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A Compilation of Opinions and Quotes Concerning Aleister Crowley and His Ideas and Treatment of Women

Subject: A Compilation of Opinions and Quotes Concerning Aleister Crowley and His Ideas and Treatment of Women

extracted from Thelema93-L Email List
	by (nigris (333))
	and catherine yronwode (yronwode@luckymojo.som)


From: C Baphemetis 
Date: Tue, 09 Mar 1999 10:49:03 -0600

... Rose Kelly [Crowley; ACs first wife] became an
alchoholic, but this appears to have happened concurrently
with the advent of her married life [to Crowley].
Furthermore, she lived a reasonably long life after her
divorce and subsequent hospitalization for her dipsomania.

What I have found so far indicates that she was a vibrant,
well travelled, educated, and quite willful woman who
had a romance with AC after their marriage began which
slowly deteriorated. Evidence suggests that they did not
meet each other's expectations. By the time the second child
was born, and before the first child died, the relationship
had changed significantly, and not in the best of ways. 

AC left Rose in India to pick up the luggage while she was 5
months pregnant and with a toddler in hand whilst he went to
the US by way of visitng Elaine Simpson.  During her solo
return to the US, the toddler died - for which AC blamed her
totally. After that, it was pretty much downhill for Rose,
until her divorce and hospitalization was passed.

This is of course just a little bit of the story; but back
to you:  please produce evidence written by anyone other
than Crowley about Rose's great "problems."


From: C Baphemetis 
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 1999 18:08:29 -0600
...[Crowley] worked with a great many women magically --
generally they scryed or received through trance and he
interviewed the entities evoked and took notes.  Once they
finally convinced him that they weren't fucking around,
which generally took a while, during which time he accused
them of hysteria, being annoying, blathering, etc etc etc.

	It is indeed easy for a woman to obtain the 
	experiences of magick, in a certain sort, as 
	visions, trances, and the like......" 

(this was quoted in its entirety here within the last few
days.  It's in the chapter of Liber Aleph called "On the
Proper Path for Women.")

However, this does not bespeak the fact that he thought
that women were primarily suited to bearing and raising
children.  Perhaps this quote will illustrate:

	There is yet a further point. My marriage taught 
	me many lessons, and this not the least: when 
	women are not devoted to children -- a few rare
	individuals are suited to other interests - they 
	take a morbid pleasure in conspiring against a 
	husband, especially if he be a father.

He believed that women in general had a very specifc role in 
relation to their men, that of 

	his consubstantial complement even as the earth is
	to the sun.  

That in relation to the man 

	all women are subordinate to his true will.  

	[MWT 254] 


	the limit of her aspiration in magick (is) to 
	abide joyous and obedient beneath the man that 
	her instinct shall divine, so that, becoming 
	by habit a temple well ordered, comely, and 
	consecrated, she may in her next Incarnation 
	attract by her fitness a mansoul.

Of course he *was* willing to work with women, under 
certain conditions, but heck, let me let him speak 
for himself:

    Again and again I have had the most promising 
	pupils give up the great work of their lives 
	for the sake of some wretched woman who could 
	have been duplicated in a Ten Cent Store. It 
	doesn't matter what the work is; if it is 
	worth while doing, it demands one's whole 
	attention, and a woman is only tolerable in 
	ones life is she is trained to help the man 
	in his work without the slightest reference 
	to any other interests soever.  The necessary
	self-abnegation and concentration on his part 
	must be matched by similar qualities on hers.  
	I say matched -- I might say better, surpassed 
	-- for such devotion must be blind. A man can 
	become his work, so that he satisfies himself 
	by satisfying it; but a woman is fundamentally 
	incapable of understanding the nature of work 
	in itself. She must consent to cooperate with 
	him in the dark. Her self-surrender is, 
	therefore, really self-surrender, whereas with 
	him it is self realization. It is true that if 
	a woman persists long enough in the habit, she 
	will ultimately find herself therein.  For 
	woman is a creature of habit, that is, of 
	solidified impulses.  She has no individuality.
	Attached to a strong man who is no longer 
	himself but his work, she may become a more or 
	less reliable mood. Otherwise her moods change 
	with her phantasms. But the most dominant mood 
	of womanhood will always be motherhood. Nature 
	itself, therefore, insures that a man who 
	relies on a woman to help him is bucking the 
	tiger. At any moment, without warning, her 
	interest in him may be swept off its feet and 
	become secondary.  Worse - she will expect her 
	man to abondon the whole interest of his life 
	in order to look after her new toy. A bitch 
	does not lose all her interest in her master 
	just because she has new puppies.  
	Confessions, pp 96, 97

No one is claiming that AC didn't work with women or that
he was unwilling to admit them to his magical Orders or into
his personal life.  What we are discussing is his attitude
about women as a class, which we know about because he wrote
bloody volumes concerning same.   It's not very favorable.

