scott-martin Posted January 18, 2021 Report Share Posted January 18, 2021 (edited) So we all know the Uleria spell reflects a divinatory technique promoted under that name by Aleister Crowley. Greg was in touch with a lot of deep cats, read widely and Chaosium publications have always been packed with in-jokes, so the nod and the wink make sense, right? But there's a problem. Unlike the public "Energised Enthusiasm" available to all, Crowley never published the technique or any description of it in his lifetime. It's still officially a secret teaching. The details only appear in manuscript instructions for very high level initiates (maybe 20 people worldwide in 1985 if you squint), and sub rosa in Kenneth Grant's Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God as well as a few bootleg publications. It's not the kind of thing you just have on the shelf and decide to incorporate into your game world. And while Greg was hip, the treatment of Lovecraft in Call of Cthulhu would probably have bent in a very different direction if he was conversant with Grant. Of course the technique circulated by word of mouth in the Bay Area as hardcore seekers made pilgrimages to Grant and brought back a book or two. The original bootlegs stem from this source and once it was in print it kept circulating around the fringes to this day. Was this Greg's milieu circa 1984-5? While some overlap is always possible (the original manuscript of the Book of the Law, for example, wending its way to the Change of Hobbit bookstore), you had to be pretty far inside to get this kind of word of mouth and I've yet to hear anyone from that crowd mention Greg hanging around. Nonetheless, the existence of the spell requires transmission from somewhere, right? Today I think I solved the case: Man, Myth & Magic, ladies and gentlemen. Ubiquitous desk reference into the 1980s and readily available to someone hunting spells for the courtesan of heaven. A little less heavy than the alternative hypothesis, but it fits the biographical data a lot better. Where did MMM get their information? Tantric scholar Benjamin Walker, who read Grant and bears further scrutiny. Edited January 18, 2021 by scott-martin clarifying around ABA book list 11 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.