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Initiation in the Aeon of the Child: The Inward Journey Hardcover – 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ibis Press; First Edition edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892541458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892541454
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,285,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"J. Daniel Gunther provides a beautifully crafted description of the modern path of Initiation--the means by which Man becomes God. In my opinion, this is the most important original work to be published since the death of Aleister Crowley." -James Wasserman, author of In the Center of the Fire

"Initiation in the Aeon of the Child is the first publication of some of the oral instructions of the modern A...A..., the teaching order co-founded by Aleister Crowley. Gunther writes with clarity, authority and persuasive earnestness about recondite and difficult subjects. He employs copious illustrations to clarify his exposition. This is one of those rare books that rises, in some passages, to the level of transmitted doctrinal insight. It is clearly deserving of a place in the curricula of both A...A... and O.T.O., and it deserves to be welcomed and studied carefully by Thelemites of all persuasions." -Hymenaeus Beta, Frater Superior, Ordo Templi Orientis --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

J. Daniel Gunther is a life-long student of esotericism, mythology, and religion. A longtime member of A;. A;., the teaching Order established by Aleister Crowley, he is considered one of the foremost authorities in the field, and serves on the editorial board of The Equinox, and acts as a consultant and adviser for numerous occult publications.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to any aspirant.
Also refreshing was the philosophical orientation of the book - how unusual these days!
Andrew James
A.'., particularly, this book is simply indispensable.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Steven D. Hasting on December 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those of you who know me know that I have been involved in magick (in one form or another) since the early 1970's. I have been a member of several magickal and mystical fraternities (the Golden Dawn, Theosophy, AMORC, etc.) and have learned much from each of these relationships.

But, it has only been during the last year that I have started reading (in earnest) material written by "the Beast." For some unknown reason I felt that his work was of the "left-hand path," that it was "satanic" (whatever that means), and that it wasn't part of the direction I wanted to go.

But, back on April 16, 2009 I had occasion to read Liber AL vel Legis in order to answer a question that had been posed to me. As I read through it the more I wanted to read. Instead of reading just enough to answer the question (as I had intended) I read, instead, the entire book; and then I read it again; and then I felt confused.

After this exchange I searched through my library and found Book IV, The Book of Lies, THe Book of Thoth, and even The Holy Books of Thelema (from 1988, no less). I started a campaign of reading each of the books and the more that I read the more astounded I became at the knowledge of Crowley, at his profound wit and humor, and his ability to express the deepest of all thoughts and emotions with a simple, innocuous phrase.

I picked up a few books not written by Crowley, but written by Thelemites such as Wasserman, Eshelman, Duquette, Hyatt, and J. Daniel Gunther. This book (Initiation in the Aeon of the Child) is at once simple enough for beginning Thelemites such as myself, but also "rewarding --- especially after repeated readings --- to experienced practitioners" (Hymenaeus Beta).
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34 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Steve King on July 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is the first critical and credible contribution to our doctrinal understanding of the initiatic system of the Order known as A:.A:., and the formulae of the `New Aeon' of Thelema, since the original writings and teachings of Aleister Crowley. Interestingly enough, it is the originality of the new content by Mr. Gunther - or at least its open publication (for a review on the back cover of the dust jacket pretty much says this content is privately taught within the membership of A:.A:.) - that has stirred controversy and even contempt, as one of the other Amazon reviews here confirms. These opinions make for poor literary reviews, and should neither detain nor discourage the serious and interested reader or student. Study the book for yourself and make up your own mind.

My own approach was to read the book in full for an overview, then go back to it and focus on parts which particularly interested me, and then as an ongoing engagement, work through the book carefully. In my opinion, it is a book to be experienced rather than analysed, and worked with and worked through over time. In this sense, Gunther's book can serve as a supplementary textbook to Crowley's teachings and curricula - clarifying some points, hinting at others, and revealing doctrinal contexts that underpin the system. The discussions about the Aeons, what formulae are abrogate and what have been superseded, the doctrines of the Messiah and the Four Gates, the dialectic of Thelema, and the Sevenfold Arrangement of Hoor, are a few of the topics covered. Readers new to Thelema and the A:.A:.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leo Vincey on October 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can still recall the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments when this book first came out.

"He said the I.N.R.I./L.V.X. Formula is superseded...blasphemy!"

Astute readers will note that Aleister Crowley said the same thing in the appendix of THE BOOK OF THOTH, THE VISION AND THE VOICE,and elsewhere.

The fact is, the majority of books purporting to come from various A.'.A.'. "lineages" over the past 30 years or so consist of philosophical speculation, with liberal helpings of old G.D. and Regardie thrown in the stew.
What is sadly lacking is any new information, or initiated interpretations of the material.

This Book stands alone as a Rosetta Stone.

For the first time,the Veil is lifted on the symbolism of the Aeon of the Child and inner meaning of the initiations.
The level of scholarship is way above the normal fare,which is generally pap suited for the unwashed masses.
It shows that after all, there IS method behind the madness,and that the current Crowley started continues down to the present day.

Granted, it takes a keen mind to appreciate this Book, and what Gunther calls: "The Path of the Great Return."

For Goats only. No Sheep allowed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Omar Abernathy on October 23, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book offers insight on the path of Thelema, the philosophy that came from the writings of Aleister Crowley. If you are not interested in Thelema, I do not recommend this book. If you are only interested in doing Magic(k) while not studying any theory or spiritual doctrines then do not read this book. And while reading you must keep in mind that this book is about the ideas of J. Daniel Gunther. It is not about official A.'.A.'. doctrine; this book is an example of what you can do with A.'.A.'. doctrine.

The book is a study of symbol systems both old and new. The old symbol systems examined are Western, and generally Judeo-Christian. Gunther strips these old systems of what is no longer applicable to the "New Aeon." He does this because this book is, in my opinion, the new textbook of the teaching order called the A.'.A.'. of which Gunther is the semi-legitimate chief. I don't mean that to sound negative. Of all the claimants to A.'.A.'. leadership, he is one of the few that has produced an interesting and original piece of work (i.e. this book). For more elaboration on the claimants to A.'.A.'. leadership see the Listmania list on my profile called "Thelema Splinter Groups with Focus on A.'.A.'.. "

After Gunther finishes chopping down old trees, he then tells young aspirants what is still useful in these old systems. If you have any interest in ideas like the "dying god" concept, the relationship between light (LVX) and old Aeon religion, the Fisher King and the Holy Grail, the relationship between Jesus Christ, fish, and the astrological age of Pisces, then read this book.

Gunther then moves on to an examination of Thelema and its symbol system. For people who are working the A.'.A.'.
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