Tag Archives: black magic

Omnium Gatherum: July 20th, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for July 30th, 2014

Afterlife with Archie issue 6
“Afterlife With Archie” Issue 6 is a comic every Lovecraft fan will enjoy — Mike Davis, Lovecraft eZine

 

Here are some top gatherum posts from the BBS this week:

  • The Baphomet Sculpture Hidden in Brooklyn — Jena Cumbo, Village Voice

    “Lucien Greaves (a.k.a. Doug Mesner), one of the people who commissioned the sculpture, that now sits in a warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn, asked the sculptor — we’ll call him “Jack” — to forgo the breasts. This Baphomet is smooth-chested and muscular, with thin, shapely lips and rectangular pupils. The sculptor based his physique on a blend of Michelangelo’s David and Iggy Pop.”

  • ‘Join us in our ritual,’ beckons Cthulhu-based cryptocurrency — Adrianne Jeffries, The Verge

    “Written in the voodoo cultspeak of futurist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s short story, ‘The Call of Cthulhu,’ the creepy Cthulhu Offerings may be the most confusing digital currency yet.

    ‘The time draws near, the return of The Great Old One is upon us,’ writes the developer. ‘Join us in our ritual.'”

  • 70,000 Year-Old African Settlement Unearthed — Past Horizons

    “During ongoing excavations in northern Sudan, Polish archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Poznań, have discovered the remains of a settlement estimated to 70,000 years old. This find, according to the researchers, seems to contradict the previously held belief that the construction of permanent structures was associated with the so-called Great Exodus from Africa and occupation of the colder regions of Europe and Asia.”

  • The Occult Knowledge – Strategies of Epistemology in La Société Voudon Gnostique — Maria Liberg, a Bachelor thesis in Religious Studies at University of Gothenburg, supervised by Henrik Bogdan

    “The academic research on Western esotericism in general and contemporary occultism in particular has been largely neglected in earlier scholarship and has only recently gained serious academic attention. This thesis examines how the contemporary occult group, La Société Voudon Gnostique, headed by David Beth and an organization under the general current Voudon Gnosis, legitimate their claims to knowledge, mainly through three discursive strategies of epistemology offered by Olav Hammer, namely: the appeal to (1) tradition; (2) scientism as a language of faith; and narratives of (3) experience. Since Hammer argues that these strategies can be found in esoteric currents in general, but only examines theosophy, anthroposophy and New Age as well as only examining “esoteric spokespersons” this thesis aims at examine them in relation to contemporary occultism as well as in relation to both the spokesperson and to “ordinary adherents”. In order do this, La Société Voudon Gnostique works as a case study in qualification of being a contemporary occult group that has gained no academic attention before.

    The conclusions of this thesis are that the strategies are all prevalent, to a more or less extent, in La Société Voudon Gnostique and they are also used by the adherents. Besides the strategies proposed by Hammer, this thesis argues that the secrecy and elitist approach, which can be found in the texts, also can be seen as a discursive strategy of epistemology.”

  • Christian Persecution: The Movie! — Scott Stenwick, Augoeides; about the forthcoming movie Persecuted

    “Persecuted, is based on a laughably impossible premise that the audience is supposed to find threatening. In this case, it’s the government attempting to legislate religion, something Poor Oppressed Christians are totally for until they realize that religious freedom also applies to non-Christians. Then they go off the rails about how wrong and unfair it is that they aren’t treated as special and given more privileges than everyone else.”

  • The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda — Mark Ames, NSFWCORP at Alternet

    “Pull up libertarianism’s floorboards, look beneath the surface into the big business PR campaign’s early years, and there you’ll start to get a sense of its purpose, its funders, and the PR hucksters who brought the peculiar political strain of American libertarianism into being — beginning with the libertarian movement’s founding father, Milton Friedman.”

    “That is how libertarianism in America started: As an arm of big business lobbying.”

