Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Arbatel Working


The Arbatel is a medieval treatise on how to live in harmony, ease, and intimacy with the energies of the Multiverse. Behind the Christian piety is a more ancient, Pythagoric and Neoplatonic spiritual paradigm that views the world as a multilayered place full of spiritual beings: some elemental, some celestial, some angelic, and some demi-godlike, archonic, or patriarchal.

At first glance the Arbatel is a simple of book about magic that seems to be an introduction to a more robust text that does not exist or does not exist anymore. Except for the suspicion that the Arbatel was written by an Italian mage, the author and original date that pen was put to paper are unknown. What we have of the text was commercially published as part of an anthology in 1575 in Basel, Switzerland, on one of the first printing presses. 

The Arbatel can be freely accessed at http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/Arbatel.htm thanks to Joseph H. Peterson who provides a side-by-side annotated version of the original Latin text and an English translation, published in 1655, by the 17th century Cambridge University scholar Robert Turner.

The subtitle of the Arbatel says that it is made of nine books or chapters (tomos), each of 7 parts (totaling 49 parts in all). But it seems as if the only  existing book is of the Arbatel is the first, titled the Isagoge, which the author explains means “Book of the Institutions of Magic.” It consists of “the most general precepts of the whole Art.” The other eight books are supposed to delve into:

● Microcosmic magic, which is described as being about how a person may gain wisdom and insight about purpose through contact with the “spirit and genius addicted to him from his nativity” (that is, an augoiedes or “guardian angel”).
● Olympic magic, which presumably delves deeper into how to work with the Olympic Spirits than what is presented in Septenary 3 of the Isagoge, and, thus, relates to planetary or astral magic.
● “Hesiodic and Homeric” magic, which claims to be about working with spiritual allies and benefactors, using the Greek term calodaemones, which is a synonym for eudaemone and also augoiedes, all more or less equivalent to “guardian angel.”
● “Romanic or Sibylline” magic, which, we are told, is about working with the tutelary spirits and lords that tend and govern planet Earth and is said to be similar to Druidic magic.
● Pythagoric magic, which relates to the sciences of physics, medicine, mathematics, alchemy, and other arts, we are told.
● Magic related to the work of the Neopythagorean Apollonius of Tyana (circa first century—a legendary person whose birth and miracle-working was suspiciously similar to that of another, far more popular legendary figure: Jesus of Nazareth). The magic referred to would be thaumatergy. The author of the Arbatel also notes that Appolonian magic is Microscosmic (about the individual self) but also gives a person powers over hostile spirits (presumably a reference to exoricism).
● Theurgic magic, described as “Egyptian magic” and “divine magic.”
● Prophetic magic, which is said to be “wisdom that solely depends on the word of God” and, given the jargon, may be a reference to Cabala, the medieval Christian variant of Kabala that was wholly absorbed into Western Occultism instead of Christianity.

Rather than being an incomplete book, it may be that all of the themes described above are really secretly layered into the book and waiting to be discovered like buried treasure. That is, the Arbatel may be an example of medieval steganography in which messages are encrypted and buried within "cover texts."

The Arbatel is most noted for its information about the Olympic Spirits. The Olympic Spirits are introduced in the third chapter of the Isogoge. The spirits are described as Governors associated with the seven classical planets named after Roman deities: Luna, Venus, Mercury, Sol, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. This is the aspect of the Arbatel that modern and postmodern-era occultists focus on, somewhat overlooking a more pervasive, underlying message about working with the tutelary spiritual entities, the role of the Olympic Spirits as rulers of psychodynamic processes and fate, and the role of the Olympic Spirits as symbols of and archetypal structures that form the holographic Multiverse.

I took interest in the Arbatel in the spring of 2010 after stumbling upon an article by Nick Farrell in the spring issue of the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. The article was titled Olympic Spirits: The Hidden Gods. It can be accessed online at http://www.jwmt.org/v2n18/olympic.html. Like Farrell and others who have explored the Arbatel, many questions arose about its meaning and application.

My background in Eastern spirituality influenced how I approached the Arbatel, which was openly, with an understanding that what I was attempting to access “out there” was an intimate part of myself or vice versa. So I dispensed with the more elaborate traditional ceremonial formalities regarding evocation and planetary magic derived from Solomonic and Late Modern-era Hermetic paradigms that others have applied when working with the document. See the Everything Arbatel Digest of Internet Links at http://seethingamongthesuits.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/everything-arbatel-digest-of-internet-links/ for an index of what is available about the Arbatel on the Web.  

I began what was to become the first phase of the work on Monday March 22, 2010, which serendipitously was the eve of that month’s new moon. This first phase of the project continued through to Sunday April 18. It consisted of daily evocation and meditation on one or another Olympic Spirit. The YouTube below is a distillation of this phase of the Arbatel working.

I posted the first month of my experiences on a blog.The posts garnered some interest, and I found myself being invited to join three other people in a group magical working related to the Arbatel. The first phase of this Working took place in May and the second in July 2010.

