Category Archive: S

Feb 09

Stanton T. Friedman

Bethany Schelling

Bethany Schelling

Assistant Director - Div 6 at National Paranormal Society
Hey everyone. My name is Bethany Schelling. I'm a mother of a beautiful 10 year old daughter. I'm a bartender/waitress and studying cosmetology. I love in a small town in Amish country. A far cry from the Philadelphia, I know. I have been interested in the paranormal since I was a kid. I've always asked a ton of questions and never really got answers that made sense. After having a few unexplained experiences myself, I started looking for serious answers. Belief isn't enough for me. I want evidence that can stand for itself. I come from a logical point of view and believe science is going to help answer the questions we have. I want to continue to learn and help anyway I can.
Bethany Schelling

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Screenshot_6Many know Stanton Friedman for his work regarding the Roswell incident in 1947. But he is much more than your average UFO seeker.

Born on June, 29, 1934 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Friedman went on to earn a Bachelor in Science at the University of Chicago in 1955 and a Master in Science degree in nuclear physics in 1956. He was employed for 14 years as a nuclear physicist for many different companies including, General Electric, Aerojet General Nucleonics, General Motors and McDonnell Douglas where he worked on advanced classified programs on nuclear aircraft, fission and fusion rockets and compact nuclear power plants for space applications.

He became interested in UFO’s in 1958 and in 1970, left his position as a nuclear physicist to pursue the scientific investigations of these unidentified flying objects. He has since given lectures to over 600 colleges and over 100 professional groups all over the world.

Stanton Friedman is known as the first civilian to investigate the Roswell incident and one of the first to interview many key witnesses that were involved. Friedman supports the hypothesis that it was indeed a crash from something not of this world. He is well known for his stand with debunkers of UFO’s and the Roswell Incident in particular. He has shared many times his four basic rules of UFO debunkery:

1. What the public doesn’t know, we won’t tell them
2. Don’t bother us with the facts, out minds are made up
3. If we can’t attack the data, we’ll attack the person, it’s easier
4. Do ones research by proclamation not investigation, it’s easier and people don’t know the difference

Friedman is a methodical researcher, a steadfast debater, an investigator, a scholar and a scientist. Indeed, it was his constant digging into the case that brought the widespread attention to Roswell.

His main lecture “ Flying Saucers Are Real”, has been given all across the world. The evidence is overwhelming, he says, that the planet is being visited by extraterrestrials, and that the government is covering it up. A piece of evidence he often cites is the 1964 star map drawn by alleged alien abductee, Betty Hill, during a hypnosis session. Astronomer Marjorie Fish constructed a three dimensional map of a nearby sun-like stars and claimed a good match from the perspective of Zeta Reticulli, about 39 light years away. Friedman defends the validity of this match and believes it to be authentic.

He has been on countless TV series such as Unsolved Mysteries, History Channel documentaries, network interviews on Nightine and CBS Sunday Morning and Larry King. He has written a number of articles and a few books such as, Science Was Wrong and Flying Saucers and Science.

Most people believe in aliens. Though they may not share that with everyone, a CNN poll showed 80 percent of Americans believed the government was hiding information about UFOs and 64 percent believe we have been contacted by extraterrestrials. Some may call Friedman crazy or obsessed but he has spent his life trying to solve one of our biggest mysteries using scientific investigation methods. And he continues to search for the truth and more importantly the proof that we are not alone.

“Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there, which is and important lesson to learn as a researcher”
Stanton T. Friedman

Jan 13

Herman Slater

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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Herman Slater (1935 – July 9, 1992) was an American Wiccan high priest and occult-bookstore proprietor as well as an editor, publisher, and author. He died of AIDS in 1992.

Early life

Slater was born in 1938 in a lower-middle-class Jewish neighborhood of New York. At a very early age, he became aware of anti-Semitism which was encouraged by the Catholic Church. This became one of the influences that led him to witchcraft. Slater studied business administration at New York University, liberal arts at Hunter College and traffic management at the Traffic Management Institute in New York. He also completed a full course at the United States Navy Personnel School in Bainbridge, Maryland. During 1958 through 1969, Slater had several business jobs in management, traffic expediting, and insurance claims investigation. 1969 marked the beginning of significant health-related issues for him. He was later forced to quit work due to bone tuberculosis, which cost him a hip bone and three years of recuperation.

Transition to witchcraft

During his recuperation process, Slater began experiencing and reading about paranormal phenomena, including divination (tarot cards), clairvoyance, and levitation. He spent an entire year lying in bed in a body cast that weighed 300 pounds. Then one morning, he awoke to find himself stretched across a chair on the opposite side of the room while still in his body cast. These experiences led him to witchcraft, and in 1972, he was initiated into the New York Coven of Welsh Traditional Witches. It was there he met Eddie Buczynski (Lord Gywddion), who was a high priest of the coven. Slater took the craft name Lord Govannon and the two became lovers.


Bucznski and Slater opened the The Warlock Shoppe, the oldest witchcraft bookshop in Brooklyn, New York. Buczynski was the more magical and spiritual of the two and left the business side to Slater, who helped the shop grow in profit. Most importantly, the shop established itself as the central information hub for local witches and the newly emerging neopagan communities. The two also published a periodical called Earth Religion News. It was extremely successful but also caused controversy due to its explicit contents and cover designs. In 1974, Slater was initiated into the Gardnerian tradition and assumed leadership of the coven in the late 1970s. The Warlock Shoppe later moved to West 19th Street in Manhattan (the borough of New York City) and operated under the name Magickal Childe. The Magickal Childe functioned as a major focal point for the neopagan community in the 1970s and well into the 1990s. In the later 1980s it gained something of a mercenary reputation being willing to put ‘curses’ on people for a price. with Slater’s death they started having trouble making ends meet and several significant new age publishers stopped providing them with books. The brick and mortar store finally closed in 1999.


In 1972, Slater presented the Inquisitional Bigot of the Year award to NBC during a guest appearance on the Today show, for an episode of Macmillan and Wife that had taken witchcraft and corrupted it into devil-worship rituals for the plot.[1] The crew of Today had Slater physically removed from the set.[1] More controversy surrounding Slater’s actual proficiency in the types of magick he claimed to practice, accusations that he plagiarized material, yelling out at irritable customers in his Magickal Childe store, “Get out of my store…”, as well as outrage over other behaviors he exhibited earned him the nickname “Horrible Herman”.

Taken from:

Feb 02

Jose Silva

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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josesilvaJose Silva (Laredo (Texas), August 11, 1914 – f February 7, 1999.) Parapsychologist of Mexican origin, creator of Silva Mind Control.

Early life

His father died when he was four years old. His mother remarried soon after, and he and his brothers went to live with his grandmother. Two years later he set to work to support her family by selling newspapers, shining shoes, and doing odd jobs. In the afternoons watching his brothers while doing their homework, and they helped him learn to read and write.

At fifteen years of age, after taking a course to learn how to repair radios, he began working with these elements in a workshop, learning quickly and founding his own company after years of repairs. In 1944 he joined the army, where he became interested in psychology following a psychiatric evaluation realizaron.1 In war he studied advanced electronics, becoming an instructor at the Army Broadcasting Service. When I got the license, he began to build his own business repair of radio, and later television sets.

Their concerns about the human mind led him to consider whether using hypnosis would be possible to improve a person’s ability to learn and actually raise your IQ (IQ). Because in those days it was believed that the C.I. was a fixture with which we were born, but José Silva was not very convinced.

For a time he worked part time to teach at the Laredo Junior College, where he was responsible for organizing electronics laboratories school. After the war and after more than 20 years, with notable success directing their repair facility withdrew from this activity in 1966, which until then it synchronized with his research on self-control of the mind.

Conception and first steps of the method

It was due to low school grades of their children, on the one hand, and reading about hypnosis, on the other, which led him increasingly to try to resolve the issue that years before raised as to whether it could improve learning ability, through some kind of mental training.

The investigation of brain rhythms and their influence on the mind, began in Laredo (Texas) in 1944. He began this quest, with the intention to use the results to increase the IQ of the participants. Five years later. His studies led him deeper into hypnosis and parapsychology, which in those years was beginning to be studied in some universities.

He met studies on brain electrical activity; I had also read about experiments using electroencephalography, who discovered the different rhythms in the human brain works, such as alpha waves, which occur in low concentration and no processing of visual stimuli. Silva focused his later ideas in these waves to which he attributed facilities in schools as learning, imagination, relaxation, pain control, storage, etc. were achieved more easily during this stage of brain capacities of no evidence fiables.

PES communication experience

Jose Silva allegedly had his first experience of PES (extrasensory perception) a day of 1953 with one of his daughters. According account, this occurred when he was asking his daughter about her school work and noted then that she came to answer some of the questions on which he was thinking before formulárselas verbally. It also concluded that these experiences gave especially when her daughter was in the “Alpha Level” (7-13 cycles per second of brain activity).

In the 1950s, the PES (‘perception Extrasensorial) was becoming a discipline under investigation with scientific methods in some universities, largely through thanks to the work published by Dr. JB Rhine of Duke University. José Silva wrote to Dr. Rhine in 1953 to inform about experiences with her daughter in the practice of the PES. Rhine answered with skepticism, because this professor considered, unlike Silva, neither the vision nor intelligence can mejorarse.

To test their results Silva worked for ten years, training in this period to 39 volunteers from among their

I Have a Hunch: the Autobiography of Jose Silva-Vol. 1

I Have a Hunch: the Autobiography of Jose Silva-Vol. 1

friends and relatives and continued to refine the process. In 1963 he founded the Laredo Parapsychology Foundation Inc. Over the years his work became very popular, but not the approval of the scientific community. In 1965 he wrote to President Lyndon Johnson offering their investigations free government, but the president rejected his offer. In 1966 he developed his basic course in mind control within 48 hours.

Method development

Silva also experimented with hypnosis, hypnosis but even allowed the mind to be more receptive, he thought it was better than the person could control the process itself, to improve at will and selectively, the performance of various mental activities such as memory, learning, creativity, imagination, etc.

