L'Abbatiale de la
Liturgie Apocryphe

Montréal, p.Q.

ROME – An underground chamber that was a place of worship for a mysterious cult 2,000 years ago has opened to the public for the first time


Riccardo Mancinelli, technical director of the team in charge of restoring stucco figures on the walls of the pre-Christian, 1st century, underground basilica of Porta Maggiore. Photo: Chris Warde-Jones/The Telegraph

Riccardo Mancinelli, technical director of the team in charge of restoring stucco figures on the walls of the pre-Christian, 1st century, underground basilica of Porta Maggiore. Photo by Chris Warde-Jones/The Telegraph.


A mysterious Roman basilica built for the worship of an esoteric pagan cult and now lying hidden more than 40ft below street level has opened to the public for the first time.


The basilica, the only one of its kind in the world, was excavated from solid tufa volcanic rock on the outskirts of the imperial capital in the first century AD. Lavishly decorated with stucco reliefs of gods, goddesses, panthers, winged cherubs and pygmies, it was discovered by accident in 1917 during the construction of a railway line from Rome to Cassino, a town to the south. An underground passageway caved in, revealing the entrance to the hidden chamber.


A painstaking restoration that has been going on for years has now reached the point where the 40ft-long basilica can be opened to visitors.


The subterranean basilica, which predates Christianity, was built by a rich Roman family who were devotees of a little-known cult called Neopythagoreanism. Originating in the first century BC, it was a school of mystical Hellenistic philosophy that preached asceticism and was based on the writings of Pythagoras and Plato.


“There were lots of cults worshipped at the time and the empire was in general fairly tolerant towards them,” said Dr Giovanna Bandini, the director of the site. “But this one was seen as a threat because it discounted the idea of the emperor as a divine mediator between mortals and the gods.”


The basilica is thought to have been constructed by the influential STATILIUS family. But they were accused of practising black magic and illicit rites by Agrippina, the ruthless, scheming mother of the Emperor Nero. The head of the family, TITUS STATILIUS TAURUS, was investigated by the Senate for what Tacitus in his Annals called “addiction to magical superstitions”. He protested his innocence but committed suicide in AD53. The basilica eventually fell into disrepair and was sealed up during the reign of the Emperor Claudius before being forgotten about.


A dedicated team of experts is restoring the interior of the basilica, scrubbing away mould and removing encrusted deposits of calcium with chemicals, tools and lasers. Scaffolding platforms have been built in order to allow the restorers to access the arched ceiling, which is covered in stucco reliefs, some decayed but others in a remarkable state of preservation. The restorers remove thick layers of calcium deposits first by hand, with scalpels, and then use small drills. “They are the sort that you see in a dentist’s surgery,” said Riccardo Mancinelli, the technical director of the project.


The basilica consists of three naves lined by six rock pillars and an apse, all decorated with finely executed images of centaurs, griffins and satyrs. There are depictions of classical heroes such as Achilles, Orpheus, Paris and Hercules. The head of Medusa guards the entrance to the chamber, while the lower parts of the walls are painted a deep ox-blood red, with renditions of wild birds and women in togas.


The basilica, which is entirely hidden to the outside world and accessed via a door masked from the street by a mesh fence, lies directly beneath the railway line. Trains rumble noisily overhead.


“It was dug out of tufa, which is a rock that is easy to excavate. It is the reason that there are so many catacombs beneath Rome,” said Mario Bellini, an engineer involved with the project.


Although the restoration is still under way, the basilica can now be visited by tourists. Groups will be kept small because of the fragility of the monument. “The temperature and humidity must be kept constant,” said Dr Bandini. “The temperature must not rise above 18C and humidity must not rise above 92 per cent. “But it mustn’t go below 87 per cent either, otherwise the stucco starts to dry out and crack.”


“This place is unique in the Roman world in terms of its architecture and design. It was a precursor to the basilicas built during the Christian era, centuries later.”