The group's focus was a part of the Arbatel that I had initially overlooked: The Seal of Secrets of the World described in aphorism 27, fourth septenary:

Make a circle, with A at the center, which is BCDE. At the East of the square is BC. At the North CD. At the West DE . At the South EB. Divide each of these quadrants into 7 parts so that there may be 28 parts total. Then divide each into 4 so that there will be 112 parts of the circle, as so many are the true secrets to be revealed. This circle divided in this manner is the Seal of Secrets of the world. Projecting from the center A, this is the invisible God in the entire creature. The Prince of the Eastern secrets is in the middle [of the Eastern quadrant] and has 6 Nobles, 3 on each side. Each of them, including the Prince, has 4 Nobles under him. In the same way, the [other] Princes and Nobles have their quadrants of secrets, with their four secrets.

My cohorts pointed out that the 28 parts that each quarter of the diagram is cut up into correspond with the mansions of the moon. The mansions of the moon are the daily moon phases that ancient esotericists across cultures were very much attuned to. Each phase of the moon, day-by-day in a 28-day cycle, carried with it a certain mood and theme that was thought to have a fateful effect on people’s lives. Activities had to be deftly synchronized with daily—and even hourly—planetary and lunar events. The early medieval Arabic magical book known as the Picatrix covers this in detail.

My cohorts and I feverishly pondered the Seal of Secrets and mansions of the moon hoping to alight on a grand revelation. We decided to gain insight by contacting the entities associated with the moon mansions through dream work, but thinking contacting the angels associated with the mansions too ambitious or risky, we opted to connect with the associated planetary rulers--the Olympic Spirits.

Before retiring, we would acknowledge the moon mansion of the day and its corresponding ruling planet/Olympic Spirit and perform whatever preparatory ritual we each saw fit to do. Then, as we were drifting into sleep, we would visualize the sigil of the Olympic Spirit .

We kept a group dream log on a secure, on-line site and also kept a lively discussion going through a now discontinued Google Wave application.

My experiences with the Arbatel and insights into the text are unique. They have been documented in the book The Seal of Secrets of the World Adventures in Astral Magic (available through amazon.com). Below is a somewhat clunky video of a presentation I gave about the Seal of Secrets at the biannual Metaphysical Forum held in New Haven, CT. A free, concise pdf download about the Arbatel  and Seal of Secrets can be accessed through the Sorcerers and Magi Website 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Comments from a Post on the Arbatel from my other Blog

Available in Kindle format at amazon.com  click here to go to amazon.com page

A comment string from one of my entries about the Arbatel (http://sophia-dione.livejournal.com/12045.html) written some years ago. The upcoming book on the Arbatel presents updated and expanded (and corrected) information about my "Arbatel Working" and other essays, including those appearing in this blog.

(Anonymous) (
Feb. 14th, 2013 07:28 am (local)
Arbatel of Magick
Dear Sophia, The reason why only one tome of this work has been published is seen in the first septenary of aphorisms. Thus: "Do not give holy things to dogs, nor cast precious jewels before swine". The wisdom spoken of in this work is for those who are pre-destined to recieve it-as the author states. Is their any doubt in your mind that if all the other tomes of Magick had been printed, they would have been abused left,right and center? I have this morning just seen an example of this where the seals of the Olympic spirits are been offered for sale on T shirts! Their is also no doubt that those who practise "dark magick" would also abuse great wisdom-in service of their master. Hence, I applaud the wise precaution of the original author of this work.
sophia_dione (
Feb. 14th, 2013 01:48 pm (local)
Excellent point. But here are my thoughts: One writer about the Arbatel--I don't remember where I read this, unfortunately-- commented that the original material reads more like a notebook or the preliminary ideas meant for a more ambitious text. I personally think--though it is only opinion--that the rest of the material was planned but never written or written and not ever found. I also believe that a lot of material that comes down to us through "grimoire" or through coded alchemy texts--and very much including the material by Dee & Kelly--were meant to be personal revelations and operations of the author(s) of the text and not material for public consumption across ages. Even Crowley's Book of Law and other tracts, Dion Fortune's visions, and the writings of AO Spare seem to me to be mystical reveries of the authors in which documentation of the ineffable or singularly personal interpretations of mystical (or kataphatic) experience is attempted. The content is then spun out into doctrines, standards, and observances (either by the authors tripping over their self-sabotaging egomania or others) and palatably intelligible meanings imposed on them.

Unfortunately, unlike in the East where mystical traditions have been preserved for eons, too much of the Western mysteries tradition is lost, in part, because of secrecy imposed on initiates during the classical era and also because of the West's habit of censoring, diabolizing, and destroying the intellectual and spiritual legacies of its conquered demimondes . We are left with reconstructions, which may or may not do justify to the original paradigms.

(Anonymous) (
Apr. 12th, 2013 05:57 am (local)
Arbatel of Magick
Dear Sophia, there are various websites of people who claim to have invoked the Olympic Spirits-which no doubt you have read-but they all agree on one thing; none of them have said anything "new" about these entities. I concede that perhaps the spirit may have told them not to reveal anything that they are told-but one would think that some magickal information would filter out-but none is apparent. This lack of information tends to make me think, that these people have not really been in contact with any spirit, and that they have been largely imagining and fooling themselves. Also, have you noticed they mention using magic circles,banishing rituals,ritual equipment,etc, all of which is unknown in the Arbatel text itself. These people also have quite obviously gained nothing materially from any of these spirits,ie: wealth, knowledge,serving spirits,etc. The reason I believe, is simply because,as with alchemy; many are called, but few are chosen.

sophia_dione (
Apr. 13th, 2013 01:54 pm (local)
Re: Arbatel of Magick
You make several excellent points. The Arbatel was composed long, long before the HOGD (Thelema etc) and its rituals monopolized hermetic magic. It was also written before Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry (which strongly influenced the HOGD). Further, the Arbatel is not in the same vein as Solomonic magic that was a adapted into standard Western Occultism. The introduction of the Arbatel claims that the Arbatel is supposed to be a series of books on different types of classical-era magianism. Those books do not exist or exist anymore, unfortunately, but the introductiont refers to magic based in Jewish tradition as “ prophetic” (ie, Kabalistic) magic, not Solomonic. Solomon is not mentioned at all in the Isagoge. The Arbatel identifies goetic magic as “Apollonic.”

