“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dent Myers: lesser-known American occultist and Confederate magician.

Dent Myers, lesser-known American occultist and Confederate magician. This guy was doing his thing, including amassing an incredible collection of rare occult books before most of these Golden Dawn/OTO-reenactment types parents had even met. He still runs a shop selling Confederate and KKK relics in Kennesaw Ga.

Found this on my hard-drive, archived (fortunately) from this original site, no longer up: http://www.thelema.nu/archives/171
Lunch with the "Wild Man"
Aug 4th, 2007

This afternoon I had the opportunity to have lunch with "Wild Man" Dent Myers. We were joined by Marjorie Lyon, who works with Dent, and John Cooke, long time friend of Myers. Dent is a well known, enigmatic figure in the local North Georgia area. He owns and operates a civil war history and memorabilia store in the heart of Kennesaw, Georgia. Often maligned for his political views about race and government, few people know that Myers was an early investigator and practitioner of Thelema and magick. In fact, the O.T.O. archive has four pages of correspondence between Myers and others cataloged. He corresponded with the Germers, both Karl and Sascha, Somerset Maugham, John Symonds, and had a large correspondence with Israel Regardie throughout all the 1960s into 1970. Since Myers was such an early figure in the magical revival in the 1960s, I thought it would be important to meet with him and spend some time learning about his past, how he became involved with occultism and in particular, Thelema and Crowley.

Dent Myers was born in White County, Georgia on January 29, 1931. (It may be just an interesting coincidence, but White County, Georgia is also where Peter Davidson, of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, tried to establish his commune based on the ideas of the HBL and Max Theon.) Nevertheless, the son of share croppers, Dent grew up in rural Georgia attending school up to college where, for two years, he attended off campus courses from the University of Georgia in the field of abnormal psychology. His interest in the occult started in high school where he started purchasing books about spells and magic from Johnson Smith & Company out of Detroit, Michigan. As Myers matured, he purchased other books about occultism and it was in a John Symonds book that Myers first read about Aleister Crowley and Thelema. In particular, it was Liber AL vel Legis that really caught Myers attention. After that, Myers began corresponding with the authors and figures he read about in attempts to acquire the very scarce Crowley books available at the time. Many of the books were very difficult to acquire, but Myers feels that Crowley himself wanted him to have the books and assistend him in getting them. Some of the books he had were first editions of the Book of Thoth, and the tarot cards made Germer. Myers purchased as much as he could from all the Crowley publishers in the states and England. He told of the time that Samuel Weiser sent him the whole first volume of the Equinox unannounced and then allowed him to make payments on it as the upfront cost for the set was considerable, even at that time.

Myers also told me of a time that during a ceremony he placed his girlfriend of the time into a mesmeric state. He instructed her to contact Aleister Crowley directly which she did. She described the environment as a library in the netherworld filled with volume after volume. In it sat Crowley in a white robe. An aspect Myers stressed was that while there Crowley was appearing to decrease in age. The reason for the meeting was that Myers wanted a particular book that was hard to come by. Crowley told him how to get it. After the ceremony Myers followed Crowley's instruction and was, indeed, able to acquire the book.

Being that the active and serious Thelemic/occult world was relatively small in the 1960s and 1970s, Myers had the opportunity to correspond and meet many figures considered historically important today. Also, having started collecting the books and material in high school, Myers had an extensive collection that many early occultists admired. One of the figures eager to meet Myers and see his book collection was Led Zeppelin guitarist and Crowley collector, Jimmy Page. Myers has a number of photographs with him and Page in front of his massive book collection.

Myers tells of how the meeting came about. As the Crowley collecting community was relatively small, his collection came to the attention of Jimmy Page and while performing a Led Zeppelin show in Atlanta, Page called Myers and asked to see the books. Unfortunately the timing was not right; Myers was just leaving to attend a gun show. The next stop for Zeppelin was in Florida so Page made arrangements to fly back to Atlanta after the show so he could peruse Myers' collection. Myers and Page stayed in contact over the years. Myers showed me postcards and letters sent to him by Jimmy Page wishing Myers well and hoping to be able to visit Myers again in the near future.

Once very nice example is a large format, black and white card with an Austin Spare print on the front and in the inside, hand written is: "Dent, Many moons since I saw you. Should be in the U.S. in perhaps January & February. We could meet. With the Seasons Greetings, Jimmy Page."

The cards has "Jimmy Page, Plumpton Place, Plumpton, Sussex" printed at the bottom. In addition to the Crowley collection, Myers also had other books like a first edition Abramelin the Mage, first editions of Regardie books, and more. Myers even stated that Regardie used to send him manuscripts to review before publication.

Myers also showed me a curious letter from Eric Hill sent on May 13, 1974. Hill was a friend of Page's who with Page opened Equinox Books (if I recall correctly) in London. The letter states that they wanted a Confederate flag "for obvious reasons of heritage" for their shop.

Another person who knew Myers and was also involved with Crowley collecting was Michael Bertiaux student and William Breeze teacher, Jack Hogg. Concerned about the welfare off the collection after a flood nearly destroyed his home, Myers contacted Hogg who, with the help of Breeze and another, probably Anthony Iannotti, took Myers' Crowley collection along with a few others books and letters and added them to the Ordo Templi Orientis archive. The items turned over to the O.T.O. archive also included a pipe Myers had that was previous owned by Crowley.

Since then Myers has continued to practice, but not in a ceremonial fashion. He stated that once you start in occultism, it is hard to leave and that once you have been practicing a long time, it becomes part of you and you no longer have to perform a ceremony, you can simply will things to happen. Myers said that this is how it is with him and he joked that he has to make sure he does not lose his temper or else he loses control and things just happen!

The afternoon was informative and entertaining. Myers has a great sense of humor that comes from a life filled with adventure and mishaps. While I don't share many of his political views, I do think his story is worth knowing and preserving. I think there are a lot of early occultists and Thelemites from the 1950s through the 1980's that all have important and interesting stories and these should be recorded and documented. I hope to continue the discussion with Myers over the next few weeks before I leave for Amsterdam and learn more about the early days when the magical revival was just starting.

Photo source: http://mikenalleyphotography.blogspot.com/2008/09/two-oldies-but-goodies.html


Tristan Sharp said...

Myers seems like a really interesting guy I never realized there was a interest in the occult in 19th century America your post on Pike was especially interesting.

Tristan Sharp said...

Myers seems like a really interesting character. I never realized that there was such an interest in the occult in 19th century America, your post on Pike was especially interesting. I only became aware of him from the series Carnival where he is alluded to as a sinister character of ill repute.

jason hayes said...

Dent myers is one the best persons ive ever known. I grew up in kennesaw and have been very close friends with dent all of my 36 years on the earth and I hold his friendship close and dear.