Alchemy

The Daemon of Carl Jung

In Plato’s Republic(The Myth of Ur), souls cue up to choose their next life and are assigned a daemon – an overseer for that life. In classic astrology, daemon could be determined using one’s natal chart and as the result, it was incumbent upon the individual to establish contact with (or invoke) his or her daemon. In many respects, this was exactly what Jung was doing whilst writing and illustrating the Red Book, which he considered to the ‘prima materia’ for his life’s work.

Daemon can be understood as fate – but not fate in the sense that it comes from outside us. Instead, daemon is our personal unconscious pushing through the creative impulse to encourage us to accomplish that which we are meant to do. Naturally, you may choose to reject or ignore Daemon (or your fate) but there is a price to be paid. Equally, following Daemon (either eagerly or begrudgingly) does not guarantee you an easy ride.

Carl Jung had Aquarius rising. This means that Saturn, the ruler of Aquarius was his daemon, or at least it was in his eyes although not all astrologers (classical or modern) might agree.

When it comes to daemon, it isn’t so much that Saturn the planet was running the show but instead the symbolism surrounding Saturn. According to the 3rd century Neo-Platonist, Iamblichus, symbols are the footprints of the gods, wondrous tokens sent down from above. In this sense, a symbol can never be a man-made design. Symbols pre-exist and hence carry energy that exerts power over us not unlike Jung’s archetypes.

Jung

Jung believed it was vital that he understand his daemon – no, more than that – he was determined to establish a personal relationship with his daemon and it is highly likely this was accomplished through magical ritual.

To that end, the Red Book, Jung communicates with several different Saturnian figures (Elijah, The Old Scholar, The Anchorite, The Librarian, and the Professor) that culminate with Philemon (whose name, Jung always wrote in Greek, most probably for magical reasons).

Several key points are of significant interest regarding these Saturnian figures and as ought to be expected in many respects they are all deeply paradoxical.

  • The Saturnian figures in Red Book are all associated with rocks and stones – imperishable – belonging to and of the earth – present in the beginning of time on earth and presumably present at the end. It is not surprising that this stone/rock motif comes up often in Jung’s writings. He had been fascinated with them since youth.
  • Jung’s Saturnian images are all old men – SENEX – they are also thinkers –seekers of wisdom (as opposed to knowledge). Philosophers. They are magicians, too. This is in keeping with the writings of Marsilio Ficino, a 15thcentury Italian scholar who appears to have heavily influenced Jung’s work.
  • All Jung’s Saturnian images are recluses and sad. These are in keeping with traditional associations with Saturn.
  • Several of Jung’s Saturnian images are associated with religion and more specifically, religious experience. Not all of them are complimentary or supportive of religion. Indeed, Philemon is always shown as lame and this might well be suggesting a connection with the devil. Philemon, after all, did always have a serpent hanging around.
  • Philemon was also connected with Mercury, the hermetic figure and the philosopher stone. Hermes Trismegistus, who controlled both the sun and the moon was semi-divine and he is, in essential ways, very much like Philemon (who was also a magician – possessing his own grimoire). This highlights the importance of the ancient art of alchemy. Saturn is lead, the metal of transformation and redemption.

In The Astrological World of Jung’s Liber Novus, Dr Liz Greene suggests that because Philemon drew together Saturnian ideas and images from a number of ancient disciplines and cosmologies, he allowed Jung to build a workable bridge between the pagan and Christian aspects of his own world view.

Those  of us who are interested in similarly understanding the complexity of our own daemon, or chosen ‘fate’, might be well-advised to perform similar invocations and explorations. Dr Greene reminds us that during that difficult period in Jung’s life, his work with Philemon and predecessors gave Jung a connecting thread of meaning that helped him to understand his situation. Likewise, we may also turn to our daemons for help when things get tough.

Never forget, however, that working with daemons is not for the faint of heart. Jung’s daughter reported that things ‘went bump in the dark’ in the house when Jung was working with Philemon – things that we might well call supernatural.

Astrology

Dream Weaver

Starting today (13 January), one of the major planetary aspects of 2019 gets underway when Jupiter and Neptune form an opportunistic square. Both are strong in their signs of rulership and so expect this square, in the hands of someone someone sensible, to yield extraordinary results.

