Hermetica: A Review Of The Myatt Translations

Abdul-Aziz ibn Myatt

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Hermetica: A Review Of The Myatt Translations

 

In the Spring of this year (2017) David Myatt released his versions – translations and commentaries – of several more Corpus Hermeticum texts to complement his existing, published, versions of tracts I, III, IV, VIII, XI {1}. The new additions were tracts VI, XII, and the Cantio Arcana part (sections 17 and 18) of tract XIII. {2}

The latest additions – bringing his translations of Hermetica texts to seven – follow the same methodology as previous versions. That is, his penchant for transliterating certain Greek words, his use of often unusual English words in place of the standard translations and meanings given in Greek-English lexicons such as LSJ {3}, and the terms and expressions he invents or digs up from usually very old books of English literature. All of which combine to make his translations idiosyncratic and remarkably different from all previous translations into English, antique and modern. To his credit, he explains in his commentary – sometimes in pedantic detail – his choices, citing his reasons and often providing some quotation in Greek, Latin, or English.

In regard to his translations of hermetic texts, this results in two things. In translations with a technical vocabulary relating to hermeticism, and in translations which transports the reader to an ancient world. Both of these combine to breathe new life into the texts and thence into hermeticism itself. Thus, far from, as Myatt writes in his introduction to tract VI, giving the impression “of reading somewhat declamatory sermons about god/God and ‘the good’ familiar from over a thousand years of persons preaching about Christianity,” the hermetic texts he has translated give the impression of reading about a pagan mysticism that most readers will probably be unfamiliar with.

Thus while other translators write moralistically about god, righteousness, truth, and ‘the good’, Myatt previews a world of divinities, of respecting the customs of the gods, of honesty, and nobility. A good example of the difference is in Myatt’s rendering of part of the Cantio Arcana. Copenhaver – who follows the proto-Christian interpretation of earlier translators and whose recent translations of the Corpus Hermeticum are regarded as “the definitive versions”, has:

      “Holy knowledge, you enlightened me; through you, hymning the intellectual light, I take joy in the joy of Mind. Join me, all you powers, and sing me the hymn. You also, continence, sing me the hymn. My justice, through me hymn the just. My liberality, through me hymn the Universe. Truth, hymn the truth. Good, hymn the good.” (4}

Myatt has:

Numinous knowledge, from you a numinal understanding:
Through you, a song of apprehended phaos,
Delighted with delightful perceiverance.
Join me, all you Arts, in song.
You, mastery, sing; and you, respectful of custom,
Through me sing of such respect.
Sing, my companions, for All That Exists:
Honesty, through me, sing of being honest,
The noble, sing of nobility.

In Myatt’s version there are the two previously mentioned things. A technical vocabulary – such as numinal, phaos, perceiverance, Arts – requiring interpretation, and nothing reminiscent of Christianity, such as ‘hymn’ and ‘holy’ and being ‘good’. As Myatt writes in his commentary on the Cantio Arcana in respect of his use of the terms song, honesty and Arts:

   Song. ὕμνος. Not a ‘hymn’ in the Christian sense (which the word hymn now so often imputes) but rather celebrating the numinous, and theos, in song, verse (ode), and chant.

   Honesty. ἀλήθεια. Given that those who are urged to sing are personifications, this is not some abstract, disputable, ‘truth’ but as often elsewhere in classical literature, a revealing, a dis-covering, of what is real as opposed to what is apparent or outer appearance. In personal terms, being honest and truthful.

   Arts. As at Poemandres 31 – which is also a traditional doxology (δοξολογία) to theos – the sense of δυνάμεων [here] is not ‘powers’, forces (or something similar and equally at variance with such a laudation) but ‘arts’; that is, particular abilities, qualities, and skills. Here, these abilities and skills – the craft – relate to esoteric song; to be able to be an effective laudator in respect of theos and “every Physis of Kosmos.”

His reference to ‘every Physis of Kosmos’ is to the beginning of the ode:

Let every Physis of Kosmos favourably listen to this song
πᾶσα φύσις κόσμου προσδεχέσθω τοῦ ὕμνου τὴν ἀκοήν

which Copenhaver translates as “let every nature in the cosmos attend to the hearing of this hymn.”

The commentaries which accompany the translations deserve a mention. Each of them not only occupies far more pages than the actual translation but they reveal the author as erudite with pages of quotations from ancient Greek and Latin works – for most of which Myatt provides his own translation – and the occasional quotation from English literature. In the case of English literature usually to explain the meaning of the unusual English words of phrases he uses, quoting the likes of Chaucer, Coleridge, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Chapman, and others.

       In effect what Myatt does in his translations is paint of picture of classical – and of Hellenic – culture and especially of Hellenic mysticism; a culture and a mysticism which is pagan and based on individuals, on tangible things such as honesty, and not on moralistic and religious and impersonal abstractions. That is, he reveals the Greco-Roman ethos – the pagan ethos – underlying the hermetic texts and which is in contrast to that of Christianity with its later, medieval and Puritanical, impersonal moralizing. He incidently leaves us with an interesting question. Which is whether such pagan Hellenic mysticism influenced Christianity in a positive way. In academia the assumption has always been that Christianity and earlier Judaic monotheism influenced hermeticism despite the fact of evidence from papyrus fragments indicating the opposite and despite the fact that the earliest texts of the Old Testament were written in Greek and not in Hebrew. {5}

Myatt himself is of the opinion that parts of ancient Greek mysticism and cosmogony – as described for instance in tract III of the Corpus Hermeticum – have influenced both Judaism and Christianity. {6}

Such controversial matters aside, his translations of tracts from the Corpus Hermeticism are decidedly iconoclastic and – when compared to those of other translators such as Copenhaver – idiosyncratic and as such are not and probably never will be mainstream at least in academia. They may therefore never gain widespread acceptance among established academics. Does that matter? Probably not because his actual and potential audience is much greater. Which audience is of those interested in Western mysticism, in Western paganism, and in Greco-Roman culture in general, and for such interested parties Myatt has done a great service since he places the hermetic texts firmly into those milieux.

