Website Updates

March 21, 2018

A new version of this website is currently being created, with e-commerce facilities offering international shipping to selected countries. The new site will go live next week, and we apologise for any disruption to service during the transition between web [ read more ]

Tantric Traditions

March 14, 2018

Gods, Rituals, & Esoteric Teachings in the Kali Yuga Gwendolyn Taunton January, 2018 Tantra. The word conjures forth a million images – including sex, transgressive practices, and the occult. But how accurate are these portrayals, and how do they compare to actual Tantric practices in India? To the casual observer, Tantra appears to partake of an oppositional role in regard to Vedic teachings, but this conceals a much more conservative core, for the Tantric traditions actually strive to reinforce their Vedic heritage. The Tantras are believed to be the appropriate teaching in the Kali Yuga, and understanding the role that the Kali Yuga plays in Tantric traditions is absolutely vital to interpreting the nature of Tantra itself. Contrary to being opposed to Vedic teachings, Tantra is actually an extension of them – it is a reinterpretation of the Vedas for the modern era. In addition to explaining the complex role Tantra plays within the larger corpus of Hinduism, Tantric Traditions also examines the way in which Tantra is linked to sacred geographical locations, and provides explanations on the nature of Siva, the Devi, the role of the Traditionalist School in the export of Tantric traditions to the West, and reveals [ read more ]

The Greatest Danger: The State

February 4, 2018

“Spontaneous social action will be broken up over and over again by State intervention; no new seed will be able to fructify. Society will have to live for the State, man for the governmental machine. And as, after all, it is only a machine whose existence and maintenance depend on the vital supports around it, the State, after sucking out the very marrow of society, will be left bloodless, a skeleton, dead with that rusty death of machinery, more gruesome than the death of a living organism. Such was the lamentable fate of ancient civilisation. Already in the times of the Antonines (IInd Century), the State overbears society with its anti-vital supremacy. Society begins to be enslaved, to be unable to live except in the service of the State. The whole of life is bureaucratised. What results? The bureaucratisation of life brings about its absolute decay in all orders.” José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses (1929), Chapter XIII: The Greatest Danger, The [ read more ]

The Golden Bough of Initiation Part I 

December 8, 2017

A Study on the Italic Roots of the Western Inner Tradition with a Renaissance Treatise on “The Practice of Philosophical Ecstasy” David Pantano In Roman mythology, the Golden Bough is a votive branch with gilded leaves from a tree of the sacred grove that enabled the Trojan hero Aeneas to journey through the underworld safely. The Bough was sacred to Persephone, the queen of the underworld, and associated with the Goddess Diana. The legend of Aeneas and the Golden Bough found in the Aeneid is a seminal myth of the Western World as told by the Roman poet Virgil. Ancient legends tell of lands to the West known as Hesperia that follow the trajectory of the evening star Venus. Venus, the Goddess of love, mother of Aeneas and benefactor of the Trojans and their descendants, helps her son whenever the Gods venture to harm him, causing conflict among the Gods. According to these legends, the spirit of Anchises, Aeneas’ dead father, appears and tells Aeneas to visit the underworld, where he will learn what the future holds in store for his people. First, however, Aeneas must find the oracle known as the Sibyl of Cumae, who will lead him to the land of the dead. Aeneas locates the oracle, who informs him that he [ read more ]

The Return of Hermes

November 15, 2017

 David Pantano Notes on the Body of Peers, a contemporary group of Hermetic practitioners This article traces the presence of an underground cell of practitioners dedicated to advancing the hermetic arts from the late 60s until recent times and known as the Body of Peers (Corpo dei Pari). Led by Giammaria,1 the group made valuable contributions to the Hermetic arts, not only for their highly sought after opus of books, articles, paintings, sculptures and Tarot decks,2  but also for the organizational paradigm underlying the group which favors non-hierarchical and individualistic relationships among members similar to contemporary modes of social structures known as the Hive mind.3 The Hive Mind paradigm prevails in artistic communities and even in start-up organizations (Hermes is after all the patron of commerce) where an experiential and experimental modus operandi of innovation, creativity, agility, and knowledge transfer is valued. The Body of Peers unique blend of tradition and individual self-discovery is suited to serve as a prototype for future groups dedicated to the study and practice of the Hermetic tradition as well as to solitary psychonauts exploring the frontiers of consciousness.   “AK Z UR is a name of initiation (presumably of Assyrian-Chaldean derivation) manifested from an “ancient [ read more ]

Pralaya- Cosmic Floods, the Sun and the Solar Race Part II

November 9, 2017

Part II Alexander Jacob   Manu of the Sun   The course of the sun’s emergence in our universe coincides with that of the first Man, who is called Manu Vaivasvata, or Manu of the Sun (Vivasvant). This primal man is of interest in a study of the flood since it is he who is said to preserve the life of the universe in a boat that is at once a solar barque, as in Egypt, and an ark that carries the seeds of universal life through the flood to safety atop a mountain (from whence the sun too will arise). Manu is thus the divine ancestor of the race that is to inhabit the universe. As a personification of enlightened humanity the role of a Manu is to maintain the cosmic order at the time of the creation of the universe (BP VIII,14,3). Since Manu is called King of Drāvida in BP VIII,24,13, we may assume also that the entire mythology of Manu appeared first among the proto-Dravidian peoples, who, as we shall see, are also identifiable with the proto-Hurrians,[1] and the Noachidian race. Manu Vaivasvata is also called Shraddhādeva (BP VIII,13,1) and is the seventh Manu of our [ read more ]

