Thursday, December 13, 2012





“Facilis descensus Averno;
noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;
sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras,
hoc opus, hic labor est.”

 Virgil- The Aenid


          It’s been a rollicking few months. Most of Syria’s population is either dead or living in sewers like rats, Serbia has been plagued by vampires and all over North America, Illuminati are being chased down with machetes. Some people know. Most can’t make the connections. But it’s there. The unending struggle between the Rosicrucian brotherhood and Illuminati has been dotting the political and economic landscape since the 18th century. A quick glance at any tabloid headline reveals how both groups have been displaying like baboons, whooping it up while the whole world sits stupidly unaware that the BIGGEST decisions in business and global politics have been made under the pretense of a Spy vs. Spy comic strip. Both the head demon of the Illuminati conspiracy and the twelve reptilian aliens of the Rose-Cross have been filled with such a righteous hatred that for the last 200 years, an underground war for control of the human-race has been right under our noses. Even the conservative Christians stand aside in this one. After the lashing Swaggart took for getting uppity and the shaming of Heaven’s Gate, December 21, 2012 is a possibility for some real righteous hysteria.


          It’s gonna be up to us to hunt these heathen like dogs and take back our country. Jesse Ventura understands. It doesn’t take long for Jesse “the body” to whip suspected Illuminati like mules. And he isn’t Rosicrucian. I’m not even sure he’s Republican. Governor Ventura comes from the old times-ex seal-spit-in-your-face-and-stomp-you-like-an-insect-school of political righteousness. It was soldiers like him that rolled up on Osama like a pyroclastic flow of stars and stripes. I was witness to a “Jesse’ism” outside the San Jose County Courthouse when ‘The Body’ cornered a poor Rosicrucian like a dumb animal. For those of you not privy to AMORC or the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosae Crucis, they are a secret initiatory fraternity bent on the perfection and evolution of human consciousness. They cast their lot with groups such as Freemasonry and Ordo Templi Orientis and they are clearly the wrong ilk for someone such as Jesse Ventura. The look of struck-dumb terror on this young initiates face when the billowing form of the Governor rose up like something from the abyss was frightening even to me. And I was standing feet away and out of the line of sight. I had seen the look before. It’s the panicked expression of a lion tamer at the moment his cracking of the whip conjures a deep-seated and reverberating animal rage. I could smell the fear and so could Jesse. The neophyte recognized at once that the television cameras and microphones were NOT his friend. I could only assume he expected to be beaten. He backed up the courthouse and with trembling voice muttered, “Hello brother, are you ready for the new world?” “Why not?” Jesse said with clear disdain. “I had nothing better to do today.” There followed an awkward silence as the fledgling Rosicrucian rocked on the balls of his feet and began to blink wildly. “Have you come to see the temple and research our fabulous archives?” Jesse ignored this and drawled, “So…I heard you Rosicrushans have some interest in taking over the American government.” He took a step forward. “Do you understand the meaning of ‘Born Free or Die’?” He dragged out the last few words and stood silent with a dead stare. I think his eyes began to glaze over. This sent the crazed jabbering of the Rosicrucian to elevate just under hysteria as he babbled about, “Love, liberty, and fighting the Illuminati…” Even Jesse paused in his tirade of Nationalism and anti-conspiratorial fervor to stare vacantly and ask, “What did you just say? Illumi-what?” The man broke into a literal run and screeched, “Nothing further!” as he sped away.


         And this is how the secret got out. This is how the Discord was revealed or unveiled to the world. What seemed lamely like an outburst by a peculiar little man driven mad with fear was in actuality, a tightly-sealed secret held in the underground by a cabal of businessmen, politicians, artists, and scientists. The secret history of the world really was the history of warfare between secret societies. This is nothing new. It was all business. In any given city, Rosicrucian and Illuminati propaganda pamphlets littered street-corners along with political manifestos and store front advertisements. People knew about these ultra-secret groups but their intricacies were left a mystery. And just as nowadays, competition was grounds for a savage end to normal sensibilities. People who snitched were liable to be beaten, labeled an opium fiend, and left to be picked up with the rest of the rubbish. Even friends would smirk and say they always knew you were weird. From the very outset, the Illuminati considered the Rose-Cross to be a bunch of pigs. They constantly whined that the new reason-inspired age didn’t need any archaic superstitions from the past. They were doing just fine without magic, fairies, or even God. One of their early pamphlet headlines declared:


Rosicrucian magicians exhume plague-ridden
corpses for vile Necromancy Ritual! 


This sparked such a vile and public outcry that a twelve man investigative committee made up of a few priests, a city official, doctor, scientist, and disguised reptilian alien found that not only was the bloated body a plague hazard but probably a vampire and definitely smelled bad. When the Rosicrucians went to pieces and claimed that the entire inquiry was anti-reason and based on superstitious conjecture, Weishaupt simply stated that he knew necromancy was real because his Illuminati was really just an Illuminized Freemasonry. He claimed that there existed an Illuminati Lodge in London that carried on the rite of Memphis-founded, it is said, by Cagliostro on Egyptian models- and initiated adepts into Illuminized Freemasonry.[1] So of course he could recognize the evil Rosicrucian plot. After all, he was the only one equipped to combat it. Weishaupt laughed and laughed. But he wasn’t laughing when the Rosicrucian UFO had him face down on an examination table. Or so legend has it.


