Thelema Lodge Calendar for August 1996 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for August 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

August 1996 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Lammastide and the Feast
of the Beast and his Bride

    The point of Lammas, or astrological mid-summer, when the sun achieves 15° of Leo, is reached this year at approximately 11:00 PM on Tuesday 6th August. Caitlin will lead an expedition to the beach on the preceding Saturday, 3rd August, in observation of this "half-holiday," with transportation leaving from Oz House at noon. Bring picnic supplies in back-packs, as the trail may require free hands. Call ahead at (510) 654-3580 to be included. Also at Oz House, "A feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride!" will be celebrated with a barbecue and readings from the Holy Books of Thelema on Monday evening 12th August at 7:00. Bring dinner contributions, or call to help plan the feast.

    In the spirit of these two summer holidays, a grand evening of entertainment has been planned for Saturday 10th August. Brother James T. Graeb will be our host, with all initiate members of the Order invited to be guests of the Alpha Chapter Rose+Croix at a social gathering and soriée, to be held at 5236 Claremont Avenue in Oakland. Beginning at 7:00, the evening will feature entertainment by Fat Chance Belly Dance, accompanied by live middle- eastern music, along with feasting and drinking. (Liquor will be served, so attendance by members under the age of 21 will require specific advance clearance from the host.) Other questions concerning the soriée, attire (if necessary), and similar matters, can also be directed to Jim at 415-759-7000, or to Caitlin Aliciane at (510) 654-3580, or to Ebony Anpu at (510) 436-5693. A donation of $5 per person will be requested at the door. Alpha Chapter has organized this event as an opportunity for the membership at large to witness the beauty and harmony of the Lovers Triad; it is open to all initiates, Minerval and upwards.

Mysteria Mystica Maxima

    Initiations for advancement in Ordo Templi Orientis are planned for Saturday evening 17th August. As always, we request that all who are interested in attending should contact the lodge ahead of time to verify the time, place, and the degrees to be worked. This month our schedule has been set to accommodate travelling candidates, making it especially necessary that the date be confirmed with the lodgemaster during the preceding week. Initiation applications are available at most lodge events, and should be returned when complete (including sponsors' signatures) to the lodgemaster, who will immediately send them on to the U.S. Initiation Secretary of O.T.O. Applicants must work with the lodge to schedule initiations, following a mandatory forty-day period of candidacy which begins when the application is posted by the lodge.

    Members of the III° and IV° are invited to a meeting with Brother James T. Graeb at Thelema Lodge on Saturday afternoon 10th August at 3:00. Jim will draw on his twenty years of experience in the Order, leading a discussion of the mystery of the Third Degree in particular, with background material drawn from Sufi mysticism, freemasonry, and Thelemic tradition. This will open out into a view of the overall initiatory scheme within the O.T.O., which in Jim's words "is designed to provide an opportunity for all members, depending on merit, to advance through all grades." The meaning of advancement through rising grades of attainment in the context of a fraternal order will be our concluding topic, with a focus on the prospects of the IV° and V°. Active O.T.O. members of at least III° are encouraged to attend or send word if they take interest in these topics.

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

    Members of Thelema Lodge celebrate Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass according to the rubric of Liber XV as prescribed for the O.T.O. every Sunday evening in Horus Temple, beginning around nightfall. All who attend should arrive by 8:00. Please call ahead if coming for the first time. Our mass is open to all whose will it is to partake in the communion with us. The community of Horus Temple includes, beside Thelema Lodge members who have supported the mass year after year, quite a few other local, visiting, and relocated members from other official bodies throughout the Order, as well as uninitiated associates who have formalized their support for O.T.O., and unaffiliated visitors (who may or may not join with us in the future, as they will).

    The Horus Temple kitchen at Thelema Lodge hosts a workshop on Cakes of Light with Gnostic Bishop T Theodora on Sunday afternoon 18th August at 2:00. A practical method of baking communion wafers, with some hints regarding the magical talisman being produced, and the specific instructions of the E.G.C. regarding the preparation, will be offered in this much-requested reworking of last year's "cookie class," which is open to all communicants.

    Gnostic Bishop T Dionysus has offered to perform the Rite of Baptism in Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, in a special ceremony on Sunday evening 25th August, following our regular weekly Gnostic Mass. Anyone who attends is eligible for baptism. (Those curious as to the mode or meaning of the procedure should chat personally with His Excellency before mass on some preceding Sunday.)
    The sacrament of baptism derives its name from the ancient Greek for immersion, but the practice of ritual purification by dipping a person into water is found in a great many different eras and cultures. The ultimate origin of the Christian rite of "washing away sin" is traditionally ascribed to John the Baptist, though Josephus says that John made use of it not for the remission of sins, but for the purification of the body, "supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness." Whatever the purported efficacy of Christian baptism in regard to sin, for Thelemites "the word of sin is restriction," and therefore E.G.C. baptism is meant rather to purify the congregants by removing any unnatural bonds or limitations upon them, in order to aid them in doing their wills. The ceremony itself is simple, does not require full immersion, and is performed free of charge. Signed baptismal certificates will be made available for a $5 donation.


