A new space for Community Announcements

I wanted to let you know about a new space for Community Announcements over on the Hrmtc Underground BBS.   The Community Announcements forum at the Hrmtc Underground BBS is a place for people to announce calendar events, goods and services, creations of various kinds and gatherings that are of relevant interest to the audience […]

Hermetic Library Journal announcement submissions to the Kerukeion for Summer Solstice 2013

There’s only two months until the March 21st, 2013 deadline to participate in the inaugural issue of the Hermetic Library Journal from the Benefit Anthology Project! Release is planned for June 21st, 2013. Consider letting others whom you think may be interested know about this as well, but consider submitting your written and visual work. […]

William Blake and the Imagination in Ideas of Good and Evil by William Butler Yeats.

“He announced the religion of art, of which no man dreamed in the world about him; and he understood it more perfectly than the thousands of subtle spirits who have received its baptism in the world about us, because, in the beginning of important things—in the beginning of love, in the beginning of the day, in the beginning of any work, there is a moment when are understand more perfectly than we understand again until all is finished.” [via]

Scarlet Imprint just announced pre-orders for Pomba Gira and the Quimbanda of Mbumba Nzila by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold

Scarlet Imprint just announced pre-orders for Pomba Gira and the Quimbanda of Mbumba Nzila by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, their newest title and a follow-up to Palo Mayombe – The Garden of Blood and Bones. There’s currently two editions the Salve Regina!, just mentioned, and a fine bound Rainha da Figueira do Inferno version; an […]

The Grand Design

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. The Grand Design is certainly designed to appeal to a wide market: the authors assume no knowledge of history or physics on the part of their readers. If you know what a photon is (70), or that Democritus proposed the atom (21), then […]

Omnium Gatherum: June 11, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for June 11, 2019

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

  • Help! My Boyfriend Thinks I’m the Reincarnation of an Evil Witch.” — Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Slate [HT Digg]

    “There is a complicated gray area in between ‘totally unreasonable/baffling but part of the rich tapestry of human weirdness’ and ‘deeply concerning, time to call a doctor,’ and I’m afraid this might fall into it. “

  • ‘Hadestown’ Is Big Winner At 2019 Tony Awards With 8 Trophies. Anaïs Mitchell’s folk opera smash surprised no one by taking home the Best Musical award on Broadway’s biggest night.” — Curtis M. Wong, HuffPost

    “Anaïs Mitchell’s jazz and blues-inflected “folk opera” beat out competitors like “The Prom” and “Tootsie” for the top prize Sunday night, bringing its total tally to eight trophies.

    ‘If ‘Hadestown’ stands for anything, it’s that change is possible,’ producer Mara Isaacs told the crowd while accepting the award. ‘In dark times, spring will come again.'”

  • To thrive in a “wicked” world, you need range” — Ephrat Livni, Quartz; a discussion about Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein

    Epstein Range

    “It’s long been said that a jack of all trades is a master of none. But the myth of the superiority of specialists is apparently based on limited data, and there’s plenty of evidence, now collected in a new book, to suggest that range is the true engine of innovation and creativity in the game of life.”

  • Babalon by Paul Green, April 4-27, 2020, Space 55, Arizona; from Babalon and other plays by Paul A Green, from Scarlet Imprint [HT Broadway World]

    Green Babalon and Other Plays

    “Rocket scientist Jack Parsons helped develop the technology that took America to the Moon. He was also a disciple of Aleister Crowley, performed magical rites with L. Ron Hubbard, and held wild occult sex parties in his Pasadena home. Based on a true story, Paul Green’s Babalon is a poetic and profoundly moving exploration of the strange, explosive forces that brought us into the Space Age. An Arizona premiere!”

  • This religious group formed in 1913 believes African Americans are Muslims and of Moorish descent” — Mildred Europa Taylor, Face 2 Face Africa

    “In effect, the Moorish Science Temple of America may not be as it was in the 1920s, but its influence on black consciousness can never be ignored, observers say.”

