Category Archives: Hermeticism

Lodge 49’s Vision of the Magical Life

RipleyScroll

A section from the English illustration known as the Ripley Scroll, based on a15th century original.

I just finished watching Season 2 of “Lodge 49” on AMC, and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in bettering yourself or walking a spiritual path. It’s a great reflection on what a spiritual community or occult lodge can do for people. I am currently involved with two lodges, and I found this show to be a great representation of my experiences there!

Check out his article by Amy Hale and watch the series! It’s really great.

“Lodge 49 wins acclaim for its dreamily languid and unfolding plot and compelling characters, yet we never hear of it described as an occult themed show, which it most definitely is. This is most likely because of the emphasis of the weird over that of the showy and supernatural, but make no mistake, Lodge 49 captures the magical life beautifully. This is not the occult as wished for, this is the occult as it really is. In fact, I believe it is the most accurate occult show on television. This show is about people and relationships and finding the wonder that lies just beyond.

For several years now, we have been hearing about the meteoric rise of interest in the occult and witchcraft as people grasp to re-enchant a dark world. The rise in supernaturally themed media such as Strange Angel, Good Omens, Sabrina the Teenage Witch or American Gods both mirrors and supports this trend. In those shows, however, we see cosmic battles of good and evil being fought through fiery and dramatic magic.

Big personalities like Aleister Crowley or compelling underdogs like Sabrina manipulate their trials through spells, sorcery and sometimes inherited power, suggesting that magicians are, in fact, a breed apart. But anyone who has ever spent any time around committed occultists and witches knows that everyday magic looks nothing like that. Lodge 49 is quiet, eccentric, and deeply authentic. I know more than my fair share of people who belong to occult orders, and they all feel as though this show was written just for them. Obviously, that is a rather selective demographic, so the show’s success should tell us something about both the exquisite storytelling of the creators and cast of Lodge 49 and the eternal pull of the magical quest. When it comes to portraying the genuine occult experience and the cultivation of an enchanted life, Lodge 49 is the real deal.”

 

herms

Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus depicted on the floor of Siena’s Duomo (Tuscany, Italy). by Giovanni di Stefano, 1488.

“That that which is Above is like that which is Below
and that which is Below is like that which is Above,
to accomplish the Miracle of Unity.”
– The Emerald Tablet

I’ve been encountering this ancient magician in some of my studies lately, and when I saw this image I thought I’d share it here. Astrology, alchemy and theosophy i.e. “Hermeticism” is based on the writings of the ancient figure Hermes Trismegistus (the Thrice Great Hermes). He is seen as the writer of Hermetic laws, founder of mystery schools and the creator of alchemy as a vehicle of human transformation. I’ve included the Kybalion’s Seven Hermetic Principles here from wiki:

Principle of Mentalism
The Principle of Mentalism embodies the idea that “All is Mind.” Everything that happens has to be a result of a mental state which precedes it. For anything to exist, thoughts had to form first, which then form physical reality or manifestation. “Your thoughts are seeds, plant positive seeds in your mind garden.”

Principle of Correspondence
The Principle of Correspondence expresses the idea that there is always a correspondence between the laws of phenomena of the various “planes” of being and life. As above, so below; as below, so above. This principle states that there is a harmony which can be made, agreement and correspondence between these planes, delineated as:
The Great Physical Plane
The Great Mental Plane
The Great Spiritual Plane

Principle of Vibration
This expounds the idea that motion is manifest in everything in the Universe, that nothing rests, and everything moves, vibrates and circles. This principle explains that the distinction between manifestations of Matter, Energy, Mind, and even Spirit, are the result of only different “vibrations”.[6] The higher a person is on the scale, the higher the rate of vibration will be. Here, The All is said to be at an infinite level of vibration, almost to the point of being at rest. There are said to be millions upon millions of varying degrees between the highest level, The All, and the objects of the lowest vibration.
Mental Transmutation is described as the practical application of this principle. To change one’s mental state is to change vibration. One may do this by an effort of Will, by means of deliberately “fixing the attention” upon a more desirable state.

Principle of Polarity
The Principle of Polarity embodies the idea that everything is dual, everything has two poles, and everything has its opposite. All manifested things have two sides, two aspects, or two poles. Everything “is” and “isn’t” at the same time, all truths are but half truths and every truth is half false, there are two sides to everything, opposites are identical in nature yet different in degree, extremes meet, and all paradoxes may be reconciled.

