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.
2021/06/24An Initiation Into A Mesopotamian Mystery Tradition
Anathema Publishing Ltd. opened pre-orders for Samuel David’s book, “Rod & Ring: An Initiation Into A Mesopotamian Mystery Tradition” today! The publisher’s site staes
“In Mesopotamian art, the rod and ring, like the horned helm or crown, are indicators of the depicted being’s divine status. The most famous depiction being that of Shamash, the solar god of justice holding both divine symbols of power before Hammurabi the king on the Code of Hammurabi stele.
The depiction of a deity presenting these items of power to a human indicates the conferring of some divine measure, be it benediction or authority as a divinely-ordained ruler.
The symbols themselves are dated from the Sumerian Renaissance to the Neo-Assyrian periods. Some researchers have suggested that these tools represent a yardstick and a measuring rope – items that would be used to survey a kingdom. The stela of Ur-Namma however, bears an elaborate relief which depicts the ring as a wound cord; it has also been described as a chaplet of beads.
Within the context of this book and those which will follow, the rod and ring serve as the symbols of the gods and the realms in which they inhabit and rule.
The ring signifies the circumference of Earth and all that is contained upon and within, from the highest mountains, the depths of the oceans, and the chasms of the Underworld.
The rod signifies the divine power of the gods that is made manifest and connects the kingdoms of Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld.
By undergoing initiation, we can move closer to obtaining a measure of the divine providence and authority granted by the gods to perform rituals, know them in full, and experience the power they may bestow upon those who serve them as magicians, exorcists, and members of the priesthood.”
History tells us of the mystery traditions of Isis, Dionysius, and Mithras – but what of the mysteries of Inanna, Enki, and Dumuzid? Author Samuel David’s Order of the Rod & Ring seeks to fill those lacunae with a spiritual journey that combines traditional Mesopotamian praxis with a contemporary paradigm.
Immerse yourself in this mystery tradition as you undertake a mythopoetic journey informed by historical, religious, and cultic practices, as well as mythology, and research from experts in the field of Assyriology.
Prepare yourself to approach the shrine of the gods as their supplicant; take up the Divine Measures bestowed upon humanity as their servant, and brave the dark as you descend into the depths of the Underworld; be reborn as the temple steward and pass through the Heavenly gates to present yourself as one worthy to be entrusted with their holy regalia: the Rod and the Ring.
2021/06/24Episode I of CHAOS INCORPORATED
Here’s Episode I of CHAOS INCORPORATED “The Alien with the Black Gloves” – a tongue-in-cheek bit horror/sci-fi from Grand Guignol Pictures, a concern that numbers Thelema, NOW! host Harper Feist among its participants. Enjoy!
2021/06/23Online Presentation – Orishas on the Tree of LifeThe Education Committee of U.S. Grand Lodge of Ordo Templi is hosting an online presentation next week:Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.Join us at 7pm Central Time on Monday July 26th at Christeos Pir presents his lecture “Orishas on the Tree of Life”. This is a free event and is open to the public, so feel free to share this invitation wide and far!(US) +1 304-802-4271 PIN: 194 340 950#African-inspired religions have found expression in a startling number of ways in the Americas. From the slave trade-driven Diaspora of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, the migration of African peoples and culture during and since that period, and the revolutionizing of communication in the contemporary era, African forms of spirituality have intermingled with, and sometimes co-opted, Anglo-European and Native American religions in those areas of creolization where these disparate cultures met, struggled, and fused. Elements of African Diasporic religion are found in such varied expressions as Candomblé, Umbanda, Palo Mayombe, Obeah, Santería/Lucumí, Vodou, “Hoodoo,” and more. In the U. S., for example, a local derivation of Haitian Vodou known as New Orleans Voodoo has been dated to the late eighteenth century or earlier. And in Brazil, some half dozen or so partially-overlapping forms of Afro-Brazilian religion have evolved.
This process of religious creolization—a term we will explain more clearly in the course of our discussion—continues even now, and a number of previously unknown practices have arisen that combine African Diasporic religious forms with Western esotericism. This process is not entirely new: Brazilian Umbanda, for example, has been heavily influenced by Kardecism, a variety of nineteenth century European spiritualism. What are new, however, are some of the hybrid expressions that have arisen in the last twenty years. In the wake of the ‘occult explosion’ of the Sixties and the ‘New Age’ that followed, syncretic forms of spirituality appeared, blending African Diasporic religions with Anglo-European magical systems such as tarot, qabalah, and ceremonial magical rituals.
Drawing upon primary and secondary sources in anthropology, popular culture, and religious studies, this workshop explores some of the new and eclectic practices on the fringes of Afro-Diasporic religious expression. Two case studies will be examined: the synthesis of tarot and Umbanda Orixá or spirits, and the blending of tarot and qabalah with New Orleans Voodoo.
