Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews - Tarot Forum - Free Tarot Readings - Tarot Card Meanings - Tarot Spreads

How to appreciate Crowley?


> Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Thoth Tarot



 
Greg Stanton's Avatar
Greg Stanton  Greg Stanton is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 07 Jul 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 888
Greg Stanton 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac
Crowley's Thelema was initially inspired by Egyptian sources, but after realizing he was in over his head, he quickly reverted back to what he was most comfortable with, i.e. Golden Dawn, Kabbalah, Gematria, etc. Thus it retains a quasi-Egyptian flavor, but is certainly not a revival of anything truly Egyptian.
I think it would be an over-simplification to state that the "Hermetic" in "The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn" was an "in-name-only" designation. It is true that the basis of much of the Golden Dawn's material came from a contemporaneously-discovered cache of magical papyri, of which the 1853 publication of "Fragment of a Graeco-Egyptian Work Upon Magic" was a part. (It is interesting to note that this book is the source of "The Bornless Ritual" -- though revised by Crowley to suit his own purposes, many suppose it to be invented by him). However, as this information was new at the time it was introduced, it required extensive study and interpretation by scholars before it could actually be understood. In other words, true Hermeticism was not fully understood at the time the order was established -- and all of the misconceptions, mistranslations, and misunderstood precepts found their way into the order's teachings.

The other source of material for the order was Barrett's "Magus". This book is a truncated, plagiarized version of Agrippa's "Three Books of Occult Philosophy". Needless to say, the errors in Barrett's were also integrated into the Golden Dawn system.

Thirdly, the Kabbala the order taught was a Christianized version that evolved out of Renaissance Christian Neopatonism, which was the version most familiar to Europeans at the time -- not authentic Jewish Kaballa at all. Add to this the misguided conception of "Kabbalistic Correspondences", the idea that every disparate mythology, system of magical thought, culture, science and philosophy can be boiled down and reduced to a common, albeit synthetic, structure. This view of the world was thought to explain the hidden meanings in many symbols, and thus increase our understanding of Esoteric precepts. This idea, unfortunately, been much misunderstood, and now serves only to narrow the Western occultists' relationship with reality -- disparate subjects must be viewed and studied as they are, as they truly exist; not how they may or may not relate to one another in a singularly accepted system of correspondences.

Lastly, the rest of the Golden Dawn/Crowley systems were derived from various grimoires (translated by Mathers) and the work of John Dee. Because of this magical hodpodge, and the 777/Kabbala Correspondence distillery, it is now commonly believed that these various works are somehow compatible with one another and with modern views and magical techniques. They are not, and judging from the results, most certainly do not seem to be. In my opinion, if the magic contained within these books is to have a fighting chance of manifesting tangible product, they must be approached as singular, exclusive magical methods, whose instructions must be followed explicitly in order to achieve results. Crowley's inclusion of the Bornless Ritual in the Goetia is nothing more than misguided magical postmodernism, and his claim that the spirits of the Goetia are actually part of the human brain is absurd (not to mention fatal to the operation). It is these sorts of errors and pitfalls that virtually guarantee failure, and that plague the bulk of Western occult thought today.

A student of Crowley will approach a magical operation with the wrong attitude. His wand will be of many colors, all with supposed Kabbalistic significance -- never mind that such a wand is not proscribed in any of the source material from which he is working, or that Kabbalah in general is not a component of Goetic magic. His altar will, likewise, be shrouded with objects and colors that correspond to his intent. The sigil of the entity to be evoked is drawn in colored ink, with a consecrated Sharpee!, on parchment-like paper bought from Office Depot. Tarot cards are now commonly used as magical tools (it doesn't matter that the students of the original Goetia, or the Book of Abramelin, considered Tarrochi to be nothing more than common gambling). The LBRP is performed, the watchtowers are called (looking now through the Peterson scholarly edition of the Goetia..., Skinner's Goetia of Dr. Rudd... hmmm. No watchtowers or LRBP mentioned.) The circle of art will not be drawn on the ground, but will be imagined to be there, in a shimmering fire! That should be enough protection... The incense used, the oil, all will made according to Mathers' mistraslation of Abramelin, or perhaps bought off the shelf from the local Wicca supply-house. And the modern student of the occult, of the Golden Dawn and Crowley specifically, wonders why the entities he has called never show up.

I've heard it all before.

"The rite was a great success. We called XXXXXXX, and he came!"

"Really? Tell me about it."

"There were weird shadows in the corners of the room, and the candles flickered."

"Anything else?"

"Well, my toilet exploded right after, so I had to call a plumber out."

This type of criteria is now considered the standard for magical success. And we have Crowley and the Golden Dawn to thank for these wonderful boons, for these great gifts they have bestowed upon us, and the sublime influence they have exerted over the New Age.

