Tag Archives: Inner Traditions

Net of Being

Net of Being by Alex Grey and Allyson Grey has arrived at the Reading Room, courtesy of Inner Traditions.

Alex Grey and Allyson Grey's Net of Being from Inner Traditions

 

“How Alex Grey’s visionary art is evolving the cultural body through icons of interconnectedness

• Includes over 200 reproductions of Grey’s artwork
• Contains spectacular photos of Grey’s collaboration with the cult band TOOL plus his worldwide live-painting performances
• Offers Grey’s reflections on how art evolves consciousness with a new symbology of the Networked Self

Revealing the interwoven energies of body and soul, love and spirit that illuminate the core of each being, Alex Grey’s mystic paintings articulate the realms of consciousness encountered during visits to entheogenic heaven worlds. His painting Net of Being—inspired by a blazing vision of an infinite grid of Godheads during an ayahuasca journey—has reached millions as the cover and interior of the band TOOL’s Grammy award–winning triple-platinum album, 10,000 Days. Net of Being is one of many images Grey has created that have resulted in a chain reaction of uses—from apparel and jewelry to tattoos and music videos—embedding these iconic works into our culture’s living Net of Being.

The book explores how the mystical experience expressed in Alex Grey’s work opens a new understanding of our shared consciousness and unveils the deep influence art can have on cultural evolution. The narrative progresses through a successive expansion of identity—from the self, to self and beloved, to self and community, world spirit, and cosmic consciousness, where bodies are transparent to galactic energies. Presenting over 200 images, including many never-before-reproduced paintings as well as masterworks such as St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution and Godself, the book also documents performance art, live-painting on stage throughout the world, and the “social sculpture” called CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, that Grey cofounded with his wife and creative collaborator, artist Allyson Grey.” [via]

 

 

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 Crossing excerpt from The Sacred Rite of Magical Love

Here’s an excerpt of chapter 6, “The Crossing,” from The Sacred Rite of Magical Love: A Ceremony of Word and Flesh by Maria de Naglowska, translated by Donald Traxler, which is offered at the Reading Room with permission from Inner Traditions.

 

Maria de Naglowska's The Sacred Rite of Magical Love from Inner Traditions

 

The Crossing

We set out, hand in hand. Misha had said:

“Come, Xenia, it’s time.”

And I followed him without saying a word. We knew the path well, he and I. Misha held the lantern in his right hand, its red light spread a weak glow around us, and in the thick night it was as if we were going through a tunnel.

At the same time, as we advanced, the space gained closed again behind us, like a black wall.

When we arrived at the end of the great walk on the grounds that surrounded my ancestral home, after which it would be a matter of dealing with unkept paths, Misha stopped and said to me:

“Rest a little, my friend. I’ll take advantage of it to tell you certain things.”

The manifest change in Misha’s whole attitude did not surprise me, since I knew the reason for it, but what seemed astonishing to me was my completely new feeling with regard to my companion.

This feeling was very different from the mystical love that I had felt for the Unknown: he effaced me more in my own eyes and was spread through me, as an overwhelming influence.

When I was seated upon the trunk of an overturned pine, well wrapped in my big, black cloak, elbows resting on my knees and forehead in palms, Misha, who had remained standing, said to me:

“Xenia, I know now that he who is waiting for us in the forest is neither a rival nor an adversary. He is a friend, and the teaching that He shall give us bears upon a sacred mystery. That is why it is appropriate for us to prepare in a worthy fashion for the solemn meeting.”

He stopped talking and gathered himself into a deep meditation.

He was truly superb, illuminated by the red glow against the black background of the night. His eyes seemed enormous and powerful, and his tall, vigorous Cossack’s stature reflected an indomitable will.

I looked at him, and I didn’t think about anything. I waited for everything from him now.

“Xenia,” he said at last, “have you anything to reproach me about?”

If the earth had opened and swallowed me up, if the Kasbek had bowed down in front of the sea, I would have been less shaken in my being: I, reproaching anything in this man!

