book review: ouroboros; a grimoire by ray sherwin, father of chaos magick, reads like true detective

The announcement for Ouroboros; A Grimoire by Ray Sherwin showed up on r/occult and I went ahead and read the preview. I instantly took a liking to it, so I ordered it.
      Like a complete idiot I didn’t even notice the name matched an individual we had been talking about in a podcast last year on Chaos Magick linked here. When it arrived I unwrapped it to find a wide, slender shiny white floppy book, 110 pages long, emblazoned with a bright, turquoise ouroboros painting by his consort Lorraine Sherwin, and archaic mauve script. I flipped it over to find some handsome looking wizard from Florida or something (there are palm trees and he’s probably shirtless) staring at me with a beard I approved of. At this point, obviously I still had no idea who this was – the founder of Chaos Magick. I’m not sure why they have palm trees in England, but there they are. 
       I admit this is the first book about Chaos Magick that I have read that has held my interest, that probably isn’t saying much since I have never actually purchased a book on Chaos Magick, and they’re rare in libraries. But my standards are very high for what goes on certain shelves in my library, and this is going on the special shelf.  
      It reads as a proclamation of Zeus chastising his kids. The man is very funny, and I admit somewhat charming even as he’s cutting heads off of pedophiles and other perverts. It can’t be too easy tearing down one’s own seed, but, he does it. No one is ever going to look at Peter Carroll again the same way, I can tell you that.

“The order’s evident requirement for its members to take in less of macrocosm is a disgrace akin to a child hiding under the bedclothes in the belief that if the child can’t see the monster, the monster can’t see the child.”

– Ray Sherwin

The roasting of the Illuminates of Thanateros is completely satisfying, even though I barely knew who these people were, except that one of them was a snot-nosed idiot on the original (defunct) occultforums called Ralph Tegtmeier (Frater U∴D∴) aka Helmut. We all seriously regarded this guy as some kind of mentally ill teenage troll at the time. m1thr0s 729 was slamming the guy in some rather amusing ways as m1thr0s tended to do to idiots, and at the point in time it happened, it was akin to some kind of Klingon mating ritual for each other from the perspective of our Aquarian and Gemini sensibilities. We both quickly forgot about this moron. He was possibly the most idiotic troll to ever pass through that old occult haunting ground and I saw hundreds rise and fall there. and neither of us was aware that he was a high ranking mucky muck in an organization widely considered to be quite serious.  
      Peter Carroll – whom I have never read anything about either, except his date and place of birth, nor any of his publications, also comes off sounding like a complete piece of shit, which was fascinating. All in all a good and satisfying romp through the castle of occult intrigue and conspiracy. Sherwin isn’t the first to speak up. The blog of Nathaniel J. Harris which has been covering the case in detail, writes:

“There is a paedophile ring operating within the Pagan / occult community, with a particular concentration in the West Country where we have already seen 7 successful prosecutions, with many others remaining at large.[…]Most recently Peter J. Carroll has been spreading the vilest lies imaginable in a vain attempt to discredit Nathaniel. This is because Mr. Carroll knows full well that members of his fan club, the Illuminates of Thanateros, were involved in the sadistic abuse of my son.”