One other thing about the translations and commentaries deserves a mention. As well a being available in printed form he has not only made all of them available as free downloads from the internet {7} but also issued them under a liberal Creative Commons license which allows others to freely copy and distribute them.

Rachael Stirling
Shropshire
May 2017

{1} D. Myatt. Corpus Hermeticum I, III, IV, VIII, XI. 2017. ISBN 978-1545020142.
{2} Tracts VI, XII, and the Cantio Arcana, are available at https://davidmyatt.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/tractates-vi-xii-v3.pdf [Accessed May 2017].
{3} H. G. Liddell, R. Scott, H. S. Jones. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford University Press, 1996.
{4} B. Copenhaver. Hermetica. Cambridge University Press. 1992.
{5} The earliest written texts of the Old Testament – papyrus fragments found in Egypt – are in Hellenistic Greek and date from around 250 BCE and precede by over a century the earliest fragments written in Hebrew (some of the Dead Sea Scrolls) which date from 150 BCE to around 50 BCE.
{6} See Myatt’s introduction to his translation of tract III.
{7} https://davidmyatt.wordpress.com/corpus-hermeticum/


A Letter From The O9A To Michael Aquino

O9A Insight Role
O9A Insight Role
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Editorial Note: We republish here a facsimile of a letter, dated October 1990, from ‘Stephen Brown’ – aka Anton Long – sent in reply to a letter from Michael Aquino of the Temple of Set.

This early letter (in the history of the ONA) is noteworthy as it explains in a clear non-polemical, courteous, way the policy, philosophy, and goals of the Order of Nine Angles and contrasts them with those of the Temple of Set. The letter was first published – along with similar letters and replies from Aquino and others in facsimile – in 1992 in the two volumes titled The Satanic Letters of Stephen Brown and which letters are a primary sources in regard to the history and the occult philosophy of the Order of Nine Angles.

Letter From S Brown to M Aquino
(pdf)

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Related:

The Satanic Letters, Volume I
(pdf)

The Satanic Letters, Volume II

(pdf)


The Sinister Feminine And Homo Hubris

O9A Insight Role
O9A Insight Role

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Masculous And Muliebral

The Sinister Feminine And Homo Hubris

As apprehended by those who have ventured along the Seven Fold Way of the Order of Nine Angles (O9A, ONA) to at least the stage of Internal Adept, and by those who because of their physis feel the ‘sinisterly-numinous’ aesthetic, one of the fundamental problems of the modern Western Left Hand Path in general and of modern ‘Satanism’ in particular is that of Homo Hubris. As noted in one text which is recommended reading for aspirant Adepts, the species Homo Hubris is

             “distinguished by their profane lack of numinous balance, by a lack of knowing of and feeling for the numinous; by a personal arrogance, by a lack of manners, and by that lack of respect for anything other than strength/power and/or their own gratification.” {1}

This profane lack of numinous balance is most manifest in the principles – adopted by modern Levey-inspired self-described ‘satanists’ – of “might is right” and of “total satisfaction of the ego”.

In contrast, one of the aims of the Occult anados that is the O9A Seven Fold Way is for the initiate to personally experience – through exoteric and esoteric deeds – both what has been described as ‘the sinister’ and what has been described as ‘the numinous’ and, because of such experience, to meld them together in order to transcend beyond them. The experiences required in order to do this include the Rite of Internal Adept where the candidate lives alone – for three or six months – in primitive conditions in the wilderness. Which Rite has as its aim the development in the individual of empathy {2} and which empathy is a manifestation of the muliebral and thus in direct contrast to the masculous principles adopted by modern Levey-inspired self-described ‘satanists’. {3}

For the O9A has

             “an initiated – esoteric – apprehension of the raison d’etre of alchemy: of ourselves as having, in essence, both a masculous and a muliebral physis, and which initially undivided physis (sans denotatum, and thus the artificial, hubriatic, division between masculous and muliebral) is now, as in the past it was for the majority, lost; with alchemy anciently understood and practised by many alchemists as a means whereby we might re-discover our natural, and balanced, human physis.” {4}

This esoteric apprehension is evident in some ancient texts, such as the ‘Pymander’ text from the Corpus Hermeticum:

             “Now listen to the rest of the explanation you asked to hear. When the cycle was fulfilled, the connexions between all things were, by the deliberations of theos, unfastened. Living beings – all male-and-female then – were, including humans, rent asunder thus bringing into being portions that were masculous with the others muliebral.” {5}

Which is why – in contrast to the patriarchal, masculous, ethos which has dominated the world, East and West, for millennia, of which Levey-type ‘satanism’ is but one recent manifestation – the esoteric tradition of the O9A is of ἀρρενόθηλυς: of balancing the masculous with the muliebral through pathei-mathos both esoteric and exoteric.

Misunderstanding The Sinister Feminine

Given the foregoing overview of O9A esoteric theory and praxis it is hardly surprising that modern Levey-inspired self-described ‘satanists’ are and have been upset by and annoyed with – and keep trying to discredit – the O9A especially given the O9A claim that the O9A is Satanist and that Howard Stanton Levey was a plagiarist, a charlatan, and an example of Homo Hubris: that is, in common parlance, he was plebeian.

