a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


RVW: Christian Occult Dictionary

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,talk.religion.newage,alt.christnet,alt.religion.christian,talk.religion.misc
From: (nocTifer)
Subject: RVW: Christian Occult Dictionary (LONG)
Date: 23 Aug 1997 10:55:26 -0700

[Orig-ToSilver Chalice Elist ( in 3 parts]

49970801 aa2 Hail Satan!

peace be upon you, kin.

I have been in contact with the Society of The Astral Star and was
directed to their dictionary to assist me in understanding their
terminology.  apparently the page itself is under construction so
take all of the below with that in mind.  I'm focussing on it because 
I think it will be a helpful initiation to a discussion of Christian 
Magick to get some of the terminology into the limelight, the dispute 
and the mythos placed right before our eyes.  onward....

I've re-organized these by discussion topic:

[from ]
[excerpts, some sections (e.g. 'Magick') compiled and renamed. tn]

#  INRI:
#        	Letters written on Jesus' cross, they have been interpreted 
#		to mean different things, depending upon who you talk to.
#              Primarily a notarikon (q.v.) from the Latin by Christians
#              as meaning, "Iesus Nazarenu, Rex Iudaeorum" interpreted
#              as, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." Used to mock
#              the Christian Messiah Jesus (q.v.) Christ as he was
#              crucified on the cross of galgatha (called Calvary).
#              Secondly said to be a Latin notarikon (q.v.), "Igne
#              Naturae Renovatur Integra," meaning "Nature by fire is
#              renewed in its integrity" by the Alchemists of the
#              Rennesaince. Medieval alchemists also used INRI as a
#              Latin notarikon (q.v.) "Inge Nitrum Raris Inventium,"
#              meaning, "Shining (or glittering) is rarely found in
#              fire." Finally, INRI is said to be a secret Notarikon
#              (q.v.) of the Jesuit Order of Catholicism from the Latin
#              "Iusticum Necare Regis Impium," meaning, "It is just to
#              kill an impious king."

it seems to me that the relationship between the Kristos, the Messiah,
the Annointed One, the Annointed King, and the sacrificed 'King of the 
Jews' is fairly obvious.

#              The work of achieving enlightenment and unity with Divinity. 
#	        Some people would say unity with one's own Higher Self.
#              Classically, to become more than Human. The work of Adeptship.

no mention made here of its alchemical origins.  used by Hermetics for
their syncretic purposes.  an obvious tie-in to Christian mysticism
with divine union or heiros gamos as the ultimate objective.  I would
equate such a union with the liberation of Yoga and the goal-state of
attainment to the consciousness of the Messiah or Christ.

#              The Society of Christian Mystics: The Order of The Astral 
#	        Star Of Augurs. Founded in 1980 in the Commonwealth of 
#	        Kentucky, USA, by a group of ten teenagers including 
#	        Michael W. Humphrey, Debbie J. Vallandingham-Humphrey,
#	        and Scott R. Schweitzer, upon the principles of Christian 
#	        Mysticism and Ceremonial Magick. The first degree is founded 
#	        upon the ideals of Christian Knighthood, and the magickal
#              secrets of the Christian Eucharist. The Order practices
#              Golden Dawn [G.D.] (q.v.) style ceremonial/ritual magick.
#              The symbol of the Order is an eight rayed star on it's
#              point, inscribed with the glyphs of the signs of the
#              zodiac, the planets, the numbers, and colors. A gold,
#              silver, and red Crux mystica is in the center, and the
#              star itself is surmounted by a crux mystica. The Society
#              was incorporated in Kentucky on the Vernal Equinox, 1993
#              as "THE SOCIETY OF THE ASTRAL STAR, INC."

an Old Aeon establishment by my humble reckoning, lux-o-centric and
apparently predominantly mystical rather than magical in the more
common sense of the terms.

#              What the followers of the teachings of the Order of The Astral
#              Star (q.v.) call their path or tradition. The Sixty-nine
#              comes from the numerological reduction via Gematria
#              (q.v.) of the words "Manger or Stable," in Hebrew
#              indicating that the Order of The Astral Star is founded
#              upon the Christ event that led the wise men to a stable
#              where the Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem.

clever integration of sex magick issues evident even in the Order's
numerical Current ID.

#  TAU:
#              Greek for the letter, "T," and a cross with the horizontal 
#	        bar at the top of the vertical line. The shape of a 
#	        traditional ceremonial/ritual magician's robe.

there is much to the Tau Cross which is missed by modern Christian mystics.
not something for me to know right away (as I have only glimpsed it in
visions and through scant research and not been inspired to look closely), 
though I'd welcome hints.


#                The Eastern term for a student of spiritual and occult matters
#                who learns mainly by imitating the guru, or teacher.

not sure where the 'mainly by imitation' came from.  as I understand it,
on a remove largely reflected through academic texts and those by chelas
themselves, there is certainly a worshipful attitude toward the guru, and
the predominant attitude is to do as the guru *says*, not as as he does,
though the latter may well be included.

