Wandering with the Stars

Wandering with the Stars

By Xepera maSet

“But the symbols Of the Invisible are the loveliest Of what is visible…”

  • Cain: A Mystery

PDFs: https://xeperamaset.wixsite.com/xeper/post/wandering-with-the-stars


What is the value of studying the stars? As the wise Shrek once said, “the stars don’t tell the future, donkey, they tell stories.” Stellar Magic is not about reading someone’s horoscope, or trying to predict the future by looking to the stars. The stars do not tell us where we are going, but rather where we have been. The ancients associated stars and constellations with gods for specific and intentional reasons, same as the animal associations they also made, color associations, relations to specific geographies, etc. The study of the stars is therefore the study of the gods, as well as esoteric symbols which can teach us about the reality we inhabit.

Stellar Magic is a rediscovery of knowledge from the Stellar Tradition and Sky Religions of early humanity, and then an application of this to the modern day and especially one’s own life. It is both magic and academia, a place where the line blurs beyond recognition. Why was value once given to the circumpolar stars, but is now placed upon the zodiac and sun? How does the property of never setting compare to something which sets everyday or for months at a time? Why was one specific alignment of the stars so much more important to the Egyptians, as opposed to those stars being in a different position? Why were certain gods associated with certain stars, constellations, planets, etc. instead of others, surely it was not arbitrary? How did our ancestors treat these heavenly bodies, and how do we integrate that into our own lives? Which stars are you going to look for first if you are lost in the wilderness? The Egyptians knew all knowledge was simply rediscovery, it is what Plato called anamnesis. This is Stellar Magic.

To start, it is important to try and identify the important stars of Egyptian Astronomy. (If you are familiar with my work on this, feel free to skip past this part.)


The architect Senenmut created the first complete astronomical map on the ceiling of his tomb. Over time many more would replicate or create a similar map in their own tombs, including Seti I. Here is the section of the northern skies from both of those tombs:

Astronomical Ceiling, Tomb of Senenmut MET DT207429 - Image by Charles Wilkinson (Public Domain): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_ceiling_of_Senenmut%27s_Tomb#/media/File:Astronomical_Ceiling,_Tomb_of_Senenmut_MET_DT207429.jpg

KV17, the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I of the of the burial chamber, Nineteenth Dynasty, astronomical vaulted ceiling Valley of the Kings, Egypt (49867418546) - Image by Carole Raddato: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KV17,_the_tomb_of_Pharaoh_Seti_I_of_the_of_the_burial_chamber,_Nineteenth_Dynasty,_astronomical_vaulted_ceiling_Valley_of_the_Kings,Egypt(49867418546).jpg ; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

It is important to note that while these were based around the Stellar Tradition of pre- and early historical Egypt, the designs come from the New Kingdom 18th and 19th dynasties, and so reflect later traditions including those where the role of Setesh can differ greatly. This is why in these drawings the bull, Setesh, is always being killed/sacrificed or held down by other means. They knew of this ancient association but had to account for it in their modern understanding, and especially the Setesh worshiping 19th knew not to push tradition too much after Akhenaten.

These ceilings would lead to what is called the Dendera Zodiac, possibly the first zodiac as we would become familiar with it. It is important to note that the Egyptian constellations did not exactly match ours, a mistake most seem to make when trying to identify them. The only astrological bodies matching ours, outside of the solar system, are the Big Dipper as Setesh the Great Bull, Orion as Asar, and the star Sirius as Aset. The Big Dipper was called Meskhetyu, and as we know was the inspiration for the adze tool, but aside from that the identity of their circumpolar constellations remains a mystery. However, there are a few certainties based on the images provided:

  • Our Big Dipper is the bull.
  • In the tomb of Senenmut the star Alkaid in the Dipper is highlighted. It is this highlighted star which the longest “mooring post” is attached to.
  • The most sacred position of the northern sky was with the Big Dipper “pouring out” onto the earth, at the highest point in the sky.
  • In Senenmut’s tomb there is a scorpion goddess attached to the Dipper, and in the tomb of Seti I it is a man.
  • The falcon god, Anu or Heru, is “below” the bull spearing upwards.
  • Anu/Heru rests at a right angle to the mooring post.
  • Myths tell of a chain by which the hippo goddess held onto the leg of the bull/Setesh in the northern skies.
  • There is a consistent imagery of a crocodile on the back of a hippo to the right of the mooring post and the bull’s leg in its sacred position. This was associated by Lull and Belmonte with the area between Lyra and Bootes, and Serpens Caput.
  • Thuban was the pole star in early Egyptian history, slowly moving to Polaris.
  • The Egyptians did not draw every constellation exactly as they saw it, for instance even individual planets were drawn as whole gods, while in other cases the larger image was assumed from a small one as with the bull.

Based on all this information, here is my personal proposal (this is specifically using the tomb of Seti I, there are slight difference from Senenmut, such as the placement of Vega and Altair as a knife and crocodile in the latter’s):

All images of the night sky are from Stellarium unless otherwise noted. Please see the end of the paper for licensing info.

Same images as above, cropped and written on

Now that we have an idea of what we are looking at, let’s dive deeper into all these stars/constellations.

Alpha Draconis

Around 3,000 BCE our pole star was Thuban, Alpha Draconis, meaning it was our north star when spiritual/religious traditions were really starting to settle in and civilization began to form. Of all the pole stars, Thuban is the closest any comes to true north, even our current Polaris is further off the mark than its predecessor. It was an unmoving point in the sky which never set below the horizon, remaining fixed in its place. As such it was symbolically central to our early beliefs regarding the immortality of the soul, the gods as stars in the sky, and so forth. This is why we have earlier Egyptian kings becoming immortal gods instead of identifying, setting, and rising with the sun god or Asar.

