IN THE MID - 1920's, roughly two blocks from where the Warlock Shop once stood, in Brooklyn Heights, lived a quiet, reclusive man, an author of short stories, who eventually divorced his wife of two years and returned to his boyhood home in Rhode Island, where he lived with his two aunts. Born on August 20, 1890, Howard Phillips Lovecraft would come to exert an impact on the literary world that dwarfs his initial successes with Weird Tales magazine in 1923. He died, tragically, at the age of 46 on March 15, 1937, a victim of cancer of the intestine and Bright's Disease. Though persons of such renown as Dashiell Hammett were to become involved in his work, anthologising it for publication both here an abroad, the reputation of a man generally conceded to be the "Father of Gothic Horror" did not really come into its own until the past few years, with the massive re-publication of his works by various houses, a volume of his selected letters, and his biography. In the July, 1975, issue The Atlantic Monthly, there appeared a story entitled "There Are More Things", written by Jorge Luis Borges, "To the memory of H.P. Lovecraft". This gesture by a man of the literary stature of Borges is certainly an indication that Lovecraft has finally ascended to his rightful place in the history of American literature, nearly forty years after his death.
In the same year that Lovecraft found print in the pages of Weird Takes, another gentleman was seeing his name in print; but in the British tabloid press.
NEW SINISTER REVELATIONS OF ALEISTER CROWLEY read the front page of the Sunday Express. It concerned testimony by one of the notorious magician's former followers (or, actually, the wife of one of his followers) that Crowley had been responsible for the death of her husband, at the Abbey of Thelema, in Cefalu, Sicily. The bad press, plus the imagined threat of secret societies, finally forced Mussolini to deport the Great Beast from Italy. Tales of horrors filled the pages of the newspapers in England for weeks and months to come: satanic rituals, black masses, animal sacrifice, and even human sacrifice, were reported - or blatantly lied about. For although many of the stories were simply not true or fanciful exaggeration, one thing was certain: Aleister Crowley was a Magician, and one of the First Order.
Born on October 12, 1875, in England - in the same country as Shakespeare - Edward Alexander Crowley grew up in a strict Fundamentalist religious family, members of a sect called the "Plymouth Brethren". The first person to call him by that Name and Number by which he would become famous (after the reference in the Book of Revelation), "The Beast 666", was his mother, and he eventually took this appellation to heart. He changed his name to Aleister Crowley while still at Cambridge, and by that name , plus "666", he would never be long out of print, or out of newspapers. For he believed himself to be the incarnation of a god, an Ancient One, the vehicle of a New Age of Man's history, the Aeon of Horus, displacing the old Age of Osiris. In 1904, he had received a message, from what Lovecraft might have called "out of space", that contained the formula for a New World Order, a new system of philosophy, science, art and religion, but this New Order had to begin with the fundamental part, and common denominator, of all four: Magick.
In 1937, the year Lovecraft dies, the Nazis banned the occult lodges of Germany, notable among them two organisations which Crowley had supervised: the A\ A\ and the O.T.O., the latter of which he was elected head in England, and the former which he founded himself. There are those who believe that Crowley was somehow, magickally, responsible for the Third Reich, for two reasons: one, that the emergence of New World Orders generally seems to instigate holocausts and, two, that he is said to have influenced the mind of Adolf Hitler. While it is almost certain that Crowley and Hitler never met, it is known that Hitler belonged to several occult lodges in the early days after the First War; the symbol of one of these, the Thule Gesellschaft which preached a doctrine of Aryan racial superiority, was the infamous Swastika which Hitler was later to adopt as the Symbol of the forms, however, is evident in many of his writings, notably the essays written in the late 'Thirties. Crowley seemed to regard the Nazi phenomenon as a Creature of Christianity, in it's anti-Semitism and sever moral restrictions concerning its adherents, which lead to various types of lunacies and "hangups" that characterised many of the Reich's leadership. Yet, there can be perhaps little doubt that the chaos which engulfed the world in those years was prefigured, and predicted, in Crowley's Liber AL vel Legis; the Book of the Law.
