Monday, April 6, 2020

An Occult Response to Crisis Part II

This is a response from Erica M Cornelius to the last post.  Erica is a writer and editor among other things.  She helped produce the recent book, Crossing the Abyss, written by her husband Jerry Cornelius. 

Oz 93

I love what Jodorowsky had to say and I love your post.

In confronting death on the horizontal plane right now, we are collectively invited to learn the lesson of Death.  "Death" is the ongoing culmination of the alchemical Quest.  That full engagement of the great Quest is called the reddening (rubedo).

As I see it, that lesson for each one of us is to realize our authentic, individual form as the Holy Grail, as the Form of all form, Prakriti.  Each one of us is already eternal – in our specificity as well as in our universal essence! – if only it is realized.

How do we realize what seems to be our separateness and our vulnerability as the Holy Grail itself?  There's no easy answer, but there is a simple one.  Each one of us must Balance the prevailing attention toward the multiplicity outward with a corresponding and equal attention to the unity within.  That solution includes knowing Self, and it is a lifelong quest.  The present pandemic poses an invitation to deepen that balancing act, or to get started.

As I'm guessing you already know, Death is the name of the Tarot path corresponding to the Hebrew letter Nun 50.  Nun connects Netzach-Venus—Love—with Tiphareth-Sun-Beauty.  Death is intimately connected to the Heart.

Love in Venus is Bhakti.  It is the fervent dedication of all one is to the Whole.

Beauty in the Sun is Harmony‚—the balanced engagement of all of the various components of one's incarnation this time around.

Nun-Death is the path of the Woman in alchemy.  Females approach it differently than males, but, regardless, to tread it requires that we embrace our physical and psychological embodiment, our separateness.  To embrace it requires courage.  I'm glad you used that word. 

Why courage?  Because it is not enough anymore to wallow in our egoic pursuits.  Also because it is not enough anymore to run away from our animal form and from our supposed imperfections toward the admittedly glorious Christ aspect.  The feminine (specific form) can no longer remain regarded as evil and pestilent.  Balance is now required between the form and the essence below the Abyss even as IT is unified eternally Above.

So on the one hand the pandemic invites us to face our egoic illusions and phantoms—our Bullshit—when it comes to every last thing we ever felt, thought or done.  If we were to die today, those illusions would be shown to us as empty fantasies.  If you've ever been with someone who is dying, you know this.  

Yet on the other hand, the pandemic also calls us to loosen our egoic attachment to what we really are!  It invites us to see who and what we are for its crystalline structure, for its potential.  It invites us to live who we really are and who we must be for the sake of All Beings Everywhere.  Our curse is our gift if we courageously live it as such.  

We need courage because we must not be afraid to die.  To be afraid to die is to cling to our illusions, when in fact what is real about us can never die.  Death is only a change of form.  The Source of Form and the Source of Life are eternally unified in a state of pure potential.  Manifestations change to protect the innocent as well as to satisfy those who know.

Death requires the magical link to be made securely.  To die properly, one must have rapture, and that rapture must be devoted exclusively to one's own Divinity.  A great deal of rubbish clearing has to happen in order to have the courage to "follow one's bliss" to quote Joseph Campbell.  This pandemic invites us to see what automatically stokes our passion and to follow it.

This pandemic invites us to appreciate the impermanence and rarity of any given form. Cherish it.  Cherish it.

It says, "Be who you are.  Make the most of your life.  You shall never pass this way again.

93 93/93 Erica M. Cornelius

Friday, April 3, 2020

An Occult Response to Crisis



Two days ago Bill Laswell & Yoko Yamabe broadcast a response from Alejandro Jodorowsky to the current pandemic situation containing crucial information for psychological and psychic survival.



Jodorowsky is most well known in occult circles for his experimental films, The Holy Mountain, an abstract alchemical allegory, and El Topo, a journey through the desert of the Abyss.  He is also considered a Master of the Tarot.

He is calling for strength:

STRENGTH voluntarily faces suffering to progress and fulfill the great work.
This recalls and resonates with what Aleister Crowley called for during the height of Nazi dominance in World War II.  He wrote a one page document outlining the Rights of Man and called it Liber Oz.  Oz is an ancient Hebrew word that means both STRENGTH and COURAGE.  Immediately upon publication, Crowley mailed it to all the prominent people he had addresses for, his version of Facebook friends.  The liber was not only a call for strength and courage during the height of crisis, it also served as a Magical Act for Crowley.  He intended for change to occur.  Ten days after its publication, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor brining the Americans into the global conflict eventually changing the course of the war.

We may thus infer some probability that Jodorowsky's statement also intends to serve as a Magical Act, to cause change to occur.  We know his capability to express himself that way,

The second half of the message begins with JOIN.  It may be hard to see on my blog so I'll type the words below it.  First, Jodorowsky is a Tarot master so it seems likely to find correspondences in his communication.  JOIN = 140 = 14 x 10 = Venus x Malkuth, or love in the material world.

Joining reality is letting go of what you think you own.  You tie yourself to inaccessible objects, awaken your inner wealth.
JOIN: leaving aside differences and paddling for the same side, otherwise, drags us the stream of discouragement and loneliness.  Everyone must join or walk away, walk away or join.  Only a giant can unite without sticking.  Everything that ascends ends up uniting.  
This indicates that those who develop their conscience end up joining  the other conscious beings.


   * * * * * *    

The highway is for gamblers better use your sense, 
take what you have gathered from coincidence.
- Bob Dylan, It's All Over Now Baby Blue


Coincidentally, shortly before the pandemic took off in the U.S. an international group of readers finished an examination of The Widow's Son by Robert Anton Wilson at the end of which he gives tips for pain management: good music, humor, and keeping a cheerful attitude despite the pain.