Due to the precession of the equinox however, the sky slowly began to shift and Thuban “fell” from its spot in the center of the sky. Between it and Polaris there are no proper candidates for the pole star, the center of the sky would have been inhabited by nothing, the god’s throne empty. Dates of heliacal risings and such also changed, the stars always being overcome by the sun and horizon. It would have appeared as though the gods themselves were changing, or the universe unraveling. Lovecraft illustrates this emotion well in his poem Nyarlathotep:

“A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places. There was a daemoniac alteration in the sequence of the seasons—the autumn heat lingered fearsomely, and everyone felt that the world and perhaps the universe had passed from the control of known gods or forces to that of gods or forces which were unknown.”

It was during this lull we saw the leaps forward by the Solar/Agricultural Traditions. The sun absorbed the light and often roles of the others, becoming the central focus. Instead of an afterlife of eternity and immortality, like the sun spirituality became about death and rebirth, and a reliance on something greater for sustenance (in this case, the sun). As a star ceased to rise ahead of the sun, it was symbolically joined with the sun until its time of rising adjusted. The focus shifted off of Heru and Setesh (who we will see were circumpolar) instead to the likes of Ra (the sun), Aset (Sirius), and Asar (Orion), much like the shifting of the stars themselves. This has been represented in more recent mythology by the fall of the serpent (Draco) in Eden, matching up nicely with the replacement of Draco in the center of the sky with the Little Dipper.

The path of the north celestial pole among the stars due to precession, with the years of the Gregorian calendar shown. Image by Tauʻolunga: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=891838 ; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en

Ursa Major

Of arguably even greater importance than Thuban was what we now call the Big Dipper, which the Egyptians envisioned as a bull or bull’s leg and as the realm of Setesh. At the time the Dipper was even more central than it appears to us now, more closely circling the north star, still never setting below the horizon nor having to be reborn.

The most sacred position of the Dipper, as illustrated in numerous sky-maps, was with the bowl “pouring out” onto the earth. It began taking this position after sunset around the winter solstice, with it being at that “highest point” in the sky during the spring, and “lowest point” in the sky during the fall.

The stars form an asterism rather than a constellation, which generally means that they are even easier to see and naturally group together than constellations proper, which is why despite many cultures seeing different constellations, some like the Dipper are usually the same across time. This only adds to the connection between those “seven” stars and concepts such as deification and immortality.

It is quite possible the importance of the number seven partly comes from these stars, and it would mix well with the observation of seven heavenly bodies in early astronomy (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). The two reflect each other. However it is important to note the asterism is sometimes called a 7+1, for the star Mizar (middle of the handle) actually has a very close partner, Alcor. An ancient test of one’s eyes was to see if they could identify two stars there rather than one, but they are so close together we count the Dipper as seven. Again this can be mirrored in the heavenly bodies, where earth would be the +1.

These stars are also possibly the most important for both navigation and northern astronomy. They shine much brighter than the pole star and most children in the northern hemisphere learn early how to use the Dipper as a guide to Polaris. It also acts as a guide to Thuban as well, and many other relevant stars including Deneb, Vega, Altair, Arcturus, Spica, and Antares. You may notice all of these stars in our images above!

The scorpion goddess/man with four stars quite likely makes up the rest of Ursa Major, as can be seen here:

Cepheus, Little Dipper, Draco

Setesh was part of a critical divine pairing, the other half of which was Heru. In the imagery we see this falcon either spearing the bull/Setesh or holding it in place via a rope. In the “most sacred position” Heru is spearing upwards to Setesh, resting on the greatest mooring post. Taking that proper position of the Dipper, Heru lines up best with Cepheus, the Little Dipper, and parts of Draco.

It is interesting to note that Cepheus is easily identifiable with the head of a falcon, with Draco acting as the body and the Little Dipper as the spear or rope going through Thuban and connecting with the Big Dipper. The pole star likely stood on its own or as a reference point, rather than as part of any one of these constellations in specific. Remember that the Dipper appears to have been much more important than Thuban anyways. Cepheus holds past/future pole stars as well, though they are much further off the mark than both Thuban and Polaris.

Setesh and Heru were the divine balance, the light and dark, yin and yang, before one side of that was deemed “good” and the other “evil.” Indeed as the Dipper rises in the sky, Cepheus is already on its way down, and vice versa.

Consider for a moment the two theories on the myths of Heru and Setesh: that it describes a historical unification, or otherwise symbolically represents the unification of Egypt. I posit it is far greater, deeper, and older than that though, it is an illustration of how these constellations cycle. It also reflects a reality of dualism/pluralism, rather than any form of monism or reductionism.

Deneb, Vega, Altair

Sometimes these are all posts, sometimes it is a post/knife/crocodile, sometimes there is just one post and then the feet of the hippopotamus. However, there are always three distinct points as we can see in the above tomb art. These three points likely represent some of the brightest stars in the sky, who happen to match up well when laid over the star maps.

In fact these three stars are so tightly related that today they are an asterism known as “the summer triangle,” which as the name suggests takes over the northern night skies in the summertime. They also appear to rise out of the waters of the milky way, and are the easiest way to locate that beautiful stretch of sky when you are somewhere dark enough to observe it. The pole approaches Deneb and Vega as well, but again comes nowhere close to the alignment of Polaris and especially Thuban. Vega is so bright it was actually the first photographed star, and it is used as the zero point for magnitude of visibility.

Much like the mooring posts, these three stars may be seen symbolically keeping the bull’s leg in place. A straight line can even be drawn from Deneb to Alkaid, the star moored and called out in the tomb of Senenmut.

Their orientation here also matches the position of the hippo with the crocodile on its back, with Acturus being directly above the three stars.

