Thanks to the good people at Weiser Antiquarian, I am very pleased to be in a position to present, in its entirety, the whole of their latest antiquarian book list.
There are some remarkable items for sale in the catalogue. But, for those of you not looking to invest in books of this quality, there are also many little gems of information. For example: “In MPC (Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law) the first sentence of the New Comment to I, 7, reads simply ‘Aiwass is the Intelligence Communicating’ whereas the typescript has ‘Aiwass is the name given by Ouarda the Seer as that of the Intelligence Communicating’.” Interesting, eh?
“The small but fascinating collection of books and typescripts detailed in this catalog were formerly in the collections of Helen Parsons Smith (1910-2003) and her friend Gabriel Montenegro Vargas (1907–1969), both of whom had been IX° members of Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis.” Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalog # 5. – Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley. From Agape Lodge to Thelema Publications.
An illustrated version of this catalog, with numerous photographs, can be found at: http://www.weiserantiquarian.com/catalog/
Welcome to this, our fifth email catalog. As the title suggests this catalog is again devoted to the works of Aleister Crowley: specifically to books and typescripts that were owned and/or published by Helen Parsons Smith (1910-2003) and her friend Gabriel Montenegro Vargas (1907–1969), both of whom were IX° members of Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis. Following the actual book listings there is a short piece about Helen Parsons Smith, Gabriel Montenegro Vargas, their lives and their books, which includes details of the limited edition printed catalog – with original contributions by Martin P. Starr – which we have produced to accompany the sale of the collections. Information on how to purchase the books, as well as links to our earlier catalogs, and details of how to subscribe to our e-catalogs are included in separate sections at the end of this page.
For listings of other books that may be of interest – including many Crowley titles – you can also visit our website: http://www.weiserantiquarian.com where we currently have over 13,000 books listed, with new stock added weekly.
Contents of this catalog:
a) Books and typescripts formerly owned and/or published by Helen Parsons Smith.
b) Books and typescripts from the collection of Gabriel Montenegro Vargas.
c) Works relating to Helen Parsons Smith and Gabriel Montenegro Vargas.
d) ‘Waratah III. Star Building.’ A beautifully produced new Thelemic journal published by the O.T.O. in Australia.
e) A note on Helen, Monty and their books.
f) About this Catalog.
g) How to Purchase from this Catalog.
a) Books and typescripts formerly owned and/or published by Helen Parsons Smith.
Please note: some of the books below were published by HPS, but are not from her own archive/library. Only those with ‘HPS Collection’ in the listing were retained by her personally.
Aleister Crowley; & Martin P. Starr (edits and introduces). Amrita : Essays in Magical Rejuvenation. Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications , 1990. First edition (Limited and numbered). Hardcover. Roy. 8vo. xviii + 60 pp Orig. gilt stamped purple leather binding. With col. frontispiece. HPS Collection. This is copy Number One (Helen Parsons Smith’s own copy) of a limited issue of 33 copies bound in full leather (there was also a ‘trade’ issue of 967 cloth-bound copies). A collection of Aleister Crowley’s writings on occult medicine, particularly on Amrita: an ambrosia or “elixir of life” said to ensure longevity, restore youth and energy, and bestow various occult boons. It was referred to by Crowley as “the principal Secret of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O. T.O. ). ” Edited with an introduction by Martin P. Starr. Contents: Foreword by Soror Grimaud (Helen Parsons Smith); Introduction by Martin P. Starr. Fine (no dustwrapper – none issued) (26055) $400.00
Aleister Crowley; & Martin P. Starr (edits and introduces). Amrita : Essays in Magical Rejuvenation. Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1990. First edition. Hardcover. Roy. 8vo. xviii + 60 pp Orig. gilt stamped cloth, with col. frontispiece. Trade issue – limited to 967 cloth-bound copies (there was also an issue of 33 numbered copies bound in leather). HPS Collection. Cloth a little faded – as almost always, otherwise fine (no dustwrapper – none issued) (26056) $150.00
Aleister Crowley; & Martin P Starr (edits and introduces). Amrita. Essays in Magical Rejuvenation. Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1990. First edition. Hardcover. Roy.8vo. xviii + 60 pp, Orig. gilt stamped purple decorative cloth with col. frontispiece and purple endpapers. First and only Edition – limited to 1000 copies. This is a book that is virtually always faded – this copy is almost unique in that it is unfaded, and aside from the merest hint of darkening to the spine is virtually as new. (no dustjacket – none issued) (25290) $200.00
