by Leo Holmes

- Now available-

Six years after the critically acclaimed LeMULgeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition, Leo Holmes is back with a new and exciting book: The Abyss. The Abyss offers a wide approach, based on both personal experience and a multidisciplinary study, to the second of the two main crises of a magician's career, the first being the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The book is predominantly inspired by Thelemic Literature, but not limited to it, drawing parallels to ancient Myths of Descent and intellectual, emotional, and behavioural patterns, as much as to archetypal concepts. It is a painful yet insightful journey that depends equally on the pilgrim and on the Stars that guide him.

The author also employs a couple of famous Gothic poems, artistic concepts, and Gnostic and Eastern teachings and ascetic practices in an attempt to cover the various facets of the awful and enlightening experience that is the Ordeal of the Abyss. Restriction: that is the word of Sin, that is the word of The Abyss. But where is the threshold? Where and when one thing becomes another? When Restriction becomes Liberation and vice versa? How can we be so sure that the Other is not just another part of the I? We are walking metamorphoses, not much different from Alchemical Processes, and we contain all the elements of the Universe.

Knowing this, Leo Holmes makes use of spiritual and psychological concepts present in the symbology of the tradition of Western Alchemy, corresponded by Astrological Signs and by the twelve steps common to many famous Epic journeys, some of which were essential for the Mystery Cults of the past. He also introduces the unprecedented concept of the Shadow Animal: the cluster of atavistic, normally unconscious patterns of behaviour that operates more or less like the Power Animal of Shamanism, but in a reversed manner. For him, this Shadow Animal is just one of the many masks of Choronzon, or the Shadow God, manifest in the heart of man.

Examining the ephemerality of what we call reality, and the triviality of our social values, the pervasiveness of Suffering, and the compulsiveness of self-sacrifice and rectification, “The Abyss” aims to function – like the poet Virgil and the Sybil Deiphobe – as a small beam of light amid darkness and as a solidary bony hand for those who are facing the terrifying Night of Pan. The dissolution of the Ego is neither pleasant nor simple; for that, the mystic or magician has to become aware of his Shadow, that which hinders him and is occult within his skull. The true Occultist is not the one who memorizes complicated rituals or dabbles in the supernatural, but the one who teaches oneself to identify the patterns that reveal what is occult.

On the other side of the crossing, Babalon beckons to her Babes, calling them to surrender completely and sacrifice themselves in order to become No-man, or maybe more accurately, the Primordial Man. He is but a Force of Nature. When the Truth in the formula of NOX is not only intellectually understood, but also directly experienced, the magician successfully pours out his blood into the Cup of our Lady and then becomes free to move forward, towards Saturn (Binah) and the Stars (Chokmah). There is no need to instruct a Babe thus born, for in the Abyss he was purged of every poison of personality, and his ascent to the highest is assured in its season.

Welcome to the Abyss, enjoy your stay.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Catabasis: the kiss of death

The sacrifice

The Gnosis of suffering

The shadow, a bestiary of the abyss

The babe of the abyss

Nemo

Towards Saturn and the stars

Appendix I: The cry of the tenth Aethyr

Appendix II

 


We have made a whole chapter available to anyone wanting a taste of the book at this location, and you will find several photos on our Facebook page.

Leo Holmes is a practising magician and an occult enthusiast for more than twenty years, predominantly interested in Chaos Magic, Gnosticism, Thelema and the Typhonian Current, having been a former member of the Swedish Dragon Rouge, an invited member of the Esoteric Order of Dagon, and one of the founding members of the official Brazilian Lodge of the German Ordo Saturni. He has also collaborated with Anton Channing’s Kia Invisible Agents. Holmes has written a few occult articles, both in English and in Portuguese, but is better known for his book LeMulgeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition, released in 2013 by Fall of Man; and for having collaborated in the translation of The Book of Lies into Portuguese, released by the Brazilian Publisher Daemon Editora in 2018.

The Abyss has been fantastically illustrated by the author himself, containing several full-page illustrations, as well as many smaller ones. This new title is presented in two different editions:

- Choronzon Edition: This deluxe hardcover edition will be limited to 72 hand-numbered copies, handbound in black French Morocco for the spine and suede for the covers, with The Abyss logo embossed in the front. All the spines are hand-sewn and the leather has been prepared in an artisanal way.
Specifications: Octavo size (148 x 210 mm.), 130 g. voluminous two side-coated paper with 140 g. black end-papers. 206 pages. A digital version of the book is included in the price as well.
120€ + shipping.

- Standard Edition: Limited to 333 copies, this hardcover edition is bound in midnight blue Italian cloth, with The Abyss logo embossed in the front in silver. The spines are hand-sewn and have a ribbon bookmark, with dark blue end-papers.
Specifications: Octavo size (148 x 210 mm.), 110 g. voluminous two side-coated paper with 140 g. dark blue end-papers. 206 pages.
40€ + shipping.

