For a while I have considered that the reason Crowley and Waite did not get on was because they shared a common approach to writing — obscure in purple prose the obvious.  Fortunately I have found two recipes for sponge cake written by the two occultists for people to compare.  In some ways I take it back.  Waite was considerably more Purple than Crowley.  But there are similarities.





(by Alistair Crowley)


The contents of this section, inasmuch as they concern OUR LADY, are too important and too sacred to be printed. They are only communicated by the Master Therion to chosen pupils in private instruction.


The creation of the essential sponge work, apart from any particular operation, is the proper formation of the dough or which must be of Light. This process will be discussed at some length in Chapter XVIII.

We will here assume that the cook  has succeeded in developing his butter and sugar  until it light and fluffy. There will, however, be a certain limitation to his work, because he has formed his sugar and butter from the fine matter of his own element. Therefore, although he may be able to penetrate the utmost recesses of the heavens, or conduct vigorous combats with the most unpronounceable demons of the pit, it may be impossible for him to create a puddle of sweet oil on the bottom of the pan without flour. His sponge  body is composed of matter too tenuous to affect directly the gross matter and create the TRUE SPONGE of which OUR LADY BABALON can be proud .

The one really easy “physical” operation which the Butter and Sugar  can perform is “Aliquid sapidum”. The emanations of the “Body of sweetness” of the material being whom one visits are, if the visit be agreeable, so potent that one spontaneously gains substance in the embrace. There are many cases on record of spongues  having risen with little flour and just the purity of the sugar and the butter. See the work of De Sinistrari on Butter and Sugar for a discussion of analogous phenomena.

There has been a good deal of discussion in the past within the Colleges of the Holy Ghost, as to whether it would be quite legitimate to seek to transcend this limitation and consentrate simply on the sugar and the butter. One need not presume to pass judgment. One can leave the decision to the will of each magician, but I see the need, in mortal life to include egg, flour and baking powder to archive the GREAT WORK.

The Book of the Dead contains many chapters intended to enable the magical entity of a man who is dead, and so deprived (according to the theory of death then current) of the material vehicle for executing his will, to create baked goods in the afterlife so that he might “take his pleasure” as he did in the days of his life.

See “The Book of Lies” Cap. 44, and The Collected Works of Aleister Crowley, Vol. III, pp. 209-210, where occur paraphrased translations of certain classical Egyptian rituals.

As a general rule, flour was supplied out of which he could construct the party of the second part aforesaid, hereinafter referred to as the flour mixture.

We need not, however, consider this question of death. It may often be convenient for the living to bake as much as the dead. Now, then, conceive of this flour mixture as creative force, seeking manifestation; as a God, seeking incarnation.

There are two ways by which this aim may be effected. The first method is to place the flour mixture with the butter and sugar and build up an appropriate body from its elements. This is, generally speaking, a very hard thing to do, because the physical constitution of the combined force is hard for the weak man to mix. However, there is a lawful method of producing a sponge which is taught in a certain secret organization, perhaps known to some of those who may read this, which could very readily be adapted to some such purpose as we are now discussing.

The second method sounds very easy and amusing. You take some organism already existing, which happens to be suitable to your purpose. You purchase a mixer and plug it in to the universal current. This drives out the magical being which inhabits it, and take possession and means your right arm is saved from becoming tired. To do this by force is neither easy nor justifiable, because the dough of the other method was incarnated in accordance with its Will. And “… thou hast no right but to do thy will.” One should hardly strain this sentence to make one’s own will include the will to upset the dough of your sponges’ will!

Yet it might happen that the Will of the batter  being was to invite the Magician to indwell its instrument and transform it into a sponge.

Moreover, it is extremely difficult thus to expatriate another magical being; for though, unless it is a complete microcosm like a human being, it cannot be called a star, it is a little bit of a star, and part of the body of Nuit.

But there is no call for all this frightfulness. There is no need to knock the girl down, unless she refuses to do what you want, and she will always comply if you say a few nice things to her.

Especially on the subject of the tin and the oven.

You can always use a tin in which to place your sponge into the oven. You take over the responsibility for the sponge by lining it with greaseproof paper  thus giving it shape. This represents a tremendous gain to the sponge for without the direction of the Magus, it would be spread outwards not be light and fluffy.

