In “The Withdrawal Issue” of its magazine, Bitcoin Magazine presents an article that delves into the influence of the occult on theater and media. A historical perspective is provided, highlighting the connection between shamanism, ritual, and entertainment. Quoting Phyllis Hartnoll’s A Concise History of the Theater, the article emphasizes that theater has its origins in religious rites and rituals, with priests and worshippers performing in honor of a god, dressed in animal skins, and portraying birth, death, and resurrection. This reveals the deep-seated connection between entertainment and ancient practices.
The article goes on to assert that the influence of the occult on media has persisted through the modern era. It traces this influence back to personalities like Paschal Beverly Randolph and Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who were entertainers as well as masters of the arcane. The Occult Revival of the mid-19th century is also highlighted, discussing a renewed interest in spiritualism, necromancy, and ceremonial magic. Notable figures linked to this movement, such as Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner, are mentioned, along with their contributions to the popularization of Hindu and Buddhist traditions in Western culture.
The impact of occultism on playwrights and filmmakers is brought into the spotlight, with references to artists like W.B. Yeats, August Strindberg, Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, and Luis Buñuel. Quotes from Kenneth Anger are included, shedding light on his utilization of traditional spiritual practices and symbolic themes in his films. Thoughts on the connections between occult figures and organizations to the American intelligence community are presented, as well as a mention of Kenneth Anger’s rumored involvement in snuff films.
The article also references the influence of Aleister Crowley, drawing connections between his ideas and the development of modern comic book heroes. It explains how Crowley’s prophecies and philosophical concepts found their way into popular culture and examines the impact of spiritual and philosophical ideas on the creation of superheroes.
The piece concludes by highlighting the work of Edward Gordon Craig, an influential English theater designer and director, who sought to bring theater back to its ritualistic origins. The concept of the “über-marionette” as an alternative to human actors on the stage is discussed, reflecting Craig’s vision for the future of theater. The article also reflects on the futuristic value of Craig’s work, citing Peter Brook’s acknowledgment of his impact on theater across the world.
For further exploration of the topics covered in this article, readers can refer to Bitcoin Magazine’s “The Withdrawal Issue” for an in-depth perspective on the influence of the occult on theater and media.
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