Aleister Crowley was an English occultist born on October 12, 1875. He was best known as a ceremonial magician, painter, novelist, and mountaineer who also founded the modern religion of Thelema. Crowley identified himself as a prophet entrusted with leading humanity into the Æon of Horus, a time of self-realization and spiritual awakening in the first half of the 20th century. Today, he is still a widely prominent figure in Western esotericism, and his influence has been studied and reviewed by many scholars, as well as widely documented. Crowley’s strong personality is worth celebrating on his birthday today!
Edward Alexander Crowley, better known as Aleister Crowley, was an occultic leader who slowly but surely gained a lot of influence in the West. Of Irish descent, he was born into a wealthy family in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on October 12, 1875. His father was an engineer and had a share in the family brewing business, Crowley’s Alton Ales, while his mother was a housewife. His father was a devout Christian and preacher who died of tongue cancer in 1887 after the family’s move to Redhill, Surrey. Crowley attended Malvern College and then Tonbridge School and later enrolled at Trinity College for three years, studying philosophy.
After leaving Cambridge without high honors, Crowley’s interest in the occult, which had already sparkled, grew exponentially. In November 1898, he was initiated into the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn. At his initiation, Crowley took the name Frater Perdurabo, meaning “I shall endure to the end.” He soon learned how to perform ceremonial magic and the ritual use of drugs from Allan Bennett, who was a senior member of the Golden Dawn. In 1907, Crowley and George Cecil Jones founded an occult order as a successor to the Golden Dawn, called the A∴A∴. Crowley’s occult views gained fame, especially after Mathers’ publicized lawsuit against him, which was ruled in his favor. In 1914, after several publications on his occultic practices, Crowley was living hand-to-mouth. He moved to New York City and began writing for the American edition of Vanity Fair. In 1920, Crowley established the Abbey of Thelema as a religious commune in Cefalu. He soon got evicted by the Italian government in 1923 and lived in France, Germany, and England, where he continued to promote Thelema until his death.
Crowley lived a libertine lifestyle. He frequently indulged prostitutes and other pleasures of the flesh. His first marriage was to Rose Edith Kelly in 1903, for whom he wrote many poems. He divorced her on the grounds of his infidelity after her uncontrollable alcohol indulgence. In 1929, he married Maria Teresa Sanchez. He died in December 1947 from chronic bronchitis.
Group leader Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers initiates Crowley into the order.
He forms a new occult order with Jones.
He moves to New York City and begins working on the American edition of Vanity Fair.
Crowley establishes the Abbey of Thelema, a religious commune in Cefalu.
Why We Love Aleister Crowley
He was an L.G.B.T. supporter
Crowley appealed for complete sexual freedom for both men and women. He was against the suppression of sexual orientation, rampant in the 20th century.
He was respected
Following Crowley’s status and influence, he was respected in his religion. He wrote several books and exhibited intellectual prowess, so it’s only natural he earned the respect of his followers.
He loved women
Crowley loved women and even called several lovers ‘Scarlet Woman’. His ritualistic practices often involved women as well.
5 Surprising Facts
His mother called him a beast
Crowley’s mother described him as ‘the beast,’ a nickname in which he reveled.
He lost a sister
Crowley lost a baby sister in 1880.
He contracted gonorrhea
Crowley went against his Christian upbringing and had sex with prostitutes, from whom he contracted many S.T.I.s.
He developed albuminuria
He was in his teens when he developed this pathological condition.
He was bisexual
Crowley was known for having relationships with both men and women.
Aleister Crowley FAQs
Did Aleister Crowley climb K2?
Yes, Crowley participated in Oscar Eckenstein’s K2 expedition in 1902.
What is the meaning of Crowley?
Crowley is Irish for “descendant of the hardy warrior.”
Who are Aleister Crowley’s descendants?
Crowley had many children, including Anne Leah Poupee Crowley, Lola Zaza Crowley, Nuit Ma Ahathoor Hecate Sappho Jezebel Lilith Crowley, and many more.
Aleister Crowley’s birthday dates