Unlike other angels, Cassiel is depicted as detached from worldly affairs, more inclined to watch events unfold without interference. Medieval angelologists named Cassiel the Archangel of Saturn.
These angel-scribes knew Cassiel by many names — including Kaziel, Cafziel, Quaphziel, Qaspiel. The Qabalistic text Sefer Raziel, pseudo-Peter d’Abano’s 13th Century Heptameron, and the scholar Averroës all list Cassiel as Saturn’s angel, as do numerous later magical texts following in their tradition.
But assignations of Saturn’s angel are by no means universal. Perhaps that’s to be expected from the Archangel of Saturn. Saturn is the faintest of the visible planets; to the ancient astrologers, he separates the world of Nature from the mysterious world of Spirit.
And, for astrologers, Saturn finds his joy in the 12th house – the so-called “house of hidden things.” Cassiel’s been called the “angel of solitude and tears,” appropriate for one who sets himself apart from others.
The classical virtue associated with the planet Saturn is sophrosyne, a complex concept evoking temperance, moderation, prudence, and self-control. In mythology, Saturn ruled over a golden age where all were possessed of such self-discipline, there was no need for laws or punishment.
And so, calling Cassiel the “angel of temperance” essentially names him the Archangel of Saturn.
The astrological Saturn’s also wrapped up with the concept of time. As the slowest moving planet, Saturn has had to do with maturity and the aging process. The Greek’s name for the planet Saturn was Kronos, the father of the god Zeus (Jupiter). But their god of time, Chronos, has such a similar pronunciation to Kronos, it’s unsurprising the two were already being conflated by the Roman era.
And hence, Cassiel became known as the “angel of time.” There’s also a deep, esoteric tradition associating time with the veil between worlds; it’s when we were entangled in Time, that Nature fell from Grace.
Cassiel also presides over the deaths of kings. The reference might be obscure, until you remember that it’s the Sun that represents kingship in astrology.
In the astrological metaphor, the Sun’s Zodiacal sign Leo governs the height of summer, when the norther hemisphere has the greatest light and heat. On the other hand, the Saturn-ruled signs Capricorn and Aquarius rule the darkest months of winter. The Winter Solstice marks the “death” of the Sun, or the death of kings.
But where there’s death, there’s always rebirth. And so celebrations of the Sun’s “rebirth” are often held just after midwinter, including the Christian celebration of Christmas.
When you need to step back from life’s emotional roller-coaster, or when you need self-discipline and focus to accomplish great things, invite Cassiel to come to your aid. The most auspicious time to connect with Cassiel is Saturday – Saturn’s day – or in the Saturn hour.
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