The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #23

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #23

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per column. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Dragons

(Alchemy) Mythical creatures which are symbols of elemental fire. In alchemy, a dragon in flames is a symbol of calcination. Several dragons fighting are symbolic of putrefaction. Flying dragons represent the volatile principle, while wingless dragons correspond to the fixed principle. A dragon biting its own tale is synonymous with Ouroboros and implies a fundamental unity of all things.

Golem

(Qabalah) Hebrew A legendary being of clay given life by magic.

Messianic awareness

(Qabalah) Hebrew Christ or Tiphareth Consciousness. A new sort of solar awareness which will enable all people to function from a level of collective unconscious, thereby creating effortless harmony.

Metaphysics

(Philosophy) The branch of philosophy that studies the arrangement of reality. Central questions in metaphysics include: Can we act freely? What is it for something to exist? How are causes related to their effects? What is time? What is space? How is change possible?

Philosopher’s Stone

(Alchemy) A material believed to have the ability of transmuting base metal into gold. See elixir.

Pingala

(Yoga) Sanskrit. The solar element in the kundalini, said to reside at the right side of the spine. It has heating qualities and is manipulated by breathing through the right nostril.

Shekinah

(Qabalah) Hebrew “Divine Presence.” The presence of God in matter. Synonymous with the Thelemic concept of Hadit. The bride of Melek, who was separated from her husband by the sin in the Garden of Eden. She is exiled in Malkuth.

Skepticism

(Logic) Skepticism is the claim that knowledge is either impossible or very difficult to obtain. Global skepticism is skepticism about all branches of knowledge. There are also several forms of local skepticism, which involve skepticism about one or more areas of knowledge, e.g., local skepticism about the external world may lead to solipsism.

Stigmata

(Ecclesiastic) A small mark, stain or scar. A birthmark. In the good ol’ days, a permanent brand usually burned into criminals to forever identify them with their crime. (An example would be the mark of Caine) In medicine, any visual indication of disease or abnormality. In psychology, a spot on the skin that bleeds as a symptom of hysteria. In biology, the receptive apex of the pistil of a flower, on which pollen is deposited at pollination. A stigma is most commonly known for its religious connotations. In Christianity, stigmata are sores or wounds corresponding in position to the wounds Jesus suffered at the crucifixion. In Thelemic circles, stigmata are the involuntary twitching and drooling which occur when winning internet flame wars from the safety of one’s computer.

Taoism

A Chinese school of mysticism and magick that provided much of the foundation for medieval and renaissance ideas of alchemy. Taoism is hard to pin down, precisely for the reason that it is such a rich tradition, containing elements of shamanism, sexual magic, ceremony, divination, astrology and alchemy. There are striking similarities between Taoist occultism and certain elements of the Qabalah. The structure of the Yi King, for example, is derived from two lines known as Yin and Yang. These lines are combined into four double combinations of eight lines, and then into eight “trigram” combinations (24 lines) and from there to 64 “hexagram” combinations (384 lines). 2+8+24+384=418.

Tzaddik

(Qabalah) Hebrew An angelic, virtuous person. An adept.

Vale of Tears

(Qabalah) A reference to Assiah, the World of Action. The concept is based on the idea that the soul is hesitant to descend from Yetzirah into Assiah.

Xanthosis

(Alchemy) A transitional point or marker in alchemy, suggesting the place between the Black and White phases. A term used by Alexandrian alchemists to illustrate variations of the Fermentation process. Same as Yellow Phase.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #22

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #22

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Adam Kadmon

(Qabalah) The primordial Atziluthic Man. A predecessor to the Adam of Genesis. He is the first of four likenesses of God to manifest. Adam Kadmon possesses everything that is needed to achieve divine reflection. He is the observer and the observed and possesses a will, intellect, emotion, and capacity for action. He represents the fifth and highest World, providing the makings for the lower four.

Aesthetics

(Philosophy) A branch of philosophy that concerns itself with beauty and art. Some of the central questions in aesthetics include: What is art? What sorts of things possess aesthetic significance? Is the aesthetic experience rational or emotional? What is the relationship between an artist, his work and his critics?