Arcturus, Spica, Antares

Arcturus is one of the brightest stars in the northern hemisphere, and is distinctly red in color. In both above tombs we see the color red given great importance, and in Seti’s specifically we see an isolated red star in the shoulder of the hippo. Arcturus also has no bright neighbors, being a somewhat isolated star in the sky. With the help of Alkaid and Arcturus we can locate Spica, another of the brightest stars. It appears some temples of the ancient world were aligned to Spica, and in more modern times the star was used to help calculate the precession of the equinox. We can also find Antares, another red star that appears quite similar to Mars under the right conditions. Antares further sets along with Arcturus, and the latter was so associated with the Dipper it is called “the keeper of the bear.”

As touched upon, myth tells us this hippo/crocodile held the bull/Setesh in place in the northern skies. This is clearly illustrated in both of the discussed tombs, and we can possibly see it illustrated in the sky as well:


But if Heru spears or holds down Setesh to the left of the mooring post, why would the hippo goddess be needed to hold down the sky and god as well? If we continue with the idea of these myths tying to the stars, it may be that when Heru “sets” below the horizon, the hippo goddess rises. This would ensure that one of the two was always present to keep Setesh managed in the sky. Prior to the changes Setesh underwent, it would have represented these beings as deeply connected, and indeed Setesh has a relationship with Heru, Tauret, and Sobek. Again remember that while this is all rooted in some of the earliest traditions, Setesh had gone through much turbulence by the 18th/19th dynasties.


The myth told by the stars is rather clear when all laid out, and may sound strangely familiar. The early form has Heru and Setesh infinitely balanced and circling around the center of heaven (the sky). Also nearby are beings associated positively with Setesh - the hippo and crocodile. Together with Setesh and Heru, these two beings (sometimes seen as his consort and offspring in Tauret and Sobek) help hold the sky up in place, stabilize the cosmos. Holding the sky up was intimately associated with Setesh as illustrated in images of was scepters holding up the sky in the same manner. This would have been of central importance, at the very least Setesh and Heru would be, with the hippo and croc possibly coming in later.

What does it all mean though? As stated in the beginning, these are not a guide to the future or any such thing, but rather stories that tell us of our past and being. They are a key to anamnesis. From them we learn of the balance between light and dark, of the immortality of the Self and all spiritual things, of the foundational role in existence and being the gods play, of the value in the night sky as opposed to the sun. And here we must directly compare this ancient tradition to the modern worship of the sun most are engaged in, intentionally or otherwise. For instance, rather than seeing individuals as gods, recognizing divinity in everyone, anything of a similar nature, most either see individuals as subservient to a god (monotheism) or perhaps even a deterministic illusion (physicalism) under solar traditions. Rather than eternal we are reliant on the light of the sun/matter, our light is only an emanation of it, instead of its own independent thing. Eternality has fled the thoughts of most, instead having ingrained in us a tradition of death and rebirth, the former always guaranteed, the latter usually with a catch used to control and manipulate us. It preaches an eternal victory of the light, rather than the endless cycle of Heru and Setesh, and there is now only one single deity grounding the universe against chaos (monism), rather than a pantheon of them (pluralism/polytheism).

The later form of this story has Heru constantly battling Setesh, always ending with the victory of Heru as seen here:

“Wall relief of fight between Seth and Horus where Horus, helped by Isis, kill Seth (hippopotamus), temple of Edfu, Egypt.” Image mirrored and cropped. Picture by Rémih: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edfu47.JPG ; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

When Heru was not victorious, Setesh was restrained by the hippo and crocodile, ensuring he could not cause too much havoc despite being a necessary “evil.” It was also when Setesh was “down” that the majority of our other important stars were all visible:

This better describes the story as most know it, and likely became the focus after the Big Dipper “fell” due to the precession of the equinox. Despite still being circumpolar, it is further from perfect north than during the reign of Thuban. We also come to see the very literal tale of the supposed “fall of man” in the falling of our own Draco/Serpent constellation from true north. As Kenneth Grant said (and I often love to quote): “The degradation of the Star Sothis, of the Great Bear, Draco, and other types of eternity proved to be the creation of Hell…” This is the true origin of myth as opposed to human events or mere symbolism, and symbolizes the esoteric reality we find ourselves in.

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The Moon

Moving on from the northern skies, the moon was originally a child of the sky, both of Heru and Setesh. The god of knowledge, wisdom, writing, and magic, Djehuty was sometimes produced by the relationship between Heru and Setesh, which was originally positive and consensual before the coming of Asar. Heru acted in the male role, impregnating Setesh, and Djehuty then rises as the lunar disc to Setesh’s forehead. It was Djehuty who healed both combatants and reconciled them in the times where they were in conflict, though alternatively Djehuty could stand beside Setesh in opposition to Heru, and did not weep for the death of Asar. In the Asar myth, Djehuty wins time from another lunar deity, Khonsu, so that Nwt may give birth to her five children, which Ra had banned her from doing. This added five intermediary days to the 360 day year, which were a time of joy and celebration. An interesting characteristic of the moon is that it can be up both during the day and night, tying into the mediator role Djehuty tends to play.

The moon more deeply mimics the cycles of humankind than the sun. Most are probably familiar with the theories and myths surrounding full moons, and while these are often exaggerated, the effects of such cycles have been seriously investigated (i.e. “The Lunar Cycle: Effects on Human and Animal Behavior and Physiology” by Michal Zimecki). The Life-Field work of Dr. Harold Burr and his colleagues from Yale Medical also concluded that the cycles of the moon (and stars as well) impact life on earth. Reproductive cycles align more closely with the moon than sun.

