What Thelemic book/books are you reading
,I'm curious,what Thelemic books people are currently reading?
93! Francis, I am currently reading, "The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor: Initiatic and Historical Documents of an Order of Practical Occultism" (ISBN-10:0877288380) . Just finished Jay Dyers "Esoteric Hollywood:: Sex, Cults and Symbols in Film"(ISBN-10:1634240774), which was a very good read.
93 Paul, sounds like some interesting reading on your part.
The first book sounds like it would have been a deep dive into the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. The second book sounds just as interesting, but maybe a little lighter and more of a fun read.
I love books! You can really get lost (or found 😂) in a good book.
Currently nonlinearly dipping into "The Drug and Other Stories" anthology, a few at a time - the last one being "Across The Gulf" - and also (unrelatedly) contemplating next re-reading Diary of A Drug Fiend again (in the version containing the Symonds-Grant annotations) following a several years absence.
Norma N Joy Conquest
Sounds like you have a theme running there with your reading Jamie.
I just finished reading The Slaves Shall Serve. Meditations on Liberty by James Wasserman.
I highly recommend it👍
It's well written and thought provoking.
i'm currently reading a collection of the Psychosophische Gesellschaft's monthly newsletter EOL Mitteilungsblatt. Detailing the activities of Metzger & his crew between 1954-59, it is a fascinating account of Thelemic activity on the continent. For instance, in May 1954, less than a decade after Crowley's passing, Metzger produced a stage play of "The Heart of the Master" at the Theatre am Neumarkt in Zurich.
That's fascinating news about Metzger's adaptation of The Heart of the Master to the stage. It had never occurred to me before, but it makes perfect sense. Were there any reviews of the play, or other accounts?
I've seen no reviews yet - but my research is still in early days. I have seen some photos from the production. If I can locate them again I'll post some here.
Was just given (The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order of G.B.G by Louis T Culling.)
Wasn't familiar with Louis T Culling or The G.B.G.
It's early morning here in New Mexico, and I am already tired and need to go on to the holier, um, busier place So I'll just post a triad of clips from Inside Solar Lodge - Behind the Veil:
(1965)> Preparations for the ceremony did not immediately take place, for only a few days later we heard from Soror Venus that Aquarius had been hospitalized.
We both visited him in the hospital twice, and on a third occasion I drove down and visited him for the last time by myself.
"In the final hours of his life, Aquarius reported to his wife that his Holy Guardian Angel had appeared. When he asked for "release," the Angel said, "No, the time is not yet right." On July 25, 1965, six hours after the Angel first appeared, he was gone.
There was a wake held for him a week later. At the Long Beach apartment, notables like Israel Regardie and Louis T. Culling mingled with other friends of Frater Aquarius and his family in a heartfelt tribute to the Master whose ashes lay in an urn before them.
Culling took the stage and quoted appropriately from The Book of the Law. He announced in an eloquent magickal intonation, "They that see thee shall fear thou art fallen ..." and the "fallen" word rolled off his tongue like thunder, and it echoed away into the darkness.
I was impressed; he had "the voice."
After his recitation, everyone present concurred when Mildred Burlingame added the name of "Frater Aquarius" to the list of the Saints in the Gnostic Mass.
However, I don't think anyone will find it so listed today in any contemporary publication of the Mass.
It is more likely that his name, among some groups, has been engraved on a secret blacklist of traitors.
After the formalities, Culling, Regardie and I were speaking as we sat over in a corner in a triangular formation. Culling, in a low voice, as if he were providing confidential information, explained to us that, "We once initiated a dog!"
He went on to say, "We had this stick [a stick, also known as a reefer, came later to be known as a joint] and we smoked it and gave the dog some of the smoke. Then he went through the ritual. Yeah, he walked around in the circles and everything. Ha, ha, ha!"
Regardie replied, "Ha, ha, ha!"
