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Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley

Introduction

About

ALEISTER CROWLEY

Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. Born Edward Alexander Crowley on October 12, 1875, in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, he became one of the most controversial and influential figures in modern occultism.


Crowley was born into a wealthy and devout Christian family, but he rejected the faith at a young age, leading to tensions with his family. His father, Edward Crowley, was a preacher for the Plymouth Brethren, a strict evangelical sect. After his father died when Crowley was 11, he inherited a considerable fortune, which allowed him to pursue his interests without financial constraint.


He attended Trinity College, Cambridge, where he initially studied philosophy but later switched to English literature. During his time at Cambridge, he began to explore his sexuality, eventually identifying as bisexual, and delved into the occult. He also developed a passion for mountaineering, climbing mountains in the Alps and the Himalayas.


In 1898, Crowley joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult, metaphysics, and paranormal activities. His involvement with the Golden Dawn marked the beginning of his serious engagement with magic and mysticism. However, conflicts with other members, including the famous poet W.B. Yeats, led to his departure from the order.


In 1904, Crowley experienced a pivotal event in his life when he claimed to have received a series of communications from a supernatural entity named Aiwass while in Cairo, Egypt. These communications, which Crowley wrote down as "The Book of the Law," became the foundation of Thelema, a new religious and philosophical system he founded. The central tenet of Thelema is encapsulated in the phrase, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will."


Crowley traveled extensively throughout his life, promoting Thelema and practicing magic. He authored numerous books and essays on magic, mysticism, and philosophy, including "Magick in Theory and Practice," "The Book of Thoth," and his semi-autobiographical novel "Diary of a Drug Fiend." His works combined occult traditions from various cultures, including Western esotericism, Eastern mysticism, and ancient Egyptian religion.


Despite his prolific output and influence, Crowley was a highly controversial figure. He was frequently denounced in the press, particularly for his hedonistic lifestyle, drug use, and alleged participation in bizarre and often scandalous rituals. He was often called "The Wickedest Man in the World" by the tabloids of his time.


In the latter part of his life, Crowley's health declined, exacerbated by chronic asthma and his long-term addiction to heroin, which he initially took for medicinal purposes. He died on December 1, 1947, in Hastings, England.


After his death, Crowley's work and ideas continued to influence various subcultures and movements. He became a countercultural icon in the 1960s and 1970s, influencing the development of contemporary occultism, Wicca, and chaos magic. His legacy remains complex and contentious, but his impact on modern esotericism and popular culture is undeniable.


REFERENCE:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley

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Place of Birth: Royal Leamington Spa, United Kingdom

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Date of Birth: October 12, 1875

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