Category Archives: Hermetic Library Zine

Current and past issues of Hermetic Library Zine are collected here. Read more about the Hermetic Library Zine, and if you’ve got something, send it as a submission.


by SD Master

The baby was born with a funnel in each ear. Deaf to the sounds because of the excess. Instructed on how to behave by parents and peers, she grew to know her name as Ophidia. A serpent, reviled amongst the darkened mass who currently controlled the town. Tormented and treated as a freak, she grew into the likeness of those who held her in contempt. She learned, through the use of forgiveness, that the light she held within could be used to dispel the shadows of her life. A mirror, placed in her lap as a childhood distraction, shewed her how to be forgiving of those who knew less. Her sweet lips, being sealed from birth, longed to speak of things she knew, but knowing these things, she understood that her tongue and the distance between ears could/would be misconstrued and/or misunderstood.

From Quotes, Quips and Whimsical Conundrums by SD Master.

SD Master is a mystic who writes poetry.

Hermetic Library Zine SD Master Ophidia Aphelion 2023

Devotional scapular for Thelemites

by John Griogair Bell

I’ve been known to say “The worst of Thelema is Plymouth Brethren for assholes; the best of Thelema is Roman Catholicism for sex addicts.” One of the things that I’ve seen people adopt and adapt, at least in major part, if they’re honest, from Roman Catholicism in their Thelemic practice is the use of rosary. Among others who have done workshops and articles, there’s T Polyphilus’ A Magick Rosary which has an example for the construction and use of a Thelemic rosary.

Hermetic Library Zine Bell Devotional Scapular for Thelemites Aphelion 2023 Devotional Prayer

Within the Roman Catholic tradition, the use of the rosary is sometimes naturally paired into a kit with wearing a devotional scapular. Whilst you might have a pretty good idea what a rosary looks like, and how it is used; you might be much less familiar with the scapular if you’re not Roman Catholic or other sect that uses them, and even then, maybe not.

The devotional scapular is a kind of wide necklace that drapes over the shoulders and has pendants in front and back, typically rectangular cloth suspended from bands, and worn under the top layer of clothing, as opposed to being outerwear. The device is used to symbolically both show others and remind the wearer of a pledge, vow, or way of being. The rectangular cloth can be decorated with images or verses related to one’s intention in wearing.

The scapular (from L. scapulae “shoulders”) was a piece of clothing that may have developed from an apron-like outer garment worn by medieval monks into both the monastic scapular and the devotional scapular. Typically the monastic scapular is worn over the shoulders and draped in front and back by those in monastic orders, and you’ve certainly seen images of monks and nuns wearing them. Originally a development from a practical piece of clothing, the monastic scapular has even become required kit for some.

The scapular is described is as both scutum (L. “shield”) and jugum Christi (L. “yoke of Christ”). The term shield might bring to mind St Patrick’s Breastplate (“Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left,” &c.) which has some striking similarities to, and I’ve suggested an influence on, the Kabablistic Cross (“Before me Raphael; Behind me Gabriel; On my right hand Michael. On my left hand Auriel” &c.) as in used by the Golden Dawn, in Liber O, and so on. The term yoke might bring to mind the thought of Yoga (Sk. “yoke”) and the etymology of religion (L. re-ligio as “re-link” or, if you will allow, re-yoke).

The scapular (long, hanging open at the sides) is not a tabard (short, also having open sides) or surcoat (long, closed at the sides but split in the middle for riding). Two images that might come to mind are the white garment with a red cross of a Knight Templar, or what sombunall celebrants at Gnostic Mass wear in the role of child or deacon. (In the lodge where I was most active, we had them and called them, it turns out incorrectly, tabards. However, I’ve also seen other kits use white, black and gold scarfs or stoles instead.) The Knight Templar is probably wearing a proper tabard or surcoat. And, the participant in Gnostic Mass is probably wearing essentially a monastic scapular.

Whilst the monastic orders had their scapular appropriate for their use, the devotional scapular is appropriate for others not in orders. One might say, given the relation to vocation, that at a certain point members of EGC might best wear an actual scapular, but the adopting and adapting the use of a devotional scapular as symbolic statement and reminder seems useful in a number of ways.

One can actually find rosary and devotional scapular kits in various places, but I’m going to suggest that both are easily made, and being made are more meaningful. Plus the making can be a whole thing to make into an intentional ritual operation as well.

Rosaries and devotional scapula are made of many kinds of materials, like beads, leather, metal, and so on. You can, of course, get as fancy as you like, but keep in mind that you can also make them plainly and even DIY. For example, grab some paper and string, a pen and scissors and tape/stapler; make your own scapular right now. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just be intentional about it.

