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Gems from the "Equinox": Instructions by Aleister Crowley for His Own Magical Order Hardcover – Jun 1991

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1184 pages
  • Publisher: New Falcon Publications,U.S.; 2nd Revised edition edition (Jun. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156184019X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561840199
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 15.2 x 6.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,829,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In the original ten volumes of the "Equinox", Aleister Crowley succeeded in synthesizing the aim of religion and the method of science. Israel Regardie's selections in "Gems of the Equinox" make a volume that is invaluable to readers, students and adepts. It includes material on Crowley's magical order, magical rituals, yoga, invocations and sex magick, among many other topics. "Gems from the Equinox" is a unique resource that serves as a veritable textbook for the magickal orders AA and O.T.O.Although it is written for the advanced practitioner, beginners will gain much from its many pages of wisdom, including yoga postures and breathing techniques, ceremonial rituals and meditations, an Enochian magick primer, and "The Book of the Law". In "Gems from the Equinox", Israel Regardie's selections of Aleister Crowley's writings synthesize the aim of religion and the method of science, making it invaluable to readers, students, and adepts. "Gems" is a must have for every student of Occultism, Mysticism, Thelema, Magick, and comparative religion. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. B. P. Van-asten on 4 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent compendium of the major works found in Crowley's great masterpiece of occult knowledge - The Equinox, a periodical which declared the Law of the New Aeon of Thelema. Gems from the Equinox is divided into seven sections on themes such as: The Book of the Law, Yoga, Magick, and Sex Magick etc and there is something for all students and scholars of Magick and Crowley's works in this concise collection. Israel Regardie has done a fine job on this volume of illumination, yet how can it ever compare to that superior star which is the Equinox?
There are some omissions which I feel should have been included, such as: The Temple of Solomon the King, John St John, Across the Gulf, The Rites of Eleusis, The Herb Dangerous, and The Soldier! and the Hunchback?... - yes, these are available elsewhere and space is always a factor, yet to have them all in one volume would be a wonder indeed!
But we must forgive Mr Regardie for reducing the greatest periodical ever written in the English language concerning magical instruction, into a mere work of art and beauty in one extraordinary volume, of which, I'm sure Crowley would have approved (despite the omissions)!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Oct. 2000
Format: Hardcover
Regardie chooses his selections well, as you might expect from one so advanced and respected as he was. Those who cannot afford the full set of Equinox volumes would do well to purchase this book.
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By thomas winter on 19 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
wow amazing totally full front to back of amazing knowladge not left my hand since arriving
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Mar. 1999
Format: Hardcover
To put it simply the whole book is a journey into ones moral fiber the very core of our very existance. The precipates illistrated form the core of magik and its practise.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 32 reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
An Indispensible Magickal Compendium. 29 Dec. 1999
By "shedona" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
_Gems from the Equinox_ has probably been the most important item in my personal library, as well as the one most often used. _Gems_ is not only practical, but also highly inspiring in its collection of key Thelemic and A.'.A.'. class A-E documents. It contains all the major rituals: Resh, Star Ruby (pentagram), Star Sapphire (hexagram), Reguli, Gnostic Mass, Samekh (Crowley's version of the HGA invocation), and more. Liber LXXXIX vel Chanokh offers the basic components of the Enochian system (watchtowers, the SDA, the 91 governors & the Keys or Calls) and precedes the original "The Vision and the Voice" account of Crowley's scrying adventure into the 30 aethyrs. The instructional sections are a goldmine, as are the practical disciplines offered in Libers E, O, Nu, Had, Thisarb, Yod and others. The A.'.A.'. syllabus, One Star in Sight, Khabs Am Pekht, Liber AL vel Legis (the Book of the Law), De Lege Libellvm and more are also included in this indispensible compendium of magick. In my opinion, this is THE one book to have on the shelf, or better yet, on the home or temple altar, for daily reference and praxis in magick and mysticism. The only way to make it more complete as a reference work would be to add the material found in _777_.
(Note: The version I own is the 1974-1982 publication by the Israel Regardie Foundation in conjunction with Falcon Press. Very well bound and has held up to a great deal of stress and use; however, I am not at present in a position to comment upon the quality of physical construction of any newer version.)
--Shedona Chevalier--
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
made to stand next to your 'Golden Dawn' volume... 21 Dec. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Let us tersely and conveniently sum up the virtues...
1. For Golden Dawn people, Regardie describes this volume as the companion to his 'Golden Dawn' collection, whether you prefer the Llewellyn, or the more complete New Falcon Press edition. He does so in his newer introduction to his 'The Tree of Life,' and in another book, no doubt soon to be reprinted, called 'The One Year Manual.'
2. Regardie saw 'Gems' as a permanent addition to the Golden Dawn students shelf. Along with Crowley's original 'Magick in Theory and Practise,' he saw these two volumes as containing an immense amount of worthy material that could take the student a lifetime to assimilate and use. He makes this observation at the beginning of a volume entitled 'Ceremonial Magic,' hopefully soon to be reprinted.
The new edition of Crowley's 'Magick' isn't quite what Regardie had in mind for the student. He used to recommend the inexpensive Castle Books edition of 'Magick,' which still occasionally can be found (there is also a smaller paperback Dover books edition floating around, currently out-of-print.) Regardie really wasn't interested in seeing sincere students 'loading themselves down with lots of expensive books.'
