Monday 7 January 2008

Aleister Crowley

One of the most frustrating things that has occured subsequent to the publication of ITLAD has been how it has been pointedly and deliberately ignored by the UK magazine Fortean Times. I have read this magazine religiously since the late 1970's. I can reasonably argue that I am one of its longest and most faithful readers. Indeed having read Charles Fort's The Book of the Damned in 1969 I am a long-time Fortean.

When ITLAD was published in July 2006 I was sure that if no other magazine reviewed it at least my favourite one would - after all my book contains cover to cover Fortean material, all of which have been regularly featered in FT over the years. A copy was sent and my publishers heard nothing. I phoned the Review Editor and spoke to her personally. In no uncertain terms she told me that they were not interested and that they had "done Near-Death Experience to death". I tried to explain that my book was much more than a re-hash of NDE material. She again reitterated that she was not interested. My publicity guy has spoken to them recently and sent another copy. Still no interest. All very sad. And like a faithful puppy-dog I still buy the magazine every month and still enjoy it!

Apologies for the above tirade - needed to get it off my chest - but there is a link with Fortean Times with regard to this posting. In this month's edition they have a series of articles 'celebrating' the 60th anniversary of the death of the notorious Aleister Crowley. I have not fully read the articles but this stimulated me to look him up in my copy of Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained. I have been aware of Crowley and his work for around forty years but I have never gone into any detail. Imagine my surprise therefore to discover that he would have been in total agreement with regard to my Daemon-Eidolon Dyad. In 1904 his mistress, Rose Kelly, claimed to have received astral communications from the Egyptian god Horus. Crowley subsequently performed a magical ceremony and 'the god' spoke to him. This voice identified itself as a being called Aiwass. Aiwass spoke for three consecutive days and dictated Crowley's The Book of the Law. As things developed Crowley became convinced that this being was no other than his own 'higher self' communicating with him - in our terminology his Daemon.

In my next book - due out in June '08 I will be discussing the evidence for the Daemon-Eidolon Dyad. I am frustrated in some ways that I was unaware of this Crowley link. However this allows me to look into this event in more detail and maybe write an article about it.


Carenza Waters said...

I find it truly Fortean that the FT has not reviewed your book!

Karl Le Marcs said...


Edward Alexander Crowley, occultist chess-playing mountain-climbing bisexual hedonistic poet, was fascinated with dactyls (being a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables; hence his reason for adopting the moniker Aleister - AL-east-er).

And of course, another dactyl.......Anthony!

As Mr Crowley was "The Wickedest Man in the World" does this mean his was a Terror-Dactyl!
(oh how we all laughed).

Anyway, yes you are right in your comments on Aiwass, although he was more accurately Hoor-paar-kraat or in Greek, Harpocrates. This is often then associated with Horus (from whom of course we get the anagrammatical "Hours" relating to his status as sun good, and "Horizon" as the sun dies in the sky. Indeed the nemesis of Horus was Set, from where "Sunset" derives).

Everything is linked, if you look hard enough.

So, Crowley took the words dictated to him by Aiwass to become the central text of Thelema, "The Book of the Law" from where one of the most frequently misinterpreted quotes ever derives..."Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law".

Crowley and Samuel McGregor Liddel Matthews coined the term Holy Guardian Angel, Crowley calling it "the silent self", and the highest representation of one's truest divine nature.

He said "It should never be forgotten for a single moment that the central and essential work of the Magician is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Once he has achieved this he must of course be left entirely in the hands of that Angel, who can be invariably and inevitably relied upon to lead him to the further great step—crossing of the Abyss and the attainment of the grade of Master of the Temple."

Or perhaps crossing the River Lethe but Cheating The Ferryman.

Now, finally to tie all this up nicely with previous dactyls and anagramtic wordplay and whatnot let me leave you with this.

Crowley sought the Key to the Temple of Solomon, also related to the Greek and Roman Gods' Temple as symbolised in the Pantheon in Rome.

If you take the name "Anthony Peake", what could possibly be a syncrondipitous ((c) Anthony Peake) anagram.............?

Anthony Peake = "A Pantheon Key"

(EVERYTHING connects, especially when you have a mind like mine.)



SM Kovalinsky said...

Although there is no logical explanation for why FT would ignore your book, perhaps in the end you will find something providential in it. The daemonic synchronicity we often encounter turns and twists before reaching its elegant mark. How many times has fate denied me something I knew I richly deserved, only to deliver something down the road which was less wanted, but far more beneficial. Something may be waiting for you that a positive connection with FT would have blocked. As for Crowley, I like his Tarot and I Ching commentaries, but he is rather too "occult" for my tastes. But I agree that the daemon/eidolon dyad is there in his writing, and also in that of WB Yeates. . .

Karl Le Marcs said...

Don't mention WB Yates.........
Crowley and Yates HATED each other.

SM Kovalinsky said...

They may have hated eachother, but they both had concepts in mind which mirror Peake's dyad. But I will be forever grateful to you for having a mind that could solve the riddle of the name "Anthony Peake" for me. I knew there had to be some meaning in his name, other than the obvious "peak" as in Nietzsche's "overman reaches his peak while last man dwindles to zero". . .

Karl Le Marcs said...

Well, there is the Philip K Dick reference where the main charcter in "Counter-Clock World" proposes a radical new theory regarding life after death.

He was called "Anarch Peak".

Then you have my somewhat contrived but still entertaining and thought provoking anagram of Anthony Peake being "A Pantheon Key" for which Crowley spent much of his life searching.

And then the Jungian, Nietzschean connections.....

"In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that, one must have long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks." - Nietzsche.

I remember that there are a few others too, but they escape me right now (probably because I've been writing all day and have a brain frazzled beneath my own synaptic creations - Or Something!).



Anonymous said...

Kenneth Grant who succeeded Crowley as head of the O.T.O.(at least in the U.K) In 1975,writing in his book 'Cults of the Shadow'had this to say:
Scientific develepment since Crawley's deathin 1947 confirm the supposition that AL contains more than than vague hints of things to come.Advances in Space exploration make it highly probable that Time also will yield its secret, Time and Space being twin aspects of a single continuum which is not,as may appear, an entity known as Space-Time, but an objectivisation of the perceiving of the observer, and therefore a wholley subjective phenomenon.