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: May 9, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 9, 2019

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

  • Astrologaster. [also] A Comedy Written in the Stars. A game by Nyamyam. [HT The Guardian]

    “London, 1592. A great plague sweeps through the capital. When doctors flee the city in fear, a hero rises. His name is Simon Forman, “Doctor” of Astrology, Astronomy and Physick. Not only does he have the power to cure the sick, he can find their lost pets and predict their futures! All by reading the movements of the stars.

    But when the plague ends, Forman’s problems begin. The real doctors return to London and they will stop at nothing to bring him down…

    Astrologaster is a story-driven astrological comedy game set in Shakespeare’s London. Based on a true – and truly ridiculous – story.

    • Solve Hilarious Problems: Consult on problems ranging from Elizabethan terror plots and foul diseases, to romantic entanglements and stolen pies!
    • Change Lives: Win your patients’ favour or ruin their lives. Advise 14 characters who return 5-7 times. Patients have their own ongoing stories which often overlap with each other.
    • Win A Medical Licence: Convince patients to write letters of recommendations. Collect enough letters to exchange them for a medical licence.
    • Fully Voiced Character Dialogue: Sitcom-style comedy brought to life by a cast of over a dozen actors.
    • Sing Along – Enjoy Renaissance-era music and sing along to each character’s theme song.
    • Casebooks Come Alive: Simon Forman’s cases are presented as a beautiful pop-up book. Turn pages to delve deeper into your patients’ stories.

    Simon Forman was considered a sage by some and a charlatan by others. What will your legacy be? Will you put your faith in the stars?”

  • THE 15 BEST BASS MUSIC TRACKS OF APRIL 2019 A nice selection of bangers from last month including the first single from Konx-om-Pax’s dope new album.” — KAREEM GHEZAWI, Magnetic Magazine

    “1. KONX-OM-PAX – “LA MELODY” [PLANET MU]

    Konx om Pax: Essays in Light was originally a publication by infamous British occultist Aleister Crowley. The producer of the same name signed to Planet Mu is no ceremonial magician but he is definitely making a certain kind of magic in his new album, Ways of Seeing. “LA Melody” is the records opener and sets a epic buzz that the whole album continues to build on.”

  • Henri Bergson, celebrity. Women loved Bergson’s philosophy of creativity, change and freedom, but their enthusiasm fuelled a backlash against him.” — Emily Herring, Aeon

    “Why, when Bergson was popular, was he so popular, and especially with women? A combination of factors, including the public nature of his lectures and the clarity of his lecturing style no doubt contributed to his fame. Women in particular would have benefitted from the fact that Bergson’s lectures, which were held outside the stuffy confines of the exclusive Sorbonne, presented complex and subtle ideas in a way that was digestible to those who had perhaps not benefitted from a formal philosophical education. More importantly, Bergson’s philosophy was a philosophy of change, creativity and freedom that many, in the years leading up to the First World War, used as a way of channelling their own political hopes. Perhaps the women of the late Belle Époque were so drawn to Bergson because his philosophy was then a rallying point for those who believed radical change was possible – much as their descendants would be drawn to the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in the late 1940s.”

  • A Theology of Failure: Žižek against Christian Innocence by Marika Rose, from Fordham University Press

    Rose A Theology of Failure

    “Everyone agrees that theology has failed; but the question of how to understand and respond to this failure is complex and contested. Against both the radical orthodox attempt to return to a time before the theology’s failure and the deconstructive theological attempt to open theology up to the hope of a future beyond failure, Rose proposes an account of Christian identity as constituted by, not despite, failure. Understanding failure as central to theology opens up new possibilities for confronting Christianity’s violent and kyriarchal history and abandoning the attempt to discover a pure Christ outside of the grotesque materiality of the church.

    The Christian mystical tradition begins with Dionysius the Areopagite’s uncomfortable but productive conjunction of Christian theology and Neoplatonism. The tensions generated by this are central to Dionysius’s legacy, visible not only in subsequent theological thought but also in much twentieth century continental philosophy as it seeks to disentangle itself from its Christian ancestry. A Theology of Failure shows how the work of Slavoj Žižek represents an attempt to repeat the original move of Christian mystical theology, bringing together the themes of language, desire, and transcendence not with Neoplatonism but with a materialist account of the world. Tracing these themes through the work of Dionysius and Derrida and through contemporary debates about the gift, violence, and revolution, this book offers a critical theological engagement with Žižek’s account of social and political transformation, showing how Žižek’s work makes possible a materialist reading of apophatic theology and Christian identity.”

  • Polish activist detained for ‘offending religious beliefs’ over LGBTQ Virgin Mary” [also, also] — Rachel Kennedy, Euronews [HT curiosa]

    Podleśna rainbow Virgin Mary

    “An activist in Poland has been detained after police found posters depicting the Virgin Mary with a halo consisting of the colours of the LGBTQ flag.

    The activist, Elżbieta Podleśna, confirmed on Facebook in the early hours of Monday morning that she had been arrested, and her phone confiscated.”

  • Coalescence. Esoteric and Philosophical Musings of a Gyrovague by Tau Palamas, from Transmutation Publishing [HT TauPalamas]

    Tau Palamas Coalescence

    Coalescence is the amalgamation of a set of recondite and metaphysical teachings and artworks of ‡PALAMAS XVI° which comprise the fundamentals of a precise instrument of the Voudon+Gnostic OTOA-LCN called the Ordo Gyrovagus. Grounded in a humanistic, mystical, and living philosophy–and exploring the very heart and soul of esotericism–Coalescence picks up where Syzygy left off: developing the inner life and practice of the gyrovague; opening a clear path of personal Masonic integration; exploring the nature of aesthetic mysticism; and providing a set of initiatory rituals as vehicles for expansion.

    Duly and truly prepared, with a sharpened intelligence which can link scenes, colors, shapes, and forms immediately to a world of correspondences (which suggest the underlying fundamental unity of being), the initiate makes meaning of the phantasmagoria—which, in turn, causes changes to the fluidic and malleable substance of the dreamscape itself. Then, with the audacity and authority of an ancient magus, the initiate wields the true sword of every student of the mysteries: the sovereign will. Suddenly, within what was once a surrealistic landscape with chaotic portents and confusing bits of data strewn about in a gravity- less atmosphere, there appears a dimension worthy of exploration, a state of being with secrets, information, and lessons to be learned, and beings to interact and travel further with. Such is the lifting of the veil…

    ~PALAMAS”

  • The Abyss. A Thelemic journey through the Abyss and the Myths of Descent, based on both personal experience and a multidisciplinary study by Leo Holmes [HT LeoHolmes]

    Holmes The Abyss

    “Six years after the critically acclaimed LeMULgeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition, Leo Holmes is back with a new and exciting book: The Abyss. The Abyss offers a wide approach, based on both personal experience and a multidisciplinary study, to the second of the two main crises of a magician’s career, the first being the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The book is predominantly inspired by Thelemic Literature, but not limited to it, drawing parallels to ancient Myths of Descent and intellectual, emotional, and behavioural patterns, as much as to archetypal concepts. It is a painful yet insightful journey that depends equally on the pilgrim and on the Stars that guide him.

    The author also employs a couple of famous Gothic poems, artistic concepts, and Gnostic and Eastern teachings and ascetic practices in an attempt to cover the various facets of the awful and enlightening experience that is the Ordeal of the Abyss. Restriction: that is the word of Sin, that is the word of The Abyss. But where is the threshold? Where and when one thing becomes another? When Restriction becomes Liberation and vice versa? How can we be so sure that the Other is not just another part of the I? We are walking metamorphoses, not much different from Alchemical Processes, and we contain all the elements of the Universe.

    Knowing this, Leo Holmes makes use of spiritual and psychological concepts present in the symbology of the tradition of Western Alchemy, corresponded by Astrological Signs and by the twelve steps common to many famous Epic journeys, some of which were essential for the Mystery Cults of the past. He also introduces the unprecedented concept of the Shadow Animal: the cluster of atavistic, normally unconscious patterns of behaviour that operates more or less like the Power Animal of Shamanism, but in a reversed manner. For him, this Shadow Animal is just one of the many masks of Choronzon, or the Shadow God, manifest in the heart of man.

