Featured image: Thoth Tarot Atu XX (The Aeon) by Lady Frieda Harris
Curse them! Curse them! Curse them!
With my Hawk’s head I peck at the eyes of Jesus as he hangs upon the cross.
I flap my wings in the face of Mohammed & blind him.
With my claws I tear out the flesh of the Indian and the Buddhist, Mongol and Din.
Bahlasti! Ompehda! I spit on your crapulous creeds.
Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law), Chapter III:50-4
Over three warm Cairo nights on April 8-10, 1904 the Aeon of Osiris ended and the new Aeon of Horus was born. Finished were the days of servitude and asceticism and death worship. In their place was the new Aeon of Horus: the Resurrected God was dethroned to make way for a new Crowned and Conquering Child. Of this Aeon, Thelemapedia writes:
The modern Aeon of Horus, with our times of self-realization as well as a growing interest in all things spiritual, is considered to be dominated by the Principle of the Child. The Word of its Law is Thelema (will) which is complimented by Agape (love), and its formula is Abrahadabra. Individuality and finding the “True Will” are the dominant aspects; its formula is that of growth, in consciousness and love, toward self-realization.
Crowley’s concept of Will postulates that each individual has a unique and incommensurable inherent nature (which is identical to their “destiny”) that determines their proper course in life. When you are doing your Will, you have the force of the Cosmos behind you. Anything which stands in your way, especially your own failings, must be dealt with ruthlessly, or as Crowley put it: “strike hard & low, and to hell with them, master!” (Liber AL II:60)” Do what thou Wilt was the whole of the law, but “thou hast no right but to do thy will.” (I:42, emphasis added)
Rabelais’ Abbey of Theleme limited admission to men who were “free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies.” Crowley had an even stricter door policy. “We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world.” (II:21) For Crowley “the kings of the earth shall be Kings for ever: the slaves shall serve.” (II:58)
While Gardner and those who followed him borrowed many Thelemic ideas and images, they flinched at Thelema’s harsher implications. Hence they qualified the Law with “An it harm none.” Crowley exhorted his disciples to follow their True Will no matter the cost. Neopagans were told “do whatever you want, just make sure nobody gets hurt.” Crowley created a complex, subtle and rigorous system for finding and attaining to one’s True Will. His works provided a structure against which one could measure one’s visions and exercises by which one could overcome personal failings. American Neopaganism was loudly and proudly free-form and anti-hierarchical. It was more inclined to validate personal experiences than weigh them and more focused on affirmation than criticism.
Alas, “do whatever you want, just make sure nobody gets hurt” is not a philosophical foundation. It is a harried mother sending the kids outside while she mixes herself a drink. When you throw a bunch of aspiring mystics together with no clear sense of direction save “play nice,” they may accomplish great things. But they are far more likely to spend their time playing with toys. If those toys include light shows and subwoofers, they will call their game a rave. Given Renfaire garb and crystals, they will call it a Neopagan ceremony. But while children can learn important life lessons at recess, it is not the place where they master reading and math.
Neopaganism has always leaned Hard Left. Dianic Wiccans were on the Feminist front lines in the 70s (and today find themselves under transgender fire over their position on “women born women”). Many Neopagans have become involved in ecological activism: the Radical Faeries remain a flamboyant and fabulous voice for queer rights. Yet all their efforts, and all their curses, have done nothing to stop the Orange Emperor’s rise. And faced with their Gods’ silence or their own impotence, American Neopaganism has found itself looking to other arcane schools of liberation.
“Do what you want so long as nobody gets hurt” isn’t just the Wiccan Rede. For a whole generation it was a parenting and educational philosophy. Once upon a time schools molded children into fine young men and women. Today the focus is on helping them achieve their full potential and follow their dreams. “Indoctrination,” which once meant passing on the knowledge required to function within a group, has now become a dirty word akin to “brainwashing.” But most people, never mind most children, will respond to untrammeled and unguided freedom with existential terror. Telling them “you can be whoever you want to be” only sends them on a quest for someone who will tell them who they are.
The Angry White American Right is a nebulous collection of grievances and Happy Merchant memes. By contrast, the Woke White Left has coalesced around a coherent ideology. This does not mean that it is monolithic: even Stalin and Trotsky disagreed on a few things. But where AWAR can’t figure out whether to blame Jews or Boomers for their troubles, the WWL knows exactly what is wrong with the world — White Supremacism.
White Supremacism is the old, dead ideology of
the Aeon of Osiris Colonialism. But that is not dead which can eternal lie: its roots have spread throughout our souls and our culture, poisoning even our efforts to make things right. We can only be freed by recognizing the ways we benefit from this poisonous system and eradicating it within and outside ourselves. Toward that end, the WWL explores the various “axes of oppression” by which White Supremacism sustains itself. As Yamonte Cooper explains:
Identities that exists on the axes of oppression includes: infertile, Jews, dark-complected, English as a second language, working class poor, physically unattractive , old in age, illiterate, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ, non-European origin, people of color, women, and the gender “deviant.”
Like Neopagans and kindergarten teachers, the WWL prioritizes personal autonomy. Like kindergarten teachers, the WWL sets hard limits. “Intolerance of Intolerance” gives them with the right and the duty to fight “groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.” The WWL tells its adherents they are flawed by birth, but it also offers them ways to Own Their Privilege” and become “Allies” in an epic Struggle. It fulfills the role of a stern Patriarch who disciplines his children and protects the nurturing Mother. Where parents and teachers provided only vague platitudes, the WWL offers devotees the knowledge of good and evil.
I expect today’s race hysteria to die down after the 2020 election, no matter who wins. Our battles will shift to new fields and new strategies. Soon much of today’s jargon and many of today’s concerns will look as dated as Nehru jackets and disco suits. But we will see many of the same players and most of the same underlying strategies. The Marxist-Freudian Mages of House Frankfurt have built an engine of Liberation fueled by the wild Current that Crowley rode. These children of the New Aeon have both left their mark on the age. It remains to be seen which, if either, will rule it. Or, as Aiwass might put it. “This shall be your only proof. I forbid argument. Conquer! That is enough.” (3:11)
One thought on “To Children Ardent For Some Desperate Glory”
I forget where and when, but I had a bit of a conversation with someone where I noted that if Wiccan based Paganism was founded on “do what though wilt, an it harm none,” that heathenism was based more on “do what thou must, even if it bring harm.” So it’s interesting to see that Crowley had a similar view, which no one really talks about.