Monday, May 20, 2013

Hermeticism: "Ancient Western Ceremonial Magic"

From the description: "The Magick of Solomon: Lemegeton Secrets Revealed - The Truth about Angels and Demons! - FREE MOVIE"

I found this video to be very interesting, especially as it was described as "ancient Western ceremonial magic." I'm not certain of what that means exactly; as to whether that means that it has ancient Greek origins (Hermes Trismegistus), or perhaps from a combination of magical rites that grew specifically within "the West." Probably both. Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, comprises beliefs and practices whose purpose is the influencing of the world by means of contact with the heavenly forces. (Wikipedia).

Another interesting part of it is that these rites are clearly based on the four main Archangels, which appear in many ancient traditions; including, at a later point, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The shaman in the video is Carroll "Poke" Runyon M.A., who was the author of a well-known occult book entitled 'The Magic of Solomon' (1996) and many other easily located materials. He is the founder of The Church of the Hermetic Sciences (Ordo Templi Astartes), but I couldn't find a website for it. He is currently the host of an online podcast called the Hermetic Hour, found on YouTube and Blog Talk Radio.

Over the years, certain individuals have taken Hermetic ideas into a Satanic direction; however, I don't think any Satanic rite would use the Archangels. Also, since Satanists claim to be Atheists, there would be a contradiction there. But even if there were non-Atheist Satanists, there's still a major contradiction. This video seems clearly to represent "Archangelic Hermeticism." ...the word "archangel" itself is usually associated with the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (Wikipedia).


UPDATE: 6-3-13

I found the website for the Church of the Hermetic Sciences based in Orange County, whose official name I will link it under: Ordo Templi Astarte.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Witchcraft Yesterday and Today - Raymond Buckland

Raymond Buckland was the Englishman who introduced Wicca to America. In this video from the late 80s I think, especially the first part of it, he does a very good job of setting the record straight regarding all of the usual mis-perceptions of the ancient magical folk tradition.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Alchemy - Sacred Secrets Revealed

Unfortunately, Wikipedia is still clinging to the old "lead to gold" version of Alchemy, so I didn't put their definition. I'm still a bit lost between Hermeticism, Alchemy, Gnosticism, and Kabbalah. Many of these concepts are part of other spiritual traditions, including Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Odinism, European witchcraft, and various Eastern religions. It's a lot to process, even from just the face of it all. I guess that the larger part of it could be summed up as "science and metaphysics." One interesting website about Alchemy is (their description >>> Transform Yourself Using the Operations of Alchemy!).


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Living Synchronicity: Book and Symbol

Synchronicity has been covered here before, and rather than start off by rehashing it again; I will simply give an example of it from my own life just yesterday.

In the morning I walked out front to bring in one of the recycling/disposal bins. I noticed a piece of paper laying along the side of the property. As I was picking it up, I noticed that it was a label from a San Pellegrino bottle. I immediately thought of "synchronicity" being that S. Pellegrino water is from the Alps of the Bergamo province in Lombardy. After pondering that possibility for about three seconds, I concluded that it was more likely just coincidence.

About an hour later, I took a break by walking to the back of the property where there is a deck next to a few trees overlooking the side of the lower mountain slope that it rests upon, as well as the bay in the distance. The book that I am currently reading is 'The Book of the Holy Strega' by Raven Grimassi (2012 edition). The book explores the legend of a woman in fourteenth century Tuscany named Aradia (pronounced "ah-RAY-dee-ah"), who led a group of followers across the countryside teaching people about "the old religion" (the native magical earth-based heathenry aka "witchcraft"; which I prefer to call "witcheathenry"). After a few moments of sitting and reading, I came to the following text: "And the fame of her wisdom and beauty went forth over the land, and the people worshipped her, calling her La Bella Pellegrina."

At that moment, I knew that the "coincidence" of an hour earlier was actually "synchronicity." San Pellegrino means "Saint Pilgrim" in Italian, in masculine form; while San Pellegrina is the feminine form. It doesn't come any clearer than that; yet impossible to literally prove; except in your mind you can gauge the odds of this type of connection happening over and over. Reading a book regarding a subject of some importance to you is the best way that I know of to invoke these types of experiences. It either happens out of the blue, or you can consciously will it to happen (not force it). It's important to note--and even highly intelligent people have made this error--that these connections do not make you special or "the chosen one," but it's more like an affirmation of the universe telling you "good, you're on the right track." Have fun with it and read all of the messages and symbolism around you, while your driving or walking. Three black birds or three ravens are a big one with me, and that ties into Norse, Celtic, and Alpine mythology... as well as my own family coat-of-arms. Also, the number 18, silver (more often as a word), iron, the letter "C" (sometimes "B" as well), and a body of water on or next to a mountain... just to name a few off-hand.

Having the masculine "pellegrino" message seemingly "delivered" to me next to the morning paper; and soon thereafter reading about Aradia the "pellegrina," reflected deep personal synchronicity, and even for reasons that I cannot divulge at this time. Also, the landscape from the deck closely matches the landscape from the cover of the book! All of this doesn't mean that I'm special in particular, but only that I am on the right track. One's actions will ultimately determine how "special" one may be. Are synchronistic messages and symbols the way that our goddesses, gods, god, angels, or spirit guides communicate with us?