    Examining the ephemerality of what we call reality, and the triviality of our social values, the pervasiveness of Suffering, and the compulsiveness of self-sacrifice and rectification, “The Abyss” aims to function – like the poet Virgil and the Sybil Deiphobe – as a small beam of light amid darkness and as a solidary bony hand for those who are facing the terrifying Night of Pan. The dissolution of the Ego is neither pleasant nor simple; for that, the mystic or magician has to become aware of his Shadow, that which hinders him and is occult within his skull. The true Occultist is not the one who memorizes complicated rituals or dabbles in the supernatural, but the one who teaches oneself to identify the patterns that reveal what is occult.

    On the other side of the crossing, Babalon beckons to her Babes, calling them to surrender completely and sacrifice themselves in order to become No-man, or maybe more accurately, the Primordial Man. He is but a Force of Nature. When the Truth in the formula of NOX is not only intellectually understood, but also directly experienced, the magician successfully pours out his blood into the Cup of our Lady and then becomes free to move forward, towards Saturn (Binah) and the Stars (Chokmah). There is no need to instruct a Babe thus born, for in the Abyss he was purged of every poison of personality, and his ascent to the highest is assured in its season.

    Welcome to the Abyss, enjoy your stay.”

  • Researchers hunt for 17th century ‘witch bottles’” — University of Hertfordshire, Phys.org [HT curiosa]

    “A team of archaeologists and historians from MOLA and the University of Hertfordshire are calling on people who may have discovered 17th century ‘witch bottles’ during restoration work or know of examples curated at their places of work, to come forward.

    For the first time, all known examples that survive in museums and other collections around Southern and Eastern England (the apparent geographical extent of the phenomenon) are to be surveyed first-hand or through literature review and critiqued along with their contents. Extensive research will also be done to explore the origins of the practice and to situate ‘witch bottles’ in their full historic and cultural context, perhaps debunking some myths along the way.”

  • ‘Here is a story! Story it is’: how fairytales are told in other tongues. From Korea to Germany to Nigeria, every culture has its own version of ‘once upon a time’ – and most are more interesting than the English.” — Kate Lyons, The Guardian. [HT curiosa]

    “In Tamil, folk stories and fairytales, the sort that grandparents tell grandchildren before bed, often begin, ‘In that only place…’. In another Indian language, Telugu, stories start ‘Having been said and said and said…’. In English, of course, it is ‘Once upon a time…’.

    Chitra Soundar, an Indian-British author and storyteller, was thinking about her grandmother’s stories, which always began with the classic Tamil opener, when she asked people on Twitter to share how stories began in their languages.

    She received more than 100 suggestions from dozens of languages – from Farsi to Basque, Creole to Korean – with some people sharing contributions from places and in languages she had never heard of, as well as some less traditional options, such as ‘In a galaxy far, far away…’.”

  • John Turturro on ‘The Name of the Rose’ Series and Investigating Umberto Eco” — Stewart Clarke, Variety [HT Dr Gillian Kenny]

    Variety Tuturro Eco The Name of the Rose

    “John Turturro hadn’t read Umberto Eco’s thriller ‘The Name of the Rose’ or seen the 1986 movie when he was approached in spring of last year about a new TV adaptation. After reading the novel, one of the best-selling of all time, Turturro agreed to sign on – if the producers agreed to honor the original, he says.

    ‘I read the book and I loved it. I started writing to [director] Giacomo [Battiato] to say, ‘Why isn’t there more Eco, this is eight hours, you don’t have to reduce it,’ Turturro says. ‘I said, ‘If you put more of Eco in, then I’m interested.’’

    Turturro takes the role played by Sean Connery in the film, that of William Baskerville, the Franciscan monk investigating a series of mysterious murders in a 14th-century Italian monastery. Rupert Everett plays merciless inquisitor Bernard Gui, and Michael Emerson is the abbot among an international cast.”

Omnium Gatherum: April 20, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 20, 2019

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

  • Declassified photos from U2 planes are helping archaeologists unlock the past. Code-named CHESS, the flyover missions were meant to monitor military targets.” — Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica

    Ouellette Ars Technica declassified photos helping archaeologists

    “During the 1950s and 1960s, US spy planes made regular flights across Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, photographing the terrain to track military targets. A chunk of the Middle Eastern photographs were declassified in 1997, and now those airborne images are helping archaeologists track changing features in the landscape that in many cases are no longer visible today, according to a new paper published in Advances in Archaeological Practice.”

  • ‘Extraordinary’ 500-year-old library catalogue reveals books lost to time. The Libro de los Epítomes was a catalogue for Hernando Colón’s 16th-century collection, which he intended to be the biggest in the world” — Alison Flood, The Guardian [HT James ༀ Barrett]

    “They sent me the photos. I was sitting on a beach at the time and I said ‘you’ve got to be flipping kidding me’. It’s the major missing piece from the library,” said Wilson-Lee. “It’s an amazing story. Instead of being a needle in a haystack, it was a needle in a bunch of other needles.”

  • Jinn by Kabreet Productions, from Netflix, due in June [HT Acing Entertainment]

    “When a girl accidentally releases a jinn in the form of a teenage boy, they learn they’ve also unleashed an ancient darkness that threatens the world.”

  • The Witch’s Book of Mysteries by Devin Hunter, due in May

    Hunter The Witch's Book of Mysteries

    “Devin Hunter, author of groundbreaking works The Witch’s Book of Power and The Witch’s Book of Spirits, makes a powerful statement on how you can deepen your Witch Power and further develop your relationships with familiars, guides, spirits, and gods. The Witch’s Book of Mysteries invites you to embark on a pivotal journey designed to help break you free of the illusory cultural energies that hold you back from true magical vitality.

    With spells and rituals drawn from the author’s own book of shadows, this book explores energetic self-orientation, the Witch’s Eye, and the Witch’s Tree—techniques that will support and embolden you on your quest to achieve personal gnosis. Learn the extraordinary practices of the Witch’s Dream and the Witch’s Sabbat, and initiate into the mysteries of the Cosmic Grigori, primordial guardians of space, time, matter, energy, and quintessence. Ultimately, the path of the witch takes you to the six gates of the Labyrinth of Diana. Through these gates, the authentic nature of the soul is found and God Herself is revealed.”

  • Loyalty Does Not End With Death” by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge & Carl Abrahamsson [HT Dr Vanessa Sinclair]

    P-Orridge Abrahamsson Loyalty Does Not End With Death

    “Edition of 500 copies, mastered by Gregg Janman, cut at D&M, Berlin.

    Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, controversial occultist and iconic founding member of COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, brings to a close a series of collaborations with Carl Abrahamsson which now spans three decades and which finds P-Orridge narrating over immaculate ambient tapestries, delivered at time-dilating pace.

    Electing to use their own names, ’Loyalty Does Not End With Death’ is the final part of a spoken word trilogy initiated in 1990 with the Psychick TV & White Stains side ’At Stockholm’, and proceeded by their ‘Wordship’ [2004] album as Thee Majesty & Cotton Ferox, and is the first appearance the pair have had together on vinyl. It’s the sound of two cosmically-travelled minds crossing paths again after a long absence in which they’ve been able to chew over the bare essentials – love and magick – via vibrant poetry and beautifully charged forms of ambient music.

    In nine parts they conjure a warmly meditative space, where Abrahamsson’s characteristic tones, cut-up electronics and gentle rhythms comfortably lay the bed for Genesis, who inhabits and enlivens the pristine scenes like an observant dark interpreter, translating the incomprehensible and revealing the divine through their psychedelic prism.

    The spellbinding results were recorded in New York and Stockholm 2017/18 and could feasibly have occurred at any point between 1990 and now. They are blessed with a pacing, intuition and timelessness that pays testament to an enduring creative friendship, taking the form of writing, interviews, photographs and film for nearly 35 years, bringing to resolution an almost life-long arc.”

  • Is Mike Pompeo Meshing His Rapture Believing Faith With Developing Foreign Policy Goals?” — Grona Morin [HT Dr. Death & Divinity]

    “The influence of evangelical Christianity on the president’s formation of policies is likely to become an important issue, as Trump finds himself becoming even more dependent on them for his political survival.

    To talk with any of them, will lead anyone to the realization of of their firmly held conviction that God has chosen President Trump to be their leader.

