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Remembering Aleister Crowley:
October 12, 1875–December 1, 1947

Aleister Crowley by Charles Krafft

Aleister Crowley by Charles Krafft

252 words

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:

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.



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  1. Lee
    Posted October 17, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Crowley is always going to be a divisive person; he’s even divisive among the soft left/libertarian numpties that, sadly, makes up most of his modern adherents. And he’s divisive on this limp-wristed philosophical playing field because despite these feeble hearts being able, with some justification, to co-opt his works to fit into a semi-hippie philosophy, there is a genuine, and persistent, undercurrent of out and out reactionary, right-wing, fascistic thought that simply cannot be ignored in Crowley’s writings and worldview.

    True, parts of his personal history does not fit well with genuine right-wing sensibilities. But then again, put current darling of the Alt-Right memeosphere, Herr Trump, up against Uncle Aleister, and I know who I’d back in a genuine ‘man of the right’ face off…

    And Crowley was (allegedly) supposed to have crucified a frog in his early magickal career. Come on meme maestros; it’s all there: Pepe, Kek, Crowley. What more do you want?

    Try as they might, modern Thelemites cannot in all seriousness explain away the very real anti-egalitarianism present in ‘The Book of the Law.’ I’ve read many a soft-soaping of said book and it is often painful to watch these wishy-washy liberals try to explain away the militarism and downright fascist nature of the third chapter of the Book of the Law, where Ra Hoor Khuit speaks.

    If this wasn’t bad enough, these bleeding hearts also have to contend with Crowley’s infamous work, ‘The Black Messiah’, written under the pseudonym ‘Gérard Aumont’. I’d suggest trying to find said piece on the Internet but good luck with that. The OTO, the modern incarnation of Crowley’s main organisation, takes great lengths to ensure that any online manifestation of such a ‘troubling’ piece is taken down pretty damn sharpish. And if you are lucky enough to read it, you’ll see why. A proponent of White Privilege Mr. Crowley most certainly wasn’t!

    Crowley will never find universal acclaim on the right, and often with good reason. If you only concentrate on his personal life, you will indeed find much that is at best morally questionable and at worst downright repugnant. But, and it has to be said again, in an age when we have, even if semi-ironically, Donald Trump as our Lord and Saviour and the guy we’re pinning all our hopes on…

    If you can see beyond Crowley’s multitude of foibles, you will find much that is the work of a true magus. And, most importantly for readers of Counter-Currents, work that is most assuredly right of centre.

    Maybe I’m wrong to justify Crowley as a man of the right. Perhaps, as an English eccentric myself, I’m just partial to another of my tribe that seriously tested the boundaries between lunacy and genius. We English tend to do that…

  2. Tom
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    One more thing: most of the keys to legitimate western esoteric symbolsim will be found in the Chinsese Folk Religion and Taoism, the latter being seen as a historically liberal religion in China but, nevertheless, one that long since melded with the folk religion; at least in part. I recommend studying both if one’s aim is to figure out western esoteric symbolism, such as that of pentagram that Crowley is wearing, astronomy, etc. You’ll even discover where heaven lies, which is in the same place it has been since we were wearing bear skins and living in caves. Look to the Japanese Ainu and where their religious heritage leads, not so much forward toward Shinto (but also Shinto as an exact cognate of the Chinese Folk Religion), but also backward across Russia and into Europe. Connect all of these dots and the picture will come together. It’s not that involved, especially if you keep in mind the core message in my prior comment.

  3. Tom
    Posted October 15, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Greg, I’m perfectly okay with this being for you only (if you don’t want to publish this comment), though I don’t write it in a voice that is directed specifically to you:

    I take a little while to get there, but I provide simplified historical-mythological proofs for my statements. I encourage reading at least until I get through them.

    I haven’t read Crowley, but am deeply familiar with his theology if I understand correctly what it was. Human divinity, correct? If so, I can offer some insight. And, yes, it is The Right Wing Philosophy. As I stated, I am unfamiliar with Crowley in-particular, but instead am commenting on the theological stream in general.

    Upfront, to understand this, men and women have to let go of what they think that they know of theology. Otherwise, programmed bias as to what is supposedly good and evil will frustrate perception.

    Am I speaking of the endorsement of evil acts? No, I’m speaking in terms of letting go of concepts (which serve as dissuasive programming) rooted in Christian mythology. In fact, this theology strictly and legitimately endorses aristocratic behavior, with the caveat being, again, letting go of mythological programming (inserted to protect the “way of the gods” from the international rabble of the empire) as well as some other programming (such as not fighting your enemy) in the other moral stream that most of us are raised in if raised religiously.

    In short, there are two religious streams in the world, as well as a few secondary streams, such as Buddhism, that are only meant to achieve a similar effect as the control stream: that is to dissuade the populace from challenging the King (or power).

    The choice between these streams is embodied in the book of Genesis. You can choose knowledge, and exaltation to godhood (kingship and aristocracy), or you can choose to obey and live in the “Kingdom of God” (under the King’s rulership in the King’s realm).

    The original, and only legitimate, form of spirituality is ancestor veneration / worship. This is where we begin, as this is where all religion began. If you believe in anything that you wish to be legitimately spiritual (versus wittingly or unwittingly participating in a system of control), that is the religion to undertake. It serves a definite, powerful political function in rooting the blood and spirit of families and communities to the land. The spiritual element is rooted in the belief that knowledge and the spiritual aspect of your biological and mental person (attained through DNA) is thanks to your ancestors, beginning with your father and reaching ever-backward.

    This was the original religion, and continues to be a strong undercurrent throughout regions that have been less conquered by Christianity. Asia is an excellent source for observation of this living religion, as it thrives throughout.

    This is how religion developed:

    Familial ancestor veneration was first. Ancestors were gods. In other words, especially valuable ancestors became divine. Knowledge attainment, heroic legends, and the resultant bequeathed benefit to progeny were ways in which humans could be elevated to the status of Gods in the tribe. The first ancestor of the family was given highest status, if I had to guess based on concurrence with what we know of how this theology evolved and was later practiced in amplified form (see below).

    What came next was hero veneration. This was the first universalization of God. The especially valuable familial ancestor “god” became a tribal god that the entire village more or less venerated or worshiped. This type of worship became the spiritual foundation, or mandate for rulership, for the first tribal kings or leaders. No more was there necessarily a conflict between the progeny of multiple differing gods (that still existed in full force), but a single leader could claim a mandate to rule under the grace of the tribal hero god.

    The path from here to empire was common sense. The more people that could be made to subjugate their ancestor gods under the tribal hero god, the larger the effectively ruled group could become. Eventually, we had a mythological racial King who was held to be the first ancestor of the entire group (see the Chinese Yellow Emperor – Dragon Emperor).

    This type of ruler, the King in the line from the first mythological ancestor (see the myth cognate in the Jewish King David line) soon ran into an issue. This how the split in religious streams came about.

    Race Kings can only rule over the race, in terms of a compelling divine claim to rulership in the line of the first racial ancestor. What happened?

    The racial King concept was converted over to the concept of “Heaven”. See the transition from the Shang dynasty in China, and their concept of Shangdi (essentially “race god”), to the Zhou dynasty and their replacing concept of Tian (Heaven).

    The Zhou were not of the Shang lineage, and so they needed a new theological concept from which they could legitimize their rule over an increeasingly multicultural kingdom. Thus, the progenitor of universal Christianity was invented when the concept of divine ruler, as a child of the racial ancestor King, was eclipsed by the concept of Heaven and “rule under heaven”.

    In pre-Christian Europe, and following it over to its conversion to Christianity, you can note the results of this imperially motivated decision to gut the ancestral nature of religion by looking only at Rome (and then Greece for verification) both before and after the transition.

    In Pagan Rome, familial ancestor veneration, hero veneration, and the imperial cult (race king worship) were in full force. Christianity gutted the ancestral, cultural hero, and race king worship for a universal god meant to enable rule over the world (“Son of God” being an old term to describe the race kings as well as the King under Tian-Heaven). The Pope being the earthly universalist replacement for the race King (original ancestor).

    In fact, I believe that there is a case to be made for the crucifixion of the Jewish man in Christ being meant to symbolize the death of the race king in favor of the birth of the universal god. Rome was battling the Jews at the time, and Christianity may have started as a means of attempting to universalize them away from their belief in their tribal ancestor god, Yahweh. Or it could have been weaponized against Europe after Jewish subversion of Rome. It’s hard to tell. It’s only effect was to destroy the ancestor religions of the rest of Europe.

    That’s the meat of what occurred, and from here on out I’ll fill in necessary blanks as concisely as possible:

    As I before implied, the story of the Garden of Eden represents the choice in paths. Will you follow the rules of the (now universal king) or attempt to usurp Kingship for yourself through the aristocratic path that evolved from the original path of ancestor divinity? The entire Bible, apart from what amounts to the antiquity version of a nationalist pamphlet after Genesis, is allegory for rulership.

