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Typhonian Teratomas


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#1 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 02:32 AM

Has anyone here applied the rituals described in Mishlen Linden's little book Typhonian Teratomas: The Shadows of the Abyss, or read it?

I only recently acquired this book because it has been hard to come by until it was republished last year. Linden briefly describes various ritualistic practices regarding "the Genii of the 22 Scales of the Serpent and of the Qliphoth" as outlined in Crowley's Liber CCXXXI. These rituals center around the "shadow tarot" which is an extension of Kenneth Grant's interpretation of these sigils in Nightside of Eden. Linden suggests Linda Falorio's Shadow Tarot deck for use or to create your own. The rites themselves are fairly simplistic with the only requirements being candles, a few incenses (usually Lunar) and the deck/sigils. Every now and then an athame, bowl or large mirror is required but not for most. Most of the practices described seem geared towards creative visualizations and atavistic resurgence but I have not tried anything from this book yet for a couple of reasons.

First, I am somewhat at variance with it due to the fact I am not a beginner. Had I had this book a few years ago it would have made my own approach a little easier and I might have gone about it in much the way Linden outlines but I was on my own and developed my own personal Oneiric methods based on a combination of theories and peripheral practices primarily from Crowley, Spare and Grant with heavy doses of Lovecraftian elements to create the kinds of moods for such endeavors. Other than my own uses of Spare's "death posture" at times, the sigils and the Thoth tarot, my practices were not objective in this physical ritual setting at all. They took the form of semi-pathworkings almost entirely in the dream realm with other practices suggesting themselves along the way based on information gleaned from the Interface. Almost by accident I did away with any attempt at defining a system early on. Becoming submerged in the Nightside does produce "tangential tantrums" as Grant calls them.

When I actually discuss the details of such matters some of you may notice my tendency to go into something a bit rambling and incoherent. That is the nature of everything to do with these Nightside currents. I feel a very personal connection to this area of work because it is the one thing magically that I have developed completely on my own from just reading obscure hints and references; I had to work on it. And probably for that reason it is also the one area of Magick that has had the most impact on me and has helped produce the most transformative and inspired "results". Some of those results can be read on my Occult Corpus blog in a more cleaned up form. That stuff comes directly out of personal dream imagery albeit reworked to make a little more sense to others reading it.

One personal benefit of this book for me though is that it provides me with a sort of model. I would like to develop my practices along similar lines as Mishlen Linden in order to better translate this stuff to others. That is the hardest part for me and is why I haven't discussed these things more openly. There is a part of me that feels that if I discuss it too plainly that it will banish the personal glamour that has gained power in my secrecy. But then I remind myself of the critics of Kenneth Grant's work who have accused him of revealing too much but in fact he has revealed nothing. It only appears to be revealed to the Initiated who actually understand what he's talking about. It took me quite a few years and firsthand experience to understand his work and now that I do there is nothing I can say that will reveal anything to anyone other than to those who already know.

My thread is obviously about a little more than just Linden's book and intentionally so. Having familiarized myself with Occult Corpus enough now, I don't feel that there will be a heavy amount of traffic engaging in a discussion of the uses of Crowley's Liber CCXXXI but I'm willing to give it a shot.

Another helpful book on this subject is Paul Hughes-Barlow's Tarot and the Magus. I came upon his book well into developing my own practices as well but noticed a lot of seeming similarities between what he describes regarding Liber CCXXXI and my own dreamworkings. He also uses the Thoth deck like I do.

In my opinion, Liber CCXXXI is the closest thing to a more traditional grimoire that Crowley wrote and I'm not so sure he intended it as such. It is a very powerful book for evocation when approached in the more peripheral way Grant suggests in Nightside of Eden.

I have always found it curious that in Israel Regardie's preface to Gems from the Equinox he has this liber in a group of which he says the following:

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Here is a group of instructions that should properly be included in any selection from The Equinox, though I cannot in all honesty believe that they add very much of value to the body of instruction for which The Equinox is famous!
That statement could possibly mean a couple of things though. Although some of his work was part of my earlier magickal education, I have grown not to care much for Regardie's ideas about Magick over the years. Now I consider it ok in a technical sense but rather uninspired in a magical sense.