    Looking for practice in Enochian magick? The Enochian Liturgy project continues its series of scrying workshops at 8:00 on Saturday evening 24th August. We will be focusing on the fourth Angelic Call. Participants are asked to bring a notebook and to wear loose fitting clothes.

    Liber Mysteriorum Tertius continues with the John Dee Reading Group on Saturday evening 31st August in the lodge library at 7:00. Clay Holden will be on hand to guide the group through the textual and spiritual complexities of this pivotal and seldom-studied sequence of workings. As a sample of the text, a few paragraphs from the description of an alchemical vision of the creation of the world have been especially prepared (modernized with respect to spelling and punctuation, and with translations substituted for the lines in Latin, but with the early modern English grammar unaltered). Edward Kelly is describing what he sees and hears by scrying into the showstone, to John Dee's transcription and according to Dee's directions, on 28th April 1582:
    "There came a star shooting out of the dark, and settled itself in the middle of the table, and the fire which came out, with the woman, did compass1 the table about. A voice said [in Latin]: `O honor, praise, and glory be to you, who are and will be'. The table showeth wonderful2 fair and glorious, only seven pricks appear on the table. The three angles of the triangle open, and in the lower point appeared a great 'A', and in the right upper corner 'LV'. The table trembled; and in the other corner appeared three circles of equal bigness, equally or alike intersecting each other by their centers. A voice [in Latin]: 'He is one, He is three; he is in each angle and comprehends all things. He was, is, and shall be to you. He is the end and the beginning.' ('Oooo, Oooo', with a doleful sound he groaned.) The woman sayeth [in Latin]: 'I was; I am what I was not'. A voice [in Latin]: 'There was not light, and now there is'. The woman, being turned from the shape of the table into woman's shape again, went into the dark. Then one part of the darkness diminished, in the dark was a marvelous turmoiling, tossing, and stir, a long time during.3 A voice: 'For a time Nature can not abide these sights.' It is become quiet, but dark still. A voice: 'Pray, and that vehemently, for these things are not revealed without great prayer.'
    "After a long time there came a woman and flung up a ball like glass, and a voice was heard saying [in Latin]: 'Let it be done'. The ball went into the darkness, and brought with it a great white globe, hollow, transparent. Then she had a table about her neck, square of twelve places. The woman seemed to dance and swing the table. Then came a hand out of the dark and struck her, and she stood still, and became fairer. She said, [in Latin]: 'Behold the seal of incomprehensibility'. The woman is transformed into a water, and flyeth up into the globe of light. A voice was heard 'Est, Est, Est'.
    A voice: 'Est, Est, Est'. One cometh out (a woman) out of the dark, very demurely, and soberly walking, carrying in her hand a little round ball, and threw it into the dark and it became a thing of Earth. She taketh it in her hand again, and casteth it up into the round globe and said, [in Latin]: 'Let it be done'. She turneth her back toward Edward Kelly and there appeared a table divided in twenty-four parts. It seemeth to be very square. A voice [in Latin]: 'Write; it is the truth'. A sword came out of the dark and clove the woman asunder, and the one half became a man, and the other a woman, and they went and sat upon the ball of clay or earth."

1. encompass
2. appears wonderfully
3. enduring

Meetings and Events

    The Thelema Lodge Section Two group will be reading this month from the Works of François Rabelais, the five books of Gargantua and Pantagruel, written in the 1530s and '40s, and recommended to aspirants of the A A as "invaluable for wisdom." Join Caitlin at Oz House on Monday evening 19th August at 8:00 to examine selected passages from this series of gigantic prose satires, including the original Thelemites in the first "Abbey of Thelema," as well as the virtues of "the herb Pantagruelion" (hemp). The wonderful illustrations by Gustav Dore will also be on hand.
    Although the life of this Gnostic Saint cannot be exactly dated, Rabelais' adulthood covered the first half of the sixteenth century of the last aeon. He entered the Franciscan order as a boy, transferred as a monk to the Benedictines, then left the monastery to pursue an academic career, becoming a doctor of medicine in 1537 while also ordained as a secular priest. His first great work of comic storytelling was Pantagruel, which when published in 1532 revealed Rabelais as the master of a whole new world of comic wisdom and characterization, for which he immediately became widely known. Various later installments, some successful, others censored and unpublishable in those repressive times, or abandoned incomplete, followed for the remainder of his life.
    In the words of the literary historian M. A. Screech, the foundation of Rabalias' comic universe was his ideal for a new style of spiritual alignment, individually and communally, which gradually became established as one of the dominant styles of Christian life. Gargantua "contrasts superstition with Evangelism and, in the Abbey of Thelema ('will'), opposes the monastic ideal with a free society of noble Evangelicals, living under self-discipline in a community where riches and beauty are good and marriage the norm."

