Occult

Book Review: Clock Shavings

Clock Shavings. By. Tracy Twyman. Vancouver, Washington: Dragon Key Press, 2014. 418 pp.

In Tracy Twyman’s underground occult hit memoir book Clock Shavings, the author uncovers her past dealings with the Ouija board and various spirits and the dead–including Cain, Jean Cocteau, Baphomet, Lucifer, Satan, and even Jesus. Tracy Twyman’s philosophy on life has always been unrelenting in the face of fear and it shows with her brave dealings in the occult and paranormal research. Such dealings in divination has inevitably led her to many amazing epiphanies and ongoing discoveries concerning the Holy Grail, Judeo-Christian scriptures, the nature of reality and the Apocalypse.

This is no doubt the best book by Tracy Twyman (excluding our book). It is essentially a very candid recollection of her interests in regards to researching the Holy Grail, the Prior of Sion, etc. which would eventually lead her to research darker aspects of the occult and the paranormal. While one may simply trivialize all of this as research into the “flying spaghetti monster” or “evil gnomes,” these lesser explainable forces in the universe have been the subject of many other investigations–especially with ghost hunters, spirit mediums, and those who contact the dead and evil spirits–which are all essentially necromancers and a lesser extent, sorcerers. With Tracy’s investigations into the paranormal, she has created a narrative made up of various hair-raising Ouija-board sessions with different spirits. At the same time, her esoteric explanations of her spirit conversations also defy your expectations in every possible way. And I mean that in a good way. Once you read her last chapter written in a stream-of-consciousness-styled exegesis of her spirit sessions in Terminus: Further and Beyond, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Her more fascinating and blood-chilling conversations are with Baphomet and Cain. Both of these spirits speak to her as if they were long time friends. This seems to confirm the idea of generational ties with spirits, especially demons. Demons, according to many sources, seem to have ties with the so-called “fallen angels” of the Bible, as well as the lesser spirits of the dead Nephilim, discussed in the Book of Enoch. As a side note, in the Testament of Solomon, King Solomon interrogates a demon, in which he responds that his spirit originally came from a Nephilim giant:

And there came before my face another enslaved spirit, having obscurely the form of a man, with gleaming eyes, and bearing in his hand a blade. And I asked: “Who art thou? But he answered: “I am a lascivious spirit, engendered of a giant man who dies in the massacre in the time of the giants.” I said to him: “Tell me what thou art employed on upon earth, and where thou hast thy dwelling.”

Demons are generally regarded as non-corporeal, often intelligent beings that spring from what in Christianity refer to as as “hell” or the “abyss” which is almost the same thing as the “astral realm.” They may also be created by human confluence through occult ritual in the form of “egregores” as well. They cannot exactly interact with the natural world so they need a human host to live in and in effect possess or engage people in spiritual contracts with them. In a way, demons may be considered like lions. Lions are not inherently evil, but if you venture too close to them, you will wind up getting killed. And yet people like lion tamers are able to engage in productive relationships with lions. This may be applicable to demons as well. Luke 11:24 tells us:

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

And so without a nice, warm human body to inhabit like a Motel 6 or a hot Jacuzzi, these spirits are in a constant state of restlessness and dwell as the “beggarly elements” of the world in deserts, forests, the oceans, islands, etc. According to some Christian exorcists, all humans on this planet, in one way or another, are a habitation for demons. It’s only the fire of the Holy Spirit that drives them out. Demons or “jinn” are also, for the most part, responsible for many psychic, paranormal, astral projection, nightmares, hypnic jerks, sleep paralysis and even UFO phenomena, as many other researchers like Jacques Vallee and Rosemary Guiley have noted in their work. Now, personally, I’ve only used the Ouija board once but nothing particularly noteworthy happened. But I’ve had plenty of spiritual experiences as well as spirit visitations, myself, than I care to have gone through but at least I know for sure there is a spiritual world that exists behind the natural and the vale of tears.

There are theories as to if perhaps the user of the Ouija board is actually possessed by the entity that they are supposedly in contact, and that is the reason why they receive various unique answers, where the planchette and board itself activates a certain “spiritual” programming in the person. This is indeed an intriguing possibility. In a way, these same spirits or demons are also the ancestors of the ancients and have continued in the bloodlines of specific families and generations today. Perhaps these spirits are also encoded in human DNA or what scientists call “junk DNA” as well. The demons may be attempting to being “saved” by latching on to a human host. More on this later.

Where exactly am I going with this? I am thinking that different races and particular bloodlines have access to specific gods, angels or demons–particularly tribal peoples of various cultures like say, the Mayans, or the ancient Egyptians. And I can’t help but wonder if the same thing is going on with Tracy Twyman, or every other occult practitioner involved in spiritism, really. This also extends to people involved in talking to the dead and demons through “spirit boxes.” Just go on Youtube and type in “Steve Huff” and “Mortis the Wizard” in the search bar to see what I’m talking about. I also recommend checking out Stacie Spielman’s work as well. Even Tracy’s past associate, Nicholas De Vere, couldn’t help but wonder as well, since according to Tracy’s account in Clock Shavings, where he asks her for a sample of her blood to test if she has “Dragon DNA” or royal genetics. She more than likely has some quite potent blood in her to channel such entities like Baphomet, Cain, and even Jesus. Now, would a Chinese guy using the Ouija board contact these beings? Perhaps, but who knows for sure?

Many people in conspiracy circles like David Icke have said that “Illuminati” elites have special bloodlines that allow reptilians that possess them and “shape-shift.” Shape-shifting is, in fact, a demonic trait that other Satanists have mentioned that occurs in morbid Satanic rituals, I’ve noticed as well. Then there’s the whole idea of the “Serpent bloodline” hinted in Genesis but expanded in apocrypha and even Gnostic literature, in which certain bloodlines originates to the Devil himself. Whatever the case may be, the blood seems to be an important and practical significance that also reoccurs in sacrificial rituals in all religions and the occult as well. Perhaps blood is given as a sacrifice to specific spirits and demons posing as gods or even God himself. This seems to be case with many instances of human sacrifice and war against the infidels and rival tribes that occur in the Old Testament and even the Koran.

Plato, Socrates and other Greek philosophers have often spoke about the “daimon” in that it is the innate spirit guide in man, which serves a protective force, advisor or even a “deified hero.” Explanations and characteristics given to the daimon indicate that this is sort of a higher genius of each man which guides the “eidolon” being lower carnal flesh body, in this world, in each successive incarnation. Perhaps this is the same idea in which demons exist in a symbiotic state in each individual. This is how those involved in witchcraft and shamanism like Quimbanda, Obeah, Santeria, and Brujería also describe themselves as “inheriting” the daemon while paying homage to specific guardian spirits in order to access a whole host of other spirits.

In one of the more interesting conversations with Baphomet, this Nephilim spirit tells Twyman about a board game called Ageio, the predecessor of chess, which describes the names of squares in the game. The names are in a foreign language, in which Baphomet said was in a long-lost and dead ancient language of Aryan. The Aryans originate in India. In another session, Cain reveals he was once a sorcerer-king of Eden that actually instigated the flood of Noah, which is the same event as the fall of Atlantis, as well as the fall of Eden. He did this because he wanted to destroy a rival lineage of warrior-kings that descended from his twin brother Abel called the “Dohir Kings.” Other fascinating details involve Cain as being one of the faces of the Black Sun, trapped in the underworld or hell. In the way Tracy describes Cain’s imprisonment in the underworld is quite interesting.

Moreover, Tracy Twyman supposedly contacted Jesus using the Ouija board. Jesus told her that the Dohir kings of the antediluvian world hid Noah’s Ark at a well. This Ark appears be a cube, and referred to as the New Jerusalem in Revelation, which is similar to the idea of the philosopher’s alchemical stone. Then there’s the other, black cube of Saturn, reflected in the hell, which is basically the same as the Kabba Stone of Islam and Foundation Stone of Jerusalem. Her discussion with Baphomet on the Apocalypse is particularly intriguing and fascinating as well and seem to confirm many stories and prophecies of the bible–that’s if you want to take it all seriously or literally. Tracy, in the last chapter, writes that Cain is trapped in the abyss, but is still, somehow “fed” by God.

Cain indicated that he fed on this “gum” to maintain his semblance of life. He said that God sends “BIRDS” down to feed him this stuff. Remember what Plutarch wrote of Saturn sleeping on his island: “… Birds fly down from the rock, which are ordained [by Jupiter] to carry ambrosia to him,” just as doves carry ambrosia to the Olympian gods. “Gum,” by the way, is a word that is traced back to Sumer, where, according to Stephen Bertman’s Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia, it was called “shim‐gam‐gam‐ma.” Now compare Cain’s story about himself, and Plutarch’s story about how Saturn is nourished, with how Wolfram von Eschenbach’s says that the “Grail stone” of the hidden “Grail kingdom” received its nourishment, which it then had the ability to transmute into any kind of food that anyone in the kingdom desired, in abundant supply. Remember what is says in Parzival: that every year on Good Friday (the day Jesus’ blood was shed on the cross and fell onto the ground), a dove would come down from Heaven and places a small white wafer on the Grail stone, from which it got its power to produce food and other miracles in abundance out of nothing, including flesh.

The food from the stone is what gives everyone in the kingdom their perpetual youth (albeit with gray hair), and keeps the Fisher King alive despite continuously suffering from a grievous wound that acts up whenever Saturn is ascendant in the heavens. I assume that what is being implied here is that the blood of Christ is what feeds Saturn, the Stone, the King of underworld, and allows him to nourish the others who are there with him. Of course, this is what Jesus repeatedly offered to those who would follow him: the fruit of the “tree of life,” the “bread of heaven,” and the “living waters” to drink.

Perhaps these demons or spirits that exist inside human DNA also crave redemption through drinking the divine blood or heavenly DNA of Jesus, in order to prevent their ghastly fate in being thrown back into the abyss or the lake of fire. Or at least some do. According to many testimonies of exorcists, demons exist. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the beings responsible for the majority of paranormal phenomena we encounter on earth really are the fallen angels/archons. Humans exist as the spiritual battleground for souls. According to the Gospels, the devil and the fallen angels have reign over the earth, and they control/influence the major and minor events that take place here. Also, from my experiences and communications with the dark side, they genuinely despise Jesus. That’s the unifying theme I’ve noticed while communicating with spirits, in one form or another. They all hate Jesus. But if the bible is true, I can see why. Jesus was basically an otherworldly insurgent who infiltrated their territory, dethroned them, and weakened their influence, on this side of the fence. This is why those involved in Satanism particularly also hate and mock Jesus, as well.

