September 4 - I have been reading Richard Metzger's Book of Lies (published by Disinformation). It looks like it's going to be a mixed bag.
I've tried the LBR Pentagram substituting the four Sons of Horus for the Archangels; and Re, Hut-hor (Hathor), Djehuty (Thoth) and Shu for the god names. I know I'm terribly out of practice but this feels really powerful.
I think I'll also try to convert the Greater Pentagram Ritual using the Egyptian god names ... to do the Hexagram Rituals that way might be a little more tricky.
I am becoming more and more convinced that the "new symbols" for an English Qabalah are to be drawn from the International Phonetics Alphabet.
Some people just mouth total nonsense because they have nothing else to say. It's a wonder it gets published.
"Liber B vel Magi" - Again, Class A documents really need to be published with complete commentaries.
"Liber Nu" - Hard to comment on, not having done this yet.
"Liber Israfel" - This has not worked for me before, I have a feeling that it would work now.
"Liber Stellae Rubeae"
"Liber Astarte vel Berylli" (for the Philosophus) - This is very interesting and I look forward to doing it.
"Liber RU vel Spiritus" (for the Zelator) - More Yoga.
"Liber Carcerorium Qliphoth cum Suis Geniis"/
"Liber Domarum Mercurii cum Suis Geniis"/
"Liber Tau vel Kabbalae Trium Literarum"
"Liber Os vel Abysmi vel Daath"
"Liber Had" - I think there should be a "Liber Ra Hoor Khu"!
"Liber TAU" - no comment
"Liber Viarum Viae" - eh.
"Liber BRAShITh" - eh - again.
"Adonis" - I didn't much care for this.
"The Ghouls" (Croquis de Croque-Mitaine) - Well, this was more entertaining than most.
"The Four Winds" - eh.
"Independence" - eh.
"Snowstorm" - This one was nice too. But it just bleeds irony.
"A Brief Abstract of the Symbolic Representation of the Universe" (Enochian) - This isn't really enough to do anything at all with the system. Additional information would be required.
"Apollo Bestows the Violin" - This was just okay.
"Diana of the Inlet" (Prichard) - This is really a nice story.
"Silence" (Archer) - eh.
"Memory of Love" (Starr) - eh ... again.
"Across the Gulf" - at least this isn't written in a poetic format. This is a nice story, like a parable. But I don't think it's one of Crowley's previous incarnations. It is more like a myth or fable he spun to reflect his current level of initiation. It is a satisfaction read.
"The Temple of Solomon the King" - Since this installation was printed in Liber ABA, Part Four, I have read it many many times. It has interesting information, but not enough information.
"A Birthday" - This is way too long; and it doesn't say anything.
September 9 - The Book of Abramelin, by Abraham von Worms. Compiled and Edited by Deorg Dehn. Translated by Steven Goth.
Like many others, I am thrilled that the modern translation has finally appeared. it is too timely and too important to not be made available. The appearance of this book is much more than just praise-worthy; just thinking about it, I feel a sort of earthquake occuring.
Combining this book with "The Ritual Proper for the Invocation of Augoeides" and "Liber Samekh" should help anyone construct a ritual fit to achieve Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
"Editorial" - This didn't seem to go anywhere.
"Three Poems" (Neuburg)
"The Temple of Solomon the King" - This is an interesting chapter in Crowley's career, but how does it compare to his attaining K & C of the HGA in "John St. John".
"His Secret Sin" - unusual, telling, cynical, sarcastic, ironic - a probably all-too-true portrait of England of this time.
"Long Odds" - I like this better than other Crowley poems but I don't know why. I think this one actually scans.
"Doctor Bob" - There are times to tell the truth - and times to die.
"In Limine" (Ethel Archer)
"The Woodcutter" - This is a story that's told pretty well. But I don't think it's very original.
"La Foire" (de Rochechouart)
"Professor Zircon" - AC must have been concerned with surpise endings this month.
"A Brief Abstract ..." part 2 - Just to study these in parts gets one nowhere. One needs the original book by Maric C. plus most of the recent books on Enochian Magick, to put together a comprehensible all-encompassing system.
