Mission Statement

What is the meaning of Initiation?  It is the Path to the realization of your Self as the sole, the supreme, the absolute of all Truth, Beauty, Purity, Perfection!  What is the artistic sense in you?  What but the One Channel always open to you through which this Light flows freely to enkindle you (and the world through you) with flowers of inexhaustible fervour and flame?

-A. Crowley, Magick Without Tears

Contemporary paganism does not consist of erecting altars to Apollo or reviving the worship of Odin.  Instead it implies looking behind religion and, according to a now classic itinerary, seeking for the ‘mental equipment’ that produced it, the inner world it reflects, and how the world it depicts is apprehended.  In short, it consists of viewing the gods as ‘centers of values’… and the beliefs they generate as value systems: gods and beliefs may pass away, but the values remain.

– Alain de Benoist, On Being a Pagan

Theoretically any culture could be theurgic if its rites and prayers preserve the ‘eternal measures’ of creation….  Neo-platonic theurgy was imagined within a polytheistic and pluralistic cosmos: the varieties of culture and geography corresponding to the diversity of theurgic societies. This was also consistent with Iamblichus’s metaphysics where the utterly ineffable One can only be “known” in the Many, the henophany of each culture both veiling and revealing its ineffable source. To privilege any one of these henophanies over the others, to proclaim that it alone is true, is an assertion that would have been treated with contempt by theurgic Neoplatonists. For such a claim betrays the very principle of theurgy understood as cosmogonic activity rooted in an ineffable source, one that necessarily expresses itself in multiple forms of demiurgic generosity.
Theurgists would find claims to an exclusive possession of truth equivalent to the deranged assertion that the sun shines only in my backyard!

– George Shaw, Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus

For the Stoics, intentions bear with themselves a value which infinitely transcends all the objects and ‘matters’ to which they are applied, for these objects and matters are themselves indifferent, and only assume a value to the extent that they provide an opportunity for intentions to be applied and become concrete. In sum, there is only one will, profound, constant, and unshakable, and it manifests itself in the most diverse actions, on the most diverse occasions and objects, all the while remaining free and transcendent with regard to the subject matters upon which it is exercised.

– Pierre Hadot, The Inner Citadel

A New Year

2012 was quite the year for me – both great and terrible.  The last few months were dominated, as many of my friends know, by my summary dismissal from the organization which claims to be the one true OTO, after over 10 years of loyal membership.    That is a phrase which, to be totally honest, I never through I’d use: “one true OTO”.  It implies that there are other valid OTO’s out there.  Presently there are not.   The whole sordid tale will have to wait until another time, but very briefly I’d like to point out that if you look at Crowley’s writing on the subject, it’s very clear that OTO was never meant to be a “California not-for-profit corporation”.   It’s an ideal towards which we aspire.  Perhaps the world is not yet ready for OTO.  Perhaps we, in the Thelemic community, are simply not ready to give the world this model, as we don’t have it ourselves.  Before anything can be born into the world, it first must be carried for a season in the womb of our hearts.  If OTO does not exist within us, it will never exist outside of us.

It’s been said that every generation has its own war – its own struggle.   I believe this to be part of ours.  What calls to us now as most essential is an engagement with occult truth itself, within the context of our own lives.  Running around trying to convince others to “sign up” to something that we don’t really understand ourselves – or even worse, nurse secret hostility towards, is an exercise doomed to failure and self-ruin.  If the present “leadership” of the so called “OTO”, and organizations like it, hasn’t taught us that… I don’t know what good it’s done at all.  Enough of that for now.  I will revisit this topic in more detail later, when I can stomach a lengthier examination of the depths of cowardice, falsehood, and willful ignorance that exists in the “leadership” cadre of the organization in question.   In the spirit of the new year, let us move on to happier things.

