Tag Archives: holy guardian angel

Omnium Gatherum: June 11th, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for June 11th, 2014

Mihai Mihu Dante's Inferno Lust
Mihai Mihu’s LEGO diorama for “Lust” from Dante's Inferno

 

  • The Householder’s Guide to Form and Deed” — Scott David Finch (author of A Little World Made Cunningly), Spiral Nature

    “After putting myself in too many people’s shoes, and seeing the world through everyone else’s eyes for too long, I start to become a warped and weary alien to myself. I no longer recognize my own face and I need to recharge. This is when I head to my studio to sit.”

  • How to Become a Living Douche! The Impressively Embarrassing Occultism of EA Koetting” — Thad McKraken, disinformation

    “I have to confess that what I’ve found mindblowing about exploring the Occult is that the church has slandered it as being daemon worship, and because of that, a group of gothed out weirdoes have decided that they love the idea worshipping Satan. Even though the Occult doesn’t actually involve that (it’s about mastering your daemons and making contact with your Holy Guardian Angel), they’re just going to make it about that anyway because they’re just…so…hard.”

  • Dreamscripts in the Waking World” — William Kiesel, The Brooklyn Rail

    “One of the signs which has become a trademark of being in a dream is the inability to read the written word or at other times to decipher numbers on a clock face or elsewhere. Such figures most often appear to blur before the eyes. There are times when the oneiric traveller is blest with clarity of vision wherein the characters in the given instance are crystal clear, but such instances are typically rare. It is significant that there is a crossover between the experience of legible and illegible scripts in both the waking and dream worlds.”

    “With the use of oneiric praxis, sigils of the wake world can be brought to the dreamscape, as well as drawing the dream texts upon the waking consciousness. No doubt the viewing of sigillic devices could produce the atmosphere of the dream in the waking consciousness of one unaccustomed to seeing such scripts.”

  • Caveat Lecter” — Houghton Library Blog [HT Harvard Library]

    “Good news for fans of anthropodermic bibliopegy, bibliomaniacs and cannibals alike: tests have revealed that Houghton Library’s copy of Arsène Houssaye’s Des destinées de l’ame [The destiny of the soul] (FC8.H8177.879dc) is without a doubt bound in human skin.”

  • Earth’s backup: Sending religious texts to the moon” — Paul Marks, NewScientist

    “The first artefacts to shoot for the moon could be three religious and philosophical texts. The Torah on the Moon project, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, has been courting private firms to deliver a handwritten Jewish scroll, the Sefer Torah, to the lunar surface. If they succeed, later flights will carry Hindu scriptures called the Vedas and the ancient Chinese philosophical work, the I-Ching.

    Each document will be housed in a space-ready capsule designed to protect it from harsh radiation and temperature changes on the moon for at least 10,000 years.”

  • The Samuelson Clinic releases “Is it in the Public Domain?” handbook” – UC Berkeley School of Law [HT Boing Boing]

    “These educational tools help users to evaluate the copyright status of a work created in the United States between January 1, 1923 and December 31, 1977—those works that were created before today’s 1976 Copyright Act. Many important works—from archival materials to family photos and movies—were created during this time, and it can be difficult to tell whether they are still under copyright.”

  • Handbook to figure out what’s in the public domain” — Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

    “This is probably the most esoteric question that normal people from all walks of life have to answer routinely; the Samuelson Clinic has really done an important public service here.”

  • Book of Soyga or Aldaraia sive Soyga vocor [PDF], edited and translated by Jane Kupin, Twilit Grotto [HT Joseph H Peterson]

    “Here begins the book Aldaraia in accordance with that which our authorities proclaimed to us; they were from God and from the celestial parts and it was revealed to them in the desert about celestial matters.”

  • The Self-Sacrifice of Our Own Individuality” — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti

    “We perform our task correctly only when we don’t force our own mind into every ancient book that falls into our hands; but rather read out of it what is already there.”

