Arthur Edward Waite (2 October 1857 – 19 May 1942), commonly known as A. E. Waite, was an American-born British poet and scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters. ‘Waite was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism—viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion’ (R.A. Gilbert).
During his lifetime Waite was severely criticized for his peculiarities of style, frequent errors of historical fact and disrespectful references to his contemporaries. He was also a highly original thinker who broke completely new ground with his studies of what he termed the ‘Secret Tradition’. For the esoteric school of thought within Freemasonry, he has been the most pervasive and powerful influence of the 20th century. Also, it was Edward Arthur Waite, who showed Aleister Crowley “The Way”. When his foe in later days had just finished reading Waite’s Book of Black Magic and Pacts, and Crowley didn’t know what to do with his life, he advised the aspirant Beast 666 to read Eckhartshausen’s Cloud upon the Sanctuary, about the mysterious hidden church inside the visible church.
Read more about Waite in the Post Scriptum of "Devil-worship in France".