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The Unknown Soror

Guest author Heather Schubert writes The Unknown Soror. This essay will also appear in an upcoming issue of Daughters of Babalon, Volume II: The Women of Babalon, an anthology of works by a broad range of modern writers and artists that captures the rich and multifaceted aspects of the feminine current of Thelema. Consider checking out that anthology, but you can read this essay here at Hermetic Library first. I’m happy that Hermetic Library can help support and encourage new work like this essay on Anne Maria Macky née Hawkins, also known as Soror Fiat Yod, or The Unknown Soror.

Schubert The Unknown Soror letters

The “Unknown Soror” refers to the woman whose tenacity and thirst for spiritual and occult knowledge eventually led to the book we now know as, Aleister Crowley’s Magick Without Tears. The idea for this publication was born when he met a bright and inquisitive young woman in 1943 and he intended to call it Aleister Explains Everything. She was clearly on the path to her own spiritual enlightenment. They began corresponding immediately and as she walked her path, she questioned him about a wide array of occult and spiritual subjects. Barely any information is given about this mysterious Aspirant beyond the fact that she was female. There is a tiny reference to her in the foreword that appeared in the first edition of the book, but even though Karl Germer goes on to confirm possession of the letters she wrote to Aleister Crowley, there is still no mention of her name. Curiosity inspired me to discover more about this fascinating woman, the “Unknown” Soror.

The completed Magick Without Tears consists of 80 letters to several different students and covers wide variety of magical topics. Initial research yielded confirmation that 50 of the 80 letters came from the “Unknown Soror”. As I continued my research the name Anne Macky appeared. The most information written about her to date is available on the Zero Equals Two website and tells of her correspondences with Aleister Crowley but nothing personal and no details on her life or who she was. I found a couple more references to Anne Macky in correlation with Magick Without Tears. One is in the biography Perdurabo by Richard Kaczynski, where she is listed simply as “an English Woman”. While researching a stack of letters for auction I discovered mention of a receipt by Weiser Antiquarian that listed her as “Anne Macky of Hertfordshire, England”.

Anne Macky was Australian. She was born Anne Maria Hawkins, on February 8, 1887 in Fitzroy Australia. Next to nothing is known of her childhood. We do know that she was very fond of her maternal second cousin Walter James Turner. He was a poet, writer and musician who believed that art had the potential to elevate the soul and to perceive something of one’s true spirituality. These beliefs made a strong impression on young Anne during her formative years. She clearly believed art and music to be a “revelation to transcend the limitations of material reality”, as he so often claimed. The influence of these ideas can be seen throughout Anne’s lifetime, especially within her musical compositions. In the following quote we can begin to see how her perception of art and beauty was ahead of her time and also spiritual in nature.

“By learning to love what the pioneers of Art have done, one attains a deeper sense of Beauty, and one’s standard of what is really beautiful advances.”

In 1901 Anne Hawkins matriculated at the age of 14, which was largely unheard of for women during her time. She received the Senior Certificate of the Royal Academy of Music, London. After studying pianoforte with Eduard Scharf and harmony with W. Coutts at the Albert Street Conservatorium. She became a music teacher.

Records show that from 1903 to 1904 she taught lessons at Miss Cathcart’s High School at Williamstown; Camperdown College in Ballarat from 1904–1905; Miss Gregory’s School in Manning Road, East Malvern in 1906; and Brighton High School from 1906–1908. Anne was registered as a preschool, primary and secondary teacher who was proficient in each of the subjects she taught including, but not limited to, Latin, Math, English, French, History, Algebra, Psychology, Botany and Music.

In early 1908 she married Emile Meyrat. We know the marriage lasted only a few months partly because in June of 1908 she wrote the following in an application for re-instatement of employment as a teacher:

“Herr Scharf considered me one of his best pupils… I would not write so, but that my means of livelihood depend on my teaching which I have been working at these last five years, and which will in the future be of still greater importance to me.”

In 1916 she married Dr. Stewart Macky, a New Zealander. They both had a mutual understanding of the significance the arts have on social renewal and a shared interest in anthroposophy.

In 1917, with the financial help of a family inheritance, she opened The People’s Conservatorium. She wanted to bring a higher standard of learning to everyone with a talent for the arts. She believed that just as studying other subjects made one more proficient at them, so too could this model be used for the arts. Enrollment fees were kept low and the Conservatorium offered several scholarships for those who could not afford to attend. These policies stayed in place throughout the 1920’s and the beginning of the Great Depression. It was truly a conservatorium for the people.

While she made it easy for anyone with a talent for music to attend, her standards for running the school were high and the teachers at her conservatorium were of the highest caliber. Women during this era didn’t usually do things of this magnitude. She was quite the pioneer in her time and her achievements were often reported in the local newspapers.