This is the magical aspect of baking and eating your GREAT WORK oor rather the reconciliation of the apparent contradiction between the spiritual and humanitarian elements in the nature of “Homo Sapiens”.

It completely fulfils its ambition by an alliance of this extremely intimate sort with a Star. The magician, on the other hand, is able to transform and retransform himself in a thousand ways by accepting a retinue of such adherents. In this way the baking of a cake may be make something absolutely tangible and practical. At the same time, the magician must realise that in undertaking the Karma of any elemental, he is assuming a very serious responsibility to turn it into a Cake of glory. The bond which unites him with that elemental is love; and, though it is only a small part of the outfit of a magician, it is the whole of the outfit of the elemental. He will, therefore, suffer intensely in case of any error or misfortune occurring to his protegee by virtue of his poor mixing, or baking at an incorrect temperature. This feeling is rather peculiar. It is quite instinctive with the best men. They hear of the destruction of a city of a few thousand inhabitants with entire callousness, but then they hear of a dog having hurt its paw, they feel Weltschmertz acutely. Thus treat your cake as if it was your child, which you destroy in order that fulfils its destiny.

It is not necessary to say much more than this concerning baking transformations, lest to say that the oven should be moderate and the door shall not be opened for at least 40 mintues, least the sponge turn into a TOWER OF BABEL and sink into its centre.

Those to whom the subject naturally appeals will readily understand the importance of what has been said. Those who are otherwise inclined may reflect that a nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.



The ancient art of making a Cake of Sponge

By A (long) Waite


THE ordinary fields of psychological inquiry, largely in possession of the pathologist, are fringed by a borderland of occult and dubious experiment into which pathologists may occasionally venture, but the creation of the cake of sponge is left for the most part to unchartered explorers. Beyond these fields and this borderland there lies the legendary wonder-world of bakery, so called, of Alchemy and cookery, a world of fascination or terror, as the mind which regards it is tempered, but in either case the antithesis of admitted possibility. There all paradoxes seem to obtain actually, contradictions coexist logically, the effect is greater than the cause and the shadow more than the substance. Therein the visible melts into the unseen, the invisible is manifested openly, motion from place to place is accomplished without traversing the intervening distance, matter passes through matter. There two straight lines may enclose a space; space has a fourth dimension, and untrodden fields beyond it; without metaphor and without evasion, the circle is mathematically squared. There life is prolonged, youth renewed, physical immortality secured. There earth becomes eggs, and sugar earth. There words and wishes possess creative power, thoughts are things, desire realises its object. There, also, the dead live and the hierarchies of extra-mundane intelligence are within easy communication, and become ministers ortormentors, guides or destroyers, of man. There the Law of Continuity is suspended by the interference of the higher Law of Fantasia.

But, unhappily, this domain of enchantment is in all respects comparable to the gold of Faerie, which is presumably its medium of exchange. It cannot withstand daylight, the test of the human eye, or the scale of reason. When these are applied, its paradox becomes an anticlimax, its antithesis ludicrous; its contradictions are without genius; its cookery marvels end in a verbal quibble; its cakes fail even as purges; its transmutations do not need exposure at the assayer’s hands; its marvel-working words prove barbarous mutilations of dead languages, and are impotent from the moment that they are understood; departed friends, and even planetary intelligences, must not be seized by the skirts, for they are apt to desert their draperies, and these are not like the mantle of Elijah.

The little contrast here instituted will serve to exhibit that there are at least two points of view regarding baking and its mysteries–the simple and homogeneous view, prevailing within a charmed circular tin among the few survivals whom reason has not hindered from entering, and that of the world without, which is more complex, more composite, but sometimes more reasonable only by imputation. There is also a third view, in which legend is checked by legend and wonder substituted for wonder. Here it is not the Law of the Sponge  persisting in its formulae despite the Law of Fantasia; it is Croquemetaine explained by Diabolus, the butter of Elf-land read with the oven of Infernus; it is the Law of flour and sugar, the Law of Eggs, and its final expression is in the terms of the auto-da-fé. For this view the wonder-world exists without any question, except that of the Holy Tribunal; it is not what it seems, but is adjustable to the eye of faith in the light from the Lamp of the Sanctuaries; in a word, the sponge is the cake should be like unto angels while those which feed upon it are demons.