Contingent

(Logic) Opposite of necessary. Something is contingent if the outcome could have been different. A contingent truth is a proposition which, though true, might have been false, e.g., Gerald rides a motorcycle.

Eagle

(Alchemy) The Eagle represents the element of air and alchemical volatilization. When an eagle is shown devouring a lion, this indicates volatilization of a fixed component by a volatile component.

Golden Dawn

(Magical Order) Originally founded in England in 1887 by S. L. Macgregor Mathers, Wynn Westcott, and William Woodman, the Golden Dawn is the most influential magical order of our time. When the order broke up in 1903, many of the students tried to keep the tradition alive, working its Hermetic, Qabalistic magick within their own orders. In fact, the Golden Dawn has influenced just about every existing magical organization today and is widely known thanks to the work of Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Dion Fortune, and others.

Hermaphrodite

(Alchemy) The result of the union between Aphrodite and Hermes: Hermaphroditus. In alchemy, a human possessing both male and female qualities, which represents Sulfur and Mercury after their conjunction. Another symbol for the union of opposites.

Hypothesis

An unproved explanation.

Litharge

(Alchemy) A term to describe the leftover scum, froth, or ashes of a metallic operation.

Mahaseh Bereshith

(Qabalah) Hebrew Literally, the Work of Creation. The act of employing Qabalistic theory and Hebrew letters with magick to emulate the act of creation as it appears encoded in the book of Genesis. According to medieval literature, tangible physical forms can be created from nothingness.

Sephirah, pl. Sephiroth

(Qabalah) Hebrew One of the ten stages of development of manifestation illustrated by the “fruit” on the Tree of Life. The sephiroth are vessels containing divine qualities and powers that are related to the creation of the universe and God Him/Her/Itself.

©2008-2013 Gerald del Campo. Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #21

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #21

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Agnostic

(Gnostic) Someone who claims that they do not know or are unable to know whether God exists.

Altruism

(Philosophy) Actions performed for the sake of others are altruistic. Altruism is the hypothesis that morality involves acting for the sake of others.

Belief

Trust.

Clairvoyance

(Magick, divination) Literally, “clear seeing,” also known as skrying or scrying. The astral art of acquiring visions, images and other information. The actual technique used is very similar to Astral Projection. Clairvoyance has been taught by numerous magical orders in order to investigate the archetypal nature of magical symbols, or to view real-life locations. It was extensively used in England during WWII to spy on the Nazis and again in Russia during The Cold War to spy on the U.S.

Foundationalism

(Philosophy) An epistemological view which maintains that there are two kinds of knowledge or beliefs: basic beliefs, which are obvious or self-justifying, and non-basic beliefs, which are justified by basic beliefs. The basic beliefs explain why the justification of knowledge does not involve an Infinite Regress.

Hatha Yoga

(Yoga) Sanskrit. Gives mastery over the breath, and leads to the control of the physical body and vitality.

Iosis

(Alchemy) The third and final stage of alchemical transformation. Because it is marked by the purpling or reddening of the material during the Coagulation operation, it is also known as the “Purple Phase.”

Kala

A ray, star, digit of time, radiance, essence, perfume. The vital psychosomatic essence which is manifest as a result of Maithuna (linking, joining, as in Tantra), these are considered to be 16 in number, 8 manifesting from the female and 8 from the male. The Tantric “glow” of the Kala will be different according to the digit in time where, when, and with whom the Tantra is worked.

Logic

(Philosophy) The branch of philosophy that deals with the formal properties of arguments and the philosophical problems associated with them. Central questions in logic include: What is a good argument? How can we determine if an argument is good or not? What are paradoxes? Can they be resolved? How can we talk meaningfully about objects that don’t exist, such as God or fairies?

Paten

(Ecclesiastic) A plate, usually of gold or silver that is used to hold the host during the Mass. Also called a “patina.”

©2008-2013 Gerald del Campo. Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

Why Thelema?

January 26, 2010 by  
Filed under magick

Why Thelema?