We can profitably compare the essence of most of Lovecraft's short stories with the basic themes of Crowley's unique system of ceremonial Magick. While the latter was a sophisticated psychological structure, intended to bring the initiate into contact with his higher Self, via a process of individuation that is active and dynamic (being brought about by the "patient" himself) as opposed to the passive depth analysis of the Jungian adepts, Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos was meant for entertainment. Scholars, of course, are able to find higher, ulterior motives in Lovecraft's writings, as can be done with any manifestation of Art.
Lovecraft depicted a kind of Christian Myth of the struggle between opposing forces of Light and Darkness, between God and Satan, in the Cthulhu Mythos. Some critics may complain that this smacks more of the Manichaen heresy than it does of genuine Christian dogma; yet, as a priest and former monk, I believe it is fair to say that this dogma is unfortunately very far removed from the majority of the Faithful to be of much consequence. The idea of a War against Satan, and of the entities of Good and Evil having roughly equivalent Powers, is perhaps best illustrated by the belief, common among the Orthodox churches of the East, in a personal devil as well as a personal angel. This concept has been amplified by the Roman Catholic Church to such an extent - perhaps subconsciously - that a missal in the Editor's possession contains an engraving for the Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle, for November 30, that bears the legend "Ecce Qui Tollis Peccata Mundi" - Behold Him Who Taketh Away The Sins of the World - and the picture above it is of the atomic bomb!
Basically, there are two "sets" of gods in the mythos : the Elder Gods, about whom not much is revealed, save that they are a stellar Race that occasionally comes to the rescue of man, and which corresponds to the Christian "Light"; and the Ancient Ones, about which much is told, sometimes in great detail, who correspond to "Darkness". These latter are the Evil Gods who wish nothing but ill for the Race of Man, and who constantly strive to break into our world through a Gate or Door that leads from the Outside, In. There are certain people, among us, who are devotees of the Ancient Ones, and who try to open the Gate, so that this evidently repulsive organisation may once again rule the Earth. Chief among these is Cthulhu, typified as a Sea Monster, dwelling in the Great Deep, a sort of primeval Ocean; a Being that Lovecraft collaborator August Derleth wrongly calls a "water elemental". There is also Azazoth, the blind idiot god of Chaos, Yog Sothot, Azathoth's partner in Chaos, Shub Niggurath, the "goat with a thousand young", and others. They appear at various times throughout the stories of the Cthulhu Mythos in frightening forms, which test the strength and resourcefulness of the protagonists in their attempts to put the hellish Things back to whence they came. There is an overriding sense of primitive dear and cosmic terror in those pages, as though man is dealing with something that threatens other than his physical safety: his very spiritual nature. This horror-cosmology is extended by the frequent appearance of the Book, NECRONOMICON.
The NECRONOMICON, is according to Lovecraft's tales, a volume written in Damascus in the Eighth Century, A.D., by a person called the "Mad Arab", Abdhul Alhazred. It must run roughly 800 pages in length, as there is a reference in one of the stories concerning some lacunae on a page in the 700's It had been copied and reprinted in various languages - the story goes - among them Latin, Greek and English. Doctor Dee, the Magus of Elizabethan fame, was supposed to have possessed a copy and translated it. This book, according to the mythos, contains the formulae for evoking incredible things into visible appearance, beings and monsters which dwell in the Abyss, and Outer Space, of the human psyche.
Such books have existed in fact, and do exist. Idries Shah tells us of a search he conducted for a copy of the Book of Power by the Arab magician Abdul-Kadir (see: The Secret Lore of Magic by Shah), of which only one copy was ever found. The Keys of Solomon had a similar reputation, as did The Magus by Barret, until all of these works were eventually reprinted in the last fifteen years or so. The Golden Dawn, a famous British and American Occult lodge of the turn of the Century, was said to have possessed a manuscript called "the Veils of Negative Existence" by another Arab.
These were the sorcerer's handbooks, and generally not meant as textbooks or encyclopedias of ceremonial magick. In other words, the sorcerer or magician is supposed to be in possession of the requisite knowledge and training with which to carry out a complex magickal ritual, just as a cook is expected to be able to master the scrambling of eggs before he conjures an "eggs Benedict"; the grimoires, or Black Books, were simply variations on a theme, like cookbooks, different records of what previous magicians had done, the spirits they had contacted, and the successes they had. The magicians who now read these works are expected to be able to select the wheat from the chaff, in much the same fashion as an alchemist discerning the deliberate errors in a treatise on his subject.
