The history of magic is like a Greek tragedy, a parade of incredible minds who paid a heavy price for trying to crash Olympus. John Dee is a good example. Paracelsus is another. More recently, we have Crowley and Parsons. All of these guys were brilliant polymaths and under different circumstances probably would be sitting in the history books next to Newtons, Galileos and Einsteins.
Christopher Knowles, the Secret Sun
Dee saw further than Newton and he paid the price. Dee was one of the giants, no titans, upon whose shoulders Newton stood, but the Queen's conjurer still maintained a better view. The people of Saturn are different from the people of Jupiter. They have sacrificed personal prosperity and the favourable gaze of history to risk staring deeper into the Abyss. Dee 'read every book in the world' and so was forced to channel one from the future, Liber Logaeth, in order to satisfy his biblio-mania. They may not remember him that well in the 21st century but Dee is a household name in the 31st.
There's a danger in judging people who were absolutely blown out by magic to have failed in some way. People dismiss Crowley sometimes saying words to the effect of ''well he died a penniless heroin addict so he can't have been much of a magician.'' Crowley did not haggle for the egg, the price was his sanity, health and personal wealth and he paid it in full. For a moment the vortex abated, he gazed clearly and knew. If I am not willing to be stripped to nothing, a skeleton in a cell, then can I ever see what they saw?
Unlike Dee and Crowley, I consider myself, largely, of Jupiterian spirit. I am committed to prosperity for my community, service to others, easing the labour of my friends, enriching their lives and, most importantly, having fun. I spend a great deal of my time every week creating comedy with a group of actors and making people laugh. I have responsibilities to my tribe and my loved ones that I cannot freely abandon to chase Chronos across the cosmos - however much I feel I might want to. In my mind, Einstein and Newton, like a great many gentlemen scientists, were Jupiterians too - harnessing the forces of the universe, bending them to the service of mankind and dying as men of honour forever enshrined in history. The Kabbalistic Tzaddikim, the Righteous Ones, could be translated as Jupiterians.
Do you understand anything about electricity Richard? Well neither do I, all I do is establish a theory about it based on a natural observation. I write down this theory in the mathematical idiom and obtain several formulae. Then the engineers come along. They don't care about anything except the formulae. They treat electricity like a pimp treats a whore. They simply exploit it. They build machines - and a machine can only be used when it becomes independent of the knowledge that lead to its invention So any fool nowadays can switch on a light or touch off an atomic bomb. And that's what you want to arrest me for Richard, and its not fair.
Newton, the Physicists, Freidrich Durrenmatt
On this blog, I exercise my secret passion for the Saturnian. The vast majority of material here is devoted to dealing with life, death, consciousness and time - all Saturnian themes and not those I can freely discuss with the people around me. The eye will only see what the mind can apprehend and I have learned not to drag people into the void who are not willing to let go of the Earth. I have a great deal of respect for those who do push out on the path of Divine Melancholia in order to more closely apprehend the truth. I know that I lack some bravery in this respect and during 2013-2014 the Saturnian dangers of magic were made very real to me - death, madness and heresy. I fled and lived to try for the mountaintops another day. To dare is a power of the Sphinx, and without daring, without risk, without challenge, reward, whatever it is, is surely meaningless. I am reminded of Pan's Labyrinth - here on Earth the lives of Dee et al seem incredibly tragic, on the Astral though, the place they truly called home, their deaths were but the conclusion of a wonderful romance.