6 Feb 1950 – On spiritual mythology

6 Feb. 50

Dear Candida.

I saw David today, and found him somewhat more mature and thoughtful than I remembered. I found him quite perceptive when I mentioned the malignant ossification of the facade.

Your art books are at your mother’s – you asked me not to send anything except the Golden Bough. There are some other books you should have – The King and the Corpse by Heinrich Zimmer – The Hero with a Thousand Faces – and a new novel called Rock Pool. I will get you a copy of The Book of Lies, which is a sort of official manual of the Abyss, utterly meaningless in duality, however. Also I am sending Liber 7, which is a sort of song from the other side, also without meaning in the lower Sephiroth. David’s description makes it sound to me (a skrying between the lines) like Tin Man Beo [?] a dream world with good and evil countercharged upon a field of azure. It may be well.

Let us look for a moment at the other side – assuming we have passed the last outposts above the abyss – Binah (= sorrow = understanding) and Chokmah (= wisdom = power) and so come to Kether, the Crown. Here, in the gardens of eternity, only two views are possible – Indifference (Nibbana) and Comedy (N.O.X. = Pan). Of the first, the great expositions are the Bhagavadgita and the Life of Lord Guatama Buddha, the noble twofold path. Of the second, the Life of Christ and the works of the great western adept, Francois Rabelais.

From this view Christianity is simply hilarious. The idea of God being unable to communicate with his creations, and said creations proceeding to murder each other in the name of his Love, is high vaudeville. Rabelais’ description of the sheer ecstasy of taking a shit in the midst of the serious projects of life is on the same par. In eternity, you can take nothing seriously, and All turns out to be a bonem [bonum?], so you deliberately limit yourself just for the fun of it, for the adventure. It is the Graal told in inverse. Tragedy is the privilege of mortality, and the whole thing trembles on the verge of a grin, and often a howl.

Thinking is a language, language is words and the world is a literary creation. That is why a dash of humbug is necessary for any real success, humbug raised to the pitch of fine art. That is why art finally gets bored with its own perfection and winds up deliberately distorting itself – seeing how far it can go in the ludicrous and still keep touch with perfection.
It is all a question of spiritual vitality – of maintaining contact with the secret center that assures us that everything is really a high lark. The weaker sink down and are absorbed, the stronger may sink, but they pop up again with a new and better angle.

The secret strength is actually in death, in the link with eternity we wear in our bones. Our true self moves in life and death, in eternity and duality, as we move in sunlight and shadow, and with as much concern. We dance to the pipe of Pan, whether we know it or not we dance, and the last and greatest truth is the joy – the pure, sheer joy of the dance. On the face of the Dancing Shiva at Delhi someone has carved it – some music – some words open a window on infinity and we look suddenly on Arcady. Only the cry – the whine of the self keeps us from it – forgetting that, and we step into it as easily as across the door. Remember this, my dear – what your Karma has put upon you no one knows but your deep self. It may be to set the world on fire, or to know – to keep your counsel, and be at peace and in joy.

But none of these are to be sought after. It is only to know yourself – to find yourself – to be yourself. That and that alone is the way.

6 Feb. 1950

I mailed you the Goetia and received your letter of Feb. 2. Yes, I walk on the brink. We all do, but I know it. Sometimes that knowledge is a terror. But sometimes it is a joy. Regardless of this, I have a job to do, and will see that it is done. All I ask of you is that you do your part. Be true to yourself.

If you decide to return here, you could probably do designing or other work that would allow you the necessary retirement – in a pinch I could help you, but you should not be dependent on me in that way. Perhaps others will help you – when you move with determination something usually turns up.

Regardless of what you do or what happens to me, my spirit is with you, and will never fail you so long as you have the courage and the faith to be true to yourself. When you do, your work must be your decision. I think I have explained my part about the best I can.

Perhaps you will understand something about Freya from my astral notes. She is at present the image of your animal self, your body of desire, sterilized at a time when you yourself decided to be sterile. She is your familiar on the astral but not the sexual sense and represents both a source of danger and a source of power.

Someday you will have to destroy (i.e. absorb) her, for by this means she gains a soul and you discharge your responsibility. This is the need of her elemental soul which has attached itself to you in order to gain immortality. Someday I shall send you a secret MSS on the subject, but it is not time yet.

Be patient! You are now going about as fast as you can. Magick is growth, you cannot force it. I will directly send you a valuable MSS which will fill in most of the details you need to know at present. In fact, here it is.

As far as the screaming [?] goes, I don’t know. It may be the only way to wake some people up, but I never cared much for it myself, of course I know nothing of what your way may be. I can only tell you how to look. Kali is Mother Ganges – Hindu Goddess of Destruction and Creation. She is black, murderous and horrible, but her hand is uplifted in blessing and reassurance. The reconciliation of opposites, the apotheosis of the impossible. Inanna, the Babylonian Isis, going down to Hell to redeem the Christ Tammuz. The Sophia – the feminine counterpart of God, descending through the Eons to redeem Matter (Ialdeboath = Jehovah) as the bride of Christ (Horus) is the milder Christian doctrine. (But be patient, and I will show you all.)

