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Aleister Crowley, Thelema and the Mainstream


 Anonymous
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

In a previous discussion about “Reliance on the A.’.A.’. and O.T.O.” Chameleon asked “could you cite some contemporary artists or examples of visual arts that in your view express the 93 Current…?”

Is Thelema a portrayal of the fragmentation of society? Is this the reason why there are artists who feel drawn to Thelema and Crowley but hesitate to admit it ?
An example of a mainstream artist whose interest in the occult is known is David Bowie.

In 1976 his "overriding interest was in cabbala and Crowleyism. That whole dark and rather fearsome never-world of the wrong side of the brain. ... More recently, [1995] I've been interested in the Gnostics".
His then-wife Angie Bowie recalled a good deal of occult activity during his LA period in 1975-76. It has been alleged that at this time he scribbled cabbalistic calculations on his own correspondence, stored his urine in a fridge, and was obsessed about preventing anyone else getting hold of his nail-clippings and hair-trimmings.
Angie Bowie recalled that her husband heard that Led Zeppelin were involved in the occult, and so he wanted to be even cooler and scare Jimmy Page. David Bowie decided to retaliate with his magic, and allegedly said to his wife that he would do so with what he knew of Tibetan magic; everything to do with Aleister Crowley was “small shit”.
Jimmy Page was allegedly already interested in the Qabalah at the age of eleven. In 1964, Page had been a member of Bowies ‘Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men’. In the next year, Bowie and Page cooperated on the Bowie track “I Pity the Fool”, and Bowie received the guitar riff for the 1970 song ”The Supermen” from Page.

I found this and many other very interesting details and photographs at this site: http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/bowie.ht m"> http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/bowie.htm

I now read here on Lashtal that William Breeze and David Tibet initiated a tribute CD for Kenneth Anger. While it is known that these gentlemen have openly contributed to the distribution and expansion of Thelema, the question remains whether there are any other artists who have also done so… Or is Society not ready yet to accept such on a mainstream level?

Love is the Law, Love under Will


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 Anonymous
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93,

Many Thelemites live their live & create their art without going around telling everyone that they are Thelemites. Many people live & create their art that would be considered Thelemites but have never heard of Thelema. All this generalization about 'is mainstream ready' is ridiculous. Of course its ready, and it always has been - the question is whether you are ready to do anything to contribute or are you just testing the waters before you release your musical-thelemic opus?

65 & 210,
111-418

http://iao131.cjb.ne t"> http://iao131.cjb.net


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 Anonymous
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Marilyn Manson's albums, in particular Holy Wood, are steeped in Crowley and Thelema, and he's alluded to being "associated" with the O.T.O.

And then there are the multitude of crappy metal bands who take superficial parts of Crowley's symbolism and use it to make themselves look spooky.

~Morgan


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Re- Morganxpage

Bands have been using Crowley in their imagry since the late sixites, I wont list them all but the two biggest bands ever to come out of British rock n pop have reffared to him directly, So it follows that a lot of of musicians/artists come to crowley first through these channels.
Im not sure about Marilyn Manson, I dont know a lot about him but I remember reading an interview in a magazine where he used Crowlian (mis)quotes that would be transperent to anyone who had some working knowledge . With most bands that express and affiliation with Crowley its mainly due to the hedonistic outlook and not much else and I really listen thinking 'Aleister would really hate this shit' hehe
Personally I think a lot of misconceptions about crowley are perpetuated by these famous 'followers'.


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 Anonymous
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I definitely agree, badfreddy.

~Morgan


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 Anonymous
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.'.93.'.

One of the most incredibly Thelemic bands/artists EVER were/are Coil (Peter Christopherson and John Balance RIP). I first bought their album "How to Destroy Angels" back in 1982, and began a regular correspondence with JB for many years.

Current 93 (with David Tibet) were really only interested in Thelema for a short while, and David was affiliated with the Typhonian OTO in England (run by Kenneth Grant). At the time I met him in 1988, David was not at all interested in Crowley's work, and told me that he'd only kept the name because it was already "known". He may have since changed his mind, but his current affiliation with all things "Christlike" is a sign he's moved on to other pantheons of worship.

