All Writing & Content © Nick Kushner Unless Noted Otherwise
Aleister Crowley has been referred to by many (including in his own obituary) as 'the most wicked man who had ever lived'. He was one of the most prolific poets/writers/philosophers of the Twentieth Century and developed his own system of magick. Even the popular term 'magick' was coined by Aleister Crowley as to differentiate fake stage "magic" from true "magick", when one uses his or her will to effect and cause change in the world. He still remains one of the most misunderstand and enigmatic figures in history (in some ways much like Manson). Because his philosophy didn't exist in the two dimensional, good-evil, black-white, God-Satan belief system he was and is demonized as a Satanist, which isn't true but something he would have never lived down. As stated above, Crowley became head of the O.T.O. in the early Twentieth Century and the magick and philosophy practiced by them is Hermetic Kabbalah, mysticism combined with Alchemy, Egyptian mythology and, most notoriously, Sex Magick.
Marilyn Manson, Misery Machine
"Do what I will, I will hurry there, there"
Left; The Unicursal Hexagram adopted and stylized by Aleister Crowley in the early Twentieth Century, a derivation of the traditional hexagram consisted of two interlocked triangles pointing in opposite directions to symbolize the occult principle of balance "as above so below" (which also applies to Manson's Celebritarian Double Cross), except it's drawn with an unbroken line to signify continuous movement, and it also bears a similarity with the 'Shock Logo'.
Center; the Cross of Baphomet prominently used by Crowley which also ressembles Manson's Double Cross, and was also worn by Interestingly, this same symbol was also worn by Albert Pike, founder of the 33rd Degree of Freemasonry. Interrestingly Crowley's earlier version of this cross (right) is identical to the Mission Cross used in the Arma...geddon single artwork. Note that Crowley is dressed in full Masonic regalia.
Marilyn Manson, Misery Machine
"We're gonna ride to the Abbey of Thelema, to the Abbey of Thelema"
|Montage for the artwork of The Beatles' 8th album "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band", featuring the famous portrait of Crowley behind a crowd of other celebrities appreciated by the band, and its Mansonized parody on a 1992 Spooky Kids flyer (image courtesy of SpookyKids.net).|
Manson has always been connected in different capacities to Aleister Crowley ever since Portrait Of An American Family. 'The Abbey Of Thelema' sung in the song Misery Machine is a reference to Crowley's headquarters where he taught his magick to adepts, which was at one time located in Italy and England and in both locations he was a tabloid favourite for the alleged debauchery and perversity which went on there, and was eventually requested by the Italian government to leave the country. Thelema though is the cornerstone of Crowley's philosophy and magickal system, The Law Of Thelema as it's known.Thelema is a Greek word which dually means Love and Will. The Law Of Thelema thusly is "Do What Thou Wilt Is The Whole Of The Law. Love Is The Law, Love Under Will" which means one lives by the code of enacting one's True Will; what one was set here on this Earth to accomplish, unique to each individual. Anyone interested in Crowley, Thelema, the OTO, one's True Will and Magick would benefit and be greatly informed by reading Crowley's 1922 novel, Diary Of A Drug Fiend. It's a beautifully poetic book which outlines Crowley's philosophy and how one is intended to use his or her True Will to overcome the obstacles of life, metaphorically in the novel which are cocaine and heroin. And this book also brings us to another parallel between Manson and Crowley which is the title of the song 'Diary Of A Dope Fiend' on Smells Like Children, which is a play on words and corruption of the title of Crowley's novel, 'Diary Of A Drug Fiend'.
|Left; 'Diary of a Drug Fiend' by Aleister Crowley, 1922. Right;"Dope Fiend", 1995 'Smells Like Children' era tour t-shirt.|
Other references and parallels to Aleister Crowley also exist and are much more powerful than these. During the performance of The Death Song during the Ozzfest portion of the Guns, God & Government tour, among the Celebritarian collection of faces which were flashing on screen behind Manson such as V. I. Lenin, Martin Luther King, Hitler, James Dean and John Lennon was Crowley's most famous and insidious portrait shown below. Crowley's most famous book is The Book Of The Law which outlines The Law Of Thelema and heralds the coming of the new aeon, The Age Of Horus, which Manson has quoted on a message on the Official site.
"When you are suffering know that I have betrayed you"
The line, which both opens and closes the album 'Antichrist Svperstar' is actually an adaptation of a line from The Book Of The Law, Line 56 of Chapter 2:
"Begone! ye mocker; even though ye laugh in my honour ye shall laugh not long: then when you are sad know that I have forsaken you."
"I never really hated the one true god but the god of the people I hated"
The most signature line sung by Manson in 'Disposable Teens', the first single release from 'Holy Wood' on 2000, is actually a direct reference to a quote Crowley made in his autobiography (or autohagiography, which is the autobiography of a saint) 'The Confessions Of Aleister Crowley':
"I did not hate God or Christ, but merely the God and Christ of the people whom I hated."
It was written in reference to a point in Crowley's life where despite his disillusionment with Christianity that hatred shouldn't be at odds with his own spirituality; where he can appreciate "god"and spirituality in his own way, not how those who pervert religion do. This is very similar to the standpoint Manson was coming from in writing Holy Wood where just because the majority of people have perverted and bastardized religion and spirituality through the plague known as Christianity, it shouldn't affect Manson or anyone else's take on it.
Though it was not by any means the sole reason for the title of the album, the term 'Holy Wood' was written in a poem by Aleister Crowley named 'Aha' which appears printed in the book 'The Tree Of Life' by Israel Regardie, which is about his communication with his "Holy Guardian Angel", something considered the most divine and advanced pursuits in magick,
Aha, by Aleister Crowley"... Choose tenderley
A place for thine academy.
Let there be an holy wood
Of embowered solitude
By the still, the rainless river,
Underneath the tangled roots
Of majestic trees that quiver
In the quiet airs where shoots
Of kindly grass are green,
Moss and ferns asleep between,
Lilies in the water lapped,
Sunbeams in the branches trapped
-Windless and eternal even
Silenced all the birds of heaven
By the low insistent call
Of the constant water fall.
There, to such a setting be
Its carven gem of deity,
A central flawless fire, enthralled
Like Truth within an emerald."
| The 15th, 'Devil' card of Manson's 2000 Holy Wood tarot, and Crowley's interpretation of it in his Toth Deck first published in 1969. |
To read more about this visit The Tarot & Holy Wood on The NACHTKABARETT.
"The formula of this card is then the complete appreciation of all existing things. He rejoices in the rugged and the barren no less than in the smooth and the fertile. All things equally exalt him. He represents the finding of ecstasy in every phenomenon, however naturally repugnant."Aleister Crowley in The Tarot, by Richard Cavendish.
|Left; The Young Magician, photography of Aleister Crowley ca. 1900. Center; Manson on the Magician arcana of his Holy Wood tarot artwork. |
Right; Crowley in his older days wearing a similar top hat.
As a resurgence of Manson's occult fascination, the audio which has been the introduction to MarilynManson.com from 2006 to 2008 is one of the few existing audio recordings of Aleister Crowley, in particular Crowley's recitation of the 'The Call of the First Aethyr (Enochian Version)'.
A fitting allusion as references to Crowley and specifically Enochian magick date to the back cover of 'Holy Wood' where a jawless Manson is depicted in front of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth, a symbol delivered to Edward Kelly and Dr. John Dee in the Sixteenth century, both of whom working together laid the foundation, through divine guidance, of the present system of Enochian Magick which is considered to be one of the most powerful forms of magick by many Occultists.
Contribution from Mr. Insanity / Don Kurtz
Shown above is a screen capture from the Holy Wood index menu of the Lest We Forget video collection DVD. Manson is rising out of the water not unlike the beast out of the sea in Chapter 13 of the book of Revelation. The crown of thorns and 3 nails, copied verbatim from a 1997 Manson T-shirt are used to represent the manner in which Jesus Christ was murdered. The inverted positioning of the nails, which represents the Anti-Christ, is interesting as they form the letter K in the alphabet of Daggers.
The alphabet of Daggers first appeared in Aleister Crowley's book The Vision And The Voice, which was published in the fifth number of The Equinox (1911).
