Tag Archives: Frieda Harris

Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #117 Aleister Crowley and Circle. A Miscellany of Used and Rare Books and Ephemera

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #117 Aleister Crowley and Circle. A Miscellany of Used and Rare Books and Ephemera.

“The catalogue is divided into three sections, the first of which is devoted to the magnificent Frieda Lady Harris / Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Calendar that was published for the year 1987. The calendars are huge (16.5″ x 10.5″) and each has 12 full-colour large size reproductions of different Thoth tarot designs. Serendipitously the alignment of days / dates in 2015 will be exactly the same as it was in 1987, so those who want to actually use the calendar will be able to do so next year! We have only a very small number of original new copies — recently discovered in England — and originals are rare, as many owners disassembled them and framed each of the images individually (we have one such set on the walls at Weiser Antiquarian).

The second section is devoted to books and ephemera by Aleister Crowley. It includes a good selection of First Editions of Crowley’s works, including the first separate British and US editions of The Book of the Law (1938 & 1942 respectively), a good selection of First Editions of the first series of The Equinox, including one of the rare white buckram issues of which there were only 50 copies, and a handsomely bound copy of The Equinox, Vol. III, No. 1. (‘The Blue Equinox‘ — 1919) from the library of Ray G. Burlingame (1893–1965) ‘Frater Aquarius,’ a IX degree member of the Agape Lodge of the O.T.O., with his stylised ownership inscription. Other First Editions include a superb set of the first issue of Magick In Theory and Practice (1929) in four parts, with the rare, 4 page prospectus and the single-sheet Subscription Form; The Sword of Song. Called by Christians The Book of the Beast (1904), two different variants of The Tale of Archais. A Romance in Verse (1898), a handsomely rebound copy of Oracles: The Biography of an Art (1905) and first separate editions of The City of God (1943) and The Fun of the Fair (1942), including a copy of the latter with the two additional poems that were left out of most copies because of wartime censorship regulations. Posthumous editions include a highly unusual Thelema publications re-issue of The Vision and The Voice (1952 / 1980), the sought-after John Symonds and Kenneth Grant edited Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law (1974) and a lovely copy of the Karl Germer edition of Liber Aleph (1962) with the extremely unusual original single-sided prospectus loosely inserted. There is also some fascinating ephemera, including a proof copy of Liber LXXVII. [Liber Oz] with holograph notes by Crowley on the verso; an autograph letter, signed, from Crowley to his physician urgently requesting a replacement prescription for heroin, and a holograph draft of a letter from Crowley to Frieda Lady Harris, along with a typed letter signed to Crowley from his lawyers, who had evidently vetted the contents of the letter on Crowley’s behalf!

The third and final section of the catalogue comprises works which in one way or another relate to Aleister Crowley. These include a copy of the rare first edition of Betty May’s Tiger-Woman (1929) — which famously includes a chapter on her stay at Cefalu, and a delightful early edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1926), a book which Crowley greatly admired, but which was banned in the UK at the time and comes with a home-made “modesty shield” so that it can sit undetected on the shelves. Both books are from the library of Edward Noel Fitzgerald (1908-1958), Frater Agape, a IX degree member of the O.T.O., long-time friend of Aleister Crowley’s, and briefly Karl Germer’s representative in the U.K., with his posthumous bookplate. Other curiosities include Liber Vel Oviz 93 Sub Figura LXXVI as Delivered By Oviz to Przoval 8 = 3 (1981) an unusual privately printed work that appears to present itself as a ‘sequel’ to or extension of “The Book of the Law,” S. Ivor Stephen’s, Neutrality: the Crucifixion of Public Opinion From the American Point of View (1916), a well-reasoned argument for keeping the USA out of the First World War, which includes a number of references to the views on the subject of the “great English writer and poet” Crowley and his circle; and a typed letter, signed, from Dennis Wheatley to Crowley, discussing publication possibilities for Crowley’s memoirs (1934)

Sexual Alchemy & Tarot with Lon Milo DuQuette

You may be interested in Sexual Alchemy & Tarot: Understanding Crowley’s Thoth Deck, an online training session with Lon Milo DuQuette, offered through Thelesis Aura on Sun, Sept 15 from 9am-11am PDT (12pm-3pm EDT).

Lon Milo DuQuette's Thelesis Aura classes

“For more than 35 years, the Thoth Tarot has been one of the most popular and best selling Tarot decks in the world. Designed by Aleister Crowley and painted by Frieda Harris, it is considered by many to be the most important magical object d’art of the 20th century – it is also one of the most misunderstood.

