Friday, September 29, 2006

Strange Angel



29. Let her be dedicated, consecrated, blood to blood, heart to heart, mind to mind, single in will, none without the circle, all to me.

30. And she shall wander in the witchwood under the Night of Pan, and know the mysteries of the Goat and the Serpent, and of the children that are hidden away.


—Jack Parsons, Liber 49, 1946


Over the past decade, there has been renewed interest in the bizarre story of Jack Parsons, the mad rocket scientist, and his occult workings in the desert of California. Parsons, a pioneer of rocketry and a disciple of Aleister Crowley, was convinced that the sexual rituals he was performing would give birth to a Moonchild -- an elemental being. Parsons "Babalon Working," though ignored by conventional historians, was a pivotal episode in modern occultism -- the mystical and synchronistic shadow of the explosion that heralded the atomic age.

But the debate over the efficacy of ritual magick -- whether it's just kooky, fantasy-prone mumbo-jumbo or whether it really works -- is a contentious one. Parsons' best friend, fellow rocketeer Ed Forman (above right), was initially skeptical of Jack's odd hobby. He played along to be polite, it seems, until he had an experience that shattered his skepticism and left him forever changed.

From George Pendle's excellent book, Strange Angel: The Otherworldly LIfe of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons:

Parsons was now forgoing his OTO colleagues and enacting rituals with his old friend, Ed Forman. Despite his doubts about the reality of Crowley's magick, Forman was always willing to help out with what he saw as Parsons' hobby . . . "They thought, 'Let's work on the heavier stuff at the end of the magic book without doing any of the simpler stuff," remembers Forman's wife, Jeanne. "They were tinkering with magic spells as they had with their rockets."

On one such occasion their frivolousness had such a dramatic and unsettling psychological effect on Ed Forman that his family still discusses this story to this day. It seems that Forman was returning to his bedroom late one night following the performance of a ritual, when he felt the whole house shake. At the same time he heard a piercing scream coming from outside his window and looking out of it, he would recall, he saw a number of horrible entities floating outside his window, what he recognized as banshees -- female spirits whose wailing warns of a death in the house. with the sound of their screams filling his ears he rushed downstairs to ask the other members of the house if they, too, could hear it, but nobody could. "Up until then he had not believed in Jack's hobby," remembered Jeanne. "Now he was absolutely terrified." The events of that night would unsettle Forrman for the rest of his life.


Related links:

Attempted Manipulation of UFO manifestations (with further links to Parsons, Crowley, Hubbard, and LAM)

Jack Parsons Wikipedia Entry

Disinformation: Anti-Christ Superstar

And two excellent books:

Strange Angel: The Otherwordly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons

Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons

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