Tag Archives: Gerald Brousseau Gardner

Omnium Gatherum: July 2nd, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for July 2nd, 2014

Smithonian Remi Benali Corbis Chinguetti Mauritania
Endangered Site: Chinguetti, Mauritania: The rapidly expanding Sahara Desert threatens a medieval trading center that also carries importance for Sunni Muslims — Jeanne Maglaty, Smithsonian

 

  • Thelema and Witchcraft: was Gerald Gardner head of the O.T.O.? — Brandy Williams, Star and Snake

    “Many Witches are unaware how deeply involved Gerald Gardner was with Ordo Templi Orientis. How Gardner came to think of himself of head of the O.T.O. in Europe, however briefly, shines a light on Gardner’s wide contacts in the esoteric communities, the last days of Aleister Crowley’s life, and the chaos caused by the Second World War.”

  • Empathic people are natural targets for sociopaths — protect yourself — Jane McGregor and Tim McGregor, Addiction Today

    “Many sociopaths wreak havoc in a covert way, so that their underlying condition remains hidden for years. They can possess a superficial charm, and this diverts attention from disturbing aspects of their nature.”

    The following case history illustrates how people can be systematically targeted until they feel they can barely trust their own sense of reality – what we call ‘gaslighting’. Sociopathic abuse is targeted abuse. It can wreck lives. Victims can become survivors, but at huge cost.”

    “Let’s look at what we term the Socio-Empath-Apath Triad, or Seat. Unremitting abuse of other people is an activity of the sociopath that stands out. To win their games, sociopaths enlist the help of hangers-on: apaths.”

  • 7 things paganism can teach the modern man: As thousands prepare to celebrate the Summer Solstice this weekend, Lee Kynaston looks at the lessons we can glean from a pagan lifestyle — Lee Kynaston, The Telegraph [HT Spiral Nature]

    “If I were to ask you what the average male pagan looked like, you’d probably have him down as a bearded, middle-aged, cloak-wearing, tree-hugging, mead-swigging, part-time nudist who’s a bit paunchy around the middle and whose favourite film is The Wicker Man.

    And you’d be right.”

  • 9 Stunning Panoramas of Starry Skies, Captured With a Homemade Camera Rig — Liz Stinson, WIRED

    “Last spring Vincent Brady sold most of his belongings, moved out of his apartment and struck out on the road to document the night sky. But instead of taking your typical long-exposure shots, Brady designed himself a custom camera rig that’s allowed him to capture stunning 360 panoramic images of the stars and Milky Way moving in concert.”

    Vincent Brady Monument Valley AZ

     

  • Desiring Life — T Thorn Coyle

    “Include as much of life as you possibly can: Fall in love. Break your heart. Risk. Open. Seek justice. Create. Dance. Listen. Fuck. Desire. Will. Act. Live.”

  • Human Language Is Biased Towards Happiness, Say Computational Linguists — The Physics arXiv Blog [HT Slashdot]

    “Overall, [Peter Dodds, et al., of the Computational Story Lab at the University of Vermont in Burlington] collected 50 ratings per word resulting in an impressive database of around 5 million individual assessments. Finally, they plotted the distribution of perceived word happiness for each language.

    The results bring plenty of glad tidings. All of the languages show a clear bias towards positive words with Spanish topping the list, followed by Portuguese and then English. Chinese props up the rankings as the least happy. ‘Words—the atoms of human language — present an emotional spectrum with a universal positive bias,’ they say.”

  • Madness…or Mystic? Sylvia Plath and the Occult Taboo — Julia Gordon-Bramer, a presentation for ASE 2014

    “The poet Sylvia Plath’s work is full of the moon, and this is just the beginning of her nod to the occult. Her 1956 marriage to the poet Ted Hughes added astrology, tarot, Ouija boards, hypnosis, meditation, folk-magic, witchcraft, and crystal ball scrying to her repertoire of extra-curricular spiritual activities.

    The facts have been out there all along on Sylvia Plath, but until now no one had thought to view them seriously and collectively.”

  • Invoke the Highest First — Alex Sumner, Sol Ascendans

    “Often I find that, when I am facing a new challenge, perhaps one that I find daunting for some reason, the simplest solution is to apply basic principles. This is especially true in magick. In the Golden Dawn the most important rule of thumb is referred to as ‘invoke the highest first,’ which is a reference to one of the clauses of the Adeptus Minor obligation: ‘I furthermore solemnly pledge myself never to work at any important symbol without first invocating the highest Divine Names connected therewith.'”