Therefore, he soon abandoned hypnosis and began experimenting with mental training exercises in Alpha state, to teach people to reduce the level of brain electrical activity. From his work in electronics knew that the most effective circuits have less resistance, idea extrapolated brain function deducing that a degree of deep relaxation human mind would work better, so he sought such a state and keep it long or more awake and alert hypnosis. This, he concluded, would lead to improved memory, combined with a greater capacity for understanding, and consequently, to raise IQ scores

The crucial problem was fully keep the mind alert at all times at these frequencies, which are associated more with daydreaming and sleep than with ordinary practical activity. Therefore, the primary objective was learning relaxation techniques and conscious control of the Alpha frequency brain.

To achieve this, the exercises from which evolved the Silva Method, required a level of relaxed concentration and vivid mental imagery as a means to achieve deeper levels, while retaining alertness. According to this premise, once achieved, these levels, the brain would function more effectively.


The first results obtained them, with the improvement, over several years in school grades of their children. Interpreted Silva had improved because of his method, and that encouraged him to continue perfecting his new technique. José Silva also experimented with the “biofeedback” or feedback as a way to train the mind and body, by observing the results produced on the screen of a device while these phenomena occur (cerebral rhythm, heart, etc.) may voluntarily modulate the subject, while being observed directly by him.

In 1956, he began to develop a training program whose principles are still used today in their courses. The prosperity of the electronics company will provide sufficient resources to invest the proceeds and financing more than twenty years of research and testing that eventually led to the creation and development of so-called Silva Mind Control Method in 1966. Since then devoted himself entirely to the development and advancement of his method.…/Jose_Silva_%28parapsic%C3%B3logo%…

This article is in Spanish. I have used Google Translate it to English.

Jan 25

Alex Sanders

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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Alex Sanders (1926 – 1988) was the founder of the Alexandrian tradition of Wicca, which has proved popular particularly in Britain and Canada. He deliberately courted publicity and controversy, and was proclaimed “King of the Witches” by his followers, which created dissent with many other Wiccans. However, many, including Stewart Farrar, claim that Sanders has made major contributions to the modern development of the craft.

He was born Orrell Alexander Carter on 6 June 1926 in Birkenhead, England, the oldest of six children. His father was an alcoholic dance-hall entertainer and the family moved soon after Alex’s birth to Manchester, and unofficially changed their name to Sanders (Alex was unaware of his official surname until he applied for a passport later in life, and only changed his name by deed poll in the 1960s).

Several contradictory accounts have been given of Sanders’ initiation into witchcraft, and even his own accounts are inconsistent. According to one story, he was initiated at the age of seven by his Welsh grandmother, Mary Bibby, a hereditary witch, supposedly descended from the Welsh chieftain Owain Glynd?r. She let him copy her Book of Shadows when he was nine and taught him the rites and magic of witches, along with techniques of scrying in inky water and in crystals. Sanders claimed that following the Blitz, and a few months before her death at age 74, his grandmother conferred upon him second- and third-grade initiations, involving ritual sex.

In another version (corroborated by his future wife and High Priestess, Maxine Sanders), he claimed to have been initiated (and given his craft name, Verbius) as late as 1961 in a coven led by a woman from Nottingham, although he was indeed also taught a form of witchcraft and magic by his grandmother when he was young, with his mother’s knowledge.

Sanders may have worked for a while as a healer in Spiritualist Churches, under the pseudonym Paul Dallas, and he claimed that all of his brothers were also psychic. Towards the end of World War II, he began working for a manufacturing chemist’s laboratory in Manchester, and he married a co-worker, nineteen-year-old Doreen, when he was 21. They had two children, Paul and Janice, but the marriage quickly deteriorated and Doreen (who disapproved of Sanders’ supernatural dealings) took the children and left in 1952.

After the War, he drifted from one low-level job to another, and had sexual affairs with several men and women, reportedly using black magic to bring myself money and sexual success. But, when one of Sanders’ mistresses committed suicide and his own sister Joan was injured in an accidental shooting and then diagnosed with terminal cancer, he resolved to stop using his magic for selfish reasons (blaming these incidents on himself) and instead to teach it to others, abandoning the left-hand path.

He studied the works of Abramelin the Mage, and smuggled out and copied an original copy of the grimoire “The Key of Solomon” from the John Rylands Library in Manchester, where he was working for a time until his dismissal. His first contact with Wicca was in the early 1960s, through correspondence and meetings with Patricia Crowther, although she considered him a troublesome upstart and refused to initiate him (particularly after he convinced the Manchester Evening News to run a front-page article on Wicca). He was eventually initiated by a priestess who had been a member of Crowther’s coven.

He worked with several different covens, including one led by Pat Kopanski and another led by a priestess called Sylvia. When Sylvia and several others later left the group amicably, Sanders continued as High Priest, working out of his home in Manchester. He continued to attract media attention which brought him more and more followers, who apparently gave him the title of “King of the Witches”, and by 1965 he claimed 1,623 initiates in 100 covens. He joined several other esoteric and chivalric orders throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including the Knights Templars, the Order of Saint Michael, the Order of Saint George and the Ordine Della Luna (aka the Order of the Romaic Crescent).

Alex Sanders’ coven practising “skyclad” (1968) (from
Sanders’ alleged magical feats include the creation of a “spiritual baby”, Michael, from a sacred act of masturbation between himself and a male assistant. Michael became one of his familiars and would appear to take Sanders over during channelling sessions and force him to carry on at wild parties, insult people and otherwise act abominably. Sanders also channelled another familiar, known as Nick Demdike, who claimed to have been persecuted as a witch at the Pendle Witch Trials of the 17th Century.

His alleged healing feats include getting rid of warts by wishing them on someone else, curing a man of heroin addiction, curing a woman of cystitis by laying his hands on her head and willing the affliction away, and curing a woman of cancer by sitting with her in a hospital for three days and nights, while holding her feet and pouring healing energy into her. He claimed to be able to heal illnesses just by pointing to troubled spots on people’s bodies and concentrating, and to have ended a pregnancy by returning the soul to the Divine. He is also supposed to have cured a deformity of his daughter, Janice, who was born with her left foot twisted backwards, by following his familiar Michael’s instructions to anoint the foot with warm olive oil, and turning the foot straight (although doctors had advised that nothing could be done, the foot stayed corrected).

During the 1960s, Sanders met Maxine Morris, a Roman Catholic 20 years his junior, whom he initiated into the craft and made his High Priestess. In 1965, they handfasted (a witch marriage) and, in 1968, they married in a civil ceremony. They moved into a basement flat in West London, where they ran their coven and taught classes on witchcraft. Their daughter, Maya, was born in 1968. The Sanders separated in 1971, neither being able to compromise over Alex’s bisexuality, although a son Victor was born in 1972, and their relationship continued with varying levels of intensity until Sanders’ death in 1988. After their separation, Sanders moved to Sussex, while Maxine remained in the London flat where she continued running the coven and teaching the craft.

Sanders was projected into the national public spotlight after a sensational newspaper article in 1969, which in turn led to the romanticized 1969 biography, “King of the Witches” by June Johns, and the film “Legend of the Witches” in 1970. These led to greater publicity, guest appearances on talk-shows, and public speaking engagements (although many accused him of exploiting the craft and dragging it through the gutter press).

According to his wife, Sanders never actually courted publicity, and blamed his initial rise to fame on an attempt to distract media attention away from other, more vulnerable, witches. One distraction Sanders presented was a ritual at a magical site at Alderley Edge, where he proposed to raise a man from the dead. A bandaged up figure lying on a stone altar was examined by one of Alex’s colleagues posing as a GP, who certified it was indeed a corpse, and Sanders read an “ancient and strange” invocation (later revealed to be a Swiss roll recipe read backwards). However unlikely it now seems, the newspapers ran with the story and Sanders’ self-imposed notoriety developed still further.

From 1979, he began working in magical partnership with Derek Taylor, a psychic and trance medium, and together they developed the magical work of Sanders’ order, the Ordine Della Luna, and reportedly worked with celestial intelligences, disembodied spirits and the demiurge itself. He continued to train a small number of personal students during the 1980s.

Sanders died in Sussex on 30 April 1988, after suffering from lung cancer. But even after his death he continued to arouse controversy, declaring in a taped message that his son, Victor, (who had moved to the United States and wanted nothing to do with his father’s schemes) was to succeed him as King of the Witches, and to lead the “Witchcraft Council of Elders” which Sanders claimed to number an incredible 100,000 members. In 1998, ten years after his death, a New England Wiccan coven claimed to have contacted Sanders in spirit, and channelled his messages, addressed to all Wiccans, urging love for the Goddess and strength and unity within Wicca.

Jan 22

Austin Osman Spare

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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austAustin Osman Spare (30 December 1886 – 15 May 1956) was an English artist and occultist who worked as both a draughtsman and a painter. Influenced by symbolism and the artistic decadence of art nouveau, his art was known for its clear use of line, and its depiction of monstrous and sexual imagery.] In an occult capacity, he developed idiosyncratic magical techniques including automatic writing, automatic drawing and sigilization based on his theories of the relationship between the conscious and unconscious self.

Born into a working-class family in Snow Hill in London, Spare grew up in Smithfield and then Kennington, taking an early interest in art. Gaining a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in South Kensington, he trained as a draughtsman, while also taking a personal interest in Theosophy and the wider Western Esoteric Tradition, becoming briefly involved with Aleister Crowley and his A∴A∴. Developing his own personal occult philosophy, he authored a series of occult grimoires, namely Earth Inferno (1905), The Book of Pleasure (1913) and The Focus of Life (1921). Alongside a string of personal exhibitions, he also achieved much press attention for being the youngest entrant at the 1904 Royal Academy summer exhibition.

After publishing two short-lived art magazines, Form and The Golden Hind, during the First World War he was conscripted into the armed forces and worked as an official war artist. Moving to various working class areas of South London over the following decades, Spare lived in poverty, but continued exhibiting his work to varying success. With the arrival of surrealism onto the London art scene during the 1930s, critics and the press once more took an interest in his work, seeing it as an early precursor to surrealist imagery. Losing his home during the Blitz, he fell into relative obscurity following the Second World War, although continued exhibiting till his death in 1956.

