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How it all began

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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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93, all!

I am often wondering why there are so many Thelemites out there and why I personally know so few - I am not looking for contact, even if this may sound like, I am just wondering. Most people in my daily life don't even know the name Aleister Crowley, sometimes they heard of the Thoth Tarot, but that's all. Well, and then there is Ozzy...

So what would interest me a lot, is how the people in this forum have come to be introduced to Thelema and/or Aleister Crowley, what was their first contact like? What did make you a Thelemite? When and how did you find Thelema? I would gladly start for myself, but before boring everyone with a probably not so interesting story of my life, I might ask if anybody here is interested in this exchange of bios too and will share their stories with me and the rest.

Love=Law
Lutz


   
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(@priestofal)
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93s

Oh, heck, I'll bite... I'll keep it brief.

I first brushed up against Aleister in my teens concomitant with my great interest in Alchemy. Since he wasn't Alchemical in my book (and I wasn't interested in all this ceremonial stuff anyway), I rejected him, and I did this even though I understood him (what little I read) as little as I understood Alchemy.

Flash forward 28 years. I finally worked my way up to magick by starting with (of all things) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Eventually I found myself obsessed with the Winged Disk and this lead to my desire to read Crowley, for whom the Winged Disk (and also Egyptian Doors -- Stargates! -- a fantasy of my youth) were prominent at the head of each of his libers.

After that, it was love at "first sight" and I couldn't imagine what my problem might have been.

Somewhat cryptically, I should also mention that what I have just described is not the same as my discovery of Thelema, which took nearly as long.

Glad to share. What's your story?

93 93/93


   
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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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93, Priestofal!

Thanks for sharing. My beginnings are much more profane: In the mid-late eighties I was apparently too bored, too embittered and too rich and decided to ruin myself with drugs. Pretending to do this as a big and meaningful statement I chose Burroughs, Pitigrilli, Bukowski etc. as my idols - and of course The Diary Of A Drug Fiend. Also some of the drugs made me so talky that nothing was ever done without asking the Tarot (first the Daikini Oracle, later the Thoth set) and squabbling for hours, sometimes for days about the results. The boredom, the bitterness, the money and luckily the drugs vanished, but the interest in the books and the mysterious Abbey from Drug Fiend stayed. I fought myself through the - in my opinion - weak and - in everybody's opinion - cheaply produced translations of AC and Golden Dawn works by MD Eschner and Marcus Jungkurth (no ebay or amazon then) until in 1992 I virtually by chance stumbled into the Equinox bookshop in Museum Street while visiting London. I came out with huge bags of the beautiful First Impressions series and lots of other AC books and - here I am. I also observed that lots of the druggies then happened to like The Diary Of A Drug Fiend or the Thoth Tarot, but strangely none of them for very long - they possibly never thought much about the concept of The Will.

Love=Law
Lutz


   
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(@priestofal)
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93s

Thanks for that! Don't worry about "profane"; it's all about what speaks to you and draws you on.

Anybody else? (I sense a book in the making -- not by me!)

That's two down and 143,998 to go. ; )

C'mon, guys. We promise not to drain you of power! How the heck did you get mixed up with a crazy f*** like Crowley?

93 93/93


   
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Hello,

In my early 20's mixing sound for bar bands in Western Canada in the early 80's. A friend of mine about 5-6 years older, Bob Gregory turned me on to AC and Robert Anton Wilson. Immediate connection with AC, read all I could find by him and about him which wasn't much back then. Read a lot of Regardie, also. Went to New York, loaded up on books from Weisers which was on lower Broadway at that time. Started practices with yoga, I Ching divination, then lesser banishing pentragram ritual. Did a retreat in a dive hotel in downtown Calgary, fasting, yoga, reading Magick in Theory and Practice of which I understood very little then. Also did retreats in the Mountains (only 2-3 days at a time) on the Alberta, British Columbia border. Became a Thelemite mostly from reading and contemplating "The Law is for All" and Liber Al. Just made perfect sense especially with the rock-n-roll lifestyle I was living. Big, big, Led Zep fan from early teens and believe that had a strong influence. Never had the desire to join an order.


   
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(@priestofal)
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93s

I feel deprived that I never got into Led Zeppelin. Somehow it passed me by, though I was digging Genesis and ELP around the same period (missed YES too for some reason). I feel I should get back and get some Zep.

I'll stay shut-up (well, maybe), but it'd be cool to read more stories in this thread. Great topic, T.R.S.I. (especially since I forgot to make a proper introduction when I joined). It's kind of like an A A meeting (kinda is, maybe), where people stand up and say Hi, I'm so-and-so and I'm a Thelemaholic. Fun, and nice to attach stories to "faces" (i.e., icons & emoticons).

93 93/93


   
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I stumbled unwittingly into Morning Star Oasis, Fife and that was the start of it for me.


   
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(@lillittan)
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93,

I hope that this note finds everyone well.

As a boy in my teens, most of my friends were into the Ouija board, tarot, witchcraft and meta-poo-poo, so it was just natural to fall into the hands of Thelema. I was in a very small town in the middle of the bible-belt, so needless to say, this material was not easy to come by nor was it very well received by the locals. So, being an adolescent with tendencies to flaunt my differences, it did not take long to have the town fully aware that I would not be found in their local churches on Sundays, and the local law enforcement agencies to recruit "occult experts" from the nearest big city incase anyone "fell ill or even so much as coughed" for no particular reason (I am, unfortunately, NOT kidding! Mind you- I was 12 or 13!) This stuff only added fuel to the fire, and I had plenty of kindling!

I found a bookstore in Dallas,TX called THE ATHANOR where I purchased my first Crowley items and saw a sign on the wall advertising membership into the O.T.O.! Man, I was in, for lack of a better term, heaven! I spoke to the Fiery red-headed boxom beauty behind the desk about it and lo-and-behold, she was the local Camp Mistress! I had to wait 6 long years before I could enter into the Order when I reached 18. Six years of research and prep through everything I could get my head into- particularly, MAGICK. Hi, Gloria! Miss ya'!

That is what started it all for me- stepping over the threshold of a bookstore and into the Portal of magick and mysticism!

Lillittan

93, 93/93


   
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(@jamiesiam)
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I read a book called The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish when I was in my mid teens. I was intrigued by the section on Crowley and set out to discover more. I have never sought out other thelemites and have met none (knowingly) I am now 50 and living in Bangkok so I am guessing that my chances of meeting anyone like-minded are diminishing.


   
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I first heard of Aleister Crowley after a friend mentioned reading about Jimmy Page buying Boleskine in Rolling Stone magazine. Not long afterward I read an article about Crowley in one of the counterculture publications, I think it was High Times or Magical Blend. While sitting around with a hippie that was vaguely knowledgeable of the subject, he mentioned an interest in gazing into the Book of the Sun--I realized later he was talking about Liber Resh Helios.

A few years later I bought an encyclopedia on the occult and supernatural that provided a list of information sources that listed a few titles by Crowley. I was utterly surprised that Crowley would bother writing books given the negative image of him that was often portrayed in print. My curiosity got the better of me and I ordered a few books after tracking down a few publishers, only to learn that his books were printed in small quantities and in demand with collectors and the occult community. My first read of the Book of the Law cinched it for me.

Someone mentioned having never met another Thelemite in person--well neither have I--there's a lot to be said for the strength of personal conviction when no social demand or reward is involved.


