Thelema Lodge Calendar for December 1994 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for December 1994 e.v.

   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.

Copyright © O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 1994 e.v.

Thelema Lodge
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O.Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA

December 1994 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Winter Solstice Ritual

    "Lo, a great danger is Earth's initiation of Air through Fire; it maketh unending mirror -- like reflections of sorrow upon the Gods' eyes. Yet within the lord indomitable is love's strategy under invincible will, that gathereth the Force, spanning time's interior to perpetuate ascendant Nature.
    "There is a fortress holding the secret of the initiating lord. Within its pyramidal chambers, are altars of many Gods. One concealeth a Jackal, another a Lion-serpent, yet another is a labyrinth whose center altar is a lone star.
    "Now concerning words of power: heaven hath a power over nature; words of power hold dominion over life's changes. Gather the words from Nuit's celestial dimensions, both distant and near; gain mastery over them. Creative wavelengths, both known and obscured in mystery resonate through the plasmic ways of the Tuat heavens, thereby is the world body reconstituted, which maketh a gladdening effect upon the Gods themselves."

    We celebrate the Solstice this winter with the entry of Sol into Capricornus at 6:23 on Wednesday evening 21st December. Join Thelema Lodge at sunset and spend part of the year's longest night together. Our ritual, from which the quotation above is excerpted, is entitled "The Portal of the Sky God", and will be directed by Brother Drax. It begins at 6:00 PM, with a pot- luck feast to follow at 7:00. All attending please contact the lodge officers in advance to help coordinate the menu.

Gnostic Mass

    Members, friends, and newcomers to Thelema Lodge are invited to our celebration of Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, every Sunday evening in Horus Temple. Gather at 7:30 to await entrance at the deacon's summons shortly thereafter. We open the Gnostic Mass to all communicants willing to participate with us. First time attendants should call the lodgemaster ahead of time at (510) 652-3171 for directions. The lodge invites O.T.O. initiates to consider performing mass for us; prospective teams should speak with the lodgemaster to arrange scheduling details.

    His Grace Bishop T Dionysus conducts a monthly study group working with the text of the Gnostic Mass, which meets on Wednesday 28th December at 8:00 in the lodge library. Questions and insights are invited from officers and communicants alike (in person or in correspondence), with all aspects of Liber XV and the E.G.C. open for discussion. This study group is assembling materials for a comprehensive commentary on the text, which can only succeed as a widely inclusive community project, with help welcome from all.

O.T.O. Initiations

    Ceremonies of initiation within the Mysteria Mystica Maxima of Ordo Templi Orientis will be performed twice this month at Thelema Lodge, on Saturday evening 3rd December beginning at 6:00, and on Saturday afternoon 10th December at 2:00. Feasting will follow the rituals on each occasion. Active initiates interested in attending are required to speak with one of the lodge officers ahead of time.
    Candidates for O.T.O. initiation may request application forms at any lodge function, or from the lodgemaster. Plan ahead, as there is a minimum forty- day period of candidacy after the application is forwarded by the lodge to the Initiation Secretary of the order.
    Members of the Council of Princes of Jerusalem in O.T.O. are invited to contact Thelema Lodge regarding activities in this degree being planned here over the coming months.

Meetings, Classes, and Study Groups

    Lodge members invite participation from the greater Thelemic community in a variety of study groups. Requests for additional activities are welcome, as are offers to lead us in new directions of mutual interest. At many activities we request donations, and the lodge depends upon funds collected in this way to cover our basic expenses of temple rent and supplies. In the interests of financial stability, we invite all active lodge members to consider supporting Thelema Lodge at a rate of five dollars a week whenever possible. However, all contributions are voluntary, and all events which are open to the public are free. Special supporters of the lodge who can afford to be slightly more generous may become Sustaining Members with a donation of thirty dollars a month.

    This season's complete readings of The Vision and the Voice continue at Oz House through Tuesday 20th December. The vision of each Aethyr is read at the anniversary date and time of its original reception in the desert of North Africa in 1909 e.v. Consult Liber 418 for the schedule, or call Caitlin for information at (510) 654-3580.

    The fiery sign of Sagittarius is our focus at Grace's Astrological Workshop on Friday evening 2nd December, from 7:00 to 9:00 in Berkeley. This multidimensional and dual-bodied sign offers its free spirit, open, honest optimism, independence, and generosity. The archer ever aspires to intellectual and spiritual heights, and also retains the Sagittarian reputation for the enjoyment and spontaneity of sexual pleasure. Please call ahead at (510) 843-7827 if you plan to attend.

    Grace will also host a Capricorn workshop on Friday evening 23rd December from 7:00 to 9:00. Often depicted as a Sea goat, rising from the deepest psychic levels of the waters of the unconscious, to the greatest heights of intellectual consciousness, the drive and ambition of Capricorn is evoked. Her/his striving for purpose, perfection and practical achievement reflects the innate search for the grail symbolized by this sign of the Winter Solstice. All are welcome, but if you wish to attend please call 843-7827.

