Crawling Chaos Magic – Lovecraft’s Legacy, Part 3

pseudonomicon phil hine.jpgThe Pseudonomicon – Phil Hine
New Falcon Publications – 2007 (Originally published in 1994)

I’ve read quite a few books of Lovecraftian occultism at this stage, and this was the best one yet. It’s a book of chaos magic. Chaos magic, as far as I understand it, is a very open form of magic. It is to free verse as goetia is to writing sonnets. The focus here is on results rather than rules and rituals.

While other books of Lovecraftian magic attempt to mix Lovecraft’s mythos with traditional forms of occultism, the Pseudonomicon encourages experimentation. A true Cthulhu druid should follow their intuition rather than the steps of a ritual. This disregard for traditional sequence fits in with Lovecraft’s tendency to use non-Euclidean mathematics as a method of evoking a weird atmosphere in his tales.

cthulhu.jpg

From the perspective of the layman, the behaviour that this book describes and encourages will seem ridiculous, and a skeptic might fairly describe this as a book on how to pretend that a collection of fantastic stories by a dead lad are based in reality. Neither view would be incorrect, but so what?

The book acknowledges that reading it might lead one to madness, and anyone who takes its advice and smears themselves in shit while dancing around a graveyard at night might well be seen as insane. On the other hand, who am I to act as though my take on reality is any more accurate than that of the Cemetery Scat Man. The more I think about it, the more I believe that what a person perceives IS their reality. If the Pooey Ghoul believes his actions are allowing him to speak to the Great Old Ones, I can’t disagree. Reality, existence and their links to perception are too inherently unknowable for anyone to assume that their take on these concepts is any more sensible than another’s.

This book does get pretty weird. In an appendix near the end, the author describes his experience of being possessed by Tsathoggua, Clark Ashton Smith‘s giant toad god who features in Lovecraft’s Whisperer in the Darkness. Cool.

This book does a pretty good job of balancing the Mythos stuff with a practical way of incorporating it into magical workings. If i was ever going to practice magic, i think i’d go for something like this.

haunter of the dark lovecraft.jpg
The Haunter of the Dark – H.P. Lovecraft

Wordsworth – 2011

This is the second and biggest entry of the Wordsworth Lovecraft editions. It contains the following stories:
Celephaïs, Herbert West – Reanimator, Pickman’s Model, Polaris, The Cats of Ulthar, The Colour Out of Space, The Doom That Came to Sarnath, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Dreams in the Witch House, The Haunter of the Dark, The History of the Necronomicon, The Horror at Red Hook, The Other Gods, The Shadow out of Time, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Shunned House, The Silver Key, The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Strange High House in the Mist, The Thing on the Doorstep, The Unnamable, the essay Supernatural Horror in Literature and Fungi from Yuggoth, a collection of weird sonnets.

The items listed in blue are not contained in the Penguin editions of Lovecraft’s work. I’m not going to say much about this collection other than that I really enjoyed reading most of these stories again. The Thing on the Doorstep and The Dreams in the Witch House are so deadly. Also, I’m pretty sure The Shadow Over Innsmouth is tied with Whisperer in Darkness as my favourite Lovecraft story. I’m not mad about all of the Dream Cycle stuff, but parts of it (The Other Gods) are awesome.

At this stage I’ve finished rereading all of the stories that Lovecraft wrote by/for himself that were included in the Penguin editions. It has been very enjoyable, and I feel that I’m now in a much better position to understand a lot of the occult texts that are based on his works. I can now sensibly distinguish a Shoggoth, Yuggoth and Yog-Sothoth. I still have one more entry in the Wordsworth series to read, but that one is comprised of collaborations that Lovecraft worked on. I’m quite excited about that as I’ve only read one of the stories it contains before. After I review that, I’m going to do a post on all of the stories that are not collected in the Wordsworth series. Both posts will also include an obscure work of Lovecraftian occultism. Stay tuned.

Man Into Wolf: An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism and Lycanthropy – Robert Eisler

man into wolf eislerMan Into Wolf: An Anthropological Interpretation of Sadism, Masochism and Lycanthropy
Robert Eisler
Spring Books – 1951

While this book may not look as interesting as the stuff I reviewed in last week’s post, it is more original, more suited to this blog and infinitely more interesting. Don’t let that pale blue cover fool you; this is mental.