When people hear the sort of work we are involved with in the Order of Thelemic Knights, I am often asked why we believe that something like Thelema, when many of its adherents show a disdain for compassion, respect and hard work, would have anything life enhancing to offer individuals, much less the world at large.

The greater majority of people who have heard of Thelema only know it from the Web, or from some unfortunate meeting with a Thelemite on the street who views the philosophy as something of a fad or a means to rebel against their parents. Let’s be fair. Not every Thelemite has taken Crowley’s love affair with Nietzsche to condone a disregard for one’s fellows. Not all Thelemites are adolescence teenagers who parrot his every word because they think this makes them more powerful or admirable.

There are various groups who have embraced Thelema for whatever reason, creating a pretty tasty sectarian soup with which many Thelemites of different types can enjoy fellowship with their own kind. What pits the OTK apart from other Thelemic groups is that instead of focusing our studies exclusively to the life of Aleister Crowley, or some other Thelemic prophet, we are mostly concerned with how Thelema can help humanity solve the tremendous problems that we are about to encounter. We realize that we live in a different world than our predecessors, so we must endeavor to see how Thelema is relevant in today’s world. What does it have to say to us today?

It is no big secret, nor is it unfashionable as it once was, to say that the human race faces some very challenging times ahead. It is still a subject of great controversy and debate, but ignoring the science isn’t going to delay the inevitable. As resources become more difficult to find the human race is adapting an “every man for himself” or “me first” paradigm which is manifesting in some of today’s most important social issues, such as immigration, universal health care, and same sex marriage. The loss of resources, or the fear of losing resources is at the root of these issues. And this bigotry towards others will increase with the scarcity of resources. It will get worse before it gets better.

One of the things that makes Thelema relevant to us today is the Law itself. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” That is to say, every man and woman has a True Will or purpose, and the knowledge of that purpose will lead us to understanding our place in the grand scheme of things. We feel, for example, that man’s ignorance with regard to his relationship with nature has led us to the social issues (soon to be survival issues) we are facing today. We must each act in accordance with our own true natures. To do otherwise, or to likewise force another creature (such as an animal) into behavior which is outside of its own true nature is an abomination. To restate this in another way, The Law of Thelema implies that all living things have a True Will. What we mean by True Will is a deep understanding of one’s place within the cosmos and the realization that each of us is a piece of a puzzle too majestic to grasp intellectually. Knowledge of oneself leads to knowledge of the Divine.

“Love is the law, love under will.” Anyone that has ever studied comparative religion will recognize that Love is the universal constant driving force of the cosmos. Love always has been, and probably always will be, the foundation of our existence and the secret to our salvation. It is this Love that drives us toward the knowledge of ourselves indicated above.

“There is no god but man.” This is where we begin to really see the obvious value of Thelema as a solution to the world’s problems. Our mission is to unite with individuals who have had this realization in earnest. To know oneself is to know God. It is an easy thing to say, “There is no god but man,” but we seek those who have a gnostic understanding of this phenomenon. Only by adopting this view will the human race come to the realization of the Divinity of each individual, and the awesome power that individuals posses with regard to plotting their own courses. With that epiphany comes a rude awakening. One realizes that we have been in charge all along, and that ignorance has led us down the path of destruction. We can no longer blame god for these problems because we have created them ourselves. Neither can we wait for god to come save us from ourselves, for we have the power and resolution to do it for ourselves. Once Knowledge has been tasted, Faith and the way it helps us avoid responsibility will no longer serve to quench our thirst for answers.

“Ever man and every woman is a star.” This gift belongs to everyone; as Aleister Crowley said, “The Law is for ALL.” This makes it everyone’s job. If one accepts the Law of Thelema, then one is pledging to discover one’s own True Nature. That discovery will naturally bring one to the “god awareness” mentioned above, and then one must act accordingly to reverse the damage of thousands of years of ignorance.

What humanity needs today is a way to look at the universe, and a way of life befitting those with a sense of duty. If one person can accomplish much, imagine what a group of similarly awakened individuals could do. Thelema is what the human race needs today.

