Friday, October 19, 2018

Chaos Magick, Origins and influences

Origins and influences (1974-1982)

Chaos magic was first developed in England in the mid-1970s, at a time when British occultism was dominated by Wicca and Thelema. Although both of these traditions incorporate magical elements, they are both religions, and as such contain devotional elements, liturgy and dogma. Chaos magic grew out of the desire of some occultists to strip away these extrinsic details and distill magic down to a set of tried-and-tested techniques for causing effects to occur in reality. 

Peter J. Carroll and Ray Sherwin are considered to be the founders of chaos magic, although Phil Hine points out that there were others "lurking in the background, such as the Stoke Newington Sorcerors" – a group which included Charles Brewster (Frater Choronzon). Carroll was a regular contributor to The New Equinox, a magazine edited by Sherwin, and thus the two became acquainted.

1978 was perhaps the seminal year in the origin of chaos magic, seeing the publication of both Liber Null by Carroll and The Book of Results by Sherwin – the first published books on chaos magic – and the establishment of The Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT), the first chaos magic organization.

Austin Osman Spare is largely the source of chaos magical theory and practice. Specifically, Spare developed the use of sigils and the use of gnosis to empower these. Most basic sigil work recapitulates Spare's technique, including the construction of a phrase detailing the magical intent, the elimination of duplicate letters, and the artistic recombination of the remaining letters to form the sigil. Although Spare died before chaos magic emerged, many consider him to be the grandfather of chaos magic because of his repudiation of traditional magical systems in favor of a technique based on gnosis.

Aleister Crowley was a marginal yet early and ongoing influence, particularly for his syncretic approach to magic, and his emphasis on experimentation and deconditioning. Other early influences include Discordianism, the punk movement, postmodernism and the writings of Robert Anton Wilson. Lionel Snell was also publishing writing on Spare in the mid-1970s, and became drawn into the burgeoning chaoist movement. Snell's book SSOTBME (1974) also came to influence the early chaos magicians.

However, despite these influences, it's clear from their early writings that the first chaos magicians were attempting to recover a sort of universal shamanism by stripping away any accumulated cultural gloss. Carroll makes this clear in Liber Null:

When stripped of local symbolism and terminology, all systems show a remarkable uniformity of method. This is because all systems ultimately derive from the tradition of Shamanism. It is toward an elucidation of this tradition that the following chapters are devoted.

This is echoed in Snell's description of Spare as a "master shaman" who brought into the world a new form of "shamanistic sorcery".

Early development and spread (1982-1994)

New chaos magic groups emerged in the early 1980s – at first, located in Yorkshire, where both Sherwin and Carroll were living. The early scene was focused on a shop in Leeds called The Sorceror's Apprentice, owned by Chris Bray. Bray also published a magazine called The Lamp of Thoth, which published articles on chaos magic, and his Sorceror's Apprentice Press re-released both Liber Null and The Book of Results, as well as Psychonaut and The Theatre of Magic. The Circle of Chaos, which included Dave Lee, was formed in Yorkshire in 1982. The rituals of this group were published by Paula Pagani as The Cardinal Rites of Chaos in 1985.

Ralph Tegtmeier (Frater U.D.), who ran a bookshop in Germany and was already practicing his own brand of "ice magick", translated Liber Null into German. Tegtmeier was inducted into the IOT in the mid-1980s, and later established the German section of the order. He was excommunicated in 1990 over the "Ice Magic Wars". Lola Babalon established the first American IOT temple in 1988.

As chaos magic spread, people from outside Carroll and Sherwin's circle began publishing on the topic. Phil Hine, who practiced chaos magic alongside Tantra and Wicca, published a number of books on the subject that were particularly influential in spreading chaos magic techniques via the internet. Jaq D. Hawkins, from California, wrote an article on chaos magic for Mezlim magazine, coming into contact with Sherwin and other IOT members in the process. Hawkins later wrote the first chaos magic book intended for a general readership. In 1992, Jan Fries published Visual Magick, introducing his own blend of "freestyle shamanism", which has had influence on chaos magic.

In 1981, Genesis P-Orridge established Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY), an art collective and magical order. P-Orridge had studied magic under William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin in the 1970s, and was also influenced by Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare, as well as the psychedelic movement. TOPY practiced chaos magic alongside their other activities, and helped raise awareness of chaos magic in subcultures like the Acid House and Industrial music scenes. They were also partially responsible for introducing the techniques of Burroughs and Gysin to the chaos magic stream – but this influence also ran the other way, with Burroughs (who already practiced magic and was experimenting with Spare's sigil technique) being inducted into the IOT in the early 1990s.

Pop culture: (1994-early 2000s)

From the beginning, chaos magic has had a tendency to draw on the symbolism of pop culture in addition to that of "authentic" magical systems; the rationale being that all symbol systems are equally arbitrary, and thus equally valid – the belief invested in them being the thing that matters. The symbol of chaos, for example, was lifted from the fantasy novels of Michael Moorcock.

Preluded by Kenneth Grant – who had studied with both Crowley and Spare, and who had introduced elements of H.P. Lovecraft's fictional Cthulhu mythos into his own magical writings – there was a trend for chaos magicians to perform rituals invoking or otherwise dealing with entities from Lovecraft's work, such as the Great Old Ones. Hine, for example, published The Pseudonomicon (1994), a book of Lovecraftian rites.

In turn, by the mid-1990s, chaos magic itself was beginning to leak into pop culture. Many of the writers and artists who produced strips for British sci-fi comic 2000ad also practiced chaos magic – among them Pat Mills, Bryan Talbot, Tony Skinner, and Dave Thorpe – and many included frequent references to chaos magic in their work. Mills, for example, created the characters of Nemesis the Warlock and Deadlock, both of whom practiced "khaos magick".

Grant Morrison, who began practicing chaos magic at 19, wrote the series Zenith for 2000ad. Zenith frequently featured chaos magic themes, as well as a distinct Lovecraftian influence, and the Cthulhu mythos-inspired monsters of the story were copied straight from the illustrations of Liber Null – leading to the threat of a lawsuit from Peter Carroll.

