Astrologer and mage Rory Keys joins host Jenn Zahrt to share the astrology books he’d use to get off a desert island (clever info on fishing spots, scorpion repellant, and boat construction included)! Throwing down the astrological gauntlet, Rory and Jenn cover substantial ground: traditional and medieval astrology; electing by the last aspect of the Moon; planetary hours; several timing and forecasting techniques; hermetic lots, bound lords, and beyond! Plus: 100-year-old book shops, the decans, and… can we really profect from anything?
Episode timestamps (conversation recorded July 2023):
00:31 – Rory joins us from London, where he loves to study the revival of traditional astrological techniques and innovations from the Hellenistic era.
00:48 – We jump right in! What was the first astrology book that landed in Rory’s hands? Astrologickal Magick by Estelle Daniels, which offers an excellent introduction to astrology and a hilarious writing style. He also appreciates that Estelle shares info on planetary hours and the last aspect of the Moon. (Side trip to Austin Coppock’s 36 Faces included at no extra charge!)
10:07 – Rory has put serious thought into how to get off a desert island using only three astrology books! His first selection, which presents oodles of reading material, is Vettius Valens’s epic tome The Anthology. Lots of hidden treasure here!
22:01 – Want to have access to primo fishing spots, as well as scorpion-repelling help? Then dig into Rory’s next selection, the Picatrix: A Medieval Treatise on Astral Magic translated by Dan Attrell and David Porreca.
23:34 – Finally, to construct a boat – and for practical purposes – Rory will bring along Benjamin Dykes’s English translation of 'Umar al-Tabarī’s Arabic translation of a Persian translation of Dorotheus of Sidon’s poetic treatise on ancient astrology Carmen Astrologicum, originally penned in Greek verse in the first century AD. (It’s ok! We’ll give you a second to catch your breath!)
26:59 – What books would Rory suggest to a beginner? Definitely Astrologickal Magick, because there are treats in there not found elsewhere in a single text. For a focus on Hellenistic astrology, check out Chris Brennan’s Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune. (Bonus? It’s so big you can build a shelter with it!) The previously mentioned, out-of-print 36 Faces offers a unique perspective on the decans of the zodiac, if you can find a copy! Finally, take a dive into The Great Introduction to the Science of the Judgments of the Stars by Abū Maʿshar Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad, translated by Benjamin Dykes. This last one has wonderful footnotes and presents tons of great info!
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