The Sash of Powers, or a Fancy New Magical Thingie

So, beading and jewelry making has been a recent hobby of mine ever since my good friends in some ATRs got me hooked on them.  The use of colored seed beads and semiprecious (or precious!) stone beads really opens up a lot of avenues for occult crafting and designing.  After all, my carcanets aren’t too bad an innovation, reducing the need for drawing intricate pentacles and expanding on the powerful uses and correspondences of color to various forces.  Still, although having beaded necklaces to represent the forces is nice, I decided one night to make something fancy, something grand, something awesome with these supplies I have on hand.  To that end, I ended up making a large beading project, what I fancifully call the Cingula Potestatum, or the Sash of Powers:

Sash of Powers

It’s a pretty long thing, worn as a sash over one shoulder and down the opposite hip, measuring about 6′ 6″ in length total, which is a surprisingly good fit for someone my height.  I could, of course, wrap it three times around my neck and wear it as an exceptionally elaborate necklace, but having a sash in ceremonial work is surprisingly comforting and empowering.  Basically, the sash represents all the powers I work with: the celestial, supercelestial, subcelestial, elemental, abstract, and divine powers of the cosmos, world, and universe.  After all, other magicians use the lionskin belt from Golden Dawn-style Solomonic work for much the same purpose, and finding ways to jazz up my white ceremonial robe and indicating the powers I call upon is always something I enjoy and support.

The design for the sash can be broken down into seven major sets representing different levels of manifestation or cosmic power in the Hermetic paradigm I work within, each set being separated by a particular kind of bead; the major sets use gold/blue tiger’s eye (solar/lunar or light/dark), the zodiac signs use labradorite, the planets use onyx, the elements use bone, the banners use quartz, and the geomantic figures use dark agate.  I also threw on some skull and eye beads at the end with a crucifix to mark this as an instrument and sign of life, death, wisdom, protection, and holiness; a pentacle of Solomon, or the grand hexagram of Solomon, would work equally well.

  1. The Prime Mover (white, clear, 10 pairs)
  2. The Fixed Stars (silver, grey, 12 pairs)
  3. The Zodiac Signs
    1. Aries (white, red, 6 pairs)
    2. Taurus (emerald, green, 6 pairs)
    3. Gemini (bright orange, orange, 6 pairs)
    4. Cancer (ruby, purple, 6 pairs)
    5. Leo (gold, yellow, 6 pairs)
    6. Virgo (black, orange, 6 pairs)
    7. Libra (white, green, 6 pairs)
    8. Scorpio (black, red, 6 pairs)
    9. Sagittarius (gold, blue, 6 pairs)
    10. Capricorn (ruby, black, 6 pairs)
    11. Aquarius (bright orange, black, 6 pairs)
    12. Pisces (emerald, blue, 6 pairs)
  4. The Seven Planets
    1. Saturn (black, maroon, 3 pairs)
    2. Jupiter (blue, purple, 4 pairs)
    3. Mars (red, orange, 5 pairs)
    4. Sun (yellow, pink, 6 pairs)
    5. Venus (green, orange, 7 pairs)
    6. Mercury (orange, purple, 8 pairs)
    7. Moon (purple, blue, 9 pairs)
  5. The Four Elements
    1. Fire (red, green, 4 pairs)
    2. Air (yellow, purple, 8 pairs)
    3. Water (blue, orange, 20 pairs)
    4. Earth (black, white, 6 pairs)
  6. The Creator: The Twelve Banners of the Tetragrammaton (white forIod, yellow for Heh, red for Vav, black for final Heh in groups of 4 as needed)
    1. IHVH
    2. IHHV
    3. IVHH
    4. HVHI
    5. VHIH
    6. HHIV
    7. VHIH
    8. VHHI
    9. VIHH
    10. HIHV
    11. HIVH
    12. HHVI
  7. The Creation: The SixteenGeomantic Figures (white for active elements, black for passive elements in groups of 4 as needed)
    1. Via
    2. Cauda Draconis
    3. Puer
    4. Fortuna Minor
    5. Puella
    6. Amissio
    7. Carcer
    8. Laetitia
    9. Caput Draconis
    10. Coniunctio
    11. Acquisitio
    12. Rubeus
    13. Fortuna Maior
    14. Albus
    15. Tristitia
    16. Populus

