book review: ouroboros; a grimoire by ray sherwin, father of chaos magick, reads like true detective

The announcement for Ouroboros; A Grimoire by Ray Sherwin showed up on r/occult and I went ahead and read the preview. I instantly took a liking to it, so I ordered it.
      Like a complete idiot I didn’t even notice the name matched an individual we had been talking about in a podcast last year on Chaos Magick linked here. When it arrived I unwrapped it to find a wide, slender shiny white floppy book, 110 pages long, emblazoned with a bright, turquoise ouroboros painting by his consort Lorraine Sherwin, and archaic mauve script. I flipped it over to find some handsome looking wizard from Florida or something (there are palm trees and he’s probably shirtless) staring at me with a beard I approved of. At this point, obviously I still had no idea who this was – the founder of Chaos Magick. I’m not sure why they have palm trees in England, but there they are. 
       I admit this is the first book about Chaos Magick that I have read that has held my interest, that probably isn’t saying much since I have never actually purchased a book on Chaos Magick, and they’re rare in libraries. But my standards are very high for what goes on certain shelves in my library, and this is going on the special shelf.  
      It reads as a proclamation of Zeus chastising his kids. The man is very funny, and I admit somewhat charming even as he’s cutting heads off of pedophiles and other perverts. It can’t be too easy tearing down one’s own seed, but, he does it. No one is ever going to look at Peter Carroll again the same way, I can tell you that.

“The order’s evident requirement for its members to take in less of macrocosm is a disgrace akin to a child hiding under the bedclothes in the belief that if the child can’t see the monster, the monster can’t see the child.”

– Ray Sherwin

The roasting of the Illuminates of Thanateros is completely satisfying, even though I barely knew who these people were, except that one of them was a snot-nosed idiot on the original (defunct) occultforums called Ralph Tegtmeier (Frater U∴D∴) aka Helmut. We all seriously regarded this guy as some kind of mentally ill teenage troll at the time. m1thr0s 729 was slamming the guy in some rather amusing ways as m1thr0s tended to do to idiots, and at the point in time it happened, it was akin to some kind of Klingon mating ritual for each other from the perspective of our Aquarian and Gemini sensibilities. We both quickly forgot about this moron. He was possibly the most idiotic troll to ever pass through that old occult haunting ground and I saw hundreds rise and fall there. and neither of us was aware that he was a high ranking mucky muck in an organization widely considered to be quite serious.  
      Peter Carroll – whom I have never read anything about either, except his date and place of birth, nor any of his publications, also comes off sounding like a complete piece of shit, which was fascinating. All in all a good and satisfying romp through the castle of occult intrigue and conspiracy. Sherwin isn’t the first to speak up. The blog of Nathaniel J. Harris which has been covering the case in detail, writes:

“There is a paedophile ring operating within the Pagan / occult community, with a particular concentration in the West Country where we have already seen 7 successful prosecutions, with many others remaining at large.[…]Most recently Peter J. Carroll has been spreading the vilest lies imaginable in a vain attempt to discredit Nathaniel. This is because Mr. Carroll knows full well that members of his fan club, the Illuminates of Thanateros, were involved in the sadistic abuse of my son.”

