, Aleister Crowley was the most controversial occultist
of his time. He was a man of both brilliance
es. He considered himself the reincarnation
of Edward Kelly
, the notorious
assistant to Dr. John Dee
Crowley was born in Warwickshire. His father was a brewer and a preacher of the Plymouth Brethren. As a child Crowley participated in the preachings with his parents. Later he rebelled against their beliefs.
As Crowley grew older he became interested in the occult. He also found he became excited by stories of blood and torture. He often fantasised about humiliation and bondage and discipline - not surprising in one from such a strict religious upbringing.
He enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge where he wrote poetry and pursued his studies in the occult. He also was a mountaineer and attempted climbing some of the peaks in the Himalayas. In 1898 he published his first book, Aceldema, A Place To Bury Strangers In.
Crowley was led to magic after reading Arthur Edward Waites - The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts. Crowley wrote to Waite and was referred to The Cloud Upon the Sanctuary.
On November 18, 1898, Crowley joined the London chapter of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn where he found he was a natural at magic and quickly rose through the ranks. He left Trinity College, named himself Count Vladimir and pursued his occult studies.
Crowley was intensely obsessed with S.L. MacGregor Mathers, the head of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and a magician. The two quarrelled , and Mathers supposedley dispatched an army of Elementals to attack Crowley. Crowley was eventually expelled from the Golden Dawn after fighting with other members as well.
He went to form his own Magical Society, the Ordo Templi Orientalis or "Order of the Eastern Temple". On three consecutive days in 1904 from noon till 1 p.m. , a spirit Crowley referred to as Aiwass manifested as a voice and dictated Liber AL vel Legis - "The Book of the Law". Admirers of Crowley say the book distinguishes him as one of the greatest magicians in history.
From 1903 to 1913 Crowley published the secret rituals of the Golden Dawn in his periodical, "Equinox".
Crowley kept with him a series of men and women with whom he indulged in alcohol, drugs and sex magic. Crowley made several attempts with various women to have a magical child - the Barbelith - but all failed.
From 1915 to 1919 Crowley lived in the United States, but in 1920 he went to Sicily and founded the Abbey of Thelema. In 1923 Crowley was expelled from Sicily and after some travel in the Middle East returned to England.
In 1929 he married his second wife Maria Ferrari de Miramar. Suffering from financial problems, poor health and drug addiction he became a shadow of his former self. He died in 1947 in Hastings.
Crowley's Number is 93(93/93).