Icon of St. Jack M. W. Parsons
Originally uploaded by anselm23
Jack Parsons wasn’t just a witch, and wasn’t just an OTO member and an associate of Aleister Crowley, the “wickedest man in the world”… he was also the inventor of solid rocket fuel, and one of the American leaders at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, who literally helped get the American space program off the ground. Here, he holds a US rocket in his hands, and the test-tube in his other hand is thinking about being Potassium Chloride (which together with asphalt was the basis for his rocket fuel formula). Parsons is a strong example of what really capable people can do — break free of old thinking, be free to fail, try new stuff, not worry immediately about results, act on whims as well as keep disciplined records, and all while keeping a side interest going in something crazy.
I suspect that, if Gordon has his way, in a century Jack will be much more famous for his rocketry work than he is now… and much more famous for his occult work than for his rocketry work. Why? Because he represents what magic accomplishes for the mind — the ability to break away from the ordinary to achieve new results.
Although, it should be added, that he blew himself up in a home lab experiment while trying to develop some special effects for a film company, and died of his wounds a few hours later. So keep it in mind, kids: if you want to be a magical star, remember — stars sometimes burn out.
It doesn’t really look like Jack Whiteside Parsons, OTO devotee and inventor of solid rocket fuel. He looked more dashing and more cunning. But I think it gets the point across.