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Jack Parsons was one of the world’s first rocket scientists, inventing an early version of the same fuel that was used to carry humans to the moon without ever having earned a formal degree. Parsons was almost entirely self-taught. Obsessive about rockets, he often took great risks in his experimentation with the explosives that would eventually take his life. Parsons was similarly voracious and impetuous in his study of occultism. He fancied himself a black magician, earned Aleister Crowley’s approval and then censure as head of the Ordo Templi Orientis in southern California, and believed he had conjured his second wife through his invocations to the goddess Babalon. He bridged the worlds of science and magick and died suddenly and tragically, leaving the strange spectacle of his life for his admirers and detractors to puzzle through.