, and definitely less mercurial and Venusian. However, it is mainly through the sunrays and Jupiter that our spirit absorbs the Spirit of the World. It is therefore necessary to prepare our spirit so that it can receive these influences as much as possible, and first of all we should cleanse it from all impurities, even physical. Very important is the direct exposure to the rays of the Sun, which will be particularly effective when the Sun is in Aries or Leo and the Moon is sextile or trine Sun; this combination is even more powerful when there’s a trine with reception between the Sun in Aries (its sign of exaltation) and the Moon in Leo (the domicile of the Sun).
The effects are even stronger if the planet whose energy we want to draw is the most essentially dignified planet of the chart.
If you desire a more specific therapeutic effect it is necessary to take into account the nature of the planets. If for example you have to balance an excess of phlegm, the hot and dry Sun is to be preferred to Jupiter (which has a hot and moist nature); but if you have to balance excessive dryness, there is nothing better of the very moist Venus. Jupiter is good to balance black bile, and is therefore also very suitable for the melancholic mood, which is strongly influenced by the cold and dry Saturn.
Some compounds may be ingested, others will be used in other forms, such as ointments, fumigations, herbal bags and stones...They can also simply be exposed on the altar during a ritual and offered to a God.
Among the gems ruled by the three Graces, Ficino especially recommends emerald, hyacinth, sapphire, topaz and ruby, which should be placed in direct contact with the human body, for example by hanging them to the neck. And if your aim is to balance an excess of black bile caused by Saturn, the most effective are jovial and venusian gems, such as coral and chalcedony, but also sapphire and lapis lazuli. We should also mention agate, which is consecrated to Mercury, and so is good for eloquence and sight.
Although Ficino does not mention it, it is important to point out that when you harvest herbs and make a compound you should pronounce a spell: just a couple of verses, possibly rhythmed and rhymed, to pronounce while your fingers caress them to enable exchange of magnetism. A right should use the right hand, a left-hander the left. For example:
O magical cherry,
May these your flowers
help me to find new lovers!
The formula should be repeated in a low voice - and possibly chanted - several times, until you feel that herbs are imbued with power. All this should be done while you’re visualizing the desired goal.
Usually compounds are created placing herbs one at a time in a bowl; then you shoud pulverize them by a mortar. The spell is pronounced on every single herb as it is put into the bowl, and even successively, while herbs are pulverized and mixed.
Another method is to mix incenses ruled by the planets whose influence you desire to draw and burn them in the most suitable astrological moments.
Obviously you should not expect miracles from these practices: the events that will happen will not be such as to change your life ... but they will happen very quickly, and this is the best proof of their connection with your spell.
Do not forget that the most important of the synthemata is the congruence between the your requests and the astrological configurations. And also are necessary the other conditions listed by al-Kindi, that is the right mental and emotional state, the visualization of the desired result, and the faith or certainty of getting it.
If there’s no correspondence between your intentions and the astrological configurations, perhaps it’s better to recite a spell of a general nature, relying on cosmic harmony without pretending to impose your own purposes. You can be sure that you’ll get the heavenly gift more compatible with the planetary rays at that time.
If you feel in yourselves the defect of certain planetary archetypes and you want to fill this gap, you can gather and use some substances ruled by these planets. All this should be done at the right astrological moments and accompanied by prayers and incantations in order to spiritualize matter.
Our main sources concerning astrological talismans are Picatrix and Cornelius Agrippa’s Occult Philosophy. Talismans are one of the most popular means to attract celestial influences in a material medium, which is usually a metal or stone ruled by the planet to which the talisman is to be consecrated.
Ancients handed down a series of images to be engraved on talismans at the right astrological moments. Images are magical if they contain a trace of the platonic Idea on which you want to operate, and so also the substances to use, the invocations, incenses, the color of the candles, and above all the astrological timing, that should be chosen so to ensure the maximum strength and availability of the energy of the star or planet whose rays you aim to draw into our image.
The talismans of the Constellations to gain power over the whole chain of things and beings governed by them.
In his work Ficino also explains how to make the talismans of the constellations. They are engraved and consecrated when one of the main stars of the constellations is rising or culminating and the Moon is applying to it by a conjunction, a sextile or a trine.
The image should be engraved in a stone ruled by the star or constellation and set in a ring; under the stone you may place herbs ruled by the same. For example, for the Great Bear Ficino recommends magnet and iron.
If the image is engraved on a stone which also has in itself certain powers similar to the constellation’s ones, the effects will be stronger. For example, the bezoar is a stone that receives from Jupiter some powers against poisons, but it can be strengthened if under the influence of the celestial Scorpio you’ll engrave the image of a Scorpio.
These images give power over the whole chain of things and beings ruled by the constellation. So an image of the Serpent protects from snake venom.
