I am frankly ashamed that I’ve solely only recently discovered concerning the Battle of Blythe Street, an precise real-life magical duel between WB Yeats and Aleister Crowley that ended triumphantly when Yeats dropped the magic act and simply kicked Crowley down the steps.
As future Yeats biographer Richard Ellman defined in a 1948 version of the Partisan Assessment, Crowley and Yeats had been a part of a secret order known as the Airtight College students of the Golden Daybreak, together with another of us you’ll have heard of like Bram Stoker and Algernon Blackwood. This esoteric posse shared an curiosity in magic and the occult — however Yeats was involved (even perhaps legitimately!) that Crowley may abuse their arcane data for evil ends. So that they tried to banish him from the group’s interior circle.
For sure, Crowley was not happy. From Ellman:
Crowley refused to simply accept their resolution. He went to Paris, and there persuaded the chief of the Golden Dan, a Celtophile magician named MacGregor Mathers, to deputize him to wrest management of the London temple of the order away from Yeats and his buddies. Mathers furnished Crowley with acceptable charms and exorcisms to make use of in opposition to recalcitrant members, and instructed him to put on Celtic gown. Outfitted accordingly in Highlander’s tartan, with a black Crusader’s cross on his breast, with a dirk at his facet and a skindoo at his knee. Making the signal of the pentacle inverted and shouting menaces on the adepts, Crowley climbed the steps. However Yeats and two different magicians got here resolutely ahead to satisfy him, prepared to guard the holy place at any price. When Crowley got here inside vary the forces of fine struck out with their toes and kicked him downstairs.
Crowley retreated to lick his wounds, and later tried to seduce the Anglo-Irish artist Althea Gyles into aiding his revenge. However Gyles was a intelligent one: she stole a lock of Crowley’s hair and handed it on to Yeats, who allegedly used it to solid a sequence of spells that will restrict Crowley’s energy.
This final half might or might not have concerned a vampire, in Ellman’s recollection? Unclear. Anyway there is a quick documentary above if you wish to be taught extra.