Michael James Crowley (9=2)
Michael J. Crowley was Frater Superior Chief and Greatly Honored Hierophant of the Mountain Temple Order of the Golden Dawn (Phoenix, Arizona, USA) as well as Director of its umbrella organization, Mountain Temple Center, and Co-Founder/Regent of the (non-accredited) Arizona University of Magick.
Crowley became an Adeptus Minor in the Order of the Golden Dawn in
1994, and an Exempt Adept in 1999. He was initiated into the grade of
Magister Templi on 8 May 2001 by Visible and Invisible Chiefs in the
direct lineage of Mathers, A. Crowley, Regardie, and their living
successors. He also held the IVth Degree, Knight of the East and West
in the Ordo Templi Orientis (Caliphate) and was a Priest of the
Ecclesia Gnosticae Catholicae. He has been involved with the O.T.O.
for eight years. Mr. Crowley was also a Third Degree Lord High Priest
and Magus of Gardnerian Wicca, having been involved with that
tradition for over twenty years. He was also a licensed Minister of
the Universal Life Church.
Mr. Crowley is a descendent of the bards and wise ones of old Eire, and a rumored cousin of the great British magus Aleister Crowley, from whom he has received teachings and communications in the Astral plane.
On September 19, 2010, Michael Crowley presided over what would prove to be his final ritual, the annual Fall Equinox Ceremony at Mountain Temple Center. He was lively and full of energy the entire night – as was usual for him on ritual nights – and after seeing off the final guests after midnight, he retired to his upper room to relax. At some point in the night, he died peacefully in his sleep and was discovered the next morning by a friend.
Crowley was a natural-born intuitive, from a line of psychics
stretching back to the wise men of ancient Ireland, and during his
life he assisted many people on their path with whatever personal
problems they may have been having – emotional or spiritual.
Many people counted Mr. Crowley as a good and reliable friend on the
path of self-understanding and inner growth, and the community will
surely miss his inimitable presence on the scene.
Mr. Crowley grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. In his late teens he made his way to the Haight-Ashbury during the midst of the “Summer of Love” (in 1967) where he lived for several months soaking in the atmosphere of newfound freedom and spiritual experimentation. In one of his last talks, he mentioned that he “left home a hick and came back a hippy.” While his “hippy” period eventually evolved into a more bourgeois lifestyle, he never forgot the openness and acceptance of new and unusual lifestyles that he witnessed first-hand in San Francisco. Back in Phoenix, Michael eventually got married and settled down. (The story of how he discovered and founded Mountain Temple itself can be found here.) For several years, Mike worked in an administrative capacity for the United States Postal Service, mainly involved in adjudicating equal opportunity claims by employees against management. When Mike first became ill with diabetes in the late 1970s, just after quitting alcohol, he found himself unable to work. His mistreatment by Post Office management resulted in several years of legal wrangling as he attempted to qualify for benefits, which he finally succeeded in doing in the early 1990s.
Michael managed to survive a slate of serious health problems that would probably have killed a lesser man long before. In addition to living with his diabetes, Mike successfully underwent a five-way coronary bypass in 1996, for which the survival rate is usually not promising – although Mike ended up living fourteen years beyond the surgery. Additional heart attacks in 2004 and 2008 certainly provided Mike with an awareness that his remaining time on this plane was likely to be brief. His 2008 heart attack took place, interestingly enough, in an Orthodox church where he had just gone to vote in the national elections of that year. Unlike many men in the same position who might try to “take things easy” and slow down after such events, Mike did the opposite, making a point of living life to its fullest based upon that knowledge.
The Chief Adept on his newly-restored white chariot (Feb 2002)
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Photos (c) 2001-2010 Mountain Temple Center / Order of the Golden Dawn.