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    Join Thelema Lodge up at Bill Heidrick's house in Marin for the fifth meeting in Bill's Tarot series, on Wednesday evening 21st August at 7:30. Classes typically start with an illustrated discussion focused upon one or two of the Trumps, or upon a specialized aspect of Tarot. Topics and specific cards are selected, often by request a month ahead. After an hour or so, the lights come on, a deck emerges, and the remainder of the evening is given over to demonstration readings. There are many decks available for inspection, and the Rider/Waite and Thoth decks serve to anchor the presentation. The address is 5 Suffield Avenue in San Anselmo (just off Sir Francis Drake); call early for directions, or for particulars regarding the upcoming meeting, at (415) 454-5176

    Grace's Astrological workshop series on the Houses of the Horoscope meets on Friday evening 30th August at Grace's house in Berkeley, from 7:00 until 9:00, with all requested to call before attending.
    The Third House will be the topic this month. The perspective is expanding from the Self in the 1st house, our physical resources and desires in the 2nd, to the eve widening sphere of our minds in the 3rd. All realms of communication are covered here -- thought, speech, education, the written word. all of this expands to include our siblings, neighbors and general environment, including mind travel and short journeys. In this study groups we will attempt to apply all of this to your personal chart.

    Library Nights at Thelema Lodge will be reserved this month for Wednesday evening 14th August and Tuesday evening 27th August, from 8:00 until 10:00. One or both of these evenings may be partially devoted to a preliminary discussion of magical curricula, and an attempt at the formulaiton of some guidelines for students of magick joining the Order, as they progress through the Man of Earth grades. Please phone ahead to attend library nights, which may sometimes be rescheduled by request. Our usual monthly "Sunday brunch" meeting will be held on 11 August from 12:30 to 2:30.

    Sirius Oasis meets in Berkeley on the final Monday evening of each month, 26 August, beginning at 8:00. Call Glenn at (510) 527-2855 for information and directions.

Crowley Classics

    The collected writings of Henry Clifford Stuart consisted mainly of impersonal letters and notes when Aleister Crowley, barely off the boat as an impoverished war-time refugee, and attempting to market his editorial expertise, found himself desperate enough to accept the temporary job of turning them into a book-length miscellany. Stuart was a retired businessman with vague political aspirations, and published the collection privately from Washington, D.C., in 1916 e.v., under the title A Prophet in His Own country: Being the Letters of STUART x, to many men on many occasions, edited, with an introduction and notes by Aleister Crowley. Although Crowley's own work as a writer and editor spans a huge range, this is one piece which he must have considered beyond the pale, for he almost never referred in any other context to Stuart or to his "Introduction" again. Such neglect seems nearly unique in Crowley's bibliography, which is so extensively self-referential and systematic.
    This portion concludes the piece, which was begun in our last issue. We hope next month to offer a selection of Crowley's commentary upon the writings of Stuart, which has never been reprinted since 1916 e.v.