Anne Macky traveled to London in 1922 to attend a Conference at Oxford College where she heard Rudolf Steiner speak. His teachings in anthroposophy were in line with the values and ideas Macky held from an early age. Rudolf Steiner’s talk made such an impression on her that she went on to establish regular Anthroposophy meetings in Melbourne from 1928 to 1932. Around this same time she co-founded the Michael Group, a branch of the Anthroposophical Society in Melbourne Australia.

The Mackys emigrated to England in 1932, and Violet Somerset and Winifred Lloyd took over her Conservatorium, which had been renamed the New Conservatorium in 1923. Muriel Campbell wrote of Anne Macky in the 1934 Centenary Gift Book:

“The only Conservatorium of Music in Australia to be founded and directed by a woman is that established by Mrs. Anne Macky at Melbourne in 1917. Her enterprise and public spirit must receive our admiration, and although she is now living in England The New Conservatorium proceeds on its original lines, under the guidance of women musicians.”

Once in London the Mackys quickly became involved with several artistic and eclectic groups. She, of course, joined the Society of Women Musicians. Her cousin, W.J. Turner, introduced the Mackys to many artists, composers, and writers that included James Stephens, the pianist Schnabel, a Russian immigrant well known in literary circles named Koteliansky, G.P. Wells, the son of H. G. Wells, painter Mark Gertler, and writer Edward Bryant.

Having heard of his expertise in occult knowledge Anne Macky wanted to meet Aleister Crowley. She arranged for Edward Bryant to make the introduction. On March 12, 1943 he took Anne Macky out to lunch at Hatchett’s restaurant and introduced her to Aleister Crowley. Aleister Crowley noted this meeting in his journals and remarked that Anne Macky was “not so bad”.

Anne Macky was intrigued by Aleister Crowley, and she visited him on her own the very next day. Crowley writes that they had a long talk, after which he nearly threw her out. Evidence suggests that they remained in contact and on April 16th Crowley received an eight-page letter from Anne Macky. He, in turn, wrote her an eight-page response and thus began their correspondences that would eventually evolve into the work we know as Magick Without Tears.

Thirty letters between Aleister Crowley and Anne Macky were set up for auction. In one of those letters Crowley said to Anne Macky “…I find a whole lot of thoughts in your mind which were not explicitly stated in so many words, and all the deeper and more important for that. I really do have to thank you most heartily – you have given me such a shaking up…”

Perhaps it was her tendency for shaking him up that encouraged him to remain in contact with her after stating that he almost threw her out after her first visit. Crowley valued intelligent, determined individuals who weren’t afraid to be blunt. Anne Macky more than met that criteria and he obviously liked her. He had a way of poking fun at people that was sometimes even rude. At one point in his journal he calls her a “Poor old wallaby”, a rather delicate jab that also speaks to her country of origin, Australia.

According to the journals of Anne Macky she moved around a lot, as most families in England did during World War II. They were attempting to seek refuge from the bombing raids. Her journals tell us that she was in Kings Langley in 1943. Her piano pieces appeared on the program from performances at Orchard Finishing School in Kings Langley on January 16, 1943.

One of the letters Aleister Crowley exchanged with Anne Macky has her Kings Langley address on the envelope and it is postmarked 1943. Kings Langley is just down the road from Leverstock Green. Pancake School was the local school in Leverstock Green. Anyone involved in the school might receive their mail at Pancake House, at Leverstock Green. Another one of Crowley’s correspondences with Anne Macky has the Pancake House at Leverstock Green address.

I spoke with a British Historian who has archived many years of history revolving around the Leverstock Green estate and she confirmed what the envelopes show, that Mrs. Anne Macky, Australian teacher, musician, composer, and entrepreneur lived at Leverstock Green in 1944.

In late June of 1943, Anne Macky’s correspondence with Aleister Crowley shows they discussed magick and a certain Rite. From the information in his journals we can say she was undoubtedly a member of the A∴A∴ and was interested in joining the O.T.O. He sent her O.T.O. contact information for people who would initiate her into the order. She inquired further requesting more personal information about these members and he responded by telling her that the Path is an individual one, that the O.T.O. was not a social organization.

“I am arranging to send you the official papers connected to the O.T.O. but the idea that you should meet other members first is quite impossible. Even after affiliation, you would not meet anyone unless it were necessary for you to work in cooperation with them. I am afraid you have still got the idea that the Great Work is a tea-party. Contact with other students only means that you criticize their hats, and then their morals; and I am not going to encourage this. Your work is not anybody else’s; and undirected chatter is the worst poisonous element in a humane society”-Aleister Crowley, Magick Without Tears

He goes on to explain to her that the etiquette of secret orders is such that members should not reveal the names of other members, unless they are dead. Yet, he went on to confirm Steiner’s involvement in the same paragraph, though he still lived at that time.

