By Henrik Bogdan
This quantity is the 1st entire exam of 1 of the 20 th century's so much special iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was once a examine in contradictions. Born right into a fundamentalist Christian relatives and knowledgeable at Cambridge, he used to be vilified as a traitor, drug addict, and debaucher, but respected as possibly the main influential philosopher in modern esotericism. relocating past the effect of latest psychology and the modernist figuring out of the occult, Crowley declared himself the revelator of a brand new age of individualism. Crowley's occult bricolage, Magick, used to be an eclectic mix of religious routines drawn from Western eu magical ceremonies and Indic assets for meditation and yoga. This trip of self-liberation culminated in harnessing sexual strength as a mystical self-discipline, a "sacrilization of the self" as practiced in Crowley's combined masonic team, the Ordo Templi Orientis. the faith Crowley created, Thelema, legitimated his function as a charismatic revelator and bring in of a brand new age of freedom. Aleister Crowley's lasting impression might be obvious within the counter-culture flow of the overdue Sixties and early Nineteen Seventies and in lots of sorts of replacement spirituality and pop culture. The essays during this quantity provide an important perception into Crowley's foundational function within the learn of Western esotericism, new spiritual routine, and sexuality.
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Additional resources for Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism
10 He considered himself a master of astral travel and was in the process of teaching its necessary techniques and procedures to Neuburg. These included total familiarity with the language of occult symbolism so vital to safe travel in astral realms. Indeed, although at one level an interior journey made from within the confines of the stationary physical body, astral travel was acknowledged by magicians to be potentially dangerous. Novices such as Victor Neuburg returned exhausted from their forays, but Crowley was no novice.
During the intense debate that ensued, with Neuburg scribbling furiously so as to record every detail, Choronzon began stealthily to erase the protective edges of the circle in the sand. Suddenly, Choronzon sprang from the triangle into the circle and wrestled Neuburg to the ground. ” Neuburg, invoking the magical names of God, struck out with his dagger and finally forced the writhing figure back into the triangle. The chela repaired the circle, and Choronzon resumed his different manifestations and ravings.
When the New Aeon of Horus beckoned in 1904, Crowley cannot have been altogether unresponsive, for The Book of the Law can be read as a hymn to decadence, while androgyny—possibly the ultimate heterodox masculinity—was an attribute that Crowley wished to claim for himself. Writing in the 1920s, Crowley maintained that he had long held the conviction that he was in certain respects both male and female. Speaking of himself in the third person, a distancing technique reminiscent of Dr. Jekyll’s disclaimer,68 Crowley notes that, while “his masculinity is above the normal,” 38 Aleist er Crowley an d West ern Esot ericism he possesses female characteristics such as slight, graceful limbs and welldeveloped breasts: There is thus a sort of hermaphroditism in his physical structure; and this is naturally expressed in his mind.
Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism by Henrik Bogdan