It is said that the Illuminati was created in 1010 AD in the Middle East when Hassan : Sabbah founded the Hashishim but really came to fruition in Bavaria, May 1, 1776. It is said that Adam Weishaupt, a student of the occult reached illumination yet created his entire order on the ‘Enlightenment’ tenets of reason and rationalism . This one went beyond smoke and mirrors ectoplasm regurgitation or spirit knocking. This one was elevated to shaman. A real medicine man or Merlin. In him were the teachings of ancient Assyria and Babylon, Egypt and Persia. And he was a purveyor of the esoteric tradition. It has now been confirmed that Weishaupt was Christian Rosenkreutz and created the Rose-Cross in Germany. In the three now infamous Rosicrucian pamphlets called the Fama Fraternitatis, Confessio fraternitatis, and the Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, Weishaupt used a deliberate inversion of Illuminati and in his attempt to countermand the occult philosophies of the Rose-Cross, practiced a magic similar to it. His became a magic of science.


It’s been publicly documented that Weishaupt dodged more throwing knives, poisons, and prisons than any member of MI-6 or covert CIA spy. In his Christian Rosenkreutz persona, this super-agent was both friend and adversary to himself. He delighted in writing an anti-Rosicrucian rant just to rebut it with equal gusto on behalf of all esoteric groups. He took his job very seriously and would forget himself at times. There has been instances when Weishaupt wrote a scathing criticism of Illuminati just to have Rosenkreutz step in with pro-Illuminati jabbering. This created in Weishaupt a new hubris that he embraced during his travels. Eventually members of the Illuminati began to notice word choosing and sentence phrasing that seemed eerily like what they’d read in despised Rosicrucian manifestos. It was decided that Weishaupt was a menace and should be flogged and fed to the dogs. He haggled his case but in the end was labeled positively ghoulish and the once all-powerful caliph was buried to his neck in sesame oil.

Which brings us back to secret societies, global domination, and an ancient grudge that even now threatens the very fabric of modern society. Have you heard what’s coming off the wire? Ancient Aliens raiding NORAD and constructing their own compound in the mountain, Julian Assange intentionally given a lung infection via poisonous gas filtered through air vents at the embassy, secret weather manipulation to produce super-storm Sandy, a glaring link between the year 1947, the death of Aleister Crowley, UFOs crashing in Roswell, and the atomic bomb.  Good God, when does it stop? There’s only so much the paranoid can endure before locking themselves in a compound or cabin. But the associations are there. There are connections to be made here and it becomes just a matter of sifting through the detritus to find those nuggets of truth. That’s the rub about conspiracy. Sometimes the conspiracy is real. Sometimes discord does happen. Where will you be? December 21 is just around the corner. Did the Mayans foretell some miraculous new evolutionary stage in the consciousness of mankind? Perhaps or perhaps not. Either way, the Illuminati and the Rosicrucians will continue to be a driving force in the shaping of mankind. Where will you be when Discord Happens

[1] See World Revolution, Nesta Webster. Constable and Company. London, 1921.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Magus Magazine: Evolution and Deities Part One

Magus Magazine: Evolution and Deities Part One: Hello everybody! Here is a portion of Evolution and Deities. I'll be adding another bit concering the falsity of Ontological Relativism ...

Evolution and Deities Part One

Hello everybody! Here is a portion of Evolution and Deities. I'll be adding another bit concering the falsity of Ontological Relativism next week before really getting into the 'economy and power relations of Deity Evolution' but here's a taste. Enjoy!





            Discussing non-humans has many more implications than just anthropomorphism. As Latour has remarked, “Non-humans have not been emerging for aeons just to serve as so many props to show the mastery, intelligence, and design capacities of humans or their divine creations. They have their own intelligence, their own design, and plenty of transcendence to go on, that is, to reproduce” (Latour, Bruno. Will Non-Humans Be Saved? 2009). Although many non-humans do have human-like qualities or tendencies, they are autonomous entities that have their own trajectory and hold their own agency. Attributing only anthropomorphism to deity production is like trying to play a three-note guitar chord with only two strings. Although there is a familiarity with the sound, something seems missing. This something in terms of non-humans is evolutionary and experiential.

Truth be told, non-humans aren’t so much ineffable or infallible as incommensurable. Much like biological organisms, there is an evolution of the supernatural. Deities that are fittest or created with a favorable evolutionary trait tends to be more successful over time. These genetic variances may mutate and shift as in the case of the Holy Tree. According to what is known as the “Golden Legend”, the true cross came from three seeds from the ‘tree of mercy’ in the Garden of Eden. These three seeds were placed in the mouth of Adam’s corpse by Seth. After many centuries, wood from the tree was used to build a bridge that was used by the Queen of Sheba on her travels to meet King Solomon. When she walked across the bridge, Sheba was struck with a portent and began to worship. After reaching Solomon, she told the king about her omen of the holy-wood that would eventually lead to a new covenant between God and his people. This terrified the king and he had the timber buried. However, fourteen generations later, it would be wood from this bridge that is fashioned to produce Christ’s cross.

The narrative shows how non-humans have an evolutionary trajectory. The tree (object) went from being a seed, to a tree, bridge, crucifixion cross, and holy relic. But its symbolization, or what it means epistemologically, also evolved as centuries passed. This non-human’s meaning changed as it was imbued with the numinous. In fact, the severity of its numinous qualities ebbed and flowed through time. It was certainly a sacred object when it was in seed form and placed in Adam’s mouth. However, it lost some of its sacred power when Solomon buried it underground. Not till it was fashioned into Christ’s cross did the object reach its evolutionary potential. As a religious determinate, the true cross underwent an epistemic trajectory wherein its power as a religious symbol changed.