I worked very hard, for a good portion of my life, to make these systems work. As you can see, I've done considerable research to discover why they do not. I can't not speak out about what I've learned -- and I realize it may upset a lot of people here. All said, after the storm, I only wish the best for everyone, whatever path they have choosen to take.
Top   #131
Rosanne's Avatar
Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 08 Dec 2004
Location: North Auckland,New Zealand
Posts: 5,917
Rosanne 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418

Try reading what the man had to say himself (and not just the title )

http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/mwt/mwt_73.html
Look Aeon418- I know that you think Crowley great- but I get tired of you telling me to read what he had to say himself. I have.
This thread originally asked how to reconcile the Deck with the person who apparently influenced it. I have answered that.
When questioned about Crowley's apparent views- even when made by biographers of some standing and comments by people who were alive at the time and knew Crowley, and his notoriety therefor tabloid press of the day- I have answered that and I have come to same view. The public man (which he fostered) and the private man might have been at odds-but I knew neither- I only have what is written about him and written by him. The two are at odds with each other. I think there is a great shame here- because he was a clever man- but it is not his words he is regarded for- it is his notoriety- and it would seem that was the important part for him- so I agree he is no role model as is any deeply conflicted person. His roadmap is confused and borrowed from others. He was an eccentric and a drug addict- and he did not paint the deck.
~Rosanne
Top   #132
Debra's Avatar
Debra  Debra is offline
sporadic magic
 
Join Date: 21 Sep 2006
Location: .
Posts: 15,130
Debra 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw
Hi Debra

"I have no interest per se in wasting my time being a defender or otherwise of Crowley and am happy to leave it for people to form their own opinions as I expect to be left alone to form mine..."
Fair enough, kwaw.

I couldn't let "some of his best acquaintances were Jewish" pass without comment. My point was garbled (by me).

The idea of someone's bigoted or ignorant attitudes being in line with their time and culture might be a decent enough explanation for those who don't aspire to transcend their times or culture--ordinary folks, in other words, without particular discernment or moral curiosity.

That's not how Crowley saw himself or wanted to be seen. For that reason, the "in line with his times" explanation doesn't carry much weight in my view.

Given the choice of rejecting some ideas--as he vehemently rejected the repressive Christianity of his youth--it makes sense to examine also which ideas he decided to keep.

I appreciate all efforts to insure the civility of the discussion here. Let's face it--on these Crowley threads, apologies for misunderstandings and mistakes aren't so common. I don't know about all the literature, but for someone, like Greg, to say: I did my best for 20 years to pursue something I really believed in, and now I regret it for the following reasons--that's a mensch.
Top   #133
Greg Stanton's Avatar
Greg Stanton  Greg Stanton is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 07 Jul 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 888
Greg Stanton 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra
The idea of someone's bigoted or ignorant attitudes being in line with their time and culture might be a decent enough explanation for those who don't aspire to transcend their times or culture--ordinary folks, in other words, without particular discernment or moral curiosity.

That's not how Crowley saw himself or wanted to be seen. For that reason, the "in line with his times" explanation doesn't carry much weight in my view.
Eloquently stated. I am reminded of how Dickens was criticized for his characterization of Fagin in Oliver Twist (written at the start of his career). The book is full of phrases like "the crafty jew", etc., to describe the elderly leader of a band of low thieves. Dickens, unlike Crowley, regretted the offence his words had caused. He publicly apoligized, and created the character of Riah (Our Mutual Friend), a good and kind jewish man, to hopefully repair some of the damage his previous attitude may have caused.

As far as I know, Crowley never took the step of apologizing for his hurtful remarks. He simply didn't care about other people, or how they felt. It was all about him, his reputation, his name in the papers, his ego validated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra
I appreciate all efforts to insure the civility of the discussion here. Let's face it--on these Crowley threads, apologies for misunderstandings and mistakes aren't so common. I don't know about all the literature, but for someone, like Greg, to say: I did my best for 20 years to pursue something I really believed in, and now I regret it for the following reasons--that's a mensch.
Never, in my life, have I gone from being a troll to being a mensch, in less than 24 hours! Thank you so much for your support, Debra
Top   #134
mac22's Avatar
mac22  mac22 is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Jan 2004
Location: ca usa
Posts: 2,280
mac22 

I would add that my view of Crowley has changed from my 20s to my 50s. I have grown in maturity, Magickal knowledge & wisdom.

