Tag Archives: anne rice

Omnium Gatherum: Aug 28th, 2013

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together …

Unicursal Gareth Branwyn illustration
Boing Boing’s Gareth Branwyn is crowdfunding a book [via]


  • Mark Stavish, via email; from the your-shortfall-is-more-than-my-entire-budget dept.

    “The New Alexandrian Library Project is nearing completion, but, has fallen short by about $50,000 of its financial goal. Ground has been broken, and construction underway, but more money is needed.”

  • Unearthed Peruvian tomb confirms that women ruled over brutal ancient culture” — Scott Sutherland, Geekquinox [HT Anne Rice]; from the girt-with-a-sword dept.

    “Centuries ago, in the Sechura Desert of northern Peru — one of the most arid and brutal environments on our planet — the Moche people developed an equally-brutal culture. With no written history left behind, much of their society still remains a mystery, but paintings on pottery have shown researchers evidence of a rigid culture of survival, with ritualized combats where the losing side was sacrificed.

    Findings in recent years expanded the tale of these people even further, telling a story of how they were ruled by women, priestesses who also acted as queens.”

  • The Elements and the Four Cardinal Directions” — Aaron Leitch, Aaron Leitch’s Blog [HT Sorita d’Este]

    “To my knowledge, there are no systems of correspondences of Elements to directions that go back to 5000 BCE. The earliest such correspondences could have arisen would have been in cultures that developed astrology – likely going back no further than Babylon. Not even Egypt had such correspondences that I know of – though they did have the four Sons of Horus as the pillars of the four directions (associated with the arms and legs of Nut), I’ve never seen any Egyptian text that associates them directly with four Elements.”

  • The Placing of the Elements In A Golden Dawn Temple” — Alex Sumner, Sol Ascendans

    “The magical inner-workings of the Golden Dawn ceremonies take the Temple, and astrally transport it through Time and Space and across dimensions – to the Hall of the Duat, in the Egyptian otherworld.

    Hence, the correct placing of the elements should neither be for the Northern Hemisphere, if your temple is in the Northern Hemisphere, nor for the Southern Hemisphere if it is physically located there, but for how the elements would be placed in the Hall of Judgement in the Egyptian otherworld.”

  • A Very British Witchcraft — channel4.com; from the fire-up-the-vpn dept.

    Channel 4's A Very British Witchcraft

    “The extraordinary story of Britain’s fastest-growing religious group — the modern pagan witchcraft of Wicca — and of its creator, an eccentric Englishman called Gerald Gardner.

    Historian and leading expert in Pagan studies Professor Ronald Hutton explores Gardner’s story and experiences first-hand Wicca’s growing influence throughout Britain today.

    Born of a nudist colony in 1930s Dorset, Wicca rapidly grew from a small New Forest coven to a worldwide religion in the space of just 70 years.

    It’s a journey that takes in tales of naked witches casting spells to ward off Hitler, tabloid hysteria about human sacrifices and Gerald Gardner himself appearing on Panorama.” [via]

  • Love Spells, Prostitutes, and Poison” — Sarah Veale, Invocatio

    “When we think of magic in the ancient world, we tend to think that what we today consider magic was, back then, simply religion. Certainly this holds true for things like worshiping many gods, divining the future, or other such activities. But there definitely was a subset of ancient practice that was considered to be against the grain. Those engaging in such practices go by many names: magoi (a term used to refer to ‘Eastern’ holy men), pharmakeis (those skilled with drugs and potions), goetes (spiritual practitioners who engaged the dead), and epodoi (singers of incantations). But all had one thing in common: they were perceived as working against nature, and thus society in general.”

  • Why terrorist bosses are micro-managing dicks” — Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing [See, Amazon]; from the show-mommy-exactly-where-you-helped dept.

    “It comes down to this: people willing to join terrorist groups are, by definition, undisciplined, passionate, and unbalanced, so you have to watch them closely and coordinate their campaigns.”

  • Cyber-Harassment: What the Online Community Can Do to Stop the Trolls” — Jade Walker, huffingtonpost.com; from the disgustipated dept.

    “Basically, don’t feed the egos of the attention-starved people who use the Internet to (often anonymously) defame, harass and frighten. Or worse, accept that this is how the world should work instead of trying to change it.

    To which, I call bullshit.

    I would not tolerate such behavior in person, and I am certainly not about to do so online. Thankfully, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Others have also decided to fight back.”

  • Anita Sarkeesian at TEDxWomen 2012“; from the nobody-goes-there-anymore-it’s-too-crowded dept.

    “… creating an environment too toxic and hostile to endure.”

Darker Than You Think

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson:

Jack Williamson's Darker Than You Think


According to “John Carter,” the pseudonymous author of Sex and Rockets, the Jack Williamson novel Darker Than You Think had a profound impact on O.T.O. Br. Jack Parsons IX°.

The monster-type of the novel is a sorceror-lycanthrope-vampire, representing the genetic recrudescence of a pre-human race that has interbred with and become submerged in humanity. These other-people are called “witches” in the story, which might largely account for Parsons’ affinity for the terms “witch” and “witchcraft,” despite their forceful rejection by Aleister Crowley.

The book stands in many ways as a precursor of the Anne Rice formula of “anti-horror,” in which the sympathetic protagonist is a praeterhuman monster at odds with humanity. Particularly like Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, the Williamson story indulges in an initiatory plot-line, in which there is a gradual induction into monsterhood. There is also a thematic and mechanical correspondence to certain initiations and epiphanies described in Lovecraft’s stories (e.g. “The Shadow over Innsmouth” and “Dreams in the Witch-house”), where the narrator’s horror is compounded by discovering his identity with the object of his fear.

The character of April Bell is the unequivocal scarlet initiatrix of the protagonist Will Barbee. She is the Babalon who rides him as a Beast, most conspicuously when he takes the form of a huge saber-tooth tiger and and carries her naked through the night—an image repeatedly used for illustrations in the various editions of the story. (See Sex and Rockets, pp. 59 & 210, and the current Tor edition of Darker Than You Think, pp. 135 & 143, for different versions of this “Lust Trump.”) Of course the names are interesting as well: “Will” is English for Thelema, and “April” is the month of the writing of The Book of the Law. Darker Than You Think is full of an apocalyptic tone, embodied most clearly in the imminence of the reign of a witch-king called the “Child of Night.” (C.f. Liber LXVI, v. 2)

All of these correspondences must be chalked up to inspiration, rather than study. Only after writing Darker Than You Think, Williamson met Parsons, and eventually attended an Agape Lodge O.T.O. function, where he was favorably impressed by lodgemaster Wilfred Smith. But he never pursued any formal studies, and was left with the impression that Crowley was best characterized as a “satanist.” [via]



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