“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to Read a Book by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Anyone who knows me knows that my most recommended (and handed out as gift) book is HOW TO READ A BOOK by Adler and VanDoren. This is an excellent long 2-part lecture series on the book by Islamic scholar Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. If you are interested in this material but dismiss this because the lecturer is Muslim; consider yourself mentally handicapped.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Bog Person c.100 AD (Photo 1873)

Photograph from 1873 of a body preserved in a bog. The body had been found in 1871 in the Heidmoor near de:Rendswühren and is now on display at Gottorf Castle, Schleswig Germany. Dated around 1st or 2nd century AD

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The MacKinney Collection of Medieval Medical Illustration


Le Vaisseau du Grand Oeuvre by Julien Champagne (1910)

Julien Champagne's most famous painting, Le Vaisseau du Grand Oeuvre (Vessel of the Great Work), was completed in the year 1910. The painting was a great favorite among the Parisian occultists during the first third of the 20th Century. The voluptuous model for the painting was purported to be the young female alchemist, Louise Barbe (ca. 1879-1919); she was the wife of the infamous Russian "monkey gland" surgeon, Serge Voronoff (1866-1951). Louise was a member of the occult circle which gathered at the salon of the de Lesseps family (children of the great Ferdinand de Lesseps) in Paris. Of course, the "Great Work" is Alchemy, and the painting is filled with alchemical symbolism. The nude female figure is a personification of the philosopher's stone; she stands within a glass flask and is surrounded by myriad blazing flames. Off the right shoulder of the young woman is the word "POTERE" meaning "power" in English; off of her left shoulder is the word "AVDERE" meaning "to dare" in English. The background on the left and right sides of the flask contain the names of certain philosophers and alchemists written in Latin letters. The names on the left side are as follows: Artephius, Albert le Grand, Synesius, Th. d'Aquin, R. Lulle, Flamel, Rhazes, and Geber. The names on the right side are as follows: Roger Bacon, A. de Villeneuve, Basile Valentin, Van Helmont, Paracelse, Philalethe, Trevisan, and Ripley. In the darkened sky behind the female figure are depictions of the Moon and four planets that are visible to the naked eye: above her right shoulder are Saturn and Jupiter; on her lower right side is a crescent Venus (Morning Star); above her left shoulder is a crescent Moon; and to her lower left is the planet Mars. On her forehead the woman wears a sparkling diamond of the Queen of Heaven, Isis, the Goddess of magic and the occult arts. The diamond represents the "Great Eye," which Isis is purported to have stolen from Ra, the supreme God of Pharaonic Egypt. Eugène Canseliet used a representation of this painting as the frontispiece in the 1979 reprint of his book entitled Deux logis alchimiques, en marge de la science et de l'histoire (originally published in 1945).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

RE/Search: Effete West Coast Counterculture non-Nostalgia

I first read RE/Search "Industrial Culture Handbook" when the slick version came out in the mid-late 1980's. I was already familiar with most of the artists in it from "The Some Bizarre Show" which originally aired on NIGHT FLIGHT in the early 1980's as a replacement for "New Wave Theater" after the host Peter Ivers was murdered. The aesthetics of "Industrial Culture Handbook" were and are interesting. But then you read the interviews and realize the "artists" are just another predictable subspecies of vapid counterculture posers and faggots (re "vapid counterculture posers and faggots" see diagram of Boyd Rice and Genesis P-Orridge.), essentially a "Who's Who" of people who buy books for the titles to impress their friends.

I recall being briefly amused by Boyd Rice after reading RE/Search "Pranks" and "Incredibly Strange Films" in the 1980's, until I saw him interviewed (re "Pranks") around the same time and realized what a mind-numbingly boring blowhard he is. In all honesty I never listened to any of his audio material aside from the "People" song which is as mildly amusing and as easily forgettable as anything from the Dr. Demento show. His post-CoS spiel reminded me of a sad coffehouse impersonation of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, only less interesting.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Game of Kings: Medieval Ivory Chessmen from the Isle of Lewis

Highlights from My Bible Collection

It may amuse or entertain some COSMODROMIUM readers to learn that I have a fairly extensive collection of interesting and rare Bibles. Here are a few recent acquisitions.

