Ether and Magick

By enquirewithin · Mar 2, 2010 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    This is an extract from one of Crowley's short stories, The Stone of Cybele, from the collection, Golden Twigs (based on Fraser's Golden Bough). Ether here plays a part in a magickal ritual.

    Cotys revolted violently. She sprang to her feet, unsteadily enough. She appealed to her religion; she made the sign of the cross. It only traced the figure of the `man of Vitruvius'! "Our Father which art in heaven," she began, despairing. Again she saw the `man of Vitruvius'; and, in her hysterical state, thought that he took the phrase to himself, and smiled at her. She saw that every modern thought was only a copy of some ancient thought, and she knew herself vowed in her blood to the old gods. "I am lost," she said quite quietly, "I am Cybele's. Bring me the knife; bring me the wine." Claude took a gilded silver bowl wide and flat from the outstretched hand of one of the bronze Goddesses; from the other a dagger. "We do not know," said he,"and I ask pardon of the gods, and pray enlightenmentwe do not know what was the wine of Cybele; this wine must serve." It was a clear white liquid that he poured into the bowl, and it trembled and simmered internally as if it were alive. In its limpidity the nymphs and satyrs that he had chased upon it seemed to renew their pictured orgies of drunkenness and lust. Cotys took the dagger, and the wrists of the two men. She cut her own arm and then theirs, holding their hands so that the three rivulets of blood were confluent to one. Then she took the ivy from her brows, and dipped it thrice. She took a leaf and put it in each mouth; then placed her hands on the two heads, and the three bowed themselves above the surface of the liquor. She caught her breath, choking; the fumes were suffocating. She set her teeth upon the ivy, and persisted; presently the great change began. She grew rosy and brilliant; the whole temple seemed alive with unearthly beauty; she began to sob in her excitement; stronger and deeper grew her breath as she inhaled the ether. Soon all three were lying prone, their faces pressed close to the surface of the liquor of Cybele, sucking the vapour by great draughts into their lungs with open mouth, their fingers clenched, their veins boiling with the madness of that supreme intoxication.

    The world was blotted out for her; she knew Nothingness, a vast blind space, spangled with a few points of brilliant light. She drew the vapour fiercely through her throat; the rare stars blazed, blasted the blackness out of being. Raving with the splendour and ecstasy of it, she saw suddenly that she must go mad, that it was not for mortals to endure such brilliance. She cried out on Cybele "Let that be which must be!" Instantly a new passion smote her: what new rite was owed to the infernal, the inexorable goddess? What hideous parody of the most sacred and mysterious doctrine of the Christian faith was enacted in that temple of abominations?

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  1. coolhandluke
    cool story, ether has taken swim farther than any other drug. the hallucinations are so vivid and immersive, its quite unbelievable. swim spent many a hour under its effects, sometimes good, and sometimes bad. sometimes he would marvel and the beauty and vastness of the cosmos, sometimes he would be stuck in a terrifying realization about life and the world. also ether is the only drug where he had reoccurring hallucinations, little characters which he would see almost every time he huffed it. all that being said, ether is so bad for ones brain cells, causes seizures, and makes people reek of its smell for at least a day. its so easy to get hooked on, because it makes swim feel so connected and in touch with the entire universe. all in all swim thinks the cons are greater than the pros.
  2. enquirewithin
    Interesting... Crowley believed ether was useful in visualizing for magickal purposes.
  3. EyesOfTheWorld
    Good old Uncle Al. I love him but he is so fucking verbose when often there is no need to be. Couldn't really follow his point except that he believed ether could have magickal applications. SWIM also belives it could, having had experiences with both ether and magick, but he feels there are many, many other drugs that would have better magickal applications than ether, but Unlce Al was hamstrung by the fact that most of those drugs were not available in his lifetime. He was limited to a menu of hashish, alcohol. marijuana, coca, cocaine, opium, heroin, morphine, peyote, ether and possible amanitas, doubtfully psilocybes
  4. enquirewithin
    Good points. Cowley was very verbose and often very obscure = he was no great prose stylist although he wrote great rituals and weird Kabbalistic stiff. I don't think the Beast had any experience of mushrooms at all, either amanitas or psylocybin mushrooms. He seems to have eaten rather smoked hashish, so for him the effects were very strong. he doesn't even seem to know about benzedrine (amphetamine) which would have been around during his lifetime.

    Modern day "Thelemites" seem to know about newer "wine and strange drugs". RCs and dissociatives like vitamin K have great potential for visualization.
  5. Splatt
    Yeah wouldn't be in a group having therapy lessons on this one. worse paranoia that a gram k Hole and those evil exciting, enticing but scary mind-networks etc.
    K is great but its just so evil. Even beautiful things have evil undertones. Its the good and the bad I guess cant choose both.

    Back to drug-whoreing dissociates and getting as far as you can, which SWIM have seen people huff on ether for hours..I do trutly believe those hardcore dissociateive states arent just a demo of a NDE, they are could be NDE's it's just not our time (if anyone believes that crap) :) Then again a lot of drug bingers go into stuff, loading themselves right up with everything they can and just exploding and seizing and turning into a mental patient, something that you would be locked up for if seen in publicbut in the back of SWINUS, always have in the back of their mind "weve done this so many times - we dont die- we just go farther into the realm of darkness and pure truth :D
  6. EyesOfTheWorld
    Ah, but looking at his painting "May Morn", while half of it is not-all -that-funny dick jokes, there are many likenesses of amanitas drawn, including some of the things we initially percieve as dicks to really be amanitas. I'm a "modern day Thelemite" and sometimes the founder of my religion is difficult to defend. Bad writing, adolescent penis humor, but then sometimes one sees a masterpiece like The Book Of Lies or the pen and ink drawing "Entrance to the Waste Land" and is reassured and reinvigorated. I just have to remember that Crowley was just another flawed human and the true founder of Thelema was Aiwass (Aiwazz) who chose Crowley to transcribe Liber AL
  7. seeingred
    Loved this story! Swim is fascinated by Crowley and his experiments with trance/magick.
  8. enquirewithin
    I am going to look through some biographies and see if there is any mention of amanitas. I know the phallic paintings you mean I think. For Crowley the phallus was symbolic too-- the solar generative power and so on, somewhat like the Hindu Lingam.
  9. enquirewithin
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