Magical Operations

Greetings, and welcome back to journeys! This month I will be expanding upon an article I published last September on the subject of Magical Timing.

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In the previous article I discussed some of my method of ritual design, specifically the capturing of astrological meaning by tapping into it at a specific moment and how to identify that moment. In this article I will concentrate on the ritual or spell itself and share with you some of my own findings and some of the instructions I have been given by the beings of the zodiac and the planets on these matters. Like my previous article, I am writing this one with a wider audience in mind, not only initiated magicians capable of evocation and working with the Elements in a magical way – I’m going to be giving advice that you can adapt to your own level of working, but you will undoubtedly get the most out of this article if you have already worked through the first 7 or 8 steps of Initiation into Hermetics or have attained an equivalent degree of magical initiation. Every initiate can make use of what I am going to say by simply adapting it to their own practice.

For educational purposes (which do not always follow through in practice) we can differentiate the application of astrology in magic into two distinct and often connected branches, which I will call astromagical timing and astromagical operations. For the most part, we can regard astromagical timing as a form of magical divination since the primary objective is to identify a moment in time in which a specific essential meaning is being communicated with force by astrology. For example, if your magical intention is to communicate with the muses of dance, you will seek to identify a moment in which the astrological power of Venus is very strong and healthy, since Venus is connected with this art. The idea here is that your astromagical timing will make forming the connection with your intention far easier and well augured. This kind of magical divination has its flowering in astrology through its branch of electional astrology as well as its use of transits and progressions, about which much has been written and virtually all of this is useful to a practicing magician seeking to use astrology in their work. Astromagical operations, however, have a much wider array of potential uses beyond timing through divination, although they may include divination and most often do involve use of astromagical timing to support and enhance an effect.

In this article I will talk about the application of astrology in four branches of magical operation – summoning, binding, warding and banishing. I will define these four operations and each will be examined through a hermetic and astrological perspective referring to some of the analogies of the planets, signs and temples with respect to each. Before I get there however, it is necessary to talk about the different approaches a magician can take when seeking to perform one of these magical acts. These different approaches combine together with the four operations to provide numerous ways in which the magical operation can be conducted. In essence, the approaches differ from the four operations in that the approaches are methods and the operations are objectives. If we consider the subject matter of any magical act as the manipulation of essential meaning, then the operation is what we are intending to accomplish with that essential meaning and the approach is how we are doing it. I will discuss four approaches. Two of the approaches are inherently magical ones and the other two approaches are astrological ones.

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Magical Approaches: Invocation and Evocation

The two complementary but different magical approaches, invocation and evocation, relate to the dimension of space or distance between the magician and the essential meaning. Simply put, when invoking essential meaning the magician subjects their own awareness to it, while in evocation the essential meaning becomes subject to the magicians awareness. The approach of invocation is an immersive one in which the magician invokes the essential meaning into the mental, astral and/or physical body of the magician themselves, and (at least to some degree) without completely losing control over their own awareness. Haitian Vodou for example makes use of invocation magic. The approach of evocation is to externally interact with the essential meaning, often by evoking it into a magic triangle or other receptacle such as a forest or a body of water, without losing control of what is evoked. Bardons second book is all about the practice of evocation magic, but it touches upon invocation. 

In invocations, the magicians invitation of the essential meaning often involves statements, chants or songs involving the phrase “I Am”, such as this invocation from the Egyptian Book of the Dead:

I am one with Atum when he still floated alone in Nun,
the waters of chaos,
before any of his strength had gone into creating the cosmos.
I am Atum at his most inexhaustible – the potence and potential of all that is to be.
This is my magic protection
and it is older and greater than all the gods together!

