Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Occult Revival, June 1972

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Time Magazine published an article on 'The Occult Revival' in their Religion section on 19 June, 1972. The nine-page article contains a few interesting comments and pictures, though the section on Witchcraft is only about half of one page in length. Mentioned are Dr Margaret Murray, Sybil Leek and Aidan Kelly (see below). Far more space is given over to Satanism (especially La Vey) and spritualism. The rise of occult bookshops and publishing is mentioned; as is the rise in courses on the occult. Owen Rachleff, author of The Occult Conceit (1971), is quoted, approvingly, as saying "Most occultniks are either frauds of the intellectual and / or financial variety, or diturbed individuals who mistake psychosis for psychic phenomena".

A few quotes: "America's most famous witch, Sybil Leek, lives comfortably today in Florida, 'practically a millionaire', she says, from sales of her books." Owen Rachleff describes Gardnarian witchcraft as "'library witchcraft': it seems to have been largely concocted from books, perhaps combined with some rudimentary witchcraft practices of existing covens in the Hampshire hills".

A few pictures: the first is of an unnamed witchcraft coven in Californian; the second of a ritual of The Pagan Way in Chicago (HPS Donna Cole annoints HP Herman Enderle).

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Concerning Aiden Kelly

"Aiden Kelly's San Francisco Bay area coven seems more designed to celebrate life. Kelly, 31,…generally follows a variety of witchcraft called Gardnarian". "Kelly himself is one of the founders of a Gardnarian spin-off called the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn, and has rewritten many of Gardner's rituals and created new ones of his own. The main ritual is conducted every month when the moon is full. If the ceremony is indoors, it is conducted 'sky-clad'—in the nude. It begins with a dance" "Costume, obviously, is minimal: a white waist cord for first-degree witches, a red cord for second degree, and a magic knife called an othame [sic]. So far, not even Kelly has felt prepared to go for the highest degree, the green garter. Among other things, it involves a milder version of what Gardner called the 'Great Rite', an act of ritual sexual intercourse. 'Nobody in our coven', says Kelly, 'has felt ready to take it'.

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1 comment:

Trystn said...

Isn't it too bad, what a wreck Aidan made of his life and himself? I guess in Texas, among the crazies, he wont get CPS called on him for letting his children live in filth.