Sub-Figura vel Liber Caeruleus
Why Are They
by Donald Michael Kraig
Did Aleister Crowley’s 1904 occult practices summon today’s
According to Jerome Clark’s May 1992 FATE column, "UFO Reporter",
people who came in contact with aliens used to see human-looking
entities. He writes that,
"...prior to the current ’abduction
era’ of ufology (starting in the mid-1960s following the
publication of the famous Barney and Betty Hill story) a
significant plurality of Close Encounters of the Third Kind
(CE-3) reports concerned purely human-like entities."
Clark goes on to contend that such
sightings go back to the early 1900s.
Clark, and other ufological researchers and organizations, try to
investigate the facts to the best of their abilities (and, regret-
fully, usually limited resources). Investigations by such people
answer two questions:
Have aliens visited us? The evidence seems to necessitate a yes
What do they look like? There are many forms, but the most popular
form, as Clark wrote,
"...is perfectly expressed on the
cover of Whitley Strieber’s 1987 best-seller
shows the face of a humanoid with an oversized head, big,
slanted eyes and a slit-like mouth ...[Beings of this type are
short in stature, and have thin, frail-looking bodies with long,
Until the aliens sit down and have a
conversation with a researcher, the question of why they are here
cannot be answered. Some of the speculations are reasonable (they
may be researchers and explorers themselves) while some, by
researchers who may be going too far with their extrapolations of
the data, are highly questionable (they are here to conquer us, make
deals with the government so they can experiment on humans, etc.).
Other answers to this question come from those associated with some
sorts of "New Age" spirituality, who see the aliens as saviors of
To them, the aliens have replaced the coming Jewish Messiah or the
returning Christian Christ. This interpretation, however, may have
more to do with inner archetypes than with alien entities. Some
people who, for various reasons, no longer accept the religion in
which they were raised, may still long for a savior figure. This can
be found in the idea that the aliens are coming to save an elect.
There are several such UFO cults around, and they tend to give ufology a bad name or simply make the real students of UFOs look
It is clear, though, that the ufologists cannot answer why the
aliens come to our planet, and the answers from the UFO cultists and
pseudo-ufologists are unacceptable. We are still left pondering the,
question, then, "Why are they here?"
In Spielberg’s megahit, "E.T., the Extraterrestrial", the ugly-cute
creature from the stars, who was accidentally stranded on Earth, had
to cobble together a device to contact his people so they would pick
him up. He called them. Although it seems preposterous, is it not
possible that some person, or group of people have called the
current crop of aliens? While this is admittedly all conjecture, it
may actually be the case. And the group that has called the aliens
is a group of dedicated occultists.
This story goes back to contemporary occultism’s original bad boy,
Aleister Crowley. Crowley (nee Edward Alexander Crowley) was born in
1875. He was an expert mountain climber (he was involved in an
attempt on K2, the world’s second-highest mountain), a brilliant
chess player, and a poet whose writings ranged from terrible and
embarrassing to magnificent and breathtaking.
His voluminous writings on the occult, although considered by many
to have snares and traps for the unwary, are frequently found in the
libraries of occultists all over the world. People who are
pathologically anti-occult have labeled him a Satanist, although
there is no evidence to support this claim. He was licentious. He
was bisexual. He experimented with drugs (as did most of the
literati of the late 19th and early 20th centuries). He was addicted
to heroin, but the drug had been prescribed by his physician as a
remedy for his terrible asthma. This was one of the early uses of
the drug before its addictive properties became well known.
In 1904, while in Egypt with his new wife, he "received" a book
which has come to be known as "The Book of the Law". It is not
exactly clear how this book was received. Some say it was uttered by
his wife while he wrote it down. Others say he heard the voice which
dictated it, one hour a day for three consecutive days. Still others
say that Crowley heard it in his mind. Detractors, pointing to the
fact that some of the material seemed very close to Crowley’s
personal philosophy, as well as quoting Rabelais, doubt the validity
of the whole thing.
Crowley was unsure of it himself and forgot about it for years.
Eventually he came to accept it and the idea that the entity who
dictated it was not human.
Crowley came to have other alleged non-human contacts, including one
which interests us with an entity he calls Lam. He contacted this
entity and later painted a picture of it. This painting
(image below), drawn in
1918, was originally displayed and published in 1919.
The similarities between the two illustrations ["Lam" and a modern
"space alien" -B:.B:.] are striking: they have the same head shapes,
the same tiny noses and the same, slit-like mouths. The major
differences between them are two: Lam has slit-like eyes and no
neck, while the modern-day alien has an elongated neck and large
eyes. I cannot explain the difference in the necks. It may be that
Crowley, through his occult abilities, only saw Lam’s head and
created an almost neckless body to finish the illustration. It may
simply have been due to the angle at which he saw Lam. As to the
difference in the eyes, that will become clear in a moment.
