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.
2021/07/27Archaeologists Uncover Drawing of Last King of Babylon
Smithsonian Magazine ran a story about recent discoveries in the Middle East including a carving of the last king of Babylon. Considering the persistence of aspects of Sumerian religion and magical concepts via Babylon to the present day, we thought this’d be of interest.
As Arab News reports, archaeologists from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage spotted the 2,550-year-old inscription engraved on a basalt stone in the Al-Hadeed Governorate, in the country’s northern Hail region.
Per a statement, the carving contains 26 lines of cuneiform writing, making it the longest cuneiform inscription discovered in Saudi Arabia to date. The find could shed light on the history of the Arabian Peninsula and its ancient residents’ ties to neighboring Mesopotamia.
The etching shows the Babylonian king standing with a scepter in his hand. Four symbols—a crescent moon, the sun, a snake and a flower—hover in front of him.
2021/07/27Angels and Demons
Here’s an excerpt from Jason Miller’s Magick Monday Newsletter for this week.
“How can you have prayers to the devil, then turn around and recommend someone pray to St Michael to conquer Satan and the devil. It makes no sense! Which side are you on?”
Simply put, I am on humanities side.
All over the world there is a dichotomy of spirits that appears. Hot and Cool in some African traditions. Wrathful and Peaceful in Buddhism. Good and Evil in Christianity. None of these quite hit the nail on the head, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t useful lenses. My own way of looking at this was taught to me by St Cyprian when I was learning how and why to work with both Angels and Demons.
Want to know the difference between Angels and Demons? Angels act in accordance with collectivism, obedience, cohesion, understanding, and approach the passions of life with an attitude of renunciation or avoidance. Demons, which in Christian terms are just fallen Angels, act out of individualism, disobedience, dispersion, obtrusion, and approach the passions of life with an attitude of indulgence and revelry. This is speaking generally of course, as there are plenty of examples of hot passionate angels and cool calculating demons.
In other words, they are just like people, but because they operate in ways that are more subtle and in some ways are more powerful than the way people operate, it can make the issue more complex.
The sad thing is that most of the time people need exactly the opposite of what they are drawn to. Those who seem to gravitate towards demons are often those who could use a good dose of “this is not just about you and what you think”. Those who gravitate towards Angels and like to think of demons as evil, could use a good dose of “freedom is just as important as justice and collective good”.
Angels and religion or demons and personal-practice can both become toxic mires if you let them.
As a devotee of St Cyprian I have often done a Black Liturgy that celebrates the gifts of the Serpent and Cain on a Saturday night, then attend Church on a Sunday morning to celebrate the grace of the Eucharist.
So it is a matter of keeping a balance?
A lot of you will not want to hear this, because horns and batwings are cool and Satan has better music, but most of the time its not the demons you need, it’s the Angels and the Saints (or equivalent in whatever spiritual world you inhabit). A little more cohesion than, a little more selflessness, a little more understanding, and a little more renunciation and avoidance of tempting passion-filled things is what I think we should mostly err towards.
There is a reason that in the Black School we start with some very heavy Christian practices but end the second year with a Black Liturgy. If you can’t handle the former, the latter will just do you harm.
That said, it really is up to you what and how you handle your spiritual life. I just wanted to answer that question. Sometimes you need a good bit of Satan in your life: knowledge and passion and power despite the cost. At other times, you tell that fucker to calm down and STFU, ergo the prayer to St Michael.
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2021/07/26Online Course – PGM PRAXIS: 50 Rites for 50 Nights
The Blackthorne School has a new online course opening soon:
PGM PRAXIS: 50 Rites for 50 Nights
From $49.99 USD/month for 12 months
Course Enrollment is Currently Open!
Next Start Date: August 30th, 2021
Online Course has prerecorded video lessons that you can view at your own pace on our website while following along week by week with our lovely cohort via FaceBook group!
Make this the year that you take your PGM practice to the next level! Whether you are a seasoned PGM practitioner, or an intermediate practitioner of other esoteric studies looking to demystify the PGM, this course is for you. Join Jack Grayle, author of The Hekataeon, in a year-long online course with one rite per week in a program designed to take you deeper than you’ve ever gone into the PGM.
You do not have to perform all of the lessons to gain great benefit from the course. You also can choose to not participate in the Facebook group if you prefer. All necessary course materials will be uploaded to our website. However, we feel the Facebook group offers a rich component of interacting with other practitioners and sharing the learning process.
2021/07/26Discoveries at Goddess Temple in Sicily
Here’s a report from ANSA Med on new archaeological finds in Sicily including materials associated with a Goddess temple:
“Students and archaeologists from New York University (NYU) and the University of Milan (UniMi) brought to light new evidence of ancient life with four discoveries at Temple R in Selinunte.
“The mission led by professors Clemente Marconi, Rosalia Pumo and Andrew Ward brought the discovery of part of a monumental platform on two levels that was likely used to house the main altar of Temple R, the oldest in the city, dated archaeologically to 570 BC.
“It is a historical testimony of two different phases of the city: the lower platform dates to the years of construction of Temple R; while the higher platform, more monumental, dates to the 5th century.
“This is the same area where, in 2010, researchers with the NYU-UniMi mission found abundant remains of animal sacrifice.
“Among the finds were also two spearheads that were found burnt and crossed. “A truly exceptional case in the Greek world to find them like this,” said professor Marconi.
“‘It was typical of female cults to have dedications of weapons, and the finding in front of Temple R, dedicated to a goddess, is certainly not accidental,’ he said.
During the excavation, a large goat’s horn was also unearthed, evidence of a prestigious sacrifice to the divinity.”
2021/07/23Hadean Press Publishing The Sworn and Secret Grimoire
The UK’s Hadean Press has announced is publication of The Sworn and Secret Grimoire by the Master Arbatel, “translated for our age by ‘Count Abaka’”, the latter being Jake Stratton-Kent. The publisher’s site says:
“It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Night School Volume I: The Sworn and Secret Grimoire by the Master Arbatel, translated for our age by Count Abaka, who is none other than Jake Stratton-Kent. In The Sworn and Secret Grimoire Jake honours the venerable grimoire tradition of forging a forgery.
“A ‘Guide to Grimoiring’ is well overdue, with unqualified persons claiming to fill the gap only to muddy the waters further. Simplifying the processes involved is unhelpful, what is required is to render them comprehensible and ‘user friendly’ in a time where they are regaining their deserved prestige as monuments of a tradition preceding the Christian era while nonetheless bring rooted in it. These processes are demanding and require both work and study in order to succeed. So too the ‘by rote’ attitude exhibited by some writers on the subject requires a counterblast. Forging and reforging grimoires has always been a part of their real nature; in a metallurgical as well as a literary sense. Ritual composition from scratch is a neglected but necessary skill, requiring a qualified and informed approach, which the current work addresses. So too this handbook departs from the homogenised ‘Solomonic’ form, drawing instead on the great iconoclast and revitaliser of tradition, Paracelsus. While avoiding Christophobia, the implications for a more pagan (or pagan friendly) approach to the grimoires, compatible with the Greek Magical Papyri and other predecessor forms, are greatly increased by this shift of emphasis.
“Welcome to the Night School.”
Order your copy: https://www.hadeanpress.com/news/2021/7/20/the-sworn-and-secret-grimoire.