Three thousand years have rolled away upon the tide of time

Since Masonry began her march of noble deeds sublime;

And though the angry showers of war have swept the earth with fire,

Her temple stands unscathed, unhurt, with sunlight on its spire.

Ten thousand widows in their words have blessed her advent here,

And many a homeless orphan’s heart has owned her tender care,

Full many a frail and erring son to dissipation given

Has heard her warning voice and turned his wayward thoughts to heaven.

Long may her beauteous temple stand to light this darkened sphere,

To gild the gloom of error’s night and dry the falling tear.

And when the final winds of time shall sweep this reeling ball,

Oh, may its glittering spires be the last on earth to fall!

—James Alston Cabell, 1922

Hermetic Library Arts and Letters Cabell Masonry

Hermetic Library Newsletter #149

This year’s War on Christmas is an Act of God

It’s the anniversary of Crowley’s Greater Feast today! So, I posted that meme I was workshopping. It’s also Bandcamp Friday, but if you get music there you’ll already have heard about that from the deluge of email. Today was also the day I randomly selected winners for the Weiser Books giveaway, and I’ll be getting those shipped out at the next postal mailing. Hey, I’d better start getting that sorted, eh? By the way, in just a couple days, Magick, Music and Ritual 18 will release! And, on the same day as MMR18 releases, this year’s Gävleboken is prepared for either sacrifice or survival … who knows which?!

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!

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Hermetic Library Meme Crowleymas in This House We Celebrate Phallus Navidad

(What idiot called it “Crowleymas” instead of “Phallus Navidad”? Also, yes, I know, Crowley’s Lesser Feast, sometimes called “Crowleymas”, is actually in October … but today’s Crowley’s Greater Feast, and I’ve seen people blur them, and thought of this, so … let’s just enjoy things. Only now I’ve basically explained my joke, so my dad joke is now dead too. A dead dad joke, if thou wilt. Sorry, dad is dead, is what I’m saying. I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell you.)

Pyramid Primer #1

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Pyramid Primer #1 by Andrew Looney. This is no longer in print, and is related to a previous edition of the Looney Pyramids, but the contents can be found at Guide to Looney Pyramids on the Looney Labs site. Check out Pyramid Arcade (which was just, at the time of this post, recently reprinted and restocked) and other Looney Pyramid games.

Looney Labs Pyramid Primer 1

The #1 after Pyramid Primer indicates the Looney Labs aspiration to make this volume of Looney Pyramid game rules the first of a series in this glossy magazine format. It succeeds the earlier rules volume Playing with Pyramids, with surprisingly little overlap in content. (It does, however, entirely obsolete the intermediate 3House rules collection). Pyramid Primer uses the “IceSheet” format and rules style that has been developed in recent years to highlight the variety of games playable with Looney Pyramids (f.k.a. Icehouse pieces). 

Here is a point-by-point comparison of the contents with those of the out-of-print Playing with Pyramids: The first Primer has full sets of rules for thirteen different games, compared to twelve in PwP. Martian Chess, Ice Towers, Icehouse, and Homeworlds are holdovers from the earlier volume. The Tarot-based Gnostica (my very favorite Pyramid game) has been replaced with Zark City, a shorter (and still excellent) game that uses a standard playing-card deck. Volcano has given way to Caldera, a redevelopment that uses one more set of pyramids than its predecessor. Otherwise, the older games are rightfully discarded, with the key exceptions of Zendo (an elegant classic that could take up a 32-page Primer of its own with rules and strategy) and Pikemen. The Primer has a clean, efficient exposition of the rules for each game, but omits some of the strategic advice entertained in PwP.

The actual Looney Pyramids used to play these games are currently available in two game packages: IceDice and Treehouse. Treehouse (the smaller of the two) includes sufficient Pyramid supply for three of the games (although one of those, Martian Coasters, needs a custom modular gameboard to boot); IceDice is enough for four others; and with both sets it is possible to play ten of the thirteen. Looney Labs sells Pyramids in sets of fifteen to supplement the basic sets, to furnish the more demanding games such as Caldera, IceTowers, and Icehouse. 

The Primer succeeds in its ambition to offer a digest of quality Looney Pyramids game rules across a variety of highly replayable games. It is full of useful diagrams and comic-style art by Andy Looney. The Looney Pyramid community wiki has over four hundred different games represented, with thirty invented just this year. The idea of continuing the Primer to circulate the best of these is a laudable intention, and I wish Looney Labs great success with it.

Occult Love Fest, November 2023

It’s Occult Love Fest-ursday! The last Thursday o’ this month, so time for occult roll call! Sound off!

It’s time for my monthly post asking for you to help me find the others doing occult, esoteric, or, you know, adjacent strange stuff anywhere across the Town-Gown-Tau divide by getting in touch with what you’re doing!

And, if you find something I’m doing interesting, help spread the word! If nothing else share this post, wherever you’ve seen it, with others … or links to anything at Hermetic Library and on the blog! The library itself and the blog are the main places to find everything, and links to anything else from there, so just remember to always start there.

I’m on a lot of platforms, and you can find all the things linked on the Hermetic Library and Hrmtc Underground main sites. Anyhow, wherever you are active, look me up and you should find me, and then say howdy!

Hey, you can even grab some Occult Love Fest merch, like buttons and t-shirts, to show your pride and fly your flag IRL!

Occult Love Fest!

In many respects, no doubt, the Law of Thelema is revolutionary. It insists on the absolute sovereignty of the individual within the limits of his proper function. And this principle will be resented by all those who like to interfere with other people’s business. The battle will rage most fiercely around the question of sex. Hardly any one is willing to allow others their freedom on this point.

Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Chapter 87

Hermetic quote Crowley Confessions law thelema revolutionary absolute sovereignty individual limits proper function resented interfere other peoples business battle rage fiercely sex freedom

“Famous Wizard Throws Himself into Mouth of Hell”

5 Messed-Up Reasons People Faked Their Own Death“—”If you’re well-adjusted mentally and properly medicated, thinking about death should not be an enjoyable affair. If the idea of getting pulped by a city bus brings you a deep peace and longing, I encourage you to seek out a mental-health professional. Fantasizing about faking your own death, though? Now there’s an enjoyable bit of theory-crafting.” “Here are five people who faked their death for weird reasons…” “2. Aleister Crowley” “Famous sex wizard Aleister Crowley, on the other hand, seems to have faked his own death purely for the fuck of it. Best guesses as to any possible reasoning outside of pure dark curiosity are that it was an attempt at a literal ghosting of a lover and travel companion. His friend, poet Fernando Pessoa, delivered a suicide note to police informing them the infamous magic man had thrown himself off a cliff and would no longer be occupying the current plane. The cliff in question? Boca do Inferno in Portugal, which translates as ‘Mouth of Hell.’ With a name like that, he might have just felt compelled, given how well it all fit together. After all, a bit of light fraud is a small price to pay for a published headline like ‘Famous Wizard Throws Himself into Mouth of Hell.'”

Yeah, it’s real. Check out the Hermeneuticon article for Boca do Inferno!

Plaque at Boca Do Inferno

Dugin is an overrated authoritarian apologist even when taken at face value

Don’t Take ‘Putin’s Brain’ Dugin at Face Value“—”One of the favorite protagonists in journalistic investigations of deeper sources of Moscow’s recent foreign policies is the flamboyant Russian idealogue Alexander Dugin. Equipped with a long beard, sonorous voice, and extroverted personality, Dugin is a telegenic speaker who easily checks the box of an archetypical Russian philosopher. He can be different things to his various audiences – a modern Dostoevsky, a right-wing Trotsky, an Orthodox monk, a second Rasputin, or an alternative Tolstoy. Yet, Dugin’s role in inspiring the Kremlin’s new aggressiveness, in general, and Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, in particular, is complicated. In contrast to how he is often portrayed, Dugin is neither a philosopher of intellectual novelty nor an ideologue with direct access to the Kremlin. He likes to pose as both and is promoted as a deep thinker with links to the Kremlin by his Russian and non-Russian followers. Oddly, some of his critics, too, take these claims at face value.” “His political outlook accommodates a variety of approaches ranging from Samuel Huntington’s civilizationism to Aleister Crowley’s satanism, from far-left syndicalism to far-right traditionalism, and from staunchly reactionary principles to expressly non-conformist ideas. He has been called everything from a conservative, Marxist, imperialist, fundamentalist, and geopolitician. Most of these labels are, in one way or another, apt yet by themselves also imprecise.” “However, Dugin’s philosophical pronouncements and political ideas are merely Russian translations or reformulations of various older, non-Russian, anti-rational, and anti-individualistic philosophical discourses. Anyone familiar with classical geopolitics, integral traditionalism, international occultism, the German Conservative Revolution, French post-modernism, European New Right, and other alternative schools of thought will experience constant déjà vu when listening to Dugin.” “Dugin and similar right-wing drummers have relentlessly voiced openly imperialistic, radically nationalistic, and paranoid anti-Western ideas over more than three decades. When Putin announced his turn against the West 15 years ago, annexed Crimea almost 10 years ago, and started a large war nearly two years ago, many Russians did not need to be explained why Moscow supposedly had to do so. Russia’s extreme right, with Dugin as its philosophical patriarch, had already done so.”

Also published as “Russia’s ‘most dangerous philosopher’ Dugin is overrated.”

Hermetic Library Omnium Dugin Is an Overrated Authoritarian Apologist Even When Taken at Face Value 29nov2023

Major Arcana

Major Arcana by Leonora Carrington, an expanded reprinting of a boxed deck of 22 major arcana tarot cards with booklet introduced by Susan Aberth and Tere Arcq, due February 2024.

“We are pleased to announce a new edition of the Major Arcana deck by Leonora Carrington is now available to pre-order. First issued by FULGUR PRESS in 2020, this important tarot has been out of print since 2021.

This new edition includes a substantive and previously unpublished essay from noted scholars Susan Aberth and Tere Arcq. It offers an introduction to Leonora Carrington and divinatory interpretations for her extraordinary suite of Major Arcana cards.”—via email

Carrington Major Arcana

“The British-born artist Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) is one of the more fascinating figures to emerge from the Surrealist movement. As both a writer and painter, she was championed early by André Breton and joined the exiled Surrealists in New York, before settling in Mexico in 1943. The magical themes of Carrington’s otherworldly paintings are well-known, but the recent discovery of a suite of tarot designs she created for the Major Arcana was a revelation for scholars and fans of Carrington alike. Drawing inspiration from the Tarot of Marseille and the popular Waite-Smith deck, Carrington brings her own approach and style to this timeless subject, creating a series of iconic images. Executed on thick board, brightly coloured and squarish in format, Carrington’s Major Arcana shines with gold and silver leaf, exploring tarot themes through what Gabriel Weisz Carrington describes as a ‘surrealist object’.

This tantalising discovery, made by the curator Tere Arcq and scholar Susan Aberth, has placed greater emphasis upon the role of the tarot in Carrington’s creative life and has led to fresh research in this area. For this new edition of the Major Arcana deck, Susan Aberth and Tere Arcq have written an insightful essay that outlines Carrington’s life and provides an essential analysis of the divinatory meanings of each of the cards.”

Carrington Major Arcana Cards