Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mogg's Diary - 1 July 05 . . .

25th August 05
Talking Stick at the much improved local hostelry - the Port Mahon. The discussion on power animals and animal spirit guides. Which brought to mind how several friends had their first contact with 'power' animals in rather traumatic ways. I remember how Chesca said she was once thrown from her horse and trampled, but from then on, the horse was always a special presence in her magical universe. Another friend, Dwina, was once repeatedly bitten by a venomous spider. She woke from a lucid arachnid dream just in time to prevent further bites. I remembered one of those seminal dreams when I was pursued night after night by a large wolf-like or alsatian canid. It only stopped when I turned and confronted the beast - letting it do its worst. Consummed by the dog, there was always a part of me that could not be eaten - which brings to mind the lines from the Bhagavad Gita - that the transcendental Self cannot be killed.

23 August 05 - Pagan Animal Rights

Judith writes, having recently moved to Carcassonne, France, and rather upset to discover that bullfighting is still practiced locally, despite the fact that in August 2001 it was outlawed in Carcassonne as there was no proof that this blood sport had ever been in existence in the area. But somehow the promoters, aided by the Spanish Mayor got their way. Since that date three days in August of every year have been set aside for the killing of bulls!

She is calling upon one and all to help halt the next round of bullfights (Corrida) in Carcassonne, France. And with this in mind constructed a sigil to help provide a focus for those who want to see an end to this brutal practice. The dates we need to concentrate on are the following:-

Friday 26 August
Saturday 27 August
Sunday 28 August

Please forward to others. - May Set be with you.'

[There's a sigil to go with this which i will try to display here]

18 August 05 - Pope attacks Neopaganism
'And in the twentieth century, in the darkest period of German and European history, an insane racist ideology, born of neo-paganism, gave rise to the attempt, planned and systematically carried out by the regime, to exterminate European Jewry. ' Pope Benedict, Cologne

It is worth emphasizing that people of many religions, including magicians and occultists, were arrayed on both sides of the conflict, probably more with the allies than the fascist. It is an important issue that IMO needs careful discussion - several occult authors have, in a way, made similar claims.
See for example Hitler and the Age of Horus or Morning of the Magicians. It is probably one of the most important issues facing the neo-pagan movement and the new Pope is very clever to have found that weakness. Personally I see this as all the more reason to engage with 'blood and soil' runesters - and indeed 'satanists', even 'theosophists' and those who promulgate the so-called 'western way' - engage so that they see the error of their ways. This is not to concede the argument to the catholic church - of course it is a smokescreen – fascism is an economic system developed from capitalism - the 'occult' elements are overplayed - more a symptom than the cause. Some would argue that anti-semitism stems as much from the Christian message, others have seen it as even older, coming from events in ancient Egypt. There is a danger that those who aspire to lead the pagan movement - will have a poor understanding of the issues. For a very informed historical background I recommend goodriche clarke's occult roots of fascism. I'v also posted on this blog an old essay, Fascism and the Occult, that discusses some of the history in more depth

BTW: If you don't think it is still a live issues take a look at this passage, reputedly from an interview with Edred Thorson.

'Stephen Flowers and the Third Reich
mc> Can you say a little more - the quote you give below is IMHO a bit ambiguous. What does Flowers mean by 'the Third Reich's dynamism got out of hand' -it sound as if he saying that the third Reich had some positive qualities, at least
when starting out. I could never accept that proposition.

Of course the Third Reich had some positive qualities when first starting out -- every social system does, since it's almost impossible for mankind to invent any system which is 100% evil. If there weren't *some* positive qualities to the Third Reich, it never would have gotten the power it had.

The Third Reich offered a sense of pride to a people that had been trampled into the mud during World War I and insulted terribly and treated like mud in the aftermath of that war.

The Third Reich offered a vitality and a sense of hope to a people who had lost such vision.

The Third Reich, or more specifically those people leading and pushing the Third Reich, used horribly wrong methods to gain more power than they otherwise would have had, and they used horribly wrong methods to maintain that power once they had it.

It reminds me somewhat of the Republican Party in the U.S.A. If you look hard enough, you can find some positive qualities in their stated goals of scaling back the federal government, in reversing the moral/ethical decay of modern society, of reducing federal spending, etc. Unfortunately they've hitched their horse to a wagon which has so many negative qualities (belief that morals can come only from
Christian religions seems to be one of them) that it sometimes looks like we're going to have to fight long and hard here to prevent the U.S.A. from becoming yet another Reich.'

end of quote

17th August 05
JD asked me to write up the previous meeting on 'Time' even though i wasn't there - not sure I’m up to it really apart from to say that according to Immanuel Kant, Space and Time are both human abstract concepts - or as i understand it they are human mental concepts that we use to order our world - they have no existence apart from us as human beings. Space and Time were concepts personified in Egyptian wisdom - which rather undermines the idea that the Egyptians were incapable of abstract thought.