   
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(@lillittan)
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93

I believe that it is terribly unfortunate to have never found another person- in person- that was also a Thelemite. I do know what is like to some degree, but only for a very short period of time. There is a lot to be said for the couragious solitary student, however, and I admire that Path tremendously.
But it is a lonely one. Seek one out, travel the distance, do what it takes if is your Will to commune. Find your nearest Thelemic Order! The sound alone, disregarding the intense vibration and psychic group unity, at the end of the DEACON's "..Collects which are Eleven in Number" from the O.T.O.'s GNOSTIC MASS is almost overwhelming- especially when you are not accostomed to group ritual. And, it's a public Mass- bring your friends!

When the Student is ready, the Teacher will come. And Yet, "I am alone, there is no God where I am."

"No one can pull you to the top
and the summit is not the goal;
It’s only how you climb the rock
that makes you master of your soul."- Bob Hankins (See my Journal, Sinner or Saint, for more.)
Lillittan

93 93,93


   
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93
Well I know this post is old but I just stumbled upon it browsing the forums. This is a good topic we need to keep it goin'. I'm from a small town in Alabama of all places. Man, I hate it here. Anyway, my first brush with Uncle Al and Thelema came one day while I was 17 and just started college. I was in computer applications class. I had finished all my work so I was surfing the web. I am a big fan of the bands Tool and A Perfect Circle, so I was checking out toolband.com. There was a link to Danny Carey's website. I was wondering around on there and stumbled upon pictures of all his 1st edition's. (He's so lucky to have found these, I'm envious) This really intrigued me so I started doing research. I've been studying and working for about 4 years. Now, here i am. I'm really glad I have found this website!
93 93/93


   
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I first came across The Great Beast by John Symonds in my local library. A couple of elements of Crowley's found an affinity at the tender age of 13 - namely his progress through the Golden Dawn and his incessant travelling. Suffering from wanderlust myself I have traversed many lands in the near and far east whilst also crossing the Abyss. The same library is to blame for having a copy of Grant's Magical Revival which again focused on the Golden Dawn etc. This began a bibliographic hunt which continues to this day. Along the way I spent a summer saving for Regardie's big blue Golden Dawn and have since had the good fortune to aquire inscribed tomes by Grant.

As for Thelema - Will and Agape are great forces to balance in your life. The skeptic in me is always wary of any definition's limitations but Thelemite is as good a description of any for one grounded in Crowley's path.

Secret Chiefs were a big draw too ! I managed to bump into one in Peru but that's another story .. see www.invisiblelodge.com


   
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Well, since I was raised as the son of a Baptist Minister in England and endured the hardships of a strict Sunday School for many years, it was only natural that before long i'd start questioning my upbringing and exploring other beliefs & ways of thinking.

I am really into art, and at school when i'd be expressing myself on canvass or paper, my teachers/parents would express thier 'concern' at some of the 'horrible' stuff I was churning out. I think it scared them! They had words with me about 'God gave you art as a gift and wants you to draw nice things'....I then made up my mind that I couldn't buy the bullsh*t - there was no way I could be a follower of Christ and be a real artist at the same time. Christian thinking was too limited & restricting for me.

I then got into drugs, rebelious music, etc....the lot...I tried to do the opposite of what my father wanted to see of me!!!

I started by reading the likes of Nietzsche, and then (by chance?...or fate?) I discovered Crowley and found something I could truley align myself with.

Now I mostly shut up and let the cosmos do the talking.....I set out to complete the great work.


   
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Read about him in a magazine around 1967. Thought he was a complete a-hole. Read a book in the library, one of John Symonds I think, decided he wasn't an a a-hole just compicated. I admit I was more interested in his lurid life than his magic. Went to Canterbury and met a small group of Thelemites they told me to try the Albion Bookshop. Went there next , walked out with bag full of Crowley works, or at least as many as you could get in '69. Visited London, went to the Atlantis met Michael Houghton, had several long talks about his time as Crowleys friend and book distributor, made Crowley more real and more likeable. He also had some material from America mostly marked Agape Lodge. Went home read all the material until the dots began to add up.Had an aha! moment-became Thelemite. Stopped being a Thelemite because there must be as many forms of Thelema as there are people. Everyone has a true will so every one will like some part of the book best. and we should have better thing to do than fall out with each other.
Love Robert.


   
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A pupil once found herself in very serious physical peril. Owing to circumstances which need not be detailed here, she was in the very centre of a dangerous street fracas, and seeing several men struck down and evidently badly hurt close to her, was in momentary expectation of a similar fate, since escape from the crush seemed quite impossible.
Suddenly she experienced a curious sensation of being whirled out of the crowd, and found herself standing quite uninjured and entirely alone in a small bye-street parallel with the one in which the disturbance had taken place. She still heard the noise of the struggle, and while she stood wondering what on earth had happened to her, two or three men who had escaped from the crowd came running round the corner of the street, and on seeing her expressed great astonishment and pleasure, saying that when the brave lady so suddenly disappeared from the midst of the fight they had felt certain that she had been struck down.

At the time no sort of explanation was forthcoming, and she returned home in a very mystified condition; but when at a later period she mentioned this strange occurrence to Madame Blavatsky she was informed that, her karma being such as to enable her to be saved from her exceedingly dangerous position, one of the Masters had specially sent some one to protect her in view of the fact that her life was needed for the work.


   
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About ten years ago, I began to get heavy into the occult , and ran across some books on Aleister Crowley, and that pretty much got me into thelema, as well as various other things.


   
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93!

Its a cool question because we all come across our magical paths in different ways. Some very similar, some different.
It started for me as an interest as a teenager. I was always interested in the occult. I dont know why, maybe because it was strange and attractive at the same time. I used to listen to bands like Led Jeppelin and would hear the rumors of the occult backround of the band; but it started before that for me, because I have a Carribean, West Indian and Native American Indian backround and people from the islands tend to be very spiritual and superstitious, as my Grandmother was. Growing up in her house was very enlightening for me spiritually, even though at the time I didnt realize it. It was just the norm, knowing that spirits and magick does exist. So from an early age I was always aware of spirits and things spiritual.
Also, growing up a I was always attracted to Ancient Egypt and became a "Egyptophile" :lol:. Of course in Egypt their whole lifestyles were based on their religion and the magick associated with it. So, to this day I collect, read, and enjoy everything Ancient Egyptian.
In my reading as a teenager, I came across a gentlemen by the name of Aleister Crowley. I was very intrigued by the interesting life he lived. I began collecting his books and reading , even though many were very hard to understand. The magical texts anyway. But, after reading again, it began to make more sense. I initially agreed with the magical philosophy, but I just wanted to understand the texts in better detail. That is the level I am now.
For a long time, I contemplated joining a magical Order. I have read up on different ones. I am at that stage now, wanting to take my magical path to the next level. Just trying to choose the right one for me.So, for me I cant decribe how the interest was always there, but it was. I continue to follow the path and desire to find my True Will. Thanks for reading.

Brad
93 93/93


   
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(@spike418)
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It was a cold and dark december in Grimsby in 1978. I had been reading a lot of occult literature, my handbook of the time was Real Magic by Phillip Bonewits. I went into a local book shop to order or collect a book. There was another guy at the counter of similar age who was ordering or collecting "Vison and the Voice". We got talking exchanged addresses, met up and became friends. He introduced me to Crowley literature and I have to say it was not love at first sight for either Uncle Als writings or Liber Al. Over the next few months or so I became aware of the EQ through the British Journal of Magick. My friend had been pointed in that direction by a Chaos magician. The EQ had me head over heels and hook line and sinker!!! This continues to this day.

