The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley

Richard Kaczynski.  The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley, edited by James Wasserman  (San Francisco: Weiser Books, 2009).  6″x9″, 128 pages, ISBN 9781578634569, list price $12.95.

In addition to the fascinating biographical sketch drawn by Richard Kaczynski, author of the classic biography Perdurabo, this book offers Crowley’s teachings in his own words. A carefully chosen series of his instructions for concentration, meditation, magick, invocation, even sex magick are included. Crowley’s descriptions of the teaching Orders A:.A:. and OTO are presented, along with the Creed of EGC. In addition, a suggested reading list of Crowley’s “top-eleven” most important books is enhanced by an extensive bibliography for further in-depth research. This is the first and only introductory book that does not pretend to “improve” upon the Master’s writings, but attempts to showcase them into a coherent introduction to his spiritual system.

Editorial Reviews

“Dr. Kaczynski’s contribution to the canon of beginner’s guides to Thelema and Magick stands apart from its predecessors.”

—Sabazius X*, National Grand Master, Ordo Templi Orientis USA

“An excellent answer to the question, ‘Where do I begin?’”

—J. Daniel Gunther, author of Initiation in the Aeon of the Child

“With this Concise Guide, Dr. Kaczynski offers us for the first time a truly proper ‘overture’ to this amazing and important spiritual figure–a Crowley digest that is delightfully digestible.”

—Lon Milo DuQuette, author of The Magick of Aleister Crowley

The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley is a valuable volume for the beginner and the merely curious, but the more experienced will find it a useful read as well. Kaczynski has produced a clear, consistent and readily intelligible account here, answering many questions that’d occur to anyone who’s tackled even a fraction of the writings in question. In addition the biography section includes a significant amount of new data that kaczynski’s research has uncovered since the original publication of Perdurabo.”

Behutet: Modern Thelemic Magick & Culture magazine

“Kaczynski has an exhaustive knowledge and highlights Crowley’s more remarkable productions, such as Magick in Theory and Practice and the Thoth Tarot.  Until the appearance of Thelema: An Idiot’s Guide, this will probably remain the best place for the novice to start.”

Fortean Times magazine

“Of all the books about Crowley I have ever read, and this book has a six-page bibliography of them, I believe this is certainly the most informative introduction to Crowley and his works. I highly recommend it along with Magick Without Tears to those interested in Crowley and his magical operations. I would even say these two books should be a prerequisite to any other study of Crowley’s works or magical system.”

—Amazon customer review by John Hansen

“The best primer on Crowley to date.  I am a knowledgeable—if not diehard—Thelemite, and this book is by far the best introduction to the Man, his philosophy, and his life that I have ever come across. Very accessible to one with no prior knowledge about Crowley or Thelema and also of great accuracy and value to the Adept. Plus, it’s really a fun read, always a big attraction to me. I would also recommend the other Weiser Guides—particularly their guides to Alchemy and Herbal Magick. Excellent stuff.”

—Amazon customer review by L. Byron

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