Sensuous fashions vero beach
SYSTИME DE MAGIE SEXUEL D ALEISTER CROWLEY Aleister Crowley a maintenu que la tвche de son organisation pratiquant la magie sexuelle l Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) йtait "de rйtablir le christianisme а son statut rйel comme une religion solaire phallique." La structure de l O.T.O., comme celui de la franc-maзonnerie, est issue d'une sйrie de mises en scиne d'initiations ou degrйs. L'essence de l'ordre est dans ses degrйs supйrieurs ; proprement parler seuls les membres de ces degrйs sont considйrйs comme membres de l O.T.O. appropriйe. VII°: adoration du phallus, de l intйrieur et de l extйrieur. VIII°: interaction en dehors des vaisseaux fermйs du vagin et l'anus. Les fluides sexuels pourraient кtre mйlangйs avec de la salive et ensuite frottйs dans les tissus absorbants du pйrinйe et de l'anus, ainsi que les correspondances externes pour les chakras (plexus solaire, cSur, gorge, troisiиme oeil et Couronne). Йgalement ils pourraient кtre utilisйs pour oindre l'anus interne, puis transfйrй comme "йlixir trinitaire" (sperme, йlixirs anales et salive) retour а la bouche. Les liquides peuvent aussi кtre oint sur les paupiиres et/ou du pilier intermйdiaire cabalistique. IX°: interaction dans le vagin impliquant sang menstruel ou les sйcrйtions d'une femme, lorsqu excitйe sexuellement. X°: imprйgnation et fйcondation d'un ovule ; aussi l'acte de crйation ou de la succession (par exemple, l'йlection du leader, le chef de l'ordre.). XI°: un double (i) isolation dans l'anus oщ il n'y a pas d'interaction du tout (ii) l'interaction avec les excrйments et de petites quantitйs de sang (lorsque les petites blessures se produisent par le biais de rapports sexuels), mucus et, bien sыr, les membranes muqueuses qui conduisent directement а l'approvisionnement en sang. Prйfйrence propre de Crowley йtait que "je suis enclin а croire que le XI° est meilleur que le IX°." En fin de compte dans la magie sexuelle de l'O.T.O tout est descendu au sperme plus rйcemment comparй а un ordinateur disque dur prйformatй pour кtre chargй avec le logiciel et utilisй а volontй. Crowley: "l'utilisation industrielle du sperme va rйvolutionner la sociйtй humaine." Son texte explicatif "Amrita" dйfinit l'utilisation du sperme comme la lutte contre "L'asthme, la bronchite, neurasthйnie, obйsitй, stйnose, certaines dйtresses cardiaques, vieillissement des cheveux, perte d'intйrкt pour le sexe." Pour йviter les accusations de charlatanisme, l'actuel O.T.O. amйricain ou Califat rejette l'usage mйdicinal de cet "йlixir de vie" et affirme qu'il "ne pratique pas la mйdecine." А des fins sacramentelles, cette O.T.O. utilise des hфtes avec miel, repas et vin les appels "Gвteaux de Lumiиre" (qui peut toutefois contenir de petites quantitйs de sang ou de sperme: "les cendres de gвteaux de lumiиre brыlйs prйparйs selon Liber Al de Crowley AL III;23[ 25] serait acceptable comme ingrйdient supplйmentaire"). 1963 1967 la Suisse O.T.O. utilisait un total de 3000 hфtes obtenues par les Crowleyites d'un couvent catholique authentique. L'encens-cйrйales avait йtй opportunйment fourni par le sacristain du chef de la Cathйdrale St. Gallen. "Et le vin pour la Messe est venu directement de l'Йvкque." Conformйment а Crowley, ces gвteaux devraient inclure les fluides menstruels, mais "Dans ma messe l'hфte est d'excrйments" magiquement parlant, de sang et d'excrйments attirent des esprits, sperme les gardes vivantes. Il a йgalement notй dans son journal le 30 mai 1923 que "le Dalaп Lama a raison d'avoir des fidиles а manger ses excrйments." Il y a beaucoup d'autres йlйments de doctrines de l O.T.O. qui peuvent s'avйrer incompatible avec son image de relations publiques : l'exigence pour la crucifixion d'une grenouille dans un rituel d'initiation de l O.T.O., conseils donnйs aux membres qu'ils peuvent envisager ceux sans la pale de l'ordre comme des кtres infйrieurs et les йlйments ouvertement antidйmocratiques dans les diverses constitutions de l O.T.O., antisйmites des dйclarations et des textes qu'on puisse dire d'interfйrer avec la libertй de religion, pour ne citer que quelques un. Theodor Reuss, fondateur Allemand de ces Templiers Oriental en 1906, est allй plus loin : au sein de la communautй de l O.T.O. l'utilisation de l'argent devait кtre interdit. Chaque membre de plus de 18 ans йtait tenu de travail tous les jours ; ceux qui refusent de travailler devaient кtre punis par le travail forcй. Dans l'utopie O.T.O.-Reuss, chaque enfant est йlevй par la Communautй, oщ mйdecin-prкtres sous supervision parentale auraient enseignй aux enfants dиs le plus jeune вge que les organes sexuels ont йtй sacrйs (peut-кtre idйe de Crowley que tous les enfants de la petite enfance devraient кtre habituйs d'кtre tйmoin de chaque type d'acte sexuel.) Ceux qui ne se trouvaient pas capables de produire des enfants sains par un "Conseil Mйdical" ne pouvaient pas se reproduire, alors que ceux qui ont produit des enfants malgrй ce dйcret seraient punis par le travail forcй. Ces idйes extrкmes n'ont pas survйcu dans les versions modernes de l O.T.O., si en effet ils n ont jamais йtй au-delа d'essai de Reuss. Alors que l O.T.O. systиme initiatique est une sorte de match de l'йquipe bureaucratique, il possиde une section associйe religieusement sous son obйissance : l'Йglise Catholique Gnostique. Il a l'intention "de rйtablir le christianisme а son statut rйel comme une religion solaire phallique." En 1906, Chevalier Le Clйment de Saint-Marcq avait publiй une brochure sur le Spermatophagy sacrй, appelй "L'Eucharistie". Il dйcrit ce que Reuss appela l'ultime secret de l'aspect religieux de l O.T.O. : le plus de sperme que vous mangez, plus la manifestation du Christ a lieu en vous : aucune femme ne sont nйcessaires pour cela. La consommation des sйcrйtions sexuelles confine а l'anthropophagie, l'assimilation de certaines personnes qui possиdent des pouvoirs de causer crainte, afin de neutraliser ou mкme s'en servir. Le Gnostique vise а libйrer l'homme de son enchevкtrement йtouffant avec l'univers physique et pour aider l'esprit pur dans son retour а son potentiel divin. Une caractйristique commune de tous les Spermo-Gnostiques dans le contexte de la plupart des O.T.O.-versions nombreux est une rйduction de la sexualitй а la physiologie masculine. Orgasme pour des raisons de pure luxure est йvitйe, sauf si l'йjaculation est abstenue, ou l'intention est ordonnйe а la dйrive et s'йloigne de l'orgasme immanente et se concentrer sur les dйsirs qui, dans les circonstances, apparaissent mondains а l'extrкme. Sperme reste le point de focalisation. Dans la haute enthousiaste de la gйnйtique et la gnose la supйrioritй de l'homme, fйminitй vйgиte dans un bizarre vide de nйcessitй androgyne et superflue presque rйprйhensible. Le Logos femelle reste muet. Dans la Messe Gnostique de l O.T.O. un hфte appelй Gвteau de Lumiиre contient le Logos. Ingrйdients sont secrets, sйcrйtion vaginale, de sang et de sperme. Ce Gвteau de la Lumiиre est fait en dehors du rituel de la Messe Gnostique. Il est donnй son caractиre dans sa crйation. Il est consacrй, mais pas transsubstantiй. La dйitй dans le Gвteau de la Lumiиre est "l Enfant", correctement un aspect d'Horus (ou une sorte d homunculus) et pas Osiris ou le Christ apparentй. Transmutation est le changement de forme, dans le cas du passage pertinent dans la Messe de Crowley, par des procйdйs chimiques de la digestion. Transsubstantiation, est quant а elle, changement de qualitй essentielle sans changement de forme. Transmutation est un processus physiologique. Transsubstantiation est un processus non physique. Ainsi, un Gвteau de Lumiиre est transmutй dans la prйparation, pour donner un caractиre appropriй au "miracle de la messe" : c'est un mйdium а la magie sexuelle de la volontй du participant (le rituel lui-mкme peut кtre interprйtй comme un miroir de la crйation perpйtuelle de l'univers). On trouvera des passages similaires dans le rituel du VIII° de l O.T.O.: "et, parce que la viande et des boissons sont transmutйes en nous tous les jours en substance spirituelle, je crois au Miracle de la Messe. [...] C'est le sang et le corps du Logos." Consommation de l'hфte est nйcessaire, pour communiquer avec le corps. Certains disent, ce n'est pas l'hфte qui est changй, mais le consommateur de l'hфte. Dans tout contact avec la salive, mвcher, donne acide de l'estomac. Il s'agit de la transformation, l'unification de l'hфte avec le consommateur. L'hфte thйlйmites change le consommateur contrairement comme dans l'Йglise Catholique. Une foule de catholiques est censйe кtre transsubstantielle pendant la Messe Romaine Catholic, un changement de son essence invisible (relatif а l'inscription de la prйsence rйelle du Christ) sans un changement dans l'apparence et les qualitйs chimiques de la chose. Si une chose telle que celle йtait transmutable et transsubstantielle pour le corps et le sang, il deviendrait rйel viande saignement de la transmutation. Le terme technique pour l'йvкchй dans le contexte du phйnomиne de l O.T.O. est Йvкque Errant ou Episcopi Vagants. Ce statut n'est pas dйfini par les qualitйs de caractиre, pas par l'йducation ou la position thйologique. Ces Йvкques ne sont pas йlus par une йglise canonique, ne sont pas proposйs comme une rutilante par un suffragant et ne sont pas liйs а un siиge йpiscopal historique ou consacrйs par un Йvкque officiel conformйment а la procйdure canonique. Un Йvкque rйel n'est pas un successeur d'un seul apфtre, parce que seulement le Synode/Collиge des йvкques dans sa totalitй est l'hйritier du Collиge des apфtres. Donc : aucun йvкque errant n'a une succession apostolique rйelle. Il n'y a aucun Saint-Esprit dans les consйcrations de l Йvкque Errant. L'instrumentum consйcrationel est sans valeur apostolique. Nйanmoins, Йvкques Errant sont des collectionneurs de papiers et de diplфmes. Dans ce contexte, Reuss a essayй de faire de la "Messe Gnostique" de Crowley la "religion officielle pour les francs-maзons" en 1920. Mais nulle part dans la constitution de l O.T.O. йtait le Bureau de O.H.O. (chef de l'O.T.O. : Outer Head of the Order) liйe а la conduite de n'importe quelle йglise. Dans son introduction а "l Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae", (Zuerich 1955) page 4 le Suisse Hermann Joseph Metzger a soutenu la "Succession Antiochite-Jacobine, Syro-Malabarite ligne de Mar Athanasius." Aujourd'hui, certains nouveaux groups O.T.O. (par exemple, le Califat) essayent de copier ce rйgime, voir http://www.parareligion.ch/2006/boast/boast.htm. Pour l'aspect antidйmocratique et misanthrope de ces occultistes : lire "The Templar s Reich The Slaves Shall Serve" http://www.parareligion.ch/2006/pro/pene.htm
IL SISTEMA DI MAGIA SESSUALE DI ALEISTER CROWLEY Aleister Crowley sosteneva che il compito della sua organizzazione dedita alla magia sessuale, l Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), fosse «di ricondurre il Cristianesimo al suo originale rango di religione solare-fallica.» La struttura dell O.T.O., come quella della Massoneria, si basa su una serie graduale di iniziazioni o gradi. L essenza dell Ordine risiede nei suoi gradi piщ elevati; stricto sensu solo i membri di questi alti gradi sono considerati membri autentici dell O.T.O.: VII°: l adorazione del fallo, all interno o all esterno di ricettacoli. VIII°: manipolazione fuori dai recipienti della vagina e dell ano. I fluidi sessuali sono miscelati con la saliva e poi frizionati sui tessuti assorbenti dell ano e del perineo, e le zone delle concordanze esterne dei chakra (plesso solare, cuore, gola, terzo occhio, corona). Possono essere utilizzati anche per impregnare la zona anale interna, e quindi come elisir trino (sperma, umori anali, saliva), tornare alla bocca. I fluidi possono essere unguentati sulle palpebre e/o sull intera colonna vertebrale, equivalente al pilastro mediano dell Albero della Vita. IX°: l interazione all interno della vagina, che coinvolge sia il sangue mestruale che le secrezioni della donna eccitata sessualmente. X°: impregnazione e fecondazione di un uovo; inteso anche come atto della creazione o di una successione (ad esempio, l elezione del leader, il Capo Esterno dell Ordine). XI°: duplice - (i) di isolamento nell ano senza interazione alcuna - (ii) di interazione con escrementi e piccole quantitа di sangue (piccole ferite procurate durante i rapporti), muco e, naturalmente, le membrane mucose che portano direttamente al flusso sanguigno. Crowley (diario, 31 marzo 1946) sognт di dare alla luce un feto dall ano: «Un orribile sogno lucido, fatto tra due normali azioni: partorire un feto per anum. Era un bolo di sangue e viscidume. La piщ ributtante esperienza qliphotica che abbia mai avuto!» In quanto alle preferenze personali di Crowley a tal riguardo: «Io sono propenso a credere che l XI grado sia meglio che il IX grado» (diario, 26 agosto 1916); oppure (diario, 1913) ove si parla di un ragazzo innaffiato «da seme schiumeggiante / Mentre l altro nel suo orgasmo riceve la pioggia.» «Non sia per noi una colpa l aver penetrato terga virili.» «Allorchй l officiante infila il suo Tirso tra le natiche fanciullesche, tutto и compiuto; vieni Sacra Colomba!» http://bluepyramid.tripod.com/index/id4.html The Equinox IV; 2, Maine 1998, p. 405. In definitiva tutta la magia sessuale dell O.T.O. и riconducibile allo sperma, una secrezione di cui avvalersi come se fosse un disco di memoria pre-formattato per caricare procedure e istruzioni ed essere usato a piacimento. Nelle parole di Crowley (diario, 8 agosto 1923): «L uso industriale del Seme rivoluzionerа la societа umana.» Nel suo testo di istruzioni pratiche Amrita si prescrive l uso dello sperma per contrastare «asma, bronchite, nevrastenia, obesitа, stиnosi, alcuni disturbi cardiaci, l ingrigimento dei capelli, la perdita di interesse per il sesso.» ristampato in O.T.O. Rituals and Sex Magick (Anthony Naylor, ed.) London 1999, p. 412. Per evitare accuse di mistificazione, l attuale O.T.O. americano, detto Caliphate [ Califfato ], disconosce l uso terapeutico di questo Elisir della Vita , sottolineando che «L O.T.O. non esercita alcuna attivitа medica.» ( Thelema Lodge Newsletter , Berkeley, settembre 1993). Per fini sacramentali, l O.T.O. odierno utilizza delle ostie a base di miele, farina e fecce del vino chiamate Pani di Luce (che possono comunque contenere piccole quantitа di sangue o di liquido seminale: «sarebbe accettabile come ingrediente aggiuntivo la cenere ricavata dalla combustione di Pani di Luce preparati secondo le istruzioni di Crowley indicate nel Liber AL III; 23 [-25 ]») (Supreme Grand Council meeting, 3 aprile, 1993). Secondo Crowley questi Pani possono includere fluidi mestruali, benchй «Nella mia Messa l Ostia и fatta di escrementi» (diario, 5 luglio 1920); magicamente parlando, il sangue e gli escrementi servono ad attrarre gli spiriti, e lo sperma a mantenerli in vita. Il 30 maggio 1923 Crowley annotт pure nel suo diario che «Il Dalai Lama fa bene a dar da mangiare ai suoi fedeli i suoi escrementi.» Tra il 1963 ed il 1967 l O.T.O. svizzero ha utilizzato un totale di tremila ostie procurate dai crowleyani da un vero convento cattolico. L incenso era opportunamente fornito dal capo sacrestano della Cattedrale di St. Gallen. E il vino per la Messa direttamente dal Vescovo. Ci sono molti altri elementi nelle dottrine dell O.T.O. che potrebbero stimarsi pregiudizievoli all immagine pubblica dell Ordine: la prescrizione di dover crocifiggere una rana in uno dei rituali di iniziazione collegati all O.T.O. (nell ambito del VI grado, anno 1916), l