Here we see an example of an invocation that is both a summoning and a warding, the summoning of the Atum presence being its own form of protection. From here, the magician might continue invoking Atum as part of a ceremony delivering his power to the Guardians of the Quarters or the other ritualists, or they might then begin evoking a particular entity as Atum. In fact, many powerful spirits (for example, deities and some totem spirits) insist on this kind of procedure as a form of dignified and traditionally approved approach by the magician. Other beings have different requests of magicians seeking to invoke or evoke them. Whether the magician should do so is of course up to them. It doesn’t hurt to ask why a spirit requests a certain procedure, but you need to be able to reliably discern a deception from a transparent answer. When in doubt just refuse, and always give such matters deep thought before you go ahead with your decision. Unless you are either truly gifted or properly trained remember that to some degree you will interact with dimensions of your own being that you are unconscious of, whether they are invoked or evoked. The ability to perceive a spirit objectively begins with perceiving our own spirit objectively. This is what differentiates a genuine magical act from psychodrama.

Here is another invocation spell, this time from the Celtic tradition, the works of the Irish bard Amergin Glúingel, the ‘Song of Being’, which makes powerful use of the magic of the ‘I Am’ phrase:

I am a wind upon the sea,
I am a wave upon the ocean,
I am the sound of the sea,
I am a stag of seven tines,
I am a bull of seven battles,
I am a hawk upon a cliff,
I am a teardrop in the sun,
I am the fairest of blossoms,
I am a boar in its boldness,
I am a salmon in a pool,
I am a lake on a plain,
I am a tree upon a hill,
I am that which shapes,
I am myself shaped,
I am that which dreams,
I am myself a dreamer,
I am all beings,
And that which all beings become.

This particular invocation prepares the magicians awareness to be receptive to the being it is seeking to invoke, and it is a summoning invocation because it calls all of the named things into the magicians awareness – think of it as a magical warm up.

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Talismans and amulets and other ceremonial objects like magical robes and belts which the magician adorns themselves with are also frequently part of invocation magic. For example, an Egyptian or Native American headdress in the form of an animal or a deity may literally have the power to invoke an entity into the awareness of whoever puts it on. In this way, sacred objects can become vessels of essential meaning that pass from one individual to another, and act to invoke specific magical effects when worn. A royal crown being ceremonially placed on someones head is another example of this kind of invocation magic being used.

Evocation is very different. In evocation the magician avoids calling the essential meaning into their own awareness, and instead directs their own awareness to interact with the essential meaning in an external form. The spirit is often summoned into a magic mirror and viewed, and there is a communion between the two beings but never any merging of the two. Sometimes an evoked entity will ask to be invoked, perhaps in order to share something that it cannot do through evocation, and sometimes an invocation can lead to an evocation, but there is still a clear distinction and one that needs to be understood. With evocation, information and discourse occurs in a sequential way similar to mundane interpersonal communication, but with invocation communication with the essential meaning is simultaneous and intrapersonal, it takes place in a way similar to the way we have internal dialog with ourselves.

Evocation does not generally use the phrasing I Am” in its operations, unless an invocation is part of how the magician is asserting their awareness over the essential meaning. For example, a magician might invoke their own mastery of the Fire Element when dealing with an evocation of a hot tempered Fire being. Generally the songs, spells and chants which are evocations offer praise, hailing, adoration, honour and tokens of respect to the essential meaning, they involve offerings of its incenses, its colours, sigils, its rituals, its atmospheres and plants or foods etc., and they frequently describe it and then objectify it in some external form or contain it within an area. A phrase often used,or one similar to it is “I Call”, “I Worship” ormore forcefully “I Command”, although again this is just a general point that often helps to identify the approach.

