Omnium Gatherum: May 10, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 10, 2019

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

  • Religious fundamentalism – why is it growing and what is the alternative?” — Fred Weston, Socialist Appeal [HT Dr. Death & Divinity]

    “All religions have their fundamentalists; there are Christian fundamentalists, Hindu fundamentalists, Jewish fundamentalists, Buddhist fundamentalists and so on. They all play a reactionary role, and they are all growing in number. All of them believe they are the holders of the absolute truth, while all others are heretics or even the work of the devil himself. They are all used to sow division among toiling people around the world. The phenomenon affects all countries to one degree or another.”

  • A quarter of people who meditate experience negative mental states” — Donna Lu, New Scientist

    “A quarter of regular meditators say they have experienced negative mental states as a result of meditation, including anxiety and fear.”

  • Hidden Cupid resurfaces in one of Vermeer’s best-known works after two and a half centuries. Laboratory tests revealed ‘sensational’ discovery that the figure in Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window was overpainted decades after the artist’s death.” — Catherine Hickley, The Art Newspaper

    Hickley The Art Newspaper Hidden Cupid Vermeer

    “A hidden Cupid in Vermeer’s Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, one of the world’s most famous paintings, is set to resurface on the canvas after two and a half centuries behind a layer of paint. During restoration work, conservators discovered, to their surprise, that the naked figure—which dominates the upper right section of the picture—was overpainted long after the artist’s death.”

  • Cursed Britain: A History of Witchcraft and Black Magic in Modern Times by Thomas Waters, due September, from Yale University Press; got to say the marketing copy gives me the impression this is sensational “black magic” panic drek. The use of “evil magic” and “black magic” seems sensationalist and imprecise, and the ad copy doesn’t seem to do justice to the apparent seriousness of the work, which I can attest from a cursory look at the table of contents provided by the author, to be honest. The use of the big red unicursal hexagram on the cover seems out of place, as that’s specific to Aleister Crowley, as Crowley’s work and influence seem not a very big focus of the actual work as far as I can tell. (Slipping facilely for no good reason from “evil” to Crowley is something I’ve called the Crowley Corollary.) But, the author assures me in private correspondence that “the book is not a sensational sally about black magic. On the contrary, it’s a meticulous and sympathetic study of magical beliefs, practices and experiences in Britain and the British Empire since about 1800, based on around 15 years worth of research in archives across the United Kingdom and beyond.” So, despite my prima facie misgivings, which you might share, I encourage you consider joining me in giving this the benefit of the doubt.

    Waters Cursed Britain

    “The definitive history of how evil magic has survived into the present day

    In our age of technology, it is easy to imagine that black magic in Britain is dead. Yet, over recent centuries this dark idea has persisted, changed, and returned. From the rural world of Georgian Britain, through the immense territories of the British Empire, to the multicultural present day, Thomas Waters explores the enduring power of primeval fears. He shows how witchcraft has become as diverse as modern Britain itself, and reveals why it is currently on the rise.”

  • Viktor Hachmang’s new book combines traditional printmaking with the digital” — Jyni Ong, It’s Nice That; from the GPOY dept; about Twin Mirrors by Viktor Hachmang, from Landfill Editions [HT gossip göre]

    Hachmang Twin Mirrors

    “‘A while ago I inherited a bunch of traditional materials from a graphic designer Henk Kamphorst’, explains the Hague-based illustrator. ‘He did a lot of design work in the pre-PC era, and boxes of his materials were lying around my studio and after a while, I decided to give them a go.’ Quickly establishing a visual rhythm using the tools, Viktor began work on The Hermetic Library; the story revolves around a protagonist who finds a ‘seemingly ever-expanding room where the walls are completely covered with untitled books.'”

  • Witchbody: A Graphic Novel by Sabrina Scott, foreword by Tim Morton

    Scott Witchbody

    “Witchbody is an invitation to experience what lies hidden beneath the surface of our everyday lives—to see the magic in all things. A plant, a tree, a coffee cup, garbage bins, you, me—they’re all magic. Witchcraft is simply the power we’re all born with to awaken our senses to this magic, to awaken our “witchbody.” And that awakening is essential if we are to reframe our experience with Nature and with our precious planet.”

  • Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light by Sallie Nichols, foreword by Mary K Greer, from Weiser Books

    Nichols Tarot and the Archetypal Journey

    “This highly innovative work presents a piercing interpretation of the tarot in terms of Jungian psychology. Through analogies to the humanities, mythology, and the graphic arts, the significance of the cards is related to personal growth and what Jung termed “individuation.” The Major Arcana becomes a map of life, and the hero’s journey becomes something that each individual can relate to one’s personal life.”

  • How Kanye West and Church Merch Are Bringing Back “Sunday Best”. The performer’s fashion for weekend worship signals both flash and virtue.” — Alexis Cheung, Vanity Fair

    Cheung Vanity Fair Kanye West Church Merch Sunday Best

    “Beyond mirroring Catholicism’s tradition of opulence, fashion’s most recent religious turn tends towards conservatism. Modest dressing, which has roots in religious adherence, has migrated back into fashion.”

  • Origin of Loch Ness Monster and Other Sea Serpents Traced to Odd Phenomenon. A form of mania gripped the world.” — Sarah Sloat, Inverse [HT John W Morehead]

    “The Loch Ness Monster is perhaps our most famous sea monster, known for drowning locals in front of saints and avoiding motorcycles on its early morning cruise back to the loch. But Scotland’s Nessie is just one of the many, many sea monsters people have allegedly seen. In the 19th century, saying you saw a sea monster was very common indeed. And the reason why this happened, a new study in Earth Science History argues, is based on something very real.

    The collective illusion — that creatures in the water were actually mysterious monsters of the deep — was driven by so-called ‘dino-mania,’ researchers reported this week. This conclusion is based on their statistical analysis of the nature of sea monster reports from 1801 to 2015.”

  • Romania’s witches harness the powers of the web” — Emily Wither, Reuters

    “The power of the Internet has allowed Romania’s busy witch community to gradually migrate their ancient practices onto the Web.

    Witchcraft has long been seen as a folk custom in the eastern European country, and many of its estimated 4,000 witches are luring customers from Europe, Asia and the United States.”

  • Finding Salvation with an Online Cult” — VICE [HT Digg]

    “Unicult is not your typical cult. Founded in 2012 by self proclaimed pop-spiritual leader Unicole Unicron, this mostly online group and its millennial following studies everything from crystals to aliens and seeks to empower each other to seek joy on earth.”

Omnium Gatherum: April 19, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 19, 2019

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

  • Ascend, Ascend by Janaka Stucky, illustrated K Lenore Siner, foreword by Pam Grossman, from Fulgur, due in May

    Stucky Ascend Ascend

    “Written over the course of twenty days, coming in and out of trance states brought on by intermittent fasting and somatic rituals while secluded in the tower of a 100-year-old church – the Star and Snake Arts Centre – Ascend Ascend is Janaka Stucky’s most powerful book to date.

    Rooted in the Jewish mystical tradition of Hekhalot literature, which chronicles an ascent up the Kabbalistic Tree of Life to witness the Merkabah, or “chariot of God,” this book-length poem drafts a surreal, mythological landscape in which maximalist language shreds the natural world. Light becomes rainbowed sex. Intestines tangle into an aria. The sky is gallowed. At the center of this apocalyptic devastation stands the speaker of these poems, asserting: I explode. I shall love. I ascend. Stucky’s verse reminds us that even as we sink deeper and deeper into unknown darkness, we become our own flashlight beaming outward.

    Equal parts Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” Ascend Ascend makes us both passenger and witness as we participate in the ecstatic destruction of the self through its union with the divine.”

  • Spirit against the machines: on Douglas Rushkoff’s ‘Team Human’. A spirited review of Douglas Rushkoff’s ‘Team Human'” — AMG, Cadena Aurea; about Douglas Rushkoff’s Team Human [HT Douglas Rushkoff]

    Rushkoff Team Human

    “A disenchanted worldview has allowed us to upload without any real resistance a new story, a story that collapses all previous stories, trumping all myth with the emancipatory power of science. It is the story that we have become free from all superstition, and are marching free into the future, unhinged from the wheel of cosmic interdependence and karmic responsibility, free from magical thinking into clean objectivity, finally able to decide -as in a vacuum- what we want to be. But this might just be the greatest hubris yet. The Luciferian or Promethean whim to think of oneself as master, to refuse to accept something superior than ourselves, deeming that we exist without other-determinates. For as physicist Werner Heisenberg stated “We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” Perhaps in the same sense that algorithms leave out of the equation the humanness that gets in the way of their goals, our way of questioning -based on a materialistic worldview- is leaving out consciousness or spirit.”

