Tag Archives | Occult

Lost Envoy: The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare

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Back in 2013, a beautiful hand-painted tarot deck was discovered to have been created by Occultist Austin Osman Spare around 1906. This winter, Strange Attractor Press will be releasing Lost Envoy which will include an entire reprint of the deck.

via Strange Attractor:

coverv17In the Spring of 2013 a 78-card, hand-painted tarot deck created c.1906 by the mystic and artist Austin Osman Spare, was identified within the collections of The Magic Circle Museum in London.

Austin Spare’s life-long interest in cartomancy is well documented, yet very few of his own fortune-telling cards were thought to have survived. This compelling new example of the artist’s early work demonstrates his precocious involvement with the currents that shaped the British Occult Revival at the beginning of 20th century, and his interactions with some of the period’s lesser-known protagonists.

Magic Circle Museum curator and artist Jonathan Allen immediately recognised that Spare’s cards were not only art-historically significant, but also entirely unknown outside of The Magic Circle’s collections, and set about tracing the deck’s provenance, its place in the artist’s oeuvre and within the wider histories of cartomancy.

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If Psychedelic Drugs Were Legalized, Capitalism Would Destroy Religion

supercomputer3Going full on into a shamanic or Occult practice is beyond weird, because the vast majority of people think you’re completely nuts for gasp, actually paying attention to your inner world (let alone blasting it all over Facebook, friend me). “Do you mean that stuff is real?” they’ll ask. Well, yeah, but ultimately insisting on dividing thoughts and visions into convenient categories of “real” or “not real” is a pretty ridiculous way of conceptualizing consciousness. Aaaand you’ve already lost them. Which is why maybe the best thing you can do as a mystic is point out over and over how utterly batshit and illogical western spiritual thought is in the first place. We should never ever forget that this is the refractive lens through which we view everything having to do with the soul. In a culture that prides itself on a bizarro academic sense of rationality, there is zero rationality in the popular way we view spirituality period.… Read the rest

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Magic, Myth and Secrecy: W.B. Yeats and the Occult

William Butler Yeats by John Butler Yeats 1900.jpg

William Butler Yeats by John Butler Yeats, 1900.


Did you know that Yeats was fascinated by the occult? He was a member of Madam Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society (eventually expelled) and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Indpendent.ie sheds some light on Yeats’s fascination with the dark arts:

The young William Butler Yeats was introduced to the study and practice of the occult while in art college in Dublin – his instant fascination with the occult, metaphysics and paranormal activities was to remain with him throughout his life. His passion for mysticism and the occult sciences was displayed through his poetry and writings.

The path to conventional Christianity had been cut off for Yeats by his father’s religious scepticism, but his need to believe in something and a hunger for the spiritual life led him to seek and devise an alternative system of beliefs, according to official Yeats biographer Roy Foster.

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Occult Video Roundup: Swahili “Bardo”

An early frontrunner in my microverse for album of the year, Swahili’s sophomore effort AMOVREX finds the band abandoning the shamanic trance stylings of their debut for a slick cosmic disco sheen. No really, if you played the albums back to back you probably wouldn’t even be aware you were listening to the same band. Normally going all dance party would have me calling bullshit on the originality front, but in this case it works on all levels, primarily due to the gargantuan leap in song-writing. Not to mention the fact that it’s trippy as all get out. I can’t say I’ve ever found myself high and grooving out to what seems like an updated version of The Love Boat theme, but the album’s closing track puts out that exact vibe. The biggest mystery in all this lies in how vocalist Van Pham somehow went from background distorted mumble-core to full on psychedelic diva poet in the course of one album.… Read the rest

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The Temple of Oculus Anubis – Arch Weirdness in Oregon

At 1700 SE Forest Hill Drive sits a very strange piece of Oregonian weirdness: The Temple of Oculus Anubis.

The front gates of the Temple of Oculus Anubis

The front gates of the Temple of Oculus Anubis

At first glance the property seems like nothing more than a wealthy man’s folly — arcane statues, decorations alluding to the Egypt of antiquity and a mysterious shroud of apocryphal rumors and sinister conjecture. But a little digging leads the viewer to some strange places, indeed, namely the Heaven’s Gate suicide cult.

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William Mortensen – The Antichrist of American Photography in the House of the Devil

By Adam Parfrey

A few decades ago we spent a good deal of time at Anton LaVey’s “black house” in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

On the walls and on the shelves were a lot of items to look at and consider. One photograph, seen in the kitchen, was a framed and signed photograph of a hunching woman overlapped by a depraved cloaked ghost. The photo was called “Fear,” and it was the work of  William Mortensen (1897 – 1965).

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William Mortensen “Fear” c. 1930’s (also titled “Obsession”) Manipulted Photograph

Anton spoke of Mortensen’s influence in guiding him to understand the mechanics of “Lesser Magic,” or what affects people’s reaction to what they see and absorb.

Mortensen’s photographs like “Fear” are fascinating, but for years I resisted Mortensen’s reductive ideas regarding human behavior. It all seemed too reptilian to me. But there came the time when researcher Larry Lytle approached me about publishing a monograph on William Mortensen.… Read the rest

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The Art and Magic of Austin Osman Spare

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Over at Cvlt Nation, Mick has curated and written a brief but informative history of Austin Osman Spare and his work.

via Cvlt Nation:

[In 1906] Spare published his first political cartoon, a satire on the use of Chinese wage slave laborers in British South Africa, which appeared in the pages of The Morning Leader newspaper. During this same time, he was working diligently on A Book of Satyrs, which included nine satirical illustrations ridiculing the Church and politics. In 1907, Spare created his most infamous piece, ‘Portrait of the Artist.’ This black and white self-portrait was later purchased by Jimmy Page.

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Cleopatra Records’ Necronomicon of the Occult

The limited edition box-set “includes tracks from The Soft Moon, VOWWS, Bestial Mouths, Magic Wands (remixed by The XX) side by side with classic tracks from Nico, Christian Death, Peter Murphy, Tangerine Dream and Joy Division, as well as many others.” Release date is May 12, 2015.

You can pre-order here.

WHAT YOU GET:
7” Vinyl (Black, Blue, Red, or Clear)
(Aleister Crowley – Aside: The Pentagram / Bside: The Call of the AEthyr)
5 CD Wallets
(Including non-stop mix by Tamara Sky)
12 Page Full Color Booklet
Pendant & Chain
2 Collectable Postcards

h/t Broadway World

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Occult Tourism in Mexico

Some tourists in Veracruz, Mexico got more than they bargained for when they attended an annual Black Mass held by a reputed Satanic cult, according to the Daily Mail. Granted, one would think things are going to get weird in hurry when signing up for something like this, but First World tourists sometimes operate under some strange, naive assumptions.

Burning Pentagram

A burning Pentagram signifies that the rituals have begun.

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Exclusive interview with Jonathan Black

There will be few Disinfonauts who do not have a copy of “The Secret History of the World” by Jonathan Black, the pen name of Mark Booth. This week’s episode of The Cult Of Nick contains an interview with the elusive author.


Also this week, right at the end, there’s a sincere attempt to talk about “the meaning of life.” Arguably this has disappointing consequences.

 

NM

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