Rosicrucian Chess
of The Golden Dawn
Enochian Chess Series Vol 1
Steve Nichols

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ORDER THIS BOOK




Format: Cased-bound matt laminate 256pp
– over 200 illustrations many in colour.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-78-7
US$50 approx UK£40
Subjects: Chess, Enochian Magic.

This is the first in a trio of books that together form The Complete Enochian Chess. Enochian Chess in part comes from the Elizabethan system of Enochian Magic originated by the Court Astrologer, Dr John Dee. It was developed into its current form in Victorian times by SL MacGregor Mathers and William Wynn Westcott. This book includes a complete facsimile and commentary of Moina Mathers’s Alpha et Omega Enochian Chess papers together with a brief history of the game, notes on play and strategy, and instructions for Active divinatory methods utilised by this system. Notes and illustrations by Ithell Colquhoun (some previously unpublished) help explain this advanced and complete system of magick in its own right.

Originally it was only taught to Golden Dawn initiates who had risen to the rank of Zelator Adeptus Minor, and required a comprehensive knowledge of Tarot, Geomancy, Kabbalah, various magical formulae, the symbolism of the Candidate, the Ceremony of the Neophyte Grade, working knowledge of the art of Invocation and Banishing, Pentagram and Hexagram rituals, formation of Telesmatic Images, Sigils, and knowledge of the Enochian Tablets. Enochian Chess subsumes other Passive systems of divination such as tarot and astrology, and has powerful prophetic properties.

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YOU CAN GET THE ENOCHIAN CHESS SOFTWARE AT chaturanga.com

Steve Nichols’ fully featured Windows Enochian Chess software for one to four players can be downloaded by using the coupon code instructions inside together with evidence of purchase. The PC software makes this advanced and complex game immediately playable.

Steve Nichols was the first to publish Enochian Chess sets in 1982 with support from Israel Regardie and others. Steve has given many demonstrations, readings and lectures about the game over the decades. This book includes new revelations about the Golden Dawn invention of Enochian Chess, with a particular spotlight on important Eastern occult sources previously hidden.

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Rust, Blood and Bone – Art Exhibition


TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2017
SUNDAY, JUNE 25, 2017
10:00 am – 11:00 pm

Mortuary Chapel,
Walcot Street Bath, England, BA1 5BG.


An exhibition of the art of Charlotte Rodgers, Victoria Musson and Katie Pollard, exploring the contemporary alchemical ingredients of Rust, Blood and Bone.

Scattered throughout the exhibition will be impressive punctuations of music, performance, speakers and meditations.

Modernity effects change on the land, its tradition and magic. As technology rusts, crumbles and decays, the land and the old traditions reinvent themselves.

https://charlotte-rodgers-caya.squarespace.com/eventslist/2017/6/20/rust-blood-and-bone


Read an interview with Charlotte Rodgers on The Blog of Baphomet
https://theblogofbaphomet.com/2017/02/20/an-audience-with-charlotte-rodgers/

Listen to Gordon White ”Talking Animism and Place with Charlotte Rodgers

‘Charlotte at Play’. A film by Sean Kissling

Crowley – A Beginners Guide
John S. Moore
& John Patrick Higgins

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Front coverLR

Click here for Kindle UK edition

Click here for Kindle USA edition


Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-906958-69-5
£9.99/US$14
Subjects: Aleister Crowley/Thelema/Magick/Occultism.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”
Nearly seventy years after his death Aleister Crowley, the notorious Beast 666, is only just beginning to attract serious academic attention. Even so we would not expect to find him on any mainstream university courses; he is still too much associated with occultism. So, Crowley – A Beginners Guide is not your standard beginner’s guide.

“Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known.”
Readers may be surprised at the richness and complexity of his thought, as well as the extent of his influence. He needs background to be understood. Giving this opens fresh perspectives on much recent intellectual history.

Crowley – A Beginners Guide presents his main ideas in a straightforward and accessible format, with drawings and diagrams to place them in their historical context. It relates him to contemporary movements in art and scholarship. It describes his relationship to modernism and postmodernism, and his role in the counterculture of the sixties, as well as his continuing influence today. Interspersed are entertaining stories of his life and reputation.

Brilliantly illustrated by John Higgins, Crowley – A Beginners Guide, is a highly accessible guide to this fascinating, complex and controversial figure. It neither promotes nor condemns him, presenting hostile as well as favourable views of his character and achievement.

John S Moore is a freelance writer and independent scholar living in London. He is the author of Aleister Crowley: A Modern Master (Mandrake of Oxford, 2009) and Nietzsche – An Interpretation, (AuthorsOnline Ltd, 2011) and has written on Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein and Edward Bulwer-Lytton among others. More information at www.johnsmoore.co.uk/

John Patrick Higgins is a writer and illustrator. He is the author of The Narwhal and Other stories. His second collection will be published later in the year. He writes art criticism for various magazines and is Creative Director of Shot Glass Theatre Company www.culturenorthernireland.org/reviews/performing-arts/shot-glass. See also Shot Glass on Facebook. He lives in Belfast, which he continues to find extraordinary.

Read a review of Crowley A Beginners Guide from Magonia Review of Books pelicanist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/crowley-for-beginners.html

Crowley – A Beginners Guide (Look Inside)

Wormwood Star
The Magickal Life
of Marjorie Cameron
(revised & enlarged)
Spencer Kansa

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9781906958602

This New Edition features fascinating new insights and info,
as well as over 20 new images.

Seal2

Ebook editions:
Click here for Kindle UK edition

Click here for Kindle USA edition


Format: Softcover/302 pp/illustrated.
ISBN: ISBN 978-1-906958-60-2 (was 978-1-906958-08-4)
£13.99/US$24
Subjects: Biography/Magick/Thelema/Art/American Underground/Film Studies

In the first ever biography written about her, Wormwood Star traces the extraordinary life of the enigmatic artist Marjorie Cameron, one of the most fascinating figures to emerge from the American Underground art world and film scene.