Spare’s esoteric legacy was largely maintained by his friend, the Thelemite author Kenneth Grant in the latter part of the 20th century, and his beliefs regarding sigils provided a key influence on the chaos magic movement and Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth. Spare’s art once more began to receive attention in the 1970s, due to a renewed interest in art nouveau in Britain, with several retrospective exhibitions being held in London. Various books have been written about Spare and his art by the likes of Robert Ansell (2005) and Phil Baker (2011).

Childhood: 1886–1900
Austin’s father, Philip Newton Spare, was born in Yorkshire in 1857, and moved to London, where he gained employment with the City of London Police in 1878, being stationed at Snow Hill Police Station. Austin’s mother, Eliza Osman, was born in Devon, the daughter of a Royal Marine, and married Philip Newton Spare at St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street in December 1879. Together they moved into a tenement called Bloomfield House on Bloomfield Place, King Street in Snow Hill, which was inhabited by the families of police officers, drivers, clerks and market workers.The Spare’s first child to survive was John Newton Spare, born in 1882, with William Herbert Spare following in 1883 and then Susan Ann Spare in 1885.

The couple’s fourth surviving child, Austin Osman Spare was born shortly after four o’clock on the morning of 30 December 1886. Spare first attended the school attached to St. Sepulchre’s Church, at the top of Snow Hill (1891), and each day he would pass by Smithfield meat market, which being an animal lover, he detested. In 1894, when Spare was seven, the family moved from Smithfield to Kennington, South London, setting up home at 15 Kennington Park Gardens. Here, Spare attended St. Agnes School, attached to a prominent High Anglican church, and as a child he was brought up within the Anglican denomination of Christianity. In later life he claimed to have met an elderly woman, Mrs Patterson (known as “Witch Patterson”) at this time. Patterson claimed to be a descended from a line of Salem witches that Cotton Mather had failed to extirpate. She seduced him and first taught him how to practice magic, although later biographer Phil Baker has noted that there is “very little evidence” that she was ever a real figure, instead perhaps being a later fictional invention of his. Spare, who did not get on well with his real mother as a child, referred to Patterson as his ‘second mother’ or ‘witch-mother’. Taking an interest in drawing, from about the age of 12, he began taking evening classes at Lambeth School of Art under the tutorship of Philip Connard.

Artistic training: 1900–1905
In 1900, Spare left St. Agnes School and gained employment at Sir Joseph Causton and Sons, a company that focused on the design of posters. Not wanting the commitment of an apprenticeship, after nine months he quit this job and instead began working as a designer at Powell’s glass-working business in Whitefriars Street, which had links to the Arts and Crafts movement and William Morris. In the evenings he attended the Lambeth School of Art.Two visitors to Powell’s, Sir William Blake Richmond and FH Richmond RBA, came across some of Spare’s drawings, and impressed, they recommended him for a scholarship to the Royal College of Art (RCA) in South Kensington. He achieved further attention when his drawings were exhibited in the British Art Section of the St. Louis Exposition and the Paris International Exhibition, and in 1903 he won a silver medal at the National Competition of Schools of Art, where the judges, who included Walter Crane and Byam Shaw, praised his “remarkable sense of colour and great vigour of conception.”

Soon, he began studying at the RCA, but was dissatisfied with the teaching he received there, becoming a truant and being disciplined by his tutors as a result. Influenced by the work of Charles Ricketts, Edmund Sullivan, George Frederick Watts and Aubrey Beardsley, his artistic style focused on clear lines, which was in stark contrast to the College’s emphasis on shading. Still living in his parent’s home, he began dressing in unconventional and flamboyant garb, and became popular with other students at the college, with a particularly strong friendship developing between Spare and Sylvia Pankhurst, a prominent Suffragette and leftist campaigner.

Rejecting Christianity and developing an interest in western esotericism, he read several books on Theosophy by Madame Blavatsky, namely Isis Unveiled, and wanting to explore the topic further, he also read the works of prominent occultists Cornelius Agrippa and Eliphas Levi. Becoming a practicing occultist, during his college years he wrote and illustrated his first grimoire, titled Earth Inferno (1905), in which he took as his premise Blavatsky’s idea that Earth already was Hell. The work exhibited a variety of influences, including Theosophy, the Bible, Omar Khayyám, Dante’s Inferno and his own mystical ideas regarding Zos and Kia. Self-published by Spare through the Co-Operative Printing Society, copies of Earth Inferno were purchased by Pankhurst and other friends from the college.

In May 1904, Spare held his first public art exhibition in the foyer of the Newington Public Library in Walworth Road. Here, his paintings illustrated many of the themes that would continue to inspire him throughout his life, including his mystical views about Zos and Kia. His father then surreptitiously submitted two of Spare’s drawings to the Royal Academy, one of which, a design for a bookplate, was accepted for exhibition at that year’s prestigious summer exhibition. Journalists from the British press took a particular interest in his work, highlighting the fact that, at seventeen years of age, he was the youngest artist in the exhibition, with some erroneously claiming that he was the youngest artist to ever exhibit at the show. According to the media, G.F. Watts allegedly stated that “Young Spare has already done enough to justify his fame”, while Augustus John was quoted as remarking that his draughtsmanship was “unsurpassed” and John Singer Sargent apparently thought that Spare was a “genius” who was the greatest draughtsman in England. Gaining a significant level of press attention, journalists arrived at the Spare family household in Kennington to interview him, leading to a string of articles in which he was praised as an artistic prodigy. One alleged that he aspired to eventually become the President of the Royal Academy itself, something he would quickly deny. In 1905, in the midst of this media interest, he left the RCA without having received any qualifications.

Early career: 1906–1910
Having left higher education, Spare became employed as a bookplate designer and illustrator, with his first book commission being for Ethel Rolt Wheeler’s Behind the Veil, published by the company David Nutt in 1906. In ensuing years he would also illustrate such texts as Charles Grindrod’s The Shadow of the Raggedstone (1909) and Justice Darling’s On the Oxford Circuit and other Verses (1909). In 1905, he once more exhibited at the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition, having submitted a drawing known as The Resurrection of Zoroaster, featuring beaked serpents swirling around the figure of the ancient Persian philosopher who founded Zoroastrianism.Diversifying his employment, In 1906, Spare published his first political cartoon, a satire on the use of Chinese wage slave labourers in British South Africa, which appeared in the pages of The Morning Leader newspaper.When not involved in these jobs, he devoted much of his time to illustrating a second publication, A Book of Satyrs, which consisted of a series of nine satirical images lampooning such institutions as politics and the clergy. The volume contained a number of self-portraits; he also filled many of the images with illustrations of bric-a-brac, of which he was a great collector. The book was finished off with an introduction authored by Scottish painter James Guthrie. Proud of his son’s achievement, Spare’s father would later inquire as to whether the publisher John Lane of Bodley Head would be interested in re-printing A Book of Satyrs, leading to the release of an expanded second edition in 1909.Meanwhile, in 1907 Spare produced one of his most significant illustrations, a drawing titled Portrait of the Artist, featuring himself sitting behind a table covered in assorted bric-a-brac. His later biographer Phil Baker would later characterise it as “a remarkable work of Edwardian black-and-white art” which was “far more confidently drawn and better finished than the work of the Satyrs”.

In October 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”. On the other hand, he could, and often did, produce straightforward works of art as fine as any by Durer or Rembrandt, as his friend Hannen Swaffer once observed.

One of those attracted to Spare’s work was Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), an occultist who had founded the religion of Thelema in 1904, taking as its basis Crowley’s The Book of the Law. Crowley introduced himself to Spare, becoming a patron and champion of his art, which he proclaimed to be a message from the Divine. Spare subsequently submitted several drawings for publication in Crowley’s Thelemite journal, The Equinox, receiving payment in the form of an expensive ritual robe. Spare would also be invited to join Crowley’s new Thelemite magical order, the A∴A∴ or Argenteum Astrum, which had been co-founded with George Cecil Jones in 1907. Becoming the seventh member of the order in July 1907, where he used the magical name of Yihovaeum, it was through doing so that he befriended the occultist Victor Neuburg, but although he remained in A∴A∴ until 1912, ultimately Spare never became a full member, disliking Crowley’s emphasise on strict hierarchy and organisation and becoming heavily critical of the practice of ceremonial magic.Spare would grow to dislike Crowley, with some rumours arising within the British esoteric community that Crowley had actually made sexual advances toward the young artist, something Spare had found repellent, although these have never been proven. In turn, Crowley would claim that Spare was only interested in “black magic” and for that reason had kept him back from fully entering the Order.

Spare’s major patron during this period was the wealthy property developer Pickford Waller, although other admirers included Desmond Coke, Ralph Strauss, Lord Howard de Walden and Charles Ricketts. Spare became popular among avant-garde homosexual circles in Edwardian London, with several known gay men becoming patrons of his work. In particular he became good friends with the same-sex couple Marc-André Raffalovich and John Gray, with Spare later characterising the latter as “the most wonderful man I have ever met.” Gray would introduce Spare to the Irish novelist George Moore, whom he would subsequently befriend. The actual nature of Spare’s sexuality at the time remains debated; his friend Frank Brangwyn would later claim that he was “strongly” homosexual but had suppressed these leanings. In contrast to this, in later life Spare would refer to a wide variety of heterosexual encounters that took place at this time, including with a hermaphrodite, a dwarf with a protuberant forehead and a Welsh maid.He would unsuccessfully also attempt to woo both Sybil Waller, the daughter of Pickford Waller, as well as a younger girl named Constance “Connie” Smith.

