Riddles in the Dark: Socrates’ Prayer in the Phaedrus


Dear Reader,

It is one of the underlying theses of the book on which I am working that there is an occult shamanistic and theurgic tradition buried in Plato’s dialogues on love, the Phaedrus and the Symposium. I have also written here on how we got our contemporary depictions of the devil as a satyr.

Well,  these two streams converge in the Phaedrus when Socrates offers a prayer to Pan, a satyr god of Arcadia.

Socrates prays, “Dear Pan, and all you other gods who live here, grant that I may become beautiful within, and that whatever outward things I have may be in harmony with the spirit inside me. May I understand that it is only the wise who are rich, and may I have only as much money as a temperate person needs.”

Let’s take a look at this prayer. The second part of the prayer is a pretty straightforward Leo Strauss, “Great Books” Platonism: wisdom is better than riches; it is better to live a good life than the life of pleasure, etc.

It is the first part of prayer that is so interesting. In it, Socrates asks to become beautiful or clean within and to live according to the spirit inside of him.

Socrates also earlier in the dialogue had strangely performed an invocation to the muses. Why all this invocation to spirits and prayers asking for interior transformation? It sounds a lot like shamanism and theurgy–even if we admit that Socrates may simply be being ironic.

Also, why is the dialogue set in a pastoral and Arcadian locale, and why does Socrates pray to Pan?

Is it possible that Pan, the satyr god, who, like satyrs, steals young women and nymphs, is an image of the serpent who seduced Eve?

Remember, Platonism is the metaphysical engine of gnosticism, theurgy, and the occult tradition all the way through theosophy to the present day.

What did all of these occultists find in Plato and his later followers that made his thinking amenable to them?

As a final note, I am not suggesting that Platonism is essentially diabolical. Obviously the first 1000 years of Christian theology was Platonic in as much as it was Augustinian, but there clearly is an esoteric teaching in Plato that later occultists picked up.

St. Augustine, pray for us!

The “God” of Praise and Worship


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Dear Reader,

I have been reading a work on the Chaldean Oracles, the work that is the basis of most of Western magic–especially Neoplatonic magic and theurgy.

One curious elements I have come across in the work  (and in all of my student of Neoplatonic magic and Gnosticism, in fact) is that Neoplatonism, theurgy, and Gnosticism all use images and words that are similarly used by Christians. “Father,” “Heavenly Father,” “Father of Lights,” etc.

However, these titles, when used in pagan prayer, clearly refer to other demons or Satan himself, not the Most Holy Trinity.


First of all, because Neoplatonists are not offering The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when worshiping but rather are practicing shamanic rituals that induce possession and ecstasy.

Secondly, these pagan services include worship of other gods and daemons as well.

Finally, Gnosticism and theurgy have been repeatedly condemned by the Church as demonic.

However, if it is possible to use “Christian” names for God and even the name of Jesus (as New Agers do), in self-identified pagan worship, then it is also possible that the “Jesus,” “Father of Lights,” and even “Holy Spirit” invoked at self-identified Christian worship, which is actually a contemporary form of shamanism and theurgy, is actually demonic worship.

It is my contention that such rituals take place during “praise and worship” festivals that use the name of Jesus and other holy names of God but are actually worship of demons.

I have already written that praise and worship ceremonies clearly resemble Gnostic rituals. However, even the magic ceremonies of the Chaldeans included such things as “enchanting songs” and “ineffable words” (praying in tongues?) that induced “prophets” to speak in prophesy by summoning spirits.

This sounds a lot like praise and worship ceremonies in which the “Holy Spirit” (or more likely the demon called Apollo by the Greeks and Romans) is conjured through Evangelical praise music and a sweaty, narcissistic charismatic begins to babel and tell the people words of consolation in the form of “prophecy”–remember the demons have no problem telling the people super nice and affirming things.

Is this how the Holy Spirit works? Can He be conjured by a layman and to come and reveal New Age platitudes?




Our Lady and the Triumph over Hecate

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One of the more famous churches in Rome is a former temple dedicated to Athena or Minerva, which has been converted to a Catholic church titled “Maria sopra Minerva” or Mary over Minerva, celebrating Our Lady’s victory of the degenerate pagan goddess Athena.

While I had known that Our Lady was presented by early Christians as superior to the various goddesses that were venerated in the Mediterranean world, I was not aware of how great a contrast Our Lady has to the goddess Hecate–especially as read in the tradition of Neoplatonic magic.

