The vast influence of occultist Aleister Crowley in heavy metal is undeniable. You can throw a stone and hit a band that heavily employs themes of the occult, Satanism, and Thelema, the spiritual philosophy founded by Mr. Crowley himself. In addition to being a renowned ceremonial magician and self-proclaimed prophet, “the wickedest man in the world” was also a revered writer and novelist who produced an abundance of poetry and literature throughout his lifetime. It wasn’t just his teachings or writings about alchemy and magick that made him metal AF, but he also had a rockstar mystique, shocking the masses while indulging in sex and drugs until his death at age 72.
Crowley was publicized for his recreational drug use, particularly cocaine and heroin, and also his openness about his promiscuity. His bisexuality was still extremely taboo and illegal at the time, and that got him booted not only from the first ever occult society he joined, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but also from Sicily by Mussolini himself for “sexual depravity.” Now that’s punk rock!
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