Crowley's father had been born a Quaker , but had converted to the Exclusive Brethren , a faction of a Christian fundamentalist group known as the Plymouth Brethren , with Emily joining him upon marriage. Crowley's father was particularly devout, spending his time as a travelling preacher for the sect and reading a chapter from the Bible to his wife and son after breakfast every day.
Habershon's evangelical Christian boarding school in Hastings , and then to Ebor preparatory school in Cambridge , run by the Reverend Henry d'Arcy Champney, whom Crowley considered a sadist.
Crowley described this as a turning point in his life,  and he always maintained an admiration of his father, describing him as "my hero and my friend". Crowley developed interests in chess , poetry, and mountain climbing , and in climbed Beachy Head before visiting the Alps and joining the Scottish Mountaineering Club.
With approval from his personal tutor, he changed to English literature, which was not then part of the curriculum offered.
These feats led to his recognition in the Alpine mountaineering community. Edward did not seem to suit me and the diminutives Ted or Ned were even less appropriate.
Alexander was too long and Sandy suggested tow hair and freckles. I had read in some book or other that the most favourable name for becoming famous was one consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee , as at the end of a hexameter: Aleister Crowley fulfilled these conditions and Aleister is the Gaelic form of Alexander.
To adopt it would satisfy my romantic ideals. Aleister Crowley, on his name change. They broke apart because Pollitt did not share Crowley's increasing interest in Western esotericism, a break-up that Crowley would regret for many years. A Place to Bury Strangers In, but it was not a particular success.
Baker, and the two began discussing their common interest in alchemy. Bennett taught Crowley more about ceremonial magic and the ritual use of drugs, and together they performed the rituals of the Goetia ,  until Bennett left for South Asia to study Buddhism. He developed a love of Scottish culture, describing himself as the "Laird of Boleskine", and took to wearing traditional highland dress, even during visits to London. When the case was taken to court, the judge ruled in favour of the London lodge, as they had paid for the space's rent, leaving both Crowley and Mathers isolated from the group.
Developing a love of the country, he continued experimenting with ceremonial magic, working with John Dee 's Enochian invocations. Eckenstein joined him later that year, and together they climbed several mountains, including Iztaccihuatl , Popocatepetl , and Colima , the latter of which they had to abandon owing to a volcanic eruption. On the ship he had a brief affair with a married woman named Mary Alice Rogers; saying he had fallen in love with her, he wrote a series of poems about the romance, published as Alice: The pair spent some time in Kandy before Bennett decided to become a Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition, travelling to Burma to do so.
He spent much of this time studying at the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madura. At this time he also composed and also wrote poetry which was published as The Sword of Song He contracted malaria , and had to recuperate from the disease in Calcutta and Rangoon. Wesseley, and Jules Jacot-Guillarmod. Together the Eckenstein-Crowley expedition attempted K2 , which had never been climbed.
On the journey, Crowley was afflicted with influenza , malaria, and snow blindness , and other expedition members were also struck with illness. Whilst there, Crowley wrote a series of poems on the work of an acquaintance, the sculptor Auguste Rodin.
These poems were later published as Rodin in Rime Somerset Maugham , who after briefly meeting Crowley later used him as a model for the character of Oliver Haddo in his novel The Magician Heading on a honeymoon to Paris, Cairo, and then Ceylon, Crowley fell in love with Rose and worked to prove his affections. While on his honeymoon, he wrote her a series of love poems, published as Rosa Mundi and other Love Songs , as well as authoring the religious satire Why Jesus Wept The manifestation of Nuit.
The unveiling of the company of heaven. Every man and woman is a star. Every number is infinite; there is no difference. Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men! The opening lines of The Book of the Law. In February , Crowley and Rose arrived in Cairo. Claiming to be a prince and princess, they rented an apartment in which Crowley set up a temple room and began invoking ancient Egyptian deities, while studying Islamic mysticism and Arabic.
