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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

5strings presents … Solve et Coagula: An Introduction to Israel Regardie

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Francis Israel Regardie was an occultist, author and one time secretary to the legendary Aleister Crowley. As an adept of the now defunct secret order known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, he became infamous among the occultists of his day for breaking his oath of secrecy and publishing the order’s complete rituals in his book The Golden Dawn. Today this book is a classic best seller and has been revised and re-issued several times. Overshadowed by his association with Crowley, much of his work has been left unappreciated by those outside of the realms of high magic and occultism.

Regardie was born Francis Israel Regudy in London, England on the 17th November 1907. His parents were poor Jewish immigrants and during the course of WW1 when his older brother joined the army, his name was accidentally written down as “Regardie”. Rather than change it, it was then adopted as the family name. Later Regardie also dropped the use of Francis, preferring to be known simply as Israel Regardie.

controverscial.com

 

Career:

After reading Part I of Magick (Book 4) by the occultist Aleister Crowley, Regardie initiated a correspondence which led to his return at 21 to the U.K. at Crowley’s 1928 invitation to become his secretary. When the two parted company four years later, in 1932, Regardie distanced himself from Crowley personally, but still retained a great deal of respect for his writings. Shortly after this period he published The Tree of Life, a guide to magick, largely derived from Crowley’s work, and A Garden of Pomegranates, a primer on Qabalah based on notes he had taken while working for Crowley. Regardie would later write a biography of Crowley, The Eye in the Triangle, and continue to edit and republish Crowley’s works up until the 1970s.

In 1934 Regardie joined Stella Matutina, a successor organization of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. When the group disbanded, Regardie acquired the bulk of the Order’s documents and compiled the book, The Golden Dawn, which earned him the enmity of many of the other former members and the reputation of being an oath-breaker because of the information it revealed. However, the book transformed the work of the Order into an entirely new branch of the Western Occult Tradition. As Regardie observed in his work A Garden of Pomegranates, “…it is essential that the whole system should be publicly exhibited so that it may not be lost to mankind. For it is the heritage of every man and woman – their spiritual birthright.” The various occult organizations claiming descent from the original Golden Dawn, and the systems of magic practiced by them, owe their continuing existence and popularity to Regardie’s work.

In 1937, at the age of 30, Regardie returned to the U.S., entering Chiropractic College in New York City. In addition, he studied psychoanalysis with Dr. E. Clegg and Dr. J. L. Bendit, and psychotherapy with Dr. Nandor Fodor. He opened a chiropractic office and taught psychiatry – Reichian, Freudian, and Jungian – retiring in 1981 at the age of 74, when he moved to Sedona, Arizona.

 

 

‘First published in 1937, Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn has become the most influential modern handbook of magical theory and practice. In this new, definitive edition, noted scholar John Michael Greer has taken this essential resource back to its original, authentic form. With added illustrations, a twenty-page color insert, additional original material, and refreshed design and typography, this powerful work returns to its true stature as a modern masterpiece.

‘An essential textbook for students of the occult, The Golden Dawn includes occult symbolism and Qabalistic philosophy, training methods for developing magical and clairvoyant powers, rituals that summon and banish spiritual potencies, secrets of making and consecrating magical tools, and much more.’ — Llewellyn Publications

Excerpts

The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram

Take a steel dagger in the right hand. Face east. Touch thy forehead and say Ateh (thou art). Touch thy breast and say Malkuth (the Kingdom). Touch thy right shoulder and say ve-Geburah (and the Power). Touch thy left shoulder and say ve-Gedulah (and the Glory). Clasp thy hands before thee and say Le-Olam (forever). Dagger between fingers, point up and say Amen.

Make in the air towards the east the invoking pentagram as shown and, bringing the point of the dagger to the centre of the pentagram, vibrate the deity name—Yod He Vau He—imagining that your voice carries forward to the east of the universe. Holding the dagger out before you, go to the south, make the pentagram, and vibrate similarly the deity name—Adonai.

Go to the west, make the pentagram, and vibrate Eheieh. Go to the north, make the pentagram, and vibrate Agla. Return to the east and complete your circle by bringing the dagger point to the centre of the first pentagram.

Stand with arms outstretched in the form of a cross and say: Before me,
Raphael; behind me, Gabriel; at my right hand, Michael; at my left hand, Auriel; before me flames the pentagram—behind me shines the six-rayed star.

Again make the Qabalistic cross as directed above, saying Ateh, etc. For banishing use the same ritual, but reversing the direction of the lines of the pentagram.

 

The Uses of the Pentagram Ritual

1. As a form of prayer the invoking ritual should be used in the morning, the banishing in the evening. The names should be pronounced inwardly in the breath vibrating it as much as possible and feeling that the whole body throbs with the sound and sends out a wave of vibration directed to the ends of the quarter.

2. As a protection against impure magnetism, the banishing ritual can be used to get rid of obsessing or disturbing thoughts. Give a mental image to your obsession and imagine it formulated before you. Project it out of your aura with the saluting sign of a Neophyte, and when it is about three feet away, prevent its return with the Sign of Silence. Now imagine the form in the east before you and do the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram to disintegrate it, seeing it, in your mind’s eye, dissolving on the farther side of your ring of flame.

3. It can be used as an exercise in concentration. Seated in meditation or lying down, formulate yourself standing up in robes and holding a dagger. Put your consciousness in this form and go to the east. Make yourself “feel” there by touching the wall, opening your eyes, stamping on the floor, etc. Begin the ritual and go round the room mentally vibrating the words and trying to feel them as coming from the form. Finish in the east and try to see your results in the Astral Light, then walk back and stand behind the head of your body and let yourself be reabsorbed.

 

Task Undertaken by the Adeptus Minor

This, then, is the task to be undertaken by the Adeptus Minor. To expel from the Sephiroth of the nephesch the usurpation by the evil Sephiroth; to balance the action of the Sephiroth of the ruach in those of the nephesch. To prevent the lower will and human consciousness from falling into and usurping the place of the automatic consciousness. To render the king of the body, the lower will, obedient to and anxious to execute the commands of the higher will, that he be neither a usurper of the faculties of the higher, nor a sensual despot—but an initiated ruler, and an anointed king, the viceroy and representative of the higher will, because inspired thereby, in his kingdom which is man.

Then shall it happen that the higher will, i.e., the lower genius, shall descend into the royal habitation, so that the higher will and the lower will shall be as one, and the higher genius shall descend into the Kether of the man, bringing with him the tremendous illumination of his angelic nature. And the man shall become what is said of Enoch. “And Chanokh made himself to walk with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)

Then also this shalt thou know, that the nephesch of the man shall become as the genius of the evil persona, so that the evil persona itself shall be as the power of the divine in the Qlippoth, as it is said: “Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or whither from thy presence shall I flee? If I ascend up to heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there.” (Psalm 139)

Therefore even the evil persona is not so evil when it fulfilleth its work. For it is the beginning of a dim reflection of the light unto the Qlippoth, and this is what is hidden in the saying that “Typhon is the brother of Osiris.” Hear thou, then, a mystery of the knowledge of evil. The 5°= 6 Ritual of the Adeptus Minor saith that even the “evil helpeth forward the good.” When the evil Sephiroth are expelled from the nephesch into the evil persona, they are, in a sense, equilibrated therein. The evil persona can be rendered as a great and strong, yet trained, animal whereupon the man rideth, and it then becometh a strength unto his physical base of action. This mystery shalt thou keep from the knowledge of the First Order, and still more from that of the outer world, that is as a formula, seeing that it is a dangerous secret.

Now then shalt thou begin to understand the saying “He descended into hell,” and also to comprehend in part this strength, and thus begin to understand the necessity of evil unto the material creation. Wherefore, also, revile not overmuch the evil forces, for they have also a place and a duty, and in this consisteth their right to be. But check their usurpation, and cast them down unto their plane. Unto this end, curse them by the mighty names if need be, but thou shalt not revile them for their condition, for thus also shalt thou be led into error.

There is also a great mystery that the Adeptus Minor must know, viz.: How the spiritual consciousness can act around and beyond the sphere of sensation. “Thought” is a mighty force when projected with all the strength of the lower will under the guidance of the reasoning faculty and illuminated by the higher will. Therefore it is that, in thy occult working, thou art advised to invoke the divine and angelic names, so that thy lower will may willingly receive the influx of the higher will, which is also the lower genius behind which are the all-potent forces.

