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Some questions on Aleister Crowley, and a General Essay on the Occult

from pharmaboy - Tuesday, September 02, 2003
accessed 3353 times

Does anyone get Crowley’s writings? Feeling stupid?

I’ve been delving into the writings of many religions, not looking for the truth, more for a good laugh. I’ve developed a fascination for the occult, and I quickly discovered what I find to be new age religious tourism bullshit (Wicca, Goddess worship, and books like ‘chicken soup for the pagan soul’ or ‘the teenagers complete book of shadows’). I have nothing against goddess worship/Wicca, but it’s just sounds far to fluffy tree hugging hippie shit. I mean come on, we’ve had a patriarchal monotheistic religion as default in the west for centuries, it’s to be expected that sooner or later someone would come up with female deity worship. What’s worse is these guys claim origin from some utopian Celtic sect existing hundreds of years prior to Christianity, the truth is we have no record whatsoever of such a religion, their claims are merely to make this brand new religion sound more credible…Whatever….

Satanism exists mainly in Hollywood horror films, the CoS by Lavey don’t even believe in Satan as a deity. LaVey was a charlatan of the ‘60s, and his ‘religion’ also stinks of marketing, this time not to feminists, more to disturbed teenagers and Marylin Manson. Also his magic and rituals are, how to put it, boring?

Then we have Ceremonial Magick or Higher Magick, to the likes of Golden Dawn and Thelema. This is where I’m baffled (and thus fascinated). The Goetia (Supposedly king Solomon’s writings on how to evoke various demons and angels), Enochian Magick (Written by Queen Elizabeth’s court astrologer John Dee), The Qaballa (Jewish mystical tradition), The Necronomicon (Written by an Arab, The book of the dead). What I don’t get about these organizations is why the secrecy if they have nothing to hide? That sounds pretty fishy to me. Crowley was first a member of OGD, then split off to form A.: A.: and Thelema, if in his Book of the Law he talks about ripping out the eyes of Jesus on the cross, and worshipping the Scarlet woman of Babylon, Why then on the other hand does he write whole books on the subject of Enochian Magick, which uses archangels listed in the Bible as protection, and supposedly uses the power of Jehovah to evoke these things in the first place? The Voice and the Vision by Crowley is then of a totally different religious flavor: various angels talking about the Day of Judgment yadda, yadda. I personally don’t believe in a great struggle of good versus evil, or of Yahweh versus Baphomet, Crowley had insight into a lot of other things, why then was he still stuck on this big struggle of good versus evil seemingly? Even though I like his concept of discovering one’s true ‘will’, which is often easier said then done. Whatever is said of Crowley, one cannot deny he was an avid scholar, judging from the sheer amount of his writings to his immense knowledge of eastern/western religions, and his work in organizing various hermetic manuscripts.

What annoys me about Crowley is his highly intellectual style of writing, not accessible to mere mortals, why does he have to be so cryptic? Is it written that way to be nonsense to the uninitiated? When reading his stuff I often feel like he’s giving you a few pieces of a puzzle, but he’s expecting you to know the rest. Oh, well, I always love a challenge.

Then there is Chaos Magick, The grandfather of it was Austin Osmond Spare with his writings on sigil magick and with his book entitled “ The book of pleasure” or “The grimore of Zos: the book of self-love”. Sigil magick was continued by Peter Carroll with his book “Liber Null”. The fundamental difference between CM and other forms of Magick is that CM sees magick as the powers subconscious mind and denies the existence of spiritual entities. Servitors and elementals evoked with CM are seen as deeper aspects of out Psyche. This is also the basic distinction between so-called white magic (right hand path) and Black Magic (left hand path), this has nothing to do with ‘good’ or ‘evil’. RHP magic, with it’s belief in many deities (ranging from ancient Egyptian to Hindu gods, all with different abilities etc) states “thy will be done”, hereditary witches are also considered RHP. The purpose of magick in this path is striving for the reunification of man with the godhead. LHP Magick, of which Thelema, Chaos magick and Satanism fall in this category, which states “my will be done”, there is no god(s), we create our own reality and through exercise of our mind can become elevated to the state of a God, LHP practitioners worship themselves, and ritual sigils (statement of desire) are activated during a state of gnosis, the confusing of the conscious mind through orgasm, pain or meditation.

