Preface to the 2007 Web Edition
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
Spiritual Exercises of Thelema was written in 2001 and distributed to a small circle of my friends. It forms the first third of The Thelemic Trilogy. The other two volumes are Masks of the Self: Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot in Theory and Practice, and a collection of writings on the theme of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel called Penumbra and Corona. If enough interest is expressed I hope these works may yet be made available.
My thanks to Bryce Churchill, whose editorial labors, friendship and patronage has allowed this book to be made available to a larger audience.
When I originally wrote it, Spiritual Exercises of Thelema was intended to serve three main purposes. These were:
- To summarize the oral tradition of the practice of Thelemic Magick as I had learned it, both in Berkeley and from the community of practitioners that had formed around Grady McMurtry and the OTO revival of the '70s and '80s, as well as from those parts of the A∴A∴ tradition that I was in contact with.
- To record my personal interpretations, experiences, and understandings of the Thelemic magical system as I was then seriously working my way through it, mostly from the perspective of the years 1996 - 2000 — to create a thesis of what I was doing and see what that looked like.
- To present a constructive and positive alternative to authoritarian, fundamentalist, and incoherent versions of the tradition that I had encountered and was in revolt against. I wanted to outline a more explicitly open-ended, pluralistic, and self-critical approach.
In deciding to have this early work of mine put online I made a conscious decision not to alter or update my earlier voice significantly. I have my own opinions of the book's merits and shortcomings. However, I shall not further intrude my present self here and shall allow you, the reader, to draw your own conclusions unconflated with my own.
Here then is the first of my books of Magic.
Love is the law, love under will.
July 4, 2007 e.v.