  • The Anagogic Role of Sunthemata in the Sacramental Liturgy of Pseudo-Dionysius” — Jeffrey S Kupperman

    “The Neoplatonic writings of the 6th century writer known as pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite have influenced, and continue to influence, Christian theologians and esotericists, amongst others, to this day. Typically, a handful of Dionysius’ topics are discussed: his angelology, his sacramental theology, and his treatment of the divine names are on the top of the list. This paper treats one of these subjects, Dionysian sacraments”

  • Occultic and Masonic Influence in Early Mormonism” — Joel B Groat, Institute for Religious Research

    “The evidence of Joseph Smith’s close connection to occultism and Freemasonry, and how this influenced the origin and development of the LDS Church is not well known outside of scholarly circles. This article summarizes the evidence for Joseph’s personal involvement in both Freemasonry and occultism, and their influence on the Mormon religion.”

  • Christopher Lee makes heavy metal Don Quixote” — BBC News

    “Actor Sir Christopher Lee is marking his 92nd birthday by releasing an album of heavy metal cover versions.

    Two of the songs come from the Don Quixote musical Man of La Mancha, which was a Broadway smash in the 1960s.

    ‘As far as I am concerned, Don Quixote is the most metal fictional character that I know, the Hobbit star said.

    ‘Single handed, he is trying to change the world, regardless of any personal consequences. It is a wonderful character to sing.'”

  • Of course Thelema is satanic” — Thomas Zwollo, Spiral Nature

    “Thelema rejects all these notions that enslave humanity to a deity that would demand certain beliefs and actions and punish those who disobey. Satan represents the rejection of this belief system and the exultation of the individual. Is Satan central to Thelema? No. Is Satan mentioned in Thelema? Yes, frequently.”

  • On the ‘itch’ within the Witch” — Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, The Starry Cave

    “I believe Traditional Witchcraft is a poetic reality humming the nocturnal mysteries of Night. I believe the Witch is concerned with Solace and comfort, the same solace we find resting in the Night. I believe the Witch is a creature tied to the land whose heart is a crossroad where the fire of Need gushes forth from the fountain of the soul like a veiled spring of fiery droplets of gold and silver.”

  • The Rosicrucian Vision” — Christopher McIntosh, New Dawn Magazine

    “The word ‘Rosicrucian’ is one that most readers will have heard many times. Yet if I were to ask for a definition of the word I would probably be given a wide variety of different answers. I might be told that it was something to do with esoteric Christianity, with alchemy, or with Cabala. All of these things are part of the answer, but not the whole answer.

    So what is Rosicrucianism? For the time being let us call it a current of thought and ideas which has been flowing through history for at least three and a half centuries and probably quite a bit longer, sometimes underground, sometimes coming to the surface, but always pushing human beings towards certain goals. I say that we can trace the current back three and a half centuries because that was when it first came to the surface. So let us go back to that moment in history.”

  • Pagan God From Bronze Age Caught By Unsuspecting Fisherman In Siberia” — Yasmine Hafiz, The Huffington Post; from the it-has-the-innsmouth-look dept

    “Nikolay Tarasov was fishing in a river near his home in Tisul, in the Kemerovo region of Siberia, when he caught something unexpected—and very old.”

    “Museum curators dated the figure to over 4,000 years old. Carved in horn which was later fossilized, the Bronze Age figurine shows a pagan god.”

    Pagan God from the Bronze Age caught by fisherman in Siberia

     

  • Circumambulating the Alchemical Mysterium” — Aaron Cheak, Reality Sandwich; an excerpt from Alchemical Traditions: From Antiquity to the Avant-Garde

    “Alchemy may be described, in the words of Baudelaire, as a process of ‘distilling the eternal from the transient’. As the art of transmutation par excellence, the classical applications of alchemy have always been twofold: chrysopoeia and apotheosis (gold-making and god-making)—the perfection of metals and mortals. In seeking to turn ‘poison into wine’, alchemy, like tantra, engages material existence—often at its most dissolute or corruptible—in order to transform it into a vehicle of liberation. Like theurgy, it seeks not only personal liberation—the redemption of the soul from the cycles of generation and corruption—but also the liberation (or perfection) of nature herself through participation in the cosmic demiurgy. In its highest sense, therefore, alchemy conforms to what Lurianic kabbalists would call tikkun, the restoration of the world.”

