The Sorcerer and His Apprentice

The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Unknown Hermetic Writings of S.L. MacGregor Mathers and J.W. Brodie-Innes [Amazon, Abebooks, Local Library] by S L MacGregor Mathers and J W Brodie-Innes, edited and introduced by R A Gilbert, reviewed by Bkwyrm in the Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews archive.

Mathers Brodie-Innes Gilbert The Sorcerer and his Apprentice

Mr. Gilbert has taken a collection of short papers on various occult subjects by Mathers, and by Brodie-Innes, and has presented them as “An anthology of writings….on Tarot, Kabalah, Astrology, and Hermetism.” The introduction provided by Gilbert is all of three or four pages and imparts no information that anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with G.D. history wouldn’t know. Some of the essays are fascinating, and I’ve never seen them anywhere else. Of course, I don’t spend a lot of time tracking down Brodie-Innes books. Essays by Mathers include The Kabbalah, The Qliphoth of the Qabalah, The Azoth Lecture, and Twelve Signs and Twelve Tribes. Papers by Brodie-Innes include Some Psychic Memories, The Tarot Cards, Witchcraft, and The Hermetic System.

If you’re a Mathers fan, or a Brodie-Innes devotee, you’ll want to pick up this book. Serious students of the Golden Dawn system will probably also find many of these essays worthwhile. The Tarot essays, read together, make for a (I thought) rather nice, short tutorial on the Tarot in the Golden Dawn worldview.

This book is part of the “Roots of the Golden Dawn” series – and its inclusion in a series is probably why a book this uneven was published. None of the essays hung together into any kind of a cohesive structure, even taking into account that both authors were members of the Golden Dawn, and that Brodie-Innes was Mathers’ chosen successor. They bounce from topic to topic, belief system to belief system, with very little in common. As far as I can tell, the only reason they were put in a book together is because they are little-known essays by a set of famous and semi-famous magicians. There are other collections of essays that are much more rewarding reading. This is a collection that is probably only of interest only to someone actively studying material covered in the essays. It’s not something you can sit down and read through, like an “anthology.” These are bits and pieces of published and unpublished writings by two men, written at different times and for widely varying purposes, that have been collected into one place for no apparent reason.

All human life is sunk deep in untruth, including my own human life. My very existence has its foundations in lies and errors; that is to say, the “customs” of my family and my upbringing have their foundation in lies, errors, and superstitions.

Tom Taylor, Aphorisms to the Individual: Notes for my Sons [Amazon]

Hermetic quote Taylor Aphorisms to the Individual human life untruth lies errors customs family upbringing superstitions

The Sign and the Seal

The Sign and the Seal: The Quest for the Lost Ark of the Covenant [Amazon, Abebooks, Bookshop, Local Library] by Graham Hancock, reviewed by Julianus in the Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews archive.

Hancock The Sign and the Seal

Much as I enjoy Hancock’s other books on ancient history, I still find this to be his best, not least because of the personal significance his quest assumed. To say that Hancock was searching for the lost Ark of the Covenant of the Israelites is a little inaccurate. Hancock started by learning that the Ethiopian Church claims to possess the Ark in the city of Axum and then trying to establish a) if they are right and b) how it could have gotten there. The first question remains unanswered since no one is allowed to examine the Ark, but the second question took Hancock all over the Middle East and Africa in a fascinating quest with all the unexpected twists you could wish for. It will come as no surprise that the Knights Templar and Freemasonry wind up playing a crucial role here, and I will assure the reader that they were certainly not tacked on to fullfil a conspiracy-hunter’s agenda. Over the course of the book Hancock builds an excellent circumstantial case for the Ethiopian claim and provides some remarkable insights into early Judaism, which was very different from its modern form. This is required reading for anyone interested in the subjects covered.

Call for submissions to Magick, Music, and Ritual for 2021

Today I am announcing the 2021 call for submissions for Magick, Music and Ritual 16, the next anthology album of tracks by artists inspired by or who incorporate ritual and magick in their work. These anthology albums help promote artists to the audience of the Hermetic Library and beyond. These albums raise awareness about the connection between ritual, music and magick. And, they are a mass of awesome fun.

Magick, Music and Ritual 16 will be the 2021 release from the Anthology Project. The deadline for submissions this anthology album is September 30th, 2021. Be sure to stay tuned to the blog, social media, and the pages for the Hermetic Library anthology project for reminders and updates along the way.

