Alea iacta est

Posted: November 5th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Culture, Current Affair, Fenrir, Inner ONA, Labyrinthos Mythologicus, News, O9A, Occultism, Order of Nine Angles, The Sinister Tradition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Alea iacta est

Mimesis and Arcadian Truth in the Theater of Cruelty: The Task of Outer Representative

By Nameless Therein

Reposted from our main site

cruelty

And if Perseus is proud of Andromeda too in the stars, do but cast your eye towards that side of the heavens, where the brilliant Ophiuchos is conspicuous holding up his encircling Serpent, and you will see the circlet of Ariadne’s Crown, the Sun’s companion, which rises with the Moon and proclaims the desire of crownloving Dionysos.[1]

The subject of mimesis casts a rich historical shadow across its diverse roots in ancient Greek thought, literature, narrative theory, art, and avant-garde theater. The word carries an equally rich nest of meanings. It roughly translates as “imitation,” originating from the Greek word, mimeisthai, which means “to imitate.”[2] It is sometimes translated as “representation,” sometimes “re-doubling,” and can occasionally connote a sense of mimicry, replication, and impersonation.[3] In the ancient Greek world, the oldest usages of the root “mim-” seem to have something to do with music, as evidenced in Aeschylus’ lost tragedy Edonians, “where noise-making musical instruments are referred to as ‘bull-voiced […] frightened mimoi’,” in addition to Democritus’ claim that, “just as crafts follow the example of animals, music imitates birdsong.”[4] The Homeric Hymn to Apollo refers to “a choir of maidens who know how to imitate/represent (mimeisthai) men’s voices and castanets.”[5] Both cases demonstrate how musical mimesis transmits an acoustic image created by an animated being in order to trigger a strong emotional effect in the public.[6]

Historically, mimesis had to do with two complementary aspects: artistic imitation, which was associated with representation and re-enactment, and behavioral imitation.[7] In terms of art, mimesis concerned the expression of certain attitudes and emotions, in addition to guiding the representation of the perceptible world and the ideas, ideals, and values that informed it.[8] Evidence for behavioral imitation can be found in various ancient sources, such as Aristotle’s Poetics where he remarks that human beings learn by imitating, or in the work of Democritus who argued that humans imitate animals through crafts.[9] In epic poetry, Socrates distinguished between “narrative (diegesis) as the general aim of the poem and the local imitation (mimesis) of the character’s direct speech,” holding that the emotions expressed in this form of mimesis could be “contagious” and thus occasionally “weaken the soul’s commitment to virtue.”[10] Plato had a similarly troubling relationship with artistic activity, viewing the artist as a kind of deceiver concerned with representing appearances rather than reality itself, one complicit in eikasia, where the artist as a producer of imitations of imitations takes us even further away from knowledge.[11] By contrast, Aristotle, who did not subscribe to Plato’s theory of forms, emphasized mimesis in terms of its “natural … [and] this-worldly [aspects],” both with respect to mimetic art and poetry.[12]

Mimesis thus typically has something to do with imitation. But by the time Aristotle wrote the Poetics, the issue of what works like tragedies or poems were imitating became a philosophical problem. Aristotle’s solution was that they were imitating an action (mimēsis praxeōs). In the twentieth-century, his idea of an imitation of an action or mimēsis praxeōs was taken up in the work of the famous French Continental philosopher, Paul Ricoeur. Ricoeur’s rich understanding of mimesis moved beyond its general sense of “imitation,” “representation,” or what he sometimes referred to as a kind of “re-doubling” into a complex process that can be termed an arc of operations. For Ricoeur, this arc is comprised of three movements, beginning as a symbolic system within a culture, then transforming into a fixed form like a work of literature, and finally re-emerging in a cultural context where the consciousness of the participant or reader is altered as a result. Ricoeur’s understanding of mimesis was thus tightly linked to the concept of mythos or narrative emplotment in Aristotle’s Poetics.

Mythos and mimesis are tethered together. Both involve the ability to permanently transform the inhabitant of a given culture, tradition, or society. For Ricoeur, this tethering serves as part of the basis for the emergence of meaning in human consciousness. One of Ricoeur’s great discoveries about mimesis concerns the way our experience of the world involves an irreducible narrativity: the sense in which that experience always unfolds as a kind of story across time. In this, the individual transformation of consciousness may be said to occupy a broader archetypal domain of myth, one that Freud, Jung, and Joseph Campbell pick up on. Speaking to the power and importance of myth, Campbell says the following:

Throughout the inhabited world, in all times and under every circumstance, the myths of man have flourished; and they have been the living inspiration of whatever else may have appeared out of the activities of the human body and mind. It would not be too much to say that myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth.

