An old and interesting article on LAShTAL prompted me to make a map that uses Aleister’s grid references for Cairo, when he received Liber Al vel Legis, The Holograph Manuscript of Liber AL vel Legis,sub figurâ XXXI A∴A∴ Publication in Class A, Page 60
Then looking at this map of Cairo, from 1933. Yes, I understand it is later than it should be and based on a map of Cairo in 1904. Yet unfortunately, this is the only map of decent quality and at a large scale, could find. So using the actual grid references that AC provided. It looked like this.
Now I know the line is not exactly as per Aleister’s own but the start and the end points are referenced on the grid he drew, along with the “X” marks the spot. So to the best of my ability I have indicated this. He was roughly using the Shari Fouad el Auwal straight road, in order to give the reader a reference landmark, this was I assume to aid with more accurately placing the “X” on the map. Was this the location of the Reception of Liber L vel Legis?
Based on AC’s scribble I initially thought, due to the proximately, that the location was the Midan roundabout. Surely not! So using the co-ords given,
I worked it out to be either the Windsor hotel or the Shepheard Hotel. The map above due to being 25 years or more after the date, would possibly not be the best one to use. The landscape changed a hell of a lot over that sort of time period.
Luckily enough I did manage after a lot of searching to find a German map from 1904.
Shepheard Hotel looks to be the most likely location, though there are another couple that may have been used, in that immediate area. It was not uncommon for a hotel to have apartments for rent after all. Shepheard’s was one of the largest and well know. It had burnt down and been rebuilt in 1890’s and then again in 1952. So the actual room that Aiwass spoke in the ear of the Beast, must likely is no longer in existence. Unless it was another location.
So after Boleskine having being burned down, the Abbey crumbling away and discovering that the old Shepheard Hotel had burned down in 1952 and the 1890’s, anything to do with AC does not seem to hang around for long!
For more on the historical hotel scene in and around 1902-1904, please refer to Cairo of To-Day: A Practical Guide to Cairo and the Nile
Hat de Londres Club Chedivial (The Turf Club or the London Club) and Hotel Royal may be further candidates, in the vicinity.
Maybe another inquisitive soul with more sources could investigate these?
It is my belief that the grid was a map. It’s the most logical explanation available.
EDIT Additional Information of Shepheards Hotels History
First Class Hotels SIWHEARD’S nmL 8 Sharia Kamil, hhvccn Sharia Alfi Bey and Sharia Dubre. 350 rooms, apartment suites available, prices hm 160 P.T. per room per night. Some suites 1 £I3 to 2 fE per night. Open 1 November to 15 May, closed during the summer. The hotel’s spacious terrace is the site of nightly concerts; a ball is held every night in the high season. A garden in back provides a1 fresco dining and also has a large raised dance floor in the center. There is a restaurant and grill room, a bar, and post and telegraph offices open 24 hours a day. All major theaters, most night clubs, and the Cairo Opera are within easy walking distance. Shepheard’s hotel is the place to stay in Cairo. The starting point for every expedition, safari or tour of note, its corridors bustle with the pith-helmeted rich and idle of all nations. It has been said that “Alexandria is merely a signal stop on the tourist road to Shepheard’s.” While the 8~~0mmodations and food are no better than many other hotels in Cairo, it is the place to meet people of influence. Five minutes from the railway station, and the center of social life for Cairo’s well-to-do, the serious traveler cannot afford not to stay at Shepheard’s. This reputation is well earned, but fails to hide the fact that the hotel backs on to a block where the desperately poor live crammed together, their livestock tethered on their rooftops, and that the prostitutes’ quarter begins just across the road to the west. A bulletin board in the foyer holds public and private notices of interest to the European community of Cairo. The board lists houseboats to let, flats available, notices of meetings at clubs, and when and where forthcoming social functions are to be held. Doors at the hotel are never locked, although keys are always provided. All staff are scrupulously honest, as far as the belongings of guests are concerned. The only thefts occurring during the 1920’s are conducted by a small gang of French jewel thieves. A Chubb safe, located in an office behind the hotel desk, is at the disposal of all guests and staff. Advertised as being the most burglar-proof safe in Cairo, it was never robbed during its existence. At four stories high, with round cupola towers at each corner and a colonnaded entry foyer and portico, Shepheard’s is an impressive building. From the upper floors the whole vista of Cairo can be enjoyed, the flatroofed houses gleaming in the midday sun or moonlight. From west-facing rooms, the pyramids lurk on the southwestern horizon, beckoning to the tourist with promises of ancient mysteries and marvels waiting to be uncovered. The smell of hot dust rises into the air as the varade of human, motor and beast traf6,c passes in the strekt below, and at regular intervals the constant munnw of life is punctuated by the ululations of ‘the muezzins in their minarets calling the faithful to prayer. Stables and garages at the side of the hotel house the cars and donkeys of exmtions preparing to set out into the unhown deserts, and huge caravans of people and goods assemble in front of the hotel when the adventurous prepare to leave. Special function rooms at Shepheard’s include the his Room and the Moorish Hall. These are often booked for private functions, dances, or club meetings, and are lavishly furnished in typical Egyptian decor. The hotel is redecorated each year during the summer, and reopens each winter newly polished and finer than the year before. The original Shepheard’s Hotel was built in 1849- 1852 on the site of the Palace of Mi Bey (1750’s). There were a smaller palace and a temple on this site (dating from 900 A.D.), which were leveled before the newer palace was built. Bey’s palace was Napoleon’s htadquarters during the French occupation (1798-1799), and later became Muhammed Ali’s School of Languages (1815- 1847). When the fist hotel was built, the palace was leveled; the current building sits over the previous ruins. The cellars excavated for the hotel cut through and across the ancient temple and palace cellars, as well as tunnels excavated by Bey, Napoleon, and Ali The original hotel, only two stories high, was replaced in the late 1800’s by the current building. Note: Shepheard’s Hotel burns to the ground in 1952 during the revolution that forces the British out of Egypt. The modem Shepheard’s Hotel stands on an entirely different site.
