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Member Skype #21 Warmup – Aleister Crowley & Magick

This is the Warmup Thread for Member Skype Call #21, which is focused on Aleister Crowley and Magick.

Recall that in Member Skype Call #20 we discussed the Christopher Nolan film The Prestige (2006), whose themes include magic, deception, showmanship, identity, and consciousness.

The film stars David Bowie as Nikola Tesla.

It turns out that David Bowie himself has direct ties to ‘magick’, and made numerous references to Aleister Crowley and occult ideas.

Crowley and Bowie. The latter photograph taken 1969.

Below are some lyrics from Bowie’s ‘Quicksand’, which was purportedly recorded on July 14, 1971.

I’m closer to the Golden Dawn
Immersed in Crowley’s uniform
I’m not a prophet or a stoneage man
Just a mortal with potential of a superman

July 14 may be seen as a reference — intentional or otherwise — to 777.

777 was published in 1909.

One of Crowley’s best-known works is 777 and other Qabalistic Writings.


Magic vs Magick

In simple terms, the difference between ‘magic’ and magick’ is that the former is concerned with trickery and/or illusion, whereas the latter is concerned with changing physical reality.

In Magick Without Tears, Crowley describes ‘magick’ as thus:

“the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will”

You can read a slightly more detailed account of the difference between ‘magic’ and ‘magick’ here.

It boils down to this: the distinction between magic and magick is a subjective one: where does mere ‘deception’ end, and ‘real’ change begin?

For the purpose of the upcoming call, it is worth noting that I personally see a significant amount of overlap between ‘magic’ and ‘magick’ (as I intimated during MSC #20). I have not personally performed any rituals or constructed any magical sigils, and do not consider myself a ‘magician’.

I do however acknowledge that I am engaged in a constant process of what might be described fairly as magic or magick, in the sense that I am constantly creating illusions (e.g. producing videos), and attempting to impress my will upon the physical realm with conscious direction (e.g. training my body to become stronger).

Note that Crowley defined all attempts at impressing one’s will upon the physical realm as ‘magick’:

What is a Magical Operation? It may be defined as any event in nature which is brought to pass by Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or banking from our definition. Let us take a very simple example of a Magical Act: that of a man blowing his nose.

Page 180 of Magick: Book 4

Yes, under Crowley’s definition, even growing potatoes or blowing one’s nose is a form of magick.

Not quite as dark or menacing as some people seem to want others to believe…

Aleister Crowley

I don’t pretend to know very much about this character. I have read brief portions of books attributed to him, but that is about it.

My hope is to get better up to speed between now and Sunday.

With that said, there are a few elements of the basic Crowley narrative which strike me as suspicious.

Just read his wiki bio for yourself and you will probably notice some red flags.

Here is one of the major things which stood out to me: The Book of the Law, produced in 1904 and considered the central text of Crowley’s ‘Thelema’, was purportedly written across three days after Crowley had slept in one of the pyramids in Egypt. I would like to know how he allegedly gained access to these pyramids.

Moreover, the ‘Stele of Revealing’ seems like another Pilate Stone to me.

Crowley’s Thelema is largely based on this thing.

How important is this ‘Stele of Revealing’ to Crowley, Thelema, and ‘magick’ as it is understood today?

Let’s ask

The Stele of Revealing is an Egyptian religious artifact dating from the 26th dynasty. It is a wooden tablet overlaid with stucco and painted with mythological scenes and hieroglyphic writing. It was made to commemorate the death of a Theban priest of the god Mentu named Ankh-f-n-khonsu. Although many objects were typically sealed inside the tomb along with the body, funerary steles such as this one were placed outside the tomb as a focal point for offerings given by friends and relatives of the deceased.

The Stele of Revealing is especially sacred to Thelemites because it is through this artifact that the Law of Thelema was revealed to Aleister Crowley in 1904 e.v., inaugurating the New Aeon of Horus. Soon after discovering the Stele in a museum in Cairo, Crowley received the mystical communication known as The Book of the Law. Much of what Crowley discovered in the Stele of Revealing “set the stage” or formed the basis for these channeled verses.

The Stele of Revealing is ‘sacred’ to Thelema, because it ‘set the stage’ for his Book of the Law, which would go on to underpin the broader Thelemic philosophy/framework.

