Hayiel is from the album Shem 9.

My name is Marc, I first encountered esoteric ideas when I was 15 years old in a book called The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish, It was not until I was 17 that I was introduced to the ideas in the Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley (especially The Tarot and Animism) . I am now 45 and have related to various esoterica through music, art and personal practice during the intervening time. From Psychic TV and Coil to The shamen and Goa Trance via Throbbing gristle and everything in the Rave scene from the late eighties onwards. It seems impossible to fill this space with all my influences from the world of musick.

My process to create starts with words, I use keywords and expressions around an intention and cut up the ideas until they give birth to something that intuitively feels correct. I then paint the assemblage of language into a montage of symbolic images and colours. After this I charge the image through acoustic percussion and mantra (traditional or otherwise). Once I have obtained communication with my project and entered into a contract with it I move to my PC maintaining the state of trance and interaction in order to assemble a sonic tapestry of samples and sounds that reflect or are guided and informed to be representations of my communion with my work, I then edit and restructure. (Though not always) The sound has to be a reality of the contract/contact those are the terms and conditions.

I compose sound under three names Wolven Angel (Inspired by T.A.Z), M.A.R. and Children of Osiris, These personas/conditions/constructs serve different attitudes of purpose in order to guide certain aspects of my projects. Each set of conditions forms a set of temporary expressions recorded.

Follow Children of Osiris via
Anthology Profile

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii

I don’t want to be high any more or again, and this sends me into a spiral of misery, life seems completely empty if this magic world is too painful for me. I want to die and I have infinite terror of the pain of every form of death. I see emptiness and hopelessness everywhere.

Mary Sativa, Acid Temple Ball [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Sativa Acid Temple Ball dont want be high spiral misery life empty magic world too painful infinite terror death emptiness hopelessness everywhere



Swansong was the result of a meditation whilst watching swans in Norfolk. It has no ritual purpose, but I have sometimes used it as an aid to a certain state of relaxed awareness. It was recorded live on an electric guitar sent through a Digitek Digital Signal Processor, set to 1.8 seconds delay. So far as I can remember, it was recorded sometime in 1996.

Recorded in mono and at 44.1kHz.

Music is the auditory manifestation of something much bigger, something Other, the true nature of which is impossible to divine from its appearance on this plane as a feeble morse-code of pitch and duration. Too huge to hear, constrained by the limits of language, it is trying to say much more than our current vocabulary allows. My development as a practitioner has led me to use Music as a Gnostic tool with which to divine its true nature – the Secret Identity of Music – an ongoing task for over thirty years.

Follow David Hunger via
Anthology Profile

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii

The People of the Black Circle

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The People of the Black Circle [Amazon, Local Library] by Robert E Howard, ed Karl Edward Wagner.

Howard Wagner The People of the Black Circle

This particular The People of the Black Circle — several different Conan books bear the name — is a collection of four of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories from his heyday as a Weird Tales author (1934-35). It is part of the late-70s “Authorized” edition under the supervision of Karl Wagner, who conformed the texts to their pulp-era first issuance (with minimal typographical corrections), and sequenced them in publication order. The book jumped to the front of my reading queue as an antidote to the rather weak 2011 Conan movie, and so some of my remarks here will be inflected with mildly irrelevant cinematic concerns.

“The Devil in Iron” is the first of the stories here, and of its six sections, Conan is only present for the final three. (He is mentioned in the second, but does not actually appear in its action.) The character motivation is not too deep: Conan’s enemies correctly surmise that he can be baited with a beautiful girl. The complication and climax are provided by the age-old evil that the reader encounters before any mention of the critical human players. The weird element is in respectable relief here, in the form of the spectrally-rebuilt city on the deserted island of Xapur, as well as the reanimated villain.

It would be simplicity itself to get a good screenplay out of “The People of the Black Circle,” the tale which lends its name to the whole book. It’s got just about the right character distribution and plot complication for a feature film, already being in that middle zone between the short story that needs to be padded out and the novel that needs to be cut down to movie size. It has a nice two-tiered villain system, plenty of sorcery, and a clever resolution of the tension between Conan and the Devi (princess). To be really faithful to Howard’s vision on this one, though, it should be shot in Nepal!