Here is an evocation of the Sun from the Egyptian Book of the Dead:

Hail Ra in your rising, Atum Horakhty,
I worship you, your beauty in my eyes,
your light unfurling on my breast.
You go, you rest in the evening boat,
your heart is elated in the morning boat,
you travel the sky in peace.
All your enemies are felled,
the untiring stars rejoice for you,
the undying stars worship you,
you rest in the horizon of the light-mountain,
beautiful as Ra every day,
alive and stable as my lord
Ra, true of voice

And here is an evocation from the Welsh bard Taliesin from the 6th century, ‘Song of the Winds’:

Who dreamt the wind?
Born before the dawn,
Without flesh, without bone,
Without vein, without blood,
Without head, without foot,
Without sickness, without sorrow.
Unborn, unseen,
Untamed, unknowable,
Hastening from every quarter,
Never older, never younger,
Never fearful, never dying,
Talkative, mute,
Wet, dry,
Good, evil,
Who dreamt the wind?

This beautiful evocation begins and ends with a question, a very apt way to evoke an Air being and one which incites a response, an answer from the entity being evoked. It could also be internally recited, leading to an invocation as the magician herself must then answer the question, having become unborn, unseen, etc. and therefore being in a position to know the answer to the question. In many cases such questions do not even need answers, the success of the evocation itself is the response, the appearance of the being in the mirror or triangle is the answer to the question – the candle gutters, and the breeze caresses your face as you finish the question. Of course, there are many ways in which evocation can be expressed, but this one example should establish the point that external factors become important, so the magicians perceptual senses must be keenly trained and applied. 

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Astrological Approaches: Ambient and Individual Astrology

The two complementary but different astrological approaches, which I will term ambient and individual astrology, relate to the dimension of time and its relationship to the continually shifting sea of essential meaning available in any given moment. Specifically, from the magical point of view these two approaches relate directly to the ability of the magician to connect with the astrological factors. There is a natural affinity or analogous relationship between the two astrological approaches and the two magical approaches, as I will explain, but this is a loose relationship that does not need to be applied in practice.

Ambient astrology refers to the ambient essential meaning that is available to all beings upon the surface of the Earth for a limited period of time, and it draws heavily from astrological transits. For example, when Jupiter is in Sagittarius there is a period of about a year in which everyone has access to that essential meaning. This opportunity will end when Jupiter leaves Sagittarius and enters Capricorn. As another example, if Neptune is in a trine with Saturn for a few months, everyone in the world has an opportunity to work magically with this essential meaning.

From an astrological point of view, ambient astrology is made entirely of a) planets in signs and b) planets transiting in aspect to other transiting planets, with c) the ascendant as a timer. We can consider this a form of “floating” essential meaning that arises for a limited period of time, the length of which is determined by the faster of the planets involved. For example, a trine between Jupiter and Saturn can persist for up to a few months, while one between Venus and Jupiter usually only persists for several days. Similarly, the Moon takes about 60 hours to pass through one zodiacal sign, while Saturn takes about 30 months. Signs of the zodiac always take about 2 hours each day to rise, but this is an average and the time it takes a certain sign to completely rise depends on your location. 

The quality of ambient astrology is non-specific, meaning that while it will apply itself to individuals to a greater or lesser degree it still applies itself to every individual and does not really specify any particular group, except in the degree to which they are receptive to its influence. We can conceive of ambient astrology as an invisible ocean in which all life on Earth is swimming, an ocean which is always mysteriously changing and from within which things are continuously emerging, dissolving and re-emerging in cyclical patterns which never exactly repeat. Sometimes those things happen in our territory, sometimes in the territory of others, and we are free to respond to that as we will but we are always affected by what happens overall in the ocean since we are connected to it by life. Due to its universal availability and the fact that it has global effects, this form of astrology is from a magical point of view more powerful and is more analogous to the creation of external effects and evocation magic. For this reason ambient astrology is the traditional approach used in almost every magical operation utilizing astrology and shows up repeatedly in grimoires and instructional texts on magic that draw on astrology, especially those on evocation and talismanic magic, two of the magical areas about which many words were written. For this reason and others ambient astrology became the principal form of astrology used in magic.