esortare i membri a considerare tutti quelli al di fuori dell Ordine come esseri inferiori (1919) (pur tuttavia nella vigente politica dell O.T.O., 1999, in un Memorandum si avverte che «L O.T.O. scoraggia i suoi membri a trattare i non appartenenti all Ordine come esseri inferiori che non possiedono diritti.» http://lib.oto-usa.org/sabazius/essays/memo0101.html), gli enunciati palesemente antidemocratici presenti in vari statuti dell O.T.O., le dichiarazioni antisemite e i testi pregiudicanti il rispetto della libertа di culto, solo per citarne alcuni. Theodor Reuss, colui che nel 1906 fu il fondatore tedesco di questi Templari Orientali, era andato pure oltre: nella comunitа O.T.O. l uso del denaro doveva essere proibito. Ogni accolito al di sopra dei diciotto anni era obbligato a lavorare tutto il giorno; coloro che rifiutavano dovevano essere puniti con il lavoro forzato. Nell utopico O.T.O. reussiano, ogni bambino doveva essere allevato dall intera comunitа, una comunitа in cui medici-sacerdoti, sotto la supervisione dei genitori, avrebbero insegnato ai bambini, fin dalla piщ tenera etа, che gli organi sessuali sono santi (da qui forse Crowley ricavт l idea che lo portт a raccomandare che tutti i bambini fin dalla prima infanzia fossero abituati ad assistere ad ogni tipo di atto sessuale. Israel Regardie, ed., The Law Is for All , Arizona 1975, p. 114, http://hermetic.com/legis/new-comment/chapter-i.html). «Lasciate che i bambini educhino se stessi ad essere se stessi. Coloro che li istruiscono secondo le usanze, li storpiano e li rovinano.» On the Education of Children , in: The Revival of Magick , Tempe 1998, sekhetmaat.com/wiki/Documents/On_the_ Education_of_Children). E sarebbe stata impedita la procreazione a coloro i quali una commissione medica avesse ritenuto non essere in grado di generare bambini sani; e chi avesse fatto figli nonostante questo decreto sarebbe stato punito con il lavoro forzato. Queste idee radicali non sono sopravvissute nelle versioni attuali dell O.T.O., pure ammesso che all epoca fossero mai state realmente messe in pratica conformemente agli intenti di Reuss. Se il sistema di iniziazioni dell O.T.O. и una sorta di gretto maneggio burocratico, esiste una sezione associata religiosamente sotto la sua obbedienza: la Gnostic Catholic Church. Il suo scopo и «ricondurre il Cristianesimo al suo originale rango di religione solare-fallica.» (lettera di Crowley a William Bernard Crow [1895 1976], 11 novembre 1944). Nel 1906, il Cavaliere Le Clйment de St.-Marcq aveva pubblicato un opuscolo sulla Sacra Spermatofagia, definita L Eucharistie . Vi descriveva ciт che Reuss ebbe a definire l ultimo segreto dell aspetto religioso dell O.T.O.: piщ sperma si ingerisce, piщ la manifestazione del Cristo si compie dentro di noi, e nessuna donna и necessaria a questo scopo. Il consumo di fluidi sessuali confina con l antropofagмa, l assimilazione di individui selezionati che possiedono poteri impressionanti, al fine di neutralizzarli o addirittura servirsene. L obiettivo Gnostico и di liberare l uomo dal suo soffocante intreccio con l universo fisico, ed aiutare il puro Spirito a ritornare al suo potenziale Divino. Una caratteristica comune a tutti gli Spermo-Gnostici all interno della maggioranza delle tante versioni dell O.T.O., и la riduzione della sessualitа alla pura fisiologia del maschio. L orgasmo per ragioni puramente di lussuria и evitato, a meno che ci si astenga dalla eiaculazione, o l intenzione sia tesa a sviarsi dall orgasmo contingente per concentrarsi su desideri che, date le circostanze, appaiono estremamente prosaici. Lo sperma rimane il punto focale. Al cospetto delle trionfali altezze della supremazia genetica e gnostica del maschio, la femminilitа vegeta in una strana terra di nessuno fatta di necessitа androgine e di quasi riprovevole inutilitа. Il Logos femmina rimane muto. Nella Messa Gnostica dell O.T.O. (Aleister Crowley, Gnostic Catholic Mass, Liber XV Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae ) il Logos и contenuto nell ostia detta Pane di Luce . Gli ingredienti sono sperma, sangue e secreto vaginale. Questo Pane di Luce и fatto al di fuori del rituale della Messa Gnostica. Ne и data la sua natura in divenire. Consacrato, ma non transustanziato. Nel Pane di Luce la divinitа и l Infante , propriamente un aspetto di Horus (o una sorta di homunculus) e non di Osiride o dell affine Cristo. Nella Messa crowleyana la Trasmutazione и un cambiamento di forma causato dai processi chimici della digestione. Transustanziazione, invece, и un cambiamento di qualitа essenziale ma senza cambiamento di forma. Trasmutazione и un processo fisiologico. Transustanziazione и un processo non fisico. Cosм, un Pane di Luce si trasmuta nella preparazione, и approntato allo scopo del «miracolo della Messa»: и lo strumento magico-sessuale della Volontа del partecipante (il rito stesso puт essere interpretato come specchio della creazione perpetua dell Universo). Passaggi simili si possono trovare nell VIII grado rituale dell O.T.O.: «e, dacchй la carne e la bevanda sono trasmutate in noi tutti i giorni in sostanza spirituale, io credo nel miracolo della Messa [...] Questo и il Sangue e il Corpo del Logos.» Il consumo dell ostia и necessario, и un contatto fisico. Si direbbe che non и l ostia che и cambiata, ma il consumatore dell ostia, tramite il contatto con la saliva, l azione del masticare, i succhi gastrici. Questa и la trasformazione, l unificazione dell ostia con il consumatore. L ostia Thelemica trasforma il consumatore, all opposto di quanto avviene con l ostia della Chiesa Cattolica Romana. L ostia della Chiesa Cattolica Romana transustanzia durante la Messa; per accogliere Cristo in presenza reale avviene un cambiamento della sua essenza invisibile che va oltre la sostanza delle apparenze e delle qualitа chimiche della materia. Se questo avvenisse contemporaneamente come trasmutazione e transustanziazione del corpo e del sangue, l ostia si trasformerebbe in vera carne sanguinante. Il termine tecnico per indicare il rango vescovile nell O.T.O., и quello di Vescovo Errante o Episcopus Vagans. Questo titolo non deriva da una qualitа del carattere, dalla cultura o da un ruolo teologico. Questi vescovi non sono eletti da una chiesa canonica, non sono proposti per l ordinazione da un suffraganeo e non sono legati a una sede episcopale storica o consacrati da un vescovo ufficiale secondo procedura canonica. Un vescovo vero non и successore di un singolo apostolo dacchй soltanto il collegio episcopale in toto и l erede del collegio degli apostoli. Ergo nessun Vescovo Errante ha una vera successione apostolica. Non c и nessun Spirito Santo nelle consacrazioni di un Vescovo Errante. L instrumentum consecrationis non ha alcun valore apostolico. Eppure questo non impedisce ai Vescovi Erranti di fare incetta di attestati e diplomi. In un simile contesto, Reuss nel 1920 cercт invano di fare della Messa Gnostica di Crowley la «religione ufficiale dei Massoni.» Ma da nessuna parte nella costituzione dell O.T.O. и scritto che la carica di Capo Esterno dell Ordine sia connessa alla potestа di qualsivoglia chiesa. Nella sua introduzione al volume O.T.O. Liber XV. Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae (Zьrich 1955), p. 4, lo svizzero Hermann Joseph Metzger rivendicava la «Successione Antiochena-Giacobinica, linea Siro-Malabarese di Mar Athanasius.» Oggi, alcuni corpi dell O.T.O. (ad esempio, il Caliphate ) tentano di copiare questo schema, cfr. http://www.parareligion.ch/2006/boast/boast.htm. Per le connotazioni anti-democratiche e misantropiche di questi occultisti cfr. Il Reich Templare - Gli schiavi serviranno http://www.parareligion.ch/2006/pro/pene.htm
ALEISTER CROWLEY S SEXMAGICAL SYSTEM Aleister Crowley maintained that the task of his sexmagical organisation Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) was "to restore Christianity to its real status as a solar phallic religion." The structure of the O.T.O., like that of Freemasonry, is based on a staged series of initiations or degrees. The essence of the Order is in its higher degrees; strictly speaking only members of these degrees are considered to be members of the O.T.O. proper. VII°: adoration of the phallus, both within and without. VIII°: interaction outside the closed vessels of the vagina and the anus. Sexual fluids might be mixed with saliva and then rubbed into the absorbent tissues of the anus and perineum, as well as the external correspondences to the chakras (solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, and crown). They also might be used to anoint the internal anus, then transferred as 'triune elixir' (semen, anal elixirs, and saliva) back to the mouth. The fluids may also be anointed on the eyelids and/or the entire cabbalistic middle pillar. IX°: interaction within the vagina involving either menstrual blood or the secretions of a woman when sexually aroused. X °: impregnation and fertilisation of an egg; also the act of creation or succession (for example, the election of the leader, the Outer Head of the Order.). XI°: two fold (i) isolation in the anus where there is no interaction at all (ii) interaction with excrement and small amounts of blood (when small wounds occur through intercourse), mucus and, of course, the mucous membranes that lead directly to the blood supply. Crowley s own preference was that "I am inclined to believe that the XIth degree is better than the IXth degree." Ultimately in the O.T.O s sexual magick everything came down to semen more recently likened to a computer hard disk pre formatted to be loaded with software and used at will. Crowley: "The industrial use of Semen will revolutionize human society." His instructional text 'Amrita' defines the use of semen as counteracting "Asthma, Bronchitis, Neurasthenia, Obesity, Stricture, Some cardiac distress, Greying hair, Loss of interest in sex." To avoid charges of quackery, the current American O.T.O. or 'Caliphate' denies the medicinal use of this 'Elixir of Life', and claims that it "does not practice medicine." For sacramental purposes, this O.T.O. uses hosts made with honey, meal, and wine lees called 'Cakes of Light' (which may however contain small quantities of blood or semen: "ashes from burned cakes of light prepared according to Crowleys' Liber AL III;23[ 25] would be acceptable as an additional ingredient"). (1963 1967 the Swiss O.T.O. used a total of 3,000 Hosts obtained by the Crowleyites from a genuine Catholic convent. The incense grains had been opportunely supplied by the Chief Sacristan of St. Gallen Cathedral. And the wine for the Mass came directly from the Bishop.) According to Crowley these Cakes should include menstrual fluids, but "In my Mass the Host is of excrement" magically speaking, blood and excrement attracting spirits, sperm keeping them alive. He also noted in his diary on May 30, 1923 that "The Dalai Lama is right to have the faithful eat his excrement." There are many other elements of O.T.O. doctrines that can prove inimical to its public relations image: the requirement for the crucifixion of a frog in one O.T.O. initiation ritual, advice given to members that they can consider those without the pale of the Order as inferior beings, and blatantly anti democratic elements in the various O.T.O. constitutions, antisemitic statements and texts that could be said to interfere with religious freedoms, just to mention a few. Theodor Reuss, German founder of these Oriental Templars in 1906, went further: within the O.T.O. community the use of money was to be forbidden. Every member over 18 was obliged to labour daily; those refusing to work were to be punished by forced labour. In Reuss s O.T.O. utopia, each child was brought up by the community, where doctor priests under parental supervision would teach children from the earliest age on that the sex organs were holy (maybe Crowley s idea that all children from infancy should be accustomed to witnessing every type of sexual act came from this.) Those who were not found capable of producing healthy children by a 'medical board' were not allowed to breed, while those who produced children despite this decree would be punished by forced labour. These extreme ideas have not survived in modern versions of the O.T.O., if indeed they were ever espoused beyond Reuss s essay. While the O.T.O. s initiatory system is a sort of bureaucratic club game, it has a religiously associated section under its obedience: The Gnostic Catholic Church. It intends "to restore Christianity to its real status as a solar phallic religion." In 1906, Chevalier Le Clйment de St. Marcq had published a booklet about the Sacred Spermatophagy, called 'L'Eucharistie'. It described what Reuss called the ultimate secret of the religious aspect of the O.T.O.: the more sperm you eat, the more the manifestation of the Christ takes place within you: no women are necessary for that. The consumption of sexual secretions borders on anthropophagia, the assimilation of selected individuals who possess awe inspiring powers, in order to neutralise or even to use them. The Gnostic aim is to release the human from his stifling entanglement with the physical universe, and to help the pure Spirit in its return to its Divine potential. One common characteristic of all the Spermo Gnostics in the context of most of the many O.T.O. versions is a reduction of the sexuality unto the male physiology. Orgasm for pure reasons of lust is avoided, unless ejaculation is refrained from, or the intention is directed to drift away from the immanent orgasm and concentrate itself upon wishes that under the circumstances appear worldly in the extreme. Sperm remains the point of focus. In the enthusiastic high of the genetic and gnostic superiority of the male, femaleness vegetates in a bizarre no mansland of androgynous necessity and almost reprehensible superfluousness. The female Logos remains mute. In the O.T.O. s Gnostic Mass a host called Cake of Light contains the Logos. Ingredients are sperm, blood and vaginal secrets. This cake of light is made outside the ritual of the Gnostic Mass. It is given its character in the making. It is consecrated, but not transsubstantiated. The deity in the cake of light is the 'Childe', properly an aspect of Horus (or a sort of homunculus) and not of either Osiris or the cognate Christ. Transmutation is change of form, in the instance of the pertinent passage in Crowley s Mass, by chemical processes of digestion. Transsubstantiation, on the other hand, is change of essential quality without change of form. Transmutation is a physiological process. Transsubstantiation is a non physical process. Thus, a cake of light is transmuted in the preparation, to afford a character appropriate to the "miracle of the Mass": it s a sexmagical medium of the participant s Will (the ritual itself can be interpreted as a mirror of the perpetual creation of the Universe). Similar passages can be found in the VIII° ritual of the O.T.O.: "and, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass. [& ] This is the Blood and the Body of the Logos." Consumation of the host is necessary, body contact. Some say, it is not the host that is changed but the consumer of the host. Through contact with saliva, chewing, stomach acid. This is the transformation, the unification of the host with the consumer. The thelemic host changes the consumer contrary to the Roman Catholic host. A Roman Catholic host is said to be transsubstantiated during the RC Mass, a change of its invisible essence (for the entering of the real presence of the Christ) without a change in the appearance and chemical qualities of the thing. If a thing such as that was both transmutated and transsubstantiated to the body and blood, it would become actual bleeding meat from the transmutation. The technical term for the bishopric in the context of the O.T.O. Phenomenon is Wandering Bishop or Episcopi Vagantes. This status is not defined by character qualities, not by education or theological position. These bishops are not elected by a canonical church, are not proposed as an ordain by a suffragan and not bound to a historical episcopal see or consecrated by an official bishop according to the canonical procedure. A real bishop is not a successor of a sole apostle because only the synod/college of bishops in toto is heir to the college of the apostles. Therefore: no Wandering Bishop has a real apostolic succession. There is no Holy Ghost in Wandering Bishop consecrations. The instrumentum consecrationis is of no apostolic value. Nevertheless, Wandering Bishops are collectors of papers and diplomas. In this context, Reuss tried to make Crowley s 'Gnostic Mass' the "official religion for Freemasons" in 1920. But nowhere in the constitution of the O.T.O. was the office of O.H.O. connected with leadership of any church. In his introduction to the 'Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae', (Zuerich 1955) on page 4 the Swiss Hermann Joseph Metzger claimed the "Antiochite Jacobinic Succession, Syro Malabarite Line of Mar Athanasius." Today, some new O.T.O. groups (e.g. the 'Caliphate') try to copy this scheme, see http://www.parareligion.ch/2006/boast/boast.htm. For the anti democratic and misanthropic aspect of these occultists: read "The Templar's Reich The Slaves Shall Serve" at http://www.parareligion.ch/2006/pro/pene.htm