[He was] a man who believed he was in the vanguard of
modern philosophical thinking.  All around him, smart men
and women were fighting for reproductive freedom, and
political enfranchisement for women.  The turn of the last
century was an incredible time, much like this one.

If you start doing the research and diving into the
specifics, you'll find this is true. Many examples have been
given in this thread, as a matter of fact. If AC was an
uneducated untravelled man who lived in the boondocks and
bought in to the dominant paradigm, you might have an
arguable point. But instead, he prided himself on being a
foreward thinker, a free man, a man who could establish and
live by his own Law. He doesn't get a pass for androcentrism
or the occasional incidence of outright bold faced misogyny.


Date: Mon, 8 Mar 1999 12:38:22 EST

> Crowley's idea of suffragism is to say that although 
> women are weak, stupid, ugly cows who exist only to
> carry on the race by bearing children, we should 
> commend them for their heroic sacrifice in choosing 
> to incarnate under such conditions. (Both editions 
> of "The Law is for All" are full of these statements 
> and having given chapter line and verse on numerous 
> previous occasions I don't feel the need to do so now.) 

Regarding the above quote it seems to me that some 
things were taken out of context.

Crowley uses this ugly view of women in his discussion of 
how women fair under Christianity. See the new version of 
"The Law is for All" pp. 172-173.

And I am curious as to why all references to his positive 
view of women are ignored. Such as: 

	We dare not thwart Her Going, Goddess she! 
	We arrogate no right upon Her will; we claim 
	not to deflect Her development, to dispose of
	Her desires, or to determine Her destiny 

and so on. (Law is for All: p.173)

I would also suggest a reading of the entire commentary on 
III: 55 but especially a close reading of the last three 
paragraphs you can find on P. 178: 

	I see thee, Woman, thou standest alone, High 
	Priestess art thou unto Love at the Altar of 
	Life. And Man is the Victim therein.

And so on. I think it is obvious that Mr. Crowley is not 
speaking in a literal or superficial sense in these 

And I would suggest that there may be another "sense" in 
which to interpret the examples from Liber Aleph 
considering the circumstances around its writing
and the content. I really don't think he is using it as a 
platform to insult half of the human race.

Some other possible avenues of looking at this may be 
found in various places in the Thelemic corpus:

	The Brothers of the A.'.A.'. are Women: 
	the Aspirants to A.'.A.'. are Men.

The Book of Lies: Chapter 3: The Oyster.

Equinox X, Temple of Solomon the King  p. 120

The Path of Zain:  Key VI The Lovers (or; The Brothers)

On verse Liber 65:ch IV:v31

	Nature and perfection are Isis and Nephthys, 
	who prepare Osiris for Initiation. The 
	Candidate is here represented as their 
	brother but decked out as a bride (for he 
	is symbolically feminine towards his Holy 
	Guardian Angel, the Heart about to meet the 
	embrace of the Serpent.

(Commentaries on the Holy Books, p. 149)

A footnote to the above quoting his diary says: 

	Indeed, this work of A.'. A.'. requires 
	the Adept to assume the woman's part:

Besides, let us not forget the insults he hurls at the 
typical male and common humanity as a whole. A frisky 
fellow he. But if we are Aspirants to the Great Work, 
we basically stand against, or at least contrary to, 
the bulk of humanity. There is a herd consciousness 
inherent in humanity. Forging that link with the HGA 
lifts us out of that "unconscious" life.

What I have said is not to be interpreted as a blanket 
case that AC was using in all cases analogy and metaphor 
in these statements. But 

	(a) some definitely are, 
	(b) he didn't leave the male out of his trigger hairs, 
    (c) some of the female insults used as examples are 
	    lifted out of context where he was referring to 
	    the Judeo-Christian view of the female role.


From: catherine yronwode 
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 1999 14:07:08 -0800

> V. H. Maroney wrote:

> > ...when dealing with "women" as a class, AC is sometimes purely
> > negative, and other times weirdly pseudo-feminist. The passage I
> > mentioned in "The Law is for All", for instance, effusively
> > praises women, but what it praises them for is making the
> > enormous  sacrifice of "living the life of a cow," accepting
> > incarnation in  the weak, stupid and ugly female gender, purely
> > in order that the  race may go forward. To him the only point of
> > women even existing  is childbirth, and he says so at a number of
> > places. This is not so  much "damning with faint praise" as it is
> > "damning with exuberant praise based on offensive and demeaning
> > stereotypes."

Well said, [VH]! The only thing that would have made this 
paragraph more convincing would have been further direct 
quotes from Crowley.

> Shedona wrote:

> I wonder if any of that had to do with the era in which he grew up?
> It strikes Me that in the Victorian era, much of what was touted as
> woman-ness and taught to girls to make them "ladies" was geared
> toward fulfillment of those demeaning stereotypes.