It seems her desire for companionship during her travels on the path as an aspirant concerned Aleister Crowley throughout their communications. After she visited Crowley again on June 10th, he wrote:

“Mrs. Macky here. Difficult to follow her suspicious mind; she craves company on a path solitary in essence! Born of twins? Even if she were, she will have to die alone!”

Even though they had only met in early 1943, by August of that year we find him pondering her magical motto when in his journal he records, “Mrs Macky ‘I would be one with the creative force of the Universe’. PURAMIS GEN (?) OINI (?) 831.”

On August 17th she informed him in a letter that her motto was in fact Fiat and the letter four, which is Yod, producing Soror “Fiat Yod”, (811+20=831). It’s interesting that the motto he came up with for her and the one she discovered on her own have the exact same numeration. Crowley accepted Fiat Yod as her motto and she is often referenced by a simple “FY” in his journals from that point on.

Aleister Crowley corresponded with many aspirants via hand written letters, as was common in his day. Magick Without Tears was created from the content of his correspondences. It is commonly understood that they were all written to Jane Wolfe – and maybe a few of them were (perhaps, most notably, the letter on Authority). Even though little to no credit is given to Anne Macky, most of Magick Without Tears was born from Crowley’s correspondences with her.

In his journals Crowley states that he struck a bargain with Anne Macky. He paid her the sum of 20 pounds on October 26, 1943. She was to write 50 letters with questions for him to answer and they would eventually be put into a book, Magick Without Tears. She accepted, and by November 10th of that same year he was working on responding to her eighth letter.

At times they argued over the content of the letters and money. Eventually she also requested a copy of the completed book as payment. By November 16th he began referring to Anne as “Mrs Mother Murrmbidgee”. Yet she visited him in person again just two days later and she brought with her a “lovely spray of orchids, white, yellow and purple” and he made comments about the “8 and 90 rules of art”.

Some of the letters she wrote to him were quite involved and over a dozen pages long. On December 16, 1943 as he finished responding to letter number 12 he commented that “It’d be easier if she wrote; ‘What do you think of a) everything and b) nothing? I could answer a) nothing and b) nothing’.”

In a journal entry from January 3rd, he writes about creating a “Rabelaisian List of Adjectives for Steiner and Co.” intended for Anne Macky.

On Jan 6, 1944, Aleister Crowley remarks that he received 26.5 pounds from Anne Macy as well as Chpt XIII to XXV. She missed a meeting with him on January 12th and did not call to say why. He remarks in his journal that he couldn’t reach her over the phone on Jan 13th and he eventually wrote to her at Pancake School in Leverstock Green on January 16th.

Evidence shows that by January 28, 1944 their correspondences were back on track. Crowley notes receiving a charming letter from her at that time. They were supposed to meet on February second, but Anne called it off due to her husband being ill and collapsing.

On February 16th she wrote what Crowley referred to as “Anti-Crowley–grouse” before informing him on March 10th that she was breaking the contract they had between them. On April 3rd the two had a long talk about magick and other things and by April 16th she had resumed writing the letters.

It’s clear that she was often cross with him, but their friendship and correspondences for his book continued. She phoned him on July 11, 1944 and went to lunch with him the next day, which he regarded as a “very bright and pleasant” experience. The last documented correspondence from Anne to Crowley came later that year in August.

Anne Macky returned to Australia in 1946 where she continued teaching and composed numerous works that were regularly performed in Melbourne and occasionally broadcast over the radio. She died in 1964 at the age of 77.

It is my hypothesis that Anne Maria Hawkins is the same Anne Macky who corresponded with Aleister Crowley and who is also known as Soror Fiat Yod, based on this convincing evidence:

I have confirmed, via her personal journals, that Anne Maria Macky (maiden name Hawkins) lived at the Kings Langley address at the same date in which the envelope from Aleister Crowley addressed to “Anne Macky” was postmarked and sent to the exact same address.

There is further proof that suggests she lived at the Pancake House address at the exact date in which the envelope, addressed to Anne Macky from Aleister Crowley was postmarked for that address as well.

British Historian Barbara Chapman confirmed her residence at the Leverstock Green address and sent me some information on the letters that were auctioned off to the O.T.O.

“The good news is yes, it is definitely the same woman. Doing a search of items I hold I came up with this:

1943/44 – Phillips auctioneers catalogue extracts concerning a collection of about 30 letters and other documents to/from Aleister Crowley and Mrs Ann Macky of Pancake Leverstock Green. 3 pages including photograph.’”

