Tag Archives: aa

The Magical Record of the Beast 666

Magical Record of the Beast 666: The Diaries of Aleister Crowley, 1914–1920, edited with copious annotations by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, the 1993 third impression of the paperback from Duckworth, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Aleister Crowley John Symonds Kenneth Grant The Magical Record of the Beast 666 from Duckworth

“Crowley called his Diary a Magical Record because it contains accounts of his magical experiments, including the details of his secret sexual magick and of his consumption of a variety of dangerous drugs. it was not written with an eye to publication. ‘I don’t particularly expect anybody to read it,’ he wrote. Hence the unguarded way in which he recorded his innermost thoughts and performances of secret rites. There is a veiled reference to this extraordinary journal in his Magick in Theory and Practice, 1929. ‘Yea, he [Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwaz] wrought also in me a Work of Wonder beyond all this, but in this matter I am sworn to hold my peace.’ The ‘Work of Wonder’ was his supreme initiation into the highest grade of the mystical Order of the Silver Star, the beginning of which is described in this volume. Crowley, who died in 1947, had to hold his peace about that, and certainly about his sexual magick. Today, in these confused times, strange creeds thrust themselves forward, asking to be examined. everything is in the melting pot and a way out of the chaos in being anxiously sought. There is no stranger creed than Crowley’s doctrine of Do What Thou Wilt. Nor are there any experiences more exotic than his mystical illuminations and initiations.

John Symonds is Crowley’s literary executor and biographer. Kenneth Grant is the present world head of the Order of Oriental Templars, the magical order which Crowley reorganized in the 1920s.”

 

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.

Living Thelema

Living Thelema by David Shoemaker is unexpectedly available already in softcover ahead of the planned Aug 25th, 2013 release date.

David Shoemaker's Living Thelema

Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick by Dr David Shoemaker, of the Living Thelema podcast, the International College of Thelema, and a Hermetic Library anthology artist, is due for release in September as hardcover or special edition with leather binding by Ars Obscura, and in August in a variety of formats, is available for pre-order.

“The system of spiritual attainment developed by Aleister Crowley is notoriously challenging in its scope. Adapted from the popular podcast segment of the same name, Living Thelema brings a welcome approachability to Crowley’s material, without diminishing the depth of the system. The author focuses on the practical and experiential aspects of the path of Thelema, allowing the reader to grasp the true transformative power of the system.

Beginners and advanced practitioners alike will find much useful advice here, as Shoemaker brings his characteristic down-to-earth style to bear on topics such as ritual and meditation practices, sex magick, astral projection, psychotherapy for magicians, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and that pinnacle of attainment known as the crossing of the Abyss.

The author’s background as a practicing psychotherapist allows an entirely unique fusion of esoteric wisdom and cognitive science. Living Thelema is an invaluable handbook for any modern magician.”

“TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part One: Tools for the Journey

An Introduction to the Qabalah
The Holy Guardian Angel
The True Will
Getting Started with a Basic Magical Regimen
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
The Lesser & Greater Rituals of the Hexagram
Liber Resh vel Helios
Methods of Ritual Construction
Asana & Pranayama
Meditation & Visualization Practices
Astral Projection & Control of the Body of Light
Devotional Practices
Liber Samekh & the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel
Sexual Magick & Sexual Mysticism

Part Two: Perspectives on the Path of Attainment

The Methods & Tools of A∴A∴
Tarot & the Path of Initiation
Initiation & Tetragrammaton
The Chakras
The Role of the Ego in the Great Work
The Formulas of LVX and NOX
The Right Use of Magical Power
21st Century Alchemy
The Practical Use of Alchemical Symbolism

Part Three: Life Outside the Temple

Patterns & Cycles in Magical Practice
Dreamwork
Relationships
Qabalistic Coping Techniques
Psychotherapy
The Anima & Animus
Cognitive Therapy for Magicians”

In the Center of the Fire

In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966-1989 by James Wasserman, the 2012 hardcover edition, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

James Wasserman's In the Center of the Fire

“In this daring exposé by a survivor of a unique era in the New York occult scene, James Wasserman, a longtime proponent of the teachings of Aleister Crowley, brings us into a world of candlelit temples, burning incense, and sonorous invocations. The author also shares an intimate look at the New York Underground of the 1970s and introduces us to the company of such avant-garde luminaries as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Harry Smith, and Angus MacLise. A stone’s throw away from the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol’s Factory, William Burroughs’ ‘bunker,’ and the legendary Chelsea Hotel was a scene far more esoteric than perhaps even they could have imagined.

When James Wasserman joined the O.T.O. in 1976, there were fewer than a dozen members. Today the Order numbers over 4,000 members in 50 countries and has been responsible for a series of ground-breaking publications of Crowley’s works.

