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About the Author

Aleister Crowley was born Edward Alexander Crowley in Leamington Spa, England on October 12, 1875. His parents belonged to the Plymouth Brethren, a strict fundamentalist Christian sect, so he was raised with a thorough knowledge of the Bible. He attended Trinity College at Cambridge University, but show more left before completing his degree. He became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an occult society which taught magic, qabalah, alchemy, tarot, and astrology, in 1898, but the group disbanded in 1900. In 1903, he married Rose Kelly, who began entering trance states and sending him messages from Horus, an Egyptian god. These messages formed the first three chapters of The Book of the Law, which introduced Crowley's main concept of Thelema. He founded his own occult society. He was a prolific writer, who published works on a wide variety of topics. His works include The Book of Thoth, The Vision and the Voice, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings, The Book of Lies, Little Essays Toward Truth, and The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. He also wrote fiction including plays, novels, and poems. His fictional works include Moonchild, Diary of a Drug Fiend, The Stratagem and Other Stories, White Stains, Clouds without Water, and Hymn to Pan. Three of his compositions, The Quest, The Neophyte, and The Rose and the Cross were included in the 1917 collection The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. He died on December 1, 1947 at the age of 72. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Series

Works by Aleister Crowley

Book of the Law (1904) 1,181 copies
The Book of Lies (1913) 994 copies
Diary of a Drug Fiend (1922) 792 copies
Moonchild (1929) 658 copies
Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck (1944) — Designer — 607 copies
Magick Without Tears (1954) 503 copies
The Holy Books of Thelema (1972) 444 copies
Book Four (1972) 381 copies
Gems from the Equinox (1974) 323 copies
Eight Lectures on Yoga (1939) 237 copies
The Equinox: Vol. 3, No. 10 (1986) 233 copies
The Drug and Other Stories (2010) 212 copies
Konx Om Pax (1624) 200 copies
The Equinox III (1) (1919) 168 copies
The Equinox (1972) 138 copies
Equinox of the Gods (1974) 134 copies
Little Essays Toward Truth (1938) 131 copies
Tarot Divination (1976) 122 copies
Aha! (1712) 122 copies
White Stains (1898) — Author — 89 copies
Clouds Without Water (1973) 83 copies
Worlds Tragedy (1985) 70 copies
Roll Away the Stone (1968) — Author — 67 copies
Absinthe: The Green Goddess (1657) 49 copies
Scrutinies of Simon Iff (1987) 49 copies
777 (1909) 48 copies
Golden Twigs (1988) 47 copies
Vision and the Voice (1972) 45 copies
De Arte Magica (1974) 40 copies
The Winged Beetle (1992) 31 copies
Household Gods (1993) 29 copies
Crowley On Christ (1974) 28 copies
Handbook of Geomancy (1989) 21 copies
Sex And Religion (1981) 19 copies
Soul of the Desert (1974) 18 copies
The Equinox, Vol. 7 (1992) 16 copies
Energized Enthusiasm (1913) 13 copies
Liber Pyramidos (1986) 13 copies
Liber E and Liber O (1909) 12 copies
Leah Sublime (1976) 12 copies
Cocaine (1973) 11 copies
The City of God: A Rhapsody (1993) 10 copies
An Essay upon Number (1988) 9 copies
Magick, Bd.1 (1993) 9 copies
Mortadello (1993) 9 copies
Last Ritual (1989) 8 copies
The Soul of Osiris (1974) 8 copies
Satanic Extracts (1991) 7 copies
Magick and Mysticism (1982) 7 copies
The Fun of the Fair (1993) 7 copies
Hymn to Pan 7 copies
Jephthah (1974) 7 copies
The Argonauts (1974) 7 copies
The star and the garter (1974) 7 copies
The Winged Secret Flame (2017) 6 copies
Magick (2014) 6 copies
Magick, Tl.2 (1987) 6 copies
Alexandra (1992) 6 copies
Art in America (1998) 6 copies
Hail Mary: Amphora (1987) 5 copies
Diamonds from the Equinox (2018) 5 copies
Gematria (1990) 4 copies
Giants Thumb (1992) 4 copies
Duty 4 copies
Ockulta kvarlevor (2016) 4 copies
The Revival of Magick (1994) 4 copies
The Drug 4 copies
Songs for Italy (1987) 4 copies
Songs of the Spirit (1974) 4 copies
Book 4: Part I (1969) 3 copies
The Great Beast Speaks (1998) 3 copies
Magiske skrifter (1983) 3 copies
The Mother's Tragedy (1993) 3 copies
Jack the Ripper 3 copies
Liber Agape (1996) 3 copies
Ambergris (1910) 3 copies
Svyatye Knigi Telemy (2006) 2 copies
John St. John 2 copies
Sepher Sephirot (1996) 2 copies
Book 4: Part II 2 copies
Hasheesh: The Herb Superb (1973) 2 copies
The Invocation of Hoor — Author — 2 copies
The Rite of Sol 2 copies
The Tale Of Archais (2012) 2 copies
Orpheus: A lyrical legend (1974) 2 copies
Meditation (2014) 2 copies
The Wizard Way (2017) 2 copies
Sir Palamedes 2 copies
The Necronomicon (2015) 2 copies
Across the Gulf 2 copies
Oracles 2 copies
Source Book 93 (1961) 2 copies
Alice, an adultery (2010) 2 copies
Liber HHH 2 copies
Rodin En Verso (2002) 2 copies
Astrologia (1988) 2 copies
The Astrum Argentum (1994) 2 copies
Chicago May (1993) 2 copies
Thumbs Up! (1993) 1 copy
Ercildoune (2012) 1 copy
Tagebuch eines Narren (2013) 1 copy
The A.'.A.'. 1 copy
The Vixen (2017) 1 copy
- poems - 1 copy
The Book of Drugs (2019) 1 copy
Liber CI 1 copy
Liber LXX 1 copy
Ali Sloper 1 copy
Fun of the Fair (1987) 1 copy
One star in sight (1943) 1 copy
Dédicace 1 copy
Abraxas-Kalender (2010) 1 copy
Blasphemy 1 copy
Simon Iff Abroad — Author — 1 copy
Dreams 1 copy
The Fatal Force (2012) 1 copy
Carmen Saeculare (1993) 1 copy
Crowley on Magick (1984) 1 copy
Ausgewählte Schriften (1985) 1 copy
Amphora (1908) 1 copy
CCXXVIII 1 copy

