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January 20, 1971 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1971-01-20

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Wednesday, January 20, 1971

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Paae Five I

r u! 6 I IVe

Yl=

itchcraft's

By MARCELLO TRUZZI
The year 1970 with its uni-
versity and government cut-
backs may have been a bad one
for the legitimate sciences, but
their lesser "cousins" in t h e
world of the occult found it a
vintage season with a booming
market for their wares. This
was well evidenced not only
by the enormous publicity giv-

en witches and Satanists during
1970 and their increasing pop-
ularity around college camp-
uses, but by the crop of books
that appeared last year offering
to initiate the curious into the
world of witchcraft.
For the would-be witch or
warlock, a host of entertaining
and sometimes enlightening vol-
umes appeared dealing with the

old bl
practice of modern sorcery.
Whereas the current O c c u l t
Revival primarily spawned the
reprinting of old chestnuts dur-
ing 1969 (as publishers discov-
ered the new interest and tried
to mine the public domain)
1970 brought several totally new
works on both Wicca and dia-
bolism. On the "How to Do It
Yourself" side, three books de-
serve special mention. P a ul
Huson's Mastering Witchcraft:
A Practical Guide for Witches,
Warlocks and Covens (Putnams,
$6.95) is certainly the best in a
number of respects. Though Mr.
Huson does not (so far as I
know) represent himself as a
witch (he merely claims one of
his Scottish ancestors, A li c e
Huson, was hanged as a witch),
his book comes closest to au-
thenticity among those which
have 'so far claimed to detail

ack

ma

'Making i't

at McClure'~s

Harold S. Wilson, McCLURE'S
MAGAZINE AND THE MUCK.-
RAKERS, Princeton University
Press, $10.00.
By ROBERT WHITE
Late 19th Century Americans
of the supposedly cultured
classes tended to take their so-
cial cues from such genteel lit-
erary organs as Harpers, Atlan-
tic, or The Century. For a mod-
est price, readers of these maga-
zines could rest assured that
while informing their senses,
they would not offend their
sensibilities.
This is all changed, however,
with the advent of McClure's-
a. magazine whose brief , career
was to seemingly shake the
very foundations of the genteel
tradition in America by loudly
proclaiming itself for such coun-
ter-culture causes as feminism.
public education, and racial
equality. The secret of McClure's
success, as related by Harold
Wilson in this engaging account,
lay in the power of editor Mc-
Clui'e's keen financial vision.
While gearing his stories to the
pocketbooks of the newly emer-
gent middle classes, McClure
undercut his competition w ith
the proclamation, "You can't
get behind ten cents." As if in'
response to his oath, then, cir-
culation at McClure's rose from
60,000 in the fall of 1894 to ex-
ceed 350,000 by 1900. And by
1905, with figures topping the
450,000 mark, McClure's was
clearly the most widely read of
all American magazines.
There was, however, another
side to McClure. And it is, in
fact, this other side which right-
fully occupies the larger part of
Wilson's chronicle. Although ih
is difficult for most of us to
conceive of Galesburg, Illinois
as the birthplace of 20th Cen-
tury reform, it is precisely this
contention which Wilson game-
fully champions. To see the crux
of his argument perhaps it is
best to turn to the author's own
introduction.
When McClure's Magazine
was founded in 1893, it was
staffed to -a great extent by
graduates of Knox College lo-
cated in Galesburg, Illinois.
The two dozen Knox alumni
who edited, sold, and financed
McClure's carried to the New
York publishing world many
of the reform traditions of
the Great Revival. All of this
was consistent with the aims
of Rev. George Washington
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Gale, who founded Knox on
the Illinois prairie in 1837.
Thus evangelical Christianity
--although greatly modified--
with its injunctions to trans-
form an evil world, helped to
provide the purpose, tech-
nique, and content of many of
the progressive reforms cham-
pioned by the muckraking
movement in a later era.
The rest of Wilson's 300 and
some odd pages are designed to
support this supposition by
means of a more or less bio-
graphical account of the man,
McClure, and his magazine.
That Knox was a hotbed of the
Great Revival's abolitionist ac-

argument. It is most apparent
in a letter which Wilson include,
written by Ray Stannard Baker
to his father.
.. . This crusade against
special privilege in high places
is a real war, a real revolu-
tion. We may not have to go
as far as you did, when you
fought out the slavery ques-
tion, with powder & blood. At
the present, when any of us
is wounded we bleed nothing
but ink. But ink may serve the
purpose. If is doesn't, I pity
the country.
Ink did, then, apparently
"serve the purpose" and, in
turn, this willing substitution oi