Inside this novel we find many confrontations with death.  Several times coincident with death I noted imagery connected to Tiphareth, the Grand Central Station on the Tree of Life and home of the heart chakra.  In esoteric research I have frequently seen this connection between death and the heart as if the latter solved the problem of the former.  The Egyptian Book of the Dead gives a notable example of this with instructions for the departing soul to unite with Osiris whose home is in Tiphareth.

Our society is currently confronting an atmosphere of death, literal in the prognostication of pandemic deaths and those who have already died.  Death, and the possibility of death blankets the mainstream media.  Also a figurative or metaphorical death that completely changes our life creating an unknown future.  All that death naturally opens the heart if it can get past fear to some degree.

Two very recent artistic releases seem an occult response to the current death crisis.  One, a new song by Bob Dylan,  Murder Most Foul, seems intentionally timed.  The other one, a release of a new edition of Ishtar Rising by Robert Anton Wilson seems coincidental, unintentionally very well timed.  This book offers many solutions to psychological and psychic survival in an atmosphere of fear and death.  These two artistic releases have connections beyond appearing at the same time.  Both communicate magic.

The magic appears quite obvious in Ishtar Rising.  I don't have the new edition, just ordered it, but do have the first edition of it from 1974 and believe the text is the same.  It was originally called The Book of the Breast and was published by Playboy Press.  Tom Jackson wrote a review outlining the differences here ,you can also order the new edition from a link there.  Breast connects with Tiphareth due to proximity with the heart chakra.

I haven't read it in a long time, but skimming through it, it obviously contains magic allusions and techniques.  The first words in the book are: "The words of magic, O my brothers: ..."  At the end of the first paragraph he quotes the final four lines from Ulysses by James Joyce, a very powerful incantation, it makes the connection between breasts and the heart evident and ends with "yes I said yes I will Yes."

The penultimate sentence in Ishtar Rising conjures the Golden Dawn.  The title of Chapter 1: "It Began with Erection" clearly alludes to Kether on the Tree of Life.  The title of Chapter 6: The Breast Expressed and the Breast Possessed seems right for Tipharteh-6 and we're back to talking about solutions again.



Dylan's Murder Most Foul, obviously conjuring death into the conversationis a historical prose/poem with a soundscape centered around the Kennedy assassination.  He regards the death of JFK as the sacrifice of the Divine King in much the same way that Robert Anton Wilson does in Cosmic Trigger I leading me to wonder if the well-read Dylan read Wilson?

Like many historical pieces, this song reflects and responds to conditions of the current time.  The solutions it offer appear mostly musical and magical.

What's new pussycat
What did I say?
I said the soul of a nation been torn away
And it's beginning to go into a slow decay
And that it's 36 hours past Judgement Day

Wolfman Jack, he's speaking in tongues
He's going on and on at the top of his lungs

Play me a song Mr. Wolfman Jack

Every line after that begins with the word "play."  Play = 121 = 11 x 11 = magick, energy tending to change, multiplied by itself.

Wolf corresponds with Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child.  Speaking in tongues suggests multiple layers of information.
"He's going on and on at the top of his lungs" produces the Thelemic formula ON.

Like Ishtar Rising, Dylan invokes the Goddess:

Play it for me and for Marilyn Monroe
Play Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstoood
Play it for the First Lady
She ain't feeling any good

A few lines later we find the band Queen with the lines:

Play Another One Bites the Dust
Play The Old Rugged Cross
and In God We Trust

The last two lines recall to me the Rosy Cross formula, yet another solution.

Continuing to (qabalistically) speak in tongues through his Wolfman Jack character, Dylan writes:

Play number nine 
Play number six
Play it for Lindsay 
and Stevie Nicks.  

Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were a couple who enjoyed tremendous success in Fleetwood Mac when the two of them were romantically involved.  This represents alchemy, the blending of disparate elements to synergestically produce something greater - thus giving another approach to a solution to the crisis.  The alchemy connection is shown in the previous two lines.  The path that connects the ninth Sephira Yesod to the sixth Sephira Tiphareth, the path of Samech, corresponds with the Temperance or Art (in the Thoth deck) card in the Tarot.

In his commentary in The Book of Thoth Crowley writes:

" ... and the card is (in its most simple and primitive form) a picture of Diana the Huntress.  Diana is primarily one of the lunar goddesses ... who is also the Great Mother of Fertility, Diana of the Epheseans, Many-Breasted. ( A form of Isis ...)

Many-Breasted connects with RAW's Ishtar Rising (Book of the Breast).  Stevie Nicks often appeared to embody the goddess archetype.

This path leads from the Moon of Yesod to the Sun of Tiphareth.  Crowley speaks of the alchemical mixture in symbolic terms: The Red Lion has become white, and increased in size and importance, while the White Eagle, similarly expanded has become red.  I mention this because a few lines earlier in Murder Most Foul Dylan alludes to the Eagles band and quotes their song title and lyric: Take it to the limit and let it go by.

Later in the commentary Crowley suggests a solution to a problem.  He puts a Latin inscription in the card that translates as "'Visit the interior parts of the earth; by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone.' ... This 'hidden stone' is also called the Universal Medicine"   The whole commentary on this card in The Book of Thoth can be read for a better understanding of this.

As Jerry Cornelius points out, the path of Samech also signifies the Magical Link.  In a highly recommended piece appearing in ESSAYS Volume 8, On the Magical Link: On Art he employs the same alchemical metaphor Jodorowsky used:

"Once we have entered the Rainbow, our goal is to achieve the path of Art which is the next and most important stage to climb the Holy Mountain.  This is because it creates a Magical Link between you and your inner Star." - ESSAYS Volume 8, p. 16

Play it for Lindsay - Lindsay = 165 = "To make them know" and "An assembly."
I worked with Lindsay Buckingham very briefly, 2 days.  He's a tasteful guitar player.


The end of this song shows connections between love and death.

Play Merchants of Venice
Play Merchants of Death
Play Stella by Starlight
for Lady Macbeth

Some of these read a little like Nostradamus' quatrains, don't they? The above alludes to the Star Tarot card.

