Rituals - E13 • The Occultist’s Guide to Happiness


He was called the wickedest man in the world by the press and proclaimed himself, the great Beast. 666 M.

Do you have any idea who I’m talking about?

And it’s not you before you save me.


Well, let me edit that out of my notes.

My runner-up is like a Zak Bagans situation.


I feel like he would proudly claim either of those titles.

But yeah, he probably does have that tattooed on him somewhere.

So not Zak Bagans, not exact Bagans.

His name was Aleister Crowley.

Okay, I know his name, but I really don’t know much about him and it’s kind of embarrassing.


So I’m glad we’re going to pick that up to I change things up.

His life was sort of scandalous, for lack of a better word, but he actually influenced modern day paganism.

Magic and Witchcraft in a big way.

And I’m with you, I knew the name, but I really didn’t know much of the backstory.

So we’re gonna Dive Right In and learn about this kind of troubling person.


I love listening.

About troubling people.

So I am all in.


Hi everyone, and welcome to rituals a Spotify original from par cast.

I’m Christine Schieffer.

And I’m M Schultz and every week, we’ll explore the evolution of spiritualism and the Occult through stories practices and the impact on Modern culture.

Yes, today.

We are discussing Alice.

For Crowley a man who wore many hats.


I meant that figuratively but probably literally as well.

I feel like he’s the kind of guy to where he’s a flashy man.

He’s a flashy man.

He had a lot to say a lot to do and a lot of opinions and he he still kind of sticking around in modern-day paganism.


So I’m embarrassed that up until now.

I still don’t know who he is because I feel like we have certainly had many years of talking about this kind of content where I could have done it.

Google search, but I think my memory of him was always too fleeting.


And I didn’t want to just ask somebody because I feel like everyone expects me to maybe it’s my own weird pressure on myself, but I know nothing about him and I know he’s a very notorious man.

In this world.


Notorious is probably the best word for it and to your credit.

I feel like part of the problem is that you can’t really do a quick Google.


Search on the guy, you need to do kind of more of a deep dive which is why I’m so thankful podcast.


Did the Deep dive because Is, there is a lot going on and I think you would have been sucked into some sort of Internet Wormhole and probably never come out the other side.

So not to be dramatic or anything, but, no worries. 100% fair.


I would have maybe thought I was him by the end or something.

They somehow fix it.

And I would have probably gotten his story.

Well, I’m going to tell you all about it.

So let’s crack into it.


So, as we get started, I want to note from the top that Aleister Crowley’s life, became sort of a mixture of sexual, freedom, and Magic.

But this didn’t happen until later on in the story because he actually grew up in a pretty strict fundamentalist household.

So, as we pin, you’re going to hear kind of the upbringing and it’s very conservative and strict and then as we go you’ll see how kind of people’s a 180. - I feel like there’s such a, I don’t know, stereotypes, even though right maybe it is.


It’s kind of a really Che.

It’s certainly a cliché of that’s a great word with kids, with strict, upbringings rebelling in their later years.

I am not surprised that if Aleister, Crowley was going to be raised in a world of, I assume strict Purity culture, of course later.


After a few questions are answered.

He’s going to be like, okay.

Let’s try the sexual Freedom thing.

Let’s be, let’s not go all the way to the other.

Other side of the spectrum.

Yeah, I’m a deviant now is what he said.

Well, I’m sorry.

Is that a quote?

Could you find that for me?

Because I’m a deviant now.


I feel like would have been written on a hat or so.

I was gonna say it was one of his embroidered hats.

One of his many hats and I would like to sell it in our merch store.

Anyway, it is a cliche and you’re exactly right.

He did pull a 180 and rebel and so we’re gonna get into that honestly pretty quickly.


But yeah, you’re right.

Like suppressing a kid from kind of exploring and being you.

Their true self and really learning about what they like and what they’re interested in seems to in a cliche way, but it’s a cliché for a reason kind of turn out badly.

Maybe not the way that a strict parent would expect.


I think if you deprive people of information and self-discovery than that’s a recipe for a world of hurt later, on your end.

Mom and dad, and then, oh, yeah, you listening, mom and dad.

Mom and dad.

Are you there?


Not, which is the saddest part?


Actually, I does work the other way to, I think, because I grew up in a household where sexual Freedom was abound.

And now, I am like, the most vanilla person because I was traumatized in different ways.


We are the poster child for different angles at this whole parenting thing.


So, you know, try all you want so far.

It sounds like, I’m the opposite of Aleister Crowley.

So, I maybe that might be a good thing.

I don’t know.

I think it’s a good thing in the end.

I think, ultimately, you’ll be pleased, you’re kind of in a different world.

Okay, cool.

