Kenneth Grant (23 May 1924 – 15 January 2011) was the head of several important Thelemic orders and author of the influential “Typhonian Trilogies” series (1972-2002) that includes The Magical Revival, Nightside of Eden and Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God.
In 1939, Kenneth Grant chanced upon Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice and a few years later began a correspondence with the author (see Remembering Aleister Crowley, Skoob Books, 1991) that would lead to him joining the Ordo Templi Orientis. In 1946, he was initiated into the Argentum Astrum and was confirmed as an IX° in the O.T.O.
Shortly after Crowley’s death in 1947 Grant met David Curwen. Also member of the O.T.O. Sovereign Sanctuary, a keen alchemist and a student of tantra, Curwen initiated Grant into “a highly recondite formula of the tantric vama marg.” This experience further deepened Grant’s interest in oriental mysticism and he detailed his work with the Advaita Vedanta in a number of essays for Asian journals in the early 1950s (later published as At the Feet of the Guru, Starfire, 2006).
In 1948, Kenneth Grant’s wife Steffi (they were married in 1946) wrote to Austin Osman Spare and the couple began an eight-year friendship with the artist. The bookseller Michael Houghton had already introduced Grant to Spare’s opus, The Book of Pleasure, and Spare elucidated his theories with letters and enclosures of manuscripts, with Kenneth acting as amanuensis. In 1954, Spare and Grant co-founded the Zos Kia Cultus: not a cult in the objective sense, but a designation given to the creative nexus of personal magical experience (see Zos Speaks!, Fulgur, 1999).
In the same year Grant founded the New Isis Lodge, with the intention of providing a conduit for “the influx of cosmic energy from a transplutonic power-zone known to initiates as Nu-Isis.” The group ran until 1962 and various accounts of the experiences of the group may be found throughout the “Typhonian Trilogies”.
Coetaneous with the New Isis Lodge, Kenneth and Steffi Grant began work on the Carfax Monographs. This series of ten essays was issued between 1959 and 1963 with the explicit intention to “elucidate the hidden lore of the West according to canons preserved in various esoteric orders and movements of recent times.” It was the beginning of a unique 50 year contribution to Thelemic literature and art that spans poetry, biographical works, fact and fiction.
Copyright © Robert Ansell, 2007
1959 The Tree of Life
1959 The Golden Dawn
1960 Aleister Crowley
1960 Austin Osman Spare
1961 Vinum Sabbati
1961 Mage and Image
1962 Hidden Lore
1963 Magical Creation
1963 Vault of the Adepts
1972 The Magical Revival
1973 Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God
1975 Images and Oracles of Austin Osman Spare
1975 Cults of the Shadow
1977 Nightside of Eden
1980 Outside the Circles of Time
1989 Hidden Lore
1991 Remembering Aleister Crowley
1992 Hecate’s Fountain
1994 Outer Gateways
1998 Zos Speaks! Encounters with Austin Osman Spare
1999 Beyond the Mauve Zone
2002 The Ninth Arch
2006 At the Feet of the Guru