Associated Works

The Lesser Key of Solomon (1904) — Translator, some editions — 657 copies
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (1983) — Contributor — 237 copies
Don't Open This Book! (1998) — Contributor — 206 copies
The Columbia Anthology of Gay Literature (1998) — Contributor — 159 copies
The Paganism Reader (2004) — Contributor — 64 copies
The Century's Best Horror Fiction Volume 1 (2011) — Contributor — 51 copies
The Moons at Your Door (2016) — Contributor — 43 copies
The Necromancers (1971) — Contributor — 35 copies
Satanism and Witches (1974) — Contributor — 23 copies
The Magicians: Occult Stories (1972) — Contributor — 18 copies
Nightmare Reader: v. 2 (1973) — Contributor — 17 copies
The Secret Ceremonies: Critical Essays on Arthur Machen (2019) — Contributor — 17 copies
The Battle of Blythe Road: A Golden Dawn Affair (2006) — Contributor — 12 copies
The Whirlpool (1911) — Introduction — 12 copies
The Bedside Lilliput (1950) — Contributor — 12 copies
The Zinzolin Book of Occult Fiction (2022) — Contributor — 10 copies
Amor Divina — Author — 9 copies
The Black Magic Omnibus Volume 1 (1976) — Contributor — 6 copies
American Aphrodite (Volume Four, Number Thirteen) (1954) — Contributor — 2 copies
American Aphrodite (Volume Two, Number Five) (1952) — Contributor — 2 copies
The Nightmare Reader (1973) — Contributor — 2 copies

Tagged

Aleister Crowley (377) anthology (88) astrology (57) autobiography (77) biography (92) ceremonial magic (137) Crowley (1,202) Crowley (Works) (80) Crowleyana (54) divination (157) drugs (77) Enochian (54) Equinox Volume III (70) esoteric (199) esotericism (58) fantasy (57) fiction (318) Golden Dawn (88) hardcover (65) horror (93) Kabbalah (263) magic (564) magical orders and secret societies (56) magick (1,044) mysticism (116) non-fiction (387) occult (1,505) occultism (228) OTO (313) philosophy (105) poetry (333) reference (80) religion (318) short stories (77) spirituality (120) tarot (496) Thelema (1,832) to-read (363) Western esotericism (73) yoga (82)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Crowley, Edward Alexander
Other names
The Master Therion
Perdurabo
Baphomet
The Great Beast
To Mega Therion, Τὸ Μεγα Θηρίον
Carr, H. D. (show all 17)
Quiller Jr., A.
Innocent, Lemuel S.
Crowley, Robinson C.
A.C.
O.H.
St.John, John
F.
A Mourner Clad in Green
Khan, Khaled
Shivaji, Mahatma Guru Sri Paramahamsa
Haddo, Oliver
Birthdate
1875-10-12
Date of death
1947-12-01
Burial location
Hampton, New Jersey, USA (cremated, ashes scattered)
Gender
male
Nationality
UK
Country (for map)
England, UK
Birthplace
Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, UK
Place of death
Hastings, East Sussex, UK
Places of residence
London, England, UK
New York, New York, USA
Cefalu, Italy
Paris, France
Netherwood, Hastings, England, UK
Boleskine, Foyors, Scotland, UK (show all 7)
Leamington, Warwickshire, England, UK
Education
University of Cambridge (Trinity, English Literature)
Ebor School, Cambridge
Occupations
poet
artist
writer
journalist
author
mountain climber (show all 9)
occultist
editor (of the International)
Great Beast
Relationships
Summers, Montague (friend)
Gardner, Gerald B. (friend)
Marlow, Louis (friend)
Hamilton, Gerald (flatmate)
Neuburg, Victor B. (friend)
Organizations
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Ordo Templi Orientis
A∴A∴
Plymouth Brethren
Awards and honors
33rd Degree, Scottish Rite (irregular)
11th Degree, Ordo Templi Orientis
10=1, AA
Outer Head of the Order of the Ordo Templi Orientis (1924-1947)
Magus of the AA whose word is Thelema
Prophet of the Law (show all 7)
Grand Elect Mysophilote
Short biography
Born Alexander Edward Crowley

Members

Reviews

Wow, I am speechless.
Definitely a great book to read. A little confusing at first. But with some background information it's totally logical.
Love it. That's for sure.
 
Flagged
RoXXieSiXX | 12 other reviews | May 20, 2024 |
I don’t think I’m going to be able to use the Thoth Tarot in readings, even after I read the book and meditate upon the cards—although I think I will do all that, eventually; (ie: assess both the book and the cards); it’s good background knowledge. And really, the occultists of ANY part of the 20th century are a REAL evolution from the timid and sometimes untruthful masters of the 19th century and all those times, right…. But yeah: while I do NOT find Aleister to be “too rebellious”, and I like some of his writings, sometimes he just…. It’s a lot. Too complicated, really. I know I can be a little petty, but I was like ~he likes chess~ lol…. One of my own personal bugbears…. It took me a lot of time to realize that being forced to learn chess by my father was one of the burdens of my childhood; and I still don’t like the whole math-puzzle thing as the Great Intelligence Thing, right: why so many people give up on intelligence, even if they paper-thin pretend, because the smart people’s standards And ideals of intelligence…. Yeah. Although I have to say, I do admire his abilities in geometry; if you locked me in a room with a geometry teacher, today, I guess I’d bloody learn geometry, right: although not having a choice, or perhaps being offered a “choice” in which one of the options is highly stigmatized, just because people are petty…. Right…. But I do believe geometry could be used in mysticism, although I don’t rightly understand his arguments along these lines…. I feel like I’m not going to understand a very sizable chunk of the book, enough so that I won’t want to use the Crowley Deck, and be reminded of how little I know, basically.

But I had to know—what would happen if I tried, you know…. Maybe that’s what we should do with math: ask kids, require them, even, to take algebra or geometry for a year or whatever, and if they like it, fine; and if they don’t like it, they just have to find something else that they do like…. But all the demoting people and evaluating/placing them in hierarchies, and holding their basic personality type against them, right: it’s bullshit…. And it accomplishes nothing, basically, or very little aside from beginning the alienation process between those who are smart and conforming, smart but non-conforming, and everyone else…. To wit: basic brain size, but would like to conform, and the “bad kids”, right….

