TagAleister Crowley

Alex Burns on the Creation of The Book of Oblique Strategies

Alex Burns, who was editor of Disinformation from 1998 to 2008, has made his work The Book of Oblique Strategies available online as a free PDF. It’s not so much a work on Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s famous deck. Alex describes it as a channeled work in the vein of Aleister Crowley’s Book of Lies.

In addition to the work, Alex has explained how he came to write it and its significance to him. I don’t really understand the work itself and haven’t read the list of prerequisites that Alex suggested. But I appreciate the insight into Alex’s life and work and think anyone else who was shaped by Disinfo during his tenure as editor will appreciate it as well. Characteristic of Alex’s work at Disinfo, the write-up is more link dense Memepool and contains a huge number of references connecting seemingly disparate people and ideas.

My life changed dramatically in the next month. I hit a series of simultaneous inflection points or a Black Swan event cascade that overshadowed the document. REVelation Magazine folded and could not publish my interview with the late ethno-botanist Terence McKenna. 21C Magazine folded and could not publish my interview with space migration advocate Marshall Savage. The real estate sold out the rental house from beneath us. The relationship broke up. The 20th anniversary loomed of my mother’s death in a car accident on 28th March 1978. I experienced a period of referential ideation and had a nervous breakdown that my family helped me to recover from. I then struggled to pull together freelance magazine articles. When reconciliation was impossible with my former girlfriend, I attempted suicide (which influenced a later article on the Nine Inch Nails album The Fragile). A few months later I started to correspond with Richard Metzger and to write for the Disinformation alternative news site. I attended an academic seminar on process philosophy. Sean Healy invited me to This Is Not Art. I negotiated re-enrolling in my undergraduate degree on film and politics. Hence, the ‘Ordeals of Transmutation Fire.’

Alex Burns: The Book of Oblique Strategies

Magick Without Tears (PDF and Word versions)

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“Most people experience a similar reaction when they first sit down and actually read Crowley. The name is almost universally known, and somehow most of us have inherited a nasty association along with it; some vague idea of a wacky Satanist and evil-doer. My first thoughts upon delving into Crowley’s 8 Lectures on Yoga were I don’t understand half of what this guy is saying but damn, he is onto something. One is immediately struck but the cutting insight into the previously obscure, the elegant humour, the seductive use of language, and the sheer scale of his knowledge. A few of Crowley’s recurring topics include ceremonial Magick, mathematics, metaphysics, yoga, practical mysticism, Kabalah, Tarot, and one of the first scientific approaches to comparative religion and the attainment of genius, immortalised in the verse:

We place no reliance
On Virgin or Pigeon:
Our method is Science,
Our aim is Religion”

(Download for MWT via Dan Bartlett’s blog)

Splinter OTO Groups Can No Longer Call Themselves “OTO”

“The Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), an esoteric fraternal order which is perhaps best known for its associations with former leader and primary ritualist/liturgist Aleister Crowley, has recently achieved two major legal victories. The more important of the two regards trademark control over the terms “OTO” and “O.T.O.” in the UK.

“I am happy to report that OTO has prevailed against Starfire Publishing Ltd.’s opposition to our trademarks for “OTO” and “O.T.O.” in the United Kingdom. In her decision of June 8, Anna Carbone, the Appointed Person hearing OTO’s appeal, found in favor of OTO, overturning a previous decision in favor of Starfire. OTO’s registrations of the marks “OTO” and “O.T.O.” are now proceeding normally in the UK, joining our previous registrations of “Ordo Templi Orientis” and the OTO Lamen. Under UK law, there can be no further appeal of a decision by an Appointed Person, in either the Trademark Registry or High Court.”

What does this decision mean? Joined with the international order’s trademark control in the United States (and the rest of the world), it means that a variety of splinter groups using the term “OTO” (or variations thereof) must now cease or risk legal action. The OTO’s official press release specifically names British occultist Kenneth Grant’s “Typhonian” Ordo Templi Orientis in its warning to groups started by expelled or resigned members.”

(via The Wild Hunt Blog)

Chemical Wedding: So bad it will be an Occult Classic

Chemical Wedding

“Fans of terrible movies shouldn’t miss Chemical Wedding, which contains so many wooden performances it should really have been thinned before release by the forestry commission. Director Julian Doyle shoots the whole thing as though it is a Hammer horror film, and most of the actresses have the Hammer hallmark of being extraordinarily unfit for acting. Most of the cast underact. The one, big – and I do mean big – exception is Simon Callow, who appears to have been taking acting lessons from Brian Blessed and, possibly as a result, gone stark staring bonkers.

Callow is at his exuberant worst as a stuttering Cambridge academic who – because of some incomprehensible scientific experiment that goes wrong – is taken over by the spirit of Aleister Crowley.”