The collective unconsciousness, as far as I understand it, is a postulated pool of ancestral memories to which each human being has limited access.  This theory is supposed to explain some of the strange ways in which we act. For example, it suggests that modern humans are afraid of the dark because a part of our unconscious mind remembers our distant ancestors being attacked by wild animals in the dark of night. I see the reasoning behind the idea, but I think it’s mostly understood to be pseudoscience at this stage.

Why the discussion of outdated psychology? Well, the theory of the collective unconsciousness is central to the claims of Man into Wolf by Robert Eisler, a 1948 lecture that was turned into a book. I can’t remember where I first read about this strange text, but I remember spending a lot of time tracking down an affordable copy. (This was during the stage of my life when I preferred physical books to digital copies.) Once I found a copy, it lay on my shelf for 5 years.

man into wolf sadism masochism lycanthropy eisler

Eisler claims that human beings originally lived in a Rousseauian state of harmony. Our primitive ancestors were pygmys that lived in small tribes, eating only fruits and vegetables, having sex with everyone and generally having a great time.

Unfortunately, these peaceful tribes were very vulnerable to attacks from predators, and early humans were often attacked and killed by wolves and lions. Eisler claims that in order to defend themselves from these attacks, the primitive humans started to emulate the behavior of the wolves. They started wearing wolf skins and began to eat meat themselves. This is where things started to go wrong for us. This was the real fall from grace behind the Genesis story. Once we developed a taste for blood, when we became wolf men, we started attacking other tribes and stealing their women. We thus created war and expelled ourselves from the garden of Eden.

As naive as this theory sounds, parts of it are true. The diets of large apes are largely vegetarian, and early humans were the same. Ancient hunters and warriors from around the world also wore the skins of wolves in an attempt to harness their predatory powers. Despite the inclusion of these historical truths, Eisler’s narrative remains unconvincing.

He claims that our ancestor’s change of diet and wolf skin clothes are to blame for recent acts of sadism, masochism and lycanthropy. The sadist and lycanthrope are responding to the desires of the wolf man that remain in our collective unconscious. By whipping or eating their sex partner, they are responding to the desire to inflict suffering on their peaceful vegetarian ancestors.

The masochist harbours, at a deep unconscious level, the memories of the peaceful pygmies who looked on as the savage wolf-skin clad warriors invaded their territory and raped and kidnapped any viable mates. While they may fear the sadist’s brutality, they are also drawn to it. They know that they may win approval if they submit to the wolfman’s every desire. It’s no coincidence that the most famous work of masochism is titled Venus in Furs!

Eisler concludes this work with a call to return to the peaceful ways of our ancestors. He claims that if men had always been murderous savages, we would have no chance for redemption, but since our ancient ancestors were peace loving monkey-men that changed only due to extreme conditions, we can, through massive social change, return to our former state of harmony.

The central idea of this lecture is utterly ridiculous. Fortunately the text of the lecture makes up only a small portion of this book. The rest consists of detailed notes and appendices. After perusing these, the reader will be forced to admit that while Eisler’s argument is unconvincing, his book was at least well researched. While I’m not sure that I’ll ever read the lecture again, I will be keeping this book for the information it contains on De Sade, Masoch, mass murderers, ancient blood rituals, perverts and werewolves.

Ghosts, the Illuminati and a Swastika

ghosts illuminati swastika mcivor tyndall.jpgGhosts: A Message from the Illuminati
Dr. Alexander James McIvor-Tyndall

The Balance Publishing Co. – 1906

Hang on. A terrifying spectre, the Illuminati and a swastika on its cover? What frightful secrets must a book like this contain? Were the Nazis in contact with spirits? Did the Illuminati try to warn humanity of the coming horrors of World War II? Were the Nazis just an offshoot of the Illuminati? There’s so many questions raised by a cover like this. Fortunately for you, I have read this fairly hard to find book, and I am about to share with you its shocking revelations.

