Mysticism, Time

On Antimony ♁ , or, The Inversion of Venus

Every body may give forth from it self, the good or evil,
Venome or Medicine latent in it…

Therefore, you are to know, that in Antimony also there is a Spirit,
which effects whatsoever in it, or can proceed from it,
in an invisible way and manner, no otherwise,
than as in the Magnet is absconded a certain invisible power…

[T]he efficacious Spirit, and operative power of Antimony,
manifests its gifts, and distributes them among Men,
being first loosed from its own body,
and freed from all its bonds, so, that it is able to penetrate,
and render fit to be applyed to those Uses,
which the Artificer proposed to himself in Preparation.

Basilius Valentinius, The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony, 1604


Women’s demonstration for bread and peace – March the 8th, 1917, Petrograd, Russia (Source: Wikipedia)

Happy International Women’s Day!

Did you know that the global celebration of women began with the International Socialist Women’s Conference in 1910? Or that the active participation of Russia’s women workers in 1917, who celebrated this day with a strike against hunger and World War 1, unintentionally brought on the October (Bolshevik) Revolution, the creation of the USSR, and the gruesome “Red Terror” slaughter of between 40 and 66 million of their fellow Russian citizens?

Alexandra Kolontai, a feminist leader of the socialist revolution, wrote about the fact and about the 8th March .. “The Women Workers’ Day on the 8th March 1917 was a memorable day in history. The revolution of February had just begun.”

[Leon] Trotski wrote, “23 February (8th March) was International Woman’s Day and meetings and actions were foreseen. But we did not imagine that this ‘Women’s Day’ would inaugurate the revolution. Revolutionary actions were foreseen but without date. But in [the] morning, despite the orders to the contrary, textile workers left their work in several factories and sent delegates to ask for support of the strike… which led to mass strike… all went out into the streets.”

It is, alas, a tragedy unsurprising, that the noble, virtuous and peaceful, mother’s-love intentions of Russia’s women workers were used, manipulated and abused, by and for others’ – the Artificers’ – malicious and malevolent ends.

Such has long been the sine qua non of the alchemist in the art of words and letters; that is to say, the Cabalist:

The Cabala has been interpreted as a means of understanding the cosmos, the emanations of God, “the framework of practical magic,” but also as a psychological technique.

Cabala and alchemy are comparable in their methods of manipulation; the former lexical, the latter elemental. The transmutation of letters to their prime state can be seen as parallel to the alchemical discipline of transmutation of metals to their base elements.

I would like, if I may, to mark this International Women’s Day with some reflections, of a paradoxical nature.

That is to say, reflections on the coincidentia oppositorum. The union of opposites.

And perhaps, more importantly, on what is understood, just quietly, by ancient through post-modern alchemists, as the “law of inversion.”

Or, as lords of the left-hand path might say, the law of reversal.

Hermetic silence - emblem from Achille Bocchi Symbolicarum quaestionem de universo genere, 1574

Hermetic silence – Achille Bocchi, Symbolicarum quaestionem de universo genere, 1574. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

I am motivated to do so by my deep concern for the future, indeed, the survival of the human race; and, in particular, my concern for the very essence, the principle, the “efficacious Spirit”, of the Mother nature in the Female of the human species:

If someone had told you 10 years ago that it would soon become tantamount to a speechcrime to say ‘Men cannot get pregnant’, you would have thought them mad. That would be like punishing someone for saying, ‘Humans need oxygen to survive’. And yet here we are, in 2017 [2018], where PC has spun so violently out of control, and the cult of gender-neutrality has become so unwieldy, that one of the most controversial things you can say these days is: ‘Only women can get pregnant.’

We are living through a collapse of the most basic moral and biological categories of speech and understanding. Avoiding offence is now prized more highly than physical reality and truth. And one of the worst consequences of this rush to institute trans terminology — above the heads of a mostly bamboozled populace — is the erasure of womanhood. The very term ‘women’ is in serious danger.

The idea of womanhood, the terminology of womanhood, is being erased from public life. We are effectively saying there is nothing special or distinctive about being a woman. Anyone can be a woman, simply by declaring it. We can dress this up as much as we like in the language of tolerance and open-mindedness but it strikes me as plain old misogyny to treat womanhood as such a casual, easily achieved thing.

I put it to you, dear reader, that this is not an accident.

Rather, it is the intended result of lexical transformations.


It is the result of alchemy.

Alchemy practiced on the mind matter of human nature.

The Female nature, in particular.

Consider the words of Edward Bernays, founder of the ‘modern’ alchemical art of “Public Relations” – or, to use the title of his own book, the art of “Propaganda”:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

The erasure of womanhood is the intentional result of “those Uses which the Artificer proposed to himself,” in setting his skills to work on the mind matter of Venus – of Mother Love herself.


[O]f the highest things the lowest are made,
and the lowest the highest,
so that, a Medicament is produced of Venome,
and of Venome Medicine;
of the sweet, bitter, acid, and corrosive;
and on the contrary of the corrosive,
another thing more profitable.


Previously, I have written at length explaining and evidencing the history, and method, of the adepts in the art of Hermes the trickster god, and his magnetically-attractive “golden chains of eloquence”.

Simply, the ancient art of lying, and cheating.

Copy of copy of original_NOT by Durer

“Allegory of Eloquence”, Albrecht Dürer, c. 1498. (British Museum)

Today, I would like to draw your attention to an alchemical symbol with which you will most likely be quite familiar – the symbol of the female, Venus (copper) – and its exact symbolic opposite, inversion, or reversal, antinomy .

French alchemist and esoteric author Fulcanelli conceived antimony as “a chaos, the foster mother of all metals.” Sendovogius (1659) spoke of it as “the womb and reef of gold and the seedbed of its tincture.” Chevalier and Gheerant (Dictionary of Symbols) inform us that antimony “was also held to be ‘the bastard child of Saturn; passionately loved by Venus’.”


It is Venome and a most swift poison,
also it is void of Venome
and a most excellent Medicine…


Soon you will see why.

Antimony is a lustrous, brittle, blue-white crystal, one of six commonly recognised metalloids; that is, a chemical element with liminal properties, in between metals and non-metals, or a mixture of both.  It has been known since ancient times, found in nature in a toxic, compound form called stibnite (antimony trisulphide). Stibnite is a lead-grey (Saturn ) colour, tarnishing to black or iridescent with exposure to air, but when polished, turning white.

Known as كحل “kohl” in Arabic, powdered stibnite has been used in the Middle East, North Africa and Mediterranean regions since 3100 BC as a cosmetic, to darken the eyelids, lashes and brows. Roman historian and naturalist Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) mentions several other names, including the “very common” platyophthalmos, “wide-eye” (from the effect). Kohl (from which comes the English alcohol) is blue in colour.

In Biblical Hebrew, kohl is known as כָּחַל kâchal. It is mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel (23:40) as the eye paint of Hebrew whores. Along with the modern Israeli Hebrew word כחול \ כָּחֹל kaḥól (blue“), these words all derive from a common Semitic root, k-ḥ-l.

Curiously, according to the Talmudic midrash Numbers Rabbah 14:3 (cf. Exodus 24:10, Ezekiel 1:26), a sapphire blue, not unlike that of the modern Israeli flag – a darker shade than the biblical blue of holy garments (תְּכֵלֶת tchélet) – is seen in rabbinic tradition as symbolising God’s Glory and purity, and his Gevurah (severity, judgement).

Bearing in mind what we have learned previously about the alchemists’ all-important “Rebus” (punning) principle, it is interesting to consider also the Hebrew word קָהָל qâhâl or kahal, meaning a convoked (“called out”) group or assembly “for evil counsel, war or invasion, religious [judicial] purposes”. Kahal is the name for the theocratic organisational structure in ancient Hebrew society, and, in later centuries, the title of Ashkenazi Jews’ autonomous governments, notably in Poland and Tsarist Russia.  These became the subject of some notoriety when Jacob Brafmann, a 19th century Russian Jew who converted to Orthodoxy, authored two books (The Book of the Kahal, and The Local and Universal Jewish Brotherhoods), claiming the kahal was “an international network under the control of the Alliance Israélite Universelle and had as its aim undermining Christian entrepreneurs, taking over their property and ultimately seizing power.”

It is also of coincidental interest that in popular (folk) etymology, antimony (from Greek ἀντίμοναχός anti-monachos or possibly French antimoine) means monk-killer.

Returning then to antimony as an ancient eye cosmetic, associated both with female nobility and royalty (Egyptian) and also with whores (Hebrew), readers of my previous essays (here, here, here) will recall that alchemical (and Cabalist) lore is radically misogynous at its core. The universe, and every thing in it, is conceived as being a union or “sacred marriage” of opposite principles – Male and Female ‘genders’ – wherein the Male is identified with all that is Good, and the Female with all that is Evil.

For the alchemist, the Female aspect, present in all things, is “represented by every conceivable repulsive female figure — by witches, mixers of poison, whores, chthonic goddesses, by the ‘dragon mother’ so often cited in depth psychology. All these are metaphors for the demonic nature of the feminine.'”

In order to achieve the alchemists’ (and Cabalists’) ultimate goal – the transformation of himself into a god – he must first destroy the autonomous existence of the ‘evil’ female principle, stealing her gynergy or feminine birth-force powers in the process, in order to “absorb the Mother of the Universe into himself” and so become an androgynous superMan:

Experimenting around with the primal material sounds quite harmless to someone who is not initiated. Yet a symbolic murder is hidden behind this. The black matter, a symbol of the fundamental feminine and of powerful nature from which we all come, is burned or in some cases vaporized, cut to pieces or dismembered. Thus, in destroying the prima materia we at the same time destroy our “mother” or, basically, the “fundamentally feminine”.

Mylius, Philosophia Reformata, 1622_slay dragon mother

J.D. Mylius, Philosophia Reformata, 1622. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

Naturally, the sensible female is hardly likely to go along with such malevolent designs.

Thus, the alchemists’  ‘need’ for the art of deception.


And a mercurial (quicksilver) tongue:

Since at the end of the sexual magic rituals the masculine principle alone remains, the verbal praise of the goddess, beauty and love () could also be manipulative, designed to conjure up the devotion of a woman.

[W]e must regard such charming flattery of the female sex as at the very least a non-committal, albeit extremely lucrative embellishment. But they are more likely to be a deliberately employed manipulation, so as to draw attention away from the monstrosities of the .. ritual system. Perhaps they are themselves a method (upaya) with which to appropriate the “gynergy” of the women so charmed.

On this International Women’s Day, let us remember how this celebration of women came to be.

Let us remember how actions borne of virtuous female hearts – the Mother’s love, the beauty of the nurturing, life-giving feminine, of Venus in all her glory – were transformed from a protest against hunger and war, into the catalyst for more.

By many orders of magnitude.

Let us remember, and never forget, the alchemists, the Cabalists, and their clever philosophistries.

Their “royal art” of deception.

Seeking to destroy the autonomous existence of the Female – to steal the essence, the very principle of Woman herself.

Maier, Atalanta Fugiens series_AF01

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

By the inversion of values.

Lying and cheating.


The circle – is it closed? And is there really no way out? And is there only one thing left for us to do, to wait without taking action? Maybe something will happen by itself? It will never happen as long as we daily acknowledge, extol, and strengthen – and do not sever ourselves from the most perceptible of its aspects: Lies.

When violence intrudes into peaceful life, its face glows with self-confidence, as if it were carrying a banner and shouting: “I am violence. Run away, make way for me – I will crush you.” But violence quickly grows old. And it has lost confidence in itself, and in order to maintain a respectable face it summons falsehood as its ally – since violence lays its ponderous paw not every day and not on every shoulder. It demands from us only obedience to lies and daily participation in lies – all loyalty lies in that.

And the simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation lies right there: Personal non-participation in lies. Though lies conceal everything, though lies embrace everything, but not with any help from me.

– Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Live Not By Lies




Adam McLean, Basil Valentine: His Triumphant Chariot of Antimony, with Annotations of Theodore Kirkringus (1678), transcribed by Ben Fairweather (accessed 8 March 2018)

World March of Women International Secretariat, 8th of March – International woman’s day: in search of the lost memory, 13 March 2011 (accessed 8 March 2018, web archive copy)

Brendan O’Neill, The word ‘woman’ is being erased from public life, Spectator Magazine, 23 October 2017 (accessed 8 March 2018)

Jean Chevalier & Alain Gheerant, Dictionary of Symbols, Blackwell Publishers (1994)


Mysticism, Time

Riddle Me This: On Alchemy, Psychology, And The Left-Hand Path

Faust struck a chord in me and pierced me through in a way that I could not but regard as personal. Most of all, it awakened in me the problem of opposites, of good and evil, of mind and matter, of light and darkness.