Principle of Rhythm
The Principle of Rhythm expresses the idea that in everything there is manifested a measured motion, a to and from, a flow and inflow, a swing backward and forward, a pendulum-like movement.[12] There is rhythm between every pair of opposites, or poles, and is closely related to the Principle of Polarity.[13] It can be seen that this Principle enables transition from one pole to the other, and not necessarily poles of extreme opposites.

Principle of Cause and Effect
It explains that there is a cause for every effect, and an effect for every cause.[14] It also states that there is no such thing as chance, that chance is merely a term indicating extant causes not recognized or perceived.[15] The Principle is clarified in the chapter Causation.

Principle of Gender
The Principle of Gender embodies the idea that gender is manifested in everything.[16] The authors state that this does not relate explicitly to the commonly understood notion of sex, but rather “… to beget; to procreate, to generate, to create, or to produce…” in general. Gender manifests itself on all planes as the Feminine and Masculine principles.
Mental Gender is described as a Hermetic concept which relates to the feminine and masculine principles. It does not refer to someone’s physical sex, nor does it suggest that someone of a certain sex necessarily has a matching mental gender. Ideally, one wants to have a balanced mental gender.
The concept put forth in The Kybalion states that gender exists on all planes of existence (Physical, Mental and Spiritual), and represents different aspects on different planes. Everything and everyone contains these two elements or principles.
The Feminine principle is always in the direction of receiving impressions, and has a much more varied field of operation than the Masculine. The Feminine conducts the work of generating new thoughts, concepts and ideas, including the work of the imagination.
The Masculine principle is always in the direction of giving out or expressing, and contents itself with the “Will” in its varied phases.

Regarding the image:

“Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus depicted on the floor of Siena’s Duomo (Tuscany, Italy). This work is attributed to Giovanni di Stefano and dates back to 1488.

The title block below Hermes’ feet calls him “Hermis Mercurius Trimegistus contemporaneus Moysi” (Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus, a contemporary of Moses). The two men to whom Hermes gives a book are probably the Western and Eastern sages and are represented as receiving the divine gnosis from Hermes. On the sign against which Hermes is leaning we can read: “Deus omnium creator secum Deum fecit visibilem et hunc fecit primum et solum quo oblectatus est et valde amavit proprium filium qui appellatur Sanctum Verbum” (And God, creator of all things, from Himself generated a visible God and this was the first and only in whom He was delighted and strongly loved His own Son who is called Holy Word). This quotation mixes together several passages from the Corpus Hermeticum, and especially the first book of it, called “Pimander”, which had been translated into Latin by Marsilio Ficino. On the pages of the book we can read: “suscipite o licteras et leges egiptii” (Egyptians, receive the letters and the laws!), which refers to Hermes’ role as inventor of writing, the arts, and legislation.”

via Hermes Trismegistus in the Duomo

 

Alchemy

redsun

A red-faced sun rises above a city; stunted trees stand in the foreground; representing either the culmination of the alchemical Great Work or the star of hope that inspires the alchemist through his tribulation.

 

Release any thought, behavior or idea that you’ve picked up on your journey, so you can uncover the pure gold of the spirit within you.

“THE FOUR ALCHEMICAL RULES.
1. Follow (your) Nature.
It is useless to seek for the sun by the light of a candle.
2. First know; then act.
Real knowledge exists in the triangle composed of seeing, feeling, and understanding.
3. Use no vulgar processes.
Use only one vessel, one fire, one instrument.
The door to success lies in the unity of will and purpose and the proper adaptation of the means to the end. There are many roads leading to the celestial center. He who follows the chosen path may succeed, while he who attempts to walk on many paths will be delayed.
4. Keep the fire constantly burning.
If the molten metals are allowed to cool off before they are transformed into higher ones, they will become hard again, and the whole process will have to be recommenced from the beginning. Use the inextinguishable lamp. Its light will not go out unless it is driven away by force.