Last night we discussed Oxfordshire’s very own 'Blair witch'
i.e. wittenham clumps - a site occupied for millennia and
therefore a happy hunting ground for the odd disembodied Ka spirit. It has several classic ghostly phenomena - the spectral coach and horses - racing down the 'high street' at midnight as a warning of impending catastrophe (I wonder if anyone has seen it recently/). A white lady or goddess who appears near the lake and was exorcised by a whole bunch priests in times of yore. And yes - the clumps were one of the resting places of Bran's head on its journey to London - a spectral raven has been seen hovering over the ditch - and this is said to be the location of buried treasure! In the Green Stone saga, Andy Collins and pals discovers one of the 'lights of knowledge' there (Yesod). Wittenham Clumps is certainly a very spirited place, especially the woods between the clumps and the river.

14th August 05

Bath Omphalos to hear Anton Channing’s thoughtful exploration of six key concepts within alchemy viz: the caduceus, the auroborus, the cosmic egg, the spiral, alchemical trinities, and the hermaphrodite. Nice crowd, including people from Friends of the Witchcraft museum. Things slightly overshadowed by a rather bitchy ad hominem attack in the reviews pages of the Cauldron; aimed at the author of Witcha: a book of cunning, and the OGDOS newsletter (Hem Neter). The target is his article on ‘Cain: the first Satanist’. Informed criticism is no bad thing. Dialectics, is, afterall, a science that emerged within the ancient pagan intellectual tradition. However, it is difficult to answer a critic who is convinced you are wrong but can’t say why.

With The Bull of Ombos now at the printers, and Pan’s Road with a reader, I find myself at a loose end. I plan to start work on the final part of my ‘sethian’ trilogy’ in a few months. In the ‘House of Life’ a book on Çatalhöyük caught my eye. It turned out to be a whole new thread that has led me to a rich vein of Neolithic culture that shares many features with the people of Ombos.

The first 1960s excavation has become a cultural phenomenon. The excavation, restarted in the 1990s, the publication of the new finds, with analysis, is due soon. In the meantime, all sorts of snippets are trickling out via the campaign’s website. The latest, just a few days ago, is the discovery of a beautifully made stamp seal that for the first time, reveals the full identity of one of Çatalhöyük’s most famous, and controversial ‘goddesses’. Turns out to be a bear. A beast is every bit as significant to Neolithic magick as the Red Ochre Bull. Bull and Bear are both ‘Sethian’ animals. The bull was associated in Egyptian astronomy with the constellation known later by the Greeks as Ursa Major – ‘The Great Bear’. At Çatalhöyük the Bear ‘rides’ upon the ‘bull’ – which is an image to conjure with, or maybe meditate upon.

According to the press release, the above-mentioned stamp seals were probably used to stamp designs on skin or clothing. This example shows an animal with its front and hind legs raised upwards. Such figures have been known from Çatalhöyük for some time as plaster reliefs on the walls of houses. An example excavated by James Mellaart is shown in Figure 2. These plaster reliefs have often been interpreted as ‘mother goddess’ figures. But the heads and hands of the plaster relief examples have always been cut off, so it was never possible to say whether the figures were humans or not. But now the stamp seal provides a key. Here the head and the hind paws remain. They clearly show that the figure is an animal, probably a bear. So it is probable that the reliefs with upraised arms and legs are not goddesses but bears. Depicting animals, such as leopards, in houses is common at Çatalhöyük, and so it is not surprising that we should find a bear.

For more information visit:

5th August - Hiroshima Day
The topic of last night's 'talking stick' moot down the pub, was the Pagan response to current world events. Contrary to what G Fukiyama wrote in his book, 'The End of History' - it's not all over but the shouting. The issue he thought a dead one is our relationship to Islam. For me this is as a pagan. Perhaps the answer is to say we're all muslims really - we're certainly not 'unbelievers' - we pagans are definately believers - some even share the concept of AL & LA (see Crowley, Liber Al vel Legis). The same discussion came up in another forum - and what I wrote there may also be of interest:

Seems like there is a difference between ‘Muslims’ considered as a historic/cultural people – - presumably a community of people who emerged in about the 6-7th century. The ups and down of those people, and indeed whether they still exist, is a moot point, that can be separated from ‘Muslim’ considered as a religious ideal. This could mean that a ‘Muslim’ is anyone who regards themselves as ‘one of the peaceful’. Of course, like any religion, there are centres of doctrinal authority and more dogmatic manifestations of the ideal. As in many other religions, Hinduism, Buddhism etc, the body of primary and secondary texts tends to grow through time – but the essence is the mantra like ‘There is no god but Allah’ – ‘there is no God but the principle of divinity itself’ – who could object to that?

