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Crowley and Satanism

To: alt.magick.tyagi
From: tyagI@houseofkaos.Abyss.coM (tyagi mordred nagasiva)
Subject: Re: Crowley and Satanism (Was Re: More fake AC bio ...)
Date: 28 Nov 1994 10:32:38 GMT

[from alt.magick: (Bill Heidrick)]

Tim Maroney ( writes:

>Crowley's attitude toward Satan, and by implication, the connection
>between Thelema and Satanism, if any.

Crowley may have opened Thelema up as a working philosophy and religion,
but it's necessary to distinguish his purported or actual bias from
Thelema.  Crowley and Thelema are apples and oranges.

>And yet, of these "many" instances, you were able to cite only one,
>amidst numerous positive uses of the name "Satan".  Here it is:
>"and Satan is only so incoherent and so formless because he is made
>up of all the rags of ancient theogonies."

Want more?

"But a Man hath one Jewel, and, bartering this, he becometh the
Mockery of Satanas." --- Liber Aleph

"We are his brave followers, you are Satan's tail."
"Retro, Satanas!" --- Works, vol. II

"Let us stand on the Mount, Saviours of the World that we are,
and answer "Get thee behind me Satan!" --- Eq. I-1

>What I have found in that book is
>this, which you must have seen in your search, but didn't mention:

>Hymn to Satan

I did refer to it as: "occasionally as an insult or joke,"
This is in the Equinox Vol. I, No. 10, along with a batch of other
leg-pulls and shockers, including an apparent dismissal of the importance
of the A.'.A.'.

>I don't understand why a poetic usage of Satan wouldn't demonstrate
>his real feelings about the subject.

Crowley wrote an entire book of poetry devoted to the Virgin Mary,
using the alter-ego of a fervent hooch-dancer.  That was an experiment
that even got the Roman Catholic "Nihil Obstat".  Does that make him
a Roman Catholic Christian?

>obviously, quotes from his full-length translation
>of a book by Levi tell us nothing about his own attitudes

Think again.  Crowley considered Levi to be a previous incarnation
and his translation of _Key to the Mysteries_ to be his own Exempt
Adept thesis.

>There are nearly as many positive references
>to Satan in "Liber Samekh" alone as in all your citations.

Your idea of "positive references" is obscure to me.  Do you imagine
that Crowley's idea of Satan is the same as the Christian idea?
As for Liber Samekh, that was commented for Frank Bennett, as much
to wiggle his waddle as anything else.

>Alex took the motto of Dr. Faustus (V.V.V.V.V.)
>on crossing the Abyss.

As he did one for Christ at Tipheret.

>You cited Crowley referring to himself as having gone over to
>Satan's side in the _Confessions_, which he also said in the
>dedication to "Why Jesus Wept" in the _Collected_Works_,
>which you didn't mention.  Can you cite one place where he said
>that he =stopped= being on Satan's side, or foreswore Satan?

Vision and Voice, visions near the end --- even abandoning being
a Magus.

>You further cited three cases in which Crowley explicitly equated
>"Satan" with the related Thelemic symbols of Hadit, Aiwass, and
>the Beast.  There are others.

So?  Does that make the idea "Satanic" in the sense of the general
Xtian public?

>No reasonable and disinterested person...

Spare me the general public!  When a label is attached to someone's
work, without an in-depth qualification, that label carries the
common usage meaning.  For Crowley, "Satan" was a way of looking at
the cookie jar of his childhood.  He systematically NOX'ed his way
into many mental taboos.  To take one as a label, without further
examination of how he transmuted it into something meaningful, is
to misrepresent.

>yes, it appeared that Thelema did have a great deal to do with
>Satanism after all.

This I don't deny, taking the "great deal to do" as a necessary
de-bunking and re-opening of the locked chests of the Christian
dua-millenia.  Crowley had to use the devil as a can-opener for
his own mind, hermetically sealed as it was by his up-bringing.
He is not alone in that need.  Why take the scaffolding for the
building?  Satanism and Christianity is no more the essence of
Thelema than a construction road is a super-highway or a ramp
a pyramid.

