About Altars

Babalon the Scarlet woman

The altar is raised structure or place that is used for sacrifice, worship, or prayer. 

A working altar could be a table or anything similar to it. 

The height of the Altar is equal to the height above the ground of the navel of the Magician. (Liber ABA, chapter III).

The altar is the place in which we focus our magical work and consecrate and keep our ritual tools. There are all sorts of altars, which usually correspond to different types of magical work and deities. 

When we start working with a new deity, or one that we never worked with before, it is advisable to dedicate an altar just for it. In this way, we can fine-tune ourselves into the subtle energies of the deity. Only when we learn enough and get familiar with the deity, we might want to try and add another deity to the same altar. 

Some deities even though belong to the same pantheons, would not approve of sharing the same space with one another. I realize that this might sound a bit nonsensical to the neophyte, but it is easy to detect, as soon enough you will notice the disharmony flowing around your house and affecting everything you do. Some traditionalists would even go as far as separating certain deities completely from the rest and dedicating a whole room to them.

But we are Chaos Magicians, I hear you say, how does this apply to us?

To master the art of Chaos magic, we need to learn first the order of things and how they work, only then we will know how to turn chaos into magic. To live in chaos does not make you a chaos magician…

I have many altars around the house, each one of them is like a PowerPoint of certain energy and information that I can stop by whenever I need or want to, and charge myself with. The main altar in the house is like an ongoing creation of itself, always changing according to the seasons and the sabbats or the main magical work of a specific time. 

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The Altar should delight

A personal magical altar should be a delight to behold. Keep things simple and aesthetically pleasing. For starting out, you need only a very few things. A basic altar usually has on it symbols of the five elements. Candles or lamps for fire, a cup for water, incense and burner for smell, a plate or pentacle for earth, a bell for spirit. Try to put aside any doubts you have about the need to have these things actually there. You will come to see these doubts as just another kind of conditioning that you need to work through. 

Optional things for your altar are perhaps a special knife or wand to point with when doing an invocation. At this stage a finger does just as well. A wand you make now may not please you in a years time but you will nevertheless have great difficulty abandoning it. To avoid this problem, why not do without a wand until you really feel the need for one – perhaps you never will. Other useful things include a robe or cloak (black cotton is the most widely used variety). Robes and cloaks work well for standing up rituals, but for sitting down, of which there is a fair amount in Magick, they can be a bit restrictive. If your room is well heated then going naked might be an option, otherwise comfortable leggings, sarong or yoga trousers might be better. 

One last recommendation, try using real incense, which is burnt on self lighting charcoal. Clouds of incense have long been used by magicians as an alternative to the ancient animal sacrifice. Real incense is more expensive, but can be more potent than joss sticks. But even the later vary a lot in quality, so investigate the best. Ask about reputable magical incense suppliers or details about how you can make your own – as with anything there are good and bad suppliers of such things. 

(From Thelemic Magick: Mogg Morgan 2022)

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From Liber ABA

CHAPTER III

THE ALTAR

THE Altar represents the solid basis of the work, the fixed Will

footnote: It represents the extension of Will. Will is the Dyad (see section on the Wand); 2 x 2 = 4. So the altar is foursquare, and also its ten squares show 4. 10 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4.

of the Magician; and the law under which he works. Within this altar everything is kept, since everything is subject to law. Except the lamp.

According to some authorities the Altar should be made of oak to represent the stubbornness and rigidity of law; others would make it of Acacia, for Acacia is the symbol of resurrection.

The Altar is a double cube, which is a rough way of symbolizing the Great Work; for the doubling of the cube, like the squaring of the circle, was one of the great problems of antiquity. The surface of this Altar is composed of ten squares. The top is Kether, and the bottom Malkuth. The height of the Altar is equal to the height above the ground of the navel of the Magician. The Altar is connected with the Ark of the Covenant, Noah’s Ark, the nave (“navis,” a ship) of the Church, and many other symbols of antiquity, whose symbolism has been well worked out in an anonymous book called “The Cannon,”

WEH footnote: written by William Stirling

(Elkin Mathews), which should be studied carefully before constructing the Altar.

For this Altar must embody the Magician’s knowledge of the laws of Nature, which are the laws through which he works.

He should endeavour to make geometrical constructions to symbolize cosmic measurements. For example, he may take the two diagonals as (say) the diameter of the sun. Then the side of the altar will be found to have a length equal to some other cosmic measure, a vesica drawn on the side some other, a “rood cross” within the vesica yet another. Each Magician should work out his own system of symbolism — and he need not confine himself to cosmic measurements. He might, for example, find some relation to express the law of inverse squares.

The top of the Altar shall be covered with gold, and on this gold should be engraved some such figure as the Holy Oblation, or the New Jerusalem, or, if he have the skill, the Microcosm of Vitruvius, of which we give illustrations.

On the sides of the Altar are also sometimes drawn the great tablets of the elements, and the sigils of the holy elemental kings, as shown in The Equinox, No. VII; for these are syntheses of the forces of Nature. Yet these are rather special than general symbols, and this book purports to treat only of the grand principles of working.

{diagrams on this page, at top the microcosm of Vitruvius from the title page decoration (not frontispiece as is sometimes said) to Robert Fludd’s “Utriusque Cosmi Maioris scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, Physica, Atque Technica Historia”, based on a Renaissance copy of Vitruvius’ 1st century “De Architectura” as interpreted by Cesariano in 1521, minus Fludd’s rope, clouds and winged fawn+hourglass, with the caption beneath “DESIGN SUITABLE FOR TOP OF ALTAR”, and below that a geometrical figure of the planets and stars from “The Cannon” fig. 3, p. 30, chap. II. with the under caption “THE HOLY OBLATION”}

{diagram on this page: Inside a dashed equilateral triangle are a scourge, chain, dagger and a wide, low perfume bottle shaped like a woman’s breast with nipple, below this is a scale in inches and below that the caption “THE SCOURGE, THE DAGGER, AND THE CHAIN; ENCLOSING THE PHIAL FOR THE HOLY OIL.”}

 

The Hierophant – Love and do what you will

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Chapter 3, verse xi: “Let the woman be girt with a sword before me”.

The symbolism of Crowley’s Thoth tarot is much more profound than the usual tarot meanings and symbolism. Crowley had a wonderful underlined subtext and messages communicating his ideas and beliefs through the Thoth tarot deck. I find his ‘secret’ symbolism and messages fascinating. 

Before we start to explore the symbolism of this card, remember we are only approaching it from the Crowlian point of view and a very specific one – which is mine. 

Let us understand first who is the Hierophant and what it represents.

The Hierophant is a person, especially a priest, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles. 

According to Wikipedia, a hierophant (Ancient Greek: ἱεροφάντης) is a person who brings religious congregants into the presence of that which is deemed holy.  As such, a hierophant interprets sacred mysteries and arcane principles. In Attica, Hierophant was the title of the chief priest at the Eleusinian Mysteries. It was an office inherited within the Philaidae or Eumolpidae families. The office of Hierophant, High Priestess and Dadouchousa Priestess were all inherited within the Philaidae or Eumolpidae families, and the Hierophant and the High Priestess were of equal rank. It was the task of the High Priestess to impersonate the roles of the goddesses Demeter and Persephone in the enactment during the Mysteries.

The Hierophant is associated with the element of earth.

From the above, we can understand that the hierophant is a top religious figure like the Pope, or the chief Rabbi if you like, whose job was to be a conductor, a channel, funnel or mediator between the gods and the people. In this particular card, focusing only on the hidden symbolism, the hierophant is the representation of the goddess Nuit.

Nuit represents the element of infinite space. The mother of all stars – after all – “Every man and every woman is a star” (chapter 1, verse 3). Nuit is also the place each star is return to when his or her light diminishes. She is also the divine law. The law that the hierophant needs to transmit to her followers. 

 “Let the woman be girt with a sword before me” 

At the front of the card, before the hierophant, we can see the woman girt with a sword. 

According to The Book of Thoth, “she represents the Scarlet Woman in the hierarchy of the new Aeon” or in other words, representative of the ‘new woman’, ie, no more just a housewife or a pretty decor on the arm of her husband or boyfriend, but armed and militant, seeking her truth and equal rights. 

We can see how all of this manifests in the feminist movement of the 70s and the Me Too movement of our days. 

The woman girt with a sword , “The woman is the priestess; in her reposes the mystery. She is the mother, brooding yet tender; the lover, at once passionate and aloof; the wife, revered and cherished. She is the witch woman.” (Freedom is a two-edged Sword, Jack Parsons)

The deeper you look into the hidden symbolism and meaning of this mysterious woman, the clear it gets, that she can be Nuit herself, guarding the divine law.  

The law is simple and clear and it’s the hierophant’s job to pass it to his congregation:

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”

“Love is the law, love under will”

Or in our words 

Love and do what you will

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“The symbolism of the Wand is peculiar” – Solve et Coagula

Crowley describes the three interlaced rings of the wand, as a “representative of the three Aeons of Isis, Osiris and Horus”. However, on a closer look, we see that the hierophant holding the wand with its three rings aspiring upward, in his right hand (solve).  

As a Setian/Typhonian, I couldn’t help the thought that the three interlaced rings, would be much more comfortable in the right hand of destruction (solve) as a representative of Set, Osiris & Ra. 

