“Yet by-and-by I hope to weave
A song of Anti-Christmas Eve
And First- and Second-Beast-er Day.
There’s one who loves me dearly (vrai!)
Who yet believes me sprung from Tophet,
Either the Beast or the False Prophet;
And by all sorts of monkey tricks
Adds up my name to Six Six Six.
Retire, good Gallup! In such strife her
Superior skill makes you a cipher!
Ho! I adopt the number. Look
At the quaint wrapper of this book!
I will deserve it if I can: It is the number of a Man.”
— Aleister Crowley, “Ascension Day” from The Sword of Song

Quote featured at CHRISTMAS GOOD WILL from the Ministry of Information.

Unicursal CHRISTMAS GOOD WILL Poster

Concerning Death by Aleister Crowley in International, Dec 1917.

“The dead man Ankh-f-na-Khonsu
Saith with his voice of truth and calm:
O thou that hast a single arm!
O thou that glitterest in the moon!
I weave thee in the spinning charm;
I lure thee with the billowy tune.

The dead man Ankh-f-na-Khonsu
Hath joined the dwellers of the light,
Opening Duant, the star abodes,
Their keys receiving.

The dead man Ankh-f-na-Khonsu
Hath made his passage into night,
His pleasure on the earth to do
Among the living.” [via]

Mason & Dixon

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon. Mason & Dixon is the only Pynchon book I’ve read twice: once on my own, and once aloud with my Other Reader. It’s a downright hilarious tome, and only funnier if you’re familiar with the larger Pynchon oeuvre for the coy references that start with the parabolic […]

Omnium Gatherum: June 17, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for June 17, 2019

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

  • Dronesmuir II. An evening of ethereal drone music. A tax-deductible crowdfunding effort by Hermetic Library Anthology Artist Kim Cascone‘s Silent, umbrella for Silent Records and more, for a live performance at Wheelhouse in Dunsmuir, CA on October 19, 2019.

    Cascone Silent Dronesmuir II 2019

    “Dronesmuir II will consist of three drone musicians at the rustic Wheelhouse restaurant on Saturday, October 19, 2019. Drone music will be performed by three artists on the Silent label: Jack Hertz (San Francisco)—small hand-percussion and acoustic instruments processed via synthesizer, Stuart McLeod (Portland)—hydrophone, brainwaves, waterphone & digital processing, Mark Schlipper (Seattle)—guitar and effects. Stuart McLeod’s performance will make use of a hydrophone (underwater microphone) dropped into the underground rivulet below the restaurant. The signal from the hydrophone combined with the waterphone will be processed digitally and controlled by the artist’s brainwaves. Jack Hertz promises to enthrall the audience with realtime processing via synthesizers of small handmade instruments. Mark Schlipper plays guitar in the Seattle drone doom band The Luna Moth and will perform a solo guitar drone set.

    It’s a safe-space, all-ages event to which everyone is welcome.

    Events are expensive to produce, so we are reaching out to you, our friends, family and community, to help us reach our goal of $3500 dollars that will be used for to pay for artists’ fees, lodging, meals, transportation, promotions, printing, administration, etc. We believe in a model where artists are paid for their work, and are treated with respect. In order to meet this goal, we are asking for sponsorships from businesses and individuals who believe in and support the arts. Any money raised beyond our actual costs will be put towards future events.”

  • Mystery of the ‘mini bagels’ found in rubble at ancient fort. Odd chunks of dough might have had a ceremonial purpose.” — Nature; from the Take-Eat-This-Is-My-Bagel dept.

    Nature Mystery of the Mini Bagels

    “The rings were probably not meant to be eaten, but their actual purpose is a mystery. They resemble clay rings called loom weights, which weavers used for millennia to keep their threads taut. The pit that held the dough rings also contained loom weights, and the researchers propose that the doughy version could have had a ritual function.”

  • Small donors are rebuilding Notre-Dame as French billionaires delay” — France 24

    “As Notre-Dame holds its first mass Saturday since a devastating fire two months ago, billionaire French donors who pledged hundreds of millions for rebuilding have ‘yet to pay a penny’, a spokesman for the cathedral said.

    Instead, the funds paying for clean-up and reconstruction are coming mainly from French and American citizens who donated to church charities like the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris. Those charities are helping pay the bills and the salaries of up to 150 workers employed by the cathedral since the April 15 fire destroyed its roof and caused its iconic spire to collapse.

    ‘The big donors haven’t paid. Not a cent,’ André Finot, a senior press official at Notre-Dame, told AP on Friday. ‘They want to know what exactly their money is being spent on and if they agree to it before they hand it over, and not just to pay employees’ salaries.’

    Less than a tenth of the hundreds of millions promised has been donated, the French culture ministry said Friday. Only €80 million of the €850 million pledged has been handed over – and most of that has come in small sums given by ordinary people.”