Here’s some ideas for what you could do right now. Head to the Liber Legis pages at the library and print out the images of the front and back of the Stele of Revealing, and use those for the front and back. You could go really wild and use a bead loom to create representational patterns of stele or tarot or so on. Or, go entirely simple and just write 93 and 93s on the paper, cut it out, and hang them on some yarn.

Hermetic Library Zine Bell Devotional Scapular for Thelemites Aphelion 2023 Simple DIY 93

One other thing I’ll suggest as an idea is to borrow the symbols and meaning of the pentagram and hexagram from LBRP (“For about me flames the Pentagram, And in the Column stands the six-rayed Star.” &c) and the robes of the A∴A∴ probationer; with the red 5 pointed star on the front and the red and blue triangles in the shape of a six pointed star on the back; a design you’ve probably seen and realize has meaning.

Hermetic Library Zine Bell Devotional Scapular for Thelemites Aphelion 2023 White Robe Red Star Probationer Tau

Of course, one could also tattoo. You’ve no doubt been around Thelemites without shirts and seen how they often have a variety of more or less ornate pectoral stigmata tattoos, but, as far as I recall rarely if ever do they have a matching dorsal tattoo to make a pair. So, maybe there’s something there to explore by your own ingenium.

Although a permanent tattoo might be interesting and serious, the ability to wear different devotional scapular depending on the current season, moon phase, ritual operation, or so ever, might be a really good reason to start creating and collecting. Start building a set of scapular with all the tarot cards and use each of them when you find them appropriate to what’s going on for you. Or, take a magick oath and make a scapular as a statement and reminder of that current operation.

What designs might you think of and for what ritual or devotional purpose will you use them?

Hermetic Library Zine Bell Devotional Scapular for Thelemites Aphelion 2023 Ritual


John Griogair Bell is the enigmatic super-villain, known only, to some, as Librarian.

The Steel Wheel

by SD Master

The Steel* Wheel*

They* can twist and turn,
bend and rend a thing into being,
or keep it from becoming.
A turn of the tongue,
a twist of the head,
a light…
What is beginning
to come into sight…
A thought that The Makers* sent
or a rebel* devised…
To be crushed
or given life…
In Mind*.
The Steel* Wheel,
a factory in tyme,
that turns and learns
and teaches.
Mistakes I’ve learned to tell…
A Warning…
To be this close is to be…
I’ve heard that everyone has a card, and that everyone is a card,
and to become other than a card
Is a hand*…
And Lord help you to be right.
I turned the key in the lock,
and with minimal trouble,
opened the door to my flat.
Out on the town,
stumbling and dumb,
a light inside
guided me to my desk.
How close I can feel to you,
my reader,
as I write,
…this close I can touch
and leave a bit of myself.
I’m very close,
almost being crushed, …I can feel…
As I read these words… Never forsake Love… In any form…
For that is
all that I have

Hermetic Library Zine SD Master Steel Wheel

Hand = 8154 = 9, #9 in the Tarot, “The Hermit*”. 5, “5 to 1, 1 in 5, no one here gets out alive. (Jim Morrison—From the album “Waiting for the Sun”—1968).

Makers = 412592 = 5, #5 in the Tarot, “The Hierophant*”. Individuals who mentally band together against an individual in order to control said individual through the use of sublimation (Thought Control).

Mind = 4954 = 5, #5 in the Tarot, “The Hierophant*”. A thought that The Makers* sent or a rebel* devised… to be given life in mind.

Rebel = 9535 = 4, #4 in the Tarot, “The Emperor*”. Someone who goes against convention.

Steel = 12553 = 7, #7 in the Tarot, “The Chariot*”, Hard metal, when it was said, “I will build my church upon this rock”, what rock do you think he was speaking of! (Pun intended).

They = 2857 = 5, #5 in the Tarot, “The Hierophant*. The Others, separate from oneself, those who are Not me., yet mold me into what they desire.

Wheel = 58553 = 8, #8 in the Tarot, “Strength*”. Action/Reaction, Cause and Effect, Life/Death/Life. Karma. Cause and Effect Affectively Causes a Reaction and IT IS this action that causes the wheel to not only turn, but to spiral up. So, it is important to cycle thru with pen in hand. Take notes… scribe to me! (Pun intended).

4 = The Emperor, Government, A cube, “Reality” (as apposed to dream). Do as your told, not as you know. Aries the Ram or the Lamb.

5 = The Hierophant, Pontiff, Spiritual Instruction, Seated between two pillars, Reality and Dream. Interprets either, controls neither. Is As.