Bands like "Tool" claim to be Thelemic; I know that Danny Carey is genuinely interested (and has become a fiend at buying all Crowley's First Editions). But, still Danny has his own magickal order, and is not in the OTO.

As far as Marilyn Manson, he's a joke. He's no more a serious Thelemite than he is a musician. He'll jump on anyone's boat to get some PR, recently establishing his own "Church of Celebritarianism", and becoming a hack painter and cineaste -- ripping off Lewis Carroll and Salvador Dali in his more recent escapades. He's a member of the Church of Satan and is NOT in the OTO. His so-called, OTO "associations" are merely to intrigue others, as usual. Anyone who has seen his atrocious qabalistic botching of the Tarot will understand my point clearly.

I love Bowie, but IMO he can't hold a candle to Jimmy Page as a true Musician. Rather, he's an auteur and talented showman.

As far as Bill Breeze is concerned, anyone who needs to know, understands who is is, and what he does. He's played viola for Current 93 and Coil in the past, and there's little doubt that he's a Thelemite.

And of course, there's the ever-ubiquitious musical offerings of the "Illuminenaughty", a band fronted by TGD Messiah, David Cherubim (an old, but eccentric buddy). I'm sure he would consider himself a Thelemite. Of course, there's my own band Telegenetic, and I'm sure there are scads more I don't know about.

Anyway, any mention of Thelema and music will always get my attention. No, I'm not sorry for the rant, just hope it's entertaining enough.

LVX,
Voxx


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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Actually, Marilyn Manson has stated many, many times that he is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of the Church of Satan. He was friends with Anton LaVey and was given an honorary Reverend status by him, but has had nothing else to do with them.

~Morgan


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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Killing Joke.

'Nuff Side.

Let's All GO...


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 Anonymous
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Hawkfeather Magick. But that's an underground band, still.

nick


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kidneyhawk
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I've heard them and they are GREAT. I've also heard rumor that maybe some of their work will be re-released...

We'll hope!


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 Anonymous
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Hawkfeather Magick

They just put out a 'Best of' and it's fantastic! Very limited edition but not overly expensive and WELL worth the search. I do hope they go more "main stream" soon.

X K


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 Anonymous
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I heard the composer/lead guitarist for HFM went into rehab, checked himself out and then just disappeared. Sort of like Britney Spears. Maybe if he resurfaces, clean & sober, there'll be a chance for a reunion.

nick, spreading rumours again


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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As far as Marilyn Manson, he's a joke. He's no more a serious Thelemite than he is a musician.

Does he make claims to be a Thelemite? I've never read that anywhere but that doesn't mean he hasn't implied it. I'm not overly up on these thing but I do like his music, some of it anyway.

And of course, there's the ever-ubiquitious musical offerings of the "Illuminenaughty", a band fronted by TGD Messiah, David Cherubim (an old, but eccentric buddy).

Yes, now THIS is a magickal and mystical band and the keyboard player is wicked! 😉 Checkout their You Tube videos if you've never seen them live. Good stuff.

Agape...
Kym


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lashtal
(@lashtal)
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"kidneyhawk" wrote:
Killing Joke.

'Nuff Side.

Let's All GO...

Ritual: pure and simple... An extraordinary sensation of participation in "something Other". Seen dozens of bands live but had that sensation with Killing Joke only.

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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kidneyhawk
(@kidneyhawk)
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Sort of like Britney Spears

Is HE bald, too?


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amadan-De
(@amadan-de)
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Glad to see both Coil and Killing Joke in here.

Anyone else come across the marvelous Golden Horde album "The Chocolate Biscuit Conspiracy" featuring fantastic word play/story by the great RAW? Well worth hunting out if you can find it. AC makes a couple of appearances...and it also has 'Black Flag' - RAWs lyrics for the AMAs final gig at Ingolstadt.

I'm intrigued as to how 'Thelemite/Thelemic' musicians/artists are being defined in this thread - are we looking for explicitly stated connections with OTO (any) and/or AC only or would others where the current may show itself more obliquely also be acceptable?

P.S. Peter Koenig's Bowie material quoted above is also included in a more complete form in Ultraculture #1 (hard copy only) and makes for an amusing (if rambling) read.


