Friday, December 25, 2015

Fire at Boleskine House

Yesterday much of Boleskine House, the Scottish highland mansion on the shores of Loch Ness that was once owned by Aleister Crowley, was destroyed in a fire. The fire was reported at 1:40 PM on December 23rd and drew firefighters from all over the region.

Crews from Foyers, Inverness, Beauly and Dingwall have been sent to Boleskine House near Foyers. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said a large part of the property has been destroyed. Boleskine House was owned by infamous occultist Aleister Crowley and later for a time by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.

The alarm was raised at 13:40. Flames from the fire were visible from the other side of the loch. A fire appliance from Foyers and another from Inverness were first sent to the scene. Pumps from Inverness and Beauly along with a water carrier from Inverness, a pump from Dingwall and an incident support unit from Inverness have also been sent.

SFRS said: "A large part of the property has already been destroyed by fire and crews are concentrating their efforts on the west wing of the building. Crews in breathing apparatus are using four main jets to tackle the blaze and the incident is ongoing." Crowley, who died in 1947, lived at Boleskine House above Loch Ness from 1899 to 1913.

Boleskine was the house that Crowley purchased in order to perform the Abramelin operation, though he never did complete it there. In the instructions for Crowley's Gnostic Mass the directions specify that the temple should be oriented towards Boleskine, as the house is mentioned prominently in The Book of the Law.

Get the stélé of revealing itself; set it in thy secret temple—and that temple is already aright disposed—& it shall be your Kiblah for ever. It shall not fade, but miraculous colour shall come back to it day after day. Close it in locked glass for a proof to the world.

-- Chapter III, verse 10.

In 1904, Crowley's secret temple was located at Boleskine. However, he never did obtain the Stele of Revealing itself to place there. It remains housed to this day at a museum in Egypt among other artifacts from the same period.

Later in the same chapter comes the verse that was quoted all over the Internet when the fire first made the news.

But your holy place shall be untouched throughout the centuries: though with fire and sword it be burnt down & shattered, yet an invisible house there standeth, and shall stand until the fall of the Great Equinox; when Hrumachis shall arise and the double-wanded one assume my throne and place. Another prophet shall arise, and bring fresh fever from the skies; another woman shall awake the lust & worship of the Snake; another soul of God and beast shall mingle in the globèd priest; another sacrifice shall stain the tomb; another king shall reign; and blessing no longer be poured To the Hawk-headed mystical Lord!

-- Chapter III, verse 34.

Some have argued that this represents one more prophecy fulfilled from The Book of the Law and I'm inclined to agree, unless the fire turns out to be an act of arson by some idiot out to "make the prophecy come true." So far, no statement has been made concerning the cause of the fire, and I assume that an investigation is currently underway.

According to a second article from The Scotsman, the house is currently owned by a Dutch couple who used it as a vacation home. The previous owner, Annette MacGillivray, doubts that the house will be rebuilt unless some occultist out there wants to spend a lot of money.

To some extent, though, whether or not the house is rebuilt depends on whether or not the current owners have the place insured and for how much. I know that if I owned such a property and was rarely there, I would have it insured for a lot. They can't be that poor, seeing as they were able to buy the house in the first place after what MacGillivray says was a very extensive renovation of the entire property.

Personally, I'm sad that I will never get a chance to see the place. However, if The Book of the Law is to be believed, the "invisible house" will remain until the Turning of the Aeon, which according to Crowley will take place in about two thousand years. Whether or not the house is ever rebuilt, it seems to me that the place would still be worth visiting just for that.

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