Edward Aleister Crowley, magus, poet, dandy, yogi, accomplished mountain climber, great beast, call him what thou wilt. The man was many, many things, but was he also an extraterrestrial contactee?
Throughout Crowley’s years as a magus, and his many, many magical experiments he often attempted to contact intelligences of the non-human variety. Through the uttering of ‘barbarous’ names, incantations and the regurgitation of ancient inscriptions and veiled verses, Crowley called forward all manner of spirits, daemons and invisible masters from which he sought council. One particular ‘entity’, or, at least, icon of the Crowleian pantheon that draws an intense amount of interest is the character known as ‘LAM’. Around 1917, in New York, Crowley drew the image of this ‘praeter-human intelligence’, after performing a ritual now known as the ‘Alamantrah’ working. During this experiment, a discarnate entity urged Crowley to “find the egg”, and it seems, at some point, Crowley experienced contact with this large headed entity we have come to know as LAM.
What’s interesting about LAM, or, at least, Crowleys drawing of LAM, is the stark resemblance it bares to the popular image of aliens we have come to know since the UFO boom following the Roswell incident in the 40s. Although we now have witnesses claiming to having encountered a whole multitude of different alien visitors, the most popular is still that of the ‘Grey’, a large headed, small featured alien that bares a striking resemblance to the figure Crowley apparently channeled during his Alamantrah Working. Yet Crowley’s image obviously far predates the UFO mania that followed the alleged alien crash and subsequent, apparent, alien visitations that followed.
The now famous drawing of LAM eventually found its way into the hands of Kenneth Grant, disputed, and exiled, leader of the OTO following Crowley’s death. Grant, in conflict with the main branch of the OTO, decided to go out on his own, and founded the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis, or simply, the Typhonian Order. Keeping this in concideration, it seems even more fitting that Crowley would eventually pass on this extraterrestrial image to Grant, as, although the Typhonian Order was commited to continuing the Law of Thelema, it also placed a large emphasis and interest in contact with non-human entities, daemons and praeter-human intelligences. Grant later claimed to have contacted intelligences that claimed a trans-Plutonian planet existed, named Isis, and formed the New Isis Lodge. He felt thus that the emphasis of ritual working in the New Isis lodge should be focussed on contact with the intelligences therein.
During contact with some disincarnate being, Grant claims that he was told the image of LAM is to present a ‘focus of an extraterrestrial’, and was to be used as a tool to contact LAM, or other extraterrestrial entities. “The portrait of (Lam) which is reproduced in The Magical Revival may be used as the visual focus, and can serve as the Yantra of the Cult; the name Lam is the Mantra; and the Tantra is the union with the dikpala by entering the Egg of Spirit represented by the Head. Entry may be affected by projecting consciousness through the eyes…” And so it became the focus as such to use a method devised by Grant to contact these alien intelligences through the image of LAM Crowley had received. Interestingly, Grant claimed that LAM was a means of communication between Sirius and Andromeda.
Jack Parsons, rocket scientist. One of the more unassuming characters of Crowley’s legacy, Parsons was friend to infamous Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and was a genearlly revered character in the OTO on America’s West Coast. Parsons obsessions with occult dealings grew and grew, soon he began to perform more elaborate and difficult rituals in attempt to solidify himself in occult lore.
Much to the disapproval of Crowley, in 1946 Parsons began what was dubbed the ‘Babylon Working’, ” which endeavored to … Incarnate a physical aspect of Babylon, the Scarlet Woman of the Book of Revelations (17:3- 6). They believed that Babylon was the herald of the new Age of Horus, and that Revelations was the understandably negative interpretation by those of the dying Age of Osiris.” Crowley despised the “idiocy” of such a ritual, but Parsons and Hubbard continued regardless.
Although it is not completely clear what exactly happened during this 11-day ritual, it seems that some sort of portal was opened to another dimension or part of the universe and Parsons and Hubbard were unable to close this portal, leaving the ritual unfinished. Interestingly, it was just over a year later that the great explosion of UFO sightings began to occur across the states.