As for the spirit model, I have mixed feelings. There are some postmodern magicians who like to keep the idea open about whether otherworldly entities really do exist “out there” and visit during evocation or invocation-- or prayer for that matter or whether one is experiencing mind stuff.
I had been of the opinion that the impressions I received during evocation work were just imagination and archetypal stuff within my own consciousness. My experience with the Arbatel, however, caused me to modify my view. I began to consider that I might really be in communion with otherworldly intelligences. Whatever was actually happening, it proved to be a very interesting and worthwhile transpersonal l experience. Whether our explanations for these experiences are “real” or not, the experiences themselves are real and does so the experiences in and of themselves can be valued without have to attach them to doctrines.
The rigmarole that some apply to working with the Olympic Spirits is not only unnecessary but insulting to them, I think. I believe that much of the content about how to approach the Olympic Spirits and why is an exoteric cover text for something of greater substance of a transcendental nature. A small few other people who I have communicated with the about the Arbatel and who have decided to forgo formalities and work with the Olympic spirits as I did, have reported having more robust, insightful, and encouraging experiences than they did when they tried to evoke these energies through formal ceremonial magic practices.

(Anonymous) (
Jun. 21st, 2013 11:17 am (local)
Arbatel of Magick
Dear sophia, have you also noticed how very short and straight to the point,the invocation of the Olympic Spirits is? Also the absence of any so-called, "words of power"(unless the name of Jesus Christ is a substitute for these). Contrast this with any of the other classical grimoires where demons are being invoked,which are full of incomprehensible words. Even those works which speak of calling angels have much longer prayers than that of the Arbatel. Again, I believe the reason for the short prayer comes down to a person being pre-destined to use it: wheras those who are not pre-destined obtain no result. In the end of course, it boils down to God having mercy upon those he chooses to have mercy on- but what do you think?

sophia_dione (
Jun. 21st, 2013 07:45 pm (local)
Re: Arbatel of Magick
Greetings and much thanks for the input. You make an excellent observation about the Arbatel, and everyone I have ever advised about it has come back to tell me that the simpler and most amiable but respectful approach was the best, including folks who first dabbled with Enochia. They go on to become Arbatel enthusiasts. The highly ritualized approach to evocation, used by what we now call “traditional” ceremonial magicians is based in various medieval grimoire in the vein of Solomonic magic and other ancient ritual fanfare in a world where gods and other entities had to be approached in specific ways to obtain their good graces and maintain The Order of the Universe. Historians who specialize in the study of magic in culture have noted that a lot of material in medieval grimoire are mashups of godnames and jargon from different cultures and also garbled language and terms from more ancient sources, the originally meaning, intent (and proper spelling and pronunciation) of which were very often long lost—and some of it was glossolalia from trance reverie. When this is brought to the attention of a ceremonialist, the response it that it does not matter; “it” works. From here, I must quote the guys who formally established Chaos Magick (Peter Carroll and Ray Sherwin): “Belief is a tool.” If you really believe that if you do A, that C will happen, then you are doomed to that paradigm and that is how the world works for you (and I am here talking about ritualized activity and prejudices and preferences, not other belief sets). This is called “having a process.” It is not the be-all and end-all; it is just a pattern of formation that a person has bought into (or has been indoctrinated or programmed into). As for your second point, Christian piety and use of the name of Christ to establish authority was standard in medieval grimoire—much of which was put together by men affiliated with the Church (who were the people who could read and write and have access to scholarly reading material). I'm not sure whether predestination figures into efficacy. All I know is that I approached it innocently but also from a background steeped in "Advaita" philosophy, and I got a very robust response.

Go to post about the Arbatel Working

Go to pictorial guide to the Olympic Spirits post

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The New Aeon, Immanentizing the Eschaton, and Slouching Toward Liberation of Consciousness in Two Parts (Part II)

No one likes being told what to do, but civil anarchy also sucks and has proved itself untenable. Liber Oz, referenced in Part 1 of this essay, is not talking about anarchy; it is challenging Piscean-era Judeo-Christian moral relativisms that double as straightjackets. Even the post-modern occultist slogan “Nothing is true, everything is permitted” is not an anarchistic war cry; nor was it ever uttered by an 11th century ascetic Islamic fundamentalist mystic/jihadist named Hassan ibn Sabbah. The slogan was penned by William S. Burroughs. Sabbah only became noteworthy because the Discordian authors of The Illuminatus! Trilogy worked fanciful conspiratorial ideas about him into their novels. It is a tip of the hat to how malleable and provisional ideas and systems are. The New Aeon is expected to be an era when this is acknowledged and done so in power-conferring freedom rather than fear. And anarchy is not to be conflated with Chaos, which is what post-modern occultists propose is at the root of the New Aeon:

Etymology: Middle English (15th century), formless primordial space, from Latin, from Greek khaos.

