Tag Archives: abbey of thelema

Jane Wolfe

Jane Wolfe: The Cefalu Diaries 1920 – 1923 by Jane Wolfe, commentary by Aleister Crowley, compiled and introduced by David Shoemaker, the 2008 deluxe edition from College of Thelema of Northern California (now International College of Thelema), is part of the collection at the Reading Room. The papercover version is still available via print on demand.

David Shoemaker Aleister Crowley Jane Wolfe The Cefalù Diaries from College of Thelema of Northern California

“A fascinating look into the training undertaken by Jane Wolfe, a student of Aleister Crowley, at the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, Sicily. This book collects the bulk of Wolfe’s surviving diary entries from Cefalu, most of which were typed, complete with handwritten commentary from Crowley on many pages. The diary is presented in grayscale facsimile format. Compiled and Introduced by Dr. David Shoemaker.” [via]

The Drug

The Drug by Aleister Crowley is the fifth new edition from 100th Monkey Press, available in a hand-bound limited edition.

Aleister Crowley The Drug from 100th Monkey Press

‘The Drug’ was originally published in Great Britain in the January 1909 issue of The Idler, an illustrated monthly magazine that printed various light pieces and sensational fiction.

This work is one of Aleister Crowley’s earliest published short stories and highlights his power as an author of fiction as well as poetry.

It has been said that this short story is one of the first, if not the first fictionalized account of ingesting a hallucinogenic substance. Crowley certainly experimented with a wide variety of mind-altering substances throughout his life, and it is not too far-fetched to consider the possibility that this story may be based, at least in part, on personal experience.

‘The Drug’ may be based on Crowley’s experiences with Anhalonium Lewinii, a now obsolete name for Lophophora Williamsii, commonly known as the peyote cactus. The active constituent of peyote is mescaline, a well-known alkaloid that can produce hallucinogenic effects when ingested.

References to Anhalonium Lewinii by Crowley are found as early as 1907. Crowley’s diary entry for 12 March 1907 seems to indicate that he was using a commercial preparation of Anhalonium Lewinii. He writes that he has taken 10 drops of the preparation and will take no more since this was the maximum dosage mentioned on the label. Crowley also seemed to have had a relationship of some sort with Parke-Davis and even mentions an October 1915 visit to the company in his confessions:

‘They were kind enough to interest themselves in my researches in Anhalonium Lewinii and made me some special preparations on the lines indicated by my experience which proved greatly superior to previous preparations.’

According to Perdurabo, Dr. Richard Kaczynski’s excellent biography on Crowley, the Abbey of Thelema’s copy of Diary of a Drug Fiend contains a marginal note by Crowley stating that he had conducted numerous experiments on people with Anhalonium Lewinii in 1910 and afterwards. These experiments may have formed the basis for Liber CMXXXIV, The Cactus, described as ‘An elaborate study of the psychological effects produced by Anhalonium Lewinii (Mescal Buttons), compiled from the actual records of some hundreds of experiments.’ Unfortunately The Cactus was never published and is now considered lost to history.

Whether ‘The Drug’ is truly a fictionalized account of the use of peyote is, of course, open to debate, but, the story does stand on its own as a very early piece of psychedelic literature. [via]

The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley

The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley: Tunisia 1923 edited, with additional material, by Stephen Skinner, the 1996 paperback from Weiser Books, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Stephen Skinner's The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley from Weiser Books

“The complete diaries of Aleister Crowley cover his entire career in magic, from his initiation into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1898, to his death in 1947. These diaries record the development of Crowley’s synthesis of traditional Western ritual magic with Eastern yoga, tantra and sexual magic—culminating in the creation of Crowley’s ‘Thelemic Magick.’ The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley: Tunisia 1923 show one year in Crowley’s life. This particular year was a major turning point in his life—he and his followers has just been banished by Mussolini from their beloved Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, Sicily. It marks a time of introspection for Crowley. In it he fully records his magical acts, the internal and external influences surrounding these acts, and their results. Also included are references to the commentaries on the Book of the Law, passages detailing drug use, the practice of sexual magic, descriptions of how he derived Qabalistic meaning from his works and life, interpretations of ‘Yi King’ (I Ching) divination, and other thoughts of a philosophic, religious, and magical nature. In these candid glimpses into Crowley’s mind the reader can see both the egocentric, self-aggrandizing ‘Beast 666’ and the doubts and misgivings of a man dedicated to the spiritual path.”


