MonthJuly 2007

New issue of Rending the Veil out

New issue is out with “The Importance of Understanding the Internal Environment” by Taylor Ellwood, “The Definition of Magic” by Donald Tyson, and more.

Rending the Veil vol 1 issue 7.

Phil Hine interviews Ramsey Dukes

I think I’ve read this interview before but this is more or less how I feel about the occult and magick right now:

The trouble with successes in magic is that you can look back and describe some things that happened and they are so amazing when that when you tell them to people they think you must be the world’s greatest Magician if you could do things like that. But you know that actually they didn’t happen in the way magic ought to – ?I just want this to happen and I make it happen’. Very little have I managed to achieve in that way, life has a habit of springing surprises however hard you try to direct it. Some of those surprises are uncannily close to what you asked for, and yet they have a way of occurring which is not what you expected. I am very much aware of what is happening to me and it’s a sort of theme which occurs in fairy stories; the wish is granted but it doesn’t work out the way it was meant to. I think it must be a cosmic law that that should happen.

Are you still involved in the occult for the same reasons or have they changed?

That’s a difficult one. I can’t give a tidy answer to that. It’s very much my nature to be involved in the occult and that hasn’t changed. Involvement carries a certain momentum – the friends one has made, the practices I am performing and so on, all that adds up to a reason to stay with the occult. Yet I realise I am looking for different things now than I was earlier on. But those reasons are fairly superficial. It really is just curiosity about life and that is the strongest motive and that, in a sense, has not been changed.

[...]

Why do you think that people are still drawn to mysticism and the occult when the terrain is so obviously dominated by frauds, wastrels and knaves?

Now that’s a bit like saying why are people still interested in sex when obviously the sex industry is so full of corruption and sleaze. I think for some people there is actually a fascination in the sleaze, fraudery and trickery, which actually adds to the subject – sex is actually more intriguing because of the aura of sleaze about it. I’m not sure if that is so for me, but I think the occult too is something which you can be put off by the sleaze of it or actually you can find that as a rather intriguing element in it. One of the ideas I was putting forward in ?The Charlatan and the Magus’ (in ?Blast….’) was that maybe existence itself is sleazy, and that mankind’s instinct always attempts to eliminate sleaze, which is as misguided as swallowing a load of antibiotics, which although they may kill the germ, they kill off certain other things in your gut which then has to recover; or as misguided as trying to make a clean compost heap by putting a lot of disinfectant on it which actually would stop the composting process. In other words, sleaze is itself inherent. The universe itself has a strong element of sleaze in it and it’s part of the nourishment of life. We need to work on our own exaggerated concepts of hygiene.

Full Story: Phil Hine’s web site.

In Defense of the Practice of Magic

Lupa defends magical practice:

You don’t have to practice magic to be a good pagan. In fact, you can theoretically go your entire life without casting a spell or performing a magical rite.

However, over the years I’ve seen a recurrence in the idea that not practicing magic is the superior decision. The general attitude seems to be somewhere along the lines of ‘I don’t practice magic-I just use mundane solutions instead of wasting my time!’ A variation on this is ‘You’re not supposed to work magic for mundane and/or selfish purposes’. And there’s even ‘Don’t work magic when you don’t need to-you don’t want to overburden the gods!’ I’ve also heard the sentiment that ‘Magic is a crutch, and if you think you need it then you’re too dependent on it’.

Full Story: Witchvox.

Mansinthe: the official Marilyn Manson absinthe

marilyn manson absinthe

Mansinthe (web site in German).

Purchase (Not yet available).

(via Notes from Somewhere Bizarre)

An ex-narcotics agent reveals the secrets to staying one step ahead of the law

? The best advice I can give you is this: Never carry more marijuana than you can eat. If the police turn on the red and blues, just eat it. It’s not illegal to smell like pot-it’s just illegal to possess it.

? Don’t think that by hiding pot in coffee grounds, or masking the scent with Bounce fabric softener or vanilla extract, you’re gonna be okay. Police dogs are trained to cut through these scents. Petroleum and cayenne pepper don’t work either-a dog may jerk back after smelling it, but humans will recognize the reaction.