Taken from this 1920’s Guide to Egypt/Cairo. Page 23 onwards. The text did not copy well from the paste. So best to use the PDF to read.
Granted, as a few have pointed out to me also that the grid co-ords, do not reference and known mapping system, so therefore surely could not be a map ref.
Why it was reversed did boggle me and maybe it is not actually the correct map.
A further point to note would be that the grid was not on the orginial manuscript and added at a much later date.
I have since stumbled across another individual who deems it to also be map references. Albeit in an entirely different region of Egpyt. The Temple of Dendera.
Then the circle squared in its failure… points to two different areas… Nag Hammadi or is it actually an Island in the top left???
Having recently released the initial Temple image, on the LAShTAL.com, I have decided to release a few more views, on my personal blog, for those who are interested along with a brief update.
Firstly, I must thank a couple of people have been very generous with their time and resources. James Gosling & Richard T Cole (who sadly, I have not heard from in a while).
We now have rendered up the “shell” of the Abbey and have hit a bit of a stumbling block. The internal murals, painting and furniture proves to be illusive, in regards to information . We have gleamed partial insights into the furniture and the rooms the Abbey contained. This resulted in the floor plan being slightly altered and the room names being changed, to reflect those titles, the inhabitants gave the rooms. The updated plans can be found at this link. Latest revised Abbey of Thelema Plans -Rev C.
We retrieved information from various sources. For example the 100th Monkey Press has a invaluable resource, from which the THE
YORKSHIRE POST 13 APRIL 1934 INVITED TO “TRY MAGIC” IN COURT, article can be found. The Great Beast by John Symonds has a very detailed description of the Temple space. This totally went under my radar and I can thank a Brother for pointing me to this books pages. Also used the Jane Wolfe: The Cefalu Diaries 1920 – 1923 from the College of Thelema for further insights.
Bill Hendrick also provided, via his website, the “Tourist Guide” Essay that Aleister Cowley penned for the Abbey of Thelema. Whilst this is purely a written description, it will prove useful as to identifying what murals go on what walls. Richard T Cole did have a illustrated adaptation of this on his website, though it has since been taken offline unfortunately.
We are awaiting a copy of Richard’s book, Thelema Revisited : In search of Aleister Crowley that is kindly being provided by James Gosling. As Richard is unavailable, via any of the means of contact I had for him, this will be my best point of reference. I do hope that he is well and safe.
A request for assistance was also submitted to the Ordo Templi Orientis, via their US Grand Lodge Website. It has yet to bear fruit.
Finally a massive thank you to Mr. William Pollock of Arcgraphics, without whom this 3D project would be dead on its feet.
Our next step is to take one room, one wall at a time and try and obtain the best images available to us, for inclusion in the render.
So If anyone knows of, or has high res images of the murals, in their best state, please let me know and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So here are some images! Kindest regards & 93’s.
We insist from the beginning on the individual character of the work, and upon the necessity of maintaining the objective and skeptical standpoint. You are explicitly warned against reliance upon “authority,” even that of the Order itself. Consider my own assets, personal, social, educational, experiential and the rest: don’t you see that all I had to do was to put out some brightly-coloured and mellifluous lie, and avoid treading on too many toes, to have had hundreds of thousands of idiots worshiping me?
Recently, on the LAShTAL.com forums a request was made for the actual dimensions of the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalu, Italy. This simple request for information prompted me to use my skills and experience and attempt to record the Abbey’s particulars into as complete a set of plans, if I could. The shell of the building has been confirmed and agreed, with Abbey researcher exemplars as Richard T Cole, Anna Apostolidou and other regulars on the LAShTAL Forums, who have an in-depth knowledge of the building. The result is the .pdf contained within this post. It includes floor plans, elevations and a section, along with a few images and a blog piece from Latetitia on http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/aleister-crowley-s-thelema-abbey.
The second stage of the process involves creating a shell of the Abbey in 3D software, then attempting to render it with the murals etc.
Having secured the assistance of a visualization expert, that I have personally worked alongside the last 15 years, I do have hopes that the resulting model, will portray the Abbey of Thelema as accurately as can be established, when in use by Crowley, in 1920-1923.
It is well documented the images that it contained. Details or photos of them though in their entirety, are scarce
The thing is, the Abbey now looks like it’s barely holding together. Many murals, paintings and sketches, carried out by Aleister Crowley’s and others own hands will never see the light of day. Parts of them have, they were revealed in part by Kenneth Anger’s trip there in 1955.
Click on the link below to download or view the plans of the Abbey of Thelema
Without access to the actual blue prints of the original building, it is extremely difficult to try and assess the actual structure.
Also, having not physically been to the Abbey and surveyed the building personally, dimensions, heights and layout are based on Richard T Coles
detailed analysis that is included in his “Thelema Revisited – The search for Aleister Crowley” publication. Richard has been invaluable in this project.
If you have any further information in regards to the actual layout, structure etc please email me
The next stage of the project is to create a 3D walk through. Initially it will be a shell but with analysis of each room and photos of the murals, I may be able to render them as best I can. If you have high quality images of the murals, then please forward them to me for inclusion at the email address above.