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lashtal
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15/12/2010 6:49 pm  

Intriguing abstract of an article in The Pomegranate by Caroline Tully:

My article, Walk Like An Egyptian: Egypt as Authority in Aleister Crowley's Reception of The Book of the Law, has been accepted by The Pomegranate: International Journal of Pagan Studies and is currently in press and due out very soon. The reference is The Pomegranate 12.2 (2010) pp. 20-47. I will link to the journal issue as soon as it appears on the web and if you want to access the article you'll need either a subscription to the journal, to pay for access to the article, or academic library access or a friend with academic library access (which means it'll be free).

Meanwhile I'll post the abstract here: This article investigates the story of Aleister Crowley's reception of The Book of the Law in Cairo, Egypt, in 1904, focusing on the question of why it occurred in Egypt. The article contends that Crowley created this foundation narrative, which involved specifically incorporating an Egyptian antiquity from a museum, the 'Stele of Revealing', in Egypt because he was working within a conceptual structure that privileged Egypt as a source of Hermetic authority. Crowley synthesized the romantic and scholarly constructions of Egypt, inherited from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as well as the uses that two prominent members of the order made of Egyptological collections within museums. The article concludes that these provided Crowley with both a conceptual structure within which to legitimise his reformation of Golden Dawn ritual and cosmology, and a model of how to do so.

This from Caroline's blog: http://necropolisnow.blogspot.com/2010/12/blog-post_14.html

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 Anonymous
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15/12/2010 10:36 pm  

My article, Walk Like An Egyptian: Egypt as Authority in Aleister Crowley's Reception of The Book of the Law, has been accepted by The Pomegranate: International Journal of Pagan Studies and is currently in press and due out very soon. The reference is The Pomegranate 12.2 (2010) pp. 20-47. I will link to the journal issue as soon as it appears on the web and if you want to access the article you'll need either a subscription to the journal, to pay for access to the article, or academic library access or a friend with academic library access (which means it'll be free). Meanwhile I'll post the abstract here: This article investigates the story of Aleister Crowley's reception of The Book of the Law in Cairo, Egypt, in 1904, focusing on the question of why it occurred in Egypt. The article contends that Crowley created this foundation narrative, which involved specifically incorporating an Egyptian antiquity from a museum, the 'Stele of Revealing', in Egypt because he was working within a conceptual structure that privileged Egypt as a source of Hermetic authority. Crowley synthesized the romantic and scholarly constructions of Egypt, inherited from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as well as the uses that two prominent members of the order made of Egyptological collections within museums. The article concludes that these provided Crowley with both a conceptual structure within which to legitimise his reformation of Golden Dawn ritual and cosmology, and a model of how to do so. http://necropolisnow.blogspot.com/


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lashtal
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15/12/2010 10:42 pm  

Many thanks for the details. I'd actually posted a new thread here about your article earlier this evening so I've joined the two threads.

The influence of Egypt on Crowley has been an obsession of mine for many years and forms the basis of a book that I'm writing - so I'm very excited to hear of your article being published in such a respected journal.

Best wishes,

Paul

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Shiva
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15/12/2010 11:34 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
The influence of Egypt on Crowley has been an obsession of mine for many years and forms the basis of a book that I'm writing ...

My own "obsession" with Egyptology began around 1957 and was reinforced with primarily Egyptian encounters on the astral. "Why Egyptian?" asked I. Eventually, I answered by own question in a relatively small space (I am not offering a book). Here is a quote from my Blazing Diamond website:

"This Appendix offers an examination of various Ancient Aegyptian deities. It must be first understood that, in "the old days," Egypt was known as Khem (and is the root of the words Alchemy and Chemistry - which mean "Science of Egypt" and "Pertaining to an Egyptian Specialist" - or words to that effect).
As far as the pantheon of the gods and goddesses of Khem are concerned, their names and attributions radically changed as the historical dynasties evolved. It was common practice for (any given) Pharaoh to order the names and images of the gods of some previous ruler to be erased or chiseled away and new names and images to be set forth (sort of like modern book-burning).
The names and images that are depicted here are for modern, magical purposes. The magician is, of course, advised to consult any other chosen references. It is possible that completely different attributes, portrayals and definitions may be encountered.
Why Ancient Aegypt?
Indeed! What is it that is special about this bunch of historical deities? For one thing, many of them are derived from our civilization's earliest written records. And they practiced Magic! Thus, their archetypal imprint upon the Akashik Record runs deep within the subconscious of western magicians.
In India and China, magi are likely to be influenced by subconscious images of a different nature. But there is correlation between the deities of the eastern and western cultures. The same may be said of North American shamans, as well as every indigenous culture.
There are myths and legends (and even some fairly scholarly research) indicating that Khem was an outpost of the Atlantean empire. Supposedly, the Atlans in their flying ships discovered the Land of the Nile with the native inhabitants in a state of primitive consciousness. So the Atlans moved in and the troglodytes soon began to emulate them, eventually revering Atlan personalities like Asar, Isa and Hoor. Thus, real people, and their deeds, became the foundational source of legends and godhead.
When doomed Atlantis took a dive, the Khemites simply continued emulating the architecture and practices of their previous masters. Undoubtedly, some Atlans were still on-site at the time of the catastrophe and helped to shape the pre-history and early history of Khem. This quaint exposition does seem to answer the question raised by modern archaeologists: How did such an advanced civilization suddenly spring up in the aboriginal, stone-age Nilus valley?
"

Sh.'.


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Horemakhet
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17/12/2010 11:42 pm  

Are you writing a book, Paul? ๐Ÿ˜‰

My own infatuation with Ancient Egypt began very early: maybe 4 years old give or take. My mother tells me that she thinks the impetus came from their church; that it was their bible which gave me the idea. Anyway, I was born in a sub-desert, with cliffs, snakes etc., and at that age had the belief that the Pharaohs were in my back yard. It was always in the cards that I would gravitate towards AC's work based on that connection alone.


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michaelclarke18
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18/12/2010 12:33 pm  

Walk Like An Egyptian: Egypt as Authority in Aleister Crowley's Reception of The Book of the Law

Sounds exciting. I'd love to see this topic explored further.


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lashtal
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18/12/2010 1:04 pm  
"Horemakhet" wrote:
Are you writing a book, Paul?

Two: one is a critical study of Crowley's poetry and the other is a tour around Crowley's Egypt, with particular focus on Ankhefenkhons I.

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 Anonymous
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18/12/2010 4:04 pm  
"lashtal" wrote:
"Horemakhet" wrote:
Are you writing a book, Paul?

Two: one is a critical study of Crowley's poetry and the other is a tour around Crowley's Egypt, with particular focus on Ankhefenkhons I.

โ—
I'll be looking forward to your books, Paul!

Regards
Hecate


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phthah
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18/12/2010 8:50 pm  

93,

"lashtal" wrote:
Two: one is a critical study of Crowley's poetry...

Interesting and brave idea! So what is your take on Crowley's poetry? I have often heard criticism, but I have always been rather fond of most of what I have read. Of course, he wrote a lot and what I have actually read is not exhaustive. Crowley himself described his poetic output in an amusing way in his poem called "Elegy", (which I'm sure you know ๐Ÿ˜€ ) I always liked that one, "he wrote a stack of poems, some sublime Some not".

93 93/93
phthah


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lashtal
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18/12/2010 8:59 pm  

That's "critical study", as in "applying methods of cultural, literary, or normative criticism"; not the same as "being critical of." I've long been an admirer of his poetry.

But this is off topic.

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 Anonymous
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30/12/2010 5:34 am  

Salutations. Well... although I posted the abstract of my article, 'Walk Like an Egyptian', mentioned above, a couple of weeks ago it seems that the electronic version of the journal (the hard copy of which was at the press when I posted the above and should be on its way to subscribers right now) has become delayed by, I imagine, the tedious Ca$hmass season. Ho, hum... more reason to dislike Xtianity I guess...


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Shiva
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30/12/2010 6:43 pm  
"Astaroth" wrote:
... the abstract of my article, 'Walk Like an Egyptian' ... has become delayed by, I imagine, the tedious Ca$hmass season ...

You are merely looking at superficial reasons for the delay of your product.

You really should be informed that delays, omissions and errors of this nature are purposely caused directly by the intervention of

.......................

There are also other factors: "The intensity of Need" and "Magickal Potency."

The Intensity of Need: The more "important" or "necessary" (subjective) a project it is, the more it is beset by delays and errors and malfunctions. This is an Universal Principle - check it out.

Also note that Mercury is now in a rather strong retroglide.

Magickal Potency: The more "Magickally charged" (objective) a project it is, the more it sends machines and processes into confusion and breakdown. This is an Universal Principle - check it out.

I have numerous memories of spending hours making copies of Magickal documents - with endless paper jams and toner spills - on a machine that was working just fine a few minutes before (for mundane projects).

Note that the (inherently) weakest link breaks down. The Magickal energy puts a strain on the weakest parts (the ones that were operating marginally to begin with).

So that's my excuse. But really, I have also seen big projects that go very smoothly. I guess we could say that they were "under Will" and "none shall say Nay! "

For your purposes, why don't we just wait 'til it appears. Then we can attribute "great need" and "Magickal potency" and "the F***g Black Lodge" as the reasons for its delay.

And don't forget that "backward Merc."

Sh.'.


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 Anonymous
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01/01/2011 3:17 am  

Well Shiva, you are probably right, although I prefer to blame the Xtians and their annoying birthday celebration that takes up the attention of, it seems, the entire world and makes them take holidays from their jobs! Erm, like printing and posting journals. Although that could make me appear... un-interfaith-dialogue material, which'd be true.


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Shiva
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01/01/2011 5:38 am  
"Astaroth" wrote:
... though I prefer to blame the Xtians and their annoying birthday celebration ...

Some people think the Xtians are the Black Lodge.

Before Christmas birthday celebrations there were (are) a lot of other traditions grouped on or around the winter solstice. It's not the baby Jesus in the manger, nor the three wise Magi, nor the Sainted Claws - let's face it, it's the mega-drive for consumerism that is so terribly annoying as it floods all forms of public communication.

"We wish you a Merry Xmas,
.We wish you a Merry Xmas,
.We wish you a Merry Xmas,
.and please buy our Beer!
.

Don't worry. Be happy. You're about to become a famous author.
Whenever they get around to making you famous.
.


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imbas
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05/01/2011 9:24 am  

Hi Astaroth, might your article be available on an open acess academic repository at some stage? Your publisher may permit this, perhaps in a pre-print format?

Imbas


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 Anonymous
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11/01/2011 12:26 pm  

The electronic version of my article, *Walk Like an Egyptian: Egypt as Authority in Aleister Crowley's Reception of 'The Book of the Law'.* is now available (to subscribers and people with university library access).

http://www.equinoxjournals.com/POM/issue/current

Astaroth.
http://necropolisnow.blogspot.com/


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herupakraath
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11/01/2011 7:42 pm  

I wouldn't mind reading the article, but with a subscription price of $80 I think I'll pass.


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 Anonymous
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11/01/2011 10:36 pm  

Indeed, it is expensive to subscribe to that journal. Although the individual articles are not that expensive. As I mentioned above, you can get the article free if you ask a library to get it for you, or have a friend with academic access, or I kindly send you a hard copy, as I have sent others copies. Fact is, once someone gets an electronic copy, they can theoretically give it to others, although they aren't supposed to. I have an agreement with the publisher not to do that myself, so I won't.


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Patriarch156
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11/01/2011 10:40 pm  
"herupakraath" wrote:
I wouldn't mind reading the article, but with a subscription price of $80 I think I'll pass.

Well worth it. I just read it. Though it has some minor inaccuracies and one attempt at criticising John Symonds that I think was unfair (she asserts that Symonds attempts to unfairly connect Aiwass with the Devil, when in actual fact AC made this connection himself several times, so while Symonds had his flaws, his views on Aiwass as far as he related to Crowley was substantiated).

