Note to update: the addresses and phone numbers in these issues of the Thelema Lodge Calendars are obsolete since the closing of the Lodge. They are here for historic purposes only and should not be visited or called.
Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
December 1988 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Lodge Members and Officers
|Tell me, Pan, you of the Wilderness|
|That space wherein all men must dwell|
|If they would know thy secrets|
|Tell me, who is this Christ|
|This upstart godling?|
|And Pan answered, slowly, grimly sad|
|A fool, your Grace, oh mighty Zeus|
|An embassy of Typhon|
|Tho he may know it not.|
|He lives his own lies.|
|Then what can he mean to us, old goat?|
|Again Pan answered, wearily|
|Two thousand years and more, Lord,|
|Of famine, pestilence,|
|Death for my children.|
GV of FL asked if Thelema leaves out "God" --- especially in reference to AL I,40, how Thelemites relate to Christians, and about AL III, 55.
JS of GA asked how we feel toward Christians and Christianity.
Dr. MA of IL had some concerns about O.T.O. practices.
Dr. M of NY wanted information on sex magick and magicians.
I have merged and extended my responses. Let's call the result:
AL I,40: "Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
Thelema does not leave out God, but makes less of a separation between God and Man than does modern Christianity. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" --- Substituting "God wills" for "thou wilt" misses the entire point. The future tense "shall be" is the key. To the extent you have discovered your true will, you are one with the will of God. At such times as that shall be the case, your will "shall be" the whole of the Law. "Not as I will, but as thou wilt, Oh Lord" --- this is perfectly compatible with Thelema as long as the nature of true will is identified with divine will. "I will" in this sense is the mortal will, and not the "true will". If we are created by the deity, our natures must be compatible with all else and with the deity. To consider otherwise is to assume the deity to be limited and not omnipresent and all powerful. When we attain to a conscious awareness of our nature, our true will, we act in perfect conscious harmony with our nature and the divine will. Such a state is not commonly attained for any great length of time.
Many Thelemites are unhappy with Christianity from childhood and social experience. Most forms of Christianity would have horrified Christ himself! The idea of a redemptive messiah is considered obsolete in Thelema, but once valid in the past and presently valid for some people today. In Thelema, an individual is responsible for his or her own salvation, be it contact with the deity or whatever. Most forms of Christianity reject this. Christianity of the first few centuries A.D. (e.v. in Thelemic dating style) would be perfectly compatible with Thelema, especially the Gnostic forms. Today, there are Lutherans, Catholics and other Christian denominations in O.T.O. We also have Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Jews, Mohammedans, Confucianists, Taoists, self-styled Satanists (only house-broken ones need apply), Agnostics, Gnostics and practically every other kind of "...ans", "...ics", "...ists", etc. Thelema is a non-exclusive philosophy and religion. A Thelemite is one who accepts Liber AL vel Legis in a manner to be determined solely by him or herself. Most Western religions are exclusive and ban involvement with other religions. Thelema has no such problem. The only limitation O.T.O. imposes on the religious activity of its members is that such activity should be tolerant in fact and must not interfere with the rights or safety of others.
In my opinion Jesus Christ is a god, but we are all gods. No big deal. In the system of A A, Jesus Christ would be either an Exempt Adept or Magister Templi. There are many such. The problems with these renown Brothers and Sisters originate in distortion by those who come after them. Christianity started as a Jewish heresy and became a government franchise for control of people's minds. Before it got plasticized, Christianity was a very good thing. It is still a good thing when people don't get too narrow minded about it and where a return to the values of the first century has been made. I consider it probable that there was somebody named Joshua in Palestine around the time cited in the Gospels. Some of his deeds gave rise to the Christian tradition, and some of his followers probably were involved in that. The Gospels were written more than a century after Joshua, and contain gross distortions. There was never a person of that time named "Jesus Christ" --- that is a Greek translation of "Joshua the Anointed". A Hebrew or Aramaic language account of the life of this man is mentioned in the early Christian writings, but it has not survived. One wonders why. It probably wasn't suited to the way Christianity was moving.
AL III,55: "Let Mary inviolate be torn upon wheels: for her sake let all chaste women be utterly despised among you!"
