Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Almuten Figuris and Guardian Angel.

First of all I would like to remind our beloved readers that english is not my first language, so if the grammar gets messy somewhere along the post, now you will know why.

During my trip to Spain saw many representations of holy beings such as the virgin Mary, Jesus and even God himself surrounded by angels which float aside them or even supporting them. Which got me thinking about the idea of the guardian angel, this particular entity or the notion of a tutelary spirit seems to be a rather common belief in Christianity and ATR. The image of a given protector assigned to us at birth which has a primary role as a spiritual guide and protector, be it a Guardian Angel, Genius, Met Tet , Santo de Cabeza, etc,  all respond to the same principle, thou each system has different ideas on the mechanics and the characteristics of this role. To catholics, the guardian angel is one being, while in vodou the met tet is a single or several lwa accompanied by its respective cohort of spirits and can change in time according to some, some santeria houses consider that each person has both a spiritual father and mother making it two spirits in charge of your wellbeing which never change. These aren’t universal absolutes of course, but some of the things I have heard from people involved in these practices.

The need for an entity of this kind on our lives —in my opinon— responds to two things mainly. First creational burocracy:

An angel is a messenger, a messenger is a carrier of information, God speaks and creates through his word and breath, there for all creation is made manifest through a command from God, this command is an angel, so that’s why it’s said there’s an angel for each second, minute, hours, day, water drop or leave on a tree that exists or has ever existed, so is there an angel for each and every one of us, in charge of what happens to us and God’s plan for us. Reason why K&C with the HGA is deemed so important and other rituals of initiation in ATR systems that put us in contact with our spiritual caretakers.

And secondly as I once read, God doesn’t talk directly so you need intermediaries, which is debatable in some accounts where it is said he has come down himself and given instructions such as in the case of Moses and other biblical figures or in the case of some variants of Christianity where there no intermediary but Jesus who of course is God made flesh. Either way, according to some paths where God is deemed unreachable or too busy to tend to us directly an intermediary figure is needed to talk to him for us and give us the feed-back. Which is reinforced in the catholic idea that our guardian angels carries our prayers to God and that entities like Legba and Ellegua must be served first in order to reach heaven with our prayer, meaning the gate isn’t always open,  we need an intermediary. This of course is a bit more complex than that, especially when you take in consideration the entire cosmological system and it’s different variants, but so far by applying some mild and superficial comparative religion there seems to be a trend.

Now unto the Almuten part! 

Something interesting I found somewhere online is that romans provided their tutelary spirit with wine offerings on their birthdays and that the power or virtue of the spirit was a matter of luck. As a student of astrology I can think of it more of a matter of calculating the name of your genius using the almuten technique and seeing how dignified that planet is on your chart, if the planet is strong on your chart, then you will have a good and strong guardian, if its messed up, then you don’t. This might sound cruel and contrary to the progress of the human soul, giving a person a poor quality guardian angel, but if you come to think about it, God also makes people born blind, deaf and mute among other things.
Now, why is the almuten of the figure the proper way to calculate it? What da hell is the almuten of the 
figure in the first place?

Well, the word almuten come from Arabic and means The strong one. It’s the planet that holds more power over a specific degree, in the case of the almuten of the figure, it’s the planet that holds more power over the degree where the 5 Hyleg points stand on your chart. Now, what is a hyleg and how does this almuten power over thing work?

The Hyleg are the 5 points that can determine how long you will live: Sun, moon, syzygy, part of fortune and ascendant. Only one can be the hyleg, to figure out which one, you follow the rules and starting from Sun, discarding each one until you reach the ascendant in case none of the others work. In case you were born at night, which means the sun has already crossed the horizon, not if there was still light out there when you were born, you switch the starting place between the sun and moon and follow the same order.   

The power of the almuten is calculated by the amount of regency a given planet has over a degree on the zodiac wheel. In the case of the almuten of the figure, imagine that there are 5 buildings in a block (hyleg points) and each one has 5 rooms, the person (planet) that owns more rooms in each of the 5 building is the one that own more property and there for power over the block and a stronger vote on what happens there.Iits basically the guy that owns the most property over the chart, and the rest of the planets and all elements on the chart are like tenents that rent, having to respond to their given landlord.