The wonder is that the characteristic efficacy to touch and inspire deep creative centers dwells in the smallest nursery fairy tale—as the flavor of the ocean is contained in a droplet or the whole mystery of life within the egg of a flea. For the symbols of mythology are not manufactured; they cannot be ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed. They are spontaneous productions of the psyche, and each bears within it, undamaged, the germ power of its source.[13]

Campbell’s characterization of myth bears a close resemblance to the Order of Nine Angles. From the “formless forming” and weaving of the Wyrdful web that my co-conspirator Ariadne describes in the article below, the hidden and hard-earned Aracadian truths behind the many corridors of the ONA’s winding labyrinth are not static but fluid, cascading and emerging as a canvas of appearances, much like the “instar” stage of a cicada that Ariadne describes. But these appearances are appearances; and many mistake these “moving articulations” as stationary identities, ideas, things, always trying to put a face or a name or something knowable to an irreducible opacity. (How many times have we been warned about “abstractions”?) Nevertheless, as a subculture founded on a wide horizon of mythic imitation, there is something underlying the many difficult and dangerous appearances one inevitably encounters within the labyrinth – not something “beyond” or “within” or “apart” from them, but a deeper invisible layer, something intangible, outstretching, eternal, ubiquitous, conspicuous in its absence, a condition for possibility of all appearance: “always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find, together with a challengingly persistent suggestion of more remaining to be experienced than will ever be told.”[14]

This tradition is not fixed, nor is it complete. With the ONA’s characteristic efficacy to reach and inspire just the “deep creative centers” Campbell describes, neither can it ever be manufactured: it cannot be “ordered, invented, or permanently suppressed,” because it is a spontaneous production of the psyche, one in which every inhabitant, every associate, every individual that wishes to transform its participatory dead letter into a living word partakes in. Each and every individual here bears within themselves the undamaged “germ power of its source.” But this world, our world, the world of the Order of Nine Angles – it is a theater, one where the appearances we encounter in the labyrinth are constituted, populated, and erected by the very psyche that spontaneously produces them.

What then is the task of the Outer Representative? I have considered this question carefully against the event horizon of tremendous responsibility that it carries. Endorsed by those who, with no pangs of conscience or hesitation, continue to bear the weight of my unconditional admiration and respect without complaint, and whose august presence within our tradition sustains its better nature, it is with deep humility and respect for those individuals, this tradition, and the responsibility of this position that I now rise from a place of immutable honor to acknowledge and accept my role as Outer Representative of the Order of Nine Angles.

What then is my task as Outer Representative to every “brutal and beautiful interconnected sinister soul shared by those ensnared within … [the] Wyrdful web” of this tradition? It certainly is not to manufacture, presume to lead, or even guide. Nor is it to officiate, guard, or gander some thinly veiled Arcadian “truth” guarded by the Minotaur at the heart of the labyrinth! No, my purpose here is simple: to tap into that deep creative center of spontaneous emergence and transmit the “one, shapeshifting yet marvelously constant story” that we find together – one that occupies the ensouled world of our individual narratives as we make our way into the primordial unknown. I will always carry that in my heart; we all will. My role here is to make the invisible visible – not as an appearance or mere appearance, but as something that can permanently alter the consciousness of anyone who encounters it, changing the course of history for that individual, for the ONA, and for our tradition in however infinitesimal or monolithic a way.

Thomas Mann once said that, “The writer must be true to truth,” to which Joseph Campbell remarked: “the only way you can describe a human being truly is by describing his imperfections. The perfect human being is uninteresting…. It is the imperfections that are lovable. And when the writer sends a dart of the true word, it hurts. But it goes with love. That is what Mann called ‘erotic irony,’ the love for that which you are killing with your cruel, analytical word.”[15] Nothing is perfect in the ONA. Least of all myself. There is much room for improvement, much work to do to enact that as a practical reality, and many long years ahead to uproot and undo much of the damage done by the actions and activities of various associates all the way back to the founding of this tradition. But we will see it through before the curtain to this theater closes. As the French artist, surrealist, poet, playwright, and theater theoretician Antonin Artaud described with respect to a “theater of cruelty,” “Those who have forgotten the communicative power and magical mimesis of a gesture, the theater can reinstruct, because a gesture carries its energy with it, and there are still human beings in the theater to manifest the force of the gesture made.”[16] Indeed, in terms of the theater’s value as an “excruciating, magical relation to reality and danger,”[17] the Order of Nine Angles is a theater of cruelty, one that, within its living labyrinth, will often seem as if “everything that acts is a cruelty.”[18] But it is upon precisely “this idea of extreme action, pushed beyond all limits, that theater must be rebuilt.”[19]

This is my task as Outer Representative: to help rebuild this theater of cruelty by making the invisible visible deep within the heart of the labyrinth. I end with a quote from Jacques Derrida who, in noting Artaud’s uncanny ability to do both, describes something that equally applies to the task of Outer Representative: a “passionate, heroic negation of everything that causes us to be dead while alive.” The full quote is as follows:

I do not have to account in his stead for what he has experienced nor for what he has suffered…. I know that Antonin Artaud saw, the way Rimbaud, as well as Novalis and Arnim before him, had spoken of seeing. It is of little consequence, ever since the publication of Aurelia, that what was seen this way does not coincide with what is objectively visible. The real tragedy is that the society to which we are less and less honored to belong persists in making it an inexpiable crime to have gone over to the other side of the looking glass. In the name of everything that is more than ever close to my heart, I cheer the return to freedom of Antonin Artaud in a world where freedom itself must be reinvented…. I salute Antonin Artaud for his passionate, heroic negation of everything that causes us to be dead while alive.[20]

alea iacta est

Nameless Therein
November 4, 2022

Notes

[1] Nonnos, Dionysiaca, trans. W. H. D. Rouse, vol. 2, Books 16-35 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1940), 261.

[2] Andrew M. Colman, “Mimesis,” in A Dictionary of Psychology, 4th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).

