Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 21, Vol. 3. Autumnal Equinox 2011

The Magic of the Starry Sky

editorial by J. S. Kupperman

Astrology and astrological magic are truly ancient. These arts were discussed in Middle and Neoplatonic sources, survived in Hermetic texts, saved by the Sabians of Harran through the 9th century CE and eventually brought back to Europe in Arabic translation. Astral magic is arguably the heart of the ancient magical traditions of Europe and the Middle and Near East.

Attestations to their practice go back thousands upon thousands of years. The most famous primers on the subject are Medieval, the Arabic De Imaginibus (On Images), translated into Latin in the 13th century, and the famous Picatrix, which exists in both Arabic and Latin versions. The Neoplatonists of late Antiquity taught how the movements of the stars were tokens of divine movement. Magical astrological lore was saved and transmitted by the Neoplatonic magicians of the Renaissance: Ficino, Pico and Agrippa to name just a few. These arts have since found their way into modern practices such as the use of proper angelic and divine names and Agrippan seals and the colorful and deeply symbolic imagery of the tarot, resplendent with astrological symbolism.

This issue of the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition focuses on astrological magic. We offer up two papers on the subject. The first, working from Agrippa, Brian Pivik examines the use of one’s natal chart to discover the name of one’s personal daimon. The second piece, by R. Joseph Capet, explores the symbolism of the Empress’ flowers in the third Atu of Aleister Crowley’s Thoth tarot. Also included are book reviews and magical art by Asterion.

Our next issue will serve as a balance to issue 18 and explores the world of demonology. Submission information can be found here (will include link). Also, be sure to take the new Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition conference survey!