The Ghosts of the title are the rules of society. They are ghosts in the sense that the ideas behind them are as dead as the festering, rancid corpse of Michael Jackson. For instance, many people believe that life is not supposed to be full of joy. This notion is the result of the fact that human life used to be pretty shit. Back then, people told themselves that it was good to suffer in order to make themselves feel better about their shitty lives. But life isn’t that shit anymore, and the notion that it shouldn’t be filled with happiness is outdated – it is a Ghost of an idea. Fair enough, I accept the message of this book. I feel the same way about men wearing ties. Why fucking bother? To keep you warm? Fuck ties.

This book was published as part of a series of short books on mysticism, but there’s nothing particularly mystical about its message. It was published just two years after Crowley’s Book of the Law though, and there’s a very definite “Do what thou wilt…” vibe to the message here. There’s not a lot about the author, Dr. Alexander James McIvor-Tyndall (alias Ali Nomad), online, but I found a dead link that shared some interesting information on his life. He was English but moved to the States as a young man. Although trained as a doctor, he seems to have spent his life lecturing and writing about spiritualism and the likes. He had been working as a hypnotist several years prior to writing this book and had already published a book on palm-reading. Apparently he had also lectured on Theosophy as early as 1890. Only a few people would have had the chance to read Crowley’s Book of the Law when Ghosts was written, but as an English occultist writing in the early 1900s, it’s not impossible that Dr. Alexander James McIvor-Tyndall would have heard Crowley’s message (possibly through mutual friends in the Illuminati). He did go on to write a book about “the spiritual function of sex”, so if he wasn’t familiar with Crowley, the two men were at least working on similar wavelengths.

Presumably Ghost‘s message of nonconformity to the oppressive rules of society is coming directly from the Illuminati, but other than the title, the only reference to the Illuminati in this work is when the author introduces a quote from Hamlet, referring to its author as ” Shakespeare, the Illumined”. I guess the message of Ghosts falls in with the original purpose of the Illuminati, that of promoting equality and freedom.

The swastika on the cover makes the book seem rather curious indeed, but as I’ve already mentioned, Ghosts came out in 1906, so its appearance has absolutely nothing to do with the Nazis. (Unless of course the Nazis were just an offshoot of the Illuminati!) The author of this book actually went on to edit an occult magazine called The Swastika from 1907 until 1911, all issues of which are available here. (I love the internet.)

ghosts illuminati ad swastika.jpg
Advertisement taken from Swastika Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 4.

Despite having the most alluring cover of all time, Ghosts: A Message from the Illuminati isn’t hugely exciting. For those who clicked into this post hoping for a book about Nazi Occultists, stay tuned. I have a post on that topic scheduled for next week.

Hacking the Necronomicon – Lovecraft’s Legacy, Part 2

In this series of posts, I’m reviewing books on Lovecraftian Occultism alongside the Wordsworth collections of Lovecraft’s tales. I’m finding it quite insightful to read through the bizarre works inspired by Lovecraft’s horrors while these horrors are still fresh in my mind. This post delves a little deeper into Lovecraftian Occultism, focusing on two books about the Simon Necronomicon, a book that is itself directly inspired Lovecraft’s work. I have previously reviewed the Necronomicon itself and Dead Names: The Dark History of the Necronomicon.

necronomian workbook necronomicon.jpgNecronomian Workbook: Guide to the Necronomicon – Darren Fox 
International Guild of Occult Sciences – 1996

This was written by Darren Fox, otherwise known as Brother Moloch. This is actually the same guy that published The Dark Arts of Tarantula, one of the silliest books I’ve ever read. His book on the Necronomicon isn’t much better.

He claims that Lovecraft astrally traveled to another dimension where Abdul Alhazred was real. This is where our boy H.P. discovered the Necronomicon, but he told himself it was all just a dream.

There’s at least 2 versions of the Necronomicon out there. Brother Moloch acknowledges that they might be fake, but posits that coherent forgeries can still give effective magical instruction.

necronomicon simonProbably fake, but who cares?

What follows is basically a bunch of tips on how to perform each of the different rituals and prayers in the Simon Necronomicon. Large quotations are taken from Simon’s book.