Personally, I abandoned all secularist philosophies and became intently religious once I began dabbling and researching the occult, especially for the book Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled. It’s just sort of natural. You have an “oh shit” moment once you realize that it’s real. I had a lot of arm-chair knowledge about religion and the occult, but researching and doing are two entirely different beasts. Once you begin to put things into practice, you find out that it doesn’t really work the way that it’s portrayed in books and media. And perhaps Tracy realized this as well. In any case, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up Clock Shavings, because of its sheer uniqueness and authenticity of Tracy’s autobiographical account and discovery of the occult gnosis she’s gained with her seances. Expect more book reviews and book announcements in near future. Until next time. 

Book Review: Icons of Power: Ritual Practices in Late Antiquity

Icons of Power: Ritual Practices in Late Antiquity. By Naomi Janowitz. Magic in History Series. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002. xxviii + 161 pp. 

In Icons of Power: Ritual Practices In Late Antiquity, the author Naomi Janowitz explores the rich and dazzling power of ritual magic and theurgy throughout the ancient world in Jewish, Christian and Greek practices. She isn’t concerned with magic in general terms, but with specific practices of ancient cults, secret societies, Jewish and Christian mystics and Hermetic alchemists throughout the book such as chanting of heavenly liturgies to the utterance of barbarous, holy names, to the manipulation of magical amulets and the transformation of metals. I will quote specific passages in the book that jump out for my attention. In the first chapter, she makes it clear why magical practices were used in the first place, in the Introduction:

Some of these rituals presumed a vast cosmos with dizzying layers of heavens full of entourges of angels–the higher and farther away from earth and matter, the better. In this multiheavened cosmology, a trip upward was a means for traversing the cosmos and gaining access to the upper regions where the deity dwelt. Escape was the goal, escape from the bonds of earthly existence and life in the body, including fate, decay, and death.

In the first chapter, “Late Antique Theories of Efficacy”, Naomi goes on to describe these rituals (p. 1):

Paradoxically, rituals that claim to reveal divinity on earth can look to outsiders as if their purpose is to manipulate that same divine power. The difference is in the eye of the beholder. Similarly, distinguishing between the work of an angel and a daimon, between the work of good forces and evil forces is a subtle, if not impossible, task. (I am using the word “daimon” and not “demon” to emphasize that in Late Antiquity these beings were not always evil.)

Throughout the first chapter, Naomi makes some succinct observations in that Christians, Jews and Pagans all criticized one another as being secret practitioners of magic, in one form or another — whether it be the Jewish practice of fasting, Sabbath observance or animal sacrifice, or in that Christians practiced sorcery and Gnostic doctrines in a quasi-Masonic fashion, as Celsus writes in the True Doctrine:

Of associations some are public, and these are in accordance with the laws; others, again, secret, and maintained in violation of the laws; of this latter sort is Christianity. The Christians teach and practice their favorite doctrines in secret. They do this to some purpose, seeing they escape the penalty of death which is imminent; similar dangers were encountered by such men as Socrates for the sake of philosophy. Their “love-feasts” had their origin in the common danger, and are more binding than any oaths.

Such “love-feasts” are also heavily influenced by the cults of Dionysus and surrounding rumors of rapacious wine-fueled orgies of sex, murder and mayhem as Livy in Roman History exposes like a tabloid journalist.

Moving on, her discussion of theurgy brings up points that I’ve made in my previous post that touches on Iamblichus and Pophyry, when she writes (p. 5):

Rituals, Iamblichus explains, do not always make sense to humans, even to insiders, but they do make sense to the gods. The gods send down instructions to complete certain actions that look strange to humans but that “perfect” humans. These acts provide what the dialecticians lack in their investigation of divinity.

In her discussion of Iamblichus’s and Pophyry’s different stances on theurgy, she reveals that Iamblichus has much more negative view on such practices such as animating statues, earthly sympathies, idolatry and divination, which reveals his as Janowitz puts it “philosophical snobbery.” These are all merely human sciences while theurgy is not, but a “divine science.” This, I might add, is the same as Gnostic knowledge.

Janowitz also discusses Saint Augustine’s views on theurgy, which is the typical orthodox reaction against all forms of pagan “magic.” The orthodox believe that all magic, Right Hand Path or Left Hand Path, thaumaturgic or theurgic, is evil, because it relies on knowledge and the individual will rather than faith and God’s will. Theurgy for Augustine, is nothing but a clever con game of lying demons and attacks the heart of pagan ritual practice. Janowitz reveals that other Christian theologians like John Chrysostom advocated Christian rituals with words and prayers only.

Some magicians like Apollonius of Tyana did not even need prayers, sacrifices or even words to perform miracles, much like Jesus Christ, who relied entirely on his own innate divine powers while bringing down heaven to earth and driving out evil powers. Other philosophers and dialecticians like Plotinus dismissed external magical ritual and prayers altogether and ridiculed others, like the Gnostics for the sins of hissing, melodies, shrieks and barbarous magical chanting as well as telling myths of the fall of Sophia and the creation of the world and such. But Janowtiz also reveals that Plotinus himself only appears “rational” because he admits ignorance rather than engage in the telling of myths like the Gnostics do and his holy grail quest to be “god-like” and the realization of his “divine soul” is in actuality, irrational, by today’s materialist/secular standards. This is one of the better chapters in the book, IMHO. 

In Chapter 2, “The Divine name as Effective Language,” Jewish mysticism, the efficacy of words in the creation account of Genesis and the magical nation of the tetragrammaton YHWH is explored in great detail, with the “I am” proclamations and the like. She focuses more on Targums, rabbinic midrash and such to make her case. Janowitz rightly connects the creation of the world with the divine name itself, when she writes (p. 24):

The act of speaking created the world, and thereby the very possibility of speaking to the world. The “creativity” of all the other words and usages pales in comparison. All other creative speech is only secondary, reflected power that is dependent on the primal creative speech that established creation itself. Divine language sets the standard for creative power of language, and the most important word in the divine language is the name of the deity.

Janowitz also uses many instances in apocryphal works in how various Biblical patriarchs wielded the Divine Name like a sword in how King Solomon uses the Divine Name (Sabaoth specifically) to subdue and interrogate the demon Asmodeus with a magical ring as well as punishing the devil with the “fear of God” (The Testament of Solomon 24) or Moses, in killing an Egyptian with the Divine Name as described in Exodus Rabba 1.29. And yet the Divine Name could also reanimate life, such as the cases of medieval Kabbalists using it to raise the dead, or create a golem out of dead flesh or mud much like YHWH did with Adam in Genesis.

Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. – Job 1:21 (KJV)

Up next in Chapter 3, “Thinking With the Divine Name,” Janowitz explores the Christian interpretation of the Divine Name through the Catholic theologian Origen and Dionysus the Areopagite. In Origen, we find him defending the Christian usage of divine names against Celsus, especially when invoking Jesus Christ’s name to heal the sick and lame, cast out devils and perform other miracles as advocated in the New Testament. As Janowitz points out, Origen also refutes Celsus’s perennial sounding argument in that all the diverse names for God are universal and hence, refer to the same deity.

According to Origen, this argument was planted by daimons, who “attribute their own names to the Supreme God so that they may be worshiped as the Supreme God” (Exhortation to Martyrdom 46).

Janowitz goes on to discuss how the nature of the divine names in themselves are automatic and not restricted on the intention of the speaker, whether it be for good or ill such as prayer and studying and hearing holy scripture of both the NT and the OT vs. speaking a pagan god’s name like Zeus that would inadvertently summon a powerful daimon. The various names and prayers attributed to YHWH must be recited in Hebrew if they are to have any magical effect on the person, so says Origen. Origen also compares God’s proclamation of “Let there be light” of Genesis with the Prologue of the Gospel of John‘s “In the beginning was the word.” The “word” or Logos also has a creative faculty and is further expanded upon by later Gnostic and Valentinian texts and teachers like Theodotus, Ptolemy, and Heracleon’s rich and mystical commentaries. In fact, it is these Gnostic teachers that were the first to make extensive exegesis on Christian scripture, anticipating later Orthodox Catholic exegetes like Origen and Clement of Alexandria, who are simply reacting to much earlier tradition and smears it all as “heresy” and “heretics” (in reality they are the real heretics here). That’s the name of the Orthodox game, however. She does not mention any of these Gnostic figures but she does discuss Marcus the Magician in the next chapter.

Dionysus the Areopagite or Psuedo-Dionysus is a mysterious theological figure without a concrete identity who uses Neoplatonic cosmology and dresses it all up with Christian language. His take on the Divine Name is Apophatic (Negative Theology) in that God is so good and wonderful that He does not even have a name and is content in calling Him the “Nameless One.” This idea is very similar to how Gnostic texts like the Apocryphon of John describe God and the Pleroma in terms of what God isn’t. Hesitation in labeling Dionysus as a Gnostic, however, is quite strong in this case. Philo, Justin Martyr and the authors of the Corpus Hermeticum also make similar mystical statements. Dionysus also makes some fascinating comparisons between the Christian Eucharist and theurgy by insisting that those who partake of this Christian ritual are deified as a miracle from God.

In Chapter 4, “The Meaning of Letters: From Divine Name to Cosmic Sounds,” begins on building on the previous chapter. This is probably my favorite chapter. Here Janowitz discusses Marcus the Magician’s practices and secret knowledge that apparently he received from a female heavenly figure akin to Sophia as described by Irenaeus in Against the Heresies (1.14.1). Much of Marcus’s teachings expand upon on the Johannite Prologue of the Gospel of John and are also quite similar to Hebrew Kabbalist texts like the Book of Creation (Sefer Yetsira) which discuss the creation of the world through letters and numbersa comparison in which Janowitz explores in great detail. Although she does not mention this author, Andrei Orlav in Divine Scapegoats: Demonic Mimesis in Early Jewish Mysticism, makes similar but more in-depth arguments about Adoil from 2 Enoch being similar to the Word, in that they both jump-start the visible process of creation.