We had briefly covered some rumors within r/occult in a Abrahadabra Radio podcast in episode 006 about a disagreement between an individual shifting between a variety of throwaway accounts who had accused an IAO131 of defending a pedophile ring, which turned into a discussion about general possibilities of pedophilia within the occult community. While IAO131 is basically cat vomit who found himself on the heavy end of a ban hammer for being a stupid shitler about the origins of the word “magick” of all goddamned things on Abrahadabra Forums, I am not, and m1thr0s 729 was not the type to deviate from the sacred American axiom “Innocent until proven guilty.” (By the way, IAO131 was wrong about magick’s etymology, good old Oxford Dictionary vindicated us – he never fucking apologized for his hurfblurfing while m1 was alive, so he gets the hose. Again.)
      Sherwin goes further than we ever did in that podcast, indicating that the defensiveness of the Satanic organizations is extremely suspect, up to and including the OTO, apparently. I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the OTO most of the time, but when it comes to ruining the occult for everyone else with borderline pedophilia accusations, there is a real reason to declare some kind of war within our own sub-society against anything that reeks of defending or participating in any kind of fascist sexuality such as child molestation.
       Some of the passages reminded me of my own time with the FBI in the Nuit House, which I won’t go into here due to the fact it might tip off any CP cells to their methodology. The embarrassments of Manson, Hubbard, and more recently, the Kabbalah Center in New Yok, never go away and the government is (rightly) dead set on never having to deal with these grotesque pockmarks on the face of Western Civilization. Anyone who has played a game of Civilization knows the power of protecting culture. Every occult organization past a certain point gets the big brother treatment these day…and people like the ones discussed in this book are why we all deserve it.
      Suffice it to say, the mere fact that I’m pretty much a 1950’s housewife disguised as an occultist, and m1thr0s was either glued to me or his laptop was enough to pretty much placate our spies, although we had more than a few creeps show up on our doorstep who were part of the other side of the “conspiracy”, although I could do nothing about it but call the police and let them decide. 
       I found myself completely fascinated by this man who seemed to be speaking from an asana of actual power throughout the book. Most occult authors just bore me to tears, and as an ENTJ I can be a cold heartless bitch not only on my brutal Reddit posts, but when it comes to dismissing occult authors, I’m not going to mince words. My bookshelf is full of texts from Oxford, Princeton and Chicago University – these are my occult tomes, a habit I inherited from my middle school years when I only read non-fiction science books.  
      I know with absolute confidence everyone in the occult is going to like this book – even the old school witches. A British author who was born in the legendary lands of Merlin and has the Druid look is like finding a leprechaun for these Wiccan shits.
      The text has the same feel as a few other rare occult texts, such as those of Masaaki Hatsumi, Aleister Crowly, the Corpus Hermetica, and the Kybalion. The author seems at times to be speaking right at us, or interacting with us on a personal level. I sometimes call these types of texts holographic texts, as they seem to shift with the reader as the mind positions itself around the data. 
       Sherwin attacks everything from democracy to priesthoods, to death and archaeology. We always love a good rant at Abrahadabra of course, and this continues for nearly fifty pages… 
      After this, we find a link to a YouTube video, which is the audio-visual version of a poem inserted in the book. It’s worth it to get through to the end. 

This is the individual who launched an entire generation of new thinking in magick, influencing some of the most famous individuals in pop culture.
      There are no dumbass sigils here, nor the same tired nihilistic or iconoclastic dogma of much Chaos thought. Sherwin, for all intents and purposes appears to be reasserting what his vision of Chaos Magick was all those years ago in London, before Carroll drove it into the hands of the worst kinds of thugs and evildoers, apparently.  
     The book is badass. You won’t be disappointed. It has everything that makes for an occult classic – a wizard war (more like the complete annihilation of a long-standing chaos magick guru) Defcon 5 level True Detective intrigue that will make the Temple of Set/Aquino rumors look like tidy Sunday gossip, and a way of teaching magick that is completely new. And, fucking finally, someone else talking about the goddamned environmental problems the world is facing.
     This first edition is limited to 500 copies, so you’d better act fast if you’re going to acquire a copy. The fallout from this is going to spread across the entire world of Chaos Magick and the occult itself. 

Published by

izi

Succeeding m1thr0s 729 (Magister Ouroboros 729) izi is current guardian of the 418 current in this world. She upholds the young Nu Aeon tradition of Mutational Alchemy, a hybrid branch of Hermetic Alchemy developed by m1thr0s 729. Her current work to date includes the art and written analysis of The Mutational Alchemy Tarot, the development of Pentagrammaton (the 32 5-line binary structures unknown in the East) and the ongoing analysis of The Hidden Diamond Sutra.

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