Mac22
Top   #135
mac22's Avatar
mac22  mac22 is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Jan 2004
Location: ca usa
Posts: 2,280
mac22 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
This is a forum, someone way back (who might have changed their opinion by now) asked a question. I answered it from my perspective. I never said it was anyone else's opinion. That is what a forum is. You seem to miss the point of that. Your way of arguing/debating is to attack and then put little smilies icons in to be what ? Funny?. It is tiresome. Get over yourself. If you want to be the guardian of the gate on the Thoth Forum take a poll as to your suitability. I entered this discussion because there you were as usual ripping into someone for having a view that you did not agree with.
....wink, wink, wink, wink,

~Rosanne
HEY....I admitted I have changed my views & opinions of ole Crowley & his work in the past 30 yrs

Mac22
Top   #136
Rosanne's Avatar
Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 08 Dec 2004
Location: North Auckland,New Zealand
Posts: 5,917
Rosanne 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac22
I would add that my view of Crowley has changed from my 20s to my 50s. I have grown in maturity, Magickal knowledge & wisdom.

Mac22
Hi Mac22- this is a very interesting point. There seems to be some literature around, that suggests this happens regarding Crowley appeal. One of my sons, for some years immersed himself in Crowley works- and he fitted the stereotype of some poll or other. Some things he has kept, some he has thrown out- He might tell you if you asked, that Magic relies on looking outward from a balanced internal life- which is a lifelong endeavor. From your posts over time, I see you live your life in a giving way.
As I am not my son, it would be interesting to hear your views of growing up with Crowley.
~Rosanne
Top   #137
Debra's Avatar
Debra  Debra is offline
sporadic magic
 
Join Date: 21 Sep 2006
Location: .
Posts: 15,130
Debra 

This brings to mind the appeal of the writer Ayn Rand. Her ideas--a mush of capitalism + romanticized Nietzschian existentialism--generally appeal to young people developing a sense of self and testing their strengths. Once they grow up, they tend to leave it behind. I suspect this is generally true of philosophies and ideologies that emphasize on achieving one's special status as "ubermensch" and distinguishing oneself from the "deluded herds" etc. Disdain and disregard for others is hard to maintain once you've experienced the importance of friendship and the kindness of strangers.
Top   #138
mac22's Avatar
mac22  mac22 is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 20 Jan 2004
Location: ca usa
Posts: 2,280
mac22 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
Hi Mac22- this is a very interesting point. There seems to be some literature around, that suggests this happens regarding Crowley appeal. One of my sons, for some years immersed himself in Crowley works- and he fitted the stereotype of some poll or other. Some things he has kept, some he has thrown out- He might tell you if you asked, that Magic relies on looking outward from a balanced internal life- which is a lifelong endeavor. From your posts over time, I see you live your life in a giving way.
As I am not my son, it would be interesting to hear your views of growing up with Crowley.
~Rosanne
I'm pleased you noticed... I find the best way to live.

As for Crowley,.... today we'd call him a trust fund kid.... who had a long period of rebellion against of society's norms... All of the things he did: the GD, Bennett, yoga, climbing, drugs, Magick were forms of personal rebellion -- In many ways I see it as a Odysseus journey for Crowley, there are ups, downs, crisises, & break thrus.

The Magick drew me in but there lots to learn from with his life & experiences.

Currently I'm doing a compare & contrast with with Yeats' Magickal Magnum Opus _A Vision_ Yeats was not only Crowley's [imagined] Poet nemesis but IMHO he was a better Mage.

Mac22
Top   #139
Rosanne's Avatar
Rosanne  Rosanne is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 08 Dec 2004
Location: North Auckland,New Zealand
Posts: 5,917
Rosanne 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac22
As for Crowley,.... today we'd call him a trust fund kid.... who had a long period of rebellion against of society's norms... All of the things he did: the GD, Bennett, yoga, climbing, drugs, Magick were forms of personal rebellion -- In many ways I see it as a Odysseus journey for Crowley, there are ups, downs, crisises, & break thrus.
I have never heard of "Trust Fund Kid' expression- maybe here it would be 'Social Welfare disadvantaged Kid" but I get the drift. Yes, there was a long period of personal rebellion- and understandable for my son (fostered) and I can see the appeal of Crowley's writings. Which brings me to the writer that Debra spoke of Ayn Rand. I think Debra's words Disdain and disregard for others is hard to maintain once you've experienced the importance of friendship and the kindness of strangers. have great importance. Crowley's life as was perceived publicly seemed to have this disdain and disregard for others- and his words (whatever he may have believed) showed the same. As I said before- I find it too hard a task to think he actually matured past his rebellion.


Quote:
Currently I'm doing a compare & contrast with with Yeats' Magickal Magnum Opus _A Vision_ Yeats was not only Crowley's [imagined] Poet nemesis but IMHO he was a better Mage.
That is an interesting avenue...... I must lie down where all ladders start, In the foul rag and bone of the Heart
I find it a shame, but not unexpected that Crowley Character has been isolated by his many deeds- but I guess that is how we know historical characters. Words and actions at variance.
~Rosanne
Top   #140

 

More interesting threads on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum...





 


Elsewhere on Aeclectic Tarot
· Tarot Cards & Reviews
· Free Tarot Readings
· What's New
· Tarot Card Meanings

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· What's New

Copyright © 1996 - 2021 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.