11 Intriguing Facts About History's Wicked Man

Autographed photo of Aleister Crowley, c. 1912. Wikipedia.

His Use of Sex Magick and Favored Use of Bodily Fluids

When one thinks of magic, perhaps images of wooden magic wands and transfiguration spells come to mind. In real life, however, a witch or wizard cannot actually transform a person into a frog. There are all different kinds of ritual magick that modern day practitioners use, ranging from innocent candle lightings and chants to the more sordid sexual acts ritualized by our ancient ancestors. Aleister Crowley believed in the use of sex magick; sex was such an important thing to Crowley, it directed his every action and relationship, laying the fundamentals of his worship and creation of Thelema.

The premise of sex magick is that it harnesses the intention and powers of those involved, creating a force of energy strong enough to invoke spirits, bring spells to fruition, and transcend to higher planes of existence. Masturbatory, heterosexual, and homosexual sex acts with the goal of orgasm were all perceived as worthy actions enabling the participants with divine power. Sex magick could be performed in a group setting, such as an orgy, or privately with a single partner.

Aleister Crowley also held bodily fluids sacred. When he established Thelema, many of the rituals integral to the religion revolved not only around sexuality, but also the ingestion of bodily fluids from sexual organs. One particular ritual, the Mass of the Phoenix, participants were given wafers to consume. These wafers, called Cakes of Light, were analogous to communion wafers given in the Catholic Church. However, in a possible mockery of the Christian faith, these wafers were not bread symbolizing the flesh of Christ, but rather, the Cakes of Light contained bodily fluids such as semen and menstrual blood. Consuming these bodily fluids was an attempt at transcendence and a means to provide power to the rituals participants.

Crowley was not a monogamous man. Throughout his lifetime, he had multiple affairs and partners. He considered himself bisexual, and even introduced penetrative anal sex as a holy act into his religion of Thelema. It has even been speculated that Crowley’s first sexual experience, a homosexual encounter, is what catapulted him into the world of mysticism. Crowley was brought into a conservative Christian household; Crowley lost his virginity to a man. An open act of defiance to his parents may have been the gateway to his spiritual gravitation.