Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 1996 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for June 1996 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.

Copyright © O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 1996 e.v.

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

June 1996 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Greetings of the Summer Solstice!

      Sol enters Cancer on Thursday evening 20th June at 7:24, and Thelema Lodge plans to be gathered in ritual space at that moment, either in Horus Temple or out in the Berkeley hills, depending upon our weather, enthusiasm, and numbers. It will be a simple, portable ritual, to be followed by a pot-luck picnic dinner. Come prepared to walk for a short distance in the darkness on the way home in case we go out. To be included, arrive at the lodge no later than 6:30, leaving us the option to pool transportation up the hill if we do venture out.

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

      The lodge community begins gathering around 8:00 each Sunday evening at Horus Temple for our open celebration of the Gnostic Mass. Members, friends, and visitors congregate in the library, to converse or read while the evening's "mass team" completes their preparation of the temple. The officers can usually feel the energy of the ritual expanding as the body of the People assembles, and if they know their roles very well, they will concentrate efficiently so as not to dissipate this power by undue delay. It is not, however, a useful practice to rush in off the street to join suddenly in a ceremony of such complex beauty and reverence, and we have found that a few minutes of palaver -- getting to know the newcomers, or working out the expression for some fresh idea for a challengingly supportive audience, or just sharing a joke -- can also serve the purpose of composing and concentrating the People for their own role together in the mass.
      For those interested in Thelema Lodge who are visiting the area, or are not already in contact with the local Thelemic community, our Sunday evening Gnostic Mass is one of the best times to approach the membership here. For this as well as all our other events, those who are not in regular contact with the lodge should call ahead for directions and information; the lodgemaster can be reached at (510) 652-3171. Please keep calling if you want to get through; we do not "screen" calls, and the telephone will be answered directly whenever possible. (If you record a message saying you truly need to be contacted back, be sure to leave a clear, careful formulation of your question.)
      Initiate members of O.T.O. are encouraged to participate as mass officers at Thelema Lodge, and should contact the lodgemaster regarding the temple calendar as soon as they have organized themselves into mass teams. Our Gnostic community at Horus Temple is privileged to have four Gnostic Bishops who are active in advising and assisting mass teams (by request) with rehearsal and preparations for the mass.


      Initiations for advancement in Ordo Templi Orientis will be held at Thelema Lodge on Saturday afternoon 15th June. To attend, all members are requested to call ahead for details of the times and grades to be worked, or in some other fashion to communicate with one of the lodge officers their intention to participate. Candidates for initiation may obtain application forms from the lodge, and should discuss the scheduling of their initiations with the lodgemaster after returning their completed forms.

The Rites of Eleusis

      The Rites of Eleusis, Aleister Crowley's dramatic ritual cycle, which was designated as Liber DCCCL after its original performance by the A A in 1910 e.v., continues through June and July, with planetary celebrations at twelve- day intervals. "The Rite of Mars" on Tuesday evening 11th June will be held at OX House, beginning at 6:30; for information call OZ at (510) 654-3580. "The Rite of Sol" is an afternoon event, on Sunday 23rd June at 2:00, and will be held at Rosslyn Camp in Hayward; please call there at (510) 886-9642 for information. Early next month, plan ahead for "The Rite of Venus" on Friday evening 5th July, at Grace's house in Berkeley.

      In an article on blasphemy published in November 1910 e.v. to promote the original performance, Crowley explained that these rites were serious and disciplined ritual events transposed into a theatrical setting. Like traditional musical drama, or like freemasonic initiation rituals, the Rites are "orderly, decorous ceremonies. It is true that at times darkness prevails; so it does in some of Wagner's operas and in certain ceremonies of a mystical character which will occur to the minds of a large section of my male readers. There are, moreover, periods of profound silence, and I can quite understand that in such an age of talk as this, that seems a very suspicious circumstance!"1
      Another article goes on to explain how the Rites were organized. "The ceremonies developed from very rude beginnings. The first one was in this wise. I happened to have a few friends in my room in the evening, among them the celebrated Australian violinist, Miss Leila Waddell. It struck me that we might pass the time by a sort of artistic dialogue; I read a piece of poetry from one of the great classics, and she replied with a piece of music suggested by my reading. I retorted with another poem; and the evening developed into a regular controversy. The others were intensely interested in this strange conflict, and in the silence of the room spiritual enthusiasm took hold of us; so acutely that we were all intensely uplifted, to the point in some cases of actual ecstasy, an intoxication of the same kind as that experienced by an assistant at the celebration of the Mass or the performance of Parsifal, but stronger because of its naturalness and primitiveness."2 In an advertising prospectus also issued in this promotion, Crowley elaborates regarding the magical ambiance of the Rites. "They seem to possess a compelling occult power which calls into play at once the higher emotions of those who are present. Clairvoyants see beautiful pictures of attendant spirits, and the atmosphere is vibrant with religious feeling. At the same time there is nothing to induce outbursts of hysteria, everything is artistic and graceful and impressed with poetic feeling."3

