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
October 1990 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Lodge Members and Officers
|I am the Virgin of the Queen.|
|Do you accept me?|
|I am the Representative of Heaven and Earth.|
|Do you accept me?|
|I am the Virgin whereby all things are accomplished,|
|but am not myself changed thereby.|
|Do you accept me?|
|Who accepts my burden may never lay me down.|
|Do you accept me?|
|Who binds himself to me can never again be free,|
|for I am all things to all men.|
|Do you accept me?|
|To seek me is to enter upon the Holy Quest for Oblivion,|
|for you must give All that you may attain Nothing.|
|Dare you accept me?|
|I am the Promise and I am the Fulfillment.|
|Dare you accept me?|
|I am the Negative in the Supernal Union|
|of the interpenetration of the Opposites.|
|Dare you accept me?|
|I am Purity beyond all comprehension of Cancellation.|
|I am the Balance of the Wheel, and the Fiery Feather of Maat.|
|Dare you accept me?|
|There is no holier vessel|
|than a Maiden who has become a Virgin,|
|for a Virgin may attain|
|even unto the Throne of the Queen.|
|We are a community of the living and the dead.|
|We are the Deathless Stars who manifest|
|in a Higher State of Existence.|
|We are the Serpent Flower that is Death and Second Birth.|
|We are the next Stage of Oblivion.|
[previously published in an O.T.O. pamphlet (1979 e.v.), O.T.O. Newsletter #7-8 and in Ecclesia Gnostica #4 (1985 e.v.)]
In this year a great wealth has passed beyond the world.
Frater Paragranus, Herman Metzger, has experienced his Greater Feast. He was never reconciled with the O.T.O. descended from Crowley, but his efforts in his own sphere for Thelema were important. The work of Frater Paragranus goes on with his successors. Perhaps the day may yet come when hands set at odds will join in the same task.
Manly P. Hall has also passed to that ultimate experience of the mysteries he so loved to expound. His works are sometimes controversial but always interesting and often beautiful. He was never a member of O.T.O., and probably did not view Thelema with any special favor. Nonetheless, we are richer for his life and wiser for his writings. He will not be missed, for his works will endure and enlighten in his stead. Rare is the life that lives on in the minds of countless generations, a Great Work accomplished.
Mimi Legallic, Soror of the Vth Degree attained the Greater Feast on 18th September, 1990 e.v. She peacefully died in her sleep, without any evident sign of illness. To her memory will stand the powers of reconciliation and love which she so ably manifested among us. Soror Mimi will be greatly missed in New York and Montreal by those who knew her well. Her hand invisibly touched the Order in many ways, always to its blessing.
Raymond Gullison also attained his Greater Feast recently. He was a Thelemite of many decades standing and had known Huxley in his younger days. Although he attained well beyond four-score years of life, he never joined O.T.O. A Frater met him in the final year of his life and was able to attend his last days with bed side reading of Liber AL. Raymond Gullison distributed three copies of Jack Parson's Freedom is a Two Edged Sword to friends and family just before his ultimate illness. Let his life and the manner of his passing stand witness that not O.T.O. nor any other order shall ever make Thelema its exclusive possession.
"Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known." AL I, 10.
