This page discusses a number of intertwined concepts and spirits including the holy guardian angel or personal daimon, also known as the genius or tutelary spirit as well as astrological time lords, plus the almuten figuris (chart ruler) and the Perfect Nature from Picatrix. This page also explains how to use an astrological chart to determine guardian angel or time lord names and how to calculate the almuten figuris of a chart. Check out the Guardian Angel Personal Daimon Almuten Figuris Perfect Nature Video
Renaissance Astrology Natal Readings including the Full Natal Reading and Mage's Reading and Spiritual Path Reading include the guardian angel/astrological time lord name as derived from the birth chart as well as the almuten figuris determined using Ibn Ezra's method.
Angel comes from the Greek angelos "messenger" and in Christian theology angels are spirits who are messengers, ministers and servants of God. In the fully developed medieval system there is a hierarchy of angelic beings with angels at the bottom, rising through archangels, principalities through many different levels to seraphim and cherubim who are the most powerful and closest to God.
In Catholic doctrine each person has an angel who guides and protects them: their guardian angel. "From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. 'Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.'" Catechism of the Catholic Church citing St. Basil, Adv. Eunomium III, 1: PG 29, 656B.
Psalm 90:11 says, "For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways." St. Jerome says, "how great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it." Comm. in Matt., xviii, lib. II.
Similarly in Neo-Platonic thought each person has their peculiar daimon or tutelary spirit. The Greek term daimon (also spelled daemon) is an intermediate spirit and while the source of the term "demon" includes a wide range of spirits that can be positive, neutral, negative, involved with and indifferent to humans. Their key attribute is that they, like the angels, are intermediaries. For humans the personal daimon intermediates between higher spirits and spiritual principles and us.
There are many different ways in traditional astrology to astrologically identify the guardian angel or personal daimon. The Renaissance mage Cornelius Agrippa summarizes many traditional sources and notes,
"Now the ancient Phylosophers teach us to know the nature of the Genius of every man, by Stars, their influx, and aspects, which are potent in the Nativity of any one; but with instructions so divers, and differing amongst themselves, that it is much difficult to understand the mysteries of the heavens by their directions."
"For Porphyrie seeks the Genius of the Star, which is the Lady of the Nativity: but Maternus either from thence, or from the Planets, which had then most dignities, or from that into whose house the Moon was to enter after that, which at the birth of the man it doth retain. But the Caldeans enquire after the Genius, either from the Sun above, or from the Moon. But others, and many Hebrews think it is to be enquired after from some corner of the heaven, or from all of them. Others seek a good Genius from the eleventh house, which therefore they call a good Demon; but an evil Genius from the sixth, which therefore they call an evil Demon."
Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk III, ch 21.
However, the 3rd century Neo-Platonic philospher Iamblichus disagrees that any one astrological factor is solely associated with the personal daimon,
"If I am to reveal to you the truth about the personal daemon, it is not from one part only of the heavenly regions nor from any one element of the visible realm that this entity is imparted to us, but from the whole cosmos and from the whole variety of life within it and from every sort of body, through all of which the soul descends into generation, there is apportioned to us an individual lot, assigned to each of the parts within us according to an individual authorizing principle. This daemon, then, stands as a model for us even before the souls descend into generation. When a soul has selected a daemon as its guide, then straightway it stands over it as the fulfiller of the various levels of life of the soul, and as the soul descends into the body it binds it to the body, and it supervises the composite living being arising from it, and personally regulates the particulars of the life of the soul; and all our reasonings we pursue thanks to the first principles which it communicates to us, and we perform such actions as it puts into our minds; and it continues to direct men’s lives up to the point at which, through sacred theurgy, we establish a god as the overseer and leader of our soul; for then it either withdraws in deference to the superior principle, or surrenders its administrative role, or subordinates itself so as to contribute to the god’s direction of the soul, or in some other way comes to serve it as an attendant."