#   GURU:
#	        Eastern term for a teacher of occult and spiritual matters, 
#		who instructs mainly by example.

I understand that gurus also set their chelas very important challenges.
the Hermetics stole the language from the Indians and now sometimes use
'chela' to indicate a rather more exalted condition than is actual (that
is, student, rather than real 'disciple', the latter being something
which most in the West cannot handle: either the guru or chela roles).

#	        An energy said to lie dormant at the base of the spine, 
#		ready to rise through the spine to the top of the head and 
#		bring down enlightenment. Actually, this was an allegory. 
#		In reality, the energy is controlled by the mind.

the last two statements strike me as horrendously over-confident, though 
this may be part of the doctrines of the Order.  it does appear to have
a strong sexual component and appears to identify its secret teachings
as a kind of psychosexual magick.

#  MAYA:
#              Illusion. A Sanskrit word which does not mean, as many 
#	      people believe, that the world is an illusion. Actually, it
#              means that our interpretation of the world around us is
#              an illusion. The world is not totally what we perceive it
#              to be.

a popular rendering.  sometimes 'the power of Devi' in the form of
compulsion, attraction, deception, etc.  sometimes 'Maya' is a sort of
mischievous or trickster-like goddess on her own.

#  ZEN:
#              A Buddhist sect widespread in Japan that seeks enlightenment
#              through spontaneous insights that are generated by a
#              single-minded devotion to simple physical actions, or by
#              verbal paradoxes that cannot be solved in logical terms.
#              In Zen, the intellect is looked upon as an obstruction to
#              truth that must be circumvented on philosophical analysis.

this appears to me a horrendous over-simplification.  the insight is into
the nature of the self, which is deemed transient (there being no soul
of which to speak as is presumed in Western religion).  the primary
discipline is called 'zazen' and is variously described as 'just sitting',
'sitting meditation', and sometimes involves contemplative records, or
'koans', which are not always paradoxical or illogical of structure.


#              From Latin meaning, "Hidden." Occult wisdom means hidden 
#	      wisdom.  Occult knowledge means hidden knowledge. It does 
#	      not mean or imply evil.

to many Christians for many years 'occult' did indeed mean 'evil' and
it was for this very reason that it was concealed from the vulgar.

#	        The withdrawal of involvement by an individual from the 
#		exterior world to so great an extent that other people 
#		and even animals fail to notice the presence of that 
#		individual within their presence. If they are noticed 
#		they are immediately forgotten about, and paid no 
#		attention to. A ritual to accomplish this state.

#              The magickal ability to assume the forms of beasts or other 
#	      human beings with the soul while it is astrally projected from
#              the body. Occasionally these altered shapes are seen by
#              other people, who mistake them for bodies of flesh.

#              According to ancient legend, Greek magicians possessed the 
#	      power, most probably learned from the Egyptians, to cause 
#	      gods or spirits to indwell in statues, which could then be
#              made to speak oracular utterances or answer questions
#              through signs. Some Living Statues were used as temple
#              guardians.

these are all 'siddhis' or 'powers' ascribed by the faithful to the
adepti of various mystical traditions.  invisibility and teleportation
appear to be commonplace claims, shape-shifting is as much provided of
those whom the traditional Christians would condemn (as witches), and
'living statues' became a Jewish alchemical tradition (the 'golem'),
a part of what today has resulted in the fascination with robotics
and artificial intelligence (see the recent hubbub about 'Deep Blue').

#              Any device which has a Pentagram (q.v.) on it. Usually 
#	        circular in shape, and made of metal, wood, parchment, 
#	        or clay material. Also, the tool of elemental earth.
#              A five pointed star. Also called the pentalpha because it 
#	        can be formed by five capital "A's." It is used to represent
#              spirituality (Spirit over the four elements) when it has
#              one point up. With two points up it is said to represent
#              materialism or "evil." Some forms of wicca (q.v.) do use
#              the pentagram with two points up as a symbol, but for
#              them it has no evil or negative connotation. The two
#              points up represent the second of (usually) three degrees
#              of initiations into Wicca.
these are of course both extremely narrow descriptions of the two terms.
'pentacle' or 'pantacle' was often not defined as something necessarily
involving pentagrams at all, sometimes being just a kind of talisman,
or even 6-pointed star for the purposes of protection.  this was likely
derived straight from folk magic traditions, adapted by the mage and
witch alike for their purposes.

the pentagram has been associated with a variety of attributions,
inclusive of that given above.  modern Satanists apparently find the
association of the point-down pentagram with materialism and 'evil'
quite attractive, though most modern occultists of all sorts (that
is both Wiccan and Satanist) probably obtained it from the Masons.

#              A drawing or collage used to help the practitioner with 
#	      magick involving "creative" Visualization (q.v.).

I have never heard of this before and consider it novel.  from this one
might integrate pirate stories with one's magical or mystical practices.
the pirates were the first pioneers and traders, being indistinguishable
from the latter prior to guilds and government controls.

