Category Archives: Comment

Meet Thor-a! The New Female Thor!

Thor-a!

The General Synod of the Church of England may have thought it was clever by changing the gender qualifications associated with Bishops, but Marvel Comics is attempting one better: by changing the gender of an actual god!

Yes! “Thor” is going to become a woman. Marvel plan to justify this by saying that “Thor” is not a name but rather the title of the person who has “the power of Thor” – which is, according to the comic book company, dependent on who is wielding the famed hammer Mjölnir at any given time, rather than who is the descendant of Odin the Allfather.

My immediate reaction to this was that it is likely to rile the Asatru community something chronic, as Marvel have failed to consider that Thor is not just a fictional character, nor a deity in a long-dead religion, but a deity in a contemporary living religion. Indeed, I have seen anecdotal evidence that many current followers of Asatru were first attracted to that particular brand of Heathenry by first reading about in the original Marvel series.

But then I started to wonder: can a female Asatruar- e.g. a Gythia (Priestess) – actually invoke a male deity such as Thor in real life? And if so, would it be normal Asatru practice to do so? I am not Asatru myself, and data on this particular question is not straightforward to find in a quick Google search, but I would hazard a guess that the answers to these two questions would be:

  1. Possibly;
  2. No – because there are enough Goddesses with qualities similar enough so that one would not normally need to invoke a deity not coinciding with one’s gender.

In any event, it seems quite clear that Marvel’s idea of imposing political correctness on Germanic Heathenry is alien to actual practice, in form if not in intention as well. I would be interested in actual Asatruars’ view on the subject.

For more details see:
Marvel changing Thor to female | In Entertainment.

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You Will Not Believe The Advice This Guy Gives About Tarot Cards…

Pat Robertson, comedy televangelist

Pat Robertson, comedy televangelist

Tarot Cards are bad for your health and can give you violent stomach-ache! So you’d better stop eating them! Joking aside for one moment, that would actually have been far more sensible advice than that given by US Televangelist Pat Robertson to a woman who emailed into his show.

Apparently, a woman’s son experienced violent stomach pains when she prayed to him in the name of Jesus. She then emailed Robertson for advice. Now I am no Doctor, but I am a qualified First-Aider, and can tell you for nothing that if someone came to me with stomach pains I would firstly carry out a full Secondary Survey, and then – unless a specific medical condition indicated otherwise – call 111 (NHS Direct) or 999 (for an Ambulance) (i.e. in the UK) depending on how serious the patient’s condition apppeared.

Ah! But does Robertson do any of this? Does he even suggest getting checked out by a doctor at all? Erm no. He automatically assumes that it is caused by one of the woman’s ancestors having practiced witchcraft, or used tarot cards, and then recommends getting in an exorcist who really believes in spiritual warfare to sort this whole thing out.

Let’s just rewind for one second: it was when the woman prayed to Jesus that the boy felt sick. I suppose it would have been beyond Robertson to suggest, “Well stop praying to Jesus, then?”

Robertson is well-known in the USA as a particularly rabid right-wing televangelist. I have had to cause to mention his antics before on this blog in regard to his remarks on the 2010 Haitian Earthquake. Indeed, I noted at the time:

“Pat” apparently is not actually his real-name, but a childhood nickname derived from the fact that as a baby people liked to pat him a lot.

May I suggest that in the future he might consider changing it to Punch Robertson.


Alex’ own Tarot-themed novel, Taromancer, is now available in print and Kindle from Amazon.

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Rapper Flame sues Katy Perry claiming she stole Dark Horse melody from Joyful Noise | Metro News

Katy Perry, Roar

Katy Perry, Roar

News just in that some no-mark rapper of whom I’ve never heard is attempting to sue Katy Perry, alleging that she plagiarised his song. To add insult to injury, he, a gentleman called Flame, also says that she has sullied his overtly Christian Rap song with her associations of “witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery…”

This sounds like a case for His Honour Judge Sumner! To deal with the first allegation first, I would have to say that while the Beats of the Flame’s “Joyful Noise” and K-Pez’ “Dark Horse” are similar, the overall harmony and melodies are not. As far as I understand copyright law, it’s only melodies that can actually be copyrighted, so I believe that Flame is going to be put out on this one.

