Friday, July 9, 2010

Planetary Order

Jason posted here claiming the folks that developed the Hermetic order of the planets got it wrong. From one perspective he is quite correct. However, from another, I will disagree.

Part of the training of a magician is to deal with what is observable.

For instance, my tarot birth card is the 5 of wands, Strife. As I observe my life, I see my combative nature. My quick jump to argumentative discourse. My anger -- that often has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I can see the events in my life that took my personality in those directions. When this is reflected back to me, or when people can not tolerate it anymore, I view it as the universe reflecting back to me what is internal to myself. I observe the outer visible and perceivable universe and correlate that to the inner.

Of course, I also see more positive sides of my personality reflected from without as well. I am a teacher, magician, manager, compassionate and very full of hope. My kindnesses are mostly unadvertised. I find my joyous times, specifically when I finally released most of that obsession, as a reflection of the Prince of Wands, another birth card.

A third party, seeing only one display of my argumentative side, may view the other party in the wrong and maybe within that context they'd be correct. However, I still see the reflection of issues I am working on. I even see them when I feel I am in the right.

The same is true with magick. When I perform an act of magick, I see how that act creates something observable in the outer universe. If I do money magick, did money actually show up? Was money taken away? Did my car get wrecked? We use what we can observe as a basis for judging our work. I have never heard of a magician doing money magick and then checking the molecular structure of the twenty dollar bills in his wallet to gauge success. Nor, have I see one pick up a telescope to see if his magick was a success either.

No, we judge our work by what we can perceive with our unaided senses.

This is reflected in the orders of the planets we use. The are ordered in a pattern observable to the the magician. That order is the relative speed of those planets as we can observe them with the naked eye from the perspective of the magician.

When this order is used for personal alchemy, it makes a lot of sense. For in the beginning we are more analogous to the moon and later to the sun. The moon reflects light into the shadows. The moon reflects our need to go with the crowd, as shown in its geomantic shape, populas. This has its purposes and uses and I am not discounting those. The sun reveals our ability to be the life giving light.

That said, there are many other systems form which a different point of view of the planets likely makes a lot of sense. In fact, one comment to Jason's post was from someone that feels he tapped into the galactic core, which for him contains more energy than the sun. From my perspective, the sun is quite powerful enough, thank you. The galactic core concept is fascinating.  Maybe I will deal with that in another lifetime.


Jason Miller, said...

I did'nt say they got it wrong. I asked the question of what it would be like if they knew the actual placement. I am not penalizing them for not knowing. I am not even saying that people who follow that system now are in error. I am simply musing on what a system based on modern understanding would look like.

You pointed out that the switching of Venus and Mercury was based on their speed, which is correct, but the fact remains, speed around what?

The order works, but honestly ANY order will work, which is why there are different planetary attributions for Sephira by different Rabbi's and sometimes even in the same text!

The people that devised their system thought they were living in a Geocentric universe. To think that they would not have made changes if they actually thought they were in a Heliocentric universe is just silly.

As to the second point about magicians relying upon the unaided eye for their magic and results, that is just bogus. Magicians have always used whatever tools were available to them. It was not until the comparativly recent fetishizing of anachronism in magic that people started insisting on not doing sp, and that is only in European magic.

When I do money magic, I do most certainly use instruments to judge results - computers mostly, which keep track of my accounts. When I do healing magic for people, it is usually a doctor using a microscope and blood tests that tells me if I have been successful or not.

I am not sure you thought this one through.

Frater POS said...

I think you've made some pretty good points and I appreciate them. I enjoy comments, criticism and agreement.

I also think if you check your comment to my comment, you'll see where I came up with the idea that you said, "they got it wrong".

Jason Miller, said...

They got it wrong in the sense that they ended up being incorrect, which I think is pretty well indisputable. Not in the sense that they could have done any better.

One of the things that science does well, and which magic doesn't, is say "yeah, we were wrong about that. It worked ok in some senses, but lets make it better based on new info."

Frater POS said...

Now there I may have to more strongly disagree. You've changed your mind many times based on new info and experience, as has RO, as have I. When I started blogging, I didn't really believe in spirits. Yet, with more info. I do now. I can only think of one of the bloggers who has a shown a tendency not to change his or her mind.

I think most magicians are very good at discarding old ways of doing things. I also happen to believe a lot of old ways work just fine thank you very much. However, they can be improved up.

You may have some traction historically, I don't know. My contemporaries seem better than most at discarding things that no longer or work or for something that works better.