The modern psychologist occupies neither the one position nor the other, but finds himself between the two, dangerously committed to ‘this as well as that’ (…) This is undoubtedly the great danger of the coincidentia oppositorum – of intellectual freedom from the opposites. How should anything but a formless and aimless uncertainty result from giving equal value to two contradictory hypotheses?

The connecting-link I was missing for so long has now been found, and it is alchemy.

Carl Gustav Jung[1][2][3]


Crystals of copper (II) sulphate


Which do you think is the worst Batman movie?

Featuring on many “Worst Ever” lists are Batman Forever (1995) and Batman and Robin (1997).

While they may indeed be terrible movies from the perspective of a film critic or a superhero afficionado, for a semiotician they are treasure troves of symbolic meaning.

Both were written by Akiva Goldsman,[4] and directed by Joel Schumacher.

Batman Forever (1995) was the last of the franchise entrusted to producer Tim Burton. His previous film, Batman Returns (1992), was accused of having anti-Semitic themes by two Ivy League Jews:

[He] “depicts the Penguin as one of the oldest cultural clichés: the Jew who is bitter, bent over and out for revenge, the Jew who is unathletic and seemingly unthreatening but who, in fact, wants to murder every firstborn child of the gentile community. [..] The Penguin feigns assimilation into society and gains the citizens’ trust for a time. But eventually even the ignorant masses understand this false prophet for what he is, a primordial beast who seeks retribution, ‘an eye for an eye.’”

[The Penguin] “is not just a deformed man, half human, half-Arctic-beast. He is a Jew, down to his hooked nose, pale face and lust for herring.”[5]

Their Op-Ed in the New York Times sparked quite the controversy. It was republished across the country,  generating numerous commentaries and letters to the editor. One reader and fellow Columbia alumnus, who had initially dismissed their observations, changed his mind after seeing “this vile motion picture,” and wrote in “to add a few of my own”:

One of the Penguin’s chief underlings — whose duties include driving the train on which the Penguin hopes to cart off Gotham City’s first-born children — strongly resembles the stereotype of the haggling Jewish peddler, who holds nothing sacred save the making of a profitable deal. Certainly, Tim Burton’s vision of the Penguin, with hooked nose, absurdly bloated body and plutocrat’s attire, bears more than a passing resemblance to Nazi caricatures of manipulative Jewish financiers, down to the ghoulish, perverted lust for fair, fresh-faced gentile maidens.[6]


The Anti-Defamation League hotly denied the allegations; curiously, using only vitriolic ad hominem:

We are bewildered that you gave a major portion of the July 2 Op-Ed page to “Batman and the Jewish Question,” a bizarre and ludicrous pseudo-analysis of the allegedly anti-Semitic implications of the blockbuster movie “Batman Returns” — produced by the lurid and overheated imaginations of two college students. One suspects that what began as a satire for the campus newspaper took itself too seriously somewhere along the way. Students are often earnest, but unaware of their own limitations. [..] It should be left to the movie’s creators, if they so desire, to rebut the article’s many fatuous and overreaching analyses.[7]

Screenwriter Wesley Strick also responded, “as the lone Jew among director, producer and credited writer, and as the architect of the Penguin’s scheme to murder Gotham’s first born.” His putative refutation too is curious, both for its subtle admissions and for its absence of denials:

Some of the points by Rebecca Roiphe and Daniel Cooper are obvious — of course, I was referring to Exodus. Others are clever: the love of herring, parodic Wagner. Still, more metaphors seem a stretch: Penguin’s umbrellas and Moses’ magic staff? Alas, arguments are won by omission or distortion; for example, the “eye for an eye” line (in the movie, it’s “die for a die”) is spoken by Catwoman, whose subtextual meaning the authors oddly skirt.[8]

Need another red herring, Mr Strick?

In context of Tim Burton’s next (and last) Batman production, there are numerous reasons why all of this is noteworthy.

I propose that he redeemed himself – pun intended – with more than a little help from his friends, by producing a Batman Forever with comprehensively Cabalist themes.

Bear with me. Some background information is in order.

First, scholarly and encyclopaedic Jewish sources confirm the association of alchemy with the Jewish people “since ancient times.” Like the authors of ancient alchemical texts, some even claim the origin of the “Royal Art” is Jewish.[9][10]

Maria the Jewess from Maier Symbola aurea mensae, Franckfurt, 1617

Maria Hebræa, from Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

“Do not touch the philosopher’s stone with your hands;
you are not of our race, you are not of the race of Abraham.”

Second, the father of the “new science” of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, fancied himself to be the folk-hero Messiah-ben-Joseph (“coat of many colours”, the interpreter of dreams), a militant warrior-king, redeemer, and martyr, who prepares the way for the messianic reign of the spiritual Messiah-ben-David :

Freud’s emotional identification with the military Messiah of the Jews catches in metaphor several critical aspects of Freud’s personality. The military Messiah, blessed by Moses, can violate one of the strongest taboos among the Jews, the commandment against killing, and the derivative taboo against thoughts of aggression which might involve bloodshed. Thus by participating in this image, Freud could feel free to indulge in thoughts of killing oppressors in a way which would have been otherwise traditionally closed. His ego could tolerate murderous thoughts. We need only remind ourselves of the great significance in Freud’s writings of death wishes directed against others, particularly the father, and its formulation in the fundamental paradigm of the Oedipus complex.

He refers to Oedipus as that mythical lawbreaker*. Evidently Freud conceives of the Oedipal crime as prototypal of all law breaking.

Freud plays the role of a new Moses who comes down with a new Law dedicated to personal psychological liberty.[11]

Oedipus - Sphinx - Frontispiece from J. J. Becher Institutiones chimicae prodromae, Frankfurt, 1664

Frontispiece from J.J. Becher, Institutiones chimicae prodromae, Frankfurt, 1664. © Adam McLean 1997-2017. Used with permission

That Freud saw himself as an alchemical Messiah-ben-Joseph, ‘healing’ his people of their guilt, and conquering their enemies[12] – reducing them to Base Matter (Massa Confusa, “confused mass”) – is evident in his own words to his associates:

Do you not know that I am the Devil? All my life I have had to play the Devil, in order that others would be able to build the most beautiful cathedral with the materials that I produced.[13]

It is also evident in his “royal road to the unconscious” (1899) – a ‘scientific’ theory of the “dream-work”: mental transformations (condensation, displacement, representation), which supposedly unify the opposites of conscious and unconscious mind content (mind matter, the ‘Above’ and ‘Below’), by means of symbolism. Here we find a remarkable precursor to what Orwell described exactly fifty years later in his dystopian novel 1984 as doublethink“a vast system of mental cheating”:

In The Interpretation of Dreams Freud describes the process by which “dream-thoughts” may be turned into their opposites.

Nor does Freud limit these considerations to dreams. In the same paragraph he goes on to tell how this technique of resolving elements into their opposites is also used in social dissimulation!

In his view, different and contradictory interpretations could be maintained simultaneously… .[14]

Frontispiece to J. J. Becher Oedipus chimicus, Amsterdam, 1664

Frontispiece to J.J. Becher, Oedipus chimicus, Amsterdam, 1664 © Adam McLean 1997-2017. Used with permission

Freud’s double nephew, Edward Bernays – great grandson of the “leading monarch of the mind” of the Jewish world of his time[15] – became the (in)famous father of public relations (“Propaganda”) and thus, of modern “consumer culture” and the Century of the Self:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.

Third, Jewish scholars have demonstrated that psychoanalysis is founded on the ontological mysticism and theurgy (practical ‘magic’) of Lurianic Cabala.[16]

Sefer HaKavanot U’Ma’aseh Nissim records that one day Luria’s father remained in the Beth kneset alone, studying, when Eliyahu HaNavi appeared to him and said, “I have been sent to you by the Almighty to bring you tidings that your holy wife shall conceive and bear a child, and that you must call him Yitzchak. He shall begin to deliver Israel from the Klipot [husks, forces of evil]. Through him, numerous souls will receive their tikkun [rectification, healing].”[17]

(Sound familiar? For Christians, it should. Read Luke 1.)

Freud’s theories on the human psyche are essentially those found in the Babylonian Talmud tractate Berakoth, wrapped in a ‘scientific’ re-presentation of the schema and quintessence of Isaac Luria’s cabalist mysticism – a metaphysics of (bi)sexual ‘alchemy’ between the father/mother/son/daughter ’emanations’ of Ein-Sof – with the antinomian tendencies of infamous 17th century false Messiah, Sabbatai Zevi.

It is one of the more important characteristics of psychoanalysis that it views evil as a distortion of love. This paradoxical identification of good with evil pervades all of Freud’s writings so that their classical polarity is virtually obliterated.

[T]he whole burden of psychoanalysis may be regarded as a fulfillment of the Sabbatian ethos.

In our century it has often been pointed out that modern science and psychoanalysis have seemed to “take the place of” religion. Modern psychoanalysis plays a “religious” role in people’s lives, especially with respect to their “sins” as sins are defined by the Mosaic code. The deepest violations of the Mosaic code – aggression, murder, sexuality, incest, etc – are the very subject matter of psychoanalysis. The psychoanalyst stands .. as a nonpunishing superego.[18]

As evidenced in his own words, so too are the theories of Freud’s estranged collaborator, Carl Jung, the promoter of transformative “individuation”, through rectification of the conscious/unconscious ‘opposites’.

The Cabala has been interpreted as a means of understanding the cosmos, the emanations of God, “the framework of practical magic,” but also as a psychological technique.

Lurianic Cabala was created by Isaac Luria (1534-1572) and, based on the Zohar, revitalised Cabala with the theory of tsimsum – God’s withdrawal from himself. This act was seen as a hierohistorical symbol of divine exile, implying that evil is an intrinsic creative force not solely attributable to humanity. The doctrine of shevirat-ha-kelim (breaking of the vessels) and tikkun (restoration) explained how evil is impermanent and called for humanity to restore perfection to the cosmos… . This is significant because of humanity’s active role in redemption; it called for Jews to be part of the cosmic process, interacting with the cosmic scheme and divinity itself, giving humankind divine potential. [..] Tikkun bears a very similar semblance to the alchemical idea of transmutation and Coudert draws a parallel between alchemist physicians and Cabalists in their role as creative and even redemptive agents, placing them heretically among the semi-divine.[19]

[T]hese ‘heretical’ Kabbalists believed that acts which benefit God included deliberate forays into the world of sin, where the illusory nature of evil could be more readily exposed, and the sparks thereby elevated to their Source.[20]

Fourth, Akiva Goldsman’s Jewish parents were child psychologists, who ran a group home for emotionally disturbed children. He says they were occupied with their work and “[b]y the time I was 10 or 12, I realized they had taken my parents away from me.” His scripts often deal with psychological themes, including Silent Fall (1994), and the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind (2001).[21]

Fifth, the creator of the Batman characters, Robert “Bob” Kane, was Jewish, as was his uncredited co-creator, Milton “Bill” Finger.[22][23]

Sixth, the plot, characters, and dialogue of Batman Forever are all based on alchemy, the principles of duality, unifying the opposites, and psychoanalysis.

Its female lead character – the lust/love interest and ‘healer’ of Batman/Bruce Wayne’s conflicted opposites – is a blue-eyed blonde psychologist, Dr. Chase Meridian.

The story-tellers’ many-faceted pun was clearly intended.

Batman Forever is deeply Cabalist, right from the opening credits.

From a total running time of 121 minutes, I have (so far) identified almost 60 clips – around 45 minutes in total – depicting cabalist and alchemical themes, all set within the central plot narrative of psychological duality and tikkun (“rectification”).

In Jung’s words, the “great danger” of the coincidentia oppositorum – of “intellectual freedom from the opposites” of good and evil, portrayed as a ‘divine’ superhero ideal.

[E]ssentially alchemy may be described as lying somewhere between science and religion and in contrast the Cabala may be seen as lying between religion and language. In this way both the Cabala and alchemy are ars liminæ, liminal disciplines.

Meridian chasers.

Exemplified by syncretic texts such as Voarchadumia (1550) Cabala and alchemy are comparable in their methods of manipulation; the former lexical, the latter elemental. The transmutation of letters to their prime state can be seen as parallel to the alchemical discipline of transmutation of metals to their base elements.[24]

In the opening credits, the colours assigned to the actors’ names are traditional alchemical symbols. They accurately reflect each actor’s character narrative, and covertly convey an eye-opening depth of multi-layered meanings.

