ALEISTER CROWLEY

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DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW


Aleister (Alexander Edward) Crowley was born on the 12th of October 1875 in Leamington Spa, England, into a family of Plymouth Brethren, a strict Christian sect. During his 72 years on this Earth, he managed to indelibly imprint himself on the Western Magickal Tradition, indeed, to many he was the Western Magickal Tradition.

Poet, Author, Magickian, Yogi, Philosopher, Mountain Climber, Drug User and Satyr, Crowley's output was prolific, and his life hedonistic. His legacy still attracts many new converts, and he commands considerable loyalty even from beyond the grave.


The following Organisations and Religions were affected or entertained by Crowley:

The Golden Dawn
Crowley joined the Golden Dawn in 1898; this was his first introduction to organised and ritual magick. Although his entry preceded the demise of the first phase of the G.'.D.'.'s existence, his progress was swift, he entered the second order within a year of initiation. Siding with Samuel Liddell Mathers, the erstwhile leader of the G.'.D.'., they soon fell out, and Crowley exited.

Freemasonry

Crowley had several encounters with Freemasonry in different guises, and used it as a source of valuable ceremonial in his works. His interaction with the OTO also relates to Masonry in several ways.

Fringe Masonry in England. This essay by a masonic researcher deals with the surge in interest in "reviving" obscure side degrees during the latter part of the 19th century. It is valuable as an overview of the masonic milieu surrounding the genesis
of the Golden Dawn, and attitudes to the occult value of masonic tradition.


 The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

As soon as one takes an interest in the Western Magickal Tradition, it is inevitable that they will almost immediately come across references to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This esoteric order has aroused so much speculation, deliberation and analysis that it has been elevated to the status of a super-society. The reasons behind this are not clear. It may be that since it was the starting or finishing point to the careers of so many reknowned occultists that it takes on some of their personal glory. Whatever the reason, the Golden Dawn is firmly etched on the surface of our Magickal Tradition, and as such, I wish to present a brief discourse on it's nature, history and significance in perspective.


It is not my aim to present a detailed analysis, since there have been many erudite books on the subject, by far more qualified people than me. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was an esoteric society that dealt in ritual magic, the Qabalah, and other mystical matters. Its origins have been the subject of much debate, although there is a general view that it was the product of one man, William Wynn Westcott. This in itself is not completely accurate, since the two authorities that I hold in the highest regard both have suggested a slightly more complex ętiology. Dr. Westcott, a London Coroner, was a prominent Freemason. He was the Supreme Magus (ruler) of a Masonic side degree, the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA), whose purpose was the study of philosophic and esoteric matters. Not content with this order, which did not practice anything that could be truly called magic, he set about inventing a new order. However, due to the very nature of occult orders, for it to be of note, it needed a defined, authentic origin. Westcott achieved this authentication by 'translating' some cipher manuscripts 'discovered' by a priest (who happened to be a mason) in a second-hand bookshop. These, he claimed, were fragments of magical rituals, with an address in Germany representing an order of Rosicrucian adepts.

In 1887, with the co-operation of two other men, Dr. Woodman and Samuel Liddell Mathers, Westcott founded the first Temple of the Golden Dawn, by right of a charter 'granted' by the head of the German order. This they named the Isis-Urania Temple, and it was to meet at Mark Mason's Hall, then in Great Queen Street, London.

The Golden Dawn possessed a hierarchical structure, in keeping with many other occult bodies, including the Freemasons and the Rosicrucian societies. It was divided into 11 grades or degrees, which represented successively increased learning and ability in magical matters. It's codes for these grades were based upon an esoteric figure known as the Tree of Life, which was part of the Hebrew body of Mysticism known as the Qabalah (From QBLH ­p; received tradition). The hierarchy was divided up into 3 orders which each represented a certain class. The lowest order was named the Golden Dawn, and comprised those students who had learnt basic magickal doctrines, and had passed exams on these. The second order was titled the Red Rose and Golden Cross, and it was here that the members practised magickal acts. The third and final order was known as the Silver Star, and was composed of those adepts who had crossed the Abyss, and themselves become masters of the magickal arts.

Around 1891, the head of the German order 'died', and there was no further contact, following a brusque reply which stated that if they wished to learn more, then they had the means to obtain it. This implied that they should obtain direct contact with the 'Secret Chiefs', a tenebrous group of individuals who were immortal and masters of all. These Secret Chiefs were thought to inhabit the unpopulated areas of Tibet, or actually be ethereal spirits, with no physical form. At any rate, The leaders of the Golden Dawn needed to establish a link with these lofty souls. In 1891, in Paris, Mathers, the third leader of the GD claimed to have made contact with the Secret Chiefs (the story is rather apocryphal, with Mathers stating that he met a man in the Bois de Boulogne, who overwhelmed him so with his powers, that blood poured from Mather's nose. Cynics would say that he had got into a fight!). He stated that they had granted him sole authority to rule the order, and he wrested control from Westcott, who resigned in 1897. Meanwhile, the other leader, Dr. Woodman had died. Mathers was now the supreme ruler of the GD.

As for the actual body of the work of the Golden Dawn, this is very well documented. The original 5 grades in the lowest order were primarily academic, in that each grade had a certain number of skills to perfect, and knowledge to acquire. For example, they needed to achieve mastery of the astral plane through meditation and certain forms of Yogic exercises. The knowledge required was primarily Qabalistic, although other forms of occult doctrine were touched upon: the Tarot, Enochian magic and ceremonial magic, to name a few.

The major body of work in the second order was that of achieving conversation with one's Holy Guardian Angel. The individual HGA is a celestial intelligence (some say a Secret Chief) with whom each person is theoretically capable of reaching through meditation. This contact was beneficial as it allowed the adept to reach his true potential, and so ascend to, and cross the Abyss, to become a true Master. This was considered the Great Work of the Order as a whole, and it is interesting to read the differing accounts of adepts who claimed to have achieved it.


In the early part of the 20th century, Mathers was living in Paris. Removed geographically from the Golden Dawn in England, dissent arose. The adepts of the second order started to rebel against his authority over them, demanding proof of his compact with the Secret Chiefs. There was nothing left except to send his protégé Aleister Crowley to wrest control of their London Headquarters. This in itself is a long story, but the outcome was that the original Golden Dawn crumbled into twilight, and Mathers lost control forever. In these latter years the leadership was passed around between several adepts, before the order disappeared. Since this time, many subsequent Golden Dawn's have been formed, all claiming that since they use the original rituals they are justified in using the name. However, the truth is that all of these, to a greater or lesser extent, are pale substitutes for the original.