THE FIVE THINGS NECESSARY TO OBSERVE IN THE PRACTICE OF ALCHEMY.
1. To recognize the true PRIMA MATERIA.
It is to be found everywhere; but if you do not find it in your own house, you will find it nowhere. It is a living substance that can be discovered only in places inhabited by man. It is the only substance from which the Philosopher’s Stone can be prepared, and without that substance no genuine silver or gold can be made. In thirty pounds of ordinary mercury, there is usually not more than one pound of the true substance; and a hundred pounds of ordinary sulphur usually contain not more than one pound of that which is useful. It can only be found above the earth, but not below it. It is before everybody’s eyes; no one can live without it; everybody uses it; the poor usually possess more of it than the rich; the ignorant esteem it highly, but the learned ones often throw it away. The children play with it in the street, and yet it is invisible. It can be perceived by the sense of feeling, but it cannot be seen with the material eye.
2. Use for the preparation of the PRIMA MATERIA only the rose-colored blood of the Red Lion and the pure white gluten of the Eagle.
Let your Will be strong, but without anger, and your Thoughts be pure from that which infects the lower strata of the earth’s atmosphere. Let the fire of the divine Will penetrate deeply within your soul, and elevate your mind to the highest regions of thought.
3. Obtain the sacred Fire.
It is not of man’s making; it cannot be bought, but it is given for nothing to those who deserve it.
4. Then follow Multiplication and Increase, for which purpose weight and measure are necessary. Weigh all things with the scales of justice, and measure them by the rule of reason.
5. The fifth is the Application, that is to say the Projection upon the metals.
This will be accomplished by nature without artificial aid.”

In the “Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom” by Franz Hartmann

tree

Interesting post on the attainment of Power, for people studying the Tree of Life, or who identify as Thelemites.  

The Qabalistic Tree of Life represents many things, but in the interests of this post it symbolizes the “Path of Return” to one’s higher self and actualization:

“It seems to me that brutal, unchecked power must ultimately be balanced by Chesed before one can attain any further. Believing might is right is a roadblock to spiritual progress when entering the Abyss.
We know Chesed is Mercy. Mercy must be sought, attained and given before the Abyss can be crossed. The Abyss is a leap of Faith. We must return to a child-like state or we stagnate and die. The so called Geburan “Path of Power” ends here. It is limited and microcosmic and only suitable for the aspirant who refuses to take up the Path out of ego-fear (which, I suggest is impossible for any one who has truly attained to Tiphareth.
I believe that 5=6 in the A.’.A.’. system, or the attainment of Tiphareth, along with the ensuing “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”, may in fact be attained via this so called Path of Power). However, in my opinion, any magickian who has achieved Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel–and is operating their True Will–cannot, but act in accordance with 1. Universal, 2. Consistent and 3. Self-Evident natural laws–which are ultimately Balanced and not Mars heavy.”

Read the full post here! via Thelema and the Path of Power

 

Magicians

076c2-bird-aryan

From Lev Grossman, the author of “The Magicians” that spawned the show on SYFY (I love that show):

“A magician is strong because he feels pain. He feels the difference between what the world is and what he would make of it.Most people carry that pain around inside them their whole lives, until they kill the pain by other means, or until it kills them. But you, my friends, you found another way: a way to use the pain. To burn it as fuel, for light and warmth. You have learned to break the world that has tried to break you.”

This is a wonderful statement. A magician is (hopefully) someone who looks at their pain and tries to feel it and understand it. The challenges we’ve been through in our past is part of what shapes our Will (the reason we are here) in the world. We’re not running away from hard times but validating them as lessons and as a way to know and love ourselves! Are you a magician?

“Magic is the highest, most absolute, and most divine knowledge of natural philosophy, advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true agents being applied to proper patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effect, the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.”
– The Goetia of the Lemegeton of King Solomon

 

Rebirth of the sacrificed King

Pythagoreans

Pythagoreans celebrate sunrise by Fyodor Bronnikov

Every year at Christmas, I think about the ancient traditions that usher in the winter season. These folk beliefs form the foundation of how we celebrate the holidays in modern times. Why do we bring an evergreen tree into our livingrooms? Who is St. Nicholas? Why is Christmas red and green?

If you take a step back, keep an open mind and do some research, it’s easy to see that many of these traditions are symbols for winter survival. An evergreen tree stays green despite being blanketed by snow. The Christmas lights we hang are a representation of the fire of life going strong through the winter darkness. The gathering together of family to feast and exchange gifts comes from our interdependent, tribal origins. And the celebration of the birth of Jesus comes from the Winter Solstice.

December 21st is the longest night and the shortest day of the year. It is brought about by the turning of the Earth and happens every year without fail, just as the Sun rises and sets everyday.  At the Winter Solstice, the Sun is “reborn” for the coming year and the days literally become longer. The light increases. Not surprising that Jesus’s birthday is celebrated near the solstice, because it is synonymous with the birth of light.

There is no solid evidence that Jesus ever existed on earth, but the story of his life mirrors many ancient myths from cultures all over the world. It is the story of the sacrificed King, who’s death brings about the bounty of crops and the survival of the people.

