Remembering Aleister Crowley
(October 12, 1875–December 1, 1947)
Aleister Crowley was an English poet, novelist, painter, and mountaineer who is most famous as an occultist, ceremonial magician, and founder of the religion and philosophy of Thelema. But ironically Crowley’s supposed Satanism and Black Magic are far less frightening to most people than his politics. For Aleister Crowley was also a man of the Right.
Although surprising numbers of Crowley’s followers are conventional liberal humanists, those who actually grasp Crowley’s destruction of liberal humanism usually end up on the Right. Thus Crowley inspired such important 20th-century Rightists as novelist and essayist P. R. Stephensen and military strategist and historian J. F. C. Fuller — as well as some 21st-century Rightists who tag him in the pages of Counter-Currents. Crowley was also praised by none other than Julius Evola, who was every bit the political bad boy that Crowley was rumored to be.
For more information on Crowley’s life, work, and significance for the Right, I recommend the following pieces on this site:
- Beau Albrecht, “116 Years of Aleister Crowley’s The Book of the Law“
- Winston E. Bakewell, “‘Cocaine’ & Crowley’s Mad Men“
- Kerry Bolton, “Aleister Crowley as Political Theorist,” Part 1, Part 2 (in Polish) — also included in More Artists of the Right
- Kerry Bolton, “The Influence of H. P. Lovecraft on Occultism“
- Julius Evola, “Aleister Crowley“
- Juleigh Howard-Hobson, “Crowley the Poet: A Different Look at Aleister Crowley on this, the Occasion of his 136th Birthday“
- James J. O’Meara, “Artist & Autist: Crowley in the Light of Neville,” Part 1, Part 2
- James J. O’Meara, “‘The Name is Crowley . . . Aleister Crowley’: Reflections on Enlightenment & Espionage“
- James J. O’Meara, “Put Down That Rifle & Read This Instead“
- James J. O’Meara, “The Unmaking of the Magus: Crowley and Political Animal“
- Dionýz Sokol, “The Ideological War for the Occult Scene“
Another important work on Crowley and the Right is Marco Pasi’s Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics (New York: Routledge, 2014), reviewed here by James J. O’Meara.
The following articles reference Crowley in passing:
- Kerry Bolton, “P. R. Stephensen“
- Jonathan Bowden, “Wyndham Lewis’ Tarr: An Exercise in Right-Wing Psychology” (in Bulgarian)
- Peter D. Bredon, “He’s Our Bannon, Only Better“
- James J. O’Meara, “A Band Apart: Wulf Grimsson’s Loki’s Way“
- James J. O’Meara, “Battle of the Magicians: Baron Evola between the Dancer & the Druid“
- James J. O’Meara, “Lord Kek Commands! A Look at the Origins of Meme Magic“
- Fenek Solère, “Golden Gods & Guitars“
- Christopher Pankhurst, “Giacinto Scelsi: A Soundtrack for Radical Traditionalism“
- Christopher Pankhurst, “Spengler: The Numinous Genesis of Culture“
- Scott Weisswald, “Remembering Genesis P-Orridge“
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 535 Ask Me Anything
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 534 Interview with Alexander Adams
Forward with a Vengeance
Notes on Strauss & Husserl
Remembering Oswald Spengler (May 29, 1880-May 8, 1936)
Remembering Louis-Ferdinand Céline (May 27, 1894–July 1, 1961)
Nueva Derecha vs. Vieja Derecha Capítulo 1: Política y Metapolítica
Remembering Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813-February 13, 1883)
Evola and Crowley are pretty much 90% in agreement, if you actually read into their esoteric texts, and look at the substance of their writings, and what they advocated, rather than getting your opinions of the two fellows from the Internet meme-o-sphere.
I’d recommend “The Yoga Of Power” and “Introduction To Magic” (ITM vol#II was just released last year, vo#lIII is coming up) if you want to get into Evola’s substantive left-hand path views. The Thelemic equivalents of TYOP and ITM are “Yoga For Yahoos” / “On Meditation” and “Magick In Theory And Practice”.
Alt-rightists try to meme the Baron into some kind of pro-Christian apologist, despite his nickname being “The beast of Rome”, whereas the SJWs and [sic] “Thelemites Against Injustice” have actually went as far as to meme (poorly, of course) AC into a pussy-hat, in accordance with their anti-Trump rhetoric, when the whole womyns march on DC was going on. They’re both wrong, obviously.
With regards to the latter, if one takes a look at how AC’s “ideal woman” is depicted in his writings, you’ll not find anything terribly out-of-sorts with how women behaved in the bulk of Traditional societies– the true woman is one who embraces her femininity and makes her True Will that which aides her husband in the accomplishment of his True Will– an example of this is, IIRC, the relationship with the characters “Peter Pendragon” and ” Louise Laleham” in his semi-fictional work “Diary Of A Drug Fiend”.
Here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia plot summary:
> “… The now unhappy couple and Lamus leave England for an Abbey of Thelema located near the fictional location of Telephylus. Lamus then frees Peter and Louise from their addictions through the use of Magical techniques, aimed at mastering True Will and releasing the individual from sloth, self-destructive impulses and craving. Through self-reflection, Peter discovers that he had turned to drugs and had been generally unhappy because he had not wanted to be a medical doctor; instead, he had wanted to be an aircraft engineer. Louise’s True Will is discovered to be helping Peter reach his own True Will by loving him and caring for him.”