At that point, someone remembered a telling parable from the life of the prophet –
Every morning, whenever he went out to teach, he found his doorstep littered with rubbish, thrown there, so it is said, by a lady of another faith. This went on for some time, years maybe. Then one day, there was no rubbish anymore. The prophet asked why and was told the culprit was ill. So, being a wise and kindly soul, he went round to see her, took her a present, helped to nurse her back to health. Why, she asked, did you help me, when I was your enemy? Because, he says, one should always respond to ‘evil’ with kindness’. Now there’s a thing you don’t hear everyday?

1 August 05 'Lammas Day'
That well known pagan chant can be heard in many a newly mown meadow - 'lammas day is the devil's day' - well not quite. Although someone in the Bath omphalos group did suggest that this was the beginning of the 'Sethian' year - an idea that does has something going for it. The myth of John Barleycorn springs to mind - sung beautifully at last night's ritual by Sharron. Who is JB but another form of the ancient god of the harvest - Osiris - here cut down, dismembered and baked into the lammas loaf - all washed down with beer, the product of fermented bread - died with red ochre - the bloodlike 'desert' of the gods?

31 July 05
There is talk of doing even more work on a local urban cemetary to convert it from a vandalised wasteland to a nature reserve. But having begun to read Ken Worpole's Last Landscapes: the architecture of the Cemetery in the West, I see it from a different point of view. He argues that turning this graveyard into another nature reserve is not necessarily the way to ensure a valued future. People value a space like that when they have some of their own relatives and friends buried there. A space full of the names from a hundred years ago has very little meaning to the current generation. In Europe, they have many fine cemeteries, much loved by the local families that use them. In UK our cemeteries are full, and often neglected and vandalised. The difference is that Europeans allow reuse of the same plot after a decent interval, the bones are re-interred in a charnel house. In UK graves are sold in perpetuity. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the way to revitalise our urban cemeteries is to adopt the European model. Otherwise we are forced, if only by reason of cost, to opt for the ecologically damaging option of cremation - and our once loved cemeteries are places of neglect.
A version of this was published in the Oxford Mail 4:8:05)

30 July 05 - 'The means determines the end'
Is it maybe time for us to devise arguments to counter the fundamentalists but from the more tolerant 'pagan' perspective? One lesson might be that using violent means to achieve some sort of 'Islamic' utopia of social justice - will fail - such efforts usually do. Polical violence is a like the djinn or a genii in a bottle - once used, it's difficult to know when to stop.

25th July 05 - 'When Your Guru Goes Gaga'
I forget the exact date of my initiation into amookos but it was some time in the early 1980s. It was at about the same time as I was being expelled from Kenneth Grant's Typhonian OTO - indeed my membership of amookos was a factor in that whole affair but that’s another story. Sometime in the summer of 1989 a fat envelope dropped on the mat. Amongst its enclosures was the following communication from Dadaji, the last guru of the tiny sect of Tantrik magi that I had joined some years earlier. What I read, with sinking heart, gave me an acute sense of déjà vu:

'Guru Purnima, Tuesday, 18th July 89
(A Corrective to Corruption) etc etc'

Had my guru gone gaga? Either that or he had turned into a total arsehole like every other guru before him. Certainly over the recent years he had suffered a series of strokes the most obvious symptom of which was his current inability to write cursively (you can see examples of this on ION’s website). There were also several glaring errors of fact in the letters he sent. The immediate one concerning Lokanath, was the possible accusation of a treacherous conventional marriage by conventional Christian based ceremony. Lokanath had in fact married in 1978, just after his return from meeting Dadaji for the first time in India. It was no secret. Indeed contrary to what Dadaji says the nath traditon is very diverse and has often included married householders. Perhaps Dadaji resented it at the time but said nothing for the ten years of highly productive work. He finally snapped in 1998, a few years before his death. The full truth will probably never be known.