    The story of the Garden of Eden is hiding the choice path in plain sight, perhaps as a teaching tool for elites. It also brilliantly serves to scare the rabble away from the original path that ancestors took to divinty, into having a mindset that challenging rulership is a bad path. What is the primary manner in which rulership is challenged? Through knowledge of morality. Moral communities build strong political forces (aristocracy). Functional, families, in well functioning communities, build educational systems and cultivate aristocratic values and knowledge.

    The story of the Garden of Eden teaches us that only the universal god has knowledge (that was before this myth passed on by ancestors), and that seeking the aristocratic (the way of the gods) path for ourselves, and questioning or becoming apprised of the moral logic imposed by the King, has us cast out of the kingdom.

    There was no hell before Christianity. In fact, all souls departed to the underworld. What Christianity turned into hell was where our ancestors resided after death. Demonizing the resting place of ancestor spirits is telling as to what the aims of Christianity were: to deracinate religion (by demonizing non-universalist ancestor veneration) toward making empire easier to accomplish.

    The underworld was often represented not just by water, but specifically by deep waters. Water gods such as Enki represent the original ancestor (god), or the god who guarded the gate to the ancestor realm and fought for human survival and knowledge (to build civilization) against the will of the sky god Enlil. Water and snakes represented life (as per the medical caduceus that originated in Sumeria or perhaps further back). Other representations for this god throughout cultures are the snake, the dragon, and the scorpion (all mythologically equivalent). So, snake kings, dragon kings, and scorpion kings should all be generally representative of the race king. The water (underworld) ancestor gods, such as Enki and all other tribal ancestor gods, as well as snakes in the west, were made to symbolize demons, the devil, or otherwise the adversary in Christianity. Poseidon (water god), rather than Zeus (sky god), is thought to have been the first God of the Greeks. Catholic saints are a transitionary vestige from when Rome was attempting to give tribes surrogate beings in place of their cultural heroes.

    The water god, or alternately the snake or dragon, is often depicted fighting the sky god. As a nation becomes dominant in a region, their water or snake god might also take on sky god characteristics. Yahweh is a snake god, etymologically. Seraphim are “flaming snakes”, likely representative of lesser divine ancestors who are intermediaries between the Jews and Yahweh. Also, sympathetic depictions of the sky god and water god will alternate depending on whether a culture is attempting to rule or resist rulership; sympathy and representation also might change as history moves forward and regions become more crowded.

    The Sumerian myth is sympathetic to the water god, and later surviving mythological accounts (logically biased toward the works of ruling kingdoms) tend to favor the triumph of the sky god over the dragon or snake (who is unsympathetically represented as chaos/ civilizational disorder – a challenge to rulership). But, again, it depends. A good exercise is to ferret out the mythologies to detect where the favoritism lies in each one, and compare.

    Check out Sumerian myth for a lot of the symbols that we are biblically taught to be evil, being represented positively.

    Other equivalent concepts are the Greek Titans, and the Indian Asuras, who represent ascending beings toward divine status (essentially aristocrats) who are challenging the Olympians or Devas (entrenched rulers). The Titans are defeated and chained in the Underworld (the ancestor realm), but Zeus also defeated his Titan father, Cronus, who in turn defeated his father Uranus. The sum of this mythology simply tells the story of succeeding ancestral rulerships on Earth, with any move away from the ruling god associating with an ascended being (human or supernatural) probably being representative of an attempt to give an impression of divine, unchallengeable rule to a wider Kingdom.

    Though, the Greek myths were often sympathetic to Titanic aspirations due to Greece’s still largely racial theological character, a theological character that wasn’t eradicated until Christianity.

    It is widely thought that they Vedic myths of the Asura and Deva battles represent real conflict between tribes. Mythologically, the Asuras (Titan-like ‘ascending’ gods – probably ancestors) were the first gods (consistent with the necessary first existence of the race king before rule and religion is universalized), later to be replaced by the Devas (who the ruling class worshiped). In real life, the Asura worshiping tribe(s), represented as the Asuras themselves by the Vedic ruling tribe mythology, moved south to Iran and started the Zoroastrian religion. Logically, the adherents of the Vedic religion held the Asuras to be demons, and those who are represented by the Asuras made the devas demons in their religion (proto-Zoroastrianism).