Ok awesome, now we know what each thing is more or less. But why these 5 points? What makes them so special in particular to figure out the name and nature of your Genius/guardian angel?

First of all, the guardian angel is assigned to you at birth, so the 5 candidates for the amount of life you will 
live seem like the proper guide to figure this out, after all, the angel will only be with you until you die

Second, why do we use the 5 points when the actual hyleg will only be one?

-Because then you won’t get to have 5 nifty letter to spell out a name to call on him, but one single letter.

Third, why do we use the amuten of the figure instead of the hyleg itself to determine the nature of the angel?

-Because the name of the angel is given thorugh the 5 letter and you need to know who has power over the name and there for the 5 letter of the angels name to know who rules over him and determines his nature. While the Hyleg will only be one point out of the 5. 

Ok, before me answer, a lil bit of history: 

According to our pal Abraham Ibn Ezra a jewish astrologer born in the year of 1089 in Spain and died probably in England on the year of 1165. Out of whom the formula to calculate the almuten figures was taken from also states the following on the given points:

Sun: In men it represents common sense, intelligence, beauty, strength, great fame, richness, ease with words, lots of desires/goals. It also rules the right eye, the right side of the body and the heart by day and the left eye and brain by night.

Moon: rules thought, the left side of the body and the left eye by day, the right by night
Part of fortune: corresponds to the part of the moon and signifies the body of the person, its life, goods, renown, beginning of all things and persons thoughts.

Ascendent: how will life be, the body, way of speaking, fruitfulness, thought.
So, pretty much they all have to do with things that are intimate to a person, like their brain, thou some hold a distant relationship to it, and the heart, the whole body, consciousness, thoughts and good fortune. So they pretty much happen to be all pretty important.

Even thou I found no account of description as to the use of the syzygy, it’s considered by some to be the blue print previous to any event, in this case, the person.

Something else rather relevant to consider is the fact that all of these points hold a relation to the sun, moon and ascendant in some form to be calculated.

If we get Hellenic then we can look into our other pal Vettius Valens who says:

Sun: light of the mind, organ of perception of the soul, royalty, mind, intelligence, fortune, lord of the head, oracular matters, teachers.

Moon: life of man, the body, appearance, the goddess, birth, fortune.

Those listings aren’t complete, just the relevant parts to the explanation.

So pretty much, the reason why those 5 points are chosen to hold the letter to our guardian angels name its because they hold a close connection to the fact that we are alive and breathing, a very important part of having a guardian angel, like we said, they expire on death.

You can also take into consideration facts like the sun is a representation of God in the chart and the moon represents the soul and all messengers, while the ascendant is the body, so the union of the 3 would be the guardian angel which connects us with God in this world.

Why the ruler of the 11th (teachers, guides and counselors)  isn't taken into account on this escapes me, in geomancy they do, but perhaps its because in astrology this house only relates to physical and human mentors and not spiritual ones. 

So there you go, a some what explanation as to why the almuten of the figure could provide you with your Guardian Angel's name and nature.

PS: yeah this blog's intent is changing a bit. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Magical Spain

I been away for the past month and a half visiting family in Spain and giving my brain a little vacation. Aside from the delicious food and delightful sightseeing. I visited a few churches and museums to appreciate the religious art and see what i could gather from it, even thou art doesn't always falls on canon when it comes to representations, it does share the view of the artist at least on the depicted representation of a scene, saint or entity, which will always be influenced by the mentality and culture in which he grew and painted. 

On a previous visit to Spain 3 years ago, I remember visiting some occult stores in Barcelona and Madrid, and noticed that many of the catered to the new age and Santeria market, which prompted me to mention it while having dinner with some spanish friends that aren't involved in the occult or magical practices, to which one responded "that's because we killed all our witches during the inquisition, now we have to import". This might prove to be some what true in some parts of Spain, but spiritual and magical practices tied to or outside of the catholic perspective remain alive much like traditional hodoos and rootworkers, there are traditional spanish witches. But so far this side of Spain hasn't been part of my visits yet.

