Sunday, December 18, 2011

de laudibus sanctae crucis

"Hrabanus Maurus or Rabanus Maurus, ninth century monk of Fulda was regarded for his generosity toward the poor, feeding over 300 people a day during the famines of 850 AD. As a testament to Maurus' lasting influence, Gustav Mahler interpreted one of Maurus' poems in his moving 8th Symphony. However, Maurus, most notable achievement was De laudibus sanctae crucis, a collection of twenty-eight encrypted religious poems, rendered before 814 AD. He was said to be the inventor of a cyphering system of 36 lines containing 36 letters evenly spaced on a grid. In this grid, Maurus included figurative images, putting the poems in visual terms. The poem filling the cypher grid was enriched by these smaller images, as most of the letters contained within them created tiny individual poems.

Given that a large part of the population at the time was not only poor, but illiterate, Maurus' visual poems bridged the gap between a priviledged reading community and the common person. Maurus used simple symbols : rings to signify cycles, squares to represent books, and letters for days. By doing so he made religious concepts easily accessible to the masses. They were not overly simple, but were made richer by the mix of the complex cyphering, or coding, used to both create and read the poems, as well as the viewer's simple delight of instantly understanding sacred symbols." 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

hand of glory

"The Hand of Glory is the dried and pickled hand of a man who has been hanged, often specified as being the left (Latin: sinister) hand, or else, if the man were hanged for murder, the hand that "did the deed." According to old European beliefs, a candle made of the fat from a malefactor who died on the gallows, virgin wax, and Lapland sesame oil - lighted and placed (as if in a candlestick) in the Hand of Glory, which comes from the same man as the fat in the candle - would have rendered motionless all persons to whom it was presented. The candle could only be put out with milk. (In another version the hair of the dead man is used as a wick, also the candle is said to give light only to the holder.) The Hand of Glory also purportedly had the power to unlock any door it came across." 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

legend of the witches

Slides taken by Stewart Ferrar for use on the cover of the LP Legend of the Witches. The photos include, from beginning to end, photos of Alex and Maxine Sanders, Ritual Tools, the First Degree Inititation, Cakes and Ale and Cord Magic.

Monday, December 5, 2011

untermyer park

"David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) claims that he joined a cult in the spring of 1975. Initially, he said, the group was involved in harmless activities, such as séances and fortune telling. Gradually, however, Berkowitz claimed that the group introduced him to drug use, sadistic pornography and violent crime. They began, he claims, by killing dogs, mostly German Shepherds. Over a dozen mutilated dog corpses were discovered in Yonkers, especially near Untermeyer Park, which Berkowitz claimed was a frequent meeting place for the cult."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

heartbeat in the brain

"On a Sunday afternoon in December 1970, Aman­da Feilding drilled a hole in her head. "Drilling a hole in one’s head is really a nerve battle, doing something which obviously e­very instinct in your body is against. In a sense it’s quite satisfying that one can overcome one’s nerves to do it." The film, titled Heartbeat in the Brain, shows her shaving her hairline, putting on a floral shower cap to keep back her remaining locks, fashioning a mask out of sunglasses and medical tape, injecting herself with a local anesthetic, and peeling back a patch of skin with a scalpel. With a look of determined, almost trance-like concentration, Feilding then holds a dentist’s drill to her head and, pressing the foot pedal that operates it, begins to push its grinding teeth into the frontal bone.

"When she finally managed to bore through to the dura mater, Feilding grinned triumphantly as a geyser of blood gurgled from the half-centimeter-wide opening and poured down her face, spotting the white tunic she was wearing with carnation-sized stains. A reviewer who saw Feilding’s film in 1978, when she showed it at the Suydam Gallery in New York, reported that at the climax of the operation several members of the audience fainted, "dropping off their seats one by one like ripe plums." The film ends with footage of Feilding bandaging her head and mopping up the blood from her face with water and cotton wool. She changes out of her bloody tunic into a colorful Moroccan kaftan and wraps a shimmering gold turban around her head to disguise the bandages. Looking glamorous, bohemian, and elated, she smiles goodbye to the camera and heads off to a fancy-dress party." 

"To my subjective experience I thought at the time that it was rather like the tide coming in," she explains, "I felt a certain peace, it felt like a return, like I was rising in myself to a more natural level. But obviously one can say that that was a placebo, one can never tell with such a subtle feeling." Feilding first encountered the idea of trepanation at the age of twenty-three, when she met an eccentric and handsome Dutchman named Bart Huges, who was an advocate of the benefits of the procedure. She admits to having thought it "a bit freak" at first: "Bart quite changed my viewpoint," Feilding says, "opening up doors of science and biology to me. He was very charismatic, we had a great love affair, and I was curious to see if what he said was true."

