“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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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).

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