Aleister Crowley, Rosaleen Norton, Harry Hay, and the Gay Movement

“We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and feeble lies. We shall seduce them in your schools…in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms…wherever men are men together.” Michael Swift, “Gay Revolutionary”

…by Jonas E. Alexis

Aleister Crowley

One can say that Aleister Crowley—a freemason[1] who “began to experiment with the sex magic that was later to help make him notorious” around 1909[2]—played a major role in the Gay movement. He wrote in The World’s Tragedy:

“I shall fight openly for that which no living Englishman dare defend, even in secret—Sodomy!”[3]

With respect to sexual liberation, one can also say that Crowley was a reincarnation of Marquis de Sade, whose sexual metaphysics we have examined in several articles. The difference is that Crowley arguably was more influential than de Sade.

Crowley had an enormously powerful influence on conductor and composer Eugene Goossens, poet Gavin Greenlees, and neo-pagan Rosaleen Norton, who herself began to practice Crowley’s sex magic and who, at the age of five, claimed to have “observed an apparition of a shining dragon beside her bed.”[4]

It has been said that Goossens might have had access to Crowley’s unpublished writings on sex magic.[5]

Goossens and Greenlees cooperated with Norton to form what one might call a sex club. Norton met Greenlees when she was twenty-seven, when Greenlees was only fourteen years old.

By the time Greenlees met Norton, he was already well versed in Crowley’s Magick: In Theory and Practice, which he acquired from a local library. “He became so familiar with it that he was said to be able to recite lengthy passages of it from memory.”[6]

Geenlees, still a teenager, “fled his parents’ home and run away to Sydney. There he sought out Norton, renewed their acquaintance, and soon became her lover.”[7]

“Certainly Goossens became a central figure in Rosaleen Norton’s small occult group and an active participant with her…in sex-magick rituals. In Goossens, Norton felt that she had found a magical partner who not only matched but also complimented her own occult abilities.”[8]

Rosaleen Norton

By the time Crowley began to get notoriety in 1923, the Sunday Express depicted him as “The Wickedest Man in the World,” and “A Man We’d Like to Hang.”

Norton, on the other hand, was called “the witch of Kings Cross”[9] in Sydney, and many of her artwork was viewed as pornographic.

“The public at large was astounded by Norton’s risqué paintings and drawings, which depicted naked hermaphroditic beings, phalluses transforming into serpents, and passionate encounters with black panthers.

“As a result of her bohemian art, Norton was involved in numerous legal hearings relating to charges of alleged obscenity, and these controversies would hound her for most of her adult life.”[10]

Norton, who “began to experiment with self-hypnosis as a means of inducing automatic drawing” at the age of twenty-three,[11] made constant references to Crolwey’s Magick: In Theory and Practice,[12] and in the fullness of time implemented many of its teachings through sex magick.[13]

Crowley, who was well versed in the Kabbalah, claimed that his Book of the Law was dictated to him by a discarnate entity called Aiwass, whose principled message was “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”[14]

Similarly, Norton claimed that many of her paintings came from discarnate entities.[15]

In fact, in a short note entitled “The Crowley Pattern and Connections,” she “briefly itemized some of the links between herself and the Beast,” meaning Crowley.[16] She later described her artwork as “a medium for tapping into a wondrous ‘alternative reality.’”[17]

After an intense period of studying Crowley’s diabolical ideology and various occult works on Kabbalah and Theosophy, Norton flirted with Carl Jung’s theories. Scholar Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke tells us that

“Modern ritual magic anticipated Jungian psychoanalytical concerns with archetypes and the collective unconscious. With their roots in Masonic symbolism and ritual, the magical orders sought to evoke powers on the inner or higher planes of reality.”[18]

It is no coincidence that Norton immersed herself in the work of Jung and Freud, which

“played an important part in her early investigations, providing a theoretical framework upon which she could order and interpret her practical experiences.

Norton's "art"

“In her early experiments Norton sought to tap into a part of the unconscious that she believed housed ‘the accumulated knowledge of mankind,’ a stratum referred to by the Theosophists and others as ‘the Akashic record.’

“To do this she would enter a trance or meditative state, using the type of preparatory practices that would be familiar to practitioners of ritual magic or certain types of meditation:

“she first sought to still or suppress her conscious mind while at the same time surrounding herself with various symbols, objects, colors, and scents that she felt were in some way in harmony with the ‘other’ with which she sought to make contact…





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