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The Beast In Berlin ... In London

Written by LAShTAL. Posted in Aleister Crowley.

Unfortunately my wife's poor health at the moment means I'll be unavble to attend, but this looks like it could be a fascinating event:

There will be a launch party for Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin: Art, Sex, and Magick in the Weimar Republic at Atlantis Bookshop, London, on Thursday 31 July 2014 at 7pm.

Gnostic poet, painter, writer, and magician Aleister Crowley arrived in Berlin on April 18, 1930. As prophet of his syncretic religion "Thelema," he wanted to be among the leaders of art and thought, and Berlin, the liberated future-gazing metropolis, wanted him. There he would live, until his hurried departure on June 22, 1932, as Hitler was rapidly rising to power and the black curtain of intolerance came down upon the city.

Drawing on previously unpublished letters and diary material by Crowley, Tobias Churton examines Crowley's years in Berlin and his intense focus on his art, his work as a spy for British Intelligence, his colorful love life and sex magick exploits, and his contacts with German Theosophy, Freemasonry, and magical orders. He recounts the fates of Crowley's colleagues under the Nazis as well as what happened to Crowley's lost art exhibition–six crates of paintings left behind in Germany as the Gestapo was closing in. Revealing the real Crowley long hidden from the historical record, Churton presents "the Beast" anew in all his ambiguous and, for some, terrifying glory, at a blazing, seminal moment in the history of the world.


Barry William Hale: Codex 231

Written by LAShTAL. Posted in Thelema.

As an admirer of the creative work of Barry William Hale and an admirer of Crowley's fascinating Liber CCXXXI, I am utterly thrilled to read of this new publication, coming soon from the talented people at Fulgur.

CODEX 231 - Barry William Hale

Since it was first published in 1912, Aleister Crowley's LIBER CCXXXI has provided both fascination and inspiration for practitioners, artists and writers alike. Dealing with the spiritual forces at work in the Major Arcana of the tarot, LIBER CCXXXI includes two charts of 22 sigils relating to the jinn, or spirits, for the 'House of Mercury' and the 'Prison of Shells'. These jinn work in mysterious opposition, reflecting and contesting each other.

Drawing from this rich source, artist-practitioner Barry William Hale has produced a series of eleven symbolic images based upon an alternative form – a sigillic wheel – once described by Crowley himself. Around this wheel are interlocked figures that 'symbolise the ordeal of the Adept, upon the soul's journey.' As author Robert Fitzgerald cites in his introduction to the work;

"The eleven compositions of CODEX 231 center around twin wheels that house the branches of two trees – the Domes and Prisons of LIBER CCXXXI and their respective sigils. The interlocked figures comprise a chimeric embodiment of these trees, and fulfill the literal ordalium of the Sorcerer, Mystic, Adept and Magician as they struggle with the demons and angels within both Tree and Self. These entities are thus portrayed in Hale's CODEX 231 are united, both in nature and composition, and held together by each other's feet and hands, yet ultimately by the Wheels themselves. This unity represents primordial Opposition and Integration, Control and Constraint, of the forces within both the living Adepti and their symbolic representations."

Between 1994-2004 these charged images were the product of an intense period of magical working for the artist. Whether framed over an altar, or employed in ritual use, they serve to evoke the powerful jinn of LIBER CCXXXI.


CODEX 231 is limited to 231 examples only, with sigillic signature and hand-numbered by the artist.
Each example includes an ORIGINAL DRAWING of an autodaemon by Barry William Hale.
Eleven large format dual-direction images printed in six colours using state-of-the-art offset lithography.
An introductory text by Robert Fitzgerald that outlines the origin and inspiration behind this series of magical images.
The large format edition is offered in a hand-made talismanic 'mercurial' portfolio with black silk ties.



Daily Mirror: The crazy story of Betty May Golding

Written by LAShTAL. Posted in Aleister Crowley.

There is an article in the Daily Mirror newspaper (UK online: 12 July 2014): Sex, drugs, knives and devil worship - the crazy story of 20s socialite Betty May Golding

The Tiger Woman was the original wild child – a singer and dancer who had a string of lovers, bewitched the world's greatest artists and had a taste for violence.