I know that he’s in the world of spiritualism.

He started out religious.



Is that also common?

I mean, I do, you have anything like that happen.

I know you used to be religious or at least you grew up religious.

Yeah, that’s a good point.

I mean, I grew up in a Catholic household.

I like to call myself reformed Catholic.

Much to my godmothers Chagrin, but growing up Catholic, and now kind of delving into spiritualism.


And really, you know, that cliche, again.

It’s not to use that word.

But that kind of Trope of like, oh, I’m not religious.

I’m spiritual person.

Like that’s kind of how I tend to view myself.

And so, obviously being interested in this kind of thing.

I do tend to get a little bit skeptical because growing up in Catholicism.


I’m like anytime there’s like, you know, rules and anytime I feel like even if it’s spiritualism, a lot of times, it does Verge on pulling from different religions that kind of thing.

And so I do get skeptical of like, I might just entering another territory.

That’s wearing a different face of Christianity.


Do you know what I mean?

Oh, yeah, totally.

I feel like if you grew up in a world, where things didn’t always.

Is click and it’s it’s fair to but I want other things happened that don’t click right away or maybe feel too close or something.

Yeah, you knew in your past.

Maybe you’re like, I don’t know about that one.


Yeah, so I do get a little skeptical sometimes, but I’m not a religious person.

I’m a spiritual person.

Just thought, I’d throw that out there as a sound bite, for everybody as the most common sound bite of this generation may be.

So what do you know about Aleister Crowley?

Because I really, as far as I know.


He’s like a real-life War.

Or lock.

That’s what I just like.

I kind of ran with that and just hoped no one would ask me any different.

But what do you know about that?

I feel like you kind of hit the nail on the head.

I mean, that’s probably how he saw himself at the very least.

It’s so hard to even say in one sentence, like who this guy was, because he did so many random different things.


But before this episode, like I really did not know too much about him.

Honestly, if somebody had told me.

Oh, that’s a fictional character.

I would have probably believed them.

I would have been like, oh, okay.

I thought he was a real guy.

I knew probably.

Less about him than you did so, okay, better.




I knew that I think Zach, like I mentioned Zach earlier.

I think he actually owns stuff that used to belong to Aleister Crowley.

I feel like I heard about that at his haunted Museum.

I think he owns like one of his like, ritual, chalice as her some.

Oh my goodness.

Well, something really dark and spooky and he had something that was like, a certificate that was signed by Aleister Crowley or something Aleister.



The name, alone sounds to me like a character out of, like a Charles.


It’s novel.

And I think that’s why I kind of always assumed maybe he was a fake person.

He sounds like an actual warlock.

It sounds like, it sounds like a name.

That only a magic would be surrounded by.


So it’s less new wage than that.

But if you told me that that was actually named that was pulled out by the Harry Potter series.

I’d be like Oh My Tracks.

Yes, and honestly, I would not be surprised if Harry Potter has mentioned him or at least referenced him and JK Rowling has mentioned him in some of the books.


Is it feels like it’s pretty on brand?

Well, Aleister Crowley was born in Warwickshire England, in 1875.

And we’re going to talk about a guy again, who’s, you know, professing his belief in sexual freedom and magic, and we’re talking 1875.


So you can see why this is just simply not going to fly with a lot of people.

Why 1875 is the most liberal hedonist Paradise I’ve ever heard of Eden.

His paradise laugh.

Crowley grew up in a very strict Christian household.


His father was a member of an organization called the Plymouth Brethren and they basically preach that the Bible was to be interpreted literally as written.

So, oh, that’s a lot.

Because if anyone’s read the Bible or even parts of it, I guess I would say it’s hard to me.


It’s impressive that they were able to convince themselves to take the whole thing.

Literally, because a lot of it is symbolism, or at least read the symbolism.

What would he was 11, his father died and he started to get really rebellious.

So at age 11 was already the time when he’s turning the tables here his mother tried to get him back on track as a good Christian boy, but eventually she began calling him the Beast and you imagine.


Can you imagine?

And this is basically a reference to the one mention in the Book of Revelation, which, again, remember they’re taking this literally.

So she is calling him like the great beast from the Bible.

Which honestly again, I feel like that was an attempt to punish him.


But you know, he took that and ran with it as probably I would have done the same.

I feel like if you’re going to call your son like the worst thing, you know while he’s processing his father’s deaf and probably because of his father’s death.

He’s questioning his faith.

I feel like you have to have a really solid explanation for why you’re doing that.


I feel like 11 is a very fragile agent.

He’s already on the edge and I appreciate that.

He’s rolling with it, but honestly, with all the Dark stuff.

He was probably dealing with.

