Tag Archives: commentaries

Overthrowing the Old Gods

Overthrowing the Old Gods: Aleister Crowley and the Book of the Law by Don Webb, the 2013 paperback from Inner Traditions, which includes a commentary on Liber AL vel Legis by Michael A Aquino, and includes, as part II, the collection of essays once available in the old Rûna-Raven Press book Aleister Crowley: The Fire and the Force as well, is part of the collection at the Reading Room courtesy of the publisher.

Don Webb Overthrowing the Old Gods from Inner Traditions

“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 Wicca, Chaos Magic, and the Temple of Set.

Boldly defying Crowley’s warning not to comment on The Book of the Law, Ipsissimus Don Web provides in-depth interpretation from both Black and White Magickal perspectives, including commentary from Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D., 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 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 evildoer, 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 magickal 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 Webb’s own self-identification with the First Beast of Revelation 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.” — back cover

 

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 Commentaries of AL dust cover

A little while back I posted about the copy of The Commentaries of AL, Volume V No 1 of what is sometimes called the Red Equinox, by Aleister Crowley and another (Marcelo Ramos Motta), the 1975 first edition hardcover from Weiser Books, that is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Marcelo Ramos Motta and Aleister Crowley's The Commentaries of AL from Weiser Books

In that post I mentioned that mine was without the dust cover and asked if anyone with a physical copy of this that still has the dust cover would let me know what the inside flap for this book has to say, if anything, about itself. Clifford B recently sent me scans of the dust cover from his copy of this book so I could take a gander. The inside back cover dust copy is an ad for Weiser’s edition of The Equinox, Vol I Nos 1–10, and for The Equinox, Vol 3 No 1, but the inside front dust copy and back cover speak about this volume.

Marcelo Ramos Motta Commentaries of AL front cover

The Commentaries of AL
by Aleister Crowley and Marcelo Motta

The Commentaries of AL introduces a new series of The Equinox as Volume 5 Number 1, released under the auspices of Marcel Motta, the current Praemonstrator of the A∴A∴ It is the first book to bear the Imprimatur of the Order since the publication of Liber Aleph in 1962.

Liber AL vel Legis—The Book of the Law—is an Initiated text whose doctrine is propounded in 220 verses that are to be the guiding principles of makind for the next 2000 years. It was communicated in 1904 through Aleister Crowley, who continually sought to elucidate the mystery of this Book in all his subsequent works. His major effort, the New Comment, was written in the 1920’s.

Crowley’s supremely modern point of view in the New Comment has been heightened by Marcelo Motta’s editing, which seeks to eliminate matter of non-magickal value, and other material easily consulted in the published writings of the A∴A∴, now more readily available than in Crowley’s own lifetime. He has himself written an extensive commentary (carefully distinguished by typestyle) that weaves in and through Crowley’s writing with an artistry both provoking and illuminating.

He or she who seeks to penetrate these pages with honesty and courage will be brought to a deeper understanding of the significance of Liber AL, whose law was given for every man and every woman.” — inside front dust copy

Marcelo Ramos Motta Commentaries of AL back cover

. . . 26. These slay, naming your enemies; & they shall fall before you.

Serious students will understand that ‘they shall fall before you’ does not necessarily mean that you shall slay them. Also, unserious students had better beware of trying to employ this magickal formula: ‘thou hast no right by to do thy will.’

Perhaps the following apologue will be of help:

A profane lew a beetle before Ra-Hoor-Khuit, naming a person he considered his enemy; and soon after, the profane went mad.

An Initiate slew a beetle before Ra-Hoor-Khuit, naming the person he considered his worst enemy, that is, himself; and soon after, he became a Master of the Temple.

AUGMN.” — Commentaries of AL, Chapter 3, Verse 26, as appears on the back cover

 

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 Magick of Thelema

The Magick of Thelema: A Handbook of the Rituals of Aleister Crowley by Lon Milo DuQuette, with foreword by Hymenaeus Beta, since re-published as The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema, the 1993 paperback from Samuel Weiser, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Lon Milo DuQuette The Magick of Thelema from Samuel Weiser

“Magick has been called the ‘Yoga of the West,’ and never before has interest in the subject been greater. Today on cannot embark upon even the most superficial study of the subject without encountering the works and personality of Aleister Crowley (1875–1947). His impact upon Western spiritual tradition is incalculable, yet beginning students frequently find it difficult, if not impossible, to grasp the post-graduate level of Crowley’s writings. Now Crowley scholar Lon Milo DuQuette shares the insights of over twenty years of research and practice in what can be described as a ‘Crowley primer.’

Using simple, straightforward language (uncharacteristic in books of this nature), DuQuette traces the evolution of modern Ceremonial Magick and painlessly discusses the foundations and intricacies of Crowley’s thought. He then challenges the reader to put this knowledge into practice by offering initiated commentaries upon Crowley’s most popular and celebrated rituals.

The Magick of Thelema is without question the most unintimidating, amusing and user-friendly guide to the works of Aleister Crowley ever written. It is truly A Handbook of the Rituals of Aleister Crowley and as such is an indispensable addition to every magickal library.”