When i wrote this, circa June 2004, I was in the middle of an exchange of emails with Kapilnath (John Pilskog) the editor of Open Door and the person who ‘benefited’ most from Dadaji’s volte face. Once upon a time I had the ultra leftist type opposition to marriage but nowadays I must say it doesn’t seem that important an issue. But the fact was that Mike had married way back in 1978 and so it was hardly a recent revelation? When Mike returned from his fateful first meeting with Dadaji in the early part of 1978, he resolved to marry his longtime partner Jan, thus putting his affairs in order. I remember he said how lonely he had been during is stay in India, and that obviously influenced his decision. Perhaps when he wrote to Dadaji and told him what he’d done, he had inadvertently infringed one of Dadaji’s own taboos?? Even so the work continued , AMOOKOS was born and began a fitful, painfully slow growth.

Another issue was whether members of AMOOKOS could claim to be Adi-Naths. The problem started with the original charter, written in Dadaji’s own inimicable style. Whatever the ambiguity of the wording, noone claimed to be an Adinatha sannyasi. The documentary evidence shows that Lokanath certainly made no such claim. In fact, he stated that ‘when my dear Gurudev Mahendranath initiated DC in India in Spring 1978, we decided to transform the tradition into an international and cosmopolitan order. This is in line with the Adinatha tradition of old, who always sought true spiritual values and repudiated the artificial.’(Azoth: 13, Spring 1981). Towards the end of his life perhaps Dadaji did regret the ambiguous wording of the original charter, and, as he had done with the Uttara Kaulas, found it easier to pretend the whole thing had never happened.

It was about 1981 that I made contact with Lokanath, after buying a copy of his celebrated occult fanzine Sothis. Lokanath was an influential member of the UK's growing occult scene of the 1970s, and next in line to be head of the typhonian OTO. What I learnt of Dadaji was from his excellent articles in Sothis magazine. In an important sense - Dadaji and amookos were guru each to each.It represented a new covenant which aimed to transcend the past’s inadequate magical organisations. A switch from the dominant ‘masonic’ model to a more freeform ‘rosicrucian’ mode. When Dadaji went gaga he forgot all this. But whatever these are the bare facts. It was never going to be clear cut. Perhaps it is a good thing that there is confusion right from the very beginning

postscript: well now i've received a communication from a Nath from another lineage -
so perhaps the order blown apart by its own guru will come together - watch this space.

24th July 05 - 'Mystical Vampire' in Independent on Sunday.

Mystical Vampire is the new and only biography of Victorian Theosophist, Mabel Collins. The Independent is really proving its name by publishing Gary Lackman's humourous and informative review of Kim Farnell's biographical efforts. Judging by the review, which takes up three quarters of the page. I love some of the bullets - viz: 'Mabel Collins - a writer who knew what upper-class ladies really did with their lap dogs'; 'Theosophists? I take them two at a time' or 'Kim Farnell has done devotees of gaslight a service.' Gary obviously enjoyed reading it?

22 July 05

'The Day of Rams'
This week, the faceless members of a Pagan Federation 'committee' decide to cancel its national conference, because London was getting too dangerous. They say they were prompted in their action by the withdrawal of three speakers and two stall holders. So at a time when the whole country is discovering a new stoicism in the face of concerted terror - one slightly moribund pagan organisation has decided to bottle out. So all that talk of 'never again the burning times' was just talk. They heard on the radio that the muslims want to get the pagans - and that is it - they crumble. I feel deeply ashamed and upset that this organisation - which I've supported for many years - has whimped out. It must the one the final acts of non-leadership in the last declining years of what was once a good idea.

PS: silly syncronicity - at exactly the time the second lot of bombs were due to go off - the plug shorted out in my room - and one of the computers went down. People near the failed bombers said they could smell burning electrical cables. I only mention that because since 7th July the amount of spam I get has dropped off from 400-500 a day to almost none - not sure why - ghost in the machine perhaps??

17th July 05

A book about magick in the review section of the Independent on Sunday - not Harry Potter - but Now That's What I Call Chaos Magick by Julian Vayne and Greg Humphries, from my own firm - Mandrake of Oxford. Reviews of books from the actual practitioners of magick are rare, but becoming more common. They are usually dismissed by review's editors as either 'genre' or just too 'left field' for their gentle readers. So a third of a page in the reviews section makes me feel very happy. And I really like this book - for me it has the final word on the significance of the neo-pagan art of 'chaos magick'. Gary Lachman's informed and intelligent review, traces the roots of Chaos Magick, to Eliphas Levi's 19th century redaction of magick to its real essence - 'will and imagination' or in Gary's own words 'Free your mind - and your spells will follow.' Independent on Sunday (ABC magazine 17:7:5)

15 July 05

Another very hot day in London. Kym and I are there for the launch of Kim Farnell's biography of Mabel Collins - Mystical Vampire. Mabel, a theosophist, despite her interesting life, or should it be lives, has languished without one. Known outside of Theosophical circles as the 'mistress' of Robert Donston Stephenson - one of the suspects in the infamous 'Jack the Ripper' murders of 1888.

