Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic: A Friendly Introduction to Creating Modern Magic with the Seven Energies, by Rebecca Beattie
Moon Books,1803411767, 152 pages, August 2023
What if you weren’t at the mercy of the planets, but rather could learn to work with their energies in order to create magic? Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic: A Friendly Introduction to Creating Modern Magic with the Seven Energies by Rebecca Beattie is a guide to connecting with the Seven Planetary Powers to enhance your spellwork. Within this book is all you need to learn about each planetary energy and different methods to invoke their powers.
Since Beattie’s focus is on the Pre-modern Universe, this book focuses on the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn (sorry Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto!). She draws upon traditional grimoires of this time, such as Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, and takes readers back in time through history to understand how these planetary energies were observed by cultures of the past. The illustrations in the book “are taken from pre-modern woodcuts from either the grimoire tradition, or medieval tomes on the nature of the universe,”1 which is great for those interested in occult history.
Before delving into the energies, in addition to the history of grimoires and planetary magic, Beattie covers topics such as twenty-first century magic (the conscious/unconscious mind), the Kabbalah, planetary kameas (magic squares) and sigils, working with herbs, tarot correspondences, planetary days and hours (magical timing), and Orphic Hymns. She also acknowledges how source texts are often contradictory, noting in this book she primarily focuses on Agrippa’s work. For those who read additional sources from this time, Beattie recommends keeping a notebook to keep track of differences in order to make up one’s own mind.
The chapters for each planet pretty much follow the same format. They begin with an Orphic Hymn followed by an introduction to the planetary energy by Beattie. She explains how working with the planetary energy can be helpful and then provides the kamea, sigil, Agrippa’s suffumigation, incense recipe, sigil, seal, examples of deities with this energy, tarot correspondences, and then practical magic section. The practical magic section varies depending upon the planetary energy, but various examples include oil recipes, bath salt recipe, tea recipes, herbal sachet recipes, and candle magic recipes, along with planet-specific spells.
And I just love how well organized it all this whole book is for reference! I admittedly own a copy of Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, but the books are hefty and quite long; they are not something I could easily carry around for reference. In comparison, Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic is short, sweet, and densely packed with all you’d need for planetary magic spellwork. This is a book that I could keep in my backpack or near my altar for reference.
Plus, Beattie makes it so easy to figure out which planet to work with by including a long list of intentions, alphabetically ordered, with the corresponding planet. From abundance to worry, the A-Z list of intentions also includes breaking contracts, dreams, fertility, mental power, peace, sea-faring protection, preventing theft, and so much more!
I recently started a new fitness plan, so I decided to bolster my motivation with some spellwork. Using the list of intention, I found “Athetlics – endurance”2 and saw it was ruled by the SUN. This is something I wouldn’t have guessed, since I figured Mars would be the planetary energy for all things athletic. I decided to draw the seal of the Sun and tape it on my water bottle. And then I also followed Beattie’s directions for making a solar candle for health, which was anointed with the solar oil for success recipe Beattie also provided.
In addition to the practicality of the book having so much information in one place, my other favorite thing about this book is the inclusion of deities beyond the Roman pantheon the planets are named from. Beattie writes:
“It’s the quality of the planetary energy that is important, not the name, and while the deities they were named for might be ascribed masculine or feminine genders, the planetary energies aren’t gendered in this book as I don’t consider them to be gendered.”3
I appreciated this non-binary approach to the planetary energies. And furthermore, I also highly enjoyed how for each planetary energy Beattie included alternative deities to work beyond the traditional Roman one. For instance, other Saturnian deities included Osiris, Hel, Persephone, and Binah. Beattie shares a bit about the deity, how they reflect the plantery energy, and sometimes even specific ways to work with them (i.e. offerings the deity likes).
Overall, Pagan Portals – Planetary Magic: A Friendly Introduction to Creating Modern Magic with the Seven Energies has been a delightful read for me. Beattie is a wonderful guide for those who want to learn how to include planetary magic in their practice. Her ability to concisely present a vast, ancient magical system without skimping in detail is truly so valuable for readers. I appreciate the work she has done so that we all can have a handy guide for planetary magic. It’s a book that I am certainly going to keep handy for reference. Whenever I want to carve a planetary sigil, it’ll be quick to find it in this book. Or when I want to create incense or an oil, all the information I need is right here.
Alanna Kali is an astrologer, numerologist, and pioneer spirit that loves to explore life through the lens of depth psychology. She has a passion for studying the humanities and social trends. Her academic work is centered upon reuniting body, mind, and spirit through eco-psychology. She loves reading, spending time in nature, and travel.