We had briefly covered some rumors within r/occult in a Abrahadabra Radio podcast in episode 006 about a disagreement between an individual shifting between a variety of throwaway accounts who had accused an IAO131 of defending a pedophile ring, which turned into a discussion about general possibilities of pedophilia within the occult community. While IAO131 is basically cat vomit who found himself on the heavy end of a ban hammer for being a stupid shitler about the origins of the word “magick” of all goddamned things on Abrahadabra Forums, I am not, and m1thr0s 729 was not the type to deviate from the sacred American axiom “Innocent until proven guilty.” (By the way, IAO131 was wrong about magick’s etymology, good old Oxford Dictionary vindicated us – he never fucking apologized for his hurfblurfing while m1 was alive, so he gets the hose. Again.)
      Sherwin goes further than we ever did in that podcast, indicating that the defensiveness of the Satanic organizations is extremely suspect, up to and including the OTO, apparently. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the OTO most of the time, but when it comes to ruining the occult for everyone else with borderline pedophilia accusations, there is a real reason to declare some kind of war within our own sub-society against anything that reeks of defending or participating in any kind of fascist sexuality such as child molestation.
       Some of the passages reminded me of my own time with the FBI in the Nuit House, which I won’t go into here due to the fact it might tip off any CP cells to their methodology. The embarrassments of Manson, Hubbard, and more recently, the Kabbalah Center in New Yok, never go away and the government is (rightly) dead set on never having to deal with these grotesque pockmarks on the face of Western Civilization. Anyone who has played a game of Civilization knows the power of protecting culture. Every occult organization past a certain point gets the big brother treatment these day…and people like the ones discussed in this book are why we all deserve it.
      Suffice it to say, the mere fact that I’m pretty much a 1950’s housewife disguised as an occultist, and m1thr0s was either glued to me or his laptop was enough to pretty much placate our spies, although we had more than a few creeps show up on our doorstep who were part of the other side of the “conspiracy”, although I could do nothing about it but call the police and let them decide. 
       I found myself completely fascinated by this man who seemed to be speaking from an asana of actual power throughout the book. Most occult authors just bore me to tears, and as an ENTJ I can be a cold heartless bitch not only on my brutal Reddit posts, but when it comes to dismissing occult authors, I’m not going to mince words. My bookshelf is full of texts from Oxford, Princeton and Chicago University – these are my occult tomes, a habit I inherited from my middle school years when I only read non-fiction science books.  
      I know with absolute confidence everyone in the occult is going to like this book – even the old school witches. A British author who was born in the legendary lands of Merlin and has the Druid look is like finding a leprechaun for these Wiccan shits.
      The text has the same feel as a few other rare occult texts, such as those of Masaaki Hatsumi, Aleister Crowly, the Corpus Hermetica, and the Kybalion. The author seems at times to be speaking right at us, or interacting with us on a personal level. I sometimes call these types of texts holographic texts, as they seem to shift with the reader as the mind positions itself around the data. 
       Sherwin attacks everything from democracy to priesthoods, to death and archaeology. We always love a good rant at Abrahadabra of course, and this continues for nearly fifty pages… 
      After this, we find a link to a YouTube video, which is the audio-visual version of a poem inserted in the book. It’s worth it to get through to the end. 

This is the individual who launched an entire generation of new thinking in magick, influencing some of the most famous individuals in pop culture.
      There are no dumbass sigils here, nor the same tired nihilistic or iconoclastic dogma of much Chaos thought. Sherwin, for all intents and purposes appears to be reasserting what his vision of Chaos Magick was all those years ago in London, before Carroll drove it into the hands of the worst kinds of thugs and evildoers, apparently.  
     The book is badass. You won’t be disappointed. It has everything that makes for an occult classic – a wizard war (more like the complete annihilation of a long-standing chaos magick guru) Defcon 5 level True Detective intrigue that will make the Temple of Set/Aquino rumors look like tidy Sunday gossip, and a way of teaching magick that is completely new. And, fucking finally, someone else talking about the goddamned environmental problems the world is facing.
     This first edition is limited to 500 copies, so you’d better act fast if you’re going to acquire a copy. The fallout from this is going to spread across the entire world of Chaos Magick and the occult itself. 

youtube channels worth subbing to: diacoustics

Although this user goes months and even years between uploads, the library of Daniel Cioccoloni’s diacoustics is certainly worth exploring. He discusses deep into musical theory territory, and examines ideas from Pythagoras, and other ancient thinkers.
      The practices of the ancients in the West regarding music, especially as it pertained to usage in the Mystery Cults, were largely lost to us, so we are left with the task of reconstructing what they might have been doing, whereas Bharat (India,) has luckily, remained untouched by iconoclastic movements, and its entire system of mantra remains largely intact; for the pleasure of scholars interested in the auditory arts that go beyond music alone. 
      Most musicians are only interested in recording their work, rather than exploring, and exposing, the ancient occult ideas pertaining to sound, so it is rare to find a channel such as this.

indigenous hellenic religion officially recognized by greek government

Quietly, and without much fanfare, the Greek Government recently approved the indigenous Hellenic religion as a recognized religion, on April 9th, 2017. The official statement, released by the Secretary of the Supreme Council of Ethnic Hellenes, is below

“After more than twenty years of struggle, the Greek state has finally recognized the Hellenic Religion as a «known religion» according to paragraph 17 – the only form of recognition for a religion in Greece. The mentioned paragraph includes the permission to build a temple as well as the right of «public exercise» of any recognized religion. The recognition of Hellenic Religion as a «known religion» is only the first step towards a general recognition of Hellenism. Now the YSEE at Athens is still waiting for recognition as a religious statutory body in Greece. The Supreme council of ethnic Hellenes will approach the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if the state leaves them no other choice, said its Secretary.”