Aleister Crowley, with introductions by Israel Regardie, Mark Aguiar, William Breeze and Lon DuQuette. Amrita : Liber CCCXLIII. Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications , circa 1989. Pre-Publication Issue. Hardcover. Large Quarto, 8 1/4 x 11 inches. Approx. 100 leaves (text on recto only). Red publisher’s cloth, with elaborate gilt titling etc. to front board and spine. HPS Collection. When planning the publication of Amrita, Helen Parsons Smith solicited Introductions from a number of individuals: Israel Regardie, Mark Aguiar, William Breeze, Martin P. Starr and Lon DuQuette, however when the book went to press she only used that provided by Martin Starr, along with her own Foreword. This volume – assembled by Smith – comprises photocopies of the typescripts of the still unpublished Introductions (in the case of the William Breeze contribution – the original typescript is tipped in rather than a photocopy), along with the text itself. There are numerous small differences between the Crowley text in this typescript, and that of the published version. Most notably the typescript includes a four page ‘Record of Experiments’ undertaken by Crowley at the Savoy Hotel in London, not in the published version. Dates within the text suggest that Smith originally intended to publish the work in 1977, and that it was near-ready by 1978, although we know that it did not actually go to press until 1990. Most of the pages from which the photocopies were made have numerous strike-throughs, corrections etc. in various hands. Some original manuscript corrections and notes by HPS, as well as, loosely inserted, a proof pull of the color frontis. A unique piece of Thelemic publishing history. (26057) $550.00
Aleister Crowley, introduction by Israel Regardie Amrita : Liber CCCXLIII (Typescript). Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications , circa 1989. Publisher’s typescript mock-up. Hardcover. Tall octavo. 6 3/4 x 11 1/4inches. Approx. 100 leaves (printed on one side only). Blue publisher’s cloth, with elaborate gilt titling etc. to front board and spine. HPS Collection. When planning the publication of Crowley’s Amrita, Helen Parsons Smith solicited Introductions from a number of individuals: Israel Regardie, Mark Aguiar, William Breeze, Martin P. Starr and Lon DuQuette, however when the book went to press she only used that provided by Martin Starr, along with her own Foreword. This volume is a typescript mock up of a version of the book which never went to press. It comprises a 13 page typescript introduction by Regardie (still unpublished) sigbed by him at the end. There is also loosely inserted, a typesheet of a trial sheet of the final page of the Introduction, also SIGNED by Regardie. The rest of the volume comprises the text of Crowley’s Amrita. There are numerous small differences between the text here given and the published version. Most notably the typescript includes a four page ‘Record of Experiments’ undertaken by Crowley at the Savoy Hotel in London, not in the published version, but omits the penultimate chapter ‘It’ and the final chapter ‘On Food’ that version contains. Various manuscript insertions, corrections etc. throughout. Obviously unique, and fascinating. (26058) $700.00
Aleister Crowley (Edited by Hymenaeus Beta X). The Equinox: Volume III Number 10, New York, NY: Thelema Publications, 1986. First edition – Limited Leatherbound. Hardcover, large 8vo, 288 pp, illustrations. HPS Collection. This being one of only five copies thus: calf leather, blind stamped with titles and lamen, housed in a cloth slip case, and signed by Hymenaeus Beta. Each of the copies thus is designated by the symbol for an element – this has the symbol ‘spirit.’ With inscription on the first blank to “Soror Gahad IX” [Helen Parsons Smith] from Hymenaeus Beta. Book and slipcase both Fine. (26078) $500.00
Aleister Crowley, (Edited by Hymenaeus Beta X). The Equinox: Volume III Number 10, New York, NY: Thelema Publications, 1986. First edition thus. Softcover, large 8vo, 288 pp, illustrations. HPS Collection. Helen Parsons Smith is listed as the Senior Editor (under the name ‘Soror G.:’ ) – this is her own copy with a lengthy note by her on the title page, and occasional rather tart marginalia. Edges thumbed. Otherwise a VG+ copy. (26074) $125.00
Aleister Crowley (Ko Yuen). Khing Kang King: The Classic of Purity. Liber XXI. King’s Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1973. Second Edition – First Issue. Hardcover, small 8vo 63/4″ x 53/4″ 22 pp (printed only on recto side of page). Blue-gray cloth, gilt title, etc. to spine and front cover. Printed in blue with deckled page edges. Originally published by Crowley in 1939 in an edition of 100 copies (of which arguably less than a quarter were distributed) this is the books second ever publication. Helen Parsons Smith, brought out two editions of the work, one in 1973, and one in 1974. This is the 1973 edition – the true first thus. A fine copy – still in the original publisher’s plastic bag, with printed label giving Library of Congress Publication Data etc. Possibly unique as such. No dustjacket – none issued. (25921) $200.00
Aleister Crowley (Ko Yuen). Khing Kang King: The Classic of Purity. Liber XXI. King’s Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1973. Second Edition – First Issue. Hardcover, small 8vo 63/4″ x 53/4″ 22 pp (printed only on recto side of page). Blue-gray cloth, gilt title, etc. to spine and front cover. Printed in blue with deckled page edges. The gilt work on the covers is a little dulled, and there is a bookseller’s label on the front free endpaper and a thumbnail sized mark of glue residue on the front pastedown where a price sticker one sat. Otherwise it is in fine condition. No dustjacket – none issued. (25254) $125.00
Aleister Crowley (Ko Yuen). Khing Kang King: The Classic of Purity. Liber XXI. King’s Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1973. Second Edition – Trial Issue? Hardcover, small 8vo 63/4″ x 53/4″ 22 pp (printed only on recto side of page). Blue-gray cloth, gilt title, etc. to spine and front cover. Printed in blue with deckled page edges. This is a copy the 1973 printing of the Thelema Publications edition of Liber XXI – the true first thus – HOWEVER it varies from the regular issue in that it has different (lighter) endpapers, the first gathering is cropped a little short (about an eighth of an inch) and the reverse of the title page (which should hold the publishing details) and the page facing it (should have a four-line quotation from Lao-Tzu) are both blank. Whether this was a trial pre-press copy – or simply a printing fault, cannot be determined. A Fine, bright copy. No dustjacket – none issued. (26092) $125.00
