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message 1: by Dasha (new)

Dasha Tenebre (JokerNoTenebre) | 1 comments I'd like to know why there aren't any topics here, I thought people talked here, shared interests and knowledge...


message 2: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hey Dasha, What do you think of the current trend in the serious study of Western Esotericism at Universities?

For instance, the books by Jeffrey Kripal, Wouter Hanegraaff, Marco Pasi, Tobias Churton, and Henrik Bogdan.


message 3: by Hilla (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments Well Don,you sure gave a good hint on these Authors and
W.Hanegraaff book "Hermes in the Academy" could give good insights. Which book do you recommend?

I kind of wonder if those Authors ever had any praxis
in alchemy or magic? Often it looks to me, that easly
people use the psychology modell on our work.

Right now I still think without deeper insights in the
the praxis, it will be difficult to grab magic or
alchemy.
I whish W. Hanegraaff`s book 164 sides 35,- euro, would not be so expensive. On the other hand he`s done 10 years of research.


message 4: by Hilla (last edited Mar 13, 2013 08:57AM) (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments I removed most of my magic and alchemy books from goodreads, so don`t wonder.

C.G. Jung once pointed out, that his studies of alchmey was his most important work. A lot of alchemists on the other side have a great dislike for him. They think a person, who never had experience in praxis, is lacking important insights.


message 5: by Jack (new)

Jack Barrow Many works on magic are probably written by practitioners. There is a tradition of self publishing that goes back to Crowley, Spare, Mathers and beyond who were clearly practitioners. Back in those days there were no academic studies of the occult (that I'm aware of) so practitioner authors was all there was.

I don't recognise those authors Don referred to but there are authors such as Dr Dave Evans who is described as an academic and a magician; Ronald Hutton is another but he is apparently less out. I think the current trend just reflects that there are more practitioners in the population and those that become academics often choose to study the modern movement. I suspect that many hope that in doing so they will legitimise the movement in some way.


message 6: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hilla, I also wonder if these authors have a personal practice. I'm pretty sure Kripal does, and Churton as well.

What I enjoy most about the new academic studies is a critical view on claims made by "insiders".

I meditate everyday and practice any/all praxis I find useful. However, I'm skeptical of the many claims made by my fellow travelers. I've seen too many uncritical views taken when it comes ones own beliefs. It's hard, but I try to question my conclusions.

I recently came across a good technique from Aleister Crowley. He advises one to truly take the opposite view in a topic as an exercise in humility (Magick book Four pg.70). In Zen this is called the "great Doubt".

I read 'New Age Religion and Western Culture' Hannegraaff. I think it was priced reasonably. Plus he and others are currently putting out video lectures on YouTube ( Infinite Fire Webinar series).

Peace, Don.


message 7: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Jack wrote: "Many works on magic are probably written by practitioners. There is a tradition of self publishing that goes back to Crowley, Spare, Mathers and beyond who were clearly practitioners. Back in those..."

Jack, I plan on checking out Dave Evans, thanks. I'm aware of Hutton. His name comes up often in the academic books I've been reading. I agree that a larger amount of practitioners is lending support for relevance.

In the past, one had to be so careful when reading about Occultism to separate the personal beliefs of the author from other possible views.

I guess an academic/practitioner would be the ultimate holistic approach.


message 8: by Jack (last edited Mar 14, 2013 09:00AM) (new)

Jack Barrow Don wrote: "I guess an academic/practitioner would be the ultimate holistic approach."

It would be great if we could trust that to be the case but academics are humans too. At least in an academic environment there is the likelihood of a senior academic reading the work before publication although works like Hutton's are probably written independently but you can see a certain level of academic rigour in his work.

It strikes me that the sort of books that come out by academics are from a sociological or historical perspective so they are not really discussing the validity or efficacy of the practices. The day that we get a philosophy or theology academic writing about some sort of pagan practice we might get some interesting reading. Until then I'm afraid it's not really going to touch the things people do, more the sort of people who do the things.


message 9: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments I agree it's hard if not impossible to find a study of practices. Especially in a non- condescending way.

However, many of the new crop of professors treat the subject in all seriousness, and legitimacy.