I feel like if I were 11 and that happened I might internalize that.

Maybe I am a beast and I’m part of the reason for my part of the death.



That’s a good point because up until now if he’s been raised in this culture where yeah.


The Beast is the worst thing you could be and his mother starts calling him that that’s a good point.

He probably did internalize that and maybe if he was already like on the verge of rebelling because I feel like with such a fragile moment like such like a dark moment for Or a kid especially I don’t know.


I feel like if someone’s going to call you the Beast and maybe you think part of its true.

Maybe it gave him permission to keep rebelling.

I don’t know.

Maybe he was like, well, if I’m already the Beast, like, there’s really no saving me anyway, so, I mean, that’s exactly true.

Like, if she’s calling him the Beast because he’s rebelling.


Well, then, you know, that’s his truth now and he’s might as well live it out, right?

So exactly, that’s what he did.

Like you’d think it would bother him, but he became fascinated by the Association and continued his His ways before heading off to Cambridge in 1895.


And while it Cambridge, Crowley basically had his sexual Awakening and there we are.

There we go.

This is where it all begins, and being at College allowed Crowley to figure out his own sexuality.

And while he did date many women.

He also met a guy named Herbert Paulette in 1897 and the too good for him.



See now we’re thinking.



Yeah, we can get behind this great Beast situation, right?

Like yeah.

Oh God.

And I can only imagine him killing himself that during his sexual prowess.

It’s you have to say that, you know, any that’s like freshman dude in college.

She was like, trying to prove that he’s worth his salt is going to be like, yeah, they call me the Beast back at home.


You ever heard of the great beasts.

He probably growled.

Okay, next or next.


I’m vetoing that.

I’m vetoing that comment.

That’s fair.


A, to be fair, though.

His mother called him that which also kind of adds a little bit of weirdness, Freudian a little Freudian.


Maybe I’m going to move on and pretend you said nothing.

Okay, so he met this guy Herbert, Paula and 1897.

And they did have a brief relationship but it was a serious relationship so good for him, good for them, good for him.

And then he became interested in writing at school.

And this is when he published his first Works, including his notorious, erotic poetry collection in 1898.


So, when Alastair was 21 years old, he now inherits his father’s money.

Remember his father had passed when he was 11.

Oh, yeah.

Yeah, and at 21, he inherits US money and using my trusty Dusty inflation calculator.

I can tell you.

This would have been in the millions.


So let’s put this together real quick.

So you have a boy who was raised in a very strict kind of conservative up bringing a strict household.

Then he went to college begin to explore his sexuality.

Lost his father.

So I went through this tragic event got ahold of millions of dollars and now so has the freedom To do what he wants.


I mean, this is bound to be a disaster recipe recipe for disaster.

So while he was at school in October of 1896, Crowley got very sick, and this is when he began contemplating life, a little more deeply and he decided he didn’t want to just kind of surface, explore, you know, write some poetry here and there, call himself the Beast.


He wanted to leave behind a legacy and while his strict Christian upbringing was not the thing.

Obviously, he already left.

That cat out of the bag.

That wasn’t not going to be the thing he turned back.

To this point.

She was still attracted to the idea that when his father was alive.


He had kind of a following.

He had a large influence on people.

And so yeah, basically, you can see what’s coming here.

His father had followers and he decided I want to have that same kind of influence but in the occult World, okay, at least he’s shaken, things up a little bit, I guess.


Yeah, you know what?

I mean?

We’ve seen this time and time again with people who kind Of start their own group, just for the sake of, having the power, the influence, as a true-crime podcaster.

Let’s just say, I’ve seen it time and time again, and Crowley basically began to explore spirituality and the Occult and decided I’m going to find a way to kind of turn this into a way that I can be a leader in this movement and have my own followers and have influence.


So, he finds out about this secret occult society called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in November of 1898.

Golden Dawn members followed philosophies and practices that supported the individual spirit.

So, in theory, that sounds lovely, you know, basically you’re saying like, oh, what works for you.


Well, you know, we’re going to support that in a spiritual way.

So it kind of sounds good.

It sounds like how they all.

I imagine start like just like one very nice notion and then they just let you marinate in that for a second.



Basically the Order of the Golden Dawn took influences from various religious practices, and that’s kind of I was mentioning earlier to of like, even when you’re getting into something more new age or spiritual, you still see remnants of different religions.

And so, sometimes I get a little skeptical.

Like, how much are we pulling?


How similar and how different is this from?

Just a classic traditional religion?

So they are pulling influences from various religious practices.

This includes Kabbalah Christianity, Freemasonry paganism and Crowley pretty quickly.

Moved up the ranks in the order because people found him charismatic.


I mean, he was the Beast after all.

