Aleister Crowley: “The time is just ripe for a natural religion”

Aleister Crowley advocated the use of lunar, solar, and seasonal nature-based rituals. As far back as 1914 he had written to C.S. Jones of the North American O.T.O. about a ritual of Isis that his Lodge had performed:

I hope you will arrange to repeat this all the time, say every new moon or every full moon, so as to build up a regular force. You should also have a solar ritual to balance it, to be done at each time the Sun enters a new sign, with special festivity at the Equinoxes and Solstices.

In this way you can establish a regular cult; and if you do them in a truly magical manner, you create a vortex of force which will suck in all the people you want. The time is just ripe for a natural religion. People like rites and ceremonies, and they are tired of hypothetical gods. Insist on the real benefits of the Sun, the Mother-force, the Father-force, and so on, and show that by celebrating these benefits worthily the worshippers unite themselves more fully with the current of life. Let the religion be Joy, but with a worthy and dignified sorrow in death itself, and treat death as an ordeal, an initiation… In short, be the founder of a new and greater Pagan cult.

The growth of modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism has shown that Crowley’s vision of the revival of natural religion—“a new and greater Pagan cult “—was prophetic. Gerald Gardner (who met “The Great Beast” briefly just before Crowley’s death in 1947) had that same vision and applied it successfully to his “Wiccan” religion, initiating his first initiate in 1950. And so have so many of us, before and since, from many independent sources, flowing together like streams into the great River.

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