Here we are; astrological talismans and their creation by a rank amateur with no business calling forth the ancient and immensely powerful spirits of entire fucking planets. That’s right, if the glassy-eyed freak who freely admits to having a crush on David Bowie, and suggests that adding one’s own unique flair to the masturbatory process is a noble raison d’etre can create effective astrological talismans out of a hastily thrown together charm bag and some poorly drawn paper talismans, anyone can.
First off, the election: an astrological election is a time elected by an astrologer because of specific planetary and stellar alignments. Essentially, it’s a birthchart for the creation of an object or event and like a birthchart it dictates, to some degree, the general vibes of said person, place, or thing. For those of you interested in learning more from folks who know what the fuck it is they're doing here’s a link to Chris Brennan and Leisa Scheim talking for nearly three hours about electional astrology and all the other things that tie in with that. I have learned a whole truckload of super valuable and useful astrology things from The Astrology Podcast and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn about astrology for free plus how could you not enjoy a podcast hosted by this guy.
Fair warning, Chris’ voice hovers somewhere in between robotic monotone, partially reanimated corpse, exasperated emo teenager, and that teacher from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off; Ben Stein. For more magically inclined astrological podcastery check out the biannual astrology episodes of Rune Soup featuring the inimitable Austin Coppock, and Austin’s own podcast: Eavesdropping at Midnight.
The timing for my talismans fell, quite effortlessly, into my lap through forces I will never fully comprehend. Here’s the chart for the Venus talisman which, oddly enough, was so good that the brilliant Coppock’s who run Sphere and Sundry used it as well. Check it!. That said, they used the election to much greater effect and called in a total of 5 planetary spirits during their ritual and lined up the houses better than I did. All in all, though, for a first crack at astro-magic I’d say I did pretty well.
For those of you looking for solid elections this year, the Astrology Podcast gives away a free election every month with their astrology-of-the-month-ahead show and, if you become a patron at a certain tier they give you around 5 elections a month. Looking at those elections and the ones posted on Sphere and Sundry has been an incredibly valuable, free learning tool for me. Other options for finding elections include r/planetarymagic and various other forums dedicated to astro-magic. There are more classes available than I care to count, I believe Chris Warnock, co-author/translator of the Picatrix, still offers classes and astrological talismans at Renaissance Astrology and Austin Coppock has some prerecorded classes on his site. I’ve heard that starting with talismans of the lunar mansions, as outlined in The Picatrix, can be a decent intro to talismanic astro-magic though, as is my wont, I chose to forgo the intro and leap headfirst into the deep end. One could also make daily or weekly prayers and offerings of candles or incense to the planetary or stellar spirits one is looking to work with and see what happens. I have done this with spirits of many varieties and it works a treat.
Speaking of prayers, finding examples of traditional prayers to the spirit you wish to petition and using those as a template, or cribbing whole sections, and adding your own personal flair and language has worked superbly well for me. Also, being comfortable enough with the gist of the prayer to go totally off-book and freestyle if the mood strikes has yielded outstanding results in my own practice. Speaking from the heart seems to be a key factor in successful evocations. As Aleister Crowley said: “The whole secret may be summarized in these four words: “Inflame thyself in praying.”
This is easier than it may seem: It’s acting. Giving yourself completely to the words on the page, or in your heart, and feeling them “inflame” you creates a potent spiritual and magical environment conducive to inter-dimensional diplomacy and the achievement of magical goals.
Here are some examples of the the basic ritual shape and prayers I used to petition Mars and to empower my talismans.
- Purification by bathing and reading Psalm 51, especially verses 7-12.