I am glad you are painting – it seems to be your material will and although the path destroys (equilibrates) the partial wills, the long test is always results.

My work will keep me here at least until early summer – after that – we shall see. I want to build up a small cash reserve between now and then, in case it is needed.

Re paint. I suggest coarse pigment dispersed in mineral oil, or paint on a skin tight costume. If you use pigment, be sure it is coarse enough not to stick in your pores, and is non-toxic also. You could try dusting it on over oil or cream.

I will send you all the MSS you need. Do you have a photograph. Bear it, my darling. That is the supreme ecstasy – to bear the unbearable.

Love, Jack

P.S. I have asked my lawyer to send you a complaint and waiver of appearance, so you will know the score.

22 Jan 1950 –  The Roosevelt – On Gnosticism and Magick

22 Jan [1950]

The Roosevelt, Madison Ave. and 45th St., New York

Dear Candida,

Well, here is where I met you two years ago, and I wish that you were with me now, my dear, so that we could do New York together again.

It has been an interesting trip – I saw Haly of course, and Dan Kimball in Washington, then down to the grim heart of the coal region in Cumberland, then to Princeton, where I spent an afternoon with Martin Summerfield. I will see Hap and Germer, and try to find you a copy of the Goetia while I am here.
There is a Rocket Company starting in Paris, and I have an opening there which I am keeping an eye on if my plans at Hughes do not materialize. I should rather live in Paris, but am on to a big thing here which I had better stay with until it breaks. Is there anything you particularly need or would like for a post Christmas present?

If you are right in your choice of San Miguel as the place for your work, you will undoubtedly find means to complete it there. If not, I should be glad to help you get established there, if it looks like your finances would necessitate some such move.

As a rule no one is sure of his will until he has made a variety of experiments.
One thing about Magick, there is too much claptrap in the present method of presentation, too much indirection. It is all there, but overlaid, like Troy before Schlieman. The modern spirit requires an austere simplicity of approach, a burning passion to truth beyond all partiality and predilection.

Even two thousand years ago that was the reason for the victory of Christianity over gnosticism, because gnosticism, although true, was too complex, and Christianity, although false, was simple and direct. Simplicity has been the key to victory in all the idea wars, and, at present, Magick does not have it. There is the skeleton, in the Rights of Man and in the coverings in the main literature. But the true body has never been shown forth.

The difficulty with the truth is the subtle and pervasive nature of rationalization. Existentialism is just as much on one side as Christianity is on the other, science is as weighted as Shakerism. There can be no objectivity so long as there is preference.

We are not Aristotilean – not brains but fields – consciousness. The inside and the outside must speak, the guts and the blood and the skin; the penis and the vagina, as well as the brain. We must have it all out, the fear and the disgust, the hatred and cowardice, and the beauty, tenderness and courage as well, and balance all.

Then we can get at the truth. The mind is an instrument that measures itself with itself and as such a contradiction – an impossibility. But out of this abyss, as we know, we can make significance, but to be cogent it must be significance for the entire field.

In a world of partialities and pseudo-ideals, the truths on the other side open as horrors and we admit them with a sense of despair, of utter abnegation. But the conflict is real, and the solution cannot be “thought up” as such, it is as obviously ersatz as Esperanto. These continual things that we reach for are just obviously fake, and I must confess that much of Magick seems that way to me.

These “returns,” as though we, of a grown generation could go back to anything, are all off the track – we must go forward to what we are, and no one has ever been there. It’s no use pretending to be adults when you are children, or children when you are adults, and we, unfortunately, do both. The only thing is to find out what you are, and try to be it. Of course, if there is no faith (and there shouldn’t be, if we have thought through) then there must be an act of faith, but this should come after an experiment in truth that comes clean.

Something is moving now – in France, and England, and in Berlin – even moving a little in this benighted country, like the slow, shallow ripple, far out to sea, that hints of a great wave that will flood the land four thousand miles away; and strange as it may be – and brutal and savage as it could be, yet I sense a sort of searching sincerity in it, that has not been known in the world before.

We can sense it, partially predict it, perhaps even guide it a little, and those of us that do may be the makers of a new world. It is all strange and uncharted – nothing but truth will serve us here, and it must be the truth of dream and hallucination and frenzy equally with the truth of science and dialectics and economics. And that truth must be [hounded?] and hunted to its last resting place in the ultimate abyss.

Indeed my personal and interior experience, however hallucinated, must be at least equally valid with the things I have been taught to call “objective” and “real.” But these are also my truths – they are part of me – part of the equipment of my cosmic laboratory wherein I can begin an experiment in truth.

