In his heyday last century, he was called the wickedest man in the world. He called himself The Beast 666. His hedonism, debauchery, mountaineering, drug use, and knowledge of the occult was likely unmatched by any man of his era. He influenced countless artists, writers, and musicians, from Jimmy Page, Kenneth Anger, and Robert Anton Wilson to David Bowie, Alan Moore, and John Whiteside Parsons, co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where Xeni happens to be visiting this afternoon. Today is a special Crowley anniversary too! On this day 106 years ago, Crowley was in Egypt taking dictation from either his subconscious, or a messenger of the god Horus named Aiwass. The resulting text was Crowley's most famous work, The Book of The Law, containing his oft-repeated rule-of-thumb: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." Love him or hate him, Crowley not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk. To celebrate the Aiwass anniversary, Life has published a gallery of images related to Crowley's remarkable life. Above, sex researcher Alfred Kinsey and filmmaker Kenneth Anger at Anger's Abbey of Thelema in Sicily. The opening of the Book of the Law:
"Had! The manifestation of Nuit.
The unveiling of the company of heaven.
Every man and woman is a star.
Every number is infinite; there is no difference.
Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!"
Aleister Crowley: Wicked (Thanks, Ben Cosgrove!)