David Bowie and the Occult
The 1976 track 'Station to Station' is a fine example of Bowie's use of occult symbolism. Not only does he refer to Aleister Crowley's book of pornographic poems when he sings of "making sure White Stains", the 'stations' of the title refer to the ten stations of a cabalistic diagram called the 'Tree of Life', where the transcendent aspect of God becomes manifest through ten emanations or spheres (called 'Sefiroth' in Hebrew) from the highest 'Kether' (the crown), to the lowest 'Malkuth' (the kingdom). Anyone who has the CD version of 'Station to Station' finds Bowie's photo on the back cover where he's sitting on the floor drawing this so-called Tree of Life with the 10 Sefirots. "Don't look at the carpet / I drew something awful on it", he sang in 'Breaking Glass' in 1977. Some years later, in March 2001 he admitted that this lyric "refers to both the cabbalistic drawings of the tree of life and the conjuring of spirits."