Therefore it was (and is) insanity for the tyro to pick up a work on ceremonial Magick like the Lesser Key of Solomon to practise conjurations. It would also be folly to pick up Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practise with the same intention. Both books are definitely not for beginners, a point which cannot be made too often. Unfortunately, perhaps, the dread NECRONOMICON falls into this category.
Crowley's Magick was a testimony of what he has found in his researches into the forbidden, and forgotten, lore of past civilisations and ancient times. His Book of the Law was written in Cairo in the Spring of 1904, when he believed himself to be in contact with a praeter-human intelligence called Aiwass who dictated to him the Three Chapters that make up the Book. It had influenced him more than any other, and the remainder of his life was spent trying to understand it fully, and to make its message known to the world. It, too, contains the formulae necessary to summon the invisible into visibility, and the secrets of transformations are hidden within its pages, but this is Crowley's own NECRONOMICON, received in the Middle East in the shadow of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, and therein is writ not only the beauty, but the Beast that yet awaits mankind.
It would be vain to attempt to deliver a synopsis of Crowley's philosophy, save that its 'leitmotif1 is the Rabelaisian
The actual meaning of this phrase has taken volumes to explain, but roughly it concerns the uniting of the conscious Self, a process of individuation which culminates in a rite called "Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel"; the Angel signifying the pure, evolved Self.
Yet, there are many terrors on the Way to the Self, and an Abyss to cross before victory can be declared. Demons, vampires, psychic leeches, ghastly forms accost the aspiring magician from every angle, from every quarter around the circumference of the magick circle, and they must be destroyed lest they devour the magician himself. When Crowley professed to have passed the obstacles, and crossed the Abyss of Knowledge, and found his true Self, he found it was identical with the Beast of the Book of Revelation, 666, whom Christianity considers to represent the Devil. Indeed, Crowley had nothing but admiration for the Shaitan (Satan) of the so-called "devil-worshipping" cult of the Yezidis of Mesopotamia, knowledge of which led him to declare the lines that open this Introduction. For he saw that the Yezidis possess a Great Secret and a Great Tradition that extends far back into time, beyond the origin of the Sun cults of Osiris, Mithra and Christ; even before the formation of the Judaic religion, and the Hebrew tongue. Crowley harkened back to a time before the Moon was worshipped, to the "Shadow Out of Time"; and in this, whether he realised it as such or not, he had heard the "Call of Cthulhu".
That a reclusive author of short stories who lived in a quiet neighbourhood in New England, and the manic, infamous Master Magician who called the world his home, should have somehow met in the sandy wastes of some forgotten civilisation seems incredible. That they should both have become Prophets and Forerunners of a
New Aeon of Man's history is equally, if not more, unbelievable. Yet, with H.P. Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley, the unbelievable was a commonplace of life. These two men, both acclaimed as geniuses by their followers and admirers, and who never actually met, stretched their legs across the world, and in the Seven League Boots of the mind they did meet, and on common soil . . . . Sumeria.
Sumeria is the name given to a once flourishing civilisation that existed in what is now known as Iraq, in the area called by the Greeks "Mesopotamia" and by the Arabs as, simply, "The Island" for it existed between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, which run down from the mountains to the Persian Gulf. This is the site of the fabled city of Babylon, as well as of Ur of the Chaldees and Kish, with Nineveh far to the north. Each of the seven principal cities of Sumeria was ruled by a different deity, who was worshipped in the strange, non-Semitic language of the Sumerians; and language which has been closely allied to that of the Aryan race, having in fact many words identical to that of Sanskrit (and, it is said, to Chinese!).
For no one knows where the Sumerians came from, and they vanished just as mysteriously as they appeared, after the Assyrian invasions which decimated their culture, yet providing the Assyrians with much of their mythology and religion; so much so that Sumerian became the official language of the state church, much as Latin is today of the Roman Catholic Church. They had a list of their kings before the Flood, which even they carefully chronicled, as did many another ancient civilisation around the world. It is believed that they had a sophisticated system of astronomy (and astrology) as well as an equally religious rituale. Magick, as well in history, begins at Sumer for the Western World, for it his here, in the sand-buried cuneiform tablets that recorded an Age, that the first Creation Epic is found, the first exorcism, the first ritual invocations of planetary deities, the first dark summonings of evil Powers, and ironically, the first "burnings" of people the anthropologists call "Witches".