Among a few of my interests on visiting the different museums was to look for representations of the tetramorpho, which are the 4 angels/seraphs that stand next to the throne of God exalting his name and also come to represent the 4 principal evangelist: Mark, Luke, John and Matthew. Tetramorpho is the greek for four shaped, its usually a representation of a winged lion, winged bull, eagle and angel, which united are said to be the Spinx. My true interest in searching for these representations is to see if the images are arranged in an specific order on the paintings, particularly following an astrological sequence, as the 4 representations are also said to be tied to the 4 fixed signs:  Leo, Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius. Long story short: No, they aren't, most if not all of the representations found follow no astrological order either by opposition or sequence of the signs from Aries to Pisces.  Yet the use of the tetramorpho in christian catholic representations is very old, exemplified in the pictures below taken from the ceiling of a 11 century mosque turned into a church. What is possibly quite new is the association of these images or beings with other elements such as the zodiac signs or maxims such as to will to know to dare and to keep silent. Something that should also be taken into consideration is that not all artists are mystics and not all mystics are artists, so in the process of the artistic production either by imitation or instruction, some artistic freedoms could have been taken, mismatching symbols or forms of representation. 

People are prone to finding a hidden meaning that might not be there or expanding the significance of certain symbols quite often, after all, symbols change in time and adapt to personal and cultural needs, and there is always room for misconception. A good example of this was what happened to me while walking inside the Catedral de Toledo i saw in several chapels a branch of rosemary laying in front of  some images, i started wondering what was the religious significance of this practice, since rosemary is a herb that's been  commonly used in magical and spiritual practices, to which my companion answered, who by the way is not a person who knows anything about the occult, that those branches were part of a trick used by gypsies to hassle people for money, they gave you the branch of a "gift"and then tried to read your hand or charge you for the branch or to single you out to pocket picker as a tourist, and there i was thinking it was a religious custom. 

Another interesting place to visit in Madrid and a must see for any person interested in angels is El Real Monasterio de las Descalzas, which only has guided tours, which sucks a bit because you can't really stand and appreciate certain things but follow the guide. Either way, this is the first time I have seen so many angelic art in one place, like the 7 archangels along with their given names in several painting and on the walls of the main stairway. Out of the several listings on what are the names of this particular group of angels, I rather go with the 16 century representations found in a convent instead of most modern occultist listings. 

This convent also holds a huge collection of saints relics, included bones of Saint Sebastian and a piece of the lignum crucis, among many others items. The reason for this is that not only is this a convent that works as a museum but a royal convent, which means that all the nuns that have lived there came from noble families and joined the church along with their dowries and family art collections. 

In the Catedral de Toledo there was also a relic with a piece of the Lignum Crucis inside, it was a silver statue of Saint Helen of Jerusalem holding a cross, inside the cross there was a nail ( allegedly one of the three used to crucify Jesus) and on the chest of the saint a capsule with a piece of the wood, and in another room the gilded hand of Saint Lucy.  

A very interesting practices was the custom carried by nobles of ordering portraits that included themselves in scenes from the bible or represented as saints, like women holding a late with two blue eyes in the likes of saint Lucy or a noble woman and her two daughters assisting the delivery of the virgin Mary by her mother Saint Anne. 

Another portrait that called my attention was that of a baby prince that had different charms sewn unto his clothes, among them a black fist and a piece of coral, both which are common charms given to babies still in use a few hundred years later.  

Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Very Probable Lion Tetramorpho

                                            Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Eagle Tetramorpho
Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Garden View
                                                      Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Garden view
                                                   Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Garden View
                               Real Monasterio de las Descalzas: Main stairway angels & archangels
                                Real Monasterio de las Descalzas: Main stairway angels & archangels
                                      Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Modern display of idiocy on a 11 century monument
                                       Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Pancreator with eagle tetramorpho
                                  Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Pancreator with eagle tetramorpho
                                  Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz: Female saint representation with cross in hand
Monasterio de El Escorial: statues of David and Solomon. The original architectural plan tried to imitate the description of the temple of Solomon. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oh My long time no see

Hello, I been away from what it seems 2 months? In my defense I been on vacation in the very magical and catholic Spain. Saw many interesting things, sadly most of the cool stuff is at museums of all sort where photographs aren't allowed, and since i don't feel like getting kicked out of El Prado or chased around by security guards at El Escorial i rather scout around for some nice online pictures to ilustrate my journey. My next post will be about the trip and all the mystical goodies i saw.