In this time of upheaval, it has been my wish to analyse the archetypes of
initiatory change and to try to present them to you as something positive,
things which can be ongoing tools and guidelines for us all to use in our
Therefore, what follows is an allegorical account of recent events, which
should provide some potent initiatory symbolism.
The Horseman of Famine
Confederacy of Black Magical Orders
THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE
by Michael Kelly
The Dragon Fafnir
On 8th September 2002, four Masters of the Temple of Set Inc (including the
High Priestess of Set) resigned their membership in that organisation and
tranferred their allegiance and duty solely to Set's Eternal Temple.
In the wake of this apocalyptic occurrence, the four Masters were
humourously referring to themselves as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
As the chuckles died away, however, it became apparent that the label was
actually very close to the truth indeed. These four achretypal figures had
indeed been at work in the events at hand. And do not forget, following the
time of Hyksos rule over Egypt, the symbol of the galloping hose was a
Setian animal to the extent that it was forbidden in art for long
The purpose of this article is to shed some light upon the initiatory
Principles underlying these Horsemen, and to investigate the Manner in which
they manifest and how we may use them in the Work which lies ahead of us,
both collective and individual.
The first Master to ride out was Aaron Besson, Grand Master of the Order of
the Vulture, the "Death Order". Death represents a moment of crisis, which
changes things irrevocably and for ever. A way of life is ended and a new
life must arise from the dust of death.
On 8th September, the scythe of the Grim Reaper severed our links with the
human organisation known as the Temple of Set. For those who pursue the
Left-Hand Path towards immortality, the spirit is not severed at death, and
our spirits remain linked with the Essence of Set.
Thus dead to ToS Inc and reborn into a larger and unshaped initiatory
matrix, what lies ahead of us now? And how can Death continue to be a
positive shaping influence?
Death is always a catastrophic event. Suddenly, things end; nothing is the
same as it was. It is an upheaval, it is not comfortable. Do you see how
close this definition is to the most meaningful and transformative instances
of Xeper in our lives?
The decision to sever our ties with the ToS Inc was upsetting and difficult.
Yet it has also been liberating and empowering. We need to actively invoke
catastrophe into our lives at those times when we are most comfortable
and/or most stifled. If we do not actively shatter our own shackles and ride
with the Horsemen, we are instead taken by surprise and trampled beneath
their hooves as they pass.
Be Awake, be master over your own life and death. When the chains chafe your
wrists and ankles, break them or be broken by them. This is a Principle we
should all live and die by.
The second Horseman to ride out was War, embodied by Nikolas Schreck.
The Co-ordinator of the War Element spoke to those assembled in Helsinki for
Conclave about conscious conflict, the necessity to choose your enemies, to
understand them, and to work out the correct strategies to resolve the
conflict to your satisfaction, whether through diplomacy or arms.
Conflict is inevitable. When your opponents are dishonourable, as in the
events of recent days, we chose to cut the ground from beneath their feet
and sever our sovereignty from their empire.
But War is a principle which is always with us. Every time we draw breath,
our efforts win us a victory over the forces which would destroy us, we live
to fight a moment longer.
The Black Magician must learn the honour of the warrior. We need to
understand the balance of forces, the strategy required to Work our Wills in
the face of those forces which are opposed to us. Sometimes these forces are
hostile, those who will not accept us or our principles under any
circumstances. Fundamentalist RHP groups are an instance. Sometimes those
forces are afraid and reactionary, seeking to stifle our freedom, desperate
to shut out the refreshing winds of change. Sometimes those forces are
mindless and inertial, such as the crushing weight of media-shaped modern
life, against which we rebel.
But make no mistake, we are forever at War. The passion with witch we fight
on the battlefield must be matched with the calmness and precision with
witch we formulate our strategies.
The third Horse (wo)man was Plague, made manifest by Zeena LaVey-Schreck,
the High Priestess of Set. As GM of the Order of Sekhmet, the attribution of
Plague is highly relevant to that Goddes and her mythological actions.
On the one hand, Plague may be seen in the festering corruption and
hypocrisy which was revealed to us and led to our reisgnations. But there is
also a more positive element tied to our actions.
consider disease; what does the word mean? Dis-ease = not at ease =
uncomfortable. Comfort and complacency are the deadliest enemies of the
Left-Hand Path Initiate. Satisfaction is a curse which leads to dissolution.
