Some claim that just about any dark or Satanic modern magicians in stories are based on Aleister Crowley, or perhaps more accurately, the public conception of “The Beast 666”.
In this case there is a moment we will get to later that might be seen as a magician doing something specifically Crowleyian.
The father, Malcolm, head of the group, has bore a son with one of the women, Anastasia, that he now plans to sacrifice. The mother refuses for their son to be slaughtered for the ritual.
On the right is a statue. Judging from the horns and legs it’s likely a representation of Pan.
Anastasia places a protective amulet on their son. It blocks Malcolm from harming the boy. Enraged he kills her instead. Much later we see the son come back to the house to claim it as his inheritance. He has no knowledge of either of his parents.
“Amulets are used to keep things away. They protect from evil or bad luck, and help keep one from ill health.” – Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons In The High Magickal Arts
Now an adult, the son, Jonathan, goes to the house’s library with his girlfriend. We see behind him an eye and I presume Saturn below it.
His girlfriend reads off a list of books. Their names are, “The Secret World Of Magic,” “The Black Magic Ritual,” and “The Grimoire Of Abramelin.”
It is the third book that she picks up. Then a rat scurries past and she drops it. This is worth mentioning as the first two books have generic titles while The Grimoire of Abramelin references something distinct. This magickal text was important to The Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley. His girlfriend, Rebecca, picking the book up draws the audience’s attention to it subconsciously.
“Although Crowley was not a Satanist per se, he is associated with demonism due to his practice of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.” – Cinema Symbolism: A Guide To Esoteric Imagery In Popular Movies
As is he cleaning the house he wanders near the basement. Above the door is a ram’s head. The door opens by itself. He walks in and finds his father’s magickal robe and another occult book.
We are not given a title and it’s possible it was made for the film. Either way, we can make out the depiction of sigils.
Jonathan begins studying the book and we see him with it often. This is the beginning of his journey.
He and Rebecca throw a party and have their friends over. The friends mostly talk about sex and getting wasted.
When everyone has settled down some they discuss what to do next. Jonathan suggests they do a ritual.
He instructs Rebecca to help him by setting a rock (earth element) at the north point of the circle and a candle (fire element) for the south. In his hand is a glass of water which is the water element.
Even those with little magickal knowledge could get a sense that this movie is portraying magick in a more serious manner. Jonathan chants, “Yod Hay Vav Hay” in each direction. This is the Tetragrammaton or four letter name of God commonly said in Jewish magick.
Nothing seems to happen. His friends get bored and leave. Jonathan tells them to wait because he must dismiss the spirit. They have no patience and continue back upstairs.
When they leave a ghoulie manifests in the triangle just like Jonathan had asked it to do in his ritual. Also, a clown is in a chair and then teleports into a closet.
This is because Jonathan didn’t do a dismissal or as Donald Michael Kraig would label it, a banishing, thus the spirits remained present. No one is harmed though this time.
He creates an amulet for Rebecca with the word “Tetragrammaton” on it. He asks that she keeps it on her at all times to keep her safe.
“YOD and HE, two letters of the Ineffable Name of the Manifested Deity, represent the Male and the Female, the Active and the Passive in Equilibrium, and the VAV completes the Trinity and the Triliteral Name YHW, the Divine Triangle, which with the repetition of the He becomes the Tetragrammaton.” – Albert Pike
This movie is so blatant with it’s magick that we witness Jonathan charging a magickal instrument, a trident, in the basement. He causes lightning to strike the trident and it rains inside.
Rebecca comes home early and catches him in the magickal act. She is freaked out. Jonathan promises she won’t hear anymore about him doing magick.
Here is when Jonathan takes a page from Crowley. He wants to have sex with Rebecca but for it to be more than sex. Jonathan plans for it to be sex magick and to keep her ignorant of the fact.
“Although both the Kabalah and the Tantras disagree with him on this point, those who like Crowley may agree with him that you should choose anyone to do the rite with and they need not know the purpose of the rite.” – Modern Magick
According to the author of Modern Magick a proper sex ritual would have sigils everywhere. This sigil would represent an idea, such as good fortune, and implant the idea into the minds of the lovers to link it to the sexual act.
Since Jonathan is hiding what is going on he has only one sigil under the bed. A ghoulie is there but he ordered them to be invisible to all but him.
Rebecca recognizes something is odd when Jonathan is saying weird things while making out with her. She then discovers part of the sigil and leaves very upset.
The author of Modern Magick writes that doing sex magick with someone who isn’t informed of what is going on is a form of abuse. Instead he thinks people should initiate their lover into magick rather than using them like a magickal tool.
Spirits in the form of little people are summoned. These are a higher order of entities than the ghoulies. They show signs of a consciousness.
With their help Jonathan can control people and resurrect his father, Malcolm.
Malcolm quickly brings the ghoulies to his side. They switch back to their old master with no signs of second guessing.
After Jonathan and Rebecca’s friends are attacked by the ghoulies the final fight with Jonathan and Malcom begins. Except he is no match for his dad. He had been little more than his puppet the entire time.
The man who had taken Jonathan to safety, Wolfgang, shows up and has a magickal battle with Malcolm. They shoot lasers from their eyes at each other.
Wolfgang is Jonathan’s noble or higher self and Malcolm the egoistic lower self. Malcolm loses but both of them disappear. I believe we are to infer that they return to Jonathan’s own mind and that his angelic essence will rule over his demonic half.
Ghoulies is fascinating because the rituals, though exhibiting some Hollywood flair, bear a striking resemblance to genuine ceremonial magick.
It is an occult movie occulted by its own image. Having a ghoulie in the toilet for its cover means the majority of people will not take it seriously.
The goofy looking evil green eyes are another “blind” to blind or deceive the audience that it’s nothing more than a stupid horror film. But for those versed in the occult or becoming awake to it Ghoulies is a very interesting experience.
As far as Ghoulies relates to a Crowleyian view of sex magick, I think most will agree that it was unethical for Jonathan to try and use Rebecca in that way. Plus had he taken the time to initiate her they could have been magickally strong together. That might even be what Hollywood means when they describe two celebrities as a “power couple”.