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Promethea #20


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19:52 / 22.04.02
How freakin' great is this book? Anyone have any thoughts on this latest issue? I was fascinated, as a sort-of student of the Tarot and occassional mysticism, by the "half-path" described in this issue. The "lost" sephiroth. And what's the next issue gonna be about? What is the shores of black mother???? Discuss!
22:11 / 22.04.02
This issue was really great. I loved the landscape/concept of Daath. we spent a short time on it in my kabballah class and this issue does a beautiful job of painting it. What I want to see is what happens when they get to Keter cause most jewish kabballist agree that it can be got to. Moore and Sophie, not being jewish, might just walk in there and well... we'll see.
22:12 / 22.04.02
that's *can't* be got to.
23:37 / 22.04.02
I loved what they did with it, how they tied the Asteroid Belt, H P Lovecraft and the Abyss together with the concepts of the Beggar and the Fountain. Echoes of 'The Invisibles' with the idea of God's 'fall from grace' resounding across Creation and tearing the Universe in two.

The biggest problem with 'Promethea', for me, is the necessity of having a pair of 'talking heads' wander through scenes with lines like "oh, these look like blahblahflowers, I read somewhere they're sacred to X and they mean blahblahsymbolism". With this issue, that wasn't quite as noticeable...
bastl b
01:05 / 23.04.02
even though the book has its flaws (who cares about that plot on malkuth with the mayor and the five swell guys - YAWN and yeah, why all the wordy talking, it gets boring at times) but when itīs good jh williams III and alan moore achieve an alchemical wedding of their respective inputs and what todd klein does with the letters and jeromy cox with the colors is no mean feat either. one of the most beautiful moore books since swamp thing. the fact that itīs still being published is a reason to celebrate, most people I know dropped it from their reading list.

without promethea I wouldnīt have gotten as deep into the crowley tarot as I have and thatīs good. Itīs really a great guide to the tree of life and moore - you can tell - has studied it in great detail and he adds his own perspective on things.

this one was the horror issue I guess. Itīs hard to talk about stuff like that, the two crowley appearances and aospare showing up was great. in the beginning i think the book suffered from the art at times, too stiff, now the artīs great and really captures the spirit very well but all that textbookfeel gets on my nerves (though itīs only now and then in some scenes and itīs actually not that bad). I think PROMETHEA could use an editor who dares to tell Moore whatīs what! but even without this itīs a downright fantastic comic, everyone whoīs into magick will just eat it up. brilliant stuff, each isue that comes out has so many syncronicities with my life itīs a great input!
the Fool
01:15 / 23.04.02
I liked the idea of the beggar and the fountain. I read it as sort of, you enter the void as the beggar, lost, penniless, no direction forward, leave at the fountain where the void has been crossed, the gap filled, possibilities overflow. Except, of course, that the fountain is in ruins...
the Fool
02:44 / 23.04.02
>>brilliant stuff, each isue that comes out has so many syncronicities with my life itīs a great input! <<

This happens with me as well. The latest issue very much so.
Murray Hamhandler
02:55 / 23.04.02
Okay, but the question is: do you have to be into magick to get this book? I haven't bought the last two issues because I sat down and read my entire collection and then realized that I didn't know what the point of it all was. I mean, it was obvious to me that there was some kind of magick thing going on, but... I don't know. I don't think I'm stupid, but I definitely don't know much about magick and that seems to be a major setback to enjoying this book. But then I've always felt like I was on the outside looking in when it came to this stuff. There doesn't seem to be a good place to start. Should I keep plugging along w/Promethea? Is all going to be revealed to me further down the road?
Arthur Sudnam, II
02:59 / 23.04.02
If you want a good intro to magick check out Kraig's "Modern Magick", it gives a good overview of the kabbalah and all this other nifty stuff Promethea goes into.
18:04 / 23.04.02
Great issue of an increasingly great comic.
No need to know about magic(k) to appreciate it, just a willingness to learn from things.
Granted, it can be talking heads occasionally, but for me this is often hidden by the complexity and thoughtfulness of the layouts.
Some faults, sure, but certainly one of the more intelligent comics being published today. And for an ABC title, pleasingly regular as well.

Mr Tricks
21:37 / 23.04.02

that book is Great, I love it, the Art keeps improving, the stoy is fine by me....
23:43 / 23.04.02
I LOVE this book.
I'm honestly not sure what non-magickally-inclined readers get out of it, though.
23:59 / 23.04.02
I agree with everyone, but I agree with bastl b's comment about editing more. I'm not a practising magician but am maybe mystically inclined and promethea rocks me in all sorts of directions. The fucking thing about the Fall in this issue is fascinating, impulsivelad were you referring to that passage in the last issue of Black Science (the god getting trapped in hir own creation - not quite the same formulation as the moore version but the idea of sundered unity is similar)? will alan ever attempt to tell us what it was? me, i think it was the advent of sentience.
Talking heads though, yup, does anybody remember "Wow, Barbara, that's really profound, I mean, jesus Christ" from the "gold" issue? Embarrassing at times.

