6.27.2017

Art of Secret Societies

Did anyone see this exhibition in NYC last year?? Here’s an excellent article by on Hyperallergenic.com:
Mystery and Benevolence
“Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection’ at the American Folk Art Museum (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless noted)
A strange visual language developed from the 18th to the 20th century behind the closed doors of American secret societies. It’s a languae made up of all-seeing eyes, ominous skulls, hourglasses, arrows, axes, and curious hands holding hearts. Each of these icons was deeply symbolic for the thousands of people — mostly men — who participated in rituals of borrowed meaning, where ancient Egypt, biblical Christianity, and some homegrown amusements like wooden goats on wheels met the rise of American folk art. The American Folk Art Museum’s (AFAM) Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection examines this often hidden history through its arcane artifacts.
Unidentified Man in Independent Order of Odd Fellows Regalia, Artist unidentified (United States, 1840–1860), quarter-plate daguerreotype, 4 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum)
Unidentified Man in Independent Order of Odd Fellows Regalia, Artist unidentified (United States, 1840–60), quarter-plate daguerreotype, 4 3/4 x 3 3/4 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum) (click to enlarge)
Mystery and Benevolence was curated by Stacy C. Hollander, chief curator and director of exhibitions at AFAM, and Aimee E. Newell, director of collections at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library. It features over 200 objects recently donated to the museum by Kendra and Allan Daniel, who spent three decades buying up the once-secretive art. Installed in the museum, the objects are an exuberant display of the “golden age” of Masonic and Odd Fellows objects, when American decorative and folk art merged with the need for a sense of belonging in the new country.

“After becoming an independent nation in the 1780s, America was seeking to establish its own cultural identity; Freemasonry offered a source of images that resonated with the new nation’s values of equality and liberty,” Newell writes in the accompanying catalogue. “Freemasonry’s visual language and American style began to intersect almost as soon as victory over the British was declared, and continued to adapt as the nation grew and the fraternity evolved. ”
Much of the exhibition contextualizes this long-hidden art in the history of the societies, such as their charity work. The Odd Fellows, formed in 18th-century London, were organized as a benevolent group to support the sick, orphans, and those who died without money for a funeral. One of their mission statements is proclaimed in red and gold on a large wooden sign: “Bury the Dead.” There are also axes indicating how the Odd Fellows saw themselves as “pioneers in the pathway of life”; staffs topped with a heart in the hand were a reminder to be open to others.

Similarly, even the more ghoulish imagery had some meaning connected to charity, and selflessness. The skulls, hourglasses, and skeletons holding shields painted with the word “fidelity” were all reminders of mortality, and how one’s brief time on earth could be better dedicated to others. Reverend Aaron B. Grosh wrote in 1853’s The Odd Fellow’s Manual: “Only the good or evil of our lives will survive us on earth, to draw down on our memories the blessings of those we have aided, or the contempt and reproach of those we have injured.”

Mystery and Benevolence
Pair of Cherubim, artist unidentified (United States, 1900–25), metal with traces of gold leaf. They likely were once on a replica of the Ark of the Covenant.
Mystery and Benevolence
Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Mystery and Benevolence
Odd Fellows axes in ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Staff with Serpent, Artist unidentified (United States, 1875–1900), paint on wood, 53 x 5 x 4 3/4 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Staff with Serpent, Artist unidentified (United States, 1875–1900), paint on wood, 53 x 5 x 4 3/4 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Mystery and Benevolence
Painting of a church and cemetery in ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Carpet, Artist unidentified (United States,1875–1925), wool, 61 x 35 1/2 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Carpet, Artist unidentified (United States,1875–1925), wool, 61 x 35 1/2 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Mystery and Benevolence
Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence’
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Tracing Board, Artist unidentified (United States, 1850–1900), oil on canvas, 33 1/4 x 39 1/2 x 2 1/8 inches (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)
Independent Order of Odd Fellows Tracing Board, Artist unidentified (United States, 1850–1900), oil on canvas, 33 1/4 x 39 1/2 x 2 1/8 in (courtesy American Folk Art Museum, photo by José Andrés Ramírez)”
Mystery and Benevolence
Installation view of ‘Mystery and Benevolence’

and…

6.06.2017

Arbatel: The Magic of the Ancients

Arbatel-ancient-frimoire-occult
“The Arbatel de magia veterum (Arbatel: Of the Magic of the Ancients) is a Renaissance-period grimoire – a textbook of magic – and one of the most influential works of its kind. Unlike some other occult manuscripts that contain dark magic and malicious spells, the Arbatel contains spiritual advice and guidance on how to live an honest and honorable life.”
Author: Jovanna Goette

