Aleister Crowley: Reflection on the Pioneer of Magick
was a pioneer, a trailblazing searcher who opened the door of magick to reveal the secrets that had not been, until his time, evenwhispered in the confines of a closet. Aleister opened the doors and swung them wide for all followers of the occult to rush through in pursuit of their magical attainment. For this reason, he has been called a
as well as a
but one thing is true; he has not faded into the facade of historynor has his persona quietly died. Quite to the contrary, Crowley has continued to be at the forefront of those cited as contributing the most to the spiritualdark arts.During Crowley's youth, he travelled with his father who preached across the country and so, Aleister was exposed to the work and skills needed tocommunicate a message and idea to the masses. In the days before technological advances, the
"face to face"
communication was not only the mosteffective; it was one of the few ways to spread the word of any philosophy. Aleister was drawn to
: not good or bad, but he had a deep-seeded desireto search for more and this trait was one that served him well throughout his life. Ever a student, he would spread the word of his magical workingsthroughout his entire life.Young Aleister's father died of cancer and the experience left the impressionable youth stunned and ultimately, bitter. He set his path on an unspoken philosophy of
"anything that does not conform"
. His earliest poetry illustrates the idea of
while opening the mind to that which was "unthought" or never before spoken. I do not say that Aleister's heart was filled with hate; that would be untrue and an easy way to dismiss his life-long works. Aleister was filled with something much different. He was filled with a burning desire to question everything (
a trait embraced bySatanistseven today
) and atenant to believe only what could be proven. This served him quite well throughout his life.Crowley was a
connoisseur of sex
and he loved sexual encounters with both men and women. He often remarked that he
"only had sex to fulfill therequirements of his magical workings"
yet it appears that he also took great pleasure in the many deviations to sex acts that were anything other than
. He would enjoy paying a prostitute to degrade him by inserting various household items into his rectum and on one occasion, wassodomized by two men in a Turkish bathhouse while performing ingeminating fellatio on yet a third man. He also enjoyed subjecting his partners to pain aswell. During a sex magick ritual, he placed his fist into a young man's anus to the point of almost rupturing his intestinal wall. All within the spirit of magick and finding a higher awareness of
.Aleister was also interested and even curious about the fragility of life itself. After hearing a saying that a cat had nine lives, he reasoned that it would bealmost impossible to kill a cat, and he set out to do just that. Crowley caught a cat and administered nine different terminal treatments to the animal whichculminated with the cat being thrown from a second story window to
"remove any remaining life"
. Quite to the contrary, the animal had been dead sincegiving it a lethal dose of arsenic; the first of the treatments. For the curiousyoung lad, the event was performed in the
name of science
and the results weresimply a byproduct of a scientific experiment.Crowley's
"The Book of the Law"
is hailed as his best work even though there are other great titles to choose from. His writings were factual, confusing, poetic and mystifying, all at the same time. He had written poetry since a young boy and that
was seen as a common thread in all of hisfuture writings. Prolific yet reserved, he preferred to write poetry and insisted on being called
"The World's Best Poet"
''I can imagine myself on my death-bed, spent utterly with lust to touch the next world, like a boy asking for his first kiss from a woman.''
Aleister Crowley(1875-1947), British occultist. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, ch. 54 (1929, rev. 1970).He was an enigma that was perhaps, before his time and I often contemplate what he could have achieved if he lived in our wonderful time of email,internet and cyber chat. Oh, what he could have accomplished! Without conscience and devoid of humanity, he is what all members of the human raceshould strive to be........
. He was not encapsulated by hearsay, dogma or urban legend. He opened his mind and all senses to receive all hecould discover. Satanists take so many of his attributes to heart and strive to learn
that which will reveal itself
during a magical endeavor.Crowley's magick was without bounds and he did not set out to be
at all. He believed there were forces and spirits just beyond our worldly grasp andhe wanted to experience those dark images that do not cast any shadows on the floor.
was a moniker that was assigned to Aleister by a self-righteous society unable to open their minds enough to discover and benefit from Crowley's work. His acts frightened the population and his wordsangered the monarchy of the time. He was not a Satanist per se. Satanism was not his primary focus and Aleister did not seriously believe in a pointed-tailviper, as it were. He communicated with demons and spirits thus being more of a student of demonology than any other magical operation.He has been the inspiration for countless searchers; myself included. He inspired
L. Ron Hubbard
through his magical workings which can be glimpsedin Hubbard's
and The Church of Scientology. Anton LaVey cited references and praised Crowley's written works. LedZeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page, was an avid follower of Crowley and even purchase the house
once owned by Crowley, located on thesouth-eastern shore of Scotland's Loch Ness. Page claimed the house was haunted and also confessed the house
"held a sacred and creative feel that allowed for total artistic freedom"
. Crowley continues to inspire and influence music and writers in modern society today.Aleister Crowley was one of the first practitioners of the occult to blend magick with the consumption of mind-altering drugs during his rituals.Hisgrimoires, which read like scientist's process books, recorded numerous occasions when Aleister and those asked to join him, would ingest large amountsof narcotics and natural stimulants to achieve a higher state of conscientiousness and open their minds to events that would enlighten the participants.Experimentation in such arenas was frowned upon and in some cases, the act of performing a
ritual as he often performed, was illegal. Hisconnection with the other side of the human brain can be called "cutting edge" however, Crowley's grimoires were often dismissed as
"drug induced gibberish"
.Within the framework of magical operations, Aleister was meticulous in the execution of rituals. He would labor over the details and weigh the effects of each and every slight deviation from the original working to gauge the expected result. He also looked at magick as cumulative or "cross collateralized",which built upon the previous building block; increasing power and heightening the magician's experience. Nothing was taboo, too sinister or any ideadismissed without fully exploring the possibilities that might reap benefits. Aleister was anything but shy and if the ritual called for
to be treated withviolence, disdain and abusively injured,
so mote it be.
"Worship me with wines and strange drugs whereof I shall tell my prophet, and be drunk thereof. They shall not harm thee at all. Keep man asignorant and deluded as possible so he can be easily deceived."
Aleister Crowley was a well known member of the group
Ordo Templi Orientis
Order of the Temple of the East)
which closely resembled theFreemasons and Masonic Lodge until Aleister joined. He led the association in a different direction which adopted
as the core principle.The
Book of the Law
communicated two of Crowley's best known verses which are still used quite frequently even today. First, the groundwork for his belief and theology was laid with a simple phrase;
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will”
which is citedregularly by those practitioners of all magical arts. He was never quick to dismiss anyone's ideas or beliefs without first evaluating and contrasting the belief