Showing posts from November, 2005

The New Hermetics, and Tradition

A repost from the Esoteric Freemasons Forum ( ): Broken Triangle: But, can you successfully mix all those currents? [OTO, Freemasonry, Hermetics, Golden Dawn, etc.] Bro:. Scott: In my opinion, yes. I've tried to read Bardon's Introduction to Hermetics and a couple of Golden Dawn texts. The terminology, restrictions, and simple age of the language make it difficult for me, as a modern reader, to decipher what the frak they're talking about. TNH strips out the terminology, and brings it down to the bare-bones psychological aspects of the rituals and exercises. I find it very useful, and feel I'm making progress at a much faster rate because I can grasp the concept in a framework I can understand, without having to understand the author's framework first, and then the meaning underneath. Hermetics is a sycretic philosophy anyway, taking what is useful, reconciling the opposite, and rejecting the rest as dross. I see no problem with taking these

First Sunday of Advent

The advent season is upon us, and it is especially meaningful to me this year. My spiritual explorations continue apace. I look forward to the Winter Solstice, and my initiation into the Ordo Sacrae Flamme. I look forward to the lengthening of days, which begins Dec. 21st or so. I look forward to Christmas, and the gnostic meaning of the coming of light. I look forward to a journey to a city that I love, though she is a wounded lady: New Orleans. And all these things have their advent in this month. This month will prepare me for journeys, initiations, rebirth. It behooves me to have my bags packed, my affairs in order, my work finished before the 21st. A sermon I found asks the question "Why do we sing Joy to the World at this time of year?" It is the darkest part of the year here in the northern hemisphere. Short, overcast days; long dark nights of enforced homeboundness. Yet this is the time of year we reconnect: with families, with friends, with ourselve

Closest Philosophical match

No suprises here: 1. Aquinas (100%) Click here for info 2. St. Augustine (91%) Click here for info 3. Spinoza (83%) Click here for info 4. Aristotle (75%) Click here for info 5. Plato (53%) Click here for info 6. Ockham (50%) Click here for info 7. Jean-Paul Sartre (49%) Click here for info 8. John Stuart Mill (46%) Click here for info 9. Epicureans (42%) Click here for info 10. Stoics (42%) Click here for info 11. Nietzsche (38%) Click here for info 12. David Hume (36%) Click here for info 13. Nel Noddings (36%) Click here for info 14. Jeremy Bentham (30%) Click here for info 15. Ayn Rand (25%) Click here for info 16. Cynics (21%) Click here for info 17. Thomas Hobbes (21%) Click here for info 18. Kant (19%) Click here for info 19. Prescriptivism (10%) Click here for info from

A quote

"If you say 'I will be happy when ....', you are committing yourself to be 'unhappy until ...' " -Steven Starkes

Masons and Conflict

Another post of masonic Interest, this one detailing how some Masons deal with opposition to their values: Hello Brothers. It has been a while since I have wrote at all. I finally figured out why Preachers preach about you havening to go to church for the fellowship if nothing else. It is the same with a Mason. If you haven't been to lodge in a while like me then you start missing the fellowship. If anyone has a list of anything Masonic in Catoosa or Walker County, Ga. Please put me on it. Things are finally getting where I can start going again. We had a guest preacher in church a few months ago, and I really don't remember what his message was about, it turned into cults and 30 minutes on the Masons. After the service, A Friend said to me, after that, I sure hope there were know Masons in the service. I told him not to worrk about it, they would probably find the sermon as Hilarious as I did. Later he asked me what I meant by that and I simply told him that My family

Setting of Goals

I've been reading The New Hermetics , and it's got some wonderful things to say about setting goals. Basically, it echoes what has been said by Zac and Pauline , that you simply need to ask the universe for things, and then pursue them. It's the pursuit that's been hard for me. Not the desire, but the will to make that desire reality through effort and concentration. Thankfully, TNH also has some exercises that will help one focus on what is truly needed and desired.

Epistles and Blogs

Jeremy writes: Another difference is, of course, that the Pauline Epistles were divinely inspired, and served to elaborate upon a burgeoning theology and Christology while such concept were completely new, whereas thus far most blog posts have far less of a specific ecclesiastic mission. To my knowledge, blog posts aren’t being regularly discussed within actual living spiritual traditions. But if Paul was doing the writing, there's no guarantee that HE thought they were divinely inspired. Others, who came after him (like Marcion) decided the letters were divinely inspired. Who knows how many letters Paul wrote that didn't make it into canon: My Brothers and Sisters in Christ. I am writing to you to ensure that you got my letter of July, and that you are making sure to do your laundry. On my last visit, your robes and vestments were in a terrible state. Remember that Christ wants us to be clean in body AND in spirit, and that while the baptism of the SPIRIT is singul

G.R.S. Mead

"It is always a matter of difficulty for a rigid objective mind to understand the point of view of the Gnostic writers." "The gentle contempt of those who had entered into the mystery, for those unknowing ones who would fain limit the crucifixion to one brief historic event, is brought out strongly, and savors, though mildly, of the bitterness of the struggle between the two great forces of the inner and outer traditions." - G.R.S. Mead, The Gnostic Crucifixion