Set and Osiris are both Ra’s grandsons and make a sacred triad. Both brothers have to sacrifice themselves for the continuation of Ra — of life — Osiris by getting killed by his brother Set, and Set killing his brother and becoming the ‘outcast’ God. (Aromagick)

The demonstration cycle of life through destruction and creation is continued with the symbolism of the hierophant’s left hand.

His left hand (coagula) is pointing downward in the Shamak mudra hand position. I must admit that this never occurred to me before, but once I become aware of it, I could not un-see it. 

The Shamak mudra also calls the kidney mudra, is the perfect hand position to deliver the message of Solve et Coagula (destruction and creation). In the beginning, I couldn’t see the connection between the kidney mudra to the word coagula and what it represents in the occult symbolism, especially here, to the hierophant and his wand. 

Coagulation means The action or process of a liquid, especially blood, changing to a solid or semi-solid state.
“a supplement that inhibits blood coagulation”

The main function of the kidneys is to cleanse the blood of toxins and transform the waste into urine.

The hierophant’s right hand in the Shamak mudra, suggests that before we can coagulate, we must be cleansed and purified of all toxins. Only then can we coagulate into our new and transformed selves. 

“The Throne of the Hierophant is surrounded by elephants, which are of the nature of Taurus; and he is actually seated upon a bull.”

At first look, the card seems to resonate with the symbolism of the zodiac sign Taurus, which is an earth sign. The element of earth is represented in this card as the Bull Kerub and symbolises the earth element at its most balanced and strongest. If we look at the symbolism of the bull from the Setian perspective, it takes us back to the cattle cult which is probably the oldest cult in the world. 

Cave painting from the Tassili n’Ajjer mountains

All Egyptian male deities have bull avatars. The Bull of Ombos is the avatar of Set. The Bull Cult probably sprang out of the Cattle cult linking deities like the Heavenly Cow/Hathor which represents the female aspect of the cult. 

The bull symbolises male fertility and potency and is connected with energy, stamina, endurance, protection, and aggression. As a symbol of strength, the bull was worshipped throughout the ancient world. From the astrological point of view, the zodiac sign of Taurus is linked to Spring in the agriculture calendar. Symbolising the season of rebirth, wealth and abundance. The bull also stands as a symbol of stubbornness, ferocity, tyranny and brutality, all the characteristics of a powerful God/s, and will make an honourable sacrifice for the almighty.

We might think, that we have moved on from the religious practices and worship of the bull’s cult, but today, the cattle cult assumed a different structure — the dairy and meat industry, that most of us are pretty much worshipping still.

Just to remind you, a hierophant is a person who brings religious congregants into the presence of that which is deemed holy.  As such, a hierophant interprets sacred mysteries and arcane principles.

In this card, the hierophant symbolises the link to the secret of the rhythm of time and the ancient practice of the worship of the bull. 

The secrets of the time lords are encoded in the divine law which is guarded by Nuit/NWT and delivered by the hierophant.

Timelord (?)

On magic and miracles and of Beit Shami tradition of Lighting Hanukkah candles

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Recently I learned of Beit Shamai Hanukkah tradition of starting with all eight candles on the first night and going down to one candle on the eighth. The more common Hanukkah tradition follows Beit Hillel – on the first night you light one candle and add another each day so by the eighth day you have all the candles burning in your Hanukkiah (Hanukkah’s special candle holder).

Once I understood the reason for this minhag (custom), it seemed to me the appropriate way for us Chaos Jewitches to celebrate Hanukkah 

To remind you, Hanukkah or the festival of lights is a holiday that is celebrated for eight days, in memory of the victory of the Hasmoneans in the rebellion against the Greeks, the rededication of the Temple, and the miracle of the oil jug. The holiday is marked by the saying of praise as well as the lighting of Hanukkah candles, on the eight days from the 24th Kislev to the 2nd of Tevet.

The Miracle of Hanukkah is an Aggadah (story) depicted in the Babylonian Talmud as one of the reasons for Hanukkah. In the story, the miracle occurred after the liberation of the Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt, and it describes the finding of a jug of pure oil that was just enough to light the lamp for one day, but that then lasted for eight days. 

There are two ways to understand the miracle: 

  1. You can focus on how the miracle power grew day by day, and by night it came to its full potential.
  2. Or, you can argue the opposite: that the magic was at its peak on the first day and by the eighth day its potential was already established in the hearts of all, but no longer visible.

Beit Hillel follows the first argument above, and as far as I know, it is the more common and popular tradition followed by most Jews around the world, celebrating the miracle getting bigger and stronger each day.

Beit Shamai focuses on the potential of the divine miracle and how the magic was much greater on the first day than on the last day. If we replace the word miracle with the word magic, suddenly it seems obvious why Beit Shammai chose to focus on the potential of the power of magic on its first day

This phenomenon, according to Chaos Magic, is described in one word — Gnosis, which is one of a kind and an extremely powerful experience. But as most of us know, the feeling and the memory of it, fade in the days that follow.  Beit Shammai’s Hanukkah tradition also focuses on the gnosis’s full potential or the miracle of the light that shone bright and strong on the first night.

I assume that most of you if you have read this far, do not follow Beit Hillel or Beit Shamai, but rather swim in the fertile waters of Chaos Magic or Chaos Craft Consciousness, and miracles, wonders, magic and sorcery are part of your path. Therefore, this Hanukkah, we would be celebrating by focusing on the divine magical potential for the entire eight days of the holiday. That means, eight candles every day for eight days!

When we focus on the divine potential of magic and its possible power, we are connecting and resonating with energy and information vibrating throughout the cosmological grid of the torus doughnut.

Overcoming Apep

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Part of my day job is reading and editing books, recently I was preparing the ebook edition of Seth & The Two Ways (Morgan 2019). Reading Appendix 2 – Book(s) of Overthrowing Apep (Bremner Rhind Papyrus 3), a papyrus found in Thebes (in Upper Egypt), probably from the tomb of a priest from the Ptolemaic period, filled with the most powerful and hostile of curses. To get the editing job done, I had to read the nine books in one go. Working on these texts I noticed a strange feeling creeping over me. As I read the first two books, I felt upset and unsettled, as if the disturbing words of the text caught me off guard and were now literally directed toward me. By the time I got to book three, the heavy feeling of despair changed to something else, difficult to describe. By books three and four, I could feel a surge of energy shooting up and down my spine and I could sense a powerful circle forming around me. When I started book five, The Book of Knowing The Creation Of Ra And Of Overthrowing Apep, I could almost see the circle of power enclosing me, on all sides. I felt protected and at the same time strong and ready, but for what?

By the time I finished reading book six, I had an insight into the nature of cursing and the importance of the god Seth in Egyptian Cosmology and its pantheons.

The ninth book vibrates the victorious rhythms of mission accomplished, the priest ferried through the most horrendous and atrocious curses, his spirit never failing, his heart never broken, his body fully charged with the primaeval power of the ancient serpent that vibrates with the secrets of creation. He is one with the Dark Lord, with the Red God, with the Black power of the North, he is ready to take on the ancient worm.

By the time I finished reading the ninth book, I felt powerful, strong, determined, and mighty. I was ready to slay a dragon.

Most of the curses and “grimoires” we are familiar with are working on a very specific psychological level – earthy and primal, to intimidate and bully a person, in the most extreme and influential ways, to make them believe they are cursed. As we know, this power is indisputable and when a person believes in something, it can be nearly impossible to argue with them or to change their minds.

This type of cursing is directed straight to the emotional centre, resonating with the lower and earthly vibrations to cause fear and upheaval in the lives of the ‘victim’. On the other hand, the person who does the cursing is as much trapped in the emotional realm of aggression and intimidation as the target is. 

In order to curse an awesome and primaeval power such as Apep, the priest who conducted the ritual, needed to be as strong and as powerful as Apep, probably stronger. 

I have come to believe that the Book(s) of Overthrowing Apep was meant to be read and performed as one ritual without a break. Like many other Egyptian texts, the Bremner Rhind Papyrus 3 is a text that takes us on a journey of becoming. The priest or priests build up their mental and physical resilience by vibrating those hostile words, channelling the power and assimilating them into themselves, transforming those nine books of curses into a powerful and mighty weapon of protection and strength. 

I mentioned above how these texts were probably found in the tomb of a priest. They were included in the funeral rites and preparation for the underworld or night journey. Whichever way one looks at it, one can’t avoid the awareness that Apep is eternal, bornless and cannot be killed. This realisation could cause a psychological battle in the mind of the priest, leading to doubts, despair and resentment of his beliefs, and losing their ability to perform their roles properly in the temple. By turning the tables and learning the secrets powers of the curse, the priest acquires a tool of power, channelling the powers of the cursed one onto himself, freeing himself from the mundane state of existence, transforming and attuning his mind into the cosmic rhythm of the eternal.

Being equipped with such a papyrus, with such a powerful curse, in the tomb on your final journey, would be like the ultimate insurance policy against the immense forces of Apep the eternal, to protect his “soul” (Ba, Ka, Akh) on the final journey.

The Names Of Apep Which Shall Have No Existence – Book nine is like a repetitive mantra to be chanted and written on papyrus and to be burned in the fire. In the mantra, the name of Apep is repeated twenty-nine times! Each repetition is written with one of his terrible and horrific powerful characteristics, for instance – (21) Apep Kher Amam (Apep, The Fallen, The Devourer) (25) Apep Kher Kenemmti (Apep, The Fallen, The Dark One) (28) Apep Kher Sekhem-her (Apep, The Fallen, The Potent of Glance). Ostensibly it looks as if the priest is chanting and writing a very fierce curse. From my personal experience with mantra chantings, I can say that the more you repeat the same word,  vowel or seed mantra, the more one can actually feel the energy gathering, charging and vibrating around and within you. You are becoming one with the rhythm, like the physical vessel of the mantra vibrations. The repetition of Apep’s name is the way in which the priest channels and charges the power into himself. 

According to the instructions on the Abydos Temple walls, the daily temple ritual was performed three times a day.  Based on information from Temple Ritual at Abydos by Rosalie David (2016), before entering the temple, the priests had to purify themselves in the water basins, the sacred lake or any other convenient pure water source. Weapons must be left outside the temple and only then can they approach the shrine door. 

They open that door while saying: “I remove the finger of Seth from the Eye of Horus” step into the shrine and look at the God, saying whatever comes into their mind as a greeting. Perhaps something like this: “Be not unaware of me (Ra), If you know me, I will know you”. They

move into the shrine and stand before the altar and clean away any debris, tidy the place, lighted the fire and anointed all the deity’s statues and figurines with the daily perfume and made an offering of food etc saying: “Hetep di nesew asir neb djedu neter Aa neb Abdu” Which was the standard offering formula in Egyptian rites and can be adapted to any deity. Once all this was done, the priest positioned himself in front of the offering table and started to read the Book(s) of Overthrowing Apep, building up the energy to the triumphant crescendo of the chanting the words of book nine – The Names Of Apep Which Shall Have No Existence, finishing the rite by throwing the papyrus into the purifying flames of the temple fire. 

One can almost see the rite taking place, almost feel the vibrations of the chants resonating within the temple.  Now imagine how would it feels to visit that temple when the ritual of Overthrowing Apep has been performed a myriad times, since the Middle Kingdom when its existence was first recorded. For the uninitiated and the laymen, the temples in which this rite has been regularly performed must have been the most forbidding and eerie of places, haunted by wild-eyed priests. For the cult and its initiates, this was a place of power, a place to immerse yourself and to be charged with the endless baraka of the eternal one.

The Sethian myth is established on the sacred triad: Ra, Seth & Apophis, none could exist without the others. It is the battle-dance of creation, one dies, another must kill and one must shine.  

 The complete version of the Books of Overthrowing Apep (The Mother of all Curses) is reproduced in Mogg Morgan’s Seth & The Two Ways

Seth & The Two Ways
Ways of seeing the demon god of Egypt
Mogg Morgan
Format: Softcover/illustrated/many in colour.
ISBN: 9781906958831
£18/US$26
Subjects: Ancient Egypt/Egyptian Magick

Click HERE for Seth & The Two Ways / UK / £18

Click HERE for Seth & The Two Ways / USA and Worldwide / US$26

 

Chaos Monk – An interview with Steve Dee

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Click here to buy Chaos Monk

I am a big fan of Steve’s writing. At first, it was his posts on the Blog of Baphomet that drew my attention to his writing. His very unique and personal take on chaos magick resonates with everything I wanted to learn and explore for myself at the time. Steve and I corresponded for a while, I can’t recall for how long, but I can say that his teaching, guidance and mentoring had a profound impact on my life. 

Chaos Monk is an invitation to spiritual intensity. In the face of life’s brevity, it seeks to offer a challenge to consider what truly matters and how we might find skilful means for exploring such a question.

From my own personal experiences of working with Steve, I can say that his ‘monastic ways’ always help and guided me in the most intense and crucial times of my life.

Sometimes the deepest and highest forms of gnosis are in simplicity, faithfulness and accountability and stillness.

Other titles by Steve Dee:

A Gnostic’s Progress: Magic and the Path of Awakening

The Heretic’s Journey: Spiritual Freethinking for Difficult Times

Chaos Craft: The Wheel of the Year in Eight Colours 

 

Chaos Monk

Can you introduce yourself and say a little about what you do, and your aims and objectives with Chaos Monk in your writing?

Yes, I’m Steve Dee. I live in Devon in the UK where I work as a Psychotherapist within the National Health Service. I like surfing, walking and leading a fairly quiet life. My writing is generally the over-spill of my own exploration, research and magical practice. I tend to make sense of things by trying to write about them and hopefully what I write can be helpful to others.

If you haven’t already, can you say a little more about your family background, ie past and current – ie are you married, children, work – people like a little bit of personal stuff if you ok to share?

Sure, I come from Cardiff in South Wales but also spent a chunk of my childhood growing up in Australia. I studied theology when I was in my late teens-early 20s and came close to becoming a monk and an Anglican Priest but this all changed when I bumped into the Gnostics and Carl Jung.

I identify as being Queer. I have a long-term partner and we have two young adult sons together. I am quite introverted by nature and friends often describe me as being either a contemplative or a hermit.

When my Christian faith expanded in my mid-20 I decided to train as a social worker (rather than the priesthood) and eventually trained as a psychotherapist specialising in family work and working with people who self-harm.

Do you call yourself a magician/chaos magician, witch, or monk –  if so what does this mean to you? And is it important?

I would probably describe myself as a magical practitioner or Gnostic explorer as these are vague and talk about the doing of stuff. Other words like Witch or Yogi also apply but I use them less as people tend to have more preconceived ideas about what they mean.

You are primarily interested in what I think is called Chaos magic?- can you explain what that is and what it is that attracted you to that way?

For me, Chaos Magic focuses more on what you do rather than having to believe in a specific worldview or metaphysical scaffolding. These things can be helpful but they can also be limiting.

Personally, I am more interested in what happens when we use Gnostic technologies for opening up the body, the heart and the mind. This has a lot of similarities with how I see the early Yogis trying to use the whole of their lives as a laboratory for exploration.

You’ve written 3 previous books – can you say a little about them

Chaos Craft (2014) was co-written with my good friend Julian Vayne as a result of us running a magical group for a number of years that sought to explore a form of Witchcraft heavily inspired by Chaos Magic. The book maps the 8 colours of magic from Pete Carroll’s Liber Kaos onto the Pagan wheel of the year and then describes some of the bold magical adventures and ideas that resulted from this work.

A Gnostic’s Progress (2016) Seeks to explore how the cosmologies and practices of the early Gnostics can be of value to contemporary magicians. It’s full of fun experiments and strange ideas for triggering experiences of awakening from sleeping states of consciousness.

The Heretic’s Journey (2018) explores what it might mean to be a Spiritual Freethinker in response to attempts in society to create dogmas and orthodoxies. It looks especially at Queer theory, Surrealism and the Ma’at current as a form of Post-Crowley Thelema.

 Is the journey in your books for everyone or is it only for the expert or indeed aimed at the beginner?

People often describe my writing as being clear but some of the ideas that I reference are quite complex. So I hope that a newcomer would find something helpful and inspiring, but I write because I find it interesting and personally illuminating rather than having a specific audience in mind.

That’s a lot of questions – can you try and summarise, in a nutshell, the enduring message of the book – Chaos Monk

I don’t think I can do better than quoting myself in the book’s introduction :

“This book is an invitation to spiritual intensity. In the face of life’s brevity, it seeks to offer a challenge to consider what truly matters and how we might find skilful means for exploring such a question. As the pace and pressures of daily living seek to crowd out our ability to find space and silence, I believe that those traditions and techniques associated with monasticism provide vital keys for regaining our balance. While some may view such paths as ones of restriction or severity, as we travel together I hope to demonstrate the profound value of what simplicity, faithfulness and accountability might bring us when viewed through dynamic and responsive lens of Chaos magical practice.”

Anything else you want to add?

Your greatest magical act is to fully manifest to the world the uniqueness of who you are. That’s what the world needs. Know Thyself! Create Thyself! Become the One you know you are.

Do you have a webpage or blog?

Yes! https://theblogofbaphomet.com/

 

Serpents everywhere

The snake charmer/Emil Otto Hoppe

A couple of weeks before Samhain/Day of the Dead, I had an insight.

This year, on our pilgrimage, to visit the ancestors, we going to perform The  Headless ritual in the graveyard. I’m not sure where this insight came from,  perhaps I was reading again too much Crowley’s stuff again.

When I asked M what does he think about performing The Headless ritual for our day of the dead extravaganza, he said it was a good idea and we should give it a go.

Later on that week, I had another insight – we must sing the headless ritual. When I say sing, I meant singing the power words.

The tune that was stuck in my head was – Schuberts’ Ave Maria…

Now, I can sing, not too bad actually, and when I’m really going for it, I can make some very cool shamanic howling, but I’m certainly not Maria Callas.

We arrived at the old farmhouse on Samhain eve, exhausted from the long drive, neither of us feel like performing any ritual, instead, we end up snoozing in front of the TV.

We agreed to do try the next day on our visit to the cemetery.

After a week or so of practising singing the power words, I felt more than ready. 

The next morning, we drove to the cemetery armed with a candle, joss sticks, and a printed version of the Bornless ritual. As soon as we start driving the weather changed from a nice sunny morning into a grey and wet one. As we turned a corner, the most beautiful rainbow appeared and a thought crossed my mind: 

The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow, our two ancient Haitian serpent deities that probably stand at the top of the Haitian Vodou system.

The serpent – Dambala Wedo is the ancient sky father, he is the origin of life and the ancient source of wisdom. His wife, Ayida Wedo is a water serpent with rainbow-coloured scales and her symbol is the rainbow.