> [long social and class history analysis snipped.]

The trouble with people who view the "Victorian era"
through the lens of Masterpiece Theatre is that they fail to
recognize that during the very time that Victoria reigned,
women were demonstrating for equal civil rights in both
America and Europe. They were GAINING these rights, too!
Here are three examples, specifically taken from the
esoteric and occult communities of the time:

1) In the 1880s, a lodge of Freemasons in France declared
that it was their "human duty" to initiate women as Masons

-- and they founded the first Co-Masonic lodge. They were
Victorians, but they were not male chauvinists. For details
on the "Droit Humain" lodge and the subsequent development
of the Co-Masonic movement in the 19th and 20th enturies,
see my web page
  Freemasonry for Women:

2) In the 1880s, Alice Bunker Stockham, the 5th woman to
become a doctor in the U.S., wrote a book on sex-mysticism
called "Karezza." As preparation for this book she travelled
to India and studied tantra yoga, which she then syncretized
with her own Quaker faith and her previous readings of the
sex-mystical works of the American Rev. John Humphrey Noyes.
In this and her other books (e.g. those on gynecology and
midwifery), and through her work as an advocate for woman's
rights, dress reform (e.g. an end to the wearing of
corsets), family planning, and craft-education in schools,
Stockham exemplified the freedom from repression and the
commitment to social causes AND to occult, esoteric wisdom
that Crowley believed women were incapable of accomplishing.
3) In the early 20th century, Claude Bragdon, a
Theosophist and sacred geometry theorist who was also an
architect, wrote a series of books on metaphysics and
esoteric symbolism. This man, a contemporary of Crowley, was
born in the 19th century, yet he dedicated his book "The
Beautiful Necessity," written circa 1915, to "The Delphic
Sisterhood" and in it he proposed the theory that women's
civil rights in the mundane world must be guaranteed if
men and women are to achieve progress in the realm of

The founding of Co-Masonry and the widespread popularity
of the published works of Stockham took place when Crowely
and Bragdon were pre-pubescent! They came of age AFTER these
folks had paved the way for women's equality in esoteric
initiation and in sex-mysticism. Crowley was a contemporary
of Bragdon, with whose works he was doubtless familiar, as
they shared mutual acquaintances, yet compared to Bragdon,
Crowley was a political reactionary, and worse, a
woman-hater who saw women as "living the life of a cow."

Don't apologize for Crowley's grotesque gender-bias by
calling upon the myth of "his era" or "his class." The late
19th and early 20th centuries were times in which women were
increasingly seen as necessary partners for men, in all
realms, practical as well as occult.

Crowley was no more representative of the best minds of
the late 19th and early 20th centuries than the three white
men who recently dragged a black man to death behind their
truck are representatives of Jasper, Texas. Jasper has a
black mayor. It is not typical of that town to condone race
bias. Likewise, it was not typical of occultists and
spiritual theorists of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries to condemn women to lives of menial child-care, as
Crowley did.

Women won the right to vote in the 1920s -- with the
help of many good men, i must add. Yet Crowley lived on,
spewing his foul anti-female venom, for another 25 years! He
was a hate-filled being, not a product of "his era," but
rather a living demonstration of his own inadequacy as a
human being. He was a REACTIONARY, a counter-revolutionary
in the struggle for human freedom! Stockham died in the 19th
century, an old woman who had accomplished much good during
a long life -- while Crowley lived on until the 1940s, a
ghastly woman-hater to the end!


From: C Baphemetis 
Date: Sun, 07 Mar 1999 11:44:11 -0600

>> ...Catherine Yronwode ...posts excellent argument 
>> concerning the "product of his times" excuse for Crowley's 
>> hatred of and contempt for women.

> Hatred and contempt seem to be such strong words....

Go enjoy Confessions, for a start.  I can send you a copy
of his epic poem Motherlove.   Then there's always Liber
Aleph.  Perhaps you would enjoy the introduction to his
essay on Nietzche.  And then there's his commentary to Liber
Legis.  Lalala.

...AC is on record in several places over several
decades as saying that - 1) he loved women 2) women had some
basic flaws as human beings 3) but ya couldn't get along
without them SO as long as you could train 'em to be good
helpmeets, they should always have a place at the table. As
long as you were aware of their limitations, you could deal
with 'em.  If this is your idea of feminism, fine.  You and
I can agree to disagree.

As opposed to throwing quotes back and forth, take a
couple of months and go read the primary sources in their
entirety so that the context remains.   AC believed that
biology was destiny for women, and he did not believe that
their political enfranchisment was desirable or necessary.  
AC was anti-suffrage and anti-abortion, and he wasn't a big
fan of birth control either.  And it's not like there wasn't
plenty of info/action on these two subjects (female
political enfranchisement and reproductive choices) during
his lifetime.  There was a 100 year history of strong
feminist dialectic already extant by the time he hit his
Saturn return (more, actually, but I've got the references
from 1800 on sitting right here in primary form).