It is also hardly surprising that modern Levey-inspired self-described ‘satanists’ and other modern Occultists – weaned on Magian, kabbalistic inspired, ‘sorcery’ – have misunderstood what the O9A mean by ‘the sinister feminine’, one emanation of which is that archetype {6} associated with the three lower spheres (nexions) on the O9A’s seven-fold Tree of Wyrd, and thus redolent as it is of the esoteric and exoteric pathei-mathos of those three lower spheres. That is, redolent of and expressing what, for the individual initiate, is some years before The Rite of Internal Adept and long before (usually at least a decade before) The Rite Of The Abyss with its lunar month of solitary chthonic living. {7}

For, in the O9A system ‘the sinister feminine’ is jumelle, and thus can be presenced (manifest in the causal) in two ways: (i) in and through the Seven Fold Way, and (ii) in the esoteric way of life of the rural Rounwytha.

(i) In The Seven Fold Way.

An archetype to be lived, experientially by a woman, or experienced experientially by a man, as a noviciate pathei-mathos; just as O9A Satanism (as manifest in texts such as The Black Book of Satan and in the O9A archetypes of Satan and Baphomet) is a necessary noviciate pathei-mathos, to be lived, experienced, learned from: a beginning of the decades-long anados that is the O9A Seven Fold Way.

Which is why archetypal representations of this aspect of the sinister feminine – be they fictional, or artistic (as in Tarot images) or presenced through rites and ceremonies of sorcery, or lived or experienced through ‘insight roles’ – are just archetypal representations germane to those three lower spheres and thus to individual pathei-mathos. They are not, and never have been, the raison d’être of the ONA itself, for that raison d’être is the Seven Fold Way and thus the individuals who, through undertaking that anados, meld the sinister with the numinous (the masculous with the muliebral) and thus develop their own unique weltanschauung.

(ii) The Way Of The Rounwytha.

A rare and rural way of life devoid of rites, ceremonies, and writings, and historically the purview of women. A Rounwytha has a particular and a natural sensitivity to human beings, to Nature (and especially the land, the weather), to living-beings (especially animals) and to the heaven/Cosmos. A wordless, conceptless, feeling of connexions, of the natural balance, and of the wisdom of a natural propitiation to aid or to restore that balance and thus (a) aid the good fortune, the good health, and the good crops and healthy livestock of some, or (b) to, for others, bring misfortune, bad health (to individuals and to livestock), and bad crops. {8}

             Of course, we do not expect – in respect of the Seven Fold Way – most Levey-inspired self-described ‘satanists’ – weaned on gratifying their ego – nor most modern Occultists – weaned on Magian ‘sorcery’ – to apprehend either (a) the Aeonic intent behind such O9A archetypes, or (b) the difference, esoterically and exoterically, between (i) the archetypal presencing – the nexion – that is the O9A with its Seven Fold Way, and (ii) the archetypal presencings – the nexions – that form the particular spheres which are encompassed by the nexion that is the Seven Fold Way.

Neither do we expect – in respect of the Way of the Rounwytha – those self-same ‘satanists’ or ‘occultists’ to apprehend how and why such a rural way of living is germane to the nexion that is the O9A.

But, as we know from our own experience, one or two might over the years so apprehend to perchance begin their own quest along the Seven Fold Way or perhaps betake themselves to live that now endangered Rouwythian way of life.

Rachael Stirling
2017 ev
v.1.03

Notes

{1} The Mythos of Vindex.
{2} This aim was spelled out in early – 1970s to 1980s – ONA texts, one of which was published in the 1980s Occult zine Nox and subsequently included in the book The Infernal Texts: Nox & Liber Koth (Falcon Publications, 1997).
{3} The differences are outlined in the book The Joy Of The Sinister. In particular in the three chapters titled (i) The De-Evolutionary Nature of Might is Right, and (ii) The Gentleman’s – and Noble Ladies – Brief Guide to The Dark Arts, and (iii) Concerning Culling as Art.
{4} See the O9A text Alchemy And The Sinisterly-Numinous Tradition.
{5} Poemandres, as translated by DW Myatt. Masculous has been described as referring to:
“the abilities and qualities that are conventionally and historically associated with men, such as competitiveness, aggression, a certain harshness, the desire to organize/control, and a desire for adventure and/or for conflict/war/violence/competition over and above personal love and culture.”

Muliebral has been described as referring to:
“those positive traits, abilities, and qualities that are conventionally and historically associated with women, such as empathy, sensitivity, gentleness, compassion, and a desire to love and be loved over and above a desire for conflict/adventure/war.”

{6} In O9A esotericism, an archetype is defined as “a particular causal presencing of a certain acausal energy and is thus akin to a type of acausal living being in the causal, and thus in the psyche; it is born (or can be created, by magickal means), its lives, and then it ‘dies’ (ceases to be present, presenced) in the causal (i.e. its energy in the causal ceases).”

{7} The 2017 text The Seven Fold Way Of The Order Of Nine Angles: A Modern Practical Guide provides a summary of both those rites.

{8} The way of the Rounwytha is described in several O9A texts, including (a) The Rounwytha Way In History and Modern Context, authored by ‘A Camlad Rounerer’ and published in 2011, and (b) Some Notes On The Rounwytha Way published in 2014.

A useful summary of the Rounwytha way is given in chapter VI (The Rounwytha Option) of the text The Seven Fold Way Of The Order Of Nine Angles: A Modern Practical Guide.

There is as yet no fictional work wholly concerned with and describing in detail the way of life of the Rounwytha, although two novels of the Deofel Quartet describe some traditional aspects of it: (a) the sapphic relationship between Rachael and Diane, and Diane’s intuition about the Long Mynd and other rural places, in Breaking The Silence Down , and (b) village life in Stredbow, and the sacrificial tradition, described in The Giving.


