Tag Archives: astrology

How to survive Mercury Retrograde

“Mercury Retrograde holds no terrors… when all the unlucky stuff happens to other people.”

Mercury went Retrograde on December 29th 2022, and will station Direct again on January 18th 2023, in approximately three weeks time.

I find it supremely ironic that a no-mark of whom I had never heard before two days ago, chose the first day of Mercury going Retrograde to attack Greta Thunberg on social media. His reward consisted of not only being pilloried by the internet in general, and Ms Thunberg in particular, but his actions led to the Romanian Police detecting his presence in their country and arresting him. If you had doubts about the devastating power of Astrology, doubt no longer!

However, unless you really are a vile specimen of a human being, Mercury Retrograde need not necessarily be all bad: and indeed Hermeticism teaches us that by ascending to the right state of enlightened consciousness, we can survive the curveballs that this time of year throws at us. Furthermore, we ought to know that Mercury turns Retrograde around three times a year: thus because it happens with predictable reliability, we each can and ought to develop our own strategy or strategies for dealing with it.

As I wrote in my account of my own Abramelin Operation, 16th October 2020:

I had not paid much attention to the current stars and planets in the past few days, but I happened to remember that Mercury had just turned Retrograde (it had done so three days ago). It would not station direct until after I had finished the Operation. For one moment I felt uneasy that this had to happen now : would I have begun my Operation if I had realised ? But then I dismissed the thought. Given that it occurs three or four times a year, one inevitably cannot perform the Abramelin Operation without it turning Retrograde once during that time. Perhaps I had done well not to pay too much attention to the astrology of the situation, as otherwise I might have let superstitious dread cause me to miss this opportunity.

A lot of people fear this time of year, but as I discovered once after a supermarket cashier forgot to ring up a bottle of whisky in my shopping, Mercury Retrograde holds no terrors so long as all the unlucky stuff happens to other people. A sort of Schadenfreude view of the phenomenon. Besides which, I interpreted the message of Hermeticism to mean that ultimately one ought to develop oneself spiritually so that one can learn to stand apart from the influence of the planets, instead of remaining passively affected by them. This, I supposed, formed the whole rationale of the planetary magick of the Golden Dawn. Adverse astrological conditions might disquieten the great unwashed, but they should merely present a challenge to an Adept worth his or her salt.

Sumner (2022), p477 – see below for full bibliographic citation.

However: although practicing the Hexagram Rituals of the Golden Dawn, and by otherwise rising on the planes and raising one’s vibrational state does work, it only goes so far! The Curse of the Adept is that one has to continually deal with people who aren’t familiar with high Hermetic magic. E.g. as I recorded a few days later:

Later that morning : work continued awfully and threatened to spoil my day. Despite me being fastidiously careful, people tried to blame me for things which went wrong anyway. In other words, I had managed to transcend the effects of the Mercury Retrograde today, but my managers and co-workers had not, so I had to deal with their bullshit, nonetheless. In effect, I suffered from Mercury Retrograde by Proxy.

Ibid., p487.

In conclusion, my top tips for surviving Mercury Retrograde: DO

  • Spend time in meditation, and introspection. When a Planet is Retrograde, its energies are directed inwards. Hence although it is a bad time for outward expressions, it is a very good time for applying the power of Mercury to the inner life – through contemplation and cultivating one’s intuition.
  • Make plans for what you are going to achieve when Mercury stations Direct. The Retrograde period is a bad time for starting new ventures, however: it only lasts three weeks. Hence, this fact coupled with the idea of spending time on one’s inner life mentioned above means that it is an excellent time not for starting ventures, but for planning what you are going to start in the near future.
  • Try to remain calm: be compassionate and forgiving. Remind yourself that people who tick you off during this time are probably suffering themselves, and try to be as merciful towards them as you would want them to be towards you if you were in the same situation.

