Tag Archives: Alejandro Jodorowsky

Othon & Honorata

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Metabarons : Volume 1: Othon & Honorata by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Juan Gimenez.

Jodorowsky Gimenez The Metabarons Othon Honorata

This American publication collects the first two bandes dessinées in a series of eight. A blank page joins the two originally separate volumes. Under this cover is the immediate pre-history and first generation of the Metabarons–the line of warriors whose descendant features in the Incal space operas of Jodorowsky and Moebius. The artist for The Metabarons is Juan Gimenez, whose work is quite capable, but lacks the luminosity of Moebius’ illustrations.

The story is framed as a recounting from one robot to another, as they serve in the “Metabunker” home of (presumably) the Metabaron of the later Incal period. These two are set as camp characters, irritating each other and exhibiting displays of exasperation, and they add no real value to the narrative proper.

The main plot and setting elements are, it saddens me to say, mighty unoriginal. While there have been cosmetic changes and some shuffling of tropes, almost every element of note here is derivative from Herbert’s Dune. For “epiphyte” read spice. For “Shabda-Oud” read Bene Gesserit. There are space-magical features of the type found in Dune, but actual mystical symbolism of the sort that Jodorowsky emphasized in The Incal is much less apparent here.

The original Metabaron Othon has a little family of indigenous slaves: Ikku-Tta and his two daughters. These have their noses painted black. In some panels, this makes them look like puppies, and in others skulls. I wonder if the ambivalence was deliberate.

It’s possible that the translators are at fault, but I suspect that Jodorowsky himself is to blame for the excessive indulgence in exclamation points! I don’t think there’s a plain period at the end of a sentence in the entire book! Although there are occasional ellipses …

Maybe this series picks up in later volumes, but I wasn’t thrilled with this one.

The Dance of Reality

Official trailer for The Dance of Reality is a new film by Alejandro Jodorowsky, from ABKCO Music & Records [HT Reality Sandwich & SlashFilm].

“The Dance of Reality is one of the most anticipated titles premiering at SXSW this year. Produced and directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, it is his first film in 23 years.

The legendary filmmaker was born in 1929 in Tocopilla, a coastal town on the edge of the Chilean desert, where this film was shot. It was there that Jodorowsky underwent an unhappy and alienated childhood as part of an uprooted family.

Blending his personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, The Dance of Reality reflects Jodorowsky’s philosophy that reality is not objective but rather a ‘dance’ created by our own imaginations.” [via]

Alejandro Jodorowsky The Dance of Reality poster

Dance of Reality

Dance of Reality: The Psychomagical Autobiography of the Creator of El Topo and The Holy Mountain [also] by Alejandro Jodorowsky is due for release in Aug, 2014 from Park Street Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions.

Alejandro Jodorowsky Dance of Reality from Park Street Press / Inner Traditions

“A glimpse into the mind and life of one of the most creative and enigmatic visionaries of our time, filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky

· Retraces the spiritual and mystical path Jodorowsky has followed since childhood, vividly repainting events from the perspective of an unleashed imagination

· Explores the development of the author’s psychomagic and metagenealogy practices via his realization that all problems are rooted in the family tree

· Includes photos from Jodorowsky’s appearance at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and from the film based on this book, which debuted at Cannes

Retracing the spiritual and mystical path he has followed since childhood, Alejandro Jodorowsky re-creates the incredible adventure of his life as an artist, filmmaker, writer, and therapist—all stages on his quest to push back the boundaries of both imagination and reason.

Not a traditional autobiography composed of a chronological recounting of memories, Dance of Reality repaints events from Jodorowsky’s life from the perspective of an unleashed imagination. Like the psychomagic and metagenealogy therapies he created, this autobiography exposes the mythic models and family templates upon which the events of everyday life are founded. It reveals the development of Jodorowsky’s realization that all problems are rooted in the family tree and explains, through vivid examples from his own life, particularly interactions with his father and mother, how the individual’s road to true fulfillment means casting off the phantoms projected by parents on their children.

Dance of Reality is autobiography as an act of healing. Through the retelling of his own life, the author shows we do not start off with our own personalities, they are given to us by one or more members of our family tree. To be born into a family, Jodorowsky says, is to be possessed. To peer back into our past is equivalent to digging into our own souls. If we can dig deep enough, beyond familial projections, we shall find an inner light—a light that can help us through life’s most difficult tests.

Offering a glimpse into the mind and life of one of the most creative and enigmatic visionaries of our time, Dance of Reality is the book upon which Jodorowsky’s critically acclaimed 2013 Cannes Film Festival film of the same name was based.” [via]

In the Center of the Fire

In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966-1989 by James Wasserman, the 2012 hardcover edition, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

James Wasserman's In the Center of the Fire

“In this daring exposé by a survivor of a unique era in the New York occult scene, James Wasserman, a longtime proponent of the teachings of Aleister Crowley, brings us into a world of candlelit temples, burning incense, and sonorous invocations. The author also shares an intimate look at the New York Underground of the 1970s and introduces us to the company of such avant-garde luminaries as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Harry Smith, and Angus MacLise. A stone’s throw away from the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol’s Factory, William Burroughs’ ‘bunker,’ and the legendary Chelsea Hotel was a scene far more esoteric than perhaps even they could have imagined.

When James Wasserman joined the O.T.O. in 1976, there were fewer than a dozen members. Today the Order numbers over 4,000 members in 50 countries and has been responsible for a series of ground-breaking publications of Crowley’s works.