Born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, in 1922, Cameron’s uniqueness and talent as a natural born artist was evident to those around her early on in life. During World War 2 she served in the Women’s Navy, and worked in Washington as an aide to the Joint Chiefs Of Staff. But it was after the War that her life really took off, when she met her husband Jack Parsons. By day Parsons was a brilliant rocket scientist, but by night he was Master of the Agape Lodge, a fraternal magickal order, whose head was the most famous magus of the 20th century… Aleister Crowley.

Gradually, over the course of their marriage, Parsons initiated Cameron into the occult sciences, and the biography offers a fresh perspective on her role in the infamous Babalon Working magick rituals Parsons conducted with the future founder of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard. Following Parsons death in 1952 from a chemical explosion, Cameron inherited her husband’s magickal mantle and embarked on a lifelong spiritual quest, a journey reflected in the otherworldly images she depicted, many of them drawn from the Elemental Kingdom and astral plane.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Cameron became a celebrated personality in California’s underground art world and film scene. In 1954 she starred in Kenneth Anger’s visual masterwork, ‘Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome’, stealing the show from her co-star Anais Nin. The budding filmmaker Curtis Harrington was so taken with Cameron, he made a film study dedicated to her artwork entitled, ‘The Wormwood Star’. He then brought Cameron’s powerful and mysterious presence to bear on his evocative noir thriller, ‘Night Tide’, casting her alongside a young Dennis Hopper.

Cameron was an inspirational figure to the many artists and poets that congregated around Wallace Berman’s Semina scene, and in 1957 Berman’s show at the Ferus Gallery was shut down by LA’s vice squad, due to the sexually charged nature of one of her drawings. Undaunted, she continued to carve a unique and brilliant path as an artist. A retrospective of Cameron’s work, entitled ‘The Pearl Of Reprisal’, was held at LA’s Barnsdall Art Park in 1989, and after her death some of her most admired pieces were included in the ‘Reflections Of A New Aeon Exhibition’ at the Eleven Seven Gallery in Long Beach, California. Cameron’s famous Peyote Vision drawing made its way into the Beat Culture And The New America retrospective held at the Whitney Museum in 1995. And in 2006, a profile of her work was featured in the critically lauded Semina Culture Exhibition. The following year an exhibition of her sketches and drawings was held at the Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York.

With so much of her life and work shrouded in mystery, Wormwood Star sheds new light on this most remarkable artist and elusive occult icon.

All Material on this page copyright © Spencer Kansa

Cover of First Edition

Elmer Crowley
a katabasic nekyia
Tom Bradley
(illustrated by David Aronson
& Nick Patterson)

Featured

9781906958558_cov


Format: Softcover/132 pp – illustrated – many in colour.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-55-8
US$16.99/£10
Subjects: picaresque graphic novel

Bless me,
curse me.
For better or worse, my fallopian fall into matter. . .

After making careful preparations to ensure himself a proper reincarnation,
the dying ALEISTER CROWLEY flubs one syllable of the magickal incantation . . .
and comes back as ELMER FUDD.

———————–

– Back story on this publication –

David Aronson has become ill, and is unable to complete the illustrations for ELMER CROWLEY. But the good news is that the great Nick Patterson has agreed to step in. Nick collaborated with Tom Bradley on a couple of books, including FAMILY ROMANCE (Jaded Ibis Press)–

http://www.thedrillpress.com/sad/2012-08-01/sad-2012-08-01-romance-tbradley-01.shtml

Just by coincidence, this happens to work out perfectly.
After making careful preparations to ensure himself a proper reincarnation, the dying Aleister Crowley flubs one syllable of the magickal incantation…and comes back as Elmer Fudd.

The pictures David Aronson did before getting sick are black and white. They take Crowley from his death, through his judgement in the Hall of the Divine Kings, and stop just as he is being sucked into Looney Tunes Land.

At that point, Nick Patterson takes over, and the color is switched on. It’s like the old movie, when Dorothy gets out of Kansas and arrives in Oz. The different style of pictures announces the big change in scene.

—-

– Praise for Elmer Crowley: a katabasic nekyia

Reading Elmer Crowley is like reading Crowley’s inner dialogue at 3am, after an intensive journey into his own inner abyss. It is, therefore, a magickal working that Crowley himself would be proud of.
– Gwendolyn von Taunton, author of Northern Traditions

Of Aleister Crowley’s many fictionalizations, this novel gets best into his head. Erudite, prideful, lascivious, funniest man of his time, and the mightiest spiritual spelunker–he speaks and shouts from these pages as clearly as he did in his Autohagiography, which is paradoxical, given the irreal setting.
– Barry Katz, HTMLGIANT

This book…captures the feel of Crowley with his bawdy, politically incorrect irreverence, his arrogance and his committed magickal spirituality and awareness.
– Charlotte Rogers, author of P is for Prostitute

The voice is dead perfect…I can’t imagine a hip Thelemite NOT having this book in her library.
– Don Webb, author of Through Dark Angles, former High Priest, Temple of Set

This self-described “picaresque graphic novel” reads like an account of Crowley’s death-bed fever dream or an afterlife bardo journey gone terribly wrong, wherein the fifty-eight Wrathful Deities take on the aspect of warped and sinister versions of Looney Toons archetypes…. the result reads like a trippy, post-mortem, long-lost epilogue to The Confessions.
– Richard Kaczynski, author of Perdurbo: The Life of Aleister Crowley

Nightshades
Jan Fries

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Format: Hardback – Cased Matt Laminate A4 216 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-906958-45-9
£24/US$40
Subjects: Aleister Crowley/Kenneth Grant.