While we currently have eight phases of the moon the Egyptians appear to have had sixteen, as seen here, including forms of Heru, his four sons, Aset, Setesh, and others:

In our Solar culture the moon’s role is significantly changed. Under more monotheistic and monistic traditions, all the moon amounts to is a reflection and emanation of the sun. Like the soul is not truly separate or one’s own, the light of the moon is not separate or its own, but dependent on and subservient to the sun. Even outside of such traditions the moon is more often a consort or lesser deity in some way, at best perhaps half of a whole. It is rarely used as a measurement of time, with mainstream Western calendars almost always being entirely based on the cycle of the sun in specific.

The Sun

We have already naturally covered the sun compared to these star-based myths and practices. It is not immortal but dies and is reborn, it blinds humans to all other lights in the sky, in the deserts we descend from it was an enemy which scorched and burned, as a symbol it has become a monistic light all emanates from, and one’s very soul is eternally dependent on and in forced submission to it. The divide between the Stellar and Solar Traditions illustrates the start of the historical split between what we call the Left and Right Hand Paths.

Sirius and Orion

The other major tradition, which generally merged into one in the same as the Solar in early history, is the Agricultural Tradition. This may have even preceded the Solar, as it would have started as the land became hotter and drier (so the sun was hated) and nomads settled the Nile to form agricultural societies. The most important star for agriculture was Sirius, associated with the goddess Aset/Sopdet, due to its heliacal rising aligning with the inundation of the Nile, so critical for most life in Egypt. Nearby and slightly preceding the rising of Sirius was the constellation we call Orion, and was associated with her husband Asar.

Much like the sun, Sirius and Orion cycle through the skies, die and are reborn again, mirroring the harvest cycle of agricultural plants. Therefore much of the symbolism relevant to the sun applies here as well. Again worshipers were reliant on their gods for sustenance, and had to ensure they were pleased so they would rise again. This may even signal a start of more self-sacrificial ideology, the main gods were no longer eternally there but could come and go. Thinking back to the circumpolar-based tradition(s), we wouldn’t really need a concept of “Maat” to uphold because the balance appeared eternal, until the shifting of the stars. It is only when there is an ebb and flow instead of eternity that we need to uphold the balance, leading into concepts such as the weighing of the heart and negative confessions.

In keeping with other constellations, Sirius is the brightest star in our night sky, and Orion contains a few of the brightest as well, with the belt being another asterism. Unlike the circumpolar stars, Orion is visible from both the northern and southern hemisphere, which may symbolically tie into the more all-encompassing nature of these traditions; they are “for the masses” so to speak. Orion not only leads in Sirius, but the stars of the belt point the way to it, further cementing them as consorts.

The Planets

Mercury is identified in the tomb of Senenmut with many names, one including reference to Setesh. The planet was also represented as a baboon, relating it closely to Djehuty. It was seen as a morning/evening star much like Venus as we know it today, meaning it has been referenced at least as far back as the Pyramid Texts in association with deification, for instance: 155b. "N. comes, an imperishable spirit, like the morning star over the Nile…”

Venus, “the bright one,” also could act as the morning and evening star, along with Mercury. It was associated with a bird as seen below. The identifications seem to differ greatly, including Venus as a heron, a phoenix, as Har-pa-khared, as Asar, etc. It is also not entirely clear when Mercury or Venus would act as the evening/morning star in place of the other. Whatever the case, it is clear there was an interplay between these two stars, possibly mimicking that between Heru and Setesh in early times (north stars), and Asar and Setesh in later times (Orion and the Dipper). It was also associated with a consort of Setesh, Astarte. While the term was never used to my knowledge, we can clearly see a representation of “as above so below” even so far back. Not only are humans a microcosm of the cosmos, the solar system is a microcosm of the important stars.

Mars is very curious in the tomb of Senenmut, mainly in that it appears to be absent from the chart. It is hypothesized that the empty boat below stood in for Mars, and that it is empty to symbolize the retrograde movement of the planet, where it appears to move “backwards” at times. Mars is again reflected in the important stars, where it and Antares appear almost identical at times in the night sky. It is the first of three planets to frequently be associated with Heru, though due to its red hue and bizarre movement through the sky, may equally have been associated with Setesh, or perhaps even a balance between them.

Jupiter is the next planet associated with Heru, with numerous different versions of his names being given. It appears not much information remains on Jupiter. In Senenmut’s art Jupiter appears after Saturn, and it was the “boundary of Heru,” likely meaning the end of the sun’s territory. This role is more commonly given to Saturn in more recent mythologies, and perhaps was due to the fact that Jupiter is brighter. There is something very Gnostic about this, the end of the sun’s domain and entrance into the greater beyond, and in some Gnostic traditions it appears “Horos” means “the limit”. I theorize here that the stars may represent the “true nature” of our existence, whereas the solar system in specific represents the state of things under the sway of Demiurgic forces. To move away from the limit of the sun god to the great beyond is the very central goal of Gnosticism after all. I’ve spoke elsewhere about how the sun is the true Demiurge, and all this obsession with Saturn (or in this case it would be Jupiter) is just manipulation to drive solar worship.

Saturn, appearing ahead of Jupiter here, was the third planet consistently associated with Heru (4th if we count Venus). It was also associated with bulls, the astronomical animal of Setesh. Again we have very little information on it.

Modern Applications

First: the academic and historical applications and implications. On one hand, applying the mythologies surrounding the relevant gods to the study of ancient astronomy may help us more accurately identify the ancient Egyptian constellations. For instance, a common proposal is that the hippo is in Draco, which requires manipulation of the images and depends on newer maps rather than the original and best examples. Instead we can apply the myths of these beings to both the placement and movement of the stars, where certain important features of the night sky directly align with Egyptian ideology, beliefs, and stories. On the other hand, this method may help us understand the objective origins of myth. An example would be that instead of the Heru/Setesh conflict being rooted in a historical war or purely mythology, it may instead be rooted in the stars themselves.

