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Little Essays Toward Truth

Aleister Crowley

Imprimatur: O.S.V. 6=5 Imperator


22 copies bound in vellum
220 copies bound in pearl kidskin with ivory cloth

All sixteen essays introduced with notes and a glossary by Frater V.V.V.
Printed in colour onto fine English Laid paper

Vellum Edition

This present volume follows closely the format of the first edition with the following exceptions:
1) We have updated the image of the Tree of Life (here included on page 93) so as to make it more legible but did not alter any of Crowley’s attributes. 
2) Extensive footnotes have been added as the first edition included but a single footnote in the chapter on Chastity which is here clearly indicated as Crowley’s.
3) An index of key terms has been added to aid the Student in their research.  
We hope you enjoy our efforts in bringing another Crowley classic back in print, beautifully produced and bound by hand at the
Hell Fire Club

“Love is the law, love under will”

Frater V.V.V.

Historically speaking there have been few works as influential in the Hermetic tradition as the mystery poem known as the Chaldean Oracles, often attributed to Zoroaster though this is now considered by scholars as highly unlikely. 

Only fragments of this foundational document remain and mostly what we know of it stems from the writings of the Platonic philosophers who venerated its teachings. Crowley would likewise hold the Oracles in high regard, at times utilizing passages or terms from its sacred verses.  He in fact considered this collection of sixteen Little Essays Toward Truth as a commentary upon the Oracles which are believed to originate from Persia.  

A working example of Crowley’s use of the Oracles would be the Thelemic pentagram ritual of the Star Ruby in which one invokes the Chaldean Guardians.  They are the Iunges, Synoches, and Teletarchai which comprise the three Celestial Intelligences (some say Archangels) of Chaldean cosmology. According to ancient Greek tradition, prior to theurgic ritual, the aspirant was to gain consciousness of the Agathodaemon. A personal guardian Spirit or Angel who functions as the mediator between the Gods and the aspirant.  These guides are believed to be synonymous with the “Iunges” or “Ferrymen” of the Chaldean Oracles. One could say that in the same way that Kabbalah advanced the teachings of the Oracles, these essays aim to advance certain Kabbalistic theories whose roots are found within these Oracles. 

It isn’t known exactly when Crowley wrote these essays.  What is clear is that Wilford T. Smith applied for copyright on the 28th of January, 1936. This original copyright gives the title as Little Lectures Towards Truth and lists the title of each of the essays in the same order as it would later be published, suggesting that this title was most likely penned sometime in the latter half of 1935.  Also, according to Martin P. Starr the first essay on Man was anonymously published in the magazine American Astrology number one in January of 1936, which further supports this conclusion. 

Curiously the prospectus for this book which was written by Crowley on the 18th of October 1938 suggests that he considered the title Wine of The Graal with the subtitle of Little Essays Towards Truth.  No reasoning for this switch is ever given but those familiar with Crowley’s work may draw their own conclusions.  For instance, we may note that according to Liber ChethvelVallumAbiegni the Graal is symbolic of the sacred vessel of our Lady, the Scarlet Woman, and the Wine therein the blood (or Life) of the “Saints” or that of the Aspirant who is charged with pouring every drop in her cup.  In this way, it is said that “Thou shalt mingle thy life with the universal life.”

The image facing this introduction of a stylized Tree of Life within seven concentric circles was designed by Crowley and painted by Frieda Harris (also known as Soror Tzaba).  It was utilized for the dust jacket on the first English edition printed in December of 1938.  Few copies of this cover are extant so we have chosen to include an image, from my personal archives, of this long forgotten painting in this edition.

Click to enlarge

Limited to 22 copies
Vellum copies
£156.00 each + P&P

Limited to 220 copies
Pearl kidskin copies
£65.00 each + P&P

Little Essays Toward Truth
Ltd 22 copies
Little Essays Toward Truth
Ltd 220 copies

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