  • Plaidoyer for historical-critical Steiner research. Using the methodological example of Rudolf Steiner as a possible character in the Mysteriendramen.” — David W Wood

    “A main thesis of this paper is that one of the ways for Rudolf Steiner research to become more scientific is to proceed in accordance with a genuine historical and critical methodology. It attempts to show that even though some of Steiner’s chief critics support this method in theory, they often fall short of a historical-critical approach in practice. Using the example of the unresolved problem of whether Steiner could be a character in his own Mysteriendramen, the author provides a number of methodological, historical and biographical indications for approaching this problem. He tries to demonstrate the fruitfulness of this method by addressing the question of Steiner as a drama character from the new perspective of literary pseudonyms. In conclusion, he maintains that a scholarly historical-critical approach to spiritual science was advocated by Steiner himself.”

  • What Happens to the Brain During Spiritual Experiences? The field of neurotheology uses science to try to understand religion, and vice versa.” — Lynne Blumberg, The Atlantic

    “Since everyday and spiritual concerns are variations of the same thinking processes, [Andrew] Newberg thinks it’s essential to examine how people experience spirituality in order to fully understand how their brains work. Looking at the bigger questions has already provided practical applications for improving mental and physical health.”

  • Intolerance and Fanaticism” — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti

    “Men find it very hard to apply a little criticism to the sources of their beliefs and the origin of their faith. It is just as well; if we looked too close into first principles, we should never believe at all.”

  • Paradise Found: The ideal(ized) vision of Paul Gauguin.” — Daniel Goodman, The Weekly Standard [HT Arts & Letters Daily]

    “Gauguin’s art depicts Tahitians as they are sleeping, worshipping, and engaging in other quotidian activities. But whereas Cheever, Chekhov, Roth, John Updike, and other literary artists used their keen perceptive abilities in the pursuit of sober realism, Gauguin put his artistry to the purpose of imaginative proto-surrealism.

    Gauguin, who rejected European cultural and religious constraints, thought of himself as a savage in the eyes of the civilized world. Oviri (1894, his personal favorite amongst all his sculptures) and many of his other works were regarded as radical for a variety of reasons, not least because they subverted traditional, conventional ideas of feminine beauty.”

  • We need to talk about misogyny and sexism” — Psyche, Spiral Nature

    “Equality. That’s the secret agenda, folks. Feminism isn’t about women first, it’s about women too.”

  • Congo: A Group of Chimpanzees Seem to Have Mastered Fire” — World News Daily Report; from the fake-news-but-wouldn’t-it-be-wild-if dept.

    “It is however, the first time that a group of these primates develops some technical concepts as elaborate as these on their own. A few individual apes seem to have originally developed a rudimentary technique of rather poor efficiency, but the group gradually improved it through experimentation and observation over the last few months. They are now able to create and maintain a fire, which they have been using mostly to scare off predators and cook some of their food.”

  • On the Seventh Day, We Unplug: How and Why to Take a Tech Sabbath” — Brett & Katie McKay, The Art of Manliness

    “Taking a weekly Tech Sabbath allows us to step off this wheel of endless sameness. It’s a ritual that pushes us out of the norm, to pursue different activities, and use different parts of our brains. In so doing, it refreshes and rejuvenates our minds and spirit. It provides the motivation to unhook our wired craniums from the matrix of cyberspace and explore the pleasures of the real world.”

  • Kircher & Schott’s Computer Music of the Baroque” — Phil Legard, Larkfall

    “Here is a piece of music, which was composed with a sort of 17th century computer called the Organum Mathematicum, devised by Athanasius Kircher and fully described by his pupil and assistant Gaspar Schott”

     

  • Mihai’s Inferno: The 9 circles of Hell made in Lego” — The Brothers Brick [See also Boing Boing, MOCPages]

    “Mihai Mihu completed a series of creations depicting the 9 circles of Hell. While staying true to the theme of poetic justice served to the sinners, Mihai portrays the punishments through his own interpretations. The recurring architectural elements and portrayal of the sinners tie the scenes together in a way that’s easy for the viewer to transition through. In this short interview, the builder talks about his project and the individual circles of Hell.”

