Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child.
–Aleister Crowley, “The Book Of The Law”
John Whiteside “Jack” Parsons was a rocket engineer and one of the key figures in what would become America’s space program. He was also an occultist of no small accomplishment, who might have helped impact the world in a completely different (though…sort of related) way.
What I am going to write here is an “alternative” history of Parsons. That means I am going to add things here for which I have no immediate hard-and-fast historical facts to cite in defense of my claims. In other words: I might be outright making shit up.
The methodology with which I am using to construct this narrative I’ve borrowed from a one Dr. Walter Johannes Stein of “Spear Of Destiny” fame: Imaginative Cognition.
Author Trevor Ravenscroft based a significant portion of The Spear Of Destiny—the history of the fabled Spear of Longinus’ impact on world history, particularly World War II—on the Imaginative Cognition of Dr. Stein. In such a practice (I.C. for short), you sorta…make shit up.
As for Ravenscroft, it is alleged that he admitted years after the publication of The Spear Of Destiny that he never actually met Dr. Stein (as claimed in the book)…but rather, communicated with him through a psychic medium. This is sort of like Imaginative Cognition…once removed.
I cannot here assure you that what I am about to write is either legit Imaginative Cognition (first removed or not removed), a creative exercise, or may actually have some bearing somewhere in some sort of hard-and-fast reality. I may just be attempting to try to entertain you. Maybe I’m letting loose this little baby idea-virus into the world.
Maybe I seriously have nothing else to write at the moment.
Anyway, here it is, and let’s start with:
II. JACK’S FIRST PROPHET (KINDA SORTA)
As author/philosopher Robert Anton Wilson has pointed out, there is a common thread of humor in the works of Aleister Crowley, if you have the eyes to see it. But The Book Of The Law, channeled in 1904 by Crowley via an entity called Aiwass, had an odd sort of “gravity” to it, one that kind of creeped out even him.
As he declared in the introduction of the book, the veracity of its contents would be proven by “the use of cipher or cryptogram in certain passages to set forth recondite facts, including some events which had yet to take place, such that no human being could possibly be aware of them…”
And indeed, The Book Of The Law feels like an apt and uncanny description of our current era—pronounced “The Aeon Of Horus” by Crowley/Aiwass:
He rules the present period of 2,000 years, beginning in 1904. Everywhere his government is taking root. Observe for yourselves the decay of the sense of sin, the growth of innocence and irresponsibility, the strange modifications of the reproductive instinct with a tendency to become bisexual or epicene, the childlike confidence in progress combined with nightmare fear of catastrophe, against which we are yet half unwilling to take precautions.
Much has also been made over the reference to “the warrior Lord of the Forties”—I’ve seen this often explained as a prediction of Hitler’s rise to power.
But I don’t think it was about Hitler, actually—though if you are interested in narratives about such augurs, do check out the Imaginative Cognition-driven tome The Spear Of Destiny.
Instead, I think it referred to Parsons and his Horus-like energy/impact on the world via his technological discoveries and his magickal rituals.
And I think the second line of the “prophecy” immediately after, “the Eighties cower before me,” actually foretells his return to this reality of which we know—though for that little excursion, an entirely different prophet will be accessed. More on this later (it’s a pip, really).
Because Parsons’ discoveries in the field of rocketry didn’t just have to be restricted to the noble cause of space exploration, of course…
…they could also be used as weapons of war.
But here’s the beauty of The Book Of The Law—I believe it was not only a prophecy regarding the coming of Parsons, but a “guidebook,” if you will, for the man himself.
Whether or not Jack—and I think I’m going to call him “Jack” from this point (if you don’t mind)—thought The Book Of The Law was about him specifically, he did take inspiration from it to go on to do his own occult workings…in the Forties…
III. “THIS FORCE IS COMPLETELY BLIND”
The present age is under the influence of the force called, in magical terminology, Horus. This force relates to fire, Mars, and the sun, that is, to power, violence, and energy. It also relates to a child, being innocent (i.e. undifferentiated)…
This force is completely blind, depending upon the men and women in whom it manifests and who guide it. Obviously, its guidance now tends towards catastrophy.
The catastrophic trend is due to our lack of understanding of our own natures. The hidden lusts, fears, and hatreds resulting from the warping of the love urge, which underly the natures of all Western peoples, have taken a homicidal and suicidal direction.
This impasse is broken by the incarnation of another sort of force, called BABALON. The nature of this force relates to love, understanding, and dionysian freedom, and is the necessary counterbalance or correspondence to the manifestation of Horus…
The background of this material may be found in the Book of the Law, the Comment thereon, and other writings of Aleister Crowley…
–Jack Parsons, “The Book Of Babalon”
IV. JACK’S FATAL FLAW
Aleister Crowley would go on to be a real-life “mentor,” of sorts, to Jack (who had become a member of his Church Of Thelema)—referring to the young man, at one point, as “the most valued member of the whole Order, with no exception!”
It is quite easy for me to engage in some Imaginative Cognition and pick up the “vibe” of this sort of situation, that Jack found himself in. Because he was “the chosen one.”
And Crowley—as much as I like some of his work, as much as I think he has been misunderstood—was Emperor Palpatine.
Because if you were to say there was one “fatal” flaw in Jack, out of many you could possibly suss out from what materials are available regarding that particular lifetime…it was that he desperately sought out a “guru,” a master, somebody to validate his work and show him the Way.
CONTINUED IN PART TWO, “THE BEAST AND THE GEEK”
More to read about on Butterfly Language:
An Alternate History Of Jack Parsons, Part 2: The Beast And The Geek
An Alternate History Of Jack Parsons, Part 3: Finding Babalon