Category Archives: Oikumene

Reflections of the Civilized World

The Georgia Guidestones Expedition – Exploring America’s Nuclear Dreamspace

“We hang on every word reporting the doings of the atomic scientists. We are aware of them and their work.

We shudder to recall the fruits of their labors that we know, and we can only cross our fingers as we hope that good and not unbelievable horror will result from their discoveries.”

- Peter Marshall, from Mr. Jones Meet the Master (1950)

Georgia Guidestones Sept 3rd 2013The radio antennae is damaged – enigmatic strains of static come to life in white noise, mercurial music and the occasional burst of discernable speech – we’ve tuned in to a local gospel radio station playing songs set to the end of time and messages of faith for the last days. We are near Elberton, Georgia and the area, even with the radio off, is awash in ambient memories. The town, a global supplier of monuments to makr graves as far away as Japan, supports its economy with the inevitable end of human life and the birth of memories – the people here are proud of their craft.

Elberton, home of one of the most mysterious omens of the 20th century – the Georgia Guidestones, a monument to the inevitability of mutually assured destruction arising from the alchemical alembic of the Trinity Tests and the seed planted with the success of the Manhattan Project. Here in rural north Georgia these stones stand to recognize that nature will have its way – returning again to equilibrium when the dust settles on the memory of the global Cold War and the persistent threat of nuclear annihiliation.

Sacred Geometry International and the Liminal Analytics: Applied Research Collaborative have organized a special expedition to the Georgia Guidestones on Sunday, May 4th to explore the secrets  that this place holds. We have assembled a special team to discuss and discern the subtle resoance of this warning sign erected to remind us that a society out of sync with the harmony of nature is doomed to self destruction. Here – in stark granite – the truth of the Military-Entertainment-Industrial Complex is brought to light through a seires of simple statements written in multiple languages on a monument built to measure the movement of the celestial spheres as they flow through the zodiacal clock which marks the universal periodicity of global catastrophe.

The haze of forgetfulness will never fall on the reality of contemporary warfare and the nuclear bomb as long as these stones stand.

To honor this investigation – in the next 5 days – all those who purchase tracks from The Message (a contemplative sound project inspired by the atmosphere of north Georgia and the Guidestones) will recieve a special limited edition free digital package related to our explorations!!!

Don’t miss out on your chance to join us on this exciting expedition into one of America’s most enduring contemporary mysteries – the Georgia Guidestones.

Click  Here to listen to The Message.

Reflections on Wikipedia from Russell Targ

russell-targ-and-onyx-the-catFor many years I had a pretty well balanced biography page on Wikipedia. I am now 80 years old, and had several scientific careers. I was a pioneer in the earliest development of the laser from 1957 to 1972. I was co-founder of an ESP research program at SRI from 1972 to 1982. And I worked for 12 years with Lockheed and NASA on airborne laser wind measurements. The Wiki editors have removed all trace of my 27 years in lasers, and I cannot put back one word.

The editors, who mindlessly and passionately hate ESP, have trashed any positive aspects of our $20 million, 23 year program at SRI. Those numbers, in particular, are always removed. The negative comments are now more than three times the length of my brief bio. I cannot even mention that my wife was the sister of Bobby Fischer, former world chess champion.

As I try to repair these deletions, I have been banned from editing my bio. As I see how the editing process works at Wikipedia, I would not trust anything at all that I read there. Because of this mad prejudice, I think Wikipedia has debased itself as an information source.

Warm regards,
Russell Targ

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Russell Targ is a physicist and author who was a pioneer in the development of the laser, and cofounder of the Stanford Research Institute’s investigation into psychic abilities in the 1970s and 1980s.

http://www.espresearch.com/

Fight the Real Enemy – A Prophetic Encounter with Sinead O’Connor

On October 3rd, 1992 Sinead O’Connor performed a slightly revised rendition of the Bob Marley song ‘War,’ for an episode of Saturday Night Life, in which she highlighted the complicity of the Catholic hierarchy in aiding and abetting child abuse and molestation, and the further consequences that this has had on global culture.  Her performance ended with her stating, “Fight the real enemy,” while tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II.

