IMAGINATION & FANTASY by Claudia Caleffi

IMAGINATION & FANTASY by Claudia Caleffi

The need and the quest for knowledge and, at the same time, its communication are intrinsic in the nature of the individual. The ability to narrate, whether through myth, fables, song, or poetry, is the fundamental and inalienable dimension of human thought through the use of words, images, and memories.

Scientifically, the parts of the brain that appear to have characterized the evolution of human beings seem to be the frontal lobe and the cortical areas, the areas specifically dedicated to language, imagination, and visualization.

In his writings, Tommaso Palamidessi emphasizes the importance of intellectual faculties such as willpower, attention, imagination, visualization, and memory.

These faculties enable us to empty the mind and focus on a specific goal, until reaching states of mind such meditation and and even beyond contemplation

This is the art of knowing ourselves in our innermost being, as well as understanding Nature and the Cosmos and its dimensions. These faculties exist in both men and women in a latent state but can be activated and enhanced through appropriate, consistent, and targeted exercises.

 The human soul, the most sublime part of the individual, has, among other faculties, the contemplative faculty and imagination, whether spontaneous or induced, which is both evocative and invoking. It is defined by these two qualities: creative imagination. Imagination and visualization are based on the universal laws of suggestion, which have the power to keep alive and awake the goal and purpose we have set.

Palamidessi writes:

“Creative imagination, when directed by the fire of a will animated by a precise intention, is as powerful as an oxyacetylene flame and can dissociate, unify, and transmute.”

It can happen to confuse the term imagination with fantasy, and use them interchangeably. But from their etymology differences can be noticed.

The word fantasy has its roots in Latin phantasia and Greek φαντασία (phantasia), which translates as appearance or manifestation. Fantasy tends to have a more ephemeral and abstract connotation, with an association to the term phantom.

On the other hand, imagination comes from the Latin word imago, meaning image.

Imagination represents the sensory perception of reality, capturing the sense of the phrase: in me mago agere – to work deeply within me. Imagination is the combination of two Latin words, imus (meaning bottom or depth) and agere (meaning to act), suggesting a deep inner process that moves the individual.

So, we could consider imagination the means to make visible what fantasy, invention, and creativity conceive. Fantasy might be the source of ideas, while imagination is the process through which these ideas are made visible or realized in some way.



From the Series of the Archaeosophical School:
AWAKENING AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE CENTERS OF STRENGTH – Booklet 15, Tommaso Palamidessi, Archeosofica
ARTISTIC ASCETICISM, COLORS AND PAINTING – Booklet 27, Tommaso Palamidessi, Archeosofica
THE DAILY SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF THE ARCHAEOSOPHIST- Booklet 41, page 3, Tommaso Palamidessi, Archeosofica

GEOMANCY by Elisabetta Meacci

GEOMANCY by Elisabetta Meacci

Royal and priestly art of an ancient civilization that was orally transmitted to various peoples, Geomancy is one of the oldest divinatory methods, used also by diviners to connect the visible world with the invisible, the human with the superhuman.

Its origin is mysterious, it seems to have originated in Persia, but was practiced throughout the Mediterranean, India, the Far East, Europe, Madagascar… It has a history of millennia.

Geomancy means “divination by means of the earth”; in the Arab world, it was called “the science of sand” because they traced the geomantic theme on the sand.

In Madagascar, before starting the necessary operations for the prognosis, the diviner recited a prayer, of which I will quote an excerpt since it’s quite long and particular. It begins like this:

“Wake up, God, to wake up the Sun! Wake up, oh Sun, to wake up the rooster” Wake up, oh rooster, to wake up the man! Wake up, oh man, to wake up the sikidi! Not so that he will tell lies, not so that he misleads… but so that he may scrutinize the secrets… so that he may see what the human eye cannot see…”.

The Mpi-sikidy

The Mpi-sikidy, that is to say the diviner in the Madagascar tradition, sitting on a mat in the northeast corner of the house, would place a scared stone in front of him, contact the ancestors and, throwing seeds on the mat, he would interpret the figures according to the geomantic model.

