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Categories: Thelema | History | Places & Things
Boleskine House (boll-ESS-kin) was the estate of Aleister Crowley from 1899 to 1913. It is located on the South-Eastern shore of Loch Ness in Scotland. It was built in the late 18th century by Archibald Fraser.
Crowley purchased the home in order to perform the operation found in The Book of the Sacred Magick of Abra-Melin the Mage (see Abramelin Operation). In order to perform it, Crowley (1989) says,
- One must have a house where proper precautions against disturbance can be taken; this being arranged, there is really nothing to do but to aspire with increasing fervor and concentration, for six months, towards the obtaining of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
In Confessions (Ch. 22), he continues:
- The first essential is a house in a more or less secluded situation. There should be a door opening to the north from the room of which you make your oratory. Outside this door, you construct a terrace covered with fine river sand. This ends in a "lodge" where the spirits may congregate.
Crowley eventually sold the manor in order to fund the publication of The Equinox, Vol. III. However, he later alleged that the funds were stolen by the Grand Treasurer General of the Order, George MacNie Cowie. (The extensive mortgaging of the house by that time may in fact have left little funds to steal.)
For a short time in the 1970s, Boleskine was owned by famed Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page.
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The Kiblah of Thelema
Aleister Crowley considered Boleskine to be the Thelemic Kiblah, the holiest of shrines. It is is mentioned by name in several rituals written by Crowley, and is identified with the East. It is considered to be the focal point of the magical energies (also called the 93 Current) of the Aeon of Horus, similar to Jerusalem of Christianity and Mecca of Islam.
Specifically the Gnostic Mass (described in Liber XV (http://www.scarletwoman.org/docs/docs_mass.html)) and the Ritual of the Mark of the Beast (in Liber V (http://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib5.html)) both identify the principal orientation (sometimes known as "Magical East") as being towards Boleskine.
As Sabalius (1998) notes:
- Thus, the location of Boleskine House is to be the Omphalos or Center of Power for Thelema, and is to continue as such for the duration of the Aeon of Horus, regardless of the physical presence of the Stèle or of the house itself. Thus, O.T.O. Lodges, Profess-Houses and Gnostic Mass Temples are ideally to be oriented towards Boleskine.
Boleskin House is located on the South-Eastern shore of Loch Ness in Scotland at latitude 57.14 N., longitude 4.28 W.
Crowley describes Boleskine in Confessions:
- The house is a long low building. I set apart the south-western half for my work. The largest room has a bow window and here I made my door and constructed the terrace and lodge. In side the room I set up my oratory proper. This was a wooden structure, lined in part with the big mirrors which I brought from London.
The home includes the entrance hall, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a drawing room, dining room, family room, kitchen, utility room, and the cellars. The grounds (about 47 acres) includes the Gate Lodge, which was originally the home for a coachman. It has a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, as well as a pond, small garden and an orchard.
Links of Interest
- Boleskine House (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/7069/bole-1.html) at G.M. Kelly's Castle of the Silver Star
- The Kiblah (http://www.hermetic.com/sabazius/kiblah.htm), by Sabazius X°
- Computing The Kiblah (http://www.hermetic.com/sabazius/kiblahcomp.htm), instructions to determine the direction of Boleskine
- Crowley, Aleister. (1979). The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. London;Boston : Routledge & Kegan Paul.
- ____. (1997). Magick: Book 4. 2nd ed. York Beach, Me. : S. Weiser.
- Sabazius. (1998). The Kiblah (http://www.hermetic.com/sabazius/kiblah.htm). Retrieved on Sept. 30, 2004.