[don't post drunk]
06:49 / 24.04.02
impulsivelad were you referring to that passage in the last issue of Black Science (the god getting trapped in hir own creation - not quite the same formulation as the moore version but the idea of sundered unity is similar)?

I didn't mean that exactly but yeah same idea.
13:26 / 24.04.02
bought 2 comics yesterday this and New x-Men 125...totally blown away by Promethea and got bored halfway through NXM and put it down (always a bad sign in a 24pg comic)...

i've been getting more and more into the Qabala the last few months but stupidly stopped getting Promethea around issue 12 for some reason and then last week caught up with 13-19 and the amount of times i went ('a-ha!! got it now!!) was amazing...after reading so much pretty dry Regardie, Knight, Fortune and Crowley it was great for a comic to bring so many threads together...ideally they'll collect the qabala issues into one big shiny hardback
15:26 / 24.04.02
Well, I'm not into magick but I love it. It's a peek into another belief system's inner workings *while* it's working, seeing how all these hidden connections build in many ways the world you see and how you react to it; there's plenty of psychological insight, also. And the synchronicites, yeah, amazing!

Not to mention how beautiful the whole thing looks. And the lecturing aspect doesn't bother me, I like new information, and I wish they cram more data inside each issue.
I lament so much the fact that I don't have the whole series, and really can afford the luxury of buying it every month - the imported book is really expensive... I hope the series get published here soon.
The issue you're talking about is the #19 or #20?
16:35 / 24.04.02
issue 20 is the latest...
16:37 / 24.04.02
'I wish they cram more data inside each issue.'

a couple of text pages each issue detailing the various histories of these systems wouldn't go amiss
Murray Hamhandler
23:51 / 24.04.02
Okay. I bought the last two issues today and I'm going to re-read the whole run again, slowly (much in the manner that one should try explaining anything to me) to see what I can glean from this mean machine. I will then report back on what this non-magick person ultimately got out of Promethea.
Arthur Sudnam, II
Steve Block
16:17 / 25.04.02
Well, this non magick person gets a bloody good story out of the package.Yes, a lot of what Moore is writing about goes way over my head, but then again, not a lot of it does. Did the letter V in this issue tangentially relate to V For Vendetta or am I way off base? I mean, five is V in roman numerals. What also interested me was that Begging is no longer recognised as a legitimate source of income, and how that relates back to this hidden sphere.

I did love the idea of a sphere that represents that which exists but isn't known. At least that's what I think was meant when they talked about the neither neither. Also made me think of Peter Pan, Never Never and of course from there you get Tinkerbell and metafictional, and then you wonder just how much Moore is capable of.

And if in the next issue they return to the womb or whatever the last image represents, I noticed lentil further up the thread mentioned "the advent of sentience", could this water they were in have been the birthing waters, you know, I forget what the stuff is, but when you're in the womb and then the waters break and you are born, the amniotic fluid or something? Okay, I'm just tossing out ideas that could well be wrong.

Can I also post a shameless link to a post I feel is worthwhile on the invisibles mailing list?
17:02 / 25.04.02
I thought that was definitely worth linking to.
bastl b
17:09 / 25.04.02
having studied a bit on magick definitely helps you to appreciate more fully what moore does since heīs put an awful lot of info into promethea. even without that it should be a fine read if you know itīs not meant to be an action comic but a study in magick orbetter yet a guide to the kabbalah.

I know that without promethea i probably wouldnīt have bothered much with crowleyīs writing - too dense - but having read promethea made the kabbalah and tarot more accessible for me. with the info i found in promethea crowley now starts making sense.

18:56 / 25.04.02
Yeah, what was that bit about "V.V.V.V.V."? I mean, I know that's essentially five Roman numeral fives...but why does Sophie say it sounds familiar? I don't think this is a silly wink to Moore's own V FOR VENDETTA - he's too intelligent to do a self-referential bit like that.
Axel Lambert
21:34 / 25.04.02
I know absolutely nothing about magic, but what puts me off a bit about Promethea (which I largely enjoy) is the -- literal way of depicting magic. It's a little like a Jehova's witnesses storybook about the Bible. I mean, where's the --- magic about it?? Where's that uncertainty that's so important for The Invisibles, a greater comic on magic (again, I know nothing). There, you are UNSURE about what's going on.