  • Are crystals the new blood diamonds? Gwyneth loves them, Adele can’t sing without them and Kim Kardashian uses them to deal with stress. Many of us are lured by their beauty and promise of mystical powers, but are ‘healing’ crystals connecting us to the earth – or harming it?” — Eva Wiseman, The Guardian UK

    “But while it’s claimed crystals help people harness the energy of the earth, the more they are mined, the more that earth is suffering. Here is the dirty truth of crystals, and it’s not simply that their efficacy as healing objects is unproven. It’s that, as Emily Atkin at The New Republic reported last year, their origins are murky, and their environmental impact worrying. Much like diamonds, crystal mining is an industry buried in conflict. There are issues around sustainability: crystals are a non-renewable resource. There are issues around labour: most jobs are low paid, unsafe, and sometimes performed by underage workers. And there is an issue around accountability: the industry is unregulated, allowing exploitation to go unchecked.”

  • A Norwegian City Wants to Abolish Time” — Ryan F Mandelbaum, Gizmodo

    “Every day, the Earth rotates. The Sun appears on the horizon in the morning, and then some time later, it sets. We’ve built our lives and societies around this periodicity, with days that are divided into hours, minutes, and seconds, all kept track of by clocks. But in some places on Earth, the Sun rises only once per year, and sets once per year. With their concept of a day already so estranged from the rest of the world’s, one Arctic population started thinking: What if we ditched the concept of time altogether?

    ‘You have to go to work, and even after work, the clock takes up your time,’ Hveding told Gizmodo. ‘I have to do this, I have to do that. My experience is that [people] have forgotten how to be impulsive, to decide that the weather is good, the Sun is shining, I can just live.’ Even if it’s 3 a.m. “

  • YouTuber Claims WWE is Promoting ‘Every Satanic Agenda’; Targets Bray Wyatt” — Jay Alletto, PWP Nation

    “The world of “conspiracy theories” can be a bit much if you aren’t ready to open up your mind & embrace the possibilities…even if skeptical.

    The YouTube Channel, “A Call For An Uprising“, has called out WWE numerous times for their agenda driven entertainment with hidden symbolism, political views & classic mind control techniques.

    He also discusses Aleister Black & all of the satanic symbolism he uses in his character, mostly traced back to infamous occultist Aleister Crowley.”

  • Televangelist Warns Of Satan Burgers” — The Young Turks; from the I-Can-Has-Demonburger? dept.

    “C-List televangelist Rick Wiles thinks Impossible Burgers are made of demons.”

  • Books Podcast: does tripping balls tell us anything profound about human consciousness?” — Sam Leith, The Spectator; an interview with Mike Jay, author of Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic

    Jay Mescaline

    “This week’s books podcast promises to be a trip. I’m joined by Mike Jay to talk about the history of mescaline — a psychedelic drug whose influence goes from the earliest South American civilisations through the 19th-century Indian Wars up to W B Yeats, Aleister Crowley and (of course) Aldous Huxley and Hunter S Thompson. Does tripping balls tell us anything profound about human consciousness? How come Mexico got all the good drugs? And why did Aldous Huxley lie about his trousers?”

  • Wickedest man in the world, Alice In Wonderland and former Top Gear presenter mapped” — Catherine Thompson, Leamington Observer; about “A People Map of the UK, where city names are replaced by their most Wikipedia’ed resident: people born in, lived in, or connected to a place.” at The Pudding

    Thompson Leamington Observer Aleister Crowley Wikipedia

    The Pudding A People Map of the UK Aleister Crowley Leamington Spa

    “THE WICKEDEST man in the world, a former Top Gear presenter, and the author of Alice in Wonderland, have more in common than some might think.

    The unlikely group feature on an unusual new map of the UK compiled by their most Wikipedia’ed resident – with names instead of places.

    Leamington is represented by the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. Dubbed the wickedest man in the world, he worshipped Satan, practised black magic, and was known to sacrifice the odd cat, although rumours babies were also sacrificed were never proved.”

  • Tulsi Gabbard Had a Very Strange Childhood. Which may help explain why she’s out of place in today’s Democratic Party. And her long-shot 2020 candidacy.” — Kerry Howley, The Cut

    “How far does our commitment to religious diversity extend? Is it weirder to follow the dictates of a surfer guru who believes the moon landing was a hoax than to claim, as does Evangelical Mike Pence, that the establishment of Israel represents biblical prophecy? Georgia representative Jody Hice believes you can predict major political events through a succession of “blood moons.” A recent member of Congress claims pregnancy by “legitimate rape” is impossible. Because he believes bee pollen cured his allergies, former Iowa senator Tom Harkin has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars failing to prove the legitimacy of various alternative medicines, pollen among them.”

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.”

The Delirium Brief

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel by Charles Stross This book confirms the transformation of the Laundry Files from a series of novels into a set of book-length episodes within a multi-volume work. I would not recommend either this latest or the previous book (The Nightmare Stacks) as […]

The Island of the Day Before

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco, trans. William Weaver. “I challenge anyone to find himself abandoned on a deserted ship, between sea and sky in a vast space, and not be ready to dream that in his great misfortune he at least has had the good […]