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Anonymous
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02/03/2013 12:30 pm  

I have written to the Tate Modern about them looking to the future and setting up an exhibition of the Crowley Harris Paintings of the Tarot. There are around 90 and at present these are housed in the Warburg Institute. I have have also written to the Warburg about this matter. How much longer must these paintings be hidden from the Public and Aleister Crowley's followers? I saw some of them in 1982 and as far as I know the rest of them have not seen the light of day. Please support this Exhibition which I shall be pushing for with both organisations. Marlene Packwood


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Michael Staley
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02/03/2013 12:35 pm  

Good luck, Marlene.


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michaelclarke18
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02/03/2013 9:04 pm  

To be honest, I don't think think the prospect would appeal to either the Tate modern, or Tate Britain. The works simply have little artistic interest, as understood by either of those organisations. Perhaps a better choice would be the British Museum or the British Library, given that AC is primarily a literary, as opposed to artistic, figure.

In any event, good luck with your project. 


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 Anonymous
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03/03/2013 9:46 am  

93 - the Tarot cards have undergone long restoration, financed by the OTO; the first fully restored Atus have been shown in Paris in 2008 at the "Traces du Sacré" exhibition at the Centre Pompidou: the Priestess, the Hermit, the Moon and the Aeon. The Atu XX and other preparatory sketches had been already shown at the Crowley Show in 1998 in London. I think that some cards will be shown from time to time in such exhibitions, until they raise enough interest among a larger audience and major institutions -which would lead to a dedicated show. It's just a matter of time.
Btw, R. Kaczynski published a great article last year "Projective geometry in early twentieth century esotericism: From the Anthroposophical Society to the Thoth Tarot" in  Mathematics and Popular Culture . 93, 93/93


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Anonymous
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05/03/2013 4:18 pm  

Michaelclarke18 and teth don't seem to understand the paintings of Lady Frieda Harris and Mr Crowley. They are a SET and Paintings - not books. They need to be viewed in their entirety as a Deck. There are around 90 of them. I am quite sure there would be a large audience for them. Thanks for your support Michael Staley! Lady Frieda Harris spent  quite some time trying to get them exhibited - the least I can do it also try. I am sure there will be opposition. What I do hope for is that Crowley followers will support this endeavour - Marlene


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belmurru
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05/03/2013 5:09 pm  

I'd certainly make the trip across the Channel, just to see such an exhibition. I'm sure I could find some other interesting things to do in London, as well 😉

Speaking of the cards, I'd really like to see an edition that uses Harris' handwritten titles and the original painted borders (with the background wash of "Trumps", "Disks", etc.).

A question for anyone with the first edition of the Book of Thoth - in the Weiser reprint, I notice a difference between the editions printed before and after circa 1982. In the black and white plates of the entire pack at the back of the book, the card "The Aeon" in the earlier editions doesn't show Harpocrates in the foreground; in the later editions, like in the printed pack of cards, there is a ghostly Harpocrates there.

Do the plates in the first, 1944 edition, show him or not?


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Markus
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05/03/2013 5:30 pm  
"belmurru" wrote:
A question for anyone with the first edition of the Book of Thoth - in the Weiser reprint, I notice a difference between the editions printed before and after circa 1982. In the black and white plates of the entire pack at the back of the book, the card "The Aeon" in the earlier editions doesn't show Harpocrates in the foreground; in the later editions, like in the printed pack of cards, there is a ghostly Harpocrates there.

Do the plates in the first, 1944 edition, show him or not?

This is an interesting point that I'd not noticed before. My copy of the Book of Thoth (Weiser, 1974, p. 230) has Atu XX without Harpocrates - he's completely missing.

It would be nice to see all of Harris' Thoth work published in book format. I appreciate that the COTO do not wish to have three magus cards in a deck, on the other hand the development of the paintings is interesting and edifying. - Good luck in your efforts, Marlene!

Markus


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 Anonymous
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05/03/2013 11:21 pm  

93

I've checked different editions of The Book of Thoth and can confirm that in the older ones The Eon is without Harpocrates.
Also there are different frames and fonts used for the title of the card.
Perhaps it's a different version. There is another version without Harpocrates published in The Old Master catalogue. The version exhibited on Traces du Sacré in Paris in 2008 had Harpocrates.

