Stellar Magic

WE know that our earliest ancestors used the fixed star constellations to navigate by and have seen their star maps painted on cave walls. But we have yet to explore the metaphysical aspect of what the stars meant to them and how they used what is loosely called ‘stellar magic’.

In other words, there is a reason why the cloak of the High Priest at the Temple of Solomon is described in the Old Testament as being covered in constellations. This has come down to us today in cartoons of wizards like Merlin.

That magic and the stars are inextricably linked is known to the Hermetic magician …. but it also goes hand-in-hand with the knowledge of the interior stars, which are the below of the above, the microcosm of the macrocosm. In other words, this magic works holographically.

Anyway, I think the easiest and quickest way into this subject will be watch this excellent short, ten-minute video about what looks to be a very good book on the subject, Stellar Magic by Payam Nabarz.

And here’s a review of it, which gives a pretty good synopsis of what to expect.

“This is Payam’s first major monograph since the publication of “Mysteries of Mithras”. His devotion to the unconquered one here leading him further in his stellar devotions, mainly in the sense of work with the principal constellations known to the ancient Greeks. Unlike postmodern astrology he aims for a two way dialectic. He begins with a useful précis of the cult of Mithras for those not familiar with his earlier book or like most of us welcome a short refresher.

He then creates his own opening rite based around the four stellar markers known in his tradition as the Royal stars. Nominally these are given as: In the east Aldebaran (Taurus) ; South, Regulus (Leo) South; West, Antares (Scorpio) and North, Fomalhaut (Aquarius).

The idea now is a process of Hermetic ascent through the planets, zodiac and finally the major constellations. For this purpose Payam provides detailed ritual, much of it based on antique sources such as the Theban Magical Library (PGM); Pyramid texts; Babylonian, Orphic, Roman, Greek and Persian religious traditions. Perhaps it makes for some slightly overlong, intellectual invocations that will not suit all temperaments. Even so its easy to take stuff out . . . much more difficult to put it in . . .

Payam makes some reference to the so-called “Ladder of Horus & Seth”, and its undoubted stellar nature, although I suspect this alludes to archaic lunar mysteries. But whatever way one looks at it, it’s a “stairway to heaven”.

What caught my eye was the special altar Payam has developed for use during these rites. He has taken a technique developed in the Golden Dawn Occult Society for work with Ursa Major, where the altar is decorated with candles in the shape of the constellation. Payam has really developed this idea – applying it with some gusto to the other constellations. His customised altar has developed to become a moveable planisphere decorated with the fixed components and plenty of room to, in the words of the popular song, “set the controls for the heart of the sun”.

Magick in general is just now going through a very creative stage; particularly I’d say important work with the old time stellar magical religion and indeed new lunar secrets. I suppose I like to see a slightly bigger nod to Kenneth Grant, whose name is usually linked with this kind of work – especially in connection with the lunar kalas. But as Rufus commented at the recent Thelemic symposium – whether or not one wants to follow Payam’s fascinating trajectory, this is a very handy anthology of astral ritual that most working magi are sure to find useful.”- Mogg Morgan, Mandrake Speaks.

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