In the middle ages the magicians who created monsters were haunted by them forever after. We are all haunted by dreams and shadows. The dreams of happiness and the shadows of disappointments.
I borrowed this comics collection from the public library, having heard nothing of it previously. Apparently, the second volume has appeared in individual floppies, and the once-cancelled (during pandemic gyrations) Netflix series is back in active development. It’s ultra-violent and and not especially clever about supernatural magic or stage magic, both of which are central to the story. Thaumaturgy is hereditary, and the “Order” is a family concern.
I liked Olivier Coipel’s art very much. His compositions are dynamic, and the characters are expressive. The art benefits from the masterful colors by Dave Stewart, of course.
The book was just barely good enough that I’ll read Volume Two if I can borrow it from the library, and I’ll give the tv series a shot if it ever manifests.
More personal than any article of clothing. More private than any diary. Every page stained with a sorcerer’s hidden character, their private demons, their wildest ambitions. Some magicians produce collections, others produce only a single book, but nearly all of them produce something before they die.
It took a lot of time and I thought of quitting a few times, but I am not one to admit defeat. I steadily persevered. It is what we do, as Magicians. I meditated. I evaluated the reason behind everything I did. I refused to do that which was not in line with my new path: work for work’s sake.
Soror Beth Shemesh (Beth Kimbell), TMI or Karma Yoga: A Fool’s Journey
Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Levitation: Physics and Psychology in the Service of Deception. A Story about Stage Magic. [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Jim Ottaviani and Janine Johnston.
This graphic novel is the first I’ve read with an annotated bibliography. It’s a fictionalized history of a single trick of stage magic, how it was devised, and its passage through three generations of performers. Although some supporting characters are purely fictional, the three magicians and the stage technician who serves as narrator are all actual historical figures.
The technical explanations that make up much of the book are not boring, nor do they seem too digressive. The ending, factual as it evidently is, has a small and quizzical taste of tragedy to it.
So much of what magicians have taken for granted this century stems from the work of the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley. Much of what will constitute standard magical theory and practice in the next century will derive from the state-of-the-art ideas and techniques currently under development in Chaos Magic.
An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 26th, 2014
“Unconditional Forecast. It is a Black Sun. 100% Certainty.” — Space: 1999, “Black Sun,” November 1975 [via]
- Professor Bergman in Space: 1999, “Black Sun” [HT Unmann-Wittering]; from the thin-blue-line dept.
“There is a thin line between science and mysticism.”
- Reginald Dalton in Blackwood’s Standard Novels, Vol X; from the gpoy dept.
“Suddenly the clock strikes twelve, and the Frater Bibliothecarius whispers, ‘Dinner!’ […] the western sun staining with admonitory glories the painted window over against the successful negociator, the sudden half-sorrowful, half-ecstatic departure.—There is a life and truth about the whole affair that must send their charm into every bosom and force, even from the man that prefers a book to a title-page, a momentary echo of, ‘I should like to dine with this Nongtong-paw.'”
- “Before the Garden Gnome, the Ornamental Hermit: a Real Person Paid to Dress Like a Druid” — Allison Meier, Atlas Obscura; from the we’ll-make-great-pets dept.
“The ornamental hermit vanished at the end of the 18th century. In The Hermit in the Garden, [Gordon] Campbell chronicles the remains in a ‘catalogue of hermitages,’ listing whether they are destroyed, extant, or never built at all. However, the humble hermit may not have left us entirely. As Campbell argues, ‘the garden hermit evolved from the antiquarian druid and eventually declined into the garden gnome.'”
- “The future of the library catalogue“, a presentation from Facet Publishing about Catalogue 2.0: The Future of the Library Catalogue, edited by Sally Chambers; from the met-a-data-for-drinks dept.
- Amy Brose quoting presenters at Library Tech Conference 2014, via tweet [HT Nancy Sims]; from the golem dept.
“if there is a theme from this conference it is the library should help the community create things.”
- “Black Mirror” — Arts University Bournemouth; from the get-to-the-art-of-the-matter dept.
“Black Mirror is a new research network based at the Arts University Bournemouth. The intent of the network is to explore the influence and role of enchantment, esotericism, the occult and magic in modernist and contemporary art. […] To document the project, a special series of peer-reviewed publications will be issued by Fulgur Esoterica.”