Self-determining deities also show evolutionary prowess as they move through time and space. However, there is an incommensurable aspect to the trajectory that keeps us from making oblique comparisons of sacred narratives. Because of its experiential nature, interactions with deities are necessarily incommensurable and must be examined as autonomous but non-comparable events. Its like comparing an entheogenic psilocybin experience with the visitation at Fatima by the Virgin Mary. Both are numinous events but they cannot be compared in any way. The experience of psilocybin-its affective qualities and pure unmitigated surrealism cannot be compared to any other numinous experience in any way because every experience of the sacred is new. Every numinous event is different in every way from other religious events due to the subjective experience in a sacred event. After all, we’re not comparing the experience of going to a baseball game or a movie. An experience of the deity is something extra-ordinary. It can be wholly beautiful or awful and terrifying. But the interaction will be unique and the experience new. And these are the qualities that are renewed or re-embodied through religious ritual. Although the experiences are incommensurable, they can be renewed subjectively to foster a change of state.

In the work of trajectories, the re-presentation of gods are a form of ritual economy. The rite of passage involves Man and the Deity to be successful. As Chris Knight and Camilla Power have remarked, “The gods do not just appear and then replicate themselves autonomously through being ‘attention-grabbing’. Rather, the immortals need organized communal help” (Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute. 4(11) March 1988. pp 129-132. Comment). Through the rite of passage sequence, the Deity and Man exhibit a ritual exchange of goods and services. But it is Man that performs the high-cost activities of conjuration. It is Man that does the dancing, and chanting, and trance exploration. They must in order to be embodied. And every occult knows this…..



Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Magus Magazine: RITUAL AND TRANSITION STATES IN NON-HUMANS: HOW TH...: Hello everybody, here is the promised second part of deitic rite of passage. Since my lunacy is something both expected and irritating, ...

Hello everybody, here is the promised second part of deitic rite of passage. Since my lunacy is something both expected and irritating, I'll let you enjoy the article and welcome all comments. I've been flailing around trying to develop the idea for a few months. Feel free to be openly disgruntled. 
btw currently working on the 'evolution of deities' but I'll annoy you with that in a few weeks.


Hello everybody, here is the promised second part of deitic rite of passage. Since my lunacy is something both expected and irritating, I'll let you enjoy the article and welcome all comments. I've been flailing around trying to develop the idea for a few months. Feel free to be openly disgruntled. 
btw currently working on the 'evolution of deities' but I'll annoy you with that in a few weeks.



We already know that transition states lead to re-presentation of the initiate. What isn’t as readily discussed is the effect ritual has on the deity. After all, ritual is an interaction. In the past, the deity has enjoyed a central place in this interaction. As Bastaire & Bastaire have remarked, non-humans had a central place in theology, in spirituality, in rituals, and of course in art which they have almost totally lost.[1] Nowadays, a crisis of representation has nearly left the deity completely out of the ritual equation. Uncertainty about adequate means to interact with these non-humans has led many religious systems to forget their presence entirely. The ritual may be performed without god even in mind. When the process becomes mindless, re-presentation doesn’t occur and the ritual fails.
            Moreover, ritual interactions are the most successful when both the ritual specialist and the non-human connect personally. I don’t mean pure anthropomorphism although the deity may take on human or animal qualia. I refer to a metaphysics of presence that functions as an ontological foundation. This gift of presence is consciousness. And it is this presence, this re-presentation, that forms part of the fabric of social reality. Until now, we have viewed the present crisis of representation as one distinctive, alternate swing of the pendulum between periods in which paradigms, or totalizing theories, are relatively secure, and periods in which paradigms lose their legitimacy and authority-when theoretical concerns shift to problems of interpretation of the details of a reality that eludes the ability of dominant paradigms to describe it, let alone explain it.[2]
            We have conjured a reality where non-humans exist but lack any ontological ethos. We are quick to assert that god exists but ascribe no autonomous status to the concept. Our interactions with non-humans are without any interaction at all. Yet it is us that provides meaning to the deity. We imbue it with qualities and characteristics and even a personality. We give it presence and in so doing, renew its importance in reality. The same concept is used by quantum physicists to describe the position and momentum of particles in the universe. These postulated entities are defined and given meaning through the techniques used to measure them. Like deities, they wait on us to give them an ontological situation.
            And we have many ideas as to what makes up the qualities of our deities. Some cultures say that god resides in caves, others in forests; for many, god is in the sky while others suggest underground. And still others would persuade us that god is a form of consciousness while their counterparts argue for an entity outside of the human universe. The prevailing thought is that either god is out there or in-here. We call this relationship transcendence and immanence.
            Transcendence refers to our deities as being outside of human influence. God then, is beyond anything that is other than god. This form of thought is indicative of monotheistic religions. However, polytheistic and ‘nature-religions’ also experience moments of grace or enlightenment characteristic of transcendence. A transcendence deity is beyond thought, ‘above’ physical things and apart from the world we live in. In the Kantian sense, transcendent means beyond al the forms and categories of experience and knowledge: space and time, as well as quantity (unity, plurality, or universality), quality (reality, negation, or limitation), relation (substantiality, causality, or reciprocity), or modality (possibility, actuality, or necessity). All these things are the preconditions or presuppositions of human experience and thought. Hence to imagine creation (causality) and creator (first cause) of the universe is only to project the categories of human experience and reason beyond their field. [3]
            On the other hand, Immanence refers to the divinity being near or within. In eastern orthodoxy, it is hypostases or energies of god. Immanence finds god in this life and in the world around us. According to Joseph Campbell, the immanence of god is in the faces, personalities, loves, and lives all around us, in our friends, or enemies, and ourselves.[4] Furthermore, immanence takes place in the mind and is entirely subjective. Perhaps the best way to understand the immanence of god is in its experiential qualities. When we experience the divine or what if feels like to be the deity.
            One is also reminded of the subject object relationship in philosophy. The subjective immanence seems to sit in stark contrast to the transcendent object until we realize that a unitive experiential understanding of the divine dissolves any distinction between immanence and transcendence. Spetnak remarks that what is emerging now is the nondualistic understanding of immanent and transcendent long seen as opposites in western cultural history, transcendence is coming to be understood as “beyond” but not “above” the material plane we can see in everyday life. Our minds will never be able to map the endless networks of what I call “relational reality”, so spirituality that seeks to commune with either immanence or transcendence now sees that they are no apart. This realization is not new to eastern philosophy or indigenous cultures, of course; we were simply late coming to it in the modern west because of our dualistic and mechanistic worldview.[5] Understanding god as both immanent and transcendent was also proposed by Plotinus when he asserted that “we should not speak of seeing, but instead of seen and seer, speak boldly of a simple unity for in this seeing we neither distinguish nor are their two”.[6] And also by Flemish alchemist Theobald de Highelande when he says that “this science transmits its work by mixing the false with the true and the true with the false, sometimes very briefly, at other times in a most prolix manner, without order and quite often in the reverse order; and it endeavors to transmit the work obscurely, and to hide it as much as possible”. [7] We understand then that the deity and what it feels like to be the deity are one in the same. Just as the object and subject, seer and seen, even god and man enjoy a unitive relationship, we can expect that a rite of passage would effect the deity equally as much as the neophyte.
            Its hard for many to accept this basic occult principle. The tendency is to see god outside of ourselves or as something greater than us. We grant him extraordinary powers and omniscience. We are taught that man is flawed or wicked and must be separated from god. At least for now. And this separation is the definition of hell. Our dualistic frame of mind places us, be default, in an experience of eternal punishment by refusing to acknowledge the one-ness or at-one-ment of god and man.
            This wasn’t always the case. Scotus Erigena discussed divine ignorance in the 1800s when he stated that there is yet another kind of ignorance of god, inasmuch as he may be said not to know what things he foreknows and predestines until they have appeared experientially in the course of created events. [8] Just as the initiate must undergo experientially the rite of passage that confers a new state of consciousness, so too the deity must wait until events play out in order to know what the ritual accomplished. Erigena goes on to say that there is another kind of divine ignorance, in that god may be said to be ignorant of things not yet made manifest in their effects through experience of their action and operation; of which, nevertheless, he holds the invisible courses in himself, by himself created, and to himself known.[9] Just as man has nascent potentialities that must be unlocked via ritual, so too the deity is ignorant of things not yet made manifest. A rite of passage must unveil or bright to light aspects of himself.
            Furthermore, sometimes the rite of passage involves man awakening nascent potentialities in the deity. Carl Jung one stated that, “For the alchemist the one primarily in need of redemption is not man, but the deity who is lost and sleeping in matter only as a secondary consideration does he hope that some benefit may accrue to himself from the transformed substance as the panacea, the medicina catholica, just as it may to the imperfect bodies, the base or “sick” metals, etc… His attention is not directed to his own salvation through god’s grace, but to the liberation of god from the darkness of matter”. [10]
Here man acts as initiator to the deity. Object and subject although unitive are also autonomous entities that reveal parts of the whole to the other. It is a paradox. Object- subject immanence-transcendence, man-god are both unitive and separate. They are mutually exclusive yet inseparable.
            This classic example of religious of religious paradox is best seen in the idea of light in darkness and darkness in light. When consciousness becomes unitive or objectless, we are left with a consciousness not of anything. It is a pure or “cosmic-consciousness”. There is nothing empirical in this state of mind. Unitive consciousness is both something and nothing. Sometimes it is described as there and not-there. Merleau-Ponty has remarked that this state of being is experienced not from the depths of nothingness but from the midst of itself.[11]
            Religions have many names and describe “cosmic-consciousness” in a myriad of ways. Christians identify it with god. The bible calls it a “desert” or “wilderness”. Dionysius the Areopagite stated that god is “the dazzling obscurity which outshines all brilliance with the intensity of its darkness”. Buddhism also recognized this paradox by labeling it the void. The Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks of “the clear light of the void.”  It is the darkness of god. It is called darkness because all physical distinctions disappear. It is the same as the Indian Brahman and identical to the Atman. Object-subject distinctions simply dissolve. Therefore, we can’t say that there is a light in the darkness because there would then be no paradox. The light is the darkness and the darkness is the light.
            Philosophers have also identified with unitive experience brought about by a metaphysics of presence. Schopenhaur called it the ‘Will’. He stated that,

Up to now, the concept Will has been subsumed under the concept force; but I am using it just the opposite way, and mean that every force in nature is to be understood as a function of Will. For at the back of the concept force there is finally our visual knowledge of the objective world, i.e. of some phenomenon, something seen. It is from this that the concept of force derives…whereas the concept Will, on the contrary, is the one, among all possible concepts, that does not derive from the observation of phenomenon, not from mere visual knowledge, but comes from inside, emerges from the immediate consciousness of each of us: not as a form, not even in terms of the subject-object relationship, but as that which he himself is; for here the knower and the known are the same.[12]

