From Mummy Mask to Manuscripts from Peel Media Productions
An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for July 11th, 2014
- Nostalgia back in fashion — Gail Rosenblum, Star Tribune [HT Robert Murch]
“Those who embrace nostalgia excel at maintaining personal relationships and choose healthy social ways of coping with their troubles. When they feel stressed, for example, they tap into previously successful strategies, such as turning to a trusted teacher or parent. If I overcame adversity before, they tell themselves, I can do it again.
When they feel a lack of self-confidence, they remember when they felt valued and loved for who they were and not for what they achieved or earned.
And when they feel uncertain about the future, they wipe the cobwebs off their Ouija board.”
- Aleister Crowley and The OTO — Tobias Churton, disinformation; an excerpt from Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin: Art, Sex, and Magick in the Weimar Republic from Inner Traditions
“Crowley had little concern with Reuss’s treasured image of spiritual descendants of an imaginary body of medieval male Templars sharing secrets of a yogic sexual magic (transmitted from late antiquity) manifesting in the twentieth century as a new Gnostic Catholic Church. For Reuss the Oriental Templars’ great secret was that Jesus Christ and his ‘Beloved Disciple’ had been practicing adepts; Jesus’s semen being held to manifest magical, sacramental power: ‘He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him’ (John 6:56). Reuss consolidated the doctrine that consecrated sexual fluids constituted effective agents of magical, spiritual transformation through contacts established in Paris with French Gnostic Catholic Church clergy Jean Bricaud, Gérard Encausse and other Martinists when Reuss issued Encausse and his associates (including René Guénon) with a patent to administer the Rites of Memphis and Misraïm in 1908; it is believed that in return Reuss received ‘authority’ as a legate or bishop of the Église Catholique Gnostique in Germany. Reuss’s belief that the OTO’s originators were Christian Gnostics did not sit altogether well with his rather general approval of The Book of the Law. Despite this potential disparity of outlook, all might have progressed quite nicely were it not for the inconvenient interruption of World War One.”
“After the war Reuss described the OTO as a body of New Gnostic Christians who rejected the anti-German, that is anti-brotherhood, betrayal of the Versailles Conference and looked for a transnational movement. Crowley did not attend Reuss’s international Freemasonry conference organized in Basle in 1920 for kindred fringe-Masonic representatives worldwide. Thinking about the invitation while in retirement in Cefalù, Sicily, the Beast wondered if he had it in him to combine such a collection of what he considered nonentities into a force.
But what really got Crowley’s goat was that while paying lip service to aspects of The Book of the Law, Reuss was obviously putting distance between himself and his supposed colleague. The reasons for this soon became apparent. Reuss was seeking financial support from AMORC-founder Harvey Spencer Lewis; Reuss offered Lewis an OTO diploma as an inducement to affiliation.”
- Pope Francis’s dance with the devil: For all his modernising, the Catholic church’s leader has enlisted a very old enemy in his battle against secularism — Sophia Deboick, The Guardian [HT Erik Davis]
“The devil continues to be as useful for the modern church as he has been in the past, when he bolstered the case for the burning of heretics. The concept now provides a dramatic way to underscore the dangers of a godless society. The organiser of last week’s course, Dr Giuseppe Ferrari, argues that a rise in the number of people abandoning religion and dabbling in the occult has increased Satan’s power. As head of the Gruppo di Ricerca e Informazione Socio-Religiosa, a Catholic organisation concerned with the threat posed by cults and sects, Ferrari says good exorcists are needed more than ever, since: ‘We live in a disenchanted society, a secularised world that thought it was being emancipated, but where religion is being thrown out, the window is being opened to superstition and irrationality.’
This seems like an extreme position, but it is in perfect alignment with Francis’s views, which go further than his brief mentions of the devil last week suggest. In his very first homily as pope, delivered in the Sistine Chapel on the day after his election, Francis bluntly quoted the French author and Catholic convert Léon Bloy: ‘Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil.'”
- Iran Cleric: Jews Use Sorcery to Spy: A mullah at Tehran University told Iranians on official TV that Jews use jinns, or genies, for espionage. Young Iranians laugh, and cry, when they hear such things. — Azadeh Moaveni, The Daily Beast; from the well-it-worked-for-john-007-dee dept.