Although Moloch has warned his reader not to contact Cthulhu, he gives a ritual to do exactly that. This ritual mixes names from Lovecraft’s pantheon and quotes from Crowley’s Book of the Law into a ritual that sounds like it comes straight from a Solomonic grimoire.

Next, there’s a bunch of bullshitty grimoire styled spells with the names of a few Lovecraftian entities thrown into the mix. It’s mostly the usual stuff: to kill an enemy, to increase sexual potency, to hold back evil… but, there’s also a spell to get money that directly addresses Cthulhu. Yes, performing this spell involves asking the great priest Cthulhu for cash. In At The Mountains of Madness, Lovecraft explains that human beings were created solely for the amusement of a race that were in conflict with Cthulhu’s spawn. We are less than shit to Cthulhu, yet Brother Moloch suggests that we should ask him to help us make some money.

Moloch also describes his visit to Leng. He made a nice a cup of tea, had a warm bath, did some yoga exercises and then imagined himself walking down a stairs to the center of the world. He opened a door down there and walked into Leng, easy as that.

After this, there’s some poems that the author pinched from a 1903 book on the Devils and Evil Spirits of Babylonia, and some essays that he stole off the internet. One of these essays is called “The Aeon of Cthulhu Rising”. A quick google search reveals that its author was none other that Frater Tenebrous, the author of Cults of Cthulhu, the pamphlet I reviewed in my last Lovecraft post.

The other essay, “LIBER GRIMOIRIS: The Parallels of East and West: Termas, Grimoires and the Necronomicon”,  is by a guy called Frater Nigris. It basically says that the Necronomicon might be real. Searching the author’s name brings up other essays on Thelema and the like.

The book ends with a description of the author’s journey through Kenneth Grant‘s Lovecraftian Sephirot. It’s very confusing.

Overall, this book was utter rubbish. The spelling and grammar are utterly atrocious, and the author seems to have completely missed the distinctive and complete apathy of Lovecraft’s entities towards the human race.

Shite.

hidden key necronomicon.jpgThe Hidden Key of the Necronomicon – Alric Thomas
International Guild of Occult Sciences – 1996

This is a shockingly uninformative pamphlet on the Necronomicon. It was put out by the same publisher as the Necronomian Workbook. It’s only a few pages long, and most pages are taken up with diagrams from the Simon Necronomicon. Some of these images have been slightly edited. The author acts as if these edits will blow the Necronomicon open for the practitioner. Ugh. This is poorly written garbage. No effort was put into creating this piece of trash.

 

the lurking fear lovecraftThe Lurking Fear – H.P. Lovecraft
Wordsworth – 2013

This is the fourth collection of Lovecraft’s writings put out by Wordsworth Publishing. It contains the following tales:

The Lurking Fear, Azathoth, Beyond the Wall of Sleep, Ex Oblivione, Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family, From Beyond, Hypnos, Memory, Nyarlathotep, The Alchemist, The Beast in the Cave, The Moon-Bog, The Music of Erich Zann, The Outsider, The Picture in the House, The Quest of Iranon, The Street, The Temple, The Terrible Old Man, The Tomb, The Transition of Juan Romero, The Tree, The White Ship, What the Moon Brings, The Rats in the Walls, He, In the Vault, Cool Air, The Descendant, The Very Old Folk, The Book, The Evil Clergyman, and the short essay, Notes on Writing Weird Fiction.

The titles in green were not included in any of the Penguin collections of Lovecraft’s work, and so I hadn’t read them before. Some of them (Ex Oblivione, Azathoth, Memory) are very short, but also very cool. The essay on Weird Fiction is very interesting, and I plan to write more about it in the future.

Overall, this collection is quite a mix of stuff, both in terms of content and quality. A lot of these stories are quite short, and don’t really fit neatly in with either Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos or his Dream Cycle. (Most of those tales are collected in the first and third Wordsworth collections respectively.) What you’ll find in this book is a collection of odds and ends. It features tales that Lovecraft wrote as a boy (The Beast in the Cave), stories that were never meant to be published and originally only included in private letters to Lovecraft’s friends (The Very Old Folk), and horror classics that just don’t fit in with his other tales (The Rats in the Walls).

