Aleister Crowley View On Holy Guardian Angel

Aleister Crowley View On Holy Guardian Angel Cover
Within the system of Thelema founded by Aleister Crowley in 1904, the Holy Guardian Angel is the "Silent Self", representative of one's truest divine nature.

In some branches of occultism, the term is so widely known that HGA has become a common abbreviation even in non-English-speaking countries. Crowley seems to consider it equivalent to the Genius of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Augoeides of Iamblichus, the Atman of Hinduism, and the Daemon of the ancient Greeks. He borrowed the term from the Grimoire "The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage".

Even though the Holy Guardian Angel is, in a sense, the “higher self”, it is often experienced as a separate being, independent from the adept. In the system of Thelema, the single most important goal is to consciously connect with one’s Holy Guardian Angel, a process termed “Knowledge and Conversation.” By doing so, the magician becomes fully aware of his own True Will.

For Crowley, this event was the single most important goal of any adept:

It should never be forgotten for a single moment that the central and essential work of the Magician is the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Once he has achieved this he must of course be left entirely in the hands of that Angel, who can be invariably and inevitably relied upon to lead him to the further great step—crossing of the Abyss and the attainment of the grade of Master of the Temple.

Variations in Crowley's view

Crowley only espouses a view that the Holy Guardian Angel is the 'silent self' in his early life. In his seventies, when composing Magick Without Tears, he presents a very different view. According to this definition, the Holy Guardian Angel is not one's 'self', but an independent and discrete being, who may have been a human like oneself at one stage:

Now, on the other hand, there is an entirely different type of angel; and here we must be especially careful to remember that we include gods and devils, for there are such beings who are not by any means dependent on one particular element for their existence. They are microcosms in exactly the same sense as men and women are. They are individuals who have picked up the elements of their composition as possibility and convenience dictates, exactly as we do ourselves... I believe that the Holy Guardian Angel is a Being of this order. He is something more than a man, possibly a being who has already passed through the stage of humanity, and his peculiarly intimate relationship with his client is that of friendship, of community, of brotherhood, or Fatherhood. He is not, let me say with emphasis, a mere abstraction from yourself; and that is why I have insisted rather heavily that the term 'Higher Self' implies a damnable heresy and a dangerous delusion."

Suggested ebooks:

Aleister Crowley - The Works Of Aleister Crowley Vol I Part 2
Kenneth Grant - Aleister Crowley And The Hidden God

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