A Few Major Events in the Life of Aleister Crowley
by Barry Van-Asten
by Barry Van-Asten
Tuesday 12th October: Edward Alexander Crowley born at 30 Clarendon Square, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, between 11 pm and midnight.
Sunday 29th February: Birth of Grace Mary Elizabeth Crowley, sister to Edward who died only 5 hours after being born.
Saturday 11th June: The Crowley family move to The Grange, Redhill in Surrey.
Young Edward transferred from St Leonard’s School to Ebor School, Cambridge.
Young Crowley begins to write poetry.
Saturday 5th March: Death of Edward’s father, Edward Crowley from cancer of the throat aged 43. Young Edward (Aleister) aged just 11 woke from a premonition of his father’s death. Shortly after, the Crowley family move from Redhill in Surrey to Thistle Grove (now Drayton Gardens), London.
Crowley pursues his interest in climbing which began the previous year, mostly in Scotland.
Spring: Crowley attends Malvern College, Worcestershire.
Lent, Summer and Christmas Terms: Attended Tonbridge School in Kent, staying at Ferox Hall.
January to July: Attends Eastbourne College, East Sussex. He begins climbing Beachy Head and also climbs in Switzerland and Italy.
Crowley spends a lot of time climbing in Switzerland.
October: Attends Trinity College, Cambridge, having rooms at 16 St John’s Street.
Tuesday 31st December, the night of the full moon: Crowley is in Stockholm where he has his first mystical experience.
Moves into 35 Sidney Street, Cambridge.
October: Crowley meets Herbert Charles Jerome Pollitt (1872-1942). During the Christmas vacation Crowley travels to Amsterdam, St Petersburg and Berlin.
Thursday 23rd December: Crowley suffers a crisis of faith in Amsterdam.
January: Move into 14 Trinity Street, Cambridge.
March: He reads The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts by Arthur Edward Waite.
Easter vacation (April): At Wastdale Head with Pollitt, reading ‘Cloud Upon the Sanctuary’ by Karl von Eckharthausen. Crowley writes ‘Jezebel’ at Maidenhead and begins writing and self-publishing his own poetry: ‘Aceldama: a Place to Bury Strangers In’ (32 stanzas) and the erotic ‘White Stains’ and ‘The Tale of Archais’; ‘Songs of the Spirit’ ‘The Poem’; ‘Mysteries: Lyrical and Dramatical’ Crowley also leaves Cambridge without taking his degree.
July: Reads Kabbalah Denudata (The Kabbalah Unveiled) by Knorr von Rosenroth.
Summer: At the Cecil Hotel he writes ‘Jephthah’.
He meets: Gerald Festus Kelly, Oscar Eckenstein (April), Julian L. Baker [Frater D. A.] (August), George Cecil Jones [Frater Volo Noscere] (October), and S. L. MacGregor Mathers.
Thursday 18th November (evening): Crowley is initiated into The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as a Neophyte O=O, taking the magical motto: Frater Perdurabo (I will endure to the end) at Mark Mason Hall, London. He reads ‘The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage’.
November and December: Crowley begins exercises in astral travelling with George Cecil Jones.
December: Crowley passes to the next grade of Zelator 1=10.
‘The Honourable Adulterers’ published.
‘Songs of the Spirit’ published.
‘The Poem’ published.
‘The Fatal Force’ written.
‘An Appeal to the American Republic’ published.
January: Meets Allan Bennett [Frater Iehi Aour] among members of the Golden Dawn.
January and February: Crowley passes the grades of Theoricus 2=9 and Practicus 3=8. He publishes ‘Jephthah and other mysteries’.
May: Crowley passes to the grade of Philosophus 4=7.
Spring/summer: meets the poet W B Yeats and shows him ‘Jephthah’ and ‘Mysteries’.
He also moves into rooms at 67 and 69 Chancery Lane, London taking the name Count Vladimir Svareff, where he is joined by fellow Golden Dawn magician Allan Bennett.
He purchases Boleskine House in Scotland for the sole purpose of performing the sacred magic of Abramelin; he moves in during November.
