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All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.
London, Mandrake Press, 1929. A novel by the occultist, which is in part a roman a clef -- with various of Crowley's contemporaries and acquaintances appearing in thinly disguised characters: William Butler Yeats as "Gates," for example, and Arthur Edward Waite as "Edwin Arthwait." In addition, Crowley uses the novel form as a vehicle for the exposition of his esoteric philosophy -- he was the head of an occult society at the time, and the novel describes an ongoing magical war between a white lodge and a black lodge -- and as an account of a magical operation involving the creation of a Homunculus, or Magical Child, through the harnessing of spiritual powers derived from the Sun and Moon, incarnating a human being conceived without sex. One of Crowley's proteges later attempted to perform this magical ritual to create a homunculus, in an experiment done in 1947, the year Crowley died. Crowley reportedly feared that his protege might actually succeed in tapping into forces much larger and more powerful than he realized, and unleash great harm on the world. The protege, Jack Parsons -- a rocket scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories during World War II -- worked on the experiment with L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, and was later killed in a mysterious explosion in his laboratory, which speculation over the years has suggested was related to his continuing attempt to perform the homunculus operation and invoke the powers that Crowley describes in this volume. Offsetting to the front flyleaf, faint edge foxing; a very near fine copy in a very good, strikingly illustrated dust jacket with a couple of small edge chips and modest spine sunning. A scarce book in the first edition, in jacket. [#034869] $2,500
London, The Equinox, . Israel Regardie's copy of the third issue of Crowley's book of devotional verse, submitted anonymously to the Catholic publishers Burnes and Oates in 1908, who somehow overlooked its sexual undertones, and published it as Amphora. Crowley then published his own version, with an obscene epilogue. The original edition was withdrawn, and Crowley used the leftover sheets to publish this edition. This copy has the original front and rear wrappers but has been rebacked, a not uncommon condition for this cheaply made volume. Regardie, a British author and occultist, was for several years Crowley's secretary and later wrote a number of books on esoteric subjects. In the 1950s he experimented with LSD and other mind-altering drugs. Regardie's bookplate appears inside the front cover; an excellent association copy. With the restoration, a very good copy in wrappers, in a custom clamshell case. [#034867] $1,500
NY, Dutton, (1923). Crowley's first novel, reportedly based on his own experiences as a drug user. Contemporary owner name and date to front flyleaf. Small spot to spine, light corner tap, and rear hinge starting; still a near fine copy, without dust jacket. [#034868] $850
London, Mandrake Press, . A collection of three stories, issued in the series "Mandrake Booklets." Owner name, address, and 1930 date on the front flyleaf. Near fine in a very good, spine-darkened dust jacket. Rare: we find only one copy listed in OCLC WorldCat. [#034870] $750