This is from the war-like deity "Ra-Hoor-Khuit". That deity is not known for tact! Thelema is both pantheistic and polytheistic --- even though there is only one ultimate deity, that ultimate is perceived as a variety of separate "deities" by limited human consciousness. Each such deity or "face of the ultimate deity" has attributes and characteristics that form a distinct personality. "Ra-Hoor-Khuit" is a bit like the raging Jehovah of the Pentateuch. Aside from this, the statement is not against Mary so much as it is against false piety. A cult of Mary has arisen over the centuries that does absolute injury to her nature and to Christianity. Piety becomes a mental disorder when it exceeds the bounds of worship. Mary is plainly described in the New Testament as a woman who became pregnant outside of human wedlock. To pietically think of her only as a perfect and inviolate being is to deny her nature and the female aspect of a redeemer. As shocking as it may sound, Mary was a whore by the harsh standards of her day. She would have been stoned to death if Joseph had not married her. For her sake, an unwed mother is the most sacred human being in the traditions of O.T.O. The blasphemy of her being inviolate should be torn upon wheels, for it denies a part of the miracle of her nature. "Chaste" women are those who curse their bodies and dishonor the passion of the Mother of Christ. That doesn't mean that every woman has to prostitute herself to be holy, but "chastity" to the point of denying the holiness of the body is wrong. Speaking of Mary, how about the Magdalene? Christ's only recorded feminine friend was an ex-hooker. A chaste woman is not a pure woman; a pure woman is a whole woman. If it is the nature of a woman or a man to abstain from sexual intercourse for life, that is good. Such a person is wrong to find fault or "sin" in others for having a different nature. Very few of us are born without a sexual nature.
On the subject of sex magick, O.T.O. is oriented towards this. In our higher degrees a confidential instruction is provided which cannot be shared outside the bonds of membership in those degrees. There is no difficulty at all in saying much the same thing without exact duplication, as Crowley himself did in many of his books. The only limitation on our discussion of this is that we may not give the exact wording of our initiatory documents.
Some of Crowley's diaries furnish source material on sex Magick, e.g. "The Paris Working". The Gnostic Mass (found in Magick in Theory and Practice) is a symbolic depiction of heterosexual intercourse through the use of temple lay-out and the dramatic roles of the participants. In the public form of the Gnostic Mass, no actual sexual activity occurs. It is common to see a central worship rite employ sexual symbolism, but among Western religions the participants rarely recognize this. Here is an example from mainstream Christianity:
Consider a traditional cathedral. It usually is accompanied by a phallic tower and has a vulvicular facade (pillars for labia major, triangular escutcheon over entrance for pubic hair). Sometimes this facade includes a hanging lamp in the entrance portal to stand for a clitoris. Frequently there is an auriole window above for a navel. In one instance, at SMC, I noted two ornamental domes to either side, about where knees would be. Sometimes the "Virgin" is cemented near the top of the whole thing as a statue to add emphasis. Within the entrance, there is an atrium usually fronted by double doors for labia minor. Within the atrium is commonly found a font (lubrication or a urinary duct, as you may prefer). There are smaller cups near the inner doors (Bartolome's fluid glands and more "lubrication"). The atrium is of course the vagina, while the inner doors are the sphincter to the uterus. The church nave is the uterus, complete with two audits for the tubes at the extreme rear and an altar for the implantation site. In the Mass, a priest carries the host (egg) to the altar down one of these audits. The people come in the front, and commonly the wine (spermatic fluid) is brought up from the entrance by some of the laity during the offratory. The priest mingles the host and wine, and ends the consecration by declaring the body and blood of the conceived god to be present. The people eventually issue out the front, past the baptismal (rebirthing) font. Birth or miscarriage depends on the sermon, and a poor one can act as an "IUD" or induce an analogue to social disease. The church itself is called "Mother", and the people are called the "body". Naturally you don't get all this in Sunday school, but it's all quite obvious when you think about it. Priests are encouraged in some seminaries to use "Canticles" or "The Song of Songs" as a meditation on the relation of the Church or the Soul with the Deity. Judaism did much the same thing, and many commentaries on the subject exist.
