Here’s a study guide I put together for THE MODERN HERMETICIST to help some friends (and myself) solidify the concepts behind the Tarot and its associations with the Tree of Life in Kabbalah and Western Astrology.
This talk was put together by synthesizing a handful of notes, though the bulk of the information was drawn from LIBER θ by Aleister Crowley. There’s a bit of history, a bit of theory, and a bit of practice. Hopefully it can be of use to you in your practices. There’s something here for beginners and advanced practitioners alike.
This image here is very useful to follow along with:
Terence McKenna – On LSD
In this excerpt, the great noetic archaeologist, American philosopher, psychonaut, ethnobotanist, and lecturer Terence McKenna describes the substance Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and its social ramifications since the 1960s.
Terence McKenna – On Gnosticism
Here Terence discusses his views on the Nag Hammadi Library, dualism, the archipelago of Gnosticisms throughout antiquity, and more.
Note: the historical facts and opinions given in this talk are those of Terence alone and by no means reflect those of their poster (well… at least not entirely – much new research has been done on the subject of Gnosticism since Terence recorded this talk, and off the top of my head I can think of a handful of mistakes he makes unintentionally – think for yourself – please do your own research. Otherwise, they are great talks from a great speaker. R.I.P. Terence)
A Few Recommended Readings:
Yates. Frances. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. 1964.
Pagels, Elaine. The Gnostic Gospels. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.
Scholem, Gershom G. Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition. Philadelphia: Maurice Jacobs, 1965.
Rasimus, Tuomas. “Ophite Gnosticism, Sethianism, and the Nag Hammadi Library.” Vigiliae Christianae 59 (3), 2005: 235-263.
Hoeller, Stephan A. The Gnostic Society Library: The Nag Hammadi Library. March 13, 2014. http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html (accessed May 16, 2014).
This talk “What Athens Has Got To Do With Jerusalem” narrows in on parsing the Nag Hammadi Library’s gnostic gospel ‘The Apocryphon of John’, unpacking its contents and revealing it as an elaborate fusion of Greco-philosophical thought and Judaic prophetic tradition. Here we travel back to the beginning of the universe to watch an alternate narrative of creation unravel where the Demiurge YHWH is actually the bad guy and Eden’s serpent is really a manifestation of Christ.
This lecture “Coincidentia Oppositorum: Exploring the dialogue in the Recent Historical Literature of Alchemy” is an attempt to briefly summarize all the recent historical literature (i.e. not occult literature) vis-a-vis alchemy, chrysopoeia, iatrochemistry, ‘chymystry’, etc.; In good alchemical fashion, I try to reconcile or collapse a number of false dualisms which have arisen throughout alchemy’s history, and give something of a clear picture of what historical alchemy actually looked like. If you’re looking for a talk on spiritual self-transformational alchemy as espoused by 19th century occultists, I suggest looking elsewhere on YouTube as there are countless excellent (and not-so-excellent) videos on that subject.
In this lecture “…Et Lux in Tenebris Lucet: The Intellectual Development of St. Augustine as described in the Confessions”, I describe the life-long philosophical journey undertaken by the great philosopher and Church Father, St. Augustine of Hippo. A Manichaean dualist in his late youth and a Platonist throughout his adulthood, Augustine passed through a number of different schools of thought on his way to becoming the patron saint of philosophy itself.