Studying the occult is one thing; many people research magick without actually practicing it. I’ll bet that the ones who research but do not cross the threshold into practice do so because of fear and/or the idea that magick could not possibly work. However, anyone that spends time reading up on this stuff does wonder what would happen if they actually performed a ritual; even a small quick one. Wouldn’t you be tempted? Exactly! But the possibility of opening up Pandora’s Box and unleashing something that you couldn’t easily get rid of is an understandable deterrent. However, as they say about the cat, curiosity gets the best of us. With youth comes the feeling of invincibility; which gives birth to risks not fully comprehended.
Even though Jimmy Page has been elusive when it comes to discussing his occult studies, he has gone so far as to state during an interview when asked about this- ‘I was living it. That’s all there is to it. It was my life - that fusion of magick and music.’ When asked about his use of sigils (magical seals or marks- we’ll get to that later) on the Led Zeppelin IV album as well as on his stage clothing he said ‘You mean Talismanic Magick? Yes, I knew what I was doing. There’s no point in saying more about it because the more you discuss it the more eccentric you appear to be.’
He closed discussion on the topic with the following statement- ‘I’ll leave this subject by saying the four musical elements of Led Zeppelin (the members) making a fifth (the music) is magick unto itself. It’s the alchemical process.’ Another one of Page’s comments on magick and Crowley is as follows: ‘Magic is very important if people can go through it. I think Aleister Crowley is completely relevant today. We are still seeking for truth—the search goes on.’
Well, there you go. Since we know that Page has actually practiced magick, where did he get his ideas on style of practice and ritual goals? Where did he look for inspiration and direction? Aleister Crowley. And what were the cornerstones of Crowley’s magickal practice? Well then, it seems that copious amounts of drugs and sex figured significantly into Crowley’s rituals and of course JP had access to endless supplies of both drugs and groupies. Like a mad scientist, he had everything he needed to conduct his experiments after concerts during the wee hours in hotel room laboratories with willing assistants. Where do I sign up?
Aleister Crowley’s labeling as ‘the wickedest man in the world’ was partly due to his recognition of sexual energy as being the most powerful force in the universe. Ok, then there was the demon conjuring and ritualistic sex he had with innumerable men and women. However, his salacious reputation was more of a reflection of the sexual attitudes of late and post-Victorian England.
Sex and self-liberation was a cornerstone to his teachings and of course quite appealing during the 60’s and 70’s. He knew that sexual energy was a key ingredient to conducting effective occult rituals and saw it as a spiritual rocket fuel of sorts. The Sergeant Pepper album cover appearance that we talked about earlier definitely spurred interest in Crowley among the sexually adventurous youth of the time.
But who exactly was this madman that has influenced and fascinated generations of spiritual seekers and who Jimmy Page once described as a ‘misunderstood genius of the 20th century’?
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