The Talismans of the Inescapable Prison

THE TALISMANS OF THE INESCAPABLE PRISON: Fast Moon culminating in the 25th Mansion perfecting a trine with the Greater Benefic, with a dignified and unafflicted Ascendant Ruler.

2017-03-24-twenty-fifth-mansion-strengthen-captives-prisons2

The 25th Mansion generally is for the protection of orchards and crops as per the Plinian Mansion section of Picatrix, but the “Foundational Mansions” early section in the same gives a number of other options for people with brown thumbs like myself.

In this Mansion make images to besiege cities and villages, to take enemies captive and do as much evil to them as you please, to make messengers convey their messages and quickly return, to separate wives from their husbands, to destroy harvests, to bind a man and wife or a woman and her husband so that they cannot copulate, to bind whichever part of the human body you wish so that it is not able to function, to strengthen the prison of captives; and it is good to secure buildings.

Of course, the majority of these options are for curse talismans and would require a completely different sort of election.

But this raises a different question: clearly the hastening of messengers and the securing of buildings are benevolent and require benefic electional configurations, but what about the strengthening the prison of captives? And what is it with so many of the listings in this section either for the securing of captives or the liberation of prisoners? It’s really conspicuous when you look at them as a whole.

The most obvious possibility is that magicians were often in danger of imprisonment in antiquity and having a memorized list of potential talismans for escape was a priority. Another is that magicians were often in the employ of nobles who had a strong interest in securing enemies and rivals in their personal dungeons to fortify their positions. However, I don’t think this explains it all.

Usually SIM texts are painfully literal at times regarding the function of talismanic recipes, but I suspect this may be an exception; I think it is also for strengthening the binding of spirits. The reason I believe this is that Picatrix does make references to spirit binding throughout the text suggesting that the method is quite important but is curiously evasive about specifics. To me that suggests the methods appear in coded language elsewhere in the text, and this is one of my favorite speculations– that the references to prisons and prisoners are applicable equally to human beings, spirits, and even perhaps animals.

In any case, that’s all speculation for now.

The next quandary is whether strengthening a prison is benevolent or malevolent?

My take is that it is benevolent, considering that the alternative is a jailbreak. Breaking out of a prison is a form of destruction, albeit a desirable one from the subjective viewpoint of the prisoner. This is especially clear in this case when Jupiter is prominent in the electional configuration, whose attributes prioritize the augmentation and strengthening of things. Strengthening a prison is similar to the securing of buildings which is another electional option, which is unambiguously benevolent.

This election was specifically for the strengthening the prison of captives, which is especially suitable considering that the 25th Mansion’s name translates (according to some) as “the star of the dungeons.”

I should note that this election does not bind or imprison; it only fortifies bindings and imprisonments which already are in place.

The Moon was quite fast, applying a perfected trine to Jupiter. However, it was also applying a sextile to Mercury which is the dignified and unafflicted Ascendant Ruler, therefore reinforcing the significators. The Moon is also applying a somewhat loose sextile to Saturn which is the ruler of the Moon’s Sign and a very strong consideration for success according to Picatrix electional rules — even though it is a Malefic.

There are possible negatives. The Ascendant Ruler is applying a trine to Saturn, which by Picatrix rules would weaken it. However, Mercury and Saturn have a natural amity and the trine should soften any weakening. Saturn is in a malefic Face and is in the 7th House but not on the Descendant, so I think that’s acceptable. The malevolence of Saturn might make the imprisonment particularly harsh, or it may not factor in in any way. A counterindication is the role of Jupiter, which may make the imprisonment pleasant. And while Jupiter is retrograde, I do not believe this has any pertinence to the election since the planet is in a supportive role rather than being a principal player.

Six quartz crystal cabochons were made into talismans. The suffumigation was gum mastic.

The top of the cabochon was inscribed with a crescent Moon, and below it a chain with five or seven links depending upon the size of the gem. Below it were three words: STRENGTHEN, CAPTIVES, PRISONS; each below the last. On the back was inscribed an X for ease of the Mansion spirit’s entry.