In a single bound I was on my feet, with my arms around Misha’s neck, like a mad woman. I pressed against his body, hard as granite, I wrapped my legs around his; I ruined my clothes in rubbing against his daggers.

From time to time I threw my head back to see if he was smiling.

Misha allowed me to continue for a few moments. He took me into his arms then and hugged me tenderly.

I wish I could express the happiness I felt, feeling his strength and rigidity turn to tenderness for me.

I was aware, I felt the need to sacrifice myself. Oh! The voluptuousness of the sacrifice!

“You are right,” Misha whispered, lightly caressing my ear with his lips, “you are right: you can’t reproach me for it … Xenia is mine, because I have won her. Xenia belongs to no one else … the Other is not an enemy … we shall see Him soon … together … kiss me again, my little bluebird … give me the kiss that I need now … I’m not the same person that I was this morning … we shall see Him together, soon.”

Saying that, he lifted me like a child, without effort, as if I had no weight, and, when my head was at the level of his, our lips united in a marvelous kiss, which seemed to unite heaven and earth.

There was no hell in that kiss, for hell had already been crossed.

Hell’s kiss is humid, because it is the beginning of the great crossing of the Sea. Heaven’s kiss is airy and radiant, because it is the first step taken on the new shore.

But one does not cross over the Sea, if one does not reach the limit of the first land … and the man will not pass over the region of the waves, if the waves do not make way for him … The woman is the wave and the man is the land.

“Yes, I’m yours, Misha, yours alone …”

I was elated and without strength.

Misha plunged a caressing look into my eyes and said to me:

“It’s true.”

He placed another kiss on my forehead, between my eyebrows, a kiss charged with thoughts, and slowly, as if I were a fragile and precious object, he put me back on the trunk of the pine.

“Now, rest peacefully and don’t move, no matter what happens. What I have to do now is for me and because of me. Don’t be concerned, stay completely calm.”

Without effort, I obeyed. I found it sweet to obey him. I crossed my hands on my knees, and I waited.

Misha backed up a few steps. He extended his arms before him, presenting his palms to the sky, as the priest does in front of the altar, when he implores the divine powers, for Christ to descend into the bread and wine of the Mystery.

He immediately brought about a concentration of spirit and of formidable forces.

He resembled a red statue of transparent stone. The light lost itself around him in the immense darkness, but the force that was in him seemed still more immense. It was the center that dominated the night.

 

 

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 Sacred Rite of Magical Love

The Sacred Rite of Magical Love: A Ceremony of Word and Flesh by Maria de Naglowska, translated by Donald Traxler, has arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of Inner Traditions.

This work was released in February, earlier this year, and follows other recent books by the same author and translator from Inner Traditions including last year’s The Light of Sex: Initiation, Magic, and Sacrament and Advanced Sex Magic: The Hanging Mystery Initiation, and also a new issue of Magia Sexualis: Sexual Practices for Magical Power, widely attributed to Pascal Beverly Randolph but which survives only from Naglowska’s French translation and which was possibly supplemented by her, re-translated to English by Traxler, which last was just released subsequently in August.

 

Maria de Naglowska's The Sacred Rite of Magical Love from Inner Traditions

 

“The first English translation of Maria de Naglowska’s sexually magical novella, Le rite sacré de l’amour magique

• Contains autobiographical material from Maria de Naglowska’s life

• Continues, in symbolic story form, the sexual initiatory teachings expounded in Naglowska’s The Light of Sex and Advanced Sex Magic

• Includes a summary of Naglowska’s religious doctrine in her own words

Available for the first time in English, The Sacred Rite of Magical Love is a mystical, sexually magical novella written by Maria de Naglowska—the Russian mystic and esoteric high priestess of 1930s Paris. Her religious system, called the Third Term of the Trinity, taught the importance of sex for the upliftment of humanity.