Lovecraft's mythos deals with what are known chthonic deities, that is, underworld gods and goddesses, much like the Leviathan of the Old Testament. The pronunciation of chthonic is 'katonic', which explains Lovecraft's famous Miskatonic River and Miskatonic University, not to mention the chief deity of his pantheon, Cthulhu, a sea monster who lies, "not dead, but dreaming" below the world; an Ancient One and supposed enemy of Mankind and the intelligent Race. Cthulhu is accompanied by an assortment of other grotesqueries, such as Azathot and Shub Niggurath. It is of extreme importance to occult scholars that many of these deities had actual counterparts, at least in name, to deities of the Sumerian Tradition, that same Tradition that the Magus Aleister Crowley deemed it so necessary to "rediscover".
The Underworld in ancient Sumer was known by many names, among them ABSU or "Abyss", sometimes as Nar Mattaru, the great Underworld Ocean, and also as Cutha or KUTU as it is called in the Enuma Elish (the Creation Epic of the Sumerians). The phonetic similarity between Cutha and KUTU and Chthonic, as well as Cthulhu, is striking. Judging by a Sumerian grammar at hand, the word KUTULU or Cuthalu (Lovecraft's's Cthulhu Sumerianised) would mean "The Man of KUTU (Cutha); the Man of the Underworld; Satan or Shaitan, as he is known to the Yezidis (whom Crowley considered to be the remnants of the Sumerian Tradition). The list of similarities, both between Lovecraft's creations and the Sumerian gods, as well as between Lovecraft's mythos and Crowley's magick, can go on nearly indefinitely, and in depth, for which there is no space here at present. An exhaustive examination of Crowley's occultism in light of recent findings concerning Sumeria, and exegesis on Lovecraft's stories, is presently in preparation and is hoped to be available shortly. Until that time, a few examples should suffice.
Although a list is appended hereto containing various entities and concepts of Lovecraft, Crowley, and Sumeria cross-referenced, it will do to show how the Editor found relationships to be valid and even startling. AZATOT is frequently mentioned in the grim pages of the Cthulhu Mythos, and appears in the NECRONOMICON as AZAG-THOTH, a combination of two words, the first Sumerian and the second Coptic, which gives us a clue as to Its identity. AZAG in Sumerian means "Enchanter" or "Magician"; THOTH in Coptic is the name given to the Egyptian God of Magick and Wisdom, TAHUTI, who was evoked by both the Golden Dawn and by Crowley himself (and known to the Greeks as Hermes, from whence we get "Hermetic"). AZAG-THOTH is, therefore, a Lord of Magicians, but of the "Black" magicians, or the sorcerers of the "Other Side".
There is a seeming reference to SHUB NIGGURATH in the NECRONOMICON, in the name of a Sumerian deity, the "Answerer of Prayers", called ISHNIGARRAB. The word "Shub" is to be found in the Sumerian language in reference to the Rite of Exorcism, one of which is called Nam Shub and means "the Throwing". It is, however, as yet unclear as to what the combination SHUB ISHNIGARRAB (SHUB NIGGURATH) might actually mean.
There was a battle between the forces of "light" and "darkness" (so-called) that took place long before man was created, before even the cosmos as we know it existed. It is described fully in the Enuma Elish and in the bastardised version found in the NECRONOMICON, and involved the Ancient Ones, led by the Serpent MUMMU-TIAMAT and her male counterpart ABSU, against the ELDER GODS (called such in the N.) led by the Warrior MARDUK, son of the Sea God ENKI, Lord of Magicians of this Side, or what could be called "White Magicians" - although close examination of the myths of ancient times makes one pause before attempting to judge which of the two warring factions was "good" or "evil". MARDUK won this battle - in much the same way that later St. George and St. Michael would defeat the Serpent again - the cosmos was created from the body of the slain Serpent, and man was created from the blood of the slain commander of the Ancient Army, KINGU, thereby making man a descendent of the Blood of the Enemy, as well as the "breath" of the Elder Gods; a close parallel to the "sons of God and daughters of men" reference in the Old Testament. Yet, though the identity of the Victor is clear, there were - and are - certain persons and organisations that dared side with the vanquished, believing the Ancient Ones to be a source of tremendous, and most unbelievable, power.
Worship of the Ancient Ones in History
"Let them curse it that curse the day, who are skilful to rouse Leviathan." -
S.H. Hooke, in his excellent Middle Eastern Mythology, tells us that the Leviathan mentioned in JOB, and elsewhere in the Old Testament, is the Hebrew name given to the Serpent TIAMAT, and reveals that there was in existence either a cult, or scattered individuals, who worshipped or called up the Serpent of the Sea, or Abyss. Indeed, the Hebrew word for Abyss that is found in GENESIS 1:2 is, Hooke tells us, tehom, which the majority of scholars take to be a survival of the name of the chaos-dragon TIAMAT or Leviathan that is identified closely with KUTULU or Cthulhu within the pages are mentioned independently of each other, indicating that somehow KUTULU is the male counterpart of TIAMAT, similar to ABSU.
This monster is well known to cult worship all over the world. In China, however, there is an interesting twist. Far from being considered a completely hostile creature, dedicated to the erasure of mankind from the page of existence, the Dragon is given a place of pre-eminence and one does not hear of a Chinese angel or saint striving to slay the dragon, but rather to cultivate it. The Chinese system of geomancy, feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is the science of understanding the "dragon currents" which exist beneath the earth, these same telluric energies that are distilled in such places as Chartres Cathedral in France, Glastonbury Tor in England, and the Ziggurats of Mesopotamia. In both the European and Chinese cultures, the Dragon or Serpent is said to reside somewhere "below the earth"; it is a powerful force, a magickal force, which is identified with mastery over the created world; it is also a power that can be summoned by the few and not the many. However, in China, there did not seem to be a backlash of fear or resentment against this force as was known in Europe and Palestine, and the symbol of might and kingship in China is still the Dragon. In the West, the conjuration, cultivation, or worship of this Power was strenuously opposes with the advent of the Solar, Monotheistic religions and those who clung to the Old Ways were effectively extinguished. The wholesale slaughter of those called "Witches" during the Inquisition is an example of this, as well as the solemn and twisted - that is to say, purposeless and unenlightened - celibacy that the Church espoused. For the orgone of Wilhelm Reich is just as much Leviathan as the Kundalini of Tantrick adepts, and the Power raised by the Witches. It has always, at least in the past two thousand years, been associated with occultism and essentially with Rites of Evil Magick, or the Forbidden Magick, of the Enemy, and of Satan . . .
. . . and the twisting, sacred Spiral formed by the Serpent of the Caduceus, and by the spinning of the galaxies, is also the same Leviathan as the Spiral of the biologists' Code of Life : DNA
The current revival of the cult called WICCA is a manifestation of the ancient secret societies that sought to tap this telluric, occult force and use it to their own advantage, and to the advantage of humanity as was the original intent. The raising of the Cone of Power through the circle dancing is probably the simplest method of attaining results in "rousing Leviathan", and has been used by societies as diverse as the Dervishes in the Middle East and the Python Dancers of Africa, not to mention the round dances that were familiar to the Gnostic Christians, and the ones held every year in the past at Chartres.
The Witches of today, however, while acknowledging the importance of the Male element of telluric Power, generally prefer to give the greater honour to the Female Principle, personified as the Goddess. The Goddess has also been worshipped all over the world, and under many names, but is still essentially the same Goddess. That TIAMAT was undoubtedly female is to the point; and that the Chinese as well as the Sumerians perceived of two dragon currents, male and female, gives the researchers a more complex picture. The Green Dragon and the Red Dragon of the alchemists are thus identified, as the positive and negative energies that compromise the cosmos of our perception, as manifest in the famous Chinese yin-yang symbol.
But what of INANNA, the single planetary deity having a female manifestation among the Sumerians? She is invoked in the NECRONOMICON and identified as the vanquisher of Death, for she descended into the Underworld and defeated her sister, the Goddess of the Abyss, Queen ERESHKIGAL (possibly another name for TIAMAT). Interestingly enough, the myth has many parallels with the Christian concept of Christ's death and resurrection, among which the Crucifixion (INANNA was impaled on a stake as a corpse), the three days in the Sumerian Hades, and the eventual Resurrection are outstanding examples of how Sumerian mythology previewed the Christian religion by perhaps as many as three thousand years - a fact that beautifully illustrates the cosmic and eternal nature of this myth.
