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 Aleister Crowley biography

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Mauro

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PostSubject: Aleister Crowley biography   Thu 27 Dec 2007, 5:54 am

I am currently looking for a very good book about the "wickedest man in the world": price doesn't matter. Until now I have been recommended the following :

Megatherion: The Magical World of Aleister Crowley by Francis King
A Magick Life: The Life of Aleister Crowley by Martin Booth
Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley by Lawrence Sutin

and of course the various autobiographic works

Diary of a Drug Fiend
The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Autohagiography

I don't have that much time to read and I would like not to waste on mediocre texts.
Thanks!
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Aleister Crowley biography   Fri 28 Dec 2007, 1:57 am

Stopped yesterday evening on the way home at an occult bookshop and bought myself The Beast 666 by John Symonds.
It's an immense volume (600 pages) and quite pricey.
It's a good read but up until now it's just a good biography with very little in the way of precious informations about how Crowley "came about" in his system of beliefs.
I hope I'll be able to finish it in an acceptable time...
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Aleister Crowley biography   Fri 28 Dec 2007, 7:18 am

I keep most of my books as reference pieces and raely have time to sit and plough one cover to cover.

I have a copy of 'The Confessions of Aliester Crowley' by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant.

I also have a later work by Symonds called 'The King of the Shaow Realm, Aliester Crowley: his life and magic'

Like I said I have not hads time to sit and read them both but I believe them to be good books.
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Aleister Crowley biography   Fri 28 Dec 2007, 7:30 am

In the topic What Psychics See my friend described the following.

Quote :
The most interesting of this type was during the investigation of an apparently haunted building. I felt the presence of something before a full coloured man walked into the room. He stopped about ten feet from the doorway and started to look around. His clothing dated from around the Victorian era. He looked at each of the two people I was with before finally noticing me. I swear he knew I was looking at him. His face squinted as if he was studying me and he kept staring at me as if there was some intelligence there. Finally it was as if he gave me a warning to keep out of his way and left through the door. None of the others saw him and as I followed out of the room I queried a fellow clairvoyant who had been on the stairs outside the room. She had had mental images of a similar figure on the stair case just prior to my own encounter.

This is the only time in all his years as a clairvoyant he encountered a full colour appparition that actually showed intelligence. It later turned out that the location had a connection with Crowley and possibly still does with his family. It's probably all coinsidence but it did make me wonder further about psychic ability and the occult.
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Aleister Crowley biography   Fri 28 Dec 2007, 9:47 am

Thanks Ian. The King of Shadow Realm is the title of the previous edition of The Beast 666, so I imagine the contents are pretty similar. It's a good read though, Symonds fill the pages with interesting anedocts to keep up your attention. I admit I am having a good time reading it.

I have also heard of supposed hauntings in places where Crowley conducted his rituals: for example the Abbey of Thelema at Cefalý is still shunned by the locals and has such a bad reputation that nobody wants anything to do with it.
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Aleister Crowley biography   Thu 24 Jan 2008, 4:04 pm

Just put down The Beast 666 and what are my comments?
While Crowley's life is absolutely worth retelling, at least because it's so incredible, John Symonds make a mediocre work of telling it.
He tells a lot basically worthless episodes in incredible detail but omits whole important episodes (for example when Crowley, out of rebellion against his mother, decided to be damned at all costs) and, quite often, his writing style becomes slow and cumbersome.
While this may be the definitive and most detailed Crowley biography out there it's surely not the best to understand the man and his tenets of faith. Recommended only if you have the time and LOTS of patience.
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PostSubject: Re: Aleister Crowley biography   Tue 29 Jan 2008, 2:56 am

I have read a couple of books on Crowley .. and have to say that 'A Magick Life: The Life of Aleister Crowley by Martin Booth' was by far the best, I felt it was a very unbiased view and well worth a read.

Ali
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Aleister Crowley biography   Tue 29 Jan 2008, 7:02 am

Thanks for the feedback: I've just spent a small fortune (as usual) on some vintage titles but I'll keep that title in mind to make up for the disappointing experience.
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