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BOOK REVIEW: "Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in The Age of Trump" by Gary Lachman

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BOOK REVIEW: Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump by Gary Lachman (Tarcher / Perigee) 2018

Last September, in one of my synchromystic articles at Dust Devil Dreams titled “Supernatural, Superman (Stull),” I noted that the unsettling qualities and characteristics  - and behavior – of President Donald Trump got me and a friend to openly discuss whether Trump was actually a tulpa, or an entity brought to life through intense visualization and magical rituals, as recorded in the 1920’s by the French explorer Alexandra David-Neel in her book Magic and Mystery in Tibet.

Or, as I noted in my 2017 review of the late Alvin Schwartz’s An Unlikely Prophet, where the one-time Batman and Superman writer told of encountering a tulpa he had unwittingly created of, well, the Man of Steel himself.

And thanks to David Lynch and Mark Frost's use of the tulpa in Twin Peaks: The Return last year, even more people became familiar with this Tibetan Buddhist creation that has further inspired a (growing?) subculture of tulpamancers.

Yes, things are getting a little more bizarre by the day and chaos magick seems to be in full effect in 2018. Who saw that coming?

And did a Trump parent or someone connected to the Trump family, in the months after the detonation of the first atomic bomb at Trinity Site in New Mexico and two years or so after Trump's uncle allegedly stole the papers of Nikola Tesla after he died in 1943 create a tulpa or sorts? This person known as Donald J. Trump, now the most powerful man on Earth? Perhaps that is why he never seemed connected to his mother?

In fact, I was listening to some mainstream, liberal show recently and a caller suggested something "magical" - and not good, necessarily - took place within the Trump family in the 1945-46 time period when Trump was 'created' and born on June 14, 1946. As Star Trek's Mr. Spock would say, with eyebrow arched, "Fascinating."

Well, a few folks did. And they didn't have to read tea leaves to see it on the horizon. Trump has taken America and the world into unprecdented times and uncharted waters. The liberal world order is being turned on its head and tribalism, nativism and Gilded Age-styled highway robbery is blindsiding us all.

Which brings us to the latest – and, in my opinion, best and most timely – book from occult investigator and writer Gary Lachman, Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in The Age of Trump. This is a summer read you won’t want to put down, enlightened ones.

Of all writers on the subject of Trump and the tornadic winds swirling around him and those closest to him, Lachman has hit the nail on the proverbial head with his observations about our current, troubling time.

Lachman did see Trumpism on the horizon, even if it did not yet have a name. In his excellent 2008 book Politics and the Occult: The Left, The Right and The Radically Unseen, which of course came out when Barack Obama was elected president, Lachman reminds readers how occult beliefs filtered into various presidential administrations and political parties over the decades.

And with Dark Star Rising, little has changed in this regard. Particularly with the alt-right and elements within that fascist/racist movement that, like the Nazis, are obssessed with occult power. Lachman notes that the alt-right, with their creepy Steve Bannon types and unnerving, cartoon Pepe the frog "Kek" memes seemed to have willed Trump into office, as if via some Thelemic ritual of the Crowley variety.

I guess it's not surprising that the CBS All Access series Strange Angel, about the "work" of occult rocket scientist Jack Parsons, a Crowleyite and undeniable innovator is getting a second look on TV for all the world to see. A man seeking his "true will" while working to get humans beyond Earth's atmosphere. It kind of gives new meaning to the "all-seeing eye" logo of the Columbia Broadcasting Service, doesn't it?

Back to Lachman's current book and our discussion about Trump and tulpas, Lachman asks a provocative question, directed at his inquisitive readers: Is a tulpa sitting in the White House? And what does that mean for all of us now that Trump is "on the loose"? When I saw Lachman reference Trump and tulpas in the same sentence, I knew the idea had reached a broader audience and that many others were thinking along the same lines.

What of the egregores, the occult entities that are said to watch over us? Recall Elizabethan court magician, alchemist and inspirer of the British Empire, John Dee. He consulted with "angels" through Enochian language and scrying and was able to achieve great things in his time. There is even a British series, Requiem, that references it and uses it as a major plot point. You see? This stuff is everywhere. Sigils right in front of us.

Did Trump's rise come via chaos magick? If so, Trump is the perfect subject to embody this particular power. Like the positive thinking of Norman Vincent Peale, an inspiration for both Old Man Trump and his son, magickal works begin with a "statement of intent," not unlike the Peale-ism of New Thought of the mid-to-late 20th century, when Donald was coming up in luxury in New York City.

"Chaos magick, like punk rock, is a 'return to basic principles,'" writes Lachman. "It does this by stripping away all the excess baggage of tradition to reach the fundamentals. Anything that excites the imagination and stirs the magical will is fair game."

Trump, the author tells us, is a post-modern president, while chaos magick is post-modern occultism. All the frills and rituals, as the above paragraph highlights, strips away the baggage and shows us what it all is really about, right?

So when Bannon talks of sinister Italian occultist and esoteric philosopher Julius Evola in a conversation about Trump, well, that's a "game changer," as Lachman rightly suggests. The will at work. A mix of magick and power for all to see, at least with those with eyes and ears and a desire to know what is really going on, even as "imagination" seems to be on a downward slope. That would lead to a vacuum, one would think. And in that vacuum. the chaos and "alternative facts" can flourish. May I offer you Exhibit A ... 

And that's why Lachman's book is so important. He lays it all out, using history and the "now" to demonstrate that we have entered a very dark time, but the light is accessible for those who seek it and want to get below the din and chaos on the surface. There is so much to explore and learn along the way.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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