Updated: Oct 3, 2019
Welcome, Dear Readership, to what we hope will become a semi-regular series on the Anathema Blog: The Four-Factor Formula. It will be a way for Anathema staff, writers, and associates to share with you four items of interest and gnostic inspiration in the form of a book, piece of music or album, a visual artist or particular artwork, and lastly, an item or topic of cultural significance. The alliteration of Four-Factor Formula isn’t exactly a coincidence either—rather, the acronym FFF is also meant to pay homage to the traditional craft blessing and spell of abundance, “Flags, Flax and Fodder” (essentially referring to elemental forces).
We’re going to get started with lists from our very own Anathema founder/(h)Aurorae author Gabriel McCaughry and writer of Anathema’s forthcoming Cult of Golgotha, Craig Williams. So, consider this to be an ongoing offering to our readers, to share with all of you a miscellany of items that fulfill a meaningful purpose in our lives and work. We hope that they may open new pathways for you as well.
Until next time,
The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation by Dennis William Hauck
This was recommended to me by a friend. And I must say, that to read The Emerald Tablet after having been through the entire ordeal of producing and editing (h)Aurorae, it certainly was welcomed. It solidified — if only by reciprocal association — most of the stages of development I’ve undergone through these past 10 years or so, while also acting as an astute summary of the history and hidden meanings of Inner Alchemy. Easy to read, The Emerald Tablet would almost certainly please both the Adept and Neophyte alike.
Hekatomb by Funeral Mist
Perhaps no one was expecting lighting to strike twice for Funeral Mist, after the absolute masterpiece that was 2009’s Maranatha. Yet nine years after the fact, they’ve done just that with their follow-up, Hekatomb. I have yet to form a decisive opinion (I’ll need a few more listens to do that), but already I feel that Hekatomb is already a strong contender for best Black Metal album of the year. The excitement is real, and to me this is quintessential aggression; the vibrations of the sonic waves come full circle and become a thing of transcendent beauty.
Shandi Azk Bouscatier
Originally from France, Shandi is a local Witch from Montreal whom I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting and talking with on several occasions. He even crafted an incredible piece for me — a Kangling and a Witch Thorn, both of which instantly became two of my most treasured magickal talismans. Shandi’s Craft is worthy of much praise and deserves to be shared and promoted.
Since Virtue-Signalling still seems to be a “thing,” sadly, this article explains the dangers of jumping on this dysfunctional bandwagon — especially when pursuing esoteric teachings and practices.
The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell.
I re-read this book often, and each time I always manage to find new inspiration for writing, life, and magical exploration. Durrell has created a magical world which shifts and morphs as the reader changes his viewpoint. Durrell based this work on the relativity concepts of quantum physics, and this enables the text to be eternally reawakened each time the reader opens the book and empowers the words with his attention.
A Love Supreme by John Coltrane
This is perhaps my favorite work of jazz, next to Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. Coltrane was an embodied gnostic unafraid to embrace the struggle of the flesh and Soul and all the resultant collateral damage. Coltrane's accompanying poem to this landmark recording speaks of all aspects of spiritual life, and it alchemically joins the music to create a true gnostic vision.
I do not have one particular favorite artist. However, I will say this: I abhor any art which does not use natural elements and the hands. I find digital collages to be the ultimate example of fool's gold attempting to use an illusion to entertain the viewer. Art which is crafted from paints, oils, and natural elements coupled with an artist's inner vision expressed in word along with image is what I find inspiring.
I'm consistently shocked to see how Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is becoming a reality. Any attempt to retroactively ban or edit literature or art based on "morality" sickens me, and it foreshadows a very dark and dangerous world. I hope people wake up to such ominous actions.