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A Brief Introduction

Hi there - please let me introduce myself!  My name is Brian Northmore.  I may well be 'getting on a bit in years', a fact of which I am often reminded by those supposedly nearest and dearest to me, but nevertheless I am proud to say I am the independent researcher, designer and writer of this most informative website.  Despite the fact that I have tried desperately to explain to my lovely wife that irrespective of the great deal of time spent involved in its development, during which she was more or less 'ignored', I can not possibly be a reincarnation of the subject because I was born in the year BEFORE he died, she remains unconvinced!  So, welcome to this site dedicated solely to the life and works of, in my humble opinion, the greatest magician of the 20th century, Edward Alexander Crowley, known to one and all as Aleister Crowley, The Beast 666.  Incidentally, you can rest assured that even after my demise, others are now capable of researching and updating the site.  Despite this, if you consider you can maintain the site and would like to own and run it, I AM ALWAYS OPEN TO SERIOUS OFFERS.  PLEASE Contact Us SHOULD YOU WISH TO CONSIDER PURCHASING IT AS AN ONGOING CONCERN.

You might be interested to know that you are visitor number visitor counter since the site was originally uploaded to our server.  It may seem at first glance that it does not attract many visitors, so perhaps we should explain that it does have a distinct disadvantage in the fact that a browser search on either 'to mega therion' or 'tomegatherion' tends to display details of the second album of a Swiss 'extreme metal' band going by the name of Celtic Frost.  In additon to this handicap, unlike the vast majority of other sites specialising in the occult (and probably millions relating to other themes), this counter is genuine, i.e. it started at zero and registers only once per unique IP address as opposed to once (or however many times it has been set to increment) for every visit.  We do like to know how many individuals have visited this site, and the only way we can get this information accurately is to set the counter accordingly.

If you are a regular visitor you will certainly have noticed how the site has grown since it was originally uploaded, and, as time constraints permit (work really does interfere with leisure time), Tomegatherion will be developed further and eventually (hopefully) become the ultimate site on the internet covering all aspects of this enigmatic character.  From what we have seen, it can not be too far off that aim now.  As a result, it could be worth your while to Bookmark this site if you wish to see these further developments!

It is probably worth mentioning that each highlighted link within the pages on this site performs one of three functions:

  1. Clicking on it takes you to a description of the highlighted word in the Glossary .........., or
  2. hovering over it displays further details relating to the higlighted word .........., or
  3. clicking on it takes you to a completely new page relating to the highlighted word (in some cases this may be one of the main menu items).

For example, several paragraphs further down on this page you will see four highlighted links within that paragraph, these being Magus, publications, The Book of the Law and Thelema.  Of these, two are links to main menu items (publications and Thelema), one (Magus) takes you to the Glossary, while the other (The Book of the Law) will take you to a new page.  On the home page, there is no example of a link displaying further details relating to a highlighted word, so one has been created to give you an example of how it works.  Hover HERE for the example.

Should you be unable to find whatever you might be looking for, we have incorporated a comprehensive Site Search engine dedicated to this site only.  If after having used the search facilty you still can not find anything relating to your keyword(s) please Contact Us

Aleister Crowley, like so many of the world's other outstanding men who preceded him, was definitely a man born before his time.  He was also a man who did not suffer fools gladly living in Victorian and Georgian societies that could neither understand him nor even begin to appreciate his true genius.  His extensive writings so shocked the vast majority of the influential people of the time that he was most likely robbed of the praise that many of his works so richly deserved.  Fortunately the world today is a much more enlightened place, and even more fortunately for those of us still living in it, his publications live on.  To see a list of these publications, in particular those relating to the Astrum Argentum AA, the organisation he formed with George Cecil Jones after the collapse of the Golden Dawn, click HERE.  Crowley only ever referred to his organisation as the AA.  What the letters actually stood for was supposedly known by members only.  Israel Regardie, his one-time secretary, in Gems from the Equinox suggests it should be Astrum Argentinum, while others call it Argenteum Astrum, Arcanum Arcanorum, Argentinum Astrum, Argentinium Astrum and Astron Argon, although C.R. Cammell in his biography Aleister Crowley The Black Magician tells us it is Atlantean Adepts.  However, the concensus of opinion seems to be Astrum Argentum, which is the name we shall use throughout this site.  Liber LXI vel Causae is Crowley’s own account of the G.D., its breakup and how the AA came to be formed.