Despite the heat, and the aftermath of the July 7th bombings - there was a reasonably showing. The was still much talk of Islamic fundamentalism - which seems to be becoming more rabid than its Christian cousin. IMO it is that whole 'choosen people' thing - that's the heart of the matter. What the world needs now is a bit of pagan style tolerance and pluralism.

10 July, year 05

A very hot day at Kensal Green Cemetary Open Day. Shame that the WW2 veteran's event was cancelled due to security concerns from the police. Now is the time for us to be strong - as the 500K people at the main commemoration in the Mall demonstrated - I guess. This year took the tour of General & Military graves - included the 'common' or 'pauper's plot' also know as the 'guinea' graves - many of the obligatory military funerals were put in this plot! But there again, what does it matter - the whole story of Kensal Green, is really just a variation on the theme of human vanity afterall.

1 July, year 05

The Connaught Hotel, Drury Lane, right next door to Freemasons Hall - and incidentally it is owned by the craft. I was there to do my 'talking head' bit for a forthcoming BBC4 documentary about Dennis Wheatley - 'prince of thriller writers'. DW is well known to the community through eight 'black magic' thrillers - the first of which, The Devil Rides Out, written in 1934, is still regarded as a minor modern classic. Despite a massive peak of sales, running at 500K per year in the 1960s, all of DW's books are currently out of print. Book Club Associates plan to reprint half a dozen of the occult books later this year. Despite the total lack of political correctness, DW stills has a nostalgic attraction to the many fans of 1960s 'crap books' - everyone i've told about the show has said they now want to get a copy and revisit those glamourous 'satanists'. My line was, although things have moved on - DW did still hold some sort of mirror to the magic of his times, albeit one that was a very twisted and distorted.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Fascism and the Occult

Fascism and the Occult
by Katon Shual & Shanti Devi Nath

First Published in Nuit Isis Magazine Voo I no 7 (circa 1989)

1- Politics and the Occult:
An Overview
It cannot have escaped many people's notice that this year marks an important anniversary of the most savage war in human history. It is therefore timely to add our own postscript to the history of the period with an examination of the role magick played in this second world war and the subsequent progress, if such it may be termed, of the ideas that did so much to tip humanity into the abyss: Adoph Hitler. Many now want to drawn attention to the connection between extremist politics and the occult. The prime example is the alleged connection between occultism and reactionary, rightwing politics. The usual example was the "mystical" racial myths of the Nazis or the secret manipulation of power wielded by Freemasons. However it can be easily demonstrated that there is no necessary connection between occultism and any particular political stance: right wing or left. Occult or mystical views can constitute a powerful ideological component of any political or social movement. Furthermore a roughly equal number of both progressive and reactionary movements have drawn upon such ideas. Four examples reflect this rough balance: Fascism - Psychological warfare and the New Order Freemasonry and Civic power Voodoo and the world the slaves made Witchcraft and the Land.

However for the purposes of this article we will confirm ourselves to a detailed examination of the first of these and leave it to future issues and perhaps other writers to examine the other three. In the first part we look at the argument that Fascism was some kind of New Age Magical Crusade.

"The modern mythology of Nazi Occultism, is typically sensational and under-researched. A complete ignorance of the primary sources is common to most authors and inaccuracies and wild claims are repeated by each new-comer until an abundant literature exists, based on wholely spurious "facts" concerning the powerful Thule Society/ the Nazi links with the East and Hitler's occult initiation. "(I)

This issue aside, it is additionally sometimes claimed that Fascist ideas were iconoclastic and even a radical project in deconditioning! I hope we will help dispel this dangerous and obscene theory once and for all. For it is indeed an obscenity that the ideas of people so inimical to everything Magick stands for, should still be bandied about by those who should know better, judging by their self proclaimed initiation.