Overall the hypothesis is brilliant and I hope there can be much more research done on the subject matter and I particularly enjoyed the contrasting of Mather, Farr and Crowley and their modus operandi as belonging to a larger set of dialectics within the occult community that sprang from the shism between the scholarly Egypt and the mythical ร†gypt.

The weakest parts were the attempts at providing an analysis of Crowley's attempts at constructing his own authority. While commonsensical, these were pure speculations of the sort of "Crowley must have thought" etc., that remains unsubstantiated for the simple reason that it is not possible to substantiate them.

But these minor flaws do not detract from a bold attempt to pave a new way to analyze Crowley's Equinox of the Gods experience, one that had not struck me except superficially and which no doubt will give me much food for thought: both in the scholarly sense as well as the mythological sense that the author so aptly describes became part of the occult dialectic ๐Ÿ˜‰


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lashtal
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11/01/2011 10:41 pm  

Astaroth was kind enough to send me a hard copy for reviewโ€ฆ I need to research some of its contents, but so far I'm very impressed.

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 Anonymous
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11/01/2011 11:54 pm  

Greetings,

>>one attempt at criticising John Symonds that I think was unfair (she asserts that Symonds attempts to unfairly connect Aiwass with the Devil, when in actual fact AC made this connection himself several times, so while Symonds had his flaws, his views on Aiwass as far as he related to Crowley was substantiated).<<

But in my opinion Symonds did do this, he specifically mentions it and made out, in *tone*, that it was 'Devil worship' of the most banal kind, it wasn't a matter of a sophisticated equivalence of Aiwass with 'the Devil', or 'Shaitan' or whoever, but - I think - was part of Symonds dislike for Crowley. Wouldn't you agree that he had an agenda in his portrayal of Crowley, to make him look, I think, malevolent. So I guess that I'm saying, or meant to say that - whether or not AC said the same - it seemed that Symonds was saying this in order to be sensationalist.

>>The weakest parts were the attempts at providing an analysis of Crowley's attempts at constructing his own authority. While commonsensical, these were pure speculations of the sort of "Crowley must have thought" etc., that remains unsubstantiated for the simple reason that it is not possible to substantiate them.<<

Yes, that was speculation. There are lots of areas that we don't really know what happened or what AC was thinking of course. I hope it is clear that I was speculating, but not wildly.

>>But these minor flaws do not detract from a bold attempt to pave a new way to analyze Crowley's Equinox of the Gods experience, one that had not struck me except superficially and which no doubt will give me much food for thought: both in the scholarly sense as well as the mythological sense that the author so aptly describes became part of the occult dialectic<<

Thankyou. I'm interested in investigating something that I've been influenced by since 1984, and trying to look at it from a _secular_ viewpoint, for myself and my own processing of AC's influence on me. Looking at it from a _religious_ viewpoint, that allows for supernatural evidence, is a whole nother kettle of fish and I didn't attempt this in the article. So if other people think my article is interesting that's good and of course I'd be pleased by that. My opinions are just part of the neverendingly-told story of AC...

~Caroline.


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2011 12:03 am  

Has anyone read Alex Owen's chapter on Crowley and Neuburg [and Choronzon] in the desert in 'The Place of Enchantment'? She's coming at the topic from a situating of Crowley in the context of Edwardian male sexuality, and Orientalism, and she's coming from an angle _outside_ the occult scene. I tried to come at the Liber AL story from outside the occult scene - even though I am actually an insider - which is not saying an 'expert' just an insider. Anyway, I like Alex Owen's book a lot.


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lashtal
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12/01/2011 12:05 am  
"Astaroth" wrote:
Looking at it from a _religious_ viewpoint, that allows for supernatural evidence, is a whole nother kettle of fish and I didn't attempt this in the article.

And that's very clear in your paper. However, as I mentioned in my talk on Crowley's Egypt at Treadwells this time last year, there's a great deal of evidence that could lead one to suspect that Thelema is, at its core, a re-awakening (or, shall we say, a "re-imagining"?) of the ancient Egyptian religion. I hope to publish much more about this - and the influence on Crowley of E A Wallis Budge to which you refer - later this year.

