Category Archives: The Celestial Sphere of Astrology

36 Faces

36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans by Austin Coppock, in deluxe and standard hardcovers as well as a trade paper edition from Three Hands Press, may be of interest.

Austin Coppock 36 Faces from Three Hands Press

There is a thread that runs through over four millennia of astrological and magical history, a cord that binds ancient Egypt with the Hellenistic world, the Arabian empire, India, the European Renaissance and even touches the present. That thread is the Decans, a division of the earth’s sky into 36 sections. These 36 ‘Faces of Heaven’ are more than just a curious footnote in the history of archaeo-astronomy. First emerging in ancient Egypt, they have moved with the corpus of Hermetic material, reincarnating in the starry wisdom of culture after culture.

Ostensibly a gear in astrology’s encompassing clockworks, the Decans have also long been a key to accessing legions of spirits. For several millennia and in multiple cultures, magicians have looked at these 36 faces and seen gods, choirs of angels, hordes of demons, and a host of daimones staring back at them, each with its own unique powers. Far from going undocumented, this gallery of faces has been painted and drawn by a host of astrologers, sorcerers and artists, and they can be found on walls of Italian villas as well as in the pages of grimoires.

Weaving together astrology and magic, divination and sorcery, time and sky, this thread of esoteric history deserves more than the footnotes it has so far received. In this work, Austin Coppock follows the Decans through history, charting their trajectory through time and culture. Using the ring of keys which history provides, the 36 doors are flung open, revealing their mysteries to magician and astrologer alike. Each decan, its image, and its specific powers are examined in detail, as well as its permutations in the planetary aspects. Featuring original images specially created for each Decan by Bob Eames, 36 Faces is an invaluable resource for magicians, astrologers, and historians of magical semiotics.

Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans by Franz Cumont:

Franz Cumont's Astrology and Religion among the Greeks and Romans

 

This slender book collects the 1911-1912 American Lectures on the History of Religions, as given by Franz Cumont late in his scholarly career (after his major researches in Mithraism, and his more general study of Oriental cults in ancient Rome). The six lectures divide into two sets of three: in the first three, Cumont provides a diachronic study of the propagation of astrology and “sidereal theology”; in the last three, he offers a synchronic description and analysis of the phenomenon at its classical acme in the Roman Empire.

As far as I’m aware, Cumont’s basic historical data in the first three chapters have not been a matter for correction or revision in the century since these lectures were given. They are dated only because of his recurring expressions of antagonism for the Pan-Babylonist historians of religion. This (mostly German) school of religious history embraced a radically diffusionist model for civilization with Babylon as its source. Ironically, Cumont agrees with them in assigning priority to the Mesopotamian cultures for observational astronomy and stellar theology. Where he disagrees quite strongly is the timeline. He absolutely refuses to credit the very early (multiple millennia B.C.E.) dating of the Pan-Babylonists, instead placing all significant developments in the 9th century B.C.E. and later. He also allows that some later astronomical accomplishments should be assigned to Greek sources. In addition to geographic spread, Cumont discusses how the ideas in question transitioned between elite and popular currency.

According to Cumont, the greatest exponent of religious astrology at its ancient peak was the author Posidonius, who taught Pompey and Cicero and influenced Philo of Alexandria. But none of Posidonius’ works survive. A myriad other sources allow Cumont to create a detailed picture of ancient astrological theology, ethics, mysticism, and eschatology. Students of esoteric religion should acquaint themselves with this material, because it is an implicit context for so much of the magic and mysticism of the ancient and medieval worlds alike. As Cumont notes, it was not until Copernicus and Galileo inaugurated the obsolescence of the Ptolemaic system that these ideas suffered decline. And even so, there has been little to replace them on many fronts. [via]

 

 

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The Ruby Tablet Vol 1 No 5

The fifth number of The Ruby Tablet is now available. The Ruby Tablet is a periodical compiled and edited by Darcy Kuntz, under the auspices of the Golden Dawn Research Trust, which may be of some interest. So, check it out and consider helping with a donation to keep new issues of this periodical coming.

The Ruby Tablet is a periodical featuring reprints of articles from esoteric magazines and journals from the past. The subjects covered in each issue are drawn from the esoteric genre such as Alchemy, Hermetic, Enochian, Kabbalah, Tarot, Martinism, Masonry, Rosicrucian, etc.

Download Vol. I. No. 5

The fifth issue of The Ruby Tablet features a number of articles on the Zodiac. We are also printing a five-part article on The Rosy Cross in Russia by A Russian. This issue has parts one and two and it will be concluded in the next issue. We have reprinted Frater Achad’s interesting ritual on the Conjuration of Kronos. Also featured are esoteric papers on Abracadabra, Pasquales and his Elus Cohen, Astrology, Kabbalah, and the Laws of the Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians.

Contents:

The Rosy Cross in Russia Part 1 by A Russian
Abracadabra
Golden Dawn Research Trust
The Rosy Cross in Russia Part 2 by A Russian
Kerubim Press
The Conjuration of Kronos by Frater Achad
The Twelve Angels of the Zodiac
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn Books
Laws of the Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians
The Mystery of the Lords Prayer
Rosicrucian Order of the Golden Dawn
Pasquales and his Elus Cohen by Sendivogius
Skylight Press
Astral Origins of the Zodic Signs
The Ineffable Name by A[lexander] W[ilder]” [via]

 

 

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