Are you more interested in learning about the ancient magic traditions of Hermeticism than about the newest New York Times bestseller? Than you are in luck, since thanks to the Dutch Ritman Library along with a generous contribution from author and self-proclaimed occult-lover Dan Brown, you can read a massive collection of historical occult books online right now at no cost. That is, if you are able to read Dutch.
One of the world’s biggest set of occult texts, the Dutch Ritman Library has over 20,000 works on philosophy, mysticism, religion, alchemy, astrology, and magic which are between 100 and 600 years old. Now, a few of them are finally be available on the internet. As part of the Hermetically Open Project, the library is working to digitize its massive collection. Currently, there are already 1,617 of the 4,600 core texts available online. The only difficulty? The present offerings are only in Dutch and Latin, but additional texts in French, German, and English will be added as the project continues.
The Ritman Library on YouTube
Digitizing a collection this large is a massive and expensive undertaking which requires a great deal of time, effort, experience, and above all, money. In addition to Brown’s generous donation, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, a foundation that supports the preservation of art and culture in the Netherlands, contributed an additional €15,000 (around $18,713) to the important project.
Although the whole collection isn’t yet available online, interested readers and occult-lovers could navigate the official “Guide to the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica” online to find out what unique texts the library has to offer you. Among the uncommon texts are volumes on alchemy, “the science of change and is concerned with the question of processes, in nature and in man,” mysticism and magic, Hermetica, or the works linked to ancient philosopher Hermes Trismegistus, and much more. Several significant works have already been digitized and put online, such as texts about Nicholas Flamel, the renowned alchemist of Harry Potter fame, but the process has been anything but stress-free.
Since January, subscribers from all over the world have been thrilled at the chance to get into the Ritman Library’s incredible collection in the comfort of their own computers, but a lot of them have already pointed their disappointment at the site’s presentation. Several unhappy patrons took to The Ritman Library Facebook page to air out their grievances, which contained complaints regarding the language limitation (the interface is Dutch only right now), the confusing navigation, and also limited access. The library, however, is accepting every single criticism. “Thanks for your feedback and suggestions, much appreciated,” a response on Facebook reads. “We have only recently uploaded these files, and couldn’t wait to share them with you all already. So we are still improving the whole presentation and will keep you posted about any updates!”
Despite its flaws, the new digitization project remains an extremely exciting development for book-lovers all over the world. Thanks to the interest of technologically savvy readers, the difficult work of committed librarians, along with the generous contributions from bibliophiles such as Dan Brown, anyone interested in the occult, ancient philosophy, mysticism, magic, or the inspiration behind novels like The Da Vinci Code may explore their passions, at no cost, from anywhere.
Whether you’re searching for an early manual to turning matter into gold or looking for a historical copy of the Quran, you will find it online today. Check out the full collection here.
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Initiations
Initiation is just one of these things either discussed in silent, mysterious tones or off-handedly in a way which indicates that absolutely, positively everybody is aware of what initiation is and if you do not understand, you must be…well, not one of the initiated.
It’s really not all that mysterious, and there are lots of secular examples of initiation. Passing your driver’s test and receiving your license, graduating from college, turning twenty-one and ordering your first legal drink, any and all of those are excellent illustrations of initiation. Any rite of passage is an initiation.
All initiation means, is to begin. In the circumstance of mystery schools and traditions, it means to be brought to that group and made a member via some type of ritual or action. When you consider this in the context of, say, obtaining your license, you passed an examination and have been brought to a group of men and women who knew how to drive, could prove this, and therefore could lawfully do so.
Naturally in a more esoteric or religious context there is more going on than a ritual and being brought to a group. The initiation itself is often meant to have an effect on a individual spiritually and change their very lives from the inside out, a process of transformation that is frequently known as spiritual alchemy. Some classes have several levels of initiation, each having a different intended purpose and impact, and these initiations are meant to be had in stages of development so you’re brought from one stage in your life to another.
The Eleusinian Mysteries is a really famous example of one of these types of mystery schools and initiations, and people know that it had at least two tiers: the Lesser Mysteries and the Greater Mysteries. Also in ancient times among the Greeks were the Orphic and Dionysian Mysteries and among the Egyptians, the Osirian Mysteries. Sometimes people were initiates of more than one mystery tradition, yet another famous example being Plutarch who was initiated to the Dionysian Mysteries along with the Osirian. He remarks on both Osiris and Dionysos being in the same in his article Isis and Osiris.
