Tag Archives: Symbols

Our teaching is purposely veiled in allegory and symbol and its deeper import does not appear upon the surface of the ritual itself. This is partly in correspondence with human life itself and the world we live in, which are themselves but allegories and symbols of another life and the veils of another world; and partly intentional also, so that only those who have reverent and understanding minds may penetrate into the more hidden meaning of the doctrine of the Craft. The deeper secrets in Masonry, like the deeper secrets of life, are heavily veiled; are closely hidden. They exist concealed beneath a great reservation; but whoso knows anything of them knows also that they are “many and valuable”, and that they are disclosed only to those who act upon the hint given in our lectures, “Seek and ye shall find; ask and ye shall have; knock and it shall be opened unto you”.

W L Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, Chapter I The Deeper Symbolism of Freemasonry

Hermetic quote Wilmshurst The Meaning of Masonry Deeper Symbolism purposely veiled allegory symbol reverent understanding minds penetrate hidden meaning doctrine craft

This war is as ancient as the world; the Greeks figured it under the symbols of Eros and Anteros, and the Hebrews by the antagonism of Cain and Abel. It is the war of the Titans and the Gods. The two armies are everywhere invisible, disciplined and always ready for attack or counterattack. Simple-minded folk on both sides, astonished at the instant and unanimous resistance that they meet, begin to believe in vast plots cleverly organized, in hidden, all-powerful societies. Eugène Sue invents Rodin; churchmen talk of the Illuminati and of the Freemasons; Wronski dreams of his bands of mystics, and there is nothing true and serious beneath all that but the necessary struggle of order and disorder, of the instincts and of thought; the result of that struggle is balance in progress, and the devil always contributes, despite himself, to the glory of St. Michael.

Éliphas Lévi, trans Aleister Crowley, Liber XLVI The Key of the Mysteries

Hermetic quote Levi Crowley The Key to the Mysteries war eros anteros cain abel titans gods two armies everywhere invisible necessary struggle order disorder

So when man’s desire to rest from spiritual labour, and his thirst to fill his art with mere sensation and memory, seem upon the point of triumph, some miracle transforms them to a new inspiration; and here and there among the pictures born of sensation and memory is the murmuring of a new ritual, the glimmering of new talismans and symbols.

William Butler Yeats, William Blake and his Illustrations to The Divine Comedy

Hermetic quote Yeats William Blake and his Illustrations to the Divine Comedy desire rest spiritual labour thirst fill art sensation memory new ritual talismans symbols

Ideas have no status except through forms that are accepted symbols of sentience and are spatially and outwardly self-indulgent. Excarnation of an inspired or superimposed concept may be induced and orientated by ‘space-apperception’. The whole body and being must suspire… This total effluxion makes everything reciprocal and becomes a re-orientated sequence of focused nexity. Through this harmonic relation with Ego one becomes the qualitative mediator of the hypothetical or real propensity: any position giving vastness or panorama, and, by abstractive gazing beyond distance, allowing and following the flow of thought until there is an intrusive and more cognate idea. This idea is held and projected into the ‘vista’. Nothing innate is permitted to be subtracted from the visualization.

Austin Osman Spare, The Zoëtic Grimoire of Zos

Hermetic quote Spare Zoetic Grimoire of Zos ideas have no status except through forms accepted symbols sentience

To become wise, they would have to learn the true meaning of their own doctrines, symbols, and books, of which they at present merely know the outward form and the dead letter. They would have to form a much higher and nobler conception of God than to invest Him with the attributes of semi-animal man.

Franz Hartmann, With The Adepts [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Hermetic Library]

Hermetic quote Hartmann With the Adepts become wise learn true meaning

Did our ancestors go peeping about with dark lanterns, and do we walk at our ease in broad sunshine? Where is the manifestation of our light? By what symptoms do you recognise it? What are its signs, its tokens, its symptoms, its symbols, its categories, its conditions? What is it, and why? How, where, when is it to be seen, felt, and understood? What do we see by it which our ancestors saw not, and which at the same time is worth seeing?

Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey [Amazon, Internet Archive]

Hermetic quote Peacock Nightmare Abbey where is the manifestation of our light

The Wine & The Will

The Wine and the Will: Rabelais’s Bacchic Christianity by Florence M Weinberg, the 1972 first edition hardcover from Wayne State University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Florence M Weinberg The Wine & The Will from Wayne State University Press

“In a solid contribution to the field of French Renaissance literature, this study follows the trends of criticism initiated by the revolutionary discoveries of Glison, Febvre, and Screech, focusing on two major emblematic aspects of Rabelais’s novels. Using primary Renaissance iconological material, the author reconstructs the processes by which Renaissance authors (and Rabelais) coded their teachings in symbols that were both entertaining and useful to the learned reader of the time.

The author investigates two major Christian and humanistic aspects of Rabelais’s novels which were meant to test the ingenuity of a learned audience. She takes into account Hellenic and Hellenistic traditions of hermetism—numerology and symbolic iconology in their medieval and Renaissance transformations. The study is designed to show how Rabelais, a Renaissance humanist, fuses comic popular and pagan traditions to convey an evangelical Christian message. It reveals hidden meanings of episodes in Rabelais’s work previously dismissed as simply amusing, and conveys how humor and irony combined in ‘folly’ becomes the vehicle for wisdom.

The symbolism of the wine and the will, explored and understood in all its theological and humanistic complexity, deepens our understanding of Rabelais’s work and Renaissance thought in general.”

 

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Egyptian Magic in Egyptian Magic by Florence Farr.

“This was the highest work of magic, the Spiritual Alchemy or the Transmutation from human Force to Divine Potency. As is said by the great Iamblichus, in section iv., chapter ii., of The Mysteries:

‘The Priest who invokes is a man; but when he commands powers it is because through arcane symbols, he, in a certain respect, is invested with the sacred Form of the Gods.'” [via]