At one point we are told:

Don't worry Mr. President
Help's on the way

The whole song is worth hearing and interpreting this way.  Dylan provides multiple levels of sense but I'll close it with this apt quatrain for the current predicament:

Wake up little Suzy
Let's go for a drive
Across the trinity river
Let's keep hope alive.

* * * * * * 

On Monday of the second week of social distancing I received the new book from Jerry and Erica Cornelius, CROSSING THE ABYSS and into the Aeon of the Daughter.  How perfectly timed, I thought, to see this title at this moment.  Society really seems to be crossing an abyss, definitely not the same one the book is about, but nonetheless a dissolution of society's collective ego - the way things normally are, and a journey through treacherous territory full of fear and illusion into the unknown getting stripped of everything you think you have or are in the process.

The subtitle tells what it's about: The magical story of Aleister Crowley and Charles Stanfeld Jones.  It's an extremely interesting and excellent book for those so inclined.  I will provide a lengthier review after I finish reading it. 

I've come across a couple of things that align with this blog, An Occult Response to Crisis.  The first is a quote from Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on The Book of the Law found on page 75 in Crossing the Abyss:

To us the essence of Love is that it is a sacrament unto Nuith, a gate of grace and a road of righteousness to Her High Palace, the abode of peerless purity whose lamps are the Stars.

And this from Liber A'ASH vel Capricorni Pneumatici quoted on page 86 in Crossing the Abyss:

37. But the progress is progress, and progress is rapture, constant dazzling, showers of light, waves of dew, flames of the hair of the Great Goddess, flowers of the roses that are about her neck, Amen!



Jodorowsky calls for STRENGTH and says that it comes from an invincible will.  I am calling for COURAGE, something I need for myself to cheerfully navigate these days.






Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Widow’s Son Discussion Group

“Life then is indestructible as all else is.  All destruction and construction are changes in the nature of Love, as I have written to you in the former chapter proximate.  Yet even as the blood in one pulse-throb of the wrist is not the same blood as that in the next, so individuality is in part destroyed as each life passeth; nay even with each thought."  – Aleister Crowley, De Lege Libellum

After many months, the discussion group examining The Widow’s Son by Robert Anton Wilson led by Gregory Arnott and hosted by Raw Illumination.net concluded last week.  I was a frequent contributor and had planned to post a final comment but extenuating circumstances postponed it until now. 

Like every interactive event related to Wilson endeavors – reading groups, online courses, workshops and talks, The Widow’s Son opened my eyes to a great deal of magic and to mysteries of life in general.  Often simply reading one of his books becomes an interactive event from all the synchronicities encountered and the thoughts, feelings, and sensations they provoke.  The books can become even more interactive upon initiation into the belief system that they intend to teach as well as connecting to a multiplicity of other teaching portals through references and allusions.  The interactive part also arises from the feedback loop that occurs from learning how to penetrate his puns, metaphors and coded symbolism which then opens to comprehension of seeing more. 

I got exponentially far more out of The Widow’s Son this time than the previous two times reading it and feel certain that represents a small fraction of everything there; as a multiplicity, it seems nearly infinite in interpretation, as infinite as the readers who dig in and partake.  I agree with several others who consider this novel one of his top works of fiction.  From the occult, didactic angle, it rates as a masterpiece, in my experience.  On the scale of fun things to research, wonder about and figure out, it jumps off the charts at the high end.

One of the key comments in this discussion was correspondence from RAW posted by AliasBogus in which he said something to the effect that he hoped his work would be studied like James Joyce and that perhaps explains why he wrote like him.  This seems a huge clue to me, the author tells us of a multiplicity of meanings, connections, wormholes and doorways waiting to get discovered, as in Joyce. 

At one point, RAW referred to his work as postmodern.  In another postmodern classic, Nabokov’s Pale Fire, an allusion or a suggestion gets made to approach the book like Sherlock Holmes unlocking a mystery; using all your skills of observation and deduction with high attention to assemble the pieces of the puzzle.  This aptly applies to fiction by RAW, and another postmodern master, Thomas Pynchon who seems to get a nod or several in The Widow’s Son and a direct quote shout out in Illuminatus! Postmodern writers and philosophers seem to create an intertextual network through cross-references  and allusions. 

The Joyce comment reminded me that Wilson wrote of the significance of the letter “S” in Finnegans Wake somewhere in Coincidance.  I don’t recall what it said and haven’t had the time to sleuth it out, but it did make me wonder about the “esses” in the ancient graffiti meme, ISSSV that shows up many times in Part IV Chapter 3 intended to hasten the demise of Pope Clement XIV.  ISSSV turns up 11 times in that chapter.  11 appears a number highly significant to Thelemites as it indicates magick, or energy tending to change, among other things.  Thelema, the initiation system presented by Aleister Crowley, has its place as a primary teaching portal entrance in The Widow’s Son .

The following chapter in Part IV talks about the “grain war” prior to the French Revolution and has a phrase “six sous a loaf” given three times.  I analyzed and commented upon that earlier.  Links to all prior comments from this group can get accessed via the front page of rawillumination.net I also wondered about the significance of the esses in “sous” which begin and end the word and thus could hold significance to a qabalist who studies the shapes and sounds of words and letters.  Sous already has a special place because it adds to 196 and ISSSV = 196 too.  The Hebrew word for “crown” also adds to 196.  The Spanish translation for crown = “corona;” the Spanish king gets a brief mention shortly before the debut of ISSSV.  This synchronicity with current events – the coronavirus as a meme which will kill us all, or at least (temporarily, one hopes) kills our economy and way of life – seems consistent with unintended prophecies in Wilson’s works, others have been documented.  One may go further with this by analyzing the Spanish king’s name, Don Carlos.  This aligns with the esoteric maxim that the solution to a problem may get found in how the problem gets stated.

The interactive nature of The Widow’s Son upon my personal circumstances doesn’t need to be searched for, deduced, imagined or implied.  More like it clobbers me over the head … wake-up motherfucker!!

