Lionel Snell

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Lionel Snell


Born 1945 in Hertfordshire 3rd child to parents that had met as members of the Kibbo Kift – John Hargrave’s pre-war woodcraft ‘green party’ movement. Moved to the Cotswolds same year, where father bought a ruined water mill, made it habitable and restored it over the next dozen years.

Attended local Cranham Village school. Older siblings went to Wynstones Steiner School but cash short so was to be state educated until I won scholarship to Clifton College Preparatory School in Bristol (about 1956) and local council agreed to help with fees. Won scholarship to Clifton College upper school, and mathematics scholarship to Emmanuel College Cambridge (1964?).

Early interest in the occult was encouraged by family friends – including some late 50s psychedelic pioneers and Ted Bryant, a disciple of Aleister Crowley and friend of Frieda Lady Harris. Ordered Abramelim book from Gloucester library in 1956. Clifton College Science Library held a superb collection of alchemy and magical texts bequeathed by Holmyard (alchemy historian). Cambridge University Library had a good collection of Crowley. While at Cambridge I got to know Helios Books (Gareth Knight et al) and Gerald Yorke (Crowley archivist) in the Cheltenham area and spent a lot of time with Gerald discussing magick and Crowley.

Took Maths Tripos in pure maths subjects and wrote a couple of essays on occult philosophy for the Mildmay Essay Club (where, in later years, I met Tanya Luhrman, author of Persuasions of the Witches Craft). Took Dip Ed and got post at Eton College as maths master and modern tutor for 4 years. Wrote a couple of unpublished books on occult philosophy (“Johnstone’s 20th Century Occult Philosopher and Skepticall Politick Theorist”, and “Uncle Ramsey’s Bumper Book of Magick Spells”.)

In about 1973 met Christopher Macintosh – Rosicrucian historian – and he asked me to write an introductory essay on magic for a collection that never got published. I then revised the essay and self published it in 1974 as “SSOTBME – an essay on magic”. This book, together with articles published in Agape on Austin Spare, influenced the creation of Chaos Magic by Pete Carroll, Ray Sherwin and others. Has since appeared in 2 English, German, 2 Polish editions and US editions.

In 1977 performed the Abramelim operation and wrote Thundersqueak for publication next year. Book became ‘a cult classic among the punks in Iceland’! First job as a commercial writer in 1979.

Founder member of Gerald Suster’s Bloomsbury essay club ‘The Society’ in late 70s. Was initiated with Tanya Luhrman into North London magical order in 1983, and into OTO in mid 80s. At end of 80s was invited to Lockenhaus Castle, Austria, to hold workshops for the IOT chaos magic conference. Initiated into IOT.

Published Words Made Flesh (pioneer exploration of virtual reality) and 2nd edition Thundersqueak in 1986. Wrote The Good The Bad The Funny (exploration dualistic and trinitarian thinking) in 1993 and did occasional lectures/workshops on occult and magical topics including Crowleyanity. “Blast your way to Megabuck$ with my SECRET Sex-Power Formula – and other reflections upon the spiritual path” a volume of collected essays was published in 1993 and it was chosen for Telegraph Books of the Year.

Represented OTO in some TV programme early 90s and was press officer for the OTO’s October Gallery Crowley exhibition in 1998. Published a second volume of collected essays “What I Did In MY Holidays” in 1998.

Since 1986 working as freelance corporate communications consultant specialising in IT and networking business. Also MC for NetEvents Network/Telecoms industry European and N American Press Seminars since 1995. Began e-publishing my books in 2000 and then made them available as Print on Demand.

Married Lynn McGregor (a South African lady whose family were exiled to UK for their opposition to apartheid movement) in November 1999, and moved to her flat in London. In 2005 I wrote “Uncle Ramsey’s Little Book of Demons” for publication by Aeon Books, and moved with Lynn to Cape Town where I now live. Faculty head for Arcanorium Department of Experimental Metaphysics since 2006, leading a number of courses and “How to See Fairies”, published by Aeon Books in 2010, was based on the “Experimental Clairvoyance for Non-Psychics” course.

Have a fairly popular YouTube Channel showing short videos on topics of interest to me under pen-name Ramsey Dukes at


And FaceBook page at


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