Solar talisman

Solar Talismans ~ The Operation of the Sun

To extend the celebrations of my many years around the Sun, I am excited to announce the launch of the Solar Talismans

My idea for releasing Solar Talismans in November (edit: end Nov- beginning Dec) is more about this month being historically one of the darkest and rainiest times of the year (in the Pacific Northwest) than it being my Solar return. Last year was my first winter here as a transplant from Australia (a place generally known for its warmth and sunshine) and when November hit I was not prepared. It had started raining on the day of the Venus Cazimi in late October and it didn’t let up for what felt like three months. I recall by Thanksgiving last year I was feeling dragged by the weight of the dark skies and I was not looking forward to a repeat this year. So, I am sure you can understand why Sun talismans were at the top of my list of Talismanic elections over the summer. I was hoping for a good and solid election with the Sun in Leo; what I did not expect was that I was going to find the Operation of the Sun

For those of you who may not know, the majority of chart based magical astrological elections are selected based upon a pieced together list of considerations mainly found in the Picatrix, as well as Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Ficino’s Three Books on Life, the teachings of Dorotheus, and the list goes on. The Picatrix differs from these other sources for it also contains explicit instructions for very specific ritual workings that provide an exact astrological configuration accompanied with ritual instruction. Some of the astrological considerations of those workings are so specific that they might only come about once every twenty years or more: this was one of THOSE elections. 

The Election

It required it to be a Sunday, the Sun to be in Leo and the Moon to be in Aries at the Sun’s exaltation degree. To find all of this on a Sunday we could speculate probably comes about once every 20 years. I was able to get the Sun rising in Leo on a Sunday with the Moon in Aries on the Midheaven. Both the Moon and Sun were free from influence from the malefics and the Moon was separating from its trine to the Sun and applying a trine to Venus. 

I followed the ritual explicitly, making only minor adjustments. The Operation of the Sun can be found in Book III, p 200 of the Warnock and Greer’s translation of the Picatrix, and p 347 of the Attrell translation, known there as “A ritual of the Sun.” 

The following is an abridged excerpt From: Christopher Warnock translation, “Picatrix Liber Atratus: Books 3 and 4 (Complete Picatrix Liber Atratus Edition Book 2):

The Operation of the Sun

When you wish to do the magical work of the Sun, do it on a Sunday, the Sun being in Leo and the Moon at the 19th degree of Aries. Prepare an appropriate house that is clean and bright, and ornament it with the costliest cloth you have. Place on it seven golden images, and if you are not able to make them of gold, then you may use wood. Put jewels of red jacinths and pearls on them. Place the images in the middle of the house. Place on the table pastries made from wheat flour that has both wet and dry portions, and somewhere in the middle of them place a pitcher of wine, and around the table, vessels with many different types of pleasant smelling things such as nutmeg, camphor and amber, and place myrtle in the house. Afterwards light a large wax candle, and place it on something high that will place it before the images, and say: "Tebdeluz, Dihymez, Andulez, Dehycayz, Aginafez, Mahagnuz, Ahadyz, Tuymeryz." And when the aforesaid has been spoken, make your petition for what you propose to ask for. When this is done, call together some of your friends and acquaintances and eat the food and drink the wine. Afterwards they should leave the house, because then you can petition the spirits of the Sun and they will hear you clearly.

I made seven golden images which are themselves talismans, in accordance with one of the image descriptions in the Picatrix:

The image of the Sun, according to the opinion of Mercurius, is the shape of a man standing on his feet as though wanting to salute those around him, and he is holding in his left hand a round shield; beneath his feet he has the image of a dragon. This is his shape.

To create the image I first drew it by hand and then carved it onto a print block for relief printing. On the morning of the election as the Sun was in the first house moving towards the ascendant I rolled out  printmaker's ink onto the carved print block and printed each of the seven images onto gold painted wood pieces. These images were created with the friction of heat as the images were printed using a flat hand-held tool called a baren which is made from bamboo and is used to press paper (in this case wood) against the print block. To apply the ink, the wood was rubbed with force in a circular motion until the ink was transferred.

 I then engraved an image for the Sun into each piece of amber and followed the directives of the Picatrix laying pearls and jacinth-like gemstones onto the images as well as the pieces of amber. Oil based paint takes two days to dry which means ink from the images was transferred onto the gemstones enspiriting them with the spirit of the golden Sun images. For the Picatrix tells us:

When crafted at the right and opportune times, the magical images receive spirits and the pouring down of planetary powers and thus are akin to living bodies from which ensue wondrous effects.

This talismanic working was different to the others in the respect that the nature of the inspiriting ritual - into gemstones rather than metal - meant that I was able to be especially creative in the making of each piece. I decided to create a collection rather than a single talisman and lovingly handcrafted each piece - most of them being one of a kind. As you may know I am a gold and silversmith and I hand craft all of my pieces, sculpting them by hand from wax, and then using ancient techniques of lost wax casting and sand casting to make the final pieces in solid sterling silver. Each talisman contains a large piece of amber and some also contain small garnets. The pendant talismans have the depictions of Greek Solar divinities, Helios or Apollo on the back which can be used to create wax seals.