Three days ago, while running an errand during twilight, I was driving down a street with a mild amount of traffic. It was the type of semi-major street that cuts through a bedroom community. Someone was pulling out of their driveway, and I slowed down. Just a few seconds before I was about to step on the a gas to get going again, I noticed a woman standing on the sidewalk looking at me. We made direct eye contact, rather than a simple glance. Her eyes were almost hypnotic as she looked into my eyes along the dimly lit street. I wanted to keep looking at her for some unknown reason, but I turned away after three to four seconds. She never looked away. I don't know that it would make sense to describe her in any detail, but suffice to say that this could have been a message of some type. People or animal messengers merely "act out" the message unknowingly; and we have all been a messenger for others unknowingly. Ultimately, we as individuals must decide what these messages--if we choose to seek them--might actually mean.

That woman really presented me with a strong (non-sexual) message, which I think I may understand; but this subject is bigger than any one person, and I'm merely trying to give some examples of it for others here. The individual needs to develop their own set of codes, numbers, letters, words, people, animals, incects, landscapes, and symbols. For me, a white-furred animal or insect represent a certain positive energy. Those little white butterflies symbolize that for me, and I call them "angels of the day." Sometimes very fair people can fit that symbolism, but usually in the form of a small-statured woman. White cats also have a certain positive energy to them. I once knew a female white-furred dwarf cat who everyone thought was so docile, but she would stare down big dogs who ran at her. She couldn't even hear them because she was deaf, and thus wouldn't even flinch; but the dogs always backed off because she wasn't afraid of them, or sometimes because she took a swipe at'em! She was sort've like an "angel of the day," standing firm against negative or potentially harmful forces.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

'The Last Legion' (2007) movie review

From 'The Last Legion' Wikipedia page:

The Last Legion is a 2007 film directed by Doug Lefler. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis and others, it is based on a 2003 Italian novel of the same name written by Valerio Massimo Manfredi. It stars Colin Firth along with Sir Ben Kingsley and Aishwarya Rai, and premiered in Abu Dhabi on April 6, 2007.

The film is loosely inspired by the events of 5th century European history, notably the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. This is coupled with other facts and legends from the history of Britain and fantastic elements from the legend of King Arthur to provide a basis for the Arthurian legend.


First it should be noted that this movie is much more along the lines of fantasy-history; and I liked it in that vein. I don't know how to review this without bouncing a back and forth between things that I liked and things that I thought were developed via "creative license" (i.e. "inaccurate"). I usually don't like to be so subjective, but I can't help it this time. It starts out in 460 AD Rome, during an unstable period during the late stages of the empire. This movie is strongly "pro-Rome." I realize that it may have been necessary to make it that way to keep it within the fantasy-lore genre that it fits into; so I turned a blind-eye to that part of it and just enjoyed it on that level. On a scale of four stars, I would give it an objective two to two-and-a-half-stars because it moved along nicely and would keep the audience's attention. I should add that the vast majority of movies about ancient Rome neither glorify nor condemn the empire.

This movie makes a very clear distinction between "good guys" and "bad guys." The Romans and their allies are "good"; and the Goths and their allies are "bad." The Romans usually wore red and brownish leather uniforms, short hair, and had that noble look about them; while the Goths wore black or dark colors, animal skins, long hair, and horned helmets... and looked bigger, meaner, and were more ill-intentioned than the Outlaws motorcycle club. The movie starts out with the ruler of the Goths demanding one-third of Italy (presumably the north) for having helped them... beyond what they had been promised. Shortly thereafter, the Goths attacked Rome and the imperial palace. I should add that the graphics, as far as the backgrounds featuring Roman architecture and the like, was very good.

The main protagonist was a twelve-year old boy who was the heir to the throne, named Romulus Augustulus. Without giving away anything, the milieu of "good guys" quickly develops around him as chaos ensues in the region. The eastern empire abandons them and they're left to fend for themselves. British actor Thomas Sangster played the role well and was believable, without overacting. His mentor was a Druidic wizard from Britannia named Ambrosinus, played by Ben Kingsley. I've never been that crazy about his acting, but he fit well into this role. Among the milieu of protagonists were the boys' guardian, a Roman general named Aurelios (Colin Firth); and a fantasy warrior-princess type of character from India named Mira (Aishwarya Rai). She was just dropping big burly Goths right and left, which sort've drove the point home.. "fantasy loosely based on history."

Much of the plot revolves around the prized "sword of Caesar"--Julius Caesar if I understood it correctly--a magical-prophetic sword crafted after Caesar's campaign in Britannia. I recall that the sword had a symbol on it called in the movie a "pentangle," a pentagram with a circle around it, but slightly within the outer points. It was portrayed as a Druidic symbol in the movie, and appeared in various forms in a number of points during the film. There was a scene later in the movie in northern Britannia, where a Druidic circle of tall lean standing stones was portrayed; and that particular pantangle was carved into the rocky surface inside of them. One of the ironies is that the Romans had destroyed the Druids and their culture in Britannia and Gaul. Although "Druidry" wasn't specifically mentioned I don't believe, dragon symbolism and the term "keepers of the faith" were tied to what appeared to be a type of priesthood.

