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Overthrowing the Old Gods: Aleister Crowley and the Book of the Law by [Webb, Don]
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Overthrowing the Old Gods: Aleister Crowley and the Book of the Law Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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"Aleister Crowley wrote many works himself, and many works have been written about him. Most of the latter focus on his colorful lifestyle, while others seek to interpret his meta-poetic words in terms of one or another Thelemite orthodoxy. In this volume, Don Webb goes beyond either of these approaches. Webb, who made his way along the same arduous initiatory pathways pioneered by the First Beast, here focuses on the initiatory and philosophical meanings of Crowley’s life work. He does so in a way that can be of personal magical benefit to all who read the book." (Stephen Flowers, Ph.D., author of Lords of the Left-Hand Path)

“Don Webb uses his commentaries and essays to clearly communicate the nature of this elite spiritual path to those who seek it. Hence this work is important in both its insight into Thelema and The Book of the Law and its clear exposition of the Left Hand Path and its practice in the modern world.”
“This is a must read book for any modern magician, indeed anyone who treks beyond the boundaries of the conventional spirituality.” (Robert Black, New Dawn Magazine, March 2014)

About the Author

Ipsissimus Don Webb joined the Temple of Set in 1989 and served as its High Priest from 1996 to 2002. He has written and lectured on Left-Hand Path topics and the occult practices of Late Antiquity since 1995. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1170 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; 1 edition (2 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GLZSVQS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #781,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
Aleister Crowley was such a diverse character that even today, long after the magickians death, there is still room for another radical re-appraisal of the man and his volumous literary output and, despite warnings to the contrary within its pages, even of the central text to Crowley's writings - Liber AL or 'The Book of the Law'.

Don Webb is a respected advocate of the Left-Hand Path and a long-serving member of the Temple of Set. In 'Overthrowing the Old Gods' he takes a broad look at Crowley and Liber AL and analyses the book in detail - the trouble is, a great deal of the content of this book is aged and has been reprinted from sources that are both his own and others. Even if you can forgive him and his publishers that much then the material that is original commentary upon BOL is vague, inconclusive and so evidently tinged with the perceptions of a Sethian rather than a Horian that the reader is left wondering whether the author has actually understood the core context upon which Liber AL is founded.

I am by no means an advocate of the idea that Liber AL is a sacred text but I do feel that it contain essential and illuminating occult insights - ideas that extend beyond Crowley's slightly 'colourful' sub-conscious. I was hoping that this publication would dust off a few of them but sadly it fails and one is left wondering why the book was written in the first place by someone who appears to have ended up writing a book that illuminates Liber ALs weaknesses rather than its strengths.

I have decided to give the book two stars rather than one simply because in its latter pages the author does offer an interesting appraisal of Crowley but this is a somewhat fleeting relief in a pretty grim, badly formulated and misleading publication.
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i like it, easy read
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a good book well writen...
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A book that redefined the cosmos
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vital new interpretation of Crowley's lifework and his Book of the Law 7 Nov. 2013
By Walter Five - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is always interesting to read the opinions of Crowley and his work given by Writers and Magicians formed outside the "bubble" of Thelema, and its subsets. This is one such book; it contains writings and opinions of Dr. Micheal Aquino and Don Webb on Crowley's Book of the Law, Liber Al Vel Legis (or Liber L). Both gentlemen are former High Priests of the Temple of Set. This work is particularly interesting because of the TOS's insistence on excellence in academics-- Both of these men have studied and seem to understand Ancient Egyptian much better than was possible by Sir Wallis Budge or Aleister Crowley, and offer many insights that would have been impossible for Crowley or anyone else to make at the time of the Book of the Law's communication in 1904.