From 1994 to 2000, Morrison wrote The Invisibles for DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, which has been described by Morrison as a "hypersigil": "a dynamic miniature model of the magician's universe, a hologram, microcosm or 'voodoo doll' which can be manipulated in real time to produce changes in the macrocosmic environment of 'real' life." Both The Invisibles and the activities of Morrison himself were responsible for bringing chaos magic to a much wider audience in the late 1990s and early 2000s, with the writer outlining his views on chaos magic in the "Pop Magic!" chapter of A Book of Lies (2003) a Disinfo Convention talk, and the documentary Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods.

Morrison's particular take on chaos magic exemplified the irreverent, pop cultural elements of the tradition, with Morrison arguing that the deities of different religions (Hermes, Mercury, Thoth, Ganesh, etc.) are nothing more than different cultural "glosses" for more universal "big ideas" – and are therefore interchangeable: both with each other, and with other pop culture icons like The Flash, or Metron, or Madonna.

Post-chaos magic: 2010s

Over the course of the past decade, chaos magic has experienced a shift away from the pop cultural interpretation that typified the Lovecraft/Morrison era. Jason Miller has argued that contemporary occultism has entered a "post-chaos" phase, in which chaos magicians are increasingly initiating into "very old lineage traditions", partially triggered by the realisation that "imaginary gods and spirits or fictional characters do not seem to have the same effect as traditional ones". Hine has spoken of his disillusionment with the idea that all magic "can be formulated in terms of 'techniques' and that the theoretical underpinnings or cultural-historical context" do not matter:

...something you’ll sometimes see advocates of CM asserting is that singing rune charms and repeating Hindu mantras are essentially the same procedure – the focus being on the repetition of a word or phrase – in order to enter an altered state of consciousness. So mantras are something that gets chanted – and the chanting (i.e. the iteration) is what’s important – not the content or the context. This, to me, is a kind of reductionism. It predicates a universal explanation – that the ‘technique’ of iterative speech is enacted in order to establish an altered state of consciousness in the practitioner – and subordinates all instances which apparently look as though that’s what’s going on – to it. So for an advocate of CM, there would be little practical difference between, say, chanting a rune poem, repeating the Gayatri mantra, or singing a sea shanty.

Alan Chapman – whilst praising chaos magic for "breathing new life" into Western occultism, thereby saving it from "being lost behind a wall of overly complex symbolism and antiquated morality" – has also criticised chaos magic for its lack of "initiatory knowledge": i.e., "teachings that cannot be learned from books, but must be transmitted orally, or demonstrated", present in all traditional schools of magic. Chapman has gone on to develop his own system, using the techniques of chaos magic to achieve the aims of Thelema, such as attaining the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, or the Crossing of the Abyss.

Gordon White, meanwhile, has developed a distinctive blend of chaos magic technique and animism:

If the western esoteric tradition can be said to have an underlying belief system it is a form of Animism; that the world or the universe is in some sense a living thing... However you conceive of their 'true' nature, magic requires full engagement with fetishes and sacred ground and window areas such as crossroads. It also works best when you grant agency to objects or entities beyond human consciousness, and particularly so with living systems... It is more useful for the magician to consider living systems not as some unaware little eddies in a universal consciousness field, but as 'outposts' of the spirit world.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Egyptian Dream Book

Do you believe that dreams can foretell the future? If you do, then you are not alone. The divination of dreams, or oneiromancy as it is also called, has its roots in the ancient world. Dreams played a powerful role in the past.

From ancient Egypt to Greece, Rome, China, and the European middle ages dreams have been an important means for communicating with the dead, predicting the future and diagnosing illness. To many cultures the dream was an extension of reality, though often more powerful.

In the Book of Genesis, Joseph, the son of the Jewish Patriarch, Jacob, had the ability to divine the future based on dreams. According to the Bible, this ability allowed Joseph to interpret Pharaoh’s dream, which foretold a 7-year famine. This enabled Egypt to avoid this disaster and contributed to Joseph’s meteoric rise in the Egyptian hierarchy. 

The Bible is not the only ancient literary source that records the interpretation of dreams. The Egyptians had a ‘Dream Book’ which set on the meaning of many different types of dreams.

Thousands of years ago, ancient Egyptians used the messages in their dreams in order to cure illnesses, make important State decisions, and even to decide where to build a temple or when to wage a battle.

The ancient Egyptian word for Dreams was "rswt" meaning "To be awake". 

In ancient Egypt, priests acted as dream interpreters. The ancient Egyptians were often considered the fathers of the dream incubation technique. When an Egyptian had trouble he would sleep in a temple where he would dream, sometimes to the sleep enhancing fragrance of lilac oils. Upon waking the priest would interpret that night's dreams.

Dreams were considered to be divine predictions of the future. They were messages from the gods that could be foretelling of impending disasters or, conversely, of good fortune; therefore, understanding the significance of ones dreams was an important part of the culture.

It was also believed that dreams served as a window to the other side. Living people could see the activities of the deceased through dreams.

The ancient Egyptian Dream Book is a hieratic papyrus that probably dates to the early reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC). The papyrus  was found in the cemetery at Deir el-Medina, near the Valley of the Kings. 

According to the British Museum, “it is uncertain who the original owner was, but it passed into the hands of the scribe Qeniherkhepshef; on the other side of the papyrus, the scribe copied a poem about the Battle of Kadesh, which took place in the reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC).

The book passed to Khaemamen, Qeniherkhepshef’s wife’s second husband, and then to his son Amennakht (both added their name to the papyrus). It passed down through the family for more than a century.

On each page of the papyrus a vertical column of hieratic signs begins: ‘if a man sees himself in a dream’; each horizontal line describes a dream, followed by the diagnosis ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and then the interpretation.