1. Aleister Crowley, "Concerning Blasphemy in General and The Rites of Eleusis in Particular,"
      The Bystander (London: 16 November 1910); reprinted in The Equinox 3:10
      (New York: O.T.O., 186), p. 224.
2. Aleister Crowley, "The Rites of Eleusis: Their Origin and Meaning," Bystander
      (23 November 1910); reprinted Thelema Lodge Calendar (December 1991).
3. Crowley's publicity material (London: 1910); reprinted in The Magical Link
      (New York: O.T.O., summer 1991).

Classes and Events

      This month the Thelema Lodge series on Tarot, with Bill Heidrick, continues with its third meeting on Wednesday evening 19th June, beginning at 7:30. Meeting at Bill's home in San Anselmo, this series features monthly illustrated lectures on all aspects of the history and symbolism of the Tarot images. In addition to fascinating slides of iconographic analogues to the cards, participants will be examining a wide variety of historical and modern decks which Bill has collected. Demonstration readings will be presented, utilizing various formats, styles, and types of question. The series is open to all interested students, and each meeting offers a complete presentation in itself, for those joining in mid-course, or occasionally. These classes take place at #5 Suffield Ave, in San Anselmo. For assistance finding the address, call (415) 454-5176.

      In June, the Thelema Lodge Astrological Study Group will begin a new series, focusing on the twelve houses of the horoscope. The first house relates to concerns of the self: the persona, how we present ourselves. Appropriately, it deals with beginnings; the ways we initiate activities, how we appear to others, and how we begin projects of any kind. Anyone with an interest in the cycles of astrology or the interpretation of horoscopes is invited to join us on Friday evening 28th June from 7:00 to 9:00 at Grace's Astrological Temple in Berkeley. To attend, please call ahead at (510) 843- STAR to let Grace know, and to get directions; you are also invited to leave your birth data so that charts can be prepared for comparison, to personalize the discussion.

      The John Dee reading group at Thelema Lodge also makes a new beginning in June, with a different meeting time on the last Saturday evening of each month, beginning at 7:00. Join us in the lodge library on Saturday 29th June as the group embarks upon a complete reading and study of Clay Holden's just- completed transcription of a further volume of Dee's angelic diaries, Liber Mysteriorum Tertius. This Third Book of Enochian Mysteries contains a full record of four spiritual "actions" conducted by Dee and Kelly from 28th April through 4th May 1582, during which the angels Michael and Uriel revealed the seven escutcheons, or talismanic shields, belonging to the Heptarchial Kings and Princes, which were to be constructed of sweet wood and placed upon the Holy Table in exact positions.

      The Section Two Reading Group declares three-way war for one night: empty-headed Athenians versus the fairy kingdom versus the proto-masonic trade guilds. Come by Oz House and pick sides when Caitlin directs a complete group reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream on Monday evening 17th June at 8:00; call (510) 654-3580 for directions. Shakespeare's play (circa 1595) conflates the two holidays of Beltane and the summer solstice -- both associated with bonfires and copulation -- and is actually set at May Day, despite the title. The herbal charms which abound in this play (sometimes called "the Bard's most magical") are simply aphrodisiac drugs, slipped to unsuspecting victims in order to violate their wills, but a lyrical atmosphere of ceremonial magic nevertheless pervades the work, with Oberon as the laughing magus, and the Puck (originally pronounced "Pouck" and closely related to our word "spook") as his super-charged familiar spirit.

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

      This month's "lodge luncheon" meeting is set for Sunday afternoon 16th June, from 12:30 to 2:30. Bring your ideas for coming events, classes, and celebrations in and around Thelema Lodge. The lodgemaster usually handles the main meal -- spicy stir-fried vegetables coming up! -- but members are welcome to supply fruit, dessert, or juice to go with it. The Thelema Lodge library is open by arrangement, and we propose two "library nights" each month when we can especially hope to accommodate requests for study; the next two such dates will be Monday evening 3rd June and Thursday evening 28th June, from 8:00 to 10:00. All members attending either the lodge luncheon or library nights are requested to communicate their intentions in advance to one of the lodge officers, in order that our efforts may be channeled to good use. For information, contact the lodgemaster at (510) 652-3171.