De Mysteriis 9.6
This passage raises many interesting issues. For example, Iamblichos insists that the astrological signature of the personal daimon comes from the entire chart and not simply from an individual factor like the chart ruler or almuten figuris. This fits nicely with Agrippa's method of deriving the spirit name from multiple chart points which we will discuss below. Another interesting point is that the soul choses the personal daimon before embodiment and that the daimon is a guide and model for us throughout our lives. The daimon also is a conduit for communication with higher spiritual realities. Finally, it is possible to spiritually advance, specifically through theurgy to the point that the personal daimon is replaced by a god or higher spiritual entity.
Iamblichos also notes that "[i]n the theurgic hierarchy, that secondary entities are summoned through the intermediacy of their superiors, and in the case daemons, then, the single common leader of the cosmocraters (planetary gods) in the realm of generation sends down to the individual recipients their personal daimon." De Mysteriis, IX, 9. This explains how the guardian angel/personal daimon fits into the traditional spiritual hierarchy, so that while the guardian angel is unique, it is also under the influence of superior spirits.
The contemporary traditional natal astrologer Robert Zoller summarizes his views of the guardian angel,
"What then is the guardian angel? It is the seed idea or understanding that is the cause of your existence as a separate embodied human being. This seed idea regulates your life constantly by trying to keep you on course in the endeavor to realize the essential worth or good which is the hidden driving force behind the external manifestation of your life history."
"Angels" Robert Zoller, page 19.
So the guardian angel is more than just the New Age idea of a helpful sprite that makes sure your seat belf was buckled before an accident. The guardian angel is a higher expression of our self, and in fact a truer expression of the myriad influences we see in the natal chart. The guardian angel is also a connection to higher spiritual forces and to the divine. The guardian angel/personal daimon is astrologically connected but this connection is complex and multifarious. Finally, not only is it potentially possible for us to "move up" to a more spiritually advanced guardian spirit, but we are under the jurisdication, so to speak, of many spirits, so that the guardian angel plays an important but not the only role as spiritual guide and intermediary.
Given their importance considerable emphasis has been placed on contact with the guardian angel or personal daimon. The most famous method of contacting the guardian angel is the Abramelin Operation contained in the early modern grimoire The Book of Abramelin. The Abramelin Operation is very involved taking between 6 and 18 months depending on the translation and involving repeated exorcisms and binding similar to Goetic or Solomonic grimoiric magic.
But the fame of the Abramelin Operation can obscure the fact that this is not the only method of contacting the guardian angel or personal daimon. In fact there are myriad methods available for contracting and interacting with the guardian angel/personal daimon.
In fact there are myriad methods available for contracting and interacting with the guardian angel/personal daimon. One of the simplest is the Catholic prayer to our guardian angel,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum pietate superna,
Angel of God, My guardian Dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this "day" (or "night" if you say it at bedtime),
Be at my Side,
To light and guard,
To rule and guide,
The 4th Century Neoplatonic philosopher Iamblichus says, "...the invocation of daemons is made in the name of the single god who is their ruler, who from the beginning has apportioned a personal daimon to each individual and who in the theurgic rite reveals...their personal daimon to each...in the case of daimons, the single common leader of the cosmocraters [planetary gods] in the realm of generation sends down to the individual recipients their personal daimon. However, when the personal daemon comes to be with each person, then he reveals the mode of worship proper to him and his name and imparts the particular manner in which he should be summoned." De Mysteriis, IX, 9.
So Iamblichos' method is to theurgically invoke the ruler of the planetary gods who is the source of the personal daimon/guardian angel and then the personal daimon once contacted provides details of how to invoke and interact with it. The contemporary theurgist Patrick Dunn cites this passage from Iamblichos and provides detailed instructions for invocation of the guardian angel/personal daimon, which he calls cultivation of the genius which is exercise 6.1 in chapter 6 in his Practical Art of Divine Magic. Dunn's suggested process involves purification, invocation, visualization, offering of incense and contemplation.
