or Them Dollar Bills
While western occulture may find gauging their personal efficacy as mages by bank balance distasteful, I think it’s because as a general rule our bank balances aren’t terribly impressive. It’s easier to stack up our knowledge of archaic models and dead languages with some structural support from that time we fucked up somebodies life or revealed the special butterfly inside with a chart reading. Occasional mastery of the malefica and insight into the mechanics of being is good stuff and it certainly isn’t my intention to demean those aspects of the craft. Really though, in times like these malefica is fucking easy. The world is just aching to bring a little pain and doesn’t need much encouragement. Getting a broke-ass Nigerian citizenship in Canada, now that is fucking hard.
The truth however, is that money is no longer a pile of gold and silver, it has no meaningful material basis. A nation’s currency’s value is established by an occult formula of unemployment levels, gross national product and its dependency on imported technology and resources. It is aethyric in every sense. All money is now fairy money, conjured out of the air and perpetually tending back towards non-existence, turn your back for one second and all you got is a pile of leaves stuffed in an old boot. That being true, our collective lack of mastery over the currency of existence in the modern world is a sad state of affairs.
Part of the problem is that there isn’t a single old book of magic that provides even the beginning of mastery over modern currency. Not. One. Maybe, if we want to be generous we could count Dr. Hyatts’s encyclopedic record of American hoodoo. Yet, even that material is grown up out of a period before ‘money’ had taken control of the political and social mechanics in the way it has in the contemporary age. When the stock market crashed in the 1920’s bankers threw themselves out of the windows of tall buildings. When the markets crashed in 2008 bankers gave themselves raises and bankrupted national governments. It was a weaponized collapse that in the overall scheme of things served to solidify their position and hamstring the political body that had up until that point held their leash. People freaked the fuck out, the international banking cartels could catastrophically fail and destroy the world, they said. Wishful thinking right there and beyond naïve. The international currency and commodities markets are actually more robust than they have ever been. Wall Street trading blocs have turned more significant profits in the last few years than they had in over a decade before the crash.
In the modern age you are not really a fortune-teller unless you can speak the secret language of dead presidents. You have failed to penetrate Yesod and make of it a cypher. Bold statement right there I suppose but I believe it to be true. That collective fantasy we use to negotiate the strange intermingling of non-/existence currently manifests in the form of ‘money’. Everything else, science, religion, politics, fashion, art, is tertiary to this one central mystery. Without some grasp of its immaterial mechanics you cannot truly read the ebb and flow of social dynamic or political influence, you lack the means to achieve meaningful personal autonomy at the very least and to inform or manipulate the scheme of history on the grander scale.
This is not a self-congratulatory post, I am by no means independently wealthy or capable of influencing the cosmic economy (and when we are colonizing other planets with robots and mining asteroids it is cosmic) with my vast fortune. If Peter Grey’s assertion in Apocalyptic Witchcraft that ‘the witch is to be found at the end of the pointed finger’ is true, then the great wizards of our age are a small cabal of bankers and commodities traders. They alone have all the fingers routinely pointed at them. The fingers of the religious right, the political left, occulture and pop culture. Like virtually everything else in the world, they have a complete monopoly on pointed fingers.
The most common accusation I hear levelled at the financial sector in the west is how they have co-opted government accountability from the ‘people’. This simply isn’t true. Democratic accountability to its general populace is directly related to the general populace’s interest and participation in government. The ever-decreasing amount of governmental accountability is directly proportionate to the ever-decreasing number of voters. A ‘vote’ in a western democracy does not constitute meaningful participation in legislature and justifying not voting on this ground is inherently deceptive. It was never intended to be that. It is a reminder of how much of the populace is paying attention to its legislative body, how much it cares about its government and its actions in the grander scheme. A western nation that routinely has less than a third of its population turning out to vote is by default a tyranny because it no longer answers to its populace. You asked to be ruled, to be kept, to be spoon-fed.
Another popular accusation that I hear is that international finance is responsible for the destruction of the planet. There is a modicum of truth in this, while I think words like ‘responsible’ are over-statements they have most certainly participated. We collectively as a species have destroyed the ecological balance of the planet, me and you. This is a collective responsibility that we share as a species and so therefore by default includes bankers. Really though, the apathetic destruction of our immediate environment is a hallmark of human existence. The Sumerians destroyed the Fertile Crescent by salting the earth with ocean water. As far back as we know how to go; unilateral ecological disaster is kind of our thing. It is a convenient bit of buck-passing to give the whole of that burden to the corporate establishment, if we stop buying world destroying products I assure you they will stop manufacturing them.
Corporations, banks and governments are inherently amoral. The moral component of each is determined by the humanity it contains. Money, the aethyric current by which our contemporary fate is manifested and weighed is equally amoral or perhaps more purely so. I think this makes meaningful mastery of it difficult for a contemporary practitioner because we have become extremely moral. Even occulture, traditionally a bastion of freaks seeking to challenge conventional morals reflects this. The return to old religious models and sexual dualities I think makes it impossible to truly challenge the conventional models we have to work with currently. They are in point of fact, the grand-parents of the mono-cultures that dominate the contemporary landscape. The average Wiccan or western ceremonialist is as quick to jump to the defence of monogamy or marriage, devotion to God (whichever it may be), or an excellent work ethic as any Protestant or Catholic or Muslim. Somewhere along the line it ceased to be about the deconstruction of out-moded moral structures and instead became a contest as to whose spiritual beliefs made them ‘good’ in the purest sense possible. Far-removing the spirit of a given practitioners practice from the reality which would grant them meaningful control over the single most valid measurement of autonomy and influence in the contemporary age.
Money. I use Saturn and Jupiter (commodity and currency respectively) to parse the seemingly opaque world of international finance. I start at the outside and work my way in, the inner and more personal planets provide effective vehicles but are not the core of thing. Fashion (Venus) and conflict (Mars) are economic esthetics and their aspects to the slower moving outer bodies define where the money will flow and how it will get there. Finally, the most ephemeral and least influential of all, politics (Mercury) is observed in relation to legal and therefore national level influences.
Fixed star conjunctions to Jupiter and Saturn and any aspected planets are my primary filters. The signs themselves provide an element of staging, a sort of general thematic setting. I don’t get the mileage out of the traditional signs as most do though, I find their interpretive significance to be weighed down with personal egoic significances and that makes it harder to track macro-influences. A lot of the readers of this blog will be familiar with these astrological influences, most likely the intricacies of currency and commodities trading a bit less so. I like the fixed stars as cyphers for the planetary energies because they are never wholly positive or negative, much like global economics and they fell out of fashion before astrology became a wholly personal model. Lots of big picture to work with there. Currencies closely tied to a material basis, the old gold standard trope are suspended between both Saturn and Jupiter and fixed star conjunctions to both are weighed; the socialist ‘manipulated’ currencies are wholly Jupiterian. Those more purely Jupiterian currencies respond viscerally to shifts in the value of commodities and these market adjustments can be observed through the planet’s aspects to Saturn.
That is what I got so far. More on Fixed Stars and Debt value soon.