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Absinthe: The Green Goddess

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A deceased gentleman by the name of Aleister Crowley written an article called "Absinthe: The Green Goddess" First Published in "The International" Vol XII No. 2 in New York in 1918. If you do a search for it, you can find it free on PDF.

 

Here is an excerpt.

 

“Ah! the Green Goddess! What is the fascination that makes her so adorable and

so terrible? Do you know that French sonnet "La legende de l’absinthe?" He

must have loved it well, that poet. Here are his witnesses.

Apollon, qui pleurait le trepas d’Hyacinthe,

Ne voulait pas ceder la victoire a la mort.

Il fallait que son ame, adepte de l’essor,

Trouvat pour la beaute une alchemie plus sainte.

Donc de sa main celeste il epuise, il ereinte

Les dons les plus subtils de la divine Flore.

Leurs corps brises souspirent une exhalaison d’or

Dont il nous recueillait la goutte de—l’Absinthe!

Aux cavernes blotties, aux palis petillants,

Par un, par deux, buvez ce breuvage d’aimant!

Car c’est un sortilege, un propos de dictame,

Ce vin d’opale pale avortit la misere,

Ouvre de la beaute l’intime sanctuaire

Ensorcelle mon coeur, extasie mort ame!

What is there in absinthe that makes it a separate cult? The effects of its abuse

are totally distinct from those of other stimulants. Even in ruin and in

degradation it remains a thing apart: its victims wear a ghastly aureole all their

own, and in their peculiar hell yet gloat with a sinister perversion of pride that

they are not as other men.

But we are not to reckon up the uses of a thing by contemplating the wreckage

of its abuse. We do not curse the sea because of occasional disasters to our

marines, or refuse axes to our woodsmen because we sympathize with Charles

the First or Louis the Sixteenth. So therefore as special vices and dangers

pertinent to absinthe, so also do graces and virtues that adorn no other liquor.

The word is from the Greek apsinthion. It means "undrinkable" or, according

to some authorities, "undelightful." In either case, strange paradox! No: for the

wormwood draught itself were bitter beyond human endurance; it must be

aromatized and mellowed with other herbs.

Chief among these is the gracious Melissa, of which the great Paracelsus

thought so highly that he incorporated it as the preparation of his Ens Melissa

Vitae, which he expected to be an elixir of life and a cure for all diseases, but

which in his hands never came to perfection.

Then also there are added mint, anise, fennel and hyssop, all holy herbs

familiar to all from the Treasury of Hebrew Scripture. And there is even the

sacred marjoram which renders man both chaste and passionate; the tender

green angelica stalks also infused in this most mystic of concoctions; for like

the artemisia absinthium itself it is a plant of Diana, and gives the purity and

lucidity, with a touch of the madness, of the Moon; and above all there is the

Dittany of Crete of which the eastern Sages say that one flower hath more

puissance in high magic than all the other gifts of all the gardens of the world.

It is as if the first diviner of absinthe had been indeed a magician intent upon a

combination of sacred drugs which should cleanse, fortify and perfume the

human soul."

Edited by Gwydion Stone

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Thanks, Brewmaster, but, honestly, anyone who calls himself (or herself) a devotee of absinthe, and hasn't read The Green Goddess yet, is long overdue. :cheers:

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Well, that is true. I just did some checking and it appears I've got a lot of valuable books. Israel Regardie and I exchanged quite a few letters back in the 70's, not sure if that name is familiar to anyone, but I have a few of his books as well. If I chose to sell off these things I could get a few grand for it all. :unsure:

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Sorry techdriver, I did in fact mean deceased. Unfortunately I can not edit the post. I have a few of his books as well. And I am honored to know someone who knew Israel, I have a few of his books as well!

 

 

:wave2:

A diseased gentleman by the name of Aleister Crowley

I take issue with that statement for so many reasons.

Edited by Brewmaster

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or a nice bottle of pre-ban.... :dev-cheers:

 

Well, that is true. I just did some checking and it appears I've got a lot of valuable books. Israel Regardie and I exchanged quite a few letters back in the 70's, not sure if that name is familiar to anyone, but I have a few of his books as well. If I chose to sell off these things I could get a few grand for it all. :unsure:

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techdiver, very interesting to know that you had contact with Israel Regardie. I read his books about 25 years ago.... I am kind of distant of these studies nowadays, but sometime in the future I will catch up again...

