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Pantheacon this year is going to be Special

Ave,

So, things have gotten interesting on the American Occultism front. There are some key personages joining us from Italy--Arch Priestess and Arch Priest Diana and Dianus of Stregheria del Bosco Sacro of Benevento...a family of Italian Stregha practitioners.

Now, you may be saying to yourself "I'm not a Witch. How is this in any way important?" 

It's important because they are bringing into the Pagan tradition the rites of Inner Alchemy.

Not just the knowledge of the Great Rite itself--sex magic--understanding of which every occult order under the Sun should have incorporated as bare minimum by now. The full-on Egyptian tradition of Inner Alchemy that has been the highest of the Western Mysteries for centuries. The secret traditions that were occulted from even other Occult organisations, the Western route to the hidden power. This is incredibly important, because it's seeding America--and our largest Mystery movement (alas, this is not the Golden Dawn by a looooong shot)--with transformative power that has previously been held primarily by European orders. Even my own Order, which is said to have these secret Rites, is rooted in Europe and received these mysteries from European Adepti. This endeavor of the Streghans, if successful, is going to reshape and invigorate an already vigorous and growing movement.


The Pagan movement is a recognized religious entity. They have Pagan priests serving in official capacity in the military, for heaven's sake....and that is awesome. If the self-evolution that we practice is to become a large part of this nation's fabric, it's going to happen through this movement. Having the Pagan movement further empowered with the legacy of the Western Tradition's Egyptian forebears is Huge. A coming of Age of sorts, a passing of the Torch. The Christian movements and the hidden occult Orders have previously held the keys to this crown of the Western Tradition, and so have held an authority and an importance in the Western occult world that the Pagan movement frankly has not. The Pagan movements have drunk from the magical Cup of the Christian and Occult orders as part of their re-birth. A couple of thousand years dominating Western thought will do that. Now, with this final draught, the Pagan Movement will have all that the Hidden organisations have to offer without the baggage of millenia of dogma. With every practitioner having a direct hand. (Best case scenario).


 Assuming, of course, that enough people are actually trained in the Art.

Coming from an aged dame like the Catholic Church, in which I grew up, the Pagan movement in America feels very young. Yes, I'm well aware of the roots some traditions may have in pre-history, etc etc. This is not in anyway implying that age equals validity. The Pagan traditions are most assuredly valid and valuable. That being said, there is a gravitas missing that comes from age.The desire for this gravitas is evident in many Pagans' need for the system they practice to be seen as ancient. If it works, why does the Age matter? Because everyone wants respect, and our institutions are in many ways reflections of ourselves as Humans. When you are young, you burst to be respected and seen as an equal. When you are old, you don't need to be seen as an equal. You simply are, no need for trying. Old people oftentimes show little respect for the young, and Old established religions are no different.

Many Pagan Adepts that I've encountered have a youthfulness about them that practitioners of the older active systems often (in my observation) misinterpret as naivete, but which seems to me to be more of an expression of the relative youth of their movement's modern rebirth. The folks I've encountered without this have usually trained in other systems as well. Mind you, these impressions are purely observations made through my own filter of personality...your milage may vary.

  The approach these Streghans have taken, the attitudes that they present remind me more of the Tibetan practitioners I've encountered in feel than the modern Pagan...there is a natural respectfulness for the other, and a genteel formality that gives the impression that not only is the Other respected, but that they expect respect for themselves as their right. The feel of the Adept. The feel of someone who respects others because he respects himself, and has experienced the spiritual revelation of losing the self. (Whether in ecstasy or oblivion, the effect on the personality seem to be the same.) They feel Old in the best ways, is what I'm saying.

 I have yet to meet them physically, but assuredly will do so at Pantheacon. We'll see if my impressions are correct. Regardless, I think this is a good and important thing.

In LVX,

AIT

Comments

  1. Care VF Fr AIT,

    Thanks for this post and your excitement which is wonderful to read.

    I would just like to say a couple of things. You write, “…sex magic--understanding of which every occult order under the Sun should have incorporated as bare minimum by now.”

