Sunday, November 5, 2017

Aleister Crowley, Some Things you Might Want to Know

Magician and Thelemite, Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley

A note from the author of this piece: those who know me from my Facebook page, will not be at all surprised to read these words--that if I could find a way to traverse back in time, that I'd loved to have loved him, even if for a short while... 
~ Jude


A Concise Beginners Introduction to "The Great Beast," Aleister Crowley

by Jude (Joodhe)

He was born Edward Alexander Crowley, on October 12, 1875; died on December 1st, 1947. He was born in Leamington Spa, England, and died at Hastings England, at 72 years of age.

Crowley (pronounced as, crow [as in the bird] - ley) was a magician, and due to the many contributions he made to magick, was potentially the greatest magician of our times. There are many detrimental claims made concerning Crowley, which could be because he existed in a time in history where religion and behaving a certain way were necessary to fit in, far more so than today. His father, Edward, took engineer career training, but chose not to work in that trade. Instead he invested heavily in a family run business. His investment in Crowley's Alton Ales paid off well, thus he retired early, even before Aleister's birth. Edward was also an evangelist for a Christian Fundamentalist religious organization--the Plymouth Brethren.

Young Aleister had no interest in Christianity and turned away from it to pursue his own path. He was university educated (Cambridge); and through his years could call himself many things, including a mountaineer, a prolific writer, a painter, a poet, a teacher, a visionary, a chess player, an occultist, and a ceremonial magician.

Aleister referred to himself as "The Great Beast 666," which was him adopting and embracing a title his mother bestowed on him when young. She felt that as he rejected Christianity he was influenced by the Devil. As for his birth name, he did not like it and changed it, and in the process sought a name that met his requisite. In his words: "I had read in some book or other that the most favorable name for becoming famous was one consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee, as at the end of a hexameter: like Jeremy Taylor." The name "Aleister Crowley" fit the bill, and Aleister as well, is Gaelic for Alexander; he was Irish after all.

Crowley was bisexual, with his primary preference being men, with he adopting the submissive role. For a while he lived in a partnership with a male by the name of Herbert Charles Pollitt, whom he loved dearly. However, the differences between them in matters of faith ultimately caused them to part ways, as Pollitt had little to no interest in Western esotericism.

Crowley in Golden Dawn robe
Crowley in Golden Dawn robe

Crowley became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1898, and that's where he learnt ceremonial magick, tarot, alchemy, astrology, qabalah, and other hermetic subjects. Aleister was ultimately ousted from the Golden Dawn; it is held that W.B. Yeats was the primary one that pushed for it to happen, as he found Crowley's approach to magick offended his own, and also deemed his behavior to be immoral. A bit of poetic injustice going on there, it seems. Thereafter A.C. spent time in Asia, where he learnt yoga, and also mysticism from an Oriental perspective; he felt these things added great value to the magick he had till then practiced.

In 1904 he married Rose Kelly; the two traveled to Cairo, Egypt for their honeymoon. While there, from a message conveyed by a supernatural being, Crowley wrote "The Book of the Law," or "Liber AL vel Legis." Henceforth from the Cairo event and from what was revealed to him from it, he considered himself to be the prophet that would guide humanity into the Aeon of Horus. From Liber AL vel Legis, "Thelema" was born--the book is the faith's sacred text. Thelema's principal tenet is, "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. [Love is the law, love under will.]"

It was Aleister that appended a k onto the word magic, in order to differentiate occult works from those conducted by a stage magician. There is great significance in appending the k; in doing so he brought the gematric numerical value of the word to eleven. His aim was to create correspondences, and eleven was the number representative of magick and of the new Aeon. As well, Aiwass told him in Cairo, that "my number is eleven, as all their numbers who are of us."

In 1906 he started a branch of the Great White Brotherhood, named the Astron Argon, or Silver Star. A few years thereafter he joined a German Freemasons group, called Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). The organization was deeply steeped in magickal activity, and after a while Crowley became (disputably) the top man there. Some say that him becoming top man was opposed by many, and caused a rift and subsequent separation. But under him they were led to regard Thelemic tenets, and as well they disengaged from the Freemasons, thus women were no longer barred from joining.