  • Aldous Huxley quoted at Reversed Alchemy — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti

    “Certain authors possess the secret of a kind of reversed alchemy; they know how to turn the richest gold into lead. The most interesting subjects become in their hands so tedious that we can hardly bear to read about them.”

  • Ian Clark quoted at The Limits of “Unlimited” — Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed

    “By speaking up, we are not only defending public libraries but the entire notion of public services. Silence is not how we defend ourselves against an ideological battle, it is how we surrender.”

  • More Songs for the Witch Woman — John Coulthart, feuilleton

    “It’s been a great pleasure in recent years seeing the welling of interest in Cameron’s work. In 2001 when I was compiling notes for an abandoned study of occult cinema, Cameron as artist, witch or mere human being was a shadowy presence about whom nothing substantial seemed to have been written; her art was impossible to see anywhere, all one had were fleeting references in books”

  • Love Spells — Sarah Anne Lawless

    “Love spells are black magic. Love spells to manipulate the body, heart, and soul. Love spells to dominate, to bind, to cause destruction and madness and pain.

    Love spells are not about love, they are about the lustful eye and the selfish heart. Be honest with yourself about it and then move on to the work at hand.”

  • Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations — Tom the Dancing Bug, Boing Boing

    Tom the Dancing Bug Bible-stories for Young Corporations detail

     

  • Stick-Gods — Inonibird

    “‘Stick-Gods’ is the culmination of over a dozen years of fascination with Ancient Egypt—particularly, its mythology and deities. Whether you’re studying Egyptology, a practicing Kemetic or just a fan of myths, there should be something in there for you! I’m doing my best to balance informed content with a fair bit of silliness. …And puns. Lots of puns.”

    Inonibird Stick-Gods

     

  • William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision, by Marsha Keith Schuchard — Gesigewigu’s, Spiral Nature; a review of William Blake’s Sexual Path to Spiritual Vision from Inner Traditions

    “Reading William Blake one cannot help but realize this is a man who is both religious and spiritually active, especially his poems known as the prophecies. The question is what was the nature of his spiritual life? What inspired Blake to create works that are both heavily Christian and at the same time antagonistic to many Christian ideals? The surprising answer is laid out as Schuchard leads us back into the complex religious web of mystical Christianity of the 17th and 18th century.”

  • A Victim of Drunken Channeling — Scott Stenwick, Augoeides

    “Aleister Crowley criticized spiritism as ‘a sort of indiscriminate necromancy’ because of a complete lack of formal magical procedures and protections, in which many mediums simply opened themselves up to whatever spiritual force happened to be present. Modern channelers such as Knight still employ essentially the same methods that Crowley was talking about. As such, there’s a real possibility that any channeling attempt could reach just about any spirit, like some sort of metaphysical Chatroulette.”

  • Mary Magdalene and the Gospel according to Mary — Kate Cooper; an edited excerpt from Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women from Overlook Press

    “The argument between the four disciples seems to be our anonymous writer’s way of exploring the different positions being taken by the men and women of his own day on the question of an alternative tradition being handed down by women. But he is also expressing his concern that the Church is changing, and not for the better. In his eyes, Peter seems to represent the voice of a faction in the community which wants to ‘make rules or lay down laws other than the Saviour gave’ – in other words, a group that wants to develop an institutional structure to replace the more fluid and informal movement of the early decades. This was clearly a topical warning after the death of the disciples who had known Jesus. Levi thinks that the new rules are a way of drawing the community away from fulfilling its task of preaching the gospel. The anonymous writer seems to be using Levi to suggest that too much emphasis on authority from the ‘Peter faction’ is stifling the Church.”

  • “Afterlife With Archie” Issue 6 is a comic every Lovecraft fan will enjoy — Mike Davis, Lovecraft eZine

    “As the story begins, our heroine Sabrina Spellman is relating one of her eldritch dreams to her psychiatrist, Dr. Lovecraft. Sabrina has apparently been committed to an institution because after her aunts died in a house fire, she had a breakdown and couldn’t deal with the reality of their death.