For example, ‘if a man sees himself in a dream looking out of a window, good; it means the hearing of his cry’. Or, ‘If a man sees himself drinking beer, bad; it means suffering will come to him.’ The text first lists good dreams, and then bad ones; the word ‘bad’ is written in red, ‘the color of ill omen’.

Dreaming of for example a deep well meant prison. A mirror indicated a second wife. Getting bitten  by a snake was associated with gossip and a blossom symbolized prosperity.

Other examples are:

  • If a man sees himself plunging or swimming or diving in a river, good; it means he will get rid of all illnesses.
  • If a man sees himself drinking wine, good; it means he will live in righteousness.
  • If a man sees himself dead, good; it means he will live in a long life.
  • If a man sees himself drinking blood, good; it means he will put an end to his enemies.
  • If a man sees himself reading aloud from a Papyrus or an old (sacred) book, good; it means he will feel his dominion established.
  • If a man sees himself watching a blossom, good; it means he will be blessed with prosperity.
  • If a man sees himself watching the Moon shining, good; it means he will be blessed by the Divine Powers.
  • If a man sees himself in a dream, his bed catching fire, bad; it means driving away his wife.
  • If a man sees himself getting hurt by a thorn, bad; it means his lies will get him in trouble.
  • If a man sees himself having sex, bad; it means he will hear sad news.
  • If a man sees himself throwing a piece of wood in fire, bad; it means pain will come to his house.
  • If a man sees himself cutting his hair, bad; it means he will experience a loss in his house.
  • If a man sees himself getting bitten by a dog, bad; it means magic is against him, probably someone casted a dark spell on him!

Around 108 dreams, which describe 78 activities and emotions, are recorded in the ‘Dream Book’. These activities may be said to be things commonly undertaken by the average person. Most of these activities deal with some form of sight or seeing. The second largest category deals with eating and drinking, and a few more deal with receiving and copulating.  

Another interesting thing about the ‘Dream Book’ is that it was once part of an archive. In addition to this papyrus, there were a variety of papyri which dealt with literary, magical, and documentary works. 

The Indo-Greek king Artemidoros Aniketos who first wrote the most important ancient book of Interpreting dreams, the Oneirocritica based his work so much in this Manuscript. 

This manuscript now is being exhibited by the British Museum “No. III (BRIT. Mus. 10683)“.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Gnostic Text: Trimorphic Protennoia

The Trimorphic Protennoia is a Sethian Gnostic text from the New Testament apocrypha. The only surviving copy comes from the Nag Hammadi library (Codex XIII).

The Nag Hammadi library (also known as the "Chenoboskion Manuscripts" and the "Gnostic Gospels") is a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945.

The name of the text means The First Thought which is in Three Forms (or The Three Forms of the First Thought), and appears to have been rewritten at some point to incorporate Sethian beliefs, when originally it was a treatise from another Gnostic sect. Unusually, the text is in the form of an explanation of the nature of cosmology, creation, and a docetic view of Jesus, in the first person. That is, the text is written as if it is God (the three-fold first thought) writing it. Like most Gnostic writing, the text is extremely mystical, more so for being in the first person. Whilst it appears quite difficult to understand, this was the intention, as Gnosticism was more concerned about the way the text affected people than the content of it.

In common with mystery religions, there were secret teachings, and not all texts were intended to be read by uninitiated people. This text appears to have been written for a higher level of initiate, part of the way through — stating "Now behold! I will reveal to you my mysteries, since you are my fellow brethren, and you shall know them all", although tantalizingly the next five lines are missing and followed by "I told all of them about my mysteries". Some speculation has considered the possibility that these missing five lines were always missing, having never originally existed, their absence itself being a teaching of the text.

The Nag Hammadi Library

Trimorphic Protennoia

Translated by John D. Turner

I am Protennoia, the Thought that dwells in the Light. I am the movement that dwells in the All, she in whom the All takes its stand, the first-born among those who came to be, she who exists before the All. She (Protennoia) is called by three names, although she dwells alone, since she is perfect. I am invisible within the Thought of the Invisible One. I am revealed in the immeasurable, ineffable (things). I am incomprehensible, dwelling in the incomprehensible. I move in every creature.

I am the life of my Epinoia that dwells within every Power and every eternal movement, and (in) invisible Lights and within the Archons and Angels and Demons, and every soul dwelling in Tartaros, and (in) every material soul. I dwell in those who came to be. I move in everyone and I delve into them all. I walk uprightly, and those who sleep, I awaken. And I am the sight of those who dwell in sleep.

I am the Invisible One within the All. It is I who counsel those who are hidden, since I know the All that exists in it. I am numberless beyond everyone. I am immeasurable, ineffable, yet whenever I wish, I shall reveal myself of my own accord. I am the head of the All. I exist before the All, and I am the All, since I exist in everyone.

I am a Voice speaking softly. I exist from the first. I dwell within the Silence that surrounds every one of them. And it is the hidden Voice that dwells within my, within the incomprehensible, immeasurable Thought, within the immeasurable Silence.

I descended to the midst of the underworld, and I shone down upon the darkness. It is I who poured forth the water. It is I who am hidden within radiant waters. I am the one who gradually put forth the All by my Thought. It is I who am laden with the Voice. It is through me that Gnosis comes forth. I dwell in the ineffable and unknowable ones. I am perception and knowledge, uttering a Voice by means of thought. I am the real Voice. I cry out in everyone, and they recognize it (the voice), since a seed indwells them. I am the Thought of the Father, and through me proceeded the Voice, that is, the knowledge of the everlasting things. I exist as Thought for the All -- being joined to the unknowable and incomprehensible Thought -- I revealed myself -- yes, I -- among all those who recognize me. For it is I who am joined with everyone by virtue of the hidden Thought and an exalted <Voice>, even a Voice from the invisible Thought. And it is immeasurable, since it dwells in the Immeasurable One. It is a mystery; it is unrestrainable by the Incomprehensible One. It is invisible to all those who are visible in the All. It is a Light dwelling in Light.

