Certainly the members of OFWGKTA know how to do what they wilt, but the big question about the controversial hip hop collective’s big performance this weekend at the Coachella music festival is"Will Earl Sweatshirt be there?”
Kenneth Anger gives a wonderfully loose and informative talk on Aleister Crowley. From his birth in 1875 to his death in a boarding house in 1947 (not 1974 as said here), Anger gives snapshots of Crowley’s life through commentary on his painting, his use of writing paper, his mountaineering expeditions, his potboiler Diary of a Drug Fiend, Cefalu, the Blitz, to his involvement with the Occult and why the “Most Wickedest Man in the World”:
Crowley was not afraid of devils, in fact, they were part of his family. He was never afraid of anything on the other side - angel, devil, these are names you put on entities - but he said, ‘Welcome friend.’”
Anger also sketches in his own life and interests, and explains why he was officially declared a fire hazard.
‘The Man We Want To Hang’ is a film shot by Kenneth Anger documenting an exhibit of Aleister Crowley’s paintings at London’s October Gallery in April 1998. The score is by Liadov.
I was amazed when I found this video. I thought I’d seen all of Anger’s films, but I was wrong. While it’s neither the trippy spectacle or erotic fetishism one expects of Anger, it still has moments where you sense the Anger ‘touch’. But mostly Kenneth steps out of the way and let’s Crowley’s paintings take center stage.
‘The Man We Want To Hang’, the title of the film also the title of the notorious Sunday Express article which had denounced A.C. as the “Wickedest Man In The World.” The title is also a pun on art being hung on gallery walls, and a possible reference to The Hanged Man of the Tarot—who appears in the film a few times—although nothing jumped out at me as I looked over that entry in The Book of Thoth to back up that line of thought (but I’m sure those with well wore copies of 777 and The Book of Thoth and a knack for undoing and uncovering occult puzzles may have better luck that I did ...)
The art works themselves—drawn of the collections of Keith Richmond, Jimmy Page and the Ordo Templi Orientis International—depict a variety of subjects. Simple landscapes of mountains, volcanoes and sea, serpents and malevolent beings from some daemonic reality, portraits of individuals familiar to those versed in A.C.‘s biography—such as Gerald Yorke and various Scarlet Women—and self-portraits of A.C., some evoking grey aliens or Lam.
If this was the only output of an artist they would have at most been a curious and obscure art historical footnote, if even that. But when put into the context of A.C.‘s life they have more value.
Throughout his life A.C. expressed his higher nature in a multitude of ways. Poetry, painting, ritual magick, sexual athleticism, writing, mountaineering, exploring higher consciousness. While he was middling in such expressions as painting and poetry, his non-fictional magickal texts are genius, a Joyce or Fassbinder of occult and esoteric philosophy, and most of us would be extremely lucky to create a single work of genius over a lifetime, let alone a multi-volumed network of texts like A.C.‘s.
Aside from his texts of magickal philosophy and ritual his other great work of art was his life, which encompassed the lowliest degradations and the highest and holiest exalted states. The art works provide a visual accompaniment to it—the settings, the personalities, the extraordinary experiences.
They also provide a reminder of A.C.‘s role as a prototype of the type of current creative spirit, with his multiple means of expression (poetry, art, journalism, adept, etc.) a forerunner of the of the typical artist of today, who is just as likely to write a novel, play in a band, star in a porn, run a small business, blog, than lock themselves in one monolithic way of expressing creative currents.
He ran a preview of this social reality movie like all successful intelligence agents do.” Jason Lubyk
Update: resident Crowley expert R. Metzger has informed me that The Man We Want To Hang is available as part of the Anger boxsets that were released a few years back. Available here.
Metzger also directed me to a film that Anger did on Crowley’s paintings called The Brush Of Baphomet, which you can watch after the jump…
For those with an interest in Aleister Crowley, the Occult, and all things Thelemic, then the U.S. Grand Lodge, Ordo Templi Orientis, have a series of fascinating podcasts available called Thelema Now!. The most recent interview was with Harvey Bialy, a writer, visual artist, and biologist, who talked about putting together a Crowley-centered art show in Los Angeles, his blog, and the early days of the Occult.
