Oct 24, 2004
I was twelve years old. I had read about Aleister Crowley in a British music magazine called Sounds.
The article was actually about Genesis P-Orridge founder and lead singer of the Industrial Noise band Throbbing Gristle and then later the occult, atmospheric band, Psychic T.V. Crowley had been as much of an influence on P-Orridge as P-Orridge was on me, so I figured that I had to look into this mysterious Mr. Crowley.
I went to a rather esoteric bookstore near where I lived and went right for the Occult section. Low and behold there it was: Magick in Theory and Practice by one Mr. Aleister Crowley.
I must admit to not understanding a word of Crowley’s doctrine. His book was filled with ideas, terms and language that flew right over my young, budding intellect.
I spent hour upon hour trying to decipher the meaning of each chapter. Occasionally I would stumble upon a ray of lucidity only to be dumped back into a bed of ignorance. I just couldn’t get it.
Regardless of my inability to understand Crowley’s esoterica, I just could not put his book down.
I began collecting his other books: Book Four, 777, Magick Without Tears. I started picking up books by his disciple Israel Regardie: The Tree of Life, The Middle Pillar, Garden of Pomegranates.
Now the fog in my head began to
clear. I began to understand that it wasn’t so much what Crowley was
trying to convey that made understanding so difficult, but the way
he said it. Crowley was so well-educated that even when he attempted
to dummy up his doctrine for the masses, it was still way over most
readers heads. His disciple Mr. Regardie was able to make this
doctrine much more clear.
The idea was to ritually invoke various God-forms in a hierarchical fashion from the lowest gods to the highest in order to reach the original primal God-head and achieve supreme enlightenment. Put in a more modern context: The aim is to become possessed by various archetypes in order to make your very limited self whole.
The God-forms are the archetypes (figures taken from the worlds mythologies) that represent various aspects of the human psyche. This was understandable. I had read Carl Jung, so having Magick put to me in this way was not a problem. I could now read Crowley with a minimal amount of discomfort and I could pretty much understand most of the things he wrote about.
But he would still refer to certain
things in a cryptic manner. He would say things like "But this doctrine is
only for the initiated", or "Only members of the IX degree would
have any understanding of the meaning behind this symbolism." So
here I was again. I had penetrated the veil of obscurity regarding
one aspect of Crowley’s magick Yet was faced with a wall of secrecy.
But not for long.
Crowley had combined yoga breathing and concentration techniques with the sex act. I had heard about Tantra, the Indian Left-hand path. In religious rituals the male would take on the identity of the Hindu God Shiva, and the female would play the role of the Hindu Goddess Shakti.
In the act of sex they would combine the duality of male/female, dark/light, positive/negative represented by their coitus and achieve the trance of Oneness where all opposites are melded into a unity: the unity of the Cosmos.
This ritual awakens
the fire-snake or the Kundalini that is believed to lie dormant at
the base of the spine. The Kundalini is the primordial power that
lies behind all phenomena. This is what Crowley was doing, but
instead of putting it in an Eastern mystical context he was bringing
it to the west and utilizing our God-forms as well as the God’s from
The best author on this subject turns out to be Mr. Kenneth Grant, an Englishman who was actually under the tutelage of Crowley during the last few years of Crowley’s life. I learned that there is more to this magick then just utilizing the sex energy to reach higher states of consciousness.
There is also a method of sorcery in which the
genital secretions of the partners of this rite are co-mingled and
imbibed as a sacrament. This sacrament can grant the magician almost
Reuss claimed to be the Grand Master of an organization known as the O.T.O.: The Ordo Templi Orientis or The Order of the Templars of the East. Reuss accused Crowley of revealing very important secrets of the O.T.O in one of his books. Crowley was dumbfounded. He had done no such thing! Well, apparently he had.
Reuss went to Crowley’s book shelf and took down his Book of Lies.
Turning to chapter 36 Reuss read:
Later in the same chapter it is written:
The Rood is the penis and the Rose is the vagina. Drinking of the Sacrament is the imbibing of the genital secretions. Without even knowing it Crowley had revealed the most esoteric secret of Western Ceremonial Magick!
