Kenneth Grant, writer and occultist, died last month but the event was only announced this week.

He’ll be remembered for the nine fascinating occult treatises he wrote from 1972 to 2002 (that includes The Magical Revival, Nightside of Eden and Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God), and for continuing the work of Aleister Crowley as head of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a position which became fraught in later years as various occult factions disputed his authority. (…) His name calls out from the shelves more than many other writers; as well as authoring his own works he edited all the major Crowley texts with Crowley’s executor John Symonds, presenting them in authoritative editions for a new readership.

Grant proved a very loyal champion of people he admired, significantly so in the case of Austin Osman Spare whose work he collected, exhibited and republished from the 1950s on. It was Grant’s position as one of the many advisors for Man, Myth & Magic in 1970 which resulted in the part-work encyclopedia using one of Spare’s stunning drawings as the cover picture for its first issue. That effort alone gave Spare an audience far beyond anything he received during his lifetime, and Grant ensured the magazine featured Spare’s work in subsequent issues. Grant’s occult works made liberal use of unique illustrations by his wife, Steffi Grant, Austin Spare and others. The books were singular enough even without their pages of curious artwork, a beguiling and sometimes incoherent blend of western occult tradition, tantric sex magick and hints of cosmic horror which were nevertheless always well-written, annotated and crammed with technical detail.

Alan Moore in 2002 examined the experience of an immersion in Grant’s mythos with a wonderful review he calledBeyond our Ken. He notes there the influence of HP Lovecraft, another of the visionary figures who Grant championed throughout his life…


Kenneth Grant: A Bibliography, compiled by Henrik Bogdan.