These 44 seconds actually reveal The Key to decrypting the many interpretations of alchemy, Freud’s “new science” of psychology, and the antinomian, self-Deifying philosophistry of the Left-hand Path.

In all of their many disguises, ancient and ‘modern’.

Basil Valentine, L'Azoth des Philosophes, Erfurt, 1659_VA12

Basilius Valentinus, L’Azoth des Philosophes. © 1997-2017 Adam McLean ( Used with permission.

Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem (VITRIOL): “Visit the interior of the earth and rectifying (i.e. purifying), you will find the hidden/secret stone”.[25]

1. Lead dominated by Saturn (Saturn symbol.svg)
2. Tin dominated by Jupiter (Jupiter symbol.svg)
3. Iron dominated by Mars (Mars symbol.svg)
4. Gold dominated by Sol (Sun symbol.svg)
5. Copper dominated by Venus (also: Copper symbol.svg )
6. Mercury (quicksilver) dominated by Mercury (Mercury symbol.svg)
7. Silver dominated by Luna ( Crescent.svg )

Would you like to know why VAL KILMER (Batman) is blue? Or why the credits for NICOLE KIDMAN and CHRIS O’DONNELL change colour?

If you are a Christian, you will be appalled. But not for the reason you may think (spiritually, it’s far worse, but that is not for today).

Here are four visual hints as to their respective ‘lθve’ union relationships and meaningsor what you might call their ‘Jungian’ Mysterium Coniunctionis.[26]

Think colour … and analogy. As quoth Éliphas Lévi, 19th century French occult magus and lord of the left-hand path:

Divination is .. an intuition, and the key of this intuition is the universal and magical doctrine of analogies. By means of these analogies, the magus interprets visions, as did the patriarch Joseph in Egypt, according to Biblical history. The analogies in the reflections of the astral light are as exact as the shades of colour in the solar spectrum, and can be calculated and explained with great exactitude.

To separate the subtle from the gross, in the first operation, which is wholly interior, is to set the soul free from all prejudice and all vice, which is accomplished by the use of the philosophical salt, that is to say, wisdom; of mercury, that is, personal skill and application; finally, of sulphur, representing vital energy and fire of will. By these are we enabled to change into spiritual gold things which are of all least precious, even the refuse of the earth.[27]

It will greatly help if you have read my essays on alchemy, banking, and ‘flow’-stealing sex ‘magick’ – Cheating Females (Part 1, Part 2).


Come, my love, my dove, & pour
From thy cup the serpent wine
Brimmed & breathless -secret store
Of my crimson concubine
Surfeit spirit in the shrine-
Devil -Godess -Virgin -Whore.

– Aleister Crowley, Leah Sublime (1920)

Ponder thoughtfully the blue within its gold leaf ‘womb’ ▽ in the following emblem, found in the earliest illustrated alchemical text to be written in the German language, Buch der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit (“The Book of the Holy Trinity”). It has been attributed to a German Franciscan, Frater Ulmannus – a latinisation of the given name Ulmann, from Old High German uodalman: Ancestral Man; the cabalists’ Adam Kadmon or Primordial Man.


Buch der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit, late 15th Century MS (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CGM. 598). Source: Adam McLean,

Think “blue blood” … and, “dragon’s blood.”

Consider the Antichrist, Diabolic, or Luciferic (i.e., Putrefaction) Rebis titled Contra Justiciam (“Against Justice”): a crowned, bat-winged[28] hermaphrodite; the conjunction of Hermes-Mercury and Aphrodite-Venus

Buch der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit, early 1400s_HD_Munich_Image34

‘Contra Justiciam’ (Against Justice): A Crowned and Bat-winged Hermaphrodite, Buch der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit, late 15th Century (Munich MS, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CGM. 598). Source: Adam McLean,

Note that the male’s (right side; left for viewer) armour is not black, but rather silver leaf that has tarnished with age. There are seven different coloured crowns on the body of the hermaphrodite: at the head (silver), chest (green), belly (black), right hand (red), left hand (gold), right foot (black) and left foot (grey). The colours vary in different manuscripts; each crown has been identified with one of the seven deadly sins.

Compare with the next emblem, the now-transformed Mercurial Rebis, crowned with a six-pointed star. The two streams flowing from the ‘stones’ at the hermaphrodite’s feet to the hills from which grow the Solar Tree and Lunar Tree, are known as “Oil of the East” (male side) and “Oil of the West” (female side).

Buch der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit, early 1400s_HD_Munich_Image33

The Mercurial Rebis: A Crowned and Bat-winged Hermaphrodite, Buch der heiligen Dreifaltigkeit, late 14th Century (Munich MS, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, CGM. 598). Source: Adam McLean,

Alas, for a more detailed explanation – in particular, of the metallurgical and spiritual transformations that are symbolically depicted, and far more importantly, secreted, in accordance with the Talmudic-Cabalist ‘law of inversion,’ we must wait for a future essay.

Or rather, a series of essays. In setting out to expound the opening credits sequence alone, dear reader, I failed to foresee the enormity of the task. After some 4,400 words had barely scratched the surface of just three colours, it became clear that a lengthy series of essays – or indeed, a book or three – is required in order to adequately expound the alchemical-Cabalist significance of the entire movie.

I must confess that the prospect of labouring to do so inspires many misgivings.

What I have presented in this essay, is barely the tip of the iceberg.

Having spent over two weeks on identification and editing of clips, and the compiling of 10,000+ words in notes and references, the growing enormity of the task weighs heavily. In consideration of the miniscule readership of this blog, I am compelled to question if the effort to explain the many, evidentially-connected layers of meaning – retracing 2700 years of world history, to Sumero-Assyrian word lists of then-known chemical compounds – would truly represent a worthwhile expenditure of my life energies.

Just as the Devil is said to have tempted Jesus in the wilderness, using the philosophistry of cunning, willful mis-contextualisation of Hebrew scripture, in another classic proof that gemstones of truth can sometimes (but not always!) be found concealed within mountains of ‘clever’ lies, a famous aphorism of nihilist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (The Antichrist), from his lauded Beyond Good and Evil, fits well with my own personal experience of recent weeks in researching this topic:

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.[29]

To slowly have one’s eyes opened to the sheer scale, the almost unbelievable breadth depth and height, of eloquent, malevolent, systemic deception, whose continuity can be traced back over many millennia; to understand the base simplicity of the system – lying, by punning, to the ear and to the eye –  and thus, to sense more deeply the non-necessity of suffering, oppression, theft, and murder of billions of human souls over those æons in direct consequence, is truly to gaze into an abyss, and to feel one’s spiritual energies drain away beneath clouds of despair at the futility of one’s own efforts to bring any redress, or even to meaningfully assist in slowing the ‘progress’ of humanity’s acceleration down the Left-hand Path into that abyss.

In recent weeks I have felt increasingly impressed that while exposing the works of darkness continues to be a necessary task, what is more urgently necessary still – at least for me – is to assign a greater proportion of one’s days to looking on the true light.

And so, in consideration of this, I leave for you now a montage of (mostly) narrative clips from Batman Forever, in illustration of what I have written above. A spoiler alert: do not watch if you would prefer to see the movie in its entirety.

In a similarity to a central character in the film – an irony that is far from being lost on me – I too am of two minds, on the question of further elaboration of this research in a series of future essays, or, the retention of it, with a view to a published volume/s in future.

In light of my deeper, spiritual preference, I have made a point of leaving abundant clues here for readers to research further and discover the correct conclusions; both in the text and images chosen, and of course, in my selection of clips for the montage.

If you have found this essay of value to you, I would sincerely appreciate your sharing it with others.

I would also appreciate your leaving feedback, ideally here in Comments, or at my Twitter account @DerorCurrency, as this would help me to gain some insight into the extent of readers’ desire for further elaboration on the Batman Forever theme.



[1] Jung, C.G. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, New York: Random House (1961), p. 235, cited in Henderson David, The Coincidence of Opposites: C.G. Jung’s Reception of Nicholas of Cusa, (2010), Studies in Spirituality 20, 101-113

[2] Jung, C.G. Collected Works, H. Read ed., New York: Pantheon (1953-79), Volume 8 p. 679, cited in Henderson, David, The Coincidence of Opposites: C.G. Jung’s Reception of Nicholas of Cusa, (2010), Studies in Spirituality 20, 101-113

[3] Jung, C.G. 1973, vol. 1, p. 206, cited in Drob Samuel L., Towards a Kabbalistic Psychology: C.G. Jung and the Jewish Foundations of Alchemy

[4] Batman Wikia – “[Lee Batchler] met producer Tim Burton and together they agreed that the screenplay should have focus on the duality of Batman. The Batchlers were hired by Burton and new director Joel Schumacher [..] The final script was revised by Akiva Goldsman…”

[5] Hamilton, Andrew, Batman Returns: An Anti-Semitic Allegory?, Counter-Currents, June 2012. (accessed 27 Feb 2018)

[6] Corwin, Nicholas, Anti-Semitism in ‘Batman Returns’? Be Serious; Gratuitous Bigotry; Opinion, The New York Times, July 20 1992. (accessed 27 Feb 2018)

[7] Salberg, Melvin, & Foxman, Abraham H., Anti-Semitism in ‘Batman Returns’? Be Serious; Opinion, The New York Times, July 20 1992. (accessed 27 Feb 2018)

[8] Strick, Wesley, Anti-Semitism in ‘Batman Returns’? Be Serious; Who’s Really Divisive?; Opinion, The New York Times, July 20 1992. (accessed 27 Feb 2018)

[9] Drob, Samuel L., Towards a Kabbalistic Psychology: C.G. Jung and the Jewish Foundations of Alchemy; citing Patai (1994), Suler (1972), Idel (2000), et al.

[10] Patai, R., 1994, The Jewish Alchemists, Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, p. 76; cited in Vladimír Karpenko, Alchemy as donum dei, HYLE, International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, Vol. 4 (1998), No. 1, pp. 63-80; — “In the Hellenistic world particular attention should be paid to Mary the Jewess, one of the most influential personalities of this science. God appears in connection with her, but in a slightly different manner than later. To Mary, alchemy is donum dei, a gift of God; but this gift was given only to ‘chosen people’, Jews. She is reported to have said: “Do not touch the philosopher’s stone with your hands; you are not of our race, you are not of the race of Abraham.’* Thus alchemy was not for alchemists in general, but for the race of Abraham. Alchemy is presented here as the spiritual property of Jews. As pointed out by Patai, the singular form ‘God’ is used strictly in texts attributed to Mary, and this claim that alchemical secrets were revealed to her by God became a part of the medieval alchemical tradition about her.”

[11] Bakan, David, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition, New York: D. Van Nostrand Company Inc (1958), Chapters 21-22, pp. 160, 165, 167, 168, 170, 169-183; * p.165, footnote 7: Freud, Col. Papers, IV, p. 383 – In Moses and Monotheism, he refers to the murder of Moses as “the murder of the Father.” (p.165). Freud admitted to selectively choosing what suited him from various scholars’ Biblical analyses, some of whom postulated that Moses was murdered (e.g., Sellin, Robertson Smith). Bakan writes: “The actual evidence for the murder of Moses is very tenuous, but the murder of Moses is something which Freud must assert as fact. What he is doing is projecting a current fantasy onto a past situation, which is done in all mythmaking. It is Freud who wishes that Moses were murdered… Jacob Frank’s assertion that the Torah was dead, Freud repeats with psychoanalytic sophistication.”

“In his writing, Freud frequently did refer to the significance of his own Oedipus complex. Furthermore, he made the infantile relationship of the child to his parents the critical feature in the analysis of human personality. Besides this we find frequent identifications in Freud’s writings of father and God, father and Moses, and father and superego.” (p.165)

“Hence it is necessary for Freud to kill Moses. [..] ..the Moses of Freud’s murder is the Moses each person carries about with him. And in this too he identifies himself with all Jewry. For in his fantasy he is not alone in the murder. The myth he fashions is not of one person murdering Moses. It is a murder which is committed collectively by all Jews.” (p. 167)

“The Jews, because of their endogamy, characteristically had an incest problem, and part of the role of Jewish mysticism was to provide devices for coping with the intense feelings of guilt associated with incest wishes.” (p. 292)

“Thus by writing this book, Freud becomes a Jewish hero in the history of the Jews. He performs the traditional Messianic function of relieving guilt, the very same function he ascribes to Jesus.” (p.168)

“That psychoanalysis should have grown up in the context of the healing of the sick who were incurable by orthodox medical means accords with the Messianic quality of the psychoanalytical movement. For Messianism characteristically proves itself first by miraculously healing the sick. Thereafter it reaches out to large-scale social reform.” (p.170)

[12] Sepehr, Robert, 1666 Redemption Through Sin: Global Conspiracy in History, Religion, Politics and Finance, Atlantean Gardens. Kindle Edition, p. 12, citing Scholem, Gershom, The Messianic Idea in Judaism: And Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality, (NY: Schocken, 1971) – “Mystical Lurianic speculations about the nature of the redemption, and the ‘restored world’ (olam ha-tikkun) which follow upon its heels, added new content and dimensions to the popular messianic folk-myth of a conquering national hero, raising it to the level of a supreme cosmic drama.”