This, therefore, is the magical manner of operation of the initiate when “skrying” in the spirit vision. Through his own arcane wisdom, he knows the disposition and correspondences of the forces of the macrocosmos. Selecting not many, but one symbol, and that balanced and with its correlatives, then sendeth he a thought ray from his spiritual consciousness, illuminated by his higher will, directly unto the partof his sphere of sensation which is consonant with the symbol employed.

There, as in a mirror, doth he perceive its properties as reflected from the macrocosmos, shining forth into the infinite abyss of the heavens. Thence can he follow the ray of reflection therefrom, and while concentrating his united consciousness at that point of his sphere of sensation, can receive the direct reflection of the ray from the macrocosmos. Thus receiving the direct ray as then reflected into his thought, he can unite himself with the ray of his thought so as to make one continuous ray from the corresponding point of the macrocosmos unto the centre of his consciousness.

If, instead of concentrating at that actual point of the sphere of sensation he shall retain the thought ray only touching the sphere of sensation at that point, he shall, it is true, perceive the reflection of the macrocosmic ray answering to that symbol in the sphere of his consciousness. But he shall receive this reflection tinctured much by his own nature, and therefore to an extent untrue, because his united consciousnesses have not been able to focus along the thought ray at the circumference of the sphere of sensation. And this is the reason why there are so many and multifarious errors in untrained spirit visions. For the untrained seer, even supposing him free from the delusions of obsession, doth not know or understand how to unite his consciousnesses and the harmonies between his own sphere of sensation, and the universe, the macrocosmos. Therefore is it so necessary that the Adeptus Minor should correctly understand the principia and axiomata of our secret knowledge, which are contained in our rituals and lectures.

 

 

Other Works:


The Tree of Life


My Rosicrucian Adventure


The Middle Pillar


The Philosopher’s Stone


A Garden of Pomegranates


Eye in the Triangle

 

Quotes:

“It really makes little difference in the long run whether The Book of the Law was dictated to [Crowley] by preterhuman intelligence named Aiwass or whether it stemmed from the creative deeps of Aleister Crowley. The book was written. And he became the mouthpiece for the Zeitgeist, accurately expressing the intrinsic nature of our time as no one else has done to date.” –Israel Regardie 1970 (Introduction to The Law Is for All)

“On the other hand, I cannot separate Crowley from The Golden Dawn, because Crowley was The Golden Dawn and The Golden Dawn was Crowley.” — Israel Regardie (An Interview with Israel Regardie: His Final Thoughts and Views 55)

“This elaborate Golden Dawn system became part of Crowley’s own inner world … He carried it further than even the Golden Dawn principals had envisaged. I know of nothing within the Order documentary that even hints at the kind of visionary and spiritual experience that Crowley managed to get out of it.” — Israel Regardie 1970 (The Eye in the Triangle)

All that can be said with truth of this Absolute and Supreme Reality is that IT IS. This must suffice. — Israel Regardie (1972) ‘The Tree of Life: A Study in Magic’

 

Band

When you wake up, do you have a feeling that something special is going to happen during the day? Do you ever successfully summon spirits or powers? Do you ever hear the sounds of the etheric spheres? So many questions to which Israel Regardie, a group created in Lyon in 2012 and borrowing its name from the figure of Anglo-Saxon esotericism, could not answer. We congratulate them! And we urge you to banish the word “occult” from your vocabulary.’ — Vice


Israël Regardie ‘Eternal Light’


Israel Regardie ‘Dead Birds’

 

Videos:


Regardie 1


Regardie 2


Relaxation 1


Relaxation 2

 

Hermetic Order Of The Golden Dawn

The original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (HOGD), founded in 1888, became the origin of magical activity of the twentieth century. Though short-lived, it members went on to found and lead groups that carried on its traditions. The main body of documents generated by the order have been published, beginnings with the several published by Aleister Crowley in his magazine Equinox. In the 1930s, Israel Regardie (1907-1985) oversaw the publication of the basic body of the HOGD rituals. In the meantime, the primary thrust of ceremonial magic continued through Crowley’s thelemic teachings.

During its short lifespan from 1888 to 1903, the “classical” Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was the pivotal esoteric order in fin-de-siècle Britain. Despite its quick lapse into disorder and schism, it managed to create a social platform for the study and practice of ritual magic, operating four temples in England and one in Paris. Among the better known members were the poet William Butler Yeats; the actresses Florence Farr and Maud Gonne; and Mina Bergson Mathers, the sister of philosopher and Nobel laureate Henri Bergson.

In the 1970s, contemporaneous with the revival of Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis, some magical students, including Chris Monnastre, began to seek a revival of the HOGD and turned to Regardie as a teacher in the tradition who was still available. He took in a few students to train them in the belief and practice of the HOGD. Then, in 1982, with Regardie’s blessing, Monnastre resurrected the Golden Dawn and founded the Osiris Khenti Amenti Temple. Simultaneously, Regardie gave her several of his personal magical tools which she gave to the new order. The order exists in two divisions, the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Rosae Rubeae et Aureae.

Since the founding of the original temple, subsequent temples have been formed. The order has also brought together individuals and small groups possessing lineages and charters from the various groups evolving from the original HOGD, including the Stella Matutina and the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn (founded by writer Arthur Edward Waite ). These groups have been brought together in the United Confederation of Independent and Autonomous Temples.

 

Goodbye

Homer saw it, so did Shakespeare: “As flies we are to the wanton gods, they kill us for their sport…” But unless you’ve been singled out for that – and you haven’t because they pick ’em young and bless them with everthing before they top them – and that hasn’t happened to you – the general rule is that you never go to the wall as long as you’re doing the gods’ work. Now go to it!”

‘And good luck and may the gods bless you.’

 

 

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p.s. Hey. 5strings thought this very unspiritual blog could use some occultism, and who’s to argue with that? Not me. So you are invited to spend your weekend getting to know that figure of metaphysical import Israel Regardie who, I admit, was news to me until now. Enjoy the trip please. ** Dominik, Hey, hey!!! Really, you too? My last night was better if not amazingly blissful by any means. I’ll take it. I’m assuming MCR will restart their reunion tour again once freedom reigns, unless they started hating each other (again?) in the meantime, which does seem to happen with reunion bands a fair amount. Wow, you have lots of tats. Cool. I think maybe you told me before about that ‘Closer’ tat and I spaced. That is so cool. That is pretty much the coolest thing ever (for me). Of course I didn’t know Jake Cooper before, even though, with that name, you would think I would. Anyway, he’s a charmer, isn’t he? And that gap certainly doesn’t hurt. Love either rescuing this poor German slave or taking him down into the dungeon, he can’t decide which, G. Have a great weekend, my pal! ** David Ehrenstein, Interesting. I’m going to go see what I can find out about Mike Sarne. ** Misanthrope, Ouch, your bone(s)! Since the hacker has continued ‘hacking’ without any success 24/7 for a week now, I’m beginning to suspect he or she or, most likely, it are just being obnoxious, and, yes, I’m guessing there are many targets, but I don’t know. Happy your mom is upswinging. Oh, man, lucky, lucky Kayla. I would give my right arm and most of the rest of me to go to Disneyworld and Universal and all those parks at the moment. Wow. That’s painful, but I hope she has the hugest blast. ** Bill, Ah, someone else who’s actually seen a Sidney Peterson film. Cool. I’m broke, so I tried to be judicious on bandcamp, and kind of succeeded. 80 minutes of ‘Scorpio Rising’ sounds like way too much ‘Scorpio Rising’, and yet … ** Jack Skelley, Jackie baby! I don’t really have a favored nickname, I don’t think. Not Dennis the Menace please. My nicknames are pretty predictable: Den, Denny, Coop. You snorkelled on Maui! Cool. Pass the joint. Where? I snorkelled on Napili Beach/Cove because my family always stayed at a little hotel there, the Mauian Hotel. Hm, I don’t know what tattoo I’d get. Probably something very small and personal and cryptic and meaningful, but no clue. I used two know this guy who was super incredibly cute, and everybody’s tongues dangled out about him, and his brother died, and he tattooed his brother’s name in huge black letters across his stomach and ribcage thereby knowingly lessening his desirability for the vast majority of his crushed out fans, and I thought that was really impressive. Apropos of nothing, I guess. Yay re: you finishing your thang! Congrats to you and the world! Sad there’s no little Paris in LA. Let’s build one, what do you say? Saturday and Sunday are yours to rock like their backs ain’t got no bones. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Oh, the talk was good, thanks. The budget is a bit higher than we were hoping, though not outrageously so, but they said they budgeted on the high end, and I’ve already found some expenses that can be easily trimmed. We’re going to go through it and get to a lower and more precise budget early next week. But the current budget is fine for the fundraising purposes, and that’s what it’s for. I don’t know that Eric Baudelaire film. I’ll look into it, thanks. People do seen to care about the Grammys. I never have in my life because it has always been garbage mainstream even back when actual very interesting music was highly successful. ** John Newton, Hi, John. Based on my limited experiences, the film world is very tough. That’s why Zac and I are determined to make films for as little money as possible because that seems to be the only way to make something you truly want to make. Interesting reading on your part. Yeah, when one can travel, I go to other countries around here, Holland and Germany mostly for whatever reason. To show our films or often to visit amusement parks because I’m obsessed with them. I lived in Amsterdam for a few years in the 80s, so it’s kind of homey for me there. Do you get out of the US much? ** ae, Hi! Sorry, yeah, your comment must have arrived as I was doing the p.s. I often miss things. Thank you a lot about the package! Great, I really look forward to it. My mailbox has been a war zone, but I’m trying to train the hacker alert mails to go into my Junk folder, and it might be working. Coming and going is super okay. I hope your work is going really well. Me too: head down. Where else would one put one’s head that isn’t kind of pointless these days. Take care. ** Brian O’Connell, Weekend entrance bell ringing sounds, Brian. My fingers are crossed for us both re: no cave death. Your Pasolini celebration sounds completely pleasant, well, except for the trolling. God, people can be boring. I wound up eating donuts from that great donut place, yum. Ghibli night, nice. What are you watching? You probably know that Ghibili is building a Ghibli amusement park in Japan, and I’m very excited. I’m pretty positive you’ll enjoy the Goya show. And the City too, of course. My weekend is blank at the moment, but I’ll fill it in. Compare notes on Monday? All the best, sir. ** Right. See you at the other end of the rabbit hole on Monday.


