Tag Archives: theatre

Honor Thy Gods

Honor Thy Gods: Popular Religion in Greek Tragedy by Jon D Mikalson, a 1991 paperpack from University of North Carolina Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Jon D Mikalson Honor Thy Gods from University of North Carolina Press

“In Honor Thy Gods Jon Mikalson uses the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides to explore popular religious beliefs and practices of Athenians in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. and examines how these playwrights portrayed, manipulated, and otherwise represented popular religion in their plays. He discusses the central role of honor in ancient Athenian piety and shows that the values of popular piety are not only reflected but also reaffirmed in tragedies.

Mikalson begins by examining what tragic characters and choruses have to say about the nature of the gods and their intervention in human affairs. Then, by tracing the fortunes of diverse characters—among them Creon and Antigone, Ajax and Odysseus, Hippolytus, Pentheus, and even Athens and Troy—he shows that in tragedy those who violate or challenge contemporary popular religious beliefs suffer, while those who support these beliefs are rewarded. Mikalson concludes by describing the different relationships of the three tragedians to the religion of their audience, arguing that the tragedies of Euripides most consistently support the values of popular religion.” — back cover

The Choronzon Machine

The Choronzon Machine: a Multi-media Multi-cultural Multi-subcultural Ritual Opera by the Metamophic Ritual Theatre company, written and more by Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule (credited on the cover as Orryelle Bascule-Defenestrate), with music by The HarleQuintet, a 2006 DVD of enhanced live performances from 2001, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Metamorphic Ritual Theatre Orryelle Defenstrate-Bascule The Choronzon Machine

I picked this up a few years ago primarily for the track “Melek Taus“, about a figure of importance with the Feri Tradition which I also later found mentioned in relation to Aleister Crowley’s Aiwass, and to a lesser degree because of the name of The HarleQuintet.

“In the ritual theatrickall-musical device we call The Chrononzon Machine the Audience Initiates follow the Fool Initiate’s journey through the Great Wheel of the TARO/ROTA, as he cycles through different refractions of Self as reflected through the archetypes of the Major Arcana. On one level this is a personal journey, as the Fool with a child’s innocence heedlessly plunges past the dweller on the threshold and into the Abyss. Through a series of ordeals he confronts and accepts the shadow of Choronzon as he progressively opens to ever more layers of complexity in the hidden mechanisms of the universe. The journey brings him eventually full circle back to the innocence of Zero but with a new layer of Wisdom and Understanding …

The Play is also socio-historical, as The Fool apprehends the escalating frenzy of ‘progress’ & technology in the post-modern world; which the audience also must deal with. It is they, after all, who are controlling the Machine—putting the 33.3¢ Illuminati coins—collected by the Jackal—in it which make the cogs start turning to generate each new scene of coupled polar cards …

Of course it’s not real, it’s just a Play, an Illusion generated by the Magicians for the Audience—a collectively willed hallucination. Is there a play? Is there a ritual? The HarleQuin de-faced itself. The machine goes on … Civilizations rise & crumble and fall. Were they ever There at All?” — back cover

The Choronzon Machine Ritual Opera was performed 3.33 times in Melbourne (Australia) on 2001. The original footage of the already spectacular live production is now further enhanced with effects, animations, and diverse studio-recorded music into a feature-length film.” — back cover

Six days left to help crowdfund Eleusyve Productions’ The Rite of Mars

Although I’ve previously mentioned this, there are only six days left for Eleusyve Productions’ crowdsourcing effort to bring to stage their rock opera of The Rite of Mars, one of Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis, and you may wish to help. They’ve got a long way to go to reach their goal, but the campaign is flexible so anything you can contribute will still help them out. Also, they’ve recently made arrangements so that all contributions are tax deductible, which, in addition to the plethora of rewards for supporters, may help your choice to help them even easier.

“We’ve got just six days left in our fundraising drive for The Rite of Mars, and I am writing to you because I believe that art matters.

Art matters to the people involved — Over thirty creative individuals will donate their time and energies to this project, stretch their limits, build, embellish, sing, dance and grow as artists and people through the course of bringing this project to the stage. It will be an experience that they will never forget, and art matters to them.

Art matters to the audience — Some will come out of curiosity, some will come out of love for the materials, but all of them will be exposed to something that goes beyond entertainment, not simply music and dance for their own sake, but something with a depth of symbolic meaning that will unfold through multiple viewing, something crucial to the human condition that will impact and alter the audience. For the audience, it will take on a weight beyond the measure of the moments invest, and the art will matter to them.

Art matters to our culture — So much of the creative focus of our culture has been redirected toward marketing that symbols are regularly appropriated without any understanding, and art with meaning has become rare. This is a work wherein words, sounds, and gestures are all carefully planned in order to inculcate real ideas. Ideas surrounding concepts like freedom that go beyond slogan and drive at the heart of what it is to be free, and responsible for the choices that accompany that liberty.

