Category Archives: Supernatural

Including references to the Supernatural, Praeternatural, Paranormal, Occult, and magick generally.

Review: Angels of Wrath by Gordon Winterfield

As promised in my previous post, here is my review of the second of two books from the Gallery of Magick which I have read recently. Angels of Wrath by Gordon Winterfield may be said to tackle the subject of what certain occultists on social media refer to as “Baneful Magick,” that is, the magick of cursing people, with death, injury, illness, or just unpleasant life circumstances.

But first I would like to digress – and address the subject of the Dark Fluff phenomenon.

Apparently this term was coined by Jake Stratton-Kent to refer to a trend in modern occultism which deals with dark themes such as demons, qlippoth, Satanism, Luciferianism, “the Adversarial Path,” etc etc etc, but which when subjected to critical analysis is found to be just as superficial as so-many badly written books by fluffy-bunny neo-pagans. Actually I wonder whether this is a generational thing? With the cooler, more serious – and older – occultists being cast in the role of Boomers, and the Dark Fluffsters playing the role of the Millenials?

But to return from my sub-digression to my digression. Whilst Jake Stratton-Kent was undoubtedly correct on the one hand, it would be a mistake to assume that it is a modern phenomenon. That is, if you go back through history, you will find “it was ever thus” – that Dark Fluffiness has always existed, not under that name, but as the idiot younger brother to serious occultism. Indeed, one of the worst perpetrators of Dark Fluffiness in modern times was in fact this man:

Arthur Edward Waite

J’accuse Arthur Edward Waite: perpetrator of Dark Fluff!

The evidence…

Yes indeed. Whilst to many Waite is responsible for pompous, ponderous texts which piously advocate mysticism whilst decrying magick, and which are so verbose one would think he was being paid by the line to write (I’ve seen some of his rituals which he had privately printed, so I can confirm he wrote that way for free!), yet he shamelessly and deliberately exploited the Dark Fluff phenomenon when he wrote The Book of Black Magic, in that he deliberately focused on the most lurid and notorious of the black magic grimoires. In so doing he managed to reinforce popular prejudice against ceremonial magick – and retard intelligent scholarship on it for almost a century!

Take for example the subject of making Pacts with spirits. In this book, Waite focusses on grimoires, such as the Grimoirum Verum, which imply that making Pacts necessarily involves selling your soul to a demon. Aleister Crowley, even though he never missed an opportunity to excoriate Waite on any other occasion, in writing himself about black magic unwittingly followed this trope without question – as did many other occultists of the twentieth century – because they knew no better.

We now know, however, thanks mainly to the research of people like Stephen Skinner and David Rankine, that there are and have been other grimoires which paint a much different picture – that a Pact is simply where you get an evoked spirit to agree that it recognizes the authority by which you have summoned it, and that it agrees to perform your instructions. The MSS for these grimoires were no more nor less accessible than those of which A E Waite made use when writing his Book of Black Magic, so why did he not refer to them at the time – to provide a more balanced view of the subject?

The answer can only be that lurid, sensational tales of Faustian pacts, satanic rites, and diabolical sorcery sell books, whilst works which are balanced and scholarly are, quite frankly, boring. Far from being the man of integrity as which Waite wanted to portray himself, he deliberately pandered to the salacious fascination of his readers, because he wanted to make money from his book. This is exactly the aesthetic for which Serious Occultists criticize the Dark Fluff movement!

There is a quite separate criticism of Dark Fluff, in that Supposedly Serious Occultists (to whom I shall refer as “SSOs” henceforth) claim that most of it is just made up. To which I would have to disagree. Some of Dark Fluff is not made up, but based on bona fide sources – it’s just presented in a manner which horrifies the SSO. So for example, people like E A Koetting – say what you will about his egregious marketing technique (e.g. like the fact that it’s egregious), but he does base much of his material on actual historical magick.

A large part of Dark Fluff is admittedly invented, but this is justified by the authors on the basis that is based on Chaos Magick, or their own magickal workings (and hence, UPG). The Simon Necronomicon is, of course, outright fiction, but is nevertheless defended by its supporters who claim that it works notwithstanding.

So for instance, “Angels of Wrath” – which was the original point of this blog post. It is a book intended for popular consumption, and it contains the influence of the author’s own methods of working which have little to do with the methods of the traditional SSO, instead aiming to get the reader able to practice the magick contained in the book as quickly and easily as possible. It is, however, based on some old kabbalistic sources, at least one of which, the Sepher Ha Razim, is reckoned to date to the fourth century AD, or almost contemporary with the Sepher Yetzirah. However, when looking at the Sepher Ha Razim, one quickly realizes that despite its kabbalistic background, it itself is a lurid sensationalist grimoire in its own right – in other words, it is a 1700 year old Dark Fluff book! However: one could just as easily take the view that it’s no more lurid or sensationalist as, say, the Greek Magical Papyri, or almost any other grimoire from any period in history.