Thrown to the Wolves

Reports from the time show that none of the executives associated with Saturday Night Live were willing to voice support for her actions, and allowed future guests, such as Joe Pesci and Madonna, the freedom to mock and deride the message that O’Connor was trying to impart. She was even boo’ed at a Bob Dylan tribute concert held shortly after her SNL appearance, despite the fact that Dylan’s music, for his time, was filled with the same kind of detached, simple social consciousness that O’Connor was representing in her actions.

Madonna even went so far as to mention the incident during an interview with the Irish Times, saying:

“I think there is a better way to present her ideas rather than ripping up an image that means a lot to other people…If she is against the Roman Catholic Church and she has a problem with them, I think she should talk about it.”

When O’Connor did release an open letter, she highlighted how her statement came not only from a political standpoint, but also reflected the fact that she was personally abused within the culture of neglect being obfuscated and covered up by the Catholic church. The choice of Bob Marley’s song ‘War,” was also symbolic in that, as an Irish citizen, she saw first hand how, over centuries of struggle, Irish sovereignty and culture have been ravaged by British and Catholic imperialism.  These very same issues and cultural drivers which have ravaged the Caribbean culture that spawned Marley.

O’Connor Was Right

Today we can see this incident in a different light. Since 1992 the Catholic church has been exposed as being unthinkably complicit in abuse, and no one (outside of blindly devoted Catholics) would find O’Connor’s actions as anything other than timely and poignant. In light of what has come about, those who vilified her with such arrogance appear to be not only fools, but viciously complicit themselves in supporting the power structure that allows these kind of unconscionable actions to continue.

Madonna’s ignorant support of “an image that means a lot to other people,” seems incredibly naive, if not simply stupid, when we look at what that picture actually represents.  This doesn’t even take into account the disingenuous nature of her comments considering her own use of Catholic imagery to spark controversy. Many articles from the time point out that some of her reaction was based on the fact that she was promoting her album Erotica, along with her book, Sex, and in one evening Sinead O’Connor stole the show without having to play the savage and self-debasing media game that Madonna has become so adept at.  In mocking O’Connor, some of that media attention could be pulled back to her own career, and for once, she wasn’t the one being held up as a pariah.

Continuing the Fight

With the recent publication of an open letter to Miley Cyrus, O’Connor shows that the issues she was addressing 21 years ago have yet to be put to rest. Cyrus is a protege of Madonna’s approach to the media, relying on provocation and hype to promote her career, while ignoring the fact that those making the most profit off of her work and freewheeling lifestyle have no goal outside of their own wealth and pleasures.

While serious debates were occurring over the question of military action in Syria, Cyrus’ appearance on the MTV Music Awards provided a popular distraction to the reality of what is currently happening on the global stage. Then as now, to have such figures feature so prominently in the media acts as a buffer and blind to the power players manipulating our culture, and distracts from relevant conversations that could be had if celebrities took stands like O’Connor did in the early 90′s.

Every action that she has taken to bring a serious message forward has been related by the mainstream media as “ruining her career” or “troubled,” with more focus on her hair than her message,while Madonna’s continuous self-abasement has been seen as the sign of a strong woman.  It is sad, and telling, that most folks in the United States probably remember the SNL event as “the time that bald chick ripped up a picture of the Pope,” and have no sense of how relevant it was then, and how prophetic it has been for what came after.

Same As It Ever Was

The ‘real enemy‘ that O’Connor addressed in her SNL performance is not the Pope, it is our reliance on heavily manipulated images and illusions to guide our decisions in what we think is acceptable and right in society. O’Connor’s actions called out the beast, as time has shown that all those media figures and organizations that rushed to attack her were merely aiding the protection of organized child abuse around the world. Turning the world’s terror into a cartoon, just another day in the life of mainstream media.

