Tag: theosophy

Stones of the Seven Rays, by Michel Coquet

By Freeman Presson | February 20, 2014 | 1 comment

The Stone of the Seven Rays, by Michel CoquetStones of the Seven Rays: The Science of the Seven Facets of the Soul, by Michel Coquet
Destiny Books, 978-1594774331, 352 pp., 2012

Stones of the Seven Rays contains two major parts: “The Esoteric Tradition of Stones,” and “Stones of the Seven Rays.” The latter catalogues the properties of the primary stones for each Ray. Within each section, substitute stones are listed (e.g., rock crystal for diamond), which expands the usefulness of the material.

This edition is very nicely produced. It is printed on extra-gloss paper, and is full of excellent colour photos, mostly by the author. It gives a structured overview of gemstone lore associated with the doctrine of the seven rays.

The model of the seven rays comes from Theosophy. The best source for anyone who wants more detail on the Rays and their natures would be Alice Bailey’s Esoteric Psychology, Vol. 1: A Treatise on the Seven Rays. The Rays are considered to be primary energies and intelligences emanating from the Source, as the archetype of all of our septenary enumerations (planets, heavens, days of the week, and so on), and as forces that condition the course of evolution by cycling in and out of prominence in a great cycle reminiscent of the Yugas of Indian cosmology. Continue reading


Occult ‘zines as cultural artifacts

By Psyche | March 11, 2013 | 1 comment

Robert Anton Wilson, photo by Sarah StierchIn 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


The Light of Sex, by Maria de Naglowska

By Psyche | August 1, 2011 | 4 comments

The Light of Sex, by Maria de NaglowskaThe Light of Sex: Initiation, Magic, and Sacrament, by Maria de Naglowska
Translated by Donald Traxler, Forward by Hans Thomas Hakl
Inner Traditions, 9781594774157, 125 pp. (incl. appendices, notes and index), 2011

Maria de Naglowska (1883-1936) was born as Mariya Naglovskaya in St Petersburg. She left Russia for Berlin before settling in Geneva; lived in Rome, and later Paris. The rumours surrounding her fly: she may have known Rasputin, she may have had a love affair with Julius Evola, she may have been a member of this or that secret society. We do know that she was a journalist, a poet, and she has several books to her name.

Today de Naglowska may be best remembered for her “translation” of Paschal Beverly Randolph’s Magia Sexualis, which, as I learned from the Donald Traxler’s introduction, seems to have included much of her own material, as well as that from other sources. Though with this new translation of The Light of Sex – the first time it has appeared in English – and several other translations of her work forthcoming from Inner Traditions, her renown is likely to grow.

In Paris de Naglowska earned the nickname La Sophiale de Montparnasse” for her teachings on “Satanism” and sex magick. Though she called herself a “Satanic woman”, her views on Satanism were not based on traditional Christian mythology. She equated god with life, and Satan with the negation of life, and both aspects are a necessary part of being human. Continue reading


Interview with John L Crow

By Psyche | September 6, 2010 | 2 comments

Podcast set, photo by Patrick Breitenbach

John L Crow hosted the popular podcast Thelema Coast to Coast, and is currently pursuing a PhD. in American Religious History at Florida State University.

This interview was conducted on Saturday, September 4th, 2010.

Psyche: Thelema Coast to Coast was an excellent podcast running from 2005 to 2007, one of the first of its kind and I believe the first to be solely dedicated to Thelema. It’s been almost three years since your last episode. Do you miss it?

John L. Crow: Yes and no. The podcast was certainly a product of its time and filled a particular need within the Thelemic community. I miss the interaction with the larger community, the feedback and so forth. But I honestly don’t miss producing the podcast itself. It was a lot of work and now that I am in graduate school, I simply do not have the time.

I have been asked if I will ever resurrect the show. Continue reading


Review: As One Is, by Jiddu Krishnamurti

By Psyche | September 1, 2007 | Leave a comment

As One Is: To Free the Mind from All Conditioning, by Jiddu Krishnamurti
Hohm Press, 1890772623, 147 pp., 2007

Jiddu Krishanmurti (1895 – 1986) was born in Madanapalle, India, and, after meeting C. W. Leadbeater in 1909, was subsequently raised by both him and Annie Besant, then leaders of the Theosophical Society. They proclaimed him the latest incarnation of the Maitreya Buddha and various spiritual figures, honours which Krishnamurti later renounced at the age of 34. He spent much of his life travelling, speaking to large and small groups, as well as authoring a number of books.

As One Is is composed of a series of eight talks given in Ojai, California in 1955. As noted in the forward, “[t]hese eight talks were spoken without notes, ex tempore, in the shade of a grove of oak tress in the summer…before an audience of perhaps several hundred…”

The lectures don’t bear specific titles; instead they are referred to by number. That the lectures were unscripted comes across clearly; they’re often circular, and as I read, I could, at times, almost hear the dramatic pauses for effect.

The talks dance around conditioning of the mind, consider the problem of concentration versus attention, and self improvement without ever actually settling on anything that would offer a useful suggestion as to what to do about it.

These lectures may have faired better when delivered in person, but the endless regurgitation of vague and empty themes without resolution doesn’t make for particularly stimulating reading.

While As One Is may prove useful as an historic record of these talks, it appears more an odd relic of a time happily gone by.