I want to make sure that what I aim for will not somehow be disrupted or scrambled when mercury goes direct again. I am not well versed in the ways planetary movements influence magic.
Yes, it’s fine. I’ve personally never had any negative effect from a retrograde.
This was actually recently discussed on another thread:
My post in the thread that @crookedpathfinder linked to may be of particular interest to you:
So, even traditionally simply going by this one factor does not make or break the working by itself, and Retrograde is also traditionally considered more of a minor affliction to begin with. You may find the working, if it is related to knowledge, trade, and other things of Mercury, may experience more delays and troubles before completion than what is normal, however, but with this other factors in the heavens should also be considered.
If it is not for something that Mercury rules over, then the planet that rules over it is rather to be considered.
long story short: It’s an optical illusion, so it will if you think it will. Because you are the operator, and you’re the one making the magick.
Personally, I disagree with @Mulberry, so this post is simply to give a contrary view. I have found that every working I did that seemed to be a failure was done under very unfortunate astrological conditions. Those that were successful were done under fortunate conditions, and if the resul was temporary or of only mean success, this was seen in the heavens as well. The same will be true for any practitioner if you can see when they performed the workings.
And the same is true for any action that can possibly be done, not only magick. The outcome of it can be seen by the time the endeavor was started, with traditional electional astrology.
Of course, seek after your own experience, and test things after great labour and experience.
Oh? That’s very interesting, and you’re the first person I’ve notice say that… can I ask, was it always a Mercury retrograde specifically or something else?
Oh no, in many of them Mercury was not retrograde, and I didn’t notice him being afflicted otherwise. Most of the workings were not for something he rules over, so I did not look at him much. And as I explained, retrograde itself is a minor affliction. Successful businesses and endeavors relating to Mercury can be started while he is retrograde. When he is in his Detriment or Fall, or Combust, this is a far greater affliction.
The factors that were considered and seen are relating to the Ascendant and its Lord, the 4th House and the House of the thing the working was for and their Lords, the 4 Angles and their condition, the Moon and the Sign she was in, her Mansion, and the Lord of the Sign she was in, and their position relating to the Moon, and aspects they made to the Moon. The planet that rules over what the working was for was also considered, the sign they were in, and the Lord of the Sign they were in.
Much of this is listed in Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book II, Chapter XXX
A “retrograde” is not even a real astronomical phenomena, like, say, an eclipse is. It doesn’t actually exist, and therefore cannot effect anything. As Mulberry said, it is an optical illusion where a planetary body appears to move backward in its orbit when observed from the earth. If you were on the moon, there would be no retrograde. In other words, it’s only your perception that creates any phenomena that you might experience during this supposed event, not the planets. They’re still spinning along, doing their usual thing.
In modern times, we now have to ability to know legitimate astronomical events from false ones, and that is something ancient astrologers did not have, which is why the concept of “retrograde” exists. They fell for the illusion.
The ancient astrologers were not concerned with the material stars. Plotinus in his Enneads was asked “are the planets causes?”, to which he argued that they are not causes, but instead the entire cosmos is as one body, and as a physician looks at one part of the body and is able to gather information about another, so a diviner can look at one part of the cosmos and determine information about another, and as he says this is how diviners are able to divine things through the flight of birds (as was common in the Roman empire in that time). In this way, horary astrology is also possible, and it provides immensely precise information. You could say it is the height of divination.
Al-Kindi proposed another theory, that the stars (and, everything else) exert spiritual rays that cause events on Earth. But these rays are spiritual, not material.
With that said, there are many factors in traditional astrology such as the North and South nodes of the Moon which are not material bodies at all. They are not physical bodies, yet were always considered and caused great effects. Similarly, the precession of the equinox has been known since nearly some 2000 years ago, but the position of the Zodiac never changed in traditional western astrology, despite the stars moving being well known. This is because the Zodiac was never based on the material stars.
The 28 Mansions of the Moon in traditional western astrology is similarly not placed by the position of a fixed star.
Traditional astrology was not concerned with the material bodies, but rather the spiritual heavens that it points towards. In fact, in their Neoplatonic view, the material world was more imperfect, unlike the higher spiritual world. All this is shown in the extreme precision and accuracy of traditional horary, electional, natal, mundane, and astrological magick.
It is only now modern astrology that takes on a materialist view, and ends up being innacurate for predictive purposes in many cases.
@Crafty123 We can argue about the efficacy of astrology til the cows come home, but let’s just say that, in my personal experience, the illusion of retrograde has not impacted the results I receive from calling upon angels and demons or gods in any way, and leave it at that.
The only time I even bother with it is when I’m doing planetary magick. Other than that, I find it to be of little use. There is a lot of fear mongering within astrology that just seems like astrologers want people to do less magick rather than more magick. Frankly, if you have to wait until the “stars are right” to do a spell, then its usefulness when you actually need it falls considerably.
Argument is useless in cases like this, there is only practice.
Yes I’m afraid modern astrology has attempted to remove all negative aspects of astrology in the past, now they have only 1 thing to focus on and attribute all evils to. This is part of the reason why it tends to be inaccurate, like a tarot reader who removes all negative predictions from the tarot cards. Traditional astrology rather includes all manner of good and evil, as these things happen in daily life.