SATAN-TYPHON. O Sun, my brother, is it thy will that I have speech with thee? For I have lain with thee nine moons in the womb of our mother; for we have loved as none have loved; for I am closer knit with thee than light and darkness, or that life and death!
Emerging from scholars concerned with the condition of the present, the darkness refashions a revolutionary Deleuze: revolutionary negativity in a world characterized by compulsory happiness, decentralized control, and overexposure.
My dearest, I will now explain the only safe and true formula, the destroyer of the darkness of the World, the most secret among all secrets. Let it be secret to him who would attain. Let it cover any period of time, depending on his conception. There is no qualification, nor ritual or ceremony. His very existence symbolising all that is necessary to perfection. Most emphatically, there is no need of repetition or feeble imitation. You are alive!
Austin Osman Spare, The Book of Pleasure
it is intended to be a place where those who earnestly aspire to spirituality may find the external conditions necessary to cultivate it and to acquire the true “magic staff” that will securely support them on their voyage through eternity; namely, the power to recognise divine truth within their own selves–not by any capacity of their own, but by the power of the Light itself, which comes to all men if they are willing that the darkness should be driven away.
Franz Hartmann, With The Adepts
No man can show to another the light if the latter is incapable to see it himself; but the light is everywhere; there is nothing to hinder a person to see it, except his love for the darkness.
Franz Hartmann, In The Pronaos of The Temple of Wisdom
Tartaros: On the Orphic and Pythagorean Underworld, and the Pythagorean Pentagram by Johan August Alm is a monograph available from Three Hands Press. The special leather-bound edition is sold out, but deluxe and standard hardcover editions are still available.
“The magical doctrines of the ancient Orphics and Pythagoreans are poorly understood by modern scholars, in part because they were secretive in their own time. Well-known for speaking in riddles and complex ciphers, its adepts were bound by strict taboo and silence, the breaking of which was punishable by death. The enigma of the cult’s teachings was further shrouded by centuries of suppression, and, in some cases, appropriation or misrepresentation, by the growing forces of Christianity. What remains today are the fragments of its lost books, together with the words of those who, for good or ill, wrote about them. In an original interpretation and synthesis apt for today’s student of ancient mysticism and the occult, August Alm advances a new conception of these ancient mystery-cults and their sublime doctrines of Chaos, Darkness and Light.
A foundational part of these ancient Greek mystery-cults was the concept of Tartaros. As the abyss of primeval darkness and chaos, Tartaros was, in its most ancient conception, the birthplace of the human soul and the cosmos itself. This vast and incomprehensible dominion held at its center a great fire, an Axis Mundi about which the universe was arranged. In later eras, it passed into myth as a vast and voidful underworld; a place of binding for condemned souls and the enemies of gods, sealed fast with barriers of bronze and iron. Christians later appropriated it as a partition of their own concept of eternal punishment, a division of hell which constrained no less than the fallen angels.
An equally enigmatic Pythagorean cipher is the symbol of the Pentagram, or five-fold star, whose form has been revered in western magic for some three millennia, but whose origins and original attributes are shrouded in mystery. Its attribution to the four elements, joined together with aither, was popularized in the middle ages and is its best-known meaning in modern occult sciences. However, its earlier Pythagorean usage was related to health and well-being, and almost certainly adumbrated another retinue of arcana, one which was ancient even at the time of Pythagoras.
Exhuming the scattered fragments of these two elder doctrines of Tartaros and the Pentagram, Alm examines their reverberation as occult—and occluded—concepts through centuries of philosophical thought, in a line connecting the shadowy teachings of such ‘dark traditions’ as the Orphics and the Pythagoreans, later penetrating the adyta of Neoplatonism. Arguing for a new undertanding of the Pentagram, he connects its fivefold mystery to the great powers of Tartaros, and also to such terrifying gods such as Hecate, Nyx, Erebos, Typhon, Cerberus, and the Erinyes. This strand of mystery touches upon such related concepts as the high theogony implicit within the Platonic Solids, the shadowy influence of the Cult of the Idaean Dactyls on Pythagoreanism, the Light which is rooted in Darkness, and the magical pathology of the ‘Unrooted Tree’.” [via]
ALL the hot summer I lay in the darkness,
Calling on the winds to pass by me and slay me,
Slay me with light in the heat of the summer;
But the winds had no answer for one who was fallen
Asleep by the wayside, with no lyre to charm them,
No voice of the lyre, and no song to charm them.