“Nightshades is the record of one remarkable magician’s exploration of the inverse regions of the Tree of Life. Aleister Crowley’s Liber 231 provides the map and Kenneth Grant’s Nightside of Eden a travelogue. “Liber 231, apparently started life as a text within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as an exercise to develop astral and trance abilities or perhaps in other more elaborate rites. The nightside aspect requires some care and alertness in case of accident. The correct attitude is said to be one of self or ego-less witness. Or maybe it’s just one needs the use of an all-embracing rather than a limited kind of identity and self-identification” (mmm)

“The Nightside is always with us. It’s so much older than the Dayside. Before the light began to shine, the night was there. Some assume that we are dealing with a simple polarity. On one hand the radiant world of colours and forms, more or less thinkable, reasonable and meaningful. Like the pretty picture of the Tree of Life it has its scenic cites, its hotels, restaurants, shopping opportunities and highways in between.

On the other hand the chaotic world of uncertain and incomprehensible mysteries. Both of them connected by the voidness that makes them possible. It looks symmetrical. But when you reach the Nightside it doesn’t work like that. The Nightside is not simply a reflection of the dayside with a few confusing and spooky bits thrown in.
The Dayside is a tiny island of experience in a huge ocean, the Nightside, full of currents, island chains and continents of the possible and impossible. All and Nothing are present everywhere. Our island is not the opposite of the world-ocean, it is simply a tiny and comprehensible part of it.” (jf)

Jan Fries Nightshades comprises 72 intense drawings prefaced by an explanatory essay detailing the background and genesis of this ultimate magical adventure.

I, Crowley
Snoo Wilson


Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9781869928476
£9.99/US$20
Subjects: Occult Fiction

‘I never killed Raoul Loveday with a magical spell.’

Aleister Crowley, otherwise known as the Beast 666, shared membership of the Golden Dawn with W.B. Yeats, and publishers with D.H. Lawrence. Now in a beyond-the-grave autobiography, he recounts his own vocation, his practice of sex magic, and his bruising encounters with his contemporaries.
The great magus, whose own world-conquering creed, The Book of the Law, was written in Cairo in 1904, was according to him, no murderer, but a prophet and practitioner of all kinds of sexual freedom and new magical systems.
‘I shall continue to protest my innocence as long as I have a hole in my bottom.’
The Wickedest Man in the World? Or Post-Christian Messiah? Read this book and judge for yourself.
Extract
Reviews
‘intriquing and sordidly entertaining’ – Gay Times
‘Brilliant . . . the Great Beast explaining himself in lapel-grabbing prose:’
– Simon Callow, Sunday Telegraph
‘Excellent . . . perverse, funny and at times as inexplicably moving as its subject. Recommended’
– Fortean Times
‘Probably the most fun you’ll have with a British novel all year’ – The Edge
…thanks to Snoo for a great book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Made me laugh and cry. Excellent.’ – Sparky

‘. . . really good fun. Its not very kind to old Crow, and the language is a bit more vulgar than required (or than he would have used), but on the other hand. . . it does produce a charming caricature of Ye Great Beast that serves to perpetuate the myth. …Dear 666 would have felt flatttered… What I liked about the book, part from its jokes and the invaluable occult illustrations, is the contrast between Crowley as a human being (and egomaniac) and the Master Therion, the perfect ego-less adept he would have liked to be . . . Its the difference as between a Thelemite and a follower of Crowleyanity. Symonds’ Great Beast was almost totally obsessed with the Demon Crowley, Wilson’s novel is better balanced , it mixes the ego tripper with the Logos of the Aeon. This produces some confusion, and maybe this confusion is close to the conflicts that the real AC experienced. I suspect that he often got muddles up as to who was who in him and who cares, and put on his Great Magus Hat whenever his ego felt threatened and misunderstood. Considering that so many people are involved in the dull cult of Crowleyanity, and spend their time trying to be like the guru or wasting money collecting the master’s underpants, a critical treatment of the person Crowley, such as you dared to inflict on the long-suffering public, is an excellent and much need magickal gesture.’ – Jan Fries

Extract pages 25-31

It is time to meet Raoul Loveday.

He who was once my beloved, my Man. The year is 1918. We go inside the British Museum. The room is resplendent, a magnificent invocation of the age of the Pharoahs. You may hear my whispered voice but I shall only be ‘directing traffic’, as it were, a friendly astral presence.

Before we meet Raoul I should explain. In reality, at this moment, I was astride a fat black whore, very sensuous, three thousand miles away in New York in the heat of summer. If we stuck strictly with Greenwich Mean Time, she would be squealing delightedly as I slipped a cornucopia of products from the local ice house into her vas nefandum. But; – by virtue of my Parker pen, I am hovering here in the British Museum, in the Egyptian room, a ghostly Virgil, to guide you towards your meeting.

Come with me, oh sensation-seeking novitiates, past Babylonian lions, and giant relics of vast statues of the Pharoahs of Egypt. Let me move you past the mummies in their bitumen-soaked linen wraps, the golden scarabs and riddling sphinxes. Here a giant arm, there a huge disembodied head. Shelley caught fallen greatness in his web here over a hundred years ago. And yet, what is a hundred years to Ra and Osiris?

Sunlight shines through the boards, shafting into the exotic gloom. Peace has arrived at last, but the windows are still boarded up after Zeppelin damage.The atmosphere in here is of dark, brooding intensity. Footsteps on stone echo round the high ceilings. Sounds of hackney horse-drawn cabs filter through from outside, and an infrequent intrusive motor car.

A young couple are examining the exhibits. They have the glow of youth upon them. The young man is tale, pale and excitable, with flopping dark hair, his movements feline and attractive, the woman, short, older than him, brassy and self-assured. Yes! It is Raoul Loveday and his wife. This way, dear boy. Come and claim your dread destiny. The Museum is where your die will be cast.

