Tag Archives: J W Brodie-Innes

The Sorcerer and His Apprentice

The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Unknown Hermetic Writings of S.L. MacGregor Mathers and J.W. Brodie-Innes [Amazon, Abebooks, Local Library] by S L MacGregor Mathers and J W Brodie-Innes, edited and introduced by R A Gilbert, reviewed by Bkwyrm in the Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews archive.

Mathers Brodie-Innes Gilbert The Sorcerer and his Apprentice

Mr. Gilbert has taken a collection of short papers on various occult subjects by Mathers, and by Brodie-Innes, and has presented them as “An anthology of writings….on Tarot, Kabalah, Astrology, and Hermetism.” The introduction provided by Gilbert is all of three or four pages and imparts no information that anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with G.D. history wouldn’t know. Some of the essays are fascinating, and I’ve never seen them anywhere else. Of course, I don’t spend a lot of time tracking down Brodie-Innes books. Essays by Mathers include The Kabbalah, The Qliphoth of the Qabalah, The Azoth Lecture, and Twelve Signs and Twelve Tribes. Papers by Brodie-Innes include Some Psychic Memories, The Tarot Cards, Witchcraft, and The Hermetic System.

If you’re a Mathers fan, or a Brodie-Innes devotee, you’ll want to pick up this book. Serious students of the Golden Dawn system will probably also find many of these essays worthwhile. The Tarot essays, read together, make for a (I thought) rather nice, short tutorial on the Tarot in the Golden Dawn worldview.

This book is part of the “Roots of the Golden Dawn” series – and its inclusion in a series is probably why a book this uneven was published. None of the essays hung together into any kind of a cohesive structure, even taking into account that both authors were members of the Golden Dawn, and that Brodie-Innes was Mathers’ chosen successor. They bounce from topic to topic, belief system to belief system, with very little in common. As far as I can tell, the only reason they were put in a book together is because they are little-known essays by a set of famous and semi-famous magicians. There are other collections of essays that are much more rewarding reading. This is a collection that is probably only of interest only to someone actively studying material covered in the essays. It’s not something you can sit down and read through, like an “anthology.” These are bits and pieces of published and unpublished writings by two men, written at different times and for widely varying purposes, that have been collected into one place for no apparent reason.

The Cloud upon the Sanctuary

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Cloud upon the Sanctuary by Karl von Eckartshausen, introduction by Arthur Edward Waite, preface by J W Brodie-Innes, translated and annotated by Isabelle De Steiger, foreword by Edward Dunning.

Karl von Eckartshausen Arthur Edward Waite J W Brodie-Innes Isabelle de Steiger The Cloud upon the Sanctuary

When Aleister Crowley had just been first turned on to magic by reading Arthur Edward Waite’s Book of Black Magic and Pacts, he wrote to the author to find out what he should study to become an occultist. Waite directed him to Eckartshausen’s Cloud Upon the Sanctuary. A freely-edited version of Letter II from this book later became Crowley’s Liber XXXIII: “An Account of A∴A∴” in which Jesus Christ was replaced with V.V.V.V.V., and God with L.V.X.

The rest of Eckartshausen’s book deserves to be read in the same spirit, substituting a more wholesome Thelemic morality and metaphysic for the crypto-gnostic Roman Catholicism of the author. It does afford a surprisingly useful apprehension of the Eternal and Invisible Order that hath no name among men. [via]