Chaos is defined, by standard American dictionaries as “the disordered state of unformed matter and infinite space that existed before the ordered universe [the Cosmos].”

The Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (5th edition, McGraw Hill Publishers) defines Chaos (Chaos theory) as a “system behavior that depends so sensitively on the system’s precise initial conditions that it is, in effect, unpredictable and cannot be distinguished from a random process, even though it is deterministic in a mathematical sense.” The theory observes that Chaos only seems chaotic but is rather elegant design, and besides all the esoteric mathematical jargon, it is tied in with concepts about environmental adaptation and interdependent arising.
Chaos is the hypostasis—that is, the Divine Ground—of Cosmos. It can be said that Cosmos is continually reasserting itself by drawing from its matrix. Chaos and Cosmos are two sides of the same coin: numinous and immanent Existence. The Boundless and the Measurable. Thus, Cosmos is a place where everything that can happen does happen whether or not it is someone’s idea of permissible. It is not a new concept by any means, it’s just not cool to glorify Chaos in a World where the overwhelming majority of people need structures, blinders, and neat answers to tranquilize them while being herded through cattle stalls and gauntlets toward a meat grinder.
Literary dystopias aside, the Age to come is often thought of as a “Golden” one. And that proverbial Golden Age is a revisiting of a time when everything was everyone’s idea of perfect. The kicker is that the Golden Age redux is an era in which everyone is perfectly conscious, willful, and complicated, instead of automatons like they were when things were perfect and simple.  Underlying the concept is the kvetch that consciousness got us into this mess, and consciousness will get us out—once consciousness evolves beyond the limitations of the human-animal nervous system. How to imminentize it into immanence is the question and is in the realm of mysticism and occultism, not social politics.
The truth of the matter is that the Golden Age of a past or future doesn’t occur in Time or culture. It is the phenomenon of self-actualization. It occurs in select persons and has done so since hominids became self-conscious and thus were evicted from Golden Age National Park and cast adrift in the Sea of Samsara. Being a potential and a continuum, it is always now or never. There is no place to go to retrieve the Golden Age either in memory or expectation.
The New Aeon, thus, is not a time but an idiom that promotes the aspiration of self-actualization. In the context of occultism and mysticism, it is the glorification of Personal Gnosis, which is a recurring and subversive act in the annals of history.  It is an ideal, which is the liberation of consciousness.

It is not necessary to deny anything. It is only necessary to know ourselves. Then we will naturally seek that which is needful to our being. Our significance does not lie in the extent to which we resemble others or in the extent to which we differ from them. It lies within our ability to be ourselves. This may well be the entire object of life; to discover ourselves, our meaning. This does not come in a sudden burst of illumination; it is a constant process which continues so long as we are truly alive. The process cannot continue unobstructed unless we are free to undergo all experience and willing to participate in all existence. Then the significant questions are not “is it right” or “is it good” but rather “how does it feel” and “what does it mean.” Ultimately these are the only questions that can approach truth but they cannot be asked in the absence of freedom.

—Jack Parsons,  Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword:

Selected bibliography

Peter Carroll. Liber Null & Psychonaut. San Francisco: Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. 1987.
Aleister Crowley. Liber Oz. http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib77.html. Accessed June 17, 2013.
Jack W. Parsons. Freedom is a Two Edged Sword.  Reno, Nevada: New Falcon Publications, 2001.
The Principia Discordia. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tilt/principia/body.html#greyface. Accessed June17, 2013.
Wikipedia entry on Eric Voegelin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Voegelin.  Accessed June 17, 2013.

Excerpt from Chapter 20 A Snake in the Grass from The Savior at the End of Time Book 3 in the Sorcerers and Magi Series

About 42 days after his confrontation with Lord Consul Tau-Bridge, Zosi began to be spotted in flamboyantly full ceremonial regalia within the Mercury Gardens. He would wear a tunic of thick raw silk and tightly fitted, black leggings that were made of tanned leather and full of straps and whips of lacings. Over this, he would wear high boots that matched a mottled, purple-black tanned leather cope embossed with images of ourobori, moondragons, and griffins. His hair was meticulously plaited and decorated with pins and ribbons. His head was topped with a black double-cone hat that was rakishly crimped and folded over so that the tips of the horn-like cones, embellished with opalescent jingle bells, menacingly flounced and jangled in front of his face. He wielded a rather large and tall staff, the core of which was made of slender poles of cedar and fennel stalks. It was wrapped in embossed leather that matched his ensemble. Like a sinister maypole, the staff’s leather sheath was itself wrapped in a filigreed design of cords and leather straps on which gadgets and flotsam were affixed and that dangled, flail- and cat-o-nine-tails-like, from the staff’s finial, which was a gold spearhead in the shape of a fish with an acorn protruding from its mouth.

Like that, he would stroll about the Gardens and then stop here or there to deliver a sermon that attracted larger and larger crowds as word of the spectacle grew.
He would begin the rant in a gentle voice with the words, “See the illumination at the center of being,” and materialize some small sparkly object that would fascinate and mesmerize onlookers.

