The system of spiritual attainment developed by Aleister Crowley is notoriously challenging in its scope. Adapted from the popular podcast segment of the same name, Living Thelema brings a welcome approachability to Crowley's material, without diminishing the depth of the system. The author focuses on the practical and experiential aspects of the path of Thelema, allowing the reader to grasp the true transformative power of the system.
Beginners and advanced practitioners alike will find much useful advice here, as Shoemaker brings his characteristic down-to-earth style to bear on topics such as ritual and meditation practices, sex magick, astral projection, psychotherapy for magicians, the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and that pinnacle of attainment known as the crossing of the Abyss.
The author's background as a practicing psychotherapist allows an entirely unique fusion of esoteric wisdom and cognitive science. Living Thelema is an invaluable handbook for any modern magician.
Here's what other prominent Thelemic authors have to say about Living Thelema:
"Dr. Shoemaker's Living Thelema is in my opinion the most thorough and understandable exposition of the underlying theories and the practical applications of the spiritual disciplines of Thelema currently available to the public. Serious students of the magick of Aleister Crowley in general, and of the A.'. A.'. in particular, will not find a more masterful and authoritative work on the subject issuing from a post-Crowley commentator. My highest recommendation for this landmark work."
-Lon Milo DuQuette, renowned author of The Magick of Aleister Crowley, Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot, and many other titles.
"In this entertaining and (dare I say it?) lively book, David Shoemaker reminds us that Thelema is not just a philosophy or a study, but a spiritual practice. From applied 'how to' advice to thought-provoking 'how about' posers, Dr. Shoemaker offers his personal take-informed by twenty years of walking the talk, along with his incisiveness as a professional therapist-on how to get the most out of the fundamental Thelemic practices of yoga and ritual, both inside and outside of the temple."
-Richard Kaczynski, author of Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis and Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part One: Tools for the Journey
An Introduction to the Qabalah
The Holy Guardian Angel
The True Will
Getting Started with a Basic Magical Regimen
The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
The Lesser & Greater Rituals of the Hexagram
Liber Resh vel Helios
Methods of Ritual Construction
Asana & Pranayama
Meditation & Visualization Practices
Astral Projection & Control of the Body of Light
Liber Samekh & the Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel
Sexual Magick & Sexual Mysticism
Part Two: Perspectives on the Path of Attainment
The Methods & Tools of A.'.A.'.
Tarot & the Path of Initiation
Initiation & Tetragrammaton
The Role of the Ego in the Great Work
The Formulas of LVX and NOX
The Right Use of Magical Power
21st Century Alchemy
The Practical Use of Alchemical Symbolism
Part Three: Life Outside the Temple
Patterns & Cycles in Magical Practice
Qabalistic Coping Techniques
The Anima & Animus
Cognitive Therapy for Magicians
About the Author
Dr. David Shoemaker is a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in Jungian and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. David is the Chancellor and Prolocutor of the Temple of the Silver Star. He is also a long-standing member of O.T.O. and A.'.A.'., and has many years of experience training initiates in these traditions. He is the Master of 418 Lodge, O.T.O. in Sacramento, having succeeded Soror Meral (Phyllis Seckler), his friend and teacher. He also serves as a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the order. David was the founding President of the O.T.O. Psychology Guild, and he is a frequent speaker at national, regional, and local O.T.O. events. David was a co-editor of the journals Neshamah (Psychology Guild) and Cheth (418 Lodge). In addition to his essays in these publications, his writings have been published in the journals Mezlim and Black Pearl, and his chapter on Qabalistic Psychology was included in the Instructor's Manual of Fadiman and Frager's Personality and Personal Growth, an undergraduate psychology textbook. He was the compiler of the T.O.T.S.S. publication, Jane Wolfe: The Cefalu Diaries 1920-1923, and a co-editor of Phyllis Seckler: The Thoth Tarot, Astrology, & Other Selected Writings, and The Kabbalah, Magick, and Thelema. Selected Writings Volume II, as well as Karl Germer: Selected Letters 1928-1962. His popular Living Thelema podcast appears regularly, and his latest book, The Winds of Wisdom, was published in 2016. In addition to his work in magick and psychology, David is a composer and musician. He lives in Sacramento, California.