NorthWind

Order Of Nine Angles
Order Of Nine Angles
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Editorial Note: We republish here an extract from an illuminating interview with the Finnish Occultist (aka NorthWind) who edits The Sinister Flame zine and who runs the Black Metal record label of the same name. The interview was published in July 2017 on the deathmetal dot org website.

NorthWind expresses the essence of the ONA system, hidden as that is by the ONA’s perplexing, misleading, challenging, testing Labyrinthos Mythologicus.

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As anyone who’s taken part of his publication will know, he [Northwind] works with the Order of Nine Angles system – also known as the Seven-Fold Way.

– This is a path I’ve walked for well over a decade now, and it’s taught me a lot. For starters – it’s worth pointing out that the Order of Nine Angles has no formal membership, no leader, no structured organisation and no dogma. The word ‘order’ is a bit misleading in that sense. This is of utmost importance to myself, because I’ve always preferred working alone.

NorthWind adds that he has no problems collaborating with others – should the situation require it – but not being a particularly sociable character, it’s unlikely to happen by preference.

– O.N.A. is, first and foremost, a tradition that’s often been characterised as esoteric, occult, pagan, sinister and satanic – I feel all of these adjectives are justified. Above all, I regard it as a kind of constant real-life training system for individuals who are genuinely interested in self-knowledge and personal development.

The practitioner’s progress is divided into seven stages, all of which include physical and psychological elements.

NorthWind notes that while O.N.A. literature contains highly precise practical instructions, there is no explicit creed.

– Each path is unique, as all individuals are different – the system provides a frame but what’s done within it is your own call. Now, our know-it-all armchair Satanist will of course be quick to say, ‘Why would we need a framework? Satanists are free!’ Well, my experience tells me that we simply do. Much like a university needs a curriculum, the path of self-growth requires a certain structure. If you just do a bit of this and read a bit of that – you might learn something and go somewhere, but there’s no reliable way of measuring your development.

NorthWind speaks from empiricism, having done just that for a great number of years – dabbling in different occult and Satanic currents.

– In the end, none of them ever resulted in anything tangible and seemed more or less like mumbo-jumbo. But once I came across the O.N.A. it was immediately clear that this was precisely what I’d been searching for. This was something which manifests in the real world – it’s practical and it works.

How were you introduced to it?

– It was largely my correspondence with Frater Calus of ALTAR OF PERVERSION in the beginning of 00s which drew me to the O.N.A. I knew about it long before via flyers and journals, but it wasn’t until we started discussing these matters extensively that I really looked into it. ALTAR OF PERVERSION is a forerunner in O.N.A. inspired black metal and, as you know, Calus is a regular contributor to The Sinister Flame.

Walking the Seven-Fold Way, one seeks to complete various trials and challenges. One such tribulation is what’s called Insight Roles, an enterprise requiring the adept to make temporary but often drastic changes to his or her lifestyle – even switching place of residence, or outwardly assuming a polarising ideological position likely to provoke confrontation.

– It’s to test your limits and then learn from endured hardship. It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone and finding out what you’re really made of; experience is what tutors us and moulds our characters.

NorthWind adds how one can read any number of grimoires, or decorate ritual altars to the heart’s content, but actual learning occurs only when stepping out into the unknown and taking action.

– This is also why the O.N.A. is often described as ‘dangerous’ by other ‘Satanic’ currents. Worth noting is how it’s you alone who decides what your next Insight Role might be – no one is issuing decrees; it could be anything from a long stay in the woods to… well, think for yourself. But no one’s pushing you to do anything. It’s your life and you traverse the sinister how and as far as you wish, in accordance to your own goals.

Besides a philosophy where deeds weigh heavier than acumen, the fact that nature is an essential part of the tradition is something which immediately resonated with him.

– Nature has always been very important to me and I’ve always lived amongst it, more or less. Even now, if I want to go to a forest it’s about 150 metres from my home. Or if I want to go to the lake, my boat is two kilometres away. I’ve come to develop a deep connection with nature and its various faces over the years. Reading your recent interview with the Nordvis character though, I started feeling painfully urbanite…

Sounds familiar.

– Moreover, read early manuscripts like Naos: A Practical guide to Modern Magic, or old issues of Fenrir – the O.N.A. journal – the writing is impeccable and clearly authored by someone wielding a supreme command over words. That really appealed to me. One could argue that the writings even have this evocative and addictive quality to them. I’ve often discussed this with my O.N.A. associates, and many mention how they need to take actual breaks from reading the material. It’s interesting to see how words can indeed hold such power.

Escapades such as these Insight Roles sound like a frightful nuisance, are the rewards worth the hassle?

– Well, I suppose it depends on what you want from life. Personally, I can see no more important task than constantly striving for an improved version of myself on all fronts. Still, it’s not something I decided to do – it’s always been within me. Having said that, I can easily admit I have a long way to go; there have been plenty of phases in this journey ending in disappointment. Just saying.

NorthWind refers me to a quote by Anton Long – the pseudonymous former Grand Master of the O.N.A. – printed on the back cover of The Sinister Flame #3.

(…) They will have really lived, ‘on the edge’; they will really have achieved something with their lives. They will have inspired others. They will in some way by their living have ‘presenced’ the dark forces on earth. If they survive – their rewards are their achievements and the wisdom that awaits. If they do not survive, at least they will have done something with their lives.

– For beginners, the O.N.A. is a total mystery and puzzle – and deliberately so. Try to google the material and you’ll find a truckload of it, but after two months of reading you’re more confused than from the onset. It takes years to get some manner of grip on it – which is obviously by intentional design, to test the seeker’s will and resolve. You’ll turn away pretty soon if you do not have this sinister flame burning inside.