After this meeting Reuss immediately made Crowley the Head of the O.T.O of Great Britain.
As the British head of the O.T.O Reuss had to make Crowley privy to where these secrets had germinated from. In the latest Crowley biography, Do What The Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley, by Lawrence Sutin, the author quotes Crowley’s good friend Gerald Yorke who remembers speaking with Crowley about this meeting:
Now there were two more
connections: the Knights Templar and their idol of worship, the
Baphomet. But where had the O.T.O come from and what was their
relationship to these Knights of Christ?
Kellner had been a high grade Mason. This fact will appear more important later in this article. Kellner died in 1905 and was replaced by his partner Theodor Reuss. The secrets that the O.T.O possessed had been handed down from various organizations the most notable being the Knights Templar. The Templars had been accused of all sorts of blasphemous things.
They were accused of holding rituals that contained rites which culminated in participants spitting on the crucifix, trampling on the crucifix, and basically blaspheming the name of Christ and the Church. They had also been accused of holding rites of a sexual nature. According to the O.T.O these are the rites that have been passed down for centuries, culminating in the IX degree rite of the O.T.O.
According to Lawrence Sutin:
The one Order which was
supposed to protect the
Roman Church and its followers, an order
that represented themselves as Knights of Christ, were, according to
the O.T.O., practicing sex magick!
The Baphomet has many meanings but for Crowley he believed the name came from a Greek word meaning "baptism of wisdom" or "absorption into wisdom."
The 19th century occultist Eliphas Levi designed an image of the Baphomet depicted as a goat’s head with a hermaphroditic body (representing the uniting of male and female).
Baphomet lore was considered by Theodor Reuss to be crucial to the O.T.O. I think that, principally, in the uniting of opposites within this image; above and below, waxing and waning Moon symbols, and the female breasts combined with the male generative organs, that this symbol represents all the secrets of the western esoteric tradition, specifically: sacred sexuality.
Apparently, after the Templars had been disbanded in 1307, various members (those who had not been executed) had carried on the Templar traditions and had passed on the secrets. They formed other esoteric societies and kept the secret doctrine alive.
This secret doctrine passed into the hands of those later to be known as the Rosicrucians, the Freemasons and finally the O.T.O. But how had the Templars obtained this information? From what source had these rites been handed over to them?
According to many sources the Knights Templar were carrying on
the tradition of the one and only Jesus Christ!
The book The Templar Revelation by Lynn Pickett and Clive Prince meticulously goes over the latest findings to make a very good case for this theory. It is well known in most occult circles that the archetype of Jesus Christ - the dead and risen God - is the same archetype as Osiris from Egypt.
Every culture has a mythological figure that represents the dying of the worldly ego and the rebirth of a higher stage of consciousness. Christ was well aware of this. Having spent much time in Alexandria he was extremely aware of the myth of Osiris.
It is believed that Christ went out of
his way to emulate the Egyptian God Osiris, to the extent of
actually having himself crucified so that he could experience a
near- physical death and live out the myth of the dead and risen
God. What is left out of the Bible is that Christ needed a female
consort to complete the myth.
Osiris had his
Isis, Shiva had his Shakti, and
Christ had his Magdalene.
The key to this birth or rebirth is sex! It is believed that in Egypt sex had been used as a sacrament and a religious rite for centuries.
Picknett and Prince write:
A contemporary of Jesus Christ was Simon Magus.
Simon had been accused of holding blasphemous sexual rites and practicing sorcery. As Osiris had his Isis and Jesus his Mary, Simon had Helen. Simon Magus had been known as a sorcerer and a sex magician, and was seen as representing the satanic opposite of Christ.
But according to Picknett and Prince:
Crowley has hinted in many of his publications that he held the real secrets of Christ. The pre-Church Gnostics were revered by Crowley as carriers of the true secrets of Jesus Christ.
In one of Crowley’s most important publications, The Equinox of the Gods he writes:
But Crowley knew the real Law of Christ. The Templars knew, the Masons knew and the Rosicrucians knew. The way to true enlightenment was also the way to life. Sex is the basis of all things.
The uniting of opposites is the secret of the world: