Feast of Simon Magus, June 29
Feast of Simon Magus, June 29
The Fifth International Conference of the Association for the Study of Esotericism on June 19th–22nd, 2014 at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. The conference schedule has recently been posted and you will find quite a few presenters and presentations of interest including a couple by Hermetic library fellows:
Do check out the whole schedule, but a selection of the other presentations, that catch my eye, includes:
· John L Crow (Thelema Coast to Coast), The Theosophical Shift to the Visual: Graphical Representations of the Human Body in the Literature of Second and Third Generation Leadership in the Theosophical Society
· Simon Magus, The fin de siècle magical aesthetic of Austin Osman Spare: Siderealism, Atavism, Automatism, Occultism
· David Pecotic, Building Subtle Bodies — Gurdjieff’s esoteric practice of conditional immortality in the light of Poortman’s concept of hylic pluralism in the history of religions
· Richard Kaczynski, Inventing Tradition: The Construction of History, Lineage and Authority in Secret Societies
· Wouter Hanegraaff, The Transformation of Desire in Machen’s & Waite’s House of the Hidden Light
· Sarah Veale, Disenchantment of the Vampire: Balkan Folklore’s Deadly Encounter with Modernity
· Gordan Djurdjevic, “In Poison there is Physic”: On Poisons and Cures in Some Strands of Esoteric Theory and Practice.
Mead was easily one of the sanest and most erudite of the first-generation Theosophists, and his summary and discussion of Simonian Gnosticism is as useful as anything one might expect from that vein. He catalogs the antique sources, summarizing fully and quoting at length, and provides a sober evaluation of their relative merits. His final section, on “The Theosophy of Simon,” is an exercise in fairly freewheeling comparitivism with a mystical bias. I enjoyed it.
The Paul Tice foreword to the Book Tree edition is laughably bad, and makes one wonder if Tice even bothered to read the book that he introduces. [via]
Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Scroll of Thoth: Tales of Simon Magus & the Great Old Ones (Cthulhu Fiction Series) by Richard Tierney:
This book collected most of Tierney’s “Simon” stories, in which the protagonist is the Gnostic hierophant Simon Magus. They are adventure stories with a strong Weird Tales flavor, set in a well researched late antique context. They are really good, even if you’ve outgrown (or never particularly liked) pulp sword and sorcery stuff. The appropriation of the Lovecraft “mythos” and its integration with classical Gnostic theology is handled really artfully.
Unfortunately, the very best Simon story is not included in The Scroll of Thoth. “The Throne of Achamoth” was co-written by Scroll editor (religious scholar and fringe ecclesiastic) Robert M. Price, and it appears in the Azathoth Cycle collection, also published by Chaosium, and also out of print. [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.