I've been meaning to delve into this topic for quite sometime since I never use the term magick. So in this blogpost I will cover a few of the key elements and differences between planetary magic and magick respectively.
A magician is known to be someone able to alter the elements to their will. The term magic was often referred to as a work of ‘illusion’, whereas the term magick was created to define "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will." and create a distinction between both practices. These topics were widely discussed by Cornelius Agrippa and Alesteir Crowley respectively. Agrippa’s work was more focused on Astrology and nature’s cycles, whereas Crowley considered himself a magician, investing his time in developing his own cult and rituals after being trained in ceremonial magic after he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
As someone who has implemented and worked with planetary magic over the past few years, I can appreciate the differences between both systems, which are very noticeable and key to understanding how both systems work.
Magic is a faculty of wonderful virtue, full of most high mysteries, containing the most profound contemplation of most secret things, together with the nature, power, quality, substance and virtues thereof, as also the knowledge of whole Nature, and it doth instruct us concerning the differing and agreement of things amongst themselves, whence it produceth its wonderful effects, by uniting the virtues of things through the application of them one to the other. – Cornelius Agrippa
One of the main differences between planetary magic and magick is that planetary magic requires a specific timing and set up. It is something that can be used daily, but works in a much different way than magick does. Planetary magic uses the energy of the planets, and so rituals can only be performed on specific days and times (of the ruling planet specifically) in the case of wanting to use a transit for magic purposes (let’s say to cast a talisman, or create an oil essence), there's a short time window to work with as it will depend on specific transits and correlation with the celestial bodies. On the other hand, magick can be used anywhere, anytime you feel it is the optimum and right time to perform the ritual.
The results using planetary magic are, in many cases, not instant, as opposing to magick practices. Planetary magic can take a few rituals to obtain the result one seeks depending on the purpose behind the ritual, where the relationship between the person performing the ritual and the planet becomes stronger. So you need to bond with the energy for the planet first.
When it comes to planetary magic, those who seek to use the energy of the planets are not called magicians, as they are a channel / medium that works with the power of the celestial bodies to assist them in their will. Therefore, those who practice planetary magic (myself included) like to call themselves priest/priestess. Because you’re working with the energy of the planets in a collaboration or as an offering as opposing to working on your own.
One must find out for oneself, and make sure beyond doubt, who one is, what one is, why one is ...Being thus conscious of the proper course to pursue, the next thing is to understand the conditions necessary to following it out. After that, one must eliminate from oneself every element alien or hostile to success, and develop those parts of oneself which are specially needed to control the aforesaid conditions. (Crowley, Magick, Book 4 p.134)
Which leads me to the next point of distinction between both practices. Working in a planetary magic ritual means you are channeling the energy of the planets, therefore the planets are seen as energetic entities, allies, good spirits assisting you in your endeavours. Each one of the seven traditional planets (the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) have their own energy, personality, voice and nature. They all have different elements related to them, colours, scents, flavours that must be considered when performing a ritual. Wearing black clothes, which could be used in a ritual to work with Saturn, would be a form of disrespect if you were to wear them for a ritual to work with the energy of the Sun. When it comes to magick, there are no rules. You create your own rules. It’s a process of trial and error where you learn how to master the elements to make them work to your advantage. Therefore, you are the creator and as opposing to a collaboration between you and some external energies (like the planets in the case of planetary magic).
Planetary magic requires knowledge of the cosmos and the celestial bodies, and more specifically about the traditional aspects of astrology. There is an important stage of study and research that must take place before delving into practicing magic and rituals working with the planets and their individual energy. From transits and planetary alignments to significations to planetary days and hours, planetary magic is a subject in itself, with specific steps and details to look after when being performed. There are rules and steps to follow.
Magick, on the other hand, is a personal practice that keeps unfolding as we immerse ourselves into it. Some people like to create grimoires (which translates as "book of spells" or '"spellbook" about their own rituals, things that have worked out for them, but this does not necessarily mean it will work out for you. So, in a way, magick is a process of self-discovery and creativity where a magician learns to work with the elements and their own energy in synergy. That’s why in Tarot ‘The Magician’ card depicts a learning process and mastery.
I hope you found this post informative and helped you appreciate the differences between both systems, which are equally effective and valid depending on your own personal preferences.