  • Walt Whitman: Proto-Pagan At 200” — Tom Swiss, The Zen Pagan

    “There is a direct chain of inspiration from Whitman to the important occultist and Pagan figures Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, and Gerald Gardner, via the English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne.

    Swinburne was a Whitman fan during the time he produced his most significant work — even writing a poem “To Walt Whitman In America”: “O strong-winged soul with prophetic / Lips hot with the bloodheats of song”. (Though they had something of a falling out later.) According to historian Ronald Hutton, Crowley, Fortune, and Gardner were all influenced by Swinburne. (Crowley even canonized Swinburne as a saint of the Gnostic Catholic Church.)”

  • John Romero releases unofficial 5th episode of original Doom for free” — Aaron Mamiit, Digital Trends

    “Romero said that in Sigil, players will fight through a ‘stygian pocket of evil to confront the ultimate harbingers of Satan,’ after Baphomet sends the player to ‘even darker shores of Hell.'”

  • [Overlook Review] ‘Satanic Panic’ Delivers a Messy Comedy Horror” — Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting; about Satanic Panic, dir Chelsea Stardust, with Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, & al.

    Fangoria Satanic Panic film

    “After a day full of deliveries that left her shortchanged on the tips, one final stop in an out of territory rich neighborhood leaves her stranded and the target of upper class Baphomet worshippers looking to sacrifice her before the sun comes up. What transpires is a night of chaotic Satanic rituals, demon summoning, and a whole lot of bloodshed in a very chaotic and tonally strange horror comedy.”

  • The Age of Aquarius, All Over Again! Belief in astrology and the occult is surging.” — David Brooks, New York Times

    “We’re living in the middle of a religious revival; it’s just that the movements that are rising are not what we normally call “religion.” The first rising movement is astrology. According to a 2018 Pew poll, 29 percent of Americans say they believe in astrology. That’s more than are members of mainline Protestant churches.

    These surging movements are people’s attempts to solve the major needs of the current moment.

    The first need is simply to find a way to be spiritual. …

    Second, there is a widespread need to slow down, to escape the pace of life technology wants and to live at a human pace.

    Third, there is a widespread need to express alienation. …

    Fourth is the need for identity markers. …

    Fifth is the desire to live within a coherent creed and community, but without having that creed impinge on your individual autonomy. …

    Finally, many people seem to want to be alternative without actually leaving the mainstream world.”

  • The Rise of Progressive Occultism” — Tara Isabella Burton, The America Interest

    “Back in 1992, Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson warned of the dangers of feminism, predicting that it would induce “women to leave their husbands. . . .practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” Many of today’s witches would happily agree.”

  • When The Religious Left Is Occult” — Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

    “Here’s what I’ve been thinking since our conversation about this piece, and since reading it earlier today: we should take this as seriously as its practitioners do.

    Under liberalism, many of us have a habit of ironically distancing ourselves from taking religion — mainstream religion, or outsider religion — seriously. For example, we think of religious rites as an expression of how the practitioner feels about this or that. Secular unbelievers, obviously, don’t think that there is anything real happening with satanic rites, spell-casting, and suchlike. It is nothing more than a form of theater. They also regard Christian rituals in the same way.

    If materialism is an accurate and complete account of reality, then they’re right: it’s nothing more than emotive pageantry. Still, if that’s all it is, then we should at least take seriously the fact that there are people who wish to express in ritual a desire to “disrupt, distort [and] destroy.” In writing about the believers within these circles, Tara told me that it’s not a joke or a game to them; they really do believe that what they’re doing has an effect, just as much as a Christian faith healer or exorcist does.

    Holden Matthews, the young white man charged with burning down three black churches this year in south Louisiana, was reportedly deeply involved with the black metal scene, a genre of rock that celebrates satanic themes, sometimes attracts white supremacists, and whose followers have been linked to church burnings elsewhere. Maybe there’s nothing to it but expressive pageantry, but then again, Mohammed Atta and his crew hijacked airliners and flew them into buildings for religious and political reasons. My point is simply that religion is not always something nice and respectable and life-affirming. All religion might be false, but most of us would rather live next door to Ned Flanders than Holden Matthews.