Aleister Crowley (Ko Yuen). Khing Kang King: The Classic of Purity. Liber XXI. King’s Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1974. Second edition – second issue. Limited. Hardcover, small 8vo 6 314″ x 5 1/2″ 22 pp (printed only on recto side of page). Royal blue cloth, silver stamped title, etc. to spine and front cover. Printed in blue with deckled page edges. This book was first reprinted by Helen Parsons Smith in 1973 and the following year she brought out this new edition, limited edition printing. In addition to a quite different binding, the text has been reset, and this new edition has a reproduction of a drawing by Crowley not previously published. This issue was limited to 100 numbered copies (there was also an unnumbered issue) of which this is number 93! A little light rubbing to the cloth, otherwise a fine copy – and a number that can’t be beaten! No dustjacket – none issued. (26093) $150.00
Aleister Crowley (Ko Yuen). Khing Kang King: The Classic of Purity. Liber XXI. King’s Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1974. Second edition – second issue. Limited. Hardcover, small 8vo 6314″ x 51/2″ 22 pp (printed only on recto side of page). Royal blue cloth, silver stamped title, etc. to spine and front cover. Printed in blue with deckled page edges. This book was first reprinted by Helen Parsons Smith in 1973 and the following year she brought out this new edition, limited edition printing. In addition to a quite different binding, the text has been reset, and this new edition has a reproduction of a drawing by Crowley not previously published. This issue was limited to 100 numbered copies (there was also an unnumbered issue) of which this is number 40. A fine copy – like new. No dustjacket – none issued. (15457) $125.00
Aleister Crowley (Ko Yuen). Khing Kang King: The Classic of Purity. Liber XXI. King’s Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1974. Second edition – second issue. Limited. Hardcover, small 8vo 6314″ x 51/2″ 22 pp (printed only on recto side of page). Royal blue cloth, gilt stamped title, etc. to spine and front cover. This book was first reprinted by Helen Parsons Smith in 1973 and the following year she brought out this new edition, limited edition printing. In addition to a quite different binding, the text has been reset, and this new edition has a reproduction of a drawing by Crowley not previously published. This issue was limited to 100 numbered copies (there was also an unumbered issue) – this copy has the printed limitation statement, but escaped without number. An unusual variant binding – with the lettering in gold rather than silver. A fine copy – like new. No dustjacket – none issued. (26094) $125.00
[Aleister Crowley] The Master Therion. Liber Aleph Vel CXI [Typescript] The Book Of Wisdom Or Folly In The Form Of An Epistle Of 666 The Great Wild Beast To His Son 777 Being The Equinox Volume III, No. VI By The Master Therion (Aleister Crowley) . An LVII Sol In O O’ O” Libra, September 23, 1961, e.v. 6.19 a.m. ND: NP, [circa 1940?].. Typescript. An unbound typescript of Crowley’s Liber Aleph, probably a first generation carbon copy. 215 leaves, numbered [ii] 1 – 213, typed on one side only on sheets of 8 ½ x 11 inch typing paper. The pages were evidently once secured by string ties which ran through three holes punched in the inner margin, but the ties perished, and at a later time the pages have been stapled together (a single staple in the extreme top left corner) in groups of thirty of forty. HPS Collection. Despite several abortive attempts at publication during Crowley’s lifetime, Liber Aleph remained unpublished until 1962, when Karl Germer, Crowley’s chief disciple and successor as head of the O.T.O., finally brought it to print. The work was considered by Crowley and his followers to be of major importance: Germer declared it to be “one of the masterworks of the late Aleister Crowley,” whilst Crowley himself had written that it “was intended to express the heart of my doctrine in the most deep and delicate dimensions. It is the most tense and intense book I have ever composed.” Prior to its publication, typescript copies were made of Liber Aleph, and – in Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. at least – each of the members was expected to have a copy and study it. This copy belonged to Helen Parsons Smith. A quick comparison does not reveal any significant variations between the text of this typescript and that of the edition that Germer went on to publish in 1962. As it predates the published version it obviously does not have Germer’s Introduction, and also omits the Index with the chapter headings translated from Latin to English. The typescript does have an additional heading, comprising three lines of Greek neatly penned in an unknown hand as part of the page title above the Apologia which do not appear in the published form. There are occasional neat ink corrections. Some light creasing, and a few leaves have torn loose from the staples. Overall the condition is VG+. (26061) $1,250.00
Aleister Crowley. Little Essays Toward Truth [Typescript]. ND [circa 1928]. Original Typescript. Approx. 90 leaves, text on one side only. Provenance: Aleister Crowley – W. T. Smith – Helen Parsons Smith. HPS Collection. Typed in blue (appears to be a first copy carbon, though the type is so crisp that it may be the original typed top sheet, but typed using a blue ribbon by someone with a light touch). Sheet size 8 ½ x 10 ¾ inches, secured by two metal fasteners in a contemporary plain buff wrappers, which overlap the page edges. The typescript has several small corrections in what appears to be the hand of W. T. Smith, and a few words in Greek entered in manuscript. At a quick check, the text appears to be identical to that of the first edition which was published in 1938, although this typescript does not include the Glossary found at the end of that volume (A ‘Glossary of Obscure Terms’ is listed on the Contents page of the typescript, but is not present – perhaps having not been prepared at the time it was sent out). This typescript of his then-unpublished work was sent by Crowley