At that meeting, an older lady, who was an O.T.O. member from Barstow, and who was accompanied by a young man, asked Regardie if he wanted to lead the way, to re-open Thelema (a recognized dead thing) to the world.
This was not a private question, but it was asked aloud in open conversation amongst twelve people. He said, "I'll wait for someone else to start. Then, maybe ..." and his voice trailed off into the implication that he would possibly "come later," after someone else had formally stuck their neck out.
(indeterminate date)> Of course there was also the central mechanism of the IX°. Even Crowley himself had said that he kept this secret only because he had taken an obligation of silence in the matter.
He merely took the liberty of mentioning its existence at every possible opportunity.
Aquarius and Capricornus both transferred the information associated with the IX° without any obligation of secrecy [except for the basic obligations of secrecy in the first degree, of course, and all the "lesser degrees that followed], and Louis T. Culling eventually spread the word far and wide in print throughout the mundane marketplace [in his book, A Manual of Sex Magic".]
So none of these secrets were really very important.
(c. 1967)> A young man of short stature and medium build, Frater Luna had been raised in a wealthy Jewish family. He had a strange and quirky character, and seemed incapable of interacting with us in any way other than the "absolutely outrageous." His escapades either kept us laughing due to his bizarre notions, or caused us to curse in reaction to his refractory acts.
But when it came to unexpectedly odd behavior, Frater Luna found himself all but outclassed by his first contact, Israel Regardie.
Luna had secured his audience with Regardie, who worked as a psychotherapist, by making an appointment for a counseling session. However, rather than penetrating the mysteries of Luna’s mind, Regardie chose wisely to stick firmly to material matters, and sagely advised him to invest in international currency exchanges in order to make money.
When Frater Luna showed surprise at this advice, Regardie slapped the back of the couch upon which he was sitting (in order to emphasize the solidity of matter) and said, "It’s all Nuit, man. It’s all Nuit! "
His second visit was actually a series of visits with Louis T. Culling who, with magnanimous openness, freely disclosed all the details of the operation of the IX° to Frater Luna. About three years later, Culling revealed this same material in his book, A Manual of Sex Magick, which was issued by Llewellyn Publications in 1971.
Culling was also in possession of a formal Charter for The Order of the Paladin that had originally derived from Diana Vaughan. This Charter had been historically, formally, and sequentially transferred over the years until it came into his name. Culling generously signed it over, transferring the Grand Mastership of The Order of the Paladin into Frater Luna’s name.
Frater Luna soon appeared at Solar Lodge, grinning like the cat that ate the canary, with his Charter and his new Grand Master status. But he also readily agreed to sign it over to the "O.T.O." upon Capricornus’ request.
- Shiva, Frater. Inside Solar Lodge - Behind the Veil. (c) 2012 - Desert Star Temple.
I am currently re/reading 'Commentaries on the Holy Books and other Papers' by AC; right now I am at The Voice of the Silence 🙂
notables like Israel Regardie and Louis T. Culling mingled with other friends of Frater Aquarius and his family in a heartfelt tribute to the Master whose ashes lay in an urn before them. [...] After his recitation, everyone present concurred when Mildred Burlingame added the name of “Frater Aquarius” to the list of the Saints in the Gnostic Mass. However, I don’t think anyone will find it so listed today in any contemporary publication of the Mass.
Not denigrating his possible achievements Shiva, but not a large amount is known about Fr Aquarius, or at least so much overseas in the UK --- and apologies if the answers to this & some of my other points are in the book, which I don't have --- but how widely & on what authority is he recognised to be a Master and/or Saint?
It is more likely that his name, among some groups, has been engraved on a secret blacklist of traitors.
Without going into some long involved 'he said, she said' sort of examination of the politics involved, what would be the reason for that? What is it he's meant to have betrayed? (And please don't say just "Thelema"!)
[Regardie] said, “I’ll wait for someone else to start. Then, maybe …” and his voice trailed off into the implication that he would possibly “come later,” after someone else had formally stuck their neck out.
