Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick – David Shoemaker

Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick –  David ShoemakerThe system of spiritual attainment developed by Aleister Crowley is notoriously challenging in its scope. Adapted from the popular podcast segment of the same name, Living Thelema brings a welcome approachability to Crowley’s material, without diminishing the depth of the system. The author focuses on the practical and experiential aspects of the path of Thelema, allowing the reader to grasp the true transformative power of the system.

Beginners and advanced practitioners alike will find much useful advice here, as Shoemaker brings his characteristic down-to-earth style to bear on topics such as ritual and meditation practices, sex magick, astral projection, psychotherapy for magicians, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and that pinnacle of attainment known as the crossing of the Abyss.

The author’s background as a practicing psychotherapist allows an entirely unique fusion of esoteric wisdom and cognitive science. Living Thelema is an invaluable handbook for any modern magician.

Here’s what other prominent Thelemic authors have to say about Living Thelema:

“Dr. Shoemaker’s Living Thelema is in my opinion the most thorough and understandable exposition of the underlying theories and the practical applications of the spiritual disciplines of Thelema currently available to the public. Serious students of the magick of Aleister Crowley in general, and of the A.’. A.’. in particular, will not find a more masterful and authoritative work on the subject issuing from a post-Crowley commentator. My highest recommendation for this landmark work.”

—Lon Milo DuQuette, renowned author of The Magick of Aleister Crowley, Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, and many other titles.

“In this entertaining and (dare I say it?) lively book, David Shoemaker reminds us that Thelema is not just a philosophy or a study, but a spiritual practice. From applied ‘how to’ advice to thought-provoking ‘how about’ posers, Dr. Shoemaker offers his personal take—informed by twenty years of walking the talk, along with his incisiveness as a professional therapist—on how to get the most out of the fundamental Thelemic practices of yoga and ritual, both inside and outside of the temple.”

—Richard Kaczynski, author of Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis and Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley.


Part One: Tools for the Journey

  • An Introduction to the Qabalah
  • The Holy Guardian Angel
  • The True Will
  • Getting Started with a Basic Magical Regimen
  • The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
  • The Lesser & Greater Rituals of the Hexagram
  • Liber Resh vel Helios
  • Methods of Ritual Construction
  • Asana & Pranayama
  • Meditation & Visualization Practices
  • Astral Projection & Control of the Body of Light
  • Devotional Practices
  • Liber Samekh & the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel
  • Sexual Magick & Sexual Mysticism

Part Two: Perspectives on the Path of Attainment

  • The Methods & Tools of A.’.A.’.
  • Tarot & the Path of Initiation
  • Initiation & Tetragrammaton
  • The Chakras
  • The Role of the Ego in the Great Work
  • The Formulas of LVX and NOX
  • The Right Use of Magical Power
  • 21st Century Alchemy
  • The Practical Use of Alchemical Symbolism

Part Three: Life Outside the Temple

  • Patterns & Cycles in Magical Practice
  • Dreamwork
  • Relationships
  • Qabalistic Coping Techniques
  • Psychotherapy
  • The Anima & Animus
  • Cognitive Therapy for Magicians

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Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley's System of Magick - David Shoemaker