Gabriele d’Annunzio

September 13, 2017

An Excerpt from Actionism by Lennart Svensson   Gabriele d’Annunzio was something of a larger than life character. He was a person prompting the idea: “if he hadn’t existed, you would have to invent him.” He has been described as a fake superman, an operetta hero and a chauvinist. He wasn’t free from fault and he had a histrionic strain to him but in all, like Stelio Effrena, he didn’t pose. Gabriele d’Annunzio was born 1863. The surname was originally Rapagnetta. The new surname seems to have something to do with nuncio, a Papal emissary. Already at age 15, d’Annunzio was an adroit poet who knew how to use the Italian language for vivid images and scenes. Novels, short stories and dramas followed. In a literary sense, d’Annunzio was a combination of Verner von Heidenstam (nationalist lyricist), Ernst Jünger (heroism) and Yukio Mishima (female portraits, drama). d’Annunzio’s first novels were Il Piacere (1889), L’Innocente (1892) and Il Trionfo della Morte (1894). These bourgeois novels of manners express atheism and emptiness in a sometimes fascinating landscape of emotions and sensations, an aestheticism à la Wilde, Baudelaire, Huysmans and Poe. Then d’Annunzio discovered Nietzsche and this is reflected in the novel from [ read more ]

Vedic and Tantric Rituals – a Comparison

September 4, 2017

Alexander Jacob When one considers the extraordinary cosmological and philosophical insights that inform the religions of the ancient world one cannot escape the conclusion that these insights could have been achieved only through divine revelation or through the exercise of such techniques of mind- and body control as developed by the various systems of Yoga. The probability that Yoga was indeed the source of this wisdom seems to be confirmed by the Brahmānda Purāna (I, i,3,8), for instance, and we note that, in the Mahābhārata, XIII (Anushāsana Parva) 14,[1] Shiva himself is constantly addressed as the “soul of yoga” and the object of all yogic meditation. Similarly, his son, Skanda (the god Muruga of the Dravidians) is described as being endowed with yogic powers in Mbh IX (Shalya Parva), 44. As for the earliest religious forms of the ancient Indo-European wisdom, we note that, among the Krita Yuga avatārs of Vishnu listed in the Bhāgavata Purāna I,3,[2] Kapila (the name of the historical founder of Sāmkhya Yoga) precedes Yajna (representing Vedic sacrifice), who in turn precedes Rishabha (the name of the historical founder of Jainism). The avatārs of the Krita Yuga are of course cosmic phenomena rather than earthly, but [ read more ]

Evoking the Dead

August 29, 2017

Necromancy & Curse Tablets in Ancient Greece Gwendolyn Taunton   Necromancy is the most infamous branch of the occult arts, and has not only beguiled many with its lure of ethereal power and unearthly nature, it also terrifies them, for the conjuration of the dead violates all moral and ethical boundaries, irrespective of whether the act is one of benign divination or one of the vilest curses. Over the centuries, it has known many forms, ranging from prophecy and divination, through to curse tablets, and eventually even the grimoires and the black magic of the Goetia. The origin of necromancy in Greece is an interesting topic, with a variety of sources attesting to different terms, such as nekuia and nektomanteia, which begin to appear c. 300 BCE. Phrynichus Arabius also informs us that the ancients applied the term psuchogōgos to those who charmed the souls of the dead with acts of sorcery (goēteiais) and Synesius describes being attacked by ghosts sent through his dreams by psuchopompoi (ghost-sending) goetes.”[1] The etymology of the word goēs indicates that psuchogōgia constituted the original meaning of the concept as a derivative of goos (mourning song) and goaō (sing a song of mourning). Goēteiais, goetes, [ read more ]

Review: The Occult Technology of Power

August 25, 2017

The Initiation of the Son of a Finance Capitalist into the Arcane Secrets of Economic and Political Power   Reviewed by V. Caine This is an interesting little gem of a book, which despite being short in length, provides a description of what could be either a capitalist conspiracy or a ‘manifesto for materialism’, depending on one’s use of the text. To be clear: although the title sounds esoteric, ‘occult’ is used here in the sense of ‘hidden’ and the content deals more with financial power than it does with any magic(k)al themes. Originally published in 1974, this is a new edition published by Underworld Amusements. The book conveys a set of instructions from a wealthy elitist to his son for controlling society through financial  and strategic means. In 1974 I imagine the subject matter was less believable, but in the modern era, the rise of hedge fund managers, investment bankers, stock market tycoons….and even billionaire presidents….tends to suggest that the subject matter of the book, even it was fictional, has now become factual. Indeed, to suggest that the wealthy few conspire against the 99% was popularized on a large scale by the ‘Occupy Wall St’ movement only a few [ read more ]