The story goes like that – Dambala Wedo gave rain to the world, as the raindrops fell from the sky they formed a rainbow colour. Danbala fell in love with Ayida the rainbow serpent. They married and joined as a double helix of snakes, giving birth to the human race. (from Vodou Visions by Sallie Ann Glassman).

The rainbow reminded me why the Headless ritual would be good for this particular work (part from the urge to sing it). In the second part of the ritual that sometimes comes under the title ‘Assuming of the God form’, you can find a line that says: My name is a heart encircled by a serpent.  So the headless ritual has a serpent in it and somehow also felt connected to the energies of this time of the year.

The Orphic egg, not exactly a heart, but you get the idea.

By the time we got to the cemetery, it was very wet and we could sense a tempest was coming which reminded us that Set is a storm deity after all, aka the voice of the storm. So we lit the candle and the incense but again, something about the timing of the ritual didn’t feel right, the weather so bad we got back in the car and raced for home.

I was looking for a picture that will capture the essence of the Headless ritual, and my research led me to a very familiar one that can represent the line – My name is a heart encircled by a serpent, but also connected to the double helix formed by the serpent and the rainbow I mentioned earlier.

The more I think and study the picture and my relationship with the deity in it, the realization of why we didn’t get to perform the headless ritual as planned, was sinking in. In my opinion, preparing for a ritual sometimes is just as good and powerful as the performance itself and by the time of the ritual, sometimes you feel that things are already in motion.

For the best part of about 3 weeks, all I did was explore the ritual in so many ways so I would find the best way to sing it. In that period of time, I read it over and over again and sang the words of power numerous times. By the time we arrived at the specific date planned for it, I felt saturated and full. I didn’t want nor feel the need to do it. This resulted in a very quiet and peaceful space in my head, something like the feeling of when a ritual is completed and we say the famous words 

IT IS DONE!

XEPHER!

2 serpents circling up and around the heart

So our friend Baphomet here, got a double helix sort of serpents, possibly symbolizing the rising of the kundalini through the lingam wisdom. Both of the serpents heads point in the direction of the sternum, which is the protector of the heart. 

When we prepare for a ritual, to make it successful, we need to put ‘our heart’ into it, some will say we need to put ‘our heart and soul’, but this can be open for discussion. However, by putting ‘our heart’ into the preparations, we are consumed by the ritual, the more we study we become one with it, and we start to initiate certain elements’ energies and powers into motion, while at the time doing so we are probably not aware of it at all. By the time the day arrives, there is nothing more to do. 

The Bornless One Ritual

“I summon you, Headless One,
Who created earth and heaven,
Who created night and day,
You who created light and darkness;
You are Unas, the beautiful whom none has ever seen;
You are Iabas;
You are Iapos;
You have distinguished the just from the unjust;
You have made female and male;
You have revealed seed and fruits;
You have made men love each other
And hate each other.”
“I am Moses your prophet to whom you have transmitted your mysteries celebrated by Israel; you have revealed the moist and the dry and all nourishment; hear me.”

“I am the messenger of the beautiful Pharaoh Unas
This is your true name,
which has been transmitted to the prophets of Israel.
Hear me, Hear me,
arbathiaô reibet athelebersêth [ara]
blatha albeu ebenphchi chitasgoê ibaôth iaô
Listen to me and turn away this daimon”

“I call upon you, awesome and invisible god with an empty spirit,
arogogo-robraô
sekhmet
modoriô phalarchaô ooo

Holy Headless One. Deliver us
From the daimon which restrains us,
roubriaô mari ôdam baabnabaôth
ass adônai aphniaô
ithôlêth abrasas
aêôôy;
Mighty Headless One,
Deliver us
From the daimons that restrain.
mararraiô ioêl kotha athorêbalo abraôth,

Deliver us:
aôth abraôth basym isak sabaôth iaô”
“He is lord of the gods;
He is the lord of the inhabited world;
He is the one whom the winds fear;
He is the one who made all things
By the commands of his voice.”

“Lord, King, Master, Helper, save the Soul-Ba (Psyche)
ieou pyr
iou pyr
iaôt
iaêô
ioou
abrasax sabriam
oo yy ey oo yy
adônaie,

Immediately, immediately
Good messenger of the God
anlala lai gaia
apa diachanna choryn”

Assumption of the God form

“I am the headless daimon with my sight in my feet;
[I am] the mighty one [who possesses] the immortal fire;
I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds
are done in the world;
I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll;
I am the one whose sweat is the heavy rain, which falls upon the earth that it might be inseminated;
I am the one whose mouth burns completely;
I am the one who begets and destroys;
I am the Favour of the Aion;
My name is a heart encircled by a serpent;
Come forth and follow.”

“Subject to me all daimons,
So that every daimon,
Whether of the heavens
Or the air
Or earthly
Or under the earth
Terrestrial or aquatic,
Might be obedient to me
And every enchantment and scourge
Which is from God.”

Closure:

When you want to finish do so by for example repeating the first part of Tankhem opening and then a “license to depart”:
“I release any spirits entrapped by this working,
May you go in peace to your lovely abodes.
Farewell Headless One,
Lord of the inhabited world,
Farewell Akephalos,
The son of Nuit
Leader of the company of heaven in their diurnal motion,
Senebty, great Bull of Ombos.”

After which pour any remaining offerings such as those of the chalice on earth and clear equipment, extinguish lamps etc .

This version of the Bornless ritual was taken from Egyptian magick by Mogg Morgan

***

Inspired by the work of the 4th head, The Serpent, from Apophis by Michael Kelly.

***

Another interesting view on the serpent, you will find in the YouTube link below

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72T2bW8bkfA

MMM

 

 

Fire & water

Last night Oshun and Red Goddess came to visit me in my dream. 

All through the dream Oshun song has played and I woke up with the tune still in my head.

Just before I woke up, I could hear the Red Goddess whispering in my ear “ They are too scared to look into the mirror because they can’t see what’s behind it”…

The dream reminded me of a little story Miryamdevi told me a long time ago. 

The story of fire and water, the story of Oshun and Babalon.

“Let me tell you about Babalon, fire and water, that’s her, like Oshun, the orisha of rivers and sweet waters.

I’d been invited to a ceremony, a celebration of the great queen serpent, I thought it would be the perfect space to evoke Babalon, I needed to get some answers from her, The Scarlet Woman.

So I put on my red dress and made a little tobacco offering to put in the fire. 

I waited for a sign and when it came, it was like a rhythm of an ayahuasca dream.

The serpent is awake,

Is coiling in my tummy and heart,

It is moving and winding, its scales are bright red,

It is getting ready to move up toward my neck,

I’m terrified it is going to swallow me,

It changes into a serpent-like flower,

Changing its colour from red to yellow,

More and more serpent-like flowers are popping around me.

I can hear the Oshun song from the distance,

I am singing it,

I can hear Babalon whispering in my ears, 

To understand me, go with Oshun.

At first, Babalon and Oshun look like they have nothing in common. Oshun is the Yellow Lady of the river and sweet waters, to embody the will and the passion to create magic and change, you need to move in a wavelike motion, to be fluid like water. 

Babalon rides the flames of the ever-burning fire. If you look closely at the flames, you can see that they have a strange fluidity.

Fire, like water, always has to move, to expand, never standing still. 

So both ladies share the same qualities:  Oshun, the watery aspect of Babalon, Babalon the fiery aspect of Oshun.

You cannot create magic from still water that lacks fluidity.

You cannot create magic from tamed fire, which will soon burn out and die.

You can read the full story of Fire and Water in NakedTantra by Miryamdevi & Minanath

 

אומנות הכאוס וגלגל השנה – סגול

בעוד כמה ימים נחגוג את בלטיין, החגיגה הטנטרית של הטבע. קונדליני מתעוררת ואיתה גאיה עמוסה בניצני פריחה ותפרחות בשלל צבעים, בעיקר גוונים של סגול. 

חרקים, חיות ואדם כאחד, זוחלים מהכוכים שלהם משפשפים את העיניים מותחים את הגפיים ויוצאים במחול חיזור סוער וחושני  ( טוב נו קצת הגזמתי, אבל אתם יודעים למה אני מתכוונת) יש משהו כזה מתוק באוויר, הזמנה רשמית מגאיה למסיבת טבע.

בהזמנה כתוב:

קוד לבוש – סגול

מומלץ לבוא יחפים ולהביא ענבים

הוא כבר הגיע לכאן

פאן.

נתראה בקרוב מאוד

גאיה.

פאן הוא המאהב של גאיה, הנשמה שלה, החיים שלה.

הוא מגיע פעם בשנה בעונה הזו ויוצא איתה בריקוד מושחת.

מנשק כל עלה ופרח בגופה הרדום. רוקד, בועט, מקפץ ורוקע בין ערוציה, מנתב זירמתו במיסתורי  נקיקיה 

בלטיין הוא המועד בו אנו חוגגים את התשוקה, התאווה, את הפיריון, או במילה אחת קטנה גדולה- סקס.

ואיך כל זה מתקשר לצבע הסגול?

אמר רבינו אליסטר קרואולי (סולם המלך, עמודה XV, הקבלה של קרואולי):

“הצבע הסגול הוא ההגמון, הבישופ של הצבעים, הוא משלב בתוכו את האדום של הדם ואת הכחול של השמיים”.

“הצבע הסגול מסמל תדר שהוא גם רוחני וגם אירוטי כאחד, זהו התדר הכי אינטנסיבי ועוצמתי בכל התדרים גם של הנפש וגם של הנשמה.”

