Images & Oracles of Austin Osman Spare

Images & Oracles of Austin Osman Spare by Kenneth Grant, the 2003 hardcover from Fulgur Limited, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. The only place that appears to have this still new in stock is JD Holmes, so the rare 1976 Weiser Books edition seems to have been joined in rareness by […]

Austin Osman Spare

Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #121 is a collection on “Austin Osman Spare. Used and Rare Books and Ephemera.” and may be of interest.

Whilst preparing this catalogue we happened to look back through our files and discovered that it is just over eight years since we released the first of our catalogues devoted to Spare’s life and work, our On-line Catalogue # 4, which we released on May 15th, 2006, the fiftieth anniversary of the death of this extraordinarily talented individual. Although we did not realise it at the time, it was later pointed out to us that our catalogue was probably the first ever bookseller’s catalogue to be devoted entirely to works by and about Spare.

We are happy to continue this tradition with this new catalogue, which includes examples of most of Spare’s own published work along with many significant studies of his life, art and magic. As is well known Spare’s first editions were usually privately published in beautifully-produced limited edition printings, resplendent with his beguiling illustrations and profound and challenging text, and we are pleased to present two of them here; his magical masterwork The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love) The Psychology of Ecstasy (1913), and a signed first edition of his often-enigmatic A Book Of Satyrs (1907). Of course Spare was also well-known as the editor of two sumptuous literary and artistic journals published in the nineteen-teens and ‘twenties; Form and The Golden Hind, and the catalogue lists copies of both, including some truly rare issues of Form and some examples of the signed limited edition of The Golden Hind. Even more stunning, though, is a run of issues of a journal called The Bond (1906), which includes a previously unrecorded contribution by Austin Osman Spare. Other treasures include a set of Spare’s Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards (one of only 26 known sets), and a copy of one of the rarest early Spare-related titles, Warren Retlaw’s The Youth and the Sage (1927). Another magnificent volume is the posthumously-published A Book of Automatic Drawing, of which several variants are offered, including one of the Catalpa Press / Teitan Press reissues, limited to 40 copies, printed on hand-made paper and bound in black quarter-leather, with an original cheque signed by Spare tipped onto the limitation page. There are simply too many important works to comment upon in a short space like this, but I hope that the reader will find time to browse the catalogue at leisure. [via]

Catalogue Four: Select Works by Austin Osman Spare

You may be interested in Fulgur Esoterica’s newest Catalogue Four: Select Works by Austin Osman Spare on offer.

Fulgur Esoterica's Catalogue 4

“We are delighted to offer a dozen gems from the hand of ol’ Zos… including the usual coterie of demons, satyrs and cave dwellers. While we’ve been cataloguing these pictures there have been some odd bumps in the night. A few days ago we woke to hear a small bell ringing, not once, or twice, but on three occasions. Perhaps it’s the same magic bell Spare lost when we was interviewed by the BBC in the 50s… CATALOGUE FOUR.” [via]

Dark Spirits: The Magical Art of Rosaleen Norton and Austin Osman Spare

You may be interested in this new opportunity to acquire Dark Spirits: The Magical Art of Rosaleen Norton and Austin Osman Spare by Dr. Nevill Drury through Salamander and Sons, due for an additional 95 standard hardcover copies in Dec 2012. I’d previously mentioned this book, but in the interim all the available copies had pre-sold, now there’s another simple cloth bound edition being made available.

“By late April 2012, all pre-order copies of the Deluxe Edition of Dark Spirits – strictly limited to 95 copies numbered by hand, fully bound in black leather with gilt title and device, and silk bookmark ribbon, and accompanied by an exclusive hand numbered print of the terrible Werplon entity encountered by Rosaleen Norton – had sold out.

Due to considerable demand from readers, we are making available for pre-order purchase just 95 copies of a standard hardcover edition of Dark Spirits. Although this standard hardcover edition will, like the Deluxe Edition, feature in excess of 120 colour and black and white images, it will be bound simply in cloth with a dust jacket, unnumbered and without the Werplon print. This standard hardcover edition is available for USD$85.00 plus worldwide airmail shipping USD$24.00.

Both the Deluxe Edition and the standard hardcover edition will be published on 05 December 2012 in order to coincide with the 33rd anniversary of Rosaleen Norton’s death – and with our profound apologies for the necessary revisions of publication dates.” [via]

 

“Although they never met, the Australian witch Rosaleen Norton (1917-1979) and British visionary artist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) shared many points in common. As occult practitioners operating within the Western esoteric tradition, both artists were well versed in the literature of Western magic, Theosophy, kabbalah, Eastern mysticism, and modern psychoanalysis. Fascinated by mediæval magical grimoires, they also explored the ‘seals’ associated with elemental spirit-beings and developed unique forms of sigil magic. Perhaps even more significantly, Norton and Spare utilised their own personal techniques of self-hypnosis and trance in order to produce their distinctive visionary artworks. As this book demonstrates, there is a clear parallel between the trance states associated with the Zos / Kia cosmology of Spare and the trance magic of Norton. Profiling both artists in detail, and with in excess of 120 colour and black and white images, Dark Spirits explores the unique contributions of both Spare and Norton as visionary outsiders and is necessary reading for anyone interested in the nether regions of the magical psyche.” [via]

Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare are goth for life

Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare are goth for life at “Goth for life“, an article at the Guardian about Carl McCoy of Fields of the Nephilim.

