Greetings, and welcome to my new journal. For those of you just dropping by who don’t know me, my name is David and I am the author of a book called ‘The 26 Keys: the magic of the astral light‘, in which I present a new approach to astrology which is a fusion of my experience as both an astrologer and a magician. In this journal I will be adding to what I wrote in The 26 Keys as well as commenting on various issues related to magic, astrology and the world in general when viewed from these perspectives.
Its a kind of magical Mystery Box really.
I’m going to start by sharing an article I wrote on August 31st last year and shared on the Facebook page for The 26 Keys. It is a basic discussion of astrocartography, or astrolocality (take your pick of either mouthful), the methods of plotting a birth chart onto a map of the world to identify places of power. Here it will hopefully find a wider audience. As I get this journal up and running I will be porting over all the articles I wrote previously and published on my website ‘Astral Visions’.
Thanks for your interest, and I hope enjoy what I have to put on the table.
JOURNEYS WITH THE ASTRAL LIGHT
In the closing section of my book ‘The 26 Keys: the Magic of the Astral Light’ I wrote about several ways in which the work of turning the keys could be expanded and taken in new directions. Suggestions were given for exploring different zodiacs, working with stars, using models such as the Tree of Life, exploring relationships, working with planes and Elements and moving beyond basic techniques and the exclusive use of conjunctions with additional conductors. Many of these sections were by necessity very briefly treated – I was acutely aware that this was an already very hefty and challenging read not suitable for casual readers and did not want to add too much to that burden. Consequently some ideas were stripped from the section entirely and are still looking for a home. I have decided at this time to start to put them down in writing and let them loose until such a home arrives. In this irregular series of posts I will be releasing these orphans one at a time, starting today with an article on astrolocality, the astrology of location.
Location is a critical element in astrology – it determines what we see just as much as time does, or rather it determines where we see it. If we look up in the sky in London and see Mars high above us we will obviously not see the same thing if we were to look up at the sky in Sydney. Mars will instead be below the horizon and so we will not see him in the sky at all; we will be able to locate him in the birth chart but in a different temple location to where he would be in a chart set for London at the same time.
This obvious fact has profound implications from the perspective of a practitioner of synthetic astrology. Whatever is at least potentially visible and observable with the naked human eyes is empowered and able to introduce causation in our physical world. Temples 7 through 12 (up to the start of the 1st), which are the parts of the sky visible, therefore hold great and direct power in terms of being able to manifest the influence of their occupants in the physical universe, with temples 1, 7 and 10 and particularly 1 having significant roles to play in the material emergence of astrological influences. This is why in many books on evocation and magic – including Franz Bardons’ ‘Practice of Magical Evocation’ – and throughout the ancient world emphasis was placed on the times when planets rise, set or culminate in the sky.
In ancient times ritual sites were erected to mark upon the Earth the places in the sky where objects reached these places of power and ceremonies were conducted to welcome them at the appropriate times. This ‘wedded’ the Earth to the sky and the sacred sites and ceremonies were regarded as essential anchors which ensured the safety and wellbeing of humanity by linking it to the realm of the gods. This practice was not only a ritualised tethering of Earth and Sky but also of Time and Space, a union between geographical and temporal significance. The Sun would only rise over the specially placed sacred stone guardian when the time was right. The light would only cast a snake-shadow down the steps along the side of the pyramid on a certain day. The inner chamber of the mound would only light up on a certain morning.
In the 26 keys techniques were provided which enable us to interact with time – the keys themselves are a mechanism which allows us to do this. They show when the happening occurs as well as what it is, and the conductors show you how to interact with it and a minimum timeframe of how long this will take. This article will show you how the ancient awareness of ‘where’ can be brought into your interaction. Just as I did in the book I will be using Paramahansa Yogananda as an example – images have been uploaded which you will need to refer to.