In the modern world, there are many mystery schools: the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, OTO, the various initiatory witchcraft traditions that inherit from either Alex Sanders’ or Gerald Gardner’s groups, Aurum Solis, Freemasonry, and many others. All of them have their own philosophies, traditions, and intention behind their initiations, but they all owe a great deal to the ancients and their own initiatory traditions for their existence and their ultimate influence.
Can you be initiated without even attending a mystery school? Most certainly; anybody may have a transformative encounter which brings them into a new phase of their life and affects them on a fundamental level, however subtle. After all, in the end the gods are the initiators, not the individuals. Spiritual alchemy is intended to alter you on deep levels, and who better to alter you spiritually than the gods.
Astrology and the Sun Signs
In the earliest times, mankind has believed the sun, moon, stars, and planets were all divinities: gods or goddesses. For many centuries, men did not separate the existence of planets and erroneously thought planets were stars that did not twinkle in the sky. And primitive men thought the stars were divine flickers of light without knowing why stars do not burn out. The celestial objects seen in the night sky formed the basis for astrology and because the sun is not seen at night, astrology is not concerned with the sun. Ancient astrologers believed the moon was a goddess whose influence to people on earth pertains feminine things as sewing clothes and child birth. But some astrologers considered the moon as a god whose influence pertains to masculine things as fighting and hunting.
Venus, originally thought if a star, radiated an occult link of beauty, sexuality, and Mars sent an occult wave of aggression and war because of its destructiveness to people on earth. Mercury, a god who served as a messenger for the other gods and for the goddesses, radiated a sense of quickness and responsibility, but also moodiness. Mars sent an occult wave of aggression and war because of its blood red appearance: Mars the angry red planet. Jupiter, king of the Gods and hence an occult wave of extreme importance, ceremonial pomp, highest authority of man, and Saturn, a God of Harvest, planting, agriculture, farming, strength, and justice, and such virtues thereto. These planets were the only planets ancient men and medieval men knew. Uranus was discovered in 1930, Neptune discovered in 1846, and Pluto discovered in 1930.
The Sun travels throughout the sky on the ecliptic path and journeys through constellations over the course of a year. The Sun, which radiates warmth, light, and life sustaining characteristics and in astrology, always a male god, would stand for enlightenment, power, might, physical and mental warmth; and energy.
The Constellations Zodiac Time Frame Traits
|Aries The Ram March||March 21-April 19||pushy; a fighter|
|Taurus The Bull||April 20-May 20||aggressive; a fighter, at times stubborn|
|Gemini The Twins||May 21-June 20||Desire to work in a pair or within a group|
|Cancer The Crab||June 21-July 20||Biting; clawing; at times aggressive; mean|
|Leo The Lion||July 23-August 22||Assertive; aggressive; brave|
|Virgo The Virgin||August 23-Sept. 22||Not sensual; shy with males; withdrawn|
|Libra The Scales||Sept, 23-Octr. 22||Someone who looks at both sides; tries to balance one’s life|
|Scorpio The Scorpion||Oct. 23-Nov. 21||stinging; hurting, aggressive|
|Sagittarius The Archer||Nov. 22-Dec. 1||one who will quickly use weapons|
|Capricorn The Goat||Dec.22-JaN. 19||one who will try to keep bucking for success, power, love|
|Aquarius The Waer Bearer||Jan.20-Feb. 18||one who likes to help others in need; a savior|
|Pisces The Fish||Feb. 19-March 20||passive; peaceful, gentle|
|Constellation||Divinity; celestial body|
Because Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were invisible planets for thousands of years, modern astrologers ascribed such traits to these planets; Uranus-God of Usurper of Governmental Authority; one who steals; assumes power over a state, country, ruling government; can be a traitor or a liberator
Neptune-God of the Sea, rain storms, tidal waves; floods, or calm, clear waters and good weather. One who exerts extreme authority over the bodies of war.
