Thelema Cover Thelema is a philosophy or religion based on the dictum, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. ... Love is the law, love under will," as presented in Aleister Crowley's Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law). The word is the English transliteration of the Koine Greek noun "will", from the verb to will, wish, purpose.

Crowley developed the belief system of Thelema following a series of experiences in 1904. He claimed to have arrived at the central credo of his religion primarily via a non-corporeal being, Aiwass, which dictated The Book of the Law to him during this time, although he acknowledged that earlier writers had influenced his system. This book contains both the phrase "Do what thou wilt" and the word Thelema in Greek, which Crowley took for the name of the philosophical, mystical and religious system which he subsequently developed. This system includes ideas from occultism, Yoga, and both Eastern and Western mysticism (especially the Qabalah). The Book of the Law formed part of the official syllabus of the A?A?, a magical order led by Crowley. Crowley referred to Thelema as the Word of the Law. He believed it formed the spiritual principle for a new aeon of humanity.

Despite the frequent assumption that "Do what thou Wilt" is solely an exhortation to hedonism or licentiousness, Thelema as it was formulated by Crowley is a path of spiritual development based on seeking and putting into practice one's True Will, or destiny, the soul's Will rather than the ego's desires.

People have interpreted and applied Crowley’s work in widely different ways, sometimes leading to harsh disagreements.

Thelema draws its principal gods and goddesses from Ancient Egyptian religion. The highest deity in the cosmology of Thelema is in fact a goddess, Nuit. She is the night sky arched over the Earth symbolized in the form of a naked woman. She is conceived as the Great Mother, the ultimate source of all things. The second principal deity of Thelema is the god Hadit, conceived as the infinitely small point, complement and consort of Nuit. Hadit symbolizes manifestation, motion, and time. He is also described in Liber AL vel Legis as "the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star." The third deity in the cosmology of Thelema is Ra-Hoor-Khuit, a manifestation of Horus. He is symbolized as a throned man with the head of a hawk who carries a wand. He is associated with the Sun and the active energies of Thelemic magick. Other deities within the cosmology of Thelema are Hoor-paar-kraat (or Harpocrates), god of silence and inner strength, the brother of Ra-Hoor-Khuit, Babalon, the goddess of all pleasure, known as the Virgin Whore. and Therion, the beast that Babalon rides, who represents the wild animal within man, a force of nature.

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