    But is that really what happened?”

 

If you’d like to participate in the Omnium Gatherum, head on over to the Gatherum discussions at the Hrmtc Underground BBS. You can check out all the other gatherum posts, like posts you enjoy, and even add your own posts with links to other things of interest, related to the subject matter of the library, from elsewhere around the Internet.

Nightside of Eden

Nightside of Eden by Kenneth Grant is being republished by Starfire Publishing, and is scheduled for release in March, 2014. It is currently on pre-order in both a standard edition, available directly and, for US and CA, from J D Holmes, and in a deluxe edition available directly.

Kenneth Grant Nightside of Eden from Starfire 2014

“The republishing of the Typhonian Trilogies continues with the release in March 2014 of the fourth volume in the series, Nightside of Eden, which opens the second of the three trilogies. Originally published by Muller in 1977, it was subsequently reissued by Skoob Publishing in 1994. This new edition of 1500 copies is freshly typeset in an octavo format of 316 pages. Sewnbound hardback, with a frontispiece, a twenty-page section of plates, illustrated endpapers and a full-colour dustjacket, this republication integrates the errata from the Skoob edition within the text, and incorporates further corrections noted subsequently in Kenneth Grant’s personal copy of the book. Many of the plates have been rephotographed, and some are printed in colour.” [via]

“There exists a map of consciousness, with its light and dark byways, in the form of a qabalistic glyph known as the Tree of Life. It has its roots in the primal earth of Eden, but its branches extend into extra-terrestrial dimensions. This Tree, which is a familiar concept to mystics and magicians alike, has another side, a nightside which receives but passing mention in contemporary manuals of occultism; as if the ancient writings of the Arabs and Jews contained allusions to mere figures of speech and monstrous fancies.

Nightside of Eden interprets the symbolism of the Tree of Death, the ‘other’ side of the Tree of Life which forms the basis of the Western Occult Tradition. Kenneth Grant, whose Typhonian Trilogies have infused new life and meaning into ancient and forgotten mysteries, here provides an exhaustive survey of the other side of the Tree, haunted by dark forces that are today seeping insidiously into human consciousness and threatening it with violent disruption. The creative magical current represented by Aleister Crowley, Charles Stansfeld Jones, Austin Osman Spare, and in our day by Michael Bertiaux, Margaret Cook, and others, is here traced to its source in the formless voids beyond the threshold of mentation.

Nightside of Eden is an explication of the Cult of Choronzon and an initiated exposition of the Mysteries of the Left-Hand Path in relation to Western Occultism. Here, for the first time, the head of a genuine Magical Organization reveals the esoteric doctrines of the ‘black’ magic of the Left-Hand Path, as well as the practical application of psycho-sexual formulae of which very little is generally known.

The book is illustrated not only with the demonic sigils of the ‘other side’, which make of it a grimoire of the Dark Doctrine, but also by curious works of siderealism, or stellar art, sprung from the New Aeon consciousness which permeates those occult Orders working in harmony with the Typhonian Tradition.” [via]

The Brotherhood of Light and Darkness

The Brotherhood of Light and Darkness by Jason Augustus Newcomb, the 2007 hardcover from New Hermetics Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Jason Augustus Newcomb's The Brotherhood of Light and Darkness

“Alexander Sebastian is an armchair occult enthusiast who lack much direction in life, but his world is turned upside down when his police detective brother-in=law asks him to help identify some magical symbols scrawled at a gruesome, ritualistic homicide. The crime is so horrific that it almost seems the killer might be some sort of demonic creature.

Alex quickly becomes obsessed with the crime, wondering who could be practicing black magick right in his hometown of Arlington, Massachusetts. He decides to find out and is quickly drawn into the underground modern magick scene. He encounters a cast array of odd characters—an obese, narcissistic, drug peddling adept, a beautiful, coke-snorting, sex magick dominatrix, an insanely jealous Freemason who pontificates with a lisp, and many others. But is one of them a killer? Or is one of them a demonic conjurer?