    The president’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is one of these rapture believing Evangelicals who’s genuinely convinced that he is propping up a leader chosen by God. His thinking this makes me fearful of his helping the president in the implementation of his foreign and domestic policies based on his faith. An example of how Evangelicals influence domestic policies would include the president’s military transgender ban. They had been strongly favoring and advocating in support of the president’s foreign policy decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

  • The Poker Deck of the Drowning World. A Panoramic Parable told in 52 Scenes, created by Kahn & Selesnick of the Fledermaus Workshop; from the 4-Days-To-Go dept.

    Fledermaus Workshop Kahn Selesnick Drowning World deck

    ” We are now making a POKER DECK FOR THE DROWNING WORLD: an edition of 3000 card decks printed from original pen, ink and watercolor images that when laid end-to-end form a continuous panoramic parable about climate change. Icebergs, Weeds, Chimneys, and Birds replace the standard playing card suits of clubs, diamonds, spades, and hearts, in keeping with the themes of the deck. “

  • The evolution of the medieval witch – and why she’s usually a woman” — Jennifer Farrell, Heritage Daily [HT curiosa]

    “. . .[A]t some point during the 14th and 15th centuries, religious officials perhaps unwittingly conflated two distinct traditions: “learned” magic and “common” magic. The common kind of magic required no formal training, was widely known, could be practised by both men and women, and was usually associated with love, sex and healing.

    By contrast, learned magic came to Europe from the east and featured in the “magic manuals” that circulated among educated men whom Richard Kieckhefer described as members of a “clerical underworld”.”

  • 4 Slavic Sexual Traditions and Rituals In History That Will Surprise You.
    The part of history that you don’t want to know? maybe…” — Sara P, Slavorum [HT curiosa]

    “The old Slavic sexual traditions are quite contradictory, some celebrating sexual freedom and connection with the Earth, while the others are built on the idea that lust is the core reason for all the evil in the world.”

  • The Kybalion – Sneak Peek – Coming 2019” — Ronni Thomas; about The Kybalion, a feature documentary, coming from the Midnight Archive

    “In this brief clip, occult historian Mitch Horowitz explains how the world of Ancient Egypt was as ancient to the Greeks and Romans as they are to us. A very early sneak peek at the upcoming feature documentary based on the 1908 occult masterpiece, The Kybalion. The film, shot partially on location in Egypt, details the 7 principles of Hermeticism and goes deeper into how alchemists, mediums, hypnotherapists and astral travelers are using these very principles in modern times.”

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 15, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 15, 2019

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

  • Cinemagician: Conversations with Kenneth Anger by Carl Abrahamsson

    Abrahamsson Cinemagician

    “Iconic American filmmaker Kenneth Anger has inspired generations of creative storytellers since the late 1940s. He is a unique visionary who drifts from pure poetry within his magical filmmaking to sardonic gossip in his bestselling “Hollywood Babylon” books. In-between these extremes we find a person who never tires of exploring his own creativity. In this intimate documentary, Anger lets us in on his fascinating life story, his approaches to filmmaking, and his relationship to British occultist Aleister Crowley.”

  • For sale: Aleister Crowley’s home of black magic owned by Jimmy Page” — Jim Lawson, The Times

    Lawson Times Aleister Crowley's home of black magic

    “The fire-ravaged ruins of the home once owned by an occultist described as “the most evil man in the world” is up for sale for more than half a million pounds.”

  • Invocation of Almost: The Art of David Tibet” through May 25, Cal State Fullerton’s Nicholas & Lee Begovich Gallery, California [HT OC Weekly]

    “Invocation of Almost will showcase a large selection of David Tibet’s past, present, and future paintings and drawings, which Channel his Cartoon Imaginings of Apocalypses, Hallucinatory Scribble Myths, and Sidereal Dream PickNicks. There will also be many new sculptures and installation pieces – all previously unseen works – which have been recently shown to Tibet as Dreams from the Wooden Child. Some of these unique artworks include, or have been inspired by, Coptic and Akkadian texts, languages that Tibet has studied for many years. Also on display will be original hand-written lyrics by Tibet, as well as ephemera from Tibet’s ParaMusical group, Current 93. An entirely new musical composition has been created by Current 93, as Red House as Red Barn, especially for The CSUF Begovich Gallery. In addition, this exhibition will flicker AlephFilms by the video artist Davide Pepe, David Tibet’s long-term collaborator and the FilmSaint for C93. An extensive full-color exhibition catalogue will be produced in Lunar Conjunction with this exhibition with texts and essays on David and his work by: Anohni, Nick Blinko, Henry Boxer, Jacqueline Bunge, Nick Cave, Shirley Collins, Michel Faber, Gef!, Norbert Kox, Thomas Ligotti, Hugo Lundhaug, Seth Sanders, David Tibet, Ola Wikander, Martin Worthington, and Daniel Wojcik. “

  • Gale Introduces New Digital Archive on Religions of America
    Traces the History of Religious Developments and Movements Unique to America
    ” — News release via PR Newswire

    “Gale, a Cengage company, is introducing a new digital archive that explores the history and unique character of the American religious experience. Religions of America provides scholars and researchers access to the largest resource of its kind that follows the development of religions and religious movements born in and significantly reshaped by the United States from 1820 to 1990.

    Cross searchable with other Gale Primary Sources, Religions of America comprises five unique collections:

    The FBI Files on Jonestown, Moorish Science Temple of America, and the Branch Davidians: Explores the events surrounding the Free Peoples Temple in Jonestown; the activities of the early Black-Moslem Moorish Science Temple of America and, through reproduced negotiation transcripts, the beliefs and practices of David Koresh and his Branch Davidian followers.”

  • Ranked: The Creepiest Lore Episodes” — David Chiodaroli, Screen Rant

    Chiodaroli Screen Rant creepiest lore

    “The episode delves deep into the background of the accentric Parsons, one of the pioneers of early racketeering and devout occultist, who blended science and spirituality in ways that seem unfathomable. Yet, Parsons manages to bridge this gap, resulting in a story that’s equally weird and enjoyable.

    While it may be a little unsettling to think that we owe much of our modern knowledge of space exploration to a known demon summoner, there isn’t anything particularly frightening in Parson’s story. Sure, the legendary occultist Aleister Crowley makes an appearance to impart some philosophical wisdom, but unless you have a particular aversion to the often reviled religious leader, then there isn’t much here to trigger the heevy jeevies.”

  • Devil’s Fairground by The Tiger Lillies [also, HT Prospect Magazine]

    “London’s the Tiger Lillies are celebrating 30 years of their provocative brand of avant-garde punk-cabaret with their symphonic latest album, Devil’s Fairground (out 15 February). Themes of junkies, prostitutes and all forms of vice continue to make up the majority of their work, while frontman Martyn Jacques has a knack for finding beauty in the macabre and grotesque, like Poe, Lovecraft and Edward Gorey before him. The band have performed all over the world, making their way from humble beginnings busking in the streets and playing bar-rooms to performing in massive concert halls and opera houses. They’ve also shared bills with St. Vincent, John Cale, Patti Smith, David Byrne and many others, and have built a legion of devoted fans including film director Terry Gilliam, the late Robin Williams and Simpsons creator Matt Groening.

    Devil’s Fairground takes the listener on a tour through the sordid underbelly of post-soviet Prague, where Jacques’s eye finds poetry in legless drunks, bored hookers and fatherless children.”

  • Ydg Drops Terrifying Ode to Occult Deity, “Baphomet”” — Matthew Meadow, YourEDM

    “Baphomet is a widely misunderstood concept. Popularly characterized as a demon deity with the head of a goat and body of a man with black wings and long, pointed horns, it’s easy to draw a parallel to the idea of the devil. In reality, it’s actually a symbol denoting “perfect social order.”

    While it’s the unwanted interpretation at play here in YDG’s new song “Baphomet,” it’s an absolute banger all the same.”

  • Faces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today by John Tolan, due in June from Princeton University Press [HT AlterNet]

    Tolan Faces of Muhammad

    “Heretic and impostor or reformer and statesman? The contradictory Western visions of Muhammad

    In European culture, Muhammad has been vilified as a heretic, an impostor, and a pagan idol. But these aren’t the only images of the Prophet of Islam that emerge from Western history. Commentators have also portrayed Muhammad as a visionary reformer and an inspirational leader, statesman, and lawgiver. In Faces of Muhammad, John Tolan provides a comprehensive history of these changing, complex, and contradictory visions. Starting from the earliest calls to the faithful to join the Crusades against the “Saracens,” he traces the evolution of Western conceptions of Muhammad through the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and up to the present day.