Individual astrology on the other hand is highly specific and applies itself only to certain individuals or small groups of people, and is more analogous to internal effects (though not exclusively). From the astrological point of view what we are talking about here is a transiting planet (or a progressed one, or whatever other method you use) forming an aspect to the natal chart (or just generally affecting part of one) rather than to another transiting planet. It’s ambient astrology but with a natal chart focusing it. Essentially, individual astrology is a subset of ambient astrology, it encompasses the various territories of the ocean and how each of them are being affected in different ways by the ambient astrology. In other words, it’s a kind of “zoom in” on a specific area of the ocean, whether that area involves a large group of people or a small one. For example, if you are born on January 29th, then whenever January 29th comes around in the calendar the transiting Sun will be in the same place of the zodiac as it was when you were born, this being your birthday, and this is a form of individual astrology. You share this individual astrology with everyone born on January 29th in any year, but it is still specific only to these individuals and not to everybody else.

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So individual astrology is basically the way we experience the ambient astrology from our own individual and personal perspective on it. Because it is inherently about the individual and the personal perspective it is more analogous to invocation magic, and also because it is specific and not universal or global in the same sense as ambient astrology is, it is considered to be a less powerful form from the magical point of view – but, and this is crucial, this is only from the point of view of what has been written about magic and is a product of the bias in western magic towards the creation of external effects and the pursuit of power and influence in the external realm. It was not always the case, however. Ancient Egyptian magic combined both invocation and evocation in its ritual science while as far as we know focusing itself on ambient astrology, especially in relation to stars, but they did not consider either invocation or evocation to be more or less important than the other. Individual astrology as far as we know emerges from the Mesopotamian tradition, because we trace the first birth charts to this era. We cannot be entirely sure of these facts since the record we have is murky, but what seems very clear at least is that the approach of using ambient astrology in magic came first and is far older. What we can also say with certainty is that the use of individual astrology in magic shows up far less often in the texts and grimoires than the use of ambient astrology does, which is basically universally present. In my book The 26 Keys I present a detailed, flexible system of magic by which you can interact with your own individual astrology. This system, unlike ambient astrology based systems, allows you to involve progressions as well as transits in your magical timing and operations because progressions require a natal chart to be calculated from, and therefore there are no ‘ambient progressions’ for the world, since it has no nativity – although the astrological tradition does hold some ‘world charts’ which are more symbolic of astrological philosophies about the creation of the universe than they are functional charts.

The advantage of individual astrology over ambient astrology is that the magician does not need to make much effort at all to make a direct connection with the essential meaning of the astrology involved. It is happening to them at that moment in time in a very specific and personal way. With ambient astrology, the magician must make a connection between themselves and the ‘floating’ essential meaning, even when seeking to evoke rather than invoke it. This is why there is great emphasis in the magical texts on placing planets on the ascendant or midheaven and ensuring that they are in favorable signs and without interfering aspects from elsewhere, or having certain signs rising when the operation is performed – these are ways in which the magician positions themself and manipulates essential meaning to arrive in their awareness with greater ease so that the connection is easy to form. With individual astrology such fine tuning has already been done by the presence of the natal chart, but intentionally and consciously adding this level of fine tuning to our individual astrology (e.g. timing a ritual so that an activating planet or a conductor is rising on the ascendant) can elevate it very successfully in terms of power. This is one of the secrets of what Franz Bardon enigmatically termed ‘synthetic astrology’ – its synthesis of ambient and individual astrology in a magical operation.

The advantage of ambient astrology over individual astrology is that it is more suited to creating global effects by manipulating the ocean of essential meaning so that it flows in a certain way from that point forwards, and also that it is more homogeneous than individual astrology and so easier to create universally applicable rituals and guidelines for. Since every individual natal chart is unique, every interpretation of an individuals astrology has to be uniquely tuned. Ambient astrology, on the other hand, invites generalizations and rules which can be applied universally to every chart or operation, and so it’s a lot easier to understand (although its admittedly still so complex that it can be baffling for a beginner). This makes more sense when you remember that ambient astrology spawns individual astrology, it is ambient astrology being cast through the prism of a birth chart, and so individual astrology is more complex in its nature. This is another reason why magic has focused on ambient astrology, at least in its texts. Another related reason is that using individual astrology instead of ambient astrology in magical operations requires the ability to decode a birth chart, which would turn every magician into a full fledged astrologer. The western tradition avoided this limitation by focusing on ambient astrology which, while still requiring an astrological education, did not require a deep dive into the matter. 