The author founded New York City’s TAHUTI Lodge in 1979. He chronicles its early history and provides a window into the heyday of the Manhattan esoteric community. He also breaks his decades of silence concerning one of the most seminal events in the development of the modern Thelemic movement — detailing his role in the 1976 magical battle between Marcelo Motta and Grady McMurtry. Long slandered for his effort to heal the temporary breach between the Orders of A∴A∴ and O.T.O., James Wasserman sets the record straight. And, he meticulously chronicles the copyright contest over the Crowley literary estate—of which he was an important participant.

This is also a saga with a very human tableau filled with tender romance, passionate friendships, an abiding spiritual hunger, danger, passion, and ecstasy. It also explores several hidden magical byways including the rituals of Voodoo, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism. Finally we are given a bird’s eye view of the 1960s hippie culture and its excesses of sex and drugs, and rock n roll—along with the personal transformations and penalties such a lifestyle brought forth.

Reconstructed from personal memories, magical diaries, multiple interviews, court transcripts, witness depositions, trial evidence, and extensive correspondence, this book elucidates a hitherto misreported and ill-understood nexus of modern magical history. It also shares tales of a mythical moment in American life as seen through the eyes of an enthusiastic participant in the hip culture of the day.”

 

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 Thoth Tarot, Astrology & Other Selected Writings

The Thoth Tarot, Astrology, & Other Selected Writings [also] by Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral), edited by Dr David Shoemaker et al., the 2010 hardcover limited edition of 777 from College of Thelema of Northern California (now the International College of Thelema) and Teitan Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Phyllis Seckler aka Soror Meral's The Thoth Tarot, Astrology and Other Selected Writings from Teitan Press

“Phyllis Seckler (1917–2004) was introduced to the teachings of Aleister Crowley in the late 1930s and became a regular participant in the activities of Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis in California, and rose to become a Ninth Degree member of the ‘Sovereign Sanctuary of the Gnosis.’ She was admitted to the A∴ A∴, eventually taking the ‘magical name’ Soror Meral and was later confirmed as an Adeptus Minor by Crowley’s successor, Karl Germer. Seckler was a key figure in the reinauguration of the O.T.O. in 1969, and a few years later she founded the College of Thelema, with the intention that it would provide background training for aspirants to the A∴ A∴ Although not as widely known as some of her contemporaries, Seckler played a crucial role in the history of Thelema, not only through her efforts to explore and revive Crowley’s creed, but also by training a new generation of its students.

The Thoth Tarot, Astrology & Other Selected Writings, is edited by three of Phyllis Seckler’s former students: Rorac Johnson, Gregory Peters, and David Shoemaker. It includes a biographical sketch of Phyllis Seckler drawn from her own autobiographical writings, and two of her most important essays: ‘The Tarot Trumps of Thoth and Psychology’ — a detailed analysis of the psychological and magical symbolism of the Trumps of the Thoth deck — and ‘Thoth Tarot and Astrology,’ a significant study of astrology and the natal chart, with special reference to the cards of the Thoth deck. Both of these essays were previously serialized in Seckler’s journal In the Continuum, but they are here presented for the first time in book form, accompanied by redrawn and corrected diagrams.

In addition to the essays the book also contains a selection of important correspondence between Seckler, Aleister Crowley, Karl Germer and Jane Wolfe. These are followed by a transcript of the last major interview conducted with Phyllis Seckler, in which she recounted the details of her introduction to Thelema and involvement with the old Agape Lodge, her subsequent participation in various Thelemic organizations, and her thoughts on developments within the Thelemic world.” [via]

 

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 Unknown God

The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites by Martin P Starr, from Teitan Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Martin P Starr's The Unknown God from Teitan Press

“The first documentary study of Aleister Crowley’s contemporary followers in North America, told through the life of their de facto leader, Wilfred Talbot Smith (1885-1957). Smith, the unacknowledged offspring of a prominent English family, emigrated to Canada where he met Charles Stansfeld Jones and through him, the works of Aleister Crowley. Although Crowley and Smith met only once, their twenty year correspondence proved to be a major link to the few and the faithful attracted to Crowley’s work in the United States and Canada. Smith’s spiritual life centered first on the initiatic structure of the Order of the A∴A∴, complemented by the emerging fraternal and social schemes of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). Smith followed Jones into a few long-forgotten movements like the Universal Brotherhood and the Psychomagian Society, but he declined membership in C.F. Russell’s Choronzon Club.

