The Results of Rituals: Inside and Out

“The disciplines of physical exercise, meditation and study aren’t terribly esoteric. The means to attain a capability far beyond that of the so-called ordinary person are within the reach of everyone, if their desire and their will are strong enough,” Alan Moore once said. “I have studied science, art, religion and a hundred different philosophies. Anyone could do as much. By applying what you learn and ordering your thoughts in an intelligent manner it is possible to accomplish almost anything. Possible for an ‘ordinary person.’ There’s a notion I’d like to see buried: the ordinary person. Ridiculous. There is no ordinary person.”

Maybe one day I will measure my magical progress by how many fat sacks of cash I can manifest or by bending the universe towards whatever momentary fancy that takes up space in my head. Perhaps on another day I will evaluate myself by the frequency of flashes of blinding white light that envelop me while standing at my altar of worship. Wait, maybe when I hex all my enemies and they come to great pain for crossing me, that’s when I’ll know I’m serious about magic. Or maybe none of those things will ever happen and I’ll have merely lived a more interesting life than if I had never allowed myself to think magically. Continue reading “The Results of Rituals: Inside and Out”

An Introduction to the Martial Arts of Pentjak Silat Serak and Pentjak Silat Bukti Negara

The tribes of the jungles of the Indo-Malay archipelago have produced some of the most devastating systems of combat and self – defense based on hundreds of years of tribal warfare. Collectively known as Silat, these martial arts systems are generally characterized by both armed and un-armed tactics and concepts. Although in modern times some have been watered down into sports, many have kept their edge as forms of combat and self – preservation whose instructors refuse to teach them as sports.

When the term Pencak Silat is used, it refers specifically to the Indonesian systems of Silat. Likewise, the alternative spelling of Pentjak Silat refers to the Dutch-Indonesian lineages of Silat. There are literally dozens of these systems, with hundreds of sub-systems. The term Pencak Silat was first used officially on the 18th of May in 1948 at the foundation of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI – Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia). The term pencak was more common among the Javanese, whereas silat was the common term for martial practice in Sumatra, as well as Borneo. Continue reading “An Introduction to the Martial Arts of Pentjak Silat Serak and Pentjak Silat Bukti Negara”

Drawing on Different Traditions

We tend to think of the ancient world as having many distinct religions, all somehow pure and authentic in themselves. But the truth is more complicated, of course. Muslims, Christians, and Jews debated each other at times, and their religions influenced each other. Platonism also influenced these three religions, or at least their more mystical and esoteric schools of thought. Moreover, even in antiquity people often practiced different faiths, having, for example, to be a part of the state religion, for example, while practicing their own religion in their own lives. In the modern era, in Freemasonry, we find the influence of Hermeticism, alchemy, ancient Egyptian culture, etc., in the “higher Degrees.”

Today, whether ancient or modern, dead, obscure, or having millions of members, every religious tradition is available to us in some way, even if only through books. it is an odd thing to see, but esoteric schools, such as Martinism and those following the teachings of Armenian mystic G. I. Gurdjieff, virtually inaccessible two decades ago, now regularly appear on the net, including in my social media streams. Continue reading “Drawing on Different Traditions”