Monday 16 August 2021

wormwood star

We very much appreciated the introduction to actress, artist, poet and occultist Marjorie Cameron Parsons Kimmel—known by the professional mononym Cameron by way of the short film by friend Curtis Harrington, the eponymous piece featuring Cameron’s paintings and recitations and the sole documentary source for much of her work as much of her fame came posthumously. The title is also in reference to the name she choose for her first child, the first of many moonchildren devoted to the veneration of Horus, Cameron being adherent of Thelema and becoming a convert from her first husband, rocketry pioneer Jack Parsons having also worked at the Joint Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) during World War II, to be breed according to magick sex rituals called “Babalon Working” that Cameron herself oversaw, like a Bene Gesserit mother superior. Instead, Cameron’s surviving child, born on 24 December 1955, from a subsequent marriage though paternity is uncertain was named Crystal Eve. Cameron was also in the film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome.

Tuesday 22 June 2021

your daily demon: sallos

Governing the first degrees of Cancer—from this day until 26 June, the nineteenth spirit is an infernal duke ruling thirty legion of subordinates and presents as a soldier riding a crocodile, as can be seen in his sigil. Despite this fearsome appearance, Sallos is a peacemaker and helps to reconcile relationship strife and encourage fidelity between partners. Opposed by the angel Leuviah, Sallos is possibly a conflation of the iconography associated with the Ancient Egyptian goddess Taweret, a fertility deity often portrayed with Nile crocodile and hippopotamus attributes or the Hindu river gods often personified as carried by the reptile.

Sunday 25 April 2021


One of a number of Roman celebrated during this time of year to ensure a good growing season and bountiful harvest, the feast of the for the god Robigus was held on this day in the agricultural outskirts of the city.
The god, which was designated as the divine representation of fungal blight or rust needed to be propitiated in order to ensure that the crops wouldn’t spoil in the fields. Understood as a separate, corrupt manifestation of the same infestation that could be harnessed for fermentation, the games held at this time with their attendant feasts (see also) were also marked by rather dark sacrifices that expressed their anxieties over crop failure—especially for one this late in the growing seasons that wouldn’t be easy to recover from. Whereas animal sacrifice generally was reserved for livestock that was part of the Roman diet and was shared in a communal meal, Robigalia rather gruesomely demanded a dog with a red coat—that matched the rust disease—as form of homeopathic magic.
Other observations included a celebration of—for whatever reason—of male sex-workers, professional female prostitution having had their own honours in the previous days, specifically on Vinalia urbana, the grape harvest on 23 April. Though without the cruel bits, thankfully—or the fun bits either, I suppose, the holiday is preserved in Western Christianity with the same day of prayer and fasting known as Rogation (from the Latin to beseech—to ask God for protection from calamity) and was done to cleanse the body and mind in anticipation of the Ascension and farmers often had priests bless their crops, often holding mass and processionals in the fields.

Saturday 10 April 2021

liber legis

Though with the arrival of the ร†on of Horus humanity is supposed to have spiritually evolved to the phase where the precept and obligation to oneself and others was to “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” Aleister Crowley (previously) in 1904 along with his new bride, Rose Edith Kelly, was accountable for a bit more clarification and codification as mediums for a supernatural visitor—a disembodied voice—called Aiwass whom dictated to the newly married couple on their honeymoon in Cairo the three chapters of The Book of the Law of Thelema. Thankfully, each day from the eighth through the tenth of April, sessions only lasted an hour from noon, concluding the with the final volume published five years later, with the couple able to resume their vacation once Crowley emerged from his trance in the part of the hotel suite designated as the “temple,” though it seems that they had already done quite a bit of sight-seeing at this point, with a night spent in the Royal Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza two weeks earlier having the spirits in the first place. While the messenger for the whole of the transcript was Aiwass, each separate character was the first person narrative of the avatars represented by the Egyptian goddess and gods Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khnuit and despite the title contain more revelations and prophesies rather than anything proscriptive, with Crowley claiming to disavow the magical document and only having it published to exorcise the weight it held over him.

Sunday 4 April 2021

they are not long—the days of wine and roses

Though separated by a considerable distance in the north and the southern part of modern Germany, it’s interesting to note, via the always engrossing Futility Closet, the kindred relationship between the oldest known rosebush and the oldest known uncorked bottle of wine. The Millennium Rose (der Tausendjรคhriger Rosenstock) grows in the apse of the Hildesheimer Dom—dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, and is a non-domesticated variety known as the wild dog, Rosa cainina. Hardier by degrees that cultivated garden varieties that usually only thrive for decades, this especially long-lived specimen is legendary, with Louis the Pious (Ludwig der Fromme), heir to the Holy Roman Empire after the death of his father Charlemagne, happened upon this rosebush after becoming separated from his hunting party. Sacred to the Saxon goddess Hulda, the lost emperor sought shelter there but offering a prayer to the Virgin Mary through a reliquary he carried with him. Ludwig rested and upon waking, he found his icon irretrievably stuck among the branches—taking this as a sign from the pagan goddess that she was to be replaced in veneration. The emperor’s entourage found him and Ludwig pledged that his city should be founded in this spot and constructed the cathedral around the rosebush. In March of 1945, Hildesheim was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid which razed the cathedral as well. The rose’s extensive root system was intact and began to flourish again the next season as the city was rebuilt. The Speyer wine bottle (Rรถmerwein) was recovered from a Roman tomb outside of the city (see also) in the mid 1800s and since dated to the fourth century of the common era. This grave good is contained in a glass vessel and is one-and-a-half litres in volume, two modern standard bottles and is shaped like an amphora with dolphins ornamenting the handles. There is no intention of opening it.

Monday 29 March 2021

cult classics

Via ibฤซdem, we are directed to a gallery of some of the now dwindling fringe spiritual groups of California showcasing their chapels, meeting halls and reading rooms, which through the lens of decades of separation though a few are still active and claim many followers seem positively benign and even refreshing compared to the movements and gimmicks that we’re made to endure these days. What do you think? So long as they don’t take all your money or supplant science—particularly medical science—with woo, they seem as OK as any other organised religion. The Guardian correspondent pay visits to our old friends at the Unarian Society, the Lermurian Fellowship and many others like the pictured altar of Aetherius (that reminds us of the set of I Dream of Genie), whose congregation is communing with the Cosmic Masters for our collective benefit.

Sunday 21 March 2021

your daily demon: bael

The first Goetic spirit listed on the calendar of demons, the infernal and principle king that commands sixty-six legions and rules from this day, the beginning of Aries, until 25 March, is probably a syncretism of the Canaanite deity Ba’al and presents in the forms of a cat, man or toad simultaneously. Sometimes conflated with Beelzebub—Lord of the Flies—Bael’s office is to impart the power of invisibility to the exorcist and is countered by the Shem HaMephorash angel Vehuiah.

Thursday 4 February 2021

your daily demon: haures

This sixty-fourth spirit—also known as Flauros probably on account of a scribal error, and presents as a svelte leopard, probably our most Furry-like infernal encounter yet judging by written depictions but you’ll need to use your imagination, is a great duke and if summoned correctly will reveal the truth about all things—elsewise he equivocates and lies just as convincingly. Commanding thirty-six legions and governing from toward until the eighth of February and is opposed by the archangel Mehriel. Incidentally, the names of the corresponding angels are derived from a “seventy-two fold name,” a Kabbalistic cipher describing a hidden name of God—the Shem HaMephorash ( ืฉื ื”ืžืคื•ืจืฉ), which is some forms of Satanism is ritualistically employed in the form “shemhamforash” as anti-hallelujah or amen and understood as “Hail Satan.”

Tuesday 26 January 2021

benedictus deus

Overseen by three successive popes between the years 1545 and 1563, the nineteenth ecumenical council of Trent (Concilium Tridentinum), called in response to the popularity of the Protestant Movement, and seeking to define the difference between the two sects and establish the rules that Catholics were to follow was ratified on this day in 1564 by Pius IV—with the thrust of the decrees and definitions forbidding Catholics, under pain of ex-communication, unauthorised interpretation. Judgment and enforcement was the reserve of the pontiff alone and shortly afterward the Index liborum prohibtorum was published specifying which books were banned as heretical.

Monday 21 December 2020


Either derived from a common cosmogram or schema representing the constellations or from the Nsibidi syllabary used by some peoples of West and Central Africa taken to the Americas by enslaved diaspora (or a bit of both), the religious symbols used in voodoo ceremonies and rituals is comparable to our extensive vernacular of signs and sigils employed in demonology and serve a similar purpose—which makes the later magicking seem like fanboy appropriation. Described as a beacon, vรจvรจs represent astral forces and compel the loa, lwa—that is the intermediary or medium—to do the bidding of the summoner, provided adequate sacrifice is offered. As with creating a mandala, the symbol is drawn on the flood with a mixture of sand and ash.

Friday 18 December 2020

saint sebastian

Definitely the saint portrayed as the thirstiest, this captain of the Praetorian guard that prudently, sensibly hid his Christianity from Diocletian is venerated on this day in the Orthodox Church on the occasion of his martyrdom in 288, born around 256. Once his faith was revealed, the emperor (previously) ordered him lashed to a tree and shot with arrows. The firing squad departed, leaving Sebastian for dead, but he was able to miraculously recover—with the help of Saint Irene, widow of one of his previously martyred companions. Later Sebastian ambushed and berated Diocletian for his sinful ways and petitioned for better treatment for the Christian community. 