To promulgate the Crowleyan teachings, in 1934 Smith incorporated his own ‘Church of Thelema’—known to Los Angeles newspaper readers as the ‘Purple Cult.’ The following year he initiated OTO activity in Los Angeles which attracted its own cast of occult characters. Smith’s life reached a strange conclusion when Crowley, taking a page from Louis Bromfield’s novel, THE STRANGE CASE OF MISS ANNIE SPRAGG, which explored ‘the twin mysteries of love and religion and the confusion that lies between’ and combining it with a reading of Smith’s natal chart, sent him off on a retreat to determine which God he was incarnating. It was a journey from which Frater 132 never returned …

THE UNKNOWN GOD is a fascinating and complex human story, intimately interwoven with the lives of most of Crowley’s disciples in the United States including C.F. Russell, Jane Wolfe, Max R. Schneider, Jack Parsons, Louis T. Culling, Frederic Mellinger and Grady L. McMurtry as well as occult teachers like H. Spencer Lewis (AMORC) Paul Foster Case (BOTA), and Wayne Walker (OM), Hollywood actors such as John Carradine and even the founder of the Mattachine Society, Harry Hay. Students of 19th and 20th century esoteric movements, including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society and the Crowley-derived organizations, will find THE UNKNOWN GOD worth reading.”

 

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.

Commentaries on the Holy Books and Other Papers

Commentaries on the Holy Books and Other Papers (Equinox), containing commentaries on the Class A libri by Aleister Crowley and other papers, including work by H P Blavatsky, J F C fuller and Charles Stansfeld Jones (Frater Achad), is part of the collection at the Reading Room. This is both a paperback and hardcover published as Equinox IV 1 by Weiser.

Aleister Crowley and others in Commentaries on the Holy Books also called Equinox IV 1 from Weiser

 

 

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 Holy Books of Thelema

The Holy Books of Thelema, containing the Class A libri by Aleister Crowley, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. This is the 1988 paperback published as Equinox III 9 by Weiser.

Aleister Crowley's The Holy Books of Thelema, or Equinox III 9, from Weiser

 

 

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.

Babalon, Enochian Magick, and Music with Lon Milo DuQuette on Jun 30 in Sacramento

You may be interested in “Babalon, Enochian Magick, and Music with Lon Milo DuQuette in Sacramento!” an event being presented by The College of Thelema of Northern California and the Temple of the Silver Star which will be a day with a couple lectures and a musical performance by Lon Milo DuQuette on Sun, Jun 30th in Sacramento, CA.

Babalon, Enochian Magick, and Music with Lon Milo DuQuette

“Sunday, June 30, 2013
at the Soror Meral Building
Sacramento, California

Schedule of Events:

1pm Lecture: Babalon and the Abyss: the Ultimate Attainment

Explore the mysteries of the crossing of the ‘Abyss’; and learn about the nature of Babalon, the Thelemic archetype of the all-encompassing goddess.

3pm Lecture: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Enochian Magick

Learn the basic theory as well as the practical tools necessary to begin work with this powerful system of ceremonial magick.

5pm Musical performance by Lon Milo DuQuette

6pm Reception. Lon will be available to sign his books, so bring your copies! A limited number of Lon’s books and related titles will also be available for purchase.

Lon’s lectures and performances are both thought-provoking and tremendously entertaining. It’s quite unusual to learn so much and have so much fun on the same occasion. Don’t miss this opportunity to see Lon in person!” [via]

Carnal Alchemy

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Carnal Alchemy: A Sado-Magical Exploration of Pleasure, Pain and Self-Transformation by Crystal Dawn and Stephen E Flowers [also] from the closed Runa-Raven Press:

Crystal Dawn and Stephen E Flowers' Carnal Alchemy from Runa-Raven Press

 

What a title! That truly exquisite pairing of words raised expectations in this reader that would not be easily fulfilled. The more specific promise of the cover blurb is the treatment of “Sadomasochistic sexuality…combined with spiritual or magical aims.” The authors claim to be the first to offer a book-length study of the topic, and so far as I know, they did indeed break some new ground on the publishing side.

But perhaps there is a reason that this particular soil had been untilled. As the authors must frequently admit in various cautions to the reader, such experiences and techniques are best transmitted in the flesh, not on paper. So this text is happily devoid of cookbook ritual instructions. What it does attempt to convey are 1) an historical survey, 2) a magical theory; 3) a notion of the range of possible practice, and 4) leads for further study and practice.

The historical survey, while fascinating, is not a pinnacle of scholarship. Statements like, “The A∴A∴ did not fulfill its function as Crowley had envisioned it,” cast a shadow of doubt over other information presented by the authors. The theory and practice sections are in the manner of a primer, and will best serve those who are new to either magical theory or S/M practice. In general, the authors do not seem to be suggesting any departures from existing techniques of S/M, but simply stressing the addition of a magical sensibility to the work. The leads for further investigation include a couple of helpful bibliographies and listings of addresses for various groups and suppliers.

Running throughout the text is a thread of shameless self-promotion for the author’s own magical order, the Order of the Triskelion. This firmly traditional feature of magical writing culminates in a full manifesto appended to the book.

Overall, Carnal Alchemy seems to fall a little short of its goal of boldly defining a new field within current sex-magical practice. It could certainly be an eye-opener for those ignorant of such technologies, and it remains an intriguing curiosity for those already working with them. [via]

 

 

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.