    The Thelema Lodge Magick in Theory and Practice Series with Bill Heidrick meets Wednesday evening 14th December at 7:30 in San Anselmo. Call (415) 454- 5176 for directions if attending for the first time. Our subjects for discussion this month are taken from the appendices of the book, including the "Notes on the Nature of the Astral Plane" which Crowley originally wrote for Soror Rhodon (the novelist Mary Butts) at the Abbey of Thelema in the summer of 1921 e.v.

    Join Catilin at Oz House for the Section Two Reading Group on Monday evening 12th December at 8:00. We will be discussing A Strange Story (1862) and Zanoni (1845), the two magical novels of Lord Lytton. Edward Bulwer-Lytton, first baron Lytton, besides being one of the most popular novelists of nineteenth century England, was a Member of Parliament and Colonial Secretary before being elevated to the peerage. In a letter to Dr. W. Wynn Westcott on 24th March 1881, the masonic scholar Kenneth Mackenzie wrote "It has taken me a quarter of a century to obtain them [the 'real degrees' of Rosicrucian freemasonry] and the whole of the degrees are different to anything known to the Roci. Society of England --- those few who have these degrees dare not communicate them. Read H. Jennings again, and Zanoni. Even Lytton, who knew so much, was only a Neophyte and could not reply when I tested him years ago." MacGregor Mathers, who led the early Golden Dawn along with Westcott, was so impressed with Lytton's Zanoni that his wife Moina called him "Zan" around the house, and was thought by their friends to be following the example of the novel's heroine, Viola.

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A survey of magical fundamentals is offered at the lodge on Friday evening 23rd December at 7:00. Intended especially for initiates of the Minerval degree, this workshop is open to all members and non-members alike. Tammy will offer instruction and suggestions for beginners on basic banishing, the practice of the magical diary, Liber Resh, the theory of correspondences, and the Holy Books of Thelema.

    Hang your sox in front of the fire and gather with us in the library at Thelema Lodge for the 777 Poetry Society on Saturday 24th December at 7:30. Frater P.I. organizes this group, which meets to read verse together every month. Bring poems of your own choice to share with us.

    The Thelema Lodge Butterfly Net computer club meets at 8:00 on Thursday evening 15th December. There may be a demonstration and discussion of Adobe Acrobat, if we can get the last few technical hitches out of the way. Acrobat is a family of software products for converting documents to and from a platform-independent format. This format performs font-substitution for screen and printer as needed, supports hypertext links, and is well suited for online documents. Acrobat readers for DOS, Windows, Macintosh, and Unix are available through the Internet at: httm://

    Library nights at Thelema Lodge are scheduled for Tuesday evening 13th December and Thursday evening 29th December, beginning at 8:00. Please make it a habit to contact the lodge a day or two before planning to attend library nights. We sometimes reschedule these dates according to individual requests, and the library can often be open by special arrangement to suit the study requirements of members.

    Thelema Lodge Meeting and Lodge History Night will be held on Monday evening 5th December at 8:00. In recent months, much of our calendar scheduling has been handled by individual arrangement of members with the lodgemaster, and the convenience of this system seems to suit our needs. The evening of lodge meeting still serves as a forum for suggestions and concerns from members, and also as a deadline for the coordination of the following month's calendar activities. Meetings may also include more wide-ranging inquiry into our history and traditions, and possible future directions for our lodge.

    The lodge hosts a special luncheon meeting for Sustaining Members on Sunday afternoon 11th December at 1:00. Call for details.

    Sirius Oasis will not be holding its regular meeting this month; members should contact the Oasis Master at (510) 527-2855 for information regarding upcoming activities. In January the Oasis will resume meeting on the second Wednesday of each month.

Crowley Classics

    Crowley first published this essay in The International XI:7 (New York: July 1917), 210-11.

Pantomorphopsychonosophilography --
The New School of Literature:
A Note on Louis Umfraville Wilkinson
and John Cowper Powys

by Aleister Crowley

    I HAVE a liver. This organ is so constituted that if, at midnight, at the Cafe des Beaux Arts, I consume a ham sandwich with its own weight in mustard, and a pint of iced coffee, the result is similar to, but more urgent than that alleged of a dose of a quarter of a grain of morphia. A sleepless night of violent and concentrated, yet widely roaming, thoughts, passionate yet pellucid, is obtained at this triing cost: I perceive and glorify the infinite goodness of God.
    The ancients did not know these things; great classics (still unappreciated in some quarters, 'tis to be feared), like the authors of East Lynne and of Lady Audley's Secret, show no acquaintance with these phenomena. When good Queen Victoria wept for priceless Albert these things were not so. At least, Emily Bronte, she alone, foresaw the possibilities of today.
    The incalculable increase of human knowledge has been such that no mind can follow it. I have sat at meetings of the Chemical Society where only two or three of the eminent men present were competent to discuss the paper read; perhaps not more than a dozen could even follow it. The mind of man has, therefore, developed like a cancer, thrusting out tentacles in every direction, depositing strange poison even in the remotest tissues, and bearing no relation, save the most malignant enmity, to the rest of the structure. We have known too much; we have lost our standards of measurement. In East Lynne it is merely a question of the Ten Commandments. All our motives, as our acts, were as simple as they are --- in those dear dead days beyond recall!

