Both idolized and vilified, Aleister Crowley was the most controversial occultist of his time. He was a man of both brilliance and excesses. He considered himself the reincarnation of Edward Kelly, the notorius assistant to John Dee. Crowley was born in Warwarkshire, England. His father was a brewer and a preacher of plymouthism. 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 fantisized about humiliation and bondage and discipline.

He enrolled at trinity college in Cambridge where he wrote poetry and pursued his studies in the occult. He also was a mountain climber and attempted climbing some of the peaks in the Himilayas. In 1898 he published his first book, Aceldema, A Place To Bury Strangers In.

Crowley was lead 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 HERMATIC ORDER OF THE GOLDEN DAWN. 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 obbsessed with S.L. MacGregor Mathers, the head of the Hermatic 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.

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In 1903 he married Rose Kelly, and together they had a child. On three consecutive days in 1904 from noon till 1 p.m. , Aiwass manifested as a voice and dictated to Crowley THE BOOK OF THE LAW. Admirers of Crowley say the book distinguishes him as one of the greatest magicians of history.

From 1903 to 1913 Crowley published the secret rituals of the Golden Dawn in his periodical, THE EQUINOX.

Crowley kept with him a series of quistionable women who indulged with him in alcohol, drugs and sexual magic. Crowley made several attempts with various women to have a magical child, but all failed.

From 1915 to 1919 Crowley lived in the United States. In 1920 he went to Sicily and founded the Abbey of Thelema. In 1923 Crowley was expelled from Sicily and after some further travel returned to England.

In 1929 he married his second with Maria Ferrari de Miramar. Suffering financial problems, poor health and drug addiction he became a shadow of his former self. He died in 1947 in Hastings.

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