The contemporary traditional astrologer Robert Zoller provides a method to come to knowledge of the guardian angel using meditation. He says this method is a proxy for theurgic invocation.
This may require persistent and regular practice of 15 to 30 minutes a day for a given length of time. Exactly how long will vary from person to person.Procedure
Sit in a comfortable position and relax. Allow your breathing to be regular: neither too fast nor too slow; neither too deep nor too shallow.
When the body and the mind become still, turn your attention inward to the Witness which is identified as that within you which is watching what is happening. This may happen almost immediately or it may take time.
The mind often “chatters “and gives a running commentary or criticism of whatever is taking place. This must be allowed to subside before real success in this meditation can happen. Do not try to suppress the noise in the head, just let it go and keep returning your attention to the Witness.
Once your attention rests in the Witness, a sense of well being and certainty will arise. After communing with the Witness for a time, call to mind your own face. See it as clearly as you can and ask "Who are you?" At first, nothing is likely to happen, but after a while, the mind will begin presenting images, emotions, memories and strings of associations to the Witness.
The Witness will be able to regard all this with a benign
indifference, self sufficient in itself but aware of the stream of
answers to the question asked. Allow yourself to ponder these
images etc and to remain aloof as if you were reviewing a friend's
life. Upon ceasing the meditation, write down what you
remember. Repeat this meditation as often as you like, but it is
advisable not to do it more than once a day.
Zoller, "Angels" page 23-4.
So, as we can see, despite the fame of the Abramelin Operation, there are many ways to contact the guardian angel/personal daimon and as a matter of fact, we are in constant contact with this spirit. All of these different methods are simply means to make that ourselves conscious of that contact and constant connection. And while not impossible, we should not necessarily expect some Hollywood movie fireworks or think that we have failed because we do not have a hallucinatory dialogue with a visible winged being. As Robert Zoller notes,
"Guardian angels impart to us their good influences by telepathically acting upon our imaginations and informing our intellect (understanding). That is, they can induce images in our imaginations suggesting a given action or an undesirable consequence of an action we are contemplating and they can insinuate into our understanding, reasons to do or not do something. In this way, they can indirectly influence our will per modum suadentis, i.e. by way of persuasion."
Zoller, "Angels" page 8.
Certainly if you want to contact your guardian angel or personal daimon it would be useful to know their name. To determine the name of the guardian angel or personal daimon I use the method provided by Cornelius Agrippa his Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Bk III ch 26. This method actually has a much wider application as Agrippa entitles this chapter, "Of finding out of the names of spirits, and Genius's from the disposition of Celestiall bodies" Agrippa explains how to take a chart and then assign letters to each of the 360 degrees of the Zodiac and then to take the letters at specific degrees and then assemble these letters into a name. This can be done for any chart, Agrippa gives the example of a talisman (literally image) or a magic ring and if you have the chart you can derive the name of the ruling spirit. This works for natal charts of people, but we realize that there is a ruling spirit of anything and for every possible astrological combination of time/date/place.
So as I mentioned I use what Agrippa calls the Arabian method from Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk III ch 26. You can see all of the methods given by Agrippa in TBOP Bk III ch 26. Agrippa says,
"There are also the Arabians, and many others, and some Hebrews, who finde out the name of a Genius by the places of the five Hylegians, and making projection alwayes from the beginning of Aries, and the letters being found out according to the order of Hylegians with the astrologers, being reduced into a known order, and being joyned together, make the name of a good Genius:"
Ok so the guardian angel/personal daimon calclulation uses the some of the methodology of the calculation of the Hyleg, the "giver of life" which is an important Hellenistic and medieval/Renaissance astrology technique for calculating the length of life. Basically the Hyleg is a type of almuten calculated by finding the strongest planet over a series of chart points, which are known as the Hylegical places. Ptolemy, the famous Hellenistic astrologer, says the 5 hylegical places are the degree of the Sun, the Moon, the Ascendant, the Part of Fortune and the Pre-natal syzygy which is a fancy way of saying the Full or New Moon most immediately previous to birth. Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, III, 10.