The color choices and number of beads might need a bit of explaining.  The geomantic figures use white and black, fitting enough for their binary and abstract nature, using the order of the beads to indicate the figure (e.g. white-black-white-black is Amissio).  The planetary beads use the Queen and King scale colors of their corresponding sephiroth in as many sets as corresponds to their sephiroth, so Jupiter (associated with Chesed, the fourth sephirah) gets four blue beads alternating with purple beads.  The elemental beads are similar, using the flashing colors of the elements, with the numbers coming from the number of sides of their corresponding Platonic solids (fire/tetrahedron/four, air/octahedron/eight, etc.).  The zodiacal beads use two sources for the colors: the first color given in each set comes from Agrippa (book I, chapter 49), though each color represents two signs; the second color comes from the Queen scale of the sign’s ruling planet.  Thus, Agrippa’s color for Aries and Libra is white, and Aries is ruled by red Mars and Libra by green Venus, so Aries is white and red while Libra is white and green.  I made the Agrippa colors a little brighter or flashier (using reflective red or ruby beads instead of solid red) to help differentiate the beads a bit more.  The pairs of the zodiacal beads come out to 6, each pair representing 5° of that particular sign.  The colors for the sphere of the Prime Mover and of the Fixed Stars as a whole come from the Queen scale of the Tree of Life, though instead of using light blue beads for Chokmah I used clear grey beads; instead of using sets of 1 and 2 for these spheres, respectively, I used 10 (1 × 10) and 12 (2 + 10) since I wanted some substance there, and also since these numbers also work well for their corresponding forces.  The Twelve Banners simply used four earthy colors, representing the faces of Divinity apparent to us down here throughout creation.

Of course, no bit of ceremonial regalia is complete without an accompanying prayer, and the grander the regalia, the grander the prayer, amirite?  Trying to come up with a prayer that hits all the forces that this sash represents, however, would take a lot of doing, except there’s actually something that’s already been written up that fulfills this purpose.  Many of my readers will be familiar with the Circle of Art from the Lemegeton Goetia, especially the version that Crowley and Mathers produced.  This Circle has, around the space where the magician stands, a series of words that are basically the correspondences of the ten sephiroth of the Tree of Life.  Crowley and Mathers “explained” these names, not as a series of correspondences, but rather as a series of prayers to be said when writing out the names.  In effect, the prayers consecrate the circle by connecting the circle and the magician to the sephirah being invoked through the prayers.

Lemegeton Circle of Art

 

Since this Sash of Powers represents, in a more colorful fashion, all the same forces as the Lemegeton Circle of Art, I figured I may as well appropriate the prayers for my own purposes, adding on a bit more to invoke the corresponding angels of the forces invoked.  The resulting set of prayers for the sash then becomes something like this:

God Almighty, God Omnipotent, hear my prayers and the cries of your servant N.!  Almighty God, whose dwelling is in the highest heavens, the great King of Heaven and all the Powers therein, and of all the holy hosts of Angels and Archangels, hear the prayers of thy servant who puts his whole trust in You.  Let the holy Angels command and assist me at this and all times.  Command thy holy Angels above and below the fixed stars to assist and aid thy servant that I may command all the spirits of the air, fire, water, earth, and hell so that it may tend unto Your glory and Man’s good.  God who is with us, be always present with me; strengthen me and support me both now and forever in these mine undertakings which I do as an instrument in Your hands, o God of Hosts.  Great God, governor and creator of all the planets and the hosts of heaven, command them by Your almighty power to be now present and assist me, your poor servant, both now and forever.  Most Almighty, eternal, and ever-living Lord God, command thy seraphim to attend to me now at this time to assist me and defend me from all peril and danger.  O Almighty God, be present with me both now and forever, and let Your almighty power and presence ever guard and protect me at this present time and forever.  O Great God of Hosts, all-seeing God, be present with me and let thy presence be now and always present with me.  Great God of Hosts, let Your almighty power defend me and protect me both now and forever.  Come and expel all evil and danger from me both now and forever.  O great God of all wisdom and knowledge, instruct thy poor and most humble servant by thy holy cherubim.  Direct me and support me at this present time and forever.

