Planets as Characters: Saturn and Jupiter: Holmes and Watson

In the “First Advancement: The Invocation of Saturn,” Dykes and Gibson write, “You are he who is mystery, the divine understanding and the protector of the dead. You are the ancient and wise one.” (Note 1.) Meanwhile, Denning and Phillips describe Saturn as “lofty, autocratic, cold, sometimes mournful or brooding. The forces of constriction and crystallization.” (Note 2.)

For me, Sherlock Holmes is Saturn personified. In the “Adventure of the Lion’s Mane,” Holmes says, “my brain has always governed my heart.” In the “Sign of Four,” he states, “whatever is emotional is opposed to that true, cold reason which I place above all things.” Brooding, autocratic, and cold, Holmes brings criminals to justice. In spite of his remoteness, people from all walks of life still appeal for Holmes’ help.

Jupiter is described in “Planetary Magick” as “majestic, expansive, organizing, optimistic…an overview of the unity of life gives a sense of responsible concern…Justice interpreted to fulfill the needs of those involved.” (Note 3.) In the “First Advancement: The Invocation of Jupiter,” Dykes and Gibson include in the invocation “You are the lord of benevolence, for you have given bread to the hungry and clothed the naked.” (Note 4.)

By befriending Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson has humanized him. He fills Holmes’ life with companionship and optimism. Watson is Jupiter to Holmes’ Saturn, acting as a “whetstone” for Holmes’ mind. By writing and publishing their adventures, he allows the world to see Holmes’ abilities for aiding the grieved.

In the “Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle,” (Note 5.) Watson demonstrates his Jovian character. After Holmes solved the case, they sit down to their Christmas Eve dinner. Meanwhile, the wrongly accused man, John Horner, is still in jail. Watson chides Holmes for being so callous and not telling the police promptly to release Horner. Then, Watson goes to the jail to have him released so Horner can spend Christmas Eve with his family.

Works Cited:

Note 1. Benjamin Dykes and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Page 205.
Note 2. Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Page 15.
Note 3. Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Page 29.
Note 4. Benjamin Dykes and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Page 182.
Note 5. “The Blue Carbuncle,” The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, created by Michael Cox, Season 1, Episode 7, Granada Television, 1984.

Works Used:
“The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” Created by Michael Cox, Granada Television, 1984-1985.
Baker Street Wiki, 2021. Web.
Denning, Melita and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 1989.
Dykes, Benjamin and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Cazimi Press: Minneapolis. 2012.
Paulson, Linda, “Discovering Sherlock Holmes – A Community Reading Project From Stanford University,” 2007. Web.

Babylonian Month of May/June

In the Standard Mesopotamian Calendar, the month starting from the new moon of May is called Simanu (“Month of the Brick Gods”). The King would lay the first brick in the brick mold. Then brickmaking and construction could begin in earnest. The Gods of Bricks and Building were honored in eight rituals that centered on the brick kilns.

For modern people, this can be the time to celebrate masonry and other aspects of building. Think of how bricks provide for safe and snug homes. The beginnings of civilization could be said to be represented by bricks and mortar.

The Gods of Bricks and Building are:
Girra: The God of Fire. The God of Kilns
Kabta: God of Pickaxes, Construction and Bricks
Kulla: The God of Building.
Musdama: The God of Foundations. The God of Architects
Arazu: The God of Completed Construction
Nuska: The God of Fire. The God of Civilization.

Note: In Sumer, the time of the inundations of the fields began at the new moon of May. The month of May-June is known as Sig-ga.

Planets as Characters: Mars and Venus: Robin and Marian

Denning and Phillips, in the “Rite of Approach in Mars” presents the proclamation of the adoration of the Divine Force of this Planet. They write “All powerful defender of justice and truth, thou noble inspirer of courage and endurance and of bold resolve! …Thou mighty adversary of the powers adverse, hail to thee!” (Note 1.)

This invocation describes Robin Hood of English legends. Living in Sherwood Forest, this bold outlaw, with his band of Merry Men, steals from the rich and gives to the poor. In “The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938),” Prince John (Robin’s antagonist) tells him, “By my faith, but you’re a bold rascal. Robin, I like you.” Meanwhile, Maid Marian observes that that he is strange for risking his life for helpless people. He replies, “Norman or Saxon, what that matter? It’s injustice, I hate.” Robin Hood best exemplifies the character of Mars as regarded by Denning and Phillips.