Henrik Bogdan in 'Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation'. SUNY press, gives a nice study of Magic Ritual.

Granted, the presentation uses an academic methodology. However, Henrik has personal experience with the rituals studied. So, he comes off as totally sincere.

I also would love to read a study of various practices and their reported efficacies.


message 10: by Hilla (last edited Mar 14, 2013 11:30AM) (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments Don,what type of meditation you praxis .. east or west?
In magic we lern to make a diffference between fantasy and real experiences. Nobody wants to take a disney ride during a magical task.

Not to many famous magician write open about there personal experiences. I was lucky to find same examples of astral traveling or vision magic, how they call it these days from the magician Thomas Karlsson, the head of the Dragon Rouge Loge in Stockholm. He traveled in a so called deathship thru the lower parts od the worldtree Yggdrasil and I tried it out myself with success.
I might try Hendrik Bogdan to see if he hits the point.


message 11: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hilla, I practice formless meditation mostly. That is a type of Buddhist concentrative meditation. It is also similar to Centering Prayer as taught by Thomas Keating, a Christian mystic.

I also, do a Sun salutation each morning. I also practice physical exercise in a mindful way with Spirit as Nature in mind.

Other than that I occasionally do Body relaxation with visualizations: Tarot card meditation; Creative Visualization; Healing with color and sound; Dream practice ( still trying to lucid dream) ; Taoist energy ; chakra work etc...

My goal is to find a Magic Ritual practice to add to my daily routine. So, I've been studying the Western Esoteric Tradition for the last two years. I feel it has been neglected as a source. The more I study the more I see the relation between Ritual/Drama as Spiritual Praxis.

I'm also interested in Astral/Pathwork . I have some limited experience with both. I'll look up Karlsson, thanks.

Do you have an Eastern practice as well?


message 12: by Hilla (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments Hello Don, right now Iam in a 5 years training of the Western Tradition Magic. I start every day with basic rituals, like drawing the cirlce, opening the quarters with the four pentagramms, the middle pillar exercise, weaving of the light ectr,after that I go in meditaion
with the different topics I work on.

My first magical training I used was the work from Franz Bardon. In the second war time he refused to join Hitlers occult group. Franz Bardon used the eastern meditation

Afterwards I trained after the famous english magicians still living in our time. Here are their names:

Gareth Kight, Dolores Ashcroft Nowiki, Nick Farell, R.J.Stewart, Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, David Goddard and Josephine McCarthy

Nick Farell wrote a very good book:" Magical Pathworkng" Techniques of acitive imagination. There are other books which have written pathworks you can bild up in your mind and while walking thru them you receive new insights.

I will look thru my occult books to see, which have good rituals or are about astral traveling.

We make a difference between high and low magic. The Western Mystery Tradtion of Magic as I know it, is a spiritual path. We learn to raise our consiousness in the great work to create, what the alchemist call "The Stone" We are born in the west and have also a beautiful tradition of magic and alchemy, why turn to the east.

I would like to quote now Ina Cüsters-vanBergen:

"The training of a magician starts with gaining insights into a reality that is very different in structure than which our society accepts. You train yourself to experience this different reality by means of spiritual exercises. These exersices include: meditation, prayer, contemplation, and shamanistic and ritual techniques."


message 13: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hey Hilla, nice response. You must be buzzing like a bee after your morning practice. With dedication like that you'll be expanding your awareness fast.

I'm aware of Bardon, and have a couple of his books. Unfortunately, I haven't read them yet. I'm addicted to buying books.

I've read Knight, and Ashcroft-Nowicki. I'm currently slowly making my way thru her 'Sounds True' mini course.

Have you seen G. Knight's book 'Experience of the Inner Worlds', it looks great.

I like the quote by Ina. Combining meditation with ritual feels like it's the way for me. At least for now. But, I keep my mind open to any new possibilities.


message 14: by Hilla (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments Hello Don,

how far you have come in the course " Your Unseen Powers" In session one is a beautiful meditiation "Bowl and Flower." It teaches how to grab the four levels.
In this course I still habe four CDs to go, since I stopped inbetween for some other work.

