Aleister Crowley was born Edward Alexander Crowley on the 12th of October in 1875 in Warwickshire, England. He was trained in ceremonial magick through the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn where he took the magical name "Frater Perdurabo" (Brother I shall endure to the end) and traveled seeking new experiences and knew spiritual practices. He explored Hindu and Buddhist practices in India and spent some time in Mexico as well where he was initiated into Freemasonry. In 1904, he traveled to Egypt on his honeymoon (his wife was Rose Edith Kelly) and there he claimed he was spoken to by an incorporeal spirit named Aiwass who dictated to him what he would later publish as The Book of the Law which would serve as the basis for Thelema his own magico-religious spiritual practice.
In 1912, Crowley was inducted into the Ordo Templi Orientis and quickly rose through its ranks to leadership bringing Thelemite philosophy with him and leaving a permanent mark on the order. He also founded the A∴A and the ill fated Abbey of Thelema, which appeared to be the beginning of the end of Crowley.
Crowley loved the written word. He enjoyed reading and writing both prose and poetry. He also enjoyed chess, sex with both men and women, and mountain climbing. He was by many reports, extremely arrogant and he led a libertine lifestyle that was offensive to many. He was also a drug addict and suffered from syphilis. He was accused in his lifetime of being a Satanist of of promoting human sacrifice and he encouraged such speculations, though they were untrue. He has also been criticized for his overly public promotion of magick and his works and accused of being a money-hungry charlatan. But Crowley started his journey with a great deal of his own money which he spent largely on travel and education (and prostitutes and drugs) before it ran out and he was forced to live on membership fees and royalties. He claimed to believe that he was on a divine mission. (And he was probably a little crazy due to the syphilis and the drugs) His work is hugely influential on many magical systems today.
"There is no god but man."
"Love is the Law, Love under Will."
Crowley also wrote that "We of Thelema say that 'Every man and every woman is a star.' We do not fool and flatter women, we do not despise and abuse them. To us, a woman is herself, absolute, original, independent, free, self-justified, exactly as a man is." (Crowley, 1904)
And he wrote:
The Diary of a Drug Fiend (A novel)
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