#              Literally, a skillful or clever person. A wizard is a male
#              magician who uses Theurgy (q.v.) or Goety (see goetia).

typically the word 'wizard' relates to wisdom, in etymology and popular
usage.  it has only become popularly paired with 'witch' (female) by vulgar
standards and ought be applied to all regardless of gender.  here it is
given some merit by virtue of being associated with theurgy.


#                Definitions of this term vary widely. 1) The art of causing
#                change in the manifest world through the Unmanifest. 2)
#                The science and art of causing change (in reality or in
#                consciousness) to occur in conformity with will using
#                means not currently understood by traditional Western
#                science. 

these are very narrow considerations and the second quotes Aleister
Crowley without credit (albeit it diluted, Clarkian form).  Crowley
said magick was "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in
conformity with Will", many equating 'Will' here with that of the
divine.  Arthur C. Clarke said that "any sufficiently advanced
technology is indistinguishable from magic".  the latter may be very
helpful to scientists in dismissing what they don't understand, but
it is too clumsy for the use of any but hard-core materialist mages.

#                The use of the "k" at the end of the word was
#                introduced by Aleister Crowley (q.v.) to differentiate
#                real magick from what a trickster does on stage with
#                hats, handkerchiefs and rabbits. 

any rudimentary read of Crowley will reveal this to be a falsity.  in
_Book Four_ he clearly indicates through Soror Virakam that he is
attempting to distinguish (in his RE-introduction of the spelling) his
style of practice from the charlatans and shams (his competition ;>).

I have no idea from where the magick/stage-magic distinction derives, 
though it sure is a popular explanation.

#                To some practitioners, the "k" also stands for 
#                "Kteis", a Latin word indicating Sex Magick (q.v.) 
#                to those who practice that form of magick.

this is awkwardly worded.  'kteis' only barely implies any specific
'form' of magick.  the reference here is undoubtedly Kenneth Grant
and John Symonds, in their edition of Crowley's _Book Four_, a must
read for any serious magician, Christian, Satanist or whatever.

#                1) The science and art of causing change (in reality or in
#                consciousness) in conformity with will, using means not
#                currently understood by traditional Western science, for
#                the purpose of causing either physical or non-physical
#                harm to yourself or others, and is done either
#                consciously or unconsciously. 2) Magick (q.v.) that is
#                worked for evil purposes or that involves malign actions,
#                agents, or entities.

#	        The science and art of causing change (in reality or in
#                consciousness) in conformity with will, using means not
#                currently understood by traditional Western science, for
#                the purpose of causing either physical or non-physical
#                good to yourself or others, and is done either
#                consciously or unconsciously.
#              The science and art of causing change (in reality or in
#              consciousness) in conformity with will, using means
#              not currently understood by traditional Western
#              science, for the purpose of obtaining the Knowledge
#              and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel
#              (q.v.). Also known as experiential mysticism.

the colorization of magick appears to be perpetuated by many modern
Hermetic mages, with Isaac Bonewits and a few others like Carroll
taking it to extremes in rainbow variety.  at first it appears that
anything to do with 'magic' was unacceptable to the dominant Christian
establishment.  later, this was softened in describing religious or
mystical disciplines as a kind of 'white magic' while the competition
engaged 'black magic' (of the Devil).

as it has entered into modern occultism this seems to be most
prevalent a descriptor of the work toward which one puts one's
magick to task and a traditional range from selfish to selfless
evaluation is accepted by writers like Donald M. Kraig, despite
there being absolutely no rationale to consider them as separate
categories in any logical analysis.  it is an ethical rather
than a rationally analyzible discernment between 'magicks',
and one for which many modern mages find little use.

#              The term used by James G. Frazer to describe the presumed
#              mechanism of magick. It may be divided into the Law of
#              Contagion (objects once in contact forever remain in
#              occult connection) and the Law of Similarity (effects can
#              be produced through imitation).

this division is Bonewitsian, as far as I know (cf. his _Real Magic_).
the description by Frazer is a commonly accepted means of explaining
magical symbolic associations on the part of anthropologists, from
whom a great deal of inspiration was derived in the rennovation of
magical and mystical disciplines which were suppressed by the Roman
Catholic and Protestant churches.

#	        Ritual or Ceremonial magick. It is called "high" because 
#		it was first developed in places which were at a higher
#              elevation than where farming was done, i.e. in towns or
#              cities. Usually divided into two major classifications
#              according to Don Tyson, Theurgy (q.v.) which literally
#              means "God Work" in Greek and it's opposite, Goety (see
#              Goetia).

I don't know where this convention of elevation developed, but I think
it either modern or unfounded in the main.  as far as I know the
distinction of 'high' and 'low' has more often referred to SOCIAL 
CLASSES rather than how far above sea level one might have been, even 
if there is some correlative which may be brought to bear.