...contempt covers it pretty well.  And yeah, you can
have contempt for things you love.  Affects the self esteem
though. And AC would have been the first to tell you he was
a slave to it and that is one of life's biggest mysteries. 
Where does he say that?  Go read The Rite of Sol.  In fact,
do a deconstruction of the gender roles in the Rites.
There's some meat on dem bones.

> ...if Crowley was so horrible hateful towards women and his
> system is so oppressive and demenaing to us why there are 
> so many women in the Thelemic Order of which I am an 
> initiate member?  Not only that, but so very many powerful 
> and feminist women.

Speaking only for myself, I can say that it has a lot to
do with transcending Crowley as a cult figure.   He left
good magical instruction, a bunch of poetry ranging from the
sublime to the ridiculous, some very bad plays, and reams of
social commentary, most of which I find historically
interesting and absolutely inapplicable. Crowley is dead,
long live Thelema.

The fact that he was an androcentric, died-in-the-wool
sexist, had nothing to do with his enjoyment of women *as he
perceived them*.  And it has very little to do with why most
people join the O.T.O. in my considered opinion.   If the
O.T.O. was about Crowleyanity, I can assure you that I (and
most of my crewe) would be out the door.    I believe the
O.T.O. is a good house, but it's got a shaky corner on the
foundation, and that corner has to do with AC's lifetime
views that a woman's ability to do real work on a par with
the real work men do was limited because of her regretable
biological functions.

> > > Crowley was a political reactionary, and worse, a
> > > woman-hater who saw women as "living the life of a cow."

> I hardly see how pointing out how horribly it must
> have sucked to be an intelligent woman in those times and
> how much women had to struggle if they didn't want to live
> that "life of a cow" indicates hatred.

That's not what AC has said, however.   And as far as I
can tell, the turn of the last century was an incredible
time to be an intelligent woman. The right to reproductive
freedom and political enfranchisement was imminent.


