Aleister Crowley

Fascinating Female Occultists

Counterculture icon and essential figure in the early postwar Los Angeles art scene, Marjorie Cameron is the subject of an upcoming retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). Cameron: Songs for the Witch Woman opens October 11 and will feature over 90 artworks and ephemeral artifacts, including correspondence with husband and occult mentor, the engineer and Thelemite Jack Parsons. “Her hallucinated vision, at the edge of surrealism and psychedelia embodies an aspect of modernity that deeply doubts and defies Cartesian logic at a moment in history when these values have shown their own limitations. Her work demonstrates that the space in the mind is without limit,” states MOCA Director Philippe Vergne. The exhibition offers a rare look at the life and work of a female occult practitioner — too frequently depicted as mere muse or lunatic, even though female-centric mysticism has existed for thousands of years. Here are a few other female occultists who deserve mention. … Read More

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New Biogaphies of Aleister Crowley and Proto-Fascist Poet Gabriele d’Annunzio Raise Big Questions on the Nature of Evil

Aleister Crowley was routinely referred to during his lifetime as “the wickedest man in the world.” He was an occultist, the founder of Thelema, a person who lived by the phrase “Do what thou wilt,” a drug addict, and all told, not a very fun person to be around. He was also a painter, a poet, a great mountain climber, and ultimately more an aesthete than a madman. … Read More

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Whodunit? 10 Famous Ghostwriting Collaborations

The newest celebrity scandal has nothing to do with sex, drugs, or alimony. Instead, New York Times dining writer Julia Moskin recently shared a behind the scenes look at cookbook ghostwriting and outed star Gwyneth Paltrow. Moskin states that the actress did not write her best-selling cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. Gwenny isn’t happy and responded to the claim on Twitter. “Love @nytimes dining section but this weeks facts need checking. No ghost writer on my cookbook, I wrote every word myself,” she shared with fans.

While we love a good cookbook, the recent headlines inspired us to revisit some of our favorite fiction penned by ghostwriters instead. Many famous authors have either helped others find their footing in the literary world, or have sought the assistance of an invisible friend. Check out ten ghostwriting collaborations past the break. Head to our comments section to leave your own picks. … Read More

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Today in History: Aleister Crowley Writes ‘The Book of the Law’

At noon on April 8, 1904, Aleister Crowley, the famous peripatetic English occultist, began to transcribe the first chapter of The Book of the Law as told to him by a powerful spirit named Aiwass. The book, also known under the title Liber AL vel Legis, is the central text for Thelema, the religious philosophy Crowley espoused when he returned from a transformative journey to Egypt that year. Its adherents are commanded to follow their True Will, which will guide them to a connection with the divine. The three parts of the book each describe a different period in history, from the ancient age of Isis to the Aeon of Horus — the latter which would occur in the same year Crowley published his seminal text, and was to be an age of spiritual enlightenment and self-realization. … Read More

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YACHT’s Five Favorite Secret Rituals

Day 3 of YACHT‘s guest-blogging. On Day 1, the band delved into the high-style of Freemason Fashion Week. After revealing Cults You Didn’t Know Were Cults yesterday, YACHT’s Jona and Claire have prepared their Five Favorite Secret Cult Rituals for today.

Time was, you could start a cult, pump it full of esoteric rituals and hush-hush regalia, and — barring any squealers — keep it totally secret. In this day and age, however, secret rituals are secret no more. The cumulative effect of conspiracy theorists, surreptitious camcorder-toters, and YouTube self-publishing has pierced almost all the veils of obfuscation, and we can now peer into the darkness. To boot, the Internet has brought us not only the top-secret rituals, but also those that are simply far-flung, from tribal hero’s trials to pagan circles. Here, we expose our own favorite human rituals. … Read More

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