Real art inspires thought, awakens curiosity, and deepens understanding, and that is what we do.

I writing to ask you to support art, because real art makes a difference.” — via email

The Serpent’s Path

The Serpent’s Path: The Magical Plays of Florence Farr, compiled, edited and introduced by Darcy Kuntz, Vol 25 of the Golden Dawn Studies Series, the 2005 revised edition published by J D Holmes, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Florence Farr The Serpent's Path from Golden Dawn Studies Series

This volume contains four plays by Florence Farr: The Beloved of Hathor, The Shrine of the Golden Hawk, The Mystery of Time, and A Dialogue of Vision.

Aleister Crowley’s The Rite of Mars, a rock opera

Eleusyve Productions is crowdfunding their production of Aleister Crowley’s The Rite of Mars, from the Rites of Eleusis, which is planned for live stage performance in 2014.

Eleusyve Productions The Rite of Mars 2014

“We at Eleusyve Productions are currently working on our 5th full length rock opera based upon the seven planetary theatrical rituals that comprise Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis. The Rite of Mars, our current project, will be staged September 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th and 13th in Seattle, WA, and with ample support we will stage additional performances in Portland and Spokane.

Many of you have supported us in the past, for which we are extremely grateful. We are pleased to announce that this time Eleusyve Productions is under the fiscal sponsorship of Shunpike, and as such your gifts are tax deductible.

Donations totaling $4900.00 will allow us to perform The Rite of Mars in Seattle.

With an additional $1800.00 we will have enough to stage the Rite in Spokane, WA.

An additional $2300.00 beyond that will cover the presentation in Portland, OR.

The money we collect through Indiegogo will be used to cover the cost of rehearsal space, theater rental, insurance, sets, props, costumes and advertising for the production.

These stage performances are recorded and edited for DVD and released to the public as part of our ongoing effort at Eleusyve Productions to make Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis more accessible to a broader audience. To this end, we use music, light, dance, and drama to enhance the poetry and symmetry of the original works.

Watch scenes from The Rite of Sol, The Rite of Mercury, The Rite of Venus and The Rite of Luna on YouTube.

For more information about Eleusyve Productions please visit our website, or enjoy these reviews of our past productions of The Rite of Venus and The Rite of Mercury.

You can also help fund our projects by purchasing copies of previous sound tracks and DVDs from Eleusyve!” [via]

The Invocation of Holy Fire

The Invocation of Holy Fire from The Rite of Mars featuring Kristin Holsather is a video with music and photos from Eleusyve Productions related to Aleister Crowley’s Rites of Eleusis. The music is from the upcoming production of Rite of Mars planned for 2014, which you can help make a reality, with photos from the 2012 live production of Rite of Sol. On the Eleuysve YouTube page, they are posting a new video each week in December 2013 featuring previews of Rite of Mars tracks.

“This is a musical interpretation of The Invocation of Holy Fire composed for The Rite of Mars, scheduled to be staged in 2014 by Eleusyve Productions. The vocal track is performed by Kristin Holsather performing at Aries, the same role she performed on stage in The Rite of Sol.

The photographs were taken in 2012 by Sandra Buskirk and Todd Gardiner during live presentations of The Rite of Sol.

The Invocation of Holy Fire is one of many ritual incorporate directly into The Rites of Eleusis by Aleister Crowley. While this ritual is not one of the rituals of The Golden Dawn that are incorporated elsewhere among The Rites of Eleusis (including The Lesser Banishing Ritual of The Pentagram, which is also featured during The Rite of Mars) this ritual does follow a formulaic structure similar to other Golden Dawn style workings and seems to be a variation on a similar theme.

Aleister Crowley’s invocations throughout these Rites, particularly his understanding of Mars, would have been informed by The Bartzabel Workings that took place in July of 1909 and the Enochian working detailed in The Vision and The Voice that took place later that year.

The Rites of Eleusis were originally stage at Caxton Hall in London during the Autumn of 1910. While some have expressed the opinion that these were intended to be private ceremonies for initiates only, an interesting argument given the presence of magickal rituals within the plays, all surviving documentation from playbills to diaries support the understanding that they were intentionally written and produced with an educated public in mind.”

Spare: One Man Play opens Nov 21st, 2013 at Treadwell’s

If you’re in the the London area, you should check out John Constable’s one man play dramatizing Austin Osman Spare at Treadwell’s which opens November 21st, 2013. It runs for four dates, so even if you can’t catch it on opening night there’s other chances: November 21-22 and 29-30.