From: (nigris (333))
Date: 49930518 (revised recently)
From Crowley's "The Law is for All":
	"Women under Christianity are kept virginal for the market as
	 Strasbourg geese are nailed to boards till their livers putrify.
	 The nature of women has been corrupted, her hope of a soul
	 thwarted, her proper pleasure balked, and her mind poisoned, to
	 titillate the jaded palates of senile bankers and ambassadors.
	"Why do men insist on 'innocence' in women?
	"1. To flatter their vanity
	 2. To give themselves the best chance of
	     a) escaping venereal disease,
	     b) propagating their noble selves.
	 3. To maintain power over their slaves by their possession 
	    of knowledge.
	 4. To keep them docile as long as possible by drawing out 
            the debauching of their innocence.  A sexually pleased 
	    woman is the best of willing helpers; one who is 
	    disappointed or disillusioned, a very psychical eczema.
	 5. In primitive communities, to serve as a guard against 
	    surprise and treachery.
	 6. To cover their secret shame in the matter of sex.
	"Hence the pretense that a woman is 'pure,' modest, delicate, 
	 aesthetically beautiful and morally exalted, ethereal and 
	 unfleshly, though in fact they may know her to be 
	 nauseatingly bestial both physically and mentally.  The 
	 advertisements of 'dress shields,' perfumes, cosmetics, 
	 anti-sweat preparations, and 'beauty treatments' reveal 
	 woman's nature as seen by the clear eyes of those who 
	 would lose money if they misjudged her; and they are 
	 loathsomely revolting to read.  Her mental and moral 
	 characteristics are those of the parrot and the monkey.  
	 Her physiology and pathology are hideously disgusting, 
	 a sickening slime of uncleanliness.
	"Her virgin life is a sick ape's, her sexual life a 
	 drunken sow's, her mother life all bulging filmy eyes 
	 and sagging udders.
	"These are the facts about 'innocence'; to this has 
	 man's Christian endeavor dragged her when he should 
	 rather have made her his comrade, frank, trusty, and 
	 gay, the tenderer self of himself, his consubstantial
	 complement even as earth is to the sun.
	"We of Thelema say that 'Every man and every woman is 
	 a star.'  We do not fool and flatter women, we do not 
	 despise and abuse them.  To us, a woman is herself, 
	 absolute, original, independent, free, self-justified,
	 exactly as a man is.
	"We dare not thwart her going, Goddess she!  We arrogate 
	 no right upon her will; we claim not to deflect her 
	 development, to dispose of her desires, or to determine 
	 her destiny.  She is her own sole arbiter; we ask no 
	 more than to supply our strength to her, whose natural
	 weakness else were prey to the world's pressure.  Nay 
	 more, it were too zealous even to guard her in her 
	 going; for she were best by her own self-reliance to 
	 win her own way forth!
	"We do not want her as a slave; we want her free and royal, 
	 whether her love fight death in our arms by night, or her 
	 loyalty ride by day beside us in the charge of the battle 
	 of life.
	"'Let the woman be girt with a sword before me'!
	"'In her is all power given.'
	"So sayeth this our _Book of the Law_.  We respect woman 
	 in the self of her own nature; we do not arrogate the 
	 right to criticize her. We welcome her as our ally, come 
	 to our camp as her will, free-flashing, sword-swinging, 
	 hath told her.  Welcome, thou woman, we hail thee, star
	 shouting to star!  Welcome to rout and revel!  Welcome 
	 to fray and to feast!  Welcome to vigil and victory!  
	 Welcome to war with its wounds! Welcome to lust and to 
	 laughter!  Welcome to peace with its pageants!  Welcome 
	 to board and to bed!  Welcome to trumpet and triumph; 
	 welcome to dirge and to death!
	"It is we of Thelema who truly love and respect woman, 
	 who hold her sinless and shameless even as we are; and 
	 those who say that we despise her are those who shrink 
	 from the flash of our falchion as we strike from her 
	 limbs the foul fetters.
	"Do we call woman whore?  Ay, verily and amen, she is 
	 that; the air shudders and burns as we shout it, 
	 exulting and eager.
	"O ye!  Was not this your sneer, yor [sic] vile whisper 
	 that scorned her and shamed her?  Was not 'whore' the 
	 truth of her, the title of terror that you gave her in 
	 your fear of her, coward comforting coward with furtive 
	 glance and gesture?
	"But we fear her not; we cry whore, as her armies approach 
	 us.  We beat on our shields with our swords.  Earth 
	 echoes the clamor!
	"Is there any doubt of the victory?  Your hordes of 
	 cringing slaves, afraid of themselves, afraid of their 
	 own slaves, hostile, despised and distrusted, your only 
	 tacticians the ostrich, the opossum, and the cuttle, 
	 will you not break and flee at our first onset, as with
	 leveled lances of lust we ride at the charge, with our 
	 allies, the whores whom we love and acclaim, free friends 
	 by our sides in the battle of life?
	"'The Book of the Law' is the charter of woman; the word 
	 Thelema has opened the lock of her 'girdle of chastity.'  
	 Your Sphinx of stone has come to life; to know, to will, 
	 to dare and to keep silence.
	"Yea, I, the Beast, my Scarlet Whore bestriding me, naked 
	 and crowned, drunk on her golden cup of fornication, 
	 boasting herself my bedfellow, have trodden her in the 
	 market place, and roared this word that every woman is 
	 a star.  And with that word is uttered woman's freedom; 
	 the fools and fribbles and flirts have heard my voice.  
	 The fox in woman hath heard the lion in man; fear, 
	 fainting, flabbiness, frivolity, falsehood - these are 
	 no more the mode.
	"In vain will the bully and brute and braggart man, priest, 
	 lawyer, or social censor knit his brows to devise him a 
	 new tamer's trick; once and for all the tradition is 
	 broken; vanished the vogue of bowstring, sack, stoning, 
	 nose-slitting, belt-buckling, cart's tail-tragging, 
	 whipping, pillory posting, walling-up, divorce court, 
	 eunuch, harem, mind-crippling, house-imprisoning, 
	 menial-world-wearying, creed-stultifying, social-ostracism 
	 marooning, divine-wrath-scaring, and even the device of 
	 creating and encouraging prostitution to keep one class 
	 of women in the abyss under the heel of the police, and