Marriage and The Book of Pleasure: 1911–1916
On one occasion, Spare met a middle-aged woman named Mrs Shaw in a pub in Mayfair. Eager to marry off her daughter, who already had one child from an earlier relationship, Mrs Shaw soon introduced Spare to her child, Eily Gertrude Shaw (1888-1938). Spare fell in love, producing a number of portraits of Eily, before marrying her on 4 September 1911. There are differing accounts as to where the wedding took place, with Spare claiming that it occurred in St George’s, Hanover Square, although later biographer Phil Baker suggested that it might instead have been at St George’s Register Office. At the wedding, Spare choked on his wedding cake, something his bride thought hilarious. Together, they moved into a flat at 8b Golders Green Parade, located in the North London suburb of Golders Green. Here, they became neighbours to Spare’s old friend Sylvia Pankhurst, with Spare also befriending several local Jews, reading works of Jewish literature such as the Zohar and The Song of Solomon in order to impress them. Within a few years they would move to a ground floor flat at 298 Kennington Park Road.However, the relationship between Spare and his wife was strained; unlike him, she was “unintellectual and materialistic”, and disliked many of his friends, particularly the younger males, asking him to cease his association with them.

Around 1910, Spare illustrated The Starlit Mire, a book of epigrams written by two doctors, James Betram and F. Russell, in which his illustrations once more displayed his interest in the abnormal and the grotesque. Another notable work from this period was an illustration known as A Fantasy, which included a self-portrait of Spare surrounded by a variety of horned animals and a horned hermaphrodite creature, visually depicting his belief in the innate mental connection between humanity and our non-human ancestors.

Over a period of several years, Spare began work on his third tome, The Book of Pleasure (Self Love): The Psychology of Ecstasy, which he self-published in 1913. Exploring his own mystical ideas regarding the human being and their unconscious mind, it also discussed magic and the use of sigils. In a note included in the publication, Spare stated that there were still many sections of the book missing, including a proposed introduction written by Daniel Phaer, but that he hoped these would be included in a second edition; ultimately this would never come about.”Conceived initially as a pictorial allegory the book quickly evolved into a much deeper work, drawing inspiration from Taoism and Buddhism, but primarily from his experiences as an artist.”The book sold poorly, and received a mixed review from the Times Literary Supplement, which while accepting Spare’s “technical mastery”, was more critical of much of the content.

In July 1914, Spare held another exhibition of his work, this time at the Baillie Gallery in Bruton St, London. This was his first one-man exhibition. At the same time, he was involved in a newly launched popular art magazine known as Colour, which was edited in Victoria Street, submitting a number of contributions to its early issues. He soon developed the idea of founding his own art magazine, suggesting the idea to the publisher John Lane, who had formerly produced The Yellow Book, an influential periodical that had appeared between 1894 to 1897. Envisioning his new venture, titled Form, as a successor to The Yellow Book, he was joined as co-editor by the etcher Frederick Carter, who used the pseudonym of Francis Marsden. The first issue appeared in the summer of 1916, containing contributions from Edmund Joseph Sullivan, Walter de la Mare, Frank Brangwyn, W.H. Davies, J.C. Squire, Ricketts and Shannon. Spare and Carter co-wrote an article discussing automatic writing, arguing that it allowed the unconscious part of the mind to produce art, a theme that Spare had previously dealt with in The Book of Pleasure.Generally, Form was poorly received by the critics and the public, being described as a “very horrible publication” by George Bernard Shaw, who proclaimed its design and layout to be “ancient Morrisian” and thereby out of fashion. Although initially designed to be a quarterly, the second edition of Form only emerged in April 1917, and soon after, Carter would resign due to arguments with Spare.

World War I, The Focus of Life and The Anathema of Zos: 1917–1927
In 1917, with the First World War still raging, the British government implemented the Military Service Act III, conscripting into the armed forces men who had previously been rejected on medical grounds. As a result, Spare was forced to join the Royal Army Medical Corps, initially being stationed at its depot in Blackpool, where he worked as a medical orderly, giving tetanus vaccine injections to British troops before they were sent abroad. At Blackpool, he was reprimanded for scruffiness, and complained that a part of his pay was being taken away for a “sports fund.” Towards the end of 1918 he was posted back to London, where he was based at the King George’s Hospital Barracks in Stamford Street, Waterloo. Here, he was appointed to the position of Acting Staff-Sergeant, and given the task of illustrating the conflict along with other artists based in a studio at 76 Fulham Road. In later life, he would glamorize his time serving in the army during the conflict, falsely claiming that he served in Egypt, where he studied ancient hieroglyphics, and that he fought on the Western Front, claiming he had to hide under a pile of corpses in No Man’s Land.

Spare de-mobbed in 1919. Following the victory of Britain and its allies, Spare had moved into a small flat at 8 Gilbert Place in Bloomsbury, Central London, where he lived alone; although they never gained a divorce, Spare had separated from his wife Eily, who had begun a relationship with another man. Focusing on the writing and illustration of a new book, 1921 saw the publication of The Focus of Life The Mutterings of AOS by Morland Press. Edited and introduced by Frederick Carter, the book once more dealt with Spare’s mystical ideas, continuing many of the themes explored in The Book of Pleasure.The success of this book led Spare to decide to revive Form, with the first issue appearing in a new format in October 1921, edited by Spare and his friend W.H. Davies. Intended to be populist in tone, contributions came from Sidney Sime, Robert Graves, Herbert Furst, Laura Knight, Frank Brangwyn, Glyn Philpot, Edith Sitwell, Walter de la Mare, J.F.C. Fuller and Havelock Ellis. However, Spare discontinued the magazine after the third issue, which was published in January 1922.He then moved on the production of another art journal, The Golden Hind, co-edited with Clifford Bax and published by Chapman and Hall. The first issue appeared in October 1922, featuring a lithograph from Spare titled “The New Eden.” Faced with problems, the journal eventually decreasing in size from a folio to a quarto, and in 1924 it folded after eight issues.

Spare had moved to South London, to a run-down council flat at 52 Becket House, Tabard Street in Southwark, describing his life there as that of “a swine, with swine.” Here, he developed a great love of radio after the launch of Radio 2LO in 1922.The summer of 1924 saw Spare produce a sketchbook of “automatic drawings” titled The Book of Ugly Ecstasy, which contained a series of grotesque creatures; the sole copy of the book would be purchased by the art historian Gerald Reitlinger.The spring of 1925 then saw the production of a similar sketchbook, A Book of Automatic Drawings, and then a further suite of pictures, titled The Valley of Fear. He also began work on a new book, a piece of automatic writing titled The Anathema of Zos: The Sermon to the Hypocrites, which served as a criticism of British society influenced by the ideas of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Spare would self-publish it in an edition of 100 copies from his sister’s house in Goodmayes, Essex, in 1927. That year he also produced a series of six pictures, each depicting a female head in a different pose, which biographer Phil Baker thought were particularly good; Baker remarked that, during the late 1920s, Spare was actually producing “some of his finest drawing”, reminiscent in many respects of the work of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Surrealism and World War II: 1927–1945
Spare held exhibitions of his work at the St. George’s Gallery in Hanover Square in 1927, and then at the Alex, Reid and Lefevre Gallery in 1929, but his work received little praise in the press or attention from the public. Two major supporters of Spare died around this time, in the form of his father in 1928, and then his primary patron Pickford Waller in 1930, although at his 1927 exhibit (titled “The Journey of the Soul Through Death to Rebirth”) he did gain an important new patron and friend in the form of journalist Hannen Swaffer. Living in poverty and with his work becoming unpopular in the mainstream London art scene, Spare contemplated suicide. He then undertook a series of anamorphic portraits, predominantly of young women, which he termed the “Experiments in Reality”. Influenced by the work of El Greco, they were exhibited at the Godfrey Phillips Galleries in St James’s, Central London in November 1930, an exhibit that proved to be Spare’s last in London’s West End. In 1932, he moved into a flat at 148 York Road, Waterloo, from where he would hold art shows that had been co-organised by G.S. Sandilands of the Royal College of Art. He proceeded to move to Lambeth for a while, and then in 1936 to Elephant and Castle, a poverty-stricken working class area of South London, where he set up his home in the flat at 56a Walworth Road, situated above the loading bay of a Woolworth’s store. He would often be visited at his flat by friends and people interested in purchasing his work, and formed friendships with both Dennis Bardens, whom he had met through Victor Neuberg, Oswell Blakeston and Frank Letchford.

In the summer of 1936, the artistic movement known as surrealism first appeared in London as Salvador Dalí held his first British exhibition at the Alex, Reid and Lefevre Gallery, while the International Surrealist Exhibition opened at the New Burlington Gallery. Surrealism took an interest in automatism and the unconscious, just like Spare’s work, and although he did not think highly of the surrealists, he was often described at the time as a British forerunner of the surrealist movement; indeed, the reporter Hubert Nicholson ran a story on him titled “Father of Surrealism – He’s a Cockney!”.Jumping onto this new craze for surrealism, Spare released a set of what he described as “SURREALIST Racing Forecast Cards” for use in divination. The renewed interest benefited him, with his 1936, 1937 and 1938 exhibitions in Walworth Road proving a success, and he began teaching students at his studio in what he called his Austin Spare School of Draughtsmanship.

Spare would later claim that the German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler took an interest in his work after one of his portraits was purchased by the German embassy in London. According to this story, (the accuracy of which has never been verified), in 1936 Hitler requested that Spare travel to Berlin to produce a portrait of the Nazi leader, but that Spare refused, remarking that “If you are a superman, let me be forever animal.” In the late 1930s, Spare would again tell this story, but changed several components of it, claiming that he had actually traveled to Berlin and produced the portrait, but that he had returned to London with it, where he had actually made use of it in the production of an anti-Nazi artwork. When the Second World War broke out against Nazi Germany in 1939, Spare, an ardent anti-Nazi, tried to enlist into the army, but was deemed too old. In the ensuing Blitz of London by the German Luftwaffe, Spare’s flat and all the artwork in it was destroyed by a bomb on 10 May 1941, leaving him homeless. His arms were also injured in the blast. At first taking up residence at the working men’s hostel in Walworth Road, he then moved into a sculptor’s studio in Spitalfields and finally the Brixton basement of his friend Ada Pain at 5 Wynne Road. In these cramped confines, Spare had to sleep on two chairs in lieu of a bed, and was regularly surrounded by stray cats, whom he fed. Despite his personal problems, with this period marking a growing poverty for Spare, he continued working, and proposed the creation of a new art journal with his friend, the poet Vera Wainright, although this never materialised.

