Showing posts from February, 2021


I’ve been planning to write something about the weird and unpleasant phenomenon of QAnon for some months. I thought about it rather a lot because once I’d heard about it I felt as though I’d stepped in a puddle of cultural diarrhoea and couldn’t turn anywhere without smelling it. So the only way forward was through - I needed to read and think about it until I felt I’d got my head round what it consists of and why it attracts people. It turned into a much longer piece than I’d originally imagined, so it’s now too long for the newsletter and it’s here instead. So please forgive me these ugly metaphors for an ugly thing - here comes the boot-scraper, a Tinfoil Hat Watch QAnon special - the Cultural Diarrhoea Puddle. The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. - W B Yeats, The Second Coming I’ll assume that the reader already has some level of familiarity with these ideas, so hopefully you’ll know what I mean when I say it’s baffling and frustrating w

Soul of the West: Magick, Awakening and the Hellenic Gnosis

(Originally delivered as a talk for Occulture Berlin, October 2019) I’m going to be talking about four things: Asking the question: During the last century, what happened to the place of awakening, the Great Work, in the world of magic?  How to examine the consequences of what we believe; maps of the realities we find ourselves in – i.e. cosmologies Awakening and the Hellenic gnosis, the origin of Western civilization, practices of the Hellenic gnosis What is awakening all about anyway? MAGIC AND AWAKENING What happened to magic in the 20th century? Of all the possible narratives we could build of that era, I am going to pick one about the loss and rediscovery of the goal of awakening for magic. Let’s start with Crowley, who birthed an initiatic scheme in a cultural context of scientific materialism. First, it’s worth making a distinction between science and Scientism. The former is a set of methodologies based on logic and experiment. The latter is a religion. The dominant religion of