Now, the esoteric. Anamnesis was Plato’s idea that all knowledge is rediscovery, and I would agree with this in a sense. We are divine beings currently limited by the material world, the soul exists outside of things like time and space, despite how it feels here and now. This would imply we already have all the knowledge we seek, we just cannot remember it or access it while in a body. The study of the stars, the stories they tell and the impact they had on humans, aids in this process of rediscovery. All the knowledge gained from it we already have, it is just a matter of remembering.

From this study we learn of the original Stellar Tradition and Sky Religion, where the northern circumpolar stars and other major stars formed the center of a metaphysics based on divinity and eternity. This is the predecessor of our modern WLHP. Opposite of that, we also learn of the fall of this tradition to the Solar and Agricultural beliefs, how immortality became death and rebirth, and the soul became a subservient emanation of a god. This is the predecessor of our modern WRHP. It is interesting to note that great astronomers, such as Imhotep and Senenmut, give some of the best examples of non-royal deification as far back as the Old Kingdom, if not before.

These truths do not solely apply to Egypt, indeed the former pole star belongs to Draco, the great serpent, the hero of the Garden of Eden. The fall of Draco from housing the pole star provides another objective source for that myth (and Chaoskampf myth overall), as opposed to the Garden being either wholly literal or symbolic, same as the Heru/Setesh story. The gaping darkness between Thuban and Polaris shows us precisely when and why traditions of the sun and other stars were able to take root and flourish. We also see illustrated the difference between a universe inherently balanced, and one requiring constant offering and sacrifice to sustain a balance lest it someday cease.

The concept “as above so below” is intensely mirrored in these stars. The seven stars of the Dipper reflect the seven heavenly bodies. The look of Antares is quite similar to that of Mars. The balancing (and later conflict) between the Dipper and Cepheus/Ursa Minor/Draco is mirrored in the dance between Mercury and Venus. Stellar gods are reflected in the cycles of the moon. We must also recognize this pattern in modern esotericism reflecting ancient esotericism.

Occultists of the early 20th Century may have had little to no idea what they were talking about when it came to Egypt, but the forces they were tapping into were still very real. Perhaps most famous and influential is Aleister Crowley’s “Book of the Law,” which describes the fall of the modern era of Asar into one of Har-pa-Khered. Crowley was only familiar with the view of Egypt as united under the Asar myth, with his son as heir to the throne and Setesh generally as an enemy, therefore his beliefs aligned with the latter interpretations of these stars, where Heru defeats Setesh. Could his coming “age of Horus” be tied to the future placement of Cepheus, the falcon, as the pole constellation one day starting around 3,100 CE? At this time the Dipper will go below the horizon throughout its journey, Setesh defeated.

Individuation and separation are key aspects of the WLHP, “every man and every woman is a star,” as the Book of the Law says. Not “every man and woman is an emanation of the sun,” or any such thing! Whereas the Solar and Agricultural Traditions identify the individual with a higher power, the Stellar allows each individual to stand on their own as a star in the sky with the rest of the gods. We most clearly see this in the deification related to Setesh where one became a great and independent god, as opposed to that of Asar where one became identical to Asar or remained ruled over by him. This also connects to the WLHP respect for individuality and subjective experience, the Pyramid Texts themselves state that once one becomes a god they can choose which of the others to reject or incorporate: 157b. “N. comes, an imperishable spirit, masked to the neck like an Anubis, chief of the western highland, 157c. that he may count hearts, that he may be powerful over the best of the hearts; 157d. whom he wills that he live, he lives; whom he wills that he die, he dies.”

In modern times, Stellar and Black Magic (much like the WLHP) requires an apathy to culture, which has been decidedly Solar for thousands of years. Setesh always had a chaotic and unpredictable side, even in the earliest times, which is how he became a blueprint for the Chaoskampf/Hero myth. These beings are never fully on the side of order or chaos, taking the best of both, and well embodied in the modern myth of Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi. Stellar Magic also embraces pragmatism same as the WLHP, as proven by the many different ways star maps could be drawn, as well as the sometimes contradictory associations given to the planets. Later astronomical maps can even have constellations in entirely different positions than the originals, or change the identity of them. This shows the tradition shares the rejection of strict dogma required by the Solar and Agricultural tradition.

Perhaps most critical to the WLHP are the ideas of godhood and deification. We are not subservient beings, we are not meant to be slaves to anything human or divine, we are not intended to remain in service to anyone or anything for eternity, nor jump through hoops to somehow “earn” a divinity we already have. As well illustrated in the 5th Dynasty:

“N. leads the gods; N. directs the divine boat; N. seizes heaven, its pillars and its stars. The gods come to him bowing; the spirits escort N. to his ba; they reckon (gather up) their war-clubs; they destroy their weapons; for behold N. is a great one, the son of a great one, whom Nwt has borne; the power of N. is the power of Setesh of Ombos.

“N. is the scribe of the divine book, who says what is and causes to exist what is not; N. is that eye of Heru, stronger than men, mightier than the gods. Heru carries N., Setesh lifts him up.

“As the name of Setesh, in Ombos, endures, so may the name of N. endure, so may this pyramid of N. endure, so may this his temple endure, likewise, for ever and ever.”

NOTE on use of Stellarium

Images are taken from the program with the coordinates for Naqada in 2,700 BCE. Stellarium falls under GNU General Public License version 2 or later, which can be found here: https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html

The milky way also appears in these images. The fullsky milky way panorama was created by Axel Mellinger, University of Potsdam, Germany. License: permission given to “Modify and redistribute this image if proper credit to the original image is given.”