“The Arbatel is claimed to have been written in 1575 AD. This date is supported through textual references dating from 1536 through 1583. It is believed that the final editor of the Arbatel was Swiss physician Theodor Zwinger, and that it was published by Italian printer Pietro Perna. The author remains unknown, although it has been speculated that a man named Jacques Gohory may be the author. Like Zwinger and Perna, Gohory was a Paracelsian (a group who believed in and followed the medical theories and therapies of Paracelsus).
The focus of the Arbatel is on nature, and the natural relationships between humanity and a celestial hierarchy. It centers on the positive relationships between the celestial world and humans, and the interactions between the two. British poet and scholarly mystic Arthur Edward Waite (A.E. Waite) noted that the Arbatel is clearly Christian in nature. He wrote that it does not contain any form of black magic, and that it is not connected to the Greater or Lesser Keys of Solomon, which were focused on demonology.
The most frequently cited book in the Arbatel is the Bible. In the manner it is written, it appears that the author of the Arbatel must have had many portions of the Bible memorized, and that this highly influenced his writings.
The Arbatel was an extremely influential work for its time. It is said that one cannot understand the meaning of the Arbatel without also understanding the philosophy of Paracelsus. It viewed theosophy in an occult sense, and was perhaps the first written work to do so. Prior to the Arbatel, theosophy was generally used as a synonym for theology. It was the first writing to make the important distinction between human knowledge and divine knowledge.
Not all views of the Arbatel are positive, however. Dutch physician, occultist and demonologist Johann Weyer condemned the Arbatel as being “full of magical impiety” in his book, De praestigiis daemonum. In 1617, two professors at the University of Marburg in Germany intended to use the Arbatel as a textbook for students. Actions were taken against those professors by the University, and the book led to a student’s expulsion. Further, in 1623, an individual accused of being a witch, Jean Michel Menuisier, claimed to have used incantations from the Arbatel.
The first edition was most likely published in Basel. Some claim there had been earlier editions, although there has been no evidence to substantiate this. Since 1575, there have been several reprints. In 1655, Robert Turner translated the Arbatel to English, and printed it in his “Fourth” book of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s “Three Books of Occult Philosophy.” In 1686, Andreas Luppius wrote a German translation of the Arbatel, and in 1855, Scheible completed another German translation, correcting Luppius’ errors. In 1945, Marc Haven created a French translation of the manuscript. Finally, in 1969, it was translated again into English in the British Library’s Sloane Manuscripts. This English translation resulted in many errors and missing sections, and included a “Seal of Secrets” not included in any other version.
Through its original edition and later translations, the Arbatel remains a fascinating look into ancient spiritual advice, and the different philosophies and views of the world from the 16th Century.”

5.19.2017

Astro Report: Gemini Season

Sun into Gemini: May 20th at 1:31pm.
New Moon in Gemini: Thursday, May 25th at 12:44pm.
Mercury is Direct in Taurus.
Saturn – Uranus trine at 26 degrees (Sagittarius and Aries respectively) TODAY.
Venus Direct in Aries.  Mars Direct in Gemini.
Silence of the Night
Silence of the Night, Reiji Hiramatsu
I’d say the big thing is this trine with Saturn and Uranus today. This is a harmonious connection between two complete opposites:
Saturn is reality, time, responsibility, history, discipline, commitment, stability, and the establishment. It is slow, solid change.
Uranus is revolution, invention, science, rebelliousness, genius, Change, disruption, electricity and awakening. It is sudden change.
So these two are having a friendly conversation today, which is interesting.  If you have a duality in your life, you might find some common ground today. The main thing is that Saturn will INSIST on any changes you make being well thought out and solid. In my view, Saturn is heavier than Uranus and so those energies carry more weight, BUT they will have to find a compromise since Uranus will not be silenced.
A new physical reality comes into view.
A revolution with a solid foundation.
A path to making aspirations into realities.
This is a good day to set some goals ❤
This trine is also happening in the fire signs of Aries and Sagittarius, which brings guts, confidence, self esteem and passion. Creativity and adventure. Composers, artists, actors, musicians and performers are ignited by this energy today. Let your light shine.

