I have completed my class notes and handouts for the upcoming Pantheacon 2011, which is scheduled to occur next month, from Feb 18 through Feb 21. I have been slated to present two workshops at this gathering. This event is now less than a month away, and I have to say that I am really looking forward to it, particularly since the wintry weather here is getting a bit bleak and difficult to deal with. Sunny San Jose will be a welcome distraction to the cold tundra-like climate of the Twin Cities in the midst of deep winter.
Anyway, these two presentations are new to my slowly building collection of workshops and lectures. What I usually do for Pantheacon is to propose up to four workshops or lectures, all of them untried but based on previous articles and research. When one or more gets approved, then I will assemble my research and writings to build up the workshop or lecture. The two workshops that the Pantheacon staff selected were "Astrological Decans - Key to Evocation" and "Lunar Magick." The first one is based on three or four articles that I have already written and researched, and despite that assembled information, I still found that I had some holes in my presentation that had to be researched and filled. The second one was based on a rather lengthy article that I have written but never published entitled "Lunar Mysteries and Moon Magick." This article will be part of the book that I am assembling on Elemental and Talismanic Magick, using the lore of the Order of the Gnostic Star for that work.
If you have been faithfully reading my blog articles, you will note a recent article that I penned which dealt with the issues of the Goetic daemons and whether or not there were 72 daemons, 69 or perhaps even 73. You can find that article here, just in case you missed it. That was a bit of a hair pulling conundrum that I had to resolve before writing my presentation on the Astrological Decans. As I resolved that issue, I also wrote up an article to support that research, adding to the total articles needed to back up the presentation.
One issue was still outstanding, and I ran smack into it when I attempted to start pulling and assembling all of the writings and data that I had collected or written together. I discovered that there appears to be two schools of thought when it comes to assigning the spirits (both angels of the ha-Shem and the Goetic daemons) to the specific decans and their associated quinarians. This issue was discovered when I was working on retrieving the seals for the 72 angels of the ha-Shem and attempting to show how the decan could be more aptly used to define the qualities of the spirits. I wanted to see if other authors had given the decans that much power in defining the qualities of the associated spirits.
What I discovered is that the two schools seem to be the Golden Dawn and other European occultists, with Carroll "Poke" Runyan and his system giving weight to the European methodology. The whole issue revolves around where to start the decan and spirit association, in other words, which decan would be considered the first decan in this set, and this might also determine when in the season one could access that decan. The Golden Dawn system starts their decan list with first decan face of Leo, the other methodology starts in the most obvious place, in the first decan face of Aries. Starting in Aries would make sense if one were using Tropical Astrology, which is what I use in all my occult works. This is because it's considered the starting point for that system of astrology, which naturally starts at the Vernal Equinox (zero degrees Aries). The Golden Dawn preference for starting in Leo was both unexpected and also poorly documented. Very few authors have given any explanation as to why this choice was made, but many, including Thelemites like Lon Milo DuQuette (and Aleister Crowley) used this system, seemingly without question.
As you recall, we stated previously that each decan appears at the ascendent at dusk (or some say dawn) for approximately 10 days, which would leave five intercalated days. So if one has a methodology that determines the first decan and the start of the astrological wheel, it could also impact not only the spirits associated with quinarians, but also their qualities and astrologically based definitions. I decided that this issue warranted a massive search that would include the internet as well as any and all books in my library. I also consulted with a friend of mine (Ananael Qaa) who is probably a lot more knowledgeable about these obscure issues than me. What I uncovered was that other occultists had different opinions on how this should be resolved.
"Poke" Runyan decided that the traditional tropical astrological paradigm required that the first decan face in the set should be the first decan of Aries. Another individual, French occulitst Robert Ambelain, who wrote the book "La Kabbale Pratique," also favored the Aries first solution. I found a translation of chapter five of his book on the Shemhamphorash in a PDF file associated with a certain Golden Dawn group. Still, despite all of that weighty evidence pointing to the starting point at the first decan of Aries, I was unfortunately wedded to the Golden Dawn version that proposed Leo as it's starting point. The rational for this choice is explained in Book T with a rather terse and unhelpful explanation. I was vaguely informed by this brief explanation that the reason for this odd starting place has to do with determining that point using the star Cor Leonis (Heart of the Lion, also Regulus), which represents the beginning of the zodiacal sign of Leo. No reason for this choice is discussed or why it was used. This lack of explanation could be considered a small mystery, or just something that was assumed everyone would know.
Other authors have done little to illuminate this choice. Aleister Crowley accepted it without any comment, which was odd. If it were an arbitrary choice, then I am sure that Crowley would have researched it and replaced it with something more "Thelemic." Even Lon Milo Duquette, in his book "Angels, Demons in fact, intuitively I would have chosen the Aries first method instead, and there seems to be little need to explain that approach.
One other little item I found out is that the proper spelling for the word Shemhamphorash is actually Shem ha-Mephorash. That little point was made known to me in my research, and I have adjusted my notes and handouts accordingly.
The assembling of the Lunar Magick workshop was actually quite straightforward. In fact I had more material than I could conceivably present in a 90 minute maximum class time period. I will have to zip through the material I did include since there is so much of it, but I think that when I have gotten through it all, that the attendees will know the value of tying their magickal and liturgical work to the cycles of the moon. This is particularly important for important ro strategic magickal workings that seek to dramatically change one's material situation. I will be posting some additional articles on that topic in this blog on or after the workshop has been presented - so stay tuned.
If you are thinking about attending Pantheacon 2011 this year, I would like to let you know that I will be there, too, and also to give you the times and locations of my two presentations. The program book has not yet been made available to the public, so the schedule at this point is tentative but fairly certain. Here's some information about the two classes that you can use - but don't forget to examine the program book to make certain nothing has been changed. I hope to see you there. I will be bringing my laptop with me, so I might even make a remark or two in my blog while I am attending. There are some very interesting programs and presentations being given during that period, so I am hoping to get to attend some of them. I will also get to see some really good friends that I haven't seen since the last time I was there. Hopefully, I will get to make some new ones, too, so if you are there, drop into my class or say hello if you happen to bump into me. I will have autographed copies of my books for sale, just in case you might be interested.
Here are the workshop classes and the times and locations where they will meet. You will notice that both of them are scheduled for Friday. Interestingly enough, the workshop on Lunar Magick will be held during the Full Moon for February. How cool is that occurrence?!
Title: ASTROLOGICAL DECANS - KEY TO EVOCATION
When & Where: Friday - 01:30 PM - Santa Clara
Description: This workshop will examine all of the elements, including correspondences and materials from other authors that will show how the astrological decans, also known as the Faces, are the key to categorizing and mastering the invocation of the Ha-Shem Angels, Goetic Demons and the Angelic Rulers.
Title: LUNAR MAGICK
When & Where: Friday - 07:00 PM - Santa Clara
Description: This workshop examines how the cycle of the moon can be used to powerfully effect practical magick. We will examine the seasonal full moons, the eight phases of the lunation cycle and the 28 mansions of the moon.
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