Kenneth Grant  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Kenneth Grant (23 May 1924 – 15 January 2011) was an English ceremonial magician and prominent advocate of the Thelemite religion. A poet, novelist, and writer, with his wife Steffi Grant he founded his own Thelemite organisation, the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis, later renamed the Typhonian Order.

Born in Ilford, Essex, Grant took an interest in occultism in his teenage years. After several months serving in India with the British Army, he returned to Britain and became the personal secretary of Aleister Crowley, the ceremonial magician who had founded Thelema in 1904. Crowley taught Grant his esoteric practices, initiating him into his two active ceremonial magic orders, Argenteum Astrum and Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). When Crowley died in 1947, Grant was seen as his heir apparent in Britain, and was appointed as such by the American head of the OTO, Karl Germer. Founding the New Isis Lodge in 1954, Grant added to many of Crowley's Thelemite teachings, bringing in extraterrestrial themes and influences from the work of H.P. Lovecraft. This was anathema to Germer, who excommunicated him from the OTO.

In 1949, Grant befriended the occult artist Austin Osman Spare. In 1969, Germer died and Grant proclaimed himself Outer Head of the OTO; this title was disputed by the American Grady McMurty, who took control of the OTO in the U.S. Grant's Order became known as the Typhonian OTO, operating from his Golders Green home. In 1959 he began publishing on the subject of occultism, and proceeded to author the Typhonian Trilogies, as well as a number of novels, books of poetry, and publications devoted to propagating the work of Crowley and Spare.

Grant's writings and teachings have proved a significant influence over other British occultists. They also attracted academic interest within the study of western esotericism, particularly from Henrik Bogdan and Dave Evans.

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