For those who don’t know, Thelema acquired most of its notoriety from Aleister Crowley. The word had existed long before he but it was he who readopted it and gave it new purpose. Aleister sought to bring about a new religion something to replace the antiquated views of old. However his work came quite a bit after the appearance of the Golden Dawn, Rosicrucians, and even the Freemasons. Crowley’s religion was an adaptation of a new dogma.
This new path was revealed to him by a being called Aiwass. Aiwass was channeled through Crowley at first by his wife Rose and then later himself. This alleged being was Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel. However the writing itself is very indicative of any style of automatic writing. Like many “channeled” works it is written in a very abstract and esoteric manner. Only those worthy to walk the path may understand type approach.
The legions of Crowley and Thelema are truly no better than folk trying to walk the darker side of life with an over active imagination. At least superficially it would appear as such. Much of Crowley’s work took place while under the influence of various illegal substances. Like the tribes that formed their religious experiences based upon the intake of Peyote, so too did Crowley form his religion.
Thelema’s approach is unique in that it follows a certain precept. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love under law, love under will. Much of the Thelematic work is focused upon developing one’s will. Using magick as a path to forge who one is as well as their surroundings. However any religious aspirant may see this approach as blasphemous. Follow one’s will to their own desires, to eventually become the god head that they are is the credo. However despite all of this elaborate ritual, Crowley knew he blasphemed against the religious heads.
On the base of Thelema one pursues the path on their own with their brothers and sisters of the lodge, assuming they join the O.T.O. or A.:A.:, the goal to expand the will and achieve an enlightenment of sorts. Through complex ritual magick, one programs their subconscious to become in tune with the higher frequencies of divinity. Different mantras to raise spiritual vibrations and practices help get the neophyte to become a true magician. To do this one is under the presumption that there is divinity, and where there is divinity there is also the demonic.
Thelema gives great focus to all of the religious iconography of old, such as horus, hermes and others. This is nothing new in the Occult. Objectively Thelema may be considered as a means to use symbology and ritualism to program the subconscious and to contact the higher self. In contrast I am reminded of a phrase from the Pattern on the Trestleboard. All the Power that ever was or will be is here now. I take this to mean that everything we need is here now. We need not look further than our own eyes may take us. This divine and holy will is within and without. Just like any religion though Thelema too can be used as an elaborate self help program, except instead of giving thanks to God. The Thelemite can give themselves a nice pat on the back.