John Bell over at Hermetic.com is starting to build up a Fundamentals section at the library — an area that encourages people to get off the sofa, put down the cell phone, and do some real spiritual work.
That sort of thing really resonates with me.
So when he asked me if I’d be willing to come up with a month of daily meditation exercises for his site, I immediately said “Yes!” and began to put together a program based on the Hermetic Cross, a.k.a. the Hermetic Quaternary, a.k.a. the “Powers of the Sphinx.”
Click here to check it out.
What is the Hermetic Cross?
Nobody really knows how old the Quaternary is or where it originated. All we can say is that it was first revealed in Eliphas Levi’s book Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie and not widely known until Levi’s book was translated into Transcendental Magic, Its Doctrine and Ritual by A. E. Waite in 1896. I’ve been working with the Hermetic Cross for almost thirty years, and still each year brings a new insight or two.
The power of the Cross is not to be taken lightly.
So I’m leaping at the chance to make this deceptively simple framework accessible to a wider audience. There is mystery at the center of the Quaternary that awaits you, but I dare not name it for fear of spoiling the revelation.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
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Today’s post is a grab bag of miscellaneous stuff.
A film review. Last night the wife and I watched Hidden, a truly original horror film with a couple of great twists. It stars Alexander Skarsgård, Andrea Riseborough (remember her from Birdman?) and Emily Alyn Lind. This is not a gore-fest or startle-flick. It’s a film. You remember films. right? Those things that have great acting and pacing and an actual story? Yes this is one of those. It only got 6.4 stars because horror fans want either SFX extravaganzas or buckets of blood and this film has neither. If your favorite horror move is Saw 3-D, you’re going to give Hidden only 6 stars. On the other hand, if your favorite horror move is Let the Right One In, you’ll give Hidden 8 stars. We loved it.
Remember Wes Studi as The Sphinx from the movie Mystery Men? Now that’s what I call penny wisdom. That’s him right there at the top.
Penny wisdom, as a general rule, is bullshit. So called because it has been historically dispensed from vending machines for the princely sum of 1¢, penny wisdom isn’t wisdom at all. It is witty. Wit, cleverness and quip don’t equal wisdom. That being said, I’m famous (in my own mind at least) for several bits of penny wisdom that are worth considerably more than a copper coin.
- “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.” ~Robert Mitchell
- “Religious dogma, social convention, and philistinism are the hammer, tong, and anvil of mediocrity.” ~Robert Mitchell
- “The transmutation of the religious into the sacred is the very object of the occult sciences and, especially of initiation.” ~Andre Nataf
- “The meaning of life is not discovered; it is constructed.” ~Exupery
- “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~Exupery
- “Our blight is ideologies – they are the long-expected Antichrist!” ~Jung
Your knife-fighting WOD is as follows.
Note: I did mine with a knife, but you can sub another weapon if you prefer.
Set a timer to beep every 1:00 min. Pick up a dull training knife and cycle through the following four times (20 mins total). First time through, knife in right hand in hammer grip, second time RH icepick grip, then LH hammer, then LH icepick.
- Gorilla Walking (on knuckles) – 1 round
- Shrimping – 1 round
- Knuckle Push-ups – 1 round
- Knife Shadowboxing – 2 rounds (plenty of kicks, punches, slashes, and stabs with good form and sincerity)
For the duration of the workout, count the number of times the live end of your dummy knife touches your body, the floor, or anything unintended. At the end of the 20 mins, complete 10 Get-ups for each flub (with dummy knife in hand, of course).
The Great Sphinx of Tanis (courtesy of Wikipedia)
How many times have you heard, or even said yourself, “A thousand years from now, archeologists will find remains of “_______” (insert humorous or peculiar modern day object here) and wonder what we were thinking about…”
When I read that archeologists had uncovered a 15-foot tall sphinx from the 1923 version of “The Ten Commandments,” I experienced a very surreal moment and a profound realization. For almost 100 years an artifact of the Pre-CGI era languished beneath the sand. Now a documentary film-maker is shooting the tentatively titled, “Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille.” We we have been making movies long enough that movie sets have become lost cities, and props have become artifacts.
During the Pre-CGI era, we made new versions of Tanis, Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu. Like their ancient counterparts, places like DeMille’s lost city were religious centers. But rather than paying homage to gods of fertility, death, or rebirth, these places were for the worship of art, entertainment, and profit. The ancient monuments were made of sandstone and granite. DeMille’s were cast in plaster.
In the current era we construct virtual worlds, the Avatars and Transformers of the modern psyche, out of electrons. Humanity’s creation is a sine wave, a vibratory signal that repeats and repeats and repeats. Each iteration, at least in the material plane, becomes weaker and weaker and weaker. In our imagination the virtual signal is getting stronger and stronger, deeper and deeper, the virtual world more and more complex and “real.”
On the material plane, where only actual artifacts can be dug up, pickings will be slim for archeologists of the future. The only traces of the Post-CGI era that will endure to be teased out of the sand will be mouldering server banks and the bones of extinct animals.