Normally I would have inscribed the name of the Mansion Ruler, but tarot advised against it. Perhaps the Ruler uses a different name for orchards and imprisonments.

The Mighty Winds of Zizaubio

pleiades_ritual_1-1

The following is a ritual I use a month or so before I travel by air. It requires the use of a Pleiades Ring from the Quindecim Stellis and any other Pleiades talismans you might have handy. It controls winds so that storms are blown out of the path of the airplane or other vehicles I and friends may use to get wherever and back. It’s very powerful and effective.

The text is a modification of material from the Greek Magical Papyri and the Quindecim Stellis and my own labors. Someone had been asking for a ritual which evoked the seven sisters by name, and in fact I’ve been using this for many years by now.

For the election the Moon should be applying to conjoin or making an amicable aspect to Alcyone and the latter should be on the Ascendant. Try to keep the Moon at least eight degrees off the Ascendant if you can.

The Ring of the Pleiades from the Quindecim Stellis should be anointed and worn and the hand held aloft. Additionally any other talismans should be exposed or held in the other hand as appropriate and any lamps of the Pleiades should be lit. Frankincense grains should be burned as a suffumigation with or without fennel.

Zizaubio is the spelling from the Greek Magical Papyri but it’s pronounced Zeezowbeaw, and I include both in the text.

O, mighty and beautiful star cluster of the Pleiades, O Seven Sisters, I call upon thee in your names of Alcyone, Maia, Taygete, Electra, Celoeno, Sterope and Merope, that you swiftly raise great winds so that storms, delays, confusions and troubles are sent far away from N.N. etc in all of our travels–and may our homes likewise be protected while we travel for our safe return.

I ask this here and now in the name of the angel of my nativity N. and my rights and privileges as [initiatory hierarchy stuff] and an initiate of thy court.

I call upon you, Holy Angel Zeezowbeaw (ZIZAUBIO) from the company of the Pleiades to whom you are subordinate and serve for all things, for whatever she may command you: you great indestructible fire-breathing one; who casts the tether of Heaven, through which tether all things turn upon Earth.

And also I call upon you; yourselves, who are angels who have been stationed beneath Zeezowbeaw’s power. Hence I call upon you all–that you come quickly in this hour to protect us and facilitate all of our journeys, along all of our respective paths.

I conjure you O lord who rises above the Earth of the whole cosmic region, by the One ruling the whole inhabited world and the benefactor of all.

Hence I call upon you in this hour and ask that you protect us and speed us safely and happily along to our destinations, O Angel Zeezowbeaw.

May this talisman and ring I wear forever and ever protect and increase the light of the eyes, raise winds, gather dæmones and spirits of the dead to come and speak, and make me know of secret and hidden things; at my will, at my command, and at my desire.

I ask this in the name of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades; Alcyone, Maia, Taygete, Electra, Celoeno, Sterope and Merope, and in the name of the Angel of the Pleiades, Zeezowbeaw; and all of the spirits of the Pleiades.

AMEN.

© 2017 Clifford Hartleigh Low

February 2017 Convention Schedule

I will be lecturing at both PantheaCon in California and ConVocation in Michigan this February, along with many other esteemed colleagues and friends. Please consider attending either or both.


PantheaCon 2017

On Saturday, February 18th at 1:30pm–

Eat Me: Magical Recipes in Medieval Astrological Magic

Though better known for the creation of talismans, medieval and Renaissance astrological magic texts contain further recipes and instructions. Many are intended to be consumed, buried, or burned, with numerous purposes and means of creation. Yet they all point towards a forgotten view of the universe and magic. From counting olive pips to cure illnesses to the creation of wax talismans or incense pills for evocation and influence, such mysteries depend on the philosophies of Al Kindi and his contemporaries. Explore how the outlook of the ancients can enhance our spiritual practices.