My copy of Gareth Knight book has a different cover, I sure like the one you pointed out better. The book is not an easy read, but I still plan to go thru the exercises.

If you go at any time thru Barsdons books and have a question what is possible or not, you can contact me.

In message 6 you wrote:

"I am skeptical of many claims of my fellow travelers"

Could you tell me, what type of claims they made?

I didn`t know that "Sound True" has a webside good to see. Did you ever try out any spiritual technology?


message 15: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hello Hilla,

I've only made it to CD#2, and chapter 3 in the book. I got side tracked and started reading other material. I'll probably have to start over again to make sense of things.

I bought many of the books she recommended. And, I have compared her positive attitude against other teachers.

I like that she greets each countries Totem as she crosses into a new border.

In regards to my statement about others views, With respect I sometimes feel that people are not critical of their own beliefs. But, I would never fault a person for holding a belief I do not share.

In particular I am very skeptical of many Occult histories. Like Atlantis or certain modern groups having roots in Egyptian historical past. Or, Tarot cards having their origin in Egypt etc...

That said, I keep an open mind and am willing to be shown wrong on any subject whatever. I'm willing to consider any story or claim, but I require more consideration of alternate possibilities myself.

Many claim their path is the true path, and all others are wrong. But, I try to regard all paths with respect.

Long answer sorry.

I use the Binaural Beat technology from Centerpointe. And, in the past I have floated in an Isolation Tank. I recommend both.


message 16: by Hilla (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments Hello Don,

as a matter of fact, Atlantis was the topic of my studies last month and I had a hard time not to explode inside. Atlantis is a myth developed by Plato and picked up from many people. It is true that the Western Tradtion finds their roots in Atlantis and Egypt. This is a personal believe for me which I can respect , but don`t need to follow myself.

You wrote: " I regard all path with respect."

I agree very much, since I spent two years in discussions with people following Aleister Crowley and also exchanged thoughts with followers of the Left Hand Path. We all have our reasons why we decide for a certain path.

I learned a lot thru the American philosopher Ken Wilber. Before he started to write about a certain topic, he read about 500 books from the topic, out every direction like science and religion. He added together what they had in common and that built up his own phliosophy on that. The same way I deal with magic.

I needread now a lot a different viewsides on the topic "inner planes communications" and so called "contacts with masters." Just like you, I collect a lot of books with the topic, try to talk with people about this topic and than I add all together to find a result connected with my own practical experience.

This post is already long, in the next one I reply to the brain technology I tried out.


message 17: by Jack (last edited Sep 20, 2017 04:46PM) (new)

Jack Barrow For a book on contact with masters read my novel. (Blatant plug and it's nothing like that but there is a link and you don't have to buy it.)

On the point if I regard all paths with respect, what if someone suggested that nazism was a path? Would you respect that. Satanism is a bit of punk rock type pagan movement and even that has some sensible philosophy based up anarchy and freedom but there are those in that scene who take it even further. What about some of the extreme ends of the Norther Tradition, extreme Odinism and the like? Some of those people have some extreme right right and openly racist connections. Do we regard these paths with equal status?

Sorry, just had to throw the cat amongst the pidgins here.


message 18: by Hilla (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments Jack, your book just came on my Kindel and I might get the others too.

hmmm the extreme ends of the Northern Tradition, well our plans to join the "Runengilde"broke up, since one of us discovered, that they have a left direction there, which is connected with a satanic church.

"Openly racists connections" never any of the people I worked with...

Jack... the problem is You find fanatic extreme people in all directions... politics, science, religion even at the most holy direction of the right path.

At the time I read Erdred Thorssons books, I didn`t know which way he went with the time.

Ok,I am not open to the extrem side of The Northern Magic Tradition and the wrongs being done from my people in the world war can never be excused.

Till you brought it up here I never knew that there is still a connection between magic and Nazis.

I know there are still Nazis and they are a pain in the back.

I always like different view sides, no problem with a cat bringing certain point in.

Now a question Jack:

How should we look at a magical path .. by the extremes, by the contents of the teachings, by the main followers or by the life ot the main magician of the path.

lol ... just thinking about Crowley and his sex-rituals to get money and right on a new pupil came along who had money in his pocket.

