My other blogs and Twitter:
Hermeticism, Theurgy, Thelema, Freemasonry, Heathenry, Golden Dawn, OTO, Ceremonial Magick, Kabbala, Enochian, Yoga, Paganism, Rosicrucianism, Esoterica, Alchemy, Voudoun, Santeria and more
Viking Age, Archeology, History, Anthropology, Scandinavia, Germanic tribes, Asatru, Heathenry, Anglo – Saxon faith, Vikings, Norse, Culture,Mythology and more
Vintage, 1920´s, Flappers, Charleston, Jazz, Gangsters, Prohibition, Movies, Music, Fashion, Hairstyles, Make Up, Attitudes and more
Yup, i´m whoring myself out!
Who came up with the idea that emotion is closer to (or equal too) spirituality?
In many religions rationality and intellectualism is held in great regard ( many forms of Judaism often values intellectual endevours highly for example).
In the kabbala intellect (Ruach) is actually “closer” to spirituality than emotions (Nephesh).
It should be said though that the soul is divided a whole lot in kabbala and terms like “intellect” and “emotion” doesent nearly cover it.
Among Ceremonial Magicians it is known that you can actually “think” or “study” yourself into a trance state.
Havent you ever had such a flow of thought, often based on an “aha” experience, when you get things and see things in perspective and clearness so that it totally takes you over (possably inducing euphoria and thus taking over emotion too)leaving you in a state of almost single pointedness (Dhayana or Dharana depending on)?
Hávamál (“Sayings of the high one”) is presented as a single poem in the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking age. The poem, itself a combination of different poems, is largely gnomic, presenting advice for living, proper conduct and wisdom.
The verses are attributed to Odin, much like the biblical Book of Wisdom is attributed to Solomon. The implicit attribution to Odin facilitated the accretion of various mythological material also dealing with Odin.
For the most part composed in the metre Ljóðaháttr, a metre associated with wisdom verse, Hávamál is both practical and metaphysical in content. Following the gnomic “Hávamálproper” follows the Rúnatal, an account of how Odin won the runes, and the Ljóðatal, a list of magic chants or spells.
The Hávamál is edited in 165 stanzas by Bellows (1936). Other editions give 164 stanzas, combining Bellow’s stanzas 11 and 12, as the manuscript abbreviates the last two lines of stanzas 11. Some editors also combine Bellow’s stanzas 163 and 164. In the following, Bellow’s numeration is used.
The poems in Hávamál is traditionally taken to consist of at least five independent parts,
- the Gestaþáttr, or Hávamál proper, (stanzas 1-80), a collection of proverbs and gnomic wisdom
- a dissertation on the faithlessness of women (stanzas 81-95), prefacing an account of the love-story of Odin and the daughter of Billingr (stanzas 96-102) and the story of how Odin got the mead of poetry from the maidenGunnlöð (stanzas 103-110)
- the Loddfáfnismál (stanzas 111-138), a collection of gnomic verses similar to the Gestaþáttr, addressed to a certain Loddfáfnir
- the Rúnatal (stanzas 139-146), an account of how Odin won the runes, introductory to the Ljóðatal
- the Ljóðatal (stanzas 147-165), a collection of charms
Stanzas 6 and 27 are expanded beyond the standard four lines by an additional two lines of “commentary”. Bellow’s edition inverses the manuscript order of stanzas 39 and 40. Bellow’s stanza 138 (Ljóðalok) is taken from the very end of the poem in the manuscript, placed before the Rúnatal by most editors following Müllenhoff. Stanzas 65, 73-74, 79, 111, 133-134, 163 are defective.
Stanzas 81-84 are in Malahattr, 85-88 in Fornyrthislag. The entire section of 81-102 appears to be an ad hoc interpolation. Stanza 145 is also an interpolation in Malahattr.
The first section Gestaþáttr, the “guest’s section”. Stanzas 1 through 79 comprise a set of maxims for how to handle oneself when a guest and traveling, focusing particularly on manners and other behavioral relationships between hosts and guests and the sacred lore of reciprocity and hospitality to the Norse pagans.
