On Deception

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews On Deception by Harry Houdini, foreword by Darren Brown. This slender volume is engaging reading for any student of the history of stage magic. It is full of curious anecdotes and interesting trivia, including ones bearing on the sharp rivalries of performers. When it discusses Houdini’s own methods, it is impressive […]

Idols of Perversity

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture by Bram Dijkstra, from Oxford University Press. Bram Dijkstra is a comparative literature professor who specializes in the relationship of literature to the visual arts. Do not be misled about this book, though. It is a book about an […]

Omnium Gatherum: June 4th, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for June 4th, 2014

Justin Ng digitally composed star trail photography
Stunning Digitally Composited Star Trail Photos [by Justin Ng] of the Night Sky over Singapore” — EDW Lynch, Laughing Squid

 

  • Transtheism or Numinalism” — April D DeConick, Forbidden Gospels Blog

    “I am continuing to think about this word that we don’t yet have to describe a religious point of view that sees all conventional religions as inadequate human constructions, that have not been able to communicate the experience of an ultimate reality that transcends us. […] I am thinking now about these possibilities: 1. Transtheism […] 2. Numinalism”

  • Free” — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti

    “Be not of any Faction: A wise Man is always free.”

  • ‘Muslim Gospel’ Revealing the ‘Christian Truth’ Excites the Da Vinci Code Set: Jesus Christ on a Cross: Not.” — Annette Yoshiko Reed, Religion Dispatches

    “For [John] Toland, this was not just another apocryphon. From this ‘Turkish Gospel being fathr’d upon Barnabas,’ he claimed to have been led to recover “the original plan of Christianity” as centered on Jewish-Christian beliefs that ‘Jesus did not take away or cancel the Jewish Law in any sense whatsoever.’

    This, Toland argued, was the very oldest form of Christianity, only it was lost to history when ‘converts from the Gentiles… did almost wholly subvert’ it. On the basis of the Gospel of Barnabas, Toland characterized the most ancient Christianity as harmonious with Islam as well: its account of Jesus, after all, was perfectly conformable to the traditions of the Mahometans [i.e., Muslims], who maintain that another was crucified in his stead; and that Jesus, slipping thro’ the hands of Jews, preach’d afterwards to his disciples, then was taken to heaven.”

    “At least from the evidence now at hand, there’s little to support the theory that the GBarn is authentically ancient. The question, rather, is why this possibility continues to arise again and again despite the paucity of evidence. Why is the idea of this gospel—and speculation about its possible suppression—so compelling to modern readers? How has on-line speculation about a Syriac manuscript of an obscure apocryphon risen to the status of e-Rumor, spreading widely through social media and persisting for years?”

  • Virginia County Board: Followers Of ‘Pre-Christian Deities’ Forbidden To Deliver Opening Prayers” — Matt Staggs, disinformation

    “… I’m assuming deities contemporaneous with Christianity are just fine, so grab your Pope cards and take the next flight to Chesterfield, Subgenii: These folks clearly need ‘Bob’ and his redeeming message of Slack.”

  • Leonardo Ulian’s Technological Mandalas Signify Worship of Technology” — Sara Barnes, Beautiful/Decay

    “Artist Leonardo Ulian offers another interpretation of the mandala with his assemblages of electronic components, copper wire, and more. The intricate, finely detailed works radiate the innards of what makes technology tick. Ulian crafts smaller geometric patterns within a larger, more general shape that become more impressive once you see close up shots of his handiwork.”

    Leonard Ulian's Technological Mandalas

     

  • Inside the Church of Scientology’s New $14 Million Compound” — Nelson Groom, VICE

    “The outside of the building melds surprisingly well with its surroundings. However, this all changes when you walk inside. As soon as you step through the entrance, the vibrant lighting and futuristic decor make you feel like you’re on the set of the latest terrible sci-fi dystopian flick. It’s prompt validation that this is not your average church.”

