“O coffee! By the Mighty Name of Power do I invoke thee…” – Crowley’s Magical Diary & an Ankhie Ramble

Image source - http://www.earthrites.org/turfing/?paged=5


6.55  Now the day has been gloriously broken, I awoke with some weariness, not feeling clean and happy, not burning with love unto my Lord Adonai, though ashamed indeed for that thrice or four times in the night I had been awakened by this loyal body, urging me to rise and meditate – and my weak will bade it be at ease and take its rest -oh, wretched man! slave of the hour and of the worm!

7.0-7.16  Fifteen cycles of Prana Yama put me right mentally and physically; otherwise they had little apparent success.

7.30  Have breakfasted – a pear and two Garibaldis. (These by the way are the small size, half the big squares.)

7.50  Have smoked a pipe to show that I’m not in a hurry.

8.5  Hanged Man with mantra in Visuddhi. Thought I had been much longer. At one point the Spirit began to move – how the devil else can I express it? The consciousness seemed to flow, instead of pattering. Is that clear?

One should note here that there may perhaps be some essential difference in the operation of the Moslem and Hindu mantrams. The latter boom; the former ripple. I have never tried the former at all seriously until now.

8.10 -8.32  Meme jeu – no good at all. I think I’ll get up and have a Turker.

9.0  Am up, having read my letters. Continuing mantra all the time in a more or less conscious way.

9.25  Wrote my letters and started out.

10.38  Have reached the Cafe de la Paix, walking slowly with my mantra. I am beginning to forget it occassionally, mispronouncing some of the words. A good sign! Now and then I tried sending it up and down my spine, with good effect.

10.40  I will drink a cup of coffee and then proceed to the Hammam. This may ease my limbs, and afford an opportunity for a real go-for-the-gloves effort to concentrate.

It cannot be too clearly understood that nearly all the work hitherto has been preliminary; the intention is to get the Chittam (thought-stuff) flowing evenly in one direction. Also one practices detaching it from the Vrittis (impressions). One looks at everything without seeing it.

O coffee! By the mighty Name of Power do I invoke thee, consecrating thee to the Service of the Magic of Light. Let the pulsations of my heart be strong and regular and slow! Let my brain be wakeful and active in its supreme task of self-control! That my desired end may be effected through Thy strength, Adonai, unto Whom be the Glory for ever! Amen without lie, and Amen, and Amen of Amen.

Aleister Crowley and the Practice of the Magical Diary, ed. by James Wasserman – excerpt from John St. John

Aside from the glorious invocation of coffee, what I like best about Aleister Crowley’s Magical Diaries is how ordinary they seem. Let me rephrase.  I like that they make this extraordinary process of spiritual discipline seem almost ordinary by placing it in the context of daily life. Crowley’s spiritual quest was completely integrated, which is probably why he had the success  he did. But if you only read his better known works, the treatices, instructions, meditations, and fictions – you would have a very different impression of who he was and how he got there. In the guise of the Great Beast he is fully formed – enlightened, erudite, and arrogant. The diaries reveal the man behind the process – not in the least bit lessened, but enriched by the struggle, the doubt, the surprising bursts of boyish enthusiasm.

So here comes the Ankhie ramble…

What do we lose by committing all of our thoughts to electronic media? It is assumed that the internet generation is guilty of over-sharing, posting  every mood and misguided deed for all to see. That is somewhat true, of course (Ankhie has a teenaged daughter – she knows of what she speaks), but most folks have some sense of decorum – they think about what they are posting, edit it with readers in mind. If you are putting it online, you expect that someone will be reading. What do you suppose Crowley’s diaries would have looked like had they been in blog format? or tweets? Would anyone have seen the very human, and humorous side of Uncle Al if he had been aware, with each entry, that he was writing for the world not just himself? Of course, Crowley must have imagined a future audience for these journals – but even so, there was the buffer of considerable time and distance between the experience & writing (nearly simultaneous) and the publication. That buffer made all the difference.

Just curious. Who out there keeps a real, pen and ink magical diary these days? How does that differ from your online musings?

PS If you know what a ‘Turker” is, let me know.  Unless it’s something totally filthy… oh, hell, let me know anyway!

3 thoughts on ““O coffee! By the Mighty Name of Power do I invoke thee…” – Crowley’s Magical Diary & an Ankhie Ramble

  1. I was never able to keep a private diary without thinking about the implications of another human being reading it. And in truth, if I ever went back and read my diaries, I WOULD be a different person when I read them, so this was probably a smart move on my part. That said the propensity to cater to a specific audience when posting where a specific audience dwells is decidedly unhealthy for keeping a pure stream of self observant writing. Which is why I like the fact my blog itself as no audience to speak of. It becomes a private journal by way of obscurity! Having a type-ready space outside of a platform with a built in audience is mighty handy for those of us who think much faster than they write longhand. There are also established private platforms – as private as any piece of the internet gets – and of course just straight up word processing programs, should one truly seek an electronic means of private, personal journalism.

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