Eye of Providence

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Above is a slightly strange portrait of a young man in a photobooth. There is a lot we can guess about why the sitter chose such a lunatic expression for the photo, if we look at another from the same strip, that was once glued into a notebook.

The collage came to me the way you see it, here.

photoboothEyeofProvidence02

It did not take me long to find out that the man in the triangular hat is Aleister Crowley. Mr Crowley was, amongst many other things, the founder of the religion and philosophy of Thelema. He identified himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century.

On Crowley’s hat is emblazoned the Eye of Providence (or the all-seeing eye of God). Most frequently the symbol shows a realistic depiction of an eye often surrounded by rays of light and usually enclosed by a triangle. It represents the eye of God watching over mankind (or divine providence).

In the case of Crowley’s organisation the eye is depicted as the ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus in the mistaken belief that the symbol dates back to Pharaonic times.

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One of hundreds of different versions of the Eye of Providence

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Aleister Crowley

Aspects of the counter culture of the 1960s is said to have been inspired by some of Crowley’s writings and beliefs. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa were all known to have been interested in, if not influenced by him. Rightly or wrongly Crowley has been associated with Satanism and Black Magick.

And all this is leading me back to my photobooth man and his wild staring eyes. He may have been a devotee of Crowley and a Thelemite. He may have been a Satanist dabbling in the black arts. Or did he see himself as a possessor of rare vision, a man with an all-seeing eye?

He may have been looking to associate himself with the counter-culture image of rock idols of the late 1960s or early 1970s, or perhaps, he was just a very scary guy with a penchant for crayons and scissors. We will never know, but I do so love these pieces of vintage ephemera!

And just in case you’ve already forgotten that spaced out look, here is our possible acolyte once again. Sleep well tonight!

photoboothEyeofProvidence01

31 comments
  1. peersea said:

    This “young man” looks like a potential disciple of Charlie Manson! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oglach said:

    Well look who’s back! And bearing gifts, too—pictures of two of my favourtite people—Crowley and eh, Lemmy from Motorhead. Or his younger brother. 🙂 Interesting find.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the welcome back, Oglach! Crowley was a new discovery for me. He has had wide reaching influence, yes?

      I like Lemmy from Motorhead. Thus he will be christened!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Quite obviously it’s a photo of a drunk who put some money into the slot of the photo booth, thinking it was a toilet. The look of shock you see is a the reaction of being caught on camera as the flash goes off with his trousers down about his knees. Of course, as he wasn’t aware he was in a photo booth, neither was he aware people wouldn’t be able to see that bit. Problem solved. The other photo is of a man in a hat he got from a Christmas cracker.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bryan! When I was passing through Euston Station many years ago, I found a strip of photos of a young man showing off his new elephant g-string and then urinating in the booth. Why take the pics and then throw them on the ground? Why do it at all? Glad he did, as it was my first pornographic booth strip. I have two. It is amazing what you can buy online these days!

      Also, a while back someone sent me a link to a YouTube video of a woman deliberately doing that – not graphic, but disturbing nonetheless!

      Like

  4. John said:

    Creepy looking dude! Stay away from those cults. Nice to hear from you!😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi John. As you know, I am an atheist and confirmed sceptic, so no chance of me following a cult. But I will stay away from creepy looking dudes!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. maclancy1950 said:

    as always a surprise pb, as I like to call the photobooth. The all seeing eye does tend to creep me out for the very reason it was associated with Crowley. He had a bad rap and for good reason. This guy definitely wants mostly to belong to something and sadly he picked the worst of heroes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marianne. I’ve been looking at your art on Etsy while unwell. Have only recently realised you have two shops. I love The Circle Family and your food series and of course you altered photos.

      So Crowley is better known than I imagined. I need to find out more about him. I understand the cult he started is still running? I don’t like or understand the attraction of cults but they make fascinating reading for someone who likes a bit of the macabre, like I do. I like it at a very long and safe distance!

      Like

    • So it seems. I guess not the first or last to be successful at it. I am amazed I had never heard of him before!

      Like

  6. elmediat said:

    Fascinating. Reminds me of how pictures of Rasputin and Charles Mason have an uncanny resemblance. This is another aspect of 60s counter culture drifting deep into the dark shadows.

    The Crowley Tarot deck is quite a visual experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will google the tarot cards Joseph. I need to reply to quite a few comments you have made. They cheered me up when I was very poorly, thank you!

      I went through a macabre phase in adolescence and read a lot about Manson, Rasputin, Jack the Ripper and other unsavoury people. Somehow Crowley slipped the net, but I do see what you mean about the wild eyes and unsavoury aspects of the counter culture of the 1960s.

      Like

  7. Chas said:

    This post is really cool. I have bookmarked it. Do you allow guest posting
    on your website ? I can provide hi quality articles for you.

    Let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kathryn! Or Chas! I occasionally have a guest post but only if it is pertaining to photobooths in some way, preferably illustrated with booth images.

      Like

  8. Hi Kathy! Hope all is well. I am online not as often as I used to be. This is a very interesting find. I can imagine the man standing in front of the mirror and making all these faces before he went to the photo booth to immortalize his mysterious self.

    Liked by 1 person

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