“He struggles to name any influences on their formative sound, offers scant details about his upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness (‘you didn’t have Christmas and you didn’t have birthdays … it was interesting’) and declines to elaborate on the interest in the occult that has led him to make regular references to chaos magic in his songs and to perform gigs he calls Ceromonies (sic) on the anniversaries of Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley’s deaths. ‘It’s nothing to do with believing, like I believe you,’ he frowns, when I ask him if he actually believes in magic or is merely using it as interesting imagery. ‘It’s knowing. I know. I’ve experienced things that are beyond reality. Many things.’ This sounds fascinating, but McCoy collects himself. ‘I don’t want to go too far on this,’ he says hurriedly, ‘because I don’t want to make a twat of meself.'” [via]

Dark Spirits: The Magical Art of Rosaleen Norton and Austin Osman Spare

Dark Spirits: The Magical Art of Rosaleen Norton and Austin Osman Spare” by Nevill Drury, due late June, has been announced for pre-order via Salamander and Sons.

 

“Strictly limited to 95 copies numbered by hand. More than 120 colour and black and white images. Fully bound in black leather with gilt title and device. Silk bookmark ribbon.

Published to coincide with the Northern Summer Solstice 2012. USD$126.00 plus worldwide airmail shipping USD$24.00. Free with each copy, an exclusive hand numbered print of the terrible Werplon entity encountered by Rosaleen Norton.”

 

“Although they never met, the Australian witch Rosaleen Norton (1917-1979) and British visionary artist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) shared many points in common. As occult practitioners operating within the Western esoteric tradition, both artists were well versed in the literature of Western magic, Theosophy, kabbalah, Eastern mysticism, and modern psychoanalysis. Fascinated by mediæval magical grimoires, they also explored the seals associated with elemental spirit-beings and developed unique forms of sigil magic. Perhaps even more significantly, Norton and Spare utilised their own personal techniques of self-hypnosis and trance in order to produce their distinctive visionary artworks. As this book demonstrates, there is a clear parallel between the trance states associated with the Zos / Kia cosmology of Spare and the trance magic of Norton. Profiling both artists in detail, and with in excess of 120 colour and black and white images, Dark Spirits explores the unique contributions of both Spare and Norton as visionary outsiders and is necessary reading for anyone interested in the nether regions of the magical psyche.”

Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist

I don’t remember if I’d mentioned this before or not, but I was reminded about this volume recently which you may also have interest in checking out. I think I posted about this to the Fb page when there was a bunch of news about Austin Osman Spare a while back, but anyhow, it’s worth […]

Spare: One Man Play opens Nov 21st, 2013 at Treadwell’s

If you’re in the the London area, you should check out John Constable’s one man play dramatizing Austin Osman Spare at Treadwell’s which opens November 21st, 2013. It runs for four dates, so even if you can’t catch it on opening night there’s other chances: November 21-22 and 29-30.

Spare: One Man Play
21-22, 29-30 November 2013
John Constable

John Constable Spare - One Man Play at Treadwell's Books

London artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare (1886–1956) comes alive in this new one-man play. Set in the artist’s studio at the Elephant and Castle on the night of a Blitz bombing, it shows Spare growing old in poverty, yet fiercely committed to his vision. In the course of the night, a rogue sigil unleashes unpredictable consequences. This ‘play conceived as an act of magic’, performed by the author, is both an homage to AOS and a playful exploration of Constable’s own esoteric work to ‘set us free from ourselves.’ John Constable is a poet, playwright and magical practitioner best-known for The Southwark Mysteries, and for his acclaimed stage adaptation of Gormenghast. Previous solo shows include I Was An Alien Sex God (‘mind-blowingly weird’ The Independent). Premiere performances last Spring were sold out, and received acclaim.

Price: £10
Time: Doors 7pm, for a 7:30 start

“One would hope that if [Zos Kia Cultus] is anything, it exists in that moment of contact between Spare’s work and the individual’s mind, open to its subversive influence; and then in the fruit of that communion, an inspiration and a creative response. The moment remains – the transmission continues.” An Interview with Gavin SempleAustin Osman Spare

Omnium Gatherum: March 30, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 30, 2019

If you’d like to participate, head over to Omnium Gatherum on the BBS, or suggest something.