to Wilfred T. Smith (1885-1957), a North American disciple who would later go on to found Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. in California. At the time it was sent – December 1929 – Crowley was encouraging Smith to campaign against the Theosophical Society in the hope of winning converts to Thelema. In a letter to Smith, Crowley’s then-assistant Gerald Yorke mentioned that the typescript had been dispatched, and suggested to Smith that he should publish sections of it anonymously in Theosophical journals, apparently as a way of undermining them from within. Smith did later succeed in having a chapter published in the January 1936 issue of American Astrology, a widely-read magazine largely responsible for awakening the popular interest in astrology in the United States, marking the first appearance in print of a part of the work. (See Martin P. Starr, The Unknown God, p. 166 & 227). As might be expected the wrappers are a little chafed around the edges, and have a few small tears in the spine. There are a few small annotations / corrections in what appear to be the handwriting of W. T. Smith, otherwise the text is clean and unmarked, and the whole would have to be considered in Very Good condition. (26063) $1,350.00
Aleister Crowley. Magick In Theory And Practice. Appendices I – III (Only) Typescript ND [circa 1924?]. Original Typescript. Approx. 86 leaves [+ blanks], typed on one side only. Provenance: Crowley – W. T. Smith – Helen Parsons Smith. HPS Collection. Original top copy typescript, apparently typed by Jane Wolfe, and with her manuscript corrections. Sheet size 8 ½ x 11 inches, bound in contemporary gilt-painted paper cover boards (fashioned from some type of folder?). The typescript comprises three of the Appendices: Appendix I [untitled], Appendix II One Star in Sight, Appendix III Liber Samekh. There are a few small textual differences between this typescript version, and the first published edition, which appeared as the third part of the four part Magick (Book 4) published by the Lecram Press in 1930. Amongst these: in the typescript the poem “One Star in Sight” is attributed to Crowley, whereas in the printed version his name is omitted, and the typescript version of “One Star in Sight” also contains a two-page Preface by Cecil Maitland which was omitted from the published version. The first footnote to that section also contains an additional paragraph advising that aspirants contact “Sir Aleister Crowley, Knight Guardian of the Sacred Lance, Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum, Cefalu, Sicily….” and a further note advising that “the A.: A.: accepts no renumeration …..,” neither of which appear in the published edition. Appendix III of the published version is “Notes on the Nature of the Astral Plane” whereas this is not present in the typescript, and intead Liber Samekh (Appendix IV of the published version) is designated Appendix III. These differences appear to correspond with those found in at least one of the typescripts examined by Hymenaeus Beta in his preparation of the critical edition: Magick Liber Aba (Second Revised Edition, 1997, pp. 758 -759.) There are occasional manuscript insertions in the hand of Jane Wolfe. In one she points out and discusses the duplication of passages in Liber Samekh (which was corrected in the published version) and mentions taking advice on them from “V.L.” (Frater “Virtute et Labore,” Adam Gray Murray). In another she obviously had difficulty with the lengthy Greek title of Liber 536, about half of which she has set down in manuscript, beneath which she has penciled plaintively: “cannot decipher balance.” A note advising “the printer” to insert text from The Equinox Vol. III, No. I, at one point, would seem to confirm that this typescript was part of a fair copy, intended as the basis for publication. Book Four is considered by many to be Crowley’s Magnum Opus, and though other typescripts and parts thereof survive, these are mostly either in the possession of the O.T.O. or institutional libraries, with few if any in private hands. A significant piece of Thelemic history. VG + condition. (26064) $1,800.00
Aleister Crowley. The Soul of the Desert. Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1974. First Edition Thus. Hardcover, small 8vo, 36 pages (printed on recto only). Brown cloth, gilt title on spine and front cover. A poem ‘Written at Jozeur 17 March 1914,’ it was first published in an issue of the Occult Review of the same year. This edition, published Thelema Publications, the company run by Helen Parsons Smith is its first separate publication. Previous owner’s initials on front pastedown, a few tiny marks on cloth, otherwise a fine copy. (no dustjacket – none issued) (25558) $40.00
Aleister Crowley. The Soul of the Desert. Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1974. First Edition Thus. Hardcover, small 8vo, 36 pages (printed on recto only). Brown cloth, gilt title on spine and front cover. Variant binding – a slightly darker cloth than unusually encountered. A few tiny marks on cloth, still a fine copy. (no dustjacket – none issued) (25635) $40.00
Aleister Crowley. [ introduction etc. to ] Ko Yuen. The Tao Teh King. Liber CLVII. The Equinox ….. Kings Beach, California.: Thelema Publications, 1976 . First Edition. Limited, Numbered. Hardcover. 8vo. Approx. 100pp. Edition limited to 100 numbered copies thus: specially bound in natural raw silk with leather title label running the length of the front board, printed on handmade paper, and with handwritten limitation statement by Helen Parsons Smith (there was also a trade edition without stated limitation). HPS Collection. Crowley’s version of the Chinese classic. Although circulated in typescript amongst his students, the work remained unpublished until 1976, when Helen Parsons Smith produced this edition under her Thelema publications imprint (Stephen Skinner ‘s Askin Press in England produced a separate edition almost simultaneously). Errata slip loosely inserted. A fine copy in the original transparent plastic dustjacket with gilt printed title down spine. (26051) $300.00