4.22.2017

Celebrate Earth Day


































"Silent in space forgotten among the stars early awakened to grace our heavenly hopes, she who is a planet as star a burning beginning a mental held sphere, that now has billions of hearts to adorn and adore,

but what is the future to those who care not, who seek to be just compost, the bloody war forgot, what of the animal, plants and the trees, what of the ones who wanted not war but peace to see... 

greed killed the future, and replaced it in a plastic coffin so all could die and choke on the forgotten..build as we will and reach as we might, humanity of her is what we should fight for and fight fight fight, 

so call her gaia, some call her mother earth, but until we can exist on another world.... we own nothing but dirt... so serve your mistress and mother alike, because in the end time doesn't stop, nor will it rewind......"

- Luxas Aureaum

4.09.2017

April Rewinds: Astro Report

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Lots of retrogrades (and introspection) affecting us this month, giving us the chance to review our growth since the start of the year. We are slowing down, making sure we have solid foundations.

April 5th at 10:06pm (pacific): Saturn Retrograde in Sagittarius.
April 9th at 4:14pm: Mercury Retrograde at 4° Taurus.
April 10th at 11:08pm: Full Moon at 21° Libra.
April 15th at 3:18am: Venus (currently R) goes Direct in Pisces – exalted!
…and Jupiter Retrograde in Libra until June 8th!

And TODAY, Sunday, retrograde Venus in Pisces is squaring retrograde Saturn in Sag at exactly 27°.

Partnerships are being seriously reevaluated this week. Relationships regarding love and business are tested to see if they can withstand the pressures of long term commitment. Saturn doesn’t fool around. Are you willing to do the hard work necessary to keep your pledge to another person? If yes, the relationship has a strong center and will probably be a lasting one. But if they are castles built of sand, they will diminish.

This is an important time to take inventory of what’s working and what’s not working, and to gauge the commitment level of each person. This tension will be accented by the Full Moon in Libra tomorrow, and Venus’s’ stationing at the end of the week.
There are four planets retrograding together this week. That’s pretty amazing! I can’t remember the last time this happened. In general, all of us need to:
  1. Re-evaluate things you’re committed to.
  2. Re-examine your VALUES and adjust if necessary. What’s most important?
  3. Start with getting grounded; take each day as it comes.
  4. Don’t expand into future worries – but deal with what’s in front of you right now.
  5. Be in the present.
The great RE-VALUE is here.

3.20.2017

Spring Equinox ~ be joyful


Hail unto the Return of the Mighty Spring!

Sun into Aries at 3:39am today.

"The spring equinox falls on Monday, March 20, in the Northern Hemisphere, marking the moment that the sun passes over the celestial equator. On this day, Wiccans and many other neopagans observe Ostara, a festival that celebrates the season's change from dark winter to brightening spring.
Wicca is a pagan religion that emphasizes the cycles of nature and spiritual connection to the earth. Ostara is one of 8 seasonal Wiccan holidays.


























"The Coming of Spring" by Lawrence Alma Tadema.

2.13.2017

Happy Valentine's Day

I LOVE this day… relationship or not. I just LOVE LOVE.
To everyone out there, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day ♥
I also believe this is true:
“It is Almost Certain that Between Friends There is at All Times, a Silent Communication, a Sort of Unconscious Mental Conversation Going on Subjectively when This Rises to the Surface of Conscious Intelligence, it is Called Mental Telepathy. The Communication with Others is Going On at All Times, whether the Conscious Mind is Aware of the Fact or Not. We are Always Receiving Impressions that are More or Less Vague, and It is Seldom They Come to the Surface; but They are There Nevertheless and are Gradually Building into Our Mentalities Impressions and Forms of Thought that are Unconscious and Silently Perceived.”
~ Ernest Shurtleff Holmes, The Science of the Mind: Subjective Communication (1926)
vibe