Alistair Crowley was a controversial figure.
The man who called himself ‘The Great Beast’ and was known for summoning demons as well as angels, Occult scholar, writer, poet, lover, creator of one of the most powerful Tarot decks, the Thoth Tarot, cards most certainly not designed for the faint of heart.
He was abused as a child and his experiences no doubt shaped who he became as an adult. Viewed with fear and suspicion by many who were terrified of his endless curiosity about all things magickal.
Oddly enough, he was an erstwhile would be suitor of one of my own mother’s friends, a crazy old lady called Greta who lived on my godfathers ashram in Carmarthenshire in her caravan and kept everyone amused for hours with her late night impressions of Queen Victoria, draping a doily over her head and putting on accents. She spent a good deal of time wafting around in kaftans with glasses on a chain around her neck, a little like Margot from ‘The Good Life’. And she shared how Crowley had pursued her endlessly, with many proposals of marriage but each time she turned him down because he scared her shitless with his intensity and reputation.
My mother continued the tradition of fearing Crowley on her behalf after her death, and like many others spouted stories about him being an evil man and so on and so forth.
I, like all children who listen to their mothers, chose to believe the hype without any real understanding of what I was buying into. And yes, continued the by now family tradition of denigrating Crowley without any real insight into who he actually was, what drove him, what had shaped him or even what he had been trying to say during his lifetime. My perspective was formed based on the opinions of others rather than anything more substantial than that.
And this is the problem because we often miss some of the most important gifts that others have to offer within the words they say and the ideas they share simply because we are so horrified with the messenger that we discount the message as a knee jerk reaction. We allow our fear and our trauma to stem our curiosity. We label stuff as bad without having any actual fucking clue about the subject being labelled, because we are so eager to listen to the opinions of others and popular consensus that we lose all ability to exercise truly critical thought rather than sticking with hearsay and conjecture in order to fit in with the crowd.
Our desire to fit in will prevent many potentially brilliant minds and hearts from ever fully expressing themselves by going beyond the norm they wish to uphold.
It takes courage to stand out from the crowd.
It takes courage to defy the opinions of others and delve beneath the surface matter presented, to understand rather than demonise.
Crowley walked a fine line in his lifetime. There’s a lot of stuff that I will admit still makes me question what was sponsoring his intentions with the explorations he made. But he got one thing right ‘Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be the Whole of the Law’ - this is in effect the basic ruling principle of the Universe that I can see with my own explorations of how the Quantum field (that we are all a part of) interacts with itself.
Of course, there’s a lot more to it than this from my own perspective as someone who has been doing a deep dive into my own work recently.
The people I work with 1:1 get to hear more about it. And hey, it goes without saying, that if you'd like to be one of those people all you need to do is drop me an email to apply for the energetic adventure of your life.