Fundamentals of Astrological Magic Webinar Series

I'm very pleased to announce I will be offering a series of webinars through Kepler College on the history and practice of astrological magic. Each will be a two-hour session accompanied by slides, with time for questions at the end. They will be conducted live through the technological wonders of Kepler's webinar software, so you can attend from your comfiest chair and favourite desk. And even if you can't make the live broadcasts in the second half of August, the series will also be available as downloadable recordings.

Each webinar is designed to stand alone, so you can attend them all, or just your favourites, and in any sequence you like. That said, each mutually supports the understanding and utility of the others. This allows participants to structure their learning as they see best; assisting students both in following their passions and in receiving new information. And, in fact, if you do want to sign up to all three, you will receive a discount! So far, the classes are: Sigils, on magical objects; Services, on planetary ritual; and Spirits, on astrological entities and intelligences. If popular I may do more. Here are the details!


Fundamentals of Astrological Magic Webinar Series

Historically, astrological magic has covered a lot of activities: performing ritual, constructing and empowering talismans, and even conjuring and speaking with spirits. In this series of online classes, we will explore the fundamental ideas and practices of these magical actions through pre-modern historical examples, philosophical inquiry, and professional personal experience.

Learn how casting astrological sigils is like making jam. Consider exactly how electional astrology can be utilised to best time your magical operations. Explore different materia of metals, stones, and herbs to analyse their fundamental occult virtues. Develop a keener sense of the magical medicinal remedies and regimens with which early modern astrologer-physicians served their clients and patients. Understand how dressing up like a scribe can help with your Mercury invocations. Learn about pre-modern consecration techniques and tools: from developing magical breath, to drawing on the sorcery of planetary terroir, to surveying the array of starry incantations available in magical and astrological manuals and other texts.

These classes will furnish attendees with apprehension and analysis of fundamental occult principles delineating the operation and organisation of the cosmos – cosmological concepts like the classical four Elements or twelve Signs, as well as metaphysical notions such as reflection, contagion, sympathy, and occult virtue – which will ground and provide a stronger base for personal astrological and sorcerous practice and experimentation, as well as offering a variety of operations, tools, and techniques.


Fundamentals of Astrological Magic I: Sigils      (Saturday 13th August 2016)

The word sigils is perhaps most commonly used in modern parlance to refer to that infamous technique of Chaos magic. Yet long before Austin Osman Spare re-invented the term, sigils – medallions cast in magically potent materials at astrologically auspicious times – were the preserve of astrologer-magicians and physicians. These occult objects were thought to contain, cohere and radiate the volatile influences of passing stars as a fixed amulet, talisman or charm-bag, and were utilised for purposes as wide ranging as attracting the eye of a new lover, promotions at work, or even simply ridding your kitchen of domestic pests.

In this class, historian, poet, and diviner Dr Alexander Cummins will guide us through the history, philosophy, and sorcery of astrological magical objects. We will explore the occult philosophy of marked objects in terms of glyphs, ideograms, semeiotics, and representation, as well as examining how and when they are made and activated, what they are made from, and for what purposes they were made in the first place.

So if you are interested in learning the differences between an amulet and a talisman, where to keep your magic items to best consecrate and empower them, or why many Renaissance magicians thought creating astral talismans was like making jam, please join us in what promises to be a fascinating start to our Fundamentals of Astrological Magic series.


Fundamentals of Astrological Magic II: Services     (Saturday 20th August 2016) 

Astrological magical ritual can be an elaborate endeavour of intricately-prepared costumes and theatrics and feasts. Or it can be a simple muttered prayer to the Sun, unassuming, but nevertheless perfectly suitable to one’s purposes. Ultimately, the goals are the same: to bring to bear astral forces to our benefit. From creating astrological ‘fallout shelters’ against the impacts of a malefic conjunction to incantations imploring the celestial realm for guidance and wisdom, the history of astrological ritual is a long and fascinating record of human endeavours to actually work with the stars. It also provides an excellent foundation to draw from in our own astrological work.

With this goal in mind, Dr Alexander Cummins – an historian of magic, professional poet, and performance coach – will tease out both underlying occult philosophical concepts and practical magical actions from this historical record. We will examine the variety of potent invocations available to perform astrological sorcery: from the powerful ritual mechanics of the Picatrix, to the more grimoiric incantations of the Hygromanteia, to the paeans of the older Classical deities in the Orphic Hymns. Issues of timing, collaborating with partners, and the use of tools will also be addressed, as well as tips in creating one’s own incantations and extemporal astrological improvisations.

So if you are interested in how dressing up like a scribe can help with your Mercury invocations, which sort of body postures are good for receiving the insights of Scorpio, or what Renaissance magicians say about cultivating the power of magical breathing in astrological ritual, please accompany us for this online class.


Fundamentals of Astrological Magic III: Spirits    (Saturday 27th August 2016)

Along with energetic notions of astral influence, of ‘the starry dynamo in the machinery of night’, the history of astrology – especially astrological magic! – is full of endeavours to conjure astral spirits. From planetary ‘Intelligencies’ to the seven archangels standing before the throne the of the Creator, to angels (and demons!) of the ever-revolving Zodiac, to the countless spirit catalogues ascribed to the divisions of the sky such as the haunted mansions and ancient decans, astrological magic can be a thoroughly enspirited practice, strengthened and deepened with a sort of astral animism.

In this online class, Dr Alexander Cummins – an historian of early modern magic, grimoires, and the passions – uses texts and examples of this history of conjuration to offer perspectives, techniques, and tools for developing work with spirits in one’s astrological magic. Whether housed in charm-bags or spirit bottles, further empowering one’s magical objects, or assisting in one’s rituals, spirits are a fundamental and powerful part of Western magic.

If you are intrigued by ideas of being able to talk to tutelary spirits of Venus, of carrying a spirit advisor or bodyguard upon one’s person into difficult situations, or simply knowing how to treat a daimonic star-being if you happen to come across one in a dream, then please join us for this webinar. Part of the Fundamentals of Astrological Magic series, this online class does not require that you attended any previous classes in the series. Rather, each seminar is designed to stand alone, while also mutually supporting the understanding and utility of the others. This allows participants to structure their learning as they see best; assisting students both ion following their passions and in receiving new information.