December: Crowley takes the Portal Grade after a compulsory wait of seven months.
‘Tannhauser: A Story for All Time’ written in Mexico.
Tuesday 16th January: Crowley is admitted to the 2nd Order of the Golden Dawn and is initiated by Mathers into the grade of Adeptus Minor 5=6 taking the magical motto Parzival. He applies to the Second Order in London for certain documents connected with his initiation in Paris, but he is refused.
Wednesday 7th February: At Boleskine, intending to begin the magical operation of Abramelin.
Saturday 24th February: Crowley makes preparations for the Sacred Magic of Abramelin: The Oath of the Beginning.
Friday 6th April: At 36 Blythe Road, London at the Isis Urania Temple (The Second Order Vault of the Adepts). He is in Paris 9-13th April with Mathers:
Tuesday 17th April: At 36 Blythe Road with Elaine Simpson; they break into the Temple, taking possession and change the locks.
Allan Bennett travels to Ceylon where he becomes a Buddhist monk Bikkhu Ananda Metteya.
June: Crowley sails for the United States of America and reaches New York on Friday 6th July. He then travels on to Mexico.
In Mexico he writes ‘Tannhauser’ in just 67 hours and becomes an Adeptus Major 6=5.
‘The Soul of Osiris’ and ‘Carmen Saeculare’ published.
Thursday 7th March: ‘The Mother’s Tragedy’ published.
Friday 3rd May: Crowley leaves San Francisco bound for Hawaii.
Thursday 9th May: Crowley met Mary Beaton [‘Alice’] in Honolulu and wrote ‘Alice an Adultery’ (50 sonnets, one sonnet for each day of their affair). They then go on to Japan. He travels to Ceylon and visits Allan Bennett.
Saturday 17th August: They travel to Kandy and rent a place together and Crowley studies Buddhism.
November: Travels to India.
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th November: Writes ‘Ascension Day’ and ‘Pentecost’.
‘Ambrosii Magi Hortus Rosarum’ published.
‘Tannhauser: A Story for All Time’ printed.
‘The Three Characteristics’ written.
Began writing ‘The Argonauts’ and Book III of ‘Orpheus’.
January: Crowley is hunting in India.
Thursday 13th February: Crowley visits Allan Bennett in Burma.
Friday 21st February: Writing ‘Ahab’.
Monday 17th March: Writes ‘St Patrick’s Day’.
Tuesday 18th March: Completed writing Book III of ‘Orpheus’.
Thursday 20th and Friday 21st March: Wrote ‘Berashith’ in India. Also writes ‘Crowleymas Day’ on Thursday 20th March.
Monday 28th April: he leaves Srinagar to begin the climbing expedition to Chogo Ri (K2) in the Himalayas.
Saturday 4th October: Leaves India and goes to Cairo and then to Paris in November to meet MacGregor Mathers.
‘Alice, an Adultery’ published.
‘The Soldier and the Hunchback’ written.
‘The Psychology of Hashish’ written.
‘Snowdrops from a Curate’s Garden’ published.
‘New Year’s Card’ published.
‘The Star and the Garter’ published.
‘Summa Spes’ published.
‘The God-Eater: A Tragedy of Satire’ published.
July: Crowley at Boleskine in Scotland. He also completes his essay ‘The Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magic’.
Tuesday 11th August: Rose Edith Kelly tells Crowley of her plight.
Wednesday 12th August: Rose and Crowley are married at Dingwall in Scotland. They go on to Paris, Marseilles and Naples.
Tuesday 3rd November: The married couple arrive in Cairo and in December arrive in Ceylon.
Winter: Crowley completed the essay ‘Science and Buddhism’.
‘The Sword of Song’ published.
‘The Argonauts’ published.
‘In Residence: The Don’s Guide to Cambridge’ published.
January: Crowley writes ‘Why Jesus Wept’ in 2 days at Kandy with Rose on their honeymoon.
Thursday 7th January: Crowley writes ‘Rosa Mundi’ while Rose is suffering the effects of fever.