  • Witches Are Back, Casting a Spell Over Pop Culture When We Need Them Most” — Jennifer Vineyard, Syfy Wire [HT David Salisbury]

    “That’s the kind of question a certain teenage witch and her horror-fan pals on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina like to bat around on their show. Are all monsters actually metaphors? Are the zombies in Night of the Living Dead really telling a tale about the Cold War, civil rights, and the collapse of the nuclear family? Is The Fly really about body dysmorphia? Do vampires stand in for sexual desire (or sexually-transmitted disease)? Do werewolves represent loss of control of one sort or another? And why do certain of these creatures dominate the public imagination at certain times, but not at others?

    Independent women, in other words — women who were a threat to the Puritanical social order and the patriarchal inheritance system. Some were connected to organized peasant rebellions, and some were just considered nasty women — sarcastic, argumentative, unpopular. (The ultimate crime: being unlikable.)

    The same kind of women are still targeted in modern-day witch hunts, where people are still accused of practicing witchcraft. And some would argue, those witch hunts have transformed into other ways to oppress women, and the symbol of woman-as-witch is a potent political tool. (Remember the Republican merchandise sporting the photo of Hillary Clinton riding a broom?)”

  • Rachel Carson’s Critics Called Her a Witch. When Silent Spring was published, the response was overtly gendered. Rachel Carson’s critics depicted her as hysterical, mystical, and witchy.” — Livia Gershon, JSTOR Daily [HT Judika Illes]

    “Some scientists embraced Carson’s notion that the public must be included in evaluations of ecological dangers, which had previously been limited to industrial and agricultural representatives and government officials.

    But other scientists, along with industry representatives, government personnel, and segments of the media, pushed back with a vengeance. A review in Time accused Carson of being ‘hysterically overemphatic’ with a ‘mystical attachment to the balance of nature.’ A cover illustration for the industry magazine Farm Chemicals depicted a witch on a broomstick, clearly referring to Carson. Dr. Robert Metcalf, vice-chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, asked whether ‘we are going to progress logically and scientifically upward, or whether we are going to drift back to the dark ages where witchcraft and witches reign.'”

  • The Witches’ Insurrection Tarot. A tarot deck re-imagined from an anifascist, anticivilization, pro-sex-worker, anarchist perspective. A crowdfunding effort by Kit Snicket; from the 8-Days-To-Go dept.

    Snicket Witches' Insurrection Tarot Justice XI

    “This is not a safe deck, it is a deck for the end of the world, a deck that shows both the brutality of destruction and the beauty of transformation. It’s a deck for outcasts, anarchists, whores, witches, and queers. “

  • Noita! Finland’s Sexually Charged Witchcraft Films of the 1950s” — David Flint, Reprobate Press; Noita palaa elämään (1952) [also] and Noita palaa elämään (1952) [also] [HT Richard Kaczynski]

    Flint Reprobate Noita! Finland's Sexually Charged Witchcraft Films of the 1950s

    “Finland is not a country known for its horror movie output – you could, arguably (and no doubt someone will argue) count the number of Finnish horror films on your fingers. But in the early 1950s, two significant films emerged that both played with ideas of the supernatural, witchcraft and what we now are apparently obliged to call ‘folk horror’. One of these films, The White Reindeer (Valkoinen peura), achieved some international acclaim … The other film, The Witch Returns to Life (Noita palaa elämään), had less international impact, and has languished in relative obscurity”

  • The Magickal Women Conference ~ Join Us On 1 June 2019. A day for magic(k)al women’s voices to be heard in debate and celebration.” Saturday 1 June 2019, London, UK; sold out, but there’s a waitlist

    Magickal Women Conference 2019

    “The Magickal Women Conference pays homage to the women of the past who challenged the status quo by embracing mysticism, esotericism, and occult teachings, and to the women who continue those rich traditions through lived practice, performance, and adeptship.

    We have put together an astounding international roster of speakers, masterclasses, and workshops, including our headline speaker Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, our keynote speaker Christina Oakley-Harrington, our Artist-in-Residence Victoria Musson, and our Storyteller-in-Residence Baya Salmon-Hawk.

    We honour all women, whether female by birth or not, and welcome everyone to join us on this historic day.

    This is going to be the magic(k)al event of London, 2019 — we hope to see you there!”

  • The Cataclysmic Break That (Maybe) Occurred in 1950. Sixty-nine years ago, a new geological era may have begun on Earth.” — Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic [HT William Gibson]

    “Here is the hypothesis: Not so long ago, the very nature of planet Earth suffered a devastating rupture. The break was sudden, global, and irreversible. It happened on a Sunday within living memory.

    That idea might soon carry the weight of scientific fact. Later this month, a committee of researchers from around the world will decide whether the Earth sprang into the Anthropocene, a new chapter of its history, in the year 1950.”

  • Unique Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick to celebrate re-opening in Cleveland” — Laura DeMarco, Cleveland.com; about The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick [HT Rev. Stacey L]

    “The magic collection, known as the Raymond Buckland Collection, is one of the most significant in America. It was started by Buckland, founder of one of America’s first covens, in 1966 after a visit to English Wiccan leader Gerald Gardner on the Isle of Man. Buckland worked for British Airways and began to acquire artifacts as he traveled the world.

    It will celebrate its re-opening with a party from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 27, with tarot readers and more.”

  • The Psychology of the Paranormal by David Groome, Michael Eysenck, Robin Law; from Routledge, due this month

    Groome Eysenck Law The Psychology of the Paranormal

    “Can mediums communicate with the dead? Do people really believe they’ve been abducted by aliens? Why do some people make life decisions based on their horoscope?

    The Psychology of the Paranormal explores some commonly held beliefs regarding experiences so strange they can defy an obvious scientific explanation. The book explains how psychologists have conducted experiments to provide insight into phenomena such as clairvoyance, astrology, and alien abduction, as well as teaching us fundamental truths about human belief systems.

    From debunking myths about Extra Sensory Perception, to considering whether our lives can truly be fated by the stars, The Psychology of the Paranormal shows us that however unlikely, belief in the paranormal will continue to be widespread.”

  • Real Priests Watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina | Not Your Average Review | Netflix” about Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

    “I had priests watch Sabrina, and holy hell did they deliver.”

    “… but, I’d have preferred a little bit less cannibalism.”

  • Baphomet The Oracle Scene” from Doom Patrol, s01e05

  • Dionysus by BTS, a KPOP band

    “Just get drunk, Dionysus.
    A liquor in one hand, a Tyr sauce in another
    Transparent crystal glistening art
    Art is also a drink.
    You dunno you dunno
    You dunno what to do with
    I’ll show you.
    Ivy and rough wooden mic
    In absolute breath
    There is no sound coming out.

    I am at the door of the world.
    Cheering when you get on stage
    Can not you see my stacked
    Broken thyrsus
    Now I am born again”

Omnium Gatherum: April 6, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 6, 2019

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

  • Harry Potter books burned by Polish priests alarmed by magic” — BBC; from the Late-To-The-Party dept.

    BBC Burning Harry Potter in Gdansk

    “Catholic priests in northern Poland have burned books they consider to be sacrilegious, including ones from the Harry Potter boy wizard series.

    An evangelical group, the SMS from Heaven Foundation, published pictures of the burning – which took place in the city of Gdansk – on Facebook.”

  • Harry Potter books burned by Polish priests alarmed by magic – BBC News” — Alex Sumner, Sol Ascendans; from the And-Then-Spank-Me dept.

    “Yes indeed! If these Catholic priests want to burn any books associated with magick and witchcraft, by rights the first book they should be setting on fire is the Bible itself!

    Now I appreciate that some may find this idea a little controversial, so I propose a compromise:

    I hereby give these priests permission to burn the occult fiction novels of Alex Sumner – so long as they pay for them first.”

  • Yearbook Weirdness. From Akron’s 1917 yearbook.” — Craig Conley, Abecedarian

    Conley Yearbook weirdness from Akron's 1917 yearbook

  • The Mormon church’s new ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy” — Lauren Jackson, CNN [HT Ulysses]

    “Claiming to speak for God is a tricky business — especially when God changes his mind, often, on hot-button political issues after receiving immense public backlash.”