Some of these stories are fairly shit. I read The Tree a couple of times, and I still feel like I don’t get it. A few of the other stories (The Lurking Fear, In the Vault, Arthur Jermyn…) are fine, but don’t come close to the atmosphere or excitement of Lovecraft’s more famous tales. Some are absolutely deadly though. I had totally forgotten The Picture in the House. It is fantastic.

The Horror at Red Hook is the story that people usually point to when they want to show that Lovecraft was a horrible racist, but that’s a horror story that features racism. The Street is just a racist story and a shit one at that. If you want a clearer look at Lovecraft’s racism check out this vile little poem or his letters. In one letter he says of Adolf Hitler, “I know he’s a clown, but by God I like the boy!” I considered writing more about Lovecraft’s xenophobia, but the internet is already full of articles about it and I don’t actually care that much. If you’re triggered by some of the passages in his stories, just remind yourself that he died poor and lonely and keep reading.

I’m glad to have this book on my shelf. Even though it’s basically a leftovers collection, I really enjoyed reading it. This is the shortest book out of Wordsworth’s editions of Lovecraft’s work, and it’ll probably be a few months before I write parts 3 and 4 of this series of posts.

 

 

 

Secrets of the Black Temple by the Red Spider

 Since starting this blog 4 years ago, I’ve reviewed more than 250 books. Some of which have been classics of literature, while others have been bizarre esoteric nonsense. The book I’m about to review is a pretty good example of the latter.

secrets of the black temple by the red spiderSecrets of the Black Temple by the Red Spider (Basil Crouch)
Self published – Unknown publication date. (Probably 1980s)

Although the text is initally attributed to “The Red Spider”, it becomes quickly apparent that the author is Basil Crouch. It’s not until the final pages of the book that the relationship between these two is discussed. (I can’t say it’s ever clarified.) I don’t normally summarize books, but this thing is so odd that I feel it necessary. I’ll highlight the more salient points for those who aren’t entirely invested in understanding this curious grimoire.

There is a very bad secret society. The author initially refers to this order as “The Temple of Set”, but I really don’t think that he’s talking about the order established by Michael Aquino.

Giant stones containing the spirits of ancient Taihitian leaders killed many innocent people because other people had been sacrificed on these rocks. One of these stone spirits is named Moana. Unfortunately, this is not the Disney Moana. 

A witch gave abortions. When she died, a box of hers ended up in a second hand shop and killed the shop owner’s dog and cat. Then he sold it, and the person who bought it got sick and went to hosptial. Then her ward caught fire and she disappeared.

A man got sick. Basil went in to him, said a prayer to Satan and then realised the man’s daughter had a doll that was actually a cursed ritual statue that needed to be appeased. He appeased it, and then the lad got better and buried the doll back where he found it.

A very successful girl got sick and became a loser because her boyfriend won her a cursed doll at a fair which the fairground guy had found in the fair. It had been left behind by a man who had found it in the ocean. It was originally from Haiti

You don’t choose to join the Black Temple. (I assume this is the order he referred to as the Temple of Set at the beginning of the book.) The Black Temple kidnap you, test you with a questionnaire and then ask if you wanna join.

Next come some instructions on how to set up a temple in your home.

To decide which man you want to marry, play heads or tails with a piece of bread.

A magician took on a job to magically assassinate somebody. He couldn’t do it though because he had no period blood at his disposal. He came up with a cunning plan to solve this problem – he took some hypnotism lessons from the author of this book and then set up a fake psychiatry practice. He hypnotised a young girl. Then he raped her and got her pregnant.
Problem solved.

the dreaded incubi.jpgNothing makes any sense here.

A psychiatrist hypnotised one of his patients into robbing a bank then killing himself. 

Smelly, the tragically named magician, took a job putting a revenge curse on a man. He sent a mean letter to the man that said “you are doomed”. Then he paid a kid to give flowers that looked as though they came from a mistress to the man’s wife. The wife argued with the man when he got home, resulting in him driving away, running a red light and killing a baby in a pram.