    Mihai Mihu Dante's Inferno

     

  • Techne: The State of the Art” — Damien Wolven [HT Joshua Madara]

    “If we really think that whatever kind of mind we generate from these efforts is going to be anything like us, then we’re probably in for a big surprise. We have to be prepared for—as opposed to scared about—the possibility that any machine intelligence will have vastly different concerns from us. “Occult Wisdom” means knowledge hidden from those who don’t know how to look for it and, without an understanding of how these new minds will experience our world, humanity will never know everything we might.

    As I’ve explored these ideas, over the years, I’ve found that the most valuable approaches have often come from the intersections that others might overlook. The intersection that’s been most useful to me is at the center of weird science, philosophy, religious studies, pop-culture, and magic. I’ve written articles, taught classes, and organized conferences arguing that “The Magical” is one of the most useful-but-underused tools we have for rethinking and understanding these ideas.”

  • The Flaw Lurking In Every Deep Neural Net” — mikejuk, Slashdot

    “If a deep neural network is biologically inspired we can ask the question, does the same result apply to biological networks? Put more bluntly, ‘Does the human brain have similar built-in errors?’ If it doesn’t, how is it so different from the neural networks that are trying to mimic it?”

  • We Aren’t the World” — Ethan Waters, Pacific Standard [HT Eleanor Saitta]

    “The potential implications of the unexpected results were quickly apparent to Henrich. He knew that a vast amount of scholarly literature in the social sciences—particularly in economics and psychology—relied on the ultimatum game and similar experiments. At the heart of most of that research was the implicit assumption that the results revealed evolved psychological traits common to all humans, never mind that the test subjects were nearly always from the industrialized West. Henrich realized that if the Machiguenga results stood up, and if similar differences could be measured across other populations, this assumption of universality would have to be challenged.

    Henrich had thought he would be adding a small branch to an established tree of knowledge. It turned out he was sawing at the very trunk. He began to wonder: What other certainties about “human nature” in social science research would need to be reconsidered when tested across diverse populations?”

 

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

Songs for the Witch Woman

Songs for the Witch Woman by John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons and Marjorie Cameron, with commentaries by William Breeze, George Pendle and Margaret Haines, from Fulgur, is due to release on March 17th, 2014, in limited hardback and even more limited, 156 hand-numbered, deluxe editions, which will be of interest.

John Whiteside 'Jack' Parsons Marjorie Cameron Songs for the Witch Woman from Fulgur Esoterica UK

“There are few modern love stories as passionate and poignant as the relationship between rocket scientist Jack Parsons and his artist lover, Marjorie Cameron. At once a muse, occult student and primal force of nature — a woman he proclaimed as his ‘elemental’ in a letter to Aleister Crowley — Cameron fascinated, troubled and inspired Parsons.

Songs for the Witch Woman is a project born from this turbulent love story. A series of poems written by Parsons reveal his feelings toward his often absent lover. And beside these words are images from the hand of Cameron, illustrating and echoing the intimate themes.

After Parsons’ tragic death in June 1952 we find the notebook in which this work was recorded continues, as a bereaved Cameron keeps a diary of her magical working in Lamb Canyon, California. In the dark desert her words become a raw lament as she attempts to gain contact with her Holy Guardian Angel. And throughout the working, the memory of Jack is never far from her mind.

Now published more than sixty years after it was written, Songs for the Witch Woman stands as a testament to lasting power of love and loss.

