The Life and Legacy of One of History’s Most Fascinating Magicians
Thelema is one of the most powerful and influential systems of magick the world has ever known. But to truly understand the philosophy and practice of Thelema, you need to understand its charismatic founder, Aleister Crowley. Thelema reveals this enigmatic figure in all of his provocative and brilliant glory, providing a biography of Crowley and showing how his work evolved to become a paradigm-shifting system of magick. This book also explores the texts and writings that form the basis of Thelema, and it provides step-by-step instructions for practicing the basic rites and rituals of this often-misunderstood tradition.
Thelema provides a multifaceted method for spiritual attainment that focuses on manifesting your true will. Discover how Crowley developed his remarkable techniques, and learn how to begin or deepen your own magical practice with elements of Qabalah, Gnosticism, Eastern philosophy, Egyptian spirituality, tarot, and more. Along the way, you’ll learn about Crowley’s involvement in the Golden Dawn and the O.T.O., his clandestine activities during both world wars, and the nature and influence of his personal relationships.
Foreword by Lon Milo DuQuette
“Colin Campbell’s earlier works have shown him to be one of the most thorough and thoughtful Thelemic authors of our era. In Thelema , Campbell brings this same acumen and clarity of expression to the life and work of Aleister Crowley. The book covers a wide range of territory-historical, theoretical, and practical-and will be a useful resource for beginners and more advanced students alike.”-David Shoemaker, author of Living Thelema
Campbell (Of the Arte Goetia) gives readers a glimpse into the adventurous life of countercultural figure Aleister Crowley (1875-1847) in this small but comprehensive book. Crowley was born to a wealthy family outside London and received a strict Evangelical education within the Protestant Plymouth Brethren sect. He then attended Trinity College at Cambridge. While on a mountaineering trip, he first met members of Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a “magickal” order that wed the Jewish mysticism of the Kabbalah with “Western occultism… a syncretic mix of Eastern tattwa symbolism, chakras, and similar practices.” Initially thrilled to find a group that would initiate him into occult practices, Crowley was quickly disappointed when he attained the Order’s highest status within two years and discovered that many of the secretive documents contained ideas he had already learned. Crowley then decided he must forge his own path. Campbell writes that Thelema, the partly Kabbalah-inspired “spiritual and social philosophy that Crowley spent his life defining and manifesting,” is bigger than philosophy or religion; its central premise is that one will do what one wants, and that people should set their own moral codes. The last part of the book is a detailed description of the symbolism of Thelema and of meaningful rituals associated with the Gnostic Mass. Thelemites will love Campbell’s concise book. (Feb.) – Publishers Weekly
“Colin Campbell’s earlier works have shown him to be one of the most thorough and thoughtful Thelemic authors of our era. In Thelema , Campbell brings this same acumen and clarity of expression to the life and work of Aleister Crowley. The book covers a wide range of territory-historical, theoretical, and practical-and will be a useful resource for beginners and more advanced students alike.”-David Shoemaker, author of Living Thelema – From the Publisher