NOW we have discovered pantomorphism. We have broken down the line between man and monkey, nay, between man and moss and malachite. We can still argue that nothing has a soul, or that everything has a soul; but the half-way houses have lost their licenses.
    Zola, in a vague symbolic way, makes his still or his locomotive accomplice in his tragedies; but it is only the modern pantomorphist who makes the seaweed and the spindrift characters in his novel as active as its human protagonists. It is really the old animism, the old demonology, come again, the Rosicrucian doctrine of elementals burst into sudden flower; and it comes triumphant over all its enemies, because it has placed itself beyond the reach of criticism, basing itself as firmly on the Academic Scepticism as on the Academic Theology. No self-consistent theory of the universe can rule it out.
    Pari passu has come --- almost as part of this --- the discovery of the human soul. In the old days a man was a man and a rock was a rock, "and no damned nonsense about it, sir" --- which nonsense consisted in persistence at "But what is a man? What is a rock?" and ended, as above stated, in pantomorphism.
    So also our souls were not souls; we were going to heaven or hell or purgatory, and there was nothing to worry us. But what are "we," asked the man of science, and ended by the discovery: "Every man and every woman is a star." The soul is now recognized as an individual substance, beyond the categories of time and space, a king in itself; not one of a group, but capable of its own destiny. The old theory of stars --- night-lights in God's bedchamber or holes in the floor of heaven --- has gone the way of phlogiston. We no longer confuse Sirius with Aldebaran. Each is itself. Just so every man is Himself, with his own Way to Heaven.

MANY of us are become conscious of this truth: and, reaching out and up on our new wings, are at times liable to dizziness, to spiritual cremnophobia, agarophobia, claustrophobia --- and nostalgia is in any case become quite normal to us.
    Hence the psychonosologists have begun to construct manuals of spiritual pathology. They have hardly done anything even to describe the varieties of disease. Von Krafft-Ebing was the first to gain popular appreciation. He saw (at least) that the Seventh Commandment was not a simple matter of the divorce court, and even got a glimpse of the fact that to inhale the perfume of a gentian on the mountain-side may imply a sexual "abnormality" more profound and possibly more terrible than a thousand rapes. He erred (he has since seen the error) in classing these manifestations as disease. They are "variations" in the Darwinian sense, evidence of the growth of the race. The ox, the savage, the Victorian, the modern American, the cave-man, do not suffer in this way from the specialization of the functions of the soul. But since these phenomena are undoubtedly accompanied by severe distress, we are at present justified in speaking of psychonosology.
    Now, the soul is eternally silent; it expresses itself only through the sexual instinct and its branches, Art and Religion. The Unconscious Will of a man is, therefore, his sex-instinct, in the first place. Therefore, this new passionate growth of his new-found soul must perforce express itself in sexual abnormality. Freud and Jung have done much to trace sex in the unconscious mind, in symbolic thinking, in instinctive selection of literary metaphor, and so on; Jung, in particular, has brilliantly perceived that sex expresses the Unconscious or True Will. But deeper thinkers, deeper because they are artists with the vision of Gods, not groping, purblind men of science, have gone further, and discerned sex beating at the heart of man's simplest, most conscious, and most rational acts.

I REFER to Louis Umfraville Wilkinson and John Cowper Powys. In the latter his "Eureka" is so vivid that it resembles the cry of an epileptic; the former bears himself more godlike, the cynical yet caressing smile of some hermaphrodite child of Pan and Apollo quivering faintly upon his lips. Powys makes you want to go out and invent something deliciously damnable; Wilkinson makes you feel that everything you have ever done is damnably delicious. The former reveals to you the possibilities of life; the latter reveals you to yourself as a past master of all actualities.
    It is needless, I trust, to insist that these masters have left Krafft- Ebing and his school with Dens and Liguori --- nay, they have buried him far deeper. For the older writers did really understand the appalling possibilities of "innocent" things, though their simple standard of right and wrong prevented their perception of whither their facts tended. But Wilkinson and Powys see more clearly. They know that one can morally contaminate a soap-bubble, if one go the right way to blow it, defile the virginity of a valley by looking at it, or corrode the soul of a strawberry by refusing to eat it.
    It will be hard for Puritan legislation to check the cerebralist!