The Will then, is without empirical content. It is pure “cosmic” unitive experience. This is not a new or radical concept. It is simply experiential. Our metaphysics of presence is one in which personhood is granted to the deity. In other words, there is not one deity in the mind and one in the physical world. As Neils Bohr once remarked in terms of the Quantum, “Theorizing should be an embodied practice, rather than a spectator sport of matching linguistic representations to preexisting things”. [13] When we unite object-subject, we unite matter and meaning and man and deity.
That’s not to say that the deity is solely a part of man. Again, they are mutually exclusive yet inseparable. When we experience the deity, we experience a corporeal or bodily component to experience. At the same time, the object(body) gives us access to subjective or numinous experience. And in this state, we cannot articulate the experience because we are embodied by the deity. You could say we are possessed. Mystics are used to this idea. As Stace remarks, “the mystic, of course, expresses thoughts about his experience after the experience is over, and he remembers it when he is back again in his sensory-intellectual consciousness. But there are no thoughts in the experience itself”.[14] Philsopher Merleau-Ponty also states that “He who sees cannot possess the visible unless he is possessed by it, unless he is of it”.[15] Those who possess the numinous cannot see it because they are, at that second, part of it. They are experiencing the unitive.
This is exactly what is occurring as man and deity undergo the rite of passage. But there is once crucial difference. Whereas man embodies the unitive and experiences subjectively what it feels like to be the deity, the deity itself is re-embodied. While man is transcendent and immanent undergoing a change of consciousness, the corresponding deity is also unitive yet because of their inherent divinity being renewed through the ritual. Anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep identified three stages to the rite of passage. First, the initiate is separated from his or her group. This separation is also one in which they abandon their previous social niche and head into the unknown. This unknown is a state of liminality. Here the initiate is betwixt and between or without any social status at all. It is during rites of liminality that the initiations actually occur. The rite then culminates with the neophyte being reintegrated into society. They return a new person with a new social role and identity.
The deity also experiences a rite of passage as the initiate undergoes a change of consciousness. During the ROP, the deity is sent into a liminal state and is also betwixt and between. However, this liminality is unitive or at-one-ment. The deity cannot transcend or enlighten because they are already transcended; they are already enlightened. There is nothing for the deity to become for the deity has already become. The ROP is a renewal of the numinous. In it, the deity is ‘made anew’ or ‘re-embodied.
Furthermore, a deity is both a determinate and self-determining. As well as being able to decide their own course of action or fate, the deity is also a fixed or distinct symbol. For example, the goddess Demeter is a mother to Perseophone, daughter of Cronos & Rhea, and part of the triple goddess manifestation. She is spatially identified with Greece and the Telesterion; She is temporally identified with the Thesmophoria and the festival of Chthonia. But Demeter is also a mystery. She is the goddess of the harvest and responsible for the frigid winter months. When she is renewed or re-embodied through a rite of passage, the harvest is also renewed. Her determinate qualities are inherent and a part of her, and they too become re-embodied through the ritual. In this way, man’s transformation that occurs as part of the ROP also acts as a renewing agent for the harvest and agriculture. Moreover, as his state of consciousness changes, man renews not only the transcendent qualities of the goddess but his own immanent determinate symbols.
Discussing non-human characteristics has many more implications than just anthropomorphism. As Latour has remarked, “Non-humans have not been emerging for aeons just to serve as so many props to show the mastery, intelligence, and design capacities of humans or their divine creations. They have their own intelligence, their own cunning, their own design, and plenty of transcendence to go on, that is, to reproduce”.[16] Although many nonhumans do have human-like qualities or tendencies, they are autonomous entities that have their own trajectory and hold their own agency. Attributing only anthropomorphism to deity production is like trying to play a three-note guitar chord with only two strings. Although there is a familiarity with the sound, something is missing. This something in terms of nonhumans is evolutionary and experiential.
Truth be told, nonhumans aren’t so much ineffable or infallible but incommensurable. Much like biological organisms, there is an evolution of the supernatural. Deities that are “fittest” or created with a favorable evolutionary trait tend to be more successful over time. These genetic variances may mutate and shift as in the case of the Holy Tree……



[1] Bastaire & Bastaire 2004
[2] George E. Marcus and Michael M.J. Fischer, ed. Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment In The Humans Sciences. 2nd edition. University of Chicago Press. 1999. Chicago.
[3] Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Creative Mythology. Penguin Arcana. 1968. New York.
[4] Ibid pp 578
[5] Spretnak 2011
[6] Plotinus reference
[7] Theobalde de Highelande reference
[8] Scotus Erigena 1838. 594c.
[9] Ibid 596c.
[10] Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy. Trans. by R.F.C. Hull, Bollingen Series XX, vol. 12. Pantheon Books. New York, 1968.
[11] Merleau-Ponty 1968. pp 113
[12] Schopenhaur, Die welt als Wille und Vorstellung, II 21; Samtliche Werke, Vol. 2 pp 152-153
[13] K. Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham, NC. Duke University Press. 2007.
[14] Walter T. Stace, “Subjectivity, Objectivity and the Self”, Religion For A New Generation 2nd edition. Ed. Jacob Needleman, A.K. Bierman, and James A. Gould. Macmillan Publishing Co. New York. 1977.
[15] Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible. A. Lingin Trans. Evanston. Northwestern University Press. Pp134. 1968.
[16] Bruno Latour, “Will Nonhumans be saved? An Argument in Ecotheology.”  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. (N.S.) 15. pp 459-475. 2009. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


Magus Magazine: RITUAL AND TRANSITION STATES IN NON-HUMANS: HOW TH...: Hello, all of you occult and esoteric lovers in the multiverse. For months, i've been blathering on about how deities undergo rites of pas...

Hello, all of you occult and esoteric lovers in the multiverse. For months, i've been blathering on about how deities undergo rites of passage and enter liminal states when their human counterparts perform ritual. I've been screeching and frantically trying to get something down on paper that develops this sordid and clearly antagonistic philosophy. Finally, I've finished part 1 and part 2. Here is part 1- I'll post the sequel tomorrow. This post deals with primarily the ritual and archaeology of the idea whereas the second develops the philosophy of deitic rite of passage. Enjoy and keep the howling to a minimum. 


Hello, all of you occult and esoteric lovers in the multiverse. For months, i've been blathering on about how deities undergo rites of passage and enter liminal states when their human counterparts perform ritual. I've been screeching and frantically trying to get something down on paper that develops this sordid and clearly antagonistic philosophy. Finally, I've finished part 1 and part 2. Here is part 1- I'll post the sequel tomorrow. This post deals with primarily the ritual and archaeology of the idea whereas the second develops the philosophy of deitic rite of passage. Enjoy and keep the howling to a minimum. 