Other podcasts in the series include:
Authors J. Daniel Gunther and James Wasserman discuss what it took to create the book Pythagoras: His Life and Teachings, by Thomas Stanley. Pythagoras was first published in 1687 in Thomas Stanley’s massive tome, The History of Philosophy and J. Daniel and James undertook bringing Pythagoras to the masses.
Musician Daniel Ash of Bauhaus/Love & Rockets/Tones On Tail talks about motorcycles, new music, motorcycles, Buddhism, motorcycles, reincarnation and motorcycles.
Ever wonder what the New York City occult scene was like in the 70’s? The Bells of Hell? The Warlock Shop? The Necronomicon? Wonder no more! Acclaimed author Peter Levenda explains it all for you! In this interview, Peter also discusses looking for Nazis in Chile and the secret life of John McCain.
Our mission is to provide listeners with interesting, informative, thought-provoking interviews featuring individuals involved in myriad realms of mysticism, spirituality and magical theory and practice: authors, sorcerers, academics, entertainers. We’ll be looking into everything except inter and intra organizational politics as that’s ground very thoroughly tilled by other programs.
The eccentric English mage, poet, painter and gourmet rice chef would be 135-years-old today if, um, he could like live forever or something…
I’m often asked “Where is a good place to start reading Crowley?” and this is a difficult question because you have to read, pretty much, all of it to make sense of any of it. Going down the Crowley rabbit hole is comparable, I think, to being a scholar of James Joyce (or Ezra Pound) because achieving a proper understanding of the subject takes years, decades even (and then what are you going to DO with all that knowledge, anyway?). But one source that I will point curious folk to is the late Tim Maroney’s excellent “Introduction to Crowley (in Five Voices)” which I published in my Book of Lies anthology in 2004.
Below, Kenneth Anger’s short film documenting several of Crowley’s paintings, “The Man We Want to Hang.”
Update: Today is also Kirk Cameron’s birthday. Is it a mere coincidence that the Darwin-denying, Left Behind actor shares a birthday with the Great Beast???
English occultist Aleister Crowley wasn’t merely a poet, painter and the Great Beast 666, he was also an aspiring chef! That’s right and if you’d like to make some magick in the kitchen tonight, The Master Therion’s recipe for his “famous” (or would that be “infamous”) curried rice dish, “Riz Aleister Crowley” has been posted on the Music is the Heart Tumblr blog, after being found among his papers at Syracuse University in New York.
“The Alchemy of Things Unknown” exhibit intends examines individual works of art in relation to theosophy, sacred traditions and devotional practice. From William Blake’s illuminated works of divine imagination to Carl Gustav Young’s drawings of collective symbolic unconscious, the artists in this exhibition sought after or seek spiritual truths through art making.
Artists include Paul Laffoley, Harry Smith, Marjorie Cameron, Willian Blake, Austin Ossman Spare, Scoli Acosta, Kenneth Anger, Aleister Crowley, Zach Harris, Susan Hiller, Alfred Jenson, Angus MacLise, JFC Fuller, and Marilyn Manson.
Khastoo Gallery, 7556 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-472-6498
Image: “Kwaw”: an undated self-portrait by English occultist Aleister Crowley done in the 1920s, part of the exhibit at Khastoo Gallery through July 31. Courtesy William Breeze.
Recently finished Martin Starr’s epic “The Unknown God: W.T. Smith and the Thelemites,” published by Teitan Press, an immaculately researched history of Aleister Crowley’s neo-religion Thelema after Crowley’s personal story trails off. Crowley’s life has been documented ad nauseum, what hasn’t been is the history of his ideas after his death and what happened to the people who took them seriously (“By their works shall ye know them”). Martin Starr fixes that historical oversight here, providing fascinating insights not only into occultism during the two World Wars (including all the bickering infighting between the various occult orders?
Shown below, a live cover of Aleister Crowley’s “The Tango Song” by Marc Almond, one of Crowley’s better poems, apparently. Marc Almond was the legendary singer of 80s synth-sleaze duo Soft Cell. Aleister Crowley was George W. Bush’s grandfather. The evil team-up would seem a fitting challenge for any Marvel superhero. Via The 93 Current:
I just felt like sharing this small video I recorded at yesterdays Marc Almond show at the Roundhouse in Camden, London. “The Tango Song” was written by Aleister Crowley with music by Bernard Page; based on the sketch called “The Tango” published in Equinox Vol I, No 9 in March 1913.
The jacket copy makes it sound like a pure winner. Might have to order this one:
Republican Gomorrah is a bestiary of dysfunction, scandal and sordidmess from the dark heart of the forces that now have a leash on the party. It shows how those forces are the ones that establishment Republicans-like John McCain-have to bow to if they have any hope of running for President. It shows that Sarah Palin was the logical choice of a party in the control of theocrats. But more that just an expose, Republican Gomorrah shows that many of the movement’s leading figures have more in common than just the power they command within conservative ranks. Their personal lives have been stained by crisis and scandal: depression, mental illness, extra-marital affairs, struggles with homosexual urges, heavy medication, addiction to pornography, serial domestic abuse, and even murder. Inspired by the work of psychologists Erich Fromm, who asserted that the fear of freedom propels anxiety-ridden people into authoritarian settings, Blumenthal explains in a compelling narrative how a culture of personal crisis has defined the radical right, transforming the nature of the Republican Party for the next generation and setting the stage for the future of American politics.
The Nation’s excerpt focuses on the damage done to developing minds by batshit insane Republican home-school programs, focusing on school shooter (and Crowley/OTO enthusiast) Matthew Murray.
A few miles down the road from Colorado Springs [a home to James Dobson’s Focus on the Family], in the quiet bedroom community of Eldredge, a deeply disturbed young man named Matthew Murray followed the unfolding debacle at New Life Church [once under the stewardship of Pastor Ted Haggard] with an interest that bordered on obsession. Murray, a sallow-faced, bespectacled 24-year-old, had been indelibly scarred by a lifetime of psychological abuse at the hands of his charismatic Pentecostal parents. Murray’s mind became crowded with thoughts of death, destruction, and the killings he would soon carry out in the name of avenging what he called his “nightmare of Christianity”...
Murray lurched to the polar opposite edge of his parents’ fanatical faith, replacing their Bible as his inspiration with the writings of Aleister Crowley, a flamboyant, self-proclaimed Satanist. The fin de si?ɬ
Maybe Venn diagram-speak can better sort this one out. Let’s see…okay, say the circle shape that represents the belief system that is Jay-Z‘s was laid over the circle shape that represented the belief system of Aleister Crowley. Well, according to the sleuth-sayers at Vigilant Citizen, the overlap between the hip-hopping entrepreneur and the British occultist would be as big as a swimming pool. That is to say, a swimming pool within the barbed-wire walls of a FEMA slave camp.
Finding it hard to believe? Well, just cast your eyes (above) at Hova‘s hoodie with its apparent Crowley shout-out. Next, consider (below) the more esoteric symbology running through the video for Run This Town:
A man hands a lit torch to Rihanna who holds it up in the air. Anybody vaguely familiar with occultism can easily associate the symbol of the lit torch held high to Lucifer a.k.a. the Light Bearer. Most occult orders secretly acknowledge Lucifer as being the savior of humanity, the fallen angel who liberated men from the oppression of the biblical God (Jehovah, Yahweh).
These orders (the main one being Freemasonry) have been working for centuries towards the overthrow of the rule of organized religions to usher in a new age or a ?
Alongside my Dangerous Minds colleagues, I had the pleasure of attending last spring’s Kenneth Anger lecture at L.A.‘s Hammer museum. Although he was reluctant to take questions from the audience, the night certainly found Ken in good spirits and receptive company. Subjects touched upon? Well, everything from Aleister Crowley, to, why not, Agnes. B. KA was there per the request of artist Francesca Gabbiani, who, at the time, was curating her sorcery-themed Hammer exhibit, Houseguest.