a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Introductions to Thelema

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.chaos
From: (Tim Maroney)
Subject: Introductions to Thelema
Date: 10 Dec 95 18:38:03 GMT (Bethel Student) writes:
>For what I have found to be a great beginning intro to Thelema
>(the religion/philosophy founded by Crowley), I recommend
>_New_Aeon_Magick:_Thelema_Without_Tears_ by Gerald del Campo.  It's a
>skinny book, a quick read, and fairly cheap (under $10 US).  It might be a
>good idea to get some idea of what Thelema is if you're planning on
>studying magick, because it seems to crop up _everywhere_.  And I think it
>contains some useful insights that can be useful even if you're not a
>Crowley fan.

I disagree strongly. Both the del Campo and Duquette books are horribly
oversimplified, doctrinaire, and unoriginal rehashes of Crowley. There
is no freshness of insight, but there is a slavish repetition of errors
and a general air of "Crowley said it, that settles it, and I believe it!"

A much better introduction has just come out from Rodney Orpheus. The
book is titled _Abrahadabra_, from Looking Glass Press in Stockholm.
Unfortunately it does not have the distribution of the Weiser and
Llewellyn books and you may have to special order it.

Orpheus is quite original and witty in his presentation. The chattiness
of the style is reminiscent of Crowley's best-written, least ponderous
prose book, _Magick_without_Tears_, and the rituals are examples of
what a true Thelemite does with Crowley: not simply follow ploddingly
in his footsteps, but use his system as a treasure-trove of symbols
from which to create new and personal approaches to the divine.

_Abrahadabra_ is still too doctrinaire for my tastes, repeating
uncritically the flawed aeonic model and True Will theory which Crowley
developed in his interpretations of the Book of the Law. One wishes he
would at least _try_ to answer some of the hard questions about the
Crowley interpretations of history, psychology and ethics. Orpheus also
sometimes repeats Crowley's errors of fact, such as the Resh
(mis-)attribution of Egyptian deities to the stations of the sun. These
minor failings are more than made up for by his creativity, humor, and
insight. I recommend the book to both experienced and novice students
of Crowley's work.
Tim Maroney.  Please CC all public responses to

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races