In the O.T.O. Gnostic Mass, the "parting of the priestess' veil" is done symbolically. The veil in question hangs from the ceiling. Francis King wrote otherwise in one of his books, but a witness to the old Agape Lodge Gnostic Masses in the 1930s and 40s denies that cunnilingus was a part of the Mass at Agape Lodge. At Thelema Lodge in the early 1980s, a priest and priestess did more than pose; but they closed the veil before the altar first. It was some time before we realized what was happening back there. The practice ended dramatically when S. stood up before the assembled multitude and said that I.B. and herself would not do any more Gnostic Masses because we wouldn't let them perform cunnilingus! A new mass team was gotten together without much delay. Visiting in the temple were three ladies from a certain controversial lunar church. The ladies were so confused that they forgot to "love bomb" anybody!
There is a "Mass of the Holy Ghost", but that's private. What I said here does not apply to that. There is not supposed to be an audience at such a Mass. We usually have a nude priestess at the regular Mass (some O.T.O. locations are too prudish for that!), but otherwise our sexual symbolism is far more restrained than that of the Roman Catholics.
On Gnostic sexual practices, the best sources were described or published after Crowley's most active period. I recommend especially The Nag Hammadi Library, edited by Robinson, Harper and Row, 1977 e.v. This is a happy collection of most of the Gnostic works cited by the early Christian writers as "condemned". Unfortunately, the translators kept trying to understand the material in terms of modern Bowdlerized Christianity; but with an effort the text makes clear enough sense. The best source for Valantinian Gnosticism (the system which gave rise to many of the theories that have surfaced in modern occultism) is Charlotte A. Baynes' translation of A Coptic Gnostic Treatise contained in the Codex Brucianus, Bod. Lib., Oxford, Bruce MS. 96, published in 1933 e.v. I should add that the IXth Degree secret is presented in several of the short works in The Nag Hammadi Library, notably in "Asclepius 21-29 (VI,8)" on page 300 and following.
Sex magick ala Crowley is rooted in diversion of effect. With heterosexual intercourse to completion, it is presumed that conception will take place. Physical conception is frustrated deliberately (This is what Crowley called "sacrifice a child" --- an unfortunate phrasing that has given us no end of undeserved bad reputation!). The energy of orgasm and conception is diverted by an act of will to attain another end. Similar theories apply to autosexual and homosexual workings. The various techniques of tantra, including mantra and indefinite prolongation of orgasm are used experimentally. The idea of the Scarlet Woman and the Beast is not so very far removed from the Nun as a "Bride of Christ". It just takes the point of diversion to the critical moment.
Other references by Crowley include "Grimorum Sanctissimum" in Magick in Theory and Practice, Appendix VI and The Bagh-i-muattar. Francis King published Secret Rituals of the O.T.O., without our knowledge or permission --- I am prohibited by my oaths from commenting on the accuracy or lack of it in that work.
For additional study of Crowley's views of the Roman Catholic Mass, see Magick in Theory and Practice: pages 13 and 182.
Crowley's principle demonstration of the mystical aspect of Sex will be found in Thelema, The Holy Books, especially in Liber LXV.
"Neglect not the daily Miracle of the Mass, either by the Rite of the Gnostic Catholic Church, or that of the Phoenix.
"Neglect not the Performance of the Mass of the Holy Ghost, as Nature herself prompteth thee.
from: DE ARCANO, PER QUOD SPIRITUS
QUIDAM IN CORPORE RECIPIATUR.
"Here now is another Formula of Power, good to invoke any Being to manifest in thyself. First, invoke him by the Power of all thy Spells and conjurations, with Mind concentrated and Will vehement, toward him, as I have written in many Books. But because thou are NEMO, thou mayst safely invoke him, no matter of what Nature, within thy Circle. Now then do thou confer on him as a Guerdon of his Obedience the Dignity of a Soul seeking Incarnation, and so proceed to consecrate thine Act by performing the Mass of the Holy Ghost. Then shall that Spirit make himself Body from those Elements, and thou partaking thereof makest thine own Body his Machinery of Manifestation, and thus mayst thou work with any Spirit soever; yet this shall serve thee most in common Life.
from: DE CLAVI KABBALISTICA HUJUS ARTIS.