  • Immanence by Stuart Davis

    “Every body wants to taste
    a little something carbon-based
    Sex is proof the Holy Ghost
    crawls around in stuff that’s gross
    Yeah

    There’s a serpent in my body
    right below my belly
    When I crave an apple
    you are redder than an orchard”

  • NASA, tweet

    NASA Puff the Magic Sun

     

  • The Other Magi of the New Aeon of Horus — Setem Heb, Beetle Tracks

    “In the period following Crowley’s death the state of organized Thelema largely fell to nothing. In his excellent The Unknown God Martin P. Starr provides an excellent account of Crowley’s O.T.O. heir, Karl Germer’s attempt to hold together the existing Thelemites with little effect. As a result of there being no centralized Thelemic authority quasi-Thelemic groups would form.”

  • Archaeologists recreate Elixir of Long Life recipe from unearthed bottle — April Holloway, Ancient Origins

    “The discovery included a two hundred-year-old glass bottle that once contained the ‘Elixir of Long Life’. Now the research team have tracked down the original German recipe used to create the elixir for fending off death. […] the potion contained ingredients such as aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, gentian root, which aids digestion, as well as rhubarb, zedoary, and Spanish saffron – ingredients still used by herbalists today.”

  • The end of EXESESO — Egil Asprem, Heterodoxology

    “After the untimely death of Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke back in 2012 […] there has been much speculation about what would happen with the Exeter Centre for the Study of Esotericism (EXESESO) that he ran at the University of Exeter. Since 2005, EXESESO has offered one of the three official university programs for the academic study of esotericism in Europe (the others being in Amsterdam and Paris), and produced a steady stream of MAs through its distance learning program. After an internal evaluation process at Exeter University, in dialogue with the Theosophically oriented Blavatsky Trust who funded the centre, a final decision has now been made to shut EXESESO down.”

  • Whole lotta Led, as songs don’t remain the same — Barry Egan, Sunday Independent

    “Overall, the story of Zeppelin was like something out of an X-rated version of the Bible; with Plant as the messianic, bare-chested prophet from Wolverhampton and Page as the Aleister Crowley devotee who sold his soul to the devil for magic chords to the Delta blues.”

  • The Lost Desert Libraries of Chinguetti — MessyNessy [HT Book Patrol]

    “The sands of the Sahara have all but swallowed Chinguetti, a near ghost town found at the end of a harsh desert road in Mauritania, West Africa. Its majority of abandoned houses are open to the elements, lost to the dunes of a desert aggressively expanding southward at a rate of 30 miles per year. While predictions suggest this isolated town will be buried without a trace within generations, Chinguetti is probably the last place on Earth you would look for a library of rare books.”

  • New Biogaphies of Aleister Crowley and Proto-Fascist Poet Gabriele d’Annunzio Raise Big Questions on the Nature of Evil — Jason Diamond, Flavorwire

    “While it might not seem an obvious pairing, reading [Gary] Lachman’s book as a biography of Crowley (rather than an analysis of his importance) alongside Hughes-Hallett’s Gabriele d’Annunzio provides an opportunity to both compare and contrast these two controversial figures who reportedly were acquainted with one another in their lifetimes (d’Annunzio was 12 years older than Crowley and died nine years before him). It also gives the reader an opportunity to consider what’s truly bad or evil, and think about the quest for pleasure or power. Few figures in the last century will inspire you to ponder those ideas like the figures profiled in these two books.”

 

If you’d like to participate in the next Omnium Gatherum, head on over to the Gatherum discussions at the Hrmtc Underground BBS.

Ameth

Ameth: The Life and Times of Doreen Valiente by Jonathan Tapsell, forthcoming from Avalonia Books, may be of interest.

Jonathan Tapsell Ameth from Avalonia Books

This study of the life of the Witch, Priestess and Author Doreen Valiente, who is sometimes named as the ‘Mother of Modern Pagan Witchcraft’ presents a wonderful collection of information and insights into her life and work. ‘AMETH’ was Doreen Valiente’s witch name, the author talks about this in the book writing that during Doreen’s initiation as a Witch by Gerald Gardner, she was given the name:

‘At this rite Gardner and Dafo gave their new initiate a secret Witch-name known only to those within the Craft. Doreen was from then on to be known as — Ameth. Gardner is likely to have said these words taken from his own Book of Shadows: “Hear, ye Mighty Ones, (Ameth) hath been consecrated Priestess and Witch of the Gods.” before asking the Gods to depart. Ameth true to her secret oaths of the Old Religion would neither disclose to either her husband or mother that she was now a fully-fledged Witch.’

