Omnium Gatherum: October 24, 2018

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for October 24, 2018

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

  • The Last Days of New Paris: A Novel by China Miéville

    Miéville The Last Days of New Paris

    “A thriller of war that never was—of survival in an impossible city—of surreal cataclysm. In The Last Days of New Paris, China Miéville entwines true historical events and people with his daring, uniquely imaginative brand of fiction, reconfiguring history and art into something new.

    “Beauty will be convulsive. . . .”

    1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer—and occult disciple—Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.

    1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts—and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.

    But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties—to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.”

  • “Serge Arnoux, Surrealism and William Blake” — Robert Campbell Henderson, Finding Blake

    “It’s not so easy to find or write something new about William Blake. Hopefully, this might just be an exception. A few weeks ago I made a visit to a scrap metal yard in Sarlat, France, looking for material for my printmaking. Boy did I get lucky! I bought some copper plate destined for the furnace and it turns out I’d bought 27 etched copper plates by deceased French artist Serge Arnoux, based on some of the ‘Proverbs of Hell’ from Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell from 1790.”

  • Surrealism, Occultism and Politics: In Search of the Marvellous, edited by Tessel M. Bauduin, Victoria Ferentinou, and Daniel Zamani, from Routledge

    Bauduin Ferentinou Zamani Surrealism Occultism and Politics

    “This volume examines the relationship between occultism and Surrealism, specifically exploring the reception and appropriation of occult thought, motifs, tropes and techniques by Surrealist artists and writers in Europe and the Americas, from the 1920s through the 1960s. Its central focus is the specific use of occultism as a site of political and social resistance, ideological contestation, subversion and revolution. Additional focus is placed on the ways occultism was implicated in Surrealist discourses on identity, gender, sexuality, utopianism and radicalism.”

  • Jack Parsons: The Devil and the Divine, Lore s02e06

    “In 1922 only one person, Jack Parsons, believed that we could send a rocket into space and conjure a demon. By 1952 he had done both. But all he cared about was the Scarlet Woman he had both summoned, and lost, Marjorie Cameron.”

  • The evolution of the medieval witch – and why she’s usually a woman” — Heritage Daily; from the DEPT dept. [HT who]

    “Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls alike.

    But where did this gendered stereotype come from? Part of the answer comes from medieval attitudes towards magic, and the particular behaviours attributed to men and women within the “crime” of witchcraft.”

  • The Witchcraft, Devilry, and Fun, Feminist Fury in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” — Wm.™ Steven Humphrey, The Stranger

    “There’s something to be said for consorting with the devil.

    The perks include nearly unlimited power, awesome opportunities for revenge, and lots of sexy times. However, the downsides are just as lousy as one might experience in other fundamentalist religions.”

  • A Look Inside NYC’s Mysterious Masonic Hall” — Claire Lampen, Gothamist

    “I have always wondered what in the heck goes on inside Masonic lodges: The secrets of Freemasonry are not for women to know—not for anyone but Freemasons to know, really—which makes me inherently suspicious of the entire operation. What do men get up to in there, and why can’t they breathe a word of it to anyone outside the brotherhood? What is so incriminating, or so stigmatizing, or so singularly valuable that it warrants such a heavy cloak of silence?

    Last week, Joseph Patzner, a librarian at the Chancellor Joseph R. Livingston Masonic Library, situated on the 14th floor of the Masonic Hall in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, agreed to sit down with me and discuss the mystery, along with a bit of the Hall’s history. This peek behind the curtain did not illuminate the full extent of the Masons’ cloistered activity, but it did provide a festive backdrop against which my imagination now runs wild.”

  • Monty Python Icon John Cleese Has 2 Brutal Questions For Evangelical Trump Fans. The comedy legend called the president “a sleazy, corrupt, egotistical and mendacious sociopath.” — Ed Mazza, Huffpost

    “Have they not read the New Testament ? Or do they think it’s not meant to be taken literally ?”

  • The Profound Grief of The Haunting of Hill House” — Lindsey Romain, Vulture

    “Netflix’s new ten-episode horror series, The Haunting of Hill House, uses Shirley Jackson’s famous novel as a road map to explore this house-as-body metaphor, and it does so with a profound and precise tenderness. Creator and director Mike Flanagan crafts a wholly unique haunted-house fable — abandoning the book’s paranormal investigation plot — using the hollow halls of a disordered mansion to tell the story of the disordered family who lives there. The hidden ghosts of Hill House aren’t nameless spooks trapped between spiritual realms; they are personal manifestations for the people they haunt, visual aids for the truths they must accept and vanquish. It’s not a paranormal story so much as a meditation on the distinct way grief and trauma maim the living. And it’s scary as hell”

  • We’re Thrilled to Inform You Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Salem the Cat Is Red Carpet Trained” — Devon Ivie, Vulture

    Ivie Salem the Cat is Red Carpet Trained

    “As alerted to us by IndieWire, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s iconic Salem the Cat — rudely only identified as “cat” by Getty Images — must actually possess some kind of satanic power, as that’s the only reasonable explanation why this handsome fella walked the red carpet at the show’s premiere with zero instances of bad behavior.”