93 93/93
Krzysztof


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William Thirteen
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06/03/2013 12:05 am  

was visiting a friend recently and he told me of seeing photos of some of the paintings in various stages of undress, examples being The Aeon without Harpocrates & The Hanged Man without the Serpent.


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michaelclarke18
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06/03/2013 7:56 pm  

Michaelclarke18 and teth don't seem to understand the paintings of Lady Frieda Harris and Mr Crowley.

What I am saying is that you don't understand the nature of the Tate Modern. The fact is that the paintings have very little artistic merit, as understood by that organisation - if you have ever spoken to a curator who specializes in the modern era. The works are symbolic, but they add very little to the genre. There are other far more inventive examples - by other artists - that have far stronger draftsmanship and show a stronger use of colour.

Just because they are tarot cards, and just because they were produced by Lady Frieda Harris & AC - doesn't automatically make them all ''works of art'' in the eyes of everyone. I suspect you will find that the further you get with this project.


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jamie barter
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07/03/2013 12:52 pm  

It does seem very unfortunate that these wonderful paintings are all stacked away in crates at the Warburg, but it seems a little churlish and perhaps premature to say that the Tate, etc, may not be interested; they may not be at the absolute “forefront” of 20th century Art but many of them are interesting takes on e.g., British cubism, to begin with….
 
But even if the Tate chooses to discount the opportunity that still leaves the British Museum to try & I am sure there must be a few other contenders – perhaps even the V&A for a limited trial period?  With a little public enthusiasm behind the proposal I am sure that all of these institutions will take note, particularly if the more financially minded ones also speculate that it might translate into further coffers at the door.  I support this excellent notion & wish you the very best of fortune in bringing the idea to successful fruition.

There is certainly also scope for a finely produced art book detailing the development of the Tarot images used in the cards over the 7 or 8 year period of their gestation, which would include all of the Harris-Crowley correspondence which is available.

Incidentally, is anybody aware of the exact copyright situation in reference to the cards?  I understood that Hymeaneus Alpha (McMurtry) of the ‘Caliphornian’ OTO had sold the rights to them to U.S. Games systems in the 70s for, I believe $500 (but am open to correction) - what has since been disparagingly described to as “Grady’s beer money” - but did this refer to their just producing the cards (maybe for a limited time period?), as opposed to also including as well the intellectual property rights concerned with being able to reproduce their images, etc.?  Have COTO ever tried to repurchase them back again?  They would certainly be worth a lot more today than the paltry sum McMurtry would have been paid back then, even allowing for inflation…

Some Deal!
Norma N. Joy Conquest


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Michael Staley
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08/03/2013 10:45 am  
"jamie barter" wrote:
Incidentally, is anybody aware of the exact copyright situation in reference to the cards?  I understood that Hymeaneus Alpha (McMurtry) of the ‘Caliphornian’ OTO had sold the rights to them to U.S. Games systems in the 70s for, I believe $500 (but am open to correction) - what has since been disparagingly described to as “Grady’s beer money” - but did this refer to their just producing the cards (maybe for a limited time period?), as opposed to also including as well the intellectual property rights concerned with being able to reproduce their images, etc.?  Have COTO ever tried to repurchase them back again?  They would certainly be worth a lot more today than the paltry sum McMurtry would have been paid back then, even allowing for inflation…

Whatever deal McMurtry might have struck is immaterial, because - the "findings of fact" of American courts at the time notwithstanding - at the time the Crowley copyrights were the property of the UK Official Receiver, and remained so until the late eighties or early nineties, when they were purchased from the Official Receiver.

Although so far as I am aware the copyright position has not been tested, I should imagine that they are regarded as falling within the Crowley copyright on the basis that the work by Frieda Harris was commissioned by him as illustrations for The Book of Thoth.


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the_real_simon_iff
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08/03/2013 5:01 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Although so far as I am aware the copyright position has not been tested

93!

If I remember correctly, the OTO made the producers of the Woody Allen movie "Scoop" pay quite some money when they used the cards without permission. It is my private opinion that the Tarot copyrights surely are the most secure and permanent income source (as litle or as huge that might be) for the copyright holder.

Love=Law
Lutz


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michaelclarke18
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08/03/2013 5:20 pm  

If I remember correctly, the OTO made the producers of the Woody Allen movie "Scoop" pay quite some money when they used the cards without permission. It is my private opinion that the Tarot copyrights surely are the most secure and permanent income source (as litle or as huge that might be) for the copyright holder.

yes, but only for a few more years......


