“Horror films unleash the forces repressed by Christianity—evil and the barbarism of nature. Horror films are rituals of pagan worship. There western man obsessively confronts what Christianity has never been able to bury or explain away.”
—Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae, p.269
“The Eternal Feminine propels us onward.”—Goethe, Faust, II. V.
Whenever I approach the Crossroads of Art and Spirit, I hope to encounter newfound understanding for a given medium’s ability to express the Numinous. The effect of such an encounter on me is multidimensional—emotional, intellectual, and spiritual—and I require several days of processing before I can begin to consciously articulate the artwork’s Numinosity to others. In the case of American writer/director Ari Aster’s critically acclaimed 2018 debut feature film, Hereditary, I became hooked after my first viewing on the evening of June 8 (and dashed back to the theater for a second viewing 9 hours later) not just because the film is wonderfully Saturnian in its mood or because it courageously dares to cast an unflinching gaze at the culturally taboo subjects of the rejection of maternity, children’s deaths, and PTSD, but because it delivers a surprising whopper of an occult philosophy that showcases the Feminine Daemonic (in all Her Chinnamasta head-chopping glory, no less)!
Be advised: This film review contains spoilers for Hereditary!
The main conference days of UAC 2018 were Friday, May 25 through Tuesday, May 29, though I also elected to participate in Karen Hamaker-Zondag’s 6-hour-long post-conference workshop on May 30 on the subject of the 8th House. These glorious days of intense learning, fellowship, socializing (I organized a small-group dinner outing to Greek Town for out-of-state conference attendees the night of Sunday, May 27) and partying (the Chicago “Roaring Twenties”-themed jazz party and silent auction on Saturday the 26thwas lots of fun) were definitely presided over by Airy and Watery Elemental forces.
I’m sharing my most potent incense recipe for use in rituals meant to banish unwanted spirits from places or people. Using a mortar and pestle, finely grind into a powder the following:
- 1 part frankincense granules
- 1 part benzoin resin (solid)
- 1 part dragon’s blood resin (solid)
- 1 large dried bay leaf
- 3 small pieces of dried Solomon’s Seal root
- 3 small pinches of dried rosemary
- 3 small pinches of dried angelica root
- 3 small pinches of white sage leaves
- 3 small pinches of dried rue
- 3 small pinches of dried rowan bark
- 3 small pinches of dried St. John’s Wort
- 3 small pinches of dried Dittany of Crete
Lastly, add 7 drops of lavender essential oil. Stir the mixture well and store it in a small jar with an air-tight seal.
This mixture has a dual purpose of banishing hostile spiritual entities and marshaling the aid of your helping spirits.
I wish there were more overlap between horror film fans and occultists when it comes to giving reviews of spooky movies with strong occult themes. Since Nature abhors a vacuum, I’ll gladly step right in here, folks! While the film I’m reviewing, A Dark Song, came out in 2016 (to much critical acclaim, a feat all the more striking when you consider that this film serves as the directorial debut for Ireland’s Liam Gavin), and is thus not “new,” it is new to me and I only heard of it in the past week because of the wonderfully astute targeted marketing engine that drives Netflix! A Dark Song is a visually lush (absolutely captivating cinematography of Ireland’s brooding soulscapes), suspenseful, taut film (1 hour, 40 minutes long) with stellar acting performances and an unforgettable ending. It’s something that everyone with ceremonial magic ritual experience ought to see: at its core, we’re treated to a shamanic Underworld journey that vindicates so-called “Low” Magic. (If you’re expecting me to spell “magic” with a “k” tacked on at the end, sorry not sorry to disappoint because this is my editorial style!) Continue reading
Sane and Magically Sound Advice for Turbulent Economic Times: A Book Review of The Chaos Protocols by Gordon White (Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2016)
By Anna Applegate (c) 2017
It would be my earnest guess that most magical practitioners looking to add a book on success/prosperity magic to their occult libraries probably aren’t interested in learning about macroeconomic trends in the process. That’s a shame. Fortunately, Gordon White’s unique tome, The Chaos Protocols: Magical Techniques for Navigating the New Economic Reality, bridges the realms of this-world economics and otherworldly magical skill-building techniques (cultivating relationships with spirits of the dead, for example, or forming alliances with morally ambivalent trickster deities to effect changes in personal wealth-building) with some wildly practical advice in beating the system to develop one’s career as well as further one’s spiritual evolution. Chaos magic furnishes the toolkit for working in either scenario. Continue reading
Last Saturday, my boyfriend Daniel and I finally made good on our plans to check out the “Vodou: Sacred Powers of Haiti” exhibit at the Field Museum. The exhibit, which appears courtesy of the Canadian Museum of History, opened the week before Halloween and runs through April 26, 2015, so there’s more than ample time to visit Chicago and savor this exquisite collection of more than 300 sacred objects. More impressive still, none of these objects, including large-scale representations of the Lwa, reside behind plexiglass. Their energies are meant to be experienced directly, and considering that the majority of objects are artifacts from a “recently disbanded” (to quote the Field Museum’s website) Vodou secret society known as a Bizango, such a lack of a physical barrier is all the more remarkable. Continue reading
Theologically speaking, as a hard polytheist, I believe that the Deities I love and serve objectively exist and have distinct, independent personalities with likes and dislikes, preferred/time-honored ritual offerings, and unique bodies of lore surrounding Them. They are not mental constructs/Jungian archetypes drawn from some collective Unconscious well. Continue reading