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P. B. Randolph / M. de Naglowska / R. North

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 00:21:43 PDT
Subject: P. B. Randolph / M. de Naglowska / R. North 

Gnome d Plume wrote:
> 
> serpentsbk@aol.com (Serpent 716) wrote:
> 
> >catherine yronwode  wrote 

> >> Serpent 716 wrote:
> >>
> >> > We just sent you a book a week or two ago, didn't we
> >> > :o).
> >>
> >> Gratefully received, and a strange mish-mash it is, as i knew it 
> >> would be -- i mean, Paschal Beverly Randolph's name was spelled 
> >> incorrectly, and he is supposed to be the author! I'd be very 
> >> interested in your opinion about how North came up with those 
> >> G.D. style correlation-tables, how Maria de Naglowska was
> >> involved in the French translation and the non-Randolph parts, 
> >> and, if North copied her, where she obtained the G.D. style  
> >> material, which appears nowhere in any Randolph books published 
> >> during his lifetime. 
> >> 
> >> I am very glad to have a copy, and have Poke to
> >> thank for urging me to go online to find one! 
> >> 
> >> Have you read John Patrick Deveney's biography of Randolph 
> >> or the Jocelyn Goodwyn / Deveney / et al book on the 
> >> Randolph-HBL-Clymer initiatic lineages? Those are fascinating 
> >> books -- but shed no real light on de Naglowska either. 
> >> 
> >> The only place i can be sure that Robert North went wrong 
> >> is where he said, in his intro, that he believed Randolph had 
> >> written the material in French -- for it is, quite obviously, 
> >> a re-translation from the de Naglowska French translation of 
> >> portions of Randolph's English-language books "Eulis" and 
> >> "Seership." 
> >> 
> >> BUT North made one inadvertently important point -- he noted 
> >> that the book that he was translating from French to English 
> >> -- the de Naglowska book attributed solely to Randolph -- had 
> >> been written in two different styles of French, one 19th 
> >> century (Randolph died in 1875) and one more modern. 
> >> 
> >> The inference he drew -- that part was from a book and part 
> >> was a transcription of an otherwise unknown lecture Randolph 
> >> had given while travelling in France -- is unsupported by 
> >> commentaries on Randolph's lectures made by his contemporaries. 
> >> According to Deveney's exhaustive research into Randolph's career 
> >> as a spiritualist trance medium and public speaker, he was 
> >> never reported to have delivered himself of G.D. / A.A. / O.T.O. 
> >> style tables of correlative symbolism during a lecture. 
> >> 
> >> This leads me to jump to the same conclusion Deveney reached -- 
> >> that de Naglowska added that material (hence the different 
> >> writing style) from her own readings of G.D. style authors and, 
> >> for unknown reasons, attributed it to Randolph. 
> >> 
> >> And that leaves me even more curious than ever as to who she 
> >> was and what her motives were.
> >> 
> >> Why did she apparently add so much G.D. / A.A. / O.T.O. 
> >> style material into Randolph's works and then conceal the fact 
> >> that she had done so? 
> >> 
> >> Were the accounts of the rituals she presented from one of 
> >> Randolph's missing, privately-printed texts, as many have 
> >> assumed, albeit with NO evidence?
> >> 
> >> Or was she trying to get around an oath she had sworn within 
> >> some hermetic order by presenting certain secret initiatic 
> >> teachings as the work of the long-dead Randolph, tucking these 
> >> exposures into a legitimate translation of selections from 
> >> Randolph as a way of disclaiming responsibility for revealing 
> >> secret rites? 
> >> 
> >> If the latter, how thoroughly did she conceal the actual 
> >> origin of the rites? Are they recognizably taken from the 
> >> rituals of O.T.O. or other then-contemporary hermetic orders? 
> >> If so, which one(s)? Or are they a conglomerate, presenting 
> >> the core concepts but not the full details of several similar 
> >> initiatic orders of English origin that were functioning on
> >> the Continent during the 1930s?

> > Hi Cat. Sorry to disappoint, it's as much of an enigma to me as 
> > well.S ome interesting stuff there though, worth the read I think.

> At the risk of starting another rift -- especially among allies 
> -- I've got to say that I am really surprised at cat's reaction
> to North's *Sexual Magic*. Except for the flashing color ideas there
> is nothing G.D.ish about it (as author of *Secrets of the G.D. 
> Cypher MS.* I think I can make that claim) 

Whoa! When i said G.D. style i was using a form of shorthand
(not knowing if anyone here cares about 19th century
hermetic magic :-) and just opening a brief peep-hole into
what the book contains) -- i was referring to the flashing
colour stuff, yes, and also the 777-esque tables of
correspondences. These do not come from Randolph directly,
but they are part of the teachings we now can lump together
as G.D. / A.A./ O.T.O. / B.O.T.A. style -- the WET, y'know.