From the “Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets” by Barbara Walker: “It seems Jesus was not one person but a composite of many… He was eaten in the form of bread as were Adonis, Osiris, Dionysus and others… Like Attis, Jesus was sacrificed at the Spring Equinox and rose again from the dead on the third day, when he became God and ascended to heaven. Like Orpheus and Heracles, he ‘harrowed hell’ and brought a secret of eternal life, promising to draw all men with him up to glory (John 12:32). Like Mithra and all the other solar gods, he celebrated a birthday nine months later at the Winter Solstice… ”

It’s more than interesting, it’s important. It’s vital to our sense of humanity – to be open to learning how our social structures developed. It’s more important than ever this Christmas to love our fellow man and respect his path. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas holiday. The article below is a bit of fun too 🙂

First Historical Record of the Real Jesus Describes Him as a ‘Magician’

jesus

bowl from the late 2nd century B.C. which reads: “DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS,” which has been interpreted to mean either, “by Christ the magician” or, “the magician by Christ.”

The artifact, dated to between the late 2nd century BC and the early 1st century AD was discovered by a team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio, during an excavation of the underwater ruins of Alexandria’s ancient great harbor.

The discovery could also provide evidence that the early Christians and Pagans shared many rituals and practices, and Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.

 

Via NBC News:

A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that is engraved with what they believe could be the world’s first known reference to Christ.

If the word “Christ” refers to the Biblical Jesus Christ, as is speculated, then the discovery may provide evidence that Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.

Team leader Frank Goddio of the Oxford Center for Maritime Archaeology, said that “It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ, in that he was once the primary exponent of white magic.”

The jury’s still out on whether the bowl is actually referring to the real Jesus Christ, but there’s no hiding the fact that even the prophet’s contemporaries compared his abilities to sorcery (Jesus was often accused of using demons to do his bidding).

Similar to the Jewish mystic Elijah (the undisputed patron of Lurianic Kabbalah and rider of fire chariots), the real Jesus was a wonder-worker who could freely go in and out of Super-Saiyan-mode. After his death, he was often linked with the Roman cult-hero Mithras and the magician Apollonius of Tyana, both pagan figures. Jesus’ “magical” side certainly wasn’t always unknown to modern thinkers. It was the 16th century philosopher Giordano Bruno who was one of the first to suggest that the real Jesus was just an extremely talented mage.

The engraving ‘could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ, in that he was once the primary exponent of white magic.’
Was Jesus Christ the magician? Times of Jesus Christ were imbued with magic and in the Hellenistic period of time, the lands around the Mediterranean have mixed different religions, traditions, philosophies and superstitions.

The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Jews were convinced that it is possible to possess the power of the gods, demons and spirits, and use it for your own purposes.

“The important thing was his power to do miracles,” writes Morton Smith in “Jesus, the Magician” and adds that “even the stories that seem to deny Jesus’ power to do miracles take for granted his reputation as a miracle worker…”

The ‘Book of Matthew’ refers to “wisemen,” or Magi, believed to have been prevalent in the ancient world. Egyptologist David Fabre, a member of the European Institute of Submarine Archaeology says the bowl is also very similar to one depicted in two early Egyptian earthenware statuettes depicting a soothsaying ritual.

“It has been known in Mesopotamia probably since the 3rd millennium B.C.,” Fabre said. “The soothsayer interprets the forms taken by the oil poured into a cup of water in an interpretation guided by manuals. The “magus” could have practiced fortune telling rituals using the bowl to legitimize his supernatural powers by invoking the name of Christ,” according to Goddio and Fabre.

“It is very probable that in Alexandria they were aware of the existence of Jesus” and of his associated legendary miracles, such as transforming water into wine, multiplying loaves of bread, conducting miraculous health cures, and the story of the resurrection itself,” according to Goddio.

The Bible reports that Jesus was accused of practicing magic, and the second century Roman philosopher Celus is quoted in the writings of the early Christian apologist Origen as saying that Jesus learned the arts of magic on Egypt, and then returned to his own country with these acquired skills.”

 

Rose

Believing or Not Believing is Not a Concern at All; You Simply Love. You See a Rose Flower. Do You Believe in It or Do You Disbelieve in It? You Don’t Do Anything, You Simply Look at It… You Look at a Rose and Something of the Rose Reaches to Your Heart. Outside the Rose is Flowering, Inside, the Heart Starts Flowering.

~ Osho / Shree Rajneesh (1931 – 1990)

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