Occultism

New Podcast: The Gnosis of Frater Achad

Last month I went on Talk Gnosis’ podcast to give a brief introduction to Charles Stansfeld Jones aka Frater Achad, including his history as Crowley’s “magical son,” his involvement with the Universal Brotherhood, his conversion to Roman Catholicism, and his declaration of the Aeon of Maat — among other things! Watch or listen here.

Acephale Georges Bataille

Georges Bataille and the Black Brotherhood—Crowley’s “Scientific Illuminism” vs. Bataille’s “Science of Filth”

The radical French philosopher Georges Bataille and the English magus Aleister Crowley at first seem to have much in common—both explored the darker sides of eroticism and their links to spiritual experience, both were evocative writers expressing philosophical standpoints considered beyond the pale of polite early twentieth-century society, and both sought a rapturous mystical dissolution of the ego-bound self, a union with what traditional mystics would call the One or the All. But their understandings of the end of the mystic’s quest differ greatly—even to the point that, according to orthodox Thelema’s conception of the magician’s supreme goal of “crossing the Abyss,” Bataille could be labeled a member of the vilified Black Brotherhood, that society of Dark Adepts who ultimately fail in their spiritual task.

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 …

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