Aleister Crowley

Delice Bette | May 26, 2023


Aleister Crowley († December 1, 1947 in Hastings, East Sussex) was a British occultist, writer and mountaineer.

Crowley referred to himself as the Great Beast 666. From 1898 to 1900 he was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, after which he founded his own societies, some of which were based on the concepts of the Golden Dawn. In 1904 he wrote the book Liber AL vel Legis (“Book of the Law”). Crowley’s preoccupation with sexual magic brought him into contact with the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). In 1920 he founded the Abbey of Thelema in Cefalù, Sicily, which existed until his expulsion from Italy in 1923. In 1925 he took over the de facto leadership of the O.T.O. In 1935 he designed the Thoth Tarot.

In the 1970s, his writings gained great posthumous popularity, especially the “Book of the Law,” which became the guiding scripture of the new-religious movement Thelema.


Edward Alexander Crowley was born the only child of Edward Crowley (1829-1887) and Emily Bertha Crowley (née Bishop, 1848-1917). In Crowley’s own words, his father was the “scion of a tribe of wealthy Quakers.” His grandfather’s brothers had an industrial brewery in Alton and also operated, among other things, a chain of mobile snack bars serving beer called Crowley’s Alton Alehouse. Crowley’s father, although trained as an engineer, never practiced that profession, but led the life of a gentleman. The family’s wealth, of course, ultimately came from the brewing business, even after the brewery was taken over in 1877 and Crowley’s father sold his shares, a fact Crowley does not mention in his autobiography. On the other hand, he finds worth mentioning a presumed Celtic descent and connection of his family with a Breton family Quérouaille, who had settled in England under the Tudors.

The mother’s family was middle class. Emily Bishop’s father was a successful dairy farmer, and her mother came from a family of clockmakers. She herself had worked as an educator when she married the wealthy Edward Crowley in 1874, who was almost twice her age. Her brother Tom Bond Bishop (1839-1920), who became his guardian after the death of Crowley’s father, was an evangelist and acted as a lay preacher. He was among the founding members of the Civil Service Prayer Union and the Children’s Special Service Mission. He also edited Our Own Magazine and Scripture Union, and wrote a work entitled Evolution Criticised.

The grandfather had left the Quaker community and become an Anglican. The parents, however, turned their backs on the state church again and joined the Plymouth Brethren, a Christian fundamentalist community founded around 1830 by John Nelson Darby, which strictly set itself apart from the state church and avoided any contact with its members, cultivated a literal interpretation of the Bible and believed in the sense of premillenarianism that the beginning of the end times was imminent. The services, which were always conducted by laymen, took place in private circles, including Crowleys. After his conversion, Crowley’s father also became such a traveling evangelist, crisscrossing the country, visiting all the towns and villages of southern England and distributing tracts from door to door.

Childhood and youth

Little “Alick” Crowley grew up in this extremely strict environment. He regularly took part in Bible readings in the family circle and also in the missionary journeys of his father and absorbed his apocalyptic world view, which was to shape him until the end of his life. He had a preference for the prophetic writings of the Old and New Testaments, especially the Revelation of John. In the latter scripture, he was most impressed by the beast with two horns rising from the earth, “speaking like a dragon” (Rev 13:11 Luth), and “the woman clothed in purple and scarlet” (Rev 17:4 Luth) – mythological figures that would later play a central role in his magical worldview.

In 1887 Crowley’s father died of tongue cancer, for him he felt little love, only respect. The widow moved with her son to London to be near his brother Tom Bond Bishop, who became Crowley’s guardian. With the onset of puberty, Crowley began to rebel against the strict religiosity of his family. In 1888, his mother placed him as a 13-year-old in the Darbyist boarding school School for the Sons of Brethren in Cambridge, where he suffered from the violent educational methods of his teachers. Because Crowley was accused of engaging in homosexual activity with a classmate, he was removed from the school. He then attended Malvern College and Tonbridge School, where his health broke down. On the recommendation of doctors, he was home-schooled for the next two years. His tutor, Archibald Douglas, a former Bible Society missionary, introduced Crowley, unbeknownst to the family, to tobacco, alcohol, gambling, and women. One consequence of such early excursions was gonorrhea, with which he contracted from a prostitute in Glasgow in 1893.

Turning to occultism and first political activities

In October 1895 he began studying humanities at Trinity College, Cambridge University. At the age of 23 he had his first homosexual relationship with a fellow student. He met the mountaineer Oscar Eckenstein, under whose influence he became a passionate climber. During this time he made an annual trip to the Alps, and in the years 1894 to 1895 he single-handedly climbed the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau, among others, which led to recognition in the alpine mountaineering community. In 1895, his first collection of poems, Aceldama, was published. Crowley published volumes of his own poetry at his own expense, some of which received favorable press reviews.

His mother referred to him as the Antichrist and insulted him early on as the “Beast,” that is, she compared him to the great beast from the Apocalypse of John, whose number is 666, a title he liked to claim for himself in keeping with his character, since he was not unsympathetic to the Satanic Devil. On New Year’s Eve 1896, in Stockholm, Crowley identified so strongly with this figure that he decided to devote himself to magic. Crowley composed chess puzzles in his youth and wrote a chess column for the Eastbourne Gazette.

In 1896, at the age of 21, Crowley inherited his father’s considerable fortune, which made him economically independent of the family and enabled him to live without a steady job. Already in 1914 he had almost used up the inheritance. In 1896 he broke off his studies without graduating and from then on began to call himself Celticizing Aleister. When he was accused in a letter of fornication with young men, the police searched for him throughout Europe.

After leaving college without a degree, he became involved with Satanism. When he acquired the Book of Black Magic and of Pacts by Arthur Edward Waite, he began a correspondence with the author, who recommended him to read Karl von Eckartshausen’s work The Cloud over the Sanctuary. That same year, he became politically active with the Jacobites, who were supporters of the Stuarts, and began to support the Spanish Carlists.

Crowley and the Golden Dawn

In 1898, in Zermatt, Switzerland, Crowley met the British chemist Julian L. Baker, who was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. After a conversation about alchemy, Crowley believed he had met in him his longed-for “master,” and told him he was in search of the “Inner Church” he had read about in Karl von Eckartshausen. Baker then arranged contact with chemist George Cecil Jones, who inducted him into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn on November 18, 1898. Crowley was given the lodge name Perdurabo (“I will persevere to the end”) and passed through the first three degrees of the Golden Dawn from December to February. In 1898, White Stains, a collection of Crowley’s erotic poems, was published.