I would suggest an extensive and analogical interpretation of the things that are ruled by each constellation. The Serpent (this constellation is also called Ophiuchus) rules not only snakes and serpentine grass, but also men similar to reptiles for their physical and moral qualities.
Another important point to note is that planets are at a lower level than that of the Fixed Stars, so that the real origin of each Chain is to be found in the latter, and not in the planets. For example, Saturn is the planet that has more in common with reptiles, so from this point of view also belongs to the chain that origins from the Serpent constellation. And of course its affinity with reptiles will be the greatest when it is in Scorpio. So these images have more power if engraved when not only the constellation, but also the planet that belongs to the same chain is strong.
The Picatrix provides detailed instructions for prayers that you can address to the planets even if you’ve not to consecrate a talisman. The first principle to remember is that a planet should only be prayed for those things that fall within its domain. So if you pray for an old man, you could invoke Saturn; if your prayer is in favor of a woman, Venus; if an astrologer or a mathematical pray for things related to their work, they should invoke Mercury, etc ...
According to the Picatrix sometimes things related to the Moon are accomplished by Venus, and vice versa, being both female and cold-moist planets. Similarly the things pertaining to Mars are sometimes accomplished by the Sun, and vice versa (they are both male and hot-dry planets). You should pray a planet when the Asc and/or the Moon are in a sign that well represents the required thing, and the results will be even better if the planet to which you address your prayer is the most essentially dignified planet of your natal chart. In addition to this, the planet should be in its domicile or exaltation, or at least in its triplicity and terms.
According to the Picatrix, if you want to escape from an evil caused by one of the malefics, your prayer should be addressed just to it. But the malefic planet should be in sextile or trine to the benefic which is able to better neutralize its effects (i.e. Venus for Mars and Jupiter for Saturn). If for example you want to pray Saturn to escape melancholy or another of its evils, it’s good to do it when Saturn is trine or sextile Jupiter. If you want to pray Mars, we should do it when it is in trine or sextile Venus.
Nevertheless, my experience has not always confirmed this principle. According to me, if your aim is to escape an evil of Mars or Saturn, you shouldn’t address your prayer to them: better, much better to pray Venus (to avoid evil brought by Mars) Jupiter (to avoid the evils of Saturn), especially if they are in harmonious aspect to the malefic.
This does not mean we should never invoke Mars and Saturn, but only that we can’t ask them to give us the things they detest.
For example, Mars loves competition, risks and fights; so if you’re frightened by something or someone and you want to avoid the danger, you shouldn’t address your prayer to Mars: it’s better to pray Venus. But if your aim is to become more courageous, you can certainly pray Mars according to the Picatrix instructions.
How to attract more strongly planetary influences
Compounds, talismans and prayers have a much greater effect if the magician is able to conform his mind and his soul to the planetary Forces which he wants to attract. So if you prepare some substances, talismans and rituals to draw the energy of the sun, but you lack any effort to tune mentally and spiritually to the Solar Archetype, you’d fail just the most important link in the chain, that is the inner state of the magician: his psyche belongs to the series of symbola and synthemata to put together in order to attract the heavenly influences.
Any magical change takes place primarily in our inner space, so how could your talismans and compounds have strong effects without your inner attuning?
Ficino himself emphasizes the importance of human imagination and thoughts in order to attract planetary influences. Anyone who usually creates talismans knows that some of them have very strong and immediate effects, while others have weaker effects. The reason is obvious: each of us is suited to attract by "sympathy" certain gifts from Heaven, but is less suitable to draw other things.
We know that according to the magical way of thinking there is a complex system of sympathies and antipathies that determines mutual attraction or repulsion between the various things and beings of the world. If a person is very rigid and saturnine, and so resistant to the pleasures of love, it is likely that a Venus talisman or a thirteenth lunar mansion talisman (which is specific for the erotic love) will have modest effects on him. Al-Kindi would say that the rays emitted by the talisman does not harmonize well with the rays of the one who made it. It’s likely that a person who leads a secluded and lonely life tend to not take advantage of the erotic opportunities created by a love talisman, or even tend to avoid them. And we know that according to traditional astrology Venus and Saturn are "enemies": to draw venusian influences, you should go out, stay with friends, go to parties, follow your emotions and feelings, and more generally enjoy the pleasures of life. In short, the exact opposite of what tends to make a saturnine person.
So the consecration of a talisman should always be preceded by a period of analysis and inner transformation: do you really desire that kind of effect? How do you intend to change your life in order to receive more strongly that celestial influence?
In this way you could transform your mind and spirit, so that they will be more in sympathy
with your magical aims. This is the best way to ensure that a talisman and any other magical operation will produce stronger effects.
If you follow these instructions, you’ll note how any difference between "practical" and "spiritual" magic disappears.
