We have previously written about Aleister Crowley including with regards to his influence upon pop-occulture.
Richard B. Spence published a book titled Secret Agent 666: Aleister Crowley, British Intelligence and the Occult and Philip Gardiner published the book The Bond Code: The Dark World of Ian Fleming and James Bond. What has Crowley to do with James Bond or, actually Bond creator Ian Fleming?
Firstly, a note about the book Secret Agent 666:
“Using documents gleaned from British, American, French, and Italian archives, Secret Agent 666 sensationally reveals that Crowley played a major role in the sinking of the Lusitania, a plot to overthrow the government of Spain, the thwarting of Irish and Indian nationalist conspiracies, and the 1941 flight of Rudolf Hess.
Author Richard B. Spence argues that Crowley—in his own unconventional way—was a patriotic Englishman who endured years of public vilification in part to mask his role as a secret agent.
The verification of the Great Beast’s participation in the twentieth century’s most astounding government plots will likely blow the minds of history buff s and occult aficionados alike.”
Now a note about the book The Bond Code:
“The Bond Code is the remarkable story of how Fleming’s association with the occult world led him to create a masterful series of clever clues, ciphers, and codes within his books. Philip Gardiner finally unravels the secret of James Bond piece by piece from the novels and films used to create his aura of mystique. This book not only introduces new material, but also radically reappraises everything we thought we knew about Bond–and his creator.”
JOHN DEE, ALEISTER CROWLEY, IAN FLEMING AND JAMES BOND
James Bond is the name of a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 AD by writer Ian Fleming. Bond’s agent number 007 is taken from the real life and original 007 which is John Dee (1527-1608 AD) who was the Court occultist for Queen Elizabeth. He was a philosopher, alchemist, mathematician, geo-cartographer, astrologer and a student of magick, Kabbalah (Cabala), cypher writing, religion, architecture, etc.:
“[The Earl of] Leicester to introduce Dee to Elizabeth as she was to become the new Queen and it wasn’t long before Dee advanced to become the court astrologer. (Leicester signed his letters to Elizabeth with two circles containing dots symbolising he was her ‘Eyes’).”
Dee identified himself in secret communications with the Queen’s Court via the number 007 (presumably the “00” represented her private eyes and the 7, Dee employed an elongated one, has occult significance, “For Dee, seven was a sacred cabbalistic and lucky number”). In turn, the Queen signed her communications back to him simply by the letter “M” which is the name of the spymaster/handler of James Bond. John Dee’s heptagon aka septegon (a seven-pointed star-like form) was employed by Aleister Crowley and came to be known as the Star or Seal of Babalon (see attached slide show for the signatures, the seals, etc.).
As it turns out:
“At the outbreak of war [WWII]…Ian Fleming, working for naval intelligence in M15, contacted him with an outlandish plan to lure Rudolf Hess to Britain by using mystical enchantments and astrology. The details of this plot remain obscure, but Hess, a passionate devotee of the occult, did fly to Scotland and Fleming was keen that Crowley should interrogate him using his magical knowledge. All that is certain about this curious episode is that Crowley provided Fleming with the template for Le Chiffre, the first Bond villain in Casino Royale (1953).”
“When World War II commenced, Rear Admiral John Godfrey (the director of Naval Intelligence) recruited Ian Fleming as his personal assistant…William Donovan asked Fleming to write a memo to outline a planned American secret service. Much of his wording was used when the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) was created, and thus Fleming influenced subsequent American intelligence efforts.”
“Fleming trying to involve Aleister Crowley in the effort to interrogate the captured Nazi Rudolf Hess, who had landed in Britain during World War II. Having been fascinated by Crowley’s image for years, Fleming had devised, and spymaster Maxwell Knight had approved, a plan in which Crowley could exploit Hess’s interests in the occult. Knight headed up Department 5, the counterespionage unit within MI5. Crowley corresponded that he would be ready to assist. But the plan was vetoed higher-up, and apparently Fleming never met Crowley face to face.”
Another interesting connection is the one between John Dee and Francis Bacon. A 1582 AD “entry in Dee’s journal that they met at Mortlake”:
“[Bacon] was accompanied by a Mr. Phillipes, a top cryptographer in the employ of Sir Francis Walsingham who headed up the early days of England’s secret service. They were there…‘to find out the truth about the ancient Hebrew art of the Gematria—one of the oldest cipher systems known, dating from 700 B.C. They were seeking to discuss this with Dee because he was not only one of the leading adepts of this field, but a regular practitioner in certain levels of Gematria.’”
Of course, some make a connection between Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare—some claim that William Shakespeare was merely a pseudonym employed by Bacon. In any regard, occultism is found with hakespeare’s works as well:
“Francis Yates in her seminal exploration Majesty and Magic in Shakespeare’s Last Plays, comments, ‘Dare one say that the German Rosicrucian movement reaches a peak of poetic expression in The Tempest, a Rosicrucian manifesto infused with the spirit of Dee, using theatrical parables for esoteric communication?’”