Raoul is so overcome by the atmosphere breathed out by the relics, he cannot understand how anyone can not be equally moved. But Betty does not, cannot ever share his sublime thoughts.

Raoul’s head is ablaze with the laws of numbers that underpin the firmament. Betty is thinking about the impression she made on his parents at their wedding. The age difference, do you see, must have been mentioned. Her being so much older than him, already tweaking and bleaching her tiny moustache, pulling in her flaccid stomach as she tummocks in the altogether for boys from the Slade Art School, who are all wearing berets and green corduroy smocks, and worrying whether they have, or do not have, the clap-

Betty and Raoul. Alone in the British Museum. With me, Like Raoul’s Holy Guardian Angel, hovering above.

How did Raoul find me? In search of a mentor, he had written to me about the laws of magic in mathematics before the war, and I courteously returned his schoolboy enquiries by outlining some paths of exploration her could pursue relating to the numeric structure of the ‘Qabal, and the relationship of p to the Sephiroth. We met, after the war, which as I am not afraid to say, I spent in America. I was almost too old to fight, certainly too wise to drown like a dog in Flanders mud. In any case, my services as a secret agent for the British Government having been refused,21 I had a mind to take America by storm.

When I came back to England, Raoul had grown into a man. But he had taken ether under my supervision. When he married Betty, she made him swear he would not touch me, or drugs again. Betty came from Soho, in London, and the prevailing ‘wisdom’ of artists models and tarts alike (Indistinguishable categories around the likes of Augustus John23) was that boys like Raoul had to be kept on the straight and narrow, or, in shopgirl parlance, they went ‘to the bad’.

I will say one thing for Betty. She was never backward about supporting the pair of them, using her body. She was close to being that impossibility, an honest whore. Her cocaine intake had been stupendous, but she had pulled away from it.

‘There was once a religion which could have united mankind. We have to rediscover the source of inspiration.’ Raoul’s whisper to her in that echoing room falls on stony ground. Betty’s scornful rasp would have come back something like-

‘I thought Mister Crowley had the secret already and went to America to keep it safe.’ Never mind I was in two minds about getting involved in stupidest epidemic of hostilities in history. By the end of the conflict, The War Office in England had been bullied into conscripting anyone under forty five. In Betty’s view if I had joined the Clerkenwell cattle on their way to the slaughterhouse, it would at least have got rid of me.

Raoul had told her that I wanted to work in Europe, and that I had plans for a idealistic community which he wanted to join. She of course sneered.

Raoul related to me how the tragedy snowballed after that. Betty had sneered first at me, then at Anubis. Anubis is the jackal-headed god, with a human body, who ferries the souls of the dead to the underworld. Anubis sees both life and death. There was a fine statue of him there. He is a kindly psychopomp unlikely to take offence.

Betty’s third slight, which wound up destiny irrevocably, was to a priestess of Amon Ra, a most powerful lord of life and death, and unable, if you wish for my opinion, to take such a thing lightly.

According to Raoul, they were standing before the imposing mummy of the handmaiden to Amon Ra.

Betty began making flippant remarks, while poor Raoul was stuttering that he wanted the priestess to bless their wedding. Not even the high god, the priestess. Raoul was always humble.

Then Betty did this foolish thing. Her insult was to thumb her nose at the mummy, in a deliberate fashion.

Raoul begged her not to do it, to apologise.

Naturally, Amon- Ra could not overlook this insult to his handmaiden.

‘What’s wrong?’ Betty said. The words dried in his mouth, he told me. He could not speak, and all he could think of was numbers. Behind her, Raoul could see a boarded up door with a message on it, which boded ill. It read NO ENTRY. ZEPPELIN DAMAGE. Just then Betty, undaunted by her new husband, to cap her insolence, stuck her tongue out as far as it would go, at the handmaiden of Amon Ra. Sometimes it is necessary to arrest insolent ignorance at the point of issue, or it breeds pestilence. If I had been in Raoul’s shoes, wed to Betty, I would have fetched her a smack in the chops that would have carried her across the room, and put her out of modelling work for a week. Raoul, of course, being Raoul, kept his hands to himself. ‘Betty! Stop!’ Raoul whimpered.

The tongue, stuck out like Betty stuck it out is a particular insult to the Egyptian Eternals. For the old Egyptian language – (lost to us now, alas, we only have debased hieroglyphics) – is the closest we may ever get to the Words of the Creator.

The Tongue shares the blame for The Fall. Sometimes I believe I will meet one of the Secret Chiefs24 who will address me in that divine language. I speak prayers in Enochian,25 but the Highest Angelic discourse has not yet been reclaimed.

– To return to our thickened plot – Betty, having offended the gods with her tongue, (Hers went out a particularly long way, I noticed when they came to Cefalù) turned on one polished heel, like the slut she was, and walked smartly away. Her footsteps echoed. Raoul cried-

‘Betty – come back and apologise – please.’ Of course she did nothing of the sort, but continued titupping out of the room.

Raoul turned, full of foreboding, to the statue of Amon Ra himself. He sank to his knees to the stone god. The foolish boy tried to bargain, to protect The Model, his slatternly new bride. So much charcoal had been crushed by so many ‘artists’ depicting Betty’s plumply endowed bush it is surprising the area had any mystery left in it. But Raoul was young. Like the doomed youths who went ‘over the top’ for Horatio Bottomley and the rest of the war profiteers, he took it upon himself to expiate others’ crime with his own blood-offering. Raoul bleated to Amon Ra- ‘Don’t take it out on her. If there must be a judgement, great Lord, let it be on me – on me!’

Naturally, Amon Ra took him at his word.

