Planetary Seals in the Western Occult Tradition

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Planetary Seal of Saturn

Planetary Seal of Saturn
Catherine Beyer

In the Western occult tradition, each planet can be represented by a seal or diagram. The seal is based on the planet's magic square, with the seal theoretically touching every number within the square, although in practice that is not always apparently the case.

The Seal of Saturn follows the convention of overlapping every number of the magic square of Saturn in a distinctly orderly fashion. The upward pointing triangle includes numbers 1, 2, and 3. The diagonal line touches 4, 5, and 6, and the bottom-pointing triangle includes 7, 8, and 9.

The circles appear to be for aesthetic reasons.

02
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Planetary Seal of Jupiter

Planetary Seal of Jupiter
Catherine Beyer

In the Western occult tradition, each planet can be represented by a seal or diagram. The seal is based on the planet's magic square, with the seal theoretically touching every number within the square, although in practice that is not always apparently the case.

The Seal of Jupiter follows the convention of overlapping every number of the magic square of Jupiter. In addition, the seal's construction reflects the method of the square's construction. There are a variety of number pairings which were originally inverted, and these numbers are all touched by the two diagonals. The circle includes the remaining numbers which were not moved during the construction of the magic square.

The circles appear to be for aesthetic reasons.

03
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Planetary Seal of Mars

Planetary Seal of Mars
Catherine Beyer

In the Western occult tradition, each planet can be represented by a seal or diagram. The seal is based on the planet's magic square, with the seal theoretically touching every number within the square, although in practice that is not always apparently the case.

The Seal of Mars does not follow the convention of overlapping every number of the ​magic square of Mars. Three squares are missed entirely: 1, 5, and 21.

The Mars seal is structurally similar to the seal of Venus. In mythology, Mars and Venus are lovers and thus are a pairing. In an earth-centric cosmology (such as what occultists worked within when these seals were designed), Mars and Venus are the planets closest to the Sun, which holds a special position and role within the cosmology.

Read more: Structure of the Celestial Realm, and the Importance of the Sun

The specifics of why the seals of Mars and Venus are constructed as they are is much more elusive than for the other seals.

04
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Planetary Seal of the Sun

Planetary Seal of The Sun
Catherine Beyer

In the Western occult tradition, each planet can be represented by a seal or diagram. The seal is based on the planet's magic square, with the seal theoretically touching every number within the square, although in practice that is not always apparently the case.

The Seal of Jupiter follows the convention of overlapping every number of the magic square of Saturn. In addition, the seal's construction reflects the method of the square's construction. The diagonal lines intersect with numbers which were inverted in the first stage of the square's construction, similar to the seal of Jupiter.

The rest of the numbers are included via a symmetrical design. The use of curves instead of straight lines may or may not reference the astrological symbol for the Sun. The circles in the four corners are most likely for aesthetic reasons, as appears to be the case with the other seals.

05
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Planetary Seal of Venus

Planetary Seal of Venus
Catherine Beyer

In the Western occult tradition, each planet can be represented by a seal or diagram. The seal is based on the planet's magic square, with the seal theoretically touching every number within the square, although in practice that is not always apparently the case.

The Seal of venus does not follow the convention of overlapping every number of the magic square of Saturn. Twelve squares are missed entirely: 3, 5, 7, 15, 19, 21, 33, 35, 36, 43, 44, and 47.

The Venus seal is structurally similar to the seal of Mars. In mythology, Mars and Venus are lovers and thus are a pairing. In an earth-centric cosmology (such as what occultists worked within when these seals were designed), Mars and Venus are the planets closest to the Sun, which holds a special position and role within the cosmology.

Read more: Structure of the Celestial Realm, and the Importance of the Sun

The specifics of why the seals of Mars and Venus are constructed as they are is much more elusive than for the other seals. Donald Tyson suggests that the upper symbol may be a "V" for Venus coupled with an equal-armed cross. That cross, along with the circle, crescent, are the three basic shapes used in the construction of the astrological symbols of the planets. This makes some sense because 7 is the number of Venus and is also associated with the planets because there are seven of them within this system. The cross, circle, and crescent can also represent the Earth, Sun, and Moon on their own.

06
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Planetary Seal of Mercury

Planetary Seal of Mercury
Catherine Beyer

In the Western occult tradition, each planet can be represented by a seal or diagram. The seal is based on the planet's magic square, with the seal theoretically touching every number within the square, although in practice that is not always apparently the case.

The Seal of Mercury follows the convention of overlapping every number of the magic square of Mercury. In addition, the seal's construction reflects the method of the square's construction, and the method is similar to the that used in the seal of Jupiter.

There are a variety of number pairings which were originally inverted in the creation of the magic square, and these numbers are all touched by the two large diagonals or the four smaller diagonals which make up the inner box. The four circles include the remaining numbers which were not moved during the construction of the magic square.

07
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Planetary Seal of the Moon

Planetary Seal of The Moon
Catherine Beyer

In the Western occult tradition, each planet can be represented by a seal or diagram. The seal is based on the planet's magic square, with the seal theoretically touching every number within the square, although in practice that is not always apparently the case.

As drawn here, the seal actually does intersect with every box of the magic square of the Moon. However. as commonly drawn, there are actually several squares that are not included.

Like the seals of Mars and Venus, the seal of the Moon is based on a magic square with an odd number of boxes per row. Also like those two seals, this seal commonly does not include all boxes.

However, the seals of Mars and Venus are asymmetrical, and while they bear many similarities to each other, they bear far fewer visual similarities with the seal of the Moon.

It may be more helpful to compare the seal of the Moon with that of the Sun, as Sun and Moon are commonly seen as a pair as the great luminaries of the sky. Both seals are comprised of two large, intersecting diagonals, and both contain four crescent shapes. The crescent shape is particularly appropriate for the Moon, which frequently appears as a crescent in the night sky. The common astrological symbol for the Moon is also a crescent.

Donald Tyson suggests that the 13 small circles in this seal may correspond to the 13 lunar months that are in a year. However, since he considers those circles to have only aesthetic value in the other seals, this may very well be a coincidence.