I don’t practice magick personally, but that’s the beauty of the Internet, the huge amount of information available on even the most obscure topics. Also, it is fascinating to see religion from the opposite point of view to what we were taught. I remember reading stories in TF of people being possessed by demons after simply reading an occult book, or countless stories of TF saving people trapped in the powers of Satan. Also, One letter that always haunted me was John Todd’s Illuminati ‘exposť’, I admit I’ve always been fascinated by the ‘dark’ side, but was also frightened as a young teen of the underground conspiracy of satanic Freemasons to take over the world and vanquish Christianity. I now believe that sermon transcript was a stunt by that church to keep it’s followers. It also goes along with my theory that us humans love to be victimized, the thought of legions of demons and evil men trying to destroy Christianity must have made people in TF feel very Brave, the endtime elite….

First it was Nazism, then drugs, then the occult, for fucks sake, what’s next? Suspension, branding, cross-dressing? LOL!

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from Baxter
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 - 03:11


The question of Crowley is an interesting one. I personally am somewhat of a minor Crowley enthusiast, and I find him to be extremely interesting, as well as entertaining. the reason for crowley's cryptic prose is due in part to his extreme arrogance. ' I may be a black magician, but I'm a bloody good one!' is pretty demonstrative of his attitude. He was also a free-mason, and various memberships at different times to different mystic societies in England at the time. Much like the Free-masons themselves, Mystic societies such as those that Crowley frequented were populated by upper-middle-class gentric snobs who revelled in the use of cryptic mysteria. Besides which, much of Crowley's work was directed at, or created for the understanding of, the free-masonic fraternity. It is also said that much of his work subtly held the secrets of these various societies in cryptic form, waiting to be decyphered by the discerning reader. Of course, this could all be self-promoting balderdash.

The Book of Lies, for instance, contains entire verses which, apparently, have no meaning except to a free-mason. Crowley was certainly an above-average writer and poet, and some of his verse is interesting, albeit not always entirely original.

(reply to this comment)

From pharmaboy
Thursday, August 12, 2004, 00:47

I also find him entertaining. He loved to fuck with peoples head with his writing as if to say, "if you're gulible to follow me blindly, you should get fucked with".

As for him being a black magician, he hated that term and tried his best to dissociate himself from that image. He called the AA, his esoteric study group, the great white brotherhood.

As for the cryptic writing, occult writing has always been that way, anything from the Kabbala to Hermes Trimegistus, these were mysteries that went beyond the lines of rational thought and human language lacks the words to descibe the experiences, all it can do is hint at it with metaphor. An example of this is Crowley's pamphlet "Essays on light, konx om pax".

The best thing that going through Crowley's writings and other occult texts in general was it got rid of the simplistic dualist view of the world I was raised with. A distinct, and boring, black/white scenario. (reply to this comment
From Baxter
Thursday, August 12, 2004, 01:02


Intellectually, Crowley was head and shoulders above most of those who have come after him, including (in my opinion) Xandor LaVey. I agree that the appeal of his personality is that while he was a self- aggrandizing primadonna, he never for once denied it, nor did he at any time make any displays of self-denial. He was who he was and would dare to be damned as such. His ideas were of course heavily influenced, as you know, by his experiences as a child. His upbringing in a strict fundementalist Christian family, as well as the hypocrisy of his tea-totaled, sobriety preaching father who made his fortune as a brewer, seem to have turned him into somewhat of an iconoclast.

He also seems to interweave a certain amount of thought from other thinkers into his writing: ' white is white is the lash of the taskmaster; white is black is the cry of the slave; the master takes no heed'- has a certainly nihilist ring to it, although I am not aware of any acknowledgements on his part. In any case, a fascinating man.(reply to this comment

From Vicky
Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 04:17


Baxter!!! I've missed talking with you, where have you been?

