Aleister Crowley (1875 - 1947)


Born Edward Alexander Crowley, he was an influential English occultist, poet and mountaineer, who was responsible for founding the religious practice of Thelema. A hugely controversial figure (deliberately so), he is often wrongly accused of Satanism and judged upon his personal life rather than his studies. (It should be noted that the great scientist Isaac Newton was reportedly a rather unpleasant man but luckily he is judged on his work rather than his personality). Crowley's writings and Occult studies are valuable contributions to the subject and deserve serious attention. His influence on modern magical practices and popular culture (look for him on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!) is considerable.