The Mythos Of Vindex: An Analysis

Abdul-Aziz ibn Myatt

David Myatt And The Vindex Mythos: An Analysis
(pdf)

We publish here an article by Reichsfolk which provides an informative overview of what has been termed the Vindex mythos. The article provides an analysis of Myatt’s two works on the subject, his Vindex: Destiny of The West, published in 1984, and his The Mythos Of Vindex, written and circulated in the later 1990s, with Reichsfolk publishing a revised edition in 2005.

As the author of the article concludes:

     What emerges from the two works by Myatt that we have considered is that his mythos of Vindex is political and yet also spiritual in a quite pagan way. It is political in that both texts praise National Socialism, decry what is considered to be Magian, are revisionist about the holocaust, and urge the creation of new societies, new ways of living. It is spiritual in that there is an emphasis in both on the numinous.

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Related:
https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/05/12/myatts-mythos-of-vindex/

The Almighty Sol

Order Of Nine Angles
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Editorial Note: We reproduce here an interesting article which is not only inspired by the Western, pagan, occult tradition of the O9A but also mentions David Myatt in relation to such modern mystics as Julius Evola.

Brutalism I: The Almighty Sol
(pdf)

Rebutting An Assumptionist

Order Of Nine Angles
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Let us analyse just three recent assumptions made by an assumptionist whose previous assumptions about the Order of Nine Angles were all revealed to also be erroneous {1}.

§ Assumption 1. {quote} The Numinous is defined as comprised of dark and light qualities alike, ergo their is no legitimate dichotomy between the Sinister and the Numinous, because the Numinous encompasses all. {/quote}

Nowhere in O9A literature – as far as we are aware – do the O9A define the numinous as “comprised of dark and light qualities alike.”

O9A literature writes – in the text The Adeptus Way and the Sinisterly-Numinous – that the “muliebral qualities are one presencing of the numinous within a human man,” and – in the text Questions From A Modern Rounwytha Initiate – of

           “a man and of a woman [as] having both a sinister and a numinous character within them, and sinister and numinous abilities. For, in a simplified – very inexact way – and to an extent in an unconscious archetypal way, we might speak of these particular female qualities as natural expressions or intimations of the ur-numinous, and manly blood lust, rage, and competitiveness, as natural expressions or intimations of the ur-sinister,”

with a helpful footnote explaining that the prefix ur is “from the German usage, as in ursprache, implying the or a primitive/early form of some-thing.”

This duality of character was mentioned in the text Masculous And Muliebral: The Sinister Feminine And Homo Hubris {2} which drew attention to three salient facts: (i) that Homo Hubris and the masculous ‘satanism’ of Levey, et al, are examples of unbalanced, profane, physis; (ii) that such a duality of physis is evident in some ancient texts, such as the ‘Pymander’ text from the Corpus Hermeticum; and (iii) that “one of the aims of the Occult anados that is the O9A Seven Fold Way is for the initiate to personally experience – through exoteric and esoteric deeds – both what has been described as ‘the sinister’ and what has been described as ‘the numinous’ and, because of such experience, to meld them together in order to transcend beyond them.”

          In respect of the numinous, it seems to us that the assumptionist may well have confused something Mr Myatt wrote – in the commentary to his translation of the Pymander hermetic text – with O9A belief or policy.

Myatt wrote,

          “correctly understood, numinous is the unity beyond our perception of its two apparent aspects; aspects expressed by the Greek usage of ἅγιος which could be understood in a good (light) way as ‘sacred’, revered, of astonishing beauty; and in a bad (dark) way as redolent of the gods/wyrd/the fates/morai in the sense of their retributive or (more often) their balancing power/powers and thus giving rise to mortal ‘awe’ since such a restoration of the natural balance often involved or required the death (and sometimes the ‘sacrifice’) of mortals.”

Myatt goes on to mention Rilke, quoting – in German – from the Duino Elegies and provides his own translation.

Notice that Myatt writes that the “numinous is the unity beyond our perception of its two apparent aspects.” That is, the numinous in his view has of itself two apparent aspects. He does not write that one of these is ‘dark’ in the sense of being identical to ‘the sinister’.

§ Assumption 2. {quote} conflation of LaVeyan Satanism with Qliphothic sorcery is astounding fallacious {/quote}

Nowhere – as far as we are aware – have the O9A used the term “Qliphothic sorcery” in relation to Levey or indeed in relation to anyone else. What has been used in relation to Howard Stanton Levey – whose alias you et al insist on using rather than his real name – are the terms Magian occultism and qabalistic tradition, with Magian occultism related to the Magian ethos, qv. the O9A text The Error of Egoism: Magian Occultism, Satanic Subversion, and The O9A. A recent O9A text referred to the Magian medieval “qabalistic tradition form[ing] the basis for the sorcery of the so-called Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, for the sorcery of Mr Crowley, for the sorcery of Howard Levey, for the sorcery of Mr Aquino, and for the sorcery of all other modern, non-O9A, occult groups.”

The qabalistic influence is evident in Levey’s book the ‘Satanic Bible’ and in the later ‘Satanic Rituals,’ replete as both are with ‘demons’ and ‘deities’ with Hebrew names, with the former book heavily indebted to the qabalistic Golden Dawn derived sorcery of Crowley. Levey even plagiarized Crowley’s definition of ‘magick’.

Thus the link between (a) the ‘magic’ defined and employed by Levey and (b) the Magian qabalistic tradition as used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Crowley and as described in many medieval grimoires, is indisputable.

§ Assumption 3. {quote} constant critcism of Anton Szandor LaVey despite his irrelevance to the topic at hand {/quote}

Criticism of Howard Stanton Levey – to use his real name – is indeed relevant to the topics in the article and which offending article brought forth more assumptions about the O9A from the assumptionist. Relevant because (i) the topics were – as the title of the article revealed – masculous and muliebral, the sinister feminine, and Homo Hubris, and (ii) given that the O9A classify Levey as an example of Homo Hubris (a plebeian) and his ‘satanism’ as masculous and thus as unbalanced.

