Category Archives: Dark arts

Dark Spirits

“Both were influcenced by witchcraft and the occult tradition of western magic, both utilised trance states, and both believed that the realm of the gods had its own intrinsic existence…”

Dark Spirits

“Both were influcenced by witchcraft and the occult tradition of western magic, both utilised trance states, and both believed that the realm of the gods had its own intrinsic existence…”

Speak of the Devil

The 1995 documentary Speak of the Devil addresses the life and lore of Satanist Anton LaVey, who died 15 years ago today.

Speak of the Devil

The 1995 documentary Speak of the Devil addresses the life and lore of Satanist Anton LaVey, who died 15 years ago today.

Pages: The Books of the Beast

This is a 1987 miscellany of pieces stretching back as much as twenty years prior. The title piece concerns the published works of Aleister Crowley, a figure of fascination for the author ever since he was disciplined at school for ordering The Great Beast.

Pages: The Books of the Beast

This is a 1987 miscellany of pieces stretching back as much as twenty years prior. The title piece concerns the published works of Aleister Crowley, a figure of fascination for the author ever since he was disciplined at school for ordering The Great Beast.

The Duck-Billed Platypus

“Dirt is matter in the wrong place./Thought is mind in the wrong place./Matter is mind; so thought is dirt.”

The Duck-Billed Platypus

“Dirt is matter in the wrong place./Thought is mind in the wrong place./Matter is mind; so thought is dirt.”

Circles: Evan Morgan

It is precisely the improbable contradictions Evan Morgan embodied in his life, the unlikely meeting of the most disparate worlds, which makes this writer/occultist/aristocrat/papal bigwig so interesting.

Circles: Evan Morgan

It is precisely the improbable contradictions Evan Morgan embodied in his life, the unlikely meeting of the most disparate worlds, which makes this writer/occultist/aristocrat/papal bigwig so interesting.

The man in the moon

It’s been 60 years to the day since occultist/rocket scientist Jack Parsons blew himself up while mixing chemicals, in an accident which numerous conspiracy theorists claim was anything but.

The man in the moon

It’s been 60 years to the day since occultist/rocket scientist Jack Parsons blew himself up while mixing chemicals, in an accident which numerous conspiracy theorists claim was anything but.

Autour de Jacques

The catalogue offers much to gladden the heart of anyone interested in queer/Decadent undercurrents of the Belle Époque.

Autour de Jacques

The catalogue offers much to gladden the heart of anyone interested in queer/Decadent undercurrents of the Belle Époque.

Saving the Abbey

Crowley took a band of acolytes to Cefalú in 1920 and there conducted some of his most extreme excursions into ritualistic practice before being booted out by the new fascist regime in 1923. Since then the Abbey has slid further and further into ruin.

Saving the Abbey

Crowley took a band of acolytes to Cefalú in 1920 and there conducted some of his most extreme excursions into ritualistic practice before being booted out by the new fascist regime in 1923. Since then the Abbey has slid further and further into ruin.

Looking ahead

A look ahead at some volumes of interest scheduled to appear in 2012, including works by or about Joseph Roth, Anita Berber & Sebastian Droste, Aleister Crowley, Isabelle Eberhardt, Ronald Firbank, M.P. Shiel and Count Eric Stenbock, as well as a biography of Herbert Huncke.

Looking ahead

A look ahead at some volumes of interest scheduled to appear in 2012, including works by or about Joseph Roth, Anita Berber & Sebastian Droste, Aleister Crowley, Isabelle Eberhardt, Ronald Firbank, M.P. Shiel and Count Eric Stenbock, as well as a biography of Herbert Huncke.

Catching up

Body Sweats, a collection of writings by Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, is a capital B capital D Big Deal in the shadow world of Strange Flowers. I’ve leafed through 2011’s back pages to see what else I’ve missed (or in some cases, forgotten) of the year’s books.

Catching up

Body Sweats, a collection of writings by Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, is a capital B capital D Big Deal in the shadow world of Strange Flowers. I’ve leafed through 2011’s back pages to see what else I’ve missed (or in some cases, forgotten) of the year’s books.