Thursday 28th January: Rose and Crowley journey from Colombo to Cairo, arriving on Tuesday 9th February.
Either Monday 14th or Wednesday 16th March: The couple move into a flat in Cairo and Crowley assumes the name Chioa Khan.
Wednesday 16th March: Crowley performs the Preliminary Invocation of the Goetia for Rose’s amusement. The following day he invokes Thoth.
Friday 18th March: Rose tells Crowley the correct way to invoke Horus.
Saturday 19th March: Writes and performs the Invocation of Horus.
Sunday 20th March: Crowley again performs the Invocation of Horus.
Friday 8th April: Crowley receives the first chapter of the Book of the Law in Cairo from a discarnate entity known as Aiwass.
Saturday 9th April: Crowley receives the second chapter of the Book of the Law.
Sunday 10th April: Crowley receives the third and final chapter of the Book of the Law and claims the grade of Adeptus Major 6=5, taking the magical motto Ol Sonuf Vaoresagi.
Thursday 28th July: Birth of Crowley’s daughter Nuit Ma Ahathoor Hecate Sappho Jezebe Lilith Crowley at Boleskine in Scotland.
Spring/Summer: ‘The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King’ – or ‘The Lesser Key of Solomon the King’ published.
‘The Collected Works’ volume I published.
‘Oracles: the Biography of an Art’ published.
‘Orpheus: a Lyrical Legend’ [2 volumes] published.
‘Rodin in Rime’ published.
‘Clouds Without Water’ written.
‘Rosa Mundi’ published.
Tuesday 8th August: Crowley left Darjeeling and the Kanchenjunga Expedition begins, with Dr. Jules Jacot Guillarmod, Charles Adolphe Reymond, Alexis Pache and Alcesti C. Rigo de Righi.
‘The Collected Works’ volume II published.
‘Gargoyles: Being Strangely Wrought Images of Life and Death’ published.
Wednesday 14th February: Begins Augoeides invocations.
Tuesday 1st May: Death of Nuit Ma Ahathoor Hecate Sappho Jezebe Lilith Crowley of Typhus in Rangoon.
Tuesday 9th October: Crowley completes Augoeides in China after 34 weeks of daily invocations, thus he had completed the Sacred Magic of Abramelin.
‘The Wake World’ written 1906-7.
Birth of Lola Zaza Crowley at Paddington London.
‘The Collected Works’ volume III published.
‘Konx Om Pax: Essays in Light’ published.
‘The Star in the West’ (a critical analysis of Crowley’s collected poetry) by J F C Fuller published.
Crowley’s Magical Order known as the A.A. [Argenteum Astrum: Silver Star] founded.
‘Tien Tao’ probably written.
‘The Stone of the Philosophers’ probably written.
Friday 22nd February: Crowley writes ‘The Synagogue of Satan’.
Thursday 21st March: Rents 4th floor rooms of 60 Jermyn Street.
April: ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ written.
Thursday 30th May: Takes oath of 8=3 but does not accept the grade until 1909.
Sunday 21st July: Writes ‘La Gitana’.
Saturday 19th October: Begins writing his novel ‘Ercildoune’ and finishes it on Wednesday 23rd October.
Tuesday 29th October: Crowley receives ‘Liber Liberi Vel Lapidis Lazuli’ around 11 pm and written in 2.5 hours: the first of the ‘Holy Books’ to be received.
Wednesday 30th October: Begins receiving ‘Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente’ in 5 chapters over four sessions.
Sunday 3rd November: ‘Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente’ completed.
Monday 25th November: Receives ‘Liber Stellaee Rubeae’.
Thursday 5th December: Receives segments of ‘Liber Arcanorum’.
Thursday 12th December: Receives ‘Liber Porta Lucis’.
Friday 13th December: Receives ‘Liber Tau Vel Kabbalae’.
Saturday 14th December: Receives ‘Liber Trigrammaton’.
‘Amphora’ published. It is re-issued in 1912 as ‘Hail Mary’.
‘The Drug’ written.
‘Cancer: a Study in Nerves’ written in Venice.