As to the second: the video for “Dark Horse” contains a prominent Ancient Egyptian theme, and occultists do look to the Egyptian mysteries for inspiration, but to infer that the video is therefore occult for that reason is a logical fallacy, a classical example of the undistributed middle. In any case the video is clearly not a plagiarism but Flame appears to be trying to link it in by the most tenuous means possible.

Besides: “Dark Horse” is not the most occult video that Katy Perry  has ever released!

That distinction belongs to “Roar,” which is about a woman (Perry) who empowers herself by learning ancient shamanic techniques – i.e. shapeshifting. This is nothing other than what Magick in real life is all about! Achieving Self-Empowerment by learning ancient wisdom!


For more info, read:

Rapper Flame sues Katy Perry claiming she stole Dark Horse melody from Joyful Noise | Metro News.

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Whatever is Lucid Dreamed on this night, will come to pass

Happy Summer Solstice everyone!

Or if you live down south, Happy Winter Solstice to you!

Or, if like the majority of the world’s population you live within the tropical region: Happy Hurricane Season!

Or, if you are Pat Zalewski, Happy Corpus Christi!

Having a look at Twitter today, I notice the following tweet doing the rounds: “Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.” Apparently this is a quote from William Shakespeare from “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” *

It occured to me: but those of us who can lucid dream have an unfair advantage! We have the power to decide the contents of our dreams both in advance and in-dream itself.

To read my guide to Lucid dreaming, click here.

* It’s not actually in the play at all, I checked.

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LGBTQ Tolerance in the Golden Dawn

Eddie Izzard

Got Wand, will do Magick! :-)

Say what you like about MacGregor Mathers, but on one point he was resolute: he would not brook gossip about Fratres’ and Sorores’ lives – this being a matter purely between themselves and their God.

Mathers may well have had an ulterior motive: i.e. the members who had “questionable” private lives were also the ones who were supporting him during the various schisms. However, Mathers’ firm stand has led to a progressive consequence: the Golden Dawn was the first magical order to adopt a modern approach to tolerance.

However, the Western Mystery Tradition was almost derailed by the efforts of Dion Fortune. Her insistence that magick was based on strict male/female or god/goddess polarity has led in some quarters to a rather dogmatic insistence on heterosexuality which borders on the homophobic. I have read some neo-pagans saying that gays were allowed to join covens, on the grounds that embodying the God did not obligate them to have physical sex with the Goddess. IMHO, this is unsatisfactory, as it means that they would have no option but to channel an aspect of the Divine which is at variance with their natural sexuality.

Nevertheless: it is not possible to become overly attached to gender when it comes to one’s god-forms. I have assumed the forms of both Gods and Goddesses in my time: such is the nature of Golden Dawn magick. I have also come to suspect that one or more of my past-lives were as a different gender to the one I am now. This does not bother me one iota, as I am perfectly comfortable in the gender and sexuality I have at the moment.

By the twin strategies of (a) not interfering with a member’s private life; and (b) not actually practising sexual magick – whether right hand or left hand path, the Golden Dawn is able to accommodate everyone. It is within my knowledge that there have been and probably still are homosexual and transsexual fratres and sorores in the GD. Indeed, at least one individual joined as a “frater” and became a “soror” during her progression and is now a successful adept.

Therefore, let everyone take note: if you know of a man who insists on turning up to temple in women’s clothes and insists on being referred to as “Soror” ceremonies, don’t laugh or mock! Such a person is welcome within the GD, and more – assuming they apply themselves diligently to the Great Work, they would even be eligible for promotion – even to being head of the order!

 

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Tarot card reader pushes to repeal town code – Local News

Nice news story about how a Tarot reader has been instrumental in getting an antiquated town ordinance reviewed. Today, Front Royal, Virginia. Tomorrow, “The Universe” ! (See what I did there?  ;)  )

Full story:

Tarot card reader pushes to repeal town code – Local News.

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Thought for the day: Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn

The Golden Dawn

Golden Dawn.

Golden.

Dawn.

Gold the metal of the sun, associated with Tiphereth. Dawn the place where the sun rises.

The very name suggests that everything about it is to do with Tiphereth, that place of balance and equilibrium within your soul. Hence, anything which does not aim at finding Tiphereth, whether this be expressed in terms of Christ, Krishna, Osiris, or “the dying and resurrected god,” cannot really be said to be authentic Golden Dawn.