Marcus was also big on the practices of sacred geometry, gematria, and isospephia, all of which involve words and corresponding numbers, such as how Jesus Christ’s name equaling to 888, revealing the divine nature of his name and how it corresponds to the Ogdoad, the eighth realm of Sophia. Vowels for Marcus were also equated with the planets. The highest-level name is actually beyond mortal comprehension and cannot be uttered by mere humans. The next name that can be uttered, though is Jesus Christ. As mentioned by Irenaeus, a Gnostic Ophite practice also involves numbers in adding up the letters of names that equal less than 100 means that it is “material” and is thus lesser value. Anything more would obviously be more valuable. There’s a lot more to be said here, but reading the book would be the next best thing.

Chapter 5, “Using Names, Letters, and Praise: The Language of Ascent,” is mostly about ascension mysticism, in yet again, a Jewish context. In particular, Janowitz focuses on Hebrew hekhalot (palace) texts or merkabah (chariot) texts, which describe the heavenly realms, liturgies of the heavenly chorus, prays to call down angels such as the Prince of the Torah (i.e. Metatron), etc. The ancient accusation by Celsus that the Jews were “addicted to sorcery” and were “angel worshipers” is made clear in this chapter. The Books of Enoch depicts similar accounts where Enoch is taken a celestial tour of Heaven and Hell, respectively. She also compares these texts to the Mithras Liturgy, which also involves bodily transformation of a mortal into the immortal high heavens. Comparisons are also made to Celsus’ Ophites who show magical “symbols,” “seals,” or “icons” to the gatekeepers or archons as they pass through the levels of heaven as well as the Ascension of Isaiah, which tells a similar story. These symbols might be related to the various Gnostic amulets that feature mystical terms and images of “IAO” “Abrasax” and the like. Although she does not mention this text (she could have easily done so), the First Apocalypse of James is all about the ascent of the soul and the astral journey through the cosmic spheres and the confrontational dialogue with the archons.

Janowitz makes it clear that the heavenly ascent is done through the repetition of vowel sounds, divine names and heavenly liturgy (angelic cults envisioning being involved with the cherubim and seraphim singing praises to God) as discussed in the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, of the Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls. To engage in such activities meant that the participant would become immortal by being granted the Divine Vision. Most convincing is her comparison with the Gnostic text Marsanes, with these Jewish texts. There are many hymns, silences, the invocation of names, and the vocalization of stringed vowels that only make sense in the context of theurgy.

Chapter Six, “Combining Words and Deeds Angelic Imprecations in the Book of Secrets,” continues on with Jewish mystical tradition; only this time, the focus is placed on a Jewish witchcraft text the Book of Secrets or the Book of Raziel. Janowitz rightfully compares it with the Greek Magical Papyri (PGM), as it has many practical spells — ranging everything from healing the sick, divining the future, influencing kings in your favor, binding yourself to a “great woman”, and speaking with the spirits, planets and stars. She has a very helpful table that lists all the spells in the book, too. Very nice. Instead of relying on demons or familiar spirits, the magician instead relies on angelic powers in legal oaths and pacts so that they may carry our your wishes and goals, which are often fueled by a personal and a financial drive for success.

Later in the chapter, Janowitz discusses how animal sacrifices in Judaism and other pagan religions are directed more towards lower spirits like the elementals, daimons and angels and not God, necessarily. This is why philosophers like Porphyry rejected animal sacrifice/the eating of meat and advocated vegetarianism because daimons or demons feed off of animal sacrifice. Origen and Celsus said the same thing where the daimons will even go as far as to steal a sacrifice made for a god or angel. It is interesting that both angels and demons are allured by the shed blood of the sacrifice — especially in context of both pagan Gentile sacrifice and Jewish-Israelite sacrifice as discussed by Origen in On the First Principles (1.8.1).

In fact, Jewish sacrifice is also very much intertwined with the “Divine Scapegoat” i.e. Azazel, who himself is a desert angelic demon or “serim”. Janowitz points out how many Rabbinic wizards throughout history have equated the sacrifice of a “scapegoat” for Azazel as a sacrifice to Satan, while we see Aaron in Leviticus 16:8 sacrifice “one” (a goat) for the Lord, and one for the “scapegoat” which is Azazel. Just as Jehovah makes a covenant or pact with Abraham and the children of Israel with shed blood, so does Azazel who also needs a contract, signed with blood with Israel as well. Although Janowitz does not mention this — stranger still, many church fathers throughout history have made several allusions and comparisons between Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and the fallen angel and prototype Baphomet, Azazel — a subject in which will be examined in a future post.

The last chapter, “Transformation by Deed Alone: The Case of Alchemy” takes a quite different turn than the rest of the book, which seems to be mostly concerned with Jewish magic. The transformation of metals and substances are focused on as she is mostly concerned with the Gnostic-Hermetist Zosimos’s writings. These writings are both allegorical as well literal in the sense that these ancient theories linked the ritual transformation of metals with the spiritual transformation of the adept himself: “By means of fire, the metal makes a dramatic progression upward to another type of existence, exactly as human bodies can” (p. 119). Sacrifices are also involved, but the sacrifice isn’t concerned with animals, but with the initiate himself. In Zosimos’s Visions, Zosimos falls asleep and dreams that he walks seven steps of fleshy mortification that leads to the krater or altar shaped bowl with boiling water of wisdom.

The priest being Zosimos, is both the sacrifice and the sacrificer, as he learns that “casting off the body’s coarseness, and, consecrated by necessity” means that the priest has become “spirit.” Various metals like copper and silver are applied to men as one copper man has “his eyes turned to blood and he vomited up all his flesh. And I saw him as a mutilated image of a little man and he was tearing at his flesh and falling away.” Such ghastly and hellish visions that come straight out of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser or Dante’s Inferno relate to the state of Nigredo, the judgement and descent of the soul into Hell or Hades. This stage of the Second Death is necessary if the metallic souls are to reach their most purified state — the state of spirit and Gold, which is the rebirth.

It all relates directly to rebirth as described in Corpus Hermeticum XIII (with the 12 tormentors of the zodiac which must be transcended), as well as the symbolic cup or krater of Knowledge in Corpus Hermeticum IV (where the enlightened ones immersed themselves in). 
He filled a great mixing bowl with it and sent it below, appointing a herald whom he commanded to make the following proclamation to human hearts: “Immerse yourself in the mixing bowl if your heart has the strength, if it believes you will rise up again to the one who sent the mixing bowl below, if it recognizes the purpose of your coming to be.” All those who heeded the proclamation and immersed themselves in mind participated in knowledge and became perfect people because they received mind.

Zosimos’s recipes of cooking and transforming metals illustrate as Janowitz writes, that there is no big enough gulf to separate the grossness of the flesh with the highest spirit of heaven. In our book Baphomet: The Temple Secret Unveiled, Tracy and I go into Zosimos’ literature and how it all relates to the Holy Grail and the bizarre and disturbing rituals of the Knights Templar as well.

Her “Concluding Note” chapter attempts to synthesize all of the materials addressed in the book. Her primary focus on Jewish temple ritual and domestic and consultant magic spells is apparent while the extraneous addition of Zosimos’s work is somewhat jarring and doesn’t exactly fit with the rest of the book. At the same time, it doesn’t necessarily detract from her work either. It would have served her case better if she had made more comparisons with Gnostic texts in comparison with all of the Jewish mystical traditions that she certainly succeeds in analyzing. In fact, Zosimos’s alchemical work may be successfully compared to many sections of the Apocryphon of John, a Sethian Gnostic text. It illustrates how much Hermetism and Gnosticism were more than likely part of the same milieu or tradition. In any case, Janowitz is successful in bringing all these diverse magical traditions of the ancient world together with a careful and analytical eye. I would have to concur with David Frankfurter’s concluding words in his review of Icons of Power:

While it may leave the reader craving more explanation, more thoroughness in the ideas, Icons of Power captures a fascinating element of late antique ritual speculation, in which certain words, written or spoken, were imagined as connected intrinsically to the Divine and therefore subject to efficacious manipulation or utterance.

In a future post, we will explore an even more controversial book, Jesus the Magician by Morton Smith.

New Book: Baphomet: The Mystery of the Temple Unveiled

I realize it’s been a long while since I’ve posted an article on this blog. But be of good cheer! A new book I co-wrote with Tracy Twyman is set to come out either late October or early November as the date is currently tentative at the moment. The book is called Baphomet: The Temple Mystery Unveiled. I’ve been working on this book very intently for the last 6-7 months and all my hard work (along with Tracy’s) will finally be revealed for the public to read and carefully consider. Here is the press release for the book over on Tracy’s site. Be on the look out for a Kickstarter with some pertinent details for you beloved truth seekers, to consider supporting us while giving you lot’s of cool goodies, e-books and hardcover books in return. And finally, here is the cover that will be used for the book. I will be posting more details about the book as the weeks pass on. Spread the news far and wide!

Here is the blurb from the inside cover of the book jacket:

Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? And be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

For seven centuries, the enigma of Baphomet has mystified both scholars and the general public. Did the Knights Templar really worship a demonic idol of that name? If so, what does the word mean? What is the origin of this figure? What was the nature of the rituals that the Templars performed in secret? What were their covert beliefs? And why, if the Templars initially described their idol as a mummified severed head, is this figure now represented as a hermaphrodite human with the head of a goat?

Authors Tracy R. Twyman and Alexander Rivera have dived head-first into the bottomless abyss of mystery and returned with some astounding wisdom to share. Learn the genesis of these symbols and how they relate to the Witches’ Sabbath, traditions of Sufi Islam, alchemy, Gnosticism, cabalism, the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, and so much more.

Learn why the Templars and their beloved severed head are frequently associated with John the Baptist, and how this connects to his student, Simon Magus. Discover the known facts about things like the Chinon Parchment, the Book of the Baptism of Fire, the Templar Abraxas seals, and newly-found documents which claim that the Templars discovered the real Temple of Solomon during a secret trip to Mecca.

Join Twyman and Rivera on this exciting adventure into the unknown. Immerse yourself in this knowledge, if your heart has the strength. It is certain that your mind will never be the same.

LVX and God Bless,

Alex.

BaphometUnveiledFrontCoverSnip4

A Luciferian Interview: Jeremy Crow

Jeremy Crow is a Luciferian/Left-Hand Path Occultist based in Toronto, Canada. He’s also part of the electro/drum ‘n bass group, Pleasure the Priestess. I’ve also interviewed him on the Youtube show, Aeon Arcanum with my co-host Karl James Smith (I’m the guy with the glasses). Recently, I asked him to take part of a Q & A session because of his Light-bringing intelligentsia and fiery Promethean Gnostic spirit that fits very well with the general theme of this blog. This is the result of our dialogue. Enjoy the interview!

