Tag Archives: hermeticism

Power Generation: Physical, Emotional, Spiritual and Economic

I made this short video back in December and forgot to release it!  So here you go.

I didn’t talk about it in the video, but those of you are into Hermetic philosophy and/or alchemy will probably notice something very esoteric in this, which is the union of opposites.

As is attributed to the legendary alchemist Mary the Jewess, “Join the male and the female, and you will find what is sought.”  I will explain no more, so as not to rob you of this realization.  Meditate on this and you will see.

Hermetic Warrior: Training Involution #108

May’s Cabal Fang concentrations were Wrestling and the Hourglass.  But since we gave over one session to a member trial and were several times forced by rain into doing stand-up work inside the park shelter, we decided to carry over both concentrations for another month.

It’s really difficult to wrestle in the pouring rain.  We did it once and it was actually really fun.  It’s the wet gear and drive home that stinks.

So it’s still Wrestling Month and we’re still focusing on the Hourglass symbol (see Chapter 9 in Cabal Fang: Complete Martial Arts Study Course from Querent to Elder).  But just because our martial focus is the same, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your non-wrestling skills sharp.  So…

Hermetic Warrior: Training Involution #108

  • As many kicks as you can in 20 minutes.  Count them, log them in your training journal, and next time you work the drill beat your number.  If it’s not in your training journal it didn’t happen.
  • Weapon half pyramid to failure.  I used my cane but you work with a non-lethal version of your chosen EDC (wooden knife or training folder,  rubber gun, flashlight, tactical pen, etc.).  Perform 1 of each exercise, then 2 of each, then 3, etc. See how high you can “climb” before you have to take a break longer than a 12-count.  Jackknifes, Get-ups, Side Lunges and Push-ups.  Attack while you move whenever possible and don’t drop or put down your weapon for the duration.  Better figure out those Push-ups during training — do them with one hand in a fist, wrist bent, etc. — or risk getting stuck with no answer in a self-defense situation.
  • Learn a little about Hermeticism.  Watch the video below.  My Patreon supporters got it last month by the way.

Blood Symbols and Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #27

This week’s workout is a three-parter.  You can just watch the video (see below) or if you like words over pictures, here are the details.

Calisthenics.  Complete 3 sets to failure  of Narrow Push-ups and Hindu Squats. We’re not keeping score.  But if we were, you’d get extra points for doing more than 50 of the Push-ups and more 100+ of the Squats.  This segment was created using PTDICE.  Getcha some.

Shadowboxing with 1 pound weights.  Set a timer for 10 minutes — no breaks! — and shadowbox with #1 hand weights or 16 oz boxing gloves.  If you don’t imagine your opponent you’re wasting your time.  Really visualize what you’re striking at!

Meditation on blood.   Violence is a serious matter, and blood is not to be spilled lightly.  How can you call yourself qualified to draw blood in defense of yourself or someone you care about if you haven’t even take the time to understand and appreciate the sacredness of blood and what it symbolizes?  There are four types of blood — the mythological blood of Gods and Goddesses (holy blood), the blood of ancestors and kin (family blood), the blood of friends and heroes (royal and/or cultural blood), and the blood of sacrifice and nourishment (the blood that’s spilled to keep us spiritually and/or physically fed).  Set a timer for 10 minutes, assume the meditation posture of your choice, and spend this time meditating on these four types of blood.  For a deeper experience, meditate on just one of the four types of blood and do this exercise four days running.


Big Announcement and WOOTW #13

Cabal Fang is now a proud sponsor of the Hermetic Library!  See there below?  That’s us, right there in the middle!


The Hermetic Library is an amazing resource for anyone interested in Hermeticism, the Western Mystery Tradition, or the Perennial Wisdom.  Check them out for hours and hours of reading, browsing and listening pleasure (they have a magical music project as well).

Don’t know what Hermeticism is?  Read this.

And now for Cabal Fang Workout of the Week #13.

20 minute Kickboxing Footwork Conditioner: Set timer for 1:00 intervals. Alternate heavy bag rounds and animal calisthenics rounds.  When striking bag, practice covering foot movements with strikes. Example: Throw Left Jab then Right Cross. As you throw the RC — same time! – slip and stutter step left foot outside and throw a perfectly spaced Right Roundhouse. Calisthenics as follows: Shrimp, Gorilla Walk, Mule Kick, Crab Walk, Scorpion.