"Now then to thee who art long since Master of High Magick, it will be easy to shew how the Mass of the Holy Ghost, sung even in Ignorance, may work many a Wonder by Virtue of the Force generated being compelled to manifest on other than its own Plane. Here then is a Theory of the Mystery of the Aeon, that I, being the Logos appointed thereunto, did create an Image of my little Universe in the Mind of the Woman of Scarlet; that is, I manifested my whole Magical Self in her Mind. Thus then in Her, as in a Mirror, have I been able to interpret myself to myself. Thou also in thine own Way hast the Power to create such an Image; but be thou sure and alert, testing constantly the Persons in that Image by the Holy Qabalah and by the true Signs of Brotherhood. For each Person therein shall be a Part of thyself, made individual and perfect, able to instruct thee in thy Path. Yet often there shall be others, that are to aid thee in thy Working, or to oppose it. And in this Matter thou shalt read especially the Record of thy Father His Workings with Soror Ahita (blessed be Her Name unto the Ages) and certain others to Boot.
from: DE MISSA SPIRITUS SANCTI.
"Now at last, o my son, may I bring thee to understand the Truth of this Formula that is hidden in the Mass of the Holy Ghost. For Horus that is Lord of the Aeon is the Child crowned and conquering. The formula of Osiris was, as thou knowest, a Word of Death, that is, the Force lay long in Darkness, and by Putrefaction came to Resurrection. But we take living Things, and pour in Life and Nature of our own Will, so that instantly and without Corruption the Child (as it were the Word of that Will) is generated; and again immediately taketh up his Habitation among us to manifest in Force and Fire. This Mass of the Holy Ghost is then the true Formula of the Magick of the Aeon of Horus, blessed be He in His Name Ra-Hoor-Khuit! And thou shalt bless also the Name of our Father Merlin, Frater Superior of the O.T.O., for that by seven Years of Apprenticeship in His School did I discover this most excellent Way of Magick. Be thou diligent, o my son, for in this wondrous Art is no more Toil, Sorrow, and Disappointment, as it was in the dead Aeon of the Slain Gods.
from: DE FORMULA TOTA.
"Here then is the Schedule for all the Operations of Magick. First, thou shalt discover thy true Will, as I have already taught thee, and that Bud thereof which is the Purpose of this Operation.
Next, formulate this Bud-Will as a Person, seeking or constructing it, and naming it according to thine Holy Qabalah, and its infallible Rule of Truth. Third, purify and consecrate this Person, concentrating upon him and against all else. This Preparation shall continue in all thy daily Life. Mark well, make ready a new Child immediately after every Birth. Fourth, make an especial and direct Invocation at thy Mass, before the Introit, formulating a visible Image of this Child, and offering the Right of Incarnation. Fifth, perform the Mass, not omitting the Epiklesis, and let there be a Golden Wedding Ring at the Marriage of thy Lion with thine Eagle. Sixth, at the Consumption of the Eucharist accept this Child, losing thy Consciousness in him, until he be well assimilated with thee. Now then do this continuously, for by Repetition cometh forth both Strength and Skill, and the Effect is cumulative, if thou allow no Time to dissipate itself.
"The Christian religion in its simplest essence, by that idea of overcoming evil through a Magical ceremony, the Crucifixion, seems at first sight a fair example of the White tradition; but the idea of sin and of propitiation tainted it abominably with Blackness. There have been, however, certain Christian thinkers who have taken the bold logical step of regarding evil as a device of God for exercising the joys of combat and victory. This is, of course, a perfectly White doctrine; but it is regarded as the most dangerous of heresies. (Romans VI. 1,2, et al.)