Nick Squires
The Telegraph

A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that is engraved with what they believe could be the world’s first known reference to Christ.


A bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., is engraved with what may be the world's first known reference to Christ. The engraving reads, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," which has been interpreted to mean either, "by Christ the magician" or, "the magician by Christ."

A bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., is engraved with what may be the world’s first known
reference to Christ. The engraving reads, “DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS,” which has been interpreted to mean either, “by Christ the
magician” or, “the magician by Christ.”


If the word “Christ” refers to the Biblical Jesus Christ, as is speculated, then the discovery may provide evidence that Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.


The full engraving on the bowl reads, “DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS,” which has been interpreted by the excavation team to mean either, “by Christ the magician” or, “the magician by Christ.”


“It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ, in that he was once the primary exponent of white magic,” Goddio, co-founder of the Oxford Center of Maritime Archaeology, said.


He and his colleagues found the object during an excavation of the underwater ruins of Alexandria’s ancient great harbor. The Egyptian site also includes the now submerged island of Antirhodos, where Cleopatra’s palace may have been located.


Both Goddio and Egyptologist David Fabre, a member of the European Institute of Submarine Archaeology, think a “magus” could have practiced fortune telling rituals using the bowl. The Book of Matthew refers to “wisemen,” or Magi, believed to have been prevalent in the ancient world.


According to Fabre, the bowl is also very similar to one depicted in two early Egyptian earthenware statuettes that are thought to show a soothsaying ritual.


“It has been known in Mesopotamia probably since the 3rd millennium B.C.,” Fabre said. “The soothsayer interprets the forms taken by the oil poured into a cup of water in an interpretation guided by manuals.”


He added that the individual, or “medium,” then goes into a hallucinatory trance when studying the oil in the cup.


“They therefore see the divinities, or supernatural beings appear that they call to answer their questions with regard to the future,” he said.


The magus might then have used the engraving on the bowl to legitimize his supernatural powers by invoking the name of Christ, the scientists theorize.


Goddio said, “It is very probable that in Alexandria they were aware of the existence of Jesus” and of his associated legendary miracles, such as transforming water into wine, multiplying loaves of bread, conducting miraculous health cures, and the story of the resurrection itself.


While not discounting the Jesus Christ interpretation, other researchers have offered different possible interpretations for the engraving, which was made on the thin-walled ceramic bowl after it was fired, since slip was removed during the process.


Bert Smith, a professor of classical archaeology and art at Oxford University, suggests the engraving might be a dedication, or present, made by a certain “Chrestos” belonging to a possible religious association called Ogoistais.


Klaus Hallof, director of the Institute of Greek inscriptions at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy, added that if Smith’s interpretation proves valid, the word “Ogoistais” could then be connected to known religious groups that worshipped early Greek and Egyptian gods and goddesses, such as Hermes, Athena and Isis.


Hallof additionally pointed out that historians working at around, or just after, the time of the bowl, such as Strabon and Pausanias, refer to the god “Osogo” or “Ogoa,” so a variation of this might be what’s on the bowl. It is even possible that the bowl refers to both Jesus Christ and Osogo.


Fabre concluded, “It should be remembered that in Alexandria, paganism, Judaism and Christianity never evolved in isolation. All of these forms of religion (evolved) magical practices that seduced both the humble members of the population and the most well-off classes.”


“It was in Alexandria where new religious constructions were made to propose solutions to the problem of man, of God’s world,” he added. “Cults of Isis, mysteries of Mithra, and early Christianity bear witness to this.”



Jennifer Viegas
Discovery News


First Transmission
Produced by Ken Thomas & Psychic TV, UK, 1982, 240 min


“The music itself was designed not only as soundtrack but also for subsequent use by Initiates of The Temple Ov Psychic Youth in their rituals as Functional music only to aid in the process of making things happen. It is a practical tool.”