>Well, no.  That's like saying that his use of "Thelemite" is
>irrelevant to Rabelais.  An allusion is an allusion.  If he didn't
>want to allude, he would use a different name.

Tim, you tempt me to excess.  Vade retro Maroney!
Can't a man (or woman) speak in literary fashion of Harpo Marx without
being branded a Communist?  What of all those neo-pagan poets of
the 17th through 20th centuries?  Did every poem to Apollo require
a dead mouse and a snort of the volcanic fumes of Delphi to the
physical nostrils of the poet?

>What he was saying
>about Satan is the same thing any Satanist, from the crudest to
>the most profound, must say: that the qualities traditionally
>associated with "Satan" deserve praise rather than blame.

Who but a Christian or Islamic Fundamentalist would say otherwise,
given a little protection from populist tar and feathers?
Satan, as Sir Urians, was even a nobleman and hero to the Christian
Middle ages.

>For Crowley, the attributes to reclaim were phallic.

Not with the Satan metaphors so much.  Crowley used the Satan label
more for independence from sin, hard looks at taboos of fear and
tragic heroism more often than Priapism.  There were sections of
Sun=sex in spates, but the main corpus of the matter is deeper and
more mental.

>None of these Satanisms esteems the Christian idea of Satan; in fact, they
>mock it, as a veil for ideas which were inconvenient to priests.

Was Crowley so different?  He loved, after all, the humor of the
_Ingoldsby Legends_ and their approach to this very thing.

>Irony consists of an
>inner meaning which is the opposite of the outer meaning.  That is
>exactly what any Satanism asserts: that the horrific exoteric form
>of Satan in Christian belief masks a splendid esoteric reality.

This fits Crowley.  That doesn't make it necessary to void the irony
and insist that he be labeled in a fashion that he disdained.

>If I understand you correctly, you are claiming that Crowley's
>"Satan" was not "Satanism" because it was ironic, but I know
>of no Satanism which is not ironic -- in fact, I can't imagine such
>a thing.

Talk to a Baptist.

>I got it from the source I cited: the Apocalypse of John.  To the
>author of the Apocalypse, definitely =yes=: the Beast and the Scarlet
>Woman are explcitly labelled as Satanic symbols.

False.  I don't believe you will find any discussion of symbols as
symbols in that political paraphrased pastiche of plagiarized pre-Christian

>I repeat, with no fear of "irresponsibility":  The Beast and the Scarlet
>Woman are servitors of the Draconic form of Satan in the Apocalypse of
>John.  The dragon is named as Satan; it is from the dragon that the Beast
>derives his authority; the Whore of Babylon is working with the Beast.
>The text is entirely clear on this point.

Write Jessy.  Maybe he can get a Congressional commission going in the
Foreign Relations Committee to trace this terrorist organization.

>former Grand Secretary General of the O.T.O.
>I believe he submitted a short essay on that theme to the Calendar,
>which was not accepted.
I don't recall that.

>They do seem to be downplaying the significance of the Beast and Satan.

Not significance in magnitude, however ephemeral, rather significance
in a "Judao-Christian" range of meanings.  My contention is that these
symbols have been grossly narrowed and distorted.  Their pre-Christian
significance has to do with important matters in initiation, along
the lines of the Rape of Persephone in the Lesser Elusian and other
metaphors in other Mysteries.

>all the evidence is that Crowley used the name "Satan"
>in a positive way, to represent solar-phallic energies demonized under

In part, but spare me Kenneth Grant and total obsession with that part.

>However, incorrect as your opinion may be, you're still entitled
>to it.

"Yes, that's all very well, Alibi Ike; you are exceedingly well know as a Scripture-quoting Satan, as a Past-Master in self-justification.
--- Magick Without Tears


93 93/93
Bill Heidrick

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