The first stanza exemplifies the practical behavioral advice it offers:
- All the entrances, before you walk forward,
- you should look at,
- you should spy out;
- for you can’t know for certain where enemies are sitting,
- ahead in the hall
Number 77 is possibly the most known section of Gestaþáttr:
- Deyr fé,
- deyja frændr,
- deyr sjálfr et sama;
- ek veit einn,
- at aldri deyr:
- dómr of dauðan hvern.
- Cattle die,
- kinsmen die
- the self must also die;
- I know one thing
- which never dies:
- the reputation of each dead man.
It is introduced by a discussion of the faithlessness of women and advice for the seducing of them in stanzas 84-95, followed by two mythological accounts of Odin’s interaction with women also known as “Odin’s Examples” or “Odin’s Love Quests”. The first is an account of Odin’s thwarted attempt of possessing the daughter of Billing (stanzas 96-102), followed by the story of the mead of poetry which Odin won by seducing its guardian, the maiden Gunnlöð (stanzas 103-110).
The Loddfáfnismál (stanzas 111-138) is again gnomic, dealing with morals, ethics, correct action and codes of conduct. The section is directed to Loddfáfnir (“stray-singer”).
“Odin’s Self-sacrifice” (1908) by W. G. Collingwood.The younger Jelling stone (erected byHarald Bluetooth ca. 970) shows thecrucifixion of Christ with the victim suspended in the branches of a tree instead of on a cross.Rúnatal or Óðins Rune Song, Rúnatáls-þáttr-Óðins (stanzas 138-146) is a section of the Hávamál where Odin reveals the origins of the runes. In stanzas 138 and 139, Odin describes his sacrifice of himself to himself:
- Veit ec at ec hecc vindga meiði a
- netr allar nío,
- geiri vndaþr oc gefinn Oðni,
- sialfr sialfom mer,
- a þeim meiþi, er mangi veit, hvers hann af rótom renn.
- I know that I hung on a windy tree
- nine long nights,
- wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
- myself to myself,
- on that tree of which no man knows
- from where its roots run.
- Við hleifi mic seldo ne viþ hornigi,
- nysta ec niþr,
- nam ec vp rvnar,
- opandi nam,
- fell ec aptr þaðan.
- No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn,
- downwards I peered;
- I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
- then I fell back from there.
The “windy tree” from which the victim hangs is often identified with the world tree Yggdrasil by commentators. The entire scene, the sacrifice of a god to himself, the execution method by hanging the victim on a tree, and the wound inflicted on the victim by a spear, is often compared to the crucifixion of Christ as narrated in the gospels. The parallelism of Odin and Christ during the period of open co-existence of Christianity and Norse paganism in Scandinavia (the 9th to 12th centuries, corresponding with the assumed horizon of the poem’s composition) is also evident from other sources. To what extent this parallelism is an incidental similarity of the mode of human sacrifice offered to Odin and the crucifixion, and to what extent Christianity exerted direct influence on the mythology associated with Odin, is a complex question on which scholarly opinions vary.
The last section, the Ljóðatal enumerates eighteen charms (songs, ljóð), prefaced with
- Ljóð eg þau kann / er kann-at þjóðans kona / og mannskis mögur
- “The songs I know / that king’s wives know not / Nor men that are sons of men” (stanza 147).
The charms themselves are not given, just their application or effect described. They are explicitly counted from “the first” in stanza 147, and “a second” to “an eighteenth” in stanzas 148 to 165, given in roman numerals in the manuscript.
There is no explicit mention of runes or runic magic in the Ljóðatal excepting in the twelfth charm (stanza 158), which takes up the motif of Odin hanging on the tree and its association with runes,
- svo eg ríst / og í rúnum fá’g
- “So do I write / and color the runes”
Nevertheless, because of the Rúnatal preceding the list, the Ljóðatal has been associated with the runes, specifically with the sixteen letters of the Younger Futhark.