In drawing these issues to the fore again, O’Connor continues to speak out against the numb reaction of society to being swept away in the masturbatory whims of industry moguls, anemic executives, and political parasites who prove time and again incapable of supporting, nurturing or even considering actions that would lead us into viable cultural solutions. Perhaps, if more people step forward with O’Connor’s fiery simplicity, in another 21 years we can begin to see some desperately needed changes to how we view media, celebrity and the future of our global civilization.

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David Metcalfe is an independent researcher, writer and multimedia artist focusing on the interstices of art, culture, and consciousness. He is a contributing editor for Reality Sandwich, The Revealer, the online journal of NYU’s Center for Religion and Media, and The Daily Grail. He writes regularly for Evolutionary Landscapes, Alarm Magazine, Modern Mythology, Disinfo.com, The Teeming Brain and his own blog The Eyeless Owl. His writing has been featured in The Immanence of Myth (Weaponized 2011), Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color & Music (Alarm Press, 2011) and Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness (North Atlantic/Evolver Editions 2012). Metcalfe is an Associate with Phoenix Rising Digital Academy, and is currently co-hosting The Art of Transformations study group with support from the International Alchemy Guild.

Educating the Potential Human – Skepticism, Psychical Research and a New Age of Reason

Seeking Harmony

After a recent investigation into the public presentation of anomalistic science (as detailed at The Teeming Brain,) it’s fairly clear to me (if it wasn’t painfully so already) that much of the information being fed into the popular consciousness is nothing more than hyped up fantasy fixed and formatted for mass mediated consumption. With Dean Radin’s new book, Supernormal, reaching the top if it’s sales categories on Amazon, and ranking high in the Nielsen ratings, there is an obvious desire for more detailed investigations of these areas that go beyond the paranormalist freak show and the skeptical sub-culture’s deflated debunking.

The binary argument of real vs. fake, of truth vs. fraud, or any such division, is merely a set up to market to one side or the other, and both proponents and defamers alike rely on each other to stoke the fires of contention so that an audience lulled by the rhythms of the work place will feel called to seek some solace in the untenable possibilities of the unknown, or the thin empowerment of a pseudo-scientific righteousness found in the knowledge that all their dreams and fears from childhood have been firmly put to bed by the cold light of rational, technological progress.

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Exploring the Implications of Sacred Geometry – A Meeting of Minds

Mind and CosmosWhat do you do with a technologically aided telepathic connection to a rat’s tail?

Odd questions like this become more relevant as developments in cybernetics and communication technology allow for strange interactions with the world around us. Without the aid of creative imagination you get a bizarre bit of cultural kitsch, delving deeper you can encounter profound questions that crack into the mystery of mind and body, and the synaptic symetry defining so much of our self perception. If you tread carefully you enter the realm of Sacred Geometry, encountering applications of mathematics and ratio that bridge the gap between material science and the more aetheral realms of human existence.

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An Open Mind – Reflections from Russell Targ

An Open Mind from Russell Lizzie on Vimeo.

“I’ve learned how to separate the psychic signal from the mental noise.” – Russell Targ

“The mind is no longer limited to the perimeters of the body.” -
Russell Targ

Russell Targ’s most recent book The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities provides an essential overview of his experiments with anomalous cognition.  As a laser physicist he worked as a Senior Staff Scientist at the Lockheed Missile and Space Company, receiving two National Aeronautics and Space- Administration awards for inventions and contributions to lasers and laser communications, but his passion for exploring the human mind put him at the center of the U.S. government’s attempt to tap psychic abilities for operational concerns.

Working with the Stanford Research Institute in the 1970′s, Targ taught 6 Army intelligence officers the Remote Viewing process and laid the ground work for the development of the U.S. Army’s psychic corp. in 1978.  In this short video, created by Lizzie Rose, he discusses his career, and reflects on the nature of what he discovered in his quest to find the limits of human potential.

(Note: Thanks to the Rhine Research Center for pointing out this video.)