[3] William H. Gass, “Mimesis,” Conjunctions, no. 46 (2006): 192.

[4] Thomas G. Pavel, “Mimesis,” chap. 16 in Literature Now: Key Terms and Methods for Literary History, ed. Sascha Bru, Ben De Bruyn, and Michel Delville (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 215.

[5] Pavel, “Mimesis,” 215-216.

[6] Pavel, 216.

[7] Pavel, 215.

[8] Pavel, 215.

[9] Pavel, 215.

[10] Pavel, 216.

[11] Simon Blackburn, “Mimesis,” in A Dictionary of Philosophy, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016).

[12] Pavel, “Mimesis,” 217.

[13] Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993), chap. 1, EPUB.

[14] Campbell, Hero, chap. 1.

[15] Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth (New York: Anchor Books, 1991), chap. 1, EPUB.

[16] Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double, trans. Mary Caroline Richards (New York: Grove Press, 1958), 81.

[17] Artaud, Theater and Its Double, 89.

[18] Artaud, 85.

[19] Artaud, 85.

[20] Jacques Derrida and Paule Thévenin, The Secret Art of Antonin Artaud, trans. Mary Ann Caws (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998), vii.


THE INSTAR EMERGENCE: Mimesis, Mythos, and Recalling

By Ariadne

ο Μίτος της Αριάδνης

instar

Saturn’s waning acted as a harbinger for a distinct and rejuvenating shift in the tenor and tone of my path. As the first chilled breaths of the season’s cool first glance from the eye of Winter lands into my lungs I feel warmed by the comprehension of what exactly is waning and waxing. However, in parallel, I am aware of a war that rages on – in forms both kinetic and cold. There is a war with bullets and there is a war with narratives, stories, and mythos.

I bring these different forms of warfare to your attention with the intention to remind my reader that wielding narrative itself can be – and often IS – ACTION. At the least, it is itself a will to action. My writing here is a kinetic action that I take with consciousness and vital responsibility, due to a passion so large that it cannot help but extend beyond my self.

Your time in this world, as far as we know, is limited.

Your impact, your legacy, what you leave behind, is what you choose to make it. Your words, your narrative, your role in the dialectic, your mythological contribution, is larger than any fist. A myth can be an even more powerful and lasting tool than a nuclear missile. More than that, the limitations of your word extend no further than your own ability to use it.

That is because mimesis (μίμησις) acts in funny ways.

Like the name of this website suggests, it is a subject I have interest in seeking out new ways of understanding.

The name of this website betrays a great deal to those who know what they are looking at. Indeed, to some, my intentions are transparent, and it has come to my attention that the time has come for this to be worth exploring.

An “instar” is a stage in the development of an insect, like a cicada, before it emerges from the earth. Much like the cicada, a myth can be in a similar stage of emergent development, recalling itself through a living, kinetic force of nature before it arises in the form of action or replication from those through which it inspires yet another spark of kinetic energy – a transmutational fire.

See, we do not exist in a vacuum. Nor do our words, nor do our myths. Somebody is reading this and it is meaningful. Ideally, inspiring them to write/say something that MATTERS. Somebody is inspired to the action of expression by my Will to share my own expression.

This concept is deeply moving to me.

Somebody else is reading this and rolling their eyes. Either way – spending time inside my writing, having tea with my words, this is how you are choosing to spend your time – within what I have woven.

Sincerity and originality are always able to be conveyed, even in a mimetic replication of a myth – such as that of Theseus and Ariadne’s journey through the Labyrinth and back. If you possess an ounce of creative kinetic energy, or think you might with a little practice, the written word is one of many worthy acts in and of itself.

In such a stage, “mimesis” is sort of that real kinetic energy passed along, and the kinetic inspiration from which it is recalled and to which it unfolds.

The mythos grows through its instar phase to The Emergence, at which time it unfolds – except, it is no linear process. It is always unfolding – it is only up to the individual who is touched by that kinetic spark to unfold in turn, the process of mimesis – replication, recalling, becoming through nonsensuous similarity – to unfold with it.

To Emerge in ACTION – through the mythos, from the mythos, to the mythos.

I recently had a conversation with my close and dear associate – and far more articulate and well-read philosopher – Nameless Therein, who wrote of mimesis:

‘Mimesis’ is one method of aeonic magick that has come down over the centuries,” involving the imitation of “some aspect of cosmic/Earth-based movement/working, and then either following the natural pattern or slightly altering that pattern to bring about a subtle change.” Additionally, given that it is this “alteration” that “forms the basis for ‘black’ magick” it is quite telling that so few “Satanists” have a sense of what that means. In an attempt to remedy this, and as a practical way of encouraging others to develop the faculties required for advanced magickal applications […] I will be introducing a series of chess hermeneutics”

– Nameless Therein, An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics – CHESS HERMENEUTICS: SHAPESHIFTING, SATANISM, AND MIMESIS

That recent dialogue I had with Nameless Therein on the subject was a myriad of illuminations, including among them, a mutual reverence for that observation of The Emergence of the mimetic, phenomenological heart in those who carry the mythos of the tradition we inhabit within them. That tradition and mythos has been in its phase of necessary incubation – much like the instar phase of the cicada – before the recalling of its emergence as something much more than it has ever been.

We are experiencing it within our own Emergence. It is my humble belief this change is palpable and present in every meaning-starved recalling of the living mythos – now finally ready to emerge and evolve far beyond what it once was.