Somewhere I must get interior and personal experience – I am shut off from it and starved for it, as we all are in the West. I can think of no better starting point than “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” – no better equipment than the magical, scientific, and psychological techniques I have inherited. But all these boil down to will, experiment, and honesty in regard to data.

Love, Jack

15, 16 Jan (1950, presumed) – Hotel Raleigh – Methods for Invoking

[Hotel Raleigh, Washington, D.C. letterhead] Jan. 15 [1950?]

Dear Candida


I am enclosing the 7th Aire. Copy it into a permanent note book along with any other rituals you intend to use. You should have the plan in detail, order of rituals, layout of temple, procedure etc. I will send you the ritual of the Bornless One, probably in a small Goetia, since it is rather long to copy. It is a very ancient, potent & dangerous ritual, often used by bold magicians in the Guardian Angel Working. It is useful as a preliminary in almost any sort of work, causing a tremendous concentration of force. It is, however, liable to produce dangerous side phenomena and sometimes permanent haunting in an area where it is repeated, & is for this reason often avoided. Never do it without banishing & opening the temple, then closing and banishing again. I’m tired from the trip and will myself close now.

Jan. 16

Method of invoking

1. Banishing pentagram

2. Opening Hexagram

3. Ritual (may be preceded by Bornless One, or other preliminary invocation).

Then, for a superior force (god)

a. Supplication of the force
b. Description of the Force
c. Identification (or union) with the Force.

For a lesser force (spirit, angel, demon, elemental)

a. Supplication of a superior force (appropriate god)
b. Description of a superior force.
c. Identification with superior force.
d. As superior force, invocation and command of lesser force.

4. Closing Hexagram

5. Banishing pentagram.

For gods, an appropriate altar is used. For the rest, the magician stands within an appropriate circle, and invokes the force into a triangle. In any case the appropriate weapons, perfume, colors, should be used, the names and signs of the appropriate angels, planets should be drawn or written on talismans.
The magician should be robed and wear the sign or talisman of the highest force appropriate to the invocation. He should exhibit this when it is necessary to command, and (except in the case of Gods to whom it is inappropriate) a sword which he should not hesitate to use on anything or anyone who threatens to intrude or break the ritual. Once started, a ritual must not be stopped for any reason. It should be done in a secluded place, and no one should enter who has not been tested and consecrated by the magician.
The invocation of Gods (which pertains to a higher magic) is subtle and subject to individual variation and personal composition.

The invocation of lesser forces is exact, and, since love does not usually enter in so much, in one sense far more dangerous. In the higher work you are actually wooing the god – it is an act of art. In the lower you are compelling, it is an act of science.

The state in a proper working is indescribable but unmistakable. It is essential that everything be prepared and learned properly well in advance, since when things start to happen much of the work will have to go on automatically.

The primary methods are:

1. Goetia (Demonic)
2. Planetary (Clavicle)
3. Enochian (Elementals and Aires)
4. Solar (Guardian Angel)

I have found the Enochian the best (although complicated). The Tarot corresponds to the Enochian system obtained by Dr. Dee – the Trumps to the Aires and the courts to the Gods, Seniors and Angels and the numbers to the lesser angels.

Probably you can use the Tarot alone if you follow the following steps.

1. Consecrate the appropriate weapons to Earth, Air, Fire and Water. (The Sword also to Mars and Bartzabel.)

2. Consecrate the appropriate card as a talisman.

3. Construct the entire ritual. Invoke the card down from the appropriate trumps, and across by the appropriate correspondences. Don’t forget the material link and vital fluid. Blood will do in a pinch.

4. Fast, for the day before starting.

5. Consult the cards first to see if the ritual is appropriate and correct.

6. Remember that the Tarot is a great and sacred arcanum – its abuse is an obscenity in the inner and a folly in the outer. It is intended for quite other purposes than to determine when the tall dark man will meet the fair rich widow.

But the master don’t give a shit for that. He will tell the yokels fortunes till the cows come home, if it suits his purposes.

93 93/93
Love, Jack



Note: The transcripts of these letters were sourced from the now-defunct babalon.net (viewable via webarchive.org) and contain the citation:

and His “Elemental”, Marjorie Cameron
Edited by Cameron and Hymenaeus Beta (Fra. Superior, OTO)                    ©1989 Marjorie Cameron Parsons Kimmel                                                          Revision 2

The typed manuscript notes are given a title page:

Letters of Jack Parsons to his wife Marjorie Cameron Parsons                  5 Oct 1949  to  12 Feb 1950                                                                                            (Typed by Jane Wolfe (Soror Estai) from the holographs in the possession of M C Parsons in 1954 and recopied from the typescript here in 1954)

Handwritten notations: “Letter #2 Admirable” ( 22 Jan 1950 assumed – Ed.) and below, “Are Extremely good

5 Oct 1949  – Extract Only – On the Babalon Working

15, 16 Jan (1950, presumed) – Hotel Raleigh – Methods for Invoking

22 Jan 1950 –  The Roosevelt – On Gnosticism and Magick

27 Jan 1950 – On Disaster and Tragedy

29 Jan 1950 – Dee’s Skrying, Hubbard Mention

1 Feb 1950 – Advice on Astral work

6 Feb 1950 – On spiritual mythology

8 Feb 1950 – The nature of Magick

9 Feb 1950 – On gods, and spiritual independence and growth

12 Feb 1950 – On gods, cont.





Of Familiars

To the adept who has established his balance in the sixfold star, and partaken of the nature of understanding, the service of familiars may be entertaining, instructive and even evaluable towards the attainment of the great work. I quote from a certain secret document pertaining to the subject.
“The Threefold work of the adept is a probation and preparation for illumination, and also for its own sake, and the permanent and practical value of its effects, is as follows:

1. Devotion to the highest intensified on all planes until it culminates in conjugal unions (as shown in Chapt. VII). And the soul is to beget itself as a child for a new incarnation upon the body of the great goddess, as it is written. “O thou that hast formulated thy father and made fertile thy mother”.

2. Acceptance of the devotion of a lower and partial being, such as a nymph or elemental in such wise that it is thereby redeemed and made a perfect soul through the death which it must pay as the price of union with man.

3. The deliberate and will considered creation of new Orders of Being.

Of the second matter let the adept consider of the following. All races in all ages have legends of magical beings, nymphs, satyrs, fauns, undines, oreads, fairies and such like, also rumors of commerce between these beings and mortals, as of Ben Elohim with the daughters of men, of the fairy Melusine, Thomas the Rhymer, the wife of Du Gueshlin, the origin of Merlin and the familiars of the Magi. Also it is told how one dreaming erotic dreams, how his substance inadvertently escapes from him and the incubus materializes there from (for on all planes matter and energy are never lost, but only transformed.) Also it is told how in the Sabbath of the Witchcraft each took a companion that was not human. Also the matter is discussed with great wisdom in the Books of Paracelsus, and in the Comte de Gabalis.

Now this matter, the invocation of familiars, is one of the easiest matters of magick, and most dangerous. It is easy for the reason further given and dangerous because the adept (who is not truly adept) may be obsessed and overthrown through his weakness in dealing with these beings.
Nonetheless, if he will to risk this danger, these spirits, or even the demons, may be called the methods of the Clavicle of Solomon or of the Goetia, utilizing the same means as those applied to the applied to the elemental tablets. But it is not advised.

There are other means of obtaining familiars, mostly pertaining to witchcraft. One such means is to slay an elemental (animal or other lower being) within a magical circle, thereby appropriating the magical force. Another method is to establish a material connection with the elemental, thereby affirming a magical link. But if the magician be not wary, such links can draw him down to hell. It has been my observation that most marriages are of this nature.

Amen. This matter is easy, for the souls of the elements desire constantly this salvation. But let the adept beware;

1) That he chooses a wisely reasonable soul, docile, apt, beautiful and in all ways worthy of love.

2) That he fall not away from love of the Great Goddess into love of an inferior, but give only as a master and of his mercy, knowing that this also is service to his high lady above.

3) That of such familiar spirits he have but four, and let him regulate their services appointing hours for each.

4) That he treat them with kindness and firmness, being on his guard against their tricks.

That being said it is enough, for to have them is but the pains to call them forth from their homes, and the sprits of the Elemental Tablets given by Dr Dee and Edward Kelly are the best, being very perfect in their nature and faithful, affecting the human race. And if not so powerful as they are less dangerous than the planetary spirits, for these are more boisterous, and by the disastrous stars easily perturbed and afflicted.

Call them therefore by the calls of Enoch as is written in the Book ye know of, and let there by after the calls an evocation by the wand, and let the marrow of the wand be preserved within the Pyramids of the letters that make up the home of the spirit.

Now unless ye be well skilled in the art of magick ye will not dare call forth the three Great Gods of the whole tablet, or the King Serpent thereof, or the six Seniors majestical, or even the Gods of the Calvary Crosses in the lesser angles.

But the cherubic rulers, yea verily and amen, those are your mates, and ye may yet more safely summon the lesser assistant angels. And those that are in this art novices shall wisely call forth only the Trigramata of the Sub-elements.
And well may I testify to the truth of this matter, for by this means I got an elemental mate (namely his wife Cameron Parsons. See the record of the working which survives. T) and attained the Grade of Accursed Adept, and the vision of BABALON, even as it is written. (See the Babalon Working, which survives. T).

(Remainders of the book, which survives – though incomplete – in typescript in the possession of Karl Germer, not copied.)