Born in 1875, Aleister Crowley would become one of the most powerful leaders of his time. Crowley died in 1947, he was known as the great beast.
His interest in Magic began during his years at Cambridge, when in 1888 he became a member of a secret society called The Hermetic order of the Golden Dawn, in Britain. The Order consisted of some of the British societies elite like William Butler Yeats, and Bram Stoker. The Golden Dawn had a wide interest in magic from alchemy to astrology. As Crowley progressed through the Golden Dawn he became disillusioned with it and left.
The Book of Abramelin tells the story of an Egyptian mage named Abraham. The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, was import within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and later within the mystical system of Thelema, created in 1904 by Aleister Crowley.
One of his first undertakings was the Abramelin ritual, a six-month long process with the aim of mastering demons. To those who believe in magic, this ritual was extremely dangerous. If something went wrong, evil spirits could be set loose on the world and take procession of the magician. Crowley broke off the ritual before completing it. This led to some demonologists believing that he became possessed.
In Egypt he and his wife Rose conducted a ritual to contact Egyptian deities, according to Crowley a voice spoke to him and what he wrote down became known as the Book of the Law. This became known as Crowley’s bible for his philosophical and religious teachings known as Thelema. He conducted rituals eventually focusing on what he called Sex Magic.
In his 1929 book Confessions and elsewhere, Crowley made vague references to his intelligence work, notably his 1914-19 mission in the U.S.A. There, he claimed, his public role as anti-British propagandist masked secret service on behalf of His Majesty.
Throughout the '20s and '30s, Crowley gathered intelligence on European Communists, the Nazi movement and Germany's occult lodges for British MI6 as agent 666.
Aleister Crowley, who dubbed himself the Great Beast 666, Crowley died penniless and addicted to heroin. To the modern world, Crowley was only pushing vulnerable followers to the heights of depravity. Maybe he believed in his own magic, but that doesn’t make it that more real. He became known as the wickedest man in the world. Not because he manipulated people or because he been twisted by dark forces.
Not only did he surpass the work of the Golden Dawn, but he discovered even more of the secret arts. Which his supporters believe was the stuff the order doesn’t want you to know.
Crowley gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter, bisexual and an individualist social critic. He was denounced in the popular press as "the wickedest man in the world" and a Satanist. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counter-culture, and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the seventy-third greatest Briton of all time.
dazeddigital.com / Aleister Crowley documentary