Müllenhoff takes the original Ljóðatal to have ended with stanza 161, with the final three charms (16th to 18th) taken as late and obscure additions.
The difference of sixteen runes of the Younger Futhark vs. eighteen charms in the Ljóðatal has notably motivated proponents of Germanic mysticism to expand the row by two extra runes. The best-known attempt to this effect are the Armanen runes by Guido von List (1902).
Various proponents of Germanic Neopagan groups place an emphasis on Hávamál as a source of a Norse pagan ethical code of conduct. The “Nine Noble Virtues”, first compiled byOdinic Rite founder John “Stubba” Yeowell in the 1970s are “loosely based” on the Hávamál. The Northvegr Foundation cites the Hávamál among other Old Norse and Old English sources to illustrate “the ethical ideal of the Northern spiritual faith of Heithni.”
The social constructionists
In recent years, some academic writers have described religion according to the theory of social constructionism, which considers how ideas and social phenomena develop in a social context. Among the main proponents of this theory of religion are Timothy Fitzgerald, Daniel Dubuisson and Talad Assad. The social constructionists argue that religion is a modern concept that developed from Christianity and was then applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures and European pre Christian cultures.
Similar views to social constructionism have been put forward by writers who are not social constructionists. George Lindbeck, a Lutheran and a postliberal theologian, says that religion does not refer to belief in “God” or a transcendent Absolute, but rather to “a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought … it is similar to an idiom that makes possible the description of realities, the formulation of beliefs, and the experiencing of inner attitudes, feelings, and sentiments.” Nicholas de Lange, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, says that “The comparative study of religions is an academic discipline which has been developed within Christian theology faculties, and it has a tendency to force widely differing phenomena into a kind of strait-jacket cut to a Christian pattern. The problem is not only that other ‘religions’ may have little or nothing to say about questions which are of burning importance for Christianity, but that they may not even see themselves as religions in precisely the same way in which Christianity sees itself as a religion.”
Aleister Crowley wrote The Gnostic Mass — technically called Liber XV or “Book 15″ — in 1913 while travelling in Moscow, Russia. In many ways it is similar in structure to the Mass of the Eastern Orthodox Church. However, the comparison ends there, as Liber XV is a celebration of the principles ofThelema. It is the central rite of Ordo Templi Orientis and its ecclesiastical arm, Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica.
The ceremony calls for five officers: a Priest, a Priestess, a Deacon, and two acolytes, called Children (though current practice is that the part is usually performed by adults). The end of the ritual culminates in the consummation of the eucharist, consisting of a goblet of wine and a Cake of Light, after which the congregant proclaims “There is no part of me that is not of the gods!”
Crowley explains why he wrote the Gnostic Mass in his Confessions:
While dealing with this subject I may as well outline its scope completely. Human nature demands (in the case of most people) the satisfaction of the religious instinct, and, to very many, this may best be done by ceremonial means. I wished therefore to construct a ritual through which people might enter into ecstasy as they have always done under the influence of appropriate ritual. In recent years, there has been an increasing failure to attain this object, because the established cults shock their intellectual convictions and outrage their common sense. Thus their minds criticize their enthusiasm; they are unable to consummate the union of their individual souls with the universal soul as a bridegroom would be to consummate his marriage if his love were constantly reminded that its assumptions were intellectually absurd.
I resolved that my Ritual should celebrate the sublimity of the operation of universal forces without introducing disputable metaphysical theories. I would neither make nor imply any statement about nature which would not be endorsed by the most materialistic man of science. On the surface this may sound difficult; but in practice I found it perfectly simple to combine the most rigidly rational conceptions of phenomena with the most exalted and enthusiastic celebration of their sublimity
There are four main pieces of furniture in a Gnostic Mass temple:
The High Altar: the dimensions are 7 feet (2.1 m) long by 3 feet (0.91 m) wide by 44 inches (1,100 mm) high. It is covered with a crimson cloth. It is situated in the East, or in the direction of Boleskine House–Crowley’s former estate—on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland (“Temple East”). The two-tiered super-altar sits on top of the High Altar. It all holds 22 candles, the Stele of Revealing, the Book of the Law, the Cup, and two bunches of roses. There is room for the Paten, and the Priestess to sit.
