LEILA WADDELL: VIOLINIST AND ALLISTER CROWLEY'S GREATEST MUSE

Allister Crowley led a life of almost a criminal nature with his ability to coerce people to pay his way through life and his skill at charming individuals, groups and even countries into believing he had supernatural abilities. Even now, he is believed to be one of the greatest figures in dark magick. In reality he probably had a personality disorder which endorsed his grandiose ego. One part of his life that is often overlooked is his greatest muse, Leila Ida Nerissa Bathurst Waddell, or Layla as he called her. She was a trained violinist that ended up being the most important Scarlet Woman in his teachings. She inspired many of his poems, co-authored his book Magick and co-founded The Rites of Eleusis.


Crowley met Layla in 1908 when she was performing in London. She was a beautiful, confident, voluptuous woman and she was a classically trained violinist and teacher. Together they studies dark arts and performed esoteric rites in public. In almost no time she became his greatest muse and right hand partner.


Leila was considered the top Scarlet Woman, The Divine Whore, The Mother Of Heaven, all according to Crowley. She performed magick rites and had a strength and magical powers of her own. She partook in experimenting with mescaline in regards to spiritual rituals. Crowley's famous Book of Lies was largely dedicated to Waddell, with poems like "Duck Billed Platypus" and "Waratah Blossoms".







Crowley also starred Waddell, along with other 'fiddlers', in a septet called "The Ragged Ragtime Girls" on the London stage. This vaudeville troupe also toured Europe, the US and Russia, and was promoted by Crowley. Crowley also based two of his short stories on Leila – "The Vixen" and "The Violinist on her.



The two ended up parting ways when Leila discovered too many of Crowly’s infidelities with both men and women. She went home to Australia to care for her sick father and eventually died alone. There was no mention of her death in the papers and her grave is still mystery.