Monday, October 24, 2005

The Apocalypse of Paul

The Apocalypse of Paul
Translated by George W. MacRae and William R. Murdock

(...) the road. And he spoke to him, saying, "By which road shall I go up to Jerusalem?" The little child replied, saying, "Say your name, so that I may show you the road". The little child knew who Paul was. He wished to make conversation with him through his words in order that he might find an excuse for speaking with him.

The little child spoke, saying, "I know who you are, Paul. You are he who was blessed from his mother`s womb. For I have come to you that you may go up to Jerusalem to your fellow apostles. And for this reason you were called. And I am the Spirit who accompanies you. Let your mind awaken, Paul, with (...). For (...) whole which (...) among the principalities and these authorities and archangels and powers and the whole race of demons, (...) the one that reveals bodies to a soul-seed."

And after he brought that speech to an end, he spoke, saying to me, "Let your mind awaken, Paul, and see that this mountain upon which you are standing is the mountain of Jericho, so that you may know the hidden things in those that are visible. Now it is to the twelve apostles that you shall go, for they are elect spirits, and they will greet you." He raised his eyes and saw them greeting him.

Then the Holy Spirit who was speaking with him caught him up on high to the third heaven, and he passed beyond to the fourth heaven. The Holy Spirit spoke to him, saying, "Look and see your likeness upon the earth." And he looked down and saw those who were upon the earth. He stared and saw those who were upon the (...). Then he gazed down and saw the twelve apostles at his right and at his left in the creation; and the Spirit was going before them.

But I saw in the fourth heaven according to class - I saw the angels resembling gods, the angels bringing a soul out of the land of the dead. They placed it at the gate of the fourth heaven. And the angels were whipping it. The soul spoke, saying, "What sin was it that I committed in the world?" The toll-collector who dwells in the fourth heaven replied, saying, "It was not right to commit all those lawless deeds that are in the world of the dead". The soul replied, saying, "Bring witnesses! Let them show you in what body I committed lawless deeds. Do you wish to bring a book to read from?"

And the three witnesses came. The first spoke, saying, "Was I not in the body the second hour (...)? I rose up against you until you fell into anger and rage and envy." And the second spoke, saying, "Was I not in the world? And I entered at the fifth hour, and I saw you and desired you. And behold, then, now I charge you with the murders you committed." The third spoke, saying, "Did I not come to you at the twelfth hour of the day when the sun was about to set? I gave you darkness until you should accomplish your sins." When the soul heard these things, it gazed downward in sorrow. And then it gazed upward. It was cast down. The soul that had been cast down went to a body which had been prepared for it. And behold, its witnesses were finished.

Then I gazed upward and saw the Spirit saying to me, "Paul, come! Proceed toward me!". Then as I went, the gate opened, and I went up to the fifth heaven. And I saw my fellow apostles going with me while the Spirit accompanied us. And I saw a great angel in the fifth heaven holding an iron rod in his hand. There were three other angels with him, and I stared into their faces. But they were rivaling each other, with whips in their hands, goading the souls on to the judgment. But I went with the Spirit and the gate opened for me.

Then we went up to the sixth heaven. And I saw my fellow apostles going with me, and the Holy Spirit was leading me before them. And I gazed up on high and saw a great light shining down on the sixth heaven. I spoke, saying to the toll-collector who was in the sixth heaven, "Open to me and the Holy Spirit who is before me." He opened to me.

Then we went up to the seventh heaven, and I saw an old man (...) light and whose garment was white. His throne, which is in the seventh heaven, was brighter than the sun by seven times. The old man spoke, saying to me, "Where are you going, Paul? O blessed one and the one who was set apart from his mother`s womb." But I looked at the Spirit, and he was nodding his head, saying to me, "Speak with him!". And I replied, saying to the old man, "I am going to the place from which I came." And the old man responded to me, "Where are you from?" But I replied, saying, "I am going down to the world of the dead in order to lead captive the captivity that was led captive in the captivity of Babylon." The old man replied to me saying, "How will you be able to get away from me? Look and see the principalities and authorities." The Spirit spoke, saying, "Give him the sign that you have, and he will open for you." And then I gave him the sign. He turned his face downwards to his creation and to those who are his own authorities.