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jamie barter
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12/03/2013 1:31 pm  

Yes, only a few more years indeed… I recall in the 90s,  just before 1997 when the Crowley copyrights would have expired under the 50 year rule, The Secret Rituals of the OTO was going to go through a second and more comprehensive authorised edition, which was then effectively stymied for the duration by its subsequent extension to 70 years.  That - combined with the ‘Caliphornian’ OTO’s wrangling with Mandrake & the Typhonians - would ensure that only a madman would try to publish before 2017, and although sometimes a bit mad I am not inclined to have months or years of my life tied down and wasted with legal wrangling.  At the time, the tao bided me to “bide your time”, and I am quite content to do so & sit back and await developments in 2017, although the historical and current day overview will need a bit of an update by then…

Incidentally, can I direct the attention of any Lashtalians who may not be currently aware, that there is a thread on the Reading Circle started by N.O.X. which is worth engaging with, on David Hall’s excellent appraisal of the work of Crowley and Gurdjieff Beelzebub & The Beast, produced by Starfire, which is well worth a read IMhO.

Dingly dell,
N. Joy


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William Thirteen
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15/03/2013 6:43 pm  

just noticed - AC & Frieda Harris will be exhibited at the Venice Biennale this year.  Even more reason to swim down to La Serenissima!

http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-opinion/news/2013-03-13/venice-biennale-artist-list-announced/


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michaelclarke18
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15/03/2013 8:33 pm  

Yes, only a few more years indeed… I recall in the 90s,  just before 1997 when the Crowley copyrights would have expired under the 50 year rule, The Secret Rituals of the OTO was going to go through a second and more comprehensive authorised edition, which was then effectively stymied for the duration by its subsequent extension to 70 years.  That - combined with the ‘Caliphornian’ OTO’s wrangling with Mandrake & the Typhonians - would ensure that only a madman would try to publish before 2017, and although sometimes a bit mad I am not inclined to have months or years of my life tied down and wasted with legal wrangling.  At the time, the tao bided me to “bide your time”, and I am quite content to do so & sit back and await developments in 2017, although the historical and current day overview will need a bit of an update by then…

Incidentally, can I direct the attention of any Lashtalians who may not be currently aware, that there is a thread on the Reading Circle started by N.O.X. which is worth engaging with, on David Hall’s excellent appraisal of the work of Crowley and Gurdjieff Beelzebub & The Beast, produced by Starfire, which is well worth a read IMhO.

I have plans to publish diaries, tarot cards, The Equinox EVERYTHING!!!! And no-one will be able to stop me!


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Michael Staley
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15/03/2013 9:05 pm  
"michaelclarke18" wrote:
I have plans to publish diaries, tarot cards, The Equinox EVERYTHING!!!! And no-one will be able to stop me!

We'll look forward to your planned publications, Michael. In the meantime, you'd be well advised to check with an intellectual property specialist that everything will indeed come out of copyright in 2018.


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michaelclarke18
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15/03/2013 9:41 pm  

We'll look forward to your planned publications, Michael. In the meantime, you'd be well advised to check with an intellectual property specialist that everything will indeed come out of copyright in 2018.

70 years.....BUT it depends on whether the powers that be, choose to extend, like Cliff Richard tried to! The Waite deck is up soon too, so I hope to see lots of different versions if that too!


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belmurru
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15/03/2013 10:05 pm  

It's not up to any copyright holders to simply "choose" to extend their copyrights - if they want to do so, like Disney with Mickey Mouse et al., they will have to lobby hard to get changes in copyright law in their own countries, which is not easy.

William Breeze has made it clear where the OTO stands, in the "Introduction" to the recent Wordsworth edition of Crowley's stories The Drug and Other Stories -

"Wordsworth excels at affordable editions of public domain literature, but, whilst Crowley's works published before 1923 are public domain in America, in Europe the works authorised in his lifetime are in copyright through 2017, and his posthumous works through 2039." (p. xiv)

I must admit I have no idea to what convention or particular country's law, or to which copyright holder, Breeze is alluding in the final clause about 2039. I can only imagine that something is claimed to that effect somewhere, but whether it would stand up to a determined legal test remains to be seen. 

Additionally, my own, inexpert, understanding is that it is the beginning of the calendar year 2017, not "through" it, that marks the end of copyright (death plus 70 years (calendar year of death, not full years from the date of death) in most countries).

I also think that the phrase "authorised in his lifetime" is unclear, and doesn't have any particular legal meaning. Where does Liber Aleph stand in 2017, for instance?

(I only know a little about copyright law because the publication of my own work Babylonian Magick (1995) was scuttled by the complexities of copyright issues)


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Michael Staley
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15/03/2013 10:46 pm  

Breeze is as I understand copyright law correct about "through 2017", since it is from the beginning of the calender year after the author's death that the copyright term (currently 70 years) begins.

Wikipedia has this to say about UK copyright on works published posthumously:

If an unpublished work was published before the 1988 Act came into force, and the author had been dead for more than 50 years, the work remained in copyright for 50 years from the end of the year of publication.

If an unpublished work is published after the 1988 Act came into force, and the author had been dead for more than 50 years, its copyright will expire at the end of 2039. Later amendments have altered this to include only authors who died more than 70 years before the Act came into force.

Therefore an unpublished work by an author who died before 1918, published after commencement of the 1988 Act, will expire at the end of 2039. However, if a work by an author who died in, say, 1870 was published in 1970 (i.e. before the 1988 Act), its copyright would expire 50 years after 1970, i.e. in 2020.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law_of_the_United_Kingdom#Posthumous_Works

This suggests that Liber Aleph, for instance, first published in 1962, does not enjoy copyright protection through to 2039. The extract also suggests, however, that this whole area about copyright on posthumously-published works is a minefield, and for anyone thinking of proceeding, then consultation with an intellectual property expert is advisable.

What interests me is the status of the Thoth deck from 2018 onwards. It's considered part of the Crowley copyright presumably on the grounds of having been commissioned by Crowley. However, the copyright on works by Frida Harris will have a few more years to run. Thus will it be free of copyright from 2018 onwards, or will it then be considered to fall within the Harris copyright?


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belmurru
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15/03/2013 11:01 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
What interests me is the status of the Thoth deck from 2018 onwards. It's considered part of the Crowley copyright presumably on the grounds of having been commissioned by Crowley. However, the copyright on works by Frida Harris will have a few more years to run. Thus will it be free of copyright from 2018 onwards, or will it then be considered to fall within the Harris copyright?

My understanding, from lengthy discussions about the copyright status of the Waite-Smith ("Rider Waite") Tarot, is that commissioned works are the property of the commissioner, and not the artist who did the work. So Pamela Colman Smith's artwork is not her intellectual property. Thus, Frieda Harris' is not either. This may have changed in the UK in the meantime, I don't know.

However, US Games claims Smith's copyright, and has been known to pursue anyone who uses the images of the cards, even though Smith never had the copyright (the cards they publish are now usually altered from their first editions, hence becoming essentially new editions, copyrightable by US Games). The work's status seems so ambiguous, and the threat of a threat in the form of a "cease and desist" letter seems so frightful to comtemplate (let alone the spectre of a lawsuit from such a giant), that most people who would like to use the images in any way either don't, or ask US Games' permission (even outside of the US).


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belmurru
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15/03/2013 11:20 pm  
"MichaelStaley" wrote:
Breeze is as I understand copyright law correct about "through 2017", since it is from the beginning of the calender year after the author's death that the copyright term (currently 70 years) begins.

Wikipedia has this to say about UK copyright on works published posthumously:

If an unpublished work was published before the 1988 Act came into force, and the author had been dead for more than 50 years, the work remained in copyright for 50 years from the end of the year of publication.

If an unpublished work is published after the 1988 Act came into force, and the author had been dead for more than 50 years, its copyright will expire at the end of 2039. Later amendments have altered this to include only authors who died more than 70 years before the Act came into force.

Therefore an unpublished work by an author who died before 1918, published after commencement of the 1988 Act, will expire at the end of 2039. However, if a work by an author who died in, say, 1870 was published in 1970 (i.e. before the 1988 Act), its copyright would expire 50 years after 1970, i.e. in 2020.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_law_of_the_United_Kingdom#Posthumous_Works

This suggests that Liber Aleph, for instance, first published in 1962, does not enjoy copyright protection through to 2039. The extract also suggests, however, that this whole area about copyright on posthumously-published works is a minefield, and for anyone thinking of proceeding, then consultation with an intellectual property expert is advisable.

