A LEGACY THAT HAUNTS
It is an unpalatable thought, hopefully not true but plausible, that when in 2014 Peaches Geldof tragically died of an overdose of heroin, she could be considered the latest victim to the ongoing influence of Aleister Crowley (1875 -1947), once dubbed “the wickedest man in the world”.
All said and done, there is a trail of persons who have gone mad, finished alcoholic, drug addicted or suicidal in the wake of falling under the sway of this person who taught that “God” could be worshipped including through drugs – which I don’t suggest Peaches was doing. She was trying to escape addiction and had even apparently succeeded a few months prior, but if an addictive weakness was in her, certainly the example and teaching (including that “death is the crown of all”) of the himself heroin addicted Crowley, would scarcely have helped.
And Peaches’ family had been disturbed by the interest that she had developed in this dangerous magus or Satanist whom she told her thousands of Facebook followers was a fascinating person they should study and who wasn’t a Satanist really. Peaches herself was serious enough about Crowley to have had OTO tattooed on her underarm (initials of a sex magic organization associated with Crowley and to which she at one time belonged).
Doubtless Crowley was not the most wicked man in the world the press once said he was if he is judged by the standards of Hitler, Ghengis Khan or Kim Jong-un. But there might still be grounds to regard Crowley as one of the most spiritually evil of persons. Obsessed with apocalyptic themes and imagery from his strange but very wealthy Plymouth Brethren upbringing, Crowley aspired to be the Therion, the Beast, or the Antichrist. He was determined to sin and discover what was the unforgivable sin and commit it.
Crowley might as far as possible be said to have done the latter in especially the course of a blasphemous ritual performed in the desert of North Africa in 1909. There he “sacrificed himself” and invoked the spirit of the depths, Choronzon (traditionally seen as a Devil figure), asking to be possessed by him wholly and by – dangerously in standard magical terms – standing outside the magic circle on the triangle of invocation. The effect of the possession included amid its kaleidoscope of visions experience of thirst and a torment that had Crowley screaming “My God my God why have you forsaken me”. One can of course maintain that Crowley was influenced by biblical sources here, but it is true that a tormented spirit would quite likely be thirst ridden like Dives in Hades in the parable of Luke 16 and realize total separation from God, the ground of Being and the root of the Good. This is what hell is most essentially understood to be and is what Christ is believed to have experienced on the cross.
Crowley did not, strictly speaking, believe in and acknowledge either God or Satan, so up to a point Peaches was correct to maintain Crowley was not a Satanist. But he scarcely denied it and certainly didn’t mind if people thought he was. He believed in a universal energy and spirits and his “holy guardian angel” that he spared no pains to contact from the outset. Though when he finally appeared this guardian was called Aiwass, he was identified by Crowley as Lucifer in so many words. In effect Aiwass needed to be Lucifer or like him since Crowley was opposed to anything remotely like the God those around him believed in and from which he and they supposedly needed to be delivered. The Book of the Law dictated to Crowley in Egypt by Aiwass in 1904 contains, amid much that seems unintelligible (and which is not even supposed to suffer exposition though inevitably it has done), the dictum most associated with Crowley: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law, love under will”.
The essential meaning is or could be an almost a Jungian one. The person must do what the deep Self demands not what society expects or habit inclines to. And to that extent the saying makes some psychological sense though for Crowley and his followers it seemed to be a pretext for licence in the most damaging of ways. Crowley, himself bisexual and sado-masochistic with it, believed one could and should engage in even the most revolting or violent of experiences and sexual acts, transcending every form of disgust so long as experience was “intense”. Whether Crowley ever did dispose of anyone -it’s a disputed point – he did maintain the highest ritual was the sacrifice of a virgin whose dismembered corpse would be divided up for sacrifice to appropriate gods.
FROM BLACK MAGICIAN TO NEW AGE GURU
If you can manage to separate the man from his profoundly disturbing biography which includes cruel treatment and betrayal of even lovers, helpers and animals, it is possible – just – to arrive at a picture of an individual who amid his unique and highly organized system of magic, authors a sort of philosophy. It’s theory in the style of sometimes Nietzsche, sometimes Jung, a protest against inhibitions with a doctrine of archetypal style forces. It is also almost possible to present Crowley as a kind of New Age guru who generalizes and unifies the religions and mystical systems of the world.