the secrets of the Craft. Clear-
ly, Huson's book represents
witchcraft to be a black (i.e.,
diabolical) art, therefore a form
of Satanism rather than the
Old Religion as claimed by most
of its contemporary practition-
ers. Nonetheless, the volume
contains much practice that is
in harmony with that of cur-
rent witches. In addition to a
storehouse of formulae and ri-
tuals, the book even contains a
chapter entitled "The Coven
and How to Form One," a glos-
sary of witchcraft terms, and a
reasonably good bibliography
for the uninitiated. Basically,
the book is a hodge-podge of
information Huson was able to
cull from a variety of written
sources. All indications are that
Huson himself was never initiat-
ed into an orthodox or tradi-
tional coven. This is a book by
an "outsider" for other "out-
siders." Nonetheless, it contains
much information that is valid
according to the secret tradi-
tions. As with all such books,
the problem for the reader is
the discovery of which elements
truly represent the beliefs of
"legitimate" witches.
Less complete, but probably
better buys for the money (at
least until Huson's book comes
out in a paperback edition) are
Kathryn Paulsen's The Com-
plete Book of Magic and Witch-
craft (Signet, 95c) and Sybil
Leek's Cast Your Own Spell
(Pinnacle Books, 95c). Of these
two compendia of do-it-your-
self guidance, Paulsen's book is
a traditional anthology of ma-
terials from ancient grimoires
whereas Leek's book is far more
readable and personal. My own
preference is for Paulsen's vol-
ume in that she not only gives
more information, but attempts
to give necessary sources and re-
ferences. Leek's book is pro-
bably better for the beginner,
however, in that it reads more
like a pleasant chat with a long
practicing and remarkably well-
publicized contemporary witch.
But there is little overlap be-
tween the two books, and t h e
would-be practitioner would be
well advised to purchase both
of these inexpensive and comple-
mentary volumes.

gic casts
cisco, he brings us straight- moder
forward and detailed accounts. book y
This is the first real report on review
contemporary Satanists a n d Golder
their practices since the works Astrun
of the late William Seabrook in O rdo
the 1940's. Lyons does not catch were
the full spectrum of the chang- source
ing and spreading world of to- school
day's Satanists. His work is book
largely centered around t h e history
groups in California, and he but a
does not survey groups such as search
those in New Orleans or t h e tion o

n occultism. No other
yet available so objectively
s the development of the
n Dawn, including t h e
m Argentinum and the
Templi Orientis which
the central background
s for most contemporary
s of ritual magic. The
gives not only detailed
y of the major movements
also gives carefully re-
ed biographical informa-
in most of the great names

new

spell
Man in the World," the late
Aleister Crowley. P.R. Stephen-
sen's The Legend of Aleister
Crowley (Llewellyn Publications.
$2.00) is a reprinting with the
addition of an Introduction by
Israel Regardie, Crowley's one-
timedsecretary) originally ;ub-
lished in 1930 as a defense of
Crowley against the many char'-
ges leveled at him by the popular
press. More significant is Israel
Regardie's The Eye in the Tri-
angle: An Interpretation of
Aleister Crowley (Llewellyn Pub-
lications, $10.00). a major vol-
ume detailing Crowley's life and
teachings during the years of
Regardie's association with him
between 1928 and 1931. Though
Regardie's interpretations of
Crowley and his understandings
of the rituals and history of the
Golden Dawn are questioned by
many (including Francis King),
the volume is a long awaited
addition to the growing bibliog-
raphy dealing with what Rich-
ard Mathison called "Crowley-
anity."
Finally, for the more skeptical
and less historically oriented,
1970 saw the publication of Mil-
bourne Christopher's ESP, Seers
& Phychics (Thomas Y. Cro-
* well, $6.95). This is an excellent
and highly knowledgeable ex-
pose of everything from haunted
houses, astrology, spirit me-
diums, ESP experimentation,
fire walking, and poltergeists, to
the recent prophecies of Jeane
Dixon. As the highly experienc-
ed head of the Occult Investi-
gation Committee of the Society
of American Magicians, Christo-
pher shares with us his consid-
erable knowledge on a wide va-
riety of occult practices. The
success of his debunkings varies
considerably. Thus, he does very
well on topics like ESP experi-
mentation and the current crop
of prophets, but he does rather
poorly on his examination of
contemporary astrology wherein
he largely erects straw men.
Like so many critiques of as-
trology, Christopher attacks the
newspaper horoscope or "sun
sign" astrology which very few
serious astrologers consider any-
thing more than a commercial
entertainment for the masses
and which has little to do with
what they conceive to be "legiti-
mate" astrology. Nonetheless,
Christopher's book contains a
great deal of valuable knowl-
edge essential to anyone who
wishes to seriously undertake
the study of modern )ccultisms.

