Thursday, February 28, 2013


by Mr. Mean-Spirited


Aleister Crowley’s contemporaries celebrated the Great Beast not for his gluttony in sampling sinister rituals, not for his diligent guzzling of narcotic elixirs, not even for his increasingly improbable sexual concoctions. No, what the Wickedest Man in the World did with such panache was curry. Just as the witches in Macbeth had a bubbling cauldron at the ready, Crowley usually tried to keep a pot of curry warming on the stove.

The overwrought flavor of curry can always be sure to hide a quick squeeze of sinister powders. And certainly Aleister’s ornate cooking always transmitted an enchanting aftertaste: curry conceals its components. The better the curry, the less you are able to tell exactly what ingredients it might contain. If you don't know what kind of meat you have in your mouth, you've found a decent curry.

Most cultures around the world advance a peculiar notion that eating chili peppers will enhance virility. And Uncle Al’s curry was certainly well-endowed with capsicum. Even though Crowley would be sweating something fierce, he would still always take it as hot as he could get it. Eating spicy food did not demonstrate Aleister’s potency—as much as insure his erections. Potency comes from making it spicier than your rivals can stand. Virility invariably comes at the expense of someone else.
Seasoning a curry is not just about cooking something you will enjoy eating—but part of the enjoyment comes from scrutinizing the discomfort of your fellow diners. The evening's entertainment comes from watching your guests try to eat a meal that is just too damn spicy. For a proper British subject, a curry dinner was a kind of edible schadenfreude. For Aleister Crowley, curry was an practical joke that went down someone else's throat.
Like any well-bred gentleman, Old Crow would always be mightily amused by the awareness that his guests would be consuming some particularly obnoxious ingredient that managed to end-up in the sauce pot. A good cook always manages a good laugh at someone else's expense. There is a reason why the best chef always keeps his recipes secret.

Some of Aleister Crowley's best sorcery was never done in a magick circle, but around the white cloth of a dinner table. With their sweating brows, their watering mouths, and their reddened cheeks—the unwitting dinner guests are all summoning a supernatural presence. A good chef always takes advantage of those who unknowingly partake. Whether in a temple or a kitchen, a ritual is merely a kind of recipe that concocts a certain something. The best conjuring is always done on a dinner plate; the most intense spells often happen on bone china.