An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 27, 2019
- The Brazen Vessel by Alkistis Dimech and Peter Grey, from Scarlet Imprint, due in June, with Bibliothèque Rouge edition to follow
“The Brazen Vessel documents the creative, magical partnership of Alkistis Dimech and Peter Grey from 2008 to 2018. It comprises selected texts, essays and presentations, including many previously unpublished works, essays which have fallen out of print and texts that were only published online. The anthology marks the first appearance in print of such pivotal texts as Rewilding Witchcraft, a translation of the critical goetic source Le livre des esperitz, and an extended and original treatment of the witches’ dance. The Brazen Vessel testifies to the prescient, provocative and influential nature of their work.
From the invocation of Babalon, given at the Thelemic Symposium in Oxford in 2008, to the eschatology of Babalon given at Occulture Berlin in 2018, the 35 works gathered here give insight into the process, thought and praxis of the authors, both as individuals with distinct bodies of work, and as a dynamic magical union. The works in The Brazen Vessel cast significant light on ideas developed through The Red Goddess (2007), Apocalyptic Witchcraft (2013) and Lucifer: Princeps (2015), and prefigures some of the material in Lucifer: Praxis (forthcoming).
The texts reveal the continuities and evolution of the authors’ work over a decade. Taken as a whole, their work proposes unorthodox and undogmatic understandings of Lucifer and Babalon, as demonised divine figures, as the sources of transmission of the western traditions of magic and witchcraft. A shared love of poetry and the magical power of the word is evident in their distinctive voices. Both have given primacy to the living body in their practice, through dance, performance, ritual and rites of devotion and ordeal. Both situate their magical work within the wider ecological and political environment. In a polyphony of texts, the ongoing dialogue between two practitioners is made apparent, and the important and innovative work of Alkistis given its due.
During the ten years documented in the anthology, Scarlet Imprint led a nomadic existence, moving from Brighton to Dover, the French Alps and the Welsh Borders, and finally to West Cornwall; these liminal landscapes and their denizens people the book. The texts evidence a second web of journeys to conferences, gatherings and symposia in London, Glastonbury, Brighton, Cornwall, Scotland, Norway, Belgium, Portland and Seattle. Overlapping with these are a series of pilgrimages to sacred sites from Patmos to Cefalù, to standing stones, stone circles, cliffs, caves and the wilds.
The Brazen Vessel is a work of process, experiment and risk, written by practitioners at the leading edge of the magical revival.”
- Ancient Egyptian Funeral Collection. A collection featuring a hinged sarcophagus enamel pin inspired from Egyptian Revival art and ancient artifacts. A crowdfunding effort by Jennifer Cox.
“Hi, I’m Jennifer and this is my Ancient Egyptian Funeral Collection.”
- Tweet by Connections Museum
We found a tiny spellbook! Electron summoning circles! pic.twitter.com/AzApK50STf
— Connections Museum (@museumofcomm) May 26, 2019
- “The Faux Revolution of Mindfulness” — Ronald Purser, Resilience
“Against this background, the hubris and political naiveté of the cheerleaders of the mindfulness ‘revolution’ is stunning. They seem so enamored of doing good and saving the world that these true believers, no matter how sincere, suffer from an enormous blindspot. They seem mindless of the fact that all too often, mindfulness has been reduced to a commodified and instrumental self-help technique that unwittingly reinforces neoliberal imperatives.”
- “Mindfulness meditation in America has a capitalism problem. Can the mindfulness movement resist becoming a tool of self-absorption?” — Sean Illing, Vox; an interview with David Forbes, author of Mindfulness and Its Discontents: Education, Self, and Social Transformation
“Buddhists seek to let go of attachment to the myth of the private, solid, unchanging self, and to promote universal compassion and end universal suffering.
But capitalist culture enforces the myth of the privatized, self-centered self. So unless mindfulness is employed in the service of making the world a better place — then practicing can and does end up serving to maintain the very self-centered, greedy, individualistic institutions and relationships that contribute to the lack of connected presence, kindness, and compassion that contribute to our unhappiness.
I think it’s a good thing that people are getting tools to help them cope with difficult circumstances. I don’t want to dismiss that. My problem is that it ultimately doesn’t go far enough because it reinforces the sources of our unhappiness. As long as mindfulness is focused on the individual and not on our social situation, it will not help us change the conditions that are making us unhappy, namely a hyper-competitive, ultra-individualistic culture that separates and alienates us.”