  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s New Power Is Being a Woke Feminist” — Frida Garza, Jezebel

    “But as Shipka explained at the series premiere in Los Angeles on Friday night, the Netflix adaptation is also more explicitly feminist, pitting an enterprising Sabrina against the male-dominated world of witches. “She’s a woke witch,” Shipka said.

    Sabrina, who is half-mortal, half-witch, is reluctant to leave the real world behind for the patriarchal magical world. Per Variety: “I think that [premise] in and of itself is very feminist and she’s a strong independent woman and she stands up for herself and does what she thinks is right,” Shipka said.”

    “Will Sabrina’s cat decide to speak up against the pitfalls of toxic masculinity, too? Only time will tell.”

  • This simple productivity tip nudges the easily distracted—ever so gently” — Lila MacLellan, Quartz; about ideas in Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction by Chris Bailey

    “Your mind will always wander, so consider how that might present an opportunity to assess how you’re feeling and then to set a path for what to do next,” he writes in the just-published book.

    One way he has trained his mind to keep its finite amount of attention on whatever task he has designated for it is through an “awareness chime.” Using any number of apps, you can set up your computer or laptop to chime hourly. That gentle, pleasing sound will nudge you to take a second and ask yourself, “Am I doing the thing I’m supposed to be doing right now?”

    Bailey actually suggests posing many other questions, including one about the quality of your attentional flow, distractions you might be able to remove from your environment, and whether you’re ignoring something that is more important than what you’re doing, even if you’re technically on schedule.

  • 5 Tiny Tweaks to Your Daily Routine That Will Double Your Energy and Productivity. In a productivity-obsessed world, these 5 tiny habits will make all the difference.” — Julian Hayes II, Inc.

    “But at its root core, productivity comes down to your energy and flow state (or being “in the zone” as some call it).

    Without those two core elements, it’s impossible to be your most productive self. To get those two elements firing on all cylinders doesn’t need to complicated. In fact, implementing these five tiny tweaks to your daily routine will set you on the right path.

    1. Start and end your day like Benjamin Franklin.”

    “2. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time.”

    “3. Quality food and water before coffee.”

    “4. Schedule and name your work sessions.”

    “5. Take breaks to re-energize yourself.”

  • Ritual to Hex Kavanaugh Is So Popular That Witches Organized Another One. After more than 10,000 people expressed interest in the ritual to hex Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Facebook, creators of the event are giving witches everywhere another opportunity.” — Sara David, Broadly

    “Bracciale describes the hex on Kavanaugh as an act of ‘spiritual solidarity and sociopolitical resistance.'”

    “‘It strikes fear into the heart of Christian fundamentalists,’ Bracciale says of the backlash. ‘That’s one of the reasons that we do it. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. We don’t subscribe to this bullshit, pacifist, love and light, everybody just get along thing. If you want to hijack the country; if you want to steal the election; if you want to overturn Roe v. Wade; if you want to harm people who are queer; well guess what: We’re not doing civility. If you’re going to be these awful bullies, you have to understand someone is going to punch you back and it might as well be a bunch of witches from Brooklyn.'”

  • Catholic Exorcist Prays For Brett Kavanaugh In Response To Witches’ Planned Hex. The Rev. Gary Thomas said those targeting the Supreme Court justice are ‘real evil people.'” — Carol Kuruvilla, Huffpost

    “The Rev. Gary Thomas is a Vatican-educated exorcist who is currently authorized by the Bishop of San Jose to perform exorcisms. In Catholicism, this complex set of rites and prayers is used only by specially trained priests to battle with perceived demonic forces.

    For Thomas, the news that dozens of witches would assemble at an occult bookstore in Brooklyn to target Kavanaugh is no joke. The priest said he’s witnessed people who weren’t in a “state of grace” experience real physical and spiritual harm as a result of curses.”

  • How an abduction by the mysterious Freemasons led to a third political party — the nation’s first. The bizarre history of the Anti-Masonic Party” — Robert Mitchell, The Washington Post

    “The mysterious fate of Morgan animated an uneasy alliance of cranks and ambitious politicians and formed the basis of the first third party in the United States. The Anti-Masonic Party flourished in the late 1820s and early 1830s, before the partisan divisions of the antebellum era solidified into Democrats versus Whigs.”

Horse Under Water

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews Horse Under Water by Len Deighton.

Deighton Horse Under Water

Horse Under Water was Deighton’s second novel and a sequel to his first, The Ipcress File. It continues with the same unnamed protagonist, told in his droll, often circumspect voice, singling out relevant details and allowing the reader to stitch the picture together. The plot involves a great deal of “frogman” action, largely off the coast of Portugal. But there is also intrigue in London, with a fair amount of travel back and forth. Chapters are short, often just one or two pages, and their titles all have the flavor of crossword clues, consistent with the obscurity of the facts as the man from W.O.O.C.(P) tries to discover the real narrative behind the malefactors he encounters.