I have never read Tyson though what is reflected in this dictionary
does not strike me as necessarily very consistent or soundly-based.
the theurgy he describes appears accurate, but I have almost never
seen it contrasted with Goetia (which I'd associated with a specific
grimoire).  more often I've seen it contrasted with thaumaturgy,
which is variously described as not deriving authority or power 
from 'the God' (usually of Christians) or from the mage (role-playing
and some other modern mages).  corrections/commentary?

#              Although this could refer to any type of magick where a
#              pattern, or ritual is followed, it usually applies
#              to those styles of magick where more complex
#              rituals are used. It is also used synonimously with
#              Ceremonial Magick (q.v.), although a ritual can be
#              performed by one person, while Ceremonial Magick
#              (q.v.) requires a group of people to perform.

#              A magickal system involving rituals performed by several
#              people. Man Westerners find that this style of
#              magick is most appropriate to their consciousness.
#              Group ritual magick.
these strike me as artificially extreme descriptions.  'ritual magic'
appears to be a fairly modern convention and 'ceremonial' probably should 
be compared with 'folk' that relies more on potions, charms, sympathetic 
magic and illiterate spells or contraptions (e.g. witches' box) than on 
some sort of religious or formulaic recipe as contained within a ceremony.

the reliance on 'pattern' is overly general to distinguish, since even
folk magic has traditional patterns (repeating three times, for example)
and complexity to quality (reading the Lord's Prayer backwards is no easy 
task! :>).

what may be said about 'ceremonial magic' (and this also relates to the
'high'/'low' distinction mentioned above) is that its complexity is of
an INTELLECTUAL or LITERARY demeanor.  this relates, again, to the
upper classes, those who were more likely part of the Church, part of
the political machinery, and/or members of the nobility (esp. in the
West where this was made popular either within or in echo of medieval

where this writer got the idea that ceremonial magick requires more
than one individual to perform is beyond me.  Crowley and many others
(probably even the Golden Dawn) have individual ceremonies (the real
basis for calling it 'ceremonial magick' aside from an attempt to
make it sound more respectable), and it may be the group-focus of 
Orders which drives such a narrowing of the definitions.

my experience and exposure indicates that the terms 'ceremonial' and
'ritual' are used more or less interchangeably, though a few writers
try to force a discernment between them for the purposes of
establishing their nonexistent authority on the subject (an example
of someone prone to do things like this was Levi, whose text is at
times ludicrously funny in its attempts to mask his ignorance or tie
disparate items together where before there was never real connection).

#              The magick of paganism (q.v.) which was developed in the
#                      low lands where farming was done.
#              See Low Magick.

note the connection of 'natural' with 'low'.  the lower classes were
those more often living closer to nature, in the wild if very poor,
and these were cut off from the protection of the Lord (in both of
the medieval senses).

#              The series of ritual actions conducted in order to realize 
# 	        a ritual desire (q.v.), such as the performance of the
#              Great Work (q.v.) of alchemy (q.v.). A working is an
#              extended series of rituals designed to attain a single object.

this seems rather awkward.  'magical work' typically relates to any
activity one undertakes in order to have a magical intent.  the Great Work
is an alchemical mystery which has been identified with a great many
other mystical concepts by the syncretic Rosicrucians and other Hermetics.
as with all mature mysteries it would require books to sufficiently
explain in any depth.

a 'working' is ambiguously used both for what is described above (a series
of rites designed to achieve a particular goal) *and* for any single
magical rite on its own.  I think that 'work' is ascribed to the mage's
exploits to make it easier to justify compensation for the 'effort' that
the magick entailed.  magical traditions were heavily influenced by con-
artists and charlatans throughout Hermetic Europe.

#              Magickal practices based on the presumptions that the 
#	        universe is uncertain and that natural laws are not 
#	        everywhere and always constant. A. Osmond Spare was a 
#	        principle Chaos Magickal practitioner. Chaos Magick is 
#	        not viewed to be the norm in Western Magickal traditions.

this appears to be a complete misunderstanding of Chaos Magick based on
a conflation of modern scientific or mathematic Chaos Theory and/or the
various new scientific darlings such as Quantum Mechanics or Heisenberg's
Uncertainty Principle (sometimes even Godel's Theorem!) with the approach
that many perveyors of this 'New Improved Attitude' (NOT) have taken in
response to predictable rigidification of epistemological paradigms and 
practical formulae in the pursuit of magical success.

authors like Spare, Carroll, Sherwin and others have promoted the idea
that diversification, imagination and autonomy of approach constitute
a 'new' way of going about magick, when in fact those who have attempted
to convey something of an overall approach (such as Crowley in _Book Four_)
have made it clear that they did not accept this rigidity and were to some
great extent attempting to combat it for the benefit of the discipline and
those who engaged it.

Chaos Magick thereafter developed into a label for a literary tradition
and culture all its own (quite hypocritically as I understand it), with
its favored rites, methods and ideas (often attempting to abscond with
modern scientific models for their own purposes and not alwyas very


#              The ability to use the powerful energies raised during
#              sexual activity for magickal purposes.

this is a common understanding of what 'sex magick' is, but it is by no
means the only one available.  I have constructed a taxonomy of what is
associated with 'sex magick' and 'tantric sex' within a REFerence doc
that may be found at:

commentary (esp. in Usenet -- not sure that it applies here) welcome.