He was the Beast and you know, a charismatic person can always end up doing really good or really not good.

I feel like all it takes is you being charismatic and wanting a following and pretty quickly.

You’re going to get exactly what you want.


I feel like Charisma is a dangerous tool that a lot of people use to their advantage and two.

Others disadvantage can confirm.

It is a burden and a curse in my life.

So oh it is.

Is it just nothing?

But charm over here, folks must be tough.


Man, we all feel so sorry for you.

Yeah, I got it.

You should you should.

So as he’s climbing the ranks in the order.

He meanwhile is causing a lot of drama.

So once again, I know we said you’re the opposite of this but Charisma drama.


I don’t know.

I’m seeing a little bit of em Schultz in a situation.

I’m kind of what would happen.

If Aleister Crowley took a very different direction.

Let’s put all what I see.

He just made a podcast, just no.

Blowing afraid of anything physical and like still in this spooky stuff, though, you know, so just opens the Poetry on an incognito tab and then immediately closes it.





I’m just, I’m just having like an alternate universe for sure.

We’re like, I just made a lot of different calls.

Well, he is causing a lot of drama here and this pretty much led to the Order of the Golden Dawn disbanding in the early 1900’s.



So after this, he took Have a sharp turn and between 1902 and 1903.

He decided to focus on mountain climbing.

Honestly, I got Batman.

Okay, that sentence is the most normal thing you said, and probably any episode so far.


He had apparently picked it up as a teen, and he got really into it.

And I want to also point out that during his mountain climbing years.

He also got married.

So that’s just another little footnote in the life of Aleister Crowley those two things that are pretty normal.

He got married and he went mountain climbing.


I I do want to point out though that even though he’s doing a relatively normal hobby.

He once again caused so much drama on these mountains that he basically was like shunned from a lot of these groups and he turned his attention back to the occult for the rest of his life.

And what a life it was.


I’m going to tell you all about it.

Coming up, Aleister Crowley dedicated his adult life to the occult and spiritualism.

I’ll tell you what, he called, the most powerful force in life and the Supreme source of magical power.


It was me.

It was M Schultz all along, not back to the life of Aleister Crowley.


He is now out of his Christianity, very out very far from his Christianity, and his roots and Christian can’t even see it with binoculars.

So far away, not from the second tallest peak.

That’s how far away it was.

So he’s out of his Christianity.

He’s out of college and now, we’re with Aleister Crowley the early 1900’s, he decides, he’s going to spend his life dedicated to the occult and spiritualism and around.


Time in 1903.

He got married to a woman who would be a catalyst for his most notable work.

They had kind of an interesting relationship as well.

And while the couple was in Cairo Egypt, in April of 1904.

His wife went into a sort of trance and started delivering what they called Supernatural Communications to her husband.



I wonder do we have a guess on how valid that experience was the legitimacy?

I don’t know.

I feel like if you’re Married to Aleister Crowley.

You feel like you better commit to this life.


You better deliver.

Yeah, some interesting, spiritual experience.

Yeah, so through several sessions with her, a Crowley wrote his book, The Book of the law, which was allegedly dictated to him from his Guardian Angel and was apparently signed by a fur onic priest.


And it was signed by this priest but then Crowley later claimed that actually, he was The Reincarnation of this priest.

So I’m like so you signed it.


Hang on a second.

I’m confused.

So it sounds very similar to the Ouija board episode where people were just right and both.


That for ghosts, you know, you’re completely right.


And instead of giving credit to his wife.

He’s like, no, she was in a trance.


It wasn’t, she was busy.

It was me in a past life, talking through her.

Wait, I got actually my wait a minute.

Can you imagine if I went into a trance and now I’m talking as you to you, what a show Rippy expected, you know what she did deliver.


She said, Married Aleister Crowley and that’s how this is gonna go.

She said watch.


Yes, we will.

Well, without getting into too many of the details about this book because it’s confusing and I think even these little bullets might get confusing.


So buckle up the basic principle of the book is a law of thelema which is do what?

Thou Wilt shall be the whole of the law.

So the word thelema is taken from the Greek language for Will.

So essentially like you’re following your own individual will, which reminds me of the Hermetic Golden Dawn situation, we had earlier of like individual Spirit.


That’s what we’re pursuing.

So Crowley saw the law of thelema, as the pursuit of an individual’s will unconstrained by popular opinion, law or conventional ethics.

So kind of do, what makes you happy, which again, in theory sounds pretty good.

I guess it sounds really nice, but it already sounds like a very slippery slope.


That’s the best word for it.

Like things could go south really quickly and surprise surprise.

They kind of do.