Yes, the reading of that interpretation (it is a summary after all) would suggest that Liber Aleph is actually in the public domain right now (end of 2012) rather than 2017! But since the amendments to the law only include people who died 70 or more years before 1988 (and Crowley was dead less than 50 years in 1988), then the old "death plus 70" seems to kick in, and it should stay in copyright until 2017.

I still don't see Breeze's reasoning for 2039 for ALL posthumous works in this law, and it is not clear that it applies to Europe (as the whole of the EU) rather than just the UK.


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jamie barter
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19/03/2013 5:12 pm  

Someone has enquired how come the second comprehensively revised Secret Rituals of the OTO is “authorised”.  An understandable and fair question, & deserving of an equally fair answer.

The 2nd edition was agreed to by Francis King - who put together the first edition published by C. W. Daniel Ltd in 1973 E.V. - in the last month before he died. (I also cleared the publication with them, who replied back in writing that the copyrights in the matter did not have anything to do with them but reverted back to Francis). 

The matter was also corroborated and confirmed by Francis’s widow & literary executor the very pleasant Isabel Sutherland (who was among other things an Oxford Inkling and who helped produce that splendid partwork Man Myth and Magic).  Isabel herself was also very helpful in giving her approval, assistance & opinion, not to mention free access to Francis’s archive material and information, on the understanding that I was to have no truck with John Symonds (to which I of course naturally agreed) & ceded the rights to publish in the matter to myself and Gerald Suster acting under the (would-be) publishing arm of “the company of heaven” known as LAyLAh Press.  However Gerald, who was always rather busy with trying to get his own material published, devolved his own responsibility in the matter of doing this over to me.  I then compiled the material (which is approx. 93% ready to go & complete although requiring an update to bring it up to ‘present’ time).

The book was also authorised by (one of) the World [Outer] Head(s) of the Order Kenneth Grant, to whom I shall always remain grateful for being most helpful (in spite of my personal opinion that Motta, whatever his faults, may have been the most entitled OHO!) in not only giving his personal blessing & authorisation to the undertaking, but also in terms of giving advice (which in part consisted of he wasn’t sure how worthwhile my engaging time on the project was in the larger scheme of things & that I must surely have some more profitable project on which to focus my energies - and upon the importance of which we therefore naturally differed!)  He also kindly provided N.I.L. material and, at the time, an up-to-date photograph of himself to be used in the illustrations & photographs section, which was extraordinarily considerate of him in view of his well-known aversion to & shying away from publicity, and the fact that he had not used his image on his books before (or since). 
I still have the photograph of course, which has never legitimately been shown elsewhere before (that I am aware of) tho’ I am open to possible correction on this one later.  (Maybe if Mick is interested and doesn’t have it already, he might like to use it on his website and/or Paul could put it on Lashtal; I should also add that I also found Herr (‘Sir’) Staley to be most helpful and co-operative himself!)

The book was to be/ will be about four to five times the size of the original – about roughly the size of Gems From The Equinox.  Subject to Paul’s agreement I am quite prepared to upload to Lashtal at some point all of the non-controversial (“copyright”) material (i.e., omitting the actual rituals and sex magick instructions): basically the historical overview of the OTO(s) since its inception, so far in 12 chapters, which incorporate all of the original ones by Francis together with additional material and amendments, along with the post-'73 remainder which I put together myself.  Somewhere on the cover was meant to include the coloured OTO lamen as employed by the ‘Society’ OTO, but if there is any ‘trademark’ difficulty with this I will simply substitute as an alternative the Gnostic Abrasax/ ‘cock’ motif, which so far as I am aware is not a trademark (yet).  Though the cover itself would have been Crowley’s painting of “May Morn”, which also appears as the frontispiece of the Blue (‘OTO’) Equinox.

I also have experienced, as belmurru touchingly puts it, the dead arm of “cease and desist” letters” from [guess who? you’ve got it!] the ‘Caliphornian’ OTO’s muscle-men heavies, i.e. lawyer briefs, paid for as usual out of the hard earned coppers of their unfortunately trustingly faithful (as I was in my naïve youth!) obliging members.  (This matter and history of their legal harassment and strong arm tactics will of course also be gone into in the new edition.)

I am not certain – no one is, I think! – about the position being 2039 rather than 2017 – I hope not, for obvious reasons, as none of us will be getting any younger by that time and I myself will be 80!  I may even go ahead before then anyway around 2018 and chance a “publish and be damned” test case trial, although I haven’t made up my mind yet and will of course let “the three hammers” (as the active expression of the tao) dictate nearer the time.  But having waited for so long I’m quite prepared to wait (much) longer if necessary, as I’m nothing if not patient & will make due arrangements to pass on the baton should I kick the bucket before then!