The sense of Self and the sense of purpose must both be kept razor sharp.
The metaphysical principle of Plague is that which is an irritant in our
complacency, that which itches and afflicts and breaks down those things
which lie static and decaying. Our preconceptions are challenged, our cosy
plans and schedules are rendered meaningless, we must marshal our strengths
and fight for our survival. When Plague afflicts, one of two things will
happen to the psyche; either the antibodies of the Will arise from their
slumber and fight for life, or else the Psyche decays and succumbs to
We cannot afford complacency. Comfort and cosiness and satisfaction weaken
us more than any other factor.
So when dis-ease strikes, Wake up! Seize the moment, root out the corruption
that has taken hold and use the whetstone of your Will to sharpen your
psyche. Then pass the infection on, shocking others out of their indolence.
Plague is a contagious phenomenon. The Black Flame (which is the ultimate
dis-ease) leaps from kindling to kindling. And so it has proven. I am proud
and humbled that in the wake of our departure, the I* and II* Initiates of
the ToS have lifted their voices and found that they are strong.
The final Horseman to ride out was Famine, embodied in Michael Kelly, whose
Teaching revolves around Desire = Hunger. Hunger for survival, Hunger for
Knowledge, Hunger for truth, Hunger for those experiences which lead to
Set is the Lord of Storms, of Transgression, of the breaking of barriers and
the crossing of frontiers. His is the Hunger for more, ever more. It is the
same with our Initiation as it is with our food: we either feed or we
If the farmer does not leave fields fallow to recover their goodness, his
crops fail. To remain fed, he must find new lands to plant in. If new
livestock is not added to the herd, they become inbred and sicken and die as
the seasons pass. Likewise, we cannot feed our souls by recycling the same
old stuff; we need to move, to act, to seek out those strange new lands over
which Set has sovereignty.
To see the fate of those who are spoonfed, who are provided with their food
by others, look at modern western society. Food comes in packets and cans
bought off shelves. If a catastrophe struck the civilised world tomorrow,
who could survive once the supermarket shelves had been looted? How many
would be able to feed themselves?
Initiation depends upon the Work of the individual, and our initiatory
well-being is dependent upon our initiatory diet: fresh foods from good
soil, not mass-produced packets of preservatives.
It seemed to me that the avenues for Xeper within the ToS were denying the
very adventurous routes along which my hunger and craving were drawing me
for those six weeks that Zeena served as High Priest. When some of the
powerful and uncomfortable aspects of Set were mentioned the reply was "Oh,
we don't talk about that mythological stuff." One does not pick and choose
with Set the Mighty!
So stir up your Desires, feel the craving of your Hunger and follow the
scent of your Initiation.
And so the Super Fiends have been born
Horse Latitudes (The Doors)
When the still sea conspires an armor
And her sullen and aborted
Currents breed tiny monsters
True sailing is dead
And the first animal is jettisoned
Legs furiously pumping
Their stiff green gallop
And heads bob up
In mute nostril agony
And sealed over
When I learned you were one of those who left, I became intrigued. All
the worlds 'a swirl' these days, and there are some very real seeds
that are coming to sprout against those fools who have been disloyal
and dishonorable. My own disdain for the TOS is well known, for what I
feel it has become. I am REALLY interested in your views on this, as
you were one of my recognizing Masters to the Priesthood five years
ago and the other two aren't really talking as they are still members.
Steven S Silvers
So, you are suggesting the the 4 "Super Fiends" either back-dated the
dates when they resigned from ToS for some purpose of their own, or
played it cool at the Conclave about the fact that they had already
ROFLMAO now that's funny! Control the Past; Control the Future...you
get the ref.
Nothing so romantic. It looked more to me like an oversight in the editing of
the post. But as a side note, I think Fiends is a touch melodramatic under the
circumstances. Some people quit a group. Others didn't. Is it really much
more exciting than that? Or has everyone been taking their Comic Books a
little too seriously?
> ...But as a side note, I think Fiends is a touch melodramatic under the
> circumstances. Some people quit a group. Others didn't. Is it really much
> more exciting than that?
"Some people quit a group" is all that there is? Yeah, right? One of
the "some" just happened to be the leader of that group, an office her
predecessor described as the result of "divine election". So, yeah,
this is interesting. Did Zeena actually manifest "divine election"
before becoming HP? And what could she have done afterward that
negated the sign of "divine election"? Serious question.
