Open Buddha

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Persian Collection of Austin Spare's Writings Available

Cover ArtI was contacted yesterday by the translator, Sepand, of a Persian (Farsi) collection of the writings of Austin Osman Spare. Sepand has released this translation under a Creative Commons license, which I appreciate. He’s made a hardcover of it available for purchase through lulu for those that prefer a print copy.

For those that are unaware of 20th century Western Esotericism and its history, Austin Spare was an artist born in the late 19th century who popularized a method of magical practice that involved the creation of sigils and other talismanic objects through his artwork and using desire to facilitate the execution of one’s will. He was one of the inspirations behind much of the “Chaos Magic” movement within esoteric practice from the 1970s through to the present.

There is a brief wikipedia article on Spare as well but it really doesn’t go into a lot of the details of his thought or life.

Sepand’s translation contains the following works by Spare:

  • Focus of Life
  • The Book of Pleasure
  • Anathema of ZOS
  • Earth Inferno

I’ve run a site for Spare’s writings on Hermetic.com for a while and you can find html copies (with pictures) of some of his work there. Sepand had contacted me to see about hosting his file on the site. I’m interested in doing this but I am afraid that hosting a 5+ megabyte file may do bad things to my bandwidth usage so I’ll have to figure out a good solution for hosting the file (or just biting the bullet and sucking up the bandwidth cost).

If there was a practitioner of Western Esotericism likely to push the hot buttons of the current authorities in Iran, you’d be hard pressed to find one able to do so more than Spare (with the exception of Aleister Crowley). With Spare’s focus on sexuality and his provocative imagery, he’s likely to cause fits amongst the puritanical. This is leaving aside the heretical nature of his ideas concerning magic and the will. Sepand seems to be based out of Tehran so I will raise my glass to him for having the daring to follow his beliefs in a less than friendly environment. I wonder how many magicians that I’ve known would do the same (and then publish!)?

Sepand also has his own website on Google’s pages hosting service. On that site, he also has a Persian translation of Aleister Crowley’s “Book of the Law”, though I doubt if it is OTO approved and official.