Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Abbey of Thelema


The name of a small commune dedicated to the practice of magick. It was formed in 1920 by Aleister Crowley and his "Scarlet Woman," Leah Hirsig (her magickal names was Alostrael) at Cefalù, a city in the province of Palermo on the northern coast of Sicily, Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Other people, including his secretary, Israel Regardie, joined them there.

One of the people who came there, a young man named Raul Loveday, drank water from a nearby well. The well was contaminated and Crowley had warned people about it. Loveday died from the bad water, and it was falsely claimed that this was due to drinking the blood of a sacrificed cat. This drew the ire of authorities and they raided the place, claiming that an espresso machine was a device for making drugs. In 1923 they were expelled by Mussolini's government.