The emperor was first taken aback by such open and direct criticisms, especially from one who was supposed to be dead but soon regained his composure and ordered the saint to be cudgelled to death—probably not as pretty of a picture. Patron of the persecuted, archers and athletes, this Apollonian figure is also the protector of the plague stricken, due to a conflation with Hermes during medieval times, whom was said to deal diseased arrows from on high, and possibly because of his initial recovery which granted him a second martyrdom (called a sagittation and a fairly common theme) and that the wounds resembled the pox and buboes, whose appearance was alarming but not always a sign of certain death.

Sunday 29 November 2020


Identified as one of the seventy-two disciples at the Last Supper—the image of the head table is the one we are most familiar with—Greek bishop and martyr dispatched by Pope Fabian, himself famously elected to office after a pigeon alighted on his head during the conclave, to Toulouse as one of the apostles to the Gauls to re-establish Christian communities after Emperor Decius ordered their dissolution, is venerated on this day on the occasion of his death in 257. Attributing the silence of their pagan oracles to the constant presence of this meddlesome priest—their altars at the capitol (le Capitole de Toulouse) passed by congregants daily on their way to the Christian church, they seized Saturninus, who refusing to sacrifice to their gods, tied him to a raging bull and to be dragged through the streets until the rope broke. A similar fate befell one of Saturnin’s pupils, Saint Fermin, who died in Pamplona. Symbolically this martyrdom is an inversion of the mysteries of the cult of Mithras, involving the ritual slaughtering of a bull. Called tauroctony, and this tautology thereof is enshrined in many of the names of streets, squares and churches of Toulouse.

hello frens

Born on this day in 1752 (†1819) to Quaker settlers in the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations as Jemima Wilkinson after succumbing to severe illness—probably a bad case of typhus—died and was reborn as a genderless evangelic to be henceforth known as the Public Universal Friend. Preaching beliefs fairly in line with Quaker heterodoxy, the Friend eschewed her former identity and rejected gendered pronouns and generally referred to themselves as PUF. Rejecting the notions of predestination and the elected, the Friend believed that revelation could come to anyone and the congregation, the Society of Universal Friends, included enslaved people and Native Americans and was an early advocate for emancipation and equal rights.

Saturday 28 November 2020

your daily demon: furcas

Ruling portion of the infernal progression from today until 2 December and attaining uniquely among his cohort the rank of knight, this wizened man sat agee is the fiftieth in the calendar and can be summoned to dispense knowledge on things pertaining to rhetoric, according to the Ars Goetia, as well as chiromancy and pyromancy. Named after the Greco-Roman term for sepulchre, Furcas’ invocation is said to bring peace of mind and dispels anxiety.

Friday 27 November 2020

jumping jehoshaphat

Albeit only tenuously connected with the title epithet and expression, this day marks the veneration of saints and martyrs Barlaam and Josaphat, the former the tutor engaged for the emendation and education of the latter, a young Indian prince and unquestionably based on the life and subsequent enlightenment of the Gautama Buddha, Siddhฤrtha. Trying to make the predictions that his son would become a Christian (the gospel having been brought to the sub-continent by Thomas the Apostle) null and invalid by isolating him, Josaphat—the Arabic name Bลซdhasaf ultimately derived from the Sanskrit term Bodhisattva—converted after meeting the hermit Barlaam and sustained his father’s rage, whom eventually relented and abdicated, transferring power to his son, whom in turn relinquished it all and went away to live with his spiritual guide. The phrase that we are brought to originated in the nineteenth century with the particularly American affection for minced oaths, later echoed by Bugs Bunny’s nemesis Yosemite Sam and invokes rather a king in Judea (whose name is probably epithetical, meaning God has judged)referenced in the biblical book 2 Chronicles who implored his army to remain strong and steadfast insofar as the battle was not theirs but God’s, and once they are winning, he jumps in righteous jubilation. Josaphat’s father also became a disciple of Barlaam. As much as a skeleton of a narrative these stories are everyone (though not discounting the anchoring details in every one), the Buddhist version that Christianity co-opted seems far more persuasive and one not for astonishment but rather for aspiration.

Saturday 7 November 2020

your daily demon: bifrons

From the Latin for “two-faced” like Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, endings, transitions, borders and thresholds, the infernal earl who rules sixty legions of spirits and governs the second quadrant of Scorpio, is ascendant from the seventh through the twelfth of November. This demon according to the Ars Goetia and other sources imparts knowledge of herbs and the curative properties of precious stones and has the ability to shift the departed in their plots from one place to another.

Monday 2 November 2020

your daily demon: vine

Ruling the tenth to fourteenth degrees of Scorpio—corresponding with today until the sixth of November is the infernal potentate called Vine, according to the Ars Goetia after Johann Weyer’s late sixteenth century hierarchy and expanded, elaborated by Aleister Crowley and illustrated by Jacques Collin de Plancy. Generally depicted as a noble lion on a black steed and holding a viper as a staff, the demon king can be compelled to assume human form and will give counsel on all the secrets of the past, present and future (quite the thorough opposition-researcher) and is invoked to reveal the presence of other spirits or practitioners of the diabolical arts and is attributed with the power of troubling the waters and tearing down walls.

Monday 12 October 2020


Being the load-bearing day it already is with the celebration of indigenous cultures and identity, the Feast for Life (birthday in 1875) of occultist and Thelema founder Aleister Crowley, the start of the first Oktoberfest in 1890—plus Thanksgiving / Action de grรขce for our Canadian friends this year, this date also is observed as Freethought Day, held on the anniversary when colonial governor of Massachusetts Bay William Phips (*1651 – †1695) was moved to recant and contact the privy council of William and Mary to recommend that they disband the witch tribunal that Phips himself had established in order bring legitimacy to a process that was widely seen for the petty court of retributions that it was by finding “spectral evidence” inadmissible.

Despite his good intentions, Phips’ reforms came up short and the witch trials were effectively ended in North America where they had lingered longer than in Europe. Humanist, secularists and freethinkers eschew heterodoxy and prescriptive rather than descriptive world-views and organisers hope to portray atheists and the non-aligned as just the same as everyone else (a concept that is glaring absent in politics) and induct honorary figures as examples of those that embody autonomy and reason, whose ranks include Thomas Paine, Clarence Darrow, Mark Twain, Mary Wollstonecraft, Hypatia, Fredrick Douglas and George Orwell.

Monday 5 October 2020

ius canonicum

This date, marking the occasion of his death in 1926 (*1841), is the veneration of the Blessed Bartolo “Rosario” Longo, a lapsed Catholic and former satanic priest, who returned to the Church and championed praying the Rosary—for which he was awarded a papal knighting and beatification posthumously. Against the wishes of his family who wanted Longo to pursue a career in teaching, as a young man he went to Naples to study law and came under the influence of the occult and spiritualism trend that was very much en vogue at the time, the Catholic Church seen as less effective in terms of seeking favour or mediumship than witchcraft or other practitioners of the dark arts and universities were the sites of rallying against the pope who was regarded as antithetical to the Italian unification efforts of General Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Longo grew more and more rebellious and joined a satanic cult and eventually was ordained as the priest of one chapter. Growing despondent and anxious by turns, Longo turned to a boyhood companion who convinced him to leave the city and return home to Pompeii and convinced him to return to the Church finding that the rosary calmed his anxieties. Maintaining his law firm, Longo had had been retained as an estate agent by a wealthy countess who became his patron and together founded a confraternity dedicated to the Rosary and acquired a derelict church to reconsecrate as a shrine. A nun from another convent that championed the rosary (there was already an established network) donated a painting of Saint Dominic and Catherine of Siena communing with Mary in prayer. From a junk store and without artistic merit, Longo secretly disliked the painting but hung it in the church so as not to insult. Reports of miracles were attributed to the painting and brought in pilgrims, eventually enlarging it to a basilica, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Pompeii. On the advice of the pope, Longo and the countess were married—though remained chaste for the rest of their lives together, fostering children and dedicating themselves to charitable causes.What sort of twist ending would you give this couple?  I suspect they, along with that cursed picture, were recusant devil-worshippers all along, in fear of being persecuted for believing in the wrong magic.

Thursday 10 September 2020

the lesser apocalypse

Referred to as the above with the conviction it was punishment from God alternatively for the Ottomans’ perceived inhospitality toward the Eastern Christians or for the Turks tolerating them, a powerful earthquake, with its epicentre in the Sea of Marmara, and resulting tsunami devastated Constantinople on this day in 1509. Damage and death estimates vary widely but probably took ten thousand lives and destroyed homes and infrastructure, and reportedly Hagia Sophia (previously) withstood the quake virtually unscathed, only the plaster that had been used to cover the Byzantine mosaics was shaken off the walls, revealing the Christian imagery beneath. The month and a half of aftershocks that followed did not cause significant damage but delayed recovery efforts and rebuilding.