Combining Approaches

While there is a correlation between evocation/ambient astrology and invocation/individual astrology, the different approaches are all interchangeable. To my knowledge, nothing has been written on this topic to date. Additionally while ambient astrology has an advantage when seeking to create external effects and individual astrology has an advantage when seeking to create internal effects, neither astrological approach has a monopoly in this respect. Internal effects can generate external effects and vice versa. The important point here is that the internal and external worlds are reflections of one another, as every magician and astrologer knows. Magicians typically become adept with one particular magical approach but should learn how to do both of them, and astrologers in studying astrology also study both of the astrological approaches which I have outlined. As a magician you must find your own way. My own way is to make use of all the tools in my toolbox according to the situation. I don’t have any hard and fast rules about which combination of approaches I use for which situation, my process is intuitive. However, some of the suggestions I will put out there in this article may help you to figure out some of my intuitive process.

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Operations: Summoning/Calling and Banishing/Dismissing

Summoning magic (I prefer the term Calling instead) and Banishing or Dismissing magic are obviously opposites of one another. Calling involves drawing essential meaning into a specific time and place while Dismissing operations send them away. Essentially these operations focus on the concept of a specific presence, either creating it or destroying it or just moving it.

Banishing is often important after a ritual space has been used while Calling is usually part of the beginning of a ritual. Dismissing can also involve exorcisms, cleansing or the banishment of our own bad habits. Calling magic is the primary operation of evocation and invocation and for obvious reasons virtually every magical operation will involve some kind of summoning of essential meaning either to inhabit an object, a magical triangle, the magician themselves or a priestess, priest or location, etc.

The approach of classical calling magic usually involves heavy use of ambient astrology. If, for example as we will see this June, Venus enters Taurus and therefore becomes powerful because she is leaving Aries (where she is in detriment) but is now moving in one of her own signs, this ambient astrology can be tapped into for any operation of Venus during that time and a magician will often try to pick a time when this strong and powerful Venus is also rising and relating to other positive chart influences like Jupiter or an exalted Moon in Taurus (as described in more detail in my previous article on magical timing). However, what is less widely written about in terms of calling spells and magic is that individual astrology can replace the role of ambient astrology or instead add to it.

In most cases you still want to be paying attention to the dignities of the planets so you want to be performing your magical operation whatever its nature when the planet you are seeking to connect with is in a happy place (in its rulership, exaltation, triplicity, decan and/or bounds, in this order). However, you can add individual timing if you have any natal object in the place which the planet you are seeking to work with is traveling through. For example, if you have the Sun in Taurus natally then you can time your transiting Venus in Taurus ritual for one of the days in which Venus activates your Sun key. Conduction using the Lights can also sometimes be timed to intersect in this way but you need to get lucky here and you are more likely to get lucky with Magnetic Conduction rather than Electric Conduction because the Sun moves more slowly than the Moon. Slow moving activators like Pluto and Neptune are more likely to give you a window of opportunity which overlaps with Electric Conduction dates in your Solar Map. Adding in Conduction to your timing when possible can dramatically increase the battery of energy supplied to the operation. If you cannot involve Conductors of individual astrology then default to the ambient astrology of the Lights as follows: the waxing Moon and the rising Sun lend themselves to calling and the waning Moon and setting Sun to banishing. Thus, choose a period when the Moon is waxing and do the ritual at or near dawn when seeking to emphasise the call, and during a waning Moon at dusk when seeking to emphasise the dismissing.