“The body and all phenomena arise causally and provisionally within absolute being,” he would continue, yet still in a very meek and quiet voice. It would be trembling and barely audible despite his ferocious appearance. “There is no time and no dimension to space, both being mere adaptive projections of mind. The personality is an interdependently arising construction of circumstances and experiences, driven by reactivity bred by conditioning devoid of awareness or true will. What is it to wake up from the idea of yourself? Heaven, hell, God, the Adversary, pleasure, pain, and all the pairs of opposites are projections of your own consciousness. You project ideas out of yourself. Treating them as independent entities, you go into them, fear them, and allow them to have power over you although they are your own creations. No one is there to deliver you; you must deliver yourself. Glimpse self-effacement and the root of your existence. Reality is silent, blissful, self-composed Being. This is the Redemptive Principle, the Christos, the Ground, and the Life beneath the mechanism.”

Then he would walk off to another part of the Gardens and say it again even though people weren’t really listening and hardly understood him; they were just grooving on being part of the show and the very groovy euphoric feeling Zosimo’s magical words incited in them.

But finally, one day, in a rather ballsy display, Zosimo materialized several wheel barrels of fried cod fish and sugar-dusted zeppoli, which his Inchaote acolytes distributed throughout the Gardens.

The spectacle drew a multitude of gawkers, most of whom very festively reveled in being part of the scene. Few in authority were much concerned with Zosi’s banter—quasi-Buddhist transcendent drivel that would awe the needy masses and teach them to be resigned and endure circumstance, but philosophically so. The fried fish and dough balls catering endeavor was a weird Discordian metaphor.

Toward the latter part of the day, however, an outbreak of explosive diarrhea hit every Senate member who had not earlier partaken of fried fish and dough. And it was no silly prank but a violent attack, lethal in nature, leaving several magistrates—including Tau-Bridge—with shit extruding from every orifice: blind, deaf, choked, tortured, and incapacitated in stink and waste.

At the same moment, every locked-in person across five sovereignties within Terra Novit woke up. Both meek and menacing, novice and adept, innocent and fiend, without judge or judgment, merit or demerit, without any distinction or categorization, they woke up and were tasked with helping each other break out of the places in which they had been confined.


If you would like a free ebook when this comes out later this summer, email me at sororzsd23@gmail.com

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Monday, June 17, 2013

The New Aeon, Immanentizing the Eschaton, and Slouching Toward Liberation of Consciousness in Two Parts (Part I)

“It was the year that they finally immanentized the eschaton . . .” the famous opening of The Illuminatus! Trilogy by novelist Robert Shea (1933-1994) and counterculture philosopher Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007). Having been absorbed into the underground dictionary of postmodern counterculture, the term “immanentize the eschaton” got the privilege of being uttered with a wry smile and a flippant wink. If nothing else, it sounds cool even if the word “immanentize” is  jargon that kind-of –sort-of combines “imminent” (meaning about to occur) with  “immanent” (meaning all-pervading) and twists adjectives into verbs.  In context, “immanentize the eschaton” means “to create heaven on earth” and/or hasten the end of the world or at least the end of a consensus paradigm.

 Sociopolitical commentators use the term in tracts that criticize agendas that seem idealistic, romanticist—or “liberal.”  That is, the phrase is meant to be read dripping in sarcasm and ridicule of those whose agendas slouch toward social utopias.

 Among Christians, the term denotes bringing on the apocalypse—the end of this world and its transfiguration into an idealized one for the Christian elite. The signs of imminence are usually immanent to certain Christians although the actual event (inferred from interpretations of Revelations) keeps receding into the future. Never mind that these Christians are anticipating something that was supposed to happen 2000 years ago. Bible scholars have pointed out that early Pauline Christianity was an end-times cult that changed its tune when the Parousia (Second Coming) didn’t occur in 70 CE when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Furthermore, the Beast mentioned in Revelations probably refers to Nero (37-68), and the Whore that the Beast rides is probably ancient Rome and/or the Magna Mater cult (and, no, it’s not Aleister Crowley). Still, Dispensationalist Christians, and a host of other thanatericist menaces masquerading as transcendentalists, remain undaunted.

Among counterculture occultists, the slogan “immanentize the eschaton” is associated with rhetoric about the epiphany of a New Aeon, an era of Deconstructionism and attendant ideological scrutiny and intellectual freedom. It is the end of the world as we know it . . . or as we are accustomed to it being . . . or as we are deluded and conditioned into thinking it is or is supposed to be . . . .  It is not a cataclysmic conflagration as conceived by religious fundamentalists, nor is it an “ascension” to a “higher vibrational frequency” as touted by New Age gurus. It is the page turn into another era . . . the next one within the Time-Space continuum of the original long-running smash hit series As the World Turns, to be confused with the soap opera of the same name but only metaphorically.

It is gnostic in that it is viewed as a paradigmatic shift in thought but it is not associated with sociopolitical, philosophical, or spiritual utopian visions.  It is hard to say whether its perspective is jaded or enlightened. It’s a little bit mongrelized Zen or Dzogchen, a little Gestalt Therapy, more than a little bit of Deconstructionism, and an interface for Hermeticism and Existentialism where the realization that nothing and everything is True may possibly confer spiritual liberation and mystical empowerment if not true civil liberties.

The term “Immanentization of the Eschaton” was coined by political philosopher Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) who used it in a tract that conflated certain sociopolitical ideas (such as Nazism and Communism) with his incomplete and biased understanding of Christian Gnosticism. He warned of the folly and danger of trying to create heaven on earth. One can strongly argue that creating heaven on earth as history is unfeasible, considering that one person’s heaven is another’s hell in an ecosystem where one’s pleasure is predicated on another’s pain

 A passage called The Gospel According to Fred, 1:6 in the counterculture classic The Principia Discordia about who should and shouldn’t be immanentizing the eschaton gives oblique insight into what New Aeon zeitgeist is.

