Crowley, Satan and The Sinister Way
Extracted from Hostia, Volume One. O9A, 1992eh.
Reprinted in Fenrir Vol V, Issue 2.
In one sense, the work of Crowley may be said to be a restoration of various chthonic mysteries of mainly Sumerian origin. Thus the importance in the cult of Thelema attached to Set/Shaitan/Satan – an attempt to re-integrate into the consciousness of the individual the duality represented by the formula LAShTAL.
However, despite the many claims, Crowley did not inaugurate a new Aeon. His restoration is simply a restoring of something long dead – a kind of necromancy, and as a magickal force the cult of Thelema might as well not exist.
In the exoteric sense, ‘Shaitan’ represents those instinctive levels that often, in our modern society, repressed in the individual – and Satanic rituals of either the traditional kind or the kind based on the use of sexual formulae, are a means of catharsis: a beginning where consciousness is prepared and liberated from the restrictions implicit in ordinary life. In practical terms – and for the civilization of the West whose dominant religion and ethos has hindered by its distortion all that is natural in terms of sex – this often means participation in rituals as those given in ‘Codex Saerus’ or Crowley’s Gnostic Mass or some form of sexual working. Such participation restores the balance that is often lacking.
Yet such a participation is only a beginning – and the ritual forms of such a participation are only a means. They are means to experience and if correctly undertaken should provide the individual with an understanding of that aspect of their personality which has been symbolized as Satan (for men) and Lilitu/Darkat (for women) – the darker, sensual side. Such an understanding is personal in the sense that the personality of the individual is involved, and the perspective achieved is usually that of the life, or Destiny, of the individual in relation to his circumstances and other individuals. That is, there is little concern with or appreciation of, the forces of an Aeon – other than perhaps some vague ‘intellectual’ understanding: or what is thought of as understanding.
This re-integration of the darker aspects – whether it occurs through participation in rituals or via other techniques of magick – is represented, in the Septenary System, by the three lower spheres of the Tree of Wyrd (Moon, Mercury and Venus) and these spheres symbolize the three stages of that re-integration – that is, Calcination, Separation and Coagulation to use alchemical terms. It is during the next stage that the individual who is following a planned and practical magickal way gains both cultural and Aeonic perspective. This enables an understanding of the relationship existing between the individual and their unique Destiny and those forces which are symbolized by a magickal formula or ‘word’ and which represent a particular Aeon.
Such an understanding (associated with the forth stage – the sphere of the Sun – and the fifth stage, Mars) derives or has its foundation in, a rational approach and usually involves the individual studying Aeons, civilizations and the relations between them.
However, the system of Crowley, as well as the many systems deriving in whole or in part from his work, never arrives at this stage because it has
(a) set the formulae of sexual magick above everything, and
(b) negates with its approach the rational analysis required.
The same is true of other magickal systems involved in the ‘darker’ side and which try in some way to let the individuals following them experience their own shadow nature. An integration and thus understanding of this nature – enabling the individual to build upon the foundations thus achieved – of necessity implies the development of those qualities such as reason, ;ogic and scientific understanding, which Crowley et al have abandoned. Yet this development does not imply a mish-mash of Occult and pseudo-scientific concepts such as ‘quantum mechanics’ and ‘relativity’ – an unstable amalgram currently fashionable in certain circles. Rather, it implies the development of the mind and a certain way of thinking.
On both the esoteric and exoteric levels, the most significant step so far in the evolution of our consciousness has been the development of rational analysis and its extension as the scientific method. The acceptance of this method (which does not preclude an acceptance of the forces with which magick deals) implies a certain ‘view of the world’ and a personal approach to living: a way, which is at once cautious, generally optimistic and open and enquiring. This ‘view of the world’ or way of thinking derives from the ancient Greeks – it is expressed in their early philosophy (i.e. before the decline represented by Plato), in their religious attitude and in their way of living. It is essentially the same attitude exemplified by Western paganism, and it is the antithesis of that view and way represented by the religion of the Nazarene. The religion of the Nazarene inverts all natural values – as Nietzsche understood. Thelema, and similar beliefs, negate, as Nazarene philosophy and life does, that natural spontaneity which is the essence of this pagan ‘view of the world’ – because Thelema ties the mind in knots of obscurity and metaphysical speculation (as the qabala in general does) it briefly fress the spirit only to weigh down the spirit with the chains of its own metaphysics.
