In order to understand Crowley and his controversial work, we need to place them against the backdrop of British attitudes toward sexuality in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, one of the many reasons for the shocking, sordid and deliciously scandalous reputation that followed Crowley was his practice of sexual magic and his deliberate transgression of the sexual mores of the world in which he was raised.  Rejecting the effete morality of his Christian youth, Crowley deliberately set out to overturn what he saw as the oppressive, hypocritical attitudes of Victorian England, by identifying sex as the most central aspect of the human being and the most profound source of magical power (in fact, in his Book of Lies, he points out that the English word for the pronoun “I” is itself a phallic shape). The popular press, of course, took no end of delight in sensationalizing Crowley’s sexual promiscuity, which was described in vivid, exaggerated and often hilarious detail throughout the newspapers of the day. Thus he and his degenerate band of followers were described in the most scandalous terms as “a blasphemous sect whose proceedings lend themselves to immorality of the most revolting character,” whose main goal is “to fill their money-bags by encouraging others to gratify their depraved tastes.”

Hugh Urban
UNLEASHING THE BEAST: Aleister Crowley, Tantra and Sex Magic in Late Victorian England

The space beyond truth

April 9, 2017

Diary 9th April

Me, age ten. My older cousin Debs, fair and freckled, hitched up her skirt in the bathroom to show me where a boy must put “his thing” to make a baby.

“Obviously,” she reassured me, “it’s got to be stiff when you do that…”

And funnily enough, looking at what she had down there, I was very stiff. But a baby…? How could a baby come from such a small opening?

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My mother spoke frequently of my sister’s second husband’s sexual problems. These she attributed to an excess of wanking as a child. He had, she insisted, a terrible crush on another boy while in sixth form college. My sister, lacking a penis, was no doubt second best when it came to his choice of life-partner. Although how my mother acquired such intimate knowledge of him I haven’t the slightest idea.

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The beautiful weather continues. I will spend the day in the garden, pottering about in the bright sunshine and drinking G&Ts from tall iced glasses. Probably, we’ll all be legless by teatime.

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Aromatherapy has been practiced for many, many years. There is, of course, a spiritual side to this form of massage. There are Wiccans who in their practice of witchcraft can create potions and elixirs which by the ritual reciting of spells energise these herbs and ingredients to a whole new level of potency. They are able to produce aromatherapy oils that work on the brain, creating states of euphoria and bliss the like of which you will never have experienced before.

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And, of course, we’re thinking about Beltane. Food, drink and love starting on the evening of 30th April and continuing throughout the 1st of May in celebration of the Gods and Goddess’ of fertility and love. It is a time of fire and raw sex. Bonfires and rituals. A time to practice “The Great Rite”, reenacting the creation of the universe through acts of ritual sex – celebrating our bodies and creating magical power while engaging in acts of love outdoors. Perfect.