Now that the Red State Update Ad for Aleister Crowley in 2012 has over 10,000 views, here’s a handy guide for viewers to the references and symbolism contained in the video.
Before we get into the details, here is the video for anyone who may have somehow missed it:
A Viewer’s Guide to the Red State Update ad for Aleister Crowley for President in 2012
You might think this joke was merely making light of Aleister Crowley’s obscurity (and of a yokel who can’t tell the difference between two British men), but interestingly there is a connection. In the upcoming series Batman: The Dark Knight, Alfred Pennyworth (Batman’s actual butler) will tell us about Batman’s college girlfriend, named Dawn Golden, whose father’s name was Aleister. Those familiar with the works of Aleister Crowley will note that Dawn Golden’s name refers to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of which Aleister Crowley was a member during his life.
Aleister Crowley: Occultist
Aleister Crowley: Mystic
Aleister Crowley sought to understand the mysteries of the Universe, and encouraged others to directly apprehend Truth through mystical practices and attaining samadhi. You can find many of Aleister Crowley’s mystical writings, along with other writings by him, online at lib.oto-usa.org.
Aleister Crowley: Founder of the Religious Philosophy of Thelema
Also known as The Great Beast 666, Aleister Crowley received Liber AL vel Legis: The Book of the Law, which revealed the Law of Thelema. The Law is summed up in two phrases from the Book: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” and “Love is the law, love under will.” Learn more about Thelema.
Aleister Crowley: Prophet of the Aeon of Horus
See above regarding Thelema. The video actually pictures the animated character Horace Horsecollar here. Could this be symbolism? Well, even if it were not intended, we can certainly find something interesting. As Crowley wrote:
Horace Horsecollar could be taken as a reference to the divine horsemen of the Apocalypse of John. The horse is also the animal corresponding to the paths of both Samekh and Peh on the Tree of Life, indicating the position of the person performing the Ritual of the Pentagram. Here also is the letter H repeated, suggesting the Mother and the Daughter, Binah and Malkuth. A Horsecollar moreover is a yoke, making Horace the Ox, or Aleph, The Fool. Don’t get us started.
Aleister Crowley: Wickedest Man in the World
This epithet was applied by John Bull, a popular British weekly, because of the rumored sex orgies and drug parties hosted by the infamous Aleister Crowley. The article also mentions the use of a drug which makes the user “…capable of participating in practices which no normal person could conceive of, much less describe.” We want some of that!
Pronunciation of Crowley
Crowley thankfully wrote a short poem called The Convert which makes it very obvious how to pronounce his surname in the following verses:
“‘Where are you going, so meek and holy?’
‘I’m going to temple to worship Crowley.’”
Of course, “goalie” also works.
Not about black magick
Aleister Crowley was certainly not a “black magician” and he was quite adamant about this:
“I have been accused of being a ‘black magician.’ No more foolish statement was ever made about me. I despise the thing to such an extent that I can hardly believe in the existence of people so debased and idiotic as to practice it.”
Not about sex magick
Unless, of course, that’s what you are into! Seriously though, AC2012 is a parody write-in political campaign, not a solar-phallic sex cult. If you’re looking for secrets of western sex magick though, Aleister Crowley was the foremost master and pioneer.
Talking to Egyptian gods
Aleister Crowley invoked any number of gods in the course of his life, but many have noted the prevalence of Egyptian Gods in the work of the Golden Dawn and in the literature of Thelema. In particular, Horus (mentioned above) is a falcon-headed Egyptian God who Crowley invoked at the dawn of the New Aeon. But Aleister Crowley ultimately eschewed the idea of “gods” as we typically understand them, declaring instead that “Every man and every woman is not only a part of God, but the Ultimate God. … The old definition of God takes new meaning for us. Each one of us is the One God.”
Unfounded rumors of human sacrifice
We know how these rumors got started. In his book, Magick, Aleister Crowley referred to masturbation jokingly and dysphemistically as child sacrifice:
“For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly choose that victim which contains the greatest and purest force. A male child of perfect innocence and high intelligence is the most satisfactory and suitable victim.”
You might wonder what is so funny about that. Well, while many of his books had previously been banned and/or burned because of their references to sex acts, this book, where he included a chapter on bloody sacrifice and appeared to advocate killing children, was published without incident. Crowley managed to discuss masturbation while simultaneously pointing out the bizarre morality which still prevails in western civilization.
According to Crowley’s diaries, he performed this “sacrifice” about 150 times per year from 1912-1928. That is a moderate amount of masturbation, but it would be an impossible number of murders which would make Aleister Crowley dozens of times more murderous than the infamous Countess Elizabeth Báthory.
Aleister Crowley was not a murderer and there is no evidence to suggest that he was. He spoke against violence in general — and even abortion — as being contrary to the Law of Thelema.
Watch this blog for more on the subject of violence and where Aleister Crowley stood on this issue politically.
It’s about freedom, and government oppression, and slave morality…
That is, the same government oppression and slave morality as mentioned above, in the section on human sacrifice. Freedom of speech and sexual expression are two of the major issues that Aleister Crowley confronted in his activities and writings, including his commentary on the Law of Thelema and his political essays, often quoted here on AC2012.
Voting insignificant; destiny of planet controlled by magical forces
Yes, Aleister Crowley really said it, and we agree. For context and a link to the document where Crowley expresses this view, see our post, “How Will You Vote?”
A Shark Eating a Sea-Lion
Actually, insofar as a shark might be said to have a “true will,” there is something magical about a shark eating a sea-lion.
The shark, after all, in fulfilling its inmost nature, causes change in his environment according to his true will by eating a sea-lion. That’s Magick!
The Archer, The Scorpion, and the Goat-Fish
That is, Sagittarius, Scorpio, and Capricorn. These signs of the Zodiac correspond to the paths of Samekh, Ayin, and Nun, respectively, on the Tree of Life in the Hermetic Qabalah. All three paths connect to Tiphareth, corresponding to the astrological Sun.
Vice President Jimmy Page
On the front page at AC2012.com, we encourage supporters to write in themselves for Vice President. Red State Update, however, nominates Jimmy Page, and why not? After all, he has always been an admirer of the works of Aleister Crowley and a rumored Thelemite. He once even owned Boleskine House, where Crowley began the Abramelin Operation, ultimately resulting in the reception of The Book of the Law.
Yeah, fuck it, that’s what it means
While Aleister Crowley took pains on many occasions to explain that “Do what thou wilt” is not a license to “Do as you please,” but is instead a strict bond requiring discipline to do only your True Will, he also points out that the Law of Thelema nevertheless grants revolutionary liberty:
“The formula of this law is: Do what thou wilt. Its moral aspect is simple enough in theory. Do what thou wilt does not mean Do as you please, although it implies this degree of emancipation, that it is no longer possible to say à priori that a given action is ‘wrong.’ Each man has the right—and an absolute right—to accomplish his True Will.”