By Henrik Bogdan
This quantity is the 1st complete exam of 1 of the 20 th century's so much certain iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) used to be a research in contradictions. Born right into a fundamentalist Christian kinfolk and expert at Cambridge, he used to be vilified as a traitor, drug addict, and debaucher, but respected as probably the main influential philosopher in modern esotericism. relocating past the impression of latest psychology and the modernist knowing of the occult, Crowley declared himself the revelator of a brand new age of individualism. Crowley's occult bricolage, Magick, was once an eclectic mix of non secular routines drawn from Western eu magical ceremonies and Indic resources for meditation and yoga. This trip of self-liberation culminated in harnessing sexual strength as a paranormal self-discipline, a "sacrilization of the self" as practiced in Crowley's combined masonic workforce, the Ordo Templi Orientis. the faith Crowley created, Thelema, legitimated his position as a charismatic revelator and usher in of a brand new age of freedom. Aleister Crowley's lasting effect may be obvious within the counter-culture stream of the past due Sixties and early Nineteen Seventies and in lots of varieties of replacement spirituality and pop culture. The essays during this quantity provide the most important perception into Crowley's foundational function within the research of Western esotericism, new spiritual events, and sexuality.
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Extra info for Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism
This was not the case with his magical identity. Crowley was Perdurabo, and it was as a master magician that he traveled through the timeless Aethyrs of a sixteenth-century magus. The magical self was part of Crowley’s concept of selfhood, but in a specific sense. From the time of his initiation into the Golden Dawn, Crowley, like other initiates, gained an understanding of magic as bound up in complex and interrelated ways with the person of the 30 Aleist er Crowley an d West ern Esot ericism magician and the operation of the magical Will.
It was after spending only two nights sleeping under the desert stars that Crowley had the sudden insight that he must renew a magical undertaking begun in Mexico nine years earlier. This involved using a complex magical system developed by John Dee, the eminent Elizabethan mathematician and astrologer, and his clairvoyant, Edward Kelley. Dee and Kelley were well versed in practical kabbalah and experimented with the angel magic of the Renaissance magician Henry Cornelius Agrippa. Agrippa had elaborated a system of numerical and alphabetical tables for the summoning of angels, and it was within this framework that the two Elizabethans worked.
Unlike the previous Calls, when he had acted merely as scribe, Neuburg now beheld—not Crowley seated within the triangle but all that Crowley conjured. Before him appeared Choronzon in the guise of a beautiful woman whom he had known and loved in Paris, and she tried to lure him from the circle. She was followed by a holy man and a serpent. Slowly the demon in his various manifestations managed to engage the inexperienced Neuburg in discussion and then proceeded to mock him. Had he not, “O talkative One,” been instructed to hold no converse with the mighty Choronzon?