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z2square200Zero 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.

Recent posts

  • The Feast of Johannes Dee
    2019/03/26

    John Dee portrait

    According to Charlotte Fell Smith, this portrait was painted when Dee was 67. It belonged to his grandson Rowland Dee and later to Elias Ashmole, who left it to Oxford University.

    Today, 26 March, is the Feast of Johannes (John) Dee. In his Invisible Basilica, Sabazius describes Dee thus:

    English alchemist, mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, philosopher and magician. Dee was the court astrologer to both Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I, and, according to legend, conjured a windstorm which resulted in the defeat of the invading Spanish Armada. Dee was the editor of the first English translation of Euclid’s “Elements.” Dee, along with Edward Kelly were responsible for the Enochian system of magical intercourse with a hierarchy of angelic beings, a system of great importance in the magical technology of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and of Aleister Crowley, forming the basis of Liber CDXVIII: The Vision and the Voice (in The Equinox, Vol I, No. V, March 1911 e.v.) and Liber LXXXIX vel Chanokh (in The Equinox, Vol. I, Nos. VII and VIII, March and September 1912 e.v.). Some believe Dee to be the true instigator of the Rosicrucian movement.

    In honor of John Dee, below is the suggested menu for a Tudor-era feast, with links to recipes:

    Learn more about John Dee:

  • Pratt Instituting Exhibition Devoted to the Illustrator of the Rider-Waite Deck
    2019/03/26

    Pamela Colman Smith: Life and Work is an exhibition at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn co-curated by Pratt alumni Colleen Lynch and Melissa Staiger running through April 11, 2019. The exhibition celebrates the life of this artist who illustrateed the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck. The exhibition’s site explains:

    “Pamela Colman Smith, renowned for illustrating the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, began her artistic career in 1893 as a student at the newly founded Pratt Institute. Her artistic output in her brief but successful career included paintings, illustrations, set and costume design for theater, a literary magazine, and books of folklore. Smith moved in bohemian circles both in New York and London,exhibiting at Alfred Stieglitz’s Gallery 291, the first non-photographer to do so, and collaborating with W.B. Yeats, Bram Stoker, and the celebrated actress Ellen Terry.

    “This exhibition presents an overview of Smith’s life and multi-faceted career, showing books, prints, reproductions of illustrations and paintings, and tarot decks, along with photographs of her illustrious family and friends. Telling her story and providing a context for her work, this exhibit shows how her style, archetypal subject matter, and interest in ancient spiritual traditions profoundly influenced her drawings for one of the most popular tarot decks in use, the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot.

    “Linking Smith’s time to now, Pratt alumni Emi Brady, David Palladini, Jen May and Phil Williamston, will have tarot decks on display to showcase contemporary variations on the traditional deck.”

    For more information visit:

    https://library.pratt.edu/about/brooklyn_campus/exhibits/.

  • Popmatters Discusses the Occultism of Coil vs. PTV
    2019/03/25

    Popmatters recently a shockingly in depth, well written, thoughtful piece discussing the occult content and activities of Coil and Psychic TV. Not that the writing on this site isn’t normally well done and intelligent, but it’s not often that profane media approaches the subject this seriously. We’re not endorsing the ultimate truth of their conclusions, just that this is a thought-provoking, carefully approached discussion. One tiny excerpt states:

    “Fan comparisons, I believe, amount to wishful thinking for some intrinsic occult connection. True, Psychic TV and Coil were vanguard bands that blended ritual magick and creative method. But even their esoteric beliefs bore scant resemblance, a split that runs deep. In fact, three magickal rifts are to blame for the many public fissures now glossed over by nostalgia. Naming them will expose how Coil and Psychic TV borrowed different impulses from the 20th century’s occult landscape, and using music, translated their agendas into radically distinct places for listeners.”

    Read the whole thing:

    https://www.popmatters.com/coil-and-psychic-tv-2631333790.html.

  • The Feast of Saint Priapus
    2019/03/25

    Yesterday, March 24, was the Feast of Saint Priapus. According to the Greek Mythology Link, “Priapus is a god of fertility, protector of horticulture and viticulture. His statue, holding a wooden sickle in his hand, was used in the Roman gardens as scarecrow, and his enormous penis as a threat against thieves.”

    The Invisible Basilica of Sabazius notes that Priapus was “The Mysian god of creative fertility in nature and in man; sometimes identified with both Hermês and Pan. He presided over the fertility of fields and flocks, bee-keeping, viticulture and fishing. By some accounts, he was included among the retinue of Dionysus.”

    In honor of the saint’s blessings to flock and field, please enjoy this recipe as part of your feast.

    Honey Orange Fish Fillets

    Ingredients

    • 3 tbs frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)
    • 1 tbs peanut or safflower oil
    • 2 tbs honey
    • ½ tsp dried dill weed
    • ⅛ tsp white pepper
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp orange zest
    • 1 ½ pounds haddock, arctic char, cod, or halibut fillets

    Instructions

    1. Combine the orange juice concentrate, oil, honey, dried dill weed, white pepper, salt, and orange zest, and pour over the fish in a glass baking dish. Cover and chill 30 minutes. (You can also make this without marinating the fish; just broil it and brush with the marinade.)
    2. Remove the fish from the dish and reserve the marinade. Grill or broil the fish 4-6 inches away from heat source (either over medium coals or under a hot broiler), turning carefully once and brushing with the marinade until fish is thoroughly cooked and flakes easily when tested with a fork, about 5 to 10 minutes.
    3. If the fish is less than 1/2-inch thick, you can broil it without turning, which makes the recipe much easier! Discard any remaining marinade and serve the fish immediately.

    (Source: The Spruce Eats)

    Learn more about Priapus:

    Image via Wikimedia Commons, By Fer.filol – Own work, Public Domain.

  • Sun Ra’s Full Lecture & Reading List
    2019/03/25

    Some years ago openculture.com posted a full lecture and & reading list from our hero Sun Ra’s 1971 UC Berkeley Course, “The Black Man in the Cosmos.” If you don’t understand why this is pertinent – well, I could teach you but I’d have to charge. This posting includes audio of the lecture, a history of Professor Ra, accounts of his teaching style and a reading list which included:

     

    The Egyptian Book of the Dead

    Radix

    Alexander Hislop: Two Babylons

    The Theosophical works of Madame Blavatsky

    The Book of Oahspe [I own a copy of this and according to the New York Times, some NYers are running a church based on this scripture]

    Henry Dumas: Ark of Bones

    Henry Dumas: Poetry for My People eds. Hale Charfield & Eugene Redmond, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press 1971

    Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing, eds. Leroi Jones & Larry Neal, New York: William Morrow 1968

    David Livingston: Missionary Travels

    Theodore P. Ford: God Wills the Negro

    Rutledge: God’s Children

    Stylus, vol. 13, no. 1 (Spring 1971), Temple University

    John S. Wilson: Jazz. Where It Came From, Where It’s At, United States Information Agency

    Yosef A. A. Ben-Jochannan: Black Man of the Nile and His Family, Alkibu Ian Books 1972

    Constantin Francois de Chasseboeuf, Comte de Volney: The Ruins, or, Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires, and the Law of Nature, London: Pioneer Press 1921

    The Source Book of Man’s Life and Death (Ra’s description; = The King James Bible)

    Pjotr Demianovitch Ouspensky: A New Model of the Universe. Principles of the Psychological Method in Its Application to Problems of Science, Religion and Art, New York: Knopf 1956

    Frederick Bodmer: The Loom of Language. An Approach to the Mastery of Many Languages, ed. Lancelot Hogben, New York: Norton & Co. 1944

    Blackie’s Etymology

    so check out the whole posting!

    http://www.openculture.com/2014/07/full-lecture-and-reading-list-from-sun-ras-1971-uc-berkeley-course.html.

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