Occultism in a Global Perspective, 5



Survey of Occultism in Former Yugoslavia

Gordan Djurdjevic


p. 79 autochthonous Yugoslav religion

"in former Yugoslavia ... was ... the already present foundation consisting of

the traditional forms of folk-magic [p. 98, n. 3 : e.g., Marjanic' 2006], which are currently gaining popularity ...,

Balkan witchcraft [p. 98, n. 4 : e.g., Ristic' 2009] and

attempts at the revival of old Slavic religion [p. 98, n. 5 : e.g., VELES].

Marjanic' 2006 = Suzana Marjanic' : "Witches' Zoonavigations and the Astral Broom in the Worlds of Croatian ... Shamanistic Techniques". STUDIA MYTHOLOGICA SLAVICA 9:169-202.

Ristic' 2009 = Radomir Ristic' : Balkan Traditional Witchcraft. Los Angeles : Pendraig.

VELES : AN INTERNET MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO THE SLAVS. http://www.StariSloveni.com/English/index.html

pp. 80-1 as described by Nemanja Radulovic' : Serbian novels and Serbian poe:try based on occult themes

p. 80

"(Kandor, or a Revelation of Egyptian Mysteries, 1800) by Atanasije Stojkovic' (1773-1832) ...in its Freemasonic ... expression."

p. 81

"Masonic symbolism in the poetry of Sima Milutinovic' Sarajlija (1791-1847) ...;

Martinist and Mesmerist motifs in Luc^a Microcoma (The Ray of Microcosm) by the Montenegrin Prince-Bishop ... Petar II Petrovic' Njegos^ (1813-51);

the influence of the Sefer Yetzirah {Ys.irah} on the poetry of Dorde Markovic' Koder (1806-91);

the theosophical ... spiritualism ... in the poetic opus of Dragutin Ilic' (1858-1926);

the occult ... in the work of the pioneer of science-fiction ... Lazar Komarc^ic' (1839-1909); ...

the preexistence of souls entertained by Ljudevit Vulic^evic' (1839-1916) ...;

Isidora Sekulic''s (1877-1958) views on ... anthroposophy; and

the ideological universe of the "forerunner" of the New Age movement, Dimitrije Mitrinovic' (1887-1953)."

pp. 81-2 Yugoslav art-collectives

p. 81

"I have explored [Djurdjevic 2012] ... the occult imagery in the work of the Slovenian, the Neue Slowenische Kunst. An interest in similar forms of alternative knowledge ... to achieve ... gnosis is similarly present ... in the work of Marina Abramovic (b. 1946). A ... video Balkan Erotic Epic ... by Abramovic' ... combines performance, dance, singing ... in its exploration of traditional Balkan erotic magic ... . Abramovic' is often referred to as the "grandmother" of performance art, which ... -- by focusing on ... entering the trance states -- displays displays significant similarity with shamanism ... . "You can ... create an energy field around it ... through ritual because ... the same thing ... generates enormous power" (Abramovic', quoted in Richards 2010:122). ...

p. 82

It is thus ... that in 1966 in Spit, Croatia, ... the Red Peristyle (Crveni Peristil), found inspiration ... not only in the work of Marcel Duchamp but also in the ideas of Aleister Crowley ... (S^uvakovic' 2003:220, 223). Earlier still, in 1957, in ... Belgrade, a group of artists and writers formed Baltazar, soon afterwards renamed Mediala, an art collective that attempted to revitalize ... the middle point between opposites (or rather their reconciliation), as this was propounded in the work of Nicolas Cusanus (1401-64) and his famous doctrine of the coincidentia oppositorum ... (Counet 2006) ... . Other ideas with esoteric flavour encapsulated in the name Mediala ... concern ... the "Omega Point" in the work of Teilhard de Chardin and the kabbalistic {read "qabbalistic"} "Aleph" from the eponymous story by Jorge Luis Borges, which refers to

an atomic point in space reflecting and containing and containing within itself the totality of the universe.

