The Cradle and the Charge

So long as our Masonic Temples stand,

So long as lives the Ancient Order grand,

So long will float the Flag of Freedom’s right

Which was, by them, in time past, brought to Light,


This potent power stands now behind the Flag,

And if so be a hand shall dare to drag

It from its place on Freedom’s starry sky

The Craftsman will demand the “reason why.”


The Flag speaks for the Spirit of the Free,-

The old-time thought of true Fraternity;

And it will live beneath it in the “West”

Forever for that which is noblest, best.


And so we’ll trust in Masonry to be

Four-square for aye to righteous Liberty.

Its Cradle was by them rocked in the past

And they will guard their Charge while time shall last.

—L. B. Mitchell, 1920

Hermetic Library Arts and Letters Mitchell the Cradle and the Charge

Anthology news, 9dec2023

A bundle of early presents for you!

Kim Cascone’s Silent Records just released Citalá, River of Stars by Robin Parmar

PsuedoNovalis has a very limited run of a 80-page book-zine PixArt VIRTUALIA™ on pre-order

PseudoNovalis Pixart Virtualia

Daemonia Nymphe / Spyros Giasafakis released Seikilos Epitaph (feat. Evi Stergiou) “The ‘Seikilos Epitaph’ is the oldest surviving complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. This is our first ever interpretation of this ancient song using only an ‘ancient’ Greek lyre, kymbala (‘ancient’ cymbals) and vocals (female & male) recorded 23 years ago.” “Released for the first time on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and other digital platforms, enjoy!”

Dvar released a video for inni uumi from Madegirah II

Secret Archives of the Vatican released Winter Chalice

By the by, I noticed that National Cynical Network, who was a content partner on my now sadly defunct RADIO @ HRMTC project, can be found, in addition to other places they already were, streaming on Slack Radio weekly each Sunday from 7pm until 2am the next morning. And, if you enjoyed NCN, you might also enjoy other stuff on that web-based radio station, which is Church of the SubGenius related or adjacent.

And, last but not least, if you’re in the Los Angeles area, Blasting Rod will be making their “one and (so far) only North American live appearance” at Redwood Bar and Grill on Jan 6, 2024, with Vie Jester, and Power Falcon. So, go and say hello to them for me!

Hermetic Library Anthology News 9dec2023 Blasting Rod Escape to LA

That’s what you get this time around. Well, okay, I’ll toss in a big lump ‘o coal, just because.

But, of course, be sure to check out the entire anthology project at Hermetic Library, Itch, Bandcamp, and in all the digital streaming and online shops.

Magick Music and Ritual 18 1111px

Heart Girt With A Serpent

Heart Girt With A Serpent by The Gray Field Recordings from Magick, Music and Ritual 18

The Heart Girt With A Serpent

Music by R. Loftiss. Opening lyrics sung in Enochian. Words from the Holy Book of Thelema spoken by Aedria Bright, Soror Sekhet Bast Ra.

Hermetic Library Interview R Loftiss the Gray Field Recordings Knives

Hermetic Library Anthology Artist The Gray Field Recordings

The Gray Field Recordings was formed by R. Loftiss, who creates music with a wide range of instruments … potentially anything that makes a sound. She is world-weary and tired and believes that in the end talking animals will lead us home by the light of the moon.

She has been joined, on albums and live performances, by violist David Salim and violinist Justin Jones. The latest Gray Field Recordings album, “She Sleeps to the Sound of Knives”, features the talents of Alan Trench (Orchis, Twelve Thousand Days, Temple Music) Frank Suchomel (Inalonelyplace, Language of Light), and Mike Seed (The Chasms).

She has appeared on several compilations including Gold Leaf Branches (Foxglove/Digitalis) and Lead into Gold (Rebis Records).

R. has collaborated with a number of artists including Language of Light, Eyes of Wood, Ctephin, Anvil Salute, frogtoboggan, Spagirus, Techix, Inalonelyplace, Cousin Silas, Mike Seed, and Temple Music. Her other bands are, with Alan Trench, The Howling Larsons and from Athens, Greece, Black Lesbian Fishermen.

Follow The Gray Field Recordings via Anthology profile.

Hermetic Library Newsletter #150

very entertaining and getting better every day

Howdy everyone! Here’s a public summary of my activity this week ending December 8, 2023 and reminders about some things upcoming!

The big news, of course, is that I’ve released Magick, Music and Ritual 18, the Anthology Album for 2023! I hope you check it out, and consider following along with all the other work by the artists who participated. I’m now, suddenly, also getting ready now for the last three anthology releases leading up to the library’s 30th birthday anniversary in 2026 …

Like Satan Claws, I’ve made a list, and I’m checking it twice; for an upcoming postal exchange! I’m getting things sorted, but I will be sending things to ongoing supporters with a Merch perk, anyone that’s sent me things, and I’m also going to be mailing out the four books to the winners from November’s Weiser Books giveaway. It’s going to be a lot, and I should be getting it all out in the next week, I hope.

With all the stuff around a new anthology release, I didn’t have as much time to do work on the library site, but I did get some things done; also, the usual Sisyphean work on blog and socials continues …

Other than that, the Library Cats and I continue to check in on Gävlebocken every morning, and, for added spice this year, the expanding labor resistance across Scandanavia against Melon Tusk, which is very entertaining and getting better every day.