Dykes and Gibson for the “First Advancement: Invocation of Venus,” write “You who are divinely robed in Light and possessed of perfect beauty, I call you forth. Flawless harmony and symmetry are your perfumes, for you are the lady of the house of jubilation and the one who fills the sanctuary with joy.” (Note 2.)

Long associated with Robin Hood, Maid Marian is Venus to his Mars. They act as a dyad strengthening each other, thereby ensuring the best qualities of both. In the various ballads and legends, Maid Marian choses to love Robin Hood, after losing in combat to him. Instead of being a damsel-in-distress, she graces the noble court of King Richard and Prince John as an equal of Robin Hood.

A paradox, she is both Robin Hood’s lover and always the Maid. In the May Festivities in the 16th Century, she was celebrated along with Robin Hood. These festivities focused on Maid Marian encouraging fertility and sexual activity for all.


Note 1. Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Page 163.
Note 2. Benjamin Dykes and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Page 193.

Works Used:

“The Adventures of Robin Hood,” Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, Warner Brothers, 1938.
Denning, Melita and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 1989.
Dykes, Benjamin and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Cazimi Press: Minneapolis. 2012.
NicEilidh, Hester, “The Legend of Robin Hood,” 2002. Web.
Storynory, “Robin Hood Archives – Storynory,” 2021, Web.
Wright, Allen, “Robin Hood: Bold Outlaw of Barnsdale and Sherwood,” 2020. Web.

Planets as Characters: Star Wars: Sol. Luna. Mercury

In “Planetary Magick,” Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips describe the Magical Image of each of the seven classical planets (and luminaries) such as Luna is the “Lady of the Night.” These magical images can be found in books, movies and TV shows. A person can further their knowledge of the planets by studying various characters in popular culture.

Denning and Phillips describe Sol, the Sun as “Attuned to … spiritual illumination… Direction and distribution of energies and materials and the giving of wise counsel, even prophetically.” (Note 1.) In “Astrological Magic,” Benjamin Dykes and Jayne Gibson write for their “First Advancement: The Invocation of Sol,” “It’s through your power that the inner nature finds perfect equilibrium, true fulfillment, and magical selfhood.” (Note 2.)

For me, Obi-Wan Ben Kenobi of the original trilogy of the “Star Wars” movies (Note 3) is the Sun. He becomes a second father to Luke Skywalker, mentoring him in the ways of the Force. Later, Kenobi convinces Yoda that Luke is a worthy student. He guides Luke from being an immature farm boy to becoming a mature Jedi. Kenobi counsels him, “Remember Luke… The Force will be with you Always.” (Note 4.) While dueling with Darth Vader, Kenobi tells the Dark Lord of the Sith, “You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down. I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” (Note 5.) These are the qualities of the Sun that I associate with Obi-Wan Ben Kenobi.

Denning and Phillips describe Luna, the Moon, as “intense, passionate yet intrinsically cold, changeful … Further, the dreams of the Moon sphere are the potential realities of Earth.” (Note 6.) In their “First Advancement: The Invocation of Luna,” Dykes and Gibson writes, “It is you who brings all things to birth and growth and to their earthy fulfillment. Ruler of the Sacred Light, wherein all that is manifested is first perfected.” (Note 7.)

By bringing the New Republic into being, Princess Leia is Luna personified. (Note 8.) Passionate in her pursuit of deposing the Empire, Leia seems cold and removed to those who care for her. In “Star Wars,” she tells the assembled rebels, “We’ve no time for our sorrows, Commander. You must use the information in this R2 unit to help plan the attack. It’s our only hope.” This was after she had been tortured and witnessed her world being destroyed. Moreover, under Leia’s influence, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker become more than simply a smuggler and a farm boy respectively. Furthermore, she is the light that perfected the New Republic.

Denning and Phillips write that Mercury is “un-resting dual or even multiple in aspect but expressive of truth. The invisible and changeful force of the wind is an apt symbol.” (Note 9.) The authors state that one of the Magical Images of Mercury is the Divine Messenger. Meanwhile, Dykes and Gibson describe Mercury as the “Traveler between the Worlds.”