I would also say that in said Grimsby book shop i managed in about 1980 to pick up remaindered half price first editions of both "Nightside of Eden" and "Outside the Circles of Time" , and subsequently sold both books even cheaper when I was feeling the pinch! Hindsight huh


   
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
I can honestly say that I have always been interested in Ceremonial Magick in one way or another but I didn't start hearing the name Crowley constantly until I was in high school and I was dating a wiccan girl (who is in fact still the only wiccan I have ever met that actaully did magick) I myself was practising a form of SGI buddhism at the time along with pagan rituals she would have me preform. We would get into conversations about magick and projection onto the Astral realm and she said that the only person that had ever successfully travled the astral in it's fullest was an evil and vile man named Aliester Crowley and that he had done it by "selling his soul" (of course I later found that this was just uneducated bias BS) and me being the curious child I was, was like "well if he did it then I want to know how he did it" well at that time I wasn't as profecient at finding books as I am today so nothing really came of it until 3 years (at this time studying Hindu belief system but still practising SGI and various pagan rituals) and I was in a Barnes and Noble looking for a good book and decided just to pick one up at random. So I closed my eyes an ran my finger down the bindings and stopped opened my eyes and picked up the book and bought it without looking at what it was. Got home and began to read it, it was the Holy books of Thelema and as I read I realised that it was where I belonged in this thing called Thelema. So I began to look things up online on Thelema and discovered Liber Al and that cemented it for me and I have been a Thelemite ever since.
Love is the Law, love under will.


   
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(@frater_anubis)
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Greetings to you all

I was a teenager in the 60's trying to survive the comprehensive school system. My father came from a large family and I had lots of aunts, one of whom had a bit of a bohemian reputation. One day she visited my grandma's flat when I was there, and she showed me a small vial or bottle of AC's Elixir of Life which she had in her handbag. Aunt Lily was unmarried and was born around the turn of the century (I mean 1900). I recall asking her what it was and could I have a closer look. The bottle was clear glass, corked, and with i think some sort of wax at the top. It was shaped after the grecian style and contained a clear liquid. It was labelled "Aleister Crowley's Elixir of Life" and had his famous signature underneath. When I asked her who AC was, she replied that he was a famous magician (she did'nt say black magician) and was said to be the wickedest man in the world. When I asked her where she had got it from, she replied that she had answered an advertisement (i think she said in the early 1920's) and had sent AC a postal order for five shillings. Apparently the vial had arrived with a letter she no longer had inviting her to join his order! I was interested and looked him up in my local library.......then I saw him on the cover of Sgt Pepper.....hooked!


   
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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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"johnny_dago" wrote:
The bottle was clear glass, corked, and with i think some sort of wax at the top. It was shaped after the grecian style and contained a clear liquid. It was labelled "Aleister Crowley's Elixir of Life" and had his famous signature underneath.

93!

Now, that's an aunt! I suppose that you did not get to keep the bottle and want to ask everyone if there are pictures of such a bottle available somewhere...

Love=Law
Lutz


   
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(@frater_anubis)
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93

How did you guess? I do know what happened to the bottle tho, Aunt Lily was taken ill in her 80's and drank the contents....sadly however, probably because of its age the elixir didnt work.....but i'm sure ive seen a pic of a bottle of AC's Elixir on the net somewhere, only Google cant find it!

Regards
Johnny


   
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93 to All,

It was 1969. I was a senior in high school. One weekend my girlfriend and I went down to San Pedro (the harbor of Los Angeles) to a tourist spot named Ports of Call , which consists of theme shops and eateries.

At one end of Ports of Call is a two story building. The upper story was an "Occult" book store. The newly released Thoth Tarot was on prominent display. I was very much taken by the beauty of the cards.

Also on display were relics of Crowley's. There were magical weapons, including a beautiful sword.

I can not remember the name of the book store. It is my understanding, albeit based on rumor, that these wonderful relics were destroyed in a fire
πŸ™

Does anyone happen to have more precise info?

The above seed was cemented when I bought Motta's The Commentaries of AL, upon its release in 1975.

All I can say is Rock On.

Love is The Law,

Tiresias


   
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93,

I'd come across AC in my readings as early as high school, but nothing really clicked for me until much later, after I was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca. Once I'd ferreted out the source materials on which that system was based, I found that I liked Thelema much better in its natural state than in the abbreviated form I'd gotten through Wicca. πŸ™‚

And on that note, I say hello to all--this is my first post here!

93/93
Hoshiakari


   
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93, hoshiakari!

Welcome aboard! Nice to make your magickal aquaintance.
This is the best site on the web for AC and Thelema.

93 93/93
Brad


   
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(@lashtal)
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93,

Thanks Brad... And welcome, Hoshiakari.

93 93/93
Paul

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LAShTAL


   
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I want to hear true stories about how people in here got into Thelema. Feel free to post your story in this thread, and don't worry if it seems to be boring or unspectacular. I don't care as long as it is true. I will go ahead and post my story first. It is pretty straight forward. You may consider not reading it. Don't come running to me and complain after, you've been warned.

I know I said in another thread that I got introduced into Thelema in 1983. Now, looking back, I realize it must have been a couple of years earlier. It was probably in 1980. It was spring break, I had just turned 15. My parents were about to leave on a business trip. I was supposed to stay with my aunt Leanne, and fly with her and her rich mother-in-law to Greece on vacation for two weeks.

My aunt was a short, overweight person in her early 30ies, with long, menopause-red hair. Most of the time she sported black nail polish and wore these strange Indian gowns, which made her look like a gipsy lady. I liked staying at her house. There was always something to discover, be it an illustrated Kama Sutra, a book about witchcraft, or simply her impressive bare boobs, laying in the sun on the lanai. She was a child of `68, very liberal and happy, and she didn't care much about what people say or think.

I was very excited about getting to go to Greece with my aunt, knowing she'd let me do whatever I wanted: smoking, drinking, whatever. For most Europeans this is probably no big deal, drinking and smoking, I mean. For me, growing up in a country where teenagers can join the army at age 18, and bite the dust in some foreign land, but aren't allowed to drink alcohol until they turn 21, because it might hurt them, the prospect of relative freedom was something to look forward to.

Shortly before we left for Crete my aunt told me that her girlfriend Zoe, a 24 year old, tall psychology student with long black hair was coming with us. Zoe had just recently broken up with her boyfriend George, and was devastated. My aunt didn't want to leave her behind.

Bullshit artist George was a small skinny dude who looked a lot like Woody Allen. Zoe's problem with him was, that he had conned everyone into believing he was going to law school,while in reality he was going down to the gambling hall every morning, to piss his parent's tuition money away. This guy had played everybody, parents, friend, even his own girlfriend. Everybody believed he was studying at the university while, in reality, he was playing the slots. He did that for about 4 years, every single day. Finally someone saw him at the casino and caught on to the fact that he'd never seen a university from inside. Zoe, who had supported the loser financially for years, subsequently kicked his ass to the curb.

We were a nice little expedition when we landed at Heraklion airport on the island of Crete, in the Middle of the Mediterranean Sea: My aunt in high heels, wearing one of her gypsy outfits, her nicely dressed, preppy mother in law at age 74, Zoe, all in black with dark sunglasses on, to hide her cried red eyes, and little punk me in jeans and sneakers, with a boom box in my hand and a bunch of copied AC/DC and Led Zeppelin tapes in my suitcase.

