Tag Archives: yezidi

Beelzebub and the Beast

Beelzebub and the Beast [also] by David Hall is a “an engrossing comparative study of two of the Twentieth Century’s most colourful gurus, George Gurdjieff and Aleister Crowley.” The title is due to be available in October from Starfire Publishing with a deluxe edition available in November. Pre-orders are available in the US and Canada through J D Holmes and elsewhere directly from the publisher.

 

 

“David Hall, who died in 2007, will be a familiar name to many as one of the founders and editors of SOTHiS, the substantial and diverse Thelemic magazine which was published from the United Kingdom in the 1970s. David was passionately interested in the work of Gurdjieff as well as that of Crowley, and in the early to mid 1970s he wrote this penetrating study comparing the work of both men. Unfortunately it failed to find a publisher at the time, although publication was referenced as forthcoming in Kenneth Grant’s Nightside of Eden. (Muller, 1977)

Crowley took an interest in the work of the Greek-Armenian occultist G. I. Gurdjieff, and visited Gurdjieff’s Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Fontainebleau in 1924 and 1926. There have been other comparative studies of the work of the two men, the most recent being The Three Dangerous Magi by P. T. Mistlberger (O Books, 2010).

Examining in turn the life and work of the two men at various levels, the author discerns a common source. Commenting circa 1919 on the first chapter of The Book of the Law, Crowley wrote ‘Aiwaz is not as I had supposed a mere formula, like many angelic names, but is the true most ancient name of the God of the Yezidis, and thus returns to the highest Antiquity. Our work is therefore historically authentic, the rediscovery of the Sumerian Tradition’. Similarly, the author here shows that the roots of Gurdjieff’s work can be traced to the same source.

With a full-colour wrap-around dustjacket, a substantial Foreword by Alistair Coombs, plates, tables and line-drawings throughout the text, a Bibliography, a comprehensive Index, and an Afterword about the author, this book will be of considerable interest to many.” [via]

 

“Limited Edition of 750 copies only. A Fine Hardcover Volume, illustrated end papers, and in a custom full color dust jacket based on the painting, MELEK TAUS by Stuart Littlejohn, which features the Peacock Angel emerging from a Yezidi arch, plus a substantial Foreword by Alistair Coombs, with plates, tables and line drawings throughout the text. Michael Staley has constructed a comprehensive index and bibliography, and has also written an Afterword about the author. 350 pages. Octavo.” [via]

Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism

You may be interested in Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism (and via Amazon), edited by Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr, and scheduled for August 2012 from Oxford University Press and September via other retailers like Amazon. The hardcover is listed at a steep $99, but there’s a $35 paperback due in Sept (and via Amazon).

“Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr offer the first comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century’s most distinctive occult iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a study in contradictions. He was born into a Fundamentalist Christian family, then educated at Cambridge where he experienced both an intellectual liberation from his religious upbringing and a psychic awakening that led him into the study of magic. He was a stock figure in the tabloid press of his day, vilified during his life as a traitor, drug addict and debaucher; yet he became known as the perhaps most influential thinker in contemporary esotericism.

The practice of the occult arts was understood in the light of contemporary developments in psychology, and its advocates, such as William Butler Yeats, were among the intellectual avant-garde of the modernist project. Crowley took a more drastic step and declared himself the revelator of a new age of individualism. Crowley’s occult bricolage, Magick, was a thoroughly eclectic combination of spiritual exercises drawing from Western European ceremonial magical traditions as practiced in the nineteenth-century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Crowley also pioneered in his inclusion of Indic sources for the parallel disciplines of meditation and yoga. The summa of this journey of self-liberation was harnessing the power of sexuality as a magical discipline, an instance of the “sacrilization of the self” as practiced in his co-masonic magical group, the Ordo Templi Orientis. The religion Crowley created, Thelema, legitimated his role as a charismatic revelator and herald of a new age of freedom under the law of “Do what thou wilt.”