7= The Chariot, To stand on the Fence. To guide previously unruly opposite sides in the same direction. Light in Darkness. Run away from, run towards.

8 = Strength, The Lion as King of the beasts. Restraint, Control yourself. Allow no one to tell you what to do. Live your life and tell no one how to live theirs.

9 = The Hermit, Old and Wise, 3 legs, a hand, Yod as the secret fire. The fluidic Essence of Light. Yod as Spermatozoon as Hand as Logos as Virgin.

From The Great Work by SD Master.

SD Master is a mystic who writes poetry.

The map

by SD Master

He carried a map, a clock and a ball of knotted green yarn. He could find any place he wanted, yet he was lost. Far sighted, yet the trees blocked his view. Born into a family that was not his own, abandoned because he was not like everyone else. The rumors told of him, though untrue, became more concrete with each telling. Driven from his village, spells cast, rocks thrown, indignity piled upon unfounded truths, he was turned out to wander and remember in solitude. His only solace were his dreams, the half tasted remembrances, thoughts, shades and shadows consciously inserted into his mind by the group that controlled his actions and his life. The animals he encountered, not unlike many of his detractors, were kinder to him than the villagers he had grown up amongst.

The map he held was blank, only a dot showed him where he was. The clock allowed him to know how long he had walked and the knotted green yarn allowed him to discern the distance he had travelled. Reaching for the collar of his shirt, he found the pen that he habitually had clipped there. He could now update the map.

From Quotes, Quips and Whimsical Conundrums by SD Master.

SD Master is a mystic who writes poetry.

Hermetic Library Zine the Map 9apr2023

The end is best considered Before Beginning

from The Headflux Chronicles, Book 1, by Will Lorimer

Hermetic Library Zine Lorimer Headflux the End Is Best Considered Before Beginning



Was there ever such a family in the Natural? In the Secret Histories, only the bloodlines of the Imperators come close. However, rather than throwing bloody games and giving imperial demonstrations of power, ritualizing was the Family’s specialty, and fomenting fear their stock-in trade – nameless fear of the sort that enters without knocking in the dead of night, and lingers all day just out of reach, like the pervasive odour of a kipper planted within the walls of a house by a Numpty seeking to acquire it at a knockdown price. As in spring, the ploughsnan liberally scatters grain in the furrowed fields, so the greybeards of the Old High Council planted seeds in unsuspecting minds and then watched their crops bloom accordingly.

Deception, bribery, and the unfortunate but necessary ritual sacrifice of an illegitimate son of the Marquis of Nippy paved the way for the forged Concordat of sixteen ninety-nine between Dreedland and their larger neighbour to the south. Of course, by then a few temples were already operating in Westminton, but with the privileged access the Concordat brought in the corridors of power, the numbers of Numpties there proliferated accordingly. Soon Temples were established in both Houses of Congress, Judges Chambers, the Inns of the Lawyers, the Constabulary of Westminton – anywhere there was a confluence of power in the Capital of Mingland. Once these gains had been consolidated, the Family cast their net wider, to Knuttland, where the special Dreed bodyguards of the King (who unwisely trusted Numpties more than his subjects) set up temples in Isis, which later were instrumental in overthrowing the monarchy.

The next opportunity came at the start of the Colonial Era, with the founding of new colonies in Rumpty and Tumpty. Trade everywhere was up, and the Family had great plans for the colony of Bigger. Then, with the invention of the steam engine by a Dreed came another upsurge in commerce. What was up was down the next day in the Westminton Stock Exchange, and every time the market turned, Numpty traders in the know sold stocks short, or long, as indicated, divvying the spoils later. It was all going swimmingly for the Old High Council, yet ensconced in Nippy, but then in seventeen oh six, the sum of all their fears returned – with compound interest. On Walpurguis night, their worst nightmare was made flesh in a cellar of Old Beard Temple.

After innumerable invocations over the centuries, and the burning of a page torn from the long lost Book of Squares, which had mysteriously turned up in the temple library, the unconscionable Emissary manifested, but then escaped the bounds of a magic square, which could not be redrawn, or recalled. For no-one present, at least not the Elders, could recall the precise numerical sequences of the magic square, as first set down by Sir Richard Momphry, a knight postulant of the Old Natural Order, who had got it from the mouth of a Blind Knotter Scholar after he had had stumbled into the knight’s tent out of the Maccram Desert, and expired in his arms, gasping out the formula to raise the Manikin. The incident later accorded an entry in the family annals for the Year of Sweet Lord X, 1320, in a chapter dealing with the Second X-Ade to the City of Knot.

