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.
"Straight to the Point Biography of Crowley"
This work details the subtle historic threads which have contributed to the development of Tarot Cards. Pagan and Christian influences are equally examined, as are the theories of early Hermetic influences such as Court de Geblin, Eliphas Levi, A.E. Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith, Aleister Crowley, and the Golden Dawn. A refreshing overview of the insights of important Tarot scholar Gertrude Moakely are also included in relation to the carnival tradition of Northern Italy and the influence of Petrarch (the founder of humanism and mentor of Dante).
A fascinating insight into Rosicrucian and alchemic secret societies popular in France during La Belle Epoque, 1880-1914, and beyond. Beneath the esoteric and spiritual eccentricities detailed in this work lies a tradition of serious esoteric inquiry that occupied some of the greatest minds of the day. The real identity of Fulcanelli is investigated fully and revealed, as are the international roots of the Rosicrucian revivalists of this era.