Crowley decided to follow the instructions in the Book of Sacred Magic of Abramelin, a spell book that the leader of the Golden Dawn, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, had edited and published shortly before. In 1899 he met Allan Bennett (alias Iehi Aour), with whom he practiced ritual magic exercises of the order and who introduced him to Buddhism. Since the latter lived in modest living conditions, Crowley invited him to stay with him. Bennett accepted the offer on the condition that he become Crowley’s personal teacher. Bennett told Crowley there was a drug that “showed the veil behind the world of things,” which prompted Crowley to experiment with opium, cocaine, morphine, ether, and chloroform. In 1900 Bennett moved to Ceylon for health reasons, as well as to devote himself entirely to Buddhism. Crowley moved to Boleskine House on Loch Ness in Scotland and henceforth called himself Laird of Boleskine.

Since the London members of the Golden Dawn refused him advancement to the fifth degree, the Adeptus Minor, because of his homosexual love affairs, Crowley visited MacGregor Mathers, the founder of the Paris Golden Dawn, in January 1900, who finally initiated him into the fifth degree. The Order’s London branch did not recognize this consecration, and Mathers was expelled from the Golden Dawn. After heated arguments with Mathers, whom he initially admired, Crowley left the Golden Dawn in 1900 after only two years.

Marriage with Rose Kelly

On August 11, 1903, Crowley met the widowed Rose Edith Kelly, divorced Skerrit. She was a daughter of Frederick Festus Kelly, vicar of Camberwell, and the sister of his close friend, the painter Gerald Festus Kelly (1879-1972) and later president of the Royal Academy of Arts. She was being pressured by her family to remarry; a marriage had already been advised. Crowley wanted to free Rose from this situation and proposed to her at their first meeting. The two were spontaneously married the next morning. Their seven-month honeymoon took them to Paris, Naples, Marseilles, Cairo, and Ceylon.

The marriage produced two daughters: Lilith in 1904, who died of typhoid fever in Rangoon in 1906, and Lola Zaza in February 1907.

During the honeymoon, Crowley performed a series of evocations of the sylphs over three days beginning in Cairo on March 16, 1904, while on March 18, Rose, in a trance, called upon her husband to invoke a god she later recognized as Horus on a painted wooden stele in the former Boulak Museum. It was the approximately 680

In early April 1904 Crowley translated the inscription of the Stele of Anchefenchon, based on a French translation, into English. His wife, who served him as a medium, is said to have told him meanwhile that she was not channelling Horus or Ra-Hoor-Khuit, but their messenger Aiwaz, a supernatural entity. On April 7, 1904, Crowley is said to have been ordered by his wife to report to an apartment near the museum at 12:00 noon on each of the three consecutive days for a writing session. There, according to his own account, he wrote down, according to Aiwaz’s dictation, the book Liber Legis (later Liber AL vel Legis, “Book of the Law”), which later played a central role in Crowley’s teachings. It proclaimed the beginning of a new aeon, in which man could assure himself of the divine powers in the form of the new trinity of the gods Nuit, Hadit and Ra-Hoor-Khuit and merge with them, thereby becoming divine himself.

The manuscript with the Liber Legis was lost for several years. It was not until 1909 that Crowley found it again, which strengthened his belief that he was the herald and prophet of a new world religion. From 1916 on, he considered it his mission to spread his Law of Thelema.

The revelations of the book Liber Legis form the basis of thelemic ethics. According to the British occultist Israel Regardie, there is no place for democracy and no respect for average people in Liber Al vel Legis. Democracy is judged to be a “disgusting cult of weakness” and is not envisaged in the form of rule envisaged by Thelema. The book condemns pity, considers war admirable, and in its 220 verses supposedly contains the guidelines for human evolution in the coming 2000 years. “Pity is the vice of kings: Tread down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world” – with this and similar passages from the Liber Al vel Legis, Crowley places himself in the tradition of Friedrich Nietzsche and his contempt for pity. In his Herrenmenschentum, Crowley anticipates fascism, according to literary scholar Peter Paul Schnierer.

Crowley always affirmed that he was not in fact the author of the book and claimed that the messages of Liber Legis did not necessarily reflect his personal opinions. His secretary Israel Regardie, on the other hand, demonstrated that regardless of the claimed medial reception, the representations expressed in the book were absolutely consistent with those beliefs that Crowley held throughout his life. In Crowley’s later interpretations of the Liber Legis, he attacked in his commentaries the bourgeois values he equated with Christianity as being contrary to the thelemic ethics and sexual freedom he promoted. In this he expressed his disdain for the Christian view of sexuality, especially marriage. Crowley advocated that the “weak” must be crushed by the “strong,” which was less an ethical issue than a biological one, which is why the fight against Christianity must be carried out radically and mercilessly without compromise. Pity and the humanitarian attitude, which Crowley called “the syphilis of the spirit”, had to be radically eliminated, whereby he explicitly quoted Friedrich Nietzsche.

The religious scholar Kocku von Stuckrad sees clear traces of Christian semantics in the conception of the Liber Al, despite all the pagan elements, except that Crowley places a reversed sign in front of the ethics and eschatology of his Christian fundamentalist parentage: The original content, however, remains recognizable.


With the blossoming of tourism, Crowley traveled with his parents to France and Switzerland at a young age. Later, he made a name for himself as a mountaineer. After being expelled from the Golden Dawn, he traveled to Mexico in May 1900 to climb mountains. In Mexico City he made occult contacts. Eckenstein joined him and together they climbed the highest mountains in the country. In the same year Crowley visited Allen Bennett in Ceylon to study with him the Hindu and Buddhist traditions and to practice various forms of meditation and yoga. 1901

In 1901-1902, he took part in a British-Austrian expedition led by Oscar Eckenstein to make the first ascent of K2 in the Karakoram. The six climbers had to turn back about 1,900 meters below the summit at 6,700 meters, which was a record at the time. Crowley said in 1929 about this expedition that there had been a tangible dispute about the ascent route. He would have preferred to ascend via the southeast ridge (the route of the successful first ascent and today’s normal route) instead of turning to the northeast ridge, as then happened. In 1914 Crowley was imprisoned by the French police in Ardelot near Boulogne because they mistook him for the impostor Gerard Lee Bevan, who was wanted by the police and whom he resembled in his costume (kilt and black frizzy wig). He obtained his release by convincing the officials that he was not the impostor but the famous mountaineer Crowley. To do this, he presented as proof Guillarmod’s K2 book, in which a picture of him was printed. Returning to Europe, he spent several months in Paris, where he met many artists and intellectuals in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Montparnasse district.