In terms of Elements and Signs there are no real affinities with calling or dismissing operations, the Elements and Signs usually relate to the kind of presence that is being subjected to the magic and/or the way in which the operation takes place. For example, something may be burned during the operation when something related to the Fire Element is being dismissed, or runes may be fired in a kiln when a spirit is being called. One ritual may call upon a being of Scorpio while another brings forth a being of Taurus, and these presences having different analogues will look, smell, feel, sound and play out very differently during the operation. An argument could be made that the signs of Mars (Aries and Scorpio) provide a generally useful boost in any summoning or calling and in any banishing or dismissing, simply because Mars is the ruler of the will and these operations often heavily depend upon the expression of the magicians will and its strength, but there is more than one way to peel the onion, much depends on the kind of magician you want to be.

I have found Neptune to be an extremely important ally when dealing with the summoning or dismissing (or exorcism) of any spirit. I will be much happier with in astrological moment that has Neptune in a favorable position. For several years now Neptune has been very strong while in Pisces and we have a few more years of that left, however for the last two years Saturn has been in Sagittarius which has kind of thrown a spanner in the works and resulted in all this confusion about “fake news” and generally a surreal level to reality that was not there before (like people chasing imaginary critters across the city, and many other examples of craziness we would not have believed before it actually happened). Later this year Saturn will finally exit Sagittarius and enter Capricorn, and the influence of Neptune in Pisces will have a dark cloud lifted from it and become less depressive, pessimistically clouded and disillusioning than it has been. When working with the influence of Neptune I just try to make sure that Neptune is in a good position for the ritual operation especially with regard to the Lights and the focus of the operation itself. I find that the positioning of Neptune in Pisces when it is favorable pleases the spirit and it is far more likely to be cooperative and understanding if you are seeking to dismiss it. In fact I have encountered many beings who wanted to ‘go’ and who have connected with me because they sense that I can release them. One of these was at Belas Knap in the UK, a spirit of an old barrow that had just had enough of watching over a land that few thought of as sacred any more, and where none of the rituals to honour it had been performed for centuries. Even barrow wights eventually tire of tourists, apparently.

The 12 temples or houses have more affinities in terms of calling and dismissing, however, particularly with regard to particular spirits. The 1st temple and especially the ascendant is the primary area for summoning or calling and is universally useful. The 2nd temple has an affinity for beings who work with the things that come out of the ground like gnomes or for spirits which will be required to imbue their essential meaning into portable solid objects like talismans. The 3rd temple has an affinity for calling, especially for local spirits and neighborhood beings (such as fairies). The 4th temple has an affinity for ancestral spirits and spirits of the land and hearth. The 5th temple has an affinity for spirits of love and pleasure as well as the muses of all the arts, but is more inclined to aid calling magic. The 6th temple has an affinity for spirits of sickness, disease and their remedies and can be a little help in banishing. The 7th temple like the 1st has a strong affinity for summoning or calling but is also useful in banishing something that is already present because it is place of both forming and sundering relationships, as well as the place the Sun sets. The 8th temple has an affinity for spirits of death and also for dismissing or banishing, so it is especially good for resolving hauntings. The 9th temple has an affinity for divinatory beings and for instruction by spirits, but is more suited to calling than dismissing. The 10th temple has an affinity for the beings of the sky and the stars as well as an affinity for the beings of fate, and is also biased towards calling. The 11th temple has an affinity for egregores and for calling and the 12th temple has an affinity for banishing and exorcism as well as for beings of sleep and rest.

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Operations: Binding and Warding

While calling or dismissing essential meaning in a magical operation are basically concerned with the manipulation of its presence, binding and warding are complementary opposites related to distance from the essential meaning, similar to the way in which invocation and evocation relate to distance. Binding magic essentially keeps the essential meaning on a tight rein and close to you while warding keeps it away.

