Aleister Crowley was born in Leamington on Spa, England, on 12th October 1875 to a wealthy brewery owner.
From an early age ‘Alick’ was a rebellious free-thinker with a troubled home life and unhappy education at a number of private schools. Whilst his attention to studies at university was poor Aleister did discover his true calling in life. Through a chance meeting with a fellow mountaineer who had a fascination in the occult, spirituality and mysticism Aleister was spurred on to study less orthodox material.
Within a couple of years he had joined Freemasonry, rose quickly through its ranks and then moved on to become a prominent member of the Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1907 Crowley started his own occult order which he referred to as ‘The Order of the Silver Star’ or Argentium Astrum – one with new membership, grades and rituals. The ‘Silver Star’ was, of course, Sirius.
The temple and headquarters of the A.A. Order were situated in a rented flat at 124 Victoria Street, London and for the following few years became the focus for all of Crowleys’ magickal activity.
Crowley was keen on producing a literary mouthpiece for the A.A. and its students and so began a new project which led to the publication of ‘The Equinox’ – a journal of magickal thought, articles and some of Crowleys’ poetry. The first issue was released in March 1909 and a second one followed the following September.
In the first issue of ‘The Equinox’ Crowley opened the journal with a piece that expressly revealed the A.A. to a wider audience. As a result membership grew despite its limited readership. The A.A. was, or so Crowley believed, an outer order of the Secret Chiefs with whom he believed he maintained a contact through his magickal career.
Towards the end of a lifetime given over to the study of Magick and the development of the Law of Thelema, Crowley looked to passing the mantle of his high occult office to a young man called Kenneth Grant. Grant subsequently continued with Crowleys work and has become the foremost writer on the occult current which Crowley opened.
In his first full publication ‘The Magickal Revival’ Grant says of the A.A that it is ‘… The Great White Brotherhood (of Adepts).’ by which the reader is led to believe that the A.A. was in fact an Inner Order foremost of which Crowleys’ organisation was an outer manifestation. In the same publication Grant also states that ‘…The initials A A stand for Argenteum Astrum (the Silver Star). This is the Star of Set or Sothis (Sirius) – the sun ‘in the south’…’ .
Throughout his life Crowley continued to write and publish with great creative and enthusiastic flair; though only a few contain specific references to Sirius. Nevertheless the whole of Crowleys’ magickal philosophy, from his development as a young Freemason through to his final years as the Head of the OTO, is wholey in accordance with the Sirian influence which other writers of his era have identified and expressed.
In 1904, whilst on holiday in Egypt with his wife, Crowley was contacted by a super-human intelligence who advised him to prepare for a great message from the Secret Chiefs. Over three consecutive days Crowley transcribed the dictations that were fed to him into written form and the result was ‘The Book of the Law: Liber Al Vel Legis’ Crowley believed the source of these transmissions to have been from his Higher Guardian Angel which he associated with Sirius. Crowleys’ famous poem ‘One Star in Sight’ is also believed to be a reference to the Dog Star Sirius.
The man I come, the numbers of A man my number, Lion of Light;
I am The Beast whose Law is Love. Love under will, his royal right – Behold within, and not above, One Star in Sight
Extract from ‘One Star in Sight’ – Magick by Aleister Crowley