1. Geneva Bible, London, 1589:

2. Book of Common Prayer & Holy Bible, 1715.

3. New Testament. 2 vols. London, 1722.

4. Oxford University Printers Bible, 1706.

 5. Small leather bible. 1649.

More later....

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Time and Death c.1727

Time and Death, c. 1727
Coloured and moulded wax diorama
Caterina de Julianis
Formerly attributed to the wax sculptor Gaetano Giulio Zumbo (1656-1701)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hermetic Chaos Syndrome

From the entry on "Hermeticism" in The Dictionary of The History of Ideas:

The unorthodoxy of Hermetic thought is often over-looked by scholars who detour the dark esotery of pre-twentieth-century thought by insisting that symbols of darkness and chaos, serpents, monsters, and the like, were readily Christianized (Walker, 1953). If this were so, Renaissance art, for example, would differ little from medieval art. Evidence indicates, however, that in a number of Renaissance works the powers of darkness frequently suggest, not destruction, but fruitfulness, joy, and energy. One may say, in fact, that the bloodstream of art, paling at the close of the medieval and then the neo-classical and Victorian periods, is revitalized by a transfusion from sources of the ancient Near East....

In substance, the Hermetica shares a number of unorthodox features with ancient cosmogonies of Egypt, Babylonia or Chaldea, Persia, and the early gnostic sects. Compiled from the ancient cosmogonies, a list of nine such unorthodox features can be used now to show the nature of the “chaos syndrome”:

(1) Creation is the result of a cataclysmic or sexual encounter between at least two major forces. The world is created from preexisting chaos.

(2) Creation includes elements of the grotesque and the irrational.

(3) Mutability, darkness, mud are life-producing.

(4) Serpent and hybrid creatures, symbols of energy, are often deified.

(5) Eternal Recurrence: Creation is an ever-renewing process. As a living body, the world is perpetually renewing itself.

(6) “As above, so below”: the doctrine of corre spondence: the divine descends to participate in human affairs, alternating with humans as civilizing agents, involved in wandering, lamentation, and suffering as part of the creative process.

(7) Superbia: Man is exalted to the level of divinity.

(8) The Valuable Descent: a descent into the depths, an encounter with monsters, provides the revitalizing experience sought by men and gods.

(9) Stylistically, “chaos” writings are lavish as well as confusing.

In contrast, the orthodox view sees chaos as a force of evil only. Its God, without partner or helper, creates from absolutely nothing, in a smooth and orderly manner. Energy symbols are discredited, and the world, created just once, is headed for ultimate dissolution. Separated from God, man is essentially worthless, limited as an artist to imitating what he sees, and warned to strive for rhetorical bareness. Such ideas predominate, not only in church fathers like Tertullian and Augustine, and in Renaissance poets like Drayton, Thomas Heywood, and Jonson, but in modern religious leaders and non-Christian thinkers as well. For, despite the decline of Christianity today, a negative attitude towards chaos continues to dismiss disorder and mystery as evil and, in the name of order and truth, encourages a chronic dread of dissenting groups and strange ways of thought.

Monday, January 7, 2013

ορθοδοξία ή θάνατος

Glad to see our friends are still in action...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Translation of Book One of Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy

This is a project worth supporting. I've been wishing for a worthwhile new translation of Agrippa since first acquiring the Cthonios Books 1987 photostat facsimile reprint when it first came out. I'm hoping they complete the translation of all three books and issue them under one cover http://renaissance-astrology.blogspot.com/2012/07/new-modern-translation-of-book-one-of.html

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Corpses of the Brothers De Witt, c.1672-1702