DO NOT

  • Start new ventures recklessly. Instead, if you can’t avoid putting it off, make an extra effort to make sure you have been especially careful. It would be foolish to say “never start something during a Mercury Retrograde” because that’s never entirely possible, so instead you should take this time to act cautiously.
  • Celebrate your return to social media by attacking the most popular climate change activist on the planet, disclosing public details when you are wanted by the police, or both.

Sumner, A (2022), Conjuring Demons for Pleasure and Profit: an Abramelin Memoir, Thoth Publications, Leicester, UK.

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Alex weighs in on the Liz Truss Debacle

Prime Minister Liz Truss Official Portrait
Former Prime Minister Liz Truss. in No10 Downing

The United Kingdom is currently going through a great national crisis, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time for Alex Sumner to exercise his Astrology chops once again! Specifically: what do the stars have to say about Liz Truss’ meteoric rise and fall as Prime Minister?

Mary Elizabeth Truss was born on 26th July 1975 in Oxford, England. I could not find birth-time data: however, a 47-year-old woman will not normally be going through transits to her natal planets, so I am willing to bet that her career flushed down the pan the way it did yesterday because Saturn was transitting her MC. On this basis, I have created a Rectified Chart for her with an estimated birth-time of 2.16am, hence:

On first glancing at this chart, I would say that this is not the chart of a woman born to be Prime Minister! Firstly, Saturn and Mercury conjunct in Cancer in the second house suggest that her professional talents would best be applied not making public pronouncements, but instead communicating in a safe, sensible and measured manner: in any event, avoiding saying anything rash or ill-considered.

This is unfortunate, as – assuming my rectification is accurate – with Gemini as her rising sign, she feels naturally inclined to present herself as a great communicator: so having Saturn conjunct the Lord of her Ascendant must be a bit of a downer.

Secondly, the same Saturn/Mercury conjunction is in a “T-formation” with regard to Jupiter in Aries (11th house), and comedy planet Uranus in Libra (5th house). Jupiter indicates her desire to win friends and admirers through some sort of leadership role, whilst Uranus points out a propensity to behaving unconventionally when performing in public. However, the need to speak and act cautiously is a drag on her leadership ambitions, as well as a challenge to her going on the public stage, as it were.

Ironically, Square aspects can inspire an individual to achieve greatness if they are able to solve the conflicts provoked thereby. More specifically, a “T-formation” like this indicates that an individual is likely to experience both Great Success and Great Failure in her life, often coming quickly one after the other – as a transitting planet, when forming an aspect with one natal planet, will inevitably form aspects to a whole load of other planets at the same time.

In conclusion, if I were to analyse Liz Truss’ personality based on this chart, I would summarise it as follows:

You are a warrior and a ringleader, but your emotions are rather extreme. Art is what makes you emotionally happy. You think in a deep way and express your needs and thoughts in an emotional way. You express your energy in an abiding way: you are destructive when you get angry. In love you are helpful, and you seek respect.

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What the Stars Have in Store for… the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Vladimir Putin
Putin vs Zelenskiy – there’s only one way to settle this. FIIIGHT!

MI6 – CIA – stand aside! Read the only military Intel you will ever need right here, provided by your humble blogmaster. Today, I turn my astrological eye on the activities happening in the Ukraine, by analysing a chart drawn up for the moment Russian troops crossed the border into Ukrainian territory earlier this week.

Chart drawn up for Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, 21st February 2022 at 0500 (local time) – when Putin announced Russian incursion.

We can use the position of Luna to analyse how this situation arose in the first place. Luna is exactly 150º past Caput Draconis, in a Cardinal sign and succedent house. Hence, the root-reason for this invasion is an event which took place 150 weeks ago, i.e., in April 2019. This is the exact time that the current Ukrainian President, Volodomyr Zelenskiy, was elected. In fact it is 150 weeks to the day (21st April 2019).