As regards the original issue of the ętiology of this order, the theory has been thus: The formulation of the Golden Dawn was not in the hands of just Wynn Westcott, but also in those of a certain Kenneth MacKenzie. A complete biography of Westcott has never been written, but a rough character analysis is that he was a rather schizoid type who possessed a rather mediocre intellect, and in himself was not capable of generating the cipher manuscripts, nor the complex Golden Dawn rituals. All the evidence points to MacKenzie as the genius behind the creation of the GD. MacKenzie died in the 1870's so the suggestion is that the GD was a long time in the making, and following MacKenzie's death, Westcott carried on their work to it's conclusion.


Samuel Liddell Mathers is a character fascinating to study, since his persona is similar to that of Aleister Crowley in several key areas. Both these men were social climbers, and both claimed to be nobility. There is an amusing story of the Laird of Boleskine and the Comte de Glenstrę meeting, both in ceremonial Highland dress, although neither of them had a drop of Scots blood in them. Mathers was a powerful man in comparison to the other dilettante members of the Golden Dawn, and this secured his position as leader, although his paranoia of being challenged led to his eventual downfall. One can only guess what would have happened to the Dawn if Crowley had taken control. Matt D.A. Fletcher


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In 1898, when 23, Crowley read a book by Eckartshausen entitled The Cloud upon the Sanctuary. This was to have a great affect upon the young man, as it spoke of a Secret Sanctuary of Spirits, an inner sanctum which held all the secrets pertaining to God and to Nature. Thrilled by this idea, he set about to Žnd such a hidden order, which offered him what he had so long desired, knowledge of the mysteries, which would enable him to be truly superior to all.
Envisage the situation of the young Crowley - early years dominated by a harsh, uncompromising religion, which permitted eternal life only to those it saw worthy, who had conformed to the rules laid down. This, however, was a new perspective - enlightenment could be obtained through study and knowledge (a doctrine known as gnosis), and not through worship and obedience to Holy Law. This must have greatly appealed to Crowley, as he did not need to conform to the system that he had grown to hate, he need only search and be taught.
Crowley started his search in earnest. Later that year, in Zermatt, he encountered one Julian Baker, and explained what he sought. This Baker, a student of the occult, was to introduce him to a member of the Golden Dawn.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was an esoteric society that dealt in ritual magic, the Qabalah, and other mystical matters. Its origins have been the subject of much debate, although there is a consensus view that it was the product of one man, William Wynn Westcott. It will here be necessary to explain a little of the history of this order, and explain how it was organised, so we can see how Crowley interacted with it.
Dr. Westcott, a London Coroner, was a prominent Freemason. He was deeply involved in a Masonic side degree, the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (the SRIA), whose purpose was the study of philosophic and esoteric matters (the Qabalah and hermetica). Not content with this order, which did not practice anything that could be truly called magic, existing mainly as a discussion group, he set about inventing a new order. However, due to the very nature of occult orders, for it to be of note, it needed a deŽned, authentic origin. He achieved this by 'translating' some cipher manuscripts 'discovered' by a masonic priest in a bookshop. These, he claimed, were fragments of magical rituals, with an address in Germany representing an order of Rosicrucian adepts.
As regards the issue of the ętiology of this order, the theory expounded to me has been thus: The formulation of the Golden Dawn was not in the hands of just Wynn Westcott, but also in those of a certain Kenneth MacKenzie. A complete biography of Westcott has never been written, but the character analysis presented is that he was a rather schizoid type who possessed a rather mediocre intellect, and in himself was not capable of generating the cipher manuscripts, nor the complex Golden Dawn rituals. All the evidence points to MacKenzie as the genius behind the creation of the GD. MacKenzie died in the 1870's so the suggestion is that the GD was a long time in the making, and following MacKenzie's death, Westcott carried on their work to it's conclusion. (stuff about MacKenzie)
In 1887, with the co-operation of two other men, Dr. Woodman and Samuel Liddell Mathers, Westcott founded the Žrst Temple of the Golden Dawn, by right of a charter 'granted' by the head of the German order. This they named the Isis-Urania Temple, and it was to meet at Mark Mason's Hall, then in Great Queen Street, London.
The Golden Dawn possessed a hierarchical structure, in keeping with many other occult bodies, including the Freemasons and the Rosicrucian societies. It was divided into 11 grades or degrees, which represented successively increased learning and ability in magical matters. It's codes for these grades were based upon an esoteric Žgure known as the Tree of Life, which was part of the Hebrew body of Mysticism known as the Qabalah (From QBLH ­p; received tradition). The hierarchy was divided up into 3 orders which each represented a certain class. The lowest order was named the Golden Dawn, and comprised those students who had learnt magical doctrines, and had passed exams on these. The second order was titled the Red Rose and Golden Cross, and it was here that the members practised magical acts. The third and Žnal order was known as the Silver Star, and was composed of those adepts who had crossed the Abyss, and themselves become masters of the magical arts. (ToL Žg. with GD grades)
As for the actual body of the work of the Golden Dawn, this is very well documented. The original 5 grades in the lowest order were primarily academic, in that each grade had a certain number of skills to perfect, and knowledge to acquire. For example, they needed to achieve mastery of the astral plane through meditation and certain forms of Yogic exercises. The knowledge required was primarily Qabalistic, although other forms of occult doctrine were touched upon: the Tarot, Enochian magic and ceremonial magic, to name a few.
The major body of work in the second order was that of achieving conversation with one's Holy Guardian Angel. The individual HGA is a celestial intelligence (some say a Secret Chief) with whom each person is theoretically capable of reaching through meditation. This contact was beneŽcial as it allowed the adept to reach his true potential, and so ascend to, and cross the Abyss, to become a true Master. This was considered the Great Work of the Order as a whole, and it is interesting to read the differing accounts of adepts who claimed to have achieved it.
Around 1891, the head of the German order died, and there was no further contact, following a brusque reply which stated that if they wished to learn more, then they had the means to obtain it. This implied that they should obtain direct contact with the 'Secret Chiefs', a tenebrous group of individuals who were immortal and masters of all. These Secret Chiefs were thought to inhabit the unpopulated areas of Tibet, or actually be ethereal spirits, with no physical form. At any rate, The leaders of the Golden Dawn needed to establish a link with these lofty souls.
In 1891, in the Bois de Boulogne of Paris, Mathers, the third leader of the GD claimed to made contact with the Secret Chiefs. He stated that they had granted him sole authority to rule the order, and he wrested control from Westcott, who resigned in 1897. Meanwhile, the other leader, Dr. Woodman had died. Mathers was now the supreme ruler of the GD. At this time the Golden Dawn was a surprising heterogeneous organisation, given that it had been formed by 3 freemasons. Although a proportion of the membership had been derived from the members of the SRIA, who had been enticed by Westcott, there were also many women, and a number of individuals with whom conventional freemasonry would have had no truck with. Prominent members included Arthur Edward Waite and W.B. Yeats, the poet.
We now return to Crowley who had been introduced to Mathers through the agency of a George Cecil Jones, a friend of Baker's, who also happened to be a member of the Golden Dawn. Crowley accepted Mather's invitation to join, and in November 1898, was initiated as a Neophyte 0° = 0° in the outer order of the Golden Dawn. He took the motto Perdurabo 'I will endure to the end', and was hence known as Frater Perdurabo.
One month later, he became a Zelator, and in the two following months he gained the next two grades. After a statutory period of latency he then achieved the rank of Philosiphus, and stood on the brink of the second order. This was amazing progress, in 6 months he had scaled the ranks of the outer order, and was soon to be a practising magician in the eyes of the Golden Dawn. It would have pleased him immensely, this was his type of order. He could gain new accolades at the drop of a pin, and be recognised as an adept, albeit by a select few.
In 1900, Mathers was living in Paris. Removed geographically from the Golden Dawn in England, dissent arose. The adepts of the second order started to rebel against his authority over them, demanding proof of his compact with the Secret Chiefs. On the 16th of February of that year, Mathers, fearing that he would be ousted from his seat of power at the head of the G.D. wrote a letter to his representative, Mrs. Emery (Who was also the Instructor of Rituals in the order), and informed her of the truth behind the formulation of the G.D. :
"...For this forces me to tell you plainly (and, understand me well, I can prove to the hilt every word which I say here and more, and were I confronted with S.A. {Sapere Aude - Westcott} I should say the same) though for the sake of the order, and for the circumstance that it would mean so deadly a blow to S.A.'s reputation, I entreat you to keep this secret from the Order, for the present, at least, though you are at perfect liberty to show him (Westcott) this if you think Žt, after mature consideration. He has never been at any time either in personal or written communication with the Secret Chiefs of the Order, he having either himself forged, or procured to be forged the professed correspondence between him and them, and my tongue having been tied all these years by a previous Oath of Secrecy to him, demanded by him, from me, before showing me what he had either done or caused to be done or both..."
A short while earlier, on the 13th of January, Crowley having been refused the initiation into the second order, to the grade of 5°=6°, by those running the second order in Mather's absence, he travelled to Paris, to demand that Mathers perform the initiation himself. Mathers agreed, with the premise that Crowley should swear an oath of undying allegiance to him, and that Crowley would recognise him as head of the order.
So it was that Crowley became an Adeptus Minor of the Order of the Rosę Rubę et Aurę Crucis. On his return to London, Crowley applied to the headquarters of the second order for the copies of the degree rituals that were rightly now available to him. However, he was refused these, and was not recognised as an Adeptus Minor, since the initiation had been performed by Mathers. (the secretary at this time was a Miss. Cracknell, whom Crowley describes typically as "...an ancient sapphic crack, waiting to be Žlled..."). In anger Crowley returned to Paris, to tell Mathers what had occurred. Whether his anger was due primarily to their non-recognition of his new grade, or the overt insubordination against Mathers, we do not know. In the Confessions, Crowley states "...that the London body was in open revolt against the Chief...", and makes no mention of his feelings on the matter ­p; so he would have it that it was the lack of loyalty that had piqued him.  Matt D.A. Fletcher


