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Leila Waddell

10 August 1880 – 13 September 1932

Leila Ida Nerissa Bathurst Waddell, was familiarly addressed by Crowley as “Laylah,” and was immortalized in his 1912 volume The Book of Lies and his autobiography The Confessions of Aleister Crowley. Crowley referred to her variously as ‘Divine Whore’, ‘Mother of Heaven’, ‘Sister Cybele’, and ‘Scarlet Woman’.

Waddell herself was an accomplished writer, magician, and a founding member of the original company of the Rites of Eleusis.

In 1912 Waddell, and fellow Crowley students Mary Desti and Mary Butts, were given co-authorship credit on Crowley’s Magick (Book 4) as they wrote down his words, helped shape them by asking defining questions, and elicited Crowley’s commentary on pertinent points.

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