Later, Raoul answered my summons to the Abbey, Betty reluctantly accompanying him. London, Dover, Calais, Paris, Palermo. Betty was spared but Raoul was called, and was buried by me outside the cemetery of Cefalu, with a huge crowd of Sicilians ogling the goings-on. Subsequently there was a great brouhaha in the Beaverbrook press about a ‘Satanic’ burial by the light of babies being burned, in unconsecrated ground. The same old lies that Christians have told about Jews for two thousand years.

The truth is, Raoul could not possibly have been buried inside the cemetery, he was not a Catholic. In fact, Raoul’s soul had a fine send-off. We danced and sang and threw libations. The robes of the Abbey came in for applause from the crowds, who were openly disappointed when the magnificent show came to an end. It was the frankness and sexual openness of the community women which really touched the imaginations of the crowds of short, greasy Sicilian men. Even Betty had to admit that the funeral touched the heartstrings. If I had not been expelled from Italy immediately after, I would have been able to staff any number of Abbeys from amongst the local population. I sent Raoul off with my very best poem, one we used to recite almost daily in our rituals together, my ‘Hymn to Pan’. If you cannot find a copy in your local library, do feel free to make your own Hymn.

I’m sure Pan will not mind.

Your fond uncle,

Thelemic Magick I
proceedings of the
Oxford Golden Dawn
Occult Society
Thelemic Symposium 1994
Mogg Morgan ed


Format: Softcover
ISBN: 186992844X
£9.99/US$20
Subjects: Magick/Enochian Magick.

Contents include:

Stephen Ashe Short address on Liber Al and 50 gates of Babalon; Shantidevi Liber Samekh and Holy Guardian Angel Snoo Wilson, Aleister Crowley – Great Idea of the Twentieth Century Robert Ansell, Austin Spare- Life in Pictures (summary); Mick Staley The Mysteries of LAM; Steve Nicholls Enochian Magick; Dave Lee Cut-ups and Collages (summary); Jan Fries, Sound workshop (summary) MC Medusa, Invocation of Babalon.

SYBARITE
AMONG THE SHADOWS
Richard McNeff

Dylansybarite



UK Kindle Edition [Click Here]

USA Kindle Edition [Click Here]


Format: Softcover
ISBN: 1869928822
£9.99/US$18
Subjects: Occult Fiction/Aleister Crowley/Thelema.

Extract from SYBARITE AMONG THE SHADOWS
For Dylan Thomas centenary:

After a sinister encounter with Aleister Crowley in a Soho pub, Dylan Thomas visits his mentor Victor Neuberg, formerly the Beast’s principal follower. Everything else in the book follows on from this reputedly true event.

Dylan was standing by the bookcase squinting at the titles. He had grown a little plumper in the year since Vicky had seen him but was still cherubic, his nest of curls tousled, though not by wind, for it was one of those temperate days in early June when London flings off its overcoat and apes Marseilles. Instead, his unshaven chin, bloodshot eyes and rumpled blue check suit, with the telltale bulge in the right-hand pocket, spoke of a night of it. Nevertheless, something in his look seemed haunted by more than drink.

‘Do you think a man can read another’s mind, Vicky?’ he demanded, without preamble, in that singsong voice in which only the lilt was Welsh. ‘I was in the Swiss last night, in cahoots with this Polish girl I’d met at Pop Kleinfield’s. We had put back a few, and she was laying into me something chronic. I had heard that sort of guff before, so I just stood there doodling on the bar. I noticed a man sitting in the gloom. He was staring up at me. Large fellow, thickset, looked like a stockbroker, apart from his head, which was shaven, oh, and the hands, which were very dainty. In one, he was miffing a brandy; with the other, deliberately, as though he wanted me to notice, he took a pen from his jacket and began drawing on a napkin. The cheeky bugger’s mimicking me, I thought.’

‘Shaven head, you say’ said Vicky, trying unsuccessfully to conceal his excitement.

‘Apart that is from a little horn of hair, which I noticed when he lumbered over like an eclipse and tried to hypnotise me with the pin on his swaying tie. It was a large ebony brooch, bearing the head of a stork-like bird with a long bill curved like a boomerang. Moreover, did he stink! There was this cloying scent like cheap perfume. “I think we artists should compare productions,” he wheezed, and waved his drawing under my nose. Bugger me black if he hadn’t drawn the same as me!’

————————————–
What if the Beast returned and you were not sure if he were the best or worst thing that had ever happened to you?

Sybarite among the Shadows finds Victor Neuburg on June 11 1936 with the poet he discovered, Dylan Thomas. They embark on a quest whose object is Neuburg’s old master, the Great Beast 666; settings, the Surrealist Exhibition, and pubs and clubs of bohemian London; characters, Augustus John, Nina Hamnett and Tom Driberg. Neuburg confronts his demons; Crowley does too. They also meet something far more menacing: MI5’s plot to avert the Abdication.

Praise for SYBARITE AMONG THE SHADOWS

‘McNeff’s novel is so different from anything else you’d normally find on a bookshelf that it should perhaps be a compulsory purchase.’
– Independent On Sunday

To use Aleister Crowley in a work of ‘faction’ is brave indeed. Just his name casts a spell over the page Richard McNeff has faced up to the task with aplomb and realistically recreates him in all his bizarre, mesmerizing complexity.’
– Martin Booth, author of Aleister Crowley: A Life

From Snoo Wilson:

‘Full of fascinating nuggets…..Neuburg’s crisis of identity with AC is very well observed.’

The Magical Dilemma
of Victor Neuburg
Jean Overton Fuller

To mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas, here’s an extract from JOF’s book that narrates her first meeting with the soon to be famous poet:

The Magical Dilemma of Victor Neiburg
978-1869928-797

Dylan1936


Format; Softcover
ISBN:
£12.99/US$24
Subjects: Biography/Aleister Crowley/Thelema/Magick.

“We agreed to Zoists”: Dylan Thomas & the Occultist Victor Neuburg (Aleister Crowley’s lover & collaborator)

“We agreed to Zoists.