I heard back in June that Zeena's HPhood was to be a figurehead office
only. Specifically, I heard that Zeena could not do that certain
"thing" that indicates a Setian might be a IV* -- even though she
already held that office. So, in the absence of any other real
information about the falling-out, it looks like the problem arose
when the figurehead became a "talking head". I will not be more
specific because I was asked to keep shut, and so I will!
I mean, if the Pope decided to quit the RC Church and run off to
America to join up with Aryan Nations that would be news. Maybe not
"exciting" exactly, but folks would talk about it, and certain
speculations would be made.
So, don't be shy! Who is the current HP of the ToS, or isn't there
anyone in that office at present? Do you think the HP of ToS
manifests "divine election"?
> Or has everyone been taking their Comic Books a
> little too seriously?
Very funny! I thought Comic Books were part of Setian ritual
gear....I mean, why bother with all those boring word descriptions
when someone else can draw you a picture? When I first learned to
read, the best part of reading was the incredible process of having
good writing paint a picture in my mind.
Hey Kori .....
So that's what's missing! I just tore my book shelf AND my toy box apart and
didn't find one comic book. But then, I have not been given the official
Setian Ritual Kit. I still get to use whatever whackball getups, googaws,
gizmos, nick nacks, trinkets and arcane tomes (most frequently authored by
mySeld) that I like. I am, for the record, a Setian, dues current and still
pleased a bee in a honey pot with my ToS affiliation.
Hey, Vlek --
If you can author your own arcane tomes, you can surely draw your own
comic book! Even a 'fiendish' one, whatever that may mean to you.
Even if I hadn't recognized your most unusual name from the old
xepera-l, you gave your Setian-hood away with your take on the recent
departures. You must be frighteningly fierce since none of your
former org associates here have acknowledged your presence. I should
be very, very afraid just about now. Well, maybe later.
So, I can understand (up to a point) why you think the HP dust-up is
no biggie for the ToS. Hopefully, you can understand why Setian
politics stirs up some interest. In another thread I mentioned that
the ToS seems to borrow its public stance from Mary Poppins: you
folks never explain anything. And at times we outsiders try to fill
in the blanks. Futile, but fun.
>If you can author your own arcane tomes, you can surely draw your own
Actually, I guess I have, although noit a comic book, more a fiendishly
illustrated series of my own grand scribblings.
>>> You must be frighteningly fierce since none of your former org associates
here have acknowledged your presence.<<<<
Not fierce, gracious and diplomatic. ;)
I like that. Reminds me of my own nere do well youth when I enjoyed likening
myself to a seamless fusion of Pippi Longstockings and Conan the Barbarian.
Before I joined the Temple of Set, I had a very different and impossible vision
of it from my outsider's view. And not an altogether good one. But I joined
anyway and could not be more pleased in my error. I think my favorite attempt
to categorize the Temple of Set so far, and the most preposterous, was that we
are Protestant Thelemites. The runner up goes to the individual who insisted
on having Set for her "Darling Lord and Loving God and Master." Not evening
going to touch that one with a ten foot Was Scepter.
You gotta love people's imaginations!
>I heard back in June that Zeena's HPhood was to be a figurehead office
>only. Specifically, I heard that Zeena could not do that certain
>"thing" that indicates a Setian might be a IV* -- even though she
>already held that office. So, in the absence of any other real
>information about the falling-out, it looks like the problem arose
>when the figurehead became a "talking head". I will not be more
>specific because I was asked to keep shut, and so I will!
Not bad for someone who is "unaffiliated" and "just a disinterested
"Democrats are ... the party that says government can make you richer,
smarter, taller and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are
the party that says government doesn't work, and they get elected to prove
it." -P. J. O'Rourke, Parliament of Whores <i...@io.com>
"Tall and proud as a marble statue amidst ruin, a keen aspect of eye to command
respect without speech or gesture, such a one needs no herald to announce his
royalty." -- Johannes Lynch
"Trauma is the engine of Initiation" - Lud
"You are a sickening, twisted THING - NOT a person, NOT HUMAN!"-Metadromos
"You MONSTER! DIE! DIE!" - Mina Pell
Worker of Miracles
Purveyor, Fine Used Souls
Careful, such comments are said to bring down the rains of Barenjager upon
I'll make sure my umbrella is upside down.