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Patriarch156
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12/01/2011 12:07 am  
"Astaroth" wrote:
But in my opinion Symonds did do this, he specifically mentions it and made out, in *tone*, that it was 'Devil worship' of the most banal kind, it wasn't a matter of a sophisticated equivalence of Aiwass with 'the Devil', or 'Shaitan' or whoever, but - I think - was part of Symonds dislike for Crowley. Wouldn't you agree that he had an agenda in his portrayal of Crowley, to make him look, I think, malevolent. So I guess that I'm saying, or meant to say that - whether or not AC said the same - it seemed that Symonds was saying this in order to be sensationalist.

I think a footnote noting that while Crowley did both associate Aiwass with Satan (he refers to him as such during his communications with him at Cefalu in the 1920s as witnessed in his diary) and the Solar-phallic Lucifer, Symonds sensationalist take on it does not accurately convey the complexity of Crowley's point of view on it, would have strengthened this assertion considerably. As it is it almost comes off apologetically.

Yes, that was speculation. There are lots of areas that we don't really know what happened or what AC was thinking of course. I hope it is clear that I was speculating, but not wildly.

I suppose my problem with such speculations in an article adhering to a secular approach to analyzing the material is that when they are beyond the realms of the empirical (i.e. they can neither be disproved or proved or even an arguable case made for it), then it has no place in it. In the same sense I also think that while the empirical assertions is up for scrutiny (was Crowley where he claimed to be, with those he claimed to be with and so on), the objective truth of his praeterhuman claims (Crowley's claims that this was science notwithstanding) also holds no real place in such an article, for the simple reason that it can't be proved or disproved or even a strong case made for it. Hence the following makes me curious:

Thankyou. I'm interested in investigating something that I've been influenced by since 1984, and trying to look at it from a _secular_ viewpoint, for myself and my own processing of AC's influence on me. Looking at it from a _religious_ viewpoint, that allows for supernatural evidence, is a whole nother kettle of fish and I didn't attempt this in the article. So if other people think my article is interesting that's good and of course I'd be pleased by that. My opinions are just part of the neverendingly-told story of AC...

Do you think that a religious viewpoint has any place in an academic article beyond providing the data to be analyzed in one? Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but if so I would be interested in knowing how and why.

In short to the extent that you managed to stay within the secular point of view I think your article succeeded, not failed ๐Ÿ™‚


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Patriarch156
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12/01/2011 12:13 am  
"Astaroth" wrote:
Has anyone read Alex Owen's chapter on Crowley and Neuburg [and Choronzon] in the desert in 'The Place of Enchantment'? She's coming at the topic from a situating of Crowley in the context of Edwardian male sexuality, and Orientalism, and she's coming from an angle _outside_ the occult scene. I tried to come at the Liber AL story from outside the occult scene - even though I am actually an insider - which is not saying an 'expert' just an insider. Anyway, I like Alex Owen's book a lot.

Yes I have read it. Coming from a background in academic psychology I think it is an very weak analysis. The inherent problems with such an approach along with other methodological issues is very nicely discussed in this review by my good friend Egil Asprem of the gHF on his blog Heterodoxology.


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2011 12:26 am  

>>Do you think that a religious viewpoint has any place in an academic article beyond providing the data to be analyzed in one? Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but if so I would be interested in knowing how and why.<<

No I don't. I was meaning that for a non-academic audience (and also for an academic one that might be inclined in that way) the _religious_ aspect incoprorating supernatural evidence is an inextricable part of interpreting Crowley's activities. Usually. Many interpretations of Crowley's work take for granted that they can include both mundane and supernatural evidence, and often in a sentance one will segue into another. For example, the topic might be some aspect of Crowley's behaviour and the writer will try and analyse it kabalistically, or in regards to what deities might have been actively involved. In academic writing one usually keeps it secular. That's what I was saying.


