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Nazi Constantine

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dogpoet    497

I don't think they like her much, either.

:wink2:

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Christian    807

Yeah, my girlfriend is a big fan of David Icke (I enjoy him too), and she likes to point out how many celebrities are giving Illuminati symbols at award shows and stuff now. I said, "Don't you think they're messing with the conspiracy theorists at this point? I mean, they're all over the internet. If they were an ultra-secret society, do you think they'd be flashing these symbols on network TV shows, when the symbolism is all explained on YouTube?".

 

I think the problem with Simon's Necronomicon was that he was trying to pass it off as something real that H.P. Lovecraft had exclusive access to as part of some ultra-secret society. Plus, the fact that it was heavily based in Sumerian mythology, but disguised by changing all the names to Lovecraftian terminology. If he's saying anything now about occultists reception to the book, I'm guessing it's because the fact that it was a hoax was quickly revealed.

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dogpoet    497

I think the problem with Simon's Necronomicon was that he was trying to pass it off as something real that H.P. Lovecraft had exclusive access to as part of some ultra-secret society. Plus, the fact that it was heavily based in Sumerian mythology, but disguised by changing all the names to Lovecraftian terminology. If he's saying anything now about occultists reception to the book, I'm guessing it's because the fact that it was a hoax was quickly revealed.

Er, no?

I don't have my copy to hand, but I can't recall one word in there about all of that. (Apart from it being a book called The Necronomicon that purports to have been written by a mad Arab, obvs.) He sticks to the Summerian stuff and doesn't go dragging in any Lovecraftian names besides Ktulu. I remember finding the book rather unsatisfactory as a fourteen year for that very reason, in fact...

The book is obviously bollocks historically, but he's done a far better job or making the Summerian stuff look at least vaguely plausible than most other alleged Necronomicans I've read, and frankly his book length rebuttal to Harms and Gonce does seem a fair bit more credible than anything they have to say on the subject. I'm obviously not wired for magic myself, but people who are have at least got some results from the Simononicon, while I can't imagine them getting a single viable casting from the George Hay Necronomicon that appeared in print at the same sort of time. (Mind you, I don't think there's anybody besides Colin Wilson who thought that one was on the level, is there?)

 

As for Icke and the symbolism at awards shows, you get some halfwits claiming that's a deliberate attempt to debunk The Conspiracy so that the idiot consumers won't take any of it seriously: there seems to be a whole load of aggrieved whining about that in those terms over the last ten or fifteen years, doesn't there?

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Christian    807

There's an entire 80 page introduction to the Simon Necronomicon where he discusses its historical authenticity, and brings up the bogus connection between Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley.

He claims he was introduced to a Greek translation of a much older manuscript by a mysterious monk. He goes on to say that the antiquity of the original manuscript predates all known religions (even though, as you point out, it's obviously heavily based in Sumerian mythology).

Also, I remember references being made to the "Elder Gods", which we're meant to associate with the Lovecraftian concept in a book titled the Necronomicon.

Maybe you skipped the "boring" bits and jumped right to the black magic rituals.

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dogpoet    497

No, I read the introduction. He only mentions Lovecraft in passing. He also names all of the Gods (Elder or otherwise) in the book as Summerian deities. There's no names that sound very Lovecraftian named anywhere.

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Christian    807

I might have been mistaken about his using Lovecraft names in place of Sumerian deities (it's been a few decades since I read the book), but he does refer to the deities referenced as the "Elder Gods" which is certainly from Lovecraft, especially in a book titled Necronomicon.

I remember quite a bit of dubious information about Lovecraft in the introduction. There's the bogus connection with Crowley mentioned. There was misinformation that Lovecraft's theme in writing his stories was to detail a cosmic war between good and evil, which was actually August Derleth's interpretation of Lovecraft's writing, and isn't explicit in Lovecraft's writings.

 

Also of note is that it's suspected that "Simon"" was really New York based occultist Peter Levenda. The fact that the US copyright office shows Levenda as taking out a copyright for Simon's Gates of the Neconomicon seems to be proof that this is indeed the case.

