Home Forums Aleister Crowley People Dorethy Olsen: years of birth and death

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    Michael Staley

    Dorothy Olsen was the Scarlet Woman after Leah Hirsig. I have been unable thus far to ascertain her years of birth and death. Does anybody here have this information?



    “Born in Chicago on September 6, 1892…” p. 414, Kaczynski, Perdurabo, don’t see any death date mentioned.

    Symonds, The Great Beast (1973 Mayflower edition) says AC learned, seemingly around 1937, that she, “not long before, had resolutely drunk herself to death” (p. 441).

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  ignant666.


    93, There is an online sourse here: https://www.foreverandaday.biz/Pages_info/AleisterWomen.html with both birth and death date with documents cited for the birth and deat dates but can’t vouch for the veracity of it.

    “Dorothy Olsen. (Sister Astrid) (09/06/1892 — 05/08/1981) Born in Chicago (passport application
    pg1 pg2). Crowley’s lover from August 1924 though October 1926) Dorothy soon replaced Leah Hirsig
    as the ‘Scarlet Woman’. She had even bore Crowley an infant daughter that died.

    Throughout September of 1924 Leah Hersig and Crowley were slowly drifting apart. On the Fall Equinox,
    “September 21st, she decided to act and sent a letter to Crowley stating, “I hereby renounce the title of
    Scarlet Woman and pass it on to the Scarlet Concubine of your desire.” Upon receiving her letter, Crowley
    wasted no time in appointing a new Scarlet Woman. He conferred the title on an American woman named
    Dorothy Olsen, also known as Sister Astrid. Shortly afterwards they headed for Tunis, leaving Leah to
    roam the streets of Paris. Crowley’s relationship with Dorothy Olsen was like a roller coaster with its
    continual ups and downs right from the start, a pattern that was typical to every relationship he embarked

    “Dorothy Olsen was with Crowley when he met Gurdjieff at the Prieure. In 1926, she simply drifted away.
    Although we do know, according to Crowley, that on October 8th 1926 “Astrid blew out of the South” and
    that she appeared for a few days of wild sex, followed by an entry dated Oct.12th stating “Astrid blew out
    to the West” which meant that Dorthy Olsen left him and headed back to America. He never saw her again.

    “Obituary 05/19/2005 Journal and Topics Newpaper, Des Plaines, IL.
    A memorial service for Dorothy (Dolly) Olsen, 89, of Park Ridge, is pending at Cooney Funeral Home, Park Ridge. A native of Chicago, she lived in Park Ridge for 62 years. She died May 8 after a short battle with cancer. She loved to play bridge and was an avid reader. Surviving are her son, Richard (Judith) of St. Charles; grandchildren Grady (Betsy Brandt) and Eric Gunnar; and great-grandchild Josephine. Also survived by a brother, Robert Nelson, 95, of San Diego. Memorials are requested to the Park Ridge Public Library or Park Ridge Community Church.”

    All the best

    93, 93/93



    A person who was 89 on death in 2005 was born in 1916, not 1892, so the obit can’t be the same Dorothy Olsen.

    This somewhat undermines the unsourced claim at the start of the quoted passage that she died in 1981.

    At least we seem to have settled her birthdate.



    93, Many thanks! Had to post in haste without doing the arithmetic myself but always circumspect about uncorroborated obituaries, too easy for them to be of another person with the same name – hence my original health warning. All the best, 93, 93/93



    My shy Australian correspondent sends convincing evidence, that i can’t easily figure out how to post here, based on passport applications, US Social Security records, etc, that Astrid Dorothea Olsen died March 24, 1963 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois (also her birthplace). i will see if i can figure posting this out. The previously cited birthdate of September 6, 1892 is correct.

    If she drank herself to death, it was at least some years after AC died, and many years after he said whatever caused Symonds to say what he did about her death in the ’30s.


    Michael Staley


    I think we must share the same “shy Australian correspondent”, since I recently received this material too. That’s the second query in relation to the Achad-Yorke correspondence that he’s resolved for me. I hope he’s not too shy to take his rightful place in the ‘Acknowledgements’ section of the impending book.



    Michael Staley: i am glad to hear this, and relieved i don’t have to try to figure out how to post this stuff, since he’s sent it to you too.

    I have tried to persuade him to return to the fold here, without success. Perhaps you may do better, as he would clearly be an asset to this place.

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