"After you." "No, please: after you..." "No, I absolutely insist: after you first!..."
Even Crowley himself had said that he kept this secret [of the IX°] only because he had taken an obligation of silence in the matter.
He merely took the liberty of mentioning its existence at every possible opportunity.
Yes he did, didn't he! Now you put it like that...
Regardie slapped the back of the couch upon which he was sitting (in order to emphasize the solidity of matter) and said, “It’s all Nuit, man. It’s all Nuit! ”
I suppose it makes a change from "Hey, man, it's all Maya! (dig?..)"
Frater Luna soon appeared at Solar Lodge, grinning like the cat that ate the canary, with his Charter and his new Grand Master status.
I wonder if Hymenaeus Beta ever felt like that after the "convocation of the ["Grady"] IX°s"? Or copping the copyrights?... (Pure Cheshire, man!)
JB: I … apologies if the answers to this & some of my other points are in the book, which I don’t have …
[The 'book" is Inside Solar Lodge ...]
If I remember correctly, you indicated several times in past posts that you would be open to receiving a donated copy of said book. I finally sent you a PM, saying that I had prepared an abridged copy (but not abridged in the pertinent chapters) as a pdf. You replied that you had no computer/email at the time and needed to pass. I replied that was OK and your copy was being held and could be sent when you got your digital act together. That was, what?, 2-3 years ago. The offer still stands. If you send me a PM with an (any) email address, I will send said pdf.
(Note: Whenever I offer a free pdf here on LAShTAL, I receive several addition-AL requests for that doc, which I happily deliver. In this case, don’t bother. This offer is intended for JB only, as a courtesy due to his obviously having taken the Oath of Property, um, Poverty, and because he and I often discuss matters described in the book. Anyone else may either buy the book or go to the abridged web-version at:
where it’s all free.
I am posting these minor, trivial, personal details publickly so that others, who are following the dialogs, will understand the “politics” and the “psychology” moving behind the scenes and between the lines).
… but how widely & on what authority is he recognised to be a Master and/or Saint?
"Question Authority!" - Remember that one?
Widely (Master): Among members of Agape Lodge. Not very widely otherwise, if at all.
Widely (Saint): By his wife, with concurrence of a few members of Agape Lodge who were present at his wake, plus Regardie (who did not object) and we two students of his (Capricornus & Shiva). Otherwise, hardly known or approved or recognized by anyone else.
“It is more likely that his name, among some groups, has been engraved on a secret blacklist of traitors.” … what would be the reason for that? What is it he’s meant to have betrayed? (And please don’t say just “Thelema”!)
He (gasp) performed OTO initiations without a written Charter from The Grand Master Baphomet, violating a clause in the Oath of the III*. Furthermore, he verbally told Capricornus to initiate me. He gave her the papers, but issued no written Charter or other written order/permission. Hymenaus Beta [sic?], Frater Superior of the contemporary, legally-recognized, OTO, told me that the Order’s detractors often used Solar Lodge as ammunition against his/their efforts (and so he required that I delete/modify certain statements on my website. The activities of Aquarius-Capricornus-Me are formally NOT recognized by him/OTO. So, in my word, we were “clandestine.”
(a) There was no Grand Master Baphomet available to issue a written Charter, he having died some 16 years earlier. Germer died 4 days before Aquarius performed the first initiation (of Capricornus ... plus others). McMurtry did have such a Charter, it being a handwritten note, and that’s why he won in court and why the current OTO, Inc is legally-recognized. But McMurtry was not active until after Solar Lodge rose, flourished, and began it's decline. Capricornus went on to assume the title, Grand Master Baphomet, so our eggs were all in one basket, even if that basket was weaved by illegal immigrants and/or lower-caste untouchables.