We were supposed to stay at an older Greek couple's house. My aunt had been to Crete before and knew them from her previous trips. It was a quiet, rural place in a two story house right on main street in one of these little Greek mountain villages. The ground floor had a little restaurant where greek men would sit, smoke, and drink either coffee or wine, that came right from our host's own vineyard.

The place had only two spare bedrooms on the 2nd floor. The nicer one had two single beds and got snatched up by my aunt and the old lady really quick, leaving me and Zoe with the smaller shithole, furnished only with a queen bed and two old chairs.

The first couple of days were easy and relaxed. We would stay up past midnight and get up late. The greek couple prepared a royal breakfast for us every day. After, we went down to the beach. When we came home in the late afternoon the hostess was already working on our dinner. We always had some white domestic wine with a strong taste of resin to it, called "retsina", and chainsmoked filterless Greek cigarettes at 20 cents a pack. Every night we'd all get absolutely shit faced on that retsina stuff. No matter how much you drank, there was no hangover the next day. As expected, my aunt didn't care what I drank, smoked or did, but would tell me once in a while :"Do what you want, but don' tell your Mom".

One day a Greek guy came to the restaurant while we were having dinner. He had a long conversation with our host lady, that almost ended up in an argument. I tried to understand some but couldn't. That was the day when I figured out that the Greek of Homer's days must have been different than the Greek they speak today, and that my three years of Ancient Greek at school were basically a waste. My aunt, who spoke a little bit of modern Greek, entered the conversation. Somehow she ended up over at the Greek's table, while Zoe and I had to get drunk by ourselves.

The next morning my aunt and Zoe were constantly whispering in each other's ears, giggling and making fun. I had no clue what was going on. Finally somebody said that aunt Leanne wouldn't accompany us to the beach today, but would rather go hunting with the greek guy. He obviously was the local hunter, who was supposed to provide our little restaurant with rabbit meat, but had so far failed to shoot any rabbits.

What was that? My aunt as a well know animal advocate was suddenly interested in hunting? Weird. Needless to say, they didn't shoot anything that day, and had to repeat that hunting trip the next day, and the day after. You gotta eat, you know.

The problem was that aunt Leanne's mother-in-law was over the beach trips already, and wanted to explore the island's cultural sites now. Since she was the one with the platinum American Express card in her purse, we had not much choice. While auntie Leanne was getting banged by Alexis Zorbas in the vineyard, Zoe and I had the honor of chauffeuring the old lady around, and read to her from the Berlitz travel guide, while she was meticulously investigating historic sites like Knossos and Kourna.

After the second day Zoe was over it, so was I. Every other minute she would lift her dark sunglasses to give me an annoyed glimpse, or roll her dark brown eyes, looking at the relentless old lady, who, equipped with Nikon camera and walking cane, would turn over every rock on the whole damn island.

One day we came back around four p.m., after a long day at the Heraklion Museum. Zoe needed a drink and ordered a bottle of Retsina right away, together with a couple of shots of Ouzo, some sort of Greek anisette. By the time my aunt came back from her hunting episode -with no rabbit, of course, but happier than a pig in shit- Zoe and I were already plastered. That night we weren't able to stay up late, and dragged our drunken butts up to the second floor around 9.00 p.m.

The problem was that our old, squeaky queen bed was not comfortable at all. This thing had probably survived the German airborne attack on Crete in WWII, and sagged in the middle to the point where you had to hold on to edge of the bed with one hand, in order to prevent sliding over to your neighbor's side. That night we didn't care, and I somehow ended up sliding over, hitting Zoe's hips. She turned around, started kissing me and pulled me on top of her. I might have been a clueless punk back then, but I figured out pretty quickly what was going on. After a few awkward attempts I finally managed to get things going, and nailed her ass right to the mattress.

Wow! The next day I was a different person. I had banged a 24 year old, and I couldn't wait to get home to tell my buddies. Too bad that the only telephone in the little village was at the public post office. If I would have had my own phone, I would have probably called them right away. I actually had gotten concerned and uptight, seeing some of my friends hooking up with girls at school, while I seemed to be completely unable to get anything going. Now I had landed the super-jackpot! Within a day my self esteem had turned from zero to limitless.

One day I was upstairs, laying on the hammock-like queen bed, listening to my Led collection, when suddenly the door opened and Zoe came in. She took the empty cover, looked at it, and said:

"Do you know that Jimmy Page is a Thelemite, like me?"

"What the fuck is a Themelite?" I replied.

"Thelema is a religion founded by Aleister Crowley, you know. It is the believe that all people are free to act according to their own will, and to love according to their own desires. It is the religion of the new age, and it frees people from the slavery of Christianity."

I was pretty much clueless, but if Jimmy Page was one of these Thelemites it can't be all that bad, I thought by myself. Also, I immediately knew what she meant with "slavery of Christianity". Having spent several years at a Catholic elite monastery school, I myself felt like a little slave of Christianity, and despised these cassock wearing bastards with all my heart. It was about time to free myself from the servitude of Catechism, and latin grammar.

"Tell me more", I demanded!

Zoe got up and started digging in her Samsonite suitcase. She pulled out a book with a red cover and handed it to me.

Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX.

"This is the sacred text of Thelema, written down in Egypt. You can read this, but be careful. This is an original, it is signed by the master himself."

She flipped a page and showed me a signature in black ink next to a weird cross.

Baphomet!

She let her fingers slide over the faded out ink, and whispered:

"This is it, this is the signature of the Great Beast himself, our master, Aleister Crowley. Read it, and don't worry if you don't understand it, the book has many meanings."

Then she left the room. I tried to read the book. It didn't seem to make much sense. I didn't want to appear stupid in the eyes of my newly found concubine, so I forced myself to read it, and decided to act all smart about it in case I got asked.

We had one more night in Crete and carried out another successful session of IXΒ°, culminating in an attempt of XIΒ°. In the end, Zoe did a "Bertha Bush" on me. The next morning the 747 took us back to JFK.

I played around with Magick for a couple of years, read about Crowley here and there, but felt a little lost. In the following years I used to visit Zoe in her College pad on occasions, and she would would talk to me about Thelema, showing me more of Crowley's books. We never had sex again.

Years later, I was already in college, I read Symonds' book and saw the picture of Leah sitting in front of the Dead Soul painting in New York. I was shocked. This woman resembled Zoe to the point that she could have been her twin sister. I am not making this up, from today's view, both, Zoe and Leah aren't even my type of woman. However, it took me a long time to get over this. Even today I sometimes look at the painting and get chills.

My aunt moved to Switzerland in the late 80ies, and I lost contact with Zoe. I heard she works as a child psychiatrist in LA now.

What happened to Woody Allen, you may ask? Believe it or not, one day former bullshit artist and now street bum George walked into a newly opened computer company. They were looking for a janitor. Right when he appeared for his interview they had a major system failure. He asked if he could have a look at the computers, sat down, and fixed the problem, which resulted in a $ 250.000/year job for him. He was one of these guys who was walking the thin line between genius and mad man.


   
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the_real_simon_iff
(@the_real_simon_iff)
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Topic starter  
"fraseth" wrote:
I want to hear true stories about how people in here got into Thelema. Feel free to post your story in this thread, and don't worry if it seems to be boring or unspectacular. I don't care as long as it is true.

93, fraseth!

Great story! Possibly one of the best ways to be introduced to Thelema, maybe even the best way at all. I once also tried to open up a thread on this, which fell asleep, awoke again for a short while, and now slumbers again for some time already.

http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-328.phtml

But at least you can read my and some other stories...