I interpreted the penultimate phrase, of the novel, “Paine said cheerfully,” to be an indication of how to deal with pain.  I connected this pain management idea to an earlier passage regarding “The Bishop of Munster… encouraging this ever-accelerating crescendo of light, love, liberty and laughter that Mozart pours forth.”  Humor as an highly effective form of pain management.  I overlooked the connection with music, this oversight made apparent by Tom’s post two days ago at Rawillumination.net: music as a healing force.

The day after I posted about dealing with pain cheerfully, our propane tank ran completely dry – the gas company failed to put me on the plan to regularly check and refill it.  I cheerfully took a couple of cold showers until that situation easily resolved.  Two days later our rural neighborhood began receiving a great deal of snow that totaled about six feet over a couple of days.  That in itself isn’t a big deal, no access to town until the snow stops and roads get plowed, however it got compounded by the electricity going out the first night.  That also seems no big surprise, we are used to temporary failures of service from our electrical providers, PG&E, it usually lasts no longer than 12 – 18 hours when weather related.  The criminal incompetence resulting from PG&E policies entered new territory with this new situation they blame on equipment failure.  We are currently halfway through our 6th day without power.  After a break, the snow has continued its crystalline construction of the landscape, beautiful in itself, but cutting off access to the outside world and internet until the power gets restored or the roads cleared. According to an article published Monday in the Sacramento Bee, 22,000 people in four counties are affected by this outage on top of the income loss, social shift and scramble for supplies from the coronavirus hermitage.  The article observed that temperatures here range in the low 30s, hovering right around freezing, and that many people don’t have a wood stove or generator to stay warm.

* * * * * *

As mentioned in earlier comments, the Bishop of Munster’s Mozart line with “life, love liberty and laughter” referenced Crowley’s Liber CL (130) De Lege Libellum

130 = “Deliverance;
             The Angel of redemption;
             Decrees, prophetic sayings;
             Eye; Ayin;
             The Pillars;
             A staircase, ladder (Sepher Sephiroth)”. 
I read it for the first time and found that it goes along very nicely with The Widow’s Son

Many confrontations with death in the first two books of the Historical Illuminatus series have been noted.  Death appears to become as much of a behind-the-scenes-character in The Widow’s Son as it does in Gravity’s Rainbow.  I pointed out several associations or simultaneous occurrences of Tiphareth with Death.  This resonates with the instruction given many times in The Egyptian Book of the Dead for the voyaging soul to unite with Osiris upon departing the physical sheath at death.  In De Lege Libellum Crowley writes:

“There be moreover many other modes of attaining the apprehension of true Life, and these two following are of much value in breaking up the ice of your mortal error in the vision of your being.  And of these the first is the constant contemplation of the Identity of Love and Death, and the understanding of the dissolution of the body as an act of Love done upon the Body of the Universe, as also it is written in length in our Holy Books.  And with this goeth, as it were sister with twin brother, the practice of mortal love as a sacrament symbolical of that great Death: as it is written ‘Kill thyself’: and again ‘Die Daily.’”

We find this identity between Love and Death qabalistically expressed in the last line of the book, right before it says “coming soon” in the Bluejay edition then advertises Nature and Nature’s God, the third book in the series:

“'Two scoundrels,’ Paine said cheerfully, “in an unpredictable universe.”

The initials of the first phrase, “Two scoundrels”  add to 69, often indicating a reversal or looking at something backwards.  A main plotline of the book concerns the lineage of Jesus.  If he did procreate and create a lineage this would indicate a reversal of the usual story that he died on the cross.  The 69 reversal also simply suggests that the gentlemen in question, Paine and Moon, seem not scoundrels, or that their scoundrelness can get reversed.

The initials of “Paine said cheerfully” add to 148.

Reversing the first two numbers gives 418, a number of high significance to Thelemites indicating both “The Great Work completed” (a great sign to finish a book on) and “Abrahadabra,” a word suggesting World Creation and Maintenance.

148 = “To withdraw, retire (prophetic of the current social distancing)
            Victory (also the name of the 6 of Wands in the Thoth Tarot)
            Flour, meal (recalls the “grain war” and bread allegory mentioned earlier)

Within that phrase we see “… said cheerfully” = 68

“in an unpredictable universe” = 23

23 = “Parted, removed, separated
           Joy
           A thread
           Life”

The 23rd Hexagram of the I Ching = “Breaking Apart” or “Splitting Apart.”

I interpret 23 as a number indicating the Bardo.  The correspondences suggest both death and life, or perhaps, death and rebirth.  A primary instruction in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bardo Thodol, = “maintain the thread of consciousness.  If you look at the transmission of the 23 Enigma from William Burroughs to Robert Anton Wilson as described in Cosmic Trigger I, this number, 23, most frequently came up in relation to death.  Outside of physical death, the Bardo represents a space in between where change occurs between one thing and another.  It makes sense to end the book with this correspondence, we enter the Bardo in between the second and third books of the Historical Illuminatus series.

This passage from The Revolution As I Saw It by, Luigi Duccio, a publication within the publication of The Widow’s Son, seems a fitting end.  They’re ostensibly talking about freedom for Ireland:

“What we are doing is for our children, and I even misbelieve that at times. Before God, it may be only for our grandchildren.  It is a long and desperate struggle ahead and it is not to be won by bravery or high hopes.  It is planning and perseverance we need.”

The letters and puns of the middle sentence could suggest Crowley’s 0=2 formula, a cancellation of opposites.  More directly,the last sentence conjures Crowley’s motto, Perdurabo, I will endure unto the end.  It also relates with the Calvin Coolidge poem Israel Regardie used to begin The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic:

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

 And finally:

"What then maketh WoMan, if she dieth and is reborn a changeling with each breath?  This: the consciousness of continuity given by memory, the conception of her Self as something whose existence, far from being threatened by these changes, is in verity assured by them.  Let then the aspirant to the sacred Wisdom consider her Self no more as one segment of the Serpent, but as the whole.  Let her extend her consciousness to regard both birth and death as incidents trivial as systole and diastole of the heart itself, and necessary as they to its function." - Crowley, De Lege Libellum (translation modified).