Three Eyed Crow

1. How do you think Left-Hand Path Luciferianism and ancient, Nag-Hammadi styled Gnosticism are alike and do they differ in any specific differences, including perhaps encratic/asceticism in contrast with antinomian libertinism?

I think modern Luciferianism differs from historical Gnosticism in a number of ways. For instance, Gnosticism tended not to deviate very far from the Judeo-Christian mythos. They certainly had their own way of looking at it compared to the mainstream Christian traditions that developed and they definitely were influenced by other cultures, however it was not nearly as syncretic as modern Luciferianism. Luciferians of today borrow heavily from a very wide range of mythologies and spiritual systems both ancient and modern. For a few examples, Prometheus is almost universally considered by Luciferians as a “Lucifer” (literally “Light Bringer”) as well as characters such as the serpent from the biblical Eden story, the Norse god Odin and the Sumerian god Enki. Many even consider the Gnostic Christ to be a Lucifer.

There is a basic story arc that these various Light Bringers typically follow: The providing of forbidden knowledge to an oppressed people, punishment of the emancipator from the established authorities and finally the redemption of the light bringer. The actual practices are also wildly divergent, even among modern Luciferians. You often see more extreme forms of practice in historical forms of Gnosticism when compared with modern practitioners. Take for example the Cathar practice of avoiding reproduction in order to avoid providing physical bodies so as not to enable the Archons to imprison souls in the flesh. That is a form of extreme fundamentalist dualism that I think would be very difficult to find among modern Luciferians.

2. Do you equate Lucifer with Satan or do you consider them two distinct entities?

My thoughts on this have evolved over time. Really, “Lucifer” and “Satan” are just words that are used to convey ideas. Are those two ideas the same? To some people, they certainly are. To start with, I think it’s important to know that Lucifer is a Latin word that means “Bringer of Light” or “Bearer of Light” and that Satan is a Hebrew word that means “Adversary.” When I was first getting into Gnosticism I used the word “Lucifer” to personify the liberating truth and “Satan” to personify the demiurgic force that tries to maintain control through suppressing the truth. It was a very Manichean or dualistic way of looking at things. Now I see Lucifer and Satan more as the two primary ways of relating to the aspects of reality that we find disturbing and have a hard time accepting or integrating. For someone who is not ready to accept these difficult truths, it is more of an adversarial relationship – Satan guarding the gates of Hell from the intrusions of the unwary for their own protection. When we become mature enough and brave enough to effectively integrate the shadow, it becomes Lucifer initiating you into the forbidden knowledge. The lens has changed.

Satan In His Original Glory - William Blake (1805)

3. H.P. Blavatsky and Aleister Crowley have both exerted an enormous influence on modern Luciferian thought. Do you think its possible that John Milton’s Paradise Lost could be the origination of the celebration or deification of Lucifer?

That’s an interesting question. Technically, Milton’s Paradise Lost doesn’t mention Lucifer at all. It’s a story about Satan. Milton apparently didn’t intend Satan to be the protagonist although that is how it turned out. Certainly it has inspired some to sympathize with Satan and his plight. It has also been one of the major pieces of literature that led to the identification of Satan with the serpent in Eden as well as with the word Lucifer as found in the KJV version of the bible. For a very long time, the word Lucifer was not associated with Satan. Not until the KJV came out did people start thinking of Lucifer as equivalent to Satan. To this day, the Catholic Church does not see the word Lucifer as equivalent to Satan or even as something bad at all. There was even a Bishop who took on the ecclesiastical name Lucifer and was later canonized.

I would also like to mention that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was essentially an updated retelling of Paradise Lost, where the monster becomes the anti-hero style protagonist and Dr. Frankenstein is the uncaring and cold hearted creator. In the book, the monster actually reads Paradise Lost and sympathizes with Satan. Mary’s husband Percy Bysshe Shelley also wrote a lyrical drama called Prometheus Unbound, which he prefaces with a note stating that Prometheus is essentially the Satan character but in a different cultural context in which he is actually appreciated by the people he helped emancipate. Paradise Lost has been and remains an important and influential piece of literature, especially for those on a Left Hand Path.

4. How does the dual symbols of Lucifer and Satan tie into the concept of the HGA (The Holy Guardian Angel)? Could this dichotomy be compared to Carl Jung’s thought on the Shadow Self?

I alluded to this above and will elaborate here. The way I see it can be easily described with reference to Jung’s concept of the Shadow. Before I get into that, I want to make it clear that I think the modern concept of the Holy Guardian Angel as something you need to spend years trying to gain knowledge of and conversation with in order to determine your True Will is a load of crap. This kind of thinking amounts to a lot of busy-work, doing the same basic rituals over and over for years and rarely yielding any greater insight into your life’s purpose or progress toward achieving it. It is my suggestion that you likely already know what inspires you. Pick a goal in line with that and work at it as hard as you can. It will evolve or even dramatically change as you go along and that’s how it should be. If you genuinely don’t know what inspires you, explore as much as you can until you find your muse! If nothing else, you will develop your personality in the process.

The original concept of the personal guardian angel was a usually undetectable influence that subtly keeps you from harm. The Shadow, as a repository of all that you have rejected about yourself and the suppressed memories of traumatic events is frightening for the very reason that this material is potentially damaging. It was knowledge that was so disturbing or incomprehensible that your mind segregated it from consciousness so that you would not go insane. Personified, it is Satan or Hades, making sure that the damned souls and demonic entities do not escape the underworld to molest the living. Satan is the guardian angel. What many modern occultists sometimes refer to as “shadow work” is an attempt to explore the contents of this rejected personal truth (aka “forbidden knowledge”) and to heal and integrate it into the conscious mind. This work seeks to overcome the natural feelings of fear and revulsion and look upon the Shadow not as an adversarial guardian but as an initiator – the devil is transformed into an angel of light, so to speak. Eventually we should grow beyond the need for these functions to become mature and courageous enough to process difficult truths through a consciously directed process. This is why you hear that once we leap into the Abyss, we leave the HGA behind. At least that is my personal take on the HGA.

5. What are your thoughts on Chaos Magick and creative visualizations associated with ideas such as the Law of Attraction? Does the deific or daemonic (the Platonic daemon) self-identification “I am” formula in the Greek Magical Papyri and the Egyptian Pyramid texts have anything to do with these concepts and ritual practices?

I think that most Luciferians are Chaos Magickians in the sense that they develop their own personal system based on what works for them. They may not call themselves Chaos Magickians, but the basic concept is there. Modern Luciferianism is very personal and tends to be quite syncretic. As far as Creative Visualization, The Secret, the Law of Attraction, or whatever else you want to call it, I do see a lot of validity in that technique. It is important but not sufficient and therein lies the problem. Too many people reduce this to “if I have the right mental attitude and can visualize it strongly enough, it will manifest in my life” and then they spend all their free time in fantasy, never accomplishing anything. If you want something bad enough, you need to work on it from both sides. Continue to do your visualizations but you also need to put in the grunt work on the ground to create ways for it to manifest in your life. If you’re trying to get a certain type of job, wishing and praying for it usually won’t work unless you are also sending out resumes. Too many aspiring occultists spend countless hours trying to develop magickal powers without any idea of what they hope to accomplish with these powers. Usually, those hours would be better spent working toward achieving the same thing using more mundane techniques. I like to think of Creative Visualization and/or Sigil Magick as a method of enhancing the likelihood of succeeding in my conventional efforts. It’s to get that extra edge.

6 On various social media websites (including Facebook and Youtube), you’ve spearheaded an Occupy the Temple movement. Could you elaborate more about this?

Occupy The Temple is an initiative to challenge the status quo of occult organizations and Esoteric Orders. There are many ways of going about doing things that may have been necessary in the past but could be discarded or improved upon for the modern era. Many times, the only reasons these methods persist is because of the reverence for tradition and (more often) because they allow the leaders of these groups to hold and maintain more power over their membership. Occupy The Temple seeks to educate people about these specific issues and to encourage [and where possible, to also provide] alternative ways of doing things. Ideally these changes will be possible to enact within the existing establishments but where it cannot, we encourage individuals to take it upon themselves to defiantly do things the way they feel is right without asking for permission from someone who has taken on a position of authority in their group. Occupy The Temple is a leaderless movement in a manner similar to the hacker collective Anonymous, in that anyone can take up the Occupy The Temple mantle and take direct action without asking permission from anyone. These individuals take both credit and responsibility for their own actions. For examples of issues, I encourage anyone curious to look us up.

Pleasure the Priestess

7. Are there any upcoming musical or book projects to expect, down the pipeline for 2014?

Yes, I have a few things in the works. Pleasure The Priestess is working on a new album which we plan to release on vinyl, cassette tape and digital download sometime in 2014. The new songs are going to be closer to our Industrial roots compared to the more dance music oriented stuff we released in 2013. We’re going to experiment with crowd-funding to help finance the project. We also intend to continue putting out music videos on our YouTube channel. I hope people will check out our channel and if they like what they see, they can show their support by subscribing on YouTube.

As far as books, you can expect to see at least two publications in 2014. One of these is a compilation of articles written by members of the Luciferian Research Society (LRS) mostly on topics of practical occultism. It is therefore a “Book of Shadows” for our community and we intend to publish a series of these over time. If it pays for itself it will be a worthy project, as it will publish the work of aspiring authors and help them get noticed. If it actually generates some income, these funds will be used to support the expenses of the LRS and its official projects. For more info on the LRS, please visit: http://luciferianresearch.org/

I also have a personal project to publish a book containing four original rituals that I have written for use by Left Hand Path occultists. The first three of these are solo rites. The final ceremony is a full lodge initiation which requires five people to perform: Four officers and one candidate for initiation. This group ritual will form the basis of a sort of Open Source Order, as anyone can perform it without asking permission or paying dues to any governing body. No governing body such as a Grand Lodge or Sovereign Sanctuary will even exist in the first place and if someone should try to set one up, it could not be enforced as there will be no oath of secrecy attached to the initiation ceremony. A digital copy of this rite will be freely available to encourage sharing and I will also be publishing and selling physical copies of the book.

