This article was originally posted in 2009. Astrologer Dave Mockaitis has a fascinating essay connecting the Yezidi, a Kurdish people on the border of Syria and Iraq, back to the Picatrix, a collection of Arabic texts that was widely used by mages during the Renaissance period. He then draws connections back to the Sabians of Harran, adding a layer of interest to my post on the Sabian Symbols,
He then goes back to Hermes Trismegistus, a fascinating quasi-mythological figure who appears to combine the Greek Hermes with the Egyptian Thoth, leading many (including myself) to postulate that perhaps those two were actually the same being – perhaps an Atlantean survivor who served as the messenger of ancient wisdom (Hermes and Thoth are both gods of knowledge and magic). The saying “as above, so below” is attributed to Hermes Trismegistus – the Thrice Great.
From Dave’s article:
The dictum “as above, so below” describes the connection between the core level of reality experienced by humans and the movements of the heavenly bodies. In contemporary astrology, it is generally thought that planetary phenomena cause or are reflected in events on Earth. However, the magical tradition takes this concept one step further by harnessing or cocreating with the planetary phenomena. Many hermeticists feel that these acts even comprise a spiritual practice because by working with the planets, they come closer to “the one” (Warnock “Hermetic Gnosis).
This ancient magical practice of working with the energy of the planets in an alchemical process rather than in a relationship where a dependency on one’s fate is created. Dave concludes,
Approaching the planets as forces which can be worked with and embodied, the mage is in a position of active engagement with the solar system, rather than merely reporting on what is likely to transpire. The Yezidi are proof, then, that alternative astrologies are alive if not doing terribly well. As the descendants of a group with a materialist approach to the cosmos, the Yezidi may be the closest living link to the prehistoric Mesopotamian roots of astrology.
I would argue that the Yezidis are not the only culture with links to an astrology that uses this alchemical process; this is the very basis of my own client work as many of you know. The magic in the process of our interaction with our reality each day to create a different experience is no longer relegated to the laboratories of ancient alchemists – modern scientists are each day discovering the magic of the conscious universe!