Don Webb is to be commended, analyzing each passage in light of modern Psychology, Egyptology, existentialism and competing occult systems such as the teachings of Gurdijeff, or the Golden Dawn, of which Crowley was an initiate. I don't know that I agree with all of Mr. Webb's (or Dr. Aquino's) conclusions about Crowley or the Book of the Law, but I must defer to their respective fields of expertise. In any case, their observations and interpretations are valuable to seekers on both the Left Hand *and* Right Hand Paths, and offers insights to Crowley and his magick who are willing to think outside the box on the topics of Thelema, Crowley, and Modern Ceremonial and Chaos Magick.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Aleister Crowley changed the face of spirituality 26 Aug. 2014
By New Dawn Magazine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) changed the face of spirituality. His approach to magic(k), which included exploring Eastern practises, sex and psychedelics, was a breath of fresh air to the staid world of ceremonial magic and brought the West’s attention to Yoga and Tantra.
At the same time his bisexuality and wild lifestyle caused a media frenzy and he became known as “the wickedest man in the world.” Looking back from the present, his experimental approach to magick seems before its time and is still considered to be relevant for many seeking a deeper understanding of themselves and who are willing to go beyond the boundaries of conventionality.
One of the most significant aspects of Crowley’s work was his receipt of ‘The Book of the Law’ in 1904. This text clearly differentiated his new system of spirituality based on Will (Thelema) from that which went before. It rejected previous religious systems as the “lumber of the ages” and posited a new and more healthy approach to life, refusing the suffering ethos of the monotheistic religions. Crowley wrote a number of commentaries on ‘The Book of the Law’ and many whom came after have done the same. Sadly, most of these commentaries have been mired in “Thelemic” orthodoxy, and while wordy and filled with debate and heat, they offer little light.
Overthrowing the Old Gods is one of the very first books to attempt to truly engage with ‘The Book of the Law’ from a variety of angles. Webb became a High Priest in the Temple of Set in 1996, and thus views Thelema from a different angle (the Temple of Set holds that in 1975 a new Aeon of Set proceeded the Aeon of Horus that ‘The Book of the Law’ heralded). In many ways this gives him a deeper retrospective insight into Thelema, allowing him to offer a highly insightful commentary on ‘The Book of the Law’ coupled with a commentary by Dr. Michael Aquino, High Priest of the Temple of Set from 1975 to 1996. These commentaries are dense and will take much study to fully unlock but they are well worth the effort.
Webb’s commentaries and essays show an encyclopaedic knowledge of Thelema, psychology and magick. They cover new discoveries related to Egyptology, Gnosticism and psychology.
The second half of the book is composed of a series of excellent essays divided into the Force and the Fire. I suggest those new to these subjects first study the essays starting at page 248 which offer an introduction to Thelema and the Left Hand Path. The essays in the Force section explore the subject deeper and all of these help elucidate the position taken in the commentaries on ‘The Book of the Law’.
It should be noted that Webb takes the position of a Left Hand Path practitioner. While such a term may strike terror into the heart of those who don’t understand, it simply represents a tradition that aims at individual discrete self-deification rather than union with the universe or submission to a given deity or deities. Such a tradition is found throughout religious and mythic history from ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ where Gilgamesh rejects the Goddess and at great cost (the loss of his lover Enkidu) must create his own path, to the heroic tales of the Germanic peoples and ancient Greece.
Webb uses his commentaries and essays to clearly communicate the nature of this elite spiritual path to those who seek it. Hence this work is important in both its insight into Thelema and ‘The Book of the Law’, and its clear exposition of the Left Hand Path and its practise in the modern world.
This is a must read book for any modern magician, indeed anyone who treks beyond the boundaries of conventional spirituality.
– Reviewed by Robert Black in New Dawn magazine 143 (newdawnmagazine.com)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars take a plastication. World tourism only likes people who pay their bills 8 April 2016
By snap shot hex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was using this book to check what I was reading elsewhere about here a Crowley, there a Crowley, everywhere a Crowley, Crowley. Some combination of ideas confounds the global conflict of laws that produces violations of neutrality even before the confusion of our thirty years of never knowing whose neutrons are going to produce the next spasmodic disintegration chain reaction like Chernobyl. Trying to present anything as guides for everybody to live by was so unpopular, I read that a follower tried to bring Crowley's library into England and all the books were seized by customs and destroyed. I think this book exists in spite of that, and did not confirm how unhappy anyone could be about something like that or Oscar Wilde had his library sold by auction to pay court costs.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intalling the Gods of a New Era 12 Sept. 2015
By S. Cranow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don Webb is a magus of the Left Hand Path, an official in the Temple of Set. I have read some of his earlier works and was quite impressed with his erudition. The meat of this current work is the examination of Crowleys great revelation "THE Book of Law" . Now many  Thelemites have told me that Crowley would not discuss the book of law because it was written for each and every single one of us and it is a revelation meant fort each invidual that reads it. Don Webb has written his own commentary on and has published Michael Aquino's commentary on it as well. At first I found the work somewhat questionablee because I am not so sure how much either of these authors spent in either the Golden Dawn, Order of Thelema or Ordo Templis Orientalis.

I know Anton Lavey did not nor did Michael Aquino. No less Aleister Crowley influence the entire generation. No Crowley no sixties quite literally. Crowley's influence went well beyond the occult world.  There has been question has to whether Crowley was a right hand path person or a left hand path person. Crowley wanted one with diety, yet he said he did not want followers or slave but he wanted an army of strong individuals to spread the word he also told people not to blindly rely on him but to come up with their own revelation.

Find their own revelations many people did. Gerald Gardner the father of the Witchcraft revival was a member of OTO and worked a lot with Crowley. But Crowley also influenced Anton Lavey, Timothy LEary, L Ron Hubbard, Jack Parsons, Kenneth Grant, and slew of writer and other great thinker. His students did blaze their own trail and thanks to Crowley's inspiration a whole new Aeon was ushered.

The Aeons of Isis and Osiris are over with and it is now the aeon of Horus.
traveling thorough Egypt in 1904 Crowley and his wife Rose held a ritual where in Crowley came into contact with Aiwass and wote down his revelation. Finding a steelae he named the main god and goddess Nuit and Hadit, next to them was Hrous.

THE Aepon of Horus is likened to the age of Aquarious where man is free from societal restraint to pursue his will and live in accordance with the desires of his soul. Recall that every man and woman is a star meant to live out its destiny while at the same time being respectful of the other stars out there in the sky.

In addition to commentaries Webb informs the reader of the influences of Crowley. His father was a member of the austere "Plymouth Bretheren" they had a strong work ethic and were strict. Crowley's mother called him the great beast and he went on to live up to that title. Crowley was also influenced by far eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Tantra and Nietze. remember Nietze believed in thee will to power and Crowley was about will.  After the commentaries the author discuses several philosophical under pinning of Crowley's philosophy.

Be honest I liked most of the book with the exception of the commentaries . I felt that they did not increase my understanding all that much. The first part of the book and the last part were features of the book that saved it or redeemed it.  Whether you are an occultist or not you may have something to learn from Crowley.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful and engaging 13 April 2014
By Setken - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am new to Crowley and found this tome a wonderful introduction.

The short essay series in the second half provide much to ponder, and dare I say have some inbuilt initiation triggers?

Will be rereading this for enjoyment and to make sure I have gleaned all the treasures within.
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