Ask almost anyone their view on Aleister Crowley and opinions will polarize: he was a genius; a psychopath; a drug-riddled sex maniac; a champion of sexual freedom against the restrictions of Victorian prudery and hypocrisy; he was a secret agent; a lost-soul poet; a playboy with little better to do than dabble in magic; a lifestyle imitator of Oscar Wilde and Richard Burton; a drug addict; a narcissistic sadist; a visionary artist.
Few commentators are qualified to critique Crowley's esoteric motivations and ambitions and most simply dismiss him as a black magician who had fallen from the path. But if he did fall, why? Exactly where did he imagine the path led in the first place? And how far did he actually succeed in his life-long mission to overthrow the established order and herald a new age of magick? Ashe thinks he knows and has written a narrative that presents a lively biography from the perspective of understanding Crowley's roots in the magic of the Order of the Golden Dawn.
Crowley was not the first of the great English magicians and certainly will not be the last. This work has been written for the general audience with a simple elegance, but has enough surprises to delight the most hackneyed Crowley expert.
©2015 Steven Ashe (P)2015 Steven Ashe / Cliff Truesdell
Well researched, unbiased, and of course with anything pertaining to Crowley, full of strange and slightly disturbing stories about his life. Does not break new ground, but excellent for anyone who has even a passing interest in this unique man. Recommended.
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