After spending the winter of 1904 in St. Moritz, Guillarmod proposed a new expedition to climb the third highest mountain in the world, Kangchendzönga, with a rope team. Crowley agreed, but insisted on being the leader. This, however, caused Oscar Eckenstein to drop out of the venture. Instead, experienced alpinists Alexis Pache and Charles Reymond and a mountaineering layman, Alcesti C. Rigo de Righi, were recruited. The five signed a contract in which Crowley was to be recognized as the sole supreme judge in all mountaineering matters, while the others were to render unconditional obedience to his orders. On August 8, they started with 230 porters and seven tons of baggage. Crowley took the route over the Yalung Glacier, which Frank Smythe, who approached the mountain from the northwest in 1930, called a pointless undertaking. After three days, tangible disputes arose between Crowley, who was at odds with everyone, and Guillardmod because Crowley deliberately made some of the porters walk barefoot, pushing them forward with blows, and the return route was not marked with markers. The next day three porters deserted, and one fell to his death. During the night, other abused porters secretly took flight. The next morning, Guillarmod and de Righi set out for Crowley’s Camp IV to depose him for his failure as expedition leader. The expedition ended in disaster 2,186 meters below the summit at 6,400 meters when Alexis Pache and three porters, whose names have not survived, were killed in an avalanche accident. Crowley then deserted and descended alone without inquiring whether the injured comrades could be rescued. These incidents brought him into disrepute as a mountaineer. In 1906, an account of this ascent attempt appeared in the Alpine Journal, noting that if Crowley’s intention had been to disgrace himself in the eyes of all climbers, he had now fully succeeded. In view of the risk of legal costs, Guillarmod refrained from taking Crowley to court for embezzlement of the expedition funds, most of which he had donated.

After the avalanche accident on Kangchendzönga, Crowley went big game hunting with the Maharajah of Mohabanj in Orissa. He then traveled to Burma with his wife and their one-year-old daughter. From there, the four-month journey with ponies continued through southern China to Vietnam. During his tour of southern China, he performed the ritual of augoeid. This ritual is performed in the same way as the ritual of Abramelin, but by pure visualization, so that no physical space or object is required. After returning to England, he published a collection of his youthful works in three volumes, mostly poetry (Collected Works, 1905-1907), a collection of essays (Konx Om Pax. 1907), and an important synthesis of his system of correspondences (777. 1909), which he had developed on the basis of the Golden Dawn system. During this period he met the British officer John Frederick Charles Fuller (1878-1966), whom he interested in his work. Fuller then wrote the first critical work on Crowley (The Star in the West, 1907) and helped him establish his own order, the Astrum Argenteum, in 1909.

In 1908, Crowley was introduced by Captain John Frederick Charles Fuller to 25-year-old Victor Benjamin Neuburg, who was involved in spiritualism. Crowley gave Neuburg lessons in magic and initiated him into homosexual practices that included sadomasochistic elements. In November and December 1909, they both traveled through Algeria and performed John Dee’s Enochian invocations there. In 1911, they traveled a second time to the Sahara.

Foundation of the Astrum Argenteum (1907)

In 1907 Crowley founded his own secret society Astrum Argenteum (A∴A∴), the “Order of the Silver Star” (also: S∴S∴), after the model of the Golden Dawn, in which the self-initiation and the overcoming of the self were taught so that the Abyssus can be crossed. Beginning in March 1909, he edited The Equinox, ten volumes of which were published each summer and winter solstice. The Equinox contained essays, rituals, poems, stories, and reviews. In the spring of 1910, Mathers unsuccessfully tried to have the publication of The Equinox enjoined by the courts to prevent Rituals of the Golden Dawn from also being published. The lawsuit received considerable international attention and provided Crowley with worldwide connections to various esotericists and occultists. Publicly performed rituals such as the “Rites of Eleusis,” based on the ancient mysteries of Eleusis, with which he attracted the attention of the London public in 1910, also contributed to this prominence.

In the A∴A∴ teaching system, the Liber Legis is the main textbook. The A∴A∴ degree system was largely adopted by Crowley from the Golden Dawn. Around 1910, rumors of Crowley’s homosexuality and the alleged immorality of the activities of his A∴A∴ order were spread in the press, causing several members to resign. Crowley remained exposed to these rumors and accusations, which reached their peak after World War I, for the rest of his life.

Structure of the O.T.O. (from 1912)

In 1912 Crowley published The Book of Lies. The book deals with cabbalistic knowledge, describes magical rituals and contains puns and ambiguous stories. The occultist Theodor Reuß sought Crowley out for it and accused him of unlawfully revealing a secret ritual of his own order in the book, which Crowley denied. Reuß was busy constituting the irregular Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) to teach sexual magical practices. He invited Crowley to collaborate and allowed him to establish his own English section of the O.T.O. (“Mysteria Mystica Maxima”), which strengthened Crowley’s belief that he was playing a prophetic role with regard to Thelema. In March 1910, Crowley was initiated into the eighth degree of the O.T.O. in England, and on April 21, 1912, he became X° of the O.T.O. of England and Ireland. After presenting his views on magic in the first two parts of his Book Four in 1912, the following year he began to experiment with the basic sexual magical techniques that had been introduced to him by Reuß.

Subsequently, Crowley revised the system of the O.T.O., which until then had comprised nine degrees, and expanded it to eleven. In degrees eight, nine, and eleven, sexual-magical rites played a role from then on, including auto-eroticism and homosexual acts. In January and February 1914, Crowley performed the first sexual magic acts in the new eleventh degree with his lover Neuburg in Paris. These involved anal intercourse, invoking Mercury (a.k.a. Hermes and Thoth) and Jupiter for the purpose of gaining wisdom and inspiration and “conjuring” money. Parts of the rites, which he later called “The Paris Working,” had a sadomasochistic character. They so distressed Neuburg that he ended his relationship with Crowley in February 1914. A description of the magical experiences during the invocations and astral journeys in the Algerian desert appeared in The Equinox (I, 5) in 1911 under the title The Vision and the Voice.

