Tag Archives: Aleister Crowley

ALEISTER CROWLEY: MY TRADITIONAL APRIL FOOL’S DAY POST

Clouds Without WaterWhat better way to mark April Fool’s Day than by commemorating one of the wittiest and most daring of practical jokes, one perpetrated by Aleister Crowley in those brilliant years before drugs and/or self-delusion fogged his mind. Decades before the pathetic “Peekaboo Crowley” of much renown Aleister was still churning out some very enjoyable poetry – some of it brilliant. The Sword of Song and Konx Om Pax are my favorite volumes of verse by “the Laird of Boleskine” … AFTER Clouds Without Water, that is.  

Clouds Without Water was not Crowley’s only literary practical joke, of course, but the humor of it resonates to this very day, thanks mainly to the never-changing air of pious self-righteousness that afflicts most of the world’s clergy-members. And not just pious self-righteousness but a habit of condemning in the strongest language works of art which their self-limited minds clearly don’t understand.

aleister crowley

****************  Crowley’s autobiography explained this photo in the poignant chapter titled “I Go Completely Nuts and Start Believing Anything and Everything”

THE JOKE: Clouds Without Water was published under one of Crowley’s pseudonyms – Reverend Charles Verey. It was circulated to various ministries and teaching colleges allegedly as a condemnation of “the type of atheism and socialism” that the young and the bohemian were embracing. Crowley – writing as Reverend Verey – wrote a foreward and a closing prayer for the volume of poetry as well as (when you know the full story) HILARIOUS footnotes expressing the kind of simplistic moral outrage that only the most narrow-minded of holy-rollers can spout. 

Under another assumed identity Crowley ALSO wrote the sonnets being condemned by his Reverend Verey alter ego. On the surface the poems were written by a college professor scandalously celebrating an extramarital affair with one of his female students, a young woman named Lola.

The sonnets reflect the supposed couple’s flouting of social and sexual conventions until the affair ends in tragedy for all concerned. Crowley’s fictional persona Reverend Verey was denouncing the poems and the lifestyle reflected in those poems in the strongest possible terms.

He was also feigning profound outrage and blaming “works such as this” for corrupting the morals of the young and turning their minds against God and religion as well as tempting them toward socialism. That type of behavior from the clergy rings right through to the present day as, over the past several decades religious fanatics have condemned everything from movies to popular music to books and magazines and television and video games for eroding the country’s (any country’s) morals and conduct. Continue reading

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LAYLA: ADD AN H AND MAKE IT A HALLOWEEN SONG

Leila WaddellLet’s cheat a little. Take the title of the song Layla, then add an “H” in honor of Halloween to make it LAYLAH as in Aleister Crowley’s work The Book of Lies.

And voila! We can pretend it’s a song dedicated to Leila Waddell (photo at left), the woman who modeled as LAYLAH in The Book of Lies. Halloween Month continues with this VERY contrived musical shoutout. Because let’s face it: Crowley and contrived just GO together.

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ALEISTER CROWLEY’S CLOUDS WITHOUT WATER (1909)

Clouds Without WaterWhat better way to mark April Fool’s Day than by commemorating one of the wittiest and most daring of practical jokes, one perpetrated by Aleister Crowley in those brilliant years before drugs and/or self-delusion fogged his mind. Decades before the pathetic “Peekaboo Crowley” of much renown Aleister was still churning out some very enjoyable poetry – some of it brilliant. The Sword of Song and Konx Om Pax are my favorite volumes of verse by “the Laird of Boleskine” … AFTER Clouds Without Water, that is.  

Clouds Without Water was not Crowley’s only literary practical joke, of course, but the humor of it resonates to this very day, thanks mainly to the never-changing air of pious self-righteousness that afflicts most of the world’s clergy-members. And not just pious self-righteousness but a habit of condemning in the strongest language works of art which their self-limited minds clearly don’t understand.

aleister crowley

****************  Crowley’s autobiography explained this photo in the poignant chapter titled “I Go Completely Nuts and Start Believing Anything and Everything”

THE JOKE: Clouds Without Water was published under one of Crowley’s pseudonyms – Reverend Charles Verey. It was circulated to various ministries and teaching colleges allegedly as a condemnation of “the type of atheism and socialism” that the young and the bohemian were embracing. Crowley – writing as Reverend Verey – wrote a foreward and a closing prayer for the volume of poetry as well as (when you know the full story) HILARIOUS footnotes expressing the kind of simplistic moral outrage that only the most narrow-minded of holy-rollers can spout. 