  • Tibetan Yoga: Principles and Practices by Ian A Barker, foreword by Bhakha Tulku Pema Rigdzin Rinpoche, due in May, from Inner Traditions

    Baker Tibetan Yoga

    “A visual presentation of Tibetan yoga, the hidden treasure at the heart of the Tibetan Tantric Buddhist tradition

    • Explains the core principles and practices of Tibetan yoga with illustrated instructions

    • Explores esoteric practices less familiar in the West, including sexual yoga, lucid dream yoga, and yoga enhanced by psychoactive substances

    • Draws on scientific research and contemplative traditions to explain Tibetan yoga from a historical, anthropological, and biological perspective

    • Includes full-color reproductions of previously unpublished works of Himalayan art

    Tibetan yoga is the hidden treasure at the heart of the Tibetan Tantric Buddhist tradition: a spiritual and physical practice that seeks an expanded experience of the human body and its energetic and cognitive potential. In this pioneering and highly illustrated overview, Ian A. Baker introduces the core principles and practices of Tibetan yoga alongside historical illustrations of the movements and beautiful, full-color works of Himalayan art, never before published.

    Drawing on Tibetan cultural history and scientific research, the author explores Tibetan yogic practices from historical, anthropological, and biological perspectives, providing a rich background to enable the reader to understand this ancient tradition with both the head and the heart. He provides complete, illustrated instructions for meditations, visualizations, and sequences of practices for the breath and body, as well as esoteric practices including sexual yoga, lucid dream yoga, and yoga enhanced by psychoactive plants. He explains how, while Tibetan yoga absorbed aspects of Indian hatha yoga and Taoist energy cultivation, this ancient practice largely begins where physically-oriented yoga and chi-gong end, by directing prana, or vital energy, toward the awakening of latent human abilities and cognitive states. He shows how Tibetan yoga techniques facilitate transcendence of the self and suffering and ultimately lead to Buddhist enlightenment through transformative processes of body, breath, and consciousness.

    Richly illustrated with contemporary ethnographic photography of Tibetan yoga practitioners and rare works of Himalayan art, including Tibetan thangka paintings, murals from the Dalai Lama’s once-secret meditation chamber in Lhasa, and images of yogic practice from historical practice manuals and medical treatises, this groundbreaking book reveals Tibetan yoga’s ultimate expression of the interconnectedness of all existence.”

  • Part 2 of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina keeps the Harry Potter influence going. The new episodes deepen the characters and themes and draw on Star Wars and Lord of the Rings” — Noel Murphy, The Verge

    Murphy The Verge Sabrina season 2 Netflix

    “Everyone who’s been enjoying the magician-in-training aspect of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina should be happy to know that the second half of the show’s first season doubles down on its debt to Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer while also drawing some on Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. One of the most enduring ideas popularized by George Lucas and J.R.R. Tolkien is that world-changing powers can easily be misused. In this latest Sabrina run, the heroine’s decision to sign her name in “The Book of the Beast” at the end of the season’s first half means she’s now one of the most capable witches on Earth, and those new abilities are changing her.”

  • Harold Bloom: Anti-Inkling?” — Michael Weingrad, Jewish Review of Books [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    “Bloom, though, views Lindsay’s novel as a kind of spontaneous Gnostic scripture. In his reading, Crystalman is the oppressive god, or demiurge, who according to Gnostic theology keeps us locked in the material world and ignorant of our radically free natures. Whether or not this is what Lindsay had in mind, in The Flight to Lucifer Bloom makes the Gnostic content didactically explicit.

    In Bloom’s version, the alien planet Lucifer is inhabited by warring tribes named for ancient Gnostic sects: Marcionites, Mandaeans, Sethites, etc. Lindsay’s Krag is renamed Valentinus, after the much-reviled 2nd-century Gnostic theologian. Meanwhile, the Maskull substitute, Thomas Perscors, has been turned by Bloom into a poor cousin of Conan the Barbarian. He battles the planet’s demiurge with sword and shield but more often struggles to escape the sexual snares of several monstrous yet alluring female deities.”

  • Lust Never Sleeps. Two new books on sex and power.” — Charlotte Shane, Book Forum; about The Trouble with Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power by David Shields and Screwed: How Women Are Set Up to Fail at Sex by Lili Boisvert [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    Shields The Trouble with Men

    Boisvert Screwed

    “We’ve had half a century with The Second Sex, The Dialectic of Sex, Sexual Politics, and all the rest, yet straight men of letters still regard their fossilized sexism and quotidian horniness as windows into existential wisdom. Hard again! the male author marvels while streaming free porn in his book-lined office. What does it all mean?

  • Was the real Socrates more worldly and amorous than we knew?” — Armand D’Angour, Aeon

    “The real Socrates must remain elusive but, in the statements of Aristotle, Aristoxenus and Clearchus of Soli, we get intriguing glimpses of a different Socrates from the one portrayed so eloquently in Plato’s writings.”

  • Handmade Black Skull Dice (Set of 5) from Secret Warehouse

    Secret Warehouse black skull dice

    “Up your game to a hardcore level at the gaming table with this Black Skull Dice Set. Each dice features tiny skulls to represent each D6 roll faces, each intricately handcrafted to add a morbid character. Makes a perfect party accessory or surprise a skull-lover friend. 🎲☠️”

Omnium Gatherum: March 18, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 18, 2019

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

  • Raise the Spell: An Arsenal of Thelemic Ceremony by M Dionysius Rogers, aka Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus

    Rogers Polyphilus Raise the Spell

    “This volume collects more than a dozen original rituals for individuals, groups, and households. All of them have been composed during the last quarter century, and they have been successfully enacted by Thelemites worldwide. Although the ceremonies are consistent with the teachings of the legacy orders of Thelemic Magick (OTO and A∴A∴), they are operable without membership or authority in any such society. Ceremonies include ones oriented to the Thelemic liturgical year, original work along the fundamental lines of magick as laid down in traditional canons of Thelemic ritual, and domestic rituals for Thelemites”

  • Meet Romania’s Very Internet-Savvy Witch Community” — Lydia Horne, Wired [HT Mary Sativa]

    Horne Wired Meet Romania's very Internet-savvy witch community

    “Consider it globalization of the supernatural: Thanks to the proliferation of the internet, the Romanian witch community—also known as the vrăjitoare—has migrated their ancient practice onto the web. Using social media to livestream rituals or to video chat with clients for fortune readings, witch entrepreneurs are better able to grow their business using self-referential devices (clothing, jewelry, idols) to effectively market the storied mysticism of Roma women to searching souls.”

  • Tweet by ∞★ △ndy Paciorek ★∞

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2 | Official Trailer from Netflix, releases April 5; trailer featuring the track Cherry Bomb by The Runaways [HT Polygon]

  • Belief in aliens could be America’s next religion. ‘American Cosmic’ explores how the once-fringe phenomenon has taken root among the powerful.” — Clare Coffey, The Outline; about American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology by D W Pasulka [also]

    Pasulka American Cosmic

    “Pasulka’s book makes the argument that the religion of the UFO is also the religion of technology, and it is a convincing one. In part, this refers to technology’s role in disseminating and popularizing the UFO encounter. Pop culture hits like Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey and The X-Files have provided a narrative structure that patterns individual experiences of inexplicable phenomena, the way that a Catholic’s mystical experiences might be patterned and interpreted through the lens of Church Doctrine.”

  • US detects huge meteor explosion” — Paul Rincon, BBC News [also]

    “A huge fireball exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere in December, according to Nasa.

    The blast was the second largest of its kind in 30 years, and the biggest since the fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russia six years ago.

    But it went largely unnoticed until now because it blew up over the Bering Sea, off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

    The space rock exploded with 10 times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

    Lindley Johnson, planetary defence officer at Nasa, told BBC News a fireball this big is only expected about two or three times every 100 years.”

  • Astronomers discover 83 supermassive black holes at the edge of the universe. Lurking in the distant corners of space are 83 monster black holes that can teach us about the early days of the cosmos.” — Jackson Ryan, CNET [HT Slashdot]

    “A team of international astronomers have been hunting for ancient, supermassive black holes — and they’ve hit the motherlode, discovering 83 previously unknown quasars.”

  • This medieval astrolabe is officially world’s oldest known such instrument. Mariners used the instruments to navigate by the stars while at sea.” — Jeniffer Ouellette, Ars Technica

    Ouellette Ars Technica oldest astrolabe

    “A mariner’s astrolabe recovered from the wreck of one of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama’s ships is now officially the oldest known such artifact, according to a new paper in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. The device is even going into the Guinness Book of World Records, along with the ship’s bell, now that the age of both artifacts has been independently verified.”