Geomancy is based on geometric figures obtained by tracing points or lines on the earth, sand, or on a sheet of paper, or by throwing grains, seeds or small stones. The first operation is called “throw of the points”. How is it done today? You take a blank sheet of paper and a thick enough pencil; at the top of the sheet, you write down the question of the problem to be solved; then, you automatically draw vertical lines, focusing on the question, making 4×4=16 rows of dashes. You then count the number of dashes in each row: when it is even, you mark two points, when it is odd, only one point. Finally, the geomantic figures to be interpreted are obtained.

The geomantic figures are numerical symbols arranged in a conventional form; they have astrological and elemental correspondences, specific names and traditional meanings. There are good texts to consult in order to become experts in this mantic, such as “Introduction to the study of geomancy” by Leo Kaiti, or “Geomancy” by Gwen Le Scouézec.



It’s a cold, moonless spring night when the keel of a large passenger ship sails across the Atlantic.

It sails so fast, in defiance of all caution, it’s about to break any crossing record.

It is technologically at the forefront, such that the builders consider it unsinkable.

Suddenly, the shape of a big iceberg appears in the darkness.

Too late to correct the course; the impact is inevitable.”

Futility or the Wreck of the Titan

This is not a newspaper article about what happened to the famous transatlantic Titanic but some extracts from the dramatic story reported in the book “Futility or The Wreck of the Titan”  (“Futility” in the first edition of 1898), written by Morgan Robertson and translated in the Italian edition with the title “Il Naufragio del Titan”. The correspondence and analogies in this novel, written 14 years before the Titanic tragedy, are numerous.

The coincidences between reality and imagination are so incredible that it is normal to wonder if this novel is really a prophecy or the accurate and meticulous analysis of an event that, given those characteristics, could have happened statistically.

Morgan Robertson

Even today this novel continues to stir curiosity and questions, fuelling an aura of mystery. Who is Morgan Robertson?

He is an american writer and “inventor”. Inventor because he claimed to have designed the prototype of the periscope used on boats, however he did not obtain the patent granted to other inventors.

He was born in 1861, son of a navy captain. He was embarked for about 10 years on merchant ships and for these reasons he knew the sea, its dangers and pitfalls…

Moreover, at that time, maritime transport was almost as important and fundamental as the air transport of our day.

As for the hypothesis that a ship could be wrecked because of the collision with ice blocks, it was not a literary fantasy but a reality and indeed the most feared event on the North Atlantic route.

1° Edizione di Futility

Not to mention that about 6 years prior to the publication of the book, there were rumors about the construction of a boat able to beat every record in speed and size but was, above all, defined unsinkable thanks to its hull divided into 16 watertight compartments, therefore designed to stay afloat even if some compartments were to have loaded water.

In the light of these considerations, can we still call Morgan Robertson a seer? Or was it simply his intention to warn us not to underestimate an impending danger?

Even the first title of the work seems very eloquent to me: “Futility”!

It is difficult to say and we will never know, even though he calls himself a psychic, one who drew his inspirations and ideas from “his companion in astral writing”.

Beyond the Spectrum

To support this peculiarity, another one of his books comes to our rescue, written in 1914, a year before his death, entitled “Beyond the Spectrum”.

In this work, the writer tells us about a war between the United States and Japan as a consequence of a surprise attack by the Japanese, with blinding weapons, on a naval expedition.

Once more, 27 years in advance, Robertson predicts what will happen in Pearl Harbor (actually a military base), and which will determine the entry of the United States of America in World War II.

Disegni di Robert Fulton


“….. Master, how many adventurous dreams we dreamed on the plots of your books: the earth, the sea, the sky and the universe. With you, with you poet of wonders, we crossed into a dream beyond science….” (in Death of Jules Verne 1905)

In fact, the novels of this writer take us on adventures set in the air, space, underground and sea.

He skilfully combines a flowing narrative style, full of optimism, with plausibility, based on the scientific and technological advances of his time of which he is a great researcher and popularizer.

From this wonderful mix, he lets himself be influenced, giving life to his stories that established him as one of the fathers of modern science fiction.

He anticipated technological developments and applications but, as a careful researcher, he was also inspired.