DREAMS

Jupiter is big picture, an inspired optimistic vision for the future. Combined with Neptune, which brings magic, colour and soul into your life, this is the time to catch your dreams and make them happen.

If ever your dreams can manifest, it is now.

The trick, however, is not to go overboard.

Both Jupiter and Neptune share a taste for the boundless. Together, they are signature of the dreamer/visionary with a foolhardy naivety about the ‘real world’.

This is territory where usually, you’d be well advised not to tread but luckily, this time there’s a mitigating factor – Saturn.

Saturn is all about accomplishment, authority, responsibility – not to mention the ability to evaluate both you and your dreams realistically. When Saturn is in his own sign of rulership, Capricorn, he does his job extraordinary well.

The next bites of this juicy Jupiter/Neptune apple come on 16 June and 21 September. Saturn is doing a slow burn (with an enabling semi-sextile/sextile) throughout the entire time.

Obviously, this propitious period will effect each of you differently but if you have key planets in 14-18 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) you’re in for a treat.

Why not make the best of this time with different kind of astrology reading? Don’t you owe it to yourself to take this opportunity to weave your dreams?

Astrology

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Once, I knew a Belgian ‘white’ witch who had been a powerful (hereditary) black magician. At the height of his powers, he could kill a man just by looking at him, or at least so he said. Sounds a bit much but I believed him – not the least because he had a Pluto Square Mercury and Pluto sextile Venus – both within seconds of arc.

For some, tapping into outer planetary energies like Pluto comes easy. Presto! Results! Yeah! Yet these energies are particularly dangerous because they will remain forever beyond the personal Ego’s grasp.

Not surprisingly, then, after partaking in a power battle with other black magicians, my friend awoke in the middle of the Belgian Ardennes with 70% burns over his body. He made promise to himself then and there that if he didn’t die, he’d mend his magical ways and he did.

My ‘white’ witch friend learned the hard way that there are two sides to the magical equation. Because of this, he was always critical of ‘New Age’ practitioners who focus only on ‘goodness’ and ‘light’.

440px-Tovenaarsleerling_S_Barth.pngLike the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the uninitiated usually fail to understand the true nature of the energies at hand and, in their inexperienced hands, things can quickly get out of control.  Even in the hands of the very experienced, things can and do go terribly wrong.

I’m only too thankful that I do NOT have Pluto in the mix with with my personal planets. If did, I’d be joining ranks with some seriously powerful witches and ceremonial magicians. That’s much too much responsibility for me and I know it. But what if some ‘goodness and light’ article/post stimulates someone with tight Pluto contacts to play their hand at the game?

A good magician works with the forces of nature – not against them. He knows the difference of what he can and cannot change. A good magician full well knows that there are ‘dark forces’ in the universe and, whilst he may not actively seek them out, he is prepared to deal with if needs be.

Are you?

 

 

Astrology

Eclipse of the Day

imagesThis morning, at 9:04 GMT, we experienced a powerful solar eclipse.

It occurred at 9 Virgo 21.

Unless an eclipse triggers a sensitive natal aspect (i.e. between 5-13 degrees of Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces, or Gemini), or falls on your angles (i.e. cusps of the 1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th houses), you are likely not to feel it too much.

But if it does, then it will function like a power surge, provoking a crisis of some sort, something with which you’ll be forced to deal. For clues, look back to your life experiences during the previous eclipse season 19 years ago in regards to any one or all of the following:

  • Natal Sun: You were born to be the hero of your life story – but sometimes from fear or false modesty, you delegate this role to another. When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Sun, you can no longer avoid assuming the starring role in your life. Expect issues with authority figures like parents or bosses, all those to whom in the past, you’ve abdicated your personal power.
  • Natal Moon – Throughout your life, you seek to reclaim the security and safety that you enjoyed in your mother’s womb. You feather your nest, stock the pantry with yummy foods, and surround yourself with all that which makes you feel comfortable. But when an eclipse makes aspects your natal Moon, something – a new living situation, a change in health – will leave you feeling exposed.
  • Natal Mercury: You define yourself through your names, rank , and serial number – your position in the pecking order at home,school, or in the workplace. When eclipses aspect natal Mercury, prepare for a changes  in the way in which you define yourself.  Mercury is the storyteller. It’s time start writing your life story from a different point of view or perspective.
  • Natal Venus: Wouldn’t you just love it if you’d been born with self-confidence, great relationships, fabulous looks – not to mention oodles of cash?! Eclipse aspects to Venus remind you that you don’t always get that which you might think that you deserve. This realisation usually comes through financial challenges, relationship transitions, or flagging self-esteem.
  • Natal Mars: Mars operates as your personal guard dog – protecting your home, your reputation, your family, defining your boundaries. When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Mars, the watch dog is stirred up and straining at his leash; take what’s yours, but just make sure no one gets hurt.
  • Natal Jupiter: Do you love an adventure? Taking a chance, making a gamble, an exotic trip to somewhere you’ve never before been? When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Jupiter, you’re revved up to have a go, take that chance, do whatever you think is needed to get your life back on track.
  • Natal Saturn: When an eclipse makes an aspect to your Saturn, you may feel worn out and/or discouraged. Maybe you’ve your outgrown your present life  it or maybe you’re still playing by outdated rules? Just remember that you’ll never get anywhere by blaming others for your difficult situation. Regardless of how things got this way, only you can take the positive action needed to make your life better.
  • Natal Uranus: When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Uranus, you may feel like a misfit, a clown, a scapegoat – and, well…let’s be honest –  that hurts. Recognising who are and are not your friends, is a key challenge now. Identify only with groups that allow you be yourself.
  • Natal Neptune: Now’s the time to examine your blind spots, examine your faith, and dispute that which you’ve always believed was indisputable. If you’ve been fooling yourself  – hiding away from reality, then expect a wakeup call.
  • Natal Pluto: We all have a darker side; feelings of rage, jealousy, and/or fear. These make us weaker, slaves to our emotions, not to mention allowing those who are self-possessed to further manipulate us. When an eclipse makes an aspect to your natal Pluto, expect to confront the dark side – either in yourself or in those you’ve allowed to embody it for you. Power struggles are the order of the day.
Astrology

Using tomorrow’s Total Solar Eclipse to your best advantage

Tomorrow, 9 March 2016, at 2 AM GMT (London), there is a total eclipse of the Sun.

As you probably know, this means that the Moon  passes between the Sun and Earth and hence completely blocks our view of the Sun.

You probably also know that most calendar years have four eclipses, two of which must be solar eclipses and whilst total solar eclipses are not exactly rare (approximately once every 18 months a total solar eclipse is visible from some place on Earth), they do tend to attract a good deal of attention.

eclipse-traditions1Astrologers view eclipses as a release of pent up energy that shakes us out of our everyday complacency and gets us up and running again.  Because the Moon is associated with the unconscious and the Sun with the conscious, a total solar eclipse (when the conscious is completely blotted out by the unconscious), offers a perfect opportunity to undertake some housekeeping in regards to your personal unconscious.

Tomorrow’s eclipse occurs at 18 Pisces 56. So for those of you with planets or sensitive areas in your charts at this degree (and/or about 19 Virgo, 19 Gemini, or 19 Sagittarius), you might expect your daily (unconscious) routine to be quite shaken up.

But everyone can positively utilise the energy released by this eclipse to reset his or her personal intentions. The Sabian symbol (The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Dr Marc Edmund Jones) for 19 Pisces, offers assistance as follows :

A master instructing his pupil:

  • Unlimited potential
  • Self-refinement of human intelligence
  • Enjoy & employ the privileges and bounties of life allotted to you
  • Personality comes into its own to direct destiny
  • Careful direction through patient investigation and genuine psychological insight
  • AVOID the tendency to live by rules forged by the conceit of empty knowledge.

To release unconscious behavioral patterns working against reaching your unlimited potential, you first need to accept that they exist. Next, accept that as the creator of these patterns, you can eliminate them and that in doing so, you will be able to consciously direct the privileges and bounties allotted to you in order to reach your unlimited potential. During this eclipse, honestly identify unconscious behavioural pattern that you think may be getting in your way and write them down on a piece of paper. Each day for the next seven days, study your paper whilst making specific plans as how to eliminate these unwanted patterns. If you like, you may also light a white candle and/or chant “Blow wind blow, blow a path for me. Make it clear and straight so the future I can see.”

