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Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #29 (🔥 Did anyone bring marshmallows? 🔥)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #29 (🔥 Did anyone bring marshmallows? 🔥)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #50 • View online
Damn, y'all. I feel like I got fuck all done this week. But, although I did skip an Omnium Gatherum on Wednesday this week, I actually managed to get some stuff done after all, I guess!
Anyhow, it’s Friday the 13th today! Also, let’s get real about Knights Templar for a minute: pass the marshmallows. Sorry, not sorry.
Kinda getting in the mood for Halloween, except that I hear there’s now pumpkin spice ramen. I never thought there’d be anything that could dampen my excitement about the approach of Halloween, but there it is. I’ll recover, but that’s just damned well enough of that. Make it stop.
By the by, how would you solve The Sandwich of Theseus Paradox? I say go all Alexander and the Gordian Knot on it by licking it to claim it all, all at once.
I’ve also got some musing about Allan Bennett and a sneak peek at the next special offer collaboration coming in September.
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

Friday the 13th
Happy Friday the 13th!
🔥 Did anyone bring marshmallows? 🔥
Although it was the arrest of Knights Templar that started in France on Friday 13th, and it was October 13, 1307, and so not really a lot of burning that day … it’s still a great day for s'mores!
Also, let’s be real. I’m not really a fan of the Templars tbh. Pretty much everything about them was awful when you get right down to it. So, you know, except for the part where it was an equivalently awful monarchy punching down that took them out, fuck those guys. Basically a conservative religious extra-national private army about which perhaps one might say: the Blackwater of the age.
So, yeah. Pass the marshmallows. Also, monarchy is next on the list. Who’s unlucky now, eh?
Allan Bennett
I was thinking about Allan Bennett again for some reason.
I think most people might know that Allan Bennett was an important mentor to Aleister Crowley, and thus an influence on Thelema. But what I don’t think a lot of people realize that that they had a falling out
Consider this exercise: try reading Allan Bennett’s essays The Faith of the Future, (Sep. 1903), Buddhism, Vol 1 No 1, and The Law of Righteousness, (Mar. 1904), Buddhism, Vol 1 No 3; but where Bennett says anything like “Buddhism” read it as “Thelema”. I think you’ll find the language strikingly like what one reads from Crowley in the years following the Equinox of the Gods.
So, after a trip to the East and a falling out with Bennett, Crowley returned to runaway with Rose to Egypt. The timing for me is interesting and I cannot help but see that the development of Thelema was, at least in part, not just influenced by Bennett’s mentorship over the years, but also a reaction to their recent fallout. Consider that as you read those contemporaneous but prior essays by Bennett and think about how they are similar and different from what Crowley would eventually write about Thelema.
Crowley was struggling to find a faith that fit his needs, for various values of “need”, and he found(ed) it. But, it didn’t come from nowhere, and it would be a mistake to be so quick to think it was entirely as novel or ab nihilo as some seem to think. There’s a lot more that could be said about that, but not now.
As an aside, at that time, you might not know, and it was a bit of a surprise to me when I learned it, both because it made a connection for me to Crowley’s visiting but also because I wouldn’t have thought Cairo as ever being any kind of Weimar Berlin, but turns out that Cairo was a hot spot destination for gay men in the early 20th century to escape from the crushing social and legal pressures and consequences of just being themselves elsewhere. That’s got to be a possible topic for another time as well, though a bit outside the library’s subject matter, but, importantly for me it’s something that I now wonder about but cannot really prove as to why Crowley went there then.
At any rate, my point is that Bennett is often forgotten, but, in addition to being an important figure in the exposure of the West to Buddhism, I believe should be more fully thought of as an influence on Crowley and on the reaction by Crowley that led to the development of Thelema.
Also, check out the other work by Bennett in his section at the library. Many of those were things that had not appeared transcribed online anywhere else before I added them. There’s still a lot to add too!
Sneak peek at September Special Offer
As you might know (I mean, I hope I’ve bugged everyone enough that they must know, right? Right?), I’ve currently got a special offer collaboration with Century Guild that runs through the end of this month. Since that one is ending soon, I have another new collaboration set to start up at the beginning of September.
Without being too spoilery, whereas the current one is for the new Propagandist tier and above, this one is about just the new Fashionist tier.
Both the Propagandist and Fashionist tiers are pretty aspirational, meaning I realize they are both big pledge commitments to make for anyone. I appreciate each and every pledge that helps keep things going, but for those willing and able to jump in, these exist.
And I really wanted to do as much of the merch as possible, and since there’s limitations on how much merch I can put in each pledge tier, I needed these new bigger tiers in which to pile things from the Patreon merch experiment for Patrons I’ve been doing this year.
At the same time, Patreon merch is on a three month timer, and the first merch milesstone doesn’t tick over and become available until a new Patron’s 3rd monthly pledge processes. So, these special offer collaborations are also an opportunity for me to put a little more stuff in the Hermetic Library stone soup pot, and a way for people to get some neat stuff sooner.
Okay, enough with the generalities! Who’s the new collaboration going to be with, you want to know? Let me introduce you to Brimstone Apparel! “Wear Magick! Clothing, Accessories and More for the Discerning Occultist.”
We’re mutuals on social media, and when I was thinking about who I might collaborate with for a fashion-related special offer, I thought of them. And, when I got in touch they were excited about the idea of a collaboration. Since this came together this week, I thought I’d share a sneak peek with you.
They’ve got tons of designs and a variety of items to check out, so go take a look!
And, you’ll be hearing more about the actual special offer starting in September.
Reminders
Call for submissions to Magick, Music, and Ritual for 2021
Pitch an Idea
Send something for the Zine
Century Guild archival reproduction antique poster special offer collaboration ending soon!
Unicursal ASK SEEK KNOCK Propaganda Poster
Unicursal ASK SEEK KNOCK Propaganda Poster
Things at Hermetic Library to check out
Unicursal ARE YOU FREE Propaganda Poster
Unicursal ARE YOU FREE Propaganda Poster
And on the blog
The Atrocity Archives
Slow Learner
Also elsewhere
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