    I think this is a very limited statement. There have been, are and will be many occult orders offering training and spiritual realisation that do not utilise sexual magic. History shows this clearly, as does the examination of occult orders today. To view as lesser any order that does not use sex magic is, I feel, very narrow. There are many paths to realisation and service, some use sexual mysteries, some do not. Some which do may not utilise physical coitus, such as the vast majority of Tibetan Vajrayana and the Society of the Inner Light and descendants.

    Even in today’s more sexually enlightened western society there are many valid paths besides the sexual mysteries and many valid reasons why some occult orders choose not to practice this particular approach to the divine.

    Of course, I am not here invalidating sexual magic and the sexual mysteries in any way. However, as I have said on my own blog, traditionally these mysteries were only ever engaged in once the initiate had undergone much transformation and training. Rather than talking about the sexual mysteries as such, I think we need to talk more about the processes that lead to that state of consciousness where the sexual force can be utilised safely and fully. The history of western magic is littered with folk who engaged with the sexual mysteries prematurely.

    With this in mind, I am conscious of the huge departure from tradition undertaken by David Griffin (not as GH LES) and Dianus and Diana del Bosco Sacro. The teaching of sexual mysteries outside tradition is a daring innovation and I am not sure where it will end up. I hope, as you do, it reinvigorates and moves the US pagan community to deeper levels of consciousness and service to humanity and the planet. Being such a dyed in the wool traditionalist, I hae’ me doubts, but hope I am wrong. And of course the commercialised nature of the whole beastie and a website claiming the dead as initiates (when they cannot say otherwise and there is no documented evidence), leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But again, I hope my cynicism is proved wrong by much practical benefit following these teachings.

    Thanks :)

    PS: I have not put these views up on the HOGD/AO blog as it does not touch that Order, and GH Fr LES would no doubt be very busy at present with the fallout from the expulsion of GH Fr PDR from the EOGD.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Care VH Fr Peregrin,

    As always, you are a gent and I do appreciate your well though-out response! I don't think simply that all magical Orders should Practice sex-magic....I do, however, think that they all should give their students Understanding of it.(Which is what i said above.) What it is, what can be accomplished by it's use. You of course know as well as I that the sex-force affects the development of the person profoundly....whether they address it or not. I feel it is a matter of responsibility. One needn't practice the Thelemic methods rooted in Crowley, or the Abstention-based methods practiced by many Christian and Taoist adepts to achieve spiritual success. (For those not in the know, abstaining from intercourse can be used as a sexual-magic technique, to concentrate forces and build a whirlwind of sorts, and as an important aspect of sacrificial magic.) Ignorance of the sexual force will almost invariably result in it sneaking up and sabotaging you. It's a primal and powerful part of the Human being, and simply must be addressed. In this day and age I find it irresponsible for an initiated Order not to address it.

    So....we shall have to agree to disagree once more, Brother. In absolutely Fraternal fashion, of course.

    You're cynicism as far as the Website goes is understandable. Marketing is a tricky beast. It must be done to reach folks, but hitting the right pitch--especially for a spiritual organisation--can be difficult. I say, that the people and teachings will be the proof. I'm basing my impressions on the words that I've heard and read, and not the marketing style of a website. It is certainly something to be considered...reading the communications of Diana, Dianus, and our Lupercus throughout the blog they have leaves me with a net positive and hopeful outlook.

    Interesting to see what's been done at the EOGD. From what I've read and experienced, I'd be a liar to say that I shed a tear at their loss. I'm happy our brothers and sisters are free of all that foolishness, and wish them nothing but the best.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Care VH Fr,

    thank you for the clarification :)

    Sorry, I seem to have misunderstood you. I agree all occult orders should give a complete understanding of the true nature and power of the sexual force. This does not need to include instruction in 'sex magic' or even the theory. So I actually think we agree... :)

    I am glad you have a postive outlook re the Great Rite teachings and work. I look forward to hearing more :)

    thanks

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  4. Care VH Fra Peregrin,

    Well....we sort of agree, haha.=) I think we have slightly differing ideas about what is and what is not sex-magic. This probably is similar to our debate about practical magic, though. I do appreciate your point of view!

