Making Planetary Magic

On Tuesday morning (GMT), 22 November 2022, on the Day of Mars, the Sun slips from the murky depths of Scorpio, into the golden haze of Sagittarius where it remains until 21 December.

During this entire period, your overriding goal must be (1) deciding what is worth having and then (2) mobilising forces solid and determined enough to get and keep it. 

Let’s get started:

First and foremost, this cannot be a gut-instinct exercise. The Sun is now in Sagittarius, not Scorpio. Sagittarius ruled by Zeus, the King of the Olympias, is tasked with bringing order to the universe. As the result, every part of this process must be well informed. 

Warning:

Avoid running afoul of the most common mistakes in effective decision-making: you are not too busy to take the necessary time to do this right and although you will bear the responsibility for this decision, it is wise to involve trusted friends and interested others. Likewise, good decision-making is not a linear process – you should not expect to move seamlessly from point A to B to C. Instead, consider the feedback loop process: gather information, review it, and go back for more. Rinse and repeat until satisfied you’ve covered all the necessary bases. You may also benefit from keeping a written record of everything you’ve found and considered. Finally, remember there are more ways to achieve your goals than you might think. Especially these days, it’s easy to fall in line with the ideas and advice offered by friends, neighbours, family members and social media contacts. Consider that one of the primary reasons they are your friends et al, is because they think just like you.

First Step:

From now until 2 December, the Sun is in the first decan of Sagittarius, where the rulers are Mercury and Jupiter. Mercury’s job is to connect the dots, but those connections will be worthless unless they reflect a commensurate level of truth, however, defined.[1] Jupiter is involved with educators, priests, and lawyers. Thus it’s not hard to see that at the core of this exercise, is gathering accurate, reliable, and relevant information to inform your choices.

However, this might prove trickier than you might otherwise think. 

Second Step:

For starters, Mars (how we go about getting what we want), is pedalling backwards through the sky (in retrograde) in the zodiac sign of Gemini.

Here, Mars is of two minds, more likely than not restlessly flipping from one to the other (and back again). As the lesser malefic, Mars also speaks to the conflict that inevitably arises when we feel pressurized to get something done. In Gemini, Mars is much more likely to succumb to snarky satire than purposeful action.

Worse, this Mars is in a square, or challenging aspect, with Jupiter, the ruler of the zodiac sign of Sagittarius. Picture trying to fit a round peg into a square hole (or vice versa). 

Add a touch of Neptune (conjunct Jupiter in Pisces) to the mix, and we’re easily off to some dream-laden fog where we’re much more likely to see the forest for the trees.

Third Step:

In essence, our minds act as categorization machines, busily taking in vast amounts of messy data and then simplifying and structuring it to make sense of the world. For any such categorization to be of value, it must first be valid. Arbitrary divisions are not acceptable. As Plato suggests, valid categories must ‘carve nature at its joints’ as is the difference between a snake and a stick. Secondly, such categorization must be useful. In other words,  the chosen categories must behave differently in some meaningful way. Consider how your ability to differentiate between snakes and sticks can help you survive a walk in the woods.  

Unfortunately, categorical thinking can be dangerous. 

First, it leads us to compress members of categories, treating them more alike than they are. For example, all stick-sized snakes are dangerous. Secondly, it can encourage us to rely on stereotypes which in turn, leads to inaccurate conclusions. For example, although there are about 3,000 species of snakes (large and small) worldwide, only 10-15% of them are dangerous to humans. But it’s all too common for people to assume that every snake they might encounter is dangerous. Thirdly, categorical thinking tends to make us favour certain categories over others. If we’re on the lookout for stick-sized snakes, we’re prone to missing the twig-sized ones.

You can minimize these dangers by consciously reviewing your conclusions and checking them against the facts. Again, there’s no harm in reaching out for a second opinion.

Fourth Step:

To enhance your work, consider invoking the help of Mercury. This process can be as formal or informal as you’d like. But remember unless you have experience in planetary magic, short and simple is safer.

For example, you may sit quietly on a Wednesday (the day of Mercury) at the moment of sunrise where you are (the hour of Mercury) and light a candle. Mercury is especially partial to emerald green or but white will do just as well. If you have some spicy incense (cinnamon or frankincense works well), use that too.

You might also visualise a caduceus whilst at the same time reciting:

Hermes, draw near, and to my pray’r incline, Angel of Jove, and Maia’s son divine; Prefect of contest, ruler of mankind, With heart almighty, and a prudent mind. Celestial messenger of various skill, Whose pow’rful arts could watchful Argus kill. With winged feet ’tis thine thro’ air to course, Emblems of Mercury

O friend of man, and prophet of discourse; Great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine In arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine. With pow’r endu’d all language to explain, Of care the loos’ner, and the source of gain. Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod, Corucian, blessed, profitable God.

Of various speech, whose aid in works we find, And in necessities to mortals kind. Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere, Be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear; Assist my works, conclude my life with peace, Give graceful speech, and memory’s increase.

(Orphic hymn to Mercury)

Before petitioning any planet for help, it’s essential you are clear about precisely that with which you seek help. 

Maybe you decide you’d like Mercury to help in constructing a decision tree to combine (a) action choices with (b) different possible events or results of those actions, which are in part determined purely by chance or other circumstances outside your control.

Equally, you may ask him for a dream to help you understand your current dilemma in greater depth.

But remember that Mercury is a trickster god, and often he works by forcing you to see things differently. With Mercury, it’s best never to accept anything at face value.

Final Step:

With any planetary magic, it’s also wise to write your petition on a piece of paper. Should anything go wrong either during your invocation or afterwards, simply burn the paper with the intention that the petition and everything in its wake are null and void. 


[1] For help here, look to Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed by Simon Blackburn (Penguin Books, 2006). 

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