 

- Marcelo

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Good answer, "kind of distant". Same here, seems one thing led to another as the move from SF to PA came about. Things became highly involved here for a while then started to wane as we became friends with a group that met monthly and were into, we'll say, an "older religion"? But that went downhill after one of them got involved with Santeria. Not long after that, things happened in my life that I became sort of a rock climbing bum for a while. That was roughly 35 years ago and now I've exposed part of my life story.

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All the Orisha religions are pretty jealous mistresses, Santeria being no exception. I couldn't do it; I rarely know what day it is and hate wearing white.

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Never paid much attention to Israel, but both writers were before my time anyway. I never used to like Crowley much until I started reading his own words bout a year ago, the man had many layers of bullshit hiding an emotionally powerful person. I dearly want to read Magick Without Tears but it's long and far out of my price range, heh.

 

What did you gleam about Mr. Regardi from his correspondence with you might I ask, Tech?

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Talking about esoteric like books... this was a nice fantasy one : Zanoni. (this version in Amazon is from 2007, but I read this maybe in 1987).

 

- Marcelo

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Lytton, Levi and Blavatsky are all interesting reading. Magick Without Tears has to be around here somewhere, unless it was lost along the way. Damn, some of these old books are worth a lot. I do wish I had gotten the entire set of The Equinox when it was available from Weiser. I only bought the "Blue Equinox". Mephistopheles, PM sent.

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appreciate it, Tech. :cheers:

 

one of my favorite (So far) modern occult writers would be Jason Miller. I also really enjoyed Foxglove's Advancing the Witches Craft. Took me two years to get through including meditations, but it was well worth the time and money, in my opinion. But as he has written only one book (not including Slaughterhouse) that I know of, can't say he's my favorite.

 

 

Looking at Zanoni, it sounds good.

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I love this forum already.

 

A diseased gentleman by the name of Aleister Crowley

I take issue with that statement for so many reasons.

 

 

I came for the absinthe, I'll stay for the wit. :cheers:

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Indeed. You will find a little bit of everything here. It is good to have a discourse with kindred spirits. Would be a little better to be able to do it in person over a glass of Absinthe, but this is a nice substitute.

:cheers:

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Crowley is definitely a character to be reckoned with. I've read a good bit of his work in my travels, and also am quite a fan of Oscar Wilde. Is anybody aware of more unusual sources of literature on the subject? Or early films? I've seen a few shorts slurring the drink that are equivocal to a "reefer madness" type pulp film of an earlier era, and they were definitely quite entertaining.

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I'm not entirely sure if they have much in the way of historic articles on absinthe, but the virtual absinthe museum ( http://www.oxygenee.com/absinthe/ ) has quite a bit of literature on the subject itself, as well as a small handful of films.

 

I'd honestly prefer a movie from the early days. I remember one film, it was one of the first times (if not the only time) I've seen absinthe in film. I cannot catch the name but the premise was a story of three different people. One was a young boy who disliked having to be tutored and cared for by his French caregiver. One day he meets a woman known by the children of the town as "the old witch" (who is in fact drinking absinthe) and she grants him his wish in a manner of speaking. Very fun movie, little bit of drama, little bit of laughs.

I could have sworn Greta Garbo was in it, but looking up her IMDB credits, it seems not.

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I'd honestly prefer a movie from the early days. I remember one film, it was one of the first times (if not the only time) I've seen absinthe in film. I cannot catch the name but the premise was a story of three different people. One was a young boy who disliked having to be tutored and cared for by his French caregiver. One day he meets a woman known by the children of the town as "the old witch" (who is in fact drinking absinthe) and she grants him his wish in a manner of speaking. Very fun movie, little bit of drama, little bit of laughs.

 

Who's the third character? Your description doesn't ring a bell, I must admit.

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Yes, I think the films on oxygenee are actually the same films I've priorly found. Definitely some amusing stuff on there. I'll have to poke around a bit more for what I can find. Thanks for the lead!

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A diseased gentleman by the name of Aleister Crowley

I take issue with that statement for so many reasons.

 

 

I don't.

 

Look up the word 'charlatan' in the dictionary, and you'll see Crowley's picture. The Kim Kardashian of his day, he was pure style, zero substance.

 

Sorry to be controversial, but honestly...

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A diseased gentleman by the name of Aleister Crowley

I take issue with that statement for so many reasons.

 

 

I don't.

I think he took issue with the word gentleman. ;)

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