Esoteric Orders, Magic, and Persevering to Authenticity

Esotericism — or at least the appearance of esotericism — is now everywhere. New Age and occult stores exist in probably every city in the West, as do countless Yoga studios (many of them selling books on Kundalini), and so on. The rituals of occult Orders can sometimes be found in mainstream bookstores and, of course, on the net. We do not have to go far out of our way to learn — at least superficially — about the alchemical process, the Kabbalah, the meaning of the runes, or anything else once considered the preserve of adepts.

What, then, are esoteric Orders for? Continue reading “Esoteric Orders, Magic, and Persevering to Authenticity”

Freemasonry and Traditionalism in the East and West

I recently gave a talk titled “Freemasonry and Traditionalism in the East and West” at The Chancellor Robert R Livingston Masonic Library in New York City. I discuss a range of subjects from Freemasonry to Traditionalism and from Islam to Gnosis, as well as such thinkers as Rene Guenon, Julius Evola, and Aleksandr Dugin. You can watch it below:

Academic Journal Correspondences Reviews The Crescent and The Compass

Justine Bakker, of Rice University, has reviewed my book The Crescent and The Compass for the online academic journal Correspondences. Since the book was written for a broader audience — not for academia per se — I was surprised to learn that the site was interested in reviewing it at all.

The journal describes itself as an “an international, peer-reviewed online journal dedicated to the academic study of ‘Western Esotericism’.” It’s interests range from Gnosticism to Traditionalism. Bakker herself has focused on the Nation of Islam and African-American religious experience — subjects that appear in the my book. Here is a snippet (if I can use such a non-academic term) of the review: Continue reading “Academic Journal Correspondences Reviews The Crescent and The Compass”

Freemasonry, The Occult, and Counter-Enlightenment

Is Freemasonry occult or rational and scientific? How do these relate to spirituality today more generally? This is what I will be exploring here, but first some comments on Freemasonry by others:

“Freemasonry,” says Jeff Peace at Freemasonry 101, “has been credited as the organization that paved the way for the Age of Enlightenment,” while another recent article published on Disinfo dot com claims, similarly, that the fraternity is a “scientific inference” (whatever that means) which describes various allegories that “don’t fall within the realm of occult.” On this matter, Peace is even more emphatic, saying “Redefining Freemasonry as a form of occult alchemical mysticism steals its glorious heritage of science and enlightenment philosophy from it.”

Continue reading “Freemasonry, The Occult, and Counter-Enlightenment”

Has Freemasonry’s Ship Sailed?

With the United Grand Lodge of England having recently released all of the names of Freemasons under its jurisdiction up to 1923, the specter of alleged Masonic influence has again raised its somewhat ill-informed head. Chris Mullin, writing in The Guardian, says that,

According to the documents, the masonic roll call included at least 5,500 police officers (many occupying senior positions), several thousand army officers – including the Duke of Wellington and Lord Kitchener – 170 judges, 169 MPs and 16 bishops. Not to mention senior members of the royal family, up to and including Edward VII. Continue reading “Has Freemasonry’s Ship Sailed?”

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