World War I in the USA

At the outbreak of World War I, Crowley was in Switzerland. He went back to England, according to his own statements, to offer his services to the British secret services, who, however, rejected the offer. In October 1914, Crowley traveled to the United States. Originally he had planned only a two-week stay, during which he wanted to sell part of his book collection to a collector. Crowley spent five years in poverty in the United States.

He began a relationship with the American Jeanne Robert Foster, who later bore him a son. With her, he traveled to San Francisco for the 1915 World’s Fair. On October 19, they arrived in Vancouver at the home of an A∴A∴-member named Achad and drove to Point Loma, where Crowley wanted to propose an alliance with his A∴A∴-order to the president of the Theosophical Society in America, Katherine Tingley. Tingley, however, refused to meet, whereupon Crowley left for New Orleans in a huff. His girlfriend stayed behind because she could no longer stand his favorite sexual practice, anal intercourse.

Crowley published anti-British war propaganda in New York during the First World War. He published these articles in the pro-German propaganda newspaper The Fatherland and in the magazine Vanity Fair. In August 1917, he took over as editor of The International newspaper for eight months and used the opportunity to advertise his Liber Legis-based religion in articles, poems, and stories. Because of his propaganda activities for the German Reich, the London police searched the O.T.O. headquarters in England in the spring of 1917. Even though he declared after the war that these were satirical writings, this did not improve his predominantly bad reputation among the public. According to historian Richard B. Spence, documents in the archives of American intelligence agencies prove that Crowley was involved in British espionage activities in the United States. Spence suspects Crowley cooperated with a cell of MI1c (Military Intelligence, Section 1c), which was also known as SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) and became “MI6” after the war.

From the spring to the summer of 1916, Crowley kept company with the Indian-British art historian Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy. He began a relationship with his second wife, the English singer Ratan Devi (actually Alice Richardson), and performed various sexual-magical operations with her, whereupon she became pregnant, but lost the child. Subsequently, Crowley accused Coomaraswamy of wantonly forcing his wife to take a long ship voyage in order to cause a miscarriage, insulting him with racist undertones. In the summer of 1916, Crowley initiated himself into the penultimate degree of the Golden Dawn, the degree of Magus, in New Hampshire. For this purpose, in June 1916, he celebrated a black magic ritual to remove the remnants of the previous Aeon and banish its dying God.

From June 1917 Ann-Catherine Miller took over the role of the “Scarlet Woman”, as Crowley called his partners in sexual magical practices. After she developed alcohol problems, she was succeeded by Roddie Minor, who received cabbalistic information from the “Secret Masters” in January 1918. From her utterances Crowley took the supposedly correct spellings and numerical values of the names Therion (ThRIVN=666) and Baphomet. Through Minor’s visions created in opium intoxication and excessive sexual magical practices, Crowley transformed his guardian angel Aiwaz into OIVZ, with the numerical value 93, significant for the Thelemites, the same numerical value as Thelema (Will) and Agape (Love).

In March 1918, Miller was temporarily replaced by Marie Lavroff until Crowley met the sisters Alma and Leah Hirsig in the spring of 1918. Alma had already had relevant experience in a cult, which she described in the book My Life in a Love Cult. Leah stayed with Crowley the longest.

In 1918 Crowley met Harvey Spencer Lewis in New York, whose secret order AMORC then used Crowley’s propagated motto “Do what you will shall be the whole of the Law.” and “Love is the law, love under will” as supposedly classic Rosicrucian laws until the 1950s. In 1936 Crowley made moves to take over AMORC, but failed because of Crowley’s bankruptcy. Back in England, his doctor prescribed heroin for asthma attacks starting in 1919.

Stay in Sicily (1920-1923)

Crowley and Hirsig decided to establish a European center from which to propagate the Thelema teachings. In 1920 they moved to Cefalù, Sicily, where Crowley founded the Thelema Abbey. In addition to Crowley, the core of the Thelemites included the teacher Leah Hirsig and the former French governess Ninette Shumway. Most of the numerous guests who arrived over the next three years came from England. Hirsig and Crowley had a daughter together, Anna Leah, who was nicknamed Poupée. After her death on October 19, 1920, disputes escalated, prompting the police to raid the abbey in 1921. Inside the abbey, men were required to shave their heads bald except for a phallic lock, as the forelock was considered a symbol of the magical power of Horus or the horns of Pan. Women wore light blue, purple-lined, loose flowing robes with hoods and had to dye their hair red or gold, which was considered a symbol of the “woman in scarlet.” Reading newspapers was forbidden. Everyone had to keep a magical diary, which was to be submitted to Crowley for inspection.

After the death of the thelemite Raoul Loveday at the abbey, his widow Betty May turned to the British press and sued Crowley. Loveday was said to have died after a ritual in which he allegedly drank the blood of a ritually sacrificed cat. Crowley lost the case, which put him on the social sidelines, especially as the press pounced on the scandalous story. According to the autobiography of the British singer Betty May, Crowley was not to blame for Loveday’s death.

Crowley, who had been addicted to heroin and cocaine for years, used an average of three grams of heroin a day. Several attempts at withdrawal failed. Therefore, in 1922, he temporarily left the abbey to go to Fontainebleau near Paris for the purpose of heroin withdrawal. The withdrawal cure failed, however, and he remained addicted to heroin until his death. To get out of his money trouble, he wrote a novel about communal life in Cefalù, The Diary of a Drug Fiend, which appeared in 1922 and was criticized by The Sunday Express newspaper as a call for unrestrained drug use. Because of increasing press attacks, Crowley postponed publication of his biography until 1929. He returned to Cefalù in October 1922, stopping in Rome during the very days when the fascists were invading the city.

After an exchange of letters with the Commissioner of Céfalu, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini ordered Crowley to be observed. Following tips from neighbors, a search was made of the house at Thelema Abbey. The subsequent search report, with its descriptions of the paintings found in the house, formed the concrete basis for Crowley’s expulsion: on April 23, 1923, Crowley was expelled from Italy by the government after secret societies and opposition parties were declared illegal. Crowley went to Tunisia for a short time and there wrote the small satirical collection of poems Songs for Italy against Mussolini and his regime (which he published at his own expense).

