Here is an instance of the ubiquity of Shakespeare’s Scottish Play and the Curse imagined incumbent upon it: (totally apparently outside-the-loop segue)- I’ve been reading this kind of gonzo book The Secret History Of The World, by Mark Booth (The Overlook Press, 2010); I came across it browsing my local bookstore, and was very intrigued by its purported revelation of The Previously Unknown History of the (entire) World- as influenced by Secret Societies.
At first, I was really mad into this, as Mr. Booth starts out in Chapter 1: In The Beginning (“God Peers at His Reflection”), discussing the possibility of a Mind-Before-Matter Universe, in Which the Mind of God- or The Gods- first created the Universe- and then the Earth (our Mother Planet)- then Humans- Humans (who, rather than coming To Be and THEN conceiving of Divinities)- Humans, who (having been Created specifically to Imitate the Gods) were Made by The Gods, literally IN The Gods’ Image.
OK- this, I was into. Then we go into Chapter 3: “The Genesis Code. Enter the Dark Lord”- which posits how the malign influence of both Satan and Saturn, as in both the Greek Mythology and as the Planet, enters the picture of Early Tranquil Humans. Then into Chapter 5: “The Gods Who Loved Women,” which (among other things) goes into the Greek Mythologies of Deities enjoying congress with mortal Females, in a section sub-divided into “The Genetic Engineering of Humankind” and “The Original Origin of the Species.”
Then we’re off on this dancing tour of history, hitting: Isis and Osiris (Chapter 6); the Amazons, Enoch, Hercules, Theseus, and Jason (Chapter 7); Orpheus, Job, and the Riddle of the Sphinx (Chapter 8); well, it just goes on and on- Noah and the Myth of Atlantis; Rama’s Conquest of India; Zarathustra’s Battle Against the Powers of Darkness (in Chapter 10: “The Way of the Wizard”); before Imhotep and the Age of the Pyramids; Moses and the Cabala; King Arthur and the Crown Chakra- it keeps going:
Mohammed and Gabriel; the Prophecies of Joachim; St. Francis and the Buddha; the Templars Worship Baphomet.
Pagans may find interesting Chapter 14: “The Mysteries of Greece and Rome,” which includes the Eleusian Mysteries; Socrates and his Daemon; Plato as a Magus; The Divine Identity of Alexander the Great; and the Rise of the Magi; as well as Chapter 15: “The Sun God Returns,” which actually goes into Jesus, the Crucifixion, and the Mystical Marriage of Mary Magdalene.
Anyway- this goes on for 28 Chapters, until a Postscript, where Mr. Booth (swear to the Gods) analyzes who the Anti-Christ is likely to be, according to Biblical prophecy.
The point (oh, by the way) is to illuminate and demonstrate how Secret Societies (like the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons and the Templars and I don’t know who all) have (secretly) since the Beginning of Everything- preserved in secret Esoteric Teachings, all this Super Secret Understanding of It All.
OK- what finally snagged my attention enough actually to wish to write about this: in the course of reviewing Shakespeare as a Secret Initiate into the Secret History of Everything (Chapter 20: “The Green One Behind the Worlds,” in which Mr. Booth also discusses Columbus, Don Quixote, and Francis Bacon)- because of course Shakespeare is going to be one of the Secret Initiates, responsible for forging a “new form of consciousness. But how do we know Shakespeare was an initiate?” (p. 398, emphasis in the original).
Well, apparently, we know this because in entering “the Green Wood” of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we re-enter an “an archaic form of consciousness in which all nature is animated by spirits,” signalling that we are “entering the realm of the esoteric, the etheric dimension.” (p. 399)
AND we know that Shakespeare was an “initiate” (into the Secret Societies whose Secret Knowledge has Guided the Development of Humans since, you know, the Very Beginning) BECAUSE: “Shakespeare has done more than any other writer [in the Anglo-Saxon countries] to form our idea of beings from the spirit worlds and the way they may sometimes break into the material world”; Mr. Booth cites both The Tempest and Midsummer in this regard.
Then (p. 398), Mr. Booth goes on to include The Scottish Play: “Many thespians still believe that Macbeth contains dangerous occult formulae that give it the force of a magical ceremony when performed.”
So there you go: Macbeth; dangerous “occult formulae”; the “force of a magical ceremony when performed.”
Never mind the perception of the “occult formulae” in Macbeth as “dangerous”; dangerous maybe, if you do not know what you are doing. Any Wiccan or Neo-Pagan savvy enough to locate The Juggler is (I’m sure) qualified to handle the Magickal Formulae in Macbeth; I’ve been a Student and a Devotee of the Weird Sisters and their Magickal Performances for something like 20 years now, and feel quite confident on my ground when I am in Their Presence and performing Their Rites.
At the same time- one wishes general understanding that experimentation with the “formulae” of The Scottish Play is a bit akin to tinkering with nuclear fission. Please be careful what you do- as a mega-deep theatrical tradition/ superstition will tell you.
All the same, please note: Mr. Booth’s acknowledgement of a universal theatrical understanding, of a “Magickal Ceremony” of Great “Force,” enacted through the “Occult Formulae” discovered within the Cursed Scottish Play.