1. Fascism: Psychological Warfare
What follows is necessarily restricted to the study of fascism in Germany. During the Second World War, both the Allied and Axis powers resorted to psychological warfare. NB: occultists were to be found on both sides of the conflict. This included the use of faked horoscopes and prophesies designed to weaken the enemy's resolve. This particular practice began on the German side for the following reason. From about 1920 onwards there had been a remarkable revival of interest in astrology in Germany. Ellic Howe says in his book that a "surprisingly large number of Germans, including many well-educated men and women, began to study astrology in the early 1920s. The reason for this sudden pre-occupation with the hitherto unfashionable, even mildly disreputable area, is not difficult to discover. The aftermath of military defeat, with all its problems and uncertainties, including a runaway currency inflation that was only brought under control at the end of 1923, persuaded many to look to the "stars" for information and portents of better times to come. Before 1914 the comparatively few German astrologers were mostly Theosophists and occultists or both. They regarded astrology as an essentially Hermetic science. However, a large proportion of the newcomers were interested in neither Theosophy, its offspring Anthroposophy nor traditional occultism and preferred to think of astrology as a science in its own right, which given time and the breakdown of traditional prejudice, would be widely accepted as such."(2)

During the Second World War, the Allied Secret Service became convinced that Hitler and his cronies were benefiting from the advice of a professional astrologer. In response to this they employed their own "tame" astrologer, Louis de Wohl, on the basis that knowledge of the kind of advice Hitler was getting, would be a useful piece of intelligence. The Secret Service eventually produced a number of faked horoscopes and predictions that were then infiltrated into Nazi Germany. One example is a faked edition of the prestigious German astrological magazine Zenit, which made certain unfortunate predictions about Hitler.(3)

It is difficult to assess the amount of credence the Nazis actually gave to the astrological and other advice they undoubtedly received. For instance, Hitler's private secretary (1933-45) wrote that "There were popular rumours that Hitler allowed himself to be guided by astrologers before reaching any important decision. I must confess that I never noticed anything of the kind and the subject was never mentioned in conversation. On the contrary, Hitler refuted this by his firmly held conviction that people born on the same day, at the same place and at the same hour, in no way had the same fate. For this point of view he thought that twins provided the best evidence. He always vigorously denied the proposition that the fate of individuals depends upon their stars or constellation. Nevertheless, the prediction made by a Munich fortune-teller (Frau Ebertin) in the very first years of his struggle for power had greatly impressed him. It seemed that here predictions had fulfilled themselves in every respect. But Hitler only spoke very ironically about this coincidence and considered the whole thing as a joke". (4) There are some other reports that show that Hitler's attitude may have changed in the desperate twilight of the Third Reich.(5)

However, the Nazis were undoubtedly aware of the propaganda value of astrological and other predictions. On the eve of Germany's invasion of Poland in August 1939, Dr Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, was shown an interpretation of one of the prophecies of Nostradame. It "read":
"Seven times you will see the British nation change, dyed in blood for two hundred and ninety years. Not at all free through German support, Aries fears for the protectorate of Poland".(6)
The interpretation offered said that the seventh of the changes would occur in 1939 - a critical state of affairs in Poland at the same time as Britain faces a great crisis connected with Germany. Goebbels grasped immediately the possibilities for propaganda inherent in prophesies such as these and he resolved to obtain the services of an expert in order to "extract" further prophecies concerning Britain.

The man he got hold of was none other than Karl E Kraft, who as it happened had already been working in a department of Himmler's Reichssich-erheitshauptamf (RSHA) or Intelligence service, for some months. Kraft was just about the most skilled astrologer in Germany at that time, as well as an expert on Nostradame. In October 1939 he miraculously predicted an assassination attempt on Hitler's life - it was this rather dangerous prediction that first brought him to the Nazis' attention. Most of the professional bodies of astrology had been thoroughly Nazified by about 1934. Ie, Jews expelled and Nazis moved into leading positions. This would not be enough to "protect" them from Government oppression and astrology and all other occult activity were completely banned in 1941. Kraft was an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler and willingly offered his services to the RSHA. He soon produced a new edition of the Prophecies of Nostradame, although it never got more than limited circulation. The Nazis were very intolerant of the circulation of rumours other than their own. The fact is that Kraft really believed in his techniques and failed to be as pliant in the production of myths as the RSHA demanded. He was placed in protective custody in 1941 and employed in the calculation of horoscopes of various Allied notables, horoscopes destined for propaganda purposes. He died of the effects of typhus en route to Buchenwald concentration camp on January 20th 1945.

Few professional astrologers or known occultists escaped his fate. Thousands were rounded-up after the "defection" of Rudolf Hess in May 1941. However, for every astrologer or occultist arrested, dozens escaped unscathed and continued an underground interest in Hitler's destiny.