  • Damien Echols Survived 18 Years On Death Row With The Help Of Magick. Damien Echols was sentenced to death in 1994 for the infamous West Memphis murders of three young boys, but was freed in 2011.” — Becca Van Sambeck, Oxygen [HT Rev. Stacey L]

    “Imagine this: You’re locked away in a tiny bare cell, far away from your friends, your family, your home. You’re deprived of sunlight to the point where you never know what time it is; you barely interact with other other humans; you’re constantly in some kind of physical pain. Every day brings you that much closer to your death sentence, one that’s been handed down for a crime you know you didn’t commit.

    That existence was Damien Echols’ reality on death row for 18 years. And somehow, he survived the experience and came out stronger and more fulfilled than ever — and he credits it all to what he calls ‘high magick.'”

  • A sneak peek into Opus Alchymicum by J Daniel Gunther” — Wennofer

    Gunther Opus Alchymicum white

    “Opus Alchymicum, second edition – the white edition-limited to 500 copies. A bookshelf size of 9″ x 12″ with 56 full color pages, white cloth bound hard cover and slipcase. This edition also contains additional study images and introduction.”

  • To Believe or Not to Believe: That Is Not the Question” — Peter Bebergal, The Paris Review [HT Forbidden Histories]

    Bebergal Paris Review To believe or not ouija board

    “As a writer whose chosen subject is religion and, more recently, magic and its supernatural cousins, I admit that I am more disposed to exploring, and perhaps even experiencing, these kinds of altered states, but I am not more susceptible to believe in them. Not only because I am often critically challenged by readers and friends but because I am interested in what it means to hold to the irrational with a rational embrace, using skepticism as a compass to travel the map of the weird. One consequence of this, however, is finding myself without a home. Of those who encounter me—either in person or in what I write—the faithful don’t trust my intentions, and the skeptics think I am being too lenient.”

  • ANDAZ LONDON PRESENTS: TEMPLE CINEMA [also, HT ianVisits]

    Andaz London Temple Cinema

    “Temple Cinema is a shrine to the demonic, the delirious and the dangerous. In its new regular monthly slot, London’s most unique screening venue promises to dedicate itself to the dark arts of horror filmmaking. To celebrate the current horror revival and pay tribute to its heritage, Andaz London Liverpool Street and East End Film Festival are pairing the stand out titles of horror’s new wave with one of their spiritual ancestors.

    Sealed off and lost, the Andaz London hotel’s Masonic Temple was once home only to the secrets of The Freemasons, but now after its rediscovery it has become a temple to cinema too. Its lacquered thrones, marble columns and golden zodiac-adorned ceiling will echo with screams once again…

    HEREDITARY (2018) – 28 March 2019

    THE OMEN (1976) – 25 April 2019

    MANDY (2018) – 30 May 2019

    THE SHINING (1980) – 27 June 2019

    Future dates 25 July, 29 August, 26 September, 31 October, 28 November. Films to be announced soon.”

  • Profane Illuminations, April 27, 12-8pm, Einstein Auditorium, NYU; April 29, 7-11pm, Zuzu, Cambridge, MA [HT Matt Browne]

    Strange Attractor Press Zuzu Profane poster

    Strange Attractor Press MIT Profane poster

    “Two stateside gatherings in April celebrating Strange Attractor Press in New York City, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    27th April 12-8pm, Einstein Auditorium , NYU
    (with The Colloquium For Unpopular Culture)

    29th April, 7-11pm, Zuzu, Cambridge MA.
    (with MIT Press)

    Click the flyers above for more details.

    There will be books sales, unique ephemera and author signings at both events.

    No booking required. Join us.

    Featuring presentations by:

    Erik Davis – Welcome to the Weird

    Peter Bebergal & Gareth Branwyn* – Gaming in The Occult Imagination

    Amy Hale – Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of the Fern-Loved Gully

    Kristen Gallerneaux* – High Static Dead Lines

    Doug Skinner* – Music From Elsewhere

    Dave Tompkins* – Alligators of Your Mind

    * NY only”

  • Pole position: human body might be able to pick up on Earth’s magnetic field. Scientists say there are signs of humans having a subconscious magnetic sense” — Nicola Davis, The Guardian

    “It sounds like a power to be boasted of by the X-Men, but researchers say humans might have the ability to pick up on Earth’s magnetic field.

    Many animals, from pigeons to turtles, use it to navigate, while research has shown cattle prefer to align themselves with the field when standing in, well, a field. Even dogs make use of it – albeit when defecating.

    But while debates continue about the mechanisms behind such phenomena, it has remained unclear whether humans also have the power of magnetoreception. Now scientists say there are signs that we do.”

