“Nothing is Impossible”: Rediscovering The Kybalion

By MITCH HOROWITZ And with the wish the energy was born… – Corpus Hermeticum, book I I once regarded The Kybalion as little more than a novelty of early twentieth-century occultism. I considered the book a faux-antique work of mind-power philosophy, dressed up in pseudo-Hermetic language and offering a handful of serviceable but not greatly significant ideas of practical spirituality. I was wrong. This enduring work, which appeared on the American occult scene in 1908 under the … [Read more...]

Aleister Crowley & The Book of the Law: A Magical Encounter in Egypt

By ROBERT BLACK Aleister Crowley (1875–1947) is remembered as a libertine, philosopher, mountaineer, magician, and supposedly the “wickedness man in the world.” He wrote bad poetry, pornographic books, novels and a vast array of literature. He is best known as being an infamous occultist and the scribe of The Book of the Law, which introduced ‘Thelema’ to the world. Crowley was an influential member of several occult organisations, including the Golden Dawn, the A.’.A.’., and Ordo Templi … [Read more...]

Egypt in the Western Occult Tradition

By RICHARD SMOLEY O Egypt, Egypt, of your reverent deeds only stories will survive, and they will be incredible to your children! Only words cut in stone will survive to tell your faithful works, and the Scythian or Indian or some such neighbour barbarian will dwell in Egypt. This haunting passage comes from the Corpus Hermeticum, the celebrated ‘Hermetic’ body of writings, believed to go back to Hermes Trismegistus himself, a semidivine figure associated with the Greek god Hermes and his … [Read more...]

Modern Medicine: The New World Religion

By REG LITTLE East Asia and possibly South Asia have strong traditions that offer insight into Western medical and scientific follies, but many parts of the developing world are much more vulnerable. The French author, Olivier Clerc, in his 2004 publication, Modern Medicine: The New World Religion has exposed the complex and confused mix of Christian and Enlightenment forces unleashed on many communities without effective traditional spiritual and scientific defences. It is perhaps no … [Read more...]

The Magus Was A Spy: Aleister Crowley and the Curious Connections Between Intelligence and the Occult

By DR RICHARD SPENCE In Magick Without Tears, Aleister Crowley observed a fundamental similarity between the “Secret Chiefs,” the invisible and inaccessible Masters to whom he professed obedience, and “Captain A. and Admiral B. of the Naval Intelligence Service.” Both, he noted, “keep in the dark for precisely the same reasons; and these qualities disappear instantaneously the moment They want to get hold of you.”1 Crowley, arguably the most famous – or infamous – occultist of the last … [Read more...]

Alchemy – The Art of Transformation: An Interview with Cherry Gilchrist

By RICHARD SMOLEY Cherry Gilchrist’s book on the history and interpretation of alchemy has remained a classic since its first publication in 1984. Alchemy, the Great Work: A History and Evaluation of the Western Hermetic Tradition will be published in a new edition by Weiser Books, with an introduction by Mark Booth, in June 2015. Her book on alchemy as a system of self-development, drawing on the Twelve Gates of George Ripley and alchemical imagery, is Everyday Alchemy, published by Rider … [Read more...]

Living at the End of an Age

By DR. K.R. BOLTON Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity  – W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming Apocalyptic literature and prophecies are found throughout history. But as the ‘world’ has … [Read more...]

The Lord of the World: What’s Really Behind the Legend of the Mysterious Kingdom of Agarttha?

By RICHARD SMOLEY A current theory holds that the secret rulers of humanity are an alien, reptilian race. The best-known version of this view comes from British author David Icke. (See Donald Tyson’s “Reptilians ’R Us” in New Dawn Special Issue Vol. 9 No. 2). It is all too easy to believe that the current leaders of humanity are operating from the reptilian part of the brain, which is devoid of any capacity for love, compassion, or justice. But an alien race? What makes reptiles aliens? They … [Read more...]

The Dawning Aeon of the Child: Personal Thoughts & Reflections

By JAMES WASSERMAN In 1904, while visiting Cairo with his wife Rose, the English occultist Aleister Crowley received a text known as The Book of the Law via direct voice transmission. He described its author as “a messenger from the forces ruling this earth at present.” Three one-hour sessions over a three-day period resulted in 220 verses announcing a New Aeon with a New Law for mankind – a changing of the guard of the spiritual hierarchy ruling the planet. The Book of the Law proclaims a new … [Read more...]

The Black Arts after Fifty Years

By MITCH HOROWITZ This year marks the 50th anniversary of Richard Cavendish’s classic study of the occult, The Black Arts. The year of Cavendish’s book – 1967 – could be seen as a banner moment for the rebirth of occult and esoteric spirituality in the modern West. In 1967, the toy giant Parker Brothers relaunched the Ouija Board, having bought rights the prior year from descendants of manufacturer William Fuld, and sold a record two million talking boards, surpassing sales of its leading … [Read more...]