(Regardie also write a short introduction for an edition of the first 2 parts of the currently available blue covered edition of 'Magick,' back in 1969. I am unaware if this smaller book is still in print.)
(Part 4 of Book 4 was 'The Equinox of the Gods.' I am unaware of Regardie ever writing any introduction to this book, in any edition. Sangraal Press may have released one in the late 60s/ early 70s. In any event, Regardie does not seem to consider it absolutely essential to understanding the most useful parts of the Crowley corpus. Regardie mentions 'The Equinox of the Gods' but little in his writings.)
3. 'Gems' distinguishes itself, as is noted above on this web page in the 'Book Description,' as enabling 'the student to find his way through the maze more easily.' It does this by dividing the different materials from the original Equinox into seperate sectioned subject areas within the same volume.
4. It is to be noted that Regardie has pointed out that Crowley's personality (!) made his material difficult to properly assimilate for the beginning student - and perhaps for a few advanced students as well. One will find that, in many cases, this is also true for the way Crowley composed much of the magickal material in 'Gems.' Separating the fiery and uneven Crowley from his material becomes part of the difficulty of the project: 'herein the task, herein the toil.'
5. New Falcon, at one point in the 80s, reprinted 'Gems' minus a certain amount of Regardie's introductory material. I think this is a mistake. I hate to sound purist, but we ultimately have little enough Regardie material as it is. We are all thankful, however, for New Falcon's Regardie efforts. See my recent review for 'The Complete Golden Dawn' volume published by New Falcon.
6. Thelemites will no doubt find 'Gems' useful. The bulk of them, however, will probably opt, at least eventually, for the full set of 'The Equinox' volumes entire.
7. As he reprinted much of Crowley's work, Regardie was often consulted or referred to as a Thelemite. Regardie objected to this, and clarified: 'I'm a Golden Dawn man !'
8. Many will be glad to know ahead of time, that the version of 'The Vision and the Voice' reprinted in 'Gems,' is not the annotated one that was released later, both in a smaller Regardie edition with intro., and in the later, oversized Weiser Publishers edition ( probably with intro. by the OTOs Hymenaeus Beta.)
9. Finally, some of the magick material reprinted in 'Gems' is actually available in the back of the different editions of Crowley's edition of 'Magick.' This makes no difference, as 'Gems' will organize the material more effectively, in the long run, for many students.
The above should serve, along with the rest of the present reviews, in encouraging the Golden Dawn student to procure this book as soon as he can, and gradually study it as he would his 'Golden Dawn' material.
Remember : sorting out the material is the real challenge here, and gradually assimilating it. One shouldn't rush the process.
So, forewarned is forearmed! Get a copy !
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
...and THERE! before the veil, doth peer forth the BEAST! 27 Nov. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"He who knoweth little, thinketh he knoweth much; but he who knoweth much hath learned his own ignorance."
And so it is, those that don't understand him, fear him, and the very few of those that do understand him, also understand themselves, and thus ... they, the few, realize the GENIUS within the man, which is the soul of the many. Behold the master therin!
I bought this book a couple of months ago, and everytime I pick it up and begin to read it, another 'door' opens! This book is like a treasure chest, and until you advance enough to understand it, then much of it is enigmatic, BUT - Crowley doesn't leave us in the ocean without some driftwood - he gives the reader a list of suggested reading that one must utilize in order to understand him and likewise the deeper secrets of the "Magnum Opus" - thus one must follow that "golden thread" which runs through many celebrated works, where Crowley himself gained his intellect, and that make up the corner stone of all great wisdom 'available' for investigation. Therefore, it is not neccessary to read Crowleys other works before this one, in fact I for one believe It would be a waste of precious time, for this is, in my opinion, THE book on Crowley! Why buy second best? contemplate it and buy the books he reccomends (some of them are available free on i-net) and put the pieces together. Challenge those barriers that constrict you, strive for only the best, and the master will surely open the doors of the hidden sanctuary!
Concerning the contents of the book: Crowley's commentary on Blavatsky's "Voice of the Silence," is alone, worth what you pay for it, and with it you get his most famed instructions on Yoga, Magick, Sex Magick, not to mention a first hand story of one mans attainment of the 'Gem" and the difficulties he encountered, which is very revealing in itself. You also get the Enochian rituals, and the Book of the Law and the list just keeps going & going & going & going.
So, Go ahead! buy one of those watered down wanna be magick books if you must, but realize the guide to the real magick is within and Crowley points the way for all those that have what it takes to carry the torch of Thelema and awaken the sleepers from there agwanti.
"That shall end never that began. All things endure because they are. Do what thou wilt, for every man and every woman is a star."
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Gem Indeed 7 May 2005
By Michael A. Effertz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you can only own three books associated with Crowley and his teachings, they would have to be "Magick: Liber ABA," "Magick Without Tears," and "Gems from the Equinox." This is a well organized synthesis of the most highly regarded contents of The Equinox. The reviews at the end are also good reading if you're looking for books on the occult or a good laugh.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Essential for Modern Magick 11 July 2008
By MWebb - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Crowley's "Equinox" is widely regarded as the seminal modern treatise on magic, or "Magick" as Crowley preferred to call it (to distinguish it from stage magic). His innovative spelling may have also been motivated by the more favorable numerological signification resulting from addition of the "k." By the way, Crowley's preferred pronunciation of his name rhymed with "holy" (and "wholely") not "how-ly."