So Crowley spent several years traveling around the world teaching, these teachings from his books and from 1907 to 1911 Crowley under the direct influence of a spirit.


Allegedly wrote 12.

Holy books, and other non-magical works to including more poetry is work.

Expressed the fact that Crowley saw sex as the most powerful force in life and the Supreme source of magical powers.

I know you try to tell me that you were the most powerful force, while turns out.


It’s actually sex.

Sorry, that’s fine.

I also think, by the way, though, that like that feels like something every like, dude, bro has ever said like that.

Sex is just like, the most powerful thing.

I feel like maybe, you know, you know, especially someone who calls himself the Beast.


I am like, oh boy, here we go, right, and he’s like, I can’t think of anything cooler.

I don’t know anything more powerful than my sexual prowess.

It helps also that it outraged outraged British Society of his time.

And of course that just fueled the fire.


That was his favorite thing to do was cause drama.

And now he’s saying, oh, I love sex and they’re like, how dare you?

Yeah, he’s like rock and roll but he’s what he gonna do about it, rock and roll and the Beast and you can’t do anything about it.

So, he purposely made explicit use of the most deviant sexual acts quote, unquote, as Central components, in his magical practice.


Now, I think you firsthand got to witness some of that in his poetry.

So sorry about that, but you did it to your site just do it to myself.

But also that makes sense a little bit that maybe it was intentionally deviant for the shock value or two really like separate himself from society.



It’s like pushing buttons.

Basically is pushing buttons on purpose.

Yeah, or maybe he was really into it.

I don’t know.

He could do it.

You want?

I think it was probably a combination of both because he definitely liked the drama of it, but he seemed like he wasn’t hatin The Experience.

Yeah, hate me experience.


Yet in 1909 Crowley announced in the first issue of his new publication.

The equinoxes probably the most boring publication.

He’s had so far.

You’ve got things like when akka hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

Okay, like I think we could judge it up if we wanted to this feels lazy.


Feel like this sounds like the name of a college newspaper or like a color.

Yeah, creative arts paper.

Like the Equinox.

Yeah, exactly.

So in this publication, he announced the formation of a magical order.

It was abbreviated as a a not to be confused with Alcoholics Anonymous that came later I think, but it was called the argentum astrum.


Well, obviously he put all of his mental power into that and not Equinox, but argentum astrum literally just translates to Silver Star, which is equally as boring.


I feel like now he’s just translating things in a Latin to be like cool.

Maybe he got a like, an astrological pamphlet because Equinox Silver Star and then silver stars seem boring.


So he translated it to lat.

Maybe he was really shaking like a astrology class.


I don’t know.

Yeah, it sounds like he’s really into like the cosmos in this moment of time.

So this was, yeah, his current interest if you will.

Well, unfortunately, by 1913 this would have been for years later, the AA was no longer going.


Going well.

So Crowley got inspired by the Ordo, templi orientis, or the Oto which was a fringe Masonic order, and he became the head of the English-speaking branch of the order.

So instead of, you know, his own group, now, he decides he’s going to join this Fringe Masonic group and kind of climb the ranks.



He really just drops things for the next shiny thing that comes along.

I feel like he just keeps building things up to create chaos, and then they devolve and then he just starts again and he’s like, So it sounds like this is exactly the way life is supposed to go and I feel like what was the name of that Oto?


What was that Oto?

Yeah, the Ordo, templi orientis, what was going on in the world of we’re just like, on every street corner.

There was a different crazy named spiritualist Fringe cult-like.

What’s going on?

Don’t like, are they just better at hiding?


It now or were they?

I don’t know what was going on where he could just walk into every room and there’s a new place for him to destroy.

My guess is that this was kind of in Vogue if you will.

And then over time, they probably got a bad rap for obvious reasons, and maybe nowadays.


They’re not as popular of a trend.

I don’t know, as long as it’s not as scary as some of these other societies seem.

I would like the opportunity to be welcomed into like a secret society.

I think that’d be fun.

But they all sound a little too fringy.


And it sounds like they’re all just welcoming anybody like, every single One.

I feel like if you looked at a certain year every one of them at one point had Aleister Crowley on the roster.

Yeah, but also Crowley was also a white dude.

I feel like probably we would not have been welcomed into that’s fairies group.


That’s certainly sorry to say, you know, I don’t think that these, I mean, the other one, the Brethren, I mean that clearly indicates this is men, you know, I don’t think we would have been welcomed even if we wanted to.

So, I’ve been in secret societies that I was not welcomed, or I was a did not feel welcomed.


And so.

Oh good.

Good for You know, I backed out quickly.

So we’re good.

You should have pulled an Aleister Crowley in AC, and just destroyed it from within.

I should have it felt from a phobic.