DAS SEXUALMAGISCHE SYSTEM NACH ALEISTER CROWLEY Unter Aleister Crowley sollte (wie er 1944 schrieb) die Aufgabe des Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) sein, »to restore Christianity to its real status as a solar-phallic religion«. Die Struktur des O.T.O. ist, дhnlich wie einige Freimaurerische Riten, auf einer Serie von Einweihungsritualen aufgebaut. Doch lediglich die hцchsten Grade weisen auf die wahre Essenz des Ordens hin und ausschliesslich die Mitglieder dieser hцchsten Grade kцnnen als "wahre" Mitglieder angesehen werden. Diese sogenannten Hochgrade unterscheiden sich von den unteren Graden insofern, als dass es (auЯer fьr ein neu entworfenes pseudofreimaurerisches VIII°-Ritual) keine ausformulierten Ritualtexte und Einweihungen, sondern nur noch grobe Anleitungen gibt, die jeder selbst und individuell gestalten kann. Die Hochgrade haben manchmal eine doppelte Funktion: sie weisen eine bьrokratische Aufgabe im Orden zu und verweisen zusдtzlich auf eine bestimmte Art Sexualmagie. Der VII° bedeutet die Anbetung des Phallus als Baphomet, auЯerhalb des Kцrpers wie auch innerhalb. Im VIII° ist es die Interaktion des Spermas mit etwas auЯerhalb von Vagina und Anus, also eine Art magische Masturbation. In der Bьrokratie des O.T.O. bedeutet der VIII° auch, dass man ьber Statuten, neue Regelungen etc. abstimmt. Das vom Caliphat entworfene VIII°-Ritual дhnelt einer Gnostischen Messe, die ohnehin dem IX° zugeordnet werden kцnnte. Der IX° bedeutet Interaktion des Spermas innerhalb der Vagina, entweder im Zusammenhang mit Blut oder mit Vaginalsekreten. Jeder IX° ist auch ein VIII° und bestimmt also ebenfalls ьber das Geschick des Ordens. Der X° bedeutet die Befruchtung eines Eies (zum Beispiel eines Homunkulus) und die Aufgabe, einen Nachfolger fьr sich im O.T.O. zu finden oder (hier kommt wieder die bьrokratische Funktion zum Vorschein) das nдchste Oberhaupt zu wдhlen. Fьr den XI° gibt es zwei Variationen: a) Isolierung im Anus; es wird angenommen, dass dort keine Interaktion des Spermas stattfinden kann. b) Es findet eine Interaktion mit Exkrementen (einer von Crowleys Lieblingsingredienzen) und kleinen Mengen von Blut, das bisweilen durch Analverkehr frei wird, statt. Dieser Grad hat keine bьrokratische Funktion. Im Typhonischen O.T.O. zum Beispiel bedeutet der XI° Interaktion mit Menstrualblut und anderen Kцrperflьssigkeiten. In diesem O.T.O. gibt es keine homosexuellen Praktiken, die auf die Gradstruktur hinweisen und umgekehrt. Bei Crowleys Originalversion hingegen bezieht sich der XI° auf hetero- und homosexuelle Praktiken. Hauptsache: anal. Erst durch den Kontakt mit dem Elixier verwandelt sich der bisher nur potentielle Magier in einen aktiven Magier. Durch Essen. Das perfekt zubereitete sexualmagische Elixier aus Sperma, Vaginalsekreten und anderen Kцrpersдften muss vom Magier am besten durch Saugen aus der Vagina oder dem After (falls auch Exkremente eine Rolle spielen sollen) eingesammelt und wieder mit dem Partner oder der Partnerin geteilt werden. Das richtig zubereitete sexualmagische Elixier ist krдftig, sьЯ und stark. Es wird rhythmisch von einem Partner zum anderen in den Mundhцhlen hin und hergereicht, ohne mit der Luft in Berьhrung zu kommen. Es muss von den Schleimhдuten aufgenommen und darf zunдchst nicht geschluckt werden. Deshalb behalten die Magier das Elixier unter der Zunge, wo sie es langsam und portionsweise mit dem Partner durch einen Zungenkuss austauschen, wдhrend sich beide (durch die Konsumation nun voll aktiven Magier) auf ihr Ziel konzentrieren. Dieses Ziel kann durchaus zum Beispiel das Heranschaffen von Geld sein, oft ist es jedoch der Kontakt zu einer auЯermenschlichen Wesenheit, also zu einem Engel oder Dдmon, dem man Fragen jeglicher Art stellt. Das Lebenselixier kann durch die Nase in die Stirnhцhle hinaufgesaugt oder auf den Anus, den Damm oder auf die Augenbrauen appliziert werden. Zusдtzlich lдsst sich das aus diesem Akt gewonnene Elixier in den After einfьhren und wieder, zusammen mit den Analsekreten, nach Belieben verwenden. Eine Portion wird aufbewahrt und in physischen Kontakt mit dem magischen Bindeglied (The Magical Link), zum Beispiel einem Pergament oder einem Talisman mit den entsprechenden Symbolen darauf, gebracht. So schmiert man, etwa um Geld zu beschaffen, das Elixier auf eine Goldmьnze oder einen Ring fьr Gesundheit berьhrt man damit die Erde oder reibt es auf den nackten Patienten. Das ganze wird ja auch als Medizin gegen Asthma, Bronchitis, Neurasthenie, Fettleibigkeit, einige Herzbeschwerden, graues Haar und Impotenz gesehen. Damit kommen wir von der Sexualmagie zur Sperma-Gnosis. Da das Sperma den Logos, also Gott, enthдlt, wird es bei der Konsumation durch die Schleimhдute (Gaumen, Scheide, After/Darm, Eichel, Magen) aufgenommen. Das erhцht das Logos-Konzentrat im Kцrper, also auch in der Prostata. Der Sperma-Gnostiker wird zu mehr Gott. Sein Sperma enthдlt natьrlich noch mehr Gott als vorher. Das wьrde bedeuten, dass im O.T.O. der Prozess der Gottwerdung in Abhдngigkeit von der Hдufigkeit der Spermakonsumation steht: Nicht immer ist aber die Konsumation von Sperma Hauptziel des thelemitisch-religiцsen Geschlechtsaktes. Eine Variation weist die Praktizierenden an, jeden Orgasmus als Vereinigung mit dem Universum zu erleben. Als eine Art tantrische Neuschцpfung des Universums. Im Gegensatz zum Christentum, wo die Schцpfung einmalig, nicht wiederholbar ist, unterliegt im Tantrismus die Schцpfung einer permanenten Wiederholung. Die Thelemiten sind jedoch keine eigentlichen Tantriker, da bei den Thelemiten immer alles »Unter Willen« geschehen muss und der Orgasmus folglich immer im Dienste von irgendetwas stehen sollte. Das beste Elixier wird im Selbstverstдndnis des O.T.O. natьrlich nur von den hцchsten Graden erzeugt. Oft werden die hцchsten Grade auf genau diese Art und Weise ьbertragen. Das findet man alles ganz offen in Crowleys Schriften sobald man die Insidersprache versteht. Sexualmagie wird bei Crowley meist in alchemistischer Sprache beschrieben: Roter Lцwe = mдnnliches Prinzip; WeiЯer Adler = weibliches Prinzip; Athanor = Penis; Kukurbit oder Retorte = Vagina; Schlange oder Blut des Roten Lцwen = Sperma; Gluten oder Menstruum = Vaginalsekrete; Prima Materia = Sperma und Vaginalsekrete gemischt; Elixier oder Tinktur = durch Magie belebte Prima Materia. Theodor Reuss und Crowley haben einen gut gedьngten gnostischen Nдhrboden libertinistisch ьbernommen, obgleich beide ihre Quellen nicht so ausfьhrlich angeben. Im Gemeinschaftswerk von Reuss und Crowley aus dem Jahre 1917, der Gnostisch Katholischen Messe des O.T.O., findet man den »Gnostizismus« des O.T.O. illustriert. Nur halbwegs die Pflichten der Manichдischen Auserwдhlten ьbernehmend (nдmlich durch Konsumation das Gцttliche Licht wieder einzusammeln, das der logos spermatikos spurenweise im Menschen hinterlieЯ, als er wieder ins Pleroma zurьckkehrte), vernachlдssigen die beiden den asketischen Aspekt des Manichдismus (Fleischverzicht, keine kцrperlichen Aktivitдten, die das Gцttliche Licht im Menschen wieder zerstreuen wьrden, etc.) und konzentrieren sich auf die Herstellung des Gцttlichen Licht-Kцrpers, der durch Konsumation die Rьckkehr in den Heiligen Bereich des Himmels, das Pleroma, ermцglichen soll. Dieser Licht-Kцrper ist die aus Sperma, Vaginalsekreten und Menstruationsblut bestehende Hostie. So wird aus der Gnostisch Katholischen Messe а la O.T.O. und dem IX° O.T.O. eine Parodie der christlichen Eucharistie, was vor allem die Konsumation der Hostie (die auch als Universalmedizin eingesetzt wird) betrifft. Lange vor Crowley hat Clйment de Saint-Marc das Geheimnis entdeckt: »Wie kann ein Mensch veranlassen, dass man sein Fleisch isst und sein Blut trinkt, ohne sich zu zerschneiden, sich ein Glied auszureiЯen, sich zu verletzen, ohne der Ganzheit seines Kцrpers Schaden zuzufьgen? Wir haben keine Wahl; wir mьssen es so nehmen, wie es uns die Wissenschaft liefert: das Sperma des Menschen ist essbar: halb-fest, halb flьssig und kann so gleichzeitig gegessen und getrunken werden; und ist so gleichzeitig Fleisch und Blut«. Und: »Es ist also nicht vцlliger Aberglaube, dieser absolute Glaube, durch Verzehr von Sperma eine Verbindung zwischen dem Menschen und Gott herzustellen«. Das ist das zentrale Geheimnis des O.T.O. Crowley benьtzte fьr Privatzwecke auch eine ganz besondere weitere Mischung fьr seine Hostie. Zwischen 1920 und 1923 frцnte er den Drogen Kokain, Дther und Heroin, der Koprophagie und sadomasochistischen Phantasien, in denen er als Sklave fungierte. »In my Mass the Host is of excrement [seiner Geliebten, er meinte aber auch einmal, dass das Ziegenkot sein kцnnte] that I can consume in awe and adoration; while I make my Holy Guardian Angel the latrine of my imagination«. Das entstammt Crowleys Tagebucheintrдgen vom 5. Juli und 13. August 1920.
Unused alternative lyrics to 'Station to Station'
You look like a bomb
You smell like a ghost
You eat like the terminal girl
You escape to the bridge
But the men hurt your back
You sit and you piss dark water
You're silent but aware
You're seething but warm
You sword play to burn reach my our daughters
The Return of the Thin white duke
Throwing darts in lovers eyes
"You'll never know the real story / Just a couple of dreams"
Bowie was spouting occult keywords far and wide without any apparent fear of being publicly condemned. "That whole dark and rather fearsome never world of the wrong side of the brain" as he later called Aleister Crowley's field [Steven Wells: "THE ARTFUL CODGER" in 'NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS' on 25 November, 1995.], was and is expressed in complicated wording, as we've seen in the previous analysis of the lyrics in 'Station to Station'.
By now living as a tax exile in Switzerland, Bowie had scaled down his elaborate and expensive concerts to a minimalist show without a set, instead using white light against a black background; he himself adopted a 1920's look. His friend Iggy Pop was seen dancing in the background at these performances. Linked up to a new management and record company, both Bowie (now rich, but still maintaining an 'arty' profile) and Pop moved to Berlin for a time (in reality he still lived in Switzerland or was on tour with Iggy Pop or recorded in Paris). There in a seven roomed flat they numbed their depression with beer and cocaine, and produced voiceless textures of electronic sounds whose style was to influence many rock musicians in the future. (Inspired by Berlin, Bowie recorded the so called "Berlin Trilogy" in Switzerland and the US). Far removed from the public's gaze, Bowie started painting, mostly rather amateurish portraits in the expressionist manner of the 1920's, or versions of the Cabalistic Tree of Life with its ten spheres/stations and twenty two paths (corresponding to the Tarot trumps).
Bowie recorded 'Low' with Brian Eno; together with Iggy Pop, they "fabricated" the album 'The Idiot', Bowie became "Heroes" (also the song title in between inverted commas) ('Heroes' introduced Robert Fripp: Bowie, Brian Eno and Fripp enjoyed calling one another charlatans), Pop ironically caught sight of the 'Lust for Life' but both remained 'Passengers', headed by Bowie as 'Lodger'. Aimless.
When Bowie sang a duet with Bing Crosby about the 'Peace On Earth', shortly before the latter's death, as a Christmas record in 1976, it was hard to tell their voices apart: suddenly, unaccountably, Bowie had become mainstream.
In mid August 1977, Bowie sat in a Massai Encampment in West Kenya and was drinking milk and blood taken from a cow.
In Berlin he was spotted alone in trendy cafйs with his head in his plate. Occasionally, he cried out: "Please help me."
Maybe he was re-enacting the main character in Walter Tevis' "The Man who fell to Earth", whose book ended with:
Breaking Magical Glass 1977
Charles S. Jones, Achad: Crystal Vision through Crystal Gazing, 1923. The Chalice of Ecstasy, Parzival, 1923.
Gazing upon shiny surfaces as a type of autohypnosis is called scrying. Scryers stare into the reflective surface or past the surface into the center of it until they are in a self induced trance. They see visions or perceive images of known symbols. This was a popular technique in nineteenth century England. John Dee, the royal magician to Queen Elizabeth I, used a crystal egg and a black obsidian mirror. His mirror is exhibited today at the British Museum in London. Such scrying often was done ritually in a magic circle. Sometimes the scryer used a wand to invoke the entities in the magic mirror. John Dee, the Elizabethan scholar and magician, believed that through the mediumship of Edward Kelly he was in touch with angels and other spiritual creatures. Because Dee's manuscripts provided little more than the skeleton of a system, rudimentary when compared to the consistent and elaborate magical corpus taught in the Golden Dawn, his writings were thoroughly studied by members, who then combined Dee's "Enochian magic" with other aspects of the Western tradition in order to become more than human.
Bowie for Vittel in 2003
The method is simple. In a dimly lit room, sit in a yoga posture in front of a mirror. Observe yourself in the mirror. Focus on your face. Gaze into your reflection's eyes.
'Blue Jean', 1984
'I Can't Read', 1995
'Thursday's Child', 1999
You can also focus your attention on the so called Third Eye, the spot in the forehead that is in the center of, and slightly above, the brows [Ziggy Stardust / Aladdin Sane]. Imagine a light there. Wander.
You may also draw magic symbols on the mirror. Or the face of an Angel.
You receive information through any of your senses. In this trance you hear your own disassociated voice. You experience Sound and Vision.
Break a mirror and you will suffer seven years bad luck.