  • The Emotion Police” — Agnes Callard, The Point [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    “Who could possibly have the gall to tell the entire human race what it should and should not feel? Philosophers, that’s who! Philosophers have been legislating emotional life since the time of the Stoics, and the newest vanguard of the movement is currently at work right under your noses. Allow me to introduce you to the Emotion Police.”

  • The Books That Wouldn’t Die. They’re alive, despite being rebutted, criticized, and cast out of the disciplines from which they came!” — Lorraine Daston and Sharon Marcus, The Chronicle of Higher Learning [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    “Scholars rarely write books like these anymore: ambitious, erudite works that boldly set forth big, original ideas but were written as much for other scholars as for a broad public.

    These are the Undead Texts. Their ambition and success inevitably made these works targets of specialist rebuttals. There is probably not a single claim they make that subsequent scholarship has not queried, criticized, or refuted. Yet these texts refuse to die. Novices and experts alike remain susceptible to the spell they cast.”

Omnium Gatherum: March 5, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 5, 2019

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

  • Five things to know about Here by Jon and Roy. Victoria’s rootsy crew Jon and Roy release their latest album Here, as well as spinoff projects.” — STUART DERDEYN, The London Freedom Press

    Twin Temple Bring Your Their Signature Sound Satanic Doo-Wap

    “Twin Temple: Bring You Their Signature Sound . . . Satanic Doo-Wop (Rise Above Records): In retrospect, it seems surprising that another act hasn’t already tried this idea. Because what could be better than mixing Alexandra James’ big, brassy torch of a voice with pure late Fifties/swinging Sixties soundtracks and lyrics right out of Aleister Crowley’s library. You’ve got the soul declaration of Lucifer, My Love, the naughty declaration of The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It) or the love ballad Let’s Hang Together to swing your partner to, and perhaps even get spellbound. Quality camp and the most obvious band to perform in an episode of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

  • SYMPATHY FOR THE BEAST: Songs from the Poems of Aleister Crowley by Twink & the Technicolour Dream (featuring Jon Povey) [HT PunkNews.org, THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN]

    Twink and the Technicolour Dream Sympathy for the Beast

  • The Angel-Evoking Tarot. A complete Tarot deck evoking the 72 Angels of the Kabbalah and 6 awe-inspiring Archangels., a crowdfunding effort by Travis McHenry

    McHenry The Angel-Evoking Tarot

    “The Angel-Evoking Tarot is nothing like a traditional deck of “Angel Cards.” The 72 Angels of the Kabbalah (or Shem HaMephorash) are extremely powerful heavenly beings that provide assistance to mortals while also ruling over their Hellish counterparts, the 72 Demons of the Goetia.

    When summoning an angel, their sigil (a kind of esoteric calling card) is supposed to be drawn on a piece of pure virgin parchment in red ink. To echo this color palette, the cards themselves are made to look like fresh, pure parchment that has just been cut from the skin of a newborn lamb. The borders of each card are deep crimson, which creates a striking contrast.

    The magical symbols are real.

    The artwork is hauntingly divine.

    These aren’t your Aunt Doreen’s angel cards… “

  • Help Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Pt 2! is a health crowdfunding effort by Chandra Shulka for Genesis P-Orridge [HT Jason Louv]

    Help Genesis Breyer P-Orridge Pt 2

    “Genesis STILL needs your help!

    YES HELLO Dearest friends. Genesis P-Orridge is not doing better and is faced with surmounted medical/hospital debt causing h/er to lose most if not all of the money raised for h/er despite medicaid, s/he is still faced with bills, the cost of living and has to pay for the instruments like an oxygen concentrator and oxygen from avoiding having to live in a hospital permanently since PTV3, h/er main source of income, has been put on hold indefinitely. Though the last fundraiser held by Douglas Rushkoff (Thank you Douglas!) helped pay off debt, most of it is dissolved. You haven’t heard from h/er because she has been in ICU this week and nearly died due to total kidney failure and on dialysis for 3 full days. We are planning on having a fundraiser for h/er again and a series of benefit concerts in different cities. Stay tuned. H/er battles are still UP hill. THANK YOU.”

  • Rob Solomon, CEO of GoFundMe, quoted in “GoFundMe CEO: ‘Gigantic Gaps’ In Health System Showing Up In Crowdfunding” — Rachel Bluth, Kaiser Health News [HT Justin Martin]

    “It saddens me that this is a reality. Every single day on GoFundMe we see the huge challenges people face. Their stories are heartbreaking.

    The system is terrible. It needs to be rethought and retooled. Politicians are failing us. Health care companies are failing us. Those are realities. I don’t want to mince words here. We are facing a huge potential tragedy. We provide relief for a lot of people. But there are people who are not getting relief from us or from the institutions that are supposed to be there. We shouldn’t be the solution to a complex set of systemic problems. They should be solved by the government working properly, and by health care companies working with their constituents. We firmly believe that access to comprehensive health care is a right and things have to be fixed at the local, state and federal levels of government to make this a reality.”

  • ‘Elixir of Immortality’ Uncovered in 2,000-Year-Old Chinese Tomb” — George Dvorsky, Gizmodo [HT Michael M. Bind Trump Hughes]

    Dvorsky Gizmodo Elixir of Immortality

    “A yellowish liquid found in a bronze pot dating back some 2,000 years is not wine, as Chinese archaeologists initially thought. It’s actually an “elixir of immortality” concocted during ancient times.

    But as Xinhua points out in an update to this discovery, further lab work has shown that the substance isn’t wine at all. The liquid is primarily comprised of potassium nitrate and alunite—the main ingredients of a life-enriching elixir documented in ancient Taoist texts.”

Omnium Gatherum: January 26, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for January 26, 2019

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

  • The most beautiful boy in the Roman empire” — Max Norman, Apollo; about the Antinous: Boy Made God exhibit at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford through 24 February.

    Norman Apollo The most beautiful boy in the Roman empire

    “Antinous is always on the verge of unrecognisability, hovering between equivocations, between particular and idealised forms. The object of Winckelmann’s hyperbole – the so-called Albani Antinous – is the most idealised of all, and doubly idealised in the ghostly white resin cast displayed in the Ashmolean show. It shows the boy in profile, wearing a laurel and grasping another in his left hand; his right emerges from the relief, loosely open, as if holding the reins of a chariot. Winckelmann fantasised that he was driving out of this world to his apotheosis – an allegory of the power of art to elevate the human to the divine.”

  • Aristotle’s binary philosophies created today’s AI bias” — Twain Liu, Quartz [HT Damien saw the Time-Knife once. Highly Recommended]

    “When you think of Aristotle, you probably think of the Ancient Greek philosopher as one of the founding fathers of democracy, not the progenitor of centuries of flawed machine logic and scientific methods. But his theory of “dualism”—whereby something is one or other, true or false, logical or illogical—is what landed us in this sticky situation in the first place.

    Alas, Aristotle’s hierarchical classification system got implemented into AI, load-weighting in favor of men like him. The very system on which all modern technology is built contains the artefacts of sexism from 2,000 years ago.

    Until we design non-binary and more holistic modes of categorization into AI, computers won’t be able to model the technicolor moving picture of our intelligence.”

  • Marie Kondo and the Life-Changing Magic of Japanese Soft Power. The tidying guru is heir to a long tradition: Japan marketing itself as spiritual foil to a soulless West.” — Christopher Harding, The New York Times [HT Sam Kestenbaum]

    “Marie Kondo is by far the most successful participant in a larger trend of the past few years: packaging inspirational but fairly universal lifestyle advice as the special product of Japanese soil and soul, from which Westerners might usefully learn. We’ve had “ikigai,” which translates as the familiar concept of value and purpose in life. We’ve had forest bathing, as though the soothing power of nature had not occurred to people like Wordsworth and Emerson. Such advice books may be having a moment, but they are not new. Rather, they’re the latest installment in a surprisingly old tradition: Japan and its culture marketed as a moderating force in a world otherwise overwhelmed by the West.”

  • The New Sabrina Practices What it Preaches (Not Just Satanism)” — Carrie Mannino, Yale Daily News

    “The series is great for its plotline alone: It’s exciting, creepy and, in every episode, dappled with humor. The aesthetics are also fantastic: The outfits are fantastic and colorful; Sabrina’s house is a wallpapered, wood-banistered imagining of an old magical home; and the shots, especially towards the beginning of the series, are terrifically framed. If you get a kick out of the occult, the demons, magic and gore that Sabrina faces is horrifically wonderful. It is everything a Halloween-loving viewer could want. However, the reason I feel the show is one especially worth watching, though, is its broad positive representation of people often excluded from mainstream TV, especially sci-fi shows like this.