Gen. Pandaemonium, Commanding [. . . ]
The Orders are composed of persons all hung up on authority, security and control [ . . . ]

1. The Military Order of THE KNIGHTS OF THE FIVE SIDED TEMPLE. This is for all the soldiers and bureaucrats of the world.
2. The Political Order of THE PARTY FOR WAR ON EVIL. This is reserved for lawmakers, censors, and like ilk.
3. The Academic Order of THE HEMLOCK FELLOWSHIP. They commonly inhabit schools and universities, and dominate many of them.
4. The Social Order of THE CITIZENS COMMITTEE FOR CONCERNED CITIZENS. This is mostly a grass-roots version of the more professional military, political, academic and sacred Orders.
5. The Sacred Order of THE DEFAMATION LEAGUE. Not much is known about the D.L., but they are very ancient and quite possibly were founded by Greyface Greyface [an 11th century malcontented hunchback] himself. It is known that they now have absolute domination over all organized churches in the world. It is also believed that they have been costuming cabbages and passing them off as human beings
[ . . . ]
Don’t let THEM immanentize the Eschaton.

It goes on to quaintly discuss The Curse of Greyface—that is, the plight of mankind.  The Principia Discordia says:

Greyface and his followers took the game of playing at life more seriously than they took life itself and were known even to destroy other living beings whose ways of life differed from their own. 

The unfortunate result of this is that mankind has since been suffering from a psychological and spiritual imbalance. Imbalance causes frustration, and frustration causes fear. And fear makes for a bad trip. Man has been on a bad trip for a long time now.

The take-home message: People like Greyface have already immanentized a paradigm. Don’t extend a subscription renewal to their ilk. Those who seek to make an unwieldy world safe for themselves by self-righteously containing and controlling others, generally in the form of thought-policing . . . well, just don’t go there, Man. It’s a recipe for disaster if not business-as-usual.  Vote No on Proposition Brave New World. K?

 A more serious and confrontational stance on this theme is reflected in a manifesto called Liber Oz, attributed to Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). It pronounces that “There is no god but man” and that persons, therefore, are free to live, work, eat, create, love, think, speak, and die as they choose and have a right to defend these rights even unto the death (of the oppressor).  The penultimate line in the manifesto, which is embellished with quotes from Liber Al vel Legis (AL; “The Book of Law”), concludes with “the slaves shall serve.” –AL. II. 58. That is, either “get it” or be mill grist. Or as Thelemic occultist/veritable rocket scientist Jack Parsons (1914-1952) said: “There is not further evasion of nature’s immemorial ultimatum: change or perish but the choice of change is ours.”

Selected bibliography

Peter Carroll. Liber Null & Psychonaut. San Francisco: Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. 1987.

Aleister Crowley. Liber Oz. http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib77.html. Accessed June 17, 2013.

Jack W. Parsons. Freedom is a Two Edged Sword.  Reno, Nevada: New Falcon Publications, 2001.

The Principia Discordia. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~tilt/principia/body.html#greyface. Accessed June17, 2013.

Wikipedia entry on Eric Voegelin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Voegelin.  Accessed June 17, 2013.

 Excerpt from Chapter 18 The Wheel of the Ouroboros from The Savior at the End of Time Book 3 in the Sorcerers and Magi Series

“Is there virtue in ‘immanentizing the Eschaton’? Forcing change,” Lumie asked.

“To immanentize the Eschaton means to bring about an end to all things to allow for the emergence of a new, improved aeon. It is a theoretical goal of Inchaotes: to reduce everything to pure and sublime Chaos where nothing is true and every conceivable thing in its splendorous potentiality is permitted by intention rather than by neurosis, automation, or accident,”de Lux said, as if to show that he was hip and well informed.

“Can the Chaos Principle be transcended and is this is your goal, Lord de Lux Sortiar?” Lumie asked.

de Lux grinned as if deeply satisfied and perhaps even aroused by her question. “Yes,” he said. “Immanentizing the Eschaton.” He wearily sighed on the hackneyed phrase. Then he smiled and nodded at the young couple. This gesture made Dade feel relieved. Indeed, he was stricken by an enthusiasm that he wasn’t sure was authentic or imposed by spellcraft waged by de Lux.

“Transcending the Chaos and Clarus Principles, busting the paradigm, bringing on the New Aeon,” Dade muttered. “How can that happen without peril to Zosimo Sortiar or us?”

“Well, it can’t, “de Lux flatly replied. “But my wife likes to say, ‘Nothing bad is happening.’ This is always so but only relevant in regard to the Grand Scheme of Things. As for ordinary individual entities in consensus reality, bad things are happening constantly, consistently, and predictably. But what is ‘bad’ and what is ‘good’? Qualifiers related to our very puny need for comforts and threats to gaining or maintaining those comforts. But in the denser Planes—as the one’s in which we now traverse—one’s good fortune is another’s ill. The Grand Scheme of Things is sustained through self-consumption, symbolized by the ouroboros. The eater and the eaten. “May that I be an eater and not the eaten.” de Lux quoted from an antique Hindu scripture called the Taittiriya Upanishad.