Late as I lay there asleep by the wayside,
I heard a voice call to me, low in the silence,
There in the darkness the summer called to me:
“thou who art hidden in the green silence,
Let a time of quietness come now upon thee.
Lay thine head on the earth and slumber on her bosom:
Time and the gods shall pass darkling before thee.”
There in the silence I lay, and I heeded
The slow voice that called me, the grave hand that beckoned,
That beckoned me on through the hall of the silence.
There in the silence there was a green goddess,
Folden her wings, and her hands dumbly folden,
Laying in her lay, as though asleep in the darkness.
Then did I hail her: “O mother, my mother,
Syren of the silence, dumb voice of the darkness,
How shall I have speech of Thee, who know not Thy speaking?
How shall I behold Thee, who art hidden in the darkness?
Lo! I bend mine eyes before Thee, and no sign dost Thou vouchsafe me;
I whisper love-words before Thee, and I know not if Thou hear me,
Thou who art the darling of the Night and of the Silence;
Yellow art Thou as the sunlight through the corn-fields,
Bright as the sun-dawn on the snow-clad mountains,
Slow as the voice of the great green gliding River.
Calmly in Thy silence am I come to rest me,
Now from the world the light hath slowly faded;
I have left the groves of Pan that I might gaze upon Thee,
Gaze upon the Virgin that before Time was begotten,
Mother of Chronos, and the old gods before him,
Child of the womb of the Silence, whose father
Is the unknown breath of the most secret Goddess,
Whose name whoso hath heard is smitten to madness.
“Now do I come before Thee in Thy temple,
With offerings from the oak-woods and the breath of the water
That girds the earth with a girdle of green starlight;
And all the austerity of the brooding summer,
And all the wonder of the starlit spaces
That stare down awesomely upon the lonely marshes,
And the bogs with sucking lips, and the pools that charm the wanderer
Till he forgets the world, and rushes to sleep upon them.”
And still there was silence, and the voice of the world swept by me,
Making in mine ears the noise of tumbling waters;
But two voices I heard, and they spake one to the other:
“Who stands with downcast eyes in the temple of our Lady?”
And the answer: “A wanderer from the world who hath sought the halls of silence;
Yet knoweth he not the Bride of the Darkness,
Her of the sable wings, and eyes of terrible blindness
That see through the worlds and find nothing and nothing,
Who would smite the worlds to peace, save that so she would perish,
And cannot, for that she is a goddess silent and immortal,
Utterly immortal in the gods’ eternal darkness.”
And the first voice cried: “Oh, that we might perish,
And become as pearls of blackness on the breast of the silence,
Lending the waste places of the world our darkness,
That the vision might burst in the brain of the seer,
And we be formed anew, and reborn in the light world.”
But the other voice was silent, and the noise of waters swept me
Back into the world, and I lay asleep on a hill-side.
Bearing for evermore the heart of a goddess,
And the brain of a man, and the wings of the morning
Clipped by the shears of the silence; so must I wander lonely,
Nor know of the light till I enter into the darkness.
OMNIA VINCAM (Victor B Neuburg), Equinox I iv
(Obtained in invocation, June 9–10, 1910 O.S.)
The Hermetic Library arts and letters pool is a project to publish poetry, prose and art that is inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the Arts and Letters pool, contact the librarian.
“Let thy ways be made wide for me to traverse the earth and the expanse of Heaven. Shine Thou upon me, O penetrating power, as I draw near to the Divine words my ears shall hear in the Abodes of the West. Let no pollution of that which brought me forth be upon me. Deliver me, protect me from him who closeth His Eyes at twilight and bringeth to an end in darkness. (The annihilator.)” [via]