Ficino also emphasizes the importance of the "occult conclusions" conceivable by human mind, and specifies that they belong to Saturn. This involves the awareness of the symbolic and spiritual meaning of the “material” purpose of your talisman.
The question is: how could these internal and external changes favour our spiritual evolution? Note that all this is true even if your rite has a so practical nature and purposes that is almost impossible to find in it a spiritual meaning. For example a person who decides to make a talisman to ensure the regular collection of his credits. Well, even in these cases it is always possible to identify a higher meaning, which in our example would be the very idea of Justice, according to which everyone’s rights should be guaranteed, and among these the right to receive money we have lent.
In short, we should live in the so-called "material" world bearing in mind that it does not really exist, being only the manner in which the spirit is manifested in our consciousness.
How to give more power to your invocations. The magical use of music.
The astral magician should also be a skilled shaman, so he should know the ritual use of
music, dance and other ritual gestures that are in sympathy with the things he wants to draw
and with the nature of the invoked planet. The same invocations are more effective if they are written in rhymed verse and if they have a hypnotic and repetitive nature rather than logic and rational. Your prayer should also establish a clear link between the celestial configurations and your magical purposes.
For example: "May Venus receives my prayer as now receives by a trine the Moon in her domicile"!
Keep in mind that the connection with the celestial configurations is ensured not so much and not only from an explicit mention of them during the rite, but above all by the form and content of the invocation, which should be modelled on the characteristics of the celestial configurations whose influence you want to draw.
If for example you compose a hymn to the Sun, you should praise its virtues, such as its giving life to the Earth by its light and warmth. In addition to this, the same sounds and verses you compose should be luminous and majestic. And if your magical purpose resembles a myth that relates to the Sun or one of its gods, you could make an explicit mention to it. And if the Moon is in trine to the Sun, you may celebrate the wonderful effects of an harmonious combination of the masculine and feminine Principles at all levels of Creation. ...
Do not forget to invoke the names of the Intelligences that rule the planet. .
By the time I became convinced that hymns written by ourselves and modelled on the astrological configurations of the chosen moment and on our purposes are the most effective.
If possible, hymns or prayers should be recited in their original language: the Psalms are more effective if recited in Hebrew (or at least in Latin), and the Orphic Hymns should be recited in ancient greek.
One of the means suggested by Marsilio Ficino to align the mind to heavenly life is to compose or play music whose nature is similar to the celestial configurations whose influence you desire to draw. If for example you want to draw the beneficial energy of a Venus-Jupiter trine, you may use songs and music of a Venus-Jupiter nature.
Following the instructions of Ficino, in a first moment you should identify the possible meanings and effects of a certain astrological configuration; then you should compose music and words suited to them: your songs should approve what they bring to the world and to criticize what they deny or take away. Ficino also suggests to adapt the words to the planet that rules the place or the person on which you intend to act. Finally, you should understand which kind of actions, music or speeches the astrological configurations will induce in human beings, so that your song may also imitate these things. In this way you’ll be in sympathy with that part of Heaven that promotes these things, so it will be easier to draw its celestial gifts.
If you’re not a musician, you may simply choose one or more songs and listen to them in the more suited astrological moments, even better while singing and dancing. The important thing is that you don’t do it in a mechanical and passive manner, but with the precise intention of drawing certain heavenly gifts in your life.
The magical use of transits on your birth chart and other relevant charts: how to enhance harmonic transits.
Most of the techniques we have described have more significant impacts if your rites are performed during good transits on your birth chart. This is especially true for prayers and gathering of herbs and flowers. These practices have more ephemeral effects than talismans.
Herbs and flowers produce their greatest effects within a few days, so to gather and enchant herbs during good transits of the planet that rules them is a very powerful mean to magnify
the effects of these transits.
And the effects are even stronger if we also consider the transited planet. If for example Jupiter is transiting in trine to your natal Sun, we may gather both jovial and solar herbs, and then mix them to make a compound.
Following Al-Kindi, the material world is a product of an intricate intersection of rays that can reinforce or weaken each other, so you coul ask if and to what extent it is useful to make talismans that have a good synastry with our birth chart. Although the astrological and magical tradition does not treat this point, it is evident that a good synastry with our birth chart makes stronger the effects of any talisman. Of particular importance is the planet whose energy you want to draw. If for example you make a love talisman, Venus conjoint, sextile or trine your natal Venus or to your Asc/Disc (or maybe even in good aspect to some other important point of our birth chart) will improve the talisman’s effects.
Similarly in a wealth talisman planets should be in good aspect with your second house and/or with its lord.
But this does not mean that a good synastry with your birth chart is essential: it can only add something more, but it is a little thing if compared to the general effects of the talisman.