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10 Comments

  1. Hi!!

    That’s good to hear! I slept way better too. Is the hacker still at it…?

    Yeah, to be perfectly honest, I’m a little scared of that, haha. That they’ll back out of the band again. But we’ll see, I guess. I really hope it doesn’t happen and they’ll come all the way here once this shit clears up.

    Now that you mentioned it, I’ve got the feeling that yes, we might’ve talked about tattoos before! Not that I’m not happy to talk about them any time the topic comes up.

    Do you have any weekend plans? I might meet a friend, an actual, real, in-the-flesh human being today! It’s crazy! (It says something that even I got to a point where I feel pretty starved for some non-internet human connections…)

    Yes, I sent Jake Cooper your way specifically for that reason – and for a few others, which you surely understood as soon as you saw him, haha. Oh, well… I appreciate your love’s good intentions, but I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if the slave found himself in that dungeon after all. Love turning his living room into a nudist silent disco for burnt-out soccer moms, Od.

  2. Just got the new Criterion Blu-Ray of Celine and Julie Go Boating Heaven! Many special features including interviews with Bulle Ogier and Barbet Schroeder.

  3. Dennis, Man, 5strings. If I remember, he was originally 5stringsaphasia. That’s a blast from the past.

    Rigby and I were talking last night he mentioned C, if you remember him. Oh, and Oliver. Man, whatever happened to these people? And now I’m remembering atomic. Hung out with her in Manchester when we all went there for Jerk. Sooo long ago, it seems.

    Dropped Kayla off this morning at 8. She made her plane and should be landing soon. Right? Nothing like a nice big amusement park right now. Eek. Thinking my next trip might be to Switzerland to visit Mieze. I looked up her town and man is it beautiful.

  4. That underground cave post was amazing. I’m obsessed with caves in the way that you’re obsessed with amusement parks. Something about hidden caverns, the snorkeling sounds, dark passages that are cold with that steam and fog, the scent, etc… <3

  5. Hi Dennis, do you practice chaos magick? I had a former boss who sort of did but he also was big into taking DMT-Ayahuasca and vaporizing the crystals, and taking then legal research chemicals anyone could order online in the late 1990s and early 2000s. No I never tripped with him or used anything with him, and never took DMT/Ayahuasca, or research chemicals; but he was a firm believer in the Peruvian/Brasilian Ayahuasca cults, and seemed to believe what he saw/experienced on DMT/Ayahuasca was more real than reality itself.