    In the Bible, Cain is evil. He’s non-coincidentally the builder of the first city (representative of civilization depending on human knowledge), and his crop (agriculture representing civilization as compared to Abel’s pre-civilizational pastoral vocation) was not pleasing to the universal god. The offering was not sincere. Abel’s sacrifice was sincere, pleasing to the current ruler, and was rooted in a precivilizational vocation built on complete subservience to the King’s (current ruler’s) knowledge. Again, I think that this story is a teaching allegory for elites, as its somewhat incomprehensible in its point to the rabble other than to reinforce loyalty to the King.

    Check out China for symbols. Pay special attention to the circle in the square, which is at least a 5,000 year old symbol representing the joining of Heaven and Earth. This represents the heavenly (religious) mandate to rule on Earth, and it implies a divine King as well as a golden age. That’s the meaning behind the freemasonic square and compass, the instruments that draw the square and circle. It’s also a popular architectural motif in the design of ancient cathedrals and modern mosques.

    The above is the esoteric key to the evolution of government and civilization, as well as our route back to cultural life and cohesiveness. There won’t be another path in my opinion, as there is no other proven path but that of the cohesiveness that arises from ancestor veneration.

    Anyone can venerate their ancestors in their home as a form of private, and legitimately spiritual, religious practice. It should spread organically once families are raised around it.

    Thelema, and every other form of human exaltation based religion, is at least a shadow of this aristocratic religion. The bastardized, evil form is the antimonianism (Frankism / Sabbateanism) that progresses to the logic that immorality / amorality is the manner in which divinity reaches its peak expression. Though, I think that this form is a relative ahistorical anomoly.

    The historical path is that of heroism and that of ever-better expressions of aristocratic morality that improve the function of the tribe’s civilization (in contrast with the other stream whose aim is to make a tribe easier to rule).

    “Satanism” and Judeo-esoterism are Judaized versions of the aristocratic path that either serve to undermine the heritage of Roman (Christian) rule (essentially acting as the negatively connoted chaos snake /chaos serpent / chaos dragon in myth), toward Jewish replacement of that rule, or to cultivate philosemitism for its own sake at the expense of concentrating on what spiritually and politically matters: the esoterically hidden practice of the veneration of one’s own ancestors.

    Cast aside the sigils and other esoterism, and concentrate on simple, family oriented ancestor veneration. It’s all that matters, and everything else serves to distract until we get back on our feet from the catastrophe that was the Roman Empire and its continuing cultural legacy.

    The best sources for reconstruction of this type of spirituality are the legitimate ancestor venerating religions in Japan, South Korea, China, and Mongolia.

    Mormonism is an example of this type of religion in the West, though it has a definite Christian-Judeo gloss that I cannot penetrate enough to see if it is sincere or merely a gloss. Either way, it is the type of delicate hidden esoterism that could be subverted and suppressed and the underlying religion lost. Their missionary work disturbs me as being dangerous, and counter-intuitive, to their religion. That being said, find the oldest theology book of theirs that you can and dive in for verification of the message that I laid out in the paragraphs above, couched in the context of Biblical myth.

    Let this soak in, and most importantly begin to read through and decode myth with new eyes.

  4. Old Bullion
    Posted October 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    How about a remembrance day for Arno Breker?

  5. Joseph Curwen
    Posted October 12, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I have a hate/love relationship with Crowley. I am an agnostic, but back in my teenage days I flirted with EsotericHitlerism/Satanism/Crowley/whatever, and Crowley was a prime influence among them. Today I appreciate some of his poems (i.e. Rosa Mundi) and think that the Book of the Law is highly poetical (I still read from it sometimes), but his alcoholism, drug addiction and homosexual adventures makes me sick.

  6. Posted October 12, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Question: Does Dietrich Eckart has his remembrance day ?

  7. Randall Roark
    Posted October 12, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Hm… Crowley’s autobiography is the best way to get a sense of the man(a great read too, to call it interesting would be an understatement.)
    Despite his anti-egalatarian views I would hesitate to call him a “man of the right”.
    His uninhibited sexuality shows a lack of serious thinking through and internalizing of the metaphysics of tradition.
    His system of magic was less about establishing a heirarchical connection to the divine and more about man attempting to claim a position of Divinity for himself.
    Nevertheless his worldview presents a healthy challenge to the right. I recommend anyone to read through his works and grapple with them.

    • Lee
      Posted October 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Crowley’s autobiography, or as he called it ‘hagiography’, is superb. And often quite hilarious. One of my favourite parts was when Crowley was recalling an incident with his mother, with whom he had a particularly ‘troubled’ relationship, to put it mildly.

      Crowley related how he once saved his mother’s life by pulling her up after she fell over a cliff. He termed this, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘an automatic, yet instantly regrettable, act of altruism.’

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