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Ramsey Dukes - SSOTBME Revised An Essay on Magic (copyrighted book, review only)
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Here is a new, revised edition of a book first published by The Mouse That Spins in April 1975 as 'SSOTBME' an essay on magic, its foundations, development and place in modern life. Since then it has run to two English, one American, two Polish and at least one German edition -- and earned many friends along the way.The book was originally conceived in 1974 as an essay to be included within a longer book. Christopher MacIntosh had proposed a collection of essays on topics such as Tantricism, Zen Buddhism and other exotic rel... More >>>
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Here is a new, revised edition of a book first published by The Mouse That Spins in April 1975 as 'SSOTBME' an essay on magic, its foundations, development and place in modern life. Since then it has run to two English, one American, two Polish and at least one German edition -- and earned many friends along the way.
The book was originally conceived in 1974 as an essay to be included within a longer book. Christopher MacIntosh had proposed a collection of essays on topics such as Tantricism, Zen Buddhism and other exotic religious ideas which had been attracting wider interest in the West since the hippy era -- and he thought it would be rather interesting to include a piece on Western Ritual Magic. The required contribution was written, but the book idea was shelved (as it were). That left a nice essay which was worth editing and publishing in its own right.
The publishing house was called 'The Mouse That Spins' because Companies' House would not permit my use of 'The Imperial Publishing House Of Great Britain'-- a name which I considered rather cool and revolutionary at the time. It is less easy to explain why the book was originally published anonymously. So I won't. Ramsey Dukes was asked to revise the text for this edition, on the assumption that he wrote the essay -- however his style was more verbose than the original (maybe an effect of the corrupting influence of word processors since 1974) so his main additions have been ghettoised into appended chapters in smaller print in order to preserve the integrity of the original.
Ramsey Dukes is the current and most well-known pen name of Lionel Snell, a contemporary English magician, publisher and author on magic and philosophy. He also wrote under the pen name, Lemuel Johnston.
In his youth, Snell enjoyed a series of scholarships. They brought him to Cambridge, where his writings on Austin Osman Spare and magical theory brought him into contact with the young chaos magic movement in the 1970s. He had been interested in the occult before, but this comparatively rigorous and modern style of it, largely shaped by fellow scientist Peter Carroll, drew his special attention.
In 1977, Ramsey Dukes performed a well-known, but very rarely attempted ritual called the Abramelin operation.
Since 1972 Ramsey Dukes has written and published several books noted for their impact on late 20th-century magic and humor. The ones most often referred to may be SSOTBME - An Essay on Magic (1974) and Thundersqueak (1978). Words Made Flesh (1987) is written from a more philosophical point of view and notable for its original outline of the "information model" theory of magic that our universe could be a virtual reality--as later explored in The Matrix. It is an example of the author's ongoing studies in the relationship between magic and rationalism.
Dukes has worked on the subject of magic with diverse associates including the Ordo Templi Orientis and Illuminates of Thanateros.
Partial Ramsey Dukes's bibliography
- SSOTMBE: An Essay on Magic, Its Foundations, Development and Place in Modern Life, 1st edition: Mouse That Spins, 1975. ISBN 0904311015
Hardcover: Turner, 1979. ISBN 0904311090
- SSOTMBE Revised: An Essay on Magic. Mouse That Spins, 2002. ISBN 0904311082
- Thundersqueak, with Liz Angerford and Ambrose Lee. Mouse That Spins. ISBN 0904311120 (3rd rev. ed., 2003)
- Words Made Flesh, Mouse That Spins. ISBN 0904311112 (2nd rev. ed., 2003)
- BLAST Your Way to Megabuck$ with my SECRET Sex-Power Formula. Mouse That Spins. ISBN 0904311139 (2nd rev. ed., 2003). BLAST... has been published in German as Zaster-Blaster, Zapp Dir den Weg zum GiGaGeld mit meiner GEHEIMEN SEX-KRAFT-FORMEL.
- The Good, the Bad the Funny, with Adamai Philotunus. Mouse That Spins, 2002. ISBN 0904311104
- What I Did in My Holidays: Essays on Black Magic, Satanism, Devil Worship and Other Niceties. Mandrake Press Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1869928520
- Uncle Ramsey's Little Book of Demons: The Positive Advantages of the Personification of Life's Problems. Aeon Books, 2005. ISBN 1904658091
- "How to See Fairies: Discover your Psychic Powers in Six Weeks". Aeon Books, 2011. ISBN 9781904658375
- Hellgate Chronicles