Something Wicked This Way Comes, at least this time of year

Thank the gods the good folks at American Folkloric Witchcraft have finally started blogging once again after a three month hiatus. I really like what they post and encourage you to explore their whole archives.

Anyway, their recent post on The Season of the Witch introduced me to a quote by Ray Bradbury’s novel and movie Something Wicked This Way Comes (title from a quote by Shakespeare – “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”) which I reproduce below. I think I saw this movie decades ago, and since it is once of those “evil carnival” movies that kinda freaked me out as a child I decided to watch it again.

The Autumn Witch – Ray Bradbury

“… Beware the autumn people …
For some, autumn comes early, stays late, through life, where October follows September and November touches October and then instead of December and Christ’s birth there is no Bethlehem Star, no rejoicing, but September comes again and old October and so on down the years, with no winter, spring or revivifying summer.
For these beings, fall is the only normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond.
Where do they come from? The dust.
Where do they go? The grave.
Does blood stir their veins? No, the night wind.
What ticks in their head? The worm.
What speaks through their mouth? The toad.
What sees from their eye? The snake.
What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars.
They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth. In gusts they beetle-scurry, creep, thread, filter, motion, make all moons sullen, and surely cloud all clear-run waters. The spider-web hears them, trembles—breaks.
Such are the autumn people.”

Here is the trailer to the movie:

And here is part one of seven parts running about 15 minutes each. Enjoy!

 

In A Graveyard Past Midnight – Tumblr Picture Site

Here is a great Tumblr picture site called In A Graveyard Past Midnight which has 50 pages of witches, autumn scenes, old houses, old graveyards, cats, owls, jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, animated gifs and everything else spooky in between. It will definitely get you in the mood for All Hallows / Samhain / Halloween. The pics above and below are from the site. Enjoy!

Blessed Autumn Equinox Mabon

I will get a two day jump on wishing all my fellow Witches a Blessed Autumn Equinox, also known as Mabon in later Wicca circles. Here in the temperate zone of the mid Appalachian mountains it takes about 6 weeks for the solstice and equinox events to become manifest on the earth around us at the cross quarter festivals. So it may be the Autumn Equinox as far as the angle of the Earth orbiting around the Sun is concerned, but it isn’t until All Hallows or Samhain that Autumn is truly manifest and grounded. The same can be said around the 8 fold Wheel of the Year, another Wiccan revision of the older Witchcraft festivals tied in  with the reality of the seasons around us in the northern hemisphere.

To get you all in the mood here are some older photos (Copyright 2012 GLHoke) I took in the last few autumns, about 3 weeks from this date. Enjoy.

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Grimoire of Za-Rahula

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Grimoire of Za-Rahula

This is a mini Grimoire (to coin a western term) of Za-Rahula. There is nothing here which has not been published already in books, articles and on the internet. These are some of my notes that I pulled from a document that I put together a long time ago, so I do not know where most of the information came from, and some of the notes repeat themselves since they are on the same subject from different sources, so forgive the unpolished form of this post.

Rahu became Rahula after being subdued by Padmasambhava from originally being an asura or rakshasa to being a Protector of the Dharma, thus the La at the end, meaning god. Rahu’s father was a Rakshasa and his mother was a Nagini.

In Hinduism Rahu and Ketu are the Dragon’s Head and Tail, the Northern Ascending and Southern Descending Nodes, respectively. These are the live head and truncated body of the demon.  Of black complexion, they control blood and skin. Smallpox, cholera, leprosy, plague and other epidemics are caused by them.  They rule over prostitutes, gamblers and atheists.  Poison is their favorite substance.  Both are malefic.  According to some authorities, Rahu and Ketu are homeless wanderers, but others maintain that Rahu owns Virgo, and Ketu Pisces, houses owned by Mercury and Jupiter respectively.  Venus and Saturn are their friends, and Sun and Moon, enemies; they are neutral towards Mars and Jupiter.  Rahu and Ketu rule the south-west.  From the foregoing, it will be noticed that friendship and enmity are not reciprocal among planets.  Rahu, for instance, loves Venus and Saturn, but Venus has no love for him.