The High Altar is contained within a great Veil, and sits on a dais with three steps. On either side of the High Altar are two pillars, countercharged in black and white.
The Altar of Incense: to the West of the Dais is a black altar made of superimposed cubes.
The Font: this is a small circular item which is able to contain or hold water.
The Tomb: this is generally a small, enclosing space with an entrance that is covered by a veil. It should be big enough to hold the Priest, Deacon and the two Children.
There are six component ceremonies within the Gnostic Mass:
The Ceremony of the Introit
The congregation enters the temple, the Deacon presents the Law of Thelema, and the Gnostic Creed is recited. The Priestess and the Children enter from a side room. The Priestess raises the Priest from his Tomb, then purifies, consecrates, robes and crowns him.
The Ceremony of the Rending of the Veil
The Priestess is enthroned at the High Altar and the veil is closed. The Priest circumambulates the temple and he ascends to the veil. The officers give their orations, including theCalendar by the Deacon. The Priest then opens the veil and kneels at the High Altar.
Eleven prayers addressed to the Sun, Moon, Lord, Lady, Gnostic Saints, Earth, Principles, Birth, Marriage, Death, and The End.
The Consecration of the Elements
The preparation of the Eucharist.
Of the Anthem, Crowley writes in Confessions:
- During this period [i.e. around 1913] the full interpretation of the central mystery of freemasonry became clear in consciousness, and I expressed it in dramatic form in The Ship. The lyrical climax is in some respects my supreme achievement in invocation; in fact, the chorus beginning: “Thou who art I beyond all I am…” seemed to me worthy to be introduced as the anthem into the Ritual of the Gnostic Catholic Church.
The Mystic Marriage and Consummation of the Elements
The Eucharist is perfected and consumed. The Priest gives the final benediction. The Priest, Deacon, and Children exit. The People exit.
The narrative of the Gnostic Mass
The People enter into the ritual space, where the Deacon stands at the Altar of Incense (symbolic of Tiphareth on the Tree of Life). She takes the Book of the Law and places it on the super-altar within the great Veil, and proclaims the Law of Thelema in the name of IAO. Returning, she leads the People in the Gnostic Creed, which announces a belief (or value) in the Lord, the Sun, Chaos, Air, Babalon, Baphomet, the Gnostic Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the Miracle of the Mass (i.e. the Eucharist), as well as confessions of their birth as incarnate beings and the eternal cycle of their individual lives.
The Virgin then enters with the two Children, and greets the People. She moves in a serpentine manner around the Altar of Incense and the Font (symbolizing the unwinding of theKundalini Serpent which is twined around the base of the spine) before stopping at the Tomb. She tears down the veil with her Sword, and raises the Priest to life by the power of Iron, the Sun, and the Lord. He is lustrated and consecrated with the four elements (water and earth, fire and air), and then invested with his scarlet Robe and crowned with the golden Uraeus serpent of wisdom. Finally, she gently strokes his Lance eleven times, invoking the Lord.
The Priest lifts up the Virgin and takes her to the High Altar, seating her upon the summit of the Earth. After he purifies and consecrates her, he closes the Veil and circumambulates the temple three times, followed by the remaining officers. They take their place before the Altar of Incense, kneeling in adoration (along with all the People), while the Priest takes the first step upon the Dais before the Veil. In this symbolic crossing of the Abyss, the Priest begins with his first oration, invoking Nuit, the goddess of the infinite night sky. The Priestess calls to him as Nuit, enticing the Priest to ascend to her. He then takes the second step, and identifies as Hadit, the infinitely condensed center of all things — the Fire of every star and the Life in every person. The Deacon has the congregation rise and he delivers the Calendar. The Priest takes his third and final step, invoking Ra-Hoor-Khuit, the Crowned and Conquering Child of the New Aeon. With his Lance, he parts the Veil, revealing the now-naked Priestess who sits upon the High Altar. He greets her with the masculine powers of Pan and she returns it with eleven kisses on the Lance. He kneels in adoration.