‘As the ceremony progressed the newly initiated Witch, Doreen, would have been anointed, given wine from a chalice, gently scourged for purification and eventually untied and the blindfold taken away. At its conclusion she would have been presented with an athame (a witch’s knife), a wand to invoke spirits, a white handled knife, a scourge and a censor for incense. Another magical artefact, belonging to the Witch, was the cords used to bind her during the ceremony. One cord measured nine feet long and was to be used to make magical circles and another cord was used for spells. She was now a member of the coven and only another two degrees stood between her and the title of High Priestess in the art magical.’

Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus

Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus: History. Magick. Psychedelia. Ufology. by Paul Weston, the 2009 paperback from Avalonian Aeon Publications, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Paul Weston's Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus from Avalonian Aeon Publications

“Whilst ‘dealing with diverse and extraordinary subjects,’ this book focuses particularly on the Beast, and the various individuals, movements and madnesses that have followed on from him. Discussions of Crowley, Thelema, magick, and mysticism lead to explorations of the life and thought of Gerald Gardner, Kenneth Grant, L. Ron Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Jack Parsons, Robert Anton Wilson and others. The author also explores a number of bizarre and sometimes bewildering subjects, from the atom bomb and hallucinogens, to Nazi occultism, UFO’s and ‘the Sirius Mystery’, with various divergences and forays into sixties popular culture, Illuminati, Men in Black, the Church of Satan, the Process Church, Manson murders, the Thule Society, ‘New Aeon English Qabalah’, and the alleged secret United States government research into time travel said to have been conducted at Montauk Air Force Station. One reviewer has not unreasonably likened the work to that of Robert Anton Wilson on account of its scope and sometimes deliberately surreal perspectives.” [via]

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

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.”

Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism

You may be interested in Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism (and via Amazon), edited by Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr, and scheduled for August 2012 from Oxford University Press and September via other retailers like Amazon. The hardcover is listed at a steep $99, but there’s a $35 paperback due in Sept (and via Amazon).

“Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr offer the first comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century’s most distinctive occult iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a study in contradictions. He was born into a Fundamentalist Christian family, then educated at Cambridge where he experienced both an intellectual liberation from his religious upbringing and a psychic awakening that led him into the study of magic. He was a stock figure in the tabloid press of his day, vilified during his life as a traitor, drug addict and debaucher; yet he became known as the perhaps most influential thinker in contemporary esotericism.

The practice of the occult arts was understood in the light of contemporary developments in psychology, and its advocates, such as William Butler Yeats, were among the intellectual avant-garde of the modernist project. Crowley took a more drastic step and declared himself the revelator of a new age of individualism. Crowley’s occult bricolage, Magick, was a thoroughly eclectic combination of spiritual exercises drawing from Western European ceremonial magical traditions as practiced in the nineteenth-century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Crowley also pioneered in his inclusion of Indic sources for the parallel disciplines of meditation and yoga. The summa of this journey of self-liberation was harnessing the power of sexuality as a magical discipline, an instance of the “sacrilization of the self” as practiced in his co-masonic magical group, the Ordo Templi Orientis. The religion Crowley created, Thelema, legitimated his role as a charismatic revelator and herald of a new age of freedom under the law of “Do what thou wilt.”

The influence of Aleister Crowley is not only to be found in contemporary esotericism-he was, for instance, a major influence on Gerald Gardner and the modern witchcraft movement-but can also be seen in the counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and in many forms of alternative spirituality and popular culture. This anthology, which features essays by leading scholars of Western esotericism across a wide array of disciplines, provides much-needed insight into Crowley’s critical role in the study of western esotericism, new religious movements, and sexuality.” [via]

“Foreword – Wouter J. Hanegraaff
1. Introduction – Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr
2. The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Aleister Crowley and the Magical Exploration of Edwardian Subjectivity – Alex Owen
3. Varieties of Magical Experience: Aleister Crowley’s Views on Occult Practice – Marco Pasi
4. Envisioning the Birth of a New Aeon: Dispensationalism and Millenarianism in the Thelemic Tradition – Henrik Bogdan
5. The Great Beast as a Tantric hero: The Role of Yoga and Tantra in Aleister Crowley’s Magick – Gordan Djurdjevic
6. Continuing Knowledge from Generation unto Generation: The Social and Literary Background of Aleister Crowley’s Magick – Richard Kaczynski
7. Aleister Crowley and the Yezidis – Tobias Churton
8. The Frenzied Beast: The Phaedran Furores in the Rites and Writings of Aleister Crowley – Matthew D. Rogers
9. Aleister Crowley: Freemason! – Martin P. Starr
10. “The One Thought that was not Untrue”: Aleister Crowley and A. E. Waite – Robert R. Gilbert
11. The Beast and the Prophet: Aleister Crowley’s Fascination with Joseph Smith – Massimo Introvigne
12. Crowley and Wicca – Ronald Hutton
13. Through the Witch’s Looking Glass: The Magick of Aleister Crowley and the Witchcraft of Rosaleen Norton – Keith Richmond
14. The Occult Roots of Scientology? L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley and the Origins of the World’s Most Controversial New Religion – Hugh Urban
15. Satan and the Beast. The Influence of Aleister Crowley on Modern Satanism – Asbjorn Dyrendal” [via]