Division of the Rosicrucian Movement and Proclamation as World Teacher

In 1922, Reuß, in failing health, resigned his posts in the O.T.O. and appointed Crowley as his successor, which met with massive opposition from the German members of the Order. When Reuß died in 1923, Heinrich Tränker took control of the German O.T.O. branch, since Crowley’s teachings did not meet with general approval in Germany. Therefore, in the summer of 1925, the German Rosicrucian movement, which included the German O.T.O. and Pansophia, held the Weida Conference in Weida, Thuringia, to elect a new leader. For this purpose, the organizer Heinrich Tränker, Albin Grau, Karl Germer, Martha Küntzel and Gregor A. Gregorius also invited Crowley, Hirsig and Normann Mudd, who traveled from Paris. By 1925 Crowley was fully convinced of his role as the savior of humanity and herald of a new religious message, and from Germany he pursued a plan to have himself proclaimed by occult groups as the World Teacher or World Savior, whose appearance had long been awaited by the Theosophical Society in particular. As justification, he claimed to have been authorized to do so by an invisible White Brotherhood. The conference led to a split in the German Rosicrucian movement into a faction that recognized Crowley as an international leader and an opposing group that rejected him. Thus, in 1925, Crowley, as “Brother Baphomet,” de facto took over the O.T.O. Order leadership, even though he did not have a decree of appointment, and had an authorization to become a World Teacher signed by those present who were inclined toward him. Martha Künzel subsequently campaigned for him, and Germer became one of his most important “sponsors” and supporters in financial and organizational terms. Tränker and Grau were repelled by Crowley’s anti-Christian stance and withdrew their support immediately after the Weida conference. Mudd (1927) and Hirsig (1928) also later revoked their signatures. In recognizing Crowley as their leader, the various German esoteric groups acknowledged Crowley’s message based essentially on the Liber Legis. Crowley proclaimed that world domination would fall to the nation that first declared his book Liber Legis to be its principle of state.

Paris years (1924-1929)

In 1924 Crowley moved to France, where he first met with Frank Harris in Nice, with whom he announced entrepreneurial projects. Then he set up his headquarters in Paris, where he lived with interruptions until 1929.

In the spring of 1925, Crowley began his “World Teacher Campaign” from Tunis. This was in competition with the Theosophical Society, which at the same time, under the leadership of Annie Besant and Charles Webster Leadbeater, was trying to establish the young Indian Jiddu Krishnamurti as a spiritual world teacher. Crowley launched his campaign using small treatises and tracts to “expose” Krishnamurti as the one he believed to be a “false messiah” and to set himself up as the true “world teacher.” Despite the European media coverage, the campaign success was rather modest. During this time, Crowley met with Georges I. Gurdjieff at the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man near Paris.

On March 17, 1929, Crowley was expelled from France for espionage, which generated a wide response in the international press. Among others, the expulsion was initiated by Regardie’s concerned sister, who petitioned the French ambassador in Washington not to grant her brother a visa. Since the visa had already been granted, the ambassador arranged for investigations in Paris, where the matter intersected with a police complaint filed by De Vidal Hunt against Crowley, who had been litigating against him since December 1928. In August 1929, Crowley married Maria Theresa de Miramar, a Nicaraguan, in Leipzig so that she could obtain British citizenship. In the same month, both traveled together with Regardie to England, where they settled in a country house in Kent.

Stay in Germany and Portugal (1930-1932)

In the spring of 1930, he traveled to Germany with his wife and planned to exhibit his paintings in several German cities. From September 1930 to mid-1932 he stayed in Berlin, where he socialized with Alfred Adler, Christopher Isherwood, Aldous Huxley, and especially Gerald Hamilton. On April 23, 1930, in the Berlin apartment of Henri Birven, he met with Arnold Krumm-Heller, who had already offered him in a letter in 1928, for the purpose of spreading his organization, to publicize his ideas in the Spanish-speaking countries of South America. However, a closer cooperation did not come about. In Berlin Crowley fell in love with the 19-year-old artist Hanni Jaeger. He took her with him to England, leaving his wife Maria Theresa behind in Germany, who was committed to a mental institution in 1930.

At the end of August 1930 he traveled with Jaeger to Lisbon, where he met the well-known poet Fernando Pessoa. After Hanni separated from him and left for Germany, Crowley faked a suicide near Cascais, at the Boca do Inferno, with Pessoa’s assistance.

While walking along Unter den Linden on August 3, 1931, Crowley met 36-year-old Bertha Busch, with whom he entered into a relationship. He moved in with her and consecrated her as the Great Whore of the Beast 666. When Crowley publicly abused her during an argument, an SA squad rushed to her aid and beat Crowley up.

Last years in England (1932-1947)

In 1932 Crowley returned from Germany to England, where he remained until his death. His health was shattered by the constant drug use. Financially, he remained dependent on the financial support of his students, despite his writing activities. Yet he led an active social life. In 1934 he sued his old friend Nina Hamnett, who had made unflattering comments about his Thelema Abbey in her memoirs. The trial ended in defeat after four days: Crowley himself became a defendant, and intimate details about his private life became public. In July he was accused of stealing and stealing letters to use in the trial of Nina Hamnett. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on probation. In 1935, he was declared bankrupt. In 1937 he met Frieda Harris, with whom he developed the tarot sheet “Thoth Tarot”: they referred to works of Éliphas Lévis, who had established a connection between tarot and the Tree of Life of the Hermetic Kabbalah. During World War II, Crowley wrote the thelemic “Declaration of Human Rights” under the title Liber OZ, which is now advocated by all O.T.O. groups. In his last years he lived outside London to be safe from German air raids. Crowley died of cardiomyopathy in Hastings, Sussex, on December 1, 1947, at Netherwoods boarding house, at the age of 72.

Magic system

In his magical system Crowley combined Eastern and Western influences. His cabbalistic and magical writings are a mixture of Judeo-Christian Kabbalah in the Golden Dawn tradition with his Book of the Law. The Book of the Law wants to leave all religions behind. He invented numerous “tantric” rituals and called himself “The Great Beast 666” in reference to the biblical apocalypse in the Revelation of John. The goal of his magic was the further development of the individual, whereby he held the view that the self only brings forth the true essence of man. According to his theory, every man and woman is a star whose purpose in life is to cross the abyss. One of the central sentences of his religious views is the meaning saying:

Crowley emphasized that man must first explore what this own will consists of in order to be able to act willingly. The sentence does not say, as often implied by his opponents, “Do whatever you feel like doing is the whole law.” Crowley claimed to act at the behest of an imagined higher intelligence, the mental White Brotherhood, and was not amenable to assemblies. He felt himself to be the spiritual leader of mankind. He was ambivalent about his magical abilities, with which he could not perform miracles but could cause mental crises: “It may be that I am a black magician, but in any case I am a damn good magician.” Crowley’s appearance was awe-inspiring or frightening, he said: He wore odd clothes and rings, was bald, had a fat, feminine face and a fixed, cold stare, and reportedly secreted a sweetly disgusting odor that came from a sex-appeal ointment he used to rub on himself with the intention of increasing his appeal to women. Crowley used to file two of his teeth to a point and give women the “snake kiss” by biting their wrist. On various occasions he defecated on the carpets of his friends’ drawing rooms or stairwells.