It is we also who alone have separated from the visible world, since we are saved by the hidden wisdom, by means of the ineffable, immeasurable Voice. And he who is hidden within us pays the tributes of his fruit to the Water of Life.

Then the Son who is perfect in every respect -- that is, the Word who originated through that Voice; who proceeded from the height; who has within him the Name; who is a Light -- he revealed the everlasting things, and all the unknowns were known. And those things difficult to interpet and secret, he revealed. And as for those who dwell in Silence with the First Thought, he preached to them. And he revealed himself to those who dwell in darkness, and he showed himself to those who dwell in the abyss, and to those who dwell in the hidden treasuries, he told ineffable mysteries, and he taught unrepeatable doctrines to all those who became Sons of the Light.

Now the Voice that originated from my Thought exists as three permanences: the Father, the Mother, the Son. Existing perceptibly as Speech, it (Voice) has within it a Word endowed with every <glory>, and it has three masculinities, three powers, and three names. They exist in the manner of Three ... -- which are quadrangels -- secretly within a silence of the Ineffable One.

It is he alone who came to be, that is, the Christ. And, as for me, I anointed him as the glory of the Invisible Spirit, with goodness. Now the Three, I established alone in eternal glory over the Aeons in the Living Water, that is, the glory that surrounds him who first came forth to the Light of those exalted Aeons, and it is in glorious Light that he firmly perseveres. And he stood in his own Light that surrounds him, that is, the Eye of the Light that gloriously shines on me. He perpetuated the Father of all Aeons, who am I, the Thought of the Father, Protennoia, that is, Barbelo, the perfect Glory, and the immeasurable Invisible One who is hidden. I am the Image of the Invisible Spirit, and it is through me that the All took shape, and (I am) the Mother (as well as) the Light which she appointed as Virgin, she who is called 'Meirothea', the incomprehensible Womb, the unrestrainable and immeasurable Voice.

Then the Perfect Son revealed himself to his Aeons, who originated through him, and he revealed them and glorified them, and gave them thrones, and stood in the glory with which he glorified himself. They blessed the Perfect Son, the Christ, the only-begotten God. And they gave glory, saying, "He is! He is! The Son of God! The Son of God! It is he who is! The Aeon of Aeons, beholding the Aeons which he begot. For thou hast begotten by thine own desire! Therefore we glorify thee: ma mo o o o eia ei on ei! The Aeon of Aeons! The Aeon which he gave!"

Then, moreover, the God who was begotten gave them (the Aeons) a power of life on which they might rely, and he established them. The first Aeon he established over the first: Armedon, Nousanios, Armozel; the second he established over the second Aeon: Phaionios, Ainios, Oroiael; the third over the third Aeon: Mellephaneus, Loios, Daveithai; the fourth over the fourth: Mousanios, Amethes, Eleleth. Now those Aeons were begotten by the God who was begotten - the Christ - and these Aeons received as well as gave glory. They were the first to appear, exalted in their thought, and each Aeon gave myriads of glories within great untraceable lights, and they all together blessed the perfect Son, the God who was begotten.

Then there came forth a word from the great Light Eleleth, and said, "I am king! Who belongs to Chaos and who belongs to the underworld?" And at that instant, his Light appeared, radiant, endowed with the Epinoia. The Powers of the Powers did not entreat him, and likewise immediately there appeared the great Demon who rules over the lowest part of the underworld and Chaos. He has neither form nor perfection, but, on the contrary, possesses the form of the glory of those begotten in the darkness. Now he is called 'Saklas', that is, 'Samael', 'Yaltabaoth', he who had taken power; who had snatched it away from the innocent one (Sophia); who had earlier overpowered her who is the Light`s Epinoia who had descended, her from whom he had come forth from originally.

Now when the Epinoia of the Light realized that he (Yaltabaoth) had begged him (the Light) for another order, even though he was lower than she, she said, "Give me another order, so that you may become for me a dwelling place, lest I dwell in disorder forever." And the order of the entire house of glory was agreed upon her word. A blessing was brought for her and the higher order released it to her.

And the great Demon began to produce aeons in the likeness of the real Aeons, except that he produced them out of his own power.

Then I too revealed my Voice secretly, saying, "Cease! Desist, (you) who tread on matter; for behold, I am coming down to the world of mortals for the sake of my portion that was in that place from the time when the innocent Sophia was conquered, she who descended, so that I might thwart their aim which the one revealed by her appoints." And all were disturbed, each one who dwells in the house of the ignorant light, and the abyss trembled. And the Archigenetor of ignorance reigned over Chaos and the underworld, and produced a man in my likeness. But he neither knew that that one would become for him a sentence of dissolution, nor does he recognize the power in him.

But now I have come down and reached down to Chaos. And I was with my own who were in that place. I am hidden within them, empowering them, giving them shape. And from the first day until the day when I will grant mighty glory to those who are mine, I will reveal myself to those who have heard my mysteries, that is, the Sons of the Light.

I am their Father, and I shall tell you a mystery, ineffable and indivulgeable by any mouth: Every bond I loosed from you, and the chains of the demons of the underworld I broke, these things which are bound on my members, restraining them. And the high walls of darkness I overthrew, and the secure gates of those pitiless ones I broke, and I smashed their bars. And the evil force, and the one who beats you, and the one who hinders you, and the tyrant, and the adversary, and the one who is King, and the present enemy, indeed all these I explained to those who are mine, who are the Sons of the Light, in order that they might nullify them all, and be saved from all those bonds, and enter into the place where they were at first.

I am the first one who descended on account of my portion which remains, that is, the Spirit that dwells in the soul, which originated from the Water of Life, and out of the immersion of the mysteries. And I spoke, I, together with the Archons and Authorities. For I had gone down below their language, and I spoke my mysteries to my own - a hidden mystery - and the bonds and eternal oblivion were nullified. And I bore fruit in them, that is, the Thought of the unchanging Aeon, and my house, and their Father. And I went down to those who were mine from the first, and I reached them and broke the first strands that enslaved them. Then everyone of those within me shone, and I prepared a pattern for those ineffable Lights that are within me. Amen.

