An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 9, 2019
- 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
“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]
“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]
“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…
- 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]
“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]
“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.”