I would love to chat again sometime - if you want to, please send your MSN or Yahoo ID to my email through my user profile.

: )(reply to this comment

from Sir Rantalot
Monday, September 08, 2003 - 12:47


Here is a quote from Crowley which sets him FAR apart from Berg:

"In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth & the paths, of spirits & conjurations, of gods, spheres, planes, & many other things which may or may not exist. By doing certain things certain results follow; studends are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophical validity to ant of them"

So much different to the religious absolutism of berg. Here is another quote from "the Book of Lies":

"I went to bed with faith and found her a corpse in the morning, I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning"

Doesn't sound much like a dominant,all knowing guru to me. Another big difference is the recommendations he gives to those wishing to practise his magickal techniques:

1) be in excellent health

2) be competent in at at least one athletic sport

3) be able to conduct experiments accurately in at least one science

4) have a general knowledge of several sciences

5) be able to pass an examination in formal logic

6) be able to pass an examination in the history of philosophy, including Idealism, Materialism, Rationalism, Spiritualism, Comparative theology, etc.

I really don't see a potential cult leader PROMOTING formal study & rational thought. A characteristic of charismatic cult leaders is that of declaring the knowledge of the 'ultimate truth', and discouraging followers from seeking outside sources of knowledge, usually blanket wrapping all the rest as 'lies' or 'evil'.

I got these bits from RA Wilson's "Cosmic Trigger", which has helped me understand Crowley much better. Even his concept of "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" has been taken as a license to completely indulge in any pleasure or perversion one wants. First of all it is an understatement that he intended YOUR will, and you had no right to infringe upon anothers will. That statement was a starting point, then began a whole journey to discover ones true will, a self-discovery program of sorts. He was misunderstood and ahead of his time, his views on sexual pratices gave him the label of " the wickedest man in england" by english newspapers. There is no proof that he exploited his followers, on the contrary, he was kind and naive at times, and died soon after a royalty courtcase left him penniless.

The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a secret society comprised of learned men and women studying ancient mystic traditions, and it being a secret society, no 'evagelization' was practised by it's members. So much different to a cult playing on weak individuals' insecurities.

This is what I have gleaned so far, any other input is appreciated.


SR out

(reply to this comment)

from anovagrrl
Monday, September 08, 2003 - 09:14


Not too long after I left the COG (around 1975), I obtained Crowley's tarot deck. It come with a text called The Book of Toth. Crowley's stuff is based on years of studying arcane and occult (meaning: hidden) traditions, such as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Kaballah, theosophy, tantra, etc.

I've always approached Crowley from the standpoint of his tarot, which is highly intuitive (as are many decks), but also includes the "dark" side, which scares some people. Somewhere along the line I learned to embrace my shadow, that is, acknowlege and accept those "unredeemed" parts of myself that dwell in the well of my longstanding clinical depression. I suspect you are walking a similar path.

Crowley was into sex magick, which makes him Berg's spiritual brother. I think he was similarly psychogically unhinged. Crowley saw himself as the embodiment of the Great Beast, which seems like an occultist's egocentric counterpart to Berg's self-proclaimed Endtime Prophet status.

As far as sexual magick is concerned, I believe tantra promotes a more accessible approach than Crowley espoused.
(reply to this comment)

From Mir
Monday, September 08, 2003, 11:45


Ugh! Sounds pretty weird and nasty to me!(reply to this comment

from Cosmicblip
Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 15:16

personally, i like "chicken poop for the soul." it's much funnier. yes, it is an actual book.
(reply to this comment)
from Cosmicblip
Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 15:16

personally, i like "chicken poop for the soul." it's much funnier. yes, it is an actual book.
(reply to this comment)
from JudasChrist
Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 08:02


Have U read the Lesser Key Of Solomon? Aleisters "Magick Without Tears", Thus Spoke Tharathustra, and Human-All To Human (Frederik Nietzesche)? Good stuff.......Interesting 2 say the least.

(reply to this comment)

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