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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


  • 2020/10/30Erzebet Barthold Publishing Collection of Her Short Stories

    Hadean Press owner, Erzebet Barthold, just released a collection of her own short stories, The Mirror Tells All and Other Stories. The publisher’s site sez:

    “Peasants, princesses, princes and fighting men. Wives, daughters, fairy queens and friends. They share in common triumph and loss, but what binds them all is love. This collection of includes five previously published and four unpublished short stories by Erzebet Barthold who is best known for her work as a publisher (Papaveria Press and Hadean Press). Inside you’ll find fairy tale retellings, pure fantasy, and the weird, bound together by the subversive notion that while we can be damaged and broken, wholeness is our natural state.

    “Erzebet Barthold is an author, artist, editor, bookbinder, and independent publisher. She is inspired by fairy tales, folklore, and the wild places in the world. She is best known on this website as the Managing Director of Hadean Press, but in her other life her short fiction has been published by Fantasy Magazine, Not One of Us, Clarkesworld Magazine, Tor Books, Lethe Press, Mythic Delirium Books, and her novellas and novels by Prime Books.

    Contents

    A Sure and Certain Song
    A Prince’s Kiss
    What a Queen Does with her Hands
    Jane Strange
    The Stolen Children
    The Green Dragon
    The Shapeshifter’s Lover
    At the Core
    The Mirror Tells All

    Signed copies available!:

    https://www.hadeanpress.com/shop/the-mirror-tells-all-and-other-stories.


  • 2020/10/30Vintage Article on the Rites of Eleusis

    More cool stuff from Frater Orpheus’ FB page:
    “…an article on the Rites of Eleusis entitled, ‘The Elusive Rites of Eleusis’ published in the October 26th edition of The Sketch (1910) in which the author laments that it was so dark at the performance that the Rite was barely visible. None the less it provided a firsthand account of the Rite of Saturn and was accompanied by beautifully executed artistic representation of the event. Crowley, who played the role of the Master of the Temple appears in three of the scenes depicted in this montage and Waddell who played the Mother of Heaven would appear in two.
    “The article reads…
    “‘There began last week, in the Caxton Hall, a series of celebrations of the Rites of Eleusis. Then was given the Rite of Saturn; to follow are the Rites or Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercury, and Luna. So far as the first celebration was concerned, the hall was so dark that one may well call the Rites of Eleusis elusive. The. Rite of Saturn is the first of the seven Rites of Eleusis, which are described as illustrating humanity, its fate, good and evil. In the first rite, Man, unable to solve the riddle of existence, takes counsel of Saturn, extreme old age. Such answer as he can get is the one word “Despair.” In his “Eleusis,” Mr. Aleister Crowley writes: “When I have seen God face to face and read within those eternal eyes the secret that shall make you free. Then will I choose you and test you and instruct you in the Mysteries of Eleusis, O ye brave hearts, and cool eves, and trembling lips! I will put a live coal upon your lips, and flowers upon your eyes, and a sword in your hearts, and ye also shall see God face to face.’
    “(The following descriptions were provided in regards to the images)
    1. The Rite Opens with a Litany of Lamentation.
    2. The Mother of Heaven plays an Invocation on the violin, her back turned to those present.
    3. The Master of the Temple, seated by the ceremonial fore, called the hell broth, recites ‘The Eyes of the Pharaoh.’
    4. The Suspected Traitor, having been found, is slain with a spear.
    5. After it has been discovered that the Temple is Empty, the Master recites a translation of Verlaine’s ‘Colloque Sentimental’ and Swinburne’s ‘Garden of Proserpine’.
    6. Impelled by the despair which he has expressed by a Recital of Thomson’s ‘The City of Dreadful Night,’ The Master kills Himself by the side of the Messenger of Joy, who has fallen exhausted by the Altar; the Mother of Heaven weeps over him, and for a moment, the Angel of Death is seen.”
    93 93 93
    Orpheus
    [I see the swastika in the lower left hand corner of the illustration; keep in mind that the Rites were staged in 1910, long before the National Socialist Party of Germany appropriated the Hindu religious symbol and turned it into a symbol of representing pure evil to most Westerners because of the enormous atrocities perpetrated by that wave of fascists – that Ra for that era’s Antifa – the Allied Armed Forces]


  • 2020/10/29The Impact of the 17th Century Precursor to QAnon

    The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts is hosting an exhibit of artefacts connected with the infamous Salem Witch Trials of the late 17th century. At a time when the QAnon cult is coming after Ordo Templi Orientis based on their self-delusions that we are a group of Satanic baby killers, I thought it might be useful to contemplate passed episodes of magico-religious persecution.