"Introduction" to A Prophet in His Own Country


by Aleister Crowley

    Mr G. K. Chesterton, in one of his books, I think that on Browning, has remarked upon the utter futility of language. It is impossible to express thought, unless the person who is to receive it has already some inkling of what is meant. For example, if I say that someone is a Puritan, the remark may be taken as a complement or as an insult, according to the ideas in the mind of the reader, or of his ideas as to what my ideas may be. Unless the context makes it clear, doubt is certain to remain. Nor need one suppose that there are any words free from this ambiguity. Everything at one time or another has been the subject of violent praise and violent blame. If any one asks me for the meaning of the word God, I must first know whether the word is being used by the Pope or Mr G. W. Foote or Herbert Spencer or Billy Sunday. If you ask me for the meaning of the word "soul," I am equally at a loss. To the Buddhist it is a figment of the imagination of certain Hindu philosophers. The Qabalists use it as almost synonymous with "body." Every metaphysician that ever lived has used this word in a different sense, and has nearly always forgotten to define it. Now if, to bring back the matter to the question of Mr Stuart and his letters to the universe, we find in one of them the word "gold," we may be too ready to assume that something extremely valuable and painfully inaccessible is meant. The same difficulties constantly recurr. These letters require profound study. Not because the thoughts are obscure -- for it is not so, it is exceedingly simple -- but because it is new. The average individual is brought up in certain beliefs, and any examination of these beliefs is positively discouraged. When fundamentals are attacked by a new thinker, people are completely thrown off their balance. At first they refuse to believe that they have heard aright. When it was first stated that the earth went around the sun, no notice was taken, because it was too absurd for discussion. It was only explanation of, and insistence on, the statement, that began to arouse enmity. Now, the kind of obscurity which arises from the fact that the hearer has nothing in his mind which would make him capable of understanding what was being said to him is not avoidable. The classical example of this is the translation of the Buddhist canon by the missionaries. They started with the conviction that the Buddhist must believe in a soul more or less like the Christian soul, and that Nirvana, being apparently some sort of place of residence not upon the earth, must be a variety of heaven. The result was of course a total misunderstanding of Buddhism. It was seen that the context did not square in any way with these conceptions, and the missionaries thereupon had the impudence to assume that the Buddhist was being illogical and self- contradictory.
    It is really necessary to hear Mr Stuart rather than read him. When he speaks he is transfigured before you. The placid power of the man gives place to elemental energy. Both aspects remind one of the sea. It seems almost as if he grew physically much bigger. His personality fills the room. I have heard many of the great orators of the day, never one with one tithe of the passion and power of Mr Stuart. BenTillett comes nearest. But BenTillett wastes his power in furious gesture. With Mr Stuart the thunder of his tread and of his voice shake the house; but there is no loss of self-control. The speech is not diffuse, but extraordinarily concise and emphatic. The words rush out like molten steel from a converter under the blast. But each phrase is succinct and concentrated. For this reason, perhaps, he could never make a popular speaker. People like to have a man drone on pleasantly for an hour or so with mild excitement. They do not care to be swept away of crushed by real eloquence. Yet this is the kind of speech which has always moved men from the beginning of the world, and always will. It cannot be prolonged. Twenty minutes of it, and the nerve-force of every hearer would be exhausted. He would be mad to get up and do something; and that something would be what Mr Stuart told him. But the old ideal of oratory has passed. Mark Anthony's speech would be rather bad form. People do not want to be moved to do more than pass a nicely worded resolution. But if a real crisis should arise in the affairs of the nation, then would come the moment of the genuine prophet. With a force not his own, but cosmic and elemental, he would sweep away the cobwebs of the old ideas, the accepted sophistries of centuries. His words would be hurled forth, thunderbolts new forged from the smithy of Almighty God. And they would smite the hearer with such suddenness and vehemence that his inertia would not even find time to begin to operate.
    The present is such a moment. But people are not aware of it; they are still listening to the false prophets who prophesy smooth things. The critical situation of the world at present lies not in Europe. Europe's fate is known. It lies in America and China. The attention of every man of even the smallest degree of foresight should be concentrated on this fact. It is emphasized clearly enough in these letters. And the great merit of Mr Stuart's vision is that he saw these things in their entirety long before any other man had even begun to think about them.
    Another difficulty which arises in connection with prophets is that, although they may see as clearly as never was, and even express themselves in language suited to the understanding of the common people, or even to that (immeasurably inferior) of the so-called educated man, there is yet a question as to whether their word can be carried into effect. The prophet has usually been content to speak: to leave the responsibility of action with his hearers. Very rarely do we hear of a true prophet being a great administrator. Here once more America is fortunate. this is probable the greatest crisis that has ever occurred in the history of the world; and infinitely wise, all-seeing nature has provided against catastrophe by combining these two rare faculties in a single brain.
    All his life, until the last five years, Mr Stuart has been a man of affairs. He went to work at fourteen years of age under his father, and was gradually compelled to do the work of both, with the result that before his twenty-first birthday he had become freight traffic manager for Central America's most important railroad. He has also been in charge of various consular and diplomatic offices from time to time. He was land commissioner of the Panama Railroad; and has also been in the real estate and mining businesses, and factor of an important shipping company. He brought the Salvadore Railway Company out of bankruptcy, and reorganized the Port of Champerico. He has also been general counselor for Spanish-American affairs in New York City.
    But it is not only the able administration of such matters that proves the capacity of a man. Many a muddler has gone through public life on the shoulders of competent subordinates without too great a loss of reputation. But there is one sterling and indubitable proof of the administrator. If he orders his own house well, it is certain that what reputation he may have made in public affairs is a deserved one.
    I have never met any man with the sense of order so admirably developed as Mr Stuart. He can lay his hands on any scrap of paper at a moment's notice. Every book in his shelves has its proper place. His house is fitted with every convenience and even luxury, yet entirely without ostentation or extravagance. Nor is the order in which things are kept a visible order. No one would suspect it. It is only on investigation that it appears. The German plan is there in all its efficiency and completeness, yet there is none of the German manner which, by insisting upon its own excellence so audibly, lashes the Anglo-Saxon who beholds it into a state of such speechless rage. Everything has become subconscious. It is as if Mr Stuart possessed instinctively that supreme method described by the Chinese under the title "The Way of the Tao." "Consciousness is a symptom of disease. All that moves well moves without will. All skillfulness, all strain, all intention is contrary to ease." Unless this method is actually seen in operation, it is almost incomprehensible. Yet it is the only key to true and perfect success. The Chinese express it in another way. They say: "Do everything by doing nothing." The only way in which we can bring this idea at all near to western minds is by speaking of perfect balance, in the sense in which the fencer or the chess player might use the term. In a perfectly played game of chess the pieces are not arranged so that there is any obvious line of attack or defense. They are arranged so as to be ready to attack or defend in any position of the board. A definite attack upon the king's side or the queen's side, or upon a pawn or a piece, compromises the position. The player is bound, to a certain extent, by his expressed intention. Such attacks frequently succeed; but only because the opponent has already made a still greater mistake, has failed in sound development in some one point. Of this method Mr Stuart shows absolute command in his domestic affairs. And his proposals for dealing with the greatest social and international problems are equally deep and dulcet. He would not put anything right. He would gently rearrange things so that they went right of their own accord.
    Evidences of such proposals are to be found in these amazing letters. Let the reader then consider carefully this matter. Let him understand that in Mr Stuart we have not merely the wise man, or the strong man, or the good man, but the necessary man. The eyes are clear, the heart if pure, and the hand works in entire harmony with them. When the anarchy which exists in this country becomes obvious to its people, and the dictator is required to bring order out of chaos, they have only to turn to the portrait at the commencement of this volume, and exclaim: Ecce Homo!