Therefore, the Goddess of the Witches has two distinct forms: the Ancient One, Goddess of the Dragon-like telluric Power which is raised in Magickal rituals, and the Elder Goddess, Defeater of Death, who brings the promise of Resurrection and Rejuvenation to her followers those who must reside for a time after death and between incarnations in what is called the "Summerland".
Another hallmark of the Craft of the Wise is evident within the NECRONOMICON, as well as in general Sumerian literature, and that is the arrangement of the cross-quarter days, which make up half of the Craft's official pagan holidays. These occur on the eves of February 2nd, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st, and are called Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas and Samhain (or Hallows), respectively.
The name Lammas has a curious origin in the dunes at Sumer. It is not less than the name of one of the four mythological Beasts of the astrological fixed signs, Lamas being the name of the half-lion, half-man Guardian of Leo (the sign governing most of August, when the feast of Lammas takes place), and USTUR being that of Aquarius (February), SED that of Taurus (May) and NATTIG that of Scorpio (November). I do not believe that this is a fantastic assumption, the Sumerian origin of the Feast of Lammas. Indeed, it seems just as valid as the ideas of Idries Shah concerning Craft etymology as presented in his book, The Sufis. It is also not far-fetched to assume that these four beasts were known to the entire region of the Middle East, as they appear on the Sphinx in Egypt, and have become the symbols of the Four Evangelists of the Christian New Testament - an ironic and splendid result of the ignorance of the Greek religious historians concerning the ancient mysteries!
Probable the most inconsistent concept the Sumerians possesses with reference to the Craft is the naming of the Goddess as a deity, not of the Moon (as the Craft would have it), but of the planet Venus. The Moon was governed by a male divinity, NANNA (like INANNA but minus the initial 'I'), and was considered the Father of the Gods by the earliest Sumerian religion. It should be noted, however, that all of the planetary deities, termed "the zoned Ones" or zonei in Greek, and indeed all of the Sumerian deities, had both male and female manifestations, showing that the Sumerians definitely recognised a yin-yang composition if the universe (the "male Moon" idea is, the Editor is given to understand, common to so-called Aryan mythologies). There is also evidence to show that every god and goddess also had both a good and an evil nature, and evil gods were banished in the exorcism formulae of that civilisation as well as the lesser forms of demon.
As mentioned, the God of the Moon was called NANNA by the Sumerians. By the later Sumerians and Assyrians, he was called SIN. In both cases, he was the Father of the Gods (of the planetary realm, the zonei), and was depicted as wearing horns, a symbol familiar to the Witches as representative of their God. The horn shaped crown is illustrative of the crescent phases of the Moon, and were symbolic of divinity in many cultures around the world, and were also thought to represent certain animals who were horned, and worshipped for their particular qualities, such as the goat and bull. They also represent sexual power.
The fact that, in ancient Sumeria and Egypt, horns were solely representative of evil gods, but of many different deities, was used by the Christian Church in their attempt to eradicate pagan faiths. It was a simple enough symbol to identify with the Author of Evil, Satan, which the Church depicted as a half-animal, half-human creature with horns, claws, and sometimes a tail. The Church's use of the horns as a sort of archetype of Evil is quite similar to the feeling many people have today with regards to the swastika used by the Nazis, a symbol which has become the archetype of an evil sigil in the West. The fact that it is a highly valued mystical and religious symbol in the East is something that is not well-known. What is worse, the image of the Devil as perpetrated by the Church is simultaneously representative of sexual energy, and can be safely compared to Jung's archetype of the Shadow, the psychic repository of a man's innate maleness, as the anima represents that part of a man which is feminine. Truly, the pictures painted of a Satanic ritual by the pious Catholic clergymen was one of sexual orgies and "perversions", and the handbook of the Inquisitors, the Malleus Maleficarum -which has been responsible for the deaths of many more people than even Hitler's Mein Kampf - is full of detailed sexual imagery and reveals the nature of the souls of the monks who wrote it, rather than of the innocents it was used to massacre. Eventually, Satanism, Protestantism and Judaism were inextricably woven together to form a patchwork quilt of Evil that the Church attempted to destroy during the Middle Ages, with fire and sword.