	 the other on its brink, at the mercy of the husband's boot 
	 at the first sign of insubordination or even failure to please.
	"Man's torture-chamber had tools inexhaustibly varied; at 
	 one end murder crude and direct to subtler more callous, 
	 starvation; at the other moral agonies, from tearing her 
	 child from her breast to threatening her with a rival 
	 when her service had blasted her beauty.
	"Most masterful man, yet most cunning was not thy supreme 
	 strategem to band the woman's own sisters against her, 
	 to use their knowledge of her psychology and the cruelty 
	 of their jealousies to avenge thee on thy slave as thou 
	 thyself hadst neither wit nor spite to do?
	"And woman, weak in body, and starved of mind; woman, morally 
	 fettered by her heroic oath to save the race, no care of 
	 cost, helpless and hard, endured these things, endured from 
	 age to age.  Hers was no loud spectacular sacrifice, no 
	 cross upon a hill-top, with the world agaze, and monstrous 
	 miracles to echo the applause of heaven.  She suffered and 
	 triumphed in most shameful silence; she had no friend, no 
	 follower, none to aid or approve.  For thanks she had but 
	 maudlin flatteries, and knew what cruel-cold scorn the 
	 hearts of men scarce cared to hide.
	"She agonized, ridiculous and obscene, gave all her beauty and 
	 strength to maidenhood to suffer sickness, weakness, danger 
	 of death, choosing to live a life of a cow - so that 
	 mankind might sail the sea of time.
	"She knew that man wanted nothing of her but service of his 
	 base appetites; in his true manhood-life she had no part 
	 nor lot; and all her wage was his careless contempt.
	"She hath been trampled thus through all the ages, and she 
	 hath tamed them thus.  Her silence was the token of her triumph.
	"But now the word of me the Beast is this; not only art thou 
	 woman, sworn to purpose not thine own; thou art thyself a 
	 star, and in thyself a purpose to thyself.  Not only mother 
	 of men art thou, or whore to men; serf to their need of 
	 life and love, not sharing in their light and liberty; 
	 nay, thou art mother and whore for thine own pleasure; 
	 the word I say to man I say to thee no less: Do what thou 
	 wilt shall be the whole of the Law!
	"Ay, priest, ay, lawyer, ay, censor!  Will ye not gather in 
	 secret once again, if in your hoard of juggler's tricks there 
	 be not one untried, or in your cunning and counsel one device 
	 new-false to save your pirate ship from sinking?
	"It has always been so easy up to now!  What is the blasting 
	 magick in that word, first thesis of "The Book of the Law", 
	 that 'every woman is a star.'
	"Alas!  It is I the Beast that roared that word so loud, 
	 and wakened beauty.
	"Your tricks, your drowsy drugs, your lies, your hypnotic 
	 passes - they will not serve you.  Make up your minds 
	 to be free men, fearless as I, fit mates for women no 
	 less free and fearless!  For I, the Beast, have come; 
	 an end to the evils of old, to the duping and clubbing 
	 of abject and ailing animals, degraded to that shameful 
	 state to serve that shameful pleasure.
	"The essence of my word is to declare woman to be herself, of, 
	 to, and for, herself; and I give this one irresistible 
	 weapon, the expression of herself and her will through sex, 
	 to her on precisely the same terms as to man.
	"Murder is no longer dreaded; the economic weapon is powerless 
	 since female labor has been found industrially valuable; and 
	 the social weapon is entirely in her own hands.
	"The best women have always been sexually free, like the best 
	 men; it is only necessary to remove the penalties for being 
	 found out.  Let Women's labor organizations support any 
	 individual who is economically harried on sexual grounds.  
	 Let social organizations honor in public what their members 
	 practice in private....
	"The modern woman is not going to be dupe, slave, and victim 
	 anymore; the woman who gives herself freely to her own 
	 enjoyment, without asking recompense, will earn the respect 
	 of her brothers, and will openly despise her 'chaste' or 
	 venal sisters, as men now despise 'milksops,' 'sissies,'
	 and 'tango lizards.'  Love is to be divorced utterly and 
	 irrevocably from social and financial agreements, especially 
	 marriage.  Love is a sport, an art, a religion, as you 
	 will; ol' clo' emporium.
	_The Law is For All_, by Aleister Crowley, Edited by 
	 Israel Regardie, New Falcon Publications, 1991; pages 305-12.
	"Just as a woman's body is deformed and diseased by the corset
	 demanded by Jagannath fashion, so is her soul by the compression
	 of convention, which is a fashion as fitful, arbitrary, and 
	 senseless as that of the man-milliner, though they call him 
	 God, and his freakish fiat pass for everlasting law.
	"The English Bible sanctions the polygamy and concubinage of 
	 Abraham, Solomon and others, the incest of Lot, the 
	 wholesale rape of captured virgins, as well as the 
	 promiscuity of the first Christians, the prostitution of 
	 temple servants, men and women, the relation of Johannes 
	 with his master, and the putting of wandering prophets to 
	 stud, as well as the celibacy of such people as Paul.  
	 Jehovah went so far as to slay Onan because he balked at 
	 fertilizing his brother's widow, condoned adultery, with 
	 murder of the husband, of David, and commanded Hosea to 
	 intrigue with a 'wife of whoredom.' He only drew the moral 
	 line at any self-assertion on the part of women.
	"In the past, man has bludgeoned woman into gratifying the lust
	 of her loathed tyrant, and trampled the flower of her own love
	 into the mire; making her rape more beastly by calling her
	 antipathy chastity, and proving her an unclean thing on the
	 evidence of the torn soiled blossom.
	"She has had no chance to love unless she first renounced the
	 respect of society, and found a way to drive the world of hunger
	 from her door.
	"Her chance has come!  In any abbey of Thelema any woman is 
	 welcome; there she is free to do her will, and held in honor 
	 for the doing. The child of love is a star, even as all are 
	 stars; but such an one we especially cherish; it is a trophy 
	 of battle to be fought and won!"
	Ibid, pages 315-6.