Baix of the (Marrakech) Sûreté Nationale …: “In any narcotics investigation we are most enthusiastic that the criminal is apprehensive.”

“I know what you mean,” I said. (211)

Summary for the week ending Oct 21, 2018

Here’s a summary of activity for the week ending October 21st, 2018.

A big chunk of my week was spent traveling to try again to get my desktop fixed. Two days on the road, a car rental, an overnight stay, and expenses in addition to everything before that … and I have to do this latest trip all over again whenever they have it ready to pick up. This is a crazy ordeal trying to get repairs covered by the extended service I purchased for this very situation. The reason to go to all this trouble was the suggestion and hope that if I did, then I might be able to get a replacement machine; not just a repair to the existing one. Denied. I tried, but they said no. So, instead of a new machine, they are, quite literally, gutting the entire machine and replacing everything with new stuffing, totaling in parts almost as much as the machine was new. I could have had that done two months ago, but I was strongly encouraged to think that going to extra distance and taking the extra effort would have a more happy result. I’m not happy. This has been a ridiculous ordeal. But, I might have a refurbished machine at some point to pick up with only 30 days of warranty on the new guts. For now, I’m still working with my little laptop. And, nursing what appears to be a flu I picked up on my travels.

In happier news, I just this morning published a guest post, a successful submission supported by all the ongoing Patrons of Hermetic Library, that you should check out. The Unknown Soror by Heather Schubert, an essay identifying Soror Fiat Yod, correspondent with Aleister Crowley in Magick Without Tears, as Anne Maria Macky née Hawkins. I understand that this essay will also appear in an upcoming issue of The Daughters of Babalon, an anthology of works by a broad range of modern writers and artists that captures the rich and multifaceted aspects of the feminine current of Thelema. Consider checking out that anthology, but you can see this essay here at Hermetic Library first!

I’ve also gotten a few belated submissions for the upcoming anthology, Magick, Music and Ritual 14, due at the beginning of December. So, I need to get working on sorting out a cogent playlist from all these submissions, and I think I’ve got a great artist lined up to create a new work specifically for this cover. I’m looking forward to being able to share that release with everyone.

Still looking for help and others to join me in a working community around the library, of course.

Lots of new pages and work on old pages on the site, which is pretty much every week, really. You can always check the front page of the site which shows the most recent changes and new pages, or check out the Recent Changes special page for a full list.

Want to join me on this blog and create new art or writing for Hermetic Library? Pitch your Idea.

Help get some conversations started over on the BBS and Chat.

Be sure to check out the actual Hermetic Library, and drop a buck in the tip jar or become a Patron.

Consider also checking out what I’m up to on my personal blog and at Odd Order.

Here’s a summary of posts on the blog from this last week

Some top pages at the library

Some top posts on social media

The Unknown Soror

Guest author Heather Schubert writes The Unknown Soror. This essay will also appear in an upcoming issue of Daughters of Babalon, Volume II: The Women of Babalon, an anthology of works by a broad range of modern writers and artists that captures the rich and multifaceted aspects of the feminine current of Thelema. Consider checking out that anthology, but you can read this essay here at Hermetic Library first. I’m happy that Hermetic Library can help support and encourage new work like this essay on Anne Maria Macky née Hawkins, also known as Soror Fiat Yod, or The Unknown Soror.

Schubert The Unknown Soror letters

The “Unknown Soror” refers to the woman whose tenacity and thirst for spiritual and occult knowledge eventually led to the book we now know as, Aleister Crowley’s Magick Without Tears. The idea for this publication was born when he met a bright and inquisitive young woman in 1943 and he intended to call it Aleister Explains Everything. She was clearly on the path to her own spiritual enlightenment. They began corresponding immediately and as she walked her path, she questioned him about a wide array of occult and spiritual subjects. Barely any information is given about this mysterious Aspirant beyond the fact that she was female. There is a tiny reference to her in the foreword that appeared in the first edition of the book, but even though Karl Germer goes on to confirm possession of the letters she wrote to Aleister Crowley, there is still no mention of her name. Curiosity inspired me to discover more about this fascinating woman, the “Unknown” Soror.

The completed Magick Without Tears consists of 80 letters to several different students and covers wide variety of magical topics. Initial research yielded confirmation that 50 of the 80 letters came from the “Unknown Soror”. As I continued my research the name Anne Macky appeared. The most information written about her to date is available on the Zero Equals Two website and tells of her correspondences with Aleister Crowley but nothing personal and no details on her life or who she was. I found a couple more references to Anne Macky in correlation with Magick Without Tears. One is in the biography Perdurabo by Richard Kaczynski, where she is listed simply as “an English Woman”. While researching a stack of letters for auction I discovered mention of a receipt by Weiser Antiquarian that listed her as “Anne Macky of Hertfordshire, England”.