    The Museum’s site has posted:

    “The Salem witch trials threatened the very core of the early Massachusetts Bay Colony. The extraordinary hysteria involved more than 400 people and led to the deaths of 25 innocents — men, women and children — between June 1692 and March 1693. Explore rarely-exhibited original witch trial documents from PEM’s Phillips Library collection and learn the true story of this tragedy as told through the voices and with the possessions of those directly involved.

    “Many unfounded theories about the Salem witch trials, from poisoning by rotten bread to property disputes to an outbreak of encephalitis, still persist to this day. The panic grew from a society threatened by nearby war and a malfunctioning judicial system in a setting rife with religious conflict and blatant intolerance. For more than 300 years since, the complex drama of the witch trials and its themes of injustice and the frailties of human nature has fascinated us.”

    Location: East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970. Phone: 978-745-9500, 866-745-1876. For guests who are deaf or hard of hearing: 978-740-3649. Program reservations: ext. 3011.

    And let us not forget that 25 innocent women, men and, yes BABIES were killed by maniacal prosecuting forces that drove the Salem Witch Trials.

     

    https://www.pem.org/exhibitions/the-salem-witch-trials-1692.


  • 2020/10/29“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life”

    Nice reflection on some of German author Herman Hesse’s philosophical ruminations:

    “Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs,” Joan Didion wrote in her timeless essay on self-respect. And yet this willingness does not come naturally to the human animal. We glance left and right, we peer above and below, placing the responsibility for our suffering everywhere but at the center of our own being. We treat the unhandsome consequences of our actions as something that happens to us, at us, by some wretched external causality. In the process, the tick of our self-righteousness grows fatter and fatter on bloodthirsty blame.

    “The great German poet, novelist, and painter Hermann Hesse (July 2, 1877–August 9, 1962) offered an antidote to this all too human tendency in one of his least known pieces of writing, composed as the world was coming back to consciousness after the First World War.”

    Considering that Crowley felt that the basic unit of society in the Aeon of Horus was not the nation, nor the family, but the individual, this willingness to accept blame for failure’s and the powerful to create one’s successes would seem quite useful. Results may vary depending on the degree of the user’s engagement.

    Read the whole piece:

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/hermann-hesse-on-hope-the-difficult-art-of-taking-responsibility-and-the-wisdom-of-the-inner-voice?utm_source=pocket-newtab.

     

    Thanks to Tau Roncellin for the tip!


  • 2020/10/28Advice From Baba Yaga

    Here’s an advice column written in the “voice” of Baba Yaga. It’s not indicated that Taisia Kitaiskaia is claiming to actually being in psychic contact with the mythic Slavic wise woman/wonder worker. But what the hey. In case you’re not familiar with BY, here’s the author’s thumbnail:

    “Who is Baba Yaga? We can begin with the facts. Baba Yaga is a prominent figure in Slavic folklore, an old witch haunting the fairy tales and woods of Eastern Europe for centuries, if not longer (like her ambiguous character, Baba’s origins are difficult to pin down). She lives in a magic hut, which has big, thick chicken legs and a mind of its own. A fence of bones and skulls guards the house. When she’s not hanging out in her hut, Baba Yaga goes on mysterious adventures in the forest, using a large mortar and pestle to get around. If her mortar drags on the forest floor, she’s quick to cover her tracks with a birch broom.

    read on: https://lithub.com/baba-yaga-will-answer-your-questions-about-life-love-and-belonging/.

Permanent link to this article: https://oto-usa.org/main/blog/