The sunrise in Donetsk on Monday this week was at 0733, whilst the preceding sunset was 1758. Hence, we can calculate that the announcement of Russian troops entering Ukraine territory occurred during the planetary hour of Sol. Coincidentally, the waning moon is trine to Sol. In other words, if I were asked to use my powers of Electional Astrology to pick a time to do a Solar Banishing, I would have picked that very moment. (NB: Putin certainly did not ask me to predict the best time to invade Ukraine, though whether he had his own astrological help is another matter).

Given that in mundane Astrology, Sol represents the Government, combined with the analysis of Luna, I would go so far as to say that Putin’s real objective is to depose the Ukrainian Government – and President Zelenskiy in particular – and install a pro-Putin replacement, effectively making the Ukraine a Russian client-state. We can thus guess exactly how Russia sees its “diplomacy” going (i.e. you get rid of your President, and we’ll withdraw our troops).

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‘Revival of the occult’: French youth turn to tarot, astrology during Covid-19

Young people in France are increasingly turning to tarot, astrology and other forms of esoterism, a trend that accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent poll.

Source: ‘Revival of the occult’: French youth turn to tarot, astrology during Covid-19

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Alex Sumner’s answer to What does the astrological chart predict for 2021? – Quora

Mundane astrology, i.e. the astrology of world events, is usually done by taking a chart for the moment of the Spring Equinox. As a resident of the UK I have thus analysed a chart for Saturday 20th March 2021, 0937 (the exact moment of the Equinox), London UK. You will appreciate therefore that most of what I will say comes from a British point of view.

A horoscope for the moment of the Spring (March) Equinox – Saturday 20th March 2020, 0937, London UK

The good news is that the COVID-19 crisis will end. The bad news is that the Aftermath of COVID-19 will begin.

Moon is in Gemini in the 12th House, conjunct North node and Mars, trine to Saturn and Jupiter. The general population will react positively to the end of the COVID-19 crisis, but there will be a great upheaval in people’s lives, caused by a great awareness of having to look after the sick and elderly. A major theme will be that a lot of people will be complaining that they didn’t realise just how much the aftermath of COVID-19 would affect them. Workers will demand – even to the extent of going on strike – the right to take (more) leave from work in order to care for sick relatives, and there will almost certainly be major public protests about this.

On the plus side, however, the Sun is in the 11th House, the House of Friendship, analogous to Aquarius, the sign of humanistic ideals and service to others. It is conjunct Venus, which in mundane charts represents Women. We may thus expect Women rise to prominence in public life, achieving great things in government and politics. 2021 will be a good year for Feminism – women’s issues will figure heavily in the business of Parliament.


Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to What does the astrological chart predict for 2021? – Quora

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The Coronavirus Daemon

Before reading any further, I must warn you that the following blog-post contains swearing, and should not be read by anyone of a nervous or overly sensitive disposition, and preferably not by anyone who is superstitious about demons and stuff either.

OK, now that I have ensured that you are still reading this, I’ll continue. Recently, in a discussion I had there came up the question, “What is the Name of the current COVID 19 outbreak?” The implication being that if it had a “name,” it could be commanded like a spirit or Daemon. This relates to an old concept in both Exorcism Rites and in ceremonial magick, in that the first step in compelling a spirit to action is to ascertain and confirm its actual name.

This got me thinking – I turned to the astrology of the situation in the hope this might give me guidance.

Right now, in Capricorn / Aquarius, there is a “quadrivium” (four-way conjunction) with Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. Several astrologers have noted that because this quadrivium has happened round about the same time as the current COVID 19 hysteria, that perhaps it represents the current pandemic itself?

If one cares to humour this conceit for one moment, one may follow my train of thought as follows:

In the Qabalah, Mars is represented by the letter PEH.

Jupiter is represented by the letter KAPH.

Pluto, being only recently (within the last hundred years) discovered was not traditionally represented in the Qabalah – however, some modern groups such as BOTA have assigned Pluto to the tarot key “Judgement” and hence the letter SHIN.

Saturn is represented by the letter TAV.

