Wednesday Webshares: Spirits, Temples, and Titles

2012/08/08

Have you missed an episode of Occult Spectrum, the radio show my friend Jackie and I host? Well I just set up an archive so you can go back and listen to the old episodes.

9 Sacred Sites You Won’t Believe Exist I would love to go to the Hanging Monastery at some point.

Naya over at The Silver Spiral has been writing up an awesome storm. I don’t know what to recommend, but I suggest looking over her recent I Believe In Otherkin and Body Shame: Not my Virtue. One looks at the notion of Otherkin, and the other about modern Western society’s emphasis on shaming the body, particularly the bodies of women.

In Dharmasala, based on the insistence of the Dalai Lama, the education of monks now includes modern sciences in some depth. Your move Vatican. For a while the monks have studied physics, but this is just adding even more depth to their studies.

Moloch gives a great rant on the nature of spirits and divinity. Forging relationships, understanding their nature, and limitations.

Another great talk on spirits, this time from Scylla.

Scylla gives a run down on titles and initiations, what they do and don’t mean, and why a lot of people are doing them wrong.

A member of Japan’s Olympic equestrian team is a Buddhist Monk. I could make more horse-Buddhist jokes if he were Tibetan.

Sorry to continue with the Buddhist stuff, but as the Buddha himself said “One good turn deserves another.” He didn’t say that? Well if you’re like me and always seeing quotes from Buddha (generally on inspirational or artistic images) and aren’t sure if they’re true, check out Fake Buddha Quotes and see if it is mentioned. I’ve busted several on my twitter and facebook with this already.

A young Buddhist tulku is giving up monastic life to produce videos. This is actually a really awesome and insightful article. More and more tulkus are doing just this and it is interesting to see the hows and the whys of it. If the notion of tulkus leaving the monasteries intrigues you, check out the documentary Tulku by Gesar Mukpo the son of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

An article on the importance of words as magick in Ancient Judaism

Last but not least. America’s Best Christian explains YHWH’s view on abortion for the rest of us


Webshare Wait-It’s-Monday: Enochic and Enochian Galore

2011/06/20

Baraquiel- The Hanged Man

Baraquiel- The Hanged Man

Sorry for the lack of posting recently, I decided to run for an unplanned holiday on the family farm. I was going to share these links/stories later, but as one of them is time sensitive I’ll do so a little early and with that said it might as well be the link I start with.

My friends Michelle and Jackie have been working on a tarot deck. Michelle’s been scheming it for about a decade and if I remember my timelines right Jackie’s been painting for about five years. The Watcher Angel Tarot is a reinterpretation of the themes of the tarot through the legend of the Watcher Angels as told in the Book of Enoch. The deck is finally done and presales start this Tuesday (June 21st). Currently you can pre-order the deck as collector and supporter decks on Jackie’s art site to help foot the start-up cost, and the deck will be released October 21st, just in time for the end of the world, and that’s not a coincidence. On Monday and Tuesday at 1830 (EST) Michelle and Jackie will be doing a twitter to youtube question answer session about the deck, so if you’re interesting and/or want to learn more go to Jackie’s site or participate in the chat to hear about the deck from the people driving it.

Damon Albarn (Gorillaz) has written an opera ‘Doctor Dee’ on the life of the historic occultist John Dee, founder of Enochian magick. I’m actually really amused and intrigued with the idea. He says he will focus on the occult practices of the good doctor, as he feels that part of his life has been hidden from history. No mention if wife-swapping for YHWH will be in the opera as of yet.

While totally different, this just couldn’t help but remind me of The Enochian Keys Opera by Valentin Dubovskoy from several years back, which I had interesting results with.

Next month sees the release of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, a video game loosely based on the Book of Enoch (I’m seeing a theme in my links, this wasn’t planned). The game has you taking the role of Enoch the Prophet trying to stop seven fallen angels and the flood that will destroy mankind if they are not stopped. I have neither of the platforms it is on (PS3 or 360) but I’ve been debating a PS3 for a while (I don’t really play video games) and I think this might be a good inspiration. A PS3 for my spiritual research, that’s reasonable, right?

