1. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was the foremost ceremonial magician of the first half of the 20th century. He was born in Leamington, England, on October 12, 1875, the son of fanatical Plymouth Brethren. His mother called him the Beast of Revelation, whose number is 666, and Crowley embraced this identification. He attended Cambridge and began to study occultism. He was an accomplished chess player, mountain climber, and poet. In 1898, he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1903, he married Rose Kelly. In 1904, while on an extended honeymoon with Rose in Cairo, he received The Book of the Law from a "praeternatural" entity calling himself Aiwass. This book identified Crowley as the Logos of a New Aeon, and Crowley spent the rest of his life trying to spread the new religion. He died in a rooming house in Hastings on December 1, 1947.
2. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was one of the most controversial figures in recent Western occultism. He inherited a considerable fortune, and died a pauper. He had great intellectual genius and wasted a lot on shocking the world as he knew it with occasional bizarre antics and lifestyle. He was trained in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and later formed his own Order of the Silver Star and then took over the O∴T∴O∴ (Ordo Templi Orientis). He was a prolific and capable writer of magick technology, and is best known for his transcription of The Book of the Law received from a spirit named Aiwass proclaiming Crowley as the Beast 666 in the Book of Revelations and announcing a New Aeon of terror and advancement for the world. His magickal books and his Thoth Tarot Deck are worth study.
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Stephanie Woodfield, author of Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess, Dark Goddess Craft, and the new Priestess of the Morrigan.
It does not escape me that, as an Irish polytheist, there...