BUT why (ask!) should we so uniformly perceive this curious development as evil? Wilkinson, it is true, is beyond the illusion of good and evil; not so with Powys, whose characters mostly understand themselves as unfathomable abysses, haunted by nameless horrors. The reason is simple: Powys is temperamentally a Christian. The soul is "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked"; therefore its will is evil; therefore its sex-instinct is evil; therefore its universe is evil. Such is the Puritan sorites; and to the inverted Puritan, whose pleasure consists of inventing "sins" in order to commit them, the Pagan simplicity of a Wilkinson is rather tragic. For the Pagan accepts joyfully the Law of Liberty: "Every man and every woman is a star": "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." He delights in his independence, in pursuing the glory of his orbit, free, self-balanced, inscrutable, ineffably alive. The mind which is bound to the Christian philosophy, the clinging, parasitic, Oedipus-complex mind, dare not confront Immensity. In a word, a Christian, when he dies, wants to go to heaven; a Pagan shrugs his shoulders and takes things as they are.
    But, will he, nill he, these pantomorphopsychonosophilographers have "unloosed the girders of the soul," as Zoroaster says, Wilkinson rather as a chorister in love for the first time, Powys as a child that has lost its mother; but the effect is the same. We must learn to take care of ourselves, to be suns in ourselves, not plants lackeying a central orb. We must conquer "air-sickness," the nostalgia for atavistic superstitions to comfort us. In a few years we shall be as happy in being ourselves as we have hitherto been in our dependence --- physical, mental, and moral --- upon others. Then, not till then, will constructive work, the mapping-out of a free universe, become possible. And in that day let us not forget the noble, the austere, the elegant, the august spade work of these great pantomorphopsychonosophilographers, John Cowper Powys and Louis Umfraville Wilkinson. Cras ingens interabimus aequor.1

1. "Tomorrow we will be back on the vast ocean," a quotation from the first book of Odes by Horace, vii:32 -- Ed.

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from the Grady Project:


Far out beyond our lace of bars
Among the sprinkled world of stars
We find, at their swift play, the knaves,
The gossipers, the spectrum waves
That leap from out the fiery hearts
Of countless of the starry darts
That stud the blackened blank of space.
Humming joyfully in its race
This willful, gay, precocious light
Will have its sway in bursting flight
Until vibrations dance is slowed
The stardust of the suns
                                     Is sowed.

Lashing out on its flashing wings
Around the universe it swings
For shy light is the fleeing prey
Of every swaggering cosmic ray
That struts along the aisles of space
And brags of this far distant place
Or, floating in the void close by
A blazing sun that brights the sky.
For by a random chance it sprang
From out a nova's bursting pang
Then, lanced out through out galaxy
And on and on

With streaming, rainbowed plume aloft
It charges out in brave assault
To scatter wide on cosmic dust
And only then, with driving spent
Can it find quiet or content
From white searing heat, spreading rife,
This is the ultimate of life!
Of power, flooding from its source
To dissipate its heaving force
Throughout the limbo of the night
That shrouds and swallows
                                        Eager light.

The rip tides of eternity
Pulse slowly in maturity
As, when unto death relinquished
The last faint fires are extinguished
And glowing radiation pale
Comes sifting down the spectrum scale.
The time clocks of the suns are slowed
And all the hall where once they glowed
Is now a vaulted, hollow husk
Where light has played from Dawn to Dusk
When on this feral cosmic sea
Triumphs the final


Originally published in The Grady Project 3 (Oakland: Thelema Lodge, O.T.O., March 1988).

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An Abramelin Ramble,

with visits to roadside attractions along the way
and sundry personal advice.

PART X -- Maps and travel games..

Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
Copyright © Bill Heidrick

    In this culture it's helpful to occupy your mind. We have so much going on to distract us that we have to keep the thing busy. You can always try standard things like Zen meditations. You might feel better. You might have an experience. If you are going to take yourself apart and put yourself back together, you will have to have a substantial battery of these things. Zen meditations can do that, but they are a lot more than they seem. For example, the sound of one hand clapping isn't accomplished by snapping the out- stretched fingers of your right hand to your right palm. That's just a joke to frustrate a Zen master. The sound of one hand clapping is symbolized by holding the right hand vertically before the body, parallel to center line and palm to left. Combine that with the sudden sense of sound where there is no sound. Each separate Koan will produce another thing that can't really be described in words. You must discover these meanings within yourself. There are systems of koans. Koans are brief verses of apparent paradox, either by internal contradiction or irrelevancy to context. Koans are intended to produce conceptual stress for resolution by sudden insight. If you have a book that says: "Try this one", you are being entertained. A teacher can tell you which one to do next and say: "Ok, you've got that one. Move on." You can try Alan Watts' books: The Spirit of Zen and The Way of Zen. You need a system because you are doing something more than one little thing. Most of these little meditations are sold for a buck as entertainment. Some of them are better than that. In this culture you need such things. In some cultures it is sufficient to have chants and koan-style meditations. The problem with those is the need for a teacher. With the Abramelin approach, you are the starting teacher; and you are seeking the ultimate teacher, called the Holy Guardian Angel, or the Higher Self, &c. You can do this sort of thing here with a human teacher or a book, but the chances of it working are less than in some other places. This culture is full of yammerings and "belief that you know things". In many other cultures, family can be a major problem. In this culture, family tends not to be quite what it is elsewhere. Here, family is often as not people you pick deliberately and have a hard time finding. In other cultures family is what you were born into. You have no choice, and you are not leaving. That goes for whom you marry too; and, oh yes, you are going to marry. The names of your kids were figured out 30 generations before you came along. In such an environment, you need to get away before you can do much, but you still need things that are familiar to you. In the West, intellectual things may be very much more familiar than human things.

