“It is Zos’s basic theory that all dream or desire, all wish or belief, anything in fact which a person nurtures in his inmost being may be called forth in the flesh as a living truth by a particular method of magical evocation. This he named ‘atavistic resurgence’; it is a method of wish-fulfilment which involves the interaction of will, desire and belief.”
— Kenneth Grant, “Austin Osman Spare: An introduction to his psycho-magical philosophy”
Dream Contents: Hopes, Fears, and the Half Cognisant, Austin Osman Spare, 1955
Alphabets of Desire: Austin Osman Spare, Andrew Chumbley and Peter Carroll.
K-AOS: “Spare World?” print by Matt Kaybryn and Peter J. Carroll.
“I believe in the life, in the flesh of infinite variety. We are eternity, with – as now – a fleeting and fluxing consciousness.
Possibilities of being are limitless, because there is no total of experience or memory.
Our potentialities arte within this all-spaciousness, refined in by dimensionals and senses”.
“Thou art this and all that exists – but here’s the catch – never at one time.
Mind is universal and includes; Ego separates.
‘That art Thou’ never is … always.
I was or I may become this, and only “I am” in Ego, often losing self-consciousness.
I behold multiplicity in all things, and myself as the interrelating oneness, for whatsoever else I conceive will lead me astray or into ‘as if’.
The more I get into things, the more I am beyond them, so, the more within the more without, I am everywhere present yet unknown to myself except in Ego”.
The quotations above are from “Zos Speaks!” by Kenneth & Steffi Grant (1998).
To create a Sigil (symbol) in the tradition of Austin Osman Spare:
- Write out your desire as a positive declarative statement, as though it was already the case.
- Select all the consonants, with only one instance of each required.
- Create a symbol which incorporates each of these letters.
- Memorise the final symbol as best you can, by visualising it with your eyes closed.
- When you can, perform an auto-erotic act. At the moment of orgasm visualise the symbol sinking down into the white light. Repeat this act periodically until your desire is fulfilled.
- You should expect that you will have to perform certain acts to reach fulfilment. In the example given here that would include applying to jobs that you think will meet your requirements etc.
- Depending on the desire expressed you may have to wait a while (in some cases several months) before the desire in the astral realm manifests in the physical.
- If you follow all of these instructions then the final piece of the puzzle is to know deep down that the desire will manifest, as it has already happened outside of time.
Austin Osman Spare, “Forces of the Sigils”, from ’The Search for Abraxas’ by Nevill Drury and Stephen Skinner. From the Collection of Jimmy Page
Austin Osman Spare: An introduction to his psycho-magical philosophy
The Formula of Atavistic Resurgence
Austin Osman Spare created this Stele embodying the secret glyphs and sigils of the Cultus.
“There is a Grimoire of symbology, of vague phonic nuances that conjoins all thoughts and is the cryptic language of the subconscious world.” AOS
“I teach the equal reality of all things, man and his illusions: Dreams shall flesh …some day.” AOS
Whatever the value of Spare’s contribution to art and psychology, his contribution to experimental occultism is supreme, for he discovered a method of reifying the dream world under the controlling aegis of the fully conscious will. KENNETH GRANT
The arts posted in this social profile are not directly related with our society. Politics, sensationalism, homophobia and racism is completely contrary to the practice and teachings of the Fraternitatis S.’.S.’. and Thelema.
- Find us on: Tumblr | Official Website |Facebook
Jimmy, Charlotte & Scarlet Page
Imagine getting a Holiday card from Jimmy Page at the height of his success and instead of it saying “Merry Christmas” or the more politically correct “Happy Holidays”, it says instead… “Thelemic Greetings”.
Bob Freeman is an author, artist, and paranormal adventurer from rural Indiana, and also a member of the Aleister Crowley Society. In February of 2011 Bob posted on his blog Occult Detective an entry regarding a set of greeting cards from Jimmy Page being for sale in the Weiser Antiquarian Catalog. Weiser Antiquarian, has been one of the world’s leading suppliers of rare, secondhand, and out-of-print books on comparative religion, mysticism, and the occult for over 88 years.
A set of hand signed greetings cards from Jimmy Page being sold from a private collection is not that all interesting. However the images he had reproduced on the cover of these cards and what he had printed inside, is what intrigues me. Specifically, what was the spiritual significance of the artwork chosen for these holiday cards?
The first of the two privately printed greeting cards, was commissioned and sent out by Jimmy Page circa 1972 with the second one dated 1973. Further the Weiser Catalog stated… The cards are:
a) A large (6″ x 8″ – when folded) undated greeting card privately produced for Jimmy Page and sent out by him circa Christmas 1972. The card has a reproduction of a black and white work by Austin Osman Spare on the front. Inside is the printed text “Jimmy Page / Plumpton Place / Plumpton Sussex.” Above this it is boldly signed “[name of recipient] 93 93/93 Jimmy Page.”
b) A large (6″ x 8″ – when folded) undated greeting card privately produced for Jimmy Page and sent out by him at Christmas 1973. It has a reproduction of a drawing by Aleister Crowley printed in dark red on the front, and inside has the printed text “Thelemic Greetings” / Jimmy, Charlotte & Scarlet Page / Plumpton Place / Plumpton Sussex.” This card is NOT signed.
Despite Jimmy Page’s well-known interest in Thelema, items directly connecting him with the spiritual philosophy or religion that Aleister Crowley founded in 1904 with the writing of the Book of Law are extremely scarce. Never mind associating Thelema indirectly to Jimmy’s partner Charlotte Martin and his daughter Scarlet.
The artwork visible in the above image [Bottom Row-Left] is from the actual Weiser Catalog listing for the cards. It shows the Aleister Crowley drawing b) and Austin Osman Spare’s Portrait of the Artist (1907) a) tucked behind the card with Crowley drawing. Phil Baker, author of several books on Austin Osman Spare, chose this very image for the cover of “Austin Osman Spare – The Occult Life of London’s Legendary Artist”, and states on page 46 of this book that this image is in the private collection of Jimmy Page. It is further stated in the one sheet for this book… “that the world’s largest Spare collection is held by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.”
This Austin Osman Spare self portrait was painted in 1907. In October of 1907, Spare held his first major exhibition, titled simply “Black and White Drawings by Austin O Spare”, at the Bruton Gallery in London’s West End. Attracting widespread interest and sensational views in the press, he was widely compared to Aubrey Beardsley, with reviewers commenting on what they saw as the eccentric and grotesque nature of his work. The World commented that “his inventive faculty is stupendous and terrifying in its creative flow of impossible horrors”, while The Observer noted that “Mr. Spare’s art is abnormal, unhealthy, wildly fantastic and unintelligible”.
Baker writes in his book [that ‘Portrait of the Artist’]…“It is a remarkable work of Edwardian black-and-white art, and if only this one work survived people would say ‘Who was that artist…?’ Baker also provides a great interpretation of this self portrait on pages 46 through 48.
Spare depicts himself staring straight at the viewer with a remarkably unique hand gesture. In front of him, on an idealized desk, are over twenty objects. Some objects are typically found on a desk and others appear to be from his creative minds eye.
The description inside the card, “[name of recipient] 93 93/93 Jimmy Page” followed by / Plumpton Place / Plumpton Sussex, is very similar to what has been discovered to have been sent by Page to Grady Louis McMurtry. Grady, the student of Aleister Crowley, is best known for reviving the fraternal organization, Ordo Templi Orientis, which Grady headed from 1971 until his death in 1985.
I found what appears to be actual images of the second greeting card on Lashtal.com, The Home of Aleister Crowley Society. This card was sent out circa Christmas 1973 and features an Untitled drawing by Aleister Crowley dated Aquarius I7  whose media was pen and ink on paper. This drawing was on exhibit in April of 1998 at the October Gallery in London. Aleister Crowley: Paintings and Drawings – A Retrospective Exhibition was the first time Crowley’s expressionist drawings were shown in public since 1931. The exhibition was made possible by Kenneth Anger and the OTO archives along with private collections. The above drawing was listed as “Private Collection”. If the first card had a reproduction of artwork now owned by Page, could the original work of this drawing also be owned by Page?
Interestingly a plate of this very drawing was created for inclusion in Kenneth Grant’s 1994 book titled “Beyond The Mauve Zone”. This same Crowley drawing can be found on page 190 as plate 12. captioned “If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom…”. (AL. II. 26) A quote from Aleister Crowley’s Liber AL, (also known as The Book of the Law) Chapter II passage 26.
Page’s Thelemic Holiday Card, sent out 39 years after it was drawn, says nothing about what the artist was depicting, as neither did the wall card at the exhibition in 1998, 64 years after it’s release. Does Kenneth Grant’s caption give us some insight to the meaning behind this drawing?
Grant, a close personal friend to Austin Osman Spare and secretary to Aleister Crowley was granted by Karl Germer to run a UK OTO lodge from 1951 to 1955. Germer expelled Grant from the OTO for taking his Nu-Isis lodge in a direction Germer felt was inconsistent with the teaching’s of Crowley. Grant ignored this and ran his Nu-Isis lodge from 1955-1962. From 1962 to 1969 little is known about Grant other than in 1969 he appointed himself OHO or the Outer Head of the OTO. Essentially, according to Kenneth Grant, he was running the OTO worldwide, from London. Also in 1969 Grady McMurtry, “invoked emergency authorization” from Crowley and became the Frater Superior of O.T.O. Grady did not acknowledge the OHO office, and remained in this O.T.O. leadership position till his death in 1985.
Minimal correspondence from Page to McMurty is known to exist, other than a card similar to the one depicted here. However, there exists on the internet several copies of letters from McMurtry to Page wanting to discuss Page’s plans with the Boleskine property, that Page purchased in 1970, a property formerly owned by Crowley and considered a Kiblah of Thelema.
The schism between the Grady O.T.O. and Grant O.T.O. is well documented on the internet. Question is, did Thelemites have to pick sides, like Rap musicians did during the East Coast & West Coast Rap Schism?
Did Page lend this drawing to both Kenneth Grant for inclusion in his 1994 book and the Crowley 1998 exhibition?
None of this is as interesting as what is being referenced in Grant’s caption on page 190 of his book “Beyond The Mauve Zone”. This line is a from section of Crowley’s Liber AL or The Book of The Law, Chapter II passage 26 and references Hadit.
The second chapter of Liber AL is spoken by Hadit, who refers to himself as the “complement of Nu,” his bride. As such, he is the infinitely condensed point, the center of her infinite circumference. Crowley says of him, “He is eternal energy, the Infinite Motion of Things, the central core of all being.
Hadit is also the Secret Seed. In The Book of the Law he says; “I am alone: there is no god where I am.”. He is “the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star.”. He is identified with kundalini; in The Book of the Law he says, “I am the Secret Serpent coiled about to spring: in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one. There is great danger in me…”
Crowley’s drawing depicts a snake, a symbol for Kundalini.
Hadit is the Fire of Desire at the Heart of Matter (Nuit). The combination of the upward-pointing triangle of Hadit and the downward-pointing triangle of Nuit forms the Star of Spirit (the Hexagram). The union of the infinitely small Hadit and the infinitely great Nuit causes an explosive rapture which leads to samādhi. Grant showing a plate on the very opposite page with a hexagram seems perfectly well placed.
Hadit’s symbols are our Sun, the serpent, the Fire Snake, the star Sothis, the planet Pluto, sperm, the Will, the winged globe, the Hermit, and the hidden flame.
Is it a coincidence that Jimmy Page’s ZoSo sigil itself has two circles with a dot in the center? A symbol described as above referencing Hadit.
Jimmy Page’s passion for art and its influence on his career is very interesting to me. The choice for this image on a “Thelemic Greeting” card is very spiritual indeed. I suspect it represents the Kundalini as divine creative energy, but I will never really know its personal significance to Page as his choice for the card.
The simple fact remains that the artwork of both Austin Osman Spare and Aleister Crowley were prominently displayed on these holiday cards and on the walls of Jimmy Page’s Equinox Bookshop. Both Spare and Crowley were artists and practicioners of systems of Magick who knew each other, and both knew Kenneth Grant.
Did Page know Grant? It’s hard to believe that they didn’t know each other. They both lived in London and Miami at roughly the same time and the community of Thelemites interested in original works by both Crowley and Spare is very small and secretive. Page admits at a minimum reading books co-edited by Symonds and Grant, and has amassed a large collection of works that may have been sourced by Grant.
Interesting facts regarding Spare is that he submitted several drawings for publication in Crowley’s Thelemite journal, The Equinox, receiving payment in the form of an expensive ritual robe. Spare was also invited to join Crowley’s Thelemite magical order, the A∴A∴ or Argenteum Astrum. However Spare shortly fell out with Crowley.
Spare’s system of Sigil Magick has influenced an entire movement called Chaos Magick and Key to Spare’s magico-religious views were the dual concepts of Zos and Kia. Spare described “Zos” as the human body and mind, and would later adopt the term as a pseudonym for himself. Spare gave himself the magickal name “Zos”, and like Page he was a Capricorn who’s ruling planet was Saturn. Is it a strong coincidence that Jimmy Page gave himself the name Zoso? Maybe, maybe not.
Follow TheEyeOfZoro for more on the Magickal Life of Jimmy Page
“The body considered as a whole I call Zos” by Austin Osman Spare, The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love): The Psychology of Ecstasy, 1st edition (London: Jerusalem Press Ltd, 2011), 45.