Tag Archives: jack parsons

Songs for the Witch Woman

Songs for the Witch Woman by John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons and Marjorie Cameron, with commentaries by William Breeze, George Pendle and Margaret Haines, from Fulgur, is due to release on March 17th, 2014, in limited hardback and even more limited, 156 hand-numbered, deluxe editions, which will be of interest.

John Whiteside 'Jack' Parsons Marjorie Cameron Songs for the Witch Woman from Fulgur Esoterica UK

“There are few modern love stories as passionate and poignant as the relationship between rocket scientist Jack Parsons and his artist lover, Marjorie Cameron. At once a muse, occult student and primal force of nature — a woman he proclaimed as his ‘elemental’ in a letter to Aleister Crowley — Cameron fascinated, troubled and inspired Parsons.

Songs for the Witch Woman is a project born from this turbulent love story. A series of poems written by Parsons reveal his feelings toward his often absent lover. And beside these words are images from the hand of Cameron, illustrating and echoing the intimate themes.

After Parsons’ tragic death in June 1952 we find the notebook in which this work was recorded continues, as a bereaved Cameron keeps a diary of her magical working in Lamb Canyon, California. In the dark desert her words become a raw lament as she attempts to gain contact with her Holy Guardian Angel. And throughout the working, the memory of Jack is never far from her mind.

Now published more than sixty years after it was written, Songs for the Witch Woman stands as a testament to lasting power of love and loss.

This book represents a creative collaboration between two of the most important names in 20th century occultism. It includes:
· The poems, drawings and diary entries published together for the first time.
· A facsimile of the original 1950s notebook with text by Parsons and illustrations by Cameron.
· The texts have also been corrected and typeset alongside a second suite of pen and ink drawings that Cameron produced for the work after 1952.
· Contextual commentaries from William Breeze, George Pendle and Margaret Haines.” [via]

Weiser Antiquarian new arrivals, including a Book of the Law from 1938

Weiser Antiquarian Books has posted a number of new arrivals, including a Book of the Law privately issued by O.T.O. in London from 1938, as well as other items of interest such as A E Koetting’s The Book of Azazel, Alexander Winfield Dray’s Nox Infernus and Liber Obsidian Obscura, Sabbatica compiled by Edgar Kerval, Liber Nigri Solis edited by Victor Voronov, Michael Cecchetelli’s Crossed Keys, Nigel Pennick’s The Toadman, and a number of Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Jack Parsons, Kenneth Grant, Austin Osman Spare, and Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn related works as well as others of probable interest.

Omnium Gatherum: Feb 12th, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together …

David Richard Jones The Circumference and the Hieroglyphic Monad
Hermetic Library fellow David Richard JonesThe Circumference and the Hieroglyphic Monad, part III of his In Operibus Sigillo Dei Aemeth, and is based on an observation by Clay Holden, of The John Dee Publication Project, that “the geometry of the Monad as analyzed and expected in Theorem XXIII when applied to a circle subdivides the circumference of a circle into seven equal divisions with almost perfect elegance.”

 

  • Lon Milo DuQuette’s “I’m Scared” is a new political single.

  • Aleister Crowley’s invocation to coffee, recorded in his diaries, was recently a randomly popular old post.

    “O coffee! By the mighty Name of Power do I invoke thee, consecrating thee to the Service of the Magic of Light. Let the pulsations of my heart be strong and regular and slow! Let my brain be wakeful and active in its supreme task of self-control! That my desired end may be effected through Thy strength, Adonai, unto Whom be the Glory for ever! Amen without lie, and Amen, and Amen of Amen.”

  • Earliest footprints outside Africa discovered in Norfolk” — Pallab Ghosh, BBC News; from the wonder-what-the-sea-washed-away-the-other-291999999-days-we-weren’t-watching dept.

    “The footprints are more than 800,000 years old and were found on the shores of Happisburgh. … The sea has now washed away the prints – but not before they were recorded”

  • Lake of beer prayer attributed to St Brigid, via T Thorn Coyle; from the has-Ra-finally-gotten-Sekhmet-to-chill-out-yet dept.

    “I’d sit with the men, the women of God
    There by the lake of beer.
    We’d be drinking good health forever
    And every drop would be a prayer.”