#2 Kuroyagi

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:30 AM

Well, no- I have never heard of that book but it sounds interesting,

I have always thought that the mark of a genuine occult teacher is to be very open-minded and non-concrete about method. Thereby Crowley and Spare and Grant fulfil this definition. They actually hardly ever say how to perform the rituals –e.g. whether to make them with only the body or with imagination or even in dream or in what combination of those…others however, did do so: Regardie (in this connection) to a lesser and people like Kraig to a larger degree. But those prescriptions are also an interpretation and mostly a boring one due to their one-sidedness. That’s why I don’t consider latter two to be "great" occult teachers. And the same goes for many more pronouncédly religious or scientific types who always want to prove something (often that they are right ;)).

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There is a part of me that feels that if I discuss it too plainly that it will banish the personal glamour that has gained power in my secrecy. But then I remind myself of the critics of Kenneth Grant's work who have accused him of revealing too much but in fact he has revealed nothing. It only appears to be revealed to the Initiated who actually understand what he's talking about.
I agree with this: secrecy (in this inner sense) is completely unnecessary cause people won’t get what one is talking about anyway, or: only certain people will, and some of them may even intentionally want to play stupid just to gain some advantage from the others who are more worldly.

So much for my exoteric comment on your post…I'll append a more esoteric one later since there are many very deep-reaching implications in there, also for me and my practice, on a most personal level...

#3 Kuroyagi

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 12:04 PM

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In my opinion, Liber CCXXXI is the closest thing to a more traditional grimoire that Crowley wrote and I'm not so sure he intended it as such. It is a very powerful book for evocation when approached in the more peripheral way Grant suggests in Nightside of Eden.
One thing that Grant doesn't even mention but that I have found very relevant and revealing are the Mercurian sigils in Crowley's little "grimoire". To combine and compare them with the qliphothic ones and then go back and forth between them and Grant's interpretation of them unfolds a special perpendicular dynamism, some imaginative field which bears strange dream-like fruits and gave me access to interesting hidden "paths" to explore...

#4 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 06:27 PM

Yeah K, Typhonian Teratomas is interesting but for me it's more on a comparative level. As I'm sure you know, there is not a lot of literature on this subject to compare notes with, even online, so what does exist I try to look at if possible.

And I do find it curious that Grant doesn't take on the entirety of Liber CCXXXI but I guess it's due to his particular focus or that he feels that the Mercurial Genii have been treated enough in the Tarot itself. I personally feel that both sets of entities dwell in the Tarot though which is why I never felt that a specific "shadow tarot" was necessary. The Thoth deck works just fine both ways (I think Crowley designed it that way) which brings me to that other book I mentioned, Tarot and the Magus by Paul Hughes-Barlow.

Tarot and the Magus discusses the Mercurial and the Qliphoth together in a little more detail but in the end still leans more toward the Qliphoth in terms of direct discussion of Liber CCXXXI. But one could argue that most of the book regarding the trump pairings of the Thoth deck is actually about the Mercurial Genii. I recommend it but I'll let you know that even I find it hard to follow and I'm not sure why. It's one of the few books that treats the Tarot in a magickal sense as a means for evocation/invocation as opposed to the usual useless blah.

You have to be careful with Liber CCXXXI because Crowley did not revise it to fit his modifications, i.e. switching the Hebrew letters to Tzaddi/Emperor and Heh/Star per "All these old letters of my book are aright; but Tzaddi is not the Star." [AL I:57] as well as the Lust/Adjustment numerical swap. Without the revision you may run into inconsistencies. I've found that these revisions are forgotten by others when dealing with Liber CCXXXI and I'm always having to correct some of it for myself.;)

#5 Kuroyagi

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 07:32 PM

I recently looked into this book or rather pamphlet and enjoyed it- some of it, like to put consciousness into and through your hands into the thing touched, gave new ideas to things I already do (like energizing/"healing" someone via massage+"energy"), other things were just inspirational concepts, like for example the chakra-"reversion" in connection with the Black Sun of Amenta and Raflifu (dark Resh-path).

