Archive | May, 2012

Netherwood by A Gentleman of Hastings

31 May


Netherwood: Last Resort of Aleister Crowley

By A Gentleman of Hastings
With contributions by Gary Lachman and Andy Sharp
Foreword by David Tibet

Netherwood tells the story of a remarkable Hastings guesthouse that around the middle of the last century was home to visiting politicians, scientists, intellectuals and radicals.

It was also where the master magician Aleister Crowley, so-called ‘Wickedest Man in the World’, spent his spent his final years, playing chess, injecting heroin and receiving an impressive cast of visitors.

This limited edition 200-page hardback book includes over 40 photographs and illustrations.

Available now from No Hit Records

JAI KALI MAA!

25 May

 

‘THIS IS THE GREAT EVIL-DESTROYING CHANT OF MAHA KALI MAA. USE IT FOR YOUR REGULAR KALI WORSHIP TO DEFEAT NEGATIVE ENERGIES & INFLUENCES IN YOUR LIFE AND IF YOU HAVE FAITH IN THE GODDESS KALI SHE WILL HELP YOU ALWAYS. CHANT HER HOLY MANTRA: “OM-KREEM-KALIKAYE-NAMAH”.’

‘JAI KALI MAA, JAI KALI MAA, JAI KALI MAA!!!’

Baron & Raagnagrok 9.6.12

23 May

A beautiful poster by Baron’s Alex Crispin, for the forthcoming Baron/Raagnagrok gig at Night of the Long Swords 8th Anniversary party.

It’s free, you will want to be there!

 

The Magician at Brighton Fringe

21 May

As part of the Brighton Fringe Festival, come see The Magician, Rex Ingram’s rarely-seen 1926 silent film so shocking that Aleister Crowley tried to ban it* – a ripping yarn of sorcery and seduction starring the mesmerising Paul Wegener as lecherous occultist Oliver Haddo.

With an introduction by Gary Lachman, and a live soundtrack by the fabulous Ragged Ragtime Band, featuring members of Blondie, Indigo Octagon, Raagnagrok and Time.

* Historical note: OK, this isn’t strictly the case, but it’s sort of true in a round about way…

Click here or below for booking details:

Sanosex & the mysteries of the M.M.

11 May

A couple of images from the intriguing Bob Richel Collection at the wonderful Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Kernow.

Richel lived in Amsterdam, and according to the Museum was a humble man with a big smile and a passion for the occult and ritual magic.

Richel’s collection came via his father-in-law, a Mr Eldermans, head of a sex magickal org called the ‘Ars Amatoria’, or A.A. This may or may not have been related to Aleister Crowley’s order the A.A., which depending on who you talk to, may or may not have stood for Argenteum Astrum, the Silver Star. There may have been some overlap between the two orders, while both Richel and Eldermans were involved with another group, the M.M., about which nothing much is known.

Much of the Eldermans collection was destroyed before Richel could save it and unfortunately the index was burnt.

You can also buy a beautiful – and justly, fabulously expensive – book of some of the Richel-Eldermans images, The Occult Reliquary, assembled by Daniel Schulke and Three Hands Press – here’s a glimpse.

 

The Hills Are Alive

8 May

An extended interview with Paul Devereux and Jon Wozencroft about their Landscape & Perception project , for the Bite in The Wire 339. 

The tiny village of Maenclochog in Pembrokeshire, Wales, is an unassuming place, but its name, and its folklore, provide clues to the remarkable landscape that it inhabits. It’s said that alongside Ffynnon Fair, a nearby holy well, were rocks that rang like bells and these may have given the town its name: maen (stone) and clochog (bells). The rocks, the story goes, were broken up by locals who thought that their hollow tones suggested treasure, and in a way they were right.

North east of here atop the Preseli Hills is Carn Menyn, a ridge of dolerite, known as Preseli Bluestone, which forms the basis for neolithic tools found all over the UK. It’s thought that 80 large bluestones from the region once made up two concentric rings of Stonehenge, 200 miles to the east.

Around Carn Menyn are flat, fallen stones – like huge xylophones or, more correctly, lithophones. Grab a smaller rock and start banging on the larger ones and you will discover that these stones, and many others in the area, ring with rich, resonant tones that sound startlingly musical to modern ears. One has to wonder what ears 4300 years ago would have made of them.

It’s a question we can probably never answer, but clues can be found at Landscape And Perception, launched in March of this year by Touch founder and Royal College of Art tutor Jon Wozencroft, and Paul Devereux, author, researcher and editor of archaeological journal Time And Mind. Devereux is a longtime champion of archaeo-acoustics, the study of sound at ancient sites, as part of a wider mission to explore the archaeology of mind. Wozencroft first heard of Devereux’s work in the early 1980s via Chris Watson and Andrew McKenzie of the Hafler Trio, but they wouldn’t meet until 2006. The website is the result of that encounter.

Full interview here

 

Brains on Film: Wellcome 19 May

6 May

 

At 5.30pm this coming Saturday 19 May I’ll be joining Fernando Vidal of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science to discuss Braaaaiiiins onnnnn Filllllllmmmmm, following a free screening of the pulsating-killer-brain-in-a-fishtank classic, Donovan’s Brain (1953) at the Wellcome Collection.

Amongst other things we’ll be discussing mind control technologies, transplant memories, telepathy, head-swapping, the seat of the soul and whether a brain in a jar can really smoke $2 cigars.

Earlier that afternoon the good folk at the Wellcome are showing Joel Berlinger’s Gray Matter, a powerful documentary about the brains of children operated upon by Nazi eugenicists.

15.00: Gray Matter (2004) with discussion with Marius Kwint

17.30: Donovan’s Brain (1953) with Fernando Vidal and Mark Pilkington

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE

Both events are free though tickets can only be picked up on the door on a first-come first-served basis. More info here.

Meanwhile, here’s another brain in a jar that you might enjoy…