Runia wanted us to have badges, ‘so that one Zoist can recognize another, if you meet outside, or if we have provincial centres.’

There was a murmur of dissent. Some of us felt this thing was getting inflated. And we didn’t want badges. We weren’t boy scouts; just a few people who wanted to come here and sit and talk to each other on Saturday evenings.

‘All right, no badges,’ she said. ‘But it is agreed we have a name?’

It was agreed but there was no enthusiasm for the name, our feeling being for the informal. Before we left Runia made us cups of tea.

When eventually we broke up, and I stood again in the road outside, I felt I could tell my mother I had been among distinguished people. But the truth was I felt something else as well. I felt I had been in ancient Egypt and for this feeling I could find no explanation.

Not all of those who had been present on the first evening returned the following Saturday, but as I attended every week I began to know the regulars. Arriving soon after 8 (dinner at the hotel where my mother and I lived, was at 7, so it was a rush), I always found a certain number of people there already, though there was usually some time to wait until Vicky and Runia came from the inner room. It was in this waiting time that I had to find my feet, as it were among the other young ones. Nobody was ever introduced at Vicky’s. One just found out for oneself. I did not find the young men easy although they made efforts to draw me into the circle, for they assumed an acquaintance with modern poetry and political authors greater than I possessed; I could not always follow their allusions, and I had the feeling they all participated in a form of culture slightly strange to me. I was therefore grateful when a good looking young man, quiet mannered and of a more ordinarily civilized demeanour, settled himself beside me and asked, simply, ‘How did you come to Vicky’s?’

I told him about the circular letter I had received. He knew Geoffrey Lloyd had sent some out and asked, ‘What do you do when you’re not writing poems for Vicky? What’s your background, so to speak?’

I told him I had been on the stage since I was seventeen.
He said ‘Fancy our having an actress among us!’

‘What’s your name?’ I asked him.

‘William Thomas’, was what I first thought he said, but then he added, ‘It’s a special Welsh name.’
There could be nothing very special about William, and I puckered my brows.
‘You’ll never have heard it before,’ he said. ‘Nobody in England ever has. It should really be pronounced Wullam, in Welsh.’ Or was he saying ‘Dullan’?

‘It’s a special Welsh name,’ he repeated. ‘I shall have to spell it for you. D-Y-L-A-N. In Wales, it’s pronounced Dullan. But I’d been corresponding with Vicky for some time before I came to London, and when I arrived I found he had been calling me Dillan, in his mind. I thought if Vicky didn’t know how to pronounce it nobody in England would, so I decided to take it as the standard English pronunciation of my name. Otherwise I’d spend all my time telling people it was Dull and not Dill, and I think perhaps Dillan sounds more elegant than Dullan. Only Idris objects and thinks it’s frightfully fancy! Because he’s Welsh, too, and he knows! but now I’m getting even Idris trained to call me Dillan, though it’s under protest!’
‘What part of Wales do you come from?’ I said.

‘Oh, I only come from a small town. Swansea.’

Whereas I had previously felt myself to be the most naive member of a group otherwise composed of sophisticated, bohemian intellectuals, I now felt I had, vis-à-vis Dylan Thomas, at any rate, an advantage in being a Londoner. ‘I should have thought Swansea was a large town,’ I said. ‘I was near there all last summer. If you had been to the theatre at Porthcawl you would have seen me on the stage!’

‘No, I’m afraid I didn’t’ he said. ‘What a pity!’

Giving the conversation a turn he did not expect, I said, ‘Have you ever been down a mine?’
‘No.’

‘I have!’ I explained triumphantly. ‘Near Crumlin. I once played a January date in the Rhondda. Or more exactly the Ebbw Vale.’ I told him how I had persuaded the men at a pit to take me down the shaft, and how, having arrived at the bottom, I was given a lamp to hold and escorted along a passage which had been hewed through the coal to a point where it became so low that one would have had to proceed on hands and knees. I was shown a fault seam, which I felt with my fingers.

‘You have seen something in Wales which I haven’t!’ said Dylan. He explained that his home was some distance from the mining regions. He described the part of Swansea where he lived, with a detail I cannot now recall, except that it sounded salubrious and agreeable. His father was Senior English Master at the Grammar School. ‘Living where I do one doesn’t really see anything of all that,’ he said, with reference to my allusion to the coal mining (and depressed) areas. ‘Idris comes from the Rhondda,’1 he said. ‘I haven’t been into those areas.’ As though he had been slightly shamed by my adventure, he added, ‘Perhaps I ought to have done.’

‘It’s because you live there that you wouldn’t think of it,’ I said. ‘When one is touring one feels one must see everything in case one never comes again. When I was sixteen, my mother and I made a tour of Italy, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Capri, and back through Perugia, Florence and Milan. We felt we had to go into everything, even the smallest church we passed on any street. We realized we had never “done” London half as thoroughly because we took it for granted.’

I have no ‘outrageous’ sayings of Dylan Thomas to record. His conversation with me was perfectly drawing-room and unexceptional. I remember him as a polite young man. Friendly, but not at all presuming.
He told me the origins of the circle of which I now formed part. ‘First one and then another of us found our way to Vicky’s through entering into correspondence with him or something like that, and so a circle grew up around Vicky. We’re all very fond of Vicky.’ He explained that, ‘always reading each other’s names in print we began to wonder what the ones whom we hadn’t seen were like.’ So they had had the idea ‘of sending out circulars to everybody who was a contributor. He thought it had brought in some interesting people. ‘Well, it has brought you!’ Perhaps one could name some kind of a regular thing of it. ‘The only thing I don’t like is the name Zoists!’ he said.

I laughed and said, ‘It does sound a bit like protozoa, zoophytes and zoids!’

Dylan pulled a funny face.