    Thank you much-AIT

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  5. I am a bit concerned with how Internal Alchemy gets immediately reduced to 'sex-magick' in some people's minds. This is extremely misleading.

    Whether you call it Prana as in Tantric alchemy, Chi as in Taost alchemy, or LVX as in Hermetic alchemy, the sexually rooted energy is the energetic force of the physical body underlying all spiritual development.

    So, in this purely energetic sense, one could indeed correctly say that ALL magic is sex magic.

    This, however, is also extremely misleading.

    To reduce The Great Rite, whether in its lineage of Shamanic Sexuality or in its lineage of Egyptian Sexual Aclhemy, to "sex-magic" is as misleading and as grossly over-simplifying as to state that all Golden Dawn magic is "sex-magic" merely because it works with the LVX energy!

    As a matter of fact, there is no explicit sexuality at all necessary for the correct practice of The Great Rite!

    Recently in San Diego, for example, I witnessed AP Dianus bring a woman to full orgasm completely dressed with no explicit sexual contact at all - merely by manipulating a few pressure points on the body to liberate the flow of orgasmic energy. I likewise witnessed APS Diana bring a man into an ecstatic state much like that called Samadhi in the East with one single touch - having nothing to do with the genital area of the body.

    The Great Rite is indeed all about sexual energy. The Great Rite, however, is not mere "sex magick."

    The Great Rite is nothing more and nothing less than the Western science of the spiritual energetics of the human body.

    To reduce this sublime science to 'sex-magic' is ludicrous.

    Next, it must be noted that The Great Rite continues to be taught under a veil of strict initiatic secrecy.

    Since people no longer respect oaths, however, for The Great Rite we instead use legally binding confidentiality agreements invoking not only confidentiality, but WIPO Intellectual property law, and industrial secrecy statutes as well.

    Finally, it should be noted that not only have we liberated Egyptian Sexual Alchemy from its Masonic container, but we have also liberated Shamanic Sexuality from its Stregan container.

    We have instead created an entirely new Initiatic Vehicle based on the pure energetics of the human body, liberated of all of the masonic and ritualistic mumbo jumbo.

    This new initiatic vehicle is perfect for the 21st Century to reach those ready for this work, whether they come from the Magical, Pagan, or Tantric communities.

    - Lupercus del Bosco Sacro

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  6. Good Lupercus,

    Thank you for your interesting thoughts! On one note, I am inclined to disagree with you; describing a spiritual practice that centers around manipulation of the sexual forces as "Sex-Magic" seems entirely correct to me. The powerful energetic forces of the body are the Sex Force--my wise and learned mentor taught me that, and it is true. The Great Rite works with these forces, there is no getting around it.

    I think it only becomes problematic if "sex" is to be defined purely as intercourse. I don't define it as so, (and I imagine neither does any Magician with knowledge of the matter) and therefore find this the best way to describe these practices. Any number of magics involve the use of the LVX without awareness of it as a sexual force; this lack of awareness is a differentiator between those magics and the work of the Great Rite. If you take away awareness and conscious manipulation of the sexual force from the Great Rite, then it ceases to exist.(In my own limited understanding...I'm not initiated into the rites of your Family, and so must extrapolate based on the rites I have gnosis of.)

    It seems to me right and proper to describe the Great Rite as Sex-Magic, because it is. Sex-Magic is a holy and sacred thing, and should be treated as such.

    That being said, I don't find describing the Great Rite as Sex-Magic reductive at all; it is simply the best way to communicate the nature of it. This only becomes a problem, in my opinion, if the phrase "sex-magic" leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. There is a tendency (as shown above in the good Fra Peregrin's comment) to equate sex-magic automatically with intercourse and base sorcery (I imagine we have Fra Perdurabo to thank for that...), and it gets folks riled up.

    Sometimes folk who find the very idea distasteful, and sometimes accomplished Initiates who don't want the beauty of their work dimmed by negative association....and understandably so.

