San Francisco: Weiser Books, 2010. Paperback, vii+335 pages. New.
Moonchild is the most famous of the few novels written by Aleister Crowley. Written in 1917 and first published in 1929, it tells the tale of a young woman drawn into a magical battle between two adepts, during which she is impregnated with the soul of a non-human being – a Moonchild. But Moonchild is not merely a tale of magical skullduggery and intrigue – Crowley draws on his own experiences and describes in detail the methods and theories of magical practice, providing a unique glimpse into his unique and innovative perspective magical philosophy and practice.
Moonchild is also noteworthy as several of Crowley’s contemporaries – both allies and enemies, appear in the book in thinly-disguised fictional versions. Arthur Edward Waite, for example, makes an appearance as an excessively verbose villan named Arthwaite; Magregor Mathers takes the role of the main villan – referred to SRMD – the abbreviation of Mathers’ magical motto; the dancer Isadora Duncan appears as Lavinia King.
Moonchild will appeal to anyone who loves occult fiction, and for those interested in Crowley’s Thelema, it contains much that sheds light on his magical methodology.