Hence, Mars – Jupiter – Pluto – Saturn – the planets in the order as they are currently lined up in the Quadrivium are collectively represented by a made-up Hebrew word thus:

פכשת

Peh, Kaph, Shin, Tav, written left to right.

Literally, this would be something like “PKShTh.” However, given that PEH is used for both a “P” and “Ph” sound, and TAV is a “T” as well as a “Th,” then it is not too much of a liberty to proclaim that the proper pronunciation of the above Hebrew word is “Fuck-Shit.”

Yes! The world is currently being ravaged by daemon named “Fuck-Shit.” And moreover, it is probably because humanity has been swearing a lot recently that this daemon has been inadvertently given more power than it deserves.

So please, don’t just clean your hands – clean your mouths also, and your vocabulary to go with it! And do not be swearing at all! Unless you are an experienced ceremonial magician who knows what they are doing, in which case, go right ahead.

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What the Stars have in store for the UK in 2020

Happy Equinox! In case you hadn’t noticed it, it is now Aries season, and consequently, Spring has officially arrived. At this time of year Astrologers are able to prognosticate on what the future holds for the year ahead, by resorting to “Mundane Astrology” – which involves drawing up a chart for the precise moment the Sun hits Oº Aries.
Here is what such a chart looks like for London, UK:

Chart for 11.49pm GMT, London, UK, on March 19th 2020

The actual moment of the Equinox was 11.49pm GMT.

We can note straightaway that the Sun – representing the Government – is in the fourth house, representing homes, housing policy and the living conditions. Given that increasingly large numbers of people are currently being forced to stay at home due to mass hysteria ahem, I mean COVID-19, we may expect that a major drive in Government policy in the coming year will be to introduce important reforms for people who are trapped indoors – to improve their conditions.

It is tempting to view the Quadrivium of Mars / Jupiter / Pluto / Saturn all in Capricorn as indicative of the current public health crisis itself. That they are all lying in the Second House in the above chart emphasises how, in very general terms, this will affect the Economy. However, because of the nature of the planets concerned, we can be more specific:

  • The recent panic in public opinion has passed its peak. However, there will still be one minor panic at least once a week for the next several months.
  • The armed forces will be deployed on the streets – firstly to reinforce the judiciary and the legal system (martial law?); secondly, to hunt down and capture terrorists are seeking to exploit the situation; then latterly and more usefully, to assist in Britain’s agriculture industry to maintain regular food supplies. We may also expect the armed forces to relieve pressure on the NHS, for example by providing nursing staff.
  • The Stock Market will go through at least three major jolts this year: the economy will not start to begin to feel normal again until at least six months hence.

Furthermore – in a massive case of “I TOLD YOU SO,” the forces of BREXIT and those who supported it will prove to be a continual drag and hindrance on positive efforts to deal with the public health crisis, despite the Press and Media trying to protect them from negative publicity.

And finally…

As we hit this Equinox, the Sun is moving into conjunction with Chiron, the Wounded Healer. This would suggest that the predicament the Government now finds itself in is in effect the result of an “untreated wound” that has been ignored for too long – e.g. that the UK is plainly unprepared for a major health crisis. The upside of this is that the Government can learn from what is happening this year, so that it can ensure a crisis of this magnitude never happens again.

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Summer Solstice Eclipse 2020

A Solar Eclipse is taking place on the Summer Solstice this year, or Winter Solstice for those in the Southern Hemisphere. With that in mind I thought I would do a quick bit of astrological analysis, mainly aimed at those not familiar with astrology.

Here is a chart for the eclipse taking place on the Summer Solstice 2020.

According to Wikipedia,

The central path of the 2020 June annular eclipse passes through the parts of African continent including Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia; south of Pakistan and northern India; and China.

Hence,  have chosen for demonstrative purposes Muscat, the capital of Oman, which will experience 100% totality that day, for the purposes of drawing up this char.