    But what if materialism’s account of reality is untrue? What if there really is something actual going on with religion? That is, what if people who perform religious rites — Catholics, Taoists, witches, everyone — are not simply expressing how they feel, but truly making contact with the numinous, and engaging its power?”

  • SpaceTime Coordinates

    SpaceTime Coordinates gold plated rhodium mementos

    “YOUR 3D PRINTED PERSONAL SOLAR SYSTEM CUSTOM MADE WITH NASA’S DATA

    Our designs are produced through a unique, top-tier solar system simulator that was developed in-house and featured by OpenNASA. We offer the most precise product available on the market, using NASA/JPL data that is constantly updated.”

  • The Brain Maps Out Ideas and Memories Like Spaces. Emerging evidence suggests that the brain encodes abstract knowledge in the same way that it represents positions in space, which hints at a more universal theory of cognition.” — Jordana Cepelewicz, Quanta Magazine

    “In the past few decades, research has shown that for at least two of our faculties, memory and navigation, those metaphors may have a physical basis in the brain. A small seahorse-shaped structure, the hippocampus, is essential to both those functions, and evidence has started to suggest that the same coding scheme — a grid-based form of representation — may underlie them. Recent insights have prompted some researchers to propose that this same coding scheme can help us navigate other kinds of information, including sights, sounds and abstract concepts. The most ambitious suggestions even venture that these grid codes could be the key to understanding how the brain processes all details of general knowledge, perception and memory.”

  • Jamaica moving to legalize obeah, a practice banned for centuries” — who, Jamaica Beacon; from the Obeah-Wanga dept. [HT Dr Death & Divinity]

    “Lawmakers yesterday blocked a proposed increase in fines for persons practicing obeah; this amid revelations that plans are afoot to legalize the practice in Jamaica.

    Obeah has been illegal here for centuries, but it is still widely practiced, and law enforcers often turn a blind eye to obeah practitioners.”

  • Longtime Linden minister used oral sex in exorcism ritual, men claim. A Presbyterian minister with deep ties to Union County stands accused of using oral sex in exorcism rituals on victims seeking his counseling.” — Nick Muscavage, Bridgewater Courier News [HT Dr Kate Kingsbury]

    “A Presbyterian minister, who said he was following the Bible, used Native American exorcism rituals, gemstones and even oral sex to extract “evil spirits” from men undergoing crises in their lives, the church and men claim.”

  • At last, Dora Maar emerges from her lover Picasso’s shadow. Major survey of the Surrealist photographer at Centre Pompidou will travel to Tate Modern and the Getty Center.” — Ben Luke, The Art Newspaper; about Dora Maar exhibit, June 5 – July 29, 2019, Centre Pompidou, Paris [HT Dr Sabia Stent]

    Maar exhibit Centre Pompidou

    “The Surrealist artist and photographer Dora Maar’s relationship with Pablo Picasso hugely affected her burgeoning reputation. Specialists in Surrealism are well aware that Maar was an inspired and innovative photographer before she met him, as well as a documenter, as later seen in a series of images of the Spanish artist’s masterpiece Guernica (1937). But for a wider public Maar has been defined by Picasso’s depictions of her, particularly as the Weeping Woman (1937).

    A major survey that opens at the Centre Pompidou in Paris this week, later touring to Tate Modern in London and the Getty Center in Los Angeles, should liberate Maar from that vision. Born Henriette Theodora Markovitch in 1907, to a French mother and Croatian father, she grew up in Argentina but began studying photography in the late 1920s after the family moved to Paris. By the early 1930s she was making studio-based commercial photography, often in collaboration with the set designer Pierre Kéfer.”

Summary for two weeks ending June 2nd, 2019

Here’s a summary of activity for two weeks ending June 2, 2019. New servers continue to hum along. I’ve seen much increased performance across the site since the migration, and that’s fantastic. It really was getting bad there in a number of ways, and this new server is so much better! The stress and pain […]

Omnium Gatherum: May 9, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 9, 2019

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

  • Astrologaster. [also] A Comedy Written in the Stars. A game by Nyamyam. [HT The Guardian]

    “London, 1592. A great plague sweeps through the capital. When doctors flee the city in fear, a hero rises. His name is Simon Forman, “Doctor” of Astrology, Astronomy and Physick. Not only does he have the power to cure the sick, he can find their lost pets and predict their futures! All by reading the movements of the stars.