Aleister Crowley. [introduction etc. to ] Ko Yuen. The Tao Teh King. Liber CLVII. The Equinox ….. Kings Beach, California: Thelema Publications, 1976 . First Edition. Hardcover. 8vo. Approx. 100pp. Original cream colored thick woven cloth, with gilt titling to spine and front board. Trade edition (there was also a deluxe edition, limited to 100 specially bound numbered copies). HPS Collection. The trade or standard edition of Crowley’s version of the Chinese classic. A Fine copy, still in its original shrinkwrap. (No dustjacket issued with this edition) (26050) $175.00
Aleister Crowley [introduction etc. to] Ko Yuen. The Tao Teh King. Liber CLVII. The Equinox ….. Volume III, No. VIII. Kings Beach, California.: Thelema Publications, 1976 . First Edition. Hardcover. 8vo. Approx. 100pp. Original cream colored thick woven cloth, with gilt titling to spine and front board. The trade or standard edition of Crowley’s version of the Chinese classic. Errata slip loosely inserted at front of volume. Some light foxing to the cloth – most noticeable on back board, hint of yellowing to the preliminaries. Else a VG + copy. (No dustjacket issued with this edition) (26091) $150.00
Aleister Crowley. [introduction etc. to] Ko Yuen. The Tao Teh King [Proof Copy]. Kings Beach, California.: Thelema Publications, 1975. Hardcover. 8vo. Approx. 160pp. This is a bound up set of the corrected proofs of the Thelema Publications edition of the Tao Teh King. HPS Collection. Numerous autograph corrections throughout by Helen Parsons Smith. Unlike the published version, the text of everything other than the introduction is printed on one side only, so the book bulk is much thicker. It is bound in the same attractive cream-colored thick woven cloth and with the same gilt titling as the trade edition. Edges darkened. Otherwise VG+ (26052) $400.00
Aleister Crowley. [introduction etc. to] Ko Yuen. The Tao Teh King [Typescript]. [Typescript]. Kings Beach, California.: Thelema Publications, 1940? / 1975. Hardcover. Quarto ( 8 x 10 3/4 inches). Typescript (appears to be first copy carbon), bound in maroon textured boards, with gilt titling. Approx. 100 leaves, typed on recto only, with autograph corrections by Helen Parsons Smith. HPS Collection. An original typescript, apparently dating from Crowley’s lifetime, which was formerly in the possession of Agape Lodge member Reea Leffingwell (Soror Alta Via). This typescript was given to Helen Parsons Smith and became the basis for the Thelema Publicatons edition of the Tao Teh King. It has a number of annotations in her hand, including alterations to the title page which suggest that she originally planned to publish it in 1973 (It did not go to press until 1976). Occasional annotations and corrections in her hand. Helen Parsons Smith had the typescript bound at around the time of publication. A small tear with contemporary tape repair to title page, otherwise VG+ condition. (26053) $1,250.00
Aleister Crowley. [introduction etc. to] Ko Yuen The Tao Teh King [Typescript]. Kings Beach, California.: Thelema Publications, 1975. Typescript. Hardcover. Quarto ( 8 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches). Top copy typescript, bound in maroon textured boards, with gilt titling. Approx. 100 leaves, typed on recto only. HPS Collection. With autograph corrections by Helen Parsons Smith, sample typeset pages, etc. pasted in. The typescript from which the Proofs of the Thelema Publicatons Edition of the Tao Teh King were produced. VG+ condition. (26054) $600.00
b) Books and typescripts from the collection of Gabriel Montenegro Vargas.
Aleister Crowley. The Book Of The Law [technically called Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX as delivered by XCIII = 418 to DCLXVI]. Pasadena: Privately issued: The O.T.O. / Church of Thelema, 1938 . First U.S. Edition. Softcover, small 8vo ( 5 x 6 1/2 inches) 50pp. (+ 6pp adverts at rear) Booklet stapled in gilt-stamped blue wrappers, with title and A.: A.: sigil gilt stamped on upper wrapper. The First U.S. Edition of The Book of the Law. Although the title page bears the date 1938 which is taken from the British edition, this US edition was not published until 1942. This copy inscribed on the half-title “To Dr. Manual Ahaz Fraternally G.M. .:” The ‘G.M.’ was Gabriel Montenegro Vargas, to whom it was later returned.As often the title page has been altered: following the schism with W. T. Smith, the members of Agape Lodge sought to further distance themselves from their former leader by obliterating the words: ‘Church of Thelema / 1003 S. Orange Grove Avenue, Pasadena Calif. ‘ from the title page of remaining copies of Liber AL (both name and address being inextricably associated with Smith.) In this copy the offending text has been crossed out with blue ink. Otherwise Near Fine. (25747) $750.00
Aleister Crowley. The Book Of The Law [technically called Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX as delivered by XCIII = 418 to DCLXVI]. Pasadena: Privately issued: The O.T.O. / Church of Thelema, 1938 . First U.S. Edition. Softcover, small 8vo ( 5 x 6 1/2 inches) 50pp. (+ 6pp adverts at rear) Booklet stapled in gilt-stamped blue wrappers, with title and A.: A.: sigil gilt stamped on upper wrapper. This copy from the library of Gabriel Montenegro Vargas, with his bookplate on the front pastedown. As often the title page has been deliberately altered (see preceding listing): in this case the bottom quarter which held the offending text has excised. Otherwise a VG+ copy. (25749) $750.00
