Tag Archives: Ibis Press

Hasan-i-Sabah

Hasan-i-Sabah: Assassin Master [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher] by James Wasserman, introduction by Tobias Churton, from Nicolas-Hays and Ibis Press.

James Wasserman Hasan-i-Sabah Assassin Master Ibis Press

This publication includes the first English translation of the 1310 biography of Hasan-i-Sabah by Rashid al-Din: The Biography of Our Master (Sar-Guzasht-i-Sayyidna)

Hasan-i-Sabah was born in northern Persia around 1050 and died in 1124. He was an Ismaili missionary (or dai) who founded the Nizari Ismailis after the usurpation of the Fatimid Imamate by the military dictator of Egypt. It may be said that Hasan founded and operated the world’s most successful mystical secret society, while building a political territory in which to maintain his independence. The small empire he created would be home to him, his followers, and their descendants for 166 years.

Today, under the leadership of the Aga Khan, the Nizari Ismailis are one of the preeminent Muslim sects in the world, numbering some twenty million members in twenty-five countries.

The medieval Nizaris were also known as Assassins or Hashishim. They became embedded in European consciousness because of their contact with the Knights Templar, and other Crusaders and visitors to the Near East. Several Europeans reported back with strange (and largely false) tales of the Assassins. In the fourteenth century, they were widely popularized by the famed Venetian traveler and writer Marco Polo in The Travels of Marco Polo. He added a whole new level of myth in his account of the sect (included in this volume along with extensive commentary).

Of greatest interest is the idea that the Assassins were the spiritual initiators of the Knights Templar. If this is true, Hasan-i-Sabah would be in part responsible for the European Renaissance that would reclaim the spiritual centrality of the Hermetic writings and the Gnostic/Esoteric trends that continue to this day.

Essential reading for an understanding of modern esoteric secret societies and today’s headlines coming from the Middle East.

About the Author

James Wasserman is a lifelong student of religion and spiritual development. His writings and editorial efforts maintain a focus on spirituality, creative mythology, secret societies, history, religion, and politics. He is a passionate advocate of individual liberty. An admirer of the teachings of Aleister Crowley, he has played a key role in numerous seminal publications of the Crowley literary corpus. A book designer by trade, Jim is the owner of Studio 31. He has appeared on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Coast to Coast Radio and numerous podcasts, and has addressed National Press Club.

Torah and Nondualism

Torah and Nondualism: Diversity, Conflict, and Synthesis [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher] by James H Cumming, from Ibis Press, arrived at the Reading Room, courtesy of the publisher.

James H Cumming Torah and Nondualism Diversity Conflict Synthesis Ibis Press

Torah and Nondualism is a commentary on the Torah, or Pentateuch, meaning “five books,” written in the form of five essays―one for each book. It reconciles modern biblical scholarship with the Jewish hermeneutical techniques recorded in the Zohar and shows that the meanings these interpretive techniques reveal are so consistent and illuminating throughout the Bible that they must have been intended by its redactors. By combining these traditional methods with modern insights, the book uncovers hidden themes in the Bible that other commentaries have overlooked.

Specifically, Torah and Nondualism discovers a syncretistic subtext in the Pentateuch aimed at reconciling two religious cultures: one rooted in Egyptian esoteric tradition and the other in Canaanite mythology and practice. In later times, these two religious cultures corresponded roughly to two rival kingdoms, Judah and Israel. The Torah ingeniously harmonizes this spiritual and political rift. When this subtext is fully appreciated, it is recognizable in all the Torah’s most obscure rituals. Even those priestly rites associated with temple worship are understandable. The bitter rebellion against Moses and Aaron’s leadership is presented in terms of the Torah’s effort to harmonize conflict, sometimes by demanding great personal sacrifice.

Illustrated to make the complexities of scribal hermeneutics readily accessible to the nonexpert, Torah and Nondualism requires no prior knowledge of Hebrew and introduces the reader to an esoteric level of Bible interpretation previously known only to a small group of trained Hebrew scribes. Its intelligent and well-supported analysis promises to change the way you think about the Bible.

About the Author

James H. Cumming received his BA from Columbia University and his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, graduating magna cum laude. His religious scholarship began in 1981 with Kashmiri Shaivism. In the 1990s, his studies included the Mahabharata and the Upanishads. In the 2000s, he taught himself to read Hebrew and undertook a comprehensive study of Jewish mysticism that included the multivolume Zohar and the leading texts of Lurianic Kabbalah. After studying Hebrew scribal techniques, he closely reread the Hebrew scriptures, applying the hermeneutical methods described in the Sifra di-Tzni’uta and the Idra Rabba. He lives with his wife and two sons in Berkeley, California. Visit him at Freedom Scribe.

The Dark Lord

The Dark Lord: H.P. Lovecraft, Kenneth Grant, and the Typhonian Tradition in Magic by Peter Levenda, from Ibis Press, may be of interest.

Peter Levenda The Dark Lord from Ibis Press

“One of the most famous — yet least understood — manifestations of Thelemic thought has been the works of Kenneth Grant, the British occultist and one-time intimate of Aleister Crowley, who discovered a hidden world within the primary source materials of Crowley’s Aeon of Horus. Using complementary texts from such disparate authors as H.P. Lovecraft, Jack Parsons, Austin Osman Spare, and Charles Stansfeld Jones (‘Frater Achad’), Grant formulated a system of magic that expanded upon that delineated in the rituals of the OTO: a system that included elements of Tantra, of Voudon, and in particular that of the Schlangekraft recension of the Necronomicon, all woven together in a dark tapestry of power and illumination.

The Dark Lord follows the themes in the writings of Kenneth Grant, H.P. Lovecraft, and the Necronomicon, uncovering further meanings of the concepts of the famous writers of the Left Hand Path. It is for Thelemites, as well as lovers of the Lovecraft Mythos in all its forms, and for those who find the rituals of classical ceremonial magic inadequate for the New Aeon.

Traveling through the worlds of religion, literature, and the occult, Peter Levenda takes his readers on a deeply fascinating exploration on magic, evil, and The Dark Lord as he investigates of one of the most neglected theses in the history of modern occultism: the nature of the Typhonian Current and its relationship to Aleister Crowley’s Thelema and H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon.” [via]