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AMTh
 AMTh
(@ameth441)
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93 all!

this thread rocks, has anyone heard of "Horns of Baphomet" the name of the album is Zos Kia Cultus, and they are heavily influenced by Grant, Spare and of course A.C. They are really heavy, but the lyrics and the experimental music are amazing.

93 93/93

AMeTh441

p.s. killing joke rules, they got there name from Alan Moore's Comic of the Same name, Alan is a self proclaimed Thelemite and his book Promethea is about a young girl who is the incarnation of 156, and she has to travel up the tree and bring about the end of the world, bloody amazing comic, heavy thelemic and magick overtones.


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amadan-De
(@amadan-de)
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Umm - I think the band Killing Joke were around before the comic by a few years. (Nervous System/Turn to Red was released in 1979 and I'm pretty sure Moores 'The Killing Joke' was early 80s. The influence may be the other way, though the concept of 'killing joke' was not invented by either party.)

Have to agree with Lashtal/Paul about the Ritual atmosphere at their gigs too. Superb creations.


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 Anonymous
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This might be obliquely relevant: the band Sleep Chamber.

Influenced by Crowley by way of PTV, and heavily into the fetish/b&d subculture.

Tons 'o fun.

Q


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AMTh
 AMTh
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93!

Thanx for the info Amadan-De,

I had no idea that K.J had been around for so long, you are right about Moore's comic though, i think it was 1986 or 87 when released. I cant remember where i read that they got the name from the comic, but if i find it ill post the link.

93 93/93

AMeTh441


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amadan-De
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This is snowballing nicely...

PTV are a good call (surprised they weren't mentioned earlier) and by extension TG, also Zos Kia the proto-Coil band.

On an oblique tip the very odd (and deeply funny) Australian Duffo namedrops AC in his track 'Duffo (I'm a genius)' which is about identification of the Self (probably). Also the album Xitintoday by Nik Turner's Sphynx has a rather nice treatment of the salutation to Ra.


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 Anonymous
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How about Cakes of Light nice indie folksy magick music. They were previewed on Thelema Coast to Coast a while back and while not altogether serious they are certainly catchy...


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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"ameth441" wrote:
p.s. killing joke rules, they got there name from Alan Moore's Comic of the Same name, Alan is a self proclaimed Thelemite and his book Promethea is about a young girl who is the incarnation of 156, and she has to travel up the tree and bring about the end of the world, bloody amazing comic, heavy thelemic and magick overtones.

Where has he proclaimed himself a thelemite? As far as I know this is the only thing he has ever said in relation to his own take on the book of the Law:

"I admire the prose style of The Book of the Law, that's about all I admire about it. I'm sure that there probably is great wisdom there and I'm pretty certain he did channel it from somewhere but I don't think it was from the genuine Angel of the Aeon! It was probably something pretty fucking big and scary but no, no, I could never accept [it], it's too mad and cruel, it's too heartless, it's too inhuman, I'm not interested in that. If that's what godhood's all about then I'll settle with what I've got."
-Alan Moore at blather.net

There is more here: http://www.blather.net/articles/amoore/crowley2.html

Not that this detracts from his work, but then I have never been of that persuasion that needed to label people Thelemites in order to enjoy or admire their work, even when they are obviously interested in and inspired by Crowley such as Alan Moore.


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amadan-De
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{threadrot} Alan Moore is a self-proclaimed Magic(k)ian - but as he 'worships' a snake with long blonde hair and a face disturbingly like Paris Hilton 😯 he is probably not a Thelemite in sensu strictu (if there is such a beast...)


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AMTh
 AMTh
(@ameth441)
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93!

Patriarch,

If you read Promethea the comic and especially Alan's letter page and notes at the end you'll know what I meant by the Thelemite comment, also he used thelemic salutations in the comic as well. I should have phrased my post a little better, Though it is nice to see so much in the mainstream, and not just Thelema, but A.C. himself, and ZOS and spare.

Amadan-De, A snake with blonde hair !??!?

93 93/93

Chris


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Patriarch156
(@patriarch156)
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I have read the comic book and yes Alan Moore certainly has an interest in and are inspired by Crowley, but at the same time he does not to my knowledge regard himself as a thelemite. Your case would be much stronger with Grant Morrisson who while he doesn't label himself as a thelemite, has by his own saying written comic books (Marvel Boy) as hymn to the crowned and conquering child, the Lord of the current Aeon. But not everyone who has an interest in or/and are inspired by Crowley needs to be labelled a thelemite and in my opinion this reveals more about those who labels them as such than the people they label.

