Scarlet Woman

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Marjorie Cameron-Aleister Crowley’s Guardian Angel

In 1946 Marjorie Cameron had re-located to Pasadena, California after serving with the US Navy during WWII. While waiting in line at the unemployment office she met an old acquaintance who suggested that she had to  visit ‘The Parsonage’, the huge house of a ‘mad scientist’,  Jack Parsons.

She took her friend up on the offer and went to ‘The Parsonage’. What she didn’t know was that ‘The Parsonage’ was the headquarters of the Agape Lodge, a branch of Aleister Crowley’s Ordo Templi Orientis, and its leader, the ‘mad scientist’ and rocket propulsion engineer Jack Parsons had been engaged in the Babalon Working with science fiction writer (and later founder of Scientology) L.Ron Hubbard for the previous weeks. The Babalon Working was based on the sex magic theories of Crowley and was an attempt to conjure up an incarnation of the archetypal feminine principle named Babalon or The Scarlet Woman.

Cameron was a flame haired beauty and they immediately fell in love, holing up in Parsons bedroom for two weeks. Parsons declared that the working had been a success, and proceeded onto the next stage, which was to conceive a Moonchild with the Scarlet Woman, while L.Ron Hubbard stayed on to record the effects the sex magic was having on the astral plane.

Although they never had a Moonchild, they married in 1946 and Parsons introduced her to Thelema, Crowley’s ‘New Religion’. At Parsons urging she went to England in 1947 to visit Crowley but he had already died in a Hastings boarding house with less than a pound to his name before she arrived. Parsons would die in a laboratory accident in 1952.

Cameron was very much at the centre of the L.A occult and avant-garde scenes for the rest of her life. She appeared in Kenneth Anger’s Inauguration Of the Pleasure Dome, as the The Scarlet Woman (unsurprisingly) and Kali, and Curtis Harrington’s The Wormwood Star. She was also a talented artist, as the above and below illustrations demonstrate.

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53 thoughts on “Scarlet Woman

    1. This is truly bizarre, I toned down the sensationalism on this, which is saying something for me. It is Babalon, as per Crowley’s supposedly channeled text of 1904 the book of the law, where the demon Aiwass possessed Crowley in Cairo and he dictated the text that was the basis of Thelema.

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      1. He also appears on the cover of Sergeant Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band, Timothy Leary is quoted as saying he was trying to make Crowley’s vision a reality and David Bowie had more than a passing interest. And of course there is the Henry Green brother.

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      2. Well he pops up here and there does The Great Beast, often in the oddest contexts. He was responsible for Churchill’s V for Victory sign as he was consulted to combat the black Nazi magic (this appears to be true, though I am still somewhat disbelieving).

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      3. Yes though he was a dangerous man no doubt, most people who got close ended up mad, alcoholic, drug addicted, or killed themselves. He had big appetites and the amount of heroin and cocaine he took daily was about 4-5 times overdose limit. He was a charlatan (though this is a necessary trait in occultist and doesn’t mean that they don’t possess powers on occasion, just look at old L.Ron) and his writing style has all the worst excesses of the Decadents. Yet he had something.

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      4. The spelling Babalon comes from angelic visions Crowley had in Algeria in 1909, detailed in the book The Vision and the Voice. Until that point, he had been using the spelling Babylon (as derived from the Apocolypse of St. John). The Enochian Angels told him the correct spelling of the name. Babalon is never mentioned in The Book of the Law.

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      5. Thank you for setting me straight on this point. I find Crowley interesting and he pops here and there on this site, which is some ways about the intersection of art and magic, among other things, but I am no expert. Thanks for commenting.

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