The eggs must be broken, as the EGG of THOTH was broken in the MYSTERIES of the PAGAN creation in Egypt which was replaced by the glorious mysteries of transformation of the Jews as a herald to the mighty wafer of CHRIST.  The butter, sugar  and egg is creamed until it is the colour of alabaster.

There is the illusion which accounts for the legend by an opposite hypothesis, and the illusion of the legend which reaffirms itself with a distinction. When these have been disposed of, there remain two really important questions–the question of the Mystics and the question of history and literature. Namely is flour needed?  To a very large extent the first is closed to discussion, because the considerations which it involves cannot be presented with profit on either side in the public assemblies of the reading world.




The Daily Mail, conspiracy nut-jobs and the born-again Christians make a big deal about the Golden Dawn because the so-called Black Magician Aleister Crowley was a member. Crowley’s own followers claim that the Great Beast was an influence on the Golden Dawn and was the living embodiment of the system, which only he had the power to change.

The source of most of these various claims are Crowley himself. He was the only person to write down some events connected to the Golden Dawn and for some reason is seen by the people above as being truthful about what he saw. In fact, Crowley was spinning a story in which he was the central character and what is amazing is that many people actually buy it. I saw how extensive his fantasy was  when I researched my book King over the Water where a court transcript that Crowley published into the Looking Glass Case was seen as being an accurate description of what took place (even by the journalist Waite who should have known better).

Crowley unimportant

Crowley was extremely unimportant to the Golden Dawn. He was introduced by George Cecil Jones, and initiated in 1898. On paper, he was just what the Golden Dawn recruited – rich, educated and well connected.

He was also just 23 something that many people forget completely. If you look at an occult group and see someone under the age of 30, you know they are in the process of still being a kid and occult learning takes a while to drip into their consciousness. Like many kids, Crowley had a fantasy version of magic. However Allan Bennett (who was later to quit magic and become a Buddhist saint) took a shine to the young boy and made sure that he got some kind of training.

We are not sure how effective that training was. Bennett, as a magician, is always venerated as knowing what he was doing BECAUSE Crowley said he was and the respect he was accorded by Florence Farr. An example of one of his rituals (his ritual to get Mercury to physical manifestation) shows that he really did not get the Golden Dawn system particularly well and tended to make stuff up to cover the holes in his knowledge. Crowley invited Bennett, to live with him as his personal magical tutor and there were some claims that Bennett “taught Crowley more than he should” however there is no indication that he taught him Golden Dawn material. He did teach him about ritual use of drugs, and but they might have performed Goetic and Key of Solomon rituals

In fact, there is nothing to suggest that Crowley was anything more than a bog standard young Golden Dawn student. He did not shoot up the grades (he went at the same speed as everyone else of the period).  It is also interesting that he was involved in the Golden Dawn during a time when standards of testing for each grade were slipping. The head of the London Order Florence Farr was a bit slack when it came to testing.  Personally, I think it likely that Crowley did things “by the book” if he hadn’t then this would almost certainly have been used against him later.

A later picture of Crowley which should give an indication of the kid who was involved in the Battle of Blythe Road.

The kid plays politics

Crowley had a keen eye for GD politics and could see that a split was developing between the order and his founder Samuel Mathers. He may have written to him, but again there is no indication that there was any friendship between them (as has been suggested). However if you believe the Crowley version of events he was unpopular in the group because of his bisexuality and libertine lifestyle. He developed feuds with W.B. Yeats who he claimed was envious of his poetic genius.  This is of course rubbish. He was too small potatoes to be a factor in any group politics. Bennett was respected as a member of the Isis temple’s inner circle, but Crowley was not. It was likely that he was seen as an arrogant fantasist, but he was largely protected by Bennett, who almost everyone liked. In November 1899 Bennett left for Asia to train as a Buddhist and left Crowley on his own. Crowley moved to Scotland and finished his 4=7 work.