THE HALF LYRE:
|Would you willingly go like Mansur al-Hallaj|
|to be strung up, dismembered, and tortured with zeal|
|if you also could know with eternity's heartbeat|
|the face of his God and how He can feel?|
|"What a fool's heedless bargain!", the wise will confess,|
|"of pain we know plenty from zygote to dust,|
|but of union with God just what men do profess."|
|Would you squander your fortune like Aleister Crowley|
|to wind up with nothing but ring, pipe, and wit|
|if you also could lie in the City of Pyramids,|
|a hard silent headstone for what died in the Pit?|
|"What an uncertain gamble!", the prudent declaim,|
|"from mansion or hovel it's easy to choose,|
|but from doubt or delusion the choice is the same."|
|Would you give up a kingdom like Gautama Siddhartha?|
|Would you die to save Satan like Jesus the Christ?|
|Would you flee for your safety like the Prophet Muhammed,|
|or find safety in failure to find God at all?|
"Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God." -- LIBER AL, I:57
"be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." -- MATTHEW, 10:16
Just as every individual expression of love is unique, there are also any number of ways to symbolize the various archetypes of love, with which strange yarns we then weave out our singular tapestries. The symbols, by their very nature, are not fully definable in words. When artists use the images of a dove or a serpent in their work they may consciously mean them to represent a multitude of different things, but within a particular culture particular interpretations will tend to dominate the audience's response. In Judaeo-Christo-Islamic cultures, for instance, the dominant view of the serpent is as a symbol of temptation and sin, of the treachery and evil which is loosed in this world. This is distinct from the majority of human cultures which revere the serpent as a symbol of immortality and the power of time, of ancient knowledge and the fertility of body and spirit. A hint of this is found in the Christian gospel, which is not surprising if we consider that the Christian religious system draws far more heavily upon pagan theology than upon Judaism for its foundations. When the book of Matthew refers to the wisdom of serpents rather than to their dangerousness it is utilizing a pagan strata of symbolism as an alternative to Old Testament symbolism, which displays as its dominant view the deadly and deceitful serpent (though of course even trends within the Old Testament itself may reflect the older pagan strata; for instance in Genesis, where a serpent is associated with the Tree of Knowledge, just as it is in the earlier Babylonian mythology, though in the Hebrew Bible the dominant voice perceives this knowledge in purely moralistic terms as a knowledge of good and evil, and not as the much more ethically neutral concept of knowledge for its own sake).
Likewise, in the Judaeo-Christo-Islamic cultures, the dove has been seen in a positive light, associated with truth and purity, innocence and the holy spirit. In this case, unlike the serpent, the earliest symbolic references have remained reasonably intact among the so- called monotheists---though in many ancient and widely separated traditions birds relate most specifically to the human soul, or a part thereof, which transcends the death of the physical body. Still, even if we reject the simplistic good vs. evil view of the symbolic dichotomy between doves and serpents, we nonetheless perceive that some sort of dichotomy between these symbols does, in some mysterious manner, exist. From the words of Aiwass we have a clue to help us unveil the enigma; both creatures symbolize love---but love itself is revealed as a bipartite phenomenon.
In LITTLE ESSAYS TOWARD TRUTH Crowley writes that, "Love may best be defined as the passion of Hatred inflamed to the point of madness, when it takes refuge in Self- destruction." This is perhaps an overly dramatic way of putting it; elsewhere in the same work AC compares human beings to atoms and their relationships to molecules, and in this analogy love between people is like the energy absorbed and released in the processes of molecular combination. Here the atoms find refuge not in actual self-destruction, but rather in the temporary submersion of their individual identities into molecules whose attributes differ markedly from those characteristic of the constituent atoms on their own. As love is a psychological as well as a chemical phenomenon we might perhaps define it to include all the mental and emotional energies absorbed or released in any given integration of human psyches.
As we know that many forms of energy express themselves in polarities which we usually label as positive and negative it seems conceivable that love is also an energy with two different modes of expressing itself. Here the ancient Greeks, who bequeathed to us the word 'psyche' itself, provide a few hints; they had not one, but two words for love: Agape, sometimes translated as 'brotherly love', and Eros, translated as 'sexual love'. It seems clear to me that, if we were to assign symbols to these words, the dove would be well-suited to represent Agape, while the serpent is perfectly adapted to be the emblem of Eros. The dove of peace and harmony is a veritable poem of the Holy Spirit soaring through heavenly skies of brotherly love. The serpent of wisdom and delight is a veritable phallus of Lust plunging into hellish cycles of skin-shedding immortality (of course, as with any true interpretation of symbolic interaction, the entire metaphor may be turned completely upside-down: the serpent might represent the spiritual sublimation of personality through the wand of will [cf. Avalon, THE SERPENT POWER, the rods of Moses and Aaron, etc.], while the labial wings and clitoral beak of the dove can scarcely conceal the wet and waiting cup of Babalon).
