Natural magic versus sorcery

When surveying the history of magic and religion, one finds more fakers, frauds and con men than real avatars simply because it’s easy for clever people to hoodwink the masses with magic and religion. And nothing has changed much, which is why fraudulent books like the Da Vinci Code, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, and everything written about an imaginary Yaqui medicine man named Don Juan is utter bullshit.

Magic is real, however, and runs through us all naturally. I like to use sports as an example. When a basketball team makes a huddle, clasps their hands and utters a mantra after a countdown, they are participating in a ritual of harmonization designed to unify the team telepathically. The teams that are the most connected telepathically tend to win against teams with internal psychic issues of discord.

During the Scientific Revolution, many wise people applied the scientific method to the study of magic with interesting results, and no one more so than Giambattista della Porta, a playwright living in Naples circa 1600. When he was merely 15-years-old, della Porta published the comprehensive Magiae Naturalis (Natural Magic). For thousands of years, the study of mathematics, music and magic (they are related) was confined within secret societies. For example, to learn the secrets of Pythagoras, one first had to spend months in monk-like silence, meditating daily at sunrise and sunset, before the masters unveiled any secrets. After passing this vow of silence (not everyone could do it), one was admitted as a full-fledged initiate, and began the study of music and mathematics in earnest. The nice part about Pythagoras was he admitted women as equals, which was quite rare at the time. Freemasonry would not be so kind.

Since he was of noble birth and financially well-off, della Porta was able to travel through Europe at a relatively young age visiting libraries and universities. He went on a mission to garner secret information and expose it to the public. Unlike the many fraudulent magic books of the time, most of which promised the secret of turning lead to gold, or how to make love charms, or how to fly, or some other such imaginary magical powers, della Porta’s book concentrated on experiments he could replicate.

“There are two sorts of Magick,” he wrote. “The one is infamous and unhappy because it has to do with foul spirits, and consists of incantations and wicked curiosity, and this is called Sorcery, an art which all good and learned people detest. Neither is it able to yield a truth of reason or nature, but stands merely on fancies and imaginations, such as vanish presently away leaving nothing behind them, as Jamblicus writes in his book concerning the mysteries of the Egyptians. The other Magick is natural, which all excellent wise men do admit and embrace and worship with great applause.”

Large portions of Natural Magic concerned agriculture and animal breeding. The book explained how to graft trees to produce hybrid fruit. It also describes the effects of various herbs and their use as medicines. Della Porta studied photography, military history and distillation. Although greatly overshadowed by Galileo, he claimed to have constructed the first telescope. He tried to create a wireless telegraph system using magnets created by the same lodestone. Although it didn’t work, his concept of wireless communication was far ahead of its time.

In 1578, della Porta came to the attention of the Inquisition, which closed down his academy and forced him to study in secret, and he quickly became the most advanced cryptographer of his day. He also wrote over 20 plays, most of which were comedies, although only 17 have survived. Apparently, they hold up quite well although you never see productions of them anywhere.

While surveying the history of magic, people like della Porta and Paracelsus stand out as honest students of the occult, but their influence was never as great as the fakers who invented magical myths promising secret powers that don’t exist except in the imagination. It’s a formula that still works well today.

Pythagoras was a stoner

No person looms larger in the evolution of science, magic and religion than Pythagoras, who transformed the math, music and philosophy of his day, yet not a single document from his own hand exists, and his legacy is clouded by disinfo while people like Plato, Euclid and Copernicus get credit for most of his breakthroughs in philosophy and science.

Pythagoras is known today only for a theorem that carries his name, i.e.: the square of the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the squares of the lengths of the other two sides. This equation formed the foundation for mathematics and none of the great cathedrals of Europe could have been built without it. In a similar way, the Gregorian Chants are based on Pythagorean equations. And yet, few know anything about the man, and most of what people know, is probably disinfo.

Born in a Greek colony, Pythagoras was a hybrid offspring, which likely contributed to his ability to move through many cultures of his time with such ease. He spent decades studying in Egypt, Persia and Greece, and became the finest orator, philosopher, magician and astrologer of his day. He was trained in the Zoroastrian tradition by the Magi, the greatest magicians and astronomers of their time. The Magi drank milk mixed with cannabis as their primary sacrament and medicine.