This book represents a creative collaboration between two of the most important names in 20th century occultism. It includes:
· The poems, drawings and diary entries published together for the first time.
· A facsimile of the original 1950s notebook with text by Parsons and illustrations by Cameron.
· The texts have also been corrected and typeset alongside a second suite of pen and ink drawings that Cameron produced for the work after 1952.
· Contextual commentaries from William Breeze, George Pendle and Margaret Haines.” [via]

The Magical Record of the Beast 666

Magical Record of the Beast 666: The Diaries of Aleister Crowley, 1914–1920, edited with copious annotations by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, the 1993 third impression of the paperback from Duckworth, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Aleister Crowley John Symonds Kenneth Grant The Magical Record of the Beast 666 from Duckworth

“Crowley called his Diary a Magical Record because it contains accounts of his magical experiments, including the details of his secret sexual magick and of his consumption of a variety of dangerous drugs. it was not written with an eye to publication. ‘I don’t particularly expect anybody to read it,’ he wrote. Hence the unguarded way in which he recorded his innermost thoughts and performances of secret rites. There is a veiled reference to this extraordinary journal in his Magick in Theory and Practice, 1929. ‘Yea, he [Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwaz] wrought also in me a Work of Wonder beyond all this, but in this matter I am sworn to hold my peace.’ The ‘Work of Wonder’ was his supreme initiation into the highest grade of the mystical Order of the Silver Star, the beginning of which is described in this volume. Crowley, who died in 1947, had to hold his peace about that, and certainly about his sexual magick. Today, in these confused times, strange creeds thrust themselves forward, asking to be examined. everything is in the melting pot and a way out of the chaos in being anxiously sought. There is no stranger creed than Crowley’s doctrine of Do What Thou Wilt. Nor are there any experiences more exotic than his mystical illuminations and initiations.

John Symonds is Crowley’s literary executor and biographer. Kenneth Grant is the present world head of the Order of Oriental Templars, the magical order which Crowley reorganized in the 1920s.”

 

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.

Manifest Thy Glory

Manifest Thy Glory: Proceedings of the Eighth Biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference was recently released, and may be of interest. This book includes the text of presentations by many Hermetic Library fellows, including Sabazius, T Polyphilus, Colin Campbell, and Beth Kimbell, and touches many topics related to the subject matter of the library.

National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference NOTOCON Manifest Thy Glory

Manifest Thy Glory offers a selection of papers from the eighth biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference (NOTOCON) of the United States Grand Lodge of O.T.O., held in the Valley of Detroit, Michigan, in 2011 EV. The papers cover diverse topics including the Holy Guardian Angel, talismans in magick, spatial orientation in ritual, and other magical methods; occult history and biography, including the Stèle of Revealing and Ida Craddock; promulgation of Thelema through publishing and podcasts; textual analysis from Catullus to ‘Liber Trigrammaton;’ a touching reminiscence from the incomparable Lon Milo DuQuette; and even space, the final frontier. Other highlights include a street guide to Thelemic historical sites in Detroit, and the address given by U.S. National Grand Master Sabazius. They represent some of best modern practical and scholarly work on Ordo Templi Orientis, Thelema, and the magick of Aleister Crowley.

The first NOTOCON conference took place in 1997 EV in Akron, Ohio, and has since been held on alternate years in different cities around the United States. Manifest Thy Glory is the third collection of papers from the national conference to be made available, following the inaugural volume Beauty & Strength for the 2007 EV conference.

Ordo Templi Orientis is an international fraternal order of men and women devoted to the pursuit of individual liberty, the study of magick, and the promulgation of the Law of Thelema. Founded in the early twentieth century, it has been shaped by such leading lights as Carl Kellner, Theodor Reuss, Aleister Crowley, Karl Germer and Grady Louis McMurtry.” [via]

Liber Phoenix

Liber Phoenix by Aion 131, from Waning Moon Publications, is work planned for release at the Esoteric Book Conference 2013. This is the 2nd volume following Liber Sigil-A-IAF in what will become a trilogy.

Aion 131's Liber Phoenix from Waning Moon Publications

Liber Phoenix, a Pan-Aeonic Sigil Grimoire, is the end result of an extended Magickal working known as the Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, being a constant adoration of the Higher Self perceived as a separate Entity by the Adept. Liber Phoenix is not about what was done or why, it is a series of invocations, and active sigils that poured through as Union occurred.

