942 – AA Robe

Physical description:
White A.A. robe embroidered with various unusual symbols.
Museum classification:
Ritual Magic
Information:

This A.A. robe belonged to Philippe Pissier of France who donated the robe in 2002. He is an author, publisher and occultist.

In 2018, this robe was displayed in the Museum's exhibition "Dew of Heaven: objects of Ritual Magic" with the following text.

Robe belonging to a member of the AA (Argentum Astratum - there should be three dots between each letter to represent mystery), “ a metaphysical brotherhood” which Aleister Crowley said had existed in every culture and period of history.  The main book of the order is the Book of the Law which was given to Crowley by “a discarnate entity who called himself Aiwass.”  Quotes from Steffi Grant, Hidden Lore. 

In 2017- 2018, it had conservation work done it including a deep clean and the mending of some frayed fabrics.

Photographs below (taken by Carol Keith) show the front (top photo) and back (bottom photo) of the robe.

Symbolism on the front of the robe:

-Lobster or crayfish (often a symbol of the moon in the tarot card the Moon and in Israel Regardie's Complete Book of the Golden Dawn, which says that the crayfish is a sign of the moon and the zodiac sign Cancer).

-Sun face/lion 

This symbolism of the Sun and Moon could be considered as alchemical symbolism (reconciliation of opposites) or it may link to NUIT and HADIT (Crowleyian deities sometimes represented as the Night (NUIT) and the Sun (HADIT).  Their symbolism and meaning is complex, see replica Stele of Revealing object number 1832 for more on this).

-Eyes

-Weighing Scales with feather in one scale and heart in the other.

The scales would seem to refer to the weighing of the heart after death by the God Thoth in Ancient Egyptian beliefs.  Thoth was a hugely important deity for ritual magician and for Crowley.

-Arrow which may represent Saggitarius.

Some similar symbolism can be found in an Alpha and Omega tracing board in the Museum's collection (dating from the early 1900s, see object number 3913).

 

 

Symbolism on the reverse of the robe:

-Seven sided star with BABALON written within it (for more on the Whore of BABALON within Thelema see writings by Aleister Crowley and Peter Gray's The Red Goddess (within the Museum library)

-Red templar cross

-Numbers 777 repeated in various forms (Crowley wrote a book called 777, 777 is sometimes described as an angelic number)

-Letters PP mirrored at the bottom (the maker's initials)

-Centre of the star is a vaginal shape known as a Vesica piscis.  This symbol is often associated with the Virgin Mary and shows the way that Christian symbols were inverted/re-interpreted within Thelema.  The Virgin Mary of Christianity is replaced by the Whore of Babalon of Thelema.

 

 

 

 

Resource:
Object
Materials:
Fabric

This A.A. robe belonged to Philippe Pissier of France who donated the robe in 2002. He is an author, publisher and occultist.

In 2018, this robe was displayed in the Museum's exhibition "Dew of Heaven: objects of Ritual Magic" with the following text.

Robe belonging to a member of the AA (Argentum Astratum - there should be three dots between each letter to represent mystery), “ a metaphysical brotherhood” which Aleister Crowley said had existed in every culture and period of history.  The main book of the order is the Book of the Law which was given to Crowley by “a discarnate entity who called himself Aiwass.”  Quotes from Steffi Grant, Hidden Lore. 

In 2017- 2018, it had conservation work done it including a deep clean and the mending of some frayed fabrics.

Photographs below (taken by Carol Keith) show the front (top photo) and back (bottom photo) of the robe.

Symbolism on the front of the robe:

-Lobster or crayfish (often a symbol of the moon in the tarot card the Moon and in Israel Regardie's Complete Book of the Golden Dawn, which says that the crayfish is a sign of the moon and the zodiac sign Cancer).

-Sun face/lion 

This symbolism of the Sun and Moon could be considered as alchemical symbolism (reconciliation of opposites) or it may link to NUIT and HADIT (Crowleyian deities sometimes represented as the Night (NUIT) and the Sun (HADIT).  Their symbolism and meaning is complex, see replica Stele of Revealing object number 1832 for more on this).

-Eyes

-Weighing Scales with feather in one scale and heart in the other.

The scales would seem to refer to the weighing of the heart after death by the God Thoth in Ancient Egyptian beliefs.  Thoth was a hugely important deity for ritual magician and for Crowley.

-Arrow which may represent Saggitarius.

Some similar symbolism can be found in an Alpha and Omega tracing board in the Museum's collection (dating from the early 1900s, see object number 3913).

 

 

Symbolism on the reverse of the robe:

-Seven sided star with BABALON written within it (for more on the Whore of BABALON within Thelema see writings by Aleister Crowley and Peter Gray's The Red Goddess (within the Museum library)

-Red templar cross

-Numbers 777 repeated in various forms (Crowley wrote a book called 777, 777 is sometimes described as an angelic number)

-Letters PP mirrored at the bottom (the maker's initials)

-Centre of the star is a vaginal shape known as a Vesica piscis.  This symbol is often associated with the Virgin Mary and shows the way that Christian symbols were inverted/re-interpreted within Thelema.  The Virgin Mary of Christianity is replaced by the Whore of Babalon of Thelema.