Constellation art, GUI buttons, logo created by Johan Meuris (Jomejome) (jomejome at users.sourceforge.net) http://www.johanmeuris.eu/ License: released under the Free Art License

( http://artlibre.org/licence.php/lalgb.html)

So far as I can tell the default landscape falls under the GNU license. Full Stellarium license: https://github.com/Stellarium/stellarium/blob/master/CREDITS.md


Man, what a fabulous contribution to this forum.

Im going to be unpacking this for months. Haha

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I can’t say I agree with all of this post, but it’s great to see others who venerate the great Celestial Gods! Even though you follow more of an Egyptian practice, and I follow more of a Medieval practice (Inspired by Platonism and Hermeticism), but these great Gods are seen and known by all, regardless of continent or culture.


I’d be very interested in hearing where Egyptian and Medieval astrology vary, if @Xepera_maSet doesn’t mind a tangential discussion? Otherwise, @Dankquanicus can just DM me I guess.


There might be a bit of a negative sentiment towards the Sun here and in the previous explanation, but I would personally advise anyone against such a view. This is not much different to me than moderns “demonizing” Saturn. In places such as deserts, it is natural to view the Sun as destructive and evil, while in very cold places it’s natural to view the Sun in a much more positive light. And so, in Traditional European and Arabic Astrology, the Sun is neither a Benefic nor a Malefic, because he both creates and destroys, but ultimately does so to nourish and sustain the entire world (After all, nothing would be possible here without the Sun).

The light of the Sun causes the Stars to be hidden, but at the same time gives us sight and the ability to see, because the Sun’s power to produce light is much stronger than those of the Stars, and so the Sun rules over philosophy (Along with Jupiter). And fascinatingly, the Picatrix says that the Sun rules over those who worship the Stars (Planets and Stars in general)…

Part of the importance of the Sun’s role among the other Planets is that he gives them their light.

In any case, following Marsilio Ficino, the Stars have power and rulership over the Sun (The De Quindecim Stellis expresses a different opinion, but the former makes more sense to me), and Hermes Trismegistus in the Sixth Stobaean fragment says that the 36 Decans are the very highest of the Celestial World below the Primum Mobile, and so they drive all general events on Earth.

I want to add here, these are all just views, and no one view of the cosmos is entirely accurate or correct.

I don’t know anything about Egyptian Astrology. But when it comes to Ancient Egypt, as far as I’m aware, they didn’t have the precision tools necessary to perform the complex calculations that became an essential part of Hellenic Astrology, so they couldn’t reach that same complexity. So, it likely varies a huge amount.


I certainly agree that over time people came to worship the sun more and more including the Egyptians. That’s just how the Demiurge works, but it doesn’t mean we should give it honor. The sun is the symbol of the cosmic tyrant, he who says all other stars are fake and casts them down, he who says we don’t have our own light, only part of his. The deserts where the sun is destructive and evil is our ancestors religion, we all come from the same area that became worse and worse due to warming. The sun’s control and oppression of us is our shared history.

You actually bring up an interesting point, for in our culture the sun is much brighter than anything else. However this forgets the rise of light pollution, i mean Venus used to legitimately cast shadows back in the day, it was much brighter even when the moon wasn’t out. But yes the sun does overpower and obscure the stars, this is seen in the likes of Yahweh for example overpowering and obscuring the gods. It’s why darkness became evil instead of a balance to the light.


Then we will agree to disagree! Which is perfectly fine too. I come from a background influenced by Platonism and Hermeticism, so I don’t follow the Gnostic view (Or at least, the view of some of the Gnostics) of the Demiurge being evil, but rather that the Demiurge (The Greek word meaning “Craftsman”) is good, and especially close to The One. For interest, Plotinus makes many arguments against the Gnostics in his ‘Enneads’.

Perhaps @hypn0s would be interested in this topic.

As another note: Since I also come from a background of Traditional European and Arabic Astrological Practice, where when the Sun is in a Sextile or Trine aspect with a Planet or Star, they are empowered, and when they are within 16 Minutes in Conjunction with him (When this occurs we say that Planet is Cazimi), they are greatly empowered and strengthened, so I don’t see the Sun as inherently against any other Planet or Star.

Also, just for clarity, I didn’t say anything about the frequency of the worship of the Sun increasing or decreasing.


Interestingly it is the sun/solar forces doing just that, trying to cast doubt upon the gatekeeper to the great beyond, away from it reach. The demonization of saturn drives solar worship, very intentionally.

I think Byron sums this one up well:

"Evil and Good are things in their own essence, and not made good or evil by the giver; but if he gives you good––so call him; if evil springs from him, do not name it mine… One good gift has the fatal apple given,–– your reason:––let it not be overswayed By tyrannous threats to force you into faith 'gainst all external sense and inward feeling

I dont think a being is inherently good or evil, it depends on their desires and actions.

What “one”? What is a more demiurgic act than trying to force people into monism?

Right, it sustains the limited world of suffering which imprisons our soul and binds us to it. I dont suggest theres a right way to view that situation, but i subjectively do not find it positive or beneficial.

Sorry i was referncing this:

This illustrates our move from the warming deserts to cooler climates, meaning the changes took place over time with the suns power and worship increasing.

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I forgot to mention that most of egypt was above the tropic of cancer, meaning the sun was always to the south in opposition to the northern stars, though would often encroach upon the north.

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I’ve had a similar view of the sun “fracturing” the sky for quite some time.

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Yeah definitely. There’s a reason the first form of Monotheism worshiped the sun in particular imo. Of course monotheism still worships the same god only under different names.

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@Heathen_Hermit man I’ve thought of so much we didn’t go over haha. You should do some second round interviews!


Haha, that’s the plan!


Awesome! Definitely count me in if i survive listening to my first one tomorrow lol.