The mimēsis praxeōs of our living, Wyrdful, active mythos has been undergoing a great and painstaking time of much-needed, decisive growth, just beneath the surface of the world we both inhabit. It is a garden that hungers and thirsts and has been trampled by those who choose poison over water. The low humming of its arrival is growing to a fever pitch and the entirety trembles in kinetic excitement with its vibration.

A lesson for those who believe traditions die and myths exist only as faerie-fables: The Emergence lies in wait, always, just beneath the crust of the Earth.

For The Emergence to successfully bloom, it only needs a small yet passionate, emboldened, and authentic few. Those who care enough for that myth that grew them to grow it back in return. It needs only those few to be inspired once more, to tend the garden to grow, re-grow, and become much more than it ever was.

The Emergence lives by mimesis and duration, only enriching itself in a new, unique iteration. In this iteration, it will grow with the intentions of introducing the honor it has lacked, the creative and original spirit that it has sustained with pretension, and the sincerity and earnestness brought only by those who have been touched by the brutal and beautiful interconnected sinister soul shared by those ensnared within its Wyrdful web.

Mimetic emergences such as the Insidious Way and Antithesis Press are such examples of the creative force of life extending beyond, through, and surpassed within that web. They are the low hum energizing those who can feel the harbingers of a new game.

We ARE that pure Telos of Duration – that “supreme end of man’s endeavor” – that n/ever unfolding end-goal – that mythological beginning and end, itself, alpha and omega. We are the ever-unfolding and our myth is written BY us, FOR us – OR without us. We are duration itself, unfolding and SURVIVING itself. It is truly an exciting time to be ALIVE.

[Henri] Bergson, Sorel tells us, asks us to consider ‘the inner depths of the mind and what happens during a creative moment’. Acting freely, we recover our Selves, attaining the level of pure ‘duration’ that Bergson equates with ‘integral knowledge’. This new form of comprehension was identified as ‘intuition’, a form of internal and empathetic understanding, and it was precisely this form of intuitive understanding that Sorel believed was encompassed by his category of myth.

Reflections on Violence, Jeremy Jennings on Georges Sorel

It is a coward who willfully chooses the mad and mindless escape of meaningless disregard. It is a coward who chooses to reject their divinity and its emergence in their own unfolding physis of their very being. It is only that coward who would willingly inhabit that bland, dysteleological limbo, day in and out, in pursuit of ever more flailing, cynical hysterics about the Nigh End with no regard for the time one possesses in life TODAY.

To enact one’s true passion and sincere creative will, TODAY, is to seize our age by the balls and LIVE – in spite of what age it may be.

This living myth, this endless end, this mimetic duration, is worthy of vitality. And YOU possess it – HERE AND NOW.

Tell it. Live it. Act it. Re-create it. With passion and zeal for this one life you have.

Until such an end arrives, for better or worse, our world continues ever-onward with us, alive and vital. We welcome it with gratitude in our hearts for this Wyrdful opportunity to create and explore our days and our years to come, pressing onward together.

We welcome new games and new ways to play them. Afterall, we have but one life in this world of infinite depth and opportunity. We have one divine, powerful existence. Why limit ourselves to the same tired jape? Why not laugh? Why not create?

If your lines of dialogue run cycles around the same inevitable sewage drain, ask yourself:

  1. What is my aim in speaking at all?
  2. What narrative am I recalling?
  3. What are the myths I am reenacting?

It is boring to echo the same eschatology of putrefied, fermented dysteleological, aimless rot. That end-time cynicism and hate that adds its tone deaf voice to the chant of collapse for no purpose but to sit back on wherever it arbitrarily identifies a symbolic “winning side” from its limbic mind – that is truly the primordial impotence of the coward of every age.

See, that pickled myth of decay belongs to those afraid of REALLY LIVING, such that they rather defecate in the face of sincere insight than face their own shadow.

To recall Reflections on Violence once more: there is harm to the progress of an idea when objections brought against it arise from the incapacity of the official representatives rather than the principals of the doctrine itself.

As Sorel stated: “It is the myth in its entirety which is, alone, important.

To be duration, the formless forming, the weaving and the web, that is evolutionary. No one person can represent all of that for any one other, let alone many. Even so, Nameless Therein is, as a wise person recently stated, “actually qualified” to “transmit, evolve, and presence” our subculture as we see it. As that person also said, that Lapis Philosophicus will presence differently for all. If this living tradition deserves the new life the few of us who embrace and embody it are willing to breathe into it, and should it find that what it needs is a new spin to its living mythos, a new song for its telosic transmutation, a new “official representation” or rather, Outer Representation, it seems clear that Nameless Therein holds that mimetic tetrahedral fire it has hungered for, and has found that for himself.

It will always be up to the individual following the path, that individual alone, to BE The Emergence, the unfolding, the teleological life-force, for his/her Self, by his/her Self. We are capable of great deeds and great causal legacy.

Rather than cast aside your divinity – LIVE.

SURRENDER to your own unfolding.

Take DECISIVE aim at your goal, load the pistol, and shoot that motherfucker like your life depends on it – because it DOES.

Mimesis has kept our myth alive. Whatever it may mean for you or I, it is what we now hold, and its meaning can be defined only by you. Live for it. Authentically, decisively, passionately, creatively. Empathetically.