So using the Arabian method we start at 0 Aries and assign the first letter of the alphabet to 0 Aries, then the second letter of the alphabet to 1 Aries, third letter to 2 Aries and so on throughout the entire 360 degrees of the Zodiac, assigning each degree a letter in alphabetical order until we finish the Zodiac. While Hebrew is popular, we can use any language. I use and prefer English because I feel comfortable adding in vowels and pronouncing the final names. I don't personally use or provide Hebrew names because I am not fluent in Hebrew and thus don't know how to add vowels or pronounce the names.
So let's do an example. First of all, as for all natal charts, you need the accurate time, date and place of birth. For our example, I will be using the birth chart of King Henry VIII as provided in John Gadbury's Collection of Nativities at page 8. Gadbury lists Henry as being born at 10:40 am on June 28, 1491 (Old Style) at Greenwich, England, giving him an Ascendant of 27 Virgo. Using modern astrological software, 27 Virgo gives a time of 10:43 am. Close enough! For convenience sake I am going to use the modern software for the calculations which are close, but not exactly the same as given in Gadbury.
Let's look at Henry VIII's chart: the Sun is at 14 Cancer, Moon 11 Aries, Ascendant 27 Virgo, Part of Fortune 24 Gemini, and the Full Moon was most immediately previous to birth and was at 8 Capricorn. These degrees correspond to English letters as follows:
Sun = 14 Cancer = A
Moon = 11 Aries = L
Ascendant = 27 Virgo = V
Part of Fortune = 24 Gemini = G
Pre-natal Syzygy = Full Moon = 8 Capricorn = S
So Henry VIII's guardian angel/personal daimon name in English is ALVGS or Alvagas. A similar process could be followed for any alphabet. You can follow these instructions yourself or get a Renaissance Astrology Natal Readings as the Full Natal Reading and Mage's Reading and Spiritual Path Reading all include the guardian angel/astrological time lord name as derived from the birth chart as well as the almuten figuris determined using Ibn Ezra's method.
Several points, first this astrologically derived name could most precisely be termed the name of the time lord, the spirit presiding over this particuarly time, date and location. So as Agrippa notes this could be used for the spirit of a talisman, or almost any purpose, when we have the chart of the creation or inception of something.
When I provide the guardian angel/personal daimon name to clients as part of their natal readings what some say is, "I've googled this name and I haven't found anything, where can I look up information on my guardian angel?" This is completely understandable, and of course we would like to find out more information. But the problem is, since your name is unique based on your birthchart and everyone in the world has their own unique guardian angel, that would mean that there are over 7 billion different guardian angels with 7 billion different names. Who could sit down and write 7 billion different guardian angel descriptions? Where would the information for over 7 billion guardian angel be stored? So, no, there is not going to be any additional information on your personal guardian angel name online or anywhere else.
For a long time I had been reluctant to say, "I am 100% that the natal time lord name is the Holy Guardian Angel name" since I don't have personal experience with the Abramelin operation or working with the guardian angel. However, I got the following from a Mage's Reading client very recently,
"One thing I think you might find interesting: I had already contacted my guardian angel (HGA, etc) in the course of my magickal path. When that entity finally gave me its name it was a word very close to the one you found in my chart (the Agrippa, Modern), differing only in minor pronunciation differences. My HGA has other names as well, but that was the first one I learned. I have to say that even at first glance I am quite impressed with your reading."
This is really fascinating and is a strong indication that the natal chart time lord name does correspond to at least some of the guardian angel names. Note that the guardian angel can have a variety of different names.
The next connected concept we will deal with is the almuten figuris or chart ruler. Some traditional sources say that the ruler of the Ascendant is the chart ruler or the planet with the strongest essential dignity and best placement in the chart is the chart ruler. The medieval astrologer Ibn Ezra uses a typical medieval almuten technique, surveying a wide range of chart points and determining the planet with the most essential dignity over that range, as the almuten figuris, literally victor or ruler of the chart.