“Iran’s state broadcaster, known as Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, has never been the country’s most dignified institution. But even by its own standards, the network plunged into a fresh abyss of superstition and fear-mongering with a recent broadcast in which Valiollah Naghipourfar, a cleric and professor at Tehran University, discusses the use of jinns, or genies, in public life.
‘Can jinns be put to use in intelligence gathering?’ the presenter asks ingenuously, as though dragons can also serve as defense ministers and we’ve all entered the realm of the Hobbit.
The cleric nods, as though speaking about a species of exotic elf: ‘The Jew is very practiced in sorcery. Indeed most sorcerers are Jews.'”
“Such paranoia and fear of the other, of course, is typical among the ultra-orthodox of any religion.”
- Cult Rush Week: Pretzels and Wine With Peaches Geldof’s Sex Cult — Cat Ferguson, Gawker
“When I first told friends I was going to a meeting of the New York Ordo Templi Orientis branch, called Tahuti Lodge, the general consensus was that I should try not to die, and I should avoid sexual contact. […] As it turned out, neither of my friends’ concerns proved necessary.”
- Reply to Sandy Robertson’s review of Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World — Gary Lachman
“One of the key questions I explore in the book is why Crowley remained a pop ‘icon’ – apologies for using a much abused and emptied-out term – long after other esoteric figures taken up by the 60s counter culture, like Jung and Madame Blavatsky, no longer were. The answer to that is that Crowley’s philosophy of excess – ‘excess in all directions’, as his friend Louis Wilkinson called it – is purpose built for rock and roll and the pop aesthetics that followed it.”
- rstevens 3.0, tweet
did you know: contracts with satan are null and void if signed with a genuine fisher space pen® – space pen® the anti-superstition choice
— rstevens 3.01 (@rstevens) July 7, 2014
- When Beliefs and Facts Collide — Brendan Nyhan, The Upshot, The New York Times
“In a new study, a Yale Law School professor, Dan Kahan, finds that the divide over belief in evolution between more and less religious people is wider among people who otherwise show familiarity with math and science, which suggests that the problem isn’t a lack of information. When he instead tested whether respondents knew the theory of evolution, omitting mention of belief, there was virtually no difference between more and less religious people with high scientific familiarity. In other words, religious people knew the science; they just weren’t willing to say that they believed in it.”
- Interview: Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold — Second Heart Magazine
“My arrival to a neo Platonic stance on this issue came initially through my interest for behaviourism and the realization of how an organism can be conditioned to nearly whatever and how inconstant and changeable the human mind and heart is which grew these ideas of dualism solely being a heuristic and not a reality. Later when I studied Advaita philosophy and Renaissance philosophers both from the European and Arabic renaissance a qualified monism took shape and got over the years sharper and sharper. Quite simply if we view everything in terms of polarities we also become more inclined to understand the tension within the fields of being and find the bridges of understanding that widens our horizon and in this the tension between the poles are also experienced less severe. For instance in the thoughts of Ibn Al Arabi we find the concept of Iblis being the limit of divine enfolding – and thus our experience of this concept is one of resistance and opposition, but in truth it serves a quite different function in defining the field of possibility for unfolding.”
- The Persecution of Witches, 21st-Century Style — Mitch Horowitz, The Opinion Pages, The New York Times
“Most people believe that the persecution of ‘witches’ reached its height in the early 1690s with the trials in Salem, Mass., but it is a grim paradox of 21st-century life that violence against people accused of sorcery is very much still with us. Far from fading away, thanks to digital interconnectedness and economic development, witch hunting has become a growing, global problem.”
- Tell Me There Is No Magic — Rue, Rue and Hyssop [HT Sarah Anne Lawless]
“We are walking into the heat scorched arms of summer this weekend, and as some of us keep our heads toward the earth, watching for signs and faerie rings, others are looking skyward again to that opulent display of rocket-fuelled magic.”
