Excerpts from Upcoming Book of Karl Germer’s Letters

David Shoemaker recently posted to his FB feed a number of quotes of correspondence between Karl Germer and two West Coast members of both OTO and A.’.A.’. at a time when he headed the administration of both…among others. The quotes come from a forthcoming volume of Karl Germer’s correspondence, to be published by the International College of Thelema very soon, being co-edited by Dr. Shoemaker. Here they are collected and presented for your enjoyment:

“A.C. wrote the Comment in a rage of despair at renewed proofs of Mudd’s insane obsessions about his interpretations of passages of AL. As long as we are human, and live on this plane, the constitution of our minds is bound to keep making us err. I even don’t think there is anything wrong with that, except that we ought to train our mind to doubt, doubt, and continue to doubt, and with its help develop a method to check and balance the activities of that mind; and remain detached, distant, from all our conclusions. A.C., of course, has preached this constantly, and practiced it. With a vivid, imaginative, brilliant mind like his he was always in greater danger than others.”

–Letter from Karl Germer to Jane Wolfe, December 16, 1947, shortly after the death of Aleister Crowley

“Words are too weak to express the grief that has been upon me since the fatal news arrived by cable Tuesday morning. It is not so much the sorrow about Aleister’s death. On that I feel rather a relief that His suffering, the suffering of his body, and his unfathomable loneliness during these last years has been ended at last. This loneliness has been deeper than possibly at any time during the many, many years since he has been awake. (I mean that in the sense of the “Wake World” etc. ) This loneliness is over, and as I see it, the very condition for his final attainment which He expressed in His cable to me of Nov. 18th. After that, it seems, there was nothing left to keep Him here.

But what grieves me so insufferably is that in retrospect I see how often, how very often during the years – over 22 now – that I have known Aleister, I placed obstacles in his path, I obstructed, and sometimes made his life hell for the man A.C. I thought I could make good during the months I thought I could stay with him from September to early December of this year. But the British who have crucified their greatest son, and who persecuted him with their hatred, have remained true to form to the very last by refusing me a visa, and though A.C. knew that the visit was not to be, and must not be, he felt the cancellation of my journey as a deep blow.

There is no secret about it that our relation had been from the start close and intense, closer than men generally can judge. His Work, that was His Life, must and will continue and be brought gradually to the success and glorification that he should have seen during His earthly life.”

–Letter from Karl Germer to Ray and Mildred Burlingame, December 5, 1947, just a few days after Aleister Crowley’s death

“I am deeply sorry. I had pinned great hopes on Jack, as the type of man he represents is badly needed in this country. But, I must confess, I remained sceptical about his attainment, of his having crossed the abyss. And when I heard from you about Candy I feared the worst. The trouble is that his education was not rounded off; the American system does not favour the classics; We are so far beyond them: we are Americans! The deep all-round education which Europe gives, even if one does not go to college, which one breathes there, protects promising students of Jack’s type from making a certain type of mistake.”

–Letter from Karl Germer to Jane Wolfe, June 24, 1952, shortly after the death of Jack Parsons [“Candy” was Marjorie Cameron’s nickname at the time.]

“The danger to people with a vivid imagination is that they yield too easily to, and become the prey of, obsessing thought, unless you chase the fog around them away, or have a helper to do it all the time for you. Else you might walk at dusk in the fields and suddenly see a ghost and run away, when a less imaginative person walks right up to it, and proves that the “Ghost” was a lamp post, or a pole in the mist of the landscape.”

–Letter from Karl Germer to Jane Wolfe, February 19, 1953

 “You happen to be the one and only one who on the West Coast represented 666 himself, having known him personally; so he worked on you specially. But, I believe, you have crossed the Abyss, even though not on all planes. Why worry further?”

–Letter from Karl Germer to Jane Wolfe, March 10, 1955

“You are more than an ordinary astrologer. Having, with hard work, mastered the fundamentals, you have risen above it, and probably will more, so that you almost become prophetic.”

–Letter from Karl Germer to Phyllis Seckler, October 4, 1956

“You are, remember, the only Californian, still attentive to your H.G.A. and obedient to His voice.
You may be called to do much for Thelema yet, when the time is ripe. You would be ideally fitted for work for which I am lamentably ill equipped. But what will you? We all have first to so fulfil and put in order the mundane things, before we are permitted release, to do higher things.”

–Letter from Karl Germer to Phyllis Seckler, March 17, 1962 (just before Germer’s death)

“If one tried to go into refuting or arguing your recent letters one would run the risk of getting contaminated by the demonic forces that have got a hold of you. What I will do is give you the benefit of my experience. It has been my privilege or misfortune to have to watch at least a score of “experts of delusion” in the last more than thirty-five years of my connection with Thelema!)”

–Letter from Karl Germer to Marcelo Motta, June 9, 1962


Frater Lux Ad Mundi


  1. 93
    I have 2 letters from Germer to a Mr. Finch. If you would like to see them, I have taken photos of them and would bve happy to send those photos to you.


    Dennis Stevens

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