Category Archives: The Equinox: The Review of Scientific Illuminism

God is never so turned away from man, and never so much sendeth him new paths, as when he maketh ascent to divine speculations or works in a confused or disordered manner, and as it adds, with unhallowed lips, or unwashed feet. For of those who are thus negligent, the progress is imperfect, the impulses are vain, and the paths are dark.

Zoroaster, quoted at The Herb Dangerous, Part II: The Psychology of Hashish by Oliver Haddo (Aleister Crowley)

Hermetic quote Zoroaster Haddo Crowley The Psychology of Hashish god never turned away from man sendeth him on new paths

There is a land in which no tree groweth, and where the warbling of the birds is as a forgotten dream. There is a land of dust and desolation, where no river floweth, and where no cloud riseth from the plains to shade men’s eyes from the sand and the scorching sun. Many are they who stray therein, for all live upon the threshold of misery who inhabit the House of joy.

Aleister Crowley, The Temple of Solomon the King, Book I, The Slave

Hermetic quote Crowley The Temple of Solomon the King Slave The Equinox land no tree groweth forgotten dream dust desolation threshold misery house of joy

The Psychology of Hashish

The Psychology of Hasish by Aleister Crowley is the fourth new edition from 100th Monkey Press, available in a hand-bound limited edition.

Aleister Crowley-The Psychology of Hashish from 100th Monkey Press

Aleister Crowley’s The Psychology of Hashish, written under the pseudonym of Oliver Haddo, was first published in Volume I, No. 2 of The Equinox on 24 September of 1909. It made up part two of a serial publication entitled The Herb Dangerous.

During Crowley’s early magical career, he, along with his then guru, Allan Bennett, investigated various pharmaceutical preparations, including hashish, in search of a substance that would provide a pathway to mystical states.

The Psychology of Hashish presents Crowley’s personal investigation into the use of hashish and introduces his hypothesis that it can stimulate or serve as a precursor to valid mystical states.

Crowley’s opinion regarding the use of hashish seems to be that an aspirant to spiritual enlightenment may, by using hashish under controlled circumstances, attain a mystical state, or obtain a ‘preview’ of potential states of mind ordinarily only made possible through rigorous spiritual exercises.

While Crowley investigated the use of various pharmaceutical substances as potential aids to spiritual attainment, there is no evidence that he advocated the use of hashish, or any other substance, as a substitute for hard work and discipline in a spiritual practice.

Each book is bound by hand in a Japanese style binding and measures a large-sized 8 1/2” x 11″. 97 pages. Printed in red and black on high quality 70 pound text weight, acid-free Via paper specifically chosen for this edition. Bound in an acid-free, glued-up composition cover consisting of a distressed brown faux leather over custom printed endpapers. Text set in a combination of Malgun Gothic, Bookman Old Style and Copperplate Gothic fonts. Illustrations include 20 vintage graphics of interpretations of “Alice and the Caterpillar” based on Lewis Carroll’s classic novel “Alice in Wonderland”.

As an added bonus, each book comes with a hand-bound copy of Crowley’s ‘The Opium Smoker.’

Each copy also includes a handsome themed bookplate and bookmark.

Edition limited to 150 numbered copies. Price: US $19.95 [via]

The Magic of Aleister Crowley

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Magic of Aleister Crowley by John Symonds.

John Symonds The Magic of Aleister Crowley

This book was issued after the first edition of Symonds’ original Crowley bio The Great Beast, and the later revised edition of The Great Beast claimed to include the contents of The Magic of AC. But that was only partially true. About 60% of The Magic consists of biographical material that Symonds had not included in The Great Beast, particularly drawn from Crowley’s records of his major magical operations, such as “The Ab-ul-Diz Working” and “The Paris Working.” These passages were later integrated with the main biography, as advertised. But this material is more reliably approached through the primary documents in The Equinox IV (2) (The Vision & the Voice, with Commentary and Other Papers), of course.

What serious students will find most interesting is the other 40% of Symonds’ The Magic of AC, in which he describes the manner in which he ingratiated himself to the elderly Prophet of the Aeon. There is a curious repeated pattern, in which Crowley invites Symonds out to Netherwood, and Symonds brings along an uninvited guest as a companion. Symonds writes that “Crowley was someone to see and to talk about afterwards,” as if the old magician were a stage play for his amusement. Despite his protestations that he found Crowley entertaining in a sort of pathetic way, it looks like Symonds was genuinely afraid of him. His poor wife Margaret certainly was, and the account of Symonds arm-twisting her into a visit makes for gruesome reading. After several visits with Crowley, having read The Book of the Law and The Equinox of the Gods which Crowley gave him as gifts, Symonds still doesn’t seem to know the word Thelema, instead going on contemptuously about “Crowleyism” and “Crowleyanity.” Symonds patently deceives Crowley into thinking that he is willing to help on such projects as a new Thelemic commune (“The Green Lion”), playing him along, rather than being honest with him. He whines about getting involved in the publication of Olla, when he volunteered to help. And then he treats his assignment as literary executor as a surprising stroke of luck, when his intention to write a saleable biography of Crowley had been declared to the reader (but not to Crowley) from the outset.

Symonds once accused Crowley of being a man with no superego or conscience of any kind. He often remarked how Crowley seemed utterly mystified by why other people should consider him evil. I rather think, after reading The Magic of Aleister Crowley, that the description better fits Symonds himself. He seems to have thought that readers would consider him fully justified in lying to an eccentric old man whom he intended to use as literary fodder. So today Symonds is an elderly author living in England. If only two wrongs could make a right… [via]


Omnium Gatherum: March 19th, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for March 19th, 2014

Thelema with Shane Gillen
Thelema with Shane Gillen [also], a magic show set in a secret location in central Dublin

 

  • Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600; from the distorted-world-view dept.

    “Equipped with ‘VI technology’ which combines a deep depth of field lens, CCD linear image sensor and high directivity LED lamp, SV600 is able to minimize unevenness in image quality and generate a smooth image even when scanning from a distance.”

    Fujitsu ScanSnap SV600

     

  • do-it yourself repro v-cradle for paper books — ereszet; from the v-for-victory dept.

    “Why a v-cradle and not a flat bed.
    For two reasons: First, you cannot spread the books flat and if you do, the quality of reproduced pages will be compromised. It is especially important if you plan to OCR the book. Second, you avoid light reflections. You need only one lamp with a diffuser just over the v-cradle (picture attached). Lighting is the most difficult part of reproduction. Over the years, I have tried various setups with my semi-professional Manfrotto repro stand and four lamps at 45 degree angle. It doesn’t come close to an overhead lamp and v-cradle. Avoid any other light in the room or take everything to your terrace and shoot at the sunlight with no artificial light.”

    ereszet DIY book cradle

     

  • Release 2.0 of the Standard Spiritualist and Occult Corpus (SSOC) Available” — Marc Demarest, Chasing Down Emma; from the knock-twice-for-yes dept.

    “The SSOC now clocks in at 2700+ titles: more than 1.3 million pages of indexed Spiritualist and occult non-fiction from the 1790s until 1940.

    Release 2.0 provides more than 500 new and updated titles, and marks the beginning of the re-indexing of the SSOC using a third-party embedded indexing engine superior to the Adobe Acrobat in-built OCR facility, for higher-fidelity searches.”

  • Ancient ‘Ritual Wand’ Etched with Human Faces Discovered in Syria” — Tia Ghose, livescience [Scarlet Imprint]; from the weirwood dept.

    “Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient staff carved with two realistic human faces in southern Syria.

    The roughly 9,000-year-old artifact was discovered near a graveyard where about 30 people were buried without their heads — which were found in a nearby living space.”

    Ancient ritual wand in Syria from Ibanez et al
    Photo: Ibanez et al, Antiquity, 2014

     

  • 800-year-old monk found poking out of cliff face” — Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph [via]; from the i-know-what-happened-to-jimmy-hoffa dept.

    “[Karl-James] Langford said a monastic community lived close to the area and the bones appeared to be from a man in his late 20s, in good health.

    ‘I would say they belong to a monk from the 1200s — due to previous archaeological digs in the past, the depth of the bones in the cliff and the history of the area.

    He would likely be buried with nothing except two shroud rings which would have held his burial shroud in place at the head and feet.'”

