Vintage News’ Report on the Abbey Of Thelema

A little earlier this year, The Vintage News posted an article about the Abbey Of Thelema. No big revelations here. But if sightings of Thelemic ephemera in mainstream media floats your boat… Here’s an interesting bit:

“Known for its medieval monuments, ancient cathedrals, and picturesque Sicilian countryside, Cefalú in Italy is a top touristic destination that attracts millions of visitors yearly. While tourists are busy checking out Cefalú’s historic attractions that date back to at least 3rd century B.C., also on hand is a dilapidated villa that in the early 20th century was inhabited by the ‘wickedest man in the world,’ Aleister Crowley.

“Crowley was highly inspired by a 16th-century writer and physician, François Rabelais, who is considered to be the first Thelemic visionary. Rabelais wrote a series of satires titled Gargantua and Pantagruel that introduced readers to an anti-monastery called ‘Abbaye de Thélème.’  In François’ “Abbaye de Thélème” those who occupied it lived by only one rule which was ‘Do what thou wilt.’

“Crowley received a revelation that fueled his desire for creating an idealistic utopia.  His idea was to build a spiritual center as a commune and a school of ‘magick.’  He referred to the Abbey of Thelema as ‘Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum,’ which is Latin for ‘College of the Holy Spirit.’   In 1920, Crowley chose the location of Celafú, Sicily, for his new community of Thelemites. He, Leah Hirsig, and their shared lover, Ninette Shumway, left Paris and made their way to the Abbey.

“Crowley had brought hundreds of professional and expensive oil paints from France and adorned the walls of the Abbey with frescoes, covering nearly every inch with Thelemic deities and symbols. He was inspired by the post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin who also painted covered the entire inside of his Tahitian home with symbolic murals.”

Read the entire piece

Frater Lux Ad Mundi

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