Mary Desti Sturges, Thelemic Saint.
Mary D’Esti Sturges, or Soror Virakam, was the second of eleven Scarlet Women. The photo above depicts her around the time that she knew Aleister Crowley.
Virakam — who certainly resembled Rose Kelly, the woman she succeeded as Scarlet Woman — assisted Crowley in establishing the magical link with the praeterhuman minds that inspired him with one of his greatest works, Book 4, or Liber ABA. Her ability as a seer was great; a record of her oracular talent can be found in The Ab-ul-Diz Working.
She was born on October 10th, 1871 E.V., in Quebec, Canada. She owned a cosmetics firm called Desti Beauty Products and she also owned a New York City studio that sold art, perfume and clothing. And she was a close friend of the dancer, Isadora Duncan, and authored her biography, entitled The Untold Story: the Life of Isadora Duncan.
She was also the mother of Preston Sturges — to whom Crowley referred as “The Brat” — who went on to become a famous Hollywood director. As a child, Preston disliked Crowley for his bizarre appearance and unusual activities. Later in life he was quoted as saying: “I realize my mother and I were lucky to escape with our lives. If I had been a little older, he might not have escaped with his.” Which only demonstrates his complete ignorance of the man he loathed.
Mary died in New York City on April 12th, 1931 E.V.