The Book of the Law
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The Book of the Law

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,918 ratings  ·  72 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. Dictated to Crowley in Cairo between noon and 1 pm on three success days in April 1904, the Book of the Law is the source book and key for Crowley students and for the occult in general.
Hardcover, Centennial Edition, 160 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by Red Wheel Weiser (first published January 1st 207)
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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
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...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...
Barrett  Dylan Brown
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.

Nov 14, 2008 Tim rated it 3 of 5 stars
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.
Filipe Dumas
'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)
Bryan Elkins
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...more
Matt Evans
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...more
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
I have read, re-read and read again and each time I goet more out of this book...
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.
Derek Peffer
Mar 27, 2014 Derek Peffer rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.
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
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.
Oct 10, 2012 Powerispower rated it 4 of 5 stars
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 10, 2007 andrew rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Jenny Devildoll
I'm not really sure how to going about reviewing this. It's more a piece of prose to be experienced and meditated upon.
I use the quotes mentioned in the description in place of the Wiccan creed since I find it much more realistic.

Angela Pippinger
Had loaned mine out years ago and never got it back. Finally got me a new copy and finished it last night.
Do what thou wilt, shall be the Law. Love is the Law. Love under Will.
Well, what can I say? It's my Holy Book. I love it.
Vesra (When She Reads)
this hits the soul
The anecdotic and supposed meeting between Crowley and Gurdjieff goes as follows :

“Mister, you go?” Gurdjieff inquired. Crowley assented. “You have been guest?”—a fact which the visitor could hardly deny. “Now you go, you are no longer guest?” Crowley—no doubt wondering whether his host had lost his grip on reality and was wandering in a semantic wilderness – humored his mood by indicating that he was on his way back to Paris. But Gurdjieff, having made the point that he was not violating the ca...more
Feb 02, 2014 Jesse rated it 1 of 5 stars
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....more
When I read this the first thought that came to mind was "I didn't know the devil had written his own bible". After reading this my faith has tremendously increased in GOD/Jesus/Holy Spirit. Since reading this I have noticed the evil around the world- words written in this are in a lot of popular music, a lot of the signs mentioned within are displayed often on clothing, books, even churches (hawk head, left eye symbolism, etc) The devil really has many fooled and confused and will do anything t...more
Charlie Brown
This book is extremely difficult to decipher but overall it's quite an extraordinary piece of writing.
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...more
Ash Priom
Literature masterpiece.
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 pries...more
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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 A∴A∴, 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.” 97 likes
“Every man and every woman is a star.” 72 likes
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