My second visit to the Abbey of Thelema
to celebrate my 56th birthday (thank you very much for your greetings!) I have been on vacation in Sicily and so I had the opportunity to visit the Abbey for my second time, 33 years later!
The present conditions are a DISASTER: it seems literally swallowed up by wild overbuilding and vegetation... but there are always a lot of strong and good vibrations!!!
Inside, there was the traces of a recent ritual ceremony (candles, a fresh bouquet of pink roses and an half-burned little table).
Then, I asked to the next-door neighbour for some information about the ownership and she answered me that now it is a co-property of the municipality of Cefalù.
To see my shots: http://fotoalbum.virgilio.it/chintamani/
Let's do something to save the Abbey of Thelema... time is running away!
Thanks for sharing... 🙁
Thanks for the great photographs, Alphard. Pleased to see that you were clearly enjoying the good vibrations of Cefalu.
However...as for the Abbey itself. Honestly, I think it's already too late. The interior shot featuring the 'creative' - but obviously not original Crowleyan artwork - says it all, for me.
If the municipality are willing to step in to do something with the place, they are as likely to pull it down and rebuild something from scratch. Even if they thought it might be a good commercial proposition for that something to be an 'Aleister Crowley Museum' it would just be a sad, artificial simulacrum of the original Abbey.
Thelema moves on.
I tend to agree.
Owner and Editor
Yes, I’m completely agree with you that now an “exactly the same“ reconstruction of the Abbey is unthinkable!
On this subject, I’m following with more interest your commendable project of the “Virtual Abbey” (see: http://www.lashtal.com/forum/http://www.lashtal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3 ).
But you have to consider the serious recession that is hitting on Italy: although there are a lot of complaints about the neglect of the Abbey, the Municipality have no money to invest in any kind of recovery plan. Even the famous “Mandralisca Museum” is going to close for lack of funds (see: http://palermo.blogsicilia.it/chiude-il-mandralisca-lidea-venite-a-cefalu-vi-regaliamo-lantonello/174966/ )!
Therefore, I think we could take advantage of this situation proposing some other realistic solution.
Some good points - but I would not agree in principle with the idea that reconstructing the abbey is 'unthinkable!' - if I understand you correctly.
I think it would be rather nice, and could potentially afford a rather powerful place in which to practice Thelema. I tend to think of the Globe Theatre; and remember the reaction at project initiation i.e. a lot of people had the view that ''it should not be recreated'' etc. Since then, the theatre has offered a wonderful environment to experience the plays. I have been to the abbey several times and find it quite a powerful place to meditate - perhaps it's to do with the place itself....as opposed to anything else.
The interior shot featuring the 'creative' - but obviously not original Crowleyan artwork - says it all, for me.
That stuff is rather minor; I honestly don't think of it as a deal breaker - but that's just me.
Unfortunately, times are hard all round in my experience, Alphard. It would be good to visit Cefalu one day, but at present I cannot even afford a day trip to Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast. I mention this, because Scarborough could well be suitably twinned with Cefalu: it is an old fishing port with a fine old town clinging to either side of a magnificent headland, atop which are Roman ruins and the remains of a medieval castle.
Naturally, I would check out the remains of the Abbey assuming it would still be there on my hypothetical visit. Trouble is, since Kenneth Anger did us the invaluable service of letting us know what Crowleyan treasures still remained at the villa, it has seen an endless sequence of visitors, ranging from the respectful, the curious, in fact, the entire gamut of "the good, the bad, and the ugly" and many of them have taken their souvenirs or left their calling cards. Catch it while you can, but to my admittedly 'distant viewing' the scars are all too tangible. Alas !
I’m genuinely sorry for your current state of ill health. I hope you get well soon, so you can make in person the unique experience of visit the Abbey!
I have very appreciated your comparison between Scarborough and Cefalù. Really it is a nice picturesque old fishing port with a lot of touristic attractions: the beautiful beaches, the magnificent paleo-Byzantine Cathedral, the medieval ‘lavatoio’, the Norman and Roman remains and the neolithic ‘Temple of Diana’.
Unfortunately the bad habit of marring and rubbing the archeological sites is very widespread in Italy! But I can affirm that, despite everything, the magickal atmosphere of the Abbey is still powerful.
Thanks Alphard. Actually, the old body is OK, taking into consideration that I subscribe to 'the better to wear out, than to rust out' adage. It's my financial health that's in a bad way at present. I'll take your comments on board; after all you make Cefalu sound like some magical 'labirinto stellare'.
I’m sorry for my misunderstanding, Satan'sAdvocaat! :-[
I wish you all sorts of Jupiter’s benevolence!
Scarborough and Cefalù
Scarborough = Cefalù
I like that.