To bring everything full circle, Levenda, himself, (rather than his pseudonym) was most famous for publishing a book about Esoteric Nazism!

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dogpoet    497

Fair enough. In context, him having a clue about the Summerian stuff seems more relevant than some misguided generalisations about Lovecraft to try to tie the old boy's ouevre into an alleged Greek translation of an Arabic spellbook that might include some authetic Summerian material. :tongue:

(If we're being pedantic about Lovecraft and Crowley though, there was a tenuous connection there through Sonia Greene: even if the talk of her having been one of Crowley's scarlet women was utter crap, she was part of Crowley's circle at one point.)

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Christian    807

There's actually no proof that Sonia Greene was involved with the occult. That was part of the same hoax that Simon played off, I do believe. It was stated that Lovecraft found out about the Necronomicon from Sonia Greene, because she had discovered it through being involved with Crowley. Obviously, the Necronomicon does not exist. I highly doubt Lovecraft got inspiration to create the Necronomicon solely through Greene. And, the rumour of Green being involved with occultism seems to be based on the fact that Sonia Greene was once in attendance at a night club where Crowley was reading poetry. That's hardly any sort of proof that Greene was involved with Crowley!

It's pretty well documented the figures involved with the Golden Dawn and Crowley's occult orders, and Greene's name never comes up in any sources outside of one that's connected to "Simon", who is known for creating hoaxes.

 

I think the Sumerian stuff sort of turned me off because I felt it was being derivative of Zecheriah Sitchin's The Twelfth Planet, which did the same for "ancient aliens" using Babylonian mythology. I believe Sitchin's book came out only a few years before "Simon"'s.

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dogpoet    497

I said a tenuous connection, not a credible, viable or believable one, Christian. I'm not saying that she was an occultist, just that Lovecraft has a Five-Degrees-Of-Kevin-Bacon link to Crowley through her. For all of the nonsense that's written about Crowley, it's often forgotten just how big deal he was in his day: the man was one of the first modern-style celebrities, wasn't he?

 

What other hoaxes is "Simon" known for, besides the Simonomicon? I thought the only other thing he'd published under that name besides an alleged history of how the original manuscript of the Simonomicon was acquired, translated and published* was a translation of The Black Pullet?

 

BTW: I've dug out my copy of the Simonicon and looked through the introduction again, and it appears that we're both wrong as it makes no attempt to connect Crowley and Lovecraft, but merely drops the names of both. In fact, it makes a point of deliberately disavowing any connection between the two besides a shared interest in Summeria. Elder Gods are only mentioned in reference to his mistaking Derleth's cosmology for Lovecraft's, though he does spend a few pages of the introduction trying to make connections between Lovecraftian beasties and some of the Summerian (or pseudo Summerian according to some) names used in the grimoire itself.

 

*(Which is quite a good read, if you've not looked at that one. Before he goes into a hatchet job -a fair chunk of which seems reasonable enough- on John Wisdom Gonce's part of the Necronomicon File, he goes into a lot of detail about wandering Bishops and Soviet era East European Orthodox churches in exile, and uses that to provide a surprisingly watertight alibi as to why the original manuscript the Simonomicon was translated from can't now be produced. It's bullshit, of course, but it's much more carefully thought out and rationalised bullshit than Gerald Gardner's bullshit, or the bullshit that's used to provide a fake provenance for most grimoires.)

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Christian    807

I was going by "Simon" as Peter Levenda, when I spoke of him being known for hoaxes other than the Necronomicon. The US copyright pretty much proves they're the same, which was already suspected by people interested in the occult from the start.

 

I kind of doubt that you could give "Simon"'s bullshit the same provenance as Gerald Gardner, considering that no academic ever took anything pertaining to Lovecraft very seriously, whereas Gardner had the provenance of a respected figure like Margaret Murray, which did gain widespread attention in the academic world for a number of years.

After all, I don't believe "Simon" was ever being published in any serious academic journals, while Murray's witch cult theory was being published in the Folklore Society's academic journal.