Britain’s Wicca Man

Britain’s Wicca Man – (C) Matchlight from Matchlight on Vimeo.

Produced by Matchlight, (C) Matchlight 2012

BRITAIN'S WICCA MAN (1×60) tells the extraordinary story of Britain's fastest growing religious group – Wicca – and of its creator, an eccentric Englishman called Gerald Gardner. Historian and leading expert in Pagan studies, Professor Ronald Hutton, explores the unlikely origins of modern pagan witchcraft and experiences first hand its growing influence throughout Britain today. Gardner's story and the story of Wicca itself is a bizarre one. 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. Its 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. The film tells of a peculiar man who saw that the world was ready for a new religion based on magic, sex nature and ritual – and gave it to us. In doing so, he created in Wicca, the UK's first religion, one that has taken on a life of its own and is today counted amongst one of the fastest growing faith groups in the world. Through interviews and encounters with Wicca followers, experts and these who knew Gardner, Professor Hutton delves into this unusual world and the story of how its eccentric founder created a religion that is today increasingly seen as a valid alternative to the more orthodox faith groups.

Out of Step: Witchcraft

 

It’s only the first few seconds which related to Gerald Gardner, but …

There’s a long form description of the contents of the full 25 minute show, which seems from the clip to be a lot of prurient sensationalism at the expense of those being talked to or about (including Gerald Gardner, Margaret Murray, Aleister Crowley, and Louis Wilkinson), which then from the long description actually devolves into not just exotification but also rapidly descends into ridiculousness as a proof of Godwin’s Law:

“Opening title sequence (62). In the studio Farson introduces the subject of witchcraft in contemporary Britain. GVs Castletown, Isle of Man. Farson, standing in the countryside near Castletown, introduces Dr Margaret Murray, aged 92, a leading authority on witchcraft. From her home Dr Murray talks about her experiences of, and views, on witchcraft. She says she has never met a witch but has seen one. This witch was credited with the ability to kill farm animals. Dr Murray does not believe this but believes that the witch could convince others of her powers. She receives letters from people who believe themselves bewitched. She tells them to have the courage to resist their beliefs. She speaks about covens. Dr Morris believes that in the past witches were forces for good – they were healers, midwives and herbalists. She speaks of wax images and how witches tried to kill King James Ist (456). Farson introduces Dr Gerald Gardner who lives in a ruined mill surrounded by relics of witchcraft. Dr Gardner is interviewed by the mill wheel. Dr Gardner says there are 400 witches in Britain and admits that he is a practising witch; witches do not worship the devil but have their own gods. He personally does not have any special powers but as a team he believes that witches can produce results. He gives an example of witches making a wax image to influence the result of a legal investigation. He says that the common belief that witches engage in sexual orgies is false but admits that they do dance naked and this is one reason why witchcraft is an undercover activity. He thinks witchcraft is a force for good and gives peace and joy to those who practise it (804). Farson speaks of Aleister Crowley (known as ‘the beast’), the last great witch in history. Still photographs of Crowley. It is alleged that he practised black magic and sexual debauchery. Farson introduces Louis Wilkinson, his executor, disciple, and lifelong friend. He speaks of Crowley as a friend and companion. He believes that Crowley had strong powers of suggestion and an extraordinary magnetic force. He gives an anecdote of Crowley addressing a man, Morton, in a New York restaurant and speaking of a dream he had about him. He speaks about Crowley’s funeral and how his funeral address involving a recitation on Pan was received. (1109). Film of black African natives, men and women, enacting a tribal dance to drums watched by a crowd of people (1146). Adolf Hitler addressing a large rally in Germany (1181). Young people dancing rock’n’roll. The voice-over [1109-1210ft] points out that people are susceptible to strong rhythms, hypnotic speech and mass hysteria which may not be far removed from witchcraft (1210). Credits (1244ft).” [via]

Still, it would be interesting to be able to see the whole show …