At this point the narrative cuts to Smelly bending a woman over, tearing out her tampon, sticking a bottle in her pussy and telling her to menstruate into it. No explanation is given as to why this is being described.

A mean magistrate sentenced a poor man with a wife and kids to 2 years hard labour for poaching rabbits. The man’s wife went to the local magician, a chap named Lankynob, for help. He raped her several times. Then he skinned a rabbit so it looked like a fetus and hung it in the magistrate’s garden. A picture of this was published in the local newspaper and the magistate got so angry that he had a stroke. The man he had sentenced left his wife after finding out that she had been raped, so she started dating Lankynob, the rapist magician.

For 25 pounds, Basil Crouch will teach you a foolproof, scientific method of betting on horses. It’s guaranteed to make you rich.

A woman complained to a magician because another sexier woman had called the police on her because she was a bad mother.
The magician took some dirty pictures of this woman and then raped her.

For a small fee, Basil Crouch can enlarge your photos. He’s very discreet. No pics of kids without parental permission.

Now there’s a description of a weird group ritual – half the book in and we’re finally getting to the Black Order of this book’s title. The start of the ritual sounds like standard masonic nonsense, but things turn uncomfortably dark when a lad shows up with a 14 year old girl and proceeds to spike her Fanta with sleeping tablets and then fingers her in front of his friends. After watching the child molestation, the lads do another ritual to kill a person. Basil doesn’t include details here, but he’s willing to sell them to you if you promise to be discrete.

black temple ritualThen there’s the above pic of a coven and a cum-collector about to rape a 21 year old virgin. (This part is actually explained about 50 pages later.)

The author then says that he once convinced two 14 year old girls to go to bed with him. He claims that he only did this to see if he could and that he actually refrained from doing anything to them. In my humble opinion, any adult man who tries things like this should be swiftly executed.

Suzy wanted some cash. She approached the Black Order for help. They invited her to a ritual, violently stripped her naked, stuck a knife into her tits and licked the blood

To get money, the Black Temple hypnotise old ladies and bank managers.

The Black Temple once got a lad a job, then one of the members convinced that same lad to spend all of his money on an expensive car.

Our old pal Lankynob is being initiated into the 10th degree of the Black Order. The ritual involves him being jerked off by a brother in the Order while a prostitute is fingered opposite him. Their discharges are mixed together on a sheet of paper on the floor. Now Lankynob is going to be given the knowledge of how to use the Order’s foolproof system of betting on horses, but before he learns this, the prostitute must be killed.

The actual murder here is never described, but the author does tell us that she is stabbed in the breasts and raped several times beforehand. The author offers an alternative way to get the horse racing system – just send him 25 quid and promise to keep it a secret.

For a good ritual, its best to sacrifice a baby, but if this isn’t possible, a sex magic ritual will do. A man and a woman go to a graveyard with two pre-made plasticine figures. Make one in the likeness of a “wishy washy semi-invalid girl who is always pale” and the other in the likeness of a man. They then find a grave of a man and offer his spirit some sex with the girl represented by the plasticine figure. Next, the real woman present at the grave sucks the real mans dick. Then they put the plasticine figures on the ground and step on them, thus allowing the ghost of the dead man to spiritually rape the invalid girl.

A lad called Skints was kicked out of the Black Order for putting an irreversible curse on another member. He later used witchcraft to seduce a girl and impregnate her. Her dad ran him over in his car and he died.

A 105 year old magician came to the Black Temple once and tried to sell them herbal remedies for impotence.

One member of the Temple used voodoo poison to kidnap children so he could sell them to Arabs. The author is remorseful over the fact that this man is dead.

It turns out that Jesus was never crucified. He just went to Glastobury and set up a church there instead. The ritual to pick a high priest/priestess of the Black Order has been handed down from Christ himself:
A kidnapped virgin is tied to the ground. Thirteen men are wanked off into a cows horn with a hole drilled in the tip. When the bukakke cornucopia is full, the small end of it is shoved into the virgin’s cunt and then the cum collector blows hard into the other end, pumping the reservoir of gip into the virgin’s womb. If she doesn’t die, the virgin will give birth to the next high priest/priestess of the order. 

tosser spermHonestly.