One may therefore claim that Dark Fluff is not a new phenomenon, but may be defined as any (dark) magical practice which is literally Antithetical to the SSOs’ conventional wisdom at the time it is propagated. However, every good Hegelian ought to know what tends to happen “antitheses” eventually…

Incidentally, the Sepher Ha Razim demonstrates that in ancient times Angels were not looked upon as light fluffy beings at all. Kabbalistic Magicians did not have truck with Goetic spirits per se because actual Angels performed all the tasks of the Goetic spirits themselves! I have heard other Jewish sources speak ominously about Angels before (e.g. Z’ev Ben Shimon Halevi) so I wonder if the Angels-good/Demons-bad dichotomy is not a Judaeo-Christian idea at all but merely a Christian one: in other words, it’s not that one is good, the other bad, it’s that they’re all bad.

As to the book “Angels of Wrath” itself: I found that the preparatory exercise which the author proposes, “The Stillness,” to be an excellent meditation in its own right, very effective at inducing an altered state of consciousness, and possibly worth the price of the book by itself. However when it comes to the “baneful magick,” I run up against a problem. To my mind, the only way to ever get good at magick is to practice it repeatedly, and the kind of magick that is described in this book is not the kind that I want to practice even once. Hence this book would only be useful to a magician who is in constant fear for his or her life – e.g. because they live in a war-zone – or is a complete psychopath. Either that or they live in a third world country where the government positively encourages its citizens to defend themselves with deadly force – I suppose that with such a casual attitude to fire-arms, baneful magick must not seem so outrageous.


Angels of Wrath: Wield the Magick of Darkness with the Power of Light by Gordon Winterfield – available as a paperback on on Kindle from Amazon.

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How can I take my tarot card reading skills to the next level? – Quora

Tarot

(A2A) This is almost too painful for me to answer, but I will attempt to do so anyway. Here goes…

Ask your own cards how you can take your tarot reading skills to the next level!

Real tarot readers do not rely on Quora to answer questions for them: they rely on their own Tarot cards because they already know they have the best question-answering system in their own possession. So, yes, if you really want to up your skills, you have to get into the mind-set that your Tarot cards are reliable and trustworthy, and you really do have the power to interpret them in an appropriate manner.

If you act as if you distrust your cards, your cards will distrust you. If, however, you learn to really love them, they will repay that love accordingly.

NB:

I have taken the liberty of down-voting every answer which began by saying they didn’t know at what level the OP was already. Duh! Are you tarot readers, or are you schmucks? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way, I have already divined the answer to it).

Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to How can I take my tarot card reading skills to the next level? – Quora

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Is there such a thing as an ethical love spell? – Quora

Yes – don’t cast spells on other people, think in terms of casting the spell on yourself. Transform yourself into the kind of person that other people love naturally of their own free-will.

However, make sure you actually do change, instead of appearing to change. If you just cast a glamour on yourself, not only are you being dishonest (which will have its own payback), but you haven’t actually removed the reason why you were single to begin with. In other words, you may succeed in attracting a new partner into your life, but without real change they would just walk straight out again soon enough.

Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to Is there such a thing as an ethical love spell? – Quora

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Golden Dawn: Hidden History – 8th July 2019

An Ankh, once belonging to Reginald Gardner, who was one of the founding chiefs of Whare Ra.

To Treadwells last Monday for an evening entitled “Golden Dawn: Hidden History,” featuring a talk by GD expert Dr Tony Fuller. The small meeting room was packed (the event was sold out). I noticed a large number of dodgy characters from the London occult scene (i.e. people I knew!) lurking in the audience, as well as representatives of at least two or three different Golden Dawn orders dressed in mufti.

Tony, 73, had been planning to do a slide-show but opted instead to just talk from notes. He revealed that he himself had been introduced to the occult as a twelve year old boy reading Dennis Wheatley’s “The Devil Rides Out,” and following up references to real-occult works mentioned in the otherwise fictional novel. At the time he did not know that the Hermes Temple of the Stella Matutina was active (though on its last legs) in Bristol, England, whilst elsewhere in his native New Zealand was Whare Ra Temple, in Havelock North.