 

Yeah, Crowley was famous enough to get a W. Somerset Maugham novel written about him!

Although, there's the very real connection between Crowley's first wife's brother being best friends with Maugham, and Maugham basically deciding to get revenge on Crowley on behalf of Rose's family for the fact that Crowley and Kelly married against her family's wishes.

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dogpoet    497

You do know that "Simon" makes a point of insisting that he's not Peter Levenda, who just stepped in to copyright his book because he didn't want his own name attached to it, I take it? Doesn't offer any other suggestions of who he might be, of course. :laugh: Just how seriously is the Levenda thesis taken at this point? I thought the current line was that "Simon" was some sort of corporate identity set up by a group of people associated with the Warlock Shop to hide behind?

 

Not even Margaret Murray could get much leeway for Gardner in academic circles. I think the fact that he was prone to pretending to qualifications he didn't have messed that one up for him. Hell, it isn't like Murray was getting taken all that seriously herself by the turn of the '70s. At least "Simon"'s bullshit is a bit more consistent and coherent. I'll take a story about a manuscript of unknown provenance stolen from an ecclesiastical collection over some twerp insisting that he had singlehandedly discovered a hidden religion that had been hiding from the Christians since the Romans arrived in Britain any day.

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Christian    807

Yeah, I did hear that he denied it was the case, but there's also speculation that it's due to him still wanting gullible folks to believe that the Necronomicon is an ancient grimoire, rather than something he dreamt up.

No, I don't think it was members of the Warlock Shop, because they were the ones who were first pointing out that the whole thing was a hoax and speculating that Levenda was behind it. Based on what I know, the members never took the book seriously, which would seem odd if the author(s) wanted people to think it was authentic. Levenda might not have been the sole author...but, a lot of aspects of the novel were cribbed together from other occult sources, so I'd give the benefit of the doubt that one person was probably responsible.

Levenda still seems the most likely candidate. He was associated with Colin Low, who was the one who started the rumour about Sonia Greene being involved with Crowley and finding out about the Necronomicon from Crowley.

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dogpoet    497

Still sounds circumstantial to me, although it's something that'd be hard to prove outside of court. Mind you, I find it hard to give anybody a hard time because the Simonomicon wasn't written in Damascus in the twelfth century, as it isn't like Solomon or Pope Honorius wrote the grimoires that are attributed to them, so holding something else to a higher standard seems a bit off. Waite was in the habit of claiming that Abramelin was almost certainly written by somebody from the old testament as well, wasn't he?

 

Seriously, you should read the Dead Names, and probably The Necronomicon File as well. They're fascinating if you're interested in the ins and outs of the Simonomicon's production, and they're also very funny indeed approached in the right state of mind.

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Christian    807

I never said I had a problem with the Necronomicon, other than that I didn't find it that impressive, myself. I was saying that hardly anyone fell for the hoax when "Simon" came out with it. A lot of magic is the art of illusion, making people believe in a lie. That's part of how you can actually affect the world around you. There's nothing wrong with trying to fool someone in to believing your lie, when it comes to occultism. The occult can be fun because of the Imagination you put in to it all.

 

Many of the grimoires, while they do have a dubious history, in and of themselves, did record information that was passed down from earlier sources, as well. "Simon"'s grimoire is actually not that different, in that a lot of the rituals were cribbed from earlier occult texts.

 

Waite never claimed that about The Book of Abramelin. He claimed that Abramelin knew Abraham of Worms. Some people might have mistaken the "Abraham" in question to refer to the Abraham of the Old Testament.

No one actually knows the history of The Book of Abramelin, but the dates given for its origin seem to be correct.

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honestly,I never gave creedance to the Necronomicon because any and everything ovecraft related I reject as utter fiction.I honestly did have a christian/catholic slant to my leanings with hints of wicca and a touch of voodun /santoria here and there (scared people shitless with paper dolls and the like). Te idea of any of the Lovecraft lore being anything other than false seems absurd.Truly overrated--not to mention that the cthulu mythos was heavily symbolistic of xenophobia.

