UK: Mandrake of Oxford, 2011. First Edition. Softcover. Large octavo. 280pp. Glossy printed wrappers. B&w illustrations, index. The stated first edition of this biography of the widow of Jack Parsons; the California artist, occultist, actress, and bohemian Marjorie Cameron (1922 - 1995 ), who was generally known simply as "Cameron". From the publisher: "In the first-ever biography written about her, Wormwood Star traces the extraordinary life of the enigmatic artist Marjorie Cameron, one of the most fascinating figures to emerge from the American Underground art world and film scene.
Born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, in 1922, Cameron's uniqueness and talent as a natural-born artist was evident to those around her early on in life. During World War 2 she served in the Women's Navy and worked in Washington as an aide to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But it was after the War that her life really took off when she met her husband Jack Parsons. By day Parsons was a brilliant rocket scientist, but by night he was Master of the Agape Lodge, a fraternal magickal order, whose head was the most famous magus of the 20th century... Aleister Crowley.
Gradually, over the course of their marriage, Parsons initiated Cameron into the occult sciences, and the biography offers a fresh perspective on her role in the infamous Babalon Working magick rituals Parsons conducted with the future founder of Scientology, L Ron Hubbard. Following Parsons death in 1952 from a chemical explosion, Cameron inherited her husband's magickal mantle and embarked on a lifelong spiritual quest, a journey reflected in the otherworldly images she depicted, many of them drawn from the Elemental Kingdom and astral plane.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Cameron became a celebrated personality in California's underground art world and film scene. In 1954 she starred in Kenneth Anger's visual masterwork, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, stealing the show from her co-star Anais Nin. The budding filmmaker Curtis Harrington was so taken with Cameron, he made a film study dedicated to her artwork entitled The Wormwood Star. He then brought Cameron's powerful and mysterious presence to bear on his evocative noir thriller, Night Tide, casting her alongside a young Dennis Hopper. ..." Appears unread, or "as new", thus a tight, clean near Fine copy. Item #70208