Like the instar, tunneling to the surface\n
We must shed our own circumferences;\n
Find the divinity within and emerge.

In allegiance. For hope, for vitality, for the coming phase.

Ariadne 2022 e.v.


The Star Game, Chess, and the Nine Angles: An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics

Posted: April 14th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Acausal Theory, Alchemy, Inner ONA, O9A, Occultism, Order of Nine Angles, The Sinister Tradition, The Star Game | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Star Game, Chess, and the Nine Angles: An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics

Grandmaster © Nameless Therein 2022

– “Grandmaster,” © Nameless Therein 2022

[Repost of: https://luxlycaonis.com/index.php/2022/04/14/chess-hermeneutics/]

The Star Game, Chess, and the Nine Angles:
An Introduction to Chess Hermeneutics

Much attention is given in the Order of Nine Angles to the importance of learning and playing the Star Game. At its most basic level, the Star Game can function as a learning tool or “game” to familiarize oneself with various Septenary correspondences and refine certain imaginative, creative, rational, and abstract faculties. At one of many esoteric levels, the Star Game functions as a way of magickally apprehending “the nine fundamental ‘alchemical’ forms,” which “re-present the acausal manifest in the causal.”[1] These “nine fundamental forms” are represented by the pieces of the Star Game, where each alchemical combination represents an “angle” with respect to the Septenary Tree of Wyrd, alluding to one esoteric meaning of the term “nine angles.”[2] These forms are said to “exist in many combinations within the nexion which the ‘Tree of Wyrd’ represents,” where such combinations “are abstractly symbolized by the placement of the many pieces of the Star Game over the seven boards (‘Spheres’) of that game.”[3] The aforesaid abstraction “makes the [nine fundamental] forms understandable on a level higher than using words and ideas,” which is in turn meant to cultivate “a new form of thinking” – a form of thinking referred to as “acausal thinking.”[4] The symbolism of the Star Game is essentially “a new tool to assist and develope our understanding, and it is via this symbolism that the meanings of the nine angles may most easily be understood without confusion.”[5] The simple or Septenary form of the Star Game is meant to be an introduction to its advanced form, which is a “complete and full representation of the septenary system.”[6] In more advanced applications, the Star Game functions as a “sophisticated magickal ‘clock’” with respect to the Wheel of Life;[7] and in its advanced form, the game can be used for Aeonic magick.[8]

While many associates have some understanding of the esoteric significance of the Star Game and its basic applications, I find it bewildering how so many associates attempt to learn the Star Game while completely neglecting training and experience in the game of chess.

CHESS AND THE STAR GAME

Like the Star Game, chess can be played as nothing more than an entertaining game, rich with complexity and a deep cultural history over the course of its long evolution. But from its longstanding cultural origins, its tangible influence on world history,[9] its influence on global technology,[10] and its usefulness in developing certain higher-level faculties in the individual, the significance of chess has broader socio-cultural implications. Unlike the Star Game, chess is merely a game. But it can be an invaluable tool to develop, refine, and expand the necessary faculties required for applying the Star Game to its many esoteric and magickal contexts. At a practical level, the study of certain fundamental patterns in chess provides a foundation for navigating the boards and pieces of the Star Game. With care, experience, and creativity one can find correlates between the patterns found in chess and the nine fundamental alchemical forms represented by the pieces of the Star Game, which again represent one esoteric meaning of the “nine angles.”[11] Insofar as these nine alchemical forms “are the basic apprehensions of magickal energy … [representing] the acausal manifest in the causal,”[12] and given that these forms can manifest in many ways, the study of correlative fundamental patterns in chess is a worthwhile and important activity. At a more advanced level, discovering correlations between the patterns in chess and the forms of the Star Game can aid in the development of the imaginative, creative, rational, and abstract faculties required for their magickal apprehension and application. At more advanced levels of chess, experience with these fundamental patterns not only finds application in real life – in navigating interpersonal conflict, strategizing, and identifying complex networks of meaning, for example – but can form a bridge between instinct and what with respect to the Star Game is referred to as an “intuition” – a lower form of abstraction that can arise with “acausal thinking.”[13] The capacity for acausal thinking arises from the relation between the abstract symbols of the Star Game and “conventional representations,” such as “archetypal forms; the energies of the pathways; the symbolism of the Tarot and the many and various Occult symbolisms.”[14] This capacity thus arises, in part, from the formation and implementation of the meaningful associations and “deep roots” that I described elsewhere (see my previous articles, “‘Deep Roots’ and Meaningful Associations: Musical Tarot Continued, Auditory Sigils, and Aeonic Chant Magick” and “Techniques for Doing a Musical Tarot Reading & Creating Auditory Sigils”). Thus, in forming the aforesaid correlates between the patterns of chess and the forms of the Star Game, in establishing a bridge between instinct and “intuition,” and in developing and then refining the necessary faculties to apply said patterns to more advanced esoteric and magickal contexts, training in chess is an invaluable tool for learning and playing the Star Game.