A minor but curious detail: in this book the name of the Nightside Daleth-path's entity is persistently spelt differently to Liber 231 throughout the text. (Dagdagiel vs Dagadgiel) Now the strange thing is that I also had unintentionally mis-pronounced it like this when doing some Tunnels of Set explorations with 231 earlier this year, but discovered that "mistake" only recently when reading this book and checked back to the Liber- if it is a mistake at all; maybe "Dagdagiel" wants to be called like this, since I intuitively did so too, and Crowley’s text needs to be modified in this point…anyway, not so important, just some interesting coincidence.

I'm using the Thoth-deck for now, not Falorios' about which we talked sometime, and to whose images I also gave the link in another thread; I also plan to buy the Giger one soon-ish and feel that it could be interesting here, too; could be that I also will make my own cards, too; probably at first only a few select ones with my own modifications- rather than a whole set- for concentrated workings. That Tarot and Magus -book sounds interesting, also, for yet another twist.

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You have to be careful with Liber CCXXXI because Crowley did not revise it to fit his modifications, i.e. switching the Hebrew letters to Tzaddi/Emperor and Heh/Star per "All these old letters of my book are aright; but Tzaddi is not the Star." [AL I:57] as well as the Lust/Adjustment numerical swap. Without the revision you may run into inconsistencies. I've found that these revisions are forgotten by others when dealing with Liber CCXXXI and I'm always having to correct some of it for myself.
In M.L.s book the two (Hemethterith and Tzuflifu) are assigned to the same/corresponding letters (Heh and Tzaddi) as in my copy of the Liber which I have downloaded from the net; so seems to be ok…or am I misunderstanding you there? Liber 231

#6 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 09:54 PM

In all the sources I've looked at, including the copies of Liber CCXXXI I use in The Holy Books of Thelema and Gems from the Equinox, the spelling is Dagdagiel. The online version you linked must either be incorrect or all the published versions I've seen have been based on an incorrect source. Grant, Falorio and Hughes-Barlow all spell it Dagdagiel in their works.

You're correct K in your assessment of what I was saying about the swapping of the letters, etc. What I said was a bit unclear. Within the liber itself you have to keep in mind that the swaps were not made in the verses of the text so the The Star (Hemethterith) appears as verse 4 and The Emperor (Tzuflifu) as verse 17. Same with the Adjustment/Lust swap. This is actually more of a technicality when using the Thoth deck and remembering to make the right correspondences. Looking at Linden's wheel in her book I see she kept the same order as the text so her system is consistent. I hadn't examined that wheel in detail when I first read the book.

Edited by Nalyd Khezr Bey, 06 July 2009 - 12:14 PM.
gender correction


#7 Kuroyagi

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 10:48 AM

Her, actually (I swapped a couple of emails with her cause I first had prob.s getting my hands on that book here in Europe ;)).

I got you, you mean/meant the verse nos. in relation to the Thoth-card--no.s (etc.)...the reason why I didn't initially think of the poetic verse comment there, is that I have the printed-out papers (the sigils and the letter ascriptions with their names) back-to-back in a plastic foile with the comment tucked in inbetween.

But what you say about that net version is somehow disheartening to me (maybe only a typo there); I have nearly all of ACs Libri, except e.g. 333, from the net, exclusively, and am strangely picky when it comes to (demon) names.*..."no wonder" that that one felt wrong to me. :P

Anyway, guess I should buy it, then, in one of the sources you mentioned; thanks!

*[I love books but the one and only time I tore one up was when some-obviously [I]lunatic[/I]- translator of the Tibetan Book of the Dead wrote that in that version she had left out the lesser god names and the description of the 5 skandhas-(elements) cause they are "too complicated", esp.for the "Westerner", anyway; my fault that I hadn't checked this when I had bought it lol.]