Karl Germer mentions he met the Unknown Soror in 1943, the same year Aleister Crowley began corresponding with her.

Letters E & F from Magick Without Tears and journal entries identify Anne Macky as Soror Fiat Yod.

Letter H has this footnote “A letter dated Oct 12, 1943 constitutes letter 48”. In his journal he records receiving a letter from Anne Macky on this same date. This footnote points to the inclusion of Macky’s letters throughout Magick Without Tears as we know from Crowley’s journals that on August 23, 1943 Anne Macky accepted a contract to write 50 letters.

Her name is not given in the published work, nor is the proper order of the letters given, nor which letters went to whom. However, upon reviewing both Aleister Crowley’s journals and the journals of Anne Maria Macky it becomes clear that the majority of the material for Magick Without Tears came from the many correspondences between the two of them.

My search continues for more information on this talented woman, who played a significant part in the history of Thelema and led quite a fascinating life. One thing is certain, it is safe to say that the “Unknown Soror” mentioned by Karl Germer in his introduction to Magick Without Tears, undoubtedly now has a name, and she is Anne Macky, Soror Fiat Yod.

Schubert The Unknown Soror letters 2

Schubert The Unknown Soror letters 3

References

  • Soror Fiat Yod/Anne Macky
  • Anne Maria Hawkins file from the Victorian Department of Education 1906-1931
  • Anne Macky’s Scrapbook, Grainger Museum
  • The Anne Macky Papers, Grainger Museum
  • Anne Macky: Pianist, Educator and Composer (Melbourne: Mark Neill, 1966)
  • Australian Musical News, January 1924, August 1925, March 1931 and July 1944
  • Music and the Teacher, The Victorian Music Teachers Association, Melbourne 1982
  • The minutes from the Anthroposophical Society of Great Britain, February 2, 1922
  • Manchester College at Oxford Minutes, dated the twentieth of March 1922
  • Anne Macky, To The Temple of the Mind, cited in Henk Bak., Anne Macky, 20
  • Henk Bak. Ed., Anne Macky; Piantist, Educator and Composer (Melbourne Mark Neil 1966)
  • Anne Macky; A Radical in Her Time, Betty O’Brien
  • Barbara Chapman lghistorian@btinternet.com for Leverstock Green’s history view www.lgchronicle.net
  • Zero Equals Two articles, Frater Orpheus
  • Magick Without Tears, Aleister Crowley
  • Journals of Aleister Crowley on microfilm of the Yorke Collection at the Warburg Institute

Heather Schubert is a practicing Thelemite, ordained Priestess in Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, writer, poet, visual artist, teacher, and mother of four children.

Heather is the editor of Daughters of Babalon, an anthology of works by a broad range of modern writers and artists that captures the rich and multifaceted aspects of the feminine current of Thelema. She runs The Light Is One Clerk House of the A∴A∴. Her multimedia artwork at Little Beastlings specializes in Thelemic toys and learning materials for children as well as creepy Gothic creations.

This guest post was brought to you by the generous supporters of the library, including each ongoing Patron of Hermetic Library on Patreon.

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Seshat and the Clitoris

Guest author Nandani Felicia Bharrat writes Seshat and the Clitoris.

The name Thoth is familiar to most, but how many know of the Goddess Seshat?

Seshat the Goddess was actually the sole true creator of the hieroglyph. She is the goddess of wisdom and writing and Thoth is the decoder of this information to humanity. Thoth is the messenger much like the Greek god, Hermes—a transmutation made from Egyptian to Greek mythology. Hermes is also known as the Roman god, Mercury.

Seshat is sometimes depicted as wearing leopard print with a seven-pointed star leaf emblem above her head. Throughout spiritual histories of metaphysics, mythology and occult, the number seven has become a staple. Seven in numerology has esoteric properties associated with meditation. There are the seven rays of occult myths originating in 6th c. BCE, seven major chakras of ancient Tantra and Hinduism, and seven African powers within Obeah and Orisha worship of Yoruba, Afro-Cuban and Caribbean spiritual practices.

In tantra numerology, the seventh body is the cleansing and mastering of the auric field, the energetic layer of the physical self. A well-known auric protection visualization among psychics, channelers and yogis alike is to imagine an orb of light hovering approximately six inches above the crown chakra located at the top of the head. Through meditational visualizations the orb is strengthened in luminosity and serves as a protective energetic field for your auric body.

In my research, I have found that wisdom has a powerful and scholarly association when identified in masculine gods. At the same time, however, wisdom is also associated with deities such as Lakshmi in Hinduism, who is much like the roman Venus or Greek Aphrodite. All are goddesses of love, abundance and earthly delights as well.

