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Julian Hughes
Julian Hughes

Cosmic History: Book Of The Throne Magickal Wor...

At the end of Vision II, when the seventh angel finally sounds his trumpet (11.15-19), then the heavenly throneroom of God is once again opened, and now there appears a new scene. This is the opening of Vision III, the three Signs (or Portents) in Heaven, which are the centerpiece, both literarily and ideologically, of the entire work. For these three "signs" provide the explanation for why the woes and suffering described in Vision II have come upon the earth. The answer, we are now told, is that the war on earth is merely a continuation of a cosmic war begun in heaven between God and Satan (12.1-17). At the end Satan, the Great Red Dragon, is thrown down to earth with his evil angels, and now they begin to make war on the saints (12.18). For his henchmen, the Dragon chooses two helpers, who are called "the beast from the sea" (13.1-10) and "the beast from the land" (13.11-18), who proceed to force all humans to worship the Dragon and the first beast. The result is that God also sends his angelic army to earth, led by the "Lamb who had been slain," and they will now take on the army of the dragon and the beasts (14.1-20). Now we have seven angels pronounce their woes on all who side with the Dragon followed by seven bowls of wrath, which turn out to be seven plagues (15.1-16.21). Once again it is the sixth that is the most important; it is the Battle of Armageddon (16.12-16) which results in victory for the armies of God.

Cosmic History: Book of the Throne Magickal Wor...

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There are many different schools of magic, tapping into various cosmic energies and using different methods to sometimes reach similar goals. Most magic spells however require specific components, physical requirements the caster must meet in order to use them. These requirements might be verbal, with the spellcaster using specific words of power, somatic, with the spellcaster having to make motions, or material, with the spell requiring reagents. Some clothes might even be more adapted than others for the casting of certain spells.[21] As such these spells might have different cast times and can even be interrupted by circumstances. Spellbooks are known to describe spells, their effects and their components. Medivh personally had Karazhan fitted with a fully equipped pantry of spell components, including a larder of aromatic and thaumaturgic herbs, and a lapidarium of crushed semi-precious stones.[21]

As in feudal Japan (and later imperial Japan), the Emperor was seen as a god, and could do anything he liked. Given how nastily inventive a noble had to be to get to this point, this was not a good thing. In The Colour of Magic and Mort, the Emperor was an idealistic young boy; however, by Interesting Times, he had been supplanted by an elderly man who was quite insane (and who is said to have killed his nephew for the throne). During Interesting Times, Cohen the Barbarian was declared Emperor, and started changing the system into one a no-nonsense barbarian could feel comfortable with. It was felt by many of the peasantry that he was the "preincarnation" of One Sun Mirror, because Agateans believe in a form of backward reincarnation in which the soul's next life takes place chronologically earlier than its previous life. Since the events of The Last Hero, it can be presumed Cohen is no longer Emperor. Details of his replacement are unknown, although it is implied that most of the duties of governance had already been assumed by his Grand Vizier Twoflower by the time of his intended-to-be death. In the companion book The Compleat Discworld Atlas, the Empire has been supplanted by the People's Beneficient Republic of Agatea, led by the Chairman of the Central Committee of the People's Revolution Madame Butterfly (possibly Twoflower's daughter and the former leader of the revolutionary Red Army).

Creation in the "agon" model takes the following storyline: (1) God as the divine warrior battles the monsters of chaos, who include Sea, Death, Tannin and Leviathan; (2) The world of nature joins in the battle and the chaos-monsters are defeated; (3) God is enthroned on a divine mountain, surrounded by lesser deities; (4) He speaks, and nature brings forth the created world,[16] or for the Greeks, the cosmos. This myth was taken up in later Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature and projected into the future, so that the cosmic battle becomes the decisive act at the end of the world's history:[16] thus the Book of Revelation (end of the 1st century CE) tells how, after the God's final victory over the sea-monsters, New Heavens and New Earth shall be inaugurated in a cosmos in which there will be "no more sea" (Revelation 21:1).[17]

In the cosmology of the ancient Near East, the cosmic warrior-god, after defeating the powers of chaos, would create the world and build his earthly house, the temple.[61] Just as the abyss, the deepest deep, was the place for Chaos and Death, so God's temple belonged on the high mountain.[62] In ancient Judah the mountain and the location of the Temple was Zion (Jerusalem),[61] the navel and center of the world (Ezekiel 5:5 and 38:12).[63] The Psalms describe God sitting enthroned over the Flood (the cosmic sea) in his heavenly palace (Psalm 29:10), the eternal king who "lays the beams of his upper chambers in the waters" (Psalm 104:3). The Samaritan Pentateuch identifies this mountain as Mount Gerizim, which the New Testament also implicitly acknowledges (John 4:20). This imagery recalls the Mesopotamian god Ea who places his throne in Apsu, the primeval fresh waters beneath the Earth, and the Canaanite god El, described in the Baal cycle as having his palace on a cosmic mountain which is the source of the primordial ocean/water springs.[64]

