Saturday, January 30, 2016

Esopus Island

Esopus Island is a small, narrow, rocky island that sits like a half-submerged sea dragon in the middle of the Hudson River.

Esopus Island, gouache over blue underpainting, 4 x 4 inches.

I have kayaked out there in the spring to see the rare wildflowers with names like Indian Pipes and Dutchman's Breeches. They're hard to find on the mainland because they get eaten by the deer. It's also a nesting colony for Canada geese, so you have to be careful in the spring, or they will attack you if you get anywhere near their nests.

Esopus Island was also the place in 1918 where renowned occultist Aleister Crowley spent 40 days in meditation. He worked on his breathing, visited his past lives, and practiced sex magick with several women who visited him on the island. According to one account:
"With little more than a tent, a leaky sailing canoe, and some red paint, when he was not meditating cross-legged for hours at a time on the beach, he spent his time smearing DO WHAT THOU WILT and EVERY MAN AND EVERY WOMAN IS A STAR across the rocky cliffs facing the passing steamers. The local farmers kept him alive with gifts of eggs, milk, and sweet corn...."
Read more about Crowley's sojourn: The Hermit of Esopus Island 

Wikipedia on Aleister Crowley

(I'll continue the Harold Speed this next Friday -- I'm a little behind because of deadlines.)


Rich said...

We just had a "Story by Eric Gurney" in the Minnie/Mickey blog before:

Any Gurney resemblancse in the Crowley countenances here?
May be; But you definitely look less sombre:-)

Bobby La said...

Speaking of resemblances, while googling pics of A.C I found that pics of Barabara Bush popped up alongside him (an uncanny likeness) which lead me to this -

"Pauline Pierce, the mother of Barbara Bush, reportedly frequented the bedrooms of the rich and famous. Pauline reportedly was working as Crowley's assistant in 1924, when he was attempting to reach the highest degree of the OTO through the practices of sexual debauchery.
"Pauline returned to America in early October of 1924. On June 8, 1925, she gave birth to a girl named Barbara. Barbara Pierce married George H.W. Bush, who eventually became the 41st President of the United States." (Source)"


James Gurney said...

Bobby, that's mind-blowing. Here's one source for what you're suggesting:
The pictures comparing Crowley with Barbara Bush are pretty compelling.

Bobby La said...

sigh....I'm not one for conspiracy theories and I was so hoping it was true, but after an hour ratting around the tubes and wires I'm afraid it was most likely an April Fools Day joke. Odd that it hasn't been remarked on much since it came out in 2006, I mean it'd be just such a fabulous story if true, but this link probably best explains it -


James Gurney said...

Ross / Bobby, thanks for checking that out further. Had me for a minute.

Steve said...

Crowley is one of the faces in the crowd on the Sgt. Pepper album cover.