Crowley created some neologisms to distinguish himself from other esoteric teachings. For example, he distinguished himself from stage magic by referring to the esoteric realm of magic as Magick , instead of Magic. His philosophy is said to have drawn on Gnostic and Tantric sources, even though Crowley had no in-depth knowledge of Indian Tantra.

Ego Task

Crowley propagated self-initiation through “Unknown Superiors” who destroy the ego, and taught that “existence must be pure pleasure”. Characteristic of his philosophy is that the ego or consciousness is seen as obstructive. Thus, at Thelema Abbey, an exercise was practiced in which only the head of the abbey was allowed to use the word “I,” while everyone else had to say “man” instead. Those who broke this rule had to cut their arm with a razor for each “I” uttered. This exercise, according to Crowley’s philosophy, was not intended to help suppress the ego, but to bring about its spiritual development. The American religious scholar Hugh Urban compares Crowley with the French sexual philosopher Georges Bataille: both would have seen in sexuality the most powerful instrument to break through the limitations of the ratio of man and his ego. By switching off the thinking consciousness in the excess of orgasm, pain and drug intoxication, Crowley saw the possibility to take part in the cosmic “universal consciousness” for a moment.

Sexual magic and ritual sacrifices

Crowley considered sexuality the most effective magical method, seeing in the orgasm the driving force for the realization of his magical goals. However, his Thelema, in which everything takes place in a will-controlled manner, can hardly be understood as Tantrism. The glans of the penis corresponds to the shape of the brain in Crowley. Like all sexual-magical gnostics (sperm gnostics), Crowley saw the center of the human

As central figures of his Magick Crowley describes beside the “Master Therion” or the “Beast 666”, by which he called himself, the “Woman in Scarlet”, a role which was filled with changing persons. The cosmic union of the two became a central element of his magic in an obscene reinterpretation of Rev 17:3-4 EU. In his 1929 book Magick, he suggests that his details would be communicated orally only to select adepts, which fueled public speculation about them. Stuckrad also recognizes in these sexual magic elements reinterpretations of the Christian premillenarian imprint of Crowley’s childhood.

During the sexual-magical acts, among other things, animal blood was drunk. Crowley’s adepts Mary Butts and Cecil Milan witnessed, among other things, a sexual-magical display in the abbey, during which the “scarlet woman” Leah Hirsig allegedly copulated with a billy goat. Immediately after the act, Crowley cut the animal’s throat, whereupon blood poured down Hirsig’s back. He equated his respective lovers with the vagina, the rest of whose body served only as decoration. He himself identified with the phallus. It is disputed whether the sexual-magical acts that belonged to Crowley’s main focus of activity and were practiced until the end – religiously motivated or not – can be attributed to a biographically applied pathological sadomasochism.

Also disputed is whether ritual violence against children also played a role in the rituals: According to the representative for worldview issues of the Evangelical Lutheran church district Göttingen

The American religious scholar Hugh Urban interprets Crowley’s sexual-magical system as an attempt to radically distance himself from the Victorian sexual ethics of his time, which were perceived as repressive: instead of a sexual norm that was heterosexual, genital, and oriented toward the procreation of children, Crowley had propagated non-reproductive practices such as anal and oral sex, homosexuality, and masturbation. By taking the principle of transgression to an extreme and breaking literally every social, moral, or sexual taboo imaginable, he had in mind the goal of radical, “superhuman” freedom and self-affirmation to the point of self-deification. With regard to today’s prevailing ideal of self-realization, Crowley was “ahead of his time.

First editions, manuscripts and publications

Crowley used his inherited private fortune, among other things, to have his poems printed in lavish editions. His literary works, however, did not receive any significant critical acclaim. In 1928, Israel Regardie and Gerald Joseph Yorke became Crowley’s students. Yorke collected a large number of Crowley’s first editions, manuscripts, and documents and later donated this collection to the Warburg Library, which still holds it today. In 1929, after a long search, he found a publisher who trusted him in Percy Reginald Stephensen of the small publishing house Mandrake. Stephensen wrote an apologia about him and published at Crowley’s expense several of his works, including the novel Moonchild, the first two volumes of his Confessions, and his most important work Magick: In Theory and in Practice. Almost all of Crowley’s publications are laced with an ironic undertone. His statements are either often sadistic or simply ridiculous, such as when he confusingly refers to Helena Blavatsky as the Victorian author for the purpose of debunking Jack the Ripper.

Crowley’s reputation was so bad that his publisher had a hard time attracting other authors to his publishing house. Some booksellers refused to stock his books because they were repelled by Crowley’s demonic self-portrait cover and the penis-and-testicle-like letter “A” of his oversized signature.


Whether Crowley’s sexually magically charged occultism can be called Satanism is disputed among scholars. Crowley himself rejected the designation for himself, since he neither worshipped Satan nor accepted the Christian concept of his real existence. Crowley was repeatedly cited as a Satanist because of his sexual proclivities, while he himself saw the matter in a more nuanced way. He recognized the polarity between God and the Devil, but saw himself unable to resolve it in only one direction, and flirted with clichés and ideas associated with Satan and the Antichrist. To this was added the self-stylization as “To Mega Therion,” “The Great Beast 666” from the Revelation of John. The religious scientist Marco Pasi considers it a widespread misunderstanding to classify Crowley in Satanism, since Satan as a symbolic figure plays only a subordinate role in his writings and he was also not simply concerned with a reversal of Christianity. According to the religious scholar Gerald Willms, it is above all the Weltanschauungsbeauftragte of the Evangelical Church of Germany who regard Crowley as the prototype of a Satanist, to which his self-stylization as the Antichrist, his membership in various occult orders and his debauchery contributed. Also according to the religious scholar Kocku von Stuckrad, the accusation that Crowley had engaged in “‘Satanic’ practices beyond Christianity,” which he considers erroneous, is mostly made by Christian theologians.