  • Nasir al-Mulk ‘Pink Mosque’ Of Iran Is Like Stepping Into A Kaleidoscope” — Yasmine Hafiz, The Huffington Post; from the whoa-that’s-a-full-rainbow-all-the-way dept.

    “From the outside, the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, seems like a fairly traditional house of worship — but it’s hiding a gorgeously colorful secret.”

    Omid Jafarnezhad Nasir al-Mulk pink mosque
    Photo: Omid Jafarnezhad

     

  • Bagging a Witch in Ohio” — Chris, Woodyard, Haunted Ohio — [HT Richard Shepard]; from the so-logically-if-she-weighs-the-same-as-a-duck-she’s-made-of-wood dept.

    “Today’s post returns to a similar theme: Anti-witch remedies and witch-tests in early 19th-century Ohio. This story–half dire description of lunacy and half Monty Python sketch–comes from the village of Bethel in Clermont County.”

  • Siberian Police Stop Witch Burning” &mdash RIA Novosti, The Moscow Times [HT Judika Illes]; in the titus-andronicus dept.

    “In an unexpected incident worthy of the Spanish inquisition, a couple in eastern Siberia decided their acquaintance was a witch and attempted to burn her alive, though police stopped the impromptu auto-da-fe.

    The rescue came not a moment too soon, as the couple were at that moment forcing the alleged witch headfirst into a burning stove in an abandoned building, Zabaikalsky region police said Thursday.”

  • Wellcome MS373, f.87r — Sienna Lathan, via tweet; from the and-shoot-forth-venom dept.

    “Whosoeuer first in the morning drinketh garlicke and Cockes blood hee need not fear venome.”

  • Discordian Events List — Chasing Eris; what’s-up-chuck dept.

    “What Discordian events are near you?”

  • Embracing Questions” — Thomas Zwollo, Spiral Nature; from the soldier-and-the-hunchback dept.

    “Throughout his life, Crowley was asking himself questions, and he encouraged his students and readers to ask questions. This included questions about the things they read, the rituals they performed, the conditions of their magical work, and even to interrogate the entities they invoked. He embraced the method of science, and thus he embraced questions more than answers. I often challenge myself to remember this in my own work.”

  • What The Gnostic Pentagram Ritual Sounds Like” — The Blog of Baphomet [HT Spiral Nature]; from the and-sometimes-y dept.

    “Another group of occultists that we’re associated with had asked for some help with a demonstration of the vowel sounds (I, E, A, O, U) that Pete Carroll uses to build the various banishing rituals in his writing. As with many things in life it’s one thing to read a ritual text and another to see, hear and participate in it for oneself.”

  • Sock Magic” — Fire Lyte, Inciting A Riot [HT Sarah Anne Lawless]; from the sock-it-to-me dept.

    “Magical tools can be found in all sorts of strange places these days. From conversations about turning your potpourri warmer into a slow-burning witchy cauldron, to using your iPod as a divinatory device, people are getting witchy where they can these days. In bygone eras our witchy ancestry, so we’re led to believe, used what they had on handle — the broom, the cauldron, the sickle — because it’s what they had. Not because a broom is more magical or special than any other household object.

    And so, with all that very serious background, let’s make magic with socks!”

  • A Mystic, Magician and Theologian Talk to an Angel” — K Herschel, Star And System; from the july-like-a-dog dept.

    “The best way to get a feel for the Enochian entities is to look at Dee’s journals. What you see there are years of promises unkept. The angels promised power, the power that makes empires and tears down thrones. They also promised a complete system. They never delivered on any of it to Dee. After you have feasted on Dee’s disappointments, move on to Crowley’s The Vision and the Voice and the collected work of Benjamin Rowe. All else aside, what you will see is what Rowe realized very early on. The Enochian entities are very good at playing up to your expectations and saying precisely what you need to hear to keep you interested even when it’s not what you expect. This is a danger in magic in general, but the Enochian entities are masters of the genre.”

  • Null-A Mind Software” — seth, An American Mystagogue; from the possibly-maybe dept.