Inspiration of a sort was provided to William Somerset Maugham, who with the character Oliver Haddo, portrayed Crowley in his 1908 novel "The Magician." By 1914 A.C. was having his first bouts with financial distress, as he spend his money extravagantly and had been abusing drugs.

Crowley, circa 1912
A.C. in ceremonial robe, 1912

In 1929 Crowley wed again, this time to Maria Sanchez de Miramar, to whom he would still be married to at the time of his death. Into the mid thirties he was facing far more severe financial issues, and ended up filing bankruptcy. Though he continued to bring in royalties from some of his more widely appreciated works, such as "The Book of Thoth," and "Diary of a Drug Fiend," his addiction ate up much of the funds. For the record, the concept for his Thoth tarot deck was extracted from his Book of Thoth, the artwork was produced by Lady Frieda Harris.

The autumn of 1945 saw Crowley moving into Netherwood. At times throughout his life since becoming a heroin user, he tried to kick the habit; and thus he could regather himself enough to get some degree of new foothold from time to time, and this happened yet again in the forties. It was in the mid forties as well that he acquired a male secretary by the name of Kenneth Grant. He had not the money to pay him and thus Grant's wage was the knowledge provided. Grant went on to become not only a Thelemite and a ceremonial magician, but also the co-founder (along with his wife) of "the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis" (TOTO); the name was changed in 2011 just prior to Grant's death, to become "the Typhonian Order."

Aleister lived out the final days of his life as a man of humble means at Netherwood. During his life he was for the main part publicly despised, and was appreciated and/or followed by relatively few. Here is a quote from Ronald Hutton:
"He was 'a self-indulgent and flamboyant young man' who 'set about a deliberate flouting and provocation of social and religious norms,' while being shielded from an 'outraged public opinion' by his inherited wealth. Hutton also described Crowley as having both an 'unappeasable desire' to take control of any organisation that he belonged to, and 'a tendency to quarrel savagely' with those who challenged him. Crowley biographer Martin Booth asserted that Crowley was 'self-confident, brash, eccentric, egotistic, highly intelligent, arrogant, witty, wealthy, and, when it suited him, cruel.' Similarly, Richard Spence noted that Crowley was 'capable of immense physical and emotional cruelty.' Biographer Lawrence Sutin noted that Crowley exhibited 'courage, skill, dauntless energy, and remarkable focus of will' while at the same time showing a 'blind arrogance, petty fits of bile, [and] contempt for the abilities of his fellow men.' The Thelemite Lon Milo DuQuette noted that Crowley 'was by no means perfect' and 'often alienated those who loved him dearest.'"
unicursal hexagram
The unicursal hexagram, the symbol of Thelema, can be drawn without lifting the pen, thus the name

After his death though, he became famous, especially amongst darker flavored entertainers, such as Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne. The very mention of his name creates rifts of polarity. To some like me, he will be regarded as one of the greatest, not only magicians that ever lived, but also one of the greatest authors and greatest men. But some feel that his hedonistic lifestyle, drug abuse, and lack of moral standing (though morality is a false value), provide reason to cast disdain thickly onto the volumes of knowledge and wisdom he imparted and onto the effect inspiration wise that his life posthumously had on so many.

There was a circumstance whereby Crowley ruffled at least a feather or two--he claimed to support Ireland's independence from Great Britain; as well he expressed support for Germany as it fought with Britain. In Early 1915, George Sylvester Viereck took Crowley on as a writer of propaganda for his paper, "The Fatherland." The paper was a tool used to keep the United States from taking sides in the clash between Germany and Britain. There were many that pointed a finger at Crowley for getting involved in that capacity, and he was viewed by critics as having committed treason against Britain. However, in actuality he was a double agent, working to infiltrate Germany's New York activities on behalf of Britain. As well it could be argued that Crowley's heart was not invested in those writings, as some of the statements made were outlandish, such as when he drew a comparison between Kaiser Wilhelm II and Jesus.

