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The Life and Works of Aleister Crowley - Digital Archive - Kyle Baird

Biographical Sketch of Aleister Crowley


Aleister Crowley was an English occultist, magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer.  He was the prophet for the religion of Thelema, which he also founded.  Crowley was born in 1875 into a wealthy family and attended Trinity College at Cambridge.  He traveled the world widely; Egypt, America, Mexico, Australia, France, and many more countries.

Crowley is a major figure in the world of the occult and esoteric groups.  This is not surprising, given how in addition to joining several of these groups and rising to leadership roles, he also created his own esoteric group.  Esotericism is about secret knowledge for a small group of people, usually concerning spiritual, mythical, and occult views.  Crowley used these groups and his writing abilities to further spread word of his religion, Thelema.  He did this most of his life, especially the writing portion.  He was considered a very controversial figure in his time, and was even given the title of, “the wickedest man in the world” by the press.  This was due to his eccentric nature, his recreational drug use, being a critic of social norms, and being a bisexual.


Notably, in WWI he spent the war in the U.S. advocating for the Germans with his writing prowess.  Later on, he revealed he did this to infiltrate and undermine German efforts in support of British Intelligence.


Crowley wrote almost his entire life on various topics.  He advocated and attempted to spread the religion of Thelema until his death in 1947.  Crowley is still considered a prophet in Thelema and a huge figure in the occult society today.