    The popularity and spread of the American Tantrika's and Thelemite's methods may have branded the term, much in the way a napkin is often called a "Kleenex", regardless of brand. I suspect this might be the root of the issue here; it's like when people call these blasted illusionists "Magicians". Drives me crazy. Criss bloody Angel is Not a "Magician"! For a while I
    went about calling myself other terms because I felt that Magician had been sullied by association....Hermetic Alchemist was my favorite for a while. I distinctly recall being asked about my spiritual practice by a family friend some time ago, and dancing around the damn word until I just had enough. I'm a Magician. Magos. Dude with a wand and robe, muttering incantations and so forth. If that means that I have to spend an extra five minutes differentiating myself from cursed illusionists and charlatans during these conversations, then so be it. I feel Sex-Magic should be treated the same way.

    People are going to associate the Great Rite with Sex-Magic, because of it's nature. Trying to disassociate it with the term will give the appearance of trying to hide something, of being ashamed. I think the phrase Sex-Magic--magic involving the most sacred and blessed force we have, the very expression of Love--is one to be borne with pride.

    Let the puritanical and un-informed think what they will.

    That's just my suggestion though...your Family has been about this for generations, and may certainly have more insight into the delicate nature of this than I.

    AIT

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  7. There is definitely plenty of evidence linking the good Dr.Pascal Beverly Randalph to the Europe, where he attests to have learned these mysteries. I can't imagine there are pictures with him shaking hands with Italian Adepts ( ;-) ) but do think common threads in the Mystery teachings make the connection a plausible one.

    A little bit of Salt is good, too much spoils the meal, haha!

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  8. @ H Frater AIT

    Actually, your definition of sex magic as "any magic that works with sexual energy" (LVX, prana, chi, etc.) has some highly amusing consequences.

    By your broad definition, this would mean that Peregrin, Pat Zalewski, Darcy Kuntz, AE Waite, ... and yes, even Helena Blavatsky, Annie Horniman, and Robert Zink have been closet sex magicians all along!

    - David Griffin

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  9. @ GH Fra LES,

    Hahaha, well, they'd better get used to the idea because it's true! =)

    AIT

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  10. *** Blogger has eaten this post twice; so am posting in two parts in case length is an issue ***

    Part I: Care VH Fr AIT, GH Fr LES (and) Lupercus del Bosco Sacro,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I applaud, welcome and support any attempt to sacralise sex and sexual expression, to create a healthier sexual society. Similarly, I support any attempt to functionally teach the sexual mysteries. I really do hope the Great Rite has positive effects on the Pagan community and the US society. I just wonder if this is the best way to go about such a task.

    I agree, we have to be careful with our terminology. This is why, in connection with the sexual mysteries, which are traditionally taught only at the highest levels, I feel it best to say little at all. It is all too likely to be misunderstood.

    I do not know what the Great Rite system involves, but I can understand the sentiment that “no explicit sexuality at all [is] necessary”. This is what I have repeatedly said, for example, concerning the polarity magic of Dion Fortune and her tradition.

    The liberation of orgasmic energy without sexual contact is not, in my understanding, indicative of spiritual unfolding or even permanent subtle body transformation. It is nothing new and we were trained in these processes back in the early 90s within Alan Lowen’s institute. I also received training in similar work as part of my BRETH training and via these processes one can facilitate complete physical orgasm without physical contact or stimulation at all. However, the sexual mysteries and the formation of higher subtle bodies via their practice are something else entirely.

    I DO look forward to eating my hat when presented with factual and verified evidence of a centuries old secret pagan tradition. I do want this to be the case, but without evidence it remains for me only a possibility. In that context, I would be happy to be given references to the “historical information [which] has existed in Italian for a long time”. Also, could you please supply details of the researchers undertaking “new anthopological research” and collecting “ethnographic data” on Stregan shamanism? This is all very interesting.

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  11. *** Blogger has eaten this post twice; so am posting in two parts in case length is an issue ***
    Part II:
    With reference to Giustiniano Lebano, his existence is clear, and I have read a little on him; I just await confirmation on his pivotal role in the lives and magic of Levi, Bulwer-Lytton et al. I really do welcome this, as most of Lebano’s papers, as you would know, were lost when his wife used them in a fire where she committed suicide. To have concrete evidence, as you suggests exists in Italian, would be a great boon for scholars.