    “Two value logic (Ie, True or False) while a highly useful way of thinking manages to darken one’s view of possible alternate ways of thinking and perceiving the world around them. When we become habitually addicted to the categorization of all information as either Totally Existing or Totally Not-Existing we become sloppy, lazy thinkers who are prone to building a self-gratifying personal cosmology. When the two-value system is used in its right way it is simply a systematic approach to what I call ‘the cosmic binary’.”

  • Cultural production of ignorance provides rich field for study” — Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times [HT Wythe Marschall]; from the i-read-it-on-the-internet dept.

    “Robert Proctor doesn’t think ignorance is bliss. He thinks that what you don’t know can hurt you. And that there’s more ignorance around than there used to be, and that its purveyors have gotten much better at filling our heads with nonsense.”

  • Rethinking Gnostic Intellectuals? Categories as Weapons and History as Construct” — Philip L Tite, Bulletin for the Study of Religion; from the interprefacts dept.

    “As a social historian, I still like to think that we can know something about past cultures. However, if I’ve learned anything from my method & theory exemplars over the years, it is to appreciate the value of stepping back and ‘studying the study of.’ Indeed, this theoretical standpoint is a subtext in nearly all my teaching and much of my scholarship. How the past is shaped, directed, juxtaposed, and selectively presented is perhaps far more insightful to the student in religious studies than the actual ‘facts’ (events, persons, things, etc) – even if those ‘facts’ are not in dispute per se.”

  • The Gnostics Were Intellectuals” — April DeConick, The Forbidden Gospels; from the path-less-traveled dept.

    “So I have been working upstream most of my career, swimming against a current that is much stronger than I am. I guess I like the challenge, or I wouldn’t keep doing it. I have spent a lot of time within the Nag Hammadi texts, reconstructing the worlds of the authors, which are not crazy once you learn their references and points of view. The Gnostics from antiquity were anything but crazy, inconsequential or irrational. But they were different. And difference often leads to misunderstanding.”

  • Uncovered in Jerusalem, 9 tiny unopened Dead Sea Scrolls” — Ilan Ben Zion, The Times of Israel [HT Disinformation]; from the right-under-your-nous dept.

    “An Israeli scholar turned up the previously unexamined parchments, which had escaped the notice of academics and archaeologists as they focused on their other extraordinary finds in the 1950s. Once opened, the minuscule phylactery parchments from Qumran, while unlikely to yield any shattering historic, linguistic or religious breakthroughs, could shed new light on the religious practices of Second Temple Judaism.”

  • The Warlock and Truth-Breaking” — K Herschel, Star and System [HT Storm Faerywolf]; from the curses-foiled-again dept.

    “We might find, as well, echoes of the Warlock and Truth-Breaker in Aleister Crowley’s concept of the curse of the Magus. The curse of the Magus is that she must always lie. Having achieved a level of transcendence beyond the dualistic structure of the phenomenal universe, all things are both truth and false for the Magus. As such, language itself is inadequate to capture the understanding (Binah) and wisdom (Chokmah) that the Magus has achieved and so all linguistic statements and teachings are a lie. We are clearly dealing here with a discussion of the nature of the Magus on the mystical register. The experience to which she is privy is beyond the grasp of word or image, as is the case with most mystical experience.”

  • The Secret Chiefs and Academia, Ep 1 of The Lost Word, hosted by Greg Kaminsky, with Tony Silvia, from Gnostic NYC; from the master-chief-mischief dept.

     

  • Neuroanatomical Correlates of Religiosity and Spirituality” — Lisa Miller, et al., JAMA Psychiatry; from the gonna-set-me-up-with-the-spirit-in-the-sky dept.

    “A thicker cortex associated with a high importance of religion or spirituality may confer resilience to the development of depressive illness in individuals at high familial risk for major depression, possibly by expanding a cortical reserve that counters to some extent the vulnerability that cortical thinning poses for developing familial depressive illness.”

  • Majid Fotuhi quoted at “Is Religion Good for Your Brain?” — Sheila M Eldred, Discovery News; from the hippo-on-campus-would-stress-me-out-too dept.

    “One of the worst killers of brain cells is stress […] Stress causes high levels of cortisol, and cortisol is toxic to the hippocampus. One way to reduce stress is through prayer. When you’re praying and in the zone you feel a peace of mind and tranquility.”

  • Death Grips, with videos featured on this blog on occassion, will be on tour with Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden.