Anne Macky was Australian. She was born Anne Maria Hawkins, on February 8, 1887 in Fitzroy Australia. Next to nothing is known of her childhood. We do know that she was very fond of her maternal second cousin Walter James Turner. He was a poet, writer and musician who believed that art had the potential to elevate the soul and to perceive something of one’s true spirituality. These beliefs made a strong impression on young Anne during her formative years. She clearly believed art and music to be a “revelation to transcend the limitations of material reality”, as he so often claimed. The influence of these ideas can be seen throughout Anne’s lifetime, especially within her musical compositions. In the following quote we can begin to see how her perception of art and beauty was ahead of her time and also spiritual in nature.

“By learning to love what the pioneers of Art have done, one attains a deeper sense of Beauty, and one’s standard of what is really beautiful advances.”

In 1901 Anne Hawkins matriculated at the age of 14, which was largely unheard of for women during her time. She received the Senior Certificate of the Royal Academy of Music, London. After studying pianoforte with Eduard Scharf and harmony with W. Coutts at the Albert Street Conservatorium. She became a music teacher.

Records show that from 1903 to 1904 she taught lessons at Miss Cathcart’s High School at Williamstown; Camperdown College in Ballarat from 1904–1905; Miss Gregory’s School in Manning Road, East Malvern in 1906; and Brighton High School from 1906–1908. Anne was registered as a preschool, primary and secondary teacher who was proficient in each of the subjects she taught including, but not limited to, Latin, Math, English, French, History, Algebra, Psychology, Botany and Music.

In early 1908 she married Emile Meyrat. We know the marriage lasted only a few months partly because in June of 1908 she wrote the following in an application for re-instatement of employment as a teacher:

“Herr Scharf considered me one of his best pupils… I would not write so, but that my means of livelihood depend on my teaching which I have been working at these last five years, and which will in the future be of still greater importance to me.”

In 1916 she married Dr. Stewart Macky, a New Zealander. They both had a mutual understanding of the significance the arts have on social renewal and a shared interest in anthroposophy.

In 1917, with the financial help of a family inheritance, she opened The People’s Conservatorium. She wanted to bring a higher standard of learning to everyone with a talent for the arts. She believed that just as studying other subjects made one more proficient at them, so too could this model be used for the arts. Enrollment fees were kept low and the Conservatorium offered several scholarships for those who could not afford to attend. These policies stayed in place throughout the 1920’s and the beginning of the Great Depression. It was truly a conservatorium for the people.

While she made it easy for anyone with a talent for music to attend, her standards for running the school were high and the teachers at her conservatorium were of the highest caliber. Women during this era didn’t usually do things of this magnitude. She was quite the pioneer in her time and her achievements were often reported in the local newspapers.

Anne Macky traveled to London in 1922 to attend a Conference at Oxford College where she heard Rudolf Steiner speak. His teachings in anthroposophy were in line with the values and ideas Macky held from an early age. Rudolf Steiner’s talk made such an impression on her that she went on to establish regular Anthroposophy meetings in Melbourne from 1928 to 1932. Around this same time she co-founded the Michael Group, a branch of the Anthroposophical Society in Melbourne Australia.

The Mackys emigrated to England in 1932, and Violet Somerset and Winifred Lloyd took over her Conservatorium, which had been renamed the New Conservatorium in 1923. Muriel Campbell wrote of Anne Macky in the 1934 Centenary Gift Book:

“The only Conservatorium of Music in Australia to be founded and directed by a woman is that established by Mrs. Anne Macky at Melbourne in 1917. Her enterprise and public spirit must receive our admiration, and although she is now living in England The New Conservatorium proceeds on its original lines, under the guidance of women musicians.”

Once in London the Mackys quickly became involved with several artistic and eclectic groups. She, of course, joined the Society of Women Musicians. Her cousin, W.J. Turner, introduced the Mackys to many artists, composers, and writers that included James Stephens, the pianist Schnabel, a Russian immigrant well known in literary circles named Koteliansky, G.P. Wells, the son of H. G. Wells, painter Mark Gertler, and writer Edward Bryant.

Having heard of his expertise in occult knowledge Anne Macky wanted to meet Aleister Crowley. She arranged for Edward Bryant to make the introduction. On March 12, 1943 he took Anne Macky out to lunch at Hatchett’s restaurant and introduced her to Aleister Crowley. Aleister Crowley noted this meeting in his journals and remarked that Anne Macky was “not so bad”.

Anne Macky was intrigued by Aleister Crowley, and she visited him on her own the very next day. Crowley writes that they had a long talk, after which he nearly threw her out. Evidence suggests that they remained in contact and on April 16th Crowley received an eight-page letter from Anne Macky. He, in turn, wrote her an eight-page response and thus began their correspondences that would eventually evolve into the work we know as Magick Without Tears.