Like Artemis-Diana with whom she is linked, Hecate, the goddess of the underworld and witchcraft was linked with the moon. She further had snake hair (a Gnostic symbol) and was adorned by fiery snakes. Finally, and most interestingly, Hecate was an image of the world soul, the “membrane” between the intellectual-spiritual world and the physical world. Thus, there is the connection with magic and witchcraft as those who mediated the power of Hecate could mediate between the spiritual and physical world, summoning demons and powers.

As a result, Hecate is a demonic mediatrix, a diabolical mockery of Our Lady.

Finally, it is weird how common the image of the veil or membrane between the spiritual and physical world is in everything from faerie tales with magic mirrors (remade by Walt Disney); to the Early Modern Chinese novel, The Journey to the West, to the poetry of Percy Shelley; to Stephen Spielberg’s 80s film, Poltergeist.

In fact, Hecate’s function sounds a lot like the screens of electronic devices that mediate the demonic world of the internet into our homes.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us.

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Pederasty: The Missing Element of the Neoplatonic Movement


Dear Reader,

I have discovered a gold mine of information regarding Neoplatonism in the Renaissance in a collection of essays titled Marsilio Ficino: His Theology, His Philosophy, His Legacy. 

Before I share one of them, I want to make a couple of quick statements. First of all, I have no specific evidence outside of rumor or hearsay that anyone involved in the dissemination of Neoplatonism in Europe in the 15th or 16th century (including the Medici in the picture above!) engaged in sodomy, pederasty or any other degenerate behavior outside of John Dee’s famous wife swap and rumors of Giordano Bruno’s visits to prostitutes.

As far as I can tell, all of them followed traditional Christian moral teaching in regard to sins of the flesh.

Secondly, on this blog, I am by no means suggesting that everyone who utilized Plato or Neoplatonic teaching was an occultist or a heretic. In fact, I think that much of what is said by Plato and the Neoplatonists in regard to metaphysics, ethics, and even some politics is basically correct in as much as it harmonizes with traditional Catholic teaching.

Nonetheless, it is my view that Neoplatonism also provides the basis for Gnosticism or intellectual Satanism and “high magic.”

Furthermore, one of the essential ingredients of this magic is pederasty and sodomy, which flourished at one time among Socrates and his fellows and was revived in the 19th century among Plato scholars and of course practiced by Aleister Crowley and later sexual degenerates and occultists.

It was thus of some interest when I read Arthur Field’s’ sarcastic comment in regard to James Hankins’s misreading of one of Marsilio Ficino’s letters: “I would conclude from Hankins’s argument that Ficino was running some pederastic club for visiting ambassadors.”

Again, I have absolutely no evidence that Ficino was a pedophile or sodomite, but Fields’s sarcastic comment is worth probing.

Florence was known for its degeneracy and the presence of pederasty long after Dante’s famous depiction of sodomites in hell in the fourteenth century.

Pederasty was also clearly one of the steps in the ascent of love in the Symposium and Phaedrus–especially in the esoteric readings of the works as magical ascents.

Are we to believe that the arrival of Plato was greeted with only intellectual admiration in the West, and no one attempted to imitate the degeneracy promoted in the “erotic dialogues”?

Were those who revived Gnosticism, Satanism, and Neoplatonic magic, and conversing with demons really living chaste lives?

I am not making any accusations, but this issue deserves further study.




A Brief Note on Synesius and the Chaldean Oracles

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Dear Reader,

As I have noted before, the earlier Catholic bishop Synesius was an adept of Neoplatonic magic and Gnostic thought. However, I have just discovered that he uses terminology used in the ur-text of Western magic, the Chaldean Oracles. The Oracles were originally from Babylon and are the basis of much of Western magic and occultism–especially the “thinking man’s” magic.

Synesius’s familiarity with this ancient Babylonian text is strange and could further lead to the idea that occultists hid out among the earlier Christian clergy and passed down their teaching sub rosa.

Magic and the Neoplatonic Academy of Athens

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Neoplatonism is a funny word. It generally refers to the writings of Plotinus, the third century AD Hellenistic philosophy who crafted a mystical Platonism. Neoplatonism via Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola also is known as the philosophical underpinning of Renaissance art and culture. This Renaissance Neoplatonism mutated later into German idealism and Romanticism and its bastard child Theosophy and Occultism of the early 20th century and finally into the New Age Movement of today.

As your humble author has been uncovering, Neoplatonism after Plotinus took a magical form when Iamblichus and Proclus introduced Orphic teaching (already latent in some of Plato’s writing) but more importantly Chaldean (or Babylonian) and Egyptian magic known as theurgy.