? If you are going to travel with marijuana, place it in a non-contamined container right before you leave. The drug odor won’t have time to permeate through the plastic. If you are handling pot at your house, wear latex gloves or wash your hands-marijuana dust can reside on your fingers, and dogs can smell it. You’d be surprised at how many people get busted when dogs start sniffing around car door handles.

? Hiding your drugs in food is also a wise move. The mixed smells will throw off a dog.

Full Story: Radar.

(Thanks, Danny Chaoflux)

Podcast round-up

Viking Youth Power Hour: Ibrahim for Citizen.

RU Sirius Show: Just Say NOSO – No Social Networking.

NeoFiles Show: Rule The Web with Mark Frauenfelder.

RU Sirius Show: Cartoons For Little Hippies.

RU Sirius Show: Tony Serra Keeps People Out of Iron Cages.

NeoFiles Show: Moira Gunn’s Biotech Nation.

RU Sirius Show: Cyborgs & Revolution.

Plus Ultra Podcast: Plus Ultra Phunny Pharm Medical Medley.

The outsider art of Henry Darger

the art of henry darger

Henry Darger (April 12[?], 1892-April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a janitor in Chicago, Illinois.[1] He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story.[2] Darger’s work has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.

Henry Darger Wikipedia entry.

Henry Darger gallery with several large scans.

Torrent of Henry Darger documentary: The Realms of the Unreal.

(Thanks Bill!)

George Bush I (1796?1859)

Found this article yesterday while reading the print edition of The New York Times Magazine (link to article). Fortunately, it’s online (for the time being), but I’ll copy n paste it in its entirety for your reading pleasure:-

By TED WIDMER
Published: July 22, 2007

None of us can control our ancestors. Like our children, they have minds of their own and invariably refuse to do our bidding. Presidential ancestors are especially unruly – they are numerous and easily discovered, and they often act in ways unbecoming to the high station of their descendants.

Take George Bush. By whom I mean George Bush (1796-1859), first cousin of the president’s great-great-great-grandfather. It would be hard to find a more unlikely forebear. G.B. No. 1 was not exactly the black sheep of the family, to use a phrase the president likes to apply to himself. In fact, he was extremely distinguished, just not in ways that you might expect. Prof. George Bush was a bona fide New York intellectual: a dabbler in esoteric religions whose opinions were described as, yes, ‘liberal’; a journalist and an academic who was deeply conversant with the traditions of the Middle East.

There was a time when the W-less George Bush was the most prominent member of the family (he is the only Bush who made it into the mid-20th-century Dictionary of American Biography). A bookish child, he read so much that he frightened his parents. Later he entered the ministry, but his taste for arcane controversy shortened his career, and no church could really contain him. Ultimately, he became a specialist at predicting the Second Coming, an unrewarding profession for most, but he thrived on it.

In 1831 he drifted to New York City, just beginning to earn its reputation as a sinkhole of iniquity, and found a job as professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages at what is now New York University. That same year, he published his first book, ‘The Life of Mohammed.’ It was the first American biography of Islam’s founder.

For that reason alone, the book would be noteworthy. But the work is also full of passionate opinions about the prophet and his times. Many of these opinions are negative – as are his comments on all religions. Bush often calls Muhammad ‘the impostor’ and likens him to a successful charlatan who has foisted an ‘arch delusion’ on his fellow believers. But he is no less critical of the ‘disastrous’ state of Christianity in Muhammad’s day. And throughout the book, Bush reveals a passionate knowledge of the Middle East: its geography, its people and its theological intensity, which fit him like a glove. For all his criticism of Muhammad, he returns with fascination to the story of ‘this remarkable man,’ who was ‘irresistibly attractive,’ and the power of his vision.

‘The Life of Mohammed’ went out of print a century ago, and there it was expected to remain, in perpetuity. But in the early 21st century, it was reissued by a tiny publisher simply because of the historical rhyme that a man with the same name occupied the White House. The first George Bush never witnessed the Second Coming, but now his book was enjoying an unexpected afterlife.