I certainly agree though that it is nice that we are seeing a wave of sympathetic culture impact from Crowley.


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 Anonymous
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One thing that bothers me about this idea of Thelemic art is that everyone seems to be interested in rock music. Are there no Thelemic painters, poets, sculptors,dancers- I would have thought dance was an ideal way of showing an aeon of force and fire.
Just a note please remember that all Austin Spare images are copyright to the Spare estate.
A couple of years ago a lady in America produced a lot of products-T shirts and so on- with Spare's art on them and she was forced to destroy the lot because she had breached copyright. She lost a lot of money but didn't have to pay damages because the estate found out what she was doing before she actually sold any of the goods. All you have to do is write to the copyright holders and ask for permission .
It would be a shame if an up and coming group made a thousand copys of their cd just to have to burn the lot.
Even Spare's most famous publlishers Fulgur hold the rights to "Zos Speaks" on a temporary basis. They pay so much cash for the use of the material over a set period of years and then everything reverts to the estate.
Going back on thread I can't think of any particular group that is Thelemic but a lot of people have produced songs with lyrics a Thelemite could agee with.


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 Anonymous
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Though not mainstream, John Zorn has put out a few Crowley inspired cds. He's also composed music for Kenneth Anger and has been to the Abbey in Sicily.


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 Anonymous
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aman-de wrote:

also Zos Kia the proto-Coil band.

There's a song on I think the first Zos Kia album that lives up to its name, called "Sicktone". It gave me a migraine headache and made me throw up. Probably a good tune to throw on if you are plagued by uninvited guests.

nick, who hasn't listened to that tape in years


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 Anonymous
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The Sorcerors Apprentice shop in Leeds put out 2 cassettes of sounds designed to be used for various ritual work type shenanigans, many years ago. Included with the white and pink noise,heartbeats and pleasant tones was the "sicktone" . I'm pretty sure that's where Coil got it from. Zos Kia's complete catalogue is coming out on a double CD from Cold Spring records soon. Their "Rape" track is one of the most powerfull and disturbing things I've heard, especially knowing the aftermath of it's recording.


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lashtal
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Thanks BlueKephra: Your knowledge of these musical byways is extraordinary.

http://www.coldspring.co.uk/artists/zos-kia.php

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


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Chameleon
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Hi to Belmurru, ScissorSister and other contributors to the 93 Current Art threads.

The contributions have been interesting. I also like Cold Spring records which market some great original music.

However, seems like the thread has taken a detour from my original question which was about Visual arts (i.e., painting, drawing and graphics, sculpture, etc) rather than about performing arts, music and literature (of which members are already pretty well versed).

It would just be interesting to learn or see examples of new art which has a 93 Current flavour, either overt or subtle (other than the artists already represented in the Galleries).

Belmurru, don't forget to post examples when you remember them or maybe even start a thread dedicated to just this theme.


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 Anonymous
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BlueKephra wrote:

The Sorcerors Apprentice shop in Leeds put out 2 cassettes of sounds designed to be used for various ritual work type shenanigans, many years ago. Included with the white and pink noise,heartbeats and pleasant tones was the "sicktone" . I'm pretty sure that's where Coil got it from.

Come to think of it, yeah, I think that song (?) was by Coil, it was on a tape with Zos Kia on one side & Coil on the other.


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 Anonymous
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This just popped up on Youtube. It's pretty amusing...."their bodies are sacred,they'd NEVER abuse them"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7xEOgRazg 4"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7xEOgRazg4


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 Anonymous
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Sorry posted this to wrong topic...


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jdes
 jdes
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ScissorSister,

Perhaps an overtly thelemic, contemporary band that folk here may like to check out is the Italian group Thelema.

I came across their site this afternoon; did a quick [really quick] search of the forums here to see if anyone else had mentioned them without finding anything.

http://www.thelemaband.com/

I have never come across them before and have only just played a couple of the downloadable tracks (sung in English). Perhaps someone here has played their CDs or seen them in action?

jdes


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