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The Drug

The Drug by Aleister Crowley is the fifth new edition from 100th Monkey Press, available in a hand-bound limited edition.

Aleister Crowley The Drug from 100th Monkey Press

‘The Drug’ was originally published in Great Britain in the January 1909 issue of The Idler, an illustrated monthly magazine that printed various light pieces and sensational fiction.

This work is one of Aleister Crowley’s earliest published short stories and highlights his power as an author of fiction as well as poetry.

It has been said that this short story is one of the first, if not the first fictionalized account of ingesting a hallucinogenic substance. Crowley certainly experimented with a wide variety of mind-altering substances throughout his life, and it is not too far-fetched to consider the possibility that this story may be based, at least in part, on personal experience.

‘The Drug’ may be based on Crowley’s experiences with Anhalonium Lewinii, a now obsolete name for Lophophora Williamsii, commonly known as the peyote cactus. The active constituent of peyote is mescaline, a well-known alkaloid that can produce hallucinogenic effects when ingested.

References to Anhalonium Lewinii by Crowley are found as early as 1907. Crowley’s diary entry for 12 March 1907 seems to indicate that he was using a commercial preparation of Anhalonium Lewinii. He writes that he has taken 10 drops of the preparation and will take no more since this was the maximum dosage mentioned on the label. Crowley also seemed to have had a relationship of some sort with Parke-Davis and even mentions an October 1915 visit to the company in his confessions:

‘They were kind enough to interest themselves in my researches in Anhalonium Lewinii and made me some special preparations on the lines indicated by my experience which proved greatly superior to previous preparations.’

According to Perdurabo, Dr. Richard Kaczynski’s excellent biography on Crowley, the Abbey of Thelema’s copy of Diary of a Drug Fiend contains a marginal note by Crowley stating that he had conducted numerous experiments on people with Anhalonium Lewinii in 1910 and afterwards. These experiments may have formed the basis for Liber CMXXXIV, The Cactus, described as ‘An elaborate study of the psychological effects produced by Anhalonium Lewinii (Mescal Buttons), compiled from the actual records of some hundreds of experiments.’ Unfortunately The Cactus was never published and is now considered lost to history.

Whether ‘The Drug’ is truly a fictionalized account of the use of peyote is, of course, open to debate, but, the story does stand on its own as a very early piece of psychedelic literature. [via]

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 Revival of Magick and The Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic

The Revival of Magick is the third new edition from 100th Monkey Press, available in a hand-bound limited edition.

Aleister Crowley's The Revival of Magick from 100th Monkey Press

Aleister Crowley’s essay “The Revival of Magick” was originally published under the pseudonym “The Master Therion” in a four part series in The International: A Review of Two Worlds from August through November 1917. Crowley’s affiliation with The International occurred during his five-year stay in America from 1914 through 1919. Not long after his arrival, Crowley found himself in financial straits and found a partial solution in the form of George Sylvester Viereck, a writer and editor who owned two journals, The Fatherland and The International.

The Fatherland was a propaganda journal funded by the German government designed to promote pro-German thought and to help keep America out of World War I. Crowley began by writing pro-German articles for The Fatherland and soon began writing for The International as well in July 1915.

Over the ensuing years he contributed various articles and poetry and became managing editor of The International in August of 1917. At this point the journal became a primary outlet for Crowley’s writings and he began writing a large portion of the journal employing various pseudonyms to disguise the fact that he was the primary contributor.

Besides being an outlet for his poetry and short stories, The International provided him a vehicle to advocate the message of Thelema through such essays as “The Revival of Magick.” [via]

Aleister Crowley's The Revival of Magick from 100th Monkey Press interior

Each book is bound by hand in a Japanese style binding and measures 5 1/2” x 8 1/2″. 48 pages. Printed in blue and black on 70 pound text weight, acid-free paper specifically chosen for this edition. Bound in an acid-free, glued-up composition cover consisting of textured black faux leather over custom printed endpapers. Text set in both Freehand and High Tower text. Illustrations include reproductions of the original covers from The International and a self-portrait by Crowley of him evoking the great demon Paimon to visible appearance.

As an added bonus, each book comes with a hand-bound copy of Crowley’s “The Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic.”

Each copy also includes a handsome themed bookplate and bookmark.

Edition limited to 150 numbered copies. Price: US $14.95 [via]

Aleister Crowley and Victor Neuburg together again

100th Monkey Press has been developing a good online archive of many articles and other texts of interest related to Aleister Crowley, Victor B. Neuburg and Frater Achad for some time now. Recently they’ve been working on some hand-bound, limited edition publications. The first was a publication of Aleister Crowley’s Hymn to Pan. The second work published by 100th Monkey Press is an unpublished poem by Victor B. Neuburg, The New Diana.

Of course, as one of Aleister Crowley’s more well-known works of poetry, Hymn to Pan can also be read in the Libri of Aleister Crowley at the library. Both of these publications are well and beautifully done, worth picking up from and in order to help support 100th Monkey Press, but it’s especially nice to see the work of Victor B. Neuburg being given attention in this most recent release.