Not really suffering for his sexuality

The problem came when it was time for his Portal. Technically this would have placed Crowley into the Second Order, but it also coincided with a police raid on a London gay club which Crowley had been known to frequent. Homosexuality was strongly opposed within some esoteric orders even into the end of the last century. The fear of a gay scandal had come close to the Order before when one of its more famous outer members Constance Wilde resigned when her husband Oscar was arrested.

Modern readers have the idea that Crowley was forbidden to join the second order because of his sexuality. However, this was only partly true. The letters of the time is that most thought Crowley was a young twat who was “just experimenting” and as WB Yeats said, “the second order is not a reform school.” The idea was that for you to handle magic you needed to be a bit more grown up and Crowley had not sorted that out yet. It is telling that Crowley was not expelled, but was refused entry to the Second Order (at least for now).

It is then that Yeats and the chiefs were proved correct in their judgement – because Crowley had his 4=7 moment and went completely off the rails. One of the challenges of the 4=7 is that it opens the candidate up to their “inner anger issues” and ego problems which are often projected upon the initiator or the hierarchy of the Order. Crowley then conspired to use the political nonsense that was already erupting between the London temple and the founder of the Order. Crowley’s ego would not allow him to believe that he was not a super-magician so he must be being conspired against. So in January 1900 he went to Paris to meet with Samuel Mathers.


Crowley and Mathers

His time with Mathers cannot have been more than a few days. The two had a lot in common. Both were fantasists, ego-driven individuals with a measure of occult talent. Both had Daddy issues and a tendency to mistake occult stories for literal facts and both believed in their own bullshit. Together, Mathers and Crowley created for themselves a fantasy where the London temple had been magically taken over and corrupted by the con-woman Madam Horos.

Horos had taken in Mathers and but had been snubbed by the London temple. Nevertheless, it made a good story and it did mean that Mathers had to take drastic action to prevent the vault falling into the hands of the forces of darkness. There was a problem here. While Crowley would make a loyal tool, he needed to be a 5=6 to protect the vault. Mathers did not conduct a portal or 5=6 ritual within his own Paris temple. He might have done the 5=6 ritual at his house, or might just have taught Crowley the passwords with the idea that the full ritual would be carried out later. In Crowley (and Mather)’s minds he was a full 5=6. Mathers did not give Crowley any of his 5=6 course material and this was unusual. It might have been that he did not trust the boy yet, or that he wanted to see if the London temple would obey him on the matter of Crowley’s initiation.

Crowley went back to Scotland and wrote to the London temple to ask for his 5=6 course material and was refused.  Farr, already of the opinion that the London temple should be closed, wrote to Mathers expressing her wish to resign as his representative, though she was willing to carry on until a successor was found. The breakdown of the Golden Dawn was not only because of Crowley, nor was he really the last straw which created the revolt. It might have been one of the (minor) factors that lead to the Battle of Blythe Road in March.

blythe road
Blythe Road as it is today. The only time Crowley really had a direct impact on GD history

Blythe Spirit

The Battle of Blythe Road really was something where Crowley was a the main player and he managed to temporarily seize the Vault and lead a revolt of students loyal to Mathers.    Crowley did point his name in the roll of adepts during the revolt and might have taken the papers which he considered that he was entitled to. Certainly there are some very nice 5=6 papers copied by Crowley in the Warburg  and these were the English GD papers NOT the later AO ones (or those of the French Temple).

Mathers formed his AO Order with Crowley as a member. The group was small, but what was telling was that Crowley was not made a chief, or even Mather’s representative in Albion. He remained a junior member of the new order (as he had been in the old one).  Despite his 15 minutes of fame in the Battle of Bythe Road he was still seen for what he was by Mathers. It was a state that miffed Crowley because he left the UK and went on a world tour and when he returned he fell out with Mathers.


From then on Crowley became a bugbear to the AO and the GD. Not  only was his public life and falling out with the tabloids a problem, but also he insisted on publishing its material. Any anger he felt towards his father was now well and truly projected onto Mathers and he dedicated himself to making his life a misery in any way he could. This included publishing Mathers material with his name on it and, of course, publishing redacted Golden Dawn rituals in his Equinox. Even his 777 book was a slightly tinkered with list of correspondences paper which circulated among the second order members.