קרואולי משתמש בצבע הסגול כמוטיב אירוטי -רוחני כדי להעביר את המסר האיזוטרי בטקסים ופולחן ת’למה.

מידי פעם הוא נהג להתהדר בכינוי “הכומר הסגול”.

דוגמא קלאסית לשימוש בצבע הסגול בכתיבה של קרואולי – מתוך ליבר אל (ספר החוק) פסקה 61 לקראת הסוף:

“אני אוהבת אותך! אני משתוקקת אליך! חיוור או סגול, מצועף או חושני, אני אשר כולי תענוג סגול ושיכרון חושים, חושקת בך. פרוש כנפיך ועורר את הפאר המתפתל בתוכך: בוא אלי!

הפסקה הבאה מתוך ההמנון לפאן:

סגול התפילה הנלהבת

הוטבל במקדש ארגמן,

חשוף ונחשק,

נשמתך יוקדת 

עין כחולה צופה

באקסטזה שלך 

מחלחלת”

אז איפה היינו?

את פולחן האביב חגגו כנראה מאז ומעולם, בעולם המערבי -באירופה בפרט יחגג הראשון במאי בריקודים ופיזוזים סביב ה -MAYPOLE (עמוד מאי) המסמל את האנרגיה הפאלית והלינגאם. העמוד מקושט בפרחים המסמלים את ניצני הפריון ואנרגית היוני.

ככל שמתקרבים לאיזורינו, בייחוד באיזור אגן הים התיכון ויוון, חגיגות פולחן האביב מרוכזות יותר סביב פולחן האל פאן.

לא יודעת מה אתכם אבל אני יודעת סביב איזה עמוד הייתי מעדיפה לפזז...

כמו שהבנתם, אומנות הכאוס מציעה את הדרך להתחבר לאנרגיה של בלטיין, לטבע ולאמא אדמה דרך העלאת התדר הסגול.

הדרך הכי קלה ובסיסית להתחבר לתדר הסגול הוא ביצירת אלתר סגול. פשר ללבוש משהו סגול ולאכול מאכלים סגולים.

 את חגיגות הבלטיין שלנו נתחיל באמבט טקסי שיעלה לנו את תדר הכישוף הסגול. 

התכונות של המים מאפשרות לנו ניקוי וטבילה רוחנית שתמיד רצויה ומומלצת לפני פעילות מאגית.

בלטיין – טקס אמבטיה

הכינו את חדר האמבטיה כמו שאתם מכינים את המרחב הטקסי שלכם, פרחים, נרות, מוזיקה,  אלתר סגול, כל מה שעולה על דעתכם שיתאים לטקס באמבטיה.

הכינו את תערובת השמנים לאמבט והניחו אותה על האלתר.

מלאו את האמבטיה במים בטמפרטורה שתהיה נעימה ונוחה לכם – מומלץ לשבת באמבט השמנים לפחות 15 דקות. כשהאמבטיה מלאה, הוסיפו את תערובת השמנים למים וערבבו אותם לתוך המים כשאתם “מציירים” בתוך המים את סמל האינסוף. זה הזמן להגיד את כוונותיכם, תפילותיכם, להציע את מנחתכם – הגוף שלכם – למים ולשמנים שיפתחו לכם את הפורטל ויחברו אתכם לתדר הסגול.

זה הזמן לשים קצת מוזיקה או הקלטה של דמיון מודרך או מנטרה. אני בדרך כלל מקליטה מראש את המנטרה שאני רוצה לצלול לתוכה באמבטיה, להעלאת התדר הסגול אקשיב למנטרה הבאה לעורר את האלה קונדליני.

Om Hreem Kleem Shreem Yam Ram Lam Sham Dam Vam Tam 

הכנסו למים ושכבו בנוח, עצמו את עיניכם והקשיבו למנטרה או למוזיקה שבחרתם.

15 דקות זה בדרך כלל הזמן שלוקח לגוף שלנו להגיע לרגיעה כללית שמאפשר לתערובת השמנים לפעול את קסמה על התודעה שלנו.

לאחר צאתכם מהאמבטיה, המהדרין ילבשו בגדים סגולים כל השאר ילבשו מה שבא להם.

נמשיך בטקס בלטיין בקריאה לפאן שיבוא ויעיר ויעטוף אותנו באנרגיה הפראית שלו אנרגיה של אביב וטבע מתעורר משנת חורף ארוכה.

ראפ לפאן

בתאוות אור קסומה, 

הו גבר!

איש שלי!

בוא וצא בסערה מהלילה 

של פאן! יו פאן! 

יו פאן! יו פאן! 

בוא וצא 

משאמבלה וגן עדן! 

משוטט כמו בכחוס, 

עם שומרים ובנות לוויה, 

זכרות נוקשה על אתון לבנה, 

בוא וצא מהים 

ובוא אלי, אליי!

בוא עם כוהנת בשמלת כלה (פיתונית ורועה) 

בוא עם ארטמיס,

בנעלי משי

ששטפה את ירכך הלבנה, 

אלוהים יפהפה, 

בקרחת היער, 

על הלוטוס דרכת, 

בלשונך המוזהבת 

אותי ברכת 

סגול התפילה הנלהבת

הוטבל במקדש ארגמן,

חשוף ונחשק,

נשמתך יוקדת 

עין כחולה צופה

באקסטזה שלך 

מחלחלת

בסבך החורש העתיק

העץ והחי 

עם רוח ונפש, גוף ושכל – 

בוא מעל הים, 

יו פאן! יו פאן!

שטן או אל, 

אליי, אליי, 

שלי! שלי!

האיש שלי! האיש שלי! 

בוא עם חצוצרות  

מעל הגבעה! 

בוא עם תופים רועמים 

מהאביב! 

בוא עם חליל ובוא עם מקטרת! 

האם אני כבר בשל? 

אני, שמחכה רועד ונאבק 

עם נשימה מפרפרת

שלא מוצאת את הדרך 

ליישב את גופי, 

עייפה מחיבוק ריק, 

חזקה כמו אריה 

חלקה כנחש – 

בואי, בוא! 

אני קהה 

מתאוות השטן 

הבודדת. 

דחוף את החרב דרך כבלי הברזל, 

זולל-כל, בורא כל; 

תן לי את אות 

העין הפקוחה, 

ואת הסימן שעוררה 

ירך התשוקה

ואת מילת הטירוף והמסתורין, 

הו פאן! יו פאן! 

יו פאן! יו פאן פאן! פאן פאן! פאן, 

אני האהבה 

עשה בי כרצונך, כפי שהאל

הגדול יכול

הו פאן! יו פאן! 

יו פאן! יו פאן פאן! 

אני מתעורר אוחז בנחש. 

במקור ובטופר הנשרים חותכים; 

האלים נסוגים 

החיות באות. 

יו פאן! 

נולדתי לבוא ולמות על הקרן  

 של חד הקרן.

אני פאן! יו פאן! 

יו פאן פאן! פאן! 

אני בן זוגך, אני האחד שלך, 

עז מצאנך 

אני זהב, 

אני אלוהיך, 

בשר לעצמותיך, 

פרח למטיך. 

עם פרסות פלדה אני מקפץ 

על סלעים 

מזריחת השמש  ביום המפנה

ועד ליום השוויון. 

ואני משתולל; ואני מיילל ואני קורע 

ואני הנצח, עולם ללא סוף, 

אחוז דיבוק מלא בסודות, 

אישה, גבר, בכוח של פאן. 

יו פאן! יו פאן פאן! פאן! יו פאן!

(תרגום חופשי מבוסס על ההמנון לפאן מאת אליסטר קרואולי) 

אם אתם בזוגיות, מניחה שהחגיגות ימשכו באופן ספונטני ומסויים, אם אתם בחברותא מסיבת הוללות  “עד דלא ידע” של שיכרון חושים או טראנס עמוק יעלו את האנרגיה של פאן ויחברו אתכם לתדר הסגול הזה שמסביב. בלטיין יצא ממש קרוב לל”ג בעומר השנה אז אפשר לחגוג מסביב למדורה רק לא לשכוח לשים לב לחיות ולסביבה.

כמו מטה לאל וגביע לאלה

כשמש לירח ושמים לארץ, כמו שאהבה היא לאהוב,

הברכה תבוא לחוגגים יחדיו

תערובת שמנים לאמבטית בלטיין:

בקערה קטנה ערבבו:

1 כף מלח ים או הימלאיה

3-5 טיפות של פטצ’ולי

4 טיפות ילאנג ילאנג

2-3 טיפות יסמין

5 טיפות ברגמוט / מנדרינה / לימון

אופציה שניה

במידה ואתם יכולים להשיג שמן רוטווה  (Ruthvah oil) ערבבו בכף מלח 3-5 טיפות של השמן (הריח מאוד דומיננטי לא הייתי ממליצה לשים יותר ולא רואה טעם לערבב אותו עם שמנים אחרים כי יאפיל עליהם).

אופציה שלישית

במידה ואין לכם גישה לאמבטיה אפשר לעשות את אותה התערובת בבקבוקון קטן 30- 50 מל. למלא את הבקבוקון בערך שני שליש גובה, בשמן שקדים או שמן צמחי אחר לבחירתכם ואז לטפטף את אותו מספר הטיפות שבמתכון המקורי (ללא המלח כמובן). את השמן תמרחו על עצמכם בנקודות משיחה סימבוליות- העין השלישית, צוואר, לב, סולאר פלקסוס וכפות הרגליים.