- “Vatican Library to digitise archives with Japanese support” — BBC News Europe; from the but-what’s-the-cocaine-and-condoms-for dept.
“The Vatican Library has begun digitising its priceless collection of ancient manuscripts dating from the origins of the Church. The first stage of the project will cover some 3,000 handwritten documents over the next four years. […] Eventually, the library says it hopes to make available online all its 82,000 manuscripts.”
- “Snowden At SXSW: Encryption Is ‘defense Against The Dark Arts In The Digital Realm’” — Ellen Rolfes, PBS Newshour; from the gonna-wash-that-horcrux-right-out-of-my-hair dept.
“‘We need to think about encryption not as black magic but as something that works,’ [Edward] Snowden said. “It’s the defense against the dark arts in the digital realm.'”
- Laverna — “Store your notes anonymously and encrypted”
- Loomio — “The world needs a better way to make decisions together.”
- Kardbord — “Fast, simple, real-time collaboration.”
- Hermetic Library anthology artist Galen Wade‘s Iconoclast
- Hermetic Library anthology artist The Implicit Order‘s It’s Hard To Tell The Singer From The Song
- “How to become a Mage (or Fairy): Joséphin Péladan’s Initiation for the Masses” — Sasha Chaitow; from the art-you-here-to-a-muse-me dept.
“Immensely prolific, discredited during his lifetime, Joséphin Péladan (1858–1918) constructed a vast, complex, yet coherent oeuvre with the purpose of demonstrating the transformative power of art by manifesting the highest ideals on the material plane, in response to the social decadence he perceived in in-de-siècle French society. Central to Péladan’s vision was his conception of artists as initiates: select individuals who could bring a small part of the divine into the mundane sphere. […] His goal was to inspire his readers to seek a more ideal existence through a form of self-initiation that he dubbed kaloprosopia, an art of transformation of personality through a life lived as a work of art.”
- “When did Thelema become the Westboro Baptist Church?” — Nick Farrell; from the thelemites-as-tourists dept.
“Where were the Thelemites who disagreed? If these three are wrong in their interpretation of the Book of the Law then why aren’t people pointing out their error? Why is it left to outsiders to be horrified that a modern religion can go this way? If they continue to permit this sort of anti-evolutionary thinking, they will end up in same position that Christianity is.”
- “Embracing Questions” — Thomas Zwollo, Spiral Nature; from the thelemites-as-scientismists dept.
“For instance, Crowley was quick to experiment with rituals, invent news approaches to magic and initiation, and challenge established structures and groups. Now we find advocates within the Thelemic community bristling at any kind of experimentation.”
- Richard Feynman quoted in “We need more scientific mavericks” — The Guardian Letters; from the where-is-your-science-now dept.
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”
- John Selden quoted at “Disputes in Religion” and “A Magnificent Feast” — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti [also]; from the mind-your-own-business dept.
“Disputes in religion will never be ended, because there wants a measure by which the business should be decided. … One says one thing, and another another; and there is, I say, no measure to end the controversy. … It is so: it is not so: it is so: it is not so; crying thus one to another a quarter of an hour together.”
“How glorious soever the church is, every one chooses out of it his own religion, by which he governs himself, and lets the rest alone.”
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, quoted at “Bumblehive” — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti; from the welcome-to-the-matrix dept.
“There is a place in the middle of the world, ‘twixt land and sea and sky, the meeting-point of the threefold universe. From this place, whatever is, however far away, is seen, and every word penetrates to these hollow ears. … Here is Credulity, here is heedless Error, unfounded Joy and panic Fear; here sudden Sedition and unauthentic Whisperings. Rumour herself beholds all that is done in heaven, on sea and land, and searches throughout the world for news.”
- And now, this important announcement from Mad Malik (aka Greg Hill) — Adam Gorightly, Historia Discordia; from the we-love-you-spider dept.
“In the event of severe political supression, a private communication system can still function for those who had the foresight to establish one. […] It requires little maintenance whether used or not, but the result is a large ‘spiderweb’ network.”
- “Learning Magic” — Ian Corrigan, Into the Mound; from the no-man-is-an-island dept.
“The new student should not plan on being a unique genius.