     

  • On the occult, books, and the senses” — Brigit Katz, Bibliopaths; from the medium-is-the-message dept.

    “Occult revivals that are bubbling up in Brooklyn and in other pockets across the country have ushered in something of a Golden Age for small-press, metaphysical publishing houses. ‘That’s sort of the new wave of occult books: a re-evaluation of occult book as tome, and as talisman.’ [Phillip] English tells me. ‘Occultists or magicians, they tend to be collectors … They can appreciate the sort of art and magic that went into the work itself.’ Which isn’t to say that all members of the occult community buy into the idea of book-as-talisman. Phil Hine, a British occultist who has written several books on a practice called Chaos Magic, is among the witches and magicians who have questioned the value of ornately bound hard covers to magical rites. ‘Generally, I buy books because of the content,’ he writes on his blog. ‘Presentation is a secondary consideration.'”

  • Book Review: ‘Plato at the Googleplex’ by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein” — Colin McGinn, The Wall Street Journal; from the drown-me-in-the-shallow-water dept.

    “Rebecca Goldstein has written a timely book about our own age by taking us back to an earlier age—that of the ancient Greeks. She wants to know what the works of Plato can teach us about the life worth living, about politics, child rearing, love and sex, about knowledge and reality, brain and mind, truth, goodness, and beauty. Ms. Goldstein’s book is felicitously written, impressively researched, insightful, important, entertaining and glowing with intelligence. Plato is brought marvelously to life, and, as a welcome corollary, philosophy is vindicated against what Ms. Goldstein aptly labels the ‘philosophy-jeerers’—those who rashly claim that philosophy has no intellectual substance or future in this scientific era.”

  • ‘Son Of God’ Veers Toward Gnostic Heresy” — Joel Gehrke, The Federalist; from the heresy-gone-tomorrow dept.

    Son of God gives oxygen to a claim that early church leaders denounced as historically and theologically false because it contradicts the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life. The movie’s portrayal of Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples creates the impression that Jesus ordered Judas to betray him.

    They aren’t the first to do that. An ancient Gnostic sect known as the Cainites honored traditional villains such as Cain and Judas, praising the latter as the closest confidant of Jesus, according to the second-century church father Irenaeus of Lyons.”

  • Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?” — Nafeez Ahmed, The Guardian’s Earth Insight; from the IDM dept.

    “A new study sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

    Noting that warnings of ‘collapse’ are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that ‘the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history.’ Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to ‘precipitous collapse — often lasting centuries — have been quite common.'”

  • Detection of primordial gravitational waves announced” — Matthew Francis, Ars Technica; from the bang-bang-that-awful-sound dept.

    “When the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced a press conference for a “Major Discovery” (capital letters in the original e-mail) involving an unspecified experiment, rumors began to fly immediately. By Friday afternoon, the rumors had coalesced around one particular observatory: the BICEP microwave telescope located at the South Pole. Over the weekend, the chatter focused on a specific issue: polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background left over from the Big Bang. With the start of the press conference, it’s now clear that we’ve detected the first direct evidence of the inflationary phase of the Big Bang, in which the Universe expanded rapidly in size.”

  • Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun” — Dennis Overbye, The New York Times; from the bang-bang-my-baby-shot-me-down dept.

    “One night late in 1979, an itinerant young physicist named Alan Guth, with a new son and a year’s appointment at Stanford, stayed up late with his notebook and equations, venturing far beyond the world of known physics.

    He was trying to understand why there was no trace of some exotic particles that should have been created in the Big Bang. Instead he discovered what might have made the universe bang to begin with.”

  • The Remnants of Prehistoric Plant Pollen Reveal that Humans Shaped Forests 11,000 Years Ago” — Josie Garthwaite, Smithsonian Magazine; from the ancient-anthropocene dept.

    “A new study of pollen samples extracted from tropical forests in southeast Asia suggests humans have shaped these landscapes for thousands of years. Although scientists previously believed the forests were virtually untouched by people, researchers are now pointing to signs of imported seeds, plants cultivated for food, and land clearing as early as 11,000 years ago—around the end of the last Ice Age.