Predictably, it enraged some readers in the Middle East, where rage is an abundant commodity. In 2004, Egyptian censors at Cairo’s Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy denounced the book by President Bush’s ‘grandfather’ as a slander on the prophet, and the State Department was forced to issue a document clarifying the family relationship. That document may have unintentionally fanned the flames when it pointed out that ‘The Life of Mohammed’ never compares Muslims to insects, rats or snakes, though it does, on occasion, liken them to locusts.

The stage was set for conspiracy theories to spread across the Middle East like sandstorms. But then something really strange happened. The same censors read carefully through the book and in 2005 issued an edict that reversed their earlier ruling, admitting that it was O.K. Bush’s theological intensity might kill him with an American audience, but in the Middle East it seems to have allowed him to pass muster. Clearly this passionate religious scholar was no enemy of Islam. You could almost say that he was part of the family.

Perhaps the Egyptians could sense something honorable about this distant life, which dedicated itself to the search for knowledge. After George Bush died, a friend remembered the feeling of walking into his apartment, a third-story walk-up on Nassau Street, ‘a kind of literary Gibraltar,’ where he would find the professor surrounded by his piles of rare and ancient volumes.

It all seems so improbable. George Bush? A bookworm? In a crummy apartment? A mystic might look at this history and find evidence that God is indeed inscrutable. But as the first George Bush knew, religions, like families, contain plentiful contradictions. As the current George Bush has discovered, no place can tease them out like the Holy Land.

Weekly World News Shutting Down

Bob Greenberger, an editor with Weekly World News, reports on his blog that he and the rest of the staff were called into a meeting about noon on Friday where they were “told the Board of Directors has chosen to close Weekly World News. The reasons given make no sense. We’re stunned and shell-shocked. We’re to stay on through August 3, finishing the reprint issues and then we’re done. A glorious, funny, odd publication, born in 1979, will go out with a whimper and all I can think is that something’s going on that they’re not telling us because it just doesn’t make sense.”

Full Story: SF Scope.

(via Hit and Run).

Update in the Reverand Magdalen case

Today I (Modemac) wrote an email to Magdalen, asking how things were going and looking to see if she was going to lay her case to rest. She wrote back, saying there have been some new developments in the case. These new developments have caught everyone completely off guard.

I’m talking The Twilight Zone here.

For legal reasons, I obviously can’t go into too many details, becase there are other parties involved in this. Basically, some time last week, Jeff was in a car accident involving a brick wall, a lot of alcohol, and another passenger – NOT MAGDALEN’S SON, praise “Bob.” Because of past incidents involving him and at least one other DUI, he is now facing at least two felonies, a misdemeanor, and three traffic charges – which, combined, could land him in jail for up to eleven years.

All of this means that, due to the sudden extreme circumstances, Magdalen has temporary custody of her son at this time. There will be a new custody hearing in the middle of August. Jeff’s criminal hearing will be in September, but that is an entirely different matter.

BUT, that’s not the strangest thing to happen here.

JUDGE PUNCH IS BACK ON THE CASE.

He literally took the case out of Judge Adams’ docket and inserted himself in. He is now handling the case once again, however because of everything that has happened, he is apparently viewing the case in an entirely different light.

Magdalen is hopeful though apprehensive, for obvious reasons. She wants to appeal the ruling barring her from keeping SubGenius materials in her home, on Constitutional grounds.

Magdalen writes: “”Anyway, it turns out that we can pursue both a new appeal and this new county-level case simultaneously, so I would like to try to do that, but I would need $5,000 in new money to start the appeal, plus the $11,000 I’ve racked up in charges for the original appeal and filing these things. My lawyer has agreed to work for half his normal rate, though, because he is so angry about all this.”

There’s a little more to this, but this is all I’m at liberty to say. Magdalen doesn’t want to leave everyone hanging here, and we want you to know what’s going on. However, for more concrete details, we will need to hear directly from her.

Magdalen is still desperately in need of funds. Even though we all thought it was over, apparently we have entered yet another phase.

(Speaking personally, I’m sorry that this development has occurred, as I would have been satisfied if Magdalen’s son was returned to her through the legal system rather than a sudden act of chance. But the most important person involved is her son, and I for one am at least comforted by the fact that she is able to help him recover from this tragedy, for now.)

Full Story: High Weirdness Project.

Back Story.

Legal Fund.

(Thanks frogwatcher).

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