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Aleister Crowley

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An author of occult and esoteric text, a proto-Satanis,t and proponent of Neo-Gnosticism. Born Edward Alexander Crowley in 1875, he became a member of a fragmenting Golden Dawn in his young adult years. From those whom me therein he conceived of an adapted ritual featuring quasi-derivative elements from Revelations of The Bible and a character fit for qualification as a Black Mass. He penned his own scripture and a 3-part automatic writing he would call The Book of the Law, enshrining a principle, movement, and religion of Thelema.

Proto-Satanism

Besides adopting many pseudonyms symptomatic of, and conducive to, his struggle with Christian culture (including referring to himself as Baphomet, and the Great Beast, 666, Aleister Crowley also described his tutelary and initiating genius (whom he called his Holy Guardian Angel) as Lucifer. He invoked Satan and crucified a frog he christened "Jesus of Nazareth". By Christian society he has been described as 'The Wickedest Man in the World', and his notoriety due to his writings, legal cases, and the esoteric cults he fomented in his wake, has secured for him a lasting reputation as an occultist and ceremonial magician.

Religious Witchcraft

During the early part of the 20th century a Rosicrucian by the name of Gerald B. Gardner constructed a religion he equated to witchcraft out of grimoires and the writings of Aleister Crowley, into whose initiatic order, the O.T.O., he had become a member. Aside from some of his poetic and ritual writings adapted for his Gardnerian tradition, Gerald also appropriated an excerpt from Crowley's scripture, describing it as "The Witch's Rede": "An' it harm none, do what thou wilt." This was to form an important faction as part of the rise of religious witchcraft, which was a reaction to British anti-witchcraft laws and ostensibly included symbolic elements of Freemasonry and BDSM.

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