- Calling of Personal Daimon from PGM
- Consecration of ground, and consecration of fire and incense from Drawing Spirits Into Crystals by psedo-Trithemius in Barret’s The Magus
- Prayer: Oh Mars, you who are an honored lord and are dry and hot, mighty, weighty, unshakable of nerve, firm of heart, spiller of blood. You are strong and hardy, acute, daring, shining, agile, skillful. The lord of battle who has no fear or contemplation of anything, who strikes by instinct and trained skill at the perfect moment both on the anvil and on the battlefield. Sole helper in all your effects and in investigations thereof, strong in calculation and will to conquer, indomitable of will and drive and endlessly seeking fortune. Cause of lawsuits and battles, doer of evil to weak and strong, lover of the sons of battle and vindicator of wicked people. King of the forge and the purifying fire, hot as molten rock and sturdy as the anvil. Harnesser of destruction, channeling explosions into pure forward drive. Inexorable progress, mowing down any and all who stand in your way. I ask of you and conjure you by your names and your qualities that exist in heaven; by your fire and progress, by your drive and purification and also by your petitions to the Lord God who placed power and strength in you, gathering them in you and separating them from other planets that you might have strength and power and victory over all with great vigor.
- Orphic Hymn to Mars
- Conjuration: I conjure you by all your names which are in Arabic Mirrih, in Latin Mars, in Persian Bahram, in Roman and Greek Aries, in Indian Angara, in Etruscan Maris, in Babylonian Nergal, in Vedic Mangal.
- Conjuration: I conjure you by the high God of the universe that you hear my prayer and attend to my petition and furthermore see my humility in the presence of your holy might and fill my petition. I conjure you by Samael who is the angel whom God set beside you to complete your effects and affairs.
- Conjuration: Mars I conjure you also by your spirit with which you have strength and potency in your works, I conjure you by your light and your radiance, by the red glow of your light and by the heart of the strong burning fire. You who are the embodiment of purification through fire and force of will, pure determination, the action and implementation of universal power, the bearer of wellfare and action through exploration and protection. Mars who is of the nature of the ardent flame, igniter of passion and reveler in battle. Commander of the forces of strength, drive, purification, protection, defending borders and expanding them through force, I conjure you by the High Throne of God and in the name of Tetragrammaton that you head my prayer in this your degree of exaltation and grant my petition and dedicate, bless, consecrate, and empower the items on this altar. Fill them with the might of your power in this your degree of exaltation and the height of your strength.
- Talisman Prep: Draw Mars symbols on paper or parchment or cloth or rocks, compound oils or waters or tinctures.
- Charm Bag: Draw Mars glyphs on bag and fill with plants and minerals sympathetic to Mars. Check Agrippa or Skinner or think about the qualities of Mars and what materials share those qualities: personal meaning adds a lot to these workings.
- Talisman Consecration and Empowerment: I conjure you mighty spirit of Mars and glorious archangel Samael, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to, with the indefatigable spirit of Mars, consecrate, bless, dedicate, and empower these talismans that they may shine forth with the glow of the forge and power of the hammer of Mars in his degree of exaltation. That they radiate the pure victorious drive and unstoppable courage, the inevitable success, heightened instincts and awareness, the indefatigable energy and iron will and flaming heart of Mars at his best, the right use of universal power and action through exploration. Fill them with the calculated, tactical striking power and purifying heat of the forge so that all those who hold them shall know victory and success, and that they may stand, solid as a block of iron, as a testament to your steadfast strength and power and serve as an everlasting tribute to your implementation of universal power without bringing any harm or unnecessary stress to the lives of those who hold them or the people within their spheres of influence.
- Talisman Enlivening: At this point I was about full to bursting of indescribable Martial power. My skin was hot and it felt like I had molten fire ants with jetpacks and rocket pants coursing through my veins instead of blood. My whole body was shaking with the raw power of this ancient, explosive power. I took a deep breath and focused all the power blasting through the room and my body into my core and lungs and hands, picked up my charm bag and pushed the glorious, fulminating, cataclysmic creative force into the bag with a forceful exhale, intending, all the while, to use the energy to enliven and empower the talisman. It was very obvious that it “woke up” immediately so I tied the bag closed with five knots and moved on to enliven the paper talismans.
- License to Depart: Thanking God and all the spirits who attended for their aid, requesting as they came in peace and power that they depart in the same fashion and return when called.
Image by Matthew Trupia
Wowzers! I got jittery and Martially (or Marshally) amped up to 11 just transcribing these prayers from my ritual notebook. Which makes sense considering that it was on or near the altar throughout the working and is likely a talisman in its own right.