Kenneth Grant and later life: 1946–1956
Following the culmination of the war, Spare held a come-back show in November 1947 at the Archer Gallery. A commercial success, the works on display showed the increasing influence of Spiritualism on his thought, and included a number of portraits of prominent Spiritualists like Arthur Conan Doyle and Kate Fox-Jencken. He also featured a number of portraits of famous movie stars in the exhibit, leading him to later gain the moniker of “the first British Pop Artist”.In the spring of 1949, a recently married woman named Steffi Grant introduced herself to Spare, having developed a fascination with what she read about him in the press. She introduced him to her husband Kenneth Grant (1924–2011), a former disciple of Aleister Crowley’s who was greatly interested in the occult. Spare and the Grants became great friends, frequenting a number of London pubs together and sharing books on the subject of the esoteric. Grant gave Spare the title of “Zos vel Thanatos”, meaning “Zos or Death”, something typical of Grant’s “dark sensibility.” The Grants’ influence led Spare to begin writing several new occult manuscripts, the Logomachy of Zos and the Zoetic Grimoire of Zos, which remained unpublished. Under Grant’s influence, Spare began to show an increasing interest in witchcraft and the witches’ sabbath, producing artworks with titles such as “Witchery”, “Walpurgis Vampire” and “Satiated Succubi” and claiming that on a bus he had encountered a group of female witches on their way to the Sabbath. Interested in witchcraft, he was introduced to Gerald Gardner, the founder of Gardnerian Wicca, but remained unconvinced that he offered anything of spiritual worth. In his later publications, Grant would make a variety of different claims regarding Spare that have been widely considered to be dubious or erroneous. Notably, Grant claimed that Spare had been a member of the secretive Cult of Ku, a Chinese occult sect who met in Stockwell to worship a serpent goddess. Spare also apparently painted an altar piece for Grant’s magical Nu Isis Lodge.

Spare held his first pub show at the Temple Bar in Walworth Road in late 1949, which again proved successful, earning Spare 250 guineas. One of those who had seen the show was publisher Michael Hall, and impressed by Spare’s work, he commissioned him to help provide illustrations for his new periodical, The London Mystery Magazine. The fifth issue, for August–September 1950, contained an article on Spare and his work, while the sixth contained an article written by Algernon Blackwood that was illustrated by Spare. Much of the art that Spare produced in what the biographer Phil Blake called “the Grant period” reflected Spare’s interest in tribal art, which both Grant and Spare collected. Many of these works were exhibited in the summer of 1952 at the Mansion House Tavern in Kennington, and then at The White Bear pub in the autumn of 1953, but the latter proved to be a commercial failure. In 1954 he would write that he was fed up of exhibiting in pubs, wishing to return to selling his works from actual galleries. That year he organised a home show, followed by another exhibition at the Archer Gallery in October 1955, displaying his increasing interest in works executed in pastels.

In April 1955, Spare was asked to give an interview for the BBC radio show People Talking, presented by Dennis Mitchell. A great fan of the wireless, he eagerly agreed, but was deeply upset by the result, which appeared on an episode titled “Unusual Beliefs”, believing that he had been ridiculed. In failing health, in May 1956 he was submitted to the South Western Hospital in Stockwell with a burst appendix; the doctor noted that he had also been suffering from anaemia, bronchitis, high blood pressure and gall stones. Rushing to see him at his hospital bed, it was here that Spare’s two dearest friends, Kenneth Grant and Frank Letchford, met one another for the first time. Spare died on the afternoon of 15 May 1956, at the age of 69. In his will, Spare left Letchford his first choice of 15 pictures, with Grant getting the second choice of 10 others, along with all of his books and papers. His funeral was paid for by his friend Hannen Swaffer, and he was buried alongside his father at St. Mary’s Church in Ilford.

As artist
Spare’s work is remarkable for its variety, including paintings, a vast number of drawings, work with pastel, a few etchings, published books combining text with imagery, and even bizarre bookplates. He was productive from his earliest years until his death. According to Haydn Mackay, “rhythmic ornament grew from his hand seemingly without conscious effort.”

Spare was regarded as an artist of considerable talent and good prospects, but his style was apparently controversial. Critical reaction to his work in period ranged from baffled but impressed, to patronizing and dismissive. An anonymous review of The Book of Satyrs published in December 1909, which must have appeared around the time of Spare’s 23rd birthday, is by turns condescending and grudgingly respectful, “Mr. Spare’s work is evidently that of young man of talent.” However, “What is more important is the personality lying behind these various influences. And here we must credit Mr. Spare with a considerable fund of fancy and invention, although the activities of his mind still find vent through somewhat tortuous channels. Like most young men he seems to take himself somewhat too seriously”. Our critic ends his review with the observation that Spare’s “drawing is often more shapeless and confused than we trust it will be when he has assimilated better the excellent influences upon which he has formed his style.”

Two years later another anonymous review (this time of The Starlit Mire, for which Spare provided ten drawings) suggests, “When Mr. Spare was first heard of six or seven years ago he was hailed in some quarters as the new Beardsley, and as the work of a young man of seventeen his drawings had a certain amount of vigour and originality. But the years have not dealt kindly with Mr. Spare, and he must not be content with producing in his majority what passed muster in his nonage. However, his designs are not inappropriate for the crude paradoxes that form the text of this book. It is far easier to imitate an epigram than to invent one.”

In a 1914 review of The Book of Pleasure, the critic (again anonymous) seems resigned to bewilderment, “It is impossible for me to regard Mr. Spare’s drawings otherwise than as diagrams of ideas which I have quite failed to unravel; I can only regret that a good draughtsman limits the scope of his appeal”.

From October 1922 to July 1924 Spare edited, jointly with Clifford Bax, the quarterly, Golden Hind for Chapman and Hall publishers. This was a short-lived project, but during its brief career it reproduced impressive figure drawing and lithographs by Spare and others. In 1925 Spare, Alan Odle, John Austen, and Harry Clarke showed together at the St George’s Gallery, and in 1930 at the Godfrey Philips Galleries. The 1930 show was the last West End show Spare would have for 17 years.

Spare’s obituary printed in The Times of 16 May 1956 states:

Thereafter Spare was rarely found in the purlieus of Bond St. He would teach a little from January to June, then up to the end of October, would finish various works, and from the beginning of November to Christmas would hang his products in the living-room, bedroom, and kitchen of his flat in the Borough. There he kept open house; critics and purchasers would go down, ring the bell, be admitted, and inspect the pictures, often in the company of some of the models – working women of the neighbourhood. Spare was convinced that there was a great potential demand for pictures at 2 or 3 guineas each, and condemned the practice of asking ₤20 for “amateurish stuff”. He worked chiefly in pastel or pencil, drawing rapidly, often taking no more than two hours over a picture. He was especially interested in delineating the old, and had various models over 70 and one as old as 93.

But Spare did not entirely disappear. During the late 1930s he developed and exhibited a style of painting based on a logarithmic form of anamorphic projection which he called “siderealism”. This work appears to have been well received. In 1947 he exhibited at the Archer Gallery, producing over 200 works for the show. It was a very successful show and led to something of a post-war renaissance of interest.

Public awareness of Spare seems to have declined somewhat in the 1960s before the slow but steady revival of interest in his work beginning in the mid-1970s. The following passage in a discussion of an exhibit including Spare’s work in the summer of 1965 suggests some critics had hoped he would disappear into obscurity forever. The critic writes that the curator of the exhibit

has resurrected an unknown English artist named Austin Osman Spare, who imitates etchings in pen and ink in the manner of Beardsley but really harks back to the macabre German romanticism. He tortured himself before the first war and would have inspired the surrealist movement had he been discovered early enough. He has come back in time to play a belated part in the revival of taste for art nouveau.

Robert Ansell summarized Spare’s artistic contributions as follows:

During his lifetime, Spare left critics unable to place his work comfortably. Ithell Colquhoun supported his claim to have been a proto-Surrealist and posthumously the critic Mario Amaya made the case for Spare as a Pop Artist. Typically, he was both of these – and neither. A superb figurative artist in the mystical tradition, Spare may be regarded as one of the last English Symbolists, following closely his great influence George Frederick Watts. The recurrent motifs of androgyny, death, masks, dreams, vampires, satyrs and religious themes, so typical of the art of the French and Belgian Symbolists, find full expression in Spare’s early work, along with a desire to shock the bourgeois.

The Zos-Kia Cultus
From his early years, Spare developed his own magico-religious philosophy which has come to be known as the “Zos-Kia Cultus”, a term coined by the occultist Kenneth Grant. Raised in the Anglican denomination of Christianity, Spare had come to denounce this monotheistic faith when he was seventeen, telling a reporter that “I am devising a religion of my own which embodies my conception of what; we are, we were, and shall be in the future.”

Zos and Kia
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. Biographer Phil Baker believed that Spare derived the word from the Ancient Greek words zoe, meaning life, and zoion, meaning animal or beast, with Spare also being attracted to the exotic nature of the letter “z”, which rarely appears in the English language. The author Alan Moore disagreed, believing that the term “ZOS” had instead been adopted by Spare to counterbalance his own initials, “AOS”, in which the A would represent the beginning of the alphabet, and the Z would represent the end. In this way, Moore argued, Spare was offering an “ultimate and transcendent expression of himself at the extremities of his own being.”

Spare used the term “Kia”, which he pronounced keah or keer, to refer to a universal mind or ultimate power, akin to the Hindu idea of Brahman or the Taoist idea of the Tao. Phil Baker believed that Spare had developed this word either from Eastern or Cabalistic words such as ki,chi, khya or chiah. Alternately, he thought that it might have been adopted from Madame Blavatsky in her book The Secret Doctrine, which refers to the idea of an ultimate power as Kia-yu.

The Unconscious Mind
Spare placed great emphasis on the unconscious part of the mind, believing that it was the source of inspiration. He considered the conscious part of the mind to be useless for this, believing that it only served to reinforce the separation between ourselves and that which we desire.

It has been argued that Spare’s magic depended (at least in part) upon psychological repression. According to one author, Spare’s magical rationale was as follows, “If the psyche represses certain impulses, desires, fears, and so on, and these then have the power to become so effective that they can mold or even determine entirely the entire conscious personality of a person right down to the most subtle detail, this means nothing more than the fact that through repression (“forgetting”) many impulses, desires, etc. have the ability to create a reality to which they are denied access as long as they are either kept alive in the conscious mind or recalled into it. Under certain conditions, that which is repressed can become even more powerful than that which is held in the conscious mind.”

Spare believed that intentionally repressed material would become enormously effective in the same way that “unwanted” (since not consciously provoked) repressions and complexes have tremendous power over the person and his or her shaping of reality. It was a logical conclusion to view the subconscious mind as the source of all magical power, which Spare soon did. In his opinion, a magical desire cannot become truly effective until it has become an organic part of the subconscious mind.

Despite his interest in the unconscious, Spare was deeply critical of the ideas put forward by the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, referring to them as “Fraud and Junk.”

Atavistic Resurgence
Spare also believed in what he called “atavistic resurgence”, the idea that the human mind contains atavistic memories that have their origins in earlier species on the evolutionary ladder. In Spare’s worldview, the “soul” was actually the continuing influence of “the ancestral animals” that humans had evolved from. For this reason, he believed in the intimate unity between humans and other species in the animal world; this was visually reflected in his art through the iconography of the horned humanoid figures. Although this “atavistic resurgence” was very different from orthodox Darwinism, Spare greatly admired the evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin, and in later life paid a visit to the Kentish village of Downe, where Darwin had written his seminal text On the Origin of Species (1859).

Magic and sigils

A sample of sigils created by Austin Osman Spare
Spare “elaborated his sigils by condensing letters of the alphabet into diagrammatic glyphs of desire, which were to be integrated into postural (yogalike) practices—”monograms of thought, for the government of energy.” Spare’s work is contemporaneous with Hugo Ball’s attempts “to rediscover the evangelical concept of the ‘word’ (logos) as a magical complex image”—as well as with Walter Benjamin’s thesis that “Mediation, which is the immediacy of all mental communication, is the fundamental problem of linguistic theory, and if one chooses to call this immediacy magic, then the primary problem of language is its magic. Spare’s ‘sentient symbols’ and his ‘alphabet of desire’ situate this mediatory magic in a libidinal framework of Tantric—which is to say cosmological—proportions.” (An alphabet of desire modelled after Spare’s ideas has since been developed by Peter J. Carroll (amongst others), especially in his influential Liber Null, a sourcebook of Chaos Magic.)

Following his experience with Aleister Crowley and other Thelemites, Spare developed a hostile view of ceremonial magic and many of those occultists who practiced it, describing them as “the unemployed dandies of the Brothels” in The Book of Pleasure.

Personal life
Spare was often described as “down-to-earth” by friends, and often made note of his kindness. Throughout his life, Spare was an animal lover, taking care of any animals that he found near his home. He was a member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), and in many photographs can be seen wearing his RSPCA badge.

Legacy and Influence
In art
In 1964, the Greenwich Gallery held an exhibition of Spare’s work accompanied by a catalogue essay by the Pop Artist Mario Amaya, who believed that Spare’s artworks depicting celebrities, produced in the late 1930s and 1940s, represented “the first examples of Pop art in this country.” Furthermore, he proclaimed that Spare’s automatic drawings “predicted Abstract Expressionism long before the name of Jack [sic] Pollock was heard of in England.”

In esotericism
Some of Spare’s techniques, particularly the use of sigils and the creation of an “alphabet of desire” were adopted, adapted and popularized by Peter J. Carroll in the work Liber Null & Psychonaut. Carroll and other writers such as Ray Sherwin are seen as key figures in the emergence of some of Spare’s ideas and techniques as a part of a magical movement loosely referred to as chaos magic.

Pagan priest and poet, David William Parry, has both written about Spare and spoken of him as a spiritual and aesthetic influence.

In music
Bulldog Breed, a British psychedelic band, have a song entitled “Austin Osmanspare” on their one and only album Made In England (1969).

John Balance of the influential early industrial music group Coil described Spare as being his “mentor,” and claimed that “what Spare did in art, we try to do through music.”

The Polish Death Metal band Behemoth recorded a studio album entitled Zos Kia Cultus in Warsaw in September 2002.

Zos Kia Cultus
Zos Kia Cultus is a term coined by Kenneth Grant, with different meanings for different people. One interpretation is that it is a form, style, or school of magic inspired by Spare. It focuses on one’s individual universe and the influence of the magician’s will on it. While the Zos Kia Cultus has very few adherents today, it is widely considered an important influence on the rise of chaos magic.

Jan 22

Reuben Swinburne Clymer

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)


reubReuben Swinburne Clymer (November 25, 1878 – June 3, 1966) was an American occultist and modern Rosicrucian responsible for either reviving or creating the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, perhaps the oldest continuing Rosicrucian organization in the Americas. He practiced alternative medicine, and wrote and published works on it as well as (his version of) the teachings of Paschal Beverly Randolph, sex magic, vegetarianism, religion, alchemy, and Spiritualism. This lead to a number of conflicts with Harvey Spencer Lewis and the Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, FUDOSI, Aleister Crowley, and even the American Medical Association.

Clymer was born in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. He studied medicine in Chicago, Illinois, and registered as an osteopath in New York in 1910. His work with alternative medicine regularly brought him into trouble with the United States government and the American Medical Association. As an osteopath, he opposed vaccination, and claimed that meat was the primary cause of cancer, and (especially when combined with beans, bread, potatoes, and beer) immorality and insanity.

Randolph and the FRC
Clymer joined the FRC in 1897, becoming a grand master of it in 1905 at age 27.

In either 1900 or 1904, Clymer got into publishing with his Philosophical Publishing Company, which he used to keep Paschal Beverly Randolph’s books in print well into the 20th century. Clymer was deeply influenced by Randolph, who he created a hagiographic (and mostly fictitious) history of. Clymer claimed that his orders were originally founded by Randolph (although many were completely unrelated), tying their already mostly fictional histories together under Randolph,[9] particularly the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light orders in Quakertown.

Clymer created a more consistent and palatable belief system from Randolph’s thoughts, cleaning up the problematic sex magic practices Randolph espoused at times, as well as Randolph’s self-contradictions on numerous points. The pseudo-history assembled by Clymer cast Randolph as the legitimate heir of an ancient Rosicrucian tradition in America. This was accomplished by turning many people Randolph mentioned running into members of various occult organizations secretly connected to ancient Egyptian Rosicrucians, known members into masters of groups they were members of, and an unknown young man who met Eliphas Levi into none other than a young Randolph. If Clymer lacked a starting point or could not fill a plot hole, he claimed that such gaps were the result of the desctruction of records by enemies of Randolph’s (and Clymer’s) Fraternitas. In addition to the standard claims of Western Occultism of ties to famous Neoplatonists, alchemists, magicians, Clymer also connected Randolph’s “order” to Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon III, Alexandre Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, Papus, Albert Pike, and the Count of St. Germain. Although Clymer apparently believed his biography of Randolph to be absolutely historical, it is understood now to be largely fictitious.

According to Clymer, Randolph founded the FRC in 1858, with control passing onto Freeman Dowd in 1875, then Edward Brown in 1907, then Clymer in 1922. Unlike a number of fraternal orders (particularly the Shriners), Clymer explicitly denied that Rosicrucians had any special ornamentation or jewelry. As a result, the FRC is noted for its lack of self-promotion and advertising.

Other organizations founded by Clymer include the Church of the Illumination, the College of the Holy Grail, and the Sons of Isis and Osiris. The Church of the Illumination serves as an outer body for the FRC, spreading its teachings under the name of “Divine Law” in hopes of bringing about a new era through symbolic alchemy.

Rivalry with Harvey Spencer Lewis and AMORC
Clymer’s claim to being the true leader of American Rosicrucianism put Clymer in direct competition with Harvey Spencer Lewis, founder of Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis. This competition was turned to bitter rivalry thanks to disagreement of the role of sex in magic, both sides accusing the other of perverse teachings while holding that their sexual practices were enlightened and pure. Clymer’s views, largely lifted from Rudolph, were that bodily fluids produced by a married couple needed to be regularly exchanged for the physical and spiritual health of each partner.

Clymer and Lewis competed for the attention of different national branches of the Ordo Templi Orientis for official ties, with both finding comparable success and neither being able to use their ties to the O.T.O. to claim legitimacy over the other. When Lewis co-founded FUDOSI (which recognized Lewis’s AMORC as the true heirs of American Rosicrucianism), Clymer co-founded FUDOFSI with Constant Chevillon and Jean Bricaud (which favored Clymer’s FRC), and claimed that Lewis’s FUDOSI was a failed and mistaken grab at legitimization. In response to these attacks, AMORC published material calling Clymer’s ideas “some of the weirdest notions that a human mind ever harboured,” further pointing out that his positions were “self-appointed and self-devised.” Clymer retaliated by raising suspicion about Lewis’s doctorate, accusing Lewis of hocking inauthentic works, and (due to Lewis’s association with Aleister Crowley) practicing black magic. Crowley initially responded by offering to help Lewis fight Clymer, though Crowley’s later attempt claim control of Lewis’s AMORC, resulting in a rift between them.

The American rivalry eventually created a rift in European Rosicrucianism as well.

Later life
By 1939, Lewis’s death and legal attacks by the American Medical Association brought the rivalry between Clymer and AMORC to an end. Clymer continued to practice alternative medicine and lead the FRC until his death in 1966, succeeded by his son.

Clymer’s more popular writings include A Compendium of Occult Law, Mysteries of Osiris, and The Rosicrucian Fraternity in America. The Rosicrucian Fraternity in America, with emphasis on a single fraternity, was an attack on AMORC and Lewis.

