The Light Invisible

A Blog for the Church Magical

Category: Occultism (Page 1 of 2)

Urth Liberation Front: On the Dangers of Thinking Esoterically

Despite the massive abundance we have created on this planet, there are a few with unimaginable wealth and a lot who are not even getting their basic needs met. All of these powerful tools we have developed are neutral in the hands of men. They can be used to empower us or enslave us, for us or against us. As a human being alive at this time, you get the unique opportunity to play a role in choosing and forging the direction of civilization in arguably its most crucial moment. We are at the precipice of change. You can choose to embrace the Spiritual Revolution that is upon us and unite globally for the highest good of all. We can choose to evolve our outdated systems and co-create economic and social systems that serve us all. Urth is the collective utopian future vision of a transcendent civilization sharing love and abundance. The Church of Urth is a non filed association of churches which functions as a global vessel to manifest that vision of Urth. This universal platform gives people the opportunity to make a stand as one that the fate of our species is more important than being right. When we are able to stop trying to dominate people and start collaborating, stop trying to enslave people and start trying to love and empower them, then anything becomes possible. That is Urth to me.

Sounds pretty good, right? Some of it is even reminiscent of language you might find on this very blog. We do live in a society with rising inequality and poverty in the midst of massive abundance. The tools and technology we have created are in fact neutral, and can be used to support either oppression or liberation. Uniting globally in a Spiritual Revolution that creates economic and social systems that might serve us all is a laudable goal. It would be great to live in a “transcendent civilization sharing love and abundance.” All fine sentiments.

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Prince Hall Freemasonic Lodge in Atlanta, Georgia

Shadows of a Future Aeon: Esotericism, Politics, and Populist Spirituality

Stephen K. Bannon — political strategist, filmmaker, financier, and … occultist? Really: multiple sources have reported that Donald Trump’s advisor, right-wing populist, and former Breitbart News editor Steve Bannon has a penchant for the occult and the esoteric. Bannon had notably cited the early twentieth century Italian esotericist, traditionalist, and Nazi affiliate Julius Evola during a 2014 conference with traditionalists at the Vatican. More recently, Mitch Horowitz — author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped our Nation wrote in Salon that, after the 2009 publication of his book, Bannon had called the author to express his “deep interest in the book’s themes,” encouraging Horowitz in his work on his next volume, an exploration of the positive thinking movement in American life. Horowitz goes on in his article to give a history of American conservatism’s interest in occultism and New Age mysticism, including Ronald Reagan’s use of Manly P. Hall’s esoteric ideas about America’s “secret destiny,” Donald Trump’s belief in the power of positive thinking, and the Freemasonic symbols in the Great Seal of the United States.

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The Magician from the Waite-Trinick Tarot

Notes on the Catechism’s Statements on Divination, Astrology, and Magic

Another set of notes I wrote a few years ago, this time on the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s statements on divination, astrology, and magic. I remembered these notes and decided to publish them here after spending the last couple of weeks thinking about the Christian doctrine of theosis and how it relates to the Western esoteric tradition (specifically the Golden Dawn tradition) — namely, as the West’s equivalent to the Eastern tradition of hesychasm.

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Camaldoli

Monasticism and Esotericism – A Symbiotic Relationship

The underground status of many esoteric orders, and the religious perspectives of many occultists today, are such that the notion of establishing relationships between the world of esoterica and the mainstream religious world is nonsensical at best, offensive at worst. Yes, many orders do have a religious arm or related esoteric faith that they themselves founded or absorbed — the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica of O.T.O., the Ecclesia Gnostica Spiritualis of the Monastery of the Seven Rays/La Couleuvre Noire, the Liberal Catholic Church and the Theosophical Society, to give but a few examples. As detailed in a previous post, Dion Fortune’s Threefold Way of Western Esotericism especially recognizes the importance of a relationship between the Orange Ray of the Hermetic path and the Purple Ray of mystical devotion, and her own Guild of the Master Jesus’ place in the Society of the Inner Light modeled this understanding for the esoteric community.