2. Fascism Iconoclasm?
Was fascism about the smashing of idols? Did it signify a new and revolutionary political force? Many apologists for fascism claim that it was. Including Hitler himself, of course: "Die National-sozialistische Revolution ist als revolutionaerer Machmassiger Vorgang abgeschlossen!...Das neruose Zeitalter des 19. Jahrhunderts hat bei uns endgultig seinen Abschluss gefunden" implies a two-fold attack on the Communists, claiming that National Socialism was in fact revolutionary in its aims and also was the inevitable culmination of the events of the nineteenth century.
In view of our present knowledge of the horrors of the Nazi holocaust, it seems difficult to understand any reason why this supposedly "revolutionary" force should appeal. Perhaps one reason could be a feeling of disillusionment with liberal democracy, parliamentary committees and majority votes, a sharing of the anti-intellectual and anti-bourgeois tone of Mein Kampf, a belief that with Bismarck, decisions should be made "not by majority votes in national assemblies but by blood and iron". But it can be shown that Hitler's "national socialism" can hardly be seen as a revolutionary and certainly not a desirable alternative.

For one thing, it is difficult to see much revolution taking place, despite the Nazi rhetoric. In theory a revolution should change the fundamental structure of the society. The Nazis certainly made grand gestures, such as the Winterhiife, the Hitler Jugend for boys of all backgrounds and the much-vaunted "peoples' car" (Volkswagen). But did it really herald a decrease in the power of the current ruling classes? The top tax rate increased by a massive 0.8% to 38.2% (even less than the top rate under Thatcher) under the Nazis, although the income of the wealthiest increased by 148% from 1933-9. The concentration of capital in 1939 was also greater than in 1933, and there was more inequality in income and property. The rich East Elbe estates were still in the hands of the gentry and the army still under the command of generals whose names began with the German nobility title "von". As for being a workers' movement, organised labour under the Nazis became a thing of the past; in 1933 the Trades Unions were dissolved and replaced by the Labour Front, a Nazi organisation. Finally, the fate of women in Nazi Germany is not exactly desirable. Marriage loan schemes, pressure to have increasingly large numbers of children while Eva-Braun like "maidens" are scarcely appealing as role models.

It is obvious that the Nazi revolutionary rhetoric is no more sincere than Hitler's other propaganda: for instance his claim in 1930 that he had nothing against "good Jews". Alongside this is the sheer banality of everyday life in the Third Reich. Germany's most gifted writers - Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Bertholt Brecht - exiled abroad, sexual repression and the anti-feminist tone of the Nazi rule. Fascism can hardly be called iconoclastic.

3,The New Order Cultus
One of the best selling books of the sixties alleges that the second World War was an ideological struggle between Humanism and Magick. This book: Pauwels and Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians, has recently been reprinted and there are several clones including Francis King's Satan and. the Swastika; Gerald Suster, Hitler and the Age of Horus. There is even a genre of fiction, assuming that the former books are intended as non-fiction, beginning with for example Dennis Wheatley's They Used Dark Forces.

The story goes that the top Nazi leaders were all members of a secret esoteric group called the Thule Society. The myth of Thule is very much a German equivalent of the Atlantis myth. The Society was supposed to have been founded sometime in the early decades of the twentieth century by Hitler's mentor Dietrich Eckardt. It included amongst its members the seven founder-members of the NSDAP or Nazi Party. Karl Haushofer was its Grand Master and chose the swastika symbol for the flag.

The "unknown superiors" of the Thule Society are supposedly the secret directors of the Third Reich. However this assertion and other details are entirely fallacious. The Thule Society was dissolved around 1925 when support had dwindled. (7) Nevertheless, there are several characteristics of the Nazi regime that can make it appear like a parody of a "holy" order.

