How Astrology Works   3 comments

I was recently asked if I know how astrology works.  That is, they wanted to know if I believed the Planets emit “beams” (aka Rays) that project to the Earth, or something of the sort.  (An idea borrowed heavily from Theosophy and poor books like the Kybalion, but not entirely absent from older astrology texts.)

To be certain, the history of astrology is no small study.  It was an ancient art even by the time Egyptians and Sumerians began to keep the first written records.  And, you’ll find countless theories (both modern and ancient) about how it all works.  I am in not here to settle the matter – just to share what I know (in general and briefly) about its history, and my idea of how astrology “works.”

To vastly oversimplify a complex subject: the earliest astrologies (like in Egypt) focused on the seasons.  It’s rather intuitive, frankly.  The ancient shamans knew the motions of the stars were cyclic (even if they were unaware it was because the Earth is a spinning globe), and quickly figured out you could reliably predict the changing seasons by keeping an eye on the heavens.  You knew the weather was going to get warmer when these stars appeared in the sky, and that it would start growing cold when those stars appeared, etc.  

This essentially simple concept grew over thousands of years into some pretty complex systems.  Various geo/celestial events (solstices and equinoxes, harvest seasons, lunar cycles, eclipses, etc, etc) were marked as “holy days” and became sacred to various gods and demons.  These, then, evolved into the vast networks of temples and festivals one could find, for example, all up and down the Nile or the Euphrates.  Over time, every single day became sacred to one deity or another!  (There was a point in Egypt’s history where you could, conceivably, have traveled up and down the Nile attending one agricultural festival after another and never work a day in your life.)

These sacred/festival days resulted in the very first “magical calendars” – lists of the sacred days, and even hours of the days; to which deities and demons these times were sacred; and what petitions you could put before them at those times.  These (with the inclusion of Babylonian star lore) then evolved into the systems of “decan magick” that would eventually form the basis of much of the Solomonic goetic tradition – where spirits assigned to different planets, stars, signs, decans, etc are conjured and petitioned for any conceivable purpose.  

Other traces of these old magical calendars remain, as well.  We can find, in texts like the Key of Solomon, obscure lists of names and magical functions for all 24 hours in a day.  However, their practical application must have already been on the decline, as such lists are usually provided without context and do not seem to impact the rituals outlined in the rest of the literature.  (Though we may see a version of this preserved in texts like the Hygromanteia and Heptameron, where much stress is put on assigning Names and entities to every day, hour, season, and even the Sun and Moon.)

We can also see reflections of this in other areas: such as Farmers’ Almanacs that still provide planting and harvesting instructions based on astrological folklore.  Or the massive calendars of feast days associated with Saints, and the proper timings for specific masses and other ceremonies, in Catholic and Orthodox Christianity.

But it all started NOT with some primitive assumption the stars were shooting out beams of energy that affect the Earth.  Instead, it began with a rather common-sense observation that the cycles of the stars and planets line up with the seasons here on Earth.

Astrology isn’t about “Rays”.  It’s about Time.  The hands of a clock do not “create” time, they merely indicate it.  Likewise, the heavenly bodies do not create or project upon us the energies of life.  (Well… the Sun does, and one can argue the Moon does as well, but I’m speaking mystically here!)  Instead, they merely indicate the ever-changing seasons and cyclic energies that are native right here to our little ball of mud spinning through space.  “As Above, So Below” still applies, but we are radiating the energies, not receiving them.

At least that’s how I see it.




Posted October 6, 2022 by kheph777 in astrology, history

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3 responses to “How Astrology Works

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  1. Reblogged this on Grand Temple of Horus Behdety.


  2. This is an interesting explanation, and food for thought. The idea that the planets emit rays, whether taken literally or more as a term of convenience, is, I think, the most traditional and respected idea about how astrology works (at least in what I’ll refer to as serious esoteric circles). It’s adherents include Al-Kindi (obviously – “De Radiis”), Albertus Magnus, Facino, etc., and I think it’s compatible with what you’ve presented here, which I think is a nice addition. The rays are directed at, or available to, a particular location at a particular time, in part due to the same cosmic conditions responsible for the seasons, but also affected by the cosmic conditions of each planet and their relationships to one another. This also explains the phenomena of super-lunary spirits being available at particular (astrological) times, which explains why elections are so important in talisman making, and really any magickal operation involving those spirits.


  3. My recent interest in the occult led me to follow some podcasts and blogs (Imperial Arts is one of them) and I had the following doubt; What is the limit of knowledge that can be obtained through rituals and contacts with other entities? Couldn’t this question about how astrology work be answered or studied with the help of some extraphysical intelligence?



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