Legendary comic book artist and writer Savage Pencil discusses three Edwardian underground figures: Montague Summers, Austin Osman Spare and Louis Wain… From his ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Zoo’ series for Sounds in the 1970s, to designing artwork for the likes of Sonic Youth, Sunn O))), The Fall and Current 93, under the name Savage Pencil he has established a wild, hallucinatory style – a trip that’s equal parts hilarious and terrifying.
When Jimmy Page bought an imposing mansion on the banks of Loch Ness in 1970, he was drawn to the property because it once belonged to infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. The Led Zeppelin guitarist sold up after 22 years and few visits, reportedly concluding that there were “bad vibes” there. Today there are claims that occult groups are still haunting the “most notorious home in the Highlands”.
“Aleister Crowley was born in England in 1875. He was a famous occultist, media personality and libertine. But in the summer of 1916, he needed a vacation – except he called it a magical retirement, because a man like him would never do anything so mundane as vacation. He chose Hebron, New Hampshire, to get away from it all because he had an acquaintance there, a psychic by the name of Evangeline Adams.”
“In the late Victorian era, the famous English occultist Aleister Crowley was also intrigued by the sphinx, writing in Liber Aleph (De Natura) of the sphinx’s wholeness and simultaneous fragmentation, an intermingling of the feminine and the masculine. There, the sphinx becomes a symbol of that which cannot be signified. According to Willis Goth Regier in Book of the Sphinx, the French symbolist Alfred Jerry, who lived at the same time as Crowley, was also fascinated by the sphinx.”
The Boleskine House Foundation announced this evening it had taken ownership of another 3.5 hectares of property for £165,000. A former trustee William Banks, who had bought the land containing the old coach house and stables in his own name in 2019, agreed to the sale after giving the Foundation first right of refusal. Trustees Kyra and Keith Readdy are leading the effort to restore Boleskine House to its former glory. Previously the home of occultist Aleister Crowley and rock star Jimmy Page, it was acquired from Dutch owners last year after a devastating fire tore through the uninsured building in 2015.
“Musician, artist, videographer, polymath, trickster, provocateur, communitarian, mythographer, button pusher, occulturalist, husband, wife, father, mother—he/r output was vast and deep, and will provide material for generations of like-minded experimentalists and scholars to mine and interpret. In the end, he/r greatest creation was Genesis P-Orridge he/rself.”
A charitable company striving to rebuild a fire-stricken mansion above the southern shores of Loch Ness has taken a step forward with major clearance work. Members of the Boleskine House Foundation, which bought the 200-year-old building and estate grounds last year, have removed around 18,000kg of fire-damaged material from the oratory room. That part of the building is believed to be where Aleister Crowley, the occultist and author, wrote some of his works while living there from 1899 and 1913.
Pregnant with her first child, and beginning a slide into an abyss of heroin use, [Anita] Pallenberg, then 26, had a preoccupation with black magic that led her to increasingly fantastical realms. ‘I had an interest in witchcraft,’ she recalled later, ‘in Buddhism, in the black magicians that my friend, Kenneth Anger, introduced me to. The world of the occult fascinated me.’
Oxford undergraduates are more adventurous than Oxford dons. The Oxford Poetry Society, a typically worthy undergraduate club, decided to venture on a strange fields by listening to a lecture by Mr Aleister Crowley on Gilles de Rais, a fifteenth-century magician known to history as the companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc and to children as the celebrated Bluebeard. The dons, however, took alarm, and so Mr Crowley has had to stay behind in Kent, leaving, one imagines, his inquiring young disciples to the less exciting delights of a paper on Wordsworth, or, perhaps, even on the metrical basis of Alexander Pope’s verse.
A couple working to rebuild the fire-ravaged Boleskine House by Loch Ness are selling charred remnants of the building for £49 a bag. Past owners have included the Fraser clan, Led Zeppelin rocker Jimmy Page and infamous cult leader Aleister Crowley. A crowdfunding campaign was started last year and has so far generated more than £22,500 of the £220,000 target for donations.
“Our contractors have been working day and night for the last week. We have successfully removed several skips worth of rubbles from the “library” and “oratory” rooms. We have successfully removed any hanging remains that could damage the house over the winter. Between these tendered works and professional fees, we will be pressed for funds by the end of December. Boleskine needs your help! Please see our PayPal, GoFundMe, or sign up as a member today!”
Those who have bought the property have not been named but they plan to fully restore the house where Crowley centred his black magic investigations after he bought it, aged 25, in 1899. It was later bought by Led Zeppelin founder and guitarist Jimmy Page in the 1970s with the rock god owning the “most notorious home in the Highlands” for around 20 years.
If something supernatural and evil had descended on Boleskine House and Loch Ness, then it didn’t take long before it began affecting and infecting the people that lived around the loch. On one occasion, shortly after moving into Boleskine House, Crowley returned to the abode after a stroll in the hills, only to find a priest sitting in his, Crowley’s, study. As pale as a ghost…
Formerly a gracious B listed Georgian house of historic note, Boleskine House was predominantly destroyed by fire in 2015 and today the main walls with echoes of its former splendour… Read more »
Tobias Churton: Some people may come to Crowley through rock n roll. Led Zeppelin III (1971) had “Do what thou wilt” inscribed on its run-out groove, if memory serves, and I suppose this gave the music a kind of free-form, libertarian rationale. However “Do what thou wilt” does not mean “Do as thou wilt”, so people in search of mere kicks of self-indulgence might be disappointed when they discover Crowley was a stickler for discipline!
Oz Fritz reviews Servants of the Star and Snake: Essays in Honour of Kenneth and Steffi Grant from the perspective of an admirer of the great Robert Anton Wilson. It makes interesting reading…
Servants of the Star and Snake is a beautifully conceived and executed book with a high aesthetic on par with it’s content and subject matter. Praise Thoth! Every article is worth the price of admission though the entrance may not be for everyone.
One theory about Jack’s real identity involved an infamous name in Britain. Aleister Crowley, the occultist, black magician and writer, was known in his time as The Wickedest Man In The World. “It is surprising that Aleister Crowley has not yet been proposed as a precocious Jack,” Richard wrote, “an oversight which, doubtless, some future theorist will correct.“