Esotericism, Freemasonry, And Confusion In The Lodge

Esoteric spirituality and religion

“Esotericism” has come to be a kind of “catch all” phrase for alternative and non-Western spirituality, Freemasonry, the occult, and so on, not least of all as a way of making subjects previously taboo within academia acceptable subjects of research for books and PhD theses. While we will undoubtedly learn more and more about once obscure […]

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 […]

Anarchists Of Style: A Review Of Maureen Callahan’s Champagne Supernovas

Goth style by Alexander McQueen

“I hate fashion,” Yohji Yamamoto — famous for his minimalist black clothing — has said. Maureen Callahan’s latest book, Champagne Supernovas, focuses, on two other designers — Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs — and model Kate Moss, but the aggressive sentiment neatly sums up an attitude that runs, in a certain way, through the book […]

The Body As Spirit: Yukio Mishima, Author, Intellectual, And Warrior

Yukio Mishima, bodybuilder and author

“It is… possible for people to use the body as a metaphor for ideas,” Japanese author Yukio Mishima says in Sun and Steel. Mishima had been a weak and sickly child, doted on by his over-protective grandmother. He wasn’t allowed to play with other boys, and grew up alienated from male culture (as well as […]

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 […]

Unknown Superiors: Templarism, The Rose Croix, And Freemasonry

When we look at the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau we see a recurring theme of initiates within the rites of Freemasonry, Martinism, Rose Croix, and Templarism. The highest grade is said to have only admitted Priests, and another is said to come from the East as far as India. What are these ultimate connections with the realm […]

Mind, Meditation, And The Limits Of Consciousness

Native American chief with psychedelic pattern

The authors of Irreducible Mind claim that psychology when it was invented as a separate discipline, splitting off from philosophy in the nineteenth century, could have gone in two directions. One was to expand the notion of science to include the phenomenon of consciousness which is not directly observable from a second or third person […]