Magick Without Tears

Magick Without Tears, a series of letters, was the last book written by English occultist Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), although it was not published until after his death. It was written in 1943 and published in 1954 with a foreword by its editor, Karl Germer.

Cover of Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley


The book consists of 80 letters to various students of magick. Originally to be titled Aleister Explains Everything, the letters offer his insights into both magick and Thelema—Crowley's religious and ethical system—with a clarity and wit often absent in his earlier writings. The individual topics are widely varied, addressing the orders O.T.O. and A∴A∴, Qabalah, Thelemic morality, Yoga, astrology, various magical techniques, religion, death, spiritual visions, the Holy Guardian Angel, and other issues such as marriage, property, certainty, and meanness. The book is considered by many as evidence that Crowley remained lucid and mentally capable at the end of his life, despite his addiction to heroin (prescribed for his chronic emphysema). Perhaps Crowley's most notable contribution to the occult studies, defining magick for the 20th century, is found in the first chapter of this book, "[Magick]is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." (Chapter 1: "What is Magick?") [1]


  • The title is after the 1936 play French Without Tears by Terence Rattigan
  • The work is alluded to by the band Klaxons in their 2006 single "Magick"
  • Robert Anton Wilson's Audio series, consisting of a collection of interviews on topics such as language and consciousness, entitled Robert Anton Wilson Explains Everything (or, Old Bob exposes his Ignorance) may have been a reference to the title of Crowley's work.
  • The title is alluded to in Daryl Hall's album Sacred Songs


  • Thelema Publications, First edition, 1954, with a foreword by its editor, Karl Germer
  • Llewellyn, 1973 (first edition by Regardie-Falcon Press reprinted this exactly except for new afterword by the publisher)
  • New Falcon Publications, April 1, 1991, introduced and edited by Israel Regardie ISBN 1-56184-018-1
  • Falcon Press, 1982. ISBN 0-941404-17-X

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