A member of the Hellēnismôs composes an offering to their deity in the traditional way, Source: Hellēnismôs, https://hellenismos.org/

The group is dedicated to the cause of not only re institutionalizing the freedom to worship their native gods, but to bring about an international recognition of the genocide of the Hellenes by the Eastern Roman Empire and its state church. They are publicly outspoken against racism, nationalism and nazi sympathizers, pointing out the fact that many Odinists were killed alongside Jews and other Pagans during the Holocaust. 
      As a plains native American Indian myself I was amused to find a photo of a traditional medicine man in full regalia presiding over their meeting. My Greek is terrible and Google translate doesn’t work everywhere so I have no idea what the context of the meeting was, but there is a statement that they wish to “internalize” the “
Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality”, which was influential in slightly reducing the amount of offensive profiteering taking place within the United States of America by uninitiated, self-titled “shamans” falsely claiming to be practicing true American Indian beliefs.
       The rest of the site is filled with informative articles that can easily be translated into English using Google Translate (right click in chrome and select “translate to English”. There’s also a pleasant photo gallery featuring ritual documentation and pictures of the gods against NASA images. 
      The webpage insists that it is against any kind of syncretic philosophy or occultism, this may seem restrictive or even tyrannical to many occultists, yet it is a necessity. Even though the Hellenic peoples themselves were highly involved in syncretic activities, merging deities with every culture they conquered, this is not necessarily the best way to go forward for a Hellenic reconstructionist effort today. So much has been lost, fractured and completely destroyed within Hellenic culture that allowing random revisionism to creep in would threaten the stability of what they are trying to achieve.
      As it is, The Abrahadabra Institute isn’t interested in religion except in its capacity to instill power and raise the foundation of Man via certain theurgical practices. Nor are we concerned with what religion or atheism our members choose. That being said, groups that are highly specialized, careful, scholarly and interested in an authentic, historical assessment are very useful to us, whether they are theistic or atheistic in nature. Most of the work pertaining to the important deity Ningishzidda, who shares the AIQ BKR Gematria value of 418 with Abrahadabra was fulfilled by the secular Ancient Near East study group Enenuru.net and its founder, emerging Assyriologist Bill McGrath. Without their strict adherence to ancient, original, non-syncretic thought, we would never have been able to unearth important aspects of the godform’s characteristics which can be put to good use in practical theurgy, whether or not one views deities as living beings, merely archetypes useful for theurgical framework, or as a mapping of consciousness nodes.
      An affiliate website, in English can be found at http://www.labrys.gr they offer some free information and an inexpensive book on household practice. The praxis outlined on the site parallels traditional Hermetic ritual as preserved within The Golden Dawn, Rosicrucian Order and so on, which was interesting to see. The rest of Europe was following in some form of Pagan worship before the advent of iconoclasm, and many nations were hugely influenced by Hellenic culture, so it is a very important part of the occult dialectic, particularly in the case of Hermetic traditions.


      We look forward to seeing further developments in the field of Hellenic studies and a revival of the indigenous religion and mystery cults of Greece. 

note: mutational alchemy tarot book is being updated

The tarot book has been in need of a new revision. I’ve decided to do a detailed edit of the entire thing. It’s nothing major, mostly commas, catching items the spellchecker missed, and proofreading, but if you’re planning on printing the entire thing out you might want to wait until the end of August to do so. I’ll post an announcement here and on the social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google +) when it is finished. I have already added a few minor informational details to the first three entries and the entire introduction has been finished as well. I’ve also added the charts to the introduction on the website version, as most tablets and phones have the processing power to load it easily these days. 

book review: hermes, guide of souls by karl kerenyi

Hermes is connected with the fourth day of the month and the number four, in general. July 4th is a very special day for the West, as it represents the crowning achievement of the Enlightenment and Western thought; the founding of The United States of America. Ideas of democracy have always been connected to the culture of Greece, and the marks of that ancient culture are all over the place in the U.S.A., from the eagle of Zeus atop our flag, the neoclassical architecture of Capitol Hill, and to the murals of Greek and Egyptian ideas in the Library of Congress. 

