Tag Archives: Thelema

Almanac – February 03

1927 – Kenneth Anger born.  American underground experimental filmmaker, actor and author of two controversial Hollywood Babylon books. Working exclusively in short films, he has produced almost forty works since 1937, nine of which have been grouped together as the “Magick Lantern Cycle“, and form the basis of Anger’s reputation as one of the most influential independent filmmakers in cinema history.His films variously merge surrealism with homoeroticism and the occult, and have been described as containing “elements of erotica, documentary, psychodrama, and spectacle.”

 Anger himself has been described as “one of America’s first openly gay filmmakers, and certainly the first whose work addressed homosexuality in an undisguised, self-implicating manner“, and his “role in rendering gay culture visible within American cinema, commercial or otherwise, is impossible to overestimate“.  He has also focused upon occult themes in many of his films, being fascinated by Aleister Crowley, and is a follower of Crowley’s religion, Thelema.

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1959 – Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, The Big Bopper   and pilot Roger Peterson died in an aircrash near Mason City, Iowa – “The day the music died” according to Don McClean.

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1967 – Joe Meek, English innovative music producer extrodinaire, shot his landlady and then himself. The date may not be coincidence – he was obsessed with Buddy Holly and claimed to have received messages from him from beyond the grave.

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Almanac – December 01

1761 – Marie Tussaud born. French artist known for her wax sculptures and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, which she founded in London.

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1940 – Richard Pryor born.  American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, writer, and MC,  known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities, and profanity, as well as racial epithets. He reached a broad audience with his trenchant observations and storytelling style. He is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comedians of his era:

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1947 – Aleister Crowley died. English occultist, mystic, ceremonial magician, poet and mountaineer, who was responsible for founding the religious philosophy of Thelema. In his role as the founder of the Thelemite philosophy, he came to see himself as the prophet who was entrusted with informing humanity that it was entering the new Aeon of Horus in the early 20th century.

According to one biographer the cause of death was a respiratory infection. Crowley  had become addicted to heroin after being prescribed morphine for his asthma and bronchitis many years earlier.  He and his last doctor died within 24 hours of each other; and newspapers would claim  that Dr. Thomson had refused to continue his opiate prescription and that Crowley had put a curse on him.

Some accounts say a Mr. Rowe witnessed Crowley’s death along with a nurse, and reported his last words as “Sometimes I hate myself”.  Another account  had  Crowley dies pacing in his living room. Supposedly a witness  heard a crash while polishing furniture on the floor below, and entered Crowley’s rooms to find him dead on the floor.
Yet another account reported a sudden gust of wind and peal of thunder at the (otherwise quiet) moment of his death.

 Readings at the cremation service in nearby Brighton included excerpts from Crowley’s works, among them his poem Hymn to Pan, and newspapers, ever non-controversial reporters of plain facts,  referred to the service as a Black Mass. Brighton council subsequently resolved to take all the necessary steps to prevent such an incident from occurring again. Given that that would require another Aleister Crowley, its unlikely that it ever could occur again.

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1955 –  In Montgomery, Alabama, seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man and was arrested for violating the city’s racial segregation laws, an incident which leads to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

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1986 – Lee Dorsey died.  African American pop/R&B singer. Much of his work was produced by Allen Toussaint with instrumental backing provided by the Meters. He also boxed, quite successfully,  under the name Kid Chocolate. He contracted emphysema and died  in New Orleans, at the age of 61.

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