The Beast of Hebron

During the US Memorial Day holiday I took a drive to northern New Hampshire to the small town of Hebron, located on the northern shore of Newfound Lake. There are about 600 residents, at present, and the town center was all but deserted save for an elderly gentleman tending the cemetery behind the Union Congregational Church. Being a Sunday, the town store, library, and town hall were all closed, the church-goers long since departed in the late afternoon. This wasn’t a concern for me, however, as I had come to stand before the small former-parsonage of the aforementioned church, resting neatly behind a white picket fence. It was quaint enough to have been featured in a 1960 article in New Hampshire Profiles magazine, but I knew it as the formerly-owned cottage of astrologer Evangeline Adams and the 1916 summer residence of one Aleister Crowley.

Adams herself was a major influence on popular astrology in America and had commissioned Crowley to ghost-write what would become two works: Astrology, Your Place in the Sun and Astrology, Your Place Among the Stars. Based on the existence of a corresponding typescript, this has since been released as The General Principles of Astrology (Weiser, 2002) under Crowley’s own name. Adams, living in New York, did not travel to the then-popular summer destination very often, and had let the cottage to Crowley, presumably for the purpose of completing the work.

Crowley also considered his time there a “great magical retirement”, where he engaged in… well, pretty much whatever fancied him. There were certainly operations focused on the application of the elixer, the result of sex-magick operations in New York “hastily prepared” just prior to his journey to Hebron and the lake, then called Lake Pasquany. (See AMRITA, page 12.) It is also where he received his “star-sponge” vision of the universe, an event that would have a profound impact on him.

For me, living in New England, this locale has had a particular draw to me, and I am looking forward to doing more research on it. This is hampered by a few issues:

  1. We have little else but Crowley’s accounts to go by. Per the research done by H. Beta, et al, it appears that Adams leaves us no memoirs on which to depend.
  2. Local records are equally sparse. The “local” newspaper was in Bristol, but this is at the far southern end of the lake and unlikely to have been concerned with daily minutia to the north. (Very local papers at the time often served as town gossip, and would have the comings and goings of residents and visitors alike.)
  3. A fire destroyed the church next door, so any church records from that period are also destroyed. It is unlikely that Crowley would have been involved, save perhaps once or twice for his own curiosity and amusement, but I had hoped perhaps there had been at least some period photos of the area.
  4. There are no known accounts (journals, etc.) kept by contemporary residents either of Adams or Crowley.

More to come as I come across it!

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