Building a library for Thelemites

written by David Bersson

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

I have attempted to clarify how the mundane wisdom of the old grey land is in contradistinction to the initiated wisdom of the dedicated, practicing magician. This means any philosophy that comes from the clever maneuvers of the intellect to rationalize only gives you the iniquity of chaotic perception out of touch with the reality of what is really occurring. In this sense, philosophy is the enemy of magick where the occult scholar who does not practice magick will give a commentary that might very well infect them with a vile manifestation of an ancient book of magick that has taken control of them, and some of the ancient sigils can be dangerous. Rather than presenting the ancient book of magick so it is useful for the student any number of forces have driven his ruach to any number of false paths. In addition, the occult scholar will give thesis that tries to impress the academic community with any number of false correspondences that would be easily resolved if the occult scholar had practiced the magick they try to expound. Even the dabbler of magick is going to light a candle rather than torch the city of truth made manifest with experiences. If an Adept has written a book on magick it makes a great deal of difference compared to a mere Neophyte or even a solitary magician.

If an occult scholar after six months of study decides to write a book on magick some reference might be available. Yet, if a magician after ten years of study and practice has written a book I might be excited to read the book to see what unique insights have been given.

In the summer of 1972 e.v. I began my Thelemic Occult library. Some of the books I gathered for this library were a result of recommended books from within the pages of the first three books. These first three books were the Castle edition of Magick in Theory and Practice, the Sangreal Foundation Inc. (based in Dallas Texas) edition of Eight Lectures and the Sangreal edition of the Holy Books all on the book shelves of metaphysical book stores in 1972 e.v.. I found more through mail order and of course, internet wasn’t available at that time so I had to spend the entire summer of 1972 e.v digging through mail order book leaflets and catalogs. It was only several years later that my magical library was sufficient to add books of occult reference. Of course, my idea of occult reference included dictionaries in several different tongues, dogmatic kabbalah and even occult novels. Only one book on witchcraft was included back then in my occult library called Mastering Witchcraft by Paul Huson where I never chose the path of the warlock, witch or sorcerer over any other Path than the Law of Θελημα. Although I associated with such people rarely were their recommendations for books purchased. Oneida Toups, who I had many a conversation with in New Orleans did recommend Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss which I purchased.

My first April Feast was in 1976 e.v. where I traveled by plane from New Orleans to Nashville Tennessee I purchased the Crowley - Motta Commentaries of AL.

The notion presented that the occult scholar who does not practice magick can become infested with black brother currents is never deduced or believed. Yet the initiated who has experience with control of the planes know such hostile currents taking control or even making the unwary a puppet will be observed with clarity. None of us expect to be believed even when we present our magical records in adherence with the method of science to those who refuse to parallel our experiments. The common error among occult scholars that the Law of Θελημα is perceived in every case to be a religion rather than a sophisticated method of spiritual enlightenment runs through many a thesis or printed volume. Of course, the Law of Θελημα cannot be denied to be a spiritual path and yet more than one interpretation on its effects, purpose and label clearly exist. Perhaps such a concept as more than one way of looking at it is too much to juggle for such one dimensional ruach minds so set in their dizzy, circular confusion and rationalization ways that you cannot convince them that they are so far off the mark. You must understand the dangers of the merge of the ego with skepticism that is the reaction to any constructive criticism of their writings. The merge of the ego with skepticism can have some really nasty reactions and is not limited to occult scholars who do not practice magick. I have never objected to naming the Law of Θελημα as a religion noting that it wasn’t worth the objection where it is a spiritual path, and those who really perceived it as a religion were not paying attention to what A.C. was stating about the subject in Magick without Tears. In spite of any objections occult scholars persist with writing off the Law of Θελημα as a religion to include it in their thesis or printed books. I will not name the occult scholar publicly who would not listen to me. Instead, I’ll give this article publicly to voice my objections and to give an article on putting a Thelemic Library together and proclaim to the entire world that practicing Thelemites are superior with their writing to anything that an occult scholar that does not practice magick could ever be. Although my wondrous, constructive criticism fell on deaf ears where the response was unconnected with my outburst, I’ll get even with them by fighting dirty and writing an entire essay. You might be interested in the concept of an intellectualized middle finger in the form of an article to emphasize how they will not hear me when I object to their use of us as being perceived only as a religion.