While never to keen to subscribe to any sort of belief system, or even admit a slight belief in anything at all. The Great Bob, or Robert Anton Wilson to most, had a great interest in the ancient mystery schools and a particular like for the writings of Aleister Crowley. He, unlike many others, saw Crowley for what he was, a great magus and yogi, an undeniable scholar on mystery schools and tradition but also a trickster, joker and all-round scallywag who had found a key to tapping deeply into the subconscious mind.
Wilson also shared other interests of Crowley’s; particularly Yoga and both had a penchant for hallucinogens too. Wilson also delved into ritual magic, from time to time, though not treating it with the same seriousness as some followers of Crowley that had come before, the Great Bob even once recounted (while very high) performing a Crowleyan invocation and causing a three headed dog to appear before him, which only disappeared when he began to laugh at its presence in the ‘real’ world before him. Interesting too though, were Wilsons apparent encounters with extraterrestrials, namely extraterrestrials from the dual star system Sirius. In fact, not only did Wilson begin to receive apparent transmissions from the star system, he also unraveled a large facet of hidden information about our binary neighbor. Firstly, Wilson sights Grants research into the hidden meaning of the order Crowley founded known simply as the A.’.A.’.;
“The one place in Crowley’s writings where he gives the meaning of the initials A.’.A.’. is in his magical record (Cefalu, 1921) where it appears as ACTHP APLOC. This is a corrupt Graeco-Coptic form of Argenteum Astrum (the Silver Star) yet it is the true occult key to the nature of the order, which is not expressed by the correct Latin version of the name. Argos derives from arg or arca, the female generative power symbolized by the moon, the womb-shaped argha used in the mysteries, synonymous with the queen of heaven. Arghya (Sanskrit) is the libation cup; Aster Argos is the lunar or ’silver’ star.”
The lunar component is represented by the eye of Isis, and her star is Sirius, the dog-star (Set). The order of the Silver Star is thus the order of the eye of Set, ’the Son behind the Sun,’ represented astronomically by the star of Isis, which is Sothis (Sirius).
Wilson then turns his attention towards Jack Parsons, who’s Babalon Working, although presumably failed, had become an all encompassing obsession. Parsons urged, through tantric sex methods and through sex-yoga that Crowley championed, to channel the essense or spirit of Babalon, saying “Concentrate all force and being in Our Lady Babalon. Light a single light on her altar, saying Flame is our Lady; flame is her hair. I am flame.” Etc. Wilson notes that Parsons was eventually killed in a freak explosion in his home lab involving mercury fulminate. Babalon, in Crowley’s tarot, is the Star, or Sirius.
But we’re only beginning to go down the rabbit hole here. One day Wilson came upon a book written by JG Bennett on the teachings of Zoroastrian philosopher Gurdjieff. Wilson, opening the book, came upon a passage that set alarm bells ringing once more, it read;
“After Gurdjieff died I was asked by some of the old pupils to write a commentary on Beelzebub (‘s tales to his grandson). When I had written a few chapters and sent them around for comment, almost all agreed that it would be a mistake to publish them. If Gurdjieff had intended his meaning to be readily accessible to every reader, he would have written the book differently. He himself used to listen to chapters read aloud and if he found the key passages taken too easily — and therefore almost inevitably too superficially — he would rewrite them in order, as he put it, to “bury the dog deeper.” When people corrected him and said he surely meant “bury the bone deeper,” he would turn on them and say it was not “bones” but the “dog” that you have to find. The dog is Sirius the dog star, which stands for the spirit of wisdom in the Zoroastrian tradition.”
A coincidence, perhaps, but when you consider that Gurdjieff’s famous text, Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson, is concerned with an extraterrestrial higher intelligence race who intervene on Earth’s actions to accelerate evolution, the synchronicities seem hard to ignore. In another book on Gurdjieff, Bennett also claims that the former was initiated into a mystery school that began in Babylon around 4500 B.C., coincidentally the same time the mysteries in which Crowley practiced in were roughly dated to.