"Feilding ran for British Parliament twice, on the platform 'Trepanation for the National Health' with the intention of advocating research into its potential benefits, but received few votes (40 in 1979 and 139 in 1983). 35 years later, she is funding this research at the Through the Beckley Foundation, Feilding is engaged in a programme of research using psychedelics as tools to alter consciousness. In 2007, her LSD study on consciousness was one of the first involving LSD and human participants since the late 1980s."

the beginning was the end

Oscar Kiss Maerth - The Beginning Was the End [PDF]

Gerald V. Casale claimed, "It's a better story than the Bible as far as DEVO's concerned."

“The Beginning was the End (1971) written in a Chinese monastery that claimed modern man devolved from a species of brain-eating apes. According to Maerth, this diet increased the apes' brain size, sex drive, and aggression, but suppressed their innate psychic ability and eventually caused insanity. Maerth offered no evidence for his theories, basing them largely on his alleged meetings with cannibals in Java and New Guinea and his experiences eating raw ape brains in a restaurant in Southeast Asia. He hints at having activated his latent psychic abilities through altering the shape of his skull in the manner of Incan tribes and/or trepanation, and his theories are mostly derived from the resultant divine inspiration. The frontispiece of Maerth's book says that after his travels in Asia, South America and Australia he settled in Italy where he lived with his wife and three children on Lake Como, where he was involved in the restoration of Villa Passalacqua.While future volumes were promised in the course of the text, none ever appeared, with the exception of The Speech of Moltrasio, a very rare 8 page pamphlet. Maerth foresees a return to cannibalism in the near future, and suggests that the reader should drop out of society, embrace a vegetarian diet, steep himself in the wisdom of the East and perhaps employ various wooden frames and wire devices to alter the shape of his skull as some ancient cultures did, thus relieving the pressure on the brain and partially restoring psychic powers.”

osiris pose

“The Egyptian god Osiris is not only a merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, but also the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. He is described as the "Lord of love," "He Who is Permanently Benign and Youthful" and the "Lord of Silence." The Kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death — as Osiris rose from the dead they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. By the New Kingdom all people, not just pharaohs, were believed to be associated with Osiris at death if they incurred the costs of the assimilation rituals. Through the hope of new life after death Osiris began to be associated with the cycles observed in nature, in particular vegetation and the annual flooding of the Nile, through his links with Orion and Sirius at the start of the new year. Osiris was widely worshiped as Lord of the Dead until the suppression of the Egyptian religion during the Christian era.”

Monday, November 7, 2011


Alexander Scriabin - Mysterium Part I: Universe

"Mysterium is an unfinished musical work by composer Alexander Scriabin. He started working on the composition in 1903, but it was incomplete at the time of his death in 1915. Scriabin planned that the work would be synesthetic, exploiting the senses of smell and touch as well as hearing. He wrote that

There will not be a single spectator. All will be participants. The work requires special people, special artists and a completely new culture. The cast of performers includes an orchestra, a large mixed choir, an instrument with visual effects, dancers, a procession, incense, and rhythmic textural articulation. The cathedral in which it will take place will not be of one single type of stone but will continually change with the atmosphere and motion of the Mysterium. This will be done with the aid of mists and lights, which will modify the architectural contours.

Scriabin intended that the performance of this work, to be given in the foothills of the Himalayas in India, would last seven days and would be followed by the end of the world, with the human race replaced by 'nobler beings'. At the time of his death, Scriabin left 72 pages of sketches for a prelude to the Mysterium entitled Prefatory Action. These sketches have been completed by Alexander Nemtin to form a three-hour-long work, a task that took him 28 years, and recorded." [Wikipedia]

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Preparation of the Self:
1. Decide the time for the Ritual to commence.
2. Abstain from excessive eating or any sexual activity for the duration of 12 hours.
3. Refrain from sleep for the same duration.
4. During the Final Hour before the ritual is to take place, speak to no one.
5. At the beginning of this Hour of Silence, physically cleanse yourself through bathing.
6. Five minutes before the start of the ritual don your “Psychic Cloak” and be ready to begin at the striking of the Hour.
As You Begin:
Lay out the Rope
Light the Altar Candle
Begin with the LBRP
Light The Incense
Perform the Sign of the Rending of the Veil while calling out the Arcane Admitting Password
Announce the Purpose of the Call
Call out the Names of the Planets you represent
Say: “Admit me and do my bidding as I command.”
Knock upon the Altar 7 times
Firmly state your desire using clear and concise language
Finally, begin to quietly recite the Mantram placing the same emphasis on each syllable with eyes closed while visualizing the desire having already been carried out.
After approximately five minutes of recitation, proceed to the Dismissal:
“I Thank thee, Cosmic Powers

The Ritual is done.

All Forces, Entities, and Energies

Shall go about their business

Until again I call.

In the Ultimate Name,

Go in peace to do My bidding.

So Mote it Be”
Perform the Sign of the Closing of the Veil
Close your eyes, Say: “Fare Thee Well, All.”
With this, the Ritual is completed.