The Deacon then recites the eleven Collects, which include the Sun, Moon, Lord, Lady, Saints, Earth, Principles, Birth, Marriage, Death, and the End.
The Elements are then consecrated by the Virtue of the Lance, transforming the bread into the Body of God and the wine into the Blood of God. Of these, the Priest makes a symbolic offering to On, being our Lord the Sun.
The Priest and all the People then recite the Anthem, which was taken from Crowley’s allegorical play “The Ship”, and represents the legend of the Third Degree of Masonry.
The Priest blesses the Elements in the name of the Lord, and also states the essential function of the entire operation, which is to bestow health, wealth, strength, joy, peace, and the perpetual happiness that is the successful fulfillment of will. He breaks off a piece of one of the hosts, and, placing it on the tip of the Lance, both he and the Priestess depress it into the Cup, crying “Hriliu” (which Crowley translated as “the shrill scream of orgasm”).
The Priest entreats Baphomet — “O Lion and O Serpent” — to be “mighty among us.” He then declares the Law of Thelema to the People – “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” – who return with “Love is the law, love under will.” He finally partakes of the Eucharist with the words, “In my mouth be the essence of the life of the Sun” (with the Host) and “In my mouth be the essence of the joy of the earth” (with the Wine). He turns to the People and declares, “There is no part of me that is not of the Gods.”
The People then follow in Communication, one at a time, much as the Priest did, by partaking of a whole goblet of wine and a Cake of Light. They make the same proclamation of godhood as did the Priest. Afterwards, the Priest encloses the Priestess within the Veil, and delivers the final benediction:
- + The LORD bless you.
- + The LORD enlighten your minds and comfort your hearts and sustain your bodies.
- + The LORD bring you to the accomplishment of your true Wills, the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.
The Priest, Deacon, and Children then retire to the Tomb and return the torn veil. The People exit.
Circle of Stars Sanctuary
Gnostic Church LVX
T Polyphilus, Ep. Gn.
Alex Sanders (June 6, 1926 – April 30, 1988), born Orrell Alexander Carter, was an English occultist and High Priest in the Neopaganreligion of Wicca, responsible for founding the tradition of Alexandrian Wicca during the 1960s. Historians have considered him to be one of the most significant figures in the history of the religion, who was noted for bringing it to greater public attention through his publicity seeking efforts and for the various innovations that he introduced into the faith.
Being raised in a working class family, he was introduced to esoteric ideas by his mother and grandmother from a young age, and as a young man began working as a medium in the local Spiritualist Churches before going on to study and practice ceremonial magic. In 1963, he was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca before founding his own coven, through which he merged many aspects of ceremonial magic into Gardnerianism, falsely then trying to pass off this tradition, Alexandrianism, as a hereditary tradition that had been handed down to him by his grandmother.
Sanders’ first contact with Wicca was in the early 1960s, through correspondence and meetings with Patricia Crowther. In September 1962, he succeeded in convincing the Manchester Evening News to run a front-page article on Wicca. This publicity had several unfortunate side-effects for Sanders, including the loss of his job at the library and estrangement from the Crowthers, who considered him a troublesome upstart and refused to initiate him.
He was eventually initiated by a priestess who had been a member of the Crowthers’ coven, and with whom Maxine Sanders later worked for several years. It was rumoured that Alex copied the Wiccan Book of Shadows in a Gardnerian’s garage while a party was going on in the house, however according to Maxine he copied his book from his initiator’s book in the normal manner.