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Patriarch156
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12/01/2011 12:28 am  
"Astaroth" wrote:
>>Do you think that a religious viewpoint has any place in an academic article beyond providing the data to be analyzed in one? Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but if so I would be interested in knowing how and why.<<

No I don't. I was meaning that for a non-academic audience (and also for an academic one that might be inclined in that way) the _religious_ aspect incoprorating supernatural evidence is an inextricable part of interpreting Crowley's activities. Usually. Many interpretations of Crowley's work take for granted that they can include both mundane and supernatural evidence, and often in a sentance one will segue into another. For example, the topic might be some aspect of Crowley's behaviour and the writer will try and analyse it kabalistically, or in regards to what deities might have been actively involved. In academic writing one usually keeps it secular. That's what I was saying.

Thanks for the clarification. I for one am very happy that your article did not venture into such realms of confusion. Again I would like to thank you for opening up academically a very important venue of research into Crowley ๐Ÿ™‚


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2011 12:35 am  

(I'm such a Luddite I don't know how to do that white box quote the previous person thing - so excuse me!)

Lashtal saith >>there's a great deal of evidence that could lead one to suspect that Thelema is, at its core, a re-awakening (or, shall we say, a "re-imagining"?) of the ancient Egyptian religion.<<

Indeed. Just because someone centuries after Pharaonic Egyptian religion has [purportedly] ended revives it in what Egyptologists (or Pagan Reconstructionists such as Kemeticists) would consider a non-historically accurate manner does not mean that it is invalid, or wrong. Egyptian religion was not a static entity. James Stevens Curl ('The Egyptian Revival', and other fascinating books) shows us just how much ancient Egypt has accompanied the West over the centuries and is still with us today, both in the visual arts and in religion - including Christianity. Of course so does R.E. Witt with 'Isis in the Ancient World.'


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2011 12:46 am  

And I should add that while I've kind of savaged Mathers, Farr and Crowley [the first two more so in previous chapters rather than this article] from a secular Egyptological angle, I found that my respect for Mathers and Crowley has actually increased. Less so for Farr - although that makes me sound un-feminist. While I think her Egyptian-oid activities are interesting, I also think she went a bit overboard with her imagination... Anyway, what I'm saying is that although I have criticised them for being 'historically imaginitive' that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate their work. And hey, so many synchronous things happened when I was preparing that article, as I mentioned on my blog http://necropolisnow.blogspot.com/2010/10/happy-birthday-ac.html who am I to say that I *really* know what is going on in regards to the Egyptian gods...?


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2011 12:49 am  

93 Caroline,
Do you know if the Pomegranate is present in any scholarly journal archive?
I tried checking out on Jstor and Project Muse but to no avail.
Some scholarly journals do have an online access for academics, but I haven't found any on the web site.
Cheers for any info, looking forward to reading the article,

Fr. Lucius

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2011 12:55 am  

Hmmm, when I've needed articles from The Pom (as our university doesn't subscribe to it) I have to ask Inter Library Loan and they get me a pdf. I have never tried to search it through Jstor. Sometimes academic journals don't make their articles available until the hard copy has been out for ages, but not in this case, as people are already able to access the electronic version. I can send (A FEW) hard copies to people if they email me privately at heliade AT bigpond DOT com (I said A FEW! I'm not made of money - or paper!)


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2011 1:10 am  
"Astaroth" wrote:
Hmmm, when I've needed articles from The Pom (as our university doesn't subscribe to it) I have to ask Inter Library Loan and they get me a pdf. I have never tried to search it through Jstor. Sometimes academic journals don't make their articles available until the hard copy has been out for ages, but not in this case, as people are already able to access the electronic version. I can send (A FEW) hard copies to people if they email me privately at heliade AT bigpond DOT com (I said A FEW! I'm not made of money - or paper!)

No worries, I will get hold of it either from library loan or purchasing the single article. Keep your hard copies for reviewers or more important purposes. thanks for the offer though!


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 Anonymous
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12/01/2011 1:14 am  

Try inter library loan, it's true academic journals are expensive - I haven't actually looked at the price of the individual articles in The Pom, but I'm quite a cheapskate, so I like to get things for free if I can. I did subscribe to it at one stage, but I can't really afford it. It is a worthwhile journal though. The electronic versions of the book reviews are free. All the reviews are free from this and previous issues.


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