I. What is Planetary Magic?
When we speak of planetary magic; then there are several concepts that can come to mind. What I am specifically talking about, is the type of magic where you call on and use the energies of one of the seven traditional planets in order to gain a certain effect which corresponds to that said planet. This specific model was especially popular during the Renaissance.
What I am not talking about is:
A) Calling on planets whenever you feel like it.
B) Worshipping the planets as deities.
C) Magic based on pure intention and manifestation like the LoA or Chaos Magic.
D) Thelemic/New Age ceremonial magic, which is sometimes also errenously dubbed “planetary magic”.
In this post I’m gonna go over the bare basics of planetary magic and how to get easily incorporate planetary energies in your own spellwork!
II. So what makes “Planetary Magic”?
There are two main aspects to planetary magic; which are planetary properties and astrological timing. Planetary properties can be used in your everyday life without doing any ritual. For instance you can wear a mercurial crystal to help you with speech.
Astrological timing is the one aspect that makes or breaks a spell, ritual or talisman within planetary magic. This is probably also the most important aspect of planetary magic – without actually timing your spell or ritual with astrology, it’s not really planetary magic.
In order to start using planetary aspects within your magic, the best place to start is also the most important – the timing. You can start out by simply timing some of your rituals and spells with the planetary hours and days! For instance if you’re doing a money spell, you can time it with the hour and day of Jupiter to amplifly this spell in the most simple way possible – and you’re already doing planetary magic.
After you are comfortable with this, you can go deeper into actual planetary rituals, spells and talismans like the planetary squares. Those usually require even more precise astrological timing than just using the day and hour of the planet you’re working with; so full-on planetary rituals, spells and talismans are no beginner type of stuff. So if you are not well-versed in traditional astrology, then you should keep at the days, hours and maybe moon phases for now.
Don’t be afraid to use apps for the planetary hours! I myself use AstroVizor, which is available on Android and iOS.
III. Planetary Spirits, Angels and Demons
Planetary spirits, angels and demons are a major aspect of planetary rituals, spells and talismans. Those entities are invoked during a planetary ritual for various purposes. Some spirits can and will teach you wisdom, while you can use other spirits’ energies to bind to talismans – such as the planetary squares from Agrippa’s De Occulta Philosophia.
There are planetary spirits of various kinds, which can be found in various texts such as the Arbatel of Magic, the Heptameron or De Occulta Philosophia. Most of these spirits and their rituals are not beginner-friendly and thus should not be invoked by beginners, or practitioners who are new to Renaissance magic.
The only types of spirits, which can be incorporated by anyone – even beginners – are the planetary angels, which rule over the days and hours.
Those angels can be called upon or meditated upon on their respective day and in their respective planetary hour. For instance you can meditate on Zadkiel, angel of Jupiter on thursday in the hour of Jupiter. In order to amplify your meditation, prayer or spell, you can make use of planetary properties. For instance you can wear jovial colors or crystals during your meditation on Zadkiel.
One thing you will have to decide on is, where you get your correspondences for the angels from. Different manuscripts and works to list different angelic names assigned to each planet; even though they do stay the same for the most part. Anael and Haniel for instance are treated as the same angel, whereas Raphael and Michael are swapped depending on what work you read. The best advice for this is to just pick one and go with it. For instance my correspondences for the planetary angels come from Agrippa, while I swap Michael and Raphael to fit Peter d’Abano as well as Ibn Ezra.
IV. Planetary Rituals, Talismans and Spells
As I’ve already mentioned above, those are not beginner-friendly and advise anyone who is new to A) traditional astrology B) Renaissance magic to only stick to timing your spells, using some properties and working with the angels instead of jumping into full-blown planetary rituals.
Rituals within planetary magic are either for A) conjuration of a planetary spirit, like the Olympic spirits, or B) the consecration of a planetary talisman (see my post about planetary squares), or C) to conjure a planetary demon and cast a spell by either commanding or binding it. For all of these points you will need a precise astrological chart election. I broke down the basics of astrological timing for planetary magic here and here.
For point C you will need to work with the God of Israel, otherwise demons won’t be bound nor commanded by your hand and all you will get is an angry demon. Again, no beginner-friendly type of stuff; and I urge anyone who is not willing to work with either Jewish, Christian or Muslim prayers/ways of religiousity to stay away from point C entirely.
V. Resources for Planetary Magic
The best resources for planetary magic are almost the same as for Renaissance magic in general. For the sake of this post, I still compiled a small list of resources:
A) “De Occulta Philosophia Libri III” or “The Three Books of Occult Philosophy” by Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. This book is essential for many reasons; overall Agrippa compiled the bare basics needed for Renaissance/planetary magic within this work.
B) “Christian Astrology” by William Lilly. This is one of the best works on traditional astrology ever written. This work details the correspondences for each planet, house and zodiac; it goes into chart election and different questions associated with each house.
C) “Secrets of Planetary Magic” by Christopher Warnock. A basic introduction to planetary magic.
D) “The Elizabethan World Picture” by E. M. W. Tillyard. This book outlines the worldview of the Renaissance from which planetary magic comes from.
E) “Picatrix” edited by Warnock/Greer or Attrell/Porreca. This book is full of planetary magic; however it’s not beginner-friendly. Don’t jumpt into the Picatrix if all you know is New Age astrology. Study William Lilly or another traditional astrologer first!
F) “Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy” (pseudo-Agrippa).
Helpful Blogposts for Planetary Magic