God Almighty, God Omnipotent, hear my prayers!  May your holy angels Metatron, Iophiel, Malkhidael, Asmodel, Ambriel, Muriel, Verkhiel, Hamaliel, Zuriel, Barbiel, Advakhiel, Hanael, Cambriel, Barkhiel, Tzaphqiel, Tzadqiel, Kamael, Michael, Haniel, Raphael, Gabriel, Sandalphon, Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raziel attend to the work of your servant.  May the angelic choirs of the Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels attend to the work of your servant.  May the seven archangels who stand before the August Throne attend to the work of your servant.  May Your holiest of holy Names resound throughout all creation, and may all creation of Your divine hand be at mine own to aid me in this work.

Is the use of this sash traditional?  Yes and no; there are parallels between other magical practices, such as that of the bandera of Palo Mayombe, elekes of Santeria, the lionskin belt of the Golden Dawn, the stole of Christian priests, and the like.  It’s certainly its own kind of innovation, but it’s one that makes sense, especially as a kind of badge of office when presenting myself to spirits in formal ritual, or if I ever get together and form a temple with others (a laughable notion!).  Still, making use of this kind of crafting is just ongoing development of the spiritual work and work I’m doing.  Who knows?  It may even become part of a new tradition handed down over time.

On Keeping the Occult Occulted

I’m extraordinarily lucky in my occult practice that I live as a free adult in my ostensibly secular country, without the control or necessarily involvement of my family, coworkers, or even roommates.  I have my own apartment where I do what I want, I have my own income that I spend how I want, I have my own schedule that I set how I want, and I have my own practice that I effect how I want, largely without the supervision or interference of outside parties.  My family, though aware of and amused by my occult works, don’t have any say in what I do, nor will they disown me for living my life the way I find best.  My job is independent of my occult work and I am legally protected from incurring any punishment for my activities outside the workplace, especially as they pertain to my religious and spiritual beliefs and practices.  I live in a country whose laws protect me, my beliefs, and my free exercise (or lack of exercise) thereof, and where there’s a large and healthy occult interest where I can find many people to share my beliefs and discussions with openly or semi-openly.  And I count myself as among the extraordinarily lucky and fortunate that my boyfriend (and many of our friends, shared and otherwise) isn’t just permissive of the occult but is an active participant in it, studying and training in his own ways for his own purposes, and who mutually aids me as I aid him in our spiritual lives and growth.

Not everyone can be so lucky, however.  Many who want to study and practice magic, the occult, or religious lifestyles often cannot do so nearly as openly, if at all, given their living situations.  Sometimes it’s because their culture won’t permit it, finding occult studies and practices harmful or dangerous, and punishing those who engage in the occult with imprisonment, torture, or death.  Sometimes it’s because of their resources, where they simply can’t afford the space, tools, or supplies that many magicians use (and the temple’s worth of ceremonial regalia my type of magic is known for).  Sometimes it’s because they live with others in close quarters and don’t wish to disturb them or rouse their ire at engaging with this stuff, either out of respect for their housemates or out of fear of their reactions.  Many reasons abound for this, but I’d wager that the fear of religious persecution and oppression is a big one.  I mean, look at how religions like Santeria and Palo Mayombe developed under the slave trade in the Caribbean from their ancestral African forms; depending on the culture, occult and spiritual practices might be blended and merged with those of the slavers and colonialists, or they might be hidden away and kept furtive and secretive when the colonialists punish them.

And this is why magic, spirituality, spirit-working, and the like is called the occult.  The occult is called the “occult” because it’s literally a hidden, secretive, and unrevealed thing to most of the world.  It’s, quite literally, an esoteric study and practice, and though many magicians and occultists (including myself, obviously) have no qualms about talking about it in public, it’s ultimately an intensely personal and internal practice that cannot and can never be shared with others on a fundamental level; each person must develop themselves in their own way according to their own personality and internal self.  Whether it’s out of fear of persecution or merely misunderstanding, many occult topics simply can’t be shared or revealed to the public.  The fourth power of the Sphinx, “to keep silent”, is a development of this; by keeping silent about one’s work, not only will you prevent the world from fucking it up or fucking you up, but you’ll also keep the mysteries a mystery in the classical and original sense.  The occult truly thrives when it’s done privately, personally, and internally, and practicing it in such a manner will give the practitioner a true power that otherwise they might lack.