Spare: One Man Play
21-22, 29-30 November 2013
John Constable

John Constable Spare - One Man Play at Treadwell's Books

London artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare (1886–1956) comes alive in this new one-man play. Set in the artist’s studio at the Elephant and Castle on the night of a Blitz bombing, it shows Spare growing old in poverty, yet fiercely committed to his vision. In the course of the night, a rogue sigil unleashes unpredictable consequences. This ‘play conceived as an act of magic’, performed by the author, is both an homage to AOS and a playful exploration of Constable’s own esoteric work to ‘set us free from ourselves.’ John Constable is a poet, playwright and magical practitioner best-known for The Southwark Mysteries, and for his acclaimed stage adaptation of Gormenghast. Previous solo shows include I Was An Alien Sex God (‘mind-blowingly weird’ The Independent). Premiere performances last Spring were sold out, and received acclaim.

Price: £10
Time: Doors 7pm, for a 7:30 start

Events at Treadwell’s for November and December, 2013

Here is a selection from the upcoming events at Treadwell’s Books in London for November and December, 2013, which may be of interest.

Treadwell's Books in London

 

Treadwell’s Halloween Party
1 November 2013 (Friday)

Halloween Party at Treadwell's Books

Honouring the Feast of Samhain

Friends and customers are warmly invited to our pagan Hallowe’en party, to remember the ancestors, the sacred dead, and to celebrate witches and ghosts in the ancient way – with jollity, music and convivial gathering. Come along! We will have a toast to the spirits, along with a short attunement, at 8pm, and general merriment through the evening. One free drink to everyone who comes wearing a witches’ hat.

FREE but you must contact us to be added to guest list (phone or ring)
Time: From 7pm to 11 pm

 

Spare: One Man Play
21-22, 29-30 November 2013
John Constable

John Constable Spare - One Man Play at Treadwell's Books

London artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare (1886–1956) comes alive in this new one-man play. Set in the artist’s studio at the Elephant and Castle on the night of a Blitz bombing, it shows Spare growing old in poverty, yet fiercely committed to his vision. In the course of the night, a rogue sigil unleashes unpredictable consequences. This ‘play conceived as an act of magic’, performed by the author, is both an homage to AOS and a playful exploration of Constable’s own esoteric work to ‘set us free from ourselves.’ John Constable is a poet, playwright and magical practitioner best-known for The Southwark Mysteries, and for his acclaimed stage adaptation of Gormenghast. Previous solo shows include I Was An Alien Sex God (‘mind-blowingly weird’ The Independent). Premiere performances last Spring were sold out, and received acclaim.

Price: £10
Time: Doors 7pm, for a 7:30 start

 

Slenderman: Fight Fiction with Fiction
25 November 2013 (Monday)
Ian ‘Cat’ Vincent

Ian Cat Vincent Slenderman at Treadwell's Books

Slenderman is a truly modern monster. Born barely four years ago in an internet Photoshop competition, this suit-clad faceless entity rapidly spawned a complex mythology online, in photo manipulations, shared-universe videos and games. Terms like ‘tulpa’ (thought-form) were used, and soon people were reporting sightings in the real world. If this being truly is crossing over from the imaginary realm, how does one fight it? Ian ‘Cat’ Vincent is a lifelong student of the occult, interested in pop-culture symbolism as the ‘hyper-real’ mythology of our times. Tonight he talks about Slenderman as an ideal target for pop-culture and post-modern magical approaches. Cat is a Fortean journalist whose work is in the Darklore and Apocalyptic Imaginary anthologies, and is a contributing editor to Daily Grail.

Price: £7
Time: 7:15pm for a 7:30pm start

 

Remedios Varo: Magic and the Goddess
4 December 2013 (Wednesday)
Daniel Zamani

Daniel Zamani Remedios Varo at Treadwell's Books

Remedios Varo was a leading figure in the Surrealist avant-garde. But she was also an occultist interested in alchemy, astrology, tarot and the Goddess.Tonight we meet this remarkable practitioner, focussing on how Varo used Holy Grail imagery as an icon for female empowerment and pagan re-enchantment. Tonight’s speaker argues that we should recognise Varo’s contributions to 20th century female esotericism and to revived matriarchal goddess worship – and look deeply into into the messages in her art and life. Join us! Daniel Zamani is a doctoral candidate at Cambridge, working on on occultism and magic in Surrealism. In 2013, Dan was main editor of the Abraxas special issue and is currently co-organising a forthcoming major conference on occultism and visual culture.

Price: £7
Time: 7:15pm for a 7:30pm start

Theatric Arcana

Theatric Arcana is a tumblog which appears to be a collaboration between Dakota Crane (aka louddetective), contributor to the Hermetic Library visual pool, and the people over at FoolishPeople, and is an interesting and curious tie-in to the film Strange Factories.

Theatric Arcana 1

The tumblog is a series of posts which are comprised of images of various illustrated envelopes and the pages of correspondence contained within each, a kind of sequential performance art and roleplaying piece. It really is the similarity to the correspondence-based psychodrama that I’ve been dabbling with over at De Profundis that caused Theatric Arcana to catch my eye. Anyhow, you may be interested in checking out the tumblog, and the film.

Theatric Arcana 2