Thursday, October 9th, 2014...9:33 am

Art and the Occult

Jump to Comments

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Santo Domingo collection.

Art and Symbols of the OccultJames Wasserman, author, editor, publisher and occultist, gives us Art and Symbols of the Occult.  A disciple of Aleister Crawley’s Ordo Templi Orientis, he has written numerous books on the subject as well as republishing and updating several of Crawley’s works including photographing the Tarot cards from the Thoth Tarot deck.  Wasserman got his literary start at Weiser Books, one of the largest bookstores and publishers in occult literature.  He subsequently founded Studio 31 which offers book production and graphic design and has continued to focus in occult literature.  Wasserman also founded one of Ordo Templi Orientis’s oldest lodges in New York City in 1979.

Art and Symbols of the Occult

Art and Symbols of the Occult explores both typical symbols of the occult such as the Golden Dawn Cross and masonic art, as well as more classic and religious art such as St. George and the Dragon by Raphael and The temptation of St. Anthony by Hieronymus Bosch.  Wasserman covers a wide variety of pieces, ranging from ancient Egyptian art, to the monument at Stonehenge to kabbalah texts.

Art and Symbols of the Occult


Split into several sections on different facets of the occult, Wasserman prefaces each chapter with a discussion of the practice and then offers pages and pages of art he assigns to the categories.  Each image is accompanied by a short blurb about historical context and meaning, an easy enough read for those not versed in art history or the occult.Art and Symbols of the Occult




Art and Symbols of the Occult , Wasserman’s first book, was expanded and rereleased in 2005 as The Mystery Traditions: Secret Symbols and Sacred Art.  The original version Art and Symbols of the Occult / London : Tiger Books International, c1993.  can be found in Widener Library’s collection.

Thanks to Emma Clement, Santo Domingo Library Assistant, for contributing this post.

1 Comment