Tuesday 11 October 2011

A full moon for Uncle Al's birthday

As well as there being a full moon in the early hours of tomorrow morning, 12 October is the birthday of the famous - some would say infamous - occultist, sexual revolutionary and drug addict Aleister Crowley.

Uncle Al, as he is affectionately known by many modern pagans, has been called plenty of other things over the years - including "The Wickedest Man In the World", a term coined in 1928 by tabloid newspaper John Bull.

He is still considered a controversial figure and the debate continues over whether the value of his teachings outweigh the beastliness of his actions.

A new biography by Tobias Churton has just been published by Watkins entitled Aleister Crowley: The Biography - Spiritual Revolutionary, Romantic Explorer, Occult Master - and Spy.

I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but the description states: "The book reveals the man behind the appalling reputation, demolishing a century of scandal mongering that persuaded the world that Crowley was a black magician, a traitor and a sexual wastrel, addicted to drugs and antisocial posing, rather than the mind-blowing truth that Crowley was a genius as significant as Jung, Freud or Einstein."

To honour Crowley's birthday and find out the truth about the man, you might want to download the book for your Kindle.

However, if you'd prefer to celebrate Uncle Al's solar return on the night of the full moon in a way that revels in the sex and drugs and rock'n'roll aspects of his reputation, then I'd suggest watching British SF horror film Chemical Wedding.

When this movie came out in 2008 it was absolutely panned by critics, and I must admit the plot sucks. The story is based on a screenplay by Bruce Dickinson, front man of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, who also wrote the film's title track.

It involves some crazy scientists implanting Aleister Crowley's ghost into an elderly professor, played by Simon Callow, using a dodgy virtual reality machine. The reincarnated occultist then goes around committing acts of gross indecency, drug abuse and murder, culminating in the kidnap of a beautiful red-headed student to be his scarlet bride in a magickal ceremony intended to give him godlike powers.

As well as a stupid plot, the film has lots of outrageous sex scenes and equally outrageous acting. Really, it is a bad movie - but I have to admit that I quite enjoyed it.

And I think anyone who is into the occult and knows a thing or two about Crowley might enjoy it too, primarily because the film is peppered with references to Crowley's magick, teachings and life that are fun to spot.

I'm not for one moment suggesting any modern-day fluffy pagans would want to watch it for the sex and shocks. Oh no...
Chemical Wedding [DVD] [2008]
Aleister Crowley: The Biography - Spiritual Revolutionary, Romantic Explorer, Occult Master - and Spy
Aleister Crowley: The Biography - Spiritual Revolutionary, Romantic Explorer, Occult Master - and Spy

1 comment:

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