Tag: phil hine

Sexism revisited

By Psyche | July 3, 2013 | Leave a comment

Static - Marc FalardeauThe comments section for “Sexism in contemporary occulture” and “Gender and the elements” flared up when they were originally published on Plutonica.net, and it became clear that the larger conversation is far from over. If you haven’t read these posts yet, they’re a good place to start.

Two new essays have appeared recently on this theme, and they bear a closer look.

In an essay on Enfolding.org titled “Occult gender regimes: Polarity and Tradition,” Phil Hine gets to the heart of what makes so many uneasy broaching the subject in the first place. He writes,

the very act of questioning the inevitability of gender polarity is a radical step – and one which potentially shatters the foundations of the occult implicit-order – itself a reification of the wider gender-order of Western Culture. Gender polarity is often reified in occult texts as an earthly reflection of cosmic or otherwise essential principles – which are held to be inevitable and juridical (“Laws”). Frequently it is asserted that gender polarity is inevitable because it occurs on the “higher planes” or is a reflection of essential qualities of deities, archetypes, etc – it is universal and timeless – part of an unchanging/unbroken tradition which has only been challenged very recently…

Hine traces the origin sexual polarity to  Aristotle via Plato, and the absurdity of enshrining these views in “tradition,” further shattering the idea that these ideas represent some “unbroken” mystic tradition. It’s good stuff. Continue reading


Chaotes then and now

By Psyche | June 25, 2013 | 2 comments

Roots, image by Peter RosbjergIt’s hardly surprising that something called chaos magick is constantly in flux, both in terms of what gets classed as chaos magick and the people it attracts.

I was first introduced to the subject by some English bloke on IRC in a random Wiccan chatroom who later, through a series of unlikely circumstances, became my partner. He introduced names I’d never heard of before: Austin Osman Spare, Peter J Carroll, Robert Anton Wilson – people with three names writing weird and wonderful things. Continue reading


Top 5 chaos magick books

By Psyche | May 13, 2013 | Leave a comment

Detial from Liber Null, by Peter CarrollThere are some books that are required reading for the dedicated student, and this list represents my top five books dedicated to chaos magick – books that defined chaos magick as a distinct field of study and practice.

Liber Null & Psychonaut, by Peter Carroll1. Liber Null & Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic, by Peter Carroll

Liber Null, first published in the late 1970s by Ray Sherwin, is the handbook for the Illuminates of Thanteros, the first group dedicated to chaos magick. The IOT was conceived of as a new kind of order based on meritocracy, and Liber Null serves as an introductory text to what was then a new approach to magickal practice.

New Falcon published Liber Null and Psychonaut together in 1987. Psychonaut expands upon themes raised in Liber Null, and contains the much maligned pseudo-scientific approach to catastrophe theory, but it does have its moments, defining and reframing magickal theories for a new generation of occultists. Continue reading


Abraxas, Issue One, Autumn Equionx 2009

By Psyche | January 20, 2010 | Leave a comment

Abraxas, Issue One, Autumn Equionx 2009Abraxas, Issue One, Autumn Equinox 2009, edited by Robert Ansell and Christina Oakley Harrington
Fulgur, 128 pp., 2009

Abraxas isn’t just “An International Journal of Esoteric Studies”, this first issue is also an art book. At 290mm x 232mm it’s a large quarto, beautifully bound, and printed on high quality paper, including a handtipped sheet. Richly coloured paintings are beautifully reproduced, along with many lovely illustrations in monochrome. And then there’s the text.

This first issue focuses largely on witchcraft, and while I can’t detail every essay that appears, I would like to highlight several that I felt stood out in this already exceptional collection.

Stephen Grasso’s piece “Skip Witches, Hop Toads”, illuminates Continue reading


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