And then the heaven opened and we went up to the Ogdoad. And I saw the twelve apostles. They greeted me, and we went up to the ninth heaven. I greeted all those who were in the ninth heaven, and we went up to the tenth heaven. And I greeted my fellow spirits.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005


In Greek mythology, Thanatos (θάνατος, "death") was the personification of death (Roman equivalent: Mors). He was a creature of bone-chilling darkness. He was a son of Nyx and twin of Hypnos. He plays little role in the myths. He became rather overshadowed by Hades the lord of death. Night, the destructive, brought forth a horde of villainous immortals. Thanatos was one of that wretched lot.

Night’s offspring are described as "horrible, painful, cruel, brooding, mocking and malignant." (Theogony, 212). (The one exception is "loving Affection" who is placed between Deception and Old Age.)

Thanatos might be poetically called the brother of Sleep and the son of Night.

In art, Thanatos was depicted as a young man carrying a butterfly, wreath or inversed torch in his hands. He sometimes has two wings and a sword attached to his belt.

In psychoanalytical theory, Thanatos is the death instinct, which opposes Eros. The "death instinct" identified by Sigmund Freud, which signals a desire to give up the struggle of life and return to quiescence and the grave. This should not be confused with a similar urge/force destrudo.

"Thanatos" is the name of a character in the popular webcomic Bigger Than Cheeses. He is a villain in the Marvel Comics universe as well as the villain in the series T*Witches and the Square Enix video game Seiken Densetsu. The name/concept also appears in an episode of "Dead Like Me" (Season 2).

Mars is not the Roman equivalent of Thanatos. Thanatos is death. Mars, the god of war, is Ares' Roman equivalent.

In Freudian psychology, Eros is the life instinct innate in all humans. It is the desire to create life and favours productivity and construction. Eros battles against the destructive death instinct of Thanatos. Also referred to in terms of Libido or Libidinal energy.

Sigmund Freud introduced the term and pointed out that libido is the instinctual energy or force that can come into conflict with the conventions of civilized behavior. It is the need to conform to society and control the libido, contained in what Freud defined as the Id, that leads to tension and disturbance in both society and the individual. This disturbance Freud labelled neurosis.

Libido is generally considered synonymous with such concepts as élan vital and psychophysiological energy; related concepts from Eastern philosophy include Kundalini and Tantra.

Libido can also be classified as the urge to create life. Naturally for humanity the natural way through which this occurs is through sex. However at a deep subconscious level, the two can be merged as one, given the reason in evolutionary terms for sexual attraction and sex drive. Using this term, the antonym of libido is destrudo.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Tarot

Experimental and Magickal Ultra-High-Resolution-Version:
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The Tarot Its Occult Significance, Use in Fortune-Telling, and Method of Play, Etc. By S. L. MacGregor Mathers

Crowley Tarot

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Fool

You are the Fool card. The Fool fearlessly begins the journey into the unknown. To do this, he does not regard the world he knows as firm and fixed. He has a seemingly reckless disregard for obstacles.

In the Ryder-Waite deck, he is seen stepping off a cliff with his gaze on the sky, and a rainbow is there to catch him. In order to explore and expand, one must disregard convention and conformity. Those in the throes of convention look at the unconventional, non-conformist personality and think What a fool. They lack the point of view to understand The Fool's actions. But The Fool has roots in tradition as one who is closest to the spirit world.

In many tribal cultures, those born with strange and unusual character traits were held in awe. Shamans were people who could see visions and go on journeys that we now label hallucinations and schizophrenia. Those with physical differences had experience and knowledge that the average person could not understand.

