THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN SCOTLAND welcomes you to an afternoon with Deja Whitehouse at The Theosophical Society in Scotland Headquarters, 28 Great King Street, Edinburgh, on Saturday 11th March 2017 at 2 pm for a talk by Deja Whitehouse on Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris.

Introduction to the Themes

1. ‘The Man behind the Magick’ – Aleister Crowley is recognised for his total dedication to achieving mystical enlightenment, encapsulated in Thelema, a new religious system still followed today by his legacy magical order, Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.).  His teachings comprise the heart of many modern Pagan movements.  However his achievements are often overshadowed by his unsavoury reputation.

In an attempt to perceive the ‘Man behind the Magick’, the first talk will explore aspects of his upbringing in a strict Plymouth Brethren community, his undergraduate days in Cambridge, his achievements as a mountaineer, chess master, explorer and linguist, his literary pursuits, social life and political activities.

2. ‘A Cartomantic Marriage’ – An examination of the partnership between Crowley and Frieda Harris in the realisation of Crowley’s Book of Thoth, one of the most significant texts in modern occultism.

The nineteenth century “occult revival” saw the emergence of various esoteric movements which incorporated such diverse strands as Egyptian mythology, Neo-Platonism, Jewish and Christian mysticism, alchemy and astrology into their rituals and the Tarot was an integral part of their studies.  Crowley’s seminal work demonstrates that the symbolism in the Tarot can be applied to all aspects of Western and Eastern mysticism, including Chinese divination practices.  The Thoth Tarot and the earlier Rider-Waite deck are the two most popular tarot cards in circulation today. 

The Book of Thoth was the culmination of forty years study and magical practice and Crowley believed it would ‘determine the entire course of mystical and magical thought for the next 2000 years’.  His quest for a suitable artist to illustrate the work was rewarded in 1937, when he was introduced to Frieda Harris, the wife of a Liberal peer and Chief Whip.  From this meeting evolved an extraordinary partnership which led to the completion of Crowley’s “The Great Work”, and it is through Harris’s paintings that Crowley’s vision was realised.  However, as this talk will explain, her involvement extended far beyond creating the individual paintings.



1.30 pm  Doors open

2:00 pm  Lecture: The Man behind the Magick.

3:00 pm  Refreshments

3:30 pm  Lecture: A Cartomantic Marriage.

4:30 pm  Questions

To book a place please contact Susan by email or on 07979 952123

Print a copy of the publicity leaflet 

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