This topic became of interest to me once I noticed the “upside down horns” depicted above Seshat’s seven-pointed star. It is said that her horns were originally turned upright much like goddess Hathor. but in later depictions this changed. Historians have also mapped her decline alongside the rise of male-centric cults developed in worship of Thoth. According to Professor and feminist author Carole R. Fontaine, as time went on, scribes managed to lower the ranks of the goddesses while re-writing the accounts and sacred texts.

It is also recorded in those times that Seshat’s wisdom was bestowed upon Pharaohs and scribes. If this is true, then they there were no others to question the authority or re-writing of these men.

(Note there were only a few female pharaohs under the protection and wing of Seshat, see List of Ancient Egyptian Queens)

The oldest knowledge we have of Seshat tells us that she created the hieroglyph system. “According to one myth, it was actually Seshat who invented writing, but it was her husband Thoth who taught the people to write.” [via]

There are many other instances where the goddess and female power and presence was slowly buried. Old reliefs depict Seshat with Queen Hatshepsut. She was pharaoh under protection and guidance of Goddess Hathor as well. She had a temple made for her. She was a peaceful queen but good at war. Her reign was almost completely erased, though, by her own son, Tuthmosis III. His reign was assumed to be a cleansing of the lineages’ long reign of female power. Queen Hatshepsut’s attempts to adorn herself in the male pharaoh garb, including a fake beard, in reverence to tradition did not save her from the stifling of her light that has happened relentlessly to Goddesses, females in authority and many artists, writers throughout our known history. Tuthmosis III, son of Hatshepsut’s half-brother / husband (his death left her to reign) was unfortunately not challenged or questioned, as he tore down her temples and removed all signs of her energy everywhere.

In relating back to the subject of goddesses of wisdom and their association with fertility and sex, there is also this. Up until very recently, the female sexual organs and sexual liberation was a taboo subject—and in some places it still is. Yet when we look deep into the history of ancient spiritual philosophies and culture we find that both the masculine and feminine were equally as important and revered for their godly and humanly qualities.

In the past few years we have finally incorporated the internal images of the clitoris! Never before was this taken into consideration or shown so publicly, and the clitoris is still censored or left out of scholastic textbooks.

In 2005 The American Urological Association published Dr. O’Connell’s reports on clitoral anatomy. The report itself states, “The anatomy of the clitoris has not been stable with time as would be expected. To a major extent its study has been dominated by social factors … Some recent anatomy textbooks omit a description of the clitoris. By comparison, pages are devoted to penile anatomy.” The report also mentions how seemingly impossible it is to understand the internal structure of the clitoris with just one diagram. Several are required to truly get a comprehensive understanding of it.

Alas, it wasn’t until as recent as 2009, French researchers Dr. Odile Buisson and Dr. Pierre Foldès gave the medical world its first complete 3-D sonography of the stimulated clitoris. They did this work for three years without any proper funding. [see]

Amazingly, if you look at the “upside down” horns on the head of Seshat you will see very clearly it is in th internal shape of the clitoris! I believe this is associated with her mental fertility and stimulation that led to the realization and creation of the hieroglyph. Here are a few other points to further connect the symbols. Seven chakra points were defined in a another not- so distant land where Tantra and pre-Hinduism were the reigning spiritual philosophies. The Chakras are basically energy points in the body governing and elevation of consciousness until one has attained a certain level of enlightenment.

Observe depictions of such ancient Hindustan gods like Chinnamasta, who is shown as a headless being spewing her own blood into the mouth of two nude devotees adorned in armbands and malas (prayer beads / sacred necklaces) who willingly drink from her. Below Chinnamastika’s feet, a couple lay in the throes of passion.

Now, upon studying the main chakra points you will notice that the lowest chakra governs the primal needs such as sex, breathe, food and so on. The blood spilling from a headless body is representative of an elevated consciousness that goes beyond the physical!

Once you have delved into the various myths, and spiritual paths and symbols you can easily find the similarities, the connection of metaphysical philosophies that correlate despite their distance in time or location. The seven-pointed star located above Seshat looks much like a tantra and chakra visualization of the protective light field.

In spiritual studies of this system, you are taught psychic protection. One tool in this process is envisioning a stream of light right above your head with a light shining out from its top, much like an orb. Cartoonish depictions of light are often made with points showing the rays exiting the center or the brightness. Here we could make the conclusion that this is a variation of that and upon it sits the internal shape of the clitoris! Let us consider, then, that the feminine may be a symbol of the connection of earth to astral or of the astral back to earth again! The cycle, or the infinity! With woman life begins and is given forth and the cycle may continue that way!

