Category Archives: Forms

Forms

Topical collections of articles, essays and resources

The secrets of his mental nature and the principles of intellectual life became at this stage gradually unfolded to his view. You will thus perceive, Brethren, that the F.C. degree, sometimes regarded by us as a somewhat uninteresting one, typifies in reality a long course of personal development requiring the most profound knowledge of the mental and psychical side of our nature. It involves not merely the cleansing and control of the mind, but a full comprehension of our inner constitution, of the more hidden mysteries of our nature and of spiritual psychology.

W L Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, Chapter I The Deeper Symbolism of Freemasonry

Hermetic quote Wilmshurst The Meaning of Masonry Deeper Symbolism secrets mental nature principles gradually unfolded long course personal development profound knowledge hidden mysteries

The depths of human nature and self knowledge, the hidden mysteries of the soul of man are not, as real initiates well know, probed into with impunity except by the “properly prepared”. The man who does so has, as it were, a cable-tow around his neck; because when once stirred by a genuine desire for the higher knowledge that real initiation is intended to confer, he can never turn back on what he learns thereof without committing moral suicide; he can never be again the same man he was before he gained a glimpse of the hidden mysteries of life. And as the Angel stood with a flaming sword at the entrance of Eden to guard the way to the Tree of Life, so will the man whose initiation is not a conventional one find himself threatened at the door of the higher knowledge by opposing invisible forces if he rashly rushes forward in a state of moral unfitness into the deep secrets of the Centre. Better remain ignorant than embark upon this unknown sea unwisely and without being properly prepared and in possession of the proper passports.

W L Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, Chapter II Masonry as a Philosophy

Hermetic quote Wilmshurst The Meaning of Masonry as Philosophy depths human nature self knowledge hidden mysteries soul man real initiates properly prepared

Brethren, may we all come to the knowledge how to “open the Lodge upon the centre” of ourselves and so realize in our own conscious experience the finding of the “imprisoned splendour” hidden in the depths of our being, whose rising within ourselves will bring us peace and salvation.

W L Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, Chapter II Masonry as a Philosophy

Hermetic quote Wilmshurst The Meaning of Masonry as Philosophy brethren knowledge open lodge centre ourselves realize conscious experience finding imprisoned splendour hidden within peace salvation

Not without good reason does our catechism assert that Masonry contains “many and invaluable secrets.” But these of course are not the formal and symbolic signs, tokens and words communicated ceremonially to candidates; they are rather those secrets which we instinctively keep locked up in the recesses and safe repository of our hearts; secrets of the deep and hidden things of the soul, about which we do not often talk, and which, by a natural instinct, we are not in the habit of communicating to any but such of our brethren and fellows as share with us a common and a sympathetic interest in the deeper problems and mysteries of life.

W L Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, Chapter II Masonry as a Philosophy

Hermetic quote Wilmshurst The Meaning of Masonry as Philosophy secrets not formal symbolic signs instinctively locked safe hearts deep hidden deeper problems mysteries life

The Soul of Lilith

Randall Bowyer reviews The Soul of Lilith [Amazon, Amazon, Abebooks Bookshop, Bookshop Local Library, Local Library, Internet Archive] by Marie Corelli in the Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews archive.

Corelli The Soul of Lilith

Corelli was Queen Victoria’s favorite novelist, which should tell you a lot about the book, but Crowley was also familiar with Corelli’s work and honored her with a reference to her toe-jam in one of his better poems, “Birthday Ode” in Snowdrops, owners of the 1986 Teitan Press edition will note that the editor has confused Marie Corelli with Mabel Collins, the book’s charm is more antiquarian than literary, i.e. it is quaintly Victorian but is no masterpiece by modern standards, it is, however, not without appeal to the occultist, as the tale revolves around magical themes, its main character is determined, Crowley-like, to master the secrets of life through the power of will, and there are several amusing jabs at Theosophy, there is also an unintentionally hilarious character–an idealized self-portrait of the author–who voices all of Corelli’s complaints about society, over and over and over, her style is long-winded and moralizing, and her characters and situations are none too believable, four of the main characters, e.g., are non-Muslim Arabs (three Christians and a pagan), two of whom are uneducated peasants who speak flawless English, and one of whom is blonde, but all her faults notwithstanding, we must hail Marie Corelli as a Past Master of the Bewildering Run-On Sentence, in fine, then, the book is entertaining, if not wholly in the way its author intended, I would, however, recommend that you not buy some arm-and-a-leg Kessinger xerox, but wait till you can find it for $1.50 in a junk-shop in Kokomo.