"For all that, the idea is there. The Mass itself is essentially a typical White ritual. Its purpose is to transform crude matter directly into Godhead. It is thus a cardinal operation of Talismanic Magick. But the influence of the Black School has corroded the idea with theological accretions, metaphysical on the one hand, and superstitious on the other, so completely as to mask the Truth altogether.
from: CHAPTER LXXVIII. SORE SPOTS
"In --- shall I say 'Anglo-Saxondom,' or 'Teutonic breeds,' or 'bourgeoisie, so as to include some of the French whom when they are good are very good indeed, but when they are bad, they are horrid? --- the presiding God/Gods of this Trinity is/are: 1. Sex, 2. Religion, 3. 'Drugs;' and the greatest of these is Sex, actually the main root of which the other two are tough and twisted stems, each with its peculiar species of poisonous flowers, sometimes superficially so attractive that their nastiness passes for Beauty.
|Conclusion of Liber Mysteriorum Primus --- first part lost in MS?|
|... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...1|
|i.||... Blessed be God, Who revealest all Mysteries + etc.|
|... I am strength,2 in need.3|
|... And Lo, here is Medicine4 for the sore.5|
|... We bless the Lord. We govern the earth,6 by the society of|
|... Whose power is with us, but not here.8|
|... Use Patience.|
|... Uriel:9 I lived with Esdras:10 I lived in him; in the Lord,11|
|who liveth forever.|
Raphael: I lived with Tobias,12 Tobias the younger.
- This was the white creature that spake this.13
Fortitudo Dei:14 We Live in the Lord, who be praised forever.
- I stood silent a good while.
Fortitudo Dei: What wilt thou?
: I did attend, what you would say.
Fortitudo Dei: I have said.
: I have been long at this time, in my dealing with you.15 I
|trust, I do not offend you therewith. But, for my part, I could|
|find in my heart to continue whole days and nights in this manner|
|of doing; even till my body should be ready to sink down for|
|weariness, before I would give over. But I fear, I have caused|
|weariness to my friend here.|
Fortitudo Dei: In virtue is no weariness.
- Now he stood up out of his chair; and he, and they all
|jointly blessed us, stretching their hands toward us, Crossingly.|
|And so they went away. The Table and the chair remained, and the|
|glittering sparkles, or drops of streaming little lights were off|
|the chair immediately.|
- Glory,thanks, and honor
|be to the Almighty Trinity|
John Dee's marginalia
...venged upon Saul; for he hath abused his names in his
...nd against kind his punishment is great; and so I end.16
The Postscript Of Elias Ashmole
Mysteriorum Liber Primus, book ending here (as I conceive)
|ii.||after which follows Mysteriorum +Liber Secundus, but the beginning|
|thereof is utterly perished.17|
So it appears to be by diverse Quotations in the following
| 1. This fragment of text is probably the continuation of Dee's Action dated March 15|
MDLXXXII anno domini; being the conclusion to his Liber Mysteriorvm Primvs,
internal evidence indicates the close relationship between this leaf and the
previously given action.
Approximately 30% of the top of this page was lost to damage (cf. Thelema
Lodge O.T.O. (Berkeley CA: Feb.1988 e.v.); the placement of 'Sequential
periods i.e. ...' indicates where damage either abuts or intrudes into written
2. Fortitudo Dei aut Michaelem? op.cit. Mar. 1988 ev.
4. Medicina Dei sive Raphaelem: ibid.
5. Afflicta: ibid.
6. Angeli illis estis toti Mundo praedominantes: ibid.
7. Angeli cvm Gabrieli sunt: Prevalescentia sive praepotentia, sive fortitudo et
praevalescens Dei. Ibid.
8. In Caeli. Ibid.
9. 3d Ezra: L. Vulg. Vriel. Citations in antiq. of the non extant Gk. version give
[: 400 + 200 + 10 + 30 = 640], reconstruction from Aramaic fragments and
various Gk. transliterated Gk. commentaries would give the Heb. as [:
70 + 5 + 200 + 10 + 1 + 30 = 316]
10. Serious study should be given II Esdras: III - XIV, if possible in the arch. versions,
of this most strange scripture (cf. infra 3d Ezra).
Special note and meditation should be devoted, by those with wit to under-
stand, to those passages which provide practical instruction in the sciences of
Thaumaturgy, and Theurgy:
Compare also III: 1-14. with references given to Uriel and Adam in the
conclusion of Abramelin's Sacred Magick.