So how does this translate into our activities? We recognize the value of a specific set of virtues which have remained unchanged throughout the ages. By adhering to these principles we help to temper those as of yet unevolved instincts which are based on ignorance, fear and superstition, which will inevitably lead to the destruction of the world as we know it today. It is every member’s personal duty, to bring honesty, consideration, and self-discipline into their own lives. These are essential, not only for Thelemic Knighthood, but for all persons. In other words, we do this work because it benefits us as humans beings trying to discover who we are and our relationship with The Divine. This in turn benefits others, and that is a wonderful side-effect and a coincidence of metaphysical proportions.

Since we were first formed in 1999, we have raised several thousand pounds of clothes for the Lakota Indian Tribes and homeless; hundreds of pairs of shoes for street kids; books and school supplies for needy children; raised money for battered women’s shelters; provided security for The Red Cross during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as well as disseminating instructional pamphlets to street kids about how to avoid AIDS and hepatitis . . . all in the name of Thelema.

All of this work was done by a handful of very commuted individuals . . . Thelemites, who see themselves as being agents of change, oftentimes using their own money to getting the job accomplished. No one in our organization ever receives any payment for the work that we do. All donations, dues or other forms of monetary support goes toward the accomplishment of our charitable campaigns. There is no glory or press, and in fact this work is often thankless. Doing it, however, is its own reward. And there you have it.

©2010 by Gerald del Campo.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald serves as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #20

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #20

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Alembic

(Alchemy) In alchemy, the top part of a still. Often used to refer to a complete still. An instrument used for distillation.

Archigenitor

(Gnostic) The “first begetter”. A Greek reference to Yaldabaoth.

Cenobite

(Ecclesiastic) A member of a religious order choosing to dwell within a convent, monastery or a community, as opposed to a hermit, who lives in solitude.

Evocation

(Magick, Religion) Literally, “calling out.” Evocation is the application of magick to cause the physical or astral guise of a spirit to appear. See Invocation.

Filtration

(Alchemy) A process of separation, in which material is passed through a sieve or screen designed to allow only pieces of a certain size to pass through. In alchemy, the procedure is illustrated by the sign of Sagittarius.

Gunas

(Yoga) Sanskrit The Gunas are the three basic principles in Ayurvedic medicine that represent the process through which the subtle becomes gross. They are defined as consciousness or essense (sattva), activity (rajas), and inactivity (tamas). These principles also correspond with the alchemic principles of Mercury, Sulfur and Salt.

Psychological Egoism

(Philosophy) The doctrine that a person actually pursues nothing but his own interests. Note carefully how it differs from Ethical Egoism.

Rationalism

(Philosophy) The doctrine that genuine knowledge is not established by sense-experience, or at least not by sense-experience alone, and so is wholly or at least to a significant extent A Priori. Contrast Empiricism.

Triangle

(Alchemy, magick, general usage) One of the most stable geometric designs. In alchemy, the triangle represents the three alchemical principles: Mercury, Sulfur and Salt. In magick, demons are invoked into a triangle.

Undine

(Alchemy) One of a class of fabled female water spirits. They have the advantage of receiving a human soul by intermarrying with a mortal.

©2010 by Gerald del Campo.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

Ocular Distortion – Winter Set

December 15, 2009 by  
Filed under art, culture, photography

Ocular Distortion - Winter Set

Ocular Distortion

About the Artist

My interest in photography began when I was very young. My father was one of the best known photographers and “print men” in Argentina, and since he had a lab in our house I had plenty of opportunities to watch him perform his awe-inspiring magick in the darkroom. I watched and learned and, with his help, became enthralled in black, white, and those 256 shades in between. To me, photography is a perfect blend of science and art.

