Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Scientology, the Jet Propulsion Lab, and Occult Sorcery

from One of the weirdest historical confluences you can imagine took place in Pasadena, California, in the 1940s. There, a darkly handsome young man and chemistry autodidact named Jack Parsons had just made a bundle of money by inventing solid rocket fuel and selling it to the military. He was part of a group of explosion-obsessed researchers at CalTech who founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where recently the Martian Rovers were made. He was also a goddess-obsessed acolyte and generous financial supporter of the infamous Pagan leader, Aleister Crowley.

Parsons used his defense contract money to convert an old mansion into a group house whose residents included other Pagans, artists, scientists, and writers. One of his boarders was a charismatic science fiction author named L. Ron Hubbard, who became Parsons' greatest frenemy, participating in rituals of sex magic with the rocket scientist, sleeping with his girlfriend, and finally absconding with all his money. Here is the true story of how Scientology and JPL were both conceived by men under the sorcerer Crowley's mystical influence.

In Search of the Illuminati: A Light Amidst Darkness

from The Bavarian Illuminati is certainly among the most famous, if not the most infamous, groups to emerge from the Western mystery traditions. A mere mention continues to evoke a sense of profound mystery and sinister sentiments – especially among contemporary conspiracy theorists where “commonsense distinction between fact and fiction melts away”.[1] Much confusion persists. What did the Order actually profess? What did they really do? How did they actually do it? Misinformation, disinformation, and weak scholarship “has encrusted the Illuminati such that their actual history has been obscured, even by scholars. This is a case of the image having achieved greater prominence than the reality […] Nonetheless, the broad outlines of its history are reasonably clear."

For clearer insight into its history, tenets, and doctrinal foundations of the Bavarian Illuminati it is imperative we examine the historiography of the organizational and operational periods of the Order.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Occult in the Age of Enlightenment

from Twenty-first century Britain is a society in which the fascination with the ‘occult’ is flourishing. Paul Kléber Monod’s new book seeks to illuminate one phase of the convoluted history of this phenomenon: its fate and fortunes during the long 18th century. The period 1650-1815 is synonymous with the onward march of scientific reason and the onset of the Enlightenment. It is widely assumed that these developments consigned esoteric knowledge of the supernatural to the category of ‘superstition’ and undermined its credibility in educated circles. Solomon’s Secret Arts is a spirited challenge to this still influential narrative. It vigorously contests the view that serious intellectual interest in astrology, alchemy and ritual magic was a casualty of the rise of Newtonian science and rationalist thinking. Monod approaches the occult as ‘an old ritual garment, worked and reworked at regular intervals’, an ‘invented tradition’ that has repeatedly adapted itself to new cultural conditions. He sees it as a ‘hybrid plant’ comprised of two chief strands: a tradition of Renaissance thinking rooted in Gnosticism, Hermeticism and Neoplatonism and a set of practical techniques for accessing spiritual power.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Getting Started In The Western Mystery Tradition

from Getting started in the Western Mystery Tradition is a very exciting affair. It is full of intrigue, novelty, real magic and adventure. It is a rich and complex Tradition, very meaningful and deeply personal.

It is not surprising then, that the aspirant often jumps in impulsively! It is commendable that they are excited. However, with such a vast field of study, it is wise to begin with a definite plan of action. This is true of any venture one wants to succeed in, especially that of practical occultism.

The author of this text has at this point 11 years of experience within the Builders Of The Adytum (also known as B.O.T.A. ), and three years solitary practice of the Golden Dawn material. This fourteen years immersed in the Western Mysteries really is just a beginning, but it has given the author enough time and effort at examining his own experiences to have accumulated some observations about the Mysteries, and getting the most from them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Genesis Creation: Babylonian Enuma Elish?

from The Enuma Elish is a Babylonian creation myth that is named after its opening words, "When on high.” It was discovered in the ancient Royal Library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (current day Mosul, Iraq) in 1849.  George Smith translated the text and released his work in 1876 in the book, The Chaldean Account of Genesis.