Toward the end of his life (at age 56), Pythagoras retired to an island off Italy, where he was joined by his most devoted disciples, establishing a monastic secret society devoted to music, meditation and scientific truth. They were vegetarians and would wear neither leather nor wool. Discoveries were shared only with members of the society and it took two years for new initiates to become fully accepted. Pythagoras had joined many such societies through his vast travels, but this was his hybridization of the best elements of them all.

The monastery met every morning at sunrise to greet the dawn with song and dance. Apollo held a special place in their hearts because after Herakles stole the treasured tripod of the Oracle of Delphi, it was Apollo who gave chase to make sure the sacred vessel was returned so that the Oracle could resume her prophesying.

The tripod is Scythian or Zoroastrian in origin and would have been employed to burn cannabis flowers and other incenses. The Oracle would stand (or even sit) over the tripod while meditating and allow smoke and vapors enter her vagina. Although they employed a different delivery system, this is essentially what Zoroaster (and later Moses) did to achieve their revelations (which explains the “burning bush” reference in the Old Testament).

The Pythagoreans employed many sacred symbols, but especially beloved were the three-legged tripod and the triangular tetrad. Many legends claim the secrets of the tetrad (the harmonic intervals) were discovered only after Pythagoras heard some blacksmiths hammering with different size hammers, but in fact, this revelation was obviously achieved through the study of the seven-stringed lute because the math is only expressed through different string lengths.

And that’s why I know the story of Pythagoras has been all mucked up with fake information. Was Pythagoras murdered or did he die of old age? Did he go bareheaded or wear a turban? And the most important question of all, did he use cannabis? Legend says he sacrificed 100 oxen after discovering his magic triangle theorem, but since he was non-violent and a devoted vegetarian, rest assured that detail was inserted by his enemies, as were many other rabbit holes.

But the legends don’t deny Pythagoras used a tripod in his ceremonies. They just don’t tell you what it’s significance was or how it connects to cannabis intoxication. If Pythagoras was doing it the old-fashioned Saka way, he would have simply placed the tripod with those burning coals and buds inside a small tent or tipi-like structure or even a closet, stepped inside and inhaled the vapors. Or he could have employed a reed or pipe to achieve much the same effect. But I will always believe Pythagoras (and Socrates after him) were devoted stoners.

Was early Christianity a vegetarian movement like Buddhism?

What is history but a fable agreed upon?

Napoleon got that right. Which is why I don’t trust any of the primary documents from the period, and I’ll tell you why.

After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans expelled Jews and Christians and destroyed all the primary documents. The ones we use today are mostly from Jewish scribes writing in Greek, living in Alexandria, home of the world’s largest library thanks to Alexander the Great. But even that library was eventually destroyed. The only reliable documents on the early Christians are the Dead Sea Scrolls, and they tell a different story from Peter and Paul, and are open to interpretation beyond the official story given out so far.

Something heavy went down in old Jerusalem. Christianity is a hybrid culture forged at a crossroads, similar to what happened in Congo Square, New Orleans. From the East came the Zoroastrian tradition (soma :hot milk and cannabis), and later, Buddhism. From the South came the Egyptian tradition (burning of kifi-cannabis incense). From the North came the Scythian tradition (burning of cannabis flowers inside tipis).

But the incredibly important and most overlooked influence came from Pythagoras, who created the tradition of secret societies monopolizing ceremonial magic and mathematics, the bedrock upon which Masonry was built.

But it’s essential to realize Jerusalem was the place where these traditions converged and it was the appearance and spread of Buddhism that was transforming ideas about spirituality. The Christian movement was largely an attempt to incorporate Buddhism into Judaism, a mission Mani was successful in around 250 AD.

The movement started by John the Baptist involved bringing back the holy anointing oil of Moses with a 5-part ritual. Jerusalem was ruled by an oligarchy installed by Roman force and there were 7,000 priests, which included temple guards and intelligence agents. Intrigue and brutality were everywhere.

The temple made considerable profits by charging to slaughter animals and birds for the wealthy, something that had to be done by priests by law.  The movement towards non-violence wanted to put an end to these rituals, and that’s what the scene in the temple overturning the tables was really all about.