  • Archaeologists Have Found the Oldest Roman Temple” — Alice Robb, New Republic; from the exploring-ancient-temples-hidden-under-watery-depths-in-spite-of-Lovecraft dept.

    “Archaeologists have long suspected that the oldest Roman temple lay at the foot of the legendary Capitoline Hill, but it’s only recently that they’ve managed to excavate the waterlogged Sant’Omobono site with modern techniques.

    ‘The temple’s much more interesting than anybody expected,’ said Albert Ammerman, an archaeologist at Colgate University who worked on the dig. ‘It’s beautiful down there.’”

  • Mysteria Misc. Maxima: February 7th, 2014” — Sarah Veale, Invocatio blog; from the πάντα-ῥεῖ dept.

    “This will be the last MMM for the foreseeable future. … So please join me in bidding a fond adieu to the MMM and enjoy this final link round-up…”

  • On the Arbitrary Appellation of Magic in Antiquity” — Sarah Veale, Invocatio; from the i-am-large-i-contain-multitudes dept.

    “While a good definition suggests that magical practices are rites and rituals that exist on the margins of cultural norms (Dickie, 38), the point is that, when we look at the evidence, what is labelled magic is a moving target. The label stays the same, but the content changes depending on the situation at hand. The label is not so much about the practices themselves, but rather about the status of those practices.”

  • The Ritual of the Duck” — Sarah Anne Lawless; from the together-with-all-the-appurtenances-thereto dept.

    “Yesterday I made Aves Flying Ointment. A recipe I created a couple of years ago combining the traditional herbs with the more grisly shapeshifting ingredients of bird fat, bird bone dust, and feather ashes.”

  • Tveir Hrafnar: Sorcery in Silver” — Sarah Anne Lawless; from the my-precious dept.

    SAL: Your work is a wonderful rarity in that it caters to occultists, sorcerers, and traditional witches who most jewelers ignore in favour of the much bigger market of neopagans. Was this intentional or were you simply following your influences and passions?
    AW: Mostly following my passions and influences. I am self centered in my art and would rather make what speaks to me than what I think the market would buy. It’s a ‘go for what you know’ kind of thing. Hopefully there are enough folks out there with similar aesthetics and interests to keep things rolling.”

  • Read Sappho’s ‘new’ poem” — Tim Whitmarsh, The Guardian; from the he-said-she-said dept

    “They whose fortune the king of Olympus wishes
    Now to turn from trouble
    to [ … ] are blessed
    and lucky beyond compare.”

  • A New Sapphic Poem ~ Wading into the Morass” — David Meadows, rogueclassicism; from the he-said-she-maybe-said dept.

    “In case you haven’t heard, Dirk Obbink has recently announced the discovery/publication of two ‘new’ poems by Sappho and they’re causing quite the flurry of activity on blogospheres (as you may have already seen), twitterspheres (ditto), and no doubt, in private emails and departmental coffee lounges around the world.”

  • Charlemagne’s bones are (probably) real” — The Local; from the dem-dry-bones dept.

    “Researchers confirmed on Wednesday evening — 1,200 years to the day since Charlemagne died — that the 94 bones and bone fragments taken from the supposed resting place of the King of the Franks and founder of what was to become the Holy Roman Empire came from a tall, thin, older man.”

  • Charlemagne’s bones found in his coffin” — The History Blog; from the in-the-last-place-you-looked dept.

    “That may seem obvious, but given how often he was exhumed and reburied and parts of him given away as relics, it’s actually quite notable that the collection of bones in the Karlsschrein, the Shrine of Charlemagne, and other reliquaries in the Aachen Cathedral all appear to come from the same person who matches contemporary descriptions of the Frankish king.”

  • Babylonian Tale of Round Ark Draws Ire From Christian Circles” — Alan Boyle, NBC News; from the ark-you-glad-you-to-see-me-or-is-that-a-clay-tablet-in-your-pocket dept.

    “A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia is putting a new spin on the biblical tale of the flood and Noah’s Ark — and that’s causing consternation among some Christian fundamentalists.”

  • Hermetic Library anthology artist Arthur Loves Plastic‘s new Get Happy.

  • Cranky Roman Guy on The Golden Globes; from the plus-ça-change-plus-c’est-la-même-chose dept.

    “If you doubted that this is the age of Discord reigning supreme, you have an annual rite in which you give #GoldenGlobes to beautiful women.”