Towards the end of the film, the activity shifts to northern Britannia at Hadrian's Wall, where the exiled group seeks out the lost ninth legion of the Roman army (called the "Dragon Legion" in the film) for support. Even though the wall itself is a clear symbol of Roman Imperialism, a theme of the inherent goodness of "Roman Law and Order" was portrayed against the evil forces of apparent anarchy in the form of the army of the warlord Vortigern. The group does find what is left of the ninth legion, and as the battle ensues as the familiar Goth crowd finally shows up on the scene. Aurelius even gives a "Braveheart speech" before the battle. Finally, without giving away too much, surprise happenings tie these events to later English history. I can't tell anymore without giving it all away. Basically, I liked it. It wasn't intended to be taken really seriously, and it flowed along quickly and smoothly.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Today is the Festival of Artemis

Goddess Artemis

Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name, and indeed the goddess herself, was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals." The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter.

In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.

The proto-European Almother

It is confusing as later mythological manifestations mixed regional manifestations of the proto-European Mother Goddess, or whom I prefer to refer to as the "Almother"--or other aspects, beliefs or traditions of those early Moon cults--with what migrated or emerged several thousands years ago. In this case the Classical Greek mythology or Olympian pantheon absorbed the Goddess Hecate, probably the Goddess Artemis, and possibly even the Goddess Phoebe. The three may possibly have been the same goddess at one time in pre-Olympian Greece. The following excerpt, from the Hecate Wikipedia page, reflects this confusion:

Hesiod emphasizes that Hecate was an only child, the daughter of Perses and Asteria, a star-goddess who was the sister of Leto (the mother of Artemis and Apollo). Grandmother of the three cousins was Phoebe the ancient Titaness who personified the moon.

Laphria (festival)

Laphria was an ancient Greek religious festival in honour of the goddess Artemis, held every year in Patras. There was a sanctuary of Artemis Laphria on the acropolis of Patras. The sanctuary had an image of Artemis Laphria, that was brought there from Calydon in Aetolia after it was laid waste by Augustus. Every year, the people held a "festival of the Laphria" in the goddess's honour "which was peculiar to their place". They made a barrier of tall logs round the altar, "still green", so that the stockade would not burn. They piled the driest wood on the altar, for kindling, and then smoothed the approaches to the pyre by laying earth on the altar steps. On the first day, the people walked in procession of the "greatest grandeur" for the goddess. A virgin priestess brought up the rear, riding in a chariot which was drawn by tame yoke deer. The next day, living animals are sacrificed, including edible birds, boars, deer, gazelles, wolves and bears, but also fruit from trees. The altar was set on fire. Animals forced out by the first leap of the flames, or escaping at full tilt were thrown back into the fire, to their death, by those who had brought them. There was no record of anyone being injured by the animals.



Artemis was born at the sixth day, the reason why it was sacred for her.

Festival of Artemis in Brauron, where girls, aged between five and ten, dressed in saffron robes and played the bear to appease the goddess after she sent the plague when her bear was killed.

Festival of Amarysia is a celebration to worship Artemis Amarysia in Attica. In 2007, a team of Swiss and Greek archaeologists found the ruin of Artemis Amarysia Temple, at Euboea, Greece.

Festival of Artemis Saronia, a festival to celebrate Artemis in Trozeinos, a town in Argolis. A king named Saron built a sanctuary for the goddess after the goddess saved his life when he went on hunting and swept by the wave and held a festival for her.

At the 16 of Metageitnio (second month on Athenian calendar), people sacrifice to Artemis and Hecate at deme of Erchia.

Kharisteria Festival on 6 of Boidromion (third month) to celebrate the victory of Marathon and also known as the Athenian "Thanksgiving."

Day six of Elaphobolia (ninth month) festival of Artemis the Deer Huntress where she was offered cakes shaped like stags, made from dough, honey and sesame-seeds.

Day 6 of 16 of Mounikhion (tenth month) a celebration of her as the goddess of nature and animal. A goat was being sacrificed to her.

Day 6 of Thargelion (eleventh month) the 'birthday' of the goddess, while the seventh was Apollo's. A festival for Artemis Diktynna (of the net) in Hypsous.

Laphria, a festival for Artemis in Patrai. The procession started by setting the logs of wood around the altar, each of them sixteen cubits long. On the altar, within the circle, is placed the driest of their wood. Just before the time of the festival, they construct a smooth ascent to the altar, piling earth upon the altar steps. The festival begins with a most splendid procession in honor of Artemis, and the maiden officiating as priestess rides last in the procession upon a chariot yoked to four deer, Artemis' traditional mode of transportation (see below). It is, however, not until the next day that the sacrifice is offered.

In Orchomenus, a sanctuary was built for Artemis Hymnia where her festival was celebrated every year.