      Sirius Oasis holds its monthly meeting on Monday evening 24th June in Berkeley at 8:00; for information call Glen at (510) 527-2855. Much of this group's effort over the spring has gone into organizing for the thirteenth annual Ancient Ways "pan pagan" festival, to be held from Wednesday 5th June through Sunday 9th June at Harbon Hot Springs in Middletown. Come up for a day or three and get some sun, loose your pants, sleep in the fields, join a tight ritual circle holding hands with three hundred working magicians, and put in your hour's "volunteer security" duty bossing the parking lot around. Well known as a "non-O.T.O. event," the Ancient Ways Festival has long since become an institution in the greater pagan community, and has always included strong participation by members of the Order. This year's plans include a universal feast on Saturday evening, musical events, crafts, oak trees, naked families, and waterbaths of every grade of temperature. For registration information call the Ancient Ways store in Oakland at (510) 653-3244 (days before 7:00) or the registration coordinator at (510) 639-0783 (evenings before 10:00).

      Terri, Lew, Mordecai, and the rest of the Invertebrates perform Saturday afternoon 1st June in People's Park in Berkeley, between 2:00 and 5:00. As guests of the U.C. Regents, they've helped organize Blues Day, celebrating 28 years of sharing, struggle, and free music in People's Park, with transcendent blue skies, fashions from the Free Box, and the garden going strong backstage. Life's not all at no charge for this professional-type band, however, and now that their new CD, entitled Rubber Soul Train, is on the stands in all the malls, you can bet they'll be sold out and over-packaged soon enough. Rush on out and get your disc right away, so you can prove later on that you knew this great Thelemic band while they were still independent!

Crowley Classics

      Originally published in The International (New York: April 1918), 127-8, this was Crowley's final article for that periodical, of which he had been in editorial control for several months beginning late in 1917 e.v. The April 1918 issue was completed under Crowley's tenure, but he had only been standing in for George Viereck, who announced in that issue that he had passed the editorship on to completely new hands (although Viereck's name remained on the masthead as president of the International Monthly, Inc.).
      The Vaudeville dancer and comic singer Eva Tanguay, who was aged 40 in the year of this article and still going strong, had been famous since the turn of the century as one of the sexiest and highest-paid performers in America. Her risque songs, and her wide, loose smile were celebrated, but audiences remembered her body best, which was muscular and fit, but full-sized and very well endowed.

Drama be Damned!

