Infernal Geometry - bibliography notes

When I originally prepared the bibliography for Infernal Geometry and the Left-Hand Path, I included notes about many of the works explaining their significance to Angular Magic and the book in general. I find this sort of annotation to be useful, because many times it’s not obvious why a particular book is cited, or easy to determine which other books should be more or less important to read as supplementary material. The Temple of Set’s reading list (an older version of which can be found Dr. Aquino’s two volume set The Temple of Set) gives short descriptions of all works along with a ranking to help readers determine their relative interest for a given work. I have found that immensely helpful, and wanted to apply it in some fashion to this bibliography.

The bibliographical format the Inner Traditions uses as its house style does not support this type of annotation, unfortunately. They did find the additional info very useful and interesting, and suggested that I turn it into a blog post at some point. Which I’m doing now.

I’m leaving out notes on works that are only available within the archives of the Temple of Set or the Order of the Trapezoid, as members of both of those bodies will know how to find them and will likely immediately understand why they were included.

Works by (Open) Members of the Temple of Set

Stephen Flowers / Edred Thorsson

  1. Runes and Magic, Chapter 2; Rûna-Raven/Lode Star, 1986 and later editions. (This chapter from Dr. Flower’s Ph.D. dissertation provides a detailed academic treatment of the semiotic theory of magic)

  2. Runelore, Chapter 6 (“Historical Rune Magic and Divination”); Weiser, 1987. (This chapter focuses on semiotics and divination, in the context of the Runes but easily applicable to other semiotic systems such as the Nine Angles)

  3. Lords of the Left Hand Path; Rûna-Raven (1992, 1997), then revised further for Inner Traditions (2012). (The chapters on the Church of Satan and Temple of Set provide and interpret vital information for understanding the significance of these organizations in modern occulture)

Don Webb

  1. “Fictive Arcanum”, original date unknown. (Available on the Order of the Trapezoid’s website, and as “Why Do Magicians Write Fiction?” in Uncle Setnakt’s Nightbook (Lode Star, 2016) (An examination of the semiotic theory in the context of fiction that suggests effective frames of reference for magical work, whether or not the authors were practicing magicians)

  2. Uncle Setnakt’s Essential Guide to the Left Hand Path; Rûna-Raven, 1999. (An essential work for understanding the Left Hand Path in a manner not tied to any particular tradition; also includes the first publicly available hints about work with the Nine Angles since Dr. Aquino’s article in _Nyctalops_ in 1977)

Patty Hardy

  1. “Keystone”, 1992. (The mathematical relationships encoded in the Nine Angles and the Seal of Rûna provide a map by which the psyche can come to know itself in their reflection; appearing as Appendix D in this volume)

The Works of Anton LaVey

  1. “The Law of the Trapezoid”; published in The Cloven Hoof, 1976. Reprinted in The Devil’s Notebook, Feral House, 2000. (The only published essay by LaVey that focuses on the Law of the Trapezoid, its origins, and applications)

  2. “The Unknown Known”; published in The Satanic Rituals, Avon, 1972. (The relationship of the number Nine to the cycles that govern humans and their institutions. Bears the significant influence of Hanns Hörbiger, but with essential insight into the implications of Hörbiger’s ideas)

  3. Die Elektrischen Vorspiele; published in The Satanic Rituals, Avon, 1972. (One of the foundational rites of angular magic. Discussed throughly in Chapters Three and Six)

H.P. Lovecraft

  1. “Haunter of the Dark”, 1936. (An essential source for the imagery and frame of reference used in angular magic)

  2. “Dreams in the Witch-House”, 1933 (Another essential source for the imagery and frame of reference used in angular magic, focusing on the angles as a means of accessing other dimensions and the difficulty of retaining one’s sense of Self when faced with unimaginable horrors that result from these studies)

  3. “Polaris”, 1920. (One of the most evocative writings on the recurring patterns of the night sky and their effect on conscious beings)

  4. “The Silver Key”, 1929. (A meditation on the fluidity of time, and how to shape one’s existence through dreams)

  5. “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” (collaboration with E. Hoffman Price), 1934 (When one steps outside of time as perceived by humans bound to earth, how can strange angles be used to anchor oneself to the dimensions and times that are needed?)

