Tag Archives: hope

Their wider scope,
        Limitless Empire o’er the world of thought,
            Help my desires to press
    Beyond all stars toward God and Heaven and Hope;
        And in the world-amazing chase is wrought
            Somehow — all Happiness.

Aleister Crowley, “Dreams” in Mysteries

Hermetic quote Crowley Dreams Mysteries wider scope limitless empire world through help desires press beyond all stars god heaven hope chase wrought somehow happiness

The Past is Red

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Past is Red [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Catherynne M Valente.

Valente The Past is Red

This book reprints the story “The Future Is Blue” from the Drowned Worlds anthology, and follows it with a further novella “The Past Is Red.” The latter was written about four years later for the author Catherynne M. Valente (in late 2020) and ten years later for her protagonist Tetley Abednego (sometime after 2133).

Tetley is an irrepressible survivor and an unreliable narrator who hails from Garbagetown on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, evidently one of the largest of remaining human communities in the 22nd century. The first story accounts for her becoming a hated outcast by age 19, and the second gives the saga by which she matures into a “trash Plato” (138) in her third decade.

The Garbagetowners have an ambivalently hostile envy for their antediluvian ancestors (i.e. us), to whom they consistently refer as “Fuckwits.” In light of the current situation in US society, it’s not hard to read this sentiment as the Millennial/GenX view of Boomers writ large.

Valente herself compares Tetley to Voltaire’s Candide (148), and there’s a little of de Sade’s Justine there as well. But the tone here is not so satirical, and the concerns of the parable are remote from those of the philosophes. The afterword and the acknowledgements claim an independence for Tetley, whom her author has gradually come to know, and the character does have an engaging voice to draw the reader into and through her world, which is enchanting to her, and ultimately, only differently horrible than ours.

The whole book is wonderfully weird but sadly feasible cli-fi that I read in about three sittings: a speedy read and a satisfying one.

C. Agrippa here adds the following instructions, copied from Boethius:—”The guides on the road to perfection are Faith, Hope, and Charity, and the means to attain this object are Purity, Temperance, Self-control, Chastity, Tranquility of Mind, Contemplation, Adoration (Ecstasy), Aspiration, and Virtue.”

Franz Hartmann, In The Pronaos of The Temple of Wisdom

Hermetic quote Hartmann In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom Agrippa Boethius faith hope charity purity temperance self-control chastity tranquility of mind contemplation adoration ecstasy aspiration virtue

Listen, you! We expect nothing from you…we have burnt our hope as far as you are concerned…we want to speak to the ones who are prepared to stop eating their food. Misery is your food… scum-filth party politics is your food…when will you look down and see what is on the end of your fork – the naked lunch? We give up, you little people, your tenacity, your insistence on little wretched miseries amazes us. Stop reading this now. Because it is highly unlikely that you are one of those able to understand us.

Blood

Hermetic quote TOPY Blood stop reading this little wretched miseries highly unlikely you are one able to understand

he had hoped to reconcile his faith with the lost wisdom, but instead he had been worn away, forgetting the problem and any hope of solving it.

Mary Sativa, The Lovers’ Crusade

Hermetic quote Sativa Crusade reconcile