It’s Crowley, Rhymes With Holy
Aleister Crowley was born on this day in 1875 in Leamington Spa, England, with his Sun in Libra, Moon in Pisces and Leo Ascendant.
Crowley took it as his life’s work to return an understanding of Magick to a society that had buried it. Like many others of his generation, he helped kick down the locked doors of repression, both sexual and spiritual, and sought to put the study of the “otherworlds” on a firm scientific basis.
Crowley was one of the first Westerners to openly talk about and advocate yoga, meditation, ritual, shamanism, the chakras, understanding of past lives, sexual and chemical experimentation, Qabalah, Buddhism, Hinduism and even Tantra as valid tools for self-exploration.
For Crowley (also an early advocate for gay rights), all of these could be used as structures to achieve one thing: the discovery, and execution, of one’s true life purpose. Unlike the Theosophists who came before him and the New Agers who came after him, he ruthlessly sought to cut out any fluffy, wishful and deluded thinking and instead posited Magick as the study of the true nature of the world, which, being natural, is neither black nor white but, rather, red in tooth and claw.
Sixty-five years after his death, Crowley remains one of the most controversial people in the world, whose name is enough to automatically trigger deep responses in people. Everybody seems to have an opinion on him: for the religious or conspiracy-minded he is a symbol of “the Devil.” New Agers, psychics and the esoterically-bent see him as much the same, immediately distancing themselves from the “bad” or “egoic” Crowley, thereby hoping to gain respectability for themselves by using him as a scapegoat. But, as I have said to many, if you kick the man who taped his own “Kick Me” sign to his back, what have you done but fallen for another of his jokes and shown the stripes of your insecure ego? In saying “Crowley is bad!” what one says is “I am good and right and better!” but, where is your proof? And what, exactly, are you measuring by?
Crowley’s message was to achieve your own spiritual destiny instead of bowing to false idols, ideals, religions or other tools of human slavery. He made himself a symbol of horror, addiction, degradation and generally awful behavior so that those to come after him would follow their own destiny instead of his. “Follow yourself, not me, you assholes!” You can spot who got the joke and who didn’t in an instant.
Crowley did incredible things and he did horrible things. Now he is dead, and we have inherited the world that he prophesied. Now, in the Aeon of the Child, we all stand as terrible and immature infants with the electronic power of gods, running wild in a world of nuclear chaos. Even Crowley cowered in terror when he was shown what the world would become, after two world wars, the splitting of the atom and the breaking of all social codes: Us, that most awful and vicious Beast of all.