Love=Law
Lutz


   
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(@priestofal)
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I agree, fraseth. Well told!

Now, not exactly MySpace, but here's a quick rundown on how I got into Thelema --

I said "That's it!" Took off some psychic chains.
I had a series of dreams, obsessed on the Winged Disk,
Figured I should look into A.C. ("He has Winged Disks in his books, doesn't he?"),
[REDACTED]
Found out that my [REDACTED]
(Holy Crap!) Flew into a weird [REDACTED],
Discovered that this was during [REDACTED],
Communicated fluently with a [REDACTED],
Found that my [REDACTED],
Had a [REDACTED], found out I was pretty radically [REDACTED],
Over three days, had an [REDACTED]
[REDACTED]
Found out I was radically [REDACTED]
Saw a friggin' worm where the rest of me lives,
Descended into a week of fun paranoia:
Had a big rig parked outside all that time labeled Advanced Suspension Technology.

All in all, figured I should probably become a Thelemite.

πŸ™„ 😳 πŸ˜† πŸ˜‰

(There's something to be said, I think, for waiting until you're nearly fifty.)


   
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I'll have to be the one that says "Hi five!" for banging the 24 y/o πŸ˜‰

Me, it started with my being introduced to Wicca when I had just turned 15. I went to the house of a guy I had just made acquaintance with that year in school. I saw some books on his shelf, asked about them, and started devouring them. I then moved onto the library and devoured what they had. We started a little group and did ritual regularly for the next couple of years. In my Junior year of high school I started getting into Buddhism because I wasn't digging Wicca so much anymore. It felt kind of hollow to me, in a way. Flirted with Buddhism for awhile but then I ran into a book by Israel Regardie at the library which pretty quickly lead me to Aleister Crowley. I started reading his stuff and at 17, I knew I was a Thelemite. Now, here I am 9 years later πŸ˜€


   
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"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
I once also tried to open up a thread on this, which fell asleep, awoke again for a short while, and now slumbers again for some time already.

Well remembered!

I've merged the two threads...

Owner and Editor
LAShTAL


   
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

I've been attracted to the mysteries of the occult since I was 12 or so. I had bought a book
around that time by the Frost's called The Magical Power of Witchcraft. I was 12 and didn't realize it was kind of cheesy and I felt like 'this is something for me.' However after years of on and off study of Wicca, it lost my interest. It was missing something for me. Years later I bought Diary of A Drug Fiend and became excited with the writing and the ideaa therein. Bought Moonchild next and knew my next Crowley book would be The Law is For All. I found what I'd been spiritually searching for in that book and here I am now. I don't post much here, but I have been visiting this wonderful site everyday for a year or more. It's great to find a place with so many like minded people sharing their thoughts.

Trina


   
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"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
I once also tried to open up a thread on this, which fell asleep, awoke again for a short while, and now slumbers again for some time already.

But at least you can read my and some other stories...

Love=Law
Lutz

I am sorry, I should have checked the board for such threads before posting my own. Thanks to the Mod for fixing it.


   
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Ah... memories.

Quantum, quantum, quantum...
It had been all I could think about for a few months. Having never been a person of faith, new ideas were starting to float around in my head. That there was definitely more to this world than getting a good job, having kids then you die. What interested me the most about Quantum Theory was its implications as to the power of thought and its effect on our surroundings.

Just about ready to dedicate my life to a study of Quantum Theory, I then stumbled upon and interesting discussion. People were talking about magick and its various denominations. Sitting back, I quietly observed. It was a passionate discussion, people saying "no this system is the best" with the reply "no my guy has a better way of doing things!" In the midsts of it all, there was one person, quietly and almost to them self saying "It is difficult, but I find Franz Bardons method to be very good."

Franz Bardon? The name was not familiar. It did not matter, at that moment I decided to pick up Initiation Into Hermetics. None of the local stores had it, but logging onto Amazon.com they promised to send me a copy. Filling out all the required information, I clicked "BUY" with a certain amount of glee. That was until I came to realize that the date I was to receive the book was two months from that moment!

What a travesty! There was no way I could wait that long. I decided to look for something else to read while I waited. Looking towards the section that lists books other buyers were interested in one Book of the Law by a Mr Crowley caught my attention. My favorite song by Ozzy Osbourne had always been Mr Crowley, and I heard a few scattered comments about him but no one ever mentioned his writings. Without a second thought, I ordered that and Book of Lies.

It had been Sunday, the book was ordered and so I went on about my business. Much to my surprise, upon waking up the next morning , the Book of the Law was already on my doorstep! At that moment, I really did not think anything of it. Instead I tore open the box and decided to give it a read. Hmm.. seemed a bit small! Either way, I opened it up and began to read the opening comments.

My entire world changed once "Had!" came to reverberate through my mind. There were things to be done that day, but I was caught in a spell. Page after page was turned, the words seemed to jump out, assaulting me with force and vigor. Coming to the end, eyes falling on the comment I reached into my pocket to pull out a lighter. Sparked flare, my eyes caught the lambent flame of blue as I drew it closer to the book. Just before the two met it union I dropped them both.

"No" is all I heard in my mind.

The next thing I recall is waking up on the floor πŸ™‚
Ever since then, the words of the Law have been my fever from the sky.


   
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93 everyone, I'm still quite a noob, so bear with me. πŸ™‚

This is a bit of an introduction, as well as answering the question of this thread. πŸ™‚

It was actually a long time before I got interested in Aleister himself. I've always been interested (at first from a fictional and fantasy standpoint) in demons and demonic entities. As an artist, I always found things of a dark nature very inspiring. To make things clear, I'm not a "goth grrl". I dress like a normal person and work in a nursing home with plans on double majoring in psychology and film. I guess as far are stereotypes go I'm a "gamer". But regardless, I had an interest in demons and one day decided to actually see where these demonic names and classifications came from. Things lead me to the Ars Goetia, which I found incredibly interesting from an inspirational view. This was all back around 2004-2005, up until very recently did I search deeper into the subject, and found out about Aleister Crowley and Thelema, I still have a lot of reading to do, and I've been impressed by the articles on this website. To be perfectly honest, at this point in time I've only read the Book of Thoth as well as internet articles, and I'm currently waiting for my order of the Holy Book of Thelema to finally be sent to me. Thanks to all of you, the website has been a very interesting read. πŸ™‚
-Marionette


   
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(@tiger)
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I found myself doing rituals, mixing potions
from the kitchen cabnet; perhaps age five.
Go out into the yard under my lovely tree
and let the mixture evaporate into the heavens
pray for a sunny day on the weekend, it worked.
I also learned how to fly in my dreams.

I grew up spending most of my time in abandoned places
old forgotten grave yards with frogs, crickets
and mysterious creatures in dark wells.
Deserted shrines and temples off the beatin path
in the thick of the mountains.
Occasionally the shamanic world would open up
and dissapear as fast as I could be frightened.

Edith Nesbits books came into my life.

later I delved into a few Sir Arthur Avalon's books
reading not understanding.

I had a dream I sold my soal to the Devil
for the altruistic purpose of saving humanity of coarse.
Woke up thinking what a strange dream and found
the contract in my hand. I fell back asleep.

Robert Johnson at the CrossRoads - Jimmy Page
Sex Drugs and Rock-n-Roll!
Wine Women and Song
To hell with god lets Jam baby!

Interesting there really is a Satanist 666 and a cult
Cool I'm gonna wear black.

