“The Magical World of Aleister Crowley” by Francis X. King (1977 edition scan)

"The Magical World of Aleister Crowley" by Francis X. King (1977 edition scan)

"Long after his death, occultist Aleister Crowley now has more followers than ever during his notorious lifetime. In this full-scale biography of the bizarre inventor of what he called "Magick," Francis King examines Crowley's writings and theories as well as the elaborate rituals and perverse sexual practices that were the mark of this magnetic personality and cult figure.

A talented writer and poet, an experienced mountaineer, and a heroin addict, Crowley was at the center of any occult controversy. He was expelled from the Golden Dawn Society, which numbered W.B. Yeats among its members, and wrote anti-British propaganda in the United States during World War I. When rumors of abominable rites and orgies at his Sicilian abbey reached the authorities, he was deported from Italy. His god was the Christian Satan, his religion a sexual occultism which was a Western version of tantra, his bible a mysterious manuscript called "The Book of the Law," which he said had been dictated to him by Aiwass, his devilish deity.

Aleister Crowley was far more than a vulgar black magician, although he once sacrificed a toad he had baptized "Jesus of Nazareth." While at various times in his life he indulged in every perversion from sodomy to coprophilia, he was not a mere sexual athlete, and he certainly was no ordinary "satanic occultist"—his synthesized religion was remarkably clear and consistent, showing a unique intellectual power and even beauty.

Francis King's wry account of Crowley's extraordinary life, and his detailed examination of the important writing, throws much new light on the man and will fascinate not only occultists but everyone intrigued by the strange and eccentric."