O9A criticism of Howard Stanton Levey is also relevant in general since he is also an example of not only the Magian distortion affecting Western culture (and that culture includes pagan occultism) but also of how influential such Magian examples have become, with nearly all academic books written about Satanism and Western occultism in the past fifty years replete with or entirely devoted to the Magian occultism of the likes of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley, Howard Levey, and Michael Aquino. Thus, to criticise such examples and such Magian occultism is to criticise what has become – what still is – the status quo. Some people might thus consider that such criticism, and propagating a Western alternative, might be a rather antinomian thing to do, just as – these days – criticism of the Magian story about ‘the Shoah’ is considered by some people as an antinomian thing to do.

To provide a flavour of the Western, pagan, historical tradition of sorcery – free from later Magian (Judaic) interpolations and distortions – “we” recently published a few examples of that sorcery {3}, with the O9A Seven Fold Way itself being a modern manifestation of a non-Magian, Western, occult tradition. {4}

T.W.S.
2017

{1} https://omega9alpha.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/o9a-questions-2017-v5b.pdf.
{2} https://wyrdsister.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/the-sinister-feminine-and-homo-hubris/
{3} qv. https://regardingdavidmyatt.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/western-pagan-curses/
{4} qv. the 2015 book The Pagan Order Of Nine Angles (ISBN 978-1518885143) and the O9A compilation The Esoteric Hermeticism Of The Order Of Nine Angles available at https://omega9alpha.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/the-esoteric-hermeticism-of-the-order-of-nine-angles/


Unable To See The Nexion For The Nexions

Order Of Nine Angles
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Unable To See The Nexion For The Nexions:
The Trouble With Critics

 

The trouble afflicting many critics of the Order of Nine Angles is two-fold. First, they seem unable to see “The Nexion” for “the nexions”. That is, they confuse a nexion – be it a sphere or spheres on the Tree of Wyrd (and the associated archetypes and Occult praxises of such spheres) or be it a group or lodge or temple of those associating themselves with the O9A – with The Nexion that is The Seven Fold Way and thus the O9A.

Second, they illogically generalize from the particular, assuming as they so often do that the opinion of someone associated with the ONA is “ONA policy”, thus ignoring as they do the fact that no one has the authority to speak or write “on behalf of the O9A” because there is no O9A “authority” and never was any O9A “authority”. There are only personal experiences, personal opinions, personal interpretations since the only real “authority” in the O9A is what the individual discovers, learns, via pathei mathos both esoteric and exoteric, when they undertake the anados that is the Seven Fold Way.

Similarly in respect of works about or inspired by the Order of Nine Angles. They have no “authority”. Which is why neither the Deofel Quartet nor any essay or essays about ‘the sinister feminine’ (or about anything else, such as the Seven Fold Way) represent O9A policy. They present only the the opinions, the interpretation(s), and perhaps the experiences, of their authors. And this applies even if the author is or was Mr Anton Long.

Given that all this has been explained many times in the past twenty and more years – including in the 1992 publication The Satanic Letters of Stephen Brown – then why do critics of the O9A continue to be so afflicted?

     The answer is simple: because of their physis, their character. Some are so afflicted because they are territorial, needing to defend what they believe ‘satanism’ and/or the Left Hand Path are, with some of these types additionally claiming that the O9A is just “one man with a typewriter” and, latterly, “one man with a word-processor”, and now, recently, just “one man with a computer and an internet connection.”

Some are so afflicted because they have gotten lost in the O9A’s Labyrinthos Mythologicus and emerge confused, finding their bearings again by believing that the O9A is ‘fake’ or ‘not real’ or ‘a joke’.

Some are so afflicted because – to be blunt – they lack the intellect to grasp the difference between “The Nexion” and “the nexions” let alone grasp the subtle intricacies of the Seven Fold Way.

Some are so afflicted because they are just ignorant about the O9A, having prejudged it often on the basis of reading a few O9A texts and what others have written (usually on the internet) about the O9A.

Some are so afflicted because of hubris, sincerely believing that they “know all about the O9A” even though, when asked, they cannot answer questions from O9A Adepts regarding O9A esotericism. Lacking the honesty to admit that their knowledge about the O9A is limited, such critics either arrogantly dismiss such questions as “nonsense” or as “without meaning,” or ignore them. One of the markers enabling diagnosis of this type of physis is that they cannot read primary esoteric sources in their original language and have to resort to translations.

Some are so afflicted because they sincerely believe themselves to be very knowledgeable about the Occult and, believing they have discovered flaws in the O9A, trumpet their “findings” in order to establish a reputation for themselves and in the hope of attracting followers. When their “findings” or their knowledge are challenged, they invariably resort to argumentum ad nauseam and/or to argumentum ad hominem, with some of these types sincerely believing that they are on a “justified crusade” to “expose the ONA.” As with the ‘hubriatic type’, one of the markers enabling diagnosis of their physis is that they cannot read primary esoteric sources in their original language and have to resort to translations, which lack of direct knowledge of such primary sources reveals the limitations of their knowledge of matters Occult and O9A.

Finally, some are so afflicted because they have a personal agenda, such as a belief in the dogma of the Nazarene, or an irrational dislike of the person they fervently believe is behind the pseudonym “Anton Long”.

Of course, despite what we wrote at the beginning about the two-fold cause of such an affliction, many of the afflicted critics will continue to inflict their criticisms on others, given that for them their criticism of the O9A seems to have become a necessary part of their public (usually internet-created and internet-managed) persona.

And in the matter of the genesis and the spread of such an affliction, we were glad to help.