Jeremy Crow

Interview: Stuart Littlejohn

Stuart Littlejohn is a British painter and esotericist that I came across on Facebook not too long ago. His magical paintings are mostly portraits but they’re incredibly rich with fantastical detail and esoteric mystique—all supported by his amazingly unique artistic talent. This is what prompted me to interview this amazingly talented artist and writer. You can find his work along with his wife, Josephine McCarthy, at The Inner Library. On to the interview!

When did your interest in painting and sculpting esoteric, magical and occult concepts begin?

For as long as I can remember I have  been fascinated by art, magic and mythology, I wanted to paint from a very early age and my father used to regularly take me around the art galleries and museums in London, the British Museum almost became a second home! It was a wonderful education for me to see these treasures! My family was also non-religious, so I was free to explore my spirituality without an imposed dogma… as my interest and awareness grew it seemed very natural to bring these strands together.

On your website, you claim to be the Co-founder of the Order of Minverva Occidentalis in the United Kingdom. Could you describe more about your organization?

O.M.O (Ordo Minervae Occidentalis) was formed in 2001, by myself and two other close friends, to explore the continuing manifestation of the Classical Mysteries.  All three of us had long experience of magical and ritual practice of one form or another and we had all been members of an Egyptian magical group that had become moribund.  The impulse to trace the thread of the Perennial Wisdom Tradition seemed to arise between us spontaneously. We drew our inspiration from the Ancient world through the Renaissance and onward to the present day, exploring Neo-Platonism, Hermeticism and Gnosticism. OMO is still functioning, although I have withdrawn from active participation.

Lion-Headed Serpent

Are there any specific practices (ceremonial or otherwise) you engage in? How would you describe your own personal religion (if you have one)?

 At present there are no specific ceremonial practices that I follow at all. One reason that I withdrew from OMO was that I felt that I needed to get back to basics with my practice, for close on two decades I had followed what was effectively an exoteric reconstructualist path  and it became  obvious that I needed to revisit and relearn a more esoteric and visionary way of doing things. Meeting and marrying Josephine has given me that insight that I was missing previously. My inner vision expressed itself through my artwork but there was an element missing, a sense of direction if you will, Josephine’s long and distinguished experience in  visionary magic was the key that I needed to turn to unlock even deeper levels of insight.. As for my personal religion, I would classify myself as something of a Neo-Platonic Neo-Pagan, but that that is a very loose label!

Are there any specific occult texts that have influenced your work as an artist? Do you have any particular favorite texts from the Bible and the Nag Hammadi Codices?

It’s very difficult trying to think what has influenced me over the years! They all seem to merge into one after a time!! But in no particular order: Nag Hammadi is well up there, the Greek Myths, the musings of Plotinus, Sallustus, Proclus,  Symmachus and the Emperor Julian, the Egyptian Pyramid texts, the writings of Rumi, Shakespeare, John Dee, the School of Night, William Blake, Byron, Shelley, Bram Stoker, Dion Fortune, Aleister Crowley, Gore Vidal and The Wind in the Willows to name a few off the top of my head…

Not only are you a professional painter but you’re also a novelist. Could you tell us more about your fiction life and even your creative process involved in fiction writing?

Not sure of what you are thinking about here, Josephine is the writer of both fiction and non-fiction, the only things I’ve written that have been published, are a couple of ‘How-to’ books on art techniques!

Minerva

You and your wife are something of a power couple when it comes to bringing gnosis to the public at large. Do you think there are differences between how you process creativity, mysticism, psychology, etc with your wife (Josephine McCarthy) who is also involved in esotericism?

I think we are two sides of the same coin, to begin with I was very much into the exoteric and outward forms of ritual and magic, I spent many years as a hardened reconstructualist, recreating the forms and practices of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, as I mentioned in response to your earlier question, the inner visionary side of this work manifested through my art. Josephine’s experience is the inverse of mine, she is highly experienced and adept in the visionary arts and has opened my eyes to the underlying patterns of all exoteric religious and mystical systems. We compliment each other very well! She is also a kick-ass magician generally, who can eat several grimoire-toting wannabes at a single sitting!

What is your opinion on the idea or concept of the Platonic daimon? Do you think it’s somehow involved in your artwork and fiction writing?

This is a very interesting question. Looking back, it has seemed as if there was a certain pattern that I have always been ‘fated’ to follow, situations that have arisen which have pushed me in a particular direction, people I’ve met who have been incredibly influential on my art or my esoteric understanding. These patterns were often indiscernible at the time but with hindsight the way these experiences mesh together becomes more apparent. It would certainly seem that there has been some kind of guiding influence, and lessons given, which, if not taken on board, come around again and again! On the purely artistic side of things, particular works have had an incredible inner push to be done, something needed to manifest and be out in the world. I find in these cases that there is a very dynamic conversation between the inner and the outer as to how a work should appear, what details to include etc, often when complete, a painting will sit around, sometimes for years, but eventually will find its true home.

Lucifer

Do you have any specific painters, artists, and writers (etc.) that have influenced your work?

This could be a very long list! Again, in no particular order… van Eyck, van der Veyden, the Limbourg Brothers, Hans Holbein, Albrect Durer, Giotto, Ghirlandao, Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Boucher, David, Ingres, Rossetti, Waterhouse, Burne-Jones, Sargent, Klimt, von Stuck, de Lempika, Kahlo… this is a mere smattering!

Are there any future projects and events to keep on the lookout?

We have several things in the pipeline, at the moment Josephine and I are concentrating on getting the Goblyn Market up and running, a place for the magical, beautiful and downright strange, so for the moment we are finding that there are not enough hours in the day!

Stuart John Little

Interview: With Asterion Mage

Asterion Mage is a very talented artist and Renaissance magician, who currently resides in Romania. He is also by his words: “a student and teacher of the occult, specialized in traditional ceremonial magic. Very interested in talismans, amulets, evocation, demonology, angelology, Qabbalah, seals and sigils, alchemy and the like.” What attracted me to his work was this dazzling seal called the Seven Heavens published in the most recent issue of Platonism at the JWMT, which in my own estimation, naturally corresponds to the “Seven Heavens of Chaos” along with the Seven Angels or Archons in Gnostic cosmology. And naturally, I extended an invitation to Asterion to be interviewed. Be sure to visit both of his blogs: Practical Solomonic Magic and Asterion’s Occult Art for more information about his work. His artwork alone is worth every penny and second of your attention. On with the interview!

Asterion Mage

When did you first start your journey into Renaissance and Solomonic magic?

I have been interested in magic since I was a child, at about 9 or 10, but my reading into this subject and other familiar ones began at about age 13. My maternal aunt was deeply interested in the occult and practiced certain rituals taken from a multitude of books, and later on those books fell into my hands. For a very young man interested in magic they were priceless, but looking back on them now they were merely occult-themed almanacs of superstition and astrology and traditions, when they were not bombastic booklets promising wealth, love and power through the practice of simple rituals with salt, honey or candles. Bit by bit, I started reading everything I could find, collecting newspaper clippings and books and pieces of information from TV shows.

Later on, the internet made its way into my life, but I didn’t have my own PC or an internet connection. I would spend what little money I had on hours in the internet cafe, reading and downloading information from all kinds of websites. Another source of fascination was my maternal grandmother, who lived with us and who basically raised me. A very kind old woman, with a heart of gold and very humble manners, she would recite on rare occasions a chant against the evil eye when I was sick.  She refused to tell it to me, as it was customary, but I could remember it because she mumbled it a lot and it rhymed.

Far before I would read about evocation and the summoning of spirits, she told me something that I would only later realize what was. She had a hard life, with many brothers and sisters, her mother died and her father remarried. The woman he remarried was a witch. And I don t mean small, petty spells or superstitions. She told me a story that her stepmother was known for “pulling out the devil from the water”. She always referred to the devil as the “Unclean One” and to demons as “Killers”, as was her country dialect. She told me her stepmother would go at night to watery places like rivers or lake or ponds, and take a branch or rod and strike the water while chanting. Then a killer (demon) would show up and ask her what she wanted. Then she would strike him and the water and say: “Not you, the one above you!” and he would submerge and soon a bigger one would come.

And she would do the same until the biggest demon would come and then ask for what she wanted. She never practiced this as she thought her stepmother had sold her soul to the Devil or something similar. She was quite a pious woman that made me love prayer and God since I was a child, but by example, not by inducing it to me or forcing it down my throat.

Magical Circle

You say you were baptized as an Eastern Orthodox Christian. How do you reconcile your Christianity with your practices since modern Christianity has a tendency to shun magic and the occult as simply vices of the Devil?

Well, that’s an easy one. I call myself a mage, since it’s the most accurate description of what I consider myself to be and profess. I’m not a sorcerer or a warlock because these terms often have negative components to them, and I’m not a magician either in that sense that people expect me to do magic in front of them and dazzle when they hear that term. When I’m asked this question by people, I always remember to tell them that among the first people to worship Christ in Bethlehem were, according to the story in Matthew, the three Magi from the East. They certainly were not evil necromancers that were meant to be stoned in the Old Law, and even if they were, they were pretty decent for necromancers. The magic I practice is deeply rooted in faith, as many traditions are. Without one’s faith in the central being or concept of one’s cosmology, little is accomplished in magic in any tradition.

Yes, from a priest’s point of view, magic is wrong. But then again, a lot of what priests do is wrong from a moral point of view, so I cannot listen to the fixed ideology of somebody that practices against his teaching. I prefer to practice magic like my faith: quietly and devoutly. People often huff and puff at the mere mentioning of Christian teachings, but we have to keep in mind that the vast majority of what we have today in grimoiric magic was penned down not only by Christian magicians, but also priests. We are not talking about wizards in strange hats sacrificing goats, but priests dressed in white garments that as soon as were free of their priestly duties would immerse themselves in ancient wisdom, forbidden books and illicit experiments, blessing and aspiring in the name of God all the way.

How would you differentiate your work from other magical avenues located in Thelema, Wicca, chaos magic and even the highly influential Golden Dawn system?

At one point in my magical career, I was quite eclectic and believe solidly in my eclectic rites. That was what convinced me that some methods work and some are just BS and fluff.  Although I believed with all my might in the seals I was constructing and in the visualization trances I went into, the results were either null or inferior. And all exercises done after the Old Fashion, described in grimoires, or experiments composed by myself using those analogies, work perfectly. I know that each current has its own ideals and adherents and it is not for me to judge them, as it is not for them to judge mine. I have seen way to many Wiccans and Thelemites bashing Christianity without reading a single verse of the Gospels. I really would not like to bash their faiths, although I have read theirs. At the same time, I have also seen Christians preaching the superiority of our faith without having read the Gospels as well, so there are bad apples in every batch.