Now isn’t that interesting?

Think about all of the people you have heard speak about ‘magic(k)’, ‘the occult’, ‘esoteric knowledge’, ‘ancient wisdom’, and so on. How many of these people have explained, to their interlocutors and/or listeners, that so much of this line of inquiry traces back to a painted piece of wood ‘discovered’ in the 1850s?

Stele of Revealing (1850s) -> Crowley -> The Book of the Law (1904) -> Thelema -> ‘Do as thou wilt’ -> Modern magic(k) / occult studies

I’m willing to bet that, for many who read this page, it will be a case of: you heard it here first 🙂

Notice a pattern?

Our Nikola Tesla-believing friends have articles about communication with Martians, published in sci-fi magazines circa 1900.

Our Library of Alexandria-believing friends have a discredited book by Edward Gibbons from the 1700s.

Our bible-believing friends have Pontius Pilate and his Pilate Stone ‘discovered’ in the 1960s.

Not to mention the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, both ‘discovered’ in the mid-1800s.

Our Herodotus-believing friends have the ‘Oxyrhynchus Papyri’ discovered in the late 1800s.

Our heliocentrism-believing friends have the magical weigh-balls in a shed to determine the mass of the moon.

Our evolution-believing friends have their 150-person sample size, computer-based ‘study’ from 1987 to prove that we all come from Africa.

And now we learn that our Crowley-believing friends have a painted piece of wood ‘discovered’ in the 1850s.

It almost seems like every mass-belief story can be unraveled — from the ground up — by anybody willing to check into the underlying evidence and think for him or herself.

‘Ancient Egypt’

In the preceding section I mentioned several of the stories/myths I have spent time scrutinising over the past few years.

You may have noticed that there is an overlap between some of them.

In the case of ‘Ancient Egypt’, I have yet to publish the bulk of the research which has led me to the conclusion that it — ‘Ancient Egypt’ — is a relatively recent fabrication, a key tenet of the broader History Hoax.

The article ‘History of Histories’ does go into some detail about ‘Grenfell and Hunt’ and their ‘Oxyrhynchus Papyri’.

For now is shall suffice to make this point:

If Crowleyan ideas have had any significant impact upon modern (pop) culture, then the ‘Ancient Egypt’ hoax is even more significant than we might have previously recognised.

Thus the question naturally follows: how much of modern culture as we know it has been impressed upon by Crowleyan ideas?

Let’s take a look at just a couple of examples.

Exhibit A: Timothy Leary


Timothy Leary, of course, being the man who helped to propagate the use of LSD and other ‘psychedelics’ in the 1950s and beyond.

Exhibit B: The Beatles

Yep, that’s him.

Aleister Crowley on the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1986).

This is only an album cover, and not proof of anything. It might be enough to encourage some to look further, though…

Exhibit C: Alan Moore

I don’t want to spoil V for Vendetta (1980s) for those of you who have yet to read it.

Here is just one page from the book:

‘Do What Thou Wilt’, says V.

The protagonist of V for Vendetta openly states that his anarchist idealism revolves around the Crowleyan maxim Do What Thou Wilt.

And then there is Watchmen (1980s), the book which got me looking further into Alan Moore’s work when I first encountered it last year.

Again, no spoilers, but here is a crucial takeaway from the story:

Ozymandias is one of the primary characters. A good guy or a bad guy? That is the question.

Ozymandias is overtly named after a character of ‘Ancient Egypt’, and styles himself and his surroundings after ‘Ancient Egyptian’ iconography.

This includes his company, a mega-corporation with tentacles in all industries, being named ‘Pyramid’.

Ozymandias in book and film form.

The significance of the Ozymandias -> Ancient Egypt connections will be apparent to those who know how Watchmen ends.

Those of you who have read Watchmen (rather than merely seen the film) will be able to connect a few more dots for yourself.

It is all rather overt, once one has developed eyes to see.

In any event, this leads us to a short video of Alan Moore speaking about what magic means to him, which might be a nice way to round out this post.


Ready for more?

Those of you who like to ‘read ahead’, as it were, might find yourself truly amazed by some of the ‘coincidences’ to be found in the following:

Subliminal Synchrosphere piece here.

Pop Culture Keys piece here.

Officially published 31-May-2018

12 thoughts on “Member Skype #21 Warmup – Aleister Crowley & Magick

  • Did this skype call take place this weekend? I didn’t even realize what day it was(Monday), my work schedule changed back to midnights a couple of weeks ago and I have been struggling while trying to spend all my free time with my daughters. And next weekend I am taking a 3 day motorcycle class at the local airport, so I don’t know if I can make it to a call next weekend. I’d really like to. Maybe I can show up a little late…

    I was very interested in this call and discussion, although I have never read anything by Crowley.

    Just a random thought I had today…about 3 months ago I went back to smoking cigarettes after 5 years of abstinence. One of the things I keep noticing is that I keep feeling a “flush” reaction after smoking, like those times I took vitamin B3 (Niacin, aka nicotinic acid). What if nicotine provided some sort of “vitamin” to our bodies? Not something that we can’t live without, but more like…we have a binding site somewhere in our body that was meant to be filled by tobacco. Its not about evolution, the past never happened. And if the past never happened, then why would we have a binding site for tobacco? Ah, nevermind. People can imagine all sorts of bs but they can’t imagine that the past is an illusion. A collective illusion. I need to get some sleep.

    • Im always getting confused. I thought the prestige call took place a week ago.

      • The Prestige call was the weekend just gone, the Crowley & Magick call will be this weekend coming (i.e. Sunday 3-June-2018 Australia time).

        Full schedule here.

        That’s right. Call #21 (777) will be on 3-6 (666) and focused on Aleister ‘The Beast 666’ Crowley, author of 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings.

        You couldn’t make this up. Or could you?

    • Tobacco and its allegedly negative effects on health is a topic deserving of its own call. Maybe in Season Two, aye?

      I was brought up to believe that tobacco was toxic, addictive, and basically the scourge of society.

      Now I am more than open to the idea that occasional tobacco use is in fact a beneficial thing for the individual. There, I said it.

      I am also not convinced that tobacco is any more addictive than myriad other vices which some people allow themselves to become addicted to.

      My only major concern with tobacco as it is sold today is the process by which it is grown, dried, packaged and distributed. Who is responsible for the tobacco, and how do they do what they do? I have no idea.

      If I could grow and cure my own tobacco, I would do so, and I would love it.

      Not that I am condoning tobacco consumption — these days I try not to condone anything apart from sunlight and fresh air — but I too have experienced positive mental effects from tobacco consumption. As in, it seems to make my mind sharper, even more creative, as silly as that sounds. I have suddenly devised numerous ideas for videos and other content while smoking a solitary cigarette at night, and many of these ideas were developed into final products just an hour or two later (i.e. YouTube uploads).

      What I still can’t quite understand is the relationship between smoking and dental health. Personally I have never been a heavy smoker. In fact most days I smoke nothing at all (tobacco or otherwise). Are there any heavy smokers out there who have anecdotal accounts to share about the effect of smoking on their teeth and gums? I am open-minded to the possibility that smoking is bad for dental health, and open to the idea that the opposite is true.

      Back to main topic at hand, my guess would be that Crowley, whether a real life person or a fabricated character, would likely suggest that if somebody feels compelled to smoke, and feels good doing so, then they ought to continue. This is where the nocebo effect of tobacco is so pernicious: if you convince entire generations that smoking is bad for them, then you are placing a ticking time bomb in each of their psyches. Those who go on to smoke tobacco (which many of them will) now have niggling feelings of naughtiness and sin, whether consciously or sub-consciously, and I am convinced that these thoughts are far more powerful than the substances themselves.

  • Hey John,

    What time is this call AEST?

    The red flags are everywhere with Crowley aren’t they? Ancient History, war, even associations with so-called rocket propulsion experts!

    • Red flags up the wazoo.

      The calls generally start at 9am Brisbane time on Sunday, which is 7pm New York (Saturday night), midnight London (Saturday night / Sunday morning).

      We sometimes start recording shortly thereafter, but usually not until about 10am Brisbane (i.e. one hour later).

      It really just depends on who turns up and where the initial conversation goes.

      As always, I am more than happy to set aside a secondary/alternative time if the primary call time does not suit somebody who wishes to be at the call.

      It would be terrific to see you there, so let me know 🙂

  • I really like Alan Moor’s take on magic, when he explains it, it makes alot of sense.

    I watched a few documentaries on Crowley, (Mr. Magick) and although he looked the part of a “evil magician”, his writings don’t seem so evil. There are a few people who see him as a genius. He travelled extensively and studied almost every religion. He had no hang ups at all and it seems to me that he experienced all his human-ness, the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Regarding tobacco: I think the labels that we have on tobacco in Australia are black magic, what do you think?

    • I suspect you might enjoy Moore’s work. I have read Watchmen and V for Vendetta and recommend both highly.

      Even twelve months ago I might have laughed at the idea that a ‘comic book’ could contain so much food for thought, philosophical and esoteric.

      Having seen V for Vendetta (the film) a few years ago, I was particularly surprised by how good the book is (in comparison with the film which I thought was crap).

      As for Crowley, I have been watching/listening to a few mainstream accounts of his life and work recently. It is amusing how much of a disparity exists between the claims made (stories told) and the references to his actual words.

      Might as well be listening to the village drunk talking about ‘the good old days’. Barely a source or citation is ever provided. Mainstream ‘history’ content is a joke. Only retards could fail to notice how silly the tales are.

      Here is an example of what I am talking about:

      Until I find video footage (or at least some audio recordings) of Crowley, I will continue to suspect that he may even be as fake as Tesla.

  • “Why am I wasting my time with this nonsense?…What kind of UTTER RETARD could be convinced by ‘evidence’ as flimsy as Spence’s?”

    the same retards who accept that jet fuel can powderize skyscrapers…that grade school stage props can be pawned off as vessels to land on and launch from the moon – with all the alleged perilous elements. that chimps are 99.9% the same as humans. need to continue.

    i admit i do not know enough about this character or the occult literature to offer much substance… but what i do know is that nobody cares. even if they were to agree with the ‘debunking’ of official doctrine, nothing much changes. the next story on the screen, in the books, in the urban legends … will be believed until proven otherwise. and unless you are an ordained priest of academia, your opinion is worthless.

    and even if you had such credentials…they don’t care. they (the masses) really do not care beyond basic social banter.

    but you already know this…so i’m preaching to the choir.

    • Here's what gets me, Dante. I have been listening to podcasts and watching videos in the ACT realm for years, now. I have heard so many references to Crowley and the allegation that he is a spy that even I, the world's leading skeptic, must have imagined in my mind that somebody – SOMEBODY – had taken the time to look into the evidence which underpins this story, and appraised it with a critical eye.

      Nope. If this was my imagination, then it was borderline delusional.

      Nobody is double-checking anything. How many times do I have to say it before I internalise my own byline?

      The 'most evil man of all time', the key figure of western occultism, who died just seventy years ago, is now considered by 'awake' people, who 'do their own research', to have been a spy, based on a throwaway line from a single government document dated 100 years ago — a document which says nothing of Crowley being a spy in the first place!

      The ease with which these myths can be spread, the apparent desperation for regular people to feel smart by adopting these myths into their own worldviews, is truly phenomenal.

      Non player characters. This explanation is growing on me by the week. I am dealing with non player characters and, in my own stupidity, my own desperation to not feel isolated, I continually treat these entities as though they are sentient, intelligent, and possess something akin to a 'soul'.

      The evidence mounts with every passing day that I am a fool for trying to deny reality. There are no skeptics left on earth, only believers of different stripes.


  • “Our Nikola Tesla-believing friends have articles about communication with Martians, published in sci-fi magazines circa 1900.

    Our Library of Alexandria-believing friends have a discredited book by Edward Gibbons from the 1700s.

    Our bible-believing friends have Pontius Pilate and his Pilate Stone ‘discovered’ in the 1960s.

    Not to mention the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, both ‘discovered’ in the mid-1800s.

    Our Herodotus-believing friends have the ‘Oxyrhynchus Papyri’ discovered in the late 1800s.

    Our heliocentrism-believing friends have the magical weigh-balls in a shed to determine the mass of the moon.

    Our evolution-believing friends have their 150-person sample size, computer-based ‘study’ from 1987 to prove that we all come from Africa.

    And now we learn that our Crowley-believing friends have a painted piece of wood ‘discovered’ in the 1850s.”

    i think you’re being far to generous of ‘our friends’. ask 99.9% of them …they won’t know any of these bullet points if asked, let alone their context.

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