Edit: I just found a video trailer of the game. It looks good to me, and has an interesting artistic style.

An Orthodox Jewish Court has condemned a dog to death by stoning. The belief is the dog that invaded the court room was the reincarnation of a secular lawyer the judges had previously cursed to be reborn as a dog for insulting them. What I found most interesting is that it is a public admission of the belief in reincarnation (which while it has some historical basis in Judaism is a fringe belief currently) but also the belief that the judges have the capacity to use a curse to direct someone’s next incarnation and that it could include animals such a dogs. I was under the impression that Jewish beliefs in reincarnation was limited to humans, but animals and cursing incarnations, both are new tricks to me.

Lastly, and really really not least is Rob’s Basic Laws, Rules, and Rights of Magic an absolutely brilliant article on…well just that, the laws, rules, and rights of magick. It’s a long read, and you definitely need to take some time to work through it but it is worth it. I probably only disagreed with one or two points, and not in horribly strong ways, I really recommend you give it a read if you haven’t seen it yet. It matched up with some of my own conceptions on the laws/rules and made me question and debate others.

That being said I leave these links with you, and hopefully return to blogging proper soon.


Review: Magic in the Biblical World – ed. Todd E. Klutz

2011/04/12

Magic in the Biblical World: From the Rod of Aaron to the Ring of Solomon – edited by Todd E. Klutz
T & T Clark International – Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 245. 2003. 261pp. 0567083624.

“[A]lthough the increasingly recognized shortcomings of defining ‘magic’ as a primitive form of behaviour exemplifying a type of mentality different from and inferior to that of ‘religion’ had become apparent to a handful of scholars by the 1950s, the majority of authorities continued long after this to assume that such definitions were valid and useful.” (2)

This issue is central to the text, essentially every chapter –each being an essay by a different researcher– devoted some time to trying to define magic in relationship to religion. The papers originally came from the Magic in the World of the Bible colloquium in 1999, the focus was not on the validity or reality of magic, or the question of Jesus as a magician, but instead the focus was to understand the notion of magic in the social and legal world of the historical context of the Bible.

This is an academic text, not a practical or theoretical manual, within the covers of the books it is all about history, language, and politics. Only two spells, from Sefer ha-Razim, are given in the book and only so that paper may dissect the ideology behind the spells.

It is commonly believed that to Judeo-Christian-Islamic faiths the distinction between magic and miracle is that miracles are from YHWH, and magic is from other sources. The first two parts of the text, of three, grapple with this idea, is it valid and historical? To do so they provide a close reading of the mentions of magic and miracles, the Hebrew and Greek words used for them, and the names applied to the practitioners. Parts of this discussion are highly specialized, requiring an understanding of ancient Hebrew and Greek grammar to follow, but if you can work through the language (or perhaps skip it all together) the conclusions are interesting, and intimate that in the Biblical world magic and miracle weren’t as definitive of categories as many people think.

The paper “Magic and Scepticism in and around the First Christian Century” was quite intriguing. In it the author analyzed the magic/miracles of the early apostles and the reactions in the texts, and begs the question did people really believe and accept magic/miracles to the extent we believe they did, or was the population they were trying to convert sceptic not just of their faith, but of faith and miracles in general. It includes some really interesting reading of the evidence.

Part III of the book was of the most interest to me, as the title “’Magic’ in Disreputable Books from Late Antiquity” may imply. In these papers the authors dealt with Sefer ha-Razim, The Testament of Solomon, and the origins and etymology of Alchemy. The focus was largely to analyze the clearly magical tradition that existed and the source and ideology behind these practices. Here we get a close reading of the Greek artifacts left in Sefer ha-Razim and the astrological implications in The Testament of Solomon.

As I said early on, this is an academic text, this is not a practical or theoretical manual. If you’re looking to practice a Biblical form of magick, this book will be of little to no use for you. If you’re a historian with a passion for the Biblical tradition and/or Biblical magick this book may be of little practical use, but will be without a doubt fascinating and insightful.


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