I was recently emailed by a young man nearing the age of majority who was living with his atheist parents yet wanted to study and practice magic in a way that wouldn’t disturb them or arouse their suspicions.  He couldn’t set up any kind of altar, nor can he perform any kind of advanced ritual; the most he’s been able to do are little amulets and charms and some invocation.  He wanted my thoughts and advice on how he might further his spiritual practice in this situation.  I can completely sympathize with him, too; when I first moved up to the DC metro region four years ago, I was living with my then-ex-boyfriend who wasn’t very spiritual, and though my spiritual work was just starting then, I didn’t want to do much when he was around, much less intoning arcane words of power or making holy water on Wednesdays when we both might be working at home and he needed the kitchen.  Still, I was able to at least start my spiritual practice regardless of his presence, and though it truly blossomed out after he left and I had the apartment to myself for a few months (and got over any apprehension about practicing magic with a future housemate), it was those initial months of practicing in a private and internal way that helped me the most.

First, never forget that no matter what the external world controls in your life, it can only ever control the external things in your life.  The people around you, the resources available to you, the places you find yourself in, and the like all only ever affect the external well-being and state of your life, like your body’s health, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the parties you go to or are made to go to, and so forth.  None of these things, however, are you, and none of these things can truly affect your internal self.  No matter what happens to you, you are the only one who can ever decide how you react to them and act based on them.  To draw a comparison with aikido, no matter where someone grabs you or attacks you on your body, they can never get your one-point, or center of balance; you can give them your center of balance and let them pin you to the ground, or you can maintain it and move them around no matter how they grab onto you.  It’s the same with the mind and the spirit; no matter what someone tells you to think or how to act, you are the only one who can determine what you think or how you act.  Once you’ve established this primacy and independence of mind from the world, you’ve unrepentantly and irrevocably opened the door to a new way of life, your own way of life.  With that done, everything else is just details.

So what are these details in terms of a spiritual and magical practice?  It’s the simple basics of stuff, really, that I keep harping on about when it comes to magical practice.  The most important resources you need for this are privacy and time, which you likely if you have the capacity to email me or read my blog from a first-world country.  If you have your own bedroom where you sleep at night, or if you have a bit of regular free time in an empty park or office room, you have all you absolutely need to engage in the occult.  If you live with others and if you have the time and privacy (and maybe the occasional excuse or cover-up) for masturbating or playing video games, you have the time and privacy for the occult.  If you absolutely don’t have the capacity for privacy even for sleep (and this is surprisingly common), ask those around you to give you a bit of privacy or seek it on your own; abandoned parks or buildings, empty rooms not your own, even the bathroom will work.  And, no matter how much you might argue, you will always have the time you need to do the occult.  It may not be as much time as you think you need, but if your life is so busy and jam-packed that you truly have no time for the occult, then you need to reconsider what it is you’re doing so you can make time for the occult.

With privacy and time, what can you do?  Plenty, especially if nobody’s going to peek in after you’re done or if you have the ability to leave things as they are after you’re finished.  Even if you can’t, though, there are four big things that you can do: meditate, pray, energy work, trance work, and visualization practice.  I won’t talk about any of these here, because you can find plenty of resources across the Internet and in books about these practices, but suffice to say that any and all of these things, which don’t depend on any physical tools except your own body and breath, are necessary and fundamental to occult practice.  Hell, even if you can dedicate 20 minutes a day every day for private prayer and meditation, you’ve already got 75% of magical practice down right there.  I cannot understate the importance of these few disciplines; everything else in magic, the occult, spirituality, and religion is based off these things.

