Vril: It’s the Secret

Before there was Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, water-sharing, grokking, TANSTAAFL, and line marriage, there was Edward Bulwer-Lytton and The Coming Race, published in 1871.

As Egil Asprem recently noted in a blog post titled “The (all too) secret history of Vril,”

It is astonishing how much of modern occultism is dependent on works of fiction. The machinations of secret societies, the malicious rituals of satanic cults, and the magicians’ adventures on the astral plane have all been portrayed in great detail in works of fiction, which have in turn directly influenced the creation of real organisations and inspired new ritual practices among self-styled occultists. The entire current of Rosicrucian initiatory societies even had its main impetus in a text considered by its authors to be a playful ludibrium — although no doubt one that expressed deep convictions.

Read it.

2 Comments

  1. Pitch313 says:

    I’ll say something along the lines of: The younger I was–and equally, the less skillful my Pagan practice–the more influenced I have been by imaginative fiction and by versions of mythology. An old (even then) book of Norse mythology and being overtaken by Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries pretty much nailed me to a Nine Worlds view. In 4th grade.

    So I can see how imaginative literature (and later, cinetmatic and televistic) might leverage occultural world views. I dimly recall learning at a fairly young and ambitiously avante garde age about orgone from KPFA.

    But, honestly, I just cannot read Bulwer-Lytton! Tried, for the sake of getting high on Vril. But no, it made brain hurt!!!

    • Chas Clifton says:

      I have to confess that I have had a copy of his novel The Last Days of Pompeii by my bed for a year, and I have had not had the courage to attempt it. But I will!