Most Amusing

Order Of Nine Angles
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We find it most amusing that O9A critics and detractors have made and continue to make internet blog posts and ‘youtube’ videos about “us” (TWS) and about the O9A and which internet-things garnish perhaps a few hundred hits/views {1}. Meanwhile, so many O9A folk, and those associated or presumed to be associated with the O9A, just get on with doing real stuff in the real world.

Thus, and to provide documented examples of only a few of such publicly findable individuals, there is Mr Moult producing a new Tarot pack whose images are quite outstanding and whose musical adventures have resulted in the formation of a new ‘musical collective’.

There is a now well-known (much unfairly maligned) former political activist in England composing O9A-inspired fiction and writing about his adventures as he follows the Rounwytha O9A praxis.

There is a Finnish associate of the O9A who among other activities is aiding the Death Metal music scene in practical ways. There is another O9A (bi-lingual) associate who together with comrades is (sub specie aeternitatis) promoting and aiding that and other alternative music scenes.

There is the ‘wyrdful witchcraft’ of another O9A associate documenting their travels in the sinisterly-numinous world mapped via the O9A Tree of Wyrd. And of course there are the recent scholarly works of a certain Mr Myatt, ranging from translations of Corpus Hermeticum texts to a translation of the gospel of John.

In other words, O9A folk and associates are pro-active, creative, in the real world. Meanwhile, all our critics and detractors seem to have are ‘youtube’ videos and rants posted on internet blogs. What – and where – are their documented real-world artistic, musical, scholarly, pro-active, contributions?

T.W.S.
128yf

{1} Of course they could always follow the example of mundane others and pay shysters and fly-by-night companies to boost their youtube/blog/FB stats: “buy a 100 FB followers – or get 100 blog/youtube hits – from as little as US$2.99. You know it makes sense…”


Missing The Sinister Angles, Again

Order Of Nine Angles

Some recent criticism (via the internet) of the O9A Deofel Quartet has been both amusing and expected. Why? Because almost without exception the critics have failed to understand or take into account the raison d’etre of the Deofel Quartet.

#1. As noted in the introduction to the stories:
{quote} The Deofel Quartet was designed as Instructional Texts for novices beginning the quest along the Left Hand Path according to the traditions of the ONA. As such, they are not – and were not intended to be – great, or even good, works of literature. Their intent was to inform novices – new Initiates – of certain esoteric matters in an entertaining and interesting way. {/quote}

The points – the sinister “angles” here – being: “designed for novices beginning the quest… not intended to be great, or even good, works of literature… the intent was to inform novices.”

In addition, another “angle” – in respect of having the works circulated outside the O9A – was to maybe cause a few individuals to be curious about or study the O9A tradition. Which “angle” – which marketing ploy – has proved quite successful over the decades.

#2. As described in the text ‘Esoteric Aural Tradition In The Deofel Quartet’,

{quote} The Deofel Quartet and other O9A AL-written fiction (such as Hangster’s Gate), present much of the diverse aural traditions as AL received them: as stories about people, their interactions; their ‘satanic’ or esoteric views and beliefs; and about certain events that involved those people. In The Deofel Quartet he simply reworked the factual material – as writers of fiction are wont to do – in order to make an interesting story, in the process obscuring the identities of those involved and sometimes their place of residence or work; added some entertaining details (as in the ‘astral battles’ between goodies and baddies in Falcifer, of a kind now familiar – decades later – from the Harry Potter stories) and concatenated certain events in order to provide ‘action’ in a limited time-frame. {/quote}

The points being: they “present much of the diverse aural traditions as AL received them: as stories about people, their interactions…reworked the factual material… obscuring the identities of those involved and sometimes their place of residence or work…”

They are thus fictionalized accounts about real events involving real people, with various members of the ONA OG knowing the identities of the people behind the main characters, such as the academic Mickleman.

#3. As noted in the introduction to the stories,

{quote} They can and should be surpassed by those possessing the abilities. If they have the effect of inspiring some Initiates of the Darker Path to creativity, to surpass them and create something better, then one of their many functions will have been achieved.” {/quote}

Thus one might ask such critics: where are their works of occult fiction – which are better than the Deofel Quartet – with interesting (if entirely fictional) characters and interesting (if entirely fictional) plots? Where are their fictionalized accounts of those people historically involved with whatever occult tradition they follow or have been inspired by?

Conclusion

The criticism is however beneficial to the O9A since (i) it encourages some individuals to actually read the Deofel Quartet, and (ii) it reveals – at least for those who do or who have understood the raison d’etre of the Deofel Quartet – the obvious flaws in the criticism and in the critics, which is the failure by such critics to understand or to intuit the quite simple sinister purpose of such simple fiction: merely a beginning of O9A interest for some, and a mere stepping stone for some others who ascending via the ONA anados soon leave such noviciate things far behind.

T.W.S.
128yf

This polemic is now included in version 1.03 of the text The Sinisterly-Numinous Aesthetic (pdf)


A Work Of Dark Sorcery?

Order Of Nine Angles
Order Of Nine Angles
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Editorial Note: We reproduce here an article about Myatt’s on-going translation of the gospel of John and which article was published on a Myatt fansite. Were we inclined to believe in the Myatt=AntonLong=Satanist theory (which we’re not) we might also believe that Myatt’s translation – iconoclastic and heretical and schismatic as it seems to be – is a deliberate work of ‘dark sorcery’ designed on one level (the exoteric) to upset and cause controversy among Nazarenes. If that were so it might well be a classic example of what the Order of Nine Angles – i.e. “Anton Long” – termed ‘sinister mimesis’. {1}

T.W.S.
128yf

{1} See the article Mimesis And Sinister Sorcery in O9A Esoteric Notes 45(pdf).