‘At the Fork of the Roads’ probably written.
‘The Dream Circean’ written in Paris.
‘The World’s Tragedy’ written in Paris.
February: Crowley writes the 5 books of ‘The World’s Tragedy’ in 5 days at Eastbourne.
July: ‘Mr Todd: a Morality’ written in Paris.
Thursday 1st October: Crowley is in Paris and he begins his 2 week Magical Retirement ‘John St John’.
Tuesday 13th October: End of the Magical Retirement in Paris.
Crowley accepts the grade of Adeptus Exemptus 7=4 taking the magical motto OU MH.
‘Thelema’ [3 volumes] published.
‘777 vel Prolegamina’ published.
March: The Equinox volume I number I is printed.
Friday 18th June: Victor Neuburg begins a ten day Magical Retirement at Boleskine, which will be his initiation as a Neophyte into the A.A.
Sunday 27th June: End of Neuburg’s Magical Retirement at Boleskine.
Monday 28th June: At Boleskine Crowley finds the original manuscript of Liber Al which was thought lost.
September: ‘Aha’ written.
Wednesday 22nd September: The Equinox volume I number 2 issued.
Thursday 18th November: Crowley arrives in Algiers, North Africa with Victor Neuburg and begins exploring the Aethyrs by performing the Enochian Calls of Dr. John Dee [Vision and the Voice].
Wednesday 24th November: Rose Divorces Crowley.
Friday 3rd December: Crowley accepts the grade of Magister Templi [Master of the Temple] 8=3 taking the magical motto Vi Veri Universum Vivus Vici (‘By the force of truth, I while living, have conquered the universe’) [V.V.V.V.V.] during the skrying of the 14th Aethyr.
Monday 6th December: Crowley and Neuburg evoke Choronzon.
‘The Scented Garden of Abdullah the Satirist of Shiraz’ [Bagh-i-muattar] published.
‘The Violinist’ written.
‘Rosa Decidua’ published.
‘The World’s Tragedy’ published in Paris.
March: The Equinox volume I number 3 printed.
Monday 9th May: The Evocation of Bartzabel.
September: The Equinox volume I number 4 printed.
October/November: Performs The Rites of Eleusis [Liber DCCCL] at London’s Caxton Hall:
Wednesday 19th October: ‘The Rite of Saturn’.
Wednesday 26th October: ‘The Rite of Jupiter’.
Wednesday 2nd November: The Rite of Mars’.
Wednesday 9th November: ‘The Rite of Sol’.
Wednesday 16th November: ‘The Rite of Venus’.
Sunday 20th November: ‘The Rite of Luna’.
‘Across the Gulf’ written.
‘The Sevenfold Sacrament’ written.
‘The Woodcutter’ written.
‘His Secret Sin’ written.
‘The Ghouls’ written in Paris.
‘Adonis’ written in Paris.
‘Snowstorm: a Tragedy’ written in Eastbourne, probably during the spring.
‘Alexandra’ printed in Paris.
‘Elder Eel’ written in Paris.
‘Mortadello or The Angel of Venice: a Comedy’ written in Paris, probably in the summer.
‘The Blind Prophet: a Ballet’ written in Algeria and Marseilles.
‘The Scorpion: a Tragedy’ written in Algeria, probably in January.
‘His Majesty’s Fiddler: a Sketch’ written in Paris, probably during the summer.
March: The Equinox volume I number 5 printed.
May: ‘Household Gods: a Comedy’ written in Italy.
Thursday 10th August: ‘A Birthday’ (poem) written for Leila Waddell.
September: The Equinox volume I number 6 printed.
Wednesday 27th September: Rose Crowley enters an asylum suffering from alcoholic dementia.
Wednesday 11th October: Crowley meets Mary d’Este Sturges, a companion to Isadora Duncan.
Tuesday 21st November: Abuldiz communicates through Mary d’Est Sturges [Soror Virakam] concerning ‘Aba’ or Book 4. Thus begins the dialogue which continues until Tuesday 19th December known as the Abuldiz Working.