I've been breaking glass in your room again
Don't look at the carpet, I drew something awful on it
You're such a wonderful person
But you got problems
oh oh oh oh
I'll never touch you
Davor Zadnek is a practising Thelemite:
If we assume that breaking glass is a mirror or a crystal ball, than I would say that this lyric is most probably about evocation. "Your room" would than hint that it is not usual evocation but the one that uses sex, which is a more powerful and advanced technique. The inclusion of the Tree of Life would probably mean that Bowie is using this "tree" as a basis for his magical work, perhaps evoking some beings that are closely related to the Tree of Life.
But 'carpet' is usually associated with astral travel (flying carpet in Arab stories). So, this could mean that the practice is not only evocation but also Raising on the Planes (astral travel) used to investigate the Tree of Life. So, this could hint that he is using a combination of both techniques and many occultists indeed find the combination of both techniques much more effective. Usually they first use Raising on the Planes and than use the connection gained in this way for evocation but there is t he possibility to first use a magical mirror to get a glimpse of one sphere of the Tree of Life and than use the vision in the mirror to enter that sphere with astral travel. As the second interpretation is in accordance with the succession in the lyric, this would mean that the first part is not about evocation of some particular 'being' but of 'scrying' certain part of the Tree or looking at a certain part of the Tree with the magical mirror and than using those images to astrally enter into this part of the Tree. This is not a common technique but it can be used (and is used) and this second interpretation is in my opinion more in accordance with the song.
But because Bowie uses the word "listen", this could mean that a certain evocation of a being is indeed present as in evocations the beings are usually firstly heard and only than you make a visual connection. But looking at this with the conclusion that we found in the second paragraph, I would say that he is using general scrying of some sphere of the Tree and that first some being(s) "appear" and they first make audible contact but the working is 'concentrated' on the sphere of the Tree and not on a particular being so that the 'apperance' of this being(s) is more a contingency than anything else. Than he uses astral travel to intensify the experience of this sphere and make the more definite visual connection the word "see" could imply that.
I would say that "Oh oh oh oh" means sexual intercourse, so we have another point that this is about sex magick.
The lines "You're such a wonderful person" and "But you got problems" could hint at the experience that he is getting through first the vision of beatitude in all and then because of the transformative nature of this working, the unconsciousness complexes came to the surface of the consciousness and he sees his problems or project them to him/her. Or it could mean that he gets clairvoyant. [During a few live shows back in 1995 he replaced the word "person" with "poison" changing the line to "you're such a wonderful poison".]
"I'll never touch you" could perhaps mean that Bowie will not hurt him/her or better that he/she is not going to be influenced by all this as this is his personal working and that he/she is not part of it. "Don't look" in "Don't look at the carpet" could mean exactly that you must be ready for this experience or they might be too much for you, so Bowie is protecting him/her. Crowley used sex magick in this way, as he could not find a suitable partner.
Rabbi Luria's old schema, given pre eminence in the Golden Dawn and A.·. A.·.. Serious Qabbalah scholars like Gershom Scholem thought Crowley and Mathers (the founder of the GD) were a bunch of swindlers. [Emails February 2004]
Ellic Howe and his friend Oscar Schlag indeed showed evidence that the Golden Dawn's foundation was based on a forgery (Ellic Howe's "Magicians of the Golden Dawn", London 1972).
[Photos on the right: above: Kevin Cummings, below: Steve Schapiro.]
Maggie Ingalls, famous in the Thelemic Continuum for expanding Crowley's Thelema in the 70s:
This is an interesting set of lyrics. I read it as a loony accusing his girlfriend of being nuts: ("But you got problems"), which is just a projection of his own mental state. The breaking of glass, in the way he words it (especially with the "again") seems obsessive/compulsive action designed to harm both the girlfriend and himself.
I agree that the first glass that comes to mind is a mirror or crystal ball, but the Tree of Life symbolism leads me to consider that the broken vessels, shells, or shards that are the Qlipoth might be what he means. "Don't look at the carpet" is contradicted by "See!", which suggests that the broken glass is all over the floor.
The last line, "I'll never touch you", can be read as either a threat or a promise. He'll never touch her, but he will create hazardous conditions in her room he'll never touch her because he thinks she's the crazy one or he's assuring her that he won't physically assault her or all of the above?
There do seem to be ritual elements implied, but it feels to me that it's a private ritual invented by the 'speaker' of the words...maybe he's in a moral struggle, his 'angelic' and 'diabolic' aspects locked in combat. [Emails February 2004]
In the song 'Warszawa' (recorded in September October 1976 in France and Berlin, published 1977 on 'Low') you can hear Bowie sing words which one may at first think sound like the so called magical barbaric language of evocation (as in the Goetia).
Based on the assumption that language and magic are so intertwined that they also enter in direct interaction with the outer world, this so called language comes from the Enochian channeling of Dr John Dee and Sir Edward Kelly's medieval angelic language, which was also used in the Golden Dawn and Crowley's magick (at that time published in his "Magick In Theory And Practice", originally from 1929, many reprints since then).
Mmmm mm mm OM
Sula vie dilejo
Mmmm mm mm OM
Sula vie milejo
Cheli venco deho
Cheli venco deho
Mmmm mm mm OM
Cheli venco raero
OM is a Buddhist mantra (Om mani padme hum) augmented from the Sanskrit AUM. Crowley expanded it to AUMGN thought to be so powerful that any magician vibrating it would be able to control the mind and the spiritual forces, that is the Universe.
Bowie's version lends of folk music and lyrics from 'Helokanie', performed by The Polish Song and Dance Ensemble "Zlsk" (conducted by StanisBaw Hadyna in 1953). The original lyrics are actually some old polish slang about about herding cows, pasture.
Bowie based his lyrics on the local slang, by imitating it and also modifying it into his own version only using the original as a model for his own word creations.
In May 1993 Bowie professed in 'Q': "I honestly have no idea what I thought between 1975 and 1977."
"They'll never clone ya / You're always first on the line / When you're a" Bowie
Meanwhile, having somehow consumed all his potential musical rivals, Bowie's sound tapestries gained lyrics again.
Lou Reed of Velvet Underground fame had been imported by Bowie to the UK from America; Bowie had then produced Reed's famous 'Transformer' Album in 1972, hence making Reed's success largely dependant on Bowie's own reputation. That year Bowie wrote songs for one of Britain's most successful bands of the day, Mott the Hoople, as well as producing Iggy Pop's most influential album 'Raw Power'. His name also appeared on albums by Lulu, Mick Ronson, Dana Gillespie, Steeleye Span, The Beatstalkers, Dib Cochran & The Earwigs, Peter Noone, Arnold Corns and many more. As if this were not enough, he had developed a deep friendship with Mick Jagger, recorded or appeared on stage with Gene Vincent (?), Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Eno, Rick Wakeman, Cher, Bing Crosby, Marc Bolan, Marianne Faithfull (actress in Kenneth Anger's movie 'Lucifer Rising', version 1969), John Lennon (in numerology and Tarot) and re recorded his songs in Italian, German and French versions it was obvious Bowie was an 'Artist'. There was hardly any better description of a true gnostic than the 'Man who Fell to Earth' (a sci fi film of 1975, where he starred the main rфle), bringing "Sound and Vision" (1977) or alias Ziggy Stardust saving the world.
But a definite loss of creativity had overshadowed him; all his life Bowie had confined much of his admiration to those who tried to emulate him e.g. Jobriath aka Bruce Wayne Campbell (aka Jobriath Salisbury, Jobriath Boone, Cole Berlin and Joby Johnson). Allegedly Bowie had instructed Angie Bowie to question anyone she met about Jobriath. Jobriath, born 1946, was an American glam rock musician and one of the first rock musicians in the United States to openly identify himself as gay. He died of AIDS in 1983. On stage he was far more shocking than Bowie.
"Lots of my costumes are gossamer. They are very transparent see through clown costumes. I'm into clowns and mime. I'm into all the Commedia parts." So Jobriath told 'Interview' in 1973. In the 60s Jobriath dressed often in costumes based on the Page Boy in the tarot deck and he drew his own tarot deck, too. "O Pierrot where do you go when you come down / A star shot across the sky and smiled / Then vanished in a tear." And in an ongoing self definition in 'I'maman' as well: "Pierrots and spaceous clothes / Are what I am."By 1979, the whole Pop universe seemed crowded with more or less accurate Bowie clones, among whom was the opera singer Klaus Nomi [know me]. As a pure gnostic, Bowie 'consumed' Nomi, by performing with him; both wore stiff plastic Pierrot costumes а la Tristan Tzara (a Dada artist) when they sang of 'The Man Who Sold The World', who had "died a long long time ago."
At the end of the Song 'TVC15' Bowie performed a Golden Dawn Posture, called "The Enterer", invoking the aid of the elements.
Astrology also was a part of Bowie's belief system. The journalists who wanted to interview him had to provide their astrological data so he could review them in combination with his Tarot readings before he decided whether to be interviewed by them or not.
[Book at the right: John Symonds and Kenneth Grant: "Aleister Crowley. The Complete Astrological Writings", London 1974.]
According to Christopher Sandford (via Angie Bowie) ("Bowie Loving the Alien", Revised and Updated, London 1997), "Bowie's bizarre behaviour continued even after he moved to Europe: witness his strange use of 'signals'. Throughout 1977 and '78 his letters were filled with numbers to which he gave mysterious meanings. The minute Bowie left Berlin in 1979, the numbers abruptly stopped."
Edited by Stephen Skinner:
"The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley",
New York 1979.
The first song he ever had written, 'I'm tired of my life' (in c. 1963) [? some say this song dates from 1971] was recorded again in a new 1980 version, with partly altered lyrics under the title 'It's no Game' the song states there were "No more free steps to Heaven". [The opening noises were taken from George Gershwin's piano roll for the 'Rhapsody in Blue' from 1925]
So what was Bowie most concerned with by 1980? He sang "This is the message from the action man: I never did anything out of the blue... _I wanna axe to break the ice_" (Franz Kafka's definition of a book). Bowie was now presenting his Gnosis as a prison represented by the Pierrot costume. He reacted to an earlier persona, Major Tom who sang in 1969: "I think my spaceship knows which way to go" (in 'Space Oddity').
Bowie's life as a show "hung out in heaven's high: hitting an all time low." Gnosis as an escape from, and result of, the pain of being and resisting philistinism. "My mama said to get things done you better not mess with Major Tom." Bowie's Gnosticism manifesting itself as a mechanical womb in his 1980 video for 'Ashes to Ashes' (a video clip that also makes reference to Kenneth Anger's 'Rabbit's Moon' of 1972). And this would be the last creative act by him for a decade; after this ultimate act of coitus with himself, Bowie obviously felt in need for a very long cigarette break.
Vampires of Human Flesh
German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder had a reputation for vampirising worn out superstars in his films. Alas, the planned film of Bertolt Brecht's 'Threepenny Opera' with Bowie was still born; but Bowie (then living in New York) added the 'Alabama Song' (from Brecht's 1928 opera 'The Rise and Fall of the Town Mahagonny') to his live set, and played the title rфle in the BBC's 1981 television production of Brecht's 'Baal' possibly to rekindle his dying fires "with gasoline"? Brecht's songs, which Bowie sang live during the programme and which were also released in a studio recorded version, are among the best interpretations this writer has ever heard; they are perfectly in accord with Bowie's desire to alienate everything (Brecht was the 'inventor' of the literal alienation between the actors and play on the stage, and the audience).
Nobody seemed to appreciate the complexity and subtlety of it all. So long as Ziggy Stardust was "making love with his ego", Bowie had the potential to develop his creativity. But his burgeoning wealth, the loss of any true opposition for him to work against in his commercial and social life, as he was now an 'acceptable' performer, and mostly surrounded by lackeys and toadies (with Bowie there s always that element of I like you because you love me) all this meant that his consciousness of once having been a 'suffering individual splintered into countless pieces' manifestly receded into the background. The suicide machine grew tired, the drug problems became easier to handle, and the sex life grew straightforward.
'Cat People' from 1981: "See these eyes so green, I can stare for a thousand years; these tears can never dry. Judgement made can never bend." Maybe this is Bowie and his angel telling each other about their millennial pact as mentioned in the Bible, and the hurtful burden of God's condemnation?
Now Bowie a very rich man, where was the gnostic thorn in the side that had existed between 1983 and 1992? Had he become a self parody with the 1984 song 'Blue Jean'? Or was it a case of 'the unbearable lightness of being' in the Italian ballad 'Volare' (which he sang in the film 'Absolute Beginners' in 1985), or John Lennon's 'Imagine' (sung live in 1983)? Once again he told the world: now I am the real David Robert Jones and produced music which he had done "with love" but later would hate.
You might find this association intriguing: in 'Let's Dance' (1983) the lyric runs "Under the moonlight / the serious moonlight", which bears a resemblance to Aleister Crowley's 'Lyric of Love to Leah' from his diary for 1923: "Come, my darling, let us dance / To the moon that beckons us / Come, my love, let us dance / To the moon & Sirius!" A product of a 'cut up'? A deliberate play on words? There are semantic connections between the two as in "If you should fall into my arms / If you say hide we'll hide ..." and Crowley's "To dissolve our soul in trance / Heedless of the hideous / Heat & hate of Sirius."
[Demon Dog] Diamond Dogs = Dog Star = Sirius = Serious Moonlight
There's an anecdote about Bowie's fear of other people magically using things he touched.In 1983 and 1984, the late Derek Jarman wanted to do a film called 'Neutron'. Prospects looked really good financially as he had lined up an impressive cast list and who else than Bowie wanted to play the lead. The two had a meeting in Derek's apartment and everything seemed hunky dory. But then Bowie suddenly started chain smoking and Jarman noticed that his guest was getting more and more nervous and was shooting furtive glances at one of his bookshelves plus some drawings on the wall. Then suddenly in the middle of a conversation Bowie stood up, made a lame excuse and left. Twenty minutes later Bowie's driver and bodyguard came back to the flat and said that the master had forgotten something and then proceeded to remove the cigarette stubs from the trash... Needless to say Bowie backed out of the project which then collapsed. Jarman never did have the time to explain that his John Dee books and the Enochian squares on the wall were souvenirs from the time when he made 'Jubilee', a film in which Dr. John Dee, Elizabeth the First's astrologer, had been one of the main characters.
Dee's 'Enochian' system of magic, with its complex magical diagrams, was an important part of Golden Dawn teachings. [More about Dee elsewhere in this essay].
There is a postscript to this story. The producer of 'Twin Peaks' for sentimental reasons bought the rights to 'Neutron'. The project was revived recently. And guess who wants to play the lead?
Despite all this, in March 1987 he is going to utter: "I don't think I ever was particularly in the Occult" (like Bill Clinton never had sex with Monica Lewinsky?).
So when Bowie put a 'For Sale' sign at his front gate during the 1980's, who or what moved in?
Richard Matheson: "The Shrinking Man", 1956.
This cover New York, 1969.
Also known as "The Incredible Shrinking Man", an American black and white science fiction horror film in 1957.
Bowie's live performance of 'Time' on the 1987 Glass Spider video shows that he now used the Tarot Card 'The Hanged Man' to represent himself as a sort of Richard Wagnerian 'Redeemed Redeemer', a key figure in occultism, which also hints at Baphomet, the central idol of the Knights Templar and the Ordo Templi Orientis. 'Baphomet' was also one of the magical names of Aleister Crowley who identified himself with the Antichrist, the Beast 666, or an erected Penis.
Bowie was hanging on a rope as he let himself down from the huge Glass Spider that overshadowed the stage, his legs crossed mimicking the pose of the 'Hanged Man' Tarot card at the same time referring to the Hindu creation myth of the universe being spewed out of a giant spider's bowels.
Who is Bowie singing about here: "The sniper in the brain", who "flexes like a whore" in a Stefan George sort of park where lovers quit but who were the lovers Bowie and God?
Did Bowie fear he would drown in the Abyss, escaping only like Baron von Mьnchhausen did, pulling himself up by his own hair? The 'Babe of the Abyss' was a new band called 'Tin Machine' in 1988 (was it a sort of rejigged version of Lou Reed's 'Metal Machine Music' of 1975?).
