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How to appreciate Crowley?


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Grigori's Avatar
Grigori  Grigori is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Neon
On an individual note, I've come to the point of rarely answering people's questions on Thoth threads ....
Well shame on you Rusty. For those of us still frequently confused by Crowley, please speak up more often!
Top   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babylon_Jasmine
Well, the abbey at Thelema was pretty gross, animal sacrifice, feces used in sex, general filth. Also he tended to be extremely inconsiderate of those who were attracted to his genius, destroying both his scarlet women and those men who attempted to further him that he felt were not strong enough. The book of the Law offers a very merciless philosophy that I myself could never go along with. I don't think background checks for deck designers make any sense, Crowley however thrust his lifestyle and philosophy into everyone's faces, he wanted to be either embraced or rejected.
Yeah,

But wasn't he Good! Wasn't he interesting, Wasn't he funny!

Personally, I'm in the Crowley fan club, so I'm biased.
Top   #32
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Similia ... Er ... um ... when you quoted me, you didn't quote my reason why not.
Top   #33
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Personally I take as much of the meaning of the cards as I can from the book by Crowley himself. I don't use the spread he suggests, mostly because I am not comfortable enough with my grasp of the meanings of the astrological houses. It seems silly to me to take meaning from someone else's work when Crowley has written such a clear and extensive book on the meaning and symbolism of the cards. I don't think you need to have any understanding at all of Crowley's worldview to benefit from the beautiful artistry of the cards, but I do think you will benefit more from the cards if you do.
Top   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie
Yeah,

But wasn't he Good! Wasn't he interesting, Wasn't he funny!

Personally, I'm in the Crowley fan club, so I'm biased.

He was brilliant. I would say the very best magickal writer of his era. Excellent sense of humor. I would just never personally subscribe to the laws of Thelema.
Top   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babylon_Jasmine
Personally I take as much of the meaning of the cards as I can from the book by Crowley himself.
Me too. When I want to know something about a card, I look in Crowley's _Book of Thoth_ first. Another good primary source is the exhibition notes written by Harris (although I confess that I don't look those up often enough).

Quote:
I don't use the spread he suggests, mostly because I am not comfortable enough with my grasp of the meanings of the astrological houses.
The Opening of the Key method described in Crowley's book is derived from the Golden Dawn's tarot curriculum.

Quote:
It seems silly to me to take meaning from someone else's work when Crowley has written such a clear and extensive book on the meaning and symbolism of the cards.
I agree. I only consult secondary sources if Crowley's book doesn't mention a point. Crowley's book is the logical first point.
Top   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babylon_Jasmine
He was brilliant. I would say the very best magickal writer of his era. Excellent sense of humor. I would just never personally subscribe to the laws of Thelema.
Same here. I take his Golden Dawn bits and leave the Thelemic bits.
Top   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Neon
Similia ... Er ... um ... when you quoted me, you didn't quote my reason why not.
That was just to save space (Also I am dismissing your reason as invalid, because I want to hear what you have to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie
But wasn't he Good! Wasn't he interesting, Wasn't he funny!
I've never found myself laughing while reading Crowley (maybe an occaisional snicker ). Clearly I have a long way to go.
Top   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by similia
I've never found myself laughing while reading Crowley (maybe an occaisional snicker ). Clearly I have a long way to go.
Try this, containing a second-hand account of the story of the Haggis, one of Crowley's most famous practical jokes -
http://www.redflame93.com/Toye.html

- here is the original story published in 1929 (the event took place around 1905) from "The Confessions" -

"On April 27th, the good Tartarin, who had published a book (in the Swiss language) on our expedition to Chogo Ri, illustrated with many admirable photographs but not distinguished by literary quality or accuracy (in many respects), and had lectured in Paris and other capitals on Chogo Ri, dropped in. I was heartily glad to see him. He was the same cheerful ass as ever, but he had got a bit of a swelled head and was extremely annoyed with me for not leading him instantly to stalk the sinister stag, to grapple with the grievous grouse, and to set my ferrets on the fearful pheasant. He could not understand the game laws. Well, I'm a poet; I determined to create sport since it did not exist. More, it should be unique.

I opened the campaign as follows. Tartarin knew the origin of the wild buffalo of Burma. When the British destroyed the villages, their cattle escaped the bayonet and starvation by taking to the jungle, where they had become practically a new species. After the '45 the British had pursued the same policy of extermination --- I mean pacification --- in the Highlands, and I thought it plausible to invent a wild sheep on the analogy of the wild buffalo. And more, the beast should be already famous. I described its rarity, its shyness, its ferocity, etc., etc. --- "You have doubtless heard of it," I ended; "it is called the haggis." My '52 Johannesburg completed that part of the "come-on". Tartarin dreamt all night of scaling a lonely and precipitous pinnacle and dragging a lordly haggis from his lair. For my part, like Judas in the famous story of the Sepher Toldoth Jeschu, I did not dream at all: I did better!