I have created one ring design to house the pearls from the operation. Pearls are not traditionally assigned to the Sun but rather to the Moon and Venus, but this operation called specifically for pearls and so I have used them. The Moon is the natural reflector of the Sun and in this election she is in the second face of Aries which belongs to the Sun and also at 19 degrees which is the Sun’s exaltation degree. Here we can think of her as playing a very strong Solar supporting role. 

We know that the Sun’s radiance helps us to shine bright in the world and put ourselves forward with confidence. We also know that the Picatrix tells us that we should petition the Sun to gain favor with people with authority and in positions of power, to boost our public standing, reputation, and acclaim. All of this was the basis for my petition to the Sun, however my underlying reason was that I wanted to bring the Sun's light and life with me into the darkest time of year. When life outdoors begins its yearly death cycle we become more susceptible to the cold humors, and to melancholy - especially the Saturnian folk. Medicinally, I thought with the Sun being hot and dry, the Sun talismans may act to balance the cold and wetness that pervades in the winter and help to foster the inner equilibrium of a balanced temperament. 

So many factors have changed for the brighter since last November -  as it often happens when it comes to talismanic workings. Just prior to my birthday we moved to a new home I have nicknamed the Sun House as it is positioned on a hill and facing south to receive the Sun's light all day long. In the PNW this is a great boon, for during winter if the Sun does break through the clouds it may only do so for a short period of time and  - in this now best case scenario -  I am not going to miss it. In addition to the boon of the Sun House, it has been an unusually sunny November with few rainy days. Since we have had a beautifully temperate Autumn, I have been able to bring our dear life giving Sun with me both talismanically and physically. 

Qualities of the Sun

The Orphic Hymns tell us that Solar blessings are health, peace and wealth and that the Earth, Sky and Sea all belong to the Sun, who is the Fixed Star at the center of our Solar System. My talismanic work to date has been largely focused on the fixed stars of other solar systems, but it is important for us to remember with all of our celestial gazings that our Sun is the star -  be it wandering or fixed - that we are in the deepest symbiotic relationship with. 

If we look at the etymology for the word symbiosis we find it comes from the Greek sym and bios, which translated means together and life, or life working together. We are in every way reliant on the Sun for life, and while it is true the Sun can burn and we should take precautions, we need to be clear; without them we would not exist. We are Solar powered. 

The Sun rules the head, the heart, and the vital spirit and there are many overt qualities that the Sun bestows. These are:

 Honor, Intellect, Perception, Leadership, Beauty, Motion, Authority, Good reputation and public standing.

The Picatrix and Agrippa tell us that a Sun talisman may bring us much fortune and provides the following list of attributes: 

  • Exalts to high positions
  • Reduces fear  
  • Brings success
  • Bestows eloquence
  • Elevates reputation, especially amongst people of influence 
  • Brings glory, victory, and fame
  • Makes one amiable, pleasing and powerful in all works
  • Fulfilment of desires

The Solar current is punk as fuck

When I posted The Operation of the Sun to socials back in August I made the statement that the Solar current is Punk as Fuck.  I am often reticent to post my workings to socials, especially right after the event and this is because I like to follow a protocol of secrecy around my magical operations until the very end - when I am releasing talismans. But straight away I knew this work wasn’t supposed to be secret, because the Sun doesn’t follow rules written in books, it creates its own lore, its own rules. 

Punk is a subculture that has been butchered and made hollow by the mainstream - by the overculture. But the real punk -  the core - of the punk ethos is centered around authenticity. It is about knowing and staying true to the self. It is about maintaining a core set of values and ethics despite social and financial pressures to conform.  Punk is a refusal to compromise integrity. It is anti-sellout (sellout is common expression for the compromising of a person's integrity, morality, authenticity, or principles by forgoing the long-term benefits of the collective or group in exchange for personal gain, such as money or power). Punk brought us DIY, the “do it yourself movement”, which is the forward motion Solar action of following our dreams and passions with integrity no matter what obstacles we might face, make that art, make that music, put it out into the world, put yourself into the world. Punk says fuck you to the marketing gimmicks and gurus that the overculture - the mainstream tells us we NEED to be successful. Punk tells us we CAN do it ourselves, for ourselves, and without needing to conform. We can do and be whoever we want to be. 

That is the Solar Current. 

I have been a practicing artist for 26 years. For most of those years I was a struggling artist and I have always had a fear of public speaking. I have given artist presentations before in my career, but since crafting the Sun talismans I have been able to overcome my stage fright. Because of my fears, I hadn’t spoken publicly about my magical practices and work as a gold and silversmith until November, on the day of my Solar return, when I gave my first presentation at the Astromagia conference about the art that has been at the center of my life for almost a decade. Presenting my passion to the public in the form of a lecture and receiving an abundance of positive feedback has boosted my confidence tenfold. I feel self assured in my capabilities as a public speaker and teacher going forward and this experience has opened up a world of possibilities in my mind. 

That is the Solar Current. 

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