The Discourse of Protennoia: One

I am the Voice that appeared through my Thought, for I am 'He who is syzygetic' since I am called 'the Thought of the Invisible One'. Since I am called 'the unchanging Speech', I am called 'She who is syzygetic'.

I am a single one, since I am undefiled. I am the Mother of the Voice, speaking in many ways, completing the All. It is in me that knowledge dwells, the knowledge of <things> everlasting. It is I who speak within every creature, and I was known by the All. It is I who lift up the Speech of the Voice to the ears of those who have known me, that is, the Sons of the Light.

Now I have come the second time in the likeness of a female, and have spoken with them. And I shall tell them of the coming end of the Aeon and teach them of the beginning of the Aeon to come, the one without change, the one in which our appearance will be changed. We shall be purified within those Aeons from which I revealed myself in the Thought of the likeness of my masculinity. I settled among those who are worthy in the Thought of my changeless Aeon.

For I shall tell you a mystery of this particular Aeon, and tell you about the forces that are in it. The birth beckons; hour begets hour, day begets day. The months made known the month.Time has gone round succeeding time. This particular Aeon was completed in this fashion, and it was estimated, and it (was) short, for it was a finger that released a finger, and a joint that was separated from a joint. Then, when the great Authorities knew that the time of fulfillment had appeared - just as in the pangs of the parturient it (the time) has drawn near, so also had the destruction approached - all together the elements trembled, and the foundations of the underworld and the ceilings of Chaos shook, and a great fire shone within their midst, and the rocks and the earth were shaken like a reed shaken by the wind. And the lots of Fate and those who apportion the domiciles were greatly disturbed over a great thunder. And the thrones of the Powers were disturbed, since they were overturned, and their King was afraid. And those who pursue Fate paid their allotment of visits to the path, and they said to the Powers, "What is this disturbance and this shaking that has come upon us through a Voice <belonging> to the exalted Speech? And our entire habitation has been shaken, and the entire circuit of the path of ascent has met with destruction, and the path upon which we go, which takes us up to the Archgenitor of our birth, has ceased to be established for us."

Then the Powers answered, saying, "We too are at loss about it, since we did not know what was responsible for it. But arise, let us go up to the Archgenitor and ask him." And the powers all gathered and went up to the Archgenitor. They said to him, "Where is your boasting in which you boast? Did we not hear you say, "I am God, and I am your Father, and it is I who begot you. and there is none beside me"? Now behold, there has appeared a Voice belonging to that invisible Speech of the Aeon which we know not. And we ourselves did not recognize to whom we belong, for that Voice which we listened to is foreign to us, and we did not recognize it; we did not know whence it was. It came and put fear in our midst and weakening in the members of our arms. So now let us weep and mourn most bitterly! As for the future, let us make our entire flight before we are imprisoned perforce, and taken down to the bosom of the underworld. For already the slackening of our bondage has approached, and the times are cut short, and the days have shortened, and our time has been fulfilled, and the weeping of our destruction has approached us, so that we may be taken to the place we recognize. For as for our tree from which we grew, a fruit of ignorance is what it has; and also its leaves, it is death that dwells in them, and darkness dwells under the shadow of its boughs. And it was in deceit and lust that we harvested it, this (tree) through which ignorant Chaos became for us a dwelling place. For behold, even he, the Archgenitor of our birth, about whom we boast, even he did not know this Speech."

So now, O sons of the Thought, listen to me, to the Speech of the Mother of your mercy, for you have become worthy of the mystery hidden from the Aeons, so that you might receive it. And the consummation of this particular Aeon and of the evil life has approached, and there dawns the beginning of the Aeon to come, which has no change forever.

I am androgynous. I am Mother (and) I am Father, since I copulate with myself. I copulated with myself and with those who love me, and it is through me alone that the All stands firm. I am the Womb that gives shape to the All by giving birth to the Light that shines in splendor. I am the Aeon to come. I am the fulfillment of the All, that is, Meirothea, the glory of the Mother. I cast voiced Speech into the ears of those who know me.

And I am inviting you into the exalted, perfect Light. Moreover, (as for) this (Light), when you enter it, you will be glorified by those who give glory, and those who enthrone will enthrone you. You will accept robes from those who give robes, and the baptizers will baptize you, and you will become gloriously glorious, the way you first were when you were <Light>.

And I hid myself in everyone and revealed myself within them, and every mind seeking me longed for me, for it is I who gave shape to the All when it had no form. And I transformed their forms into (other) forms, until the time when a form will be given to the All. It is through me that the Voice originated, and it is I who put the breath within my own. And I cast into them the eternally Holy Spirit, and I ascended and entered my Light. I went up upon my branch and sat there among the Sons of the holy Light. And I withdrew to their dwelling place which [...] become glorious [...]. Amen.

On Fate: Two

I am the Word who dwells in the ineffable Voice. I dwell in undefiled Light and a Thought revealed itself perceptibly through the great Speech of the Mother, although it is a male offspring that supports me as my foundation. And it (the Speech) exists from the beginning in the foundations of the All.

But there is a Light that dwells hidden in Silence, and it was first to come forth. Whereas she (the Mother) alone exists as Silence, I alone am the Word, ineffable, unpolluted, immeasurable, inconceivable. It (the Word) is a hidden Light, bearing a fruit of life, pouring forth a living water from the invisible, unpolluted, immeasurable spring, that is, the unreproducible Voice of the glory of the Mother, the glory of the offspring of God; a male virgin by virtue of a hidden Intellect, that is, the Silence hidden from the All, being unreproducible, an immeasurable Light, the source of the All, the root of the entire Aeon. It is the foundation that supports every movement of the Aeons that belong to the mighty glory. It is the foundation of every foundation. It is the breath of the powers. It is the eye of the three permanences, which exist as Voice by virtue of Thought. And it is a Word by virtue of Speech; it was sent to illumine those who dwell in the darkness.