The Catholic theologian Josef Dvorak, and the authors of the International Masonic Encyclopedia, on the other hand, see Crowley as the founder of modern Satanism. For the non-fiction author Karl R. H. Frick, he is its “ancestor” and a practicing Satanist. Cultural historian Norbert Borrmann characterizes Crowley as a well-known Satanist at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Literary scholar Peter Paul Schnierer compares Crowley’s teachings with those of Anton Szandor LaVey (1930-1997), the founder of modern Satanism. Both Satanisms, he says, have in common that they “combine banalized superhumanity with blasphemous inversion of Christianity”; to this end, they borrow in their writings from non-Satanist, radically individualistic works.

According to the religious scholar Joachim Schmidt, however, Crowley’s mysticism is not to be regarded as Satanic mysticism in the sense of a reversal of Christian mysticism. Since he had resorted to Eastern forms of mysticism, he had not been able to develop an unbroken Satanic doctrine. Crowley’s relationship to Satanism is so complicated that a definitive statement is impossible. His attempt to elevate the radical individualism he advocated to the status of a religious principle and to proclaim “do what you will” as a universal law was perfectly compatible with Satanism. Much of what he wrote and said could be readily interpreted as Satanism, but Crowley had always avoided taking an unequivocal stand.

Various authors have suggested that Crowley’s worldview was close to that of National Socialism. According to Josef Dvorak, Crowley himself was convinced that he had much in common with Adolf Hitler and that Hitler was an enforcer of his “force-and-fire” religion. He noted his beliefs between 1942 and 1944 as marginal notes in his copy of Conversations with Hitler, a forgery of Hermann Rauschning’s history, in which he pointed out the correspondences between Hitler’s ideas and conceptions and his own creeds and enigmatic proclamations from his Book of the Law (Liber Legis). In doing so, he highlighted the passages in which Rauschning describes how Hitler is said to have spoken of a “new world order” or the collapse of the old value system. German Crowley follower Martha Küntzel was firmly convinced that Hitler was following Crowley’s teachings and became an ardent National Socialist. Such speculation has been carried to contemporary occultists in English thriller writer Gerald Suster’s books on “Nazi Mysteries. “Suster considers the two world wars and the authoritarian regimes of the 20th century to be manifestations of the New Aeon proclaimed by Crowley’s guardian spirit, Aiwass. In a letter of October 29, 1949, to Julius Evola, René Guénon expressed the view that Crowley’s faked suicide in Portugal was secretly intended to enable him to play the role of “occult” advisor to Hitler afterwards. René Freund also sees parallels in the rejection of morality, the affirmation of violence, and the absolute priority of the will, which can be found in the statements of both Crowley and Hitler. Nevertheless, Crowley should not be considered a supplier of ideas to Hitler, and it would also be wrong to understand his texts programmatically. The National Socialists saw no such proximity: The O.T.O. was dissolved by Reinhard Heydrich’s circular on July 20, 1937. Marco Pasi published letters of Crowley to Karl Germer. In one of them, Crowley wrote in 1938 “that Hitler would breed slaves” and “his world is based on a false unity of the state.” In another letter, he called Hitler “a more or less inspired lunatic who succeeds in causing mass hysteria.” He also responded to Martha Küntzel by writing to her, “In general, the Germans stand as low among the Jews as apes stand among men.”

In occultism

Crowley is one of the most important and influential figures in the history of English occultism. Contemporary new religious movements are strongly influenced by his magical and neopagan ideas. Because of his often ambiguous language, reception is not uniform. None of the groups or individuals referring to him can claim higher authority over Crowley’s work than the others. Thelemites include not only the groups formerly led by Crowley, but also some self-styled successors, such as Michael Dietmar Eschner, and independently formed orders and their offshoots that were merely influenced by Crowley, such as the Ordo Saturni, which vehemently opposes being associated with Satanism.

All of the O.T.O. successor organizations that exist today are strongly ideologically oriented toward Crowley’s writing. The American Caliphats-O.T.O., which secured the rights to Crowley’s Thot-Tarot, is the most important group. In Germany, the Crowley-influenced environment of the O.T.O. also includes the Gnostic Catholic Church (“Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica”), the three so-called Saturn lodges, and two smaller O.T.O. groups with about a hundred members. A single German group in the Crowley tradition is the Thelema Society, founded in 1982, whose founder claimed to be a reincarnation of Crowley.

From the Solar Lodge of the Californian O.T.O., founded by the philosophy lecturer Jean Brayton and his wife Georgina, similar rituals were celebrated in the higher degrees as in the 1920s in the abbey Thelema on Sicily. The California O.T.O. has distanced itself from Brayton’s Solar Lodge.

In 1975 the Book of Perfection was published, in which political concepts of the O.T.O. are considered. The formulations are based on Crowley’s thelemic “Declaration of Human Rights,” the Liber OZ. Along with concluding revelations from Crowley’s guardian spirit, Aiwaz, it calls for holy war against Christianity under the common identifying symbol of a golden pentagram. Victory was prophesied for 1980 and was to lead to the establishment of an initiate-led religious state with a two-class society.

Several more recently formed orders, such as the Order of Thelema, Astrum Purpura, and the Ordo Templi Baphometis, invoke Crowley.

The new religious movement Wicca was influenced by Crowley’s thought. The Wicca founder Gerald Brousseau Gardner was a member of the O.T.O. and Crowley allowed him to found his own O.T.O. lodge. In 1943 he was commissioned by Gardner, for a fee, to write a book for him on magical rituals. Crowley then wrote The Book of Shadows. It became the cornerstone of the Wiccan religion and contained its liturgical rituals and texts. Many thelemites became members of Wiccan circles at the same time.

The explicitly Satanic communities, such as the First Church of Satan founded by Anton Szandor LaVey and the Temple of Set, recognize Crowley as the spiritual forerunner of Satanism and its doctrinal content, but do not regard his Book of the Law (Liber Al vel Legis) as a binding sacred foundation. Both groups declare the new age proclaimed by Crowley, the Aeon of Horus, to be over. According to the Church of Satan, it was replaced by the Aeon of Satan in 1966. The Temple of Set speaks instead of the beginning Aeon of Seth. From the O.T.O., which was led by Crowley until his death, some offshoots developed in the USA, which consider or understood themselves as Satanist.

