VODKA O’CLOCK 1524
ALEISTER CROWLEY IN CONTEXT
RECORDED LIVE AT STEAMPUNK WORLD’S FAIR
AMBER LOVE 08-JUNE-2015 Now you can sponsor Vodka O’Clock and AmberUnmasked.com through PATREON. Just go to Patreon.com/amberunmasked to pledge as little as $1.00 per creation which could mean per Vodka O’Clock episode or through written content.
This episode is a recording of the lecture from Steampunk World’s Fair with Lex (L.V.X.) discussing some of the key facts about Aleister Crowley. There’s a ton of coverage on SPWF from this year.
Download on iTunes, Stitcher or listen here.
The panelist opted not to use microphones. As an audience member, not only as a podcaster, I prefer if public speakers use microphones. The rooms like this popular session are jammed with people who chatter throughout and make hearing difficult. The A/V setups should be checked before the panels and used. This recording experiences short bursts of irritating feedback. I went through the entire lecture and tried to isolate the track phrase by phrase to amplify it and then normalize. It’s still a little irritating but you can actually hear Lex pretty clearly.
Lex opened up this lecture for The Nightshade Society by reciting Crowley’s Hymn to Pan. Her voice was quiet, calm and relaxing, but inflected appropriately with her subject matter. She sprinkled plenty of humorous anecdotes about him.
Excerpt of HYMN TO PAN:
O pan ! Io Pan !
Io Pan ! Io Pan ! Pan Pan ! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan ! Io Pan !
Io pan ! Io Pan Pan ! Iam awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The gods withdraw:
The great beasts come, Io Pan ! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan ! Io Pan ! Io Pan Pan ! Pan !
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold , I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
“So this man, Aleister Crowley, was a really ridiculous human being.” ~ Lex
WHAT KIND OF MAN WAS HE?
Lex clearly knows her subject matter and explained how Crowley was classist and sexist. He was a white man of privilege that spent the family’s money traveling the world and coming up with a new branch of magical religion. She talked about his love of studying The Bible yet died an atheist. Among his known bad behavior and questionable life choices, the first time Crowley was ever kicked out of a country was when he killed a man in India.
“He does some wonderful stuff, in my opinion,” Lex said as introduction to asking the audience if they know of and like Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck. “It communicates with you successfully. It’s a successful deck. You look at it and it tells you why and tells you justifications.”
He liked to make women his mediums through prolonged sex and alcohol. This included his wife Rose who “delivered” him the Book of the Law. Lex also described Crowley as a terrible friend. Here’s where some background about his Order and the Golden Dawn could have filled in the gap for listeners. I don’t know if everyone in attendance could possibly know what O.T.O. is; Lex also referred to A.’.A.’. without explanation.
“O.T.O. has long worked in close alliance with the A∴A∴, which first proclaimed the Law of Thelema to the world. The A∴A∴ is a teaching, testing, and initiatory system dedicated to the personal spiritual advancement of its individual members. Within A∴A∴ all services are rendered free of charge, and no social activities are held.” http://oto-usa.org/thelema/aa/
Lex’s explanation of Crowley connection with the Kabbalah was too brief. She even said it’s hard to get into with such limited time. But what she did have time for was point out how Crowley manipulated every kind of belief system that would work into producing the outcome he wanted such as being reincarnations of specific people.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will.” ~various Crowley quotes
As with the Archeology panel, where Lex was also a speaker, the preference for aliases means I couldn’t track her down to find her on social media or find a website to see what her future appearances are.
There was great participation with the audience. Lex even pulled someone from the crowd to join her and share his thoughts. People listening seemed keenly interested and what she had to say.
What’s interesting is how apologetic Lex was about feeling unprepared, yet her presentation came across as the opposite. She mentioned that she lost one slide. And my only two objections were that she desperately needed a microphone; and that because the audience was asked if they knew of Crowley at the beginning, a lot of assumptions were made about how much as a group there was. But I’ve seen Lex on two panels and found her extremely knowledgeable on each subject and her confidence is subtle and welcoming.
Next year’s Steampunk World’s Fair is scheduled for May 13-15, 2016 at the same fantastic dual hotels that participate: Embassy Suites and the Radisson in Piscataway, NJ.
If you appreciate this kind of live coverage from conventions, help make sure I can travel to them by sponsoring the show and the site at Patreon.com/AmberUnmasked.