Both editions will have a limited edition bookmark illustrated by Leo Holmes included with each order.

 

What follows is an interview with author and illustrator, Leo Holmes:

Welcome Leo, how are you? It has been quite a long time since the release of "LeMULgeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition". I know you scrapped a couple of book ideas (almost finished books, at that), but without getting into personal details, can you tell us why it took you so long to have a new book ready?
Greetings, it’s great to be back! Yes, after LeMULgeton I engaged in other writings, but in the end I felt they lacked soul; there is no other way to put it. I mean, they were surely well researched texts, well founded from the perspective of methodology, but they felt somewhat like dissected animals or entomology boxes. I wanted something alive, artistic, unrestrained. So, large parts of both works were discarded while what I felt to be worthy was transported to The Abyss. The answer for why it took so long is very simple: I was destroyed. At least that which I considered myself at the time. I was very busy for at least two years trying to get a job during the ridiculous, outrageous and (to some extent) fictitious “crisis” that took place in my country from 2015 on, along with other thirteen millions of family men… trying to put bread on the table. So, as anyone can imagine, and as it was brilliantly pointed by Ryan Anschauung in Threshold, I had to satisfy first things first before going back to writing. For those who wish to understand what exactly happened during the “crisis” – from which we are not fully recovered yet – I recommend the series The Mechanism on Netflix. It is based on books written by one of the investigators. Interesting enough, though, Belial taught me how to turn shit into gold, so I transformed my painful experience into The Abyss.

Can you describe what The Abyss is, who is it for, and what does it focus on? Is it now the right time to publish a book like this?
Well, I’m gonna tell you a short story that I heard from Urian, my Guardian Angel. A long long time ago, when night and day were not fully separated and the stars shined at noon, Truth came down and, disobeying her father Time, decided to bathe in the Waters of Pleasure. She unclothed herself of her meanings and threw herself in delight. But the mischievous Lie had followed her unnoticed; he was spying on her from the shadows and furtively stole her meaningful garments while she was distracted. Since then, Truth runs naked through the world, desperately searching for meaning. But Lie, that Evil Archon, knowing that Truth is very shy, concealed meaning very very deep in the unfathomable, bottomless pit, so he could rule the world alone. The end. The Abyss is a critical lack of meaning and the eternal and untiring quest for it. From the point of view of a few Magical Organizations, it is understood as a voluntary (though necessary; e.g.: for a plenary magical career) process through which the magician abandons his wealth and health, everything he holds dear and his very identity, in order to attain a higher order of knowledge and living. However, in the real world of true magic, this process is hardly ever like this. Do you know any contemporary fellow who has engaged willfully in such an enterprise? You don’t have to answer, I already know it. The Abyss, the real experience of Abyss that takes place in this world of horrors, is as compulsory as is aging, or falling in love or suffering. Mythology, Astrology, Psychology, Alchemy and History all corroborate my point. To sum up, the book covers a wide range of phenomena that happen abruptly and unintentionally, sooner or later in any magical career, as well as in any other career with enough depth of purpose, like the artistic or medical careers for instance. To live is not necessary; meaning is. That’s why suicide happens more than eight hundred thousand times per year. But make no mistake: this is not a self-help book, absolutely. It serves not to the purpose of relieving the pain and healing; but to sever the injured limb. This is about self-deprivation, individuation and enantiodromia – metamorphosis into raw consciousness. It is about acknowledging the limits of Ego and putting it to death by a sharp shard of the broken mirror of Truth. The Abyss (the book) is a collection of mournful cries and a few enlightening thoughts uttered in the Dark Night of the Soul of heroes, fratricides, kings, poets, saints and mystics, and based on my own experience: I saw God face to face; and He was ugly. Ultimately, my new work The Abyss is a “Calling on the Children of the Black Sun”, both in reverence and in parody to Marcelo Ramos Motta; it is a Magistherion per se, which concept is briefly explained in the book – and as such, it is a bit of a revenge. Overall, the book is also a Socio-Magical Critique. It will hopefully help the right readers to leave their humaneness behind to become a force of nature. Now, is it the right time? Actually, there could not be a better one. In the Aeon of Thelema, the Angel Aiwass has brought us to the Brink of the Abyss; now, in the dawning of the new Aeon, we shall devote our efforts to promote a mass crossing of the elects, assisted by Father Time who is beckoning beyond the Threshold. Now it is time to balance Thelema with Agape, Compassionless Love.

One of the sentences that stuck with me while reading The Abyss is "Meaning is necessary, living is not.” Can you elaborate on it?
Yes. Lack of meaning is the death of the soul. It is worse than the death of the body. Have you ever heard of Thích Quảng Đức, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk who set himself on fire in 1963, in protest to the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government? Meaning is necessary, living is not. I’m not telling people to kill themselves, I am only remarking an impressive fact which I often observe in practice. We need meaning more than we need air.