And SHAME on you, Ghadis, for dissing newxmen.
Murray Hamhandler
23:17 / 25.04.02
V.V.V.V.V. was explained in V For Vendetta. I'll pull 'em out tonight and see what it stood for.
Arthur Sudnam, II
Mr Tricks
23:31 / 25.04.02
wasn't that the symbol for Jupiter, carved into the rock on the beach of that last panel?
Murray Hamhandler
04:42 / 26.04.02
According to V, from 'V For Vendetta':
"It's a quotation, a motto... 'Vi veri veniversum vivus vici.' 'By the power of truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe.'... (Spoken by) a German gentleman named Dr. John Faust."
Arthur Sudnam, II
bastl b
15:38 / 26.04.02
itīs a direct reference to something crowley wrote in his book of lies. if you have the toth book he gives a direct quote of that passage when he explains trump 2, the high priestess (remember in the comic he travels on his camel on the high priestess path). I have the german version of book toth and I retranslate into english, nah better not, itīs too embarassing..ah what the hell, iīll try:


"in the wind of the mind the turbulence called I forms.
it bursts asunder; the unfruitful thoughts pour down.
all life is suffocated.
this deserted wasteland is the abyss, in which the universe lies.
the stars are but thistles in this barren ground.
and yet this barren ground is merely a cursed place in a world of bliss.
now and then travellers journey through the desert; they come from the great sea and to the great sea they also go. While walking they disperse water; one day they will water the desert until it is in bloom.
look! five footprints of a camel! V.V.V.V.V."

thatīs it: crowely on his highpriestess path travels through the desert going to binah, the great sea...I guess. but ceck the original crowley quote the stuff above must be inaccurate since itīs been translated two times.
The Mr E suprise
15:44 / 26.04.02
Yeh, what they said.

Personally it's worth it just to see Crowley in a dress being vaguely foul.
18:49 / 26.04.02
Nothing to be embarrassed about that translation bastl b...near enough spot on...

In the Wind of the mind arises the turbulence called I.
It breaks; down shower the barren thoughts.
All life is choked.
This desert is the Abyss wherin is the Universe.
The stars are but thistles in that waste.
Yet the desert is but one spot accursed in a world of bliss.
Now and again Travellers cross the desert; they come from the
Great Sea, and to the Great Sea they go.
And as they go they spill water; one day they will irrigate the
desert, till it flower.
See! Five footprints of a Camel! V.V.V.V.V.

Although the 'Gimel' path of the High Priestess follows the way of the Middle Pillar and connects Tiphareth and Kether and not Tiphareth and Binah so the 'Great Sea' in this case as a reference to Binah is not really sound...

Didn't notice it also being a V for Vendetta reference...

'And SHAME on you, Ghadis, for dissing newxmen. '

oh it's not that bad really...just seemed to pale a bit next to Promethea but thats proberly because my heads full of Qabala stuff so much at the moment...
18:55 / 26.04.02

'wasn't that the symbol for Jupiter, carved into the rock on the beach of that last panel? '

Saturn...Jupiter ties in with the 4th sphere of Chesed...
Mr Tricks
21:56 / 26.04.02
opps... mixed upo the symbol... thanks...
bastl b
09:09 / 30.04.02
hey ghadis, thanks for the text, and youīre right about binah of course! cheers.
11:53 / 29.05.02
The level of detail Williams & Gray put into every panel is exquisite; ditto their design and layout. I just noticed with this issue the different positions the wings of Barb's cadeceus are taking in each panel, denoting where the 'wind' is and how they are 'flying.'

I also just noticed that sometimes the serpents (Mike and Mack) have reactions to what's happening, as in their bared fangs when they come face to face with the gaping abyss (which contained a create that looked like a fusion between a hydra/amoeba and an ancient sword, as well an amoebic beetle) in the double-paged spread in the middle of issue 20. One can almost sense a puzzled and surprised look on their faces when they meet the gender-switched Aleister Crowley.

Moore's treatise on magick is always engrossing and highly educational. It sent a bit of a shudder down my spine to notice that the number 11 is assigned to this sephiroth, seeing as it ties so neatly into the destruction of the two towers (which also make a visual eleven) on Sept. the 11th. Spare's comments about even such destruction having a rightful place and purpose in the universe were even heartening, on some level.

The covers are a special treat. Issue 20's cover made me want to go look up Richard Upton Pickman on the Net and find out just who this bloke was. Cox's colors are a wondering, Klein's lettering always masterful.

Can't wait for the next steps in this truly magical mystery tour!
Tom Coates
18:15 / 15.06.02
Which issue were you guys talking about in this thread? Could someone PM me so I can change the topic title to be accurate? Thanks.

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