For the first installment of our “Featured Books” section, I’ve decided to highlight Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light by Aleister Crowley, called the “most evil man who ever lived.”Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light was originally published in 1907 as a limited edition of only 500 copies. This 1990 reprint brings one of Crowley’s earliest known occult writings back into circulation in a beautiful bound and illustrated facsimile printing.
Martin P. Starr, author of the new introduction, explains the book’s title:
The mystification begins with the often-misspelled title of this curious collection of essays. It is taken from a barbarous phrase spoken in the Eleusinian mysteries, κόγξ όμπαξ, which was picked up by the originators of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and incorporated into their Neophyte initiation ceremony; the titles of the officers in the latter ceremony are also taken from the Eleusinia. Crowley underwent the Neophyte ritual in November 1898; in it he learned that these mystic words were the Greek cognates of the Egyptian “Khabs em Pekht,” here translated as “Light in Extension” – a bit of good mysticism but dubious etymology in keeping with the intellectual habits of the Golden Dawn’s magical founder, S.L. Mathers, who, as Crowley twits, “will borrow any required properties.” Nevertheless Crowley took the derivation at face value and in the “Dedication and Counter-Dedication” goes on to identify KONX with the “LVX of the Brethren of the Rosy Cross.”
Book description: x, 108pp, 12pp. Black cloth covered boards with illustrated front board; titles in white to spine; black end papers; two-color ink to title page (red and black); black and white frontispiece portrait illustration of author; numerous black and white illustrations throughout; yellow talismanic square laid in. All edges neat and clean; occasional pencil marginalia. Almost as new. $200, plus shipping.
Buy online here.