You’re a Hermeticist? What’s that?

Emerald Hourglass2

Yes, I’m a Hermeticist. More precisely a Christian Hermeticist.

What’s a Hermeticist? Someone who studies or practices Hermeticism, which is a philosophy based on wisdom teachings attributed to a mythical figure called Hermes Trismegistus, a conflation of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth.

Hermeticists believe that there are certain universal, timeless truths (“the Perennial Wisdom”) which have always been, and will always be, accessible anyone through the powers of symbol, parable, analogy, myth and initiation. Hermeticism is, in the words of the great Valentin Tomberg, the search for the “communal soul of religion, science, and art.”

This is why Hermeticism seeks to infuse all human endeavor with sacredness — to align all human activity with the Divine Will. This idea is embodied in the great Hermetic axiom, “As Above, So Below.”

There is no conflict between Hermeticism and Christianity whatsoever. Christ Logos, the Truth Itself, was with us from the beginning (John 1). Humanity’s brushes with Logos are revealed in ancient art, architecture, and philosophy. Pagan religions were human attempts to hear Christ’s distance voice. The great pre-Christian sages and philosophers were the distant rumbles of thunder before the lightning strike of Jesus Christ.

On an individual level, Hermeticists strive to unify thoughts, desires, actions and beliefs — to behave with integrity — which is exemplified in the Hermetic Quaternary: “To Know, To Will, To Dare; To Keep Silent.”

Hermeticits believe that there is no conflict between science, religion, and art. The three of them should walk arm in arm. So it’s no surprise that a list of famous Hermeticists includes scientists (Sir Isaac Newton, Dr. John Dee), authors and poets ( William Butler Yeats and Arthur Machen), artists (Pamela Colman Smith). and clergy (Giordano Bruno, William Alexander Ayton).

The mot enduring Hermetic text is the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, which makes a fitting end to this brief definition.

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus

  1. True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true.
  2. That which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above, to accomplish the miracles of one thing.
  3. And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from this one thing by a single act of adaptation.
  4. The father thereof is the sun, its mother the moon; the wind carried it in its womb; the earth is the nurse thereof.
  5. It is the father of all works of wonder throughout the whole world.
  6. The power thereof is perfect.
  7. If it be cast on to earth it will separate the element of earth from that of fire, the subtle from the gross.
  8. With great sagacity it doth ascend gently from earth to heaven; again it doth descend to earth, and uniteth in itself the force from things superior and things inferior.
  9. Thus thou wilt possess the glory of the brightness of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly far from thee.
  10. This thing is the strong fortitude of all strength, for it overcometh every subtle thing and doth penetrate every solid substance.
  11. Thus was this world created.
  12. Hence there will be marvelous adaptations achieved, of which the manner is this.
  13. For this reason I am called Hermes Trismegistus, because I hold three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.
  14. That which I had to say about the operation of sol is completed.

Hermeticism is the central philosophy of Cabal Fang, the non-profit martial art I founded in 2009. Sign up for the free distance learning program by clicking here, or take read my e-book and go on a 12-week journey of self-transformation.

The Antidote of We

Sunday we spent three hours taking pictures for the upcoming martial arts book. Here’s a sample.

[Intrigued? Click here for pre-order links.]

I’m a little under the gun because I announced a release date of 9/1/16, which means the final draft needs to be to the formatter no later than 8/1.

So I was hoping the editors would be mainly positive, but to the contrary, they lumped me up pretty hard.  How hard?  More red ink than black.  I now have more scabs than skin.

The criticism was largely valid, and I’m glad I got it because I want the book to be perfect.  Although it wasn’t expressly stated by any of the editors, one of the things that became apparent was how much ego-stroking was in the book.  It was painful and embarrassing to suddenly realize how self-centered some of the material was.

So I went through the text using “Ctrl-F” and looked for capital “I.”  If the ideas were salient and could be re-expressed using “we” then I did so.  If it was clear I was just monologuing, bragging, or verbal vomiting, I cut that junk out.

The good news is that writing this book has become a personal, spiritual, self-analytic and Hermetic exercise.  The bad news is that I should’ve started with that knowledge, and now I’m figuring all this out while being pinched for time.  That’s not easy.