  • ‘Be Here Nowish’ is a Queer, Spiritual Comedy from the Creators of ‘Every Woman’” — Liz Armstrong, VICE

    “Be Here Nowish had a soft launch last month and now emerges in its entirety, picking up where the main characters, fuck-ups in their own right, left off, finding themselves in Los Angeles among a group of freaky devotees of a guru played by Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio.

    Adam, are you personally involved in any of the kooky spiritual stuff that’s going on in Los Angeles?

    Adam [Carpenter]: Does Pilates count?

    No. Sorry.

  • How to achieve altered states of consciousness” — Jarred Triskelion, Spiral Nature

    “Entering altered states of consciousness has a dramatic effect upon a ritual. Everything becomes more profound, from the smell of the incense, to the colour of the candlelight, to the feel of your wand in your hand.”

  • An interactive Enochian resource from Keep Silence: Spirits of the Great Table

    Keep Silence Spirits of the Great Table

     

  • Abolish the Week! It’s unnatural. It’s unnecessary. Why the seven-day week has got to go.” — Ben Schreckinger, Slate Culturebox

    “But whence the week? Throughout history, human societies have found it useful to divide time into groups of days shorter than a lunar month. One of the most common uses of this cycle has been to establish a regular market day, though just how regular varies. At one point, the Basques evidently employed a three-day week. For centuries, China, Japan, and Korea employed a 10-day week. Other societies have employed four-, five-, six-, eight-, and nine-day weeks.”

  • Vampires, Ghosts, and the Legacy of Antiquity” — Sarah Veale, Invocatio

    “So were vampires ghosts? Were ghosts vampires? These days most of us can easily distinguish between a vampire and a ghost and would consider them two very different phenomena. Examples from antiquity, however, suggest a blurring of these distinctions which lasted until the modern era. This overlap in the supernatural has caused much consternation among scholars who study the undead, complicating what would otherwise be neat categories.”

  • Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone” — Mallory Ortberg, The Toast [HT Rob Bricken]

    “‘This is really more of a question for the Economics of Potion-Making, I guess. What time are econ lessons here?’

    ‘We have no economics lessons in this school, you ridiculous boy.’

    Harry Potter stood up bravely. ‘We do now. Come with me if you want to learn about market forces!’

    The students poured into the hallway after him. They had a leader at last.”

  • Restoring the Lost Sense: May 29, 2014” — Craig Conley, Abecedarian

    “How consciousness bends the body: an illustration from The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindel, 1911.”

    Craig Conley Restoring the Lost Sense May 29 2014

     

  • Taliesin Gilkes-Bower quoted at “Lighting a 7-Day Candle for Saint Google” — Max Pearl, Cluster Magazine; see also “St. Google Prayer Candles

    “You know, Saint Isidore of Seville was declared the patron saint of the Internet and computers by the vatican. You can imagine confession as the ultimate data-mining and blackmail tool. The church had to coerce people with the idea of infinite hell to get them to confess, and they could still lie if they wanted to! Now we just give away access to every single piece of ourselves for free. So the need for protection from Saint Google is very real.”

    Taliesin Gilkes-Bower St Google prayer candles

     

  • A footnote about the publishing industry” — Charlie Stross, Charlie’s Diary

    “But the trouble with disruption is that it’s dangerously close to detonation. You can end up destroying what you sought to shake up and take over.”

  • Burning the MRA Playbook (Or, #YesAllMRAs)” — Chuck Wendig, terribleminds

    “We get flicked in the nuts by a badminton birdie we’ll double over for 20 minutes, moaning and rocking back and forth. Our balls are like little yarn-bundles contained in a thin, wifty sack of outlying flesh. They unspool like bobbins of delicate thread when damaged. Women on the other hand push entire people out of their lady-realms like divine fucking beings.”

  • Post-Culture Review, via tweet

 

If you’d like to participate in the next Omnium Gatherum, head on over to the Gatherum discussions at the Hrmtc Underground BBS.