- Rewilding Witchcraft: Speaking from the Swamp, Part 1 — Oldidio, The Arrival and the Reunion; a response to Rewilding Witchcraft
“The background setting is chiefly about the decline of humanity’s ability to survive as a species over the coming 100 years or so. The matter is doleful, sobering and utterly important.”
- The Witch and the Wild — Sarah Anne Lawless; a response to Rewilding Witchcraft
“Our witchcraft, nay, our very being must become more wild, more intuitive, and more accepting of nature’s amorality and our inevitable demise if we are to make any difference at all. If we are to preserve what we’ve left behind of the earth in our destructive wake, and if we are to survive in any number as a species, we must rewild ourselves and learn how to live outside of civilization. We must lose our faiths, our religions, our meaningless attachment to nitpicketity details only we as individuals and not a whole care about. We who are importers of foreign magics and alien gods. We must become a different kind of witch. Something that needs no definitions, no boundaries, and no expectations. Something more primal and raw than our current incarnation. Something small, something just outside your door…”
- The Hammer of Thor — Past Horizons
“A small hammer dating to the 10th century was found recently on the Danish Island of Lolland. Over 1000 of these amulets have been found across Northern Europe but the pendant from Lolland is the only one with a runic inscription.”
- A Peek Into The Mystical Lives And Rituals Of Urban Peruvian Shamans — Justina Bakutyte, Beautiful/Decay
“Italy-based photographer Andrea Frazzetta gives us a little glimpse into the lives and rituals of modern healers from Lima, Peru. His project called ‘Urban Shamans’ peeks behind the doors of the rear private shops where shamans, or the so called curanderos, perform their traditional mystical rituals which are not subject to the laws and orders of today’s world.”
- Hannah Kunkle’s Controversial Project Turns Kim Kardashian Into The Devil, The Virgin Mary And Even Jesus — Victoria Casal-Data, Beautiful/Decay
“Brooklyn-based artist Hannah Kunkle puts Kim Kardashian on the altar, literally. Kunkle delivers Kardashian as the Virgin Mary, Medusa, the devil and even Kleopatra. With a flashy net-art inspired aesthetic, the artist takes Kim’s iconic, worshiped image and puts it to work, naturally, with religious/cultish iconography. The controversial juxtaposition is rather riveting as its subtle insights perfectly captures the absurdity of our nation’s obsession with Kardashian and celeb idolatry in general. ‘We have accepted her into our lives via television screens, memes, and Instagram feeds’, she says. ‘If Jay Z is the father and Yeezus is the son, then she is the ever-present holy ghost of pop culture.'”
- Quantum state may be a real thing: Physicists summon up their courage and go after the nature of reality — Chris Lee, Ars Technica [HT disinformation]
“At the very heart of quantum mechanics lies a monster waiting to consume unwary minds. This monster goes by the name The Nature of Reality™. The greatest of physicists have taken one look into its mouth, saw the size of its teeth, and were consumed. Niels Bohr denied the existence of the monster after he nonchalantly (and very quietly) exited the monster’s lair muttering ‘shut up and calculate.’ Einstein caught a glimpse of the teeth and fainted. He was reportedly rescued by Erwin Schrödinger at great personal risk, but neither really recovered from their encounter with the beast.”
- Satanic Feminism – A Soundtrack to Per Faxneld’s Book with Music by Christian von H, Patrik Hultin, Tondurakar, Jesper Erwik Johansson and Kristian Pettersson discussed at Per Faxneld’s Satanic Feminism: A New Approach to the Dissertation? — Sarah Veale, Invocatio
“This is a really creative presentation of the dissertation, one which certainly challenges new scholars to consider the life of their work beyond the written page. It is great to see how this topic has been re-imagined into a totally different context, one which allows the audience to experience the milieu researched by Faxneld in an accessible and immediate way.”
- Fantastically Wrong: Why the Egyptians Worshiped Beetles That Eat Poop for a Living — Matt Simon, WIRED
“And this makes it all the more incredible that humans once revered the dung beetle, from the ancient Egyptians to a 17th-century Jesuit who compared Christ to the bug. These folks got a whole lot wrong about the dung beetle and made some pretty fantastical assumptions, but it turns out that their reverence was totally justified. The dung beetle may live its life in crap, but it’s actually a far more remarkable creature than you think.”