[13] Bakan, David, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition, New York: D. Van Nostrand Company Inc (1958), Chapter 22 Freud’s Messianic Identification, p. 181, citing Laforgue, R, “Persönliche Errinerungen an Freud,” Lindauer Psychothereapiewoche (1954), pp. 42-56

[14] ibid., pp. 146-147, 262  – “There is yet another alternative in which the dream-work can deal with affects in the dream-thoughts, in addition to allowing them through or reducing them to nothing. It can turn them into their opposite. We have already become acquainted with the interpretive rule according to which every element in a dream can, for the purposes of interpretation, stand for its opposite just as easily as for itself. … We can never tell before-hand whether it stands for the one or for the other; only the context can decide.” (Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, p. 471)

[15] ibid., p. 57 – “Freud’s intimate association with the Bernays family may also be significant. Rabbi Isaac Bernays of Hamburg had been called the ‘leading monarch of mind’ for the Jewish world at his time. He is described as ‘a queer and eccentric personality and his philosophy of Judaism was full of mystic vagaries, some of which were contrary and foreign to the true Jewish spirit.’ As we shall see later, the mystical mood often spilled over into apostasy. As a possible instance of this trend, it should be noted that Isaac Bernays’ son Michael, uncle of Martha [Freud’s wife], was converted to Christianity.  Freud’s sister married Martha’s brother; and Martha’s sister, Minna, lived in the Freud household for many years and evidently provided Freud with assistance in his work and also moral support.”

[16] ibid. Chapters 9-10, 31-33 (Part V Psychoanalysis and Kabbala); see also Drob, Sanford L, “This is Gold!”: Freud, Psychotherapy and the Lurianic Kabbalah. – Besides its singular emphasis on sexual and family relationships, the Zohar shares with Freud’s psychoanalytic writings the following characteristics: views on anti-Semitism, the conception of man as bisexual, a theory of sexual-social development, and, perhaps most important, a set of techniques for the interpretation of linguistic productions. (Bakan, p. 84)

[17] Wikipedia, citing (web archive copy, accessed 27 Feb 2018)

[18] Bakan, David, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition, New York: D. Van Nostrand Company Inc (1958), Chapters 14-15, 20, pp. 105, 158 – “From time to time events occur in which a vast variety of social forces come to a focal point, and the meaning and implications of these events are active for centuries forward. The appearance of Sabbatai Zevi was such an event. The set of events which surrounded the personality and acts of Sabbatai Zevi, the “false Messiah,” was of the deepest moment for the psychological and emotional patterns of the Jews in the modern period. Sabbatai Zevi may have been a psychotic, as Scholem suggests. He may have been a homosexual, and a confirmed egoist as is suggested by Kastein. The fact remains that to the Jews of the world, he was for a time the Messiah. The Kabbala..had prophesied that the year 1648 would begin the Messianic era. It was also the year of the great Chmielnicki pogrom. With the pre-existence among the Jews of a strong Kabbalistic ideology, particularly of the Lurianic type with its intense Messianism, the suffering and the devastation of that year were interpreted paradoxically as confirmation of the coming of the Messiah. The pogroms were, presumably, the cleansing in preparation.” [..] “Since the year 1648 had failed to produce the redemption, Sabbatai Zevi placed his faith on another year which, paradoxically, had a source quite different from Jewish Kabbala. Sabbatai Zevi had heard from his father, who was an agent for an English firm, that some Christian calculation, based on the Book of Revelation, had assigned 1666 as the beginning of the Millennium. The year 1666 was now the redemption year.” (p.95, 97-98)

See also Sepehr, Robert, 1666 Redemption Through Sin: Global Conspiracy in History, Religion, Politics and Finance, Atlantean Gardens. Kindle Edition, p. 3, citing Scholem, Gershom, The Messianic Idea in Judaism: And Other Essays on Jewish Spirituality, (NY: Schocken, 1971), and Chamish, Barry. Shabtai Tzvi, Labor Zionism and the Holocaust. (Modiin House: 2005) – “The ‘magical’ emphasis given to the numerological value of dates contributed greatly to the widely held expectations and hope placed on the coming of a Messiah at the time of Sabbatai Zevi’s advent, the 18th day (6+6+6), of the 6th month, of the year 1666.”

[19] Garrard, Samuel, The Syncretic Esotericism of the Renaissance: Historical and Thematic Congruencies in Cabala and Alchemy, pp. 3-4, 7 – “The magical implications of this are evident in the popularity and controversy that surrounded the Cabala in the preceding centuries. Allison P. Coudert, professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, discusses the specific restorative and salvational role of this activist Cabalism as comparable with the art of alchemy and contributory to the “Rosicrucian Enlightenment” as explored by Frances Yates (1899-1981).”

“[Gershom] Scholem asserted that the Lurianic Cabala, with its messianic or utopian dimension, was the driving force behind the Sabbatian movement which was formative of secular, reformative Judaism that followed and was ‘one of the most powerful forces ever to affect the inner development of Judaism, both horizonatally and in depth.’ [Kabbalah, p. 190] The Cabala was directly responsible for the abolishment of the halakhah law. In seeking to reveal paradoxically ‘what is by definition hidden,’ the followers of the Cabala performed their own act of transmutation by transforming a dogmatic law to a symbolic one.”

“The theme of potentiality, borne by both Lurianic Cabala and alchemy, stood in opposition to the Christian doctrine of the fall and original sin and provides a link with the tradition that began with the translation by Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) and Lodovico Lazzarelli (1447–1500) of the Corpus Hermeticum originally written in the second and third centuries AD. The theme of Hermetic potentiality is apparent in the monadic tradition and, rooted in the approach of medieval alchemy and strengthened in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Frances Yates proposed the theory that this divine potentiality in the individual human was responsible for the confidence and determinism behind the enlightenment and scientific thrust that was to follow.”

“Coudert provides further speculation on Frances Yates’ theory that Hermeticism and Renaissance occult philosophy provided the sine qua non for modern science… . One can detect in Hermetic texts, alchemy, Cabala (in particular Lurianic Cabala) and in Neoplatonism a ‘monadic Gnosis;’ a Gnosticism with no mediator between humanity and God. Cabala and alchemy were formal means by which one could interact direct with God.”

[20] Sepehr, Robert, 1666 Redemption Through Sin: Global Conspiracy in History, Religion, Politics and Finance, Atlantean Gardens. Kindle Edition, p. 13, citing Antelman, Rabbi Marvin, To Eliminate the Opiate (Volume 2), The Zionist Book Club: 2002

See also Bakan, David, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition, p.101 – “Scholem advances an interesting hypothesis which is particularly relevant to our interest in Freud. Scholem holds that Sabbatianism .. passes into a rationalism which tends to conceal its Sabbatian origins [original italics]. After the French Revolution, it was the Sabbatians within the Jewish fold that fostered the movements [in the Jewish world] toward reform, liberalism, and the enlightenment. Sabbatianism articulated with rationalism in several ways. For one thing, although Sabbatianism had its own collection of myths, it was opposed to the myths of orthodoxy. For another, the Sabbatians held to a doctrine of the necessity of the descent into evil in order to attain spiritual liberation, a doctrine which was endowed with specific sexual reference by the Frankists… The ‘holiness’ of participating in all things, evil or non-evil, already contains a harbinger of the more enlightened view of pursuing truth no matter where it might lead, with full confidence that ‘truth’ must lead to good. But perhaps most important is the fact that Sabbatianism, as a form of mysticism, shares with rationalism the conviction that the world of reality, all reality, may be apprehended by, and encompassed by thought.”

[21] Akiva Goldsman, Wikipedia, and Akiva Goldsman, (accessed 27 Feb 2018)

[22] Bob Kane, Wikipedia, citing Irish Independent (“Holy sunflowers! How Batman drove Van Gogh out of Gotham”), March 20, 2010, and Bloom, Nate, Cleveland Jewish News (“Jewish Stars”), July 18, 2008. (accessed 27 Feb 2018)

[23] Weinstein, Rabbi Simcha, A Jewish ‘Joker’: From the Catskills to Gotham City, New Jersey City News, July 24, 2008, (web archive)  and Bill Finger, Wikipedia. (accessed 27 Feb 2018)

[24] Garrard, Samuel, The Syncretic Esotericism of the Renaissance: Historical and Thematic Congruencies in Cabala and Alchemy, p. 8, and p. 11 citing Françoise Bonardel, Alchemical Esotericism and the Hermeneutics of Culture, in Modern Esoteric Spirituality, pp. 71-100 (p. 92) – Note carefully the “transmutation of letters to their prime state .. as parallel to the alchemical discipline of transmutation of metals to their base elements.. ,” echoed in Lurianic Cabalist philosophy, particularly in its Sabbatian interpretation: the kellipot (husks of evil) being analogous to the alchemists’ Prima Materia (“First Matter”, “Base Matter”) or Massa Confusa (“confused mass”) – there are over one hundred synonyms.

[25] Stolcius, Daniel (ie, Daniel Stolz von Stolzenberg), Theatrum Chymicum, 1614

[26] Theta, Wikipedia. (accessed 27 Feb 2018) – “lθve”: the Greek letter Theta (θ) is the eighth letter in the Greek alphabet, derived from the Phoenician letter Teth Phoenician teth.svg. In its archaic form, θ was written as a cross within a circle (as in the Etruscan A symbol of a cross within a circle or Another symbol of a cross within a circle), and later, as a line or point in circle (The symbol of a line within a circle or The symbol of a point within a circle) – i.e., the alchemists’ symbol of the Sun (Sol); interpreted by medieval- through Enlightenment-era cabalists seeking to syncretise Jewish mysticism with Christian theology as a symbol of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ (Messiah), divine representative of “love”. In left-hand path lore, Sol The symbol of a point within a circle is interpreted sexually: as the phallus, and/or, the phallus (point) within the female or male orifice/s (circle).

[27] Lévi, Éliphas, Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual, London: George RedwayA.E. Waite transl. (1896), pp. 107, 162-163

Compare Foxbrunner, Dr Roman A., Habad: The Hasidism of Schneur Zalman of Lyady, New Jersey, Jason Aronson Inc, (1993) pp. 108-109, quoting the founder of the Chabad-Lubavitch chassidic sect, Rabbi Schneur Zalman (1745 – 1812)  – “Gentile souls are of a completely different and inferior order. They are totally evil, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever… Their material abundance derives from supernal refuse. Indeed, they themselves derive from refuse, which is why they are more numerous than the Jews… . According to Rabbi Zalman, ‘All Jews were innately good, all gentiles innately evil… For RSZ (Rabbi Schneur Zalman) … gentiles were simply the embodiment of the kelipot…”

[28] McLean, Adam, Pandora series, (accessed 24 Feb 2018).  Note that the Hebrew word “bat” (עֲטַלֵּף`atalleph) is a word used for a “daughter”. The bat (flying in the dark) is “reckoned among the birds in the list of unclean animals [Leviticus 11:9, Deuteronomy 14:18]. To cast idols to the ‘moles and to the bats’ means to carry them into dark caverns or desolate places to which these animals resort (Isaiah 2:20: In that day people will throw away to the moles and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship.).” According to Hoffman (Secrets of Judaism Revealed on Purim), rabbis claim that “bat” (daughter) actually means “bayit” (home), a euphemism for “wife”.

The Jewish demon/ess and feminist icon, Lilith – whom we have met before – is often depicted with bat’s wings. Compare the Book of Revelation (chapter 17) on the Great Whore and Mother of Harlots.

[29] Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886, Aphorism 146, Hollingdale transl., via Gutenberg-DE. (accessed 1 March 2018)

Mysticism, Nature

Straighten Up and Fly Right: Jordan Peterson and the Left-hand Path

Maier, Atalanta Fugiens_AF46

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

The buzzard told the monkey “You are chokin’ me
“Release your hold, and I will set you free”
The monkey looked the buzzard right dead in the eye
And said “Your story’s so touching but it sounds just like a lie”


Jordan B. Peterson would appreciate this moment of synchronicity. After all, he is well-versed in Jung.