Mid 1915 he stood before the Statue of Liberty and declared Independence for Ireland; the event was covered by the New York Times. The point of the escapade was to make Germany activists appear absurd to sympathizers in the United States. Additionally it has been said that Crowley urged the German Navy to annihilate the Lusitania--the theory was that he worked to have them believe that it would cause the U.S. to keep out of the war, but in fact believed that it would compel the U.S to enter the war in support of Britain.

And in conclusion, this author says--Crowley had a great many things to teach the world, some good, some bad; but in my eyes, what he left behind is pure treasure. The icing on the cake of it all, is that he blessed us with Thelema.


Aleister, as already mentioned, was a prolific writer, and amongst his works are the ones found here: List of Aleister Crowley Works (Wikipedia)
and here: Crowley at Dark Books

References:
Wikipedia on Crowley
Crowley; Encyclopedia.com

Related Reading on our Blog:
On Crowley, and the Writing of the Liber AL vel Legis
Crowley :: The Legend and the Lies, Myths Exposed
To Mega Therion
The Virgin & the Whore
The Serpent Gate: To Meta Ophion (a tarot resource)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Joodhe, no Longer of the Right Hand Path... (and What is LHP?)

From Here on in this Blog will Include Some LHP Content


In the updated blog description some of you will have noticed that there is now a reference to LHP, which is short for Left Hand Path. Many will know what that means, what it is, and others will not. It is not simple to explain, because to some degree it is subjective; its description is sure to vary depending up on who you ask. To simplify, most correctly put, those who journey the Left Hand Path are Satanists, Luciferians, Demonolators, Thelemites, and atheists. The term Right Hand Path generally refers to Christianity, and also to most Pagan faiths.

The reason that this blog will from here on in at times have posts relative to the Left Hand Path, is because me, this blog author, has recently begun her journey of the Left Hand Path. This is not a post of confession or me wanting to discuss my own faith, but is simply a prep for what is to come. In society at large, those of LHP faiths are still commonly largely rebuked. And that's simply too bad, because in this new age of spirit, people are free to be who they are and whatever they are. That includes me and you both.

One thing that many who're unfamiliar with LHP faiths don't commonly understand, is that while the Christian versions of the Devil, Satan, and Lucifer are malevolent beings, to those of the LHP that are theistic, Satan and Lucifer are not Devils at all, but are benevolent gods. As a Luciferian, I myself have met Satan, and he is noble, kind and compassionate; and wise, so very wise. He is always there to guide me.

I know some will not like that I have made this one change in my blog content, and that's just a part of growing and changing, that I'll have to accept. I do however ask that if it bothers you on any level, to try to keep your mind open and see, that light and dark cannot exist without one another. It's true to say that if you take your flashlight and shine it into the light, you cannot see its beam. Nothing exists without a contrast; polarities exist in all things. Such is the very nature of our universe. As above, so below. As within, so without. There is nothing but dichotomy, polarity, contrast, and balance.

So then, to achieve harmony, light must exist beside darkness. But what exactly is darkness, when one is labeled light and another dark, in terms of their faith, beliefs, and philosophies? Here is my summarization of this matter: there is a line, an imaginary line or barrier, it is the center of balance of all things--high and low, north and south, east and west, light and dark, and so on and so forth. In terms of spirituality we use the terms light and dark to simplify the concepts of "service to others," and "service to self." Service to others is considered light, and service to self is considered dark...

In our society we have been conditioned to believe that our lives ideally should revolve around serving unto others. That's interesting and cute, but then where does balance come in? It would come in if let's say half of society were dedicated to existing in the service of others, and the remainder were in service unto themselves. But how about maintaining that balance within ourselves? ... it's hard to remember that many of the beliefs we hold as humans, were implanted to make us more pliable under the powers that be. Being Left Hand Path means that the nature of a person leans towards the left of the line by default. But at the same time, being LHP does not mean that a person chooses to live virtually entirely in service of self (that may be the case in instances though); most often it simply means that when push comes to shove, the person will take care of their own interests over those of others.

Just as it is right for me to lean left, it is right for those that choose such, to lean right.

With that said, welcome to the new face and personality of my blog, which amongst all other matters metaphysical, is also now LHP.

This blog's Webmaster,
Joodhe (Jude)

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