Liber Phoenix is the transformational distillation of the intense and sometimes horrific process of the destruction of persona-reality in the pyre of the ego-dissolution and the rebirth of Something New. The initiatory mutation of consciousness was manifested herein by the invocation alchemy of particular masks, attributes and facets of the archetypal Atman, Self, or Star of being that in totality is called here the ‘Phoenix.’ Phoenix has the gematria value of 300; Shin, the triple tongued Fire of the renewal of the universe in the fire of this New Aeon. This grimoire is one small flame in this global renewal.

In this grimoire, Words of Power and such are encoded in IO Script, a dreamtime oracle alphabet given in this process for this purpose. The key is encoded in Liber IO at the end, and thus all the Words in this grimoire can be easily ‘translated’ by the reader, though the real meaning may be less than clear. Taking transcendent concepts, as embodied in these verses and images from the dreamtime/spirit place, into this world manifests as ‘twilight language’ that speaks to the Other; May it speak to you in an aetheric whisper that lights a phoenix flame in your heart.” [via]

Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls of Wisdom: Gems from the Journal Black Pearl by James A Eshelman, from College of Thelema, is due to be released in August, 2013, and may be of interest.

James A Eshelman's Pearls of Wisdom from College of Thelema

“‘Seek the New in the Old ~ Seek the Old in the New.’ That was the motto of Black Pearl, College of Thelema’s biannual journal published 1997–2002. Author James A. Eshelman contributed 100 articles during one of the most prolific periods of his career. This anthology gathers over 40 essays, many of them substantially updated and expanded, and some of them never previously published.

Pearls of Wisdom ‘seeks the new in the old’ through a magnificent cache of wisdom teachings from one of Thelema’s most insightful, creative teachers.

This is the ‘director’s cut’ of Black Pearl – and more!

An Introduction to Thelema — the ground shifting world-view of Aleister Crowley – explains Thelema’s core principles of Will, Love, and Star, then expands on the nature of True Will and Love Under Will; Thelema’s pantheon of gods; and the New Era of Aspiration now opening before us. The rest of the book is organized in 7 parts:

It’s in the Basics ♦ Magick ♦ Qabalah ♦ Thelema
Sexual Mysteries ♦ Holy Guardian Angel ♦ The Path

For example, one section (‘Magick’) explores a dozen topics of ceremonial magick, including traditional and newer forms of the pentagram and hexagram rituals, Sun adorations, new adaptations of classic initiation rites, the ancient art of evocation, and a new ritual for becoming a purer reflection of your deepest spiritual ideal.

Chapter 32, The Magical Record of Brother Proserpinus, is a modern tale of a brother of A∴A∴ who undertook the Great Work and succeeded. Four times the size of excerpts published in Black Pearl, this is the centerpiece of the book.” [via]

Living Thelema

Living Thelema by David Shoemaker is unexpectedly available already in softcover ahead of the planned Aug 25th, 2013 release date.

David Shoemaker's Living Thelema

Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick by Dr David Shoemaker, of the Living Thelema podcast, the International College of Thelema, and a Hermetic Library anthology artist, is due for release in September as hardcover or special edition with leather binding by Ars Obscura, and in August in a variety of formats, is available for pre-order.

“The system of spiritual attainment developed by Aleister Crowley is notoriously challenging in its scope. Adapted from the popular podcast segment of the same name, Living Thelema brings a welcome approachability to Crowley’s material, without diminishing the depth of the system. The author focuses on the practical and experiential aspects of the path of Thelema, allowing the reader to grasp the true transformative power of the system.

Beginners and advanced practitioners alike will find much useful advice here, as Shoemaker brings his characteristic down-to-earth style to bear on topics such as ritual and meditation practices, sex magick, astral projection, psychotherapy for magicians, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and that pinnacle of attainment known as the crossing of the Abyss.

The author’s background as a practicing psychotherapist allows an entirely unique fusion of esoteric wisdom and cognitive science. Living Thelema is an invaluable handbook for any modern magician.”

“TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part One: Tools for the Journey

An Introduction to the Qabalah
The Holy Guardian Angel
The True Will
Getting Started with a Basic Magical Regimen
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
The Lesser & Greater Rituals of the Hexagram
Liber Resh vel Helios
Methods of Ritual Construction
Asana & Pranayama
Meditation & Visualization Practices
Astral Projection & Control of the Body of Light
Devotional Practices
Liber Samekh & the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel
Sexual Magick & Sexual Mysticism

Part Two: Perspectives on the Path of Attainment

The Methods & Tools of A∴A∴
Tarot & the Path of Initiation
Initiation & Tetragrammaton
The Chakras
The Role of the Ego in the Great Work
The Formulas of LVX and NOX
The Right Use of Magical Power
21st Century Alchemy
The Practical Use of Alchemical Symbolism

Part Three: Life Outside the Temple

Patterns & Cycles in Magical Practice
Dreamwork
Relationships
Qabalistic Coping Techniques
Psychotherapy
The Anima & Animus
Cognitive Therapy for Magicians”

Living Thelema

Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick by Dr David Shoemaker, of the Living Thelema podcast, the International College of Thelema, and a Hermetic Library anthology artist, is due for release in September as hardcover or special edition with leather binding by Ars Obscura, and in August in paperback and a variety of digital formats, is available for pre-order.

“The system of spiritual attainment developed by Aleister Crowley is notoriously challenging in its scope. Adapted from the popular podcast segment of the same name, Living Thelema brings a welcome approachability to Crowley’s material, without diminishing the depth of the system. The author focuses on the practical and experiential aspects of the path of Thelema, allowing the reader to grasp the true transformative power of the system.

Beginners and advanced practitioners alike will find much useful advice here, as Shoemaker brings his characteristic down-to-earth style to bear on topics such as ritual and meditation practices, sex magick, astral projection, psychotherapy for magicians, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and that pinnacle of attainment known as the crossing of the Abyss.

The author’s background as a practicing psychotherapist allows an entirely unique fusion of esoteric wisdom and cognitive science. Living Thelema is an invaluable handbook for any modern magician.”

Superior Beings

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Superior Beings. If They Exist, How Would We Know?: Game-Theoretic Implications of Omnipotence, Omniscience, Immortality, and Incomprehensibility by Steven J Brams:

Steven J Brams' Superior Beings

 

The plural “Beings” in the title of this book is a little misleading. The text is not a discussion of polytheistic deity, angels, praeterhuman extraterrestrials, or hidden adepts. It is instead an application of game theory mathematics to the issue of relationships between a hypothetical person (P) and a “superior being” (SB). Moreover, the “superior being” postulated is of the sovereign type common to Abrahamic monotheism. In creating his preference rankings for applying various 2×2 game matrices to relations between SB and P, Brams uses interpretations of biblical narratives as justifications. My own esoteric interests had me coming to this book with curiosity about its conclusions relative to mahatmas or secret chiefs, but I find that its models are far more relevant to relations between an aspirant and his personal genius, or Holy Guardian Angel.

“Superior being” seems to be a deliberate weakening of the “supreme being” used in Western theological parlance. Brams is interested in modeling relations with a being whose powers and horizons immeasurably exceed the human, but he is not concerned with the traditional and trivial paradoxes of rigorous omnipotence. By positing an SB that submits to the calculus of the games in this book, he suggests that the answer to the question “Could God create a rock so big that He couldn’t lift it?” is certainly yes. And he accurately points out the fact that some passages of the Bible indicate a God of vast but finite power.

Still, the dependence on biblical notions of divine behavior is awfully limiting for anyone with a genuine philosophical interest in “superior beings.” The author seems to admit as much when he refers to a game schematic “which seems to offer a generic representation of God’s retribution in the Bible — and maybe elsewhere” (139). (Even so, the notion of the Biblical God as the national genius of the Hebrews makes these game representations reasonable on a certain level.) Brams does provide some interesting challenges to Pascal’s Wager, and he concludes with a novel perspective on the Problem of Evil.

The book is also an engaging introduction to the mathematical techniques involved in game theory analyses. Brams presumes no prior experience in game theory on the reader’s part, and provides a rich context for examining these logical tools. [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.