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The Game of Saturn by Peter Mark Adams

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in slider |

The Game of Saturn is the first full length, scholarly study of the enigmatic Renaissance masterwork known as the Sola-Busca tarot. An ethno-historical study, it reveals the existence of a pagan liturgical and ritual tradition active amongst members of the Renaissance elite and encoded within the deck. Beneath its beautifully decorated surface, its imagery ranges from the obscure to the grotesque; we encounter scenes of homoeroticism, wounding, immolation and decapitation redolent of hidden meanings, violent transformations and obscure rites. To be published by Scarlet Imprint in December 2016. Please pre-order from the...

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Forthcoming Book : The Game of Saturn

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Blog |

The Game of Saturn Scarlet Imprint : We are delighted to announce our next title, The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarot by Peter Mark Adams, which will be published December 2016. Extensively illustrated in full colour, the book will be available in standard hardback and fine editions. The Game of Saturn is the first full length, scholarly study of the enigmatic Renaissance masterwork known as the Sola-Busca tarot. An ethno-historical study, it reveals the existence of a pagan liturgical and ritual tradition active amongst members of the Renaissance elite and encoded within the deck. Beneath its beautifully decorated surface, its imagery ranges from the obscure to the grotesque; we encounter scenes of homoeroticism, wounding, immolation and decapitation redolent of hidden meanings, violent transformations and obscure rites. For the first time in over five hundred years, the clues embedded within the cards reveal a dark Gnostic grimoire replete with pagan theurgical and astral magical rites. Careful analysis demonstrates that the presiding deity of this ‘cult object’ is none other than the Gnostic demiurge in its most archaic and violent form: the Afro-Levantine serpent-dragon, Ba’al Hammon, also known as Cronus and Saturn, though more notoriously as the biblical Moloch. Conveyed from Constantinople to Italy in the dying years of the Byzantine Empire, the pagan Platonist, George Gemistos Plethon, sought to ensure the survival of the living essence of Neoplatonic theurgy by transplanting it to the elite families of the Italian Renaissance. Within that violent and sorcerous milieu, Plethon’s vision of a theurgically enlightened elite mutated into its dark shadow – a cosmology of predation which sought to utilise the draconian current to preserve elite wealth, power and control. This development marks the birth of an ‘illumined elite’ over three centuries before Adam Weishaupt’s ‘Illuminati.’ The deck captures the essence of this magical tradition and constitutes a Western terma whose talismanic properties may serve to establish an initiatory link with the current. This work fully explores the historical context for the deck’s creation against the background of tense Ferrarese-Venetian diplomatic intrigue and espionage. The recovery of the deck’s encoded narratives constitutes a significant contribution to Renaissance scholarship, art history, tarot...

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Precogs: Perceptual Diversity & Sustainability

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Blog |

  In the 1997 film ‘Minority Report’, based upon Philip P. Dick’s short story of the same name, a police unit, ‘Precrime’, utilizes gifted psychics to precognize crimes in time for them to intervene and prevent them from taking place. More controversially, they arrest the perpetrator­to­be and criminalize them just as if they had committed the crime.  The anthropologist, Charles Laughlin, noted that many societies derive their knowledge from many different states of consciousness including intuition, dreams and visions. He called these cultures ‘polyphasic’ and contrasted them with the predominantly ‘monophasic’ culture of modernism, which only credits experience gained in ‘normal’ waking consciousness (1). But even in the most modernist societies, a large, and growing, segment of society are far more willing to accept – if only in private – information derived through intuitive and empathic awareness. 80% of people claim to have experienced the more common forms of precognition and over half the US and European populations claim to have experienced telepathy, clairvoyance or contact with the dead (2). A further survey found that two thirds of the US population claim to have had a Psi or ‘mystical’ experience (3). Outside of academia, mainstream science and media, the grassroots of modernist society is still, in many ways, polyphasic. The majority of people acknowledge a variety of ways in which things can come to be known, though they tend to draw the line at information derived from the more extreme end of the spectrum of altered states, such as prophecy and divination. (1) Laughlin, C. ‘Consciousness in Biogenetic Structural Theory’ Anthropology of Consciousness, 1992, 3(1-2):17-22. (2) Breen, R. ‘The Nature Incidence and Impact of Paranormal Experiences’ Monash University Survey, 2008 (3) Haraldsson, E. & Hootkouper, JM. ‘Psychic Experience in the Multinational Human Values Study: Who Reports Them?’ Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, Volume 85, April 1991,...

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Mapping Our Many Worlds & Conflicting Realities

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Blog |

  A crisis of healing or personal transformation is always accompanied by: Shifts in the level and quality of our awareness Shrinking, expansion or dissolution of our sense of identity Revelation of hidden aspects of reality Recovery of our sense of wholeness and connectivity with a wider sense of reality Acceptance of knowledge gleaned from states outside normal, waking consciousness These experiences constitute a parallel reality so that we now possess, in effect, two maps of the same territory ­ ‘the consensual map’ and ‘the anomalous map’. Can we effect a translation from one to the other? The sense we have from anomalous experiences is that: Consciousness is not just ‘in our heads’. Consciousness, alongside energy/matter, is a fundamental property of reality. It is both a shared and shareable property of reality. Certain aspects of consciousness will turn out to be beyond our ability to comprehend. Identity is both far more fluid and far more durable ­ continuous through time ­ than the ‘narrative view’ of selfhood suggests. Not that the narrative view is ‘wrong’ ­ it’s a good description of the functioning of the ‘social­self’ ­ but it is simply one aspect of a far more complex, multi­layered ‘subject’ whose core is a state of pure awareness. What we call ‘reality’ is just one facet of a vastly more complicated, multi­dimensional ‘whole’ the limits of which we cannot even begin to grasp. We will unpick these various themes as we seek a translation or mappings of these different versions of reality....

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Modernity is an altered state of consciousness

Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Blog |

  It will no doubt strike the reader as odd to find ‘modernity’, immersion in a consumer hyper-reality, described as an altered state, but that is exactly what it is. Nor is this state of affairs an accidental or inevitable outcome of ‘historical forces’. It is the result of the deliberate choices and planned acts of an elite who saw their financial and political control threatened by the very historical processes that they themselves had set in motion. “We must shift … from a needs to a desires culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed … Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.”(1) The mass democracies that emerged in the early 20th century out of the processes of industrialization created new challenges to traditional mechanisms of political, economic and social control. One response to these challenges has been to engage in the mass manipulation of awareness, the ‘engineering of consent’(2) , through propaganda and the manipulation of desire via the mass media, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”(3) This manipulation of desire hinges upon the creation of a gap between a media projection of an idealized persona and each person’s imagined progress towards its realization. It is, essentially, a manipulation and falsification of self-concept designed to trigger the kinds of behavior – engagement with financial and market mechanisms – that provide a temporary sense of ‘completeness’ through the acquisition of products and services. The pervasiveness of media controlled images and the celebrity culture that mediates this process has created societies driven by greed, distracted by trivia and in thrall to spectacle , even when that spectacle(4) includes live broadcasts involving the destruction of other cultures and societies. To these sources of distortion we can add environmental, pharmacological(5), and electromagnetic pollution on...

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