From:  V. H. 
Date:  Wed, 17 Jul 2002 14:46:35 -0700

On 7/16/02 7:45 PM, cameron ( wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 16, 2002 at 06:58:38PM -0700, V. H. wrote:

> > on 7/15/02 5:40 AM, dpwithun1986 ( wrote:

> > > In "Magick without Tears" Crowley says that the Will of a
> > > woman is subordinate to that of a man.  Is this the opinion
> > > of most or all  Thelemites or just a prejudice that Crowley
> > > himself held?

> > He says it many more times than that. Some of the worst
> > of it is in Liber Aleph, which is available at
> >
> > As for Thelemites' opinions, I think there are very few
> > Thelemites today who would endorse Crowley's attitudes about
> > women. In many cases, though, the non-endorsement takes the
> > form of denying that Crowley meant what he said when, over
> > and over, he defamed women as a class and stated their
> > supposed inferiority to men. This denial is much more common
> > than acknowledging that Crowley held these views and that
> > one disagrees with them.
> Has he?  A simple search through Liber Aleph does not reveal that
> he stated women were categorically inferior to men.  I 'd like to
> see where he has ever explicitly taken this view.  When and where
> he has criticized women that I remember, he has simply called it
> as he sees it, but always within context. In one piece of writing
> in praise of woman, he declared men to be morally inferior, although
> I forget where.

Thanks for answering Maggie's call for backup, Cam.
Here's my answer to you in return. The following extracts
from Liber Aleph are taken from 
and all are copyright  OTO.

In the following, Crowley states explicitly that women
are incapable of any magic because they don't have a penis
("for She hath not the Organism that might make Use of this
Opportunity") and must remain subservient to men ("Here
herefore is the Limit of Her Aspiration in Magick, to abide
joyous and obedient beneath the Man that her Instinct shall
divine so that by Habit becoming a Temple well-ordered,
comely and consecrated, she may in her next Incarnation
attract by her Fitness a Man-soul.") All this is festively
adorned with plenty of insult and stereotype.

	{Digamma }{lambda }
	[Of woman, who is fit for a jest.]
	O my Son, hear this Wisdom of Experience, how at thy
	first Sight, when I put thee into the Arms of Ahitha, thy
	sweet Stepmother my concubine, such was thy Beauty that she
	became enamoured of thee, crying aloud; Ay me, an such he
	the Fruit of thy Magick, o my Master, then let me, me also,
	even me, give myself utterly to this Holy Art! Then did I,
	becoming heavy in Spirit, make Question of her, saying: To
	what End? And at this was she confounded and brought into
	Bewilderment; but after a great While, fumbling in her Mind,
	made Answer, like a Scarecrow in a Field, so was it for Rags
	and Tatters of Thought. Thus yet more Atrabilious and
	Sluggard was this Liver of thy Father, so that I fell into a
	Gloom night unto Weeping. Then she beholding me with
	Amazement cried upon me thus: Art thou not glad in Heart, o
	my Master? At this I gave a Sigh even as one night unto
	Death. And She: if this be so, then is no need anymore for
	me to give myself to Magick. Thereat, perceiving yet again
	the Just Universal of Our Lord Pan, was I swallowed up (like
	unto Jonah of the Old Fable) in he Belly of the Whale called
	Laughter, and it seemeth to me at this present Writing that
	I am like to abide therein for he Time that remaineth to me
	in this Body.

	{Digamma }{mu } 
	[On the formula of woman.]

	Now this is the right Power and Property of a Woman, to
	arrange and to adjust all Things that exist in their proper
	Sphere, but not to create or to transcend. Therefore in all
	practical Matters is she of Might and of Wit to produce an
	Effect consonant with her Mood. And her Symbol is Water,
	that seeketh the Level, whether for Wrath, eating away the
	Mountains (yet even in this making smooth the Plains) or for
	Love, in Fecundity of Earth. But it is the Fire of Man that
	hath heaved up those Mountains, in huge Turmoil. Man them
	maketh Mischief and Trouble by his Violence, be his Will
	convenient to His Environment, or antipathetic; but Woman
	disturbeth by Manipulation, adroit or sinister as her Mood
	may be of Order or of Disorder. For any Man to meddle in her
	Affair is Folly, for he comprehendeth not Quiet; so also for
	her to emulate him in his Office is Fatuity. Therefore in
	Magick though a Woman excel all men in every Quality that is
	profitable for her for Attainment, yet she is Naught in that
	Work, even as a Man without Hands in the Shop of a
	Carpenter; for She hath not the Organism that might make Use
	of this Opportunity. Of all this is she aware by her
	Instinct, for her Nature is to Understand, even without
	Knowledge; and if you doubt herein the Wisdom of thy Sire,
	do thou seek out a Woman (but with Precaution) and affirm
	these my Words. So shall she wax woundily wrath, and look
	grisly upon thee, proclaiming in a shrill Voice her manifold
	Excellences, which she hath, and concern the Matter not a

