Author Archives: John Griogair Bell

About John Griogair Bell

My name is John. I'm the enigmatic super villain, known only, to some, as the Librarian.

The R’lyeh Text

Majere, Pr.ODF reviews The R’lyeh Text by Robert Turner, introduction by Colin Wilson; in the archive of Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews.

Turner The R'lyeh Text

Another contributor has something to say about The R’lyeh Text:

This volume is a supplement to George Hays’ “Necronomicon: The Book Of Dead Names”, and is basically more of the same. Again, ignore the spurious “fragments” of garbage purporting to be pages from the Necronomicon and read the essays instead. If anything, they are even better than those in the previous volume – dealing with subjects incl. the Egyptian mysteries, Atlantis, creation myths, Lovecraft’s literary inspirations, and the tenuous Crowley-Lovecraft connection. Still, it’s certainly not to everyone’s tastes but as trash, it’s quite readable.

The R’lyeh Text

Julianus reviews The R’lyeh Text by Robert Turner, introduction by Colin Wilson; in the archive of Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews.

Turner The R'lyeh Text

This latest in a long line of H.P. Lovecraft pastiches is a sequel to Hay’s bogus Necronomicon of the 70’s, and it reassembles all the usual suspects from that project for … more of the same. Mr Hay’s editorial style is unusual in that, whereas the editor’s normal job is to prune irrelevancies leaving a concise text, here he has left nothing BUT irrelevancies to baffle the reader’s mind. From the crocodile-infested cover to Colin Wilson’s rambling introduction to Patricia Shore’s oblique concluding essay we are left feeling strangely … unfulfilled. It is especially ironic to see that Robert Turner is behind this, as he spent a good portion of his Elizabethan Magic fulminating against the Golden Dawn for making “inauthentic” additions to Dee’s Enochian system, and now he’s marketing THIS as the decoded contents of Dee’s cypher manuscripts! The supposed “main text” itself is rather inadequate and certainly nothing compared to the original it attempts to ape.

(Quite honestly, if these people continue to take their own insipidities and pass them off as my work, I will have no choice but to take the matter up with my Patrons.
– A. Alhazred )

The Prophet

Magdalene Meretrix reviews The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran in the archive of Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews.

Gibran The Prophet

This timeless classic of mystic philosophy, written in 1923, has long been a favorite for contemplations, weddings and funerals. The story, subordinate to the philosophy, is of a prophet waiting for a ship to arrive and carry him away from the island where he has been living for the last twelve years. His voyage is apparently an allegory for death.

The villagers have gathered to see Almustafa, the Prophet, off on his journey and while they watch his ship grow nearer, they take turns asking him to speak on love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion and death. Each of Almustafa’s responses to these questions is a chapter, a poem, a meditation.

Although the author uses the word “God” quite liberally, the text is not specific to any one religion nor is it intrusively preachy or pedantic. Rather it is uplifting and inspiring and even the spiritual atheist can find jewels of wisdom therein.

The Pathworkings of Aleister Crowley

Randall Bowyer reviews The Pathworkings of Aleister Crowley: The Treasure House of Images by J F C Fuller, with Aleister Crowley, David Cherubim, Lon Milo DuQuette, Christopher S Hyatt, and Nancy Wasserman; in the archive of Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews.

Fuller The Pathworkings of Aleister Crowley

This book contains 2 1/2 pages by Crowley, no pathworkings at all, and 57 pages of Really Basic Introductory Stuff – typical New Falcon pabulum. The main text is The Treasure-House of Images, being 90 pages of dreadful poetry by J.F.C. Fuller (who, you may notice, gets no credit on the title-page).

Like other books from these guys, this one seems to be written for either intermediate students or total beginners, depending on what page you read. If you’re advanced enough to create your own pathworkings but have not yet learned the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, then this book is for you!

Omnium Gatherum: July 31, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for July 31, 2019

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

  • Looking back at a time where major labels were releasing witchcraft rituals. During the 1960s, Capitol Records, A&M, and Warner Bros capitalised on the witchcraft phenomenon with spoken-word albums of occult incantations.” — Melanie Xulu, Dazed

    “Of course, witchcraft and the occult had always had a presence in the underground. Gerald Gardner, the eccentric Lancashirian anthropologist and ‘father of Wicca’, had a prolific influence, and led the way in Wicca from the 40s onwards, while the influence of occultist Aleister Crowley in underground film and music, from Kenneth Anger to Led Zeppelin, has been well documented. However, in that post-flower power period between the late 60s and early 70s, the occult was merging with popular culture like never before.”

