Archive for the ‘numerology’ Category


February 18, 2013

Kether, the first Sephirah, is a center of light, and in the Qabalistic Cross, it is attributed to a center positioned slightly above the crown of the head. It refers to that higher genius or it which, not yet fully incarnated within, broods above, a silent watcher. It is for each of us the source of inspiration and freedom and enlightenment. It is life itself.”

From Israel Regardie, The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic, ed. Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero (Woodbury, MT: Llewellyn, 2012 [1938]), 72.


February 8, 2013

“The ninth sphere or Sephirah on the Tree of Life is that of the Nephesh, which means the animal soul. It is the sphere proper of the animal instincts and urges, which may in truth be called the Freudian unconscious — that which was conscious at one time or at one stage of development but which has since been lost to consciousness. It is regarded as comprising all those psychic faculties which are not conscious. All the various automatic, habitual, and routine actions; all the things that we say and do ‘without thinking’ and all the thousand things we never really ‘do’ at all, these processes are assigned to the unconscious realm, to the principle of Nephesh. To it is related the cerebellum, the hind section of the brain, and it is intimately connected with the glandular and sympathetic nervous systems. As such it is that part of our being which regulates the circulation of the blood, the pulsation of the heart, our digestion and respiration. All the promptings of desire and the urges of passion that spring unbidden within us, have their seat in Nephesh. This is the underworld of the psyche through which we get comparatively close to nature, to the elemental side of life. It is the undermind in which function the primary instincts of self-preservation and reproduction. It is the seat of the sex instinct itself. The Jungian concept of the unconscious might be the approximate term for this side of life, as is held by the Freudian school, whereas the much abused word superconscious would be distinctly descriptive of the Supernal Sephiroth of the Yechidah, Chiah, and Neshamah corresponding to the Jungian unconscious.”

From Israel Regardie, The Middle Pillar: The Balance Between Mind and Magic, ed. Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero (Woodbury, MT: Llewellyn, 2012 [1938]), 36.

Reflection on Performing the Middle Pillar Ritual

January 31, 2013

So this is the thing. I’ve been reading about fringe, esoteric and occult traditions – from anthroposophy to Zoroastrianism – for twenty years. I’m also a professional historian of medicine and philosopher, versed in ideas like the anima, archaeus, pneuma, vital force, chi, prana, Od, orgone, etc, etc…But here’s the rub – I have no experience as a practicing healer or occultist.

The opportunity arose this week to finally change that fact and I took it. In truth, the opportunity was always there and I never seized it…

The Middle Pillar is a really basic magic ritual – it is derived from Qabalah with a western spin by way of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn; And particularly, more recently (since 1938), by way of Israel Regardie. It’s a simple process – a combination of breathing, visualization, and incantation (chanting). But it’s a process!

So much of occult ritual and ceremony has been written about and rendered into theory, but its practice is what is key. However much one tries to distinguish or unify these paths and their philosophies – they are all, by virtue of the universality of practice, one. Too much reading, intellectualizing, and thinking – these are, as in life, dangerous. They take away from the too often forgotten fact of life – that it is lived, experienced, inhabited.

All these occult traditions are, in a way, about presence and mindfulness. About being, moment to moment. The theory and contemplation are fine, but they can only really add details and depth to doing. True gnosis comes from habit, and even then it is a real effort to grow and find “enlightenment”. Time and energy are required.

The Middle Pillar reminded me of this – of the existential essence of the esoteric. I step onto a path armed with a deep body of knowledge – but in order to move forward, it may be as much a question of forgetting than of knowing.

As I suspected long ago when writing about vitalism and its history – all is breath. As we breathe, so do we live. And create…

This is, beyond all the complexities of history, terminology, and theory, all we need to know (nous).

Reality Hacker

July 30, 2012

Are YOU a reality hacker??

Read this and find out!

Incomplete(ness) Theorem

March 21, 2012

The number of original, creative and inspired projects you start is inversely proportional to the number of everyday, routinized and dull things you manage to finish. And thus…

(See also…)

Fifth Anniversary Post — Caption Contest!

