A great many of you have supported my efforts to write poetry for the decans, the fixed Behenian Stars, the Mansions of the Moon, and the complete collection of the poetry I published as an ebook/PDF called A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight a few years ago. Some of you also supported my effort to write a collection of materials for learning astrology and astrological magic, by joining my Patreon at the $5 tier.
I’m now beginning a new project — publishing a cycle of sixty sonnets, five per month, in honor of the Chaldean Terms. Over the last three years, I’ve written these poems during the phase when the Sun was in each of the Chaldean Terms, and responding to the conditions of the sign, the decan, and the term, to create a Visual Image, a Name, and a poem for each of the terms.
The Chaldean Terms are … ah… not like the Egyptian Terms or the Ptolemaic Terms. Rather than being random and unequal, they’re very orderly and elemental. The first term is always 8° wide, the second term is always 7° wide, the third is 6°, the fourth is 5° and the fifth is always 4°. Since 8 + 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 is equal to 15 + 11 + 4, and that’s equal to 30… there’s a regular process here that I personally find very soothing. Additionally, all the terms are ordered by element — the Fire signs have the planets in a specific sequence, Jupiter – Venus – Saturn – Mercury – Mars; while Earth signs go Venus – Saturn – Mercury – Mars – Jupiter. This makes memorization a lot easier, and a lot more deliberate than the more random and varied patterns of the Egyptian/Ptolemaic terms. I may come back to those, poetically, some day. For now, I chose to concentrate on the Chaldean Terms.
What I didn’t expect is that the poems would turn into an Astrological Book of the Dead.
The truth is that I had scoured a good deal of the traditional literature that Ben Dykes and Project Hindsight had brought forward. I even went back and read Tetrabiblos, which was fantastic — at curing insomnia. I was consistently frustrated, though, whenever I encountered an ancient or medieval author talking about the Terms or Bounds. They’d say things like “Remember the terms!” or “Consider how the terms affect your delineations.” Or they’d lay out a complex calculation for determining when a new bound became activated… and NEVER explain how that should be interpreted.
So… I decided to go on a visionary experience at the start of each term, and scry the meaning and image of each term in turn…. and then leave my house while the Term was active, and go do some errand or activity, with a prayer in mind to “have an experience of the Term which confirms the visionary experience.”
What I didn’t expect at all, was that the Terms would show up, graphically, in the form of phone calls and Zoom meetings and emails, telling me that a friend, or a relative, or a community member, had died — and the circumstances of their death.
The result was that the poems, and the images that came up during scrying/vision even before the poem was written, and the titles of the poem, often wound up being peculiarly aligned with the specific conditions of the deaths of specific people I knew face to face. It wasn’t until I read some ancient authors that I realized that this was often one of the things which the Terms were used to calculate — both the mode and the method of death.
And so, little by little, the poems turned into an Astrological Book of the Dead. What it became was sixty poems that serve, both accidentally and consciously, as a way to consider and meditate and reflect on, sixty different ways to die — some good, some bad, some rough, some easy, some slow and some fast, some with long-range consequences for your survivors, some with traumatic results, and some with easiness and relief even in the midst of grief.
Over the course of the next year, my Patreon subscribers at the $5 tier will get access to the full set as I publish them, and a free copy of the PDF with all the poems at the end of the year, sometime around the Spring Equinox 2024. Subscribers at the $3 tier will get access to a cheap version of the PDF at the end of Pisces 2024. And the rest of you will pay full price, if you want them.
What do you get? Sixty sonnets, and some thoughts about how to use them in ritual, and spiritual or mystical practice. Sixty insights in poetic form, into the mysteries of the way that we exit life, and what happens when our souls have fled our bodies. And some new tools and techniques for memorizing the sub-divisions of the Zodiac, and engaging with both your own chart and those of clients in new ways. Sixty new poems that can be used in astrological spells and rituals to bring about a more interesting life, too.
I hope you’ll consider joining me for the journey.
In the meantime, here’s the poem for the first term of Aries, in both audio and written form.
For the first term of Aries
To Jupiter, 0° Aries 00’ to 7° Aries 59’
The Hue and Cry
Great Jove, who by the cunning of the laws
makes private and secure each house and shop
and punishes with fear those mortal flaws
that seek to own another’s goods, and stop
all thievery with watchmen and alarms —
yet you also save the stranger who’s lost,
who blunders by error into great harms
by law’s letter — and when the guards accost
the foul intruder — the crime unravels:
the traveler mistook the inn’s address
while weary from the troubles of travels.
Their tale rings true, even under duress:
Thus, great Jove, you maintain vigilant guard
and shield honest strangers with kindly ward.
The authorities arrive in force to seize a thief, but find a foreigner who has mistaken a private house for an inn.