Aleister Crowley was born Edward Alexander Crowley, on 12 October 1875, in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England. Crowley was an occultist, prolific writer, mystic, astrologer, poet, painter, hedonist, and social provocateur, as well as an expert mountaineer and chess master.
An influential and controversial character, Crowley is known today for his occult writings, including The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Magick without Tears and The Book of the Law.
The latter work was apparently ‘received’ by Crowley from a an entity named Aiwass in Cairo, Egypt in 1904, and represents the fundamental sacred text of his philosophical / religious / occult system known as Thelema, whose central concept was ‘Do What Thou Wilt shall be the whole of The Law’.
During his lifetime Crowley was vilified by the popular press as ‘The Wickedest Man in the World’, and the tabloids regularly carried sensational stories of his latest shocking exploits in occult experimentation. Naturally, when he purchased a mysterious old mansion on the shores of Loch Ness, allegedly to perform some strange secret rites, the press were fascinated.
Boleskine House is located on the south-eastern shore of Loch Ness, close to the village of Foyers, Inverness shire, Scotland. The mansion was constructed in the late 18th century by Archibald Fraser. According to a local legend, there was once a church on the site, which caught fire trapping its whole congregation inside, burning them all to death. Aleister Crowley purchased the foreboding Boleskine House in 1899 and styled himself ‘Laird of Boleskine and Abertarff’. He remained there until 1913, and bizarre tales of odd goings on at Boleskine House during his occupancy are legion, though the majority probably originate in local folklore.
One story concerns a local butcher who called at the house for the meat order while Crowley was involved in the lengthy difficult ritual of Abramelin (see below). The butcher’s incessant ringing of the bell broke Crowley’s concentration and, irritated and frustrated, he hastily scrawled the meat order on the nearest piece of paper, which happened to have a spell written on the back. Shortly afterwards, when the butcher was cutting up the meat for Crowley’s order back at his shop, he apparently lost concentration and sliced all the fingers off his right hand with the cleaver. Other stories tell of the unexplained disappearance of Crowley’s housekeeper and a local workman who went out of his mind after being tormented by the dark spirits conjured up by Crowley’s rituals.
The actual magical ritual which Crowley attempted to perform at Boleskine had nothing to do with black masses or black magic. It is known as the ‘Abramelin Operation’, taken from ‘ The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage’, a famous grimoire (book of magical knowledge), dating back to at least the middle of the 15th century. Crowley seems to have become aware of the ritual from the 1897 translation of the book by occultist Samuel Liddel Mathers, one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which Crowley had joined in 1898, before falling out with most of its members, including Mathers, a few years later. The purpose of performing the lengthy and intense Abramelin ritual was for the magician to communicate with his ‘Holy Guardian Angel’ or Higher Self.
Unfortunately for Crowley and those around him the Abramelin rites seem to have succeeded mainly in summoning ‘demons’ or ‘the Abramelin devils’ as Crowley calls them. During Crowley’s occupancy there were reports of a heavy, oppressive atmosphere at Boleskine, dark eerie shadows filled the house, fierce winds blew through the rooms despite calm weather outside, and strange figures were seen in the area. There is also a legend of an underground passage way linking the house with a nearby graveyard, said to have been utilised by Crowley for some unknown reason, perhaps to scare off intruders.
Crowley later sold Boleskine House and it subsequently had a series of private owners including, in the 1970s, Led Zeppelin guitarist and Crowley fanatic Jimmy Page. Even today the property retains a slightly sinister atmosphere. To many modern occultists the geographical and spiritual significance of Boleskine remains extremely important. In fact, practitioners of Thelema, Crowley’s religious philosophy, are still instructed to ‘turn and face north to Boleskine’ when conducting certain magical ceremonies.
Sources and Further Reading
Booth, M. A Magick Life: The Life of Aleister Crowley. Coronet Books. 2001.
Crowley, Aleister. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1979.
Kaczynski, R. Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley. New Falcon Publications. 2003.
Sutin, L. Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley. Griffin Trade Paperbacks. 2002.
I Never read anything by Crowley but, people have so much superstition and fear of the unknown that anyone who works with the esoteric is labeled as occult and dark....this is still true today. On the other hand, it´s not good to call the negative forces of the universe, for they just might come.
It depends on what is inside yourself, what vibration you are on if you like! Why not call on the positive forces of the Universe?
Good question,,,and I think you answered it as well....If you are on a low frequency it could be an idea people get...don´t know, people get the strangest ideas...wonder where they come from...? maybe because it is forbidden or dangerous. Coehelo said he fooled with this...in the end he stood in the shower reading the Bible to get rid of it...
I would not mess with it but I would read anything!
i used to read alot about crowley in my teenage years, he knew much about the *other side*
And it is so truth Shama...
Well i think Star you do not read that into a Church...i hope..
Yes and it is not beautiful the other side?
Well i think not for some...
no, i was not part of a church lol
---quiet the contrary ;)
i heard about crowley through my various studies from the age of 6, i was pretty much into *unknown* multidimensionality.
Well, *unknown* is the genre they called ANYTHING in Britain involving *multi dimensional* stuffs, (back in my day) ... the *unknown* section was a bunch of crusty, dusty old books at my local library when i was a kid. I used to be the only kid/ *human* in it, reading every book on shelf! lol
crowley's work was some that i came across... he had some wild concepts.
nothing that tickled my fancy though. however he knew what he talked about/ ie clever. left brained way with some spiritual understanding... and that can be dangerous.
nowadays quantum physics is proving everything in the *unknown* section in the library as true :)
(that includes everything beyond 3d understanding...) yay!!
Crowley is indeed the beast. He is the father of Barbara Bush and thru her begat the 4 horsemen. He is here in 2012 and he has time traveled extensively through many timelines and has altered many timelines. He was in ritual this year attended by his Bush family. He was shot 3 times in the head and seemed to be dead. However, it didn't kill him. Nothing seems to be able to stop this "thing". He is alive and well. I know this reads like a fantastic sci-fi, but this is truth and truth is truly stranger than fiction. Thank you for posting on him, gave me an opportunity to share what I know. :))
Thank you, Shama-an. :)