But, at the risk of unleashing the very ego I’m trying to tame, I really do love a challenge.

Hermetic Vision in the Martial Arts

This morning I had an email conversation with my friend John (name changed to protect anonymity).  If you have any interest at all in Hermeticism or the martial arts I think you’ll find it interesting.

If you fell into my rabbit hole and have no idea what the Hermetic Quaternary is (a.k.a. “the Powers of the Sphinx” which I reference in the exchange) I have pasted in a handy table of correspondences at the very bottom of this post.  That should help you better understand my point.

And if you don’t have the slightest idea what Hermeticism is, you can read what I have to say on the subject or you can dive headfirst into the relevant Wikipedia article.)


From: Mitch <12thkey@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, May 5, 2016 at 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: Martial arts
To: John Citizen <j_citizen@totallymakebelieve.com>

Yes, I agree with him about the nuts and bolts.  He’s a smart and experienced Navy Seal, and he seems to have honed his scientific and gnostic vision to a razor’s edge.  His logical and intuitional grasp of things is very strong.

I hope he would also admit the need for magical vision to tap into the ego and mystical vision to destroy it.

Because without all four forms of vision — “To Know, To Will, To Dare; To Keep Silent” —  where is the wisdom that makes us worthy of being trusted with our weapons?  How can we ever hope to reconcile the Above and the Below?  How can we ever realize our ultimate selves?

Have a fun day, and see you tonight!


On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 10:22 PM, John Citizen <j_citizen@totallymakebelieve.com>  wrote:

Very much like the stuff you say…



The Gnostic Hermetic Quaternary Evangelist Holy Animal Archangel
To Know Matthew Lion Raphael
To Will Mark Ox Michael
To Dare John Eagle Gabriel
To Keep Silent Luke Man Uriel
The Magic Hermetic Quaternary Element Alchemy Tarot Suit
To Know Air Azoth Swords
To Will Fire Sulphur Wands
To Dare Water Mercury Cups
To Keep Silent Earth Salt Pentacles
The Scientific Hermetic Quaternary Forms of Matter Season Astrology
To Know Gas Fall Equinox Leo
To Will Plasma Summer Solstice Taurus
To Dare Liquid Winter Solstice Scorpio
To Keep Silent Solid Spring Equinox Aquarius
The Mystic Hermetic Quaternary Mode of Vision Direction Qabalah Worlds
To Know Gnostically (“I AM THAT”) East Yetzirah
To Will Magically (“I”) South Azitluth
To Dare Scientifically (“I AM”) West Briah
To Keep Silent Mystically (“I AM THAT I AM”) North Assiah


Hermetica Review, News, and Your WOD

Last night I finished one of the best books I’ve read in recent memory.  Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius in a New English Translation, with Notes and Introduction by Brian P. Copenhaver is the definitive translation of the Corpus Hermeticum, and  must read for any serious student of religion, mysticism, magic or philosophy.  Read my Goodreads review here, then go buy a copy here.

And today I hit a milestone — 2,000 book downloads!  I can’t believe that my stuff is this popular.  I mean, I can believe it.  It’s kind of a fact, and why shouldn’t I be able to attract 2,000 downloads?  I work hard and I take my craft seriously.  It’s just that, even if you assume some people have read more than one of my titles, there must be something like a thousand people reading my books.  No, it’s not that it’s unbelievable exactly, it just makes me a little woozy to be out in front of that many people.  And it makes me happy.  So I just want to say thanks to my readers for…


Now here’s your Cabal Fang WOD.  You’re going to hate me for this one — when you get done you’ll be panting like a Labrador at a tennis ball chasing contest!

  • PTDICE: AMSAYC in 10 mins of 4 Hop/Clap Push-ups and 8 Jump Squats (I got 18 sets).
  • Rest 1 minute and then complete Grappling Conditioner #1 (If you’re unfamiliar, details here)
  • Rest 1 minute and then Bike or Run 6 x 3:00/1:00 (pace for the 3:00, sprint for the 1:00).





Dangerous Disconnections (and Your WOD)

wpid-20150509_200303.jpgI find it refreshing and downright beautiful that two very different writers  — an American poet writing in English about the origin of culture and an Estonian-Russian mystic writing in French about Christian Hermeticism — could express (from very different perspectives of course) the same essential truth in very similar language.  Both of these books are excellent by the way — highly recommended.