Now behold! I will reveal to you my mysteries, since you are my fellow brethren, and you shall know them all. 
(5 lines missing) 
I told all of them about my mysteries that exist in the incomprehensible, inexpressible Aeons. I taught them the mysteries through the Voice that exists within a perfect Intellect, and I became a foundation for the All, and I empowered them.

The Second time I came in the Speech of my Voice. I gave shape to those who took shape, until their consummation.

The Third time I revealed myself to them in their tents as Word, and I revealed myself in the likeness of their shape. And I wore everyone's garment, and I hid myself within them, and they did not know the one who empowers me. For I dwell within all the Sovereignties and Powers, and within the angels, and in every movement that exists in all matter. And I hid myself within them until I revealed myself to my brethren. And none of them (the Powers) knew me, although it is I who work in them. Rather, they thought that the All was created by them, since they are ignorant, not knowing their root, the place in which they grew.

I am the Light that illumines the All. I am the Light that rejoices in my brethren, for I came down to the world of mortals on account of the Spirit that remains in that which descended (and) came forth from the innocent Sophia. I came, and I delivered [...], and I went to ... 
(5 lines missing) 
... which he had formerly, and I gave to him from the Water of Life, which strips him of the chaos that is in the uttermost darkness that exists inside the entire abyss, that is, the thought of the corporeal and the psychic. All these I put on. And I stripped him of it, and I put upon him a shining Light, that is, the knowledge of the Thought of the Fatherhood.

And I delivered him to those who give robes - Yammon, Elasso, Amenai - and they covered him with a robe from the robes of the Light; and I delivered him to the baptizers, and they baptized him - Micheus, Michar, Mnesinous - and they immersed him in the spring of the Water of Life. And I delivered him to those who enthrone - Bariel, Nouthan, Sabenai - and they enthroned him from the Throne of Glory. And I delivered him to those who glorify - Ariom, Elien, Phariel - and they glorified him with the glory of the Fatherhood. And those who snatch away snatched away - Kamaliel, [...]anen, Samblo, and the servants of <the> great holy luminaries - and they took him into the light-place of his Fatherhood. And he received the Five seals from the Light of the Mother, Protennoia, and it was granted him to partake of the mystery of knowledge, and he became a Light in Light.

So now ... 
(5 lines missing) 
... I was dwelling in them in the form of each one. The Archons thought that I was their Christ. Indeed, I dwell in everyone. Indeed, within those in whom I revealed myself as Light, I eluded the Archons. I am their beloved, for in that place I clothed myself as the son of the Archgenitor, and I was like him until the end of his decree, which is the ignorance of Chaos. And among the angels I revealed myself in their likeness, and among the Powers, as if I were one of them; but among the Sons of Man, as if I were a Son of Man, even though I am Father of everyone.

I hid myself within them all until I revealed myself among my members, which are mine, and I taught them about the ineffable ordinances, and (about) the brethren. But they are inexpressible to every Sovereignty and every ruling Power, except the Sons of the Light alone, that is, the ordinances of the Father. These are the glories that are higher than every glory, that is, the Five Seals, complete by virtue of Intellect. He who possesses the Five Seals of these particular names has stripped off <the> garments of ignorance and put on a shining Light. And nothing will appear to him that belongs to the Powers of the Archons. Within those of this sort, darkness will dissolve and ignorance will die. And the thought of the creature, which is scattered, will present a single appearance and dark Chaos will dissolve and ... 
(6 lines fragmentary) 
... until I reveal myself to all my fellow brethren, and until I gather together all my fellow brethren within my eternal kingdom. And I proclaimed to them the ineffable Five Seals in order that I might abide in them and they also might abide in me.

As for me, I put on Jesus. I bore him from the cursed wood, and established him in the dwelling places of his Father. And those who watch over their dwelling places did not recognize me. For I, I am unrestrainable, together with my seed; and my seed, which is mine, I shall place into the holy Light within an incomprehensible Silence. Amen.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Occult Manuscript Compendium Rarissimum

The Compendium Rarissimum is an extraordinary occult manuscript held in the collections of London's Wellcome Library. 

The full title of this, short, yet astounding manuscript is Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros. Anno 1057. Noli me tangere, which means Most rare summary of the entire Magical Art put together by the most famous Masters of this Art. Year 1057. Do not touch me.

Despite the year mentioned in the title, scholars suggest that the book was written much later, in 1775. 

Compendium Rarissimum is about demonology and it is handwritten in both German and Latin. It contains, in total, 31 watercolor illustrations of demons, kabalistic signs, sigils and other figures; its demonology corresponding closely to the Hell hierarchy laid out in The Book of Abramelin. 

The manuscripts begins with three pages of seals, of which only two have headings: the first illustrates the characters of evil spirits, the second records the characters of elemental spirits and the third, those of the good spirits. There seem also to be pictures relating to necromancy, the act of communicating with the dead in order to gain information about, and possibly control, the future. 

Its purpose and authorship remain unknown.

The Wellcome Library graciously shared high-quality scans of the entire manuscript, with download options including a full PDF of the entire document, HERE.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Moon Worshiping

Hunter-gatherer societies generally thought of the moon as male, and its absence during new moon periods as dangerous.

Conversely, agrarian societies regarded the moon as female and benevolent. This may be because the planting and harvest schedules were based on moon cycles, and the moon came to be seen as a symbol of fertility. Over time, that relationship towards agricultural fertility expanded to include human and livestock fertility, hence the female symbolism.

Evidence of moon worship has been uncovered at archaeological digs all over the world, from the ancient Celts to the Egyptians.

Because of its size and also because of the events which accompanied the first appearance of the Moon, many ancient peoples regarded the Moon as the chief of the two luminaries. “The sun was of smaller importance than the moon in the eyes of the Babylonian astrologers.”