Instead, the new student should read traditional books and find a working teacher (that applies to learning magic, gymnastics or saxophone). Plan to spend a few years doing exercises and experiments, duplicating previous efforts, and building skills. Of course we all pursue our little personal schemes along the way, and eventually we get enough skill to actually try them.
There’s no short-cut. You can’t just ‘listen to your heart’. You have to listen to other people.”
- “Magicians are Opinionated Assholes” — Rufus Opus, Head for the Red; from the here-we-are-now-entertain-us dept.
“A group of powerful egomaniacs with really healthy levels of self-esteem are likely to behave a lot like we really do in real life.”
- “The Suitcase At The End Of The Earth” — Gordon White, Rune Soup; from the i-and-i dept.
“One of chaos magic’s least-used constructs is the possibility that you lack an authentic self. If you are so inclined, it provides you with a gringo, late-capitalist variant of Buddhist ‘non-being’. Seeing the world this way offers you supreme performative flexibility.”
- Interview with Jim Morrison by Lizzie James; from the take-a-mask-from-the-ancient-gallery dept.
“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your senses for an act. You give up your ability to feel and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”
- “A triangular book about alchemy” — John Coulthart, feuilleton; from the one-less-corner-to-land-on-your-toe-tho dept.
“from the Manly Palmer Hall collection of alchemical manuscripts at the Internet Archive, not only a triangular book but one where most of the pages are written in a symbolic alphabet”
- “Where were globally known Religious Figures born? [1850 — 1950]” — Pantheon: Mapping Historical Cultural Production, Macro Connections Group at MIT Media Lab.
- Mentions of keywords Aleister Crowley and Thelema in books from 1800-2008 — Google Books Ngram Viewer.
LeMulgeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition by Leo Holmes is a new release available directly from Fall of Man in physical and digital editions. There are also a number of images of the book on their social networking page and a sample chapter on the website.
“Most of The Ars Goetia readers, if not all, are much more interested in what they can get or do by using it than in its origins. But how did it arrive to our days? What, or who, are the subjects in the book? Why 72 and what do their classifications mean? What can their depictions say about them? A lot of questions remain, and it is the aim of LeMulgeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition to point towards where some of those answers can be found.
Throughout the pages of this work, the author attempts to relate both Lemegeton and Mul.Apin (a Babylonian compendium that deals with many diverse aspects of Babylonian astronomy and astrology), attributing the Goetics to the Sumerian Constellations (which include single stars and planets) neglecting the prose’s linear flow for the sake of mythic astronomical approach. For that, the author analyzes every possibility – similarity in names, coincidental depictions, mythological attributions and even Constellations’ modern names – following the order in which the demons are presented in Lemegeton. These associations are not to be taken dogmatically though, but rather serve as a pragmatic working table to stimulate contemporary magicians to further develop knowledge and practice on these matters. Mul.Apin and Lemegeton are apophenic (and pareidolic) maps whose sole intent is to serve as a medium for keeping alive a knowledge which is probably as old as human nature. Therefore, those associations are temporary, ever revolving, just like the stars they are about.
The aim of LeMulgeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition is to attend a call and to re-establish a long lost connection with the Elder Gods.” [via]
“Doctor Faustus made a pact with the demon, Mephistopheles, to have power over all demons and so become the most powerful magician of all time. You, too, have entered into such a pact, but can you really control what you have unleashed or will they take control of you?
Secrets are power and temptation! Battle with other magicians to ensure that you, and only you, escape the price for such power: Damnation!
Faustus is a game of secrets and temptation. In this game for 3 to 6 players, you take on the role of a magician summoning demons onto yourself and casting them at other magicians whilst tempting them with your hidden secrets. But only one can escape damnation. Only one! One goes free else all are damned!
This card game, designed by Nimrod Jones with stunningly atmospheric art by George C. Cotronis, is the flagship game for Talking Skull, due for release in October via our print partners, Chronicle City.
With two versions of the game and optional rules, this game can be played by both novice and experienced gamers. In the Basic version of the game all that matters on the demons are the numbers; keep your numbers low and doom the rest. In the Advanced game you experience the full power of the demons under your command with each of the 40 Demons offering a unique power that is yours to command while they are in bound to your Pact.