Despite the fact he died 70 years ago, the name Aleister Crowley still instils revulsion and horror in the hearts and minds of many, although these tend to be uninformed bigots who know nothing whatsoever of the man except what they have been told by other uninformed bigots.  He gained much notoriety during and after his time on this earth, and was (in)famously dubbed The Wickedest Man in the World by the magazine John Bull, a title of which he was indubitably proud.  The same magazine ran headlines such as 'THE KING OF DEPRAVITY', 'A HUMAN BEAST' and 'A MAN WE'D LIKE TO HANG' after the scandal concerning the Abbey of Thelema.  Before you judge Crowley, we feel this snippet of information is of vital importance to balance what has been written about him since his death.  Israel Regardie in his Introduction to P.R. Stephenson’s The Legend of Aleister Crowley (1970) throws some interesting light on John Symonds (Crowley's literary executor and biographer):
"Crowley died in 1947.  Why he appointed John Symonds as one of his literary executors is a mystery that will never be divined.  It is perhaps another example of Crowley's poor judgement about people.  Symonds wrote a disgusting book over a decade ago entitled 'The Great Beast'.  It is a malicious contemptible piece of work crammed with deliberate misinterpretation and ignorant understanding of what Crowley stood for.  This wretched work was followed by another, 'The Magick of Aleister Crowley'.  In this second book, Symonds has extrapolated from the diaries and other works by Crowley in such a contemptible manner as to make 'the old man' look like a complete idiot.

Not content with this insolence, Symonds has steadfastly refused permission to me and several other writers to use any of Crowley's published material.  Evidently he has assumed that his literary executorship, instituted on behalf of and for the Ordo Templi Orientis, should be for his own personal gain."

Aleister Crowley's interests and accomplishments were wide-ranging.  Apart from being a Magus, he was a chess master, an expert mountaineer and rock climber, an adventurer, and a truly prolific poet and writer as can be seen from his comprehensive list of publications which we are still researching.  In addition to these talents, he wrote and spoke several languages.  He was also a painter, astrologer, drug experimenter, and social critic.  His experiments with hallucinatory drugs quite clearly developed his growing addiction for heroin, a habit from which he suffered for the remainder of his life.  He is perhaps best known today for his extensive occult writings, in particular The Book of the Law, which became the central sacred text of his religion and philosophy of Thelema.

It is certainly recommended that you read his autohagiography titled The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  Apart from being a tremendous read, albeit it disjointed, and at times complicated, it may well alter any preconceived impression you have of the man, irrespective of what your thoughts were originally, saint or sinner.  The cost of Crowley's publications has rocketed since his death, so you may well consider the expense is not worth it.  In this case try your Public Library (assuming it is still open), which is from where I obtained and read my first copy many years ago, but you really should bear in mind that truly rare books can turn out to be a sound investment.  At Tomegatherion, we consider ourselves very fortunate as we recently acquired a copy of the 1989 reprint (in outstanding condition for its age) on eBay ® for less than £23 including postage.  We were also very lucky when we picked up an original First Edition of the 1969 print in hardback, also relatively cheaply and in wonderful condition - see the image to the right.  This was the first complete airing of this great tome, because prior to this only the first two parts of the book had ever been published!  Amazon ® is another web site you can try with complete confidence.  Second-hand bookshops used to be an excellent source, but, unfortunately for people like us, the owners of such premises have now realised the potential value of these books.  Shortly before Crowley's death, John Symonds, co-editor of Confessions, paid him a visit and persuaded him to get the remainder of the manuscripts typed, which he did.  The Master sent a copy to Symonds, complaining about the forty pounds cost, and the rest is history - The Confessions of Aleister Crowley is the subsequent result.  It is unbelievable to think that this incredible book recording the life and works of the world's greatest magician could have been lost forever!

Should you find this site of interest and decide you wish to read and/or learn more (significantly much more) about magick and the occult in general, while at the same time demystifying the myths and taboos surrounding it, then why not visit our well-established partner site Links 2 the Occult?  This is probably/possibly the most informative site on the internet explaining all you need to know about the subject in layman's language.  It is highly recommended to anyone who wishes to broaden his/her outlook on magick and the occult!

The Number of the Beast

The Number of the Beast (Greek: Άριθμὸν τοῦ θηρίου (Arithmon tou Thēriou)) is a term found in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament that is associated with the first Beast of Revelation 13:18, the Beast of the Sea"Here is wisdom.  Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six".  Numbers were represented by letters in Koine (common) Greek and Ancient Hebrew (and Ancient Arabic).  The practice of converting Greek letters into Greek numerals is known as Isopsephy.  In Hebrew (and English), the practice is known as Gematria, where every letter corresponds to a number.  The sum of these numbers gives a numeric value to a word or name.

In most manuscripts of the New Testament and in English translations of such, the number of the Beast is written as 666.  However, prior to the writing of the Book of Revelation it was believed that the number for the antichrist was 616, for in those days there were many people who were not enamoured of the Jewish people, particularly Roman Emperors (whose names were in Latin).

