Tag Archives: art

So when man’s desire to rest from spiritual labour, and his thirst to fill his art with mere sensation and memory, seem upon the point of triumph, some miracle transforms them to a new inspiration; and here and there among the pictures born of sensation and memory is the murmuring of a new ritual, the glimmering of new talismans and symbols.

William Butler Yeats, William Blake and his Illustrations to The Divine Comedy

Hermetic quote Yeats William Blake and his Illustrations to the Divine Comedy desire rest spiritual labour thirst fill art sensation memory new ritual talismans symbols

The Mysteries of Algiers

Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Mysteries of Algiers [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Robert Irwin.

Irwin The Mysteries of Algiers

The Mysteries of Algiers has certain obvious points of intersection with Robert Irwin’s other books: the Westerner involved in espionage in Islamic Africa is like the earlier Arabian Nightmare, and the maniacally ideological protagonist/narrator is akin to the later Exquisite Corpse. In this instance, the anti-hero fanatic is a Marxist revolutionary in French Algeria. 

This one is probably the most violent of the author’s novels that I’ve read. It is also the least overtly mystical. At the same time, Irwin doesn’t miss the opportunity to emphasize the spectral icing on the Marxist cake. The touchstone quote of the volume is Marx from The German Ideology: “The phantoms formed in the human brain are also, necessarily, sublimates of their material life processes, which is empirically verifiable and bound to material premises.” I still hardly understand what that means; what is the antecedent of “which”?

Still, Irwin keeps esoterically-minded readers like me paying attention with little nuggets like tacit quotation of Sufi saint Rabi’a (“The torch is for setting fire to Paradise and the water to extinguish the flames of hell,” 123) and poking fun at the arch-Mahatma of Theosophy (“It is as if Koot Hoomi — some great astral spirit — was dictating nonsense to me,” 138).

I realized while reading this novel that Irwin’s fiction has much in common stylistically with that of Chuck Palahniuk. While American Palahniuk may be more plugged-in to the 21st-century Western zeitgeist, Englishman Irwin definitely has the edge in literary allusion and historical orientation. I wouldn’t call The Mysteries of Algiers one of Irwin’s best, but it’s damned good just the same.

She was silky and sullen and swift and perverse, loving to tease her master with pretended indifference, only to overwhelm him with the greater vehemence at the end, like a cat playing with a mouse. She had all the stealth and self-possession of a cat, moreover; and Cleon thought himself lucky to be beloved of one so skilled in every art of pleasing and exciting.

Mark Wells (Aleister Crowley), The Burning of Melcarth

Hermetic quote Wells Crowley The Burning of Melcarth silky sullen swift perverse loving tease cat mouse self-possession lucky skilled art pleasing exciting

Magick, Music and Ritual 16 cover artwork

Our cover includes art by P Emerson Williams, which was developed alongside the tracks by Choronzon, for this current year in the Thelemic Calendar, An V:vii (2021 e.v.), which represents the docosade of Atu V, the Hierophant and the year of Atu VII, The Chariot. We also have a total of three alternative covers, included with the album download at Bandcamp, that features additional artwork by P Emerson Williams.

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii

 

There are also three alternate covers, included in the digital download, all with artwork by P Emerson Williams.

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii, alternate cover 1

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii, alternate cover 2

Magick Music and Ritual 16 The Hermetic Library Anthology Album for 2021, Sun in Sagittarius, An Vvii, alternate cover 3

 