  • A Preliminary Analysis of the Botany, Zoology, and Mineralogy of the Voynich Manuscript” — A O Tucker et al.; from the-effect-of-gamma-rays-on-man-in-the-moon-marigolds dept.

    “We note that the style of the drawings in the Voynich Ms. is similar to 16th century codices from Mexico (e.g., Codex Cruz-Badianus). With this prompt, we have identified a total of 37 of the 303 plants illustrated in the Voynich Ms. (roughly 12.5% of the total), the six principal animals, and the single illustrated mineral. The primary geographical distribution of these materials, identified so far, is from Texas, west to California, south to Nicaragua, pointing to a botanic garden in central Mexico, quite possibly Huaztepec (Morelos). A search of surviving codices and manuscripts from Nueva España in the 16th century, reveals the calligraphy of the Voynich Ms. to be similar to the Codex Osuna (1563-1566, Mexico City). Loan-words for the plant and animal names have been identified from Classical Nahuatl, Spanish, Taino, and Mixtec. The main text, however, seems to be in an extinct dialect of Nahuatl from central Mexico, possibly Morelos or Puebla.”

  • Norse Rune code cracked” — Medievalists.net; about “Ráð þat, If You Can!” — K Jonas Norby; from the missed-it-missed-it dept.

    “‘It’s like solving a puzzle,’ said Nordby to the Norwegian website forskning.no. ‘Gradually I began to see a pattern in what was apparently meaningless combinations of runes.’

    However, those thinking that the coded runes will reveal deep secrets of the Norse will be disappointed. The messages found so far seem to be either used in learning or have a playful tone. In one case the message was ‘Kiss me’. Nordby explains ‘We have little reason to believe that rune codes should hide sensitive messages, people often wrote short everyday messages.’

    In many instances those who wrote the coded runes also left comments urging the readers to try to figure it out. Sometimes they would also boast of their abilities at writing the codes.”

  • O D fuckin abbot.” — Medium Ævum; from the orking-cows dept.

    O D fuckin abbot

  • Hollywood Calls” — Feral House; from the your-name-will-go-up-in-bright-lights dept.

    “Since we’re in Hollywood we’ve signed an option agreement for a Sundance Channel television series based on the Feral House book, Sex and Rockets, about the occult rocket scientist Jack Parsons.”

  • The end of Yeats: work and women in his last days in France” — Lara Marlowe, Irish Times; from the speak-before-your-breath-is-done dept.

    “Like his alter ego Cuchulain in the play he had just written, Yeats was dying surrounded by women.”

Babalon Working

This video is a trailer for Brian Butler’s “Babalon Working” posted by MOCAtv. There was a screening on Sept 19th, which means this is a belated mention, but you can be on the lookout for the next showing.

“MOCAtv Presents a Screening and Performance Event by Los Angeles Artist BRIAN BUTLER at MOCA Grand Avenue, September 19th, 2013.

World Premiere of Brian Butler’s Preternatural Odyssey film BABALON WORKING featuring Paz de la Huerta and the performance TRANSMIGRATION.

To occult artist Brian Butler, aesthetics are ‘magick.’ Elevating mystic practices to the status of art—or elevating art to the status of ritual—Butler’s films and performances are themselves Orphic ceremonies and Satanic rites. Pentagrams, triangles, liturgical hoods in red, white, and black, these iconographic shapes and costumes have a sacred as well as aesthetic function. The arresting imagery and trance-inducing editing of his latest short film The Babalon Working: a Shortcut to Initiation are no exception. Butler’s mentor and collaborator Kenneth Anger once compared making a movie to casting a spell. Perhaps this film will make that assertion literal: The Babalon Working was a ritual devised and practiced by occult master Jack Parsons to manifest Babalon, the divine feminine. Watch and wait.”

The Dark Lord

The Dark Lord: H.P. Lovecraft, Kenneth Grant, and the Typhonian Tradition in Magic by Peter Levenda, from Ibis Press, may be of interest.

Peter Levenda The Dark Lord from Ibis Press

“One of the most famous — yet least understood — manifestations of Thelemic thought has been the works of Kenneth Grant, the British occultist and one-time intimate of Aleister Crowley, who discovered a hidden world within the primary source materials of Crowley’s Aeon of Horus. Using complementary texts from such disparate authors as H.P. Lovecraft, Jack Parsons, Austin Osman Spare, and Charles Stansfeld Jones (‘Frater Achad’), Grant formulated a system of magic that expanded upon that delineated in the rituals of the OTO: a system that included elements of Tantra, of Voudon, and in particular that of the Schlangekraft recension of the Necronomicon, all woven together in a dark tapestry of power and illumination.