    Faces of Muhammad reveals a lengthy tradition of positive portrayals of Muhammad that many will find surprising. To Reformation polemicists, the spread of Islam attested to the corruption of the established Church, and prompted them to depict Muhammad as a champion of reform. In revolutionary England, writers on both sides of the conflict drew parallels between Muhammad and Oliver Cromwell, asking whether the prophet was a rebel against legitimate authority or the bringer of a new and just order. Voltaire first saw Muhammad as an archetypal religious fanatic but later claimed him as an enemy of superstition. To Napoleon, he was simply a role model: a brilliant general, orator, and leader.

    The book shows that Muhammad wears so many faces in the West because he has always acted as a mirror for its writers, their portrayals revealing more about their own concerns than the historical realities of the founder of Islam.”

  • Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic exhibition, through September 15, Wellcome Collection museum, London

    Wellcome Smoke and Mirrors

    “What can magic and conjuring tell us about the human mind? Our new exhibition brings together the worlds of psychology and entertainment in search of the truth about deception.

    Explore how our biases affect our perception and whether our senses can be hacked. Discover spirit photography, magic props and psychology experiments to see how magic works on – and in – the mind of the spectator.”

  • HERETICAL FATES ART BOOK and TAROT DECK with Danika XIX. A NSFW Tarot deck and art book with 78 photographs by Allan Amato, descriptions by Danika XIX and art by JAW Cooper + Lauren Panepinto. A crowdfunding effort by Allan Amato.

    Amato Danica heretical fates art book and tarot deck the hierophant

    “The idea for this deck arrived over breakfast one fateful sunday morning. My partner Mallory and I each pulled our tarot card, a prompt we do together to answer a creative question, get our bearings, or just invite our subconscious into the conversation.

    I wondered aloud whether a tarot version of those old timey naked lady playing card decks existed out in the world already (they do), and would a functioning photographed deck be interesting to contemplate? (it was) My partner immediately encouraged me to think more about it, and very much in the chaos theory way I do things, I had two shoots scheduled the following week.

    In addition to the ethereal Danika, we have JAW Cooper creating the suites, backs and frontispiece of the deck, and Lauren Panepinto designing the complete series, soup to nuts. A true creative dream team that came together to make this the best possible project it could be. To say nothing of all the staggering subjects who allowed themselves to be transformed into angels, monsters and misfits! Ye Gods; Danika XIX, Amanda Palmer, Stoya, Joanna Angel, Vivid Vivka, Sash Suicide, Candy Ken, Ana Fox, Buck Angel, Jiz Lee, Anikka Albrite, Dani Daniels, Dominique, Nina Kate, Mick Blue, Mousa Kraish, Jeana Turner, Eugene Simon, Valis Volkova, Anactingangel, Bree Daniels, Jenna Fox, Pulpfictionally, Misti Dawn, Alexis Fawx, Fawn Grey, Taylor Wilkey, Eirenne SG, Thomas Gunter, Susanna Eggli, Mark Snyder, Megan Ayn, Ace Tilton Ratcliff, Roarie Yum, Ali Rose, Brandon Scott, TJ, Idiivil, Tee Beez, Andi Rye, Ryan Mclane, Autumn Fryer, Ms Briq House, Jettila Lewis, Small Hands, Vanessa Alexandra, Stephanie Inagaki, Tita Cupcake, Biqtchpuddin, Misfit Marceline and Astraia Esprit!”

Omnium Gatherum: April 11, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for April 11, 2019

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

  • Darkness Visible, Finally: Astronomers Capture First Ever Image of a Black Hole. Astronomers at last have captured a picture of one of the most secretive entities in the cosmos.” — Dennis Overbye, The New York Times

    Overbye New York Times supermassive black hole

    “For years, and for all the mounting scientific evidence, black holes have remained marooned in the imaginations of artists and the algorithms of splashy computer models of the kind used in Christopher Nolan’s outer-space epic “Interstellar.” Now they are more real than ever.

    ‘We have seen what we thought was unseeable,’ said Shep Doeleman, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and director of the effort to capture the image, during a Wednesday news conference in Washington, D.C.”

  • Forbidden Archeology of the Divine Feminine” — Otep Shamaya, The Brooklyn Rail

    “My hope is to help eradicate historical amnesia and the phony ethos women are innate subordinates to men by pollinating you with a roaring axiom of gender equality and women’s historical contributions to the advancement of civilization. A difficult endeavor but, hey, it’s what I do.”

  • Anton LaVey – Into the Devil’s Den – documentary. Anton LaVey described by the people who knew and worked with him.” A crowdfunding effort by Carl Abrahamsson

    “My film ANTON LAVEY – INTO THE DEVIL’S DEN is a documentary that gives you exclusive insight into the man detractors called “The Black Pope.” The film contains never before shown interview material with LaVey, private photographs, rare recordings, plus in-depth interviews with Blanche Barton, Peter Gilmore, Peggy Nadramia, Bob Johnson, Kenneth Anger, Michael Moynihan, Mitch Horowitz, Ruth Waytz, Carl Abrahamsson, and more…

    The film is on its way! But we still have a long way to go in the expensive struggle of post-production. This is where you can help out. The film needs more archival material, sound-cleaning and color grading, all of which requires TIME and money. If you support this film, you will not only reap the infernal benefits of association; you will also take part of some amazing “perks.””

  • Roman Emperor Book. Resources and discussion for readers of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.” A free online course by Donald Robertson, in conjunction with his book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius.

    Robertson How to Think Like a Roman Emperor audiobook

    “This is a free eLearning course for anyone who’s reading my book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. You’ll obtain access to extra resources here, including downloads, interviews, and quiz questions. You’ll also be able to join in discussions about each chapter with other readers.”

  • Satanic Temple challenges Missouri abortion law” — Jim Salter, Associated Press

    “A member of the Satanic Temple in Missouri is challenging a state law that requires women seeking an abortion to wait three days, saying that it violates the member’s religious freedom.”

  • SanTO, el primer robot católico del mundo que te escucha y selecciona textos religiosos para ti” — Sinembargo [HT Mariana]

    Sinembargo SanTO

    “Aunque muchas personas equiparan tecnología con progreso desde una perspectiva agnóstica o atea , lo cierto es que en la innovación la espiritualidad también tiene cabida, algo que se plasma en diversos proyectos que vinculan religión con IA, robótica, transformación digital o blockchain. Entre otros, te hemos contado que el cepillo de la iglesia anglicana permite pagos móviles, que un robot budista ya predica en un templo nipón o que el Vaticano digitalizó sus secretos empleando machine learning e inteligencia artificial. ¡Si hasta el Papa tiene Twitter!

    Ahora, las personas mayores en busca de un compañero de alta tecnología pueden encontrar consuelo en un pequeño robot que los escucha y les lee las Sagradas Escrituras. Con una apariencia simular a un pequeño altar, está equipado con un software cuyo algoritmo escucha al usuario, escanea su rostro en busca de signos de emociones específicas y selecciona textos religiosos que pueden ser relevantes para sus problemas.

    El autómata teomórfico se llama SanTO -de hecho, es similar a uno- y ha sido diseñado por Gabriele Trovato de la Universidad de Waseda.”

    Although many people equate technology with progress from an agnostic or atheist perspective, the truth is that in innovation, spirituality also has a place, something that is reflected in various projects that link religion with AI, robotics, digital transformation or blockchain. Among others, we have told you that the brush of the Anglican church allows mobile payments, that a Buddhist robot already preaches in a Japanese temple or that the Vatican digitized its secrets using machine learning and artificial intelligence. If even the Pope has Twitter!

    Now, older people looking for a high-tech companion can find comfort in a small robot that listens to them and reads them the Holy Scriptures. With a simulated appearance to a small altar, it is equipped with software whose algorithm listens to the user, scans his face for signs of specific emotions and selects religious texts that may be relevant to his problems.

    The theomorphic automaton is called SanTO – in fact, it is similar to one – and has been designed by Gabriele Trovato of the University of Waseda.

  • Aphantasia: Ex-Pixar chief Ed Catmull says ‘my mind’s eye is blind’” — James Gallagher, BBC News

    “Most people can close their eyes and conjure up images inside their head such as counting sheep or imagining the face of a loved one.

    But Ed Catmull, 74, has the condition aphantasia, in which people cannot visualise mental images at all.

    And in a surprising survey of his former employees, so do some of the world’s best animators.