As a matter of fact, a certain type of devil worship did exist during those times but, ironically, the acolytes of Hell were usually never brought to trial; something which stems from the fact that many of those who celebrated and attended the infamous Black Masses of the period were Roman Catholic clergymen, many of whom has been pressed into His Service at a young age by their parents, who wished to see their sons brought up well-fed and educated in those uncertain times, where the Church was the sole power and refuge. The frustration at being "condemned" to a life that demanded the abandonment of society and a "normal" life led many priests to express their hostilities through the Office of the Demon, the Black Mass. Often, this was also a means of political demonstration, as the Church controlled virtually all the political life of the period. In a way, as though in a test tube at a philosophical laboratory, Aleister Crowley was brought up under similar circumstances - although ver far removed in time from the days of the Church's immense temporal power. Coming from a fanatically religious Christian family, and suddenly freed upon the neighbourhood of Cambridge, Crowley did, in a sense, turn Satanist. He identified strongly with the underdog, politically as well as spiritually, and came eventually to take the Name of the Beast as his own, and expound a philosophy that he hoped would rip apart the worn tapestry of the established moral Christian atmosphere of Victorian England, and expose it for what it really was, a carpet made of many ingenious threads and not God - or eternal happiness - at all; only nap.
Therefore, it seemed almost logical that he should seek in the defeated, Old Religions of the world for the basis of his new philosophy and, some say, his new "religion". He raised the female aspect back up to one of equality with the male, as it was in the rites of Egypt, and of Eleusis. "Our Lady Babalon" (his spelling) became a theme of many of his magickal writings, and he received he Credo, the Book of the Law, through a Woman, his wife Rose Kelly. The lunar element, as well as the Venusian, are certainly accessible in his works. It has even been said in occult circles that he had a hand in putting together the grimoire of one Gerald Gardner, founder of a contemporary Witchcraft movement, called the Book of Shadows.
The Moon has an extremely important, indeed indispensable, role in the tantrick sex magick rites that so preoccupied Crowley and the O.T.O. There can be no true magick without woman, nor without man, and in the symbolic language of the occult there can be no Sun without the Moon. In alchemy, ceremonial magick, and Witchcraft, the formula is the same, for they all deal with identical properties; whether they are called the Sun and Moon of the Elixir Vitae, the male and female participants in a rite of Indian or Chinese tantricism, or the Shadow and the Anima of Jungian depth psychology.
For many years, the Moon remained the prime deity of the Sumerians, constituting the essential Personum of a religious and mystical drama that was performed roughly 3000 B.C. amid the deserts and marshes of Mesopotamia. Side by side with the worship of the Moon, NANNA, there was fear of the Demon, PAZUZU, a genie so amply recreated in the book and the movie by Blatty, The Exorcist, and similarly recognised as the Devil Himself by the Church. PAZUZU, the Beast, was brought to life by Aleister Crowley, and the Demon walked the Earth once more.
With publicity provided by H.P. Lovecraft.
PAZUZU was a prime example of the type of Devil of which the Sumerians were particularly aware, and which they depicted constantly in their carvings and statues. The purpose of this iconography was to ward off the spiritual - and psychic - circumstances which would precipitate a plague, or some other evil. "Evil to destroy evil." Although the ancient people of the world were conscious of an entity we might call the :Author of all Evil", the Devil or Satan, as evident in the Sumerian Creation Epic and the rumoured existences of the Cult of Set of the Egyptians, the more pressing concern was usually the exorcism of TIAMAT, she exists, somehow, just as the Abyss exists and is perhaps indispensable to human life if we think of Her as typifying the female quality of Energy. Although MARDUK was responsible for halving the Monster from the Sea, the Sumerian Tradition has it that the Monster is not dead, but dreaming, asleep below the surface of the Earth, strong, potent, dangerous, and very real. her powers can be tapped by the knowledgeable, "who are skilful to rouse Leviathan."
