Tag Archives: qabalah

The Legacy of the Beast

The Legacy of the Beast: The Life, Work, and Influence of Aleister Crowley by Gerald Suster, with foreword by Francis X King, the 1989 paperback from Samuel Weiser, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Gerald Suster The Legacy of the Beast from Samuel Weiser

“Tracing the roots of Crowley’s ideas and demonstrating their enduring relevance, Gerald Suster has produced a much-needed reappraisal of the ‘Great Beast’ and his continuing influence, as well as fascinating exposition of a supremely practical spiritual discipline.

Casting a critical but sympathetic eye over Crowley’s writings, the author reveals a man of enormous and original intellectual gifts, whose contributions to the understanding of the occult sciences are matched only by his daring experiments in the development of human consciousness. Crowley’s own magical system encompassed Buddhism, ritual magic, the Qabalah, Yoga, the Tarot and Taoism, though its most original element derived from the personal revelations Crowley received in Cairo in 1904 and which formed the basis of his most important work—and perhaps the most important occult work of the century—The Book of the Law.”


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.

Clavis Journal, Vol 2: The Cloister Perilous

The Cloister Perilous is volume 2 of Clavis: Journal of Occult Arts, Letters and Experience which is a collaboration between Ouroboros Press and Three Hands Press. This issue, due in October, is available for pre-order and will come in a standard as well as a limited to 125 copies deluxe edition, which last is bound in burgundy goat and comes with a lithograph by Carolyn Hamilton-Giles.

Ouroboros Press Three Hands Press Clavis Journal No 2

“CLAVIS Editions announces the second volume of Clavis: A Journal of Occult Arts, Letters, and Experience. Featuring an outstanding grouping of authors and image-makers, its nominative adumbration ‘The Cloister Perilous’ follows the apocryphal eponym ‘Of Keys, Locks, and Doors’ attributed to Volume 1.

Articles in this issue include ‘Our Lady Babalon and Her Cup of Fornications’ by Gordan Djurdjevic, and esoteric astrologer Austin Coppock’s paean to dark and baneful stellar emanation, ‘Death From Above’. Three adepts of the German magical order Fraternitas Saturni bring forth Gold from Lead, giving voice to the magisterial arcanum of Saturn in the article ‘Listening to the Voice of Silence’, accompanied by the artwork of Albin Grau and Hagen von Tulien. We are also pleased to include ‘Rite of the Graal Evolute’, a previously unpublished ritual and art by the late English magus and scholar Andrew D. Chumbley. Traditional witch Gemma Gary invokes Bwcca, the Cornish Witch-God, in arresting image, rite and magical exposition. Esoteric scholar Henrik Bogdan considers the esoteric role of Secrecy, the very flower of the Occult itself, as it relates to secret societies. Lloyd Graham writes of the magical talismans of Arabian magic, and Aaron Picirillo examines magical self-fashioning. Robert Hull examines the Qabalah of Quantum Physics in ‘Unity and Division’. Michael Howard’s essay ‘Masonic Mysteries of Tubal-Cain’ explores the role of the first artificer of metal in several occult orders. In addition, volume 2 includes several rare occult texts relating to cheiromancy, natural magic, witchcraft and the lore and magic of the Mandragora — the Shrieking Root of the sorcerers.

At 216 pages, CLAVIS Journal 2 features haunting and provocative visuals from many contemporary artists imaging the esoteric: by Madeline von Foerster, Richard Kirk, Carolyn Hamilton-Giles, Tom Allen, Jamie Sweetman, Billy Davis, John Kleckner, Carlos Melgoza, Joseph Uccello, Raven Ebner, Brigid Marlin, Timo Ketola, Ilyas Phaizulline, José Luis Rodríguez Guerra, and many more.” [via]

Pearls of Wisdom

Pearls of Wisdom: Gems from the Journal Black Pearl by James A Eshelman, from College of Thelema, is due to be released in August, 2013, and may be of interest.

James A Eshelman's Pearls of Wisdom from College of Thelema

“‘Seek the New in the Old ~ Seek the Old in the New.’ That was the motto of Black Pearl, College of Thelema’s biannual journal published 1997–2002. Author James A. Eshelman contributed 100 articles during one of the most prolific periods of his career. This anthology gathers over 40 essays, many of them substantially updated and expanded, and some of them never previously published.

Pearls of Wisdom ‘seeks the new in the old’ through a magnificent cache of wisdom teachings from one of Thelema’s most insightful, creative teachers.

This is the ‘director’s cut’ of Black Pearl – and more!

