Tag Archives | Occult

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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Friday the 13th: What’s the history behind the superstition?

Peter Hellberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Peter Hellberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rose Troup Buchanan writes at The Independent:

Today is the first of three Fridays this year that will fall on the 13 day of the month, but where does our superstition surrounding Friday the 13, known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, originate from?

Friday 13 in history and fiction

Folklorist claim there is no written evidence for the superstition before the nineteenth century however; the date has long been connected to notorious events in history and religion.

According to Catholic belief the crucifixion of Jesus Christ took place on a Friday the 13, the day after the Last Supper – involving thirteen participants – on Thursday.

Geoffrey Chaucer made reference to the apparent unluckiness of the day, recording in his Canterbury Tales that it was bad luck to start a journey or a project on a Friday.

One of the most popularised myths attempting to explain the origin of the Friday 13 superstition stems from events on Friday 13 October 1307, when hundreds of Knights Templar were arrested and burnt across France.

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DatC #51 – Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit with Jason Miller

Down at the Crossroads - Podcast Episode #51

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051_sexsorcery_jasonmillerHello and thank you once again for joining me down at the crossroads for some music, magick, and Paganism. Where witches gather for the sabbath, offerings are made, pacts are signed for musical fame and we cross paths with today's most influential Pagans, occultists, and deep thinkers. I am your bewitching bald headed host Chris Orapello and tonight, we meet with local New Jersey sorcerer and author Jason Miller to discuss his new book Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic. Jason and I have an honest discussion about sex magick, what it is, what it isn't, and we learn another reason why it's best to avoid touching someone else's magickal tools.

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Rare Paintings by Occultist Aleister Crowley to Show in New York

There’s more than a few Crowleyites among disinfonauts, so if any of you can get to New York for the Outsider Art Fair (January 29-February 1, 2015) you may be interested to view some original Aleister Crowley paintings. They’re being presented by Collective 777 (Art Guild of the Ordo Templi Orientis Australia):

An English artist, mystic, ceremonial magician, poet and occultist, Crowley revelled in his notoriety, pleased that the press labeled him ‘the wickedest man in the world’ and ‘The Beast 666’. In 1920, Crowley travelled to Cefalu, Sicily to establish The Abbey of Thelema. While there he created a central room which became known as The Chamber of Nightmares. He painted the walls with a range of images designed to challenge his students. “The purpose of these pictures,” wrote Crowley, “is to enable people, by contemplation, to purify their minds.” While the Abbey itself is now lost, a handful of the artworks remain.

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Aleister Crowley’s Books Keep Disappearing From a New Zealand Library — And Other Frequently Stolen Books

hotbooks

Librarians at Hamilton City Libraries have noticed an interesting trend. Books by occultist Aleister Crowley keep disappearing from their shelves.

Nancy El-Gamel writes at the Waikato Times,

Whether it’s due to theft or something more sinister, Hamilton libraries cannot keep Sex Magick or Dramatic Ritual on their shelves.

Works by a long-dead British occultist keep vanishing, not quite in smoke. Aleister Crowley, clearly, refuses to die. Or, at least, his fans do.

And people just keep asking for the books, despite their publication in the far reaches of the previous century, Hamilton City Libraries Director Su Scott said.

Among other popular disappearing titles at Hamilton Libaries are cookbooks, Children DVDs, and books about tattoos and crafts.

After I did some digging, I found out that books about the occult are often hot items at libraries. Library book thieves also like titles about UFOs and astrology.

However, bookstores appear to attract a different type of book thief.… Read the rest

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[Poll] What are your favorite sites?

Dennis Skley (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Dennis Skley (CC BY-ND 2.0)

We’re going to be running a different kind of poll this week. Instead of having us choose the choices, you’ll be able to input your own. Unfortunately, the plugin we use for the polls does not allow write ins. So, we’ll have to resort to a Google Form. With that being said, we want to see which websites are most popular with the Disinfo crowd. The sites can be any kind: Reddit, Twitter, Boing Boing, Politico, Vice, AlterNet, Scientific American, etc. Ideally, we’d like to see where everyone gets their news, but feel free to include others.