(b) This issue revolves around this principle: Any IX* has embedded authority to form Lodges and Initiate candidates … without any note from his/her parents. This principle has two viewpoints:
1. TRUE. Everyone in Agape Lodge knew this to be a fact, even though it’s not written in any official doc. McMurtry held it to be true because when he bestowed the IX* on anybody (several people), he included the stipulation (in an Oath) that they would not exercise their Initiatory Powers until after his death.
2. UNTRUE. Frater H.B. stopped all that nonsense when he was elected to headship of the Order by a IX* council following McMurtry’s death, and he maintains that it’s not true. Note: He did not hold the IX* at the time of his election, although I understand that any such deficiency has since been remedied.
3. It is my understanding, leaked to me by current OTO members (more than one) that now there is No Grand Master Baphomet involved. Candidates take Oaths to/under the reigning X* in their jurisdiction.
Now, this thread is about what books are being read (or, in this case, not being read … yet), and our dialog may be divertive. I have offered to continue some of our previous exchanges on the Solar Lodge thread (or similar, such as The Occult 60s and/or others that pertain to the topic). But I was unable to find those arcane, archived threads with “Search,” and I was unable to start a new thread due to either (A) My stupidity, or (B) Software glitches or deficiencies (WordPress is in deep doo-doo with certain folks around here).
If the Moderator, or any other person who is not stupid, can find one of those ancient threads, or is able to start a new thread, and either publickly or PMedly send me instructions meant for a child, or a link to the proper place, I’ll be happy to go there and we can discuss these slightly or greatly off-topic subjects. Otherwise, I’m finished on this thread with refs to Solar Lodge, Aquarius, et al.
Control of your Mind is now returned to you.
At last, a proper, reasonable, relevant, well thought-out couple of answers to a couple of relatively simple straightforward questions put forward on this [debating] forum. Others of perhaps a more reticent persuasion might possibly learn something from this, and profitably take note. I am not usually inclined to pounce on posters and triumphantly spit "Gotcha!" at them and/ or drag them down to the awful torment of a never-ending on-going discussion (with or without my unique charming brand of bantering ahem, chatter). *
Shiva, thank you for your kind offer [again], and I'll be in touch with you in due course shortly. The main reason why I didn't respond before was that like you, although I had a recollection of some kind of an offer being made along these lines by you in the past, I couldn't find it again, "Search" as I tried.
3. It is my understanding, leaked to me by current [C]OTO members (more than one) that now there is No Grand Master Baphomet involved.
Well, that's true enough...
Candidates take Oaths to/under the reigning X* in their jurisdiction.
Well, that's... cosy.
* Unless I deem that it's so deserved, of course 🙂
JB (currently MIA): ... but how widely & on what authority is he [Fr.'. Aquarius] recognised to be a Master and/or Saint?
1. "Authority" is established at Chesed, the realm of The Authors. Chesed lies beneath (below, under, sub, secondary to ... etc) the attainment of such a lofty status.
"How widely" is a relative question. OTO was "a serious and secret society." Among the USA members, Aquarius was one who was generally considered (by members of Agape Lodge) to be the one who was "most competent."
UK OTO was invested in the Grant Lineage. Grant was an unknown factor in the eyes of Agape's brethren at the time of Aquarius' death (1962, I believe).
Apparently, Grant knew nothing about activities in the USA, except that "the closer," Germer, had "closed" the Order "for ten years" around 1952. The "closure" was exoterically based on the disintegration of Jack Parsons' vehicle and the bad publicity arising from a police raid on Agape Lodge for some sort of "sexual perversion." I think it's called "partner-swapping" today. Ah, Free Love! Ain't it Grand?
“a police raid on Agape Lodge for some sort of “sexual perversion.” I think it’s called “partner-swapping” today. Ah, Free Love! Ain’t it Grand? “
What no license and no priest ?
