A pretty famous name but why? And really is he that interesting? Yes… however you see it, good or bad the man has proven to be very influential.

“So what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”

Born in 1875 on 12 October, Edward Alexander Crowley and died 1st December 1947.  For many his Magick comes to them as a form of modern urban high magic mixed with neo-paganism. The actual facts of the matter are far more complex and I think if you are interested it would be better to look into it on your own (it would be posts and posts long!)

One thing he did his life was to pretty much travel around the world in search of gnosis. He went from deep jungles to high mountains, and it’s a shame he didn’t share more of those experiences as I am sure his outdoor adventures would have been interesting reading.

In 1925 he took leadership of the Fraternitas Saturni on a walk up the garden and into the forest. He noticed a plant or tree that was remarkable to him and lifted his hat in greeting. When the novices asked what he was doing one of the other members explained he was greeting the elemental spirits of nature who had come to see their master.

Towards the end of his life he began to lose interest in the Ordo Templi Orientis and the other organisations he had fashioned for his vision of the Great Works. He met Gerald Gardner and it seems at this point the plan was made to transform the OTO into a more popular witchcraft cult.  Gardner brought a charter and rose rapidly through the grades, even travelling to America to meet other initiates.

Fred Lamond, one of Gardner’s first acolytes wrote about an American adept known as Jack Parsons who looked favourably on the idea of the new witch cult. Perhaps if Crowley had lived long enough to finish Gardner’s training modern paganism may have looked very difficult.

Today his influence is still notable. Crowley’s word was Thelema which meant Free Will, those who choose to follow the path of his magical teachings aim to de-condition themselves to  be independent and have their own sense of self. The popularity of this is the idea of not  following a priest or judge in order to be able to work out how to act for yourself.

Part of the process of developing this self knowledge is by Magick, which he highly advocated. “the science and art of causing change in conformity with will.” many things now known as cultural were part of the fundamental parts of Magick such as drama, music, art, dance, philosophy and poetry etc…

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