Neron Caesar

It is widely accepted amongst scholars that the Roman Emperor Nero (ruling 54 – 68 AD, which was around the time when John of Patmos wrote the Book of Revelation) is the first Beast of the Book of Revelation.  This interpretation was calculated by enumerating his name and title Neron Caesar to the Number of the Beast.  An Aramaic scroll from Murabba'at, dated to 'the second year of Emperor Nero', refers to him by this name and title; in Latin this is Nro Qsr (pronounced "Nerō Kaisar") and in Hebrew it is Nron Qsr (pronounced "Nerōn Kaisar").  To completely understand the following, a smattering of Kabbalah and the Sacred Alphabet is essential.

Nro Qsr

This is the Latin version of the name which drops the second Nun (נ), so that it appears as Nro and transliterates into Hebrew as נרו קסר, yielding 616:

Resh (ר)
Samekh (ס)
Nun (נ)
Vav (ו)
Resh (ר)

Nron Qsr

However, the preferred Greek version of the name and title used by John of Patmos transliterates into Hebrew as נרון קסר, and yields a numerical value of 666 still seen today:

Resh (ר)
Samekh (ס)
Nun (נ)
Vav (ו)
Resh (ר)
Nun (נ)

Aleister Crowley adopted the number 666 as a form of rebellion against his strict religious upbringing as a child, and the fact that his mother considered him to be the Beast, the Anti-Christ of the Apocalypse.  Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is the fear of the number 666.

And finally   .....   how many of you are familiar with a roulette wheel in its current European format?  Add up the numbers on a standard roulette wheel and see what they total.

Bear this in mind next time you pay a visit to Monte Carlo or Las Vegas!

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As many of you have probably noticed, this site is constantly being updated, although on a not so regular basis as previously.  It contains far too much information to read in just one or two cursory visits, so why not get your own personal copy of the fully illustrated To Mega Therion - The Life, Times & Magick of Aleister Crowley eBook to print and read at your leisure?  This terrific book, which could so quickly and easily be yours, holds the entire contents of the To Mega Therion website (including the glossary and images, but excluding all advertisements and superfluous references) in a printable 500+ pages A4 pdf eBook.  The enhanced Biography is now at least twice the size that it was in the first edition, the Glossary of Terms contains more than 50 pages of vital information, all previous sections have been updated and many new topics have been added.  It is a magnificent tome covering exactly what it says in the title.  It is ideal for those who wish to read each page of this site, but who don't have the time to sit at a computer so to do.  The eBook comees onn a USB and costs just £5.99 + 1.75 postage if you live in the UK.

If you are truly interested in Aleister Crowley, the Great Beast 666, or simply wish to learn more about this enigmatic character who, despite his demise well over 60 years ago, seems to become more of a household name on a daily basis, we can promise you that you definitely won't be disappointed.  It has been a true labour of love of which we now feel justifiably proud (not just our own opinion we should add).  In addition to a Foreword and Table of Contents, the book contains 5 chapters:

  • Chapter 1 - A Fully Illustrated Biography and Much More
  • Chapter 2 - Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
  • Chapter 3 - Astrum Argentum AA
  • Chapter 4 - Ordo Templi Orientis
  • Chapter 5 - Thelema
and 6 appendices + a glossary:
  • Appendix 1 - Official AA publications, Poetry, Novels, Essays & Other Miscellany
  • Appendix 2 - The Book of the Law & Much More
  • Appendix 3 - Images of Aleister Crowley, his Associates & Artwork
  • Appendix 4 - Kabbalah (including Basic Hebrew).  So, Madonna and Britney Spears, 'supposed pop idols', also study Kabbalah do they?  Okay, fair enough, it has been reported as such, but I seriously doubt if either, or any other so-called 'celebrity' jumping on the bandwagon and trying to 'impress' with his or her superior intellect (don't make me laugh) , would understand the smallest fraction of what is being discussed in this Appendix.  This really is serious stuff that Aleister Crowley interpreted as well as anyone before him and better than most (or all) since.
  • Appendix 5 - Occult & Other Symbols -- NOW MASSIVELY UPDATED
  • Appendix 6 - Miscellaneous Newspaper/Magazine Articles
  • A Glossary of Thelema & the Occult

Just take a look at the actual contents of this book - you will not believe it:



          Chapter 1 - A Biography of the Beast 666 - & much more

                    Aleister Crowley (12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947)
                              Crowley’s Last Will & Testament
                    In Summary
                    Where are Crowley’s Ashes today?
                    Life After Death
                    In Conclusion
                    And Finally ....
                    Quotes From the Master Therion
                    Magical Mottos of A.C. & His Associates
                    Crowley's Biographers
                              Biographers' Quotes
                    A Short but Concise Chronology

          Chapter 2 - The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

                              The Origin of the Cipher Manuscript
                              Giving Credulity to the Order
                              Progression of the Order
                              The Eventual Breakup of the Order
                    The Historic Lecture - Golden Dawn by William Wynn Westcott
                    Structure & Grades of the Golden Dawn
                    In Summary
                    Major Events in Chronological Order
                    Some Prominent Members of the G.D. & Their Magical Mottos
                              Ahathoor / Alpha et Omega
                              Amen Ra
                              Stella Matutina

          Chapter 3 - Astrum Argentum AA

                    Liber LXI vel Causae
                            The Preliminary Lection
                            The History Lection
                    Continuation of the Order
                    Grades Within the Order
                              The Order of the S.S.
                              The Order of the R.C.
                              The Order of the G.D.
                    Useful Rituals
                    Some Prominent Members of the AAand their Magical Mottos

          Chapter 4 - Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.)