אופציה רביעית

למי שאין אפשרות לאמבטיה ו או לשמנים אתריים אפשר להשתמש בקטורת יסמין, ורד, סנדלווד, פטצולי או וניל או כל קטורת שיש בהישג ידכם. הדליקו את הקטורת ועטפו את גופכם וההילה שלכם בעשן הקטורת.

נתראה ביום ההיפוך הקייצי לקסם צהוב

Horus’s Protection

Horus’s protection is that of Him in the Sun-Disk, who lights the Two Lands with the light of his eyes-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of Nut’s oldest son, who regulates the conduct of what is and what isn’t-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of that great Traveller, who goes around the Two Lands at twilight-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of the Lion in the night, who sails at the front of the sunset mountain-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of the great hidden Ram, who goes around through his sacred eyes-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of the great Falcon, who hovers in the sky, earth, and the Netherworld-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of the great worthy Scarab, who flies in Nut-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of the secret Corpse in his shape of one who is in his sarcophagus-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of the Netherworlder of the Two Lands, who goes around in the above, with secret features-and the protection of the afflicted as well.
Horus’s protection is that of the divine Phoenix, who climbs through his sacred eyes-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of his own body, with the magic of his mother Isis protecting it-
(and the protection of the afflicted as well).

Horus’s protection is that of the identities of his father in his cult in the nomes-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of the mourning of his mother and the cries of his brother-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

Horus’s protection is that of his own identity, which the gods serve by helping him-
and the protection of the afflicted as well.

“Awaken, Horus! Your protection is established. You should make the heart of your mother happy. Horus’s voice will lift up hearts when he has calmed her who was worried. Let your hearts be glad, you who are in Nut (the sky), for Horus has avenged his father.

 

 

Translated from Metternich Stela by A H Allen 

Originally uttered as the protection spell for Horus among the crocodiles, makes a good invocation of the power of Horus in any appropriate context

Interview with occult writer Paul Weston

Recently I had the chance to interview occult  Author Paul Weston. In this interview, he speaks about the life of Aleister Crowley, as well as his book The occult battle of Britain.

Weston tells us about Crowley and Yeats, and the writing of Diary of a Drug Fiend, as well as the early years of the Golden dawn. 

1.How did you become interested in the life of Aleister Crowley, Paul, to write your book Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus?

1975 was the centenary of Crowley’s birth. I was 16 years old. I’d seen Led Zeppelin live twice that year and learned of Jimmy Page’s interest in some mysterious controversial figure. BBC Radio then featured a programme on Crowley and I made a point of listening. I was utterly fascinated by the diversity of his life: world-record mountaineer, yogi, mystic poet, occultist, sexual and drug pioneer, but also big-game hunter, writer of banned pornography, possessor of a formidable legend of infamy. From that point on, I was on the lookout for more information.

Colin Wilson’s summary of his life in The Occult and John Symonds biography The Great Beast told me a lot but were fairly hostile and contemptuous. It was reading the enormous autobiographical Confessions that really got me going as it was clear to me that Crowley was far more intelligent, interesting, and humorous than his critics. The seemingly strident egotism of it didn’t bother me in the slightest.

Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger opened me up to the extent of Crowley’s presence in the psychedelic sixties. I first heard of the episode involving Timothy Leary in the Algerian desert, where he seemed to follow in Crowley’s footsteps, which would later be heavily featured in my book. Robert Anton Wilson is undoubtedly the main inspiration for it. The Leary/Wilson eight-circuit map of consciousness provided the foundation of the section The Psychology of Thelema. RAW sometimes gets criticised by Thelemites but I think it’s important to remember that his ideas about Crowley were developed from his connections with Grady McMurty and Israel Regardie, who had both known Crowley and had important interaction with him. The Eye in the Triangle was a very important book, whatever people think of it now, and Regardie’s anthology of Crowley’s writing on drugs and his Gems From the Equinox were influential then. All of that formed part of my inspirations.

My book seemed to have its own agenda. I was writing my autobiographical Avalonian Aeon, which featured a lot of Crowley material, and I realised it was getting far too big and needed pruning. The idea came for a separate book. The scope of it just kept expanding. Having fully engaged in the project, I found myself in Cairo, on the feast days of The Book of the Law and even recited some of it in front of the Stele of Revealing that is so important a part in the story of how it came to be written. This was a wild outcome.

2.Many great names of the twentieth century are mentioned in the book. How did Crowley come to attract all of these famous names?

Crowley had a period of considerable fame in the twenties, albeit through a legend of infamy, so he stood out and got the attention of the naturally rebellious. I suggest in my book that, regardless of any personal failings, Crowley was an authentic prophet of the twentieth century in its diverse agony and ecstasy and his statements concerning how to navigate it: that we are unique Stars who must find our True Wills and act accordingly. I feel some people with remarkable gifts recognised that in his work and directly connected with it. Rocket scientist Jack Parsons was perhaps the most notable case. Avant-garde film-maker Kenneth Anger was another. Founder of modern Wicca Gerald Gardner inevitably looked into Crowley and met the Beast in person. Timothy Leary would have initially placed him in a lineage of drug experimenters but a more mysterious deeper connection eventually revealed itself.

3.What was Crowley’s relationship like with Yeats?

Crowley and Yeats were members of the Golden Dawn during the same period and were on opposite sides in a power struggle involving the Orders’ autocratic chief, Samuel Liddell Macgregor Mathers. Yeats thought of Crowley as a morally degenerate criminal type. Crowley felt that Yeats’ hostility to him was based on his jealousy of the Beast’s superior poetic gifts, a claim most would consider to be absurd. They appear to be very different characters but there are some strong similarities in the deeper passions that ruled their lives.

Yeats was obsessed with the idea of the daimon or higher genius. It was central to his consideration of himself as a poet and what true inspiration consisted of. It also informed his understanding of the Golden Dawn Kabbalistic teachings. Neshamah concerns what might be more generally thought of as the Soul, its higher aspects that allow one to have awareness of God. This is the Higher Genius. Its physical seat is the brain and its Kabbalistic placing is in the upper realms of the Tree of Life sephiroth Chokmah and Binah.

Crowley was stirred by the same concerns but in his case was particularly taken by the term Holy Guardian Angel. Mathers had translated some of the now legendary Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, detailed instruction for a six-month retreat intended to achieve communion with the HGA. Crowley famously purchased the house at Boleskine at Loch Ness to enable him to give over to the procedure. This primarily involved strict adherence to Abramelin but he incorporated Golden Dawn details such as his own versification of a document dealing with the same material on the Neshamah that inspired Yeats in his daimon quest. People will argue as to whether HGA and daimon are essentially the same. For Yeats and Crowley, I look at where these ideas led them.

The main event of Crowley’s life was the reception from an allegedly non-human source of a text, supposedly dictated audibly to both he and his wife Rose, indicating the advent of a new epoch for the human race. There are great cycles, Aeons, in history and we have seen one where the Great Mother was the dominant religious form, followed by an era of the dying and resurrected God. Now we enter a time of the Crowned and Conquering Child, when our unique true identities are affirmed, free of constraint. Crowley believed that the source, named Aiwass, was his Holy Guardian Angel. The whole episode was considerably facilitated by the sudden onset of powerful psychism in Rose, who he had married the previous year.

Yeats married George Hyde Lees. Within days she suddenly gave over to prolonged psychism in the form of automatic writing from which enormous amounts of material emerged. The most notable outcome was Yeats work A Vision. This was a mystic view of enormous cycles of history and their significance in the destiny of individuals as revealed by their birthdates in relation to the phases of the moon. Yeats believed that his daimon was somehow collaborating with that of his wife in this production.

There are considerable differences between The Book of the Law and A Vision. The similarities are there, however. Yeats was driven by the daimon idea, Crowley by the Holy Guardian Angel. In each case, their wives developed a psychism that led to the creation of texts that each man considered to be their most important works. Both productions were framed by the concept of great historical cycles and concerned with establishing one’s true destiny.

4.Could you tell us about Crowley and the order of the Golden Dawn?

The most famous of all occult groups, The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, was founded in London in 1888. The centre of gravity of their system was the Kabbalah, with its well-known glyph of the so-called Tree of Life, with its ten spheres, known as Sephiroth, linked together by twenty-two paths associated with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. On this framework, into what Crowley later called a kind of filing cabinet, was attributed an enormous amount of material from what could be called the Western Mystery Tradition, including a lot of Egyptian details.

The twenty-two trumps of the tarot cards, the famous picture images of Death, the High Priestess, Wheel of Fortune and so on, were placed on the linking paths with their related Hebrew letters. A system of grades allowed practitioners to ascend the tree as their learning advanced. Each sphere involved particular studies and practices and initiatory rituals signified passage between them.

Although Mathers was undoubtedly aware of the masonic traditions of unknown superiors, the recent fame of Madame Blavatsky and her tales of contact with Himalayan Masters had brought the issue of Secret Chiefs some publicity. The single biggest point of contention around the Golden Dawn is Mathers’ assertion that he himself had met some of them. His story could easily be seen to be following the Blavatsky template. Some of these encounters were psychic. He worked with his clairvoyant wife Moina to obtain much of the higher level Golden Dawn material. Other meetings were allegedly physical. He believed that ‘they are human beings living on this Earth, but possessed of terrible and superhuman powers.’ His story of an encounter in Paris with a group of three of them can be seen as a strategy to confirm his complete authority over the Order. He claimed that terrific energy emanated from the mysterious beings that only an advanced adept could handle for more than a few minutes. It was strong enough to kill. Various intense physiological symptoms were reported during his different encounters such as problems with breathing, ‘cold sweats and bleeding from the nose, mouth and ears.’