We will see how the almuten figuris is calculated and then we will also see some of its astrological indications. Finally we will see how the almuten figuris relates to the guardian angel and personal daimon.
So here is Ibn Ezra's method as explained by Robert Zoller. Find the essential dignities of the 7 planets in the degree of the Sun, the Moon, the Ascendant, the Part of Fortune, the previous syzygy (i.e. New or Full Moon closest to the nativity). Note that these are the same points that we looked at for the guardian angel/personal daimon name! Then add the essemtial dignity values for each planet: sign =5 , exaltation=4, triplicity ruler (day ruler by day or night ruler by night only) =3, term=2, face=1. Then add 7 points for the day ruler, and 6 points for the hour ruler Then add the following accidental dignity points to each planets' score depending on which house they are in.
1st house =12
2nd house = 6
3rd house =3
4th house =9
5th house =7
6th house =1
7th house =10
8th house =4
9th house =5
10th house =11
11th house =8
12th house =2
The highest scoring planet is the almutem figuris.
Now the almuten figuris is used by Ibn Ezra to predict the native's (person whose natal chart is being delineated) appearance and manner. Zoller citing Picatrix says,
"If the Almuten figuris is the Sun, the native will want to lead, express his creative power and be recognized. If the Moon, s/he will want to care for, be cared for, eat and make love, dream, etc. If it is Mercury, s/he will be diligent in the sciences, business and communications. Id it is Venus s/he will be a lover of beauty, of music, of men and women etc. If it is Mars, s/he will fight in order to dominate. If it is Jupiter, s/he will philosophize and teach. If it is Saturn he will retire from society, investigate hidden things and suffer adversity."
Picatrix Bk IV, ch. 5.
There are additional magical uses of the almuten figuris. Picatrix notes that if you invoke a planet, "[y]our petition will be quickly fulfilled if the planet to which you make your petition is the lord of your nativity; without this, it will be harder for your petition to proceed to its proper conclusion." Picatrix Bk Iv. ch. 4. Picatrix also says,
"If you wish someone to be obedient to your desire and not disobey your precepts, make the image out of a stone that is of a nature appropriate to the planet that has great power in the radix of his nativity and in his ascendant. Make that image in the hour of the same planet, and the planet that is dominant in the nativity should not be opposing, or in the same sign as, or in any aspect to, any planet of a nature contrary to it."
Picatrix Bk III. ch. 5.
But Zoller notes that Iamblichos rejected the identification of the personal daimon with just the chart ruler or one astrological factor but insisted that the personal daimon with identified with the whole cosmos at the time of the native's birth which Zoller saw as an affirmation of the identity of the almuten figuris as determined through Ibn Ezra's method which uses many chart points. Zoller "Angels" page 16. "The Almuten of the chart of the astrological method for determining what the peculiar Daimon is..." Zoller, Diploma Course, Lesson 14, page 12.
We seemingly have a paradox here. There seems to be support in traditional sources for the idea that the guardian angel/personal daimon is unique, yet Zoller identifies it with a specific planet, depending on the chart. In fact we can mesh these approaches, continuing to see the unique guardian angel but recognizing that that angel/daimon may also be part of the retinue or under the rulership or influence of one or even multiple planets, just as we are unique individuals but under planetary rulership.
The next connected concept we will deal with is the Perfect Nature as set forth in Picatrix Bk III ch 6. Here is a separate page with the Picatrix Perfect Nature text. Picatrix cites Socrates who says, "'What is the key by which science and philosophy are opened?' He answered, 'Perfect Nature.' They then asked of him, 'What is Perfect Nature?' He answered, 'Perfect Nature is the spirit of the philosopher or sage linked to the planet that governs him.'" Picatrix Bk III ch 6.
Robert Zoller says, "Natura Completa [Latin for Perfect Nature] is the term the Picatrix uses for the Higher Self, known in some circles as the Holy Guardian Angel." Zoller, Hermetic Magic in the Latin Picatrix, page 74.