“A Witch Shall Be Born” is one of the most memorable and remembered Conan stories — even for people who haven’t read it, since the crucifixion of Conan in the 1982 Milius movie was derived from this tale. As Wagner notes in his critical afterword, Howard really pulls out the stops here, using a variety of perspectives and literary forms to condense a long narrative into pivotal episodes and embedded synopses. There is a strangely biblical air to the story: not only does Conan get crucified, but the name of the titular witch is Salome, and Howard strongly implies that she is the remote ancestress of her namesake in the court of Herod.

Wagner judges “The Jewels of Gwahlur” to be the least of the four stories in this volume, and I concur. Still, it is a fun and exciting read, with some real mystery and a good deal of tension. And I had to laugh out loud when reading Howard’s explanation: “Conan was basically a direct-actionist.” (177)

Wagner’s apparatus (a foreword and an afterword) is thoughtful and unintrusive. This volume was perfect for the task I had set for it: to tare my scale as a Conan fan after a few too many pastiches and clumsy adaptations.

Even though tourists appear to be physically present in Nature or Culture, in effect one might call them ghosts haunting ruins, lacking all bodily presence. They’re not really there, but rather move through a mind­-scape, an abstraction («Nature», «Culture»), collecting images rather than experience. All too frequently their vacations are taken in the midst of other peoples’ misery and even add to that misery.

Hakim Bey, Overcoming Tourism

 Hermetic quote Bey Overcoming Tourism tourists nature culture ghost haunting ruins mind scape abstraction collecting images rather than experience vacations add misery

Mirror Moon Ascending

Mirror Moon Ascending [Yukito Okazaki Re-Mix] (月鏡)
[Written and Arranged by S. Shah/Y. Yasui/Chihiro]

Blasting Rod:
S. Shah スティーブン: guitar/voice/percussion/☿
Yoshihiro Yasui 安井義博: bass guitar/percussion/☿
Chihiro: drums/percussion/♂

Additional Musicians:
Mark Hardy: keyboards

Produced by S. Shah
Executive Producer: Chihiro

Recorded by
Yoshikazu “Dabo” Tanaka for Paradise Kappa
Norihiro Nakamura at Studio Dubreel,
Mark Hardy on Pope John Paul II Drive, Chicago

Mixed and Mastered by Yukito Okazaki at Studio Zen

Shah initiated the work of Blasting Rod in July 2006 e.v., keeping the project active as an improvised collective until it settled into a power trio performing pre-written compositions in 2013 e.v. Three years later Chihiro was consecrated as The Office of Babalon with Shah at the Feast of the Gods, and Blasting Rod’s first limited edition CD was released on their own Low&Slow.Disk label. In 2018 e.v. bassist Yoshihiro Yasui (Crocodile Bambie/Outrage) replaced Shunji Miyoshi who departed to join Japanese metal stalwarts, Crowley. A live CD titled Blasting Rod II was released in the summer of V iv. The group’s first LP, in collaboration with southern California label Glory or Death Records, was released late in Vv. Work is currently underway on a new album projected for release sometime during the year Vvii. Tracks for The Hermetic Library’s Magick, Music, and Ritual 16 have been specially mixed and mastered by Yukito Okazaki (Eternal Elysium) at Studio Zen, Nagoya, Japan from recordings made during sessions for the upcoming album and are heard for the first time on this anthology.

Follow Blasting Rod via
Anthology Profile

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii

Lord of the World

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Lord of the World [Amazon, Bookshop, Gutenberg, Publisher, Local Library] by Robert Hugh Benson.

 Benson Lord of the World

The 1907 novel Lord of the World was reissued by an American Catholic press in 2016 in response to a repeated approbation of the book by Pope Francis, who claimed that it illustrated what he called the threat of “ideological colonization” (ix-x). It has also been held up as a seminal example of dystopian science fiction, and was certainly in part written as a rejoinder to the political imaginings of H.G. Wells.

As “science” fiction, this book does not impress. Propeller-driven aircraft (“volors”) allow for travel from London to Rome in twelve hours’ time and for aerial bombardment. The story anticipates for the early 21st century the “perfection” of telegraphy (252)–but the existence of neither radio nor telephony, let alone television. A cutting-edge means of mass communication is the widespread posting of placards in urban nodes for mass transit. A simple respiratory device for euthanasia has been developed and legitimized both for eugenics and suicide. Along with a peculiar emphasis on rubber carpets, those pretty much exhaust the technological innovation forecast in this book.