Aleister Crowley joined the group in 1898 when he was twenty-three years old. Rich from a family inheritance and with no need to earn a living, he was able to dedicate a lot of time and energy to learning the material and working through the lower grades. He was initially very impressed by Mathers and undoubtedly took him as a style template for the modern magician.

Although Crowley felt that his contact with Aiwass and the inauguration of a New Aeon annulled the authority and relevance of the original Golden Dawn, its basic structure and curriculum remained extremely important to him. There were certainly adjustments but the continuity is clear. He had taken oaths to keep the material secret but published much of it in his regular hefty journal The Equinox. This resulted in a court case with Mathers. Crowley’s subsequent claiming of various grades of attainment was always based on Golden Dawn ideas and terminology.

He was obviously willing to believe in the idea of Secret Chiefs as the 1904 Cairo episode shows. In the late collection of letters Magick Without Tears, he says of them, ‘They can induce a girl to embroider a tapestry or initiate a political movement to culminate in a world-war; all in pursuit of some plan wholly beyond the purview or the comprehension of the deepest and subtlest thinkers…But are They men, in the usual sense of the word? They may be incarnate or discarnate: it is a matter of Their convenience…’.

5.What is the UFO connection to Crowley?

Crowley’s 1919 drawing designated ‘Lam’ is the central focus of this contentious connection.

It’s important to be clear about the history of this image. In 1918, during a period when he was living in America, Crowley engaged in an extensive six-month long magickal episode known as the Amalantrah Working, primarily with the aid of his Scarlet Woman of the time, Roddie Minor. A combination of sex and drugs helped induce repeated consistent visionary material focused on a being named Amalantrah. Crowley was satisfied that the imagery and names produced were authentic in as much as they met his Qabalistic checking criteria. Towards the end of the written records of the working, Amalantrah made the enigmatic statements “It’s all in the egg”, “Thou art to go this Way.” Unusually for Crowley’s magickal records there appear to be details missing during the final phase.

The drawing seems to originate from the same period and depicts a being with an elongated egg-shaped head and no ears. It was publicly displayed in an exhibition of Crowley’s artwork in New York in 1919. It also featured as the frontispiece for an edition of HP Blavatsky’s short mystical work The Voice of the Silence with an extensive running commentary from Crowley. There it was designated as ‘The Way’ and given this explanation: ‘LAM is the Tibetan word for Way or Path, and LAMA is he who Goeth, the specific title of the Gods of Egypt, the Treader of the Path, in Buddhistic phraseology. Its numerical value is 71, the number of this book.’ It was later stated that the figure was Crowley’s ‘guru’ and ‘painted from life.’ That appears to be all that Crowley ever had to say about it. It is by no means clear that the word Lam is a name belonging to the being in the picture.

Decades later, in the final years of his life, he gave it to Kenneth Grant who featured it in his 1972 The Magical Revival, describing it as ‘Lam, an extra-terrestrial intelligence with whom Crowley was in astral contact.’ It became an iconic part of his Typhonian Trilogies, works promoting, amongst other things, ‘Extra-Terrestrial Gnosis’. This is not necessarily physical ETS in nuts and bolts spaceships. In this context, it designates experiences and intelligence not confined to the consensus three-dimensional coordinates of planet Earth. Higher-dimensional realms coterminous with 3D may well be the spaces these mysteries move through.

It was Grant who suggested that the Parsons-Hubbard-Cameron Babalon Working had perhaps ripped a hole in the fabric of reality through which the modern UFO era manifested, an idea that has now become quite widespread. In Outside the Circles of Time, he stated that ‘Parsons opened the door and something flew in. The flavour of that something is indicated by a strange episode that occurred in March 1946 at the time of the conclusion of the Babalon Working. Marjorie Cameron saw an unidentifiable aerial phenomenon. She was exhilarated, considering it to be a Thelemic sign, a ‘war engine’ mentioned in The Book of the Law. This event inevitably predisposed her to be particularly interested in a phenomenon that erupted into popular consciousness the following year.

Grant instigated a specific Cult of Lam after coming to feel that the portrait was a focus of an increasingly intense extra-terrestrial energy that would be of great importance. The basic Kenneth Grant position was that firstly Lam is a name and image of something that gives access to Extra-Terrestrial gnosis, a state of consciousness. Lam was intrinsically part of the Amalantrah Working which opened a portal of some kind to other dimensions. This makes Crowley the first modern-style ET contactee. It also opens up a consideration of what is the real nature of the Secret Chiefs of Occultism and in particular, Aiwass.

In the Cult of Lam, as initiated by Kenneth Grant and developed by his closest long-term associate Michael Staley, Lam is not necessarily a distinct entity but a trans-aeonic portal to gnosis outside of the circles of time. Something about his visual appearance potentially serves to stimulate aspects of consciousness otherwise dormant. He could be a mask for the experience of the Hidden God/Holy Guardian Angel…

The basic method of Lam meditation consisted of sitting silently in front of a copy of the Crowley picture staring into its eyes. The name was then repeated internally in the manner of a mantra. This process was considered sufficient to potentially stimulate an altered state of consciousness. As mood shifted an imaginative attempt would be made to enter into Lam’s head, the Egg of Spirit, and then look out from his eyes. Profoundly alien zones might be thus encountered or general mutations of consciousness allowing download access to previously unknown realms of being.

An extension of this procedure formulated by Michael Staley begins with the fact that the name Lam also happens to be a Sanskrit seed syllable featured in some Kundalini yoga systems referring to the base chakra wherein the great serpent power resides that can be raised up the spinal column through a progressive expansion of consciousness until climactic enlightenment at the top of the head. Staley’s development involves visualising a serpent with the head of Lam ascending the spine through the chakras. The process does not directly identify Lam with Kundalini but may produce similar results.

The 1977 Cosmic Trigger by Robert Anton Wilson connected Crowley and Kenneth Grant’s ideas with the increasingly ET themed work of Timothy Leary and his Starseed Transmissions, a text full of Book of the Law nuances. Leary already felt connected with Crowley. Jack Parsons was also featured. The recent publication of Robert Temple’s The Sirius Mystery led Wilson on a journey that seemed to uncover a tradition of ‘contact’ ultimately sourced at the star that was important to the Egyptians. With this material, it became possible to speculate as to whether the fabled Secret Chiefs might be ETs or Inter-Dimensional Ultra-Terrestrials.

The Crowley UFO association intensified with the publication of Whitley Strieber’s hugely successful Communion in the eighties. The famous cover art instantly established a template for the depiction of the kind of entities that were supposedly involved in mass abductions at that time. It was soon increasingly publicised that there was a strong resemblance to Lam. With the Strieber impetus, Crowley, and occultism in general, particularly the Babalon Working, increasingly became part of a dense internet culture that often plays loose with the facts and is not helped by the baleful reputation of Crowley and Parsons having taken of the Oath of the Antichrist!

What we are left with is that reading books like Cosmic Trigger, and hopefully, my Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus can set the reader off on a profitable journey that might encourage Extra-Terrestrial Gnosis. The path may lead into a hall of mirrors and delusion. The modern internet age provides greater possibilities than ever before for such an outcome. I will point to one example of the efficacy of the Cult of Lam. It was immediately after a Lam working with Michael Staley that Andrew Collins experienced what might be termed a download that led to his book The Cygnus Mystery. This in turn led to his rediscovery of a lost cave system on the Giza plateau detailed in his book Beneath the Pyramids.

6.could you tell us about Crowley writing Diary of a Drug Fiend? Did Crowley believe that using certain drugs could open doors for him creatively?

In the second chapter of 1904 The Book of the Law we find this evocative passage. ‘I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.’ Believing as he did that it was dictated by a non-human intelligence, this statement carried authority for Crowley.

He was a graduate of fin-de-siecle decadence, producing a translation of the French poet Baudelaire’s writing on hashish. By the period following 1904, he had combined wide-ranging drug experimentation with extensive magical mystical discipline. The epic journey across the Algerian desert in 1909 exploring the angelic system of John Dee produced some astonishing visions. There may have been a chemical component occasionally involved. The 1910 public presentations of the so-called Rites of Eleusis included the passing round of a drink it has been suggested contained a mild amount of peyote. It’s clear that Crowley felt that the mystery cults of antiquity made use of drugs. All of this is exceptionally interesting and decades ahead of the sixties enthusiasms.

Jumping ahead to Diary of a Drug Fiend in 1922, things have seriously changed for the worse. We have a century of hindsight to understand that not all drugs are the same. Crowley felt that his great Nietzschean True Will, which enabled him to set world-mountaineering records, write voluminous works at fever-pitch, and engage in yoga practices for hours on end, could easily follow the admonitions in The Book of the Law and no harm would result. When it comes to heroin and cocaine unique problems result. During the time of the Sicilian Abbey of Thelema, Crowley became hopelessly addicted to both. It was a torment to him that his Will was struggling with the challenge.

Diary of a Drug Fiend emerges from that context. The novel concerns a couple who are very much characters we can see as typical of the Roaring Twenties. Peter Pendragon is of noble birth and fought in the Great War. He is left depressed and unable to find meaning in his life. He meets Louise Laleham, who is a follower of Basil King Lamus, a heavily idealised Crowley self-portrait. The couple falls in love and engages in a prolonged drug binge across Europe. They can easily be imagined at one of Jay Gatsby’s parties or enjoying the nightclubs of Weimar Germany to a jazz soundtrack. Hitting rock bottom in terms of addiction and financial ruin, suicide beckons, but a retreat to the Abbey of Thelema under the guidance of King Lamus and his tutelage in magick restore them by enabling them to find their True Will.

