Searching for pictures of Comte on the internet again, are we?

Today this blog has existed for four months. It has grown steadily since the first post, with a marked increase in June.

One of the interesting things with writing about relatively separate things – from Mesmerism to 19th century scientism to eugenics in Norway to lectures on alchemy to Goetic ritual magic – is keeping a track on what’s being read, and from where. In the beginning I wasn’t very surprised to find that ritual magic, and things to do with Aleister Crowley tended to generate more hits.

I was a bit more surprised when the short piece on Comte’s religion of humanity started to sprint away from the other posts. It is currently the most visited one – and that with almost five times as many hits as #2.

Variations on “Auguste Comte” are the three most used search words to find Heterodoxology. Further down the list we find phrases such as “fotos de auguste comte”, “pictures of auguste comte”, and “imagenes de comte”. My humour has always tended towards the silly, but I find it a little amusing.

But my favorite searches are still “how to become possessed by demons”, and “are there any real angelic languages?” I am afraid whoever came for answers to those must have navigated away rather disappointed.

Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 4:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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More on Goetic Magic: Three 20th century developments

In a previous post, now a couple of months ago, I wrote about the distinction between goetia and theurgy in ceremonial magic. I tried to trace the development of the distinction, in very broad strokes, from neo-platonic discussions in late antiquity through the renaissance rehabilitation of magic, through to 19th century occultism. This was part of developing my thoughts for an article on «Goetia in Modern Western Magic», the deadline for which has now (as it usually goes with academic anthologies) been postponed. This gives me opportunity to try out some more ideas here.


New articles from Aries

The latest issue (10.1) of Aries: The Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism has recently been published. It contains four research articles, on John Dee’s angel conversations (J. J. Sledge), a little-known text by Martinès de Pasqually ( Dominique Clairembault), the curious link between engineering  and spiritualism in the case of John Murray Spear (Joseph Laycock), and some aspect of Aleister Crowley’s sexual magic and the connection with some yogic traditions (Gordan Djurdjevic). Also seven book reviews. See below for bibliographic details and short reviews of the articles.


Goetia and Theurgy, magic black and white?

From Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus

I was recently reminded of an article I was commissioned to write a long time ago. The topic is Goetia and modern western ritual magic. With the deadline approaching it is time to start brainstorming a bit. So be patient: rambling speech ahead!


Magic in the desert – and more misplaced psychologisms

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is a hot name for heterodoxologists. He is also the most famous English occultist to have lived, his life having been told in about a dozen biographies. Today I taught a class on Crowley, magic, modernity and psychology, drawing on a chapter from Alex Owen’s book, The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern (2004).


Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 10:36 pm  Comments (9)  
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