>  and the material on pre-Bardon type fluid condenser 
> formulas and pre-O.T.O. sex magick is IMO awesome. 

Agreed! 

My point is that the whole thing is awesome -- both the part
of it about Volantia, Decretism, and Posisim, and all the
material on mirrors -- which are by Randolph ... and the
"initiatic" portion, which  is not by Randolph.

Insofar as no texts other than the de Naglowska text of the
1930s (50-plus years after Randolph's death) describe this
sex magic initiation and attribute it to Randolph -- and
insofar as North claimed that this portion of the book was
written in a different style of French than the other part
-- we have a mystery here.

The fact that it is a mystery in no way diminishes its
importance!

> Granted this book is a double-dyed knock-off; first it is a
> compilation of Randolphian extracts published in French in France,
> then pirated and offered in an unauthorized English translation out 
> of Canada, sponsored by the late Herman Slater---who we may remember
> ripped off Ed Fitch's Pagan Way years ago. 

Thanks for your clarity on the origin of the the publication. 

> That said, the book itself---as a technical digest of Randolph's 
> magical lore, not a book by Randolph---is IMO invaluable. 

Agreed -- and not only because it is the easiest-to-find and
cheapest-to-buy book giving a clear summary (along with
direct quotes) of genuine Randolph writings, but because of
the OTHER stuff it contains! By this i mean material i
cannot find in Randolph's own books:

I have an edition of Eulis! published by Randolph's widow
Kate Corson Randolph after his death from the same plates as
his original edition of 1874.

I have Deveney's bio of Randolph, which contains the
privately circulated supplement to Eulis! that is known to
exist in only one copy, from the library of (ta-da!)
John Yarker.

Poke, if you don't have the Deveney book, i urge you to get
it. It is amazing, not just as a bio but because of the
otherwise unobtainable material by Randolph it contains.

> Anyone who has studied the O.T.O., The G.D., and Bardon 
> and then reads this book will be profoundly impressed. 

Yep. I agree. Which leads back to Question Number. One: Who the @#%$&
was Maria de Naglowska???

> This book is not so much by
> Randolph (although much  of it obviously is) but rather the
> nuts-and-bolts of his system. 

PLUS -- and here is the mystery -- someone else's system!
But WHOSE? Did de Naglowska really have texts by Randolph no
one else has ever found? Or was de Naglowska revealing late
19th and early 20th century initiatic secrets under cover of
making a translation of Randolph's mid-19th century books?

> Among other things it contains the most
> lucid and straight forward explanation of 9th Degree sex magick 
> theory I've ever read---that includes "De Art Magica" and the O.T.O. 
> higher degrees themselves. 

Absolutely, and beyond a doubt. Whoever de Naglowska was and
wherever she got this 9th degree stuff -- whether from a
now-lost Randolph text or from a much later European or
British initiatic order -- it is clear, easy to follow, and
inspired.

> The fluid condenser formulas are more complex than
> Bardon's, and the magick mirror instructions are very detailed.

They come from Randolph's books. 

>  If it isn't pure Randolph, too bad. It's still a treasure. 

Agreed. And it is a MYSTERY. 

> I only wish it had a more legitimate origin. 

Like the fourth book of Agrippa or the spurious Egyptian
Secrets of Albertus Magnus, its "legitimacy" is a moot point
at this far remove or rather, it is a matter for detectives,
those who enjoy unraveling mysteries for their own sakes.

I wish that Deveney, in his bio of Randolph, had turned his
diligence for research onto the question of who de Naglowska
was  and whose initiatic system she was representing here 
-- but he already had a thick book in progress, and
probably felt the matter was too far afield. So we are left
with this mysteriously valuable combo-book, part Randolph,
part ... who?

I mean, i am half waiting for someone to reveal that an
associate of Aleister Crowley contributed the non-Randolph
portion, or one of R. Schwaller de Lubicz's crew, or Jean
Cocteau, or that the added parts were written by Reuben
Swinburne Clymer and attributed by him to Randolph, or that
Bardon had a hand in it, or that the additions were penned
by Eugene Canselet, the 1920s-40s French alchemist who used
the pseudonym Fulcanelli. Or Thomas Henry Burgoyne. Or Max 
Theon.

None of which takes away from the book's usefulness -- in
fact, the mystery of the origin of the portions not
identifiably from Randolph's books is part of the charm of
the thing.