A natural continuation of Naglowska’s The Light of Sex and Advanced Sex Magic, this volume also contains autobiographical material from Maria de Naglowska’s life. Full of symbolic language and hidden meanings, the story follows a young woman named Xenophonta as she experiences the apparition of a dark force, whom she calls the Master of the Past and to whom she dedicates her heart and her service. En route to a midnight rendezvous with him, Xenophonta encounters a young Cossack, Micha, who sexually accosts her. Telling Micha that she already belongs to another, she escapes to keep her rendezvous. Micha, now jealous, follows her and ends up taking part in a strange, mystical ceremony that transforms him, through the magic of word and flesh.

With a preface discussing the Sacred Triangle and the magical symbol of the AUM Clock, both central symbols in Naglowska’s religious system as well as in the story, the book also includes a summary of the doctrine of the Third Term of the Trinity in de Naglowska’s own words—important to any student of the Western Mystery tradition.” [via]

 

 

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.

Anton Szandor LaVey and the Church of Satan excerpt from Lords of the Left-Hand Path

Here’s an excerpt of chapter 9, “Anton Szandor LaVey and the Church of Satan,” from Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices and Spiritual Heresies by Stephen E Flowers [also] which is offered at the Reading Room with permission from Inner Traditions.

 

 

THE SATANIC COSMOLOGY

Or The World According to the Abominable Dr. LaVey

Anton LaVey was not, nor did he intend to be, a systematic philosopher. He was more a weaver of images—a sorcerous philosopher—a performance artist working in the social and imagistic media of the latter twentieth century. As such, it requires some work and, I hope, some sympathetic understanding to illicit from his written works the essence of his worldview. In many ways LaVey poses some new questions for the would-be follower of the left-hand path. The role of society and of the interaction with other human beings (or the lack of same) become essential to his satanic philosophy. But equipped with the analytical questions I have put to all the earlier schools of the left-hand path, the encounter with LaVey’s Church of Satan yields a great harvest of new ideas about the nature and scope of the path of the left-hand. LaVey’s satanic cosmology will be seen to be materialistic, cyclical, dualistic, and limited. The problem of the position of the will of the satanic magician within this cosmos remains, however.

LaVey’s system of thought was based on a uniquely magical form of materialism. For him all things that exist do so in a material form. There is no such thing as “spirit,” “god,” or “heaven” as commonly believed in and taught by orthodox religions or held by popular superstition. This theoretical idea is the proverbial forest of LaVey’s system, which the trees of individual manifestations of this concept sometimes obscure. It is easier to see the materialism in his understanding of mankind or the workings of magic than in the impersonal abstraction of cosmology. LaVey always begins and ends with concrete things that can be sensed. This approach rarely led him off into abstract speculation.

For LaVey “God” (i.e., the ultimate power in the universe) is Nature and Satan is the embodiment of Nature. This is not to reduce LaVey’s philosophy to pure objectivistic positivism. There is indeed, and perhaps somewhat paradoxically, a definite metaphysics embedded in LaVey’s materialism. The world may be a material reality only, but its functions can be so mysterious that vast amounts of its true character and structure remain hidden from normal mankind’s view and understanding.

For the most part man brings this ignorance upon himself—it is simply more comfortable to be ignorant for most people.

LaVey’s metaphysical materialism is not entirely original. He derived much of it from a number of sources that seem to include the Epicureans (whom he sometimes invoked), de Sade (ultimately de la Metterie), Marx, and Freud (whom he admired). It is this long-standing tradition of philosophical materialism, which more than anything else LaVey identifies as the Satanic philosophy or tradition. Here he is very much in keeping with the attitudes of the Slavs, both ancient and modern, who in their dualistic folk religion identified God with the spiritual world and the Devil with the material one. 



 

CYCLES OF FIRE AND ICE 


The clearest statements made by LaVey concerning the abstract order of the cosmos are concerned with cycles or rhythms. In the Satanic Rituals he wrote two pages (219-20) under the heading “The Unknown Known.” Here he outlines a theory of the successive Ages of the world that cycle or oscillate between Ages of Ice in which “God” rules and man (= Satan) is suppressed and Ages of Fire in which man rules and “God is beneath.” These cycles are governed by the Law of Nine.