Whare Ra, he said, was a temple which in its heyday had approximately three hundred members. Havelock North, the town in which it was situated, only had a population of about a thousand. In other words, almost a half of the adult population of Havelock North were members of Whare Ra! That this was possible is due to the fact that the town had been a hotbed of spiritual activity for some time before the Stella Matutina ever arrived there – the “Havelock Work” was founded in 1908, mainly by people who themselves went on to play prominent roles in the Whare Ra temple.

Tony pointed out that the prominence of symbolism of the Divine Feminine in the Golden Dawn – for example, the way in which both Isis and Nephthys feature as god-forms in the temple of the Neophyte, with Hathor standing guard in the far East – as well as the feminine figures in the Tarot keys which make up the paths of the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. The fact that there was such a feminist trend in the GD he attributed to the influence of Anna Kingsford on its original founders.

Amongst other items of information I gleaned:

  • Tony acquired an amount of Alpha et Omega material from a former member who had travelled to New Zealand to get her grades in the Stella Matutina at Whare Ra. Amongst this cache was the only known copy of Mathers’ 6=5 ritual, as well as the long-lost corpus of Theoricus Adeptus Minor papers (nb: these have now seen the light of day in Sandra Tabatha Cicero’s The Book of the Concourse of the Watchtowers.
  • Tony showed us an Ankh (pictured above), at least a hundred years old, once belonging to Reginald Gardner, one of the first chiefs of Whare Ra. The example above is approximately 28cm tall (I photographed it against a sheet of A4 paper to give an example of its scale). Curiously, the only teaching regarding the Ankh was reserved to one of the Third Order grades (in the Stella Matutina the grades went all the way up to 9=2) – Tony described this as in a certain way the “key” to Golden Dawn magic.
  • Although Mathers had written detailed analyses of the Neophyte and Zelator rituals (the Z papers, and the ZZ papers, now published in Pat Zalewski’s Inner Order Teachings of the Golden Dawn), to the best of Tony’s knowledge, no equivalent analyses were ever written about any of the higher grades, such as Theoricus, Practicus, Philosophus, etc. As to why this was, Tony believed that it was because there was no need – once an Adept was high enough to be in a position to be concerned about such things, he or she ought to be able to work out the details for him/herself.

 

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Golden Dawn Open Day: Sunday 11th August 2019

I shall be making a public appearance at a day of talks in central London, on Sunday 11th August 2019, where I shall be presenting a piece entitled “Diary of a Ceremonial Magic Operation.” For more details, please follow this link:

http://hogd-uk.com/2019/07/05/golden-dawn-open-day-sunday-11th-august-2019/

Thanks!

Golden Dawn Open Day 2019

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Aliens 2019

News today that not one but two Earth-like exoplanets have been discovered orbiting a star just over twelve light years away. The star in question, “Teegarden’s Star,” is a red-dwarf, whose small size and apparent dimness meant that it was not easy to detect: it was in fact only discovered itself in 2003. Hence for all astronomers know, there could very well be many more stars, even relatively close to Earth, “patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

Given its distance from Earth, if our interstellar brethren are listening to our broadcasts, they will think we are still listening to The Kooks, Nelly Furtado and Razorlight, George W Bush is President of the USA, Tony Blair is Prime Minister of the UK, and the world waits with baited breath to see if The Davinci Code really did plagiarize The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. More importantly, to communicate with these planets, it would take 25 years to send and receive messages by conventional means…

… However: you can do so instantaneously using the magic of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn! Yes, using principles I outlined in a blog post entitled “Aliens and the Golden Dawn,” it is theoretically possible to astrally project to distant stars and the planets which orbit them using GD methods. The relevant data which would enable us to do so is that Teegarden’s Star can be located astronomically in Aries, at 2h 53m RA (compare this to Regulus, Alpha Leonis, which is 10h 8m RA) and +16º 53′ Declination, which puts it just above the line of the Ecliptic.

It is therefore possible to calculate where it would lie in relation to MacGregor Mathers’ version of sidereal astrology, and the corresponding Tarot card:

Name / Designation Distance (light years) Constellation Tarot-card
(Astronomic) (Mathers / Sidereal)
Teegarden’s Star 12.5 Aries 11º 9′ 38″ Aries Queen of Wands

The Queen of Wands from the Robert Wang Golden Dawn deck.

Hence: it ought to be possible to astrally project to the Queen of Wands after having formulated the Tree of Life Projected In A Sphere, and ask her to conduct us to the planets orbiting Teegarden’s Star to find out what life is really like there.