Vinegar_tasters

The title of this blog “Acratophorus” means “giver of unmixed wine” and is a title of the Greek god Dionysus.   I thought to use this blog to present my undiluted, but most carefully selected self.  Initially I thought this would best be accomplished by limiting the blog to magical and philosophical writings and explorations.   I’ve now come to realize that this doesn’t go far enough… it doesn’t go “all the way”.  Magick is not something that happens only within the Temple space.  Philosophy is not something you do only when you write a paper.   These things must expand and consume all the rest of your life.  This is how life is made sacred.

At the risk of belaboring the wine metaphor… I had intended to use this space as a “tasting”, to display my very best vintages.  Over the next year, I wish to transition to using this space as a “fermentation barrel”.  My hope is that the demands of “art” – in this case a more or less public blog – will be the yeasty charge that adds spirit to the blood of the grape.  If the wine is poor, or too thin, I will have only myself to blame.   If it is rich, and full, and fills the cup of Babalon, then it is its own reward.

With the breath of her kisses hath she fermented it, and it hath become the wine of the Sacrament, the wine of the Sabbath; and in the Holy Assembly hath she poured it out for her worshippers, and they had become drunken thereon, so that face to face they beheld my Father. Thus are they made worthy to become partakers of the Mystery of this holy vessel, for the blood is the life. So sitteth she from age to age, and the righteous are never weary of her kisses, and by her murders and fornications she seduceth the world. Therein is manifested the glory of my Father, who is truth.

(This wine is such that its virtue radiateth through the cup, and I reel under the intoxication of it. And every thought is destroyed by it. It abideth alone, and its name is Compassion. I understand by “Compassion,” the sacrament of suffering, partaken by the true worshippers of the Highest. And it is an ecstasy in which there is no trace of pain. Its passivity (=passion) is like the giving-up of the self to the beloved.)

Over the next year I hope to write on many things.  Some of them will be, perhaps, spiritual and sublime.  Some of them will be serious and, hopefully, of great importance. Some of them may appear vain, frivolous and superficial.  This blog will not becomes a stream of consciousness regurgitation of the mundane details of my life, but everything will go into the cup – at least everything that I can fit.  This will be a process, not a presentation.  I invite you to join me…. or not…. as it is your Will to do.  


Thoth-Tarot-Lust

 

This is the Mystery of Babylon, the Mother of abominations, and this is the mystery of her adulteries, for she hath yielded up herself to everything that liveth, and hath become a partaker in its mystery. And because she hath made herself the servant of each, therefore is she become the mistress of all. Not as yet canst thou comprehend her glory.  Beautiful art thou, O Babylon, and desirable, for thou hast given thyself to everything that liveth, and thy weakness hath subdued their strength. For in that union thou didst understand. Therefore art thou called Understanding, O Babylon, Lady of the Night….


O Babylon, Babylon, thou mighty Mother, that ridest upon the crowned beast, let me be drunken upon the wine of thy fornications; let thy kisses wanton me unto death, that even I, thy cup-bearer, may understand.

– Liber 418:12th Aethyr


A Journey

Tonight, two friends and I are leaving the City of Angels for the “Valley of the Sun” .

There is something special about packing a bag and departing from the known, for however short a time period, that raises the energetic level of our lived experience.  It is something like dance: a motion that carries meaning.  While the place we are journeying to may be pedestrian for those that live there, and our own domicile may seem mysterious and exotic to other people all over the world, the very act of departing, and the uncertainty that comes with it, calls to something in our souls.  While the proverbial “road trip” technically requires a destination, this is only a formality.  The point is the pleasure of the journey itself, and the unknown that it carries us into.

Also the Holy One came upon me, and I beheld a white swan floating in the blue.
Between its wings I sate, and the æons fled away.
Then the swan flew and dived and soared, yet no whither we went.
A little crazy boy that rode with me spake unto the swan, and said:
Who art thou that dost float and fly and dive and soar in the inane? Behold, these many æons have passed; whence camest thou? Whither wilt thou go?
And laughing I chid him, saying: No whence! No whither!
The swan being silent, he answered: Then, if with no goal, why this eternal journey?
And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan, and laughed, saying: Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some goal?
And the swan was ever silent. Ah! but we floated in the infinite Abyss. Joy! Joy!
White swan, bear thou ever me up between thy wings!