Aleister Crowley. Commentary on Liber AL Vel Legis. NP: ND (circa 1930s?). Hardbound, thick quarto, Carbon typescript, 627 leaves, 7 ¾ x 9 ½ inches, each printed on one side only, numbered [ii] 308, [vi] 190 [vi] 122pp. Attractively bound in black cloth, with ‘Liber AL Vel Legis / decoration / Commentary’ stamped in gilt across spine, and ‘Z .•. ‘ (a symbolic abbreviation of ‘Frater Zopiron’ – GMV’s magical name) gilt stamped on the front board. A carbon typescript of Crowley’s Commentaries on The Book of the Law. This typescript was most likely prepared for Crowley in the UK at some time in the 1930s, and sent to his followers in the United States where it was acquired by Gabriel Montenegro Vargas, who later specially commissioned its present binding. His bookplate is on the front pastedown, and a cancelled check to Hollywood Bookbinding (with his signature and the year 1959) is loosely inserted. The volume is divided into three sections – one for each chapter of Liber AL – with the first and the second chapters containing both the ‘old comment’ and the ‘new comment’, and the third chapter the ‘new comment’ only. A magnificent, handsome edition of a rarely-seen work. The typescript appears to represent a somewhat earlier state than that used by Symonds and Grant in their publication the Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on the Book of the Law [hereafter MPC] . Thus although the majority of the text is the same as that of MPC, it omits a number of the passages of commentary included in that edition (particularly in the third chapter) but includes several paragraphs not present in the published version. There are also a number of smaller textual differences: for example in MPC the first sentence of the New Comment to I, 7, reads simply ‘Aiwass is the Intelligence Communicating’ whereas the typescript has ‘Aiwass is the name given by Ouarda the Seer as that of the Intelligence Communicating,’ and the typescript contains an additional footnote to II, 73, etc. etc. There is a small tear and abrasion to the upper margin of the title page, and a couple of light scratches to the cloth of the boards, otherwise the volume is overall in fine condition. A genuinely scarce work, attractively bound, and with an interesting provenance. Despite the importance of this work, the text remained unpublished until well Crowley’s death, and is long out-of-print. Typescript copies do not appear to have been widely circulated during Crowley’s lifetime, and contemporary copies such as this virtually never appear on the market. (26262) $5000.00
Aleister Crowley. Foreword by Karl J. Germer. Magick Without Tears. Hampton, New Jersey: Thelema Publishing Company, 1954. First edition. Hardcover, Large Quarto, [vi – blanks]+ xxx pp + 400pp, Original maroon binder’s cloth, with simple gilt titling. Errata leaf loosely inserted at rear. Presentation copy from Helen Parsons Smith to Gabriel Montenegro Vargas with his bookplate and a lengthy presentation inscription to him on the second blank. The inscription reads “To dear Brother Monty, Because you labor in and tread the Path of the Wise, may you always find Happiness and Peace in the Going. 93! Helen. 27 June, 1969.” Crowley’s original title for this book was ‘Aleister Explains Everything’ – for it is in essence his personal commentary on magical work and training, offered in the simplest and most straightforward terms, in the form of 80 letters addressed to students. It was first published by Karl Germer, in this edition, with a print-run that almost certainly did not exceed 100 copies. The work has subsequently been reprinted, but the editor Israel Regardie removed much text which he felt to be redundant, and this remains the only complete edition. Hint of fading to the spine, and a little minute shelfwear to the boards, still a VG+ copy. (no dustjacket – none issued) (26256) $1,450.00
Aleister Crowley. ( Writing as Khaled Khan). The Heart Of The Master. ND [ circa 194? ] Typescript. 29 leaves [+ blanks], typed on one side only, plus photographs of the same, both secured in a folder by a metal clip. Original typed copy. Sheet size 6 x 8 ½ inches, punched on inner margin, and secured by a metal clip in a commercially produced binder (6 ¾ x 9 1/4 inches). Also bound in are a set of photographs of the typescript – printed in negative (that is the black type appears as white, against a black background). From the library of Gabriel Montenegro Vargas. The typescript has obviously been made from the first British edition (1938). This edition had a very small print run, and was not reprinted until 1973 so for many years copies were unobtainable. In those pre-photocopy days the only solution available to those who wanted the text but could not find a copy of the book on the second-hand market, was to borrow one and have a typescript copy of it made, which is apparently what Zopiron did, with this being the result. VG+ (26065) $400.00
Aleister Crowley. Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli [Liber VII] Adumbratio Kabbalae Aegyptiorum. [circa 1945]. Bound Typescript. 40 leaves [+ blanks], first (?) carbon, typed on one side only. Sheet size, 6 x 8 inches. Attractively bound in maroon pebbled cloth, with gilt title and ” Zopiron / (487) ” stamped on front board. From the library of Gabriel Montenegro Vargas (Frater Zopiron), with his motto and magical number gilt stamped on the front board, and his bookplate on the front pastedown. Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli is of course one of the ‘Holy Books’ of Thelema, but despite its importance copies of the printed edition were virtually unobtainable from the mid-1920s until it was finally reprinted in 1972, and in those (pre-photocopy days) Crowley and his followers were forced to go to the expense of commissioning typescript copies such as this for their use. A small, handsome volume. VG+ (26086) $750.00
c) Works relating to Helen Parsons Smith and Gabriel Montenegro Vargas.
Helen Parsons Smith and Gabriel Montenegro Vargas were both stalwarts of American Thelemic circles, and not surprisingly the biographies of O.T.O. leaders W. T. Smith and Grady McMurtry both contain numerous references to them. Gabriel Montenegro Vargas was also a one-time student of Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, whose Logos Mantram Magic has recently been published for the first time in English.
