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. Sadly, he was also an egomaniac, a pervert, and a drug addict. But at least he did not sacrifice babies to Satan or eat them for breakfast. Ironically, though, 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 many on the Right today, Crowley is something of a guilty pleasure, rather like Ayn Rand: someone who opened their minds and set them on a path toward the broader Right, someone whose works still hold value, but not someone they can endorse as a whole, either as a thinker or a person. This, for instance, was very much Charles Krafft’s attitude toward Crowley.
So, to Aleister Crowley, we wish a (qualified) happy birthday! And to you, dear reader, we commend the following articles, reviews, and podcasts on Crowley’s life, ideas, and legacy for the Right.
- 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” (Czech version: Part 1, Part 2)
- Julius Evola, “Aleister Crowley.”
- Mark Gullick, “Aleister Crowley & the Devil’s Picture Book.”
- 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 as 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:
- 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.”
- Collin Cleary, “Evola, Magical Idealism, & Western Metaphysics, Part Two.”
- Mark Gullick, “Killing Joke’s The Death and Resurrection Show.”
- Tobias Langdon, “Mountains of the Mind: Dürer, Disenchantment, & the Urge to Ascend.”
- 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.”
- James J. O’Meara and Nick Jeelvy, “Spooky Writers’ Bloc on the Occult & Magic” (podcast).
- 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.”
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