  • Heroes: Genesis P-Orridge Transcends Again. For V120’s Heroes series, V analyzes the mind and impact of Neil Megson, aka Genesis P-Orridge who was nominated by Hedi Slimane.” — Samuel Anderson, V Magazine

    “This fall, Mute Records will reboot five albums from the catalog of Throbbing Gristle, the post-punk, ideology-slinging group cofounded by Genesis P-Orridge in 1975. Planned amid P-Orridge’s declining health and lingering tensions within the band, the slated re-releases promise to blur the lines between creation and annihilation, past and present—as P-Orridge has done ceaselessly for decades.

    Born Neil Megson in 1950 in Manchester, P-Orridge arrived in London as punk was in full swing. But P-Orrdige (who uses “s/he” and “h/er” pronouns) and like-minded transgressors would start their own experimental factions; besides founding Throbbing Gristle and coining the term “industrial music,” s/he would establish Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, an “anti-cult” aiming to transcend normativity in all its forms.

    These movements would mutate over decades, inspiring generations of punk offspring. “

  • Agnes Callard’s List of “views that are considered controversial that shouldn’t be”” — Justin Weinberg, Daily Nous

    “7. Fernando Pessoa was a philosopher. … The ones I would most like to persuade other philosophers of are (7) …”

  • Behemoth Release Disturbing, Nsfw New Video. In Their Latest Music Video, Behemoth Indulge in Some Delicious Satanic Nightmare Fuel.” — Kerrang!

    “Speaking to Kerrang! about his role as a spiritual iconoclast, Behemoth frontman Nergal said, “It feels like that Luciferian, Promethean [identity] is in my DNA. I can try to reject that. But, as the Greeks say: ‘Know thyself!’ I would rather die than deny my nature. [My creativity comes from that same place as poets John] Milton and [Percy Bysshe] Shelley, [occultist Aleister] Crowley, [poet] William Blake and the Bible itself.”

  • On Chuck Klosterman’s Latest in Junk-Food Intellectualism, ‘Raised In Captivity’. The best stories in Chuck Klosterman’s Raised in Captivity are the ones that most closely resemble his thinly-veiled essays.” — Kyle Cochrun, Pop Matters; about Raised in Captivity by Chuck Klosterman

    Klosterman Raised in Captivity

    “On first read, some stories are so spit-take funny that the fundamental questions driving them are almost obscured by their downright nuttiness. Such is the case with ‘(An Excerpt from) A Life That Wasn’t Mine’, which details the filming of a Syfy Channel-style Loch Ness Monster movie that somehow morphs into a deeply experimental film about Jimmy Page summoning the spirit of Aleister Crowley and ‘using mind bullets to murder Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.'”

  • Witching Hour: Seven of the most influential figures in modern Wicca. The names all Wiccans need to know.” — Holly Mosley, Female First

    “For our latest installment of our Witching Hour series, we look at seven of the most iconic figures in modern Wicca. This list is by no stretch exhaustive; since contemporary Paganism made itself known in the mid to late 20th Century, there have been innumerous figures making their mark in Wicca.

    1. Gerald Gardner …

    2. Doreen Valiente

    While Gardner might have brought Wicca out into the open, it was High Priestess of the Bricket Wood coven Doreen Valiente who was perhaps most responsible for writing a lot of the Gardnerian liturgy which ended up being incorporated into Gardner’s Book of Shadows. Originally, much of his text was based on the writings of Aleister Crowley, and Valiente wanted to change this out of concern for the reputation of Wicca. She is largely known as the Mother of Modern Witchcraft, writing and re-writing important Wiccan passages such as the Charge of the Goddess and The Wiccan Rede.