Some of these identifications may be borne out by a Qabalistic analysis of Crowley's well- known Hebrew formula representing those actions performed by a purposeful will, without lust of result, LAShTAL . The word can be divided into three parts; the first, LA, means 'not' and the last, AL, means 'god'. Each of them adds up to 31. The central element, ShT, means 'to wander'. Thus one may understand LAShTAL as meaning 'not to wander from God' which implies both the singleness of purpose and the selflessness which many qabalists have attributed to the formula. The central ShT is even more interesting in numerological terms. Crowley took the values of the Tarot cards corresponding to Shin and Teth, XX (The Aeon) and XI (Lust), which add up to 31, and used this as the value of ShT in LAShTAL. This 31, added to the two 31's of LA and AL, gives LAShTAL a full value of 93, the number of love and will. It's understandable that Crowley found this relationship quite inspiring. However, if we add in the values of ShT in the ordinary Hebrew fashion we get a value for LAShTAL of 371, which is quite inspiring in its own way. 371 graphically represents the penetration of 7 into 31. Also it is 3, a number of Chokhmah (the serpent of Wisdom), and 71, a number of Binah (the dove of Peace). Further it is 37, Yechidah, the highest soul, the symbol of Kether exemplified, and 1, the number of Kether itself. Adding up 3, 7, and 1 produces 11, the number of eternal change, the interactions of Had and Nu. Lastly, and perhaps paradoxically, it is 371, the number of Samael, the prince of the Qlipoth of Chokhmah (and it is 53 times 7, Satisfaction of Desire, the opposite of LAShTAL!).
When we look more closely at the central ShT we find an even more remarkable correspondence to the dove/serpent dichotomy. As Crowley writes, "ShT supplies the last element; making the Word of either five or six letters, according as we regard ShT as one letter or two. Thus the Word affirms the Great Work accomplished: 5 = 6." Thus we can say that, like love, ShT is a unity with dual aspects. Shin can represent the Holy Spirit, and thus relates to Agape, the dove. Teth means literally 'serpent', and thus here symbolizes Eros, the Lust card in the Tarot.
[A note on some 5 = 6 symbolism: the path which links 5 (Geburah) and 6 (Tiphareth) is represented by Lamed, the ox goad which keeps the initiate in equilibrium as he/she travels the path. This Lamed, which brackets the LAShTAL formula, is a powerful formula in its own right---through balanced self-sacrifice we attain the portal beyond the Void; its value is 74, the confrontation (i.e., multiplication) of Yechidah (37) with duality (2). The Lamed path also associates with Ra-Hoor-Khuit because they both mediate between the Sun (Tiphareth) and Mars (Geburah). While Ra-Hoor-Khuit = 463 (the value of the Middle Pillar); and 463 = 370 (both A'aSh , 'creation', and ShLM , 'peace'; also 5 times 74, Lamed in Geburah) + 93, which equation describes a specialized formula of adeptship in this aeon. If Ra-Hoor- Khuit symbolizes the strength of the Adept, and Hoor-pa-kraat represents the silence of the Magister Templi, then, interestingly, the core of Heru-Ra-Ha could be called the Abyss, and we might as well say that Choronzon is a secret name of the Lord of this Aeon!]
It is impossible to end this paper without some reference to Kundalini Yoga. This is the branch of yogic discipline which seeks to arouse and circulate the Kundalini Shakti (literally, 'coiled energy') through the spinal column and subsidiary channels to the entire body. This Kundalini force is often identified symbolically with the serpent, and seems clearly to be "the secret Serpent coiled about to spring" referred to in Liber Al, II:26. But is this the same serpent referred to in verse 57 of the first chapter? Crowley's comment seems to indicate that he thought so, and that "Choose ye well!" is an admonition to practice Kundalini yoga. Perhaps this is so, but I think there is also another way of viewing it. The word serpent is capitalized in II:26, but lowercase in I:57. In II:26 we read, "in my coiling there is joy. If I lift up my head, I and my Nuit are one. If I droop down mine head, and shoot forth venom, then is rapture of the earth, and I and the earth are one." This shows that there are two ways to express the Kundalini energy, distinguished by their differing directions of flow. Perhaps we can correspond this dichotomy of the capital 'S' Serpent with the dichotomy of lowercase serpent and dove. Suppose we identify the dove of I:57 with the dove of the O.T.O. lamen, which represents the descent of the Holy Spirit. This descending dove may represent the process whereby the capital 'S' Serpent lifts up his head to unite with Nuit; this expression of Kundalini energy through the spirit is the essence of Agape. If this attribution holds then the serpent of I:57 can be identified with the capital 'S' Serpent when it droops down its head and shoots forth venom; this expression of Kundalini energy through the flesh is the essence of Eros. Once we adopt this perspective "Choose ye well!" becomes not a slogan but rather a call for careful balance (Lamed) in our use of the Kundalini power. We must learn through our experiences in the "House of God" (which are represented by the Tower card of the Tarot) when and how to utilize our Kundalini energy for both spiritual and sexual ecstasy.
