Archive for March, 2010

Levi’s History of Magic, annotated by Crowley

History of Magic annotated by Aleister Crowley

Eliphas Levi's "History of Magic" annotated by Aleister Crowley: $8000

Aleister Crowley’s personal copy of The History of Magic, written by Eliphas Levi, translated to English by A.E. Waite, and heavily annotated by Aleister Crowley : $8000 :  http://bit.ly/bpp626

Be sure to click through and view additional images, which include several pages of Crowley’s interesting annotations.

London: William Rider & Son, Limited, 1913.

Octavo, 16 x 23 cm. xxxvi,[536pp].

First edition. Association copy: Aleister Crowley’s copy, signed by him and with his extensive annotations throughout the book. Original dark blue cloth, spine stamped in gilt, front board stamped in gilt and blind. Illustrated with 20 black-and-white plates, including a portrait frontispiece. Translated from the original French by A. E. Waite. Housed in a custom dark-blue, cloth-covered Solander box with a gilt-stamped leather label on the spine.

The book contains more than 180 pages bearing Crowley’s penciled annotations, many of them scornful and deprecating toward Waite’s translative efforts. Crowley has signed the book on page 304, and his initials (as A.C., 666, or A.A.) appear on pages 135, 357, and 528. Some of the pages are covered with Crowley’s commentary and esoteric symbols, and many passages have been marked with brackets and/or underlining.

Crowley’s early interest in occultism led him to seek Arthur Waite’s guidance and tutelage, and though at one point Waite and Crowley were both peers of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, they — like so many other members of that secretive society — parted ways acrimoniously, fueling a rivalry that persisted for years and that is very much in evidence in these annotations. Crowley himself claimed to be the reincarnation of Eliphas Levi, and many of his own writings were inspired by that prominent 19th Century French magician, originally known as Alphonse Louis Constant.

This book has a secondary association, having once belonged to the Anglo-Welsh composer and music critic Philip Heseltine, a.k.a. Peter Warlock, and his signature (dated 1916) appears in ink on the front paste-down. In addition to Crowley’s numerous penciled scribblings, there are more than two dozen examples of annotations (both in ink and pencil) in handwriting other than Crowley’s. The boards and joints are rubbed, the corners and spine ends are worn, and the book has a slight cigarette smoke odor. Although there are a few places where the binding is cracked and the gutter exposed, thus leaving the binding somewhat shaken, the book is still sound and is overall a most extraordinary and unique association copy.

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Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics

Dr. Marco Pasi

Dr. Marco Pasi

Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics : Pre-order $85 : http://bit.ly/dsyvD2

This much anticipated English translation of Dr. Marco Pasi’s scholarly exploration of Crowley’s political influence will be available in October, 2010, and is now available for pre-order from Equinox Publishing.

The figure of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) is one of the most important authors in the history of modern western esotericism. A prolific and eclectic author, he wrote novels, poetry, essays, and, above all, developed in his many writings his personal magico-religious doctrine. During his life he had the opportunity to meet, and at times to influence, a considerable number of figures in the most various milieus. This volume contains a study of Crowley’s relationship with the politics of his times, a crucial issue in order to understand the importance and the influence of his work.

Crowley, educated in the late Victorian age, shows many of the contradictions of this period. The search for an alternative way to express his religious feelings lead him to elaborate his own vision of political and social radical change. He announced a new era echoing the ideal of a “new man” proposed by the totalitarian regimes and the radical politics of his times, and at the same time anticipated some ideas made fashionable today by the “New Age” spirituality. The book follows the steps of Crowley’s intellectual development on the basis of the enormous corpus of published writings, but also through the analysis of numerous unpublished documents.

Marco Pasi is Professor in History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents. He holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Milan, and a PhD in Religious studies from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne, Paris). He has focused his research mainly on the relationship between modern esotericism and politics, on the history of the idea of magic, and on methodological issues related to the study of Western esotericism. He is a member of the editorial board of Aries: Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism and Politica Hermetica.

Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus

Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus

Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus

Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus by Paul Weston : $24.50 : http://bit.ly/aqjgV1

Glastonbury, England: Avalonian Aeon Publications, 2010. First Edition Softcover. 8vo. 384pp. Printed pictorial wrappers. Diagrams and Ills. Whilst “dealing with diverse and extraordinary subjects,” this book focuses particularly on the Beast, and the various individuals, movements and madnesses that have followed on from him. Discussions of Crowley, Thelema, magick, and mysticism lead to explorations of the life and thought of Gerald Gardner, Kenneth Grant, L. Ron Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Jack Parsons, Robert Anton Wilson and others. The author also explores a number of bizarre and sometimes bewildering subjects, from the atom bomb and hallucinogens, to Nazi occultism, UFO’s and “the Sirius Mystery”, with various divergences and forays into sixties popular culture, Illuminati, Men in Black, the Church of Satan, the Process Church, Manson murders, the Thule Society, ‘New Aeon English Qabalah’, and the alleged secret United States government research into time travel said to have been conducted at Montauk Air Force Station. One reviewer has not unreasonably likened the work to that of Robert Anton Wilson on account of its scope and sometimes deliberately surreal perspectives.