           




















Thursday, February 13, 2020

Led Zeppelin & Crowley

After The Beatles, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album came out, Dr. Timothy Leary declared it the ultimate document to communicate his message, the message of self-directed, personal freedom of consciousness to grow and expand as it will.  Led Zeppelin plays that role for the maps and techniques of consciousness expansion presented by Aleister Crowley, i.e. his system of magick called Thelema.  Speaking from experience, one way to get Thelema deeply imprinted into your DNA and engrained into your body of habits is to listen to a lot of Zeppelin's music.  Thanks to guitarist Jimmy Page's "reading and research," Led Zeppelin became a lightening rod for the 93 Current, sometimes consciously and deliberately, but probably a great deal of its reception unconscious to the four band members.  They facilitated and had a means to broadcast a group invocation that drew down a wealth of esoteric data. They acted as antennas and transmitters for the spirit of the A.'. A.'., a magick order established by Crowley and George Jones that, in Postcards to Probationers, claimed to have the methodology to produce Christs.

One of Robert Plant's consistent, improvisational ad libs in live performance is " push ... push... push" as if encouraging the birth of something.  For instance, he does that in The Song Remains the Same,  a song where the narrator starts off in a "crazy dream" where he apparently becomes Horus, the Thelemic deity presiding over this era.



This essay, a quick sketch, looks at the Zeppelin/Crowley alliance as exemplified in the song sequence from their reunion album, Celebration Day.

 Side A

1. Good Times Bad Times - Crowley's ontological 0 = 2 formula put into human terms of eros and set to music.  He explains this formula in Magick Without Tears Chapter V: The Universe: the 0 = 2 Equation.  This song also declares a statement of intent at the beginning - "Now I've reached the age I try to do all those things the best I can" and in the end, "I'm going to love you each and every day." The first song on Led Zeppelin I, their first recorded offering, so an excellent way to start their reunion, and possibly last concert.  Especially apropos given the title of the concert recording, Celebration Day.  Plant ends his contribution to the first song with the ad lib: "c'mon, c'mon, c'mon which for working mystics of the Thelemite persuasion might suggest activating the ON equation.

2. Ramble On.  The ON equation pops up in the very next song. A problem gets stated: "And now I smell the rain and with it pain and it's heading my way." A solution given: "Ramble on ... sing my song ... on my way ... ramble on." Or as some might say; "Do what thou wilt." The problem gets clarified in the bridge when he meets a girl so fair (BABALON) in the depths, but Gollum, the evil one steals her. The solution, or response, then follows with the last chorus: "Ramble on ..." We infer the girl so fair = BABALON because in the previous chorus he has to "find the queen of all my dreams."  Plant's final ad lib in this one: "I got a feeling in my mind" which qabalistically connects Netzach (feeling) with Hod (mind).  Those sephiroth on the Tree of Life connect to Tiphareth through the paths of  Ayin (O) and Nun (N).

3. Black Dog.  Plant still searches for the queen of all his dreams, which, given the song's title, suggests the Thelemic ordeal of crossing the Abyss.  Black dog suggests the flip side of its opposite, white god – that could imply the hazardous side of in-depth theurgic magick. The animal comes out and gets stronger along with the divinity, sometimes the dog seems black.  The abyss between the two appears actual.  The song's hot and sexual nature recalls this from The Book of the Law I:61:

"But to love me is better than all things: if under the night stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom. For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour."

4. In My Time of Dying. Heavy Zeppelin blues from a traditional song; advocates for a different way of dealing with physical death, please no sadness just bring his body home so he can die easy.  The prevalent instruction from the Egyptian Book of the Dead to unite with Osiris (Tiphareth) at death, in the form of Jesus in this song, gets invoked after taking care of his body.  Then a journey with religious imagery along with the weighing of his heart on the scale.  Plant's last ad lib is the same one at the end of Good Times/Bad Times mentioned above suggesting a cycle with the repetition.

5. For Your Life.  The titles In My time of Dying and For Your Life in sequence spell out the death/rebirth cycle as a powerful method for transformational change.  It recalls the Sufi instruction to "die before you die."  Lyrics are abstract and ambiguous, lot of sexual overtones, could refer to Babalon as the Scarlet Woman.  Plant starts the last verse with lines not in the printed lyrics: "I'd like to help you baby, but I don't know what to do ... Sometimes baby, there's nothing I can do ..."

6. Trampled Under Foot. "Love, love, ... I  can't stop talking about love." Love is the law, love under will.  It seems frequently trampled under foot in this day and rage. Foot = Malkuth, the plane of the material world.  Plant wails out the "PUSH" ad lib.

7.  Nobody's Fault But Mine.  Another traditional blues Zeppelinized.  "Try to raise my soul divine." No one else can do it for you.

8. No Quarter.  The classic hero's journey continued. "Walking side by side with death, the devil mocks their every step."

Side B

1. Since I've Been Loving You. "I'm about to lose my worried mind. " "Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain." (Liber Al I:32)

2. Dazed and Confused. "Wanted a woman, never bargained for you" (Babalon again). "Lots of people talking, pretty few of them know. Soul of a woman was created below."  Liber Al I:32: "follow out the ordeals of my knowledge."

3.  Stairway to Heaven.  This one should need no explanation.  An alchemical song par excellence.  Buying a stairway to heaven, paying in the currency of your own efforts; bootstrapping your personal evolution.  The divine feminine, Babalon, that turns up in so many Zeppelin tracks as noted, becomes the Guide in this one.

4. The Song Remains the Same. An invocation of Horus as mentioned above.  "Everything that's small has to grow ... and it always grows ... push push yeah!"