The first thing that I wish to point out about this matter is that location is alive. It is not merely a concept or an atmosphere, but an entity in its own right just as your body is not merely a location but a living being. Space, like time, is a continuum that is connected to every point of infinite space around it by virtue of being its centre. When we come to a place, whether we come to it for the first time or the thousandth, we are meeting with a living astra-mental being whose body is a geographical form. Like any other thing, this location is unique, it has a unique character and its own quirks and needs; it is not a mere piece of scenery that you walk through but a living pattern with which your own living pattern is interwoven. Like any relationship there is a reciprocal give and take, a resonance as the two qualities mix and respond to one another. Your presence in a place is the most unique gift you have to give it and the magic of working with space is the magic of giving this gift. We have become tourists who only demand that places entertain us having lost sight of what we have to offer them. So when you approach a site, remember this and bring your best weather! Treating places with respect and seeking to influence them for the better are basic rules which you must observe in your approach. Try, too, to become sensitive to the needs and character of different regions – mountains, lakes, grasses, cities – so that you can more clearly observe the different ways in which astrological influences show themselves under different conditions. For example, at a river Mars may show itself as a strong current while at a nightclub as a bass drum and the energy of the crowd.
As mentioned above the 1st, 7th and 10th temples play important roles in the manifestation of astrological effects and this is particularly the case in the matter of astrolocality. In this article I am going to explain how we identify the areas on the surface of the planet which carry a unique resonance with these places in your own birth chart and how to work with them when you visit them. Every planet in your chart will be shown to have a rich contextual relationship with the Earth which you can use as a map to seek its treasures and identify what it requires from you in return. This relationship will be shown in the form of lines which wrap around the globe.
The first factors in astrolocality we will look at are called culminating lines. These are lines of longitude, which means they will be straight vertical lines from north to south when shown on a map. Simply put, these are the places where a planet is on the midheaven when you were born, in other words if you were born at any of the places along your Mars culminating line, your chart would have Mars at the same degree as the midheaven.
Take a look at the map titled ‘Yogananda: culminating lines’ and you will see the map for his culminating lines. The lines are labelled with the symbols for the planets along the top. You can see the red Mars culminating line going through east Africa, and the violet Uranus line going through Los Angeles. The black Saturn culminating line is cast into the Pacific Ocean with the Chiron and Moon culminating lines, but those last two also pass through the north island of New Zealand. You can also see the Pluto and Neptune lines very close together and placed east of his birthplace in India – he is born with Neptune and Pluto close to his midheaven.
These lines are showing where a planetary influence is crowning us – it offers some kind of status, position or role for us to play and it requires us to fulfil our responsibilities in that capacity. This is the line which offers the clearest perspective on a planets essential meaning. In magical work it is a place where we can evoke that planet into the mental realm. Ceremonies and rituals conducted at these sites will reveal the overall purpose and meaning of the planet to the location and the participants.
An opposite line, the anti-culminating line (also shown on the image linked above), is plotted directly opposite the culminating line. This means that if your culminating line for the Sun is at 30°E of Greenwich then your anti-culminating line for the Sun will be at 150°W of Greenwich. This line is the ‘taproot’ of a planets essential meaning, the source or well which can be visited to touch base with it, but instead of revealing a planets essential meaning it acts to ground it. Being an unobservable part of the sky the effect is also more astra-mental – although the grounding quality of these places affords them a way to introduce physical causation it must come about through time like a seed growing in the soil. These places are ideally suited to visit when there are ancestral issues related to the planet (such as a family pattern or a karmic issue). They are also places where magically charged objects can be left or buried as offerings to the Earth and the planets, totems which anchor specific essential meanings in space.
Rising and Setting lines
Just as the culminating lines were lines connected with a planet at the midheaven or 10th temple, rising and setting lines connect planets with the ascendant and descendant, the 1st and 7th temples. Simply put, these are lines where a planet is either rising or setting at the time of your birth, so if you are born with the Moon rising on the ascendant, then your Moon rising line will pass through your birth place. Unlike the straight vertical form of culminating lines these lines appear curved when projected onto a map, Take a look at the images titled ‘Yogananda: rising lines’ and ‘Yogananda: setting lines’. On his rising lines map you can see his Moon and Chiron lines passing close to his birthplace in India – he is born with them close to the ascendant. If there were planets close to his descendant, their setting lines would pass through his birthplace too. Here you can also see that his Sunrise line passes very close to Los Angeles, adding to the Uranus culminating line uncovered earlier.
