Tag Archives: aleister crowley

Third Day, Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law, Anno V0

Anno V0 Third Day of the Writing of the Book of the Law 2014 ev Poster

This Third Day of the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law Poster is helpful propaganda from the Hermetic Library Office of the Ministry of Information … for this Thelemic Holy Day in Anno V0. This is the anniversary of the day on which Chapter III of Liber XXXI, the manuscript of what would become Liber AL vel Legis, Book of the Law, was received in a magical working by Aleister Crowley and Rose Kelly in 1904 EV.

Second Day, Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law, Anno V0

Anno V0 Second Day of the Writing of the Book of the Law 2014 ev Poster

This Second Day of the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law Poster is helpful propaganda from the Hermetic Library Office of the Ministry of Information … for this Thelemic Holy Day in Anno V0. This is the anniversary of the day on which Chapter II of Liber XXXI, the manuscript of what would become Liber AL vel Legis, Book of the Law, was received in a magical working by Aleister Crowley and Rose Kelly in 1904 EV.

First Day, Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law, Anno V0

Anno V0 First Day of the Writing of the Book of the Law 2014 ev Poster

This First Day of the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law Poster is helpful propaganda from the Hermetic Library Office of the Ministry of Information … for this Thelemic Holy Day in Anno V0. This is the anniversary of the day on which Chapter I of Liber XXXI, the manuscript of what would become Liber AL vel Legis, Book of the Law, was received in a magical working by Aleister Crowley and Rose Kelly in 1904 EV.

The Drug

The Drug by Aleister Crowley is the fifth new edition from 100th Monkey Press, available in a hand-bound limited edition.

Aleister Crowley The Drug from 100th Monkey Press

‘The Drug’ was originally published in Great Britain in the January 1909 issue of The Idler, an illustrated monthly magazine that printed various light pieces and sensational fiction.

This work is one of Aleister Crowley’s earliest published short stories and highlights his power as an author of fiction as well as poetry.

It has been said that this short story is one of the first, if not the first fictionalized account of ingesting a hallucinogenic substance. Crowley certainly experimented with a wide variety of mind-altering substances throughout his life, and it is not too far-fetched to consider the possibility that this story may be based, at least in part, on personal experience.

‘The Drug’ may be based on Crowley’s experiences with Anhalonium Lewinii, a now obsolete name for Lophophora Williamsii, commonly known as the peyote cactus. The active constituent of peyote is mescaline, a well-known alkaloid that can produce hallucinogenic effects when ingested.

References to Anhalonium Lewinii by Crowley are found as early as 1907. Crowley’s diary entry for 12 March 1907 seems to indicate that he was using a commercial preparation of Anhalonium Lewinii. He writes that he has taken 10 drops of the preparation and will take no more since this was the maximum dosage mentioned on the label. Crowley also seemed to have had a relationship of some sort with Parke-Davis and even mentions an October 1915 visit to the company in his confessions:

‘They were kind enough to interest themselves in my researches in Anhalonium Lewinii and made me some special preparations on the lines indicated by my experience which proved greatly superior to previous preparations.’

According to Perdurabo, Dr. Richard Kaczynski’s excellent biography on Crowley, the Abbey of Thelema’s copy of Diary of a Drug Fiend contains a marginal note by Crowley stating that he had conducted numerous experiments on people with Anhalonium Lewinii in 1910 and afterwards. These experiments may have formed the basis for Liber CMXXXIV, The Cactus, described as ‘An elaborate study of the psychological effects produced by Anhalonium Lewinii (Mescal Buttons), compiled from the actual records of some hundreds of experiments.’ Unfortunately The Cactus was never published and is now considered lost to history.

Whether ‘The Drug’ is truly a fictionalized account of the use of peyote is, of course, open to debate, but, the story does stand on its own as a very early piece of psychedelic literature. [via]

The Psychology of Hashish

The Psychology of Hasish by Aleister Crowley is the fourth new edition from 100th Monkey Press, available in a hand-bound limited edition.

