Are you new to Thelema, and want to know more information? The Thelemic Union has compiled several resources on different subjects, including introductory reading lists and self-study materials.
Thelema is a philosophical, mystical, and cultural system that is based upon a seemingly simple premise: DO WHAT THOU WILT. This phrase, called the Law of Thelema, is not to be interpreted as a license to indulge in whim, but rather as a mandate to discover and fulfill one’s essential nature or path in life, which is called True Will (those who are dedicated to this path are called Thelemites). This Will is the expression of one’s deepest, most genuine self which acts in perfect accord with the Universe.
Thelema began in 1904 with the writing of a short text, titled The Book of the Law (which is often abbreviated as Liber Legis, Liber AL, or simply AL), by the British author, mystic, and poet, Aleister Crowley. This small book was to form the foundation of a complex system designed to promote True Will in both individuals and culture as a whole.
This is a list of very basic resources on learning about the basics of Thelema:
- “Thelema” on Thelemapedia
- “Thelema” on Thelema 101
- “Thelema” on ThelemaMagick
- “Why Thelemic Kicks Ass” on IAO131
- The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley contains a brief biography and some basic info about Thelema.
What does “93” mean?
5 writings on Thelema by Aleister Crowley
These are 5 short pieces written by Aleister Crowley which serve as good introductions to the philosophy of Thelema:
- Liber OZ: A Declaration of the Rights of Man
- The Message of the Master Therion explains the essence of the new Law in a very simple manner.
- Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus: An account of Initiation, and an indication as to those who are suitable for the same.
- De Lege Libellum: A further explanation of the Book of the Law, with special reference to the Powers and Privileges conferred by its acceptance.
- Duty: A note on the chief rules of practical conduct to be observed by those who accept the Law of Thelema.
Further Resources (Books)
- The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley contains a brilliant short biography and some basic info about Thelema and such.
- The Revival of Magick contains many short essays by Crowley which attempt to explain his philosophy in more or less plain English prose.
- The Book of the Law is the received holy text which is at the core of Crowley’s teaching.
- The Law is for All contains much of his commentary on The Book of the Law.
- Liber Aleph is another important book of commentary on the Law.
- Perdurabo is the definitive biography of AC.
- Confessions is his autobiography and excellent reading also.
- Thoth Tarot Deck is Crowley’s design and bar none it is the best Tarot deck.
See our full list of self-study materials on the Self-Study page.