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.
“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.”
“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.
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.“
Iconic American filmmaker Kenneth Anger has inspired generations of creative storytellers since the 1950s. He is a unique visionary who drifts from pure poetry within his magical filmmaking to sardonic gossip in his bestselling Hollywood Babylon books. In-between these extremes is a person who never tires of exploring his own creativity.
In 1981, P-Orridge reversed course in the gently trippy Psychic TV, whose danceable songs echoed the occult writings of Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare, and included a tribute to Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones called “Godstar.” P-Orridge imagined the band as the center of a global consciousness raising, and recruited fans to join Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, a cross between a fan club and a cult, whose members donned paramilitary gear and submitted bodily fluids as part of their initiation.
In 1936, Parsons along with his colleagues Edward Foreman and Frank Malina initially appear to experience a day of failed rocket launches. Before attempting one last launch, Parsons decides to cast a spell on the rocket, much to the understandable skepticism of Foreman and Malina. The rocket makes it about a 100 feet up before blowing up but in the explosion, Parsons claims to once again see a woman in red…
Amazon Prime’s original series, Lore, has taken on its share of spooky historical legends. And now as Season 2 approaches, it’s digging even deeper into the strange myths surrounding real-life people. In particular, the upcoming episode of Lore based on the true story of Jack Parsons could get pretty weird, especially if you know about Parsons’ past.
Behemoth have unleashed another visually stunning music video. In their classic black-and-white style, Behemoth have debuted a clip for “Bartzabel,” which is filled with blasphemy and nudity. It’s a departure from their more recent material; “Bartzabel” isn’t a track filled with blast beats and gargling gutturals, acting more as a mood piece fairly mellow in execution.
The Hermit invites us to discover wisdom and the progress that comes with study; the card also indicates that the Hermit is a person of integrity, but that he is scared to trust in others and completely express what he is feeling – very much as Jimmy Page was, polite to the point of sometimes being a little boring. The painting of the Hermit on the inner sleeve was by a supposed friend of Jimmy Page’s called Barrington Coleby. There is no record whatsoever of any such person, and there were those who believed the real painter was none other than Jimmy Page himself.
The occult was certainly one of Page’s fascinations. He was still a schoolboy when he discovered Crowley, once dubbed ‘the wickedest man in the world’ by the British press. At the peak of his interest, Page owned Crowley’s books, manuscripts, the robes in which he had conducted rituals, and his former abode, Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness.
The fuse is indeed about to hit the powder keg very soon on ‘Strange Angel’ and the episode lays out a lot of groundwork and context that could possibly set the stage in further seasons (if the show does get renewed) to explore Jack’s ultimate meeting and friendship with the likes of Aleister Crowley and L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Tensions are high as Jack slowly alienates himself from his loved ones to blindly walk the path of Thelema, which he now believes is the key to realizing his dreams.
Kenneth Anger’s ghost haunts much of modern pop culture. Incongruous and sex-filled music videos, calendars with sweaty working class guys, a majority of queer cinema: a lover of the occult,… Read more »