Dr. David Shoemaker, author of Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick, is our guest in podcast episode 147.
Dr. David Shoemaker is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in Jungian and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. David is the Chancellor of the International College of Thelema, and the Prolocutor of its initiatory Order, the Temple of the Silver Star. He has been a member of O.T.O. and a student of A∴A∴ since 1993, and he has more than fifteen years of experience supervising students in these traditions.
He is Past Master of 418 Lodge, O.T.O. in Sacramento, having succeeded Soror Meral (Phyllis Seckler), his friend and teacher. He also serves as the M.W.S. of Alpha Chapter, and as a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Order. David is the founding President of the O.T.O. Psychology Guild, and a frequent speaker at NOTOCON. He is also a member of the U.S.G.L. Initiation Training, E.G.C. Clergy Training, and Planning committees, and he serves as an Advanced Initiator Trainer.
David is a co-editor of the journals Neshamah (Psychology Guild) and Cheth (418 Lodge). In addition to his essays in these publications, his writings have been published in the journals Mezlim and Black Pearl, and his chapter on Kabbalistic Psychology was included in the Instructor’s Manual of Fadiman and Frager’s Personality and Personal Growth, an undergraduate psychology textbook. He was the compiler of the ICOT publication, Jane Wolfe: The Cefalu Diaries 1920-1923, and a co-editor of the ICOT/Teitan Press collections of the writings of Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral), The Thoth Tarot, Astrology, & Other Selected Writings and The Kabbalah, Magick, and Thelema. Selected Writings Volume II. His most recent publication is Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick.
“The system of spiritual attainment developed by Aleister Crowley is notoriously challenging in its scope. Adapted from the popular podcast segment of the same name, Living Thelema brings a welcome approachability to Crowley’s material, without diminishing the depth of the system. The author focuses on the practical and experiential aspects of the path of Thelema, allowing the reader to grasp the true transformative power of the system.
Beginners and advanced practitioners alike will find much useful advice here, as Shoemaker brings his characteristic down-to-earth style to bear on topics such as ritual and meditation practices, sex magick, astral projection, psychotherapy for magicians, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and that pinnacle of attainment known as the crossing of the Abyss.
The author’s background as a practicing psychotherapist allows an entirely unique fusion of esoteric wisdom and cognitive science. Living Thelema is an invaluable handbook for every modern magician.”
Not only is the book recommended by luminaries of the Thelemic tradition (e.g. Lon DuQuette and Richard Kaczynski), but is an important, and many would argue necessary, text that will aid multitudes of Thelemites as they pursue the Great Work. Eminently practical, but also inspiring – Living Thelema deserves your attention and I highly recommend all of Dr. Shoemaker’s work.
In the Occult of Personality Membership Section, Dr. David Shoemaker talks about A∴A∴, his mentor Phyllis Seckler and her legacy, the importance of perseverance on the magickal path and much more! Join us for that important interview.
outro music –excerpt of “Portraying the Yellow Sun” by Peter Alargic