Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Read the Books Peaches Geldof Read Part One

A part of the library of the late Peaches Geldof appeared on her Twitter feed a few weeks before her recent and tragic death (nobody should die at 25). What is interesting about the image of books upon the shelf of Peaches is the subject. Peaches was a Thelemite, a follower of the teachings of Edward Aleister Crowley. In honor of the memory of Peaches and as an attempt to get people to read Crowley and the books associated with him I begin to post the books from the above image here as PDFs. This is shelf one in the Books of Peaches (shelf two is tomorrow):

The Anatomy of the Human Body by Henry Grey (1918)
The edition of Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings—many in color—from the classic 1918 publication, as well as a subject index with 13,000 entries ranging from the Antrum of Highmore to the Zonule of Zinn.

Gems from the Equinox: Instructions by Aleister Crowley for his Magical Order
A resource list of The Equinox, the Review of Scientific Illuminism, the official organ of the Crowley’s A∴A∴ along with material of import to its sister organization, Ordo Templi Orientis.

The Holy Bible (King James Version)
Virtue and Prudence, could not be brought for a long time to give way to good Letters and refined speech, but bare themselves as averse from them, as from rocks or boxes of poison; And fourthly, that he was no babe, but a great clerk [Gregory the Divine], that gave forth (and in writing to remain to posterity) in passion peradventure, but yet he gave forth, that he had not seen any profit to come by any Synod, or meeting of the Clergy, but rather the contrary; And lastly, against Church-maintenance and allowance, in such sort, as the Ambassadors and messengers of the great King of Kings should be
furnished, it is not unknown what a fiction or fable.

The Book of Splendours: The Inner Mysteries of Qabalism by Eliphas Levi
This is the first part of Eliphas Levi's last great descourse on the mysteries of occultism that was continued and concluded in The Great Secret. In it, Levi examines with great precision and insight the inner meanings of Qabalism and their relationship to the occult sciences. Part One is a commentary on the Spihra Dzeniuta by Simeon Ben-Jochal, which includes an examination of the affinities between Qabalism and Freemasonry. Part Two pursues the correspondences between Qabalism, Numerology and the Tarot. This edition includes an appendix by Papus (Dr. Gerard Encausse) summarizing Levi's doctrines and teachings and supplying some fascinating information on some of the master's many disciples.

Transcendental Magic Its Doctrine and Ritual by Eliphas Levi
Transcendental Magic Its Doctrine and Ritual  (Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie) By Eliphas Levi (Alphonse Louis Constant) Translated to English by A. E. Waite. Originally published by Rider & Company, England, 1896. Transcribed and converted to Adobe Acrobat format by Benjamin Rowe, January, 2002.

This is Eliphas Levi's (1810-1875) best-known book. This work arguably made Levi the most influential writer on magic since the Renaissance. Originally issued in French, the English translator is A.E. Waite and it is doubtful that anyone else could have better captured the essence of Levi's work. The book is divided in two parts; the first is theoretical, the second practical. This is a fascinating and often debated work involving a discussion that covers almost the entire realm of Ritual and High Magic.

Unrecognizable Volume

The Mystical Kabbalah
The Kabbalah is divided into two kinds, the Practical and the Theoretical. The Practical is occupied with the construction of talismans and amulets and is of no interest to Freemasonry.

Practical Kabbalah has its ancient roots in the "Thirteen Enochian Keys" of Enoch son of Qain, along with a highly eclectic admixture of material taken from Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and other non-Hebrew sources. The "Thirteen Enochian Keys" of Enoch son of Qain are reflected in such works as The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, the Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon, and mediaeval grimoires such as the Armadel, Goetia/Lemegeton, etc. The primary text of the mystical Kabbalah that appears to occupy a central place of importance in the hermetic Kabbalah is the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation). The two most prominent contemporary schools of Practical or Hermetic Kabbalah are the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.).

The bulk of the mainstream orthodox Jewish Kabbalists focus primarily on the Sefer HaZohar (Book of Splendor) and the Etz HaChayyim (Tree of Life). They engage in practices of spiritual refinement (avodah) and meditation (devekut, "cleaving to God") gleaned from the writings left by Abraham Abulafia, Azriel of Gerona (disciple of Yitza'aq the Blind), Chayyim Vital (recorder of the teachings of Yitza'aq Luria), Dov Baer (Mezhirecher Maggid and successor to Israel ben Eliezer), Nachman of Bretzlav, and others. These practices include a variety of visualization techniques, breathing exercises, movements coordinated with the permutation and combination of Hebrew letters, mantric intonation of sacred phrases, meditative prayer, and chanting devotional songs.