Of The Evil One

Of Horus follows this Aeon,
And sung is the paean
To Gods forgotten this day,
Images formed in potter's clay.

Thelema is the Word of the Law,
93 the justification of it's claw,
Liber Al vel Legis, Love without Flaw,
Uttered from his Satanic maw.

Crowley, Lusting mental abberation,
Raising himself to the top elevation
Neophyte, Zelator, Philosiphus,
Adeptus, Magister Templi, Magus.

Frater Perdurabo known to some,
Intending a larger part to play.
Ordo Templis Orientis You led,
Perverse dreams within your head.

Dubbing Yourself the Great Beast,
Attending Satan's untimely feast,
Thinking Yourself the latter day Levi,
Never realising, You too must die.

Ipsissimus, Love under Will,
Living Baphomet for Your only thrill,
Sanity long driven out,
Abyssal Power? The final Doubt.

Requiring Subordinates For Your Domination,
Gullible Fools For Your Invocation,
Submissives For Your Abomination,
Mater Tenebrarum For Your Fornication.
In You their torture making,
Preceding thy Thanatos, for the taking.
MDAF



A CROWLEY TIMELINE

1875 Born at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire on 12 October. Parents members of The Plymouth Brethren, a fanatical Christian sect.
1887 His father, Edward Crowley, dies.
1895 Matriculation at Trinity College, Cambridge.
1896 First mystical experience on a visit to Stockholm. He writes;"I was awakened tothe knowledge that I posessed a magical means of becoming conscious of and satisfying a part of my nature which had up to that moment concealed itself from me.
It was an experience of horror and pain, combined with a certain ghostly terror, yet at the same time it was the key to the purest and holiest spiritual ecstasy that exists".
1898 His first published poem, Aceldama. Meets Gerald Kelly. Leaves Cambridge. Writes White Stains. Meets George Cecil Jones and is initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
1899 Meets Allan Bennet of the mentioned Order, and becomes his chela. Meets Mathers, the Chief of the Order.
Buys Boleskine House on the Shores of Loch Ness in Scotland. Performs Abra-Melin Operation.
1900 Conflicts and schisms in the Order. Mathers initiates Crowley into Adeptship in Paris.
1900 He leaves for Mexico.
1901 In Mexico, he writes Tannhauser and Alice: An Adultery, becomes a 33* Mason,continues scrying experiments, tries Enochian magic, devises a Ritual of Self- Initiation, and claim the grade of Adeptus Major.
1902 Leaves for Ceylon and practises Yoga under Allan Bennet, who had become a Buddhist
Monk. Dhyana.
1901-2 Wanderings in India
1902 Visits Bennet in Burma. Leaves for Paris. In Paris meets Sommerset Maugham who mocks him in the character of Oliver Haddo in one of his earliest novels, The Magician. Collaborates with Auguste Rodin, and produces Rodin in Rime.
1903 Returns to Boleskine. Completes Snowdrops from a Curate's Garden. Establishes his publishing house the Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth. Marries Rose Kelly, the sister of Gerald Kelly.
1903-4 Honeymoon travels to Paris, Naples, Cairo and India; return to Cairo. Completes The Sword of Song, The Argonauts, The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King.
1904 8-10 April: The Book of the Law dictated to Crowley.
1905-7 The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley published.
Completes Oracles and Orpheus.
1906 Travels through Southern China. Completes Gargoyles. Augoeides Invocations. Attains Nirvikalpa Samadhi and completes Abra-Melin Operation.
Writes 777. Acknowledged a Master by George Cecil Jones.
1907 Reception of The Holy Books commences. Completes Konx Om Pax. A.'.A.'. founded. Meets and becomes friend with Captain J.F.C. Fuller Visits Marocco.
1908 Walks across Spain and Marocco with Vicor Neuburg, the poet. Performs 'John St. John' Operation in Paris.
1909-13 Publishes the first ten numbers of The Equinox.
1909 The A.'.A.'. opened to new members. Divorces Rose Kelly. The Vision and the Voice received in Sahara with Neuburg.
Crowley accepts the grade of Master of the Temple.
1910 Meets Leila Waddell The Rites of Eleusis performed at Caxton Hall.
1911 Jones, Fuller and others break with Crowley. Another visit to Sahara with Neuburg. Meets Mary d'Este Sturges.
Abuldiz Working.
1912 Book Four published as result of that Working. Theodor Reuss initiates Crowley into the Ordo Templi Orientis, and appoints him head of the British Branch, the M.M.M.
1913 Visit to Moscow with the 'Ragged Rag-Time Girls'. Writes The Gnostic Mass there. The Book of Lies published.
1914 The Paris Working with Neuburg. Depaurture for the United States.
1915 Work on Astrology with Evangeline Adams. Work with Charles Stansfield Jones ,Frater Achad,in Vancouver.
Claims the Grade of Magus, Prophet of the New Aeon.
1916 Magical Retirement in New Hampshire.
1917 Becomes editor of The International. Takes up painting.
1918 Liber Aleph completed. Amalantrah Working with Roddie Minor. Magical Retirement on Oesopus Island.
Publishes his version of Tao Teh King. Meets Leah Hirsig.
1919 The Blue Equinox, III,1,published. Return to England with Leah.