                    New York, June, 1916.

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from the Grady Project:

Remembered Eden

Dark Goddess of the Inward Sky
The Star King sings; as Charioteer
He leaps forth with his hounding cry
And dashes through the lightning's sear.

    Tall Chessmen stand,
    The World is square,
    Opposites interpenetrate;
    The King and Queen,
    A royal pair,
    Of Black and White in stately mate.

The Yin and Yang are Asian Light;
Their white and black spin on the Wheel:
Drawn by the vacuum of Her night
All things begin; and all things heal.

    Tall Chessmen stand,
    The World is square,
    Opposites interpenetrate;
    The King and Queen,
    A stately pair,
    Of White and Black in royal mate.

-- Grady L. McMurtry

      "The Southerner remembers . . .
      a kind Eden
      in which he loved black people
      and they loved him . . ."
-- Nobody Knows My Name.               
                                James Baldwin

           8/22/61 e.v.

Published in McMurtry: Poems (London & Bergen: O.T.O., 1986 e.v.), in The Grady Project #4 (Berkeley: O.T.O., 1988), and in Red Flame #1, (Oakland, O.T.O, 1994).

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Towards a Chinese Tree of Life


Coph Nia Lodge, O.T.O.

© Joseph Mitchell Lovell, 1996

    In Letter A, the first letter in Magick Without Tears, the Prophet Aleister Crowley wrote:

    I do not think I am boasting unfairly when I say that my personal researches have been of the greatest value and importance to the study of the subject of Magick and Mysticism in general, especially my integration of the various thought-systems of the world, notably the identification of the system of the I Ching with that of the Qabalah.

    This statement is undoubtedly one with which no brother or sister of the Order would ever disagree. However, while the Master Therion did, indeed, make great contributions towards the elucidation of Chinese esoteric cosmology (i.e., the tao of the I Ching ) in the language of "western" mysticism, he never claimed to be a master of the Chinese system or to have been physically initiated by masters having a lineage in that ancient tradition. AC's own attitude toward the te (quality or virtue in a magickal sense) of his Chinese contributions can be gleaned from the disclaimer prefacing his Tao Te Ching (TTC):

    If any Sinologist objects to anything in this translation, let him go absorb his Yang in his own Yin, as the Americans say, and give me credit for an original Masterpiece. Whatever Lao-tzu said or meant, this is what I say and mean.