The Book of Lies
The Book of Lies (full title: Which is also Falsely Called BREAKS. The Wanderings or Falsifications of the One Thought of Frater Perdurabo, which Thought is itself Untrue. Liber CCCXXXIII [Book 333]) was written by English occultist and teacher Aleister Crowley (using the pen name of Frater Perdurabo) and first published in 1912 or 1913. As Crowley describes it: "This book deals with many matters on all planes of the very highest importance. It is an official publication for Babes of the Abyss, but is recommended even to beginners as highly suggestive."

The book consists of 93 chapters, each of which consists of one page of text. The chapters include a question mark, poems, rituals, instructions, and obscure allusions and cryptograms. The subject of each chapter is generally determined by its number and its corresponding Qabalistic meaning. Around 1921, Crowley wrote a short commentary about each chapter, assisting the reader in the Qabalistic interpretation.

Several chapters and a photograph in the book reference Leila Waddell, who Crowley called Laylah, and who, as Crowley's influential Scarlet Woman, acted as his muse during the writing process of this volume.

Origins of the Kabbalah by Allan Arkush & Gershom G. Scholem
One of the most important scholars of our century, Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) opened up a once esoteric world of Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah, to concerned students of religion. The Kabbalah is a rich tradition of repeated attempts to achieve and portray direct experiences of God: its twelfth-and thirteenth-century beginnings in southern France and Spain are probed in Origins of the Kabbalah, a work crucial in Scholem's oeuvre. The book is a contribution not only to the history of Jewish medieval mysticism but also to the study of medieval mysticism in general and will be of interest to historians and psychologists, as well as to students of the history of religion.

The Diary of a Drug Fiend by Aleister Crowley
Diary of a Drug Fiend, published in 1922, was occult writer and mystic Aleister Crowley's first published novel, and is also reportedly the earliest known reference to the Abbey of Thelema in Sicily.

The story is widely thought to be based upon Crowley's own drug experiences, despite being written as a fiction. This seems almost conclusively confirmed by Crowley's statement in the novel's preface: "This is a true story. It has been rewritten only so far as was necessary to conceal personalities." Crowley's own recreational drug use and also his personal struggle with drug addiction, particularly heroin, is well documented.

Crowley made a study of drugs and their effects upon the body and mind, experimenting widely himself. Many of his conclusions are present within this novel. The story follows Peter Pendragon and Louise Laleham, a couple passionately in love, as they fall head-first into a drug binge across Europe. Diary of a Drug Fiend encapsulates much of Crowley's core philosophy concerning Thelema and his conception of True Will.

The Law is for All by Israel Regardie
Aleister Crowley's life and thought are inexorably linked with The Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX). He was not the author of this short, prophetic text. He received this visionary work by direct-voice dictation from a preterhuman, possibly discarnate intelligence in Cairo in 1904.

The Book of The Law

Crowley was an intelligent sceptic, and at first found this improbable means of communication as difficult to accept as most intelligent readers will today. Yet he could not ignore it or its message, and eventually concluded that it stood as conclusive proof of the underlying assumption of all religion - that intelligences superior to mankind not only exist, but take an active role in our welfare. He found that The Book of the Law holds the keys to the Next Step in human evolution, and sets forth the spiritual principles of a New Aeon.

He worked for decades to interpret its meaning for initiates and the general public, but rejected commentary after commentary as inadequate. He eventually concluded that he was too close to his subject to judge the value of his own commentaries, and entrusted the task to his best friend, Louis Wilkinson. Wilkinson (who wrote under the pen-name Louis Marlow) possessed impressive literary qualifications and had the advantages of knowing Crowley well and being a layman in esoteric matters. The result of his work is this long-awaited authorized popular edition of Crowley's new commentary on The Book of the Law, and its first appearance as Crowley wished it. Louis Wilkinson's editorial work was posthumously completed and augmented by Frater Superior Hymenaeus Beta of the O.T.O. This new edition features annotations, reading lists and indexes, as well as an insightful introduction by Louis Wilkinson.

777 and other Qabalistic writings of Aleister Crowley
777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley is a collection of papers written by Aleister Crowley. It was edited and introduced by Dr. Israel Regardie, and is a reference book based on the Hermetic Qabalah.

The Book of Thoth : A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians
The Equinox, volume III, number 5, by Aleister Crowley. The book is recorded in the vernal equinox of 1944 (an Ixviii Sol in 0° 0' 0" Aries, March 21, 1944 e. v. 5:29 p.m.) and was originally published in an edition limited to 200 numbered and signed copies.

This book describes the philosophy and the use of Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot, a deck of Tarot cards designed by Crowley and co-designed and painted by Lady Frieda Harris. The Thoth Tarot has become one of the best-selling and most popular Tarot Decks in the world.