(via The Daily Mail)

(Related: “Aleister Crowley movie, The Chemical Wedding, trailer”)

Aleister Crowley movie, the Chemical Wedding, trailer

(via Plutonica)

Did Kenneth Grant have access to the “real” Neocronomicon?

All of Grant’s works were highly influenced by Crowley’s Thelemic tradition. One particular work, which holds considerable interest, is Nightside of Eden in which Grant proceeds to describe what he refers to as the Tunnels of Set.

A close examination of the Tunnels of Set will bring the reader to a realization that Crowley might not have been Kenneth Grant’s only influence for this darker side of occult mysticism. It seems that Grant’s Nightside of Eden is also somewhat rooted in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and his often referred to tome the Necronomicon.

Full Story: Key 64.

Anti-OTO couple released from jail

A COUPLE jailed for nine months for contempt of court for refusing to withdraw claims an occult group was killing children were freed yesterday after spending seven weeks in jail.

Vivienne Legg and Dyson Devine were jailed for failing to remove allegations that the secretive international society Ordo Templi Orientis was a pedophile ring.

Other claims included members of the group tortured and killed children, drank the children’s blood and ate their organs and used naked children as waiters at functions.

OTO told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal the couple had breached the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.

The couple ignored a July VCAT order to remove the comments. Judge Marilyn Harbison said the claims were still on the website in November when police were forced to bring the couple to the tribunal to face contempt charges. Judge Harbison gave the couple overnight to think about the consequences of their actions.

But instead of returning the next morning they fled to their NSW home until their arrest and jailing for contempt last month.

The couple’s lawyer Simon Moglia told the tribunal yesterday the couple had been financially ruined and had fled the tribunal in November because they had realised they had made a mistake by not complying with its order.

From: news.com.au.

(Thanks Danny).

See also: Anti-OTO Website Lands Two In Jail.

Anti-OTO Website Lands Two In Jail

“Two Tucabia residents have been jailed for contempt of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and sentenced to nine months jail in Victoria after refusing to remove offensive material from their protest website. A warrant for the arrest of Vivienne Legg and Dyson Devine was issued on November 28, 2007 after a lengthy court battle was launched by Brent Gray and David Bottrill, members of a religion called Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), in the State’s anti-discrimination court. The court found Legg and Devine guilty under the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act anti-discrimination legislation pertaining to racial and religious vilification after they published information on their website, gaiaguys.net.”

(via The Daily Examiner. Hat Tip: Abrahadabra)

Searching for the Hidden Wisdom

“[…] Looking at what we see as ‘occultism’ today is not same way in the past. Historically speaking, the subjects that are included in occultism, such as astrology, magic, alchemy, qabalah, and the like, were not excluded or pushed to the periphery of society and not distrusted like they are today. In fact, they were integral parts of how society investigated the world around them and were technologies used to discern the hidden aspects of the universe. Occultism, per se, is a modern concept-it arose in the later 19th century. In the past the occult was seen as integral part of the world. After all, the word occult means ‘hidden.’ When astrologers investigated the charts, they were attempting to see the hidden or occult influences and determining causes deriving from the celestial sphere; when alchemists experimented with matter, they were attempting to determine the hidden or occult properties of matter; when qabalists, Christian, Arabic, or Jewish alike, explored the qabalah, they were seeking to understand the hidden influences of the divine and how they manifested in our world. In essence, they were all seeking to understand the hidden aspects of reality; the things people did not see operating on a day-to-day basis.

Today, because of the influence of science and other societal structures, many of the early ways of investigating the hidden world have been determined as invalid and excluded. These formerly accepted practices, such as astrology, have been determined to be worthless, or at most, for occasional amusement and not anything to be taken seriously. Those still searching for the occult side of things do not always agree and still give validity to such techniques. Other times the technique or practice transforms, such as alchemy. It evolved into modern chemistry on one hand, and symbolic alchemy on another; the latter being employed by magicians mapping certain processes and Jungian psychologists. Regardless of the technique, the salient point remains, there are hidden forces at work in the world around us and in us and occultism is the process by which these processes are investigated and exposed.”

(via The Treasure House of Pearls)

Lead singer of Iron Maiden directing movie about the reincarnation of Aleister Crowley

chemical wedding

s the lead singer from Iron Maiden the new Rob Zombie? Bruce Dickinson, the old school hard rock band’s lead singer, penned the screenplay for Chemical Wedding, an occult thriller which, according to Variety, “stars Simon Callow as the reincarnated Aleister Crowley, an occult scholar who was once labeled as the most evil man in Britain.” Crowley wasn’t just “an occult scholar.” His very existence struck fear into the hearts of the U.K. residents throughout his lifetime.

Full Story: Monster Fest.

(Thanks Danny Chaoflux).

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