Photo by Brett Ritchie

What To Expect During Each Planetary Retrograde

Astronomically, a planet going retrograde means the planet is appearing to be moving backwards because of retrograde motion. Astrologically, a planet going retrograde means that whatever sign or house that planet rules over is going to be strongly affected by that planet’s retrograde motion. The retrograde energy of a planet usually enhances their opposing astrological meanings. In 2020, we are up to our necks in retrogrades turning our personal realities upside down, so I figured it would be helpful to summarize the meaning of each retrograde

Following the “3 Questions You Should Ask While Researching The Occult” advice, I have come across the highly recommended book The Path of Alchemy (2006) by Mark Stavish. I’ve been reading it for a couple of weeks and find it very intriguing! Let me give you the who, when, and why.

Mark Stavish is well known as the Director of Studies for the Institute for Hermetic Studies and over 35 years of Traditional Western Esotericism making him a leading authority in Hermeticism today. You can read more about his academic and publishing history here, but I’m sure his reputation proceeds him for those who have already delved into the Hermetic Qabalah teachings. Some of his books, including The Path of Alchemy were published in the early 2000s, but he’s published many articles and is running a current blog here. As for the why, I think it’s pretty clear Stavish is dedicated to the occult sciences. After reading his interviews, he seems pretty down to earth as someone who acknowledges and is respectful of the different paths one can take to pursue magic, yet stands his ground as to why Hermeticism is essential to his life path.

My Take on The Path of Alchemy

I truly appreciate the informative tone of this book. I don’t know if you’ve experienced the dissatisfying ceremonial or hermetic magicians who are arrogant or publish books that are more fluff than education, but I’m sure over it. I take avid notes while reading The Path of Alchemy, constantly looking forward to dive deeper in this practice. Although most of my own magical practice has been folk/pagan based, I respect the scientific and philosophical background of alchemy Stavish has presented so well.

There isn’t any pretentious bias from what I’ve read so far. It’s not purely instructional either. If you respect the study of astrology and the study of the Qabalah teachings in Hermeticism (which is different than the Jewish Kabbalah or Jewish Mysticism), you’ll grasp the teachings from Stavish quickly. Astrologically, a lot I have read so far just clicked. Hopefully when I finish, I can do a full book review, but for now, I really like it.

If you’ve read this text already and have more you recommend, comment below. Let’s chat.

How many times have you tried to have a conversation with someone about their zodiac sign and they bluntly claim that their sign doesn’t describe them at all, and thus, it only seems like nonsense to them? Studying astrology takes an ample amount of time once you get past the sun sign.

Aspects “link the various parts of our nature and experience…[and] are shown as lines connecting planets from different parts of the chart. The position of the lines is determined by a set of rules, based on the number of degrees that separate the planets in the 360˚ chart circle,” (Gillett, 2011).

Research

I did a lot of research today. Sumerian mythology has interested me lately, since it’s one of our oldest belief systems. The stories are… very human to me. Mystical to a god-tier level, of course, but still human to me. Well, perhaps I’m using “human” as a synonym for relatable in this case. I’m sure others have felt that way when they read a type of mythos. I really like Inanna, Enki, and Tiamat… Anyway…yeah. It captivated me and I’m hoping I can learn a little bit of Sumerian cuneiform myself.

Additionally, lots of astrology study today. I decided it was time to learn about the different types of aspects and what they signify. It’s…still confusing, but I have a better idea of what it all means. I was able to read my own chart better than before. I did write an article about how you can remember the astrological houses in a simpler way so that helped a bit (it’s mostly based on certain keywords and the signs; don’t judge me too harshly if you’re a hardcore astrologer lol).

Writing Progress

Overall, a day of research was worth it. My blogging the last couple of days hasn’t been as frequent because I was focusing on my novel. Goodness, I hit a very annoying writer’s block yesterday. The left side of my brain wanted to categorize every detail about a character when the right side just wanted to let the flow happen and write. Sometimes I have to subside to the left so the flow can continue, but yesterday I pushed through that crap and let my right side take the wheel. It was rough, but I reached my writing goal. It’s the first draft. Not everything has to be perfect, just foundational.

Hopefully, I will have the first draft finished by June 1st.