P. Emerson Williams is a multi-media artist who tests the boundaries between music, art, writing, video and performance of many kinds. He is also the driving force behind Choronzon and Veil Of Thorns, and is half of the core duo behind kkoagulaa. More people listen to the sounds of P. Emerson Williams every day than realize it. The work of P. Emerson Williams takes physical and digital media, genres and modes of performance to strange realms. With Choronzon, Williams straddles the worlds of industrial music and black metal, with Veil of Thorns, electronic dance to dark Americana to pure goth and as a solo artist he blurs the distinction between electronic ambient and stark and strange folk. P. Emerson Williams can often be found adding elements of his sonic alchemy as a spice to projects with Sleep Chamber, Manes and more extensively as half of the creative core of kkoagulaa with cern.th.skei from Manes. Other recent collaborations include playing cello on UK black metal band Ethernal’s latest album, a release with Mark Cunningham and subverting the nature of guitar playing with industrial noise merchants Dead Skull. Audiences got to witness P. Emerson Williams on guitar and vocals with Jarboe in a tour that took them through the US, Western and Eastern Europe and wrapped up in Moscow in 2013 and again in 2016 when an invitation from DARK MOFO brought Jarboe and P. Emerson Williams to Hobart, Tasmania for a special performance on a night that included JG Thirlwell and Chelsea Wolfe.

As a core member of UK theatrical company FoolishPeople, P. Emerson Williams took on many aspects of London productions of The Basement – Ward 12 – in partnership with Secret Cinema, The Providence Experiments – co-produced with Mythos Media, A Red Threatening Sky, The Abattoir Pages – presented with Guerilla Zoo, Cirxus which was produced in collaboration with Arcola Theatre and Terra:Extremitas, performed at Amsterdam’s NDSM-werf. These roles included creating a score for choreographer Johan Stjernholm as part of the production A Red Threatening Sky and a solo musical performance at the famed Horse Hospital in London, the creation of soundscapes, sound design, and scores for every production on which he worked, as well as set and graphic design. On top of all this, Williams was in the cast as both voice and live actor as characters ranging from the demon Choronzon to a half dozen members of a Manchester United message board for the audio production of Forum.

P. Emerson Williams is the host of the Necrofuturist Transmission on Nottingham’s Nightbreed Radio, was the editor and producer for Music Tuesdays on Alterati.com, and art director for Weaponized , the publishing imprint of FoolishPeople. Articles and music reviews by P. Emerson Williams can be read online at Terrorizer.com, Modern Mythology, Disinfo.com and Intravenous Magazine. The visual art pf P. Emerson Williams has graced book covers and interiors for Original Falcon, Weaponized, Night Horse Publishing and Westgate Press, the pages of magazines including Lovecraft eZine, Lackington’s Magazine, Shoreline of Infinity, Diodati, Morpheus Tales, Culture Asylum, Isten ‘zine, Ghastly, and Esoterra , album and CD covers for Rat King, Primordial, Katatonia, SLEEP CHAMBER, Veil of Thorns, Choronzon and kkoagulaa.

P. Emerson Williams illustrated Bedlam Stories – The Battle for Oz and Wonderland Begins, a novel set in the universe of Bedlam Stories, a twisted world of horror created by cult film director Pearry Teo (The Gene Generation, Necromentia, Witchville).

“Given P. Emerson Williams extensive track record of cross-medium and genre art over the past thirty years, it is likely he will become an underground legend. This may have occurred already, yet given his reclusiveness, it’s unlikely he would notice.”—James Curcio, author of Fallen Nation, Join My Cult and The Immanence of Myth

Follow P Emerson Williams via
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If you held the belief, child, that I knew everything that hid under every stone and leaf, I must disappoint you. I may have my own understanding of how the art works, sharpened by long years of memory, but I do not know how it will work for you. There is a reason I call magic an art, rather than a science. I might guess, but in guessing too hastily I might influence, or even diminish, your talents—taint you with my predictions.

J Kelley Anderson, Casting Shadows [Amazon]

Hermetic quote Anderson Casting Shadows taint you with my predictions

Such an education in the art of distinguishing between the proper and the improper use of symbols could be inaugurated immediately. Indeed it might have been inaugurated at any time during the last thirty or forty years. And yet children are nowhere taught, in any systematic way, to distinguish true from false, or meaningful from meaningless, statements.

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited [Amazon, Publisher]

Hermetic quote Huxley Revisted true false meaningful meaningless