The Spiral Dance

Bkwyrm reviews The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition [Amazon, Bookshop, Abebooks, Local Library] by Starhawk in the Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews archive.

Starhawk The Spiral Dance

A classic. The original is hard to find, most new Wiccans have the updated version. People say that this book is responsible for more covens forming than any other work to date, and I believe it. Starhawk explains the why, where, how, and everything else of Wicca from the perspective of her Reclaiming tradition. Of course, the tradition is not much of a tradition, but unlike a lot of other Wiccan authors, she accepts that Wicca is a relatively new religion. Her research is also pretty shaky at certain points, and some of her comments are not exactly male-friendly. Contains guidelines for rituals, including some very elaborate poetry for casting a circle. This is one of those books that you should probably read, even if it’s just to get a perspective on modern Wicca.

Rather, what may seem to be mystification is a way of making that information symbolic because it is hidden. Because it is hidden, it cannot be explained. Because it cannot be said, it stands in for, or acts as a pointer to, the unsayable. We map the extra, tacit, inarticulable dimension into the ordinary realm by the use of secrets. Or: the secret is the diagonal that allows the third, inarticulate dimension to be mapped into the plane, the domain of words.

Earl King, Jr., Having and Keeping Secrets: Some Words About Silence and The Hermetic Art of Secrecy

Hermetic quote King Having and Keeping Secrets Caduceus mystification making information symbolic hidden cannot be explained said unayable map inarticulable ordinary realm diagonal words

The Spiritual Sayings of Kahlil Gibran

Magdalene Meretrix reviews The Spiritual Sayings of Kahlil Gibran [Amazon, Abebooks, Local Library] in the Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews archive.

Gibran Spiritual Sayings of Kahlil Gibran

“The art of the Egyptians is in the occult.
The art of the Chaldeans is in calculation.
The art of the Greeks is in proportion.
The art of the Romans is in echo.
The art of the Chinese is in etiquette.
The art of the Hindus is in the weighing of good and evil.
The art of the Jews is in the sense of doom.
The art of the Arabs is in reminiscence and exaggeration.
The art of the Persians is in fastidiousness.
The art of the French is in finesse.
The art of the English is in analysis and self-righteousness.
The art of the Spaniards is in fanaticism.
The art of the Italians is in beauty.
The art of the Germans is in ambition.
The art of the Russians is in sadness.”

Kahlil Gibran, best known for his book “The Prophet,” was a great mystic and captivating writer. This collection of aphorisms, short-short stories and one short play is small but it packs a big punch.

Though Gibran falls into moralizing towards the end in pieces like “Your Lebanon and Mine” where he says to those who see only the political, warring side of Lebanon, “Remember that you are naught. But when you realize your littleness, my aversion to you will change into sympathy and affection. It is a pity that you do not understand, You have your Lebanon and I have mine.” or “Your Thought and Mine” where he says, “Your thought speaks of the beautiful woman, the ugly, the virtuous, the prostitute, the intelligent, and the stupid. Mine sees in every woman a mother, a sister, or a daughter of every man.” these forays into claimed superiority serve as veins in marble rather than blemishes. Moreover, Gibran tells us, “Our worst fault is our preoccupation with the faults of others.” thus confessing his humanity. Gibran is not a god to be worshipped, he is a brother toiling alongside one in the struggle for enlightenment and peace.

Gibran occasionally lapses into bitterness in his aphorisms though this bitterness mainly centers around being a man without a home or nation. This is entirely reasonable, considering that much of this book was written while Gibran was in exile from his country and excommunicated from his church.

Gibran has been called the Dante of the twentieth century. Orientals call him the Beloved Master. He has been compared to William Blake and to Rodin – in fact, he was commissioned to paint the latter’s portrait. Though born in and in love with Lebanon, Gibran is a mystic for all lands and all religions. As the Beloved Master himself said, “God made Truth with many doors to welcome every believer who knocks on them.”

A thing is not esoteric because it is secret or kept hidden. It is esoteric because its existence is in some sense unmanifest, private, and by its very nature not available for examination from the outside: it is only available to participation, not, ultimately, merely to examination. In other words, the realm of the esoteric is, before anything else, the realm of consciousness, of experience.

Earl King, Jr., Having and Keeping Secrets: Some Words About Silence and The Hermetic Art of Secrecy

Hermetic quote King Having and Keeping Secrets Caduceus not esoteric secret kept hidden because existence unmanifest private nature not examination only participation realm consciousness experience