A surprisingly well-informed article in advance of Thursday's new edition of Tiger Woman from Duckworth. Read more for links to the article and the book.


Weiser Antiquarian Catalogue 122: Aleister Crowley

Written by LAShTAL. Posted in Aleister Crowley.

Yet more fabulous items in the latest eagerly-awaited list from Weiser Antiquarian. This one is Catalogue 122: Aleister Crowley: Used and Rare Books and Ephemera.

The catalogue comprises our usual mixed selection, ranging from relatively recent reprints to some genuine rarities. Amongst the more unusual books are a copy of what is arguably the most handsome book published by Crowley during his lifetime: The Book of Thoth (1944) limited to 200 signed and numbered copies; as well as a First Edition of The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King (1904) resplendent in a later black full-leather binding; and a copy of The Winged Beetle (1910), limited to 300 numbered copies thus, a work which famously has an alarming and blasphemous alternate meaning encrypted in its dedication. Also unusual are a near-fine copy of Book 4, Part I (1912), a proof copy of The Equinox, Vol. I No V (1911), and a copy of the "leather-bound" issue of the 1981 Thelema Publishing edition of The Book of the Law, limited to 200 copies. Somewhat quirkier items include two original metal printing blocks for the spine and cover titling of the 1976 Thelema publications edition of "The Book of the Law" and a selection of different editions of Leah Sublime, including the infamous Scratch 'n' Sniff Leah Sublime (1996), whose instigator, the appositely pseudonymed Frater Pheremone assured that there really was a scent underneath each of the paper swatches (although perhaps mercifully, whatever odour there was seems unlikely to have survived the passing of time).

A small collection of quite remarkable ephemera, all in Crowley's handwriting, includes some particularly interesting items, such as a picture postcard of "Voo-doo's Bar" in 1930s Berlin sent by Crowley to Colonel J. F. C. Carter, of Scotland Yard, in which he jokes about his own activities as an informant and Carter's concerns for Maria Theresa de Mirimar; and a rough draft of a letter in which "the Beast" accuses a doctor of malpractice, quite possibly on the basis that he had performed abortions, to which Crowley was strongly opposed. Two letters, both signed, from Crowley to Frieda Harris, shed light on their relationship, with one including his musings on his new lodgings, and the other his thoughts on progress with the tarot. A selection of works with contributions by Crowley, includes a number of very scarce magazines with pieces by and about him, including a bound volume of The Idler (1909) which contains the first publication of the short story "The Drug" which was not only the first short story to be sold by Crowley but probably one of the first accounts of a "psychedelic experience" to be published in England.


'Shadow and Shine' by Ethel Archer

Written by LAShTAL. Posted in Aleister Crowley.

A retrospective collection of poems by Ethel Archer, suggested by her original outline.

Perhaps best known for her contributions to journals, such as Aleister Crowley's Equinox, The English Review and The Occult Review, Archer was a prolific poet, essayist, novelist, and translator.

With the exception of three non-extant poems and the inclusion of her unpublished essay Recollections, Shadow And Shine gathers together Ethel Archer's own selection of poems both published and unpublished into a volume which has waited decades to be assembled.

With an Introduction by Philip R Jensen.


David Chaim Smith at Catland

Written by CPA. Posted in Occult.

At a yet to be disclosed time in the coming week, Catland Books in Brooklyn NY will be hosting a formal kabbalistic drush given by artist, author, and renowned kabbalist David Chaim Smith.   

Below is Smith's description of this rare event:

In 2007 I stopped teaching and giving talks. However for various reasons I will be doing a formal kabbalistic drush (esoteric improvised discourse) at Catland in Bushwick Brooklyn in the upcoming week or so. It will be advanced, and we will not have time to cover introductory aspects. If interested contact Catland (not me) and put your info on the list. There will be a selection process to ensure a very small group consisting of people with sufficient background.

The subject will be Sefer Yetzirah 1:7 and the associated 13th century commentary by R. Isaac the Blind, along with a corresponding passage in Fountain of Wisdom. The talk will use Sefer Yetzirah for the outer points, Isaac the Blind's commentary for the inner points, and Fountain of Wisdom for what secret points (sod) can be drawn out.

