Tag Archives: Christian Esotericism

Review: “Meditations for Every Week,” by Paul Sédir

Meditations for Every Week,” by Paul Sédir.

At first reading, this appears to be a book of fifty-two meditations which follow a fairly conventional path of Christian devotion. On closer inspection, one notes some curious departures from orthodox Christianity. Why, for example, does the author talk about having past incarnations (Chapter LI, “Insubordination”)? Why does he attach so much importance to St John the Baptist (Chapter V, “The Precursor”)? Why, even do we get this curious comment:

“Esotericism studies, among other problems, the means of producing natural miracles. … We will only have the legitimate right to command Nature when she sees that we are masters of ourselves, when we have followed the school of the Gospel to the end… Before any action, ask the Father for His consent.”
Chapter XXIX, “The Miracles of Jesus.”

Thankfully, one can readily discern the answer in the biographical note, helpfully provided by the translator. Paul Sédir (born Yvon Leloup, 1871) as a young man in his late teens / early twenties became an enthusiastic member of just about every occult society going in Paris in the fin-de-siècle period, falling in with the likes of Papus, Jules Doinel, etc. As such he would have been familiar with Martinism, Gnosticism, the Order Kabbalistique de la Rose Croix and various shades of Rosicrucianism, Egyptian Rite Masonry, etc, etc etc. However in 1897 he met Maitre Phillipe of Lyon, who appears to have had a sobering effect on young Sédir, as he resigned from every order of which he was a member, and devoted the rest of his life to Christian mysticism.

As an aside: Sédir would have been coming up to his first Saturn return when he took the decision to step back from the esoteric societies of which he had been a member, and as such he would naturally felt a desire to re-evaluate his life as he said goodbye to the follies of youth and entered adulthood-proper. Coincidentally, Maitre Phillipe seems to have had a similar effect on Papus himself when the latter first met him: Papus had taken umbrage at Phillipe for some reason, and was about to work some supposedly fearsome black magic on him, when the Maitre “pulled a Plotinus” on him, causing him to drop his magic sword – both literally and metaphorically. Assuming that Maitre Phillipe’s effect on him was similar to that on Sédir, it says a lot about Papus that Martinism was to his former sorcery what Christian Mysticism was to Sédir’s Martinism!

Anywho, the present book – “Meditations for Every Week” – may be summed up as mostly Christian in character, but displaying the vestiges of memories of esotericism – which sums up Sédir’s life-path. From the rather obvious pentacle on the front cover, it appears that the translator intends the book to be most useful to students of Martinism, even though Sédir had resigned from office in Papus’ order. Or in other words: “You can take the man out of Martinism, but you can’t take Martinism out of the man.”

“Meditations for Every Week,” by Paul Sédir. ISBN-13 9798643208631. Available from Amazon.

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Christianity as Theurgy: Christ the Initiator

Esoteric Christianity is a theme which I explore in my latest book. Many of the most powerful rites in occultism are essentially Christian in nature, though not necessarily associated with the mainstream churches. And yet the subject does not get as wide an airing as it deserves! (Or so it appears from my point of view). Anyway, I reblogged this because this post because it is part of a series which raises some of the issues involved.

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Taromancer, the new novel by Alex Sumner, launched today!

You can get a completely free copy of my new novel TAROMANCER which is officially launched today!

Taromancer cover artwork © copyright 2013 Alex Sumner

Taromancer cover artwork © copyright 2013 Alex Sumner

This is a brand new stand-alone story, featuring all-new characters. It is a Visionary Fiction novel set in contemporary England, and tells the story of one woman’s spiritual quest, involving the Tarot.

Disenchanted and disillusioned with her career as a fortune teller, Miranda meets a crazy old man one night, and is plunged into a spiritual quest – with the twenty two trumps of the Tarot as her companions.

Despite being cast in the form of fiction, the book contains much material on topics such as Ceremonial Magick, Esoteric Christianity, the Kabbalah, Theurgy, and of course the Tarot itself.

Taromancer is usually priced at $2.99 (US) but for a limited time only it is free to download for Kindle via Amazon.

To claim your free copy, just click on one of the following links within the next twenty-four hours:

United States http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H3QP298
United Kingdom http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00H3QP298
Germany http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00H3QP298
France http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B00H3QP298
Spain http://www.amazon.es/dp/B00H3QP298
Italy http://www.amazon.it/dp/B00H3QP298
Japan http://www.amazon.jp/dp/B00H3QP298
India http://www.amazon.in/dp/B00H3QP298
Canada http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00H3QP298
Brazil http://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B00H3QP298
Mexico http://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B00H3QP298
Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00H3QP298

Please share this with everyone you know – the more the merrier. Thanks!

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“Taromancer” in other ebook formats and print – coming March 2014!


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How I First Met Alex Sumner

By special guest blogger, Miranda Warren, Tarot Reader.

Taromancer cover artwork © copyright 2013 Alex Sumner

Taromancer cover artwork © copyright 2013 Alex Sumner

Hello, Alex has asked me to write a few words which he wants to post on his blog – so I think I can do no better than explain how I first came to collaborate with him.