Following Wilson’s musings on the subject of Sirius in an American publication, Gnostica, he received contact from an Edward Gardiner who had been to see a Dr. Douglas Baker talk on Esoteric matters at a conference in Dallas. In the lecture, Dr. Baker had claimed that Sirius was the Ajna centre of a galactic being. Dr. Baker represented the teachings of the Theosophical Society, a group started by Madame Blavatsky, who claimed to source her information from a secret chief named Koot Hoomi. It is generally accepted that Gurdjieff was taught by Sufi’s and Crowley apparently held court with the disincarnate entity known only as Aiwass. Blavatsky, Crowley and Gurdjieff were, and are, the three largest names in Western Esotericism in the last 100 plus years, and all had an undeniable connection to the star system Sirius.
Sirius, is the brightest star in the night sky and is used to mark the ‘dog days’ of summer, hence being known as the ‘dog star’. Which further ties into this rather head scratching mystery. In Crowley’s The Book of the Law, the central text to the practice of Thelema, there is the line ‘Is God to Live in a Dog?’ And Wilson goes even further; “on rereading Joyce’s Ulysses for the first time in several years, the Metaprogrammer was struck by the Black Mass in which the souls of all the saved chant “Gooooooooooooood” while all the souls of the damned chant “Doooooooooooooog… My fantasy leaped and I asked myself why Joyce set Ulysses in spring 1904, the same time that Crowley was receiving The Book of the Law.”
Wilson subsequently had his attention drawn to the writings of George Hunt Williamson, an apparent alien contactee who had claimed to have encountered beings from Sirius. Williamson stated that the allies of the Sirians here on earth used the Eye of Horus in the triangle as their symbol and that they used a special, ‘angelic’ language, which, coincidentally enough draws a stark resemblance to the angelic language of Dr John Dee and even some of the words Crowley used (Williamson was given the word ‘leshtal’ while Crowley used ‘Lashtal’). Lastly, Wilson leaves us with this observation from his book Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati.
“Recently, English playwright Heathcote Williams sent me a Xerox of There Is No More Firmament, a one-act play written by the pioneer surrealist, Antonin Artaud, back in the early 1920’s. This strange, weirdly suggestive drama certainly deserves to be mentioned as part of the Sirius Mystery.”
There Is No More Firmament begins with discordant music indicating ’a far-off cataclysm.’ The curtain rises on an ordinary street scene, with actors coming and going rapidly. There are bits of ordinary conversation (’Wines … windowglass … gold’s going down’), suggestions of violence and insanity (’He’s undressing me. Help, he’s ripping my dress off…’ ’I’m on fire, I’m burning, I’m going to jump’) and, finally, the word ’Sirius’ repeated in every tone of voice and every pitch of the scale: SIRIUS … SIRIUS … SIRIUS … SIRIUS … Then a loudspeaker thunders, ’THE GOVERNMENT URGES YOU TO REMAIN CALM.’
Actors rush about claiming that the sun is getting bigger, the plague has broken out, there is thunder without lightning, etc. A reasonable voice tries to explain, ’It was a magnetic phenomenon…’ Then the loudspeaker tells us:
STUPENDOUS DISCOVERY. SKY PHYSICALLY ABOLISHED. EARTH ONLY A MINUTE AWAY FROM SIRIUS. NO MORE FIRMAMENT.
One actor claims it is the end of the world. Another says it is two worlds ramming each other.
“A group of scientists appear and disagree with each other vehemently about what is happening while a Revolutionary objects, ’It isn’t science anymore, it’s immoral.’ Another promises us, not very reassuringly, ’We won’t see the antichrist yet.’ Finally, one scientist comes forth to explain to the audience, ’The molecular grouping in Sirius is everything. These two forces, ours and theirs, had to be put in touch with each other.
“The curtain falls and violent percussion instruments and sirens create a din as the audience leaves.”
(For the curious, the whole text of this play can be found in Antonin Artaud, Collected Works, Vol. II. Calder and Boyars: London, 1971.)
“Artaud went ’insane’ about ten years after writing this play, and spent the World War II years in a mental hospital. After the war ended, he regained his ’sanity’ and lived his final years in Paris as a hero to the young intelligentsia, who regarded him as a prophet. The people who were allegedly ’sane’ during the years of Artaud’s hospitalization spent most of their time trying to blow up as much as possible of the civilized world.”