Ok,I start with your novel tonight


message 19: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hi Hilla, funny you should mention...

I've been reading Ken Wilber in depth for 14 years and consider him my default favorite. I meet with a community here in Dallas to discuss his Philosophy.

I also take the beliefs of those who follow "the Left Hand Path" seriously. Perhaps facing one's own Shadow side is healthy and holistic. Tantra, Crazy Wisdom Teachers etc... I saw that Henrik Bogdan made a positive review of the Qabala book by Thomas Karlsson.

As long as their not "scaring the cows" let them do what they want.

I hardly know anything about the Inner Plane Masters. I'm skeptical about some of Blavatsky's claims regarding them, but I'm open to the idea in general. I like the idea of populated inner planes.

Maybe success with Astral Travel would bring an answer.


message 20: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Jack, good question. I would definitely not give any path that hurts/kills other people equal status. I would also shun a path that is racist, sexist etc. However, a close look at most religions reveals some ugly facts.

What to make of animal sacrifice in Voudon, Santeria, etc..?

Personally I would find it hard to participate in such a ceremony. But, when compared to the treatment of animals in slaughter houses the Voudon practitioners appear humane. At least they are grateful.

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto to you".

"Love one another as I have loved you".

"Why can't we all just get along".


message 21: by Hilla (last edited Mar 18, 2013 02:11PM) (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments Hello Don,

the first book I read from Ken Wilber was "Eros, Kosmos, Logos and I found answers in the book which I was looking for a long time to find. I still plan on reading "Integral Spitituality" The Ken Wilber group in my country was to far away, but we had round mails. I took a lot of interest in "intergral medicine" and I learned how to use the four quadrants in daily life.

I guess you also learned about the "Spiral Dynamics" and noticed that magic takes not a high level here.

I was glad to read, that you keep an open mind about the hidden Masters. I have not studied Blatvatsky`s books yet, so I can not say anything about her idea, but I had an old alchemy teacher in spiritual alchemy who teached us about an inner Master and I still do more research about this topic so my mind is still open about it.

I started Jack`s book yesterday and I wonder and wonder.. I am very tempted to bring some quote`s, not about the fun stuff, but how he looks at magic.


message 22: by Jack (new)

Jack Barrow Glad you're enjoying it Don. Well actually you didn't say you are enjoying it specifically but let's see what you think.

Anyway, my point about Nazis wasn't about the current movement in particular. All I was doing was playing Devil's advocate to the suggestion that all paths are of value. If there was a hypothetical group that claimed to develop people spiritually but engaged in something totally abhorrent in their rituals, would it be of value? I just think we have to be careful when we make blanket statements.


message 23: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hello Hilla,

'Integral Spirituality' is very good, but challenging. It introduces a new phase of Ken's work. Integral Methodological Pluralism. Basically a refinement of the four quadrants. I had to read it twice to appreciate it fully.

But, the material on Spirituality is easy to understand.

I like Spiral Dynamics. Especially the insights into how people see the word differently at each value level.

In regards to how they view magic, I think they are referring to a perspective on the world and, not a type of magical technique.

However, I also am unclear as to how they might view modern occult practices. I sense a possible bias against occultism as I do with Ken as well.

I don't see why magic as a practice is any different than the highest Buddhist Tantra practices. Their kind of the same. They use the Bon tradition as well.

But, they do seem to regard Nature Mysticism positively. I think they are trying to make a difference between pre-modern and post-modern perspectives.

That said, I'm more than willing to be critical of Ken's belief's if I don't agree with him. I don't want to believe anyone on blind faith.


message 24: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hilla,

I was going to respond to a post of yours but now I no longer see it.

Did you delete it? If so. thats ok.


message 25: by Hilla (new)

Hilla Powell Bajwa (Kalsoom) | 16 comments Don, I should not write about the Qliphoth, I was tempted. Right now I work on the path of Temperance and should leave certain topice behind me.


message 26: by Don (new)

Don | 12 comments Hilla, I understand. Peace.


message 27: by *Kashi* (new)

*Kashi* | 1 comments This has been quite interesting. Thanks to you I'll start focusing again.


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