||[Mar. 19th, 2015|01:59 pm]
The north of England was misty. We visited friends and relatives and spent a couple of nights in a very nice country hotel in Shropshire. I feel a little ghostly revisiting the north west. We no longer have a home there and the people we know there are all moving on with their lives.|
I've been reading Phil Baker's biography of Austin Osman Spare. Spare was a lovable geezer and dirty old man who practised occultism, told porkies, lived in squalor and ought to be recognised as one of the great artists of the 20th century but isn't.
Arguably one of the greatest occultists of the 20th c, too. In terms of influence, only one or two could possibly surpass him.
Well that's true- though it seems his actual powers were bigged up by Kenneth Grant. He disliked ritual and worked mainly with sigils and sex. Whether he had a system or not I leave to those who can bear to wade through his glutinous prose. I tried once and was defeated.
But he was an amazing artist.
Oh, God, not his prose... I have waded through it, for all the difference it made. I still had no clear idea what he was on about.
Kenny Grant bigged up everything he touched. I'm one of the spoilsports arguing that he likely did more harm than good, but I'm probably an old and grumpy minority. He was sort of a bridge, or stopgap, between Spare and Crowley and my generation. Depending on how one feels about such things, I suppose that was a valuable service.
Spare famously said there was more magic in one of his wet dreams than in all those fancy rituals and such. His sigil work was impressive. That style or technique was revived back in the '80s under the banner of chaos magic, a relatively successful and often comical exercise in reinventing the wheel.
I know Grant through his contributions to Man, Myth and Magic.
I've been refreshing my memory by reading a very funny review of one of his books by Alan Moore.
Man, Myth and Magic -- I had the first volume of that growing up. Spent endless hours pouring over it, but never knew that Grant was a contributor. I'm not sure where I began with Grant. Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God,
Moore wrote a review? I bet that would be funny indeed. I've bashed Grant many times, but don't recall whether I've done it in print. Alan Moore is sort of my brush with greatness, if you could call it that. He's friends with Joel Biroco, with whom I collaborated on a publication
some years back and to which Alan also contributed.