Quick reads – In The Shadow of the Beast

I don’t really remember when did I register for an academia.edu account, but I must have agreed to receiving notifications constantly because I began receiving daily emails about papers and documents I might be interested on reading.

And you know what? They were right! Although they’re basically just spamming me, the website seems to host articles that genuinely pique my curiosity. “Oh, this looks like a cool read! I’ll try to remember reading this when I get back home.”

Of course, I never remembered once I made it home. I just wanted to smoke weed and forget I had to use my brain. Until yesterday, when I had enough time to spare and I decided to sit down and actually read one of these papers. I chose this one:

Link: https://www.academia.edu/40558824/In_the_Shadow_of_the_Beast_The_Impact_of_Aleister_Crowley_on_New_Religious_Movements_and_Contemporary_Culture?email_work_card=view-paper

Summary

  • Crowley was a more influential figure than people actually credit him as being.

And…that’s it? Really the article goes into detail about Crowley’s life, his books, his friends, and his crazy antics, but I think the conclusion of this paper is that Crowley has played a very significant role in the development on new religious movements like Wicca or Ritual Magic (he is claimed to have been one of the most, if not the most, influential member of the O.T.O). Hell, even the spelling of magic as magick is apparently Crowley’s doing. I know how important the O.T.O. was in the development of modern occultism, along with Crowley’s own society, the A.A. I am by no means an expert in esoteric affairs, but those two are big names in the universe of modern spiritual movements – not so religious perhaps, as many of these occult societies are reactionary and establish themselves as contrary to organized mainstream religions from which ironically they inherit a lot of their mythology and modus operandi.

Crowley came into our world amidst an increasing interest in sexuality, a reaction (there goes that word again) against victorian norms and ideas of what was pure and clean. Generally after a period of darkness or occulting, history prefers to move in the opposite direction. Force people to keep their body a secret, and you can rest assured that the next movement is going to be precisely about being as revealing and naughty as possible. Drugs, sex, rock and roll…Crowley had it all.

I don’t want to write unnecessary words as I’m not a writer, so I will keep this summary short. This document doesn’t introduce much new material regarding Crowley’s life, but it is a good compilation of facts and trivia about the beast. I would certainly recommend it to people who are interested in ritual magic and western esotericism, specially if they also want to learn where these ideas came from, and what kind of person was Aleister Crowley.

Ultimately though, don’t forget this is all about practicing.

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