Although the Christian religion has gone to great lengths to prove that the Devil is inferior to God and exists solely for His purpose, as the Tempter of Man - surely a dubious raison d'etre - the Sumerian Tradition acknowledges that the Person of "Evil" is actually the oldest, most Ancient of the Gods. Whereas Christianity states that Lucifer was a rebel in heaven, and fell from God's grace to ignominy below, the original story was that MARDUK was the rebel, and severed the Body of the Ancient of Ancient Ones to create the Cosmos in other words, the precise reverse of the Judeo-Christian dogma. The Elder Gods evidently possessed a certain Wisdom that was not held by their Parents, yet their Parents held the Power, the Primal Strength, the First Magick, that the Elder Ones tapped to their own advantage, for they were begotten of Her.
It generally accepted in the Halls of Magick that all of the Wisdom in the world is useless without the necessary adjunct of Power. This Power has gone by many names, as the Goddess and the Devil have, but the Chinese symbolise It by the Dragon. It is the force of Will, and relies heavily upon the biochemical matter that makes up the human body, and hence, the human consciousness, to give it existence. Science is coming around to accept the fact that the Will does exist, just at the point where Psychology has determined it does not - in the behaviourists vain attempt to eradicate what has always been known to constitute vital parts of the psyche from their consideration in pseudo scientific experimentation, leaving us with the "white mice and pigeons" of Koestler's The Ghost In The Machine. Science, ancient Sister of Magick, has begun to realize the human potential that resides, inconspicuously, in the spiral-mapped matter of the brain. Just as the magicians, accused of trafficking with the Devil, were said to have developed tremendous power over natural phenomena, Science has ascended to that realm unblamed, and guiltless. The Pope has ridden in aircraft. Cardinals have flown in 'choppers' over battlefields in Southeast Asia, urging technological eco-side, invoking Christ; pronouncing damnation and the Devil on the industrially inferior man. Ecce Qui Tollit Peccata Mundi.
And a rock group from England, home of the Anglican heresy, sings of "sympathy" for the Devil. PAZUZU. TIAMAT. The Seven Deadly Sins. The fear of Lovecraft. The pride of Crowley.
The lunar landing was the symbolic manifestation of man's newly acquired potential power to alter the nature -and perhaps, via nuclear weapons, the course - of the heavenly bodies, the zonei, the Elder Gods. It has a power the Ancient Ones have been waiting for, for millennia, and it is now within their grasp. The next century may deliver unto mankind this awesome power and responsibility, and will leave him knocking on the dread doors of the azonei, the IGIGI, approaching the barrier that keeps out the ABSU.
And one day, without the benefit of NECRONOMICON, the Race of Man will smash the barrier and the Ancient Ones will rule once more.
An alternative possibility exists: that, by landing on the Moon, we have come to reinstate the ancient Covenant and thereby assure our protection against the Outside. Since "the gods are forgetful", buy treading on their celestial spheres we are reminding them of their ancient obligations to us, their created ones. For, as it is said in one of man's most ancient of Covenants, the Emerald Table, "As Above, So Below". Man's power to alter the nature of his environment must develop simultaneously with his ability to master his inner environment, his own mind his psyche, soul, spirit. Perhaps, then, the lunar landing was the first collective initiation for humanity, which will bring it one step closer to a beneficial Force that resides beyond the race of the "cruel celestial spirits", past the Abyss of Knowledge. Yet, he must remember that the occult powers that accompany magickal attainment are ornamental only, indications of obstacles overcome on the Path to Perfection, and are not to be sought after in themselves, for therein lies the truth Death. Lovecraft saw this Evil, as the world passed from one War and moved menacingly towards another. Crowley prepared for it, and provided us with the formulae. The Mad Arab saw it all, in a vision, and wrote it down. He was, perhaps, one of the most advanced adepts of his time, and her certainly has something to say to us, today, in a language the Intuition understands. Yet they called him "Mad".
Accompanied in the ranks of the "insane" by such "madmen" as Neitzsche, Artaud, and Reich, the Mad Arab makes a Fourth, in a life-and-death game of cosmic bridge. They are all voices crying in that wilderness of madness that men call Society, and as such were ostracised, stoned, and deemed mentally unfit for life. But, for them, Justice will come when we have realised that the Ship of State and the Ship of St Peter have become mere Ships of Fools - with Captains who course the seas by stars, ignoring the eternal Ocean - and then, we will have to look to the Prisoners in the Hold for navigational guidance.
It is there, always, and Cthulhu Calls.
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