It is in the cycle of novels defined as “scientific”, exactly in the second volume of the trilogy composed of “The Children of the Captain” and “The Mysterious Island”, that we find, described by Captain Nemo, the Nautilus, in “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. Verne was inspired by the work of the first operating submarine in the world, designed by American engineer Robert Fulton, built in 1800 for Napoleon, but the production was not funded either by the French or the British State, as it was considered “a terrible weapon, a morally unacceptable device”.

Here are some drawings by Robert Fulton:

Drawings by Robert Fulton


USS –Nautilus (SSN -571)

“Twenty thousand leagues under the sea” was first published in 1870. The motto of Verne’s Nautilus is “Mobilis in Mobili”  or “Mobile in a mobile element”, and is described as follows:

“It’s a very elongated cylinder with conical tips. It closely resembles the shape of a cigar, a form already adopted in London for many marine constructions. The length of this cylinder, from end to end, is exactly seventy meters and its maximum width is eight meters. It is not, therefore, built with the same proportions as your vapors, but its lines are sufficiently elongated and its hull is very tapered, so that the displaced water easily slides and does not oppose any resistance to its march. The two measures I have given you will allow you to easily obtain, with a simple calculation, the surface and volume of the Nautilus.” Its area measures 1,011.45 square meters and contains 1,500.2 cubic meters. Once fully immersed, it displaces 1500.2 cubic meters of water, or 1500.2 metric tons. The vessel can travel up to 50 knots (92.60 km/h).

It normally submerges leaving its upper part uncovered by one-tenth, but if the tanks are filled with water, it can submerge entirely disappearing from view and blending with the sea. It is amphibious and driven by “clean” electric motors powered by sodium-mercury batteries, and can reach speeds up to 50 knots. It can also operate an effective defense against the huge creatures that inhabit the seas.”

Drawing by Jules Verne

Drawing by Verne:

In an atmosphere of Cold War between the United States of America and the Soviet Union and frantic pursuit of the primacy for technological development between these two superpowers, in January 1954 the Americans launched the first nuclear-powered submarine in the history of all military navies: USS-Nautilus (SSN -571).

It was able to win a large number of records, first among them being the underwater navigation of the entire North Pole, which took place in 1958 from the Bering Strait to East Greenland.

These are the dimensions:

length 97.5 meters – width 8.5 meters; a displacement ranging between 2980 tons surfaced and 3520 submerged. Thanks to the nuclear reactor it was able to reach the speed of about 43 km/h, around 23 knots.

Admiral Rickover

The project was planned and supervised by Admiral Rickover, known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy”. After a glorious career, in March 1980, the Nautilus was decommissioned from active service. Today it is a museum ship in the port where it all began, in Groton at the Submarine Force Museum.

Il Nautilus


Everyone needs to express their feelings—now of joy, now of pain—and one of the most effective means is undoubtedly music, either played or sung. Chant is surely the most totalizing means of expression that man and woman have at their disposal. Learning to sing not only means letting vocal cords vibrate to reproduce notes in tune, but also tuning one’s mind and morale to the content of the sung melody. A good singer should be able to perfectly dress the idea and feeling that the composer has imprinted in the composition. In a way, he or she should make this idea his or her own, live it by giving it a body and transmit it to the listener. So it is with good musicians.

Certainly, one can sing just for fun, as a necessity or in order to feel better, but it is understandable that a deeper study of chant makes one aware of the phonatory apparatus (diaphragm, lungs, larynx, resonance cavity, etc.), and it allows for an active research in regards to the psychic, mental and latent capacities of man and woman in an overall sense.

The fact that chant, specifically melurgic chant, is capable of making us become aware of ourselves and use our voices in a harmonious and harmonic way, surely makes this art a powerful instrument for the formation of the individual as a whole, that is, physical and spiritual. “Melurgy”, from the Greek melos, melody or chant, and ergon, opus, means “the action of melody” or “the action of chant” and it indicates the action that a sacred melody, particularly one that is sung, has on man. 