> you are right on the North book. Remember, however,  
> that he reported that the original author [de Naglowska] 
> claimed that "Magica Sexuallis" was a privately printed book
> for Randolph's students issued in only 60 copies. Now this may be
> glamour or it may be true. I suspect it is at least partly true, 

Partly true -- MAYBE. The material that de Naglowska edited
together was excerpted from several of Randolph's public books:

"Seership" (1870) is not a rare book -- it was reprinted
several times prior to 1930 and portions of it had also been
published in part in Randolph's earlier book "Clairvoyance"
(1860). It is not difficult to acquire, even now. This is
the material on magic mirrors.

"Eulis! The History of Love" (1874) was kept in print
continually from 1874 until Randolph's widow Kate Randolph
died. It comes up regularly in web searches of used and rare
books. It was also reprinted by R. S. Clymer as "Eulis,
Affectional Alchemy" in 1930.  This was drawn on by de
Naglowska for part of the material on sex magic.


Also included may be material from Randolph's privately-printed 
books:

"The Anseriatic Mystery" (1873) and "Mysteries of Eulis"
(1874) are short works, written as if they were intended 

to be chapters in "Eulis!" but sold separately at the time. 

They cover some practical details of sex magic --and they
are, on the other hand, VERY rare -- they were "printed but
not published" to avoid postal regulations against
obscenity, and were sold only by direct mail order. However,
even if Randolph did only print 60 copies of each
(unlikely), they were not reserved for students or members
of Randolph's Triplicate Order, because John Yarker bought a
copy of "Mysteries of Eulis" from Kate Randolph after
Randolph's death.

Yarker's copy of "Mysteries of Eulis" is at this time
the only known copy in the world -- but that does not make
the material itself rare a different (and currently lost 
copy) 
also has been catalogued and, more to the point, 

because R.S. Clymer also bought copies of both of these 

short instructional tracts from Kate Corson Randolph and 

then edited them together and circulated them as one unit 

through the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor with the new 

title "Mysteries of Eros," still fully credited to P. B. 
Randolph. It is likely that de Naglowska worked from a copy
of the "Mysteries of Eros."

> North is at least honest enough to point out the inconsistencies 
> in the text which don't support this theory of the book's origin. 
> This, IMO, lends creditability to the work.

Indeed. North also, as Deveney points out, "suffers from a
too credulous reliance on Clymer's histories" [of Randolph],
but that is a fault he may inherited from de Naglowska's
text, which would tend to reinforce my idea that she was
working from an H.B. of L. copy of "Mysteries of Eros"
rather than from original Randolph materials. This would
also help explain why Clymer was so hostile to de
Naglowska's book, even going so far as to claim that
Randolph never taught sex magic while he himself was
circulating the edited-together "Mysteries of Eros."

As to what Deveney calls "Clymer's histories" of Randolph:
Clymer never met Randolph and everything he knew of Randolph
he learned via the remaindered and reprinted books he
purchased from Kate Randolph -- but that didn't stop him
from writing a lot of glamour about Randolph being a friend
of Abraham Lincoln and so forth. Also, because Kate was
Randolph's second wife, Clymer never seems to have known
that Randolph had earlier been married to another woman,
Mary Jane Randolph, who was his co-publisher, co-author,
co-parent, and co-manufacturer of hashish tonics. Clymer's
ignorance of Randolph's lengthy first marriage was continued
on into de Naglowska's book, and thus into North's
translation.

See Deveney's bio of Randolph for full, amusing details of
Clymer's legend-building and embellishments about Randolph's
life, including an account of how at one point Clymer wrote
to Kate asking her for the lodge passwords and she told him
she didn't know them and he should just go ahead and invent
new ones, so he did :-).

The Tao wrote:

> "catherine yronwode"  wrote:
> 
> > Who the @#%$& was Maria de Naglowska???
> 
> While searching the web for stuff on Randolph (and yes Cat I did 
> find your excellent page),
> 
> http://www.luckymojo.com/tkpbrandolph.html :-)
.
> I ran across the following site:

.
> http://www.morgane.org/randolph+eulis.html

Thank you very, very much for this great job of research! I
found the information there highly interesting! I will ask
siva to archive your bablfishized translation of this web
site in a separate document.

I spent a bit of time last night going through the footnotes
to Deveney's bio of Randolph and gleaned more about de
Naglowska that will be of interest to those who have used
the North translation of "Magia Sexualis" as an introduction
to and a summary of P. B. Randolph's sex magic writings.