The problem with the occult is establishing a consensus of definition. Too often, ‘descriptions’ of the occult are used to provide meaning of the phenomenon. Variances of narrative and/or thematic characteristics are employed to explain not only what the occult is but why it operates in the way it does. This is not surprising. Occult arts and sciences have enormous reach and enter multiple avenues of discourse. The occult is, in many ways, pluralism run rampant. The genre is anthropological and folkloric; it is psychological and sociological. The occult is a favorite of the arts and theatre. It is religious and scientific, conspiratorial, quantum, and mystical.
            But above all else, the occult is experiential. It is something experienced. Just as one cannot adequately explain ‘enlightenment’, ‘disappearance of the ego’, ‘satori’, or ‘absorption into god’, an occult event is a happening. Something happens to both the occult and anybody who is witness to it. In many ways, there is no definition of occult as it happens because there is nothing to be conceptually defined at that moment. As Norman Melchert has remarked, “the conceptual representation of the experience invariably comes afterward, while one is no longer in the grip of it” (Melchert 445). Certainly more Dionysian than Apollonian, this form of mystical experience is surreal and difficult to comprehend.
            Indeed, for anybody who has witnessed a supernatural assault, there is a disorienting and hallucinatory quality that really cannot be adequately explained. And each occult event is unique. It is this inherent having no like or equal that makes each occult happening incommensurable from any other so-called occult event. We see this in a 1975 Ouija experience. According to the account:

On Tuesday evening, Mark and Kent were on their way to MIA when they ran into Stephanie who wasn’t a member of the church. So they went over to Stephanie’s house. They lit the candles on the mantle piece and on the coffee table and began to play the Ouija board at about 7:00pm. They got the Ouija board to work really well and then asked it a lot of questions such as ‘who would marry whom’ and ‘does Suzie like Jimmy’ etc… Then they tried an experiment. Two of them would close their eyes and place their fingers on the Ouija board. The third person would place a ring on the board somewhere and the Ouija would knock it off upon a command from one of the participants. After that Mark wanted to ask the Ouija to show himself but Kent said no. Finally after a lot of prodding, Kent relented. Kent said the atmosphere was really weird and his whole attitude changed. It was about 9:30 pm when Kent asked the Ouija to show himself. At first the Ouija would move off the table. Stephanie and Kent had their fingers on the Ouija while Mark watched. Kent described the room as being really “thick”. Then Kent blacked out and when he woke up from a dream-like experience, he looked up at Stephanie whose face was really distorted and ghoulish. He says her face was that of a demon. Horrified, he screamed and jumped over the coffee table to grab Mark’s knees. He kept telling Mark to look at Stephanie. Stephanie went hysterical and she couldn’t stop crying. Later Mark said that he was frozen to the chair and couldn’t move to look at Stephanie. They looked at the clock and it was 10:30pm. They realized that they had all blacked out for about forty-five minutes. They put the Ouija board in the garage and left. Kent says that he cant stand to be around Stephanie and that that face is still vivid to him at times. (Special Collections & Archives. Merrill-Cazier Library. Utah State University. Folk Coll. 8a, group 7: SNL box 11 Fd 14)

            Such is the atmosphere of many supernatural assault narratives. The experience of the teenagers was indefinable as it occurred. The shock and horror of the moment makes the entire episode unique to itself and completely incommensurable from any other occult narrative. When the moment is gone, conceptual representation can be applied and meaning ascribed but until then, the experience is not unlike visionary trance. Each episode is an autonomous self-serving event. And like visionary trance, logic is suspended in favor of discovery. Moreover, while in that mental state, belief is also suspended. Being in the grip of the experience leaves no room for doubt or belief because the event is happening at that moment. Belief becomes self-evident.  
            In actuality, the occult is an assemblage of representations that lack any clear idea of what they are representative of. The occult is, at the same time, horror stories, initiatory systems, and a symbolic system of correspondences. It is realization of the numinous yet hidden. Occult comes from the Latin word occultus and means secret or veiled. But perhaps in its capacity for creation, the occult re-presents itself continuously. By its very nature, the occult renews the numinous and makes affective experience paramount to its teachings. For an occultist, the feeling of conjuring a non-human is equally as important as the non-human itself.
            What is peculiar about occultists is that they resemble archaeologists and utilize a context of discovery when they go about sifting through temporal and spatial layers of meaning to uncover past ritualization. Their techniques and instrumentation allow them to reveal or part the veil of the past. As negotiators of time and space, they gather artifacts to form an understanding of long-ago cultures. And as more data is revealed, the picture of the past changes accordingly. The imagery archaeological study conjures then, is essential because we are afforded a moment in time. By reconstructing Rome, for example, we observe a moment in history. And without a continuous panoply of data, our picture of Rome would stagnate. Likewise, continuous and uninterrupted discovery of data must be utilized for occult representation to be properly conveyed. This is why the occult is constantly shifting and moving to meet the needs of society.
            It wasn’t always so. Before complex societies, representation of the occult was a solitary experience. The ancient religion of Rome was centered around the practice of maintaining a sacred fire. In every house a hearth-fire was placed at the family Altar. This Altar was lit day and night because the fire was a god who protected the family. But it was a reciprocal relationship. If the fire ceased, then so did the god. In those ancient times, individual gods belonged to individual families. Having gods that belonged only to one family and residing in one house perpetually led to an isolation of families due to the secrecy of the religion that was propogated. [1] Over time, these individual family hearths clustered to form phatry’s and would eventually organize into tribes. As social organization grew, the structure of Rome began to take shape. Coulange notes that, the city Altar was enclosed in what the Greeks called a Pyrataneum and the Romans named the Temple Of Vesta. Therefore, each city had its own gods and calendrical celebrations.[2]
            What was once solitary then city-wide hearths became a pluriverse of pantheons. Gods evolved distinct personalities and interacted among themselves. They developed attitudes and schemed with and against mankind. And narratives were written to biograph their exploits. Moreover, as migrants from places like Egypt and Persia entered into the Roman state, their gods entered into the already complex national religion. Eventually, the Roman population was, a mixture of races, its worship was an assemblage of several worships, and its national hearth an association of several hearths. There was hardly a people that it could not admit to its hearth.[3]
            As population and religious complexity grew, the Imperial Regime suspended the political obligations of ordinary citizens. At this time, the population didn’t even vote. According to Robert Turcan, when the individual no longer played an active part of the running of the city, religious, micro-societies, and mystery sects assured the individual a kind of reintegration and existence.[4] When exotic foreign gods coupled with the already robust Greco-Roman pantheon, they facilitated a creation of initiatory-based mystery schools. It is these same schools that have served as the prototype to hierarchal initiatory systems since the 17th century.


