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In the Center of the Fire
A Memoir of the Occult 1966-1989
James Wasserman
ISBN: 9780892542017
Book (Hardcover)
Ibis Press
$35.00
6 x 9
336 pages
May 24, 2012


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In this daring expose by a survivor of a unique era in the New York occult scene, James Wasserman, a longtime proponent of the teachings of Aleister Crowley, brings us into a world of candlelit temples, burning incenser, and sonorous invocations. The author also shares an intimate look at the New York Underground if the 1970s and introduces us to the company of such avant-garde luminaries as Alejandro Jodorowsky, Harry Smith and Angus MacLise. A stone's throw away form the Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol's Factory, William Burrough's "bunker," and the legendary Chelsea Hotel was a scene far more esoteric than perhaps even they could have imagined.

When James Wasserman joined the O.T.O. in 1976, there were fewer than a dozen members. Today the Order numbers over 4,000 members in 50 countries and has been responsible for a series of groundbreaking publications of Crowley's works.

The author founded New York City's TAHUTI Lodge in 1979. He chronicles its early history and provides a window into the heyday of the Manhattan esoteric community.

This is also a saga with a very human tableau filled with tender romance, passionate friendships, an abiding spiritual hunger, danger, passion, and ecstasy. It also explores several hidden magical byways including the rituals of Voodoo, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism.

Reconstructed from personal memories, magical diaries, multiple interviews, court transcripts, witness depositions, trial evidence, and extensive correspondence, this book elucidates a hithero misreported and ill-understood nexus of modern magical history.

James Wasserman is a lifelong student of religion and spiritual development. His writings and editorial efforts maintain a focus on spirituality, creative mythology, secret societies, history, religion, and politics. He is a passionate advocate of individual liberty. An admirer of the teachings of Aleister Crowley, he has played a key role in numerous seminal publications of the Crowley literary corpus. A book designer by trade, Jim is the owner of Studio 31. He has appeared on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Coast to Coast Radio and numerous podcasts, and has addressed National Press Club.
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