    3. Alex Sanders …

    4. Zsuzsanna Budapest …

    5. Raymond Buckland …

    6. Scott Cunningham …

    7. Stewart Farrar …”

  • Who Really Gives A Crap About The LBRP, Anyway?” — Scarlet Magdalene, Patheos

    “This is but the briefest primer on the LBRP. It contains within it a lot of layers and as anyone who has performed it on a regular basis can attest, it’s a wonderful place to learn about how to manipulate, sense, and project energy, engage in active meditation, balance out your personal sphere and any elemental influence, and get started on the road towards learning magic and practicing ritual on a daily basis. And that’s just barely scratching the surface of what this rite can do and is about.”

  • Babalon’s Cloister: Theosexuality — Sex and Magic” — Georgia van Raalte, Patheos

    “Allow me to ask you a question. Why is the occult world so ripe for abuse by the very worst aspects of the Patriarchy?”

  • Bodies in detail, Kipling in Vermont, and Shakespeare in the park” — Nina MacLaughlin, Boston Globe; Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death, July 13, 2019–February 23, 2020, Henry and Lois Foster Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; also Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death by Erica Hirshler (Author), Naomi Slipp, and Hyman Bloom

    Museum of Fine Art Boston Hyman Bloom Matters of Life and Death

    “Bloom was a wanderer in the occult, gathered with the Order of the Portal, a “Boston-based, Christianized offshoot of the Rosicrucian Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn,” according to an introductory essay, which studied metaphysics.”

    Hirshler Slipp Bloom Hyman Bloom Matters of Life and Death

  • Origins Of Aztec And Inca Obsidian Mirrors Revealed Through Scientific Analyses” — David S Andrews, Forbes

    Kuzmin Andrews Forbes John Dee Obsidian-mirror

    “A second obsidian mirror, held by the British Museum in London, presents us with yet more intrigue. While the British Museum’s mirror has long been assumed to have originated in Mexico, it is more famously associated with a man named John Dee. Dee was a 16th century astrologer and adviser to Queen Elizabeth I. It is alleged that Dee used his Aztec mirror to peer through the veil into the spirit world beyond.

    Yet even a court magician’s magic mirror can give up its secrets to scientific analyses. In a recent conference presentation, Yaroslav Kuzmin reported the results of an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer analysis carried out on Dee’s mirror. In this case, the object’s Mexican origin was confirmed with the trace elemental composition matching an obsidian source found at the site of Pachuca in central Mexico.

    How this mirror came into Dee’s possession, however, is still not fully understood. Kuzmin notes that Dee was well connected with political and intellectual leaders, and in particular that ‘he was acquainted with sir William Pickering, the British ambassador to the court of Emperor Charles V.’ Thus, setting aside how the mirror made it from Mexico to Europe, it may have come to Dee via the ambassador; but, Kuzmin adds that ‘we cannot exclude the fact that British pirates intercepted a Spanish caravan of ships with gold and jewels from Mexico.’

    While Dee’s interest in the esoteric powers of this obsidian mirror would have undoubtedly been stoked by the object’s foreign origin, we know that the Aztec themselves also placed great ritual importance on these objects.”

The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles

Julianus reviews The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy by Ronald Hutton in the archive of Bkwyrm Occult Book Reviews.

Hutton The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles

This overview is based mostly on archaeological and historical remains (meagre as they often are) with special reference to the “claims” of modern Pagans. The main problem with the author’s approach is that he simply worships at the altar of Documentation, making the unwarranted assumption that “no evidence = no possibility.” He also fails to realise that the “latest scholarship” he takes such pride in using is undoubtably just as much a product of intellectual fashions as the “out-dated” work he criticises so profusely. Admittedly his critique of the “Female-Supremacist” version of pre-history is quite good and perfectly reasonable, but one wishes he could have done a better job with other areas. His discussion of Earth Mysteries is particularly off-handed. Like most establishment scholars he simply does not know enough about occult view-points to argue with them effectively; he can only attack his own erroneous preconceptions. In discussing modern occult history he makes more blunders than one could hope for in a careful professional historian, having been led astray by Francis (the-Third-Evil) King, among others.

Actually the book is not as bad as all that, especially considering it is such a wide-ranging production involving more specialties than the author had at his disposal. It is certainly nice to have all this archaeological data in one convenient place. Still, one waits for a superior and more sensitive treatment of the subject.