Home Forums Thelemic Culture and Crowley in the Media Requests The Practice of the Magical Diary

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  • #5721

    Starman
    Participant

    I’m after reviews or opinions on whether this would be a good book to pick up and add to my Crowley knowledge bank. Is it an actual diary of sorts or more heavily into ritual instruction?

    #41810

    kidneyhawk
    Participant

    Starman-

    If you’re refering to the Wasserman volume published by Weiser, it is, IMO, just brilliant. It comprises 2 diaries (a two week diary by AC: “John St. John” and Achad’s diary with notes by Crowley). It also has a very good (no, excellent!) introduction and essay unto itself by J. Wasserman as well as some added extras (like the list of food items in the back, translated for those of us who don’t have the same eating experiences as our English Friend! Also, some basic A.A. material, ritual etc).

    Taken as a whole, it is a wonderful, delightful and inspiring work…I wish I had it in hardcover! I revisit it often and always take away new insight, most especially from AC’s entries in “John St. John.” It also is a fantastic portrait of Crowley painted by himself: his power, his weaknesses, his ever present and razor-sharp humor and his real desire to not only be about the business of his own Attainment but to make the same a gift to his fellow man…

    So, unless you’ve got the two diaries already in other tomes and feel that you are a master of diary work, get the book! The payback will be enormous!

    Cheers!

    #41811

    lashtal
    Keymaster

    Very well said, kidneyhawk. I agree totally with your description of this extraordinarily useful edition of the material.

    #41812

    666tsaeb
    Participant

    It should be noted that the 2006ev edition contains an interesting Forward by J. Daniel Gunther, one time Marcelo Motta A.·.A.·. student who is listed elsewhere as “V.” within various Imprimatur pages such as the centennial edition of Liber AL.

    #41813

    Starman
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I bought the book so thank you for the advice. I’ve been reading it and have come across a couple points that I’m confused about and pardon my ignorance and lack of knowledge.

    In the prologue to John St John, Crowley mentions how October seems to be significant month for him and lists the points. One of them is..”received the mysteries of L.I.L in October (19)”. Now wasn’t L.I.L received in April?

    Later on he speaks about “torturing” and “blood sacrifice”, is this Crowley’s dark sense of humour coming out? Or is the “blood” an important part of the ritual?

    My apologies again on my ignorance but hopefully your replies will enlighten me on these topics.

    #41814

    anpi
    Participant
    "Starman" wrote:
    Later on he speaks about “torturing” and “blood sacrifice”, is this Crowley’s dark sense of humour coming out? Or is the “blood” an important part of the ritual?

    See Liber Pyramidos which is the self-initiation ritual described by Crowley in John St. John. It’s not that bad, though I guess it’s up to you to decide what you actually do in the “the Scource, the Dagger, and the Chain” parts. As Crowley mentions in the diary, it’s kind of hard to scourge oneself while wearing a robe. 😉

    In any case, it is quite apparent that almost all the references to torturing, scourging and blood sacrifice refer to either self-sacrifice or the hardships one encounters during one’s Path.

    #41815

    anpi
    Participant
    "anpi" wrote:
    As Crowley mentions in the diary, it’s kind of hard to scourge oneself while wearing a robe. ;).

    Oh, and I forgot, while wearing a blindfold and with your arms tied.

    #41816

    gmugmble
    Participant
    "Starman" wrote:
    One of them is..”received the mysteries of L.I.L in October (19)”. Now wasn’t L.I.L received in April?

    You’re thinking of L.L. (Liber Legis), which was received in April. The reference here is to the final vision in the Vision and the Voice, which is the aethyr called LIL.

    #41817

    RifRaf
    Participant
    "gmugmble" wrote:
    "Starman" wrote:
    One of them is..”received the mysteries of L.I.L in October (19)”. Now wasn’t L.I.L received in April?

    You’re thinking of L.L. (Liber Legis), which was received in April. The reference here is to the final vision in the Vision and the Voice, which is the aethyr called LIL.

    I don’t have a copy on me right now, but, besides an Aethyr, L.I.L. was also the “Lamp of the Invisible Light” which was an “Order” (actually it was just Crowley and some fella named Don Jesus) founded by Crowley while he was visiting Mexico. The purpose was to have an “ever-burning” Lamp in a temple where daily Invocations were to take place with the idea of making the light itself the consecrated center of “spiritual energy”. He may be refering to this when he speaks of having “recieved the mysteries of L.I.L.”

    #41818

    RifRaf
    Participant

    Oh, I forgot to mention that you may find information on the Lamp of the Invisible Light on Page 203 of “Confessions”.

    #41819

    uranus
    Participant

    Another secret of LIL are the initials LPD, which Gunther explains in his excellent “Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey”. The letters LPD are the very foundation upon which the pyramid of initiation is based!

    As to the book in question, I just got a copy and I love it. Wasserman’s editorial etc. is excellent & it is great to read of his experiences with his journals. While I am not a big fan of his recent political work, he has a knack for discussing practical application of magickal practices etc.

    #41820

    RifRaf
    Participant

    Yea, great book. I’ve already read it three times, and the L.’.P.’.D.’. section is one of the better pieces. I’m not seeing any of his journal entires though, are they just thrown in there or do you have a special version?

    #41821

    IAO131
    Participant
    "uranus" wrote:
    Another secret of LIL are the initials LPD, which Gunther explains in his excellent “Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey”.

    I would not recommend this book if my life depended on it. LPD is probably the only original thing in that book.

    Wasserman’s essay introducing the book mentioned above, I thought, was far better in quality content and especially in writing style.

    IAO131

    #41822

    uranus
    Participant
    "IAO131" wrote:
    "uranus" wrote:
    Another secret of LIL are the initials LPD, which Gunther explains in his excellent “Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey”.

    I would not recommend this book if my life depended on it. LPD is probably the only original thing in that book.

    Wasserman’s essay introducing the book mentioned above, I thought, was far better in quality content and especially in writing style.

    IAO131

    And that is why it is called an opinion. Criticizing it for a “lack of originality” is either an admission of “I don’t understand it therefore I don’t like it” or missing the point which isn’t “originality” but further exploration & development of the system of the A.’.A.’. as envisioned & developed by ALeister Crowley and G.C. Jones. He represents Orthodox Thelema in the same ways that Motta represented the conservative side & Grant the experimental & exotic side. But this thread isn’t for a discussion of Gunther, I just brought it up in reference to LIL & will not further derail this thread with inane commentary on Gunther’s book & its virtues & vices.

    Rifraf, there are no journal entries in it, I was simply referring to the comment on LIL & the interesting examination of LPD in Gunther’s work. I also enjoyed his commentary on “Messiah”.

    #41823

    Gentian
    Participant

    Reading “Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary” triggered my conversion to Thelema, so this book will probably always have a special place on my bookshelf. With this book, I finally “got it.”

    It was always obvious to me that Crowley was a magickal genius, but these diaries show the depth of his spiritual commitment. It is one thing to say, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”; it is another to practice Dragon asanas outside in the rain because, in the case of Frater Achad, there was no room to perform them inside the tent that his family was living in at the time.

    I’m grateful that these diaries are available together for those of us coming after Crowley and Achad, and that Wasserman also includes solid advice for keeping one’s own magical diary. Considering how crucial the magical diary is to any useful magickal practice, it is a topic that deserves even more attention.

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