    It is wonderfully suited that a show that highlights these themes in the context of a fantasy world also represents the diversity of our real world, echoing the issues of intolerance in our society and the triumph of acceptance, empowerment and love.”

  • New Documentary Explores The Satanic Temple Rise in US” — Cathy Burke, Newsmax [HT Dr Death Studies]

    “The reason this became a feature length documentary was that I found so many interesting surprises at each stage of discovery”

  • It just got easier to buy young blood using PayPal” — Raquel Laneri, New York Post; from the Bathory dept.

    “Ever wanted to have the blood of young virgins coursing through your old, withered veins?”

  • Conspiracy Theories by Gauche [HT The Baffler]

  • Research Suggests We’re Not as Irrational as We Think. Decades of psychological research have emphasized the biases and errors in human decision-making. A recent approach challenges this notion.” — George Farmer & Paul Warren, Undark

    “Suppose you toss a coin and get four heads in a row — what do you think will come up on the fifth toss? Many of us have a gut feeling that a tails is due. This feeling, called the gambler’s fallacy, can be seen in action at the roulette wheel. A long run of blacks leads to a flurry of bets on red. In fact, no matter what has gone before, red and black are always equally likely.

    The example is one of many thought to demonstrate the fallibility of the human mind. Decades of psychological research have emphasized the biases and errors in human decision-making. But a new approach is challenging this view — showing that people are much smarter than they’ve been led to believe. According to this research, the gambler’s fallacy might not be as irrational as it seems.

    The perception that we are irrational is one unfortunate side effect of the ever growing catalogue of human decision-making biases. But when we apply computational rationality, these biases aren’t seen as evidence of failures, but as windows on to how the brain is solving complex problems, often very efficiently.”

  • Philosophy must be useful. For Wittgenstein and the Vienna Circle, much of philosophy was mere nonsense. Then came Frank Ramsey’s pragmatic alternative.” — Cheryl Misak, Aeon

    “Ramsey was the bridge between 20th-century pragmatism and analytic philosophy, and when he died, that route was obscured – only to be recently rediscovered and put on the map.”

  • Tweet by (((Howard Rheingold))); about J. Corneli, C. J. Danoff, C. Pierce, P. Ricaurte, and L. Snow MacDonald, eds. The Peeragogy Handbook. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL./Somerville, MA.: PubDomEd/Pierce Press, 2016.

  • The best way to use social media is to act like a 19th-century Parisian” — Ephrat Livni, Quartz [HT David Pecotić]

    “If you’re not quite ready to quit Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, a more measured approach is to treat virtual spaces more like a bustling street—a place where, like a flâneur, you can pick up a lot of information by observing the action, while being more reticent to offer opinions and circumspect about posting.”

  • Glastonbury Occult Conference, 23rd – 24th February, 2019 [HT Treadwells Bookshop]

Omnium Gatherum: December 1, 2018

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for December 1, 2018

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

  • The App That Reminds You You’re Going to Die. It helped me find inner peace.” — Bianca Bosker, The Atlantic [HT Andrew Chesnut]

    “Five times a day for the past three months, an app called WeCroak has been telling me I’m going to die. It does not mince words. It surprises me at unpredictable intervals, always with the same blunt message: “Don’t forget, you’re going to die.””

  • The Temple Peyton. Special Temple of Witchcraft Limited Edition Fundraiser.

    Temple of Witchcraft The Temple Payton

    Temple of Witchcraft The Temple Payton reverse

    “Orders are due no later than June 1, 2019, and the finished peytons are expected to ship in August 2019. All profits from this fundraiser go to the Temple’s Community Center Building Fund.”

  • Portable Communion Bread & Red Wine Capsules from God’s Pills

    Gods Pill's communion bread

    Gods Pills communion wine

    “REVOLUTIONARY NEW PRODUCT AFTER 2,000 YEARS!”

  • Weʼre raising £3,000 to complete the building of the Temple of the Gods in Bulgaria (incl. the Goddess Hekate & Pagan God Dionysos)” — Sorita d’Este

    “A unique and very special historical temple is being created in Bulgaria, within driving distance from Plovdiv by a group of people who have dedicated themselves to the worship, and the revival of the worship of the old Gods. In particular the Goddess Hekate and the God Dionysos, with their close association with the ancient Mysteries of Thrace, Ancient Greece and Rome will be celebrated and worshiped in this space – alongside a pantheon of other deities and spirits. The Temple will be a consecrated space which will be managed by the groups’ priesthood, which includes historians.”

  • Tarot earrings by Blue Beehive Studio [HT Quadrivium Supplies]

    Blue Beehive Studio The Magician tarot earrings

    Blue Beehive Studio The Tower tarot earrings

  • New paperback edition of A Rose Veiled in Black: Art and Arcana of Our Lady Babalon, edited by Robert Fitzgerald and Daniel Schulke, with new cover, upcoming from Three Hands Press

    “The Lady Babalon is one of the more enigmatic figures in the Cult of Thelema. She is a manifold deity in the sense that She is a divine harlot, an initiatrix, a creator and a destroyer. In representative form, the letters of Her name encompass an heptogrammic star; yet She lies beyond mere representation, and Her star signifies only the powers of Her train and not the station of Her immanence. She is the unsignified, a cipher conveying manifestation, and yet the veritable seal of the invisible Order of Illuminated Adepts. In Her subtle and etheric anatomy flows the life-blood of the Saints – the All-Living – and in this is Her deepest mystery, for, as it is written, in the Gospels, and in Aleister Crowley’s Liber 418, ‘The Blood is the Life.”

    A Rose Veiled in Black is the second volume in Three Hands Press’ ‘Western Esotericism in Context’ Series which began with Hands of Apostasy. The book is a potent gathering of twelve essays and rituals of Babalon by scholars, practitioners, and allies of Thelema, dedicated wholly unto the manifest contemplation of Her Mystery. Exploring occult themes of sacrifice, magical liberation, prophecy, witchcraft, and abomination, it marks a watershed publication for the discourse on this important and previously neglected aspect of Thelemic Studies. The written works are enhanced by an offering of original and visionary art from contemporary practitioners, each exploring Her magical arcana from a ritually embodied perspective.”

  • Unlock the secrets of the Freemasons — or at least gawk at their strange costumes — in this Alexandria museum” — Sadie Dingfelder, Washington Post

    Sadie Dingfelder Washington Post Unlock the secrets of the Freemasons

    “‘Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?’ That question was on my mind even before I saw a book with that title lying open on a table at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. This lesser-known monument to Washington and museum of Freemason history is a modest tower in Alexandria — only 333 feet tall compared with the Washington Monument’s 555. It’s not that old — ground was broken for it in 1922 and it wasn’t completed until the 1970s — and, unlike D.C.’s many free attractions, the Masonic memorial costs $15 to visit, so I wasn’t surprised that I was the only person on the 9:30 a.m. tour one recent Monday.”

  • How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald Robertson, due April 2019 from St. Martin’s Press

    Robertson How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

    “The life-changing principles of Stoicism taught through the story of its most famous proponent.

    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was the final famous Stoic philosopher of the ancient world. The Meditations, his personal journal, survives to this day as one of the most loved self-help and spiritual classics of all time. In How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, cognitive psychotherapist Donald Robertson weaves the life and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius together seamlessly to provide a compelling modern-day guide to the Stoic wisdom followed by countless individuals throughout the centuries as a path to achieving greater fulfillment and emotional resilience.

    How to Think Like a Roman Emperor takes readers on a transformative journey along with Marcus, following his progress from a young noble at the court of Hadrian―taken under the wing of some of the finest philosophers of his day―through to his reign as emperor of Rome at the height of its power. Robertson shows how Marcus used philosophical doctrines and therapeutic practices to build emotional resilience and endure tremendous adversity, and guides readers through applying the same methods to their own lives.

    Combining remarkable stories from Marcus’s life with insights from modern psychology and the enduring wisdom of his philosophy, How to Think Like a Roman Emperor puts a human face on Stoicism and offers a timeless and essential guide to handling the ethical and psychological challenges we face today.”