The original Equinos was more of a "magazine" of occultism than a normal "book" like Crowley's "Magick in Theory and Practice," and the original Equinox, from which this compilation is derived, was published twice a year for about five years to coincide with the solar equinox. Crowley actually got through ten issues despite money problems and World War I paper shortages (the one volume of the original set that I have has a "pasteboard" cover and a note that it complies with WWI rationing requirements) before it went into abeyance (which Crowley justified as a cycle of speech followed by a cycle of silence). Later publications given the "Equinox" designation (like the book of Thoth) were regular books and not the mixed bag of "magazine" articles that made up the original Equinox series.

Although merely a "magazine," Crowley used the original Equinox to print the Golden Dawn materials he had received as a member of that group well before Regardie stunned the occult world with the publication of his chapter's materials in the 1930's, and thus the Equinox remained the sole public (or semi-public) source of those rituals until Regardie published his own private papers in his famous "Golden Dawn" volume in the 1930's. Crowley's original Equinox went out of print for about 80 years until the Samuel Weiser publishing house undertook the enormous and expensive task (really a labor of love) to reprint it, and that set has itself gone out of print and commands very high prices when available.

It fell upon Regardie to undertake another labor of love and digest down the best parts of the original Equinox into this "Gems from the Equinox." Although some occult writers quibbled over some of his omissions (and the OTO, inheritor of Crowley's literary estate, issued "Holy Books of Thelema" as a result), most of us feel Regardie did his usual brilliant job of selection. So consider "Gems from the Equinox" as the best Reader's Digest version of a great work you are ever going to see.

IMHO, if you just stumbled on this book and these reviews by accident, an essential budding modern magician's library could easily be built around this one volume of excerpts, plus Regardie's "Golden Dawn," plus Regardie's "Tree of Life," plus Crowley's "Magick in Theory and Practice" since reprinted, with excellent annotations, by the OTO as "Magick: Liber ABA: Book IV." (The Tree of Life, btw, includes a fairly innocuous chapter spelling out the OTO's famous "secret" concerning amrita.) Of those three, the Tree of Life is the most essential reading. "Golden Dawn" has some very useful, true to their source, original "knowledge lectures" and concise occult basics, but is really a manual for group working. "Gems" is highly inspirational, but somewhat in the same category as "Finnegan's Wake" in terms of accessibility to the casual reader. Only "Tree of Life" is immediately useful for the solo practioner. Crowley's seminal work "Magick" is essential as you grow, and his "Thoth Tarot" is sublime.

Finally, much is made of Crowley's self-designation as the "Great Beast," i.e. that creature from hell in the Book of Revelations, but it would do well to keep in mind that the English of his time tended to refer to any bad behavior on the part of children as "beastly" and the perpetrator a "right little beast," so I think Crowley was having the ultimate word play on his readers by taking this English pejorative and mixing it up with his cosmology while thumbing his nose at the Puritan establishment he grew up with. A man as beastly as the press portrayed would not have counted among his friends and supporters the large number of upper class English men and women that he did.

BTW I agree with the other reviewer that the original facsimile reprint of "Magick in Theory and Practice" makes a much better (smaller, lighter) travel companion that the bulky annotated edition mentioned above, but be aware that there are some typos and other errors in the original edition that the OTO corrected in their annotated edition.
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