Thirty letters between Aleister Crowley and Anne Macky were set up for auction. In one of those letters Crowley said to Anne Macky “…I find a whole lot of thoughts in your mind which were not explicitly stated in so many words, and all the deeper and more important for that. I really do have to thank you most heartily – you have given me such a shaking up…”

Perhaps it was her tendency for shaking him up that encouraged him to remain in contact with her after stating that he almost threw her out after her first visit. Crowley valued intelligent, determined individuals who weren’t afraid to be blunt. Anne Macky more than met that criteria and he obviously liked her. He had a way of poking fun at people that was sometimes even rude. At one point in his journal he calls her a “Poor old wallaby”, a rather delicate jab that also speaks to her country of origin, Australia.

According to the journals of Anne Macky she moved around a lot, as most families in England did during World War II. They were attempting to seek refuge from the bombing raids. Her journals tell us that she was in Kings Langley in 1943. Her piano pieces appeared on the program from performances at Orchard Finishing School in Kings Langley on January 16, 1943.

One of the letters Aleister Crowley exchanged with Anne Macky has her Kings Langley address on the envelope and it is postmarked 1943. Kings Langley is just down the road from Leverstock Green. Pancake School was the local school in Leverstock Green. Anyone involved in the school might receive their mail at Pancake House, at Leverstock Green. Another one of Crowley’s correspondences with Anne Macky has the Pancake House at Leverstock Green address.

I spoke with a British Historian who has archived many years of history revolving around the Leverstock Green estate and she confirmed what the envelopes show, that Mrs. Anne Macky, Australian teacher, musician, composer, and entrepreneur lived at Leverstock Green in 1944.

In late June of 1943, Anne Macky’s correspondence with Aleister Crowley shows they discussed magick and a certain Rite. From the information in his journals we can say she was undoubtedly a member of the A∴A∴ and was interested in joining the O.T.O. He sent her O.T.O. contact information for people who would initiate her into the order. She inquired further requesting more personal information about these members and he responded by telling her that the Path is an individual one, that the O.T.O. was not a social organization.

“I am arranging to send you the official papers connected to the O.T.O. but the idea that you should meet other members first is quite impossible. Even after affiliation, you would not meet anyone unless it were necessary for you to work in cooperation with them. I am afraid you have still got the idea that the Great Work is a tea-party. Contact with other students only means that you criticize their hats, and then their morals; and I am not going to encourage this. Your work is not anybody else’s; and undirected chatter is the worst poisonous element in a humane society”-Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

He goes on to explain to her that the etiquette of secret orders is such that members should not reveal the names of other members, unless they are dead. Yet, he went on to confirm Steiner’s involvement in the same paragraph, though he still lived at that time.

It seems her desire for companionship during her travels on the path as an aspirant concerned Aleister Crowley throughout their communications. After she visited Crowley again on June 10th, he wrote:

“Mrs. Macky here. Difficult to follow her suspicious mind; she craves company on a path solitary in essence! Born of twins? Even if she were, she will have to die alone!”

Even though they had only met in early 1943, by August of that year we find him pondering her magical motto when in his journal he records, “Mrs Macky ‘I would be one with the creative force of the Universe’. PURAMIS GEN (?) OINI (?) 831.”

On August 17th she informed him in a letter that her motto was in fact Fiat and the letter four, which is Yod, producing Soror “Fiat Yod”, (811+20=831). It’s interesting that the motto he came up with for her and the one she discovered on her own have the exact same numeration. Crowley accepted Fiat Yod as her motto and she is often referenced by a simple “FY” in his journals from that point on.

Aleister Crowley corresponded with many aspirants via hand written letters, as was common in his day. Magick Without Tears was created from the content of his correspondences. It is commonly understood that they were all written to Jane Wolfe – and maybe a few of them were (perhaps, most notably, the letter on Authority). Even though little to no credit is given to Anne Macky, most of Magick Without Tears was born from Crowley’s correspondences with her.

In his journals Crowley states that he struck a bargain with Anne Macky. He paid her the sum of 20 pounds on October 26, 1943. She was to write 50 letters with questions for him to answer and they would eventually be put into a book, Magick Without Tears. She accepted, and by November 10th of that same year he was working on responding to her eighth letter.

At times they argued over the content of the letters and money. Eventually she also requested a copy of the completed book as payment. By November 16th he began referring to Anne as “Mrs Mother Murrmbidgee”. Yet she visited him in person again just two days later and she brought with her a “lovely spray of orchids, white, yellow and purple” and he made comments about the “8 and 90 rules of art”.

Some of the letters she wrote to him were quite involved and over a dozen pages long. On December 16, 1943 as he finished responding to letter number 12 he commented that “It’d be easier if she wrote; ‘What do you think of a) everything and b) nothing? I could answer a) nothing and b) nothing’.”

In a journal entry from January 3rd, he writes about creating a “Rabelaisian List of Adjectives for Steiner and Co.” intended for Anne Macky.