Crowley’s own The Book of Thoth, written in the last years of his life, is naturally the most authoritative work on the subject, and represents a synthesis of a lifetime of magical study and illumination. Yet like many of Crowley’s works, it is hard to digest without a considerable background in occult education.

Join author and Crowley expert, Lon Milo DuQuette (author of Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot), for an in-depth (and relatively painless) look at the classic and revolutionary structure of the Thoth Tarot; its artistic mysteries; and the secrets of sexual alchemy hidden within the stunning imagery of its 78 mini-masterpieces.”

Aleister Crowley, Friends, and Followers

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Book Catalogue #108: Aleister Crowley, Friends, and Followers.

“The catalogue starts with a work that has provoked considerable discussion even before its public release: Michael Effertz’s thoughtfully argued book Priest/ess: In Advocacy of Queer Gnostic Mass. There follows a section devoted to copies of The Book of the Law including a copy of the seldom-seen O.T.O. leather-bound Centennial Edition, limited to 418 numbered copies, signed by Hymenaeus Beta and the 1956 reissue of The Equinox of the Gods with the rare separate folder containing a facsimile of the original manuscript of “The Book of the Law.” Rare materials by Crowley in the following section include several letters from him to his collaborator on the Thoth tarot deck Frieda Harris, a superb first edition of The Book of Lies, a rare greeting-card type edition of The Hymn to Pan, and the original typescript of The Yi King: An Interpretation, a work which would later be published by Helen Parsons Smith as the Shi Yi.

Some of the most exciting items are found in the next section “Works by Friends and Followers of Aleister Crowley.” This includes Kenneth Grant’s copy of the Hatha-Yoga Pradipika of Svatmarama Svamin with Grant’s elaborate ownership inscription and his personal sigil as well as a list of the various titles to which he lay claim – on the half-title page, along with editions deluxe of Beyond the Mauve Zone and The Magical Revival. There is also a good selection of works by Jack Parsons including his own copy of Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, with Jack Parsons’ ownership initials on the first blank. In addition to an unusual collection of publications by Louis T. Culling there is a nice group by Israel Regardie including a signed edition of The Eye in the Triangle.

The penultimate section “Works Relating to Aleister Crowley and his Magical Orders” includes a number of unusual books, some of which have a most interesting provenance. Thus a copy of L. Ron Hubbard, Final Blackout was a gift to Wilfred T. Smith and his wife, Helen (Helen Parsons Smith), a copy of De Villars’ Comte de Gabalis belonged to Reea Leffingwell (of Agape Lodge), whilst a copy of The Kabbalah; Its Doctrines, Development and Literature has ownership signatures of two California Thelemites, Joseph C. Crombie and Mildred Burlingame. Copies of Arthur Edward Waite’s superb edition of Eliphas Levi’s The History of Magic and William Stirling’s The Canon are both from the collection of Aleister Crowley’s student Arthur Edward Richardson, with his bookplate on the front pastedown, whilst the first edition of Richard Kaczynski’s ground-breaking biography, Perdurabo. The Life of Aleister Crowley, is a presentation copy inscribed to English Crowley scholar Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper. The final section of the catalogue is somewhat more whimsical, featuring books related to music and cinema which make some mention of Aleister Crowley. Not surprisingly many also invoke the names of Jimmy Page and Kenneth Anger.” [via]

Aleister Crowley: Used and Rare Books and Ephemera

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Book Catalogue #106: Aleister Crowley: Used and Rare Books and Ephemera.

“This catalogue is made up of seven sections, the first of which is a mixed collection of books and ephemera by Crowley himself. It includes some truly stunning manuscript and typescript items, notably the original typescript of an unpublished film-script entitled “The Stolen Post-Office,” a murder mystery with a dissolute cocaine-fiend as the villain whose friend, “Snowbird Jim” starts out bad but ends up good under the influence of dance-hall-floozy come tart-with-a-heart “Dago Flo.” There is also a typescript of Crowley’s Liber Aleph that circulated amongst Crowley’s followers shortly before his death, and a small collection of documents relating to Crowley’s failed attempt to get to America during the Second World War, including an envelope on which Crowley has written “From my Gaoler.” Manuscript materials include an original manuscript poem that was later published in Konx om Pax, a note in which Crowley suggests a course by which the Thoth tarot deck might come to be his path-way to riches, two letters to Frieda Harris, and a remarkable note in which Crowley suggests Oscar Wilde to have been guilty of plagiarism! Amongst the less common printed texts in this group are a copy of Crowley’s The Man That Put the O.K. in Book, a booklet that is as sycophantic as it is scarce, the softcover version of the 1992 Mandrake Press Ltd edition of the first eleven numbers of The Equinox (oddly the only edition that is a true facsimile of the first edition), and the memorable “Scratch ‘n’ Sniff” edition of Leah Sublime (1996), which was surely in part a hommage to John Waters’ “Polyester” and its “Odorama.”