‘Book 4 (2 volumes) Part I: Mysticism’ published.
‘The Testament of Magdalen Blair’ written.
‘Energised Enthusiasm’ written.
‘The Winged Beetle’ published.
‘The High History of Good Sir Palamedes the Saracen Knight and of his following of the Questing Beast’ published.
March: The Equinox volume I number 7 printed.
Sunday 21st April: Theodore Reuss appoints Crowley National Grand Master General Xth Degree of O.T.O. for Great Britain and Ireland.
September: The Equinox volume I number 8 printed.
‘Book 4 (2 volumes) Part II: Magick – Preliminary Remarks’ published.
‘The Book of Lies’ [Liber CCCXXXIII] is written and published.
‘Atlantis’ written in Moscow.
‘The Ship: a Mystery Play’ [Liber DCCC] written in Moscow during the summer.
‘The Hymn to Pan’ written in Moscow during the summer.
‘Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae [The Gnostic Mass] written in Moscow during the summer.
March: The Equinox volume I number 9 printed.
September: The Equinox volume I number 10 printed.
Wednesday 31st December: The Paris Working begins with Victor Neuburg [Frater Lampada Tradam].
‘Chicago May’ published.
‘Rex de Arte Regia’ [The King on the Royal Art] written record.
Tuesday 24th February: End of the Paris Working.
September/October: Writes ‘De Arte Magica’, ‘De Homunculo’, ‘De Natura Deorum’, ‘De Nuptiis Secretis Deorum cum Hominibus’.
Saturday 24th October: Crowley leaves for the United States.
Crowley is employed by Viereck and works as Editor of The Fatherland and The International.
‘The Giant’s Thumb’ published.
‘The Mysterious Malady’ written in New York.
‘The Saviour: a Drama in One Act’ written in New York during the summer.
Saturday 3rd July: Crowley was seen to tear up his passport at a gathering at the foot of the Statue of Liberty.
Tuesday 12th October: Crowley assumes the grade of Magus 9=2 taking the magical motto: To Mega Therion [The Great Beast].
‘The Bald Man’ written.
‘Black and Silver’ written in New Hampshire.
Monday 17th July: Crowley performed a ceremony at Evangeline Adams’ cottage on Lake Pasquaney, near Bristol, New Hampshire. [Liber LXX]. Grade of Magus attained.
Wednesday 23rd August: Crowley experienced the Star Sponge Vision.
August to September: 8 stories written [6 published in The International] under the title ‘Golden Twigs’.
‘A Message of the Master Therion’ published.
Crowley’s mother Emily Bertha Crowley dies.
Spring: Amalantrah visions.
Writes ‘Liber Aleph’.
Writes ‘Tao Teh King’.
Writes ‘Not the Life and Adventures of Sir Roger Bloxam’.
‘The Message of the Master Therion’ revised edition published.
‘Law of Liberty’ published.
Meets Leah Hirsig [Alostrael].
August: A Magical Retirement: The Hermit of Oesopus Island in which Crowley had visions of his previous incarnations.
Thursday 5th September: the climax of the Magical Retirement: Samadhi – A Vision of Jupiter.
Friday 21st March: The ‘Blue’ Equinox volume III number 1 is printed.
Crowley returns to England.
Friday 20th February: Birth of Crowley’s and Alostrael’s child Anne Lea (Poupee).
Thursday 1st April: Crowley arrives in Cefalu. The following day he finds a villa to rent which will become his Abbey of Thelema.
Thursday 22nd July: Crowley swore an oath of obedience to his Scarlet Woman Leah Hirsig: ‘she is to direct all action, taking the initiative throughout’.
Monday 26th July: Crowley consumed the Thelemic Host as prepared by Leah Hirsig.
Thursday 14th October: Death of Crowley’s child Anne Lea (Poupee) at Palermo.
Wednesday 20th October: Leah Hirsig miscarries a second child by Crowley.
Friday 26th November: Birth of Astarte Lulu Panthea to Ninette Shumway at Palermo.
Saturday 27th November: Crowley began the Cephaloedium Working.
