Tag Archives: William Butler Yeats

By the time he wrote “Long-legged Fly,” he had decided that civilization’s state was hopeless. It was time for revolution. He called for “the topless towers” to be burned (VP, 617). The towers, dead at the top, lacked the guidance of enlightened, purified souls, souls from the upper two realms of the Cabbalistic cosmos. “Topless towers” were inhabited only by souls driven through the instinct and passion of the lower two realms.

Susan Johnston Graf, W B Yeats Twentieth Century Magus: An In-Depth Study of Yeat’s Esoteric Practices and Beliefs, Including Excerpts from His Magical Diaries

Hermetic quote Graf Yeats revolution

W B Yeats Twentieth-Century Magus

The librarian John Griogair Bell reviews W.B. Yeats Twentieth Century Magus: An In-Depth Study of Yeat’s Esoteric Practices and Beliefs, Including Excerpts from His Magical Diaries by Susan Johnston Graf, from Red Wheel / Weiser.

Susan Johnston Graf W B Yeats Twentieth-Century Magus

The author mainly focuses on Per Amica Silentia Lunae, and a couple other works, and there’s a surprising amount of repetition in the writing; but, the sustained analysis of themes and metaphors in Yeats’ work related to his occult studies and practices is quite interesting, such as rose, tower, vortex and others used for periods of time related to his specific personal working. Going back to the sources, and checking out the posthumously published Vision Papers is something about which I’m energized. Also, I clearly need not only revisit these works but also make sure I provide a number of these specifically esoteric works at the library. [via]

Homage to Pythagoras

Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science, edited by Christopher Bamford, with essays by Christopher Bamford, Keith Critchlow, Robert Lawlor, Anne Macauly, Kathleen Raine, and Arthur G Zajonc, a 1994 paperback from Lindisfarne Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Christopher Bamford Homage to Pythagoras from Lindisfarne Press

“These articles, both scholarly and sympathetic to the Pythagorean perspective, are proof of the contemporary interest in Pythagoras’ philosophy as a living reality. Homage to Pythagoras is a major addition to the field of Pythagorean studies and traditional mathematics.

Here is a collection of essential documents by people at the leading edge of the sacred sciences in our time.” [via]

Essays include:
· Christopher Bamford, Introduction: Homage to Pythagoras
· Robert Lawlor, Ancient Temple Architecture
· Keith Critchlow, The Platonic Tradition on the Nature of Proportion
· Keith Critchlow, What is Sacred in Architecture?
· Keith Critchlow, Twelve Criteria for Sacred Architecture
· Robert Lawlor, Pythagorean Number as Form, Color, and Light
· Arthur Zajonc, The Two Lights
· Anne Macauley, Apollo: The Pythagorean Definition of God
· Kathleen Raine, Blake, Yeats and Pythagoras


Omnium Gatherum: Feb 12th, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together …

David Richard Jones The Circumference and the Hieroglyphic Monad
Hermetic Library fellow David Richard JonesThe Circumference and the Hieroglyphic Monad, part III of his In Operibus Sigillo Dei Aemeth, and is based on an observation by Clay Holden, of The John Dee Publication Project, that “the geometry of the Monad as analyzed and expected in Theorem XXIII when applied to a circle subdivides the circumference of a circle into seven equal divisions with almost perfect elegance.”

 

  • Lon Milo DuQuette’s “I’m Scared” is a new political single.

  • Aleister Crowley’s invocation to coffee, recorded in his diaries, was recently a randomly popular old post.

    “O coffee! By the mighty Name of Power do I invoke thee, consecrating thee to the Service of the Magic of Light. Let the pulsations of my heart be strong and regular and slow! Let my brain be wakeful and active in its supreme task of self-control! That my desired end may be effected through Thy strength, Adonai, unto Whom be the Glory for ever! Amen without lie, and Amen, and Amen of Amen.”

  • Earliest footprints outside Africa discovered in Norfolk” — Pallab Ghosh, BBC News; from the wonder-what-the-sea-washed-away-the-other-291999999-days-we-weren’t-watching dept.

    “The footprints are more than 800,000 years old and were found on the shores of Happisburgh. … The sea has now washed away the prints – but not before they were recorded”

  • Lake of beer prayer attributed to St Brigid, via T Thorn Coyle; from the has-Ra-finally-gotten-Sekhmet-to-chill-out-yet dept.

    “I’d sit with the men, the women of God
    There by the lake of beer.
    We’d be drinking good health forever
    And every drop would be a prayer.”

  • Archaeologists Have Found the Oldest Roman Temple” — Alice Robb, New Republic; from the exploring-ancient-temples-hidden-under-watery-depths-in-spite-of-Lovecraft dept.

    “Archaeologists have long suspected that the oldest Roman temple lay at the foot of the legendary Capitoline Hill, but it’s only recently that they’ve managed to excavate the waterlogged Sant’Omobono site with modern techniques.

