Tag Archives: 1916

The Apron Symbolism

More ancient than the Golden Fleece

Whose story shines in classic lore:

Or Roman Eagle—which portrayed

Chivalric deeds in dare of yore.


More honored than the Knightly Star,

Or Royal Garter, it must be;

A symbol you should fondly keep

From spot and stain forever free.


It may be that in coming years,

As time shall all your labors test:

That laurel leaves of Victory

Shall on your brow in honor rest.


Yea, from your breast may jewels hang

fit for diadem to grace:

And sparkling gems of beauty rare

May on your person find a place.


Nay more, perchance which coming light,

Your feet may tread the path of fame:

Which in our Mystic order leads

To glory, and an honored name.


Yes, on your shoulders there may rest

The purple which we hold so dear:

That ensign which our progress marks

In high fraternal Circles here.


But never more can you receive

From mortal hand while here below:

An emblem which such honor brings

As this one—which I now bestow.


Until your spirit shall have passed

Beyond the pearly gates above:

May this the “Badge of Innocence”

Remind you of your vows of love.


‘Tis yours to wear throughout your life,

‘Til death shall call your soul to God;

Then on your casket to be placed,

When you shall sleep beneath the sod.


Its spotless surface is a type

Of that which marks a noble mind:

The rectitude of heart and life,

Which in its teachings you should find.


And when at last your weary feet

Shall reach the goal awaiting all:

And from your tired nerveless grasp

The working tools of life shall fall.


May then the record of your life,

reflect the pure and spotless white

Of this fair token which I place

Within your keeping here tonight.


And as your naked soul shall stand

Before the great white house throne of light;

And judgement for the deeds of earth

Shall issue there—to bless or blight;


Then may you hear the Welcome Voice

That tells of endless joys begun,

As God shall own your faithfulness,

And greet you with the words, “Well Done.”

— N A McAulay, The Builder, Anamosa, Iowa, December, 1916

Try The Square

Is a Brother off the track?

Try the Square;

Try it well on every side.

Nothing draws a craftsman back

Like the Square when well applied.

Try the Square.


Is he crooked, is he frail?

Try the Square.

Try it early, try it late;

When all other efforts fail,

Try the Square to make him straight—

Try the Square.


Does he still persist in wrong?

Try the Square.

Loves he darkness more than light?

Try it thorough, try it long.

Try the Square to make him right—

Try the Square.


Fails the Square to bring him in?

Try the Square.

Be not sparing of the pains;

While there’s any work to do,

While a crook or knot remains—

Try the Square.

David Barker, 1916

A Mason’s Greeting

To all who hope for life beyond this living,

To all who reverence one holy Name—

Whose liberal hand will not be stayed from giving,

Who count all human fellowship the same;

Whose lives ascend in wisdom, strength, and beauty,

Stone upon stone, square-hewn and founded well,

Who love the light—who tread the path of duty:

Greet you well, brethren! Brethren, greet you well!

John Edmund Barss, 1916

Golden Twigs

Golden Twigs by Aleister Crowley, the 1988 collected edition from Teitan Press, edited and introduced by Martin P Starr, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Aleister Crowley's Golden Twigs from Teitan Press

This is a collection of short stories written by Crowley in the Summer of 1916, during his “Great Magical Retirement” on the shores of “Lake Pasquaney” (Newfound Lake, New Hampshire) in a cabin owned by Evangeline Adams. Of the eight tales, all inspired by themes from Sir James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough, six appeared in the pages of George Sylvester Viereck’s The International, but two were previously unpublished, in spite of several efforts, until this volume.


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.

Five new items by Aleister Crowley from Vanity Fair 1916

I added five new items by Aleister Crowley from the pages of Vanity Fair in 1916. There’s a couple of articles, some written pseudonymously, and some more poetry I think hasn’t been collected anywhere before. One of the articles is a historical political piece which will probably be of interest to a variety of people; another is a kind of review of Ratan Devi’s performances in New York by Crowley, which is Crowley promoting the work of a love interest under a pseudonym; the final article is an odd little spoof piece purporting to detail the scientific management of blondes (which also includes an interesting fake comment from the Editor chidding the piece for appearing to favour the Germans). Then there’s two poems, one begins “A cigar is like a wife!” and the second “When first your raven beauty made me fond” seems to be related to the article about blondes.

You can read a bit more about Aleister Crowley, his affair with Ratan Devi, and this period of time when Crowley was in New York in Chapter 12 of Richard Kaczynski‘s Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley and also, I happened onto this today, for another perspective in “The savant and the occultist” by Richard Boyle. Of course, don’t forget that the Confessions of Aleister Crowley are online at the library.

Three Great Hoaxes of the War
Blessed Are They That Have Not Seen and Yet Have Believed
By Aleister Crowley
Vanity Fair, January, 1916, p 37,118

Anna of Havana
By Aleister Crowley
With Drawings by Reginald Birch
Vanity Fair, January, 1916, p 43

To a Brunette
Addressed to His Beloved, after a short absence
By Aleister Crowley
Sketches by Reginald Birch
Vanity Fair, February, 1916, p 63

Ratan Devi: Indian Singer
By Sri Paramahansa Tat (Aleister Crowley)
Vanity Fair, May, 1916, p 79

On the Management of Blondes
Prolegomena to Any System of Philosophy Devoted to Their Treatment and Care
By Dionysus Carr (Aleister Crowley), Professor of Eugenics in the University of Tübingen
Vanity Fair, May, 1916, p 85