“Think not that we have acted toward you in a spirit of persecution,” said the nun. “The mysteries which have alarmed you will be explained at a future period, when your soul is prepared by penance, self-mortification, and prayer to receive the necessary revelation. In the meantime, ask no questions, forget the world, and resolve to embrace a life devoted to the service of Heaven.”
A clap of thunder at that instant shook the castle to its foundations; the earth rocked, and the clank of more than mortal armour was heard behind. Frederic and Jerome thought the last day was at hand. The latter, forcing Theodore along with them, rushed into the court. The moment Theodore appeared, the walls of the castle behind Manfred were thrown down with a mighty force, and the form of Alfonso, dilated to an immense magnitude, appeared in the centre of the ruins. Behold in Theodore, the true heir of Alfonso! said the vision: and having pronounced those words, accompanied by a clap of thunder, it ascended solemnly towards heaven, where the clouds parting asunder, the form of saint Nicholas was seen; and receiving Alfonso’s shade, they were soon wrapt from mortal eyes in a blaze of glory.
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto
Harmonies of Heaven and Earth: Mysticism in Music from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde by Hermetic Library fellow Joscelyn Godwin, the 1995 reissue paperback from Inner Traditions, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.
“What lies beneath the surface of music and what gives it its transcendent power? For many people, music is the primary catalyst for experiences of expanded consciousness. Musicians and lovers of music—all those who have ever reflected on its inner reality—feel that a true philosophy of music cannot deal with physics and psychology alone. It must include the universal and mystical aspect of which Plato, Kelper, Rameau, and Novalis wrote, and of which Wagner said: ‘I feel that I am one with this vibrating Force, that it is omniscient, and that I can draw upon it to an extent that is limited only by my own capacity.’ The spiritual power of music surfaces in folklore, myth, and mystical experience, embracing heaven and earth, heard as well as unheard harmonies.
Joscelyn Godwin explores music’s perceived effects on matter, living things, and human behavior. He then turns to metaphysical accounts of the higher worlds that are the birthplace of Harmony, following the path of musical inspiration on its descent to Earth, and illuminating the archetypal currents that lie beneath Western musical history. A final section gives the fullest account ever published of theories of celestial harmony, from Pythagoras to Rudolf Steiner and Marius Schneider.” — back cover
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.
“The Devil’s Carnival 2: The Librarian” is teaser for the upcoming second installment in The Devil’s Carnival. It is also a completely true and accurate representation of my typical day at the Hermetic Library, sitting near the restricted stacks and sipping tea … Seriously. How did they learn so much about the floorplan of the Reading Room at the library and about my daily routine? The only thing they missed was my cat. Well, at least I still have that bit of privacy left.
“In 2012, Director Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW II-IV) and writer/actor Terrance Zdunich of REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA unleashed Episode One of their musical film series, THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL. Hailed as “One of the single greatest devil-centric stories ever told” (Ain’t It Cool News), Episode One led audiences on a journey through the underworld. It’s 2013, and the boys are back with EPISODE TWO… And this time, they’re sending you to Heaven!
Starring Tech N9ne as The Librarian, this nine-minute teaser is chock-full of visual and musical hints of the heavenly delight that awaits audiences in THE DEVIL’S CARNIVAL: EPISODE TWO”
“THESE little minds have no conception of the great ideas which distinguish man from mannikin. They imagine that Rodin was a Frenchman, and Wagner a German. They do not understand that these persons were not men, but Gods. They do not understand that the creations of such men are in the nature of that image of the great Goddess Diana which came down from heaven for us men and for our salvation. They do not understand that Rheims is as sacred as Cologne; that the Kremlin should have been protected from the maniacs, who are trying to translate Bernard Shaw into action, as Jerusalem (if there be anything of artistic value therein) from the British. As a matter of fact, I believe there is nothing but a lot of faked historical monuments camouflaged by the wily Syrian for the exploitation of American tourists of the Chautauqua brand. If this be so, Allenby, go to it!” [via]
“Thus for these three movements there are three movers. Moreover, the whole of this heaven moves and revolves with the epicycle from east to west once every day. Whether this movement derives from some intellect or from the pull of the Primum Mobile, only God knows, for it seems to me presumptuous to reach a conclusion on this point.” [via]
“According to the best demonstration of the astrologers as we find it summarized in the book of the Constellations of the Stars, these movements are three: one according to which the star moves along its epicycle; a second according to which the epicycle moves together with the whole heaven in concert with that of the Sun; a third according to which that whole heaven moves, following the movement of the starry sphere, from west to east, one degree every one hundred years.” [via]
“These Thrones, who are assigned to govern this heaven, are not great in number, though the philosophers and the astrologers have estimated it diversely according to how diversely they have estimated its rotations, although all are agreed on this point: that there are as many of them as there are movements made by the heaven.” [via]