Besides that, what else can you do?  Study!  Read and absorb as much as you can and whatever you care to.  Nobody (with the exception of the NSA and especially nosy parents) is going to be looking at your browsing history on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, and you can always clear the cache and history when you’re done (and if you ever grew up using a family computer as an adolescent male at nighttime when everyone else was asleep, this should be second nature to you).  If you don’t want people to see your library, get an e-reader and download copies of texts.  We live in a time when an unimaginable wealth of occult and spiritual lore and information is freely and instantly available to ourselves at the speed of thought; by all means, use it!  Study correspondence tables, sacred geometry, the history and development of religious sects, the seals and sigils of spirits, and the like.  Practice drawing out the Tree of Life with a compass and straightedge, and learn how to write in Hebrew and Greek and the magical variants of their writing systems.  Keep a private journal where you note important connections you make, dreams you have, odd happenstance circumstances, how deep your last meditation was, important prayers you have a fancy for, and the like.  Just because you aren’t able to have a blog with oh-so-many devoted readers and shelves upon shelves of magical texts and tools doesn’t mean you can’t keep your own record, notes, and doodles that an untrained eye would think is no more than a student exploring simple art or playful ciphers.

Anything else?  With altars and offerings, you may not be able to erect a permanent shrine to a particular deity, nor might you be able to set up a permanent altar with an array of magical tools synced up in a particular way.  You might not be able to light candles or incense and leave them burning for long periods of time.  You might not be able to make offerings of wine, water, or food.  All of this is entirely okay, and aren’t strictly necessary.  If you absolutely need a working space, clear off a small side table or a reasonably-sized area on the floor.  Pack up your tools when you’re done, and be simple and minimal with your tools if you even need them at all: use a paper printout of a Table of Practice or draw one out on a whiteboard or chalkboard, use a sharpened pencil or a single matchstick (or even your index finger!) as your wand, use a pocketknife as a ritual blade, use a shotglass as a chalice, use a cup of water as a scrying medium, use a colorful bandanna as an altar cloth.  Leave offerings out only for as long as you have privacy and time, and dispose of them in the trash, the drain, the compost, or out the window when you’re done.  Use electric candles, scented candles, an oil diffuser, or a wax melter instead of traditional candles or incense.  Or, rather, don’t do any of this at all, and keep everything internal and personal in an astral temple with visualization and minor trancework.

The only thing that you’re really impeded from in tough circumstances are prolonged and involved ritual, such as a multi-day consecration of a talisman or a full Solomonic evocation of a spirit.  Admittedly, these can be difficult, especially when you need a material embodiment of something to act as a vessel for power.  What can you do?  Be subtle and minimal, as always!  When consecrating a talisman, do the major work in the astral first to build up the power being as elaborate as you want or can, then transfer that power from the astral into a simple object down here: a wooden plank, a wax mold, a cheap ring, whatever.  When doing evocation or conjuration, do it in the astral, and meet up with your spiritual allies and friends there frequently to keep tabs on what you send them out to do down here in the material world.  In fact, the majority of the stuff you can do in a physical temple you can do as well in an astral one, and building up your own astral space is an important aspect of much of modern magic and spirituality.

I won’t lie to you: having the physical space, time, privacy, and resources to engage in the occult is an awesome thing, and it does help immensely to have all this stuff, and I look forward to the day when the dude who emailed me can move out on his own and explore his own spirituality as thoroughly as he desires.  That said, it’s by no means necessary for the practice and study of the occult.  Humanity has always been able to practice the occult and spirituality in even the most dire of circumstances, with the harshest conditions, under penalty of death and worse; this shit is our birthright, and the spirits of the cosmos want us to engage with them and with the cosmos in whatever way is most appropriate and suitable for us.  To that end, they’ll be more than glad and ready to help us in whatever way we can, and they’ll try to communicate with us in whatever way we are able to.  Whether we use the spiritual equivalent of a next-gen cellphone with the clearest call quality ever or a tin-can phone across the cul-de-sac, the spirits will respond; whether we use the Golden Dawn-style or John Dee’s style of pronouncing Enochian, the Enochian angels will still catch our drift; the connection may not be as clear or as easy to understand, but the connection will still be there.  So long as you make the effort to work the magic you want and need to work, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts.

Four Chaplets of Saint Cyprian For Sale!

After getting the go-ahead from Saint Cyprian with my chaplet to him and the design for his prayer beads, I went ahead and made some chaplets for myself and my friends to use in working with him.  This required getting a handful of Saint Cyprian of Antioch medals, which are hard to come by.  I left the handful of things on his altar to cook and consecrate, and now they’re all done and ready to go.  Still, even after making chaplets for myself and my friends, and after reserving some medals for some other occult purposes, I had a few extra leftover.  With Saint Cyprian’s permission, I made some more chaplets and have decided to put them up for sale for those who wish to work with the good saint.