‘We’re always called “Vicky’s children”,’ said Dylan. ‘It’s a bit sentimental, but I don’t think we shall ever be called anything else.’

It had been at the back of my mind while he was speaking that his name, as he had spelled it out, was one which I had read in the Sunday Referee in a context more important than that of the weekly prizes. I had not taken the paper regularly before I joined the circle, or I would have known the whole build-up. I said, ‘Aren’t you the winner of a big prize? I believe you’re one of the distinguished people here!’
‘It was through Vicky and the Sunday Referee that a book of my poems has been published,’ he said. He explained that a prize was offered twice yearly, part of which consisted in the publication of the winner’s poems in book form. ‘The first was awarded to Pamela Hansford Johnson. She isn’t here tonight. I was given the second of them.’ He said that Vicky had helped him pick out what he thought were the best of the poems he had written.

‘What’s it called?’

‘Just 18 Poems. It was published just before Christmas, and I think it’s doing quite well.’ He added, ‘I’m very grateful to Vicky. It’s a big thing for me. One’s first book is the most difficult to get published. Everyone says so. Now that I have one book published, it should be easier to get the next accepted, perhaps by an ordinary firm.’

My sentiment for Vicky was already so strong that I was slightly shocked.

Dylan Thomas saw it. ‘Vicky doesn’t expect us to stay with him!’ he said. ‘This is a nursery school from which we are expected to go out into the world. When we can get published elsewhere nobody is more pleased than Vicky!’

Just then the moment for which we had been waiting arrived. The door from the inner part of the house opened and our hosts came out to join us.

Vicky came straight up to Dylan and me. I did not know which of us the distinction was meant for but it gave me joy. He stood by my chair, looking down on us beamingly, and said to Dylan, ‘You’re entertaining this little lady?’

Dylan said, ‘I’ve been telling her something of the history of the Poet’s Corner.’

*********************************

Laugharne,
Carmarthenshire,
Wales
19 June 1940
Dear Miss Fuller
I haven’t heard anything from Vicky and Runia for years, until about a fortnight ago.
Then Pamela Johnson wrote to tell me that Vicky had just died. I was very grieved to hear it; he was a sweet, wise man. Runia’s address is 84, Boundary Road, NW8. At least, I suppose she is still there. I wrote her a letter, but I haven’t had a reply yet; probably she’s too sad to write.
Yours sincerely
Dylan Thomas

——————————

Really two books in one. Firstly a record of one man’s extraordinary journey to magical enlightenment. Secondly the story of Aleister Crowley, the magus who summoned Neuburg to join him in the quest.

‘The book opens with the author’s entry into the group of young poets including Dylan Thomas and Pamela Hansford Johnson. They gather around Victor Newburg in 1935 when he is poetry editor of the Sunday Referee. Gradually the author becomes aware of his strange and sinister past, in which Neuburg was associated in magick with Aleister Crowley.

Contents: Beginnings / Mystic of the Agnostic Journal / Crowley and the Golden Dawn / Initiation / Magical Retirement / Equinox and Algeria / Rites of Eleusis / Triumph of Pan / Desert / Triangles / Moon Above the Tower / Templars and the Tradition of Sheikh El Djebel / Paris Working / The Sanctuary / Arcanum Arcanorum / Dylan Thomas

Reviews:

‘Those interested in Western occult history will welcome this revised and expanded edition of an important work first published in 1965.

Overton Fuller’s biography of Neuburg paints an intimate portrait of this complex character who was as much mystic as poet. A prominent figure in London’s literary bohemia in the 1930s, Neuburg encouraged such writers as Dylan Thomas, Pamela Hansford Johnson, Hugo Manning and many others, including Overton Fuller.

In his earlier days, Neuburg had been a disciple, magical partner and possibly even lover of Aleister Crowley during a period of ground-breaking magical experiments.

‘Vicky encouraged me as no one else has done,’ Dylan Thomas declared on hearing of Neuburg’s death. ‘He possessed many kinds of genius, and not the least was his genius for drawing to himself, by his wisdom, graveness, great humour and innocence, a feeling of trust and love, that won’t ever be forgotten.’ ‘ . . . there was a whiff of sulphur abroad, and all of us would have liked to know the truth of the Aleister Crowley’s legends, the truth of the witch-like baroness called Cremers, the abandonment of Neuburg in the desert.’

– Pamela Hansford Johnson

‘No dry biography this but an illuminating and compelling account of a multi-faceted personality who lived during an exciting period of occult and literary history. An absolute must-have!’
– (ME) In Prediction Magazine November 2005

The Books of The Beast
Timothy d’Arch Smith


Format: Softcover
ISBN
£12.99/US$22
Subjects: Aleister Crowley/Crowleyiana/Publishing History/Antiquarian Books/Occult.

Timothy d’Arch Smith is a well-known bibliographer, reviewer and antiquarian bookseller with a special interest in the by-ways of literature, notably the occult and the curious.

For Aleister Crowley a book was a talisman and their every part right down to colour, dimension, and price was symbolic. He also used magical techniques to gain literary success–thus new editions of Crowley’s writing multiply daily, tantalizing the bibliographer. All the more indispensable is this authoritative guide to his magical first editions.

Timothy d’Arch Smith, widely acknowledged as a leading expert on Crowley and on underground literature, offers several shorter articles on:
*Oxford’s demonologist Montague Summers;
*R A Caton and his Fortune Press;
*Sexual prophet Ralph Chubb;
*Florence Farr;
*The British Library Private Case;
*and Timothy d’Arch Smith.
*For this new edition, he also adds an extra chapter on Crowley.

