Introduction to Magic: Correspondences

 
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This Post Is About The Second Stage In Using Magic. Each Stage Is Outlined In Introduction To Magic. The First Stage is Choosing your Purpose.

Choosing the Correspondences

Correspondences such as the four elements of magic, planets and signs of the zodiac can be used in your practice to add to your magical power. They should be treated as supplements to your own power. As you practice more you will be able to feel the subtle differences between various correspondences. Pay attention to these feelings, the more you recognize them the quicker you will learn.

In some workings you may find it is best to use a singular celestial body or zodiac sign, in others you’ll want to combine a little of everything. These decisions will come more naturally to you as you continue practicing and working. You’ll soon discover what works for you and what doesn’t. The following is what these correspondences traditionally symbolize. You may find that they don’t quite fit with what you see in your practice. Eventually, you’ll discover you’re own correspondences. Magic really isn't about what’s right or wrong, it’s about what works.


The Four Elements

Fire, earth, air and water are fundamental energies that operate in the physical world. They are the building blocks of life. Rocks and soil, wind, the sun, lakes and streams. These are examples of the physical form in which we see the elements. Equally, if not more important are the vibrational qualities of these four elements.

Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures — pretty much everything — can be grouped into one of the elemental categories. When you begin to understand these connections you can learn to draw upon these elements to produce the results you desire. Part of your development as a witch involves using these elements to your advantage. You may use them singularly or combine two or more elements to create balance. Each element has its own properties, and it’s up to you to decide how to use them.

 

Use Fire in rituals and spells for healing, purification, change and transformation, sex and sensuality, breaking bad habits or destroying illness and disease.

Water is important in magic with a purpose for friendship, marriage, happiness, fertility, healing, pleasure, and psychic abilities.

Air is essential to spells and rituals for travel, instruction, finding lost items, new beginnings, divination, and freedom. Air aids us in visualization, a vital technique in magic.

Use the Earth element in spells and rituals for prosperity and abundance, business success, fertility, knowledge and wisdom, and stability.

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Signs of the Zodiac

The word zodiac comes from the ancient Greek phrase kyklos zodiakos, “circle of animals.” Ancient people who watched the sky saw a pattern: the sun took the same path through a twelve groups of stars in the sky each year. These groups of stars, called constellations, are named based on their shape and from lore.

 

In general, when you work with the signs of the zodiac, you almost always need to pair it with another correspondence.

For example, if your purpose is transformation or change you may wish to work with the fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius).

To use the energy of the signs in conjunction with the planets positions, you'll need to know the various influences signs have on the planets as they travel through the skies. These influences are as follows:

  • Rulership - the sign amplifies the planets energy

  • Exaltation - the planet is balanced and harmonized and at its highest potential

  • Triplicity - a lesser form of rulership

  • Detriment - the sign weakens the planets energy

  • Fall - the planet is unbalanced and at it's worst potential

 

Use a resource like Current Planetary Positions to find the location of each planet. Enter your local information, select Sun-Pluto. Decide whether you want to calculate the element and quality balances (I usually do, but if you're just getting started just ignore that).

At the time of this edit the planets position indicate to me...

  • This would be a good time to do magic with purposes associated with Sun energy because the Sun rules Leo.

  • The Moon is in detriment in Capricorn, so I don't want to work with moon energy.

  • Mercury and Leo have no significant relationship, so Mercury energy is basically neutral.

  • Venus is in triplicity in Virgo. The energy is not so strong as rulership but it is still a beneficial time to use Venus energy.

  • Aquarius does not have a positive or negative influence on Mars: neutral Mars energy.

  • Scorpio doe not have a positive or negative influence on Jupiter: neutral Jupiter energy.

  • Saturn rules Capricorn, so working with Saturn energy would be a good idea.

  • This is not a good time to work with Uranus energy because Uranus falls in Taurus.

  • Neptune rules Pisces, so working with Neptune energy would be a good idea.

  • Capricorn does not have a positive or negative influence on Pluto: neutral Pluto energy.

If you would like to use the zodiac sign on their own you may wish to pay attention to how they relate to the seasonal changes of our planet. This is, after all, why the signs were developed in the first place.

For example, Aquarius is a revolutionary sign that washes away the past and makes a clean slate for the future. The sun is in Aquarius at the beginning of the calendar year when we like to make resolutions and dream about the year to come.

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The Celestial Bodies

The word planet, comes from the Greek word planetes meaning, “wanderers.” In traditional lore, the sky was ruled by seven powers: five planets, the Sun and the Moon. The position and the resulting effect of these shifting celestial bodies is as predictable now as it was then. Learn how to use their subtle effects in your magical workings.

 

The planets, as you've seen, interact with the signs in certain ways based on their position in the zodiac wheel. Each planet also has an element association. 

You can, of course, simply use an individual planet in your spell or ritual based on the specific areas of human life that planet governs. If you're just getting started and feeling overwhelmed, focus on learning these correspondences and practicing how your magic works.

If you want to dive deeper you can start to pay attention to the ways that planets interact with each other. This can be used in magical workings that involve more than one planet.

Planets look upon each other in favorable or unfavorable ways based on the specific angles they form with the earth at the vertex. These angles are called aspects.

Visualize the sky as a tube encircling the earth with the wheel of the zodiac wallpapered inside the tube. Then map the positions of the planets in the sky. 

 

Major Aspects:

  • Conjunct - 0° (same sign) - Powerful

  • Semisextile - 30° (1 sign apart) -Mildly Favorable

  • Sextile - 60° (2 signs apart) - Harmonious and Favorable

  • Square - 90° (3 signs apart) - Challenging and Stressful

  • Trine - 120° (4 signs apart) - Most Harmonious

  • Quincunx - 150° (5 signs apart) - Unpredicatable

  • Opposite - 180° (6 signs apart) - Unharmonious

It can be helpful to remember that each sign takes up 30° of the full circle. The parentheses above indicate the distance between each planet if the planet is at the approximate same degree in the sign.

I say approximate, because you can give a margin of error—called an orb—to these measurements. Generally, the orb for these aspects is about 6°, or 10° if the aspect includes the sun. The smaller the orb, the more significant the relationship

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Add the pages to your book of shadows for future reference when you need help deciding which correspondences would be most beneficial for use in your magical working.

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