1920 Abbey of Thelema founded in Cefalu, Sicily. Visits from Jane Wolfe, Frank Bennet, C.F. Russel, Raoul Loveday and his wife Betty May.
1921 Claims the Supreme Grade of Ipsissimus.
1922 Publication of Diary of a Drug Fiend. New campaign of newspaper assaults on Crowley.
1923 Crowley expelled from Sicily by Mussolini. Crowley leaves for Tunis and completes The Confessions.
1924 'The Supreme Ordeal' of the Ipsissimus Grade in Paris.
1925 Invited by Heinrich Tränker to Thuringen in Germany to become International Head of the OTO.
1926-28 Travels in France, Germany and North Africa.
1928. Israel Regardie joins Crowley and becomes his secretary.
1929 Crowley expelled from France. Magick in Theory and Practise published. Crowley marries Maria de Miramar in Germany.
1930 First two volumes of The Confessions published.
1930-36 Is visited and supported financially by Karl Germer who to succeed Crowley as OHO of the O.T.O.
1930-4 Wanderings in Germany and Portugal.
1932 Crowley and Regardie part company.
1934 Crowley loses libel suit against Nina Hamnett over the book
1935 Crowley made bankrupt.
1936-8 Visits to Germany. Meets Aldous Huxley.
1937 Publication of The Equinox of the Gods.
1938 Eight Lectures on Yoga.
1940-5 Is visited by Grady Louis MacMurtry on a regular basis. McMurtry is later to succeed Germer as OHO of the O.T.O.
1944 Publication of The Book of Thoth with Torot Cards designed by Lady Frieda Harris.
1945 Crowley retires to 'Netherwood', Hastings and works on Magick without Tears.
1947 Completes 'Olla', his third anthology of poetry.
Crowley dies on the 1 December.
Crowley is cremated in Brighton. Among the persons present were Gilbert Bayley, who knew Mudd and frater Achad,Sorores Tzaba and Ilyarun, Gerald Yorke, Kenneth Grant and his old friend Louis Wilkinson who read 'Hymn To Pan', the 'Collects and Anthems' from 'The Gnostic Mass' and selected passages from The Book of the Law.
The Brighton Council afterwards delivered a protest in regards to the contents of the Last Ritual:
"We shall take all necessary steps to prevent such an incident occuring again".

How To Summon Ye Dęmon Aleister Crowley To Visible Appearance

(A Rite For Father's Day)

From an ancient Gręco-Egyptian manuscript in the Egyptian National Museum
Ye Banishing

Banish by showing a picture of Aleister Crowley to the eight directions, saying "Get Off My Cloud" at each spacemark, and each time give theMiddle Finger Salute to the direction. Or ye may wear a Crowley Mask during the banishing. This will scare away any non-Thelemic entities and entice Crowley to the Circle.

Ye Place Of Working

In the middle of the circle should be a Crucifix, lots of beer (Crowley hated beer) and a copy of an A.E. Waite book (Crowley liked Waite about as much as beer). This will keep Crowley from invading the circle in his true form.

Ye Preliminary Insultation

The celebrants sit in the circle and consume beer, marijuana and other intoxicants, all the while profaning the demon Crowley, reviling him at every turn. Every couple of minutes a different celebrant should break into the conversation and say, "I wish Crowley was here to hear you say that." Getting stoned inside the circle where he can't reach you and insulting his Name will draw Crowley to the circle, itching to manifest and rip you into confetti.

Ye First Insultation

The appointed Priest reads each sentence aloud, and the Celebrants repeat it after him.

"I invocate and conjure thee, o ye blasphemous toad Aleister Crowley! Long have ye taunted us from beyond the grave, meddling with the brains of acid messiahs and politicians, smirking at us from behind your silly Egyptian hat! I command you to appear before us now, if you're the great magician they say you are! Being armed with the power of beer and cigarettes I command it!!!"

(pause for a minute)

"O worm-eaten necromancer, hear me. A sadistic game you have played with your disciples long enough. You lure the curious down halls of Aleister Crowley statues and Crowley altars at every turn, only to lead the travellers to a mirror at the end of the path, and they realize their god was themselves all the time. BUT BY THAT TIME THEY'VE BOUGHT ALL YOUR BOOKS. Thou art a slick advertiser selling bottled air." "I invoke you by your names: To Mega Therion! Perdurabo! Baphomet! The Beast 666! Fo-Hi! Count Alexander Svareff! Chiao Khan! Alys! etc. Come thou forthwith, without delay, from any and all parts of the world thou
mayest be, and make rational answers unto all things that we shall demand of thee, for thou art conjured up by the name of the living and true god Xerox!"

Ye Second Insultation

If the obstinate Beast refuses to show himself, repeat ye second insultation:  "By the power of the slave god Jehovah, I command you to appear!" "By twenty generations of Plymouth Brethren, I constrain you to appear!" "By Leah Hirsig's bedpan, I lure you to appear!" "With seven vestal virgins, I entice you to appear!" "With seven lines of fine Peruvian cocaine, I tempt you to appear!"
"With seven young, gay, Arabian boys I seduce you to appear!" "By a gram of China white heroin, I dare you to appear!"
"Just to see if I have all that shit, I DEFY YOU TO APPEAR!"

Ye Grand Insultation

Another joint is passed around while the Celebrants wait for a sign of Crowley's appearance. His manifestation can take many forms, and each adept should comment on anything he/she should hear or see that might be Crowley, from insects to rocks to vegetation. While the joint is smoked, each of these possible signs is discussed and either discarded or seized and put in the middle of the circle. These objects touched by Crowley are HOO-HAHs and should be kept by the celebrants as Power Objects.

If Crowley still does not appear in physical form, a final and most powerful CRITICIZATION and INSULTATION is uttered by the Priest:  "Come on, man, this is embarassing. We do the ritual and you promise it will work and you don't show up. That's just like you, you lime-sucking baldpate of an English windbag! We come out here, dress in fine apparel and take strange drugs and all that shit, and all we get out of it is sitting here in fine apparel stoned on strange drugs."

"Come on, you lecherous old fart! You can tantalize us with a little visible appearance, can't you? Just show us a leg and part of a helmet like Buer showed you, huh? That is, if you got the balls. COME ON, CROWLEY, SHOW US THAT BEAST OF A WANGER YOU BRAG ABOUT..."

As soon as this is said, Crowley will manifest on the outside of the Circle, if not in bodily form then as a breeze or something more tenuous, but everything that moves outside the circle has been touched by him. Each celebrant who hasn't found a Crowley Hoo-Hah yet should go out of the Circle and find one. They are piled in the middle of the Circle.

These Crowley Hoo-Hahs can be used for any and all types of Thelemic Magick. They're almost as good as Crowley Knucklebones and Crowley Toes.

Ye Banishing

A reverse banishing should be performed. Face the inside of the circle, point Crowley's picture or mask to the center of the circle, and at each of the eight points, say "Under my thumb" while you grind your thumb into your outstretched palm.

Ye Warning

The O.D. takes no responsibility for the consequences of performing this rite. Crowley's manifestation is sometimes violent: once a whole group of adepts was found buggered to death. Be forewarned.

Collegium ad Inner Sanctum This year Kung Fus Shun, Grand OHOOD


Aleister Crowley:  Halloween in Cairo

Halloween in Cairo sounds scary to me. Should I dress up as the Sphinx, King Tut, or Indiana Jones? I don’t know why I let my boss Sage talk me into going to Egypt to learn about Halloween -- I mean, it just doesn’t make sense. He gave me the address of a Prince Chioa Khan, so that I might discuss the principles of the Spooky Festival. What in the world would a Prince in Cairo know about an American-English holiday? I intended to find out!

I came upon the house that I was to visit, and by the looks of it, I was going to be in for a real treat (which is better than a trick, as you will find out!) There was a rotting pigeon hanging from a talisman, and burnt pentagrams on either side of the door. I cautiously knocked on the door while cursing Sage for the trouble he gets me into. The door was opened by a beautiful young damsel, who said she was Princess Khan. She said, “Come in, the Great Khan awaits you.” I started to wonder if this was the Great Ghengis Khan.

There he was, sitting inside a circle of burning candles, removing his turban with a diamond aigrette, to reveal a big bald head. I said, “Howdy! I always thought you had long hair and a big beard, but you’re bald, and you don’t even look Chinese!” He replied, “Sit down ,stupid, and enjoy the incense.” I sat down in front of the glowing flames and sniffed the pleasant air. He explained that he was expecting a visit from his Holy Guardian Angel, ‘Aiwass’. He went on to say that ‘Aiwass’ was a messenger from the Forces ruling Earth at this present time. I said, “Chill out Chief, I came to find out about Halloween, not to listen to Genghis Khan talk about his hallucinations.” He said, “I’m not that Khan -- I’m Aleister Crowley; Chioa Khan is just my Egyptian name!” I swallowed a hard lump and remembered that this was the self-proclaimed reincarnation of the Devil. He was notorious for sacrifices, torture, Black Magic, and was the founder of the Silver Star occult. He saw the fear in my face and said as he laughed, “Relax, I’m not going to sacrifice anybody today!”

I felt a slight sense of relief, although this was not desired company. I asked to know more about who this visitor ‘Aiwass’ was, and what his visit meant. He said that for years he had not been in touch with the ‘Mahatmas’ (secret Chiefs who rule the evil demons and spirits) and now he had been in contact with one. He went on to tell me that Aiwass had dictated the ‘Book of Law’, which became his philosophy of life. He said the heart of his magic was derived from this book. I asked him what brought him down this road of Satan worship. He replied “ My pious mother started calling me The Beast when I was a child; she thought I came out of the depths of the sea with horns on my head, blaspheming God.” I said “My Mom called me a little devil too, but I never sacrificed anybody!”

Crowley asked me what I believed in, and what I preached about. A question like that is easy to answer. I said, “I preach the relaxation of man through the indulgence of fine cigars!” He smiled and quoted from his book of law, “Be strong, O Man! Lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this.” I couldn’t agree more (as long as it was somewhat legal). If that was his philosophy on life, what made his reputation so bad.

I asked him why he was known as such an evil person. Crowley explained he had done some things that were blown out of proportion. He told me about the time he led a group of comrades to Kanchejunga (a Persian mountain) in 1910 and abandoned them, being the only one to return. He explained that being a survivor does not make one evil. I thought about that movie ‘ALIVE!’ and wondered how he made it out of the frozen Persian mountains. I asked him about human sacrifice. He told me that he had only sacrificed a living frog, and that all the stories about human sacrifice were greatly exaggerated. He said, “My sacrifices are of the flesh -- I indulge in acts of sexual magic: the ritual of maithuna.” (sexual union) I said, “You should have a cigar, you seem to be getting a little worked up!” I handed him a hand-rolled beauty that he marveled at for a moment; I’m sure he was thinking of the sizeable holes he could burn in someone’s body. As he enjoyed the cigar I asked what he meant by ‘maithuna’. He said, “The mind, breath and semen are held still.” I didn’t understand what he meant, but that was all I needed to hear on that subject.

I told him that Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin now lives in his famous "Abbey" (Crowley’s home in England, where he supposedly committed crimes against morality). He told me that Jimmy was cursed and would be forever remembered as a ‘weirdo’ (speak for yourself!). I said, “I know where Jimmy Page got his money to buy your castle,... but where did you come up with that kind of dough?” He explained to me that his father was the brewer for ‘Crowley’s Ale’, and that his Dad had left him a small fortune. I asked if he had any of those cold ales in the house. He told me he was fresh out. I didn’t believe him -- after all, he wrote the “Book of Lies”.

He asked for another cigar and said, while lighting it, “Let the Adept be armed with his Magical Rood and provided with his Mystic Rose”. I said, “Hey, I think I understand the philosophy of your words.”... which meant I was in big trouble. I told him about my adventures to seek knowledge about the pleasures of life, and that everyone I came across agreed: nothing is more relaxing than smoking a fine hand-rolled cigar! He told me he understood.

He asked if I would leave before his guest arrived. I wanted to leave his forsaken flat, but I couldn’t... not just yet. I had not gotten the answer to what Halloween meant. I asked The Beast for a reply. Crowley said that Halloween was celebrated just to make fun of the evil spirits; so that throughout the rest of the year, we wouldn’t live in fear of what we live with every day.

I said good night to Mr. Crowley before the sun went down. He said, “Good tidings, and don’t ever stop pursuing ‘maithuna’!” I said, “Or a good cigar!” (I think I’ll stick to cigars) I gave him some cigars to enjoy with his buddy Aiwass, and he gave me a rotten candle with a pentagram on it. I don’t know if Aleister Crowley was an atheist, satanic, evil, the Devil himself, or just misunderstood. Although I will say that his Dad’s beer was good stuff, and that he knew the answer for Halloween. I now realized why Sage sent me to see Crowley: to face the fear of ignorance -- something we live with every day.

What can you expect from a guy “who behaved as if the World was an exhaltation of his own being, choking with guilt from having set himself up in God’s place.”


Aleister Crowley & Freemasonry

In continuing with the analysis of Crowley's 'magickal achievements', it will be useful to study his association with the most widespread of all the 'mystical' orders, that of Freemasonry.
Freemasonry is not a single entity, but a heterogenous group of allied 'degrees' and 'rites'. The basic form of Freemasonry, to which all regular masons must belong, is that of 'the Craft' or 'Blue Lodge' Freemasonry. This is a fraternal order in which there are 3 successive degrees or steps, the Žnal entitling the newly raised candidate to call himself 'Master Mason'.
There are, however, a multitude of side, or additional degrees (previously erroneously termed 'higher') which purport to contain further mysteries, relate to other historical occurrences, or teach further on certain points within the rituals of the Craft. Only Master Masons of the Craft are permitted to join these extra degrees, and even then there are further qualiŽcations that may be necessary. These further degrees often have grand names, such as the Knight's Templar, the Ancient & Accepted (Scottish) Rite, the Royal Order of Scotland, and so on. The suggestion that Crowley, with his sense of grandeur, and titular lusts, was attracted by the grand titles of these accolades must be at least considered.
Crowley claimed in his 'Confessions...' that in 1904 he had been raised (taken the 3rd degree) in the Craft at the Anglo-Saxon Lodge No. 343 in Paris. This was a lodge primarily for ex-patriots, and those who were unable to afŽliate with Freemasonry in England due to the United Grand Lodge of England's high standards (whether it was a 'bucket-shop' lodge, one which would confer the three degrees in the space of one weekend, bypassing the UGLE's requisite 4 weeks between degrees, remains to be proven).
At this time the Anglo-Saxon Lodge was governed by the French Grand Orient. This irregular governing body was not recognised by the British Grand Lodge, and hence it's members not recognised as Masons. Crowley claimed that he had been proposed by a Past Provincial Grand Chaplain from Oxfordshire (who should have known better than to attend an irregular Lodge). However, there is no documentary evidence that he actually did so, and he was certainly never initiated in England. He attempted to gain admission to Lodge meetings in London, but was refused entry, on the grounds that he belonged to a spurious Lodge unrecognised by the UGLE.
In 1914 Crowley wrote to the UGLE demanding the right to attend and join British Lodges, based on his French initiation. The response was a deŽnite refusal, due to the irregularity of the French Lodge. The correspondence has been lost over the years at the UGLE, with the Žnger being squarely pointed at the chaos during WWII, but the fact remains that the nature of this interchange was recorded elsewhere, and the event survives.
The reasons for this attempt are unclear. It could be due to the fact that at this time Crowley was experiencing a lull in his magickal activities ­p; the Equinox was entering it's 'silent' phase, being the period of silence that he had imposed on the A.'.A.'. that occurred in cycles of Žve years. It could however be possible that Crowley was trying to legitimise his activities in the magickal circles in which he travelled - at this period in history Freemasonry was very honourable, having the active support of the monarchy (up to this period, many reigning monarchs had been the heads of the movement). Thus, to give the impression that he had bona Žde credentials, recognition by the governing body in this country would have done much to elevate his status, and ensure that he gained more disciples who had a favourable view of the UGLE, and thus took their recognition of his status as a regular mason hand in hand with the view that they approved of his 'fringe' activities.
It is unlikely that Crowley would have ever wished to take a regular place in the Craft since some of his criteria for magickal orders included a very high degree of complexity, and grand sounding titles, both of which Craft masonry does not possess (although some of the titles for ofŽces of responsibility are grand). It would seem likely that this would only have been a doorway for Crowley to join with the side degrees, to add to his credentials, as well as gain a great deal of rituals which he could use for his own purposes. At the time the ritualistic material in printed form was hard to come by, and so often the only way to obtain this was through joining the orders.
To further this point, regular activity in the Craft takes a considerable input of time, as to achieve ofŽce within the lodge it is necessary to memorise large chunks of ceremonial, which, unless he was very dedicated, would not have appealed to him. In addition, it is not inexpensive to be active in many masonic degrees, and this would not have been in their favour, since Crowley was loath to part with any money (or at least any of his money).
An area which does however consolidate the view that Crowley did not consider Craft Freemasonry to be worthy of anything more than a source for 'ready­p;made' ritual is the matter of the Holy Royal Arch. This is an additional degree, the only one recognised by the UGLE, and is seen as the completion of the Master Mason's degree. If Crowley seriously considered that 'low-grade' freemasonry (here used to describe the parts not seen as 'high' i.e. the A&AR, A&PR, and other lofty degrees) was beneŽcial in a psycho­p;spiritual mode, then this degree would have been an essential, as it dismisses the secrets of the 3 basic degrees, and reveals a hidden, higher truth. This has been widely proclaimed by the UGLE, which states that the Royal Arch is an essential component of a Master Mason's degree. Crowley's total orthodox ignorance of this degree lends power to the argument that his interest in freemasonry was more towards accolade rather than enlightenment. In fact, the only mention of the Royal Arch that I have ever come across by Crowley is in Liber II of the OTO (Eq.III No.1), where it is mentioned that the 'secrets' of the RA are extant in the knowledge of the OTO (itself formulated by freemasons). Further information reveals that Crowley may well have had access to the ritual of the Royal Arch in the OTO. The Royal Arch story forms part of one of the degrees of the OTO, and thus Crowley in his capacity as a leader of the OTO would have had access to the ritual. However, Crowley never took any initiations in the OTO, being recognised at a high level due to his other masonic credentials, although irregular in the eyes of the governing bodies of masonry. Thus he would never have received this degree in an initiatory sense, which reduces it's impact and revelation.
In 1900, Crowley claimed in his Confessions... to have been initiated as a 33° mason in the Antient and Accepted Rite of Masonry (A&AR). This appears to have been in Mexico, through a tenebrous Supreme Council. In South America at this time there was a great deal of eclectic masonic activity, with the rise and fall of orders and governing bodies in days, so there is little documentary evidence for this. The problem with this claim is due to the dates. A pre-requisite for entry to this side degree is that one must Žrst be a Master Mason. Now, at this time Crowley had not even undergone his initiation in the irregular Anglo-Saxon Lodge, so there is a disparity ­p; either Crowley had taken the three Craft degrees prior to this; had been granted the 33° without the necessary prerequisites; or had invented the whole affair.
The story of this event is conŽned to the Confessions, and Crowley claims that he received initiation as a result of helping an individual with another mystical order known as LIL. Little more is known about this episode beyond what was written in the Confessions.
Crowley did however have at least one other contact with Freemasonry, in the form of John Yarker (1833 ­p; 1913).
In 1872 Yarker, a prominent masonic researcher and member of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge, No. 2076, had constituted a masonic order called the Ancient & Primitive Rite, through the formation of a Grand Council of Rites and installed himself as Grand Master.
The Ancient and Primitive Rite was an amalgam of three different masonic rites: the Ancient and Accepted, with 33 degrees, the Oriental Rite of Memphis with 96 degrees, and the Rite of Mizraim with 90 degrees. The A&PR uder Yarker was slighly simplieŽed in that all 219 degrees had been condensed down into a more workable 33, given that there were many duplication in them. Memphis and Mizraim had been worked in Europe since the turn of the 18th century, and at this time these high degree rites were very popular.
This was not recognised by 'regular' masonic bodies, and he continued it without their blessing. As a result of this he was expelled from the Supreme Council, governing body of the 'ofŽcial' A&AR, but remained in Craft Freemasonry. The purpose of this order was, as he put it, "to give every Master Mason the chance of acquiring the high masonic initiation, at a reasonable cost". This has been disputed on the ground that Yarker was highly interested in the 'higher degrees' around the European continent at this time, and took a serious interest in the A&PR.
In 1909 Crowley entered into correspondence with John Yarker. The result of this was that Yarker bestowed the degrees of 33°90°95° upon Crowley by post. It has been alluded to that Yarker 'sold' the degrees to any who would pay for recognition under his Grand Council, which has been termed a 'degree­p;mill', churning out accolades. This has not been conclusively proved. The text of Crowley's patent for the 33° survives, and is here reproduced:


T. T. G. O. T. S. A. O. T. U.

DEUS MEUMQUE JUS SPES MEA IN DEO EST
( Great Seal )
SUPREME GRAND COUNCIL
OF THE ILLUSTRIOUS PRINCE OF THE ROYAL SECRET
POST PUISSANT SOVEREIGN GRAND INSPECTORS
GENERAL
of the
33rd AND LAST DEGREE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE OF
MASONRY
H.R.D.M. R.M.S.H.
SITTING IN THE VALLEY OF MANCHESTER
From the East of the SUPREME GRAND COUNCIL of the
SOVEREIGN GRAND INSPECTORS GENERAL of the 33rd and
last degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of Freemasonry in and for
Great Britain and Ireland under G.L. near the D.B. corresponding to 53',
25" N. Latitude 2', 3" West Meridian of Greenwich.

To all Illustrious, Ineffable and Sublime Freemasons of every degree
Around and [unclear] over the surface of the Globe, Greetings:

KNOW YE - That the undersigned Sovereign Grand Inspectors General  do hereby certify and proclaim, our Illustrious Brother ALEISTER CROWLEY of *London*, to be an Excellent Master Mason, Secret Master, Royal Master, intimate Secretary, Provost and Judge, Intendant of the Building, Elect of Nine, Elect of Fifteen, Sublime Knight Elected, Grand Master Architect, Ancient Master of the Royal Arch, Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Mason, Knight of the Temple, Prince of Jerusalem, Knight of the East and West, Knight Rose Croix of Heredom, Grand Pontiff, Master ad Vitam, Patriarch Noachite, Prince of Libanus, Chief
of the Tabernacle, Prince of the Tabernacle, Knight of the Brazen Serpent, Prince of Mercy, Commander of the Temple, Knight of the Sun, Knight of Saint Andrew, Grand Elect Knight Kadosh, Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander, Prince of the Royal Secret, Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the 33rd and Last Degree.

WE ALSO COMMAND: All the Knights, Princes and Sublime Masons under our Jurisdiction and we pray all other MASONS over the Surface Of The Globe, to Welcome and Honor Him as a SOVEREIGN GRAND INSPECTOR GENERAL, and to give credit to these LETTERS PATENT, we have caused to be signed in the margin by our said Illustrious Bro. ALEISTER CROWLEY, that they admit no other than himself.

Signed and Delivered by us SOVEREIGN GRAND INSPECTORS GENERAL of The 33rd and Last Degree with the Seal of our said SUPREME COUNCIL affixed in the Valley of Manchester this 29th day of the 11th month A.M. 5071 corresponding to the 29th November, A.D. 1910.

RATIFIED AND CONFIRMED

{*} John Yarker 33~
M.^.P.^.S.^.Gr.^.of Gt. Britain & Ireland
Yarker was nearing the end of his life, and it has been supposed that he needed someone to carry on the work of the A&P Rite after his death. Although the issue of 'degrees for cash' has been raised, all the evidence points to the fact that Yarker's interests in masonry were, on the whole, genuine, and that of the A&P Rite was of major signiŽcance and import to him. Thus, we can surmise that he was genuinely looking for someone with the necessary qualiŽcations, and interest in the Rite, to continue it following his demise.
Yarker died on the 20th of March, 1913, and this was reported both in the Orižamme, the ofŽcial organ of the OTO under Theodor Reuss, as well as by Crowley in the Equinox.
At Crowley's studio at 76 Fulham Road, London, on the 30th of June, 1913, a meeting was held by the Sovereign Sanctuary of the A&PR. This was to decide the future of the A&PR following Yarker's death. Those present were Crowley, Theodor Reuss, Henry Meyer, Leon Engers Kennedy, and William Quilliam. Henry Meyer was duly elected to the position of Sovereign Grand Master General of the A&PR for Great Britain and Ireland, to take Yarker's place. At this time, Crowley was reported to be the Patriarch Grand Administrator General, and elevated in the rite of Memphis from the 95° to the 96°.
Following Crowley's obituary to Yarker in the Equinox, he further reports himself to be 97° in the rite of Memphis... there is no documentary evidence to suggest that this had been in any way bestowed upon him by anyone of any authority.
Finally, in this vein, there is an incident reported by John Symonds in his Žnal biography of Crowley, the King of the Shadow Realm. He states that in 1914, Crowley left the United Kingdom for the USA, bearing with him a charter proclaiming him to be a Honorary Magus of the SRIA. Crowley was not, and never was a member of the SRIA, this having been proved by total omission of his name from the Golden Book, a register of all members of the SRIA. In addition, the title of Honorary Magus can only be bestowed by the Supreme Magus of the SRIA (the ruler of the society), and Crowley was not at this time in friendly contact with anyone in the SRIA. The leaders of the SRIA were well aware of Crowley's existence and activities, and took a very dim view of them. However, the patent was presented to him by an American body, who erroneously called themselves the SRIA, and who had no official charter.
W. Wynn Westcott held the position of Supreme Magus at this time, but was never on friendly terms with Crowley and would not have given his help to Crowley in this respect. Although S.L. Mathers was a member of the SRIA (he had been initiated into the Craft in the Hengist lodge, and had continued for a few years, but had dropped out of regular masonry, to pursue a 'higher' course of mystical attainment), at this time he was in battle with Crowley over the matter of published GD rituals in the Equinox, and would not have assisted Crowley in procuring, or producing this certiŽcate. Further evidence reveals that honorary membership of the SRIA is indeed a great honour, and F. Hockley, a scholarly mason and expert on crystallomancy was given only an honorary IV° for lectures given to the society. Crowley, who had no contact with the order, would never have been honoured with the highest degree the society could bestow.
The following quotes are taken from the Confessions p.700 et seq. regarding Crowley's motives behind the use of his masonic knowledge in the revision of the OTO rituals.
``What is Freemasonry? I collated the rituals and their secrets, much as I had done the religions of the world, with their magical and mystical bases. As in that case, I decided to neglect what it too often actually was. ...I proposed to define freemasonry as a system of communicating truth - religious, philosophical, magical and mystical; and indicating the proper means of developing human faculty by means of a peculiar language whose alphabet is the symbolism of ritual. Universal brotherhood and the great moral principles, independent of personal, racial, climatic and other prejudices, naturally formed a background which would assure individual security and social stability for each and all.
"The question then arose, 'What truths should be communicated and by what means promulgated?' My first object was to eliminate from the hundreds of rituals at my disposal all exoteric elements. Many degrees contain statements (usually inaccurate) of matters well known to modern schoolboys, through they may have been important when the rituals were written. ... I saw no point in overloading the system with superfluous information.
"Another essential point was to reduce the unwieldly mass of material to a compact and coherent system. I thought that everything worth preserving could and should be presented in not more than a dozen ceremonies, and that it should be brought well within the capacity of any officer to learn by heart his part during the leisure time at his disposal, in a month at most."
From the quotes above, we may get the impression that Crowley considered freemasonry to be a particularly useful philosophical system to him, but this can be countered with the argument that very little of it was used by him, and the material present in the OTO rituals was there before him. His statement of taking the material and condensing it is false insofar as this had already been done for him by Kellner, Germer et al. His actual usage of the precepts and ideals of the Craft were negligible.
To summarise the importance of Crowley's contact with Freemasonry as a whole, we must consider several points. The Žrst is that he felt that this mystical trend or approach was of beneŽt to his spiritual and psychological development. This does not seem to stand up, given that he never took an active rōle in any of the orders, and did not progress as is the norm to the Master's Chair, and through then to the further degrees and rites, as a cohesive process. However, this could be argued against on the grounds that Crowley was a highly erratic individual, who had no truck with conventionality, and considered himself above everyone, and above mundane rules for the masses. His progress and unorthodox manner of receiving the degrees in Freemasonry could have been perfectly acceptable to him, in the grand scheme. Perhaps he felt that he did not need to follow the usual line of progress since he was capable of assimilating the valuable points of Freemasonry in his own right. Certainly he never took the orders teachings to heart on the subject of it's grand principles, Brotherly Love, Charity and Truth. Never particularly warm, he did not display any especially positive behaviour towards masons he met, this often being paradoxically negative. His charitable acts were practically nil, and the concept of Crowley being a martyr to the truth is almost laughable. The quote above regarding Universal Brotherhood, although a lofty aim, was one ideal that Crowley never took to heart, nor actively used.
The second point is that he felt the need to be a part of masonry in order to vindicate himself, and elevate himself in the eyes of his critics and acolytes. As previously mentioned, at this time the Freemasonry was an honourable and acceptable pursuit for a gentleman, and he could well have believed that this facet of his mystical activities would legitimise his more controversial activities. This is a debatable point, since Crowley rarely took notice of what other people thought about him, and would not have been likely to follow this course simply to justify himself to his critics. If the case for increasing his status is considered, in that his activities in this might have delivered more orthodox followers to his cause, we see a disparity, since his extremely irregular progress would have done more harm than good, as regular masons would have viewed his irregularity with disquiet and apprehension. Thus, here it can be seen that this argument does not stand up to analysis, except possibly if Crowley had a disordered view of how the public would view his afŽliation, and himself believed that his irregularity would cause no problems. This Žnal argument is not likely, since Crowley rarely considered the perceptions of others to his activities, and this whole concept is unlikely to have played much on his mind.
Thirdly, we should consider the view that Freemasonry and it's appendent rites gave Crowley a great deal of ritualistic material and ready-made ceremonial for use in orders of his own conception. The above quotes would have it that this was a major reason. Although the A.'.A.'. did use Golden Dawn and Masonic ritual to some degree, it was only to the amount of about 10 - 15%, with new material being formulated by Crowley along qabalistic lines. As to his revisions of the OTO rituals following his inauguration as head of the order in the United Kingdom, reliable evidence from sources within that order suggest that very little of the revisions was based along masonic lines. The OTO rituals were already based to an extent on masonic themes, the lower degrees having been taken from the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim, and the revisions tended to introduce qabalistic aspects to the ceremonies. His use of masonic knowledge was negligible for the large part, and so we can only consider that he might have desired masonic initiation in this respect for it's future potential, which he never used in later life.
The Žnal point is to do with his desire to gain recognisable accolades, either for his own ego's beneŽt, or to fool the gullible into thinking that he was a master in all spheres. This is a hard argument to attack, since there is no conclusive proof either way. The pro-Crowley group would argue vehemently against this, as he did not use many of the titles for masonic degrees regularly, only as tag-lines in the Equinox and in correspondence, and they would say that other reasons were the motivation behind his masonic activities. On the other hand, Crowley did use accolades widely, although maybe not masonic ones to a large extent, as covered elsewhere in this thesis, and so one could still argue that the beneŽts of gaining a new set of titles would have been of some use to him when dealing with those individuals that had knowledge of Freemasonry.
Therefore, one can only deduce that Crowley's possible motives in this respect are probably a compound of these several points, and no one held precedence as the major reason for his interest in the sphere of Freemasonry.   In Italian

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