Under another assumed identity Crowley ALSO wrote the sonnets being condemned by his Reverend Verey alter ego. On the surface the poems were written by a college professor scandalously celebrating an extramarital affair with one of his female students, a young woman named Lola. The sonnets reflect the supposed couple’s flouting of social and sexual conventions until the affair ends in tragedy for all concerned. Crowley’s fictional persona Reverend Verey was denouncing the poems and the lifestyle reflected in those poems in the strongest possible terms. Continue reading

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THE MAGICIAN (1908): HALLOWEEN READING

magician-by-somerset-maughamTHE MAGICIAN – During Halloween Season a few years back Balladeer’s Blog reviewed the 1926 silent movie adaptation of The Magician. This time around I’ll review the original Somerset Maugham novel from 1908. It’s no secret at this late date that the malevolent sorceror of the title, Oliver Haddo, was based on the real-life Aleister Crowley. In fact, Crowley would accuse Maugham of plagiarism when he reviewed The Magician under the name Oliver Haddo, his fictional counterpart.

At any rate the 1926 film is an under-appreciated classic of the Silent Era and the novel is of an even higher quality. In Paris – where Maugham first met Crowley in real life – Dr Arthur Burdon, a prominent young British surgeon, has come to visit his fiancee, artist Margaret Dauncey.

Burdon also visits his elderly former mentor, Dr Porhoet, who has turned from medicine to the study of Magick and the occult arts. It is through Porhoet that Dr Burdon and Margaret – plus Margaret’s friend Susie Boyd – first encounter the elegant yet repellant Oliver Haddo. The cadre of friends make the mistake of ridiculing the boastful Haddo’s claims of being a sorceror in the young 20th Century. Continue reading

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GHATKRNN KLINDU QUAVHATE?

scary pic

*** *** *** *** Krethiqimogon krethiqimana!

Etrajillam etrajillamana ghi prek shrios!

Jandikulun jandikulamana hwevorth nhi kios!

Chao zyrmn hraelgari lhi pnaquaee aga shrios! Continue reading

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CROWLEY: DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW

guillotineThat famed saying attributed to Aleister Crowley nicely summarizes the position that the repulsive white collar criminals of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are all but forcing on the rest of us. These sickening figures who spend their entire careers barely one step ahead of a criminal indictment actually think they’re fit to dictate the terms under which the rest of us are to live our lives while they slither through history circumventing those same terms.
Continue reading

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CLOUDS WITHOUT WATER (1909): ALEISTER CROWLEY FOR APRIL 1st

Clouds Without WaterWhat better way to mark April Fool’s Day than by commemorating one of the wittiest and most daring of practical jokes, one perpetrated by Aleister Crowley in those brilliant years before drugs and/or self-delusion fogged his mind. Decades before the pathetic “Peekaboo Crowley” of much renown Aleister was still churning out some very enjoyable poetry – some of it brilliant. The Sword of Song and Konx Om Pax are my favorite volumes of verse by “the Laird of Boleskine” … AFTER Clouds Without Water, that is.  

Clouds Without Water was not Crowley’s only literary practical joke, of course, but the humor of it resonates to this very day, thanks mainly to the never-changing air of pious self-righteousness that afflicts most of the world’s clergy-members. And not just pious self-righteousness but a habit of condemning in the strongest language works of art which their self-limited minds clearly don’t understand.

THE JOKE: Clouds Without Water was published under one of Crowley’s pseudonyms – Reverend Charles Verey. It was circulated to various ministries and teaching colleges allegedly as a condemnation of “the type of atheism and socialism” that the young and the bohemian were embracing. Crowley – writing as Reverend Verey – wrote a foreward and a closing prayer for the volume of poetry as well as (when you know the full story) HILARIOUS footnotes expressing the kind of simplistic moral outrage that only the most narrow-minded of holy-rollers can spout.  Continue reading

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