First Transmission (1982) by PSYCHIC TV

First Transmission (1982) by PSYCHIC TV

Discogs


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Les yeux de GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE présentés à La Centrale (October 1, 2012)
T.G.: Psychic Rally in Heaven (1981) by DEREK JARMAN (July 4, 2011)
LA BIBLE PSYCHIQUE de Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (December 7, 2010)
‘THEE PSYCHICK BIBLE’ A New Testameant By Genesis BREYER P-ORRIDGE (October 27, 2009)



Witchcraft: Myths and Legends
National Geographic, USA, 2009, 2 x 47 min


Culture Documentary hosted by David McCullum, published by National Geographic, broadcasted as part of NG Taboo series in 2009.


‘In the modern world, witchcraft and witches are dismissed as fantasies, but in many cultures, magic is alive and its practitioners admired and feared. Join National Geographic on a quest to find the stories behind the myths and legends of witchcraft. Along the way, we’ll meet an anthropologist who became a believer in Mexico and a “witch cleanser” in Zimbabwe.

CAMERON: SONGS FOR THE WITCH WOMAN presented at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) presents

CAMERON: SONGS FOR THE WITCH WOMAN

from October 11, 2014 to January 11, 2015 at MOCA Pacific Design Center. Organized by guest curator Yael Lipschutz, the exhibition will be the largest survey of CAMERON’s work since 1989 and will include approximately 91 artworks and ephemeral artifacts. Alma Ruiz, Senior Curator at MOCA is the coordinating curator.


The exhibition will include pieces formerly thought to be lost, ranging from early paintings, to drawings, sketchbooks, and poetry from her late years, as well as ephemera and correspondence with individuals such as her husband, JACK PARSONS (1914-1952).



'Dark Angel' by CAMERON

CAMERON (Marjorie Cameron Parsons Kimmel, 1922-1995) emerged in the mid-1940s as an artist, performer, poet, and occult practitioner in Los Angeles. Born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, MARJORIE CAMERON (who would reject her first name as an adult) arrived in Hollywood after serving in the navy during World War II. Settling first in Pasadena and working as a fashion illustrator, in 1946 she met her first husband, JACK PARSONS, a rocket scientist and cofounder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who followed the esoteric mysticism of ALEISTER CROWLEY. The two soon married, their mystical bond transforming CAMERON’s life and art.



'East Angel' by CAMERON


A visionary painter and unparalleled draftsman whose work evokes Latin American and European surrealism, CAMERON rendered mythological figures with a singular attention to line and the idea of spiritual metamorphosis. Her philosophical explorations soon brought her into contact with Los Angeles’s beatnik and avant-garde film circles, and the unorthodoxy and breadth of her interests made her a unique link between the city’s flourishing spiritual and art worlds.


Over the following decades she dedicated herself to her art and mysticism while mentoring younger artists and poets such as Aya (Tarlow), Wallace Berman, George Herms, and David Meltzer. The first survey of CAMERON’s work since her passing in 1995, this exhibition reveals the seminal role she played within the development of Los Angeles’s midcentury counterculture.



CAMERON: SONGS FOR THE WITCH WOMAN
October 11, 2014 to January 11, 2015
MOCA
Pacific Design Center


Holy Guardian Angel according to Aleister Crowley (1966) by CAMERON

The Cameron-Parsons Foundation, Inc.


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ROSALEEN NORTON (September 10, 2014)
Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome (1954) by KENNETH ANGER (November 6, 2010)

L'Abbatiale de la
Liturgie Apocryphe

"The production of nervous force is directly connected with the diet of an individual, and its refining depends on the very purity of this diet, allied to appropriate breathing exercises.

The diet most calculated to act effectively on the nervous force is that which contains the least quantity of animal matter; therefore the Pythagorean diet, in this connection, is the most suitable.

...

The main object was to avoid introducing into the organism what Descartes called 'animal spirits'. Thus, all animals that had to serve for the nourishment of the priests were slaughtered according to special rites, they were not murdered, as is the case nowadays".