First there is a nine-year period characterized by action, then a subsequent nine-year period characterized by reaction to that original impetus. Taken together the eighteen-year span of time is called a “Working.” Nine Workings equal an Era (162 years), and nine Eras add up to an Age (1,458 years), and nine Ages equal an Epoch (13,122 years).

The last Age of Ice came to an end in 1966. This pattern of oscillation between extremes is the clearest abstract model for another leitmotif in LaVey’s thought: dualism. Dualism will be discussed at length in the next section, but another aspect of the cyclical pattern must not be overlooked: that of rhythm. Perhaps welling up from LaVey’s obvious native musical nature and talent is an inherent sense of rhythm. He often writes of the importance of music to magic and even concerning the primacy of rhythm over the actual meanings of words in magical incantations.

The role of rhythms in ordering the world is specifically addressed in a Cloven Hoof article in 1980 titled “Mega-rhythms.” Here LaVey claims to be able to chart future public likes and dislikes “based on one simple rule: the attraction of opposites.” If it’s in today, it’s destined by this mega-rhythmic law to be out tomorrow. The timing of these shifts is presumably somehow coordinated with the oscillation process within the Working eighteen-year period.

“Angles” form another abstract construct that gives shape to LaVey’s cosmology. These “angles”—geometrical models, which seem to have the power to create certain effects in the objective and subjective universes—are most precisely discussed in a Cloven Hoof article titled “The Law of the Trapezoid.” This Law states that figures or spaces made up of obtuse or acute angles (those less or more than 90 degrees) have an unsettling effect on the mind unless they are recognized as such—whereupon they can be empowering and energizing.

 

 

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.

Lords of the Left-Hand Path

Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices and Spiritual Heresies by Stephen E Flowers [also] has arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of Inner Traditions.

 

 

“Examines the left-hand path and reveals the masters of the tradition

• Explores the practices and beliefs of many left-hand path groups, including the Cult of Set, the Hell-Fire Club, and heretical Sufi, Zoroastrian, Christian, and Muslim sects

• Investigates many infamous occult personalities, including Helena Blavatsky, Aleister Crowley, the Marquis de Sade, and Anton LaVey

• Explains the true difference between the right-hand path and the left-hand path—union with and dependence on God versus individual freedom and self-empowerment

From black magic and Satanism to Gnostic sects and Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way, the left-hand path has been linked to many practices, cults, and individuals across the ages. Stephen Flowers, Ph.D., examines the methods, teachings, and historical role of the left-hand path, from its origins in Indian tantric philosophy to its underlying influence in current world affairs, and reveals which philosophers, magicians, and occult figures throughout history can truly be called “Lords of the Left-Hand Path.”

Flowers explains that while the right-hand path seeks union with and thus dependence on God, the left-hand path seeks a “higher law” based on knowledge and power. It is the way of self-empowerment and true freedom. Beginning with ancient Hindu and Buddhist sects and moving Westward, he examines many alleged left-hand path groups, including the Cult of Set, the Yezidi Devil Worshippers, the Assassins, the Neoplatonists, the Hell-Fire Club, the Bolsheviks, the occult Nazis, and several heretical Sufi, Zoroastrian, Christian, and Muslim sects. Following a carefully crafted definition of a true adherent of the left-hand path based on two main principles—self-deification and challenge to the conventions of “good” and “evil”—the author analyzes many famous and infamous personalities, including H. P. Blavatsky, Faust, the Marquis de Sade, Austin Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner, Anton LaVey, and Michael Aquino, and reveals which occult masters were Lords of the Left-Hand Path.

Flowers shows that the left-hand path is not inherently evil but part of our heritage and our deep-seated desire to be free, independent, and in control of our destinies.” [via]

 

 

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.

Net of Being

Net of Being by Alex Grey and Allyson Grey is a new work, recently released, via Inner Traditions which may be of interest.