So I feel like maybe they deserved it.

So actually I might go back.

Hang on.

That’s what I’m saying.

Yeah, go in there and Rise the ranks and then destroy it from within.


Okay, actually that sounds.


It’s like a fun summer project.

I can do that.

Okay, great, while Living in America during World War One.

It’s about the time that he burned through all of his millions in inheritance.

I say Millions.

In today’s money, so he burned through all of that money, by the time, he was living in the US and we think that the Oto possibly funded some of his life at this point.



Got it.


Well, that would make sense if he needs the money.

Yeah, and not only is he in this group, but there have paying for his livelihood, which is very interesting to me.

And if that’s the case, then maybe I also want to join some secret societies.


I didn’t know that they’ll buy my groceries, but Anyway, we’ll talk about it later.

The one I was in bought me one and you will dinner.

Oh, that’s nice.

And it was fine.

It wasn’t even like top-tier food.

So I don’t know if you’re missing out on anything in today’s secret societies.



Okay, miss my chance.

Yeah, Aleister Crowley.

Continue to practice sexual rituals with a lot of people.

While working in New York writing propaganda.

Forget this pro-german Publications.


I was like, yeah, it’s really just out there to shock everybody.

He is in it for the shock value.


And needless to say, that didn’t go over.

Well, remember, it is World War One in the US.

He doesn’t have many friends.

Yeah, it’s a polite way to put it fair enough.

It seems like he is going from Social Circle.

The Social Circle his whole life.


So he might just be used to it and Burning Bridges all along the way.


So, in 1920, he moved to Sicily, where he established the Abbey of thelema.

We remember thelema kind of a translates from will as the headquarters for New religion.


So this is going to go great.

I assume which involved more vague spiritual enlightenment, presumably more thesaurus filled phrases.

I don’t know if they were astrology based or what something Whimsical who knows?

He continued to experiment with sex and drugs, especially in his rituals, but in 1923 talk about drama an Englishman died.


After a ritual where he allegedly drink the blood of a cat.

Okay, so we have fully cross the Sheldon to, like, wild town.

Like now animals are being drank.

So I think I’m officially, yeah, I’m shocked out.

I think, I no longer can feel any sort of support for his quote, unquote religion.


And I feel like I saw it getting there for a while.

I knew it had to get pretty bad for him to be.

So notorious.

I knew blood or some sort of, like ceremony was to happen.

But now that we’ve hit that spot, I somehow find myself shocked.


So it’s kind of a Amazing.

How he has the ability to do that?

Even several pages into the notes were still kind of being taken aback by some of this Behavior.


So he was kicked out of Sicily and the Abbey of thelema closed and it was during the Scandal that a newspaper called him, the wickedest man in the world and this is a phrase that you sometimes hear associated with him.


Once again, I feel like that’s something he probably embraced.


That’s also probably why I thought of him as a warlock, which I don’t think that words coming up in these notes at all.

I think, in my head Was the story.

I told myself because I’ve heard of him as a wicked man.

And I Associated it with like dark witchcraft or something and just kind of ran with it.


And also I don’t think the Luxor actually bad.

I think I’m going off of like he’s like, I don’t know if that’s even the right.

I think I’m going off of Halloweentown.

That’s so, you know, probably not accurate.

I’m just picturing the neural Pathways in your brain going like the file folders.



Knocking Halloweentown look like my earbuds in my pocket.

There’s just a big, Mass.

A big rats nest, like a batted ball of yard.


Well, he was described as the wickedest man in the world and I assume he embraced that title throughout the 1920s, Crowley traveled through France, Germany and North Africa.


And unfortunately, for him his life, just kind of spiraled downward.

So things were not going great for acing.

Do I know it Aleister, Crowley was declared bankrupt in 1935 as we know he had already kind of run through all.

Inheritance money from his father, but he was able to publish several more books in the 1940s including a final anthology of his poetry in 1947.


He died of myocardial degeneration, Complicated by bronchitis, on December, first of 1947, which was the year that he published his last Anthology.

So he really was right in these poems up until the very end.



Also, I feel like I’m shocked that that was the way he went out.


I feel like it had to be something crazy like he like got Pure.

First by a fence post or something.

Like I feel like I was expecting something more dramatic for to live your life.

That chaotically and just to like have like a normal medical condition that kind of like just like a weak heart.



I would have expected to another kind of a more dramatic death.

Allah the Englishmen who drank cat blood, you know what I mean?

Yeah, but yeah, but that didn’t take him out.


Well then like nothing should have Up.


Next Aleister Crowley’s Legacy is complicated, but it’s been very impactful on modern-day occultism.

So he’s still causing drama is what I’m hearing this very day.


For what?