June 13, 2011

Title says it all. I’ve been at this wacky pursuit exactly five years. And I can only marvel at all the twists and turns. In honor of it all, a blogging tour de force of silly picture and hopefully silly responses. To the victor goes a shiny new pony (offer good while supplies last…) Many thanks to one and all for reading, sharing, caring, and generally being. And thanks for the mammaries!

Great White Trillium

May 22, 2011

Apocalypse Never (With Apologies to 2012…)

January 8, 2011

“Communique #4
The End of the World

The A.O.A.* declares itself officially bored with the End of the World. The canonical version has been used since 1945 to keep us cowering in fear of Mutual Assured Destruction & in snivelling servitude to our super-hero politicians (the only ones capable of handling deadly Green Kryptonite)…

What does it mean that we have invented a way to destroy all life on Earth? Nothing much. We have dreamed this as an escape from the contemplation of our own individual deaths. We have made an emblem to serve as the mirror-image of a discarded immortality. Like demented dictators we swoon at the thought of taking it all down with us into the Abyss.

The unofficial version of the Apocalypse involves a lascivious yearning for the End, & for a post-Holocaust Eden where the Survivalists (or the 144,000 Elect of Revelations) can indulge themselves in orgies of Dualist hysteria, endless final confrontations with a seductive evil…

We have seen the ghost of Rene Guenon, cadaverous & topped with a fez (like Boris Karloff as Ardis Bey in The Mummy) leading a funereal No Wave Industrial-Noise rock band in loud buzzing blackfly-chants for the death of Culture & Cosmos: the elitist fetishism of pathetic nihilists, the Gnostic self-disgust of “post-sexual” intellectoids.

Are these dreary ballads not simply mirror-images of all those lies & platitudes about Progress & the Future, beamed from every loudspeaker, zapped like paranoid brain-waves from every schoolbook & TV in the world of the Consensus? The thanatosis of the Hip Millenarians extrudes itself like pus from the false health of the Consumers’ & Workers’ Paradises.

Anyone who can read history with both hemispheres of the brain knows that the world comes to an end every instant — the waves of time leave washed up behind themselves only dry memories of a closed & petrified past — imperfect memory, itself already dying & autumnal. And every instant also gives birth to a world — despite the cavillings of philosophers & scientists whose bodies have grown numb — a present in which all impossibilities are renewed, where regret & premonition fade to nothing in one presential hologrammatical psychomantric gesture.

The ‘normative’ past or the future heat-death of the universe mean as little to us as last year’s GNP or the withering away of the State. All Ideal pasts, all futures which have yet to come to pass, simply obstruct our consciousness of total vivid presence.

Certain sects believe that the world (or ‘a’ world) has already come to an end. For Jehovah’s Witnesses it happened in 1914 (yes folks, we are living in the Book of Revelations now). For certain oriental occultists, it occurred during the Major Conjunction of the Planets in 1962. Joachim of Fiore proclaimed the Third Age, that of the Holy Spirit, which replaced those of Father & Son. Hassan II of Alamut proclaimed the Great Resurrection, the immanentization of the eschaton, paradise on earth. Profane time came to an end somewhere in the late Middle Ages. Since then we’ve been living angelic time — only most of us don’t know it.

Or to take an even more Radical Monist stance: Time never started at all. Chaos never died. The Empire was never founded. We are not now & never have been slaves to the past or hostages to the future.

We suggest that the End of the World be declared a fait accompli; the exact date is unimportant. The ranters in 1650 knew that the Millenium comes now into each soul that wakes to itself, to its own centrality & divinity. ‘Rejoice, fellow creature,’ was their greeting. ‘All is ours!’

I want no part of any other End of the World. A boy smiles at me in the street. A black crow sits in a pink magnolia tree, cawing as orgone accumulates & discharges in a split second over the city…summer begins. I may be your lover…but I spit on your Millenium.”

*Association for Ontological Anarchy

Hakim Bey, T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism (Brooklyn, NY: Autonomedia, 2003 [1985]), 33-35.


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