In pop culture

Cultural changes in the 1960s made psychedelic drugs, free love, and spiritual themes popular through the 1968 movement, the beatniks, and the hippie movement. In this spirit of optimism, Crowley’s sometimes sexually charged magical works were rediscovered and republished in many countries, contributing to his posthumous popularity in the 1970s. His influence can also be seen in the esoteric and, to some extent, New Age movements. His teachings and thelemic philosophy set forth in The Book of the Law left the narrow confines of occultist groups, but never achieved the widespread popularity he had hoped for. Some artists invoke Crowley to follow the fashion trend of a minority, to provoke or for spiritual reasons. In 2002, Crowley scored 73rd on a list of the most influential Britons in a poll conducted by the BBC.

The Beatles pictured Aleister Crowley among many celebrities on the front cover of their 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It is known from bands like Black Sabbath that at least some members studied his writings. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page acquired and restored Crowley’s Boleskine estate in Scotland, where Crowley performed his incantations at the beginning of the century. Page is considered the most important collector of Crowley artifacts and opened the occult bookstore “The Equinox” in London. According to Bob Gulla, Page celebrated Crowley rituals during his concerts, and many experts believe Led Zeppelin’s music is “saturated with Crowley’s satanic teachings.” The theologian Sebastian Berndt disagrees with this assessment, limits the reference to the “clearly” existing interest Pages. It is not to be inferred ” Ozzy Osbourne published on his first solo album Blizzard of Ozz the piece Mr. Crowley. Osbourne’s Crowley reception was not particularly profound and his attitude towards Crowley expressed in the song was rather critical.

For bands like Iron Maiden, Venom, Reds, Witchfynde, Blood and Roses or Killing Joke, references to Crowleyan ideas are a provocative stylistic device. Other Crowley borrowings are present in the metal scene in many cases, but mostly only “superficially”. Such borrowings, which playfully take up Satanism and occultism in different facets beyond the reception of Crowley, are used by the scene as an image, rejection of Christianity and expression of an enlightened atheism.

Less well known are bands composed of Thelemites such as Sol Invictus, Fire + Ice, Current 93 and Thelema. The musician Graham Bond pretended to be Crowley’s illegitimate son and was inspired by his works for his later music.

The U.S. underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger traveled to Cefalù to rescue Crowley’s erotic-magical frescoes and drew much of the inspiration for his films from his works. In particular, the 1954 film Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, which was recut twelve years later, is considered a cinematic realization of Crowley’s visions. In the film, Marjorie Cameron played the roles of the Scarlet Woman and Kali; she was acquainted with Crowley’s student John W. Parsons, whom she met after his Babalon Working (executed in 1947). Anger’s 2002 short film The Man We Want To Hang consists of several of Crowley’s paintings. Part of the score for Anger’s film Lucifer Rising was composed by Jimmy Page, while the complete musical score was written by Bobby Beausoleil, a member of Charles Manson’s infamous “Family” commune. In 2008, the film Chemical Wedding was made from a draft by Bruce Dickinson (singer of Iron Maiden) and Julian Doyle, in which Simon Callow appears in a dual role as Aleister Crowley and as Professor Oliver Haddo, in which Crowley’s spirit manifests itself through a computer accident.


Crowley’s great influence on literature is often overlooked. The literary scholar Uwe Schütte calls Crowley “a distant relative of H. P. Lovecraft” in connection with his crime and horror stories. About the story The Testament of Magdalen Blair from 1913, for example, he finds “that the tale belongs in every relevant anthology.” James Harvey published a fictional autobiography of Crowley in 1967 under the title Memoirs of Aleister Crowley, in which he makes him appear as a new edition of the Marquis de Sade. He also appears in the works of H. R. Wakefield, M. R. James, Dion Fortune, and Manly Wade Wellman.

In his 1908 novel The Magician, the writer William Somerset Maugham describes a magician named Oliver Haddo (a synonym for Crowley) who lives in a house called Skene (derived from Boleskine). This character is based on Maugham’s encounters with Crowley in Paris. In 1926, the book served as a model for director Rex Ingram’s silent film The Magician, in which Golem actor Paul Wegener appears as a virgin-slaying black magician.

British author Ian Fleming based his villainous character Le Chiffre on Crowley as the first perfidious antagonist of James Bond in the novel Casino Royale. In the Illuminatus! trilogy, published in 1975, authors Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea satirically reworked set pieces of Crowley’s esoteric work. Wilson had Crowley himself appear as one of the main characters in the follow-up novel The Masks of the Illuminati. In 2013, the novel (Gehorche mir und) Tu was du willst by Andreas Galk was published, in which a cult tries to recruit young people for its purposes. This cult essentially refers to Crowley’s core statements, even though Crowley himself appears in the novel as Aleister Carvey.

The esoteric and literary works written by Crowley and their editions are numerous. For a detailed listing of the works printed as monographs, the contents of the Equinox, and the System of Libri, see the List of Works by Aleister Crowley. Below are the major works in alphabetical order with current German translations:


  1. Aleister Crowley
  2. Aleister Crowley
  3. „wealthy scion of a race of Quakers“; s. Crowley: The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography. Hrsg. von John Symonds und Kenneth Grant. Cape, London 1969, S. 35.
  4. Tobias Churton: Aleister Crowley. The Biography. Watkins, London 2011, S. 12ff.
  5. Crowley: Confessions. Hgg. von Symonds und Grant. London 1969, S. 35.
  6. ^ Il romanziere siciliano Leonardo Sciascia ha scritto una divertente breve storia sull’espulsione di Crowley dalla Sicilia. Vedi Diari magici di Aleister Crowley
  7. ^ (EN) Aleister Crowley, in Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  8. ^ John Symonds, Aleister Crowley, pag. ix dell’introduzione, White Stains, London, Duckworth, 1986); citato da Richard Kaczinsky, Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley, North Atlantic Books, 2010. ISBN 978-1-55643-899-8
  9. Sutin, L. (2000). Do What Thou Wilt.
  10. Хронологический словарь всемирной истории, 2006, Кроули, Эдвард Александр (принял имя Алистер) — (1875—1947), один из наиболее известных чёрных магов и сатанистов 20 в., с. 1428.
  11. Хронологический словарь всемирной истории, 2006, Кроули, Эдвард Александр (принял имя Алистер) — (1875—1947), один из наиболее известных чёрных магов и сатанистов 20 вв., с. 1428.
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