History’s Most Formidable Occult Figures

Pentacle

“To know, to dare, to will, to keep silence—such are the four words of the magus…”

The Doctrine and the Ritual of Magic, Eliphas Levi

The earliest use of the term “occult” emerged in the 16th century when studies such as astrology and natural magic were catalogued under the occult sciences. Fast forward to the 19th century and the word picked up momentum with the French associating it with esoteric groups. It’s believed that the phrase “occult” finally made its debut in the English language circa 1875 when esoterist Helena Blavatsky (more on her later) began using it in her works. Although the mention of the occult seems quite recent, I believe traces of it have existed for much longer, into the far reaches of centuries past.

The dark arts, black magic, Satanism, witchcraft, paganism, mysticism—these are just a few of the practices commonly connected to occultism. All the greater are the number of individuals throughout the ages to have been linked to the practice of it. In his book “The Black Arts,” Richard Cavendish says, “The magician sets out to conquer the universe. To succeed he must make himself master of everything in it—evil as well as good, cruelty as well as mercy, pain as well as pleasure.” Perhaps this is the mission to unite the souls I’m about to mention here; a common purpose propelling them throughout their lifetimes. Presented in chronological order, let’s have a look at some of history’s most formidable occult figures. Continue reading “History’s Most Formidable Occult Figures”

Steven Johnson Leyba’s “FIRE” Exhibit & Ritual at The Dark Art Emporium

Steven Johnson Leyba's FIRE art exhibit
Steven Johnson Leyba’s FIRE art exhibit

He was ordained as a reverend into the Church of Satan by Anton Szandor LaVey in 1992, has placed curses on politicians and corporations, and caused media mayhem when, during his Apache Whiskey Rite as a political protest, he allowed himself to be anally penetrated by a woman wearing a harness with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s strapped to it. Continue reading “Steven Johnson Leyba’s “FIRE” Exhibit & Ritual at The Dark Art Emporium”

Hail Satan?: An Enlightening Look Into Modern Satanism

"Hail Satan?" film poster (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)
“Hail Satan?” film poster (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures)

It may seem blasphemous to some to release a documentary titled “Hail Satan?” a few days before Easter Sunday. Or, maybe it was perfectly timed? It’s also easy to jump to conclusions about what message such a film could possibly deliver. I’d assume that just mentioning the title to people would cause two opposite reactions—one of revulsion and the other of fascination. When it comes to the topics of Satan and Satanism, is there a middle ground between the two responses? Continue reading “Hail Satan?: An Enlightening Look Into Modern Satanism”

Occult Art & Esoteric Delights at The Mystic Museum

Baphomet
Baphomet

The Mystic Museum in Burbank, California, just launched its first art show of the year in collaboration with alternative apparel shop BlackCraft Cult and it is wickedly enticing! The theme is “Occult in History and Pop Culture.” I have had a longstanding fascination with the occult, so I was quite excited about the event. I invite you all to have a look at what opening night had in store. Continue reading “Occult Art & Esoteric Delights at The Mystic Museum”