Much much more could be written about the symbolism of doves and serpents, and entire libraries remain to be written about love, but I for one would rather experience these things than write about them, and so this present paper ebbs to its end with a long lost love lyric:
Heaven is waiting within your eyes
Fruit of the garden between your thighs
If you'll be mine
Then I'll be thine
Like snake and dove
We'll share a love so true! ----- Frater Faustus
Say this: "I descend in purification that Da'atim (masculine knowledge) and Da'atot (feminine knowledge) become one Da'at (pure knowledge)."
"Thus is opened the fiftieth gate on high."
Say this: "Being purified outwardly and inwardly I call upon the Archangels who stand before the Holy One, bearing the names of the Ways in which Truth is perceived:"
"Metatron () the Youth and Sandalphon () the Twin who between them bear Adonai Melekh Ha-Aretz ()."
"Gabriel () the Might of God who bears Shaddai El Chi ().
"Michael () the Likeness of God who bears Elohim Tzabaot ()."
"Haniel () the Ship of God who bears Jahovah Tzabaot ()."
"Raphael () the Healing of God who bears Jahovah Eloh Va-Da'at
"Kamael () the Longing of God who bears Elohim Gibor ()."
"Tzadqiel () the Righteousness of God who bears El ()."
"O'h Tzaphqiel (), Hidden Voice of God, who bears Yahweh Elohim
(), I behold the Vision and hear the Voice by thy revealing and concealing."
It is desirable to have a closing ritual. This may be done in various ways; but, for now, say this:
"Berashit Bara Elohim At Ha-Shmim Va-at Ha-Aretz."
Alternately, one may write down the thoughts that pass within one's mind. To this end it is best to use a secretary for oral dictation during the meditation, or a tape-recorder. The transcription or the play-back can end the working.
Important! When working this ritual after much practice, make sure someone knows what you are doing. Tell that person to wake you after a set time, should you need it.
In the preparation of Ritual Aleph, use has been made of many sources widely known in the field of Qabalah and Occultism. In particular, a scholarly work by Gershom G. Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, 1965, has been useful in providing Hebrew Hekhaloth phrases.
|10/3/90||Harvest Moon Party 7 PM||Hypatia Cmp|
|10/4/90||"Oriental 777" class 7:30 PM||Hypatia Cmp|
|10/5/90||Initiations Workshop 0th Deg 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/7/90||Gnostic Mass 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/10/90||Massage Night 7:30 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/11/90||Rites of Eleusis '90 meeting 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/12/90||Crowleymass Open House at the Lodge||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/14/90||Gnostic Mass 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/16/90||Magick Theatre 7:30 PM reads|
The Alchemist by Ben Johnson
|10/17/90||Magick & Qabalah # 9 with Bill 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/18/90||Grady Mass and Lodge of Perfection||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/19/90||Initiations Workshop 1st Deg 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/21/90||Gnostic Mass 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/24/90||Magick & Qabalah #10 with Bill 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/25/90||Thelema Lodge Meeting 8 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/28/90||Scorpio Birthday party 4:18 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/28/90||Gnostic Mass Sunset||Thelema Ldg.|
|10/28/90||DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME ENDS 2 AM|
|10/31/90||Halloween (call for info)||Thelema Ldg.|
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.