The Assyrians and the Chaldeans referred to the time of the Moon-god as the oldest period in the
memory of the people: before other planetary gods came to dominate the world ages, the Moon was the supreme deity. Such references are found in the inscriptions of Sargon II (ca. -720) and Nabonidus (ca. -550). The Babylonian Sin—the Moon—was a very ancient deity: Mount Sinai owes its name to Sin.

The moon has always played an important role in Egyptian religion. During ancient times, it was never as important to the Egyptians as the sun, though the moon was considered by them to be the nightly replacement of the sun. Within all of the known creation accounts, the Sun is always paramount. However, in the relationship between the Moon and the stars, the lunar god can be designated as "ruler of the stars”. The associated genders and level of benevolence changed according to dynasty.

That symbolic tradition survived and traveled to the Middle East, where the crescent symbol figures heavily into Islamic tradition. Archaeological evidence shows that Allah was initially the moon god, married to the sun goddess, and the stars were his children.

Modern pagans are primarily responsible for the resurgence of moon worship, although the attitude is somewhat different from the ancient traditions. Wiccans, especially, freely admit that they do not necessarily worship the moon itself, but use it as a symbol to represent the Goddess. The Goddess is the female aspect of deity, associated with fertility, while the sun is the male aspect associated with protection - these traits are often invoked during ceremony or magic rituals, to exploit the predisposition of the state of the sky to enhance the ritual's outcome.

Most moon festivals take place in autumn, because they are normally associated with the harvest. Halloween began as the pagan Samhain, and Thanksgiving is another modern interpretation of ancient harvest festivals.

Modern Chinese culture still celebrates the Mooncake Festival, which falls towards the end of September - another harvest festival. The bearing of lanterns and the giving of mooncakes commemorates a 14th-century uprising against the Mongols, but the holiday itself is focused upon the moon. Altars are set up to face the full moon, and the moon goddess Chang'e is a prominent figure of the day, prayed to by women hoping for good husbands and fertility.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

The Vatican and the Goddess Vatika of the Underworld

The origin of the name Vatican is unclear. It has nothing to do with the Bible, Greek language or Latin, but most researchers think the name was borrowed from the Etruscan language. 

More than twenty-eight centuries ago, and before the legendary founding of Rome the mysterious Etruscans ruled the region of the Mediterranean before the rise of Rome.

Although the Etruscans developed a system of writing, the Etruscan language remains only partly understood, and only a handful of texts of any length survive, making modern understanding of their society and culture heavily dependent on much later and generally disapproving Roman and Greek sources. 

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the origin of the name Vaticanus is uncertain; some claim that the name comes from a vanished Etruscan town called Vaticum.

The Etruscans did not bury their dead inside the walls of their cities. Instead, they built a large cemetery on a hillside slope outside of their ancient city in the area that later became the city of Rome. The area, which is now St. Peter's Basilica, thus became known as the "Vatican". 

The guardian was the Etruscan goddess Vatika. She was the goddess of the Underworld and it was her duty to keep a watching eye on those who had passed away. 

It seems that the Etruscan’s beliefs about the afterlife were similar to those of ancient Egyptians. Treatment of the deceased's remains was important for survival and successful journey to next life.

Vatika had several other related meanings in ancient Etruscan. The name was not only associated with the goddess of the Underworld. 

It was also the name of a bitter grape that grew wild on the graveyard slope, which the peasants made into what became infamous as the name of one of the cheapest (and worst) wines in the ancient world.

It was also the name of a hallucinogenic weed, that grew on the slope and when chewed, was thought to produced prophetic vision.

Vaticinia was the name of the Etruscans female oracles. And according to a Vatican curator, the Vatican Hill takes its name from the Latin word Vaticanus, a vaticiniis ferendis, in allusion to the oracles, or Vaticinia, which were anciently delivered here.

The word passed into Latin as a synonym for "prophecy". The Latin word vaticinor means "foretell, prophesy" from vatis "poet, teacher, oracle".

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Inspiring Quotes About Autumn

Fall has arrived. Behold the changing leaves, and enjoy the crisp breeze. Let your eyes take in the bursts of color. Transformation is afoot and hope is in the air.

Enjoy these inspirational fall quotes and these spectacular fall foliage photos.

"Leaves are falling. Autumn is calling.”

“A fallen leaf is nothing more than a summer’s wave goodbye.”

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."
―Emily Bronte

"I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.”

"It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in Autumn."
―B. C. Forbes

"Autumn begins with a subtle change in the light, with skies a deeper blue, and nights that become suddenly clear and chilled. The season comes full with the first frost, the disappearance of migrant birds, and the harvesting of the season's last crops."
―Glenn Wolff and Jerry Dennis

"The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go” 

"And all at once, summer collapsed into fall…”
―Oscar Wilde

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower" 
―Albert Camus

“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile."
― John Howard Bryant

"Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”
―Elizabeth Lawrence

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."
― Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
―F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 
― Lauren DeStefano, Wither

"There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves."
―Joe L. Wheeler

"Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.”
―Shira Tamir

"No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”
―John Donne

"How beautifully leaves grow old! How full of light and color are their last days!”
―John Burroughs

"Dancing of the autumn laves on a surface of a lake is a dream we see when we are awake.”
―Mehmet Murat Ildan

"Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year's end and day's beginnings.”
―Terri Guillemets

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” 
― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Happy Autumn! 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Get Ready For Venus Retrograde – Tempting Your Dark Side

Take care of yourself, because we’re fast approaching one of the most emotionally challenging and deceptive retrogrades in all of astrology.

Venus Retrograde 2018 starts on October 5th at 10° Scorpio. Venus retrograde will last for 40 days, until November 15th when Venus goes direct at 25° Libra.

Venus — planet of love, romance, luxury, prosperity, and affection — will begin her apparent spin backwards through orbit, taking our hearts with her. Remember that this planet isn’t all roses, diamonds, and love letters. Oftentimes, she can be jealous, possessive, and vindictive when she’s feeling threatened.