An Appreciation of Eva Tanguay

by Aleister Crowley

      Eva Tanguay! It is the name which echoed in the Universe when the Sons of the Morning sang together and shouted for joy, and the stars cried aloud in their courses! I have no words to hymn her glory, nay, not if I were Shelley and Swinburne and myself in one -- I must write of her in cold prose, for any art of mine would be but a challenge; I rather make myself passive and still, that her divine radiance may be free to illumine the theme. Voco! per nomen nefandum voco. Te voco! Eva veni!1
      Eva Tanguay is the soul of America at its most desperate eagle-flight. Her spirit is tense and quivering, like the violin of Paganini in its agony, or like an arrow of Artemis -- it is my soul that she hath pierced!
      The American Genius is unlike all others. The "cultured" artist, in this country, is always a mediocrity. Longfellow, Bryant, Emerson, Washington Irving, Hawthorne, a thousand others, all prove that thesis. Michael Monahan may prove the rule, too, as its single exception. The Genius is invariably a man without general culture. It seems to stifle him. The true American is, above all things, FREE; with all the advantages and disadvantages that that implies. His genius is a soul lonely, disolate, reaching to perfection in some unguessed direction. It is the Fourth-Dimensional Component of force. It always jars upon the people whose culture is broad and balanced and rooted in history. Consider Poe, with his half-dozen thorns of genius; only in the short story has he a rival -- and that, most exquisitely, in his own line; I speak of that pard-like spirit, beautiful and swift, that love in desolation masked, Alexander Harvey. Consider Whitman, transcendental and bestial, without Form and Void even as Earth in her First Age. Consider George Gray Barnard, how supremely "impossible" is his perception of Truth! His Lincoln is like "what the Cat brought in," as his critics say; but (by the Great Horn Spoon!) it is Lincoln. (Yes!) Lincoln himself was a genius of the same order, if one may say "order" precisely where it defies classification, a climax of development on lines utterly unsuspected, and out of harmony with the general or obvious trend of Evolution. Arthur B. Davis has something of the same abnormality; he is of no school; he sees without being shown how to see. This American quality has exponents whose virtue extends to every branch of thought. Play over Morphy's games of chess! He beat his opponents by playing in a style which was entirely foreign to all accepted ideas. Even on subsequent analysis, his soul remains inscrutable. Steinitz, again, invented a gambit whose fundamental principle, the exposure of the King at the beginning of the game so that he may be well placed at its end, was simply "unthinkable." Sam Loyd, too, in his Chess Problems, found how to make his Key-move "unlikely"; not unlikely to the conventional mind, so that one could find it by simply excluding the likely, but truly and absolutely unlikely, without reference to any antecedent knowledge. In all these -- and many their brethren -- is this one quality, utterly sacred and occult, of unsophistication, of originality, of purity.
      Eva Tanguay is the perfect American artist. She is alone. She is the Unknown Goddess. She is ineffably, infinitely, sublime; she is starry chaste in her colossal corruption. In Europe men obtain excitement through Venus, and prevent Venus from freezing by invoking Bacchus and Ceres, as the poet bids. But in American sex-excitement has been analyzed; we recognize it to be merely a particular case of a general proposition, and we proceed to find our pleasure in the wreck of the nervous system as a whole, instead of a mere section of it. The daily rush of New York resembles the effect of Cocaine; it is a universal stimulation, resulting in a premature general collapse; and Eva Tanguay is the perfect artistic expression of this. She is Manhattan, most loved, most hated, of all cities, whose soul is a Delirium beyond Time and Space. Wine? Brandy? Absinthe? Bah! such mother-milk is for the babes of effete Europe; we know better. Drunkenness is a silly partial exaltation, feeble device of most empirical psychology; it cannot compare with the adult, the transcendental delights of pure madness. (I suppose I ought to couch these remarks in the tone of an indictment; but though the literary spirit is willing, the fountain pen is weak.) Why titillate one poor nerve? Why not excite all together? Leave sentiment to Teutons, passion and romance to Latins, spirituality to Slaves; for us is cloudless, definite, physiological pleasure!
      There is something diabolically fine in this attitude. The old conception of Satan is fluffily theological and other-worldly; as a devil he is stupid, and as a seducer petty and vulgar; the American idea of him as the logical and philosophical negation of the health of the whole being is a thousand ages ahead of the other. We have measured him, as we have measured the lightning, and analyzed him as we have analyzed God. Infernal Joy! Eva Tanguay is -- exactly and scientifically -- this Soul of America. She steps upon the stage, and I come into formal consciousness of myself in accurate detail as the world vanishes. She absorbs me, not romantically, like a vampire, but definitely, like an anaesthetic, soul, mind, body, with her first gesture. She is not dressed voluptuously, as others dress; she is like the hashish dream of a hermit who is possessed of the devil. She cannot sing, as others sing; or dance, as others dance. She simply keeps on vibrating, both limbs and vocal chords, without rhythm, tone, melody, or purpose. She has the quality of Eternity; she is metaphysical motion. She eliminates repose. She has my nerves, sympathetically irritated, on a razor-edge which is neither pleasure nor pain, but sublime and immedicable stimulation. I feel as if I were poisoned by strychnine, so far as my body goes; I jerk, I writhe, I twist, I find no ease; and I know absolutely that no ease is possible. For my mind, I am like one who has taken an over-dose of morphine and, having absorbed the drug in a wakeful mood, cannot sleep, although utterly tired out. And for my soul? Oh! Oh! --- Oh! "Satan prends pitié de ma longue misère!"2 Other women conform to the general curve of Nature, to the law of stimulation followed by exhaustion; and by recuperation after rest. Not so she, the supreme abomination of Ecstasy! She is perpetual irritation without possibility of satisfaction, an Avatar of sex-insomnia. Solitude of the Soul, the Worm that dieth not; ah me! She is the Vulture of Prometheus, and she is the Music of Mitylene. She is the one perfect Artist in this way of Ineffable Grace which is Damnation. Marie Lloyd in England, Yvette Guilbert in France, are her sisters in art: but they both promise Rest in the end. The rest of Marie Lloyd is sleep, and that of Yvette Guilbert death; but the lovers of Eva Tanguay may neither sleep nor die. I could kill myself at this moment for the wild love of her -- (Love? It is Poison! I say the love of her) -- that sets my soul ablaze with fire of hell, and my nerves shrieking; at my left hand is my eighth Absinthe, and at my right a nearly empty ounce bottle of cocaine; I am using this combination of drugs as sedative, not as stimulant. She is the one woman whom I would marry -- oh sacrament and asymptote of blasphemy! There is a woman of the Ukraine, expert in Mystic Vice, coming to destroy me body and soul, in an hour's time; to make of me a new Mazeppa. But I know that she will not absolve me nor assuage me. I shall still writhe in the flames of my passion for America -- for Eva Tanguay.
      Eva Tanguay! Eva Tanguay! Eva Tanguay! l'ane en feu d'un poëte damné t'invoque! Oh! Oh! si seulement je pourrais mourir! Tu ne le veux pas; je le sais. Bien! -- comme tu veux! -- j'agonise! achève ton horreur -- qui ne s'achève point! -- Eva! -- catin sublime! -- fais donc! -- Ah! -- Ah! -- Ah!3