Colloquially, the number of possible chess games that can be played is sometimes said to exceed the number of stars or atoms in the known universe. More precisely, the number of possible legal positions was estimated by Claude Shannon in 1950 to be “of the general order of 64!/32!(8!)^2(2!)^2, or roughly 10^43,” which is now referred to as “Shannon’s number.”[15] More recently, Victor Allis estimates this to be around10^50,[16] additionally estimating the game-tree complexity of chess to be 10^123.[17] Again, given this immense number and given the even greater complexity of the Star Game when accounting for the variables involved in its advanced magickal applications at the Aeonic level (which, like our “normal” understanding of the septenary, reflects not just a “‘map of consciousness and the cosmos,”[18] but a dynamic of the universe), it is difficult to imagine how one can approach the Star Game, let alone the advanced form of the game, without some experience in chess.

That said, while one can play the Star Game without any experience in chess, it is my opinion that high-level chess players, including those at the Master and Grandmaster levels, would be of assistance in developing the Star Game. Such players could assist in developing a consistent notation to record and then analyze games, in addition to determining how to approach tactics, strategy, openings, and calculating accurate moves in specific positions. Eventually, we may be able to develop Star Game engines, both to analyze our games and to play against. Without these and similar developments, the Star Game will likely encounter obstacles over the course of its evolution, highlighting an asymmetry between the potency of its magickal applications and the practical limitations of playing and studying the game. It is hoped that in emphasizing the importance and usefulness of studying chess in relation to the Star Game, others will take up these tasks. With the esoteric and magickal applications of the Star Game in mind, it is also hoped that a confluence between chess and the Star Game can aid Internal Adepts and Masters/Mistresses in constructing and then employing new empty formal structures of magick to employ at the Aeonic level. These function as formal structural “models” that can then be populated, directed, and implemented according to a specific magickal or esoteric technique.

With those aims in mind, I will be regularly introducing various chess patterns or puzzles in relation to various levels of meaning relevant the Order of Nine Angles. I call these “chess hermeneutics.” To make sense of what I mean by this phrase, in addition to how these chess puzzles will be applied to the ONA, I will say a little more about the origin and meaning of “hermeneutics.”

A BRIEF HISTORY OF HERMENEUTICS

The word “hermeneutics” comes from the Greek infinitive hermenuein, which means “to interpret.”[19] Hermeneutics is an ancient field with a long history, one that was revived in the modern age and particularly in the nineteenth century. In the ancient world, hermeneutics developed in two contexts: one was Greek and the other was biblical. In the Greek context, hermeneutics took shape with respect to the work of Homer, who is sometimes regarded (and explicitly referred to) as the teacher of Greece. Through Homer we find the ancient myths conveyed in epic poetry, which provided a context for the Greeks to understand the world they inhabited. Though there are disagreements about when to date Homer, we can see from the fourth and fifth centuries that his work guided the Greeks over the course of several centuries. With this guidance and as history began to run its course, the question concerning how Homer’s work could come to bear on the current circumstances of individual lives took shape. The response, broadly speaking, was that some dynamic or process of interpretation was needed. This was also the case in the biblical context of hermeneutics, both with respect to the New Testament and the Old Testament. Hermeneutics was the name given to that process or dynamic of interpretation.

Hermeneutics made its way from the ancient world to the modern one through works like Aristotle’s On Interpretation, which was devoted to the task of analyzing sentences, to the work of St. Augustine in the early medieval period, which was concerned with the question of how the word of God could be understood by human beings. Hermeneutics saw a revival in the nineteenth century through the work of the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, who was interested in the question of scriptural interpretation. Schleiermacher developed a mode of hermeneutics characterized as “romantic,” which in effect concerned a type of understanding or communion between the interpreter and the historical source of the text. Hermeneutics began to branch out from theology as Schleiermacher became interested in the character of understanding generally. Around this time, we also find contributions to hermeneutics in the work of the philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey, whose name comes up in Heidegger’s Being and Time when Heidegger distinguishes his own hermeneutical project from that of philosophical anthropology. Dilthey essentially draws a distinction between the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften) and the human sciences (Geisteswissenschaften), which includes the social sciences developed in the nineteenth century.

Dilthey may have been looking for a way to work within the human sciences that was more appropriate for them than that of the natural sciences. We find, in turn, that the type of thinking appropriate for the human sciences is understanding, which brings along with it a question of meaning. This is contrasted with the type of thinking appropriate for the natural sciences, which is explanation. In short, Dilthey concluded that hermeneutics is the method appropriate for the human sciences.

At this point, hermeneutics began to re-emerge prominently as a development that continued and intensified into the twentieth century. Additionally, the distinction between the natural sciences and human sciences created a division between those who approached the human sciences with respect to understanding and meaning versus those who attempted to work within the human sciences as if they were natural sciences. This essentially involved a division between a hermeneutical approach (sometimes called interpretive social science) and a calculative methodology (sometimes called calculative social science). This division can still be seen in, for example, the difference between Continental philosophy and Anglo-American analytic philosophy, broadly speaking.

Though there are other fields that take a strong interest in hermeneutics – hermeneutic interpretation finds a strong presence in law and jurisprudence, for example – today the term usually refers to philosophical hermeneutics, and specifically philosophical hermeneutics after Heidegger. Heidegger brought hermeneutics into philosophy in a major way through his analysis of Being. In analyzing the structure of the type of being that we are (which Heidegger calls “Dasein”), Heidegger finds that we are “always already” interpreting. This discovery – that a hermeneutical interpretive dynamic is always already at play with respect to the ontological structure of our being – was a major contribution to the Western intellectual tradition and carried hermeneutics into the modern world.