Chemistry, in the Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, by Walter Shirlaw, 1898

I’ve been searching for second year curriculum books in anticipation of our membership launch this coming August, which will lead into first year material in March of 2018 for the foundational elements leading up to Mutational Alchemy material which will be presented in the third year. (Yes, it is that involved.) So, naturally I went out and acquired every book on Hermes possible. It’s so difficult finding the perfect book for the job, in any branch of the Hermetic arts.
       Few books on Hermes himself have been quite as lovely and thoughtfully written as Karl Kerenyi’s Hermes, Guide of Souls. Even though it goes over common material like the Odyssey, Kerenyi reveals himself as a crack researcher who notices every little detail Homer instilled in his masterpiece, and manages to reveal Hermes in a way that few other books are able to. Many, like The Egyptian Hermes by Garth Fowden, are very insightful, yet they miss the essence of Hermes as he interests Hermetic Alchemists. 

Instead of focusing on the obvious, Kerenyi “hacks away the inessentials” to reveal the true Hermes, even touching on the mysterious and sinister titanesque nature of the Prince of Thieves, in his thirst for flesh and blood and devotes an entire chapter to his connection to the night.
   It’s definitely an interesting, worthwhile read, and while I would like to say it is the *best* book on Hermes (who has been experiencing a spike in popularity on Reddit’s Occult sub) I haven’t yet passed through 50% of the Hermes books I’ve been reviewing.  It is much less dry than Garth Fowden’s “The Egyptian Hermes” which is an incredible window into the ancient world of Graeco-Egyptian life and packed with useful information, but might leave many readers yawning throughout some of the more technical bits.
      That being said, both books are worth a peak if you love Hermes already. I’m not sure it’s for every pagan and occultists out there, but it is at least both represent scholarly, careful work.  
      Kerenyi explores the works of many other writers such as the classical philologist Walter Friedrich Otto, who influenced him deeply:

Danger lurks everywhere. Out of the dark
jaws of the night which gape beside the
traveler, any moment a robber may emerge
without warning, or some eerie terror, or the
uneasy ghost of a dead man–who knows what may 
once have happened at that very spot? Perhaps
mischievous apparitions of the fog seek to 
entice him from the right path into the desert
where horror dwells, where wanton witches dance
their rounds which no man ever leaves alive.
Who can protect him, guide him aright, give
him good counsel? The spirit of Night itself,
the genius of its kindliness, its enchantment,
its resourcefulness, and its profound wisdom.
She is indeed the mother of all mystery. The
weary she wraps in slumber, delivers from care,
and she causes dreams to play about their souls.
Her protection is enjoyed by the unhappy and 
persecuted as well as by the cunning, whom
her ambivalent shadows offer a thousand 
devices and contrivances. With her veil she
also shields lovers, and her darkness keeps
ward over all caresses, all charms hidden and
revealed. Music is the true language of her
mystery–the enchanting voice which sounds for
eyes that are closed and in which heaven and
earth, the near and the far, man and nature,
present and past, appear to make themselves
understood.

But the darkness of night which so sweetly
invited to slumber also bestows new vigilance
and illumination upon the spirit. It makes
it more perceptive, more acute, more enter-
prising. Knowledge flares up, or descends like
a shooting star-rare, precious, even magical
knowledge. 

And so night, which can terrify the solitary
man and lead him astray, can also be his friend,
his helper, his counselor.

– Otto, The Homeric Gods

Kerenyi himself was a friend of Carl Jung and a famed mythographer and classicist. The book is 149 pages and was first published in Switzerland in 1944 in the German language. 

Featured Image: The Souls on the Banks of the Acheron by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, 1898