ConVocation 2017

On Thursday, February 23rd at 8:30pm–

DIY Talismans

Astrological talismans from the Scholastic Image Magic tradition often seem as challenging to make as they are powerful. After electing the window of time in which a talisman can be created, one must confect incenses, select appropriate sigils, and obtain tools and materials for the talismans. We will discuss how to create a talismanic laboratory, the process of practical considerations including choosing the best combinations, knowing which substitutions do and don’t work, and time and money saving strategies. Take the theory of talismans into real life creations and applications.

On Friday, February 24th at 4:00pm–

About Time: Basic Chart Calculation

Invaluable to numerous systems of magic, the astrological horoscope is a Swiss army knife for divination, classical medicine, and much else. One of the most advanced achievements of the ancient world, the horoscope can often be perplexing for beginners. This class will focus on the basics of erecting a horoscope chart. We will attempt to demystify the process and render the math easy, while also explaining the essentials of its parts, some of history of its development, and the rationale of the chart from the traditional (pre-1750 AD) perspective.

On Saturday February 25th at 4:00pm–

Fearless Magical Protection

It’s a jungle out there. In most magical systems one of the first things you are taught is basic protection against spiritual attacks, and for good reason. A magical life is a perilous one at times. As you become more proficient, the need for protection grows and takes new forms. This class will survey practical methods of protection from a variety of spiritual systems and methodologies. Some of these techniques are unpublished anywhere and likely to be unfamiliar, but have proven very effective. Magical protection will help secure your success.

 

On Scholastic Image Magic

cropped-736d698e-bef2-483e-b44c-c7266c7c0f08.jpg

Scholastic Image Magic or SIM was one of two main branches of magical practice in the Medieval Era and the Renaissance. It was heavily influenced by the science of the Arabic world, and incorporated astrology, optics, mathematics, and the philosophy of antiquity. The European version was an outgrowth of Medieval Scholasticism; a movement which attempted to reconcile Christianity with the works of Plato, Aristotle and the mystical Neoplatonists.

Scholastic Image Magic focuses primarily upon the creation of talismans; objects created or modified to become repositories of celestial light which alter the attributes and destinies and basic nature of anything in their proximity, including human beings.

It also includes celestial petitions, which are akin to highly ritualized prayers which facilitate the granting of expressed wishes. This is where Scholastic Image Magic and theurgy, the other main branch, cross over.

(The other branch is also sometimes called necromancy, depending on emphasis. It largely focuses on angel magic and spirit evocation, and use of Biblical charms and sometimes variants of Kabbalah. There is significant overlap, but the rationales for these traditions are different at heart.)

Both the creation of talismans and the making of petitions are endowed power largely through astrological timing. Some have asserted that Scholastic Image Magic is a subcategory of Electional Astrology, the choosing of fortunate times. It certainly is dependent upon it; but I and others believe in the importance of the materials used as well. There is no way to become minimally competent in this tradition of magic without being very skilled in Medieval or Renaissance Era Astrology.

Scholastic Image Magic may also include the creation of confections, suffumigations (incenses), and potions; though these are often considered to be alchemy.

Many of us who have experimented with Scholastic Image Magic believe it to be the most powerful (and sometimes dangerous) form of magic in Western history. The demands usually exceed those of other magical traditions in numerous ways, and the results are proportional. It is not for the dilettante. Many of us have studied under Christopher Warnock, whose RenaissanceAstrology.com is a great place to learn a major flavor of this from tabula rasa. Without having some background in the generalities of Traditional Astrology you’ll probably be very confused. John Michael Greer often describes this stuff as the rocket science of the Middle Ages. (And he should know, because he translated Picatrix with Christopher Warnock a few years back.)

Scholastic Image Magic has a body of literature which we refer to frequently. The most central text is the Picatrix, which has two popular editions at present. Another, harder to find text is the Treasure of Alexander. Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books on Occult Philosophy (especially the upcoming complete Eric Purdue translation) is an excellent source for Scholastic Image Magic and much else besides, and large portions of the somewhat derivative The Magus from Francis Barrett are appropriate. Though the available version of De Imaginibus is purged of suffumigation recipes and incantations, it is still of great value. I find the Liber Lunae to be very fascinating, and has had an influence on Kabbalah. The Mysterium Sigillorum and the Kyranides have content of interest. Many shorter texts such as the Quindecim Stellis and De Mineralibus, Seals & Stones of Solomon, Seals & Sigils of Chael, Talismans of Hermes, and the Seals of Thetel are also very important, and sections of the works of Giordano Bruno and even parts of the so-called Greater Key of Solomon merit study. But all of this is built upon a foundation of antique astrology and metaphysics, such as the essential writers Guido Bonatti, Johannes Sacrobosco, and Abu Yusuf Al-Kindi, which the authors expected the readers to have expertise in.