Magick, Music and Ritual 9 artwork and design

The artwork and design of this issue was created by Mustafa al-Laylah. This is the fourth and final element of a full series of covers which has spanned the entire year. The cover design of this issue is the upper left quadrant from the full set of covers this year which can be combined to […]

Magick, Music and Ritual 8 artwork and design

The artwork and design of this issue was created by Mustafa al-Laylah. This is the third, and penultimate, of a full series of covers which will span the entire year. The cover design of this issue is the lower left quadrant from the full set of covers this year which can be combined to make […]

Magick, Music and Ritual 7 artwork and design

The artwork and design of this issue was created by Mustafa al-Laylah. This is the second of a full series of covers which will span the entire year. The cover design of this issue is the lower right quadrant from the full set of covers this year which can be combined to make a larger […]

Serpent Songs

Scarlet Imprint has announced Serpent Songs, a new anthology of voices of Traditional Craft, as available for pre-order. This was announced via their subscriber list, but embargoed until today, so I don’t have a link to the work yet but information on this should be available on their website shortly (and the Serpent Songs page is now up). This title will be initially available in a a couple of variously limited fetish editions with paperback and digital to follow.

Serpent Songs are the words and works of those who remain untamed, Cunning Folk, Exorcists, Pellars, Sorgin, Witches and Mystics.

A collection of fifteen essays are introduced and curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold through whose contacts we encounter the worlds of lone individuals and tradition holders, from both family and clan, and are allowed a rare glimpse into the workings of the more secretive practitioners of the Craft.

Traditional Craft is intimately bound to the spirit of the land. Serpent Songs contains the accounts of Cornish and Basque witchcraft, the relatively unknown Swedish Trolldom, the persecuted Bogomils, and the oft misrepresented Italian Streghoneria. Members of 1734, Clan Tubal Cain and The Companie of the Serpent-Cross are among those who choose to share their experiences and perspectives. Light is shed on such important figures as Robert Cochrane, Evan John-Jones and Andrew Chumbley amongst others, but more than illustrious ancestors, Traditional Craft is revealed as a living throng.

These are the voices of those who work the art and this book details their practices, struggles and wayward journeys. Serpent Songs takes a crooked path through the landscape, from historical studies to practical acts, from lonely stone stiles set between deep hedges to the warm entrails of animals and forays into the caves and woods.

Serpent Songs is a wide ranging work that deals with the issues of witch blood, taboo, the other, the liminal state, fire, dream, art and need as vectors of the Craft. What emerges is not a narrow definition of what it means to engage in Traditional Craft, but a set of shared characteristics and approaches which become evident despite the cultural gulfs in place and time. This is a book of praxis, beliefs and their own definitions of the art itself rather than those applied to it by outsiders. These are the voices who for the most part operate in silence but now wish to be heard.

Contents

Prelude:The Other Blood – Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold
The Witch’s Cross – Gemma Gary
The Spirit of True Blood – Shani Oates
Lezekoak – Arkaitz Urbeltz
A Gathering of Light and Shadows – Stuart Inman and Jane Sparkes
The Fall and Rise of an English Cunning One – Tony MacLeod
Streghoneria: A Roman Furnace – Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold
But the House of my Father will Stand – Xabier Bakaikoa Urbeltz
Bucca and the Cornish Cult of Pellar – Steve Patterson
Exorcists, Conjurors and Cunning Men in Post-Reformation England – Richard Parkinson
The Liturgy of Taboo – Francis Ashwood
Trolldom – Johannes Gardback
The Bogomilian and Byzantine Influences on Traditional Craft – Radomir Rastic
But to Assist the Soul’s Interior Revolution: The art of Andrew Chumbley and aspects of Sabbatic Craft – Anne Morris
Passers-by: Potential, Crossroads & Waywaring on the Serpent Road – Jesse Hathaway Diaz
The Mysteries of Beast, Blood and Bone – Sarah Lawless”

Magick, Music and Ritual 6 artwork and design

The artwork and design of this issue was created by Mustafa al-Laylah. This is the first of a full series of covers which will span the entire year. The cover design of this issue is the upper right quadrant from the full set of covers this year which can be combined to make a larger […]