    Consider the ancient map carved on a rock in the Camonica valley in the Alps, one of the earliest maps known. Now you can drop a buck at a gas station and pick up a map, all the while complaining that they used to be free. In those days, the idea of shaping a picture of something that you can never see but only walk was quite an outstanding leap in ideas. That principle has been used in a lot of cultures. Some of them go hog wild and make giant shapes, like Von Daniken tried to sell to people as landing fields for space ships. Why would anybody do that? The Cerne Abbas Giant is a thing like that in England. It's an enormous figure of a man with a club and a prodigious hard-on carved in the chalk on a hillside in Dorset. In South America you find some giant figures laid out in desolate places, but this thing was definitely maintained for 1500 years or more. Every few years somebody had to go over it and re-cut the sod to keep the exposed chalk outline visible. People thought it was some Celtic relic. Then somebody took an infrared photo from an aircraft and realized that the arm holding a club originally also had a rug-like drape. Evidently that part had been abandoned over the centuries while the main figure was re-cut and renewed. The drape positively identifies the figure as Hercules, with club and lion skin. A bunch of home-sick Romans carved it there, and it's been kept up ever since. It must have impressed people. The Giant can be seen poorly from the ground, but some of these great figures are only visible from the air. Such figures are examples of order. It can be a valuable initiatory exercise to trace ancient mysteries "on the ground" while formulating an image in the mind, comprehending in toto what the "eyes" can see only in part.

    The method I chose to organize my own work was the 231 gates. They comprise all the combinations of pairs of Hebrew letters. You can systematically arrange them. I meditated on each of them twice in a standard pattern. That was done at 6AM and 6PM for a month or two. Then I had a one day break and resumed. Finally, I got to the point that it didn't matter how long the break took. An example: the thirteenth pair of Hebrew letters is Aleph-Nun. I wrote down their numerical working-out. You add fifty for Nun, one for Aleph, normally not using the final values of the letters, to end up with 51. You can reduce that to 6. That's 6 on the Tree of Life for Tipheret. Also, the Hebrew letter Vau is 6. Aleph in the Golden Dawn system corresponds to the Fool in Tarot and Nun to Death. That's two Tarot trumps from the two Hebrew letters. If you look up in the Sepher Yetzirah, 777 or Paul Foster Case's little book, Highlights of the Tarot, you can find other stuff. Aleph and Nun have their name spellings, which can yield other numbers and correspondences. Those names mean "Ox" and "Fish". Tipheret means "beauty". That gives you two or three words for meditation. You can take the astrological correspondences: Air for Aleph, Scorpio for Nun and Sun for Tipheret. There are directions in space associated with the letters: Aleph is a vertical central line above to below. Nun is the direction to the Southwest. That may seem strange, so try sitting down and imagining a line straight down through the middle of your body. Then imagine another line paralleling that first one to the Southwest. Just think about it. It's very abstract, no conditions, no complications, not a lot of stray associations. It's a simple and pure meditation. There are traditional things associated with the letters. Aleph is sometimes thought of as the Breath of Life, Spirit, Ruach. Nun sometimes has the qualities of change and motion associated with it. These are interpretations that are given to those letters. You can say "Life moves", "Life changes" --- that's Aleph and Nun. The main thing is to have a system that yields a lot of compound subjects for meditation. Each individual subject fans out into many other subjects, some very abstract and some very simple. There are other things that are associated with these letters, e.g. "Intelligences", somewhat later than the old Sepher Yetzirah, but associated with the letters and Sephirot. In one variation of that tradition, Aleph is called the "Fiery" or "Scintillating Intelligence", Nun the "Imaginative Intelligence". Meditate on that: thinking that is fiery or scintillating, thinking that's imaginative and brings out new things. Paul Case liked to associate the 12-tone scale of the piano keyboard with Hebrew letters. If you are into Music you can play E- natural against G-natural for Aleph and Nun to meditate on that sound combination. The Golden Dawn had four colors for each. If you are artistic, you can meditate on those colors. If you are not presently musical or artistic, here's a reason to explore those interests. All Hebrew letters are classified into several groups. Aleph is called a Mother Letter. Nun is the sixth Single Letter. There are properties and traditions that apply to them. The Mother Letters are the primal sounds. The Single Letters are compounded of those sounds. The Double Letters are variations on those sounds. Here is a primal thing giving an issue, Aleph a Mother Letter and Nun a Single Letter.
    Look up these Hebrew letter pairs in a dictionary or lexicon. It turns out that there are a lot of two-letter words in Hebrew. Aleph and Nun can go either frontwards or backwards. Once you have words to play with, you can figure out what they mean.
    Sit down. Take every one of these combinations of correspondences and write down the result of thinking or meditating about them. Do that even if it doesn't make sense. Examples for Aleph-Nun: "The Ox falls past the Sun. The Ox is stuck tight in the spinning rounds of the Fish who chases his tail." Well, you've obviously got to do something more than just saying "Ox", "Sun" and "Fish". Taking the elemental and astrological: "Air blows past the sun. The maddened bull rushes into the nest of scorpions (scorpio)". Play with these things. This is the first pass. A nice thing about the 231 gates; there are two ways of organizing them. You can hit each gate twice without having to do it all in the same succession. The first pass runs through Aleph-Bet, Aleph-Gimel, Aleph-Dalet, Aleph-Hay, Aleph-Vau, and so on. The next time it's Bet-Aleph, Bet-Gimel, and so on. Each time that you start with another letter, repeat as many of the previous gates as there have been letters before that current one. The second time around, instead of just lining them up and checking them out with simple meditation, sit and try to do automatic writing. After meditating once on a particular pair of letters, mechanical comparisons of correspondences won't be necessary. Just get into it. In the case of Aleph-Bet, there are 21 meditations before you hit it again as Bet-Aleph. Write down the feelings and thoughts: Nun-Aleph -- "The son of the sun enters the world but to die and to rise again. You Oh Lord," &c., &c. Eventually this will evolve out into something more, one way of working with the Abramelin system.