This was the stuff memory files were made of. Snatches of conversation, bite-sized transmissions from FUX Media Corp; news from all over, but what was most frustrating: no local news concerning the recent evacuation of Nippy. A jumble of sensation – claustrophobia, condensation, clammy skin … above all, inchoate, enclosing rage.

To my rising indignation, Master was attentive only to the Contessa, curse her. The uncaring oaf even bumped the bag repeatedly against the stairwell railings, as together they descended the stairs to the small tree-lined courtyard below, where Seth was treated to a demonstration of her proficiency at, believe it or not, fuxing Fux Martial Arts. As far I could gather, from where I was positioned, set down at a distance on the cold pavement, her purpose was to teach him the routines of a Fux body trick portentously called the Third Parameter of the Isometric Paradigm. A risible title had not it been for her solemn tone, and I have to admit even I was intrigued when she began by pointing out a detail on the exterior of the tenement they had just left.

‘You mean that rusting enamel plate fixed to the landing up there?’ my master responded. ‘It’s a surveyor’s mark, right? They’re on buildings all round town, but though I pass under it daily, I can’t say I noticed that one.’ He laughed, clearly delighting in his inadequacies in the maer.

‘Actually, Seth,’ she interjected, in a school-marmy tone I found particularly annoying, ‘That’s a Makkar’s Mark. Ubiquity confers a certain invisibility, as you have just confirmed.’

‘What do the three numbers separated by the Y indicate?’

‘Those are co-ordinates, triangulated on the nearest parameter, which, given the proximity of the Navel, under Old Beard Bridge, is singularly powerful. Pay attention, Seth. Dumpty, Tumpty, and
Rumpty intermesh on parameters intersecting the tablets.’

‘This is the Mesh we are discussing?’

‘Yes, in a manner of speaking, but not the artificial construct that I mentioned previously.’

‘Is this uh … network also artificial?’

‘No, at least we don’t think so.’

‘We?’ my master reiterated.

‘The Fux, who else?’ She said, impatient to get on.

‘The Natural’s parameters are all mapped, by the way,’ she added, briskly, perhaps hoping to pre-empt another question.

‘And the signs?’ he persisted.

‘Seth, please,’ she said, exasperated. ‘The signs were put up many years ago by lower Numpty Orders on our instruction. And before you ask me, in this case, our refers to the Fux, not me before I drew the Renegade Card in a ritual, but because I wasn’t around when the decision was made. Now, please, you need to know this.’

‘Ok,’ my master said, clearly having missed her reference to a card, ‘I’m all ears.’

‘The Lacemakker’s Mesh, as we call it, is constituted of an omnipresent paern of lace-like conduits connected to the hook.’

‘Lacemakkar? I’ve got to keep a look-out for Her book?’ my master chuckled, obviously mishearing her; for she had said “hook”.

‘And what do these, ah, conduits conduct?’

‘Simultaneity surf,’ she declaimed, ‘crashing unheard on the Simulacrum Spheres.’ I quote from a Fux poet. In other words, all sorts of untoward events and unnatural happenings occurring simultaneously across the Whole Natural.’

‘Explain, please,’ my master demanded, in his usual truculent tone.

‘Nanos are strange. That’s a truism. Strange to each other and strange to themselves. Now’t so queer as nanos, as the saying goes. We think of the Whole Natural as being separated into Dumpty, Rumpty, and Tumpty, when in fact it is one. Our personalities we regard as similarly split. Ka, Ba, and La, as Ancient Ma’atians described it: conscious, unconscious, and impulse. In other words, ‘double, double, and trouble thrown in for three.’ She quoted from the famous Dreed play nano actors never mention by name, implying she belonged to that vainglorious guild. ‘You know how it is; everything is going fine in your life and then suddenly you get a run of bad luck. It can work in reverse, but whichever way, events usually arrive in sequences of threes. It’s the prevailing paern across the Whole Natural. Change waves parcel simultaneous connected events to the parameters of the triangulated grids. That’s how the Law of Three works, where the Mesh is concerned. It connects everything, and everyone, Seth. And the bad luck you experience is visited on others across the Three Interfaces of Nano Existence.

‘Come here,’ she went on, stepping near to where I was positioned. ‘Look, there by the bag, note how those paving slabs are variegated in colour.’

‘Is that lichen?’ my master enquired.

‘No, Seth, look closer,’ she instructed.

‘What is it?’ he breathed, the clumsy young oaf kneeing the bag in which I was held captive as he knelt down.

‘A tell-tale imprint of change, another sign indicating the parameter is near. Curious you put the bag on the exact spot.’