“Your quaint Inchaote rhetoric and rebel fantasies about subverting the paradigm are like the ramblings of a cartoon mad scientist of Outer-Plane science-fiction kitsch,” de Lux said. “Do you really understand the price of stopping the world and making it spin in the direction opposite the one it is accustomed to? Or have you ever imagined what would become of you if this Universe were sucked through a black hole into another dimension in which its remnants would be recycled into some other configuration?”

Dade argued that he and his inner group were not in the habit of bantering on such things—nor was Zosi. It was just—as de Lux had said—rhetoric and role-playing among young Inchaote sorcerers and magi. Lumie added that for some, it was a launch pad to go deeper and understand the real sense of self.

“Mmm,” de Lux grunted again. He reached behind him and with a pointed finger, drew a small, green and purple flashing object toward him. It was one of Zosi’s Gadgiwudgets. It had been hovering near the ceiling in a corner of the room. de Lux poked it a few times to get the shy widget to do its thing, but Dade and Lumie already knew what it was supposed to do.

After some jostling, it took on the form of a fluorescently luminous green, purple, and gold ouroboros that had a mirror in its center that always only reflected the person who was looking at it no matter how many people were gazing upon it at the same time; they all only saw a reflection of themselves and not each other. The mirror flashed like a beacon as the hologram whirled and rapidly shot through a series of transformations accompanied by a range of sounds, including the voices of parrots chirping “what the fuck” in the background.

The ouroboros object would then regurgitate its tail with the aack sound of a hairball-spewing cat. Following this, the squeaking sound that tube balloons make when twisted into shapes would resound while the ouroboros folded itself into a figure-eight and then back into a circle before snapping apart, spewing sparks like a Chinese fire-cracker. Then the sequence would repeat itself.

“That’s an adorable one, don’t you think?” de Lux said and mentioned that it was one of La Maga Magus’s favorites. “She laughs for hours on end with this thing,” de Lux remarked. “It makes a great sex toy—if you like the sound of women laughing instead of yowling, that is.” Then he soberly told them something using Zosi’s near exact words:
“You have to pull the tail out of the mouth of the ouroboros or else hack it in two so that the enclosed space and all-around space are indistinguishable. There is no finitude there, no boundaries and so there are no thoughts, judgments, or expectations. Then things are just as they are. They are real and boundless and not projections of thought, which are illusions. And also,” de Lux said, “It’s not enough to avoid a dragon; you have to kill it. Something I believe you recently received instruction about, Lady Illuminata Sofiel Magus,” de Lux said.

“A hard lesson about not being squeamish,” Lumie uttered.

“That’s it exactly,” de Lux announced. “When you’re in a period of transition, or any time for that matter, and you see the thing that is suspect and courts your fear, rush to it and embrace it as if in ardor,” he said and continued. “Claiming it as your own, it will fully surrender and return to its true nature within you. Heaven, hell, darkness, light, and all pairs of opposites are illusions and artificial constructs. They are projections of thought. Forgetful of this, the thinker experiences phantasms in the plane of duality and allows those phantasms an advantage, forgetting their source. Do not do this. This is what makes the wheel of the ouroboros go round.” –zsd23

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Killing Dragons. Excerpt from Chapter 16 from The Savior at the End of Time

[Lumie] started onto a very narrow trail that was not well-cleared but had signs of being traversed. It wound up a twisting path that was deceptively steep. Persisting mountain laurel and blooming hobblebush, sassafras, poison oak, ginseng, wild blueberry and raspberry lined the trail that was densely shaded by beech, oak, maple, and pine. Lichen- and moss-covered boulders populated the hillside and neon yellow and orange chanterelles sprouted from the ground like a littering of jewels. 

Up Lumie climbed so that she quickly began to feel winded and got a burn in her thighs. Still, she continued upward, curious about where the path led until it became so steep that she grappled saplings and clawed at the ground to keep her footing. She was no longer hiking; she was climbing but tenacity took over fear or uncertainty. When the feat became too arduous, though, regret set in. She began to ponder how best it would be to discontinue the vision that was leading to nowhere and was becoming perilous.

“How do I get out?” she said aloud in her panic. Her bright shining empowerment and clarity felt squelched.

“A few more steps. There’s an end to this,” her mind said. She was determined not to give way to despondency. Reaching for a slender trunk of a pliant oak sapling, she took a giant step and hauled herself over the nearly vertical path. Finally, she grappled onto a ledge that led to level ground. When she stood upright, she was still standing in forest cover. Beech, oak, maple, and pine swayed overhead, shrubs spotted the land, little hills and mossy boulders spread out in the distance. When she looked back at the route she had taken to get there, it was gone. There was no tarrying, precipitous climb but a gently graduated path rising above the main trail below. She was happy; the ordeal endured suggested that she really was between worlds.

She walked among more mountain laurel and stone embedded in the ground. Turning opposite the sun’s westward arc, she could see a clearing. A tattered and huge pine tree with tortuous bows loomed from the middle of it. Lumie took a few steps closer but was startled to detect movement within that alcove. People were there. She wasn’t sure whether she should approach. Then Rodney came into view. He smiled brightly and waved his hand for her to near.
“Took you long enough,” he said.

She was about to ask him what he was doing there when she realized where she was. An ancient pine tree was at the hub of this highpoint and the full moon in daylight was directly overhead. She had alighted on Lunarium Hill. Zosi was there, too. He was squatting beside the tree and hammering something into the ground.

