Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 59, Illuminatus online reading group



Sheila White as Messalina in the old BBC production of I Claudius

This week "Cars, except for official cars and the vehicles of the performers," page 617, to page 627, "Come over here and get the energies going with me.")

In the "Claudius" series of novels by Robert Graves, there is a memorable scene in which Messalina, the wife of the emperor Claudius, has sex in an orgy with many different men. Messalina is name-checked in Illuminatus! (page 606, "And how's the Miskatonic Messalina?"), so perhaps the scene had a cultic, pagan meaning that I missed at the time when I read it years ago. (But depicting women as promiscuous is a common smear tactic in history.)  In any event, it would seem to be too coincidental that Messalina is mentioned a few pages before the last few pages of this week's selection, which appears to feature a shapeshifting goddess.

A couple of notes:

"First the towers appeared ... " page 619. The design of the rock festival grounds recalls the design of the Nazi concentration camps, as Joe Malik notices on the next page.

EWIGE BLUMENKRAFT AND EWIGE SCHLAGENKRAFT, page 620. Wikipedia explains.  The whole entry is worth reading; excerpt: ""Ewige Blumenkraft und ewige Schlangenkraft" is also offered in Illuminatus! as the complete version of this motto. The text translates "Schlangenkraft" as "serpent power"; thus "Ewige Blumenkraft und ewige Schlangenkraft" means "eternal flower power and eternal serpent power" and may allude to the conjoinment of cross and rose within the alchemical furnace."

"Green and Pleasant Publications," page 622, the name Robert Shea gave to his publishing operation, which put out the anarchist fanzine No Governor. (Issues available here.)

"I hear you're good at that," page 625, this scene goes back to the Babalon working, Black Mass scene.

(Next week: "This is Danny Pricefixer," Dorus Horus said, page 627, to page 637, "Into the silence, Hagbard said ... ")


76 comments:

JCG said...

"As the Beatles..." p.620
The description of the AMA suggests that Wilson and Shea were tuning into what would become punk music.
That said, I like to think that the 'witchhouse' group, Salem, performs the type of music that the AMA would play (if they were a band today): https://vimeo.com/29062356

Similarly, I can hear traces of The Closed Corporation in the music of the Master Musicians Of Bukkake:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5W7-n56caQ

Oz Fritz said...

p. 618 - "Peter "Pall" Mall ..." qabalistically suggestive name and pun. Peter = sexual slang, Pall = Pe (war, destruction)+ all
Mall = maul, also Mem (Hanged Man) + all. Links to "WE'LL KILL THE OLD RED ROOSTER."

'... Enochian Keys which Dr. John Dee had deciphered from the acrostics in the Necronomicon..." - clever disinformation

p.619 "These people really know how to build this kind of place," said Otto Waterhouse." I love this name as a mnemonic, it translates as 'automatic water magic.' This sentence and the rest of the page has double entendres related to theurgic magick practice.

p. 620 EWIGE BLUMENKRAFT UND EWIGE SCHLANGEKRAFT - I agree with the reference Tom posted that this relates to the conjoinment of the Rose and the Cross. This occurs in the domain of Tiphareth then radiates out from there. Hagbard's comments that immediately follow point to this major occult practice being right out in the open.

"... the Oklahoma Home Demonstration Club was playing, and the loudspeahers thundered out an old favorite of that group: "Custer Stomp" Custer Stomp gives an image that combines Death and Tiphareth in one assemblage. The death part seems obvious to anyone familiar with American history (Custer's Last Stand). C + S = 68; 6 = Tipharteh, 8 = Hod (communication). The band's name also fits - Tiphareth gets known as home by people who establish residence there. Breaking down Oklahoma Joycean style we first hear Ok = oak = a Tiphareth correspondence, etc.

p. 626 - "... The Passion of Christ." Interesting synchronicity with all these references to Christ and Jesus last week and this week occurring in our reading cycle at the same time as Easter. Another synch: end of last week and this week I've been mixing Propaganda Anyonymous' band Hail Eris! "Hail Eris" was part of the assigned text last week while this week we get "Kallisti," also one of their song titles.

JCG, thanks for posting Master Musicians of Bukkake. I enjoyed their music, hadn't known of them before.

Eric Wagner said...

Man, I love "I, Claudius", the novels and the TV series.

I enjoy Frances Yates' writings on John Dee. He had a huge library.

The discussion of the "perpetual virgin" on page 626 reminds me of Tennessee Williams' "Camino Real".

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