The public character of its meetings, the almost infinite number of its initiates, and the ease with which they are admitted have removed from Masonry every trace of political inclination. And if an exception is made of some very few and almost unknown lodges in which the light is preserved in its purity, all the others are nothing more than entertainment centers or schools of superstition and slavery.
The first chapter of this “brochure” (as it calls itself) is a curious text, offering a soundly skeptical, mythicist take on Christian origins, while simultaneously asserting Lemurian and Atlantean sources for esoteric traditions! The next three chapters are organized according to the book’s pattern: brain/spirit, heart/emotions, and generative organs/physical sensation. In the chapter on “The Spinal Column” corresponding to the heart, there is also a discussion of clairvoyance and mediumship, and in the chapter on “The Infernal Worlds” Hall additionally provides an exposition of color symbolism. The final chapter of Occult Anatomy is on “embryology,” which offers readings of religious texts as perinatal allegories. It then continues with a thumbnail description of the seven-year cyclical climacteric pattern of individual human development.
Appended to The Occult Anatomy of Man is an essay on “Occult Masonry,” included with the intention to illustrate an application of the principles of occult anatomy. This “treatise” was written by Hall when he was himself not a Masonic initiate, and it contains some perceptive and inspiring items, alongside howlers about the grip of the lion’s paw, and perverse attempts to rehabilitate references to “riding the goat” and “the greased pole.”
Hall’s style is mostly a scattershot dumping of unsourced data along topical lines. His conclusions are not uniformly worthwhile, but the implicit questions to which they respond are ones that mystical aspirants and true initiates should ask themselves in order to advance their understanding. [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.
“It is, of course, common knowledge that great secret systems of the Mysteries (referred to in, our lectures as ‘noble orders of architecture,’ i.e., of soul-building) existed in the East, in Chaldea, Assyria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, amongst the Hebrews, amongst Mahommedans and amongst Christians; even among uncivilized African races they are to be found. All the great teachers of humanity, Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras, Moses, Aristotle, Virgil, the author of the Homeric poems, and the great Greek tragedians, along with St. John, St. Paul and innumerable other great names—were initiates of the Sacred Mysteries.” [via]
“the hawk-soul is only represented as resting upon the KA of the King or Queen. It is called the Royal Soul. The Human-headed hawk hovers over the mummies of great initiates and doubtless represents the soul after the incarnation had ceased; its human head is the symbol of true quintessence of the human individuality which the bird bears to the Abode of Blessed Souls.” [via]