CHESS HERMENEUTICS: SHAPESHIFTING, SATANISM, AND MIMESIS

With respect to what has been written here on the Star Game, chess, and hermeneutics, the phrase “chess hermeneutics” is thus meant to refer to a specific way of interpreting the correlations between certain fundamental patterns encountered in chess and the nine fundamental alchemical forms in the Star Game, which represent one of the esoteric meanings of the “nine angles.” In keeping with the role of the “shapeshifter” in the ONA, studying certain recurrent, fundamental chess patterns in their myriad configurations can help illuminate the many ways these dynamics are interpretive and require interpretation – not just on the board, but in real life. Like the “nine angles,” such dynamics are operative in consciousness and throughout the cosmos, requiring a kind of reflexivity between the operator and their environment: before one can identify the many ways such dynamics manifest in the world, they must first develop the faculties required to identify and then imitate these primordial patterns, thereby “shifting their shape” or “shapeshifting,” to illustrate one esoteric sense of the term.

Many who claim the title “Satanist” have not developed the faculties required for this kind of imitation at even the most basic level – faculties required to approach any magickal apprehension of “shapeshifting.” Beyond Satanism and with greater experience, one learns to approach this basic form of imitation through the more advanced interpretive dynamic of mimesis, which, in one advanced form, alters by way of complex forms of “imitation” certain formal structures of the narrativity of wyrd. This is a clue to what “shapeshifting” actually entails, here approaching the Aeonic level. At that level, “‘Mimesis’ is one method of aeonic magick that has come down over the centuries,” involving the imitation of “some aspect of cosmic/Earth-based movement/working, and then either following the natural pattern or slightly altering that pattern to bring about a subtle change.” Additionally, given that it is this “alteration” that “forms the basis for ‘black’ magick,”[20] it is quite telling that so few “Satanists” have a sense of what that means.

In an attempt to remedy this, and as a practical way of encouraging others to develop the faculties required for advanced magickal applications of the Star Game, I will thus be introducing a series of “chess hermeneutics.” These will involve specific puzzles and positions in relation to certain interpretive dynamics. Those dynamics may include (but are not limited to): 1) relations to certain energies, forces, paths, spheres, and Dark Gods on the Tree of Wyrd; 2) applications in certain interpersonal scenarios in real life; 3) connections to other magickal and esoteric ideas, techniques, or correspondences; and 4) potential connections to the Star Game, when and where applicable. While these are not intended to be comprehensive, they will offer a few ideas on how to identify and then utilize such dynamics with an eye toward broader, more advanced esoteric, magickal, existential, and cosmic applications.

In turn, I will try to select puzzles and positions requiring varying levels of skill and experience on the chess board, ranging from intermediate to advanced. These will be created as I find puzzles and positions worthy of constructing into a “chess hermeneutic,” which may take some time.

In closing, I encourage those interested or experienced in the Star Game to supplement their knowledge with chess. Though there are many online resources to begin studying and playing the game – chess.com is an excellent resource, for example, and has a “puzzles” trainer that includes over 150,000 different puzzles to solve at different Elo ratings – what is important, as with all things, is to get started.

Nameless Therein
Scothorn Nexion
April 13, 2022

NOTES

[1] Anton Long and the Order of Nine Angles, “The Nine Angles – Esoteric Meaning,” in Hostia: Secret Teachings of the O.N.A., Volume I (Shrewsbury: Thormynd Press, 1992).

[2] Long and ONA, “The Nine Angles.” The Tree of Wyrd itself “possesses nine causal angles and nine acausal angles in the causal geometric sense,” which the author notes “can be represented as formed by the corners or angles of a causal and acausal tetrahedron, one a reflexion of the other, the base of both lying in the plane of the middle sphere (the Sun). This double tetrahedron encloses in three-dimensional space the path from causal to acausal – the ‘Initiate journey’ from the sphere of the Moon to Saturn via the other spheres, this path being helical (cf. ‘The Wheel of Life’). The direction of this path is ‘counter-clockwise’.” Regarding the nine angles themselves, the author adds that, “In essence, the acausal is a reflexion (and vice versa) of the causal, so the single term ‘Nine Angles’ describes what is our normal (i.e. un-Initiated) view of the septenary, this septenary being a ‘map’ of consciousness and the cosmos. The realization of the dual nature of the spheres (for example, Mercury is the ‘shadow’ of Mars) arises from Initiation and is the first stage of an esoteric understanding of the term ‘nine angles.’”

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid. The author notes that the higher-level understanding of these nine fundamental forms “arises from playing the Star Game and relating the abstract symbols to conventional representations (e.g. archetypal forms; the energies of the pathways; the symbolism of the Tarot and the many various Occult symbolisms) – this developes the capacity for what may be termed ‘acausal thinking’: when the conventional representations are abandoned and collocations are viewed abstractly.” The author emphasizes that this abstraction is “not a dry, academic process,” but a “new ‘insight’ (a lower form of which is often described an ‘intuition’),” whereby consciousness is extended “into new and important realms and pre-figures the development of a symbolic language which eliminates the confusion, both moral and linguistic, which exists in words and the translation of complex ideas into such words.”

[5] Ibid.

[6] Long and ONA, “Advanced Star Game,” in Hostia I.

[7] Long and ONA, “Star Game: Addendum,” in Hostia I.

