Aleister Crowley

English occultist (1875–1947)

Aleister Crowley (12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947) was a British mystic, occultist, writer, poet, mountain climber and nicknamed "The Wickedest Man In the World.".[1]

Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley (1919)
Born(1875-10-12)12 October 1875
Died1 December 1947(1947-12-01) (aged 72)
Hastings, Sussex, England
Aleister Crowley (1902)

He was an influential member in some occult organisations, such as the Golden Dawn, the A∴A∴, and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.),[2] and is better known today for his occult books and papers. He was bisexual.[3]

Crowley also started a mystical philosophy known as Thelema, the Abbey of Thelema, and revived the term magick.

Early life


Edward Alexander Crowley was born at 36 Clarendon Square in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England, between 11:00pm and 11:59 p.m. on 12 October 1875.[4]

In 1895, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge after going to Malvern College and Tonbridge School. In his three years at Cambridge, his father died and left him a large sum of money.

In December 1896, Crowley took interest in occultism and by the next year, he began reading books on alchemy and mysticism. A year later, he published his first book of poetry (Aceldama), and left Cambridge, only to meet Julian L. Baker who introduced him to Samuel Mathers and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

In November 1899, Crowley bought Boleskine House in Foyers on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland.

The Golden Dawn


Samuel Mathers, acting leader of the Golden Dawn organisation, acted as his early mentor in western magic. Crowley lost faith in his mentor's abilities in 1900 but did not officially break with Mathers until 1904.[5]

Crowley died of a respiratory infection in a Hastings boarding house on 1 December 1947 at the age of 72.[6] He had been addicted to heroin after being prescribed morphine for his asthma and bronchitis many years earlier.[7]

Readings at the cremation service in Brighton included Hymn to Pan, and newspapers referred to the service as a black mass.[6]



  • The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley (Tunisia 1923) : Edited by Stephen Skinner
  • Bull, John. "The Wickedest Man in the World". Sunday Express, 24 Mar. 1923. Unverified that this is the article:[12] Verification that the Sunday Express did make article:[13]
  • Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. (2012). "Introduction". In Bogdan, Henrik; Starr, Martin P. Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 3–14. ISBN 978-0-19-986309-9.


  1. Bottomley, Horatio] (24 March 1923). "The Wickedest Man In The World". John Bull. Archived from the original on 25 October 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2006.
  2. Crowley, Aleister. Confessions.
  3. Goodreads
  4. Diaries; page 10
  5. Sutin, pp. 80, 90-91
  6. 6.0 6.1 Sutin, pp. 417-419
  7. Sutin p 411, 416, initial prescription p 277.
  8. Ernest Hemmingway, A Moveable Feast, from the chapter Ford Madox Ford and the Devil's Disciple
  9. Bogdan & Starr 2012, p. 7.
  10. Jackson, James (8 January 2010). "Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin's good times, bad times and reunion rumours". The Times.
  11. "Led Zeppelin Biography". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  12. "1923 March 24 - John Bull - Aleister Crowley Articles :: :: Home of The Aleister Crowley Society". Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  13. US Grand Lodge, OTO: Aleister Crowley

Other websites