The Power of Asteria: Applied Astrology for Magic is a much-needed book for practical magicians. I am cheating with this review as I helped edit the book, but my reason for doing so is that this book is important. While astrology and magic went together for centuries, modern magic’s relationship with astrology has been problematic and poorly defined.
A magician who is lucky to have a teacher or training might be told that they must work on a waning moon for banishing, or a waxing for something they might want to gain something. If they are very lucky they might be told to do a ritual during one of the planetary days or hours. However, the actual astrological information has been thin on the ground. To be fair, most astrologers would not be aware that some of their tools can be used for magic and there are no books available where this information is clearly laid out.
The Power of Asteria: Applied Astrology for Magic carefully explains what you need to do, when and why. It draws on the broad range of Astrology from Hellenistic to the most modern material to give the magician plenty of tools to chose from. If you are like me you can safely ignore the impact of snowballs and outer planets named after Disney characters.
However, it provides the sort of information you need to time your rituals to obtain the maximum effect and avoid some of the problems which have blighted rituals. It could explain why a ritual which worked fine last week did not when you repeat it. It can also explain why a ritual might manifest differently.
The book provides the magician with several important astrological techniques. While they might be known to Horary or Electional Astrologers they are not familiar to most magicians. In this case the writers H Andres Villaviencio and L Alejandro Virgilio are working magicians so they have covered the information that they have used for their own rituals. As you would expect, this includes the magical hours and days of the week, but also how a ritual is effectively a magical child which has its own natal chart which must be as fit for the purpose as possible.
Sorting out the right time is complex and operation and Villaviencio and Virgilio admit you can’t get it perfect. However, you can avoid some real howlers that will stuff up your rituals or talisman making.
The Power of Asteria: Applied Astrology for Magic comes across as a solid text book rather than some of the flakier occult books out there. There are no attempts to try and sell the information, or a method, nor does it tell you to do stuff without saying why. Instead, it is just information you need to know, such as doing a ritual when the moon void of course you need to invoke a moon god to help the result manifest.
Here is the complete list of chapters: 1. Introduction 2. Fundamental astrological concepts 3. Moon in depth 4. Retrograde 5. Natal charts and magic 6. The fixed stars 7. Shem HaMephorash 8. Spirits of the zodiac chart 9. The Arabic Lots 10. Planetary days and hours 11. Astrological exercises 12. Predispositions 13. Bonus: Guide
There a lot of books in an occultists library, but a lot of them are of limited use. This book is entirely useful and will need to be consulted before any ritual. It comes thoroughly recommended.