A friend in the northern hemisphere tweeted a video clip of a Peterson interview yesterday on BBC Radio 5. I just happened to see his tweet, five hours later.

In reference to young men, he said:

“They’re desperate for a discussion about responsibility and fair play and noble being and working properly in the world, and to hear the idea that their lives actually matter; that if they straighten themselves up and fly right that they’ll have a beneficial effect on themselves and their family and community, and that the world is starving for that, and for them, as individuals; not for them as a group but for each of them as individuals.”


When I heard those words spoken, my memory instantly flashed to consciousness the 1943 hit song by Nat King Cole:

A buzzard took a monkey for a ride in the air
Monkey thought that everything was on the square
The buzzard tried to throw the monkey off his back
But the monkey grabbed his neck and said “Now listen, jack”

Straighten up and fly right
“Straighten up and stay right
“Straighten up and fly right
“Cool down papa, don’t you blow your top
“Ain’t no use in divin’
“What’s the use of jivin’
“Straighten up and fly right
“Cool down papa, don’t you blow your top.”

The buzzard told the monkey “You are chokin’ me
“Release your hold, and I will set you free”
The monkey looked the buzzard right dead in the eye
And said “Your story’s so touching but it sounds just like a lie”

From “Her Lucky Night” 1945


I instantly knew – by intuition, buttressed by knowledge, acquired recently and reviewed only yesterday – what this idiom really means.

It has a profound significance.

I doubt that many today – if any – fully appreciate what these allegorical lyrics mean. Wikipedia provides a helpful hint, by dint of the background story:

The song was based on a black folk tale that Cole’s father had used as a theme for one of his sermons. In the tale, a buzzard takes different animals for a joy ride. When he gets hungry, he throws them off on a dive and eats them for dinner. A monkey who had observed this trick goes for a ride; he wraps his tail around the buzzard’s neck and gives the buzzard a big surprise by nearly choking him to death.

Engraving from I.C.H. Des Hermes Trismegistus, Leipzig, 1782

Engraving from I.C.H. Des Hermes Trismegistus, Leipzig, 1782. © 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

The phrase “straighten up and fly right” is said to mean:

Fig. to improve one’s behavior or attitude and perform better. (Originally referred to an airplane.)

in. to get serious and start behaving properly.

Clearly this is the context in which Peterson used it.

But there is far more to this allegory. I think it extremely important that we fully understand it:

And therefore, it is wisely said, that the stone is born of the spirit, because it is altogether spiritual. For the vulture himself flying without wings cries upon the top of the mountain, saying, I am the white brought forth from the black, and the red brought forth from the white, the citrine son of the red; I speak the truth and lie not.

Maier, Atalanta Fugiens_AF43

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

[F]or the vulture flying in the air without wings, cries out that it might get up upon the mountain, that is upon the waters, upon which the “spiritus albus” or spirit of whiteness is born.

The vulture flying through the air, and the toad creeping upon the ground, are the emblems of our magistery.

– Lapidus, “In Pursuit of Gold”, The Secret Book of Artephius (c. 12th Century)

Last evening – again, just by ‘coincidence’ – I had tweeted a lengthy thread of quotations from a book I am reading, written by a PhD scholar. The author’s preface openly states his purpose:

This book was composed in large measure as a response to the irrational “Satanic scare” of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was written with the intention of reaching a wide readership of thinking individuals capable of understanding the historical and cultural scope of ideas underlying the images of the left-hand path. [..] It should also be noted that the author of this book is not a Satanist, but is a practitioner of the left-hand path based on purely indigenous European models.

Stated more simply, the book is a scholarly defense of Satanist ideology, and so-called “black magic[k]”.

In earlier essays, such as Cheating Females Parts 1 and 2 (here, here), Ode to Debt (18+) (here), and Stags and Unicorns: The Alchemical Root of the Normalisation of Cheating (here), I have demonstrated that the left-hand path philosophy has been deeply embedded in modern western culture. It is increasingly evident – brazenly so – in the decadence, nihilism, and orchestrated chaos of postmodern western culture.

Indeed, the “Satanic” philosophy is literally the driving force of ‘our’ capital-ist,¹ Mammon-worshipping (and thereby enslaved) world. I have shown that it is at the very core of double-entry accounting, ‘modern’ banking, and the creation of our ‘money’ supply in the form of Balance Sheet credebt records, deceitfully rented to us at “interest” (usury, compounding):

..Freud cites overcoming incapacity for work as a major motive for entering a pact with the Devil. [..] A major psychological feature of black magic is that it provides immediate gains without immediate payment. The payment is feared as “really” both deferred and excessive. Thus deferred and excessive payment for immediate gain is characteristically associated with pacts with the Devil. The aversion towards usury, in current times as well as throughout the history of Christianity, is not completely coincidental. For usury is exactly a social expression of the Satanic Pact, immediate gains and excessive deferred payment.²


Engraving from JA Siebmacher, Das guldene Vleiss, Nurnberg 1737

Note hands AND feet: Left = Assets (real wealth), Right = Liabilities (double-entry *book* debt) | J.A. Siebmacher, Das guldene Vleiss (“The Golden Fleece”), Nurnberg, 1737. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

To my repeated assertion that Satanic philosophy is the driving force of modern and (especially) postmodern western capitalist culture, our scholar would appear to agree:

“The existence of the left-hand path is not easily discovered, but once its principles have been uncovered it slowly becomes apparent just how widespread the philosophy is.”

“[T]he basic precepts of the left-hand path have for centuries penetrated far beyond the sphere of magical and occult activity.”

“[M]odern philosophies and political ideologies have fully embraced principles basic and fundamental to the left-hand path, almost all of which have become the accepted norm in the west.”

The true significance of the allegorical sermon by Nat King Cole’s father becomes clear only when we understand the origin and meaning of the left-hand path, versus the right-hand path.

We see then that, rather than “the devil in the detail”, in the lyrics of the song we find the exact opposite: “Le bon Dieu est dans le détail” (“the good God is in the detail”).

I will now present some excerpts from our left-hand path scholar’s book, trusting that your eyes will be opened, and you will see. Note that italicised emphasis is in the original; bold is mine:

The actual origin of the right-hand versus left-hand path terminology itself is rooted in the vocabulary of Indian tantric sects. The two main divisions of these are the dakshinachara, “right-way” and the vamachara, “left-way”. [..] The eventual elaboration of the right-hand/left-hand path distinction is quite complex, but its origins are most probably rooted in the widespread tantric doctrines of a natural flow of universal force through the human body along a left to right line – entering the left, exiting the right. This is mirrored by a cosmic flow of force from the north to the south. When the human being is oriented toward the east this flow pattern is said to be in harmony with the one natural to his body, as his left hand is to the north, his right hand to the south. Here are the roots of the key to the common antinomianism, reversal of patterns, found in left-hand path tantrism. To reverse the left to right pattern, contrary to nature and cosmic law, requires an exercise of the faculty of will. This is an act of rebellion against nature and against divinely ordained cosmic order. [..] In going against this flow, individuals more fully articulate – individuate – themselves within their environments. Independence and freedom are attained and maintained – perhaps even personal immortality is to be gained.

Julius Evola remarks on the distinction between the two paths:

“The creative and productive aspect of the cosmic process is signified by the right hand, by the color white, and by the two goddesses Uma and Gauri… . The second aspect, that of conversion and return (exitus, reditus) is signified by the left hand, by the color black, and by the dark, destructive goddesses Durga and Kali. Thus according to the Mahakala Tantra, when the left and the right hands are in equilibrium we experience samsara, but when the left hand prevails, we find liberation.”

[Burton’s Legal Thesaurus: reditusproceeds, rent, revenue]

Engraving from Benedictus Figulus, Thesaurinella olympica, Hamburg, 1682

Benedictus Figulus, Thesaurinella olympica, 1682. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

Alain Daniélou remarks that the left-hand path corresponds to a “disintegrating tendency” (tamas) which “uses the power of Nature, the passions and instincts of man, to conquer, with their aid, the world of the senses… This way leads directly from the physical to the abstract because … the descending tendency is at both ends of the manifested, [therefore the left-hand path] may utilize even eroticism or drunkenness as a means of spiritual achievement.”

Clearly the left-hand path .. is associated both with the idea of dis-integration (separation) and with the practice of antinomianism  – of “going against the grain” of conventions in order to gain spiritual power.

Here it is quite clear, at least from the masculine perspective,³ that the essence of the vamachara [left-way] is the total transformation of the human initiate into something superhuman or god(dess)-like.

One of the significant differences between the two tantric paths, although both are under aegis of Shiva, is that on the right-hand path the adept always experiences “someone above him,” even at the highest level of realization. However, on the left-hand path the adept “becomes the ultimate sovereign” (chakravartin = world ruler).

Sixth woodcut from Basil Valentine's Azoth

Heinrich Nollius, Theoria Philosophiae Hermeticae, 1617. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

It is tempting to expand this essay with details of the antinomian “aberrations” that are practiced on the left-hand path in pursuit of its goal. But to do so would, I think, detract from the importance of the thematic understanding here presented, thanks to Jordan Peterson, a black folk tale, Nat King Cole and his preacher man father, my Twitter friend on the other side of the planet, and what was, for me, a spirit-raising moment of Jungian synchronicity.

If you feel compelled to learn more of the (disturbing) details, then you may wish to read my earlier essays mentioned above. One further quotation from our PhD scholar will be mildly suggestive:

Ultimately, [Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis] de Sade holds that the pursuit of pleasure is the object of human life, and that physical satisfaction is more noble than the merely mental. Happiness depends on the greatest possible extension of pleasure. This is done by enlarging the scope of one’s tastes and fantasies. It is only through wilful imagination that the possibilities for pleasure are extended. Social or religious conditioning prevents this in most cases. Finally, happiness is not so much found in the enjoyment of pleasure as in the desire itself and in the destruction of obstacles in the way of its accomplishment.

For de Sade the greatest pleasures were to be found in overcoming things which may have at one time inspired fear or disgust.

Whether in the sexual or more abstract philosophical sphere, the truest definition of Sadism .. is: “The pleasure felt from the observed modifications on the external world produced by the will of the observer.”

Suffice it to say, the allegory of the trickster buzzard who offers to take you on a jivin’, “fly left” joy ride – one that will “set you free” – is a profoundly cautionary tale:

“It is quite understandable why the forces of orthodox Christianity fought every advance in scientific, political, or religious philosophy, for each advance in spiritual freedom and enforcement of the interests of plurality over unity is indeed a victory for the Prince of Darkness – the principle of isolate intelligence…”

Maier, Atalanta Fugiens_AF12

Michael Maier, Atalanta Fugiens: Emblemata Nova de Secretis Naturae Chymica, 1618. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.


“Evil is the conscious attempt to make the conditions of existence more pathological than they have to be, and it’s motivated by conscious intent.”



The buzzard told the monkey “You are chokin’ me
“Release your hold, and I will set you free”
The monkey looked the buzzard right dead in the eye
And said “Your story’s so touching but it sounds just like a lie”


UPDATE 3 Feb 2018:

Recommend reading this article on the gnostic underpinnings of Jordan Peterson’s philosophy. Compare with Cabala’s origins. Readers of my other essays will hopefully recognise the fundamental connections between gnosticism, cabala, and left-hand path philosophies.




Stephen E. Flowers PhD, Lords of the Left-hand Path: A History of Spiritual Dissent

¹ If the reader is tempted to assume that I am opposed to the ideology of capitalism alone, I would say only that there was insufficient time and space to address the subject here. Please consider that I am somewhat widely read on the true origins, intent, and consequences of ‘Marxian’ socio-economic theories; thus my views on what I consider to be an artificial opposition are likely more nuanced than you may have presumed.

² David Bakan, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition

³ Cheating Females: The Production of Inequality, By Illusions of Equality


I recommend giving thought to this man’s words. But do not watch if you are unable to ignore vulgar, and/or blasphemous language, in the interest of gaining understanding.

“Of course, if I get disassociated from by a domination of empirical science I could be objectified into nihilism but apart from that little hiccup…”

Mysticism, Time

On Bitcoin Bubbles, Blue Garters, and Blue Aprons

(William Hogarth, The South Sea Scheme, 1721)

See here ye Causes why in London,
So many Men are made, & undone,
That Arts, & honest Trading drop,
To Swarm about ye Devils shop, (A)
Who Cuts out (B) Fortunes Golden Haunches,
Trapping their Souls with Lotts and Chances,
Shareing em from Blue Garters down
To all Blue Aprons in the Town.
Here all Religions flock together,
Like Tame and Wild Fowl of a Feather,
Leaving their strife Religious bustle,
Kneel down to play at pitch and Hussle; (C)
Thus when the Sheepherds are at play,
Their flocks must surely go Astray;
The woeful Cause yt in these Times
(E) Honour, & (D) honesty, are Crimes,
That publickly are punish’d by
(G) Self Interest, and (F) Vilany;
So much for monys magick power
Guess at the Rest you find out more.