    But when the plague ends, Forman’s problems begin. The real doctors return to London and they will stop at nothing to bring him down…

    Astrologaster is a story-driven astrological comedy game set in Shakespeare’s London. Based on a true – and truly ridiculous – story.

    • Solve Hilarious Problems: Consult on problems ranging from Elizabethan terror plots and foul diseases, to romantic entanglements and stolen pies!
    • Change Lives: Win your patients’ favour or ruin their lives. Advise 14 characters who return 5-7 times. Patients have their own ongoing stories which often overlap with each other.
    • Win A Medical Licence: Convince patients to write letters of recommendations. Collect enough letters to exchange them for a medical licence.
    • Fully Voiced Character Dialogue: Sitcom-style comedy brought to life by a cast of over a dozen actors.
    • Sing Along – Enjoy Renaissance-era music and sing along to each character’s theme song.
    • Casebooks Come Alive: Simon Forman’s cases are presented as a beautiful pop-up book. Turn pages to delve deeper into your patients’ stories.

    Simon Forman was considered a sage by some and a charlatan by others. What will your legacy be? Will you put your faith in the stars?”

  • THE 15 BEST BASS MUSIC TRACKS OF APRIL 2019 A nice selection of bangers from last month including the first single from Konx-om-Pax’s dope new album.” — KAREEM GHEZAWI, Magnetic Magazine

    “1. KONX-OM-PAX – “LA MELODY” [PLANET MU]

    Konx om Pax: Essays in Light was originally a publication by infamous British occultist Aleister Crowley. The producer of the same name signed to Planet Mu is no ceremonial magician but he is definitely making a certain kind of magic in his new album, Ways of Seeing. “LA Melody” is the records opener and sets a epic buzz that the whole album continues to build on.”

  • Henri Bergson, celebrity. Women loved Bergson’s philosophy of creativity, change and freedom, but their enthusiasm fuelled a backlash against him.” — Emily Herring, Aeon

    “Why, when Bergson was popular, was he so popular, and especially with women? A combination of factors, including the public nature of his lectures and the clarity of his lecturing style no doubt contributed to his fame. Women in particular would have benefitted from the fact that Bergson’s lectures, which were held outside the stuffy confines of the exclusive Sorbonne, presented complex and subtle ideas in a way that was digestible to those who had perhaps not benefitted from a formal philosophical education. More importantly, Bergson’s philosophy was a philosophy of change, creativity and freedom that many, in the years leading up to the First World War, used as a way of channelling their own political hopes. Perhaps the women of the late Belle Époque were so drawn to Bergson because his philosophy was then a rallying point for those who believed radical change was possible – much as their descendants would be drawn to the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in the late 1940s.”

  • A Theology of Failure: Žižek against Christian Innocence by Marika Rose, from Fordham University Press

    Rose A Theology of Failure

    “Everyone agrees that theology has failed; but the question of how to understand and respond to this failure is complex and contested. Against both the radical orthodox attempt to return to a time before the theology’s failure and the deconstructive theological attempt to open theology up to the hope of a future beyond failure, Rose proposes an account of Christian identity as constituted by, not despite, failure. Understanding failure as central to theology opens up new possibilities for confronting Christianity’s violent and kyriarchal history and abandoning the attempt to discover a pure Christ outside of the grotesque materiality of the church.