On Jan 6, 1944, Aleister Crowley remarks that he received 26.5 pounds from Anne Macy as well as Chpt XIII to XXV. She missed a meeting with him on January 12th and did not call to say why. He remarks in his journal that he couldn’t reach her over the phone on Jan 13th and he eventually wrote to her at Pancake School in Leverstock Green on January 16th.

Evidence shows that by January 28, 1944 their correspondences were back on track. Crowley notes receiving a charming letter from her at that time. They were supposed to meet on February second, but Anne called it off due to her husband being ill and collapsing.

On February 16th she wrote what Crowley referred to as “Anti-Crowley–grouse” before informing him on March 10th that she was breaking the contract they had between them. On April 3rd the two had a long talk about magick and other things and by April 16th she had resumed writing the letters.

It’s clear that she was often cross with him, but their friendship and correspondences for his book continued. She phoned him on July 11, 1944 and went to lunch with him the next day, which he regarded as a “very bright and pleasant” experience. The last documented correspondence from Anne to Crowley came later that year in August.

Anne Macky returned to Australia in 1946 where she continued teaching and composed numerous works that were regularly performed in Melbourne and occasionally broadcast over the radio. She died in 1964 at the age of 77.

It is my hypothesis that Anne Maria Hawkins is the same Anne Macky who corresponded with Aleister Crowley and who is also known as Soror Fiat Yod, based on this convincing evidence:

I have confirmed, via her personal journals, that Anne Maria Macky (maiden name Hawkins) lived at the Kings Langley address at the same date in which the envelope from Aleister Crowley addressed to “Anne Macky” was postmarked and sent to the exact same address.

There is further proof that suggests she lived at the Pancake House address at the exact date in which the envelope, addressed to Anne Macky from Aleister Crowley was postmarked for that address as well.

British Historian Barbara Chapman confirmed her residence at the Leverstock Green address and sent me some information on the letters that were auctioned off to the O.T.O.

“The good news is yes, it is definitely the same woman. Doing a search of items I hold I came up with this:

1943/44 – Phillips auctioneers catalogue extracts concerning a collection of about 30 letters and other documents to/from Aleister Crowley and Mrs Ann Macky of Pancake Leverstock Green. 3 pages including photograph.’”

Karl Germer mentions he met the Unknown Soror in 1943, the same year Aleister Crowley began corresponding with her.

Letters E & F from Magick Without Tears and journal entries identify Anne Macky as Soror Fiat Yod.

Letter H has this footnote “A letter dated Oct 12, 1943 constitutes letter 48”. In his journal he records receiving a letter from Anne Macky on this same date. This footnote points to the inclusion of Macky’s letters throughout Magick Without Tears as we know from Crowley’s journals that on August 23, 1943 Anne Macky accepted a contract to write 50 letters.

Her name is not given in the published work, nor is the proper order of the letters given, nor which letters went to whom. However, upon reviewing both Aleister Crowley’s journals and the journals of Anne Maria Macky it becomes clear that the majority of the material for Magick Without Tears came from the many correspondences between the two of them.

My search continues for more information on this talented woman, who played a significant part in the history of Thelema and led quite a fascinating life. One thing is certain, it is safe to say that the “Unknown Soror” mentioned by Karl Germer in his introduction to Magick Without Tears, undoubtedly now has a name, and she is Anne Macky, Soror Fiat Yod.

Schubert The Unknown Soror letters 2

Schubert The Unknown Soror letters 3


  • Soror Fiat Yod/Anne Macky
  • Anne Maria Hawkins file from the Victorian Department of Education 1906-1931
  • Anne Macky’s Scrapbook, Grainger Museum
  • The Anne Macky Papers, Grainger Museum
  • Anne Macky: Pianist, Educator and Composer (Melbourne: Mark Neill, 1966)
  • Australian Musical News, January 1924, August 1925, March 1931 and July 1944
  • Music and the Teacher, The Victorian Music Teachers Association, Melbourne 1982
  • The minutes from the Anthroposophical Society of Great Britain, February 2, 1922
  • Manchester College at Oxford Minutes, dated the twentieth of March 1922
  • Anne Macky, To The Temple of the Mind, cited in Henk Bak., Anne Macky, 20
  • Henk Bak. Ed., Anne Macky; Piantist, Educator and Composer (Melbourne Mark Neil 1966)
  • Anne Macky; A Radical in Her Time, Betty O’Brien
  • Barbara Chapman for Leverstock Green’s history view
  • Zero Equals Two articles, Frater Orpheus
  • Magick Without Tears, Aleister Crowley
  • Journals of Aleister Crowley on microfilm of the Yorke Collection at the Warburg Institute

Heather Schubert is a practicing Thelemite, ordained Priestess in Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, writer, poet, visual artist, teacher, and mother of four children.

Heather is the editor of Daughters of Babalon, an anthology of works by a broad range of modern writers and artists that captures the rich and multifaceted aspects of the feminine current of Thelema. She runs The Light Is One Clerk House of the A∴A∴. Her multimedia artwork at Little Beastlings specializes in Thelemic toys and learning materials for children as well as creepy Gothic creations.