Edited by Kuroyagi, 06 July 2009 - 12:20 PM.


#8 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 12:52 PM

I have corrected my gender mistake above.:P (sorry Mishlen)

I did some checking on that spelling again K. It seems that all the online PDFs of Liber CCXXXI I've looked at have the Dagadgiel spelling, including the PDF of The Equinox (1:7) which may be where the independent PDF version is coming from.

I'll be honest, other than as a quick reference to point to when I'm on a forum like this one, I had never looked at the online versions very closely before. I don't usually use e-books for much unless it's my only available option.

I'm like you K, this kind of inconsistency bothers me but I also feel intuitively that the spelling (and pronunciation) is Dagdagiel.

#9 Cavalier

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:04 PM

Don't you think a book which makes up a funny alliterative title with no meaning (tumours in the resemblance of Typhon?) is of little occult value?

#10 Kuroyagi

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:36 PM

Nalyd: You also- on the other hand- got me confused/made me think about the Thoth card numeration: why (in that deck), is the emperor 4 and the star still 17, anyway; I thought Crowley's swap of their locations was to the effect that the star- once down there on tzaddi- is "up" on heh, and the emp consequently down there on tzaddi; isnt it more like that that sequence in the cards doesnt make sense anymore (same with lust and balance)...or are the numbers themselves more important (17 intuitively certainly better fits the star) hm dunno much about that and will have to look that up..(OT)

Cavalier: we are speaking about symbols, metaphors and maps (only because they do not signify anything to you yet doesn't mean that they do not also to others). Teratomas- "carried over" from medicine- has a metaphorical meaning here that you would better understand by reading certain texts and making certain experiences. But if that already seems idiotic to you from the start you needn't do it. You then will find other idiotic metaphors -like sulphur or mercury, soul or the Tao- that may speak to you more effectively.

#11 Cavalier

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:47 PM

Kuroyagi said:

Nalyd: You also- on the other hand- got me confused/made me think about the Thoth card numeration: why (in that deck), is the emperor 4 and the star still 17, anyway; I thought Crowley's swap of their locations was to the effect that the star- once down there on tzaddi- is "up" on heh, and the emp consequently down there on tzaddi; isnt it more like that that sequence in the cards doesnt make sense anymore (same with lust and balance)...or are the numbers themselves more important (17 intuitively certainly better fits the star) hm dunno much about that and will have to look that up..(OT)

Cavalier: we are speaking about symbols, metaphors and maps (only because they do not signify anything to you yet doesn't mean that they do not also to others). Teratomas- "carried over" from medicine- has a metaphorical meaning here that you would better understand by reading certain texts and making certain experiences. But if that already seems idiotic to you from the start you needn't do it. You then will find other idiotic metaphors -like sulphur or mercury, soul or the Tao- that may speak to you more effectively.

What is the metaphorical meaning?

#12 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:50 PM

Cavalier said:

Don't you think a book which makes up a funny alliterative title with no meaning (tumours in the resemblance of Typhon?) is of little occult value?
Kuroyagi was rather polite to you but I on the other just don't care anymore... actually I think most, if not all, of your posts on Occult Corpus are of little value (let alone occult value). I wouldn't normally even bother saying much to someone like you but since you stepped into a discussion you know absolutely nothing about and adding nothing to the discussion (like you do frequently), I think my pointing out your uselessness is warranted.

#13 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:24 PM

Kuroyagi said:

Nalyd: You also- on the other hand- got me confused/made me think about the Thoth card numeration: why (in that deck), is the emperor 4 and the star still 17, anyway; I thought Crowley's swap of their locations was to the effect that the star- once down there on tzaddi- is "up" on heh, and the emp consequently down there on tzaddi; isnt it more like that that sequence in the cards doesnt make sense anymore (same with lust and balance)...or are the numbers themselves more important (17 intuitively certainly better fits the star) hm dunno much about that and will have to look that up..(OT)
This is a pretty complex issue to discuss and maybe needs a separate thread to open it up more. To try to put it simply... To my understanding, what Crowley did was swap the Hebrew letters on the Emperor and the Star and swapped the actual card arrangement of Adjustment and Lust. The Adjustment/Lust swap restored the Tarot trump sequence to it's original and correct arrangement. The letter swap was in accordance with what he reasoned out of that verse from AL. It makes more sense anyway when you compare the letter meanings with the nature of the trumps. Both swaps created two twists in the belt of the Zodiac.