 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

The Progradior Correspondence

The Progradior Correspondence, Letters by Aleister Crowley, C. S. Jones, & Others, edited and introduced by Keith Richmond, the 2009 hardcover edition from Teitan Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Keith Richmond, Aleister Crowley et al. The Progradior Correspondence from Teitan Press

“The Progradior Correspondence comprises the text of ninety letters and other documents that were exchanged between “Frater Progradior” (that is Aleister Crowley’s Lancashire-born follower Frank Bennett), and members of “the Beast’s” inner circle, including Crowley himself, Charles Stansfeld Jones, Leila Waddell, Leah Hirsig and others.

The correspondence began in 1910 when Bennett wrote to Crowley seeking his advice on the performance of “The Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage.” It continued through the years of The Equinox, through Crowley’s residence in the United States during the First World War, and on past the heydays of the Abbey of Thelema at Cefalu in the early 1920s. The exchange finally drew to a close in 1926, by which time Crowley had dropped or otherwise lost contact with most of his associates of the preceding decade and a half.

A third of the letters were written by Aleister Crowley. Like the rest of the correspondence, these focus largely on the efforts that he and his followers were making to promote his occult fraternities, the A∴ A∴ and the O.T.O. As such they offer valuable first-hand accounts of the development of Crowley’s creed of Thelema during this important period. The letters are highly revealing on a personal level as well, and provide considerable insight into Crowley’s character and the influence that he had on the people around him. In broader terms they give a fascinating impression of the lives and activities of all those involved.

The Progradior Correspondence is edited by Frank Bennett’s biographer, Keith Richmond, who has also contributed a short Introduction and added footnotes to elucidate some of the more obscure names, words and passages in the letters.” [via]

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Most popular Hermetic Library blog posts of 2012

Here are the top 5 most viewed posts of 2012:

  1. The Copiale Cipher: An Early German Masonic Ritual Unveiled
  2. Da Pacem Domine
  3. Leather steampunk Anubis and Bast masks
  4. Hello Aleister Crowley Kitty
  5. Boleskine House

Here’s the 5 most popular search terms:

  1. krampus (Last year’s 3rd)
  2. boleskine house
  3. aleister crowley
  4. thelema (Last year’s 2nd)
  5. abbey of thelema

If you want to compare, take a look at the most popular posts and search terms of 2011. Are you curious about the other posts in the top 50 for 2012? The most popular posts are quite an interesting variety! Interestingly, the most popular post of 2011 (DIONYSUS) doesn’t appear anywhere in the top 50 this year, though there’s quite a few posts from last year that are still popular these days. Here’s the next 45 most popular posts:

  1. The historical place of Aleister Crowley in fact and fiction is explored a bit and somewhat sorted in a column about “Bad Books you never want your co-workers to know you’re reading”
  2. Leather masks of Thoth, Anubis and Ra
  3. The Red Goddess and Crossed Keys from Scarlet Imprint
  4. Krampus Tee Shirt
  5. Open letter from John Michael Greer to the Golden Dawn community
  6. More on the Copiale cipher and the revealed rites of a secret society of Oculists
  7. Abbey of Thelema
  8. Mapping the Occult City: Exploring Magick and Esotericism in the Urban Utopia
  9. krampus postcard
  10. The Moonchild of Yesod is also available as a free download
  11. AMORC altar set
  12. Hakim Bey and the Occupy Wall Street movement
  13. “O coffee! By the mighty Name of Power do I invoke thee, consecrating thee to the Service of the Magic of Light. Let the pulsations of my heart be strong and regular and slow! Let my brain be wakeful and active in its supreme task of self-control! That my desired end may be effected through Thy strength, Adonai, unto Whom be the Glory for ever! Amen without lie, and Amen, and Amen of Amen.”
  14. The Book of Soyga
  15. Lost Lucifer Rising soundtrack by Jimmy Page revisited, remixed and released today
  16. The Mysteries of John the Baptist
  17. Do What Thou Wilt Print
  18. The Book of Law of the Venerable Secret Order of the Eye
  19. Grand Guignol II: HÄXAN – Satan + The Women who love Him
  20. Mr. Aleister Crowley, the author, declines to make himself invisible in court
  21. September 1930, Lisbon: Aleister Crowley’s lost diary of his Portuguese trip
  22. The Nightmare Paintings
  23. The Mystery of the Letters and The Tree of Life
  24. “If the standard premises upon which the Golden Dawn formulates its planetary hexagrams are applied, a symbolically consistent system of invoking and banishing can be derived. Further these formulations can be verified by corollary application of the elemental paradigm, with similarly consistent and symbolically harmonious results.”
  25. Hello Baphomet Kitty
  26. TYLER Beta Testing
  27. Leather masks of Anubis, Bast and Egyptian cat
  28. babalon
  29. Dream Logic Tarot
  30. The Book of Baphomet
  31. Aleister Crowley related shirts from Fear and Clothing
  32. It’s funnier in Copiale
  33. Aleister Crowley, Lam and the Amalantrah Working mentioned in an interview with Brian Butler
  34. Witch and wicked
  35. The Celtic Golden Dawn: An Original & Complete Curriculum of Druidical Study
  36. The Moonchild of Yesod
  37. The Hermetic Library Anthology Album – Magick, Music and Ritual 4
  38. Enochian Chess
  39. Oracle Tarot Deck
  40. A few preliminary prepared remarks for those early in their study of Esotericism
  41. Debunking the Lovecraftian Occult
  42. Stele of Revealing replica of the miniatures commissioned by Aleister Crowley
  43. Occult Guide
  44. Secrets of Secret Societies
  45. Guy Fawkes Bandana Mask

       

Mr. Aleister Crowley, the author, declines to make himself invisible in court

On Friday, April 13th, 1934, the Manchester Guardian published “Mr. Aleister Crowley, the author, declines to make himself invisible in court” and today The Guardian has brought the article back from the archives.


Aleister Crowley, c 1938. Photograph: Hulton Getty

“The ‘black magic’ libel action again came before Mr. Justice Swift and a special jury in the King’s Bench Division yesterday.

Mr. Aleister Crowley, the author, claimed damages against Miss Nina Hamnett, authoress of a book entitled ‘Laughing Torso,’ and Messrs. Constable and Co., Limited, the publishers, and Messrs. Charles Whittingham and Briggs, the printers.

Mr. Crowley complained that the book imputed that he practised ‘black magic’ and he said this was a libel upon him. The defence was a plea of justification.

At the material time Mr. Crowley had a villa on the mountain-side at Cefalu, Sicily, which was known as the ‘Abbey of Thelema.’ He denied that he practised ‘black magic’ there. He also denied that a baby mysteriously disappeared, as the defence alleged, from the ‘Abbey.’

Mr. Martin O’Connor (for Miss Hamnett) resuming his cross-examination yesterday, invited Mr. Crowley to try his magic in court. ‘You said yesterday,’ said Mr O’Connor, ‘that, as the result of early experiments, you invoked certain forces with the result that some people were attacked by unseen assailants. Try your magic now on my learned friend (pointing to Mr. Malcolm Hilbery, K.C.). I am sure he will not object.’ ‘I would not attack anyone,’ replied Mr. Crowley. ‘I have never done wilful harm to any human being.’

When invited again Mr. Crowley replied: ‘I absolutely refuse.’

‘On a later occasion,’ continued Mr. O’Connor, ‘you said you succeeded in rendering yourself invisible. Would you like to try that on now for, if you don’t, I shall pronounce you an imposter? – You can ask me to do anything you like. It won’t alter the truth.’

Counsel then dealt with the ritual observed in the ceremonies at the villa at Cefalu. Mr. Crowley denied that a cat was killed in the ceremony and that part of the cat’s blood was drunk by a person taking part. ‘There was no cat, no animal, no blood, and no drinking,’ he declared.

In re-examination Mr. Crowley agreed that he had studied black magic, though only as a student. He had never practised black magic, and had always written about it in terms of strongest condemnation.

When Mr. Crowley’s evidence was concluded Mr. Justice Swift asked him to tell the Court ‘the shortest, and at the same time comprehensive, definition of magic which he knew.’

Mr. Crowley: Magic is the science of the art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will. White magic is if the will is righteous and black magic is if the will is perverse.

Mr. Justice Swift: Does that involve the invocation of spirits? – It may do so. It does involve the invocation of the holy guardian angel who is appointed by Almighty God to watch over each of us.

Is it in your view, the art of controlling spirits so as to affect the course of events? – That is part of magic. One small branch.

If the object of the control is good then it is white magic? – Yes.

When the object of the control is bad what spirits do you invoke? – You cannot invoke evil spirits. You must evoke them and call them out.

When the object is bad you evoke evil spirits? – Yes. You put yourself in their power. In that case it is possible to control evil spirits or blind spirits for a good purpose as we might if we use the dangerous elements of fire and electricity for heating and lighting, &c.”

Aleister Crowley: Prophet of the New Aeon at Treadwell’s, London, on Monday April 9th

“Aleister Crowley: Prophet of the New Aeon” is a full day presentations and readings related to the Book of the Law at Treadwell’s, London, on Monday April 9th, with proceeds going “to help preserve the Abbey of Thelema, Cefalu.” There’s been a bit about this around already, but here it is again in case you hadn’t seen it yet. Also check out the primary site for the event.

The c.n.p.o* for the Study of Self “Entelechy” presents:

ALEISTER CROWLEY: THE PROPHET OF THE NEW AEON
– A whole day of lectures relating to The Book of the Law –

To be held on Monday 9 April 2012 – at Treadwell’s, London.

The fantastic program includes:

Part I
11:00 Welcome

11:10 am – 11:35 am
The “Save the Abbey of Thelema” project by Anna Apostolidou, chairperson of the c.n.p.o. “Entelechy”

11:40 am – 12:05 pm
“Law, Truth & Desire: Crowley, Badiou & Lacan” by Katerina Kerasoti-Kay, D.Phil.

12:05 pm – 12:25 pm
Reading Liber Al, Chapter I by Caroline Wise

12:25 pm – 13:30 pm
Break

Part II
13:30 pm – 13:50 pm
“The Abbey must be built” by Peter Grey, owner of Scarlet Imprint Publications

13:50 pm – 14:10 pm
Reading Liber Al, Chapter II
by Paul Feazey

14:10 pm – 14:30 pm
“The Cult of Nuit: the star goddess of ancient Egypt, mother of Seth and all the gods.” by Mogg Morgan, owner of Mandrake of Oxford Publishing

14:30 pm – 14:40 pm
“Thelemic Geographica”
by Anna Apostolidou

14:40 pm – 15:00 pm
Break

Part III
15:00 pm – 15:20 pm
“Aleister Crowley: Prophet of a New Aeon, priest of Ancient Gods” by Paul Feazey, owner & editor of LAShTAL.COM

15:20 pm – 15:40 pm
Reading Liber Al, Chapter III by Peter Grey

15:40 pm – 16:10 pm
“Flashings of the Fire: Transmission of a Magical Current” by Michael Staley, Head of Ordo Typhonis (The Typhonian Order), and Founder of Starfire Publishing

16:10 pm – 16:30 pm
Discussion

Black Magic is Not a Myth in Articles by Aleister Crowley.

“‘Why was he thrown out of both those countries?’ they ask.

The explanation of why I left is quite simple and unsensational. I took a villa at Cefalu in Sicily for work and play. We began the day with family prayers; we occasionally celebrated a semi-religious ceremony known as the Gnostic Mass.

Several people who were my guests at the ‘abbey’ made imaginative copy out of their visits.” [via, also], [see]

Crowley is the glue that makes this pastor go gay for Satan

Here’s a bit of dialog at “Roots of Gay Activism” which is an interesting example of the kind of weak thinking which results in and from the Crowley Corollary. In this example, the person tries to link homosexuality to satanism by linking Crowley and satanism. The reasoning throughout this reminds me of nothing less than the horrific anti-intellectual nonsense that comes from the mouths of news anchors trying to ad lib.

Shofarsound: You believe that homosexuality and satanism have a direct link. Tell me about that.

Pastor Joe: In my estimation that would be the most notorious Satanist of the last century, Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). [Crowley died just three years before organized homosexual activism took root in America]. Crowley stated that he had gone over to “Satan’s side” and wanted to become Satan’s chief of staff. Crowley was a bisexual, and his “Abbey of Thelema” or sex temple in Italy was found to have biographical graffiti, depicting orgies that included little children. We document this from is own admirers in our documentary, The Kinsey Syndrome. He influenced the sexual revolutionary thought processes of everyone from Alfred Kinsey to Harry Hay. It is important to know that Crowley’s end goal was the ushering in of the age of Horus and the coming Antichrist, the man of sin. He literally signed his name “The Beast 666.”

Shofarsound: What was Crowley’s purpose in partnering with the agenda of homosexual rights activists?

Pastor Joe: Crowley stated that he was out to “sodomize the boys of England,” and wanted his diabolical teachings to be “circulated among the young.” He later stated that he would target the USA to push his satanic agenda. We document that in our video “They Sold Their Souls for Rock and Roll” that Crowley’s teachings provided the social architecture for the counter culture revolution of the 60’s. We prove that many of the leading social revolutionaries and academics of that era, as well as a host of top rock stars, have done Crowley’s bidding and were, wittingly or unwittingly, major change agents.

Shofarsound: Crowley’s views certainly mirror those of homosexual activists we see in the spotlight today. How did he view the nuclear family?

Pastor Joe: Crowley not only stated that he had gone over to “Satan’s side” but proclaimed the family to be “public enemy number one.” His licentious motto was “Do What thou Wilt,” and he taught that the word “sin” is “restriction.” This kind of thinking will destroy both family and society, once it is embraced.

Well, there it is. It’s enough to make me want to destroy family and society just to get away from morons like those.