Secret societies, societies with secrets, and societies with spoilers

When thinking about secrets and mysteries in practice, I’ve long tossed about the idea of a difference between secret societies, societies with secrets and a society without spoilers. Especially in this day when so much is being made available online, but that really is just a matter of scale when there are plenty of historical […]

The Devil’s Footsteps

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Devil’s Footsteps: A Dr. Caspian Novel of Horror by John Burke. When I picked up this mass-market paperback in a used book store, it looked like a cheesy contemporary occult thriller from the 1970s. I was mistaken, and the book amply exceeded my expectations for it. It is […]

The Fate of Dreams

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Doctor Strange: The Fate of Dreams by Devin Grayson. This original “prose” (i.e. not sequential-art) novel about Marvel occult superhero Doctor Strange was published in 2016, concurrently with the release of the MCU film featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Master of the Mystic Arts. In this book, Strange is […]

Omnium Gatherum: January 27, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for January 27, 2019

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

  • Tweet by Steak-umm

  • Down in the deep, beneath the Antarctic ice, a new strange world is rapidly forming” — Liam Mannix, Sydney Morning Herald; from the Iä!-Iä!-Cthulhu-Fhtagn! dept.

    “Under the Antarctic ice, in the pitch-black depths of the ocean, Australian scientists have discovered animals are evolving into strange and sometimes monstrous new shapes and forms.

    Life, these scientists believe, is using the frigid Antarctic waters to experiment, and animals there are evolving at a much faster pace than anywhere else in the world.

    And the weird creatures are riding deep-sea currents to migrate to other parts of the world.”

  • Tweet by Rachel True [HT DIANCA LONDON]

  • What White, Western Audiences Don’t Understand About Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying Up’. Backlash to the Netflix show ignores an essential aspect of the KonMari method: Its Shinto roots.” — Margaret Dilloway, HuffPost [HT Technoccult]

    “It’s OK to say, ‘Hey, I like my clutter. It causes me no anxiety, so I’ll pass on Marie Kondo’s suggestions.’ And it’s true that people with compulsive hoarding tendencies may be unable to undertake her style of cleaning without guided help. Her method is not for everyone. But to wholesale dismiss her suggestions with xenophobic language and unadulterated Western hubris is to dismiss an entire ancient cultural tradition that has harmed exactly no one.”

  • Lucifer Baphomet hand puppet by VikysKnitNCrochet [HT curiosa]

    vikysknitncrochet lucifer baphomet hand puppet

    “You can put this toy on your hand and let imagination to lead you ….”

  • Death Stranding: Mads Mikkelsen Risks His Life to Talk About Kojima’s Game. The ‘Polar’ star also talks ‘Hannibal’ Season 4 and what it was like being in a Rihanna music video.” — Jake Kleinman, Inverse

    “[Speaking to Polar director Jonas Åkerlund:] If you were working with Mads again on another movie, what role would you cast him in?

    Åkerlund: Aleister Crowley. That would be amazing.

    Mikkelsen: Let’s do it. You heard it here first.”

  • People with extreme anti-science views know the least, but think they know the most: study. People often suffer from an ‘illusion of knowledge,’ write the authors of a new study that finds that people who hold the most extreme views about genetically modified foods know the least.” — Sharon Kirkey, Edmonton Journal [HT Slashdot]

    “Humans often suffer from an ‘illusion of knowledge,’ the authors write, ‘thinking they understand everything from common household objects to complex social policies better than they do.’

    ‘So, the obvious thing we should try to do is educate people,’ Fernbach said. ‘But that generally hasn’t been very effective.’

    Sometimes it backfires, and people double down on their ‘counter-scientific consensus attitudes,’ Fernbach said. ‘Especially when people feel threatened or if they are being treated as if they are stupid.'”

  • Earth’s Oldest Known Rock Was Found on the Moon. One of the moon rocks collected by Apollo 14 actually originated on the Earth.” — Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics

    Thompson Popular Mechanics Earth's oldest known rock was found on the Moon

    “… a group of scientists recently announced they’ve found a rock that formed only half a billion years after the Earth itself. The twist is that this particular rock wasn’t discovered on Earth at all. It was found on the moon.”

  • What Was New Atheism?” — Jacob Hamburger, The Point [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    “Criticism of the liberal mainstream has been a part of New Atheism’s identity since it first appeared nearly two decades ago. Yet in presenting themselves as the defenders of reasoned argument against the various forces of ideological conviction, the New Atheists also unwittingly reflect some of elite liberalism’s deepest instincts. The movement’s rightward journey from the cutting edge of anti-Bush liberalism to the fringes of today’s “intellectual dark web,” moreover, reveals a striking divergence over the meaning of liberalism itself. Is “true” liberalism grounded on reason alone, or can it be, as some on the liberal left have insisted in recent years, made consistent with a politics of conviction?”

  • States of Grace. A religious scholar’s memoir of faith.” — Michael Robbins, Bookforum; about Why Religion? A Personal Story and other works by Elaine Pagels [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    Pagels Why Religion

    “Ours is, of course, an age of barbarous superstition—surveying a journal of opinion, for instance, I discover that human beings are genetically hardwired for tribalism. What I learned from Pagels’s book in college, and then from the hidden gospels themselves, and then from myriad other sources, is that there are ways of being religious that are ‘beyond belief.’ All they require of you is that you listen for the still, small voice that is already within you. ‘Recognize what is before your eyes,’ Thomas’s Yeshua says, ‘and the mysteries will be revealed to you.’ ‘Wherever you turn,’ says the Qur’an, ‘there is the face of God.’ The Nag Hammadi text called Allogenes, or ‘The Stranger,’ describes ‘a stillness of silence’ in which ‘I knew my true self.’ The voice of that stillness is often too small to hear, but it has yet to ask me if I’m ‘saved.'”

The Coming of the Terraphiles

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles, or Pirates of the Second Aethyr by Michael Moorcock. Michael Moorcock’s Doctor Who novel has for its protagonists the eleventh Doctor (the one played by Matt Smith) and Amy Pond (but no Rory). The central characterizations are solid, but it doesn’t pick […]

The Dosadi Experiment

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Dosadi Experiment by Frank Herbert. Here’s a book I looked at with interest when I was a teenager who had read and enjoyed Herbert’s Dune. I believe I passed it over then because it was the sequel to a book I hadn’t read (Whipping Star), and which wasn’t […]

Deep Sleeper

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Deep Sleeper by Phil Hester and Mike Huddleston. Deep Sleeper is solid comic book mysticism without the operatic occultism of Alan Moore or the gonzo shamanism of Grant Morrison. It’s more like what Doctor Strange would be, if Strange were a fiction writer and family man in Minnesota, and […]

The White Dominican

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The White Dominican by Gustav Meyrink. Meyrink begins this 1921 novel by making some startling claims for the reality of its clearly mythic protagonist Christopher Dovecote. The tale alternates among biographical narrative, visionary episodes, and didactic explication of the latter. It offers little in the way of resolution, but […]

The Blood Angels Omnibus

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Blood Angels Omnibus: Vol 1 by James Swallow. This omnibus of two novels and a short story is the first narrative fiction I’ve read in the Warhammer 40,000 setting, a far-future space fantasy milieu developed for various types of gaming: tabletop miniatures, roleplaying, and board games. I’ve been […]