In the religion of Thelema, it is believed that the history of humanity can be divided into a series of aeons, each of which was accompanied by its own forms of "magical and religious expression". The first of these was the Aeon of Isis, which Thelemites believed occurred during prehistory and which saw mankind worshipping a Great Goddess, symbolised by the ancient Egyptian deity Isis. In Thelemite beliefs, this was followed by the Aeon of Osiris, a period that took place in the classical and mediaeval centuries, when humanity worshipped a singular male god, symbolised by the Egyptian god Osiris, and was therefore dominated by patriarchal values. And finally the third aeon, the Aeon of Horus, which was controlled by the child god, symbolised by Horus. In this new aeon, Thelemites believe that humanity will enter a time of self-realization and self-actualization.
The word thelema is the English transliteration of the Koine Greek noun θέλημα: "will", from the verb θέλω: to will, wish, purpose. As Crowley developed the religion, he wrote widely on the topic, producing what are collectively termed the Holy Books of Thelema. He also included ideas from occultism, Yoga and both Eastern and Western mysticism, especially the Qabalah. Historical Precedents The word θέλημα (thelema) is rare in classical Greek, where it "signifies the appetitive will: desire, sometimes even sexual", but it is frequent in the Septuagint. Early Christian writings occasionally use the word to refer to the human will, and even the will of God's opponent, the Devil, but it usually refers to the will of God. One well-known example is in the "Lord's Prayer" (Matthew 6:10), “Your kingdom come.
Liber AL vel Legis (Latin pronunciation: [ˈliːber ˈaɫ weɫ ˈleɡis]) is the central sacred text of Thelema, written by Aleister Crowley, who claimed it was dictated to him by a discarnate entity named Aiwass. However, the three chapters are largely written in the first person by the Thelemic deities Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit respectively, rather than by Aiwass. The full title of the book is Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX, as delivered by XCIII=418 to DCLXVI, and it is commonly referred to as The Book of the Law. Through the reception of this book, Crowley proclaimed the arrival of a new stage in the spiritual evolution of humanity, to be known as the "Æon of Horus". The primary precept of this new aeon is the charge to "Do what thou wilt". The Book of the Law
Aleister Crowley (born Edward Alexander Crowley (/ˈkroʊli/); 12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947) was an English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, and mountaineer. He was responsible for founding the religion and philosophy of Thelema, in which role he identified himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Aeon of Horus in the early 20th century. Born to a wealthy Plymouth Brethren family, Crowley rejected this faith to pursue western esotericism, poetry, and mountaineering. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he embraced his bisexuality. Some biographers have claimed that he was recruited as a spy for British intelligence there, a role they allege he maintained throughout his life.