                    In Summary
                    Grades Within the O.T.O.
                              Man of Earth Triad
                              Lover Triad
                              Hermit Triad
                    Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica / Gnostic Catholic Church (E.G.C.)
                              The Gnostic Mass
                    Some Prominent Members of the O.T.O. & Their Magical Mottos

          Chapter 5 - Thelema

                    What is Thelema?
                    The Purpose of Magick
                              High & Low Magick
                    The Techniques of Magick
                              Invocation / Evocation
                              Banishing / Purification
                              Eucharistic Ritual
                    Other Magical Practices
                              The Tree of Life
                              Keeping a Magical Record
                    Ceremonial / Ritual Magick
                              Components of Ritual Magick
                                        Magical Weapons
                                        Magical Formulae
                                        Vibration of God Names
                                        Paranormal Effects
                    Enochian Magick
                              The Enochian Tablets
                                        The Tablet of Union
                                        The Elemental Kings
                                        The Seniors
                                        The Sephirotic Cross Angels
                                        The Kerubic Square Angels
                              The Enochian Keys
                    The Religion / Philosophy of Thelema
                              How Thelema Developed
                              The Abbey of Thelema
                              Thelemic Theology
                              Thelemic Sacred Texts
                              Thelemic Numbers & Words
                              The Thelemic Calendar, Date & Time
                                        Thelemic Holy Days
                              Thelemic Customs
                              In Summary
                    Babalon - The Scarlet Woman
                              Origin of the Name
                              Who or What is Babalon
                              The Cup/Chalice of Babalon
                              Aspects of Babalon
                                        The Gateway to the City of the Pyramids
                                        The Office of the Scarlet Woman
                                                  Crowley's Scarlet Women
                                        The Great Mother
                              Chapter 49 - Book of Lies
                    Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn
                              Magical & Mystical Grades of the Order

          Appendix 1 - AA Publications, Poetry, Novels, Essays & Other Miscellany

                    Understanding Crowley's Works
                    Classes of Publications
                              An Explanation of the Numbering given to the Books
                    Liber DCLXVI (666), which is not extant?
                    Crowley's Poetry, Novels, Essays & Other Miscellany
                              Obtaining Copies of Aleister Crowley's Publications

          Appendix 2 - The Book of the Law + Much More

                    Not Merely a Reproduction of Book 4 - Part 4 - Liber AL vel Legis ....
                    The Book of the Law
                    The Egyptian Gods/Goddesses Associated with the Book of the Law
                              A Short Creation Myth
                              Gods & Goddesses Referred to in the Book of the Law
                              Other Gods/Goddesses Referred to by Crowley

          Appendix 3 - Images of Aleister Crowley, his Associates & Artwork

                    Images of Aleister Crowley
                    Crowley's Sketches & Artwork
                    Crowley's Associates

          Appendix 4 - Kabbalah

                    What is Kabbalah?
                    Section 1 - The Origins & Branches of Kabbalah
                              Speculative Kabbalah - The Doctrine of Creation
                                        The Sacred Alphabet
                                        Gematria, Notarikon & Temura
                              Practical Kabbalah - The Doctrine of the Throne or Chariot
                              Lurianic Kabbalah
                                        Adam Kadmon - The Heavenly of Primordial Man
                    Section 2 - Aspects of Kabbalah
                              Ain Soph & the Sephiroth
                              The Four Worlds
                              The Three Pillars
                              The Thirty-two Paths of Wisdom
                              The Seventy-two Names of God
                                        The Tectractys
                              The Tree of Life
                                        The Kabbalistic Tree of Life
                    Some Traditional Jewish Literature

          Appendix 5 - Occult & Other Symbols

                    Occult & Other Symbols
                              Occult Symbols
                              Alchemical Symbols
                              Astrological Symbols
                              Planetary Symbols
                              Wiccan/Pagan Symbols
                              World Pagan & Neopagan Symbols
                              World Religions
                              Ancient Egyptian Symbols
                              Norse Symbols
                              Ancient Egyptian Gods & Goddesses
                              Greek/Roman Gods & Goddesses
                              Occult Societies & Organisations

          Appendix 6 - Miscellaneous Newspaper/Magazine Articles relating to Aleister Crowley

          A Glossary of Terms

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