So I read Crowley, Regardie, Fortune, Bardon, Case, Gray, Grant.
reading not understanding, getting pissed at the secret Chiefs
and god for keeping humanity in the dark.
but enough fascination to keep me going.

thats my introduction
Hello


   
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"rabrazier" wrote:
Read about him in a magazine around 1967. Thought he was a complete a-hole. Read a book in the library, one of John Symonds I think, decided he wasn't an a a-hole just compicated. I admit I was more interested in his lurid life than his magic. Went to Canterbury and met a small group of Thelemites they told me to try the Albion Bookshop. Went there next , walked out with bag full of Crowley works, or at least as many as you could get in '69. Visited London, went to the Atlantis met Michael Houghton, had several long talks about his time as Crowleys friend and book distributor, made Crowley more real and more likeable. He also had some material from America mostly marked Agape Lodge. Went home read all the material until the dots began to add up.Had an aha! moment-became Thelemite. Stopped being a Thelemite because there must be as many forms of Thelema as there are people. Everyone has a true will so every one will like some part of the book best. and we should have better thing to do than fall out with each other.
Love Robert.

   
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Interesting to read of someone meeting Michael Houghton in the late 60's as he had been dead for at least 10 years.


   
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I'll say briefly my beginnings.
My father showed me Aleister Crowley on Sgt. Pepper album and told me to have nothing to do with him.
I then thought his books were nonsense.
Then I met some Lilith-worshipper vampire types, they heard my music, I played guitar in an infamously horribly short-lived Gothic band, "Shadow Den".
For some reason one woman I knew in particular wanted to feed off me.
She did, and I have scars left to prove it. She told me that I should get into Thelema. At the time I thought nothing of it. Then one day I read Book of Lies and later on Confessions, and then I was hooked ever since.
I was drawn to the pursuit of Spirituality and not so much the sexual aspect, I went through that enough earlier on with the vampire girl.
Listening to Current 93 also got me more deeply into Aleister Crowley.

Later on I had things happen so similar to his visions that I have no words to convey it except for the Lion-Serpent experience that is in Magick in Theory and Practice.
The result is that I feel a sense of well-being and no more nonsense, and it is wonderful.
I also am aware of the Voice of God and it is wonderful to Hear Him!
That is my experience in a nutshell. I would write more but due to limited time that is what I have to offer for anyone to ruminate over. It's all said in honesty.
I have no more affiliation with vampiric types not necessarily politically but just due to a sense of boredom and wanting Protection from Lord Nrsimha!

It's really about Life as he says. It's not just about being selfish and individual, etc. That is all typical.
We are all supposed to go into deeper areas of awareness and basically the Counterculture movements have promoted the same. Right now in this society there does not seem to be much of this with the low-grade entertainment.

Haribol!
Bhakta Aaron
Love, Anyway!
"It's All Right." Proclaimeth God!


   
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93!

Some really nice stories here! I enjoyed everyone, even the shortest ones are damn interesting! πŸ™‚

Edit:

Oh my, this got pretty detailed and long. Just wanted to give some background to my drug using you can Skip the whole first part if you want it isnt any interesting anyways.

Ok, well to start I have never been that religious. I grew up in a family where neither of my parents where really religious either, sure we celebrated the usual Xtian holidays like Xmas and Easter etc but it was never anything beyond that.
Since an early age I more or less identified with Atheism since I really couldnt relate to this God dude at all and I really never gave it much thought beyond that either.
Both my parents were kinda liberated, my dad had been a criminal most of his life until I was born. Using and selling some drugs and buying alot of stolen stuff (he was and still is really interested in antiquities).
So when I was growing up my father told me sometime in my puberty that if I ever wanted to try Cannabis I should come to him and he would get the best stuff in the whole city and literally smoke me under the table.
Since my dad was imprisoned for a short while just when I was born I suppose it got him thinking alot so when he got out he calmed down with the criminal stuff but since he still knew so many damn people in this rather small city people still came to him and wanted to involve him in one way or another. All this led to him starting to drink and play alot of cards at the weekends so I grew up with a dad that came home all soaked in blood (almost always some other poor guys blood) and drunk and mad at everything.
Since he was a convicted felon he couldnt get any real jobs either so he did what he could to get money.
Anyway all this led to me not wanting a sip of alcohol nor any cannabis or other drugs while growing up.

In High School (I believe thats the equivalent of the Swedish "Gymnasium"), I ended up in the same class as an old childhood friend of mine and he was deep into drugs. Everyday he was hyping about drugs, mostly Cannabis and he got me really interested in it to.
So I decided I would read as much as I could about drugs and for almost two years almost all I did was read about drugs and ask my friend about his experiences.
In the second year of High School I was in an accident at a party, I was the only sober one there and the owner of the appartment flipped and pushed me over the balcony. Luckily it was the first floor but I still ended up with a vertebral fracture. I had to wear what they call a three-point-corset for 2 or 3 months and I got some opiates subscribed for my pain.

Anyways, after that I started using drugs, mostly Cannabis but it eventually evolved into almost everything, for a couple of years. I still got a dangerous love for opiates after all that.
I got high before I got drunk the first time, since I had seen how angry people get when they drink I really didnt want to be like that.
I also knew that alcohol was a literal nerv posion which killes brain cells with every sip you drink and I really wanted my brain as whole as possible for as long as possible.

Anyhow during this period of using drugs after the accident I met a guy through a friend who was a Thelemite (I didnt know that yet though) who was about 30 years old and seemed kind of dizzy. Anyways during this whole period after my accident I started to get into some existential philosophy too and I started to question myself and my existence more and more. I also got more and more isolated and started to study religion and philosphy daily by myself. Many long nights reading infront of the computer about everything and anything, and soon I found Syncronicity. It was somewhere around this period that me and my best friend went to this Thelemite dudes place and smoked some and drank some beer and he told us all about the Templars and their order, he was apparently related to them in some way through his father.

Anyway I thought, hey, this dude seems kinda spiritual in some way, so I asked if he was belonging to any specific religion or something.
It was then that he told me that he was a Thelemite.
At that time I hade never heard about Crowley or Thelema, hadnt even read anything about it yet.
He performed what he called a "banishing ritual" to show us a little about what it was that he practiced and me and my friend just sat there smiling at each other wondering how nuts this dude actually was, waving his dagger around and vibrating angel names. "Before me Raphael, behind me Gabriel." etc. πŸ™‚ I recognized the names of the Angels but didnt understand any of it then.
So he told us he had the Book of The Law by his altar and I asked if I could take a look at it and he told me it was ok as long as I put it back exactly as it where.
I took up the book and at once I felt that I held some kind of key to all my questions in my hands.
I asked him alot of questions about this Crowley fellow and Thelema and he only replied every question with "If your interested, go home and read the book online and find out everything for yourself."
He also learned me the "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" / "Love is the Law, love under Will" greeting and I memorized it at once. It was all some fascinating stuff.
Startled and with a burning curiosity for this new found path I had previously never heard of I went home later that night, high and drunk and read the whole book from beginning to end.
Each word seemed to resonate with something deep within me, I had never previously read anything of such significance and meaning before. All my previous studies in religion and philosphy connected to this with each word and I knew right there and then that this was what I had been looking for all along.
I knew in the deepest corner of my heart and soul that I was indeed a Thelemite. Not from that period on, but since the day I was born. I just hadnt figured out who and what I was until then.
I got BoTL for xmas next from my cousin since I had told him alot about this newly found spiritual way of mine and he probably thought that I should have my own version of the book. Praise him! πŸ˜‰

I dont regret anything I have done so far in life.
I understand the necessity of everything that has happened and in the order it had to happen. I wouldnt be here today and I wouldnt be the person I am either if the things that has happened and the choices I made werent done the way theyve been done.