    ‘The temple’s much more interesting than anybody expected,’ said Albert Ammerman, an archaeologist at Colgate University who worked on the dig. ‘It’s beautiful down there.'”

  • Mysteria Misc. Maxima: February 7th, 2014” — Sarah Veale, Invocatio blog; from the πάντα-ῥεῖ dept.

    “This will be the last MMM for the foreseeable future. … So please join me in bidding a fond adieu to the MMM and enjoy this final link round-up…”

  • On the Arbitrary Appellation of Magic in Antiquity” — Sarah Veale, Invocatio; from the i-am-large-i-contain-multitudes dept.

    “While a good definition suggests that magical practices are rites and rituals that exist on the margins of cultural norms (Dickie, 38), the point is that, when we look at the evidence, what is labelled magic is a moving target. The label stays the same, but the content changes depending on the situation at hand. The label is not so much about the practices themselves, but rather about the status of those practices.”

  • The Ritual of the Duck” — Sarah Anne Lawless; from the together-with-all-the-appurtenances-thereto dept.

    “Yesterday I made Aves Flying Ointment. A recipe I created a couple of years ago combining the traditional herbs with the more grisly shapeshifting ingredients of bird fat, bird bone dust, and feather ashes.”

  • Tveir Hrafnar: Sorcery in Silver” — Sarah Anne Lawless; from the my-precious dept.

    SAL: Your work is a wonderful rarity in that it caters to occultists, sorcerers, and traditional witches who most jewelers ignore in favour of the much bigger market of neopagans. Was this intentional or were you simply following your influences and passions?
    AW: Mostly following my passions and influences. I am self centered in my art and would rather make what speaks to me than what I think the market would buy. It’s a ‘go for what you know’ kind of thing. Hopefully there are enough folks out there with similar aesthetics and interests to keep things rolling.”

  • Read Sappho’s ‘new’ poem” — Tim Whitmarsh, The Guardian; from the he-said-she-said dept

    “They whose fortune the king of Olympus wishes
    Now to turn from trouble
    to [ … ] are blessed
    and lucky beyond compare.”

  • A New Sapphic Poem ~ Wading into the Morass” — David Meadows, rogueclassicism; from the he-said-she-maybe-said dept.

    “In case you haven’t heard, Dirk Obbink has recently announced the discovery/publication of two ‘new’ poems by Sappho and they’re causing quite the flurry of activity on blogospheres (as you may have already seen), twitterspheres (ditto), and no doubt, in private emails and departmental coffee lounges around the world.”

  • Charlemagne’s bones are (probably) real” — The Local; from the dem-dry-bones dept.

    “Researchers confirmed on Wednesday evening — 1,200 years to the day since Charlemagne died — that the 94 bones and bone fragments taken from the supposed resting place of the King of the Franks and founder of what was to become the Holy Roman Empire came from a tall, thin, older man.”

  • Charlemagne’s bones found in his coffin” — The History Blog; from the in-the-last-place-you-looked dept.

    “That may seem obvious, but given how often he was exhumed and reburied and parts of him given away as relics, it’s actually quite notable that the collection of bones in the Karlsschrein, the Shrine of Charlemagne, and other reliquaries in the Aachen Cathedral all appear to come from the same person who matches contemporary descriptions of the Frankish king.”

  • Babylonian Tale of Round Ark Draws Ire From Christian Circles” — Alan Boyle, NBC News; from the ark-you-glad-you-to-see-me-or-is-that-a-clay-tablet-in-your-pocket dept.

    “A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia is putting a new spin on the biblical tale of the flood and Noah’s Ark — and that’s causing consternation among some Christian fundamentalists.”

  • Hermetic Library anthology artist Arthur Loves Plastic‘s new Get Happy.

  • Cranky Roman Guy on The Golden Globes; from the plus-ça-change-plus-c’est-la-même-chose dept.

    “If you doubted that this is the age of Discord reigning supreme, you have an annual rite in which you give #GoldenGlobes to beautiful women.”

  • A Preliminary Analysis of the Botany, Zoology, and Mineralogy of the Voynich Manuscript” — A O Tucker et al.; from the-effect-of-gamma-rays-on-man-in-the-moon-marigolds dept.

    “We note that the style of the drawings in the Voynich Ms. is similar to 16th century codices from Mexico (e.g., Codex Cruz-Badianus). With this prompt, we have identified a total of 37 of the 303 plants illustrated in the Voynich Ms. (roughly 12.5% of the total), the six principal animals, and the single illustrated mineral. The primary geographical distribution of these materials, identified so far, is from Texas, west to California, south to Nicaragua, pointing to a botanic garden in central Mexico, quite possibly Huaztepec (Morelos). A search of surviving codices and manuscripts from Nueva España in the 16th century, reveals the calligraphy of the Voynich Ms. to be similar to the Codex Osuna (1563-1566, Mexico City). Loan-words for the plant and animal names have been identified from Classical Nahuatl, Spanish, Taino, and Mixtec. The main text, however, seems to be in an extinct dialect of Nahuatl from central Mexico, possibly Morelos or Puebla.”

