The Planetary Spheres (3)

Exploring Titus Burckhardt’s “Mystical Astrology According to Ibn ‘Arabi” continued:

Ibn ‘Arabi in his Fusus al-Hikum describes the angels as representing particular abilities of the Form of the World. The angels are for this Form what the spiritual and physical abilities are in the human being. To tie this into the previous discussion, the Form of the World is Adam. The angels of the planetary spheres are the planetary Intelligences, an expression of cosmic Intellect. We have before us a very coherant and multifaceted cosmology.

Before continuing it seems appropriate to look briefly at talismanic or planetary magic. Many students of traditional astrology will at some time or other come across this in their studies. Out of an enthusiasm for traditional astrology they might be tempted to try their hand at talismanic magic. Most authors are careful to give warning. So it is nothing new to say that talismanic magic should only be attempted by those who are truly well informed and know what they are doing. What is not often said is that there is a simpler, safer and more effective method, but first, two of the dangers in talismanic magic.

We have seen that each of the spheres represents a quality of the Immanence and Transcendance of God in the World of Manifestation. One of His Names. The first danger is to consider each of the planetary Intelligences as separate from Him. This is to fall into idolatry. The magician is then focusing on shells empty of Grace, with all the consequences. The second danger, and by far the more subtle, is to dabble, with results, and thereupon consider oneself capable of manipulating planetary Intelligence. Here the heavy perfume of success may numb common sense.

Now for the more effective method. This is prayer. Prayer can be found in ritual form in each of the traditions, and here the observant participant may notice that all of the spheres are activated.

Readers of John Frawley’s, The Horary Textbook may notice that he includes in his horary worksheet the invocation, “For the glory of God”. He says quite simply, “…to remind us what we are doing”. pp 11-12

2 thoughts on “The Planetary Spheres (3)

  1. Dear Thomas
    Wonderful news!! I so am delighted that you are restored back to us in good health! We have missed you, because although most of us just ‘lurk’ in your domain (your cerebrally rarefied website isn’t named Altair without good reason indeed, LOL) we do enjoy your musings. 🙂

    Very interesting about what you have to say about prayer and the ‘invocation’ on John Frawley’s horary worksheet. William Lilly advises this also in his letter “To The Student in Astrology” right at the beginning of his opus ‘Christian Astrology’. I wondered if he had copied this in turn from Julius Firmicus Maternus who urges us in his ‘Matheseos’ to invoke the intervention of the planets in his ‘Prayer to the Sun’? (Same God, same prayer, just different names :0).

    Anyway, it seems our prayers have definitely been answered now that you are once more restored to us; welcome back Thomas! You have been much missed.


  2. Dear Caroline,
    Thank you for the welcome back! 🙂
    Very observant! Most texts devoted to one of the traditional sciences (astrology, alchemy, etc.) have an invocative preamble devoted to the Source of wisdom and understanding.
    I plan to post an essay once a week.
    Dr. Nostuabuk tells me that he has something cooking but is very vague as to when he is finished. He mumbled something about these young people never having any patience…

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