Soon afterwards, he joined a Gardnerian coven led by Pat Kopanski, which dissolved just over a year later. Sanders worked with several covens, including one led by a priestess called Sylvia. Eventually she and several others left the group amicably, leaving Alex to continue as High Priest. During this period the coven worked at Alex’s home at 24 Egerton Road North, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. Sanders continued to attract media attention which brought him more followers. By 1965 he claimed 1,623 initiates in 100 covens, who apparently elected him to the title of King of the Witches.
Gerald Brousseau Gardner (June 13, 1884 – February 12, 1964), who sometimes used the craft name Scire, was an influential EnglishWiccan, as well as an amateur anthropologist and archaeologist, writer, weaponry expert and occultist. He was instrumental in bringing theNeopagan religion of Wicca to public attention in Britain and wrote some of its definitive religious texts. He himself typically referred to the faith as “witchcraft” or “the witch-cult”, its adherents “the Wica”, and he claimed that it was the survival of a pre-Christian pagan Witch cult that he had been initiated into by a New Forest coven in 1939.
Gardner spent much of his life abroad in southern and south-eastern Asia, where he developed an interest in many of the native peoples, and wrote about some of their magical practices. It was after his retirement and return to England that he was initiated into Wicca by the New Forest coven. Subsequently fearing that this religion, which he apparently believed to be a genuine continuance of ancient beliefs, would die out, he set about propagating it through initiating others, mainly through the Bricket Wood coven, and introduced a string of notable High Priestesses into Wicca, including Doreen Valiente, Lois Bourne, Patricia Crowther and Eleanor Bone. He would go on to develop his own variant of the Craft that has come to be named after him, Gardnerian Wicca, which combined the teachings that he had received from the New Forest coven with additional ideas taken from a number of disparate sources, including Freemasonry, ceremonial magic, mediaevalgrimoires and the writings of the occultist Aleister Crowley, a man whom Gardner knew personally.
He also published two books on the subject of Wicca, Witchcraft Today (1954) and The Meaning of Witchcraft (1959), along with a couple of novels, and ran the Museum of Magic and Witchcraft on the Isle of Man, which was devoted to the subject. For this, he has left an enduring legacy on the modern Wiccan and Neopagan movement, and is frequently referred to as “the Father of Wicca”.
Candomblé (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɐ̃dõˈblɛ]) is an African-originated or Afro-Brazilian religion, practised chiefly in Brazil by the “povo de santo” (people of saint). It originated in the cities of Salvador, the capital of Bahia and Cachoeira, at the time one of the main commercial crossroads for the distribution of products and slave trade to other parts of Bahia state in Brazil. Although Candomblé is practiced primarily in Brazil, it is also practiced in other countries in the Americas, including Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama; and in Europe in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The religion is based in the anima (soul) of Nature, and is also known as Animism. It was developed in Brazil with the knowledge of African Priests that were enslaved and brought to Brazil, together with their mythology, their culture and language, between 1549 and 1888.
The rituals involve the possession of the initiated by Orishas, offerings and sacrifices of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdom, healing, dancing/trance and percussion. Candomblé draws inspiration from a variety of people of the African Diaspora, but it mainly features aspects ofYoruba orisha veneration.
In many parts of the Latin America, Orishás are now conflated with Roman Catholic saints. This religion, like many African religions, is an oral tradition and therefore has not been put into text throughout the years. Only recently have scholars and people of this religion begun to write down their practices. The name Batuque is also used, especially before the 19th century when Candomblé became more common. Both words are believed to derive from a Bantu-family language, mainly that of (Kongo Kingdom).
Candomblé may be called Macumba in some regions, notably Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, although Macumba has a distinct set of practices more akin to European witchcraft. Candomblé can also be distinguished from Umbanda, a religion founded in the early 20th century by combining African elements with Kardecism; and from similar African-derived religions such as Quimbanda, Haitian Vodou, Cuban Santería, and Obeah, which developed independently of Candomblé and are virtually unknown in Brazil.
There are 2 million Candombles worldwide.´