"The corpses of the brothers De Witt, on the Groene Zoodje at the Lange Vijverberg in The Hague, 20 August 1672", 1672-1702 Oil on canvas. 69.5 × 56 cm. Attributed to Jan de Baen Gallery: Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Cornelis de Witt was a member of the old Dutch patrician family De Witt. He was born on 15 June 1623 in Dordrecht, Holland, Dutch Republic. He was the son of Jacob de Witt and the older brother of Johan. He associated himself closely with his greater brother, the Grand Pensionary, and supported him throughout his career with great ability and vigour. In 1667 he was the deputy chosen by the States of Holland to accompany Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter in his famous raid on the Medway. Cornelis de Witt on this occasion distinguished himself greatly by his coolness and intrepidity. He again accompanied De Ruyter in 1672 and took an honorable part in the great battle of Solebay against the united English and French fleets. Compelled by illness to leave the fleet, he found on his return to Dort that the Orange party were in the ascendant, and he and his brother were the objects of popular suspicion and hatred. He was arrested on false accusations of treason, but did not confess despite heavy torture and was ultimately unlawfully condemned to be banished. He was assassinated by the same carefully organised lynch mob that killed his brother on the day he was to be released, victim of a conspiracy by the Orangists Johan Kievit and Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Tromp. Both their bodies were horribly mutilated and their hearts were carved out to be exhibited as trophies. Today this is seen by the Dutch as the most shameful event in the history of Dutch politics.

 During 1672, which the Dutch refer to as the "year of disaster" or rampjaar, France and England attacked the Republic during the Franco-Dutch War and the Orangists took power by force and deposed de Witt. Recovering from an earlier attempt on his life in June, he was lynched by an organized mob after visiting his brother Cornelis in prison. After the arrival of Johan de Witt, the city guard was sent away on a pretext to stop farmers who were supposedly engaged in pilfering. Without any protection against the assembled mob, the brothers were dragged out of the prison and killed next to a nearby scaffold. Immediately after their deaths, the bodies were mutilated and fingers, toes, and other parts of their bodies were cut off. Other parts of their bodies were eaten by the mob (or taken elsewhere, cooked and then eaten). The heart of Cornelis de Witt was exhibited for many years next to his brother's by one of the ringleaders, the silversmith Hendrik Verhoeff.

John Canavesio: The Suicide of Judas, c.1492

John Canavesio (1450 - 1500) The Suicide of Judas, ca. 1492 A fresco painting from the Chapel of Notre Dame des Fontaine, France. Part of: 'Passion of Jesus Christ' by Giovanni Canavesio.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Interesting Street Art

I would like to know the location and back-story of this:

A little disappointing, but mystery solved: http://www.hcientouno.com/street.html
Kudos to DCrB.
More here: http://barcelonagraffitibailandoconlobos.blogspot.com/
Kudos to T.B.

The Art of Mitchell Nolte

From Burtatti Fine Arts Gallery: A group show of contemporary work inspired by Aleister Crowley's Chamber of Nightmares:

 "Holy Power, walking in the ways of Purity, can safely dispose of the Evil Brute personally which man is compelled to carry."

Aleister Crowley, Cefalu: Four Monks Carrying a Black Goat Across the Snow to Nowhere, 2012
mixed media and digital graphic on cotton rag paper
59 x 43cm

 "Love is ready to travel to every part of the world, and stand supreme there."
Aleister Crowley, Cefalu

The Scarlet Woman in Bokhara, 2012
mixed media and digital graphic on cotton rag paper
80 x 60cm

Boëthius & Philosophy

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius' allegorical vision of Philosophy, from The Consolation of Philosophy:

While I was pondering thus in silence, and using my pen to set down so tearful a complaint, there appeared standing over my head a woman's form, whose countenance was full of majesty, whose eyes shone as with fire and in power of insight surpassed the eyes of men, whose colour was full of life, whose strength was yet intact though she was so full of years that none would ever think that she was subject to such age as ours. One could but doubt her varying stature, for at one moment she repressed it to the common measure of a man, at another she seemed to touch with her crown the very heavens: and when she had raised higher her head, it pierced even the sky and baffled the sight of those who would look upon it.

Her clothing was wrought of the finest thread by subtle workmanship brought to an indivisible piece. This had she woven with her own hands, as I afterwards did learn by her own shewing. Their beauty was somewhat dimmed by the dulness of long neglect, as is seen in the smoke-grimed masks of our ancestors. On the border below was inwoven the symbol Π, on that above was to be read a Θ. And between the two letters there could be marked degrees, by which, as by the rungs of a ladder, ascent might be made from the lower principle to the higher. Yet the hands of rough men had torn this garment and snatched such morsels as they could therefrom. In her right hand she carried books, in her left was a sceptre brandished.