Tag: austin osman spare

Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick, by Dave Evans

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Aleister CrowleyAleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick, by Dave EvansAleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick: Strange distant gods that are not dead today, by Dave Evans Hidden Publishing, 9780955523724, 108 pp. (incl. appendices), 108 pp. (incl. appendices)Aleister Crowley and the 20th Century Synthesis of Magick is based on Dave Evans’ master’s thesis from Exeter University and represents the second, revised edition (the first being an e-book published in 2001).Evans writes that "Crowley is a particularly attractive person to study, as, apart from the Elizabethan magician John Dee, no leading occultist has left such comprehensive personal diaries and writings. It is this intimate and minutely detailed material that facilitates deep engagement with the subject.” This certainly seems to be the case. Read More

Psyche’s list of chaos magick books

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Books, photo by az This list of chaos magick books was first published in an information pamphlet created for the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival in September 2007.Read these for a taste of the philosophy surrounding chaos magick: Chaos magick is first and foremost about achieving results, therefore, don't merely read these, do them: Read More

Postmodern Magic, by Patrick Dunn

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Postmodern Magic: The Art of Magic in the Information Age, by Patrick Dunn Llewellyn Publishing, 0738706639, 251 pp., 2005It's been years since I spoke with Dunn via an online mailing list - indeed, I didn't even realize he'd published a book! It was the book's sensible tone, straightforward approach and material that lead me to connect the dots and finally recognize why it seemed so familiar. The list was a central focus for a chaos magick group which began in the mid to late 1990s that remains active today, in an sense, though most of the core members have moved on, as Patrick seems to have done, after a fashion, though echoes of its influence are still heard. Read More

Two Tracts on Cartomancy, by Austin Osman Spare

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Austin Osman SpareTwo Tracts on Cartomancy, by Austin Osman Spare Two Tracts on Cartomancy, by Austin Osman Spare, with an introductory essay by Gavin W. Semple Fulgur Limited, 1558183442, 38 pp. (incl. list of illustrations), 1997Gavin Semple’s introductory essay makes up the main portion of this booklet. It, rather helpfully, gives an account of Spare’s introduction to cartomancy, and subsequently, his understanding and use of forecasting cards, placing it in context.Semple describes Spare’s fondness for gambling on the horse races, and how this lead to the creation of his own ‘Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards’ (among others); explaining that that "Spare was not about to swallow anyone else’s gnosis wholesale – the challenge for him was to formulate a symbolic arcanum which would elucidate the most abstract principles of magic in terms uniquely his own." Read More

How to charge a sigil playing video games

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Video game controller, image by dgoomanyOne of the most fascinating aspects about pop culture magick is the adaptability it grants you. Case in point, recently I’d been reading Disinfo’s Book of Lies, particularly the essays on Austin Osman Spare. The ideal state to be in to charge a sigil is one where the mind is blank, vacuous, and thus open to the influences of the sigil. I began to think about that and how pop culture could be applied to charging and firing sigils.  Read More

Review: Rebels and Devils, edited by Christopher S. Hyatt

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Rebels & Devils: The Psychology of Liberation, edited by Christopher S. Hyatt
New Falcon, 1561841536, 428 pp., 1996, 2000

Rebels and Devils is a collection of works from some of the most rebellious and accomplished minds of our time; including such notorious authors as William Burroughs, Phil Hine, Peter Carroll, Austin Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, Osho, and naturally Christopher S. Hyatt, as well as various others. Not only a collection of essays, it also consists of various photographs, poetry, biographies, interviews and even a comic drawn by S. Jason Black and co-written by Hyatt. Comprised of more than works psychology and magick; anything that could be deemed rebellious or individualistic; also covered are such topics as yoga, meditation, sex, drugs, guns, death, and the difference between rebellion and revolution.

I’ve never read anything by Israel Regardie before, as his most famous works seem centred around the Golden Dawn, and I’ve never had much use for formal magickal orders, so I was somewhat surprised to discover while reading an interview between him and Hyatt (‘The Final Words of a Western Master’) that he was so funny, as I tend to see that sort of thing as being dry work. Both humourous and insightful, he made an excellent point regarding the misconceptions readers have about the authors they read, very one dimensionally, and this certainly helps expand that.

In ‘The Calling of the Holy Whore’, Diana Rose Hartman, the only female author in the entire compendium, offers an intelligently refreshing re-interpretation of the Judeo-Christian myths surrounding Satan/Lucifer in the rebel guise, noting how ‘devil’ and ‘divine’ grew out of the same Indo-European root word devi, and ‘demon’ came from the Greek for genius, daemon. Hart contributes an interesting feminist perspective to rebellion, in embracing the holy whore within ourselves.

Christopher Hyatt reflects on the methods of modern slavery in ‘Who Owns the Planet Earth’:

“While most humans agree that slavery is evil – that the ownership of one human by another is immoral – few humans equate slavery with enforced education, welfare, health, and the idea of a perfect orderly universe. Slavery is usually associated with power over others and with the ability to enforce one’s will on another without the fear of retaliation. Within the “right” of ownership and debt there is a hidden mystery – a metaphysics – a knowledge only available to those with the power to create and enforce their metaphysics. Whenever a new group achieves power, they also inherit the metaphysics and magickally, the ability to use it.”

While Osho notes in ‘Rebellion is the Biggest “YES” Yet’:

“Rebellion is an individual action; it has nothing to do with the crowd. Rebellion has nothing to do with politics, power, violence. Rebellion has something to do with changing your consciousness, your silence, your being. It is a spiritual metamorphosis.”

The myriad of discussions on rebellion and liberation in its various forms make this a book to be treasured for years to come. While not every essay is a shining jewel to be discovered, there is a sufficient number that makes Rebels and Devils defiantly worth reading. I recommend that they be read as they appear, even though one may not be interested in every subject discussed, they do follow a loose sequence.


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