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The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In addition to the fascinating biographical sketch drawn by Richard Kaczynski, author of the classic biography Perdurabo, this book offers Crowley's teachings in his own words. A carefully chosen series of his instructions for concentration, meditation, magick, invocation, even sex magick are included. Crowley's descriptions of the teaching Orders A:.A:. and OTO are presen ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Weiser Books
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Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wish I would have read this one earlier in my career. Also, tables.
Michael Kelly
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
It's difficult to criticise the book too harshly for being precisely what it says on the cover: a concise guide. It could be argued that it's perhaps a little too concise, or perhaps more precisely that the balance of contents is not quite right.

The short biographical section is quite good and does the job if you just want an overview of Crowley's life. It's not really a life to be summarised, though, as it was so full and over the top. It's no substitute for a fuller biography, or best of all t
Jamie Zigelbaum
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
After reviewing a few options for quickly and efficiently learning about Crowley, I chose this book and am happy I did. I heard about it from the editor James Wasserman on the Duncan Trussel Family Hour podcast. It's short, ~100 pages, well-written, and informative.

I'd easily recommend it as an intro to Crowley, his Magick, and the western occult during the early 1900s.

Here's a bullet-point summary:

- Crowley was a high-volume guy. Mountaineer and world Traveller who explored many wisdom traditio
Liam Griffin
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
It is concise and covers a lot of bases. But who wants to read of Crowley as a saint/genius all round great guy who founded a couple of esoteric religious orders?
Chris Brown
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Decent book about Crowley but a bit fawning. Exaggerates his involvement in British intelligence during WWII
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-occult
Concise alright, but too loaded with praise for Crowley. I expected a more neutral, academic introduction from which I could draw my own conclusions on this controversial character. The deification of a man who branded a new doctrine and religious movement is problematic.

The author also emphasises at every chapter "how difficult" it is to master Crowley's teachings. Nothing is difficult for those who are curious and ready to learn. The book aims to obscure rather than illuminate. The irony is t
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting biography of the man. The details about grades, hierarchies, and rituals left me numb. I was hoping for a bit more about the philosophy (if any) the integrates the hodge-podge of gods, rites, phrases, and exercises. Not too much was said about this, other than the idea that each person has a Will (which takes great effort to understand in oneself), and that heeding one's own Will is holy. I would rather learn more on this topic, as opposed to Greek phrases, Kabbalah utterances, astro ...more
Christopher Dobinson
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As the author said "it is the book I wish I had when I was 15" perfect basic introduction with some practical exersise's without getting lost in the story of crowley ...more
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Little version of Richard's bigger book :)
Read the whole thing with only a a few packs of beer on my terrace. Nice read.
Easy and fun read.

So grab a beer and this book and then give it to someone who doesn't know about Crowley yet.
This way its gonna be a guaranteed fun afterwards too!
a decent companion to crowley's works, and a great introduction. ...more
The book delivers exactly what it promises: a short but thorough introduction to Aleister Crowley and Thelema.
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Richard Kaczynski is an American writer, musician, research scientist, and lecturer in the fields of social psychology, metaphysical beliefs and new religious movements. He is known for his biography Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (North Atlantic Books, 2010), acclaimed by the Times Literary Supplement as "the major biography to date" of the Edwardian enfant terrible, and regarded by the ...more

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