standard Lucifer Rising (1972) – a cult underground masterpiece

This work of art is by the underground film director Kenneth Anger, it is one of his short films from the Magic Lantern Cycle. The movie is a magnificent ode to Aleister Crowley and his Hymn to Lucifer, it is supposed to capture the birth of Lucifer. The film is completely descriptive and only shows the action as it happens, there are no dialogs, only music is placed over the imagery to make the narrative more immersive and make imagery more grandiose. Editing is also worth mentioning, as it serves the artistic purpose of the movie in a great way. Although this movie is filled with occult imagery and symbols, you don’t need to be an occultist to admire it for it cinematic excellence.

At the beginning we get several shots of nature and the elements themselves, we see volcano juxtaposed with a calm ocean and it brings up the feeling of weird harmony. Then the ritual starts in Egypt by the Nile, we get very scenic shots of ancient Egypt ruins as Isis and Osiris are performing the ritual for the birth of Horus. As they wake up the Magus who does his part in the ritual, the imagery suddenly becomes more “natural” and we are shown Lilith, the goddess of the moon. A bit later we get to see another Magus, played by Anger, who enters the circle inscribed with the names from Crowley’s pantheon. He starts running around the circle line, and as his movement is more and more rapid, we know that something is on the way. Then, with an explosion and seismic movements occurring, we welcome Lucifer. Lucifer is here tied to Horus and is imagined as “light bearing god”; the one who is supposed to bring the new age, the new era. Anger envisions Lucifer as the god who symbolizes the new word. And that is the world that Anger is showing us, the one based on Crowley’s visions. In this world evil forces are not supposed to be defeated and banished, they are supposed to be the elements of the world, it’s constituent. The evil should be embraced together with the good and make both of them serve you. Horus’ arrival is presented with a red flying saucer, and there is really no better way to show the coming of Horus in the modern age than with the red flying saucer in the completely blue sky.

Beside the occult and cinematic value, this movie also has some well-known names attached to it. Jimmy Page was supposed to compose the score, but eventually, it was done by Bobby Beausoleil. Bobby is one of the Manson Family murderers, and, to make this story more interesting, he composed the score in the jail with other inmates. Page, however, was not left out completely, he got a role as the man holding Stella of Revelation. Also, we can see Chris Jagger, brother of Mick Jagger who was originally supposed to appear in the movie.