Crowley and Spare in The International Journal of Pagan Studies

Thanks to Martin P Starr:

Visitors are likely to be interested in the May 2006 issue of The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies which features two articles originally presented at the 19th World Congress Of The International Association For The History Of Religions referred to previously on LAShTAL.COM:

Journey into the Neither-Neither
Austin Osman Spare and the Construction of a Shamanic Identity
Christopher J. Miles

A number of voices have, however, sought to locate Spare and his system within a “shamanic” framework linked to perceptions/constructions of “witchcraft” and “Amerindian sorcery.” This article seeks to examine what this might mean through a discussion of the dual influence of Michael Harner’s core-shamanism and Kenneth Grant’s mediation of Spare, while also providing an overview of Spare’s writings on “trance” techniques designed to address the apparent evidence for his “shamanic” identity.

Chaos from Order
Cohesion and Conflict in the Post-Crowley Occult Continuum
Martin P. Starr

A study of a post-1962 attempt to craft a new religious movement in the United States of America primarily developed from the elements of the occult orders and writings of the English occultist and prophet of the Law of Thelema, Aleister Crowley (1875–1947).

Read on for full details… Journey into the Neither-Neither
Austin Osman Spare and the Construction of a Shamanic Identity
Christopher J. Miles

The English artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare (1886–1956) created a dense and fecund body of work that is built upon a foundation of automatism, the pursuit of a state of Vacuity, and the reification of what Spare termed “Self-Love.” Although a one-time student of Aleister Crowley and clearly influenced by some aspects of Western European esoteric currents, Spare has remained on the margins of the twentieth-century occult revival due both to the complexity of his language and idiosyncratic nature of his system of magical theory and practice. A number of voices have, however, sought to locate Spare and his system within a “shamanic” framework linked to perceptions/constructions of “witchcraft” and “Amerindian sorcery.” This article seeks to examine what this might mean through a discussion of the dual influence of Michael Harner’s core-shamanism and Kenneth Grant’s mediation of Spare, while also providing an overview of Spare’s writings on “trance” techniques designed to address the apparent evidence for his “shamanic” identity.

Chaos from Order
Cohesion and Conflict in the Post-Crowley Occult Continuum
Martin P. Starr

This article presents a study of a post-1962 attempt to craft a new religious movement in the United States of America primarily developed from the elements of the occult orders and writings of the English occultist and prophet of the Law of Thelema, Aleister Crowley (1875–1947). The leaders of groups influenced by Crowley’s abundant esoteric legacy, itself the synthesis of a range of earlier Western esoteric initiatic systems, often developed a compelling unity of purpose within their small hierarchically organized collectives espousing Crowley’s beliefs, despite the radical antinomian overtones of the thelemic maxim “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” The article reviews the literature, traditions, history, and transmission of authority in the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), culminating in a particular focus on the development of one such novel religious group, the “Solar Lodge” of Los Angeles, and shows how its conflict with society drove the surviving members of Crowley’s OTO to reactivate their esoteric order in the United States.

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