Next month: On your own.

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Primary Sources

   Trouble at the Abbey:
    Here is a fragment of Alostrael's diary from the record of the Abbey of Thelema, transcribed by G. Yorke. Most of the parenthetic notes are by Yorke. For comparison, as well as important insights on communal living and parallels to Thelema, see also Spencer Klaw's excellent account of the Oneida community Perfectionists: Without Sin, Penguin Books, 1993 e.v. ISBN: 0-7139-9091-0 (hc) and 0 14 02.3930 8 (pbk).

Feb 12. 1923 e.v.
    On Saturday Feb 10, I Alostrael {Leah Hirsig} returned from marketing in Cefalu at about 11 A.M. I found the Knight Guardian of the Sacred Lance {Crowley}; Betty Loveday; Frater Aud {Raoul Loveday}, her husband; and Soror Estai {Jane Wolfe} assembled on the court. The conversation seemed most animated and I soon found that it had been brought about by Betty's complain about Ninette Fraux. The nature of the complaint was the Ninette was slovenly in her ways and that she, Betty, could not work with her.
    The K.G.S.L. sided almost entirely with Betty, whereas I, knowing conditions from a more intimate point of view took exception to some things and agreed with others, siding with no one. Frater AUD being too ill, said little, so little that I do not remember what.
    Ninette was not present as her duties in the kitchen prevented. These duties she had resumed for several days previous to Feb 10 in place of Betty, who had been more or less ill for some time.
    We however agreed to put the Abbey on a basis of discipline and order which had lagged owing to the illness of all the members, at one time or another.
    Peace reigned.
    On Sunday (Feb 11) morning the newspapers sent to Frater AUD arrived. One of the rules of the Abbey is that no newspapers are allowed. They distract from the work. The K.G.S.L. had mentioned a few days previously that that was the rule. The subject was discussed and Betty and Frater Aud agreed that as it was a rule they would abide by it. (In admission to the Abbey each member signs a promise to this effect). The K.G.S.L. then left the matter open for consideration. Betty definitely promised that she would not read them.
    The decision was then given that the original rule would be enforced.
    A scene followed in which Betty was rude, insolent, and thoroughly unfit to be in a room where her sick husband lay. Betty was for some years, 8 years ago, an addict to cocaine, but cured herself by her own force of will after official treatment failed completely.
    The verdict was then given that if the papers were read she would have to leave the Abbey in the afternoon. She said she would do so. (Discussing this later the K.G.S.L. said that if necessary he would find the money to send her to London.)
    By 6 P.M. she had not left but she had read the papers. The K.G.S.L. asked me to ask her to speak to him. She again refused. He then went to the room and spoke to her.
    Suddenly I heard the smashing of glass and knocking about of chairs etc. She had suddenly started to scream and to swear and to throw things etc at the K.G.S.L., who was asking her to discuss the situation quietly with him and the rest, outside the sick room. There was a lighted oil lamp in the room, also an oil stove. I then went into the room and found Betty kicking the K.G.S.L. who was holding her, she being in violent hysterics. Frater AUD got out of his bed, scarcely able to stand. There were bottles and a glass on the bed; they were smashed. I tried to keep him away from these; she rushed to him and after about 10 minutes we got him out of the room into a quiet warm one.
    She, in the meantime, made preparations to leave. Soror Estai, by order of the K.G.S.L. stayed in the room with her, talked kindly, sensibly and calmly to her, but Betty insisted on leaving, much to the distress of her husband.
    Her parting words were "Good-bye Raoul, send down my passport tomorrow." We knew that she would go to the Hotel but her husband was worried that she might do something desperate; sleep out and probably get pneumonia.

    Soror Estai saw Betty at the hotel this morning (Monday Feb 12). She threatened to telegraph her father-in-law, to see the Commissario of Cefalu, and to go to the British Consul in Palermo.
    Later (11 A.M.) I took down a letter from her husband begging her to return.
    This is correct as far as my personal knowledge is concerned.

Signed by Alostrael 31-566-31. Virgin Guardian of the Sangraal.

and then by The Knight Guardian of the Sacred Lance, Ninette Fraux, Estai 516, Betty Loveday.

    (Frater AUD was too ill to be bothered for his signature, but he read this in the presence of Betty and myself on her return to the Abbey sometime after noon of the same day. The conditions for her return were the signature of this and a letter written to the British consul as per enclosed. Alostrael). {Enclosure not extant}.

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    Last issue's column had a gratifying reaction, especially to the "How does OTO view Jesus" question and answer. The responses varied from outrage through "right on". For balance, here's a study of incidence of the words: "Lucifer", "Satan" and "Christ" in 20 megs of A.C.'s Stuff here on computer disk:

Lucifer ----------------- 22 occurrences
Satan ------------------ 165 occurrences
Christ --------------- 1,260 occurrences

Analysis of "Lucifer" finds (some from Crowley's translation of E.Levi's The Key of the Mysteries in Equinox Vol. I, #10 supplement):

similes (one is a duplicate)-----------------------------------3
Satanists called Christians------------------------------------1
name of a person (Fr. Lucifer)--------------------------------1
figures of speech (i.e. left Lucifer at the door)-------------- 1
poetic salutation (O' Lucifer)---------------------------------1
Lucifer saved eventually (see below)----------------------------1
Lucifer is not Satan (see below)---------------------------------- 1
"Daughter of Lucifer and accomplice of Prometheus"------1
Rhetorical question-------------------------------------------- 1
Book review, scurrilous remark------------------------------ 1
Book review, non scurrilous---------------------------------- 1
Warning against pride-----------------------------------------1
Poetic image linking Lucifer, Satan & Christ (below)--------- 2 (dup)
Not Satan, but one of the princes of evil--------------------- 1
As Brahma (part of a general assault on religions) (below)--- 2 (dup)
As planet Venus------------------------------------------------ 1
Acceptance of common usage (MTP below)out of frustration--1
Other poet using the word "Lucifer"-------------------------- 1

Equinox Vol. I, No. 10, page 23 supplement:
    Lucifer, of whom the dark ages have made the genius of evil, will be truly the angel of light when, having conquered liberty at the price of infamy, he will make use of it to submit himself to eternal order, inaugurating thus the glories of voluntary obedience.
    The fallen angel is not Lucifer the light-bearer; it is Satan, who calumniated love.

Eq. I, 4:
    By Thy most secret and Holy Name of Apophis be Thou blessed, Lucifer, Star of the Dawn, Satan-Jeheshua, Light of the World!

Eq. I, 5:
    And Satan is worshipped by men under the name of Jesus; and Lucifer is worshipped by men under the name of Brahma; and Leviathan is worshipped by men under the name of Allah; and Belial is worshipped by men under the name of Buddha.

Magick in Theory and Practice (MTP):
    This has led to so much confusion of thought that THE BEAST 666 has preferred to let names stand as they are, and to proclaim simply that AIWAZ --- the solar-phallic-hermetic "Lucifer" is His own Holy Guardian Angel, and "The Devil" SATAN or HADIT of our particular unit of the Starry Universe.

Conclusion: Except for the MTP reference, which context places as a defiance of popular prejudice more than an expression of belief, Crowley did not appear to make much use of "Lucifer" as a serious subject. Most references combining "Lucifer" and "Satan", few though they are, differentiate between the two.


    The references to "Satan" are more complex. Most are simile, metaphor, derogatory or associations of "Satan" to Christianity. Some appear to use the term in a non-traditional fashion, examples of the latter below. There are a couple of poems dedicated to Satan, but they appear to be intended either for humor or shock value. Satan is also associated with Saturn in Astrology, the Sun in mythology (not Astrology), and several philosophical ideas and ancient deities not relevant to Christian concepts of a Devil or Personification of Evil. The first example here associates "Satan" to a geographic direction.

Comment on Liber AL:
    It is also to be considered that Nu is connected with North, while Had is Sad, Set, Satan, Sat (equals "Being" in Sanskrit), South.

    I simply went over to Satan's side; and to this hour I cannot tell why.
    My satanism did not interfere with it at all; I was trying to take the view that the Christianity of hypocrisy and cruelty was not true Christianity.
    The problem of life was not how to satanize, as Huysmans would have called it; it was simply to escape from the oppressors and to enjoy the world without any interference of spiritual life of any sort.
    For instance, if I mention a beetle I expect the reader to understand an allusion to the sun at midnight in its moral sense of Light-in-Darkness; if a pelican, to the legend that she pierces her own breast to feed her young on her heart's bleed; if a goat, to the entire symbolism of Capricornus, the god Pan, Satan or Jesus (Jesus being born at the winter solstice, when the sun enters Capricorn); if a pearl, to the correspondences of that stone as a precious and glittering secretion of the oyster, by which I mean that invertebrate animal life of man, the Nephesch.

