Tag Archives: jane wolfe

Jane Wolfe

Jane Wolfe: The Cefalu Diaries 1920 – 1923 by Jane Wolfe, commentary by Aleister Crowley, compiled and introduced by David Shoemaker, the 2008 deluxe edition from College of Thelema of Northern California (now International College of Thelema), is part of the collection at the Reading Room. The papercover version is still available via print on demand.

David Shoemaker Aleister Crowley Jane Wolfe The Cefalù Diaries from College of Thelema of Northern California

“A fascinating look into the training undertaken by Jane Wolfe, a student of Aleister Crowley, at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, Sicily. This book collects the bulk of Wolfe’s surviving diary entries from Cefalu, most of which were typed, complete with handwritten commentary from Crowley on many pages. The diary is presented in grayscale facsimile format. Compiled and Introduced by Dr. David Shoemaker.” [via]

The Thoth Tarot, Astrology & Other Selected Writings

The Thoth Tarot, Astrology, & Other Selected Writings [also] by Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral), edited by Dr David Shoemaker et al., the 2010 hardcover limited edition of 777 from College of Thelema of Northern California (now the International College of Thelema) and Teitan Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Phyllis Seckler aka Soror Meral's The Thoth Tarot, Astrology and Other Selected Writings from Teitan Press

“Phyllis Seckler (1917–2004) was introduced to the teachings of Aleister Crowley in the late 1930s and became a regular participant in the activities of Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis in California, and rose to become a Ninth Degree member of the ‘Sovereign Sanctuary of the Gnosis.’ She was admitted to the A∴ A∴, eventually taking the ‘magical name’ Soror Meral and was later confirmed as an Adeptus Minor by Crowley’s successor, Karl Germer. Seckler was a key figure in the reinauguration of the O.T.O. in 1969, and a few years later she founded the College of Thelema, with the intention that it would provide background training for aspirants to the A∴ A∴ Although not as widely known as some of her contemporaries, Seckler played a crucial role in the history of Thelema, not only through her efforts to explore and revive Crowley’s creed, but also by training a new generation of its students.

The Thoth Tarot, Astrology & Other Selected Writings, is edited by three of Phyllis Seckler’s former students: Rorac Johnson, Gregory Peters, and David Shoemaker. It includes a biographical sketch of Phyllis Seckler drawn from her own autobiographical writings, and two of her most important essays: ‘The Tarot Trumps of Thoth and Psychology’ — a detailed analysis of the psychological and magical symbolism of the Trumps of the Thoth deck — and ‘Thoth Tarot and Astrology,’ a significant study of astrology and the natal chart, with special reference to the cards of the Thoth deck. Both of these essays were previously serialized in Seckler’s journal In the Continuum, but they are here presented for the first time in book form, accompanied by redrawn and corrected diagrams.

In addition to the essays the book also contains a selection of important correspondence between Seckler, Aleister Crowley, Karl Germer and Jane Wolfe. These are followed by a transcript of the last major interview conducted with Phyllis Seckler, in which she recounted the details of her introduction to Thelema and involvement with the old Agape Lodge, her subsequent participation in various Thelemic organizations, and her thoughts on developments within the Thelemic world.” [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 Unknown God

The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites by Martin P Starr, from Teitan Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Martin P Starr's The Unknown God from Teitan Press

“The first documentary study of Aleister Crowley’s contemporary followers in North America, told through the life of their de facto leader, Wilfred Talbot Smith (1885-1957). Smith, the unacknowledged offspring of a prominent English family, emigrated to Canada where he met Charles Stansfeld Jones and through him, the works of Aleister Crowley. Although Crowley and Smith met only once, their twenty year correspondence proved to be a major link to the few and the faithful attracted to Crowley’s work in the United States and Canada. Smith’s spiritual life centered first on the initiatic structure of the Order of the A∴A∴, complemented by the emerging fraternal and social schemes of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). Smith followed Jones into a few long-forgotten movements like the Universal Brotherhood and the Psychomagian Society, but he declined membership in C.F. Russell’s Choronzon Club.

To promulgate the Crowleyan teachings, in 1934 Smith incorporated his own ‘Church of Thelema’—known to Los Angeles newspaper readers as the ‘Purple Cult.’ The following year he initiated OTO activity in Los Angeles which attracted its own cast of occult characters. Smith’s life reached a strange conclusion when Crowley, taking a page from Louis Bromfield’s novel, THE STRANGE CASE OF MISS ANNIE SPRAGG, which explored ‘the twin mysteries of love and religion and the confusion that lies between’ and combining it with a reading of Smith’s natal chart, sent him off on a retreat to determine which God he was incarnating. It was a journey from which Frater 132 never returned …

THE UNKNOWN GOD is a fascinating and complex human story, intimately interwoven with the lives of most of Crowley’s disciples in the United States including C.F. Russell, Jane Wolfe, Max R. Schneider, Jack Parsons, Louis T. Culling, Frederic Mellinger and Grady L. McMurtry as well as occult teachers like H. Spencer Lewis (AMORC) Paul Foster Case (BOTA), and Wayne Walker (OM), Hollywood actors such as John Carradine and even the founder of the Mattachine Society, Harry Hay. Students of 19th and 20th century esoteric movements, including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society and the Crowley-derived organizations, will find THE UNKNOWN GOD worth reading.”

 

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.

Inaugural Gnostic Mass at Jane Wolfe Annex

 

“Inaugural celebration of Gnostic Mass at the new downtown Jane Wolfe Annex (aka the Rabbit Hole) of 418 Lodge in Sacramento was last night” on Sat, Dec 15th, 2012.

 

 

“This is a picture of Jane Wolfe hung as part of an opening dedication ritual last night at the new downtown Jane Wolfe Annex (aka the Rabbit Hole) of 418 Lodge in Sacramento before the inaugural celebration of Gnostic Mass”

 

The Hermetic Library visual pool is a visual scavenger hunt for images of a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the visual pool, head over to the Hermetic Library visual pool or contact the librarian.

Why Change Your Wife?

 

Sabazius pointed this out over on Fb:

“The actress playing the Client in this rare silent film is Jane Wolfe, Soror Estai. She had a nervous breakdown during the production of this movie, later contacting Aleister Crowley at Cefalu. She subsequently relocated to Cefalu and became one of Crowley’s students and an A∴A∴ initiate; and much later, the mentor of Phyllis Seckler, Soror Meral.”