But yeah. But it’s a hundred million miles from saying it’s Aleister’s fault, you know. He was just another gifted kid that the system didn’t work for, your typical revolutionary type, basically…. And, again: I trust him over Papus and Eliphaz Levi and the timid pedants from the dawn of time in post-1789 Europe, any fucking day, right….

…. “What is the meaning of the Five of Wands? This card is subject to the Lord of Fire, because it is a Wand, and to the Sephira Geburah because it is a Five. It is also subject to the sign Leo, and to the planet Saturn, because this planet and this sign determine the nature of the card. This is no more than saying that a Dry Martini has got some juniper in it, and some alcohol, and some white wine and herbs, and a bit of lemon peel, and some ice. It is a harmonious composition of various elements; once mixed, it forms a single compound from which it would be very difficult to separate the ingredients; yet each element is necessary to the composition.
The Five of Wanda is therefore a ~personality~; the nature of this is summed up in the Tarot by calling it “Strife”.”

(p. 43, Weiser Books paperback edition, 1974 {reprint}).

That’s a great quote, and I will make a table of Crowley’s “names” for the cards, right. It is true that most of it falls under the three categories of: (I) already knew it; (eg Papus was an idiot); (II) still don’t know it (eg the Star and the Emperor thing); (III) and things I sorta understand more about now…. Maybe, but I’m not sure (some of the philosophy of Tarot and history of science fits in I, and some of it in III).

But yeah. It’s a book. It’s not shit; it’s a book, yeah.

…. More fun quotes:

“Reason is an impasse, reason is damnation; only madness, divine madness, offers an issue.” (p. 57)

“One must constantly keep in mind the bivalence of every symbol. Insistance upon either one or the other of the contradictory attributions inherent in a symbol is simply a mark of spiritual incapacity; and it is constantly happening, because of prejudice. It is the simplest test on initiation that every symbol is understood instinctively to contain this contradictory meaning in itself.” (p. 63)

I understand a lot of these basic concepts, but you quite often can’t say it fairer than Crowley, you know: and quite often these things bear understanding on a deeper level. We understand, until our native flaw grabs us: for me, I suppose, fear, specifically leading to a sort of tightening, a grasping after stasis, which makes me quite forget or perhaps ignore, what I know and do not care to disprove….

And many of the details escape me. Aleister was primarily a philosopher or something like a philosopher, rather than a storyteller, but he knows quite a lot about the old myths, and finds in old stories many philosophies….

…. And yeah, I’m probably more religious than Crowley sometimes presents himself as being—although even a devotional sort of Wiccan who is solitary is probably more like an irreligious mystic in some senses, than you’d expect a Christian to be—but I dislike capitalizing words like ‘god’ and ‘goddess’ and even ‘witches’ and ‘pagans’, and of course, ‘he’ and ‘she’, because it’s finally occurred to me, that although the gods and fairies are good friends to be treated with affection and respect, I should really be leaving all that awe, terror, and resentment behind with me my childhood religion—whatever the hell that was, right….

…. It’s funny how philosophers can kinda evaluate cultures or religions or whatever the way that an almost normal person would evaluate restaurants: like, Don’t eat at that Chinese restaurant on Chicago street—and if you do, at least, do me a favor and don’t get the soup, ok…. ~It’s like, they have a very definite opinion, and are not always in PR mode, or whatever: but they don’t have the same quality of attachment that an average lunatic has, you know, trying to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act or, supporting anti-Asian hate, right…. It’s funny, Crowley, (Aleister is a nice name too, and I love first names, but ~Crowley~ is a ~great name~, you know), could be like, (sips the soup) No I don’t care for the Hanuman cult; it’s not a proper expression of the idea of the Fool…. ~And maybe there’s something to that, although I’m not an expert on Hanuman devotion. India is permissive, but the Indian philosophers sometimes I think look down their noses on things like the Fool energy; maybe that combined to the philosophers ignoring and non-persecuting and non-helping people who just cut loose like, Yeah fuck that Brahman shit! This is Hanuman Temple! ~And then Crowley shows up, and he crinkles his nose, like, These people don’t understand, that the Fool is SO WISE….

[re-read upon posting: Or maybe it was—wasn’t Hanuman like God’s Little Helper, you know: like, Ram’s Little Helper….? Like, “he’s quick with a joke, or a light of your smoke”: he’s a good servant, that Fool…. And it’s like, No, that isn’t what the Fool is, you know…. Maybe hoomis misrepresent Hanuman, the way they misrepresent Jesus, as…. The church: I don’t even know what Jesus is supposed to be, anymore; or Loge, as the Irreconcilable Nut Without Good Qualities, right…. Yeah, no one more misrepresented than the Fool…. Lear’s Fool is alright; but people would rather be King Lear….!]

That’s my guess. Crowley understands a lot of things I don’t, even if I’d still have my own opinion even if I knew everything that he did, right.

…. Sometimes Crowley has a thought, and I can’t tell how I should say what I almost want to say…. Like about science and the church, right: I could say a lot, but it would probably piss off both of them, and I don’t want to offend the Christians unnecessarily, and I especially wish that I weren’t at odds with the scientists…. But yeah, it’s almost like baby science grew up in an abusive home, right….

Anyway: yeah. It’s funny how you can separate out books about tarot and books about runes and so on—you can separate out the thousand and one magical systems: tarot, runes, the various astrological systems, whatever you like—but not really books about divination and books about magic: because a system that can be used for (magical) information can also be used for (magical) action, right. Crowley uses different words—he’s so relatable, given his generation, you almost forget he was one of those Wise Old Men; I feel like someone should write a history of alternative culture in the 20th century called “The Misty Dawn”, you know: it would tickle the sensibilities of Gen Z, but the “good people” would be miffed at putting Mick Jagger and Gerald Gardner together on the same photo montage, right…. Also people would get angry and attack it, just because people are paranoid and attack things, pretty much in general, right; “she exists, and therefore, is to be attacked”—(lol, she is a woman, and therefore is to be wooed, right)—but yeah, it’s like, there are two things in magic: divination and “magic” or sorcery or whatever. You know, or you do. You take apart the world, to see what reality is going on, or you put reality back together in the way you want it to be, right…. Crowley’s phrases were marginally more Latinate, but I feel like that was the idea….

