Aleister Crowley got misunderstood

The big burning me

The sex magician, heroin-addicted poet, mountaineer and best-known satanist of the 20th century: Aleister Crowley

What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law
Love Is The Law, Love Under Will
Every Man And Every Woman Is A Star

These are the three laws of Aleister Crowley, called Mega To Therion, The Great Beast, 666 after the Apocalypse of John, The Magick, Ipissimus - sometimes also Gerard Aumont or Frater Perdurabo, who would have turned 125 this autumn. Anyone looking for Satan today, on the web or elsewhere, immediately comes across the "most wicked man of the world", as Crowley was called by the press, or he can be used as a starting point for the occult underground that has left its mark everywhere , from Malewitsch to Heinrich Himmler or Led Zeppelin to anthroposophy and Scientology.

Search engines like will find them twenty-four thousand times. No wonder, as the black magic underground with its thousands of connections, self-importance and apostles is very similar to the absolute concept of freedom in net culture. However, and the reader should be warned, none of this is entirely harmless. Sensitive minds should turn away.

Crowley's religion was an anti-Christian, libertine, irregular Freemasonry with Egyptian, Hindu, Tantric, Rosicrucian, alchemical, theosophical and Kabbalistic influences or, in short: the gnosis of evil.

"I peck at Jesus' eyes with my falcon's head while he is hanging on the cross. I clap my eyes in Mohamed's face and blind him. With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongolian and Din. Bahlasti! Ompheda!"

The black romantic loved strong words that still sound scary today, and you can also order a Crowley CD The Great Beast Speaks. Crowley would be 125 years old this fall, on October 12, if he hadn't, luckily, died in 1947. When he was buried, his followers celebrated a black magic ritual in Brighton Cemetery and sang the song of Pan. Crowley had rewritten Sophocles' "Io Pan" anthem as follows:

"I am Pan. I am your wife, I am your husband, goat of your flock, I am gold, I am God, meat on your leg, flower on your rod."

The latter is of course meant indecently, just as one should think of sex whenever possible with Crowley's statements. In any case, Brighton City Council was deeply shocked at the time.

As a young boy from a strictly religious and wealthy family, baptized Edward Alexander, Crowley tortured cats to prove the proposition that the cat has seven lives. Or refute. He lost his innocence at fourteen, at a time when piano legs were covered with stockings to keep them from looking offensive. Three years later he contracted gonorrhea from a street vagabond.

At the fine Trinity College in Cambridge, the student enjoyed life, wrote poetry, had sex with women and men, and worked for the Foreign Office on short notice. But since he couldn't become famous as a diplomat, he looked for a more promising field of activity: magic.

At the end of the 19th century, many people felt a painful gangrene of their soul and sought salvation in Masonic lodges, Indian wisdom and occult counter-worlds. Seances became a parlor game, the founder of theosophy, Helena Balavatsky, drove her disciples into ever stranger theories, which then culminated in the abstract painting of a Malevich or in the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. The latter, like Crowley, held a religious rank in the Ordo Templi Orientis, which is still present, which anthroposophists, e.g. Interior Minister Otto Schily, today should be rather embarrassing.

At the instigation of William Butler Yeats, Crowley was kicked out of his first "Golden Dawn" medal, probably also because of his homosexual activities. He traveled to Mexico, France, India and Ceylon and married Rose Kelly, "The scarlett woman", i.e. his tantric sexual partner. The two traveled to Cairo. In an Egyptian museum she recognized a figure of Horus as the messenger from the afterlife. The Horus stele had the number 666 in the museum catalog: the number of the devil!

From April 8th, 1904, Crowley invoked the spirits of the other world according to an ancient spell, and on the third day he finally experienced his epiphany. Aiwass appeared. His black guardian angel. Satan. This shadowy existence behind him dictated the verses of the "Liber Al vel Legis", the Book of Laws: "Do what you want, be the whole law."

But to do that you have to know what you want. And only the initiated have a part in the higher will. He came back to Europe strengthened and was able to assert himself in the occult power struggles of the individual lodges. Now he was independent of the promotions of other order members and The big beast promoted himself to ambassador. To the black prophet who bears the burden of the world. The chosen one. The Magick. This is how you recognize the Crowleyian, am K in Magick. What that K means is not entirely clear. Some say it comes from ktais, the Greek word for the female genitals, others think it has numerological reasons.

In India he took part in a Himalayan expedition in which some members died. Some blamed Crowley for it. Theodor Reuss, Wagner singer, police spy and influential Freemason from the black side in Germany, included him in his Ordo Templi Orientis, whereby Reuss soon accused the British of revealing secrets to which he had not yet been privy, was in the book of the Laws: "Arm the student with the magic rod and lead him to the mystical rose."

It was clear to Crowley: O.T.O worked with sex magic. After Reuss suffered a stroke, Crowley took over the order and introduced other interesting practices, above all the homosexual act as the highest level, the perverted, satanic coitus. That caused trouble again, and today there are Crowleyians who believe that Crowley misunderstood something and that the highest act, dedicated to the moon, is that of menstruating.

In 1916, Crowley promoted himself to a higher magical degree by killing God in the form of a toad. He caught an animal, locked it in a box that read: "You have not disgusted the virgin's lap," baptized the toad in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, crucified the amphibian under blasphemous curses and ate the burned thighs of the Animal. With that he had abolished Christianity.

Crowley was staying in the USA at the time, and a science fiction author came across him, Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientologists. Another lead then leads to Charles Manson via a Satanic Church in California. During the First World War, the bad man made propaganda for the Germans, against his homeland. He later claimed, "Before Hitler was, I was." I was his most important word anyway.

Crowley changed theories and practices, designed a tarot set that is still very popular today, which is available at amazon and in every esoteric shop, constantly founded new orders and in 1920 a monastery in Sicily: "Thelema" - Greek for will. There it came to scandals and peculiar satanic services, such as the calling of the angels in the VIII degree ritual: holy masturbation, with sex-magnetic emanation, whatever that is, as well as excess drugs and drinking cat's blood. The Magick dressed up as an Asian in Sicily, smoked tobacco soaked in rum, inhaled ether, and took heroin and mescaline, all for the higher, the cruel knowledge. Now he thought himself the devil. Crowley's daughter Poupée died in Thelama. Kenneth Anger made a film about the three years of this fabled abbey, the height of Crowley's power.

What is it that Crowley and so many who literally adore him are so fascinated by the gross and blasphemous rituals? Satanism is a reversal, often literally, of Christianity: showing upside down crucifixes, black instead of white candles, sperm instead of hosts, blood instead of wine. With disgust something is to be achieved that the traditional adoration of the love of God, back then as a child, which later seems so often hypocritical, is no longer able to do, namely the God experience, the great, burning self, an epiphany.

Okay, God is dead, but what about Satan? Can he get me where Jesus failed? Gnostic knowledge, i.e. direct experience of God as with the prophets? There are Gnostic tendencies in Islam with the dervishes, in Judaism in the Lurian Kabbalah, in early early Christianity and even with the Satanists. Yoga, breathing exercises, tantra, the vertigo of disgust, drugs, all of this should serve to achieve that great feeling in which the world and I are congruent, a megalomaniac world-I experience, a desire not to compromise. And one that lasts as long as possible.

You can try, but you pay.
There is no free lunch in hell.

After Mussolini kicked the Big Beast out of Italy in 1923, Crowley became a restless wanderer, always looking for money, drugs and followers. In December 1947 the man who brought us the K in Magick died. The teacher of Ron Hubbard, the guru of the avant-garde noise occultist Genesis P. Orrigde, the guiding star of William Burroughs and role model of Charles Manson.

"I am perplexed," should have been his last words. But since the Big Beast died alone, like so much in its life, that is not entirely certain.

There is no god but man.

Aleister Crowley

(Adrian Copper)

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