1. "I call! I call by the unmentionable name. I call you! Come, Eva!" -- trans. ED.
2. "Satan, take pity upon my extended suffering" -- trans. ED.
3. The fire of a damned poet calls to you! Oh! Oh! Even as I rot to death! It is not your will, I know.
      Fine! -- as you will! -- I agonize! To reach the horror of you, that is to hit the mark! -- Eva!
      -- sublime kitten! -- do it! -- Ah! -- Ah! -- Ah! -- trans. ED

Previous Crowley Classics                   Next Crowley Classics

from the Grady Project:

Two Poems

The Dweller on the Threshold

The Angel stood on Gilead
His wings a coursing flame
Two eyes of piercing fire he had
With folded arms he came
The Angel stood on Gilead
Pure number was his name

-- Grady L. McMurtry
               July 1961 e.v.

The Virgin

The silent god Harpocrates
Has spoken on the Deep
The Sphinx screams in his agonies
Locked in the donjon-keep
The Angel's wing has stirred the breeze
The space-warped cruisers leap

  O Pharos Flame that spans the Dark
  Your razor's edge in Zion
  Has sped The Arrow to Its mark:
  The Eagle and the Lion!

-- Grady L. McMurtry
            July-August 1961 e.v.

Both poems were originally published in McMurtry: Poems (London & Bergen: O.T.O., 1986 e.v.), then in The Grady Project 4 (December 1988 e.v.).

Previous Grady Project                   Next Grady Project

An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XVI -A Glimpse at the Sepher Yetzirah..

Derived from a lecture series in 1977 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
Copyright © Bill Heidrick

      This will be a brief look at some of the ideas from the Sepher Yetzirah. The SY identifies three Mother Letters, Shin, Aleph and Mem, taken in that order to form a variant spelling of "Shem", a word which means "name", especially the Divine Name. The Shem letters can also be seen to form the Tree of Life, with the three points of the Shin forming the upper three Sephirot, the "X" shape of the Aleph the middle five Sephirot, and the Mem forming Yesod with its ascendant and Malkut with it's body.



      Within the pattern of the Sephirot, the paths can be moved to various configurations. The first example here has quite a few paths and the Sephirot in the usual places, but there is now a right-side-up pentagram and an upside- down pentagram. There are various states of consciousness that this can represent that the standard Tree can't.

The Tree of the Two Pentagrams

      The upper pentagram can be changed into a hexagram to produce a Tree of Life displaying a perfecting of the experiences of the earth by coordination with the higher states.

The Tree of the Hexagram and Pentagram

      The middle column of the Tree can be drawn up to yield a Tree of Life that is composed of two hexagrams. That structure can be further simplified until it becomes two cubes, one on top of the other. This device has been used in Magick, and Crowley advocates a double cubic altar. Separate those cubes, take a look at one of them, and you will find it described in the Sepher Yetzirah as the cube of space, via allocation of directions to the Hebrew letters.1 That's the nature of the Sepher Yetzirah.2 You get a beginning, and you might get an end. It's up to you to figure out all the intermediate steps. The book is incredibly fertile with ideas of this nature. It's an example of a primary Qabalistic work which should be studied over many years. This Book has been called the Book of Formation because all manner of things can be born from it. It belongs almost to Binah as an essence of inspiration. The Hebrew alphabet has its own intricacies and the Sepher Yetzirah is devoted to expounding those intricacies.

1. For more details on these permutations of the Tree, see the Thelema Lodge Calendar,
      June to September, 1992 e.v., the column "The View from Tipheret".
2. For a copy of the Sepher Yetzirah see the Thelema Lodge Calendar, January to August, 1993 e.v.

Previous Introduction to Qabalah, Part XV                   Next: The Tree from Netzach

Primary Sources

Crowley writes Germer
      Here is a letter from Aleister Crowley to Karl Germer, discussing various publishing plans, money and the members of Agape Lodge in southern California in 1944 e.v. Jack is Jack Parsons and Aleister Explains Everything was retitled Magick Without Tears.

