Tag Archives: Kenneth Grant

Images & Oracles of Austin Osman Spare

Images & Oracles of Austin Osman Spare by Kenneth Grant, the 2003 hardcover from Fulgur Limited, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. The only place that appears to have this still new in stock is JD Holmes, so the rare 1976 Weiser Books edition seems to have been joined in rareness by the 500 copies of the 2003 Fulgur reprint.

Kenneth Grant Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare from Fulgur Limited

Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare concerns one of the most unusual artists of the twentieth century. Frequently compared with luminaries such as Aubrey Beardsley, Albrecht Dürer and William Blake, the eccentric genius Austin Osman Spare (1886–1956) was fêted as an Edwardian draughtsman of exceptional power and ability—but he quickly gained another reputation—that of a practising sorcerer.

His early relationship with an aged member of the Witch Cult influenced his entire life, leading him into the more obscure byways of the occult world. Such was his knowledge and ability that Aleister Crowley claimed him as a disciple, but Spare was not born to follow. He turned his back on worldly ambition—the ‘inferno of the normal’ as he called it—and devoted his remarkable gifts to trafficking with the denizens of other dimensions.

Spare’s highly individualistic system of sorcery is applicable to daily life. His magical deployment of art and sex in the service of self-realization may surprise or mystify, but for those who test his methods they will prove certain means of self-knowledge and consciousness expansion—doors opening on worlds of strange beauty.

Written by Kenneth Grant, Spare’s literary executor, Images and Oracles is here reprinted after nearly thirty years in response to an increasing interest in the artist and his philosophy. It contains a biographical essay that includes many personal recollections, a practical introduction to Spare’s unusual system of sorcery—and many excerpts from his final magical treatise: The Zoetic Grimoire of Zos.” — flap copy

Weiser Antiquarian new arrivals, including a Book of the Law from 1938

Weiser Antiquarian Books has posted a number of new arrivals, including a Book of the Law privately issued by O.T.O. in London from 1938, as well as other items of interest such as A E Koetting’s The Book of Azazel, Alexander Winfield Dray’s Nox Infernus and Liber Obsidian Obscura, Sabbatica compiled by Edgar Kerval, Liber Nigri Solis edited by Victor Voronov, Michael Cecchetelli’s Crossed Keys, Nigel Pennick’s The Toadman, and a number of Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Jack Parsons, Kenneth Grant, Austin Osman Spare, and Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn related works as well as others of probable interest.

Nightside of Eden

Nightside of Eden by Kenneth Grant is being republished by Starfire Publishing, and is scheduled for release in March, 2014. It is currently on pre-order in both a standard edition, available directly and, for US and CA, from J D Holmes, and in a deluxe edition available directly.

Kenneth Grant Nightside of Eden from Starfire 2014

“The republishing of the Typhonian Trilogies continues with the release in March 2014 of the fourth volume in the series, Nightside of Eden, which opens the second of the three trilogies. Originally published by Muller in 1977, it was subsequently reissued by Skoob Publishing in 1994. This new edition of 1500 copies is freshly typeset in an octavo format of 316 pages. Sewnbound hardback, with a frontispiece, a twenty-page section of plates, illustrated endpapers and a full-colour dustjacket, this republication integrates the errata from the Skoob edition within the text, and incorporates further corrections noted subsequently in Kenneth Grant’s personal copy of the book. Many of the plates have been rephotographed, and some are printed in colour.” [via]

“There exists a map of consciousness, with its light and dark byways, in the form of a qabalistic glyph known as the Tree of Life. It has its roots in the primal earth of Eden, but its branches extend into extra-terrestrial dimensions. This Tree, which is a familiar concept to mystics and magicians alike, has another side, a nightside which receives but passing mention in contemporary manuals of occultism; as if the ancient writings of the Arabs and Jews contained allusions to mere figures of speech and monstrous fancies.

Nightside of Eden interprets the symbolism of the Tree of Death, the ‘other’ side of the Tree of Life which forms the basis of the Western Occult Tradition. Kenneth Grant, whose Typhonian Trilogies have infused new life and meaning into ancient and forgotten mysteries, here provides an exhaustive survey of the other side of the Tree, haunted by dark forces that are today seeping insidiously into human consciousness and threatening it with violent disruption. The creative magical current represented by Aleister Crowley, Charles Stansfeld Jones, Austin Osman Spare, and in our day by Michael Bertiaux, Margaret Cook, and others, is here traced to its source in the formless voids beyond the threshold of mentation.

Nightside of Eden is an explication of the Cult of Choronzon and an initiated exposition of the Mysteries of the Left-Hand Path in relation to Western Occultism. Here, for the first time, the head of a genuine Magical Organization reveals the esoteric doctrines of the ‘black’ magic of the Left-Hand Path, as well as the practical application of psycho-sexual formulae of which very little is generally known.