I have four Chaplets of Saint Cyprian for sale; each has a Saint Cyprian of Antioch (specifically of Antioch, not of Carthage) medallion with “Ruega Por Nosotros” (Spanish for “Pray For Us”) on the reverse.  Each has been set on Saint Cyprian’s altar, being anointed with oil and prayed over with a novena to Saint Cyprian along with the chaplet itself for each of the nine nights; they’ve been blessed so that those who pray the chaplet to Saint Cyprian of Antioch will receive his blessings of protection from evil arts and acts, as well as receive his aid in learning the occult arts.  Each chaplet is unique in design.

  1. Howlite beads with garnet separators and glass seed beads
  2. Onyx beads with amethyst separators and glass seed beads
  3. Amethyst beads with onyx separators and glass seed beads
  4. Onyx, amethyst, and howlite beads (including the skulls) with glass evil-eye separators and brass beads

Each of the chaplets is US$81, which includes standard shipping to anywhere in the world (i.e. free shipping).  The chaplets are first-come first-serve, so if you want one of these chaplets, you should probably decide sooner rather than later; I’ll cross out each chaplet on this post as they’re bought.  To help you get started with working with the good saint, I’ll email you a copy of my translation of the Book of Saint Cyprian (available on Etsy here for $10), as well.  All you need to do is click on the link for each chaplet given above, which will take you to my Etsy page where they’re listed.  When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Of course, you can still find plenty of other information about Saint Cyprian out there.  Hadean Press has two chapbooks on Saint Cyprian, one written by ConjureMan Ali and another by Nicolaj de Mattos Frisvold; Spanish speakers can easily find and read books and blogs on Saint Cyprian (being one of the most popular Spanish grimoires in publication for god-knows-how-long).  Plus, there’s also Jake Stratton-Kent’s excellent Testament of Saint Cyprian the Mage from Scarlet Imprint, if you have the extra pocket money for it (and if not, you should totally save up for it).

And yes, this is probably the last of a flurry of posts on Saint Cyprian for a while.  I am doing other Work in my life, I assure you, but there’s plenty of other crafting talk to mention.

From Planetary Hours to Zodiacal Hours

Finally, now that it’s officially spring (the Sun entered Aries back on the 20th), I’m starting a year-long project.  No, it’s not the Abramelin, because I don’t need to do that at this point.  Rather, it’s a series of new conjurations for me to learn more about that most mysterious of spheres, that of the fixed stars.  I plan on doing conjurations of each of the angels ruling over the signs of the Zodiac this year, each angel while the Sun is in its proper zodiac sign, and learning and integrating myself more with the sphere of the fixed stars.  After all, I started with the elements, then I moved onto the planets; the stars are simply the next step, as I see it.  There are multiple ways one could go about this: work straight-up with Iophiel, angel ruling of the sphere of fixed stars as a whole; work with the 28 angels of the lunar mansions; or work with the 12 angels of the Zodiac signs.  I plan on doing all three, but this year I want to focus on the zodiacal angels, since they’re more familiar to me.

Of course, I can’t do much ritual without getting all my ducks in a row.  I plan on studying the signs first from another magical perspective, then getting my gear together and making a lamen for these particular angels, and so forth.  One important ritual is timing, and timing to the zodiacal signs is…interesting.  Planetary conjurations rely on planetary days and hours, which is pretty straightfoward, but I’m unsure about the signs.  Astrological common sense says I should do a conjuration while the sign is rising or culminating (ascendant or midheaven), but given my work schedule, that may not always be possible.  Since we use planetary days and hours to circumvent the use of proper astrological elections for the planets for ritual purposes, I wondered why we don’t have a similar system in place for the signs of the Zodiac.  So I made one up.