The author founded New York City’s TAHUTI Lodge in 1979. He chronicles its early history and provides a window into the heyday of the Manhattan esoteric community. He also breaks his decades of silence concerning one of the most seminal events in the development of the modern Thelemic movement — detailing his role in the 1976 magical battle between Marcelo Motta and Grady McMurtry. Long slandered for his effort to heal the temporary breach between the Orders of A∴A∴ and O.T.O., James Wasserman sets the record straight. And, he meticulously chronicles the copyright contest over the Crowley literary estate—of which he was an important participant.

This is also a saga with a very human tableau filled with tender romance, passionate friendships, an abiding spiritual hunger, danger, passion, and ecstasy. It also explores several hidden magical byways including the rituals of Voodoo, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism. Finally we are given a bird’s eye view of the 1960s hippie culture and its excesses of sex and drugs, and rock n roll—along with the personal transformations and penalties such a lifestyle brought forth.

Reconstructed from personal memories, magical diaries, multiple interviews, court transcripts, witness depositions, trial evidence, and extensive correspondence, this book elucidates a hitherto misreported and ill-understood nexus of modern magical history. It also shares tales of a mythical moment in American life as seen through the eyes of an enthusiastic participant in the hip culture of the day.”

 

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Aleister Crowley is acknowledged as one of the Earth’s historic alchemists in an article about acting

Aleister Crowley is acknowledged as one of the Earth’s historic alchemists in an article about acting at “Nicolas Cage: alchemist and shaman?” by DJ Pangburn. I suppose it’s novel that Crowley is being called out as an alchemist, in a positive light. (The snide comment I want to make is, “why the prejudice against alchemists from other planets?” But, I won’t stoop … Oops.)

 

“Earth’s history is rich with alchemists—Albertus Magnus, Hermes Trismegistus, Nicolas Flamel, Isaac Newton, Aleister Crowley, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Paracelsus, John Dee, Terrence McKenna and even Carl Jung. Alchemy was a proto-science that paved the way for modern science (chemistry, modern medicine, physics) but also had a spiritual, shamanistic aspect.

This is not to say that alchemists and shamans were and are officially coterminous, only that they both aspire to a better understanding of existence through various means: mysticism, magic, study, and drugs (which we know shamans have done, though whether Alchemists ever did is uncertain. In fact, McKenna attempted to synthesize alchemy with shamanism in various lectures, and described alchemists as pursuing a ‘magical theory of nature’ (like Shamans) in the film ‘The Alchemical Dream.'”

 

“Ghost Rider was an entirely new experience, and he got me thinking about something I read in a book called The Way Of Wyrd by Brian Bates, and he also wrote a book called The Way Of The Actor. He put forth the concept that all actors, whether they know it or not, stem from thousands of years ago — pre-Christian times — when they were the medicine men or shamans of the village. And these shamans, who by today’s standards would be considered psychotic, were actually going into flights of the imagination and locating answers to problems within the village. They would use masks or rocks or some sort of magical object that had power to it.

It occurred to me, because I was doing a character as far out of our reference point as the spirit of vengeance, I could use these techniques. I would paint my face with black and white make up to look like a Afro-Caribbean icon called Baron Samedi, or an Afro-New Orleans icon who is also called Baron Saturday. He is a spirit of death but he loves children; he’s very lustful, so he’s a conflict in forces. And I would put black contact lenses in my eyes so that you could see no white and no pupil, so I would look more like a skull or a white shark on attack.

On my costume, my leather jacket, I would sew in ancient, thousands-of-years-old Egyptian relics, and gather bits of tourmaline and onyx and would stuff them in my pockets to gather these energies together and shock my imagination into believing that I was augmented in some way by them, or in contact with ancient ghosts. I would walk on the set looking like this, loaded with all these magical trinkets, and I wouldn’t say a word to my co-stars or crew or directors. I saw the fear in their eyes, and it was like oxygen to a forest fire. I believed I was the Ghost Rider.”

 

I’m not convinced that “alchemical” is the way to describe the technique Cage uses, but it sure does sound like a magickal aspect of theatre, and related to aspecting and similar techniques from the more ecstatic traditions, modern and historic, but also the idea of assuming a Godform in more ceremonial rituals. Of course, that also brings me to think about one of the quotes from Florence Farr posted last week, actually Iamblichus quoted by Farr, “The Priest who invokes is a man; but when he commands powers it is because through arcane symbols, he, in a certain respect, is invested with the sacred Form of the Gods” [via]

Marcha de las calaveras

 

“It was billed as “the first act of collective psycho-magic in Mexico.”

The call made by the cult mystic Alejandro Jodorowsky said the event would seek to “heal” the country of the cosmic weight of so many dead in the drug war, by gathering for something he called the March of the Skulls.

On Sunday, on a wet and frigid morning in this mountain capital, hundreds of Jodorowsky fans answered the open convocation.

They donned black top hats and black shawls, and carried canes and Mexican flags colored in black. They wore calavera face paint or masks to give themselves the look of stylish skeletons gathered in this often-surreal city in the name of Mexico’s tens of thousands of sometimes nameless drug war dead.

“Long live the dead!” they shouted.” [via]

 

“Jodorowsky, director of surrealist films “El Topo” and “Holy Mountain,” practices a brand of psychotherapy termed “psychomagic,” which requires that some symbolic event, whether individually or collectively, can in fact transmogrify into reality and thus heal individuals or groups therapeutically.

On November 28th, according to Los Angeles Times reporting, Jodorowsky attempted a mass demonstration of his brand of psychomagic in Mexico. The goal was to heal the souls of the dead who have fallen in Mexico’s long-running and ultra-violent drug war.

Jodorowsky called the event Marcha de las Calaveras, or, March of the Skulls.

And while nothing quite compares to tens of thousands of dead, apart from large-scale genocide, America could certainly use its own psychomagical event, not this Judeo-Christian paradigm that preaches weakness and supplication at the feet of the rich and powerful, for deliverance will be had in heaven.” [via]