The onetime home of Black Witch Aleister Crowley the self confessed “most evil man in Britain”has been virtually destroyed by a fire which ripped through the 18th-century Loch Ness side mansion.
The blaze at Boleskine House was spotted around 1:40pm yesterday by a motorist on the A82 Inverness to Fort William road, which runs along the north side of the loch.
Mrs MacGillivray, who now lives in North Berwick, said: “When we bought it, it was a hovel. Just a shell and we paid too much for it.
Aleister Crowley (/ˈkroʊli/; born Edward Alexander Crowley; 12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion and philosophy of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century.
Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Crowley rejected this fundamentalist Christian faith to pursue an interest in Western esotericism. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he focused his attentions on mountaineering and poetry, resulting in several publications. Some biographers allege that here he was recruited into a British intelligence agency, further suggesting that he remained a spy throughout his life. In 1898 he joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in ceremonial magic by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Allan Bennett. Moving toBoleskine House by Loch Ness in Scotland, he went mountaineering in Mexico with Oscar Eckenstein, before studying Hindu and Buddhist practices in India. He married Rose Edith Kelly and in 1904 they honeymooned inCairo, Egypt, where Crowley claimed to have been contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, who provided him with The Book of the Law, a sacred text that served as the basis for Thelema. Announcing the start of the Æon of Horus, The Book declared that its followers should adhere to the code of “Do what thou wilt” and seek to align themselves with their Will through the practice of magick.
After an unsuccessful attempt to climb Kanchenjunga and a visit to India and China, Crowley returned to Britain, where he attracted attention as a prolific author of poetry, novels, and occult literature. In 1907, he andGeorge Cecil Jones co-founded a Thelemite order, the A∴A∴, through which they propagated the religion. After spending time in Algeria, in 1912 he was initiated into another esoteric order, the German-based Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), rising to become the leader of its British branch, which he reformulated in accordance with his Thelemite beliefs. Through the O.T.O., Thelemite groups were established in Britain, Australia, and North America. Crowley spent the First World War in the United States, where he took up painting and campaigned for the German war effort against Britain, later revealing that he had infiltrated the pro-German movement to assist the British intelligence services. In 1920 he established the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily where he lived with various followers. His libertine lifestyle led to denunciations in the British press, and the Italian government evicted him in 1923. He divided the following two decades between France, Germany, and England, and continued to promote Thelema until his death.
Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic. He was denounced in the popular press as “the wickedest man in the world”, and labelled a Satanist because of his embrace of the title ‘The Beast’. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counter-culture, and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the seventy-third greatest Briton of all time.
Aleister Crowley (Oct. 12, 1875-Dec. 1, 1947) — however one judges him — was a fascinating man who lived an amazing life. He is best known as being an infamous occultist and the scribe of The Book of the Law, which introduced Thelema to the world. Crowley was an influential member in several occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the A.’.A.’., and Ordo Templi Orientis. He was a prolific writer and poet, a world traveler, mountaineer, chess master, artist, yogi, social provocateur, drug addict and sexual libertine. The press loved to demonize him and dubbed Crowley “The wickedest man in the world.”