No doubt, Crowley benefited from the Golden Dawn as it provided an intellectual framework for what he was going to go on to do. There was also some measure of him “pushing against” that system in some of the ideas he later had. However, the concept that he was ever a Golden Dawn adept is something which is a matter for dispute. Knowing stuff is not enough to make you an adept – even doing stuff is not enough. There are certain key GD elements which were lacking in Crowley – one was one of balance. That is not saying all GD adepts were balanced – Mathers certainly was not, but the idea of going to excess was unique to Crowley.

The Golden Dawn did not get anything from its Crowley experience – other than grief. So identifying Crowley with the GD is a bit like claiming that The Leeds School of Medicine is responsible for Harold Shipman. He might have learnt the basics from the GD, but everything else he did by himself.




Doing the admin on the Hermetic Golden Dawn group on Facebook has been a real revelation for me. Although I like to keep conversation free and unedited, and let anyone who wants join, I have been prevented from doing so by the sheer arse fuckery of some people. I had to stop people joining if they were not friends of members already on the group, because we were being constantly hit by people trying to flog sunglasses. However, cases of people getting the boot have been getting more frequent and really I cannot be bothered going through the process of giving warnings.  Anyway, to help explain why I have kicked people off the group over the last year or so I am providing one of my lists. Some of these have just resulted in posts being deleted but in other cases, they have been booted. Oddly pissing me off has not been listed. I keep posts that slagged me off up there a couple of them were pulled after the poster sobered up.

Inspirational New Age posts. Usually with a nice picture of a crystal unicorn or a rainbow.  The have nothing to do with the subject matter and I do not understand what motivates people to spread this sort of shite across the internet.


CROWLEY Talking about Crowley in a GD context is OK. But pictures of Uncle Fester with a number underneath it is fundamentalist Thelemite wank which implies that you can be a true individual by signing your name with a number like all the other Thelemites. Long quotes from the channelled Book of the Law with no connection to the Golden Dawn will get you booted.  If you want to jerk off to pictures of Alistair Crowley there are tons of Thelemite groups where people gather to tell each other that Crowley is a God. Going to a site of an order where he was booted out before he got into the Second Order is not the best place to go to do that.


Conspiracy bollocks. Chemtrails, Illuminate, Papal Plots, Owl Eating, and Lizard men. David Ikye once claimed that the Golden Dawn was formed by Lizards. This should explain why we don’t want conspiracy theories talked about on a Golden Dawn group.


Incoherent posts: Now you might talk like a rapper, or think it is ok to write a post in the style of an SMS, but if people can’t work out what the hell you are banging on about it is better that you shut up.


Insanely open questions: A Facebook Golden Dawn group exists to help people answer questions they might have connected to the tradition. Some people seem to think that they can ask a question which would require a series of books to answer. “Can anyone help me.” “How does Abramerlin work?” “Can anyone tell me how to get to 5=6?” “What about Enochian?” are all questions which are too open to be answered. They do not aid discussion.


Do my homework for me posts: Many questions on a group would be better answered by someone typing in the question into Google first.

middle pillar

Telling real Golden Dawn people that they are wrong: On the group, there are many real Golden Dawn experts with a lot of experience in ritual and running groups. Telling such types that they are wrong because… er you say so… even when you have not been a member of a Golden Dawn group is going to get you into trouble.  Most of the Golden Dawn is about doing and not reading or thinking. You might have a theory about the elemental nature of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram being “wrong” but if you were in a real GD group that view would have been kicked out of you a long time ago. Attacking people who know, often calling them New Age gurus, when it is you that are ignorant of the system will see me having to delete you.


Sock puppets. Using sock puppets to agree with you, or to gang up on other members of the group will get you and your socks booted.


TROLLS Trolls have to be clever and entertaining. I have left up trollish posts because they started a long and interesting talk. But when they are single sentence posts which don’t actually say anything, often with a claim “Do you feel like I am insulting you.. deal with it” then you are heading towards a booting.


Internet incompetence: Quite rare these days and I am not sure if the cases I have seen it have been “real” or not. A person floods a thread with multiple posts with just their name in the header… a dot… or an icon.  It takes ages to delete them all and then boot the user.

