Astrological Altars

Planetary, Mansion of the Moon & Fixed Star Altars

planetary altar
Planetary Altar

Planetary Altar

The picture above is the current arrangement of my main planetary altar that I use for my daily magical practice. The first general question to deal with is, "What is an altar?" For a mage or magical practitioner there is a basic answer which is that the altar is your magical workspace. This is where you do your ritual work, your invocation and evocation and communication with spirits.

Your altar is constrained by practical considerations. For example, if you live in a small apartment, you can use a corner or the the top of a bookshelf as the base of the altar and the wall behind the bookshelf for images, sigils and seals.

Your altar should appeal to you and be a personal expression of your practice. Many traditional hoodoo altars, for example, are full of various items and wax from candles is left where it melts. I tend to like a cleaner, sparer look and I like a more airy, clearer, white and light space, so my altar reflects that. One should keep in mind that the altar is essentially a door or window through which you come into the sphere of the spirits you contact and through which the spirits come to you. Maintaining an atmosphere of respect and devotion is necessary, though there are manifold ways to do this.

My altar has an orderly arrangement to it, but one that evolved organically over time. All of the parts are meaningful to me and all of the parts relate, more or less to each other in their arrangement. Let's start at the top with the image of Hermes Trismegistus. Since I am a Hermeticist, has central placement. To the left is the image of Eros and a man and woman chained by love, to the right, labeled "Wealth" is an image of a spirit pouring gold to an astrologer/mage. On the exoteric level these represent love and prosperity magic, but esoterically the pouring of gold signifies wisdom, "Wisdom is better than silver and gold" and Eros signifies that love is the key factor in all magic, "Love is the bond of bonds".

The center images are the images of the 7 planets. They are arranged from left to right in the order of the days of the week, alternating from the top to bottom row. Thus Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn. Note that the top row contains the masculine planets, Sun, Mars, Jupiter & Saturn and the lower row, the feminine planets, Moon & Venus and the hemaphroditic Mercury.

My daily practice consists of lighting a candle before the planet ruling the day and doing a short invocation of the planet. Temperature permitting I wear the color of the planet of the day during that day.

Below the planet images are three large mirrors. In the middle the wealth image is repeated, here as a mirror of the spirit of Picatrix. To the left is a large Jupiter mirror and to the right is a large Saturn mirror along with numerous small planetary mirrors.

mansion altar

Mansions of the Moon Altar

Tnext altar is for the Mansions of the Moon, which you can see above. It has the Moon in the middle with the images of the 28 Mansions of the Moon arranged around it. You can see the image of the 1st Mansion on the extreme left, it is the red image on the bottom, the 28th Mansion is on the extreme left on top. Move counter clockwise, ie down and to the right to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th Mansions lowest Mansions are the 7th and 8th. Continue counter clockwise to the extreme right to the 14th and 15th Mansions and then up to the top to the 21st and 22nd Mansions and then countine counterclockwise to the extreme left and the 28th Mansion where the 27.5 day cycle begins again. I have a special altar image of the 3rd Mansion to left and an image of a hare in the Moon in the center.

fixed star altar

Fixed Stars Altar

Tnext altar is for the Fixed Stars, which you can see above. This altar is unusual in that it has 16 fixed stars, the 15 Behenian Fixed from Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars plus Fomalhaut, a bright star in the mouth of the Southern Fish, Pisces Austrius. I have included Fomalhaut because it has important associations in my natal chart and is one of the four Royal or Watcher stars which are Fomalhaut, Aldebaran, Regulus and Antares. The archangel of Fomalhaut is Gabriel, Watcher of the South, the archangel of Aldebaran is Michael, watcher of the East. The archangel of Regulus is Raphael, Watcher of the North and the archangel of Antares is Uriel, Watcher of the West.

The fixed star image stars at the top with Algol, first in Zodiacal order and it never hurts to give Algol some extra respect! We then continue counterclockwise, )ie below to the left) in Zodiacal order to Aldebaran. Since Aldebaran is one of the Royal Stars, it has a picture of its archangel next to it. We then continue around the triangle of the 16 fixed stars counterclockwise in Zodiacal order, noting that each of the Royal Stars has a picture of its archangel until we arrive again at Algol.

In the middle of the altar is a picture of Hermes Trismegistus, the Thrice Great Hermes, the patron of magic and astrology. On the left is a banner of Spica and on the right a banner of the Pleiades. Underneath the fixed star images are multiple fixed star mirrors etched with the images and sigils of the fixed stars. I typically keep my fixed star talismans on this altar and do any invocation of fixed stars here. I include the fixed stars altar in my daily prayer cycle.

Learning Astrological Magic

If you are interested in astrological magic and astrological talismans, the best way to learn is through the Renaissance Astrology astrology and magic courses, which include shorter, more focused mini-courses and the comprehensive full courses. The full Astrological Magic Course teaches the full range of traditional astrological magic including planetary, lunar mansion, fixed star, decan/face and house based talismans.

You can get a great introduction to astrological magic with the Planetary Magic Mini-Course, Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course and the Decan/Face Mini-Course as well as the Green Magic Mini-Course which allow you to learn and immediately put to use specific types of astrological talismans.