Crowley believed that our world is going through a series of cycles
called Aeons. The current Aeon, supposedly associated with the
archetype of the Egyptian god Horus as the "Crowned and Conquering
Child," is believed by his followers to have begun with Crowley’s
"reception" of the Book of the Law in 1904. (Followers of
known as Thelemites, frequently date their communications in Roman
numerals with 1904 as year one.)
The next Aeon is associated with the Egyptian goddess Maat
[MA-at...? -B:.B:.]. One of the chief believers in this Aeon was a
Crowley follower named Charles Stansfeld Jones who used the name
Some believe that this Aeon has begun while others believe it is yet
to be. This latter point is interesting, because in some ways the
Aeon of Maat may have some relationship to the so-called Aquarian
Age which we are entering ("This is the dawning of the Age of
Aquarius..." says the song.)
One of the current writers about Crowley’s theories and techniques
is the Englishman Kenneth Grant. He has been referred to as every-
thing from a genius to a wild ranter.
His books, now mostly out-of-print, demand high prices among
occultists. He writes in "Outside the Circles of Time" (p.4) that,
"...it is surely significant that
Crowley, when he published his comment on [H.P. Blavatsky’s]
of the Silence" ...[in 1919, placed -- as a
frontispiece thereto -- his portrait of LAM, the ET
...particularly relevant to the Aeon of Maat."
My contention is that by placing this
picture into the psyches of occultists all over the world (since it
is mostly they who read his books) he began the process of summoning
or evoking "Lam, the extraterrestrial" to physical appearance.
Why did it take so long? The truth is that Crowley was never very
popular during his own day. He was vilified by the British press --
especially those similar to U.S. supermarket tabloids -- as the
"Evilest man on Earth." It would have taken a long time for this
drawing to be disseminated. From 1919 through the 1960s, there had
been only one reprint of the book which published the illustration
In 1972, in Grant’s The Magical Revival, the illustration was
published for the third time. But it was not until 1980 and his
Outside the Circles of Time that another step in the evoking of
came about. On page 153, Grant gives explicit instructions on how to
get in touch with Lam. He says,
"Gaze at the portrait until
drowsiness supervenes. The gaze will naturally rest upon the
eyes; these will appear to enlarge..."
Thus, the view of the typical modern-day
alien matches Lam with enlarged eyes. In 1987, Grant asked people to
contact Lam and report on the contact, as later republished in the
British magazine Starfire (1989, Vol. 1 #3). The 1987 date for the
original publication of this document was the same year Strieber’s
Communion was published.
In Grant’s request for people to contact Lam, he wrote that this was
the beginning of a "Lam Cult." Here he used the term "cult" not with
the usual negative meaning but with the idea of it being a small,
dedicated group. About this he wrote that,
"The Cult has been founded because
very strong intimations have been received ...to the effect that
the portrait of Lam...is the present focus of an
extra-terrestrial-and perhaps trans-plutonic [from beyond our
solar system] Energy ...It is our aim to obtain some insight not
only into the nature of Lam, but also into the possibilities of
using the Egg [part of the method given for contacting Lam] as
an astral space-capsule for travelling to Lam’s domain..."
New Age and the aliens
Admittedly, all that I have presented is circumstantial evidence.
Yet, it is hard not to see the links:
Lam was first contacted in 1918,
shortly after the beginning of humans seeing aliens.
The second publication of the
illustration of Lam took place in the 1960s, the same era
marking the beginning of the "abduction era" of ufology.
There has been an increase in
sightings of aliens who look like Lam in the past decade.
Instructions for summoning Lam
appeared 12 years ago.
The request by Grant for people
to contact Lam occurred in the same year that Communion was
According to Grant, Lam is
associated with the coming Aeon.
Have aliens been summoned by occultists
following in Crowley’s footsteps? I don’t know. The evidence, while
circumstantial, is intriguing. It implies that occultists have
summoned ETs to help us move forward into the next Aeon of human
development (perhaps that is why they are allegedly examining humans
and leaving implants). Or is it all psychological? Perhaps the image
of Lam/aliens represents some archetype hidden deeply within our
We will not know until the U.S. government finally releases its
secret UFO data or until the aliens -- whatever and whoever they are
-- make contact with a wider group of humans. Until then we can only
look at the sky in wonder and awe ...and wait.
The above article appeared in the
January, 1994 Fate Magazine -- a
Llewellyn publication, interestingly enough -- a tabloid-style
little journal in which we have been surprised to discover a number
of articles both by and about such UFOlogical notables as
Hal Puthoff (w/ Targ & Swann),
John Alexander and Rose Guilley, to name just a few.