Suppose a strange woman walked into your drawing room and insisted on being hostess. You would be troubled by this. Yet, people sit down and offer the use of their brains and hands which are, after all, more important than offices and drawing rooms to any stray intelligence that may be wandering about. People use the Ouija Board without taking the slightest precautions. A similar process was instrumental in the Automatic Writing sessions of psycho-archaeologist Frederick Bligh Bond during his excavations at Glastonbury Abbey and claimed as the source of the insights prompting his surprisingly successful excavations. It was inevitable that somebody would combine the two, Ouija Board and planchette, sooner or later, with seemingly spectacular results.

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He was denounced in his own time for his decadent lifestyle and had few followers, but he became a cult figure after his death. The younger Crowley, however, formed an aversion to Christianity early in life. As a student at Trinity College, University of Cambridge , he began to use the name Aleister and gained a reputation for skill at chess. In he left the university without taking a degree.

His own inheritance left him free to travel widely and to arrange for the publication of his writings. His first book of poetry appeared in , and numerous books followed.

It was said that Crowley, who had advised them against taking the fatal route, ignored cries for help from the survivors of the accident. Like many other religious skeptics of the 19th century, Crowley became interested in occultism. In he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization derived from the Rosicrucians.

On a visit to Egypt in , Crowley reported mystical experiences and wrote The Book of the Law, a prose poem which he claimed had been dictated to him by a discarnate being called Aiwass. His assistant in the early years of this endeavour was J. Fuller , later a well-known military strategist and historian. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.

During this time he wrote The Diary of a Drug Fiend , which was published as a novel but was said to have been based on personal experience. Having exhausted his inheritance on travel and extravagances, Crowley moved back to England in the early s. His last notable achievement was the publication of The Book of Thoth , in which he interpreted a new tarot card deck, called the Thoth, that he had designed in collaboration with the artist Frieda Harris.

Crowley died in poverty and obscurity in an English rooming house in , but after his death he became a figure of fascination in popular culture. The Beatles put his picture on the Sgt. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:.


Aleister Crowley

Not annoyingly so, however; it was the kind of repeat that one expects and perhaps even appreciates in a longer work, and probably would have been quite handy if I was reading it over the span of a month, instead of a couple days. And some of the repetition is clearly deliberate to drive home a point, such as "As above, so below," or A pretty quick, and fairly informative, read. And some of the repetition is clearly deliberate to drive home a point, such as "As above, so below," or "Ouija is not a toy. Also, helpfully outlined at the end is a suggested ritual format for more safely using talking boards, whether purchased or home-built. One other point worth noting: Mr. Cornelius is an old-school Thelemic magician, and while he may have intended this book for beginners and the uninitiated, as it were, he does occasionally lapse into technical terminology without bothering to explain it. I would therefore consider this to be an intermediate-level text, and recommend the reader have some baseline familiarity with Qabala and Crowleyan magick theory before digging in, or at least have resources available to look up the obscure bits before progressing.



Part fascinating history and part practical manual, this engaging guide takes the position that the Ouija Board is indeed as powerful as its detractors claim. Author J. Edward Cornelius shows how anyone armed with the proper knowledge can use the Ouija to communicate with invisible beings and other worlds. Entertaining and enlightening, Aleister Crowley and the Ouija Board reveals the dark secrets and hidden truths of this curious, enduring game. Edward Cornelius, would most likely recognize him as the co-publisher and principal author of Red Flame, a journal that has brought both scholarship and innovation to the study of Aleister Crowley, his works and circle. Given this, and the title of his new book, one might expect the work to be an earnest, theoretical discussion of the Great Beast and his thoughts on the Ouija Board.

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