15 August 2010
Crowley’s “abbey” goes on sale
A little while ago the Telegraph reported that this tumbledown building in Sicily is up for sale. What makes this ruin interesting, is not just it’s marvellous location but its former owner- Aleister Crowley. This building used to be Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema
The cottage, near the town of Cefalu in Sicily, contains explicit, erotic frescoes of men and women entwined together, painted by Cambridge-educated Crowley when he lived there in the early 1920s. The frescoes also include naked devils, satyrs and serpents.
The estate agents that are selling the property, which has been abandoned for years and is overrun with bushes and long grass, have suggested that it should be turned into a museum devoted to Crowley's extraordinary life.
He called the house the Abbey of Thelema and turned it into a kind of commune, where daily life revolved around yoga, adoration of the Sun and the study of his own mystical philosophical writings. Eventually his libertine tastes so offended Mussolini's fascists that they expelled him and his lovers from the country in April 1923.
I wonder how much it will go for. I daresay it will be rather more than you would pay for a “fixer-upper” I certainly wouldn’t buy it for the Crowley connection but I am sure It will be sold to an enthusiast
Photos for this post are from Amprodias and were taken by Frater Kybernetes