In Hindu mythology, the demon Rahu is said to have stolen into the ranks of the gods while they were feasting on Amrita or nectar.  He sneaked in between Sun and Moon, who were seated together, and these gods, recognizing the fraud, informed Vishnu who was presiding over the feast, about the intruder.  Vishnu immediately cut off the demon’s neck.  The miscreant, however, had already quaffed the nectar which had been served and hence could not die.  So his head remains in the heavens as Rahu and body as Ketu.  He is particularly vindictive against Sun and Moon for having informed against him, and eclipses are said to be caused by his trying to swallow them.

Rahula is the chief Nagaraja or Naga King of the race of Nagas and Naginis, the God/Asura/Rakshasa known variously as gZa, Rahula, Ch-em ch’og, or Acala (immovable). In the Na-Khi Naga Cult he is known as the demon Zaw-ler-ngv-gu.  He is blazing ultraviolet blue/black in colour. This Nagaraja is at the SouthEast of the mandala.  Rahula is a wrathful manifestation of Vajrapani.

In the ancient Bon shamanism gZa is Zaw, or the 9 planets, with Rahula as Rahu the eclipse demon.  His form is a 9-headed Nagaraja crowned with a black crow head, his coils covered with eyes.  In one form he has three heads – one black, one white, and one red.  His six arms hold to the right a sword, vajra, and wheel, and to the left a threatening mudra, snare, and hatchet.  In another form he has nine heads, wrathful ones below and peaceful above.  In his four armed form he holds a Makara staff to the right, snake left, and the two at centre pull a serpentine bow and arrow.  And below the waist he is a twisting serpent surrounded by flames within a fiery quadrangle.

Rahula is one of the principal Guardians of the dZogchen teachings.  His lower body is like that of a snake, while his upper body is covered with eyes, which, together with the further eyes in his nine heads symbolize his ability to see in all directions.  His bow and arrow are ready to strike at enemies, and his many mouths are ready to devour their ignorance.  He is shown surrounded by flames of high energy, as are all Guardians, but Rahula’s power is so intense that the practitioner has already developed considerable mastery. He can be a dangerous ally of potentially overwhelming power if not approached in the right way.  Dorje Legba’s energy is less overwhelming than that of Rahula. He can be approached for assistance with relatively mundane matters, while Ekajati and Rahula are only concerned with matters strictly relating to the teachings and realization.

Here are his 8 naga ornaments –

blue – Sankapalaka – binds the hair

red – Taksaka – forms earrings

striped – Kulika – adorns shoulders

white – Padma – forms necklace

yellow – Huluhulu – forms bracelets

green – Karkotaka – forms brahma thread

nectar – Vasuki – forms girdle

white – Mahapadma – forms anklets

This is from Oracles and Demons of Tibet – The Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities by Rene de Nebewsky-Wojkowitz, which I highly recommend to any student of Himalayan shamanism. It is huge (666 pages) and encyclopedic. I have no idea how he got all this information about seemingly every god from every mountain and valley in old Tibet.