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Harrowing icon banner

God Declares Trump Good; or, Why I Won’t “Bind” a Cosmic Power

The movement of witches and magic-users to “bind Donald Trump” took on viral momentum recently, with in-person performances of the spell at local magic shops (Catland in Brooklyn, in my case), mainstream media reports, evangelical Christian pushback, and the opposition of a pro-Trump cult of Pepe the Frog “worshippers” centered around 4Chan, who believe that the Pepe meme is now a hypersigil related to the ancient Egyptian chaos god, Kek. Even one of my favorite musicians and queen of Coney Island, Lana del Rey, got involved (on the side of the angels, of course). In other words, the situation is both getting very weird, and very alarming.

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The Threefold Path in the First Triad of the Tree of Life

Mapping the Great Circle – My Threefold Way of Western Esotericism

In the work of Dion Fortune (and her excellent commentator and fellow Christian esotericist, Gareth Knight), one encounters a meta-structure for the Western Mystery Tradition, which classifies the three major strands of the tradition according to the three paths of the Tree of Life that depart from Malkuth, using the color symbolism of the Sephiroth in the Queen Scale of colors: “the Green of Netzach at the base of the Pillar of Energy, the Orange of Hod at the base of the Pillar of Form, and the Purple of Yesod on the Middle Pillar of Aspiration.”

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Fin de siecle London at night.

“Follow the custom of the country…”: Reflections of a Nightwalking Occultist

The first time I left my Golden Dawn temple to take the train back to New York City, I had just been initiated into the Neophyte Grade of the Order. It was a powerful spiritual experience. Though the details of the ceremony are easily available in this day and age, only a few Google searches away, the thought of writing openly about what happened still fills me with trepidation. I think this speaks highly of the physical effect of the ceremony – not to mention what occurred on planes much more subtle than the physical.

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Gustave Doré's illustration of the Rosa Celeste for Dante's Paradiso.

The Light Invisible – Towards a Manifesto of the Church Magical

The Light Invisible is a blog that will touch on diverse traditions of Christian Esotericism — traditional Rosicrucianism, Christian mysticism, Christian Hermeticism and Cabala, European alchemy, Renaissance magic, the Golden Dawn tradition, the legends of the Holy Grail, and folk magical traditions. The lens through which I will reflect on these esoteric traditions is primarily orthodox — in other words, I affirm the traditional theology of orthodox Christianity, specifically the creedal, liturgical, apostolic Christianity of the Roman Catholic Church, Anglo-Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy (I myself am a practicing Catholic who spent a long time in the Anglican church before confirmation as a Roman Catholic, my family’s tradition).

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Tommaso Campanella's City of the Sun.

Prisca Theologia, Pansophy, and Integral Truth – Some Notes on Universal Reformation

Originally posted as a part of my column, The Blooming Staff, on the Agora, the group blog of the Patheos Pagan Channel.

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In 1947, Protestant theologian Karl Barth introduced the phrase Ecclesia semper reformanda est — “the church is always to be reformed.” Barth used the phrase to express the Reformed conviction that the Christian Church must constantly examine itself and continue to evolve and reform; a teaching that thinks of the Reformation as a permanent state rather than an historic event. Since the Second Vatican Council, certain radical Catholic theologians like Hans Küng have also used the saying to express their desire for a Church that remains open to the world and to the spirit of the times. Pope Francis has in many ways resumed this spirit of dialogue and openness within the Church, especially when it comes to issues like poverty and climate change.

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Last Judgement, Fra Angelico, panel painting, 1387 or 1395

Eschatology – The Marker of Christian Occultism

Originally posted as a part of my column, The Blooming Staff, on the Agora, the group blog of the Patheos Pagan Channel.

As I continue my research into post-Crowley forms of Thelema, Christian theology, and other occult traditions (especially the teachings of the Universal Brotherhood, which Frater Achad led as Mahaguru starting in the early 1930s), one major point of difference has emerged for me between Christian forms of occultism and non-Christian traditions like Thelema: eschatology.

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