I have studied and practiced Scholastic Image Magic in a very focused way for over a decade, I have witnessed it cure incurable diseases, draw hundreds of thousands of dollars from nowhere, conjure storms, raise and banish spirits, repel dangerous animals, hypnotize and compel obedience, and make a subject fall hopelessly in love. In my own experience it is vastly closer to the kind of magic which appears in myths and Fantasy literature than anything else I’ve seen. (And I have expertise in many other traditions of magic, which have their own distinctive advantages.)

If this tickles your fancy and you’re considering putting in the effort, welcome aboard. SIM is one of my very favorite flavors of magic. If it isn’t your cup of tea, there’s a lot of additional material on my blog to inform and tantalize.

picatrix-miracles

On Jupiter’s Temperateness

As a followup to my other Jupiter posts; I have ruminated at great length on the topic since I wrote that a few years ago and it’s worth expounding upon.

Jupiter’s temperateness is a concept hard to convey in contemporary terms. Jupiter has the capacity to augment, but ultimately it is the active promotion of positive normalcy.

When you restore your device to default settings because it wasn’t working correctly, you are engaged in something akin to the purpose of Jupiter. Long before the revisionists (for religious reasons) switched the colors of Jupiter, astrologers assigned to him the colors white and yellow. Today, I’d add khaki and taupe; the colors of mildness and normalcy. The colors of the neutral, reliable default settings.

Jupiter’s powers are not those of inertia but the strength of the middle path. The Greater Benefic manifests through ordinary goodness in things.

Jupiter is used most prominently in healing magic and protective magic, because in both cases the ideal is physical normalcy and security from the difficult and abnormal.

This is why Jupiter is so hard to understand. It is the planet most defined in negatives; it is the planet most akin to the Air Element. It is invisible until something is awry. Unless one is suffocating in a vacuum or being blown about in a gale, one can easily forget that the atmosphere is not simply empty space. It is not empty space; it is what enables all life to be possible.

This is why Kabbalists felt that the intelligences of Jupiter were secret interlocutors to the godhead. It is the Divine which sets the defaults, which defines the rules, which establishes health and longevity and the good.

The cleanliness of the empty canvas or the unwritten page are not voids. They are abundances of possibilities. This is the secret of Jupiter– the hidden hand that always is helping, and often helping better because of its obscurity.

The abnormal is marvelous but seldom is it good. The normal is taken for granted easily, but it is the doorway to the good. And this is the case because — in astrological terms at least — the Divine world has rigged cosmic law slightly in our favors. The default is, surprisingly, benevolent.

A Venus Petition

VENUS PETITON: Venus and Moon in Taurus, Cancer ASC, Moon triumphed, Venus sextile ASC.

2016-05-09-venus-petition

Talismanic elections have been few and far between of late, and I’m taking a break from curse talismans for a while– so that leaves petitions. This one was slightly experimental.

Now, the key with petitions as opposed to talismans is that you’re trying to arrange a relationship between the petitioner and the planetary hierarchy in question using the chart. So instead of putting a strong planet on the ASC or MC and thus make the talisman an embodiment of the planetary strength, you make the planet aspect the ASC or ASC ruler in a benevolent manner. This represents assistance rather than embodiment. ASC and ASC Ruler need to be fortified, the planet petitioned needs to be fortified, and the Moon needs to be unafflicted.

