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Barleywine  Barleywine is offline
Elder Jabberwock
Join Date: 10 Jun 2011
Location: Where the wild things are
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Elder Jabberwock

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I believe astrology is the key. In his Occult Philosophy, Chapter XVI, "Of Intelligences and Spirits . . ." Agrippa has the following to say:

"And because the old astrologers did maintain fifty-five motions" (by which he meant Aristotle's 55 celestial spheres in De caelo) "therefore they invented so many intelligences or angels; they placed also in the starry heavens, angels who might rule the signs, triplicities, decans, quinaries, degrees and stars" (he typically means planets by that last one); for although the school of Peripatetics assign only one intelligence to each of the orbs of the stars; yet seeing every star and small part of the heaven hath its proper and different power and influence, it is necessary that it also have his ruling intelligence, which may confer power and operate."

How this all got rendered down into the concise tables we see in 777 and the geomantic manuals is beyond me. The planetary intelligences and spirits are obvious, but there are only 7 sets of them for the 16 geomantic figures, so they all do double duty (or at least all the ruling spirits do), and the malefics (Saturn and Mars) and the benefics (Jupiter and Venus) do triple duty via the Tail and Head of the Dragon (Moon's Nodes) respectively (and for which the same set of names is used for both "genius" and "spirit").

The closest I could come to the derivation of the astrological sign attriburions was in the Golden Dawn papers authored by MacGregor Mathers and compiled by Israel Regardie as Volume 5 of The Complete Golden Dawn Systrem of Magic, Magical Fundamentals, in which he uses the telesmatic figures for each planet and its ruling spirit to determine which sign relates to which geomantic figure (for example, Mars + Bartzabel taken from Puer = Aries; taken from Rubeus they equal Scorpio).

I haven't run it all down, but these is a wealth of corresondences that were available to form Crowley's tables in 777. Happy hunting!
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