Recipes for Aleister Crowley’s Greater Feast

An excerpt from The Thelemic Cookbook: Cooking with Correspondences by Lita-Luise Chappell

Crowley’s “Greater Feast” (December 1): A celebration to commemorate the death of Aleister Crowley on this day in 1947.

Creating a menu for Crowley’s Greater Feast was the most challenging. At the time of his death in the winter of 1947 food available in England, I’m so sorry to say, was shockingly limited, as Britain was going through a particularly difficult time after the Second World War. Although the war had been won and over two years past in August of 1945, the populous was no longer feeling heroic, but downright depressed. Britain had been pretty much stripped of its wealth, commodities were scarce and food getting scarcer. Rationing stamps had allowed its population to survive, but even the most basic things like potatoes became hard to come by. It was a trying time; one no British person would ever care to remember or relive again. It was a threadbare existence, and that winter while Aleister lie dying, twenty-foot snowdrifts were covering the countryside, and the prospective future was difficult to imagine.

To counteract this depressing time, and in order to properly celebrate this great man in recognition of his life’s work and travels, the above menu is meant to uplift the diner and give richness and diversity to the man who brought us the dawning of a new age. Crowley traveled extensively, so deciding on foods from any one foreign country would be too limiting. So his heritage will continue to predominate and characterize a much happier time for England. This country’s fare can be fair indeed, of which its history can attest with its rich forests with wild game, fertile lands, snacking pasties, fruit and nut desserts, and drinking pleasure. It is quite possible that Aleister would have us just throw a curry party with some of his spicier stuff, but we will leave foods from India for another time. The variance of this menu embodies a richer pallet with the heavier foods of winter, and with a few taste flairs of Crowley’s travels. In the menu of Crowley’s birth, flavors of Scotland, east and south Asia, and Spain were present. For this menu are added taste notes from Germany, France, and Portugal. As well, aspects from his birth chart will still be present. Crowley’s chart shows about 16% of his signs in earth, 20% in water, 25% in fire, and almost 39% in air, so fire and air will predominate.

On the following pages are the full menu for ‘Aleister Crowley’s Greater Feast’, as well as sample recipes from some of its courses, read on to continue: