Talk:The Temple at Thatch

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More on Waugh and the occult?[edit]

Would it be ok to expand the section describing Waugh's acquaintance with the occult at Oxford? I'm thinking of things like this:

1. The reference in Brideshead Revisited to Anthony Blanche having "practised black art in Cefalù", which is a clear reference to Aleister Crowley's Abbey of Thelema at Cefalù.

2. In his autobiography A Little Learning (1964), Waugh describes becoming secretary of the Hypocrites Club at Oxford and says that: "My predecessor in the office, [Raoul] Loveday, had left the university suddenly to study black magic. He died in mysterious circumstances at Cefalu in Alistair [sic] Crowley's community", i.e. at the Abbey of Thelema.

3. Thelema is Greek for "will" and is a reference to one of Crowley's two great precepts: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law". The other great precept is “Love is the law, love under will”. Both precepts are hinted at in one of Sebastian Flyte's letters to Charles Ryder in Brideshead: "[...] I have a good mind not to take Aloysius to Venice. I don't want him to meet a lot of horrid Italian bears and pick up bad habits. | Love or what you will. | S."

4. Waugh later wrote a black magic story called “Out of Depth” (1933), which has a magician based on Crowley called Kakophilos, “Lover of Evil”.

In Mark Benyon's book London's Curse: Murder, Black Magic & Tutankhamun (2011), Benyon discusses Waugh's acquaintance with Crowley in greater depth. I've not read the book, but some of the discussion can be viewed through Google Books: Benyon on Waugh and Crowley MagistraMundi (talk) 09:45, 7 February 2015 (UTC)