Mytho-phobia: Radical Conformity, Spirituality, And Daring

Aleister Crowley's Tarot

“Security is mostly a superstition,” said Helen Keller, “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Today, however, society seems in the final stage of making itself so safe that it has become a danger to the human spirit. Indeed, we live at […]

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 […]

Traditionalism, Freemasonry and Anti-Freemasonry

Freemasonry and Traditionalism

Although small, “Traditionalism” is a broad and influential movement — or, rather, various overlapping movements, to different degrees political and spiritual. It’s founder, French esotericist Rene Guenon (1886-1951), was involved, as a young man, in Theosophy, Freemasonry, and conservative Catholicism, but later found these too liberal and too modern, though he retained a respect for […]

Are Muscles Useless?

Author Yukio Mishima, photographed by Eikoh Hosoe.

The “Meterosexual” has been replaced by the “Spornosexual”. You’ve seen him. He is the male that inhabits gyms, pumps his body up, and tans and grooms himself purely for show. A cynic might describe his physical body as essentially “useless.” And “useless” is not the way we want to be described. “The protestant work ethic” — so […]

The Lesser Mysteries We Forgot: Freemasonry, Masculinity, And Initiation

Initiation into Freemasonry and Western Esotericism

Less than a century ago, fraternities played a major role in the life of men in the USA. The Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, and, of course, the Freemasons (or “Free and Accepted Masons”), among hundreds of other, smaller fraternities, existed in every state. And male initiatic societies – from the Cult of Mithrais […]