Kings Beach, CA: Thelema Publications, 1990. First Edition - Deluxe. Hardcover. Large Octavo. xviii + 60 pp. Original gilt decorated purple leather with color frontispiece and purple endpapers. All edges gilt. This being copy Number One (that is the personal copy of the contributor / publisher, Helen Parsons Smith) of a limited issue of 33 numbered copies bound in FULL LEATHER, (there was also a 'trade' issue of 967 cloth-bound copies). This copy was first offered for sale in Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue 5, June 2006, "Aleister Crowley. From Agape Lodge to Thelema Publications" in which Weiser Antiquarian listed a selection of choice items from Helen Parsons Smith's library. A printed copy of that catalogue, an example of which was given to each person who purchased a book from it, is included. The catalogue is A5 size, 24pp., stapled in printed card wrappers, and includes short original essays by Martin P. Starr and Keith Richmond. Only 60 copies were printed. This specific catalogue is the one that accompanied this copy of "Amrita" when it was sold, as is noted in the rear of the booklet.
"Amrita" is a collection of Aleister Crowley's writings on occult medicine, particularly on the eponymous Amrita: an ambrosia or "elixir of life" said to ensure longevity, restore youth and energy, and bestow various occult boons. It was referred to by Crowley as "the principal Secret of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O. )." Edited with an introduction by Martin P. Starr. Contents are: Foreword by Soror Grimaud (Helen Parsons Smith); Introduction by Martin P. Starr; A. M. R. I. T. A. ; The Elixir of Life: Our Magical Medicine; The Elixir of Life (I); The Elixir of Life (II); The Order of the Purifications on Waking; Remarkable Experiment with the Elixir of Life; AMRITA; Additional Cases; IT; On Food.
As noted, the volume was originally from the library of Helen Parsons Smith (1910 - 2003). Helen was the ex-wife of Jack Parsons and widow of W. T. Smith, and long time member of Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. and was one of the pioneers of Crowley publishing in the USA in the 1970s with her Monthelema and Thelema Publications imprints. More recently it is from the collection of Clive Harper with his discrete book-label neatly tipped in at the rear. Harper is well- known as the bibliographer of Austin Osman Spare, for updating the Aleister Crowley bibliography in the 2011 Teitan Press collection of Gerald Yorke's writings, and as someone who has lent his expertise to numerous other publications.
The catalogue is in Fine condition. The copy of "Amrita" has the merest hint of rubbing and one or two barely noticeable indentations to the leather (probably there from the outset). Otherwise a near Fine copy. Item #65315