Equinox I, 1:
    Or vice versa, friend, if you are a Satanist; 'tis a matter of words --- words --- words.

Eq. I, 10:
    and Satan is only so incoherent and so formless because he is made up of all the rags of ancient theogonies.

Eq. I, 2:
    Thus it happens that until you become God, God Himself is in Reality The Tempter, Satan, and the Prince of Darkness, who, assuming the glittering robes of Time and Space, whispers in our ears: "Millions and millions and millions of eternities are as nothingness to me; then how canst thou, thou little mote dancing in the beam of mine eye, hope to span me?

Eq. I, 5:
    SMAL, Satan so-called, but really only Samael, the accuser of the brethren, unpopular with the Rabbis because their consciences were not clear. Also OMMV SThH, Ommo Satan, the Satanic Trinity of Typhon, Apophis, and
    Besz; also ShM IHShVH, the name of Jesus.

Gospel According to St. Bernard Shaw:
    Refreshed, he continued: "The men who are willing by this means to become the saviours of their country shall be called the Synagogue of Satan, so as to keep themselves from the friendship of the fools who mistake names for things."

    This "Devil" is called Satan or Shaitan, and regarded with horror by people who are ignorant of his formula, and, imagining themselves to be evil, accuse Nature herself of their own phantasmal crime.
    Satan is Saturn, Set, Abrasax, Adad, Adonis, Attis, Adam, Adonai, etc.
    This serpent, SATAN, is not the enemy of Man, but He who made Gods of our race, knowing Good and Evil; He bade "Know Thyself!
    Thus, in low grades of initiation, dogmatic quarrels are inflamed by astral experience; as when Saint John distinguishes between the Whore BABALON and the Woman clothed with the Sun, between the Lamb that was slain and the Beast 666 whose deadly wound was healed; nor understands that Satan, the Old Serpent, in the Abyss, the Lake of Fire and Sulphur, is the Sun-Father, the vibration of Life, Lord of Infinite Space that flames with His Consuming Energy, and is also that throned Light whose Spirit is suffused throughout the City of Jewels.
    He is the Lord of the Sabbath of the Adepts, and is Satan, therefore also the Sun, whose number of Magick is 666, the seal of His servant the BEAST.
    In AL note that Saturn or Satan is exalted in the House of Venus or Astarte, and it is an airy sign.

Conclusion: Crowley used "Satan" most often in the Christian context as a term of common speech to indicate some image of myth suited to another subject under discussion; next most often as an anti-establishment slur, especially for a brief period in his late teens or early 20's when he followed "Satan" as an act of rebellion; more rarely but philosophically as a Miltonian ideal and positive image for ideas concealed by common prejudices; occasionally as an insult or joke, including categorization of his own public reputation. The more profound usages of "Satan" by Crowley appear to be totally irrelevant to Christian ideas.


The 1,260 occurrences of "Christ" (including "Christian", "Christmas" and other combinations) in this sample indicate a greater interest in Christianity than Satanism, per say. With so large a number, I have not analyzed the patterns closely, but a significant number are positive. One is a usage of devotion to Christ (Crowley's 5 = 6 G D motto). Most references to "Christ" directly are quite positive, although very frequently contrary to popular views of the historicity of "Christ". About half the references to Christianity are negative, emphasizing "false doctrines" and vice pervading Christian theology or tradition.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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    The Cassandra Complex with Br. Rodney Orpheus, Master of Makhashanah Lodge in Germany, will play in concert at the House of Usher in San Francisco on Dec 13, 9PM (doors open). For information, call: (415) ... ....

Events Calendar for December 1994 e.v.

12/2/94Astrology of Sagittarius with Grace
7-9PM, Berkeley. Call to attend.
Thelema Ldg.
12/3/94Initiations 6PM (call to attend)Thelema Ldg.
12/4/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
12/5/94Thelema Lodge Meeting 8:00PM
(& Lodge History night)
Thelema Ldg.
12/10/94Initiations 2PM (call to attend)Thelema Ldg.
12/11/94Sustaining Members Lunch 1PM
(invitation only)
Thelema Ldg.
12/11/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
12/12/94Section 2 reading group, 8PM at OZ
Lytton's Zanoni & Strange Story
Thelema Ldg.
12/14/94Magick in Theory and Practice class
with Bill in San Anselmo 7:30PM
Thelema Ldg.
12/15/94Butterfly Net Computer Group 8:00PMThelema Ldg.
12/18/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
12/21/94Winter Solstice 6:23PM
Ritual 6PM potluck 7PM
Thelema Ldg.
12/23/94Minerval Magic Class 7PM w/TammyThelema Ldg.
12/24/94777 Poetry Society 7:30PM w.Fr.P.I.Thelema Ldg.
12/25/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
12/28/94Liber XV Study Group w. Bp. T
Dionysys 8:00PM
Thelema Ldg.
12/30/94Astrology of Capricorn with Grace
7-9PM, Berkeley. Call to attend.
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.

   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.

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