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Showing posts from July 18, 2010

Jack's New Digs, Plus Gordon, and RO's course


Fra Jack Faust has a new blog space, which is definitely worth checking out here. Also, check our Fra. Gordon's blog here. I think these fellows are great examples of where modern Magic is going, or should be going. Lots of deep thinking, lot's of practical work. I especially enjoy that Jack has studied Neoplatonism and Astrology--dude is setting a good example for the young'uns. If you don't know anything about the Neoplatonic/Hermetic world view, you have no business calling yourself a Magician. Sorcerer, maybe ...but definitely not Magician. And Heavens knows, not Wizard. You may not accept it, but you need to know of it, because that is where the roots of our Magic in the West lie. "Tech" is not enough.

On that note, if you are interested in learning this stuff the right way, check out Frater RO's new course. He's been up and down the Spheres (and has documented a good chunk of it), and that's the only kind of person qualified to teach. I…

The Traditional Understanding of the Elements

In the modern Magical world view, it is common (from what I have observed) to view the Elements as a force operating below or separate from the Higher; we speak of Elementals existing on their own plane and as part of our own, but rarely consider that the Elemental Virtues penetrate the Heavenly Planes as well, being part of God itself on All levels.  There is a tendency to view the Planetary and Astrological forces as "higher", and the Elements as the visceral, manifesting force. I think this sort of thinking is rooted in over-simplification, not just of the Traditional world view but also the Qabalistic view that is more studied in the Western Tradition these days. The inter-penetration of existence by the Elements, whose virtue is expressed differently depending upon the Soul in which it manifests, is made clear in the Traditional texts. Henry Cornelius Agrippa teaches:

"It is the unanimous consent of all Platonists, that as in the original, and the exemplary world, …

The Soul of the World

In his book "On obtaining Life from the Heavens", Marcilio Ficino of Florence teaches the Hermetic understanding of the World Soul, and the nature of soul in general. He makes reference both to the soul as a plastic entity that conjoins the Intelligence and the Body and to the Soul as a spiritual force that joins all things together, including the Heavens and the Earth. This understanding is particularly enlightening for the modern Magician and student of the Western Mystery Traditions in that it becomes clear that a proper understanding of the Alchemical Texts--known to be incredibly difficult to understand, but full of our culture's Hidden Wisdom--requires understanding of the Traditional world view. I personally struggled for years to penetrate the alchemical emblems and texts, and the hard-won success I attained (what there has been of it) was enabled by changes in my own world view that brought it closer to the world view of our Western forebears.  In the aforementi…

Occult Virtue-Homework!

The classical understanding of the word virtue differs in important ways from the modern meaning of the word. Proper understanding of the word as it is meant by the classical authors, in particular Henry Cornelius Agrippa, is extremely important if we are to lift the deeper meaning from the classical texts.

Occult Virtue is extremely important in the classical view, and seems to have occupied for our forebears some of the same territory that modern concepts like "energy" and "vibration"  do in the current popular magica lingua. It is so important, in fact, that it is the first thing addressed in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy. He gives the Key to Astrological Magic on the very first page of the first Chapter of the first Book, saying:

"Hence it is that they seek after the virtues of the elementary world, through the help of physic, and natural philosophy in the various mixtions of natural things, then of the celestial world in the rays, and infl…

Longboarding, Duke Kahanamoku, and Magic


So...I'm an avid longboarder (of the concrete-surfing variety.) I picked it up a while ago. I spent many of my formative years in Hawaii, and I sorely miss it. I long for it. Hawaii is more than a place...anyone who's spent some real time with her knows what I mean. Living on the mainland has it's joys, but there is something in Hawaii that is no where else. I can't take up surfing. The ocean has made it clear that it wants to eat me, and I can't fully trust her in the fashion that makes for great surfers. I'm a Taurus, and my nature is earthy and dense--ever seen a bull swim? He might, but not for long...

I use my longboard to commute, but also to reconnect me with the spirit of Hawaii. Everytime I ride, even a short ride, it feels like home. I was reading a biography of the good Duke Kahanamoku, Father of Surfing and therefore all Boarding sports and I got to thinking....Why not reach out to his Spirit? Why not honor him, for giving us this, that we lov…