Other Writers Working with the “Cthulhu Mythos”

  1. Long, Frank Belknap. “The Hounds of Tindalos”, 1929. (A foundational work for studying angular magic; the origin of curved vs. angular time in the Mythos, an idea that Lovecraft expanded on in his later works:)

  2. Doreal, Maurice.1 The Emerald Tablet of Thoth the Atlantean, date unknown (probably early/mid-30s). (A synthesis of the Hounds of Tindalos, the works of Robert E. Howard, and other bits of speculative weird fiction; one of LaVey’s primary sources for the litany in “Die Elektrischen Vorspiele”)

  3. Howard, Robert E. “The Shadow Kingdom”, 1929. (Howard’s most essential contribution to the Mythos, including the Serpent Men of Valusia who were later said by Lovecraft to have possessed the Shining Trapezohedron at a critical time in the deep past)

  4. Howard, Robert E. “The God in the Bowl”, published in 1952. (Origin of the “Children of Set” references in Die Elektrischen Vorspiele)

Other Relevant Sources

  1. Austin, James L. How To Do Things With Words. Clarendon Press, 1962. (A prime source for performative utterances and other key concepts used in the semiotic theory of magic)

  2. Barrow, John D. Pi in the Sky: Counting, Thinking and Being. Oxford University Press, 1992. (Certain patterns of thought emerge when examining the history of numbers; what seems to be an intuitive means of categorizing the world is actually a product of various leaps in comprehension of the background against which minds learn about themselves.)

  3. Boyer, Carl B. A history of Mathematics. Wiley, 2011 (Third Edition). (A comprehensive work on the development of mathematical ideas over humanity’s history, while also acknowledging the role of math in philosophy and esotericism as expressions of our innate conceptual abilities)

  4. de Lafforest, Roger. Ces Maisons Qui Tuent, 1970 (published in English in 1974 as Houses that Kill). (Jacques Vallée, renowned French ufologist and early Church of Satan member, introduced Anton LaVey to many resources then completely unknown in the English-speaking world. Houses that Kill combines controversial theories about various unexplained forces of nature to examine the physical and psychological effects certain locations have on their inhabitants, fitting in with LaVey’s then still-developing ideas around the Law of the Trapezoid)

  5. Dunn, Patrick. Magic, Power, Language, Symbol: A Magician’s Exploration of Linguistics. Llewelyn, 2008. (Dunn is a professor of linguistics, as well as a practicing postmodern magician, and examines both of those disciplines from the point of view of the other resulting in insights and techniques that work well with the semiotic theory of magic as discussed in Chapter Five of this book.)

  6. Hawkins, Gerald. Mindsteps to the Cosmos. Harper Collins, 1983. (A discussion of five colossal leaps in humanity’s understanding of its place in the cosmos, each enhancing our mindful evolution towards our full potential as self-aware, self-evolving beings)

  7. Hinton, Charles. “What is the Fourth Dimension?”, 1880. (Suggests that by removing the limitations on imagination imposed by thinking in terms of a three-dimensional universe, new possibilities for understanding the world and ourselves unfold. See also Hawkins’ Mindsteps to the Cosmos, Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch-House, and Hardy’s “Transfinitude”; the Nine Angles are just such a system for reshaping one’s thought processes to allow for transforming the three-dimensional world from a vantage point outside of it)

  8. Hodgson, William Hope. The Casebook of Carnacki the Ghost Finder, Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 2006. (The Carnacki stories provided crucial influence to Anton LaVey, particularly evident in Die Elektrischen Vorspiele)

  9. Hofstadter, Douglas. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid., Basic Books, 1979. (Hofstadter’s central thesis – how a “strange loop” arises to transcend the limits of complexity in the system from which it originated – perfectly describes the transitions from the First to Second, Fourth to Fifth, and Sixth to Seventh Angles. See also Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science for a related approach that is more specifically related to the transition between the First and Second Angles.)

  10. Lawlor, Robert. Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and Practice, Thames & Hudson, 1982. (A wonderful review of basic geometric principles expressed through sacred geometry, with exercises and diagrams to illustrate the principles in practice rather than just an intellectual curiosity.)

  11. Livio, Mario. The Golden Ratio: The Story of PHI, the World’s Most Astonishing Number. Broadway Books 2003. (Spends as much time debunking fanciful – and oft-repeated – notions about the Golden Ratio as it does revealing the number’s true wonder and mystery)

  12. Mortensen, William. The Command to Look: A Master Photographer’s Method for Controlling the Human Gaze, Feral House, 2014. (The techniques and theories in this book, originally dating to the 1930s, are one of the cornerstones of LaVey’s Law of the Trapezoid. This edition includes a lengthy appendix by Michael Moynihan examining Mortensen’s profound influence on LaVey.)

  13. Pauwels, Louis and Bergier, Jacques. The Morning of the Magicians: Secret Societies, Conspiracies, and Vanished Civilizations. Éditions Gallimard, 1960; published in English in the U.S. by Stein and Day, 1964. (One of Anton LaVey’s most essential sources, though rarely acknowledged. This book is more or less responsible for the occult revival in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s).