Aleister Crowley-The Psychology of Hashish from 100th Monkey Press

Aleister Crowley’s The Psychology of Hashish, written under the pseudonym of Oliver Haddo, was first published in Volume I, No. 2 of The Equinox on 24 September of 1909. It made up part two of a serial publication entitled The Herb Dangerous.

During Crowley’s early magical career, he, along with his then guru, Allan Bennett, investigated various pharmaceutical preparations, including hashish, in search of a substance that would provide a pathway to mystical states.

The Psychology of Hashish presents Crowley’s personal investigation into the use of hashish and introduces his hypothesis that it can stimulate or serve as a precursor to valid mystical states.

Crowley’s opinion regarding the use of hashish seems to be that an aspirant to spiritual enlightenment may, by using hashish under controlled circumstances, attain a mystical state, or obtain a ‘preview’ of potential states of mind ordinarily only made possible through rigorous spiritual exercises.

While Crowley investigated the use of various pharmaceutical substances as potential aids to spiritual attainment, there is no evidence that he advocated the use of hashish, or any other substance, as a substitute for hard work and discipline in a spiritual practice.

Each book is bound by hand in a Japanese style binding and measures a large-sized 8 1/2” x 11″. 97 pages. Printed in red and black on high quality 70 pound text weight, acid-free Via paper specifically chosen for this edition. Bound in an acid-free, glued-up composition cover consisting of a distressed brown faux leather over custom printed endpapers. Text set in a combination of Malgun Gothic, Bookman Old Style and Copperplate Gothic fonts. Illustrations include 20 vintage graphics of interpretations of “Alice and the Caterpillar” based on Lewis Carroll’s classic novel “Alice in Wonderland”.

As an added bonus, each book comes with a hand-bound copy of Crowley’s ‘The Opium Smoker.’

Each copy also includes a handsome themed bookplate and bookmark.

Edition limited to 150 numbered copies. Price: US $19.95 [via]

Drudgery Divine

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Drudgery Divine: On the Comparison of Early Christianities and the Religions of Late Antiquity by Jonathan Z Smith.

Jonathan Z Smith Drudgery Divine

This fairly slim book consists of five lecture texts:

˙ “On the Origin of Origins” begins the discussion, using the Jefferson-Adams correspondence on religious topics as a point of departure. It also orients around the writings of Priestly and Dupuis, and pinpoints the question of Christian origins in “Protestant anti-Catholic apologetics.”

˙ “On Comparison” is a largely methodological piece, that incisively outlines the gambits of uniqueness and genealogy that have served the agendas of Protestant polemic and Christian supremacism in previous work on the topic.

˙ “On Comparing Words” discusses the philological arguments to date, and their subservience to theological efforts. Quite happily for me, Smith chose to use the term mysterion for illustrative purposes throughout this section. Among other things, I learned about the ancient Greek pun attributed by Athenaios to Dionysos Tyrannos: mysterion = mus terein, “mouseholes!” (p. 56 n)

˙ “On Comparing Stories” has a quick survey of “pagan Christs” literature, before focusing in on Frazer’s ‘dying and rising’ god motif, and its application to Christianity in the work of Pfleiderer; then a discussion of the problems of data for historically-oriented comparisons.

˙ “On Comparing Settings” applies all of the foregoing to the question of comparing early Christianities (note the significant plural!) to other religions of antiquity, also bringing in Smith’s locative/utopian distinction. Smith’s confessed appreciation for and dependence on the Christian origins work of Burton Mack is clearest in this section.

Smith writes, “The Protestant hegemony over the enterprise of comparing the religions of Late Antiquity and early Christianities has been an affair of mythic conception and ritual practice from the outset.” Aleister Crowley’s Gospel According to St. Bernard Shaw (a.k.a. Jesus sub figura 888) still deserves that same valuation, despite its opposition to the Protestant hegemony, as he was fighting fire with fire. It was not “a thorough revaluation of the purposes of comparison” in service to “the scholarly imagination of religion,” as Smith would prefer. But Crowley’s tack adds an additional dimension to the history of the enterprise, and for those who wish to soldier on in the mythic and ritual battlefields, Smith’s book is a stone that will sharpen any sword that can hold the edge. [via]