Pluto-God of the Underworld. Occult; ghosts, spiritualism; mediumship
Astrology is considered a pseudo science by modern science. There is no proof whatsoever that the moon, sun, and planets tell personality traits unique to people born under a constellation or commonly known as a ‘sun sign’, nor can a person’s future be foretold by the influence and motion of the moon, the sun, stars, and the planets
Furthermore, in modern astrology, the personality readings and so-called future readings are so general that they apply to practically everybody in one form or another. If you read your horoscope, as well as another person’s horoscope; you will see both are so general that basically speaking, both horoscopes shall apply to you personally.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings”. The quote from Julius Caesar act 1, scene 2, is by the character of Cassius; the play Julius Caesar was written by William Shakespeare(1564-1616), the famous English poet, playwright, and author, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.
When we examine the power of the moon on the earth, we know the moon’s powerful gravitational forces cause the tides to go in and out. People have theorized the moon’s gravity has to work on human beings since we are made up to about 70% water. In actuality, the moon exerts such a super low effect on humans that it is clear it is almost immeasurable. With tides, there are many, many thousands of miles of water and each drop of water follows gravity waves. If two drops of water are placed extremely close to each other; their own gravity actually pulls them together to unite and become one big drop. The natural gravity within the water of oceans and seas is attracted to the moon’s gravity to produce tides. Tides help to wash out; wash away the waters of oceans and seas.
A Short Guide to Palmistry
Since antiquity, there has been the belief that the lines on the palms of the hands indicate character traits of the person as well as what his or her fortune or destiny holds. Although palmistry deals with interpretation of the lines of the entire hand, there are four areas of the palm which garner the most attention. These creases are the four most prominently visible on the the palm: They are the line of: the heart, the head, life, and fate (also called fortune).
Heart – (Not everyone has a heart line.) Emotions, especially love and sympathy.(Some palm interpreters put a love line at the intersection of the thumb and palm.)
Head – Logic and Intelligence(Some palmists break with ancient tradition and put a logic line near the end of the thumb and still other readers put the logic line on the top of the thumb.)
Life – The length predicts how long a person would live. Short life line; short time. Long life line; long life. (Of course, being killed while a soldier in battle or accidental death terminates what would be normally a long life.)
Fate – Fortune or misfortune; good luck or bad luck; depends on good, solid line or weak and/or broken line.(Some palmists consider the fate line as an indication of being able to acquire wealth and/or carrier financial success.) Not everyone has a Fate line.
Other lines include: health, success, love, marriage, intuition, travel, mysticism, among many others.
While people do have certain lines, creases on their palms; not everyone has all the lines, or creases that palmistry indicates or puts special emphasis on.
In some cases, certain lines are given completely different names and significance from differing palmist readers.
Scientifically, there is no verifiable evidence that lines and circles on the palm of the hand reveals an individual’s personality nor foretell the future of that individual. Palmistry is regarded by scientists as superstition and a pseudo science.
Perhaps the real reason for lines, creases, circles, and such on the palm of the hand is because the hand is very important to humans. We use our hands to build things,write, draw, do painting, eat, etc. The hand is designed to move in many different directions and motions. For every place on the hand where there are prominent lines; that place can move around and bend. Those areas look the way they do because of the muscles thereupon.
Also, the hands are covered entirely with skin. There are times, through old age and wear that the skin loses its elasticity and develops wrinkles.
Hence, the reason for lines, curves, circles, wrinkles on the hands; the skin are completely natural, physical factors; not because of unnatural; supernatural phenomena. This analysis is what science tells us about palmistry.
Because the thickness of the hand and other factors certain lines (not all) will change over time. But, there is a strong, basic framework with the lines of the palm, that start with infancy, and will not change. And no two people, like with fingerprints, have the exact palm lines, creases, circles, etc.
Having only a single palmar crease (once known as “simian crease”) might suggest medical problems at times whereby there is only a partial crease (with the other part of the crease being absent ) is present, many times, with babies born with Down’s syndrome or fetal alcoholic syndrome. But, a doctor considers other medical factors before giving a diagnosis.
Generally speaking, palm lines and creases prevent the skin from bunching up; they act to distribute the area of the skin uniformly; evenly over the hands and this makes the skin of the hand to perform more easily to squeeze, grab, lift up or put down objects and other things.
The intensity and depth of the lines, creases, circular folds, etc. on the palm depends upon genetics, skin and muscular growth, physical outreach development, in relationship to proper health of bodily biology functioning.
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