Almanac • May 2021 • “Magic Loves the Hungry”

Ephemera

Saturday ♄, May 1st 2021 • Beltane


I have been toying with idea of publishing an occasional “almanac” containing various tidbits of quoted material, image clippings, astrological notes, everyday goings-on, and more. So… enjoy these selections of ephemera, image, word, and music.



Some magick in musical guise. One of my most-loved songs… Buffy Saint-Marie’s God is Alive, Magic is Afoot, from the 1969 album Illuminations. Lyrics below. One of the folks I’ve met through Curio Esoterica introduced me to this wondrous song.


“Though laws were carved in marble
They could not shelter men
Though altars built in parliaments
They could not order men
Police arrested Magic
And Magic went with them
For Magic loves the hungry”

Full lyrics can be found here.


Bio excerpt via Saint-Marie’s website:

“Sainte-Marie has spent her whole life creating, and her artistry, humanitarian efforts, and Indigenous leadership have made her a unique force in the music industry. In 1969, she made one of the world’s first electronic vocal albums; in 1982 she became the only Indigenous person to win an Oscar; she spent five years on Sesame Street where she became the first woman to breastfeed on national television. She’s been blacklisted and silenced. She’s written pop standards sung and recorded by the likes of Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Donovan, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. She penned “Universal Soldier,” the definitive anti-war anthem of the 20th century. She is an icon who keeps one foot firmly planted on either side of the North American border, in the unsurrendered territories that comprise Canada and the USA.”



“The dynamics of capitalism is postponement of enjoyment to the constantly postponed future.”

“The human body is not a thing or a substance, given, but a continuous creation.”

“Utopian speculations … must come back into fashion. They are a way of affirming faith in the possibility of solving problems that seem at the moment insoluble. Today even the survival of humanity is a utopian hope.”


— Passages and quotes from Classicist, scholar psychoanalyst, and mystic Norman O. Brown (1913-2002)

Brown taught at UC Santa Cruz’s History of Consciousness program along with folks like Angela Davis. Brown’s works and thought had a transformative and profound effect on my own ideas. Brown was affectionately known as “Nobby,”

Norman O. Brown. Image via UC Santa Cruz.

Via the New York Times obituary for Brown:

“Dr. Brown was a master of philosophical speculation, mixing Marx, Freud, Jesus and much else to raise and answer immense questions. Alan Watts, the popular philosopher, sang his praises. His works joined David Riesman’s ”Lonely Crowd” and J. R. R. Tolkien’s ”Lord of the Rings” on the reading lists of undergraduates aspiring to the counterculture.”



I have been getting an envious kick out of these Harvard Library-sourced images from days when works of fine occult publishing cost a British pound:

Advertisement for Konx Om Pax. Image via Harvard University Library’s Harvard Digital Collections.
Advertisement for the Goetia. Image via Harvard University Library’s Harvard Digital Collections.

 Both pages come from the Vol 1, No.1. Mar. 1909 issue of the Equinox. Issue published by Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent in London, England. Editor: Aleister Crowley.

Images via Harvard University Digital Collections.

Via Harvard Libraries: ”Official organ of the A.⁰. A.⁰.” Vol. 1 consists of 10 no., published spring 1909-fall 1913; v. 2 and v. 3, no. 2 never issued; suspended publication 1914-1918; v. 3, no. 1 published in 1919; publication again suspended 1920-1935. Two journals of the same name, one which began publication in 1979 in Nashville, Tenn., the other in 1986 in New York both call themselves successor journals to this title.



Recently spent a good deal of an afternoon reading and fawning over the hardcover work on Daniel A Schulke’s Thirteen Pathways of Occult HerbalismThree Hands Press First edition. 2017. I was reading the digital edition but I saw a hardcover for sale through Miskatonic Books and I had to go for it. Nothing like holding a talismanic book in one’s hands. If such cover work turns you on in any way, you may enjoy my article Emblems and Embossments Pt. I.

Photo of my first edition

Via Three Hands Press:

“…Occult Herbalism, which encompasses the knowledge and use of the magical, spiritual, and folkloric dimensions of plants. As a foundational treatise introducing this work, Thirteen Pathways of Occult Herbalism speaks to its interior philosophical concerns. Circumscribing the metaparadigm of herbal magical practice, providing useful examples of its manifestation, as well as demonstrating its time-honored routes of inquiry, it examines the ways in which knowledge of this type is acquired and put into practice. This perennial wisdom animates many global spiritual traditions, especially those that have maintained their integrity of transmission even in the face of industrial development and cultural destruction. Often concealed within the deepest strata of the Western Esoteric Traditions, this green strand of wisdom, though obscured, is a potent legacy of all magic, sorcery, and occult science.  In addition to the hard sciences of botany, ethnology, agriculture and ethnopharmacology, a number of pathways can assist the magical herbalist in furthering the depth of understanding and integrity of personal approach.”

Onward with the Great Work!



Bibliography:

Crowley, Aleister. Equinox, v.1:no.1 (Mar. 1909) only. 1909. Harvard University Digital Collections. https://digitalcollections.library.harvard.edu/catalog/990054509920203941

Martin, Douglas. Norman O. Brown Dies; Playful Philosopher Was 89. New York Times. 4 October, 2002. https://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/04/arts/norman-o-brown-dies-playful-philosopher-was-89.html

Cover image:

Almanacs of John Winthrop Annotated almanac. 1759. Image via Harvard University Library’s Harvard Digital Collections. https://digitalcollections.library.harvard.edu/catalog/hua07010c00020.

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