#              The release of magickal potency at the climax of a ritual or
#              ceremony. It is usually accompanied by an emotional
#              release, and in some forms of magick by physical climax.
#              The catharsis of Greek tragedy was no more than a pale
#              echo of the original magickal catharsis of the Greek
#              Eulusian Mysteries.

this appears to have been popular as a sexo-magical activity by writers
like Crowley, Spare, Grant and others.  it is a Hermetic syncretization
of Eastern tantric ideas with Hermetic mystical concepts.  through
Blavatsky, Rosicrucians and other Hermetics the mystical traditions of
India were merged with those of Christianity and integrated into a
system of magic, provided with fallacious ancient origins and a
grandiose objective.

#	        A mixture of the serpent (q.v.) and the Menstruum (q.v.). Used
#		in Alchemy (q.v.) and Sex Magick (q.v.).

cf. 'massa confusa' in alchemical studies and compare with the Book of
Genesis in the Christian Old Testament.

#	        A male technique for delaying orgasm. It is said by the 
#		oriental mystics, to have beneficial effects to both 
#		members of a loving couple.

I suspect (from poor memory) that karezza is not at all a 'technique' so
much as an attitude directed (often without specific instruction) toward
lessening activity on the part of both participants in coition so as to
prolong intercourse without ejaculation.  in sex studies this is sometimes
described as enabling male multiple orgasm or orgasm without ejaculation.
cf. Alice B. Stockham (author of _Tokology_) for more on this.

#              In alchemy (q.v.), the result of the slow heating of a 
#	      substance in the Athanor (q.v.). In Sex Magick (q.v.) 
#	      the female lubricating fluids and/or female ejaculatory 
#	      fluids.

a heavy focus of writers like Kenneth Grant, and I am genuinely surprised
to see it contained in this dictionary.  usually the Western ceremonial
tradition seems to favor male, semen-oriented, phallic, solar orientations
which do not really provide favorable attention to the feminine perspective
or biology (in part likely due to its Indian origins and from whom these
elements were lifted).

#              Modern day Pagans (q.v.), "those of the earth," who are
#              attempting to re-construct an ancient non-Christian
#              religion from the original source material of a
#              particular mythos.
#              From paganus, "those of the earth." Originally it described
#              people of the land and their simplicity. Later, it
#              focused on their choice of Pre-Christian deities and was
#              used as a type of insult. Today, may Witches consider
#              themselves to be Pagans or Neo-Pagans. For the most part,
#              non-magick using Wiccans (q.v.).
#              Although most people today use this as a derogatory term,
#              occultists simply equate it with mostly non magic using
#              Wiccans (q.v.), although some pagans do use magick and do
#              not call themselves Wiccans (q.v.).

it is peculiar how an ostensibly *Christian* organization could get this
set of definitions so mixed up.  as I understand it the term 'pagan' is
a rough comparative to 'goyim' and, whether merely factual or in some
condemnatory significance, meant and generally still means 'not one of
our tribe or religion'.

of course today's Neopagans are attempting to co-opt the term and have
used it as an explosive label to cover most things which are felt to have
been left out of traditional Christian religious standards: things like
ecumenism, freedom of and from religion, variety of religious rite and
deity of worship, etc.'

it is such a diverse conglomerate which is described by 'Neopagan' (or
deceptively and dishonestly, by my standards, 'pagan'), that the claim
made above about attempting to re-create old religion is not always true
(some 'Pagans' feel that eclectic syncretism and imaginative innovation
is the hallmark of their path), nor is it really easy to generlize about
the use of 'magick' (this seems widespread, *especially among Wiccans*).

#              An affectionate name for the horned male consort of the 
#	      Goddess of the Witches. Early Christian priests either 
#	      mistook this pagan god for Satan (q.v.) or deliberately
#              misidentified this pagan god for Satan for political
#              reasons.

this is quite wide of the mark as I understand it.  Christian theologians
both knew what they were doing when interpreting the various pagan gods
as reflections of the Devil and consciously integrated particular
symbolic elements of pre-Christian gods into the Devil's make-up as a
derived pressure-point on the people whom they were converting.  the
general populace even adopted many of these 'affectionate' names for
Satan in rejection of the oppressive church that was destroying their
culture and religious practices through coercion and 'education'.  they
manifested the very worship of this anti-God in many cases in stark
protest and caricature, something continued in modern Satanism.


#                Many claim he was the most important magician of the 20th
#                century. After training within the Hermetic Order of the
#                Golden Dawn [G.D.], he developed his own system of magick
#                based upon Ordo Templi Orientis [O.T.O.] sex magickal
#                secrets, G.D. techniques, his own channeled writings, and
#                his own practical experiences. 

this all appears to be correct, though of course there are some within the
Thelemic community who distinguish amongst the various 'channeled' persons
to which Crowley attributed his variety of texts (e.g. To Mega Therion,
666, VVVVV, Ko Yuen, Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, Frater Perdurabo, etc., etc.).

