In the iconic words of the legend who is Ozzy Osbourne:
“Mr. Crowley, what went on in your head?
Oh Mr. Crowley, did you talk to the dead?
Your lifestyle to me seemed so tragic
With the thrill of it all
You fooled all the people with magic
Yeah, you waited on Satan’s call”Songwriters: John Osbourne / Randy Rhoads / Robert Daisley
If you don’t know, Mr. Crowley refers to Aliester Crowley, and Crowley would have spelled ‘magic’ here as ‘magick’.
He was a late 19th century occultist who founded the religion of Thelema based on a modern form of paganism. Crowley was often accused of being a satanist, although he refuted this and countered that he could not worship “satan’ as he didn’t believe in the Christian biblical version of the fallen angel. Not much of a denial really, when you stop and think about it…
Crowley was also a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a sect founded in London in 1888. The Golden Dawn was a secret magical order devoted to the study and practice of the occult..
William Woodman, William Westcott and Samuel Mathers were the three freemasons who founded the society with a focus on spirituality and self improvement. Crowley joined in 1898 and soon rose to prominence, although he was largely disliked due to his bisexuality and libertine lifestyle. Most of our modern concepts of magic, wicca and the paranormal still stem from the philosophies of the Golden Dawn and the teachings of Crowley himself.
It is also the same secret society that Doctor John Carter belongs to in my novel, “The Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe.” It is from the Golden Dawn that two errant members, not willing to be constrained by the ethics and limits on power that the society imposes, decide to leave and found their own order—The Dux de Obscurum or The Commanders of Darkness. A sect much more willing to embrace the inherent darkness of the underworld.
As Doctor Carter states as he explains to Joseph Snodgrass, Edgar’s would be savior, when they first meet in Baltimore:
“of course, knowledge of power is one thing, to become adept at its summoning and control is another thing entirely. My order is a peaceful one, we seek knowledge, its members are dedicated to the advancement of humanity by the perfection of the individual on every plane of existence. Like your venerable profession doctor, we seek to do no harm.”
An extended silence fell across the room, broken only by an ember from the log that spat and cracked, musket shot loud in the silent chamber. Carter looked up, his eyes wide and glassy.
“The spells however are from an ancient world, a realm where harm, torture, and immolation was more commonplace. To re-enact their full efficacy and master true dominion, sacrifice is required.”
Unlike the Golden Dawn, The Dux de Obscurum will stop at nothing to master true dominion. The scholar of esotericism Wouter Hanegraaff asserted that Crowley was also an extreme representation of “the dark side of the occult”. In my sequel to “The Haunting of Edgar Allan Poe“, The Order of the Golden Dawn once more pitches battle against the Dux de Obscurum. I am currently writing the book, and who knows, given much of the action takes place in London, perhaps Mister Aleister Crowley himself might make an appearance!
Once more in the words of the great Ozzy:
“Uncovering things that were sacred
Manifest on this Earth
Ah, conceived in the eye of a secret
And they scattered the afterbirth”
You can read book one by clicking on the link below. It’s available in ebook, paperback and hardback and always free on Kindle Select.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Check out the re-branded website for similar posts and random musings. I will post some more on other supernatural elements that are used in my books – Furies, Scrying and Goetic circles amongst them, so sign up and give me a like, a share and a follow 😉