Title

Panel K: The Beast and the Maenads: The Relationship Between Aleister Crowley and Maenads from Greek Mythology

Presenter Information

Mary AbbottFollow

Faculty Mentor(s)

Phillip Guerty

Campus

Gainesville

Proposal Type

Oral Presentation

Subject Area

History/Anthropology/Philosophy

Location

Nesbitt 3204

Start Date

25-3-2022 2:00 PM

End Date

25-3-2022 3:00 PM

Description/Abstract

In the fall of 2021, I wrote a research paper in Dr. Guerty’s Victorian occult class that focused on the relationship between Victorian author and publisher Aleister Crowley, and his obsession with Maenads- the female worshippers of the ancient Greek cult of Dionysus.

The subject of my paper began with my personal interest in the cult of Dionysus. In ancient Greek mythology, Dionysus is known as the God of theatre, fertility, and wine. In the process of researching the influence of the cult in Victorian Britain, I noticed that many of the documents that I found were written by the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. These documents written by Crowley ranged from plays, short stories, and poems. In these works, Crawley uses the word “maenad” In a descriptive manner, or in some other literary works as I continued my research, Crowley refers to the god Dionysus himself, or Dionysus is a character in a story written by Crowley. Since this specific cult seems to be of importance to the influential Victorian writer that Crowley was, I decided for my research question to be why Crawley repetitively refers to maenads or the god Dionysus in his Victorian literary works.

After finishing my research and analyzing the sources regarding the Dionysus cult and Crowley’s personal relations, I concluded that Crowley's obsession with maenads and the cult is rooted in his violent sexual nature. In my presentation, I will present this argument and show the evidence that I found to support this conclusion.

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Mar 25th, 2:00 PM Mar 25th, 3:00 PM

Panel K: The Beast and the Maenads: The Relationship Between Aleister Crowley and Maenads from Greek Mythology

Nesbitt 3204

In the fall of 2021, I wrote a research paper in Dr. Guerty’s Victorian occult class that focused on the relationship between Victorian author and publisher Aleister Crowley, and his obsession with Maenads- the female worshippers of the ancient Greek cult of Dionysus.

The subject of my paper began with my personal interest in the cult of Dionysus. In ancient Greek mythology, Dionysus is known as the God of theatre, fertility, and wine. In the process of researching the influence of the cult in Victorian Britain, I noticed that many of the documents that I found were written by the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. These documents written by Crowley ranged from plays, short stories, and poems. In these works, Crawley uses the word “maenad” In a descriptive manner, or in some other literary works as I continued my research, Crowley refers to the god Dionysus himself, or Dionysus is a character in a story written by Crowley. Since this specific cult seems to be of importance to the influential Victorian writer that Crowley was, I decided for my research question to be why Crawley repetitively refers to maenads or the god Dionysus in his Victorian literary works.

After finishing my research and analyzing the sources regarding the Dionysus cult and Crowley’s personal relations, I concluded that Crowley's obsession with maenads and the cult is rooted in his violent sexual nature. In my presentation, I will present this argument and show the evidence that I found to support this conclusion.