To steal a person’s good luck, write their name on a piece of paper and have a woman wank you off so that you gip on their name.

To create a Psychogone (a weird spirit creature similar to the Hallowed Genie in Basil’s other book) you should make a little figure out of wax. Make sure it has a willy. Then find a willing participant to do some weird sex magic with. Make sure to hypnotise or drug  her so she’s willing. (Yeah, I know.) Then fuck her a little bit, whip your dick out, cum on her pussy lips, and then stick the little wax doll you made into her cunt and frig her with it until she gets off. Then sling her out of your house. Your Psychogone is now ready for business.

The author then goes on to say that the Spider gave him more spells and rituals but these involved animal sacrifice so he wants to keep them secret because he likes animals. This part is interesting because it suggests that the information in this book came from this Spider character and not from Basil himself. This seems like a pathetic attempt to exculpate himself – he has already given his own name and address several times throughout the text.

Basil then says that he will initiate others further in person, but only if they’re female.

The contents of this book are so disjointed and childish that it is difficult to read this as the work of a sane individual. The way in which the text will drop a story only to continue it much further on made me wonder if the author hadn’t been practicing William Burrough’s cut-up technique, but a note at the back of the book claims that Basil had over 75 years experience with occult magic when he wrote this book. If this is true, it seems far more likely that it is senility rather than artistic experimentation that is to blame for this book’s lack of coherence. A low IQ shouldn’t be disqualified from our considerations either. The only other book I’ve read by this lad was also very, very stupid and shit.

Basil advertises several different services throughout the book including photocopying, selling herbs, and occult initiations, but my favourite money-making scheme of his is the following image. It is included in the middle of the book. It has zero relation to anything that comes before or after it.

basils girl 2 poundSend me two pound, and I’ll tell you whose arse this is.

As noted above, this book seems to have been self published. Perhaps it was due to the lack of a publisher’s restrictions that Basil felt comfortable including so much rape in here. My biggest complaint about Crouch’s The Hallowed Genie was that it wasn’t dark enough, but the Secrets of The Black Temple is too dark. This is the bad kind of darkness. I want to read about people cutting off arrogant priests’ heads, not a gang of scumbags molesting a drugged 14 year old.

Basil Crouch was not a knowledgeable magician. He was a disgusting old pervert with a poorly functioning brain. It is good that he is dead. If I knew where he was buried, I’d dance on his grave.

Well that’s all I have to say about Basil for the moment. As I mentioned before, this blog has now been going for four years. I’ve enjoyed the experience quite a lot, but I am considering slowing things down a little. Since starting this blog, I’ve limited my reading to mostly occult and horror books. It might be healthy for me to branch out a little, but I want to keep this blog for spooky stuff. This probably means going back to two or three posts a month rather than the 2 a week I’ve been aiming for since September. We’ll see how things work out. Anyways, I want to sincerely thank everyone who follows along with my ramblings. I’m always happy to receive recommendations or to chat about books on facebook, twitter or email, or just leave a comment below.

Satan was a Lesbian – Fred Haley/Monica Roberts

satan was a lesbian fred haley.jpgSatan was a Lesbian – Fred Haley/Monica Roberts
PEC – 1960

I’m sure you already saw it, but take another look at that incredible cover there. Bask in its glory. It’s a thing of absolute beauty. This cover was also used on Jan Hudson’s Satan’s Daughter. That book was originally published in 1961, 5 years prior to Satan was a Lesbian, but there were at least two printings of that novel, and I don’t know if this cover originally appeared there or on Haley’s book.

Unfortunately, Satan was a Lesbian fails to make good on the promises its cover makes. This is a relatively boring softcore porn novel that has nothing to do with Satan. The cover lists Fred Haley as the author, but the inside says Monica Roberts. I don’t know which is the pseudonym.

Don’t worry about spoilers. The story is lame. Here it is:

A little girl named Charlene comes across a man drowning some kittens. She becomes very upset. Later in life, Charlene leaves home and gets a job as a server at a drive-in movie theatre. She hooks up with a girl that she meets at work. Through this experience, Charlene discovers that she likes being the dominant lover. The girl that she hooks up with tells her lesbian friends.

