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Studying Magick

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.religion.wicca,alt.pagan,alt.gothic,alt.tarot
From: (Gratuitous Pseudonym)
Subject: Re: Studying Magick (was something else; blah blah blah)
Date: 22 Jun 1996 23:57:55 GMT

In article <4qemvb$>, (nagasiva) wrote:

>|Manly P. Hall
>this man's work and organization have been a great inspiration to me.
>his _The Secret Teachings of All Ages_ is published by the organization
>which sports many (all?) of his texts and I am told they have a very
>large library at their HQ in Los Angeles, CA (Philosophical Research

It is my impression that Manley Hall was a man who inherited enough wealth 
to allow him to follow whatever caprice he wished.  As such, he was able to 
compile a huge library of occult legends and materials.  I don't think he was 
an active magician.  If so, he was not one to say much about it.

Like Charles Fort, Hall made little effort to verify anything he found, he 
simply kept everything.  Thus, garbled information, hoaxes, gossip, and 
verities were jumbled together in "The Secret Teachings of All Ages", making 
it a fascinating, if not very reliable, coffee table book.  Great pictures, 

>|A.E. Waite
>Waite is best known for the Smith-Waite tarot, which a woman named
>Smith, who is too often neglected within tarot studies, painted,
>apparently as inspired or directed by Waite himself.  the deck is
>popularly known as the 'Waite-Rider' (Rider is the original publisher)
>and became rather important to Rosicrucian and Qabalistic mages such
>as Paul Foster Case and his own society (B.O.T.A.), as well as 
>becoming an inspiration for the modern occult revival after 1950.

More opinionating:  Waite's tarot deck is probably the most popular deck in 
the world.  His symbolism is at odds with many other decks and he apparently 
took very seriously the tradition of tossing in deliberate errors in order to 
avoid any violations of his oaths of secrecy.  Nonetheless, those Pamela 
Smith images inspire the intuition, making that deck a favorite among psychic 

Waite was opposed to the idea that the Golden Dawn membership should actually 
practice magick.  He headed the GD during its most senescent period.

His writing style was ponderous and filled with obscure references, making him 
difficult to interpret.  In Magick Without Tears, Crowley commented on Waite's 
writing thusly:

"The easy-going humorous style of Vivekananda is intelligible and instructive; 
the platitudinous hot potatoes of Waite are neither.  The dreadful thing is 
that this assumption of learning, of holiness, of mysterious avenging powers, 
somehow deceives the average student.  He does not realize how well and wisely 
such have conned Wilde's maxim: 'To be intelligible is to be found out.'"

>|Franz Bardon
>I don't know very much about Bardon, aside from that he is occasionally
>referenced with respect to occult teachings and that he has a popular
>following through his books and perhaps an organization or two.  I'm
>sure there are essays and texts about him and his work archived online,
>though I have never taken the time to review them thoroughly.

I have heard speculation that Bardon was a member of the Brotherhood of 
Saturn, a small magical fraternity in turn-of-the-century Germany.  It is said 
that his methods arose from that group.

I have never seen any independent references to his method of associating 
certain magical influences to each of the fingers, such that one can do 
magical operations by essentially twiddling one's thumbs.  He also is the only 
one I have seen who creates talismans by the use of "fluid condensers".

"Initiation into Hermetics" broke much new ground in the search for a method 
of self-initiation.  His work seems to go downhill after that, though.

Eventually, Bardon was arrested by the Nazis and died in prison.

>|D.H. Lawrence
>this author is sometimes associated with tantra (_Lady Chatterly's
>Lover_ or something like that) and mysticism (various works).  I
>know little of him also and do not think he is central to occult
>tradition so much as for adjunct mystical study. 

Lawrence was a spokesman for the "Lost Generation" of the 1920's.  His books 
and his lifestyle were enjoyed by Crowley and other bohemians in Europe.  I 
see some mystical references in his work, but he was not involved in magick to 
my knowledge.  He just hung out with that sort of crowd. 

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