#                The Order he founded was
#                the Argentium Astrum [A.A.]. He is famous for his many
#                writings, including the encyclopedia called The Equinox,
#                and Magick: Parts 1-4.

the particular social organization he called the AA was indeed initiated
by him and a few other individuals (Frater DDS among them, described in
_Liber LXI_).  'The Equinox' was more of a regular periodical containing
released works by the cabal of interested individuals than it was any
kind of 'encyclopedia'.  _Book Four_ (variously known as _Magick in Theory
and Practice_ -- really Part III, _Magick_ -- really Parts I, II and III,
and _Liber ABA_) is probably one of the most cogent and scientific magical
text in the history of the field.  too little attention has been given to
it within occult circles even of Thelemic persuasion.

#              What the followers of Aleister Crowley call their path or
#              tradition. It's holy book is Crowley's Book Of The Law,
#              and it's creed his infamous, "Do what thou wilt shall be
#              the whole of the Law, Love is the Law, Love under Will."
#              The Ninety-three comes from the numerological reduction
#              via Gematria (q.v.) of the Book Of The Law's creed.

overly-generalized and in particular quite untrue.  the culture which
surrounds 'the 93 Current' is divided between magicians ceremonial,
magicians shamanic, musicians and other artists inspired by Crowley,
religious Thelemites and those who apply the philosophy of Thelema in
daily life.  typically any sort of organization associated with these
describes its glue or inspiration to be 'the 93 Current' and do indeed
refer to a gematric reference.

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." and "Love is the law,
love under will." are both from _Liber Al vel Legis sub figura CCXX_.
they were used by Crowley as 'Thelemic Greetings' (described in Letter
#18within _Magick Without Tears_) and symbolic, in his reckoning, of
the changes which he purported to be happening on a cosmic scale in
association with 'the Aeon of Horus' (something like 'the Age of 
Aquarius) and quite probably directly linked to it at least emotionally.

neither of these statements have really taken hold within the Thelemic
community as 'creeds' (the closest to that is probably 'the Creed' of
the Gnostic Mass of the Gnostic Catholic Church (EGC), though this is
not even close to being universally accepted by the '93 culture').

in any case the symbolism which Crowley derived did indeed come from
gematria, in which he discovered a numerical resonance and identity
between 'ThELEMA' (93) and 'AGAPE' (93).  over time, some have
conflated the Thelemic Greetings as representing these principles as
Crowley described them (Do what thou wilt... => '93' and 'Love is the
law, love under will. => 93 93/93; don't look too closely ;>).

#              The Great White Brotherhood. The Order of The Silver Star.
#              Founded by Aleister Crowley (q.v.) as a replacement for
#              the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn [G.D.]. Crowley was
#              the first member to re-produce the Golden Dawn's Rituals
#              in a public publication called The Equinox. Today, the
#              A.A. is co-sponsored by the O.T.O.

as I said above, the human social org called the AA was founded by Crowley,
but the Great White Brotherhood precedes it by centuries.  Crowley tried
to identify the two organizations or at least tie his AA to the GWB by
virtue of connection to the Secret Chiefs (q.v.) and the manner by which
the Golden Dawn went about relating themselves to the Rosicrucians (it is
a long and incestuous group-rivalry).

I'm unsure that this claim about Crowley being the first member to
reproduce the GD rites is accurate.  Israel Regardie probably did
more to publish unaltered ritual text and teachings from the org.

today there are many organizations called 'AA' and many vying contenders
for the title of 'OTO' as well.  they are not all related to one another.

#              Supernatural beings who preside over the Rosicrucian (q.v.) 
#	      and other occult (q.v.) and esoteric (q.v.) currents and
#              communicate occult teaching to men and woman who seek to
#              follow that path. The head of the Hermetic Order of The
#              Golden Dawn, S. L. MacGregor Mathers (q.v.), was said to
#              be in communication with them, though he could not
#              describe who and what they were. Aleister Crowley (q.v.)
#              also claimed a psychic link to these entities.

this is an old and tedious derivation of authority from external unknowns,
and may be seen with the Old Testament Prophets, the Koot Hoomi of Madame
Petrova Blavatsky, the Great White Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians giving
authority to mortals through the mysterious disappearing Frauline Sprengel
and the Fama Fraternitas (possibly concocted wholesale by W. Westcott, of
Theosophical fame), revealed unto the New Aeon by its herald, Crowley, as
the Prince of the Prophets in _Liber Al vel Legis_, the fabulous 'Book of
Shadows' constructed by Gerald Gardner (from extant texts) and further 
delivered by Set/Sutekh/Seth unto the Satanist Michael Aquino in _The Book 
of Coming Forth by Night_.
how legitimate any of these connections may truly have been is argued by
the feuding factions surrounding them on a continual basis in a manner
not unlike that surrounding the 'Canon' and the 'Apocrypha' of traditional
Christian religious tradition.