    Ed revolutionised 3D graphics, and the method he developed for animating curved surfaces became the industry standard.

    He first realised his brain was different when trying to perform Tibetan meditation with a colleague.”

  • How Did Conspiracy Theories Come to Dominate American Culture?. Thomas Milan Konda Untangles Our Obsession Complicated Plots.” — Thomas Milan Konda, LitHub; a reprint from Konda’s Conspiracies of Conspiracies: How Delusions Have Overrun America

    Konda Conspiracy of Conspiracies

    “Americans see hoaxes and plots everywhere: from climate change to immunizations to almost anything having to do with Hillary Clinton. But why? Is the constant stream of conspiracy theories a side effect of social media? Are conspiracy theories a product of the increasing polarization of politics? Or have they always been around and for some reason we just notice them more now?

    We can start to answer the last question: in their modern form, they have been around for at least two hundred years. The United States was less than ten years old when New England religious leaders sounded the alarm about the Illuminati’s plans to destroy the republic. And this was only the beginning.”

  • Why is Amazon Prime using astrology to sell you stuff? Amazon Prime members might have noticed a new horoscope feature that matches one’s zodiac sign with products and services. Is it a joke?” — Rina Raphael, Fast Company

    “In a truly bizarre, capitalist twist on astrology, Amazon Prime’s Insider newsletter is sending monthly shopping horoscopes to its members. The company maps out the best products and Prime benefits by zodiac sign, because obviously, all your spirituality needs align with their inventory.”

  • The New Science of How to Argue—Constructively. Disagreement is central to our lives online. ‘Erisologists’ want to study it more systematically.” — Jesse SIngal, The Atlantic; from the All-Hail-Discordia dept.

    “In the early days of the internet, way back in the 1990s, tech utopians envisioned a glittering digital future in which people from very different backgrounds could come together online and, if not reach consensus, at least learn something from one another. In the actual future we inhabit, things didn’t work out this way. The internet, especially social media, looks less like a dinner party and more like a riot. People talk past one another, and the discussion spirals down accordingly.

    To the Swedish blogger John Nerst, online flame wars like those reveal a fundamental shift in how people debate public issues. Nerst and a nascent movement of other commentators online believe that the dynamics of today’s debates—especially the misunderstandings and bad-faith arguments that lead to the online flame wars—deserve to be studied on their own terms.

    Erisology is the study of disagreement, specifically the study of unsuccessful disagreement. An unsuccessful disagreement is an exchange where people are no closer in understanding at the end than they were at the beginning, meaning the exchange has been mostly about talking past each other and/or hurling insults. A really unsuccessful one is where people actually push each other apart, and this seems disturbingly common.

    The word erisology comes from Eris, the Greek goddess of discord, who proved in antiquity that you could get people into fights by giving them ambiguous messages and letting them interpret them self-servingly and according to their own biases.”

  • Pizzagate, Satanic Panic, and the Power of Conspiracy Theories” — Anna Merlan, Jezebel; a book excerpt from Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power, due out in a few days

    Merlan Republic of Lies

    “These outbreaks of religious hysteria recur so persistently in American life for a reason: they are, like so many conspiracy theories, a response to moments of social change and perceived societal fracture. Satanic Panic allegations first arose during a moment in the 1980s of intense concern over the number of women in the workforce and a subsequent rise in “latchkey kids” and paid caregivers.

    Pizzagate emerged during the 2016 elections, a time when Americans were re-litigating, to an exhausting degree, our beliefs, our vision of America, and our sexual ethics. The paranoid idea of sexual predators hiding in the highest echelons of power was not so paranoid; Pizzagate, though, spun it through a nexus of faux black magic, imagined ritual, and nonsensical accusations that were somehow both unbelievable and yet, for a lot of people, unbelievably powerful.”

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 30, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 30, 2019

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

  • Damien Echols Survived 18 Years On Death Row With The Help Of Magick. Damien Echols was sentenced to death in 1994 for the infamous West Memphis murders of three young boys, but was freed in 2011.” — Becca Van Sambeck, Oxygen [HT Rev. Stacey L]

    “Imagine this: You’re locked away in a tiny bare cell, far away from your friends, your family, your home. You’re deprived of sunlight to the point where you never know what time it is; you barely interact with other other humans; you’re constantly in some kind of physical pain. Every day brings you that much closer to your death sentence, one that’s been handed down for a crime you know you didn’t commit.

    That existence was Damien Echols’ reality on death row for 18 years. And somehow, he survived the experience and came out stronger and more fulfilled than ever — and he credits it all to what he calls ‘high magick.'”

  • A sneak peek into Opus Alchymicum by J Daniel Gunther” — Wennofer

    Gunther Opus Alchymicum white

    “Opus Alchymicum, second edition – the white edition-limited to 500 copies. A bookshelf size of 9″ x 12″ with 56 full color pages, white cloth bound hard cover and slipcase. This edition also contains additional study images and introduction.”

  • To Believe or Not to Believe: That Is Not the Question” — Peter Bebergal, The Paris Review [HT Forbidden Histories]

    Bebergal Paris Review To believe or not ouija board

    “As a writer whose chosen subject is religion and, more recently, magic and its supernatural cousins, I admit that I am more disposed to exploring, and perhaps even experiencing, these kinds of altered states, but I am not more susceptible to believe in them. Not only because I am often critically challenged by readers and friends but because I am interested in what it means to hold to the irrational with a rational embrace, using skepticism as a compass to travel the map of the weird. One consequence of this, however, is finding myself without a home. Of those who encounter me—either in person or in what I write—the faithful don’t trust my intentions, and the skeptics think I am being too lenient.”

  • ANDAZ LONDON PRESENTS: TEMPLE CINEMA [also, HT ianVisits]

    Andaz London Temple Cinema

    “Temple Cinema is a shrine to the demonic, the delirious and the dangerous. In its new regular monthly slot, London’s most unique screening venue promises to dedicate itself to the dark arts of horror filmmaking. To celebrate the current horror revival and pay tribute to its heritage, Andaz London Liverpool Street and East End Film Festival are pairing the stand out titles of horror’s new wave with one of their spiritual ancestors.

    Sealed off and lost, the Andaz London hotel’s Masonic Temple was once home only to the secrets of The Freemasons, but now after its rediscovery it has become a temple to cinema too. Its lacquered thrones, marble columns and golden zodiac-adorned ceiling will echo with screams once again…

    HEREDITARY (2018) – 28 March 2019

    THE OMEN (1976) – 25 April 2019

    MANDY (2018) – 30 May 2019

    THE SHINING (1980) – 27 June 2019

    Future dates 25 July, 29 August, 26 September, 31 October, 28 November. Films to be announced soon.”

  • Profane Illuminations, April 27, 12-8pm, Einstein Auditorium, NYU; April 29, 7-11pm, Zuzu, Cambridge, MA [HT Matt Browne]

    Strange Attractor Press Zuzu Profane poster

    Strange Attractor Press MIT Profane poster

    “Two stateside gatherings in April celebrating Strange Attractor Press in New York City, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    27th April 12-8pm, Einstein Auditorium , NYU
    (with The Colloquium For Unpopular Culture)

    29th April, 7-11pm, Zuzu, Cambridge MA.
    (with MIT Press)

    Click the flyers above for more details.

    There will be books sales, unique ephemera and author signings at both events.

    No booking required. Join us.

    Featuring presentations by:

    Erik Davis – Welcome to the Weird

    Peter Bebergal & Gareth Branwyn* – Gaming in The Occult Imagination

    Amy Hale – Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of the Fern-Loved Gully

    Kristen Gallerneaux* – High Static Dead Lines

    Doug Skinner* – Music From Elsewhere

    Dave Tompkins* – Alligators of Your Mind

    * NY only”

  • Pole position: human body might be able to pick up on Earth’s magnetic field. Scientists say there are signs of humans having a subconscious magnetic sense” — Nicola Davis, The Guardian

    “It sounds like a power to be boasted of by the X-Men, but researchers say humans might have the ability to pick up on Earth’s magnetic field.

    Many animals, from pigeons to turtles, use it to navigate, while research has shown cattle prefer to align themselves with the field when standing in, well, a field. Even dogs make use of it – albeit when defecating.

    But while debates continue about the mechanisms behind such phenomena, it has remained unclear whether humans also have the power of magnetoreception. Now scientists say there are signs that we do.”