"Stepney" - This is an odd little piece.
"The Tell-Tale Heart" - What's the point?
"Sorites" - cute.
"A Description of the Cards of the Tarot" - I'm scanning this but when it comes time to study divination, I will absorb The Book of Thoth.
"On - On - 'Poet'" (D'Esti)
"Elder Eel" - I like the story, but the dialect is hard to read.
"The Spadger" - I don't get it.
"To Persis" (Jenkins)
"The New Evelyn Hope" (Neuburg)
"Sephir Sephiroth" - This is, of course, very important. it's value to the magician is beyond measure. It's uses are near infinite. It is something that one would constantly refer to.
September 19-20 - The Equinox #9 - "Editorial" - puffery, acting as though organizations were bigger than they actually were!
"The Temple of Solomon the King" - Crowley continues to write this piece, thus we see his own reactions to what he was going through. I like this.
"Lines to a Young Lady Violinist" - strange, odd.
"Energized Enthusiasm" - an intriguing and involved piece. it is worthy of further study.
"The 'Titanic'" - I would have expected something better from Crowley.
"A Literatooralooral Treasure Trove" - This is absolutely hilarious, but was it a worthwhile endeavor.
"Threnody" - eh.
"Dischmatal by Night" - I sort of liked this.
"A Quack Painter" - i think Crowley is lampooning his former brother-in-law here.
"At Sea" - I don't care for this. It didn't move me.
"Cancer" - I've read a million other stories like this. And like all the others, the protagonist is a nut case.
"Dumb!" - This had potential, but went nowhere.
"The Vitriol-Thrower" - Again, this wasn't anything particularly new.
"The Fairy Fiddler" (Archer) - I like the theme, but thought the execution was weak.
"An Evocation of Bartzabel" - This was okay, but I think he wrote better invocations later on.
"The Testament of Magdalen Blair" - Well, this was different from the usual tale - though the ending seems rote. It is a fantasy, as any who cn recall their incarnations will testify.
"Ercildoune" - Despite its length, this was a pretty intriguing tale. Grayson's retirement from his long crusade of hate was a bit unbelievable. But the rest of this yarn was a "good read" - as they say.
"Athanasius Contra Decanum" - If so much of this wasn't in Latin, I might have enjoyed it. This was probably another chance for Crowley to be sarcastic.
"How I Became a Famous Mountaineer" - This is Crowley sniping at the Alpine Club.
"The Tango" - I suppose this was meant to be scandalous; but I think it's just stupid.
September 20 - Happy Autumnal Equinox.
September 21 - Right now I am concerned with plowing forward, of working hard and not being distracted. The closest thing I have to an insight right now is that some people utter complete nonsense and call it being sublime. Speaking in "word salad" is not being sublime, it is being pretentious and insane. May the gods protect us from such nut-jobs.
I wonder if Crowley didn't make some wrong turns. Could Thelema have spread more easily if he wasn't obsessed with rebelling against his parents' religion?
"Editorial" - nothing worth commenting on.
"Liber AL vel Legis" - Since I am writing a whole other book about this, Crowley's Law, I am not commenting on this here at this time. ... How many years of study would it take to understand all of this?
"Liber Βατραχοφρενοβοοκοσμομαχια" - An interesting practice, it would surely lead to enhanced control of the mind.
"A Syllabus of the Official Instructions of the A.'.A.'." - A general description of the libri. You can find these descriptions everywhere.
"The Ship" - I like the idea, but I didn't care for the execution.
"As In a Glass, Darkly" (Grimble) - eh.
"Two Fragments of Ritual" -
"The Supreme Ritual" - I didn't much care for it.
"A Ritual to Invoke HICE" - I have to admit I didn't much care for this either.
"The Disciple" - I get it. I just don't think it was executed very well.