Martin P. Starr, The Unknown God: W. T. Smith and the Thelemites. Bolingbrook, IL: Teitan Press, Inc., 2003. First edition, Signed by the author. Hardcover large 8vo, xii + 416 pp, Blue cloth with gilt title, etc. to spine, gilt sigil on front cover, frontis, photographs. Signed by the author at the end of Prologue. The first documentary study of Aleister Crowley’s contemporary followers in North America, told through the life of their de facto leader, Wilfred Talbot Smith (1885-1957). New / unused condition. Fine in Fine dustjacket. (25656) $50.00
J. Edward Cornelius. Red Flame A Thelemic Research Journal. Nos. 12 & 13: In the Name of the Beast. A biography of Grady Louis McMurtry, a disciple of Aleister Edward Crowley. Volume One 1918-1962 & Volume Two 1962 – 1985. Oroville, CA: Red Flame Productions / J.E. and Marlene Cornelius, 2005. First edition, limited. Softcovers. Two Volumes , 8vos, Vol. 1- 230pp, Vol. 2 – 230 pp, photographs, first printing of both volumes. Signed by the author. The biography of Crowley’s American disciple and former Caliph of the Ordo Templi Orientis, Grady Louis McMurtry. NEW Fine condition. (25210) $60.00
Arnoldo Krumm-Heller, Foreword by Parsival Krumm-Heller and Edited by Stephen J. King. Logos Mantram Magic. Sydney & Melbourne: House 418 / Helios Books, 2005. First Edition thus. Softcover, 8vo. xx + 90pp. Ills. Signed by Stephen J. King. The first English translation of a work by Krumm-Heller that was originally published in Spanish and German in 1930. Krumm-Heller was a charismatic figure, founder of the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua, who had live and travelled in Latin America and sought to fuse local esoteric traditions with those of the West. He was also a student of Theodor Reuss, Papus, and Crowley, and this volume is published under the house imprint of the Australian O.T.O. New book. Fine. (25919) $30.00
d) ‘Waratah III. Star Building.’ A beautifully produced new Thelemic journal published by the O.T.O. in Australia.
Ian Drummond, & Barry W. Hale; editors, main contributor Frater Numa. Waratah III, Star Building. Sydney, Australia: House 418, 2006. First Edition – Limited. Softcover. Quarto. 154pp. Color and black and white illustrations, printed on high quality matte art paper. Edition limited to 190 copies (there was also an artist’s edition of 20 copies). A beautifully presented journal, produced by House 418, the publishing arm of the O.T.O. in Australia. It includes ten essays centered around the OTO, magick and Thelema, eight of which were written by Frater Numa, a major figure in the development of the O.T.O. in Australia, and one each by Fratres Soma 156 and Baltan. They are accompanied by selections from six series of artwork by Barry William Hale and collaborators, as well the ‘art diaries’ of the late Steven McCubben. NEW book. Fine condition. (26129) $56.00
e) A note on Helen, Monty and their books.
The small but fascinating collection of books and typescripts detailed in this catalog were formerly in the collections of Helen Parsons Smith (1910-2003) and her friend Gabriel Montenegro Vargas (1907–1969), both of whom had been IX° members of Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis.
Although I never met Helen personally, we exchanged letters and telephone calls on and off for some fifteen years, and I knew her as a respected colleague and friend, and as a true lover of books. A special individual in her own right, she appeared to me – and I am sure to many others – even more exceptional on account of the quiet yet constant role she played in the history and development of Thelema in the United States for well over five decades.
Helen first embraced Thelema when she and her then-husband Jack Parsons joined the O.T.O. in 1941, and for a number of years she was at the epicenter of the magic, madness and mayhem that characterized California’s Agape Lodge. However, when her second-husband – Wilfred T. Smith – fell into disfavor with Crowley, she was effectively forced to withdraw from the group, and watched sadly from the sidelines as it rapidly imploded.
Wilfred Smith died in 1957, and sometime thereafter Helen connected with Gabriel Montenegro Vargas (known to his friends as ‘Monty’). Throughout the 1960s the pair maintained sporadic contact with a number of their other former O.T.O. brethren, and together they pondered and plotted a Thelemic renaissance. Sadly Monty did not live to experience the Thelemic revival that finally took hold in the 1970s, for he died suddenly in 1969, just as Grady McMurtry’s revivified O.T.O. was struggling into being.
Given the bond that existed between Helen and Monty, it is fitting that a number of treasures from Monty’s collection, most adorned with the Thelemically inspired-bookplate that he designed himself, are offered here alongside the selection of works owned and/or published by Helen. There is a particular charm – and poignancy – to the copy of the Germer edition of Magick Without Tears which Helen had fondly inscribed to Monty and presented to him only months before his death. Perhaps the most significant of the works though, is an extremely scarce contemporary typescript of Crowley’s Commentaries on the Book of the Law, which Monty had acquired during the 1940s and had handsomely bound for himself in 1959.
Throughout the late 1960s Helen became increasingly disturbed that so many important works by Crowley remained unpublished, were out-of-print, or were only available in shoddy editions. In 1971 she decided to take personal action to remedy the situation, and began publishing herself, with her first book being Crowley’s previously unpublished Shih-Yi. At the time interest in Crowley was still comparatively slight, and this – perhaps more than a desire to appeal especially to collectors – dictated that her publications generally had very limited print runs. In total she published half-a-dozen of Crowley’s works over the following two decades, with her last and most ambitious production, Amrita, coming off the presses in 1990. Her own copy of the book, fittingly Number 1 of the limited edition of 33 copies bound in leather, is included in this list.
Other works in this collection give silent testimony to the extent of the effort that Helen put into her publishing activities. In particular the various laboriously-corrected and annotated typescripts, proof-copies, and publisher’s mock-ups demonstrate not just the physical dimension of her book production, but also provide evidence of the care and planning that lay behind it. Thus the early typescripts of Amrita preserve still-unpublished versions of the Introduction that Helen had solicited and received from no less an assemblage than, William Breeze, Lon Milo DuQuette, Israel Regardie, and Martin P. Starr. Dates within the text of a pre-publication mock-up suggest that she originally planned to publish the book in 1977, and that it was almost ready for publication in 1978, but that she kept worrying at it – changing and making revisions – until she finally felt that she had it just right, and sent it to the printers some 12 years later, in 1990. By then all the Introductions, save that of her good friend and Crowley-scholar Martin P. Starr and her own Foreword, had either been discarded by Helen or withdrawn by their authors.