To find out more, Alex joins the A∴R∴T∴, an international magical fraternity with a sinister reputation, discovering that the murder victim was a member of this group. He soon begins to have unusually vivid and peculiar dreams, and terrifying encounters with what appears to be the world of the supernatural. He can’t tell whether these experiences are magical attacks from the killer, or just the product of his overactive imagination. As he tried to separate fact from fiction, and find out who is responsible for murder, Alex also discovers the beginning of his personal spiritual journey into the world of magical awakening.

This story is drawn largely from Newcomb’s own personal experiences over the past twenty years actively participating in the modern magical community. It comes out of his real life encounters with secret magical fraternities and the unique, eccentric people that populate this sub-cultuer. Fans of Harry Potter or the DaVinci Code will discover what the world of magick and secret societies really looks like when you’re personally involved. It reveals the world of the unknown as it truly exists, with an insider’s view of the real world of Witches, Wizards, Rosicrucians and magical creatures.”

 

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.

Love Is The Law

Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas is a forthcoming book, due Oct 8th, 2013. It is currently being made available for people to request review copies.

Nick Mamatas' Love Is The Law

“In 1989, punk-rock girl ‘Golden’ Dawn has crafted an outsider’s life combining the philosophies of Communism and Aleister Crowley’s black magic.

One fateful day she finds the dead body of her mentor in both politics and magick shot in the head, seemingly a suicide.

But Dawn knows there’s more going on than the Long Island cops could ever hope to uncover. In setting out to find the murderer herself, she will encounter dark and twisted truths for which no book, study, or basement show could have prepared her.

Award-winning prose author Nick Mamatas crafts a raw, hilarious, original mystery!” [via]

Honestly, I was intrigued by the title and the protagonist’s name enough to almost click the request button myself, but then I read the phrase “Aleister Crowley’s black magic” and was suddenly far less impressed. But, maybe someone else will take the hit and risk of potential brain cell loss to find out if this is better than it appears on second glance and let me know for sure.

Magick in Theory and Practice

Magick in Theory and Practice by Aleister Crowley, the 1976 paperback edition from Dover, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Aleister Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice from Dover

This is the 1976 paperback edition from Dover of Magick in Theory and Practice by Aleister Crowley, which has appeared in a number of editions, as well as being contained within the Weiser “blue brick” edition of Magick: Liber ABA (Book 4).

“This is the foremost book on ceremonial magic written in the twentieth century, the summation of the thought and life practice of the century’s most famous necromancer and one of its most infamous figures. It was prepared by Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) specially for neophytes. Written at the height of his involvement, it is probably Crowley’s best book.

Although he draws on Buddhist, Egyptian, Tantric and Gnostic rituals and the teachings of Abramelin and other early mgai, Crowley is primarily concerned with his own system of Magick. (He added the ‘k’ to distinguish it from systems which have ‘attracted too many dilettanti, eccentrics, weaklings …’) Crowley appears in his many aliases—Perdurabo, The Great Wild Beast 666, The Master Therion, and through the many orders which he founded or to which he belonged.He appears in his role as poet and scholar. But he also appears as high priest, scandalous leader of black masses and sexual orgies, drug fiend, and ‘The Wickedest Man in the World!’

THe magical theory of the universe, ritual, elemental weapons, the Holy Graal, Abrahadabra, the gestures, Our Lady Babalon and the Beast, bloody sacrifice, purifications, the oath, charge to the spirit, clairvoyance, divination, dramatic rituals, black magic and alchemy are among the many topics covered. An extensive system of appendices provides many rituals, consecrations, correspondences, readings and other accessory material. Crowley’s graphs and charts illustrate the text.

Privately printed in a limited edition in Paris after every contacted publisher in Britain refused the work, this book has been a rarity since its first publication. This Dover edition will make Crowley’s Magick commonly available to students, the curious who have been denied ready access to Crowley’s system, and others who want to delve into the black arts and the occult.”

 

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.