For those who have been living under a rock, let me describe the 12 signs of the Zodiac and how they correspond to the planets.  Of course, I’m working only with the seven traditional planets, so throw out what you know about Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, since they don’t come into play here.  Before continuing, you should learn about what the planetary hours are, because the zodiacal hours are just an extension based off them.  To describe only what’s needed about the zodiac signs at a very high level:

  • There are seven planets: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn.  Of these, the Sun and Moon are called luminaries, since they’re bright enough to light the world.
  • There are 12 signs in the Zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.
  • The luminary planets rule over one sign each; the nonluminary planets rule over two signs each.
    • The Sun rules over Leo.
    • The Moon rules over Cancer.
    • Mercury rules over Gemini and Virgo.
    • Venus rules over Taurus and Libra.
    • Mars rules over Aries and Scorpio.
    • Jupiter rules over Pisces and Sagittarius.
    • Saturn rules over Aquarius and Capricorn.
  • Each sign has one of the four elements, so there are three Fire signs, three Air signs, three Water signs, and three Earth signs.
    • Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are all Fiery.
    • Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are all Earthy.
    • Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are all Airy.
    • Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are all Watery.
  • Each sign is either masculine or feminine, so there are six Masculine signs and six Feminine signs.  Masculine signs are either Fiery or Airy, and Feminine signs are either Watery or Earthy.
    • Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius are all Masculine.
    • Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces are all Feminine.

Got it?  Good.

All we do to develop the zodiacal hours is we replace the planet ruling over an hour with its corresponding zodiacal sign.  So, any hours of the Sun become hours of Leo, and any hours of the Moon become hours of Cancer.  So far, so good, but what about the other planets that rule two signs each?  For that, we look at whether a given hour is diurnal (daytime, between sunrise and sunset) or nocturnal (nighttime, between sunset and sunrise).  If an hour is diurnal, we use the masculine sign; if nocturnal, the feminine sign.  So, a diurnal hour of Mars becomes an hour of Aries, while a nocturnal hour of Mars becomes an hour of Scorpio.

It’s really that simple.  So, a complete table of zodiacal hours for each day of the week would look like this:

Hour Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Leo Cancer Aries Gemini Sagittarius Libra Aquarius
2 Libra Aquarius Leo Cancer Aries Gemini Sagittarius
3 Gemini Sagittarius Libra Aquarius Leo Cancer Aries
4 Cancer Aries Gemini Sagittarius Libra Aquarius Leo
5 Aquarius Leo Cancer Aries Gemini Sagittarius Libra
6 Sagittarius Libra Aquarius Leo Cancer Aries Gemini
7 Aries Gemini Sagittarius Libra Aquarius Leo Cancer
8 Leo Cancer Aries Gemini Sagittarius Libra Aquarius
9 Libra Aquarius Leo Cancer Aries Gemini Sagittarius
10 Gemini Sagittarius Libra Aquarius Leo Cancer Aries
11 Cancer Aries Gemini Sagittarius Libra Aquarius Leo
12 Aquarius Leo Cancer Aries Gemini Sagittarius Libra
13 Pisces Taurus Capricorn Leo Cancer Scorpio Virgo
14 Scorpio Virgo Pisces Taurus Capricorn Leo Cancer
15 Leo Cancer Scorpio Virgo Pisces Taurus Capricorn
16 Taurus Capricorn Leo Cancer Scorpio Virgo Pisces
17 Virgo Pisces Taurus Capricorn Leo Cancer Scorpio
18 Cancer Scorpio Virgo Pisces Taurus Capricorn Leo
19 Capricorn Leo Cancer Scorpio Virgo Pisces Taurus
20 Pisces Taurus Capricorn Leo Cancer Scorpio Virgo
21 Scorpio Virgo Pisces Taurus Capricorn Leo Cancer
22 Leo Cancer Scorpio Virgo Pisces Taurus Capricorn
23 Taurus Capricorn Leo Cancer Scorpio Virgo Pisces
24 Virgo Pisces Taurus Capricorn Leo Cancer Scorpio

So, how would I go about using them?  Simple enough: for a ritual invoking Aries, I’d do the ritual in an Aries hour, or a diurnal Mars hour.  Of course, there’s some leeway with this; Mars hours are generally good, as are those of the Sun (the Sun is exalted in Aries, after all).  Same goes for all the other planets.  It’s a simple thing, really, but it’s another refinement that I might experiment with.  The logic makes sense, but what really matters is whether it works.  If the angel of Aries doesn’t care whether he’s evoked in daytime or nighttime, for instance, or whether he cares about planetary hours at all, then this system isn’t needed generally.  Since the sphere of fixed stars is higher than those of the planets, timing may not be a crucial factor generally.  Let’s find out!