11. The Apocryphal book of II Esdras is a strange compound book from a number of
original texts with similar origins, but somewhat varying chronology, and
make up the different books of Ezra (& pts of Neh.), Esdras (I & II), 3d Ezra, as
well as Visions, Testaments, and Apocalypses of Ezra/Esdras etc.
The original core was apparently Hebrew; and contained primary material
now completely lost; preceding what is in modern ref. 3d Ezra or trad.
II Esdras cap. iii.
The book was then translated into Greek, but both the Gk. and Heb. versions
are now lost; though Quotations from both, in original tongues, do exist from
Some time in the Early Christian Era a new beginning and end in Gk. were
added for theological reasons of the Ante-Nicene church.
The text then translated into Latin; was included by Jerome in the Vulgate.
This is the source for most modern translations, though many exist in strange
tongues that were obviously drawn directly from the earlier Gk. or Heb.
12. Raphael gives a strange Magical formula: whereby a fish is used to manufacture
what in hermetic terms would be referred as the svmmvm bonvm. A startlingly
similar formula is given in libers: CDXV, Opvs Lvtetianvm, and C, Agape Azoth.
13. Undetermined personage? cf. II Esdras ii:39-40; I Enoch lxxi:1; Rev. iii:5, vii:13.
14. Vide # 2; L. Fortitudo Dei = Eng. The Strength of God. Est hic Michael?
15. This note supports the probability that this fragment is the continuation of the
March 15th Action vide op.cit. Thelema Lodge, Nov.1988ev. & # 1. above.
16. This marginal notation, which apparently refers to the difficulties of Saul
Barnabas (ibid: Jun-Aug/88ev.), is peculiarly arranged in vertical columns
reading from the top of the page; and suffered therefore from significant
fragmentation. Reference notation: i.e. +; indicate that this marginalia may
refer obliquely to the heading line of surviving text.
17. Mysteriorvm Liber Secvndvs deals with the construction, arrangement, and
operation of the Sigilvm Dei AEmeth.
The beginning pages; of which, follow this text in SL.MS. 3188. Several are
severely damaged and an unknown number of leaves may have been
lost irrevocably; yet technical examination shows that nothing essential to
the Seal itself is missing.
The next dated entry is March 20, 1582 a.d., but it is preceded by a long
Action to which the date has been lost.
That book will appear in this place beginning in March of next year.
18. This concludes the main text of: Liber Mysteriorvm Primvs
or: Dr. John Dee
His First Book
Next month we will present the first of three parts devoted to appending the materials covered in Liber Primvs Mysteriorvm.
|12/3/88||Center for Enochian Studies 7PM BYOB||Thelema Ldg|
|12/4/88||Gnostic Mass at 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/5/88||Hypatia Camp meeting 9:30 PM||Hypatia Cmp|
|12/7/88||Egyptiana with Ebony 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|8/12/88||New Moon ritual at Merkabah 9:30 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/12/88||Hypatia Hosts Illuminati Game at Ldg||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/11/88||Gnostic Mass at 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/13/88||Thelema Lodge Meeting||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/14/88||Class on Crowley's "Magick in Theory|
and Practice" with Bill, 8 PM.
|12/17/88||Ist and IInd Degree initiations||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/17/88||Dramatic reading of Fatal Force|
South Bay location.
|12/18/88||Gnostic Mass at 8 PM|
(Gnostic Heresy Night)
|12/21/88||Winter Solstice & Saturnalia 9:30 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/22/88||Full Moon ritual 9:30 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/24/88||Minerval and IIIrd Degree init.||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/25/88||Capricorn Crash (B-Day party) 4:18PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/25/88||Meithrasmass 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|12/27/88||Enochiana: "Dee's Divisions of|
Knowledge" with Dave 8:30 PM
|12/31/88||New Year's Eve Party at Merkabah||O.T.O.|
The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its officers.
Note to update: the addresses and phone numbers in these issues of the Thelema Lodge Calendars are obsolete since the closing of the Lodge. They are here for historic purposes only and should not be visited or called.