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Friday, August 25, 2023

Hilaritas podcast interviews Crowley biographer

Richard Kaczynski

The latest Hilaritas Press podcast, released August 23, fits well with yesterday's announcement of a new book discussion group for Lion of Light.

"In this episode, Mike Gathers chats with Crowley biographer Richard Kaczynski, author of the recently updated Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley and The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley. Richard has also recently written the Foreword for the New Hilaritas Press edition of Lion of Light: Robert Anton Wilson on Aleister Crowley."

The podcast website has the usual helpful links to obtain more information and you can access the podcast from there, although you should be able to also find it on your favorite podcasting app. Kaczynski's official site is worth a look. 


Lvx15 said...

Mike asks where does Lion of Light come from?

I think the earliest published reference would be from Crowley Poem Tannhauser:

The Fire that darts and flashes, writhes and creeps
Snake-wise in royal robe
Wound round that vanished glory of the globe,
Unto that sky beyond the starry deeps,
Beyond the Toils of Time, - then formulate
In thine own mind, luminous, concentrate,
The Lion of the Light, a child that stands
On the vast shoulders of the Steed of God:
Or winged, or shooting flying shafts, or shod
With the flame-sandals.

Which he tells us is a paraphrase from the Oracle of Zoroaster (the Chaldean Oracles). I assume he would have worked from the version edited by W.W.Westcott (one of the founders of the Golden Dawn). Here is the section I think he means from the "magical and philosophical precepts"...

198. A similar fire flashingly extending itself into the waves of the air,
Or even unfigured fire, whence an antecedent voice,
Or light rich, glittering, resounding, revolved.
But when you see a horse glittering with light,
Or a boy, carried on the swift back of a horse,
Fiery, or clothed in gold, or naked,
Or shooting with a bow, or standing upon horseback;
Then if thy meditation prolongeth itself,
Thou shalt unite all these Symbols into the Form of a Lion.

So, his own image, I think, inspired from this GD tinged, ancient Babylonian text. He united these symbols into the Lion of Light.

Spookah said...

"a boy, carried on the swift back of a horse [...] naked", seems to me a pretty good description of The Sun tarot card in its Rider Waite version.
Of course, the Sun is a symbol of light, and has often in the past been conflated with the idea of a lion.

Lvx15 said...

Yep, you are on to something that goes deep.

Oz Fritz said...

Yes, Spookah, great observation, I missed that. Both lion and the Sun correspond with Tiphareth.

Kaczynski also pointed out that lion in Hebrew = ARI = 211;
In the Sepher Sephiroth you'll see a correspondence with lightning and lion under 211.

Lvx15 said...

C.S. Lewis seems to have noticed too, e.g. Aslan. Also the writer of Revelations, Jesus = the Lion of Judah. Also astrologers, the sun rules Leo.

It seems also that the Chaldean Oracles were likely composed in the timeframe of the New Testament. Though maybe drawing on real ancient sources, I don’t think scholars know with certainty. The constellation Leo is thought to be 6000 yrs old. And here’s the RAW connection because the rising sun enters Leo around July 23rd. Maybe.

Actually not anymore because of the procession of the equinox, but it’s still traditionally the beginning of Leo.