Author Robert Hugh Benson’s speculative political history of the 20th century is mostly set forth in a prologue which he himself calls “tiresome” and advises the reader to skip if one is more interested in narrative than exposition. It charts the appearance of Communist governments by democratic means throughout the industrialized Western countries. Nation-states have become consolidated into three great alliances (America, Europe, and the Eastern Empire), which in the course of the novel become departments of the one-world government under the charismatic diplomat-cum-global-sovereign Julian Felsenburgh. The dispossessed royalty of Europe have rallied around Catholic Rome, both ideologically and physically.

Casting the remarks by Pope Francis in a somewhat ironic light, the actual economic and military colonization wrought by 19th-century imperialism goes absolutely unquestioned by Benson; Africa has been subject to a “peaceful partition” (131) among its dominators, and every individual character that appears in the book is white as can be. Even the theoretically significant Eastern powers are abstracted and offstage.

The secular religion promoted by Felsenburgh is called “Humanitarianism,” and it predictably becomes an oppressive and persecuting force. “It is Pantheism; it is developing a ritual under Freemasonry; it has a creed, ‘God is Man,’ and the rest” (10). Judaism has evidently vanished without a trace, and Islam has been prepared for its assimilation to the global cult by becoming “esoteric” (272) through the leaven of Sufism. Protestantism has ultimately dissolved as “nothing more than a little sentiment” (5). Everyone knows that Christianity is stupid.

Although Benson imagined that Catholic organization and administration would be centralized and simplified during a secularizing 20th century, he did not foresee major liturgical reforms, such as those undertaken by the Second Vatican Council. In a telling inversion of the actual turn of Catholicism to a diversity of popular languages, he has even the Catholic laity take up the use of Latin in ordinary speech. This they do in resistance to the invidious Esperanto fostered by international Communism, which has become an official language even in the English government.

Benson was the son of an Archbishop of Canterbury, who ordained him to the Anglican priesthood. He converted to Catholicism a few years after his father’s death, and became a Catholic priest in 1904. He plays with a quasi-autobiographical trope of celebrity conversion in the first section of the novel, where the mother of a prominent English Communist politician converts to Catholicism.

It is easy to conjecture that Benson’s novel might have influenced Charles Williams’ All Hallow’s Eve, which I read last month. But where Williams’ aspiring antichrist never quite attains to the office of “Lord of the World,” Felsenburgh sees his career through to a final battle at Armageddon. This finale–much like the one in Williams’ War in Heaven–leverages a liturgical rhapsody to adumbrate a spiritual victory. The amillenial outcome is a refreshing counterpoint to the premillennialist Left Behind Apocalypse fantasies that littered bookshelves in the actual year 2007!

I am puzzled by the insistence of 21st-century Catholics that Benson’s “prophetic” novel is obviously relevant to our current world situation, which is characterized by nationalist fragmentation and rightward political drift far more than the democracy and liberal humanitarianism that Benson found so frightful. And of course he completely misses anything like the surveillance capitalism and ecocide that are the real engines of our existing dystopia. Nevertheless, the novel is interesting as a peculiar development of the species of fin de siècle Catholic paranoia cultivated and exploited by Gabriel Jogand (the notorious “Leo Taxil”), and the fact that it still has the attention of readers after the date to which it assigned the eschaton testifies in its favor. The individual characterizations are effective; Felsenburgh is not a viewpoint character, and the interior treatment of both Christians and Communists is managed with a fair amount of sympathy. I found it a surprisingly fast read.

For I must pass
Desolate into the dusk of things again,
Having risen so far to fall to the abyss,
Deeper for exaltation; I must go
Wailing and naked into the inane
Cavernous shrineless place of misery,
Forgetful, hateful, impotent, except
The last initiation seize my soul,
And fling me into Isis’ very self,
The immortal, mortal.