He also translated some works of Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, though changing Sinistrari’s incubi and succubi to elementals and suggesting that the virgin birth of Jesus was the result of a Salamander impregnating Mary.

Clymer wrote books on nutrition (such as Dietetics and Diet, the Way to Health), as well as authorizing a Rose Cross Aid cookbook. In 1904, he wrote an anti-vaccinationist pamphlet titled “Vaccination Brought Home to You,” which documented two cases of children’s bad reactions to vaccines.

Clymer’s involvement in new religious movements, the drama that invariably followed Clymer and similar leaders (such as Father Divine), inspired a number of early 20th century detective stories, such as Dashiell Hammett’s The Dain Curse.

Clymer’s works are also standard reading for American Rosicrucians, and his interest in medicine is continued by the FRC to this day, with the Beverly Hall headquarters housing chiropractic and naturopathic clinics. His prolific writing about Paschal Beverly Randolph and his teachings remain influential in the study of Randolph, in part because little is known about Randolph (even by Clymer).

Jan 07

Zecharia Sitchin


Zecharia Sitchin (July 11th 1920 – October 9th 2010) was born in Russia and raised in Palestine, where he acquired a knowledge of modern and ancient Hebrew, other Semitic and European languages, the Old Testament, and the history and archaeology of the Near East. Sitchin attended and graduated from the University of London, majoring in economic history.

A journalist and editor in Israel for many years, he now lives and writes in New York. His books have been widely translated, converted to Braille for the blind, and featured on radio and television. Sitchin claims that his research coincides with many biblical texts and that the biblical texts come originally from the Sumerian writings of their history.

He was an author of books promoting an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. Sitchin attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he claims to be a race of extra-terrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru. He believed this hypothetical planet of Nibiru to be in an elongated, elliptical orbit in the Earth’s own Solar System, asserting that Sumerian mythology reflects this view.

Sitchin’s speculations have been ridiculed by professional scientists, historians, and archaeologists, who note many problems with his translations of ancient texts and categorize his work as pseudohistory and pseudoscience.
Similarly to earlier authors such as Immanuel Velikovsky and Erich von Daniken, Sitchin advocated theories in which extraterrestrial events supposedly played a significant role in ancient human history.

According to Sitchin’s interpretation of Mesopotamian iconography and symbology, outlined in his 1976 book The 12th Planet and its sequels, there is an undiscovered planet beyond Neptune which follows a long, elliptical orbit, reaching the inner solar system roughly every 3,600 years.

This planet is called Nibiru (although Jupiter was the planet associated with the god Marduk in Babylonian cosmology). According to Sitchin, Nibiru, (whose name was replaced with Marduk in original legends by the Babylonian ruler of the same name in an attempt to co-opt the creation for himself, leading to some confusion among readers) collided catastrophically with Tiamat (a goddess in the Babylonian creation myth the Enuma Elis), who he considers to be another planet located between Mars and Jupiter.

Zecharia-Sitchin-w-Olmec-Head-StatueThis collision supposedly formed the planet Earth, the asteroid belt, and the comets. Sitchin claims that when struck by one of planet Nibiru’s moons, Tiamat split in two, and then on a second pass Nibiru itself struck the broken fragments and one half of Tiamat became the asteroid belt. The second half, struck again by one of Nibiru’s moons, was pushed into a new orbit and became today’s planet Earth.

According to Sitchin, Nibiru (called “the twelfth planet” because, Sitchin claimed, the Sumerians’ gods-given conception of the Solar System counted all eight planets, plus Pluto, the Sun and the Moon) was the home of a technologically advanced human-like extraterrestrial race called the Anunnaki in Sumerian myth, who Sitchin states are called the Nephilim in Genesis. He claims they evolved after Nibiru entered the solar system and first arrived on Earth probably 450,000 years ago, looking for minerals, especially gold, which they found and mined in Africa. Sitchin states that these “gods” were the rank and file workers of the colonial expedition to Earth from planet Nibiru.

Screenshot_5Sitchin believes the Anunnaki genetically engineered Homo sapiens as slave creatures to work their gold mines by crossing extraterrestrial genes with those of Homo erectus. Sitchin claims ancient inscriptions report that human civilization in Sumer of Mesopotamia was set up under the guidance of these “gods”, and human kingship was inaugurated to provide intermediaries between mankind and the Anunnaki (creating the Divine right of kings doctrine).

Sitchin believes that fallout from nuclear weapons, used during a war between factions of the extraterrestrials, is the “evil wind” described in the Lament for Ur that destroyed Ur around 2000 BC. Sitchin claims the exact year is 2024 BC. Sitchin claims that his research coincides with many biblical texts, and that biblical texts come originally from Sumerian writing called Cuneiform.

Zecharia Sitchin – Crystalinks. (n.d.). Retrieved January 7, 2015, from

Dec 06

Emanuel Swedenborg

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)

edinbeSwedenborg’s father, Jesper Swedberg (1653–1735), descended from a wealthy mining family. He travelled abroad and studied theology, and on returning home he was eloquent enough to impress the Swedish king, Charles XI, with his sermons in Stockholm. Through the King’s influence he would later become professor of theology at Uppsala University and Bishop of Skara.

Jesper took an interest in the beliefs of the dissenting Lutheran Pietist movement, which emphasised the virtues of communion with God rather than relying on sheer faith (sola fide). Sola fide is a tenet of the Lutheran Church, and Jesper was charged with being a pietist heretic. While controversial, the beliefs were to have a major impact on his son Emanuel’s spirituality. Jesper furthermore held the unconventional belief that angels and spirits were present in everyday life. This also came to have a strong impact on Emanuel.

In 1703-1709 Swedenborg lived in Erik Benzelius the younger’s house. Swedenborg completed his university course at Uppsala in 1709, and in 1710 made his grand tour through the Netherlands, France, and Germany, before reaching London, where he would spend the next four years. It was also a flourishing center of scientific ideas and discoveries. Swedenborg studied physics, mechanics and philosophy and read and wrote poetry. According to the preface of a book by the Swedish critic Olof Lagercrantz, Swedenborg wrote to his benefactor and brother-in-law Eric Benzelius that he believed he (Swedenborg) might be destined to be a great scientist.

Scientific period
In 1715 Swedenborg returned to Sweden, where he devoted himself to natural science and engineering projects for the next two decades. A first step was his meeting with King Charles XII of Sweden in the city of Lund, in 1716. The Swedish inventor Christopher Polhem, who became a close friend of Swedenborg, was also present. Swedenborg’s purpose was to persuade the king to fund an observatory in northern Sweden. However, the warlike king did not consider this project important enough, but did appoint Swedenborg assessor-extraordinary on the Swedish Board of Mines (Bergskollegium) in Stockholm.

From 1716 to 1718, Swedenborg published a scientific periodical entitled Daedalus Hyperboreus (“The Northern Daedalus”), a record of mechanical and mathematical inventions and discoveries.

One notable description was that of a flying machine, the same he had been sketching a few years earlier (see Flying Machine (Swedenborg)).

In 1718 Swedenborg published an article that attempted to explain spiritual and mental events in terms of minute vibrations or “tremulations”.

Upon the death of Charles XII, Queen Ulrika Eleonora ennobled Swedenborg and his siblings. It was common in Sweden during the 17th and 18th centuries for the children of bishops to receive this honour as a recognition of the services of their father. The family name was changed from Swedberg to Swedenborg.

In 1724, he was offered the chair of mathematics at Uppsala University, but he declined and said that he had mainly dealt with geometry, chemistry and metallurgy during his career. He also said that he did not have the gift of eloquent speech because of a stutter, as recognized by many acquaintances of his; it forced him to speak slowly and carefully, and there are no known occurrences of his speaking in public. The Swedish critic Olof Lagerkrantz proposed that Swedenborg compensated for his impediment by extensive argumentation in writing.

New direction of studies, ahead of his time
During the 1730s, Swedenborg undertook many studies of anatomy and physiology. He had the first anticipation, as far as known, of the neuron concept. It was not until a century later that science recognized the full significance of the nerve cell. He also had prescient ideas about the cerebral cortex, the hierarchical organization of the nervous system, the localization of the cerebrospinal fluid, the functions of the pituitary gland, the perivascular spaces, the foramen of Magendie, the idea of somatotopic organization, and the association of frontal brain regions with the intellect. In some cases his conclusions have been experimentally verified in modern times.

In the 1730s Swedenborg became increasingly interested in spiritual matters and was determined to find a theory which would explain how matter relates to spirit. Swedenborg’s desire to understand the order and purpose of creation first led him to investigate the structure of matter and the process of creation itself. In the Principia he outlined his philosophical method, which incorporated experience, geometry (the means whereby the inner order of the world can be known), and the power of reason. He also outlined his cosmology, which included the first presentation of his nebular hypothesis. (There is evidence that Swedenborg may have preceded Kant by as much as 20 years in the development of this hypothesis.

In 1735, while in Leipzig, he published a three volume work entitled Opera philosophica et mineralis (“Philosophical and mineralogical works”), where he tries to conjoin philosophy and metallurgy. The work was mainly appreciated for its chapters on the analysis of the smelting of iron and copper, and it was this work which gave Swedenborg international reputation.The same year he also published the small manuscript de Infinito (“On the Infinite”), where he attempted to explain how the finite is related to the infinite, and how the soul is connected to the body. This was the first manuscript where he touched upon these matters. He knew that it might clash with established theologies, since he presents the view that the soul is based on material substances. He also conducted dedicated studies of the fashionable philosophers of the time such as John Locke, Christian von Wolff, Leibniz, and Descartes; and earlier thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus and Augustine.

In 1743, at the age of 55, Swedenborg requested a leave of absence to go abroad. His purpose was to gather source material for Regnum animale (The Animal Kingdom, or Kingdom of Life), a subject on which books were not readily available in Sweden. The aim of the book was to explain the soul from an anatomical point of view. He had planned to produce a total of seventeen volumes.