If you’d like to participate in the next Omnium Gatherum, head on over to the Gatherum discussions at the Hrmtc Underground BBS.
“Esotericism and Symbol initiates the reader into the tone, structure, and mentality of ancient Egyptian knowledge, the wellspring of all Western theology and science.
Schwaller de Lubicz makes the distinction between two kinds of human intelligence, one cerebral, the other innate. The symbol is a conventional representation of cerebral intelligence. The hieroglyph, on the other hand, is a direct, nonconventional form of writing with the unique ability to transcribe the innate ‘intelligence-of-the-heart.’
This intelligence is independent of the senses and belongs to the vast totality called life. To the ancient Egyptian it is the intelligence-of-the-heart which allows man to move toward the divine.
All esoteric teaching is addressed to this intelligence. ‘Spirit is found only with spirit,’ and esotericism is the spiritual aspect of the world, inaccessible to cerebral intelligence. It can be neither written nor spoken, nor consequently betrayed. It has nothing in common with deliberate concealment of truth. However, the preparation needed to grasp it is not a matter of learned knowledge, but of intuitive capacity.
Esotericism and Symbol explores the ‘process of becoming’ as it relates to consciousness and is revealed in all of nature; the relationship of ‘apparent life’ and the life behind appearances; the kinship between man and the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms; the mystery of the formation of substance into matter; myth, Kabbalah, and the stages of awareness leading to ‘Cosmic Consciousness.’
De Lubicz shows us that esotericism is not a ‘particular meaning hidden in a text’ but a ‘fusion’ between the vital state of the reader and the vital state of the author. This fusion evokes the intelligence of the heart, our guide to the path of self-knowledge.” — back cover
Symbol and the Symbolic: Ancient Egypt, Science, and the Evolution of Consciousness by R A Schwaller de Lubicz, from Inner Traditions, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz spent fifteen years studying the art and architecture of the Temple of Luxor. In Symbol and the Symbolic, he explains that true progress in human thought can be made only if we call upon the ‘symbolizing’ faculty of intelligence, the faculty developed and refined in the Temple Culture of ancient Egypt and reflected in the hieroglyphs that have come down to us undisturbed. The mentality of ancient Egypt, argues the author, helps free us from our present intellectual impasse, while ‘symbolism’ must be recognized as the intuitive means of overcoming the limitations of reason.
Schwaller de Lubicz contrasts two opposing views: the analytic, mechanistic mentality of modern science and the synthetic, vitalist mentality of ancient Egyptian Sacred Science. He posits that only a symbolic mentality, like that cultivated in the Egyptian Temple, can think without objectifying and therefore can synthetically conceive the paradoxes inherent in the intimate life of matter, or nature in its ongoing genesis. Modern science has evolved to a new opening of consciousness confronted with paradoxes that reason alone cannot contend with. It will have to rise to a symbolic mode in order to integrate the complements in vital phenomena. Schwaller de Lubicz observes that in the past, fundamental and all-encompassing revolutions in the social, moral, and intellectual conditions of human life have coincided with the precession of the equinox. We are again in such a transition. If man does not destroy himself through premature application of principles belonging to a stage of consciousness that he has not yet fully attained—that is, through the manipulation of matter—modern science will be able to evolve into an analogue of Egyptian science. It will no longer seek knowledge through analysis but, with the expansion of consciousness, will evolve toward ‘direct synthetic vision.'” — back cover
“More than 700 photographs and line illustrations documenting the ancient Egyptian temples of Karnak
· A magnificent excursion that explores the monuments, ruins, statues, and bas-reliefs from the ancient and highly developed civilization of Egypt
· The only complete photographic record available of this important acheological treasure
· Contains 600 photographs by two top French award-winning photographers
This book is a magnificent excursion led by R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz to the monuments, ruins, statues, and bas-reliefs of the temples of Karnak. With nearly 600 photographs by Georges and Valentine de Mire, more than 450 of which are full-page plates, this volume is the only complete photographic record of this important historic site. Because of recent vandalism many of the artifacts are no longer intact, and it is no longer possible to see many of the details captured in these images.
