Hello the universe makes zero sense right now and I have wine, so let’s consider Aleister goddamn Crowley SOME MORE.
Seriously, I thought I’d finish up this guy in three posts and then move on to other things, but wow, no. And I’m not even going into detail about most of it.
To sum up so far: Rich repressed Edwardian dude decides to go performatively bad, blows his entire inheritance on hookers, blow, and self-publication, has Mystical Buttsex Experience, joins occult society, creates Drama in same, gets married in a “let’s save you from an arranged marriage” deal that would be romantic if it wasn’t, y’know, Aleister fucking Crowley, spends his honeymoon getting messages from possible Egyptian gods, writes a book dictated by same, refuses to commit museum theft and doesn’t publish the book.
Crowley was twenty nine at this point.
Whatever you can say about the guy, he did many things. I, in contrast, am eight years older and have yet to have any sort of Mystical Buttsex Experience, let alone transcribe an entire book from a dubiously-motivated disembodied voice. Clearly I’m spending too much of my time playing video games and eating avocado toast.
So Mathers, the guy who ran the aforementioned occult society? Post-marriage, Crowley decided that Mathers was attacking him magically for Reasons and their bromance ended. One might speculate about the timing of this, Mathers’ Victorian attitudes toward sex and celibate marriage, and the displacement activity of repressed homosexual attraction. There’s a half-decent historical drama here, in fact. I see Tom Ellis as Crowley, and as Mathers…hm. Going with Alexis Denisof.
Crowley carried on doing things like getting more mountaineers killed by climbing the most dangerous mountain in the world in a dumbass fashion, naming his daughter Lillith OF FUCKING COURSE, and paying a guy a hundred pounds to write an essay about how good his poetry was. His daughter died, which was sad but did not keep him from naming another daughter “Lola Zaza,” nor from smoking a fuckton of hashish and doing magic, which I approve of more than I do “Lola Zaza,” good fucking Lord.
Dude claimed to have become one with God, as That Guy inevitably does, and wrote a bunch more books of occult philosophy. The whole system became known as Thelema, which some reasonable people practice, and Crowley was in no way one of them. He claimed, as That Guy inevitably does, that it was “objective truth.”
Izzy’s Drunken Life Tips #43: Never hang out with guys who talk about “objective truth.”
I was wrong earlier about Crowley having blown through his inheritance already, because at this point his money started running out, so he started acting as a magical bodyguard for coke-addled noblemen, writing short fiction, and taking paying students, which only seems to have involved BDSM like half the time.
Next: Starting His Own Magical Order! With Blackjack! And Hookers!