Our New Hampshire visit took us to astrologer Evangeline Adams’s cottage on Newfound Lake, where Aleister Crowley stayed during the summer of 1916. It was here that AC:

* Worked on his ill-fated collaboration with Adams, which she ultimately published in 1927 under her own name as Astrology: Your Place among the Stars and Astrology: Your Place in the Sun.

* Wrote De Thaumaturgia (Liber 633), Khabs Am Pekht (Liber 300), and The Gospel According to George Bernard Shaw (Liber 888).

* Recognized his ongoing initiation into the 9=2 grade of Magus…thus prompting him to refer to the cottage as “the House of the Juggler” in Liber 300.

* Experienced his so-called “Star Sponge Vision,” wherein he realized that Stars exist not as independent points of light but in an interconnected web. See Crowley’s description in his commentary on AL I:51, where he calls it “a vision of a peculiar character which has been of cardinal importance in my interior life.” AC also discusses this in the sixth of his Eight Lectures on Yoga.

* Had a rare encounter with ball lightning, about which he corresponded with William Sturgis Bigelow and Professor Elihu Thomson (as documented in Perdurabo, p. 307).

* Invented the card game Pirate Bridge, which briefly became the next big craze in bridge (covered in Perdurabo, 311–2).

Newfound Lake is nestled amongst the picturesque mountains of northern New Hampshire, in what is called the Lakes Region. Covering 4,451 acres—an area 2.5 x 6 miles—it is the third largest lake in New Hampshire. It was, on very rare occasion, known by its Native American name, Pasquaney (“the place where birch-bark for canoes is found”) into the early 1910s, when R.W. Musgrove attempted to revive its aboriginal name in A Guide to Pasquaney Lake (or Newfound Lake) and the Towns upon Its Borders (Bristol, NH: Musgrove, 1910). Although Crowley appears to have been a convert in referring to the lake by this name, few others followed suit…leading to a great deal of confusion about where exactly Crowley stayed in New Hampshire.

As Crowley describes it in his Simon Iff story “The Pasquaney Puzzle”: “Lake Pasquaney lies among the mountains of New Hampshire. It is about 17 miles in circumference. Bristol, the nearest railway station, a town of 1200 inhabitants, is some three miles from the lower end. The lake contains several islands, and its shores are dotted with summer villas, mostly of the long hut type, though here and there is a more pretentious structure, or a cluster of boarding-houses. Bristol is about three hours from Boston, so the lake is a favourite summer resort, even for week-enders. Automobile parties pass frequently, but keep mostly to the road on the east shore, that on the west being very rough. The scenery is said by Europeans who know both to compare with Scotland or Switzerland without too serious disadvantage.”

Adams’s cottage was located in the village of Hebron, NH, ten miles north of Bristol. According to Musgrove, “Hebron village is situated very pleasantly on a plain near the northwest shore of the lake. It contains a church, town hall, schoolhouse, a store, and several dwellings” (p. 32). All of these still stand there today, as if the intervening century never happened. Indeed, Musgrove noted that the population at the time of his writing was 214, and the figure has not quite tripled to six hundred today. In his short story “Every Precaution,” Crowley characterized the town, “There the air is sweet and pure and keen, the people are simple and honest and highminded. The climate is perfect; every power of nature seems joined in gentle conspiracy to make life what it surely should be” (p.468).

Between 1913 and 1918, Evangeline Adams owned the Jonathan K. Pike House, which was built around 1803 as a parsonage for the village church next door. Around 1915, Adams added a free-standing, gable-roofed, one and a half story study to the property. This is the cottage where Crowley stayed during the summer of 1916. As he described it, “It was of wood, built round a chimney stack and fireplace of brick. The main room faced the lake; and on the other side of the stack were a bedroom which I did not use and the kitchen” (_Confessions_, 813). Although Crowley refers to the dwelling as “a cottage on the shores of Lake Pasquaney in New Hampshire” (_Confessions_, p 806), it really isn’t on the shore. The town Common, North Shore Road, the schoolhouse,and a stand of trees all lie between the lake and the House of the Juggler. Indeed, Crowley clarifies this fact a few pages later in his Confessions when he writes that the distance between the cottage and “the water's edge…was barely a hundred and fifty yards in all” (p. 812). I suspect the actual distance is a little greater than that, but this gives the general idea. Today, as it surely did back then, the house sits nestled between the church and the town store/post office on one side, and the town library and a tax preparer’s office on the other. The town cemetery stands all of these.

Adams,Evangeline. Astrology: Your Place among the Stars. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1927.
Adams,Evangeline. Astrology: Your Place in the Sun. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1927.
Collins, Ronald W. _Historical Inventory of Hebron, N.H._(Nov. 2004), http://www.hebronhistsoc.org/Historical_Inventory_for_Master_Plan.pdf
Crowley, Aleister. The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography. London: Cape, 1969.
——— . “De Thaumaturgia: Concerning the Working of Wonders,” The International, Feb1918, 12(2): 41.
——— [Shivaji, Paramahamsa]. Eight Lectures on Yoga. London: O.T.O., 1939.
———. “EveryPrecaution” in The Drug and other Stories. Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions,2010.
——— . The Gospel According to George Bernard Shaw (n.p., 1953).
——— . “Liber CCC: Khabs Am Pekht,” The Equinox 1919, 3(1): 171–82.
——— . “The Pasquaney Puzzle” in The Simon Iff Stories and Other Works. Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions,2012.
——— , Adams, Evangeline and Hymenaeus Beta. The General Principles of Astrology: Liber DXXXVI. Boston: Weiser Books, 2002.
——— , Marlow, Louis, and Hymenaeus Beta. The Law Is for All: The Authorized Popular Commentary of Liber AL Vel Legis Sub Figura CCXX, The Book of the Law. Tempe, AZ: New Falcon Publications, 1996.
Kaczynski, Richard. Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley, rev. exp. ed. San Francisco: North AtlanticBooks, 2010.
Musgrove, R. W. A Guide to Pasquaney Lake (or Newfound Lake)and the Towns upon Its Borders. Bristol, NH: Musgrove, 1910.
October 23, 2011 Lake Pasquaney (7 photos)
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