 

maybe being a black person gives me the sense to know better .

 

Only thing I currently have in my possession

is a book of incantations from the psalms and book of moses,

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dogpoet    497

Didn't Waite insist that Abraham of Worms had inherited Abramelin's book down his family line from somebody biblical? I was sure I'd seen something about him claiming that somewhere.

 

Lady C: it's surprising how many of the Psalms turn up in lists of curses and banishings, isn't it?

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Christian    807

Lovecraft insisted time after time that he had no interest in the supernatural, other than as a good source for fiction (based on his love of authors like Dunsany and Machen, who did have a great interest in the occult). He scoffed at people who took the ideas seriously. He did read certain supernatural and occult texts as sources for his fiction....I know he at the very least read Lewis Spence's Encyclopedia, which was popular at the time. He was familiar with the writings of people like Blavatsky, but he came to that from his friends Clark Ashton Smith and E. Hoffman Price, who were more interested in the subject matter. I believe Lovecraft mentioned that Price introduced him to the concepts of Theosophy, and wrote in a letter something about how Price "seems to actually take that sort of nonsense seriously".

 

Dog-No. The story was that Abraham of Worms met Abramelin while on his pilgrimage to Egypt. There might have been something about either Abraham of Worms or Abramelin being able to trace their ancestry back to Biblical times, hence the hint that it was lore that has existed since the Old Testament. No one really knows who Abraham of Worms was supposed to be anyway. There isn't any historical record of the person, so if he did exist, he apparently was never an important historical figure, whoever he might have been.

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dogpoet    497

I thought there was some such crap in there somewhere. Amusingly, Harms and Gonce have one of the same issues with Abramelin as they do with the Simonomicon, which is pretty funny. Gonce is convinced that both are terribly dangerous systems to try to use, because neither uses a circle or any other protective charms while doing the magic stuff. If the Simonomicon is fake, why should using it be dangerous? Strange argument.

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Christian    807

To be perfectly honest, I'm not familiar with Gonce or his views, so I can't say for sure. Although, Anton LaVey has a ritual for the invocation of Cthulhu. LaVey doesn't believe that Lovecraft was writing non-fiction, he says that it's all just fiction. However, he says it's still possible to summon Cthulhu. The ritual is supposed to be highly dangerous. So, in that sense, he may be taking up a position within Chaos magic, that even if the Necronomicon isn't real, that its rituals and spells can still produce results in those who believe.

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dogpoet    497

Your font is doing that thing again, Chris.

:wink2:

I think Gonce most likely has that "Mr Norrell" thing I was on about before going on. He knows how ritual magic is done properly, so if anybody is suggesting a system that he doesn't like, then they're obviously doing it wrong and must be stopped. "Simon"/Levenda (quite rightly, imo) feels that this is a big part of ritual magicians' objections to the Simonomicon. If somebody can just buy a spellbook in Walmart and use it to do magickal stuff by themself, then it's a threat to the whole guru system, and means that proper magicians who've spent years chanting bullshit in the correct manner won't get to initiate somebody because they're working from a book that no guru has approved or condoned and probably doesn't even work the same way as they do. A lot of Wiccans came out with exactly the same objections to Scott Cunningham, The Farrars and whatsisface Buckland when they began publishing guides for the solitary witch, rather than taking it for granted that the only way to get hold of a book of shadows was to join an existing coven, iirc.

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Christian    807

I get ya.

At the same time, a name like Raymond Buckland's work is so dumbed down.

It's basically like buying one of those "Guide for Dummies" books, and then acting like you're an expert on said subject, just because you read the lowest-common denominator text.

It's not like it's the early-1900s anymore. It's not just "Simon" and Wicca 101 on the market today.

Or, even the Satanic Bible.

I have a huge collection of occult books that range from something like Abramelin, which once solely existed in museums, to the complete works of Crowley, to the tell-all book about the Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie (which was around since the 1940s), Blavatsky, Manly Hall (in an edition that cost $20 instead of $100), and etc.