    The study, to be published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Archaeological Science comes from researchers led by paleoecologist Chris Hunt, of Queen’s University, Belfast, who analyzed existing data and examined samples from Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Thailand and Vietnam.”

  • The Famished Road by Ben Okri [HT Literary Interest]; from the bring-me-a-dream dept.

    “We can redream this world and make the dream come real. Human beings are gods hidden from themselves.”

  • Hodges’ Constellation cards” — The World of Playing Cards; from the he-saw-stars-in-his-eyes dept.

    “The Ram, the Bull, the Heavenly Twins,
    And next the Crab, the Lion shines —
    The Virgin and the Scales,
    The Scorpion, Archer, and the Goat,
    The Man that Bears the Watering Pot,
    And Fish with glittering tails.”

    Charles Hodges Constellation cards at World of Playing Cards

     

  • Masonic Playing Cards” — The World of Playing Cards; from the know-when-to-hold-em dept.

    “This attractive pack commemorating the history of freemasonry has the Kings as masters of the lodge, the Queens and Jacks are other masonic officers while the Jokers are two operative masons. The deck contains two interpretation cards explaining the meaning of the Masonic symbolism.”

    Masonic Playing Cards at World of Playing Cards

     

  • Hermetic Library anthology artist Doleful Lions has a new release, Annotated Gilgamesh b/w Tearstreaked Monster.

     

  • Child’s illustrated garden of Satanic ritual abuse” — Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing; from the is-that-a-euphemism-in-your-pocket dept.

    “I want to go home. I already HAD the ‘magic surgery.’ They put a monster in me.”

    Child's illustrated garden of Satanic ritual abuse via Boing Boing

     

  • Ancient Egyptian Kitten Skeletons Hint at Cat Domestication” [HT Boing Boing]; from the curious-what’s-in-that-bag dept.

    “The skeletons of six cats, including four kittens, found in an Egyptian cemetery may push back the date of cat domestication in Egypt by nearly 2,000 years.

The Mass of the Phoenix public and private

Coph Nia, a local body of Ordo Templi Orientis in the valley of Eugene, OR, whose body master is Hermetic Library fellow David Richard Jones sent a sheet with two version of Liber XLIV, The Mass of the Phoenix; one is the familiar version which is a eucharistic ritual for an individual Magician, and the other is a version you may or may not know about, a version once ‘ordained for public service’, which is designed as a public eucharistic ritual that predates the Gnostic Mass, which was first published in The International in March 1918 and written in 1915 during Russian tour of Crowley’s Ragged Ragtime Girls troupe, as a Thelemic ritual designed for public service. This last “was publicly performed, in London, by Crowley, Leila Waddell & possibly Victor Neuburg” in 1913, and you can find it published in Equinox IV 2, p 370, as a footnote to Liber CDXV, Opus Lutetianum or The Paris Working. This handy reference has arrived and is now part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Coph Nia Mass of the Phoenix

The Commentaries of AL dust cover

A little while back I posted about the copy of The Commentaries of AL, Volume V No 1 of what is sometimes called the Red Equinox, by Aleister Crowley and another (Marcelo Ramos Motta), the 1975 first edition hardcover from Weiser Books, that is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Marcelo Ramos Motta and Aleister Crowley's The Commentaries of AL from Weiser Books

In that post I mentioned that mine was without the dust cover and asked if anyone with a physical copy of this that still has the dust cover would let me know what the inside flap for this book has to say, if anything, about itself. Clifford B recently sent me scans of the dust cover from his copy of this book so I could take a gander. The inside back cover dust copy is an ad for Weiser’s edition of The Equinox, Vol I Nos 1–10, and for The Equinox, Vol 3 No 1, but the inside front dust copy and back cover speak about this volume.

Marcelo Ramos Motta Commentaries of AL front cover

The Commentaries of AL
by Aleister Crowley and Marcelo Motta

The Commentaries of AL introduces a new series of The Equinox as Volume 5 Number 1, released under the auspices of Marcel Motta, the current Praemonstrator of the A∴A∴ It is the first book to bear the Imprimatur of the Order since the publication of Liber Aleph in 1962.

