Aleister Crowley and The Ordo Templi Orientis
Edward Alexander Crowley was born in Warwickshire, England in 1875. He was educated at Malvern and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he changed his name to Aleister Crowley was the author of several dozen books and was a drug experimenter, yogi and magician. Crowley is best known today as the author of the twentieth century's most influential textbooks on occultism and he founded the religion of Thelema.
Crowley has become a icon of counter cultural rebellion. The Beatles included him on the "people we like" cover of Sergeant Pepper's not once but twice. Crowley's religious philosophy of Thelema was summarized as 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law'. The religion of Thelema was dictated to Crowley in Egypt in 1904 by what he described as a "praeterhuman intelligence" his Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwass.
Through the Religion of Thelema, Crowley was Considered Prophet
Who was entrusted with informing humanity that it was entering the new Aeon of Horus in the early twentieth century and as a young man he became an influential member of the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. He would go on to found his own occult society, and eventually became a leader of Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.).
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a magical order of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Concepts of magic and ritual that became core elements of many other traditions, including Wicca, Thelema and other forms of magical spirituality are drawn from the Golden Dawn tradition. The Golden Dawn was technically only the first or "outer" of three orders, although all three are often collectively described as the "Golden Dawn". The First Order taught esoteric philosophy based on the Hermetic Qabalah and personal development through study and awareness of the four Classical Elements.
They also taught the basics of astrology, tarot and geomancy. The Second or "Inner" Order, the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (the Ruby Rose and Cross of Gold), taught magic proper, including scrying, astral travel and Alchemy. The fabled Third Order was that of the "Secret Chiefs", who were said to be great adepts no longer in incarnate form, but who directed the activities of the lower two orders by spirit communication with the Chiefs of the Second Order. The three founders,
Dr. William Woodman, William Westcott, and Samuel MacGregor Mathers were Freemasons
And members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A.), an appendant body to Freemasonry. Westcott, also a member of the Theosophical Society, appears to have been the initial driving force behind the establishment of the Golden Dawn. Influences on Golden Dawn concepts and work include: Christian mysticism, Qabalah, Hermeticism, the religion of Ancient Egypt, Theurgy, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Theosophy, Eliphas Levi, Papus, Enochian magic, and Renaissance grimoires.
Crowley was a leader in the Gnostic Catholic Church and wrote a Gnostic mass that embodied thelemic teachings in the form of the Roman Catholic Mass and also used this mass in Freemasonry circles. Aleister Crowley is what Freemasonry considers a Esoteric Irregular Freemason and although his accomplishments were many in Freemasonry.
Crowley and the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) had no influence on Freemasonry, at least according to the Exoteric (public) Freemasonry literature where Crowley is described as a brilliant, yet flawed, student of symbolism and ritual. Crowley was a member of several occult organizations and was dubbed "The Wickedest Man In the World" the 666 Beast.
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