Planets and Constellations

We are embarking on an experiment in magic today. In fact, this experiment is the reason why I’m posting on Wednesdays. It goes back to the idea of working with the energetic currents that naturally happen around us every day.

Magic and astronomy have gone together hand in hand for a very long time. The idea that different sorts of energetic currents moved around our planet (and us) at different times is an old one that more than one tradition has tried to develop a language for. One of the ways that people could tell where our planet was in it’s cyclical currents was watching what stars we are facing from where we are standing on this big hunk of space rock that we are travelling around the sun on. A common language that people use now a days for these currents is the language of astrology.

Before we continue much further, I’d like to make something known. I am not an astrology expert. I wouldn’t even go as far to say that I know it all that well. I do know enough to experiment with it in my magical practice, though. It is this knowledge that I am sharing.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit, you will already have noticed that I use astrological terms when talking about the esoteric uses of plants. Lemon balm’s correspondences are Jupiter in Cancer. Plantain’s correspondences are Mars in Capricorn. You may have wondered what planets and constellations have to do with plants. When I speak of these celestial bodies in reference to energetic properties, I’m referring to the energetic currents associated with these planets and constellations. Each of the planets known to Babylonian and Greek astrologers millenia ago and the twelve constellations of the zodiac represent a certain energy. If you don’t know these correspondences, here are some charts that I stole from the internet.

Planetary_Astrology_For_dummies
Zodiac_Astrology_For Dummies

That’s actually what a lot of astrology is all about, as I understand it. The popular pigeonholing of someone due to their sun sign is talking about the yearly energetic current that someone was born into. The constellations that we use to describe this was where the sun was approximately hanging out in the sky about 2,200 years ago. While the sun no longer is in the constellations due to the wobble of the planet, we still use the constellation’s names in describing the energetic currents that happen at that point of the year. Presently, we are in the astrological sign of Cancer. Though the sun nowadays is actually hanging out in Gemini, the current of the year remains the same. We’ve called it the Sun in Cancer 2,200 years ago, and we’re sticking to it.

When getting into astrological birth charts, they are a lot more complicated than one’s sun sign. They cover where the moon was, where the planets were, and other astronomical events at the point of your birth. While fascinating, that’s not what I’m covering today. Instead, I’m talking about charting these energetic currents and trying to ride these currents to be more successful at whatever you are trying to do.

Magically, a good way to do this is to pay attention to where the moon is hanging out in the sky. As I write this, the moon is in between Pisces and Aries at a point that astrologers refer to as “Void Of Course.” Not the most auspicious time, this should have a bad effect on intuition. It’s not a good time to do something magical. It would be better to wait for the moon to go into Aries tomorrow. Not to say that one can’t do something magical, just that it would not be as easy as it would be to wait for a better time.

The other planets in the sky also move through these different points of the sky, and mark movement of energetic currents. The theory is that they are reflecting solar currents flavored by the planet, subtly coloring the energetic movements on our planet. I’m sure you’ve heard of the dreaded “Mercury Retrograde.” That’s when, due to planetary movement and perspective, Mercury moves across the sky in the opposite direction as everything else. While it might be sending vibes of botched communication, it certainly is not the game changer that a lot of people try to make it. When it comes to planetary astrology, though, I usually don’t pay too much attention. They’re pretty far away, so I imagine that their effect is pretty subtle indeed. The moon and the sun, on the other hand, affects us in so many ways, astrology aside. I find the idea that their position in relation to us defining subtle energy shifts intriguing.

This brings us back to the beginning of this blog entry. Why Wednesdays? Well, someone noticed a long time ago that there are seven planets in traditional astrology (the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) and there are seven days in our week. It was only a matter of time until someone assigned a planet to a day. Wednesday happens to be the day assigned to Mercury. While the week seems to be an arbitrary human construct that divides the solar year pretty well, who am I to argue with tradition? Let’s try this experiment out. Will blogging on Wednesday be better at communicating than a Friday (the day of Venus) or Saturday (the day of Saturn, which is not the best choice for communication)? Let’s find out.

Talking about using astrology as a way to follow energetic currents, I will be expanding on that theory and how to use it during my upcoming Amulet Making Workshop. It will be on Sunday (can you guess that day’s planet, and what kind of amulets will be made then?) July 15th from 1 pm to 4 pm. If you’re interested, email me at greenmountainmage@gmail.com and I can tell you more.

Finally, have a fun (and relatively safe) Independence Day (for those of us who live in the United States). Don’t let the void of course moon mess with your intuition too badly.