So, it's not like the Necronomicon or "Witchcraft for Beginners" is the only path out there for those interested in occultism that goes beyond the most superficial. There really aren't any secrets out there anymore. Most of the secrets are readily available at the local bookstore, or even simpler, a lot of it is archived online for free at SacredTexts.

 

Which isn't to say that Buckland doesn't know what he's talking about, as he was initiated in to Wicca by Gardner.

 

Let me end with an example. Algernon Blackwood was a member of the Golden Dawn. A person who reads a lot of Buckland would end up writing something like those Anita Blake books.

It's the difference between spending years trying to master something versus putting in a few hours of your life.

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dogpoet    497

I'm not sure, but I think there is a Wicca For Dummies book, so I'd hope that Buckland has a bit more to add than that. (That said, the Idiot's/Dummies guides are generally quite underrated as references, imo.)

 

The problem with your point is that you're assuming that having read one of the most basic texts as a primer somebody isn't going to bother with digging any deeper, which could well be a false posit. If you get anything out of something like that, a natural reaction is going to be to try something similar, and having the basics down makes it a lot easier to follow a proper occulty book the bulk of which are very dense texts written as a set of notes by somebody who knows what they're doing already, rather than a how to guide. That said, it isn't like mastering some flavour or other of the art is even necessary if you just want to use a few simple workings or charms. It is quite possible that you're right in that this is all some people want or need, but if so, why should they be expected to learn a load of stuff that doesn't interest them just so that they'll get taken seriously as a proper occultist? In that light, I have very little sympathy for the Norrells when they start bitching about people who aren't mastering the art, because I always get the impression that they interpret "mastering the art" as doing exactly what they say for years and not even thinking of looking at any other sources beyond those they approve of. I'd say that making wannabes less dependent on patronage from a control-freaky asshat like that is more a democratisation of the field than dumbing it down, frankly.

 

The Waite produces Blackwood and Buckland produces Hamilton argument seems a bit off as well. The only fantasy writers I'm aware of who make a big thing of having studied Wicca are Storm Constatine and Patricia Kenneally-Morrison, and they're both a fair few notches above Laurel Hamilton. Both seem to write at more or less the same level, but I think Constantine is an autodidact, whereas Keneally-Morrison is a product of the '60s coven system. I'd doubt that Hamilton's occult researches, on the other hand, go any further than having watched The Devil Rides Out and a few Hammer Draculas. Unless you're talking about somebody like Eric Ericsson (who seems to have written most of his novels to flaunt his Norrellisms) the author's understanding of the esoteric isn't that big an issue. It isn't like Crowley's detective stories don't read a lot better than the supernatural stuff, after all.

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Christian    807

No, you make a valid point about people who get started with something like Buckland or any of those Llewellyn spell craft crap books that you can pick up for cheap going on to do further research in the field and moving on. I mean, everyone has to start out somewhere. Obviously, you aren't going to jump in to the advanced classes when you're starting out on any subject. There was a time, way back when I was in high school, just starting to dip my toes in to the subject that I was drawn to Wiccan and then eventually spent a lot of time reading and re-reading the Satanic Bible. People grow with time.

Let me add, though, that I avoided the Golden Dawn for a few years after reading LaVey because of the way he attacked Crowley in his books, and I was so interested in LaVey, thinking that he must know what he's talking about, because he's "not afraid of taboos". So, even without what you're speaking about, you'll still find people of different traditions attacking each other in print, which can lead novices to continue to pour money in to one author, even if that author isn't helping their growth. Also, look at how many Wicca books steer students away from buying other source material, because it's "dangerous, Black magic", as opposed to the "peace and love" of witchcraft.

 

Like I was saying, it's not that Buckland is an issue. It's just people who read Raymond Buckland and think that there's nothing further they can learn. It's basically going to a karate class and getting your white belt and saying, "I am a kung fu master!".

