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who was aleister crowley?

i’ve seen his name in a book about magic but the author cautioned about reading crowley’s work. what gives??

9 COMMENTS

  1. Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, (12 October 1875 — 1 December 1947; the surname is pronounced /’krəʊ.li/ i.e. with the first syllable sounding like “crow” in English) was a British occultist, writer, philosopher, and mystic.[1]
    He is best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of the Law, the central sacred text of Thelema. Crowley was also an influential member in several occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the Argenteum Astrum, and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.).[2]
    Other interests and accomplishments were wide-ranging–he was a chess player, mountain climber, poet, painter, astrologer, hedonist, drug experimenter, and social critic.

  2. He was a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn..but he was also a bit on the crazy side. He was primarily interested in “Sex-Magik”, and at looking at the darker side of things. He was known to seduce a nun, among other women. He did come across a lot of interesting facts, but you’d be better off reading stuff by Waite or Regardie (also in the Golden Dawn). He did manage to create a beautiful deck of Tarot cards with…darn – forgot her name………..he built his home on the site of a church that burned down with it’s entire congregation….which is now the site of Jimmy Page’s home.

  3. In short (about the caution of reading the book)….the book is excellent as far as techniques and what not. The man was a genious, although he did die miserable and alone.. not suprisingly, as he was a black magician.
    The reason for the caution is that he stated “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.”
    Well, that’s not a very good stance, as we all know that things have consequences. If he had felt differently, i.e. “do what though wilt, and harm ye none”…then I would say that his work was great.
    I reccommend studying his work, but remember that there are ways to achieve anything without impeding on someone else’s will. Take his knowledge and improve it.
    Namaste!

  4. Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, (12 October 1875 — 1 December 1947; the surname is pronounced /’krəʊ.li/ i.e. with the first syllable sounding like “crow” in English) was a British occultist, writer, philosopher, and mystic.
    Crowley was a habitual drug user and also maintained a meticulous record of his drug-induced experiences with laudanum, opium, cocaine, hashish, alcohol, ether, and heroin.[60] Allan Bennett, Crowley’s mentor, was said to have “instructed Crowley in the magical use of drugs.”[61] While in Paris during the 1920s, Crowley also experimented with psychedelic substances, specifically Anhalonium lewinii, an obsolete scientific name for the mescaline-bearing cactus peyote.[62] In October of 1930, Crowley dined with Aldous Huxley in Berlin, and to this day rumours persist that he introduced Huxley to peyote on that occasion.[63]
    Crowley first developed a drug addiction after a London doctor prescribed heroin for his asthma and bronchitis.[64] His life as an addict influenced his 1922 novel, Diary of a Drug Fiend, but the fiction presented a hopeful outcome of rehabilitation and recovery by means of Magickal techniques and the exercise of True Will. At the time of his death he was addicted to heroin, his narcotic of choice.
    Biographer Lawrence Sutin stated that “blatant bigotry is a persistent minor element in Crowley’s writings.”[66] The book’s introduction calls Crowley “a spoiled scion of a wealthy Victorian family who embodied many of the worst John Bull racial and social prejudices of his upper-class contemporaries,”[67] Sutin also writes, “Crowley embodied the contradiction that writhed within many Western intellectuals of the time: deeply held racist viewpoints courtesy of their culture, coupled with a fascination with people of color.”

  5. I posted this reply to a similar question a few days ago:
    Aleister Crowley was a major influence on modern ceremonial magick at a time when it and other forms of alternative spirituality that had been marginalized (or demonized) during the late medieval era and then mostly trivialized during the Modern era in history were making a come-back in revisionist and syncretic form. He was a hedonist but he was not a Satanist as some persons have claimed. Part of his “trip” was to turn the constructs of the Victorian culture he was part of on its head–such that he got into some heavy duty sex-magick practices (taken but distorted fromTantric yogic Vamachanda practices) and purposefully tried to be shocking. He had an understanding of medieval magic that got revised through the Order of the Golden Dawn, the OTO, and other systems. This included number magic, Kabalah, angelelogy, theurgy, and necromancy, among other things.
    A more sympathetic critic might say he was “pushing boundaries” of consciousness, sexuality, and mores. He was a drug addict and did get into some deranged goings on ( and what some would term “black magic,” I believe), but he is still highly respected in the world of ceremonial magick more for his contributions than his weirdness. (Hey, if Jimmy Page thought he was interesting, he must’ve been. I have read that Page supposedly did purchase a house owned by Crowley but sold it in the 80s. Page was fascinated by western occultism and had especially with Crowley.)

  6. Aleister Crowley gained much notoriety during his lifetime, and was infamously dubbed “The Wickedest Man In the World.”
    Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, (12 October 1875 — 1 December 1947) was a British occultist, writer, philosopher, and mystic. He is best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of the Law, the central sacred text of Thelema. Crowley was also an influential member in several occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the Argenteum Astrum, and Ordo Templi Orientis.
    Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley

  7. He was dubbed ‘The Most Wicked Man Alive’ by the British press. Which was quite an achievement in 1944.
    He took enough cocaine to kill an elephant. He was able to handle it becuase of his incredible physical fitness, the result of years of mountaineering.
    He was a friend of L. Ron Hubbard.

  8. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,
    Crowley was a genius, a man decades ahead of his time, and highly influential to modern Occultism, Ceremonial Magick, and Neopaganism. He was and is highly misunderstood, so there is a lot of superstition and silly nonsense out there about him.
    The truth about Crowley was that he was a hippie half a century too soon. The sorts of things he was doing that made him so “wicked” — experimenting in sex, drugs, and various world religions and spiritual practices — practically everyone was doing by the 1960’s. In exploring consciousness, and probing the limits of the mind, Crowley was a pioneer. Also, he was openly bisexual in the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s, and in those days any sort of homosexual behavior was considered deviant and even criminal.
    I find it funny that some of the more fluffy books on Magick warn the reader off Crowley. If it wasn’t for Crowley, there would be no modern Magick, no Neopagan movement, and very likely no Wicca. I recommend reading him with an open mind, and deciding for yourself.
    love is the law, love under will.
    I would like to add that “Do what thou wilt” does not mean “do whatever you want.” Crowley taught that we should all seek to find our True Wills, and in so doing we should respect the True Wills of everyone else — “Every man and every woman is a star.” Thelema has NOTHING to do with imposing your Will on another person, and everything to do with securing and preserving the freedom of the Individual.

  9. What do you call a man who shows signs of psychotic behavior, defecates on hotel carpets because he thinks his feces are sacred, molests children, identifies with the Anti-Christ, and dies a penniless junkie in a flophouse? If you’re a Thelemite, you declare him a god and hang on every letter of his writings of course!
    http://usminc.org/crowley.html

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