LeMULgeton received very positive reviews. How do you think The Abyss will be received, do you see it capturing the attention of those who enjoyed your previous work?
Oh, that’s a hard one. The Abyss is very different from LeMULgeton, above all in its emotional appeal. It is much more acid; punk-gothic. LeMULgeton relied more on research while The Abyss was based more on personal experience. Nevertheless, those who enjoyed LeMULgeton – which main theme resulted from enlightenment – because of its clarity of perception, will surely enjoy the enlightening thoughts shared in The Abyss. I think one of the most difficult situations I found myself at the time of the Dark Night of my Soul was that, although I had access to a few articles and parts of larger works (on other subjects) dealing with the experience of The Abyss (which I was consciously undergoing at the time), it was all too shallow and regurgitative; it lacked depth. A depth fit for The Abyss. Then, I felt the urge to write on this subject so other people may find it helpful while experiencing this magical crisis that comes to all of us.

The Abyss supposes a step in a different direction than LeMULgeton; while LeMULgeton was an investigation on the links between the Goetia and the Babylonian stellar tradition, The Abyss is a more personal journey, describing the Ordeal of crossing the Abyss and the tools necessary to get through it. What drove that change?
My descent.

Talking about the concept of the shadow, you mention that because the shadow only receives punishment from social interactions, this is the only way it learns to interact, that it “speaks in wounds”. Can you elaborate on this idea?
Yes. Have you ever realized that the worse bullies in school were abused by a father figure – if they ever knew their real father – and/or their mother was a drug addict that punished with neglect? I personally don’t believe we “own” animals, but for the sake of oratory… If a dog receives only aggression from its “owner”, it will only know to be aggressive in response. The shadow is an animal; and also a psychopath. It should be dealt with care.

You are currently a member of the Ordo Saturni. How has this altered your worldview? What are the positive aspects of belonging to an organized and well respected occult organization such as the Ordo Saturni?
Yes, I am one of the founding members of the Brazilian Lodge of the Ordo Saturni, and, rather curiously, my experience of The Abyss happened right during a time I distanced from the Lodge. It is a Thelemic Organization and, despite (differently from the A.:A.: for instance) it does not have a degree like the Babe of the Abyss, the Demiurge Saturn is expected to test his chosen ones shortly after initiation in a manner not much different from the Ordeal of the Abyss. In the Tree of Life, as most readers may know, to reach Saturn one must cross the Abyss. There are many positive aspects in belonging to a magical brotherhood like Ordo Saturni, above all the strengthening of discipline, the promotion of inspiration and the reachable solidary hand. Not to mention the reliability of its methods and a well-grounded traditional body of knowledge.

The book's art style and direction are very specific, reminiscence of classic Gothic literature. Why did you choose to work with that kind of imagery? And why did you decide to personally create all the art yourself, was it a desire to have full control over all the book's aspects?
Definitely, I believe Gothic Literature and the Victorian Atmosphere grasp with beauty the essence of the Ordeal of the Abyss. It’s been a long time I have been influenced by artists like Leif Jones, Tim Bradstreet and Alex Sheikman in their “modern” Gothic style, giving life to a black and white world. I always wanted to illustrate my own writings, but with LeMULgeton I did not feel the room for it; my drawings always had this gloomy atmosphere that seemed somehow incompatible with the Babylonian, Starry lore of LeMULgeton. It is not so much that I desired to have full control over all the aspects of the book, but that I wanted my pain to be fully expressed in the best Pre-Raphaelite style possible – their periodical, entitled The Germ, championed the belief that poetry and visual arts should be closely intertwined. I wanted room to express the images of my unconscious, and The Abyss had the right mood for it; it had the right skin. Not many people know that I was a tattoo artist for a while, by the way. Others in the field will understand this: we are always in search of the right skin, the best canvas to our ink.

What's next for you, are you currently working on something new or do you have anything planned for the near future?
Well, you know, I am hyperactive, I’m always writing something, connecting dots and studying Magic and the Occult with my Soror Mystica, my beloved wife. I am currently writing what could well be considered to be a sequel to The Abyss, in reference to what comes after, mostly concerned with Time; but I cannot predict how long it will take, no pun intended. And in a farther future I also plan to write about Magical Wars along with my wife, which is basically the story of our lives.

Thank you for your time!
Thank you so much! I’m always indebted to Fall of Man, for always welcoming me (and others like me), and for redoubling the voices that are calling in the wilderness.


Ego eimi he hodos kai he aletheia kai he zoe. Kai he thanatos.

Ego eimi he abussos. Ego eimi he oudeis.

Ego eimi ho on.