I say all this because recently I’ve encountered a lot of GD types engaging in a lot of behaviour which does not seem to lead themselves towards Tiphereth – nor the others with whom they come into contact.

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QOTD for Easter

Sov: Excellent and Perfect Prelate, what is the hour?

Prel, with 3rd sign: It is the first hour of the third day, being the first day of the week; the hour of a Perfect Mason.

Sov: What is the hour of a Perfect Mason?

Prel, with 3rd sign: It is the hour when the Word is found and the Cubic Stone is changed into the Mystic Rose. The Blazing Star has reappeared in all its splendour; our altars are renewed; the true Light restored to our eyes, the clouds of darkness dispersed; and the New Commandment is given to love one another.

Sov: Let us then observe this New Commandment to love one another, the result and perfection of all preceding Masonry, which will enable us to erect an edifice in our hearts to the glory of the Lamb; to whom belongeth might, majesty, dominion and power, Who liveth and reigneth world without end.

All: Amen.

via OPENING.

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April 20, 2014 · 4:55 am

Transcendence: Review

What better way to spend Good Friday, than to watch a film about a man who allows himself to be murdered, twice, indeed, just so as to prove that he was a good man trying to save the world!

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp, star of Transcendence

I should start out with a warning: Transcendence, the new film starring Johnny Depp, is not an action thriller. I say this because it was produced by Christopher “Inception” Nolan, so having previously liked Nolan’s films I was drawn to it by his name alone. Rather, it gets off to a slow start, and only speeds up towards the end of the movie. I found it more interesting, though, for the actual nature of the issues it discusses.

The story is about a scientist named Will (Depp), who creates an Artificial Intelligence network. When he is fatally wounded by anti-technology terrorists, he (mainly at his wife’s bidding) uploads the contents of his mind into a new network – so that there will be something of him that lives on after the death of his body. The new AI network starts behaving as if it were Depp’s character. However – with access to processing power far in excess of what a mere human brain can afford, AI-Will starts acquiring god-like intelligence. This completely freaks out his former friends and colleagues, the terrorists (who are still after him) and the government, and eventually his wife as well. Meanwhile, however, AI-Will has escaped from the confines of the computer that once housed him into cyberspace at large, and proceeds to build a massive underground lair in the middle of the desert, where he hopes to carry out his plans undisturbed. Needless to say it all goes horribly wrong.

Now it so happens that there are people in real life – Transhumanists – who are carrying out research exactly like that in which Will is engaged in the film. So before one dismisses the premise of the film, one has to remember that there is a real possibility that someone will actually attempt to do this. Moreover, one should remember that Adepti of the Golden Dawn are in effect Spiritual Transhumanists – because they have vowed to use their occult powers to become “more than human.” This film therefore asks, what are the ethical implications of doing so? And: what are the dangers of doing so?

The film’s answers are bleak, to say the least. (AI-)Will is a Christ-like figure, and takes great pains to demonstrate to the other characters that he is using his new-found powers – mainly involving nanotechnology – to do good – e.g. to heal miraculously, to re-grow the rain forests, to end air / water pollution, and so-forth. However Cillian Murphy’s “Pontius Pilate” character, and Morgan Freeman’s “Caiaphas” character, are having none of it. They are aided by Paul Bettany who plays one of Will’s friends who eventually betrays him not with a kiss, but with a computer virus.

There is some massive irony: Morgan Freeman’s motivation for wanting to destroy AI-Will is that no human personality can handle that much power responsibly, and hence play God. However, his principal method of attacking AI-Will is by doing just that – playing “God” with another man’s life - by conducting an experiment of which Josef Mengele would have been proud. He later rationalises this by the way that such hypocrites have done in the past – by denying that his test subject (a man who had been miraculously healed by AI-Will) was somehow a real human. Ultimately, their animus against AI-Will himself is based on the idea that they cannot bring themselves to believe he is a sentient being.

AI-Will is not perfect, however. By demonstrating that he can communicate through his followers, and give them miraculous powers themselves, he demonstrates that he can potentially rob people of their apparent free-will. This in particular proves a sore-point with his wife, who has probably had nightmares of the Borg from watching too much Star Trek TNG. The fact that AI-Will never uses the Borg-like potentiality of his powers is not the issue, as far as she is concerned – it’s the principle that counts.

