Search This Blog

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Slightly Homesick New Yorker Tips

Slightly Homesick New Yorker Tips Image
I would like to recommend two institutions in New York City that should be of considerable interest to readers of this mailing list who live in N.Y., Conn., or N. J.

This "listener supported" FM station ( I forget the exact frequency -- some where around 96 ) has the most eclectic and wide ranging programming of any station I have ever heard. It's basic bent is "Progressive", which can mean ( depending on the particular show-- each host has very wide latitude on what to broadcast) anything from "Trotskyite" 6PM news
to Neo-pagan to an all day broeadcast of readings from Joyce's "Ulysses".
They specialize in providing time for the more contriversial
or less accepted beliefs in our society. Don't judge this station
based on just one listening, each show stands alone, the station does not have a consistent "sound", and many of the hosts are real ASS HOLES, while others are wonderful. I especially recommend the morning drive time programming on Monday, Thursday, Wednesday, and Friday ( in that order). Its transmitter is powerful, 50000 watts from the Empire State Building, so you don't have to be in the City to hear it.

2) The "New York Open" Center
This organization on Spring Street in Soho, uses its four story building (If you haven't been to New York, you don't realize that owning that much space is like saying they own the entire State of Montana), for classes, lectures, workshops and performances in a wide range of
new age areas. The quality of the environment and of presentations
are in my experience very high. (Many other such centers I have
done stuff at seem to be primarily places for singles to meet, not
that you couldn't do that here, its just their purpose seems different and slightly clearer

I have recently moved to Chicago, and when I know the city better
I will post similar listings. Perhaps other correspondents would
like to post useful info about their areas of the country.

Peter Silverman

AT however, it is wise to have a few reference books handy.

More subtle, however, is Crowley's sense of humor. He often sets up logical traps for the unwise; he makes statements that are baldfaced lies for the purpose of making the reader think (or disposing of the reader who is unable to). For example, in his book "Magick" (also titled "Magick in Theory and Practice"), there is a chapter entitled "Of the Bloody
Sacrifice: and Matters Cognate
". The following lines are interesting:

"For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly
choose a victim which contains the highest and purest
force. A male child of perfect innocence and high
intelligence is the most satisfactory and suitable

Yikes, that sounds scary. Then there is the footnote:

"It appears from the Magickal Records of Frater Perdurabo
[Crowley--ed.] that He made this particular sacrifice on
the average of about 150 times a year between 1912 e.v. and
1928 e.v."

Obviously something is skewed here. No way he sacrificed 150 humans a year; Gilles de Rais may have, but that was when nobility could
get away with anything. I am not going to ruin the joke by explaining it; it is rather more interesting to figure out on your own. Suffice it to say that neither quote is really a lie; just some games with words and their effects.

Crowley was a remarkably prolific writer. I will limit this list to five books, all quite available (by mail if not at your local store.)

1. "The Book of Lies" (Weiser, paperback)
A strange little book. Very strange. Contains over a hundred
one-page chapters, each with a commentary. The topics range
from Mastery:


Teach us Your secret, Master! yap my Yahoos.
Then for the hardness of their hearts, and
for the softness of their Heads, I taught
them Magick.
Teach us your real secret, Master! how to become
invisible, how to acquire love, and oh! beyond
all, how to make gold.
But how much gold will you give me for the
Secret of Infinite Riches?
Then said the foremost and most foolish: Master, it
is nothing; but here is an hundred thousand
This did I deign to accept, and whispered in his
ear this secret:

to Yoga:

For mind and body alike there is no purgative like
Pranayama, no purgative like Pranayama.
For mind, for body, for mind and body alike--
alike!--there is, there is, there is no purgative,
no purgative like Pranayama--Pranayama!--Pranayama!
yea, for mind and body alike there is no purgative,
no purgative, no purgative (for mind and body alike!)
no purgative, purgative, purgative like Pranayama, no
purgative for mind and body alike, like Pranayama,
like Pranayama, like Prana--Prana--Prana--Prana--


to one that ends:

The more necessary anything appears in my mind,
the more certain it is that I only assert a
I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms
on awakening; I drank and danced all night with Doubt,
and found her a virgin in the morning.

This is one of my favorite books.

2. "The Book of Thoth" (Weiser)
This was the last significant work Crowley published (he died
in 1947
). An exposition of the Tarot, especially as appearing in
the deck he created with Lady Frieda Harris (known as the Thoth
). Crowley continues the Golden Dawn system that links together
the Tarot and the Qabala (though he makes some minor changes
that some will find jarring
). This book is one of the best
Tarot books I have ever read; for people with a background
in Tarot, this would be a good place to get acquainted with

3. "Magick without Tears" (-)
I'm not going to list a publisher for this. There are two editions
out, one edited by Israel Regardie, the other edited and
commented by Marcello Motta. The Motta edition is an interesting
work, in that more than 50% of the text is his own commentary,
lots of it attacks, smears, and innuendoes on various people
involved with the O.T.O. over the years. Motta believes himself to
be the head of the O.T.O., and he and his five followers have
involved Weiser and the O.T.O. under Grady McMurtry
(the organization of which Tim and I are members) in a very expensive
series of lawsuits. There will be more information on this when
the thing gets to court in late February. The Regardie edition is
clean, however.

At any rate, MWT is designed as a series of letters to a neophyte,
and is quite informational. Few traps than in any of his other works.

[Note from Tim: I got my copy of this from a second-hand bookstore (for five bucks -- obviously the guy had no idea how hard to get it was). It has recently come back into print from a publisher named Falcon Press, in a reasonably-priced paperback.]

4. "Collected Works of Aleister Crowley" (Yogi Publication Society, Des
Plaines, Ill.)
This is a three volume set of poetry, essentially all of
Crowley's poetical output up until 1905. Crowley is not well
known as a poet; his infamy as the Great Beast 666 tended to
overwhelm any critical reception his poetry might have
received. I like his stuff; it is complex and interesting
(and occasionally has some god-awful rhymes.) Read for literary
value; then study for magickal intent.

5. "ThELEMA" (title in Greek, alt. title "The Holy Books of Thelema")
A collection of some of the important "Holy Books" Crowley wrote
or received. The most important work herein is "Liber AL", otherwise
known as "The Book of the Law". Some items are rituals; others
could be thought of as inspirational works. Also included is
an introduction by Caliph Hymenaeus Alpha (Grady McMurtry), and
some interesting translations of a certain Egyptian funerary

Originally, I had intended this to be ten books; I think these five suffice for a start.

Love is the law, love under will.

Joshua Gordon, M:.M:. (O.T.O.)