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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac
sapienza, if you can get a copy of DuQuette's companion book to the Tarot of Ceremonial Magick, it has some info on the decans. There's only about 4 1/2 pages, but what's there is excellent. It has a couple of charts that lay it all out. I've never seen anything like it anywhere else.
I've found somewhere I can get this book for a fairly reasonable price but if it's just for 4 1/2 pages it seems a bit crazy. What is the rest of the book like? I know the deck isn't available now, but does the book as a whole contain info that is useful and/or able to be applied to other decks? Thanks
Top   #21
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DuQuette is self-admittedly an indifferent astrologer (much like Uncle Al). The 4 1/2 pages of astrological appendix literally contain the same decan chart info you can find all over the internet regarding the cards ruled by each Decan, and the dates designated by each Decan. As much as I like this companion book, for these purposes, I'd give it a skip. He's only regurgitating the same squiffy knowledge fo the Decans that Crowley coopted from Liber T.
Top   #22
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sapienza, the book has a lot of other information that I found useful but definitely not the whole book; your milage may vary. It's a clearinghouse of information that's otherwise scattered about or difficult to make sense of. The only parts I didn't read are the chapters on divination and rituals, but they are fairly short; the bulk of the book is dedicated to the cards.

It's illustrated with black & white images of all the cards. Each card has a wealth of information and provides a context within which to understand it. They show Golden Dawn attributes like the angels of the Shemhamphorash, day and night spirits of the Goetia with their seals, Enochian information as well as a few others. They also have the usual hermetic stuff- paths, Hebrew letter, etc.

As far as the Decans, in the 4 1/2 pages he explains how three variables have gone into determining why a card might be called Strife, Victory or Material Trouble for example. Those variables are: Zodiacal Attributions, Planetary Attributions and Position on the Tree of Life.
Top   #23
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Here's a picture of the mandala from page 122.

Qabalistic Mandala
Top   #24
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Thanks for the info about the book Scion and Abrac. And thanks for the scan Abrac, much appreciated
Top   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scion
DuQuette is self-admittedly an indifferent astrologer (much like Uncle Al). The 4 1/2 pages of astrological appendix literally contain the same decan chart info you can find all over the internet regarding the cards ruled by each Decan, and the dates designated by each Decan. As much as I like this companion book, for these purposes, I'd give it a skip. He's only regurgitating the same squiffy knowledge fo the Decans that Crowley coopted from Liber T.
Yeah ... I went back to my DuQuette after reading Abrac's post ( "Did I miss something?" - Nah, not really.)

But I did follow up what Scion suggested ...
Top   #26
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Scion has stimulated me to break out my Agrippa (‘Three Books of Occult Philosophy’).

Very interesting!

I had assumed that the ‘influence’ of the stars (‘wandering’ and fixed) was what was behind astrology. I don’t mean a ‘physical’ influence like gravity or magnetism, I mean ‘influence’. Whether this influence is seen in the metaphor of Gods, Decans, Faces, animals, whatever, or a ‘general’ type of hierarchical influence that affected all things holistically including the stars, the influences are associated with, or located in, these stars, or groups of stars. (Patrick Harpur in ‘The Philosophers Secret Fire’ in the section on ‘Ficino’s Star Magic’, states that a star’s influence – influenza – could have been seen as tangible and potentially pestilential as the ‘flu.)

As Scion points out, this influence is modeled on the planets, or I should say, the Archons, Daemons, Star Demons, Spirits, Faces, Gods, etc, whose influence comes through the planets (and other sources) are the same as those that are associated with stars. This is very clear from Agrippa (Book II, Ch. XXXI – ‘Of the Observation of the Fixed Stars and of their Nature.’ e.g. “Also in the third degree of Gemini is Alderboram [Aldebaran], of the nature of Mars and the complexition of Venus.”

Agrippa lists many more including, in Ch. XXXVII – ‘Of the Images of the Faces, and of those Images which are without the Zodiac.’ The first part lists ‘Faces’ through the 36 familiar Zodiac divisions but the second part lists constellations outside the normal Zodiac, e.g., “ Cetus maketh one amiable, prudent, happy, both by sea and land, and helps him to recover his lost goods.”