Has anyone got a copy of Huxley's then controversial novel Antic Hay? According to Colin Wilson (in The Nature of the Beast bio (page 130, The Aquarian press 1987), whereas moral crusader Lord Beaverbrook of The Sunday Express had attacked Huxley's Antic Hay and Joyce's Ulysses thereby increasing their circulation, when he attacked Drug Fiend (first released 1922 apparently), Crowley was not so lucky as Collins were forced to let Fiend slowly go out of print due to AC's 'bestial' reputation etc.
Antic Hay is a comic novel by Aldous Huxley, published in 1923. The story takes place in London, and depicts the aimless or self-absorbed cultural elite in the sad and turbulent times following the end of World War I.
The book follows the lives of a diverse cast of characters in bohemian, artistic and intellectual circles. It clearly demonstrates Huxley's ability to dramatise intellectual debates in fiction and has been called a "novel of ideas" rather than people.
It expresses a mood of mournful disenchantment and reinforced Huxley's reputation as an iconoclast. The book was condemned for its cynicism and for its immorality because of its open debate on sex. The novel was banned for a while in Australia and burned in Cairo.
Superficially the story follows one Theodore Gumbril in his invention of Gumbril's Patent Small-Clothes, trousers which contain a pneumatic cushion in the seat.
Gumbril's quest for love occasionally makes him resort to utilizing "The Complete Man" which is a disguise he concocts around a false full beard. With it he is able to overcome his shyness and approach women in public places with a bold directness. However he is then left with the problem of how he reveals his real self to the women he befriends.
There's a further Crowley connection, albeit indirect. Gumbril adorns his fake beard (chapter 12) and decides to go downtown during the day to look for ladies to pull (ladies find big beards attractive eh? Lol). Once the beard is adorned, Huxley expresses his character's desire to be "a complete man" who imagines himself to be "on his way to The Abbey of Thelema".
ladies find big beards attractive eh? Lol
I take it you are not familiar with the phenomenon known as "the hipster"?
When i lived in the uber-trendy Williamsburg/Greenpoint part of Brooklyn, USA, until a few years ago, the streets were thick with young men who looked like Civil War refugees, if only said refugees could have afforded a lot more tattoos.
I believe the same sort of heavily-bearded, craft-beer drinking, artisanal-food munching, twenty- to thirty-somethings infest the streets of certain parts of London, and indeed certain parts of every major city on earth.
They seemed to have much female company. My wife's very beautiful younger friend has had three husbands thusfar, all of whom looked like Civil War generals.
Admittedly, i do not know whether these young men have pneumatic interior trouser-seats, or consider themselves “on [their] way to The Abbey of Thelema”.
Thank you for this fascinating tid-bit, now that i have added to your fashion knowledge.
I take it you are not familiar with the phenomenon known as “the hipster”?
Yeah man and I am fully aware of all of the (mainly white) males everywhere who have 19th century beards because they think that the white chicks dig it. It's no longer an alternative trend and has spilled over into mainstream homogeneity. I never succumbed to it. It'll all be over soon and clean-cut types like me shall have our day (tongue in cheek) lol.
I remember, there's an interesting bit in The Confessions where Crowley (a man prone to growing his beard) states the meditative benefits of shaving. I don't know the exact reference at this time unfortunately.
I am fully aware of all of the (mainly white) males everywhere who have 19th century beards because they think that the white chicks dig it
Maybe in the UK the full-beard thing among the young people is a "white guy" thing; not back here in the USA (where hamburgers sizzle on an open griddle night and day).
You might care to look at the faces of NBA players, or players of American "football".
Here are a couple links on the "Philly beard", and its fashion influence among young black men in the USA:
Yeah I see they mention the Muslim requirement for beards in that article. Thanks for that.
i hear the white’s are not even Brits these days ;
and heard blacks speakin Queens English .
as for the beard ;
if you tend to shovel the sandwich down your throat and the sauce comes dripping out ;
focus and fascinate Britania.
with a fork and knife
and get it all in correctly
i suppose ;
a dernier cri, religious witchery
sorry to get off topic