“To elevate man above the human sphere into the divine and assure his redemption by making him a god and so conferring immortality upon him.” – Martin P. Nilsson, Greek Popular Religion, “The Religion of Eleusis.” Colombia University Press. 1947. New York. pp. 42-64

            Eleusis is located fourteen miles from Athens and in antiquity, was a prospering religious haven for many of the mystery religions. The most famous of these was the eleusinian cult that worshiped Demeter and Persephone.
            According to myth, Persephone was picking flowers one day when the ground split upon and a black chariot with invisible driver rose up and abducted her. Taken by Hades into the underworld, the young maiden became she who brings destruction. This re-embodiment of the goddess into something terrifying led to social anxieties attached to the cult. In fact, the word Persephone instilled such a terror that it was rarely used. According to Michael Cosmopoulos, prayers to Persephone were either prayers to the dead or curses on the living. No parent ever considered naming a daughter after her, and it should be no surprise to discover that even the place she dwelt had no name of its own.[5]
            Much like ancient Egyptian narratives of Osiris and Isis, the Demeter-Persephone relationship involve purification and the loss of a loved one. Demeter searches for her daughter and as she does, all vegetation begins to die. During this period, she took the alias Doso and worked as nursemaid to the two sons of King Celeus. Demeter sought to make Demophon a god by giving him the divine breath, anointing him in ambrosia, and burning his immortality away in the family-hearth. One night, the boy’s mother walked in while her son was in the fire and became horrified.
            Narratives of Isis also involve purification through the use of fire. In Egyptian myth, Isis discovered that Osiris was trapped in a wooden pillar at the royal palace of Byblos. She disguised herself and took a job nursing the young princes of the royal household. Much like Demeter, the Egyptian goddess threw the boy into the family-hearth at night. The queen walked in one evening and discovered the prince in the fire. Revealing herself as a goddess, Isis admonished the queen for robbing her son of immortality.
            Although these events are perhaps secondary to the main action of the mythos, they still resonate in occult importance. The use of fire is essential in astrological understanding. Often times, fire denotes the creative spirit. Alchemy and Tarot also make use of fire as an agent of transformation. And this is key. Throwing the princes in the hearth-fire was a way to awaken their potentialities for enlightenment or absorption into God. It was an initiation and their becoming.
            The success of the mystery ritual occurs when mother and daughter are reunited in the confines of the Telesterion. One of the primary centres of the Eleusinian mysteries, this building is where the dramatization of Persephone’s return was revealed to initiates. The mystae were blindfolded and made to wander through the dark. Reliving Persephone’s terror in the underworld, these initiates had the subjective experience of being the goddess. They knew what it felt like to be in Hades domain. According to Cosmopoulos, the Epoptai (more advanced initiates) who are waiting outside the Telesterion could see Persephone, together with her mother, emerging from the cave precinct where she arose from the underworld. The light that came from within the Telesterion came, I imagine, from the torches that were suddenly lit by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of these Epoptai standing at the steps that line the walls of the Telesterion. It was at this moment that the mystae entered and beheld the image of the reunited goddesses.[6]  
            Now, compare the Eleusinian mystery with its Egyptian counterpart. Initiates first went through a purification ceremony which readied them for their ultimate becoming. When nighttime came, the initiate was dressed in a linen robe never previously worn. Then the priest took him by the hand and lead him to the remotest part of the sanctuary or penetralia. The neophyte was probably shown statues that were concealed from the gaze of ordinary followers. The ritual then enacts the symbolic death that corresponded with Osiris. By dying to his former life, the man was reborn as a god. According to Turcan, this moment occurred in the middle of the sanctuary, a platform was set up which the new initiate mounted, this time clad in an embroidered linen robe…when the curtains were drawn, he was revealed like a statue, crowned with palm-leaves and armed with a torch, for the admiration of the faithful, who filed slowly past his feet. [7] Just like the Eleusinian narrative, the initiate undergoes a change of consciousness. In ritually becoming the deity, each candidate undergoes a rite of passage. They now understand what it feels like to be the deity.
            Such a statement would be meaningless if the deity didn’t also undergo a rite of passage. This is what occultists seek to understand. What are the mechanisms that lead to liminal or transition states in a non-human?


[1] Fustel De Coulange, The Ancient City: A Study of the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome. Willard Small Publishing. 1901.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Robert Turcan, The Cults of the Roman Empire. Blackwell Publishing. 1996.
[5] Michael B. Cosmopoulos, Greek Mysteries: The Archaeology and Ritual of Ancient Greek Secret Cults. Routledge Publishing. 2003.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Turcan 1996.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Magus Magazine: Exodus as Initiation Narrative

Magus Magazine: Exodus as Initiation Narrative: Hello folks, this is look at the Exodus story using a Structuralist POV. Although it is unedited and in dire need of revisions, you get the ...