The occult scholar who does not practice magick on an academic level is told that an objective stance means clarity of the presentation of thesis. Now, you see what a mess this line of logic gives you where in practice the occult scholar ignores the reality of the occult forces involved and gives those who are practitioners any number of irrelevant correspondences or insights that go no further than a glimpse of the serious initiate who is working and experiencing to gain control of a multitude of planes of existence and forces.

Such academics can easily assimilate philosophy but the complexity of metaphysics involved with the practicing magician escapes them where trying to relate with us personally they do not understand what we mean by “because” and reason being a lie. Nor how the correspondences of symbolism or even gematria has factors that they will not be able to present in the thesis. I have warned Thelemites more than once about the occult scholar that prints books. Some of them are worthwhile and some of them are obviously nonsense.

My advice to Thelemites is to purchase everything Aleister Crowley wrote first. Start your library with books written by Aleister Crowley and not about Aleister Crowley. As you proceed with your library you’ll eventually want to purchase books by practicing Thelemites. Which books would I recommend written by practicing Thelemites? Anyone writing to promote the Law of Θελημα I salute. So, purchasing every book by a practicing Thelemite, when funds are available, isn’t a bad recommendation. You might have objections to this where you might be wary of the number of years they have experienced magick and practices. So such a recommendation might be difficult for some of the authors. So many objections might come up depending on the star and the course toward the True Will. Does the author change the style of a letter by not putting Θελημα in Greek? Is the book by a Thelemite from an Adept or even Neophyte level? Was the author a traitor to A.C. or Lineage or expelled from the O.T.O.? I leave it up to you to decide. No one is in a position to tell you what to purchase for your library and I would never criticize your choice of books. Different Thelemites will have a variant of objections or sometimes no objections at all depending on the star. I would emphasize the importance of developing intuition on the matter and never forget that you must develop your own coordinates, school of thought from what Aleister Crowley has written. In my particular series of events I purchased Aleister Crowley books first which assisted me to decide on my own on other authors. If someone warns you against a book you should consider carefully whether you want to heed the warning. Do you want a list of authors that you should not have in your library? That list should be something you decide on - if you write such a list at all. My very real advice is to start your library with books written by Aleister Crowley and not about Aleister Crowley. From there you move in a direction that has the possibility of good decisions.

As for those suspicious occult scholars that do not practice magick such books may have references within that you find valuable so although I warn you that you must be careful; I’m sure you’ll find a sufficient amount of book reviews to determine which are going to be consistent with your own Great Work.

Crystal weenies, Candle magic fanatics, Mambo HooDoo books, astrologers, Pagans, Tarot Readers or other mystics you might very well find authors that are interesting. Of course, if you are a Thelemite books by Aleister Crowley are going to be your first priority so these other books by other branches of the western esoteric path might delay the main body of your library which is everything printed by Aleister Crowley. Books on the eastern esoteric paths should begin with the classics for formal observation and reference. After, of course, you have purchased the main body of your library.

As a Thelemite I am very excited when I happen across an original edition like the 1929 e.v. edition of Magick in Theory and Practice to observe its price and condition. Well, no matter how excited I am about the original editions or first editions you must be warned how it will turn out for you. For example, I have an original copy of Liber Aleph done by my Instructor, Marcelo Motta printed by the permission of Karl Germer and I find myself reading a pirate edition of Liber Aleph so I will not break the binding nor wear out the book. If you look at the book the page right before my Instructor’s Introduction you’ll observe that it was printed by Compositora Grafica LUX Ltd. in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The binding is not very well sewn and to handle the book too much means the binding will break.

So, no matter how glorious it is as a Thelemite to own original editions I should warn everyone that you’ll end up putting a plastic jacket on your collector item book and reading another version of the book so you won’t wear it out anymore than you have already worn it out.

Love is the law, love under will