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Discovering the Mysterious Art of Austin Osman Spare

Understanding Austin Osman Spare's profound works is like navigating through the complexities of the human mind. In this blog, we delve deep into the enigmatic world of Spare's masterpieces: "The Book of Pleasure," "The Focus of Life," "A Book of Satyrs," "Anathema of Zos," and "Earth Inferno." Join us as we unravel the layers of symbolism, chaos magic, and esoteric philosophy woven intricately into Spare’s visionary artistry.


The Mystical Works of Austin Osman Spare

Welcome to our dedicated exploration of the profound and enigmatic works of Austin Osman Spare. As a pioneering artist and occultist, Spare’s contributions to both the art world and esoteric traditions are nothing short of revolutionary. This blog delves into his influential books, each offering a unique perspective on the intersection of art, mysticism, and philosophy.


The Collection: A Glimpse into Spare's Universe

The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love): The Psychology of Ecstasy

In "The Book of Pleasure," Spare advocates for the power of self-love and the liberation of the mind. Through intricate illustrations and profound text, he introduces readers to the practice of sigil magic and the concepts of Zos (the body) and Kia (the soul), aiming to achieve spiritual enlightenment. First published in 1913, it is a cornerstone of his occult philosophy. This work delves into the mystical and magical aspects of Spare's ideas, introducing concepts like sigils and his theory of incarnation. The book is richly illustrated with Spare's symbolist art and automatic drawings, reflecting his unique approach to accessing the subconscious. It emphasizes the power of self-love and personal ecstasy as paths to spiritual enlightenment and magical practice.


The Focus of Life: The Mutterings of Aãos

"The Focus of Life" is a journey through the subconscious mind, exploring the mysteries of existence and the human psyche. It is a seminal work in the realm of occult literature. Published in 1921, this book delves into Spare's esoteric philosophies and practices. It features three main "Aphorisms" and numerous dream accounts, offering insights into Spare's concepts of Kia, Ikkah, and ZOS. The book is notable for its striking illustrations, created by Spare himself, which complement the text and provide a visual dimension to his mystical ideas. This work is essential for understanding Spare's unique contributions to modern occultism.


A Book of Satyrs

"A Book of Satyrs" showcases Spare's artistic prowess, featuring a collection of illustrations that blend mythological and fantastical elements. This book is a testament to Spare's ability to convey complex esoteric ideas through visual art. First published in 1907, it is a collection of Spare's intricate black and white illustrations. Influenced by symbolism and art nouveau, this book showcases Spare's unique artistic style, characterised by grotesque, mystical, and sometimes sexual imagery. The book comprises thirteen vivid drawings, each reflecting Spare's inventive and evocative use of line and composition. This work is a significant representation of Spare's early artistic vision, contributing to his later recognition as a pioneering figure in both the art and occult communities.


Anathema of Zos: The Sermon to the Hypocrites

In this provocative text, Spare challenges conventional religious and societal norms. "Anathema of Zos" is a call to authenticity and self-discovery, urging readers to break free from hypocrisy and embrace their true selves. It is a seminal work in occult literature, first published in 1927. This book, written as automatic writing, serves as Spare's critique of societal norms and organised religion. It combines mystical insights with vivid, often controversial, commentary. The text is richly illustrated with Spare’s unique art, enhancing its esoteric and philosophical themes. 


The Book of Automatic Drawing

Spare's technique of automatic drawing is at the forefront of this book. "The Book of Automatic Drawing" provides insights into his method of accessing the unconscious mind to create art that is both spontaneous and deeply symbolic. It is a collection of sketches created during a particularly intense period of his life in April and May 1925. These drawings are characterized by their unplanned, free-flowing nature, often compared to the practice of spiritualists and surrealists who use automatic techniques to access the subconscious or spirit world.


Earth Inferno

"Earth Inferno" is one of Spare's earliest works, combining his visionary art with apocalyptic themes. This book is a visual and textual exploration of destruction and rebirth, reflecting Spare's unique perspective on the cycles of existence. First published in 1905, it is a significant work blending art and occult philosophy. Created when Spare was just 18 years old, the book serves as an anti-establishment response to his early recognition by the Royal Academy. Heavily influenced by Dante’s "Inferno," it combines haunting illustrations with esoteric poems and aphorisms. Each pair of pages features a painting accompanied by a reflective commentary. This work introduces key concepts of Spare's unique mystical system, such as Kia and Zos, and is notable for its aesthetic contributions and philosophical depth, marked by a blend of dark imagery and introspective writing​.


The Legacy of Austin Osman Spare

Austin Osman Spare’s work continues to influence contemporary artists, occultists, and thinkers. His integration of art and mysticism challenges us to explore the depths of our own consciousness and creativity. The six titles featured here represent just a portion of his vast contributions, each one a portal to deeper understanding and self-awareness.


Leather Book Covers: A Testament to Timelessness

In the realm of occult literature, aesthetics play a pivotal role in enhancing the reader’s immersion into the mystical realm. The leather-bound covers of Spare’s masterpieces serve as portals to otherworldly realms, inviting readers to embark on a journey of self-discovery and transformation.



We invite you to immerse yourself in the mystical and artistic world of Austin Osman Spare. Each book in this collection offers a unique journey into the esoteric and the imaginative, encouraging you to explore the boundaries of human experience. Stay tuned as we continue to delve into the works of this extraordinary artist and thinker, uncovering the timeless wisdom and visionary artistry that define his legacy.