Tag Archives: Writing

Who really was Aleister Crowley?

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Since 2012 I’ve been immersed in studies of Jewish mysticism and ceremonial magick. I absolutely love it. It’s a fascinating, endless stream of information and mastery. Maybe it’s because I’m a Scorpio and I just gravitate towards mysteries in general; it’s certainly a natural progression from being a white witch for 30 years… plus I love Led Zeppelin.

Anyway, because of my interests, many of my friends ask me lately – “who was Aleister Crowley?”

That’s a question that brings a multifaceted answer. There’s a lot of rumors and wild information out there that come from anxious minds with unsubstantiated stories.  What I’ve personally found is that studying Magick isn’t evil, and neither was this guy (although William Butler Yeats did think he was nuts).

For the curious that want a straightforward, mostly neutral description of him, this article published yesterday is informative, and I want to share it:

“On this day in 1904: the ‘wickedest man in Britain’ completes his manuscript for a new religion”

by Dominic Selwood

“Edward Alexander Crowley was born on 12 October 1875 to a well-off family of Plymouth Brethren in Leamington Spa. He was a willful child, and his mother nicknamed him Therion, the Great Beast 666, from the Book of Revelation.

After school, Crowley went to Trinity College, Cambridge, to read natural sciences. He devoted little time on his studies, and excelled instead at chess and mountaineering. At 22, he decided all was worthless except magic and the occult. He changed his name to the Celtic-sounding Aleister, and spent his spare time writing poetry.

He left Cambridge with no degree and moved to London, where he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There he met and fell out with the poet W B Yeats, who memorably described Crowley as “an unspeakably mad person”.

Armed with rituals from the Golden Dawn, Crowley moved to Boleskine House on Loch Ness, where he tried to work a summoning ritual for his guardian angel. His work was interrupted, and after a stint mountaineering and meditating in Mexico, he came to believe he was the reincarnation of the Elizabethan alchemist Edward Kelley, who had acted as a medium in the “spiritual conversations” of the polymath Dr John Dee.

In 1903, Crowley married Rose Edith Skerrett, and while on holiday with her in Cairo, started receiving dictation from a spirit named Aiwass. He wrote for an hour a day on 8, 9, and 10 April 1904, completing the manuscript’s three chapters in as many days.

The result was The Book of the Law, or Liber AL vel Legis, and it announced the end of the Christian era, and the start of the Æon of Horus. It is the central text in the practice of Thelema, whose guiding tenet is, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”. Although Crowley was the first to formulate Thelema into a set of beliefs, the idea originated in Rabelais’ 1534 book, Gargantua, in which the eponymous monster built the anti-church Abbey of Thélème.

 

Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley

Over the coming decades, Crowley developed his experience of magic, the occult, drugs, and sexual liberation, earning a reputation as “the wickedest man in Britain”. He wrote poetry, articles, and books prolifically, but spent all his inheritance and earnings on his experimental lifestyle. He died, penniless, in Hastings on 1 December 1947.

Crowley’s memory was resurrected in the 1960s, when he became a cult counterculture figure, featuring as one of the faces on the album cover for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In 1970, Led Zeppelin’s guitarist, Jimmy Page, purchased Boleskine House, which he owned until 1992.

Aside from his considerable literary output, Crowley’s most enduring legacies are the principles and rituals of Thelema – which are practised by various occult groups – and the mystical Crowley-Harris tarot deck, which he designed, and had painted by his friend and disciple Lady Frieda Harris, wife of the Liberal MP for Bethnal Green.”

Original article can be found here

What do you think?

Creative people’s brains really do work differently

” The common traits that people across all creative fields seemed to have in common were an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for complexity and ambiguity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray; the ability to extract order from chaos; independence; unconventionality; and a willingness to take risks.”

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Will Rogers Wisdom

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Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash, was one of the greatest political sages this country has ever known.

Here are some of his excellent quotes that still apply today:

1. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
2. Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.
3. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
5. Always drink upstream from the herd.
6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men:
The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
10. If you’re riding’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
11. Lettin’ the “cat outta the bag” is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back in.
12. Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else.
13. A remark generally hurts in proportion to its truth.

ABOUT GROWING OLDER….
First ~Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.
Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.
Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.
Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
Sixth ~ I don’t know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it’s such a nice change from being young.
Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
Tenth ~ Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it’s called golf.
And, finally ~ If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old

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Love for Oakland

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I’m so moved and saddened by the lives taken in Ghost Ship fire Friday night. When I first heard the story, I understood exactly what it was, because myself and many of my friends have attended gatherings like these many times around the Bay Area. They are exuberant, liberating, creative, inspiring and energizing events for the underground artistic community. To me, they are the heartbeat of the Bay Area, and communities everywhere. I’ve personally been inspired musically by attending these events.

But I wasn’t ready to start seeing the faces and hearing the back stories of the people that perished. I feel rocked to my core this morning; helpless and grieving for the young lives lost. To me, the artists, writers, performers and musicians of this world are hugely important and VITAL – especially as the world is becoming more conservative and protectionist. The world desperately needed to hear more from these brilliant kids, who had their whole lives in front of them.

You can read some of their stories here.

What can be said? What can be done other than to grieve? There is something each of us can do for the ones we lost. We can speak up. We can get disciplined and get to work. We can express ourselves. And we can DO OUR ART. I’m picking up my guitar today in honor of them.

 

David Bowie’s “Lazarus” Video Isn’t Just a Goodbye, It’s a Harrowing Warning

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“Do not waste any more time not expressing yourself.”

Excellent post by Jason Evangelho

David Bowie’s ‘Lazarus’ Video Isn’t Just A Goodbye, It’s A Harrowing Warning

“It’s staggering how differently a piece of art can be interpreted both before and after someone’s death. In the case of the late David Bowie’s music video for “Lazarus,” what may have been viewed as an innocuous 4 minutes of trippy entertainment turns into a disturbing, emotionally raw, premeditated goodbye letter.

I appreciate the impact “Lazarus” — and by extension the entirety of Bowie’s final album Blackstar — has and will have on his fans. We now understand that it was always meant as a final gift from Bowie to his fans.

But for me, that video is a warning.

There’s a scene about 3 minutes into the “Lazarus” video that’s difficult to watch. Scratch that, the entire video is difficult to watch now. Let’s call this scene harrowing. Bowie sits at a desk, frustrated and seemingly impatient to find the right words to jot down in the notebook in front of him. Suddenly a brief smile lights up his face and he begins enthusiastically scrawling on the pad in front of him.

A few seconds later, it’s as if Bowie is overwhelmed. He’s frantically writing now, face wrinkled in concentration, writing so furiously that his hand spills off the page and down the front of his desk.

To me, it’s screaming that Bowie had so much left to say. To contribute. To create. But time has run out.

There’s sage advice embedded here, a thinly veiled warning: Do not waste any more time not expressing yourself. Say what you need to say, boldly and without reservation. Nurture your creativity and don’t be shy about it. Stop constantly consuming and start creating before it’s too late, and that dark, mysterious wardrobe into nothingness consumes you.

Leave your mark. Start today.”

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