Similar to the Abramelin Operation and the various theurgic operations mentioned above for contacting the guardian angel/personal daimon, the Picatrix Bk III ch 6 Perfect Nature passage explains how to invoke the Perfect Nature of the mage. This invocation is done with the Moon in the 1st degree of Aries, i.e. 0 Aries. The mage prepares 8 pitchers, four with various types of oil and butter and four with wine as well as a mix of oil, butter, honey and sugar. The mage then burns frankincense, mastic and aloe wood incense and invokes their Perfect Nature.
On one hand Perfect Nature seems to be a separate spirit. The mage invokes Perfect Nature who is said to then appear to the mage. But, Picatrix also says, "Perfect Nature is the spirit of the philosopher or sage linked to the planet that governs him." Picatrix Bk III ch 6. So Perfect Nature is neither separate from the mage, but is supra-personal, more than simply the ego self or mundane conception of who we are. And consciously knowing and manifesting the Perfect Nature is the key to true mastery. Picatrix says, "This is that which opens the closed places of knowledge, and by which is understood that which cannot otherwise be understood at all, and from which workings proceed naturally both in sleep and in waking." Picatrix Bk III ch 6.
So the Perfect Nature is the higher self, but the higher self created through a very special means: the union of the small self, the ego self, with the mage's planetary ruling spirit, which Robert Zoller identifies as the almuten figuris. Zoller, Hermetic Magic in the Latin Picatrix, page 73. Zoller also alludes to the dignification explained by Cornelius Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Bk III, ch.3 in which Agrippa discusses, "..by what way and means we may ascend to an intellect pure & conjoyned with the powers of the gods, without which we shall never happily ascend to the scrutiny of secret things, and to the power of wonderfull workings, or miracles..." Note that both Agrippa and Zoller emphasize that the dignification is more than simply a magical ritual or series of invocations, it involves long term study, purification and the attainment of wisdom as well.
So there is definitely a great deal of overlap between the guardian angel, personal daimon, almuten figuris and the Perfect Nature. But it would be a mistake to think that we can come to a final analysis of each of these concepts or make a definitive judgment about their identity or differences.
My sense is that the guardian has qualities that are unique, insofar as the guardian angel is connected to us individually and other qualities that are collective, insofar as we and the guardian angel itself are under the influence or tutelage of superior or perhaps more precisely spirits with a broader jurisdiction or identification. There are clearly a myriad of interconnected, yet not identical spirits who we are connected to, or under the rulership of.
Here, at this interface of the unique and the ubiquitous, the almuten figuris and the Perfect Nature come into play. The almuten figuris shows the planet or planets who are the primary spiritual connection for the individual at the celestial level. The Perfect Nature is the combination of the individual spirit and the spirit of the planet which Picatrix sees as the key to occult knowledge and the practical esoteric arts.
The magician seeking material effects need go no further than this point. But the spiritual seeker can forge on, as the Perfect Nature can also function as an astrologically determined path for deeper spiritual awareness. As our sources make clear, Perfect Nature is an ever present inward, as well as outward reality. What we take to be ourselves is, in fact, an incomplete manifestation of Perfect Nature and, in in a deeper sense, Perfect Nature is simply a wave on the ocean of luminous mind.
If you are interested in astrological magic and astrological talismans, the best way to learn is through the Renaissance Astrology astrology and magic courses, which include shorter, more focused mini-courses and the comprehensive full courses. The full Astrological Magic Course teaches the full range of traditional astrological magic including planetary, lunar mansion, fixed star, decan/face and house based talismans.
You can learn how to make predictions from birth charts and learn about the almuten figuris in the Natal Astrology Course. You can also get a Renaissance Astrology Natal Reading all of which include the Full Natal Reading and Mage's Reading and Spiritual Path Reading all include the guardian angel/astrological time lord name as derived from the birth chart as well as the almuten figuris determined using Ibn Ezra's method.