Friday, 9 March 2007


The aristocrats of magic are said to be the great occult adepts. Typical was Aleister Crowley, once dubbed the 'Wickedest Man in the World'. Born in England in 1875 to fanatical Plymouth Brethren parents, they are believed to have done Crowley untold damage, his mother even classing him as the beast from the Book of Revelation. By 1898 Crowley joined the infamous magic circle, Golden Dawn, eventually falling out with them.
An erotic poet and adept, in 1903 Crowley married Rose Kelly who he eventually abandoned. But with her help he is said to have invoked the Egyptian God Horus’s messenger, Aiwass, who dictated Crowley's the ‘Book of the Law,’ laying down much modern occult practice.
This, his drug dependency, and his setting up of a sex magic cult in Sicily in the 1920s made Aleister Crowley one of the most controversial figures of his time. Dying in 1947, it is my opinion he did untold damage to the place of the occult in the modern world.

(c) Anthony North, Feb 2007


PaulS said...

But you don't say why or what that damage was. Did he just give it a poor image? Crowley himself suffered as a result of his persistent self-aggrandisement but I have little doubt that he (until the lifestyle addled his brain) had some understanding of a deeper principle. Do what thou wilt.

anthonynorth said...

Hi Paul,
That is part of the damage: Do as you wilt. The 'whole of the law'. Yet the Wiccan Rede is: 'Do as you wilt, but hurt none.' Those last three words turn a system from blatant hedonism into one of the most beautiful and simple ways of life possible.
Crowley was an occultist, but he also considered himself a decadent poet. It was the decadence that was the problem. The public image was that the decadence was really the occult, which it was not.