However, while I had known that magic was taught in the Platonic academy, I have just discovered that the (Neo?) Platonic academy in the fourth century had the teaching of Orpheus (magical chants, etc.) and the Chaldean Oracles (chanting, shamanism, possession, meditation, etc) as the culmination  of the schools curriculum. That is to say, it was not that magic had infected the Academy; rather, magic became the highest art and teaching of the school that had birthed Western thought.

If magic continued as the culmination of or at least was a central aspect of NeoPlatonic teaching (and there is even some reason to believe that it was the culmination of earlier Platonic teaching), then all of the many references to magic in Renaissance thought and Romanticism (and they are many) are not simply literary allusions, but are indications of the direct and literal presence of magic in these works.

Thus Renaissance paganism and Romanticism (or at least certain currents in these schools of thought) acted as vessels for Egyptian and Babylonian magic, which were later opened and developed by occultists in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Medici, the Camaldolese and the Birth of Modernism

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It has long been one of my contentions that the Medici family was one of the conduits through which NeoPlatonic natural magic as well as theurgy and even the tenets of Gnoticism entered into the West in the Renaissance. In fact, the accumulation of magical texts from the East was a top priority of the Medici who even made Marsilio Ficino halt his translation of Plato’s Opera to translate the Gnostic-occultic work Corpus Hermeticum.

It is further my contention that Gnostic and Neoplatonic magical teaching incubated in the West not only in Jewish communities and radical Protestant sects (especially in England and Germany), but in Catholic religious orders as well. We know of Johannes Trithemius, the German Benedictine Abbot who corresponded with the noted magus Cornelius Agrippa in a manner that seemed to indicate a network of magicians in the 16th century.

Such views have been confirmed by some of my recent reading. In his essay “The Camaldolese Academy: Ambrogio Traversari, Marsilio Ficino and the Christian Platonic Tradition,” Dennis F. Lackner points out that the Ambrosian order of Florence was integral in the birth of the Platonic academy in Florence and helped to seed the thoughts of famous Renaissance Neoplatonist Marsilio Ficino. The General of the Camaldolese order, Ambrogio Traversari, also had the Theophrastus of Aeneas of Gaza, a work that attempted a synthesis of Platonism and Christianity and seems to contain some shards of occult teaching (this is not to say Aeneas was himself an occultist) translated. Ambrogio was further part of an attempt to unite the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy at the Council of Florence  and revive a “primitive Christianity.” Such ideas would later surface in the magus John Dee as well as Protestant reformers.

The Florentine Camaldolese also possessed copies of magic works such as the Orphic Hymns and Iamblichus’s De mysteriis Aegyptiorum (one of the most seminal magical works).

Lackner also points out some details in regard to the Medici accumulation of the works of Plato. Cosmio de’ Medici had received the dedication to Diogenes Laertius’s Vitae Philosophorum, translated by a Camaldolese monk, and the first summary of Plato’s thought to appear in the West in a thousand years. The Medici also loaned Ambrogio Traversari fifty florin to help pay for the transportation of Greek manuscripts.

What are we to make of all of this?

Although there is some evidence to suggest that the Medici were Jewish or even a front for Jewish bankers, I personally believe the Florentine banking family, for the most part, considered themselves devout Catholics. Nonetheless, there was clearly some concerted effort to get magical texts in the hands of expositors in the West by the Medici who may have been pressured or influenced by an unidentified party.

Moreover, I do not know for sure that the Camaldolese under Ambrogio were necessarily occultists, but there methods and ideas were later emulated by Renaissance occultists.

Finally, if the Renaissance was marked by a combination of Christian theology and pagan teaching and culture (including occultism), then the Renaissance witnessed the seeds that later birthed of the heresy of modernism, which reared its head in the late 19th and early 20th century. Just like much of Renaissance philosophy, modernism is defined as a combination of both orthodox Christian teaching as well as heresy, including New Age teaching (the great grand child of Renaissance occultism).

What is more, if some chapters of religious orders were infected with cells of magi, why couldn’t later religious orders in the 20th and the 21st centuries also serve as cells? The general argument given by Novus Ordo conservatives is that some nuns merely dabbled in magic or some “liberal” priests and brothers entertained heretical ideas. The idea that there is active, maybe even generational, occultism practiced in religious orders is usually derided.

However, the existence of such cells may explain a lot of the concerted and deliberate efforts to destroy the Church by members of religious orders who clearly knew what they were doing.


Neoplatonism, Theurgy, Gnosticism and Charismatic Babbling


It is common knowledge among scholars of Neoplatonism that the magical process of theurgy or literally “god working” was practiced by the NeoPlatonic philosopher Iamblichus. However, it is often forgotten that this process was derived from the Chaldean Oracles, a series of mysterious texts commenting on an ancient Babylon mystical poem (yes, reader there is a connection with the Kabbalah and Talmud).