There are ways we can identify how ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses have changed throughout time. At first Seshat was Thoth’s daughter, but in later accounts she was his wife. And when cults followed Thoth more strongly, he was deemed the god of writing who created writing, rather than the interpreter. This may be direct evidence of a shift from goddess to god mentality.

We are limited in words but the symbols themselves do carry a potency.

Is there something to be said for less words? By this I mean, focusing on putting more potency and energy behind them rather than providing more of them. Take the hieroglyphic, since we are on that subject. They are pictures and symbols with great meaning and energy.

On a visit to the Brooklyn Museum I happened to see a 3d hieroglyphic. The Egyptians took a 2d sigil and manifested it into 3d! Statues and idols now have a new meaning to me. Symbols immortalize beliefs that can change from one society to another, one historian to another. But as we have come to more extensive acknowledgment and education on the female anatomy we can further explore the top of Seshats crowning symbol!

Excerpt on Wikipedia about Seshat:

“Seshat assisted the pharaoh in the “stretching the cord” ritual. This ritual is related to laying out the foundations of temples and other important structures in order to determine and assure the sacred alignments and the precision of the dimensions. Her skills were necessary for surveying the land after the annual floods to reestablish boundary lines. The priestess who officiated at these functions in her name also oversaw the staff of others who performed similar duties and were trained in mathematics and the related store of knowledge.

Much of this knowledge was considered quite sacred and not shared beyond the ranks of the highest professionals such as architects and certain scribes. She also was responsible for recording the speeches the pharaoh made during the crowning ceremony and approving the inventory of foreign captives and goods gained in military campaigns. During the New Kingdom, she was involved in the Sed festival held by the pharaohs who could celebrate thirty years of reign.” [via]

Thoth is no less important nor higher in rank than Seshat. As we approach a new dawn on this planet may the fear and subjugation of the feminine powers be put to rest. Let there be an end to violence against witches and women alike. And let us celebrate equality among the gods and people! Let us continue to research deeply, question history and uncover truth or at the very least keep an open mind.

Nandani Felicia Bharrat is an Indo-Guyanese Hindu-Witch, experimental artist and energy healer based out of Brooklyn, NY. Her business Kali MA: Triple Goddess Tarot and Healing is a center for Reiki healing, Meditation, Tarot Workshops and Divination services. She creates experimental film and visual art and founded the Portal Gallery, ongoing event/project that aims to diversify arts and performance in her hometown, Bushwick.

Under the moniker Kali, she is an ever-evolving healer-artist, with focus on intersectional feminism, womb healing, self realization, addiction, mental illness and trauma survivors. She is a certified Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master, a Kundalini Kriya yogini, clairsentient psychic, channel, and self taught diviner.

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Write an article, review, or story for Hermetic Library

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(If you want to post to the Hrmtc Underground BBS or submit something to the wild & wooly Zine instead, go ahead! There’s no formal submissions process for either of those. What I’m describing here is specifically for publishing to the blog, site, and/or journal.)

I recently created an online form which you can use to submit a pitch for your submission idea. I’d mentioned it in a couple of places, and have it linked on the website and in the sidebar of the library blog, but wanted to make sure I more formally announce it to you here.

You’re probably already familiar with the library and the blog, but if not you should be sure to get an idea of what the library is all about before making a pitch. Consider taking a gander at the submissions guidelines for the Anthology Journal for some general idea of what I thought submissions to that might have looked like. Now that I’m thinking about it, there’s also the contributors’ guidelines in the Caduceus archive you can consider as well.

But, once you’ve got an idea that you feel is right for the library audience, you’re ready to start. You should pitch your idea for a submission!

What happens next, you ask? What’s the process of moving from making a pitch, developing a submission, compensating you, and, finally, publishing your work for the public audience of the library to read? Well, I’m so excited you asked! Let me tell you!

The Pitch

When a pitch comes in, what I plan on doing is posting it to a private forum for my Patrons. I’ll do that to give them a chance to let me know what they think, and if they’re interested in reading the proposed submission. I’ll take their feedback into consideration on whether to accept or reject the pitch, and move forward with the idea as a submission.

If the pitch idea is not accepted, I’ll suggest whether or not to revise the submission for another try. Optionally, the author may consider posting the submission as topic for Discussion on the BBS.

If the pitch is accepted, then I’ll ask the author to submit the article, review or story for consideration.

The Submission

When a submission comes in, what I plan on doing is posting it to a private forum for my Patrons. I’ll do that to give them a chance to let me know what they think about the various merits of the submission. I’ll take their feedback into consideration on whether to accept or reject the pitch, and move forward with compensation for the author and then posting the submission to one of Hermetic Library’s projects.