‘The Vampire of Vespucia’ written.
‘As You Were’ written.
Monday 14th February: Crowley is at Au Cadran Bleu Inn in Fontainbleu and begins his diary entitled Liber Tzaba vel Nike – ‘The Fountain of Hyacinth’.
Monday 23rd May: Crowley assumes the grade of Ipsissimus 10=1.
July: The Seth Ceremony.
Sunday 17th July: Frank Bennett [Frater Progradior] arrives at the Abbey and stays for 4 months.
Writes and publishes ‘The Diary of a Drug Fiend’.
Sunday 26th November: Raoul Loveday and Betty May arrive at Cefalu.
‘Songs for Italy’ published.
Friday 16th February: Death of Raoul Loveday at Cefalu.
Saturday 17th February: Funeral of Raoul Loveday.
Sunday 22nd April: Norman Mudd arrives at Cefalu.
Monday 23rd April: The order of expulsion from Cefalu is read to Crowley.
Tuesday 1st May: Crowley expelled from Italy by Mussolini and leaves his beloved Abbey of Thelema for the last time.
Friday 11th May: Crowley arrives in Tunis.
September: Leah Hirsig renounced her office as Crowley the Beast’s ‘Scarlet Woman’ and Crowley appointed Dorothy Olsen [Sister Astrid] as the new S.W.
‘AL (Liber Legis) sub figures XXXI published.
‘An Extenuation of the Book of the Law’ [3 volumes, includes Liber XXVII and CCXX and the Comment] published.
October: Dorothy Olsen returns to the United States and abandons Crowley and her office as S.W.
Death of Astarte Lulu Panthea.
Israle Regardie joins Crowley in Paris and becomes his secretary.
‘Moonchild’ published. Also ‘The Strategem and other stories’ published.
‘The Spirit of Solitude, subsequently re-antichristened The Confessions of Aleister Crowley’ (2 volumes) [Volumes 3-6 not issued] published.
Saturday 9th March: Crowley and Regardie are expelled from France.
Friday 12th April: ‘Magick in Theory and Practice’ (being part III of Book 4) is published in 4 volumes by the Lecram Press in Paris and issued in one volume in London.
Friday 16th August: Crowley marries Maria de Miramar, in Leipzig.
Tuesday 23rd September: Crowley fakes his own death at the Boca de Inferno, Portugal.
Wednesday 30th September: Bertha Busch becomes Crowley’s new Scarlet Woman.
Tuesday 13th September: Death of Leila Waddell.
Regardie and Crowley part company on unfriendly terms.
Sunday 13th March: First performance of Crowley’s ‘Gnostic Mass’ at Agape Lodge O.T.O. California.
Tuesday 10th April: Crowley loses his libel case against Nina Hamnett for her accounts of him in her book ‘Laughing Torso’.
Pearl Brooksmith becomes the new Scarlet Woman.
Pearl Brooksmith abandons her office as S. W.
‘The Equinox of the Gods’ [The Equinox volume III number 3] published.
Sunday 2nd May: Birth of Crowley’s son Aleister Ataturk to Deirdre MacAlpine.
‘Little Essays Towards Truth’ written and published. Also ‘The Heart of the Master’ published by the OTO.
‘Liber Al vel Legis sub figura CCXX (includes Liber CCXX and the Comment) published.
‘Khing Kang King’ published.
‘Temperance, a Tract for the Times’ issued by the OTO.
‘Eight Lectures on Yoga’ [The Equinox volume III number 4] published.
Thursday 30th May: Death of Victor Neuburg.
‘Thumbs Up’ published.
‘The Fun of the Fair’ published.
The death of Herbert Charles Jerome Pollitt.
‘The City of God: a Rhapsody’ published.
‘The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians’ [The Equinox volume III number 5] published.
Crowley retires to Netherwood in Hastings.
‘Olla: an Anthology of Sixty Years of Song’ published by the OTO.
Monday 1st December: Crowley dies at Netherwood, Hastings aged 72.
Friday 5th December: Crowley’s funeral service and cremation at Brighton cemetery.