-A. Crowley, Liber LXV II:17-25

There is a tendency in the modern world to put “safety first”, but this attitude has done little to improve the quality of our lives.  Instead we have made the world monotonous, sterile and boring.  Even the relatively bourgeoisie days of this author’s youth seem a mad cap adventure, compared to what passes for childhood in the increasingly codified, styro-foam coated, bubble wrapped present.    As modernity increasingly removes all sense of the transcendent from daily life, it becomes harder and harder to risk ourselves in any great adventure –  to find anything worthy of risk.  This is why, I believe, we have become so concerned about the welfare of “future generations”.  We seek to put off the questions of our own time by invoking the struggles of our children and living for their sake.  Paradoxically, this tends to make our lineage less likely to survive into the far future, as a few generations of risk-averse, over-protective, indulgent parenting has succeeded in producing risk-averse, cowardly, intellectually and physically flabby descendants.

Anyhow, there’s no such thing as safety.  Life is a gamble.  From the moment of incarnation a million accidents are possible.  Miscarriage, still-birth, abortion; throughout life, until your heart beats for the last time, “you never can tell” – — — — and then you start all over again with your next incarnation!

-A. Crowley, Magick Without Tears, Ch, 80

Nietzsche put forward the idea of the “eternal return” as a way to test an individual’s fitness.  If life were repeated, over and over again, in all its unfair, strange, incomprehensibly terrible glory, would you rejoice or fall down weeping?  Are you strong enough to live for the journey, or do you need a safe pasture – well fenced,  to graze in for all eternity?

This is not a question of logic, but of fundamental orientation.  It can, perhaps, be called a matter of “taste” but this serves to reduce what is, essentially, a hierarchical difference in spiritual temperament to an issue of personal preference.    What is most vexing about the modern, socialized, corporatized world is not that it exists,  but that it seeks to put itself forward as the only rational type of existence – the ne plus ultra of human evolution.    This “one size fits all” approach to human culture is incredibly unpopular, yet it persists because people cannot imagine a viable alternative.  Despite this cultural myopia, the material for the construction of an alternative is out there – it exists.  It is, perhaps, not yet polished and “turn key” material, but that is what makes it truly dynamic and compelling: a risk, a gamble… a journey.

Democracy dodders. Ferocious Fascism, cackling Communism, equally frauds, cavort crazily all over the globe. The are hemming us in.  They are abortive births of the Child, the New Aeon of Horus.  Liberty stirs once more in the womb of Time.

Evolution makes its changes by anti-Socialistic ways. The “abnormal” man who foresees the trend of the times and adapts circumstance intelligently, is laughed at, persecuted, often destroyed by the herd; but he and his heirs, when the crisis comes, are survivors.

Above us today hangs a danger never yet paralleled in history. We suppress the individual in more and more ways. We think in terms of the herd. War no longer kills soldiers; it kills all indiscriminately. Every new measure of the most democratic and autocratic govenments is Communistic in essence. It is always restriction. We are all treated as imbecile children. Dora, the Shops Act, the Motoring Laws, Sunday suffocation, the Censorship— they won’t trust us to cross the roads at will.

Fascism is like Communism, and dishonest into the bargain. The dictators suppress all art, literature, theatre, music, news, that does not meet their requirements; yet the world only moves by the light of genius. The herd will be destroyed in mass.

The establishment of the Law of Thelema is the only way to preserve individual liberty and to assure the future of the race. In the words of the famous paradox of the Comte de Fénix— The absolute rule of the state shall be a function of the absolute liberty of each individual will. All men and women are invited to cooperate with the Master Therion in this, the Great Work.

– A. Crowley, Introduction to Liber AL vel Legis, Ch. 5