Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World

Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World

by Gary Lachman


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This definitive work on the occult’s “great beast” traces the arc of his controversial life and influence on rock-and-roll giants, from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin to Black Sabbath.
When Aleister Crowley died in 1947, he was not an obvious contender for the most enduring pop-culture figure of the next century. But twenty years later, Crowley’s name and image were everywhere. The Beatles put him on the cover of  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Rolling Stones were briefly serious devotees. Today, his visage hangs in goth clubs, occult temples, and college dorm rooms, and his methods of ceremonial magick animate the passions of myriad occultists and spiritual seekers.

Aleister Crowley is more than just a biography of this compelling, controversial, and divisive figure—it’s also a portrait of his unparalleled influence on modern pop culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399161902
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/15/2014
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 210,880
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gary Lachman is one of today’s most respected writers on esoteric and occult themes. His books—including Swedenborg, Jung the Mystic, and Rudolf Steiner—have received international acclaim. A founding member of Blondie, Lachman has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He lives in London.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Beast on the Bowery 1

1 The Unforgivable Sin 15

2 Twilight of the Golden Dawn 54

3 The Word of the Aeon 81

4 What Is The Law? 106

5 Toward the Silver Star 137

6 Sex and Magick 165

7 New York's A Lonely Town When You're the Only Thelemite Around 190

8 In And Out of the Abbey of Thelema 218

9 Wandering in the Wasteland 250

10 The Sunset of Crowleyanity 279

11 The Beast Goes On 316

Acknowledgments 347

Notes 349

Index 377

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Clocking in at 394 pages jam-packed with in-depth information, factoids, anecdotes and insights from the first sentence to the last. A historical biography through and through, Lachman’s book is meticulously researched and it is quite easy to believe that the author, like a professor well-versed in their subject, could analyze and extrapolate at much greater lengths. The oft touted declaration of Crowley as the Wickedest Man in the World, may well have been overblown in it’s own time, but he’s certainly not an individual with whom it is easy to empathize. As detestable as he is, there is an undeniable fascination in his exploits, and Lachman seems the perfect man to deliver them.”
—The Examiner

“Gary Lachman has become an increasingly prolific engine of literate, well-written, and clear-headed books about esoteric history and ‘occulture.’ ”
—Erik Davis, author of TechGnosis

“Thinking outside the box, Lachman challenges many contemporary theories by reinserting a sense of the spiritual back into the discussion.” 
—Leonard Shlain, author of Art & Physics and Alphabet versus the Goddess

Customer Reviews