Psi & the Subliminal Mind – Thoughts on an Excerpt from Sir William Barrett’s On the Threshold of the Unseen

“It is doubtless a peculiar psychical state that confers mediumistic power, but we know nothing of its nature, and we often ruin our experiments and lose our results by our ignorance. Certainly it is very probable that the psychical state of those present at a seance will be found to re-act on the medium. We should get no results if our photographic plates were exposed to the light of the room simultaneously with the luminous image formed by the lens. In every physical process we have to guard against disturbing causes.

If, for example, the late Prof. S.P. Langley, of Washington, in the delicate experiments he conducted for so many years – exploring the ultra red raditation of the sun – had allowed the thermal radiation of himself or his assistants to fall on his sensitive thermoscope, his results would have been confused and unintelligible. We know that similar confused results are obtained in psychical research, especially by those who fancy the sole function of a scientific investigator is to play the part of an amateur detective; and accordingly what they detect is merely their own incompetency to deal with problems the very elements of which they do not understand and seem incapable of learning. Investigators who, taking an exalted view of their own sagacity, enter upon this inquiry with their minds made up as to the possible or impossible, are sure to fail. Such people showuld be shunned, as their habit of thought and mode of action are inappropriate, and therefore essentially vulgar, for the essence of vulgarity is inappropriateness.

Inasmuch as we know nothing of the peculiar psychical state that constitutes mediummship, we ought to collect and record all conditions which attend a scucessful seance. Mediumship seems in some points analogous to ‘rapport’ in mesmeric trance, and it would be interesting to know whether a mesmeric sensitive is more open to mediumship than the rest of mankind. Again, are those who are good percipients in telepathic experiments also percipients in spontaneous telepathy, such as apparitions at the moment of death, and are these again hypnotic sensitives? Similar questions also arise as to somnambulists; in a word, is there anything in common between the obscure psychical states of these different classes of sensitives? Very probably there is, for all psychical phenomena, as we shall see directly, involve to a greater or less extent the operation of an unconscious part of our personality, a hidden self which in a medium emerges from its obscurity, as the normal consciousness and self-control subsides. This fact does, indeed, afford some clue to the peculiar psychological condition of mediumship.”

- from p. 120-122 of On the Threshold of the Unseen, by Sir William Barrett, F.R.S. (1917)

In researching parapsychology it has been fascinating to see how these studies have developed over 130 years of scientific scrutiny since the official founding of the Society for Psychical Research in 1882. Existing in a liminal realm of inquiry which penetrates both the center and the periphery of human experience, studying the history of investigation into exceptional human experiences provides a very potent ground for understanding the intellectual development of the past century.

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An Educator’s Commentary on Seven Life Lessons of Chaos: “The Truth of the Work of Art,” by Prof. James M. Magrini

ImageJ. Briggs and F.D. Peat (1999) describe a link between Chaos Theory and the creative act of making and remaking our world and Being in terms analogous to those encountered in the German philosophical tradition, e.g., Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and the philosophy of primordial truth and the work of art in Heidegger. Against the traditional notion of truth that comes by means of “technique, discipline, or logic,” Briggs and Peat write of a unique form of truth that manifests in moments of creative activity as “something lived in the moment and expressive of an individual’s connection to the whole” (p. 21).

This notion of truth is more primordial than any of our formal notions of truth (e.g., propositional truth) and is connected with a type of knowledge, or better, understanding that represents a “deeper authenticity and ‘truth’ about our individual experience of being in the world” (p. 20). Importantly, as related to Heidegger’s philosophy, this notion of truth, which is revelatory and ecstatic in nature, holds the potential to (1) disrupt the mechanized patterns of our rote day-to-day existence, an existence that conditions us in an inauthentic manner, and (2) awaken in us a creative “vortex,” or center, in which the processes of bifurcation and amplification open the potential for a new principle of self-organization and self-reorganization. As the authors stress, releasing ourselves to the “chaos” attunes us anew and colors our “vision” in a way that allows us to understand and discourse about our existence in a renewed manner.