    The Christian mystical tradition begins with Dionysius the Areopagite’s uncomfortable but productive conjunction of Christian theology and Neoplatonism. The tensions generated by this are central to Dionysius’s legacy, visible not only in subsequent theological thought but also in much twentieth century continental philosophy as it seeks to disentangle itself from its Christian ancestry. A Theology of Failure shows how the work of Slavoj Žižek represents an attempt to repeat the original move of Christian mystical theology, bringing together the themes of language, desire, and transcendence not with Neoplatonism but with a materialist account of the world. Tracing these themes through the work of Dionysius and Derrida and through contemporary debates about the gift, violence, and revolution, this book offers a critical theological engagement with Žižek’s account of social and political transformation, showing how Žižek’s work makes possible a materialist reading of apophatic theology and Christian identity.”

  • Polish activist detained for ‘offending religious beliefs’ over LGBTQ Virgin Mary” [also, also] — Rachel Kennedy, Euronews [HT curiosa]

    Podleśna rainbow Virgin Mary

    “An activist in Poland has been detained after police found posters depicting the Virgin Mary with a halo consisting of the colours of the LGBTQ flag.

    The activist, Elżbieta Podleśna, confirmed on Facebook in the early hours of Monday morning that she had been arrested, and her phone confiscated.”

  • Coalescence. Esoteric and Philosophical Musings of a Gyrovague by Tau Palamas, from Transmutation Publishing [HT TauPalamas]

    Tau Palamas Coalescence

    Coalescence is the amalgamation of a set of recondite and metaphysical teachings and artworks of ‡PALAMAS XVI° which comprise the fundamentals of a precise instrument of the Voudon+Gnostic OTOA-LCN called the Ordo Gyrovagus. Grounded in a humanistic, mystical, and living philosophy–and exploring the very heart and soul of esotericism–Coalescence picks up where Syzygy left off: developing the inner life and practice of the gyrovague; opening a clear path of personal Masonic integration; exploring the nature of aesthetic mysticism; and providing a set of initiatory rituals as vehicles for expansion.

    Duly and truly prepared, with a sharpened intelligence which can link scenes, colors, shapes, and forms immediately to a world of correspondences (which suggest the underlying fundamental unity of being), the initiate makes meaning of the phantasmagoria—which, in turn, causes changes to the fluidic and malleable substance of the dreamscape itself. Then, with the audacity and authority of an ancient magus, the initiate wields the true sword of every student of the mysteries: the sovereign will. Suddenly, within what was once a surrealistic landscape with chaotic portents and confusing bits of data strewn about in a gravity- less atmosphere, there appears a dimension worthy of exploration, a state of being with secrets, information, and lessons to be learned, and beings to interact and travel further with. Such is the lifting of the veil…

    ~PALAMAS”

  • The Abyss. A Thelemic journey through the Abyss and the Myths of Descent, based on both personal experience and a multidisciplinary study by Leo Holmes [HT LeoHolmes]

    Holmes The Abyss

    “Six years after the critically acclaimed LeMULgeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition, Leo Holmes is back with a new and exciting book: The Abyss. The Abyss offers a wide approach, based on both personal experience and a multidisciplinary study, to the second of the two main crises of a magician’s career, the first being the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The book is predominantly inspired by Thelemic Literature, but not limited to it, drawing parallels to ancient Myths of Descent and intellectual, emotional, and behavioural patterns, as much as to archetypal concepts. It is a painful yet insightful journey that depends equally on the pilgrim and on the Stars that guide him.

    The author also employs a couple of famous Gothic poems, artistic concepts, and Gnostic and Eastern teachings and ascetic practices in an attempt to cover the various facets of the awful and enlightening experience that is the Ordeal of the Abyss. Restriction: that is the word of Sin, that is the word of The Abyss. But where is the threshold? Where and when one thing becomes another? When Restriction becomes Liberation and vice versa? How can we be so sure that the Other is not just another part of the I? We are walking metamorphoses, not much different from Alchemical Processes, and we contain all the elements of the Universe.

    Knowing this, Leo Holmes makes use of spiritual and psychological concepts present in the symbology of the tradition of Western Alchemy, corresponded by Astrological Signs and by the twelve steps common to many famous Epic journeys, some of which were essential for the Mystery Cults of the past. He also introduces the unprecedented concept of the Shadow Animal: the cluster of atavistic, normally unconscious patterns of behaviour that operates more or less like the Power Animal of Shamanism, but in a reversed manner. For him, this Shadow Animal is just one of the many masks of Choronzon, or the Shadow God, manifest in the heart of man.

