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Getting started

New to magick, Thelema, and Ordo Templi Orientis? These books will give you a good start on a long and exciting journey.

The Book of the Law — also known as Liber AL vel Legis, or Liber CCXX — is the founding document of Thelema. Received by Aleister Crowley in 1904, its three chapters proclaim a new Aeon in human thought, an Aeon in which the supreme injunction is “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law”. This book is widely available online, including here, but a physical copy is frequently useful as well.

Magick and Thelema are big subjects. It’s very easy to get lost and overwhelmed at first, especially if you don’t already have the esoteric knowledge that many authors — especially Crowley — expect of their readers. Fortunately, Lon Duquette is here to lend you a hand with The Magick of Aleister Crowley. In this engaging, lively, and thorough book, Lon lays out the fundamental concepts of magick and Thelema, and explains why they are useful — and, even more important, how to use them. This is the book for newcomers to Thelema.

Thelemic authors

Thelema is a living tradition. Some of our most important books are more than a century old, and recent years have seen a new golden age of Thelemic scholarship, leaving us with a wealth of books about Thelema, magick, and the O.T.O. Here are some authors worthy of attention.

  • Aleister Crowley – Prophet of Thelema, tireless author, mountain climber, self-styled “Great Beast” — everything about Crowley is larger than life. Along with The Book of the Law, students of magick should read his magnum opus on the subject, Liber ABA.
  • Lon Milo Duquette – Ideal for beginners, but sure to teach even experts a thing or two. Lon’s sense of humor is legendary, and like Crowley, often it’s his silliest jokes that convey the most important information. As mentioned above, his book The Magick of Aleister Crowley is an ideal starting point for learning about Thelema.
  • James Wasserman – A scholar of Masonic and Templar history, and also a key figure in the modern revival of Ordo Templi Orientis. His autobiographical work In the Center of the Fire provides a riveting insider’s account of the Thelemic and wider magical communities of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
  • Richard Kaczynski – The preeminent historian of Ordo Templi Orientis, His biography Perdurabo is widely considered the most balanced and insightful view of the life of Aleister Crowley.

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