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I’m a little confused by something: You don’t seem to see all the Planets as “evil” like the Sun, but the Sun grants the Planets their light, including Saturn. How do you reconcile this?

That is, “The One” in Platonism, the ineffable first principle.

It is not a being, it is not a spirit, it is not even one, but rather it is the grounds of being. In Taoism, this is the Tao.

In the Celestial World, the closest to The One is the Primum Mobile, that black void that forms the background of the Stars, and contains the entire cosmos within itself, and from which the Stars rise out of. The darkness that gives birth to light.

In Platonism, it’s held that The One cannot be prayed to, but in Hermeticism they worship The One as God, although this is different from the general Christian idea of God, with God here being The One and beyond all things, the ultimate source of all things.

Force? The only people I see trying to force their beliefs onto others are Christians and Muslims, and they’re not monist.

Here again it comes down to perspective following which philosophy one follows, or how one has been shaped by personal experiences. In a more Gnostic view, our Souls are imprisoned in our bodies. But, in Platonism (And I should add Gnosticism in general was heavily influenced by Platonism), while we are of the “Race of the Gods”, mankind fell in love with nature and joined with it. It’s the same or similar in Hermeticism, as far as I understand it. So, under that view we have not been imprisoned here in that sense.

As far why the material world exists at all, Iamblichus says The One is similar to a fountain that overflows. It extends to the furthest that it can, and this world is the furthest from The One (And so, the most imperfect, with everything here being an image of the Perfect Forms), and thus the most imperfect. With the Demiurgos along with all the Gods maintain and create all things in the world, and while everything here is an image of the Forms and so, imperfect, under this philosophy the World is the best it possibly could be.

I want to add here, however, that in Platonism and Hermeticism, there are a few lines of Demiurges, since The One is beyond the Cosmos entirely. The Demiurge that creates the cosmos is identified with Zeus/Jupiter among Hellenic Platonists, and The Sun is another Demiurge in the line of Demiurges.

It’s definitely one view that the Sun fractures the Sky, and part of the view of the Sun being evil is that he purposefully obscures the Stars. An alternative is that the Sun did not choose his greater light (He did not choose his being), but rather this is his nature. The Sun’s obscuring of the Stars is also not necessarily antagonistic to the Stars, as the Sun signifies fame, and when a famous person walks into a place, the attention of the people immediately shifts and the people do not take notice of the others in the room until the famous person leaves.

A view that the Sun is not necessarily antagonistic to the Planets and Stars is certainly in line with astrological practice, as when a Planet is within 16 Minutes in Conjunction with the Sun they are greatly benefited, and talismans of them made in that time reveal their increased strength, or if they are a key significator in elections etc.

If I may comment on this: If you view Solar worship as causing its practitioners to only worship the Sun, then this is far from universal (And, before proceeding further, Medieval Christianity believed the Throne of God to be in the Primum Mobile, rather than the Sun).

The famous Harranian Sabians (Star worshippers of Harran) seemed to have a high reverence for the Sun, but continued to worship all the Planets, and seemingly even some Stars. I’ve also seen people who directly engage with the Sun enter into worship or interaction with many other Planets and Stars etc. And I certainly never felt an urge to only worship the Sun in my own practice. If I’m not mistaken, it’s similar in many “Eastern” cultures as well.

I think you might also view Hermeticism as worshipping the Sun, but Hermeticism highly encourages worship of the Gods in general, and Hermes Trismegistus in Book I of the Corpus Hermeticum makes a prophecy of a future Egypt that is forsaken and desolate, overcome by foreigners who neglect the spirituality of Egypt, and part of the cause of this disastrous Egypt is suggested to be the people ending their worship of the Gods.


I would probably most relate the planets to archons, though to our ancestors, who this would be all “set up for” if you will, could not distinguish between the stars and planets. The planets just seemed to move around more. Even then I think the solar system is a reflection of the stars, except where the stars describe our reality, the planets describe the illusion we exist in under the demiurge. The reason I see Saturn as more positive is because it is the gatekeeper to the great beyond and furthest from the sun, it is a balance, a neutral. The Ophites put Leviathan both in the center of all things and at the orbit of Saturn, for instance.

I suppose I do not see a reason to believe in this “one”. There is no single, unified core of being but rather a plurality, as illustrated by the stars.

My bad, I didn’t mean you or anyone trying to force people into monism. I mean a divine entity trying to convince humanity that it is the core and center of all things. A divine entity trying to convince people it is the only one.

I have pondered this possibility a lot, so let me ask a question I also ask(ed) myself: if you were a divine being and saw/knew about this world, would you choose to come here? For me the answer is no, I would never have been here by choice but remained in higher realms. To me this leads to the conclusion that I did not choose this or fall, but am prisoner.

I suppose this is precisely why I oppose it, I don’t trust or have faith in beings which need to steal the spotlight. It should neither be on the famous entity nor the others in the room, first and foremost it should be on the Self. The sun seeks to steal that spotlight.

I would only argue it depends on the definition of “far from.” I agree with some groups focus on the sun and some do not. I more mean to address what is most common and taught to us. For instance both Christianity and physicalism focus on a greater light the self is submissive and bound to, demean individuality, etc.


I’m enjoying this discussion so much. Haha

I don’t see it as inherently antagonistic, just inadvertently. Haha, just joking. It’s not that it’s antagonistic, there’s plenty to appreciate about the Sun; even from a so-called Left Hand perspective.

I was just referring to its proclivity to obscure “truth” and supplant a separate paradigm. From one perspective, the sky only turns black because the Sun is “gone,” but this is false. From another perspective, the Sun begins a process of disintegration, or dissolution and generates the stars from its own body before recollecting them at sunrise.