The numerical value of the letter K is 11. The number 3 has a great significance to Antichrist Superstar. Multiply the number of nails by the numerical value of the letter K (3x11) and you get 33. Jesus was crucified at the age of 33.
In Freemasonry the 33° Scottish Rite is the highest level you can achieve. It is a degree by invitation only. You are selected based on your ethic and dedication in relation to masonry. The highest level of dedication one could possibly have in relation to their beliefs is a willingness to sacrifice oneself for them. Jesus Christ did just that. He ultimately sacrificed himself for his beliefs - King Kill 33°.
S e e a l s o o n T h e N A C H T K A B A R E T T :
THE SEVENFOLD STAR OF BABALON | The symbol which can be seen behind Manson on the back cover of Holy Wood is known as the Sigillum Dei Æmeth and is used in Enochian Magick, or Magick employing the powers and influences of Angels. The seven pointed star was also adopted by Aleister Crowley as the emblem of his organization, the A.·. A.·. ; known as the Sevenfold Star of Babalon.
ANTICHRIST SVPERSTAR & THE BAPHOMET | "The Devil is, historically, the God of any people that one personally dislikes... This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade 'Know Thyself!' and taught Initiation. He is 'The Devil' of the Book of Thoth, and His emblem is BAPHOMET, the Androgyne who is the hieroglyph of arcane perfection... He is therefore Life, and Love. But moreover his letter is ayin, the Eye, so that he is Light; and his Zodiacal image is Capricornus, that leaping goat whose attribute is Liberty." Aleister Crowley, Magick (Book 4).
HOLY WOOD - THE AGE OF HORUS & THE DYING GOD | "It is time for their world to be destroyed. It is time for a new age, the Age of Horus." Marilyn Manson's messageboard, 1999. The New Aeon, The Age of Horus, was a phrase quoted by Manson on more than one occasion leading up to the release of Holy Wood, making another yet more esoteric, reference to Aleister Crowley. The Age of Horus was lain forth in The Book of the Law, which proclaimed the dawning of The New Aeon (or period of 2,000 year ruled over by an elemental deity), and outlined the Law of Thelema, "Do What Thou Wilt Is The Whole Of The Law. Love Is The Law, Love Under Will."
LEST WE FORGET - THE LEG PENTAGRAM | Besides an obvious reference to an old poster for the musical Cabaret, the fishnet stocking clad five legged pentagram which makes up the CD cover of Lest We Forget is also evocative of Buer, the tenth spirit from the Goetia (or Lesser Key of Solomon), a 16th century manuscript published by Aleister Crowley in the early 20th century. The demon was previously portrayed in 1863 by illustrator Louis Breton with five circumambulanting legs in the sixth edition of Collin de Plancy's "Dictionnaire Infernal".
THE CALL OF THE FIRST ÆTHYR - MARILYNMANSON.COM INTRO | Implementing the flourishing Crowleyan references during Manson's Celebritarian era, the audio file playing during the 2006 'Phantasmagoric' introduction of MarilynManson.com was actually one of the few existing audio recordings of Aleister Crowley, his recitation of the 'The Call of the First Æthyr (Enochian Version)'. Enochian Magick is considered to be one of the most powerful forms of magick by many Occultists.
NEMORIS INFERIORIS - MARILYNMANSON.COM | Contained within the Celebritarian 2006 incarnation of MarilynManson.com lays a hidden message, blended into the right side of the border in the 'Gallery of Shapes' section. A letter addressed to IX° Roy Leffingwell of the O.T.O, by Aleister Crowley, announcing the Word of the Equinox, was emblazoned in red with a Sevenfold Star of the Beast, and began with "Ex castro Nemoris Inferioris", which translates "From The Camp at Netherwood" and actually refers to Crowley's final dwelling place, a Victorian guest house in Hastings.
LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS - THE EYE IN THE TRIANGLE | "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will never understand it", recited by Marilyn Manson in 'I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell'. Though the line finds its origins in a verse from the Bible's book of John, and perfectly combines with the references to Lucifer (the bearer of light) and to the universe of movies, it actually hides a more obscure reference : a phrase from a Golden Dawn ritual detailed in Israel Regardie's book "The Eye In The Triangle (an interpretation of Aleister Crowley )".