Deneb Algedi Talismans
This was my first winter solstice tied to the tropical zodiac in over 10 years. I found myself plunged into a dark winter I had never before experienced. Something that is unique to few regions of the world, the pacific northwest being one, and a stark contrast to the scorching summer heat of Capricorn season in Australia. There is a magic in this land that is both familiar and foreign to me and the period of time surrounding the winter solstice in this [area of] country is as equally enchanting as it is haunted. The ancient tradition of the Yule tree - of bringing a pine tree into the home took on a new significance, and for the first time I began to understand the nature of pine. I have seen very few trees in my life as tall and majestic as the pines in the PNW. They are ancient, wise, and as evergreen they are unchanging. As overseers they are spirit protectors of the land and at Yule when our need for protection is heightened it is the pine we turn to and bring into the home to place in the hearth (the heart) to be our protector in the dark.
Deneb Algedi’s plant is the pine.
These talismans began as drawings on a page, which became my reference for the sculpture I carved from a block of jewelers wax and cast into sterling silver. The working culminated on the 15th April 2023 at 4:20am PT with the Moon on the AC conjoining Deneb Algedi within a degree and making a tight sextile to Jupiter with the next aspect being to the Sun. The Moon was free from hard aspects to the malefics. These talismans were finished during this election, the untreated Turkish chalcedony cabochon gemstones were set into each talisman, S+S Saturnian King materia placed under the gem which was then hammer set and polished (which heats the metal) this is done in accordance with both Agrippa’s instruction to set the stone into the talisman during the elected time with the herb placed underneath, and Ficino’s theory that hammering and heating being the process which brings about the power latent in the material when done at the right time.
WIP: initial drawings and wax carving
The moment I put on the Deneb Algedi Talisman I felt held and grounded. These talismans contain a calming and protective energy. However it’s not all smooth sailing for Deneb Algedi has the tendency to spotlight your blind spots, making areas of weakness glaringly obvious in order to help you see what needs altering or renovating in your relational field. One of Deneb Algedi’s lessons is that to be grounded in our power we need to be fortified. This means boundaries. I’m not talking about building a Saturnian fortress to imprison ourselves within. Deneb Algedi is more akin to the Yule pine we place in the hearth of the home to bring warmth to the heart during a time of cold darkness and keep unwelcome spirits at bay. Or the shepherd who gathers and protects; gathering resources and allies to you while protecting from potential harms such as the wolf at the gate and unseen threats in the dark.
Many people talk about the grandfather or grandparent nature of Deneb Algedi which I do believe was coined (and aptly so) by Kaitlin Coppock. My thoughts are that this analogy resonates so deeply because our dear ancient guide and protector is primordial. Some of my favorite mythological stories of them are found in the accounts of the horned god Pan. Within Greek mythology we find a direct link from Deneb Algedi to Pan in the tale of the Capricornus which was said to be either Pan himself, Pan's father, Pan’s child, or one of the Panes - the multiplicity of Pan. Perhaps the most common story is the one where Pan turned himself into Agiepan; a goat with a fish tail, in order to assist Zeus in his battle with Typhon and when Zeus was torn limb-for-limb it was Agiepan who put him back together. In reward Zeus placed him in the sky as the Capricorn constellation.
The pine tree is sacred to Pan.
If we trace Pan back we find ourselves in Arcadia with the Arcadian Pelasgians- the earliest recorded inhabitants of the Penepolese. So ancient their origins that in antiquity the Arcadians were often called proselênoi, meaning those who preceded the moon. The Arcadian Pan was lord of mountains and a shepherd, he lived atop Mount Lykaion and it was there that he sheltered goats and sheep as well as any other animal pursued by wild beasts. His home was a sanctuary where no wolf dared enter. To the Arcadians Pan was the herdsman par excellence and his pastoral function of protection extended beyond the sphere of the human shephard for his care was given to all who needed it, wild or domesticated. Pan was worshiped as the divine master of the animal world. Arcadia was called the “land of Pan” so linked to his country of origin that myth sometimes even suggested he was earth-born.