"California sunlight
Sweet Calcutta rain
Honolulu starbright
The song remains the same."

5. Misty Mountain Hop. Inside these lyrics of a fantasy encounter in the Misty Mountains, where the spirits go, shades of Tolkien, is a pair of confrontational couplets:

Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see
"And baby, baby, baby, do you like it?
There you sit, sitting spare like a book on a shelf rustin' 
Ah, not trying to fight it."

6. Kashmir. Another epic journey of the soul, but it's not all roses, roses.  One verse suggests the ordeal of crossing the Abyss:

"All I see turns to brown
As the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand
As I scan this wasted land
Try to find, try to find what I feel."

7. Whole Lotta LoveAgain needs no explanation.  "You need coolin, baby I'm not foolin'. I'm going to send you back to schoolin'.

8. Rock and Roll.

"It's been a long time since the book of love
I can't count the tears of a life with no love

Open your arms, opens your arms
Open your arms, baby, let my love come running in"

Liber Al I:53:

"This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss."

Of course the titles, lyrics and ad libs from Zeppelin's Celebration Day reunion concert represent only one side, not the most dominate side of the 93 current transmission in their songs.  Most of the power, most of the force resides in the music particularly the guitar playing along with Page's gesturing.  For more elaboration about this, see my review of this concert DVD.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Podcasts

Oz Fritz - The Wizard of Sound

I was honored to participate in  The Jai Dev Show podcast recently posted on the Apple network.  Jai Dev Singh is a vibrant, eclectic Kundalini yoga teacher who presents his services and transmission under the auspices of The Life-Force Academy.  He has a strong and informed passion for music.

The Jai Dev Show is HERE   Scroll down for The Wizard of Sound show.  Bookmark the page and check out the other podcasts, all as equally interesting and enlightening.

Oz Fritz is a music producer and sound engineer who researches mysticism.

Jai Dev Singh


Oz Fritz

This interview occurred in the fall of 2017 shortly after I returned from a West Coast tour with the group SIMRIT.  Singer and bandleader Simrit Kaur and Jai Dev are married - that's how we originally connected.

The content of the interview weaves biographical information alongside a discussion of music and mysticism put into practical use and expression.  This gives a rare look into the mystical side of my  musical journey.

Thursday 11/28/19 Oz Interview

I was again recently honored to be interviewed by my girlfriend, Paula Galindo for the Thanksgiving edition of the Thursday with Xaxx show, a video broadcast on the GorebaggTV network streamed by Livestream.  This interview largely concerns my approaches and uses to some of the spiritual technologies unleashed by E. J. Gold with a touch of  Crowley and Gurdjieff thrown in for good measure.  Go HERE to view it, it begins at approximately 5:20.

Paula Galindo offers dynamic and unique Life Coaching services under the auspices of
She is an Awakening Consultant using a variety of techniques that include the Undoing program of exercises developed by Christopher Hyatt, Spiritual Gaming, Art, Floatation and more.  She has the most amazing sounding voice I've ever heard in my life.


Paula Galindo

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Esoteric Transmission of V. by Thomas Pynchon


The first novel by Thomas Pynchon weaves a labyrinthine mystery centered on the letter V.  No one can definitely pinpoint who or what V specifically represents, or even if it indicates a person, place or thing.  Pynchon gives the sense and meaning of V multiple different expressions with varying degrees of explicit and implicit levels of significance.  We don’t get a single explanation of exactly what V. represents. This changing, shapeshifting network of interconnected resonances and perspectives anticipates Deleuze and Guattari V. doesn’t have an arborescent final form to lock into, rather the narrative development behaves in the fashion of a rhizome: a creative process with no hierarchy or central organizing principal.



We’ll examine the esoteric side of the mystery.  In my Gravity’s Rainbow essay, I speculated that the search for V reflected Pynchon’s quest to claim the post and function as a Hierophant, that archetypal constellation that communicates the secrets of the Temple.  In other words, Pynchon’s desire to be a great writer, a literary genius.  From the little I’ve read of his biography, it appears that, much like Jack Kerouac, he had that passion and drive to begin claiming the destiny of a great writer at a young age.  He was only 24 when V. was first published. 

This speculation arose before I had read V. to confirm this bias for myself.  Having read it, I must modify this postulate.  It appears that Pynchon aims to draw the reader into this (alchemical) conspiracy.  Meaning, he wants to show the willing reader how to recognize those communications, the secrets of the Temple, in order that they may find spiritual instruction and inspiration wherever they may be, not necessarily, or only from any kind of authority figure.  How to find infinity in every grain of sand.  How to recognize angelic communication in the events of everyday life. 

Evidence for the Hierophantic aspect of V. comes swiftly with the very first mention of it in the novel:

Underfoot, now and again, came vibration in the sidewalk from an SP streetlights away, beating out a Hey Rube with his night stick; overhead turning everybody’s face green and ugly, shone mercury-vapor lamps,  receding in an asymmetric V to the east where it’s dark and there are no more bars.
-        V. p. 11 (perennial Edition 1990)
Note: SP = Shore Patrol.

Mercury represents the archetype of communication, among other things, thus relates very much to the Hierophant.  Going further: most esoteric data comes from points east relative to the American/European culture.  It’s dark, i.e. strange and unknown … and there are no bars – no restrictions for this kind of information. 

A few pages later, a scene gives a hint about learning to read these signs for ourselves, to begin learning pattern recognition. 

Beer had soaked down most of the sawdust behind the bar: skirmishes and amateur footwork were scribbling it into alien hieroglyphics.  -  V. p. 17

Learning to recognize patterns seems a recurring theme in Pynchon’s books. All his novels have a distinct didactic quality of an esoteric, or spiritual nature.  One strata of Pynchon’s oeuvre appears intent to communicate instructions for freeing oneself from the robot mind and mechanical, reactive life; and what Nietzsche calls ressentiment.  The feeling that you always play a victim at the whims and mercy of external forces.