Published in 1975, Temple’s book The Sirius Mystery, discusses the Dogon tribe of West Africa who he claims have been in contact with entities from the Sirius star system for generations. Although Temple’s book argues many reasons for this, he cites the main one being the long standing knowledge of the tribe of Sirius B, the second star in this binary system that was only discovered much later with the invention of long range telescopes and is completely invisible to the naked eye.
The Sirius Mystery also investigates that “these beings, who are hypothesized to have taught the arts of civilization to humans, are claimed in the book to have originated the systems of the Pharaohs of Egypt, the mythology of Greek civilization, and the Epic of Gilgamesh, among other things.” Temple’s theory was heavily based on his interpretation of the work of ethnographers Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlen. A substantial bulk of The Sirius Mystery consists of comparative linguistic and mythological scholarship, pointing out resemblances among Dogon, Egyptian and Sumerian beliefs and symbols. Greek and Arab myths and words are considered to a lesser extent.”
Although greatly disputed, discredited and ridiculed, Temple stood by his hypothesis and wrote a number of other books on the genre of hidden histories and perhaps the ‘real’ secret behind the origins of humanity and how we came to be. What’s interesting though is not only the emphasis on alien contact but on contact with an alien civilization from Sirius.
Comic book writer extrordinaire, MBE and occultist Grant Morrison too falls into the story. Before he reached his massive amounts of fame in the comic world, Morrison was travelling around the East. While in Kathamndu Morrison had an experience with an extraterrestrial where he was taken to the fifth dimension. He recounts…
“I was sitting up on the roof garden of the BajaRat Hotel and this thing happened and – it’s hard to describe, we’re going into areas that are unusual, so all I remember is getting back downstairs and laying on the bed and – some unusual things happened, and then it seemed like there were entities in the room it was like those silver morphing blobs you see in rave videos. It was like computer generated things and they claimed to be cross-sections of fifth-dimensional entities as expressed through four-dimensional space-time and they claimed that I was one of them and that I had to come back and see what the old homestead was like. And that was when I felt like I was peeled off the surface of space- time and they took me out of my body and then to what seemed to be the fifth dimension because I could see the entirety of space and time as a dynamic object in which Shakespeare was over here, and I was over here and the dinosaurs were here and we were all in the same object, and time was a thing.
So, I appeared to be in a fifth dimensional fluid, an information space that I could say was maybe kinda bluish, extending out infinitely. These things swam through it and interacted with it and they told me that what the universe was, was a larval form of what they are, which is fifth- dimensional entities. And the only way to grow a fifth- dimensional entity is to plant it in time, henceforth our universe… they said they could make them by detaching parts of their substance and plugging them into the surrounding fluid, the medium, the one of these universes and the idea was that those of us who knew, who had this experience were supposedly midwives for this larva. Because we remembered and you’d go back and you’re constantly trying to encourage the larva forward because it has to go, I mean it could die, it could just as easily die, but this one seems to work, I’ve got a feeling this one works.”
Following his experience, although already a fan of Robert Anton Wilson, Morrison began to become more interested in Crowley and Thelema, but, curiously, he seems to have mostly gravitated towards Austin Osman Spare, whose ‘chaotic’ methods of visual and linguistic magic became the centerpiece for Morrison’s own method of magical practice too, which he talks about freely and regularly. It will also come as no surprise that Austin Osman Spare was a good friend of… drum roll… Kenneth Grant. Interestingly enough, comic rival and also magus, Alan Moore claims to have encountered beings from another world too.
It seems not. The stories, links, coincidences and constant synchronicities surrounding this ‘dog’ star just seem to keep flooding in from all angles. Many modern day ‘prophets’ trump this star system as a galactic friend in human evolution, while other shamanic trip-merchants seem to constantly intercept signals from our distant neighbors, some even attaining dialogues with our far off friends. I suspect the truth, however, we will never know. But maybe, before bed tonight, say Sirius three times and see where your dreams take you.