If there are any magicians who would like to give this a go, why not post your findings as comments to this post? 🙂

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Review: “Golden Dawn Magic: A Complete Guide to the High Magical Arts” by Chic & Tabatha Cicero

Golden Dawn Magic: A Complete Guide to the High Magical Arts

The new book by Chic & Tabatha Cicero, “Golden Dawn Magic: A Complete Guide to the High Magical Arts,” is an introduction to the practices of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn: its unique selling point is that it goes into slightly more depth than other such introductory guides. So for example, it does not simply describe the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or the Middle Pillar Ritual, but outlines preliminary exercises of which a practioner could make use in order to get used to those rituals beforehand.

Moreover, advanced techniques such as god-form assumption, tarot divination, etc are mentioned, and the results are combined to show a Golden Dawn magician would formulate a complete “Z2” Magic of Light Ritual.

It is probably most helpful to think of this as a companion volume to the Ciceros’ “The Essential Golden Dawn,” the difference being that the former book outlines the theory, whilst the latter the practice. Nevertheless, it is at the end of the day only an introduction, and as such the authors continually refer to their other publications as shedding more light on the subject, for example: Self Initiation into the Golden Dawn; Tarot Talismans; as well as Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn itself.

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A friend who’s stopped reading Tarot cards, has thrown them away and turned to the church, told me I should stop reading my tarot cards in my bedroom, and that it attracts spirits. Can I have a second opinion from an experienced tarot reader? – Quora

The Ten of Pentacles

Well personally, if your friend had said that to me, I would reply to them: “You say that like it’s a bad thing?”

I think the most important thing is that if you value your friendship with this person, you should behave tactfully towards them, and simply not get out your tarot cards in their presence, or talk about your tarot-activities to them. They are on their own path, and it’s up to them to realize the truth for themselves, and maybe in the future they will realize the error of their ways and come to you seeking forgiveness.

As to whether your friend is technically correct or not, unfortunately I have to say this:

In the tradition with which I am familiar, Tarot DOES attract spirits i.e. good spirits! And, what’s more: it’s supposed to!

What I mean is that in my tradition, every Tarot divination begins with an appeal to a Higher Power to give guidance to the reader when interpreting the cards. This Higher Power may be characterized as “angelic” in nature… or depending on your point of view, it may also be characterized as a Gnostic or Pagan god, a manifestation of the actual God, or an Energy of a refined or higher spiritual vibration.

Those of a pseudo-scientific bent might characterize it as a recondite part of the Unconscious which is not understood by modern psychology… yet. In any case, the Tarot cards when properly used, unlock powers within your mind, which is the key to a successful divination – there is nothing superstitious about the cards by themselves.

However, no matter how you characterize the mechanics of how Tarot works – through good spirits, angels, manifestations of Divinity, Energies, psychological phenomena, etc – from the point of view of an overly dogmatic Christian, these are all “devils” or the work of Satan even if it is not true. It is unfruitful arguing with such people, so it’s often best to keep silent.


Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to A friend who’s stopped reading Tarot cards, has thrown them away and turned to the church, told me I should stop reading my tarot cards in my bedroom, and that it attracts spirits. Can I have a second opinion from an experienced tarot reader? – Quora

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Rosicrucianism for Men and Women

In 1794, Sigismund Bacstrom was initiated into the “Societas Roseae Crucis” by Comte Louis De Chazal, on the island of Mauritius. Bacstrom signed a series of fourteen pledges, which has been reproduced in various places (e.g. A E Waite’s Real History of the Rosicrucians). Curiously, one of the clauses contains this paragraph:

And, as there is no distinction of sexes in the spiritual world, neither amongst the blessed Angels nor among the rational immortal spirits of the Human race; and as we have had a Semiramis, Queen of Egypt, a Myriam, the prophetess, a Peronella, the wife of Flamel, and lately a Leona Constantia, Abbess of Clermont, who was actually received as a practical Member and Master into our Society in the year 1796, which women are believed to have been all possessors of the Great Work, consequently Sorores Roseae Crucis and members of our Society by possession, as the possession of this our art is the key to the most hidden knowledge. And moreover as redemption was manifested to mankind by means of a woman (the Blessed Virgin), and as salvation, which is of infinitely more value than our whole Art, is granted to the female sex as well as to the male, our Society does not exclude a worthy woman from being initiated, God himself not having excluded women from partaking of every spiritual felicity in the next life. We will not hesitate to receive a worthy woman into our Society as a member apprentice, (and even as a practical member or master if she does possess our work practically and has herself accomplished it), provided she is found, like Peronella, Flamel’s wife, to be sober, pious, discreet, prudent, not loquacious, but reserved, of an upright mind and blameless conduct, and withall desirous of knowledge.