  • In Norway, Student Loans for Astrology. University leaders and scientists are outraged by decision of national quality assurance agency, which says it has no choice because of a law linking recognition to job prospects.” — David Matthews, Inside Higher Ed [HT Watkins Books]

    “A fight has erupted in Norway after the country’s higher education regulator agreed to accredit courses in astrology, meaning students will be able to use government loans to look for meaning in the stars.

    Norwegian scientists have criticized the decision, but the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) said that in making the ruling it was only following the law and blamed the government for not heeding its calls for stricter academic criteria.”

  • Re-writing the Future:100 years of Esoteric Modernism & Psychoanalysis, a multi-disciplinary conference, May 30 – June 1, 2019, Brunnenburg Castle & Schloß Pienzenau, Merano, Italy [HT Carlos Abler]

    Rewriting the Future conference 2019

    “In recent times, it has come to light that many revered artists, writers, poets, philosophers and performers have held esoteric world views or underpinnings. Several recent art exhibitions worldwide have highlighted this: Black Light in Barcelona, retrospectives of Leonor Fini and Leonora Carrington in New York and Mexico City, respectively, Mystical Symbolism and the visionary works of Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim, all in just the past year.

    The field of psychoanalysis itself first began as an esoteric discipline – exploring previously uncharted territory with relatively few individuals meeting weekly at the home of Sigmund Freud. Some of Freud’s occult explorations were quite overt, as he conducted thought experiments with his daughter Anna Freud and close colleague Sandor Ferenczi late into his life. Though Freud intentionally steered the public persona of psychoanalysis away from any occult leanings, his personal work with the esoteric went on well into his twilight years. Carl Jung also explored his own psyche in secret for decades as he created his masterpiece The Red Book, which was only discovered after his death and released publicly in recent years.

    The Zeitgeist of the time is reflected in a myriad of ways: the innovative writing of T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway; poetry of H.D.; automatic drawings of Austin Osman Spare; spirit drawings of Georgiana Houghton; accidental poems of Tristan Tzara; noise concerts of Luigi Russolo; collages of Hannah Höch; montages of Man Ray; the expressionism of Wassily Kandinsky; and early experimentation with film and photography. W.B. Yeats taught a young Ezra Pound theosophy. Piet Mondrian studied theosophy as well. The surrealists touted the theories of psychoanalysis, exploring dreamwork, automatic writing, synchronicity and chance.

    It is notable that so many cultural heavyweights, who are held in such high regard, deemed it necessary to keep their esoteric views and occult explorations hidden from the world. Clearly they felt these ideas would not be acceptable at that time. And they were probably right, as many of those figures who were more open about their views, were often shunned, denied or had aspects of their work ignored outright. It begs the question: why does society accept some aspects of the mind, but not others?

    At our current moment of cultural crisis, it makes sense to look back over the past 100 years; to reflect on the cultural Zeitgeist before the First World War – the very same time period and cultural and intellectual epicentres that birthed the field of psychoanalysis, the Dada movement and Der Blaue Reiter. Much like our times, upheaval and change were in the air. The arts and sciences were booming, as was philosophy, media and technology. Interest in theosophy, Eastern philosophies, occult and esoteric belief systems was on the rise. Society’s accepted values and consensus worldview were put into question; the status-quo challenged, refined and reformulated for a modern era.”

  • Taroetry: A Poetic Guide to the Tarot. Explore the world of tarot with the magic of poetry.” a crowdfunding effort by Hannah Gatzka; from the 20-days-to-go dept.

    “What is Taroetry?

    Taroetry is an illustrated book of rhymed poetry about tarot based on the structure of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. In making this book, we seek to make the ritual of self-reflection through tarot accessible to all.

    This is the first publicly-available project from Arcana Obscura, an art collective grounded in tarot, poetry, and visual arts.

    Why Poetry?

    Poetry – especially rhymed poetry – is the stuff of magic in the same way as tarot is the stuff of magic. When you are new to reading tarot or when you’re reading for yourself, the right resources can make all of the difference in elevating your experience. “

  • Eternal Witchcraft — A Comics Spellbook. Eternal Witchcraft is a spellbook/anthology of witchy instructional comics for Crones and Aspiring Crones alike.” A crowdfunding effort by POMEgranate Magazine; from the 18-hours-to-go dept.

    “The goal of this Kickstarter is to fund and promote Eternal Witchcraft: a comics spellbook/anthology of witchy instructional comics for Crones and aspiring Crones alike.

    The Project

    Eternal Witchcraft features 21 up-and-coming creators, all crafting comics to bring a little more magic into your everyday life. This softcover book has 200+ pages of enchanting knowledge, both ancient and modern, all bound together in the flayed skin of our enemies (jk — it’s a beautiful and very much paper cover by Annie Lin, featuring sparkling gold foil accents!).”