Aleister Crowley, The Fatal Force

Hermetic quote Crowley The Fatal Force pass desolate dusk fall abyss deeper exaltation wailing naked cavernous shrineless misery initiation soul Isis immortal mortal

Magick, Music and Ritual 16 cover artwork

Our cover includes art by P Emerson Williams, which was developed alongside the tracks by Choronzon, for this current year in the Thelemic Calendar, An V:vii (2021 e.v.), which represents the docosade of Atu V, the Hierophant and the year of Atu VII, The Chariot. We also have a total of three alternative covers, included with the album download at Bandcamp, that features additional artwork by P Emerson Williams.

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii


There are also three alternate covers, included in the digital download, all with artwork by P Emerson Williams.

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii, alternate cover 1

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii, alternate cover 2

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii, alternate cover 3


P. Emerson Williams is a multi-media artist who tests the boundaries between music, art, writing, video and performance of many kinds. He is also the driving force behind Choronzon and Veil Of Thorns, and is half of the core duo behind kkoagulaa. More people listen to the sounds of P. Emerson Williams every day than realize it. The work of P. Emerson Williams takes physical and digital media, genres and modes of performance to strange realms. With Choronzon, Williams straddles the worlds of industrial music and black metal, with Veil of Thorns, electronic dance to dark Americana to pure goth and as a solo artist he blurs the distinction between electronic ambient and stark and strange folk. P. Emerson Williams can often be found adding elements of his sonic alchemy as a spice to projects with Sleep Chamber, Manes and more extensively as half of the creative core of kkoagulaa with cern.th.skei from Manes. Other recent collaborations include playing cello on UK black metal band Ethernal’s latest album, a release with Mark Cunningham and subverting the nature of guitar playing with industrial noise merchants Dead Skull. Audiences got to witness P. Emerson Williams on guitar and vocals with Jarboe in a tour that took them through the US, Western and Eastern Europe and wrapped up in Moscow in 2013 and again in 2016 when an invitation from DARK MOFO brought Jarboe and P. Emerson Williams to Hobart, Tasmania for a special performance on a night that included JG Thirlwell and Chelsea Wolfe.

As a core member of UK theatrical company FoolishPeople, P. Emerson Williams took on many aspects of London productions of The Basement – Ward 12 – in partnership with Secret Cinema, The Providence Experiments – co-produced with Mythos Media, A Red Threatening Sky, The Abattoir Pages – presented with Guerilla Zoo, Cirxus which was produced in collaboration with Arcola Theatre and Terra:Extremitas, performed at Amsterdam’s NDSM-werf. These roles included creating a score for choreographer Johan Stjernholm as part of the production A Red Threatening Sky and a solo musical performance at the famed Horse Hospital in London, the creation of soundscapes, sound design, and scores for every production on which he worked, as well as set and graphic design. On top of all this, Williams was in the cast as both voice and live actor as characters ranging from the demon Choronzon to a half dozen members of a Manchester United message board for the audio production of Forum.

P. Emerson Williams is the host of the Necrofuturist Transmission on Nottingham’s Nightbreed Radio, was the editor and producer for Music Tuesdays on Alterati.com, and art director for Weaponized , the publishing imprint of FoolishPeople. Articles and music reviews by P. Emerson Williams can be read online at Terrorizer.com, Modern Mythology, Disinfo.com and Intravenous Magazine. The visual art pf P. Emerson Williams has graced book covers and interiors for Original Falcon, Weaponized, Night Horse Publishing and Westgate Press, the pages of magazines including Lovecraft eZine, Lackington’s Magazine, Shoreline of Infinity, Diodati, Morpheus Tales, Culture Asylum, Isten ‘zine, Ghastly, and Esoterra , album and CD covers for Rat King, Primordial, Katatonia, SLEEP CHAMBER, Veil of Thorns, Choronzon and kkoagulaa.

P. Emerson Williams illustrated Bedlam Stories – The Battle for Oz and Wonderland Begins, a novel set in the universe of Bedlam Stories, a twisted world of horror created by cult film director Pearry Teo (The Gene Generation, Necromentia, Witchville).

“Given P. Emerson Williams extensive track record of cross-medium and genre art over the past thirty years, it is likely he will become an underground legend. This may have occurred already, yet given his reclusiveness, it’s unlikely he would notice.”—James Curcio, author of Fallen Nation, Join My Cult and The Immanence of Myth

Follow P Emerson Williams via
Anthology Profile