In The Way of the Will, David Shoemaker explores how the spiritual discipline of Thelema, founded by Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), can be utilized to enhance your psychological and spiritual growth. The book grew out of the author’s own teaching and experience—podcast episodes, classes, and of course, many years of personal practice and supervision of other initiates. It is a compendium of useful tools and perspectives designed to serve as one of many useful guides in the magician’s library.
- Part one of the book, “Thelema and the Life Within,” reflects on the ways your inner experience can be enhanced by tools such as the Qabalistic Tree of Life, Qabalistic psychology, and the symbolic world of astrology.
- In part two, “Thelemic Practice in Detail,” several important (but rarely discussed) libers in the Thelemic corpus are reviewed, with an eye toward strengthening the use of these powerful practices with no-nonsense advice. Tips are shared for constructing powerful, customized magical invocations and coping with the inevitable ordeals that can impact you along the path of your Great Work. Part two will also examine the deeper, personal magick accessible via attendance of the Gnostic Mass and the ways the symbolic frameworks of the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn can be (and have been) adapted to express and enhance Thelemic principles and practices.
- Part three, “Thelema in the Wider World,” reviews the ways in which the Thelemic path can inform your health, your creativity, your sense of connectedness and meaning, and your experience of the nature of life itself. Various opportunities for community engagement and training in Thelemic magick and mysticism that exist in today’s world are explored, as well as the ways in which these have evolved since Crowley’s time.
David also offers a personal memoir of his own path toward awareness of True Will, including his experience of the “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”—the term often used by Crowley to describe the pivotal spiritual awakening potentially available to every human being.