This promenade through the temples of Karnak reveals the remains of a world devoted to an unimpeachable faith in the afterlife, a faith whose conviction seems to have exalted its builders and artists, as was the case for several brief centuries with those who constructed the cathedrals of the Middle Ages. One did not work at fashioning these stones, nor were these works sculpted under someone’s strict authority; here it was necessary to act out of the heart. Every gesture in the depictions, every arrangement in the buildings, is a hieroglyph from the symbolic language of the sages who spoke to spirit and consciousness.” [via]
“The monumental Temple of Man represents the most important breakthrough in our understanding of Ancient Egypt since the discovery of the Rosetta stone. This exhaustive and authoritative study reveals the depths of the mathematical, medical, and metaphysical sophistication of Ancient Egypt. Schwaller de Lubicz’s stone-by-stone survey of the temple of Amun-Mut-Khonsu at Luxor allows us to step into the mentality of Ancient Egypt and experience the Egyptian way of thinking within the context of their own worldview.
His study finds the temple to be an eloquent expression and summary—an architectural encyclopedia—of what the Egyptians knew of humanity and the universe. Through a reading of the temple’s measures and proportions, its axes and orientations, and the symbolism and placement of its bas-reliefs, along with the accompanying studies of related medical and mathematical papyri, Schwaller de Lubicz demonstrates how advanced the civilization of Ancient Egypt was, a civilization that possessed exalted knowledge and achievements both materially and spiritually. In so doing, Schwaller de Lubicz effectively demonstrates that Ancient Egypt, not Greece, is at the base of Western science, civilization, and culture.
To understand the temple of Luxor, twelve years of field work were undertaken with the utmost exactitude by Schwaller de Lubicz in collaboration with French archaeologist Clement Robichon and the respected Egyptologist Alexandre Varille. From this work were produced over 1000 pages of text and proofs of the sacred geometry of the temple and 400 illustrations and photographs that make up The Temple of Man.
The Temple of Man is a monument to inspired insight, conscientious scholarship, and exacting archaeological groundwork that represents a major contribution to humanity’s perennial search for self-knowledge and the prehistoric origins of its culture and science.” [via]
The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day, translated by Raymond O Faulkner, additional translation and commentary by Ogden Goelet, introduced by Carol Andrews, edited by Eva Von Dassow, and conceived by James Wasserman, the large format paperback from Chronicle Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“Written some 3,500 years ago, the Papyrus of Ani is the most complete, ornate, and best preserved example of Ancient Egyptian philosophical and religious thought. Presented here for the first time in its original form, with the hieroglyphic images matched to what has been acknowledged as the finest English translation of the test, The Egyptian Book of the Dead opens the door to one of humanity’s earliest and finest spiritual treasures.
O my heart which I had from my mother! O heart which I had from my mother! O my heart of my different ages! Do not stand up as a witness against me. Do not be opposed to me in the tribunal. Do not be hostile to me in the presence of the Keeper of the Balance, for you are my Ka which was in my body, the protector who made my members hale. Go forth to the happy place where to we speed: do not make my name stink to the Entourage who make men. Do not tell lies about me in the presence of the god; it is indeed well that you should hear!
Thus says Thoth, judge of truth, to the Great Ennead which is in the presence of Osiris: Hear this word of very truth. I have judged the heart of the deceased, and his soul stands as a witness for him. His deeds are righteous in the great balance, and no sin has been found in him. He did not diminish the offerings in the temple, he did not destroy what had been made, he did not go about with deceitful speech while he was on earth.
Thus says the Great Ennead to Thoth who is in Hermopolis: This utterance of yours is true. The vindicated Osiris Ani is straightforward, he has no sin, there is no accusation against him before us, Ammit shall not be permitted to have power over him. Let there be given to him the offerings which are issues in the presence of Osiris, and may a grant of land be established in the Field of Offerings as for the Followers of Horus.” — back cover
Ancient Egypt: Kingdom of the Pharaohs by Robert Hamilton, the 2005 hardcover, from Paragon Publishing, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. This is a volume I picked up in the random cheap coffee table book stacks at a major book shop, and I’m not sure what led me to check it out; but it has collected some of the best and most beautiful photography of Ancient Egyptian art and artifacts I’d seen before. Only the text is by Robert Hamilton. The bulk of the photography contained is from the Werner Forman archive and is supplemented with pictures by E Strouhal and a number of other galleries, museums and so forth.