Just thought I'd let you know.

Diddly Do,
N. Joy


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tc
 tc
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21/03/2013 4:16 pm  

Hello Jamie,

I find myself wondering what general benefit you envisage in the (re-) publishing of these rituals?
Just curious.

Regards,
Tim


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jamie barter
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21/03/2013 5:11 pm  

Hello, Tim.  Well, I expect you already know what is said about curiosity!

However I jest m’sieur, and although the possibility cannot altogether be discounted that you may be a mole acting for the C.O.T.O. trying to get further information by which I might further 'incriminate' myself, you have nevertheless asked another fair & valid question which I have no objection at all in principle to answering.

There is a difficulty though, in that as the reference tangentially originated in and from the side-issue discussion of the wider matter of copyright relating to Crowley’s work generally (as distinct to just the Thoth paintings, etc.), I think it would be off-topic in relation to this particular thread & that here would therefore not be the right place for any further continued discussion on the issue.

But I have set out and explained the reasoning in full & discussion of your question relating to the benefit (and other related matters) in my Introduction to TSROTOTO, which I may - subject to Paul’s compliance and acquiescence - upload here in due course, and perhaps further debate may follow on then.  One thing is certain though, Tim – there is no immediate rush!…

Hoping that this will give at least a partial “satisfaction” & slaking of your thirst for knowledge
for now, N. Joy


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tc
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21/03/2013 6:26 pm  

Jamie,

Thanks for the prompt reply. I'm 'satsified, and indeed 'slaked'....for now  😉

Regards,
Tim


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lashtal
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21/03/2013 7:53 pm  

Back to the thread now people, please: 'THE CROWLEY - HARRIS PAINTINGS.'

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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newneubergOuch2
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22/03/2013 12:37 am  

perhaps the above copyright posts need their own thread. I do not want to post off topic.


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William Thirteen
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22/03/2013 9:19 am  

is anyone else planning to visit Venice to see the painting at the Biennale?

The Exhibition draws inspiration from the model of a utopian dream by Marino Auriti who filed a design with the U.S. Patent office in 1955, depicting his Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), an imaginary museum that was meant to house all worldly knowledge. Auriti planned the model of a 136-story building to be built in Washington, in that would stand 700 meters tall and take up over 16 blocks.
“Auriti’s plan was never carried out, of course – Massimiliano Gioni says - but the dream of universal, all-embracing knowledge crops up throughout the history of art and humanity, as one that eccentrics like Auriti share with many other artists, writers, scientists, and self-proclaimed prophets who have tried—often in vain—to fashion an image of the world that will capture its infinite variety and richness. Today, as we grapple with a constant flood of information, such attempts to structure knowledge into all-inclusive systems seem even more necessary and even more desperate.”

“Blurring the line between professional artists and amateurs, outsiders and insiders, the exhibition takes an anthropological approach to the study of images, focusing in particular on the realms of the imaginary and the functions of the imagination. What room is left for internal images—for dreams, hallucinations and visions—in an era besieged by external ones? And what is the point of creating an image of the world when the world itself has become increasingly like an image?”

“Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace) is a show about obsessions and about the transformative power of the imagination; the exhibition opens in the Central Pavilion with a presentation of Carl Gustav Jung’s Red Book” – Gioni continues. “In the vast halls of the Arsenale the exhibition is organized as a progression from natural to artificial forms, following the typical layout of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cabinets of curiosities. Just like Auriti’s Palace, these baroque proto-museums brought together man-made and natural wonders to construct visual compendia of the world through a science of elective affinities and magical sympathies. This associative process of knowledge, through its heterogeneous ordering of objects and images, draws interesting parallels between the wunderkammer and today’s culture of hyper-connectivity.”
Through the many examples of artworks and figurative expressions on view, including films, photographs, videos, bestiaries, labyrinths, performances and installations, “The Encyclopedic Palace emerges as an elaborate but fragile construction, a mental architecture that is as fantastical as it is delirious. After all – says Gioni – the biennale model itself is based on the impossible desire to concentrate the infinite worlds of contemporary art in a single place: a task that now seems as dizzyingly absurd as Auriti’s dream.”

http://www.labiennale.org/en/art/news/13-03.html


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