Omnium Gatherum: May 20, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 20, 2019

If you’d like to participate, head over to Omnium Gatherum on the BBS, or suggest something.

  • The global internet is disintegrating. What comes next? Russia is the latest country to try to find ways to police its online borders, sparking the end of the internet as we know it.” — Sally Adee, BBC; from the Sneaker-Net-Grimoire dept.

    “Nearly a decade on, that borderless spirit seems like a quaint memory. The nations who left the UN empty-handed had not been disabused of the notion that you could put a wall around your corner of cyberspace. They’ve simply spent the past decade pursuing better ways to make it happen.

    Indeed, Russia is already exploring a novel approach to creating a digital border wall, and last month it passed two bills that mandate technological and legal steps to isolate the Russian internet. It is one of a growing number of countries that has had enough of the Western-built, Western-controlled internet backbone. And while Russia’s efforts are hardly the first attempt to secure exactly what information can and can’t enter a country, its approach is a fundamental departure from past efforts.”

  • Occultists Weigh In On The Meaning Of The Three-Eyed Raven In “Game Of Thrones”” — Lisa Stardust, Bust

    “GOT is a show that is heavily enriched in spiritual and magical themes—especially the symbolism of the raven—which is why it’s essential to explore the occult meaning behind the raven to understand the underlying plot of the show.

    We asked several occultists, mystics, and witches for their understanding of the raven to bring us more clarity on the matter. Also, to see if our GOT fan theory is correct.”

  • Trump Will Start the End of the World, Claim Evangelicals Who Support Him” — Cristina Maza, Newsweek

    “Evangelical Christians overwhelmingly support President Donald Trump because they believe he’ll cause the world to end.

    Many have questioned why devout evangelicals support Trump, a man who has bragged about sexual assault, lies perpetually and once admitted he never asks God for forgiveness. Trump’s lack of knowledge of the Bible is also well-known.

    Nevertheless, many evangelical Christians believe that Trump was chosen by God to usher in a new era, a part of history called the “end times.” Beliefs about this time period differ, but it is broadly considered the end of the world, the time when Jesus returns to Earth and judges all people.”

  • Research Shows Religious People Believe They Are Morally Superior, But Their Motivations Are Largely Egoistic” — Damir Mujezinovic, Inquisitor

    “Ward and her team of researchers established that religious people tend to consider their religious group more superior to others, finding that ‘the association between religiosity and moral self-image was partially explained by impression management and perceptions of the morality of one’s religious ingroup.’

    As Ward explained in statements supplied to PsyPost, religious people tend to believe that they share characteristics with members of their religious group, which they view as moral. This is why the perceived morality of a religious group can ‘rub off’ on its members, according to the researchers.”

  • Abolish the Priesthood. To save the Church, Catholics must detach themselves from the clerical hierarchy—and take the faith back into their own hands.” — James Carroll, The Atlantic

    “What Vatican II did not do, or was unable to do, except symbolically, was take up the issue of clericalism—the vesting of power in an all-male and celibate clergy. My five years in the priesthood, even in its most liberal wing, gave me a fetid taste of this caste system. Clericalism, with its cult of secrecy, its theological misogyny, its sexual repressiveness, and its hierarchical power based on threats of a doom-laden afterlife, is at the root of Roman Catholic dysfunction. The clerical system’s obsession with status thwarts even the merits of otherwise good priests and distorts the Gospels’ message of selfless love, which the Church was established to proclaim. Clericalism is both the underlying cause and the ongoing enabler of the present Catholic catastrophe. I left the priesthood 45 years ago, before knowing fully what had soured me, but clericalism was the reason.

    There is an undefined horizon of—let’s call it by an old name—the holy, toward which human beings still instinctively move. But today such longing for transcendence exists beyond categories of theism and atheism.

    If, down through the ages, it was appropriate for the Church to take on the political structures of the broader culture—imperial Rome, feudal Europe—then why shouldn’t Catholicism now absorb the ethos and form of liberal democracy? This may not be inevitable, but it is more than possible. The Church I foresee will be governed by laypeople, although the verb govern may apply less than serve. There will be leaders who gather communities in worship, and because the tradition is rich, striking chords deep in human history, such sacramental enablers may well be known as priests. They will include women and married people. They will be ontologically equal to everyone else. They will not owe fealty to a feudal superior.”

  • What Makes a Mountain, Hill, or Prairie a ‘Sacred’ Place for Native Americans?” — Rosalyn R LaPier, Sacred Matters; author of Invisible Reality: Storytellers, Storytakers, and the Supernatural World of the Blackfeet, out now, with paperback in August, from University of Nebraska Press

    LaPier Invisible Reality

    “The intimate connection between landscape and religion is at the center of Native American societies. It is the reason that thousands of Native Americans from across the United States and indigenous peoples from around the world have traveled to the windswept prairies of North Dakota.

