Tag Archives: 1988

Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe

Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions by H R Ellis Davidson, the 1988 paperback from Syracuse University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

H R Ellis Davidson Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe from Syracuse University Press

“Most people know of Valhalla, the World-Tree and the gods of Norse mythology, or the strange hunts and voyages of the ancient Irish tales. Yet few people realise the significance of the similarities and contrasts between the religions of the pre-Christian people of north-western Europe.

The Celts and Germans and Scandinavians has much the in common in their religious practices and beliefs, and this is the first serious attempt that has been made to compare them. There are striking resemblances in their ideas about battle-goddesses and protective spirits, holy places, sacrificial rituals, divination and ideas about the Other World; and Myths and symbols in pagan Europe poses questions like: do such parallels go back to early times or are they owning to late Viking contact?

Hilda Ellis Davidson has worked for many years on pre-Christian Scandinavian and Germanic religion and now compares them with the Celts from the background of previous studies, using evidence from archaeology, iconography, later literature and folklore, in a search for basic patterns which will add to our knowledge of the early peoples in Europe.

Aimed at teachers and libraries but also accessible to students of history, religion and Celtic, Norse and German languages and cultures.” — back cover


What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn

What You Should Know About The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie, with a foreword by Christopher S Hyatt, the fifth and enlarged 1988 printing of the paperback from Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Israel Regardie What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn from Falcon Press

Apparently, there’s also a 2011 ebook edition of this as well, which may be of interest, which includes at least some new material, from the 2010 New Falcon revised print edition, by Chic and Tabatha Cicero and Regardie’s 1934 Stella Matutina Enochian Examination from his personal archives.

“This fascinating book has been out of print and highly sought after for many years since its first publication as My Rosicrucian Adventure in 1936.

In this work Israel Regardie relates his own personal experience with those secret societies which have exerted such a great influence on the development of modern Occultism.

Regardie lifts the cloak of mystery which has shrouded The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, The Rosicrucian Fraternity, and The Masonic Lodge.

From his close personal association Regardie reveals the true nature and actions of such leading Occult authorities as Aleister Crowley, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, Dr W.W. Westcott, Dion Fortune.

‘Israel Regardie is the last representative of the great occult tradition of the late 19th century, whose major names include Madame Blavatsky, W.B. Yeats, MacGregor Mathers, A.E. Waite, Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune. Even in such distinguished company, Regardie stands out as a figure of central importance.’ — Colin Wilson”

 

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.

Music, Mysticism and Magic

Music, Mysticism and Magic: A Sourcebook by Hermetic Library fellow Joscelyn Godwin, the 1988 paperback from Arkana, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Joscelyn Godwin Music, Mysticism and Magic from Arkana

“‘At the highest levels of music little changes: it is always the same vehicle for voyages to another world, the same revelation of divine and cosmic laws, the same powerful tool for self-transformation, as it was in ancient and even in prehistoric times’&mdask;from the Preface

This anthology brings together over 2,000 years of the perennial wisdom associated with music—its spiritual, philosophical, mystical and magical dimensions—in writings spanning the ages from the ancient world to the twentieth century, from classical, Judaic, Islamic, Christian and secular civilizations.

The writers range from composers, philosophers and novelists to monks, Kabbalists and astronomers. Plato and Plutarch, Kepler and Chateaubriand, Balzac and Gurdjieff, Schopenhauer and Stockhausen, Wagner and Schumann, Rudolf Steiner and George Sand are only some of the distinguished names included. Yet the common ground they share is astonishing: the power of music to awaken the spirit and trigger magical and mystical experience recurs throughout their writing.

From Cicero’s account of the music of the spheres and the medieval hermit Richard Rolle’s mystical experience of canor—a continuous state of song which welled up in him unbidden—to the utopian socialist Fourier’s use of music in a recipe for ritual magic, this sourcebook leads us far beyond current limited views of music as mere entertainment or emotional stimulus.”

 

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.

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.

The first additions to a new section for forewords and other front matter by Joscelyn Godwin

The first additions to a new section for forewords and other front matter by Hermetic Library fellow Joscelyn Godwin have just been added on his pages. We are working together to get many from Joscelyn’s extensive corpus of front materials online. I’m sure you will agree this ongoing project is an exciting development that will offer many interesting and important additions to the library. For now, an initial two are available and, to the best of my knowledge, both of these are now available online for the first time, as will most, if not all, of the future additions. For my part, I’m quite excited to be able to help make this happen and moreover to share these with you all.

The first addition is the préface de Joscelyn Godwin to D.P. Walker. La Magie spirituelle et angélique de Ficin à Campanella. Tr. Marc Roland. Paris: Albin Michel, 1988.

The second addition is the foreword by Joscelyn Godwin to K. Paul Johnson. The Masters Revealed: Madame Blavatsky and the Myth of the Great White Lodge. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.

Article about a Burroughs portrait of Crowley on display in Chicago

Article about a Burroughs portrait of Crowley on display in Chicago at “Eye Exam: Perverted Tactics


William S. Burroughs, ‘Portrait of Aleister Crowley,’ 1988.

“William S. Burroughs, beat poet and author of Naked Lunch, picked up on Crowley’s philosophy with zeal, distorting its lessons to accommodate his own blatant drug use and sexuality demonized by mid-century American morality. In a 1978 interview, Burroughs misquoted Crowley, effectively reversing the dictum: ‘What you want to do is, of course, eventually what you will do anyway. Sooner or Later.’ His interviewer accused him of being ‘amoral.’

Burroughs’ ‘Portrait of Aleister Crowley,’ a painting on paper from 1988, is now on view at Th!nkArt Salon, in Wicker Park, along with a dozen or so of his other works. Burroughs’ palette tends toward the visceral tones: dried-blood crimson, shocks of red, vomitus green. The acrylic paint was applied energetically with a painter’s knife, sometimes accumulating into a crusty mass and sometimes taking on an ethereal air behind swaths of frenzied spray paint. No human face emerges from the portrait of Crowley, but a portal to some grim ghost-land sits front and center.” [via]