To the very dregs

Peter Warlock’s enthusiasms were as tempestuous as his disdain, and the flip side of his antsy vitality was the crippling despair to which he would periodically succumb. He conducted vituperative public feuds, writing obscene limericks about his enemies which he at one stage anthologised on a toilet roll.

To the very dregs

Peter Warlock’s enthusiasms were as tempestuous as his disdain, and the flip side of his antsy vitality was the crippling despair to which he would periodically succumb. He conducted vituperative public feuds, writing obscene limericks about his enemies which he at one stage anthologised on a toilet roll.

“I’m perplexed”

There’s sodomy in the Sahara, Sicilian sex rituals, psychotropic Satanic savagery and lots more serpentine sibilants besides. Crowley leaves death and madness in his wake as he erases the personalities of his followers and replaces them with a new creed.

“I’m perplexed”

There’s sodomy in the Sahara, Sicilian sex rituals, psychotropic Satanic savagery and lots more serpentine sibilants besides. Crowley leaves death and madness in his wake as he erases the personalities of his followers and replaces them with a new creed.

Witch’s Cradle

A bafflingly unexplored moment in Maya Deren’s early career, one which unites her with the most revolutionary artist of the 20th century as well as its most important patron.

Witch’s Cradle

A bafflingly unexplored moment in Maya Deren’s early career, one which unites her with the most revolutionary artist of the 20th century as well as its most important patron.

Pan’s people

There’s something for everyone in the amazing story of the Australian witch and the knighted English conductor: sex rituals, pornography, drugged trances, Pan worship and (look away now children!) retired policemen in sensible sweaters.

Pan’s people

There’s something for everyone in the amazing story of the Australian witch and the knighted English conductor: sex rituals, pornography, drugged trances, Pan worship and (look away now children!) retired policemen in sensible sweaters.

At home with Harry Smith

Harry Everett Smith checked out of New York’s Chelsea Hotel in 1991, forwarding address unknown, and like William S. Burroughs and Herbert Huncke, his face and voice advertised a life which by rights should have ended some time before.

At home with Harry Smith

Harry Everett Smith checked out of New York’s Chelsea Hotel in 1991, forwarding address unknown, and like William S. Burroughs and Herbert Huncke, his face and voice advertised a life which by rights should have ended some time before.

The double life of Evan Morgan

He was an occultist, yet chamberlain to two popes; gay, yet husband to two women. He was a friend to Augustus John, john to Denham Fouts, bogey-man to the Establishment. He mixed with royalty and rabble, and there was a Jekyll-and-Hyde polarity within his own personality.

The double life of Evan Morgan

He was an occultist, yet chamberlain to two popes; gay, yet husband to two women. He was a friend to Augustus John, john to Denham Fouts, bogey-man to the Establishment. He mixed with royalty and rabble, and there was a Jekyll-and-Hyde polarity within his own personality.

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 3

The choice of blue plaque honourees is leadenly conservative and sometimes bafflingly perverse, celebrating lesser colonial administrators known only to their mothers. Or it may be that current residents would rather not have their homes associated with drunks, deviants and diabolists.

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 3

The choice of blue plaque honourees is leadenly conservative and sometimes bafflingly perverse, celebrating lesser colonial administrators known only to their mothers. Or it may be that current residents would rather not have their homes associated with drunks, deviants and diabolists.

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 1

There are infinite ways to dissect London, endless psychogeographical narratives which can be overlaid on the city’s map. This is an account of absence as much as presence, but let’s think of it as a stroll which gives us a chance to chat about our favourite freaks.

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 1

There are infinite ways to dissect London, endless psychogeographical narratives which can be overlaid on the city’s map. This is an account of absence as much as presence, but let’s think of it as a stroll which gives us a chance to chat about our favourite freaks.

Welcome to the pleasure dome

Marjorie Cameron retains a special role in the history of experimental filmmaking for her part in Kenneth Anger’s 1954 work Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. It’s an extraordinary, multi-levelled piece of film art, a ritualistic parade of deities and archetypes.

Welcome to the pleasure dome

Marjorie Cameron retains a special role in the history of experimental filmmaking for her part in Kenneth Anger’s 1954 work Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. It’s an extraordinary, multi-levelled piece of film art, a ritualistic parade of deities and archetypes.