Loving and caring for your husband? Rejecting sloth and self destructive impulses? Actualizing your true potential by getting off of drugs? What a left-wing feminist shill!
What’s more, AC was opposed to the practice of abortion, except insofar as he was in favor of “weeding out the weak” (it was an era in which eugenics was all the rage, AC being no exception) and believed that the ideal woman, who was living in accordance with her True Will, would never consider having the procedure done. A far stretch from the “AC advocated infant sacrifice” hysteria that’s abound in the pop culture view of him. The oft-quoted passage from MITAP, a chapter therein titled “On The Bloody Sacrifice And Matters Cognate” is actually in reference to a ritual sacrifice of one’s own semen, not a baby or fetus– this is actually alluded to in the footnotes of the same chapter.
To be fair, re: the semen ritual thing, if there was anything AC *was* actually guilty of, which should be condemned, it was of being a gigantic edgelord who made his teachings easily susceptible to mis-interpretation and the like. He would often say outrageous things because he was addicted to media attention– like when he claimed to have killed and eaten two men on one of his mountaineering journeys (spoiler alert: he didn’t). The same criticisms could be made of the type of people who hyperbolically and ironically post swastikas and such to go along with their edgy 4chan posts– we all know that 99% of them aren’t literal Nazis– just frustrated White men who wish to vent online anonymously. The left uses this as ammo against the 99% of us who are perfectly reasonable in our views (i.e., wanting an ethno-state, not killing random minorities for fun, or whatever people the far-left thinks we support), just as the critics of AC and Thelema use various mis-quoted segments of his writings against him in attempt to sway right-wingers and conservatives from reading what the man actually taught. As OP states, AC was a man of “the right”, insofar as “the right” is synonymous with social hierarchy and actually socially conservative positions, and not the petty moralizing of the hysterical “church ladies”, which is often what folks mean when when they say “morality”.
Also, and this is already kind of a giant ramble (readers can take it or leave it), if you take a look at the people who comprised the “Traditionalist School” of philosophy, Evola is the least “traditionalist” of all its major members– Rene Guenon is actually much more representative. E.G., Evola was actually somewhat into Freemasonry (which AC was initiated into), and was, at one point, working on a project to (in his view) “de-subversiveize” it, recognizing the core of Masonic rituals as fairly noble and non-Judaic in nature, and representing a valid Greco-Roman-Egyptian mystery school religion, in the (at its core) pre-Christian tradition, whereas Guenon hated it, and the Golden Dawn to boot.
The anti-Masonic hysteria prevalent in our circles in surprising, especially when espoused by the “pagans” of our scene (who should know better), because they’ve basically bought into the Roman Catholic propaganda, hook, line, and sinker. The association E.G. of Thelema with pedophilia and rape is even more bizarre, as Crowley preaches a fairly strict and conservative moral code in “The Law Is For All”, for instance, he condemns men who attempt to sleep with women by getting them drunk beforehand, as well as those who attempt to engage in sex acts with children.
I really have to wonder about the psychology and inclinations of certain hysterical individuals of the “right” who must see evidence of pedophilia everywhere, and at all costs, in the same way that I wonder about the psychology of feminists who see evidence of “patriarchal rape culture” everywhere, and at all costs. Their obsessions and fixations are actually quite disturbing. I can honestly say, these two topics aren’t things that normally cross my mind, whether in the course of daily life, or when reading the procedures of various occult sex rituals.
Most of the Thelemites and Freemasons I’ve personally met and spoken to, the ones who really understand the philosophy / religion, and try their best to live it, are actually quite socially conservative and religious individuals. All of the “hail Satan!!!1” Thelemites I’ve had the displeasure of speaking to are uniformly woefully uninformed as to the actual teachings. E.G., the “Satan” of Thelema is actually revealed to be the “Solar-Hermetic-Phallac Lucifer”, “Phosphorous” (a title given to none other than Jesus Christ in the old Koine Greek tradition in various older translations) and “the advisory” detailed in the OT “Book Of Job”, the advisory who, under the directorship of god, tests you and strengthens you, not the demonic entities that try to pull one down.
More on Satan & Thelema here, if you have the time to listen (its well worth it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbi2acwVbeY
The biggest difference between Evola and Crowley is this: the latter actually penned a lot of detailed and specific spiritual and ascetical teachings one can put to use, right now, in order to improve himself (“Magick is for ALL…”) whereas Evola’s writings primarily deal with esotericism in a more abstract sense.
You could think of Evola as the general who says “we’re going to invade X country” and Crowley as the enlisted sergeant who is actually leading a platoon of troops into battle, and dealing with the nitty-gritty of the various warfare scenarios his soldiers must endure, on the ground.
Anyhow, and that was quite the effortpost walltext. If even one person read it and was moved to some sort of practical action because of it, I feel this was worth it.
Here are some more quick links to various immediately practicable Thelemic practices readers may find valuable:
Freemasons are generally scabrous bastards who are proud of their direction of Jacobinism, liberalism, secularization and internationalism. While Catholic historians are in general a valid and accurate source, Masonry has made enough public boasts of its influences to render it beyond the pale of the Right. I have drawn on many such sources, old and new, for my book The Occult and Subversive Movements.
While the Grand Lodge is supposed to be quite different from the Grand Orient and the Scottish Rite, from what I have seen personally of their members even in NZ, they really should go fuck themselves to oblivion. Their pontificating about a superior morality is so much junk.
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