Occult Traditions is the manifestation of the endeavours of scholars and practitioners alike exploring and challenging both historical and contemporary perspectives on the occult arts and sciences. The title of this book serves as a testimony for the occult acting as a designation of currents and traditions of esoteric philosophy, and magic as a participatory worldview manipulated as an instrument by the active person through the execution of the art and science of ritual, which is an extension grounded in the belief in magical powers within the self and other. Each page bears witness to aspects of occult traditions, which are in essence simultaneously meta-historical and dynamic, serving as an overall ordering force in service of the principles of the arcane correspondences that exist between the microcosm and the macrocosm.
This book is an awakening to the occult reality that since the dawn of ages men and women have sought a glimpse of gnOsis within the awesome natural performance of ritual, the slithering flow of the elements, the sensational sounds of the spheres, the iconic form of dreams undreamt and now awoken, the irrational whispering of mystical verses, the silence of contemplation, and the passion-drenched erotic thirst for life, death, and rebirth. Unlike the priesthood of sterile logic and doctrinal faith, these men and women have been a visible representation of spiritual virility, of the human condition, and many times the romantic ethos, which many have convicted as an antinomian ethos, refusing, adapting, and also enchanting the dictates of conventional society, morality, and metaphysical culture. Thus, Occult Traditions invites the reader to journey along with the authors and conjurors, who have been generous enough to share their visions and gestures in this book, through various traditions relating to distinct historical developments, unique occult philosophies, and potent ritual practice.
Here the reader shall encounter summoning magical assistants and the presence of the mystery traditions in the Greek Magical Papyri; deification through the arcane process of drowning in the Greek Magical Papyri; an exploration of occult theology as a continuation of Neoplatonism; a historical analysis of the grimoire traditions and a search for the original source of the Key of Solomon; the Icelandic tradition of magic as presented in an eighteenth century grimoire; a comparative analysis of medieval and Renaissance angel magic; Canaanite views of death and necromancy; an exploration of the use and attributes of incenses throughout history; a consideration of the science of divining the will of the gods; Seth as god of chaos and equilibrium; Julius Evola's ideas concerning the formula of sex, magic, and power; Buddhist 'wizards' at war in Thailand; a critical examination of the role of sex, magic, and initiation in the Wiccan Great Rite; the dynamics of altering consciousness within the spiral maze of Wiccan ritual; a restoration of the Rite of the Headless One from the Greek Magical Papyri; the elements of being and becoming in Conversation with one's Holy Guardian Angel; the Eucharistic Feast of Agathodaimon; the Rite of the Solar and Lunar Mysteries of the Altar of Eros for the Consecration of the Talismans of Helios and Selene; the Calling and Adoration of Aion, and the Spell of the Mystic Flame; and finally the Hymnic Adoration and Invocation of Thoth, to whom this book belongs, as He is lord of magic and scribe of the gods.