- “New study suggests meditating on emptiness might be better than mindfulness. In a recent study, meditating on emptiness led to a 24 percent decrease in negative emotions.” — Haleigh Atwood, Lion’s Roar
“Emptiness meditation may be more effective at improving wellbeing than mindfulness meditation, according to psychologists at the University of Derby, UK.
Led by psychologist and lecturer William Van Gordon, an international research team conducted the first-ever study to investigate the impact of Buddhist emptiness meditation. A central Buddhist insight, emptiness is the understanding that neither we nor any phenomenon in the universe — sentient or otherwise — has a permanent, separate, and independent core, or soul.
‘Mindfulness and other contemplative techniques are very useful for creating mental calm and space in which to explore the mind,’ Van Gordon said. ‘But one has to go a step further and undermine the emptiness of self and the emptiness of all phenomena — that’s very consistent with the Buddhist teachings across most traditions.'”
- “Deceased Mother Who Was Accused of Witchcraft by Sons Was Justified to Remove Them From Will, Judge Rules” — Jason Murdock, Newsweek
“A Spanish mother who was accused of practicing witchcraft by two of her three sons was justified to financially disown them before her death, a judge has ruled.”
- My Business Is to Create: Blake’s Infinite Writing by Eric G Wilson, from University of Iowa Press, 2011 [HT bibliodaimonia]
“For William Blake, living is creating, conforming is death, and “the imagination . . . is the Human Existence itself.” But why are imagination and creation—so vital for Blake—essential for becoming human? And what is imagination? What is creation? How do we create? Blake had answers for these questions, both in word and in deed, answers that serve as potent teachings for aspiring writers and accomplished ones alike. Eric G. Wilson’s My Business Is to Create emulates Blake, presenting the great figure’s theory of creativity as well as the practices it implies.
In both his life and his art, Blake provided a powerful example of creativity at any cost—in the face of misunderstanding, neglect, loneliness, poverty, even accusations of insanity. Just as Los cries out in Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion, “I must Create a System, or be enslav’d by another Man’s; / I will not Reason and Compare: my business is to Create,” generations of writers and artists as diverse as John Ruskin, William Butler Yeats, Allen Ginsberg, Philip K. Dick, songwriter Patti Smith, the avant-garde filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, and the underground comic-book artist R. Crumb have taken Blake’s creed as inspiration.
Unwilling to cede his vision, Blake did more than simply produce iconoclastic poems and paintings; he also cleared a path toward spiritual and ethical enlightenment. To fashion powerful art is to realize the God within and thus to feel connected with enduring vitality and abundant generosity. This is Blake’s everlasting gospel, distilled here in an artist’s handbook of interest to scholars, writing teachers, and those who have made writing their way of life. My Business Is to Create is indispensable for all serious artists who want to transform their lives into art and make their art more alive.”
- “Here’s How to Tell If Someone Is a Toxic Person in the First 5 Minutes. If your new acquaintance does any of these things, you should probably stay away.” — Minda Zetlin, Inc
“You know how damaging it can be to have a toxic person in your workplace, or in your life. Unfortunately, most of them don’t come with warning labels the way toxic chemicals do. Many of them seem very likable at first. After all, most toxic people are good manipulators, so getting you to like them is part of their toolkit.
Is there a way to tell early on–ideally the first time you meet–that someone will turn out to be a toxic person? While there’s no foolproof method to tell right away if a new friend or colleague will be a drag on your energy, mood, or productivity, there are some early warning signs many toxic people display. If you encounter any of these when meeting someone for the first time–and especially if you encounter several of them–proceed with caution:
1. They badmouth someone else.
2. They complain.
3. They ask for special treatment.
4. They boast.
5. They put you on the defensive.
6. They make you work to please them.
7. They don’t show interest in your concerns.
8. They don’t make you feel good.”
- “Vatican confirms secret Catholic Church guidelines for priests who father children” — CBS News
“CBS News has confirmed that the Vatican has secret guidelines for priests who father children, despite their vows of celibacy. Vincent Doyle, the founder of a support group for children of priests, told CBS News that a Vatican official showed him the confidential instructions.
Doyle said he’s been pushing the Church to publicly support those children, who often grow up living in shame and secrecy. CBS News correspondent Roxana Saberi spoke with him and other children of priests fighting for recognition from the Catholic Church.”