I used to feel the same way, before I got into more traditional practices. As I said, if one wants a Celestial example of this, it is what is behind the Stars, the great Void that is not one single point, but rather a great unified whole, that seems to enclose the entire universe within itself, and which gives birth to the Stars themselves. This is what is traditionally called the Primum Mobile.

For examples in the Elements (Being closer to the Material World, they are more imperfect), we first look to the highest (And so, the most perfect) of the Classical Elements - Fire, this is heat in general (See Agrippa’s first few chapters of the first book of his Three Books on Occult Philosophy to see that they did indeed view Elemental Fire more as heat/temperature in general rather than what we now refer to when we say “Fire”).

Heat permeates everything in the World, there is no object here that does not have it, and there is no hard boundary between temperature, but rather it mixes together seemingly as one whole.

The next is Air, which is one whole that connects everything together.

The next is Water, moisture being present in most things, and being found in the other Classical Elements as well, and our main body of “Water” is one large whole entirely connected.

We, and the other animals, and the flowers, and so on, are like individual Stars appearing within the singular whole of the Heavens.

So, there are certainly plenty of examples why someone would believe there is a “single” unified core to being (Hmm, “single”… as I said, in Platonism, The One is not even One. It cannot be named, but “The One” is considered to come close).

But, what personally got me to adopt the view of everything being unified is the practice of divination, the traditional branches of astrology, and magic involving sympathy, and this why this view was so important to many pre-modern practitioners, as it allowed for these sorts of practices, as at least I don’t see how they might be possible if there was no unity.

Horary Astrology is a good example. It is divination by looking at the state of the Heavens the time a question is understood, and through certain methods of judgement, obtaining the answer to the question from it.

This is to say, the entire cosmos moves together as one whole to such an extent that even our thoughts are aligned with the rest of the cosmos. This is similar with omens, and Plotinus argues that this unity of the entire universe as one body is how divination in general works (Divining things through the flight of birds was a common practice in the Roman Empire).

All this is best described through that famous paraphrased quote by Hermes Trismegistus from the Emerald Tablet:

“As above, so below”

I’m not sure how astrology as a whole, sympathetic magic, divination, and alchemy might work without an underlying unity to the cosmos, so this is why I hold this view personally.

Hmm, if you are referring to the Sun here, I’m afraid neither I nor anyone I’ve come across who worship/revere the Sun believe it is the core and center of all things, especially that it is the only one, and certainly haven’t experienced or observed the Sun himself trying to convince anyone of this. Rather, we seem to spread out to revere many other Gods. And, I am being honest about my experience and observence here.

Good question! I’m not sure what the Platonist reasoning for this is. Plotinus is one who suggested this idea of man falling in love with nature, and as far as I understand, he himself went through a great deal of suffering in his life, and before he became a Platonist he was a Gnostic, but alas, I haven’t read much of his Enneads. Reasoning on this matter would likely be found in that work.

But, to answer the question personally, to be honest, I’m not sure. I can’t say for sure. My heart is conflicted on it. It seems reasonable that one would not descend.

Apologies, the point I was trying to convey through that message was that often times it’s not the choice of famous people to have all the attention on them in a room (Sometimes, it’s not even their choice to be famous). So, the matter of the Sun “stealing the spotlight” would first depend on if the Sun chose his own existence or not.

It’s rather common for occultists to view Christianity as Solar worship, sometimes in an attempt to make Christianity seem more like those “Pagan religions of the past”.

However, here’s an interesting thing: When a person is born while the Sun is strong and well dignified, particularly his Domicile or Exaltation, they tend to have a stronger sense of self and individuality.

When the Sun is severely afflicted (Far from his own domain, that is, in his Detriment or Fall), the individual born then tends to seek to dominate others and force them into submission.

It’s great to be able to camly discuss and share views! I just sometimes take a long time to respond, as you know… (Sorry about that! But, it gives time to collect thoughts and contemplate, which is one benefit of this form of communication).

Definitely a lot of different ways to view it! There are reasons one could view the Sun as evil, as we have discussed here, and there are reasons one might even view the Stars as evil, since in the night there is greater danger and difficulty for us (Like it was said, the Sun brings about difficulty for us in some regions, and a similar comparison can be drawn here), and vicious animals come out in this time, as well as vicious humans being more active. But, in the perspective of the nocturnal animals, the Stars would be the greatest good. So, that is why I personally think this sort of “zoning in” is perhaps a bit too narrow of a look to see the whole of the nature of something.


I’m late! Been busy lately in my sphere of elements.

I don’t know much about Gnosticism, but I also disagree with The Sun being an evil demiurge. I like the imagery @Xepera_maSet used of him shining the brightest, obscuring other planets from view as the heavenly boss, and I can see how that line of thought is alluring, but upon further inspection, it seems to be a facade.

If we consider Qabalah, The Sun is at the heart of Etz Chaim in Tipharet. It is God himself (Kether) manifested in form as the Son, not another agent, and certainly not an evil one.

To me the two prime candidates would be Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter because, as the mundane chakra of Chesed, he is the first manifested actuality (as opposed to the manifested potentiality above Daath and The Abyss). He orders everything on the manifested planes; he’s the first solid, the king on his throne.

But, of course, Jupiter is the Greater Benefic, so it doesn’t really fit the evil demiurge, unless we considered him in his ill-dignified expression, which does indeed evoke the idea quite well.

My other thought would be Saturn, as the mundane chakra of Binah and the “virgin” matter; the womb of manifestation and, what comes with it, the bringer of sorrow as the Greater Malefic. In Genesis, it is also Elohim, the god-name of Binah, that performs the act of creation.

So, to summarise, I don’t know enough about Gnostic thought to arrive at an answer, but those would be my 2 picks.