Those hostile to Crowley can easily find the work displays appalling egotism from an author dispensing high wisdom on how to handle drugs when hopelessly addicted himself. I believe that he was invoking his higher genius, his daemon, in his portrayal of King Lamus in an attempt to fully solve his own problems. He was passionately idealistic and wanted his Abbey of Thelema to fulfil its greatest potential so he told a story of how he imagined such a thing could come about, the kinds of people he sought to attract, and the help he hoped to give. In that, we could get a feeling for what was best about Aleister Crowley. The enormous autobiographical Confessions was also written during the heroin period and that has never gotten in the way of my appreciation of it. He did eventually conquer his addictions and only returned to heroin in later life for medicinal reasons.

7.Could you tell us about your magical journey to Glastonbury, Paul? Through your book The Occult battle of Britain.

I’ve given over nearly a thousand pages to my journey to Glastonbury in my books Avalonian Aeon and Atargatis. It is a comprehensive story concerning all sides of the place, its history and multi-levelled mythos. The Dion Fortune aspect is one part of it but an extremely important one in both of those books and the occult war required a book to itself that did not feature my personal story.

I’d been fascinated by the subject of Nazi occultism from the early eighties and was fortunate to be able to write a dissertation on it towards my Degree in Comparative Religion in 1983. I discovered the Glastonbury-centred British side of the story, the Tor visualisations when I read Alan Richardson’s Dion Fortune biography in 1988. The selection of her wartime letters, published as The Magical Battle of Britain followed in 1993.

Monday, May 8th 1995 was a national holiday to accommodate the climax of large-scale commemorations of the fiftieth anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day that were happening across Europe. It was my habit in those days to shuffle my tarot cards shortly after breakfast and ask for a one-card key to the day ahead. I drew the Lightning Struck Tower. This is considered to be a powerful card, indicative of tumultuous processes. I wondered what on earth the day might deliver that could be considered a definite result?

BBC TV broadcast lives from London from early in the afternoon as all manner of events played out to a crowd estimated at 250,000 in front of Buckingham Palace and down the adjacent Mall. The climax of the celebrations was going to be a huge event in Hyde Park. At sunset, there would be a nationwide two-minute silence after which the Queen would preside over the lighting of the first of a thousand beacon fires across the country.

I felt a desire to more fully emotionally engage in the day. I was very conscious that the generation who had actually participated in these events, my parents included, were not getting any younger. This might be the last time they could be out in large numbers for such a huge event. It was, on one level, a massive acknowledgement that was also a farewell.

I had a copy of Avalon of the Heart out from the local library at that time. It was an edition that had a photograph of Glastonbury Tor on the cover. I had been glancing through it over the previous few days and it was resting on the floor. The afternoon had been slightly overcast. Briefly, the sun came out from behind clouds and a shaft of light shone through a side window down onto the book, stopping just beyond it. My attention was thereby suddenly focused on the cover and I instantly knew what I was going to do to fulfil my intention of connecting with the day’s events.

I realised that the coming evening’s two-minute silence and subsequent beacon lighting, including one on Glastonbury Tor, was really quite a unique event. In terms of what was going on in the mass mind at that time, the solemnity and silence and a sense of the past with veneration for it would all be present at that moment and the potential channelling of that through the landscape and into people’s consciousness through the means of the beacon fires was something you’re not going to get very often in any circumstance. I remembered what I knew about Dion Fortune’s 1940 visualisations. She had believed that they were as much about the future as the drama of the time. Surely now was as good a time to recreate them as one could ever hope for?

I contacted as many people by phone as I could who I thought might be interested and about a dozen agreed to try the basic visualisation of being inside Glastonbury Tor with Arthur and Merlin during the two-minute silence. About a dozen people participated.

As twilight approached, I began my preparations, lighting lots of candles in my living room. The phone was unplugged. I performed the same modest ritual preparations engaged in by the London Centre of the 1940 workings. The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram consists of drawing pentagrams at the cardinal points, imagining the appearance of angels beyond them and the recitation of their names. I tried to visualise a rapid approach to Glastonbury Tor and entry to a large cavern within. Within moments of starting to contemplate the Arthurian archetypes and the idea of them still potentially inspiring the nation, I found extraordinary emotions arose and overwhelmed me. In combination with the idea of the last parade of the golden generation, I started crying my eyes out. This state of emotional extremes was sustained for a number of minutes. I had never felt anything quite like it in the whole of my life.

When I recovered I turned the TV back on to check out what was happening in Hyde Park. I knew about the beacon fire lighting but nothing about the way in which it would commence. It happened within barely a minute of my turning on the TV. The Queen was standing at ground level, in front of a control panel. She pressed a button and a green laser beam shot out from it and hit the Post Office Tower, which I realised had lights wound around it all the way to the top. When the beam hit, the lights went on and fireworks erupted from the summit. I immediately knew that this was the Lightning Struck Tower par excellence.

The day had been extraordinary for me but I was obviously curious to hear how things had gone for the others who had tried the visualisation as well. Within a week I had received all the feedback. Everyone reported powerful experiences. My favourite involved a female friend who lived in Somerset and was very familiar with the Arthurian corpus and in particular Marion Zimmer Bradley’s hugely successful novel Mists of Avalon. She often went into visionary spaces inspired by the book involving journeying into the Tor to meet groups of priestesses. On this occasion she found herself confronting a naked Arthur Pendragon with an impressively erect phallus which she promptly grabbed hold of and immediately felt as if some kind of circuit was completed and enormous dragon current serpent power energy was pumping out of Glastonbury Tor and going all over the landscape. This was not the staid Victorian gentleman portrayed by Tennyson and such details were certainly not reported by Dion Fortune and her associates. I was totally convinced that the workings were carrying some voltage and relevancy for the modern world.

This event was undoubtedly a huge catalyst in my move to Glastonbury. I was already hoping to live there and the way was made clear. Within a month I had arrived. Inspired by the potency of the Tor visualisation, I fully familiarised myself with the wartime letters and the Qabalistic foundation of the imagery. By 1996 I had created an enhanced version of the 1940 imagery, a full Glastonbury Qabalah, and began putting on some public events using it.

Many years later, in 2010, saw the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. I convened a group visualisation again on September 15th, considered to be Battle of Britain Day, and the feedback was so strong that it catalysed me into starting to write the book.

What I found really striking, and it seemed to me that nobody had fully noticed this before, was that Glastonbury, with its Arthurian associations, represented a remarkable polarity with Himmler’s Grail Castle at Wewelsburg, a location that Dion Fortune would not have been familiar with. I realised that what she brought into the 1940 visualisations was the climax of a long story of the rebirth of Glastonbury, involving many other interesting people and ideas. Wewelsburg likewise represented the climax of the development of so-called Ariosophical ideas.

My lightbulb moment was to contemplate putting the two long-term timelines against each other and seeing if anything interesting might be revealed. I created an excel spreadsheet with vertical columns for Glastonbury and Germany set against horizontal year lines from 1875 to 1939. I set myself up to read The Avalonians by Patrick Benham, a superb account of the rebirth of Glastonbury, featuring Dion Fortune, Frederick Bligh Bond, Wellesley Tudor Pole, and others. I followed it up with The Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrich Clarke, a ground-breaking academically credible study of the subject. I entered anything I felt was important from both books on the spreadsheet. Once I’d finished, I started looking across the lines and immediately felt that I was seeing a clear convergence towards 1940 that began even before the Great War. The richness of comparisons and synchronisations astonished me. I added Rudolf Steiner to the mix. Having written Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus, I originally intended to create Dion Fortune and the Age of Michael as a complementary work in the spirit of a Robert Anton Wilson meta-programming experiment. The project outgrew that conception.

It was an immensely intense process to immerse myself for months at a time in Nazi occultism. I kept stepping back and other book projects appeared. Eventually, in 2018, I resolved to finish it in time to launch at the Glastonbury Occult Conference in February the following year.

8.What will your next book be about, Paul?

I am currently writing The Colin Wilson Work. This project began shortly after he died in 2013. I conceived it with the sense of it being like one of the many introductions he wrote to important thinkers like Gurdjieff, Jung, Steiner, and Crowley. 100-150 pages in length maybe. I made a good start but other projects intervened. With the onset of the first lockdown in March 2020, I felt it was an ideal time to return to it. As I did so, my conception of it massively expanded so that I now see it as likely to be of a size similar to one of the titles in Wilson’s Occult Trilogy. I’m approaching it in the spirit of what Wilson called ‘existential literary criticism’. I have often seen people praising his books for having expanded their minds, even changed their lives. What I want to see in cases like that are detailed accounts of what that really means. As a long-term Wilsonian with a rich inner life, I’m able to weave into the text a lot of varied personal examples of how his ideas have been alive for me. The title is a reference to Gurdjieff and the ‘work’ associated with him. Gurdjieff and Ouspensky were immense influences on Wilson so I’m examining at some length how that becomes part of a broader conception of Wilson’s new existentialism. I’ve undoubtedly set myself a major challenge but that is exciting and in keeping with the Wilson outlook.

 

Author Paul Weston was interviewed by John Wisniewski