Religion via Blog

Pauline Kilar writes (in a very good article, by the way): (I’m grinning as I write this because it seems ridiculous on the one hand to get religion from a blog, but on the other it seems like the perfect modus operandum for a sect that traces its lineage to what Philip K. Dick called “the secret grey-robed Christians.”) I don't know why she's suprised. Gnosticism was always spread by individuals to others, often through the use of letters. It was never preached from the pulpits, rather discussed in the tea shops and libraries of Alexandria, Antioch, Anatolia, Rome. Since we, as Americans, are often so disconnected, it makes sense that we use a disconnected form of medium to get our thoughts across, much as the Ancient Greek and Roman philosophers did when widely separated by oceans and provinces. And it also makes sense that we use publicly available blogs, for the letters of antiquity were not read only by the author and recipent, but often by a community. Even the O

Stuff to listen to This has about 9 episodes of a Kabbalah class, which is fascinating. The Rabbi has an entertaining way of presenting the material, and I was kind of suprised to find that much of it was of a practical nature. 15 episodes about thelema, Gnosticism, OTO, Magick and all kinds of stuff. Episode 14 (?) has an interview with Jason Augustus Newcomb, who in my opinion is a great modern magician. Gnostic lectures by Rev. Stephan Hoeller. I've listened to all the free ones, and I have to say the man has an impressive intellect and an engaging manner. Highly recommended.

Esoteric Masonic Conference

One of the mailing lists I'm on was kicking this idea around. I wish I had the time to organize something like this, because I think it would be really useful. Maybe after I get my formation done, and a church going. I don't know that it would have to be a 'formal' group. But I think something like this, along the lines of Convocation in Detroit, would be very cool. I'd love to go to Convocation, but with the Conclave for the AJC not too far away from that, I'm not sure I'll be able to afford both. I did see that Lon Milo Duquette is one of the guests of Honor. He's a great guy, and I've enjoyed talking with him. I'd love to sneak over and meet him. Update: Perhaps we could reserve a small room and have a quick meeting/workshop during Masonic Week in DC some year...

What's a Gnostic

I asked this question on a bulliten board, and here's a portion of one response I got: But im sure that in reality is more like a clan thing. A few people figure out that they are special bc they know something they are sure others dont know. They cut off from the "world", some change the way they dress and also create their own church that sets them apart from the rest of the more mundane people. So what makes one a Gnostic? Acording to the previous definition almost anyone that beleives that it has some knowledge about the Most High that few others know. "a clan thing". I'm still trying to figure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I may have to ask. I'm thinking it's 'bad' from the author's POV, because it introduces a level of separation. I'm still trying to figure how to balance egalatarianism ("equality") with the idea that we know something others don't, through our own experience. Does the fact

Feedback eases pain

The New Scientist says that by looking at your body, you can cure certain kinds of pain. The feedback corrects the mind's distorted image of the body. I've said for a long time: Self reflection cures a lot of the anguish and anger we feel. By looking at our souls and correcting our self-image to what is really there, we actually become calmer, even if our self-image then becomes less 'ideal'. The pain eases. Nice to see Science finally backing up mysticism. :-)

Morals and Dogma

I haven't read a lot of Bro:. Albert Pike's magnum opus, but what I have read has convinced me of a couple of things: 1. Bro:. Pike was a knowledgeable guy in the fields of the occult and religion. 2. Bro:. Pike had a dislike of fundamentalist preachers back in the 1860s 3. Bro:. Pike does not now, and never did, speak for the majority of Freemasons. He also had more typical southern dislikes of northerners and dark skin colors. He was a product of his time, as we are of ours. Of course, I've maintained in other places that we take what is written and discovered in past ages, and use it for our own purposes. Morals and Dogma is a turgid piece of prose, and few Freemasons ever read it. Anti-Masons only read enough to see Pike comparing Lucifer to the Morning Star, and they've got what they seek. Few people read chapters like this: Forget not these precepts of the old Law; and especially do not forget, as you advance, that every Mason, however humble, is your

Thanks to Homoplasmate/Freemasonry

For the mention. If anyone has any questions about Freemasonry, drop me a note. I'll do my best to either answer it from my perspective, or find an answer from other living masons. I'll resort to written material only as a last resort.


It's odd. Jordan Stratford+ mentions that on Halloween, "one finds pennies in peculiar places". Now, I was trying to get my 'new' (meaning different) car started, and it was having problems. I looked down, and there was a penny, head up. I picked it up, and have had good luck since. Things just seem effortless. Very odd. P.S. Like the new look on the blog, Jordan.

All Saints Day

His Excellency +Iohannes , Patriarch of the Apostolic Johannite Church, had a powerful post on the Johannite mailing list. I quote an excerpt: Those who have cleared the path for us have made the spiritual, emotional and mental environments where by the traditions and realizations of the past are not just blankly communicated (as if in a holy book or letter) to us but allow us to directly experience and know these things as they knew them by following in their footsteps. It is the contrast of the sorrow of forgetfulness that makes the power of Remembrance so encompassing, so important and oddly enough so vitally Now. He then goes on to remember those who've passed before on our journey: St. John, St. Valentinius, St. Jaques de Molay, etc. He adds some who've paved his way personally. I'd like to acknowledge those who've gone before me, and paved my own way: Steven Rassbach, my father; Majorie Rassbach, my grandmother; Arthur Rassbach, My grandfather; Charolette M