If Venus Retrograde 2018 is already giving you chills, listen to this: Venus goes retrograde in Scorpio, the most intense sign of the zodiac. Death, sex, finances, and taboos – in general, what people never talk about – are Scorpio’s territory.

Can you imagine what it means to have the Goddess of Love going through Scorpio? The Valley of death, the inferno? Let’s put it like this: If Romeo and Juliet was an astrological transit, it would have been Venus Retrograde in Scorpio.

Because Venus is in retrograde only 7 percent of the time, it’s in retrograde less than any other planet in astrology. This, in and of itself, makes its impact on our universe undeniably strong.

Challenging your ability to give and receive affection, make wise choices with your money, and resist negative temptation, it’s wise to avoid committing to love affairs or lofty purchases during this time. When Venus is in retrograde, she’s presenting you with opportunities that might seem thrilling at first, but will only lead you toward destruction.

Your love life will be put to thew test 

Aphrodite’s bad points are often overlooked. She had a reputation for jealousy, revenge, possessiveness, and infidelity.

Love is a whirlwind of chaos and confusion during Venus retrograde. If you’re in a relationship, you might face conflict with your partner that puts your commitment in jeopardy. If you’re single, you might be tempted to ignore red flags and give your heart away to someone who isn’t trustworthy.

You will most definitely be thinking with your reproductive organs and not your brain, so do try to resist the sex if you can. You may get a series of red flags but still ignore them. A one night stand might during this time might seem harmless and disposable, but on a spiritual level, this goes far deeper.

Sometimes we think we need a sexual fling because it has been a while, we just want to have fun and we feel we can take it or leave it. But with Venus retrograde, we might develop an obsessive attachment to the so-called “friend with benefits”, which we hadn’t bargained for. We could find we are kept in a very unpleasant psychic, sexual bondage.

There’s also a chance that lovers or friends from your past will resurface, totally disrupting life as you know it.

Even though these romantic challenges can be severely damaging, remember that Venus is currently bringing every negative emotion in love to the forefront. She’s luring your heart towards danger, and you do have the power to see beyond her ruse. If a situation seems risky, that’s because it is. Do your best to avoid toxic temptation during this time and you’ll avoid much of the effects of Venus retrograde. Your ex is your ex for a reason.

But there’s much more to this Venus Retrograde than the obsessive intensity of Venus in Scorpio.

While Venus retrograde starts in Scorpio, Venus Retrograde ends in Libra.

And this is where (in Libra) we will have the final outcome, the resolution of this transit.

During Venus’ time retrograding through Libra, we are going to be encouraged to think about how our actions are affecting others.

Every action we take creates a ripple effect around the entire Universe. With Venus retrograding through Libra, we are going to be encouraged to really think about the other, and to reflect on whether we are treating people how we wish to be treated.

Be cautious with your wallet

Although Venus is known for being the planet of love, she’s also the planet of luxury, and during her retrograde, all that glitters is definitely not gold. You might feel tempted to overspend on things you don’t need, giving in to opulence and pleasure when it’s not wise, and feeling insecure about your financial state.

If there’s a non-essential and overly expensive product you’re lusting over, it’s wise to hold off on making the purchase until Venus retrograde is over. By the time this haze of deception has dissipated, you might suddenly realize that that product is a total rip off.

If you’re feeling ashamed of your financial state during Venus retrograde, trust that it’s also because Venus might be making you seem a lot less fortunate than you truly are. Remember that money comes and goes. By no means does your financial state define you. When Venus retrograde has you comparing yourself to the rich and wealthy, try to feel grateful for all that you already have.

Why Is This Venus Retrograde So Important?

From all Venus retrogrades, Venus in Scorpio retrogrades are the most profound and bring the greatest transformations.

Your life will be transformed to an extent you never thought was possible.

Venus Retrograde will thrust you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. Yes, it can be challenging. Yes, it can be painful. It can feel like an unending, uphill battle against the world. 

It can certainly feel like a difficult transit. And this is because Venus Retrograde can bring unfinished business back into your life. And we humans are wired to avoid having to deal with unfinished stuff. Otherwise, we would have dealt with the ‘stuff’ in the first place.

Unfinished stuff is heavy, energetically consuming and requires hard work and sacrifice. But if you don’t solve it, then it lingers somewhere in the background, and it ends up consuming even more energy and effort in the long run.

And this is where Venus Retrograde chimes in. She will challenge you to change what you are most comfortable with. 

Let’s say you’re used to be the “giver” in relationships. Venus Retrograde will make you see the reality for what it is. Maybe people take advantage of you. No more hiding and fooling yourself that these people love you for who you are.

Or maybe you are the one taking advantage of others. Venus Retrograde will expose any unfair advantage or manipulation attempt in order to maintain power.

Even if every Venus retrograde is different, Venus retrograde cycles follow a clear pattern.

Unlike other retrogrades, like Mercury retrogrades or Mars retrogrades, Venus retrogrades are very cyclical. Remember the beautiful flower pattern?

Venus cycles repeat in fact 5 times over a period of 8 years. Each Venus retrograde is a repetition of the Venus Retrograde that happened 8 years ago, 16 years ago and so on.  

Every 8 years Venus goes back to the same area of your chart.

Last time we had this was October 2010. Venus retrograde activated the same area of your chart. What happened back then in your life? Check your diary, look in your social media feed, or search your mailbox to find out what was going on in your life.

Channel your feelings into creative expression

All retrogrades are slow, introspective, and contemplative times, but Venus retrograde involves no ordinary introspection. It’s a journey through some of the darkest shadows of your heart, and it will have you oscillating between pain and pleasure as though you’re riding a dangerous, yet exciting roller coaster ride. This energy can be heavily destructive if it isn’t given form or structure. What better a way to channel your emotions than through art, poetry, dance, and self-expression?

The upside of Venus retrograde is that it can also be a wonderfully creative time. Whether you’re feeling aroused, angry, or full of heartache during this period, these emotions are the foundation of some of the greatest works of art known to mankind. Use it to create something beautiful and you’ll look back on this time fondly.

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