Liber AL vel Legis—The Book of the Law—is an Initiated text whose doctrine is propounded in 220 verses that are to be the guiding principles of makind for the next 2000 years. It was communicated in 1904 through Aleister Crowley, who continually sought to elucidate the mystery of this Book in all his subsequent works. His major effort, the New Comment, was written in the 1920’s.

Crowley’s supremely modern point of view in the New Comment has been heightened by Marcelo Motta’s editing, which seeks to eliminate matter of non-magickal value, and other material easily consulted in the published writings of the A∴A∴, now more readily available than in Crowley’s own lifetime. He has himself written an extensive commentary (carefully distinguished by typestyle) that weaves in and through Crowley’s writing with an artistry both provoking and illuminating.

He or she who seeks to penetrate these pages with honesty and courage will be brought to a deeper understanding of the significance of Liber AL, whose law was given for every man and every woman.” — inside front dust copy

Marcelo Ramos Motta Commentaries of AL back cover

. . . 26. These slay, naming your enemies; & they shall fall before you.

Serious students will understand that ‘they shall fall before you’ does not necessarily mean that you shall slay them. Also, unserious students had better beware of trying to employ this magickal formula: ‘thou hast no right by to do thy will.’

Perhaps the following apologue will be of help:

A profane lew a beetle before Ra-Hoor-Khuit, naming a person he considered his enemy; and soon after, the profane went mad.

An Initiate slew a beetle before Ra-Hoor-Khuit, naming the person he considered his worst enemy, that is, himself; and soon after, he became a Master of the Temple.

AUGMN.” — Commentaries of AL, Chapter 3, Verse 26, as appears on the back cover

 

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Sex Magick

The Best of the Equinox, Sex Magick: Volume III by Aleister Crowley, selected and introduced by Lon Milo DuQuette, from Weiser Books, is due for release on November 1, 2013. As they say in the email announcement, “Before there was ‘sex, drugs, and rock & roll’ there was Aleister Crowley.”

Aleister Crowley Lon Milo DuQuette Sex Magick from Weiser Books

Through November 14th, if you order directly from Red Wheel / Weiser, they have a 30% discount code available, so use EQUI at checkout. There’s also an excerpt available in PDF format, if you want to get a gander at what it looks like.

The Equinox, in print from 1909–1919, was a magical journal published by Aleister Crowley and included Crowley’s own A∴A∴ laws, rituals and rites, reviews, and magical works by other important practitioners. Published as ten volumes, much of the material remains out of print today. Now, for the first time since Israel Regardie’s selections Gems from the Equinox (1974) renowned scholar and U.S. Deputy Grandmaster General of the O.T.O. Lon Milo DuQuette presents readers with his own selections from this classic publication, The Best of the Equinox.

Volume III of the series presents perhaps the most titillating of esoteric subjects, Sex Magick. Once he grasped the fundamentals of sexual magick, Aleister Crowley understood it to be the key that unlocks the secrets of the universe. He dedicated the entire second half of his life to exploring its mysteries. This volume presents the bulk of Crowley’s written works on the subject and includes The Gnostic Mass, Energized Enthusiasm, Liber A’ash, Liber Chath, and Liber Stellae Rubeae.” [via]

The Commentaries of AL

The Commentaries of AL, Volume V No 1 of what is sometimes called the Red Equinox, by Aleister Crowley and another (Marcelo Ramos Motta), the 1975 first edition hardcover from Weiser Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Marcelo Ramos Motta and Aleister Crowley's The Commentaries of AL from Weiser Books

Unfortunately not in great shape, and without the dust cover, but this much maligned Motta commentary on Liber AL vel Legis, The Book of the Law is still an interesting addition to the collection.

If anyone with a physical copy of this that still has the dust cover would let me know what the inside flap for this book has to say, if anything, about itself, I’d much appreciate hearing from you so I could add that information to this post.

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Commentaries on the Holy Books and Other Papers

Commentaries on the Holy Books and Other Papers (Equinox), containing commentaries on the Class A libri by Aleister Crowley and other papers, including work by H P Blavatsky, J F C fuller and Charles Stansfeld Jones (Frater Achad), is part of the collection at the Reading Room. This is both a paperback and hardcover published as Equinox IV 1 by Weiser.

Aleister Crowley and others in Commentaries on the Holy Books also called Equinox IV 1 from Weiser

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.