Is there a hidden book that somehow explains the reality in which we find ourselves? Is there an odd and strange book, written by a crazy and yet amazing character, that would help to explain at least some of the many mysteries of this universe, and do so in beautiful and incredibly powerful prose? Believe it or not the answer to this questions is yes. The name of that book is “The Book of the Law” and the name of the crazy genius who wrote it is Aleistair Crowley.
In a time of amazing figures and incredible history, Aleistair Crowley was arguably one of the most interesting figures of the last century. He was born Edward Alexander Crowley on October 12, 1875. I doubt that you could go far into the sphere of the occult and Magick (he was actually the person that coined the term Magick in order to separate true magical practices from stage magic) without hearing his name mentioned at least once, and it would not be a stretch to say that he is largely responsible for what we have come to refer to as the mystical new age movement.
Born the son of a wealthy evangelical family, he was soon to reject his oppressive religious home life and begin a life where he seemed to do everything in his power to bring down any kind of established religious oppression. Indeed he coined the term “ The Beast” for himself in order to pronounce himself as an antichrist or one who is completely against Christian theology. Born with a brilliant intellect he was soon to see the many holes in the established order that he lived in, with a particular hatred for the oppressive Christian dogma that he had to put up with as a child.
This article certainly cannot contain or bring to light the incredibly eclectic life of Aleistair Crowley . But it is good that we acknowledge that he was not just a one book wonder, as it were. That is “The Book of the Law”, the book that we shall discuss in this series of articles, was not his only great work and some would even argue that it was not his best. Crowley had an incredibly prolific writing career; he wrote over 45 voluminous books, these were incredibly well-written books with an amazing amount of detail and information. And this does not include the many poems that he wrote which were usually quite long and very well written as well. His life is one giant creative effort that literally changed the way the North Western world approaches occultism, magick, and the paranormal.
In this amazing repertoire of material, one can find ideas and concepts that were far ahead of their time. He wrote of ideas that would not be popular until our time and spoke of concepts, especially the Eastern practices, that would not be embraced by the West until nearly a century later. An interesting and fun example of this, can be seen in his “The Book of Lies”. This book consisted of 93 chapters, each chapter is about a page of text where he writes in poetic and incredibly intriguing prose, certain ideas and thoughts which also directly relate to his magical practice and occult philosophy.
Now it must be remembered that this book was written literally 100 years ago and what might seem quaint today was then an incredible leap in intellectual prowess. For example in the 69th chapter of this book, we are told of a way to attain bliss, become a success, and have contact with our Guardian Angel:
The Way to Succeed—And the Way to Suck Eggs!
This is the Holy Hexagram.
Plunge from the height, O God, and interlock with
Plunge from the height, O Man, and interlock with
The Red Triangle is the descending tongue of grace;
the Blue Triangle is the ascending tongue of
This Interchange, the Double Gift of Tongues, the
Word of Double Power—ABRAHADABRA!—is
the sign of the GREAT WORK, for the GREAT
WORK is accomplished in Silence. And behold is
not that Word equal to Cheth, that is Cancer.
whose Sigil is 69?
This Work also eats up itself, accomplishes its own
end, nourishes the worker, leaves no seed, is per-
fect in itself.
Little children, love one another!
Within this poem, Crowley tells us a great many secrets and creates a number of puns that are most interesting, funny, and at the same time quite informative. As I said this is the 69th chapter and this is a clue as to what this poem is all about. As I have mentioned, while 69 is common parlance NOW for oral stimulation, you must remember that this and these ideas were written over 100 years ago. This poem in and of itself shows the incredible prowess of this man’s intellect and gives you a clue as to why many consider him to be the prophet of the new age. He continues with these puns and metaphors revealing a most powerful meditative practice and magical act; he is essentially talking about how a man can become divine by sucking eggs!
Now I do not mean to make the man seem to be a god of some kind, because he had many faults. Certainly if you ever get around to reading one of his many biographies, you will see that he was quite a crazy fellow with a penchant for the terrible. There are many though who would consider him to be some kind of grand avatar of the future, but in reality these people tend to truly overestimate the man and his capabilities. There are those for example that believe that through some of his magickal rites, he initiated the world wars of the last century and created a rift that opened up and changed the entire framework of the energetic consistency of this planet.
While I do believe that he was a good magician and a great writer, I do not believe that he changed the course of the world. And while it is important to understand that he had his finger in much of what we would now consider to be the modern occult tradition, he was not a hugely successful magician in many ways. I think his true talents lie in his ability to intuit and become a channel for the energy that would comprise these modern times, and there is no better example of that than his very famous “Book of the Law”.
In our next installment in this series, we will discuss a little more of Crowley’s life and begin to delve into the book that he himself considered to be his greatest work; The Book of the Law.