  • In Norway, Student Loans for Astrology. University leaders and scientists are outraged by decision of national quality assurance agency, which says it has no choice because of a law linking recognition to job prospects.” — David Matthews, Inside Higher Ed [HT Watkins Books]

    “A fight has erupted in Norway after the country’s higher education regulator agreed to accredit courses in astrology, meaning students will be able to use government loans to look for meaning in the stars.

    Norwegian scientists have criticized the decision, but the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) said that in making the ruling it was only following the law and blamed the government for not heeding its calls for stricter academic criteria.”

  • Re-writing the Future:100 years of Esoteric Modernism & Psychoanalysis, a multi-disciplinary conference, May 30 – June 1, 2019, Brunnenburg Castle & Schloß Pienzenau, Merano, Italy [HT Carlos Abler]

    Rewriting the Future conference 2019

    “In recent times, it has come to light that many revered artists, writers, poets, philosophers and performers have held esoteric world views or underpinnings. Several recent art exhibitions worldwide have highlighted this: Black Light in Barcelona, retrospectives of Leonor Fini and Leonora Carrington in New York and Mexico City, respectively, Mystical Symbolism and the visionary works of Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim, all in just the past year.

    The field of psychoanalysis itself first began as an esoteric discipline – exploring previously uncharted territory with relatively few individuals meeting weekly at the home of Sigmund Freud. Some of Freud’s occult explorations were quite overt, as he conducted thought experiments with his daughter Anna Freud and close colleague Sandor Ferenczi late into his life. Though Freud intentionally steered the public persona of psychoanalysis away from any occult leanings, his personal work with the esoteric went on well into his twilight years. Carl Jung also explored his own psyche in secret for decades as he created his masterpiece The Red Book, which was only discovered after his death and released publicly in recent years.

    The Zeitgeist of the time is reflected in a myriad of ways: the innovative writing of T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway; poetry of H.D.; automatic drawings of Austin Osman Spare; spirit drawings of Georgiana Houghton; accidental poems of Tristan Tzara; noise concerts of Luigi Russolo; collages of Hannah Höch; montages of Man Ray; the expressionism of Wassily Kandinsky; and early experimentation with film and photography. W.B. Yeats taught a young Ezra Pound theosophy. Piet Mondrian studied theosophy as well. The surrealists touted the theories of psychoanalysis, exploring dreamwork, automatic writing, synchronicity and chance.

    It is notable that so many cultural heavyweights, who are held in such high regard, deemed it necessary to keep their esoteric views and occult explorations hidden from the world. Clearly they felt these ideas would not be acceptable at that time. And they were probably right, as many of those figures who were more open about their views, were often shunned, denied or had aspects of their work ignored outright. It begs the question: why does society accept some aspects of the mind, but not others?

    At our current moment of cultural crisis, it makes sense to look back over the past 100 years; to reflect on the cultural Zeitgeist before the First World War – the very same time period and cultural and intellectual epicentres that birthed the field of psychoanalysis, the Dada movement and Der Blaue Reiter. Much like our times, upheaval and change were in the air. The arts and sciences were booming, as was philosophy, media and technology. Interest in theosophy, Eastern philosophies, occult and esoteric belief systems was on the rise. Society’s accepted values and consensus worldview were put into question; the status-quo challenged, refined and reformulated for a modern era.”

  • Taroetry: A Poetic Guide to the Tarot. Explore the world of tarot with the magic of poetry.” a crowdfunding effort by Hannah Gatzka; from the 20-days-to-go dept.

    “What is Taroetry?

    Taroetry is an illustrated book of rhymed poetry about tarot based on the structure of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. In making this book, we seek to make the ritual of self-reflection through tarot accessible to all.

    This is the first publicly-available project from Arcana Obscura, an art collective grounded in tarot, poetry, and visual arts.

    Why Poetry?

    Poetry – especially rhymed poetry – is the stuff of magic in the same way as tarot is the stuff of magic. When you are new to reading tarot or when you’re reading for yourself, the right resources can make all of the difference in elevating your experience. “

  • Eternal Witchcraft — A Comics Spellbook. Eternal Witchcraft is a spellbook/anthology of witchy instructional comics for Crones and Aspiring Crones alike.” A crowdfunding effort by POMEgranate Magazine; from the 18-hours-to-go dept.

    “The goal of this Kickstarter is to fund and promote Eternal Witchcraft: a comics spellbook/anthology of witchy instructional comics for Crones and aspiring Crones alike.

    The Project

    Eternal Witchcraft features 21 up-and-coming creators, all crafting comics to bring a little more magic into your everyday life. This softcover book has 200+ pages of enchanting knowledge, both ancient and modern, all bound together in the flayed skin of our enemies (jk — it’s a beautiful and very much paper cover by Annie Lin, featuring sparkling gold foil accents!).”

Omnium Gatherum: March 26, 2019

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

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

  • Opus Alchymicum, 2nd edition, “the white edition”, by J Daniel Gunther

    Gunther Opus Alchymicum 2nd white edition

    “The second edition of Opus Alchymicum is now available! This second edition is bound in white cloth and stamped in gold, so it is called the White Edition. The size is 9″ x 12″ with 56 full color pages and is accompanied with a slipcase. There are a few additions not present in the first edition.”

    “This volume relates the unique personal and spiritual journey of Gunther at a key time in his progression, resulting in a series of fascinating and transformational alchemical images which further reinforce the intimate link between the artistic and spiritual life.”

  • The Great Introduction to Astrology by Abū Maʿšar, edited, translated, &c. by Keiji Yamamoto, Charles Burnett, with David Pingree [HT Ghayat al-hakim (Picatrix) ‏]

    Yamamoto Burnett Pingree Abu Masar The Great Introduction to Astrology

    “Abū Ma’͑šar’s Great Introduction to Astrology (mid-ninth century) is the most comprehensive and influential text on astrology in the Middle Ages. In addition to presenting astrological doctrine, it provides a detailed justification for the validity of astrology and establishes its basis within the natural sciences of the philosophers. These two volumes provide a critical edition of the Arabic text; a facing English translation, which includes references to the divergences in the twelfth-century Latin translations of John of Seville and Hermann of Carinthia (Volume 1); and the large fragment of a Greek translation (edited by David Pingree). Comprehensive Arabic, English, Greek and Latin glossaries enable one to trace changes in vocabulary and terminology as the text passed from one culture to another. (Volume 2.)”

  • Going for Gold” — Dmitri Levitin, Literary Review; about the late 2018 book Newton the Alchemist: Science, Enigma, and the Quest for Nature’s ‘Secret Fire’ by William R Newman [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    Newman Newton the Alchemist

    “‘Historians of alchemy’, wrote Herbert Butterfield in 1949, ‘seem to become tinctured with the kind of lunacy they set out to describe.’ Seventy years on, readers may believe that this gloriously rude assessment needs no updating. But what, then, are we to make of the fact that the greatest scientific hero of them all, that model of geometric rationality, Isaac Newton, devoted a great proportion of his life to the pursuit of transmutation? This was the problem that faced another titan of his discipline, the economist John Maynard Keynes, when in 1936 he acquired at auction a large number of Newton’s papers dealing with alchemy. Newton, Keynes was forced to declare, ‘was not the first of the age of reason’ but rather ‘the last of the magicians’.”

  • Calling time” — Llewelyn Morgan, Lugubelinus [HT Lili Saintcrow]

    “Time is whatever it is.

    But what a culture does with time, how it gets organised, can be one of the most revealing things about a culture. The books listed at the bottom of this post have lots of interesting things to say on the topic, but this is a blog about how the Romans organised time, and ultimately how the ordering of time became, like pretty much everything else that the Roman elite concerned themselves with, a means for political assertion and self-promotion.

    (Quite a lot of what the Romans did with time is still with us, as it happens, too.)”

  • Strange Vistas from the Occultism of Coil and Psychic TV” — Dan Siepmann, PopMatters

    “Clearly, Psychic TV considered their sculpted product to be the magickal lodestar, whereas for Coil, true ritual potency came from discovering new paths during the production process. But such approaches were necessary to conjure the divergent places each band sought for its listeners. These places manifest the three rifts that cleaved apart the bands’ artistic visions, while showcasing a final truth: occultism served Psychic TV’s means—to sate worldly desire through magick—and Coil’s ends—to step entirely inside of magick.”