One of these friends, a woman named Karen, comes to Charlene’s job and arranges a tryst. Charlene makes her kiss her foot before they shag. Soon after this, Karen, with help from her butch friend Billie, kidnap and rape Charlene. Charlene beats them up the next morning and leaves.

Charlene hooks up with yet another girl, Cynthia. Cynthia gets off on being afraid, so Charlene drives her around at dangerously high speeds before they shag. They see each other a few times more.

On one of these occasions, the girls that raped Charlene show up and things turn nasty. Karen tries to rape Charlene’s new girlfriend, but Charlene manages to beat her up again.

After this, Charlene runs away without telling Cynthia where she’s going. She moves to Hollywood and murders a man who raped one of her new friends. She also meets another girl at work and ends up having some rather kinky sex with her.

Meanwhile, Cynthia is raped by the lesbians who were after Charlene. She enters into a weird 3-way relationship with them, but ends up stabbing them both to death and running away after her dad peeks through a window and sees her tickling one of them with a large feather.

In the last chapter of the book, Cynthia meets Charlene in Hollywood and they drive their car into a wall and die.

There’s quite a lot of titty squeezing, but anything below the belt is described only in very vague suggestions and metaphors. The author shies away from mentioning any kind of penetration, but s/he is comfortable describing a woman being walked around on a leash and subjected to other acts of degradation.

Apart from a few “you’re a devil” comments, there’s nothing about Satan in this book.

Satan was a Lesbian has one of the greatest covers I have ever seen, but it’s actually a very shit book. Copies of the original printing are ridiculously expensive too. There’s a print-on-demand version that you can find for much cheaper, but that’s just a printed copy of the the pdf version that you’ll be able to find for free with a quick google search.

The Black Toad – Gemma Gary

black toad gemma garyThe Black Toad – Gemma Gary
Troy Books – 2012

I can’t remember what sparked my interest, but I have been meaning to read this book for a few years. The Black Toad is a collection of folk magic from South West England. There’s three sections in the book – a bit about general spells, a bit about spells that use plant materials and then a bit about black (bad) magic. I started off impatient to get to the naughty part, but in light of what I’ve read recently, I found some of the first parts quite interesting too.
gemma gary cup of toad tea.jpgThe book has some really cool pictures and photographs. I love a nice cup of tea myself.

It was only last week that I reviewed Dark Rites & Encounters with the Devil by Marcus T. Bottomley. I was rather critical of that book because I thought that the author had just made up a bunch of crap. Unlike the Solomonic grimoires I’ve read, very little prepatory work was discussed, and the author would instruct the magician to do certain things without any explanation as to why they were doing them. I didn’t think I’d be writing about that book so soon after reviewing it, but some of the stuff it contained was rather similar to the spells in Gary’s book.

The difference between these books is that Gemma Gary makes it very clear that she is writing about a specific type of magic. I’m not sure of the nomenclature, but I’ll just call this strain “folk magic”. Folk magic then, as far as I understand, is a mix of pagan, Christian and grimoire magic. Gary’s spells use parts of the Bible, the Sacred Book of Abramelin and loads of traditional British witchcraft. Gary also provides explanations of the spells she is describing. One thing that struck me as peculiar when I was reading Bottomley’s book was the inclusion of worn shoes in several of his spells. This seemed rather silly to me – what use is a smelly old boot going to be? Gemma Gary explains that shoes are potent in sympathetic magic because shoes literally lead us down the paths of our lives. I get it now. If you attack the thing that leads a person down their path, you can obstruct them. That makes perfect magical sense. There were a few other noticeable similarities between some of the spells in these books, and my general takeaway was that Marcus T. Bottomley’s book, although poorly written, was probably a far more sincere collection of folk magic spells than I gave it credit for. I want to take this opportunity to apologize for calling Mr. Bottomley an “awful wizard”.

I’ve probably written more about another book than the book I set out to review. Don’t worry; you can find more focused reviews of The Black Toad elsewhere online. I’m not a witch, but I found this book to be quite interesting. I have The Devil’s Dozen, another of Gemma Gary’s books, lined up to be reviewed real soon.