#14 Kuroyagi

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:24 PM

Maybe I should go with Nalyd there for once and say: I have no motivation whatsoever to explain anything about this to someone who isn't even interested in it. Somehow reminds me of a some teenager who wants to bully out "knowledge" from others, while being afraid to lose "face" himself (seeming as unknowning)...maybe if one gets older one will learn that this isn't the most effective way to get it.

#15 Kuroyagi

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:29 PM

Nalyd Khezr Bey said:

This is a pretty complex issue to discuss and maybe needs a separate thread to open it up more. To try to put it simply... To my understanding, what Crowley did was swap the Hebrew letters on the Emperor and the Star and swapped the actual card arrangement of Adjustment and Lust. The Adjustment/Lust swap restored the Tarot trump sequence to it's original and correct arrangement. The letter swap was in accordance with what he reasoned out of that verse from AL. It makes more sense anyway. Both swaps created two twists in the belt of the Zodiac.
Ok we need a new thread (prob is i dont have much time)...but are you sure? (e.g. in all of Grant's books the locations of the two is swapped...and I thought he followed AC there)...also werent those lust balance cards already swapped before...anyway when it comes to Thelemic knowledge we have people who could know this, here on the forum....and it is not below me to ask/be intersted in what they have to say...LOL...

#16 Cavalier

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:42 PM

Nalyd Khezr Bey said:

Kuroyagi was rather polite to you but I on the other just don't care anymore... actually I think most, if not all, of your posts on Occult Corpus are of little value (let alone occult value). I wouldn't normally even bother saying much to someone like you but since you stepped into a discussion you know absolutely nothing about and adding nothing to the discussion (like you do frequently), I think my pointing out your uselessness is warranted.

LOL. :P Someone doesn't like debate and discussion. Poor boy.

#17 Cavalier

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:45 PM

Kuroyagi said:

Maybe I should go with Nalyd there for once and say: I have no motivation whatsoever to explain anything about this to someone who isn't even interested in it. Somehow reminds me of a some teenager who wants to bully out "knowledge" from others, while being afraid to lose "face" himself (seeming as unknowning)...maybe if one gets older one will learn that this isn't the most effective way to get it.

If you have followed my postings here, you should know I am quite inquisitive and honestly so. If you don't want to reveal your "great big secrets", that's fine. But I am here if you want to open up and tell me the metaphoric meaning.

Even the usage of the term "typhonic" annoys me, though. What does a dragonic figure who defeated Zeus once have anything to do with tumours?

#18 Kuroyagi

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:00 PM

Ok: you can get more info about this in Grant's book Níghtside of Eden (where a chapter is named TT), and from other works Nalyd and I mentioned in the course of the discussion.

It's good to be inquisitive but why is it necessary to be aggressive towards a thing you know nothing about? (Of course I know why: simple fear of being thought of as stupid; but you need not fear, be more confident in yourself!).

Whatever, debating about a thing your opponent/parnter knows absolutly nothing about (apart from some vague dislike of the subject title) is pretty useless: so basically your alternatives are to either inform yourself or simply leave it which is maybe better since you seem to believe that a poetically written text is useless for magick.

(Hey we could make a discussion about this, but maybe not in this thread; here-in order to even get any use out of this topic and works- it is a prerequisite IMO to practice or at least understand such a poetic method in magick- you also will understand e.g. Milton better if you knew some english and a bit about the Bible...those are simply some prerequisites for it...if you don't want to concern yourself with Milton cause that name sounds too much like "Clinton" then fine, leave it and concern yourself with Korean tubberware or whatever you feel better about...! :P).

