The day Aleister Crowley “Took His Gin With His Mescaline”

One of the most influential people of the late 19th and early 20th centuries died 70 years ago.

Edward Alexander Crowley, or as history knows him, Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. That’s right, mountaineer! He founded the religion of Thelema under the motto: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.” Crowley also incorporated the Thelema law into the organisation “Ordo Templi Orientis” at the time this order was under his leadership.

Crowley’s influence is vast even today. And yes, it is problematic today more than ever.

Alan Moore, the famous comic book artist gave a telling opinion, not about Crowley himself, but more about the people that have been interested in his work. “Yeah, Crowley’s an interesting guy. I think that one of the problems with Crowley is the people who are interested in him, that you’ll get a lot of these little fucking middle class Satanists who are just trying to shock their mum and dad. They’ve heard that Aleister Crowley was ‘the wickedest man in the world’ and so they say ‘Oh yeah, well I’m really into Crowley and I’m really into the philosophy of Charles Manson and I really like William Burroughs.’ They don’t like William Burroughs because he was a brilliant writer, they like him because he shot his wife and did a lot of junk. It’s this kind of ‘Look at me, I’m being bad.”

Being who (and what) he was, Crowley also made a huge impact on popular culture, especially music. He is one of the figures on the cover of “The Beatles” album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” David Bowie made a reference to him in his song “Quicksand”, but Ozzy Osbourne and Paul Roland were even more direct. One of Ozzy’s songs was named “Mr. Crowley” and Roland’s plain and simple “Aleister Crowley”.

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Seven decades after his death, Aleister‘s influence still thrives. For better or worse.

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