Tin Machine was initially conceived as a complete departure from anything he'd done before, suddenly Bowie belonged in rock'n'roll, but soon he started doing parodic versions of Ziggy at the band's live gigs in 1989, wearing the original red Ziggy Stardust boots.
The gap between past and present yawned wider still, while the critics mocked his latest incarnation.
So, in 1989 Bowie sang Bob Dylan's 'Maggie's Farm' from 1965: "I try my best / To be just like I am / But everybody wants you / To be just like them".
Once more he seemed to be posing as an artist, a generalist, a Renaissance Universalist and 'professed' "I don't care which shadow gets me... switch the channels, watch the police cars. I can't reach it anymore" (pronounced "read shit").
"The Medusa's Head", John Symonds' novel about an alleged meeting between Hitler and Crowley, Thame, England, 1991. 350 numbered copies only.
"Cold tired fingers, tapping out your memories"
Slowly but surely, the inner core of a Weltanschauung is revealed: Art as Therapy. It had grown up during the long summer holidays Bowie had spent on the island of Mustique, where he had been spending his vacations since 1975 Mustique was a highly exclusive millionaire's playground Bowie would have rubbed shoulders with Mick Jagger and Princess Margaret.
As opposed to being a 'post modern Buddhist', he had set himself up as the historian of his own identities, an antique collector specialising in cast off personж: "I've always found that I collect. I'm a collector, and I've always just seemed to collect personalities and ideas" ['Russel Harty Show', recorded and broadcast 17th January1973.].
The 2013 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum raises the question of whether Bowie is a hoarder.
In 1992 Bowie married Iman Muhammid Abdulmadjid, duly "sanctified by God", and told the press: "I'm not a religious person. I'm a spiritual person. God plays a very important part in my life I look to Him a lot and He is the cornerstone of my existence... I believe man develops a relationship with his own God." ... "Religion is for people who believe in hell; spirituality is for people who've been there." He did a lethargic recording of a hectical song about 'Sex and the Church' where he considered that "there is a union / between the flesh and the spirit / It's sex and the church."
Between songs during the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness in 1992, Bowie knelt down and recited the Christian Lord's Prayer.
In 1993, his music has come to appear as the ultimate parody of modern jazz the instruments like a torn sound fabric, the tunes overwhelmed by electronic rhythms and samples it all seemed rather like a Brian Eno album without Eno. Obviously, Bowie was "looking for God in exciting new ways."
"The 20th Century Boy"
Possibly reminiscing about life before Iman, and mulling over an old staged suicide attempt, sipping cocktails served by the world's most beautiful woman, (his wife was also an ambassador for UNESCO), some time in 1993 Bowie spent some time listening to some avant garde music while painting masturbating Minotaurs.
Bowie was not the first one to produce such beasts. A painting by Alastair Campbell appeared on page 40 of 'Starfire' Vol I, No.1, published in April 1986 'Starfire' is the magazine of the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis. It accompanies a poem entitled 'The Minotaur' by his partner, Ann Campbell.
Bowie re established contacts with his old associates from the 1970's, and started working out ideas for a concept album once again. He entered the fray again in 1995 releasing '1. Outside' with a handful of new songs including Jacques Brel's 'My Death Waits There' in his Bing Crosby voice. This was unexpected.
"My death waits there between your thighs [does "death" mean the 11th sephira "Da'ath"?]
But what ever lies behind the door
There is nothing much to do
Angel or devil, I don't care
For in front of that door, there is you"
"There is no Hell like an old Hell"
Regarding the title of the release '1. Outside', Bowie had the media believe that he had been inspired by his visit to see the patients at the Artist's House at Gugging in Austria, where schizophrenic patients practice art as therapy (Don't forget: in Bowies personal history is the fact that when he was a child many of his relatives from his mothers side of his family suffered psychiatric issues requiring treatment).
Some of these patients have become famous worldwide: an exhibition of their paintings in New York during January 1994 had the title '...Outside Art'. But in fact Bowie and Brian Eno recorded most of the songs for '1. Outside' between January and May 1994, while Bowie, Eno and their friend Andrй Heller only visited Gugging in September of that year.
In September , Andrй Heller a longtime friend and supporter of the artists from Gugging announced his visit to the House of the Artists. Heller's friend and colleague David Bowie, had seen pictures of the Guggingers at his home and asked Heller to introduce him to the artists. One afternoon, the two world-renowned artists arrived in company of the photographer Christine de Gracy [sic: Grancy] and another friend at our House. During the tour of the House David Bowie drew portrait sketches of the artists and later, while having a snack with all the artists he penned down his visual impressions in pencil. He [Bowie] was similarly excited of Oswald Tschirtner and his [Tschirtner's] artwork. He [Bowie] and O.T. [Tschirtner] posed also together for many photographs. At the end of his visit, Andrй Heller gave the House an invitation to attend "his" [Heller's] Chinese National Circus.
['Der Blaue Stern', Mitteilungsblatt der Gesellschaft der Freunde des Hauses der Kьnstler in Gugging, #5, Autumn/Winter 1994, page 26. Photo by Christine de Grancy.]
Personal Note: I visited the so-called Patient-Artists at Gugging several times since 1984 (see photo at the right) and collected much of their work. I happened to be at the House of the Artists in September 1994 again, exactly one day after Bowie, Andrй Heller and Brian Eno had visited, without knowing they had been there. I asked one of the staff of the House why there was so much photographic equipment around, the staff member informed me of the visitors they had the day before.
Peter Robert Koenig in "Haus der Kьnstler" in Gugging 10 May 1984 Paintings by August Walla
Maybe the title '1. Outside' also referred to Jacques Derrida's strategic concept of "contamination", an implosion of all types of writings (d'йcrire, d'йcritude, d'йcrits), all cultural practices, architecture, denying that a reality is outside? To deconstruct (a term invented by Derrida) clear lines between concepts of reality (real, realization, realisation, realitй, rйel) and representation.
This is maybe the reason why Bowie announced that his next CD would be called '2. Contamination'? It never saw the light of day...... Of course."The voyeur
Of utter de[con]struction
The instrumentation was cold and soulless; Bowie appeared to perform it in a black rubber costume, trying to break away from his image as a sort of Club Mediteranйe tourist entertainer, and sang "There is no Hell / like an old Hell." He crooned "i hurt myself today / to see if i still feel / i focus on the pain / the only thing that's real" and evoked Nine Inch Nail's picture of an insect crawling into a vagina. But the "spontaneously invented" pseudo dramatic enigmas like "I hit the rose" (possibly a reference to Lou Reed's 'Vicious'), and his screams of "this chaos is killing me" sounded too serialized, loud, and contrived. There was a huge contrast between what was happening on stage and the widely avalable Bowie as Icon; this was what struck the observer. His emotions came across as synthetic and pasteurized, as he squeezed out gobbets of жsthetic resistance of the kind that Bob Dylan had already voiced decades before: "i accept chaos, i'm not sure whether it accepts me." Or how about some warmed over Freud: 'There shall be Me/Ego where there was It'? Instead of 'Un Chien Andalou', Bowie raised a banner on stage with the words "Open the Dog" on it, from his 1970 song 'All the Madmen' where they took "some brain away". Both reviewers and audience were deeply displeased with Bowie for refusing to reprise any of his old hits; they only felt boredom when he sang "the music is outside"; they were waiting for some ecstasy, but couldn't understand the complexity of Bowie's pain, because Bowie sacrificed articulation and emotion to an artistic concept where he remained the Master of Ceremonies.
'New Musical Express', 25 November 1995: the show "involved all these strange neo futuristic characters running around El Bowza's head."
Alas, his audience was expecting the authentic ecstasy that was to be expected in Rock and Initiation "authenticity" which Bowie always consciously refused to induce because its production must be felt in those perceiving the performance the audience. The 'reality' was placed 'outside' upon the perceptor, that is the audience. But neither audience nor reviewers noticed that Bowie was indulging in parody again when he sang about Andy Warhol's yawn inducing life, while prancing about like a puppet on cocaine: But those who move clumsily can not lie, and are therefore creating consciousness.
In Zuerich 1996, Bowie interpreted the song 'Andy Warhol' with some lyrics from his 1983 hit 'Let's Dance', ecstatically twitching under a roof of neon light.
Being in the first row of the audience, one still wondered why Bowie never broke into sweat while performing: Intensity noted through its lack. Presence through its absence.
"I'm so thankful that we're strangers when we meet"
Wildly he pushed his career as a painter, meanwhile sitting on a bunch of selfportraits gazing sinisterly à la Anton LaVey (the founder of the Church of Satan); paintings titled 'Satan', 'Crouch', 'We Saw A Minotaur', the Tarot cards 'Love', 'Moon', 'Death' and 'Star' (originally produced as Christmas presents for his friends in 1975) ...
The Prince's Trust sent out plain white masks to over 1000 public figures in late 1996. Bowie's design consisted of a simple "666" stencilled on the forehead, complemented by the handwritten annotation "Your pretty face is going to hell." He arranged his Mask (number 56) in a basket with a brass plaque that read "Hell Or Bust. David Bowie 1996".
Both the release of his album "1. Outside" and paintings turned out to be artistic flops as Bowie himself had predicted "I think I lost my way."
In April 1995 he hired a gallery (a place 'for hire' to anyone, and usually filled with art student shows) and hang his own work in it. Critics called it a "vanity exhibition." The National Portrait Gallery simply noted: "I suspect nothing very exciting of David Bowie has ever come our way."
It was possibly precisely the pain caused by such rejection that spurred Bowie into renewed action. With the cold blooded efficiency of a chamжleon changing colour, he removed all the parts of his act that met with no favour with audiences such as the 'art ritual murder' of Baby Grace Blue and started performing his back catalogue of hits again. A deluge of PR 'news releases' hit the media, and Bowie rummaged through his bran tub of showbiz VIPs (Damien Hirst, David Lynch, Julian Schnabel, Dennis Hopper (riding in occult circles in the 1970s), Balthus, and many more) to once again raise his profile.
But the context remained Gnostic: the long planned involvement with the stock market, the purchase of several more pieces of property and a suddenly natural looking smile. This was a kind of yogic exercise in Asana (or posture) as he adjusted his position, for both himself and his audience. Perhaps this was why he sat shoeless in a difficult yoga posture at the Zurich show on February 14th 1996 as he sang 'The Man Who Sold The World', while styling himself as re frozen into the man who yet again "died a long long time ago." This song dated from 1970, and had already had two new versions of it, the first with Lulu, in 1973, and another in 1979 with Klaus Nomi, now with an oriental feel reminiscent of Madonna's 1990 live version of 'Like A Virgin'.
His live performances 'looked the business' again they were now commercial transactions between Bowie and the audience who got a precisely measured dosage of ecstasy, and a share in Bowie's evolving stock market activities, with his Ziggy Stardust songs.
[On the right: "Dead Man Walking" with crucifix religious icon mask by Joel Peter Witkin, 1997.]
"Guess I'll put all my eggs in a post modern song"
The occultist views himself as a rebel and a narcissist, who posits him or herself inside, as well as outside, the predominant culture. He understands himself as part of an elite, and endeavors to create himself anew. Lurking on the threshold of History, occultism wants to communicate its ideas to the world. It evangelizes with the ultimate aim of destroying society's standards. It strives for world dominion and compares itself to the early Christianity that had been hunted by Rome.
Today, in the worldwide circus of the images, occultism is the continuation of fashions, of habits or mannerisms on how to display oneself: pseudo originality. The occult supermarket is universally plundered and leaves only a completely devalued treasury of total subjectivity. By picking out the pieces that appeal most to him or her out of the debris left after the breakdown of the symbolic order, the occultist's cultural reality ends up consisting of slightly differing arrangements of said pieces into signs of strict hierarchies. Normal activities one might expect in joining such a group, such as experiencing, recording and processing are curbed and one is reduced to subsistence on a diet of already fixed images that work in a consciousness dissolving way. Common occult knowledge is repackaged and sold as a new product; a juicy hamburger in a shiny new wrapping that you can buy at the mall. Defanged, neutered and essentially without much nutritional value.
Modern occultism shows itself to be a post modern esoteric supermarket with the equivalent and equal importance it vests in a whole range of different things: cabbala, T shirts, yoga, invocations of demons and angels, sex magic, calendars, exorcism, drugs, religion, Gnosis, videos, scandal, gossip, postcards, philosophy and pseudo science. Egyptian mythology is revised and all is reduced to the level of a soap opera. To the uninformed observer occultism looks rather like a tiny group of people, similar to a Harry Potter reading circle, rejects from a renaissance fair or heavy metal fans in search of a naked high priestess.
"You Rebel Rebel"
When a Mythos dies, the need for compensation grows into the infinite.
And so it happened. Bowie became the first human who sold his persona to the stock market. One month after his 50th birthday, in February 1997, the finance boutique Fahnenstock & Co, issued Bowie bonds on expected royalties (via a firm that transfers future income into a new society: in other words, Bowie is not going public himself, otherwise he would have to reveal his financial situation). Included were 25 earlier records published prior to 1993. Because Bowie has kept control and all rights over his work from 1975 onwards (that is, the master tapes, despite disastrous contracts binding him until 1982; a fact which maybe also was responsible for his constant change of music styles), in one second 55 million Dollars sloshed into his bank account. Because only the second firm/society (contrary to the first) is rated, it receives better conditions than the first. So, the Bowie bond has a repayment period of 10 years and yealds a net interest of 7,9%. This is remarkably higher than any US government bond issue to date. Although other artists sell more CDs, the product "David Bowie" is considered to flow back one of the strongest commissions in the History of Popmusic. Income is generated especially through licensing the use of a catalogue of some 250 (330?) songs which can be played now in lifts, TV ads (e.g. Microsoft) or telephone answering machines.
This constant money flow makes the Bowie bond so strong that it received the AAA rate from the Rating Agency Moody's due to Bowie ranking 16th amongst the top earning entertainers in 1997. The ordinary consumer is left outside this charmed circle gazing in wonder (some in dismay), and even hardcore fans are left out: the whole stock of bonds vanished in the treasure vaults of the large British insurance conglomerate Prudential.
Oddity 2002 or Proto Heathen: The music department started to shed its stable of unproductive cash cows in 2001. Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Sinead O'Connor and Anita Baker became victims of this new policy; in 2002, Mariah Carey and Mick Jagger were added to the list. EMI refused to consider Bowie's future songs and as he has to repay his advances until 2007, he's forced to earn enough money for this with a new contract. Initially he announced he would be doing this on his own recording label, but in the spring of 2002 he signed up with Phillips.
It is likely that Bowie's new songs will sound much more like his old catalogue which sells well rather than his post 1983 releases.
Record companies have minimum orders... and since the last Bowie album there have been a lot of changes in their distribution methods and minimum orders have increased substantially. The minimum order from Sony, who are the distributor, is UK Ј2500... which equates to 250 albums or 800+ singles per annum. Small dealers are being increasingly driven out of the market. The best place to buy them is probably 'CD NOW'... or Amazon. CD NOW is selling 'Heathen' for UK Ј8.99 inclusive of shipping. And in the UK, retailers like 'Music Zone' and 'Woolworths' have new titles for Ј9.99.
In March 2004 Moody downgraded the Bowie bonds from A3 to Baa3 just one notch above junk, after a lengthy review process. [Incidentally, the bonds did later recover.]
His health problems of June 2004 forced him to draw back from the stage.
In January 2013 he returned with a bang and a new CD, which signalled the greatest comeback in showbusiness history.
In the same year, "David Bowie is" in London became the Victoria and Albert Museum's fastest selling event ever. As he had predicted in 1971, Bowie"'s in the best selling show." ['Life on Mars?', 1971] The exhibition is touring internationally. Venues include: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; the Martin Gropius Bau Berlin, Germany; the Philharmonie de Paris/Citй de la Musique, Paris, France; the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne, Australia; the Groninger Museum, Groningen / The Netherlands; Museo d Arte Moderna di Bologna; Warehouse TERRADA G1 Building, Tokyo; Barcelona ...
It is as if it was Bowie, touring in the flesh, and not just his clothes and memorabilia.
Back to 1997. With a renewed access of enthusiasm, Bowie did mammoth shows through Europe, appearing in a new Pierrot suit, and the red hairstyle from 1972. He performed Iggy Pop's 'Lust for Life' in a slow motion staging, as if the extraterrestrial refugee Ziggy had finally fallen to earth, as in 'Earthling', the title of his new album. Never before did Bowie have a better backing band; never before was his mood better but neither had his ideas seemed more clever clever, arty, and implausible. Yet from the gaping chasm that stretched between the hard headed commercialism and Gnosticism, there now arose phoenix like music something lacking in all his previous tours.
Meanwhile, Bowie's involvement with masks has become mainstream and been adopted as a pose by many other musical artists, Madonna and Curt Cobain were rare in being inspired more by Bowie's Gnosis than by his hairstyles.
"But a devil at home / Come on here, woo-woo / And kiss it for me"
Like the apocalyptic 'Diamond Dogs' tour of summer 1974 (which was based on George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty Four'), which had in turn inspired the bleak tone of the 'Outside' tour in the winter of 1995, the business of dealing with a death wish was resolved for Bowie in dance music; after the depressing summer 1974 tour, there was the 'Philly Dog' / Soul Tour in autumn 74, that culminated in Bowie's disco album 'Young Americans' in 1975.
In the spring of 1997, Bowie created a mйlange of drum'n'bass and dancefloor sounds, which yet again took critics and audiences by surprise even though he was meeting their urgent demands for something they could dance to. He shouldn't have been surprised at the bemused reaction when it was revealed to the world that he'd been doing fabric designs for Laura Ashley's latest bedroom collection (maybe similar to Andy Warhol's iconic 1966 Cow Wallpaper?).
Both of Bowie's dance tours (in late 1974 and 1997) are mostly preserved in the form of bootleg recordings; the two exceptions are tracks he issued in 1997, but these pieces only go to prove Bowie's inconsistency (they were issued under the alias 'Tao Jones Index'). This dance music's interminably monotonous quality bears witness to Bowie's sense of a new creative phase about to start but simultaneously betrays and is lost in its sheer repetitiveness.
Still, Bowie's stage personж became less androgynous, and more humorous; he bared a set of vampire fangs at his audiences, and told them to focus on him, and only him. TV interviewers and the members of his band had to play second fiddle (as always) they were a chorus present merely to react to his key words and bizarre bon mots, which he scattered before them with lackadaisical charm, like pearls before swine. Bowie qua Bowie no longer exists, except in the scraps of conversation he has syphoned off for re use, or in the key words and shards of reality he has preserved for posterity some moments ago, some books ago. He only seems interested in bits of the past, myths, guitar noises, and the books he happens to be reading at the moment apocalyptic platitudes. The most outlandish thing he does these days is accompanying Mick Jagger to drag balls; for the rest he fills his days by playing golf with Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper (real name Vincent Furnier who allegedly discovered his name during a Ouija board session in which he learned that he is the reincarnation of a seventeenth century witch), going skiing at St. Moritz or Gstaad, and appearing at a photo shoot with Tony Blair for an anti drugs campaign (though Bowie did wear a huge pair of earplugs inscribed with the word "SEX" to this event).
"What a fantastic death abyss"
Appearing on TV talk shows in 1997, Bowie wore carefully 'distressed' torn Pierrot costumes, and sang once more of the 'Scary Monster and Super Creep', another doggy song. On his right hand he wore a giant false rat's paw was he being his own pied piper? The guitars screamed, and his backing band were "running scared" (and breathlessly) behind the master. On the next show he would do the same song again, but this time in a much more subdued Johnny Cash manner, strumming his guitar in a leisurely fashion and singing "she opened strange doors that we never close again." The 'Doors of Perception' is a phrase deriving from Aleister Crowley's friend Aldous Huxley as far back as 1930, and refers to an entrance to other realities opened through taking drugs. The "doors of perception" were first spoken of by William Blake. At the climax of orgasm, these doors are blasted wide open and pure apprehension of reality can be attained.
Finally deciding to work up a sweat in the hot summer of 1997, Bowie donned a red polo neck sweater, and opened most of his gigs "immersed in Crowley's uniform" with the 1971 song about the Golden Dawn, as his thrilled audiences joined in joyfully to his words: "Don't believe in yourself / Don't deceive with belief / Knowledge comes with death's release." No one could have guessed, the eleventh Sefira Da'ath would be celebrated by so many people simultaneously.
The superb live show cybercast on the Internet on October 1st 1997 was opened by Bowie with the words "I tried to sneak on but..." immediately followed by "I'm closer to the Golden Dawn..." was this an explanation of his enduring absence of creativity? Other shows started with the 'Supermen' from 1970 filling the Earth before recorded history began, with "Nightmare dreams no mortal mind could hold", to a riff supplied by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page the world's most enthusiastic private collector of Crowleyana, who contributed in 1965 to Bowie's song 'I pity the Fool'.
Sometimes he asked his audience to dance, no doubt having his 1974 lyrics in mind: "For you're dancing where the dogs decay, defecating ecstasy / Because of all we've seen, because of all we've said / We are the dead." Plato related that a wise old man said to him, "Now we are dead and in a kind of prison," matter: the gnostic prison. Between songs Bowie spoke about Jean Paul Sartre, and also about Heinrich Harrer (author of 'Seven Years In Tibet') because "this is the book part of the show." The ballad honouring Jean Genet/Julien Green of 1972 vintage was revived as a blues number, though it still reminded us to "keep all your dead hair for making up underwear" and even though this came across as more of a parody of occultism in 1997. Near the end of this live set there was a drum'n'bass ascension of Laurie Anderson's decidedly individual conception of communication 'O Superman': "Well, you don't know me, but I know you. And I've got a message to give to you... when love is gone, there's always justice."
And in the name of Justice, Bowie performed benefit concerts for children's charities, staging 'unplugged' versions of his greatest hits at schools, eventually consenting to participate in the 1997 'Children in Need' charity record of Lou Reed's 1972 song 'Perfect Day'; Bowie contributed his own dia Gnosis with "What a Perfect Day / You made me forget myself." At this time he gave a sort of Dadaist interview about smoking cigarettes, from which unpromising topic he even managed to squeeze out a few Gnostic insights: "All life's pleasures leave you unsatisfied because you try to reach that high every time." Being a smoker among non smokers makes him feel "like the lowest of the low...".
"I love death, the more of it the better. I think it's a good thing, heh heh heh!"
Around this time photographic portraits emerged showing Bowie with a halo and bleeding stigmata (e.g. on the cover of the 1998 bootleg "Jungle Fever"). In the autumn of 1997 he forbade his audience from dancing while doing a now somewhat jazzy version of Brel's 'My Death Waits There'. Despite constant touring and being on stage since 1987 (the Glass Spider tour was followed by several Tin Machine tours, the Sound and Vision Tour, the Outside Tour, the Open Air Festivals) there were no signs of wear, the sound of the band was full and satisfying, the songs' arrangements became increasingly subtle, his voice stronger (albeit everything was in different keys to suit his now lower register), his mood more entertaining. His 'Always Crashing in the Same Car' (now in an unplugged version) of 1977 turned "Crowley's uniform of imagery" into "Crowley's uniform of symmetry" (October 97, live on the Internet).
Bowie's constantly reiterated expressions of ecstasy in his live performances for years on end, raise obvious questions about how genuine this ecstasy really is. Repeatedly simulating this ecstasy (having sung "Freak out in a moonage daydream oh yeah!" for the 253rd time) nurtures a suspicion that Bowie's sort of ecstasy is merely a component of his disciplined and choreographed Pierrot, expressing a depressing intensity. Bowie's Gnosis remained in the new arrangements as part of his progression, but ceased to be an isolated fragment of his identity. It always was, and still is, the persona that is called 'David Bowie' that continues to attract the attention of the world. Never mind the quality, feel the myth; that's what sells. But not everyone buys this. The well known Viennese remixers Kruder & Dorfmeister refused to remix one of Bowie's songs in 1998, considering it to be a "waste of time."
"What's Really Happening?"
At the age of 50, David Bowie changed his views of the cut up method for writing lyrics to his songs. Previously he'd considered this method to be a tool for determining both past and future. Now he senses no past or future either for the individual or Society at large. Everything was going too fast for him, leaving him no time to grasp or to properly and analyze the past, let alone talk of future projects. All that matters is the present. Remember how the days used to last so much longer when you were five than they do when you're fifty? Now it's not a question of going through a series of personж or identities, but a matter of experiencing them in a completely post modern way simultaneously: a sort of "TV karma", as he called it. By the end of 1997 Bowie expressed a desire to retire from the business, stop smoking and have another child. Of course, he retained much of his old hyperactivity, covering some cars with mirrors as a publicity stunt, constantly recording new songs, and adding his weight (not always very tastefully) to sundry projects, like Jorge Luis Borges' or Stanislaw Lem's idea of reviewing non existant books.
Post modernism has no aims, no original thought, no authenticity, and ultimately no authority. An eternal contiguity ties everything in with art, artistic objects, and semiotics. Everything is connected somehow with everything else: a TV series, a piece of art, a clapped out superstar, a successful star, a line, its mirror image, its compression. But there again, what would pop and rock be without these symbols of identification and their correspondences? What is reality without its simulation?
Windows Mediaplayer Skin
"Seven Ways To Die"
Bowie always expressed interest in electronic dreams. As early as 1983, the 'Serious Moonlight' tour was organised via e mail. In September 1998 he created 'BowieNet' on the internet: an internet service provider (ISP) for web accounts, with news, a (planned) sports news service, stock market news, a 'BowieBank', e mail facilities and a supermarket where those interested may purchase his paintings and other memorabilia. Rarely has the music business been epitomized better than in this advertising slogan: "Buy David Bowie online, you rebel rebel". The circle had closed, for the internet itself is of course a form of virtual reality a Gnostic world beyond this world below. This is Gnosis through Bowie as the redeemer, who brings complete and constant availability of the Bowie icon. Marketing itself becomes a myth.
"Live 'til your rebirth and do what you will"
In the varieties of occultism that derive from Hinduism, fragmentation is a major theme just as it is on the internet, and the definition of identity in post modernism. The equality or unity between the individual and their rфle must be dissolved. Multiple or decentralised personality is the measure of post modern knowledge. There is a form of reasoning in the association between fragments (or the fragmented perception), but there is no ultimate truth behind it. This creates room for a new myth: fiction then becomes an integral part of being real. To be one simulation among other simulations. A result of this was Bowie made into a hero in a computer game called 'Omikron, the Nomad Soul'.
Andy Warhol once predicted, "Nobody really knows you". You can be anything, even the website that you visit on the internet eclectic creations that are tied together by the star's image and elements from and of other kinds of multimedia. These products are supposed to enhance the intimacy of the relationship between the star and fan though they still keep you well aware of the superhuman range of Bowie's interests as well as another closed circle he foresaw in 1971 in 'Moonage Daydream'. Here he sang of electronic dreams: "Don't fake it baby, lay the real thing on me / The Church of man, love, is such a holy place to be."
There are early versions of this song with slightly different lyrics, recorded by Bowie and his costume designer Freddi Burretti (aka Alfred Corns) who designed some of the Ziggy Stardust and Halloween Jack costumes up until 1974. This song reappeared on the live set list in 1996 97.
Electric dreams were also mentioned in the 1971 song 'Hang Onto Yourself' (closely based on the Velvet Underground, even down to the lyrics were earlier versions referred to Lou Reed's song book) where a quintessentially Gnostic phrase is "The bitter comes out better on a stolen guitar."
There is a 1971 recording of 'Hang Onto Yourself' with Gene Vincent (?), one of the original leather jacketed exponents of rock'n'roll. His voice lends a juicy quality to the lyrics. Both 'Moonage Daydream' and 'Hang Onto Yourself' were central songs in the Ziggy Stardust live shows.
Since 1997 David Bowie has never tired of proclaiming himself to be the happiest person on the face of the earth, as he will soon finally become the real "David Robert Jones". But can we really believe these words, and the robotic smile of this laughing gnostic? His wittiness is the sort peculiar to those accustomed to having their jokes laughed at. Though it's highly unlikely that Bowie will ever regain the god like prominence of his prime, his influence persists. He is currently resuscitating the Ziggy persona for a film or musical to be made by himself probably for sound commercial reasons as he released some BBC live recordings of the Ziggy era in 2000 but there is always a waywardness in the man. Perhaps Ziggy Mk. 2 means something else again, and is a sign that Bowie plans to jettison the hard won 'mainstream' acceptance that he had achieved over the last couple of decades. Is he getting bored again? "Their tragic endless lives could heave nor sigh / in solemn perverse serenity, wondrous beings chained to life" as he sang in the 1970 'Superman' song. Even collecting awards and personж must get terribly monotonous after a while...
Aladdin Sane Photo by Brian Duffy
"They say he has two gods"
Bowie wondered "Can I change the channel on my TV without using the clicker?" in 1976 (entertaining anecdote between two tracks, live late 1999). Does he believe in magick? Does he think that it has any ability to affect the physical world?: "No, I think all those things merely become symbolic crutches for the negative. ... I can't become comfortable with any organised religion and I've sort of touched on all of them. I'm not looking for a faith, I dont' want to believe anything. I'm looking for knowledge" [NME 25 November 1995]. And we hear him on 'Law (Earthlings on Fire)': "I don't want knowledge / I want certainty." (1997).
Revealing that he had "problems" with Jesus Christ he also admitted that "The gods forgot that they made me / so I forget them too."
When I asked Angie Bowie whether her ex ever said that he believed in magic, she answered: "No! Just when he was trying to scare or impress people. He said that to me once: Oh come on, I ll show you how to astral travel... yeah, right! I saw some weird shit, but that comes from fixation and visualization, not because there was any magic involved."
Me: "Do you have reason to think that he ever got rid of occultism/said practices?"
Angie Bowie: "I don t think he was ever involved; he s too egotistical to put his fate in the hands of someone else." (E.g. supernatural forces.) [My interview with Angie Bowie in 2003]
"Just watch me!"
'Music Now!' in December 1969: "Do you like seeing pictures of yourself?" Bowie: "Yes, because it means I am being seen." [Kate Simpson: "DAVID BOWIE INTERVIEW" in 'Music Now!' in December 1969.]
Andy Warhol: "I'd prefer to remain a mystery; I never like to give my background and, anyway I make it all different all the time I'm asked. It's not just that it's part of my image not to tell everything, its just that I forget what I said the day before and I have to make it all up over again. I don't think I have an image, anyway, favourable or unfavourable." [On the cover of the rare _double album version of "Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground featuring Nico", 1969.]
There is amazement at David Bowie's stamina. But does he do this so that his audience is in awe, is that the point? Does he derive self satisfaction from all this movement? Or is his self satisfaction born from those who appreciate him? A chameleon changes his colours when excited: Bowie changes himself to get excited. But if this were a world without cameras, what would Bowie do? Would he be inclined to do half of what he does if there was nobody watching? Does a falling Mask make a sound in a deserted forest?
And what kind of forest is this? Sean Mayes about 1978: "When David sat down later, he tucked one leg up under him and I noticed that the sole of his shoe was as clean as the day he'd bought it. OK, maybe the shoes were new, but it struck me that he hardly ever sets foot in the street. It's all hotels, limousines, sterilised airports." [Sean Mayes: "Life on tour with DAVID BOWIE", London 1999, page 20.