  The Bell Inn,
Aston Clinton, Bucks.
  November 29th, 1944

Dear Karl,
      I have your letters of October 22nd, October 31st and November 7th. I am glad to hear that you are on something new and I hope that this time it will turn up trumps. I have told Miss Taylor what you say about your address.
      I will look at Mrs. Lowthorp's figure, and when this letter comes back from being typed may be able to make a few comments. I note what you say about McMurtry.
      I am asking the binder to send you invoices for the copies that he is sending out to you. In the meanwhile the quarto bound cost 17/6d. per copy, and the half-bound, 27/6d. I have already written you about the blocks, but you could perfectly well get out an edition without them -- in fact you had much better do so if you are hoping to sell the book at any reasonable sort of price. Roughly speaking, the cost of a set of blocks for one card is from £10 to £15.
      I am very glad that you are having copies made of "Liber Aleph". I certainly hope you can get it printed, and I am sure that I can trust you to see that the style is as good as that of the Tarot. It was my intention to have one chapter on one page. I also regard it as number One of what I may call classic publications, although the book I am now working on, "Aleister Explains Everything" is likely to come first, because that can be got out in a large edition cheaply, and I think will do a great deal to sell the other books.
      I am not sure whether I sent a copy to Frederick. I certainly did to Jack and Georgia. I did not send one to Jane's sister. I thought she was dead.
      I feel that I am treating you very badly, but you must realise that I am working in the most impossible conditions. I can only afford one day a week for dictation. My secretary comes out here and takes back the shorthand, sends me the type-script for revision and signature. She has filed everything very neatly and nicely, but as you know from experience it is from my point of view almost like throwing them into the ashcan. I tremble when I think of trying to find everything. Nor can I grasp any business matters at all with my mind. I do my best to answer your letters, but I never feel sure that I have done so satisfactorily. The result is that you ask me to do some perfectly simple thing which any idiot could do in five minutes, and it is completely beyond my understanding, far more so beyond my ability to execute. Things will never go right until I have a full-time secretary who will have all the business details in her head, and that means doubling the monthly transfer at the least.
      I am sending you six prospectuses. But you must send by return of post 60 cents in payment for them. This is to keep on the right side of the paper control people, who have been making trouble for me. They have no standing in the matter because the Equinox Vol.3, no.5, of which "The Book of Thoth: is a part, is a periodical and not subject to their jurisdiction.
      Wonders will never cease about that material. I went to a local woman in Aston Clinton, and she made me perfectly good shirts. I suspect that the London man was simply making an excuse for not doing the work. You have no idea how strangely people act these days.
      What you say about Jack appears very complicated. I had an extremely nice letter from him, and then I had a letter from Helen to say that Smith had started his retirement on satisfactory lines, but of course for all I know this may be a pack of lies. Honestly, I don't know where I am.
      You suddenly shoot off from the question of Jack to your health. Of course what you say is very obscure to me. I can only hope that everything will go well.
      I have not a Book 4 Part II. I managed to borrow a copy for a month about three weeks ago, but I have to return it. I have a copy of Part I. If this is any good to you I will send it along.
      I am very glad to hear that Sascha is better, and that her proposed visit to California will be an outstanding success.
      It would be perfectly senseless for me to go back to London. I am thinking of winter quarters somewhere on the borders of Kent and Sussex; but the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know, and there are so many advantages in remaining here that I shall take quite a lot of shifting.
      Georgia's letter is very interesting, but I must say that I don't get very much out of it. All this business about auras gets on my nerves. I don't know what she means by this taint which she mentions in her penultimate paragraph.
      I am probably rather peevish this afternoon. I appreciate Georgia immensely in every way, and realise how wonderful her support has been; but I do not want to know about various misadventures and calamities unless there is something I can do about them. I don't know why she has to write a letter like that.
      Now for yours of October 31st. I don't remember receiving any letter from Jack to you. He cabled me 80 dollars about the same time as your 300 dollar transfer. This has put me all right with the binders. I have not had anything else from Jack since the contribution in the early summer when the Tarot was in question. I think that he owes me a letter; but I don't like to swear to that till I am almost sure. I certainly think that he ought to contribute much more largely than he does. Your original idea of a quarter of a century ago that we should never do any good until we had a proper headquarters and a proper staff, is still the right idea. I don't think that you should spend large sums of money on getting out reprints while this business of headquarters awaits attention, and also these books which exist only in manuscript, and some of which are in duplicate. I am living in a state of constant terror lest some more of most important work should be destroyed without remedy.
      You returned in this last letter to the question of Jack, in alternate paragraphs. It is very confusing -- still more so since every paragraph seems to contradict the one that has gone before! I rather doubt Frederick's judgement. It sounds hysterical to me. If I remember correctly, in my last letter to Jack I was able to congratulate him on a very fine piece of poetry, and certainly his last letter appeared to shew the right spirit. But as you imply there may be some kind of plot with Smith in the foreground. The idea is so senseless that I can hardly imagine any human being holding out. {In hand: Can't remember what I wrote. Sec. not here. This sounds wrong.} But then you know people are like that.
      I will send a Tarot to Lt. Crombie through Georgia.
      Max's letter to you: there may be a spare copy of the Equinox of the Gods in storage. Until there is a proper headquarters it is no use trying to look for one.
      Yours of November 7th. Thanks for the Artemis Iota. My mind is now at ease on that subject. The whole of your letter confuses me terrible. I think perhaps that you are yourself confused. Success is your proof does not seem to me to have anything to do with love.
      Of course I understand very well, from the first minute that I met you, your difficulties in this outlook of yours. I have written again and again about it, and I don't know that I can add anything useful. Your real trouble it seems to me is that you take everything so seriously, that you feel compelled to analyse in season and out of season, when there is no real occasion.
      I am very glad to hear that there are hopes of a good transfer in December. If I decide to shift over, it is going to cost a lot.
      You must apologise to Handel about the book. I sent that copy because I had not one of the other kind available. You can have no conception how muddled it has been. At the present moment I am having to find out from the binder how many copies have been bound, how many need binding and so on, and as to the numbering that has got all mixed up. The difficulty has been mostly that of transporting the books from London here and so on. You have got your twenty copies on the way. I cannot understand your figures at all. The actual cost of producing a copy was approximately £5, but that is allowing nothing whatever for overhead, stationery, typing, journies and heaven knows what else, occasional secretarial assistance. I say nothing of the author, but the idea that Jack appears to have that 80 dollars should secure him ten copies is contemptible. Two copies are much more like the value. I think you must have misunderstood his cable. It is really too ridiculous.
      I will try and get you a copy of the printer's account, but it is mixed up with the cost of other books, and honestly I don't know where I am about it. You might be able to make something.
      I shall now retire from the unequal contest. It is really no good turning me upside down over all these business calculations. It simply spoils my temper.
      Love is the law, love under will.
{In hand: Yours with great love, but not feeling well; digestion all wrong these last 3 days. Aleister}