I first met Mr Sumner earlier this year, when I visited him at his home. I knew I had come to the right address, judging by the shouting and screaming coming from inside. Needless to say I felt perturbed, but I decided to go through with it because I had been advised that he was the best, nay, the only man for the job.

I rang the doorbell and waited in trepidation. I could plainly hear the sound of a very bad tempered man approaching the door muttering “What fresh hell is this?” and harrumphing loudly.

I was just about to run for it – when the door flung open, and an absolutely gorgeous man with dark good looks appeared before me. “Hi, I’m Alex Sumner,” he said, throwing a peace sign at me, “novelist and writer on the occult.”

“Mr Sumner!” I exclaimed.  “Do you normally answer the door stark naked?”

“Oh!” he said, suddenly realising his predicament. “Sorry about that – you caught me in the middle of a magical operation. Step inside for a moment, whilst I put some clothes on.”

“You don’t have to on my –” I began: but too late. He darted into the darkest recesses of his apartment. Five minutes later he emerged, this time wearing the finest couture from Camden (all black). Rings of strange and curious design adorned his fingers.

“What was all that shouting and screaming I heard earlier?” I said.

“Downstairs neighbours, I’m afraid. Absolutely ghastly,” he said.  “Now I suggest we repair to a local hostelry to talk. I would invite you in, but I haven’t yet cleaned up the bloodstains from last time.”

A short while later, and in the more convivial atmosphere of a restaurant whose terrace overlooked the local cricket pitch, I explained to Alex the situation.

“I’ve been undergoing a mystical adventure recently,” I said to him, “involving both Tarot and Theurgy. I’ve kept a detailed log of the whole thing and I’m trying to turn it into a book. But I need some help finishing it off, so that’s where you come in. I want you to help finish it, and pretend you wrote it, so people will think it’s a novel.”

“… ‘All the very best, Alex Sumner,’” he said, as he autographed a copy of one of his books for a young blonde girl who just so happened to be passing by at that very moment. He turned back to me. “Yes, yes! An interesting premise. Do go on. Bloody hell, has the waitress gone on holiday or something?”

“Ahem, yes,” I said. I continued: “It strikes me that there have been more than enough books on Tarot and divination, a good number on Tarot and path-working, and quite a few on Tarot and spellcasting for everyday purposes, but almost none on Tarot and pure Theurgy.”

An electronic beeping noise interrupted us: I realised Alex’ iPhone had gone off. “Excuse me, I’ve just got to take this,” he said. “Hello? A love spell you say? Might I just point out that you haven’t yet paid me for the last one? Sod you, goodbye!” He ended the call, looking cross. Immediately though, he brightened up as he put his phone away. “Sorry about that, a former client of mine. Do go on.”

“Well,” I said, “My point is that I’ve in fact seen more books which suggest using Tarot to explore goetic forces, the dark recesses of the lower-self as it were: but none for exploring the higher self through ceremonial magick. Which I find ironic, seeing as the Tarot is so closely aligned to the Qabalah, and the Qabalah is nothing if not the basis for high Theurgic operations.”

“Hmm, I’ll take your word for it,” Alex said. “I really don’t know the first thing about all this Qabalah stuff. I just look it all up on Wikipedia.” I looked at him shocked: but he continued “I’m getting parched, is no-one serving today?”

I looked suspiciously at him for a moment, but then went on. “In so doing,” I said, “I also explored esoteric Christianity, which does not seem to get a wide press in occultism. And yet, under its banner falls some very powerful magical rituals which I have had many trusted friends describe to me as the most powerful they have ever experienced.

I looked at Alex, and felt shocked by his reaction: he seemed to be paying attention to me! Warming to my theme, I quickly continued. “So, to go about writing a book about Tarot and Theurgy: the first thing that occurred to me was that instead of just theorising about it, I should actually do it. For a start it would make it more sympathetic to potential readers. Also, I’ve tended to notice that I’ve actually learnt more from occult writers when the write of their own personal experiences, or publish memoirs based on their magical records, rather than sententious how-to books. For example, the Dancers to the Gods by Alan Richardson, My Life With the Spirits by Lon Milo Duquette, and even some of the books of E A Koetting.”

“OI, CAN I GET SOME FUCKING SERVICE OR WHAT?” Alex bellowed at the top of his voice. Everyone in the restaurant stared at us in shock. A baby started crying. “WE’RE DYING OF THIRST OVER HERE, FOR FUCK’S SAKE.” He turned to me and smiled. “Yeah, that sounds great,” he said in his normal voice. “But why this whole business of making it into a novel?”

“Ah, that’s the clever part, if I say so myself!” I said. “If I were to say to people ‘this is the Truth,’ and then start talking about something unbelievable, that creates a barrier in the reader’s mind which limits their enjoyment of the subject. But if I were to say instead ‘this is Fiction,’ and hence the reader is free to disbelieve it if they so wish, no such barrier exists, and consequently the reader can let his or her imagination run away with it.

