On research/photo trip to the Holy Land for
The Temple of Solomon: From Ancient Israel to Secret Societies
After attending Antioch College, Jim Wasserman spent several years traveling in the U.S. in search of spiritual teaching. He settled in New York City in 1973 and began working at Samuel Weiser’s Bookstore, then the world’s largest English language occult specialist. After six months, he moved to the publishing department, where he rose to General Manager and helped develop Weiser’s in-house production department. Among his many responsibilities, he discovered a love for book design while creating his first book jacket.
In 1977, he left Weiser’s to establish Studio 31, offering full service book production and graphic design. In 1994 Bill Corsa of Specialty Book Marketing joined Studio 31 as a partner with responsibilities for marketing and financial management. Bill and Jim have joined their talents to offer book packaging and printing in addition to traditional design and production through Intrinsic Books.
He has also played a key role in numerous seminal publications of the literary corpus of the English philosopher Aleister Crowley. Three of the most important of these include his supervision of Weiser’s 1976 edition of The Book of the Law, in which the holograph manuscript was appended to the corrected typeset text of the O.T.O.’s 1938 publication, in conformity with the book’s instructions, for the first time in a popular volume. After several years of negotiation, he successfully arranged to professionally re-photograph the Crowley/Harris Tarot paintings for an improved second edition of the Thoth Tarot deck published in 1977, to which he contributed the Booklet of Instruction. In 1983, he helped to produce The Holy Books of Thelema, the critical collection of Crowley’s inspired (Class A) writings.
In 1992, Jim wrote and designed Art and Symbols of the Occult (Inner Traditions), which was revised and expanded in 2005 as The Mystery Traditions: Secret Symbols and Sacred Art. This magnificent collection of full color occult images is unmatched in its depth, scope, and beauty.
In 1993, he edited and wrote an extensive introduction to Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary, which was revised and expanded in 2006 for Redwheel/Weiser. Now fully annotated, it is an immensely useful text for both beginners and serious scholars of Crowley’s works.
In 1994, after 15 years of development, his groundbreaking edition of The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day was published by Chronicle Books. The book features a magnificent color reproduction of the complete Papyrus of Ani with an integrated English translation. Modern technology and painstaking book design were joined to reclaim and recreate an ancient masterpiece. In 2014, the 20th Anniversary edition of the book was released with a new Foreword by Jim, an Introduction by J. Daniel Gunther, and an updated and expanded Bibliography by Professor Ogden Goelet. There were also some minor corrections made to the plates
In 1996, he edited a new edition of Aleister Crowley’s epic poem AHA! Liber CCXLII with commentaries, to which he contributed an Afterword and redesigned text and cover (New Falcon Publications). This was expanded again in 2015 as AHA: The Sevenfold Mystery of the Ineffable Love with a new essay by J. Daniel Gunther, an expanded Afterword by Jim, as well as the contributions by Israel Regardie and Frater Achad.
In 2001, his book The Templars and Assassins: The Militia of Heaven, a major study of the medieval Order of Assassins and the Knights Templar, was published by Inner Traditions. It would provide a prophetic look at Islamic Terrorism just four months prior to the September 11 attacks.
The Slave Shall Serve: Meditations on Liberty, published in 2004 (Sekmet Books), is his most controversial book. It is a collection of essays devoted to the relationship between Political Liberty and the Spiritual Path.
In 2005, he and his wife Nancy launched The Weiser Concise Guides, a series of books on basic occultism. Each book is written by an expert in the field and follows the overall theme of accessibility in theory and practice, as well as listing the best resources for continued study. The series includes five titles: Alchemy, Yoga, Herbs, Astrology, and the teachings of Aleister Crowley.
In 2006, Jim assembled a magnificent collection of Crusader images for An Illustrated History of the Knight Templar. This full-color masterpiece offers a visual cornupia of the Knights Templar Order, their fortifications in the Holy Land and Europe, historical battles, interpretative romantic paintings, along with modern photographs. The accompanying text and captions help to place the modern Crusades in context.
In 2007, Secret Societies: Illuminati, Freemasons, and the French Revolution was published by Ibis Press. An enlarged edition of the classic text by Una Birch, Secret Societies and the French Revolution, this book has nearly been doubled in length by Jim’s editorial efforts. A must for those who seek to understand the real influence of the Illuminati.
In 2008, The Secrets of Masonic Washington: Signs, Symbols, and Ceremonies at the Origin of America’s Capital was published by Inner Traditions. This full-color guide provides a history of Freemasonry and our Founding Fathers, as well as an inspiring walking tour of Washington, D.C. It includes important Masonic structures and symbols that fill the center of AmericaÕs capital. It is a visual and poetic testament to the spiritual principles underlying the unique American experiment.
In early 2009, he and his wife Nancy released To Perfect This Feast: A Performance Commentary on the Gnostic Mass. An outgrowth of their resource website on Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass, it breaks new ground in the understanding of that key rite. In 2013, they released the third and final edition of this important work.
In 2010, he and J. Daniel Gunther completed Pythagoras: His Life and Teachings, published by Ibis Press. Theh book is a compendium of classical sources on the Father of Philosophy, one of the most influential figures of all time.It has been and expanded for a modern audience. Originally written by Thomas Stanley and published in 1687, this edition includes a Preface by Manly P. Hall and an Introduction by Dr. Henry L. Drake. It includes a study of Greek and Latin sources and is illustrated.
In late 2011, The Temple of Solomon: From Ancient Israel to Secret Societies was published. The Temple is the intersection between Heaven and Earth, the dwelling place of the Lord among His peoples, built when ancient Israel was at the peak of its political and spiritual power. The site of Solomon’s Temple became the headquarters of the Knights Templar, and is at the center of the founding myth of Freemasonry.
In June of 2012, his In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966–1989 was published by Ibis Press. This is an explosive and revealing account of the origins and early years of TAHUTI Lodge of Ordo Templi Orientis in New York City, the 1976 magical battle between Grady McMurtry and Marcelo Motta in which Jim played a pivotal role, and the copyright contest over the Aleister Crowley literary estate fought in courtrooms from Maine to California. In addition, he shares tales of his experiences in the New York City bohemian culture of the 1970s and 80s.
In 2014, The Book of Days: Perpetual Calendar was published by Intrinsic Books and distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser. A lavish full color weekly calendar sensitively adapted by Jim from The Egyptian Book of the Dead. It is designed to serve as a permanent record of important events in one’s life and that of one’s family.
In 2017, his first novel Templar Heresy: A Story of Gnostic Illumination was published by Inner Traditions Destiny Books. It is based on the screenplay he and Keith Stump completed in 2007 titled Divine Warriors: The Birth of Heresy, an epic historic drama. Against the sweeping background of the medieval Crusades, two political and religious enemies from opposing mystical secret societies, the Knights Templar and Syrian Assassins, discover a unifying faith that leads them in a fight to protect and liberate mankind. A collector’s edition is available in hardcover, elegantly produced in a limited, signed, and number edition, with the original title of Divine Warriors.
In addition to his love of graphic design and an interest in religion and creative mythology, he maintains an ardent passion for political Liberty. He is a student of the United States Constitution, the writings of the Founding Fathers, and is a lifetime member of the NRA. Jim is married with two children.