Binding is not just the act of forcing spirits to do your will, it is the act of containing the essential meaning and so is a part of all talismanic magic and magic which is to be fixed into a space or shape, as well as binding it to accomplish its tasks within a specified time frame. Additionally binding operations can also be used to bind the magician or another to a particular behaviour or set of circumstances, like a virtue. Warding on the other hand is not just about creating protective amulets and circles or other spaces that keep out unwanted forces and Intelligences, it is also about preventing people from taking certain courses or indulging in destructive habits. Binding contains the often leaky movement of essential meaning while warding can be used to direct its course and its shape. A reflective ward, for example, can send the essential meaning back where it came from, which is very different to a ward that neutralises it. Wards can also be created that trap psychic and magical attacks and transform them into other forms of essential meaning, as another example. If a magician comes under attack they can either bind the attacker, ward themselves against it, or do both. The attack can also be banished, or a counter could be called. Each of the operations tackles the attack in a different way, but those ways are not mutually exclusive, they are more often than not complementary or can easily be made to be.

Again, the magical literature that survives primarily makes use of ambient astrology for both binding and warding operations. In comparison, the use of individual astrology as an approach to both timing and the operation itself has hardly been addressed. It is a very personal thing after all, and any practitioners using this method probably did not feel much like sharing. So, many of the sigils, talismans and amulets etc. in grimoires that relate to binding and warding carry instructions that they are to be created when a certain planet is rising or culminating, or in a particular sign or when some other configuration is present in the sky. Again, there is no reason whatsover why individual astrology could not also supply the essential meaning necessary for the operation you have in mind, so long as the activation you are using is an appropriate one.

You may also wish to consider whether or not the activating planet and the key is in a sign which empowers it or one which weakens it. If either the activating planet or the key are in signs which debilitate their essential meaning, you probably only want to use the individual astrology for banishing operations and instead rely on the more traditional use of ambient astrology for working with that principle, unless you can find a way to link your individual natal chart in with a sextile or trine from the planet while it is in a good place. So for example with my natal Moon in Scorpio unless I have something specific in mind which warrants it (such as a Moon and Scorpio operation) I wont use my individual astrology, specifically transiting conjunctions to it, as a direct approach to a magical operation of the Moon, since the Moon in Scorpio is not very fruitful for the Moon. Instead, I will wait until the Moon is in Cancer, making a nice trine with my natal Moon and so still providing a form of individual astrology which I can use in my operation but which is primarily taking advantage of the ambient astrology of the Moon in Cancer, where it is very powerful. Since my Moon and Venus are in an almost exact conjunction and Venus is also not well placed in Scorpio, I will also use Venus in Cancer as a way to approach a Venus operation with my individual astrology, since Venus is exalted in Cancer and again makes a trine to Scorpio which I can make use of. In effect, I sidestep the lack of dignity of my natal Moon and Venus by calling upon the trines and sextiles from the sign they are in and looking for another sign in which they are instead exalted or in rulership. This allows me to make a Moon/Venus talsiman, for example, bringing in my own individual astrology during the operation which does not disrupt it. You won’t always be able to find these combinations but if you can they can help.

As far as binding and warding go the 12 signs have some slight affinities worth mentioning –

  • Aries (warding) 
  • Taurus (binding)
  • Gemini (binding, because of the Twins)
  • Cancer (both, as it is both protective and possessive)
  • Leo (both, as its power to command applies either way)
  • Virgo (warding, because of the purity)
  • Libra (binding, because of the connected pans of the scales)
  • Scorpio (binding)
  • Sagittarius (warding, because of the pointed arrow)
  • Capricorn (binding)
  •  Aquarius (warding, especially by sigil)
  • Pisces (binding, because of the chord linking the Fish).

These affinities are as I have said only very slight ones but they can sometimes also be useful to consider. Of the Elements the Earth Element is the most binding and the Fire Element as the most energetic and willful Element is the most suited to warding.

