Hermetic Kabbalah – the book



I haven’t updated the site for some time because I have been working hard on completing the book I have been working on for the past eight years. I now have my proof copies (see picture), I’ve read through the proof, and it is nearly good-to-go.

The blurb currently reads as follows:

“Before there was science, there was a different kind of science. If one wished to discover the deepest secrets about the nature of reality, one would study ancient traditions, seek out scholars, and perhaps talk to spirits or angels … This ancient science (and it was the legitimate science of its day) was a speculative science of living things, of processes and organism, of relationships and connections and interactions, a world of qualia and imagination, all set forth in visionary metaphors of giant androgynous beings and incestuous sexual dynamics.

The Hermetic Tradition is an intellectual and practical tradition dating from the late Roman Empire. It views the Cosmos as a living being composed of living beings, a whole composed of parts, like the human body.

“The Hermetic Kabbalah” shows how the tradition has developed through two millennia, its ideas intertwining with Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah like the serpents in the Caduceus of Hermes. It includes a detailed exposition on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the ten sefirot, and many other traditional themes including the Partzufim, the Primordial Adam, theurgy, and ascent mysticism. It also describes the Rectification of the Soul, in which the soul is awakened to an understanding of its place in the Cosmos.

Profusely illustrated, with over 60 diagrams and illustrations, this book is a distillation of a lifetime of study and practice.”

Initially it will be available through Amazon in the US and Europe.  I expect it to become available in 1-2 weeks – I will update this blog when it is available.


Site Update – Don Karr

Don Karr updates his contributions to the site 2-3 times a year. I have just uploaded the new material, and you will find the updates here:


Hekhalot Rabbatai

Kabbalah of Maat

Liber Salomonis

Hello Spring

It is spring here in the UK. I have spent the winter working hard to complete The Book … which will be titled The Hermetic Kabbalah. It is nearly done, and I am currently completing the Index, something that has taken two weeks. The Book  is a substantial work running to > 450 pages with many illustrations and diagrams, and I cannot believe how long it has taken me.

I find it difficult to maintain momentum and focus when it is sunny and the birds are singing ….

The Four Zoas


Tarot card ‘the World’, Marseille Tarot est. 17th. century.


Phanes, Orphic/Mithraic plaque, Modena

MusŽe national du Moyen-åge

12th. century ivory tetramorph design, Cluny


Tetramorph illustration


Seventh century tetramorph design, Crypte Saint-Paul, Place Saint-Paul, Jouarre, France

Four Mighty Ones are in every Man: a perfect Unity
Cannot exist but from the Universal Brotherhood of Eden,
The Universal Man, to Whom be glory evermore. Amen.
What are the Natures of those Living Creatures the Heavenly Father only
Knoweth: no Individual knoweth, nor can know in all Eternity.
William Blake, The Four Zoas


The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics

Pets, family and friends die progressively as one grows older. A result of the daily tide of bad news from the media is an awareness of how much evil and suffering there is in the world. One of the benchmarks for any kind of religion or mysticism is its explanation for evil. A question one might pose is “if God is good, why is all this shit happening”?

One of the most unusual and least-known answers is: “because the universe was made by ignorant beings”. It is defective. It is broken. Views of this kind were common in the period contemporary with the birth of Christianity, and until 300-400 AD they formed an alternative to what subsequently became the canonical view. Until the middle part of the 20th. century most of what we knew about the many gnostic sects came from the writings of a small number of Church heresiologists. Very few of their original writings survived. We knew that they believed the world was made by an ignorant creator god, and an emissary of the world of light (the true reality) would come into this world to redeem the select.

Then, according to the story, a large earthenware pot was found in a necropolis in Egypt in 1945 near the modern city of Nag Hammadi. It contained a large collection of copies of gnostic texts. One of the people who handled the original find and investigated the discovery was the French scholar Jean Doresse.

I came across The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics by Doresse during a complicated Google search for information on the Peratae, a gnostic sect. I ordered the book because I thought it might be fun to read about the discovery at Nag Hammadi by someone who was there. It is the stuff of Indiana Jones … or so I thought.

In my opinion Doresse’s The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics is one of the most interesting, perceptive and thoughtful discussions of Gnosticism I have found. Gnosticism is a difficult subject to write about – there were so many sects, so much ill-transmitted doctrine, so many baroque cosmologies – it is a quagmire for scholars. Sitting bang in the middle between the past and future of the subject, Doresse provides a very accessible introduction, and (IMO) is superior to many modern authors.

The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics: An Introduction to the Gnostic Coptic Manuscripts Discovered at Chenoboskion