In Treasure House of Pearls John Crow recently posted about the Theosophical journals he’s been going through in his research on Alan Bennett (interesting stuff, you should check it out). He commented on the “institutional memory” these journals leave behind – an enduring physical record of events that occurred: lectures given, essays shared between countries and their responses.
While his post referred specifically to the Theosophical Society in comparison to the OTO, this echoed my experience with the of the occult ‘zines I’ve been rereading for a project I’m working on.
Many are probably familiar with Kaos and Chaos International, but what about Sut Anubis, Aquarian Arrow, Primal Chaos, The Philosopher’s Stone? With something as disparate as the chaote community, is anyone keeping track? As counter-intuitive as it may seem for an approach aligning itself with chaos, it’s important. Continue reading
Publish and be damned they say. I feel a bit like that with my book Kaos Hieroglyphica: Alchemy for the New Aeon. I started writing this when I was just 23 and had finished writing it by the time I was 28. It wasn’t published until I was 29, nearly 30. I am now 35. Inevitably my 35 year old self cringes at some of my decade old writing. However, in the first article I ever had published, namely “Liber Minor 0″, I had enough sense to write one of the best sentences I have ever written, namely that ‘I reserve the right to disagree with myself at a later date.’
Well, here I am at a later date exercising my right to disagree with myself! In particular I have cause to revisit the Psyche Magic chapter, in particular the ritual. Rather than rewrite the ritual, I am going to tell the story of its actual performance, what lead up to it, and how the recipient has been empowered by it since. Continue reading
There are some books that are required reading for the serious tarot enthusiast, and this list represents my top five foundational books on tarot – books that will provide a solid historical, symbolic and esoteric foundation for any student.
1. Dogme et rituel de la haute magie (available in English as Transcendental Magic), by Éliphas Lévi (Alphonse-Louis Constant)
First published in 1855 as Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, it became a foundational text for the French occult revival. It was translated into English by Arthur Edward Waite in 1896 as Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual and gained wider recognition among English-speaking occultists on both sides of the Atlantic.
Dogma et rituel became the first occult text to weave elemental, alchemical, astrological and planetary theory with kabbalah, the tarot and ceremonial magick, synthesizing the first wholly integrated system of magick. It served and continues to serve as the basis for much symbolism found in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ordo Templi Orientis, and various contemporary mystery schools. While lacking in historical accuracy, and allowing for many liberties taken with its symbolic integrity, Dogma et rituel remains an important historical work for this reason. Continue reading
Practical magicians deal with a lot of unknowns when it comes to getting results in the “real world”. Sometimes a magickal operation will be met with stunning and hard-to-doubt success, sometimes with an ambiguous success (the old “would that have happened anyway?” or “just a coincidence” conundrum), sometimes with a totally unknown degree of success (for example, if it is possible that the operation succeeded in an unobservable way), sometimes with an apparent failure. Navigating through the jungle of mixed results can be a real headache, especially where a magickal operation has apparently failed when it (of course) should have succeeded.
When testing out or trying to perfect a new technique, these kinds of issues can cost a lot of time and effort. If you have some new technique that at first succeeds, say, 50% of the time, then (depending on what you’re trying to affect) you may have to do some trouble-shooting to get the success rate up. Even finding the 50% success rate in the first place can be tough, not necessarily in a magickal sense, but just in terms of performing the technique enough times to determine how often you’ve got it working. And then you may not be able to properly assess the relative chances of each operation succeeding (that is, what kind of odds you’re up against when you start), so trying to evaluate success rates and improvement rates involves quite a lot of guesswork. I’ll call the results of such operations “feedback”. The most easily usable feedback is definite success. Continue reading
For the past couple of years, I’ve had a Google Alert set for the word “Satanic.”
I created it because I wanted to study how media use the word. Every day, news stories and links containing the word “Satanic” wend their way to my inbox. They range from articles about Salman Rushdie (all of which mention The Satanic Verses) to pieces about Toyota recalls, calling sticky gas pedals “Satanic.”
However, many are articles about crime. Big, gory, violent crime, and petty graffiti depicting pentagrams and other symbols. Continue reading