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.
2020/07/08King David – Vagabond, Racketeer?
The New Yorker published an extensive piece (well, most of their pieces are extensive! that’s the format! their info delivery format is the opposite of memes and soundbytes) about the ongoing feud between the Maximalists and Minimalists in Biblical Archaeology. The Maximalists believe that the stories told in the Torah are literally true. The Minimalists… not so much. Minimalists like Israel Finkelstein at Tel Aviv University has looked at the archaeological finds or scientific records thereof as the basis of his evaluation of the historical veracity of the Torah’s accounts and decided that that science does not support the tales told. Actual artifacts and stratigraphy would indicate that, for instance, King David, was likely a small time chieftain controlling one mountain top stronghold used as the base for launching raiding parties against prosperous Philistine cities or trade caravans. He theorizes that the glorified accounts of his reign were generated during the time of King Josiah – a legitimately powerful regional ruler – looking to give a little added heft to his predecessors’ reputations. The article begins:
“Jerusalem, in the tenth century B.C., is an inhospitable place for farmers but a strategic location for men on the run. Human settlement in the Judean highlands is sparse: five thousand people, spread out in hamlets of about fifty families each. The landscape is rugged, veined with ravines and thicketed with oaks. Rain is unpredictable. To the east lies the desert, hushed and empty. To the west—teasingly close—are the lush lowlands of the Philistine city-states, with their seaside trade routes and their princely homes. Cut off from these coastal plains, life in the hill country is severe. Homes are made of unworked stone; sheep and goats are quartered indoors. There are no public buildings, no ornate furnishings in the shrines. Bands of fugitives, landless laborers, and tax evaders rove the Judean wilderness. These rebel gangs—viewed by the neighboring Egyptians as both a nuisance and a threat—maraud the nearby villages. They collect protection money and pillage the locals, making off with their women and their cattle. They terrorize the Philistines, and then, in a sudden turnaround, offer their services to a Philistine king in exchange for shelter.“Their leader is a wily, resourceful man from Bethlehem, who decides that his people are meant for more than lightning raids and mercenary stints. He sends his men to rout an advancing force, then shares the loot with the highland elders. This wins over the highlanders, and, in time, they make him chieftain of the southern hill area. He takes over the tribal center of Hebron, and later captures Jerusalem, another hilltop stronghold. The chieftain moves his extended family to the main homes of the Jerusalem village, and settles in one himself—a palace, some might call it, though there is nothing extravagant about it. He rules over a neglected chiefdom of pastoralists and outlaws. His name is David.”
Why should you care? Well, a lot of modern ceremonial magick tech either uses or developed from formulae using Hebrew God names, invoking Archangels, in some cases assuming the authority of a figure like Moses so understanding the reality, and also how people of the time perceived that reality gives us a better handle on where the roots of our tech came from, how it worked originally, etc. Which is not to say we need to use it the exact same way. But if you came upon a piece of flint and of iron you either would overlook them, or think they were mere trinkets, or something to use to bash in a nail in a pinch — you might not realize that these are fire starting tools unless you knew the history of early hunter gatherer civilisations. For instance.