Attributes of gZa-Rahula –

chief of all planetary gods

nine heads topped with raven’s head

which is very poisonous in it’s shadow

three lowest heads of the gshin-je type

are green and look down wrathfully to earth

three middle heads of the bdud type

are blue-red with bloodshot eyes

looking forward into the realm of man

three upper heads of the lha type

are green, red, and white with a peaceful look     gazing up into the sky

four arms holding bow-and-arrow,

makara head on a stick, and a snake

serpentine body covered with eyes

sitting in a fiery triangle or a lake of blood

Thirteen-fold Mandala around gZa-Rahula –

Right – Yab rdo rje srin po –

sits on a throne of bones, dark-blue, nine heads

Left – Yum rdo rje glog ‘gyu ma –

in a lake of blood, dark-red, nine heads

East – Byi nu raja – smake coloured

holding banners with makara and tiger on top

Outer East – gTag srin zor ba’i gdong can –

yellow-white, holding hook

Southeast – Drang srong –

pale yellow, holding nag-pasa and trident

South – Khyab mjug chen po –

dark-yellow, with nag-pasa and makara banner

Outer South – Bam srin dred kyi gdong can –

dark-yellow, with skull topped staff, nag-pasa

Southwest – Bikstipatra –

red, lifts a snake and a razor

West – lJang sden chen po –

dark-green, holding a snare and a chain

Outer West – Kong srin ba glang gi gdong can –

carries and hatchet and a snare

Northwest – Du ba mjug ring –

dark-blue, carries razor and skull cup

North – bDud po rog ti –

dark-blue, holds two snares

Outer North – ‘Brog srin chu srin gyi gdong can –

dark-green, lifts a mount Sumeru

Rahula’s names –

gZa’ mchog rgyal po rahula

Chos skyong gza’ bdud chen po rahula

gZa’ rgod dug gi spu gri

Drang srong gza’ bdud sgra can ‘dzin

Khyab ‘jug sgra gcan ‘dzin

Khyab ‘jug gnam mtsho’i bdag po

Srin po’i rgyal po gza’ bdud rahula

Du ba ‘jug ring

Rogs ste nag po

gNam gyi gza’ chen lha rgod

the wild god, planetary deity of the sky

Bar gyi khab ‘jug rahu’i rtsis

god of the atmosphere between sky and earth

Sa yi ‘phung bye nag mo – Rahu’s shakti/consort

realm of earth, ugly black woman holding

a sickle and a bag of diseases

Je btsum ma Rig ma chen mo   (or)

gZa’ thams cad kyi yum – goddess with Rahu

white body shining like the Moon

adorned with silks and jewels

three faces – red, white, blue with three eyes each

six arms in preaching mudra, blue lotus, vajra,

bow and arrow

retinue of seven goddesses of days of the week

Klu gza’ nag po/mo – in retinue of gZa

gCer bu lag rdum – in retinue, dark blue,

body of a man but the head of a snake,

riding a dragon, holding a snake snare

Yab gcig yaksa dzva la – to right of Rahu

dark red, nine heads, human body, holds staff

Yum gcig klu mo klog khyug ma – on left of Rahu

female with nine frog’s heads, snake body

Za Dud Dug Gi Pu Dri Chhod –

“Poison razor blade Rahula”

gZa-zwa – the planet hat, black cone with raven atop

Some of the links above will take you to Himalayan Art, the Aro Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.

Personal Pujas for Vajrakilaya,  Za-Rahula and Mahakala

I have been working with Vajrakilaya, Za-Rahula and Mahakala for decades in my own personalized way. When there is a thunder and lightening storm I do puja to Vajrakilaya with red candles, mantras, dragon’s blood incense and mudras, rolling one of my smaller older phurbas between my palms. On the day before the new moon I do the same with Za-Rahula, praying for him/her to protect my body, property, car, houses and cats from all disasters and accidents. I say him/her because my oldest rupa appears to be hermaphroditic with breasts. In front of their altar I have red candles, a spiral iron gear disk, meteorite, tektite and two dzi beads. At the new moon I do the same with Mahakala asking for protection from death until it is my time. In front of his altar I have a black candle, kapalas, a kangling, two bone malas and some black beans. I consider Vajrakilaya to be my god of lightening, and Rahula to be my god of tornados and wind storms. Vajrakilaya is the striking energy of fire, and Rahula the sucking energy of the vortex. Mahakala is the sin eater, destroying all negativity.

As a western magickian i also view Za-Rahula as a deity over the Daath sephiroth at the base of the skull between Kether and Tiphareth, between the ajna and throat chakras. He can be visualized as a manifestation of Crowley’s Headless or Bornless One and is as dangerous as Chronzon.

I debated even writing on this subject since this practice is so esoteric, but Za-Rahula is a proud and powerful asura, and I honour him with this post. There are many gods, goddesses, asuras, rakshasas and nagarajas in old Tibet, and most have stayed at home to perhaps fade away as that culture is slowly destroyed. But Za-Rahula is one that I think and feel deserves a place in modern Tibetan Buddhist and even western Magickal practice, if one has the right wisdom and respect and skill.