The study of the voice mystery can lead to a profound knowledge of human nature and its relationship with the cosmos. Since ancient times holy chant has been one of the main means for the moral and spiritual education of man. In all traditions music and chant, associated with poetry, are found to be used to sing odes to the deity. Take the development of music in King David’s time in Israel (1 Chronicles 23:5; 25:1, 6, 7), or the use of musical instruments and of choir by the Greeks, of which Pythagoras was one of the founders. Even in early Christianity the gift of song among the Apostles and Disciples is known (Acts 16:23, 24), and of no less importance is the role of music as a liberal art in the Middle Ages.

The soul of man was conceived as a melody to be tuned to and harmonized with the melody of the universe, a reflection of a divine music or harmony. It is to this “tuning” of the soul that the chant in its melurgic-sacral sense, that is ascetic in the highest of meanings, can lead.



Music has always been an important form of human expression. Through music, it is possible to communicate our emotions, our thoughts and ideas in a way that is original, unique and, in some cases, really powerful. However, music can also be seen as a form of expression of the historical moment in which it is made.

As a matter of fact, each historical era has its own characteristic music which reflects the cultural, social and political influences of the time. Baroque music (see Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Arcangelo Corelli), marked by great complexity and ornamentation, well reflects the taste for grandeur of the era. Even punk music, which made its peak in the 80’s, was used by artists as a means to represent unemployment, discrimination and social alienation, which were the themes characterizing the society of the time. 

Among artists, there are particularly sensitive ones who-–either developed or by nature—have a spiked receptivity towards that which is beyond what we commonly consider matter. These special individuals not only “talk” about their own historical time, but sometimes they can also anticipate what the music of the future will be.

This is the case of Dodecaphony, a musical technique elaborated by Arnold Schonberg in 1923, and anticipated by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart some 136 years earlier, in 1787. It reflects the desire for change—literary, artistic, political and social—in a world going through a period of great transformations, due in part to wars and technological discoveries.

It is a composition based on a series of twelve sounds that do not repeat until the whole series is terminated. With this technique, there are no more important or less important sounds: all have the same importance. The succession of sounds, lacking a catchy melody, turns out to be dissonant, leaving the listener with a sensation of growing tension. Mozart conceives and adopts this, among others, in one of his most famous operas, Don Giovanni.

A brief summary is needed. Don Giovanni, a young knight, seduces Donna Anna, a noblewoman. The Commendatore, Anna’s father, gets upset about this and challenges Don Giovanni to a duel, where he gets killed by the knight. Near the end of the opera, the Commendatore, in the form of a ghost statue, reappears to Don Giovanni, inviting him to dinner. Don Giovanni, proud as he is, accepts the invitation and shakes the statue’s hand. At this point he senses a deadly frost, and the Commendatore exhorts him to repent of his sins, but Don Giovanni refuses to do so and tries in vain to escape from his inevitable destiny: death.

Don Giovanni and the statue of the Commendatore, Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard

The Commendatore’s apparition in this last part is of symbolic value. He represents a messenger of the divine will, of the justice that awaits those who have sinned. In utilizing a new composition technique, Mozart manages to give shape to the transcendent, separating it from what is of earthly nature. What happens is that the succession of dissonant sounds gives life to the terror, the anguish, the fear the sinner goes through and lives face to face with death. Thanks to his peculiar artistic sensitivity, Mozart is gifted with inspiration and with it anticipates a whole new technique that will flourish only in 1923 with Schonberg, when new ways of musical expression are employed by composers in their search for liberty from traditional tonality and harmony.

But besides anticipating the future, is it possible that music could actually contain news on what is yet to come? Can music, with the wise use of its language, carry within a prophecy?

Costituzione invisibile dell'uomo e della donna - Invisible constitution of man and woman

MAGIC AND DIVINATION by Elisabetta Meacci

The Magician, which can be associated with the Hermit tarot card

Talking about magic nowadays might seem inappropriate.  As soon as we hear this word we think of the illusionist, the magician who performs tricks and with special effects. Or we think about those fantasy film characters who are very eccentric and bizarre. In short, magic with fairy tales’ magic wand. 

Not magic in the ancient sense of the term, no, it doesn’t immediately come to mind, in fact it seems something very distant from modern society, from this civilization of machines and technology, where everything is practical, immediate, visible, tangible. 

A society where many call themselves “atheists” and are skeptical of everything which lies beyond their noses. 