The program Pynchon follows aligns closely with the current presented by Aleister Crowley and cohorts.  Crowley, of course, anointed Horus the reigning deity of these times.  Pynchon doesn’t wait long to invoke Horus in his writing, page 74 of his first novel.

“’My God’ from Goodfellow.  They looked up to see, materialized behind them. An emaciated figure in an evening dress whose head appears to be that of a netted sparrow-hawk.  The head guffawed, retaining its fierce expression. Victoria bubbled over in a laugh.
‘It’s Hugh!’ she cried, delighted.
‘Indeed,’ came a hollow voice from inside somewhere.
‘Hugh Bongo-Shaftsbury,’ said Goodfellow, ungracious.
‘Harmachis.’ Bongo-Shaftsbury indicated the ceramic hawk’s head.
‘God of Heliopolis and chief deity of Lower Egypt.  Utterly genuine this: a mask, you know, used in the ancient rituals’ He seated himself next to Victoria.  Goodfellow scowled.
‘Literally Horus on the horizon, also represented as a lion with the head of a man.  Like the Sphinx.”

The influence of James Joyce on Pynchon  seems well established, we may recognize the puns in this dialogue … "My God" and "Hugh" = you.  Diving deeper for an interpretation of “Bongo-Shaftsbury”:
Bongo = B + on + go; Shaftsbury connects with Crowley’s N.O.X. formula for the production of a male lesbian.  Since Pynchon’s construction resembles more of a rhizome proliferation than a specific arborescent form, we can’t stay absolutely certain of this interpretation and must allow the possibility of others.  For instance, take the paradoxical phrase, “Utterly genuine this: a mask …” and/or Bongo-Shaftsbury = BS = belief system and/or bullshit.  It remains unknown if Pynchon reveals sources and an ideology, or if he simply hopes to pull the reader’s leg.  This art of the put on, or not, perfectly resonates with contemporary schools that demand the student to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions. 

Another occult, yet completely out in the open way (like Poe’s The Purloined Letter) V. aligns with the Horus (93) current appears in the book’s title and thus in the header of every other page in the book.  A basic introductory formula representing the work of the Golden Dawn/A.’.A.’. finds itself in the 5 = 6 formula where 5, the pentagram, symbolizes WoMan while 6, the hexagram, symbolizes God realization.  The equals sign symbolizes Will in that formula. This formula represents the work of transformation. The title of Pynchon’s V. includes the letter V followed by a period as if V stood for someone or something’s initial letter. V = the sign for the Roman numeral that represents 5 in our common Arabic numeration.  The single period after V when added to 5 = 6.  From the occult perspective, the title V. signifies the 5 = 6 formula, plain and simple.  This trope, appearing wherever you open the book, seems like the ringing of a bell or, in Gurdjieff/Ouspensky terms, sounding the initial “doh,” the first note of the octave.  As if to confirm this hypothesis, in the very first paragraph of V. we get the phrase: “… and five or six seamen apprentice were standing around giving encouragement.”


V. and Death

A cardinal point of the 93 current concerns surviving the death of the physical shell and the permanent death of the ego/personality complex. Does consciousness have the capability to survive death?  The Book of the Law answers in the affirmative as does Tibetan Buddhists and V. The following quote seems opaque yet it communicates profound data about surviving death:

“The lady V., one of them for so long, now found herself suddenly excommunicated; bounced unceremoniously into the null-time of human love, without having recognized the exact moment as any but when Melanie entered a side door to Le Nerf on Porcepic’s arm and time – for awhile– ceased.

… If V. suspected her fetishism at all to be part of any conspiracy leveled against the animate world, any sudden establishment here of a Kingdom of Death, then this might justify the opinion held in the Rusty Spoon that Stencil was seeking in her his own identity.  But such was her rapture at Melanie’s having sought and found her own identity in her and in the mirror’s soulless gleam that she continued unaware, off-balanced by love; forgetting that even though the Distribution of Time here on pouf, bed and mirrors had been abandoned, their love was in its way only another version of tourism; for as tourists bring into the world as it has evolved part of another, and eventually create a parallel society of their own in every city, so the Kingdom of Death is served by fetish-constructions like V.’s, which represent a kind of infiltration.”  V. p. 409, 411

This is a fragment from a larger section about a woman named Victoria who “was gradually being replaced by V.”  The Rusty Spoon is the name of a bar.  Stencil is the name of the character searching for V., so a stand-in for the author if the theory holds that the search for V., in the broadest sense, represents a search for the Hierophantic post.  If true, then Stencil seeking in V. his own identity, seems revealing for Pynchon.  I’ll leave the rest to the reader’s detective skills.  This passage seems profound to me and resonates with everything I’ve learned on the subject.

V. ends with the death of Sidney Stencil, the previously mentioned Stencil’s father and the one who wrote of V. in his journal which set his son in motion for the search.  There is no actual direct mention of human death in the last paragraph, but you know that happened.  V. begins with the words “Christmas Eve," the day before the symbolic birth of Jesus Christ, the leading advertisement for the death/rebirth, transformation into godhead schtick. In this way, the end of V. connects with the beginning in James Joyce, Finnegans Wake fashion, a technique Pynchon uses more than once in his subsequent books. Pynchon telegraphs the circular nature of the book at the start of the final paragraph:

Draw a line from Malta to Lampedusa.  Call it a radius. Somewhere in that circle, on the evening of the tenth, a waterspout appeared and lasted fifteen minutes…”

You can also see something by considering the phonetics and associative puns with Malta and Lampedusa, another Joycean technique.

The first event in the book is Benny Profane going into a bar called the Sailor’s Grave.  It doesn’t take long for Pynchon to make a corny pun about having one foot in the Grave.  There isn’t one, or two, but three women named Beatrice who work at the Sailor’s Grave.  Pynchon quickly takes up the didactic hierophantic role and makes his qabala patently obvious:

“Beatrice,” said Beatrice. Beatrice being another barmaid. Mrs. Buffo, owner of the Sailor’s Grave, whose first name was also Beatrice, had a theory that just as small children call all females mother, so sailors, in their way equally as helpless, should call all barmaids Beatrice.”