Wicca is a new religion claiming to be old and I dislike that about it, but I like the fact it teaches respect for one another and living things. Thelema is an equally new religion that advocates the use of one’s true will and the importance of love, a thing I most definitely enjoy, but it has become an excuse for doing whatever the hell you want, in contrast with what Crowley actually meant.

Each of these faiths is good for its adherents as Orthodox Christianity is for me, and I would not dare to say otherwise or try to bring people to my truth.  Chaos magic is for me a very interesting experiment in which 99% of the young occult community practices and even teaches and less than 1% actually obtain results. Golden Dawn is in my view a great tool of learning and a great initiatory system, but I believe in using its rituals only if one commits to that path. Doing LBPR’s and SIRP’s along other rituals and not studying through the grades materials or going through the actual initiations seems very idiotic to me—however strongly others might disagree.  I am not an adept of this particular order and I prefer the Old School magical tradition of the grimoires: you do not need to mix Wicca, Thelema and Golden Dawn in to obtain great results, just go back to their origins. If you study these honestly you will find that their source is good-old medieval European Solomonic Magic.

anotherseal

How would you describe your work in theurgy and Solomonic magic in relationship to Gnosticism and Gnostic cosmology? Do they bear any similarities to the magical systems of the ancient Gnostics and Hermeticists?

This is the question that would require me to go in an academic dispute and ramble on for a few hundred pages. For the sake of our readers, I believe I should not be encouraged. Gnosticism is a very broad term that defines a whole class of heterodox views upon religion and spirituality in the first half of the first millennium primarily, with echoes well beyond that.  I know full well that magic manuals of the Middle Ages are heavily indebted to such works as Sefer ha-Razim, Shiur Qomah and the Heikhaloth literature, they in turn having Gnostic roots, but that would not be adopting Gnostic ideals directly, only incorporating the operating system of the rituals employed and acknowledging their roots. I am aware of the many Gnostic faiths and beliefs but I honestly cannot say I was particularly influenced by one.  In my youth, I could say I was taught in the Neo-Gnostic spirit of Rosicrucianism, Theosophy and Anthroposophy, but that was accomplished with so much bias by one of my teachers that I later became stupefied of how much I was being indoctrinated with pseudo-Gnosticism and New Age and how little I actually learned.

I am, after my own assertion, an orthodox Christian, but an orthodox priest would find me a heretic or a Gnostic. I love the Orthodox Ritual, the humbleness and the light of the monks and saints of our church, the smell of frankincense rising from the brazier in an old church filled up to the ceiling in century-old paintings and I love the uplifting chants and psalms echoing in a chorus. However, I almost always pray to God in private, with honesty and humility, not at Church. I also do believe in reincarnation and the evolution of the soul, which is not only a Buddhist/Eastern ideas, but also found in Gnostic and Kabbalistic thought. I also do not wish to be married and start a family like most people in our faith do and last but not least, I practice magic.

If the claims of the Goetia and other medieval grimoires are true, then the spirits should manifest to physical appearance. Has your personal experience in invocation allowed this to happen?

First of all, I have never worked with the spirits of the Goetia, and I hope there will never be a need to. There are some grimoires that use the same equipment as Goetia, like its sister book, Theurgia-Goetia, grimoires that have many things in common and being used as complementary, like the Fourth book and the Heptameron and some isolated spirits that can be compelled with the same rituals, without using the spirits listed in the Goetia itself. I have worked with other spirits, and the matter has been debated quite a few times. The spirits do not always become visible, unless they are conjured to do so.

When the conjuration clearly states that the spirit is to come visibly, and it does not, I consider it a failed evocation. I have had failed evocations as well as successful ones, and yes, when it is meant that they are to be visible, we are not talking about opening your astral senses or training your third eye. Those are crutches on which I relied myself and now I am sorry there was no one to correct me but only people that encouraged me in my self-delusions. In my eclectic magic years, I was encouraged to believe that every little sign and omen was true and significant and that I only had to believe that my magic worked in order for it to work. This is highly hazardous for any beginning magician and even if I’m often contradicted, blamed and fired upon in public forums for bringing people down to Earth, I feel it’s necessary. If everything happens as the conjuration of the spirit states, the evocation is a success. No amount of explaining and philosophizing about small signs in the room and furniture cracking can make a failed attempt a successful one.

One essential component that the medieval grimoires are unanimous on is sexual purity. And I know for a fact that the majority of modern would-be magicians do not make any attempts to remain celibate. Because celibacy, according to the grimoires, is a prerequisite to command the spirits. You can’t render them obedient unless you’re free from sexual contact. Modern magicians say that’s just medieval Catholic superstition, but considering that none of them seem to get any visible effects from their magic, how would they know? Any comments on this?

Sexual abstinence is a prerequisite in sacred rites throughout the world; it is not a Catholic superstition. I find this to be quite true. Since the grimoires actually state that you shall abstain from sexual relations for three or nine days prior to some operations, we can obviously conclude that the magician was not asked to be celibate his whole life. Some were priests, other were married noblemen, others were ladies men like the famous Casanova, which possessed a number of magical manuscripts and even attempted a ritual, and a great number were small scholars, artists, magistrates and other professions that were quite active sexually, married or not.

Abstinence and fasting does indeed make the conjurer more in tune with the celestial worlds and renders him more powerful in a magical sense. Since sexuality is perceived as part of man’s animalistic nature and the sublimation of our instincts is perceived as a triumph over that very nature—this is quite natural to be asked of the magician. Also bear in mind that from the Sirian sorcerers to the Renaissance magus, children were often employed as seers because they were sexually inactive and thus pure, making it easier for them to interact with the spirits.  I myself am a very sexual individual and have a healthy, diverse and fulfilling sex-life, but when dealing with magic the situation changes: I avoid all sex acts prior to the operations, including divination, I bathe ritually and after having sex I do not touch my ritual implements for at least 24 hours, if not more.

Faustus

What are your thoughts on the Faustus legends? Do you think stories like Faustus are propaganda to deter the poor and the downtrodden from attempting to usurp the status quo?

Last time I checked, Faust was not that poor, but then again, magic has been successfully employed by kings and poor people and has many times failed both poor people and kings. The root of the Faust legend would most likely be Georgius Sabellicus or Georg Sabel, of which the good Abbe Trithemius writes in disapproving words. But he was not the only case. If you read stories from the Church Fathers and other Christian traditions, you would find an abundance of unknown Faust’s. Saint Basil, one of the most revered saints of the Orthodox Church, is known to have saved and rescued from the demon’s grasp a young slave who sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the love of a young Christian girl. Saint Cyprian was a famous sorcerer until his conversion, and according to legend he sat in the demon’s council and was revered by them as a friend, and so is the case with Pope Sylvester II, to mention but a few. These were maybe propaganda, but the truth is that many books of magic are strictly demonic and prescribe rituals where birds are sacrificed to demons and where people make binding contract with the heads of the netherworld, so the story I believe is very likely to be inspired by real events.

Magician

This leads into my next question—do you think Simon Magus is an influential figure in the murky world of magic and the occult? I ask this, because the Faustus legends are modeled after Simon Magus.

Unlikely so, in my opinion. There have been so many magicians in history with similar traits that it s impossible to put our finger only on Simon. Upon reading The Lives of Saints it became quite clear to me that this was just part of a traditional debate: the cliché is the story of conversion. Saint A deals with the magician B, he upstages his illusions and trickery and upon that the magician either dies (like Simon) or converts to Christianity (like the wizard Theonas). The story of the magical battle between pagan sorcerers and the men of God, such as the case with Simon the Magus and Simon the Christian (Peter) in the Book of Acts, also appears in Exodus, when Moses amazes Pharaoh, the people and even himself facing the two Egyptian sorcerers, whom the apocryphal tradition calls Yannes and Mamres. This is out of the need to prove Christianity superior to the forces of magic, in most cases based upon the works of demons.

Jesus himself was thought to be a magician using the help of the demon Beelzebub, according the Jewish priests of his time. We can ascertain that his miracles were not that miraculous for the crowds at the time, only the fact that he did not employ demonic enchantments and charge money.  The most influential figure in the occult tradition would be King Solomon, as he has over one hundred manuscripts of pseudo-epigrahic works of magic attributed to him, while our dear Samaritan heresiarch has none. Even his magnum opus and corner stone of the Simonians, the Apophasis Megale, remains unknown save for a few fragments quoted by the Church Fathers.

There is a part in Marlowe’s Faust where Faust asks Mephistopheles how it is possible that a demon can manifest itself on earth, since demons have been condemned to hell, and Mephistopheles explains that earth is merely an extension of hell. This somewhat ties into how some (not all) ancient Gnostics and early Christian heretics (the Encratites, especially—which aren’t exactly “Gnostic” anyway) viewed material life as at best—corruptible and flawed—at worst: a hellish prison for the divine spark. What’s your opinion on this?

Well, I’m not that gloomy when it comes to viewing the world. The Christian story holds that the demons were let loose to test man until Judgment Day, so nothing wrong with that here. In the Book of Job, Satan acts as a divine agent of testing the faithful, much like he does in the temptation of Christ in the Gospel. Earth is an extension of Hell as much as Heaven is an extension of the same. I do not believe in strict delineations between metaphysical topoi. I do not trust strict boundaries between the Fifth Heaven and Sixth Heaven, between Hell and the Abyss and between Earth and the Kingdom of God. It would be like arguing what we breathe: oxygen, nitrogen or carbon dioxide? The air we breathe is composed of all three gases, but we choose to concentrate on the oxygen. Our body cannot filter out the other two, and cannot breathe just one of them, it s the inseparable nature of the mixed air we breathe.

There are actually two versions of Marlow’s Faust. The earlier version was modified because it was considered too fatalistic and had a lot of crypto-gnostic underpinnings. In the earlier draft, it’s ambiguous whether Faust really has a choice in salvation or damnation, thus portraying Faust and the devil in a somewhat sympathetic light. In the modified version, it’s made clear that Faust chooses damnation for himself and is therefore justified in being condemned to hell. My question from this is, is there such thing as pre-determinism and fate or does humanity have the free will to forge their own destinies?