P.S. I am sending you a set of six of the Letters of which there are now about 70, chosen at random so as to give you a sort of idea of the scope of the book. It is a little difficult to arrange about the order in which they should appear, and at the moment I think the best way out of it is to classify them under various headings such as The Universe, Man, the Order, Yoga, Ethics. You might be able to get a contract with an occult periodical to issue them serially. Such people as I have honoured with the privilege of reading them are all very enthusiastic. I find that they want copies for themselves, and everyone is agreed that for the first time I have been able to put things in such a way as can be understood by the ordinary intelligent person. For this and other reasons I think that you ought to be able to make a good thing out of it commercially. If you want a complete set of Letters it means that I shall have to have the whole series retyped. I want to impress upon you that people are pestering me from every quarter to supply them with various stuff published or unpublished. This means that I have to send my copies out to a firm to be typed, and this comes out rather expensive. For instance, Jean Phillips appears to be in close touch with Orson Welles and is anxious to interest him in my work. I am therefore sending her various things which might take his fancy. (You realize of course that his acceptation of one story of mine would make us for good and all). It has occurred to me that "The Three Wishes" would suit O.W. very well, not having any spare copies I had to have it retyped, 60 pages cost with two carbons, £3.13.9d. Now I have got to get Liber Aleph recopied and also the secret Documents of the 7th-9th Degrees and "Across the Gulf".

P.S. Long letter just in from Jack. Will write again on Sunday when I have had time to read and consider it. A.C.

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Ningiszida - Watcher of the Gate

Through the depths
By the gateway
The dragon watches

That which passes
The veil of illusion
  Leaves but a trace.

        4/26/96 - Firebird

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From the Outbasket

Just now there's a lively discussion of the Tree of Life and Masonry in the Masonic Forum on Compuserve. Some peripheral issues of interest came up, and here are edited selections from my posts to the Forum.

Speculations about a possible German Order behind the British Golden Dawn:

      The Morgenrothe lodge is discussed at some length in: Jews and Freemasons in Europe, 1723-1939, by Jacob Katz, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1970, SBN 674-47480-5. The book is about 300 pages long with the Morgenrothe material cited to 18 pages in the index. It mainly recounts the history of the Lodge, the difficulties with antisemitism and the influence of one or two particular individuals to bring an understanding of Jewish symbolism into Masonry. There was a London connection to Morgenrothe until 1871 e.v. (broken off after the climax of the Franco-Prussian War). There is no discussion of ritual details or symbolic usage in the book.

Questions regarding Greek Gematria.

