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Grimoire of Aleister Crowley

Hermetic Library fellow Colin Campbell reviews Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Rituals in the Age of Thelema by Rodney Orpheus.

It’s not that I didn’t expect Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Rituals in the Age of Thelema by Rodney Orpheus to be great, which it is, I’ve just never considered myself a “group ritual” sort of guy. Okay, there are certain rituals that are greatly enhanced by the presence of another person, like the tango, but aside from those… and a few others…. Alright, I guess it made me admit to myself just how much group work I participate in despite my self-proclaimed (and self-perceived) mindset. My name is Colin, and I… I find benefit in social interaction. There, I said it. Eleven steps to go.

Let’s start with the introduction by Lon Milo DuQuette. In a word: excellent. I am continually astonished and amazed at the depth and insight that he provides, and the clarity that he brings to the complexities of Thelema and the “spiritual journey” (for lack of a better term) in general. He addresses the conundrum of magick, whose object is a change in the individual, being seemingly at odds with the idea of ceremonial group work. This is an important prelude to the work, and he handles the topic admirably.

Within the work itself, each ritual is given a historical introduction. Every one is well written and provides a fantastic background to the ritual itself. It notes the time at which Crowley constructed the ritual, the backstory, and on a practical note also cites the expected duration, layout, number of participants, equipment and other mundanities that make for a smooth performance. There is also an introductory section on general safety that should serve more than profitable for someone not well-seasoned in this sort of work. No one wants to be known as “[N] the One-Eyed Magician”.

As I cannot possibly touch on each and every one of the fifteen rituals included (plus some more in the appendix), and a short sentence itself would be an equal disservice, I will take them in total and say that each is well thought out, practical, and provides ample instruction for the novice to the journeyman and beyond. Any organized body of magicians (an oxymoron, I know) would benefit from this on a bookshelf, and I highly encourage it specifically for building up a magical current in such a group. My favorites include the “two fragments of ritual” that evolved into “A Ritual to Invoke HICE” and “The Supreme Ritual”, the “Mithraic Liturgy”, “An Evocation of Bartzabel the Spirit of Mars”, and “The Bacchanal”.

To risk both cliche and hyperbole at once, the Grimoire of Aleister Crowley is an instant classic. It is a fantastic work, combining practical advice, experience and historical perspective to deliver a truly exceptional modern grimoire.

All opinions expressed herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any organizations that I might be affiliated with, employed by, &c. [via]

Recent Colin Campbell post about the Grimoire of Aleister Crowley

Colin Campbell has posted over on his blog a review of the Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Rituals in the Age of Thelema.

“It’s not that I didn’t expect Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Rituals in the Age of Thelema by Rodney Orpheus to be great, which it is, I’ve just never considered myself a ‘group ritual’ sort of guy. Okay, there are certain rituals that are greatly enhanced by the presence of another person, like the tango, but aside from those… and a few others…. Alright, I guess it made me admit to myself just how much group work I participate in despite my self-proclaimed (and self-perceived) mindset. My name is Colin, and I… I find benefit in social interaction. There, I said it. Eleven steps to go.”

Rodney Orpheus’ Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Rituals in the Age of Thelema

Apparently pre-orders will be open tomorrow for Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Rituals in the Age of Thelema, a new work by Rodney Orpheus with contributions from others; the first publication from Abrahadabra Press.

“The culmination of years of research and study, this new compilation of Thelemic group rituals by Rodney Orpheus is a must-buy for every serious modern magician. Pre-order it directly from Abrahadabra Press from August 1!”

“Group ritual has been a cornerstone of spiritual practice since time immemorial, yet its history and importance have often been overlooked by occultists of the modern age. This book is the first comprehensive presentation of group-oriented rites for modern magicians inspired by the works of Aleister Crowley. It contains rituals written by Crowley for his own magic circles, many of them unpublished during his lifetime; plus rare ancient texts that were Crowley’s own inspiration in turn.

The rituals are newly edited and explained by Rodney Orpheus who brings to this volume decades of experience in performing and teaching Aleister Crowley’s rituals within Crowley’s magical order Ordo Templi Orientis. He introduces each ritual with a clear overview, setting each in its historical context and explaining its function and mode of operation; followed by detailed notes on setting and performance of each one.

Whether absolute beginner or seasoned expert, magicians of all paths will find this volume to be an eminently workable and extremely powerful grimoire spanning centuries from ancient Mithraic and Bacchanalian rites, Goetia, and Gnosticism, right up to present day Crowleyan invocations and sexual magick.”

Update 1aug2011 @ 11:25am:

Pre-ordering has begun. You can check that out over at Abrahadabra:

“We are now taking pre-orders for this book, which is due to be published on August 12, 2011. Please note that orders placed before that date will not be shipped until some time after August 12! The first 100 pre-orders will qualify for a set of small signed art cards featuring illustrations from the book by Cathryn Orchard.”