Hermetic Library Call for Submissions to Magick, Music and Ritual 16 for 2021

 

Deadline for submissions is September 30th, 2021. Release is planned around the anniversary of the Hermetic Library’s birth on Dec 3rd, 1996.

Be sure to read through the terms and conditions for artist submissions to an anthology album (which includes some new and more specific information about acceptable file formats), and after that if you have any questions, comments or wish to contribute to this project; contact the librarian.

There are three things to consider that have changed in the last couple years that are different earlier calls for submissions. First, I am asking for at least two tracks from each participant; one for the public issue Magick, Music and Ritual 16, and a second track for an exclusive issue of This Is Not An Hermetic Library Anthology Album -3 for Patrons and Subscribers. Second, if I do not get enough participation this year, I will only release a the exclusive issue for Patrons and Subscribers with what submissions I do get. Third, if I am blessed with more submissions than necessary for a reasonable size anthology issue, I will be keeping the extra submissions for future releases, whereas previously I would use all suitable submissions, as many as possible, and not keep any in an ongoing reserve submissions pool for future issues.

Please consider joining Hermetic Library in promoting your work by contributing to this benefit anthology album project. All proceeds from album sales will support the library to help cover hosting costs, materials acquisitions, and other expenses.

 

Check out all the previously released anthology albums, help spread the word about the Hermetic Library anthology project, and let those you think may be interested know about this new opportunity to participate.

 

Cover Artwork and Design

If you would like to make a proposal for the artwork and design of this anthology, please get in touch! Take a gander at all the other covers and consider joining the illustrious artists who have participated with their work on those anthologies.

Patron and Subscriber-Only EP

This year, in addition to the public issue, I will be creating a Patron and Subscriber-only EP as a special additional perk for those people who are ongoing Patrons of Hermetic Library on Patreon or have subscribed to Hermetic Library on Bandcamp. This will be alternate tracks on an exclusive album that will be released in addition to the anthology.

Bonus Download Submissions

If you are creating something else, and would like to be included in the anthology download as a bonus, let me know. I’m open to bonus artwork, essay, articles and … well, anything that can be included in a digital download!

Become a Patron or Subscriber

The best ways to add anthology releases and this upcoming Hermetic Library album to your personal music collection is to become an ongoing Patron at Patreon or Subscriber at Bandcamp. Patrons and Subscribers will each be offered a gratis download code for each new release while they are active in addition to other patronage rewards they may receive, and that ends up being the most cost effective way to get these albums. New Patrons and Subscribers get immediate access to a back catalog release, which means a full album when they sign up, and another when the new anthology is released. Consider becoming a Patron today!

It was the sort of idea that might easily decondition the more unsettled minds among the higher castes—make them lose their faith in happiness as the Sovereign Good and take to believing, instead, that the goal was somewhere beyond, somewhere outside the present human sphere; that the purpose of life was not the maintenance of well-being, but some intensification and refining of consciousness, some enlargement of knowledge.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Huxley Brave New World idea lose faith sovereign good purpose of life consciousness knowledge

The Secret Life of a Satanist

The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey [Amazon, Abebooks, Bookshop, Local Library] by Blanche Barton, reviewed by Majere, Pr.ODF in the Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews archive.

Barton The Secret Life of a Satanist

This is the “authorised” biography of the late Anton LaVey, as penned by his Mistress and High Priestess of the Church of Satan, Blanche Barton. It covers most of his life in considerable detail up until the founding of his Church in 1966, then moves on to examine his philosophies and observations of the world around him. Initially, after the publication of this book, quite a few voices arose to challenge the authencity of it’s contents – among them “Rolling Stone” magazine. Especially held in doubt is LaVey’s alleged “fling” with pre-fame days Marilyn Monroe (no biographies of Monroe have ever mentioned such a relationship). So therefore (also considering the obvious bias of the biographer in purporting the contents are pure fact) it is suggested that the reader keep tongue jammed firmly in cheek. Having said that, it is of considerable interest to those who are keen to read more about LaVey’s observations and ideals; in this respect, he is – as usual – forthright in a no-bullshit manner. Basically, it has to be admitted that whether you like or loathe LaVey, he doesn’t pull punches as to what he is and what he stands for – whether you find such agreeable or not. Includes photos. Recommended primarily for fans only, or those who are simply curious.