#19 Cavalier

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 03:08 PM

Kuroyagi said:

Ok: you can get more info about this in Grant's book Níghtside of Eden (where a chapter is named TT), and from other works Nalyd and I mentioned in the course of the discussion.

I shall procure it by...nefarious means.

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It's good to be inquisitive but why is it necessary to be aggressive towards a thing you know nothing about? (Of course I know why: simple fear of being thought of as stupid; but you need not fear, be more confident in yourself!).

With the occult, one has to be on guard for bullshit. The title sounded really, really, REALLY silly. I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions, though.

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Whatever, debating about a thing your opponent/parnter knows absolutly nothing about (apart from some vague dislike of the subject title) is pretty useless: so basically your alternatives are to either inform yourself or simply leave it which is maybe better since you seem to believe that a poetically written text is useless for magick.

No no, I just thought the idea was silly.

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(Hey we could make a discussion about this, but maybe not in this thread; here-in order to even get any use out of this topic and works- it is a prerequisite IMO to practice or at least understand such a poetic method in magick- you also will understand e.g. Milton better if you knew some english and a bit about the Bible...those are simply some prerequisites for it...if you don't want to concern yourself with Milton cause that name sounds too much like "Clinton" then fine, leave it and concern yourself with Korean tubberware or whatever you feel better about...! :P).

I read both Milton and the Bible. I do appreciate literature. In fact, amusingly enough, I was going to see what the Chaos people thought about using Blake for a system of magic.

#20 Nalyd Khezr Bey

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 04:22 PM

Cavalier said:

LOL. :) Someone doesn't like debate and discussion. Poor boy.
I didn't open this topic to debate it, i.e. the one most clever with logical arguments wins... pointless. This is a discussion with those who are sincerely interested or are already involved in the theories and practices that revolve around it (seems like Kuroyagi and I so far).

You've already shown animosity towards Aleister Crowley elsewhere so I would not think a discussion that involves working with his Liber CCXXXI would interest you at all.

Regarding the term "typhonian teratomas"... Linden borrowed the term from Kenneth Grant's works, specifically, as Kuroyagi pointed out, a chapter title in his Nightside of Eden. The term is just another metaphorical name for what became the most ancient of the Qliphoth which is what Linden's book is investigating.

Kenneth Grant uses the term "typhonian" as well as "draconian" more to designate what he considers the most ancient of magical traditions. Though poetic, in a magical sense, most of Grant's work revolves around the idea that certain traditions up to the present day have carried this underlying "typhonian current" within their mythopoetic stuctures and practices. He makes that clear in his first book The Magical Revival. Whether or not his claims are well-founded in any scientific research is irrelevant. Those who criticize his "research" usually don't take into consideration and/or probably don't know about a method that is called "psychic questing" (I don't really like that term but it fits for the most part).

Psychic questing usually involves investigating sacred sites or landscapes by researching their histories and then navigating them physically but using magical or psychical means. Grant obviously uses a sort of "psychic questing" in his method of research and navigation which is why, from a magical or occult standpoint, he is justified in uncovering magical meaning or poetic facts coded in fictional works, art, music, pseudo-science, pseudo-anthropology or damned near anywhere he can pull it from. The landscapes that Grant explores and navigates don't usually concern any real-world geographies.

Now this line of thinking crosses over into that pareidolia thread that you seem to have such an interest in. "Pareidolia" and "apophenia", like "hypnosis", are usually used (by those who actually know these words) as terms to dismiss these tendencies, i.e. "that's just pareidolia", like "oh, that's just hypnosis". These kinds of perceptions are never adequately explained; just given a name and banished. Magicians and artists (particularly the Surrealists, like Dali who called it paranoiac-critical activity) deliberately embrace and use these perceptual faculties as magical or artistic method, heightening the ability to perceive synchronous patterns in everything in order to build one's own magical mythopoeia (there's another silly alliterative for you).

If you're really wanting to discuss this stuff with us Cavalier you're more than welcome. But bring something to the table even if it's just some sincerity.B)





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