  • Rendering Unconscious – Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Politics & Poetry [also, also], edited by Vanessa Sinclair, due in April

    Sinclair Rendering Unconscious

    “In times of crisis, one needs to stop and ask, “How did we get here?” Our contemporary chaos is the result of a society built upon pervasive systems of oppression, discrimination and violence that run deeper and reach further than most understand or care to realize. These draconian systems have been fundamental to many aspects of our lives, and we seem to have gradually allowed them more power. However, our foundation is not solid; it is fractured and collapsing – if we allow that. We need to start applying new models of interpretation and analysis to the deep-rooted problems at hand.

    “Rendering Unconscious” brings together international scholars, psychoanalysts, psychologists, philosophers, researchers, writers and poets; reflecting on current events, politics, the state of mental health care, the arts, literature, mythology, and the cultural climate; thoughtfully evaluating this moment of crisis, its implications, wide-ranging effects, and the social structures that have brought us to this point of urgency.

    Hate speech, Internet stalking, virtual violence, the horde mentality of the alt-right, systematic racism, the psychology of rioting, the theater of violence, fake news, the power of disability, erotic transference and counter-transference, the economics of libido, Eros and the death drive, fascist narratives, psychoanalytic formation as resistance, surrealism and sexuality, traversing genders, and colonial counterviolence are but a few of the topics addressed in this thought-provoking and inspiring volume.

    Contributions by Vanessa Sinclair, Gavriel Reisner, Alison Annunziata, Kendalle Aubra, Gerald Sand, Tanya White-Davis & Anu Kotay, Luce deLire, Jason Haaf, Simon Critchley & Brad Evans, Marc Strauss, Chiara Bottici, Manya Steinkoler, Emma Lieber, Damien Patrick Williams, Shara Hardeson, Jill Gentile, Angelo Villa, Gabriela Costardi, Jamieson Webster, Sergio Benvenuto, Craig Slee, Álvaro D. Moreira, David Lichtenstein, Julie Fotheringham, John Dall’aglio, Matthew Oyer, Jessica Datema, Olga Cox Cameron, Katie Ebbitt, Juliana Portilho, Trevor Pederson, Elisabeth Punzi & Per-Magnus Johansson, Meredith Friedson, Steven Reisner, Léa Silveira, Patrick Scanlon, Júlio Mendes Rodrigo, Daniel Deweese, Julie Futrell, Gregory J. Stevens, Benjamin Y. Fong, Emma Lieber, Katy Bohinc, Wayne Wapeemukwa, Patricia Gherovici & Cassandra Seltman, Marie Brown, Buffy Cain, Claire-Madeline Culkin, Andrew Daul, Germ Lynn, Adel Souto, and paul aster stone-tsao”

  • Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queer Conjurers, and Magical Rebels, edited by Katie West and Jasmine Elliott, with foreword by Kristen J Sollée; picked up by a publisher after a successful crowdfunding effort, due in April

    West Elliott Sollée Becoming Dangerous

    “The difference between the witch and the layperson is that witches already know they are powerful. The layperson may only suspect.

    Edgy and often deeply personal, the twenty-one essays collected here come from a wide variety of writers. Some identify as witches, others identify as writers, musicians, game developers, or artists. What they have in common is that they’ve created personal rituals to summon their own power in a world that would prefer them powerless. Here, they share the rituals they use to resist self-doubt, grief, and depression in the face of sexism, slut shaming, racism, patriarchy, and other systems of oppression.”

  • A YEAR IN MUSIC: 1891, music hall’s boom-de-ay heyday” — Sophia Deboick, The New European

    “Wonder and spectacle were the bywords of 1891. In March, the Great Blizzard in the south of England resulted in 15ft snowdrifts that magically transformed the landscape. It was still an age of enchantment, as indicated by the fact that Helena Blavatsky, the founder of the esoteric theosophist movement, and William Robert Woodman, co-founder of the occultist Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of which Aleister Crowley would later become the most famous member, both died yet left still active movements behind them.”

  • Suffering for the summit: One climber’s personal & painful journey to the top of K2” — Jacqueline Cutler, New York Daily News; about One Man’s Climb: A Journey of Trauma, Tragedy, and Triumph on K2 by Adrian Hayes

    Hayes One Man's Climb

    “Just getting to the foot of K2 starts with a weeklong trek across a glacier. And once you get there, there is no there, just bleak, uninhabited space. Everything, from housing and communications to food and first aid, has to be carried in.

    It’s not a job for the faint of heart, or light of wallet.

    It never has been. The mountain wasn’t even surveyed until 1852, and the first known climbing attempt was in 1902, an expedition of upper-class mountaineers including self-proclaimed warlock Aleister Crowley. They made it to about 20,000 feet before turning back.”

  • Instagram as Archive: Blake and Digital Art Culture” — William Blake Archive

    “Exciting news: the William Blake Archive now has an Instagram. This additional platform will enable Blake’s materials to reach new audiences through a primarily visual application, bringing decades of digital archival work into the pocket-sized cellular devices of over one billion active monthly users worldwide. Both known for ease of access and for interweaving the visual with the textual, Instagram and the William Blake Archive are a natural fit for one another.”

    View this post on Instagram

    Curious about the origins of the William Blake Archive Instagram? Check out this blog post on Hell’s Printing Press, The Blog of the Blake Archive and Blake Quarterly. We’re so happy to share this project with everyone! ✨ . . . link: https://blog.blakearchive.org/2019/03/19/instagram-as-archive-blake-and-digital-art-culture/ . . . #WilliamBlake #BlakeArchive #digitalhumanities #romanticism #romanticart #illumination #illustration #BritishArt #digitalarchive #propheticart #visionaryart #dream #surreal #blake #blakean #Europeanart #arthistory #blog #blogpost #williamblakeblog #instagramarchive #digitalartculture #universityofrochester #originstory #article #post #hellsprintingpress #blakequarterly

    A post shared by William Blake Archive (@williamblakearchive) on

  • Giraffes on Horseback Salad: Salvador Dalí, the Marx Brothers, and the Strangest Movie Never Made by Josh Frank and Tim Heidecker, illustrated by Manuela Pertega [HT Hyperallergic]

    Marx Brothers Dalí Frank Heidecker Partega Giraffes on Horseback Salad

    “This lushly illustrated graphic novel re-creates a lost Marx Brothers script written by modern art icon Salvador Dali.

    Grab some popcorn and take a seat…The curtain is about to rise on a film like no other! But first, the real-life backstory: Giraffes on Horseback Salad was a Marx Brothers film written by modern art icon Salvador Dali, who’d befriended Harpo. Rejected by MGM, the script was thought lost forever. Author and lost-film buff Josh Frank unearthed the original script, and Dali’s notes and sketches for the project, tucked away in museum archives. With comedian Tim Heidecker and Spanish comics creator Manuela Pertega, he’s re-created the film as a graphic novel in all its gorgeous full-color, cinematic, surreal glory. In the story, a businessman named Jimmy (played by Harpo) is drawn to the mysterious Surrealist Woman, whose very presence changes humdrum reality into Dali-esque fantasy. With the help of Groucho and Chico, Jimmy seeks to join her fantastical world—but forces of normalcy threaten to end their romance. Includes new Marx Brothers songs and antics, plus the real-world story behind the historic collaboration.

Omnium Gatherum: March 24, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 24, 2019

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

  • Tweet by Luna Laviolette

  • Black mould in your home can cause terrifying hallucinations of demons and ghosts. A third of Brits believe in ghosts but the solution could be more cleaning based” — Jane Lavender, Mirror UK [HT Dr. Demonology]

    “Black mould in your home could be triggering terrifying hallucinations of ghosts and demons, experts have warned.

    One in three people in Britain believes that a house can be haunted and 28 per cent think they’ve experienced a ‘supernatural presence’, according to a YouGov survey.

    But a growing number of scientists now believe toxic mould – which grows on the walls of damp homes in the UK – could be to blame.”

  • Introducing How to Think Like a Roman Emperor, free email course based on the forthcoming book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius which is due out in April from St Martin’s Press.

    Robertson How to Think Like a Roman Emperor

    “This eLearning course contains lots of free resources based on my book How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. It’s designed for people who haven’t read the book yet but are interested in finding out more. If you do want to get a copy of the book when it’s published, though, you’ll get even more out of these resources.

    You’ll find an interview with me, the author, as well as videos in which I read excerpts from each chapter and provide a commentary explaining the contents. There are also lots of bonus resources, including Marcus Aurelius comic strips, a quiz, and an article about my experience of writing the book, as well as some links to podcasts and other relevant interviews.