"The Temple of Solomon the King" - Reaching the conclusion of this, one must say that it is a quite uneven chronicle. The introductory chapter in The Equinox #1 was beautiful, the relation of the Golden Dawn years was too truncated, and the rest seemed to ramble a bit. And the chronicle really wasn't completed in 1913, and there seems to be holes in it. The reader wants a more comprehensive uniform account.Hopefully it will come from somewhere else.
"Rosa Ignota" (Neuburg) - Neuburg isn't good enough to warrant having anything this long in The Equinox!
"The Game of Crowley" - Not interested.
"Boo to Buddha" - This did nothing for me.
"Crowley Pool" - Also not interested.
"Hymn to Satan" - This seems really uninspired, and it doesn't go anywhere. The existence of things like this just makes everyone's job harder.
"The Ballad of Bedlam" - This did not move me either.
The Key of the Mysteries (Eliphas Levi) - I've read a hundred pages so far, and i don't understand what Crowley saw in this book.
Later: After saying that religion cannot be defined or measured by science. Levi then proceeds to try to measure and define mysticism with science. The use of terms like "magnetism" and "electricity" abound. These must still have been new concepts back then.
Over all I am disappointed in this: It is not the grat classic I hoped it would be.
"Colophon" - to Laylah: Eight-and-Twenty". This is not a very inspirational piece of writing.
"Editorial" - I agree totall with this, but i don't feel I have anything to add.
"Praemonstrance" - Nothing new.
"A.'.A.'. Curriculum" - Of course I have read all this before, but reading it is no substitute for doing the work.
"The Message of the Master Therion" - I don't care for Crowley trying to redefine "unassuaged". It doesn't work!
"The Tent" - I didn't much care for this.
"The Law of Liberty" - Again, I've read this before - repeatedly. i find this to be very inspirational.
"Liber Causae" - I have read this before and I feel no purpose is served by being so vague.
"A Psalm" (1) - This does not impress me.
"Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente" - it is so futile to print the Class A documents without commentary.
"De Lege Libellum" - There wasn't much here that I haven't encountered before,
"A Psalm" (2) - I liked this a little better than the other one, but I still feel it didn't go anywhere.
"A Master of the Temple" - Crowley's comments are more enlightening than Jones' stumbling around. Had Jones no more direction than this? I thought, upon becoming a Probationer, he would have gotten the A.'.A.'. Syllabus.
"Khabs am Pekht" - Crowley really was totally unpractical in how the word of Thelema could be spread. His actions, his attitudes and his constant need to rebel against his parents' religion just made things harder for the rest of us. i believe a whole new approach is needed to propagate Thelema as a religion.
"Stepping Out of the Old Aeon and Into the New" - This isn't much more than a rephrasing of things Crowley has said.
"Sevenfold Sacrament" - I liked parts of it; but, as a whole, it was disappointing.
Here is where the O.T.O. section begins - of little use to someone who plans to work as a solo practitioner.
"Manifesto of the O.T.O." (Leah Bathurst)
"An Open Letter to those Who May wish to Join the Order"
"Concerning the Law of Thelema" (J.B. Mason)
"An Intimation with Reference to the Constitution of the Order"
"The Gnostic Mass" - This ritual thinly disguises the central secret of the Order. Open your eyes and be wise. This is a potentially powerful magical ritual, but it must be done that way, and not just as a religious service.
"Kekam Adonai" - This didn't do anything for me.
"A La Loge" - I don't speak French!
"The Voice of the Silence" / "The Two Paths" / "The Seven Portals" - I've already reviewed this.
October 5 - This essentially wraps up the Students' reading list for me. I will read Levi's Transcendental Magic as soon as I can get my hands on it. Otherwise it is time to move forward. The timing seems perfect. There is some ritual work to do. In fact, I am eager to begin all the practices associated with the Probationer's Grade.
Once before, while working the Probationer's Grade, i took on a motto, which in Latin would mean "I Am He : The Truth" As I understand it, the corrected atin would be "Ego Sum : Veritas", Greek: "Εγώ είμαι : η αλήθεια" ... very cool.
The practices should be LBR Pentagram, the LBR Hexagram, "Resh vel Helios", Sagittarius adoration, "Liber E", "Liber O", etc.