Tag Archives: 1960s

Portmeirion Totem

Back in the early 60s, Portmeirion, a pottery firm in the UK, produced it’s iconic Totem design, created by the founder Susan Williams-Ellis, which looks to me striking. With glyph and sigil like shapes, these seem they should be used for herbs and potions and tea and cakes after ritual. Portmeirion is apparently in Stoke-on-Trent where I, myself, had family who worked in some aspect of china manufacturing, though my people were at other firms before this firm was founded. Anyhow, I’ve been enamelled enamoured with this design recently.

Portmeirion Totem spice jars from Freckles-n-Frills

“With layered glazes of various hues, Totem brought Portmeirion well and truly to the forefront of fashionable design in this memorable era of evolving and revolutionary British design style. Its bold, abstract pattern of embossed spirals and stars, coupled with striking cylindrical drum-like shapes of the coffee pots, cups and saucers, cream jugs and sugar bowls, resulted in a unique collection that was beautiful, tactile and practical.” [via]

Portmeirion Totem blue spice jars from Hellfirecat

Portmeirion Totem brown tureen from Chinasearchworld

Portmeirion Totem green jar from Nixsbabydoll

Portmeirion Totem from Potshots

Portmeirion Totem coffee set from Totes Adore

Inside Solar Lodge, Outside the Law

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Inside Solar Lodge, Outside the Law: True Tales of Initiation and High Adventure by Frater Shiva. There has since 2012 been a new and expanded edition released, available at extortionate prices or a reasonable price.

Frater Shiva Inside Solar Lodge, Outside the Law

This book is an invaluable addition to the history of Thelema, providing a previously-unavailable level of detail on the principal group in the US that believed itself to be perpetuating a magical catena from Aleister Crowley during the late 1960s. It is quite readable, and mostly credible. Still, practicing 21st-century Thelemites with no particular interest in history may find it somewhat shallow and uninteresting.

The account is certainly worth the read by students and researchers of the phenomena of New Religious Movements, as it offers an insider’s view of the full developmental arc of a ceremonial magic cult from inception to drug-addled senescence. [via]

New Retrospace post waxing nostalgic over the rise and fall of mainstream coverage of the occult the during the 60’s and 70’s

New Retrospace post waxing nostalgic over the rise and fall of mainstream coverage of the occult the during the 60’s and 70’s at “The Occult #3: Generation Hexploitation“.

“There’s so much about the 1960’s and 1970’s that fascinates me. The titanic shift in the psychology of the U.S. and other Western countries during this period will forever both confound and interest me. Somehow, in just a few short decades, this country went from Singing in the Rain to I Spit on Your Grave. This shouldn’t be all that much of a surprise considering everything that was going on in the world: a war in Vietnam, students protesting in the streets, a president assassinated, nuclear annihilation right around the corner, a march on Selma, etc., etc. Amid all this, one thing that has intrigued me for a long time is the so-called ‘Occult Explosion’.” [via]