Among other things, i learned that de Naglowska was a
dadaist, a Satanist, a Feminist, and a friend of Julius
Evola, who translated her works into Italian. According to
Deveney, it was she who added the 777-style tables of
correspondence to her 1931 French translation of Randolph's
writings, inserting WET-style astrological correspondences,
despite the fact that there is no evidence that Randolph
ever used such correspondences.

Even more interesting, the initiatic section of "Magia
Sexulais" which is absolutely not from Randolph, has already
been sourced. I regrettably overlooked this when i first read
Deveney's book, probably because it is buried is in a
footnote on page 491. Here is it:

     Dr. Massimo Introvigne has pointed out to me Mario Praz's
     conclusion in "The Romantic Agony" that one of the major 
     ritual sections of "Magia Sexualis" that can not be found 
     in Randolph's works is derived from Josephin Peladan's 
     novel "A Couer Perdu." See his "Il Cappelo del Mago: I 
     Nuovi Movimenti, Dallo Spiritismo at Satanismo (Milan: 
     SugarCo Ed. 1990), 100. [...]

So de Naglowska got this initiatic material from a novel --
which leads one to wonder about who wrote the novel, and
what sources the novelist consulted, and so forth.

rem wrote:

> Josephin Peladan was a well known figure of French "fin-de-siecle"
> occultism. He was one of the leading members of Stanislas de 
> Guaita's "Ordre de la Rose-Croix Kabbalistique", but he later broke 
> with him to create his own "Ordre de la Rose Croix Catholique",  
> which was AFAIK, more an artistic movement than an order in the 
> conventional meaning of the term. The musician Eric Satie was close 
> (member?) to this group during some time, probably when he wrote his 
> piece "Premiere pensee Rose+Croix".
>
> As for Peladan's sources, I don't really know, but the main 
> influences on French occultism at that time were Levi and Martinism.
> As for Maria de Naglowska, I don't know a lot about her, but I have
> heard that a well known French writer about alchemy (Claude d'Yg») 
> was a member of her group.
> 
> An other interesting possibility to investigate would be the 
> connexion between french occult groups and HB of L, which, if I 
> understand it well, is more or less connected with Randolph (I never 
> understood the relationships, if any existed, between Eulis 
> Brotherhood, Brotherhood of Light and HB of L: too much 
> brotherhoods!). At least one of the members of the Papus-de 
> Guaita-Peladan circle was close to Max Theon, who was the leader 
> of HB of L, his name was Charles Barlet. (web page about him at:
>     http://www.kheper.auz.com/topics/Theon/Barlet.html )
> Peladan could have learned some things while discussing with Barlet,
> but frankly, I doubt it: Peladan was more fascinated by the esthetic
> aspects of occultism, but i don't think he was deeply involved 
> in it.

Thank you very much, Rem! I appreciate your help with this
international research. I wonder if de Guaita's Ordre de la
Rose-Croix Kabbalistique or Peladan's Ordre de la Rose Croix
Catholique published manuscripts of their rites -- or if is
it safe to assume that the stuff de Naglowska lifted from
the Peladan novel was but a thinly disguised ritual from one
of these two orders.

Next, i would like to briefly comment on the quality of the
translation in the North book. Obviously, since he thought
that the original was written in French, Robert North did
not bother to consult a used book search service and locate
copies of "Eulis!," "Mysteries of Eulis," "Seership," or any
of the other Randolph books that de Naglowska excerpted when
she edited together "Magia Sexualis." The result of his
re-translation of a French translation of unproven worth and
accuracy was to babelfishize Randolph's language --
sometimes merely losing a bit of nuance -- and sometimes
completely changing the meaning and intent of his text.

I am not ragging on North here -- who knows how accurate the
de Naglowska material he had to work with really was? -- but
i would like to point out a few samples of what went wrong
with the North re-translations, in order to demonstrate how
using the North edition could lead folks to misinterpret
Randolph's instructions with regard to sexual magic:

The comparisons that follow are between Randolph's
"Mysteries of Eulis," reprinted in toto in Deveney's book
(and i use Deveney's pagination for reference) and North's
re-translation of de Naglowska's translation of the work
(and i use North's pagination for reference).

The section in question is a numbered series of axioms which
Randolph presented under the heading "Life Prolongation."
That is, Randolph taught these particular sex-magic
principles in a manner reminiscent of the ancient Taoist sex
alchemists, whose goal was life prolongation and even
immortality.

De Naglowska (and North) removed from the preface to this
list of principles any information about "Life
Prolongation," referring to the list instead as "rules that
are necessary in order to properly understand the special
exercises of sexual magic." "Exercises" in this context may
refer to a Kama Sutra like view of sexual magic as a yogic
series of bodily postures.