The 35mm equipment I currently use are a Canon AE-1, a Minolta X-700, and a Samsung Maxima 70 XL for those quick and easy social event shots. My main medium-format cameras are a Kowa 6 and a Mamiya 635. I often indulge in my love for the old and unusual by employing various different cameras from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. For example, I will sometimes use a Holga, which is a badly made, cheap, plastic toy medium format camera mass produced in the People’s Republic of China. These things leaks light all over the place, and I have to wrap the camera with duct tape before using it to keep light from leaking in and to keep the film door from flying open and ruining the film. If it were a boat, it would sink. The value of these cameras is in their various flaws. They create blurry images and dramatic contrast, and can often produce those surreal images one sees in magazines. It is so difficult to take a good picture with this camera that the photographer is forced into an understanding of light and the camera eye.

I am something of a traditionalist and don’t particularly care for digital photography. I do, however, enjoy the ease afforded by such hardware, and so I have a digital camera always at the ready around the house so that I can send my family instant pictures of my daughter. I feel that modifying a mediocre picture on a computer to make it look as though the photographer actually knew what he was doing is dishonest, and it takes away the art of having to understand light, aperture and field of vision, because most digital cameras do everything for you. There is nothing for the photographer to do but point and press. When a person shoots with film, they have to think about it for a long time before pushing the shutter button. They have to try to estimate to the best of their ability how the camera is going to “see” the subject, and how the settings they use will effect the overall result. There are many digital photographers that I admire, but to me digital photography represents our culture’s desire for cheap and instant gratification.

— Gerald del Campo

Winterland

Winterland by Gerald del Campo

“Winterland” ©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Twisted

Twisted by Gerald del Campo

“Twisted” ©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

©2009 by Gerald del Campo.
Text edited and images resized by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald serves as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #19

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #19

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Akashic Record

(Yoga, Theosophy) A term invented and popularized by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The idea is that the Akasha is a thought substance which can be imprinted by experience, making it possible to retrieve otherwise inaccessible information from the past, such as a person’s past life. This is remarkably close idea to the concept of Jung’s Universal Unconscious and may in fact be a reference to the same phenomena.

Aponia

(Gnostic) Literally, “Unreason.” The act of misusing thought.

Child

(Alchemy) A naked child symbolizes the perfect intelligence, the innocent soul. In alchemy and in magical tomes, the child represents the Union of Opposites. A crowned child or child clothed in purple robes signifies Salt or the Philosopher’s Stone.

Descriptive Meaning

(Philosophy) A statements or declaration whose meaning is shown in terms of reporting or describing actual or possible facts have descriptive meaning. Compare to Emotive Meaning.

Egg

(Alchemy) The egg represents the hermetically sealed vessel of creation. In alchemy, corked retorts, coffins, and sepulchers represent the same principles.

Gold

(Alchemy) The most perfect of all the metals, gold in ages past represented the perfection of all matter on any level, including that of the mind, spirit, and soul. The Sun is often used to hint to gold.

Maggid

(Qabalah) Hebrew Master or teacher. Synonymous with the Holy Guardian Angel, Higher Self, etc.

Mercury

(Alchemy, Roman mythology) The smallest of the inner planets and the one nearest the sun. The Roman god of pranks, thievery and commerce, which says something of how Romans conducted their business affairs. Called Hermes by the Greeks, Mercury is the messenger for the other gods, as well as being the god of science and travel, and patron saint of athletes. He is typically represented as a young man wearing a winged helmet and sandals and holding a caduceus. Mercury is also a heavy, metallic silver poisonous element that is liquid at room temperature. Often used in scientific instruments. Also called also quicksilver, alchemists acquired it by roasting cinnabar (mercury sulfide). The mercury would sweat out of the rocks and drip down where it could be collected. When mixed with other metals, liquid mercury has a tendency to bond with them and develop amalgams. These properties seemed to make mercury the master of duality in solid and liquid states; earth and heaven; life and death, and the Above and Below.

Philosophy of Science

(Philosophy) The branch of philosophy which scrutinizes the nature and results of scientific inquiry. Central questions include: Do scientist describe reality or just appearances? Can we have good reason to believe in the existence of unobservable entities (e.g. quarks)? What happens when one scientific theory replaces an older theory?