Bad Attorney

Attacking another GD group or Order. The Golden Dawn flame wars are long gone, and most of us get on rather well. However, the odd “play” golden Dawn group likes to get its followers to do the occasional attack. They are easy to spot and quickly booted.


Unrelated material: I tend to give a lot of leeway on this. The Golden Dawn covered a wide range of topics over its long history, but some things really have nothing to do with magic, let alone the GD. You might have a problem with a Black President not letting you shoot tax collectors but we do not care.

Lack of social skills: You might have convinced the rest of the world, or your mother, to put up with your lack of social skills, we are too busy to nurse you through it. If you are an arsehole too much and too often you will get enough complaints to get yourself booted. If you think that is so terrible ask yourself why you are such a tosser and people don’t like you a bit of self-hate might actually help you develop a bit.

Sexism, racism or slagging off a religion. There is no place in the 21st century for any form of racism or sexism. Analysing a religion is ok but slagging off Christians, pagans, Muslims, Jews or equating a religion with terrorism is retarded.  That belongs to the other Golden Dawn.


Asking for a spell. You really don’t get the GD do you?


Selling an unrelated product: “I am a member of the Golden Dawn but I sell butt plugs, I thought everyone would be interested.” They really are not.


Hard sell of a group or product: I promote my books on the Hermetic Golden Dawn site.  I have no problems with people advertising products just so long as they are related to the GD. I do draw the line at filling the group with multiple product adverts where there is no reason. For example if there was a discount on your book or product that would be new, but just posting every five minutes it can get a bit dull.  Hard selling of a group seems to be a US problem – Europeans are suspicious of such people. However if you claim your product will make you a living god or provide you with the secrets of magic I might allow discussion where you are proved wrong, or just delete it completely. A great adept once said, “I never trust a guy who shouts what he has found. There is no need to sell when you are homeward bound.” The more you sell the less likely are really connected to magic.


Heavy advertising of another group:  I tend to let one of these through, but I was getting bothered by multiple adverts for an AMORC fangroup.


Posting about the superiority of your group.  Saying you are the superior beings is the trademark of most TV villains and Apple PR.


Posting about the superiority of your operating system.





There is a lot of nonsense distributed on the world wide wibble about what an Adept will and will not do. Unlike some people I do not think an Adept is a superman or woman but is someone who is most themselves. They also have to be good at the magic system they use. However, for a laugh I have composed a list of 20 things an Adept would not do.




A ‘REAL’ Adept has NEVER:

  • owned an iPhone or any device made by Apple: Buying an iPhone is submitting your true will to that of the Apple Cult… a strangely inverted world where good is bad, bendy is strong, and you claim that you get what you pay for when you clearly don’t… an adept stoops not down to that darkly splendid void.
  • applefanshit
  • Heard an entire song performed by either Justin Bieber, Craig David, One Direction, Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers or James Blunt. A real Adept does not even know who they are.


  • Watched a reality TV show. Life is too short


  • Knows who the following people are: Paris Hilton Chanetelle, Lindsay Lohan, Jodan, Kerry Katona, Jade Goody, Peter Andre, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizz, Britney Spears, Cheryl Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Victoria Beckham or Kate Middleton.. I had to look them all up.



  • Name more than three famous sports people. Who cares?


  • Believe in an established political party. The are all evil fuckers who are only interested in lining their own pockets.



  • Tell people their grade or lineage. An adept does not need to feel important.


  • Be a racist or consider any established religion is superior to another. All things are One Thing, if you think you are better than one aspect of yourself you are completely fucked up.


  • Follow an extreme political ideology.


  • Threaten another occultist with a court action.


  • Make up a spiritual lineage or history.
  • Use their status to sleep with others or convince them to part with cash.


  • Be an addict of anything.


  • Fails to understand irony.


  • Fails to have a sense of humour.


  •   Listens to what they are told, but tests it all.
  • Is ignorant of history,


  • Has a stable or ordinary life.
  • Never creates a religion for other people to follow.
  • Aleister_Crowley,_wickedest_man_in_the_world
  • Markets their path as if it was a product.