The original 200-volume signed limited edition was bound in Morocco leather and printed on pre-wartime paper. Crowley sold ₤1,500 worth of the edition (equal to £57,540 in 2013) in less than three months.

The Holy Books of Thelema: The Technical Writings of Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley, the founder of Thelema, designated his works as belonging to one of several classes. Not all of his work was placed in a class by him.

    Class A consists of works that are not to be changed, even to the letter (The Holy Books)
    Class B consists of works of scholarship and enlightenment.
    Class C consists of material that suggests things other than the obvious.
    Class D consists of official rituals and instructions.
    Class E consists of manifestos, broadsides, epistles and other public statements.

Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick by  Dr. David Shoemaker
(A new book, could not find a PDF of it)
In this important new book, renowned Thelemic teacher Dr. David Shoemaker sheds light on the dense and often misunderstood world of Aleister Crowley's teachings. Beginners and advanced practitioners alike will find much useful advice here, as Shoemaker brings his characteristic down-to-earth style to bear on topics such as ritual and meditation practices, sex magick, astral projection, psychotherapy for magicians, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and that pinnacle of attainment known as the crossing of the Abyss. A popular lecturer and podcaster, Shoemaker has been a student and teacher of Aleister Crowley's system of magick and mysticism for decades. Living Thelema is designed to be a helpful resource for aspirants at any stage of the Thelemic path, drawing on Shoemaker's many years of supervising students in A.'.A.'., Crowley's magical order, as well as other related systems. This book presents a truly unique, 21st century synthesis of magick and depth psychology, and will serve as a useful reference at every stage of the aspirants path of attainment.

Bucklands Complete Book of Witchcraft
Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft has influenced and guided countless students, coven initiates, and solitaries around the world. One of modern Wicca's most recommended books, this comprehensive text features a step-by-step course in Witchcraft, with photographs and illustrations, rituals, beliefs, history, and lore, as well as instruction in spellwork, divination, herbalism, healing, channeling, dreamwork, sabbats, esbats, covens, and solitary practice. The workbook format includes exam questions at the end of each lesson, so you can build a permanent record of your spiritual and magical training. This complete self-study course in modern Wicca is a treasured classic—an essential and trusted guide that belongs in every Witch's library.

The I Ching of Book of Changes
The I Ching, also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes, Zhouyi and Yijing, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. The book contains a divination system comparable to Western geomancy or the West African Ifá system; in Western cultures and modern East Asia, it is still widely used for this purpose.

Traditionally, the I Ching and its hexagrams were thought to pre-date recorded history, and based on traditional Chinese accounts, its origins trace back to the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE. Modern scholarship suggests that the earliest layers of the text may date from the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, but place doubts on the mythological aspects in the traditional accounts. Some consider the I Ching the oldest extant book of divination, dating from 1,000 BCE and before. The oldest manuscript that has been found, albeit incomplete, dates back to the Warring States period (475–221 BCE).

During the Warring States Period, the text was re-interpreted as a system of cosmology and philosophy that subsequently became intrinsic to Chinese culture. It centered on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change.

The standard text originated from the Old Text version (古文經) transmitted by Fei Zhi (费直, c. 50 BCE-10 CE) of the Han Dynasty, which survived Qin’s book-burning. During the Han Dynasty this version competed with the bowdlerised new text (今文經) version transmitted by Tian He at the beginning of the Western Han. However, by the time of the Tang Dynasty the Old Text version became accepted as standard.

The Hag Hammadi Library: The Definitive Translation of the Gnostic Scriptures in One Volume
The Nag Hammadi Library is a collection of Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. Twelve leather-bound papyrus codices buried in a sealed jar were found by a local farmer named Mohammed al-Samman. The writings in these codices comprised fifty-two mostly Gnostic treatises, but they also include three works belonging to the Corpus Hermeticum and a partial translation/alteration of Plato's Republic. In his "Introduction" to The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson suggests that these codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and were buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 AD.

The contents of the codices were written in the Coptic language, though the works were probably all translations from Greek. The best-known of these works is probably the Gospel of Thomas, of which the Nag Hammadi codices contain the only complete text. After the discovery, scholars recognized that fragments of these sayings attributed to Jesus appeared in manuscripts discovered at Oxyrhynchus in 1898 (P. Oxy. 1), and matching quotations were recognized in other early Christian sources. Subsequently, a 1st or 2nd century date of composition circa 80 AD has been proposed for the lost Greek originals of the Gospel of Thomas. The buried manuscripts date from the third and fourth centuries.

Read The Books of Peaches Part Two.

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