Take, for instance, the Nazi flag. This was designed by Hitler himself. In his book Mem Kampf he devotes a whole chapter to a discussion of its symbolism. Hitler's unconscious capacity for self-parody is fully revealed in this book along with a lot else. A serious book it is not, although subsequent events show how disastrous it can be to underestimate the possibility of a cosmic joke. Concerning the design of the Nazi flag, he says that "As National Socialists we see our programme in our flag. In Red we see the social idea of the movement, in White the nationalist idea, in the Swastika, the mission of the struggle for victory of the Aryan man, and by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work, which as such always has and always will be anti-Semitic"'.(8)

It must be fairly common knowledge that the "swastika" is an ancient Indian religious symbol, probably solar in significance. The term "swastika" is in fact a Sanskrit word from swasti meaning success. It is also a reference to the distillation of the divine psychotropic drug soma, a key component of the religion of the Vedic Aryans. In Indian iconography this mystic hooked cross usually has its hooks bent around to the left so that the whole emblem rotates in a clockwise direction, the direction of the earth's rotation. Thus early Buddhist stupa temples were laid out on such a swastika ground plan. Significantly the Nazi's iconographers reversed the usual direction so that it rotates anti-clockwise, the direction of the Hermetic cross, as drawn by members of the Golden Dawn.(9) Astrologers have long adopted the convention of charting their calculation "back to front" as it were. Thus the eastern horizon appears on the right-hand side of the page and the western on the right. If one bears in mind the comments I made earlier about the popularity of astrology in Germany from the 1920s on, then the reason for the inversion is manifest and not as sinister as it appears. Whatever inherent meaning once possessed by this symbol, the Nazis managed to destroy it as a benign symbol. Rudyard Kipling had it removed from the covers of his books of Indian stories, which it had previously graced. Kipling was of course a pacifist, his jingoism destroyed by the death of a beloved son in the First world war.

Hitler does not mention where he derived the swastika symbol, but it was probably from the principal "philosopher" of the Nazi party - Alfred Rosenberg. Rosenberg's eight-hundred page epic The Myth of the Twentieth Century was only outsold by Hitler's Mein Kampf and it was the main source of the Nazis' absurd racial theories. This book has a large section dealing with Hindu/ Aryan history. In this Rosenberg attributes the foundation of the civilization of ancient India, with its caste system to Aryans who flowed over the mountains from the northwest. They contrasted their own light complexion with those of their dark-brown subject races. These Aryans, so he says, created the philosophy of the Vedas and the Upanishads. Eventually, so the theory goes, race mixture destroyed the basis of their doctrine and Aryan mysticism was corrupted by systems of magic and sacrifice. Thus the swastika on the Nazi flag was a symbol of racial purity and also an evocation of their supposed racial spirit.

An examination of the Nazi "cult" would be incomplete without some mention of the SS or Defence Staff (Schutz Staff). They were molded by Heinrich Himmler into a grotesque parody of medieval Teutonic knighthood. They were selected on rigorous "racial" and physical grounds and wore special uniforms. The SS badge was soon metamorphosed into a double lightening flash in imitation of ancient runic characters: Sig Sig: The Sun/Victory. One writer describes their initiation as:

"a mystic rigmarole of his "sworn fellowship" before counterfeit bones of King Henry I, founder of medieval German power in the East. All this taking place at midnight in the crypt of a local cathedral''(10)

All the pomp and circumstances cannot hide the fact that the SS were little more than concentration camp guards. The first camps were organized in 1933, almost immediately after the Nazis came to power. Their first inmates were communists or people labeled as communists. Himmler's deputy, Heydich, who was no mystic "but a ruthless careerist" took over the administration of them. One bizarre feature they retained throughout was the almost "masonic" system of prisoners' badges, later extended outside the camps by Heydich. The eighteen or so categories of prisoners were identified by a complicated system of interlocking triangles of various colours - Yellow for Jewish prisoners. Red for political. Pink for homosexuals, brown for gypsies, and Mauve for Jehova's Witnesses etc.

The relationship between the Third Reich and the Occult emerges from this as something rather superficial. The Nazis were no more magical than the clients of a successful advertising agency. It is surely telling that General J F C Fuller, one time disciple of Aleister Crowley. as well expert on Tank warfare, eventually rejected Hitler's brand of mystical blitzkrieg. Torn between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, his patriotism eventually got the better of him.

(C) Mandrake of Oxford

(1) N Goodrich CIark, The Occult Roots of Fascism, (Aquarian Press ) pp 225.
(2) Ellic Howe, Astrology and Psychological Warfare during World War II (Rider 1972) page 21.
(3) E. Howe op cit
(4) H Trevor Roper, Hitler's Table Talk 1941-44, (1953) page 76
(5) H Trevor -Roper, The Last Days of Hitler
(6) The Prophesies of Nostradamus. III.57. Translated by Cheetam
(7) Goodriche Clarke, op cit page 221.
(8) As quoted by Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism (Condor 1972).
(9) RG Torrens, The Secret Rituals of the Golden Dawn.
(10) Eugen Kogen, The Theory and Practice of Hell. (Secker and Warberg 1950) page 17.