106th Anniversary of the Birth of Dr Frederick LaMotte Santee

Today would have been the 106th anniversary of the birth of Dr Frederick LaMotte Santee, also know as Lord Merlin in the Coven of the Catta. I have posted these photos before, but here they are again in his honor. They are all photos I took or photocopied, except for the The Devil’s Wager sell sheet courtesy of a C.Bilardi. I just missed meeting him, my arrival at the covenstead happening a year after his passing.

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Here is an except of the booklet I wrote on him called A History of Dr Frederick LaMotte Santee and the Coven of the Catta which is available at Lulu.com. The second booklet on the coven contains this first booklet also.

At his point I will write all I know about Dr. Santee, which is from Phoebe’s stories, some articles I found in the Santee Memorial Library and from the Harvard Yearbooks. I never met him, having arrived one year after his passing, but he was an amazing man, doctor, scholar and occultist.

He was born 17 September 1906 in Wapwallopen, Pa. He was born in a lineage of four generations of doctor’s who practiced medicine. His grandfather was a Civil War surgeon who helped runaway slaves. His father was Charles LaMotte Santee who held MD degrees from LaFayette and Jefferson colleges in 1901 and he passed away in 1963. His mother was Verna Caroline Lloyd Santee.

Santee showed signs of genius at an early age. By age 3 he would read both English and German. He learned Latin from his grandfather’s grammar books. By age 8 he was translating Caesar’s Gallic Wars from Latin into English and back again to check his grammar. He went to Wapwallopen High School and then on to Wilkes-Barre High School for his last year. He went to Central High School in Philadelphia for AB degree in Greek and had the highest score in the USA, and so went to Harvard.

At age 14 he was the youngest person to attend Harvard from 1924-26 where he graduated at age 16 with an AB Magna Cum Laude.

At Harvard he met EK Rand, the Latin scholar with whom he corresponded for years. When asked “Who interested you in the occult?”, he cites Harvard teacher Professor Grandient who taught Medieval literature and old French, George L. Kitridge who taught English and TM Boura.

He went to the University of Oxford England where he graduated age 18 in 1928 with an AB and then his MA in 1929. While at Oxford he jointed The Alpha et Omega Lodge of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn where he met Aleister Crowley, HP Blavatsky, WB Yeats, Thomas Agee, Dion Fortune, AE Waite, and Israel Regarde. He also jointed Theosophical Society of England. At Oxford his main occult influence was from his philosophy teacher, a Professor Brabbart.

One source says he attended the University of Berlin in 1924-28 where he received his Ph.D. but this date does not seem to match the other records. He spent additional years in Rome, teaching positions at Harvard, Temple, Kenyon. Johns Hopkins, but held no tenure due to his socialist ideas. He was one of the 100 members of the Institute of Arts and Letters.

While at the University of Berlin he was initiated into witchcraft at a Coven 30 miles outside Berlin, the coven High Priest being an Arnold Reinman(d). In travels in the Middle East he met native adepts of the High Art in Egypt, learned from a German adept also in Egypt, and from a Sheik who was High Priest of a “coven” in North Africa. Santee claims to have been a Homeopathic Doctor to Adolf Hitler but escaped Germany before the War. Santee also claims to have adopted into the USA the daughter of Hitler, named Tao, whom Hitler fathered to an English lady before the War.

In 1928 he married Edith Rundle from Allentown, Pa. In 1930 they either birthed or adopted a daughter names Ruth who died in 1938.

In 1930 he was a Sheldon Fellow and Fellow at the American Academy of Rome for 3 years. By then he could read Latin, Greek, German and some Sanskrit.

In the later 1930s he spent 6 years teaching in the USA at Lehigh, Vanderbilt, Harvard, Temple, and Kenyon colleges. As noted before he never achieved tenure at any of these institutions. During this time he jointed the America Roscicrucian Society and was initiated into the Illuminati degree.

In 1938 he graduated from John’s Hopkins University in Baltimore Maryland with his MD degree.