What’s more as Dylan Burns points out in his work Apocalypse of the Alien God, theurgy was also practiced by gnostics. Dylan notes some of the characteristics of theurgy:

  1. Alphabet mysticism
  2. Purification
  3. Hymns
  4. Prayers
  5. Animation of statues (interestingly a common theme of horror movies, actual demonic possession, and there is a clear link with AI and robotics here)
  6. Possession
  7. Conjuring of spirits
  8. Mystical contemplation

What is especially interesting is that one of the marks of gnostic theurgy was what more rational Neoplatonists like Plotinus called “meaningless babbling.” This babbling included all kinds of ecstatic praise of “God” as well as gods and demons and was meant to induce a communal ecstasy during gnostic rituals.

This, my friends, sounds a lot like praise and worship and the charismatic movement.

True Christian worship is always calm and contemplative, and if there is any ecstatic activity, it is instituted by God not by the one in prayer.

When a worshipper conjures the ecstatic feeling him or herself, it is called magic.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Verdict on John Paul II

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One of the greatest paradoxes among many incoherent and disjointed arguments within the Catholic neoconservative narrative is the depiction of John Paul II as both the great humanist and advocate for liberty of conscience (with a necessarily attendant liberal view of salvation) as well as a great missionary for Christ, saving souls and bringing them within the fold of the Church.

It is interesting that a similar portrait of John Paul was given by the great reforming Communist of perestroika and glasnost (now turned New Ager), Mikhail Gorbachev. When asked to comment on JPII’s death, after noting John Paul was a “servant of the Church of Christ,”  Gorbachev stated,  “He was a humanist really. A Humanist with a capital H, maybe the first humanist in world history.” This is a very curious statement from the former leader of the Soviet Union and someone who now advocates nature worship.

The fans of JPII as well as JPII himself clearly saw John Paul as playing a world historical role in a world historical moment, what was called during his reign, without irony, a New Pentecost.

What is more, it is quite clear that John Paul was a Christian humanist whose great love for human beings caused him to “tone down” essentials of the faith. Furthermore, JPII’s humanism paved the way for Francis’s radicalism, which also combines more than a dose of Gorbachev’s occultism and environmentalism.

The roots of humanism like much of Enlightenment liberalism are rooted in the rediscovery of Neoplatonic philosophy, which exalted man as a God and argued for the destruction of Constantianian or Tridentine Catholicism in order to make way for a new Promethean freedom.

The question is: Is there something Gorbachev knew about John Paul II that we don’t? Or was his statement just a nice platitude?

The Gnostic Roots of Orthodoxy Revisited

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Dear Reader,

As I have stated before, there is significant evidence to suggest that the “high magic” or theurgy practiced by NeoPlatonists and Gnostics hid within Eastern Orthodoxy and was reintroduced to the West during the Council of Florence and the great exodus of Eastern thinkers and texts during the fifteenth and sixteenth century.

I have found further evidence to confirm this theory in the collection of essays bundled together as Neoplatonism and Gnosticism and edited by Richard T. Wallis.

In his essay “Synesius, the Hermetica, and Gnosis,” Jay Bregman discusses the Neoplatonic hermeticist who became a Christian bishop, Synesius of Cyrene. As Bregman notes, Synesius never seemed to convert fully to Christianity and some of his sermons were full of Gnostic and Hermetic teaching.

What is especially interesting is that Bregman suggests that some pagans by the fifth century had “put aside the standards of emperor Julian, at least in part because they thought that the victory of the new religion was already a fait accompli.”

Thus, some pagans stopped actively resisting Christianity and attempted a “syncretism of Hellenism and Christianity.”

It has been suggested that these educated pagans went underground or dissolved into the Eastern (and maybe Western clergy). Clearly some of the Eastern Orthodox prelates were de facto pagans in the Renaissance (as were some Westerners!) and even today the witch like Mariana Abramovic, although allegedly ethnically Jewish, is grand niece of a Serbian Orthodox Patriarch. Did her uncle teach her her magic?

We are thus left with some interesting questions.

  1. Was there a continuous tradition of closet paganism in the East?
  2. If so, how organized was it?
  3. How much of Gnostic and NeoPlatonic thought has affected Eastern Orthodoxy theology?
  4. What is the relationship of this sect to the West? Was it influential in affecting the ostpolitick and Vatican II?
  5. What role does this sect have in the new Russia?
  6. Is Alexandre Dugin a member?