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Aleister Crowley & The Hidden God

December 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Evidence

Source: Aleister Crowley  & The Hidden God by Kenneth Grant

THIS BOOK contains a critical study of Aleister Crowley’s system of sexual magick and its affmities with the ancient Tantric rites of Kali, the dark goddess of blood and dissolution represented in Crowley’s Cult as the Scarlet Woman. It is an attempt to supply a key to the work of an Adept whose vast knowledge of occultism was unsurpassed by any previous Western authority. I have emphasized the similarity between Crowley’s Cult of Thelema and Tantra because the present wave of interest in the Tantric System makes it probable that readers will be able to assess more fully the importance of Crowley’s contribution to  occultism in general and to the Magical Path in particular. (p. 1)

IN 1893, at the age of eighteen, Aleister Crowley determined to put Magick on a sound scientific basis. He explains1 that he adopted the old English spelling-magick-“in order to distinguish the Science of the Magi from all its counterfeits”; by this spelling he also intended to indicate the peculiar nature of his teachings, which has a special affinity with the number eleven, the One beyond Ten.

“K” (the last letter of Magick) is the eleventh letter of several major alphabets;2 it is attributed to the god Jupiter, whose vehicle (the eagle) is symbolic of magick power in its feminine aspect; it is “the symbol of that gigantic Power whose colour is scarlet, and who has affinity with Capricorn, or Babalon”.3 The special import of Capricorn (the Goat) is revealed by its attribution, in the Indian Tradition, to the goddess Kali, whose vehicle is blood.

K” is also the Khn, Khou or Queue symbolized by the tail or vagina, venerated in ancient Egypt as the source of Great Magical Power. Magick spelt with a “k” therefore indicates the precise nature of the Current which Therion (Crowley) embodied and transmitted.

1 In Book Four, Part II. This has now been incorporated in Magick (Routledge, 1973)
2 For example, the Chaldean, Greek and Latin alphabets.
3 Babalon, the Scarlet Woman, the vehicle or sakti of The Beast 666. See Chap 2. (p. 5)

CHAPTER ELEVEN of Crowley’s Magick (original edition) is entitled “Of our Lady Babalon and of The Beast whereon She Rideth . . …. it begins: “The contents of this section, inasmuch as they concern Our Lady, are too important and too sacred to be printed. They are only communicated by The Master Therion to chosen pupils in private instruction.”

It is not claimed that the contents of the present chapter constitute the private instruction mentioned in Magick, but the following interpretation of the Formula of the Scarlet Woman is based upon a study of unpublished material which possibly formed the basis of such instruction.

The adjective scarlet has reference to the Draconian Current upon which the New Aeon is based, for it is the colour of Ares, Orus or Horus. Aries in the zodiac also represents the Green  Man, the Vernal Power of the Sun. Scarlet is the colour of the flame which initiates the annual vernal current that “avenges” itself upon the drought and darkness of the winter months.
In another sense, scarlet equates with the red substance of female source, the prime menstruum of magical energy, and also with the negatory, destructive aspect of lunar or “black”1  magic and witchcraft. It is in this sense that the Scarlet Woman equates with Kali, who is primarily the goddess of stellar and lunar periods, hence of Time.

One of the first methods of telling time was by the periodic emanations of the female cynocephalus, which the ancient Egyptian priests used for this purpose .2 Time is the menstruum in which all material forms arise, transform and finally dissolve.
“The best blood is of the moon, monthly,” says AL. This refers particularly to the Kali aspect of the formula. Best, that is, for works of dissolution or transmutation; best, in other words, for Magick, or Energy tending to Change.

The name Babalon, which is used to designate the office of Scarlet Woman, differs from the apocalyptic version not only in respect of its orthography3 but also for the following reasons. The biblical concept of the Scarlet Woman is already a corruption of that ancient magical tradition of which-outside Sanctuaries of Initiation-temple prostitution is the only remembered form. The tradition is best preserved in the doctrines of the Indian and Tibetan Tantras which describe ceremonies involving the use of the kalas (medicines) which  imbue the exudations of specially trained priestesses. The “sweet-smelling ladies” (suvasinis) have a more than literary correlation to the “sweet-smelling perfume of sweat” spoken of in AL, 1, 27. The formula of the Scarlet Woman is the formula of the Suvasini.

Babalon means “the gate of the sun”; she admits the solar force through her gate, gut, cut or cat (i.e. pudenda). As

Grant, K. (1973, 1992). Aleister Crowley & The Hidden God, Skoob.


2 Responses to “Aleister Crowley & The Hidden God”
  1. admin says:

    Hubbard recommended the Crowley book The Master Therion, which is generally believed to be Magick in Theory and Practice, which is “by The Master Therion.” Crowley discusses Kali in MTP, and in other books, and even titles, I believe, a poem “Kali.”

    Kenneth Grant was only initiated into the A.’.A.’.in 1946, when Hubbard was, as I see it, ending his involvement at the Agape Lodge. Grant published Aleister Crowley & The Hidden God in 1973, the same year as the Kali ceremonies on board Hubbard’s Flagship Apollo, but I think these facts are unrelated (as facts can be). Grant published a lot of things, and I really can’t check them for Kali references. Importantly, there’s no record of Hubbard ever reading Grant, but there’s a good record of Hubbard reading Crowley.

    Hubbard, of course, could have conjured up the Kali ceremony from any number of sources; e.g., his Asia trips as a youth, even his Caribbean “expeditions,” or from his National Geographic subscription. He had his first birthday and probably took his first step in Kalispell.,_Montana

    My point regarding Hubbard’s Kali ceremony is simply that it is a link to magic, evidence of his affinity for magic, and a minor and momentary incorporation of magic into his training of Flag execs, auditors and outer org trainees, all people near Scientology’s core. It’s a point in contradistinction to his assertions in 1969, and Scientologists’ subsequent claims, that he broke up “black magic” or that Scientology has no relationship to “black magic.” For some of the Sea Org personnel Hubbard had perform his Kali Ceremony, it was a fairly savage and bestial rite. He was inarguably aiming with his ceremony at a magical result in training his offending Sea Org elementals.

    I appreciate your comment about different strains or streams of Thelemic philosophy, in fact I appreciate all your comments. To make my point about the Scientology Kali ceremony’s connection to magic, it wouldn’t matter if the bright idea came to Hubbard from Grant, or Crowley, or any other path. But it’s good to consider magic’s many strains and streams when dealing with Hubbard’s claim that he broke up black magic in America and it hasn’t recovered. Now, of course, it’s chaos magic and everyone has manifold strains and streams.

  2. Fr. L.P. says:


    Kenneth Grant was expelled from the OTO in 1955. While his works are definitely a dominant strain of Thelemic philosophy, it is important to know that his ideas are distinctly different from Crowley’s on most points and really should be considered a wholly separate stream of thought. If Hubbard was inspired from this line of thinking to create his Kali ritual, it was from Grant, not Crowley.

    –Fr. L.P.