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The Mystical and Magical System of the A .'. A .'. - The Spiritual System of Aleister Crowley & George Cecil Jones Step-by-Step Hardcover – September 22, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


The Mystical and Magical System of the A .'. A .'. is the first serious work on the A .'. A .'. System in over 50 years! --Frater 111

From the Inside Flap

By the name “A .'. A .'.” we designate that One and Eternal Order that Paul Foster Case and Kenneth Mackenzie called the “True and Invisible Order,” and Karl von Eckartshausen titled the “Interior Church” or “community of light.”

Existing throughout history, silently guiding humanity’s cultural and spiritual evolution, it is the Holy of Holies wherein that Sacred Ark rests inviolate. Every legitimate magical order, mystery school, fraternity, or religion disseminating some portion of Wisdom has been an Outer Vehicle of this Inner Fellowship of Light.

There is THAT within each of us, immortal and infinitely creative, which truly gives us birth. Something in us knows, instinctively, that we must (each in our own ripe time) seek this, embrace this, and surrender to this as we would to the most overpowering and fulfilling love. And then we must give it expression in our lives and our work, pouring forth the very essence of ourselves into that which we love most. It is this inner Truth-of-Self – this True Will, or central, guiding spiritual principle of our lives – that the mystical and magical system of the A .'. A .'. unveils and awakens from within each of us.

Aleister Crowley summarized the nature and purposes of the A.'. A.'. as follows:
In all systems of religion is to be found a system of Initiation, which may be defined as the process by which a [person] comes to learn that unknown Crown. Though none can communicate either the knowledge or the power to achieve this, which we may call the Great Work, it is yet possible for initiates to guide others.

This book describes the methods of the A .'. A .'., step-by-step, in each of its grades from Probationer (0=0) through Exempt Adept (7=4). Often called, by its readers, “a user’s guide to THE EQUINOX,” it provides comprehensive description of a course of study that allows you to employ effectively the methods of Scientific Illuminism. Never before have the pathways of the Inner Journey been so finely mapped, nor the Way so clearly marked!


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: College of Thelema (September 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970449607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970449603
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By James Eshelman on October 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Apologies to those who came here and only found the expensive second-hand copies. THE BOOK IS IN PRINT. Amazon only ordered a small quantity and they sold out in an hour or two. They will order more, and we will send them more - but, perhaps, they want to give the second hand copies a chance to sell (priced at $700-$2,000) before they push the $49 virgin copies. Thank you very much for your interest - we manufactured a really high quality product and want to get it into your hands.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Stele (a Thelemite) on December 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I got my first copy of this book in 1993 in a home-grown photocopy shop edition. It is a real pleasure to see the book has matured, through three editions, to a beautiful, high quality hard cover edition. About content? If you gather and organize all of the notes and remarks and instructions about the A.'.A.'. from every Aleister Crowley book you've ever seen, you will be close to having the sparse skeleton of this book by James Eshelman -- but very little of its flesh. Life is breathed into it by the many years of the author's personal experience in the A.'.A.'. grades as aspirant, and later as teacher to others. He not only knows the facts, but really understands the system of magick, mysticism, and spiritual progress, and explains it so the reader can understand it too. The book rocks! Eshelman is the clearest and most intelligent writer on Thelema in the last 20 years. His work is solidly grounded in the traditions -- he has always been known for doing his homework -- but he also reaches past the traditional. While others are indulging in reprint after reprint (usually of someone else's work!), he is known for building on the foundations of his predecessors without simply disregarding them or attempting to demolish them. You won't see as much of the innovative in this particular work, since its main purpose seems to be to explain and deliver the A.'.A.'. system, step by step, as established by its founders, Aleister Crowley and George Cecil Jones. Too much author innovation would have weakened this particular book; but, as an example, he's the first writer I have ever seen remark that all of the various themes and tasks traditional to the 6=5 Grade (Adeptus Major) are summarized in the doctrines of Karma Yoga. By mentioning this, he makes all of those themes come alive.Read more ›
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Nuit Babalon on April 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've been a student of Aleister Crowley's writings for over 30 years. This book is the best of its kind! Never, until now, have I read so much solid information on Thelemic magick and mysticism between two covers. Mr. Eshelman has described the A.'.A.'. grades, as his title says, "step by step." He describes a thorough course of spiritual training leading from the earliest beginning stages to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel -- what other systems might call conscious union with God -- and beyond. It's hard to get complete information on these topics, even if you read every Crowley book there is. But he has it all here. Plenty of solid information, packed from beginning to end. What I liked best: It's a comprehensive discussion of the A.'.A.'. training and testing in magick, yoga, and Kabbalah. Yet at the same time, the book has personality! You get a clear feeling that there are real people doing this miraculous magical and spiritual work today -- not just some obscure dead people -- real 21st Century folks. And you get some flavor of what they might be like. It's clear that this is a living tradition, not a curio of history. I'm glad he didn't sterilize it to death. There is also plenty of new perspective and insight so that even old, familiar information is made new and fascinating. And he avoided the politicization which has so often marred writings on this sort of topic, focussing on the work and its principles rather than on squabbles of personalities. And yes, like other reviewers have said, the book is very nicely made. I'd like to have a few more quality hardcovers like this in my library. Especially when they're as good on the inside as on the outside, like this one.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I must admit that I wasn't surprised when I purchased this book. Every book I have ever bought published by the College of Thelema has surpassed all of my expectations. Most are in the form of pamphlets and spiral bound books privately distributed via their web site and all have earned my highest recommendation.
This seems to be their first publication with public circulation in mind and has been published in the Aleister Crowley tradition of the highest quality regardless of expense. I really doubt the College of Thelema is making a profit on this one. The book is smyth-sewn and beautifully bound using the highest quality acid-free vellum paper, boards and cloth. The cover and spine are stamped with detailed silver engravings. The Sigillum Sanctum Fraternitatis A .'. A .'. engraving is so breathtaking, it must be seen to be believed. The quality is unmatched by books selling for several times the price. This book will last for generations and is a beautiful addition to any library.
The book is divided roughly in half with the Appendices containing the founding documents of the A .'. A .'. system taking up slightly less than half the text. The slightly larger half is the authors presentation of the A .'. A .'. system. Whereas Aleister Crowley is difficult to read and often obscure, Jim Esheleman provides an extremely well written and clear description of the A.'. A .'. system. The requirements of each grade of the A .'. A .'. system are described in a clear and complete manner. Jim Eshelman uses copious references to original source material to substantiate his text. There have been many variations and interpretations of Aleister Crowley's A .'. A .'.
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