Astrology

Mars & Pluto / Occultism & Magic/ Purposeful Change

imagesNatal combinations of Mars (personal will) and Pluto (raw power) make them a force with which to be reckoned. Individuals with this natal combination function (consciously or not) with such an intensity of purpose that they are able to (consciously or not) transisition their desire into reality.

Because Mars acts in conjunction with Pluto’s evolutionary drive for transformation, it’s little wonder these two are the co-rulers of Scorpio – and –  as anyone with first- hand experience of Scorpio knows, these waters run deep.

It’s also little wonder that – throughout the centuries – a large number of well-known ceremonial magicians, witches, and occultists have Mars/Pluto aspects in their charts – for example:

 Aleister Crowley  (Golden Dawn) – Pluto (23 Taurus) TRINE Mars (22 Capricorn)

Israel Regardie  (Golden Dawn) – Pluto (23 Gemini) TRINE Mars (21 Aquarius)

Carlos Castaneda (shaman) – Pluto (13 Cancer) TRINE Mars (28 Scorpio)

Starhawk (Wiccan) – Pluto (17 Leo) SEXTILE Mars (18 Gemini)

Zsuzsanna Budapest (Wiccan) – Pluto (22 Virgo) SQUARE Mars (16 Sagitarrius)

William Yeats (Golden Dawn/poet) – Pluto (13 Taurus) SQUARE Mars (12 Leo)

William Westoctt (Golden Dawn) –  Pluto (24 Gemini) TRINE Mars (21 Aquarius)

Robert Fludd (occultist) – Pluto (26 Pisces) TRINE Mars (28 Scorpio)

Emanuel Swedenborg (alchemist) – Pluto (22 Cancer) SQUARE Mars (21 Aries)

William Blake (occultist/poet) – Pluto ( 20 Sagittarius) TRINE Mars ( 20 Leo)

So does that mean that if you’ve got Mars/Pluto aspects in your natal chart you will be an occultist?

Of course not.

But what it does mean is that – for better or worse – you have a tremendous power for bringing about purposeful change.

 

Astrology

Is your heart still in what you’re doing?

8-StrengthWith a serious stellium (Sun, Moon, Pluto, Mercury, and Venus) in Capricorn (not to mention the last hours of a waning moon) at 0:00 AM 1 January 2014 (GMT), the prevailing energy of the entire of calendar 2014 for everyone will be one of Strength.

CAPRICORN = ambition, concentration, determination, authoritarian

STRENGTH = courage, commitment, enjoyable acceptance of life

Without renewed passion, this year you will not be able to continue in your chosen direction. You will have difficulty enduring the challenges and could be forced to drop back and regroup.

Because the Strength card relates to Leo, this year your experience a ‘lust’ for creativity and self-expression. Like the sap rising in spring, life-force surges through your veins. Hopefully you will direct this passion into meaningful projects and not waste it or worse – allow it to convert into a destructive force.

StrengthIn ritual magic, this is akin to raising a ‘cone of power’, which when released must be directed toward a specific purpose else it wreaks havoc.

During the whole of 2014 you’re called to look carefully at what you’re doing because quite honestly, you will be ‘playing with fire’. Like fire, your emotions can be a great civilising force or a source of destruction. The key to getting this right is to embrace what you feel to be ugly or beastly in yourself, because in a year of Strength, is only through acceptance that you build character.

You will be challenged to persevere through difficult situations perhaps in career, health, or family. You will be challenged to balance your needs with those of the people you love. You will be challenged to stick with it no matter now rough the going gets because this is the only way to discover what it is that you really want.

Strength

The following enchantment may help:

Light a red candle representing your carnal or animal nature. Take a white candle (representing your higher ‘self’) of equal size and touch it to the burning flame. By mixing the red and white waxes together, the pink power of love will manifest. Let the two candles burn down together and repeat the following:

“With the loving strength of my Higher Self, I will make an ally of my instinctual nature”

Keep a piece of pink wax with you in a sealed envelope to help you remember your pledge.

