Category Archives: Supernatural

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

Coffee Mug of the Month: Aries

Aries Hermetic Qabalistic coffee mug: featuring the sigil of Melchidael, Angel of Aries, according to the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Happy Equinox! The Sun has entered Aries. If it’s your birthday between now and April 20th 2019, then may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Pisces!”

You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for an Aries in your life, from my Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Aries), in the correct Zodiacal colours.

For more details and to order, please follow this link:
ARIES Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug

My Etsy store:
solascendans

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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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Coffee Mug of the Month: Pisces

Pisces Hermetic Qabalistic coffee mug: featuring the sigil of Amnitziel, Angel of Pisces, according to the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The Sun has entered Pisces. If it’s your birthday between now and March 20th 2019, then may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Pisces!”

You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for a Pisces in your life, from my Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Pisces), in the correct Zodiacal colours.

For more details and to order, please follow this link:
PISCES Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug

My Etsy store:
solascendans

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Coffee Month of the Mug: Aquarius

Aquarius Hermetic Qabalistic coffee mug: featuring the sigil of Cambriel, Angel of Aquarius, according to the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The Sun has entered Aquarius. If it’s your birthday between now and February 18th 2019, then may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Aquarius!”

You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for an Aquarius in your life, from my Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Aquarius), in the correct Zodiacal colours.

For more details and to order, please follow this link:
AQUARIUS Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug

My Etsy store:
solascendans

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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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Occult: What is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn? – Quora

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a magical order founded in 1888. Its teachings focussed on the Qabalah, Hermeticism, astrology, tarot, alchemy – albeit through the lens of Theosophy. In its higher grades (the “inner order”) members passed from the theoretical to the practical and practiced ceremonial magic.

Notable members included S L MacGregor Mathers, Aleister Crowley, W B Yeats, Dion Fortune, A E Waite, Paul Foster Case, as well as a whole host of others.

“The Golden Dawn,” by Israel Regardie

In 1934, Israel Regardie went public with the teachings of The Golden Dawn, although many of them had been published previously by Crowley.

The original order broke up and stopped operating under the name of “Golden Dawn” in the early twentieth century, but there are nowadays modern revivals of the Golden Dawn, operating in England, America, and elsewhere.


Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to Occult: What is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn? – Quora

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What is your source of occult information? – Quora

Alex at home, studying.

(A2A) Donald Michael Kraig’s “Modern Magick” was my first serious book on practical occultism as well. It is an ideal book for beginners because (a) it contains a lot of suitable material to get you started; and more importantly (b) it also has an extensive bibliography which will clue you in as to where to go and what to read to pursue your studies further.

Other books I generally recommend:

(For beginners):

(More advanced):

(Even more advanced):

The Greek Magical Papyri In Translation” (H D Betz), “Transcendental Magic – its Dogma and Ritual” (Eliphas Levi), “Light on Yoga” (BKS Iyengar), other books by Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie, Crowley, S L MacGregor Mathers, primary texts on Adam McLean’s Alchemy website / Joseph H Peterson’s website, etc, etc, etc.


Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to What is your source of occult information? – Quora

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Review: “High Magick” by Damien Echols

“High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices that saved my Life on Death Row,” by Damien Echols.

Damien Echols has forcibly wrested the kind of superstardom of which most occult writers dream but never see. But then – has has paid a far higher price that any other magician – myself included – would ever want to pay, i.e. spending eighteen years on death row for a crime he did not commit.

Whereas most would-be occultists might want to cast spells for money, sex, power, and all the rest, Damien has been using his magickal skills for the considerably less frivolous ends of avoiding being executed; preserving his life, health and sanity; winning his eventual freedom; and coping with severe PTSD after having been released.

The blurb of this book describes Damien as having been initiated into a lineage of Zen Buddhism whilst incarcerated: however, almost none of this comes across in the present book. Instead, what we have is a number of Hermetic techniques, mostly drawn from the Golden Dawn, with a smattering of Franz Bardon thrown in for good measure.

Thus, what we get is: a number of Chi-techniques (thus placing Damien squarely within the Energy Model of magick). This at least shows original thought not present other books on magick. He goes on to give his own take on some well-known techniques of magick such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (sophisticated by the addition of Metatron and Sandalphon in “the column”), as well as the Middle Pillar Ritual. He proposes the Lesser Invoking Ritual as a replacement for the Golden Dawn’s Supreme Ritual, whilst describing practical techniques of creating thoughtforms, charging amulets and talismans, the magick use of tattoos, and intriguing thoughts on urban shamanism.

Most of the practical techniques function at the same level as “Neophyte” in the Golden Dawn. Hence a complete beginner to magick might profit from reading this book.

HOWEVER – and this is the biggest fault of the book – it lacks any kind of Bibliography or suggested reading list. So if complete beginners are indeed the book’s intended target audience, and they wanted to know where to go to find out more (as one naturally would), they would not find such information here. This is especially frustrating as Damien constantly mentions advanced concepts such as the Qabalah, the Holy Guardian Angel, Evocation, etc without giving further explanation. (A book such as Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magick, or John Michael Greer’s Circles of Power would serve better in this respect.)


High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Save My Life on Death Row by Damien Echols is available from Amazon in Hardback or on Kindle.

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Coffee Mug of the Month: Capricorn

Capricorn Hermetic Qabalistic coffee mug: featuring the sigil of Hanael, Angel of Capricorn, according to the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Happy Solstice! The Sun has entered Capricorn. If it’s your birthday between now and January 20th 2019, then may I be the first to say: “Happy birthday, Capricorn!”

You now have the opportunity to celebrate your birthday – or get a present for a Capricorn in your life, from my Etsy shop. This features the sigil, taken from the Golden Dawn’s rose-cross lamen, of the Angel of this month’s astrological sign (in this case Capricorn), in the correct Zodiacal colours.

For more details and to order, please follow this link:
CAPRICORN Hermetic qabalistic coffee mug

My Etsy store:
solascendans

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How can you do a tarot reading on yourself? – Quora

(A2A) In the tradition with which I am familiar, it is unusual not to do tarot readings for oneself, because: firstly, Tarot is most importantly a tool for self-discovery; and secondly, you can only ultimately learn the real meanings of the cards through practice. A real Tarot reader ought to know what the Tarot cards mean without having to refer to the Little White Book all the time.

You can use any decent Tarot spread like the Celtic Cross, but you should Use ALL the tarot cards at once: don’t resort to the vile practice of removing some of the cards from the deck, and don’t interfere with the cards once you have dealt them. In other words, don’t resort to any of the practices that hucksters use to cheat rubes who come to them for fake readings. Be brutally honest with yourself – that’s how you achieve objectivity.

Whilst you may chose to go to another person to read your Tarot cards for you, I find the idea of insisting on someone go to another person for a reading is deceitful: it encourages slavish dependence at best, and charlatanism at worst.

Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to How can you do a tarot reading on yourself? – Quora

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