Friday, July 14, 2006
Welcome to The Abbey Today, a collection of photographs taken in July 2006 of the remains of the Abbey of Thelema, founded in 1920 by Aleister Crowley and Leah Hirsig in the small town of Cefalu, Sicily. The house, part of an old sicilian villa once called Santa Barbara, still stands -- but in really poor condition as the pictures attest.
All images by Luigi Santos-Hammarlund.
Posted by Luigi Santos-Hammarlund at 2:31 PM
Cefalu, Sicily, viewed from La Rocca. The town was mentioned for the first time in 396 BCE in an account by Diodorus Siculus, but Cefalu is more famous for its medieval monuments and, of course, for being the location of the Crowley's Abbey. Click to enlarge.
Posted by Luigi Santos-Hammarlund at 2:27 PM
General view of the main ritual room, or La Chambre des Cauchemars (Chamber of Nightmares) as Crowley called it. The room had been completely decorated with huge murals painted by Crowley and Jane Wolfe -- unfortunately today just small parts of the frescoes are still visible. The walls were painted over later on by the subsequent tenants of the house. In 1955 filmmaker Kenneth Anger went to the Abbey and uncovered some of the works, which still lay beneath the whitewash. Click to enlarge.
Posted by Luigi Santos-Hammarlund at 2:09 PM
Remaining visible frescoes of the so called Hell or La Nature Malade. An excerpt of Crowley's poem Leah Sublime, written in honor to his Scarlet Woman, can be seen: "Stab your demoniac smile to my brain! Soak me in cognac, cunt and cocaine...". Click to enlarge.
Posted by Luigi Santos-Hammarlund at 2:05 PM