This post marks the first in a series for getting started working with astromagic. While aimed at beginners, a basic understanding of the seven classical planets and traditional astrology will be a helpful foundation for getting the most out of the material.
So... You've been hearing about astromagic?
If you've found your way to this post, it's likely you've come across folks talking about astromagic. In the last few years, it seems there has been a resurgence in the use and study of astrological magic, or "astromagic" in the wider magical and astrological communities. Two years ago, astromagic even got it's own conference, Astromagia. Started by JD Kelley, it's furthered the modern discourse on the topic and given opportunity to interact and share ideas with seasoned practitioners from many different backgrounds and traditions.
I've been so grateful to work with artist and astrologer Larry Arrington, who initially taught me how to work with the seven planets in ritual observance. This quickly became a daily practice for me and has brought many blessings, learnings, and growth moments into my life, as well as a deeper understanding when I read for clients.
What even IS astromagic?
To understand what astromagic is, it's important to start with a strong definition of astrology. While astrology exists across many forms, schools, and ages, I like to sum it up with a quote from the hermetic text, the Emerald Tablet: "As above, so below". If we watch and seek to relate with what's happening in the celestial sphere, we can better understand and participate in what's going on in the terrestrial as well.
This definition situates us not just as observers, but as beings that are inherently linked in a dance with the skies. This relational and participatory view of astrology is the foundation of astrological magic. While the material tools often used in ritual are helpful for getting our minds and bodies primed to connect, magical workings are ultimately brought to fruition through strong relationships with spirit.
In working with planetary spirits and intelligences, we have a way to bend and weave consciousness with the material universe. The planets in our solar system are some of the largest and most forceful objects within our local sphere of perception. Next to the Sun, Earth, and Moon, we're most informationally intertwined with the planets in terms of the forces they exert on us, and the rich cultural heritages concerning their movements, mythos, and archetypes.
In coming to understand these archetypes as personified spirit, we have a black mirror in which to gaze and see how we relate our own image to that of the divine. This is a potent point of perspective to be able to step into- one that can be harnessed to refine the self through finding a more honest expression of one's will, a point of authenticity from which to build genuine relationships with the celestial.
Once we develop our personal understanding of the nature of the planets, we can begin to explore opportunities for a deeper agency, one that integrates the higher perspectives presented in their configurations and timings. In understanding the relational dynamics of the heavens, we can find ways to better weave in our will by moving with the inertia, moving against it, or doing our best to avoid it completely.
Auspicious timings and elections
Electional astrology gives us a method for looking at the placement and relative dignity of each planet, and determining which times are best to bring about what it is that we desire. This practice can be done at a more surface level to make sure the time that you are working does not have anything overtly harmful or negative, or can be a deep interpretation of the planetary archetypes and how they sit in configuration with one another.
Nearly every technical practice can be applied to electional astrology in some way, and it can be far too easy to obsess over finding the "perfect" time for whatever specific thing we we wish to bring about. Thus, my preferred approach is to find moments that are generally auspicious and intuitively resonant, and then ask: "what do the planets have to share with us here?"
In working this way, we can often find ways to weave in our own desires, or see that fulfilling them in the way and time that we want would bear the cost of fighting against the current magical tides. One of the many gifts of astrology is the promise of change– if the "now" isn't the right moment, it too will pass, and there will be another. If you're struggling with settling on a time, divine on it!
Methods of working with astromagic
After electing a time for your working, you can start thinking about the astrological themes of the chosen moment and how you'd like to work with the magic of the above in the material of the below. One may invoke planetary energies as a component of their ritual or choose to imbue a material object with celestial energy and create an astrological talisman.
Whether working in the material or in the abstract, we are working with a potentiated field, charged with the archetypes and energies of the planets in question. As magicians, we render this energy into symbols and language by way of our corporeal form. This is most successful when we have an understanding of the affinities between symbols and the spirits we are working with– in a way, speaking their language. This work is fueled by relationship and trust, and made potent through knowledge and conversation.
Building spirit relationships with the seven classical planets
When first starting out, it's helpful to take it slow and introduce one symbol at a time to understand how it feels and moves with the planets. Observing planetary days and hours through the colors you wear, the activities you choose, and the people you reach out to is a great first step in aligning yourself with planetary energies.
If you were to ask a friend for a favor, you'd likely factor in how they're feeling that day, what sorts of people and conflicts they're dealing with, and whether or not they're resourced in a way that they can give you what you need responsibly. Working with planets is very much the same.
From this place of conscientiousness, we build allyships with spiritual forces, made stronger through offerings, conversation, and consistent devotional practice. Once these relationships are built, the support of a planetary spirit will show up in your life in ways you never imagined, and in time, you will learn to navigate these forceful personalities in ways that bring you benefit.
Why work with astromagic?
Astromagic is a powerful tool for self-development and spiritual growth, as well as a very practical method for the manifestation of desire. Astrology and its mythopoetic forces are woven into so many aspects of our culture, making these spirits more readily accessible as it's likely we already have some sort of relationship with them. I feel that it's a great place to start with spirit work as the ubiquity of the archetypes and themes offer a familiarity that makes starting a conversation far easier.
As one begins to develop relationships with these planets, they become mentors, collaborators, and even friends. They have much to offer– endless lessons through the fulfillment and denial of our desires. The pearls they offer are more than worth the dive through mystery it takes to find them.
Starting and developing a magical practice can be intimidating- seeking out mentors and finding community with other practitioners can be a big help in accelerating your learning, and avoiding some of the potential pitfalls that come when first working with other-than-human energies. If you feel my approach is working for you and you'd like a more personalized set of recommendations, consider booking a consultation.