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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
"Dear Angel Paths, I really wanted to know your opinion on Alistair Crowley. I noticed that you use his Thoth deck in your tarot web site. I have been told that Alistair Crowley was historically a rather dark personality who used control and manipulation in his work with the occult (paying homage to the devil, no less). Is this true? I began to wonder about this assessment, because your web site is so overwhelmingly positive and gracious that I doubted you would use the tarot deck of a questionable individual. But because of the information I received about Alistair Crowley, I always avoided his tarot deck. What is your opinion about him? Am I mixing him up with someone else? Thank you for considering these questions." Diane

Jan replies:
Aleister Crowley certainly managed to acquire himself an outstandingly flamboyant reputation, didn't he? I think when considering the man he truly was you must first put his life and experience into the context of a world barely emerging from a puritanical Victorian era.

In my opinion, Crowley was an outstanding occultist to whom modern pagans owe a great vote of gratitude. His dedicated research, experimentation and ritual created a platform which was subsequently expanded and explored by those who subscribe to or use his teachings. It's unfortunate that his writing style was as obscure as it was since I think at times he tended to over-mystify certain aspects of occultism.

As an individual I think he can probably best be summed up as licentious, rebellious, and outrageous - not to mention at times egotistical. However, none of these traits makes him evil - I think he was a big personality who made his share of public mistakes, one of which was to so fervently and so publicly criticise the Christian belief with which he was indoctrinated in childhood.

Loadsalove

Jan

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