Because we have separated humanity from nature, subject from object, values from analysis, knowledge from myth, and universities from the universe, it is enormously difficult for anyone but a poet or a mystic to understand what is going on in the holistic and mythopoetic thought of Ice Age humanity. The very language we use to discuss the past speaks of tools, hunters, and men, when every statue and painting we discover cries out to us that this Ice Age humanity was a culture of art, the love of animals, and women…We have to use the “Imagination” to recover a sense of the sacred. The sacred is the emotional force which connects the part to the whole; the profane or the secular is that which as broken off from, or has fallen off, its emotional bond to the universe.

~William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality, and the Origins of Culture (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1981) p.102

[I]ntelligence with conscience eclipsed…is the Arcanum of the magical mechanism, working behind the surface of the state of intelligence, which aims at explaining movement by the immobile, life by the non-living, consciousness by the unconscious, morality by the amoral.  Indeed, how has it happened to mankind that many of its intelligent representatives — even its leaders and directors — have come to see in the brain not the instrument but the producer of consciousness, in chemistry not the instrument but the producer of life, in the economic sphere not the instrument but the producer of culture? How can it be that human intelligence has arrived — in so far as many of its representatives are concerned — at seeing man without a soul and the world without God?”

~Anonymous, Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey Into Christian Hermeticism  (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1985) p. 518-19

And Now for your Cabal Fang WOD (abbreviation key here):

  • Weights.  7 x 15 of Two-handed Squat Presses and Swing-thrus.
  • Kickboxing. Heavy bag HZG, AHAYC without sacrificing good form.
  • Jump rope. 4 x 3:00/1:00

Faith vs. Works: Alchemy in The Walking Dead

“Faith without works is dead,” it says on the wall of the church in this past Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead  (Season 6, Episode 9).

Together then, they are alive indeed.

To have faith is to look upward and trust in a power greater than oneself.  To take action is to look within, trust in yourself, and manifest your decision.  And so, to say that “Faith without works is dead” is to say that both are reliant upon one another.

Seal of Solomon

Action = Fire, it is the chemical symbol Delta (Δ) that means “change.”  Faith = Water, the cup, the exact reverse symbol (∇).  Together, transposed, you have the magic hexagram (image right).  The reconciliation of opposites is a powerful mystical doctrine.

The character of Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead isn’t as much trying to find his way between the extremes as he is trying to reconcile them, to bring them together.  I would argue that he is the epitome of the wise hermeticist — Solomon trying to build his Temple.

In order to do this he must look up and gather the blessings of the Above, then bring them down  and share them with the Below.   As it says in the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, a mainstay of modern Hermetic thought, “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing… It is the origin of All, the consecration of the Universe…It rises from Earth to Heaven and descends again to Earth, thereby combining within Itself the powers of both the Above and the Below.  Thus will you obtain the Glory of the Whole Universe.  All Obscurity will be clear to you.”

Rick Grimes, Alchemist. Sword, machete, ax — what’s the difference?

Father Gabriel Stokes is finally starting to learn this lesson, a lesson Rick has learned and is always re-learning, perfecting, and sublimating in true alchemical fashion.  This is why, despite all the failings and the frictions between Rick and Gabriel, Rick entrusts Judith to his care.  Rick can feel the change.

Once again Rick is right, because “All Obscurity will be clear to you.”  Gabriel picks up a machete and gets to work, with success.

And when Carl lies bleeding on the table, inches from death, what happens?  Rick looks at the place where his son’s right eye used to be and he “sees” what must be done. Again, as it says in the Emerald Tablet, “All Obscurity will be clear to you.”  The hawkish Carl has no such vision yet, but he yet may.

Rick has faith, and he knows that if he puts that faith into action he can motivate the people of Alexandria to overcome any foe.  He’s right.  They follow him and win.  With the fighting concluded, he sits with Carl and there he professes his faith in the vision of a world rebuilt.  Carl’s hand squeezing his is the promise of hope.

Is Seth Hoffman, writer of this episode, an alchemist or hermeticist?  I seriously doubt it.  But that doesn’t mean he didn’t produce something that is Hermetic Horror for sure.