In the last couple of decades or so, something like this has been taking place. A new Crowley scholarship has arisen which seeks to rehabilitate him as a thinker who, socially, was little more than just an extravagant trickster figure, prankster or actor. Though it’s good and even necessary to have the facts about Crowley, I suggest academe’s makeover is misguided and dangerous. At the same time one recognizes too that it’s almost inevitable due to the all but respectable status Crowley enjoys in influential alternative and rock cultures. A good summary of this is provided in the final chapter of Gary Lachman’s 2014 biography of Crowley. John Lennon, Timothy Leary, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Jim Morrison, Kenneth Anger, the list is a long one for the influence of Crowley, however diluted and “lite”, from the hard core version of the life and practices.
But because rock culture is so all-pervasive, society and belief have anyway become a bit Crowleyized. Frank Turek, author of Stealing From God, has interestingly and meaningfully suggested that at any rate American atheism has almost more to do with sex than unbelief. The new unnamed religion is one of “erotic revolt” of sex and personal rights and, I would add, one in which the quest for truth is reduced to deciding (if one is at all religious) that all systems of religion, mysticism and magic must amount to the same thing anyway. This adjustment becomes easier to make when religious experience becomes identified and over-identified with the effects of the orgasm anyone can experience.
Crowley forecast that sex would be the downfall of Christianity and it must be admitted against a too easy acceptance of Turek’s position, that this is somewhat true and Christianity does have some responsibility for what has happened in making deity seem unattractively enemy of all eros. It is not simply that the faith has been unnecessarily narrow and oppressive in its approach to some subjects like homosexuality, but it has ignored or suppressed the more esoteric and “tantric” aspects of the Judaeo-Christian heritage present since the Song of Solomon. (Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, has in recent times been exploring this in works like Kosher Lust and The Kosher Sutra. I have myself written Solomon’s Tantric Song . There are things to examine and reclaim).
However, even if there have been sone failures, they don’t need and can hardly afford Crowley’s radical cures. Yet as indicated, a lot of modern western spirituality New Age and other, by osmosis and default is increasingly a diluted version of Crowlianity. His age of Horus, the crowned child – the puer archetype at its most anarchic one might say and Lachman more or less does say – is where a lot of the West is now arrived at.
Another Crowley dictum is, “Let there be no difference made…..between any one thing and any other thing”. Despite Crowley’s often fascist, aristocratic individualism, this is an idea that belongs to modern sex rights based less on what is appropriate than what makes merely equal; and a consequence of that emphasis is the increased difficulty of, or just refusal to allow for, a hierarchy of values and thus to perceive any real distinction between good and evil, beautiful and ugly, liberating and merely addictive. Queer theory for example ditches the ethical question entirely, any ethics being purely collective and political rather than personal.
In theological terms Crowley is not really about “sin” but more like the “iniquity” associated with idolatry – in Crowley’s case involving a worship of self that never really seeing beyond itself cannot repent of its wrong within the larger framework of existence. Again modern attitudes and slogans (like post Christian feminist Mary Daly’s “Sin Big”) which don’t believe in saying sorry to anyone for anything, belong with a measure of Crowleyanity. (I have written of Mary Daly, another out of control Libran, as something of a milder, female version of Crowlianity) 
THE BIRTH PATTERN THAT TELLS TRUE
All this is mainly by way of an introduction to examination of those features of Crowley’s birth chart which I believe show him to be the real thing, the kind of seriously dangerous person and false prophet he was originally and more correctly perceived as being.
In astrology the sixth house of a birth chart represents anything to do with sacrifices and magic rituals. Suitably Crowley’s Mars, ruler of his Aries Midheaven of career and reputation, is in this relevant sixth house. With the Part of Occultism also in this sector, what he called Magick (his term for sexual magic) would be his career; but it would also be a lie. Veritas (Truth) and Devience (Deviance) are conjunct in opposition to Mars.
