Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Coomaraswamy and Crowley

Jonson Miller of Drexel University has provided further information about relations between Ananda Coomaraswamy and Aleister Crowley:

"It is not known how Coomaraswamy and Crowley met, but they had a substantial relationship while Crowley was living in New York City in 1916.

Coomaraswamy asked Crowley to help promote his wife Alice Ethel's performances in 1916. Crowley wrote reviews of her in Vanity Fair and offered letters of introduction for her. She and Crowley quickly became lovers and magical partners, engaging in sexual magic by April of 1916. Alice became pregnant.

Crowley [whose version was of course partial--Ed.] says that Coomaraswamy was quite aware of their affair and had even encouraged it, wanting Crowley to take on her living expenses while in New York. Crowley, in exchange, introduced Ananda to Gerda Maria von Kothek, a prostitute and former Crowley lover. Coomaraswamy and von Kothek were soon living together.

[Again according to Crowley--Ed.], when Alice Ethel's career began to take off, Coomaraswamy wanted her back. Alice Ethel loved Crowley, but, for whatever reason, decided to return to England with Coomaraswamy. She had a miscarriage as a result of sea sickness on the voyage. Crowley blamed Coomaraswamy for the death of his child and hated him for it."

  • Richard Kaczynski, Perdurabo, pp. 241-242, 245, 248-149
  • Lawrence Sutin, Do What Thou Wilt, p. 256
  • Crowley, Confessions of Aleister Crowley
Dr Miller also corrected my description of the Golden Dawn as "Aleister Crowley's occultist group" (Against the Modern World, pp. 53 and 214). He wrote:

Crowley was an important member of the Golden Dawn, which he had joined in 1898, but left the order well before this period.

Crowley served as the right-hand man to the head of the order around 1900, during which time a schism occurred in the order, leaving W.B. Yeats as the head of the London faction. Crowley also experienced a loss of faith in Mathers. This effectively left Crowley out of the GD after 1900. Crowley later claimed to have made legitimate contact with the Secret Chiefs that governed the order, thereby making him the head of the GD. He then claimed to destroy the order as it existed and, in 1906/07, reconstituted it as the AA, a successor order with a very different organization. If you accept Crowley's claims, then he was technically the head of the GD, but not of the group and people to whom you refer. By 1914, the period during which you speak of "Crowley's Golden Dawn", Crowley had long ceased to associate with that group. He was, by then, the head of the AA and the British section of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a masonic group to which Gerard Encause had belonged. So, while Coomaraswamy and Crowley knew one another very well, they did not meet through Yeats or the Golden Dawn.


Anonymous said...

You got to work with Jonson Miller? You lucky lucky guy! He is hot. But also very insightful and very interesting to talk to and get to know! said... said...

Es obvio que todo ésto si ocurrió cómo se interpreta precedió al DESPERTAR a su condición de HINDÚ en todos sus alcances TRADICIONALES por la gracia de RENÉ GUÉNON, cosa que se tradujo en un obra y en una vida paradigmática que aún seguimos aprovechando.