“Although they were created thousands of years ago, the great monuments of Ancient Egypt continue to absorb and astonish us today. These imposing constructions — the Sphinx, the Pyramids, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and the monumental temples of Luxor and Karnak — demonstrate the complexity and strength of that civilization, while the fabulous treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb are testament to its intense cultural richness. United as one country in 3100 BC, Egypt developed into an unequaled economic and cultural power under the pharaohs, one that endured for over 3000 years.
The ancient land bordering the Nile is still revealing its secrets, and our understanding of this extraordinary civilization is still deepening and changing. Lavishly illustrated throughout, Ancient Egypt: Kingdom of the Pharaohs gives an up-to-date account of the theories that have been used to describe this sophisticated culture, looking in detail at all the most important people, sites, and artifacts, and explaining practices, customs, and beliefs.” — back cover
Costume of Ancient Egypt by Philip Watson and Jack Cassin-Scott, from Chelsea House, is part of the collection at the Reading Room … another volume I acquired because I was on a search safari for particular information at the time.
“The costume of the peoples of Ancient Egypt is of interest and importance not only for its place in costume history but also in our understanding of the ancient civilizations.
The author, an Egyptologist, gives an outline of Ancient Egyptian costume from the earliest times to the end of the New Kingdom.
Two introductory chapters provide the reader with the essential background information regarding the geography, climate, and history of Egypt, and the sources of evidence as well as examining the materials and technology available to these peoples.
Subsequent chapters deal with the dress of specific groups such as the nobles, priests and gods, women, workmen, soldiers, and foreigners as well as the kingly vesture.
Each chapter is arranged chronologically and divided into sections dealing with the Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom respectively. Where necessary, brief introductory notes are given in order to help the reader to place particular costumes into their historical framework.
The easy-to-read text is copiously illustrated with line drawings exemplifying the costumes described, all taken directly from ancient sources.
Here, then, is an ideal reference for students of the history of costume and fashion, for project work, and those involved in drama and theatre.” — back cover
Ancient Egyptian Costume by Mary G Houston and Florence S Hornblower, from Dar Al-Fergiani, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. When I purchased this 15 years ago(!) it wasn’t available anywhere I could find in the US but I managed to order it through Amazon UK … a very thin little volume, it turns out, which I presume is a reprint from the publisher in Egypt. But, I was on a search safari for particular information at the time.
“If this work is to be kept within its limitations, it is naturally impossible to give a complete survey of all the varieties of the various styles. To get this knowledge it will be necessary to consult the works of reference, of which lists are given in each section. On the other hand, the special aspect of the work is more fully treated than in any other accessible book upon the subject.
Every illustration of costume given has been actually cut out and made before being ketched, except in a few cases which are of the nature of duplicates, so that by following the directions given it will be easy for anyone to reproduce them in material. Where decoration is required, the exact drawing and colouring of the various styles of Historic Ornament, which are the work of F. S. Hornblower (who has coloured the costumes where necessary) will enable such details to be appropriately applied.
Throughout the book, the illustrations are given by means of facsimiles of drawings by artists of the various centuries, so that a historic survey of the History of Figure Drawing will be included. Where the drawings of primitive artists do not clearly express the ideas intended to be conveyed, a modern drawing of the garment on a dress-stand will be used for explanation of the measured drawings of the cut-out garments. The growing appreciation of the beauty and value of the earlier and more primitive systems of cutting shown in modern dress designing for the last decade, when the so-called Magyar blouse (really the simple tunic common to all primitive folk) began to be popular, will make the present volume a convenient form of inspiration for designers: also, where more exact reproduction is needed, as in theatrical work, pageantry, and so forth, the careful working out of the details of cut and decoration will expedite production and save hours of fruitless searching in reference libraries.” — from the Introduction