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 Aleister Crowley

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PostSubject: Aleister Crowley   Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:06 pm




Was the magical name of the great magus born in 1875 as Edward Alexander Crowley.

His father, a rich brewer, was also a Plymouth Brother, a strange and mysterious sect not unlike the Masons, and his son Aleister grrew up to be a complete non-conformist and something of a profligate rebel as well as one of magic's most advanced thinking figures.

Though many of his philosophies are highly dubious in terms of moral integrity - he was not above a certain sadistic tone in many ceremonies - he believed the way to get to "the light" was through the shadowlands of personality.

He certainly explored them well. A diabolist rather than what we would term a witch, he based much of his thinking on the Egyptian model of magic. He wrote copious amounts of visionary poetry with little literary success, but his volumes on magic caused a sensation and outraged English society.

He began his lifelong exploration of magic (Which he called "magick") when he was 30, and he known for his brilliant wit as well as his biting cynicism.

Though he was feared, he was also admired by many literary and artistic luminaries of the day - Somerset Mougham based his novel The Magician on his exploits. He was a poet, writer, mountaineer, master chess player, distinguished lecher, master magician and, ultimately, a drug addict.

Revelling in being notorious, he went as far as to claim that he was the Beast from the bible's book of Revelations. Crowley developed the great advance in Tarot with his Crowley-Thoth deck, a highly charged and highly sexual Tarot based strongly upon his specialty, Egyptology.

Though not a joiner by nature, he did briefy belong to the Golden Dawn, a group of theosophists who were involved in Kabbalistic magic, based on traditional Hebrew forms of magic. (W.B. Yeats, the esteemed Irish poet, was also a member.)

The membership of Crowley in the sect created incredible turmoil in the group as he was nothing if not a provocateur. The Golden Dawn claimed the path to spiritual ascent, and Crowley mocked them all, including the powerful Eliphas Levi and Waite, who developed the Rider Waite Tarot deck.

Rigorously dissolute, he formed societies of lost souls willing to worship him and his will in sometimes ridiculous cerremonies; his semi-permanent sects eventually went to Italy to escape the discrimination that he inevitably attracted.

In "pagan" Italy (at least according to E.M. Foster) Crowley attracted more atention than even he wanted and was ultimately deported from that country after rumours of human sacrifice on his island community reached the ears of the authorities.

In his twilight years back in England he became a herion junkie, his habit costing him more than he had and he spent the last years of his life living off those who were still susceptible to the considerable Crowley charisma.

He died a dissolute - though still amazing - old man at the age of 68.

Though he was undoubtedly bordering on the insane and his motives were almost always egocentric, he had a tremendous ability to assert his will, and he must be remembered as the man who restored the Tarot to its rightful place in magic, and who contributed more to the ancient art than any other magician since the middle ages.

For more information about the man known as "The Beast", read his The Confessions Of Aleister Crowley, published in 1971.

http://roswell.fortunecity.com/necronomicon/310/WitchCraft/witch6.html
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