Posts will be added in few days. The Scribe, in 1st of July 2010


Friday, July 2, 2010

Aleister Crowley and Fernando Pessoa, or the "Hell's Mouth Mystery", in Cascais-Sintra

"Fernando Pessoa and Sintra," "The Mystery of the Mouth of Hell" or "Fernando Pessoa and Aleister Crowley", are the possible names for a myth surrounding these figures, the Sintra mountains and its surroundings.

Born in Leamington on 12th of October of 1875, named Edward Alexander Crowley, the same as his father, Edward Crowley - who made his fortune as a brewer, dedicating himself to the study of Theosophy after retirement - lived during the first World War in the United States, where he came to write the Hymn to Pan (note: at the end of this post there is the referred poem, including a video where the "Hymn to Pan" is recited) that Fernando Pessoa translated to Portuguese. Assuming then the name of Aleister Crowley, he has become a famous magician in the beginning of last century, and its fame was best known for the infamy with which newspapers around the world described him, due to the eccentricity of his life, and radicalism of its communication, or the words and meanings that they always carried.

Magician and occultist, Aleister self proclaimed "Magician Therion" and also "the Beast 666." Crowley formed the Astrum Argentum (signed "A.:. A.:.") which was a mystical order that published material seen by critics of the time, as wicked and satanic. Later also formed a pseudotemplar order, the Ordo Templi Orientis (signed "OTO"), which with the help of the image that the first created, contributed to accentuate the wrong image and feeling that people scattered, of the supposed evil face of the Templars .

Fernando Pessoa, the poet that wrote the poem "Message", enigmatic poem about Portugal or the role and intentions of the country - he also was attracted to the occult throughout his life - studied many esoteric aspects which would be deepen or abandoned as they would be misleading (as we have a prime example of Madame Blavatsky) or would bring a credible feeling about it. And so it was with the study of the influence of the stars and planets: from a certain point in his life on, he devoted himself to the study of astrology, and years later decided to deepen it further.

And it was astrology, which eventually cause the two to meet.

After a paper announcing "The Confessions of Aleister Crowley" in six volumes have fallen into the hands of Fernando Pessoa - which found it quite interesting - Fernando Pessoa requested to receive it, and some days later he would get the first of those six volumes.

Now this first volume contained a horoscope of Aleister Crowley. And after having studied it only with the purpose of curiosity, Pessoa noted that the horoscope was wrong – according to the study, Aleister Crowley would have born before the time he really was.

When Fernando Pessoa sent the value for payment of the remaining volumes, he added a footnote to the letter, calling to inform Mr. Crowley about the error of his horoscope, present in the first volume.

After a few days - and to his amazement - Fernando Pessoa received a letter from Aleister Crowley, thanking him for indicating the horoscope’s error. And so thus began the correspondence.

Later, Fernando Pessoa sent some verses of his authorship, in English, to Aleister Crowley, and as response, Aleister told him that he wanted to met Fernando Pessoa, and that sunny Portugal would be his next vacations destination.

According to Joao Gaspar Simões, Fernando Pessoa biographer, the latter would come to know "a strange man, a true Cagliostro true of the modern times, as the complexity and resourcefulness accuse the hallmarks of this mix of charlatan and inspired, that our shy mystic vainly sought to be ".

Joao Gaspar Simões also wrote that Fernando Pessoa was very concerned about the unexpected visit "of that magician - whose remarkable biography had been made known [to Pessoa] by reading the story of his strange adventures where he discerned the error of the astrological interpretation."

Crowley arrived Lisbon on September 2, 1930 accompanied by the Scarlet Woman (Miss Larissa Hanni Jaeger, his assistant), aboard the "Alcântara", after being held in Vigo for a day due to an intense fog. "On land, Fernando Pessoa, numb and shy, sees coming in his direction a tall, broad-shouldered man, wrapped in a black cloak, whose eyes while being malicious and satanic, were staring reprehensible, as he would exclaim:" So what was this idea of send me a fog up there? "- João Gaspar Simões, in Life and Work of Fernando Pessoa - Story of a Generation.

Aleister Crowley and Miss Jaeger went then to the Hotel l'Europe, and only then to the Paris Hotel in Estoril.

After the arrival, it is said that Fernando Pessoa was only with Aleister Crowley twice: one time in Estoril, and the other in Lisbon.

However, on the September 18th, Fernando Pessoa received a letter from Crowley, telling him that Miss Jaeger had had two nights before, a "formidable" trance, leaving the Hotel Miramar in marshes, and early in the morning that followed the strange event, there was no sign of her.

Continues in the next paper...

(Feel free to express a comment below)

Note: third picture credits - Aleister Crowley Fernando Pessoa - em encontro Magick from Jesús Fernández -

Hymn to Pan
Aleister Crowley, 1929

Thrill with lissome lust of the light,
O man! My man!
Come careering out of the night
Of Pan! Io Pan .
Io Pan! Io Pan! Come over the sea
From Sicily and from Arcady!
Roaming as Bacchus, with fauns and pards
And nymphs and styrs for thy guards,
On a milk-white ass, come over the sea
To me, to me,
Coem with Apollo in bridal dress
(Spheperdess and pythoness)
Come with Artemis, silken shod,
And wash thy white thigh, beautiful God,
In the moon, of the woods, on the marble mount,
The dimpled dawn of of the amber fount!
Dip the purple of passionate prayer
In the crimson shrine, the scarlet snare,
The soul that startles in eyes of blue
To watch thy wantoness weeping through
The tangled grove, the gnarled bole
Of the living tree that is spirit and soul
And body and brain -come over the sea,
(Io Pan! Io Pan!)
Devil or god, to me, to me,
My man! my man!
Come with trumpets sounding shrill
Over the hill!
Come with drums low muttering
From the spring!
Come with flute and come with pipe!
Am I not ripe?
I, who wait and writhe and wrestle
With air that hath no boughs to nestle
My body, weary of empty clasp,
Strong as a lion, and sharp as an asp-
Come, O come!
I am numb
With the lonely lust of devildom.
Thrust the sword through the galling fetter,
All devourer, all begetter;
Give me the sign of the Open Eye
And the token erect of thorny thigh
And the word of madness and mystery,
O pan! Io Pan!
Io Pan! Io Pan! Pan Pan! Pan,
I am a man:
Do as thou wilt, as a great god can,
O Pan! Io Pan!
Io pan! Io Pan Pan! Iam awake
In the grip of the snake.
The eagle slashes with beak and claw;
The gods withdraw:
The great beasts come, Io Pan! I am borne
To death on the horn
Of the Unicorn.
I am Pan! Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan!
I am thy mate, I am thy man,
Goat of thy flock, I am gold , I am god,
Flesh to thy bone, flower to thy rod.
With hoofs of steel I race on the rocks
Through solstice stubborn to equinox.
And I rave; and I rape and I rip and I rend
Everlasting, world without end.
Mannikin, maiden, maenad, man,
In the might of Pan.
Io Pan! Io Pan Pan! Pan! Io Pan!

1 comment:

  1. ah - aren't we all charlatans and inspired (if we're fortunate)