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Astrology and Wicca, Magick


It is our loss that we neglect the role of ceremonial magick in astrology. Many of us are decidedly uneasy with magick, but it is helpful to remember that William Lilly (pictured above), the great medieval English astrologer, had previously been a magician. (It's also helpful to remember that he burned his magickal materials before taking up astrology full time.) Also realize that Horary Astrology has heavy, if unstated, magickal overtones.


THE WITCH'S CIRCLE, Rituals & Craft of the Cosmic Muse - Maria Kay Simms. $19.95
Contents:

A family tree
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Muse of the cosmos

1. A search for the goddess
2. A New Age is emerging, but what is it?
3. The new world view
4. The ethics and practice of contemporary wicca
5. Magick
6. Circle of the cosmic muse
7. Astrology and ritual
8. The wheel of the year: Rituals for the eight Sabbats
9. Full Moon rituals for a full year
10. Special rituals
11. Concerns, hints, and helps
12. Concluding reflections: On children in the craft

Annotated bibliography and resource guide
Glossary

Index

Comment:

By the author of Dial Detective, this is a Wiccan book of shadows. The author was the wife of the late Neil Michelsen, of ACS. She has continued his business, Astro Communications. She neatly summarizes this book in the opening words of A Family Tree:
This book started out to be a "Book of Shadows" of my rituals based on astrological themes. Somehow, along the way, it became a story of my own spiritual evolution, then the development of my circle, and also the changes and evolution in my mother circle and its other daughter circles. (pg. xi)
The bulk of the book are explicit rituals, given in full, starting with the date or circumstance of the ritual, the preparation, and then the actual words and actions taken by the named participants. Many of these were written by Simms or her friends. This is for the most part collective ritual magic (meaning many participants). Note there are other forms of magic, Crowley's and Dion Fortune's, for example. There is much practical magic in the text and those who are imaginative can use the various examples as inspiration for their own variations. If the participants are "sky clad," if there is actual sex, the author has carefully omitted it. Having once sat in on one of Maria's improvised gatherings (attendees at a day-long seminar) I can testify that Maria, all by herself, fully clothed and with no hanky-panky, is a powerful Wiccan. Anyone with that kind of ability will look poorly on those who use flashy techniques. Which Maria herself has told me, more or less.

This is a book of ceremony and ritual. Hints and helps in the back gives notes on robes, costumes, music, herbs, oils, where to have your ritual, etc.

Llewellyn, 467 pages.


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PAGAN ASTROLOGY for the spirit and soul - Alice Miller, $14.95

Contents:

Foreward

The structure of the coven
The high priestess Moon / The Moon in the signs
The high priest / Sun in feminine signs / Sun in masculine signs / Genderless signs
Venus, the maiden / Venus in the signs
The maiden's working partner: Mars / Mars in the signs
Mercury: the fetch / Mercury in the signs
Jupiter: Mercury's partner / Jupiter in the signs
Saturn: The traditionalist / Saturn in the signs
Uranus: Saturn's partner / Uranus in the signs
Neptune: The subconscious master / Neptune in the signs
Pluto: Mother of rebirth / Pluto in the signs

Conclusion

Comment:

I looked up Wiki on Fetch a moment ago and on the talk page was a note from the Summoner (Fetch) of the Wiccan Church of Canada, who said most everything to do with real Wicca is transmitted orally and under strict oath.

The writing in this book is light and frivolous. It is essentially a delineation of the planets in a natal chart, by sign, from the point of view of Wicca. Are there hidden meanings? You judge:

Cancer Moon: The Moon-ruled Cancer Moon is the "born" priestess, being clearly named "child of the Moon." In such individuals there is a clear channel through which one or more goddess aspects flow. She will quite naturally "draw down the moon" for she is a direct heir to all the lunar goddesses in history. She was born to lead the inner coven - and, if female, an outer one. (pg. 7)

Libra Sun: [a feminine sign for the Sun] The Venus-ruled Libra Sun will work side by side with his Moon-partner, sharing the load equally. This placement shows spirit and soul in balance and any magical work will be the result of their cooperation. As with the Libra Moon there will not be a strong sense of separation of roles. . . . Disharmony will not be tolerated. Other planets [?] will be expected to cooperate and do their share in maintaining the growth and development of the personality-coven. Occasionally, when they do not, the Sun and Moon become adversaries, splitting the personality-coven apart. The key understanding is that, whatever her sign, the Moon must allow her Sun equal rights and authority in the coven. (pg. 13)

Sagittarius Venus: When Venus is in Sagittarius, the Maiden will do much to expand the work of the coven, for she has great ability to attract energy from the environment around her. (pg. 19)

I got the impression Miller is not talking about individuals who might want to form or already be in a coven, but planets as abstractions. Miller says her inspiration for the book came from teaching astrology to beginning Wiccans, whereupon she realized Wicca needed astrology. I sort of think they already have their own system. She puts emphasis on the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, Pluto), though so far as I am aware, traditional Wiccans do not, as the craft is far more ancient than 1781, when Uranus was discovered.

The Foreword ends with the note that the author enjoyed writing the book and hopes the reader will enjoy reading it. The Conclusion describes the book as entertainment and as an aid in making predictions. Nothing in the text is of a forecasting nature, though when Pluto arrives in Aries - not that many years off - "beings" who had previously fled the earth will colonize "new worlds," which are described as "civilizations." These will be slightly ahead of "original Earth colonies." (pg. 72) All of which is horribly confusing. I presume this means that when men land on Mars they will find earthlings who arrived a decade or two earlier? How very Twilight Zone-ish.

AFA, 75 pages.


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Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

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