	{Digamma }{nu }
	[His master's words on woman.]
	Of a Thousand Years it is nigh unto the Fiftieth Part, o
	my Son, since I obtained Favour in the Light of a great
	Master of he Truth, whom Men call Allan Bennett, so that he
	received me for his Disciple in Magick. And he was instant
	with me in his Matter, and vehement, adjuring his Gods that
	this (which I have myself here above declared unto thee) was
	the Truth concerning the Nature of Woman. But I being but a
	Youth, and Headstrong, and being enraptured in Love of
	Women, and Admiration of Them, and Worship, delighting in
	them eagerly, and learning constantly from them, nourished
	by the Milk of their Mystery, as it should be for all true
	Men, did resist angrily the Doctrine of that most holy Man
	of God. And because, (as it was written) he was a vowed
	Virgin from his Birth, and had no Commerce with any in the
	Way of Carnality, I disabled his Judgment herein, as if he,
	being a Fish, had disallowed the Flight of Birds. But I, o
	my Son, am not wholly ignorant of Women, save as all Men
	must be in the Limitation of their Nature, for the Number of
	my Concubines is not notably or shamefully exceeded by that
	of the Phases of he Moon since my Birth. Many also have been
	my Disciples in Magick that were Women; and (more also) I do
	owe, acknowledging the same with open Gladness, the greater
	Part of mine own Initiation and Advancement to the Operation
	of Women. Notwithstanding all these Things, I bow humbly
	before Allan Bennett, and repent mine Insolence, for his
	Saying was Sooth.

	{Digamma }{xi } 
	[On proper conduct for women.]

	It is indeed easy for a Woman to obtain the Experience
	of Magick, in a certain Sort, as Visions, Trances, and the
	like; yet they take not Hold upon Her, to transform Her, as
	with Men, but pass only as Images upon a Speculum. So then a
	Woman advanceth never in Magick, but remaineth the same,
	rightly or wrongly ordered according to the Force that
	moveth Her. Here herefore is the Limit of Her Aspiration in
	Magick, to abide joyous and obedient beneath the Man that
	her Instinct shall divine so that by Habit becoming a Temple
	well-ordered, comely and consecrated, she may in her next
	Incarnation attract by her Fitness a Man-soul. For this
	Cause hath Man esteemed Constancy and Patience as Qualities
	preeminent in Good women, because by these she gaineth her
	Going toward Our Godliness. Her Ordeal therefore is
	principally to resist Moods, which make Disorder, that is of
	Choronzon. Also, let her be content in this Way, for verily
	she hath a noble and an excellent Portion in Our Holy
	Banquet, and escapeth many a Peril that is proper to us
	others. Only, be she in Awe and Wariness, for in her is no
	Principle of Resistance to Choronzon, so that if she become
	disordered in her Moods, as by Lust, or by Drunkenness, or
	by Idleness, she hath no Standard whereunto she may rally
	her Forces. In this see thou her Need of a well-guarded
	Life, and of a True Man for her God.

	{Digamma }{omicron }
	[Futhert concerning this.]

	Mark then, o my Son, how in the Ancient Books of Magick
	it is Man that selleth his Soul unto the Devil, but Woman
	that maketh Pact with him. For she hath constantly the Wit
	and Power to arrange Things at his Bidding, and she payeth
	this Price of his Alliance. But a Man hath one Jewel, and,
	bartering this, he becometh the Mockery of Satanas. Let then
	his tutor thee in thine own Art of Magick, that thou employ
	Women in all Practical Matters, to order them with Cunning,
	but Men in thy Need of Transfiguration or Transmutation. In
	a Trope, let the Woman direct the Chess-Play of Life, but
	the Man alter the Rules, if he so will. Lo! in ill Play is
	Mischief and Disorder, but in a New Law is Earthquake, and
	Destruction of the Root of Things. Therefore is Fear of any
	Man that is in Commerce with his Genius, for none knoweth if
	his Law shall amend the Game or do it Hurt; and of this the
	Proof is in Experience, won after the Victory of his Will,
	when there is no Way of Return; as saith the Poet, Vestigia
	Nulla Retrorsum. Nor do thou fear to create: for, even as I
	have written in "The Book of Lies (falsely so-called)", thou
	canst create nothing that is not God. But beware of false
	Creations wrought by Women in whom is no Function thereof;
	for they are Phantoms, poisonous Vapours, bred of the Moon
	in her Witchcraft of Blood.


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