Modern astrologers ( including some on the forums here) have laughed at the suggestion of this, saying it was a ridiculous idea to suggest planets can interact with constellations - especially ones off the ecliptic, as a whole new mythology would have to be invented to explain their influence … yet that ‘mythology’ apparently already exists.

But Agrippa lists stars and constellations (with their influence) that seem to be outside the band of the ecliptic. E.g. Agrippa talks of Sirius being a certain degree of Cancer. I assume that means that its longitudinal position is the same as that degree of Cancer, not that the Constellation of Cancer includes Sirius, nor that a planet can be in relation to Orion? I suppose this is the root of the theory that astrologers never used constellations but only certain stars as degree markers of the ecliptic?

In any case, and according with the Golden Chain theory, this energy comes from the stars furthest away and is transmitted to their associated planets, whose influence is all important as it is from them that the energy passes to Earth. The Planets are closest to us, but the fixed stars and constellations are closer to God (so to speak). It is a similar model on the Tree of Life, as we approach Kether, and also a similar model in Biodynamic agriculture where it is said that Saturn represents Saturn AND the connection with the furthest reaches of the cosmos. In all systems the final deliver point has a lot to do with the Moon. The Earth is within the Moon Sphere, always. At times, in Biodynamics, it is seen within the Sphere of Venus, sometimes Mars, and sometimes both.

AS Scion points out – it all comes back to the planets. I have heard this before but in the context of angular relations between the planets (which seems to the detriment or loss of the influence of the fixed stars and the ‘Faces’ of the ‘Decans’ - as opposed to the idea of the triplicy of the decans). The old astrology not only extended the influence of the planets to Decans, but to ‘Faces’ and even individual Stars (or their Demons). Either a single Planet’s influence (or model) or a combination of planets. (Dee’s term was ‘effluvia’.)

So, did the planets ‘energy’ become projected on to the Deacons, Stars and Constellations, or does the energy of the above, influence that below (the Planets)? How did such associations start? According to Agrippa color and type is a very significant starting point which seems to originate from Planets. “Now the natures of fixed stars are discovered by their colors, as they agree with certain planets, and are ascribed to them. Now the colors of the planets are these: of Saturn, blue and leaden and shining with this; of Jupiter, citrine near to paleness, and clear with this; of Mars, red and fiery … of Venus, white and shining, white in the morning and reddish in the evening ….” Also their size and brightness was used. These were compared to the size and color of stars, e.g. “The Head of Algol in the eighteenth degree of Taurus, of the nature of Saturn and Jupiter.” The note to this says “Algol is a white variable star that brightens and dims making it very conspicuous in the northern heavens. The Arabs called it the Blinking Demon. The Hebrews named it Satan’s Head and Lilith, after the demon lover of Adam. The Chinese called it Piled-up Corpses. It was everywhere regarded as violent, dangerous and highly unlucky.”

Also a note to Agrippa’s color comment reveals, “Each of the planets has its peculiar color; Saturn is white … Lucifer (Venus in the east) is glowing, Vesper (Venus in the west) refulgent …” (Pliny 2:16). And to think I thought the Australian Aboriginal system a little unusual when an elder told me the Morning Star was not the same as the Evening Star.

Agrippa’s Book II, Ch. L shows some usage; “Likewise if thou would chase away scorpions from any place …” an image is made and placed during specific times , “ … the sign of Scorpio ascending with the Moon and thou shalt make unfortunate the ascendant, and the Lord thereof, and the Lord of the house of Mars; and thou shalt make unfortunate the Lord of the ascendant in the 8th house, and let them be joined with an aspect malignant, opposite or quadrant …” and so on. At the right time (or one could say, at the wrong time – for scorpions) dig a pit and bury the object, head downwards, while saying, “…this is the burying of the Scorpions, that they may not come into this place.”

Here is how one makes a Bio-dynamic pepper to repel agricultural pests; “The method entails taking the seed part of the plant or the whole insect or animal and putting it through fire (the opposite of fertility) at the time of highest fertility and then spreading the ashes, or potentised ashes, in the problem area.” (Biodynamic Handbook). Plant fertility is connected to the Moon and is best done when the Moon is in a fire sign especially Leo or Sag. Latest feedback has shown it is also best done when Mercury is retrograde (and perhaps further feedback will narrow the time down to Faces – and individual Stars?) This is interesting feedback (which comes from Biodynamic farmers experimenting, tabulating results and sending their information in to the association) as Agrippa states (II, xxix) “Thou shalt in every work observe Mercury, for he is a messenger betwixt the higher gods, and the infernal gods, when he goeth to the good he increaseth their goodness, when to the bad, hath influence upon their wickedness.” Animals are done when Venus is in Scorpio at superior conjunction and the Sun in Scorpio. It is also said that an important part is the intent, be mindful of what you are doing throughout the process - , “… this is the burying of the Scorpions, that they may not come into this place.”

What of the 12 signs? Agrippa suggests due to the complexity of images and divisions extant in astrology back then; “… some visible and conspicuous, others only imaginable, conceived and set down by Egyptians, Indians, Chaldeans …” that 12 general divisions were needed. Perhaps the 12 divisions were seem as a simplified ‘trade language’ like those in common with groups of people with different languages so they could interact, understand and trade with each other, in their case, goods and services but in this case information?

Have a look at the circular Dendra Zodiac; this Greco-Egyptian Zodiac could be like a type of Rosetta Stone, showing the similarities between the Egyptian and Greek systems.
Look at the outer ring; star patterns, Gods and Goddesses, Spirits, etc are shown that seem to represent not only ‘Decans’ or ‘Faces’ but individual Stars, i.e. A map of the Heavens. The next ring in shows some similar signs but also the more familiar 12 Zodiac division signs that are above groups of Gods and Stars, there are no Stars shown in this ring. E.g., a scorpion is above and over four Gods and Star patterns, one of these Goddesses is the Scorpion Goddess (as shown by her headdress or crown) and she relates to a specific star. (Selquet, I think her name is … I’m relying on memory here). It seems this simplified shorthand or astrological ‘trade language’ symbolism gradually took over as the divisions of the sky and the Stars themselves lost significance … in modern times.

I wanted to write about Ficino’s star magic but this post is already too long. Anyway, I think I’ll research him a bit more first. He sounds very interesting, and was, apparently, a major influence of Agrippa, and from what I have read about his ceremonies, it seems very close to what we were doing in our planetary Rites of Eleusis.

Perhaps Scion (or someone else) knows a little about Ficino?
Top   #27
Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapienza
Thanks for the info about the book Scion and Abrac. And thanks for the scan Abrac, much appreciated
No problema.
Top   #28
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I'm a big Ficino fan, natch, because of his astro-magickal focus... but with several caveats. I think there are a couple other (less abstract) folks I'd nudge us towards before going there. Ficino occupies a funny place int he history of Hermetism and REALLY takes exception to the dæmonic aspects of magick, preferring instead to go with a more theurgic "aspirational" magick: More Plato than Aristotle (or Neoplotinus even), as it were. In all these thigns I feel like the active, practical magick is the one to examine. All that bloodless theorizing starts to smack of Ptolemy and his idiosyncratic revision of Astrology which became the "true source" by a quirk of western history. Even so, the other, older, funkier, occult traditions survived sub rosa.

Big topic, and that's a glorious chunk of meat you've thrown on the grill there, ravenest. And of course in your mention of Agrippa (and the specific stars & constellations) you're brushing up against a lot of the material I've been researching for the past 3 years. Gonna be hard to speak in specifics when things get this nitty-gritty, but I'd love to try. Let me chew a bit and suss out a few more days of post-production and then I'm gonna come play more actively.

Loving this thread... Doing an astrological happy dance.
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Well, it's been a busy week or so for me and I've only now had time to have a good read through of ravenests post. Lots of interesting info there. I have to be honest and say that an awful lot of this is completely new to me and so I can't really make any kind of wise comments I do really appreciate all the info though ravenest.

So, one question.....are the fixed stars linked to the Decans? Only since I've begun (slowly) reading up on traditional astrology have I started to think about the fixed stars.
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