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Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism by Henrik Bogdan

By Henrik Bogdan

This quantity is the 1st entire exam of 1 of the 20 th century's so much precise iconoclasts. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) used to be a examine in contradictions. Born right into a fundamentalist Christian relatives and expert at Cambridge, he was once vilified as a traitor, drug addict, and debaucher, but respected as maybe the main influential philosopher in modern esotericism. relocating past the effect of up to date 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, used to be an eclectic blend of religious routines drawn from Western ecu 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 impact may be noticeable within the counter-culture move of the overdue Nineteen Sixties and early Nineteen Seventies and in lots of kinds of replacement spirituality and pop culture. The essays during this quantity supply an important perception into Crowley's foundational position within the research of Western esotericism, new non secular pursuits, and sexuality.

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Sample text

Although its founding documents were probably spurious, and its major rituals undoubtedly the work of Victorian scholars and magicians, its teachings were based upon an imaginative reworking of Hermetic writings further informed by nineteenth-century scholarship in Egyptology and anthropology. The order’s name spoke to the realization of a Rosicrucian rebirth, the regeneration of the old, corrupt world and the dawning of a new spiritually enlightened age—timely notions for many at the fin de siècle.

Ah! 20 24 Aleist er Crowley an d West ern Esot ericism Crowley probably uttered these words. ”21 It was Neuburg who both heard and saw. 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.

As the two men made their way through the desert, Crowley increasingly fell under the spell of his experiences in John Dee’s Aethyrs. He encountered celestial beings, both terrible and beautiful, who divulged in richly symbolic The Sorcerer and His Apprentice 21 language something of the realms in which they dwelt. Crowley understood much of the symbolism and began to realize that the Calls did indeed give the scryer access to an intricate but cogent and coherent universal system of other worlds and beings.

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