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SittingNow Podcast - Aleister Crowley’s Strange Angel with George Pendle

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Episode 80 – Aleister Crowley’s Strange Angel with George Pendle

Take a trip out to the Californian deserts and join the occult rocket-race with Ken and Mark. Our man who fell to Earth this week is the wonderful George Pendle, author of the go-to book on Jack Parsons ‘Strange Angel’.

This week we discuss: Just who was Jack Parsons and why are we still talking about him?, The OTO’s influence on Parsons’ life?, how do you go from rocket science to occult magician? and much more.

George Pendle Bio:

George Pendle is an author and journalist.

He writes about contemporary art, historical fiction, imaginary countries, real monsters, mad scientists, sane occultists, and the color blue.

He has written for the Economist, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Times (London), the Guardian, the Observer, frieze, Cabinet, Bidoun, Modern Painters, and Icon.

He has also written signs for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Carpe Vita

katrice reacted
Black Soror, Selfie-stick poseur
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1108

Posted by: @sittingnow

how do you go from rocket science to occult magician?

A good followup to this question would be "Why would someone being both of these things be seen as puzzling?"

The Funambulatory Way - it's All in the Egg
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4449

Posted by: @katrice

A good followup to this question would be "Why would someone being both of these things be seen as puzzling?"


Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s I went through a rich few years of thinking that Jack Parsons was the best thing since sliced bread, and I gained a great deal from those few years. Looking at his biography as well as his writings, Parsons clearly saw no dichotomy in a scientist being an occultist. Similarly, other occultists have been in professions as diverse as actress (Florence Farr), artist (Austin Osman Spare), and furrier (David Curwen).

kidneyhawk and katrice reacted
Elderly American druggie
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4553

Of course my life is a small sample, but i can only recall ever meeting/knowing, or even hearing of, two people besides me who had/did any spiritual/religious beliefs/practices in my more than 20 years doing science (public health and criminology). They were both priests, one a Roman Catholic who ran an HIV study in some western US city, the other an Episcopalian (like Church of England) who is a top expert on NYC Latino gangs (and married me to my wife).

On the other hand, in my prior profession, lawyers who go to church/synagogue are a dime a dozen.

Some occultists in AC's life who were scientists or engineers: George Cecil Jones who co-founded A.'. A.'., and Allan Bennett who introduced AC to Buddhism, Goetia, and drugs, were both chemists, and Oscar Eckenstein was a railway engineer, though of course that is a different sort of engineer.

Liber AL Vel Legis for life
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 103

Parsons is still a fascinating figure to this day 

"There is none that shall be cast down or lifted up: all is ever as it was." - Liber Legis 2:58
"To Me do ye reverence! to me come ye through tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss." - Liber Legis 3:62

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