REVIEWS

”…one could hardly wish for a more stimulating guide…” –The London Magazine

”One of the more immediately striking things about the book is its gentle humour.”- Time Out

The Books of The Beast. Timothy d’Arch Smith. (Mandrake).
The author of this collection of studies of twentieth-century occultists is a well-known antiquarian bookseller, bibliographer and reviewer with a life-long interest in esoterica and erotica. This collection has a bibliography of Crowley that gives the book its title and biographies of the Roman Catholic priest, playwright, schoolmaster, collector of homoerotic pornography, demonologist and closet Satanist, Montague Summers, the eccentric R.A. Caton, who shared Summer’s interest in young boys and was briefly his publisher, Ralph Chubb, writer, artist and pederast who tried to create a new religion based on the worship of a boy-god, and pioneering female occultist Florence Farr of The Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn. There is also an account of Crowley’s disguised appearance as a character in Anthony Powell’s famous novel A Dance to the Music of Time (1951), one of many he made in fictional works, and a description of the private collection of erotica in the British Library. The book concludes with a fascinating autobiographical epilogue on the author’s adventures in the London occult scene of the 1950s and 1960s. These feature Michael Houghton from the Atlantis Bookshop (compared by the author to Grumpy in Walt Disney’s Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs because of his stature and demeanour!), Crowley’s forgotten biographer and cricket fan Charles Richard Cammel, who died during a Test Match at the Oval (what a way to go!), the writer and biographer Jean Overton Fuller, the Beatles (who attended a witchcraft exhibition organised by the author), and Crowley follower Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. Highly recommended. The Cauldron # 136, May 2010.

Aleister Crowley
A Modern Master
John S. Moore

 


Format: Softcover
ISBN:
£12.99/US$20
Subjects: Aleister Crowley/Magick/Thelema.

Aleister Crowley’s appeal on the level of popular culture has been well catered for by a number of biographies that have appeared in recent years, but the more intellectual side to him, which is equally fascinating, has not received so much serious treatment.

Crowley, A Modern Master is neither an account of his life, nor a straightforward presentation of his teaching, but an attempt to place him clearly in the context of modern ideas as well as a number of older traditions.

Listen to John Moore’s presentation of Aleister Crowley a modern master

Extracts

Even, or even especially if you have little interest in the occult, Aleister Crowley deserves your attention. He applied his powerful intellect to engage with some of the most pressing issues of his own day, many of which remain as vital as ever. His Magick, and his Thelema, outlandish as they might at first sound, are not just fringe ideas, they offer provocative answers and solutions to many of the urgent questions that still beset us.

His message is meant for all, as he firmly states in the introduction to Magick in Theory and Practice. He challenged received opinion, which responded by cutting him out of serious history. Untangle his ideas from their bizarre sounding setting, and we can see how unjust was his exclusion. Most importantly, while received opinion has somewhat changed its character over the past sixty years it is still powerfully subverted by the life and work of this badly underrated great man.

My object is to make Crowley intelligible in a mainstream context, to bring his creative achievement more into the light of sympathetic attention, render his ideas more accessible, and his religious outlook and experience available. This involves rewriting much recent intellectual history. The object is also to make excuses for him, defending what has been criticised as the more contemptible side of his character. While my main target audience is people who already know about Crowley and are intrigued enough to want to explore the context of his ideas, I am also writing for anyone interested in modern thought who is curious to discover if I really can make a case for his importance.

The plan for this book was first conceived in 1984 as a contribution to the Fontana Modern Masters series. This was a series of paperbacks about the people who supposedly defined modernity, what is most creative and distinctive in the age in which we live in. I felt strongly that Crowley deserved a place among these assorted gurus. It was annoying, reading much of what was taken so seriously and admired, that the writings of this unique genius should be so completely disregarded. Knowing the prejudice against him I didn’t have any serious hope, but sent off a proposal all the same. I was told Crowley was not a suitable subject for inclusion. ‘From a publishing point of view’, I was told, he was ‘simply too different from the other people we have included as subjects’. This was of course to be expected. Ezra Pound, high priest of modernism, had been adamant there should be no place for the Beast, far preferring Crowley’s nemesis, Mussolini. I meant to show that Crowley is not so out of place in such company as is said.

John S. Moore

 

REVIEW

‘That John Moore thinks Aleister Crowley is one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century can be in no doubt after reading what amounts to a 200 pages attempt of a rehabilitation of the great beast.

Moore is the first to admit that his book is a defence of Crowley. ”The object is to make excuses for him”, Moore asserts, ”defending what has been criticized as the more contemptible side of his character.” Moore has no interest in the simple retelling of Crowley’s life and works: pointing out that this has been done many times.Instead he aims to try to put Crowley’s thought, work and behaviour into context. In an attempt to make Crowley ”intelligible”, Moore expends many chapters in highly detailed examination of Crowley’s output. Texts and behaviour are examined in the light of ‘Romanticism’, ‘Protestantism’ and ‘Philosophy’, while what Moore describes as ‘Crowley’s sexual Stalinism’ is given an equally thorough examination.

This is not a book for those with no knowledge of Crowley or his work. John Moore expects that you will have heard of (if not be familiar with) Crowley’s main texts and, after a short but informative description of Crowley’s life, lauches the reader straight into the nitty-gritty.

If you are a devotee of Crowley and can see no wrong in him, or any of his behaviour, you will find this book greatly to your taste. I, for one, however found some of Moore’s rather blithe assertions hard to take. One such was that Crowley’s execrable behaviour towards the women in his life could be glossed over with ”His was an aristocratic path. Sex lives of true aristocrats in all their complexity are not reducible to simple formula for democratic consumption.” I’m afraid that doesn’t quite do it for me. Quibbles aside this is a really thought provoking take on Crowley as a thinker, ego and possible guru. It highlights his huge creativity and determination to live as he believed he should, no matter the consequences: whether of drug abuse, sexual ‘addiction’, megalomania or accusations of debauchery. Well worth a place in any collection of Crowleyana.’

Pagan Dawn Samhain-Yule 2009