Crowley and the Yaqui Shamans


I am keen to find out if there is a link between A.C and the Yaqui Shamans. I understand anecdotally that he went to Mexico, and that he experimented with Peyote with Leila Waddell. I have recently revisited Carlos Castaneda and his initiation rites with Don Juan and I would be keen to find out if there is an earlier link to Crowley. Thanks!

Summary for the week ending Jun 18, 2017

What effort have you done to research this question on your own before posting? What sources can you cite for your ideas so far?

I think it likely to be quite a fancical reach too far to try linking Crowley’s quite real travels in Mexico in 1900, with Castaneda’s purported Yaqui dialogues, much later and maybe not real, in the 1960s.

However, Crowley actually did a number of interesting things in Mexico, some of which there are still records for, such as in his diaries and Confessions. For example, there’s the initiation from which Crowley was able to claim 33° in Freemasonry and his work on a pre-Thelemic order called LIL, which also started and informed The Vision and the Voice.

There was reference to Liber CMXXXIV, The Cactus, which was to be a record of experiments with the Mescal buttons. No known copy exists, probably was just a collection of case study documents destroyed by British customs. (See p753 of Magick: Liber ABA)

You may be interested in chapter 6, Aleister Crowley in the Desert, of The Place of Enchantment
British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern
by Alex Owen.