Author Ethel Archer has had three of her books re–issued this year: The Hieroglyph, Shadow and Shine and The Whirlpool.
The posted shizzle sez it all:
The poet Ethel Archer was a long-time associate of the occultist Aleister Crowley and a member of the A∴A∴, his magical order. The Hieroglyph, her only novel, long out of print and here presented in a new edition with an introduction by literary scholar Daniel Corrick, is a mystical roman à clef of the highest order, revolving around her relationship with the magus Crowley and the various guises he took as poetic mentor, psychonaut, and mystical philosopher. The story follows the scandal surrounding the ill-fated public ceremonies known as the Rites of Eleusis, through the cataclysm of the Great War and beyond into undreamt of quests for salvation. Archer’s reminiscences abound with descriptions of magical initiations, astral journeys and mescaline visions, as well as providing a speculative glimpse into the psychology of Crowley and the alternative fates which might have awaited him. The present edition also includes, as supplementary material, the series of unsigned articles, two of which have never before been reprinted, which led to the downfall of the A∴A∴.
Shadow and Shine:
A retrospective collection of poems by Ethel Archer, suggested by her original outline. Perhaps best known for her contributions to journals, such as Aleister Crowley’s “Equinox,” “The English Review,” and “The Occult Review,” Archer was a prolific poet, essayist, novelist, and translator. With the exception of three non-extant poems and the inclusion of her unpublished essay “Recollections,” Shadow And Shine gathers together Ethel Archer’s own selection of poems both published and unpublished into a volume which has waited decades to be assembled. With an Introduction by Phil Jensen.
The current edition of The Whirlpool, by Ethel Archer, is a reprint of the 1911 edition, which acquired the following comments by a select group of notable people:
“I can add nothing to the appreciation which I have written for preface to this volume, which all should read.” – ALEISTER CROWLEY.
“In this masterpiece of illustration dwells the very soul of the book, -the virgin emaciated with insatiable passion; the verminous, illicit night-bird of a prehistoric age (the only conceivable steed for such an one!); the turbid waters of imagery; the lurid sky to which tentacular arms appeal to loves too luscious for this world, -are all embodied in this simple design. The artist has seized the loathsome horror of the book, -I feared even to sign it. Look at the cover and shudder; then read it if you dare!” – E. J. WIELAND.
“The obscurer phases of love, the more mystic side of passion, have never been more enchantingly delineated than they are by Ethel Archer, in this delightfully vicious book. Terrible in its naïveté, astounding in its revelations, The Whirlpool is the complete morbid expression of that infinite disease of the spirit spoken of in Thelema. For my own personal opinion I refer readers to my exquisite introductory sonnet to the volume.” – VICTOR.
“Especially after a last glance at the wonderful cover, I think that The World’s Pool of Sound suggests itself as an alternative title to this thin volume. Thin but bony-nor could sweeter marrow be found elsewhere. The volume has, I am afraid, an unfortunate horoscope, owing no doubt to some affliction in Virgo, with no correspondingly strong influence from the house of Taurus. Let us leave it at that.” – GEORGE RAFFALOVICH.