{This more usually described as Mahayana, characteristic of certain Vaipulya-sutra-s (which the Qabbalah may be plagiarizing). It is, also, expounded in, e.g., DW, p. 141 : "every minute, microcosmic part of the universe -- ourselves, for example -- contains, reflects, and expresses the macrocosmic whole. ... Seeing ... wetiko ... gives us deeper insight into ... the world at large."}

Dragos^ Kalajic' (1946-2005), ... in the tradition of Julius Evola, explains the esoteric ... middle or centre ... by invoking instances in the Indian tradition where the "cosmic sovereign" cakravartin, the "wheel-turning" king, rules the world from the centre as the unmoved mover, and where the initiate in certain tantric rituals enters

the man[.]d[.]ala representing the centre of the Earth".

{Actually, the man.d.ala is more usually repraesentative of something like the S^into "August Centre of Heaven" than like anything this-worldly. In the cosmology of the Puran.a-s, the man.d.ala-s usually repraesent the fortress-palaces atop mt Meru (or some similar mythic mountain) in divine worlds in remote planes-of-existence. The nearest thing to any "centre of the Earth" in the Abhidharma are praeternatural cities in subterranean roots of divine mountains in the subtle plane.}

"the most mystically inclined member of the group was ... Miro Glavurtic' (b. 1932) , the author of ... Pakao (Hell, 1986). In his confessional essay ... ("A Contribution to the history of Mediala"), he elaborates ... :

Omega point, Omega-rooms ... are elements of certain grotesque neo-gnosis, ... which appears in the context of Mediala spontaneously ..., in a mediumistic manner. For ... modern art is a from {sic : read "form"} of magic ..., and a such

it is oneiric, lunatic ...; it turns consciousness to sleep instead of waking it up. Whatever the hermeticists of the "waking states," such as Meyrink, Abellio, or ... Gurdjieff, may think ..., behind all the efforts to awaken a West-European intellectual ... is an attempt to foster his sleep even more."

{This metaphor of "sleep" for lunacy, and of lunacy as the normal state of modern civilized humanity, is paralleled by Ronald Laing's similar metaphor quoted from DW, p. xvii, quoting in turn from PE, p. 28 : "The condition of alienation, or being asleep ..., of being out of one's mind, is the condition of the normal man ... .""}

Djurdjevic 2012 = Gordan Djurdjevic : "Art, Esotericism, and Radical Politics in the Politics of Neue Slowenische Kunst". In :- Versluis; Irwin; & Phillips (edd.) : Esotericism, Religion and Politics. Minneapolis : Assn for the Study of Esotericism. pp. 277-92.

Richards 2010 = M. Richards : Marina Abramovic'. London : Routledge.

S^uvakovic' 2003 = M. S^uvakovic' : "Conceptual Art". In :- D. Djuric' & M. S^uvakovic' (edd.) : Impossible Histories ... in Yugoslavia 1918-1991. Cambridge (MA) : MIT Pr. pp. 210-45.

Counet 2006 = J.M. Counet : "Nicholas of Cusa". In :- W. J. Hanegraaff : (ed.) : Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism. Leiden : Brill. pp. 293-6.

DW = Paul Levy : Dispelling Wetiko. North Atlantic Bks, Berkeley, 2013.

PE = Ronald D. Laing : The Politics of Experience. NY : Ballantine Bks, 1971.

p. 84 Vajra-yana temple in Belgrade

"Kalmyks, a Central Asian ethnic group, ... settled in Serbia in 1920s ... and founded the first Buddhist (Vajrayana) Temple in Europe in Belgrade in 1929. Nicholas Roerich sent a thangka from his Himalayan Institute".

p. 84 lodges of the Order of Polaires

Lodges of the "Order of Polaires ... Godwin (1993:91) notes ... were "... in Geneva, New York, and Belgrade, all working under Mario Fille's direction" ... .

Bricaud (1938:17) also makes ... mention of a lodge of this high-degree Masonic rite with a pronounced occult symbolism by the name "Vardar", founded in 1936 in the city of Skopje, in Yugoslav Macedonia."

Godwin 1993 = Joscelyn Godwin : Arktos : the Polar Myth ... . Grand Rapids (MI) : Phanes Pr.