Exodus as Initiation Narrative

Hello folks, this is look at the Exodus story using a Structuralist POV. Although it is unedited and in dire need of revisions, you get the gist of the idea. Furthermore, I will be continuing the Biblical theme of 'Wilderness' and how it pertains to Religious Paradox next week so stay tuned...................

The story of Exodus is filled with meretricious leaps of faith that are impossible to verify but contain themes by which history and myth can find common ground. Scientific Illuminism has sought to explain the ten plagues of Egypt as climatic, biological, and geological events. Using a largely cause and effect approach, this theory postulates that natural processes turned the Nile a blood red. While this theory is reasonable, it also takes away from the mystique of the story. In fact, the story takes on a deeper and more profound significance by examining it in terms of folklore. By analyzing the Exodus as an initiation, we supplant an anachronistic interpretation of the story. We find that one possible reduction of the events of Exodus can be outlined as thus:

Moses placed in basket. Womb. Plucked from Subconscious.

God comes to Moses. Reveals magical name: Ehyer Asher Ehyeh "I am" or "I Will Be" or "I Will Be What I Will Be."

Enters Wilderness. Subconscious. Amenta.

Rod becomes Serpent. Wand. Object of Ritual Specialist.

Meets Moses in wilderness and mountain of god (initiation)

Israelites search for straw all over Egypt. Appropriated Osiris myth?

Rod turns Nile to blood. Red, Fire, Symbol of at-one-ment and sacrifice.

Emergence of frogs. Symbol of regeneration and fertility.

Emergence of Lice. Cleanliness. need for anointing.

Swarms of insects. Karmic demons.

Pestilence. Disease. Trapped in Materia Prima.

Hail. Difficult Truths. Glimpses of enlightenment. Flashes of god.

Locusts. Impenetrable darkness.

Death of First Born. Attack on Divinity.

Wilderness again. Back in Subconscious.

Pillars of clouds and fire. Baptism.

Parting the Red Sea. Separation of the abyss to achieve revelatory experience.

Sinai. Mount of Initiation.

Initiatory struggle bathes the story of exodus in a whole new light. Instead of Judaic maledictions inflicted upon the Egyptian people, we are given an archetypal initiation narrative possibly the result of Judaic/Egyptian interaction. Giving credence to a theory of Peer Polity Interaction, these two States effected each others oral traditions and ritual by being within a spatial proximity that encouraged the lending of ideas. A natural result of two cultural traditions, Egypto-Judaic amalgamation would be the product of networking within economic, social, religious, and political arenas.

Exodus beautifully depicts the initiatory journey taken by every neophyte of the Mystery Religions. We witness Moses being placed in a wicker basket and set adrift on the Nile. This is the womb of the initiate or first steps into the initiation experience. Moses (Initiate) is then contacted by and given the magical name of God: 'I am', 'I will be', or 'I will be what I will be'. Although the translation is uncertain of the correct Hebraic meaning, the message of transformation is clear.

Next, the initiate travels into the Wilderness. Symbolic of the subconscious, the Wilderness is a place of introspection and self-knowing. The transmission of God's power is represented when Moses' staff or 'Wand' is imbued with magical power. At this moment, both the rod and Moses become an instrument for the divine. As ritual specialist, our initiate then returns to the Wilderness.

We are then confronted with the bondage of matter and earthly suffering symbolized by the Israelites being forced to search all over Egypt for straw needed to make bricks. Like Isis searching for her consort's remains, the Israelites search the physical reality of existence for a way to reach enlightenment. It is here that a crisis point is reached in the story. This crisis comes in the form of plagues or initiations. 

With the Nile turning to blood, we are shown the at-one-ment or sacrifice that will be required when trespassing into the realm of the sacred. In the emergence of frogs, we have a symbol of regeneration and fertility. It is also a foreshadowing of the change in consciousness that will occur through the gradated steps of initiation. Cleanliness and the need to be anointed is apparent in the initiation of lice. As an essential facet of the spiritual life, hygiene is an initiatory step. After these seemingly innocuous but preparatory prerequisites, the initiate is then thrown into the purges of karmic release.

The first purge of our earthly vices, the insects have the potential to destroy everything in their path. In this we have not only fear for the crops but the spiritual sustenance that is yielded in the harvest. Next comes disease and physical hardships that come with pestilence. Lightning and hail are the next teaching that Moses undergoes. As symbols for difficult truths, hail is the continuation of spiritual purging . The use of lightning in the narrative makes reference to glimpses or 'flashes' of the divine. The swallowing of the desert sun would be the result of a swarming of locusts. This impenetrable darkness is reminiscent of the journey of Ra through Amenta and would also be the nadir of the entire experience. The death of man's first born is an attack on divinity itself. It is the last Bardo or karmic demon that threatens man's attainment.

The initiate then finds himself back in the Wilderness or subconscious. A period of liminality between one degree and the next, Moses prepares himself for the appearance of Apep, the serpent dragon that takes the form of the Egyptian army. God then follows the Israelites with pillars of cloud and fire. Baptism is traditionally achieved through the purifying aspects of water and fire. This baptism protects the chosen people as they flee the pursuing darkness of matter.

The culmination of the rite occurs with Moses parting the Red Sea. This separation of the abyss is the last obstacle keeping the initiate from spiritual transformation. The powers of light triumph as the water of spiritual
becoming engulf Apep and the initiate completes the sacred ritual. The covenant is complete when Moses ascends the mount of initiation and receives the commandments of god.