[8] For more on this subject, see, Long and ONA,“Aeonic Magick – General Notes,” in Hostia I. Also see the final section of “The Septenary Star Game” in Hostia I, which elaborates briefly on what “Aeonic magick” in part entails with respect to the Star Game. The author notes that, “It is important to understand that the most important and practical aspect of an Aeon is the associated higher civilization – magickal Aeonic workings shape the ethos of this during the transition period between the ending of one Aeon and the beginning of another.” Elaborating further, the author states:

Hitherto, Aeonic workings – when they have been undertaken at all – have concentrated on opening the Gate that presences the power of a new Aeon. Yet is possible to extend by such workings a … [higher civilization] into the … [sulphur] stages. For the present, this implies the end of the Western as c. 3090 AD instead of 2390 AD. This is the first time in history that such a change is possible, since heretofore the process of Aeonic change has not been consciously understood by Adepts – it was approached mainly via mythological symbolism. It is through the abstract symbolism of the Star Game that full control is possible.

However, the following comments from Hostia I, “Aeonics” should also be kept in mind when approaching these advanced esoteric topics: “These are ‘esoteric’ teachings – of necessity, because their understanding requires the insight and knowledge which an External Adept and Internal Adept has attained. Without this insight and knowledge, there is liable to be mis-understanding and a failure to appreciate the finer points (or even any of the points at all).”

[9] Chess has seen many historically significant events over the course of its history. The defeat of the Soviets in the 1972 world championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky is one of many notable examples. See David Edmonds and John Eidinow, “Match of the Century,” ch. 1 in Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005). The authors colorfully expound upon the historical significance of this event as follows:

To Western commentators, the meaning of the confrontation seemed clear. A lone American star was challenging the long Soviet grip on the world title. His success would dispose of the Soviets’ claim that their chess hegemony reflected the superiority of their political system. The board was a cold war arena where the champion of the free world fought for democracy against the apparatchiks of the Soviet socialist machine. Here was the High Noon of chess, coming to you from a concrete auditorium in Iceland.

[10] As evidenced in, for example, the 1996 match between IBM’s supercomputer Deep Blue and Garry Kasparov, which demonstrates the lasting influence chess technology and chess engines have had on global technology. One can trace these developments to related subjects in, for example, the analytic tradition of philosophy of mind, particularly with respect to consciousness (see, e.g., David Chalmers’ zombie argument), physicalism (see, e.g., Frank Jackson’s Mary argument on qualia), dualism (see, e.g., Descartes’ Meditations and the mind-body problem), epiphenomenalism (see the entry linked here), and, more recently panpsychism or Russellian monism, which is thought to be a resurgence of vitalism and is a rich development in philosophy of mind. On the subject of panpsychism, see, for example, some of the recent work by Sam Coleman, David Chalmers, Thomas Nagel, in addition to Galen Strawson et al., Consciousness and its Place in Nature (Charlottesville: Imprint Academic, 2006). All of these areas of research have more or less had some influence on the concomitant development of artificial intelligence, and thus have some bearing on the rise of chess engines. See, for example, David Chalmers’ work related to “strong” and “weak” AI with respect to consciousness, as well as the famous thought experiment by John Searle referred to as “The Chinese Room Argument.” A great (illustrated) overview of this thought experiment, in addition to notable criticism of it, can be found here: https://mind.ilstu.edu/curriculum/searle_chinese_room/searle_chinese_room.html. For an overview of one of the more famous critiques of this thought experiment, see the “Robot Reply” found here: https://mind.ilstu.edu/curriculum/searle_chinese_room/searle_robot_reply.html. In terms of the rise of chess and artificial intelligence, many of these subjects are relevant to early ideas on Turing machines. See, for example, Claude E. Shannon, “A Universal Turing Machine with Two Internal States,” in Automata Studies (AM-34), eds. C. E. Shannon and J. McCarthy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1956). On the question of whether chess computers can “think,” see Claude E. Shannon, “A Chess-Playing Machine,” Scientific American, 182, no. 2 (February 1950): 48-51.

[11] Long and ONA, “The Nine Angles.”

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Quoted in Stefan Steinerberger, “On the Number of Positions in Chess without Promotion,” International Journal of Game Theory 44, no. 3 (August 2015): 762, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00182-014-0453-7. Steinerberger clarifies what this number calculates as follows:

The number is known as Shannon’s number: it counts the number of ways to arrange all chessmen (henceforth simply called med) taking into account that no two men can occupy the same square and that furthermore any two identical men of the same color are indistinguishable. This number does not consider the possibility that not all the men need to be on the board (some might have been already captured) and … it also does not account or the rule of promotion whereby a pawn must be promoted to a more powerful figure if it advances to the end of a file (column of the chessboard). However, it also accounts for all sorts of illegal positions that can never possibly occur. This combination of factors makes it difficult to say whether Shannon’s argument over or underestimates the actual state space.

[16] See Steinerberger, “Positions in Chess,” 762.

[17] Victor Allis, “Searching for Solutions in Games and Artificial Intelligence” (PhD diss., Maastricht University, 1994), 171.

[18] Long and ONA, “The Nine Angles.”

[19] Brian Gilchrist, “Questions Concerning Ge-Stell: Heideggerian Confrontations with Technology,” Explorations in Media Ecology 14, nos. 3-4 (December 2015): 240.

[20] Long and ONA, “Aeonic Magick – General Notes,” in Hostia I.