Thank you for visiting and being a guest of Hermetic Library. You help me be of service and make the work of the library meaningful. Especial thanks to each and every ongoing Patron on Patreon, Subscriber at Bandcamp, and Member on Ko-Fi for making the work of the library possible!

Continue reading

Space Dreamtime

Space Dreamtime by Kevlar Nuckler from Magick, Music and Ritual 18

Space Dreamtime

A synth bathed spacey ambient guitar instrumental with a beat.

Hermetic Library Anthology Artist Kevlar Nuckler

Kevlar Nuckler is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer known mostly for his guitar work and vocals in Mars Cantina and Ophwurld and bass and vocals with George Orwell Experience. This is his solo recording project.

Follow Kevlar Nuckler via Anthology profile.

Magick Music and Ritual 18 1111px

Death Metal Music

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Death Metal Music: The Passion and Politics of a Subculture [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Natalie J Purcell, part of the Studies in Heavy Metal Music & Culture series.

Purcell Death Metal Music

It is not clear to me why I received this 2003 book as a reviewer copy in 2012, other than that I requested it when it was offered (May 2012). Is it possible that the author’s 2012 book from Routledge (Violence and the Pornographic Imaginary) occasioned some sort of rerelease or even reprint by McFarland? In any case, this book’s quite evident effort to be up-to-date is now nearly a decade stale, and the political conflicts that it seeks to address — centered on the PMRC and Congressional culture scolds of the turn-of-the-millennium — have receded well into the background today. 

Author Purcell was apparently quite young when she wrote this book, which collects and reflects on research that she undertook as a political science student at Seton Hall University. Unfortunately, one effect of her immaturity as a writer appears to have been an overextension of her vocabulary. This book badly needed a proofreader to set Purcell straight when she used devious for deviant, propound for propose, attained for obtained, reactionary for reactive, reputed for reputable, ascribe for subscribe, emasculated for masculinized, evasive for invasive, etc. She also has some dismaying errors of incidental fact, such as characterizing H.P. Lovecraft as a “nineteenth-century author” (40).

Despite some self-criticism regarding her survey methods and the limitations of her study population sample, there’s little methodological reflection here. The methods used are predominantly sociological, but Purcell prudently cautions the reader that the small sample size and ad hoc collection methods limit the generalizations that can be drawn from her own conclusions. Some awareness of latter-day anthropological observation techniques would have been useful to her in this project. What she is most concerned to establish, and for which her method is adequate, is valid doubt of existing generalizations offered by politicians and critics whose own study of the subculture was unquestionably less thorough. 

I appreciated the assortment of pictures in the book, showing musicians and fans. The extensive comparison of death metal with horror cinema in the final chapter was a useful and effective choice. But I would also have been interested in more substantial comparisons with other musical subcultures; Purcell offers only the briefest nods to rap and country music as possible comparanda. She claims believably to have exhausted existing literature on death metal only in the political science field. There were certainly relevant works of music criticism and cultural studies that she overlooked, such as Robert Walser’s Running with the Devil (1993).

Still, I found the read fairly enjoyable. In an epilogue “Personal Reflections on Death Metal,” Purcell opens herself to the charge of being an apologist for the subculture, by confessing her sympathy for it, developed during the course of her study, but germinally having inspired the research in the first place. I find such “reflexivity” in scholarship to be praiseworthy. And, quibbles aside, I tend to agree with her conclusions, from my own anecdotally-formed perspective.

Circles of Stone

Circles of Stone: Weird Tales of Pagan Sites and Ancient Rites [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library], ed Katy Soar, part of the extensive British Library’s Tales of the Weird series, which is available as a subscription.

Soar Circles of Stone

“In the wood the grey stone rose from the grass, and she cried out and ran back in panicked terror. ‘What a silly little girl,’ the nurse had said. ‘It’s only the… stone.’

Standing stones, stone circles, tumps, barrows and ancient clearings still remain across the British Isles, and though their specific significance may be obscured by the passing of time, their strange allure and mysterious energy persist in our collective consciousness.

Assembled here in tribute to these relics of a lost age are accounts of terrifying spirits haunting Stonehenge itself, stories of awful fates for those who impose modernity on the sacred sites and grim tales in which unwitting trespassers into the eternal rites of pagan worship find themselves part of an enduring legacy of blood. To represent the breadth of the sub-genre, authors include Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood and Rosalie Muspratt alongside lesser-known writers from the periodicals and journals of the British Library collections.”

Amy Denio’s Raven Waltz is musical sigilization

Check out Raven Waltz by Amy Denio, a website soundtrack, commissioned by Raven Chronicles Press, which was composed from a kind of musical sigilization technique.

“This composition is based on my musical alphabet, in which each letter is assigned a specific tone. First I come up with a title, then write down what tones those letters spell. The tones can be bass notes, represent chords, or whatever might work to make the tone row musical.

RAVEN spells these notes/chords:
C# / A F# / E / G.
The accordion melody came to me while folding laundry.”

Denio Raven Waltz