In terms of the planets Saturn is the primary planet for binding and Mars is the primary planet for warding. However other planets also have their varieties of bindings and wards which serve different purposes, for example a ward of Venus can deflect unwanted attention by bringing about repulsion rather than attraction and a binding of Mercury can commit you to learning a language or a science. The key notion to understand is that the ward of a planet keeps its influence and essential meaning at bay while the binding of a planet keeps its influence and essential meaning close at hand.

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In considering the temples with binding and warding in mind several associations are worth mentioning:

  • The 1st temple: Binding the self to a course of action or protecting the self from particular influences.
  • The 2nd temple: Binding essential meaning to a possession or creating a ward against the loss of a possession.
  • The 3rd temple: Binding the thoughts or mental entities or creating a ward around specific knowledge or information.
  • The 4th temple: Binding essential meaning to a location or land or warding a location or land. Also, warding the family and binding them together in a crisis.
  • The 5th temple: Binding oneself to an art form or to a specific muse or warding a child or an area of recreation.
  • The 6th temple: Binding oneself to a schedule or daily routine, warding against illness and known sickness.
  • The 7th temple: Binding oneself to a partner or relationship, or a specific warding against an individual.
  • The 8th temple: Binding of sexual excess or predation, warding against losses or betrayal.
  • The 9th temple: Binding of self to a spiritual path of initiation, wards against dangers while traveling abroad or from religious persecution.
  • The 10th temple: Binding of self to an objective or ambition, wards against career rivals.
  • The 11th temple: Binding of self to an ideology or a group/society, wards against gossip and political rivals or those with opposing ideologies.
  • The 12 temple: Binding of self to a meditative practice or mystical school, warding against malevolent spirits and unknown illness and sickness.

A little reflection will show you that there are many more, the basic idea being that the activities of the temple can be warded against or bound to you and your destination in life. The strongest temples in magical work are always the 1st and the 10th, followed by the temple of the activity you are focusing on, and then the 7th and finally the 4th. Although you may adapt this order for a specific ritual such as one which is a blessing for the land where you will choose to emphasize the 4th temple, this basic order of importance or significance of the temples in magical operations is always reliable.

As this brief examination of the relationship between astrology and magical operations hopefully shows, there are many ways in which the two can come together and work something out. I sincerely hope  that this humble writing inspires you  in the creation of your own magical  rituals and spells and that you will be blessed  by the results.


That’s it for this month,  I hope you have  enjoyed reading this article.. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below and if you like to encourage me to write more in the future please consider  becoming one of my patrons. Until next month, journey deeper! 

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8 comments on “Magical Operations

  1. This is an awesome article, with loads of valuable information, but I’m finding it very difficult to keep it all straight, and start from a concrete transit (say) and work out all the details to get a concrete effect.

    Any chance of a worked example, perhaps using Babaji’s chart (from 26 keys) and a specific situation he encounters? Or any chart and any situation really. An example chart will greatly clarify this material, like Anne Frank’s chart did in a previous article.

    • I thought of that, but I couldnt really come up with a good example that would not end up communicating the wrong idea. A concrete example doesnt work in this case because the subject is too broad and any example of how it works ends up excluding all the other ways it works. Just keep figuring it out in practice.

  2. Ok I think that I’ve figured it out. In essence, we are doing electional astrology, but a super enhanced version, taking into account not only the magician’s *personal* astrology, but also resonances (of signs, houses, planets and other astrological factors) to the specific *type* of magical operation planned.

    wow. mind blowing. (more on this in private mail)

    What I’d appreciate some help on is how practitioners of *IIH* can use this information. Bardon puts ritual work post Step 8, and also dealings with spirits in general.

    So how does an early stage Bardonist use this information? It would be a shame to locate a great time to (say) doing a ward of Mars, and then be unable to use it since ritual work is post step 8.

    you make some intriguing references to binding one self to / warding from a habit (which would be Step 1). A little more exposition please? Without a ritual procedure in place (casting a circle, LBRP etc) how would this work?

    Thanks in advance,

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