The second section comprises “Books and Journals Relating to Crowley, Thelema, and Associates,” and includes two unusual inscribed booklets by Crowley’s one-time disciple C. F. Russell, while the third section is devoted to the publications of Marcelo Motta and his “Society Ordo Templi Orientis.” The fourth section showcases one limited edition booklet, of which we have secured a few signed copies: Timothy D’Arch Smith’s fascinating piece of literary detective work Bunbury. Two Notes on Oscar Wilde (Aleister Crowley and the Origin of “Bunbury” & A Source for the Importance of Being Earnest).

The fifth section of the catalogue is titled “Beardsley, the Beast, and his Bookplate,” for it brings together a small collection of books that in one way or other relate to the Aleister Crowley bookplate with design by Aubrey Beardsley. For many years the bookplate was almost legendary – there were various references to its existence, but no-one appeared to have ever actually seen a copy. It was a subject that fascinated Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper, who put together the small collection of books and journals in this section. Also included is a folder with a facsimile of the bookplate, and various ephemera relating to it that was assembled by Nicholas. The penultimate section: “The Beast Observed: in Memoirs and Fiction,” comprises a disparate group of biographies, memoirs, etc., all of which contain at least some reference to Crowley. Of particular note are two copies of Betty May’s Tiger-Woman, the memoirs of the widow of Raoul Loveday, the former Oxford student who died whilst staying at Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, which give an interesting first-hand account of life at the Abbey. Curiously Tiger Woman is referenced in another book in this section, Taylor Croft’s The Cloven Hoof: A Study of Contemporary London Vices (1932), a delightfully breathless romp through the seedy underbelly of London in the 1920s and early 1930s. The catalogue ends with a collection of London Auction room catalogues form the 1950s through the 1970s. This was the period when many of important collections of Crowley’s works – often those of people who knew him – were dispersed at auction, and the catalogues sometime provide valuable bibliographical and biographical data.” [via]

Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #97 “Aleister Crowley. Used and Rare Books and Ephemera”

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue #97 “Aleister Crowley. Used and Rare Books and Ephemera” about which an email was recently sent and now appears on the Weiser Antiquarian site.

“That said, it is hard to beat the most significant item in the present catalogue, the Jack Parsons / W.T.Smith set of Aleister Crowley’s, The Equinox Vol. I, Numbers I – X. The set has an extraordinary provenance – outlined in the listings – and it is quite amazing to think that these are probably the very volumes that Parsons used in the now-famous Babalon working. Another book with a particularly interesting history is a First Edition of Crowley’s, 777 (1909), which belonged first to someone with Golden Dawn connections, then to a Crowley associate, and most recently to Crowley scholar Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper. Of even greater rarity is a copy of Crowley’s, pseudonymously-published first book Aceldama. A Place to Bury Strangers, (1898). The book is genuinely rare – this is only the second copy that we’ve had in the last twenty-five years (we sold the Bishop-Culpeper copy late last year). The catalogue includes a number of other First Editions published during Crowley’s lifetime, including Alice: An Adultery (1903), The High History of Good Sir Palamedes the Saracen Knight (1912), Household Gods. A Comedy (1912), and a superb copy of the second issue of The Equinox of the Gods (1937).

Amongst the other unusual items in the catalogue are Wilfred T.Smith’s set of Sir James Frazer’s, The Golden Bough (12 Volumes + 13th 1920 & 1937), and a good selection of publications produced by Helen Parson’s Smith, including her rare edition of the Shih Yi, A Critical and Mnemonic Paraphrase of the Yî King by Ko Yuen (1971). Two interesting handwritten letters by Aleister Crowley to Frieda Harris, shed light on his thoughts on art, the I Ching, and his personal situation during the early years of the Second World War. The flap from a large envelope that he posted from Tunisia in 1925 is sealed with a large blob of blood red wax, which Crowley has impressed with his personal seal of the time, an Eye of Horus within an inverted triangle (pyramid), which is much scarcer than the later ankh-f-n-khonsu ring-seal.

Other fascinating items are scattered throughout the catalogue: with many of the more “ordinary” books and journals having some interesting quirk or provenance.” [via]