“Revealing the interwoven energies of body and soul, love and spirit that illuminate the core of each being, Alex Grey’s mystic paintings articulate the realms of consciousness encountered during visits to entheogenic heaven worlds. His painting Net of Being—inspired by a blazing vision of an infinite grid of Godheads during an ayahuasca journey—has reached millions as the cover and interior of the band TOOL’s Grammy award-winning triple-platinum album, 10,000 Days. Net of Being is one of many images Grey has created that have resulted in a chain reaction of uses—from apparel and jewelry to tattoos and music videos—embedding these iconic works into our culture’s living Net of Being.

The book explores how the mystical experience expressed in Alex Grey’s work opens a new understanding of our shared consciousness and unveils the deep influence art can have on cultural evolution. The narrative progresses through a successive expansion of identity–from the self, to self and beloved, to self and community, world spirit, and cosmic consciousness, where bodies are transparent to galactic energies. Presenting over 200 images, including many never-before-reproduced paintings as well as masterworks such as St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution and Godself, the book also documents performance art, live-painting on stage throughout the world, and the “social sculpture” called CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, which Grey cofounded with his wife and creative collaborator, artist Allyson Grey.” [via]

 

The Mysteries of John the Baptist

The Mysteries of John the Baptist: His Legacy in Gnosticism, Paganism, and Freemasonry by Tobias Churton has arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of Inner Traditions.

 

 

“The search for the real historical person known as John the Baptist and the traditions that began with him

• Explores why John the Baptist is so crucially important to the Freemasons, who were originally known as “St. John’s Men”

• Reveals how John and Jesus were equal partners and shared a common spiritual vision to rebuild Israel and overcome corruption in the Temple of Jerusalem

• Explains the connections between John as lord of the summer solstice, his mysterious severed head, fertility rites, and ancient Jewish harvest festivals

Few Freemasons today understand why the most significant date in the Masonic calendar is June 24th–the Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist and the traditional date for appointing Grand Masters. Nor do many of them know that Masons used to be known as “St. John’s Men” or that John the Baptist was fundamental to the original Masonic philosophy of personal transformation.

Starting with the mystery of John in Freemasonry, Tobias Churton searches out the historical Baptist through the gospels and ancient histories, unearthing the real story behind the figure lauded by Jesus’s words “no greater man was ever born of woman.” He investigates John’s links with the Essenes and the Gnostics, links that flourish to this day. Exposing how the apostle Paul challenged John’s following, twisting his message and creating the image of John as “merely” a herald of Jesus, the author shows how Paul may have been behind the executions of both John and Jesus and reveals a precise date for the crucifixion and the astonishing meaning of the phrase “the third day.” He examines the significance of John’s severed head to holy knights, such as the Knights Templar, and of Leonardo’s famous painting of John. Churton also explains connections between John, the summer solstice, fertility rites, and ancient Jewish harvest festivals.

Revealing John as a courageous, revolutionary figure as vital to the origins of Christianity as his cousin Jesus himself, Churton shows how John and Jesus, as equal partners, launched a covert spiritual operation to overcome corruption in the Temple of Jerusalem, re-initiate Israel, and resurrect Creation.” [via]

 

 

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.

Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons

Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons: The Islamic Teachings at the Heart of Alchemy by Baron Rudolph von Sebottendorff, from Inner Traditions, translated by Stephen E Flowers, is due to be available Jan 2013.

von Sebottendorff Flowers Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons

 

“Originally published in Germany in 1924, this rare book by Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff reveals the secret spiritual exercises of the Bektashi Order of Sufis as well as how this order, also known as Oriental Freemasonry, preserves the ancient spiritual doctrines forgotten by modern Freemasonry. Sebottendorff explains how the mysterious abbreviated letters found in the Qur’an represent formulas for perfecting the spirit of the individual. When combined with Masonic hand signs and grips and conducted accordingly to a precise schedule, these formulas incorporate spiritual power into the body and transform the soul from its base state into a noble, godlike state: the Magnum Opus of the medieval alchemists.

Laying out the complete program of spiritual exercises, Sebottendorff explains each abbreviated word-formula in the Qur’an, the hand gestures that go with them, and the exact order and duration for each exercise. Including a detailed biography of Sebottendorff and an examination of alchemy’s Islamic heritage, this book shows how the traditions of Oriental Freemasonry can ennoble the self and lead to higher knowledge.”