About the first draft of Marlowe’s Faust—I must admit I am ignorant and cannot comment upon it. Many people choose to comment things they read nothing about and just end up confusing the discussion partner or making fools of themselves, I prefer admitting my ignorance in these matters. Predetermined destinies are a thing to be thought of, but we cannot pass judgment on a thing like this while being under the spell of the physical realm. I find that we have a destiny and free will at the same time, but each has a different amount of them. There are people who by their own actions strive and purify themselves to the level of choosing their own destiny and people that slave away in this life content with their bliss and destiny. I recently became stupefied by the power of one’s predestination: five or six years ago I predicted a very harmful disease to a woman in a birth chart at the age of 62, and should she survive it she would live up to her mid 70’s. Her daughter phoned me a few months ago and told me her sickness kicked in, specifically cancer. The suffering was very acute and within a month or two she passed away, at age 62. I believe that this was not a coincidence or an active suggestion of mine. If I could do that I’d be hired by every government to kill people with my natal charts.

I have to ask—what’s your opinion of Aleister Crowley and his mystic system of Thelema and even modern Thelemites in general? Is he in your estimation, truly a Satanist? And does he bear any influence on you and your work?

To call Crowley a Satanist is to call the Pope a pedophile: if you are an ignorant superficial individual that relies on gossip and conspiracy theories to base his statements upon, then of course, that’s fine and dandy, but no self-respecting student of the occult would consider him a Satanist. I’m personally neutral when it comes to Crowley. Not a big fan but not an opponent either. I find some works of his to be quite useful and insightful, but if I were to take up study of all his books and decipher all his metaphors, I’d have to quit my job and do just that for about two years. He’s a colorful individual, and his grasp on the Kabbala was superior to Eliphas Levi and Gerard Encausse dit Papus. He was admirable in many ways (his knowledge of the Bible, chess playing  abilities and yogic inclinations) and a bad example in many ways (drugs, manipulation, financial dependability, et alia).

I do not want to get into endless arguments with Thelemites as to how great and original and daring Crowley was nor do I wish to engage in his apology with Christian fundamentalists that consider him a Satanist or the Antichrist. I have done that so many times that I am honestly sick of it, like trying to explain gravity to a child that constantly asks the same question. He had good and bad things and I am not that fascinated with him. Franz Bardon, Wilhelm Quintscher, Omraam Aivanhov and Cagliostro were equally important and insightful, but I do not push them down anybody’s throat.

What are you favorite occult-themed films/movies and why?

Oh, yes. I enjoy movies and series just like your average Joe, but when you throw in the occult in the mix, it gets that much better. My favorite is Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate. It has old books and demonology, two of my favorite things in the whole world, wrapped into one detective story. What s not to like? Some other titles include: The Exorcist, The Rite, Eyes Wide Shut, Devil’s Advocate, Angel Heart, and even awkward or goofy things like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Season of the Witch. I love to see how much research was put into each one and how much BS is left. A good occult series would be Supernatural, but it has one major drawback: a lot of people think it’s all real and argue with me about devil traps and fictitious demons. It’s well researched and introduces a few accurate things, like a few demons and angels, seals and especially the use of the Enochian chants, but it is very creative in its fictional account, nonetheless.

Seal

What is your advice to those who are new to your system of magic and are interested in practicing with it? What are the ultimate benefits to practicing magic?

I would not encourage anyone to take up study of magic. Saying anyone can do magic is as correct as saying anyone can do nuclear fusion. I say anyone, not everyone. There’s a difference. Anyone can do magic means that the few people who can actually obtain great results can come from any part of the world, from  any social, cultural and religious background and with any motivation, not every single Joe and Jane can pick up a spell book and work wonders with no prior effort. I took up magic because I had an innate need of it and a fascination that was awakened in me from my early childhood, much like my love of God.

It was not taught to me; I was not guided and indoctrinated. Without a born fascination for this, one merely relies on the fact that it’s fascinating or useful. The first category often gives up when they see just how much study and actual work goes into it, and the other category gives up when they put as little effort as possible and expect as much power and great results, and do not obtain them. Magic would be like driving a car: people see Fast and Furious and want that, and they jump behind the wheel, not knowing anything about driving, about roads, rules or mechanics, and when they find out that you have to learn all that and after that, you can t exactly fly around in mafia chases all over town, they get discouraged.

Magic is not for people that think it’s cool. I would urge people like that to take up any other hobby that is much more rewording when it comes to impressing people, like break-dancing, Kung-fu or bodybuilding. Or who knows a combination of all three! Also, if you know you have a low attention span and get bored with things quickly, this is the least fit thing to learn. It took me over 14 years of avid daily study to get to where I am today, and when I think of how much I still have to learn and do, I’m half afraid and half exhilarated! However, if some are truly inclined to study Solomonic magic, I only have two words of advice.

One: Study more than you are studying now, ignorance and laziness has no place in serious magic. And two: Ask first, and then do. Do not jump into practice before having the whole operation under the belt. Its way easier to learn how to do something good then ask someone to fix what you broke. I’m so often faced with people who ask for my advice and when granted, they ignore it, and ask me to fix their problems after making them worst, that if they only follow this advice, I’ll consider myself a happy man.

Yes, you must try things, yes, you must experiment, but do not jump into practice with enthusiasm and ignorance all at once. Think of magic as a garden or a forest full of fruits berries: before putting everything brightly-colored and fancy-looking in your mouth, try asking someone who knows his stuff. Poisoned berries and mushrooms can be the most fascinating fruits there, while nutritious roots, leaves and fruits can hide under more humble guises.

The Shadow Lurks: The Vampire Archetype

The vampire archetype is hardly one fit for introduction since they’re all the rage nowadays. It has remained a steadily popular and tired figure that has resurfaced in one form or another through various media, especially nowadays, reflecting the nihilistic mood of not only the country but the world at large.  The most common characteristics of the vampire itself include being a “reanimated” corpse that is only active at night and nocturnal in the day, while feeding on the living in order to maintain its immortality. The victim of the vampire can become one themselves, but only if the victim consumes the blood on the verge of death.

It would be exhausting to list all the different types of vampires since they’re all seem to be neatly compiled in White Wolf’s famous role-playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade. The  myth of vampires soon became romanticized by the time Anne Rice came on the scene with Interview With A Vampire. Of course, nowadays if you spend any time at all in the pre-teen/tween/teen/young adult women, you’re likely to be aware of the Twilight phenomenon in which is quite easy to deconstruct and mock at its piss-poor pulp, Mary-Sue ridden prose. Yet those who spend lots of time doing so, seem only to be annoyed at the level of success of the devout Mormon, Stephanie Meyer.

For many years, vampire fiction as a whole was regulated to two pervasive categorical themes: the Christian Worldview and Nihilism. The former was relegated to the first conceptions featured in Romantic literature such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, John William Polidori’s The Vampyre, and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla. The later would resurface in various vampire fiction authored by the likes of (for example) Christopher Moore, Anne Rice and  Laurell K. Hamilton. Other authors would simply reject both worldviews altogether and explore alternative realities such as Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series, Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series and a lesser known but even more intriguing Miguel Conner’s Stargazer novel and Gabrielle Faust’s Eternal Vigilance series. Movies like John Carpenter’s Vampires, The Lost BoysThe Hunger, A Vampire’s KissBlade and Underworld series, anime programs such as Hellsing and Vampire Hunter D and even videogames such as Castlevania and Legacy of Kain also echo these tropes.

The Christian take on vampires is that they are evil, soulless demons, minions of the devil. That’s why crosses hurt them, holy water melts them, and, in part at least, why they can’t go out in the sun without biting the dust. Nihilism in vampire lore usually features a vampire as the tragic (sometimes not) hero who overcomes conventional morality to create his or her own lecherous morality a midst a world of darkness. Good and evil are created through behavior rather than unchanging standards for good and evil. The current vampire we see in pop-culture today is, however, a cultural reconstruction of the vampire demon that has existed through various countries and religious mythologies. The oldest recorded example of the vampire myth in religious mythology can be found in a Babylonian prayer, thousands of years old:

“Spirits that minish the land, of great strength… knowing no mercy, they can rage against mankind. They spill blood like rain, devouring flesh and sucking their veins. They are the demons of full violence, ceaselessly devouring blood.”

Elsewhere, the vampire archetype resurfaces in Jewish folklore which also continues the myth of the Owl Lady, Innana or Ishtar in the form of Lilith. Lilith herself appears in the third millennium B.C.E. in a Sumerian text called the Inanna, Gilgamesh and the Huluppu Tree featured in the Epic of Gilgamesh. She is mentioned only once in the entire Bible in a prophecy that states that when the land is turned into a wilderness on the day of Yahweh’s vengeance:

“…the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There the hoot owl shall nest and lay eggs, hatch them out and gather them in her shadow; There shall the kites assemble, none shall be missing its mate. Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there. It is he who casts the lot for them, and with his hands he marks off their shares of her; They shall possess her forever, and dwell there from generation to generation.” (Isaiah 34).

Although only mentioned once in the Bible, Lilith was so well-known in 8th century B.C.E. Israel that everyone was afraid of her. Sages wrote about her dangerous doings in the Talmud as men were warned not to sleep alone in a house at night because the Liliths (there were more than one) would conceive demons from their nocturnal emissions. There were also male Lili-s or (Incubi) who mated with the women while they slept. The Liliths or (Succubus) were jealous of married couples and hated the children conceived in ordinary human wedlock. They would attack the little children, suck their blood, and strangle them. It was the Lilith that caused barrenness, miscarriages, or complications during pregnancy and delivery.

The vampire trope can also be found in the Zoroastrian religion, which was the first to posit radical dualism in its approach to religion. Angra Mainyu, the inferior “counterfeit” or “evil” spirit that contests against Ahura Mazda, the uncreated and highest deity in the Zoroastrian religion. Ahura Mazda, unlike Angra Mainyu, is able to create the physical universe and to use it as his instrument in the battle against his Adversary. Since Angra Mainyu or “Arihman” has no  corresponding capability to produce an evil world of his own, he must rely instead on his ability to spoil the good world created by Ahura Mazda. Angra Mainyu and his demons can only participate in the life of the universe in a corruptible, secondary way. He and his fellow demons prey on life in a parasitic symbiosis, vampire-like function rather than existing independently and self-sustained. Yet, the difference between the theodicy and dualism posited by Zoroaster and done by Judaism and Christianity is that Zoroaster focused on a primordial dualism in the realm of spirit while those like Augustine, by contrast, believed that Satan is a creature of God or in other words, the good being responsible for evil.