Magic as ancient wisdom, as development of faculties that every human being possesses more or less latently, doesn’t come to mind.

In reality, magic is a current topic and is alive in every time and every place. One may say that it is innate in us. From the most insignificant sign of superstition to the rituals of the great religions, magic survives and becomes part of the life of each of us. As if with a gesture or a strange power we could change the course of events. But is it really possible?

We live in a world made of exchanges, of relationships, of harmonies. Energetic exchanges, vital, with the environment around us, with nature, and with the people who make up our circle of human relationships. 

We are bound with our physical body to the earth, to its radiations and its atmosphere, so it is necessary to learn to free ourselves from conditionings and to harmonize with the environment; our etheric body is related to the etheric body of the earth and the Cosmos, and we are influenced by it, so we must also harmonize with it, possibly using it; the same applies to the astral and the mental energy bodies, which have relations and links with those of the earth and the Cosmos.

One of the purposes of sacred magic is to bring all these forces into balance in order to open a path to the Celestial Spheres.

Invisible constitution of man and woman

The magical art knows the wise use of colors, of perfumes, of musical notes, of symbols, and of magnetic or vital currents of our body, for the purpose of transforming the human soul into  an immortal angelic being.

So divination gains an important role. In Chinese philosophy contained in I KING, the Book of Changes, one of the most important texts about divination, everything that happens in the visible world is the extrication of an image, an idea present in the invisible world. The seeds of everything are in the higher, invisible and spiritual worlds. Here on earth these seeds materialize, as it were, in time. If I can predict in advance, I can somehow act to have a better destiny. The ability to intuitively know, and discover these spiritual seeds is the prerogative of wise or holy people who are used to being in contact with these higher dimensions. It is through them that a sort of circuit is created between heaven or the supersensible world of ideas, earth or the corporeal world of visibility, and man.



Paris in the 20th Century

I don’t know about you, dear friends, but despite having read many novels of this author, I had missed one of his works that once again demonstrates the extraordinary nature of this character.

The title is “Paris in the 20th Century”, written in 1863 but discarded by the publisher, left forgotten in a drawer and published posthumously in 1994.

Once again, from this work, it emerges how Verne anticipates the times with a new literary genre. Verne has been called the father of modern science fiction and one of the authors who has most influenced the literature of the “fantastic”.

In his earlier novels we can find that atmosphere of collective optimism, of positive—and perhaps utopian—attitude towards a better life thanks to technological discoveries and industrial development.  Slowly, with advancing age and perhaps because of painful family events, this perspective begins to fade.

An image of 20th century Paris

In this story, the mistrust towards progress, machines and a future in which the individual risks losing oneself really transpires. That’s Verne’s intuition, that’s the first dystopian novel!

The paradox of the story lies in the fact that once again the futuristic imagination, the extraordinary foresight describe, in the mid-nineteenth century, the city (and the lifestyle, I might add) in which the work is published a century later.

With acute irony, “Paris in the 20th Century” is a metropolis organized: by machines that move by means of compressed air, on elevated tracks: one for the outward journey and the other for the return journey; by communication systems that recall network immateriality; by carriages held together by electromagnetic force.

No need for maintenance, no smoke, no steam, cars move thanks to an invisible force: an air engine dilated by gas combustion. At night Paris is bright as day with a “glow comparable to that of the sun”.

Here is a brief passage:

“The men of 1960 were not surprised by these wonders, they took advantage of them daily without any contentment, with their fast pace, with their hasty pace and their American impetus. It was clear that the demon of prosperity pushed them forward without rest and delay”.

“Paris”, but this noun could also be replaced with “The World”, pursues a spasmodic search for profit and exploitation and in the triumph of the cynical logic of the economy.

In this society, there is no longer a place for Art, for writers, for professors, for poets and musicians; libraries no longer exist. The radiant progress of science is contrasted by the dark death of Art.

Authors like Balzac and Dumas were unknown to make way for new poetic verses such as “Electric Harmonies” or “Meditations on Oxygen”, not to mention the “Poetic Parallelogram” or the “Decarbonated Odes”. Once again, Verne is able to cast his gaze far into the future.

A Walk Through Paris Early 20th Century – World Capital of Art