That Old Black Magick Books, Magazines, and Curiosities

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Book Catalogue #109: That Old Black Magick Books, Magazines, and Curiosities.

Weiser Antiquarian Catalogue 109 - That Old Black Magick Books, Magazines, and Curiosities

“Welcome to the one hundred-and-ninth of our on-line catalogues, this being devoted to books and magazines with a focus on Black Magick.

Fear not if the black arts are not to your taste, we are already working on another of our “Miscellany Lists” and are also making a concerted effort to add fresh titles to our website on a weekly basis. So don’t forget to click the “new arrivals” link at the left side of our homepage regularly.

Amongst the more unusual offerings in the catalogue are a copy of Le Triple Vocabulaire Infernal (ca 1840) by “Frinellan”, an occult anthology published (and quite possibly compiled) by Simon Blocquel, publisher of grimoires, and said to be the source from which Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin acquired the famous “Zoso” symbol. Other rarities include a truly fine copy of the leather-bound First Edition of the “Simon” Necronomicon (1977: limited to 666 copies), and an unusually good copy of the First Edition of Arthur Edward Waite’s The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts (Privately Printed, 1898: 500 copies), one of the first books on the subject to have been studied by Aleister Crowley, and instrumental in his joining the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Also listed — and also rare — is a copy of Waite’s reworking of The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts, entitled by him The Secret Tradition in Goetia (1911). Recent limited editions include two works published by Trident Books: The Treasure of the Old Man of the Pyramids (2002: Limited to 300 copies) and Demonographia (1999: limited to 1000 copies) as well as two titles by the Society of Esoteric Endeavour: Praxis Magica Faustiana (2011: limited to 180 copies);and Magic Secrets (2011: limited to 180 copies). Not books, but certainly unusual, are two decorative curiosities: a small vintage hand-painted miniature Toby Jug in the shape of a Demon or Satyr’s Head and an extremely unusual Japanese Mixed Metal Okimono (“Decorative Object”) of a Human Skull with Serpent entwined around it. Also uncommon are a number of British and Australian magazines and newspapers with often rather sensational — and sensationally illustrated — articles on the likes of Anton Szandor LaVey, Alex and Maxine Saunders, and Charles Manson, as well as more broadly on Witchcraft, Satanism and Magic. Similarly sensational, at least with regard to their cover art, are a number of pulp paperbacks from the late 1950s and early 1960s, whose artists seemed to be vying to outdo one another in their gruesomeness. ” [via]

From Black Magic and Mysticism to Serpent Gods and Voodoo

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Book Catalogue #107: From Black Magic and Mysticism to Serpent Gods and Voodoo.

“The catalogue starts with signed copies of a recent book that has caused evoked quite some excitement amongst those interested in Hermetica, Occult Traditions by Damon Zacharias Lycourinos. This is followed by the usual eclectic mix of recent arrivals. Amongst the more unsual items are a Charming Eighteenth Century Manuscript Copy of the work of parlour divination that was published under the title Pratique Curieuse, ou les Oracles des Sibylles, sur Chaque Question Proposée in 1694; one of the final nineteenth century revised editions of Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal (but published anonymousyly under the title Dictionnaire des Sciences Occulte (1846/1848 & 1852); an inscribed copy of George Frederick Kunz’s richly illustrated study of the myth and lore of jewels, gems and stones, and their religious, magical and talismanic use: The Magic of Jewels and Charms; a superb copy of Jean Philippe Vogel’s handsome study of the divine or deified serpents (Nagas) whose presence permeates Hindu and Buddhist lore, Indian Serpent-Lore, or the Nagas in Hindu Legend and Art (1926) and a signed first edition of Arthur Edward Waite’s Strange Houses of Sleep, a book on which Arthur Machen collaborated. There is also a good selection of works on magick, including an internally clean – but externally rather rough (and priced accordingly) first edition of Austin Osman Spare’s The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love) The Psychology of Ecstasy, 1913; the second and best edition of Arthur Edward Waite translation of Éliphas Lévi’s The History of Magic. Including a Clear and Precise Exposition of its Procedures, its Rites and its Mysteries, 1922, and his The Mysteries of Magic: A Digest of the Writings of Éliphas Lévi (Second Edition) 1897; signed limited editions of Mark Alan Smith’s Queen of Hell and The Red King; E. A. Koetting’s three volumes: Evoking Eternity, Works of Darkness and Baneful Magick. “Groupings” of books include a collection of the magnificent Watkins edition of works by and about Jacob Boehme, a group of Grimoires and other works published by the “International Guild of Occult Sciences”, and a selection of works on Daoist Magic by Jerry Alan Johnson. Other works of note include Robert Surieu’s superbly illustrated study of the erotic in ancient Persian art Sarv-E Naz: An Essay on Love and the Representation of Erotic Themes in Ancient Iran (1967); the leather-bound Antonine Publishing / Golden Dragon Press edition of Meric Casaubon’s A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for Many Years Between Dr. John Dee …. and Some Spirits …. (1974) and a rare 1967 limited edition printing of S. L. MacGregor Mathers’ The Secret Workings of the Golden Dawn Book “T”, the Tarot; to name but a few. ” [via]