This election has Cancer on the ASC and the Moon is exalted, fast, applying in perfection with a Benefic and (arguably) triumphed by “reverse besiegement”, protected by combustion in her own Sign, the Ruler of the Moon’s Sign is not cadent, and she is in a benevolent succedent House. Venus is very essentially dignified, applying by sextile to the ASC (and Venus loves sextiles more than trines), and is protected by combustion in her own Sign. The pars fortuna is also on the ASC. Day of Venus by both Arab/Jewish and Zoroastrian/Christian planetary days, but not Hour.

Nice stuff.

The negatives are that the Moon is in fact separating from conjunction with Venus, and one may be concerned about the combustions of Moon and Venus but since both are highly dignified in Taurus and the Sun is also there, it is a good case for these planets shielded by the flames rather than burnt. The 4th Lunar Mansion is not ideal for most matters of Venus, but you can’t have everything.

The petition text was taken from Picatrix, and I attempted the “dress in the manner of Arabians” option. But only if the Arabs in question were fond of terrycloth bathrobes. I’ll hope Venus has a sense of humor about it. I wanted to do more than dress in blue, and I just wasn’t feeling like doing a ritual in drag this morning.

The suffumigation listed was gall, frankincense, gum mastic, long pepper, and raisins. I don’t have any gall, but I took pomegranate seeds from one of the alternate suffumigation recipes and made do. It was very smoky and I teared up a lot.

I won’t say what I asked for, but it wasn’t necessarily what you think. The following are from Picatrix in various places:

“Ask from Venus the desire for copulation, the virtue of causing loves and enthusiasms and expelling sorrow and sloth, invigorating the appetite, increasing generation, multiplying children, extinguishing fire, and being safe from animals.”

“Venus is the source of the power of flavor. And she rules grammar and the art of measuring sound and song. Among languages she has Arabic; among the internal organs, the right nostril, and among internal organs, those that meet in sexual intercourse and project sperm, and the stomach, and those from which come the virtue and flavor in eating and drinking; among religion, Islam; among clothing, all painted clothing; and of professions, all professions of painting and shaping, selling things that smell good, playing instruments that are good to listen to, singing, dancing and making stringed instruments; among flavors, all sweet things that taste good; and of places, place of vice, places in which men seek healing, and in which men dance, and places of cheerfulness where there is singing and speech, and places of ladies and beautiful women, and also places of eating and drinking; and of precious stones, pearls, and of rocks, lapis lazuli and almartach; and of plants, all plants with a good odor like saffron and arhenda, roses and all flowers with a good odor and smell and are pleasant to look at; among medicines balsam and grains of julep, and those that emit a strong smell, such as nutmeg and amber; among animals, females, camels that are beautiful and all beautiful animals with symmetrical bodies such as gazelles, sheep, gazelles, hares, partridges, calandras and the like. Among small animals, she has those that are colorful and beautiful; among colors, sky blue and gold tending a little to green.”

“Venus is cold and moist, and a fortune. She signifies cleanliness, splendor, preciousness, word games, delight in music, joy, adornments, laughter, pictures, beauty, loveliness, playing music by the voice or stringed instruments; delighting in marriage, desiring spices and things that have good odors; sending dreams; provoking games of chess and dice; desiring to lie with women and to fall in love with them and receiving promises from them; desiring to appear beautiful, loving liberty, magnanimity of heart, and joy. She abhors anger, brawling, vengeance, and lawsuits; she desires to serve the desires and wills of friends concerning the world’s opinion; tends toward false promises; is inclined to cupidity; desires to drink much; incessantly desires much copulation, and of shameful kinds, and to do it in inappropriate places, as women are accustomed to do with one another; delighting in animals and children and in making them good; making things equal; delighting in merchants and living with them and being loved by their women; and that they may be delighted by men. When she is well received, she plays a part in the making of crowns, building stables and working in stone, having sweet speech, disdaining the world and having no fear of it; sustaining people so that neither anger, strife, or discord can be felt by them; it designates a weak heart and a weak will in lawsuits and combat, and signifies desire for all beautiful combinations of things which may be in conformity with the will; making colors and laboring diligently in skills involving them; selling merchandise, spices, and prayers; those who observe the religious law; and those who adhere to sciences and philosophies of forbidden kinds.”