In essence, then, the film shows an unholy alliance of Government, conventional Science, and luddite Terrorist giving a massive fuck you to Plato’s Philosopher-King ideal, by saying that it doesn’t matter if an omnipotent AI character has the morals and conscience of a Christ-like being – the fact that it is omnipotent is bad enough. Now, one can argue that it’s only a film, it’s just fiction – except that these are all issues which haunt the Transhumanist debate. When does a technologically-enhanced human cease to be a human – and hence deserving of “human rights”? For that matter, when does an AI-system get any rights of its own, as a sentient being?

Moreover, the issues can be applied to the path of the Adept by analogy. I.e. what if you, as an Adept, actually succeeded in becoming “more than human”? This is made more relevant by the fact that within the Western Mystery Tradition there are spiritual paths which actually say that it is mankind’s ultimate destiny – after much reincarnation and spiritual purification – to become One with God – and hence becoming a collective is a thing to be desired. Whether one agrees with that or not, as far as Transhumanism, and by analogy Spiritual Transhumanism, goes, the film would seem to suggest: don’t tell anyone, don’t draw attention to yourself, and don’t expect anyone – friend, colleague, spouse and least of all the Government – to have the remotest sympathy for your predicament.

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Review: “The Hermetic Marriage,” Pentameters Theatre, 22nd March 2014

The Butterfly Wheel

The Butterfly Wheel

Hermeticism. Tarot. Kate Bush. Tarot. With these four words of power I was evoked to visible appearance in Hampstead, north London, to view a performance of “The Hermetic Marriage.” This was a music / dance piece created by The Butterfly Wheel, and staged at Pentameters Theatre. This, incidentally, is a tiny venue, with capacity for only sixty in the audience, mainly known for poetry and fringe theatre. The venue-owner told me afterwards that this was the first time she had taken a chance on a piece like this – but her gamble had obviously paid off, as the production had sold out every night of its three-week run.

This being more an immersive art experience rather than just a simple performance, I shall describe my experiences subjectively…

As I entered the auditorium, I heard the delightfully named Alice Ancient and Moon Child vamping ambient textures with synth and haunting vocals. These two ladies were positioned – with their band – stage right, dressed as high priestesses for the rite which was to follow.

Solomonic Seal

Solomonic Seal

The place was daubed with occultish symbols, whilst on the floor of the central performance area was the Seal of Mercury from the Key of Solomon. (Hmm! This is the second time an artist has used the Key of Solomon to conjure me to appearance!) I took my place in the audience at the back on one of the wooden chairs used instead of conventional theatrical seats.

A young man came up to me with a tray of lucky charms and asked me to pick one. I did so at random: he told me I had picked the Hand of Fatima, which wards off all evil spirits. “Oh, cheers!” I said. I tried licking it but it had no discernible effect.

As Jim Morrison was wont to say, “Is everybody in? Let the ceremony begin!” First came an invocation of Sophia – the four dancers, two male and two female, portraying Her plight as she is forced to surrender her baby to the corruption of the material universe. Meanwhile, behind everyone a rapid succession of images projected onto the back wall: pre-filmed sequences alternating with a multiplicity of symbols – satanic – masonic – alchemical – rosicrucian and more.

Throughout the evening’s performance, the dancers played the parts of the Philosophical King and Queen; of Cernunnos; of angels and devils fighting for the souls of mortal lovers, and ultimately the Sun and Moon themselves. Meanwhile, six musicians in total – the Butterfly Wheel and their accompanists, and two others who appeared for a sequence set in Hell upon Earth – played compositions which bore the influence of the aforementioned Kate Bush crossed with Patti Smith, Jim Morrison during his more poetic meanderings, Irish folk, blues and country.

At its conclusion, I figured from audience remarks saying “Ooh! There were a load of ideas to consider,” that they were all clearly bamboozled. Clearly however, the whole thing was a sophisticated and highly unconventional magickal operation – the overall theme of which was to manifest the Hermetic Marriage in actuality, and raise the consciousness of the Earth thereby.

Unfortunately, the current run at the Pentameters Theatre has now ended: however the Butterfly Wheel will be taking their show to the Berlin Pychedelic Festival next month.

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