Overthrowing the Old Gods

Overthrowing the Old Gods: Aleister Crowley and the Book of the Law by Don Webb, from Inner Traditions, is scheduled to be published on Oct 15, 2013.

Don Webb's Overthrowing the Old Gods from Inner Traditions

“New commentaries on Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law reveal how it is connected to both Right- and Left-Hand Paths

• Examines each line of the Book of the Law in the light of modern psychology, Egyptology, Gurdjieff’s teachings, and contemporary Left-Hand Path thought

• Explores Crowley’s identification with the First Beast of Revelations as well as his adoption of the Loki archetype for becoming a vessel of love for all humanity

• Recasts the Cairo Working as a text of personal sovereignty and a relevant tool for personal transformation

• Includes commentary on the Book of the Law by Dr. Michael A. Aquino, who served as High Priest of the Temple of Set from 1975 to 1996

Received by Aleister Crowley in April 1904 in Cairo, Egypt, the Book of the Law is the most provocative record of magical working in several hundred years, affecting not only organizations directly associated with Crowley such as the Ordo Templi Orientis but also modern Wicca, Chaos Magic, and the Temple of Set.

Boldly defying Crowley’s warning not to comment on the Book of the Law, Ipsissimus Don Webb provides in-depth interpretation from both Black and White Magical perspectives, including commentary from Dr. Michael A. Aquino, who served as High Priest of the Temple of Set from 1975 to 1996. Webb examines each line of the Book in the light of modern psychology, Egyptology, existentialism, and competing occult systems such as the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and contemporary Left-Hand Path thought. Discarding the common image of Crowley formulated in a spiritually unsophisticated time when the devotee of the Left-Hand Path was dismissed as a selfish evil doer, Webb unveils a new side of Crowley based on his adoption of the Loki archetype and his aim to become a vessel of love for all humanity. In so doing, he shows how the Book of the Law is connected to both Right- and Left-Hand Paths and reveals how Crowley’s magical path of mastery over the self and Cosmos overthrew the gods of old religion, which had kept humanity asleep to dream the nightmare of history.

Providing in-depth analysis of Crowley’s sources and his self-identification with the First Beast of Revelations from a profound esoteric perspective, Webb takes his views out of the Golden Dawn matrix within which he received the Book of the Law and radically recasts the Cairo Working as a text of personal sovereignty and a relevant tool for personal transformation.” [via]

Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash

Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash by G de Laval, is a forthcoming title from Aeon Sophia Press.

G de Laval's Black Magic Invocation of the Shem ha Mephorash from Aeon Sophia Press

“This work is a grimoire of black magic evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash angels.

The Shem ha Mephorash or Explicit Name is a list of 72 angels derived by ancient occultists. Combined, these spirits are believed to comprise the secret name of the Creation of the Universe. Now, for the first time, these angels are uncovered and illuminated, presented with detailed information and spirit signatures, enabling witches and left-hand-path magicians to access their energy and interact with them through ceremonial conjuration and black magic. In essence, ‘Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash’ dissects the Abrahamic creator Deity into 72 segments and empowers brave witches everywhere to ritually evoke them into conscious interactive manifestation. ” [via]

Jack Parsons, Scientology and the Jet Propulsion Lab

You may have heard about the recent publication of Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright, a new and extensively researched exposé on Scientology, which, of course, mentions Aleister Crowley and Jack Parsons.

“Before Scientology, there was Aleister Crowley, the English “magician” revered by generations of would-be wizards. When Hubbard and a friend tried to breed an Antichrist according to Crowley’s teachings, even Crowley rolled his eyes: “I get fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these goats.” Of course, Hubbard – “Source,” just “Source,” no “the,” of Scientology – didn’t really want Crowley’s approval. According to the Church of Scientology, he was undercover for “naval intelligence” on a mission that “broke up black magic in America.” Phew!” [via]

Well, all this has people talking about Jack Parsons and the Jet Propulsion Lab again, such as in “The strangely true connection between Scientology, the Jet Propulsion Lab, and Occult Sorcery“.

“One of the weirdest historical confluences you can imagine took place in Pasadena, California, in the 1940s. There, a darkly handsome young man and chemistry autodidact named Jack Parsons had just made a bundle of money by inventing solid rocket fuel and selling it to the military. He was part of a group of explosion-obsessed researchers at CalTech who founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where recently the Martian Rovers were made. He was also a goddess-obsessed acolyte and generous financial supporter of the infamous Pagan leader, Aleister Crowley.

Parsons used his defense contract money to convert an old mansion into a group house whose residents included other Pagans, artists, scientists, and writers. One of his boarders was a charismatic science fiction author named L. Ron Hubbard, who became Parsons’ greatest frenemy, participating in rituals of sex magic with the rocket scientist, sleeping with his girlfriend, and finally absconding with all his money. Here is the true story of how Scientology and JPL were both conceived by men under the sorcerer Crowley’s mystical influence.” [via]

You may also be interested checking out “A Rocketship to Babalon: the Short Strange Life of Jack Parsons” in Matt Staggs from back in 2010.

“However, his scientific work was only one part of Parson’s life. He was also an avid student of the occult.

He applied his zeal for scientific research to his inquiries into the unknown, and eventually came to the attention of the Great Beast himself, Aleister Crowley. The British occultist appointed Parsons to the head of California’s Agapé Lodge – a branch of Crowley’s OTO (Ordo Templi Orientalis). The OTO practiced what Crowley called Thelemic magick: a mix of sexual rituals, bastardized Kabbalism and rites taken from Freemasonry and medieval grimoires. Crowley espoused what he considered to be a scientific approach to the practice of magick, espousing “The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion,” a statement that Parsons could stand behind. His own esoteric works were often mixed with his scientific experiments, and it has been reported that Parsons attempted to invoke spirits while working with rocket fuel.

As a leader of the Agapé Lodge, Parsons was passionate and generous, using his salary to fund the upkeep of the order while conducting occult experiments that he hoped would usher in a new age of magickal freedom. After his own wife left him, Parsons took up with his sister-in-law Sara Northrup, an OTO member herself. The two were magickal partners as well as romantic ones, and were soon joined in their occult studies by a third: future Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Soon after they met, Hubbard and Parsons began a magickal ritual called The Babalon Working: a spell to invoke the power of a goddess. This divine being – identified by Crowley as both the Biblical whore of Babylon and the goddess Ishtar – would bring about the end of what they considered an age of repressive Christian morality. Crowley warned against this for a number of reasons, perhaps the most practical of which was that the self-styled “Wickedest Man in the World” considered Hubbard a con man an swindler. Parsons disregarded the warning.” [via]