“What’s he doing?” Lumie mouthed.

“Killing mini-dragons,” Rodney replied. “Bite-size.”

“Is anyone else here?” she asked.

“No, there too busy being fuck-ups,” Rodney replied.

“The Lord Consul Tau-Bridge is going to give Dade a job,” Zosi uttered in a wondrous voice. It was jagged with breathlessness because of whatever he was hammering away at.

“What?” Lumie replied, not because she hadn’t heard him but because the idea was crazy.

“Tau-Bridge Sortiar is offering Dade a job at this very moment. He should take it; otherwise, he’s going to end up like me,” Zosi said.

“A job doing what?” Lumie exclaimed.

Rodney shrugged. Zosi continued to pound the ground. He made an “I don’t know” gesture with a smirk and lit-up eyes.

Lumie insisted that he and Rodney be serious and tell her what Zosi was doing.
“He’s killing dragons,” Rodney repeated.

As Lumie stepped closer to the professor, she saw that his hands and clothes were caked with brackish, sanguineous gunk and that he was smooshing small dragons into a sigil gouged into the dirt. The dragons were pot-bellied and about the size of golf balls. They were fiery-bright colors and had tiny claws and cute dragon heads with bulging eyes and cock’s combs on their chins and heads. The creatures were mindlessly rutting around the dirt and dragon-blood mud and sniffing and nibbling at the remains of their sacrificed and macerated brothers and sisters until their own time came to be snatched up by Zosi and pummeled.

Lumie was astonished and nauseated by the sight. She felt sorry for those little dragons.
“You want one?” Zosi said and tossed a bright, winged, fiery-colored creature at her. It immediately clamped its jaw onto Lumie’s index finger and deeply pierced the digit with its fangs. The sting and burn made Lumie hiss and wail and flail her hand. She gouged the creature’s eyes and crushed its head with the fingers of her free hand to dislodge it. Then her own hands were full of gunk but there was no pain—or even a wound—in her finger.

Zosi snickered in a way Lumie had not heard before. “You wanna’ do one?” he asked, and held out the gooey rod he was using to beat the creatures into his sigil.

“No,” Lumie said abruptly and was crying.

“It’s not like they’re real,” Rodney disdainfully commented.

“The real ones don’t look like this,” Zosi said, continuing with the slaughter.

“The real ones are ‘metaphorical,’” Rodney crassly added.

“The real ones don’t look like dragons,” Zosi asserted.

“Why are you doing this anyway?” Lumie screeched.

“Someone has to,” Rodney remarked.

“Sure you don’t want to smoosh one?” Zosi asked.

However appalled and terrorized, Lumie thought she ought to. This was a very special and eventful journey, and if Zosi said so, then . . . But she couldn’t get herself to do it.

“I was saving yours for when you showed up in case you wanted to kill it yourself,” he said. “I’ll do it for you; it’s not a problem,” Zosi assured her.

“Didn’t I just kill one?” she asked.

“Dade’s,” Rodney piped in.

“I killed Dade’s dragon?” Lumie exclaimed.

“Well, you did, and now you did,” Zosi cryptically quipped.

“The real one and the metaphorical one,” Rodney chimed in.

Thank you, Rodney. I got that,” Lumie griped.

“Alright, Lumie. I’m going to kill your dragon now. Come over here,” Zosi announced. The tone of his voice had changed. He was not goofy or spaced-out but professor-like. A breathless specialness inflated Lumie’s lungs. Rodney gently and soberly smiled as if Lumie was now in for a great moment. He hung back as Lumie stepped closer to her teacher.

“Magianism is good for girls, but if you’re too mooshy and watery, you need to do something else,” he told her and added in a mood infused with annoyance that Dade should have been killing her dragon. “But he’s too busy.”

Lumie bit back her tears and vowed to become a little darker and more sorceress-y. Fighting repulsion about the violence and gore about the little dragons, she tried to let curiosity take over.

Zosi grasped one that was serpentine, with webbed claws and fin-like structures instead of wings. It was a very sticky-bright turquoise blue.

“This is your dragon,” he said and held it by the tail so that it flailed and twisted to spring up to nip Zosi’s fingers.

Lumie merely tried to remember that it wasn’t “real,”but she was feeling queasy and macabre—panicked in fact. Zosi braced the thing in the bloody mud on the sigil and took hold of the rod.
“You know what a Pyr Sacra empowerment is, Lumie?” Zosi asked.

“Yeah,” Lumie replied. She was about to tell him that she seemed to have gotten one from an old mage just before. Then she felt her head open up to a massive nova of adamantine light as the rod crushed the dragon’s tiny skull. There was only light and space of a quality that was deeper than the taste the old turbaned man had given her to get her up the hill. It was not like those EMA trips that Zosi was so generous with. No. There was something very spacious and clear about this experience. She felt very safe and soothed in the effulgence, and she knew that it would be lasting.

Zosi looked very wise and beautiful then. He looked very with-it and precise. He stroked the side of her head and told her that he was going to let her sit with her trip for a while. “You’re going to have to be like me but be like yourself now, Lumie,” he said. “I want you to carry me forward and remember that I’ll be in you and you in me. The two in the one, the one in the two. And don’t be discouraged or afraid; every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Lumie knew exactly what he was talking about, and it was okay.



If you would like a free ebook of this title or book 1 or 2 for email me at sororzsd23@gmail.com