  • The A-Z of Believing: O is for Occult. Is the occult just religion without rules? Ed Kessler, head of the Woolf Institute, presents the 15th part in a series on belief and scepticism.” — Ed Kessler, Independent UK; behind a paywall

    “One should not believe in superstitions, but it is best to be heedful of them – Sefer Hasdim

    Look round any bookshop and the section on the occult is likely to be next to, or close by, the section on religion. Counting the books alone (and I confess to have been an avid reader of the Denis Wheatley Black Magic thrillers) confirms the popularity of the occult. The word is derived from the Latin word occultus, which means “hidden”. Both religion and the occult seek to make clear what is hidden to those who are not practitioners or believers.”

  • Astrology as Art: Representation and Practice, edited by Nicholas Campion and Jennifer Zahrt, released in November from Sophia Centre Press

    Campion Zahrt Astrology As Art

    “Is astrology an art? How does art represent astrology and its practice? Is the visual language used by astrologers artistic? From Mesopotamia and Mediterranean culture to Mesoamerica and into the European Renaissance and the modern era, the nine chapters in this anthology explore the meanings of art and astrology, the iconography of astrology and the nature of its practice, the use of zodiac signs, and the portrayal stars and planets in literature and the visual arts. With contributions by Spike Bucklow, Ruth Clydesdale, Richard Dunn, Martin Gansten, Liesbeth Grotenhuis, John Meeks, Suzanne Nolan, Micah Ross, and Claudia Rousseau.”

  • Satanic Settlement Reached in ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Statue Suit. The dispute over the goat deity Baphomet, shown prominently at Sabrina Spellman’s school in the Netflix series, has been resolved.” — Ashley Cullins, Hollywood Reporter

    “The Satanic Temple is pleased to announce that the lawsuit it recently filed against Warner Bros. and Netflix has been amicably settled. The unique elements of the Satanic Temple’s Baphomet statue will be acknowledged in the credits of episodes which have already been filmed. The remaining terms of the settlement are subject to a confidentiality agreement.”

  • Letters, Dreams, and Other Writings by Remedios Varo, translated and introduced by Margaret Carson, released November from Wakefield Press [HT Pam Grossman]

    Varo Carson Letters Dreams and Other Writings

    “While the reputation of Remedios Varo (1908–63) the surrealist painter is now well established, Remedios Varo the writer has yet to be fully discovered. Her writings, which were never published during her life let alone translated into English, present something of a missing chapter and offer the same qualities to be found in her visual work: an engagement with mysticism and magic, a breakdown of the border between the everyday and the marvelous, a love of mischief and an ongoing meditation on the need for (and the trauma of) escape in all its forms.

    This volume brings together the painter’s collected writings and includes an unpublished interview, letters to friends and acquaintances (as well as to people unknown), dream accounts, notes for unrealized projects, a project for a theater piece, whimsical recipes for controlled dreaming, exercises in surrealist automatic writing and prose poem commentaries on her paintings. It also includes her longest manuscript, the pseudoscientific, De Homo Rodans, an absurdist study of the wheeled predecessor to Homo sapiens (the skeleton of which Varo had built out of chicken bones). Ostensibly written by the invented anthropologist Hälikcio von Fuhrängschmidt, Varo’s text utilizes eccentric Latin and a tongue-in-cheek pompous discourse to explain the origins of the first umbrella and in what ways Myths are merely corrupted Myrtles.”

  • The Ultimate Rocket Scientist who went Mad with Sex and the Occult” — Ian Harvey, The Vintage News

    “It’s well-known that exceptionally gifted people are often a little unusual. Our pop culture is full of such individuals, and historically Van Gogh, Picasso, and Nikolai Tesla are all prime examples of people who were utterly brilliant, but also saw the world in a very different light than the rest of us. Another example of this phenomenon is Jack Parsons.”

  • US ‘missionary’ shot dead with arrows by remote tribe ‘believed it was his calling from God to convert them to Christianity’. John Allen Chau had reportedly visited the prohibited North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean to preach Christianity to the tribe.” — Guy Birchall, The Sun

    “AN American tourist killed by a tribe on a remote Indian island felt he was called by God to bring the gospel to the uncontacted people.

    North Sentinel Island is off-bounds to visitors and home to the Sentinelese, who killed John Allen Chau after he was illegally ferried there by fishermen, officials said.”

  • Middle East Looters Turn to Spirit Possession to Find Gold Treasure” — Owen Jarus, Live Science [HT Matt Staggs]

    “As “antique” gold coins from the Middle East pour into the United States, some looters are turning to spirits called “jinn” in their hunt for gold treasure. A few gold seekers even go so far as to try to get the jinn to possess them in hopes that the spirits will guide them to that hidden jackpot.

    However, research by archaeologists and an investigation conducted by Live Science suggest that rarely, if ever, does using the jinn help looters find gold artifacts. Rather, metal detectors and mass excavation of archaeological sites seem to be the most effective ways of looting treasure.”

  • Secret ‘Catacombs Pact’ emerges after 50 years, and Francis gives it new life” — David Gibson, Religion News Service

    “The signatories vowed to renounce personal possessions, fancy vestments and “names and titles that express prominence and power,” and they said they would make advocating for the poor and powerless the focus of their ministry.

    In all this, they said, “we will seek collaborators in ministry so that we can be animators according to the Spirit rather than dominators according to the world; we will try to make ourselves as humanly present and welcoming as possible; and we will show ourselves to be open to all, no matter what their beliefs.”

    The document would become known as the Pact of the Catacombs, and the signers hoped it would mark a turning point in church history.

    Instead, the Pact of the Catacombs disappeared, for all intents and purposes.”

Omnium Gatherum: October 30, 2018

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for October 30, 2018

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

  • Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural by Peter Bebergal, from TarcherPerigee

    Berbergal Strange Frequencies

    “A journey through the attempts artists, scientists, and tinkerers have made to imagine and communicate with the otherworldly using various technologies, from cameras to radiowaves.

    Strange Frequencies takes readers on an extraordinary narrative and historical journey to discover how people have used technology in an effort to search for our own immortality. Bebergal builds his own ghostly gadgets to reach the other side, too, and follows the path of famous inventors, engineers, seekers, and seers who attempted to answer life’s ultimate mysteries. He finds that not only are technological innovations potent metaphors keeping our spiritual explorations alive, but literal tools through which to experiment the boundaries of the physical world and our own psyches.

    Peter takes the reader alongside as he explores:
    * the legend of the golem and the strange history of automata;
    * a photographer who is trying to capture the physical manifestation of spirits;
    * a homemaker who has recorded voicemails from the dead;
    * a stage magician who combines magic and technology to alter his audience’s consciousness;
    * and more.”

  • The season of the witch: how Sabrina and co are casting their spell over TV. Diverse, digitally savvy and definitely feminist, our screens are full of witches who embody a new imagining of the original ‘nasty woman’” — Charlotte Richardson Andrews, The Guardian UK; talking, in part, with Christina Oakley Harrington of Treadwells

    “So will the interest in witches last or is it a passing spell? ‘We’ll have to wait and see,’ says [Christina] Oakley Harrington. ‘For some, it’ll be a fashion trend. They’re drawn to the aesthetic rather than the actual practice. But for a certain proportion – a small one, I think – it’ll waken something innate, intense and lasting.’

    Even if she falls out of vogue – which doesn’t look likely, given this autumn’s TV programming – the witch is always with us, says MacCormack. ‘The occult never goes away. People are desperate for alternative paradigms of practice and activism because the current ones simply don’t work.'”

  • One Truth and One Spirit: Aleister Crowley’s Spiritual Legacy by Keith Readdy, foreword by Vere Chappell; due in December, from Ibis Press

    Readdy One Truth and One Spirit

    “Based upon academic research at the University of Amsterdam’s Center for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, One Truth and One Spirit is a much-needed work that covers a previously unexplored history of the modern religious movement known as Thelema. This work details the theoretical framework of Aleister Crowley’s spiritual legacy in the O.T.O. and the A∴A∴ and covers the years of Thelema since Crowley’s death in 1947.

    One Truth and One Spirit approaches a complex topic with a complex history, with exhaustive citations and sources, but it is written for anyone interested in the subject of Thelema. The author utilizes published source material as well as previously unavailable information, which makes this a unique contribution to the available literature.

    One Truth and One Spirit is expected to be of interest to the novice, the scholar, and the seasoned practitioner of Thelema. The work provides a general historical overview of Thelema from a theoretical vantage point, explores the historical development of the movement from the 1960s to the 1990s, and applies the author’s own critical discussions on the topic itself.”

  • The Satanic Temple says Netflix’s ‘Sabrina’ stole Baphomet statue design, is ‘taking legal action’” — Alyssa Pereira, SFGATE; from the Devil-Made-Me-Do-It dept.