In addition to completely changing the student's reason for
studying and then putting these principles into practice, De
Naglowska and North skipped a few of them and renumbered the
rest from Randolph's complex set-and-subset numbering
system. However, despite the renumbering, the principles are
still identifiable, paragraph by paragraph, and are given in
the same order Randolph gave them.

I will not reprint the entire series of Life Prolongation
principles here, but these few will suffice to show how
badly the translation process went astray:

Randolph, "Mysteries of Eulis" (Deveney page 339, item 6th)

     Never indulge in sexual intercourse except both parties 
     are at the highest tide of loving passion. Sleep apart; 
     indulge not save once or twice a week at the outside; 

Randolph / de Naglowska / North "Sexual Magic" (page 48, item 10):

     Don't look at your woman too often and look only when 
     you are both excited. Sleep in separate bedrooms and 
     do not unite more than one or two times a week. 

[Somehow Randolph's "indulge in sexual intercourse" got turned into
North's voyeuristic "look"!]

Randolph, "Mysteries of Eulis" (Deveney page 339, item 6th)

     and on no account either touch an unready or unwilling 
     woman; or quit her til both orgasms are effected: Do 
     not neglect this latter important point. 

Randolph / de Naglowska / North "Sexual Magic" (page 48, item 10):

     The man must never touch a woman who is not sensitive 
     to his touch and he must never stop until she has 
     trembled with desire at least two times. This is a 
     recommendation of great importance. 

[Randolph says the woman must be sexually ready and willing,
which becomes North's vapid instruction that she must be
"sensitive to his touch." Randolph's clear instruction that
intercourse must continue until the point of mutual male and
female orgasms is reached ("both orgasms are effected")
becomes something woefully different in North's translation:
the woman "trembles with desire at least two times." Even if
one reads between the lines and mentally adjusts the women
who "has trembled with desire" to the woman who "has had an
orgasm," what North tells us is that the woman must have
*two* orgasms -- which leaves the man out in the cold and
disposes of Randolph's essential directive that the *two
parties* must have *one orgasm each* -- together!!!]

Randolph, "Mysteries of Eulis" (Deveney page 339, unnumbered item)

     Fix this first Principle firmly in your memory. Its 
     basic form is "Love lieth at the Foundation," and 
     Love is convertibly Passion, Enthusiasm, Heat, 
     Affection, Fire, God. Master that. 

Randolph / de Naglowska / North "Sexual Magic" (page 48, item 13):

     Don't forget this important axiom, Love is the root 
     of life. Of budding love: it grows according to 
     circumstance, passion, temper, impulse, good or bad, 
     the flame divine or human, the demons or the gods. 
     Through your love you unite with God. 

[De Naglowska / North didn't recognize that "Love lieth at
the Foundation" was a partial recapitulation of Randolph's
oft-repeated central thesis (his Thelemic greeting, as it
were): "Will reigns Omnipotent; Love lieth at the
Foundation." The word "convertibly" also seems to have
thrown them into disarray, for it is rendered "grows
according to circumstance," which makes no sense. De
Naglowska, a Satanist, added "bad" and "demons" to the list
of what love is -- very much against what Randolph had to
say on the subject (he was opposed to bad behaviours, to
evil, to spiritual vampires, and to demons). So, all in all,
the translators overlooked Randolph's statement that
passion, heat, affection -- even God! -- are "convertibly"
love and therefore lie at the foundation of WILL. They
imagined that Randolph claimed that by means of love
(including "bad" love and "demon" love) one may unite WITH
God -- when he clearly said that love IS God and therefore
God lies at the foundation of WILL.]

Well, i could go on and on, demonstrating, for instance, how
Randoph's very Thelemic  

     "By excerise of Will do we of Eulis achieve our mental 
      and other superior triumphs..." 

became, under de Naglowska and North, the wimpily Theosophical 

     "We, the Euclidians [sic!], search for spiritual 
     triumph ... in the will to love"

-- but i think y'all get the point.  

Here is the bibliographic data Gnome requested on Deveney's
biography of Randolph which, as i noted, includes the
complete text of "Mysteries of Eulis" as an appendix:

   "Paschal Beverly Randolph: A Nineteenth Century Black 
    American Spiritualist, Rosicrucian, and Sex Magician"
    by John Patrick Deveney
    State University of New York Press, 1997
    ISBN 0-7914-3120-7 (paperbound)
    ISBN 0-7914-3119-3 (hardbound)

Thanks all for participating in this colloquium. 

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice -- http://www.luckymojo.com/hoodoo.html

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