    By enrolling on this course, you’ll sign up to receive weekly reminder emails linking to each part of the content”

  • Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future” — Felipe Lima; commissioned for Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future, through April 23, 2019 at Guggenheim, New York [HT Open Culture]

    “Commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on the occasion of the exhibition
    Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future
    October 12, 2018 — April 23, 2019”

  • The Essays of Frater Achad from 100th Monkey Press

    100th Monkey The Essays of Frater Achad

    “A limited hand-bound edition of a series of rare, hard to find, essays written by Frater Achad. Edition limited to 75 numbered copies. Price: US $22.95

    In 1923 Frater Achad (Charles Stansfeld Jones) wrote a series of rare, hard to find, essays for the short-lived, Los Angeles magazine, Occult Press Review. He first became involved with the magazine with the February-March issue and continued his involvement throughout 1923. Besides contributing five articles to the magazine he also developed a new cover design and became a contributing editor. Some of the articles he contributed included “Gambling with the World” and “Initiation.” Rounding out this book are an additional two articles he provided in 1923 & 1924 to the British magazine, the Occult Review.

    Each book is bound by hand and measures 8 1/2” x 11”. 55 pages. Printed in blue and black on acid-free, 24 lb. Royal Laid paper specifically chosen for this edition. Bound using a stab style binding with a soft, acid-free, wraparound white paper cover with gold threads. The spine is wrapped in a red faux suede material.

    The book includes graphics of each of the original covers of the magazines containing Frater Achad’s articles. It also includes a graphic of his “Wheel of the Tarot.”

    As an added bonus, each book comes with a 5 1/2” x 8 1/2” hand-bound copy of Frater Achad’s essay entitled “Thinking Backwards” bound in matching paper.

    Included with each book is a handsome bookplate and bookmark.”

  • Neoliberalism and its forgotten alternative. The debate between Walter Lippmann and John Dewey throughout the 1920s points to an alternative to the neoliberal world view, submerged in the subsequent war between capitalism and communism.” — David Ridley, Open Democracy

    “According to [John] Dewey, we have access to this submerged substratum of information, or ‘qualitative’ thought, through reflection; if we look deeply into our experience, we can make the connections which turn bare facts into truth, or for Dewey, into wisdom.

    All our knowledge is social, everything we know is in some way derived from the shared understandings, customs and collective experience which we have come to refer to as ‘culture’. This means that everything around us is a source of exploration and knowledge. Life itself is a learning process and the world is a classroom. This is what Dewey meant when he talked about ‘democracy as a way of life’.”

  • Mervyn Peake, an Exhibition of Certain Rare Dreams. An exhibition of extraordinary drawings, illustrations and paintings by the celebrated author of Gormenghast. The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, Mar 27–Sept 14, London; private view reception March 26, RSVP

    Viktor Wynd Museum Mervyn Peake

    “Viktor Wynd Requests The Pleasure of Your Company for The Opening of His Next Exhibition of artworks by Mervyn Peake. the exhibition will run until September 2019.

    Peter Winnington writes in the introduction to the exhibition catalog

    Mervyn Peake was born in China in 1911 to medical missionary parents. Educated at Eltham College, he won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy Schools. In the summer of 1933, having completed only three of his five years, he left to join an artists’ colony on the island of Sark, where he painted intensively, producing some remarkable portraits and less remarkable landscapes. Spotted by the head of the Westminster School of Art, he was taken on to teach life drawing from early in 1935.

    Back in London, he was invited to contribute pencil portraits of well-known figures to the London Mercury; he painted both portraits and landscapes for himself, at the same time as writing poetry. He had his first major exhibition in the spring of 1938.

    With the coming of war, the Westminster School closed and Peake withdraw to the safety of a tiny village in Sussex. He applied to work as a war artist, but he was drafted into the Royal Artillery, which could find little use for him. From the moment he was called up, he started writing a work of pure imagination which was published as Titus Groan in 1946. A second volume, Gormenghast, followed in 1950, and a third, Titus Alone, in 1959. Re-issued as “Penguin Modern Classics” at the end of the 1960s, they finally found the public they needed; they have never since been out of print.

    Recognizing Peake’s gift for illustrating nonsense and the fantastic, Chatto & Windus brought out his Hunting of the Snark in 1941, followed by The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which sold out within a week of publication in 1943.

    It was a Swedish publisher that commissioned his Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass; his drawings have been called the definitive modern interpretation of Carroll’s books. Nineteen forty-eight saw the publication of one of Peake’s illustrated books for children, Letters from a Lost Uncle (which was remaindered). In the same year he illustrated Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for the Folio Society, and he started illustrating Bleak House by Charles Dickens, but the publisher abandoned the project. His Treasure Island (1949) was the last of his great illustrated works.

    In 1950, the year in which Gormenghast was published, Peake returned to teaching and, for lack of commissions, he devoted much time to writing a play, which had a very brief run at the Arts Theatre in 1957. By then, he was suffering from early onset Parkinson’s Disease, from which he died in 1968.

    As an illustrator, Peake is remembered mainly for his black-and- white work. This exhibition reminds us that, given better means of reproduction, he would have been known for his coloured illustrations too.”

  • Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity by Peter Kingsley

    Kingsley Catafalque

    Catafalque offers a revolutionary new reading of the great psychologist Carl Jung as mystic, gnostic and prophet for our time.

    This book is the first major re-imagining of both Jung and his work since the publication of the Red Book in 2009–and is the only serious assessment of them written by a classical scholar who understands the ancient Gnostic, Hermetic and alchemical foundations of his thought as well as Jung himself did. At the same time it skillfully tells the forgotten story of Jung’s relationship with the great Sufi scholar, Henry Corbin, and with Persian Sufi tradition.

    The strange reality of the Red Book, or “New Book” as Carl Jung called it, lies close to the heart of Catafalque. In meticulous detail Peter Kingsley uncovers its great secret, hidden in plain sight and still–as if by magic–unrecognized by all those who have been unable to understand this mysterious, incantatory text.

    But the hard truth of who Jung was and what he did is only a small part of what this book uncovers. It also exposes the full extent of that great river of esoteric tradition that stretches all the way back to the beginnings of our civilization. It unveils the surprising realities behind western philosophy, literature, poetry, prophecy–both ancient and modern.

    In short, Peter Kingsley shows us not only who Carl Jung was but who we in the West are as well. Much more than a brilliant spiritual biography, Catafalque holds the key to understanding why our western culture is dying. And, an incantatory text in its own right, it shows the way to discovering what we in these times of great crisis must do.”

  • New Antiquities: Transformations of Ancient Religion in the New Age and Beyond edited by Dylan M Burns and Almut-barbara Renger

    Burns Renger New Antiquities

    “Just as we speak of ‘dead’ languages, we say that religions ‘die out.’; Yet sometimes, people try to revive them, today more than ever. New Antiquities addresses this phenomenon through critical examination of how individuals and groups appeal to, reconceptualize, and reinvent the religious world of the ancient Mediterranean as they attempt to legitimize developments in contemporary religious culture and associated activity. Drawing from the disciplines of religious studies, archaeology, history, philology, and anthropology, New Antiquities explores a diversity of cultic and geographic milieus, ranging from Goddess Spirituality to Neo-Gnosticism, from rural Oregon to the former Yugoslavia. As a survey of the reception of ancient religious works, figures, and ideas in later twentieth-century and contemporary alternative religious practice, New Antiquities will interest classicists, Egyptologists, and historians of religion of many stripes, particularly those focused on modern Theosophy, Gnosticism, Neopaganism, New Religious Movements, Magick, and Occulture. The book is written in a lively and engaging style that will appeal to professional scholars and advanced undergraduates as well as lay scholars.”

  • On the Road with Thomas Merton. Film by Jeremy Seifert, Essay by Fred Bahnson” — Emergence Magazine [HT Robert Macfarlane]

    “In May 1968, Christian mystic Thomas Merton undertook a pilgrimage to the American West. Fifty years later, filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and writer Fred Bahnson set out to follow Merton’s path, retracing the monk’s journey across the landscape. Amid stunning backdrops of ocean, redwood, and canyon, the film features the faces and voices of people Merton encountered. The essay offers a more intimate meditation on Merton’s life and the relevance of the spiritual journey today.”