    With reference to specific URLs: http://www.thegreatrite.org/History/Anna_De_Averne.aspx

    There is a list of Masters to scroll through. I notice you have removed the link to Gerald Gardner and others. However, fortunately the page can (at the time I write) be found at: http://www.thegreatrite.org/History/Gerald_Gardner.aspx

    Here it is stated, “while in England and over 50 years old at the time, [Gardner] was initiated into sexual magic and external alchemy by Maestra +Ra-OirL+, a very advanced iinitiate of Pagan Tantra in the Neapolitan-Egyptian alchemical lineage.”

    Gardner’s life and magical activities are quite well documented, and there is no record of a “Maestra +Ra-OirL+” or any initiation. Who was this Maestra? Can you provide more details on this? Or is this information incorrect and that is why it was removed from the site in the last two days?

    Similarly, the page listing Madame Blavatsky as “Maestra +HiriM+” is now not linked but can (at time of writing) be found at: http://www.thegreatrite.org/History/Helena_Blavatsky.aspx

    Again, since Madame’s life is well researched and there is no reference to her being “Maestra +HiriM+” or some of the events in this biography, it simply reminds me of AMORC’s way of presenting their past Masters within their Monographs.

    Thanks :)

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  12. Thank you, Lupercus for this clarification.

    I am really curious however how this can be an error. Nine months ago on the Facebook Group ‘Paganism and Wicca’ under the discussion ‘Pagan Tantra’ you wrote:

    “@ Charlie - We have gone into a lot of precise detail from Society archives about numerous of our historical Initiates and Masters, including the civilian name of the Maestra who initiated Gerald Gardner.”

    http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2204731498&topic=52957

    The revelation of the name of this initiator from a pre-existing secret Pagan tradition prior to Wicca would be big news indeed. If confirmed, it would certainly cause a major re-evaluation of the origins of Wicca. I hope the knowledge of this Maestra is not another error and the information can be shared with academics and researchers. Thanks :)

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  13. @Peregrin - As an Alexandrian witch with a great deal insight into the Gardnerian witchcraft tradition, it doesn't seem too far fetched to view G.B. Gardner as having been an initiate of Stregha. Our line of witchcraft is quite peculiar compared to all of the other local British traditions. Anyone who has been initiated into this line knows what I am talking about. However, whatever evidence exists to support this idea would be completely cloaked by oaths of secrecy. Lineage specific information is generally not shared outside of the covenstead. So historians and other academics would not be privy to this information, and Gardner left behind only circumstantial clues.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @ Peregrin

    Let me make this crystal clear:

    "NEITHER STREGHERIA DEL BOSCO SACRO NOR THE GREAT RITE MAKES ANY CLAIM WHATSOEVER REGARDING ANY INITIATION OF GERALD GARDNER. ANY STATEMENT MADE BY ANY INITIATE CONTRARY TO THIS WAS CLEARLY MADE IN ERROR."

    To this I can only add that from where I sit, there is absolutely zero possibility that the sort of information you are looking for, even if it did exist (which I am NOT saying that it does) could or would ever be made public in the manner that you suggest. Such information would almost certainly be oath bound.

    - Lupercus del Bosco Sacro

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  15. @Frater Barrabbas – I agree that if Gardner DID receive initiation into a pre-existing Craft tradition the evidence points more to a Stregha tradition than others. I was in my youth a member for a number of years of an Alexandrian lineage Coven and also received personal instruction from a Gardnerian HPS, so I know what you mean.

    While cataloguing the Simon Goodman occult collection I came across some correspondence from an Italian émigré mentioning a Stregha coven and the date of the letters pre-date Dr Leo Martello’s publications (just). This does not mean anything for sure, but is suggestive. It is just such a pity that any direct evidence is bound by oaths. The proven existence of a pre-Gardnerian tradition would not only be of immense interest to the occult community, but the academic world as a whole. A secret but cohesive and self reflective (via archives etc) community existing for centuries within Italian society would change sociological theories alone. I really hope someday this evidence can make it to academic and public arenas. Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete

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