Bricaud 1938 = Jean Bricaud : Notes Historique sur le Rite Ancien de Memphis-Misrai:m. Lyon : Annales Initiatiques.

pp. 84-9 books by Slavinski in the 1970s

p. 84

"The first book by Z^ivorad Mihajlovic' Slavinski (b. 1937) was a self-published slim volume ... (The Psychic Training of Indian Fakirs and Yogis, 1971)."

p. 85

"Slavinski's next book ... 1972 ... (The Keys of Psychic Magic) ... was the first practical manual of Western occultism

p. 86

published in the region in a native language (Serbian). Slavinski ... provided practical instructions :

breathing exercises ...,

the methods of "vibrating" the magical formulae,

the practical work with the Tree of Life including the important Middle Pillar Ritual,

instructions about astral projection, and

a detailed description of ... the (lesser banishing) Ritual of Pentagram.

... his book has its origins in the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as this was disseminated through ... accounts given by ... Israel Regardie in The Golden Dawn."

p. 87

"Slavinski's next book was ... (The Symbols of Hermeticism, 1973), which again carried an expressive subtitle : ... (Parapsychological Study of the Practical Value of Myths, Traditions and Hermetic Symbols). Thematically, it was a continuation of the material introduced in the previous book, which was now expanded to include chapters on

sexual magic,


astral projection through the use of tattva symbols (a method previously employed by the Golden Dawn, in which

simple geometric shapes in different colours, representing five elements,

{These elemental color-shapes for contemplation are known as kasin.a-s in Hina-yana.}

were used as imagined doorways to the astral realm) and the like."

{The elemental characteristics of the cakra-s in Kun.d.alini yoga constitute, howbeit, more practicable such doorways.}

"After publishing his Short Encycloppedia of Parapsychology and Hermeticism (1974), which contributed ... a substantial list of contemporary organizations, bookstores and magazines with contact addresses ..., Slavinski published in 1976 another theoretic work, ... (Psychonauts of Inner Worlds). The book consisted of short biographies ... : H. P. Blavatsky ..., Rudolph Steiner ..., ... Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie, Gurdjieff,

p. 88

... and Carl Jung. ...

p. 89

In the acknowledgement section of the book, Slavinski mentions that his deepest thanks go to Kenneth Grant, who is introduced under his magical name of Aossic Aiwass 718."

pp. 90-1 Ecclesia Gnostica Alba

p. 90

"Slavinski ... developed ... "the gnostic intensive" ... making it the central practice of his "White Gnostic Church". ... A further development of the technique led to the creation of what he called the "Excalibur" method, which he described as "a Formula of mental alchemy ..." (Slavinsky 1996:75). What is significant is that he and the members of his group claimed, as a result of these practices, to have made contact with a spiritual entity called

Lam -- in fact, Lam is credited for the inception of the Excalibur technique itself. In occult literature, Lam is for the first time introduced in 1919, when Crowley published his "blue" Equinox (vol. III, no. 1) ... . ... .

{This /LAM/ is extracted directly from Kun.d.alini yoga, where it is the consonantal name of Mula-dhara cakra.}

p. 91

... both Grant and the American occult writer Michael Bertiaux thought very highly of the activities of Yugoslav, largely Serbian, members of the White Gnostic Church. ... they also received a language called Algolian, initially thought to relate to the actual star Algol {'the ghoul'} as its source, and later understood at a reference to

a state of consciousness".

{The consciousness of Ghouls, traditionally praeternatural denizens of the district Gulan in Yemen. /Yemen/ is in Skt /YAMana/, mythic abode according to the Puran.a-s of YAMa, divine conductor of the ghosts of the dead.}

Slavinsky 1996 = Z^ivorad M. Slavinski : "The Gnostic Intensive". STARFIRE 2.1:97-103.

pp. 92 & 99 initiations into the Ordo Templi Orientis in Yugoslavia; renewal of the Order

p. 92

"the Yugoslav OTO soon became the most populous branch of the Order in Europe ... . ... .