Also, the results for “Favorite Occultist” are in. I consulted Thad McKraken to help me compile the list as I’m not well versed in the Occult.

Aleister Crowley 188
Alan Moore 81
Grant Morrison 79
Austin Osman Spare 47
Madame Blavatsky 41
Jack Parsons 38
Thad McKraken 35
Kenneth Grant 10
Marjorie Cameron 2
Please vote here for your favorite websites.… Read the rest
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Season Of The Witch: The Ideas Behind Metal’s Occult Revival

cover-largeYou may remember our interview with Peter Bebergal about his newest book, Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. Well, someone who goes by the name of “posthuman” submitted this latest interview with Bebergal over at Decibel Magazine.

via Decibel Magazine:

Any astute follower of metal in the past five years has likely noticed a huge uptick in the number of bands with a proto-70s sound and occult themes: The Devil’s Blood, Sabbath Assembly, Blood Ceremony and The Oath. A few of these bands have been on Decibel’s cover: In Solitude and Ghost B.C. (twice).

While this approach is undoubtedly popular and may play itself out there hasn’t been much of an exploration of why this approach to metal has taken hold outside of simple trendiness. Author Peter Bebergal recently published Season Of The Witch: How The Occult Saved Rock And Roll. The book argues that the uptick in occult 70s metal is part of a larger cultural embrace of the esoteric rooted in the profound cultural shifts of the late 20th century.

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Jack Parsons: Last of the Magicians

The remarkable American occultist John Whiteside “Jack” Jack Parsons is well known to veteran disinfonauts, but new to the hipsters at Motherboard/Vice:

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the world leader in space exploration. JPL scientists have put robots on Mars, sent probes into interstellar space, and collected dust from the tails of comets. But what if the real purpose behind its mission was something darker?

What if the lab was less interested in exploring outer space than the depths of the void? What if its researchers huddled around their computer screens in search of paranormal entities or dark gods crawling clear of the event horizons of nearby black holes?

JackParsons3

Los Angeles Times publicity photo of John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons during the murder trial of police officer Earl Kynette.

Of course, that’s not the case. JPL is not part of some Joss Whedon-esque occult-industrial complex. It does not mingle science with the supernatural.

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Occultist father of rocketry ‘written out’ of Nasa’s history

GALCIT Group members in the Arroyo Seco, November 1936. L-R: Rudolph Schott, Amo Smith, Frank Malina, Ed Forman, and Jack ParsonsNASA/JPL

GALCIT Group members in the Arroyo Seco, November 1936. L-R: Rudolph Schott, Amo Smith, Frank Malina, Ed Forman, and Jack ParsonsNASA/JPL

Via Wired UK:

Jack Parsons was a founding member of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Lab, with some crediting him as being one of the “fathers of rocketry” and others joking that JPL was actually Jack Parsons’ Laboratory, but you won’t find much about him on Nasa’s websites. Parsons’ legacy as an engineer and chemist has been somewhat overshadowed by his interest in the occult and, and has led to what some critics describe as a rewriting of the history books.

“He’s lived in the footnotes since his death. He’s a forgotten figure,” says biographer George Pendle, author of Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parson (Jack’s full name).

Pendle did an “archeological dig” into Parsons’ life after finding a mention of him in a science book.

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How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

Peter Bebergal, disinformation friend and contributor, has a fascinating new book out called Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. We recently caught up with Peter and asked him some questions in this exclusive interview:

Disinformation: You seem to struggle somewhat to define “occult.” Is it a loaded term?

Bebergal: For a word with such a simple definition, the “occult” has lost almost all meaning, as when you say a word over and over again until it sounds made-up. When I told people I was working on this book, the responses were wildly different, and extremely prejudicial. Some folks assumed I was writing only about the devil and rock music, others—believing the occult to be nothing more than base superstitions—thought the project had no merit, and then there were those that assumed, and hoped, I was going to be making metaphysical claims. I’m sure there were others who worried about my soul.… Read the rest

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