 


 

The Sacred Rite of Magical Love: A Ceremony of Word and Flesh

The Sacred Rite of Magical Love: A Ceremony of Word and Flesh by Maria de Naglowska, from Inner Traditions, is a translation by Donald Traxler of Le rite sacré de l’amour magique. Naglowska not only provided the translation in French of B. P. Randolph’s Magia Sexualis: Sexual Practices for Magical Power, which was the only surviving source of that text, but authored a series of books which have recently been translated and published through Inner Traditions, such as The Light of Sex: Initiation, Magic, and Sacrament and Advanced Sex Magic: The Hanging Mystery Initiation.

Jenna Kraus, whom you may be familiar with as Hermetic Library anthology artist Whip Angels, offered a review of Naglowska’s, also recently available, The Light of Sex: Initiation, Magic, and Sacrament, over on David B Metcalfe’s blog, at “The Light of Sex: Initiation, Magic, & Sacrament by Maria de Naglowska, a review by Jenna Kraus“. You may also remember a previous post about the Whip Angels track The Light of Sex.

In the same vein, perhaps, as the series of fictional novels by Dion Fortune, such as the Sea Priestess and others, and of works in the library’s Cadaver Synod: Esoteric Fiction and Fictional Esoterica section, this is a novella by Naglowska which is inspired by the esoteric work of the author in the real world and should be of interest.

 

“Available for the first time in English, The Sacred Rite of Magical Love is a mystical, sexually magical novella written by Maria de Naglowska—the Russian mystic and esoteric high priestess of 1930s Paris. Her religious system, called the Third Term of the Trinity, taught the importance of sex for the upliftment of humanity.



A natural continuation of Naglowska’s The Light of Sex and Advanced Sex Magic, this volume also contains autobiographical material from Maria de Naglowska’s life. Full of symbolic language and hidden meanings, the story follows a young woman named Xenophonta as she experiences the apparition of a dark force, whom she calls the Master of the Past and to whom she dedicates her heart and her service. En route to a midnight rendezvous with him, Xenophonta encounters a young Cossack, Micha, who sexually accosts her. Telling Micha that she already belongs to another, she escapes to keep her rendezvous. Micha, now jealous, follows her and ends up taking part in a strange, mystical ceremony that transforms him, through the magic of word and flesh.



With a preface discussing the Sacred Triangle and the magical symbol of the AUM Clock, both central symbols in Naglowska’s religious system as well as in the story, the book also includes a summary of the doctrine of the Third Term of the Trinity in de Naglowska’s own words–important to any student of the Western Mystery tradition.”

 

 

Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices and Spiritual Heresies

Lords of the Left-Hand Path: Forbidden Practices and Spiritual Heresies by Stephen E Flowers, from Inner Traditions, was published back in June, recently went into reprint, but I haven’t mentioned it previously. The book covers quite a few topics that may be of interest and are related to the subject matter in the library.

 

“From black magic and Satanism to Gnostic sects and Gurdjieff’s Fourth Way, the left-hand path has been linked to many practices, cults, and individuals across the ages. Stephen Flowers, Ph.D., examines the methods, teachings, and historical role of the left-hand path, from its origins in Indian tantric philosophy to its underlying influence in current world affairs, and reveals which philosophers, magicians, and occult figures throughout history can truly be called “Lords of the Left-Hand Path.”

Flowers explains that while the right-hand path seeks union with and thus dependence on God, the left-hand path seeks a “higher law” based on knowledge and power. Following a carefully crafted definition of a true adherent of the left-hand path based on two main principles—self-deification and challenge to the conventions of “good” and “evil”—the author analyzes many famous and infamous personalities, including H. P. Blavatsky, Faust, the Marquis de Sade, Austin Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner, Anton LaVey, and Michael Aquino, and reveals which occult masters were Lords of the Left-Hand Path.

Flowers shows that the left-hand path is not inherently evil but part of our heritage and our deep-seated desire to be free, independent, and in control of our destinies.”