      Both Hebrew and Greek are Isopsephic, having letters also stand for numbers as far back as can be traced. In the case of Greek, the modern alphabet is incomplete. Ancient Greek used a couple of letters now discarded, leaving a gap for 6 and 90 in the number system if one sticks with modern Greek. The works of Homer are said to be the chief font for Greek Gematria, but the New Testament largely displaced that source in the last thousand years or so. Most references to gematria in the first through eighth centuries of Christian writings are to Greek in the Septuagint. These can be found in the Epistle of pseudo Barnabus and in Augustine's Civitatis Dei. The word "Gematria" is Greek. Barnabus plays with numbers on a Greek transliteration of the letters of the Tetragrammaton.

Overview of the historic influence.

      Qabalah is very important in fringe and non-masonic groups derived from or inspired by Masonry. The Golden Dawn modeled their initiations on the Tree diagram, much as Craft Masonry models on the work of the operative masons of time past. The system of the Tree is also very useful for it's apparent original purpose, organization of the approaches to meaning in what is now called "literary criticism". Mystical approaches going back to pre-Christian times are also involved, but most of the popular studies depart from core Jewish teachings on the subject that emerged mainly in 13th to 15th century Spain, which is why I spell it "Qabalah" instead of the more technically correct "Kabbalah", to indicate a derivative.
      In the 18th century, Christian Qabalah had gotten pretty popular again, after a suppression in England following the collapse of the Stuarts. It is common to find elements of Christian Qabalah forming the basis for sermons in Elizabethan times and even a bit in the days following James Ist. Most of that earlier material in religious usage deals with words and number, likely owing to the interest in translation of sacred scripture. The writings of Robert Fludd would be useful, but his works on the subject are mostly in Latin.
      The Elizabethan qabalistic sermons are hardly ever published. I don't know of any that are. My reading of these is from microfilm in the British Manuscripts Microfilm project conducted jointly with the US Library of Congress during WWII to conserve collections from bombing. There are some in the Alnwick reels. The content was so deeply involved in things out of fashion in the intervening centuries that there has been no interest in publication.
      In the earlier time of interest by gentiles in Qabalah, Gul. Postel was in the last wave of Western early discussions. After him, things started to repeat a lot. Reuchlin published the first Latin version of sections of the Yetzirah well before Postel. Kircher published a compilation of many of the Berishit studies, and Rosenroth came out with the main compilation for Westerners in the 18th century. By then Vital's material from Luria had largely displaced the earlier interest in the Zohar. The Baal Shem Tov came later, followed by the Tanya and Chesidism.
      The Golden Dawn allocation of the paths and the letters on the Tree appears to come directly from a single illustration in Athanasii Kirchiei, Oedipus Aegyptiacus, Tom IIA&B (1653). The paths and letters in that illustration are exactly the ones used in the G D Other items of Kabbalah sometimes thought to be originated by either Mathers or Wescott are also there.

The Tree as a diagram for Literary Criticism.

      The Briata of 32 is a system of ten major and 22 minor connecting categories. The ten major Sephirot on the Tree can easily be used to give different levels of interpretation or points of view, in similar usage for the Four Qabalistic Worlds. A source book for approaches to this idea is Kabbalah and Criticism, by Harold Bloom, Seabury Press, NY, 1975, ISBN: 0-8164-9264-6. One can use the Tree for a mythology of creation, a pattern for spiritual growth, or as an organization of different levels of meaning in any writing, situation or expression. Some places even use it for a hop-scotch diagram on school playgrounds.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for June 1996 e.v.

6/1/96Invertebrates play People's Park
in Berkeley, 2-5 PM
6/2/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/3/96Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
6/9/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/10/96The Rite of Mars(Oz House) 6:39PMIndependent
6/15/96OTO Initiations. Call to attend.Thelema Ldg.
6/16/96Thelema Lodge Luncheon meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
6/16/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/17/96Section 2 reading group w/Catlin
Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's
, 8PM at Oz house
Thelema Ldg.
6/19/96Tarot with Bill Heidrick, 7:30 PM
in San Anselmo at 5 Suffield Ave.
Thelema Ldg.
6/20/96Summer Solstice Ritual 6:30PMThelema Ldg.
6/23/96The Rite of Sol (Rosslyn Camp)
2:00 PM, South Bay
Rosslyn Camp
6/23/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/24/96Sirius Oasis Meeting 8PM BerkeleySirius Oasis
6/28/96"The Houses in Astrology" workshop
with Grace in Berkeley 7 PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/29/96John Dee Reading Group with Clay
7PM in the Library
Thelema Ldg.
6/30/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema 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.

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Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)

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