As recently as 100 years ago, most Americans belonged to at least one large organization —the Freemasons, the Grange, the Knights of Pythias, the Oddfellows, Toastmasters, Rotarians and so on. Maybe that age in American history has come and gone. Maybe it will never return again, but it always seems to me that we repeat certain structures from time to time. Maybe the time has come for this one.
I had reason to get out these sashes that I made while doing Rufus Opus-style planetary work A few weeks ago. But I didn’t get to put them away again until today. As I did so, it occurred to me that they were relevant to something I had read in Chris Brennan’s book, Hellenistic Astrology. It was also something I heard on his show, the astrology podcast.
The core idea was this: Humans are born as creatures of Fate. We are destined to certain ends and certain results, unless we make an effort to change that. Yet changing our fate is very difficult.
There is a practice in some therapeutic circles, of gathering a group of people, and letting the patient arrange those people in a tableau, so that mother and father, significant siblings and other persons are placed in relationship to one another. This is similar to lodge practice, in which the positions of various officers during a ceremony are understood to affect the initiate in symbolic and aetherial ways.
Members of an astrological lodge, would then perform this function for one another. In a first degree initiation, The officers would stand in the lodge around the candidate wearing plain black robes, with a sash indicating their planetary color. The officers would be positioned according to the astrological chart of the candidate. In a 2nd° initiation, the candidate would be able to ask and receive certain gift of the planets. In a third-degree initiation fee candidate would symbolically “be slain” by their birth chart, only to rise again and “slay” their birth chart in return, and so free themselves from the destiny laid out for them by fate.
In between initiations, a variety of materials will be provided to teach astrology to members. Basic training in reading a birth chart, basics of horary astrology, and similar material would comprise the 1st°. The 2nd° would be training in a more magical approach to the planets, using Thomas Taylor’s Orphic Hymns, and other poetic materials. There would be more focus on symbolically awakening, or propitiating the planets. The 3rd° would involve conjuration of various kinds of the planetary angels, and learning to work with those powers.
A lodge would need eight members ideally. More would certainly be permitted, but some of them would be sitting on the sidelines. The moon officer would be the keeper of the calendar for the lodge. The mercury officer would be secretary-treasurer. The Venus officer would be responsible for seeing to the creation of the lodge’s equipment and feeding people after rituals. The Sun officer would be the president. The mars officer would be responsible for securing the physical space, and act as Sergeant at arms, and keeper of the lodges equipment. The Jupiter officer would be vice president of education, and responsible for leading rehearsals of the working group. The Saturn officer would be the immediate past president, there could be a supplemental curriculum for officers, charging them with walking the gates associated with their particular planet.