From 1938-1942? he taught classical languages at Kenyon College in Ohio USA and was involved in the Humanistic Revival (see issues of the Kenyon Review). He opposed the US entrance into WWII since he was an avowed Socialist.

Also in 1942 he divorced Edith Rundle and married Betty Addis of Cumberland, Md. They adopted Tao. Betty died in 1966.

From 1943-45 he was drafted into the Navy, served in the South Pacific, but saw no action. Later stationed in Arkansas USA he was a  Lieutenant in the Medical Corps. Also at that time he published “Sawdust and Tomatoes”  (poems of his and his mothers).

The Harvard Yearbook of 1957 lists him as living in Baltimore practicing medicine there. From letters it appears he knew John Colhane the Irish writer, David McDowell at Kenyon and Random House, Father Flye from NYC, Clyde Pharr, and other famous classicists.

In 1956 Santee met Edna Jane Kishbaugh Williams aka Lady Phoebe Athene Nimue.

In 1963 on his father’s death, he returns to Wapwallopen Pennsylvania to continue his medical practice. His home and office were the same at 5 River Street.

In the 1970s once the library was built next door he employed a total of 2 nurses and 4 secretaries and librarians. He wrote a newspaper column called: “The Country Doctor” and Janee wrote a column called: “The Witches’ Kettle”. The locals says he was a kind and compassionate doctor, though a bit of an eccentric. He often treated the poor at no charge.

Santee was known to have rubbed shoulders with much of the northeastern occult community. He was also a scholar of the Faust novels and legend and wrote his own Faustian story entitled “The Devil’s Wager” set in modern times. He had a leg and nylon fetish if I can say so based on the amount of slides of ladies legs he had. He required his nurses and librarians to wear skirts, nylons and high heels at all times. He loves cats and all animals and supported the Humane Society and money from his will was donated to them. He was a regular to NYC and was known to frequent the Magickal Childe bookstore. He had met Sybil Leek at some time and invited her to his Covenstead. His ladies, foremost of which Phoebe, encouraged him to get initiated by her and start a Coven. In 1967 that happened and they received their charter from her. They titled the Coven of the Catta after the cat totem as I have written before and that coven continues to this day with a short hiatus of rituals from 1979, the year of the bookhouse fire through 1980 the year of his death. I wish I had arrived a few years earlier than I did to meet this intelligent, wonderful and weird man and magickian.

Dr Frederick LaMotte Santee died on 11 April 1980 aged 72 after a long battle with liver failure. His body is buried at the Old River Church just north of Wapwallopen, Pa. His gravestone says “I shall return when Spring’s shadow trails.”

Here is a poem written about him:

How pleasant to know the good Doctor

Who writes all this horrible stuff; (1)

Some call him a scoundrel and rotter,

But a few think him pleasant enough.

His mind is abstract and fastidious,

His nose is remarkable big;

Were he only a little less hideous,

You would say he resembles a pig.

When he changes from far specs to near specs

The children are frightened and cry,

And their mothers shout, ‘Hey! Don’t you dare hex (2)

Poor Sam with your terrible eye!’

He has many friends, layman and clerical,

He sleeps every night with his cats,

His body is perfectly spherical,

His office girls never where flats.  (3)

His office is unsanitary

With pictures of girls on the wall,

Every week he drinks gallons of sherry,

But never gets tipsy at all.

He is silent with people who talk a lot,

He won’t look at women in slacks,

His favorite flavor is chocolate,

He rails at inflation and tax.

He hides in the depths of the cellar

While his patients call down through the flue,

‘Come out of that cellar, you yeller,

You yeller old lazy bones, you!’

He reads, but he cannot speak, Spanish,

He still prefers women to men;

Ere the days of your pilgrimage vanish,

He hopes you will see him again.

Footnotes :

(1) Refers mainly to a newspaper column

called the ‘Country Doctor.’

(2) Actually he belongs to a coven of witches.

(3) A famous psychologist sees a relation

between his fetish for high heels

and his love of cats.”