If the submission is not accepted, I’ll suggest whether or not to revise the submission for another try. Optionally, the author may consider posting to their work as a topic for Discussion on the BBS, or submitting to the Hermetic Library Zine instead.

If the submission is accepted, I’ll move forward with paying the author. Once I’ve successfully compensated the author for their work, I will then post the the article, review or story for the public to read one of the variety of places I publish.

Compensation

For submissions that are accepted for publication, I happily offer thanks. I’m also delighted to send a gratis download code for any one of the released anthology albums.

For work accepted to the blog, I currently offer an honorarium of $15/article. If you’re pitching a review, I offer and honorarium of $5/review or I am happy to see about getting a reviewer’s copy sent to you as your compensation instead.

For work that is accepted for publication in a journal or privately for Patrons who have the Subscription Publication perk, you will be offered ¢13/word.

Finally, if there’s something else you’ve got in mind, or an idea I’ve not mentioned, let me know!

Places Where Submissions Will Be Published

As already mentioned, rejected pitches can still be developed and posted to Discussion on the BBS, while rejected submissions can be re-submitted to the Hermetic Library Zine instead.

Accepted article, review or story submissions may be posted to the Hermetic Library blog, added to the Hermetic Library itself, privately printed as a booklet sent to Patrons who have selected the Publication Subscription perk, and/or collected for publication in an Hermetic Library Journal, which could then be actually launched!

But, to set expectations, the most likely place of publication will be as a guest post on the Hermetic Library blog.

 

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, do get in touch. Also, if the process seems daunting or there’s some aspect of it that creates difficulty for you in some way, let me know so we can find a way forward that works better for you. Finally, if you’re thinking of something that doesn’t seem to fit what I’ve described here, get in touch and let me know what you’re thinking so we can figure out whether and how we can consider your cool out-of-the-box idea. Go ahead and use the form and fill out as much as you can and I’ll get back to you, or contact me directly.

Current contact information should always be up on Hermetic Library, so you can reach me via email or post.

I look forward to hearing from you, so pitch your idea today! (Besides, you read this far, right? You might as well follow through with a pitch too!)

It’s Aleister Crowley’s Birthday

On the occasion of Aleister Crowley’s lesser feast for life, born October 12, 1875, Jason Louv, over at Ultraculture, links to the Libri of Aleister Crowley in a re-post about Crowley’s continued relevance today at “It’s Aleister Crowley’s Birthday“.

“Crowley took it as his life’s work to return an understanding of Magick to a society that had buried it. Like many others of his generation, he helped kick down the locked doors of repression, both sexual and spiritual, and sought to put the study of the ‘otherworlds’ on a firm scientific basis.

Crowley was one of the first Westerners to openly talk about and advocate yoga, meditation, ritual, shamanism, the chakras, understanding of past lives, sexual and chemical experimentation, Qabalah, Buddhism, Hinduism and even Tantra as valid tools for self-exploration.

For Crowley (also an early advocate for gay rights), all of these could be used as structures to achieve one thing: the discovery, and execution, of one’s true life purpose. Unlike the Theosophists who came before him and the New Agers who came after him, he ruthlessly sought to cut out any fluffy, wishful and deluded thinking and instead posited Magick as the study of the true nature of the world, which, being natural, is neither black nor white but, rather, red in tooth and claw.” [via]

Dangerous Minds punks out before attending Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass

Dangerous Minds correspondent Thomas McGrath totally punks out before attending Aleister Crowley‘s Gnostic Mass in the UK, and actually writes about it at the inaccurately and click-bait titled “‘DO NOT EAT THE CAKE OF LIGHT!’ Dangerous Minds attends Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass“.

Dangerous Minds Gnostic Mass

The article is barely worth mentioning, but it’s an interesting example of how newbies perceive things and apparently freak themselves out (or are freaked out by ill-informed friends) around attending such things. Frankly, that kind of self-induced frission is nothing compared to the funky mind games one can play with themself before an initiation (“OMG, what did they put in this WATER they offered while I wait my turn?!?!” or “I hope the GOAT is GENTLE this time!!!”), but this was an example of someone who might have stayed for a much fuller and richer experience of, you know, actually attending the Gnostic Mass ritual if they had been allowed the opportunity to pass the first time they attended, which some local bodies do offer.* However, on the other hand, in spite of the author of the article, I think the amiable and welcoming as well as both funny and serious nature of most actual Thelemites I’ve known comes through a bit as an example for those able to get over themselves long enough to join in.