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Another Iconoclastic Translation

Although David Myatt’s translation of the gospel of John from the Christian New Testament is a work-in-progress, sufficient has been released for a preliminary review. Thus far he has published the completed translation of the whole of chapters 1,2 and 3, which partial and regularly updated translation is available, as a pdf file, from The Gospel According To John.

To describe the translation as iconoclastic is something of an understatement. Perhaps more aptly it is heretical in the sense that Wycliffe’s 14th century and Luther’s 16th century translations were at the time considered by some to be heretical. To understand why it might be considered heretical, by mainstream Christians at least, we need to examine Myatt’s methodology.

Methodology

Myatt’s methodology is the same as that used in his translations of chapters from the Corpus Hermeticum which was written in the same Hellenistic Greek as the New Testament. His methodology is to use some transliterations – theos instead of god/God; phaos instead of light; and so on – and to find unusual English words for Greek terms which he considers are important to preserve the meaning current at the time the writings were composed. His reasoning is that particular English words – and angel, Word, spirit, prison, heaven, hour, and Jews, come to mind vis-a-vis the gospels – have acquired or now convey meanings which are not appropriate to the time of the gospels and which thus distort the text.

One very striking example is his translation of verse 24 of chapter 3. The King James Bible has “For John was not yet cast into prison.” All other English translations are similar. Myatt, however, has “And John had yet to be hurled into a guarded cage.”

In his commentary on this verse he writes,
       
    βεβλημένος εἰς τὴν φυλακὴν. A phrase deserving some consideration, for φυλακή is not ‘prison’ as prisons are understood today and in the past few centuries but rather ‘a guarded cage’, with βεβλημένος εἰς implying a forceful ‘throwing’ or a hurling into such a cage.

A quick check of a dictionary of ancient Greek reveals that φυλάσσω – the origin of the term φυλακή – does mean “to keep guard” and figuratively, in the likes of Herodotus, implies a ‘cage’.

But possibly most controversial of all is his rejection of English terms such as Jews, angel and heaven. In place of Jews he has Judaeans, writing in a comment on chapter 1 verse 19,
       
   After much consideration I have translated ἰουδαία not by the conventional term ‘Jews’ but rather by Judaeans, given (i) that the English terms Jews and Jewish (deriving from the 13th/14th century words gyv/gyw and Iewe) have acquired connotations (modern and medieval) which are not relevant to the period under consideration; and (ii) that the Greek term derives from a place name, Judaea (as does the Latin iudaeus); and (iii) that the Anglo-Saxon version (ASV) retains the sense of the Greek: here (iudeas) as elsewhere, as for example at 2.6, æfter iudea geclensunge, “according to Judaean cleansing.”

In a long and bound to be controversial comment on the term ‘heaven’ he writes,
       
   Conventionally, οὐρανός here is always translated as ‘heaven’ although the term ‘heaven’ – used in the context of the Gospels – now has rather different connotations than the Greek οὐρανός, with the word ‘heaven’ now often implying something explained by almost two thousand years of exegesis and as depicted, for example, in medieval and Renaissance Christian art. However, those hearing or reading this particular Greek gospel for the first time in the formative years of Christianity would most probably have assumed the usual Greek usage of “the heavens” in the sense of the “the star-filled firmament above” or in the sense of “the sky” or as the abode of theos and/or of the gods (ἐν οὐρανῷ θεοί), an assumption consistent with the fact that the Evangelist explains and interprets certain non-Greek words (qv. the comment on 1.42) and considering also his use of a colloquial Greek expression (qv. the comment on 1.51).

It therefore seems apposite to suggest a more neutral word than ‘heaven’ as a translation of οὐρανός and one which might not only be understood in various ‘classical’ ways by an audience of Greek speakers (such as the ways described above) but also be open to a new, and Christian, interpretation consistent with the milieu that existed when the Gospel of John was written and first heard. That is, before the exegesis of later centuries and long before post-Roman Christian iconography. Hence my suggestion of the post-classical Latin term Empyrean, which can bear the interpretation of the abode of theos and/or of the gods, of “the sky”, of the “the star-filled firmament above; and a Christian one suggested by Genesis 2.8 – παράδεισον ἐν Εδεμ (the Paradise of Eden) – and also by shamayim, שָׁמַיִם

Which is why the standard translation of a verse such as chapter 1,19 – “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?” – is interpreted by Myatt as
       
   For such was the evidence John gave when the Judaeans dispatched priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him: “Who are you?”

Heresy

His heretical interpretation is evident in so many passages it is difficult to pick out just one or two. But the following is a typical example, from chapter 3, verses 19-21, with Myatt pointing out in his commentary that in the gospel of John the phaos is identified as Jesus himself and thus is in the gospel of John a synonym for Jesus.
       
   And this is the condemnation: That the Phaos arrived in the world but mortals loved the darkness more than the Phaos, for their deeds were harmful. For anyone who does what is mean dislikes the Phaos and does not come near the Phaos lest their deeds be exposed. But whomsoever practices disclosure goes to the Phaos so that their deeds might be manifest as having been done through Theos.

This is conventionally translated as “And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”

The effect of Myatt’s interpretation of the gospel is that it not only humanizes Jesus but also Christianity so that the message we apparently get is not of “fire and brimstone” – not of evil verses good, not of sin and the need to believe – but of what the likes of Julian of Norwich, George Fox and William Penn wrote and spoke of, and it is perhaps no coincidence that Myatt mentions those persons in the Preface to his translation.

Conclusion

As to whether Myatt’s translation, when completed, will find a niche is an interesting question given not just his iconoclastic methodology but also the esteem in which the gospels are held by Christians the vast majority of whom, were they to read his translation, would probably be offended by his interpretation.

As to when the translation will be completed, if the rate of updates is any guide it will be in about a year from now.

KS
June 2017