Aleister Crowley (12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947), born Edward Alexander Crowley, was an influential English occultist, provocateur, hedonist, mountaineer, chess player, mystic, writer, and artist dubbed "The Wickedest Man in the World". His motto was "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law; love is the law, love under will." note
He is known for his occult writing and drug experimentation. Also noted for appearing on the cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, drawing the interest of Jimmy Page, and being the subject of the Ozzy Osbourne song "Mr. Crowley." Not to be confused with Anthony J. Crowley. He ended at #73 in One Hundred Greatest Britons.
List of Crowley's works:
- Thoth Tarot Deck, in collaboration with Lady Frieda Harris.
Aleister Crowley's works provide examples of the following tropes:
- The Antichrist: His Alter-Ego didn't see the "Beast 666" as the harbinger of Hell on Earth, but simply as the prophet of the new aeon, the old order of Christianity having served its purpose.
- Arc Number: In Crowley's system of numerology, the number 93 was the numerical value of several significant words and phrases, and has become a common salutation among followers of Thelema.
- He includes doing something eleven times whenever possible in his rituals.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The muckraking site Judiciary Report describes Crowley as "Satanist, pedophile, murderer and Kabbalah adherent." Not only that, but "the grandfather of George W. Bush". (Speculation about Crowley being the father of Babara Bush necessarily remains just that.)
- A Beast in Name and Nature: Liked to call himself "the Beast 666", among other elaborate occult titles; amusingly, his own mother referred to him as "the beast" throughout his childhood, a fact that young Crowley delighted in.
- Black Magic: According to Crowley, any magical operation other than seeking contact with one's Holy Guardian Angel is black magic.
- Broken Base: Factions of successors claiming to be the only genuine OTO/Thelema/A:.A:., accept no substitutes. Echoes Crowley’s own part in the breaking of the Golden Dawn base.
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: A Google image search will provide several photos of him smoking one.
- Enlightenment Superpowers: In Crowley's system, influencing the outside world through magick always takes a back seat to the attainment of personal enlightenment, though (in theory) one leads to the other.
- Eye of Horus Means Egypt: The religion/philosophy of Thelema he created takes a lot of cues from Ancient Egypt and its mythology. The Eye can even be seen on his hat above.
- Freaky Funeral Forms: He wanted a Satanic funeral.
- Fun with Acronyms: Sort of. The magic(k)al organization Crowley founded (as opposed to taking over) was the A∴A∴ (not to be confused with a certain other organization with twelve steps). What "A∴A∴" stands for is a closely guarded secret (although there is a popular rumor that it means Astrum Argentum (The Silver Star), and Robert Anton Wilson has suggested that it stands for nothing (so anyone claiming to know the secret is exposed as an impostor)).
- Gnosticism: Crowley incorporated it into his texts, although his version of Gnosticism was understandably mangled considering that he created his philosophy decades before the Nag Hammadi texts were discovered.
- I Call Him "Mister Happy": In his novel, "Not the Life and Adventures of Sir Roger Bloxham", the titular character has names not only for his penis (Cardinal Mentula), but also his testicles (Sir Coglio the Florentine and Don Cojone of Legrono) and his anus (Porphyria Poppoea).
- Magical Society: The point of the Ordo Templi Orientis. Sex magic in particular, of course. Or wait: maybe they're just a Brotherhood of Funny Hats. Or, according to many a Conspiracy Theorist, a Secret Circle of Secrets. Or a Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering.
- Magick: Possibly the Trope Maker; he was the one who originally coined the spelling.
- Number of the Beast: The self-proclaimed "Beast 666". He considered it a solar number, and once when he was questioned in court about his moniker, he snarked:"It means merely sunlight. You may call me Little Sunshine."
- Parental Issues: It was his MOTHER who first decided he was the Beast 666. Also Uncle Issues.
- Religion is Magic: The religion Crowley founded, Thelema, is heavily intertwined with ceremonial magick. Although not strictly necessary, most Thelemites practice magick in one form or another.
- Satan Is Good: The central Gods of his own Pantheon were mostly Egyptian Gods and Greek Gods, with a few demons of Sumerian, Norse and Australian Aboriginal Origin. That said, he did play up the whole 'Great Beast 666' angle a lot.
- Self-Insert: Sir Peter Pendragon and King Lamus from Diary Of A Drug Fiend, Cyril Grey and possibly Simon Iff from Moonchild (and other writings in Iff's case). Peter at least had somewhat of an excuse.
- Small Reference Pools: Any mention of a real life Occult Guru will almost certainly be him.
- Take That!: Many of Crowley's Real Life enemies (e.g. Samuel Mathers as SRMD, Arthur Edward Waite as Arthwaite, and Yeats as "Gates") appear as villainous, German-allied caricatures in Moonchild.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Created the spelling "magick" to distinguish it from entertainment conjuring.