Tag Archives: left hand path

Dark Enlightenment

Dark Enlightenment: The Historical, Sociological, and Discursive Contexts of Contemporary Esoteric Magic by Kennet Granholm, part of the Aries Book series, from Brill, may be of interest.

Kennet Granholm Dark Enlightenment from Brill

“In Dark Enlightenment Kennet Granholm explores the historical, sociological, and discursive contexts of contemporary esoteric magic. The book is focused on the Sweden-originated Left-Hand Path magic order Dragon Rouge in particular, but through a detailed contextualizing examination of this case study it offers a broader visage of contemporary esotericism in general. The author takes cue from both the historiography of Western esotericism and the sociological study of new religions and religious change, aiming to provide a transdisciplinary framework for a comprehensive study of esotericism in late modernity.” [via]

The Satanist at Pharaoh’s Court

The Satanist at Pharaoh’s Court by Walter C Cambra, a monograph, has arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of the author.

Walter C Cambra The Satanist at Pharaoh's Court

“Although some fool, over a dozen centuries beyond the setting of our story, pontificated that you cannot serve two masters, namely, God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24) the character in our story did so—and with flare!”

“I am speaking about that adept in the Occult Arts, namely, Joseph the Satanist at Pharaoh’s royal court! One may question labelling Joseph a Satanist — however, I do not!”

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]

Overthrowing the Old Gods

Overthrowing the Old Gods: Aleister Crowley and the Book of the Law by Don Webb, the 2013 paperback from Inner Traditions, which includes a commentary on Liber AL vel Legis by Michael A Aquino, and includes, as part II, the collection of essays once available in the old Rûna-Raven Press book Aleister Crowley: The Fire and the Force as well, is part of the collection at the Reading Room courtesy of the publisher.

Don Webb Overthrowing the Old Gods from Inner Traditions

“Received by Aleister Crowley in April 1904 in Cairo, Egypt, The Book of the Law is the most provocative record of magical working in several hundred years, affecting not only organizations directly associated with Crowley such as the Ordo Templi Orientis but also Wicca, Chaos Magic, and the Temple of Set.

Boldly defying Crowley’s warning not to comment on The Book of the Law, Ipsissimus Don Web provides in-depth interpretation from both Black and White Magickal perspectives, including commentary from Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D., who served as High Priest of the Temple of Set from 1975 to 1996. Webb examines each line of the Book in the light of modern psychology, Egyptology, existentialism, and competing occult systems such as teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and contemporary Left-Hand Path thought. Discarding the common image of Crowley formulated in a spiritually unsophisticated time when the devotee of the Left-Hand Path was dismissed as a selfish evildoer, Webb unveils a new side of Crowley based on his adoption of the Loki archetype and his aim to become a vessel of love for all humanity. In so doing, he shows how The Book of the Law is connected to both Right- and Left-Hand Paths and reveals how Crowley’s magickal path of mastery over the self and Cosmos overthrew the gods of old religion, which had kept humanity asleep to dream the nightmare of history.

Providing in-depth analysis of Crowley’s sources and Webb’s own self-identification with the First Beast of Revelation from a profound esoteric perspective, Webb takes his views out of the Golden Dawn matrix within which he received The Book of the Law and radically recasts the Cairo Working as a text of personal sovereignty and a relevant tool for personal transformation.” — back cover

 

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.

Used and Rare Books. September Miscellany, 2013

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Book Catalogue #111: Used and Rare Books. September Miscellany, 2013.