Journal of Dreams
By 1744 Swedenborg had traveled to the Netherlands. Around this time he began having strange dreams. Swedenborg carried a travel journal with him on most of his travels, and did so on this journey. The whereabouts of the diary were long unknown, but it was discovered in the Royal Library in the 1850s and published in 1859 as Drömboken, or Journal of Dreams.

Swedenborg experienced many different dreams and visions, some greatly pleasurable, others highly disturbing. The experiences continued as he traveled to London to progress the publication of Regnum animale. This process, which one biographer has proposed as cathartic and comparable to the Catholic concept of Purgatory,[38] continued for six months. He also proposed that what Swedenborg was recording in his Journal of Dreams was a battle between the love of himself and the love of God.

Visions and spiritual insights
In the last entry of the journal from October 26–27, 1744, Swedenborg appears to be clear as to which path to follow. He felt he should drop his current project, and write a new book about the worship of God. He soon began working on De cultu et amore Dei, or The Worship and Love of God. It was never fully completed, but Swedenborg still had it published in London in June 1745.

In 1743, Swedenborg was dining in a private room at a tavern in London. By the end of the meal, a darkness fell upon his eyes, and the room shifted character. Suddenly he saw a person sitting at a corner of the room, telling Swedenborg: “Do not eat too much!”. Swedenborg, scared, hurried home. Later that night, the same man appeared in his dreams. The man told Swedenborg that He was the Lord, that He had appointed Swedenborg to reveal the spiritual meaning of the Bible, and that He would guide Swedenborg in what to write. The same night, the spiritual world was opened to Swedenborg.

Scriptural commentary and writings
In June 1747, Swedenborg resigned his post as assessor of the board of mines. He explained that he was obliged to complete a work he had begun and requested to receive half his salary as a pension. He took up afresh his study of Hebrew and began to work on the spiritual interpretation of the Bible with the goal of interpreting the spiritual meaning of every verse. From sometime between 1746 and 1747, and for ten years henceforth, he devoted his energy to this task. Usually abbreviated as Arcana Cœlestia and under the Latin variant Arcana Caelestia (translated as Heavenly Arcana, Heavenly Mysteries, or Secrets of Heaven depending on modern English-language editions), the book became his magnum opus and the basis of his further theological works.
The work was anonymous and Swedenborg was not identified as the author until the late 1750s. It consisted of eight volumes, published between 1749 and 1756. It attracted little attention, as few people could penetrate its meaning.

His life from 1747 until his death in 1772 was spent in Stockholm, Holland, and London. During these 25 years he wrote another 14 works of a spiritual nature of which most were published during his lifetime.  He was buried in the Swedish Church in Shadwell, London. On the 140th anniversary of his death, in 1912/1913, his earthly remains were transferred to Uppsala Cathedral in Sweden, where they now rest close to the grave of the botanist Carolus Linnaeus. In 1917, the Swedish Church in Shadwell was demolished and the Swedish community that had grown around the parish moved to West London. In 1938, the site of the former church where he had been buried in London was redeveloped, and in his honor the local road was renamed Swedenborg Gardens. In 1997, a garden, play area and memorial near the road were created in his memory.

There are a list of biographies of Swedenborg available at “The Biographies” section of the Swedenborg Digital Library. Further reviews of Swedenborg are available at online encyclopedias:

Jan 03

Ruldolf (Rudolf Joseph Laurence) Steiner

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

Latest posts by Ashley Ann Lewis (see all)


RudolfSteinerHeadRudolf (Rudolf Joseph Laurence) Steiner,
who was of German-Austrian origin, was born on 25 February, 1861 (usually, biographies give the date of his baptism, two days later, as his birth date). His place of birth was a tiny village, Kraljevec, then within the borders of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Today, it is part of Croatia.
He spent his childhood and youth in the vicinity of Vienna, in Steiermark, and in Burgenland. From the age of 18, he studied mathematics, physics, chemistry, and natural history at the Technical University in Vienna. At the same time, he attended lectures by the philosophers Robert Zimmermann and Franz Brentano at the University of Vienna.

At the suggestion of the (at the time) well-known Germanist Karl Julius Schröer, in 1882, at the age of 21, Steiner was given the task of publishing the natural scientific works of Goethe, the central figure in German culture since the 19th century, in Joseph Kürchner’s compilation National German Literature. At 25, he published A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World-Conception as part of his work.

From 1884 to 1890, he supported himself as a private tutor in the family of a wealthy Viennese businessman. Another activity during his twenties was to write scientific articles for Pierer’s Encyclopedia, where he contributed a number of articles on geology and mineralogy.

Pierer’s, characterized by its brevity and objectivity, aimed to summarize the totality of knowledge at the time and was considered by some the most valuable and most reliable scientific encyclopedia in the German language.

In 1891, Steiner acquired a Ph.D. at the University of Rostock. His thesis title: The Basic Question of Epistemology, Especially in Relation to Fichte’s Philosophy of Science.

He was invited to the Goethe and Schiller archives in Weimar in 1890, the cultural center of Germany at the time, and given the responsibility of editing the natural scientific works of Goethe for the Sophien edition of the works of Goethe. He completed this task in 1897, when he moved to Berlin.

During his time in Weimar, he also edited and published the complete works of Schopenhauer in 12 volumes, and the works of Jean Paul in 8 volumes. In the series Classical Berliner Editions (“with introductions by well known historians of literature”), he published and introduced the works of Wieland and Uhland. In 1893, he published Philosophy of Freedom (later also published as Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path), the basic philosophical foundation for his later works.

In Berlin, he published and edited the Magazine for Literature from 1897 to 1900, and Dramaturgical Papers, official organ of the German Stage Association. During the period, and later, he developed an extensive lecturing and teaching activity under the auspices of a number of literary and scientific societies.

At the fifth centennial of the birth of Gutenberg in June 1900, he was asked to give a festival address to the 7,000 congregated typesetters and printers at the circus stadium in Berlin. From 1899 to 1904, he also worked as a lecturer on history, literature, the art of speaking, and the sciences at the Berlin Workers’ Training School, founded by the Social Democrat Wilhelm Liebknecht. From 1899, he was married to Anna Eunicke, until her death in 1911.

Through his work from the 1880s and onwards, he became well known far outside the borders of Germany as a scholar and cultural personality.

With the turn of the 20th century his life took a new direction.

Based on lectures that he was invited to hold in the Theosophical Library of Count and Countess Brockdorff in 1901/1902, Rudolf Steiner developed in an initial form, during the following decade, what he named an “anthroposophical spiritual science” or “human science in the broad sense” (“Geisteswissenschaft”) encompassing a number of human sciences in the idealistic tradition in philosophy, rooted in the thinking of Aristotle, Plato, and Thomas Aquinas.

In 1902, he was asked to become the General Secretary of the German section of the Theosophical Society. He accepted, but gave the stipulation that he could speak freely only of what he developed through his own spiritual investigations.

The step from traditional scholar to the development and public presentation of spiritual research shocked many of those who up to that time had come to know him as a widely respected scholar and cultural personality.

His closest co-worker from 1902 onwards, and later partner for life, came to be Marie von Sievers (in 1914 Marie Steiner). She made it possible for him to realize his artistic strivings.

In Munich, he staged two dramas by the French writer and poet Edouard Schuré in 1907 and 1909, translated by Marie Steiner. This was to be the starting point for four Mystery Dramas by Steiner, that were staged for the first time in Munich, in 1910, 1911, 1912 and 1913.

In 1912, a separation from the Theosophical Society became necessary, and an Anthroposophical Society was founded by co-workers of Steiner. While he continued his lecturing activity on what he called “spiritual science”, he held no office in this Society, and was not even a member of it.

In 1912, he also initiated a new art of movement, eurythmy, as one part of the general development of the arts at the time, in a kindred spirit to that of Isadora Duncan, regarded as the mother of “modern dance”.

Together with a new art of speech formation, developed by Rudolf Steiner and Marie von Sievers, eurythmy from 1914 has come to constitute the focus for the work on the Goetheanum stage in Dornach (Switzerland). The Goetheanum was designed by Steiner and constructed under his leadership between 1913 and 1919. The first Goetheanum, burnt down 1922/23, was replaced in 1928 by a second Goetheanum, also designed by Rudolf Steiner.

In 1918, when a revolution took place, not only in Russia, but also in Germany, and threatened to disintegrate the social fabric, Steiner presented suggestions for a conscious threefold differentiation of society as a path for the future. It focused on the development of freedom in the cultural sphere, equality in the sphere of politics and legislation, and a globally oriented brotherhood in the sphere of economy. Steiner lectured widely on this topic, leading to a movement for social threefolding.

In 1919, this led to the founding of the first free Waldorf school in Stuttgart at the initiative of Emil Molt, CEO of the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory. The school became the model for the Waldorf movement, leading to the building and development of (by 2009) some 1,600 Waldorf Kindergartens and 994 independent Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner schools world wide, offering educational activities from early childhood through high school and in some cases, programs for adults.

Today, Steiner’s ideas about a conscious threefold differentiation of society has been one of the main inspirations for the work by one of the recipients of the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2003, Nicanor Perlas, and other civil society activists.

Steiner also gave indications for a curative education for the developmentally disabled, for an extension of medicine, a renewal and development of agriculture into what today is called biodynamic agriculture, and other areas of practical life. The results of these indications can be seen in numerous institutions and companies throughout the world.

On New Year’s Eve 1922/1923, the Goetheanum, wholly built of wood, burnt to the ground as a result of arson. Up to his death in 1925, Steiner was only able to create an exterior model for the presently existing second Goetheanum, built in concrete. Today, the full version of Faust by Goethe is one of the dramas regularly staged at the Goetheanum.

In 1923/1924, Rudolf Steiner initiated the foundation of, and started to build a general Anthroposophical Society and a School of Spiritual Science. During 1924, his lecturing activity reached a climax, and he held 330 lectures from the beginning of the year to September 29, when he became exhausted and had to stop all public activity. He died six months later, on 30 March 1925 in Dornach.

News of Steiner’s death spread quickly. An obituary appeared in the New York Times the next day, focusing on Steiner’s contributions to social theory, writing.