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IN THE CENTER OF THE FIRE:
A MEMOIR OF THE OCCULT
By James Wasserman
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Ibis Press (June 15, 2012)
List Price: $35.00
FROM THE PUBLISHER:
In this daring exposé by a survivor of a unique era in the New York occult scene, James Wasserman, a longtime proponent of the teachings of Aleister Crowley, brings us into a world of candlelit temples, burning incense, and sonorous invocations. The author also shares an intimate look at the New York Underground of the 1970s and introduces us to the company of such avant-garde luminaries as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Harry Smith, and Angus MacLise. A stone's throw away from the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol's Factory, William Burroughs' "bunker," and the legendary Chelsea Hotel was a scene far more esoteric than perhaps even they could have imagined.
When James Wasserman joined the O.T.O. in 1976, there were fewer than a dozen members. Today the Order numbers over 4,000 members in 50 countries and has been responsible for a series of ground-breaking publications of Crowley's works.
The author founded New York City's TAHUTI Lodge in 1979. He chronicles its early history and provides a window into the heyday of the Manhattan esoteric community. He also breaks his decades of silence concerning one of the most seminal events in the development of the modern Thelemic movement -- detailing his role in the 1976 magical battle between Marcelo Motta and Grady McMurtry. Long slandered for his effort to heal the temporary breach between the Orders of A.'.A.'. and O.T.O., James Wasserman sets the record straight. And, he meticulously chronicles the copyright contest over the Crowley literary estate--of which he was an important participant.
This is also a saga with a very human tableau filled with tender romance, passionate friendships, an abiding spiritual hunger, danger, passion, and ecstasy. It also explores several hidden magical byways including the rituals of Voodoo, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism. Finally we are given a bird's eye view of the 1960s hippie culture and its excesses of sex and drugs, and rock n roll--along with the personal transformations and penalties such a lifestyle brought forth.
Reconstructed from personal memories, magical diaries, multiple interviews, court transcripts, witness depositions, trial evidence, and extensive correspondence, this book elucidates a hitherto misreported and ill-understood nexus of modern magical history. It also shares tales of a mythical moment in American life as seen through the eyes of an enthusiastic participant in the hip culture of the day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Wasserman has been a member of Ordo Templi Orientis since 1976. He has been described as a "founding father" of the modern O.T.O. and has played a key role in numerous seminal publications of Aleister Crowley's literary corpus. He is responsible for the widely celebrated Chronicle edition of The Book of Going Forth by Day, The Egyptian Book of the Dead. His numerous writings and editorial efforts maintain a focus on spirituality, creative mythology, secret societies, history, religion, and politics. He is a passionate advocate of individual liberty.
He has appeared in numerous documentaries on The History Channel, National Geographic, and The Discovery Channel, addressed the National Press Club on esoteric symbolism in 2009, and has appeared on many radio broadcasts and podcasts.
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GRIST TO WHOSE MILL?
A NOVEL OF NEMESIS
by Kenneth Grant
London: Starfire, 2012. Limited Edition of 1000 copies.
A FINE CLOTH COPY IN DUST JACKET. Full color cover, illustrated endpapers, with a colored frontispiece. Front panel of the full color dust jacket is a montage designed by Steffi Grant, as are the custom endpapers. 233 pages. Octavo.
FROM THE PUBLISHER:
This is the rich and gripping first novel by Kenneth Grant. Written in late 1952 and early 1953, the typescript was thought lost for many years. A welcome addition to Kenneth Grant’s substantial and diverse body of work, it is now published for the first time as the latest in the novella series of Nightside Narratives. Subtitled by the author “A Novel of Nemesis”, the story has a variety of characters who are clearly anamorphic — and thus distorted — representations of ‘real life’ persons in occult circles of the time. However, as cautioned in a prefatory note by the author, “All the characters in this book exist solely in the imagination of the reader”.
It is a few years after the death of the notorious English occultist, Ruthven Seeley. Now in charge of the British branch of his magical Order, Seeley’s erstwhile disciple Marcus Maybourne becomes aware that something nefarious is gathering momentum. Earthbound, and desperate to resume human life, Seeley sees his chance of resurrection when learning of an impending sacrificial Rite. At the moment of the bloody sacrifice, he will vampirise the released energy and once again become corporeal . . .
The celebrants of the Rite each have their individual motivations for taking part. Fand, the High Priestess of an ancient lineage of Witchcraft, intends to facilitate the incarnation of a powerful priestess. Geoffrey Richardson and Sylvanus Carnac, scholars of the arcane, are plotting the generation a lost Salve which promises extraordinary powers. Veronica Kinloss is obsessed with taking revenge on Maybourne through a Blood Link. Unknown to them all, however, there are deeper and older forces at work . . .
As a series of troubling events moves to a climax, Marcus recognises that at root, these malefic events and characters in the drama are fleeting configurations of the One Consciousness, shadows which arise from the web of karma. As such they are equally facets of that Consciousness, and all grist to the mill — but whose mill?