“Amongst the more unusual items are an original sketch by Austin Osman Spare, two first English-language editions of works by the great German mystic Jacob Boehme: Mysterium Magnum (1654) and his Fifth Book (1659); and an apparently unpublished typescript on the esoteric Tarot written by an unidentified author in Cambridge (England) in the nineteen-fifties: The Mystery of the Ancient “Egyptian Tarot.” (1958). A selection of signed books includes a copy of British explorer and mystic philosopher Sir Francis Younghusband’s Within: Thoughts During Convalescence (1914); Michael W. Ford’s Shades of Algol: A Luciferian and Sabbatic Grimoire of Left Hand Path Witchcraft (2002); Helen Kruger’s, Other Healers, Other Cures, (1974); Louis Martinie’s Waters of Return: The Aeonic Flow of Voudoo (1992) and an odd fictional work based on the story of Lilith, Jane Speller’s Adam’s First Wife (1929). A number of works from the library of English Aleister Crowley collector and scholar Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper are also scattered throughout the catalogue. These include a small selection of books relating to the English decadent illustrator Beresford Egan – whose work is best known to Aleister Crowley aficionados on account of his striking dust jacket design for Moonchild, and another group of works by and about Arthur Machen, the Welsh writer of supernatural fiction who was briefly a member of the Hermetic Order of Golden Dawn before joining his friend and sometime literary collaborator Arthur Edward Waite, in the Independent and Rectified Order R.R. et. A.C.. Also from Nicholas’ collection, but mixed throughout the catalogue, are a selection of works, some serious, some silly, and some seriously odd, on Secret Societies. There are also several uncommon books by the incorrigible reprobate of twentieth century occult publishing Lauron William de Laurence, as well as a number of other genuinely unusual items, but we will leave it to the astute bibliophile to hunt them out.” [via]

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]

 

Overthrowing the Old Gods

Overthrowing the Old Gods: Aleister Crowley and the Book of the Law by Don Webb, from Inner Traditions, is scheduled to be published on Oct 15, 2013.

Don Webb's Overthrowing the Old Gods from Inner Traditions

“New commentaries on Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law reveal how it is connected to both Right- and Left-Hand Paths

• Examines each line of the Book of the Law in the light of modern psychology, Egyptology, Gurdjieff’s teachings, and contemporary Left-Hand Path thought

• Explores Crowley’s identification with the First Beast of Revelations as well as his adoption of the Loki archetype for becoming a vessel of love for all humanity

• Recasts the Cairo Working as a text of personal sovereignty and a relevant tool for personal transformation

• Includes commentary on the Book of the Law by Dr. Michael A. Aquino, who served as High Priest of the Temple of Set from 1975 to 1996

Received by Aleister Crowley in April 1904 in Cairo, Egypt, the Book of the Law is the most provocative record of magical working in several hundred years, affecting not only organizations directly associated with Crowley such as the Ordo Templi Orientis but also modern Wicca, Chaos Magic, and the Temple of Set.

Boldly defying Crowley’s warning not to comment on the Book of the Law, Ipsissimus Don Webb provides in-depth interpretation from both Black and White Magical perspectives, including commentary from Dr. Michael A. Aquino, who served as High Priest of the Temple of Set from 1975 to 1996. Webb examines each line of the Book in the light of modern psychology, Egyptology, existentialism, and competing occult systems such as the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and contemporary Left-Hand Path thought. Discarding the common image of Crowley formulated in a spiritually unsophisticated time when the devotee of the Left-Hand Path was dismissed as a selfish evil doer, Webb unveils a new side of Crowley based on his adoption of the Loki archetype and his aim to become a vessel of love for all humanity. In so doing, he shows how the Book of the Law is connected to both Right- and Left-Hand Paths and reveals how Crowley’s magical path of mastery over the self and Cosmos overthrew the gods of old religion, which had kept humanity asleep to dream the nightmare of history.

Providing in-depth analysis of Crowley’s sources and his self-identification with the First Beast of Revelations from a profound esoteric perspective, Webb takes his views out of the Golden Dawn matrix within which he received the Book of the Law and radically recasts the Cairo Working as a text of personal sovereignty and a relevant tool for personal transformation.” [via]

Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash

Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash by G de Laval, is a forthcoming title from Aeon Sophia Press.

G de Laval's Black Magic Invocation of the Shem ha Mephorash from Aeon Sophia Press

“This work is a grimoire of black magic evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash angels.

The Shem ha Mephorash or Explicit Name is a list of 72 angels derived by ancient occultists. Combined, these spirits are believed to comprise the secret name of the Creation of the Universe. Now, for the first time, these angels are uncovered and illuminated, presented with detailed information and spirit signatures, enabling witches and left-hand-path magicians to access their energy and interact with them through ceremonial conjuration and black magic. In essence, ‘Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash’ dissects the Abrahamic creator Deity into 72 segments and empowers brave witches everywhere to ritually evoke them into conscious interactive manifestation. ” [via]

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.