Aleister Crowley was born in 1875 to a wealthy Christian family. He was privately educated and went to Cambridge College in 1895. Crowley started writing and publishing poetry in college, by 1902 he had published over 30 volumes of poetry and travel around the world. In 1898 he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn under Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. In 1902 he joined the Chogo Ri (K2) expedition in the Himalayas for six months. By 1907 Crowley had gotten married, traveled to Cairo, Ceylon, Kangchenjunga, Rangoon, Morocco, and walked across China.
Crowley had studied the Vedas and Buddhism, as well as other spirituality and magick on his journeys. In 1905 while in Egypt, Crowley was given The Book of the Law by an entity named Aiwass. In 1907 he co-founded the A.A. and in 1912 was initiated into the Ordo Templi Orientis became its leader and turned it to follow his Thelemic belief system.
His early literary works had a small number of magickal overtones, but from 1909 to 1913 he published the Equinox it exposed the occult orders and criticized their practices. Before the release of the 3rd edition of the Equinox, S.L Mathers filed an injunction to prevent Crowley from exposing the rituals and ceremonies of the Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn, Crowley won his appeal releasing volume 3. All ten volumes were published; he faced severe opposition, criticism, and made powerful enemies. In 1920 he established the Abbey of Thelma in Sicily and was removed from the country by the government in 1923. The occult was illegal in England and illegal or shunned in most countries until 1954. Crowley traveled around France, Germany, and England.
Crowley published several books on the metaphysical including, 777, Magick in Practice and Theory, The Book of Lies, Book of Thoth, Magick without Tears, Eight Lectures on Yoga, and many more. Crowley had been able to master several of the practices in the Keys of Solomon and summoned numerous demons. Crowley had practiced the right and left-hand paths of magick. His mother had called him the beast 666, a name he claimed with pride.
Aleister Crowley was one of the most experienced and adept practitioners of magick in the 1900s; his knowledge and experience hold extreme value for all that follow him.
Gerald Gardener was born in 1884 in Lancashire England to an upper-middle-class Anglican family. Gerald was a sick child who suffered from severe asthma and had difficulty breathing in England due to the climate. In 1888 Gerald’s nanny Josephine McCombie, with the consent and financing of his parents took Gerald to warmer climates. Gerald lived in Nice, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands, Accra, Gahanna, and Madeira. Josephine spent much of her time away for Gerald allowing him to interact with the locals and absorb much of their culture and religious systems Buddhism being predominant.
in 1904 Gerald was brought an opportunity by his father to invest in a rubber plantation with the intent to manage in the future. In 1907 he began to manage duties of the rubber plantation. In 1910 Gerald joined the freemasons. In 1911 he moved to Borneo to find employment after his father sold the rubber plant he was managing. He had absorbed the metaphysical cultures of the plantation workers and was fascinated by their rituals. In 1911, he moved to Singapore and gained employment on a rubber plantation, he began to bye up land to build his own plantation. In the early 1920's after World War One, the demand for rubber sank and the plantation went under, Gerald moved back to Malaya and worked for the public works department.
During the next 20 years, Gerald spent his time traveling around Africa, the Mid-East and the Far-East. Over this period of time he had lost both of his parents and got married. Gerald spent his time researching and exploring history and spirituality. In 1936, Gerald and his wife moved back to London and retired. After retirement, he dedicated himself to the supernatural and spiritual. He immersed himself in the writings of Aleister Crowley, joined the Rosicrucian order of the Crotona Fellowship.
Gerald was allegedly initiated into the New Forest Coven by Dorothy Clutterbuck in 1939. In 1949 he began to draw attention to the art of magick with his published writings. In the early 1950's, he developed his own craft based on the occult teachings he had learned. in 1954 Witchcraft was no longer illegal in Britten and Gerald founded the Wicca group the Bricket wood coven. Gerald created a museum dedicated to the occult and spent the rest of his life defending the occult in public forums and promoting Wicca.
Alexander Sanders was born in 1926 to a working-class family, his mother and grandmother were members of the spiritualist movement and introduced him to the metaphysical. Alexander worked in the local spiritualist church as a medium and practiced ceremonial magic of a hermetic inclination. In 1963 he was initiated into Gardnerian Wicca, and shortly after established his own Wiccan coven. Alexandrian Wicca took Wicca and combined it ceremonial and the Thelemic practices. Alexander publicly interacted with the press in the 1960 and his name became publicly synonymous with Wicca.
Dorothy Clutterbuck was born in 1880, in a British province in India and was the daughter of a British military officer. Clutterbuck moved back to England in the area of the new forest, but she did not marry till the age of 55. She was considerably wealthy and left a large sum of money to an Anglican priest when she died. The only connection to Dorothy and the occult was Gerald Gardner's claim after her death. Dorothy had initiated him into the New Forest Coven, other than Gardner's claim there is no evidence that she was involved in the occult.
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