    I am not sure why my friend does not go punk/DIY with film? I remember he did this before; but it might not have worked out for him? He tended to mainly only focus on NYC though, and not other cities or places or the film festivals there, or even putting his films on youtube. He eventually got into film editing for money; but I think he got burnt out doing this.

    I do not travel outside of the USA as much as I would like. I was going to hopefully if things had worked out, go to Italy and Switzerland to visit relatives, and then to Northern Germany to visit a friend, and back to the Netherlands and Belgium to see art as the last time I was there was in 2000; but then COVID happened.

    Did you eat lots of drop/salmiak salty liquorice while living in the Netherlands? I like the strong type, and the type that look like pieces of chalk that taste like mint and liquorice, and katjes of course.

    How do you deal with obsessions you have had about people, places, things, etc.? Have an excellent weekend.

    John

  6. Coop. Thanks for this one too. I didn’t know about Regardie either, but he in good company with WB Yeats and… Madonna. In truth, Jack is my “real” nickname, as my birth name is John. (There, I said it.) Snorkel spot? Yes, Napili Bay as well! The Napili Kai. I just googled and its next door to The Mauian. Freaky Fate! Once you go tat, you can’t go back. What did you (or anyone here) think of Fargo the series? I just finished & super-liked Season 2. Very literary. It’s rare that TV flabbergasts me. You are very funny. OK, I’ll get started now on building Paris L.A. (Or maybe just go to Vegas.) Good weed, brah!

  7. Hi Dennis and 5 Strings – beautiful post and good to see it here! Regardie, along with Crowley, has been a major influence on my work. I do some of these exercises every day – and Regardie got me started on them years ago. In some ways, he’s more reputable than Crowley, and even has some serious criticisms of him in his book The Eye in the Triangle. Similar to my readings of Jung right now, in which Jung esteems yet also criticizes Freud. Good stuff!

  8. In the past few years, there have been a lot of think pieces about how racist the Grammys’ choices tend to be (no hip-hop album has won Best Album since 2000, and no Black artist in more than a decade), but it seems like no one in the mainstream media will say “the whole thing is unredeemable, let’s throw it out.” I looked up their nominations from 1977, and of course not a single punk song or album got a nod (and they ignored more interesting semi-mainstream music like Kraftwerk and Cheap Trick as well.)

    My parents keep pressing me to be more proactive on trying to get the COVID vaccine, but I check one of the websites that collates info about it in NYC every day, and the results are always the same: one can only get vaccinated if you’re over 65 (at pharmacies) or if you live in a specific borough/neighborhood (none of which are near me). The latest word from New York state is that they only have 400,000 vaccines/week for 12 million eligible people.

  9. Hey Dennis! How’s it going? I hope well.

    Just dropping in for a wee favor. A pal of Erin’s (and I’s to a lesser extent) has started a Gofundme to raise money for a legal defense to fight his being deported to country he last lived in when he was 8. I wont bore you with the details here but he’s an awesome, kind person and in no way deserves any of this crap. Not that anyone does. Anyway, would you mind sharing the link to his fundraising page to see if your blog could lend it some visibility?

    https://gofund.me/68648327

    Thanks,
    Mark

  10. Brian O’Connell

    March 8, 2021 at 5:46 am

    Hey, Dennis,

    Occultism, mm. I used to have a big interest in all of this stuff (not in a literal spiritual sense, more just as a result of my interest in horror). Great to revisit a typically odd corner of it today. Glad your great donut place lived up to its reputation. The plan for Ghibli night was to show them my (and my brother’s) two favorite Miyazaki films, “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Princess Mononoke” (the latter of which has the edge for me), but due to time constraints we wound up only watching the former, and will watch the other next week. It was nice. I really love those movies. And good to see people, of course. No, I don’t think I did know Japan was building a Ghibli park. That is so amazingly cool. Another reason to add a Japan visit to my bucket list. The Goya exhibit was great, quite breathtaking at times, even moving. And it was good to stretch my legs after being in the house all the time and get lost in an art gallery. Also “Funeral Rites” arrived in a fancy edition from the UK this Saturday, and I’ve been reading it so voraciously it almost feels like I’m inhaling it. A pretty nice weekend, all things considered. How was yours? May Monday greet you with open arms and a warm hug.

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