For those of you thinking that Mars was a rather reckless first entity to petition for a talisman, you are right. That said, while Mars in it's degree of exaltation in Capricorn is more powerful, it is also much more stable. The whole thing came together rather quickly when, while making my standard Tuesday Mars prayers, I was struck with a massive surge of energy and the certainty that making a talisman was both within my power and a magical necessity. The surge of energy lasted from that Tuesday until the following Sunday providing more than enough maddening Martial motivation and energy to propel me, sleepless, through five straight days of research, magic, and ritual preparation.
That's all I've got for y'all this week. Let me know in the comments what you think and if you have had any interesting experiences with astrological magic, or magical magpie-ism, or anything else on your mind.
See y'all next time.
Sorry for the lateness of this post, it would have been posted last week on Wednesday only, a giant kingfisher pecked me into my duvet cover and then a frog stole my shoes. I’ve only just managed to wriggle out the bottom of my bed, tearing my last clean pair of jodhpurs on a magic hedgehog. Luckily the frog left me my slippers and a life in which shoes and jodhpurs optional.
To make up for my fecklessness I present to you part one of a long as post about astrological magic and magical magpie-ism. So circle up you miniaturized mercurial manta rays, you pulchritudinous potato poems for another journey through time and space...
A little less than a year ago in late March just as we in the USA were realizing that the shut down of the entire world also included us, I was called, quite loudly, to begin researching and preparing to make some astrological talismans in the style of The Picatrix. Astrological talismans and talismanic materia have been on my radar for a few years now thanks to Handsome Man-strologer Austin Coppock and his brilliant astro-sorceress wife Caitlin who run Sphere and Sundry. Making said talismans and materia had crossed my mind but, given my complete lack of astrology training and limited understanding of the ensorcelling required for the ritual, I figured it would have to be a project that some future-Tyler would sort out after present-Tyler did a whole shit-ton more research and learning. Not the case. As usual, going with my gut and studying the things I was nudged/called to study totally worked out because, as you will see below, I “randomly” stumbled on to an amazing magical election. Using the prayer and praxis from the Picatrix and some prayers and TEK from Drawing Spirits Into Crystals, and borrowing some of the beautiful wording from Jyotish planetary prayers I called forth, invoked, and petitioned the spirits of Mars and Venus as well as the angels and intelligences of their spheres and had them empower some talismans.
David Bowie, Marc Bolan, The Glitter Twins: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Sir William Blake, Greg Traw, Sarah Eisenlohr, The Avalanches, Daft Punk, Justice, and Beck. These are all excellent examples of humans who borrow shiny bits and pieces from the world at large and recombine them into something completely new, something greater than the sum of its parts. A beautiful chimera, unique and futuristic, cobbled together from the glittering refuse of the past. These masterful, majestic magpies unmake and take apart the world we take for granted, they strip it down to its component parts and then they take the bits that speak to them and create the Frankenstein monster of the motherfucking future from the bombastic bones of the past.
Greg Traw's psychedelic magic masterpiece the Dracxiodos Tarot
All this is to say that while I appreciate the skills stances of grimoire purism and reconstructionism just as I appreciate the skills and stances of classical musicians; there is certainly value in traditionalism and reconstructing the rituals, and or concerts, of the past. It’s just not the way I roll. My whole life has been spent experimenting with what the different combinations of skittles in the packet taste like, adding brown gravy to my kalbi ribs and mac salad, and bravely combining drugs to test for synergy in the test tube that serves as my brain.
David Bowie has been a roll model/crush/idle/idol of mine for way longer than is appropriate. So it stands to reason that I would end up a musical, masticatory, and magical magpie as well. Magic is a living tradition and one of my favorite parts of being alive is innovation and finding what works for us as individuals, taking what we need and leaving the rest. Developing our own unique ways of being true to ourselves in whatever we do: magic, music, filing TPS reports, writing, delivering mail, dancing, eating, cooking, or masturbating seems like as noble a reason for living as any other.
Alright, in typical Myrrhkwood fashion, we started down a path headed for a clear and easily reachable destination and have become waylaid by the shiny fairy lights. That is, however, the very nature of the forest and Myrrhkwood is about as foresty as a forest can be: it may in fact be the forestyest forest that ever did forest… Damn it’s dark. Where did that trail go?
To be continued…