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Flaxius & Asmodeus, by Charles G. Leland (1902)

From Flaxius: Leaves from the Life of an Immortal, a collection of Leland’s contemporary (for 1902) fables:

Out of mere mischief and mockery grew evil, even as Loki from playing boyish tricks became the devil. To do evil is one thing, to study and understand it is another, but in all ages men have confused the two.

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Alchemical Invocations of Vox Populi – Leland’s Aradia & the Creation of the Folk

“If the lawful order (κόσμος) hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

If ye were of the lawful order (κόσμος), the lawful order (κόσμος) would love his own: but because ye are not of the lawful order(κόσμος), but I have chosen you out of the lawful order (κόσμος), therefore the world hateth you.

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. “

- John 15:18-21

Most reading the charming reprinting of Charles Leland’s Aradia, Gospel of the Witches easily forget how far we are from rural Italy in the 19th century,  from the world inhabited by those who remember the Ancient Ways, perhaps more telling, how far we are from the lives of the dispossessed in our own time.  Leland’s disarming erudition of Margherita Taluti’s information lulls us into gentle repose, arrested only by the sudden bursts of light when the reality of Margherita’s world sneaks through our contemporary dream.

In those days there were on earth many rich and many poor.

The rich made slaves of all the poor.

In those days were many slaves who were cruelly treated; in every palace tortures, in every castle prisons.

Many slaves escaped. They fled to the country; thus they became thieves and evil folks. Instead of sleeping by night, they plotted escape and robbed their masters, and then slew them. So they dwelt in the mountains and forest as robbers and assassins, all to avoid slavery.

An educated Western audience may find it uncouth that such things would be spoken aloud, but they aren’t spoken aloud, they are passed in secret, sub-rosa, in silence. Leland’s passion for various groups on the fringes of the society of his day, the Romany, the Native American, American Voodoo and European witches, gave him a strong sense of Romanticism for the struggles of the people, and provides him with the raw materials for an invocation of this struggle through his writing.

This is not the genteel voice of an educated Marxist lamenting capitalism, nor the hopeful philosophies of Utopian sustainability, this is Lex Talonis, justice driven by the Left Hand under the auspices of Divine Right. This is the uninhibited outcry of those who labor, live and die without ever seeing the fruits of their work, and watching daily while an uncaring elite sit in abstract control over their destinies.

During the Haitian Revolution in the late 18th century, escaped slaves met in the mountains and gathered strength while plotting to overthrow the Colonial French. During a ceremony in the northern mountains at Bois Caiman, which has since passed into a national myth, the freedom fighters called on the gods of their homeland to give them strength, protection and the vigor to overthrown their oppressors.

According to accounts of the ceremony “a woman started dancing languorously in the crowd, taken by the spirits of the loas. With a knife in her hand, she cut the throat of a pig and distributed the blood to all the participants of the meeting who swore to kill all the whites on the island.”

- History of Haiti and the Haitian Revolution

An interesting thing about Leland is that he’s writing from a place of experience. He was active during the American Civil War, both as a propagandist and journalist for the North and as a soldier, and was in Paris during the French uprising in 1848 where he participated in street fighting against the Royalist supporters.

In all of these revolutionary moments, however, we must be honest and recognize that the people do not stir on their own cognizance.  Even the Haitian revolution was spurred on by educated Haitians who invoked the power of their traditions to stir the people.  It takes someone to spark the collective consciousness, and that someone is more often than not a sympathetic member of the literati.

The tradition that Leland invokes in Aradia is an idealistic tradition of the people.  Unbound by the historical accuracy or literary criticism through the character of Margherita Taluti, who is herself unbound through the mask of Aradia, he attempts to give voice to a deeper current of thought running through the cultural narrative. Just as the African Diaspora Traditions easily slide between Christian saints and African gods, Aradia presents the picture of a living tradition that invokes the Spirits by their Signs without regard for any cultural designations.  These are not the civilized gods of Empires, but the unrefined forces of Nature herself.