How long Pan spent in his homeland before being transmitted throughout the Hellenic world in the 5th century BCE we can only guess, but we do know it is not long after this that Pan was uptaken by the Orphics. In Orphism he was envisioned to be the great cosmic god who contained the four elements that make up the physical universe. From his humble origins as a divine shepherd Pan is refigured as the ruler of the universe to whom all submit, even the Sun. In this interpretation of Pan by the Orphics I see refractions of ancient Babylonian star lore, for the Goatfish was called the star of creator god Ea and held the titles: he of vast intellect, and lord of the sacred eye, as well as being the one to shepherd the Sun through their rebirth at the winter solstice.
We know little about the Goatfish other than they can be dated back to 2168 - 2050 BCE and that they were in the entourage of the god Ea/Enki, Enki being the Mesopotamian name and Ea the Sumerian name of the same deity. Affinity between Enki and the Goatfish can be found in many archaeological depictions with the Goatfish often being represented at Enki’s feet; it has been suggested that the Goatfish was sacred to Enki. As one of the three most powerful gods in the Mesopotamian pantheon Enki was known as the god of water and fertility and the creator and protector of humanity. He brought civilization to humankind by sharing the wisdom of the civilizing powers called the Me’s which included: farming, building, magic, metallurgy and crafts. It is here we can find a throughline from Enki to Prometheus to the Watchers of Enoch.
I have woven together these fragments of myth because it is important to learn and share the stories of the spirits we are in relation with, it is through these stories that we can begin to understand the character and nature of our patron but please know that this is only a snippet of what is available to us and I deeply encourage everyone who comes into relationship with these talismans to continue to seek out the stories for themselves.
The Enthroned Enki (B.M. 103232), The British Museum
Within the myths we can see the traits assigned to Deneb Algedi throughout astrological literature but it is in the Bodleian MS (collection of ancient manuscripts) that we find the Book of Fixed Stars, an astronomical text written by Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi around 964CE which contains the first know existing recorded account of a talisman made for Deneb Algedi and it’s magical applications. It says that “a talisman made when the Moon conjuncts the tail of Capricorn rising gives favour in lawsuits, improves the home in which it is kept, keeps the home secure, and increases all manner of riches”.
In this short passage we again see reflections of the Pan and Enki myths. Pan being the guardian of sanctuary protecting the flock from external dangers and Enki being the creator of civilization (and thereby the law) who taught us the skills of the gods so that we could thrive and prosper. <As for the ways in which these skills have been used to create dystopian realities is on us - a result of our collective fragmentation and lack of imagination and not in my opinion the fault of our benefactors.>
I want to highlight gives favour in lawsuits as I have an anecdote attesting to this. I have been involved in the kind of legal matters that surround locality and foreignness during the period of this working and have experienced a major acceleration of positive results which I have been freshly (and synchronistically) informed of as I finish writing this piece. I have done the math and calculated that I secured my favorable results 4.5 times faster than the current shortest stated processing timeline (just in time for me to release the talismans) and while I usually shy away from sharing personal details this has been too large a boon not to mention.
I have also collected some external data. I sent an early release talisman to my client Dr AnaLouise Keating who has been with me since the beginning of my journey as a talisman maker and over time we have developed a friendship. Her many reflections over the years on my talismanic work has been such a gift to me and I hold her to the highest esteem for all of her achievements for she is an academic; a university professor as well as an author, spiritual activist and yoga instructor. She has given me permission to share some notes she sent me on her thoughts and experiences so far with her talisman:
Initial reactions: Grandfatherly energy? No. Grandmotherly energy. Or perhaps Grandparently. Ears buzzing so shrill, and I heard: “We are in partnership. How can I help?” The spirit of Deneb Algedi is ancient, ancestral, grandfather- grandmother.
Simply holding this Talisman while meditating is a profound experience.
Characteristics & Names that Came to Me:
- Lord of the Deep
- Most Ancient Doorkeeper
- Champion of the Underdogs
- Liminal One
- Lord of the Thresholds, Goddess of the Deep
- Lord of the Sacred Eye
- Wise One
- Wisdom Keeper
- Preserver of Secret Knowledge
- Loving Father-Mother (maternal father?)
“We make our own luck,” the old Sea-Goat states. “But I can help. Just ask, and then work with diligence and focus.”
