Musings of a Thelemite, by Frater Da’Neos
Alchemy Press, 0977691101, 161 pp. (incl. appendices and works cited), 2005
From time to time the craziest things come in through Spiral Nature’s post box, and Musings of a Thelemite seems to be a perfect example of this.
Frater Da’Neos seems an odd fellow right from the start. He claims to have a had a mid-life crisis at seventeen – his reasoning is that it happened so young because he is smarter than most people, though from his description it sounds like the usual angst experienced by most teens. He grew up a fanatical Christian, taking biblical text literally, founded his own church at nineteen, and married young. He had a crisis of faith at twenty, but remained with his church an atheist terrified of the dark, developing “a morbid fear of death once [he] was no longer sure of an afterlife”.
He then found the kabbalah, which seemed to sooth his spiritual yearnings, but this was not any help at home. His wife cheated on him and he met a Scarlet Woman, and here he makes a clear distinction that it is not ‘the’ Scarlet Woman, but ‘his’ Scarlet Woman, further stating that “[t]hose who have too many shackles on their brain to understand this can go to hell”. This is indicative of his argumentative style. Throughout his ‘musings’ if he comes across something which may be difficult to explain or expand upon he attempts to belittle the reader or any future detractors rather than clearly express what he intends.
He writes of “Wiccan garbage”, offensive references to Christianity, and demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of religion in general and history in particular. I find it immensely ironic that he cites Wiccan literature as garbage, yet makes claims such as “[i]n the earliest times, worship was centered on the great earth mother…” It boggles the mind. This type of Goddess history has long been more or less discredited as wishful thinking. His Christian history is more interesting, but remains highly speculative, and may have faired better without the comments made on his personal history in the introduction.
Frater Da’Neos writes in the style of an enthusiastic greenhorn, who has not yet fully accepted his newfound belief, not yet feeling comfortable, settled. He often seems more concerned with shocking potential critics (his parents, these Christians he seems so against now?) that it detracts from any message he could be trying to put forth, though whether or not he actually has anything to say seems to confound him as well, as he comments of himself “I barely know what I am talking about myself”.
He seems to admire Crowley who, in his words “did what he could”, further listing Crowley’s accomplishments towards the end of the book, however, Frater Da’Neos does not believe in True Will, nor does he seem to have a firm grasp on any other topics that could be termed Thelemic, and so it’s not clear why he chooses to identify himself as a Thelemite.
In addition to essays, he also includes a soliloquy, poetry, a short story, all of which are rather bizarre, though I must admit appreciation for the artwork included, some of it is quite interesting.
The text is occasionally repetitive, with inconsistent spelling and capitalization; it is also grammatically awkward in places and could certainly have benefited from editing.
I honestly can’t imagine anyone reading this for insight on any topic. It seems writing this may have been cathartic for him, and in that regard I wish him the best, but there is very little that would be of any value to anyone else.