I’ve long considered Jack Parsons to have been one of the most underrated Thelemic writers and so I’m very pleased to present news of two important books, including one by the man himself. It’s great to see books being published under the Teitan Press imprint once more…
With an Introduction by Hymenaeus Beta
A Complete Book of Magic Science, Transcribed by Frederick Hockley
With an Introduction by Dietrich Bergman
Title: A Complete Book of Magic Science
By: Frederick Hockley [editor].
Publisher: The Teitan Press.
Details: First Printing – Edition Limited to 450 numbered copies.
Hardcover, small octavo. Quality black cloth binding, with a gilt sigil stamped on the front cover, and gilt title etc. on the spine. 136pp. Sewn, printed on library-quality paper, with color frontis and 16 page color insert. Numerous black and white reproductions of sigils, Hebrew letters, etc. in the text.
Price: USD $50.00
Full title: A Complete Book of Magic Science. Containing the Method of Constraining and Exorcising Spirits to Appearance, the Consecration of Magic Circles, and The Form of a Bond of Spirits Transcribed From An Ancient Manuscript Grimoire.
Until this edition, the grimoire has existed only in manuscript form apparently derived from “an ancient Latin manuscript,” said to date from 1519. The work is clearly related to the book known as ‘The Secret Grimoire of Turiel,’ although it is lengthier and contains much additional material.
Occult scholar Frederick Hockley (1809-1885) made several manuscript copies of the original (which has since been lost) in the 1830s or 1840s. One of Hockley’s manuscript copies, complete with beautiful color drawings of the sigils, magical circles etc., was recently discovered, and it is from this Hockley manuscript, that the Teitan Press edition has been prepared. Hockley was a dedicated occultist and Freemason, who in later in life joined the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia and other esoteric fraternities, although his real passion lay in ceremonial magick of the type that involved contact with Spirits. He worked for the bookseller John Denley, who knew Francis Barrett and had provided him with many of the books that he used in compiling The Magus.
Hockley himself put together a huge library on the occult, and sought out and copied a number of manuscripts and grimoires that he found hidden in collections around England. After his death Hockley’s library was dispersed, and a number of his manuscripts were obtained and used by members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the famous magical group in which Aleister Crowley started his career. There is a persistent speculation that Hockley was the source of the famous ‘cipher manuscripts’ from which the basic structure and rituals of Order were drawn and one of the groups founders, W. Wynn Westcott, not only wrote that Hockley’s manuscripts were “highly esteemed,” and claimed him as one of the Order’s prominent Adepts.
This First Edition of A Complete Book of Magic Science faithfully reproduces the text and diagrams of Hockley’s manuscript. It is prefaced with an Introduction by Dietrich Bergman, who has also carefully analyzed the text in comparison to that of ‘The Secret Grimoire of Turiel,’ and annotated it accordingly. NEW book, fine condition. No dust jacket issued.
Title: Three Essays on Freedom
by John W. [‘Jack’] Parsons.
Publisher: The Teitan Press.
Details: First Printing – Edition Limited to 418 numbered copies. Hardcover, small octavo. Quality black cloth binding, with a silver gilt title etc. to the spine. 88pp. Black and white frontispiece portrait photograph of Parsons. Sewn, printed on library-quality paper. Striking black and white dustjacket featuring a seldom seen photograph of Parsons on the front.
Price: USD $45.00
In addition to being a loyal devotee of Crowley’s creed of Thelema, a pioneering rocket scientist, and enthusiastic bohemian, Jack Parsons was also a staunch libertarian. He vehemently opposed racism, the suppression of women, religious intolerance, sexual repression and anything else that diminished the rights of the individual. This book comprises three essays by Parsons: the never-before published “Freedom is a Lonely Star,” his better known work “Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword” (previously published only in softcover) and a short piece entitled “Doing Your Will” (previously published only in a limited-circulation journal).
The two “Freedom” essays were written in the early days of the Cold War and McCarthyism, and display Parson’s utter contempt for the politicians and their cronies who used “national security” as a justification for the widespread destruction of civil liberties, and his despair at the quiescent citizens who were persuaded to sacrifice their hard won freedoms for the illusion of safety.
Parsons’ essays are, however, not simply a critique of the times: they also allowed him to explore at some length his own ideas of what an ideal society should be like. This is particularly evident in “Doing Your Will,” a piece that he originally wrote as a lecture for Agapé Lodge. Not surprisingly the vision he presented is heavily colored by Thelemic principles, and draws deeply from the text of Liber Oz, the short, poetic statement of human rights and responsibilities that Crowley had promulgated a few years earlier. Three Essays on Freedom not only delivers a blistering attack on authoritarianism, but also offers a well thought out vision of a society in which each was free “to do his or her will,” in accordance with the higher ideals of Crowley’s Thelema.
The essays have been edited by Hymenaeus Beta, current Frater Superior of the O.T.O., who has also provided a thoughtful Foreword.
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