My experience has also consistently confirmed the importance of the synastry between the talisman chart and other relevant charts. For example a love talisman may be harmonized with the first meeting chart or with the birth chart of the beloved.
This also applies to the choice of the moment in which to gather and mix herbs and flowers. The most important aspects are those that involve the two luminaries, the natural significators, the angles, and in a first meeting chart even the significators of the two persons.
According to my experience, a good synastry with these charts is the most effective way to direct the effects toward a particular person or thing.
Also useful is the repetition of the same aspects in the two charts: if for example in a first meeting chart the two are represented by Mercury and Jupiter in an applicative trine, it could be an excellent idea to make a talisman when Mercury and Jupiter are joined by a harmonic aspect or conjunction, and of course the effects will be more powerful if the radix and the electional aspect are also in good aspect each other. Example: if in a first meeting chart Mercury is at 5° Aquarius applying by a trine to Jupiter at 9° Libra, a talisman to strenghten love may be consecrated when Mercury is in the first part of Gemini and conjunct, sextile or trine Jupiter, because in this case there is not only a new contact between the two planets, but also a harmonious aspect that creates a connection between the two charts.
But I will say more: these aspects tend to create effects on these persons even apart from any specific intention. Incidentally, I note that there is nothing ethically questionable in using magic to improve our relationship with a certain person, for the simple reason that in any case it will never happen nothing that is not already written in the natural order of things. The first real Magician, in fact, is Nature itself. Al-Kindi would say that if your rays combine badly with those of a certain person there is no magic that could create love.
How to direct or neutralize dangerous transits
But what about bad transits? Note that the following considerations could be applied also to
directions and progressions.
If there are all the celestial conditions to make a good planetary talisman, you can still proceed without any risk. But a part from talismans, if you want simply address a prayer or invocation to Mars or Saturn, you should avoid the days in which they transit in bad aspect to important points in your birth chart, because in that period the god is not well disposed toward you. So there’s the risk that the ritual will attract more strongly these unfriendly energies.
It’s best to prepare yourself in advance: you should perform your rite while Mars and Saturn are in a good celestial aspect to their respective “friend” planet, as we have already said. Or you may use some psycho-magic means, such as some voluntary “sacrifices” in order to direct these energies in a certain direction.
Following Ficino, we can say that when you fear a Saturn transit or direction, you should try to attract Jupiter in every aspect of your life: food, clothes, thoughts, talismans, prayers, everything should be conformed to Jupiter’s nature and values. And the same goes for Mars, but in this case the corresponding benefic is Venus.
But what about a homeopathic remedy? Would it be effective? In my opinion it is, but not during bad transits of the relevant planet. Suppose you need a surgery treatment during a transit of Mars, which is also the natural significator of surgery. If Mars is transiting badly on your natal chart, you should not address to Mars: it’s better to address to Heaven as a whole, for example by engraving an “atypical” image under the best planetary configurations for your purpose according to the general principles of electional astrology. The so-called atypical images are based on elections which take in account not only the natural significators, but also the accidental ones (i.e. houses and their lords). It is the technique exposed by Thabit Ibn Qurra in his De imaginibus. On these images you engrave the glyph of the ruler of the day and of the hour, of the Asc and of the dispositor of the Moon. The invocation may be addressed to the planetary Forces as a whole, asking them to direct the electional chart toward certain things or persons. But we may also address to the planets whose glyph has to be engraved on the talisman, provided they are also good significators of your purposes.
How to live in full awareness of the celestial transits conforming to them our thoughts and actions
In order to draw more strongly a certain planetary influence, you can also try a very simple exercise: during harmonic applications of the Moon to a certain planet, you should try to conform as far as possible your mood, thoughts and actions to the nature of this planet.
In a more complex form this harmonization effort takes into account not just an aspect, but all the celestial configurations: you should understand some of their possible meanings and try to identify yourself with them.
But the results will be much better if the transiting configurations are also in aspect to your birth chart. So you should operate during these transits, that is when there’s also an objective connection between the Macrocosm and your Microcosm. Even lunar transits have much stronger effects than usual when the Moon applies to a planet which is the same natal planet simultaneously transited by the Moon.
In such cases, the individual Microcosm vibrates in unison with the Macrocosm, so that we can partake with more intensity and awareness of the Universal Life.
In conclusion I think that Electional Astrology and Astrological Magic represent interesting new fields of research for contemporary astrologers. These practices can overturn the common conception of astrology: no more forecast about how things will go, but choose and arrangement of the best magical means to cause the desired changes.
Thus, to quote Eugenio Garin, "through the knowledge of the secret language of the stars, the Wise wins the stars". So it becomes possible “a secret domain of reality down to its deepest roots, because Astral Magic is really the culmination of Knowledge and speculative perfection, but above all exceptional power."
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