It’s worth Aleister.

Crowley really did get what he wanted.

He left behind a legacy.

I mean we’re talking about him in 2022 and even though he did leave a legacy.

It’s definitely a polarizing one which at this point.

I think we both can understand why that would be but his creation of a new ceremonial magic left, a mark on 20th century.


Cultism we can say with certainty that he enjoyed the attention.

He got when he was alive and his Fame grew even more after his death and kind of all of the stuff he had done up until that point.

Followed him and made a name for himself.

Even after death Church.

Yeah, they’re still groups who call themselves The Lee mites.


Some people still use his tarot cards and read his book.

Well, I feel like good or bad.

He really made a name for himself.

He was quite the force also in a generally up until recently.

I mean, maybe Because we keep ourselves in these kind of circles.

It doesn’t seem as like, Fringe and scary to us.


But I think growing up the occult at all, or witchcraft or paganism, just seemed like spooky in a way, or it was just fascinating in general.

So, I feel like, hopefully, not everyone that still reads his books or knows about him, or learns about him.


Isn’t doing it for any Sinister motives.

I think Adam nefarious, right of pure Fascination.

Like, I mean, we’re talking about him just because it’s mind-blowing that this Existed in made it as long as he did.

So like I like to think that hopefully he’s not influencing everyone.


That’s still learning about him.

But man, he certainly just changed my world with that poem earlier.

So I mean, he’s still making, he still like planting himself into people’s Spirits, you know, you should see ends neural Pathways just added another layer of yarn, just shoved his way that poem.


It was like taking the ball of yarn in my head and like squeezing it and getting all like it.

He’s Saturday out.

Aleister Crowley was also taken up by the counterculture of the 1960s and can be seen on the cover of The Beatles Sgt.


Pepper’s, Lonely, Hearts Club Band album between the Indian Guru, SRI.

Yuktah, soir.


And the Hollywood star Mae West.

So, if you’re looking at the group there, you can spot him.

I feel like I would not know who either of the two people next to him were so that didn’t totally help.


But I will look for someone who looks like You know, he probably has ran and destroyed a lot of secret societies in the 1920s.

I bet I could find him on there.

You could probably pick him out of a lineup without doing it because I had a feeling writers who found his life.


So fascinating even used him as inspiration in their work, including fictionalized versions of him.

And I think that might be why I had pulled kind of this idea of him being a character.

Let me to be fair.

He was a character even though he was a real person that I think I had also.


Countered him as a fictionalized character and other, you know, works.

Yeah, and so I think that might be why I thought maybe he wasn’t really real fair enough in 1974.

The Royal Shakespeare company put on a play called the beast, which was a fictionalized adaptation of Aleister Crowley’s life.


I could get into the watching that I think that would be really fun to see.

I agree.

I’m not like a big theater person.

So, I don’t totally know.

What else the Royal Shakespeare company has thrown together, but I You’ll like the Beast would certainly be a nice.



First time appreciating their work.

Yeah, I think you and I would have a good time watching that.

I do Wonder though when they say a fictionalized adaptation.

I’m like, do we need to fictionalize?


It was pretty bananas, as it was, there’s some people, you don’t need to spend their story for interest, you know, exactly, they spun it themselves.


So, what do you feel about?

Aleister Crowley?

Do you feel at all like on his side?

Or are you just kind of?

Like I don’t want to be part of this, just To watch the train wreck happen from a fast where you think I am.


I wish psychiatrists were lining up to like analyze where all this came from.


I feel like it could probably be partially explained away pretty easily of like, oh, well, he had like a really like strict upbringing and there is that Trope of like people like completely reverting into something else when they get older if they’re stifled at such a young age and given no opportunities to grow.


Discover themselves plus his dad died, which I imagine made him question his faith.

And so I can see where he unraveled very quickly.

Yeah, I would love to hear what a psychologist’s opinion on like why he was so into shock value.

I wonder if he was doing things because he enjoyed them and realized that there was a shock value to it or if I wonder if he only got into the stuff because he was craving shock value stuff.


And then that’s a good.

He saw that this stock and then it just kind of became has Worldview, I don’t know.

That’s a good point.

Yeah, I’m not sure he was a lot and I feel like he could have had the impact he had, I doing half of the things that.


So the fact that he kept going and kept writing these poems and kept, I feel, you couldn’t have all been for shock value because once you write enough erotic poetry that you’ve turned, you know, the genteel Society upside down and then he did it up until the year.


He died.

I’m like he must have enjoyed it.

Yeah, maybe he was some extent right?

Like, survive.

A good time.

He must have a good site causing chaos.

I just think of when there’s someone that I just really can’t understand or their stories just so over-the-top.