2020/07/08Link to Supermoon5 Performance Video“You can still watch SUPERMOON 5 at your leisure! Here is the archive link to this performance, video and musical show and fundraiser supporting Black lives and communities!: https://youtu.be/qYi6lAb-szM“This is such an entertaining edition with so many great pieces and artists. The list of appearances is attached, and more info is below on the orgs we raised money for. You can of course still donate to any of them to support Black communities during this time of global reckoning. ““[part of a ]live broadcast series from interdisciplinary artist Liz Walsh, who in supplementing her gallery exhibition has been curating the most exceptionally eccentric short-form magazine-style line-ups of music, performance art, off-beat mediations, unlikely how-twos, poetry, and general digital psychedelia.”FEATURING L.A.Drones Huntrezz Kyler O’Neal Edgar Fabian Frias Moira Scar /V.E.X. Cade Moga Dalton Blanco Channel Earth Television Peter Kalisch Doña J Emily Lucid Foriegnfire Shane Aslan Selzer Mirrored Fatality Veronica de Jesus Monet Clark Jason Winfield Will Bruno Wendy Farina Alex Theodoropulos Christine Shields Kim Anno Gordon Winiemko Hannah Modesitt Kal Spelletich HOLA House of Los AngelesDONATE HERE (click link to orgs page )SummaEveryThang https://summaeverythang.org/ upper right corner button for donations! **************People’s Breakfast Oakland https://linktr.ee/PBO ****************PBTL Protect Black Trans Lives via Jelly Bebe @theacidhit cashapp handle: $j3llybebe ***************GLP Grass Roots Law Project https://www.grassrootslaw.org/
2020/07/07Scarlet Imprint Celebrating Their Lucky 13th Anniversary!
UK publisher Scarlet Imprint are celebrating their 13th Anniversary today! Co-founder Alkistis Dimech published this essay commemorating the date:
“Today we celebrate 13 years of Scarlet Imprint. We began with a vision to publish books that create change, books that inspire, challenge and transform us and the community of magicians around us. From the beginning we were inspired by those cherished books that had initiated or marked us irrevocably. When we discover such books there is no going back. For me it was Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. Miller led to Anaïs Nin, Nin to Artaud, Jarry, and countless other writers and artists whose words and works continue to reverberate through my life and works. We all face the unknown, and with all our energy cast our imaginations over that dark expanse. To bring forth, to create.
“And it is here, in the profound connection between the desire to know and the desire to live and to affirm life as a passionate becoming, that the book is found. No matter how beautifully or humbly attired, the book comes to us as a kind of angel, a nexus between the realm of ideas and the realm of the senses.
“When, in 2007, I first made a book, I had only Peter’s text and this desire. If I had known how little I knew then, perhaps none of this would have happened. But I threw myself passionately into a love affair. Hours – all hours – days, months, years: I continue to learn my craft. You come to realise how much you owe to those who have gone before, how little can be done alone – through books we are in conversation with the past, with our peers and with those to come.
“In publishing we work with the limitations and the liberties afforded us by modern printing methods. Other freedoms appear when one is constrained, more ingenuity is needed, different ways of thinking, or of seeing. I found that emotion is the key to finding the form a manuscript will take. Every element of the design is engaged, from materials, margins, typefaces and the raw text I endeavour to summon the life and spirit of a book. You know when you have found it – it is there, it no longer needs you, it can enter the world and do what it will. And these books all have flaws, as humans do, and it doesn’t stop them. I have come to accept these flaws as imps that slip through in the creation of a book. I wonder whether perfection is the enemy of desire.
“From the first we were driven by a libido sciendi, or desire to know. To light fires and create heresies in the utterly banal and destructive monoculture we are in. To resurrect the beauty that has been forgotten, or banished.
“The artist Ayis Lertas has interpreted this incandescent spirit for us; an imp sprung from a pyre of ancient gnosis and burning with a passionate and fearless love for knowledge. Or a creature that a monk doodled in the margins of a manuscript while contemplating the temptations of forbidden books…
“We will be slipping these bookplates into all hardback books ordered from us, until they are no more.”
In Nomine Babalon
2020/07/07Summer 2020 edition of Agapé is NOW Available Online
From the Editor 2
From the Grand Master 3
Updates from the Electoral College 4
Grand Lodge News & Announcements 5
Featured Articles 6
U.S.G.L. Officers Directory 16
2020/07/06U. of Amsterdam Seeking . Assistant Professors in History of Western Esotericism
Two assistant professor positions available in the History of Western Esotericism (University of Amsterdam)
The Centre for the History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents has two positions available, one for an assistant professor (UD) in the History of Western Esotericism in Late Antiquity, and the other for an assistant professor (UD) in the History of Western Esotericism in the Middle ages. Please find a description of the positions and details about how to apply here: