Aleister Crowley (1929)
12 October 1875|
Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England
|Died||1 December 1947
Hastings, Sussex, England
He was an influential member in some occult organizations, such as the Golden Dawn, the A∴A∴, and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), and is better known today for his occult books and papers. He was bisexual.
Early life[change | change source]
In December 1896, Crowley took interest in occultism and by the next year, he began reading books on alchemy and mysticism. A year later, he published his first book of poetry (Aceldama), and left Cambridge, only to meet Julian L. Baker who introduced him to Samuel Mathers and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
The Golden Dawn[change | change source]
Samuel Mathers, acting leader of the Golden Dawn organization, acted as his early mentor in western magic. Crowley lost faith in his mentor's abilities in 1900 but did not officially break with Mathers until 1904.
Death[change | change source]
Crowley died of a respiratory infection in a Hastings boarding house on 1 December 1947 at the age of 72. He had been addicted to heroin after being prescribed morphine for his asthma and bronchitis many years earlier.
Popular culture[change | change source]
- The mysterious occult character, Oliver Haddo, in William Somerset Maugham's novel The Magician (1908) is largely based on Crowley, whom Maugham met in Paris in 1906-1907.
- Crowley is the second image on the first row of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
- Iron Maiden recorded two tracks that relate to Crowley: "Moonchild" from Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and "Revelations" from Piece of Mind.
- Ernest Hemingway references Crowley in his memoir "A Moveable Feast". In it, Ford Maddox Ford claims to have "cut" a man he thinks was Hilaire Belloc, but which in fact turns out to be "Alestair Crowley, the diabolist".
- In the song Quicksand on his 1971 album Hunky Dory, David Bowie sings : “I'm closer to the Golden Dawn, Immersed in Crowley's uniform of imagery”.
- Crowley and his beliefs were the subject of testimony in the 1994 murder trial of Damien Echols, as shown in the documentary film Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.
- His motto of "Do What Thou Wilt" was written into the vinyl records of Led Zeppelin's album Led Zeppelin III made in 1970. Jimmy Page, the band's guitarist and songwriter bought Boleskine House the same year. The land around the house is seen in the movie The Song Remains the Same, made in 1973.
Sources[change | change source]
- The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley (Tunisia 1923) : Edited by Stephen Skinner
- Bull, John. "The Wickedest Man in the World". Sunday Express, 24 Mar. 1923. Unverified that this is the article: Verification that the Sunday Express did make article:
- Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. (2012). "Introduction". In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 3–14. ISBN 978-0-19-986309-9.
References[change | change source]
- Bottomley, Horatio] (1923-03-24). "The Wickedest Man In The World". John Bull. http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/module-subjects-viewpage-pageid-18.phtml. Retrieved 2006-05-28.
- Crowley, Aleister. Confessions.
- Diaries; page 10
- Sutin, pp. 80, 90-91
- Sutin, pp. 417-419
- Sutin p 411, 416, initial prescription p 277.
- Ernest Hemmingway, A Moveable Feast, from the chapter Ford Madox Ford and the Devil's Disciple
- Bogdan & Starr 2012, p. 7.
- Jackson, James (8 January 2010). "Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin's good times, bad times and reunion rumours". The Times. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article6979627.ece_robert_plant.
- "Led Zeppelin Biography". Rolling Stone. https://www.rollingstone.com/artists/ledzeppelin/biography. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- 1923 March 24 - John Bull - Aleister Crowley Articles :: lashtal.com :: Home of The Aleister Crowley Society
- US Grand Lodge, OTO: Aleister Crowley
Other websites[change | change source]
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