"... as the last few corpses ..." Tarot card Album 0 THE FOOL ------------ David Bowie (67) ...and/or the unreleased 'Toy'(2001) 1 THE MAGICIAN -------- Space Oddity (69) 2 THE HIGH PRIESTESS - The Man who sold the World (70) 3 THE EMPERATRICE ----- Hunky Dory (71) 4 THE EMPEROR --------- Ziggy Stardust (72) 5 THE HYEROPHANT ------ Aladdin Sane (73) 6 THE LOVERS ---------- Pinups (73) 7 THE CHARIOT --------- Diamond Dogs (74) 8 JUSTICE ------------- Young Americans (75) 9 THE HERMIT ---------- Station to Station (76) 10 FORTUNE ------------- Low (77) 11 STRENGTH ------------ Heroes (77) 12 THE HANGED MAN ------ Lodger (79) 13 DEATH --------------- Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (80) 14 TEMPERANCE ---------- Let's Dance (83) 15 THE DEVIL ----------- Tonight (84) 16 THE TOWER ----------- Never let me down (87) 17 THE STAR ------------ Black Tie White Noise (93) 18 THE MOON ------------ Buddha of Suburbia (93) 19 THE SUN ------------- 1.Outside (95) 20 THE JUDGEMENT ------- Earthling (97) 21 THE WORLD ----------- hours ... (99) Heathen (2002) Reality (2003) ==> health problems in 2004 The Next Day (2013) Blackstar (2016)
Heathen (02): Tarot Card contribution according to Aleister Crowley who altered the traditional numbering starting with the card 0. Thus, the phrase on the track "Sunday" (on 'Heathen'): "for in truth, it's the beginning of an end ... and nothing has changed, everything has changed."
"I was young, fancy free, and Tibetan Buddhism appealed to me at that time. I thought, There s salvation. It didn t really work. Then I went through Nietzsche, Satanism, Christianity ... pottery, and ended up singing. It s been a long road." [Bowie interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres, 'Ellen Show' broadcast 23 April, 2004.]
'Can t Help Thinking About Me' was an early single of 1965. "I don t know who I am" Bowie sings, almost forty years later, on his record in 2013, now an English Man in New York.
"Your silhouette is so stationary"
Playing with the Mudhras
Per Benedictionen YHVH Maledictus YHVH Adumbratur
Drawing in Eliphas Levi (pen name of Abbй Louis Constant, 1810 1875): "Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie" ("Dogma and Ritual of High Magic"), 1855. Translated by Arthur Edward Waite as "Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual" in 1896. Many reprints.
Aleister Crowley in a Golden Dawn robe making the Sign of Silence (also known as Sign of Hoor Paar Kraat / Harpocrates / Horus).
Bowie for Vittel in 2003.
Since the late 60s Bowie performed a little trademark gesture of reaching above him and then touching the ground while delivering the 'magical movement from Kether to Malkuth' line, a move that crops up in several videos.
Early use of that move by Bowie at that time rather a Rock'n'Roll posture appeared in 'Let me sleep beside you' for the 1969 promotional film "Love You Till Tuesday":
'Ashes to Ashes' [move executed by Steve Strange] (1980), Mick Jagger and Bowie in the clip for 'Dancing in the Streets' (1985), 'Fashion' (1980):
Thanks to the Internet, what were previously known activities exclusive to occult secret Orders and Lodges have become part of popular culture, factual concerns shrink to the level of Web 2.0 'happenings' and second hand opinions, knowledge becomes data hoarding, the linear becomes interactive, and proper friendship disapears in interchangeable cyber interaction. Occult culture becomes an audience driven by factions which fish their half truths out in the limitless digital ocean. This McDonaldised Occultism is an arena where anything goes, a breeding ground for conspiracy theories where half truths are classed as scholarly work for example in the wholly quantitative use of data exclusive to the Internet in university dissertations and theses. This reduction of facts to hallucinatory speculations leaves no room for the controlling influence of truth, and results in an endless fragmented labyrinth of unlimited choices. Any information here will face a continuing elasticity in a process of transformation and interactive reconfiguration. In the vast catacombs of the hypertexts it is all too easy to lose a feeling for the whole; in the nebulous atmosphere that is left by an absence of such an overview, connections and continuity can disappear. Where there is hypertext, there is no context. Does this hold out the unalluring future prospect for Internet users of having to develop a robust information immunity against the infection of false information on the World Wide Web?
The numberless manifestations of multiple identity in our culture including the creation of Internet personж contribute to an over all confirmation of traditional unitary theories of identity, and support the post modern Weltanschauung. There are relevant metaphors for this running through informationscience, psychology, children's games, literature, advertising, biology, medicine (you can now do a virtual frog dissection), mass culture and of course Occultism. The principle of the 'embodied artificial intelligence' is well known, and used as a paradigm in physics, information technology, biology, and behavioural science there are already primitive artificial 'beings' that can move independently, co operate, organise, and evolve. Never has the gap between high culture and mass (or consumer) culture been so narrow. What is visible doesn't have to allude to the concealed; existence doesn't have to allude to essence, nor the signifier to the signified. We are living in an electronic version of Oscar Wilde's disguise, where "the true secret of the world is the visible and not the invisible."
But what disadvantages does the post modern bring with it? A constant leaping from one subject to another in a world tied to immediacy and simultaneity will erase any consciousness of history. The post modern individual's passivity and immobility goes hand in hand with an increasing need for ever stronger stimuli. Occultists remain trapped in an inner world of moods, feelings, and imaginations. This private world gets overemphasized and results in a lack of identity. Nothing remains but a dwindling whimper for attention.
And meanwhile, Cabbala became the new religion of Hollywood, as stars like Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Britney Spears, Gwyneth Paltrow, Liz Taylor, Barbra Streisand, Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, Roseanne Barr, Demi Moore and Asthon Kutcher took up what had previously been a highly recondite subject.
Lady Gaga performing the Kether to Malkuth gesture at the David Bowie Tribute held at the 58th GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, February 15th, 2016.
Why Bowie is better than God
taken from www.white-man-killer.com/bowie/bowievgod.html [defunct]
- We know for certain that David exists.
- David has cooler clothes; God's billowing robes are just so passe.
- David is less prone to smiting sinners (a definite plus).
- If you hear God's voice in your head, you're probably crazy.
- If you hear Bowie's voice in your head, you may be crazy, but at least you have something to sing along to.
- David looks better naked than God does. (Conclusion based on appearances in "The Man Who Fell To Earth" and the uncensored "China Girl" video)
- God couldn't tease his hair that high, even during the 80's.
- God can't play the guitar.
- David has better shoes.
- David is richer.
- David is still attractive.
- God probably looks like Mick Jagger or Keith Richards by now.
- Going to a Bowie concert is a lot more fun than church.
- God doesn't paint his toenails.
- God's too uptight.
- People don't corner you at malls to tell you that "Bowie loves you."
- David looks better in a dress.
"David Bowie. Un portrait par l'йcriture, la voix, les gestes, la main, le thиme astral et le visage". Etudes Rйunis par Anik Blaise. Paris 1984, page 111.
"Regardons David Bowie sourire. Les commissures des lиvres ne sont pas remontйes, ou а peine ; les mвchoires restent fermйes, souvent les lиvres aussi ; les yeux se plissent mais pas toujours ; le regard s oriente en gйnйral vers la gauche et les sourcils restent statiques.
Tout se passe comme si David Bowie imitait le sourire humain, se contentant de montrer les dents et de fermer un peu les yeux."
"L'homme qui ne sait pas sourire 1979"
"Look at David Bowie's smile. The corners of the lips are not raised, or just barely so ; the jaws remain closed, as often are the lips ; the eyes squint, but not always ; the stare is directed generally to the left and the eyebrows remain static.
Everything happens as if David Bowie imitated the human smile, settled for just showing teeth and closing the eyes a little."
"The man who does not know how to smile 1979"
"Now I leave them all in the never never land"
The World Starman Jones Made
Robert A. Heinlein: "Starman Jones", New York 1953.
Cover by Clifford Geary. Philip K. Dick: "The World Jones Made", New York 1956. According to setlist.fm, in toto Bowie performed live the following songs with occult connotations:
- 'Station to Station': 363 times.
- 'Breaking Glass': 314 times.
- 'Quicksand': 146 times.
- 'The Supermen': 101 times.
- 'Oh! You Pretty Things': 33 times.
Lisa Robinson: "Are you doing it for the money?"
Bowie: "Good lord, of course I am."
Robinson: All this wide eyed innocence, all this chance stuff it doesn't convince me one bit. [...] A laugh, by the way, is a performance. The eyes flash, the head is artfully tossed back, the grin is lovely. It is then that I notice the teeth. [...] I had no desire to find the real David Bowie. I fully accept that he is whoever he wants to be at the moment, and adapts totally to whoever he's talking to.
[Lisa Robinson: "The first synthetic rock star. There is no other", in 'New Musical Express' March 6, 1976.]Two oblique factors meander through his life and work: change and absence of presence. The more charming Bowie appears on stage, the more detached he seems.The more enthused he is in interviews the less convincing he is. When dancing, he looks like a controlled stage actor. Whenever he laughs, there s a whiff of unease in the air.
Even his fascination with the occult or fascism hints at unfathomable depths where doubts lurk as to whether they were tapped for inspiration or were ideas haunting him. Whether they remain tendentious poses or expression of true interest.
Are Bowie's masks chiefly not what they represent but what they transform, that is, what he chooses not to represent?
Is his real self precisely what is excluded from reality (an amalgam of the symbolic and imaginary)?
Is the truest artist the most feigning? Faut-il mentir pour кtre vrai? [Jean Cocteau]
Identities are fragile, "the enemy is fragile" screams Bowie in an almost surreal voice on a 1995 "1. Outside" outtake. David Robert Jones is his own gnostic ventriloquist and breaks again the hollow bridge between the real and unreal.
"I saw myself become something unrecognisable, a monster. And if you are imaginative, it does strike home very hard and leave lots of very definite impressions, indelible images, enigmatic little corners, nooks and crannies with shadows in them that will haunt you for a lifetime.... I was being threatened by my own characters, feeling them coming in on me and grinning at me [his face reddens maniacally], saying 'We're gonna take you over completely!'" [Timothy White: "TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE", 'Crawdaddy', February 1978.]
His audience are not shallow, they realise that "Bowie is" art's filthy lesson.
What finally is at stake in the interaction/realm between the arsenal of musical performers/their performances and the audience/listeners is also the latter's identity. So Bowie on June 15, 2002: "Question I wanna ask is: Who do you want ME to BE? And question I wanna ask you is: Who do I want YOU to be?" ['David Bowie Live by Request A&E', New York, June 15, 2002.]
He carried it about as far as Lewis Carroll had done, when Alice said of the Red King, "He was part of my dream, of course but then I was part of his dream, too!"
Bowie's work seems to be based on an essential emptiness. There is nothing really there except a plurality of systems and signs.
"One thing I do is fabricate a personality for a stage. I was never a rock'n'roll singer. I was clumsy as rock'n'roll singer but I do have a certain penchant for fabricating a character and portraying a cold, unemotional feeling." [Chris Charlesworth: "David Bowie: Ringing The Changes", in 'Melody Maker', March 13th, 1976.]
"I feel like an actor when I'm onstage, rather than a rock artist," [& ] "I very rarely have felt like a rock artist. I don't think that's much of a vocation, being a rock & roller." Timothy Ferris: "I Refuse to Be Thought of as Mediocre", in 'Rolling Stone Magazine' 79, April 1st, 1971.
"What he writes about now he talked about then." [George Tremlett: "David Bowie, Living On The Brink", London 1997, page 13. Tremlett has met Bowie for the first time in 1964.]
If there was a specific meaning (if any at all) in Bowie's lyrics, interviews, and his antics, it was only one among many in the many echos in the labyrinth of all meanings where all meanings are open to equally valid interpretations that extend beyond the small sphere of one reading. Bowie himself never gave one singular meaning or interpretation either, on the contrary, Bowie always contradicted himself and left all meanings open and usually un-ended.
According to Roland Barthes, the death of the author means the birth of the reader.
Some of his readers (or listeners) interpretations might have (and still might) seem scurrilous or ridiculous, some will strongly oppose each other, his fans discuss among themselves every gesture, "experts" and journalists every enigmatic result of a line that resulted from using the cut-up method... And its no surprise, they can all be proven with reference to a song-lyric, an interview or a cryptic statement that some Bowie-aficionado might have heard or even overheard somewhere or even dreamed up. There is no knowledge of an original meaning, and we do not know whether there is a double perspective. We cannot prove the authority of one version over another version by reference to one text or photo itself.
There is no reading / listening, however absurd it may seem, which can be dismissed. Bowie left no single controlling influence of truth or concrete fact which would let all interpretations stand in an endless fragmented labyrinth of unlimited choices. Any information will face a continuing elasticity in a process of transformation and interactive reconfiguration.
We need interpretative strategies to zigzag through the realms of interpretations. Bowie's own meanings (if at all) can be accepted or rejected, his fans interpretations might be mocked, and the "experts" and journalists deep analyses might be exposed as just another reading, they however remain only a basic framework for a variety of meanings.
No readings are valid, and all readings are valid.
"I've no control / It's all deranged / I can't believe I've no control / It's all deranged."January 10 2016 David Bowie (a.k.a. David Robert Jones) died after a 18 month battle with liver cancer. He had released his 25th studio album 'Blackstar' on Friday, January 8. The album was released on his 69th birthday. In accordance with Bowie s wishes, there was no funeral held for him. Instead, his close family scattered his ashes following a Buddhist ceremony on the Indonesian island of Bali.
He left an estate worth as much as 0 million to his wife Iman Muhammid Abdulmadjid (CEO/Founder of IMAN Cosmetics, Designer of IMAN Global Chic/HSN and IMAN Home fabrics) and his two children (Little Tonshi Mountain near Woodstock in the Catskills was left to Alexandria, the 15 year old daughter he had with Iman whom he married in 1992. Duncan Jones, Bowie's son from his first marriage with Angie Barnett Bowie, got the same 25% share as his half sister in the rest of the musician's residual estate. Iman received the other 50% of his estate plus all of his other real estate, including their apartment in SoHo on Lafayette Street and homes around the world). Bowie also left million and his shares in a company called Possum Inc. to his long time personal assistant, Corinne Coco Schwab, and million to Marion Skene of Switzerland (she was to die in 2017), who was his older child's nanny.
In November 2016, the family sold Bowie's (strangely conservative) art collection for cumulative sale proceeds of Ј32,906,250 at Sotheby's. They only kept artworks that are "of particular significance".
Gnostic Imagery "lay rotting on the slimy thoroughfare"
In Bowie's song lyrics, qabbalah, occultism and nostalgia appear as assertions of an aesthetic impression, even as a collection of endlessly combinable cultural links (exquisite corpses via the cut up technique). They seem to just fit together, but even when they do not quiet gel together, there are still the creative witnesses/perceptors.
Bowie created an atmosphere of cultural smoke and mirrors quite accidentally in which his audience was invited to explore its limits and to view themselves as pioneers in the search for the next release of correlations, junctions or links and their own transitional stages of associations.
So, only islands of sense arise in a sea of reference currents, and these are often only quotations, borrowed and built on phrases, or pure rhetoric.
Often, however, it seems that sensibility can run into an empty void. Creativity, is under suspicion here, is therefore quiet often less the solution than the problem.
- 'Tired of my Life', 1963 [? some say this song dates from 1971]: "I don't know why, but I'm tired of my mind / Pain is over me, overloading"
- 'Bars Of The County Jail', 1965: "I rode a horse through many a town but the devil rode me down to the ground ... But the father was shot and his gold was stoled and now I'm the devil's man"
- 'Can't Help Thinking About Me', 1966: "Remember when we used to go to church on Sundays"
- 'Did You Ever Have a Dream', 1966: "It's a very special knowledge that you got", ..."astral flights"
- 'Silly Boy Blue', 1966: "Preacher takes the school ... Child of Tibet, you're a gift from the sun Reincarnation of one better man, The homeward road is long You've left your prayers and song"
- 'Threepenny Pierrot', 1967 (the forthcoming threepenny gnostic): "Pockets of gladness, gay time eyes / Comical hero, Threepenny Pierrot / ... / Pierrot takes the stage to play for all"
- 'The Laughing Gnome', 1967: the pierrot personж "David Bowie" and "Mick Jagger" who will "earn" them "lots of money"
- 'When I'm Five', 1967: "I saw a photograph of Jesus and I asked him if he'd make me five"
- 'The Mask', a pantomime of ca. 1968
- 'Ching A Ling' 1968: "While stepping through a heaven's eye / Two lover souls we spied"
- 'Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola': "C'и un angelo, un angelo"
- 'Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed', 1969: "I'm a phallus ..."
