On the 20th of December I performed an invocation of Saturn in celebration of the Winter Solstice. It was similar in form to the rituals I recently performed for the Autumn Equinox and for the Summer Solstice. On the 20th we had a full moon, and with a potential spectacular added twist: a total lunar eclipse.
I found out about the eclipse a week ahead of time; I was planning on doing a solstice ritual, but the eclipse finding fixed the date and time of my ritual for the evening of the 20th. I did a couple of other preparations ahead of time. The first was finding and sighting the actual planet Saturn in the sky. I thought I saw it just before dawn a couple days ahead of time, but I was not positive so I loaded the fourmilab sky map to make sure. The next morning before dawn I knew exactly where to look and confirmed it was so, only a few degrees separated from the much brighter Venus. It was a little confusing because at this time of year the ecliptic is maximally oblique to straight east west across the sky, which is what confused me the morning before. I had not expected to see Saturn almost due north of Venus.
The other preparation I did was a selection for a character for the invocation. For the sake of simplicity I shall call him Abraham Lincoln. The man I chose was not actually Abraham Lincoln, but in the pantheon of common cultural characters this is a close comparison. He was a very wise man who I had the good fortune to work with closely when I was younger, and he even had a small physical resemblance to the picture of Lincoln which has come down to us.
Saturn is a complex and not completely benevolent spirit--in the Greek mythology he consumed his own children. In the Mantegna Tarocci he is depicted with a grim reaper's scythe, killing and eating small children. Tradition associates Saturn with black magic, and in Peter Carroll's essay on magic in eight colors he describes the greatest utility of black magic as "avoidance of premature death". Abraham Lincoln was murdered long before he had lived out his natural span, and sadly, my real life character also succumbed to a similarly unfortunate fate.
So, with the time of the eclipse, a sighting of Saturn, and an invocation subject and script prepared, I was ready for my ritual on the 20th of December. I fasted all day until after completing the ritual in the evening. I performed a number of meditations. I donned all black clothing. I did a short Gestalt two chair exercise, in which I expressed gratitude to the real man whose spirit I would shortly be invoking. I read aloud the Ciceros' path number 16, the Hierophant, which included some great stuff:
"in order to hear what is taught, you must listen with the ears of the heart. Be still and listen. The teacher is within you, he is a part of you. Know that the voice within was, is, and always will be your initiator." (They did not write this part, but copied it from the Book of Enoch.)
I played the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" quite loud on my stereo. And then I read my invocation of (sort of) Abraham Lincoln. Then after, I finally ate some food and I drank a lot of wine and I waited for the total lunar eclipse to show up. Alas, the total lunar eclipse was eclipsed by total cloud cover--so then I drank a lot more wine and my Winter Solstice celebration was all over with.
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- Houston, Texas, United States
- I have been living in the lovely neighborhood of Spring Branch in the great city of Houston since late in 2005. I started out with the idea of making this blog about my life in this neighborhood. That did not last long. Right now I am posting every five days on the alternating topics of literature, philosophy, psychology, and metaphysics. This project has been ongoing since July 27, 2010 and I believe it will continue for at least a few more months.