Tag Archives: snake

Lo! were it otherwise, mere banishment,
I deem he had feared more! He had an heir.
This was a boy of strength with ardour blent,
High hope embowered in a body fair.
Him had he watched with eager eye, aware
Of misery occult in youth, awake
At the first touch of the diviner air
Of manhood, that could bane and blessing make,
The Lord of Life and Death, the secret of the Snake.

Aleister Crowley, Why Jesus Wept

Hermetic quote Crowley Why Jesus Wept banishment feared boy strength ardour blent misery occult youth awake life death secret snake

It was a snake, cold of eye, its tongue flickering, its fangs dripping with poison. It hissed, and a drop of poison from its mouth dripped onto Loki’s face, making his eyes burn. Loki screamed and contorted, writhing and twisting in pain. He tried to get out of the way, to move his head from beneath the poison. The bonds that had once been the entrails of his own son held him tightly.

Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Gaiman Norse Mythology snake cold eye tongue fangs dripping poison Loki burn screamed contorted writing twisting pain bonds entrails son held tightly

In The Temple

The subtle-souled dim radiant queen

Burns like a bale-fire through the mist;

The slender earth is bright and green,

Emerald, gray and amethyst;

The wavering breeze has slowly kissed

The way between

Her zone and wrist.

Pale guardian of the altar-flame,

Syren of old, perfidious song,

A murmuring runnel lately came

In streaming hate of mortal wrong.

Wait, for, my goddess, not for long

The snake is tame. …

See! He is strong!

The wide-set temple-pillars gleam,

As marble white, and tall as pines;

The doorway to immortal dream

Lies through the temple’s purple shrines.

Behold, pure queen, the magic signs.

Let words out-stream

As mingled wines! …

Victor B Neuburg, Equinox I iv


The Hermetic Library arts and letters pool is a project to publish poetry, prose and art that is inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the Arts and Letters pool, contact the librarian.

Pax Hominibus Bonae Voluntatis by Aleister Crowley in International, Dec 1917.

“The economy of nature provides for all types. You cannot feed a horse on rabbits or a snake on grass, in spite of Mr. Swinburne’s remarks about ‘the chewing of some perfumed deadly grass.’ At the same time, we have a perfect right to take sides with either the horse or the snake.” [via]

Rainbow Snake Altar

Rainbow Snake Altar
Rainbow Snake Altar, originally uploaded by Jacqueline Elaine Gomez.


“Rainbow Snake Altar for the Aquarian New Moon.”


Building the Rainbow Snake altar with Ariana.


The Hermetic Library visual pool is a visual scavenger hunt for images of a living Western Esoteric Tradition.

Images of your ritual or ritual space, images of sigils or tools, showing off your own library or special volume from the restricted stacks, sacred spaces and places, esoteric artefacts and installations, inspired paintings and people – these and much more are part of the culture and practice of magick.

The Reaper in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

“I watched, a leopard, stealthy in the corn,
As if a tigress held herself above;
My body quivered, eager to be torn,
Stung by the snake of some convulsive love!
The leopard changed his spots; for in me leapt
The mate, the tiger. Murderous I sprang
Across the mellow earth: my senses swept,
One torrent flame, one soul-dissolving pang.
How queenly bent her body to the grip!
How lithe it slips, her bosom to my own!
The throat leans back, to tantalise the lip:—
The sudden shame of her is overthrown!” [via]

The Nameless Quest in The Gate of the Sanctuary from The Temple of the Holy Ghost (Collected Works, Vol I) by Aleister Crowley.

“‘Even I myself—my youth within me said:
Go, seek this folly; fear not for the dead,
And God is with thine arm! I reached the ridge,
And saw the river and the ghastly bridge
I told you of. Even then, even there, I fled.
Nor knight, nor king—a miserable midge!
‘Yet from my shame I dare not turn and run.
My oath grows urgent as my days are done.
Almost mine hour is on me: for its sake
I tell you this, as if my heart should break:—
The infinite desire—a burning sun!
The listening fear—the sun-devouring snake!'” [via]