The Light Invisible

A Blog for the Church Magical

Tag: catholicism

The Seven Sacraments

Magical Univocity and Misogyny: Crowley’s Sex Magick vs. Sacramental Sex

In a previous essay, I described how Aleister Crowley’s (and, by extension, many modern magicians’) views on sexuality are theologically deficient. Crowley follows the course of modern Protestant thinkers like Ludwig Feuerbach in employing a univocal view of reality, in which words describing the properties of God mean the same thing when applied to created objects such as people or things, even if the degree meant is vastly different. This is opposed to an analogical view of reality (which is the normative position of Catholic Christianity), in which, since God is transcendent, human concepts like goodness or beauty can only ever analogously apply to God, and negative statements — God is not good, God is not beautiful — must be equally true.

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St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, Rome.

On the Papal World-Tree, or, An Esoteric Meditation on the Papacy

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

Next Sunday, a new show premieres on HBO — “The Young Pope.” The show stars Jude Law as an ultraconservative Archbishop of New York who is elected to the Papacy, and who embarks on a traditionalist mission reminiscent of Pope Benedict XVI’s, if Benedict had been a narcissistic New York chain-smoker with visionary dreams and an American nun played by Diane Keaton as his close advisor. Jude Law’s Pope is essentially the polar opposite of Pope Francis, and has more in common with the fictional Pope Hadrian VII, the main character of Frederick Rolfe’s 1904 decadent novel Hadrian the Seventh.

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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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New Jerusalem

The Curious Conversion of Frater Achad

[Note: Originally published as a part of my column for the Patheos Pagan Channel, The Blooming Staff.]

This column explores the intersections between Catholic theology and the Thelemic current, so it was only a matter of time before Frater Achad—mundane name Charles Stansfeld Jones—came up. Prior to the late nineteenth century, most occult and esoteric movements were Christian, many heterodox Catholic—the Elus Cohen of Martinez de Pasqually, the Martinists, the Rosicrucians of the Parisian occult revival, and many members of the Golden Dawn. In the twentieth century, A.E. Waite, Dion Fortune, and many other figures continued the esoteric Christian current. But Thelema appears to have a built-in bias against Christianity, stemming directly from its founder and from his Aeonic schema, which suggests that the formula of the dying and rising God (the Aeon of Osiris) is now outmoded in favor of the formula of the crowned and conquering child (the Aeon of Horus).

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