The Dark Lord follows the themes in the writings of Kenneth Grant, H.P. Lovecraft, and the Necronomicon, uncovering further meanings of the concepts of the famous writers of the Left Hand Path. It is for Thelemites, as well as lovers of the Lovecraft Mythos in all its forms, and for those who find the rituals of classical ceremonial magic inadequate for the New Aeon.

Traveling through the worlds of religion, literature, and the occult, Peter Levenda takes his readers on a deeply fascinating exploration on magic, evil, and The Dark Lord as he investigates of one of the most neglected theses in the history of modern occultism: the nature of the Typhonian Current and its relationship to Aleister Crowley’s Thelema and H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon.” [via]

 

Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus

Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus: History. Magick. Psychedelia. Ufology. by Paul Weston, the 2009 paperback from Avalonian Aeon Publications, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Paul Weston's Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus from Avalonian Aeon Publications

“Whilst ‘dealing with diverse and extraordinary subjects,’ this book focuses particularly on the Beast, and the various individuals, movements and madnesses that have followed on from him. Discussions of Crowley, Thelema, magick, and mysticism lead to explorations of the life and thought of Gerald Gardner, Kenneth Grant, L. Ron Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Jack Parsons, Robert Anton Wilson and others. The author also explores a number of bizarre and sometimes bewildering subjects, from the atom bomb and hallucinogens, to Nazi occultism, UFO’s and ‘the Sirius Mystery’, with various divergences and forays into sixties popular culture, Illuminati, Men in Black, the Church of Satan, the Process Church, Manson murders, the Thule Society, ‘New Aeon English Qabalah’, and the alleged secret United States government research into time travel said to have been conducted at Montauk Air Force Station. One reviewer has not unreasonably likened the work to that of Robert Anton Wilson on account of its scope and sometimes deliberately surreal perspectives.” [via]

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

The Unknown God

The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites by Martin P Starr, from Teitan Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Martin P Starr's The Unknown God from Teitan Press

“The first documentary study of Aleister Crowley’s contemporary followers in North America, told through the life of their de facto leader, Wilfred Talbot Smith (1885-1957). Smith, the unacknowledged offspring of a prominent English family, emigrated to Canada where he met Charles Stansfeld Jones and through him, the works of Aleister Crowley. Although Crowley and Smith met only once, their twenty year correspondence proved to be a major link to the few and the faithful attracted to Crowley’s work in the United States and Canada. Smith’s spiritual life centered first on the initiatic structure of the Order of the A∴A∴, complemented by the emerging fraternal and social schemes of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). Smith followed Jones into a few long-forgotten movements like the Universal Brotherhood and the Psychomagian Society, but he declined membership in C.F. Russell’s Choronzon Club.

To promulgate the Crowleyan teachings, in 1934 Smith incorporated his own ‘Church of Thelema’—known to Los Angeles newspaper readers as the ‘Purple Cult.’ The following year he initiated OTO activity in Los Angeles which attracted its own cast of occult characters. Smith’s life reached a strange conclusion when Crowley, taking a page from Louis Bromfield’s novel, THE STRANGE CASE OF MISS ANNIE SPRAGG, which explored ‘the twin mysteries of love and religion and the confusion that lies between’ and combining it with a reading of Smith’s natal chart, sent him off on a retreat to determine which God he was incarnating. It was a journey from which Frater 132 never returned …

THE UNKNOWN GOD is a fascinating and complex human story, intimately interwoven with the lives of most of Crowley’s disciples in the United States including C.F. Russell, Jane Wolfe, Max R. Schneider, Jack Parsons, Louis T. Culling, Frederic Mellinger and Grady L. McMurtry as well as occult teachers like H. Spencer Lewis (AMORC) Paul Foster Case (BOTA), and Wayne Walker (OM), Hollywood actors such as John Carradine and even the founder of the Mattachine Society, Harry Hay. Students of 19th and 20th century esoteric movements, including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society and the Crowley-derived organizations, will find THE UNKNOWN GOD worth reading.”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.