Beatrice, of course, is the name of the Guide who shows Dante the way into Paradisio, the beatific vision, in the Divine Comedy – the classic journey through the Underworld adventure. 

The Beatrice, Great Mother as Guide motif gets implied differently in the very last phrase of the book, a beautiful send-off.  The final paragraph of V. has one of the most elegant death scenes in the history of literature.  A freak event in the ocean, a waterspout, lifts the sailboat fifty feet in the air before slamming it back into the ocean which “showed nothing at all of what came to lie beneath, that quiet June day.”  The month of June derives its name from Juno, the Roman Goddess of love and marriage. Coincidentally, Juno is the name of a Guide, or as they say “caseworker” in the bardo classic Beetlejuice.  In that film, she incarnates as an unsentimental, crusty old battle axe, with short, matter-of-fact, excellent course advice for anyone dead or alive. 

There exist a set of postures in the Golden Dawn called the INRI signs. In one reading, INRI, the letters nailed above Christ at the Crucifixion, represents the cycle of I = Life, N = Death, R = Resurrection, I = new Life.  See Masks of the Illuminati by Robert Anton Wilson for an excellent analysis of that formula.  The Golden Dawn sign in the series, the one for “N = Death,” has the practitioner holding their arms up in the shape of a V.




Sign of Apophis and Typhon


V. Represents Who or What???

This mystery at the core of the book receives many different answers, inferences and conjectures throughout the course of the novel.  Candidates include a few different women with names beginning with V., the capital of Malta, Valetta, a jazz club called the V-Note frequented by the Whole Sick Crew, and even a rat named Veronica. In one way, the book appears a qabalistic study on the letter V from a multiplicity of different angles including things that make the shape of a V:

“As spread thighs are to the libertine, flights of migratory birds to the ornithologist, the working part of his tool bit to the production machinist, so was the letter V to young Stencil.  He would dream perhaps once a week that it had all been a dream, and that now he’s awaken to discover the pursuit of V. was merely a scholarly quest after all, an adventure of the mind in the tradition of The Golden Bough or The White Goddess.” 
V. p. 61

That is the beginning of Chapter Three.  Pynchon, again makes the qabalah correspondence to Binah extremely obvious.  This technique is called iso-magnification – taking one area from The Tree of Life and highlighting and examining it. In V., Pynchon does this with the number 3, possibly partly in homage to Dante Alighieri who used the symbolism of the Trinity extensively in The Divine Comedy.

Reading V. has the effect of considering hitherto unnoticed images that pop up in the environment.  For instance, the V for Victory sign, reputedly given to Winston Churchill by Aleister Crowley to counteract the magical symbolism of the Nazi swastika.  Indeed, one manifestation of V. in the book is a woman named Victoria. The first day I began reading V. I saw someone with a huge V on their oversize t-shirt at the gym.  Later I discovered: “V.’s the country of coincidence, ruled by a ministry of myth.” (p.450) This also happens to accurately describe the Bardo, the Land of the Dead, the space of choice-points. 

That same day, I noticed that my gym trainer draws hearts, to delineate cardio exercises, that strongly resembled a V. V as the heart. This bias gets confirmed on the first page (and elsewhere) with an old street singer singing:

Every night is Christmas Eve on old East Main
Sailors and their sweethearts all agree …

A location vying for the role of V., the previously mentioned capital of Malta, Valletta, fits that interpretation.  Val can signifies the heart, being short for Valentine. Chapter 16 is titled Valletta and begins: “Now there was a sun-shower over Valletta, and even a rainbow."  16 denotes the key number for the path on the Tree of Life corresponding with the Hierophant.

More obvious qabalah: Chapter 14 V. in Love. 14 = the path of Venus, the Goddess of Love.

Some advanced qabalah: the first character we meet, one of the main ones, is Benny Profane.  Pynchon always has interesting names for his characters and more often than not, packs the main ones with delicious qabalistic delicacies.  The book starts: "Christmas Eve, 1955, Benny Profane …" then describes what he’s wearing, where he is and what he’s going to do.  Benny = Ben + e, sounding it phonetically.  Ben = 57, see Chapter 57 in The Book of Lies for how that connects with Christ – not necessarily Jesus, rather the post or place of Christ shown as the Rosy Cross.  The letter e = The Star (tarot).  Looked through that lens, the word Eve acquires more significance – a letter v with an e on each side.  Profane = Pro + f + ane. Pro = professional; f = a stand-in for v, both letters correspond to the Hebrew letter vau which = The Hierophant (tarot); ane = 56 = Nuit which resonates with both Beatrice and Juno, see above and also Chapter 56 in The Book of Lies: f + ane = 62 = Healing.  In Chapter 62 from the always truthful Book of Lies, Crowley connects the number with his ritual The Mass of the Phoenix, making another connection with the death/rebirth cycle.

V. comprises two general areas of characters and stories set in different eras. The contemporary one, beginning in 1955, tells of the adventures of a group of eccentric friends known as the Whole Sick Crew.  The historical one starts sometime around the turn of the XXth Century and goes as late as just after WWII though it also jumps around in time.  The book ends in 1919.  Some of the characters from the two time streams overlap.  The Whole Sick Crew recalls the Sufi blasphemy J.G. Bennett wrote about at the beginning of Gurdjieff: Making A New World that basically says the powers-that-be made a mistake with the Creation.  Gurdjieff elaborates this idea much more in All and Everything. Whole Sick Crew, in the esoteric sense, could indicate the crew that helps heal the sickness of the whole.  In other circles, this gets framed as alleviating the suffering of the Absolute.  Gurdjieff called it The Work. 

I have barely scratched the surface of the multiplicity of V. and its esoteric transmission.