- 'Cygnet Committee', 1969: "I bless you madly ... They drained my very soul dry ... where all is God and God is just a word"
- 'Memory of a Free Festival', 1969: "It was God's land ... It was Heaven ... We touched the very soul"
- 'The Width Of A Circle', 1970: "And the prayers were small and yellow ... For I realized that God's a young man too ... When God did take my logic for a ride ... He said 'You'll never go down to the Gods again'"
- 'Saviour Machine', 1970: "They called it the Prayer, its answer was law"
- 'After All', 1970: "Do what you wilt", 1970
- 'Holy Holy', recorded 1970, sexmagick: "Slowly, we get too good and too holy / Helping one another, just a righteous brother"
- 'The Man who sold the World', 1970
- 'The Supermen', 1970: "The supermen would walk in file / Guardians of a loveless isle / And gloomy browed with superfear their tragic endless lives / Could heave nor sigh / In solemn, perverse serenity, wondrous beings chained to life / Strange games they would play then / No death for the perfect men / Life rolls into one for them / So softly a supergod cries / Where all were minds in uni thought / Power weird by mystics taught"
- 'Oh, You Pretty Things!', 1971: "You gotta make way for the homo superior". There is a reference to Edward Bulwer Lytton's occult novel "The Coming Race" of 1871
- 'Eight Line Poem' from 1971: "But the key to the city / Is in the sun that pins the branches to the sky." There are many cities used in ceremonial magic rituals. It can be Heliopolis, the Sun City, or The City of Sleep, or Athens
- 'Quicksand', 1971: "I'm closer to the Golden Dawn immersed in Crowley's uniform", "Knowledge comes with death's release", "I'm not a prophet or a stone age man / Just a mortal with the potential of a superman / I'm living on / I'm tethered to the logic of Homo Sapien / Can't take my eyes from the great salvation / Of bullshit faith". Again on Bowie's set list in 1997 as the opener, sometimes after the drum'n'bass part, with one slightly changed lyric line regarding Aleister Crowley's earlier "uniform of imagery" which now turned into a "uniform of symmetry"
- 'Holy Holy', 1971: "I don't want to be an angel, just a little bit evil ... Feel the devil in me"
- 'Sweet Head', 1971: "Till there was rock, you only had God"
- 'Looking For A Friend', 1971: "God help all you ladies ... May the devil take all you men"
- 'Bombers': "Except a man dear Lord who looked like you"
- 'White Light, White Heat' from The Velvet Underground (Lou Reed), allegedly inspired by theosophist Alice Bailey's 1934 book "A Treatise on White Magic":
"White light, White light goin' messin' up my mind
White light, and don't you know its gonna make me go blind
White heat, aww white heat it tickle me down to my toes
White light, Ooo have mercy white light have it goodness knows
White light, White light goin' messin' up my brain
White light, Aww white light its gonna drive me insane
White heat, Aww white heat it tickle me down to my toes
White light, Aww white light I said now goodness knows, do it"
- 'My Death waits there', 1972 (lyrics by Jacques Prévert and sung by Jacques Brel; again on the live set list in 1995 and in 1997, then introduced with "No dancing!") This song contains the unique lines: "My death waits there between your thighs" and "Angel or devil, I don't care" (on the live set already in 1970 73)
- 'It Ain't Easy', 1971: "It ain't easy to get to heaven when you're going down ... With the help of the good Lord ... We can all pull on through"
- 'Moonage Daydream': "The church of man, love, is such a holy place to be"
- 'Hang On To Yourself': "Praying to the light machine"
- 'We are the Dead', 1974: "For you're dancing where the dogs decay, defecating ecstasy / Because of all we've seen, because of all we've said / We are the dead ... Heaven's on the pillow, its silence competes with hell"
- 'Who can I be now?', 1974: "But even in my life I knew you found your sight / And nothing would be quite the same / Please help me / Who can I be now? You found me / Who can I be? Fell apart, you found me / Now can I be now? You found me / Now can I be real? ... Up in heaven, any angel writes a special game to play"
- 'It's gonna be me', 1974:"Come back, my babe..Be holy again ... When that angel stuck in my mind"
- 'It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City' (albeit from Bruce Springsteen), 1974: "Devil appeared to me like Jesus through the steam in the street"
- 'Somebody Up There Likes Me', 1975: "He's everybody's token, on everybody's wall ... Blessing all the papers, thanking one and all ... He's so divine, his soul shines ... His ever loving face smiles on the whole human race ... He's got his eye on your soul, his hand on your heart ... Keep your eyes on your soul, keep your hand on your heart ... Soul shine (Ooh ooh) ... So divine"
- 'Station to Station' ("from Kether to Malkuth"), 1976, again on the live set list of summer 2000)
- 'Word On A Wing', 1976: "Don't have to question everything in heaven or hell ... Lord, I kneel and offer you my word on a wing, And I'm trying hard to fit among your scheme of things ... Lord, lord, my prayer flies like a word on a wing ... Does my prayer fit in with your scheme of things?"
- 'TVC15', 1976: "Maybe if I pray every, each night I sit there pleading"
- 'Joe The Lion', 1977: "You can buy God it's Monday"
- 'Peace on Earth', 1977: "I pray my wish will come true"
- 'Beauty And The Beast' 1977: "Someone fetch a priest ... Thank god heaven left us"
- 'African Night Flight', 1978, released 1979: "Seemed like another day I could fly into the eye of God on high"
- 'I Pray, Olй', 1979: "I hope to God you're still here ... It's a God eat God world"
- 'Look Back In Anger', 1979: "The speaker was an angel"
- 'It's No Game', 1979: "No more free steps to heaven ... Just walkie talkie heaven or hearth"
- 'Ashes to Ashes', 1980: "hung out in heaven's high: hitting an all time low"
- 'Baal's Hymn', recorded 1981, released 1982 [lyrics by the 18 years old Bertolt Brecht]. 'The Drowned Girl': "It happened quite slowly that she gently slipped from God's thoughts"
- 'Under Pressure', 1981: "Pray tomorrow takes me higher"
- 'Ricochet', 1983: "Turn the holy pictures so they face the wall ... Sound of the devil breaking parole"
- 'Modern Love', 1983: "Church on time puts my trust in god and man ... God and man no confessions ... God and man no religion"
- 'Shake It', 1983: "I could take you to heaven ... I could spin you to hell"
The first online publication of this article was in 1996. Recent update: 2017.
More: David Bowie und Okkultismus, a short German update with outlines of my interview with Angie Bowie. First published in DU, Zьrich November 2003.This article is going to be massively expanded and published as a book, at due time. A teaser might be found in The Voyeur, Midwoud/The Netherlands, "The Laughing Gnostic: David Bowie".
See also 'Ultraculture One' edited by Jason Louv, CA 2007. "The Laughing Gnostic". Other contributors there: Genesis Breyer P Orridge, Brion Gysin, Ira Cohen, Jhonn Balance and others.
E mail: Peter-R. Koenig
[On the right: The author at the V&A Exhibition in London 2013.
Aladdin Sane 1973 Photograph by Brian Duffy © Duffy Archive]
- 'Loving the Alien', 1985, a diatribe against organised religion the video shows Bowie walking on water, finding blood in a font and burning as a Templar. "But if you pray all your sins are hooked upon the sky ... Prayers they hide the saddest view ... And your prayers they break the sky in two"
- 'That's Motivation', 1986: "Presenting your soul ... Welcome to the world of your dreams, ... Where you can be what you want ... Commit horrible sins ... and get away with it ... Lust ... Gluttony ... Pride ... Anger ... Sloth ... Avarice ... And jealousy"
- 'Zeroes', 1987: "Hell it's only 'cause you're true / Someone outtimed my heart / Stopping and preaching and letting love in / You are my moon, you are my sun / Heaven knows what you are / Tonight the Zeroes are singing for you"
- 'Time Will Crawl', 1987: "I could not take on the church"
- 'Julie', 1987: "My soul is on the line ... And I know that if there's a God above"
- 'Glass Spider', 1987: "But you've seen who's in heaven. Is there anyone in hell"
- 'Never Let Me Down', 1987: "When I needed soul revival I called your name"
- 'Shining Star (Makin' My Love)', 1987: "Someone to pray for, till I met you"
- 'Bus Stop', 1989: "I'm a young man at odds with the Bible, But I don't pretend faith never works, When we're down on our knees, Prayin' at the bus stop ... God never laughs at my jokes"
- 'I can't read', 1989 (depressive version 1997) "I don't care which shadow gets me ... Money goes to money heaven ... Bodies go to body hell")
- 'Sacrifice Yourself', 1989: "God could detonate him ... God's the one we pick to curse us ... Don't sacrifice yourself"
- 'Heaven's In Here', 1989: "Crucifix hangs an' my heart's in my mouth"
- 'Pretty Pink Rose', 1990: "It's a Christian code"
- 'A Big Hurt', 1991: "You were a saint abroad but a devil at home"
- 'You Belong In Rock 'N Roll', 1991: "Just the twinkling lights of heaven"
- 'Lucy Can't Dance', 1993: "Now you're looking for God in exciting new ways ... I say trust Him at once which is something these days"
- 'Jump They Say', 1993: "They say he has two gods"
- 'Untitled No. 1', 1993: "Jesus, up here, hear me, I, up up up ??"
- 'Pallas Athena', 1993: "God is on top of it all"
- 'The Wedding Song', 1993: "Angel for life ... Heaven is smiling down"
- 'Strangers When We Meet', 1993: "No peachy prayers"
- 'Dead Against It', 1993: "She talked to God"
- 'Sex and the Church', 1993: "there is a union / between the flesh and the spirit / It's sex and the church"
- 'A Small Plot Of Land', 1995: "Poor soul ... And prayer can't travel so far these days"
- 'I'm Deranged', 1995: "It's the angel man"
- 'No Control', 1995: "Don't tell God your plans"
- 'Hurt', 1995 (lyrics by Trent Reznor): "I hurt myself today to see if I still feel, I focus on the pain, the only thing that's real"
- 'Telling Lies', 1996: "Gasping for my resurrection". This was the first single released by a major recording artist via the World Wide Web.
- 'O Superman', 1982 (lyrics by Laurie Anderson; on the live set list 1997): "Well, you don't know me, but I know you. And I've got a message to give to you ... when love is gone, there's always justice"
- 'Perfect Day', 1972 (lyrics by Lou Reed; version 1997): "What a perfect day, you made me forget myself"
- 'Seven Years In Tibet', 1997: "I praise to you nothing ever goes away"
- 'Dead Man Walking', 1997: "There's not even a demon in Heaven or Hell / Is it all just human disguise / As I walk down the aisle"
- 'New Angels of Promise', 1999: "New Angels of promise / We despair / We are the dead dreams"
- 'Seven', 1999: "The Gods forgot they made me / So I forgot them too / I listen to their shadows / I play among their graves"
- 'The Pretty Things are going to Hell', 1999: "But the pretty things are going to hell. Well / I am a drug / I am a dragon / ... / I found the secrets / I found gold /... / What is eternal / What is damned"
- '5.15 The Angels have Gone', 2002: "All of my life / Angels have gone" ["5.15" was Henry Hall's BBC Dance Orchestra announcement from 1932 on, who, at 5.15 each week day gathered a huge following.]
- 'Sunday', 2002: "This is our number / All my trials Lord will be remembered / Everything has changed"
- 'Looking for Water', 2003: "But I lost God in a New York minute / Don't know about you but my heart's not in it"
- 'The Next Day', 2013: "They can work with satan while they dress like the saints / They know God exists for the devil told them so"
- 'The Informer', 2013: "I've got major questions about the lord above, about Satan below, about the way we love"
On page 27 in the lyrics booklet of the Japanese disc version of the album 'The Next Day', 2013, in the small print that follows the lyrics for 'I'll Take You There' among the Japanese text there are the mysterious English words: "The Magicians / The Magician King" written by Tomoya Kumagai. This translation is provided by Eri Wilde:
Is this Lev Grossman, the novelist / book reviewer known for 'CODEX', 'The Magicians', 'The Magician King', etc.? His wife is also a novelist / the faculty of Princeton University, Sophie Gee.
- 'Blackstar', 2015: "... stands a solitary candle ... at the centre of it all" may be a hint that refers to Aleister Crowley's Star Sapphire ritual, his Thelemic version of the Holy Hexagram: "In the centre, let him give the L.V.X. signs." L.V.X. stands for the Latin word for Light. The Holy Hexagram references the decent from Kether to Malkuth "Plunge from the height, O God, and interlock with Man! Plunge from the height, O Man, and interlock with Beast [that is, matter]!" Crowley: "The Book of Lies", chapter 36 and 69, London 1912 (1913?).
And again The Hanged Man Tarot card, Bowie: "We were born upside-down (I'm a starstar) / Born the wrong way 'round (I'm not a white star, I'm a blackstar)". In Christian context, the Apostle Saint Peter was crucified upside down, etcetera, etcetera.
You can manipulate every word and every symbol in order to squeeze out qabbalistic and gnostic information to suit any desired result or to suit any explanation for any application.
Do it with style.
[On the right: screenshot from the 2016 video clip 'Lazarus', directed by Johan Renck. Bowie wearing the Isolar 'Station to Station' tour magazin outfit.]
I wish I could swim, like the doll things, like doll things can swim
The David Bowie ArchiveTM, T Shirt, H&M, © 2012 Steve Schapiro Under license to optive marketing, inc.
Made in Bangladesh.
The Tree of Life.
January 2013: Has anyone noticed the bag at Bowie's feet in the 'Where Are We Now?' video (at min 03:01) that says 'Thank You For Shopping With Us'?Shopping for Girls:
Meowie at Tally Weijl
"We claimed the very source of joy ran through"
As the regular, commercial Bowie recordings mainly mirror the marketing strategies of his producers and record companies, I have based this article mostly on bootleg recordings of his live concerts, or on studio recordings that were never released commercially. I feel that artists tend to express themselves more freely on stage (even though stage performances are the main source of income for many musicians), as opposed to when the artist is being supervised in a recording studio by a producer with an eye on the market place. So for legal reasons, I obviously cannot reproduce the exact sources for most of the material used herein. My advice to the interested reader is to listen to as many Bowie records as possible!
I heard David Bowie for the first time at the age of 13 on the radio in 1972 and since 1976 have been to many Bowie events. I neither met nor contacted him, and never attempted to do so, even at those times when he was easily approachable in real time chatrooms online. Even if I had, what good would have come out of it? Most likely I'd have been given the runaround in a maze of manufactured scurrilities and shibboleths.
But in 2003, I did have a series of lengthy and detailed conversations with his ex wife, Angie Bowie, who was an important witness to the peculiar period in question. She was close to him from 1969 to 1974; they were married from 1970 until their divorce in 1980.
Angie Bowie on this essay in the summer of 2003: "I was impressed but nevertheless, I think you can understand that I know this very interesting critique will just inflame his ego and as long as you called him a genius he will love you! The rest is gravy to him more rubbish for his impressionable new fans to eat up as they discuss his stupidity world wide. I have no use for him. My experience is personal and he is worth less than dog droppings. His loyalty is none existent unless they serve at the church of David Bowie. These are my phrases from interviews etc not yours so do not think that the idea of foolish worship and the distribution of sperm on a universal level has escaped the attention of Bowie watchers." [My interview with Angie Bowie in 2003]
Bowie's death in 2016 left me cold, untouched. It was as if he had "never existed at all" [William S. Burroughs].
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