Musings of a Thelemite
In doing some research after reading J. Daniel Gunther’s Initiation in the Aeon of the Child, I ran across a book that was receiving mixed reviews. It was garnering consistent comments about its comprehensive treatment of Crowley’s aeons. I found this intriguing, so I ordered the book.
Musings of a Thelemite by "Frater Da’Neos" is, hands down, the worst book on Thelema I have ever picked up. It appears to be an attempt by the author to mirror the success of Gerald del Campo’s New Aeon Magick : Thelema Without Tears. It does a poor job even of imitation.
The introduction to this book is as revealing as it is awkward. The author seems to ramble on between his early life as a Christian zealot and his threatening anger toward a cheating wife that he claims was the epitome of Christian ethics but for which he seems to take responsibility for her adultery by suggesting that it was due to his "lack of leadership in this area [religion?] allowed her to be lax in her beliefs" (17). He talks about how he met his "Scarlet Woman" which he then goes on to say, "who has been with me ever since … and understands the destiny that I have in accordance with my True Will, and my Will is her Will" (18). Really?
It’s ten chapters (including Introduction and Afterward) seem almost random in nature. "Frater Da’Neos" starts out with a rambling and historically inaccurate picture of the "Three Aeons" (46 pages worth) with a final claim that "All paths lead to Horus. No matter how much a man may try to escape it, he must realize it is impossible" (65). "Frater Da’Neos" then launches head first into one of the most immature explanations of Thelema I’ve read in decades (4 pages and only if you count the line and a half on the fourth page). With lines such as
But the profanity of the epicene scientists, with their continual rote sermons, is that they would have us believe that the ego is the highest form of mind and proceed to dissect it as if it were a seizure-ridden amphibian upon their steel plate. But even this butchering they consider to be complimentary, for to them it is all deterministic chemical reactions which cannot control except through further chemical reactions in the form of small egg-like pellets that worship in the churches of Paxil and Ritalin.
I, as a visionary mystic of the highest order of self, urinate on both of these churches, refuse to seek answers within the forms that reside in the refuse of the material trash heap, instead choosing the ancient path of the medicine man, the shaman, who speaks directly with the divine; not restricted by church doctrine, not enslaved by forms and tradition, nay in fact pushing to destroy all tradition that seeks to limit or slow the divine message of purity. (76)
Seriously? Given the traditions upon which Thelema was born, I hardly think "Frater Da’Neos" has a clue about what he’s writing. I think it is probably wise that he stop urinating on his Paxil and start taking it again. I seriously doubt that mystics such as Hildegard of Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Beatrice of Nazareth, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Walter Hilton and others would agree that their visions were restricted by church doctrine or enslaved by forms or tradition.
The apparently random sections of Musings of a Thelemite continue into areas of the Holy Guardian Angel, the Kabbala, and what appears to be poetry of some kind. I finished the book because I have yet to find a book that I could not complete no matter how badly it was written. However, there were several times that I almost put down this book in disgust.
In short? Don’t waste your time or money. You can’t get either back once you’ve finished this book.
Update: Apparently I’m not the only one who thought this book was garbage and an utter waste of time.