As we would expect, the Sun, Moon, and Lunar Node are in conjunction with one another – this is only to be expected as it happens for every eclipse.

Of more interest is the Square made by Mars, the planet of wars and military action – indicated by the red line linking those two planets – made with the Sun, which in mundane astrology represents the Government or governments, the Moon, which represents the People generally, and the North Node, which represents that which takes one out of one’s comfort zone (which can be both good and bad). However, before we get all despondent, one should note that it is a -weak- aspect, because the faster-moving planets are moving out of the Orb. So whilst one may have been tempted to say that the seeds of armed conflict will be sown that day, it is not a definitive indicator of world war three per se.

On a different tack, what I would say that the day of June 21st, 2020, is not a good day for making decisions, scheduling important events, or suggesting what you think are bright ideas. This is due to the fact of the Moon being said to be “Combust” i.e. in close conjunction with the Sun. The fact that it is also conjunct Caput draconis and square Mars only compounds the fact. Fortunately there is a simple method of avoiding the effects of a Combust Moon, which is to just wait 24 hours. In other words, June 21st 2020 will be a good day to avoid doing anything decisive and have the day off instead.

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I like astrology, but I don’t think tarot cards are necessary. Why do people use tarot cards for astrology?

From Quora.com

I like astrology, but I don’t think tarot cards are necessary. Why do people use tarot cards for astrology?

Alex Sumner’s answer:

(A2A) Astrologers do not necessarily use Tarot cards: Tarot readers might however use Astrology. For example, relating a Tarot card to an associated Astrological meaning might help a Tarot reader interpret a given tarot spread.

In the late 19th century, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn taught that because there are 22 major arcana in the Tarot, they can be allotted to the 12 signs of the Zodiac, 7 planets, and 3 of the Elements (Air, Water and Fire). The symbolism does actually make sense, e.g. “Justice” = Libra; “The Sun” = the Sun; “Death” = Scorpio (because Scorpio is equivalent to the 8th House, which is the House of Death); etc.

Furthermore, the Golden Dawn taught that the suits of the Minor Arcana correspond to the four astrological Triplicities; whilst there is a method of assigning the individual cards to the Zodiac which aids in clarifying their meaning.

The Six of Wands: Victory!
This card, for example, is associated with the second decan of Leo and the planet Jupiter, in the Golden Dawn system.

I say Astrologers do not necessarily use Tarot cards, but of course they may choose to do so nevertheless. One of the things I like to do is to do a Horary Astrological figure at the same time as doing a Tarot reading, on the basis that a Horary chart drawn up for the Time, Date and Place of a reading ought to corroborate the Tarot cards, or perhaps the cards might supply the details of how to interpret specific features of the chart.

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BREXIT Astrology Problems OR What a difference 6 minutes makes!

Chart for BREXIT: 0000 GMT, 1st February 2020, Westminster

So here’s my dilemma. BREXIT officially happens at 0000 GMT on 1st February 2020. In trying to draw up a chart for it, and taking London as the “place of birth,” I notice that the Ascendant is in Libra, but right on the cusp of Scorpio. In other words, if BREXIT happened six minutes later, it would actually be in Scorpio.

Why is this a problem? Because if Libra, then the Lord of the Ascendant is Venus, which I interpret to mean that the public face of the new BREXIT-regime will be all smiles: it will be dominated by the arts and popular entertainment, in particular the National Lottery, and PR campaigns fronted by glamorous young women. There will be a honeymoon period in which people are idealistic about it, at least at first.

However, if Scorpio, then the Lords of the Ascendant are Mars and Pluto, which means moody frowning instead of smiles. The same persona of the new regime will either be all armed conflict, civil unrest and economic instability (i.e. Mars); or perhaps Government upheaval and lone terrorist attacks on Britain’s transport networks (i.e. Pluto).

So please, my loyal blog-followers! Which sign do you think will exert the most influence over the new political situation? Vote now in my new poll!

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