I feel a profound sense of loving support when I wear (or meditate with) this Talisman, as if it connects me more deeply to an ancient fatherly-maternal force (these gendered categories are too limited!).
Grounded. Solid. Stable. Like Saturn, but without the occasional cruel streak. (There is nothing punitive here, whereas sometimes with Saturn, the intensity can feel brutal.)
- Attention to details.
- Success through determination and effort.
- This is a worker talisman, a builder.
- Good for group work (work performed in groups and work performed alone, for the group): This Talisman supports work for (and sometimes–though not always–with) the collective. Hard work.
- Dedication to a cause (which can sometimes feel like the cause–because the cause is so huge, so overwhelmingly important)
- Deneb Algedi’s pace is slow and steady. Reliable, like a slowly boiling pot
- Forging forward.
- Scrambling upward but also–grounded and guided.
Deneb Algedi gives a boost up–like a stepping stool, something we can stand on to go higher, to reach our goal.
Overall Impressions (thus far)
I have had a connection to Deneb Algedi previously, but this talisman has increased my connection exponentially. I see three key areas/themes where this Talisman works its magic:
(1) Increased Energy & Support
(3) Protection & Boundaries
- Diligence, Resilience: Support for hard work
- This trait came through first
- Great support for supposedly impossible tasks. Support might function like a stepping stool–a boost up: more energy, expanded vision, unexpected assistance from others, inspiration.
- Relatedly, this Talisman fortifies–like taking vitamins.
- Resilience: the endurance to keep going.
- Slow to anger, calm and wise. Patient. Beneficent.
- Great for cultivating resilience, for pushing through.
- Harmonizer & Synthesizer: Links the unexpected. Relational.
- Deneb Algedi: The Great Harmonizer
- Bringing opposites together, creating bridges.
- Connects unlikely people, ideas, categories, things, etc. (This linkage can be important for social justice work and for leadership work - leaders need to bring together people with divergent perspectives.)
- Unlikely pairings & transformation.
- This trait might go with knowledge production–creating new insights from disparate material.
- Boundaries & Protection
Boundary work has been the most overt and materially measurable characteristic thus far, due to our squirrel problem. However, it was the third of the three traits to show up! And here’s how:
Assistance with our Squirrel Problem: We have squirrels everywhere--the trees, the yard, the attic. I would not mind, except that one of our dogs (part Jack Russell Terrier) goes absolutely nuts about them. When I began working with the DA Talisman, I asked for help with the squirrels (that they respect our boundaries). Shortly thereafter, we heard this very weird battle or skirmish or banging around in the attic- very unusual. Like a spirit or fox battling. The squirrels have not been in the house since then.
On a personal level, I’m incredibly empathic, with a heavy dose of claircognizance. When wearing this Talisman, I can remain more grounded and not get swept away by other people’s emotions and thoughts. This is especially useful when teaching, presenting, and traveling. I’ve been inspired to create new meditations for grounding & protection.
Brady, Bernadette. Star and Planet Combinations. Wessex Astrologer Ltd, 2008.
Eratosthenes, et al. Constellation Myths. Oxford Oxford Univ. Press, 2015.
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Simon and Schuster, 23 Nov. 2021.
Horry, Ruth. “Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses - Enki/Ea (God).” Upenn.edu, 2010, oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/listofdeities/enki/, http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu../listofdeities/enki/.
John Michael Greer, and Christopher Warnock. The Picatrix. Adocentyn Press, 2010.
Kaske, Carol V. Marsilio Ficino, Three Books on Life: A Critical Edition and Translation. Medieval & Renais Text Studies, 1 Nov. 2019.
Philippe Borgeaud. The Cult of Pan in Ancient Greece. Chicago ; London, University Of Chicago Press, 1988.
Robichaud, Paul. Pan. Reaktion Books, 13 Oct. 2021.
White, Gavin. Babylonian Star-Lore : An Illustrated Guide to the Stars and Constellations of Ancient Babylonia. London, Solaria Publications, September, 2014.
Deneb Algedi - Cut-Up Poetry as divination - made when the Moon conjoined Deneb Algedi in January 2023.