The true ethos of the West – which the religion of the Nazarene distorted and supplanted – may be signified by the word ‘Azif’ and the symbol of the sunwheel; it is pagan in essence. The ethos of the West (which derives from the present Aeonic force or ‘current’ first established c. 500 AD) is not and never has been patriarchal in the sense that Crowley and his followers believed – such a ‘patriarchal’ ethos representing the distortion imposed upon the original ethos by the Nazarenes. That Crowley and others were unaware of this is indicative of how far removed Thelema is from genuine esoteric tradition. Esoterically, the genuine Western ethos is symbolized by that force which has become known as ‘Satan’ or ‘Lucifer’, Exoterically, this represents the desire to know which has attained its greatest manifestation in modern science and exploration.
An analysis of Aeonic forces indicates that the present Aeon has, on the practical level – i.e. in terms of its effects on the vast majority of individuals who because they have not been liberated by Occult Initiation are sway to external influences – about three centuries more to run. During this time, the distortion of the current caused by the Nazarenes and their allies may or may not be continue – depending on how certain Initiates use certain powerful magickal forces. Whatever, the ‘New Aeon’ (the sixth out of the seven that mark our evolution) will have its beginnings on the magickal level within the next few decades – although on the practical level it will be about another three centuries until the effects are apparent. This new Aeon will have no ‘word’ and its magick will be the magick of ‘Thought’, that is spontaneous empathy. One of the moat fundamental facets of this new Aeon will be the development of a symbolic language, which extends the frontiers of thought. such a language is already prefigured in the Star Game – just as the Star Game itself was prefigured in traditional Alchemy. Another facet of the new Aeon will be the emergence of a new type of individual: a type outlined by Nietzsche. This new individual will be fierce, free (of both external and internal/psychic influences), exult in exploration and discovery and possess an essentially pagan attitude to life. It is and has been one of the aims of genuine sinister Orders to produce such individuals – by having their Initiates follow the Seven-Fold Sinister Way.
What has happened over the past fifty or more years is that the distortion of the Western ethos – and thus the genuine Aeonic current – has increased. Part of this increase is, in fact, due to Crowley and those who have followed him and his system without really understanding what they were doing. The genuine Western esoteric tradition – as distinct from what most Occultists wish to believe is the ‘secret tradition’ – has no connection whatever with the qabalah, or Egyptian mysteries and symbolism, and neither does it employ in any way the sorcery of ‘grimoire magic’ and the forms once appropriate to now dead Aeons be such forms Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian or whatever.
The basis of Western tradition was and always has been rational in the sense that those who carried on its tradition sought to understand themselves, the world and the cosmos in a detached manner – free from religious/political dogma. That is, to understand things as those things are in themselves: without the projection of beliefs and ideas…To this end, the Septenary System was evolved, and the ‘mysteries’ expressed in abstract symbolism (of which Alchemy was one form). The essence of the Western tradition was not some ‘great secret’ or ‘hidden knowledge’ to be revealed to Initiates only – rather, it was the belief that everything in the Cosmos could be understood if one probed, investigated or thought enough about it. That is, the Cosmos was seen as a natural order into which individuals could gain insight. From this insight, a new individual would emerge: a more conscious, evolved, person.
The tradition thus encouraged the development in the individual of empathy via personal experience: an experiencing of all aspects of our own nature as well as the worlds within and without. Thus were the ‘magickal/Occult’ faculties themselves developed. The way of this tradition was essentially practical – exemplified by the Grade Rituals, tasks and so on of the Seven-Fold Way. There was no speculative metaphysical system, no acceptance of irrational fears and beliefs, no subservience to someone else’s personal mythology.
The new Aeon should be a continuation of the process which the genuine Western tradition began. Yet it is possible that this new Aeon may never emerge. The distortion of the Western current does and has represented a desire by some to return to what may be described as an aspect of the Babylonian ethos. This aspect gave rise eventually to not only the poison of Nazarene philosophy and religion, but also to the many political and social systems and ideas founded in the ‘view of the world’. There is, at this moment in time, a very real magickal conflict occuring between two forces – those representing (whether consciously or not is immaterial) this Babylonian/Nazarene ethos, and those representing the genuine Western (and thus ‘sinister’) tradition. On the outcome of this conflict the next Aeon depends – there will be either the new Aeon with the blossoming of the individual and the development of consciousness giving thus a liberation from the tyranny of religion and politics, or a return to those essentially patriarchal dualistic values where impersonal ideals/ideology have precedence over the individual. Every act of genuine sinister magick is a step toward the new Aeon. Thelema is a step back into the past – as are other systems which lack the empathy, that experience and then transcendence of the sinister beings.
-Order of Nine Angles-