“This is how Paulo Coelho, for example, was able to write an inspirational book about Alchemy – by casting it in the form of a novel. On a different subject but related in principle, no-one would have read 1984 by George Orwell if it had just been a ranting essay. But because he wrote it in the form of a fictionalised novel, it’s hailed as an all-time classic.”

“Ah well you’re speaking to the right person,” Alex said.

“I am?” I said, my hopes rising.

“Certainly!” he said. “I’ve been pretending to write decent novels for years!”

I curled my lip in a sort of snarl, but Alex just grinned in an asinine fashion that would have caused someone with a shorter temper than myself to punch him. Hard.

“Most importantly, however,” I said, “with this book I wanted to create a work of Art. Conceptual art, in the form of a book, as it were. De-commodified – like artists have themselves attempted to de-commodify contemporary Art – so making money out of this is not my primary focus.”

“WHAT!?!” Alex cried, suddenly blanching with shock. “No money? Are you mad, woman?”

I shrugged. “I see it as an experiment – performed purely for its own sake. I decide what I want to do, I do it, I write up the results. It’s successful as long as I’ve done it with integrity, and if other people actually happen to like it, that’s a pure bonus.”

“But, but, but…” Alex wailed. “It’s got to have action! It’s got to have violence! It’s got to have at least one chapter set in an abandoned warehouse, and another in the intensive care unit of the local hospital! It’s got to have swearing, gratuitous sex-scenes, preferably between two or more hot lesbians, and it’s got to have lots of cheeky references that will offend any leaders of Masonic orders who – ah! At last!”

At that moment, a young waitress wearing a top displaying ample-cleavage distracted Alex from his rant, and proceeded to take our orders.

“Taromancer” is out, December 11th 2013. Watch this space for further announcements, including details of how to download a free copy!

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The Paradox of Christianity and Occultism

An intriguing use of the chequered pavement!

It’s getting to that time of year again when certain types of Christian pastor pop out of the wood-work and alternatively rail against the supposed pagan and / or satanic origins of Halloween, or more creatively try to put on their own alternate events. Mind you I did find it ironic that one town in Pennsylvania was putting on a series of events apparently without realising there is already a Christian holiday associated with the day (All Saints’ Day) – “Fall Family Fun,” anyone?

I would like to give away one of the “greatest secrets” of occultism at this point. It’s not actually a great secret as far as occultists are concerned, but it is to many Fundamentalist preachers judging from their ravings, and even to some of the fluffier types of pagans. It is this: many occultists are in fact Christians themselves. Not Christopagans, nor even Gnostic Christians, but actual Christians. They tend not to draw attention to themselves, but they are there. These are the sort of people who join organisations like the Martinists, the Elus Cohens, the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and other Qabalistic organisations which are sympathetic to Jesus Christ.

Reading the Hebrew letters from Fire going anti-clockwise spells “Yeheshuah.”

These are the sort of people who point out that the Pentagram is the symbol of the Pentagrammaton (“Yeheshuah”), the Qabalistic-spelling of Jesus: hence each time one performs the LBRP, one is actually invoking Jesus in the four quarters without realising it!

In fact, given that Neo-Paganism is predominantly a movement dating from the latter half of the twentieth century, the vast majority of the members of the original Golden Dawn and its offshoots were themselves Christian, and sought to incorporate Christian symbology into their Qabalistic practices.

I appreciate this will probably sound like the most outrageous heresy to Fundamentalist Christians. I believe the common attitude amongst such people is typified by the following:

The extent of occult involvement is universal.  Spiritual warfare is all around us, and if Satan cannot keep us from knowing Christ he will try containing us by drawing us into deception.  The Enemy is a deceiver, liar, tempter, and devourer of human souls…..


Actually, occultists’ practices are a counterfeit of God’s power, and as such they do reveal some amazing things — but these things are not the ultimate truth.  … [A]n increase in demonic activity is to be expected as a sign of the end times.

What is the Occult?

Pity the poor occultist! He or she is trapped in a real dilemma! If one invokes Satan, one is obviously Satanists, and if one invokes God, His Angels, or Jesus, etc – even in all apparent sincerity – one is still invoking Satan because the Father of Lies is pulling the wool over their eyes. One cannot win!

What these Fundamentalist Christians don’t realise – or they conveniently forget – is that Jesus Himself was accused of dabbling in the occult when He was alive! To wit:

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”

So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Mark 3:22 – 30

Replace “Scribes” in this passage with “Fundamentalist preachers” and you basically have the entire plight of the modern occultist who nevertheless professes to be a Christian. Logic would suggest – and Jesus Himself explicitly states here – that one cannot perform something which is objectively good and still be in thrall to the powers of Evil. So to address the quote from “What is the occult?” I would say it is seriously unwise to accuse an occultist of being deceived by Satan, because one might just be blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, i.e. committing the unforgiveable sin.


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Protected: Lost Legacy of the Golden Dawn, Part 1

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