This guest post was brought to you by the generous supporters of the library, including each ongoing Patron of Hermetic Library on Patreon.

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Omnium Gatherum: October 16, 2018

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for October 16, 2018

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

  • Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Powerby Pam Grossman, due June 2019, from Gallery Books

    Grossman Waking the Witch

    “A whip-smart and illuminating exploration of the world’s fascination with witches from podcast host and practicing witch Pam Grossman (The Witch Wave), who delves deeply into why witches have intrigued us for centuries and why they’re more relevant now than ever.

    When you think of a witch, what do you picture? Pointy black hat, maybe a broomstick. But witches in various guises have been with us for millennia. In Waking the Witch, Pam Grossman explores the cultural and historical impact of the world’s most magical icon. From the idea of the femme fatale in league with the devil in early modern Europe and Salem, to the bewitching pop culture archetypes in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Harry Potter; from the spooky ladies in fairy tales and horror films to the rise of feminist covens and contemporary witchcraft, witches reflect the power and potential of women.

    In this fascinating read that is part cultural analysis, part memoir, Pam opens up about her own journey on the path to witchcraft, and how her personal embrace of the witch helped her find strength, self-empowerment, and a deeper purpose.

    A comprehensive meditation on one of the most mysterious and captivating figures of all time, Waking the Witch celebrates witches past, present, and future, and reveals the critical role they have played—and will continue to play—in shaping the world as we know it.”

  • Tweet by Lindsey Fitzharris; about something from 2010, “Reconstruction of the Face of a 5000-year old Woman in Iran“—Kaveh Farrokh [HT Jason Whittaker]

  • Imgur by loveyouall

    Finished illustrating another card for a Tarot deck I'm designing!

  • Runes for Writers: Ancient Tools for Modern Storytellers, a crowdfunding effort by Marc Graham; from the 25-Days-Let dept.

    “Story matters. Myths helped the ancients understand their place in the universe and their relationship to the tribe. Today’s stories have the same power to transform lives, and I want to help writers do just that.

    Runes for Writers is designed to boost creativity and help writers get past blocks and solve story challenges. Through specific patterns of runecastings, writers can access the realm of creativity–the Source of Story–for developing powerful characters, scenes, and plots.”

  • Witches Outnumber Presbyterians in the US; Wicca, Paganism Growing ‘Astronomically’” — Brandon Showalter, Christian Post; from the DEPT dept. [HT Hermetic Library Anthology Artist David B Metcalfe]

    “It makes sense that witchcraft and the occult would rise as society becomes increasingly postmodern. The rejection of Christianity has left a void that people, as inherently spiritual beings, will seek to fill,” said author Julie Roys, formerly of Moody Radio, in comments emailed to The Christian Post Tuesday.

    “Plus, Wicca has effectively repackaged witchcraft for millennial consumption. No longer is witchcraft and paganism satanic and demonic,” she said, “it’s a ‘pre-Christian tradition’ that promotes ‘free thought’ and ‘understanding of earth and nature.'”

    “As mainline Protestantism continues its devolution, the U.S. witch population is rising astronomically. There may now be more Americans who identify as practicing witches, 1.5 mil, than there are members of mainline Presbyterianism (PCUSA) 1.4 mil,” [Carmen LeBerge] said Tuesday.

  • From the Vault of Dr. Frank – Build Your Own Andromeda Klein Box (Limited to 50), a bundle of Hermetic Library Anthology Artist Frank Portman’s work, from Sounds Rad

    Andromedia Klein from the personal vault of Dr Frank

    Dr Frank Andromeda Klein poster

    “From the vault of Dr. Frank (Portman) comes an unbelievable collection of rarities that will only be available through All Hallow’s Eve. This package includes one of 50 hand-signed Andromeda Klein 7″s and posters, rare items from the original 2009 release discovered in Dr Frank’s archives. The poster and 7” were designed by the artist Lane Smith and the poster has never been offered for sale anywhere before.

    For this package we are also allowing you to build your own box and save some coin. Add a 1.5″ enamel pin, full-color sticker, and Andromeda Klein novel!”

  • Though it takes its time, Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina will put a spell on you” — Danette Chavez, AV Club

    “Fans of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s work in the world of Archie Comics, both on the page and screen, will definitely want to see what kind of magic the Riverdale creator casts away from the land of network standards and practices (not that his maple-covered CW series seems to fuss over them much). Though the aesthetic sharply deviates from that of the TGIF sitcom that came before it, there’s also plenty here for viewers who grew up with Melissa Joan Hart’s portrayal of the teen witch and enjoyed the witchy hijinks and family dynamic. But even if you have no knowledge of the blond spellcaster, you’ll find a visually innovative supernatural drama about a rebel with a cause.”

    “The historical subjugation of virtually everyone who’s not a cishet white man clearly informs the series, but there isn’t a hint of dogma in this stylishly frightening story—there are, however, orgies and frequent calls to “Praise Satan.” From the start, Chilling Adventures has a firm grip on its darkly comedic tone, and like its ersatz predecessors Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Charmed (at their best, that is), the series presents a nuanced fight between good and evil, or oppressor and oppressed.”