Remembering Charles O’Hara – Purveyor of Buddhist Art and Artifacts

I first met the late Charles O’Hara in the late 1980s to early 1990s. My Buddhist friend back then, Dave K, and I would drive the 150 miles or so from Harrisburg to the little town of Susquehanna Pennsylvania, just south of the border near Binghamton NY and along the thin northern branch of the Susquehanna river. It is an old railroad town that has seen far better days, as has most of northern PA, and was depressed with the drop out back then of the coal industry and the RR system.

We would park in the back and walk up through the yard to the back porch which had huge crates from Nepal stacked all over. It turned out he was a major purveyor and importer of mostly Tibetan Buddhist items from Nepal and northern India, and was a major supplier for Snow Lion, some people there still remembering him. We would go into the kitchen down a path just wide enough to walk through, surrounded on each side by piles of statues and artifacts of all kinds. In his living room was a huge old Chinese lacquered altar with the main Buddha rupa being about the size of a small  child. His incense bowl was always burning. He lived in front of it sitting crossed legged on the floor on a small mattress with a small TV and his eternal cigarette and cup of tea.

Charles was a small man, about 5 foot 6 inches and maybe 120 pounds at the most. He was either from NYC or lived there long enough to still have his accent. When he lived there he had been married once and as far as I knew did not have children but did have some nieces and nephews. I think he started his import business there before moving to the sticks of rural PA.

One time we went to his little local restaurant, and it was obvious everyone knew him and liked him. He said about half the town was either unemployed or retired and I got the impression he helped fuel the local economy somewhat by hiring people to help with this and that around his properties.

There were altars everywhere in his house, from the bedrooms to the hallways to the attic. I remember a Shingon altar at the top of the second floor stairs. Up on the attic there was a Hindu altar with various deities, and on the floor a pile of kapalas and kanglings he had imported back in the 1970s.

Charles had traveled extensively in the far east, from Japan to China to India and Nepal. He told of living as a Buddhist monk on some mountain in China which was full of caves that monks had practiced in for at least a thousand years. He showed us pictures of that area and of himself there.

He had gone to India and Nepal on buying trips trying to line up good reputable dealers in rupas, thankas and artifacts so he could get what he ordered. He often expressed frustration at being shipped items he did not order, or items that did not quite meet the iconography or standard of what he requested. My first small Rahula thanka was a specific order which they fulfilled. And I often benefited when he did not like an item and sold it to me cheap. I asked for him to look for some Chitipati statues and he received an primitive bronze pair of skeleton dancers that were oil lamps and he hated them but I loved them so he only charged me $25 for the pair! One time he had some kapala bone malas and one of his rothweiler had gotten into them chewing the one up, so there were only 99 disk beads left, so he sold that to me cheap too. He knew I was not rich, but knew I was a serious practitioner, so I probably paid about one half of what he could have gotten even wholesale back then.

Charles also had some relics of Sariputra that were from the stupa the Brits had opened at the end of the 1800s, and he did an empowerment with them for me and Dave, and I can tell you it was a powerful experience as he led us through the visualization and meditation. I know he eventually donated them to the KPC temple down in Maryland where they were enshrined.

Towards the end of his life, as he suffered from COPD probably from his chain smoking, I went up and he just gave me the keys to one of his other houses full of artifacts, trusting me that I would not rip him off. I always appreciated that trust. He also sold me the old Kham phurba that his grandmother had personally brought back from Tibet in her travels, and a favorite small khatvanga phurba that I cherish to this day.

I do not know when he died, but it was some time in the mid 1990s. I was told after his death a retinue of traveling Tibetan monks was passing through and stopped at his place, and on finding of his death they read the Bardo Thodol to speed him on his way. Now talk about perfect karmic timing there.

I do not know what happened to his two houses full of treasures, just that a niece inherited most of it, and that some of it ended up in a little store down in Maryland which I visited a few years later.

I consider myself very lucky to have met Charles O’Hara, whom I consider to be a wizened little Bodhisattva full of wit and wisdom. One of his lessons I remember well. We were talking about the paths of “self power”, like Zen which I had practiced before, and “other power” like path of Amida Buddha. Charles said both worked and the former was probably more what the Buddha taught, but that the latter path was easier for sure. After all these years, I do agree with him and still chant the Namo Amida Budsu.

