Blogos, over at Hermetic Lessons, wrote about the Fourteen Minotaurs recently, and I’ve been playing with this idea for a few weeks quite happily. It’s the sort of thing that Robert Mitchell could really groove on with his Cabal Fang workouts, actually, so I’m sort of tagging him here. And it’s also related to stuff from Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery course, so if you want to learn how to do this, consider taking his course, as well (an example of the wealth/poverty divide and thought process is here).
The essence of this idea is pretty simple. Quantum mechanics indicates that there are maybe billions of “yous” in existence, because each time you make a decision, reality forks and you have a chance to become someone new — your ‘yes-self’ goes off into one alternate universe, and your ‘no-self’ goes on in this one, or vice-versa. Charlie, a friend of mine, suggests that this is kind of like a tree model, where your first-ever decision to cry, or not-cry, becomes the root of your being — and each further decision ‘forks’ your reality until you end up at one of millions of trillions of possibilities. Blogos argues, based on the book of Raziel, that that’s probably not the case, that maybe there are really only fourteen possible selves, fourteen minotaurs in the maze of human soul-in-animal-body, which you can become. As is common in much astrological and occult wisdom literature, these seven are associated with the seven visible planets (the ones that can be seen with the naked eye). These are:
- Saturn determines if you will be wise or stupid;
- Jupiter determines if you will be rich or poor;
- Mars determines if you’re fertile or infertile (we might say creative or energetic vs. dullard or lazy, maybe, but let’s stick with the extant language);
- The Sun determines if you will be healthy or sick;
- Venus determines if you will be powerful or enslaved;
- Mercury determines if you will be at peace or at war;
- The Moon determines if you will be beautiful or ugly.
Some quibbles arise:
First. Some of my friends and readers would argue that astrology doesn’t matter, and that the planets “don’t determine anything”. I don’t think that’s the actual issue, but let’s consider the seven dichotomies (or continuums) as if they were metaphors, to make it easier for non-magicians (or non-practicing magicians, as Gordon calls them) to accept. Now it’s not the case that the Sun determines that you will be healthy or sick — but that the Sun serves as a reminder or metaphorical stand-in for the issues of health and sickness. Do you want to be healthy? Probably. Every time that Sunday rolls around, can you evaluate the previous week to see if your choices have led to better health? Can you examine your plan for the coming week to see if you can make better decisions about health in the next six days? Probably. It serves as a weekly check-in point, nonetheless.
Second. Blogos is saying that you’re a ‘median’ self of these fourteen oppositions, and that you should look for or work synchronicities to figure out how to shift from one railroad track to another, to flip the switch from sickness to health, or from enslaved to powerful. These are relative things and they’re determined by social norms in many ways: very few people in modern society, relative to the long arc of history, are truly enslaved today; but it’s also the case that relatively few have any sort of power, either. A retail store manager might have a lot of nominal power, to set schedules and make hiring and firing decisions, but in reality is enmeshed in a tangle of rules and regulations set by the store’s owning corporation, that amounts to a kind of slavery.
This is kind why I think Robert would be interested: because in his western Hermetic martial art, Cabal Fang, they’re practicing martial arts in order to have greater freedom and at peace and healthy — they don’t want to be at war, but they practice being warlike so they don’t have to be afraid, and so that the switch won’t be flipped from power to slavery, so to speak. But I don’t think his martial art addresses some of the other ‘switches’ and it might become a more well-rounded system to think about the other switches.
But it also occurs to me that this is one of the goals of teaching, too, is to get students to think about their switches — that they don’t have complete control over genetics or environment or employment, but that they do have a lot of control over their choices. School puts a lot of emphasis on Saturnine choices — smart or stupid, wise or foolish. But we do a terrible job with Solar choices of health or illness (principally by not using lunch, cooking and health classes to address nutrition and well-being), and we’re REALLY terrible at Venereal choices of enslavement vs. freedom. We tell students that slavery doesn’t exist, and yet we impose a daily grind of rule-following and commands to be in this room at this hour, and that room at that hour, and remove most of their choice-making capacities for eight hours a day, five days a week.
A lot of the extremities of these seven switches are dependent on good or bad luck — you’re not going to be a multi-billionaire without accidents of birth or market success or extraordinary planning and risk-taking; but you’re unlikely (in the 21st century) to be a true slave without a massive number of people and institutions working against you in coordinated villainy.
But a lot of the middle ground on all of these continuums is a result of the aggregate of personal choices — to eat or not eat a third slice of chocolate cake, to save ten dollars or spend it, to write a book or stare at a wall, to take extra training or avoid exercise, to submit to a boss or to design better self employment. There are a lot of possibilities here.
An astrological natal chart, allegedly, provides a snapshot of which way you lean on each of these continuums at the moment of your birth. Yet in theory they’re subject to change. And maybe identifying where you stand on each of the continuums is the first thing you need to know before you change your life for the better.