The book is illustrated not only with the demonic sigils of the ‘other side’, which make of it a grimoire of the Dark Doctrine, but also by curious works of siderealism, or stellar art, sprung from the New Aeon consciousness which permeates those occult Orders working in harmony with the Typhonian Tradition.” [via]

Verve post about Simon’s Necronomicon mentions Aleister Crowley and more

Recent The Verge post by Joseph L Flatley about Simon’s The Necronomicon (which I tend to call The Simonomicon) at The cult of Cthulhu: real prayer for a fake tentacle mentions Aleister Crowley. There’s also mentions of The Magickal Childe bookshop, Kenneth Grant, Austin Osman Spare and more.

“In 1945, a 20 year old Kenneth Grant spent several months working as the secretary for Aleister Crowley, a ceremonial magician, author, mountain climber, and possibly even spy for British intelligence during World War I. Crowley’s books are key texts of modern occultism, and his reputation as “The Wickedest Man In The World” or simply ‘The Beast’ has given him pride of place in any number of heavy metal songs — not to mention a choice spot on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album (the top left, chilling with Mae West and Lenny Bruce). At the end of his life, Crowley was unable to afford a secretary, so he let Grant fill that role in exchange for magical instruction. For a short while at least, Grant was The Intern of The Beast. By the time he passed away in 2011 at the age of 86, Grant had produced nine volumes that constitute what he called ‘The Typhonian Trilogies,’ which explored the connections between all manner of occult systems — incorporating voodoo and tantra and elements from the work of 20th century magician and the artist Austin Osman Spare.”

The Magical Revival

The Magical Revival [also, also] by Kenneth Grant, the 2010 standard edition hardcover from Starfire Publishing, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Kenneth Grant The Magical Revival from Starfire Publishing

“When the original manuscript of this book was submitted for publication the author was told he had provided ‘too much material for one book’. This proved to be correct. The work here presented—in an enhanced edition—became the first volume of three Trilogies. They deal with a detailed analysis of certain occult traditions which existed long before the Christian epoch, survived its persecutions and anathemas, and reappeared in recent times with renewed vigour.

The continuity of this magical current as reflected in the work of Aleister Crowley, Austin Osman Spare, Dion Fortune and others is here traced through the Tantrik Tradition of the Far East, the Sumerian Cult of Shaitan and the Draconian, Sabian, or Typhonian rites of the ‘dark’ dynasties of ancient Egypt.

Sexual magick and mysterious rites have always been practiced; drugs and other substances have constantly been used to induce ecstasy, to produce visions and to facilitate traffic with the denizens of other worlds or planes of consciousness; but an initiated rationale of the process such as presented here has been rarely forthcoming.

The genuine magical tradition as revived by Adepts like Crowley is here related to its ancient sources and brought into line with phases of contemporary occultism that are evolving a New Gnosis to supercede the sterile superstitions bred of an aeon-long misunderstanding of the old.

As a contribution to occult lore, The Magical Revival and its companion volumes have become standard source-books in their special field.” — flap copy

 

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 Thirteenth Path 1

The inaugural issue of The Thirteenth Path, a new occult journal from Aeon Sophia Press, is available for pre-order in a standard and deluxe edition and pre-order for these is due to begin on October 21st, 2013.

The Thirteenth Path 1 from Aeon Sophia Press

“Book + CD with music by AKRABU and NIHILL

: revelations :

Matthew Levi Stevens — ‘At the Feet of the Goddess: Some thoughts on Kenneth Grant, David Curwen & The 13th Path’
Matthew Wightman — ‘The Nailed God — A klifotic Christology’
S.D. — ‘The Opening Of The Eye Of The Serpent’
Albert Petersen — ‘Breaks’
Robert Podgurski — ‘Inner Sorceries outwardly Seeking’
Patrick J. Larabee — ‘Three Flames from Darkness Sprung…’
Aaron Piccirillo — ‘Power, Tradition, and the Road to Postmodern Magical Practice: An Examination of Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley’
Gabriel McCaughry — ‘The Apex Seeking its Axis’
Revered Arturo Royal — ‘Daemonosophy’
Gilles de Laval — ‘The Script of Lucifer’s Angels’
Bill Duvendack — ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’
Sarah Anne Lawless — ‘Breaking Tradition or, How the Death of Modern Witchcraft Is a Myth’
Michiel Eikenaar — ‘Leap into the Void’
Emma Doeve — ‘Austin Osman Spare & The Great Witch’
Sean Woodward — ‘The Cult of Ku’

: visuals :

Elly Muerte
Abby Hellasdottir
Adrian Baxter
Isab Gaborit
Nestor Avalos
Agnieszka Skatula
Anna Krajewski
Jondix
Lupe Vasconcelos
Vaenvs Obscvra
Samuel Araya
Michiel Eikenaar
Austin Osman Spare
Sean Woodward”

The Primal Grimoire

The Primal Grimoire is a new web-based forum organized around the work and legacy of Kenneth Grant and the Typhonian Mysteries, and so may be of interest.

“The discussion site ‘The Primal Grimoire’, focusing on the work of Kenneth Grant and the Typhonian Tradition, is now open for access and participation. The site guidelines are at present informal and common-sense: be courteous, remain on-topic, and do not post copyright-infringing material. Posts will be moderated where such simple criteria are not understood.

There are at present three boards. The first concentrates on Grant’s magical and mystical development, with a number of sub-forums each covering a phase of development. The second covers Grant’s published work, with sub-forums for such categories as the Typhonian Trilogies, the Nightside Narratives, the Carfax Monographs. The third board focuses on Grant’s legacy and how it might develop.” [via]

Abraxas 1

Abraxas Issue 1 [also], International Journal of Esoteric Studies, the Autumn Equinox 2009 standard issue from Fulgur, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. It appears, as of this writing, there is at least one copy of this still available through J D Holmes.

Abraxas issue 1 from Fulgur Limited

This was the inaugural issue for this new journal, and had contributions from Daniel A Schulke, Stephen Grasso, Stuart Inman, Francesco Parisi, Edward Gauntlett, James Butler, Sarah Penicka-Smith, Zachary Cox, Allyson Shaw, John Callow, Ellie Hughes, Phil Hine, Naagrom, Rebecca Beattie Stephen J Clarke, Lily Moss, Roberto Migliussi, Dolorosa, and Aleister Crowley.

“Nearly twelve years ago, while reading the typescripts for Zos Speaks! I found myself absorbed by plans between Austin Spare and Kenneth Grant to launch an esoteric magazine in the early 1950s. It was to be ‘essentially a coterie of adepts’ affirmed Spare, and ‘a work of art as a production’ with ‘the best typography and reproduction of drawings.’ This seemed to me such an excellent proposition that it was easy to become inspired, but the practical challenges against starting such a lavish venture in the late 1990s were daunting.” — Robert Ansell [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 Confessions of Aleister Crowley

The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography, edited by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, the 1971 paperback from Bantam Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

John Symonds Kenneth Grant Aleister The Confessions of Aleister Crowley from  Bantam Books

This is the first paperback edition of the single volume redaction of the multivolume The Spirit of Solitude, “re-Antichristianed” The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, which still has not been published beyond the first two volumes, and, in spite of the ad copy, this is, indeed, still an abridgement of the sourcework. Publication of the complete Confessions might, maybe, finally begin with volume 1 available sometime in 2013.

“Complete and Unabridged—The Profane and Uninhibited Memoirs of the Most Notorious Magician, Satanist and Drug Cultist of the 20th Century.”

“Aleister Crowley called himself ‘Beast 666’ and was a self-proclaimed saint of the Gnostic Church. He became a ‘god’ in his own temple at the age of forty-five. By that time, he was infamous in several countries as a writer, poet, painter, chess expert, master magician, mountaineer, drug addict and satyr.

Born in England in 1875, the sone of a wealthy brewer, Crowley totally rejected the Victorian hypocrisy of his day and dedicated himself to a life of debauchery, evil, Satanic spells and writing, especially on such topics as sex, magic and occultism.

A notorious pleasure-seeker, Crowley truly was the hippie of his age, ‘doing his thing.’ He was banned from Italy and was forced to leave other countries, always under mysterious circumstances. Crowley was a constant user of heroin, cocaine, opium, hashish and peyote, and early in his life earned a reputation for indulging in wild sex and drug orgies which he combined with his so-called religious rites.

his reputation followed him everywhere as he traveled from country to country, practicing witchcraft and black magic with his strange group of mistresses and eccentrics.

Colourful, feared, despised and admired, Crowley brought excitement and evil with him wherever he went. He was the author of several books, treatises and poems, many of which are widely read and appreciated today.”

“Aleister Crowley was poet, painter, writer, master chess player, lecher, drug addict and magician. his contemporary press called him ‘the wickedest man in the world.’ The most bizarre and notorious figure of his age, Crowley’s own story is now available in paperback from the first time.

But The Confessions of Aleister Crowley is more than just the autobiography of a man. It is also the portrait of an age. Everything is set down just as Crowley experienced it.

In addition to being a famed magician, Crowley also had a well-deserved reputation as a writer. his flair for literature and his gusto for life elevate this books several levels above the ordinary ‘confession’ type of literature prevalent in his day.

His writing is crisp, witty and amusing and always fascinating. Crowley believed that he could do anything he set his mind to. And he’ll make a believer out of you.”

 

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.