The Fool is God. The number of the card is zero, which when drawn is a perfect circle. This circle represents both emptiness and infinity. The Fool is not shackled by mountains and valleys or by his physical body. He does not accept the appearance of cliff and air as being distinct or real.


0: The Fool
Crowley's Thoth
Curiosity; experimentation; fantasy

Note that 'Fool' is derived from 'follis', a wind-bag. Even etymology gives the attribution to Air. Also, to puff out the cheeks is a gesture implying readiness to create, in the sign-language of Naples. Worse, some English Guardians of Democracy impute folly to others by the "Razzberry".

This card is attributed to the letter Aleph, which means an Ox, but by its shape the Hebrew letter (so it is said) represents a ploughshare; thus the significance is primarily Phallic. It is the first of the three Mother letters, Aleph, Mem, and Shin, which correspond in various interwoven fashions with all the triads that occur in these cards, notably Fire, Water, Air; Father, Mother, Son; Sulphur, Salt, Mercury; Rajas, Sattvas and Tamas.

The really important feature of this card is that its number should be 0. It represents therefore the Negative above the Tree of Life, the source of all things. It is the Qabalistic Zero. It is the equation of the Universe, the initial and final balance of the opposites; Air, in this card, therefore quintessentially means a vacuum.

In the medieval pack, the title of the card is Le Mat, adapted from the Italian Matto, madman or fool; the propriety of this title will be considered later. But there is another, or (one might say) a complementary, theory. If one assumes that the Tarot is of Egyptian origin, one may suppose that Mat (this card being the key card of the whole pack) really stands for Maut, the vulture goddess, who is an earlier and more sublime modification of the idea of Nuith than Isis.

There are two legends connected with the vulture. It is sup posed to have a spiral neck; this may possibly have reference to the theory (recently revived by Einstein, but mentioned by Zoroaster in his Oracles) that the shape of the Universe, the form of that energy which is called the Universe, is spiral.

The other legend is that the vulture was supposed to reproduce her species by the intervention of the wind; in other words, the element of air is considered as the father of all manifested existence. There is a parallel in Anaximenes' school of Greek philosophy.

This card is therefore both the father and the mother, in the most abstract form of these ideas. This is not a confusion, but a deliberate identification of the male and the female, which is justified by biology. The fertilized ovum is sexually neutral. It is only some unknown determinant in the course of development which decides the issue.

The Fool is of the gold of air. He has the horns of Dionysus Zagreus, and between them is the phallic cone of white light representing the influence from the Crown [Kether: see the position of the Path of Aleph on the Tree of Life.] upon him. He is shown against the background of air, dawning from space; and his attitude is that of one bursting unexpectedly upon the world.

He is clad in green, according to the tradition of Spring; but his shoes are of the phallic gold of the sun.

In his right hand he bears the wand, tipped with a pyramid of white, of the All-Father. In his left hand he bears the flaming pine- cone, of similar significance, but more definitely indicating vegetable growth; and from his left shoulder hangs a bunch of purple grapes. Grapes represent fertility, sweetness, and the basis of ecstasy. This ecstasy is shown by the stem of the grapes developing into rainbow - hued spirals. The Form of the Universe. This suggests the Threefold Veil of the Negative manifesting, by his intervention, in divided light. Upon this spiral whorl are other attributions of godhead; the vulture of Maut, the dove of Venus (Isis or Mary), and the ivy sacred to his devotees.

There is also the butterfly of many-coloured air and the winged globe with its twin serpents, a symbol which is echoed and fortified by the twin infants embracing on the middle spiral. Above them hangs the benediction of three flowers in one. Fawning upon him is the tiger; and beneath his feet in the Nile with its lotus stems crouches the crocodile. Resuming all his many forms and many- coloured images in the centre of the figure, the focus of the microcosm is the radiant sun. The whole picture is a glyph of the creative light.

DigiTarot- It's In The Cards