I really do just think of it from like a I just want to analyze this person and like I’m not the person to expertly do that, but I would love to see, like someone write like a report on him just to be like, oh this is why he can’t keep friends.


This is why he keeps like going into places and just like self-sabotaging and destroying everything in front of him.

And then he just leaves and does it again.

Like yeah, I would love to hear what his wife had to say.

You know, who Ooh, well, you know, usually when she speaks it’s through a gaurd exactly.

Yeah, it’s actually him.


So I don’t know that, that would be very helpful.

But yeah, there was a lot more that, you know, we didn’t get into today.

He for example, had Mistresses, he dragged his family, all over the world, his daughter ended up passing away at a young age and he blamed his wife for her negligence.


Like there was just a lot more that you know, wasn’t necessarily related to the occult part that also added to him being just kind of not the greatest dude on the planet.

And so, you know, I don’t know how much of this was him.

Just kind of being not a great guy.


How much of it was him fully, you know, believing in a cultism and spiritualism.

I guess.

I want to know what do you think as far as his view on sexual Freedom.

Do you feel like he was exploiting the occult in the name of sexual Freedom?

Or do you think like they went hand-in-hand part of me thinks that I don’t know.


I feel like he gave it a bad name, gave me a call too bad.

No surgery and Cat blood and same time.

Oh, it’s it’s all about deviant sexual acts.

I think his sexual life, and maybe his interest in spirituality.

I think in my mind.

I, at least hope that they were just two different interests.


And yeah, just I don’t know, accidentally or maybe on purpose, muddled a bunch of rebellious acts together and 21 or maybe the rest of society, couldn’t understand either of them and assume they went hand-in-hand.

And so I don’t know if it was his intention on making.


So freedom, because I mean, I grew up also hearing like Witchcraft and the Occult and all this scary stuff.

There was like, that really horrible stereotype of there being like, sex orgies, as part of every ceremony or like, whatever trigger words, people could come up with to scare you or things.

That just seemed outlandish all mixed together in one pot.


So, I don’t know how much of that was Aleister, Crowley’s doing versus people just being scared of everything.

He was involved in and calling it one big circle.

So, totally know.

I agree it.

It’s kind of hard to say where it began and where it ended.

You know, the question two is like, was he Progressive?


Was he ahead of his time?

This was the early 1900’s.

He was Radical.

I think we can agree in his thinking I like to think if he lived today.

Maybe he would have had a healthier Outlet.

I’m not sure if that’s the case, but maybe he would have found a safer way to practice his interests and acts that were considered deviant.


Then that are not considered necessarily deviant.

Now, maybe he would have had a safer way to Explore that, but who knows?

Maybe some people just want to see the world burn it.


I don’t know, Progressive is the right word.

I definitely think if he had some guidance or education, maybe he could have, like, shifted his interest in to like healthier Behavior or healthier versions of that behavior or I appreciate that.


It seems like, every time he started a group, it felt like it was starting out as like, oh, take care of yourself and great intentions.

Yeah, I feel feel like there was always a good belief that started it off and then he just really derailed.

So I don’t know if maybe he just needed a group of friends.


Like, I think he just needed true friends that he wasn’t going to like, completely decimate insects months and like, just to destroy the entire Social Circle, but I feel like if he had some consistent friends, like kind of keeping them on the right path.

Maybe he would have found a progressive way to do the things he was doing that were so radical.


I think you’re probably right, like, a supportive Circle and I want to be the first and saying that I do not volunteer for.

Neither of being his Confidant.

Someone else can do that me either.


Thanks so much for listening.

We’ll be back next week with another great episode information on today’s episode came from unleashing.

The Beast by Hugh Urban Oxford dictionary of national biography, Tracy W, Tubman’s dissertation on Aleister Crowley for Ohio State University.


Future travel Branch Collective.

Atlas obscura open culture, National Trust, Georgia, State, University’s Department of religious studies and the Harry Ransom Center.

Remember to follow rituals on Spotify to A brand new episode every week and you can listen to this and all other episodes of rituals for free exclusively on Spotify, and if you liked this show, follow at par cast on Facebook and Instagram and at podcast Network on Twitter, you can find me at VM Schultz, and you can find me at Eckstein Schieffer.


Thanks again for listening, and we’ll see you next week.

Rituals is executive produced by Max Cutler and is a Spotify original from par cast.

It was created by Max color, sound design by Kristen Acevedo with associate.

Sound design by Kevin McAlpine.

Fact, checking by Karim acrolein research by Chelsea would it’s produced by Kristen Acevedo and Jonathan Ratliff with production assistants by Ron Shapiro.


We are your host, Christine Schieffer, and M Schultz.

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