Women of the Revolution: The Female Image in Revolutionary Propaganda

The woman warrior and the female image — sometimes mythological — have long played a significant role in stirring men to action, both in ancient tribal society and the modern era. The ancient Norse, for example, believed that the Valvyrie (choosers of the slain) decided which warriors were to live, and which were to dies, […]

Who Killed Buddha-Nature? The Outsider in an Age of Consumer Radicalism

“Hipsters,” a friend complained to me recently, are too “decadent.” My friend is a highly intelligent young man, and makes many valuable points. But he was, on this occasion, completely wrong. Hipsters aren’t decadent enough. As a society we are becoming ever less decadent, because we are becoming more self-obsessed. Decadence isn’t silly self-indulgence. It isn’t […]

Freemasonry, Islam, and Radical Spirituality: A Review of The Crescent And The Compass

Prince Hall Shriners

[Note: The review below is about The Crescent and The Compass by Angel Millar, editor of, and a regular contributor to, People of Shambhala.] The Crescent and The Compass: Islam, Freemasonry, Esotericism, and Revolution in the Modern Age is a brief but engrossing history of the previously-unexplored relationship between Islam, often of a politically radical stripe after Western […]

Heathen: David Bowie’s Second Religiosity

David Bowie and Nietzsche

“I’m closer to the Golden Dawn,” sang David Bowie, “Immersed in Crowley’s uniform.” Bowie’s enigmatic and ambiguous stage personalities — the “thin white Duke”, Aladdin Sane, the man who fell to earth, and so on — seem, by default, to associate the British singer with the occult. Angie Bowie — his disgruntled former wife — […]

Is Neo-Paganism Masonic? Is Freemasonry Pagan?

Freemasonry and modern witchcraft.

A few years ago I came across the founders of several Germanic-type neo-pagan and esoteric Orders. While I’m not prepared to name them publicly (since they would not want their spiritual activities to be widely known), I can say that all three were Freemasons, though only one of these had been a member of the Masonic […]

We Are All Prudes Now: Why Outrage Has Replaced Outrageousness

Woman's face, Yaffa Cafe

A couple of weeks ago, New York’s Yaffa Cafe closed down after three decades. Grungy and camp, with Buddha statues, Elvis prints, damask wallpaper and leopard skin print tables, the East Village haunt was an over-the-top home to equally flamboyant misfits (wherever they’ve gone). When I first went there, in the late nineties, it was one […]