Occultrama

Vespertilio Spillover

Vespertilio Spillover is a moving images materializing from a woodcut depicting cat-bats in a rare book written by the German scientist Athanasius Kircher (*1602 / +1680) illustrating China in comparison with the actual context of the Covid-19 insurgence, including the spillover infection phenomenon and its potential causes. THIS FILM IS DEDICATED TO ALL VICTIMS – R.I.P. Athanasius Kircher, a German Jesuit polymath who lived in Rome, wrote in 1658 “Scrutinum Pestis physico-medicum” on the bubonic plague also known as the legionnaire’s disease. This was carried by German soldateska in the Italian peninsula, and even if his thesis about the spontaneous generation of living animals from non-living matter was wrong, he was arguably the first to conduct microscopic observations on tissues and blood of the sick, concluding the disease was caused by micro-organisms. Thereon, he proposed the use of face-masks to prevent the inhalation of infectious agents. One of his major fields of interest was sinology: without ever visiting China he left indeed a telling account of the country’s cultural landscapes. 350 years later, with the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, Athanasius would have seen a different China. But the subject of the new Coronavirus pandemic remains the same: virus hosting animals. Now, we can only hope that one day the virus returns to its original host. Unlike than reported on Wikipedia – where Kircher’s discovery is not quoted, perhaps considered too much a fantasy creation – it was very much him who firstly accounted a new superspreader within his encyclopedic work “China monumentis”, naming a species of Chineses bats by genus name, Vespertiliones, later on in the taxonomic order categorized as „Vespertilio sinensis“. «Catti Volantes nil aliud sunt quàm praegrandes Vespertiliones». So he swore to have seen in China a tremendous amount of the exotic specimen „Catti volantes“ – afterward nothing else than a species of bats. It is hazardous to believe that traditions always fit in a modern world, where development isn’t automatically advancement. Kircher already then wrote about „pueri serpentìvori“, snake eating children among mountains. Today’s ongoing urbanization, environmental pollution of fragile ecosystems, and destruction of natural habitats may be only a few of the reasons for the actual pandemic. The consumption of bushmeat and exotic venison and therefore the request at the wet market is even rising and trading with wildlife animals could have been an important trigger point. Athanasius would have been also very fascinated by the infected New York Tiger. But, despite recommending for healing from snake bites powder from “snakestones”, „Lapide serpentorum“, an antique name for fossils because of their resemblance, he would have been surprised by snakes on postmodern menus. It is not just about a conspiracy in a laboratory but more about behaviors. One-time physicians Li Shizhen and Sun Simiao already insisted centuries ago that the meat of pangolins can cause serious health issues. Not only social distancing but also a change in these attitudes are necessary. Because Covid-19 may not only cause an illness to multiple organs following a lonely death, the virus questions also it‘s treatment methods. Besides isolation and quarantine allopathic medicine nearly failed to provide any kind of efficient therapy. Therefore the calls are open for the next super weapon – the vaccine, which bears high risks scenarios. But in the end, will the medication even cure the wounds of our injured society slave of cultural oblivion, manipulated by market logic and led by trivial common sense or only its‘ symptoms?

Timor Panicus

What if the gateway to Agartha would have been relocated to the very center of a billion busy alpha city metropole where fashion and financial districts meet? Horripilation? Not at all. Perhaps when the Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro envisioned his Solar Disc, an extraterrestrial intelligence was capable to align diverse terrestrial forces in order to bring them locating the magnum opus there where it actually is, concealing the very toran to that secret ruling world, in disguise among passer-bys quintessentially too blind for even just inquiring about the identity of the ruler of the Earth. Until a day, a female street performer declaims in the premises of the Big Disc the prologue by the French inquisitive mind of René Guénon to the narration about the King of the World. And the mechanism starts moving opening up the underground secrecy for everyman.

MicroGnosing

A psychedelic agent discovers her Third Eye: a rollicking romp of antics between two secret agents colleagues. Only seemingly a low profile appointment. Half backroom and hail-fellow-well-met, half acutely yet inconspicuously earnest, almost solemn. After all it is matter of nothing less than briefing latest instructions concerning an untrained new approach to the missions, where the agents have to quickly master esoteric techniques for improving their insight abilities.

WhimSeaCall – Nocturnal Sea

WhimSeaCall or a whimsical call from the sea, a rinvigourating allegorical swim in the alchemical archetype of the Red Sea otherwise hinting at the blackest dead sea of the unconscious performed on a black sun shore of an Italian coastline with harbour landscape in the background reminding the relation of the psyche to its environment. On that liminality the mare magnum is the canopy of the secreto secretorum once revealed to the great Alexander Magnum and tonight to a woman.

The Ritman Library: Amsterdam

The Ritman Library Amsterdam: Discover a library with over 23.000 books in the fields of Alchemy, Hermetica, Cabala, Magic, Rosicrucianism and Mystic! Watch legendary first editions, rare books, manuscripts and learn more about the hidden stories and secret symbols of Esotericism… Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica: How old rare books about the divine essence of things, the hidden reality behind the curtain of visible life can be the first companions for a soul seeking for an inner path of spirituality and how this path can be as well of cosmological nature, bringing to the comprehension of the intimate relationship between Microcosmos and Macrocosmos. How the rediscovery in older printings of betrayed knowledge and concealed truths can ignite a transcendent spark, help to pass a sort of mystical gate and find access to a circle of initiates. In a symbolical alchemical transmutation of the own reality. How some ancient metaphysical Traditions can incorporate the Inviolable, Absolute and Permanent. How a certain particular world of bibliophiles and bibliomaniacs ticks, what motivate them and how to become comfortable with auction while you build up your library – and above all why to build up a library. Understanding books as an engine of cultural revolutions and as a heritage of hard-fought theories and vexed authors, whom we can now enjoy freely. The founder of the BPH Joost Ritman, the director of the library Esther Ritman, the bibliographical team with Cis van Heertum and José Bouman tell us about all this, while Dr. Marco Pasi from the University of Amsterdam narrates the wonderful and captivating history of Western Esotericism.