In apocryphal texts such as the Book of Enoch that are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, vampire-like demonic giants called “Nephilim”, Hebrew for castaways become the premiere villains of the text. The text also reveals that these proto-vampire race as the progeny of the fallen angels known as the “Watchers” who had taken consorts with human women which are comparable to the archons or rulers of fate of Gnostic myth. In this regard, the rebellious angels became synonymous with the archons or rulers that work to enslave the human race through doctrines of “error, fear, misery and ignorance”, thus prolonging their deep ignorance under the sway of astral determinism.

In Gnosticism, the demonic powers of the netherworld ascended daily into the sky with the seven planets, and the earth was subject to the netherworld powers. The Gnostics believed that astrology worked, but they did not seek to know their horoscopes. Quite the reverse! They sought salvation from astral determinism, because they regarded fate as demonic. For the Gnostics, the astrological division of the cosmos into the realm of astral determinism and the transcendent Ogdoad implied that matter and the body were evil, while spirit and the mind were good. Underlying these much-remarked antitheses was another pair of opposites: ignorance and gnosis, “knowledge.” The knowledge under question pertained to the unknowable, transcendent God. This knowledge could only be revealed through revelatory information or “gnosis” within the sleeping spirit of the Gnostic through an intermediary figure of revelation.

As wrongdoers, the archons had to be sinners who were ignorant of God; and since they were deficient in spirituality, they had to be material in composition. The archons who are the gatekeepers of the cosmos also feed off the “psychic” energy from the suffering output of the human race. The Gnostics’ identified the leader of the archons as a Demiurge. The concept of a Demiurge, or world-creating deity, who differed from the ultimate God, originated with Plato and was widespread in Hellensitic culture. In Gnosticism, however, the Demiurge was an ignorant and sinful wrongdoer, who imparted his or her failings to the creation. In some Gnostic systems, the creator of the world repented of his ignorance at some point after the act of creation. According to Poemandres, the Shepard of Men of the Corpus Hermeticum, these archons or “seven rulers” are the stewards who:

enclose the cosmos that the sense perceives. Men call their ruling Fate.

Within the Enochic corpus, the identification of the stars with the lustful, fallen angels becomes explicit when in it states that these same beings:

“seized that first star which had fallen from the heaven, and bound it hand and foot and cast it into an abyss…and fathered and took all the great stars whose privy members were like those of horses, and bound them all hand and foot, and cast them in an abyss of the earth.”

The Apocryphon of John says of the Watchers’ unholy deeds:

“And he [the Demiurge] made a plan with his powers. He sent his angels to the daughters of men, that they might take some of them for themselves and raise offspring for their enjoyment. And at first they did not succeed. When they had no success, they gathered together again and they made a plan together. They created a counterfeit spirit, who resembles the Spirit who had descended, so as to pollute the souls through it. And the angels changed themselves in their likeness into the likeness of their mates (the daughters of men), filling them with the spirit of darkness, which they had mixed for them, and with evil. They brought gold and silver and a gift and copper and iron and metal and all kinds of things. And they steered the people who had followed them into great troubles, by leading them astray with many deceptions. They (the people) became old without having enjoyment. They died, not having found truth and without knowing the God of truth. And thus the whole creation became enslaved forever, from the foundation of the world until now. And they took women and begot children out of the darkness according to the likeness of their spirit. And they closed their hearts, and they hardened themselves through the hardness of the counterfeit spirit until now.”

Before the fall of the angels, they had the intention of ministering to the human race with the message of repentance and obedience to God, but soon fell prey to lust over the women of flesh and produced Nephilim “abortions” or in other words, beings or creatures who were not sired and begot in a natural way and instead were ejected violently. These demonic beings became so ravenous they after they had consumed the majority of all life on earth, including mankind and creatures of all kinds, they had even turned on each other, introducing the concept of cannibalism since they became the first anthropophagites. The Book of Enoch asserts:

When they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them; And began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles, and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood.

The Manichaean Book of Giants also gives a much more detailed account of the fall and punishment of the angels:

“ … they took and imprisoned all the helpers that were in the heavens. And the angels themselves descended from the heaven to the earth. And (when) the two hundred demons saw those angels, they were much afraid and worried. They assumed the shape of men and hid themselves. Thereupon the angels forcibly removed the men from the demons, laid them aside, and put watchers over them …. the giants …. were sons … with each other in bodily union …. with each other self-…. and the …. that had been born to them, they forcibly removed them from the demons. And they led one half of them eastwards, and the other half westwards, on the skirts of four huge mountains, towards the foot of the Sumeru mountain, into thirty-two towns which the Living Spirit had prepared for them in the beginning. And one calls (that place) Aryan-waizan. And those men are (or: were) …. in the first arts and crafts. …. they made … the angels … and to the demons … they went to fight. And those two hundred demons fought a hard battle with the [four angels], until [the angels used] fire, naphtha, and brimstone.”

The subject of rebel angels and demonic imposters were no stranger to Gnostic consciousness. In fact, most of the texts dedicated to their various nuanced and complex cosmology are replete with them.  The adaptation of many elements from Judaism and Christianity (among other elements from other religious traditions) into the Gnostic milieu was exploited in a transgressive degree, to the point where many of them were actually reversed. The Gnostic approach to the problem of theodicy or evil was the focal point of their rejection of the deficiency and corruptible nature of the material cosmos. The beckoning of the forces of darkness to “intermingle” and corrupt the children of light was a common theme throughout the ancient heretical variations of the ancient Gnostic doctrines. You can see these ideas reflected even further in various choice texts found in the Nag Hammadi codices. The Gnostic text, on the Origin of the World recounts this tale:

“Let us return to the aforementioned rulers, so that we may offer some explanation of them. Now, when the seven rulers were cast down from their heavens onto the earth, they made for themselves angels, numerous, demonic, to serve them. And the latter instructed mankind in many kinds of error and magic and potions and worship of idols and spilling of blood and altars and temples and sacrifices and libations to all the spirits of the earth, having their coworker fate, who came into existence by the concord between the gods of injustice and justice.”

The same text also describes how Eve was once raped by “the Prime Ruler [God] and his Angels” while in paradise, and thus gave birth to a cursed race of demons implied to be that of Cain and his descendants. And in A Valentinian Exposition, it reveals a contention between the angels and the higher god-forms contained in the Logos and Wisdom:

“And there took place the struggle with the apostasy of the angels and mankind, those of the right with those of the left, those in heaven with those on earth, the spirits with the carnal, and the Devil against God. Therefore the angels lusted after the daughters of men and came down to flesh so that God would cause a flood. And he almost regretted that he had created the world […] the consort and Sophia and her Son and the angels and the seeds. But the syzygy is the complete one, and Sophia and Jesus and the angels and the seeds are images of the Pleroma. Moreover, the Demiurge cast a shadow over the syzygy and the Pleroma and Jesus and Sophia and the angels and the seeds.”

The parallels between vampires and the cosmic rulers so prevalent in Gnostic and Hermetic texts contained within the Nag Hammadi Library are vast. This is what gnosis does to a great degree, covertly sneaking messages to us from all directions, in the form of myth, right out in the open care of our own people who perhaps do so unconsciously, but not accidentally.

In the Clementine Homilies 2.22, Aquila and Nicetas claim that Simon Magus said he would never die and in another place in the same writing Simon eats flesh and drinks blood. This is much like the vampire known to the ancient eastern Europeans as Strigoi in Romania, or Vrykolakas of Greece which drank blood and were slain werewolves. This disease was caused by either a sacrilegious life, excommunication, eating sheep killed by a wolf, or burial in an unconsecrated ground. People with red hair and grey eyes were often thought to be vampires just as people with unibrows were thought to be werewolves. There was a superstition about knocking much related to the angel of death. It was said it was best to burn their corpses while they slept on Saturday or something to that effect.

Vampirism can even be seen in Orthodox Christian ritual. Undoubtedly, the most bizarre ritual conceived out of the Roman Catholic Church is that of the Communion rite which symbolically involves the consumption of the flesh and blood of Jesus. Even as a purely symbolic act,  the ceremony’s connotations are barbaric, and seem to have more in common with Babylonian ritual and occultism. The explanation given for the communion is that the practicing Christian consumes the righteous holiness of Christ and his agape spirit bestowed to the believer. This ritual was partly formed due to the fact that in Matthew 26:29, it states:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Even in Hinduism, Kali the wife of Shiva also seems to embody divine blood-thirst made apparent vampire-like qualities that include protruding, canine fangs and mouth dripping with the blood of her demonic enemies.

Besides all the religious and heretical examples, the vampire archetype is also indicative of psychoanalytical metaphors that both Sigmund Freud and even Carl Jung discuss to symbolize the juxtapositions death and primal sexuality. One example can be found in Freud’s analysis:

“All human experiences of morbid dread signify the presence of repressed sexual and aggressive wishes, and in vampirism we see these repressed wishes becoming plainly visible.”

For Freud, the vampire is largely representative of brutal, primal sexuality coupled with images of death in dark attempts to reach immortality. The vampire to Freud was a very old archetype that compressed one’s projected fears and repressed urges to whatever perverse and depraved inklings. All one has to do is watch a few episodes of True Blood and see this as evident.

Carl Jung viewed the vampire in a similar manner and understood that the vampire image to be representative of the “shadow“, the dark, unconscious aspect of the self that the ego is unable to recognize at first. Within the shadow contains all the shameful vices and desires one person might contain. The vampire shadow in this sense can be synonymous with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, due to its anti-social, predatory and self-absorbed preoccupations while having difficult times with empathizing with others.  The only concern the narcissist is how to bolster their image in efforts to drain and deplete the energy on part of the prey.

While this is by no means a completely in-depth examination of the powerful vampire archetype (a volume tomes would be sufficient for that) this can provide deeper insight into the dark world of the vampire. Speaking of which *Shameless plug alert*, I am putting the finishing touches of my own post-apocalyptic vampire novel, “Crimson Dusk” that will be out sometime in the near future.

I personally find that it is much easier to use fantasy and supernatural themes in fiction which to me are some of the best ways to teach universal lessons and reveal truths or explore philosophies that otherwise would become rather obvious (as far as fiction is concerned). Many of these writers employ folklore and mythology and of course religion. They all remove you from your nice comfortable reality to teach you the truth of that reality through parables and elaborate metaphors for metaphysics, religion, fortean theories, sexuality, pop-culture and even the reality and unreality of the self.