The most striking feature of the Old Testament world is the "firmament," a solid dome which separates "the waters from the waters" (Gen. 1:6). The Hebrew word translated in the Latin Vulgate as firmamentum is raqia' whose verb form means "to spread, stamp or beat out." The material beaten out is not directly specified, but both biblical and extrabiblical evidence suggests that it is metal. A verb form of raqia' is used in both of these passages: "And gold leaf was hammered out..." (Ex. 39:3); and "beaten silver is brought from Tarshish" (Jer. l0:9). There are indeed figurative uses of this term. A firmament is part of the first vision of Ezekiel (1:22,26), and the editors of the evangelical Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament cite this as evidence that the Hebrews did not believe in a literal sky-dome. It is clear, however, that Ezekiel's throne chariot is the cosmos in miniature, and the use of raqia' most likely refers to a solid canopy (it shines "like crystal") than to a limited space.(6)

The only possible excuse for this book is that it is an answer to achallenge. Even a bad shot is dignified when he accepts a duel. Whensome time ago I published a series of hasty but sincere papers, underthe name of "Heretics," several critics for whose intellect I have awarm respect (I may mention specially Mr. G.S. Street) said that it wasall very well for me to tell everybody to affirm his cosmic theory, butthat I had carefully avoided supporting my precepts with example. "Iwill begin to worry about my philosophy," said Mr. Street, "when Mr.Chesterton has given us his." It was perhaps an incautious suggestion tomake to a person only too ready to write books upon the feeblestprovocation. But after all, though Mr. Street has inspired and createdthis book, he need not read it. If he does read it, he will find that inits pages I have attempted in a vague and personal way, in a set ofmental pictures rather than in a series of deductions, to state thephilosophy in which I have come to believe. I will not call it myphilosophy; for I did not make it. God and humanity made it; and it mademe.

I have often had a fancy for writing a romance about an Englishyachtsman who slightly miscalculated his course and discovered Englandunder the impression that it was a new island in the South Seas. Ialways find, however, that I am either too busy or too lazy to writethis fine work, so I may as well give it away for the purposes ofphilosophical illustration. There will probably be a general impressionthat the man who landed (armed to the teeth and talking by signs) toplant the British flag on that barbaric temple which turned out to bethe Pavilion at Brighton, felt rather a fool. I am not here concerned todeny that he looked a fool. But if you imagine that he felt a fool, orat any rate that the sense of folly was his sole or his dominantemotion, then you have not studied with sufficient delicacy the richromantic nature of the hero of this tale. His mistake was really a mostenviable mistake; and he knew it, if he was the man I take him for. Whatcould be more delightful than to have in the same few minutes all thefascinating terrors of going abroad combined with all the humanesecurity of coming home again? What could be better than to have allthe fun of discovering South Africa without the disgusting necessity oflanding there? What could be more glorious than to brace one's self upto discover New South Wales and then realize, with a gush of happytears, that it was really old South Wales. This at least seems to me themain problem for philosophers, and is in a manner the main problem ofthis book. How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world andyet at home in it? How can this queer cosmic town, with its many-leggedcitizens, with its monstrous and ancient lamps, how can this world giveus at once the fascination of a strange town and the comfort and honourof being our own town? To show that a faith or a philosophy is true fromevery standpoint would be too big an undertaking even for a much biggerbook than this; it is necessary to follow one path of argument; and thisis the path that I here propose to follow. I wish to set forth my faithas particularly answering this double spiritual need, the need for thatmixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar which Christendom has rightlynamed romance. For the very word "romance" has in it the mystery andancient meaning of Rome. Any one setting out to dispute anything oughtalways to begin by saying what he does not dispute. Beyond stating whathe proposes to prove he should always state what he does not propose toprove. The thing I do not propose to prove, the thing I propose to takeas common ground between myself and any average reader, is thisdesirability of an active and imaginative life, picturesque and full ofa poetical curiosity, a life such as western man at any rate alwaysseems to have desired. If a man says that extinction is better thanexistence or blank existence better than variety and adventure, then heis not one of the ordinary people to whom I am talking. If a man prefersnothing I can give him nothing. But nearly all people I have ever met inthis western society in which I live would agree to the generalproposition that we need this life of practical romance; the combinationof something that is strange with something that is secure. We need soto view the world as to combine an idea of wonder and an idea ofwelcome. We need to be happy in this wonderland without once beingmerely comfortable. It is this achievement of my creed that I shallchiefly pursue in these pages. 041b061a72


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