 

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 Law is for All

The Law Is for All: The Authorized Popular Commentary of Liber Al Vel Legis Sub Figura CCXX, The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley, edited by Louis Wilkinson and Hymenaeus Beta, the 2002 softcover third printing of the first edition from New Falcon Publications, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Aleister Crowley, Louis Wilkinson and Hymenaeus Beta's The Law is for All from New Falcon Publications

It is worth noting that in this edition, on page 192, “A Paraphrase of the Inscriptions upon the Obverse of the Stèle of Revealing” has “Aum! let it fill me!”

“Aleister Crowley’s life and thought are inexorably linked with The Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX). He was not the author of this short, prophetic text. He received this visionary work by direct-voice dictation from a preterhuman, possibly discarnate intelligence in Cairo in 1904.

Crowley was an intelligent sceptic, and at first found this improbable means of communication as difficult to accept as most intelligent readers will today. Yet he could not ignore it or its message, and eventually concluded that it stood as conclusive proof of the underlying assumption of all religion — that intelligences superior to mankind not only exist, but take an active role in our welfare. He found that The Book of the Law holds the keys to the Next Step in human evolution, and sets forth the spiritual principles of a New Aeon.

He worked for decades to interpret its meaning for initiates and the general public, but rejected commentary after commentary as inadequate. He eventually concluded that he was too close to his subject to judge the value of his own commentaries, and entrusted the task to his best friend, Louis Wilkinson. Wilkinson (who wrote under the pen-name Louis Marlow) possessed impressive literary qualifications and had the advantages of knowing Crowley well and being a layman in esoteric matters. The result of his work is this long-awaited authorized popular edition of Crowley’s new commentary on The Book of the Law, and its first appearance as Crowley wished it. Louis Wilkinson’s editorial work was posthumously completed and augmented by Frater Superior Hymenaeus Beta of the O.T.O. This new edition features annotations, reading lists and indexes, as well as an insightful introduction by Louis Wilkinson.”

 

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 Law is for All

The Law is for All: The Authorized Popular Commentary to the Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley, edited with an introduction by Israel Regardie, the 1985 second printing of the second edition softcover from Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Aleister Crowley and Israel Regardie's The Law is for All from Falcon Press

It is worth noting that in this edition, in the front matter, “A Paraphrase of the Inscriptions upon the Obverse of the Stèle of Revealing” has “Aum! let it kill me!”

 

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.

Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law

Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley, edited and annotated by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, with an introduction by Kenneth Grant, the 1974 edition from 93 Publishing, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

John Symonds, Kenneth Grant and Aleister Crowley's Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the-Book of the Law from 93 Publishing

Unfortunately this is just a rather clandestine facsimile of a facsimile of the much sought after Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on Liber AL vel Legis, The Book of the Law.

 

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 Commentaries of AL

The Commentaries of AL, Volume V No 1 of what is sometimes called the Red Equinox, by Aleister Crowley and another (Marcelo Ramos Motta), the 1975 first edition hardcover from Weiser Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Marcelo Ramos Motta and Aleister Crowley's The Commentaries of AL from Weiser Books

Unfortunately not in great shape, and without the dust cover, but this much maligned Motta commentary on Liber AL vel Legis, The Book of the Law is still an interesting addition to the collection.

If anyone with a physical copy of this that still has the dust cover would let me know what the inside flap for this book has to say, if anything, about itself, I’d much appreciate hearing from you so I could add that information to this post.

 

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.

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]

You may be interested in a new post by Sabazius over on his blog about the Tunis Comment, or The Comment

You may be interested in a new post by Sabazius over on his blog about the Tunis Comment, or The Comment, at “A Brief Examination of ‘The Comment’“.

“These days, The Comment is sometimes regarded as a bit of irony, or an anachronism, or an example of ‘reverse psychology,’ or even a joke. But Crowley took this statement quite seriously, even if not perfectly literally.” [via]

“There is nothing wrong with studying Crowley’s evolving commentaries and writings dealing with Liber AL, such is encouraged by The Comment and was clearly the intent. But we know from experience that group discussion, especially in official contexts within a hierarchical organization, inevitably evokes the dynamic of intellectual leaders and followers, and subtle pressures to conform. O.T.O. is full of what might be considered operative paradoxes, and this is a significant one. We believe that by actively working to discourage the creation of social contexts in which individuals are expected to state their personal views on Liber AL and its meaning, we preserve their freedom.” [via]

An Historical Summary of Angelic Hierarchies from Part VII: The “Seven” Thrones in In Operibus Sigillo Dei Aemeth by David Richard Jones.

“Dee would certainly have known of the famous first translation into Latin by the Neoplatonist and suspected heretic, Johannes Scotus Erigena/Eriugena, (c. 815–877), but it seems unlikely that he was aware of Eriugena’s rather controversial commentaries. These commentaries were not rediscovered until 1681 along with the condemned De division nature.” [via]

 


Johannes Scotus Eriugena