 

Until next time

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Eclipse

I find the idea of astrology fascinating. When I speak of astrology, I’m not talking about birth chart daily horoscopes you’ll find in the newspaper. That is generally rubbish, as far as I’m concerned. No, I’m talking about how the movement of our planet in relationship with the movement of the planets, stars, and moon affect the flow of energy. I have done a little research into it, as it can be an interesting addendum to magic work. At least, so I’m told. I’m still playing around with it, forming my own thoughts.

The idea that life is affected by position of our planet, our sun, and the way that the closer planets in our solar system reflect the sun back to us makes sense, in a way. The sun is already a major player in why we are physically here. Daytime and nighttime also feel drastically different from each other, and I mean that in more ways than simple heat and light. Maybe it's the way that life reacts to that lack of light and heat that creates the energetic shift, but I believe it to be more than that.

I bring this up as I contemplate the recent lunar eclipse. There is a lot of different views of how eclipses affect the unseen world, and I’m personally trying to grasp what I believe about its energy. They have a bad rap, and it is said that the effects of an eclipse can be felt days before and after. Usually, that makes me think it’s just a scapegoat, but, along with the beautiful full moon that we had, it seemed to be a little more intense than usual. That feeling is further exacerbated by the chaos of life here on my hill in Vermont. My step-son was thrust into the position to save a life last weekend. His mother’s boyfriend’s heart stopped as they were hanging out. As the man collapsed, my amazing step-son kept his wits about him, called 911, then proceeded to put his recent CPR training to use. Not bad for a fourteen year old. The man recently came out of the coma that had resulted from his cardiac arrest, about as fine as one can be for being dead for a bit. While it’s amazing that our kid saved a life, that’s pretty traumatic fare that most people don’t have to go through.

Then, yesterday, after a fight with the doctor’s office about some asthma meds, what looked like a clear road ended up being treacherous. I somehow found the only patch of slush on the road, spun 180 degrees, slammed into a boulder, and launched my Volvo wagon into the air. After finishing a complete roll over, the side of my car slammed into an apple tree, roughly putting the vehicle back, right side up, onto its tires in the snowy woods. While I came out of it a little sore, I’m perfectly intact. No broken bones, no blood, minor bruising. I’m still at a loss of how it happened. Good snow tires don’t slide across perfectly dry roads like that, yet here I am.

Now, I’m not blaming the eclipse. The earth’s shadow did not fall upon the moon to specifically warn my family that life was going to get a little crazy. The words of an author that I respect do come to mind, though. I can’t remember the exact quote, but John Michael Greer said something to affect that magic is just the art of intended coincidence. It stems from the idea that magic can cause physical change in the world, as long as it doesn’t break the laws of physics. Instead, it looks more like a coincidence that after a ceremony to call rain, air pressure changed as it does, and rain followed in what seems to be a natural course.

This is absolutely conjecture, yet it seems to me that the area has been a little more chaotic recently. Maybe I’m projecting, or maybe I’m seeing it through the lenses of my own crazier-than-usual life, but it seems everything around here has been more open to disorder. Could part of this be connected to the eclipse of a powerful full moon? Why not? Everything is connected in ways that we have yet to fully understand.

The experiences of my step-son and I both remind me of the rune hagalaz, the rune that shakes things up. If my step-son wasn’t there, his mom’s boyfriend would have died. Josh keeps thinking that my crash was something reaching out to prevent me from finding a more catastrophic experience down the road. What if these are acts of the universe to change for the better, but the change itself is still powerful and traumatic. It reminds me of some of the healing work that I’ve been trained to do. The act of facing your trauma and shadows. It can be hard, and it’s rarely fun, but it leads to a deep healing. Maybe that’s the energy of the eclipse. Maybe there’s a bigger pattern in the chaos.

Or maybe it all just happened, and the proximity to the eclipse is just a coincidence. Maybe it’s all false equivalency.

On a side note, concerning the solar and lunar forces, tomorrow I am heading out to an old building to do a clearing. I’ve felt that this building is haunted for quite a while. Recently, the owner asked me to go in and try to do a clearing, as she finds the building creepy. This being my first building that I’ve tried to clear of noncorporeal beings, this is going to be an interesting experience, one that I will share about more next week. The reason I mentioned solar forces in conjunction with solar forces is that I plan on heading there before sunrise to try and use the energy of the sunrise to help me clean out the space. It may be successful, it may not. Either way, it will be interesting. I can’t wait to share the story with you next week.

 

Be well. Be safe.

 

-The Green Mountain Mage