Ruach ha Kodesh

(Qabalah) Hebrew The child of the Supernals, she is the unmanifested essence that lingers like a curtain beneath her parents. Marked on the Tree of Life by the illusive, non-Sephirah Daath, or Knowledge. It is a portal through which the Absolute may enter to intervene directly with existence. Mystic Christians think of Daath as The Holy Spirit.

©2009 by Gerald del Campo.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

Ocular Distortion – Nightshade Impressions

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under culture, photography

Ocular Distortion - Nightshade Impressions

Ocular Distortion

About the Artist

My interest in photography began when I was very young. My father was one of the best known photographers and “print men” in Argentina, and since he had a lab in our house I had plenty of opportunities to watch him perform his awe-inspiring magick in the darkroom. I watched and learned and, with his help, became enthralled in black, white, and those 256 shades in between. To me, photography is a perfect blend of science and art.

The 35mm equipment I currently use are a Canon AE-1, a Minolta X-700, and a Samsung Maxima 70 XL for those quick and easy social event shots. My main medium-format cameras are a Kowa 6 and a Mamiya 635. I often indulge in my love for the old and unusual by employing various different cameras from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. For example, I will sometimes use a Holga, which is a badly made, cheap, plastic toy medium format camera mass produced in the People’s Republic of China. These things leaks light all over the place, and I have to wrap the camera with duct tape before using it to keep light from leaking in and to keep the film door from flying open and ruining the film. If it were a boat, it would sink. The value of these cameras is in their various flaws. They create blurry images and dramatic contrast, and can often produce those surreal images one sees in magazines. It is so difficult to take a good picture with this camera that the photographer is forced into an understanding of light and the camera eye.

I am something of a traditionalist and don’t particularly care for digital photography. I do, however, enjoy the ease afforded by such hardware, and so I have a digital camera always at the ready around the house so that I can send my family instant pictures of my daughter. I feel that modifying a mediocre picture on a computer to make it look as though the photographer actually knew what he was doing is dishonest, and it takes away the art of having to understand light, aperture and field of vision, because most digital cameras do everything for you. There is nothing for the photographer to do but point and press. When a person shoots with film, they have to think about it for a long time before pushing the shutter button. They have to try to estimate to the best of their ability how the camera is going to “see” the subject, and how the settings they use will effect the overall result. There are many digital photographers that I admire, but to me digital photography represents our culture’s desire for cheap and instant gratification.

Facade

One of the things I love about Portland is the way neat looking buildings are considered art. Often, when a building is unsafe, they will demolish the main part of the structure, but keep reinforce the facing wall intact so that the neighborhood does not lose its charm. I thought it looked spooky. Kowa 120mm with Fuji Film

Facade by Gerald del Campo
©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Happens to the Best of Us

Imagine my surprise when I learned Batman had died. I wondered who had done him in: The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin, or maybe he finally gave in to the charms of Catwoman. Of course, he could have simply grown old and died, or ended his own life when he realized that the world is perfectly happy being as corrupt as it is, but that hardly seemed like a fitting end for a superhero. Taken at Riverview Cemetery in Portland. Minolta X-700, Fuji Film

Happens to the Best of Us by Gerald del Campo
©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Bet

This was taken at Pioneer Cemetery during the spring of 2002. I was working with two models that day, which is pretty rare for me since I like to focus my attention on one subject at a time. This model’s name is Bet. I wished to portrait an angel watching over the person in the grave, or waiting for the day that he or she would rise up. We were kicked out by the caretaker because he felt her clothing was just a little too see-through. No sense of fashion, this guy. Kowa 120mm, Fuji Film.

Bet by Gerald del Campo
©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Deadly Nightshade

I have always been fascinated by the beauty and appeal of the poisonous things in nature. I bumped into this huge, basketball sized specimen at the Japanese Gardens in Portland. It was cut down the following week, so I am happy I got a chance to photograph it. Minolta X-700 w/Fuji Film

Deadly Nightshade by Gerald del Campo
©2009 by Gerald del Campo. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

©2009 by Gerald del Campo
Text edited and images resized by Sheta Kaey

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his websites at http://thelemicknights.org and http://egoandtheids.com. Gerald serves as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #18

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #18

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Agape

(Ecclesiastic) Greek αγαπη Unconditional love. Godly love. The love feast of the primitive Christians, being a meal partaken in connection with the communion. Originally a Hebrew funerary ceremony during which wine and milk were poured into the earth over the grave, and food was passed in to the corpse through a hole in the tomb.