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Is a Yummy Cup of Witch’s Brew in Need of a Few More Ingredients” — Beth Elderkin, io9

    “I will admit, I was afraid they weren’t going to “go there.” In the first episode, they kept saying “Dark Lord,” making me think they were blanketing over that part so they wouldn’t offend some religious groups. But this isn’t a Golden Compass situation, where organized religion was replaced with generic totalitarianism to appease a certain demographic. These witches worship Satan. And holy hell is he terrifying.”

    “There aren’t a lot of shows out there where your stars eat corpses, sacrifice goats, and worship the devil. If you’re like me and that’s your cup of witch’s brew, then drink up.”

  • Astrology” — Quartz Obsession, October 5, 2018

    “Maybe it’s the -ology of the end: About 40% of Americans think astrology is “very” or “sort of” scientific; those 25 to 34 years old are less skeptical than they’ve been in decades. (In China, for comparison, the devoted are more like eight percent of the population.) The psychic-services industry as a whole is now worth $2 billion a year.”

  • The Us Witch Population Has Seen an Astronomical Rise” — Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz & Dan Kopf, Quartzy

    “Spirituality is now firmly placed in mainstream culture. The growing interest in astrology driven by millennials, as well as the popularity of crystals and tarot cards via the ballooning wellness industry, have brought mysticism from the fringes, and right into your Instagram feed.”

  • Stranger Than Fiction: Essays by Mike Jay by Mike Jay [HT Daily Grail]

    Jay Stranger Than Fiction

    “Stranger Than Fiction brings together, for the first time, Mike Jay’s distinctive and immensely readable forays into the twilight zones of history, culture and the human mind.

    Among them are his trademark investigations into the hidden histories of drugs, from the lotus eaters of Homer’s Odyssey to the laughing gas escapades of the Romantic poets and Sherlock Holmes’ cocaine habit; his reports from the disputed territories of mesmerism, brainwashing and mind control; fantastic beliefs from the birth of the Illuminati conspiracy to futuristic scenarios of human evolution; and global travel tales from megalith cultures of Borneo to ancient temples of Peru, the ‘cargo cult’ ceremonies of Melanesia to Britain’s most anarchic bonfire night.

    Beautifully designed and lavishly illustrated, Stranger Than Fiction is a unique compendium of forgotten histories, untold stories and unexplored worlds.”

  • The Story of Victorian Funeral Cookies.
    Revisiting a Centuries’ Old Mourning Tradition” — Hoag Levins, Historic Camden County; Sept 12, 2011; from the Eucharist dept. [HT Spooky Soniasuponia]

    “It’s likely that eating a bit of a deceased loved one was an effort to both honor and incorporate their essence into one’s own. Anthropologists believe this grisly habit evolved into the somewhat more
    paleolithic grave civilized mourning practices throughout medieval Europe and ultimately gave rise to the “funeral biscuits” so popular in the Victorian age.

    Emerging from the Middle Ages in old Germany, for instance, was the funeral tradition of eating “corpse cakes” that symbolically mirrored the act of eating the deceased. After the body had been washed and laid in its coffin, the woman of the house prepared leavened dough and placed it to rise on the linen-covered chest of the corpse. It was believed the dough “absorbed” some of the deceased’s personal qualities that were, in turn, passed on to mourners who ate the corpse cakes.”

    “In the Victorian Age, funeral biscuits, along with all other customs related to death and mourning, became more formalized and baroque. Like wedding cakes, funeral biscuits were a staple of the bakery business, and competition for customers was brisk. Some bakers’ newspaper ads addressed the suddenness with which most people had to organize funeral details and promised “funeral biscuits made to order on the shortest notice.”
    The commercial biscuit wrappings were ornately printed with bakery advertisements as well as uplifting biblical quotes and poems. Like church holy cards, they served as a keepsake of the event itself.”

  • Halloween for Real. There’s more to Halloween than egging houses and gorging on candy. This could get scary…” — Mitch Horowitz, In The Dark

    “Strap in — we’re going on a little Halloween time-machine journey. The old practices provide frightfully interesting ways of observing the ancient holiday.”

  • Traveling Witch Figurine by Jon Carling

    Traveling Witch Figurine Jon Carling

    “She is finally available! The first edition of 100 witches. Hand casted, hand painted, numbered and signed. She comes with a bunch accessories, including a spell book and a silk screened traveling pouch.”—Jon Carling

    “The Traveling Witch now has her own instagram page: HERE tag your photos #travelingwitch to share your adventures!”

  • Tweet by Hermetic Library Anthology Artist T Thorn Coyle

You help yourself by helping others. There are no hermits in the desert unless they are thinking big thoughts that will eventually help others.

Edward De Bono, H+ A New Religion?

Hermetic quote de Bono H-plus help