There is no denying that the works listed here are important artifacts in the history of Thelema, and we therefore decided that in addition to the email and on-line versions of this catalog we would also produce a printed edition as a permanent record of the collections and their context.
When preparing a similar catalog of the library of another former Agape Lodge member, Ray Burlingame, several months ago, we were extremely fortunate to have Martin Starr contribute an especially written essay on Burlingame, his life and times. As a close friend of Helen’s, and the biographer of her second husband and one-time Head of Agape Lodge, Wilfred T. Smith, Martin stood out as the obvious person to prepare the short biographical portraits of Helen and Monty that we wanted to preface the printed version of the catalog. Once again Martin has generously responded to our request, and has not only provided the text that we asked for, but also a number of delightful photographs of Helen and Monty from his own archives for us to use in it.
Only a limited number of copies of the printed catalogs have been produced, and it is our intention that one will be given gratis to the purchaser of each of the items in the Helen Parsons Smith / Gabriel Montenegro Vargas collections, with a small number held over for private distribution.
Instructions on how to order from this list can be found at the end of this page. Obviously most of the books and typescripts are one-of-a-kind, and it is advisable to place your order swiftly if you wish to secure a particular item. Orders will be processed strictly on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
f) About this Catalog.
This year marks Weiser’s 80th year of business as specialist sellers of esoteric books and for many decades the company issued printed catalogs, however, the high costs involved brought an end to these, and for the last five years we have listed books on various internet book-sites and directly on to our own website:
Whilst we will continue to add new stock weekly to the 13,000 books currently listed on our website, we will also send out occasional email catalogs like this, which we will also post on-line.
These catalogs will give us the opportunity to present collections or groups of related items in a more detailed and sympathetic context than the normal website allows, and will also enable us to give our established customers first choice at some of the more interesting new arrivals, as well as to offer them ‘special’ or bargain items. The items in this catalog will not be advertised elsewhere – in the main body of our website or on other bookselling sites – until a week after the email-catalogs have been sent out, although we do post an illustrated version of the list at:
so those of you who would like to see pictures of the books can easily do so.
If you received this email direct from us you are already on our ‘subscriber’s list.’ However if it was forwarded to you by someone else, and you would like to receive future email catalogs direct, please send an email with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course it is free, and you can have your name removed from the list at any time, simply by sending us an email with ‘unsubscribe’ in the subject line. We respect your privacy, and will not re-supply your details to anyone.
Our first catalog contained some very special items related to Crowley and Thelema,including a Signed Copy of The Book of the Law, a typescript of Liber Aleph, rare First Editions of Crowley’s Goetia, and The Equinox of the Gods, as well as a collection of Signed ‘Word of the Equinox’ documents. The second catalog included items of equal interest and rarity, a number of which had come from the library of Ray Burlingame(1893-1965), a IX degree member of Agape Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis. Amongst these was a copy of the private edition of Crowley’s Olla, (20 copies only!) with a superb full-page presentation inscription to Burlingame and family from Crowley, a copy of the magnificent First Edition of The Book of Thoth and a number of other treasures. Our third catalog was entitled Hermetica– and comprised a Selection of New & Used Books On Alchemy, Magic, Mysticism, and Roscicruciana, with special sections on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Alexandria: a fascinating modern journal of cosmology and philosophy. The fourth catalog was devoted to books by and about the extraordinarily talented British artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) and included examples of most of his published work (including a number of beautifully-produced, privately-published First Editions), along with many significant studies of his life, art and magic.
Our earlier catalogs can be viewed on-line at:
Please note that these ‘old’ catalogs are stored for interest’s sake only, and many of the books on them have already sold even though they may not necessarily be ‘marked off.’ Those that are still available will be listed on our website, or you can inquire direct by email.
g) How to Purchase from this Catalog.
Please keep in mind that in most cases we only have one copy of the book listed available for sale, and that it is therefore advisable to order promptly if you wish to secure it.
The books can be ordered by telephone, mail, fax (please telephone before sending a fax), or email. When ordering a book please tell us the author, title, and – most importantly – the ‘unique book number’ (that is the number in brackets next to the price) of the book or books you wish to purchase. Postage and insurance, where applicable, will be charged to the purchaser at cost.
We will advise promptly whether the book or books you ordered are still available, and the postage options. Customers from within the United States may pay by Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, or Amex), money order, or check (or in-person by cash). Overseas customers can pay by Credit Card, or by International Money Order or Bank Draft payable in U.S. dollars.
Please contact us if you have any queries. Our email for enquiries or orders is: email@example.com
or you can telephone us on: 207-363-7253
If calling from overseas please dial your international access code, followed by the country code for the US (1) and then 207-363-7253.
As our business is 95% internet / phone / and mail-order we do not keep regular ‘shop hours.’ However, we are usually available to answer queries between 10am and 4pm, weekdays, EST – Eastern Standard Time – that is the same time zone as Boston. If calling long distance a useful time conversion chart can be found at: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/ or you can safely leave a message on our answering machine at any time.
Weiser Antiquarian Books
P.O. Box 2050
York Beach, ME, 03910-2050
Catalog Text and Illustrations © Weiser Antiquarian Books, 2006.
Photograph of ‘Helen & Monty’ © Martin Starr, 2006.
No reproduction without permission please.