In an article entitled “Why Does the Universe Look so Old?” Dr. Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, counted the Enuma Elish among the “Four Great Challenges to the Traditional Reading of Genesis” (Acts and Facts, October 2010).  He writes, “As scholars began to study these documents, some began to see Genesis as just one more ancient Near Eastern creation story.”  Needless to say, the ancient myth has been the catalyst for much skepticism regarding the creation account in Genesis.

It seems that the discovery and research of the Enuma Elish has brought about at least two major claims against the Genesis account of creation.  First, because the Enuma Elish and Genesis creation account have many similarities, it is argued that Moses must have used the Enuma Elish as a source for his own creation account.  Second, because the Enuma Elish exists as a Near Eastern creation myth, along with a handful of others, it is argued that Genesis, being a Near Eastern creation account, must also be a myth.  Both objections are best answered by detailing the vast differences between the two accounts, and understanding that the nature of Genesis is far different than any of the ancient Near Eastern myths.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Importance of the Legend of Hiram Abiff

from The legend of "Hiram, the widow's son," is the foundation of Freemasonry's ritualistic drama of the third, or Master's Degree. While it would be improper to reveal the details of the drama as it is presented in the lodge room, or to make public the ritualistic secrets and symbolism which it contains, the story of Hiram is so well known and has been referred to in Masonic writings so frequently that it has become a part of the cultural heritage of civilized men everywhere.

Briefly stated, the Hiramic legend is as follows: When Solomon, King of Israel, under-took the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, he sent to Hiram, King of Tyre, for materials and assistance. In exchange for agricultural products like corn and wine and oil, King Hiram sent Solomon cedar trees cut from the forests of Lebanon and a skilled and cunning worker in metals. These facts may be found in the Old Testament, especially in Chapter 7 of I Kings and Chapter 2 of 11 Chronicles, where the skilled artisan, named Hiram, is referred to as the "son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali" whose husband was "a man of Tyre."

This much of the Masonic legend of Hiram comes from the Bible; but the story known to Masons has a tragically different development. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Devil's Dictionary

from Ambrose Bierce was published as The Cynic’s Word Book. It was Bierce’s preference that the book — a collection of satirical definitions which he had written for various newspapers “in a desultory way at long intervals” from 1881 to 1906 — be called The Devil’s Dictionary, but publishers had always been nervous about the anti-religious implications of the title. In 1906, American bookshelves were flooded with “a score of ‘cynic’ books — The Cynic’s This, The Cynic’s That, The Cynic’s t’Other,” to name a few.

As far as those other “cynic” books were concerned, Bierce added, “most” were “merely stupid, though some of them added the distinction of silliness. Among them, they brought the word ’cynic’ into disfavor so deep that any book bearing it was discredited in advance of publication.” As Bierce wrote his definitions for various newspapers columns over the years, they had appeared under a variety of names: The Cynic’s Dictionary, The Demon’s Dictionary, The Cynic’s Word Book. But no title was ever as satisfying as the one he finally demanded. One hundred years ago, in 1911, Bierce got his wish when the work was published as The Devil’s Dictionary.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Argos Panoptes – A 100 eye giant or something else?

from Argos Panoptes was one of the primordial giants of the Greek mythology. His epithet ‘Panoptes’ means the one who is all-seeing, which reminds us of the symbol of the ‘all seeing eye’ of God. However, Panoptes was an epithet that was also used for the god Zeus. Argos Panoptes was the son of Arestor, whose wife was Mycene from whom the Mycenaean civilization and the Homeric city of Mycenae got its name. Argos is described as having 100 eyes, according to the Greek mythology.

Probably this was a feature attributed to him in an allegoric way, showing his ability to perceive everything from any angle. Whenever he slept not all of the eyes would be closed, there was always at least one eye open. He is usually depicted with multiple eyes on his body (see image above). As we can see, even if he was mentioned as a ‘monster’ in reality he was a giant, a god, with super abilities.