The South Sea Company was a British stock company founded in 1711. The company was part of the treaty during the War of Spanish Succession, which was traded in return for the company’s assumption of debt run up by England during the war. The South Sea Company was plagued with financial speculation, corruption and credulity that caused the south sea bubble in 1720 (Sperling 5). Hogarth illustrates a scene that reflects the reality of the corruption behind the bubble. When the bubble burst because of rising stock prices due to speculation, a large portion of company investors were left broke as the company crashed. These company investors were people in all walks of society. As a fraud between the company’s directors and cabinet ministers surfaced, political scandal began to cause mass chaos.

The print shows a London scene, with a statue of a giant to the left; a column to the right is erected, its base originally reads “Erected in memory of the destruction of the City by the Great Fire in 1666” but Hogarth alters the inscription to “This monument was erected in memory of the destruction of the city by the South Sea in 1720” (Stevens, 8).  Hogarth does this to achieve equalizing the tragic results of the two events.  St. Paul’s Cathedral is in the background. The monument represents the city’s greed juxtaposed with St. Paul’s, which represents the city’s charity (Stevens 9). In the center of the print is a large construction, which seems to represent a merry-go-round of figures representing all levels of society, indicating the ways in which the South Sea Bubble affected all classes of people. These figures include a clergyman, a prostitute, a hag, and a Scottish nobleman (Walcot 415). A goat sits atop a sign that says “Who I Ride.” [“Who’l Ride” – CM]. In the upper left, a long line of women are entering a building with a sign that says “raffling for husbands with lottery fortunes in here”. On top of the building is a set of stag antlers (Walcot 413), which is symbolic of women cuckolding or leaving husbands who have lost their money in the crash [or is it? — CM]. To the left, “Fortune” hangs by her hair, blindfolded as the devil chops off parts of her body and throws them to the crowd below (Tate). She is hanging from a balcony of the Devil’s shop, aka Guild Hall (Walcot 413). To the right, the figure of “Honesty” is broken upon a wheel of self-interest (416). A man who represents Villainy, whip in hand and a mask upside down between his legs, stares at a figure representing “Honor” as if ready to beat him. Beneath Villainy stands a monkey wearing [taking, stealing – CM] the cloak of Honor, representing mimicry (Walcot 416). A Puritan, a Jew, and a Catholic stand at bottom left, ignoring the chaos and focused on the gambling, not having learned the harsh lesson about speculation. Finally, the figure of Trade, at the very front, appears to be dead. The corpse of Trade is easy to overlook in the ensuing chaos. [1]

Let us discover what William Hogarth meant in saying that the “Devil trap[s] their Souls .. Shareing [th]em from Blue Garters down, To all Blue Aprons in the Town.”

A superficial interpretation would be that he was referring to the entire hierarchy of English society, from the highest down to the lowest classes.

In 1348, King Edward III had founded the Most Noble Order of the Garter, the highest order of English chivalry. Membership is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than 24 members, or Companions. The garter itself is made of blue velvet trimmed with gold, and is worn on the left leg, below the knee:

When the ‘Garter’ was instituted, about 1348, its color was light blue — like the color of the regalia in private English Lodges — but soon after the accession of George I, in 1714, this light blue was changed to the present deep blue shade.[2]

But what of the “Blue Aprons”? Were the lowest classes in England associated in any way with this symbol? Not that I am aware.

There is another possibility.

William Hogarth was a freemason.[3] His father-in-law, Sir James Thornhill, was also an active member of the Craft, in “a period when to be a freemason was a fashionable activity in an environment where joining and attending clubs, coffee houses and various societies was very commonplace. Freemasonry stood out as an institution because of the quality and high ranking standing of those who had become members…”[4]

Hogarth “was born into an impoverished family, and he needed Thornhill’s introduction to join a suitable Lodge consisting of men well above his own social standing.”[5] He designed the Grand Steward’s Jewel for the Grand Lodge of England,[6] and eventually became a Grand Steward in 1734.[7]

Perhaps Hogarth, a renowned satirist, was mocking the victims of “The South Sea Scheme” at a deeper level than is commonly understood.

The Blue Apron is likely a cryptic reference to Freemasonry. A white lambskin or leather apron is said to be “the Badge of a Mason and [..] is more honorable than the Star and Garter or any other order that could be conferred upon him by King, Prince, Potentate or any other person except he be a Mason.”[8]

Recall that Hogarth depicted Villainy with a face mask that is hanging, inverted, over his groin.

On March 17th 1721 – shortly after the South Sea bubble had burst – the first Grand Lodge ordained that:

“None but the Grand Master, his Deputy and Wardens shall wear their Jewels in Gold or gilt pendant to Blue Ribbons about their Necks, and White Leather aprons with Blue Silk; which Sort of Aprons may also be worn by former Grand Officers.”

This was the first official mention of Blue Silk as a trimming for aprons, and it is clear that the Blue was originally reserved for Grand Officers. The Rawlinson MS., c. 1740, mentions: “Two Grand Masters aprons Lined with Garter blue silk and turned over two inches with white silk strings.”[9]

Originally Garter Blue was a very pale blue, “of a watery tinge”, changed under Edward VI to a mazarine or light sky blue and changed again during the Hanoverian period [probably 1745] to the current darker hue.[10]

So we see that there is clearly a connection between the Blue Garter of the Most Noble Order of royal chivalry, and the Blue-trimmed Apron of the Grand Masters of Freemasonry.

However, there is still more here than meets the eye.

The Blue Garter is also a symbol of the Sacred Marriage:

“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Silver Sixpence in her Shoe.”


It represents purity, virginity, and fidelity … and, a confirmation of the deflowering of the bride:

[T]he garter toss originates from an early 14th century French tradition called “Fingering the Garter”. [..] Post-wedding ceremony, couples would retire to the wedding chamber to consummate their marriage in order to make it all legally binding and ascertain the bride was an untouched virgin (and thus all offspring were genetically linked to the groom and his inheritance). Guests were then invited up to the room to see the groom’s deflowering handiwork, usually in the form of showing off the bed linens with their telltale post-virgin blood stain OR claiming the bride’s garter as a symbol of said consummation (likely a leftover from the tradition of the wedding girdle removal). In French the term for this was “fingering the garter,” guests checking to see if the bride was no longer a virgin by feeling near her garter. [..] In English traditions, guests would sneak into the marriage chamber to then attempt to throw discarded lingerie and stockings on the couple, whoever hit the noses of the couple with a stocking being the next to marry. In order to protect the bride from this groping crowd, grooms began throwing the garter to the mobs in order to keep them at a distance from their new bride.[11]

It is also a symbol of good fortune … to the man, other than the husband, who gets his hands on it first.[12]

The Devil traps their souls with lotts and chances,
Shareing them from Blue Garters down,
To all Blue Aprons in the Town

Perhaps what Hogarth really meant, was that the Devil had share-d the souls of the Most Noble (“Blue Garters”), down To” all the Grand Master Masons (“Blue Aprons”).

In light of the revelations of corruption and “fraud between the company’s directors and cabinet ministers”, our interpretation may be more than merely, err, speculative.

Pun intended.

What does all of this have to do with Bitcoin?

You decide.

For a deeper interpretation and exposition of the occult (hidden) meaning of the stag antlers over the building marked “Raffleing for Husbands with Lottery Fortunes in Here”, see Stags and Unicorns: The Alchemical Root of the Normalisation of Cheating.



[1] Hogarth Satires, The South Sea Scheme (online; accessed 20 December 2017)
[2] Leon Zeldis FPS, 33°, PSGC, Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the State of Israel Honorary Adjunct Grand Master, Masonic Blue (online; accessed 20 December 2017)
[3] Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, A few famous masons (online, accessed 20 December, 2017)
[4] W. Bro. Yasher Beresiner, William Hogarth: The Man, The Artist, and His masonic Circle (online, accessed 20 December 2017)
[6] Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, William Hogarth (online, accessed 20 December, 2017)
[7] Masonic Dictionary, William Hogarth (online, accessed 20 December, 2017)
[8] Brooks C. Dodson, Jr., Masonry and the Order of the Garter (online, accessed 20 December 2017)
[9] Bro. F.R. Worts, M.A., P.A.G.D.C., The apron and its symbolism (online, accessed 20 December 2017)
[10] Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, Masonic blue (online, accessed 20 December 2017)
[11] Nuptial Adventures, Traditions: Fingering the Garter, Symbols of Virginity, and Public Mortification (online; accessed 20 December 2017)
[12] ibid., “Weddings in most cultures have been considered a special moment to transfer luck or fortune, be it money, land, inheritance, good fortune, the possibility of future weddings, etc. In ye olden European wedding traditions, obtaining a trinket from the bride was always thought to be a harbinger of luck or at least future nuptials. After the couple exchanged vows, the attendees would sometimes rush up to the bride, ripping sections of her wedding finery off of her in order to obtain some of her wedding providence. The bride, in order to protect herself and her fashion choices, would then sometimes throw favors to the crowd, scarves, tokens, ribbons, garters, in order to make it to her own reception. If not quick enough though, her clothing and her garter would be forcibly removed, attendees flipping over the bride to remove her garters with her skirts over her head.”

Mysticism, Time

Stags and Unicorns: The Alchemical Root of the Normalisation of Cheating

The Book of Lambspring, Musaeum Hermeticum, Frankfurt 1625. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

The Sages say truly
That two animals are in this forest:
One glorious, beautiful, and swift,
A great and strong deer;
The other an unicorn.
He that knows how to tame and master them by Art,
To couple them together,
And to lead them in and out of the forest,
May justly be called a Master.
For we rightly judge
That he has attained the golden flesh,
And may triumph everywhere;
Nay, he may bear rule over great Augustus.

The Book Of Lambspring


To anyone paying attention, it should be obvious that the inverted moral value (vice) of infidelity that is actively and very profitably promoted in the half light of public consciousness, in adultery-themed “dating” sites, apps, and “reality” TV, is now being actively normalised by mainstream media, along with ‘liberal’ academia.




This “normalisation” of cheating has exactly the same root as the accounting, banking, and money systems.

As we have seen recently, the first step in an alchemical experiment is called nigredo (“blackening”; a synonym for corruption, decay, sacrifice, death, negation).

In double entry bookkeeping, the foundation of the accounting, banking, and money systems, the first rule is also an act of negation:

For every debit there must be an equal credit, and for every credit there must be an equal debit.

In Cabala, the first act of creation by “Ein-Sof” (Infinite God) is said to be an act of self-negation (“tzimtzum”; contraction, concealment).

In mainstream “financial intermediation” theory of banking, the first principle is a pretence of self-negation: supposedly, the mere coupling together of two opposites, Savers and Borrowers.

This “normalisation” of cheating – a direct attack on the cornerstone social bonds of traditional marriage and family – aims to bring about the corruption – and destruction – of human society.

Or, as the “philosophers” of the “royal Art” prefer to frame it, the “transformation” of human society.

The first step in the “experiment”, is the decay, destruction, or negation, of traditional moral values. Only then can the alchemist bring forth “gold” from the “base”; the “higher”, from the “lower”; Order, out of Chaos.

“I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.”

“You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”


Barent Coenders van Helpen series L'Escalier des Sages, Cologne, 1693_CH02

Barent Coenders van Helpen, L’Escalier des Sages (“The Stairs of the Wise”), Cologne, 1693. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

Cui bono? (to whose benefit?)

The money-lenders.

Or, as I have taken to saying, the Usurocracy*.

It should not be necessary to spell out the myriad economic impacts of broken marriages, and broken homes, inclining “preferences” toward an increased “demand” (need) for debt: the Usurocracy’s exclusive monopoly “product”.

One can only wonder at the magnitude of economic inefficiencies – and wealth inequality – associated with the increased “need” to pay billions in fees to the “family” lawyer class, for example.

I would like to draw public attention to the alchemical symbolism evidencing this once covert, and now increasingly overt goal, of normalising infidelity – that is to say, lying and cheating.

In previous essays we have seen that the ancient “Art” of alchemy is an andocentric, misogynous, predatory sex magic system, whose hidden goal is the theft, manipulation, and domination, of the feminine birth-force (life, “growth”) energy, or “gynergy”.

For power and profit.