IAN FLEMMING’S ESOTERIC INTERESTS
Ian Fleming “as a youth” was “awash in [Carl] Jungian psychology and Rosicrucian lore,” both of which refer to occult worldviews and practices. Carl Jung is known as a psychologist but was also an occultist; and some would say that there is no real difference between psychology and occultism, “alchemy was an ancient form of psychology”:
“Fleming once translated a lecture by Carl Jung about Paracelsus. (Jung had been fascinated with the esoteric system of Gnosticism, and considered Paracelsus’ alchemical work a later development along that line.)”
“Fleming was a bibliophile, with an outstanding collection of books…There were esoteric volumes among them.” Also, he “utilised Tantric sexual rites in-order to raise his consciousness.” It is no wonder then that, in “most of the books, Bond has to unite with the feminine principle to achieve his goal.” Makes one think about how just about every TV show and movie has at least one person of whom we think as a sex crazed womanizer or manizer but perhaps the message is deeper; alchemy.
The premise of re-reading Ian Fleming’s works is the view that:
“Fleming included special etymological and numerological codes within his Bond novels to re-create ancient sacred tales of deep psychological importance. Drawing upon esoteric knowledge and an understanding of alchemy.”
“writing the Bond novels was in a way an alchemical work.”
As for Philip Gardiner’s book, it all began thusly:
“[he] was inspired to his explorations by a television airing of Live and Let Die, a Bond adaptation with genuine occult material. He noticed the connection between the ‘standard’ James Bond plot in the books and movies and the alchemical Great Work — and the self-work ‘journey’ that is implied in such stories.”
So, both John Dee and James Bond were in Her Majesty’s Secret Service (makes one wonder at the Rolling Stones album, “Their Satanic Majesties Request”). In You Only Live Twice “Bond’s number of 007 is changed to 7777 (which Gardiner explains as meaning ‘it is done’).” This may very well be as according to occult numerology 7777 reduces thusly: 7+7+7+7=28 and 2+8=10 and 10 is viewed as god’s number as it represent alchemical perfection in the form of androgyny as the 1 represents the male organ and the 0 the female and they are combined in 10.
“In the novel Live and Let Die, when Bond and the heroine Solitaire unite in love, Gardiner describes: ‘In the alchemical terminology, Solitaire is the watery, wise Sophia of the Gnostics, and Bond is the fire. The picture is painted with Solitaire’s hair falling down in a ‘cascade,’ and Bond being described as an ‘angry flame.’’”
Consider some other interesting points via character in the James Bond series.
There is a Sir Hugo Drax and James Bond’s wife was Teresa Draco with her father being Marc-Ange Draco. Drax and Draco refer to dragon and thus, by extension; fire. Also, Ange is Angel and so Ange Draco is an “angelic” dragon which, of course, is “the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan” (Revelation 12:9) who “disguises himself as an angel of light” (2nd Corinthians 11:14). Not that Fleming meant this but we are reading between the lines that are between the lines.
Other esoteric alchemical references may be Moonraker and Goldfinger, Ian Fleming had a Jamaican home which he called Goldeneye.
There is also the Aleister Crowley inspired villain named Le Chiffre (which means the figure or as Philip Gardiner reads it, “the cipher, or code”). In fact, “when Le Chiffre (the black knight to Bond’s knight errant, the dark side of the psyche to Bond’s lighter side) dies, the bullet wound resembles the third eye of illumination.”
There is a Bill Templar which, of course, hearkens back to the Knights Templar.
There is the Ourobouros Worm and Bait Company. Ourobouros is the term for the alchemical symbol of a serpent eating its own tail about which G.K. Chesterton wrote the following in his book Orthodoxy:
“When they wish to represent eternity, they represent it by a serpent with his tail in his mouth. There is a startling sarcasm in the image of that very unsatisfactory meal. The eternity of the material fatalists, the eternity of the eastern pessimists, the eternity of the supercilious theosophists and higher scientists of to-day is, indeed, very well presented by a serpent eating his tail, a degraded animal who destroys even himself.”
There is a Vesper Lynd which is interesting as deciphering names can get tricky as one can use the literal meaning, the root word meanings, the symbolic meanings, etc. Vesper is a late afternoon or evening a religious service and Lynd means lives by the linden tree. What Gardiner gets out of it is birth of night.
And out of Tiffany Case Gardiner gets manifestation fallen from God.
“Ian Fleming — Master of theOccult?,” HMSSweblog, May 30, 2009 AD
Jake Arnott, “Aleister Crowley’s lives – The Satanist and spy has inspired memorable characters,” Telegraph, May 30, 2009 AD
D.W.Cooper & Lawrence Gerald, “A Bond for All the Ages : Sir Francis Bacon and John Dee : the Original 007”
Douglas Chapman, “The Mystical James Bond,” StrangeMag
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