    “‘I feel that the use of our particular image that is recognized as our own central icon (being) displayed fictionally as central to some cannibalistic cult has real world damaging effects for us,’ he said.

    [Lucien] Greaves added that he isn’t looking for any kind of fix to the situation other than a retraction by Netflix of the visual representation — however that can happen.

    ‘I want them to take it out,’ he said. ‘It looks like it’s a CGI facsimile to begin with. I don’t know how much work that takes, but I simply refuse to have our monument used in this way in perpetuity. I don’t want our monument to be associated with this.'”

  • CBS All Access Renews Ridley Scott-Produced ‘Strange Angel’ for Season 2. Drama is based on George Pendle’s book based on the real-life story of Jack Parsons” — Tim Baysinger, The Wrap

    “In season two, the U.S. is fully engaged in World War II, transforming Jack’s rocketry work into a lucrative business and further entrenching him in the military-industrial complex. While Jack’s career takes off, he and his wife Susan’s devotion to their new occult religion grows, leading them to invite the sex cult into their Pasadena mansion and to forge a personal relationship with the group’s notorious founder, Aleister Crowley himself.”

  • Claypool Lennon Delirium Preview New LP ‘South of Reality’ With Psychedelic Song. Les Claypool, Sean Lennon issue ‘Blood and Rockets,’ plot spring U.S. tour dates” — Ryan Reed, Rolling Stone

    “The experimental psych-rock duo previewed the LP with the six-and-a-half-minute ‘Blood and Rockets,’ a sprawling epic that finds Lennon and Claypool crooning and snarling, respectively, over spacey synths and chiming guitars. ‘How high does your rocket fly?’ Lennon sings on the chorus, his voice elevated to a blissful falsetto. ‘Better be careful ’cause you just might set the world on fire.’

    As Lennon tells Rolling Stone, the song’s dark lyrics document ‘the lascivious exploits of famed JPL rocket scientist Jack Parsons, the man who not only helped America get to the moon with liquid fuel technology, but was also a Magister Templi in Aleister Crowley’s cult, the Ordo Templi Orientis.’ He added that Parsons ‘sadly passed away in a violent explosion during a secretive alchemical experiment at his house in Pasadena.'”

  • Dr. Bronner’s” — Quartz

    “The Dr. Bronner’s brand has taken a long journey from hippie California to $120 million global business. It was an even longer one for Emanuel Heilbronner, scion of German soapmakers: He fled the rise of the Nazis in his 20s, was institutionalized in his 30s, saw his company go bankrupt in his 70s, and was selling a million bottles of soap a year when he died at 89 in 1997. Since then, his grandsons have continued the trajectory while trying to translate his arcane, utopian personal philosophy to the business world.”

  • Inside the abandoned Aleister Crowley house of West Cornwall. There are plenty of abandoned houses in Cornwall, but only one has tales that involve Aleister Crowley, the Dalai Lama, Virginia Woolf, famous artists and the murder of a celebrity” — Greg Martin, Cornwall Live; about Carn Cottage near Zennor in Cornwall

    “Mention the ‘Aleister Crowley house’ in conversation with someone in West Cornwall, and you could either get a knowing look or a frosty silence. Despite being dead for more than 80 years, the English occultist who was branded a Satanist and ‘the wickedest man in the world’ is still controversial enough to stir up ill-feeling in those who would rather his links with Cornwall, however small, were forgotten.

    And then there are those who will tell you in hushed tones that they have visited the house – often as a dare. The bravest will claim they have spent the night there, writing their names on the walls to document their courage, but the more honest will tell you they got too scared to hang around.

    For the most part, though, it seems those who have heard about the ‘Aleister Crowley house’ in West Cornwall, know very little about it, including where it is.”

  • Lineage of the Magi. Faith in ‘lineage’ or Apostolic Succession has cast a shadow over organised occult communities for centuries.” — Oliver St. John, Ordo Astri; a sample article from an upcoming book, due in 2018, but no release date announced, Babalon Unveiled! Thelemic Monographs

    “The proper role and function of a magical Order is to serve others in the Great Work. The role of the members of such an organisation is to assist men and women with their initiation. The service, if freely given, does not require external validation from patriarchs or peers. True initiation cannot be given, bestowed or conferred by any man or woman to any other. What can be passed on, given or validated in that way is worthless in spiritual terms. In fact, it is worse than that, for it conveys self-importance and, ultimately, betrayal for the soul—a bitter cup indeed. Investment of power in lineage is therefore a misdirection of the will and a wasting of the energy of the self.”

  • What Maniac does (and doesn’t) get right about the Bible and the Gnostics” — Michael Collett, ABC News AU

    “It’s a clever scene in a powerful show — Emma Stone and Jonah Hill’s Maniac, you might have heard the buzz about it — but don’t take it as a history lesson.”

    “One person whose ears perked up when they heard this bit of dialogue during a weekend Netflix binge was Dr Robert Myles, a New Testament lecturer at Murdoch University.

    He helped us take the scene apart.”

  • Mysteries of the Great Beast Aleister Crowley: A Liturgical Cycle for Thelemites by Dionysius Rogers, aka Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus; out in paperback, with digital release due tomorrow

    Rogers Mysteries of the Great Beast Aleister Crowley

    “These Mysteries are a set of congregational rituals commemorating the attainments of Aleister Crowley, the Prophet of Thelema. Although originally developed for and with the cooperation of local O.T.O. groups, they are suitable for performance by any Thelemites. They can be conducted on the “unholy days” to reflect their historical inspiration, or in a day-long festival which arranges them into a single larger event.”

  • The Ghost Story Persists in American Literature. Why?” — Parul Sehgal, New York Times [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    “The ghost story shape-shifts because ghosts themselves are so protean — they emanate from specific cultural fears and fantasies. They emerge from their time, which is why Jacobeans saw ghosts wearing pale shrouds and Victorians saw them draped in black bombazine. It’s tempting to regard these apparitions as dark mirrors — Tell me what you fear and I’ll tell you who you are.”

    “However, ghost stories are never just reflections. They are social critiques camouflaged with cobwebs; the past clamoring for redress.”

  • So-Called ‘Witch Caves’ Suggest Underground Network Helped Accused Witches Escape Salem” — Deborah Becker, WBUR

    “Salem is well known for its gruesome history of witch trials and the stories of those executed in the anti-witch hysteria.

    But it’s also believed that there was a network of people in the area who secretly worked to help those accused of witchcraft escape from Salem to safety.

    Local historians say that in 1693 some people suspected of witchcraft traveled to what is now the Framingham/Ashland area to hide in ‘witch caves.'”

  • Dialectics of Darkness” — Egil Asprem, Inference [HT Arts & Letters Daily]; a review of The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences by Jason Josephson-Storm, from University of Chicago Press

    “Historical evidence is easily neglected, Josephson-Storm argues, when it crosses the grain of what we ought to believe. Disenchantment is a foundational myth of the new human sciences that emerged during the nineteenth century. By treating magic and religion as anachronisms, anthropology and sociology reinforced the myth of disenchantment, while promoting their own claim to scientific status. A taboo invites its own subversion. So, too, with disenchantment. The disavowal of the occult typically involved the public rejection and the private embrace of various enchantments.”

  • Why Hilma af Klint’s Occult Spirituality Makes Her the Perfect Artist for Our Technologically Disrupted Time. At the Guggenheim, ‘Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future’ makes you rethink what it means to be modern.” — Ben Davis, ArtNet News; about Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim

    Davis Artnet Why Hilma af Klints Occult Spirituality Makes Perfect Artist

    “Hilma af Klint’s example shows the symbolic power that a woman artist could draw both in spite of and because of the constraints put on her by her time period and her culture, making her a convincing heroine for today. But there is another aspect of Hilma af Klint that makes her oeuvre enter into harmonic relation with the present.

    That is her occultism.”

Omnium Gatherum: October 24, 2018

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for October 24, 2018

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

  • The Last Days of New Paris: A Novel by China Miéville

    Miéville The Last Days of New Paris

    “A thriller of war that never was—of survival in an impossible city—of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction, reconfiguring history and art into something new.

    “Beauty will be convulsive. . . .”

    1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer—and occult disciple—Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.

    1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts—and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.

    But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties—to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.”