Agnoia

(Gnostic) Literally “ignorance,” or the act of not paying attention.

Book of Gospels

(Ecclesiastic) Or “Black Book.” A book containing all the church’s readings for the year. It can be ceremonially carried into the temple as part of the entrance procession or put in a special place before the celebration begins.

Circle

The circle is symbolic of unity, the One Mind of God. According to Saint Augustine and a host of others, God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.

Collective

(Psychology) Psychic contents of the mind that belongs not to one individual but to a society, a people or the human race in general.

Desert religions

(General religious usage) Typically refers to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism.

Equivocation

(Logic) A type of fallacy where an ambiguity arises because a term or phrase has been used in two different senses within the one argument. For example: “The state has a food stamp fund designed to meet the needs of the poor. My friend says that I am one of the poorest people he has ever known so I think that I should receive a scholarship.”

Karma yoga

(Yoga) Sanskrit Gives mastery over activity, and leads to the control of powers of action.

Mantra yoga

(Yoga) Sanskrit Gives mastery over sound, and leads to the control of the powers of sound vibrations.

Stole

(Ecclesiastic) A vestment worn around the neck to signify that the priest is celebrating one of the Sacraments.

©2009 by Gerald del Campo
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Gerald del Campo is the author of A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his website at http://thelemicknights.org. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #17

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #17

 

A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per issue. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.

Agnosia

(Gnosticism) The state of not having insight or Gnosis. This is the root for the word “agnostic,” also meaning a person who does not have Gnosis.

Barbelos

(Gnosticism) A very confusing concept due to plethora of ways it has been used. It is masculine gender, but is used to stand for Sophia as a woman who is “the first male virgin.” Sophia has hermaphroditic associations. It is the highest or lowest form of Sophia depending on the myth, with Zoe being its countercharge.

Ceration

(Alchemy) The alchemical Fermentation process in which a waxy substance (the ferment) flows from the putrefied matter. This substance is forerunner of the Stone.

Mysticism

(Religion, magick) Immediate consciousness of the transcendent or ultimate reality or God. A mental exercise designed to still the mind so that it is able to experience the highest and most abstract conception of Godhead. Traditional forms of mysticism can be found in the The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and the The Spiritual Guide of Miguel Molinos, as well as in many of the writings of Sufism, Yoga, Buddhism, Zen, and Taoism. Unorthodox forms can be found in Gnosticism and the Hermetic Qabalah, etc.

Personal Unconscious

(Psychology) Opposite of Collective Unconscious. It includes forgotten dreams and memories, shocking and unbearable ideas (purposely oppressed), and perceptions not yet accessible for consciousness.

Prana

(Yoga) The breath is seen as one of the primary source of life-giving energies or forces of the universe. Similar to the Chinese concept of Chi.

Self

(Psychology) The archetype of personal totality and the governing nucleus of the psyche, and that influence that surpasses the ego.

Trituration

(Alchemy) To grind or pulverize a solid into a powder with a mortar and pestle.

Wine

(Alchemy, Ecclesiastic) A symbol to allude to the process of Fermentation and the spiritualization of matter. In Eucharistic religious ceremonies, wine is symbolic of the Blood of God by virtue of Transubstantiation. See Transubstantiation.

Yechidah

(Qabalah) Hebrew The level of the soul that connects the individual to God. The most ephemeral level of the soul, corresponding to Kether.

Gerald del Campo is the author of A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his website at http://thelemicknights.org. Gerald serves as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

©2009 Gerald del Campo
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Gerald del Campo is the author of A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed, among other works. You can visit his blog at http://solis93.livejournal.com and his website at http://thelemicknights.org. Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

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