Two mornings later, Hugh Gillies, with disordered dress and wild eyes, came rushing into the billiard room after breakfast. He exploded breathlessly, "There's a haggis on the hill, my lord!"

We dropped our cues and dashed to the gun case. Trusting to my skill, I contented myself with the .577 Double Express, and gave Tartarin the principal weapon of my battery, a 10-bore Paradox, with steel-core bullets. It is a reliable weapon, it will bring an elephant up short with a mere shock, even if he is not hit in a vital part. With such an arm, my friend could advance fearlessly against the most formidable haggis in the Highlands.

Not a moment was to be lost. Gillies, followed by the doctor, myself and my wife, tiptoed, crouching low, out of the front door and stalked the fearsome beast across the Italian garden.

The icy rain chilled us to the bone before we reached the edge of the artificial trout lake. I insisted on wading through this -- up to the neck, guns held high --- on the ground that we should thus throw the haggis off our scent!

We emerged dripping and proceeded to climb the hill on all fours. Every time anyone breathed, we all stopped and lay low for several minutes. It was a chilly performance, but it was worth it! Tartarin soon reached the point where every bent twig looked to him like one of the horns of our haggis. I crawled and dripped and choked back my laughter. The idiocy of the whole adventure was intensified by the physical discomfort and the impossibility of relieving one's feelings. That interminable crawl! The rain never let up for a single second; and the wind came in gusts wilder and more hitter with every yard of ascent. I explained to Tartarin that if it should shift a few degrees, the haggis would infallibly get our scent and be off. I implored him to camouflage his posteriors, which arose in front for my balaclava, heaving like the hump of a dying camel. The resulting wiggles would have driven Isidora Duncan to despair; the poor man was indeed acutely conscious that, anatomically, he had not been constructed with the main idea of escaping notice.

However, after an hour and a half, we reached the top of the hill, three hundred feet above the house, without hearing that hideous scream-whistle of alarm by which (so I had been careful to explain) the haggis announces that he has detected the presence of an alien enemy.

Breathlessly, we crawled towards the hollow space of grassy and heathery knolls that lay behind the huge rock buttress that towers above the garden and the lake, that space whose richness had tempted our distinguished visitor to approach so near to human habitation.

The mist drove wildly and fiercely across the hillside towards us. It magnified every object to an enormous size, the more impressively that the background was wholly blotted out. Suddenly Gilles rolled stealthily over to the right, his finger pointed tremulously to where, amid the unfurling wreaths of greyness, stood ...

Tartarin brought forward the 10-bore with infinite precision. The haggis loomed gargantuan in the mist; it was barely fifty yards away. Even I had somehow half hypnotized myself into a sort of perverse excitement. I could have sworn the brute was the size of a bear.

Guillarmod pressed both triggers. He had made no mistake. Both bullets struck and expanded; he had blown completely away the entire rear section of Farmer McNab's prize ram.

We rushed forward, cheering frantically. Gillies had to be first in at the death; the supply of oats with which he had induced our latest purchase to feed in that spot all the morning without moving, might, if observed, have detracted from the uncanny glory of that romantic scene. But next day at dinner, when we ate that haggis, the general hilarity passed unchallenged. The atmosphere had become wholly Homeric; there was no reason why the wildest glee should seem out of place.

Tartarin sent the ram's head to be stuffed and mounted; a suitable inscription was to be engraved upon a plate of massive gold. For had not the gallant Swiss vindicated their race once more? Would not the Gazette de Lausanne literally foam at the mouth with the recital of so doughty an exploit?"

http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/confess/chapter50.html
Top   #39
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Crowley can be extreemly funny. (Sometimes when he is being serious)

Something mentioned very recently on AT.
In moonchild. The character Arthwait is A.E. Waite.
When you know that, it is just so funny.

Sometimes Crowley is at his funniest when he is at his most scathing.

The laws of Thelema.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
Love is the law, Love under will.

Well, there are a thousand ways of interpreting that, some good, some bad. I could make a good case for it being a fair way for everyone to live their lives, but it is just my interpretation and manipulation of the words.

He was very much a product of his time, and more specifically his upbringing.
He never stopped defying his mother, (long dead and past caring) until his dying day, he was the Beast 666 just to irritate her.

I can admire that kind of pointless, blinkered, tenacity. Really I can.
Top   #40

 

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