Zero Equals Two is a blog on magical news and culture sponsored by U.S. Grand Lodge, O.T.O. A diverse collective of contributors comb the worlds of magick, art, science, history, philosophy, and more every day for articles and events of interest to Thelemites and other modern free-thinkers and explorers, collecting them on this blog for your enjoyment.
2020/02/21Hadean Press Publishes – Tantric Conjure
The UK’s Hadean Press has announced its latest publication, Tantric Conjure: The Magic of Mantra & Yantra. The publisher’s site describes it thus:
“Eschewing both the academic distance and the marketable whitewashing of much English language Tantric literature, Vijnananath presents folk Tantra based in lived practice. Resembling witchcraft and folk magic from other parts of the world, it yet retains the devotional and yogic core which makes Tantra what it is. Tantric Conjure: The Magic of Mantra & Yantra is an invitation to experience the spirituality and sorcery of this multifaceted tradition.
“This short work includes an invocation to the elephant-headed lord, following which the author describes the Ganapati yantra practice, as well as the Bhairava Bhūtkāya mantra practice with spells for road opening, petition papers, necromancy, and exorcism. It is a perfect addition to our Guides to the Underworld and we hope our readers enjoy it.”
2020/02/21Current 93 Announced June 7 London Concert Date w Short Lyric Video
O.T.O. Cabinet member David Tibet has announced a late Spring gig in London via a YouTube video set to music. The bill will be: CURRENT 93 / NURSE WITH WOUND / BABY DEE / OLCAY BAYIR LONDON o2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE SUNDAY JUNE 7 2020. Check out the video
2020/02/20Video of Per Faxneld’s Presentation – Leonardo The Magus
I’m happy to share with you a video link to a presentation from last year’s Trans State Conference. This one features Per Faxneld’s presentation, Leonardo the Magus, Mona Lisa’s Mysterious Smile, and the Artist Initiate. The posted description sez:
“The presentation will discuss ideas about Leonardo da Vinci and his famous painting La Gioconda (popularly known as Mona Lisa) that were widely held in both occult and non-occult circles during the nineteenth century: Firstly, that Leonardo himself was, in some sense, an esotericist (a notion there is no basis for in historical documentation from his own time). Secondly, that La Gioconda is a mysterious, sinister object (again, an interpretation reflecting nineteenth-century anxieties and fascinations, rather than something present in the original Renaissance context). To occultists, this object was moreover filled with magical energies, and contained hidden signs that the initiate could decipher and employ for his or her spiritual development. This ‘esoterization’ of the painting and its creator was, the paper will demonstrate, part of a broader tendency to view artists, both historical and contemporary, as magicians and mystics in some sense at this time. Hereby, art became integrated into the endeavors of various esoteric groups and thinkers, and an originally secular Renaissance work like La Gioconda was absorbed into a nineteenth-century ‘occulture’.
“Per Faxneld obtained his PhD (2014) in History of Religions at Stockholm University, with the thesis Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth-Century Culture, (subsequently re-published by Oxford University Press in 2017). He has published extensively on esotericism in academic journals and books, and also contributed to exhibition catalogues from several art museums. One of his main research interests is the relationship between esotericism and literature/visual art. Faxneld is an associate professor/senior lecturer at Södertörn University, Stockholm. In his spare time he runs the bibliophile small press Malört, producing exclusive illustrated editions of historical esoteric authors like Jacques Cazotte and Stanislaw Przybyszewski.”
Have a look:
2020/02/20Oldest Human Myth Arose in Australia
Last week, Science Magazine published a story discussing what seems to be the oldest documented story told by human beings. This is an account of volcanic eruptions in Australia some 37,000 years ago. The article ends:
“Damein Bell, CEO of the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, says the Gunditjmara community welcomes the new study, which highlights the deep links they have with their country. “As with all First Nations around the world, our stories, heritage, identity and survival are connected to our traditional homelands and waters,” he says. Bell says the Gunditjmara already suspected their story had been kept alive by their ancestors for a very long time, but they appreciate any scientific evidence that can provide a sense of exactly how long. ‘We’re always amazed with … new technologies that prove the brilliance of our ancestors.’”
Read the entire article
Thanks to Soror Amy for the tip!
2020/02/19Charles Portis, Author of Masters of Atlantis, Celebrates His Greater Feast
Novelist Charles Portis has died at the age of 86. His most successful novel was True Grit which topped the NY Times Best Seller List for 22 weeks and was made into a major motion picture which won John Wayne the only Oscar of his long career. Notwithstanding, he scrupulously avoided the public eye so much so that author and journalist Ron Rosenbaum called him “our least-known great novelist.” Meanwhile, our beloved OHO suggests that Portis’ Masters of Atlantis “should be required reading for any OTO officer.” A Washington Post book review stated:
“CHARLES PORTIS is back with a funny and touching novel about an imaginary occult organization called the Gnomon Society. We follow Gnomonism from its inception after World War I, through its heyday in the Depression, and on through its slow attrition up to the present time. Much of the book’s humor derives from the gap between the cosmic afflatus of Gnomonism and the fumbling lives of the Masters who profess it…
“At some stage in their lives, many people get the feeling that there should be some kind of key to the universe. The world seems like a mysterious whole, a unity whose essential secrets lie just beyond one’s grasp. These numinous feelings may impel a person to delve deep into art, science, philosophy or religion. But a person with no great creative drive can easily get hung up on the numinous feelings themselves. Instead of finding difficult ways to make things clearer, such a person may opt for easy ways to make things more mysterious. This is the kind of person who, a few decades back, would have been likely to dabble in Madame Blavatsky’s astral planes, G. I. Gurdjieff’s laws of octaves, or Rudolf Steiner’s writings on Atlantis. In general, these cults start with a few broadly suggestive principles — notions like ‘All is One,’ and ‘As Above, So Below’ — and then swathe these precepts with layer upon layer of gauzy obfuscation. Gnomonism, as a parody of such cults, seems to consist of swathing alone.”
Here’s the Washington Post’s obituary: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/charles-portis-author-of-the-western-classic-true-grit-dies-at-86/2020/02/18/9cd0f46c-5261-11ea-b119-4faabac6674f_story.html.
Thanks to Hymenaeus Beta for the tip!