It is within my personal knowledge that a facsimile of Bacstrom’s 14 Rosicrucian pledges was amongst the documents that the Reverend A F A Woodford passed to Wynn Westcott. Coincidentally, the original Adeptus Minor of the Golden Dawn ceremony contains a series of clauses similar though not identical to the Bacstrom document, implying that MacGregor Mathers too used this as inspiration to create the later ritual. Mathers puts it more succinctly:

I further promise to support the admission of both sexes to our Order, on a perfect equality, and that I will always display brotherly love and forbearance towards the members of the whole Order, neither slandering nor evil-speaking, nor repeating nor tale-bearing, whereby strife and ill-feeling may be engendered.

Thus, pointing to the example of Bacstrom quoted above, Rosicrucianism appears to have been prophetic in recognising male-female equality, almost a century before it became established as the norm within new esoteric societies which arose as part of the Occult Revival of the late Victorian period. Hence, Westcott probably had this in mind when he wrote this, describing the Societas Rosicruciana In Anglia (SRIA), which was founded by Robert Wentworth Little in 1867:

Frater Little was a student of the school of Levi and also an eminent Freemason, and the Rosicrucian Society as revised by him was made by intention and permission essentially masonic, thus severing all connection with those Adepts who have not been Craftsmen, as Basil Valentine, Artephus, Nicolas Flamel, Jacob Behmen and Robert Fludd. The Rosicrucian Society in the same manner fails to recognize any worth for occult research in women. This is also an innovation or the scheme of the Ancient Mysteries in many of which, notably those of Isis priestesses and virgin prophetesses, were prominent ministers.

Historic Lecture of the Golden Dawn.

This is ironic in that the SRIA, although it is an organisation for Masons, is not actually Masonic per se! By this I mean that if one were to take any of the additional degrees in Freemasonry – such as the Mark, Royal Arch, Knights Templar, Rose Croix, Royal & Select Masters etc etc etc – as well as the three degrees of Craft Masonry itself, one would notice that they are all based upon a common theme, that of the importance of King Solomon’s Temple in general and the Holy of Holies therein in particular. For example, the original Freemasons built it; the companions of the Royal Arch re-discovered it; the Knights Templar re-discovered it again – and so forth (this could be worthy of a blog post or an article in its own right).

However: the SRIA moves completely away from that Solomonic-paradigm, as it concerns itself with the mythos of Christian Rosenkreutz and the Rosicrucian fraternity. In doing so it provides a number of rituals which come as a delight to those freemasons genuinely interested esoteric matters, but must bewilder those who see the Craft as nothing other than a chance to collect badges. And yet, according to Westcott, it is only half the way there! We should remember that despite the apparent criticism Westcott himself was one of the most ardent supporters of the SRIA, working hard for almost thirty years at least to turn it into a genuine forum for esoteric study and learning.

It has been claimed by minds wiser than myself that the SRIA could remove the Masonic requirement from its ordinances – although personally I think that mucking about with a constitution can often upset people unnecessarily. The only near equivalent would be something like AMORC, but that is different again – it’s a pity that there is not a male/female version.

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What’s your favourite tarot layout? – Quora

(A2A) For simple questions I use a fifteen card layout, like this:

Fifteen card tarot spread.

This is most appropriate for situations which can go one of two ways. The general principle is that in each set of three cards, the centre-card represents the main meaning, whilst the cards to either side influence how the first card is to be interpreted.

The cards on the right hand side indicate what is likely to happen if the Querent doesn’t attempt to change what he or she is doing, or intending to do. The cards on the left hand side indicates what will happen if he or she does change, or deliberately does something new. Moreover: the cards in the top-row represent the short-term future; whilst the cards on the bottom-row represent the long-term (i.e. what is likely to develop as a result of what happened in the top-row). Hence:

  • Cards 3, 1, 2 – the present – now;
  • Cards 4, 8, 12 – short-term future, no change;
  • Cards 5, 9, 13 – short-term future, change;
  • Cards 6, 10, 14 – long-term future, change;
  • Cards 7, 11, 15 – long-term future, no change (or what would have happened anyway).

(The numbers represent the order in which the cards are dealt.)

Apart from this, the rest of the interpretation is pretty conventional (i.e. observing traditional tarot meanings). One peculiarity though is that it does not necessarily used “reversed-cards” – however, cards to either side of each main card can be used to indicate whether it is “well-dignified” or “ill-dignified.”


Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to What’s your favorite tarot layout? – Quora

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