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  Harry Smith's Anthology

Community Posted by <Xnoubis> on Thursday June 15, @01:30PM
from the arcana-americana dept.

Harry Smith's three volume Anthology of American Folk Music revolutionized our understanding of America's musical roots. Salon reports that his fourth volume has now been posthumously released, a boon for all folk aficionados.

Smith is also known as a major figure in the history of experimental cinema. (Mystic Fire Video distributes two videos of his film work: Early Abstractions and Heaven and Earth Magic. But they fail to include him in the Biographies section of their website – for shame, guys!) It is not so widely known that he was a member of O.T.O. and other magical orders. The Harry Smith Archives relate that he created a synthesis of Enochian magick and Scottish tartans, even painting a tartan-based set of elemental tablets! Also, his artwork graces the cover of the paperback version of //The Holy Books of Thelema//. (Anybody got a better shot of that graphic?)

Harry Smith died in 1991 at the Chelsea Hotel, the same place where many years earlier (according to rumor, at least) he accomplished the Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel. For a great compendium of information regarding this unique and influential Thelemite, see //American Magus: Harry Smith//

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.

**Harry Smith's Anthology**
by <Fir> on Monday June 19, @07:54PM

Thanks for the tip about the Harry Smith Archives website. I first learned about those Enochian Tablets in the colors of Tartans from the interview with Khem Caigan in the book “American Magus Harry Smith: A Modern Alchemist” edited by Paola Igliori. 93 93/93 Fir

**Re: Harry Smith's Anthology**
by Howard Wuelfing on Tuesday July 11, @02:46PM

Harry Smith was NOT an initiate of the O.T.O. The books on him do mention that he had contacted Frater Achad and then Karl Germer and in later years he described becoming delerious and spouting all the poetry of AC. Friends of his describe him engaging in what sounds like very effective Goetic workings in the 50's. So it does appear that he WAS an AA initiate. He did mentor Jim Wasserman before Wasserman founded Tahuti and Hymenaeus Beta had nothing but the highest praise for him. These two in fact performed the Gnostic Mass to celebrate his Greater Feast.

He was a great self mythologizer and sometimes the facts of his life are hard to pin down but in reading American Magus, interviews with people who knew him, and Think Of The Self Speaking, interviews WITH HS himself you can glean the above facts and alot more about his endeavors into the realm of spirituality and Magick which went far afield from the O.T.O.

  • |Re: Harry Smith's Anthology\\
    by <Xnoubis> on Wednesday July 12, @09:09AM

    Checking in with the Order, I discovered that Smith had been an Ecclesiatical Member of OTO (i.e., a member of the EGC), and not an initiatory member. I've corrected the original article accordingly. Thank you for calling this to my attention.\\

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