93 93/93


   
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93!
Well, I guess my experience had to began when I was 10. I was a student at a conservative Christian private school. We had been studying the second coming and I had a very scary dream about it, only when "Jesus" came out of the clouds, it wasn't him, It was a lady in a chariot covered by stars! (you see where we are going with this). This particular dream shocked me to the core, looking back on it I don't really know why.
I had an interest in the Occult when I was a teen, but never related that to my dream.
Many years later while doing research on the internet regarding the Masons (I had great grandparents who I'd been told referred to themselves as Gnostics and great grandfather was in the masons) I was thinking maybe their was a connection but my searches led me to the OTO's website and I read Liber Al, when I read the bit about Nuit my blood ran cold. I couldn't stop there, so here we are today.
Q
93, 93/93


   
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Had a rather fanatical Christian mother. She showed me a video called; Gods of the New Age. It was one of those 'scare the little Christian kids into staying with the lord movies'. It only had a little bit on Crowley, but it fascinated me the most.

I watched it so many times, mum thought it was great! But 'like a moth to the Gnostic flame' i couldn't get enough, and started to buy books by Crowley and about the Golden Dawn as soon as i moved out of home. Game over Mum.


   
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"Game over Mum." πŸ˜€ Hahaha I just Loved that!

93!


   
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Very nice stories, I can actualy write a book on how people become Thelemites based on this discriptions (just jocking though).

I became Thelmite in a very strenge and bizzar manner:evil:

Few years ego I met a very beautiful woman who it turned out was a Thelemite practicioner of sex magick. I fell very fast under the influence of her strong aura. To cut the whole story short; she died a horrible death few months after I met her. She is the one who brought me to the path of Thelema.


   
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This continues more where I left off and this was about 3 1/2 years ago:

I also got to know other people into Thelema. I played in a brief band "Fifth World Collective", which was extremely short-lived. One song we performed in particular became something I did not expect.
I ended up channelling a Personality as I was performing a song with the theme being to "Destroy Your own reflection , and what are you so afraid of?"

The two people in the band were freaked out by what I was saying and the mood of the moment.
It was eerie, I was the only one who wanted to hear the recording again. They wanted nothing to do with it. They were typical dabblers in Magick but they knew not what they were doing due to too much influence from drugs, etc.
In fact one of them stole a book on freemasonry from a temple and kept conjuring up to me "Lucifer" this and that. I thought it was nonsense.
He also got beat up by the police several times after performing magickal rituals and getting into trouble thinking he was his own god, so to say.

I did not get very far with this band, in fact it went nowhere. He was too deluded.
I was so disappointed. He could not handle my attraction to Krishna, whatever.

We tried to record some music once and it sounded really good almost like Stravinsky jamming with Throbbing Gristle. Of course it was never recorded. This boy was so messed up he had demons everywhere screwing with everything. There was so much potential in what we were doing but he just could not hold himself together and nor could I!

We later recorded one awful song with more of my poetry interspersing parts of sri aurobindo's version of the Bhagavad-Gita with some of my spoken surrealism. It became a song called "The Other Secret Eye". It was the only song we ever got finished.
He was also highly into William Burroughs. We had the cut-up method going on at first and I even tapped into this one day while searching through the dictionary for lyric ideas, there was definitely some sort of spirit connected with this.
Not long after that we split up, if you can call it that. I got tired of my stuff being more of a curiosity that others feed off of and it was going nowhere fast.

My music always randomly conjures up something and that is why I just chant Hare Krishna now with also a Thelemic aspect. That is what I was aware of when I first opened Magick in Theory and Practice and it seems to work for me very well.

Not long after all of this I went to live in a Hare Krsna Temple due to being too involved with a disciple of Srila Prabhupada.
All I can say is I jumped in too fast and dealt with some manipulation.
Not that it all was but there are people that do that unfortunately.
ISKCON is cool though, one has to learn who to associate with because some devotees waver and promote a silly cultish mentality which is not really the real deal!
Gurus are really nice and worth knowing of.
If I did not read the Confessions of Aleister Crowley early on I would not have understood this or even had any spiritual pursuits I would have just kept being the silly avant-gardist goth that I was but still am in some ways but more refined so to say.
Once I read Moonchild I realized that I have dealt with so many similar situations dealing with vampires.
In fact the one part where the main character is sitting at a table with a medium and her husband are desperate to get blood via a ring she is wearing, I have known people just like that!
I was so glad to read this because it showed me the nonsensical aspect of what I was dealing with the typical goth-vampire types. They are okay, but I want nothing to do with that.
To be drained is really just boring and no inspiration comes until it is too late!

Once I listened to who was really speaking to me, everything changed.
One can say that it is madness if they want to, yes it is, but Divinely-inspired!
There is nothing like hearing Leaping Laughter!
IO Pan and Hare Krishna!

Also Diary of A Drug Fiend actually had me lose interest in drugs and to want more out of my life.

All of this fit together and now I'm much more into Bhakti-yoga but I still show an interest in the Occult as I always have since I was a Child.
I think the Devil deserves just as much appreciation as God and I don't see much of a difference really. We are all meant to learn from challenges in life and not just to push them away.
In the Wilderness Jesus Christ was being Tempted but if not what would he have learned and what would he have affirmed? And the Devil is so bad?
Whatever, we've been lied to about everything.

Because of this Kali-yuga mentality we see so much division and duality that we have to create enemies or friends. That is all -paranoia.

If I just do what Christ says and I love my enemies, this is a supremely magical method that resolves conflict and it is no different than what I have gleaned out of the Book of the Law.

I do not take things always so literally especially in Magick, that is the danger.

I have never been too challenged to do anything infamous nor do I want to.
In the past I was a little bit but just with some common sense I saw through it all. And this just keeps being augmented over and over again.

I think it is better just to be one's own self. If we do that we are divine, this fits the so-called Hindu way and spiritual way.
We do need to learn from others though, and I've learned this more from my experiences.
"Interpret Every Phenomenon As a Dealing of God With the Soul." , that should be taken literally and that is True and I am not an idiot for considering the Existence of God.

I know about the 'scin-laeca' but from my experience it is not just a subtle body, not from what I've noticed. I am more aware of a Supreme Intelligence in my life and it is definitely not what I am used to but that is what is exciting about all of this!
To get rid of all assumptions is the best way to know real true enlightenment.

Hare Krishna and IO Pan
Bhakta Aaron, in the basin of music-city daath-hell!


   
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93 to all

When and where did I first hear of Thelema?

Well, it was the late '80s in the basement of a decomissioned court house. The lead singer from one of the local alternative bands had invited a bunch of us to something called a "gnostic mass."

The temple was halfway down a linoleum-lined, fluorescent-lit hallway behind an imposing set of double doors. The singer rapped out a rhythmic sequence of knocks. After a brief challenge, the bolts rattled back and the doors swung open in a cloud of cigarette smoke and a hail of enthusiastic 93s and warm welcomes.

After signing in, we tentatively took our places on the benches surrounding a great table, and from the group of bohemians nestled there, we got various, and often conflicting (in a good-natured way), accounts of Crowley, the O.T.O., and the Law of Thelema. It had that raucous, cosy feeling of a night out at a local pub.