Cosmology and Divination

Tarot ‘Year Card’ for 2014

In keeping with a neat trick garnered from Mary K Greer in her excellent book, Tarot Constellations, Patterns of Personal Destiny, I have now calculated my personal ‘Year Card’ for 2014.

This is a technique used to gain insight into the energies, opportunities, and events in store for me in the coming The Chariotyear.

Here’s how to do it:

Add the month of your birth (I am September – so I use 9) to the day of your birth (I was born on the 27th) to the current year (2014) as follows:

9+27+2014 = 2050

Reduce the result to the highest number under 23:

2+0+5+0 = 7

The result corresponds to the number of the Major Arcana representing my personal coming year.

7 = The Chariot

The Chariot Year focuses on my goals (to be a succesful novelist), so it’s time to harness my writerly energies to move forward.  Since I’ve recently finished writing a fantastic new novel (The Curve of Capricorn), I will continue my push for finding a good agent who will help me get to publication and beyond. Because the number 7 signifies initiation, this is a year for me to master my abilities especially in regards to handling difficult situations, often with conflicting aspects (I suspect marketing/selling a novel will be a good deal harder than it ought).

I will need to work on self-control and self discipline. If I give free range my instincts and emotion (represented by the sphinxes): they may tear me apart. This could be experienced as something of breakdown (losing my temper or worse) or an accident (hopefully not literally actined out in my car/chariot).

OK – I promise to be good!images-1

The moons on the shoulders of the charioteer signal a need to champion a cause. I love astrology so much, that won’t be a problem and I sincerely believe that the (Capricornian) themes (including abuse of power, ruthless ambition, rabid materialism) I’ve explored in The Curve of Capricorn are of huge importance not only to my fellow Americans, but to the world at large.

I must be assertive in establishing my identity (as a novelist) in the world while at the same time avoiding running roughshod everyone else.

Because the Chariot is a card of triumph, success and good health, I suspect 2014 will be a good year for me as long as I keep firm grasp on the reins.

In order to ensure I do this, I will use the following enchantment daily for the entire year:

Relax. Close eyes. See strong, white light surrounding me, making my body appear radiant with energy and physical health. I feel myself strengthened both within and without. I visualise myself accomplishing my goal, thanking my supporters, and accepting all and any adulation that may be due. I know that my willpower and determination will  lead me to victory.

Astrology

Today is a Nine of Cups Day – be careful you might get what you want?

With the Sun in Taurus (hedonist) and Moon in Scorpio (healer) –combining in a big, fat, full moon at 3:36 GMT – today is Nine of Cups day.

The Nine of Cups is an enigmatic energy.  Although it looks pleasant enough, there’s more here than meets the eye.  If you can come to grips with this, then you’ll do well with this energy. If not, forewarned is forearmed.

You see a man with his feet planted far apart, cross armed, sitting in front of a tall table stacked with nine full cups. He wears a red hat with a red plume and red socks – red – the colour of blood  – red – the colour of passion and desire.  The man is smug and why shouldn’t he? The Nine of Cups reminds us to enjoy the good things in life.

But sadly, he’s alone. Is there no one with whom he wishes to share his bounty?  And why is the blue tablecloth so long? Is something hidden behind it?

When dealing with this energy you must remember that Kabbalistically, the Nine of Cups falls under the influence of the sefirah, Yesod, which is associated with the Moon and the watery flux and reflux of the unconscious.

Yet as Dion Fortune reminds us in The Mystical Qabalah, Yesod also represents the foundation of the universe, established by great strength such as found in the Nine of Wands.

Fluid foundations?  How could this be?

Fortune reminds us that if one likens the kingdom of earth to a great ship, Yesod would be the engine room.  Because it partakes both in the nature of mind and matter, Yesod is the all-important energy with which one works all magic designed to take effect in our physical world.

Desire – underlying as it does all magical work – comes as much from your unconscious as from your conscious – indeed – perhaps even more so.

Therefore the trick to dealing with today’s energy is to carefully examine – and re-examine – that which you desire and why – before reaching out for it.   For as with the man in the Nine of Cups – it is your unconscious – hidden from view behind the blue tablecloth – that drives your truth – red hat and red socks notwithstanding.

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