Christeos Pir (T אריה) is a Bishop of EGC and a Sovereign Grand Inspector General. He has been a member of O.T.O. since 04/04/93, and is Past Master of William Blake Oasis (now William Blake Lodge), past Secretary and Deputy Master of Scarlet Woman Lodge in Austin TX, and past Most Wise Sovereign of Baphomet Chapter Rose Croix. He has an M.A. with a thesis on religion and the supernatural in contemporary Japanese popular culture and a B.A. in Religious Studies. He has been studying and writing about the magical system of Dr. John Dee and Sir Edward Kelley for more than 20 years, and is the author of numerous essays on magical topics. He has led seminars and experimental study groups in various subjects at a number of O.T.O. bodies (including Golden Thread), at NOTOCON, at Ecumenicon/Sacred Space (a national pagan-oriented ecumenical conference), and at several Texas OTO Conventions (TOTOCONs).Love is the law, love under will.
2021/06/23COIL’s MUSICK TO PLAY IN THE DARK
COIL’s MUSICK TO PLAY IN THE DARK reissued for the first time in over 20 years, now on double vinyl LP with the complete, unedited versions of each song and an exclusive “D-side” vinyl art etching – is back in stock. The label’s statement sez:
“Packaged in a sturdy matte jacket with embossed lettering and spot-gloss design elements. The compact disc version mirrors this design, and comes housed in thick tip-on “LP style” package. Both formats are completely remastered by engineer Josh Bonati with restored artwork and layout by Nathaniel Young – all under the project supervision of Drew McDowall and Thighpaulsandra.
“Few groups in recent history forged as confounding and alchemical a body of work as Coil, the partnership of Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and John Balance. From album to album and phase to phase their recordings spelunk perplexing depths of esoteric industrial, occult electronics, and drugged poetry, both embodying and alienating parallel currents of their peers. The late 1990’s in particular were a fertile era for the duo, embracing chance, chaos, and collaboration, enhanced by recent advancements in synthesis and sampling. Fittingly, at the summit of the decade’s long, intoxicated arc, their divergent strains of interstitial ritual congealed into one of Coil’s most celebrated and hallucinatory creations: Musick To Play In The Dark.
“Convening at Balance and Christopherson’s vast Victorian house / studio in the coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, they began a series of ambitious sessions aided by inner circle associates Thighpaulsandra and Drew McDowall. Although the creative process was admittedly “iterative” and “a bit of a drug blur,” the results are astoundingly inventive and well realized, winding through shades of divination dirge, wormhole kosmische, noir lounge, ominous humor, and black mass downtempo, guided by Balance’s cryptic lunar muse, which he announces on the opening track: “This is moon musick / in the light of the moon.”
“What’s most remarkable about the album 20 years after its release is how brazen, insular, and unpredictable it still feels. The songs follow an allusive, altered state logic all their own, warping from microscopic ripples of glitch and breath to widescreen warlock psychedelia and back again, as much hyper-sensory as inter-dimensional. Even within a catalog as eclectic as Coil’s, Musick is a mystifying collection, oneiric evocations of desire, decadence, dinner jazz, and dietary advice, far beyond the pale of whatever gothic industrial ambiguity birthed such a journey.
“The record closes with a slow, starlit shuffle, bathed in seething sweeps of spectral texture and high cathedral keys, like approaching the altar of some arcane temple. As the trance thickens Balance’s voice rises, processed into an increasingly eerie, gaseous haze, but he resists these unseen forces, intent on delivering a final sermon: ‘Through hissy mists of history / the dreamer is still dreaming / the dreamer is still dreaming.’”
2021/06/22Documentary Film on Herman Slater Magick Shoppe
Horrible Herman’s Warlock Shop is a documentary film on the iconic magical supply store, Magickal Childe, which originated as the Warlock Shop.
The YT page for the trailer says:
“The story of Herman Slater’s Magickal Childe and the part it played in the development of modern day occultism, with a focus on the pagan scene in 1970s and 1980s New York City. From the Wiccan traditions founded by Eddie Buczynski, to the publishing of the dread Simon Necronomicon, to the reformation of Aleister Crowley’s O.T.O. Featuring in depth interviews with the people that were there and helped change the face of occultism in the late 20th century.”
The film’s FB page says:
“A documentary about the rise of occultism in the U.S. in the 20th Century, with a focus on it’s zenith: NYC in the 1970s and 80s. This is the story of Herman Slater’s Magickal Childe, an occult emporium that was at the center of the Zeitgeist at the dawn of the age of Aquarius. The Magical Childe was a hub for the blossoming New Age movement, from the birth of modern day Wicca and Satanism to the rebirth of Aleister Crowley’s Sex Magick and the dread Necronomicon’s Cult of Cthulu. Hear this secret history told by the people that were there and that made it happen.”
Not finding any info about a theatrical or streaming release date.
Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QvF5BetVF8.