The fact that Crowley anyway shows an afflicted Jupiter (register of truth) through an opposition to Neptune, itself describes either a liar or at least someone who has difficulty with getting truth and the facts right. An afflicted Neptune is anyway virtually standard for any addictive tendencies, so Crowley (like Peaches Geldof) had it, in his case and because Jupiter is involved the addiction could be extravagant and philosophically justified, while afflicted Neptune’s lack of boundaries invites to and often accompanies bisexuality. It would however especially do so in Libra where boundaries between I and Thou are anyway at their weakest. Crowley’s Jupiter, itself at 7of the sex sign Scorpio, makes close exact easy trine to a 7 Cancer Hekate, the witchcraft and magic asteroid in the hidden unconscious twelfth house, the clearest of indicators for Crowley’s Magick as sex magic.
To all intents and purposes Crowley was a Satanist. Suitably, Lucifer falls in his ninth house of religion and philosophy on the super wretched chaos degree of 29 Pisces on an axis with Samadhi at 29 Virgo (theoretically highest bliss for yoga but deemed a confusion prone asteroid by astrologers). This pair in turn make tension square (90 degree angle) to a conjunction of Rabelais with Lie. It is with Renaissance writer Rabelais’ Temple of Thelema and its “Do what you will” that Crowley’s doctrine has affinity.
But perhaps most significantly, Crowley’s Venus at 24 Libra, the sign ruled by Venus, is in direct square to Theotes (Godhead) at 24 Capricorn. Crowley is of course very against Jesus, this again reflected in the tense square between Isa (Ar Jesus) at 12 Pisces to Malin at 12 Sagittarius, the devil as darkness rather than Luciferian light. This still isn’t all. The truly awful asteroid Vipera at 18 of Sagittarius (the religions and philosophies sign) conjuncts Drago (Dragon with its suggestion of the book of Revelation) conjunct the Part of Faith and Religion in square to asteroid Spirit at 17 Virgo. It’s a combination which might even be involved with the desire to commit the unforgivable sin.
Born under Libra, sign of Laws, it was in Egypt that Crowley received his Book of the Law. Significantly Aigyptos is same degree conjunct Malus (bad) on 1 Capricorn and from there in easy trine to Achristou which seems to function as the Antichrist asteroid. Crowley was himself initially shocked by some of his book’s declarations and for long tried to ignore them.
The book nonetheless proclaimed him prophet of the Age of Horus, the crowned child. Fascinatingly, asteroid Horus at 9 of royal Leo conjuncts Crowley’s rising 8 degrees of Leo and Horus is trined by Childe from 11 Aries in the house of religion.
Conjunctions are very pro or con something and the accuracy of the chart is certified by the way that asteroid Yeates (asteroids follow a sound sense vibe and hence this is Yeats) conjuncts the 16 Aries Midheaven to the degree. The poet Yeats was opposed to Crowley and their notorious argument caused The Society of the Golden Dawn through which Crowley had first learned and risen in magic to be closed down.
Although Libra is the sign of marriages and unions, Crowley’s relating was particularly dreadful. He sought whores of Babylon as partners and they were liable to be used and abused, a situation reflected in Babylon at 25 Aries opposite his natal Venus. His relating otherwise is reflected in a coldly independent Saturn in Aquarius in the seventh of unions where it conjuncts the Part of Treachery, well reflecting the incredible ruthlessness towards partners and supporters.
I mentioned the rite Crowley undertook in North Africa. This occurred December 6th 1909. There is as Lachman says, no causal connection (and not a notable astrological one that I see unless of the transiting sun conjunct Crowley’s Malin) between that and December 6th 1969. The latter date is however when a Hell’s Angel murdered a youth at a concert of the Rolling Stones at Altamont in California. It occurred at a time when the Stones had been familiarizing themselves with magic under Crowley devotee, film director Kenneth Anger. After that they were not so keen and Sympathy for the Devil was less heard and sung.
That event, the death of Peaches and so much more could be taken as a warning not to mess with the occult and not to elevate Crowley into some kind of deeply knowing spiritual guide nor to dismiss him as just an interesting trickster, an English eccentric, in the way that too often happens today. Both approaches are wrong.
2) Solomon’s Tantric Song, goo.gl/sU21My
3) See. Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency, Chapter 8. Mary Daly’s Occult Voyage goo.gl/Xi1jv8