An Introduction to Thelema — the ground shifting world-view of Aleister Crowley – explains Thelema’s core principles of Will, Love, and Star, then expands on the nature of True Will and Love Under Will; Thelema’s pantheon of gods; and the New Era of Aspiration now opening before us. The rest of the book is organized in 7 parts:

It’s in the Basics ♦ Magick ♦ Qabalah ♦ Thelema
Sexual Mysteries ♦ Holy Guardian Angel ♦ The Path

For example, one section (‘Magick’) explores a dozen topics of ceremonial magick, including traditional and newer forms of the pentagram and hexagram rituals, Sun adorations, new adaptations of classic initiation rites, the ancient art of evocation, and a new ritual for becoming a purer reflection of your deepest spiritual ideal.

Chapter 32, The Magical Record of Brother Proserpinus, is a modern tale of a brother of A∴A∴ who undertook the Great Work and succeeded. Four times the size of excerpts published in Black Pearl, this is the centerpiece of the book.” [via]

Magick, the Occult, Humor & Song with Lon Milo DuQuette

You may be interested in a recent appearance by Lon Milo DuQuette on the Farkas Files podcast show for Magick, the Occult, Humor & Song. The show was a live event on Thursday, but can be listened to online.

Listen to the episode:

“I read Lon Milo Duquette’s book ‘The Chicken The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford,’ learned a lot and laughed even more. He is a master of the occult and of teaching it by making us laugh. He does the same thing with his music as a singer / songwriter. He is an internationally recognized authority on tarot and western ceremonial magick, the occult and mysticism.” [via]

William Blake and the Tree of Life

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews William Blake and the Tree of Life by Laura DeWitt James:

Laura DeWitt James' William Blake and the Tree of-Life from Shambhala


This slender collection of interlinked essays was originally published as William Blake: The Finger on the Furnace in 1956. The Californian author, about whom I have been able to discover very little, was evidently the founder of a small, initiatic “Blake Society” of three degrees, that convened for some years before her book was first issued (this per research by Keri Davies). It is easy to imagine the contents of the volume in hand serving as instructions to aspirants in such a context.

James quotes extensively from Blake’s prophecies, and it is never entirely clear what she asserts to be the formal connection (if any) between Blake and the Qabalah (sic). The spelling of the latter, and the fact that she cites no Jewish or secular scholarship to support her remarks about it, suggested to me that her own knowledge of it (which seems robust and largely accurate) was derived from occult sources. And indeed, in the final essay on “Sweet Science,” she does indicate occultist and Thelemite Charles Stansfeld Jones (under his byline of “Frater Achad”) as an important “student of the Qabalah” (110).

Although she addresses herself explicitly to the “beginner in Blake,” James’s exposition is dense and tersely allusive. She several times mentions grail symbolism, without going into much explanation of why such a matter should be of interest to the Blakean or the qabalist. In the longest essay, “Vertical Disaster: A Study of the False Tongue beneath Beulah,” she offers a fairly provocative set of claims regarding esoteric human anatomy.

I was in fact relieved that this book was free of the sort of wild biographical speculation that has characterized recent works on Blake by scholars of esotericism. James confines herself to the ideas, and terrific ideas they are. At the same time, this book will offer the most satisfaction to readers with some mystical aspirations of their own, and literary scholars are likely to find it somewhat frustrating. [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.

Diary of the Antichrist

Diary of the Antichrist by David Cherubim [also] is a 2nd edition print on demand work released today that may be of interest.

David Cherubim's The Diary of the Antichrist 666

“Diary of the Antichrist is the written record of the Spirit and Life of the ANTICHRIST, whose time is now at hand. Unlike other books about the ANTICHRIST, this book comes from a High Initiate of prominent Occult Orders. It is not the false work of a mere man; it was rather composed by an Alien Intelligence that telepathically directed the mind and hand of the scribe while he was experiencing altered states of consciousness. Also in this book are the Scriptures of the Antichrist, as well as the Qabalah of the Antichrist. This is the second edition of the book (2012), published in association with the Aleister Crowley Foundation, with cover artwork by the gothic artist Arijah Ankh Khalid-Zyn.” [via]

Otz Chiimera

Otz Chiimera – Complete from Harlequinade Art on Vimeo.


“Made several years ago during the beginning of my deeper understanding of Qabalistic Magick.

Soundtrack: a mix of Six Organs of Admittance, the Flashbulb, Kid 606, Sigur Ros, Hallucinogen, and some Tibetan Monks.”


The Hermetic Library video pool is an experimental scavenger hunt for video from a living Western Esoteric Tradition.

Motion pictures have a peculiar kind of magic certainly, but these are video records of people, places and events inspired by the ideas of Western Esotericism and Mysticism. Music video, interviews, rituals, instruction, documentaries, dramatizations — This group helps create a space for saving and sharing these records with others.