“Aleister Crowley, Thelema, and the Toltecs” is a series of articles that explore what a 9th-century shamanistic spiritual system originating in Central Mexico could have to do with a 20th-century magical spiritual system.
Aleister Crowley, the infamous 20th-century personality but also the prophet of the New Aeonic system of spirituality called Thelema, wrote an apparently fictional story on Atlantis within a book called Liber LI, The Lost Continent.
Koyote the Blind, the humorously self-styled “internationally ignored shaman” and Toltec Man of Knowledge, has told oral stories of Atlantis, some of which are similar to those found in Liber LI. And although he tells his audience not to take any of his stories as literally true, he goes on to tell them as though they are.
Both sets of stories are complex, but both contain the idea that, after the destruction of Atlantis, seven heirs remained to guide humankind to another Golden Age. In these stories, the seven heirs gave wisdom, not just in the form of ideas, but also in the form of vital and precious substances that have the power of transforming matter itself, especially if worked with consciously.
Koyote claims that a substance with energetic effects called Aka Dua, passed from Master to student among the Toltecs, was one seventh of the ancient magical substance of the Atlanteans called Zro or Sro. This sounds very similar to the idea that the Aka Dua was given by one of the seven heirs. Koyote’s story further contains the idea that December 21, 2012 represents the culmination of a time when, if enough people have taken the Aka Dua substance into their bodies and activated it during their daily activities, Mother Earth’s sufferings will be eased as she undergoes a transformation to a new state. A new Golden Age of some kind?
What meaning or importance can any of these fairy tales have? Is there anything of practical significance in any of them?
The great mythologist Joseph Campbell encouraged his readers to understand all religious truth as metaphorical—which emphatically does not mean as false! Rather, he meant that inspired religious texts and stories contain truths at a symbolic level.
Symbolic thinking is the type done when solving a problem in higher math, symbolic logic, philosophy, and certain types of science, music, and poetry. It is a disciplined form of mental activity that transcends belief and ordinary thought. Symbolic thoughts do not so much mean convey meaning as obey certain laws of movement and combination, like a cosmic dance. If you have never worked with thought on the abstract level—and many of us have not!—then you will have accept that you have no clear idea what it is like.
Since Crowley states that passages of his story of Atlantic “convey hints of certain profound magical secrets” and Koyote urges us not to take his apparently factual tale seriously, it would appear that the listener / reader of these tales is expected to work with these stories on the abstract, symbolic level. Again, for some of us, to grasp the spiritual truths contained in these stories will be impossible in our present state of education.
In Part II: Illusions of Time