  • “Serge Arnoux, Surrealism and William Blake” — Robert Campbell Henderson, Finding Blake

    “It’s not so easy to find or write something new about William Blake. Hopefully, this might just be an exception. A few weeks ago I made a visit to a scrap metal yard in Sarlat, France, looking for material for my printmaking. Boy did I get lucky! I bought some copper plate destined for the furnace and it turns out I’d bought 27 etched copper plates by deceased French artist Serge Arnoux, based on some of the ‘Proverbs of Hell’ from Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell from 1790.”

  • Surrealism, Occultism and Politics: In Search of the Marvellous, edited by Tessel M. Bauduin, Victoria Ferentinou, and Daniel Zamani, from Routledge

    Bauduin Ferentinou Zamani Surrealism Occultism and Politics

    “This volume examines the relationship between occultism and Surrealism, specifically exploring the reception and appropriation of occult thought, motifs, tropes and techniques by Surrealist artists and writers in Europe and the Americas, from the 1920s through the 1960s. Its central focus is the specific use of occultism as a site of political and social resistance, ideological contestation, subversion and revolution. Additional focus is placed on the ways occultism was implicated in Surrealist discourses on identity, gender, sexuality, utopianism and radicalism.”

  • Jack Parsons: The Devil and the Divine, Lore s02e06

    “In 1922 only one person, Jack Parsons, believed that we could send a rocket into space and conjure a demon. By 1952 he had done both. But all he cared about was the Scarlet Woman he had both summoned, and lost, Marjorie Cameron.”

  • The evolution of the medieval witch – and why she’s usually a woman” — Heritage Daily; from the DEPT dept. [HT who]

    “Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls alike.

    But where did this gendered stereotype come from? Part of the answer comes from medieval attitudes towards magic, and the particular behaviours attributed to men and women within the “crime” of witchcraft.”

  • The Witchcraft, Devilry, and Fun, Feminist Fury in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” — Wm.™ Steven Humphrey, The Stranger

    “There’s something to be said for consorting with the devil.

    The perks include nearly unlimited power, awesome opportunities for revenge, and lots of sexy times. However, the downsides are just as lousy as one might experience in other fundamentalist religions.”

  • A Look Inside NYC’s Mysterious Masonic Hall” — Claire Lampen, Gothamist

    “I have always wondered what in the heck goes on inside Masonic lodges: The secrets of Freemasonry are not for women to know—not for anyone but Freemasons to know, really—which makes me inherently suspicious of the entire operation. What do men get up to in there, and why can’t they breathe a word of it to anyone outside the brotherhood? What is so incriminating, or so stigmatizing, or so singularly valuable that it warrants such a heavy cloak of silence?

    Last week, Joseph Patzner, a librarian at the Chancellor Joseph R. Livingston Masonic Library, situated on the 14th floor of the Masonic Hall in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, agreed to sit down with me and discuss the mystery, along with a bit of the Hall’s history. This peek behind the curtain did not illuminate the full extent of the Masons’ cloistered activity, but it did provide a festive backdrop against which my imagination now runs wild.”

  • Monty Python Icon John Cleese Has 2 Brutal Questions For Evangelical Trump Fans. The comedy legend called the president “a sleazy, corrupt, egotistical and mendacious sociopath.” — Ed Mazza, Huffpost

    “Have they not read the New Testament ? Or do they think it’s not meant to be taken literally ?”

  • The Profound Grief of The Haunting of Hill House” — Lindsey Romain, Vulture

    “Netflix’s new ten-episode horror series, The Haunting of Hill House, uses Shirley Jackson’s famous novel as a road map to explore this house-as-body metaphor, and it does so with a profound and precise tenderness. Creator and director Mike Flanagan crafts a wholly unique haunted-house fable — abandoning the book’s paranormal investigation plot — using the hollow halls of a disordered mansion to tell the story of the disordered family who lives there. The hidden ghosts of Hill House aren’t nameless spooks trapped between spiritual realms; they are personal manifestations for the people they haunt, visual aids for the truths they must accept and vanquish. It’s not a paranormal story so much as a meditation on the distinct way grief and trauma maim the living. And it’s scary as hell”

  • We’re Thrilled to Inform You Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Salem the Cat Is Red Carpet Trained” — Devon Ivie, Vulture

    Ivie Salem the Cat is Red Carpet Trained

    “As alerted to us by IndieWire, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s iconic Salem the Cat — rudely only identified as “cat” by Getty Images — must actually possess some kind of satanic power, as that’s the only reasonable explanation why this handsome fella walked the red carpet at the show’s premiere with zero instances of bad behavior.”

  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s New Power Is Being a Woke Feminist” — Frida Garza, Jezebel

    “But as Shipka explained at the series premiere in Los Angeles on Friday night, the Netflix adaptation is also more explicitly feminist, pitting an enterprising Sabrina against the male-dominated world of witches. “She’s a woke witch,” Shipka said.

    Sabrina, who is half-mortal, half-witch, is reluctant to leave the real world behind for the patriarchal magical world. Per Variety: “I think that [premise] in and of itself is very feminist and she’s a strong independent woman and she stands up for herself and does what she thinks is right,” Shipka said.”

    “Will Sabrina’s cat decide to speak up against the pitfalls of toxic masculinity, too? Only time will tell.”

  • This simple productivity tip nudges the easily distracted—ever so gently” — Lila MacLellan, Quartz; about ideas in Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction by Chris Bailey

    “Your mind will always wander, so consider how that might present an opportunity to assess how you’re feeling and then to set a path for what to do next,” he writes in the just-published book.

    One way he has trained his mind to keep its finite amount of attention on whatever task he has designated for it is through an “awareness chime.” Using any number of apps, you can set up your computer or laptop to chime hourly. That gentle, pleasing sound will nudge you to take a second and ask yourself, “Am I doing the thing I’m supposed to be doing right now?”

    Bailey actually suggests posing many other questions, including one about the quality of your attentional flow, distractions you might be able to remove from your environment, and whether you’re ignoring something that is more important than what you’re doing, even if you’re technically on schedule.

  • 5 Tiny Tweaks to Your Daily Routine That Will Double Your Energy and Productivity. In a productivity-obsessed world, these 5 tiny habits will make all the difference.” — Julian Hayes II, Inc.

    “But at its root core, productivity comes down to your energy and flow state (or being “in the zone” as some call it).

    Without those two core elements, it’s impossible to be your most productive self. To get those two elements firing on all cylinders doesn’t need to complicated. In fact, implementing these five tiny tweaks to your daily routine will set you on the right path.

    1. Start and end your day like Benjamin Franklin.”

    “2. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time.”

    “3. Quality food and water before coffee.”

    “4. Schedule and name your work sessions.”

    “5. Take breaks to re-energize yourself.”

  • Ritual to Hex Kavanaugh Is So Popular That Witches Organized Another One. After more than 10,000 people expressed interest in the ritual to hex Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Facebook, creators of the event are giving witches everywhere another opportunity.” — Sara David, Broadly

    “Bracciale describes the hex on Kavanaugh as an act of ‘spiritual solidarity and sociopolitical resistance.'”

    “‘It strikes fear into the heart of Christian fundamentalists,’ Bracciale says of the backlash. ‘That’s one of the reasons that we do it. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. We don’t subscribe to this bullshit, pacifist, love and light, everybody just get along thing. If you want to hijack the country; if you want to steal the election; if you want to overturn Roe v. Wade; if you want to harm people who are queer; well guess what: We’re not doing civility. If you’re going to be these awful bullies, you have to understand someone is going to punch you back and it might as well be a bunch of witches from Brooklyn.'”

  • Catholic Exorcist Prays For Brett Kavanaugh In Response To Witches’ Planned Hex. The Rev. Gary Thomas said those targeting the Supreme Court justice are ‘real evil people.'” — Carol Kuruvilla, Huffpost

    “The Rev. Gary Thomas is a Vatican-educated exorcist who is currently authorized by the Bishop of San Jose to perform exorcisms. In Catholicism, this complex set of rites and prayers is used only by specially trained priests to battle with perceived demonic forces.

    For Thomas, the news that dozens of witches would assemble at an occult bookstore in Brooklyn to target Kavanaugh is no joke. The priest said he’s witnessed people who weren’t in a “state of grace” experience real physical and spiritual harm as a result of curses.”

  • How an abduction by the mysterious Freemasons led to a third political party — the nation’s first. The bizarre history of the Anti-Masonic Party” — Robert Mitchell, The Washington Post

    “The mysterious fate of Morgan animated an uneasy alliance of cranks and ambitious politicians and formed the basis of the first third party in the United States. The Anti-Masonic Party flourished in the late 1820s and early 1830s, before the partisan divisions of the antebellum era solidified into Democrats versus Whigs.”