‘The spot?’ my master reiterated, stupidly, shunting the bag aside, inconsiderately applying his boot to my cheek.

‘There, you see, the residual X.’

‘Takes a bit of imagination to see it,’ he observed, I thought a tad resentfully.

‘It’s there nonetheless. The parameter is always marked.’

‘So what comes next?’

‘Dancing on the spot,’ she said, with a girlish laugh, which was surprising, considering her age.

‘Am I to be blindfolded as in a Numpty ritual?’ he demanded, in a tone indicating he was more worried about the potential for humiliation than about my predicament in the bag.

‘Nothing so dramatic, Seth,’ the Contessa soothed.

‘This is a practice exercise to reintegrate your misaligned Ka, Ba, and La.’

‘Are there any dangers?’

‘Theoretically yes. You could fall into the Well.’

‘I don’t see any well,’ my master said, no doubt craning his neck and looking around.

‘Not yet, but you will. It is the pupil of blind Lacemakkar. In other words, the beam of the Makkar’s Eye, searching for you now.’

‘He is?’

‘Always, Seth, since you are a candidate.’

‘Shit,’ he moaned. ‘What’s this you’ve got me into?’ ‘You have no choice. You never had,’ she sighed.

‘Now concentrate and follow my movements exactly,’ she continued, brooking no more chat-back. ‘It’s important to mentally remove yourself from your surroundings, as you’ll see. Let me guide you.

Tuck your left foot up against your right calf, raise yourself up on your toes. Staying on the same spot, hop three times. Rest, extend your arms if necessary, but stay balanced on the spot, and repeat. Do it in time as I count. Now! One, two, three … one, two three, and again, one, two, three … Now you’re getting it. One, two, three … Faster … that’s it …’

They went on like this until, somewhere up above, the climate shields presumably parted, because suddenly the Beam of the Eye shone through the thin plastic of the bag, illuminating my confines as, simultaneously, a sudden squall gusting, as it were, out of nowhere sent me rolling until my forehead butted against something hard.

‘That’s quite enough!’ the Contessa said, sharply. ‘I warned you about the Well. We must depart this place. Now! Get the bag from over by that pillar,’ she ordered.

A moment later, my master hefted the bag up and over his shoulder, where I remained, disconsolately bumping his back, as he and the Contessa descended some more stairs into a rising hubbub of countless voices, jabbering in all the known languages of the Three Tablets. I guessed we were in the Gallowgate and somehow all the evacuated citizens were back. But I was wrong; a tiny tear in the bag allowed me a glimpse of a street sign as we passed. I knew then that, with her Fux routines, the Contessa had tricked me, and we were not in any Nippy referenced in my gazetteer of Dreedland street names.


This is a satirical SF novel in the tradition of Swift, with footnotes that give an alternative history of the world.

Will Lorimer is a multi-media artist and the author of a number of books.

What are the Words

by SD Master

What are the Words
What are the words
That I need Speak.
Temptations, Insatiable fire,
That breeds* and bleeds*
And demands attention.
The frustration of chains*,
Unspeakable tortures and pain,
Desires unquenchable,
And The Wheel*
That turns
And begins

Hermetic Library Zine SD Master What Are the Words

Bleeds = 235541 = 2, #2 of the Tarot, “The High Priestess*”. Yoni, female reproductive organ, Vulva.

Breeds = 295541 = 8, #8 of the Tarot, “Strength*”, Self Control. Male, Lingam, Priapus, Penis, Phallus. Dick, Richard, President, George, Head.

Chains = 38191 = 4, #4 in the Tarot, “The Emperor*”. That which binds you to the material plane, that which controls you. Got a smoke? Want a drink? Got a hard on? Standing near the fire? (Pun intended).

Wheel = 58553 = 8, #8 in the Tarot, “Strength*”. Action/ Reaction, Cause and Effect, Life/Death/Life. Karma. Cause and Effect Affectively Causes a Reaction and IT IS this action that causes the wheel to not only turn, but to spiral up. So, it is important to cycle thru with pen in hand. Take notes… scribe to me! (Pun intended).

2 = The High Priestess, The Camel. The Veil, Mystery, to travel through the desert, keep your hands out of your pants. Keep your ears open and your mouth shut.

4 = The Emperor, Government, A cube, “Reality” (as apposed to dream). Do as your told, not as you know. Aries the Ram or the Lamb.

8 = Strength, The Lion as King of the beasts. Restraint, Control yourself. Allow no one to tell you what to do. Live your life and tell no one how to live theirs.

From The Great Work by SD Master.

SD Master is a mystic who writes poetry.