Throughout recorded history, alchemical adepts have advanced their deception by combining exoteric (outer) and esoteric (inner) doctrines, with the difference between the two cloaked in metaphor, allegory and symbolism – in particular, by means of the rebus (Latin rēbus “by means of objects”) or punning principle – thus hiding the truth in plain sight:

The Rebis (from Latin res bina, meaning dual or double matter) is the end product of the alchemical magnum opus or great work.

Sixth woodcut from Basil Valentine's Azoth

Heinrich Nollius, Theoria Philosophiae Hermeticae, 1617. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

As we have also seen, the alchemical “Art” is based on two philosophical principles: the Unity of Opposites (exoteric), and the Law of Inversion (esoteric).

The “profane” are gulled – enchanted – by the outward appearance of beauty, nobility and virtue. Only the “illuminated” understand that the appearance cloaks a diabolic inner doctrine of inversion, that is explicitly contra naturam.

To illustrate this, let us now consider the alchemical allegory of the Stag and the Unicorn, from the Book of [Abraham] Lambspring (Frankfurt, 1625):

It seems that this little book was first published under the title De Lapide Philosophico Triga Chemicum (Prague 1599) compiled by the Frenchman Nicolas Barnaud prominent in the alchemical circles around Rudolf II.

Appearing at face value to be a work of “spiritual” alchemy, “[i]ts verses point to the soul and spirit involved in the alchemical transformation and its fifteen emblems are evocative symbols of these inner processes.”

The parable of the “deer” and the Unicorn appears to explain that the forest is “the Body”, the deer is “the Soul” , and the unicorn “the Spirit”. Knowing how to master all three “by Art” appears to be the goal aspired to.

The tinctures in alchemy relate also to the substances of the Mass, the red wine, the blood, and the white wafer, the body of Christ. Administration of the Sacraments was seen as spiritualising the souls of the partakers. In alchemical terms these white and red stones or tinctures served much the same purpose, though the alchemists achieved this, not through the intermediacy of a priest but by their own inner work of transmutation. Here alchemy links directly with the Grail stories which use similar parallels between the Grail and the Sacraments. The red tincture was occasionally symbolised by a stag bearing antlers. The stag being seen as a noble masculine animal. This links in with the Unicorn as a symbol of the white or feminine tincture. In some alchemical illustrations, such as that of the late 16th century Book of Lambspring, the Stag and Unicorn meet in the forest of the soul as part of the process of inner transformation.

We have already learned, however, that the secret inner doctrine of alchemy is one of sexual magic, and that the inversion (or reversal) of values lies at its heart.

Mylius version of Donum Dei Series_MD01

J.D. Mylius, Rosary of the Philosophers (Rosarium philosophorum sive pretiosissimum donum Dei), 1622. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

The Stag as a symbol is often associated with the Sun [Sola ☉, Mars ♂, Asset, active, creditor] and the Unicorn is usually linked with the Moon [Luna ☽, Venus ♀, Liability, passive, debtor]. These polarities are to be coupled together through the alchemist’s work.

Seen in this hidden ‘light’ – from the “other side” of the Sun or “Black Sun” – the parable of the Stag and the Unicorn is actually a metaphor for the infidelity and promiscuity (Latin infidēlitas: unfaithful, disloyal, treacherous) that is essential to the alchemists’ sex magic rituals; where, in the act of “coupl[ing] them together”, the initiated adept uses a cunning trick (upaya, method) to steal the seed of the woman for his own empowerment, and enrichment:

He that knows how to tame and master them by Art,
To couple them together,
And to lead them in and out of the forest,
May justly be called a Master.

Rather than the “deer” representing nobility of the Soul, for the alchemical adept it represents the rutting Stag’s “active” (creditor) sexual activity with all the females (debtor) in the herd.

stag (n.)
late 12c., probably from Old English stagga “a stag,” from Proto-Germanic *stag-, from PIE root *stegh- “to stick, prick, sting.” The Old Norse equivalent was used of male foxes, tomcats, and dragons; and the Germanic root word perhaps originally meant “male animal in its prime.”

Adjectival meaning “pertaining to or composed of males only” (as in stag party) is American English slang from 1848. Compare bull-dance, slang for one performed by men only (1845); gander (n.) also was used in the same sense. Stag film “pornographic movie” is attested from 1968. Stag beetle, so called for its “horns,” is from 1680s.

Rather than the Unicorn representing the Spirit, for the initiated it represents a cynical mockery of what is to him a mythical creature – the chaste and faithful female; symbolic also of the Holy Spirit, the Wisdom of God, the Virgin Mary, and the Christian saint.

Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived c. 490 to 425 BC, wrote that “the foulest Babylonian custom” was the practice of sacred prostitution. Once in their lifetimes, all women were required to sit in the temple of Ishtar/Inanna (“Aphrodite” to the greek Herodotus) and “have intercourse with some stranger” in return for money which was given to the temple:

Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it and rejects no one. [..] So then the women that are fair and tall are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfill the law; for some of them remain for three years, or four.

It is noteworthy that “a fraction of female gender researchers” dispute Herodotus’ account, claiming that the entire notion began with a few “patriarchal” Greek writers concocting defamatory tales about cultural or political enemies.

What is of importance is that the existence of “holy prostitution” in Babylon has been the widely-held belief, for thousands of years. Given this accepted milieu then, it is little wonder that the adepts of “Hermes, the Sage, the Babylonian” are seen in alchemical texts referring to the “base” subjects of their experiments as “whores”, and in at least one instance, as “the Babylonian whore”.

The final four verses of the parable clearly allude to what is the true goal of the alchemist: the attainment of “golden flesh”, that he may “triumph everywhere” and “rule over great Augustus” (the first Roman emperor).

As we saw in Cheating Females: The Production Of Inequality, By Illusions of Equality, the “gold” sought by the alchemists is threefold:

[T]he “Alchemy of life: he can make his life last as long as the sun and moon[; the] Alchemy of body: he can make his body eternally be but sixteen years old[; and the] Alchemy of enjoyments: he can turn iron and copper into gold”. These three experiments, then, primarily concern two goals: firstly the attainment of immortality, and secondly the production of gold, that is, material wealth.

I would draw your attention to two further points of special interest, before leaving you to contemplate the entire parable for yourself.

Firstly, bear in mind that the exoteric (public) doctrine actively promotes the idea of “equality” of the two “universal” genders. Then observe the subtle, egocentric misogyny implied by the lyrical praise of the Male (“glorious, beautiful and swift”, “great and strong”, etc), sharply contrasted by the absence of any adjectives, much less any superlatives, applied to the Female. One might get the impression (“The other an unicorn”) that the Female is merely an afterthought, barely worth mentioning at all.

Secondly, observe that the Stag is depicted as proudly boasting six (6) tines on each of its antlers, and bear in mind that a stag’s antlers function as objects of sexual attraction, and as weapons in fights for control over harems.


The Book of Lambspring,
A Noble Ancient Philosopher,
Concerning the Philosophical Stone;
Rendered into Latin Verse by
Nicholas Barnaud Delphinas,
Doctor of Medicine, a zealous Student of this Art.

Figure III


The Sages say truly
That two animals are in this forest:
One glorious, beautiful, and swift,
A great and strong deer;
The other an unicorn.
They are concealed in the forest,
But happy shall that man be called
Who shall snare and capture them.
The Masters shew you here clearly
That in all places
These two animals wander about in forests
(But know that the forest is but one).
If we apply the parable to our Art,
We shall call the forest the Body.
That will be rightly and truly said.
The unicorn will be the Spirit at all times.
The deer desires no other name
But that of the Soul; which name no man shall take away from it.
He that knows how to tame and master them by Art,
To couple them together,
And to lead them in and out of the forest,
May justly be called a Master.
For we rightly judge
That he has attained the golden flesh,
And may triumph everywhere;
Nay, he may bear rule over great Augustus.


For further reading on the topic of sexual “freedom”, I can recommend E. Michael Jones’ Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control:

“Thus, a good man, though a slave, is free; but a wicked man, though a king, is a slave. For he serves, not one man alone, but, what is worse, as many masters as he has vices.”

– St. Augustine, City of God

Writing at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire, St. Augustine both revolutionized and brought to a close antiquity’s idea of freedom. A man was not a slave by nature or by law, as Aristotle claimed. His freedom was a function of his moral state. A man had as many masters as he had vices. This insight would provide the basis for the most sophisticated form of social control known to man.

Fourteen hundred years later, a decadent French aristocrat turned that tradition on its head when he wrote that “the freest of people are they who are most friendly to murder.” Like St. Augustine, the Marquis de Sade would agree that freedom was a function of morals. Unlike St. Augustine, Sade proposed a revolution in sexual morals to accompany the political revolution then taking place in France. Libido Dominandi – the term is taken from Book I of Augustine’s City of God – is the definitive history of that sexual revolution, from 1773 to the present.

Unlike the standard version of the sexual revolution, Libido Dominandi shows how sexual liberation was from its inception a form of control. Those who wished to liberate man from the moral order needed to impose social controls as soon as they succeeded because liberated libido led inevitably to anarchy. Aldous Huxley wrote in his preface to the 1946 edition of Brave New World that “as political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase.” This book is about the converse of that statement. It explains how the rhetoric of sexual freedom was used to engineer a system of covert political and social control. Over the course of the two-hundred-year span covered by this book, the development of technologies of communication, reproduction, and psychic control – including psychotherapy, behaviorism, advertising, sensitivity training, pornography, and plain old blackmail – allowed the Enlightenment and its heirs to turn Augustine’s insight on its head and create masters out of men’s vices. Libido Dominandi is the story of how that happened.


Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

– Jesus of Nazareth (Sermon on the Mount; Matthew 5:27-28)


* Credit for the term “Usurocracy” goes to Dr John Dunn, author of Renaissance: Counter Renaissance


Abraham Lambspring, The Book of Lambspring, Nicholas Barnaud Delphinas Ed.
Adam McLean, A Threefold Journey Through The Book Of Lambspring
Adam McLean, Animal Symbolism In Alchemy
Herodotus, The Histories (1.199), A.D. Godley Ed., Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1920
V. and V. Trimondi, The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism (2003), transl. by Mark Penny

Mysticism, Time

Ode To Debt (18+)

Come, my love, my dove, & pour
From thy cup the serpent wine
Brimmed & breathless -secret store
Of my crimson concubine
Surfeit spirit in the shrine-
Devil -Godess -Virgin -Whore.

Lyric of Love to Leah

Leah Hirsig as “Alostrael” (Source: Wikipedia)

In my recent two-part essay “Cheating Females” (Part 1, Part 2) we traced evidences back to circa 3200 BC showing that the ‘modern’ accounting, banking, and economic systems are built on two fundamental principles of cabalist alchemy – the Unity of Opposites, and the Law of Inversion – and are nothing less than a predatory, radically misogynous metaphor for ancient Babylonian sex magic.

A few quotations as a reminder:

“the woman … involved is an object, a representation of power … women are merely spiritual batteries..”

“In European alchemy the coarse starting material for the experiments is known as the prima materia and is of a fundamentally feminine nature. Likewise, as in the tantras, base substances such as excrement, urine, menstrual blood, part of corpses and so forth are named in the alchemic texts, no matter which culture they belong to, as the physical starting materials for the experiments. Symbolically, the primal material is described in images such as ‘snake, dragon, toad, viper, python’. It is also represented by every conceivable repulsive female figure — by witches, mixers of poison, whores, chthonic goddesses, by the ‘dragon mother’ so often cited in depth psychology. All these are metaphors for the demonic nature of the feminine…”

“These misogynous terms for the prima materia are images which on the one hand seek to describe the untamed, death-bringing nature; on the other one readily admit that a secret force capable of producing everything in the phenomenal world is hidden within ‘Mother Nature’. Nature in alchemy has at its disposal the universal power of birth. It represents the primordial matrix [▽] of the elements, the massa confusa, the great chaos, from which creation bursts forth.”

One text talks of ‘the transformation of the Babylonian whore into a virgin’..”

“The general term for body orifice, KA in Sumerian or bãbu in Akkadian, is expressly liminal because it also means door or gate. The vaginal opening, bãb uri and the anus bãb šuburri are imagined then as thresholds. From literary and incantation texts we know that the body and its orifices were regarded as sites of transition, especially when aroused.”

“In an Old Babylonian incantation (spell) .. the ‘chief tools of magic making are the female’s aroused body orifices’.”

“If one sips the sukra out of his mudra’s genitals with his mouth, then the process is described as being ‘from mouth to mouth’. [..] Through this oriental ‘Last Supper’ the power and the strength of the women are passed over to the man.”

Those who have read my two essays should now be able to recognise the alchemical and financial significance of key metaphorical concepts (eg, “spend”) embedded in the following poem written by the infamous ‘magician’, Aleister Crowley, to his “wisdom consort”, the Swiss-American Leah Hirsig:

In 1919, after seeking out Aleister Crowley due to her interest in the occult, she was consecrated as his Babalon or, “Scarlet Woman”, taking the name Alostrael, “the womb (or grail) of God.” Leah Hirsig wrote in her 1921 diary: “I dedicate myself wholly to The Great Work. I will work for wickedness, I will kill my heart, I will be shameless before all men, I will freely prostitute my body to all creatures”.

18+  Do not read if extreme vulgarity offends.

Crowley’s own comments that “I think I’ll collect all my filth in one poem and mark it Leah..” and “an occasional publishable line thrown in when I weakened” should serve as fair warning.

My bold and/or italicised emphasis is added.

Leah Sublime

by Aleister Crowley

Cefalú, Italy

5.25pm to 5.15am

Against all principals, and in breach of two promises, I have sat up all night in the snows, writing a poem to Leah.
One long poem — an occasional publishable line thrown in when I weakened.
7.00 am: I think I’ll collect all my filth in one poem and mark it Leah in plain figures.
10.00 am: I think I did.

Leah Sublime,
Goddess above me!
Snake of the slime
Alostrael, love me!
Our master, the devil
Prospers the revel.

Tread with your foot
My heart til it hurt!
Tread on it, put
The smear of your dirt
On my love, on my shame
Scribble your name!

Straddle your Beast
My Masterful Bitch
With the thighs of you greased
With the Sweat of your Itch!
Spit on me, scarlet
Mouth of my harlot!

Now from your wide
Raw cunt, the abyss,
Spend spouting the tide
Of your sizzling piss
In my mouth; oh my Whore
Let it pour, let it pour!

You stale like a mare
And fart as you stale;
Through straggled wet hair
You spout like a whale.
Splash the manure
And piss from the sewer.

Down to me quick
With your tooth on my lip
And your hand on my prick
With feverish grip
My life as it drinks—
How your breath stinks!

Your hand, oh unclean
Your hand that has wasted
Your love, in obscene
Black masses, that tasted
Your soul, it’s your hand!
Feel my prick stand!

Your life times from lewd
Little girl, to mature
Worn whore that has chewed
Your own pile of manure.
Your hand was the key to—
And now your frig me, too!

Rub all the much
Of your cunt on me, Leah
Cunt, let me suck
All your glued gonorrhea!
Cunt without end!
Amen! til you spend!

Cunt! you have harboured
All dirt and disease
In your slimy unbarbered
Loose hole, with its cheese
And its monthlies, and pox
You chewer of cocks!

Cunt, you have sucked
Up pricks, you squirted
Out foetuses, fucked
Til bastards you blurted
Out into space—
Spend on my face!

Rub all your gleet away!
Envenom the arrow.
May your pox eat away
Me to the marrow.
Cunt you have got me;
I love you to rot me!

Spend again, lash me!
Leah, one spasm
Scream to splash me.
Slime of the chasm
Choke me with spilth
Of your sow-belly’s filth.

Stab your demonic
Smile to my brain!
Soak me in cognac
Cunt and cocaine;
Sprawl on me! Sit
On my mouth, Leah, shit!

Shit on me, slut!
Creamy the curds
That drip from your gut!
Greasy the turds!
Dribble your dung
On the tip of my tongue!

Churn on me, Leah!
Twist on your thighs!
Smear diarrhoea
Into my eyes!
Splutter out shit
From the bottomless pit.

Turn to me, chew it
With me, Leah, whore!
Vomit it, spew it
And lick it once more.
We can make lust
Drunk on Disgust.

Splay out your gut,
Your ass hole, my lover!
You buggering slut,
I know where to shove her!
There she goes, plumb
Up the foul Bitch’s bum!

Sackful of skin
And bone, as I speak
I’ll bugger your grin
Into a shriek.
Bugger you, slut
Bugger your gut!

Wriggle, you hog!
Wrench at the pin!
Wrench at it, drag
It half out, suck it in!
Scream, you hog dirt, you!
I want it to hurt you!

Beast-Lioness, squirt
From your Cocksucker’s hole!
Belch out the dirt
From your Syphillis soul.
Splutter foul words
Through your supper of turds!

May the Devil our lord, your
Soul scribble over
With sayings of ordure!
Call me your lover!
Slave of the gut
Of the arse of a slut!

Call me your sewer
Of spilth and snot
Your fart-sniffer, chewer
Of the shit in your slot.
Call me that as you rave
In the rape of your slave.

Fuck! Shit! Let me come
I’ve spent in your bum.
Shit! Give me the muck
From my whore’s arse, slick
Dirt of my prick!

Eat it, you sow!
I’m your dog, fuck, shit!
Swallow it now!
Rest for a bit!
Satan, you gave
A crown to a slave.

I am your fate, on
Your belly, above you.
I swear it by Satan
Leah, I love you.
I’m going insane
Do it again!


Source: Hermetic Library


From Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition (h/t twitter user @HereIsJorge). Emphasis in original:

In his essay on cocaine [Freud] gave an account of the religious practices associated with it among South American Indians. [..] These rather irresponsible activities in the quest for a “magical drug” to achieve mood modification, are reminiscent of the whole history of magic. As we shall see when we discuss his essay on demoniacal possession, Freud cites overcoming incapacity for work as a major motive for entering a pact with the Devil. [..] Indeed, perhaps, one of the important reasons for the aversion to “magical drugs” is that they are reminiscent of  black magic. A major psychological feature of black magic is that it provides immediate gains without immediate payment. The payment is feared as “really” both deferred and excessive. Thus deferred and excessive payment for immediate gain is characteristically associated with pacts with the Devil. The aversion towards usury, in current times as well as throughout the history of Christianity, is not completely coincidental. For usury is exactly a social expression of the Satanic Pact, immediate gains and excessive deferred payment.

Mysticism, Time

“Perhaps It Is Not An Accident”

Saturn Devouring His Son, Francisco Goya (1819-1823). (Source: Wikipedia)

I feel sure that with a little more experience we shall use the new-found bounty of nature quite differently from the way in which the rich use it to-day, and will map out for ourselves a plan of life quite otherwise than theirs.

For many ages to come the old Adam will be so strong in us that everybody will need to do some work if he is to be contented. We shall do more things for ourselves than is usual with the rich to-day, only too glad to have small duties and tasks and routines. But beyond this, we shall endeavour to spread the bread thin on the butter – to make what work there is still to be done to be as widely shared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week may put off the problem for a great while. For three hours a day is quite enough to satisfy the old Adam in most of us!

There are changes in other spheres too which we must expect to come. When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession – as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life – will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease. All kinds of social customs and economic practices, affecting the distribution of wealth and of economic rewards and penalties, which we now maintain at all costs, however distasteful and unjust they may be in themselves, because they are tremendously useful in promoting the accumulation of capital, we shall then be free, at last, to discard.

“Within a few centuries, the new capitalist spirit challenged the basic Christian ethic: the boundless ego of Sir Gales Overreach and his fellows in the marketplace had no room for charity or love in any of their ancient senses. The capitalist scheme of values in fact transformed five of the seven deadly sins of Christianity – pride, envy, greed, avarice, and lust – into positive social virtues, treating them as necessary incentives to all economic enterprise; while the cardinal virtues, beginning with love and humility, were rejected as ‘bad for business,’ except in the degree that they made the working class more docile and more amenable to cold-blooded exploitation.

In sum, where capitalism prospered, it established three main canons for successful economic enterprise: the calculation of quantity, the observation and regimentation of time (‘Time is Money’), and the concentration on abstract pecuniary rewards. Its ultimate values – Power, Profit, Prestige – derive from these sources and all of them can be traced back, under the flimsiest of disguises, to the Pyramid Age. The first produced the universal accountancy of profit and loss; the second ensured productive efficiency in men as well as machines; the third introduced a driving motive into daily life, equivalent on its own base level to the monk’s search for an eternal reward in Heaven. The pursuit of money became a passion and an obsession: the end to which all other ends were means.” 1

Of course there will still be many people with intense, unsatisfied purposiveness who will blindly pursue wealth – unless they can find some plausible substitute. But the rest of us will no longer be under any obligation to applaud and encourage them. For we shall inquire more curiously than is safe today into the true character of this “purposiveness” with which in varying degrees Nature has endowed almost all of us. For purposiveness means that we are more concerned with the remote future results of our actions than with their own quality or their immediate effects on our own environment.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].

Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying can add one hour to [the length of] his life? And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing], yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” 2

The “purposive” man is always trying to secure a spurious and delusive immortality for his acts by pushing his interest in them forward into time. He does not love his cat, but his cat’s kittens; nor, in truth, the kittens, but only the kittens’ kittens, and so on forward forever to the end of cat-dom. For him jam is not jam unless it is a case of jam to-morrow and never jam to-day. Thus by pushing his jam always forward into the future, he strives to secure for his act of boiling it an immortality.

The Book of Lambspring, 1599, illustration from re-edition “Dyas chymica tripartita”, 1625. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

Let me remind you of the Professor in Sylvie and Bruno:

“Only the tailor, sir, with your little bill,” said a meek voce outside the door.

“Ah, well, I can soon settle his business,” the Professor said to the children, “if you’ll just wait a minute. How much is it, this year, my man?” The tailor had come in while he was speaking.

“Well, it’s been a-doubling so many years, you see,” the tailor replied, a little grufy, “and I think I’d like the money now. It’s two thousand pound, it is!”

“Oh, that’s nothing!” the Professor carelessly remarked, feeling in his pocket, as if he always carried at least that amount about with him. “But wouldn’t you like to wait just another year and make it four thousand? Just think how rich you’d be! Why, you might be a king, if you liked!”

“I don’t know as I’d care about being a king,” the man said thoughtfully. “But it dew sound a powerful sight o’ money! Well, I think I’ll wait–”

“Of course you will!” said the Professor. “There’s good sense in you, I see. Good-day to you, my man!”

“Will you ever have to pay him that four thousand pounds?” Sylvie asked as the door closed on the departing creditor.

“Never, my child!” the Professor replied emphatically. “He’ll go on doubling it till he dies. You see, it’s always worth while waiting another year to get twice as much money!”

Perhaps it is not an accident that the race which did most to bring the promise of immortality into the heart and essence of our religions has also done most for the principle of compound interest and particularly loves this most purposive of human institutions.

I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue – that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanour, and the love of money is detestable, that those walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow. We shall once more value ends above means and prefer the good to the useful. We shall honour those who can teach us how to pluck the hour and the day virtuously and well, the delightful people who are capable of taking direct enjoyment in things, the lilies of the field who toil not, neither do they spin.

But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight.


– John Maynard Keynes, Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Essays In Persuasion, The Future, 1930



POSTSCRIPT:  Goya’s painting Saturn Devouring His Son depicts the myth of the Greek titan Cronus (“Time”), in Goya’s title Romanized to Saturn; the god of generation/birth/life and dissolution/death (note the Union of Opposites) wealth, abundance, agriculture, periodic renewal and “liberation”.

In Rome, the Temple of Saturn housed the state treasury (Aerarium). The famous Saturnalia celebrated him with feasting, role reversals, free speech*, and revelry.

According to tradition, Cronus (i.e., the Semitic god El) – who envied and overthrew his father† Uranus – feared that one of his sons would overthrow him, and so devoured them at birth.

Have you spotted the ancient alchemical “transformation” allegory for debt-at-compounding-“interest” magick ‘money’ yet?

Chronos (“Time”) and Mercury-Hermes. Dragon symbolises the female (debt) principle | Abraham Eleazar, Uraltes chymisches Werck, ‘Flamel’, 1735. © Adam McLean 1997-2017 ( Used with permission.

* One wonders whether the “free speech” of the Saturnalia was similar to that of the role-reversing cult festivals of the Sumerian goddess Inanna (eg, an emphasis on the scatological), where all social taboos were deliberately broken in a debauched (de-value-d), “carnivalesque” celebration of the goddess.

† “Rabbi Nathan met the prophet Elijah. He asked him, ‘What was the Holy One, Blessed be He, doing in that hour?’

“Said Elijah, ‘He was laughing and saying, “My children have defeated me, my children have defeated me.”’

Babylonian Talmud, Bava Mezia 59b



[1] Lewis Mumford, Myth of the Machine (1967)
[2] Jesus of Nazareth, Gospel of Matthew 6:24-33 (Amplified Bible)