    Examining the ephemerality of what we call reality, and the triviality of our social values, the pervasiveness of Suffering, and the compulsiveness of self-sacrifice and rectification, “The Abyss” aims to function – like the poet Virgil and the Sybil Deiphobe – as a small beam of light amid darkness and as a solidary bony hand for those who are facing the terrifying Night of Pan. The dissolution of the Ego is neither pleasant nor simple; for that, the mystic or magician has to become aware of his Shadow, that which hinders him and is occult within his skull. The true Occultist is not the one who memorizes complicated rituals or dabbles in the supernatural, but the one who teaches oneself to identify the patterns that reveal what is occult.

    On the other side of the crossing, Babalon beckons to her Babes, calling them to surrender completely and sacrifice themselves in order to become No-man, or maybe more accurately, the Primordial Man. He is but a Force of Nature. When the Truth in the formula of NOX is not only intellectually understood, but also directly experienced, the magician successfully pours out his blood into the Cup of our Lady and then becomes free to move forward, towards Saturn (Binah) and the Stars (Chokmah). There is no need to instruct a Babe thus born, for in the Abyss he was purged of every poison of personality, and his ascent to the highest is assured in its season.

    Welcome to the Abyss, enjoy your stay.”

  • Researchers hunt for 17th century ‘witch bottles’” — University of Hertfordshire, Phys.org [HT curiosa]

    “A team of archaeologists and historians from MOLA and the University of Hertfordshire are calling on people who may have discovered 17th century ‘witch bottles’ during restoration work or know of examples curated at their places of work, to come forward.

    For the first time, all known examples that survive in museums and other collections around Southern and Eastern England (the apparent geographical extent of the phenomenon) are to be surveyed first-hand or through literature review and critiqued along with their contents. Extensive research will also be done to explore the origins of the practice and to situate ‘witch bottles’ in their full historic and cultural context, perhaps debunking some myths along the way.”

  • ‘Here is a story! Story it is’: how fairytales are told in other tongues. From Korea to Germany to Nigeria, every culture has its own version of ‘once upon a time’ – and most are more interesting than the English.” — Kate Lyons, The Guardian. [HT curiosa]

    “In Tamil, folk stories and fairytales, the sort that grandparents tell grandchildren before bed, often begin, ‘In that only place…’. In another Indian language, Telugu, stories start ‘Having been said and said and said…’. In English, of course, it is ‘Once upon a time…’.

    Chitra Soundar, an Indian-British author and storyteller, was thinking about her grandmother’s stories, which always began with the classic Tamil opener, when she asked people on Twitter to share how stories began in their languages.

    She received more than 100 suggestions from dozens of languages – from Farsi to Basque, Creole to Korean – with some people sharing contributions from places and in languages she had never heard of, as well as some less traditional options, such as ‘In a galaxy far, far away…’.”

  • John Turturro on ‘The Name of the Rose’ Series and Investigating Umberto Eco” — Stewart Clarke, Variety [HT Dr Gillian Kenny]

    Variety Tuturro Eco The Name of the Rose

    “John Turturro hadn’t read Umberto Eco’s thriller ‘The Name of the Rose’ or seen the 1986 movie when he was approached in spring of last year about a new TV adaptation. After reading the novel, one of the best-selling of all time, Turturro agreed to sign on – if the producers agreed to honor the original, he says.

    ‘I read the book and I loved it. I started writing to [director] Giacomo [Battiato] to say, ‘Why isn’t there more Eco, this is eight hours, you don’t have to reduce it,’ Turturro says. ‘I said, ‘If you put more of Eco in, then I’m interested.’’

    Turturro takes the role played by Sean Connery in the film, that of William Baskerville, the Franciscan monk investigating a series of mysterious murders in a 14th-century Italian monastery. Rupert Everett plays merciless inquisitor Bernard Gui, and Michael Emerson is the abbot among an international cast.”