Developmental Goals for the Magician’s Zodiac

© 2017 R. Eugene Laughlin
All Rights Reserved

 

Magick is the highest, most Absolute, most Divine Knowledge of natural Philosophy, advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true agents being applied to proper patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effort (or effect), the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.

 

Here begins a systematic plan for the development of magical acumen, laying the foundation for advanced mystical exploration and practical magick operations.

Theoretical Background

Consider that the Central Glyph of the Magician’s Zodiac establishes a baseline vocabulary for the occult (unseen) dynamics of the world in which we live. For the most part, the words provided serve as categorical labels. The arrangement of those labels, however, reflect multilevel and variously interactive relationships between and within the named categories, which in effect, provide a basic grammar for their use. The system therefore, in some respects at least, resembles a language and an underlying psycholinguistic structure. The developmental task can therefore be likened to learning a language.

While the language analogy is useful in some respects, there are other useful conceptions. Because the Zodiacal structure encodes hierarchical, nested patterns, the general scheme also resembles a biological taxonomy. The idea is that a higher layer of classification confers characteristics to all members of its class. The next layer of classification inherits the parameters of the higher class and also expresses some unique qualities, which differentiates each member from the others. Each member then becomes a class of its own, the qualities of which its members inherit, and so on. Consider the following, simple representation of a small portion of the highest levels of a taxonomy (click for enlarged image in a new window):

In this example, all Unicellular and Multicellular organisms share the Eukaryotic nature (have discrete cells with a nucleus) but differentiate by cellular structure. At the next classification layer, all members of the Multicellular class express a multicellular nature but are differentiate by whether those cells have walls or not. Those with cell walls divide into the Fungi and Plantae lines, whereas those without become the Animalia lines.

This small fragment of an almost inconceivably vast taxonomy illustrates the key feature for our purposes here: the patterns of inheritance. No matter how far the subdivisions go down stream, all animals (of class Animalia) inherit the Eukaryotic nature, the Multicellular nature, the Wall-less cell nature, etc. Carried on, the Animalia line subdivides into Phyla, Classes, Orders, Families, Genera, Species, and finally to specific individuals of a species, the only level of expression that we directly experience in the world at large.

Leaning more toward poetic/metaphorical interpretations than toward the literal (because occult studies and biology are, of course, different), the inherited qualities from the taxonomy above the individual expression level (of an animal in this case) can be equated to the concept, the inward and occult virtue of things. Those who would see an individual animal without recognizing its fundamental nature or the nature of its deep relationships with species of distant Phyla (etc.) can be equated to the vulgar, while those who understand and can make use of the intrinsic yet non-apparent relationships (apply true agents to proper patients) would know how to anticipate an effort or an effect, that would lead to the outward appearance of miracles.

In that sense, developmental work with the Magician’s Zodiac is to discover and assimilate the inward and occult virtue of things, as the Zodiac encodes them. However, assuming the necessity of the empirical approach as previously describe, the work cannot be accomplished by studying (or referring to) explicit lists of correspondences; rather, the details that flesh out the framework afforded by the Zodiac, the inward and occult virtue of things, must be inferred from personal, direct experience. And the result will be more than an explicit list of correspondences; the germane effect will be the acquisition of implicit knowledge, forming the basis of a fundamentally intuitive modus opernadi that amounts to knowing what to do but not necessarily knowing why. It is in that very sense that true occult secrets can never be spoken, written, nor shared one to another by any sort of declaration. Occult knowledge remains occult (hidden) in some respects even to the possessor, and can only be acquired through personal experience.

 

Previous Article: The Literal and the Poetic

Next Article: Developmental Journaling

 

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