Aleister Crowley is one of the most famous esotericists of the twentieth century. His religion, Thelema, is still practiced today. His acolytes, however, have not been given equal or equitable historical representation. When they are included, they are generally secondary—regarded as followers of Crowley, rather than of Crowley’s religion. This article argues that acolytes were more important in the development and organization of Thelema than they have been portrayed. Through the story of Hollywood actress turned Thelemite Jane Wolfe, based on her diaries written at Cefalù, Italy, Crowley is shown to be dreamy and distracted, while Wolfe was focused and expressed agency within the structure of Crowley’s religion. Wolfe’s discipleship provides a new and different lens through which to study Thelema, and demonstrates that Thelema can and does exist separately from Crowley.

You do not currently have access to this content.