 

* The point about being expected to partake is actually one of those issues. The text of Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass, itself says, “Those of the PEOPLE who intend to communicate, and none other should be present, having signified their intention, a whole Cake of Light, and a whole goblet of wine, have been prepared for each one.” And, so … but self-care and self-determination, tho.

The Copiale Cipher: An Early German Masonic Ritual Unveiled

The Copiale Cipher: An Early German Masonic Ritual Unveiled” by James D Hodgkins is an article, pointed out to me by the author, from the March-April 2012 issue of the Scottish Rite Journal which may be of interest.

 

“A curious enciphered manuscript was discovered in an East German library in 1970 and eluded all attempts at decipherment. The document was forgotten until it fell into the hands of a private collector and recently came to the knowledge of an international team of academics from the U.S. and Sweden. In April 2011 the “Copiale Cipher” was broken, studied, and released to the public six months later. It contained rituals that caused a great deal of excitement in the mainstream press. Due to translation errors, the press missed an opportunity to arouse public interest with another mysterious topic that often grabs headlines: the Cipher protected an 18th-century German Masonic ritual.” [via]

 

“The first sign that this was a Masonic document was when Bro. de Hoyos saw the German word mopsen [sic] and noted that it was mistranslated as “thieves” on the second page of the cipher. The sentence in which the word occurs asked whether the candidate was a member of any other secret order. The code breakers used scientific methods to determine the age of the document, but the word mopsen allowed Bro. de Hoyos to “guestimate” a timeframe of 1740s–1760s for the cipher’s age. Bro. de Hoyos noted that the “Mopses” were a pseudo-Masonic Catholic coed fraternity founded in 1740 after Pope Clement XII’s 1738 bull denounced Freemasonry. It consisted almost entirely of Germans and counted some of the most important members of German society as its members. The name derived from the German noun Mops, meaning “pug-dog “(which played a part in the society’s ritual), although the translators confused this with the verb mopsen meaning “to filch, to steal.”

The interpretation of the manuscript as the ritual of an ophthalmology society is due to the misinterpretation of one commonly used logogram (a symbol used in place of a word). The logogram , which the code breakers called “lip,” was interpreted to mean “oculist” or “eye doctor.” Bro. de Hoyos took a cursory read of the first page of the German text, recognized it as using the language of 18th-century German Masonic rituals, and realized the logogram in question clearly stood for Maurer, or “Mason” in English. Once this small change is made, the document opens itself up and becomes a great deal more legible for everyone. Most English-language writings on 18th-century ritual are concerned with English and French Masonry; this document provides useful primary-source insight into German Masonic ritual of that time.” [via]

 

“In a time of legitimate concern over such issues as declining membership within the Craft, it is encouraging that core aspects of our ritual and philosophy have remained unchanged for close to three centuries. Regardless of time or distance, one of the appeals of Masonry will always be the universality of the values we teach. The Copiale Cipher now serves as a new testament to this tradition.” [via]

September 1930, Lisbon: Aleister Crowley’s lost diary of his Portuguese trip

September 1930, Lisbon: Aleister Crowley’s lost diary of his Portuguese trip” (Note: the link goes to a PDF) by Marco Pasi is an article in Number 1, Spring 2012 of Pesso Plural, a publication of research about Fernando Pessoa published by Brown University, Utrecht University and Universidad de los Andes. In addition to the article itself, there’s also a series of images of the diary typescript itself you will probably find interesting.

“Aleister Crowley’s diary for the period of his travel to Portugal and his meeting with Fernando Pessoa has long been considered lost or inaccessible. However, a copy has been finally found and is here presented and published for the first time. The analysis of the diary allows us to have a fuller knowledge of Crowley’s movements and activities while in Portugal and especially of his meetings with Fernando Pessoa. It also clarifies some aspects of the famous Boca do Inferno suicide stunt in which Pessoa was directly involved and brings some new clues concerning a possible initiation of Pessoa in one of Crowley’s magical orders.”

“O diário de Aleister Crowley referente ao período da sua viagem a Portugal e ao seu encontro com Fernando Pessoa considerava-se, há muito tempo, perdido ou inacessível. Porém, uma cópia do mesmo foi finalmente localizada e é aqui apresentada e publicada pela primeira vez. A análise do diário permite-nos ter um conhecimento mais completo dos movimentos e das actividades de Crowley aquando da sua estadia em Portugal e, nomeadamente, do seu encontro com Fernando Pessoa. Também esclarece certos aspectos da famosa encenação do suicídio de Crowley na Boca do Inferno, encenação na qual Pessoa esteve directamente envolvido, e fornece algumas novas pistas relativas a possível iniciação de Pessoa numa das ordens mágicas de Crowley.” [via]