Eventually, the deacon emerged from behind a black-curtained doorway to usher us down a fathomless hallway. We emerged into a windowless room lit with golden candles. Rich incense hung in the air. A sense of calm intensity took everyone by the hand, leading each to his or her place on a thick embroidered pillow on the floor along the two walls facing each other.

Silence descended. The deacon took his place. A smooth wave of ambient music crossed and recrossed the room. The deacon began his vibrations; a spot in the centre of my chest resonated in tune. He traced out his circle and drew his symbols in the air, and then for a timeless span he was joined in the dance, first by a gypsy priestess, then a gallant knight. They travelled around each other like planets do, moving through space and yet, at the same time, appearing very still.

When it was over, we stumbled back out into the anteroom, all blinking and jubilant.

I joined the Order right then and there, and for five years I shared in masses, equinoxes, solstices, bornless ones, banishings, tarot workshops, drum circles...

That was a long time ago. The temple is now razed, replaced by a concert hall with state-of-the-art accoustics. The Lodge disbanded in the mid-'90s, I believe. The people I met there are scattered.

And here I am, nearly two decades later, knocking on your door.

93


   
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I wish I had a tale of flame haired seductresses or Crowley first editions to tell, sadly my introduction to Thelema was far more prosaic. πŸ™

All throughout my life I have believed that there must be some genuine right and wrong, black and white answer to the big questions.

I was raised in a Catholic household where the answers to the big questions were never in doubt-or discussed.

When I began to notice that mainstream religion had big logical gaps, I turned to atheism and evolutionary theories to fill the holes. But as I got into my twenties, my own experiences and feelings told me science didn't have all the answers.

Lovecraft wrote that:

We should beware science’s attempts to piece β€œtogether” bits β€œof dissociated knowledge” as it will eventually β€œopen up such terrifying vistas of reality… that we shall… go mad from the revelation.”

Well I wasn't afraid of going mad. I was more afraid of ignorance than knowledge however unpleasant.

I never gave up the idea that there must still be right answers out there, if they lay in the occult, science or in some new science between the two.

When I began to read into the occult, I instantly was attracted to the western magickal tradition of understanding - symbols, languages, rituals, books, grades and colours - it all made a kind of logical sense, yet was open to far more open-mindedness than science.

What I read of the Golden Dawn materials in particular seemed to offer a valid system, based on ideas that have stood the test of time. (I still think it's great stuff!)

Still, I detested the wishy-washy wicca books I read, which was pretty much all I could get my hands on at the time...

..until a chance meeting at work with a gentleman thelemite customer (who shared my birthdate) who gave me a literal Sack full of G.D. and Thelema books!

Crowley made the occult come alive to me, a lifelong cynic.

And I have been studying Thelema ever since. Even giving talks on the great Beast!

93!


   
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I guess I can chime in on this one as well.

My interest in magick started when I was 15. I was always interested in the "supernatural" etc. in my youth. I remember talking to "demons" and "angels" as child and seeing them very distinctly, very solid in their manifestation. One particular incident, when I was about 6, I remember sitting and talking to a demon on Halloween (I did not know the connotations of Halloween at the time) and when my grandmother entered the room he disappeared. Not long after these sorts of things stopped and I was forced into the doldrums of a prototypical Christian life. When I was 15 my grandfather died. He was the man that held my family together and as the seams of my family began to unravel, I found that the idea of the Christian god no longer comforted me. I began to quest by studying about witchcraft, discovering things like Wicca etc. but not being able to take it seriously at all.

When I was 16 I met a kid named Fozzy and he had recently bought a book on the Qabalah by Ted Andrews and he loaned it to me. I recognized it as the same sort of silly new age crap I could find in the library but there was something to the Qabalah that Ted didn't seem to address in his book. I tried some of the exercises with Fozz and some of his friends and learned a little bit but nothing substantial. As teenagers these guys were a little on the over dramatic side for my tastes but one night after I graduated High School I overheard an acquaintance mention the Qabalah.

We began to talk and I mentioned the group I had been working with and he said he had quite a few books on the occult, things that were a little meatier and more intense than what these kids were playing with. We made arrangements to get together and he brought Modern Magick and some Regardie, even a few Francis King books. The kinds of things that were easy to get etc. I gravitated to Modern Magick, it was so simple and so detailed on how to DO magick, it definitely overshadowed any other book of it's type I have seen since even. It was practical and workable. I borrowed it off of my acquaintance (who became one of my best friends in the ensuing years) and showed it to the guys in my group and they freaked out. They thought the book was "evil" etc. SO I slowly found myself leaving that group. I wrote to the Don Kraig a few times and eventually broached the subject of Crowley and he gave me a reading list that I still suggest to people to this day. I bought the books and read them. I became interested in the OTO and A.'.A.'.

It was the summer of 94 when I got "lucky" and found the "OTO". In an issue of Lewellyn's New World's of Mind & Spirit was a classified ad for "the OTO" based in Barstow, CA. Me and my Acquaintance (Frater AUN now) wrote the address and paid for the "preliminary documents of the OTO" and received them in short order. These were the Aquarian Masonry tracts of Marcelo Motta and I found GENIUS in them. I was the first to sign up for what would be the Society Ordo Templi Orientis under David Bersson in 1996 after corresponding with him for a year and a half. I also signed up for the A.'.A.'.

I then moved to Athens, Ohio and met up with a group of local magick users and we were sort of a loose working group, doing Shamanic travel etc. but before that I had channeled a document of a personal sort (see Silver Star no. 7) and was introduced to the work of Nema and then Grant (Outer Gateways) by one of the guys in the group. I owe a lot to that gaggle of misfits in my early development.

In 1998 I began a few missteps that culminated in 2003. I made some poor decisions that I wish I hadn't like flubbing my Probation with the Typhonian OTO in favour of helping found the UR-OTO (I resigned from the Society OTO in 1998) in 2000 with Marcelo Santos and company. It was a dramatic but now I think necessary initiatory period that I needed to experience to get my magickal priorities in order and to understand the path laid out for me.


   
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93 all,

I've very much enjoyed reading everyone else's experiences, so thought I'd post my own, although they are rather mundane.

My religious journey started when I was 14 or so and realized this Christianity stuff wasn't for me. I started exploring alternatives, Taoism and Buddhism initially hooked me, but came across Crowley in high school when a friend introduced me to The Church of Satan, which I didn't like but somehow followed to Crowley.

Initially I was one of those buffoons who reads The Book of the Law and understands it not a jot. I was rather repulsed by certain parts of it, I expect you can imagine which parts, and so the book sat on my bookshelf for years. It always held a strange power over me, though. I would come back and read, and constantly think about, and try to cram my conscience into a shape that could agree with the book literally. Never worked.

It was weird.

Anyway it wasn't until university, maybe sophomore year, that I felt like none of the religions on the face of the planet really appealed to me, and kind of as a last resort I decided to investigate Crowley more to get a better understanding of what was going on on my bookshelf. Man did I feel like I had wasted time. Once I finally began to acquire a modicum of understanding it all sort of fell into place and began to make sense.

I've now been out of university for a little over two years, but have never lived near any Thelemic bodies. My practice consists mostly of meditation and basic ritual, but I hope next year to be moving to a major urban area and getting more involved in the local community. Even without the community, I can say Thelema has transformed my life, and continues to advise every part of it.

So, here's to probing the depths of scummy ponds.

Love=Law

- Shangren


   
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