Why am I writing about him here 20 years later? Because I think about him often, and I am surrounded by items I purchased from him, and I was recently going through a photo album and found these pictures.

If anyone who reads this remembers Charles O’Hara, or even has a picture of him, I would love to hear from you.

These pictures are from a visit to his house in 1991 and are copyright 2012 by G.L.Hoke and David K.

Gerald Gardner, Sallustius, and the Problem of Evil – from the Egregores blog

Here are links to an excellent four part series on Modern Paganism and the Ancient Mysteries at the Egregores blog.

Part 1 – Sallustius, Gardner & Wicca – A General Statement of their Creed

Part 2 – Gerald Gardner, Sallustius, and the Problem of Evil

Part 3 – Gerald Gardner, Sallustius, and Reincarnation

Part 4 – Divested of Their Garments

I had not heard of Sallustius before, and his treatise sounds like it was written in this century almost. And I have not read Gardner’s Witchcraft Today in many years, so was happy to find a link in the article to download a PDF of it once again. Here is a quote from Part One:

“In Chapter XIII of The Meaning of Witchcraft, Gardner states (on page 170 of the 2004 Weiser edition), regarding ancient forms of Paganism and their relevance to Wicca, that “the only kinds of paganism with which we are concerned here are those which may have had some influence on the witch cult.” Gardner then names three such sources of influence in particular: (1) “Druidism, the religion of the Celts”, (2) “the religion of the Great Mother Goddess or the old Hunting God”, and (3) “the Mystery Cults of the ancient world”.

Having cited the Mystery Religions as an important part of Wicca’s connection with the ancient Pagan past, Gardner then poses the question, “have we any way of ascertaining what the Mysteries taught?” To which he immediately provides the answer:

“Fortunately, we have. In the fourth century A.D., when paganism was engaged in a fierce struggle with the new creed of Christianity, Sallustius, who was a close personal friend of the Emperor Julian (called the Apostate because he tried to restore the old religion), wrote a treatise called Peri Theon kai Kosmou, About the Gods and the World. It is probable that this treatise was a kind of manifesto of the highest type of paganism prevailing at that time, and it is evident that its author was an initiate of the Mysteries.”
[p. 171]

I recommend a full reading of these articles which are very interesting indeed, especially Part 2 about the problem of evil, a thorny topic in any religion and philosophy. Enjoy.

 

Sybil Leek’s Astrology Journal magazines

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A fellow Sybil Leek advocate and enthusiast of the Vicia line of the Anderson Feri Tradition has graciously gifted to me and the Coven of the Catta these seven copies of Sybil Leek’s Astrology Journal from 1971 to 1973. Now you have to realize that I graduated from high school in 1971! As someone somewhere still owns the copyright to her writings I can only publish these photos of the covers but not the content. These look pretty interesting and since Sybil is the grandmother of our lineage they will be treasured in our archives.

I also found Sybil’s astrology chart at the Astro.com website. Now I am Not an astrologer but the patterns and conjunctions sure look interesting. Enjoy.

The House of Eleggua Blog – worth following!

Photo by Carolina Gonzalez

I have been following The House of Eleggua blog for a few months now, and find it very enjoyable and a good source of knowledge from someone practicing Santeria and other paths. Carolina and her husband live on the Canary Islands off the north west coast of Africa, so it is amazing how all our world connect through the www. She is an excellent photographer, writer, and she craftswoman who also has an online store. What she writes is from the heart for sure. The photo above is from her most recent post on Of How I Met Guaicaipuro And Maria Lionza’s Cult which you can link to here or the photo above. Enjoy!

Codex Gigas – The Devil’s Bible?

I never heard of this very old huge manuscript before today. Below is a very interesting National Geographic video of about 44 minutes on the history of and investigation into the Codex Gigas also known as the Devil’s Bible due to the large illustration of the Devil in it, reproduced above. Here also is a link to the book at the National Library in Stockholm. Enjoy.