These lines show where a planet manifests itself in our awareness of our identity and our interaction with other people. They offer us a direct and ‘in your face’ encounter with a planets raw essential meaning and the quality of our interaction with it. Rising lines are the primary sites which evoke a particular essential meaning into the present moment and are therefore of great significance in ritual and particularly evocation. The Sunrise line is the line in which our own essential nature and the light of our being are stimulated to shine more brightly. The Moonrise line is the place where our astral awareness and sensitivity to astral influences is nurtured, and so on. The beings of the spheres will manifest themselves with great power when evoked at the relevant rising line location. Rising lines are perhaps the most powerful lines of all because they have the force to evoke essential meaning into the physical realm but they lack the perspective of the culminating lines – participants tend to get immersed and lose their identity in the sweeping wave of power emanated by the essential meaning. Setting lines are softer but still extremely potent, generally serving to evoke the planets essential meaning into the astral sphere from which it is directly sensed by sensitive individuals as a tone or quality to the interactions that are occurring between things, the resonances being bounced around. So the Moonset line is one of the most powerful for working with the development of the astral senses.
Paran lines are a third kind of line to look at. Readers of my book will already be familiar with parans, which were described in the section on stars starting on page 484. Here we are going to be looking at parans between planets and planets (or Lights) rather than planets and stars, although we could also look at parans between planets and stars in the same way.
As a reminder, a paran is a relationship between two objects when both are at one of the 4 angles of power at the same time in the same place, the angles of power being the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th temples. Simply put, this means that if you are born with Venus rising and Saturn on the midheaven, there is a Venus/Saturn paran line going through your birthplace. Paran lines appear on a map as horizontal bars and each world and Light can have paran lines with any other world and Light. This means that when you apply the keys to this you can potentially end up with hundreds of paran lines to investigate, one set of 10 or 20 (or more) for each world and Light key. Take a look at the image titled ‘Yogananda: Sun paran lines’ and you will see 20 yellow horizontal lines bisecting the map. Notice that there is a Sun/Dragon line going through Los Angeles which adds further definition to the essential meaning being encountered there. The paran lines involving the Dragon will always involve both the Head and the Tail together in one place as they are always opposite – thus, if the Sun is rising and the Tail is setting, the Head is rising too.
Paran lines are stronger when there is a natural inbuilt relationship between the two objects in your birth chart: if you are born with Sun square Saturn, then the Sun/Saturn paran line will be especially intense, and if you are born with Moon trine Venus, the Moon/Venus paran line will be likewise empowered, though it is likely not as intense as the Sun/Saturn line. The reason for this is not just that Moon/Venus is a ‘softer’ combination that Sun/Saturn, but also that paran lines respond most forcefully to conjunction, square and opposition aspects which are present in the birth chart. For this reason paran lines are very useful tools to employ when seeking to deal with a problematic aspect in the birth chart or when working with Mars or Saturn as conductors (because these planets lend their nature to the square and opposition aspects). Some parans are formed when two objects are square, and some when they are in opposition, and some when they are conjunct. A Sun/Saturn paran can form when the Sun sets and Saturn rises, or when Saturn rises and the Sun culminates, or at any moment in which both Sun and Saturn occupy any of the 4 places of power, the turning points of the wheel of the sky. Thus, some Sun/Saturn parans are formed when Sun and Saturn are conjunct, some when they are square and some when they are in opposition, and if they are in square or opposition the choice of conductor should be considered.
Paran lines underscore other lines. They have no inherent nature of their own like the lines previously discussed except to say that they serve as ways in which more complex astrological influences are available. This means that a paran line on its own has very little impact and must be coaxed out of the ground and the sky, but a paran that has its resonance reinforced by other lines will ‘wake up’ and start to reveal itself when your presence is supplied. In many ways paran lines interact with other lines to form ‘zones’ – pockets of mixed essential meaning, so that if you were to display the culminating lines over the paran lines a grid would be formed which locates these pockets, and if the rising and setting lines are added some very powerful loci can be identified. This is not possible without paran lines as the culminating/anti-culminating and rising/setting lines only cross over one another at the extreme north and south of the globe, near the poles.
Maps like these are now easy to obtain using astrological software. They are for obvious reasons not easy to calculate by hand, particularly the rising/setting lines. If you are interested in this area and are genuinely seeking to explore it I will be happy to supply you with the necessary images. In conjunction with the 26 keys they provide another way to invite a specific essential meaning into your life – by locating yourself at a specific location at a specific time you provide the missing ingredient that turns the lock, and perhaps more importantly find a way in which you can give something back to our Earth in an era of great crisis.