Well I’ve been quiet on here lately but that’s because I’ve been finishing up the Aleister Crowley documentary I’ve been working on. Originally I was making a cartoon for it but that was too time consuming. Regardless, here’s the documentary below. I composed the song for it along with the synths used in the song. As an aside I do enjoy composing horror music because it is simultaneously simple and wide open for creative decisions.
A Thelemite belief is that humanity can be divided into a series of Aeons that was accompanied by its own forms of magical and religious expression. The Aeon of Isis, the Aeon of Osiris, and the Aeon of Horus. Crowley believed that Magick was a bridge between art and science with the involvement of mystic forces.
Isis was the Egyption Goddess of fertility. The Aeon of Isis was characterized by maternal values such as the pagan worship of mother nature and pagan worship. This Aeon took place during the pre-Christ era.
The Egyption God Osiris was the God of the underworld. He symbolized death and resurrection. This era was marked by self sacrifice and submission. These values are reflected in Christianity and Islam, the dominant world religions during this period.
Aleister Crowley believed he ushered in the Aeon of Horus, where individuality and the exploration of self will are the dominant belief systems. I find it intriguing that commercialism, psychology, and secular societies encourage core elements present in the basic premise of Crowley’s book of the law – or “Do what thou wilt.”
Crowley’s second most important book was “The Vision and the Voice.” He believed that along the journey to self discovery the individual could find harmony with the universe and develop the ability to openly communicate with higher powers. Through meditation, concentration, and discipline an outer body experience could be achieved. I feel the techniques Crowley developed were the foundation for current belief systems that provide a methodology to astral projection exploration in the modern age. In the 1970s, the CIA embarked on a mission to study the possibilities of psychic powers and the existence of a sixth sense. Crowley’s rituals and techniques added a learnable methodology to ancient mystic beliefs that influenced humanity’s pursuit for discovering a connection between spirituality and science.
From 1920 to 1923, Aleister Crowley established a spiritual center for his new order in Sicily – it would be known as the “Abbey of Thelema.” His idea was to create a school for magick – not to be confused with magic, a term Crowley believed was reserved for tricksters who performed to a crowd on stage. Crowley’s sort of magick was centered around manipulating external events through meditation, ceremony and ritual.
The bible to Crowley’s new religion was “The Book of the Law”, which he had written by the instruction of his guardian angel Aiwass. The central belief of his organization was “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Practitioners of Thelema, or Thelemites, do not believe this means do whatever you feel like doing, rather it’s an instruction to follow their true self’s desires. A major objective for Thelemites is to “Cross into the abyss”. This is a metaphor for death and rebirth that requires contact with a guardian angel that helps them become reborn into the supernal triad as an ascended person. “The great work” is an act of enlightenment in chasing one’s true potential. It can be seen across modern day Hermetic occultism.
Crowley would paint the walls of the abbey with Thelemic deities and symbols using oil paints from France. An area known as the nightmare wall featured a large yellow cyclops that Crowley deemed the eternal idol. He would encourage Thelemites to take psychedelic drugs then stare at the hellish painting until they had fully conquered fear itself.
Orgies and drug use were routine at the abbey, despite the prevalence of children running around on the premises. The children were even witnesses to the acts of “Sex Magick” – a belief that the soul’s intentions can be heard by the universe at the moment of orgasm.
Crowley’s drug use eventually spiraled out of control and he would later become a full blown heroin addict. The hedonistic practices at the Abbey of Thelema escalated in debauchery to include animal sacrifice and bestiality. But it became a hot spot for celebrities – attracting a British Model, Betty May, and her husband Raol Loveday. Betty never quite got along with Crowley – she considered the abbey dirty and didn’t enjoy life at the commune. After Crowley caught her reading a newspaper – a forbidden item – she left the next day while her husband stayed behind.
Loveday remained in the commune due to illness and his devotion to Crowley. He had recently consumed water from a local fresh spring despite Crowley’s warning that his immune system would not be up to the task. Loveday would die of a bacterial infection in 1923.
May blamed Crowley for her husband’s death and leaked his cult’s hedonistic practices to the press. She believed that her husband had become ill from drinking the sacrificial blood of a cat. Her story was picked up by Newspapers world wide. The fascist government of Mussolini ran Crowley and the Thelemites out of Cecily, and it would remain abandoned until present day. Those who visit claim it remains haunted and contains a supernatural presence.
Anglis, Jaclyn. “Meet the ‘Wickedest Man in the World’ Who Horrified 20th-Century Britain.” All That’s Interesting, 22 Aug. 2021, allthatsinteresting.com/aleister-crowley#:~:text=Meanwhile%2C%20their%20daughter%20Lilith%20had%20died%20of%20typhoid. Accessed 31 Dec. 2021.
*I am not a historian nor an expert. I am researching the origins of Astral Projection as it relates to the science fiction of my own short film. You can find my trailer at the bottom.
Astral projection is defined by Miriam Webster as “the ability of a person’s spirit to travel to distant places.”
It originates from an esoteric belief that we contain an astral body capable of extra-sensory perception (or ESP). Esoteric is a loosely defined term that describes a person with a deep knowledge of the universe and the lessons it contains.
In 1898, Aleister Crowley – accused by his own mother of being the Anti-Christ – joined a group of esoteric occultists called the “Order of the Golden Dawn.” This group believed that they could perform magic & communicate with angles. A core belief of this group was that new members must grow in understanding of their inner selves prior to learning deeper lessons. Crowley employed the use of psychedelics to assist him in his journey. Over time, the group’s fundamental disgust with Crowley’s personal beliefs and practices would only escalate.
Aleister Crowley’s first wife, Rose Edith Kelly, eloped with Crowley to Egypt in order to avoid an arranged marriage. Crowley brought her into a dark cave and read from a book called “Goeat, the Lesser key of Solomon.” The goal was to summon the Egyptian God Horus. During this reading Rose Kelly fell back then claimed she had a vision and heard the voice of Horus. Crowley didn’t believe her – after years of studying the occult and attempting to summon demons, he had never succeeded. Rose had been present for his trance but she wasn’t trying to summon anything. Aleister didn’t believe her, so he took her to a museum for proof. He asked her to point out the God she saw and she pointed at the correct image of Horus.
Rose told Crowley that she had received instructions for how to communicate with the spirits. He followed her instructions and was shocked to finally hear the voice of his guardian Angel, Aiwass. Crowley supposedly received instructions for contacting the spirits over the next 3 days. These writings would become known as the The Book of the Law.
After increasing turmoil with the “Order of the Golden Dawn” Crowley founded “Thelema”, where he taught The Book of the Law as its bible. The practices and techniques this group developed to communicate with angels or travel on the astral plane resulted in a belief that astral projection was a skill that could be learned.