It should be interesting to see what happens, and might be a one time only affair. If interested, read Sefer Yetzirah 1:7 and consider it as deeply as possible for a few days.


Those interested in being considered for admission please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Smith's most recent title "The Blazing Dew of Stars" (Fulgur Esoterica) is available at Catland.



Rutgers University Hosts Academia Ordo Templi Orientis

Written by LAShTAL. Posted in Thelema.


Rutgers University Libraries, in association with Academia Ordo Templi Orientis, is holding a one-day colloquium entitled The Soldier and the Seer: J.F.C. Fuller, Aleister Crowley and the British Occult Revival on June 23 at Rutgers' Alexander Library in New Brunswick, New Jersey. 

Founded in 2011, Academia Ordo Templi Orientis (AOTO) is a learned society consisting of initiate members of Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) and academic affiliates. The goal of AOTO is to foster interdisciplinary research on OTO and the religious doctrine of Thelema that the Order promotes, as well as on broader subjects related to esoteric traditions, both historical and contemporary. Membership in AOTO is by invitation only. AOTO convenes biennial conferences and issues periodic transactions. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Weiser Antiquarian Catalogue 121: Austin Osman Spare

Written by LAShTAL. Posted in Austin Osman Spare.

The latest Catalogue from Weiser Antiquarian features works by and about Austin Osman Spare. It is, as usual, simply stunning...

The one-hundred and twenty-first of our on-line catalogues is devoted to books by and about the remarkable English artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare. To view this catalogue, simply click on this link:


Whilst preparing this catalogue we happened to look back through our files and discovered that it is just over eight years since we released the first of our catalogues devoted to Spare's life and work, our On-line Catalogue # 4, which we released on May 15th, 2006, the fiftieth anniversary of the death of this extraordinarily talented individual. Although we did not realise it at the time, it was later pointed out to us that our catalogue was probably the first ever bookseller's catalogue to be devoted entirely to works by and about Spare.

We are happy to continue this tradition with this new catalogue, which includes examples of most of Spare's own published work along with many significant studies of his life, art and magic. As is well known Spare's first editions were usually privately published in beautifully-produced limited edition printings, resplendent with his beguiling illustrations and profound and challenging text, and we are pleased to present two of them here; his magical masterwork The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love) The Psychology of Ecstasy (1913), and a signed first edition of his often-enigmatic A Book Of Satyrs (1907). Of course Spare was also well-known as the editor of two sumptuous literary and artistic journals published in the nineteen-teens and 'twenties; Form and The Golden Hind, and the catalogue lists copies of both, including some truly rare issues of Form and some examples of the signed limited edition of The Golden Hind. Even more stunning, though, is a run of issues of a journal called The Bond (1906), which includes a previously unrecorded contribution by Austin Osman Spare. Other treasures include a set of Spare's Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards (one of only 26 known sets), and a copy of one of the rarest early Spare-related titles, Warren Retlaw's The Youth and the Sage (1927). Another magnificent volume is the posthumously-published A Book of Automatic Drawing, of which several variants are offered, including one of the Catalpa Press / Teitan Press reissues, limited to 40 copies, printed on hand-made paper and bound in black quarter-leather, with an original cheque signed by Spare tipped onto the limitation page. There are simply too many important works to comment upon in a short space like this, but I hope that the reader will find time to browse the catalogue at leisure. K.R.


Frater Puck | Eliphas Levi: Occult Influence on the Arts

Written by fraterpuck. Posted in Occult.

File:Baphomet.pngA video short exploring the relationship of Magick and Art.  The Way Art can be used to "rend the Veil" is explored.


Frater Puck is a co-organizer and co-host of the O.T.O. U.S.G.L. Podcast, Thelema NOW!, and is a co-organizer and co-founder of the Musicka Mystica Maxima Festival, arranged under the Auspices of O.T.O., bringing together a diverse group of Occultists and Musicians.

Quote of the Moment

Chinese civilisation is so systematic that wild animals have been abolished on principle.

Aleister Crowley



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