The Equinox And A Demon In The Desert

The Equinox And A Demon In The Desert Cover During 1909-1913, Crowley published at significant personal expense a journal devoted to magic, yoga, mysticism, and, to a lesser extent, literature, titled The Equinox. Comprising mostly writings by him, it served as the official organ of the magus’ new magical order, the A:.A:. (purportedly an abbreviation of Argenteum Astrum [the Silver Star]). Many of Crowley’s most profound writings were published in its pages. Likewise, many of his books which are in print today, originally appeared in its pages.

After publication of the second number of the journal, Crowley and his new student, Victor Neuberg, travelled to Algeria in 1910, where Crowley undertook an arduous exploration of Enochian magic, first developed by John Dee and Edward Kelly in sixteenth-century England. Crowley viewed this undertaking as an important test. Specifically, he entered into the Enochian spirit world with magical formulas originally used by Dee and Kelly, wherein he had visions of the Enochian “Aethyrs” (i.e., levels of spiritual existence).

As he described what he observed and learned Neuberg recorded his teacher’s experiences and insights. Additionally, sometimes he and Neuberg practiced sexual magic, which included homosexual intercourse. On one such occasion on a desert mountain, according to the magus’ own report which was substantially confirmed by Neuberg, Crowley tested himself by invoking and confronting the demon of chaos, Chroronzon, a dangerous inhabitant of an Enochian Aethyr. The demon appeared and attacked Neuberg in the form of naked a savage, throwing him to the ground and attempting to kill him. Neuberg responded by invoking God and counter-attacking with a magical dagger. Thanks to his brave actions the demon was contained. No independent parties witnessed the event. However, regardless what exactly happened, such was the extremity to which Crowley pushed himself and his students in the risky quest for mystical knowledge and experience. In fact, Crowley’s harsh domination of Neuberg eventually compelled the student to break with the teacher.

Following his work with Enochian magic, the magus again turned his attention to the Equinox. Despite having sworn an oath of secrecy when he was initiated into the Golden Dawn, he had published in its pages several long verbatim selections from heretofore confidential Golden Dawn documents and was preparing to publish more. Mathers, author of much of this literature, responded by obtaining an injunction forbidding Crowley from further publication. However, he lost on appeal and his erstwhile student resumed dissemination of the once secret doctrine and rituals.

Still, Mathers apparently had his revenge. He almost certainly supplied information damaging to Crowley to a British tabloid called The Looking Glass. In 1910 it published a sensational expose of the magus, which detailed his purported immorality and wickedness and strongly implied that he was a homosexual. The resultant publicity, complicated by a related legal battle the following year, threw Crowley’s magical order, the A:.A:., into disarray and serious decline with many members resigning.

Luckily for Crowley he soon had entre to another magical order, the Ordo Templis Orientis [Order of the Eastern Temple], commonly referred to as the OTO. The German magus Theodore Reuss, who headed this order, appointed him head of the OTO in Great Britain. Crowley used his new position to promote Thelema among the British members. Further, at Reuss’ invitation he re-wrote the rituals to be used by all members to reflect Thelema. However, when Reuss was incapacitated by a stroke in 1920, he failed to succeed him as the head of the entire OTO organization.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Aleister Crowley - The Equinox Vol I No Vii
Aleister Crowley - The Equinox Vol I No Vi
Aleister Crowley - The Soul Of The Desert
Nathan Johnston - The Devil And Demonism In Early Modern England

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