You're right. There may be some people who just want to dabble in something as a hobby. That's fine. Some people may want to read the new Spider Man comics because they saw the movie, and they don't know or care what even Watchmen is. Of course, that's always the case. But, it's not as if these simple traditions weren't available before someone like Buckland came along. Poor farmers in Appalachia who can barely read have been practicing folk magic (alongside being devout Christians even, mind) for years and years. If all you want to do is cast a spell, you don't even need to put down $15 for a "spell book". I can teach you to cast a spell for something simple in 5 minutes, if you really wanted me to. That sort of knowledge is meaningless to me.

Do you have a candle? Do you have a piece of paper? Do you have any sort of creativity at all? If you have these three simple ingredients, I can teach you a spell to get something simple that you want. If you don't have a candle, do you know when the Moon is full? If you don't like the Moon, how about a magnet? I can, basically, teach you a simple spell with anything you have laying around handy, as long as you have a modicum of creativity also. However, I really wouldn't even advise using it.

I mean, if you're going to hunt down a guru, spending that amount of time, energy, and money (which is what you seem to be basing your argument around)...obviously, you must have an interest greater than, "I lost my favourite barrette and would do anything to be able to find it again!".

Don't forget that there are people out there interested in making a fast buck too. The guru system isn't the only control system involved in the occult world. Not that I'm saying it's wrong to make some money off of gullible people if you can get published, because I guess that's just the free market. Look no further than The Secret, remember that? The author repackaged the most simplistic idea found in any occult system...."the law of attraction"....and pretended that it was some huge breakthrough idea that was being presented....and became hugely rich.

 

I wasn't outright attacking Wicca. Wicca is more of a religious tradition. Most people who consider themselves to be Wiccans are involved with a religion of some type, with magic being more of a secondary form of worship.

I remember reading that Hamilton was influenced by reading Buckland and had converted from evangelical Christianity to Wicca.

There are other authors who were influenced by Wicca whose work I enjoy. Andre Norton was influenced by Wicca. Margaret St. Clair (if you consider her to have written fantasy fiction) was heavily involved with Wicca in her writing. Starhawk is another.

I was making the point that someone like Norton or Kenneally-Morrison seem better read on the subject of the occult, probably having spent years studying or reading, whereas, I'd imagine Hamilton's influence doesn't go much further than one of those "Norse paganism was exactly like Wiccan! Here is a book of spells that are totally authentic examples of ancient Norse pagan magic, and they just seem suspiciously like something I copied from a random Wiccan Book of Shadows, because of coincidence!". And, then, there's one for Celtic pagan magic, and ancient Mexican pagan magic, and etc. And, they're all the exact same book! And, they all describe the "ancient tradition" as pagan!

Most of these authors who are heavily involved with Wicca or Chaos magic or whatever, they have a broad knowledge of different traditions. They were usually members of different occult orders. A person may be heavily involved in a certain tradition, like Thelema or Theosophy, and decide that they don't feel comfortable with that tradition, even though they're well-versed in that area of magical theory, and they might decide that they feel more comfortable as a Wiccan or some other tradition. There are very dew serious Wiccan adherents or Chaos magicians, or etc., who aren't involved with other forms of the occult. In fact, with Chaos magic, it's pretty important that you are well-read in multiple disciplines.

I mean, Wicca, itself, once you get past the "goddess is good" stage, is heavily influenced by the Golden Dawn and OTO systems. That's a big part of what Gardner did when he founded the tradition.

 

I'm not saying that if you study some occult tradition, you're going to be able to start writing something akin to Algernon Blackwood. Obviously, that's not the case. However, if you are interested in writing and have skills as a writer, if you actually take the time and effort to study an occult system and actually understand, there is no way that it will not enhance your ability to be a better writer of fiction. I'm also not saying it's the sole way to go to becoming a better writer.

If you doubt me, I'm sure Grant Morrison would readily agree with me.

On the subject of Buckland and those like him, Aleister Crowley had a recommended reading list for the OTO. He said that every aspirant coming to him had to have read and have a basic understanding of Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. I'd say that Lewis Carroll serves as a better primer for practicing magic than anything written by Buckland.

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