Q. B. L. or the Bride's Reception. Being a Short Cabalistic Treatise on the Nature and Use of the Tree of Life, with a Brief Introduction and a Lengthy Appendix [ QBL ].
Chicago, IL: Privately Printed / Collegium Spiritum Sanctum, 1922. First Edition - Limited. Hardcover. Large Octavo. xiv + 106pp + 48pp Appendix (+ iipp. adverts). Blue cloth with gilt title and publisher's device on upper board, gilt titling to spine, beveled edges, top edge gilt. Patterned endpapers. Color frontispiece and three color plates, each with original tissue guards. Various b&w diagrams in text. Fold-out diagram at rear lacking from this copy. An extremely rare issue of this "short Cabalistic treatise on the Nature and use of the Tree of Life" by Crowley's one-time 'magickal son,' which was also the first of Achad's major Kabbalistic works. His controversial reassignment of some of the attributes of the Tree of Life was first revealed in the appendix to this work. Achad had the sheets for the work printed in 1922 and released an edition with a stated limitation of 250 signed copies bound in quarter white cloth with green papered boards. It seems that sensibly Achad did not have all the sheets for the run bound up, or he had an over-printing, because three years later he reissued the same sheets, but in a different binding as the "Autograph Edition."
At some stage - and here order of precedence is not known - Achad also passed a number of sets of sheets of "Q.B.L." to the Yogi Publication Society, who issued them in their own binding, with their imprint at the base of the spine. This is one of those volumes. The Yogi Publication Society appears to have been founded by William Walker Atkinson (1862 – 1932) in the early 1900s, largely as a vehicle for the publication of his own works, however, it soon also took on other authors. In 1923 it published first editions of two new works by Achad, "The Chalice of Ecstasy" and "Crystal Vision through Crystal Gazing." It is not known when Yogi publications published their edition of "Q.B.L.", it could have been anytime in the half-dozen or so years after the sheets were printed, although it seems possible that Achad might have passed the sheets to them around the time that he released the first edition himself, as a trial run for the two of his works that they published the next year. Whatever the case the number of copies of "Q.B.L." that the Yogi press released must have been miniscule, as it is a genuinely rare book.
From the collection of Clive Harper with his discreet 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 cloth boards are lightly rubbed, with a couple of bumps mid spine, and corners bruised, with the cloth frayed. A little fraying to head and tail of spine, gilt titling darkened. A couple of labels to front free endpaper, title-page toned around the margins, other pages lightly but somewhat unevenly toned, etc. All pages, plates etc. are present, however, this copy is missing the Fold-out Kabbalistic diagram that should be at the rear. A solid, if not particularly lovely G+ copy of a genuinely rare edition (believe no dust jacket issued). Item #69785