#              From the Greek meaning, "will." The followers of the 
#	      Ninety-three (93) Current (q.v.) revealed by Aleister 
#	      Crowley (q.v.) through his Book of The Law. Their motto 
#	      is, "Do What thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law. 
#	      Love is the Law, Love under Will."

again, overly simplistic, though thematically correct.  the 'Thelema'
of Crowley derives from the seedling Faust-novel by Rabelais, who is
quite popular amongst European philosophers.  between he and Nietzsche
and Augustine, it is debatable as to who may have had more influence 
on Crowley's conception of 'will'.  certainly others since him have
seized on favored strains of the concept and varied the theme


#                A satanic parody of the mass of the Christian Church,
#                specifically the Catholic Church, in which allegedly the
#                body of naked woman serves as the altar, and other
#                noxious substances is used including excrement, urine,
#                and blood. Black Magick (q.v.) is said to be practiced at
#                these services. It had it's origins in decadent France
#                but was so rare as to be virtually mythical.

I would only add that these were usually performed by defrocked priests,
sometimes full church clergy.  modern Black Masses are usually seen by
Satanists to be a ridicule of a religious rite to which one has become
overly attached or by which one has felt overly oppressed.  that is, the
Black Mass is not generally considered a 'Satanic ritual' per se.

#                In Greek myth, an intermediate spirit between men and the 
#	         gods.  Daemons such as the one that guided Socrates act as
#                counselors and guardians to human beings.

often called the 'augoeides', sometimes associated with the Abramelin
'Holy Guardian Angel' made popular in the Western magical community by
Mathers and Crowley at least as referred to here.

#                From the Greek meaning, "spirit." In Christian folklore, 
#                an evil spirit under the authority of Satan (q.v.). Modern
#                practice tends to distinguish "demon" from "daemon"
#                (q.v.), the guardian angles (q.v.) of the Greeks.

#                An alternate name for the legions of demons in Hell 
#                that serve Satan.

largely correct, though the passage of time has seen many uses of these
terms in description of a variety of beings.  Christian writers basically
integrated the more objectionable pre-Christian gods into their ideas
about 'demons' and added some Jewish demons and their own variations or
concoctions for good measure, all bundled up in some Patmosian martial
hierarchy under a variety of designated offices depending on the author
(many depicted Satan as the Commander, Beelzebub General of the Legions).

#              Pronounced, "Mahl-Koot," it means "kingdom" in Hebrew. The 
#	      tenth Sephirah (q.v.) on the Tree of Life (q.v.). It is at 
#	      the bottom of the central pillar and relates to our physical
#              plane.

Golden Dawn tradition may see the 'Kingdom' in a bit more complexity,
if their traditional Tree of Life diagram is any indication (as this
locates within Malkuth a quadratic of color-associations connected
with other sephiroth).

#	        The projection of malefic occult force through the glance.
#                Persons, beasts, and growing things "overlooked" by the
#                evil eye are believed to wither and die. A form of
#                intentional psychic attack (q.v.).

what is not mentioned here is the phenomenon of 'blood libel', a kind of
condemnatory assault by virtue of decrying the malevolence of others'.
the most famous cases of this in the West were the tortures, trials and
mass-murders undertaken by the various Inquisitions.  'the Evil Eye' is
another of these libelous slams like 'being a witch'.  one may protect
onself against the Evil Eye by a variety of magical means.  it may be
described as a kind of folk magic superstition.

#	        Evil spirits noted for their ugly appearance and malicious
#                habits.
#        	A Greek word used to indicate a wicked spirit invoked by 
#		rogues.  The origin of the German Kobold (q.v.) and the 
#		English Goblin (q.v.).
#	        Mischievous Earth elementals that are said to inhabit 
#		German households.
#	        Non-physical psychic vampires said to "feed" on the 
#		energies of the sick and the injured.
#        See Larvae.

these are very interesting.  I've mostly only seen them in AD&D before,
though I presume they derive from pre-Christian demonology in Europe or
some sort of wicked fairies surviving the domination of the Romans.

#	        A spiritual entity classified as a minor demon (q.v.) that 
#		comes in masculine shape/form to have sexual union with a
#                mortal woman, often against her will and usually while
#                she is asleep. The plural is incubi.

#              A spirit considered to be a lesser demon (q.v.) that comes 
#	      in a feminine shape/form to have sexual union with a mortal
#              man, often against his will and usually while he is
#              asleep. The plural is succubi.

these two, along with 'Lilith' have apparently been old Jewish demons for
some time.

#                A term used by Donald Michael Kraig to represent entities who
#                personify despair on a physical or non-physical level.
#                Physical empty ones have no soul, and no hope for the future.

this is reminiscent of the Buddhist 'hungry ghost' or the lamenting spirit
of Spiritualists.

