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Hermetica Triptycha

Volume I: The Mercury Elemental Year

Gary P Caton

Forthcoming: 2017

Hermetica Triptycha is a new series of astrological grimoires that explores both the deepest traditions and newest frontiers of astrology through the lens of the planet Mercury.

Messenger, trickster, psychopomp, Mercury’s myriad forms belie a genuinely complex character. And yet to most modern astrologers he remains a relatively one-dimensional figure. Caton’s Hermetic triptych is designed to ground you in the actual observation of Mercury as a living planetary phenomenon, and to bring the lessons of this planetary divinity back to the world of applied astrology.

Before the Common Era, Mesopotamian astrologers knew the intricate movements of the visible planets and could accurately predict their movements. This gave birth to detailed ephemerides and symbolic facsimiles of the sky, but ironically, it also gave rise to an astrology that could be practiced in isolation from the vast temple of the living heavens. In Hellenistic times, astrologers subsequently lost touch with their observational roots, and, like prisoners in Plato’s cave, they mistook the shadows of things for the luminous realities.

Mercury’s dynamic phases, his nodes and transits, the shapes of his retrograde loops, and his propensity to spend more time in one elemental triplicity than all the others combined—have critical applications in practical astrology. Going far beyond sign, house, and aspect, they provide the crucial contexts for understanding the meaning and purpose of Mercury at any given moment. Each volume of the Hermetica Triptycha explores a unique dimension of this multifaceted planetary divinity, bringing ancient knowledge to life for a modern audience.

Volume 1

The Mercury Elemental Year

Even before the advent of western tropical astrology, Plato recognized that the Sun, Mercury, and Venus all complete a full circuit of the Zodiac in about a year. However, while it is true that Mercury traverses the Zodiac in this period, he does not spend an equal amount of time in each sign. Rather, Mercury shows decided preferences, spending as much time in the three signs of one Elemental triplicity as the other three combined. An extended stay of such a speedy planet represents an ideal alchemical environment where the volatile is made fixed. Tuning into the themes of the Mercury Elemental Year, you become naturally resonant with the symbolic currents of the times in which you were born, and those in which you live, work and grow. 125 years of ephemerides, additional commentary, and lessons are included.

Volume 2

The Phases of Mercury

This volume provides the first ever mapping of the planet Mercury’s motion as a visible star in accord with both classical and modern structures of myth. The phenomenological dynamics of the astronomical cycle of Mercury as a visible ‘star’ through his morning sky, evening sky, and invisible incarnations is examined and correlated to mythic structures in order to humanize the cycle and discover its deeper purpose. Where you were born in this process makes a huge difference in what kind of Mercurial roles your soul intends to inhabit, and what kind of Mercurial magic is possible at any given moment.

Volume 3

The Nodes and Transits of Mercury

This volume contains the first ever treatment of Mercury’s latitudinal cycle vis-à-vis Mercury’s planetary nodes with the ecliptic, which move through the zodiac on a scale slower than the precessional cycle. Not all retrogrades are created equal, and the shapes of Mercury’s retrograde loops are examined and mined to reveal why. The astronomical transits of Mercury are then examined and organized into Saros series. 

About the Author

Gary Caton

Gary P Caton is an eclectic astrologer who embraces an organic, process-oriented approach to spiritual growth and transformation via engagement with the living sky. In 1993, after an intensive exploration of shamanism and tarot, Gary was initiated into the astrological sciences by a dream that revealed the Sun-Venus cazimi. In 2002, Caton received a Bachelors in Counseling Psychology from Old Dominion University, and over the past twenty years he has developed a unique multidisciplinary astrological practice. Gary resides in Asheville, North Carolina, surrounded by the Smoky Mountains, and the ancient homeland of the Cherokee.

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