She led him to a nearby museum, where she showed him a seventh-century BCE mortuary stele known as the Stele of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu ; Crowley thought it important that the exhibit's number was , the number of the beast in Christian belief, and in later years termed the artefact the "Stele of Revealing. Crowley said that he wrote down everything the voice told him over the course of the next three days, and titled it Liber L vel Legis or The Book of the Law.
It stated that a supreme moral law was to be introduced in this Aeon, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," and that people should learn to live in tune with their Will. This book, and the philosophy that it espoused, became the cornerstone of Crowley's religion, Thelema. Often resenting it, he said that he ignored the instructions which the text commanded him to perform, which included taking the Stele of Revealing from the museum, fortifying his own island, and translating the book into all the world's languages.
According to his account, he instead sent typescripts of the work to several occultists he knew, putting the manuscript away and ignoring it. The winner of this was J. Fuller , a British Army officer and military historian, whose essay, The Star in the West , heralded Crowley's poetry as some of the greatest ever written. Rigo de Righi, the expedition was marred by much argument between Crowley and the others, who thought that he was reckless.
They eventually mutinied against Crowley's control, with the other climbers heading back down the mountain as nightfall approached despite Crowley's warnings that it was too dangerous.
Subsequently, Pache and several porters were killed in an accident, something for which Crowley was widely blamed by the mountaineering community. On the way he spent much time on spiritual and magical work, reciting the "Bornless Ritual", an invocation to his Holy Guardian Angel , on a daily basis.
Crowley then sailed to Japan and Canada, before continuing to New York City, where he unsuccessfully solicited support for a second expedition up Kangchenjunga. Under emotional distress, his health began to suffer, and he underwent a series of surgical operations. Crowley claimed that in doing so he attained samadhi , or union with Godhead, thereby marking a turning point in his life.
Even from the brave river they reach to the edge of the wilderness. And I behold Pan. The group's headquarters and temple were situated at Victoria Street in central London, and their rites borrowed much from those of the Golden Dawn, but with an added Thelemic basis. Lola was entrusted to Rose's care; the couple remained friends and Rose continued to live at Boleskine.
Her alcoholism worsened, and as a result she was institutionalised in September During the trip he invoked the thirty aethyrs of Enochian magic , with Neuburg recording the results, later published in The Equinox as The Vision and the Voice.
Following a mountaintop sex magic ritual, Crowley also performed an invocation to the demon Choronzon involving blood sacrifice , considering the results to be a watershed in his magical career.
The case was widely reported in the press, with Crowley gaining wider fame. Various members of the press attended, and reported largely positively on it. In October and November , Crowley decided to stage something similar, the Rites of Eleusis , at Caxton Hall , Westminster ; this time press reviews were mixed. Crowley convinced Reuss that the similarities were coincidental, and the two became friends. Reuss appointed Crowley as head of the O.
Fascinated by the O. O's emphasis on sex magic , Crowley devised a magical working based on anal sex and incorporated it into the syllabus for those O. They subsequently performed in Moscow for six weeks, where Crowley had a sadomasochistic relationship with the Hungarian Anny Ringler.
As part of the ritual, the couple performed acts of sex magic together, at times being joined by journalist Walter Duranty. During this time the First World War broke out. He explained it thus: The witch is hanged, as she deserves, and the satyr looks out from behind a tree. He became involved in New York's pro-German movement, and in January German spy George Sylvester Viereck employed him as a writer for his propagandist paper, The Fatherland , which was dedicated to keeping the US neutral in the conflict.
In Vancouver , headquarters of the North American O. There, he made heavy use of drugs and undertook a ritual after which he proclaimed himself "Master Therion". He also wrote several short stories based on J. Crowley used it to promote Thelema, but it soon ceased publication. Through their rituals, which Crowley called "The Amalantrah Workings", he believed that they were contacted by a preternatural entity named Lam. The relationship soon ended.