Oh yeah, and—I mean, there’s almost no point writing it if people aren’t ready, you know: Jesus and his pearls, right, and the piggies, right…. Like people are just going to throw a hissy fit over you trying to help them in a way that they can ~easily ignore~, lol…. Like, ok, You’re ill: but it’s ok—I have the general notion myself, if hashing out the many details is going to make the people who actually “value” petty details—and/or their illness—descend deeper into illness, we can just put it off for 150 years, right: maybe by that time, people will be able to form a more realistic view of the centuries, including their own, and including the distant ones, right…. But yeah, “The Misty Dawn” would be about the 20th century, and then the next book would be like a prequel, right: “The Pre-Dawn Hours: Alternative Culture in the 19th Century”.

And yeah: I’m not going to have a kid, but if we still keep up this ridiculous farce of this current inheritance system as being the best way to husband personal and collective wealth, and the whole bogus institution of the family and the rest of it—which was all kinda prefaced on the ideas basically: that female labor is free; you don’t give a fuck about your neighbor; and the community is too stupid/un-spiritual/callous/hostile to help people out, (admittedly many war socialists and riot socialists played into this, and many government socialists are only marginally better)—but yeah, I have a nephew; if he fathers a line, when the 2170s roll around you can write the kid a check for his ancestor’s roll in starting the “Misty Dawn” series of popular nonfiction history, right. (Obviously this is the best possible form of motivation for long-term planning! I can feel the juices of market freedom supporting this totally bullshit notion! How could people ever be free to accumulate wealth for themselves and their communities without the institution of the family! The very notion is a call to right-wing rioting! 😺)….

Anyway.

…. And then, yeah: if the first two “Misty Dawn” books sold well, we could do: “Working Through the Night: Alternative Culture in the Long Middle Ages, c.500-1789”. Or, if the publisher was getting a little tired by that point: “Getting Up To Go To the Bathroom in the Middle of the Night: Alternative Culture during the Renaissance (A Misty Dawn book)”—right?….

And 5th-century Athens or whenever, until Christianization, would be like—“Twilight: A Misty Dawn book”, right….

…. And then somebody could write like, a novel, Mid-day Splendor: A Novel (Inspired by the Misty Dawn series of creative nonfiction), about like, the matrilineal era, when the king was like the son-in-law of the old king: the daughter, the priestess if you like, chose the king….

…. (Re: Strength, renamed Lust)

“Lust implies not only strength, but the joy of strength exercised.”

The classic Christian occultist thing for this card would basically be to say that mercy is strength, I guess; strength is softness; self-‘control’ or even gentleness might be going too far, but something along those lines is often suggested.

Crowley’s saying is worth remembering, though. I suppose the main thing is just not to…. I mean, some people have kinda an animal strength or kinda a wild-mind-animal-strength, and call that strength; or else imagine that the thing is calm cruelty, that strength is the pain of lust destroyed and power seized and hatred embraced, you know…. At any rate, lust is certainly a sort of strength, and strength suggestive of lust being possible, at the very least….

At any rate, any seizing of power which you do not enjoy—which you do not ever, ever enjoy: year after year, decade after decade—is obviously unambiguously dangerous as well as supremely pointless, you know.

“Beauty and strength; leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.”

…. (the will to live/the will to die: the Tower or “War”)

So you don’t have to reject what ordinary people accept; you just have to accept what they reject. Life and death are one; the will to live and the will to die are connected. Therefore, if one does not like life, one will not like death; if one likes life, one will like death. (I feel like that famous California Buddhist nun titled one of her books with something along those lines.) Therefore, I might say that the suicidal impulse is not “wrong” in the abstract or absolutely—people imagine that they’re supposed to say, “life is better than death; life is holy and death is abomination”—but is simply, although this is certainly bad enough, lacking in balance. We all naturally desire to change our state of mind, and doing things that inevitably cause “harm”—say, sports, for example—are a natural part of this; however, the will to live is meant to keep the death-will in balance, so that one knows that one changes something into its same-opposite…. So there’s no reason to be hasty, especially seeing as we are living eternal lives, you know.

…. It has been said before how the best words come from silence, even before a year or two or whatever before Eckhart Tolle was born, it was said how the best words float upon a sea of quiet…. And it will be said again. Silence is the eternal music, and in it each god hears a different song….

…. But yeah, among some sections of the population, the name “Aleister Crowley” is not held in the same, uh, regard, as, for example, “Oscar Wilde”—whose second book was attributed to “The Author of ‘A Woman of No Importance’”, and whose first book was, “By a Gentleman”—no, wait; I’m confusing him with someone…. Well, anyway. But yeah, all our researches and our classes and our “you give me that Ben Franklin portrait; I’ll give you the textbook” books have been unable to really decipher the sphinx’s riddle, as far as this “Aleister Crowley vs pop opinion” thing goes, right. But I promise, upon my alcoholic mother’s grave, that if you send me to study for seven years abroad in France and Italy, all expenses paid, then I will get lai—I will get labor-intensive, and this mystery shall be unraveled: both now, and for all time, like a disrobéd—“

“We’ll take it under advisement.”

…. I am very funny. People tell me this sometimes. They are correct. (Although obviously I kinda modify my humor to the circumstances, except for when I’m on LT, right.)

But yeah: it is strange and curious how the astrological signs of the cards don’t match up with the elemental signs of the cards: confusing, really. To some extent that itself makes sense—the world as something other than 78 sentences on the ‘cat sat on the mat’ level, but obviously in a specific sense it’s hard to grasp…. Occultism is not amenable to scientific control in that sense—and who doesn’t like control? Certainly not only chemists, right. Yeah, this stuff doesn’t go in ‘Success’ magazine next to ‘AI-run future: yay or nay’, and obviously we know what the writer of chemistry textbooks thinks about it, at least in his official capacity. Societal elites are endlessly amusing, you know: there won’t Be any more goddamn social control, as long as everybody shuts up and follows the rules…. ~If you state your theory more abstractly, you become your enemy, half the time, right…. But yeah: I guess that’s why occultism had to be suppressed when people wanted a religion that would “keep the loonies on the path”, basically: a philosophy of rationalism is hard enough to handle; it fills many with contempt: a philosophy of hidden symbols fills people with Rage and Fear—you might learn something! Or you might fail to learn, and find out that life is not a 10th grade math puzzle, you know…. But yeah, I’m not one of cry over the normies that often, but it is not such a wonderful strike of good fortune! Perhaps a little inconvenient! that they haven’t found the system that works for the average person, yet, you know…. And certainly that is the one thing the average person knows, on some level, perhaps too well: ask him what life is, he’d say, know what’s going on (What’s going on? Don’t punish me, with brutality!….), and who can do that: well if your name is Jesus Christ, or, less likely, if you Really Understand physics, right…. It’s not always easy to deal with life not always being unambiguously one thing rather than the other, but so it is: but then also, things CAN also be one thing rather than another, from experience: if I had been born one degree of Aquarius the other way, I’d have been the Prince of Swords, instead of the (Crowley Deck) Knight of Cups, but so it is, right: so I am…. I am not pure ratiocination, right, regardless of how rebellious; I am all things strange and unaccountable, right…. Often of all men the least…. Something, I am not quite sure what: it tends to change, from season to season, lol…. The least normal…. And the normals are crazy: but even if you’re not normal, ill normals will raise an ill non-normal, right…. Though the coward dies many times, and eventually, perhaps, is reborn….

…. This is kinda specific just to a group of four cards, but:

“THE FOUR SEVENS

These cards are attributed to Netzach. The position is doubly unbalanced; off the middle pillar, and very low down on the Tree. It is taking a very great risk to descend so far into illusion, and, above all, to do it by frantic struggle. Netzach pertains to Venus; Netzach pertains to Earth; and the greatest catastrophe that can befall Venus is to lose her Heavenly origin.”

And that’s why I don’t like that—I mean, it’s very typical; some songs are memorable mostly for being SO typical, right: unusually so—(looks up) it was actually just called “Venus”, made by an obscure Dutch band in 1969, singing in English—I guess mostly about the color of their eyes, right…. And it’s like…. This is where music theory helps: it’s not ~exactly~ music vs lyrics; the melody or whatever is certainly nice, but the lyrics ~would be~ serviceable, you know, if the “program”, or I guess, the application—application vs aesthetics—were serviceable, right…. I mean, the rhyming is nice; the words fit the rhythm nicely; they picked a simple, easy metaphor to say simply and memorably what everyone was talking about, you know—cheap, illicit love, basically…. But the program or whatever you want to call it is SO false, you know: because they’re not servants of the good Venus, you know—they’re servants of Debauch, Futility, and Failure: and probably that was pretty much ALL they were, right—they didn’t take the, I mean—“all we are is of the gods”, right: there is, ~in a sense~, a way in which a debauched, failed girl is Venus, right…. But they don’t even take both high and low, without distinction: they are Very Discerning About Taking Only What Is Harmful, right! (!)…. You know, like….

Like, what the fuck, basically.

…. One is surprised at some of these cards Crowley is pessimistic about, right—not so much happiness and contentment and licit bliss and order and empire and everything, as…. Materialism, dreams, delusions, and unhappy death on the sly, you know…. And then you remember his reputation. Frank Sinatra was singing jazz tunes and the world was, aside from the war, calmly marching into a future of rationality, peace, progress and…. Other lies, you know. It’s funny; he rejects propagandistic sentiment, and does it by being hard in a way that’s almost traditional, but without being, I don’t know, just the wild caveman Red, you know. I just imagine him at the top of the old spiral tower or something—I’m not saying it right, but you know what I mean—and it’s lightning or whatever, but they’re having a party, playing Forties standards, while the male businessmen exclude and harass women, and the women curse at the Black servants, and Crowley looks down from the majestic height of his tower and curses those fucking British people, and calls them the Black Lodge, you know. Like, none of this LaVeyan shit where it’s like, you say white I say black; you say order I saw Chinese fire drill; you say the world exists and it’s good I say the world doesn’t exist and it’s the devil, right—none of that shit. Like, No, YOU are in a delusion; YOU are abnormal. EYE am an adept; EYE see the truth…. I am Aleister Crowley, and you don’t have to see what that means, because you’re just a little delusional deceiver of the people, you know. Run along. Live your little life. ~Like, there’s a majesty to him, right…. We pick such little people to be our leaders, so often. Obama was nice, and a lot of the rest at least clean up in a suit nice, but there’s so much more to it than that, right. The average chap is deeply afraid to pick a leader who’s better at leading than he himself is, right…. We don’t pick people with ~honest majesty~, and ~vision~, you know—we pick fraud leaders, because we feel ourselves to be leading a fraud’s life, in the end…. So we get angry, you know, over something superficial, basically. Delusion, you know. Total delusion.

…. But yeah, it feels like a great instruction how Crowley is pessimistic about the Tens, whereas I feel like the conventional view is very optimistic about—at least some of the Tens, right. The conventional view would I guess be: you start with nothing, or little; you become more and more, and finally in the end, sometimes it all ends as it should, right. ~(“Nothing”, and “as it should”—lol.) Crowley’s view I guess would be that it begins in mystery, and passes through moments of beauty and pain, before ending in failure: and returning to mystery, you know.

💫

…. I like how Crowley is grown-up enough to meditate on the difference between “Pleasure”, and “Debauch”, although he has no time to waste on Christian negativity towards…. Existence, basically. Towards pleasure, basically, and self-expression. (I don’t like to think about how most of them weasel their way through that argument: like, they can’t admit what they want, really.)…. But yeah, it’s kinda like, to be incorrect and use the word “devils”—which doesn’t have any meaning, in truth, according to the classic Christian usage, since the Christians dream up things that were never, and shall not be: but it has a conventional usage, right—after the “devils” are freed from the tyranny of the angels, or the Christians, or whatever: they have to deal with each other. I guess I just mean “devils” in the sense of “natural” things, not dreamed-up or false, or, always-good, or not-embodied-never-embodied, right, (again: they just mean things they don’t have the fucking guts to come out and say, right….), and consequently, hated-by-the-pious, ie “devils”…. But yeah, I guess I just mean: whenever the supernatural tyranny is removed—or is not the current consideration, perhaps, you know—then the business of nature must be got on, which is not made easier by naivety or credulousness, you know…. The 49th percentile romanticism—the calling ‘debauch’, ‘pleasure’—I don’t know; there’s no way to really explain these things: you just have to live and find out—but the debauched common once-born ‘romantic’ is very much kinda this deluded Christian who doesn’t follow the rules of or participate in Christianity, but who is descended from the church, and caught in it, not always for the better, and credulously imagines that they receive the grace of Christ by…. Trying to live this debauched dream that never was, and shall not be, you know…. It’s the common Top40 view, and it’s insane. It’s not the ‘correct’ view of pleasure, you know.

…. Knowledges come in, like: 🫨

But yeah: Oscar Wilde said, Be yourself, everyone else is taken—but personally, I’d like to be able to stretch forth my hand and have Aleister Crowley’s brain, and Harry Styles’ fashion sense, right. 🕵️‍♂️🦹‍♂️

…. “It only makes things worse if one wishes that there were no Ten of Swords in the pack, or that the Five of Wands did not follow and upset the Four.”

I realize that for Crowley this is emphatically Not an accommodation with ‘Christian acceptance’, lol; I myself comment in an unfinished review that maybe Christianity is the joke that Loge played on humanity, lol…. But yeah: it is supremely ironic that the church preaches this sort of thing—acceptance, contentment—and then freaks out at tarot etc for not interpreting this as denial and, secret aggression, basically.

…. But yeah: Crowley wasn’t a Christian. People are afraid of Crowley; they’re afraid of mental illness; they assume they’re the same. But really, I find Christianity to be the—you know, loyalist Christianity, right: substitutionary atonement, right—imagine if one mentally ill person has a psychotic break, right: substitutionary atonement would be like, we’ll send someone else to the hospital, right, we don’t want to send the ill person; because it’s like, Well, Hell isn’t a place where you get treatment, right; it’s prison…. And it’s like…. I mean, it would be a very strange, very sentimental, very ill lie, you know, to pretend that you were the psychotic person, right….

~And Christians don’t really believe that way, you know; apparently there was some sentimental Victorian novel, right, where you give the thief an extra purse of gold and some fancy bread for the road, or whatever—some old, churchy novel people hear about second-hand, right…. But it would just be a symbol of illness to go to Hell imagining that that cures somebody, you know…. And nobody does believe that: it’s just, either sentimentality, or obscure sayings of the mythic rationalists, or else just custom, you know—loyalty to the tribe-customs.

As long as they’re not, you know…. “Pagan”, or magical, right…. Really, in our tribe, we believe in people being good. People are good…. (beat) You know, sometimes people are really bad; I get afraid.

(trying to gauge whether an escape will be necessary) Do you now, Christian.

…. But yeah: many sayings are left to be discovered in this book, and other books: but I do say it is not so good to feel pity, seldom good to be loyal, not good to feel guilty, a great sin to feel guilty over others. And it is not good to be frightened away from, or into, a belief. It is true that an agitated, disturbed, aggressive mind resists and often cannot really be helped: by your illness you can push away the medicine…. But what good doctor would a sane man be afraid of, and what sane doctor would try to frighten, you know—anyone? Whether over ‘rationalism’ and ‘anti-rationalism’ or—well, we know what the church loyalists were like.

…. But yeah, as instinctual, I guess, and custom-driven as the ordinary person is, and as useful and practical (in the broad sense: it obviously isn’t considered practical) as ‘weird’ things can be, sometimes including ‘rebel’ Christian ways, at times: when something bad happens, one wants to know that a responsible person is in charge, you know: and not a “Christian”, a Christian ideologue, right; obviously they would probably consider themselves Christians, random culturally appropriate responsible adults, right: but they wouldn’t get agitated and blame people based on some strange bit of theological “logic”-hate, right….

But yeah: it would be nice when people are obviously in their head with the Delusion-Devil, and smash stuff before running off into the forest or whatever—the concrete forest—that you could then have a reasonably chat about what to do to clean up the bad vibes, right: like either do a tarot visualization together, or just do a smudging, right…. One of my old Episcopalian friends was like, “That’s the one thing I don’t like: the people who do smudging”: like it’s not Buddhism or something, so it must be sexual subversion; and it’s like, It’s literally a purification ritual; you do realize that it’s almost 180 degrees ~opposite~ to having sex, far more than chewing the cud of thoughts and ideas, you know…. (Although it was a weird story, me and the old liberal church lady: and I’m not telling the story right….) Even some of the Greek myths get in the dictionary—including the sexual ones, right—they just don’t include ceremonial magic on how to cleanse a space, right….

But yeah: people just kinda sit around, like, I wonder why there are crazy people…. And it’s like: I don’t know; there are So Many things I don’t know, right, but…. It’s like, Do you ever sit down and ask yourself what questions you ask of life, and whether it’s the right way to ask? It’s like, No, I’m normal.

But yeah: amazingly, it gets even worse than normal, lol…. Which is why I try not to be content with, just-normal, right…. Although I probably won’t do anything really ‘practical’ today; my intuition isn’t nearly as good as some people’s are, but I don’t assume that events are disconnected, or that if something bad happens, right, “Oh, I’ll just blithely assume that today’s astrology stuff is fine: and then, when that turns out to be a bullshit assumption, I’ll complain (to….?), bitterly, bitterly.”

Yeah: it’s funny, the task of magic…. Being sane, you know. Being practical. Advising the kings of earth, who gather in grain, armies, votes, and energy itself, you know….

And until you’ve made that a reality: you train, right. And so, life goes on.
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goosecap | 10 other reviews | May 16, 2024 |
Aleister’s “The Book of the Law” is very short, and I used to have a thing about reading very short books, (I guess if it were sexual, you’d call it a hang-up, lol)—I read all of Shakespeare and counted it as one book, to take the extreme example. But I am glad I’m reading this as a separate work, because it’s very different in style from a lot of his other work, for example “The Book of Lies”—a great book, incidentally. The title is like some punk band calling itself Pale Zombie, or something—like, “Dude we are so above trying to prove to you people that we are better than everyone else, the way that everyone else is. Over it!” (Sometimes those old Edwardian or whatever radicals will surprise you….) Although it’s funny, “The Book of the Law” could almost equally have been called, “The Book of the Un-law”, and “The Book of Lies” could equally have been, “The Book of Truth”. That’s the other thing about the “Lies” title: ALL words are lies, interpreted in a brittle, inappropriate way….

But yeah, “Lies” is like spiritual psychology—spiritual philosophy…. This is more like special interfaith, (I was a cool Christian who read “interfaith” books when I was just trying to drain the shit out of the Christian house so that I could live there, and now, with some strange conservatism, I call the books that I relate to the most as “interfaith”, as some kind of “I am the universe” objectivity, although I’ve reformed it by dividing interfaith into two groups, general and special), occultist religion. A lot of Aleister’s stuff is more philosophical than religious, and he’s never really one for authority, and this is much more philosophical than Wicca, for example…. But it does seem like this is a sort of religion. (He also called it a religion, but I always have to decide things for myself, lol.) It is a very abstract religion, with more the philosophy/theology thing, without too much mythology, except as a metaphor or illustration, not as a story, right—but if authority is maybe not quite the right word, it is certainly a case of revelation, and perhaps if he’s not “revealing” that you have to follow his way, that’s it, (the way that Paul did when he was in jail, lol), he is I suppose “revealing” his own authority over his own life, and how you can do likewise, if that makes sense…. Unlike say, “Magick in Theory and Practice”, which sounds kinda, conversational, almost…. Although that’s not why I stopped reading temporarily; it was more—I mean, in the long run, there’s no separation, just like there’s no separation between indigenous mythology and paleface mythology and science, in the end; there’s no separation, in the end, between philosophy and magick, spiritual philosophy, and ritual…. But having read kinda a lot of the Wayne Dyer/Carlos Castaneda type, over the years, since even before the goosecap years with the first of those two, I was worried that my ship wasn’t quite balanced, so to speak….

(shrugs) But yeah: that’s all just to multiply words—in the end, just, ~Yes, it’s not “How To Live A Normal Life: The Liturgical Church and the Christian Walk Today”, you know.

Because, just…. No, right. Just, no. Yes to LIFE, no to…. All that, basically.

…. Little Child Horus want you be his friend.

We have to help the children, you know. We have to start telling them the right way to go. The children live inside us; we should help them….

…. It is a very high magic: and it is delight.

(shrugs) And you know: sometimes stylistically I don’t know about it; ‘magick’ with a ‘k’ lol; and I shall appreciate it better when I brush up on the Egyptian myths and on numerology: Aleister’s friend could have saved me some time and written like a little poem about each special number, right….

But it is quite beautiful poetry. Some of the poets in the ‘standard canon’ are alright, including some of the ‘best’, but just BBC announcer voice/factory school homework can make short work of it, you know…. A lot of the Bible is poetry, too; “if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you”, Jesus, (I won’t give the next line, lol: too perfect~~~) isn’t a line from the Bible, but maybe it should be, right…. Resentment can make quick work of a Christian of any description, until even the honest critic is left wondering what else was behind it all…. Was there a good god before there was a bad one?

But yeah: this book is pretty much exactly what poetry should be, you know. Maybe it’s ~poetry~ that’s ’high magic’s aid’, you know. Angels know that those old poets were wizards, not cunning-men from the villages, right?….

But yeah, the greatest thing is not to see division: not between all the this and all the that: and not even between, ~the people who saw no division first and those who saw it second, or between those of the first way and those of the second…. Between the Wizard and the Fool, basically.

…. It is true that there is much danger in the “pit called Because”. Mentation, philosophy, can be very debilitating—very disempowering. “And then the philosopher sat down to discover whether he existed, and whether anything at all existed.” Even Epictetus the philosopher cautioned people about that sort of philosophy, you know.

And then the journalists sit and come to tell why the bad things fly like bats unhindered over the face of the whole earth, and why the good things only are illusory, and why ten years ago or whenever, there were good things, but they have flown to fairy-land which does not exist…. And if you try, almost to reason with them, or to show them the flower of the Goddess, they close their eyes and shout loudly: ‘Because Because Because!!!’

Such is their own path, but it is not well to be like them….

And it is true that to esteem death and suffering is simply to do poorly, you know: and most of what is called compassion is merely to esteem suffering, and to value its cultivation. Sometimes the true strength, the true help, is to give your friend a sudden shake, to help dispense with the cultivation of suffering, you know—and not the voluminous words of a Dickens, praised by his contemporaries for showing people the way of pity, you know…. Poetry is stylized rather than technical, but I think a lot of pity is almost to praise someone for suffering, because you think their suffering brings out something good in you—namely suffering, you know….

But yeah, another point: Buddhists and Christian contemplatives, Thomas Keating the monk and all those people, say that the greatest thing is silence, and value it over the divine words that float up from silence. I value the practice of silence less than I once did, but it is easy to overestimate the difference between words and silence, really. For before there can be divine words, there must be silence. And well have they said, that you cannot force the deep silence or the divine words, you can only experience what comes up for you: what the gods within present to you, as a gift.

Perhaps they have neglected to say that sometimes at least you ought to be indeed enjoying what comes up, however.

…. Yup, the introduction said that the third chapter wasn’t going to make sense: and it didn’t. Bible promise made by the prophets in the Old Testament, Bible promise fulfilled by JESUS in the New Testament. 👌

lol.

Aside from the whole aspect of you know: (softly) if you try to convert me one more time, I’m gonna tell you what I think of you, boy, (raises voice) And, I’m Going To Tell You What I Think Of Your Mother!

👹😮‍💨

Although, yeah: words like “war” can mean a lot of things, right. There’s a “war on drugs”. My Trump-y father talked to me about a Christian movie called “War Room” once, you know. But supposedly, we as a society do not gun down unbelievers or irresponsible teenagers, right. That’s for people you like. Malcolm X talked about “self-defense”, but he never actually gave any orders for gunning down whitey, right. He was such a violent epithet, though. Whereas if, I don’t know, Guns and Glory 7 comes out, then Henry Standardissue isn’t REALLY talking about gunning people down right…. Or at least, he wouldn’t be if it were: Guns and Glory 7: Guns of the Confederacy, right…. Or at least, if there were a big NASCAR character who listens to country music and MAYBE, Talks About owning a Confederate flag, right: talk about how he feels emasculated by the civil rights movement, how he’s oppressed now by the….

And, you know: that’s not to promise Aleister anything. I’m not a Thelemite really, and maybe if I read a book about the Mysterious Chapter, it would seem like a dud, right.

But yeah: there’s a passage of the Bible, I forget which one exactly, where Jesus promises the Little Englanders that the sword will never depart from the witches and the trolls and the opponents of the British Empire, and the Jesus Christ Mission of Democracy & Progress, right…. Until Mr. Green can rest and be serene, roses in every room!

And Richard Dawkins would be all, Fuck the witches and the trolls, sure: fuck everybody: fuck the LOSERS, bro: until the Ghost of Chemists Future and the Spirit of “Pride and Prejudice” unite to bring smugness to all the English people, and all the children—except for the ones that I don’t fucking like because they’re losers, right. Bro, I’m telling you: non-atheists are LOSERS, bro! They’re weird! “But at least some of them aren’t going to HELL, in the Circle of the non-British non-humbug non-collaborators with the Little England Project for Decency and Empire!”

And yet, I would never imply that those people don’t view me with the utmost respect and that they don’t carefully guard my rights from any “marginal” types in society that would dissent from our broad societal consensus of kindness, respect, and mutually acknowledged self-worth, right.

Hmm. Well, okay.

Revision: And yet, in public, I would never imply that….
… (more)
 
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goosecap | 12 other reviews | Feb 18, 2024 |
Obviously Aleister has a reputation, and it does seem like some of his books are a little dicey: I wouldn’t do hard drugs, irresponsible drugs, you know—or really anything that’s illegal, as people view illegal drug taking as being like Naziism squared and it’s so not worth it. But as far as de-stigmatizing things that are different from the whole gossip girl reputation that they have (God I love that show: but I digress), I want to give you a slightly edited passage—slightly simplified; it is what I call fancy occultism; it came from the generation of guys who were very labyrinthine in their writings, although there are reasons hidden down there somewhere—and you can decide for yourself if everything he wrote promotes cocaine (Coca-Cola, lol) and “devil worship” (non-Church of Dickens, lol), etc.

After all, the “proper” Crowley/Crawley in those days was Matthew, and you know—come on. Come on, right. Grow up, eek.

Ok:

“[triad #1]
[1] Nothing is
[2] Nothing Becomes
[3] Nothing is not
[triad #2]
[4] GOD the Father and Mother is concealed in Generation
[5] GOD is concealed in the whirling energy of Nature.
[6] GOD is manifest in gathering: harmony: consideration: the Mirror of the Sun and the Heart
[triad #3]
[7] Bearing: preparing
[8] Wavering: flowering: flashing
[9] Stability: begetting
THE TENTH EMANATION
[10] The world”

And if that’s not numerology for the Minor Arcana, I’m a writer for “Downton Abbey”, you know.

…. It’s notable how it’s a sort of non-stereotypical, non-Christ-o-form Buddhism…. “Lies” could be read to mean, “statements not to get attached to”, you know.

…. Of course, it’s not really about Tarot, exactly—Tarot is just one thing—but it’s just such nice philosophy, you know. Philosophy not made out of stone….

…. It’s a bit like Castaneda, but not really. Castaneda is like shamanic philosophy, the man from the beginning of time reasoning it out about life; Crowley is fancy occultism’s philosophy, the riddle-man telling you all about life…. If only you knew. 😉

…. He’s like a ‘bad’ Buddhist. Not totally unknown in the Mahayana countries, that sort of thing, if not exactly how Buddhism gets packaged to the skittish post-Christians and the bored-by-the-Hollywood-scene, shock-me-with-a-little-asceticism crowd, you know.

…. I guess Aleisty IS the ultimate shock to the system to the England normies, you know. (Don’t feel! Don’t think! Don’t embarrass yourself! Don’t embarrass US, dammit!) I can think; I can see beyond the veil of the apparent…. And I can feel; I can be courageous. And you don’t like it, but: were you under the impression that I cared? Would anybody ever REALLY, ~like~ that, really? And what would they be like, if they did?

I remember when I was small they had the village cops come to tell us about ‘drugs’—just say no; just be normal. But there are so many ‘drugs’, so many substances; many are legal, and more should be so, and this idiot perfectionism just sets people up for failure, you know. And there are so many bad-drugs, and instances of substances taken irresponsibly, you know: and there will be more of both, inevitably. And you need so much more to manage any incorrect desires in that situation than, ‘Your parents sent the village cops to teach you idiot perfectionism’, you know…. No one knows everything, or even all that much, really, and plenty of emotionally okay people might have to ask questions that seem a little basic to the cool kids and the specialists and the (god damn) journalists, you know…. But it’s hard to have an open heart, a healthy heart, with a closed mind, and that’s the traditional teaching of the Christian village, you know—huddled round the church.

…. “If I really knew what I wanted, I could give up Laylah, or give up everything for Laylah.”

But I don’t, so I’m normal, you know.

Apollo, that’s profound.

…. “Some men look into their minds and into their memories, and find naught but pain and shame.”

The Morrigan’s a rough girl, but then, I’ve been issued a red card in my day, too. Sometimes better to foul the fucker and make him go to the line and earn it again, (to change the metaphor), than just…. You know, Ah no! Another field goal! You guys are good! Way better than my team! ~you know

~ Although incidentally, things like soccer used to be illegal because theoretically everyone was either working (farming, mostly), “praying” (I just hope things will be alright! I hope Charlie has to get married raise some kids before they realize they’re a para-alcoholic!), doing military training (to protect us from our brother Christians, who are not to be trusted), or maybe yeah, raising about ten kids. But soccer? Whom does that help you control?

…. He really resists stereotypes, it’s great. Not to be a priest who kills poets, or a poet that lies and doesn’t work so that you have to work for him, right: but a priest-poet. Body and soul.

…. What is is part of what isn’t, and what isn’t, is; there’s no dividing them, separating them, or being ‘careful’—so long as you don’t lie to yourself.
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goosecap | 11 other reviews | Nov 3, 2023 |

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