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Monday, May 18, 2020

Rapheal Versus Michael: Battle for the Crown of the Sun

          My new forthcoming book includes conjurations and spells based around work with the planetary angels. The test team who tried out the conjurations had a few questions along the way. Two of them asked why Raphael was listed as the archangel of Sol instead of the archangel of Mercury. It’s a question that comes up routinely. Some magicians do it one way some the other way, and many of them don’t even realize it’s something that’s up for debate. Some magicians think there’s a hard-fast right or wrong on this one. Honestly, as much as I like thinking of stuff as having a right answer this is one where I recognize there’s a basis and reasons for each, and both correspondences work, because the angels are simply bigger than that.
          For magicians who don’t understand that the angels are not themselves the planets, nor are they the same as the gods with whom the planets are associated, this idea that both can be true might be harder. If someone thinks Michael is Sol is Apollo is Tifaret, or Michael is Mercury is Hermes is Hod then they need there to be a single answer because they need these persons to be discreetly one thing so they can support their view that the correspondence is identity. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, those that think that way just don’t get it. So, the angels are left to be bigger than that thinking.
          With that said, here is some of my thinking on the matter.
          Personally, I’m not super invested in the argument, I’m comfortable with Raphael associated with the Sun and Michael associated with Mercury because initially I learned it that way. The Golden Dawn correspondences do it that way. They also recognize that the two play a little switcheroo and so on a different level the Golden Dawn also swaps them.
          First and foremost, Raphael makes sense in the Sun for me because the Sun is to me the main source for healing. Think about the feeling of a warm spring day. It’s therapeutic. The Sun is the chief amongst the planets, it is the perfection – the completion; of the concept of a planet. Healing is not fixing a problem, healing is completing or perfecting a state. Healing is removing deficiencies by restoring balance and order to a system. This concept is related to the Sun and to Tifaret. The Sun does this in our cosmos, the solar nature of Gold is the expression of this in alchemy. In the Kabbalah this is the nature of Tifaret. Tifaret orders the spheres around it, it is the heart, and it transmits the rightness of divine light from the higher into the lower, ordering it into a balanced state. So if we’re talking the divine concept of healing we’re talking the Sun.
          Now some people think that Raphael as a healer belongs in Mercury because Mercury relates to medicine. There is a difference between medicine and healing. Doctors are often associated with Mercury but the patron of doctors was Asclepius, a son of Apollo. The work of healing is solar. Medicine is Mercurial. Apollonian concepts are echoed in the rulership of Mercury. Apollo rules oracles, Mercury rules tools of divination. Mercury introduces himself to the world by stealing his big brother Apollo’s cattle, he is rewarded by taking rulership of those things with which Apollo is finished. This is not to belittle Mercury. Mercury is wonderous. Medicine as a tool of Mercury is his because it is a form of knowledge. It is the knowledge of technology used to facilitate healing. It is not the same as healing itself.
          So why would Michael belong in the sphere of the Sun? Michael is the likeness of God, and the Sun is the cosmic likeness of God. Michael is the general that commands the angels, just as the Sun commands the planets.
          One of the people who asked me suggested that Michael seems Martial rather than Solar or Mercurial. That actually makes a lot of sense. Sometimes I think Gabriel would make sense associated with Mars based on his name, but we associate Gabriel with the Moon. Gabriel is God’s herald or messenger so that would make sense in Mercury. For Michael, Michael is again God’s general. He is the archistrategos, or the high strategist of the divine host. Being a strategist may make sense in Mercury because it has to do with knowledge, analysis, planning, and communicating commands and plans. If we take it simply as an expression of military power then Michael begins to make sense in Mars. If we view Michael as the warrior who casts down the enemy then Michael makes sense for Mercury. If we view Michael in connection with the Maioral and as the scourge and the sun bathed sword who casts back the darkness at the dawn, then he simultaneously is Martial, the force of war and strength that commands away the devils, and Solar, the rising Sun that pushes out the darkness.
          So how is Michael Mercurial? Again, Mercury takes on attributes related to Apollo. Michael is God’s likeness, so he takes on attributes like unto God. Michael is one of the many angels who is a Prince of the Presence. These angels appear to mankind and represent God or speak on God’s behalf because mankind can’t receive God directly. They are messengers of the highest order. Again, as the high strategist, he plans, he communicates plans, he analyzes threats, all of these being intellectual elements. The Princes of the Presence are, in some cases, associated with writing the decrees of Heaven, and thus again this is a Mercurial function. Michael defeats Satan, this is Martial right? Well…are we talking Christianity or Judaism? In Christianity sure, it’s Martial. In Judaism it’s different. Satan is not a person, Satan is a title which refers to a group of angels, the Satanim, who at time, but not always are led by Sataniel. These are not the evil angels, those are led by Shemyaza and Mastema, although Mastema is also one of the Satanim. Of the Satanim, Samael, who at times is linked to Mars and other times to Saturn, is often considered to be the equivalent of the Christian Satan, the chief opposer. Samael is the Prince of Rome and with Rome as a special enemy of Israel Samael’s job is to present the evils of Israel in the divine court and call for their persecution. Michael is the Prince of Israel and his job is to speak of Israel’s righteousness and glory and counter the message of Samael, so much so that all the evil deeds Samael calls to be written of Israel are burned while Michael’s proclamations are written. This is a very Mercurial way of defeating Satan. In fact, it’s not just speaking and writing, it’s legalistic. Michael is the defense attorney for Israel acting in the divine court on their behalf. While law and legalism and court victories are associated with Venus, lawyers are associated with Mercury.
          Michael is abundantly Mercurial. So, what about Raphael? What’s Mercurial about Raphael? Well honestly, not much. Again, Raphael relates to healing, which is Solar, not to medicine, which is Mercurial. If we equate healing and medicine then sure we can associate Raphael with Mercury, but there isn’t much other reason. Mercury has a vast array of rulerships and elements, but Raphael only really shows up in a story about healing someone.
          Again, different books present it differently. Different magicians approach it differently. You can probably learn different things about the Sun and different things about Mercury calling each angel for each. The big thing though is people aren’t correspondences. You and I each relate to many, many different things and have a whole depth to the complex of elements which form our characters. Non-human persons are often like this too, particularly the lofty complex and powerful ones. Gods, angels, and demons aren’t simply a row within a column in 777. They are bigger and deeper. We have to approach them as such and learn from them their vastness.

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