The Planetary Forces
 SUN  Symbolized by  dot within a circle is the potential of the human spirit or consciousness within the universe.  It is also the magician or self~aware individual following any spiritual path who is symbolically the centre of his/her own magical universe, just as the Sun is the spiritual and material centre of our Solar System.

The Sun represents both the pure essence of the life force and the higher self which is exalted in true magic.  Once you take your first steps on the magickal path you take on a great responsibility because your actions could have an effect on others.

It can also be a lonely path for it is the way of the individual who must start apart from his fellows.  Those around you will not understand the new path you are walking and if you are wise you will keep silent about your activities while in their company.

Increasingly, you will br thrown back on your own resources and it will take a great deal of  perserverance to pursue your chosen goal under these circumstances.  The invocation of the Solar planetary influence can help because it provides will power, energy and self~confidence.

MOON Symbolized by the crescent Moon is a half circle which represent the sunconscious mind.  Magick works through the medium of the subconscious:  the realms of dreams, psychic visions, hidden desires and imagination.

As we know the moon has no light of its own but merely reflects the ray's of the Sun.  However these rays are changed by contact with the Moon and moonlight has a very different effect on the human mind than that of sunshine   In both astrology and magic the moon represents the hidden side of the human personality which under normal circumstances is not revealed to the outside world.

In general most magickal work is hidden (Occult) and is performed out of sight and in privacy.  It is an old adage the magick which is practiced in the public gaze will not be as successful as private workings.  This belief may date back to the old days of persecution when it was impossible to work openly

In esoteric tradition teh Moon is likened with the widely held doctrine of reincarnation or the rebirth of the soul in a succession of different physical bodies.  according to some arcane beleifs, when the spirit leaves the bokewdy after death it travels to the Lunar world to be reborn.  In old pagan religions we have seen that the Full Moon was one of the mystic symbols of the Great Mother Goddess who according to the oldest creation myths, gave birth to the universe.

When the Magician uses Lunar Energy he is dealing with the ebb and flow of potent psychic forces. Lunar tides have both a physical and psychic affect on humans, animals, and flora.  It is therefore natural that occultly the Moon should symbolize the Subconscious mind of the Awakened person who can use it to bring hidden desires into manifestation

MERCURY  the symbol of this fast moving planet which is the closest to the Sun is composed of three different sigils.  They are a half circle, representing the human mind, surmounted on a circle, symbolizing spiritual consciousness, which in turn stands on a cross, representing the material plane.

This Mercurian symbol is a concise glyph of the mind, body and spirit.  It is the fusion of these which is the ultimate goal of the higher types of magical training.

As Mercury moves quickly around the Sun it is not surprising that in classical mythology the planetary energy or god form associated with it was identified as the divine messenger.  In Roman and Greek myths the gods Mercuri and Hermes were messengers of the gods.

The earliest magicians, the prehistoric shamans, were regarded by the tribal peoples whom consulted them as special emissaries who had the ability to communicate with the spirit world.  This  communication was a two~way system for the shaman could bring back messages from the realm of the gods and pass their wisdom on to his human colleagues. 

The planetary influence of Mercury teaches the aspiring magician that even though he may take his first tentative steps on the magical path for self~centered reasons, this emphasis will be short~lived.  The magician soon learns that he has a wider responsibility.  Service to the rest of humanity is a very important aspect of the true magical path.

Mercury is the great communicator passing on ideas, news and information.  In the occult perspective the magician is the person who, like the ancient shaman, acts as a go~between bridging the artifical barrier humanity has created between the spiritual and material worlds.  This planetary energy signifies spiritual understanding and, because the Mercurial keynote is communication, the responsibility of the magician is to pass on this understanding to others.

VENUS  the symbol of Venus, the evening and morning star which is esoterically the sister planet of Earth, is the circle representing the spirit, balanced on the equal~armed cross of the elements representing the material plane.

In ancient Egypt this Venus Symbol was the ankh, which represents the union of male and female.  The ankh was universally adopted by the `flower children' of the '60's who, echoing its Venusian connection, called it the love or peace cross.  Today the planetary glyph of Venus is used in biology to signify the female.

Venus is regarded as the twin soul of the Earth.  The concept of twin souls is a very ancient one based on the esoteric beleif that originally the human race was androgynous. At some point in the distant past early humanity divided into the two sexes, so human souls continue on the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth until such time as they are incarnated in the same time period as their twin souls and become reunited.

Obviously such belief is open to abuse.  This especially happens when people who fall in love project their anima (the female aspect of the male psyche) or their animus (the male aspect of the female psyche) on to their lovers and think they have found their long lost twin soul or soul mate.  It is the negative influence of Venus that creates this type of sexual infatuation  which can be very destructive for everyone whom becomes entangled in it.

On a more positive level, the Venusian planetary influence represents the natural human desire of unitind the opposites. This can be understood in magical terms as the balancing of the male and female principles within the psyche of the magician.  This union of opposites in what is called the sacred marriage and is symbolized by the sigil of the sword in the chalice.

The magician can use the planetary force of Venus in all matters which are connected with love.  This can refer to romantic love between two people or the broader form of love which embraces the brotherhood of humanity.

MARS  the symbol of Mars is formed by the circle of spirit surmounted by the arrow which represents the masculin aspect of the life force.  This Martian glyph is used in biology to represent the male.

Mars is the red planet and that is the colour which signifies the life force.  The Neolithic people buried their dead smeared in red ochre in the belief that this symbolic color of the life force ensured that the soul of the dead person would be reborn into another body.

In ancient times blood was regarded as sacred because of its color and the practice of making sacrifices to appease the Divine originated in the belief that blood transmitted the life force.  In our enlightened age we know that sacrificial offerings are cruel and unnecessary;  the only true sacrifice is that made by the enlightened soul incarnating on the altar of material existence.

In some respects the Martian planetary influence is the opposite to the Venusian.  In ancient mythology Mars was the god of war and within this martial image is hidden great truths.  If things stagnate and degenerate they must be swept away if any progress is to be made.  In this sense the planetary energy of Mars respresents the destroyer who cleanses and purifies do that a new beginning or cycle can commence.

Sacrifice on its highest spiritual level is the transmutation of energy into a different form.  Following the occult path the aspiring magician may be called upon by the powers~that~be to make a number of sacrifices, some of which may be small but others will test the character and individual strength of the seeker.

How the individual reacts to such situations will determine how he/she will progress on the magical path.  Whatever happens, the magician will be changed by the experience which is the transmutation of the sacrificial act.  In some way the planetary energy of Mars is a blind force, yet it cannot escape being the instrument of the powerful destiny that is the controlling influence in the universe.

The Martian force can be invoked by the magician who lacks the energy or motivation to act decisively on a situation.  The planetary for of Mars provides the magician with hidden reserves of physical, mental and spiritual energy.