Summer vacation at the site of Aleister Crowley’s Great Magical Retirement on Esopus Island

The New York Hudson Valley’s Almanac Weekly–an art, entertainment, and adventure magazine–recommends Aleister Crowley’s old stomping grounds, Esopus Island, as a great summer getaway for camping, kayaking, or retracing Crowley’s visit of nearly a century ago. The small rocky island is one of several along the Hudson River in upstate New York, near Kingston. As the Almanac Weekly‘s headline reads, visitors there can “retrace steps of mystic Aleister Crowley on Esopus Island.” Just remember to carry out whatever you carry in, and leave no trace of your passage.

In the summer of 1918, Aleister Crowley conducted a Great Magical Retirement on Esopus Island (or Æsopus Island, as he called it) in which he experienced a series of visions of his previous incarnations, prepared his translations/paraphrases of the Tao Teh King and King Khang King, and completed his initiation as a Magus. The details of this adventure are recorded in his magical record as The Hermit of Æsopus Island, which is scheduled to appear in the forthcoming publication of Crowley’s magical diaries.

Read the full Almanac Weekly article here.


Richard Kaczynski

Richard Kaczynski is the author of the biography Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (2002; rev exp ed 2010), the history Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis (2012), the novel The Billionth Monkey (2015), Panic in Detroit: The Magician and the Motor City (2019), along with a bunch of other books, articles, and chapters that you can read about at his website,

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