k
s
b
0
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tivity is not difficult to prove.
To wit: "Such abolitionists as
William Lloyd Garrison, Henry
Ward Beecher, John P. Hale,
Cassius M. Clay, Theodore Park-
er, and Wendell Phillips re-
ceived an enthusiastic welcome
when they visited and lectured
at Knox." Similarly, it is not
difficult to prove that many of
the Knox alumni who were ex-
posed to these tenets followed
McClure to New York where his
magazine served as the mouth-
piece for the Progressives. What
is a bit mole difficult to accept,
however, is a direct correlation
betwewen the two. There is a
basic difference between the
abolitionists and the Progres-
sives which Wilson acknowl-
edges, but unfortunately plays
down to the detriment of his

"ink" for "powder & blood" per-
manently separated the men
who wrote at McClure's from
their predecessors who spoke at
Knox in the pre-Civil War
years. Though it seems unfair
to malign the convictions of
either group, still, the form of
protest had drastically changed.
The latter variety, designed for
mass-circulation audiences, too
often became confused with a
profit motive. And accordingly,
by the early 1900's Americans
could feel as comfortably at
home with a copy of McClure's
on their coffee table as N e
might today with the latest is-
sue of Ramparts or Playboy.
When reform did come, it no-
ticeably affected the senses but
jarred the sensibilities only in
passing.

On the more journalistic side,
1970 saw the publication of
three general surveys of today's
sorcery. The best of these by
far is Arthur Lyon's The Second
Coming: SE.tanism in America
(Dodd, Mead, and Co., $6.05).
Mr. Lyons does not make the
usual mistake of most journal-
ists writing in this area by con-
fusing witchcraft with devil-
worship. Though Satanists of-
ten call themselves witches,
witches only rarely are Satan-
ists. The main value of t'h i s
volume is that, unlike so many
such books today, it is n o t
merely a compilation of o 1 d
newspaper and magazine stories.
Lyons went directly into t h e
field as a participant observer
and comes back with new a n d
first-hand information. Thus,
whether he is dealing with
acid-culture Satanists of Los
Angeles or the far more respect-
able (and a n t i - narcotics)
Church of Satan in San Fran-
PEACE

relatively new and rapidly grow-
ing Grotto in Detroit. Also, some
of the historical information
presented in this volume is open
to debate. Nevertheless, this
book is a must for anyone who
wishes to comprehend today's
new Satanists.
In marked contrast to Lyon's
book are Susy Smith's Today's
Witches (Prentice-Hall, $5.95)
and Emile C. Schurmacher's
Witchcraft in America Today
(Paperback Library, 75c). Both
of these volumes are seemingly
quick productions based on se-
condary sources, many of them
quite inaccurate. Of the two,
Schurmacher's is far the bet-
ter and cheaper. At least Schur-
macher seems to have checked
some of the source materials he
used against one another.
For the more serious student
or would-be scholar in the gar-
dens of contemporary magic,
1970 saw the publication of the
excellent and truly remarkable
history by Francis King, Ritual
Magic in England (1887 to the
present day) (Neville Spear-
man, 42 shillings). This volume
represents a major work on

associated with modern occult-
ism including S. L. MacGregor
Mathers, Aleister Crowley, F.
Israel Regardie, Dion Fortune,
Rudolf Steiner, and Gerald
Gardner. No one seriously inter-
ested in the history of contem-
porary magic can afford to be
without this book.
For those interested in tie
real hey-day of magic, last year
also saw the publication of two
major biographical works on the
Great Beast 666, the "Wickedest
Today's Writers .. .
Dr. Truzzi is an Assistant
Professor of Sociology and the
author of Caldron Cookery: An
Authentic Guide for Coven
Connoisseurs.
Robert White is a regular re-
viewer who is doing independ-
ent research on the impact of
mass culture in the late 19th
Century.

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