(emphasis added)

    Because of his high degree of initiation, 666 could intuitively understand the gestalt of the Chinese system, but his lack of initiation in the meaning of the specific symbols of that tradition limited his ability to apply them in a systemic matter. AC's genius, in this regard, was his recognition of the true value and use of the trigrams and hexagrams and their identity as units within a cosmological system of magickal correspondences which is in function, if not form, identical to certain operations of QBL. Crowley's most graphic representation of this identity is the Chinese Tree of Life which appears in TTC and the very similar Tree labeled The Chinese Cosmos in the appendices of The Book of Thoth and Magick Without Tears.
    Reflecting on both the TTC and Chinese Cosmos trees, I am impressed with the feeling that AC's western bias has resulted in some errors in his labeling and even placement of the trigrams on the Tree of Life. Starting from a Chinese point of view and working with original Chinese sources one can see that a diagram of the Chinese cosmos should include certain key symbols: t'ai chi, yin, yang, the five elements, ch'i and heaven and earth. AC has failed to completely reflect this. I'd suggest that the Chinese Tree of Life or Diagram of the Chinese Cosmos would be better represented as below:

    My revisions are as follows:

0. <Tao> relabeled *Wu Chi* at Ain.

1. <Tao-Teh> relabeled *T'ai Chi* at Kether.

2. No change at Chokmah or Binah.

3. No at change Daath.

4. At Chesed the trigram *Ken* (which AC
    has at Netzach) labeled *Wood*/mu
    (one of the 5 Elements associated
    with *ken*). *Wood* is, in China,
    traditionally associated with the
    planet Jupiter.

5. At Geburah the trigram *Tui* (which
    AC has at Chesed) labeled
    *Metal*/chin (one of the 5 Elements
    associated with *tui*). Although
    *Metal* is, in China, traditionally
    associated with the planet Venus, Mars
    also seems entirely compatible and

6. *Li* at Tipereth labeled *Fire*/huo (5 Elements correspondence). *Li* is traditionally
    called *Fire* with Sol as one of its symbols.

7. At Netzach the trigram *Chen* (which AC has at Geburah labeled <Fire>) labeled
    *[elemental] Earth*/t'u (one of the 5 Elements associated with *chen*). *Chen*
    is related to Venus as it is the arousing energy of Spring.

8. *Sun* at Hod labeled *ch'i * [signifying breath/prana].

9. *K'an* at Yesod labeled *Water*/sui (5 Elements correspondence). *K'an* is traditionally
    called *Water* with Luna as one of its symbols.

10. *K'un* at Malkuth labeled *[planetary] Earth/ ti.

    The resulting Tree is very satisfying from a Chinese aesthetic standpoint and also in terms of the usage of TTC, I Ching, esoteric Taoism and the Neo-Confucian school. It strikes me that tui/ken & sun/chen are perfect balances in order with the relationship of yin & yang at the top of the pillars and the mirror image antimony they offer. Further considering the planetary correspondences, the resulting Tree seems extremely satisfying.

    It is important to note the above commentary does not apply to the interpretation of the Holy Book Liber Trigrammaton.

    For more information on Chinese correspondences in the English language, I recommend Joseph Needham's multi-volume Science and Civilization in China (esp. vol. II and vol. V: nos. 2-5) and C.A.S. Williams' Outlines of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives.

Primary Sources

Crowley's Drawing:
This illustration is taken from a sketch of the Trigrams on the Tree, from Crowley's copy of the Legge Yi King. Although difficult to make out here, it can be seen that A.C. overdrew several of the lines as he pondered the placement. -- from the microfilm copy that survives in the OTO archives. The paucity of sources available for his study is illustrated by another marginal note, in disagreement with an ethnic theory offered by Legge: "Wooden Legge!".

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XVIII -- Difficulties of Tipheret.

