Day 9, No. 9. Aleister Crowley

Aleister CrowleyHAIRCUT 100: Day 9, No. 9. Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947): occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, libertine, bisexual, and mountaineer; described as ‘the wickedest man in the world’ by the popular press and frequently denounced as a Satanist. Crowley founded the religion and philosophy of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the ‘Æon of Horus.’ In 1920, he established the Abbey of Thelema with Leah Hirsig, a religious commune in Cefalù, Sicily. The name was taken from François Rabelais’s satirical masterpiece Gargantua and Pantagruel, in which an Abbaye de Thélème is described as an ‘anti-monastery’ where the lives of the inhabitants were ‘spent not in laws, statutes, or rules, but according to their own free will and pleasure.’ Crowley remains an icon of Western esotericism and counter-culture, and is still considered a prophet in Thelema. In 2002, a BBC poll ranked him as the 73rd greatest Briton of all time. ‘Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people.’

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