Luke Skywalker of the original trilogy of “Star Wars” (Note 10.) is the changeful force who disrupts things. First, he impulsively saves Princess Leia, and then he helps her to escape from the Death Star. Under Kenobi’s tutelage and Leia’s influence, Luke transforms from being an apolitical farm boy to being a committed Jedi Knight. As the Divine Messenger, Luke moves between the worlds of the Force and of ordinary life. In “The Return of the Jedi,” Luke saves his father Darth Vader, when he abruptly stops fighting him. Luke tells his dying father, “I’ll not leave you here. I’ve got to save you.” Vader replies, “You already have Luke…You were right about me.”

Works Cited:
Note 1. Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Page 55.
Note 2. Benjamin Dykes and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Page 132.
Note 3. “Star Wars (1977),” “The Empire Strikes Back (1980),” and “The Return of the Jedi (1983).” The original movies, not George Lucas’ director’s cuts.
Note 4. “Star Wars (1977),” original movie.
Note 5. Ibid.
Note 6: Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Page 91.
Note 7. Benjamin Dykes and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Pages 144-145.
Note 8. “Star Wars (1977),” “The Empire Strikes Back (1980),” and “The Return of the Jedi (1983).” The original movies, not George Lucas’ director’s cuts.
Note 9. Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Page 79.
Note 10. “Star Wars (1977),” “The Empire Strikes Back (1980),” and “The Return of the Jedi (1983).” The original movies, not George Lucas’ director’s cuts.

Works Used:
Denning, Melita and Osborne Phillips, “Planetary Magick.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 1989.
Dykes, Benjamin and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Cazimi Press: Minneapolis. 2012.
“The Empire Strikes Back,” Directed by Iven Kershiner, original version, 20th Century Fox, 1980
“The Return of the Jedi,” Directed by Richard Marguand, original version, 20th Century Fox, 1983.
“Star Wars”, Directed by George Lucas, original version, 20th Century Fox, 1977.
Star Wars: Data Bank, 2021, Web.
WookiePedia: The Star Wars Wiki, 2021. Web.

Roman Gods of the Month: May

For Romans, May (Maius) is sacred to Maia, the Goddess of the Growth of Living Things. As the Mother of Mercury, She is also honored with Him at the Mercuralia on May 15. On May 1st, Maia’s festival day and on the 15th, a priest of Vulcan (God of Fire) will sacrifice a pregnant sow to Her. Maia is his consort since Vulcan (Volcanus) is also the God who ripens the earth with his inner warmth. Modern Roman Polytheists will offer burnt pork to Maia.

May is also a gloomy month since the Dead roam freely at this time. The Lemuria is to ensure that the Dead are placated and do not trouble the living. Meanwhile, the Rosalia focused on placing roses and violets on graves.

The Days of the Dead
The major focus of this month is the Lemuria, the Roman Days of the Dead (May 9, 11, and 13). On these days, the Lemures (Larvae) seek out the living to have them give the Larvae proper burials. The Lemures also want people to make offerings in their memory to the Gods of the Dead. Meanwhile, the living do certain rites to ensure that Larvae not harm them or their families. (The Larvae could be considered the “Undead.”)

Until the 8th Century, May 13 was All Saints’ Day for Christians. During the 730s, Pope Gregory III changed the feast date to November 1. He wanted to accommodate the Celtic Christians, who had grown in numbers. Meanwhile, Roman Lemuria can be considered the Roman equivalent of Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day.

Mercury (Mercurius)
For Romans, Mercury is the God of Commerce, Merchants, and Thieves. On May 15, merchants would bless themselves and their wares from his sacred well, which was located outside of the Sacred Boundary (Pomerium) of Rome. Modern Roman Polytheists will use water from local streams to bless their local banks and stores.

Julius Caesar noted that Mercury was the most popular God in the Celtic and Germanic regions closest to Roman territories. These peoples regarded Mercury to be the inventor of the arts. In Celtic areas, He was frequently accompanied by Rosmerta, Celtic Goddess of Abundance and Prosperity.

On May 23, the Rosalia (dies rosationis (the day of the rose adornment)) is held. This was originally a military rite to honor the fallen. It later became a ritual to honor all the dead, with roses placed on graves. For the Rosalia, I would suggest going to a battlefield or military cemetery, if possible.

The Ambarvalia
At the end of May, people would walk the perimeters of their fields bringing offerings of milk, honey and wine. Ancient Romans herded a boar, ram, and a bull around the boundaries, and then sacrificed them. Modern Roman Polytheists offer meats from the store, and ask for the blessings of Mars and Ceres on the crops.