... in 1982 and 1983 the representatives of the American OTO, including the international head of the Order, Grady McMurtry -- known by his magical name as Hymenaeus Alpha -- performed initiations in Yugoslavia for local candidates".

p. 98, n. 18

"A recent book by James Wasserman (2012), In the Center of the Fire : A Memoir of the Occult, 1966-1989, traces the renewal of the OTO ... with the introduction of the Order into the area of former Yugoslavia."

pp. 94-5 sections of NOX ('Night') Magazine; its emblem, levels, and published issues

p. 94

"Trobentar's project was was the magazine Nox ... (Nox : A Review of Magick for the New Courtesy). ... It was to have ten regular sections and twenty-two provisional : the obvious model for this structure was the ... ten sephiroth associated with the numbers {numerals} of the decimal system (plus zero) and twenty-two paths associated with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The regular sections would accordingly be dedicated :

0, From the Silence (i.e., editorial introductions);

p. 95

1, Commentarii Philosophici;

2, Grimorii Sanctissimi Magiki;

3, Gnosis;

4, Ritual;

5, Gymnosophy;

6, Elixir Vitae;

7, Ethics of the Child (based on the notion that the current age is the Aeon of the Child);

8, [Qabbalah];

9, Sexual Magick; and

10, Anthropology.

{N.B. Including "0", these are 11 in number, the same as the number of Spiro^t including Da<at, and as the <arabi^ enumeration of them.}

The magazine was to be issued by "Studio 176 for Alcybernetics" ... . ... The first regular issue of Nox magazine was published on the Spring Equinox of 1994 ... . Trobentar was now the sole editor of the magazine and ... this and subsequent issues were in the Slovenian language ... . ... This first issue carried, as an "Alpha" appendix, his essay on ... alcybernetics. Trobentar understands ... cybernetics in its original meaning of "steering" ... . Inspired by Nietzsche, he defines it as the "Joyous Science" ... . The glyph ... consists of the eye in the triangle ..., out of which four rays issue

in the form of a swastika ... .

{su-astika 'good existence', located also in the centre of 2 interwoven triangles (a tantrik sign of certain goddesses) in the emblem of the Theosophical Society}

The central image, the eye in the triangle often encountered in Freemasonic symbolism ... {often on an Aiguptian pyramid}, ... Trobentar ... adds to its meaning

'the eye that weeps' ... ."

{"The cause of the Eye's weeping ... may be from loneliness as it searches for other beings." (EMGGG&T, p. 67)}

"Trobentar extends the meaning of ... the eye in the triangle ... that from it emerge four ways of seeing, four types of theory ... :

theory of information;

theory of governing;

theory of system; and

theory of game".

"The second number of Nox (1995) carried the first installment Trobentar's "Tetragrammaton ..." ("... a Play in Four Acts with Prologue and Epilogue ..."). In this issue, "The Prologue" and the first two acts were published.

The third and and final issue of Nox (2001) carried the "Interlude" and the third act, while the fourth act and epilogue remained unpublished.

The play was ... set in two time periods, the contemporary and the medieval ... . The theme of the play concerned ... the recognition that the other is ... simply a devotee who addresses the divine in a different manner. In this sense, the historical aspect of the play was ... that in true religion there are no sects ... . The contemporary segment of the play ... attempted to address the dialectical tension between three aeons".

EMGGG&T = Geraldine Pinch : Egyptian Mythology : a Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions ... . Oxford Univ Pr, 2002. http://books.google.com/books?id=YxKlRxXsY58C&pg=PA67&lpg=PA67&dq=

pp. 97-8 Master Leo and the GRAIL

p. 97

"Michael Bertiaux ... was ... impressed by Knjiga Gnoze (The Book of Gnosis, 1989), privately published in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, by an author who went by the magical name of Master Leo. ...

p. 98

And in 1991, an international group of occultists (from Spain, USA, Australia, Africa and former Yugoslavia) performed jointly the so-called GRAIL (Great Ritual Abrahadabra-Aiwass in Infinity Level) ritual, composed by Master Leo. Among the performers were the Gnostic Bishops of E[c]clesia Gnostica Latina {derived from the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica ("EGL")} and Masters of the Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua".

"EGC" = "Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica". http://www.parareligion.ch/bishops.htm


Henrik Bogdan & Gordan Djurdjevic (edd.) : Occultism in a Global Perspective. Acumen Publ Ltd, Durham (UK), 2013.