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

    The chief problem of Tipharet seems to be quite a bit less drastic than the others, traditionally not a full fledged Qlipot at all. It's provincialism -- the problem of being a little too small in a great big world. Consider Great Zimbabwe. These magnificent ruins are the remains of the city of a very learned and powerful people in a country until recently called "Rhodesia". Those people happened to be black and Rhodesia was a country where the post colonial whites had the upper hand. They put pictures of Zimbabwe on their stamps because it's an internationally known place, yet the ruling whites tried to justify their minority government by saying that the black Rhodesians were too primitive to govern themselves. In time the country came to its senses and renamed itself Zimbabwe, with a more representative government. There was a failure to recognize the apparently obvious, that the people who built the city were still there and as worthy of respect as any European. Tipharet can be an attained and lasting success, but it must always be open minded if it is to avoid subjective blindness. There are equally good lasting successes in other ways and better attainments yet ahead. One should not rest in the content of one's own success. There is a story of King Arthur trying to judge a poor widow, probably adapted from a similar story of King Solomon confronted by two women claiming the same baby. King Arthur wasn't a woman or a widow and there was a great distance between him and poverty. If he tried to judge such a woman by his own conditions and his own standards, he would have acted the fool and not a very good fool at that. This is the essential problem of someone comfortable in Tipharet -- they tend to apply their own standards to the conditions of others. Someone who has a certain success at working for a living may be unsympathetic toward people on welfare. But look what happens when such people lose a job -- they not only become confused with the things they have to do to get help; but they become disturbed, lost, and possibly even homeless. Those they thought were bad turn out to be their friends. Those they thought were their friends start looking down at them. Something is good as long as it lasts. It's like Netzach, but Tipharet tends to endure. As long as you are in that state you feel good and have a certain amount of strength. The decisions you make seem to be right, but if anything goes wrong with that state it's the same as though Netzach failed. You still have to rebuild, recenter and figure things out anew, hopefully more flexibly this time. The flaws at Tipharet are those of building a slightly too small life: provincialism, parochialism and self-limitation. Consider the case of Thor, being a rather successful person, he decided that he could handle anything. He found out differently when he tried to lift the Mittgard serpent, the serpent that winds around the entire world. This represents excessive pride of accomplishment. Instead of being a flaw as it is in Netzach, it can be a tragedy in Tipharet. Hubris features as an important theme of literature in the idea of a tragic flaw. In Shakespeare, King Lear also happens to be nuts. Macbeth made it to the "big time", but he put too much trust in the predictions of the three witches. "No man of woman born shall slay thee...", so he was killed by someone born through caesarean section. He was safe until the forest moved, but somebody cut branches to use as camouflage and the forest moved. The problem can be more subtle. Consider Padre Pio, who exhibited stigmata, otherwise known as the wounds of Christ. His intangible devotions produced bleeding holes actually piercing both his hands and feet. Within the sphere of his prayers and meditations on the passion of Jesus Christ, he got it completely together. Even though he succeeded in his own particular Tipharet, he had to keep his mouth shut or he would have great trouble with other people. Imagine this fellow, a relatively straight forward sort of meditative priest, starting to talk about what he thought to be the real nature of Roman Catholicism. To back this up he had the wounds of Christ. I imagine that the first time he said anything, whether it was right or wrong, his bishop would flip and so would every other bishop, the cardinals and the Pope. With that kind of an audience appeal, had this man started to make any kind of declarations on the welfare of the Church he would have been declared a charlatan, a fraud and probably locked up if not something more drastic. Here's a case of someone who has attained to a Tipharet, at least as far as they need or would require in their own life. To a degree this attainment can be shared with others, but one should not attempt to criticize other people to the point of interfering with their own life conceptions. We occasionally see people who specialize in tearing others down. There are people who will force bitterness on others, and this is the last thing that must be controlled in Tipharet. Even if you've got it right for yourself you must be willing to accept other peoples' view of life. This must ultimately take the form of not forcing comparisons. A good rule of thumb is never to make an inner judgment about a person. If they are doing things outwardly that disturb you or you have to rely on their commitments, it's alright to be a little judgmental in self interest. Decide about that, but don't decide about where they are in their heart of hearts. Decide about action as it effects you, is likely to effect you and maybe even about how the content of another's mind might effect you; but remember always that the inner self of every person is sacred. If you don't respect the world of another, you will loose your own grip life by admitting the thought that people can be evil inside; not a truth but a mode of thought that will destroy any attained Tipharet eventually. Tipharet we are not dealing with the kind of quick and fatal flaw that we saw with Netzach and the other lower Sepherot, but there are things here as well that have to be watched.

Previous Introduction to Qabalah, Part XVII                   Next: More mid Tree problems.

From the Outbasket

Now and then it's a good idea to make clear a few things about O.T.O. in general and the Thelema Lodge Calendar in particular. Apparently there is a little confusion in some quarters about my role here -- again. I thought that was mostly cleared up by tagging my writings with my name, but life goes on... It is a cardinal principle of attainment that one cannot remain still. If you formulate the rules of the universe, settle in for the long ride and establish the comfortable way for yourself, sooner or later you end up a square peg with damaged corners on the edge of a round hole. With that in mind, here's a little orientation:

    The Thelema Lodge Calendar is a self-named monthly periodical of Thelema Lodge, first opened OTO Lodge under the Caliphate and at one time (up to the mid 1980's) Grand Lodge of OTO internationally. With the re-opening of Agape Lodge under Hymenaeus Beta, Thelema Lodge was able to focus on being a local lodge for SF Bay Area OTO members. There are other OTO bodies in this region, some of which share our pages occasionally and some of which maintain their own presence apart from here in the greater family of the Order.
    The Calendar began in 1977 e.v., as a single page flyer and pick-up sheet with monthly events. That page survives and furnishes the last sheet of the printed edition of this periodical. In the electronic edition, the events are line listed near the top of the file. With the advent of the Magic(k)al Link in January of 1981 e.v., the Thelema Lodge calendar page started appearing as the final page and mailer sheet of that Grand Lodge periodical. With the change from OTO Head Quarters to a local lodge, it made no sense to continue the TLC page in the 'Link, and it was dropped in March of 1986 e.v. Over the following months, a few event description pages joined with an occasional article and the present periodical formed. Since I had been editor both of the old Magickal Link and the separate TLC page at various times, I kept on as copy editor, contributor and functional publisher of the Thelema Lodge Calendar.
    The principle role of this present periodical is to provide a voice for the individual members and officers of Thelema Lodge, to educate via sharing the research of OTO members wishing to contribute articles, to entertain with poetry or occasional art and to keep folks aware of what's happening now at the Lodge. Rarely, but occasionally, national and international OTO news is provided -- notably the demographics data once a year. If the text isn't attributed to the US Grand Lodge or International Headquarters (there is a difference, see below), it does not speak on behalf of OTO but on behalf of the authors or officers of the Lodge, as may be indicated from time to time in bylines. Although I am an officer of OTO internationally, my own views are rarely given on behalf of anyone but myself. Context can clear that up or occasionally confuse.
    In general, the descriptions and editorial comments toward the front of this periodical come from the Lodge members or the Lodge Master writing on their behalf. The middle articles and columns are either staff written or contain signed work of individuals. The stuff near the end is my determined attempt to produce a uniform twelve page issue every month, filler if you will. I also try to contribute a continuing series on something, Qabalah just now, and mind the selection of the "Primary Sources" column.

    That said, here's news from the larger OTO:

    Be ready for confusion. Also be ready for clarification and a smoother operation of OTO. In March of this year, a good time for changes, being the month with the start of the Thelemic year, Agape Lodge ceased to be the international Grand Lodge of OTO. International Headquarters separated off in its own right, leaving Agape the Grand Lodge of OTO in the USA only. The Magical Link continues as the international members' periodical under IHQ and new officers have been seated for the USA Grand Lodge -- including the first purely national Xth degree since Crowley's day. This means that your's truly is no longer the Grand Treasurer General for the USA, however, it is definitely not time for the bookkeepers and dues paying members to relax! I am presently the Treasurer General (shorter title but more range) of OTO internationally, also serving as acting Grand Treasurer General for regions of OTO which do not have their own Grand Lodges as yet -- more Grand Lodges will form as time goes on, using the US Grand Lodge as a testing ground and precedent. There will be more X°'s too, but not right away.
    Avoid the confusion. Send your dues and reports where you have been sending them until notified differently. Changes in dues concession from $10 per year or initiation to 50% across the board are in the works for OTO regions established under special Supreme Council (IHQ) license (these regions are the most likely to form the new Grand Lodges of the future, but that is of interest mainly to national OTO sections). The Magical Link is unusually late, the Fall 1995 e.v. issue being the last mailed to date. A double issue or two will catch it up, and this delay was made necessary by the reshuffling and legal expense of separating the new Grand Lodge for USA from IHQ. Dues in the lower degrees may rise slightly in the course of this year or early next, to stabilize the finances of the Order in the face of inflation and the establishment of an independent International governing body. More books of quality are in the works as well -- look for announcements in the coming Magical Link. One of the side benefits of all this change is stability. New operations manuals for US and international official bodies are in preparation, and a manual for the EGC/Gnostic Mass is also in preparation. The latter will help address some of the confusion highlighted in last month's local editorial.

    I'm still a fellow with many hats and continue to style myself ...

                                                            -- TSG (Thus Spake the Gopher = Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for August 1996 e.v.

8/3/96Lammas Beach Party, leaves OZ house
at Noon. Picnic.
8/4/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/6/96Lammas actual date c. 11 PM
8/10/96IIIrd & IVth degree meeting 3PM
Party at 7PM, OTO Members only.
Thelema Ldg.
8/11/96Lodge Luncheon Meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
8/11/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/12/96Feast of the Beast & His Bride
reading and barbecue 7PM at OZ
Thelema Ldg.
8/14/96Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
8/17/96OTO Initiations (call to attend)Thelema Ldg.
8/18/96Cakes of Light Workshop 2PMThelema Ldg.
8/18/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/21/96Tarot with Bill Heidrick, 7:30 PM
in San Anselmo at 5 Suffield Ave.
Thelema Ldg.
8/24/96Enochian Liturgy Gp. Scrying
Workshop 8PM
Thelema Ldg.
8/25/96Baptismal Gnostic Mass 8:00PMThelema Ldg.
8/26/96Sirius Oasis meeting 8PM BerkeleySirius Oasis
8/27/96Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
8/30/96"The Houses in Astrology" workshop
with Grace in Berkeley 7 PM
Thelema Ldg.
8/31/96John Dee Reading Group with Clay
7PM in the Library. Mysteriorum
Liber Tertius.
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.

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

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

Production and Circulation:
P.O.Box 430
Fairfax, CA 94978 USA

Internet: (Submissions and circulation only)

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