The influence of Aleister Crowley is not only to be found in contemporary esotericism-he was, for instance, a major influence on Gerald Gardner and the modern witchcraft movement-but can also be seen in the counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and in many forms of alternative spirituality and popular culture. This anthology, which features essays by leading scholars of Western esotericism across a wide array of disciplines, provides much-needed insight into Crowley’s critical role in the study of western esotericism, new religious movements, and sexuality.” [via]

“Foreword – Wouter J. Hanegraaff
1. Introduction – Henrik Bogdan and Martin P. Starr
2. The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Aleister Crowley and the Magical Exploration of Edwardian Subjectivity – Alex Owen
3. Varieties of Magical Experience: Aleister Crowley’s Views on Occult Practice – Marco Pasi
4. Envisioning the Birth of a New Aeon: Dispensationalism and Millenarianism in the Thelemic Tradition – Henrik Bogdan
5. The Great Beast as a Tantric hero: The Role of Yoga and Tantra in Aleister Crowley’s Magick – Gordan Djurdjevic
6. Continuing Knowledge from Generation unto Generation: The Social and Literary Background of Aleister Crowley’s Magick – Richard Kaczynski
7. Aleister Crowley and the Yezidis – Tobias Churton
8. The Frenzied Beast: The Phaedran Furores in the Rites and Writings of Aleister Crowley – Matthew D. Rogers
9. Aleister Crowley: Freemason! – Martin P. Starr
10. “The One Thought that was not Untrue”: Aleister Crowley and A. E. Waite – Robert R. Gilbert
11. The Beast and the Prophet: Aleister Crowley’s Fascination with Joseph Smith – Massimo Introvigne
12. Crowley and Wicca – Ronald Hutton
13. Through the Witch’s Looking Glass: The Magick of Aleister Crowley and the Witchcraft of Rosaleen Norton – Keith Richmond
14. The Occult Roots of Scientology? L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley and the Origins of the World’s Most Controversial New Religion – Hugh Urban
15. Satan and the Beast. The Influence of Aleister Crowley on Modern Satanism – Asbjorn Dyrendal” [via]

The Slayer of Souls

You may be interested in “The Slayer of Souls” by Robert Chambers, an occult romance which includes, among other things, a fictional reference to the “Yezidee” or Yezidi.

The Yezidi are mentioned in various sources, not the least of which are in the works and life of Sir Richard Francis Burton, including The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî [PDF], and in an unpublished section of Aleister Crowley’s introduction to the New Commentary to Liber Legis:

“Aiwaz is not (as I had supposed) a mere formula, like many angelic names, but is the true most ancient name of the God of the Yezidis, and thus returns to the highest Antiquity. Our work is therefore historically authentic, the rediscovery of the Sumerian Tradition.” [via]

Although it’s not a direct reference, to that passage by Crowley, Hymeneaus Beta notes in the Editor’s Introduction of Magick: Book 4, Liber ABA the connection between this “God of the Yezidis”, as that likely was used to mean at that time, and Melek Ta’us, the peacock angel of the Yezidi. The connection is more certainly what Crowley meant because further on in that unpublished introduction to Liber Legis there is mention of “Aiwaz” meaning “Messenger”, which is one of the characteristics of Melek Ta’us.

One of the places that I’ve encountered the deity Melek Ta’us is as he appears within the Feri Tradition, and discussion can be found about that online of which one example is at Feri Tradition: FAQ. There’s a lot more about the Yezidi and Melek Ta’us (also transliterated variously as Tawûsê Melek, Malak Tawus, or Malik Taws, Melek Taus …) online.

But, after that digression, back the the work of Chambers:

There’s an interesting review The Repairer of Reputations: The Slayer of Souls by Robert Chambers from pornokitch where they’ve been reading through Chambers’ works, trying to decide whether history has been just or unjust to Robert Chambers.