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The Book of the Law

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  2,631 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." This oft-misunderstood phrase, which forms the basis for Crowley's practice of Magick, is found in The Book of the Law. Allegedly dictated to Crowley in Cairo, Egypt between noon and 1 pm on three successive days in April 1904, the Book of the Law is the source book and key for Crowley's philosophy and/or religion, Thelema ...more
Hardcover, Centennial Edition, 160 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Red Wheel Weiser (first published 1909)
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May 10, 2007 andrew rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: only the cool
this is what you need to get started on your real life.everyone is their own star,the center of their own universe.this book is how to get in touch with what thou wilt.
Jan 28, 2008 Fredstrong rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hermetic
This is Crowley's revelation, and it shaped everything he did after receiving it. As a review, this can only be my personal experience with the Book of the Law as a philosophical/spiritual system. 90% of the Book of the Law really jives with me. The central axiom, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, love is the law, love under will", is music to my ears. The notion that Aeon of sin and restriction, as represented by the dogma of Christianity, is coming to an end, makes a great deal ...more
First off I have no idea how to properly rate this book. My best guess is I shouldn't have used this as my introduction to Crowley's work. I read it over the scope of two nights while drinking Guinness late at night. I think this is a book I will have to come back to, maybe when my knowledge of the occult has broadened...
Bryan Elkins
Jan 06, 2009 Bryan Elkins rated it really liked it
Aw hell, I don't even know anymore.

I was reluctant to rate this book, but I gotta give props, this book is amazing and had quite an effect on me.

It certainly was written in 3 days, but people are still deciphering coded information from its text that yields SOMEtimes historically-accurate prophecy. Other times it seems to have predicted alternate versions of events. I can cite no examples.

I cannot review this book, as it seems to have no real author. But I can describe it.

Ok wait. It's 3 short
Dr. Barrett  Dylan Brown, Phd
There are books about magick and then there are books that _are_ magick.

This is one of the latter.

I recommend everyone read it through at least once... Then never trust anyone who wants to speak with you about it. Including me.

Aug 31, 2008 Marlee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: occult
A very odd little book. Creeped me out a bit even. I read it under a big oak tree at the park while my daughter played.
There's something there, not sure it is time for me to understand.

You may commence calling me a weirdo.
Nov 14, 2008 Tim rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone discovering their own path
Shelves: occult-magick
This is the book that most often quoted by people interested in Aleister Crowley, and it certainly deserves to be read. As far as understood, I cannot imagine a translation (they do exist, by the way) that would make any sense to anyone other than Crowley.
There is, however, a hidden meaning to the entire text...

(HINT: look at the very end:
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading.
Jan 25, 2009 Timm added it
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading.
Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire.
Those who discuss the contents of this Book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence.
All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself.
There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.
Love is the law, love under will.
The Priest of the
Vesra (When She Reads)
this hits the soul
Matt Evans
May 31, 2015 Matt Evans rated it liked it
This is a happy little book -- e.g., "We have nothing w/ the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world" (pg. 41).

Actually, the foregoing has much in common w/ the central philosophy of The Secret; viz, the idea that the suffering and pain of others must be ignored or turned away from lest the observer attract these ills unt
Jenny Devildoll
Nov 23, 2010 Jenny Devildoll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: occult
I'm not really sure how to going about reviewing this. It's more a piece of prose to be experienced and meditated upon.
Filipe Dumas
Jul 29, 2011 Filipe Dumas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'3. In the sphere I am everywhere the centre, as she, the circumference, is nowhere found.
4. Yet she shall be known & I never.'
(p. 29)
david blumenshine
no matter what i say here, it will be connected to my name. i gave it five stars, because, as one of the final lines states, whether one agrees with what is said, one must find it beautiful, lest they be mere liars, or something to that ends, and it is. and i'm not going to burn my copy, as that is what i wilt, i guess, and without compassion.
Aug 13, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it
This is not meant to be easily understood. This makes in not an easy read, even though it may be read quickly. It is meant to be eaten like fine food, eaten slowly and savored. This may be difficult for the new to the path to ingest, but the initiate may have more ease.
Nov 04, 2011 Cinnamon_grrl rated it it was amazing
I read the passages in this book often. There are truly some enlightened and beautiful words written here. No doubt people without esoteric knowledge will be confused and most likely repelled by this book. But it wasn't written for them.
Despite his flaws, Crowley was a forward thinking, truly progressive mind. He will always be controversial; prophet to some, anti-Christ to others. One thing is certain, no two people will walk away from this book with the same experience. In these pages are mes
Jun 01, 2012 Christopher rated it it was amazing
Well, what can I say? It's my Holy Book. I love it.
Jul 11, 2012 Starland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting piece of writing. Purportedly "dictated" to Aleister Crowley by a being called "Aiwass" speaking for the Egyptian god Horus in Egypt in 1904, the Liber Al is the central book for Crowleyanity (AKA "Thelema"). Very disturbing at times, the Liber Al Legis ("Book Of The Law") has been likend to the poetry of Robert Browning by some and condemned as the ramblings of a drug addicted satanic lunatic by others.
Aug 04, 2012 Marc rated it it was amazing
Shelves: occult-theory
Great book. Not for everyone, for sure. Really something that a one time reading does not do justice to. You could study your whole life and barely lift the veil.
Babalonshi Biab
Sep 11, 2012 Babalonshi Biab rated it it was amazing
I have read, re-read and read again and each time I goet more out of this book...
Oct 10, 2012 Powerispower rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anarchists
Some powerful idea presented elegantly and succinctly. Quite a few clever religious and mythic allusions. No idea what all the numbers are about; I'm not messing around and staring at them until apophenia comes.
May 20, 2013 Caz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Just brilliant, truly Crowley's masterpiece. We all know that Crowley is not for everyone. However the reader who is educated in world religions, occult and mysticism will truly appreciate this book. Definitely for the discerning reader to pore over and take in. Thelema is really a fascinating concept that I am reading and learning about more and more.
Aug 07, 2015 Adam rated it it was ok
Made for a nice break from a very serious and challenging book on Buddhist Philosophy from the Oxford University Press, from Peter Adamson's podcast History of Philosophy without Any Gaps, from Sartre's Being and Nothingness, from figuring out how keeping a studio apartment clean is so difficult a task for me, from being too involved in following election campaigns and (more importantly) the Blue Jays' thoroughly impressive playoff push, from attempting a diversified social life as a graduate st ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Jesse rated it did not like it
Shelves: trash
I had a longer review written out but this will get my point across:

"Extraterrestrial entities are apparently relatively familiar with 16th century French literature.
Unfortunately, that is apparently all they know of good writing and are woefully incapable of creating anything even remotely near what counts as actual literature."


"Crowley is a pre-Internet Nigerian prince.
“Evil” is a relative label requiring more qualifications than mere aberrant sex and the affixation of 666 to your name.
Oct 16, 2014 Derek rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Drug Addicts
Recommended to Derek by: Crazy people
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I think the people that go around quoting, "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt. Love is the law, love under will," and "Every man and every woman is a star," skipped over the parts of the transcript in which demand worship, offer praise to one who gives into one's every desire no matter the consequence because consequences don't matter, says women are at their best when they're adulterous whores that are meant solely as objects of lust, calls out compassion as weakness, says only those of ...more
Oct 21, 2014 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good friend who is super into the occult and weird new-agey stuff loaned me a copy of this. It's consistently interesting, but never appeals to me on an ethical or moral level. The guy was obviously either out of his mind or high as FUCK when he wrote it. I mean, dude claims that the whole thing was dictated to him by this ancient pseudo-Egyptian God type entity over three days in 1904, so he is probably not the most credible source on the nature of reality. Despite Crowley probably being out ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Roewoof rated it really liked it
I read this book mostly as a philosophy and poetry text than a religious one. There are a few ideas in here that definitely appeal to me, but it's the entire portion on Babalon that really captures my attention and imagination.
“همگان، به هوش باشید: هستی، لذت محض است. اندوه تنها سایه ایست؛ می گذرد و نیست می گردد و تنها هستی باقی می ماند.”

ظاهراً در اواخر قرن نوزدهم، انجمن های سری جادوگری خیلی در انگلستان شایع شده بوده. اونجوری که توی فیلم ها و داستان ها نشون میده، عضویت در این انجمن ها فقط مختص اشراف بوده. از توی همین انجمن ها، کلی دین و آیین بیرون اومده، از جمله آیین "تلما" که توسط آلیستر کراولی بنیان گذاشته شد. آلیستر کراولی یکی از برجسته ترین جادوگران قرون جدیده و مخصوصاً نقش مهمی در معرفی آیین های هند (مثل یوگا) به
Álvaro Arbonés
«Haz tu voluntad será el todo de la Ley».

Quien más quien menos conoce de dónde procede ese apotegma. Incluso si es sólo por omisión. Ya sea por un interés por el ocultismo, por sus evidentes ecos nietzschianos o por haber buscado alguna clase de justificación en su individualismo, quien más quien menos está familiarizado con la obra de Aleister Crowley. No es para menos: resulta cuanto menos llamativo hablar de la voluntad en términos de ley. De legislación. Como si la imposición externa de nor
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Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, was a British occultist, writer, mountaineer, philosopher, poet, and mystic. He was an influential member in several occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the AA, and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), and is best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of the Law , the central sacred text of Thelema. He gained much notoriet ...more
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“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” 129 likes
“Every man and every woman is a star.” 97 likes
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