  • Norse Rune code cracked” — Medievalists.net; about “Ráð þat, If You Can!” — K Jonas Norby; from the missed-it-missed-it dept.

    “‘It’s like solving a puzzle,’ said Nordby to the Norwegian website forskning.no. ‘Gradually I began to see a pattern in what was apparently meaningless combinations of runes.’

    However, those thinking that the coded runes will reveal deep secrets of the Norse will be disappointed. The messages found so far seem to be either used in learning or have a playful tone. In one case the message was ‘Kiss me’. Nordby explains ‘We have little reason to believe that rune codes should hide sensitive messages, people often wrote short everyday messages.’

    In many instances those who wrote the coded runes also left comments urging the readers to try to figure it out. Sometimes they would also boast of their abilities at writing the codes.”

  • O D fuckin abbot.” — Medium Ævum; from the orking-cows dept.

    O D fuckin abbot

  • Hollywood Calls” — Feral House; from the your-name-will-go-up-in-bright-lights dept.

    “Since we’re in Hollywood we’ve signed an option agreement for a Sundance Channel television series based on the Feral House book, Sex and Rockets, about the occult rocket scientist Jack Parsons.”

  • The end of Yeats: work and women in his last days in France” — Lara Marlowe, Irish Times; from the speak-before-your-breath-is-done dept.

    “Like his alter ego Cuchulain in the play he had just written, Yeats was dying surrounded by women.”

The Battle of Blythe Road

The Battle of Blythe Road: A Golden Dawn Affair: Aleister Crowley and the Revolt of the Adepti edited and introduced by Darcy Kuntz, with material on and from Aleister Crowley, William Wynn Westcott, William Butler Yeats, Florence Farr and more from a pivotal moment for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Western esotericism as a whole, Vol 14 of the Golden Dawn Studies Series, the 2005 second edition published by J D Holmes, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Darcy Kuntz The Battle of Blythe Road

“The history of the magical battle that Crowley ignited so he could win control of the Second Order of the Golden Dawn. Included are a number of the official documents that were issued as fallout from the events and excerpts from Crowley’s diary from that period.” [via]

British Poets and Secret Societies

British Poets and Secret Societies by Marie Roberts, the 1986 first US printing hardcover from Barnes & Noble Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Marie Roberts British Poets and Secret Societies from Barnes and Noble Books

“A surprisingly large number of English poets have either belonged to one or other secret society, or been strongly influenced by its tenets. one of the best known examples is Christopher Smart’s membership of the Freemasons, and the resulting influence of Masonic doctrines on A Song to David; a study of this work in the light of Freemasonry has long been a desideratum. but many other poets have belonged to, or been influenced by (since in many cases membership is hard to prove) not only the Freemasons, but the Rosicrucians, Gormogons and Hell-Fire Clubs. This study concentrates on five major examples: Smart, Burns, William Blake, William Butler Yeats and Rudyard Kipling. A number of other poets are considered in the course of the book, among them Churchill, Goldsmith, Scott, Shelley and Wilde. The author asks the question why so many poets have been powerfully attracted to the secret societies, and considers the effectiveness of poetry as a medium for conveying complex secret emblems and ritual. She shows how some poets believed that poetry would prove a hidden symbolic language in which to reveal great truths. The longevity of such symbolism as a poetic theme, particularly in Freemasonry, is particularly illuminating. The beliefs of these poets are as diverse as their practice, and the book is an unusually stimulating light on several major poets.” — flap copy

 

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.

What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn

What You Should Know About The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie, with a foreword by Christopher S Hyatt, the fifth and enlarged 1988 printing of the paperback from Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Israel Regardie What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn from Falcon Press

Apparently, there’s also a 2011 ebook edition of this as well, which may be of interest, which includes at least some new material, from the 2010 New Falcon revised print edition, by Chic and Tabatha Cicero and Regardie’s 1934 Stella Matutina Enochian Examination from his personal archives.

“This fascinating book has been out of print and highly sought after for many years since its first publication as My Rosicrucian Adventure in 1936.

In this work Israel Regardie relates his own personal experience with those secret societies which have exerted such a great influence on the development of modern Occultism.

Regardie lifts the cloak of mystery which has shrouded The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, The Rosicrucian Fraternity, and The Masonic Lodge.

From his close personal association Regardie reveals the true nature and actions of such leading Occult authorities as Aleister Crowley, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, Dr W.W. Westcott, Dion Fortune.

‘Israel Regardie is the last representative of the great occult tradition of the late 19th century, whose major names include Madame Blavatsky, W.B. Yeats, MacGregor Mathers, A.E. Waite, Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune. Even in such distinguished company, Regardie stands out as a figure of central importance.’ — Colin Wilson”

 

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.