Despite the hesitation of some contemporary pagans over the use of the name Lucifer in the text, the marriage of Lucifer and Diana is not necessarily an amalgam of Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman traditions. In Latin Lucifer can be interpreted as “Light Bearer” an epitaph for Apollo (also called Φοίβος, Phoibos, “radiant”) who is the brother of Artemis, Artemis being another name for Diana.  With Italian being so close to Latin, it may be that the use of Lucifer actually predates the Christian tradition.

Another appellation given to Apollo is “born of the wolf”, and in pre-Hellenistic times (as Jake Stratton-Kent points out in his work Geosophia) Apollo had a definitive role in Cthonic (underworld) rites. The designation given in Aradia of Diana’s husband with “one who of old once reigned in Hell,” may be a subtle clue that it is this Cthonic Apollo, the Oracular Apollo, who is being called upon.

The Invocation to Aradia hints at this when it says, “may there be  one of three signs distinctly clear to me: the hiss of a serpent, the light of a firefly, the sound of a frog” The Serpent was sacred to Apollo, and the connection of the firefly to the “light bearer” is self evident, the frog is sacred to Hekate, a Cthonic Greek goddess who, like Diana, is connected to magical rites and nocturnal pursuits.

If this seems a bit academic for folk wisdom, it may very well be. Leland’s recounting may be every bit as free as his critics contend. In his work English Gipsy Songs he laments that none of the Romany he spoke with  could give an adequate representation of their tradition.  “Not finding what I wanted, I had given up the intention of forming such a collection, when the perusal of a few excellent Rommany ballads by a friend who may fairly claim to be among the ” deepest” of the deep in the language, as well as others by Professor Palmer and Miss Janet Tuckey, suggested to me the idea that poetry, impressed with true Gipsy spirit, and perfectly idiomatic, might be written and honestly classed as Rommany, even though not composed by dwellers in tents or caravans. The experiment was made, great care being taken to avoid anything like theatrical Gipsyism, or fanciful idealisation.”

There are many correspondences in Aradia to beliefs common to European and early American folk magic which Leland would have been familiar with through his extensive reading and passion for the “occult.” The Charm of the Stones Sacred to Diana is surprisingly similar to the seer stone used by  Josepth Smith for treasure hunting and scrying while dictating the Book of Mormon. Leland’s niece recounts that he, “not only studied witchcraft with the impersonal curiosity of the scholar, but practiced it with the zest of the initiated,” so it would not be surprising if a bit of his own practice seeped in to the reworking of Margherita’s account of Italian witchcraft.

In fact Leland, in his memoirs, tells of his own ownership of such a stone, only he calls it a “voodoo stone,” and based on the timing of the tale he tells (at the end of the Civil War) his possession of it predates by many years his time in Italy:

“Now, to-day I hold and possess the black stone of the Voodoo, the possession of which of itself makes me a grand-master and initiate or adept…”

- Memoirs, Charles Leland

Similarly the Conjuration of Diana which calls for water, wine and salt, bears resemblance to invocation techniques used by folk magicians discussed in George Oliver’s book from 1875, The Pythagorean Triangle: “It appears that in the time when conjurers could profitably exercise their art, they used to raise spirits within a circle nine feet in diameter, which they consecrated by sprinkling with a mixture of holy water, wine, and salt; that they might be protected from any onslaught of the fiend.

This combination of ingredients is found in Christian exorcism rites practiced by the Catholic church, or more pointedly rites which would have been found in the Episcopalian tradition that Leland adopted during his time at Princeton:

These four—water, wine, salt, and ashes—were the ingredients of the Exorcising Water to expel the enemy from a Church at its consecration ; the water symbolising the outpouring of tears, and so penitence ; the wine, exultation of mind ; the salt, natural discretion or wisdom; and the ashes, the humility of penitence.