#              The ninth planet of the terran solar system. In Astrology 
#	      (q.v.), the planet named after the Greek god who served as the
#              Lord of the underworld and death. Attributed as being the
#              ruler of the Zodiac (q.v.) sign Scorpio (q.v.). On the
#              Tree of Life (q.v.) within the Kabbalah (q.v.) attributed
#              to the Unmanifest Sephirah (q.v.) Daath (q.v.) and the
#              Abyss. Keywords include: transformation, degeneration,
#              extremes, horrible, transmutation, refining, crucible,
#              refectory, atomic energy, annihilation, regeneration,
#              subversion, coercion, sewage, elimination, hidden forces,
#              inner psyche.

also 'Hades'.  Da'ath places a very important part in modern Qabalah
amongst Thelemites like Kenneth Grant and Michael Bertiaux.  it is at
times connected to the Qliphoth or the Shells of the Tree of Life (also
known as the Dark Side or Roots of the Tree).

#                See Satan.

strictly limited in application.  see Jeffrey Burton Russell's works,
wherein the Devil is identified with a greater range than Satan.

#   SATAN:
#              In the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religions, the supreme
#              arch-foe of God. The prince of darkness, the adversary of
#              God. In modern thought, the lord of evil.

this is extremely fallacious and gives me to wondering from what manner of
Christian org it derives.  Satan is variously described by scripture and
usually (esp. in the Old Testament) not as Jehovah's adversary.  in the
New Testament this is surely more the case and yet this has been tempered
and exploited in the folk Christian tradition quite heavily such that
Satan becomes Jehovah's goad, Allah's Beloved (Iblis), Christ's only
available initiator (in some cases his brother).

#              A religion that basis it's beliefs on reverse and backward
#              principles of Christianity. 

strictly speaking this is false.  Christian condemnation schemes inspired
the undertaking, created the Adversary, propped it up as a frankenstein,
and a variety of Satanists stepped in and obliged a hijack.  most modern
Satanists don't base their religious practices on any kind of inversion
of Christian principles (though they may well oppose its moralism).

#              The worship of Satan, the
#              arch-foe of Christ, through such practices as the black
#              mass, sexual perversion, drug taking, violence,
#              mutilation, killing, and sacrilege. 

this is what we like to call 'the Urban Legend of Satanism'.  it is, from
what I can tell, largely a figment of overactive Christian minds.

#              In reality, most
#              people who call themselves Satanists are simply
#              neo-eppicurianists, hedonists or egotists. 

I'd say that Satanism is more diverse than this (though I'm not sure I
truly appreciate what a "neo-eppicurianist" might be).  Satanists tend
to be revolutionaries and individualists of sorts, atheists and
ritualists who have a taste for irony and satire.

#              The few who
#              are truly dedicated to an evil entity they call "Satan"
#              are shunned by most occultists. 

this is unfortunately true.  they are usually cast out as 'deluded
Christians who have no idea what Satanism is about or who Satan is'
by the more serious and/or long-term variety.

#              Satanism has no relationship to Wicca (q.v.), 

this is certainly how Wiccans (who are largely influenced by a surrounding
Christian context) would like to see it.

#              although many mainstream
#              religious leaders have tried to make that association for
#              reasons of power, politics, or ignorant lack of
#              understanding.

Christian politicians surely have attempted this as part of a blanket
condemnation-scheme.  in some cases I think there is substance to saying
there is overlap between the Wiccan and Satanist cultures, despite how
much either batch of "non-exclusivist" religious may enjoy it.  LaVey,
whose texts are popular in the Satanist community, for example, wrote a
book called _The Satanic Witch_, which runs contrary to some of the
modern witchcraft rhetoric yet surely makes a place for 'Satanic 
#              Pronounced, "Shee-Ool," it is the Hebrew for, "Place of the
#              earth." A word from the Old Testament meaning ground or
#              earth. In some instances it was translated as "Hell,"
#              probably for political reasons. According to Donald
#              Michael Kraig, there is no Hell in the Kabalah because he
#              maintains that reincarnation is a part of the tradition.

I've more often heard 'pit' and some contend this equates to 'grave' and
implies 'extinction'.

#              Counterclockwise. Movement against the movement of the Sun.
#              Occasionally the direction moved in within a magickal
#              circle, but rarely so. Movement in this direction is used
#              to help dispel excess energy within the circle that was
#              built up, but not used. A grounding technique in
#              Ceremonial rituals. Sometimes used to build malefic
#              energies for the intentional purpose of performing black
#              magick (q.v.).

a rather dualistic interpretation.  "anti-clockwise" is, of course, the
same as 'in the direction of the Moon', the heavenly body ('planet')
whose influence and favor is most highly regarded by witches, for example.
'Black Magick' has been adopted by Satanists as a descriptive label in
application of their ritual and occult practice.  'banishing' and 'binding'
might be considered 'malefic' by some standards (depends on the perspective),
and 'Dark Moon ceremonies' by a variety of magicians sometimes directly
involves cutting, destructive and containing magical workings.

comments/inquiry/criticism welcomed.

blessed beast!
nocTifer:  ---
TOKUS-COE Office: 408/2-666-SLUG --- Mother Church (CoE)

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races