Rolling Stone Orchard. Chipping Campden.
Jan. 7, 1940
The 26 cards have gone to be mounted, so we are beginning to be terrifyingly finished. There are several I should like to try again, but none of them are what I have hoped to be able to do. Therefore tonight I am the victim of the most profound hump, and I think in future I had better stick to mechanical typing. Also I have been reading your truly magical Liber L.X.V. Oh no, I do not pretend to apprehend it, only it is like music, and the only kind of writing I want to read, only it makes me feel as if I lived in a desert and I am mighty thirsty. Shall I never get on a bit? Yoga practices I never seem to advance in. I cannot live more quietly, but even then the business of living takes time. I am positively alarmed at the prospect of the end of this work, as if I do not get any more handed to me, I shall have to return to the awful life I have escaped from in my conscience during the last 2 years, and I doubt if I can. I do not think the ritual of Magic is much good to me, I seem to have to draw everything I want to understand. Thank you beyond words for all your help patience and understanding. At any rate, thanks to that, you have penetrated a slight amount and in the far distance I can see a bit what the Wisdom of the past and the present might mean. I do wish I could do better, I feel like a lump of undigested suet. No. 2 Disks is on the stocks, is the serpent's eye to be red? It is a bit awkward, as there are several colours introduced in that card which do not belong to Jupiter and Capricorn, I mean the 4 element colours and they make inharmonious patches. Did you say anything about jewels on the serpent? I think you will like him. The vile lettering will have to start again, it makes me cross and ache all over.
I am longing to have a go at Mercury, but I am determined to do the Universe first. I have told the man not [to] fasten any cards in the frames, so we can look at them very carefully, it will be awful, but I must get them as nearly right as I can, tho the bother is that watercolours are the devil to alter, even if I were sure that the addition was going to fit in with the design, and altho I can redo, it is not possible to regain the memory of the emotion and one tends to produce a bad copy.
[P.S.] What happened in 1547 because I woke up today saying "Don't forget 1547". Has it any sense?
Rolling Stone Orchard
Jan. 28, 1940
Thank you for your letter.
The No. 5 is also done.
About the Stafford Galleries. I think the best way of handling Ala Story will be for me to invite her for the weekend, show her the cards & let the suggestion that she should show them come from her. Percy has offered to drive her down & it was all fixed up, when she developed a cold & could not come. She is an erratic cove & from long experience of her I am sure she is more likely to function if she is allowed to think she is the originator of any business scheme. In spite of her alluring manners she is fundamentally a very capable business woman & she won't be persuaded to do anything that will not mean publicity or money.
There is one more thing--I do not think those cards will sell if you include any sort of ritual. People generally are afraid of being made fools of, getting bad luck by associating with black magic, especially at these times, when all the world is crossing itself to avert the evil eye, & the secular business man, whose money you need if the cards are to be reproduced, simply will not touch anything in the nature of a stunt for fear of offending his general public.
I humbly suggest that we let Ala advertise it in her own way, keeping very much in the background, for my part anonymously & so stimulate the curiousity of the public & the critics. The whole production will be unusual enough to make a mark, that is if I have done my part well enough, & I have observed that a well staged mystery is a magic of great value in attracting attention. I would even like to suggest that you do not sign your work either. To those, who know your lucid prose & classic style, it will be unmistakable, to the general public, it will be taken as a shock, but, without the suspicion that you, Aleister Crowley, are either attempting to pull their leg or poisoning them with some dangerous new creed in the attempt to raise funds or the wind. In my case I should be acused of trying to learn them, & anyhow why should we respect this insane art when "Percy Harris ought to have the poor thing locked up, he can afford it, only he is too mean."
THE WEATHER. I don't find it too bad. It is really lovely to look at. The trees are incased in ice, I have never seen anything like it, & living & walking, everything ordinary has assumed a rare & dignified aspect with the elements completely out of control. Also, the howling wind, & this new invention "icisny" which is neither raining or snowing, keeps everyone away, so I can read, paint, or cook to my entire satisfaction, also slither up & down the ladder to my studio which provides the necessary exercise & danger to stimulate me & keep me warm.
But it is much too cold for you to brave the train, also I am not quite ready to show enough work I should like to have the Universe done first, so I shall stop & take another brood on it. The still life I sent you is the favorite "eat" of the Cotswold. I ate mine after posting some to you & I must confess, though tasty & strong meat for us babes, it did seem a bit tough, but I hoped your genius would lead you to discover how to cook them, I only baked mine in butter.
[P.S] I should like hours of brain-picking with you. I have 1000 of things I want to ask you, I shall never remember when I see you! Qaballa, Chinese, Eddington medley & questions & demands for your sage & onion explanations pierce the ether all round me.
Have you by any chance heard G.P. Wodehouse's masterpiece on the wireless [...]! Saturday afternoons.
[first portion of letter apparently missing]
Do not forget those pictures are set now & difficult to alter. I have no stimulus from you about the Princes--but I am doing an oil whe
n I can extract a few minutes, so they can wait your Breath. A few pointers seem to indicate a journey to Devonshire in early December or November. Liman North Devonshire Aleister Torquay & Raufman at Minehead. If I can I want to take the short course of geometry 3 weeks in Dec. under Raufman at Minehead. It will clarify some of my geometrical conceptions. He has sent me very good notes on the cone.
So I hope to see you soon. Don't, Aleister, say "like me a little". If I may aspire to such a position, your are my friend & when my friends are rude to me I cannot remember it. They remain the cone, the eye, the node, from which is generated all the pleasure I have in life.
Love is the law, love under will.
93 93/93 [P.S.] I don't know. I think this little a bit savvy don't you--it is late. I feel as flat as the sole I ate for supper. Carelessly cooked it was & so, so, dull. [small drawing of a flat sole]
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