  14. Plato. Timaeus. (This dialog captures, perhaps more than any other, the intertwining of metaphysical, mathematical, and philosophical ideas that are necessary in order to understand the whole of Plato’s thought)

  15. Rucker, Rudy. The Fourth Dimension. Houghton Mifflin, 1984. (A seminal influence on the early development of the Nine Angles as a magical system following Dr. Stephen Flowers’ writings ca. 1988-1992. In a curious connection to key philosophical influences within the Temple of Set, Rucker is the great-great-great-grandson of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.)

  16. Schneider, Michael S. A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art and Science. Harper Perennial, 1994. (A playful meditation on the geometric ideas that seem to be inherent parts of the origin and structure of the physical universe. Recommended for study in the context of the first four Angles)

  17. Stanley, Thomas. Pythagoras: His Life and Teachings, 1687, available in modern additions such as that introduced by James Wasserman (2010). (A meticulously referenced compendium of the philosophy of Pythagoras, and one of the chief influences on the reverence which Pythagoras receives in the modern world.)

  18. Taylor, Thomas. The Theoretic Arithmetic of the Pythagoreans, 1816, available in modern editions such as that published by Samuel Weiser in 1972. (Taylor was the first to translate into English the complete works of Plato and Aristotle, and this volume was a key influence on the Pythagorean arithmology expressed through the lens of Lovecraft’s fiction in The Ceremony of the Nine Angles)

  19. VandenBroeck, André. Philosophical Geometry. Inner Traditions, 1987. (A student of the symbolist philosophers René and Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, VandenBroeck applies their thought to geometry as a tool for knowing oneself in its reflections in the world)

  20. Veldman, Frederick, Ph.D. Theurgy and Numbers: Purification, Liberation, and Salvation of the Soul. Waning Moon Publications, 2010. (A key work on the significance of number in magic and initiation, with a chapter devoted to the Nine Angles)

  21. Webb, James. The Harmonious Circle: The Lives and Work of G. I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, and Their Followers. Putnam, 1980. (In the appendix “The Sources of the System,” Webb traces the origin of many of Gurdjieff’s teachings on the Enneagram back to their likely origins in medieval philosophers such as Athanasius Kircher and Ramon Llull. The magical implications of studying precise geometric symbols and their inner meaning are discussed in detail, even as Gurdjieff himself would not consider his system to be a magical one.)


  1. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, 1920. (As the most well-known of the German Expressionist films utilizing “strange angles” as a central feature of its set design, the disorienting appearance of virtually every scene in the film was a foundational influence on the formulation of the Law of the Trapezoid.)

  2. Metropolis, 1927. (The most expensive film produced to that point, with cutting edge visual aesthetics and special effects, the futuristic dystopia _Metropolis_ gave the “mad labs” legacy of German occultism a stunning representation on the big screen. A seminal reference for the chamber design and mechanics of Die Elektrischen Vorspiele.)

  3. The Seventh Victim, 1943. (A group of well-heeled, cosmopolitan people in New York City are in actuality members of a Satanic cult whose symbol and _mandala_ is a parallelogram. A significant source for Anton LaVey’s “ideal” Satanists as well as for crucial ideas in his conception of the original Order of the Trapezoid.)

  4. Donald in Mathmagic Land, 1959. (A remnant of a different time in terms of what was considered essential education; this half-hour Disney cartoon conveys a wealth of information about sacred geometry, Pythagoras, and related topics that are a fun – and informative – complement to this book near 60 years later. Easily found on YouTube)

  5. Satanis: The Devil’s Mass, 1970. (A documentary on the early days of the Church of Satan, featuring revealing conversations with LaVey, early Church members, and his neighbors. The interviews with LaVey reinforce the conviction and sincerity behind the founding of the Church and his role as High Priest)

  6. Asylum of Satan, 1972. (A terribly conceived and produced film, with amazing ritual sequences courtesy of Michael Aquino. Included here solely for historical reasons, as the film represented the first appearance of the Nine Angles outside The Satanic Rituals)

  7. The Call of Cthulhu, 2005. (A magnificent film of a story that on its surface seems unfilmable. The sequences in R’yleh – where Cthulhu lay dead but dreaming before rising from his slumber – impressively utilize strange angles created almost entirely without computer-generated effects. The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society produced the film, and bring keen attention to detail along with a deep understanding of what makes the source material so compelling.)

  1. born Claude Dodgin (or Doggins; legal records differ)