- The symbolism of churches and church ornaments, Guillaume Durandus

And these three can also be equated in alchemical terms to Mercury (water), Sulphur, (wine) and Salt, which in the Paracelsian tradition are the three essential elements that form the basis of reality prior to the four elements of fire, water, earth and air. The rectification of these three also forms the basis of the Philosopher’s Stone. Leland was well acquainted with Paracelsus by the time he wrote Aradia, we find him discussing Gnosticism and NeoPlatonism at Princeton while still a student:

When (Professor Dodd) asked me how it was that I had renegaded into Trinitarianism, I replied that it was due to reflection on the perfectly obvious and usual road of the Platonic hypostases eked out with Gnosticism. I had…learned…that ” it was a religious instinct of man to begin with a Trinity, in which I was much aided by Schelling, and that there was no trace of a Trinity in the Bible, or rather the contrary, yet that it ought consistently to have been there…For man or God consists of the Monad from which developed spirit or intellect and soul; for toto enim in mundo Ivcet Trias cujus Monas est princeps, as the creed of the Rosicrucians begins (which is taken from the Zoroastrian oracles)…and it is set forth on the face of every Egyptian temple as the ball, the wings of the spirit which rusheth into all worlds, and the serpent, which is the Logos.”

- Memoirs, Charles Leland

Here we see the core of Leland’s belief, “there was no trace…yet…it ought consistently to have been there.” Aradia is a classic work of Pastoral poetry, the work of an educated Romantic who longs for the Golden Age of Nature. Through the use of vox populi he takes the unrefined elements of folk culture and, in an alchemical moment of myth building, creates what “should be there.” He separates out the dross of true poverty and seeks the essence of hunger, desperation and wisdom that exists in the lives of the dispossessed.

Leland takes what the common people already know, but have no chance to define, and  shows them a reflection of themselves. Reworking their traditions with the purpose of returning to them the freedom that they already have, while undermining the bonds of control that have been put on them by social conventions that laud ostentation while rejecting the simplicity of life.  It is therefore no surprise that Aradia has had a foundational affect on contemporary witchcraft, that was the very purpose of the book.

Margherita Taluti’s information alone could not complete his vision, but it provided the ground and reality from which he could perfect the Work. It contained the Prima Materia missing from his own experience and provided the Key. Leland’s practice is no different than Ovid, Homer, Chaucer, Boccacio, Shakespeare, or any of the great Traditional Poets who took the popular mythologies and legends of their time and re-veiled them.

As he remarked to one of his fellow folklorists, “I am proud to be a first pointer-out – just as I am of having been acknowledge to be the first discoverer of Shelta…also of Italian-Latin witch lore and mythology, which latter has not as yet been credited to me, but will be some day.

Through an alchemical invocation of the popular voice Charles Leland created a vision for the dispossessed to lay claim to. His ‘gospel of the witches‘ was the ‘good news‘ of the free spirit, the reclamation of the Edenic purity of Humanity that “shall dance, sing, make music, and then love in the darkness.”  It is the message to the establishment that “the true God the Father is not yours; for I have come to sweet away the bad, the men of evil, all will I destroy!” It’s a mark of success that Leland’s work has been reviled by the Academy, he wasn’t writing it for them, he was writing it for the People.

Note: The folks at Red Wheel/Weiser were kind enough to provide a copy of Charles Leland’s Aradia, Gospel of the Witches for research and review. Check out Bob Freeman’s review of Aradia and  Freeman Presson’s review as well.

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re p re s e n ta tiv e o f aG erm an
m agical order,
w h o g a v e W e s tc o tt p e rm is s io n to fo u n d th e G o ld e n D a w n .
T he
c ip h e r
m anuscript
m ay
ju s t
p o s s ib ly
h a v e
re a lly
e x is te d

(although it w as not picked up on a book stall in Farringdon R oad); th e le tte r a b o u t F ra u le in S p re n g e l c e rta in ly d id n o t; n e ith e r d idth a t la d y

herself. Y et the
s to r y
a c c o m p lis h e d its e ffe c t,a n d th e G o ld e n
D aw n grew
in to o n e o f th e m o s t im p re s s iv e m a g ic a l o r g a n iz a tio n s o f
th e
la te
n in e te e n th
c e n tu ry .