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Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #16 (Mystery animal at Hermetic Library World HQ revealed!)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #16 (Mystery animal at Hermetic Library World HQ revealed!)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #16 • View online
This week, I finally managed to get my 2nd dose of the vaccine. Last year, I had predicted that it wouldn’t be until May that the vaccine reached my area, and I was pretty close on when I got it. Now I get to wait 2 weeks for it to take full effect, then I’ll be an FVP.
But, more directly related to the library, I give thanks to Georgina Rose, recommend some intro to Thelema resources, worked on the library main and auxiliary servers (Abraxas and Buer), consider the site’s history of offering the contents of the site without cost, essentially Open Access, and the patronage that make it possible. There’s also updates on the site, and posts on the blog to check out. And, this week I received a package from Rose Ankh Publishing in the mail!
By the by, last newsletter I mentioned the mystery animal that appeared outside by office window, and I am now reasonably sure my mysterious tail-less beaver and non-rat-tail muskrat/nutria is actually groundhog, with a short furry tail that I couldn’t see before.
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

Mystery animal at Hermetic Library World HQ revealed!
Mystery animal at Hermetic Library World HQ revealed!
Georgina Rose
I recently noticed that in 4 out of the last 6 months, my Top Mention in each of those months was one by Georgina Rose, so, you know, thanks to her for sharing links to Hermetic Library and recommending resources on the site! I sure do appreciate those!
If you haven’t, consider checking out Georgina for her co-podcast, Occultism With A Side of Salt, tiktoks, and other constant engagement with the community and subject matter. As Spiral Nature used to say, it’s another #occultlovefest!
Intro to Thelema
If you’ve ever been uncertain where to start, or are trying to suggest to someone else where to begin, Fellow John ‘Ash’ Bowie has several good primers, starting with Thelema 101 and followed by A Guide to the Study of Thelema. But, don’t forget that I also created ΘΕΛΗΜΑ Thelema as a great landing page for people not sure where to jump in, with recommendations of first steps and where to go next.
Also, not at Hermetic Library, there’s also Introduction to Crowley (in Five Voices) by the late Tim Maroney, which probably doesn’t get remembered or mentioned much any more, so now I have done both!
Buer and Abraxas
Welp. Buer, my current blog / auxiliary server, had an uptime of over a year, but I had to go and try to upgrade a thing, fail, and have to revert back anyway. ::sad trombone::
Well, I’ve still got over 400 days uptime on Abraxas, my main library site server! I mean, they pretty much stay up until I have to do some major upgrade. Solid little servitors! Uh oh. Did I just jinx it?
I’ve got some upgrades I have to do soon, and I’ll probably end up spinning up entirely new servers with all the new hotness, and migrating everything to them. That will be a big project, and is fraught with stress and toil. But, realistically, Abraxas was spun up over 2 years ago, and Buer has been spinning for 8 years. So, you know, it’s not like I will likely have to worry about it for a while once it is done again. But it will be sad to see them go.
I for one will welcome Hermetic Library’s new servitors when they are spun up. Not sure who they will be this time though, and I probably won’t decide until the time when I’m configuring them. It will be a surprise!
Open Access and patronage
It’s interesting over the years how often I see people say that all the stuff at Hermetic Library is public domain. That’s just never been true. In fact, for the first 10 years almost everything was copyrighted, but hosted with permission.
Since I took over, I’ve gone to great pains to add interesting and important material, sometimes transcribing for the first time for presentation on the web, things related to the overall subject matter. So there’s now more material sourced from the public domain.
But, I continue to seek out new materials from creatives and authors that are not public domain, and for which I can be given permission to present for everyone, whether that’s restoring archives or someone’s corpus.
Examples of archives are things like the Key 23 / Key 64 board, the Beast Bay board, and mirroring things like Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition. And, many more.
Examples of presenting a corpus that I’ve added with permission are Joscelyn Godwin, Bob Black, and other new Fellows, like the newest which is Jürgen Hubert’s CC0 licensed English translations for the first time of German folktales. And many more.
Hermetic Library has been around long enough that it has out-survived so many other sites and services. Back in the early days, there was an obnoxious self-serving narrative people told themselves that anything online was free to copy and public domain, which is, of course, absurd on the face of it. But, it’s what people told themselves, and actually said aloud.
So many sites and torrents have direct copies of Hermetic Library pages I’ve lost count. Some more egregious than others. But, that’s the way of things, unfortunately.
Ultimately, although I’ve come to use the term, it was pretty much always true that Hermetic Library was, for all intents and purposes, an Open Access Repository, a place where many copyrighted documents are provided with cost to access.
Of course, that means that I’ve had to come up with other ways to support the massive work of both keeping the site online as an Open Access Repository and continuing to add new material, both copyrighted material and also preparing and presenting interesting and important related work that’s in the Public Domain.
Digital preservation doesn’t happen by itself! And, I quite seriously spend an incredible amount of time almost every day, every week, working on things related to Hermetic Library.
Hence, things like trying to offer merch, having options for patronage on Patreon and subscriptions on Bandcamp and, newly offered, membership to this list, and other things like the annual anthology and digital publications like the zine.
I literally could not keep doing this, any of it, without the generous and ongoing support of Patrons and other supporters who pitch in to help, even just $1/mo into the tip jar, but those who can pitch in more have lots of neat perks.
I still have not yet reached a minimum level of funding for all the ongoing work. I currently have just over 70 Patrons who pitch in, but need at least 111 to make ends meet with the basic funding necessary to keep going like I do. For years, I’ve been running a deficit and haven’t been able to fully fund the site and my work. The struggle is real.
My point is this, the few and fabulous, erudite and beatific Patrons and supporters make Hermetic Library possible for everyone! Will you join them?
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
Caduceus III 3
Stuff on the blog
Ghost Circles
Nunquam
Also, elsewhere
Mail call
A package from Rose Ankh Publishing in the UK arrived at the Reading Room, so I posted images from when I unboxed that over on Instagram. But, that was a surprisingly fun wrapping job they did there, weird and entertaining asymmetrical wrapping that created flaps in which things could be stuck, like bookmarks and other stuff, and when I got ½ through and started to kick myself for not doing video instead of pictures!
And, here’s what was inside: Magic: A Life In More Worlds Than One [Amazon, Amazon UK] by David Conway—"The tell-all autobiography of David Conway, author of Magic: An Occult Primer and one of the most influential figures in contemporary occultism. David Conway, author of Magic: An Occult Primer is by now famous for his writings on the paranormal, his prose leavened with humour and imbued with good sense, qualities that have endeared him to believers and sceptics alike. In this fascinating autobiography he recounts the story of his life with candour and an infectious sense of fun. It begins in the Welsh seaside town of Aberystwyth where, as a boy, he got to know the enigmatic Mr. James, farmer and reputed magician, then takes us farther afield to the grown-up world of London and beyond. For David Conway, farther afield was never far enough for he ventured also into worlds beyond the one we normally inhabit, worlds no less real for being imperceptible yet of which our world and ourselves are essentially part. Magic is the key to this mysterious reality. And this remarkable book will show the reader how to find it.“
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John Bell the Librarian

Archiving, Engaging and Encouraging the living Esoteric Tradition, Hermeticism & Aleister Crowley's Thelema. Open Access Occultism for over 20 years.

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