    But, despite our 200-plus years of contact, the United States has yet to begin to understand the uniqueness of Native American religions and ties to the land. And until this happens, there will continue to be conflicts over religious ideas of land and landscape, and what makes a place sacred.”

  • What Lenin Teaches Us About Witchcraft” — Oxana Timofeeva, e-flux

    “The capitalist conception of the world implies that all the body can do is work, and it is only through work that the needs of that body can be satisfied.

    There was a time when the body was conceived as an intersection of cosmic forces and a part of the natural whole in which everything is related to every other thing.

    When I realized that the source of my fear was not outside of me, but within, I felt ecstatic. I thought I could become a magician if I learned to be more attentive to the darkness that was a part of me.

    “Every man and every woman is a star,” said Aleister Crowley. In Lenin’s sense, every man and every woman is a miracle man and a miracle woman. There is something demonic in this: as Lenin sees it, miracles do not simply happen and they cannot be ascribed to God or to some other supreme being; they are performed by real people themselves.”

  • From the casebooks of the most notorious astrologer doctors in all England. A ten-year project to study and digitise some 80,000 cases recorded by two famous astrological physicians has opened a “wormhole” into the worries and desires of people who lived 400 years.” — Fred Lewsey, University of Cambridge

    “Forman and his protégé Richard Napier used horary astrology: casting astral charts for the point in time they received a new query, whether by client visit or messenger. Most people simply wanted to know ‘what’s my disease?’ or ‘am I pregnant?’, and the astrologers – Kassell describes them as ’cause specialists’ – sought answers in the stars.

    Working in the moment, quill in hand, they jotted copious notes during each of the dozen or so daily consultations: names, ages, times and locations, snippets of sickness and worry, sketches of stellar configurations, and remedy recommendations from purging elixirs to powdered skulls.

    The notes were never intended for posterity, yet they survived.”

  • Cosmic Trigger III: My Life After Death by Robert Anton Wilson; the new Hilaritas Press edition

    Wilson Cosmic Trigger III Hilaritas

    “The first volume of the Cosmic Trigger series describes in vivid elucidation the perils of a spiritual journey. Volume two of the series presents the author’s “bridge” – how did Bob grow into his expanded perspective of Multiverse. In this third and final volume, Bob digs even deeper and uncovers the masks of reality and the reality of masks. Warning: this book may reveal more about what is “real” in reality than you might find comfortable!


  • The Occult Humanities Conference 2019: Contemporary Art and Scholarship on the Esoteric Traditions, October 4-6, 2019, New York, NY

    The Occult Humanities Conference 2019

    “The fourth Occult Humanities Conference is a weekend conference to be held in New York City on October 4-6, 2019. The conference will present a wide array of voices active in the cultural landscape who are specifically addressing the occult tradition through research, scholarship and artistic practice.

    The arts and humanities at present are acutely interested in subjects related to the occult tradition. The tradition represents a rich and varied visual culture that displays a complex set of relations at once culturally specific and global in their transmission. Roughly defined, the occult tradition represents a series of culturally syncretic belief systems with related and overlapping visual histories. Though there are as many ways into this material as there are cultural – and personal – perspectives, universal occult concerns often include a belief in some sort of magic; a longing to connect with an immaterial or trans-personal realm; and a striving for inner-knowledge, refinement of the self, and transformation of one’s consciousness – if not one’s physical circumstances.

    Intensely marginalized throughout most historical periods, these traditions persist and represent an ‘underground’ perspective that periodically exerts a strong influence on structures of dissent, utopianism and social change. Though history is marked with several so-called “Occult Revivals,” the contemporary digital age is a perfect confluence of several factors which make this moment prime for a reexamination of all of the esoteric traditions. While the information age has allowed for easier access to previously obscure writings, imagery, and social contexts, it alternately elicits a deep desire for sensorial experiences and meaning-making once one steps away from the screen.

    The presenters at the OHC represent a rich and expanding community of international artists and academics from multiple disciplines across the humanities who share an exuberance and excitement for how the occult traditions interface with their fields of study as well as the culture at large. The small scale of this conference (approximately 100 attendees) will give ticket holders an intimate look at the presenters and their views.”

  • Black Flame International Esoteric Conference, October 11-13, 2019, Montréal, Québec

    Black Flame International Esoteric Conference 2019

    “An exclusive, esoterically-oriented event, exploring the latest in occult practice, philosophy, literature, and art. Free-thinkers and rebels are invited to revel, learn and do ritual together at our event in Montreal, Quebec, on the weekend of October 11-13, 2019.

    This two-day temporary-autonomous-portal of bewitchment includes erudite presentations and workshops, art, ritual, and vending, featuring the super-substantial creations of specialized, esoteric, and magickal practitioners.

    The fascination is set in motion on Friday night with a meet and greet, which will be followed by an opening ceremony, as we continue onward into an illustrious weekend with an awe-inspiring schedule of speakers and wonderful beings all around us.”