Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
September 1996 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Lodge Members and Officers
Gnostic Bishop T Theodora has rescheduled her workshop on Cakes of Light for Sunday afternoon 29th September. This open instruction on the practical, magical, and ritual techniques involved in the talisman of the mass begins at 2:00 in the Horus temple kitchen, and will include cooking directions for communion cakes, as well as advise for their traditional concoction, and a review of E.G.C. policy with regard to the presentation of Cakes of Light at public masses such as those held here at the lodge on Sunday evenings.
Grace's series on the houses of the horoscope with her Thelema Lodge Astrology Study Group meets at the Palace of Astrology in Berkeley on Friday evening 27th September at 7:00. The central topic of this meeting will be Fourth House issues. These concern our basic roots, our country of origin, our home and family -- in essence, that which gives us a sense of security. Father/mother issues often surface here, and it is here that we delve into the depths of our being to find the "hidden treasure" that releases us from bondage. To attend, please call ahead at (510) 843-STAR.
The little library of texts translated from Greek and Hebrew, known to the Judeo-Christian tradition as "the Bible," formed the basis for Crowley's own elementary education, and he recommended these writings to aspirants with varying interests in qabala, magick, and folk-lore. This month in the lodge's review of the A A reading list we will be making the first of several stops at the Bible, beginning with the "great"1 fish story of the reluctant prophet. The Book of Jonah is one of the shortest books in the Bible, and its strikingly mythological qualities have made it so stand out from the dreary monotony of the other "Minor Prophets" that it has entered the folkloric heritage of peoples all over the globe. (In English we even have the expression "a jonah" to denote a person whose mere presence brings "bad luck.") To the Christian interpreters of the Old Testament, Jonah's story of ordeal and eventual resurgence prefigures the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Is there anything in these motifs of value to Thelemites? Join the Section Two discussion group at Oz on the evening of Monday 23rd September at 8:00 to find out.
1. The word "great" (Hebrew "gadol" = = 43) is a significantly over-used adjective in the story of
Jonah = "dove/pigeon" = 71).
The John Dee reading group meets on Saturday evening 28th September at 7:30 in the lodge library. With Clay Holden's fine new edition of Dee's transcripts of spiritual "workings" with Edward Kelly known as Liber Mysteriorum Tertius, we will continue our exploration of the visionary foundation of the Enochian system.
"Be this thy task, to see how each card springs necessarily from each other card, even in due order from The Fool unto the Ten of Coins. Then, when thou know'st the Wheel of Destiny complete, may'st thou perceive THAT Will which moved it first." When setting this assignment in The Book of Lies (78), Crowley commented that as usual the wheel is a figure of the universe, "but the wheel of the Tarot is not only this, but represents equally the Magical Path. This practice is therefore given by Frater P. to his pupils; to treat the sequence of the cards as cause and effect. Thence, to discover the cause behind all causes. Success in this practice qualifies for the grade of Master of the Temple." The sixth meeting in the Thelema Lodge Tarot series with Bill Heidrick will be held on Wednesday evening 18th September in San Anselmo at 7:30. Having completed our overview of the deck, the series continues with focus on specific cards and topics, with the instructor open to suggestions at the close of each meeting for the following month's subjects. In addition, the sessions will close with sample readings of various kinds, responding to questions solicited from those attending. The September meeting will present a discussion with slides on the Empress, Emperor and Hierophant Trumps. A Tree of Life reading Layout will also be featured. For information, call Bill ahead of time at (415) 454-5176.
Therefore come you and obey your creation,
visit us in peace and comfort.
Conclude us as receivers of your mysteries: for why?
Our Lord and master is all One.
-- from the Fifth Angellic Key
On Saturday evening 21st September at 8:00, the Enochian Liturgy project presents another scrying workshop, this time oriented around the Fifth Angelic Key. All who have an interest in crystal gazing, astral projection, or angelic magick are welcome. As always, bring a notebook and loose fitting clothes. Since we will be sitting still for at least half an hour, consider a sitting cushion as well.
Lodge business and scheduling, along with proposals for new projects, classes, and study groups, are discussed and coordinated at the monthly lodge luncheon meeting, which will be held on Sunday afternoon 8th September, 12:30 to 2:30 in the temple kitchen. Call ahead and let us know if you would like to be included, so that the meal can be prepared efficiently.
Thelema lodge maintains an outstanding library of materials relating to Thelema, the life and work of its principal prophet Aleister Crowley, and the progress of the O.T.O. and related groups in the establishment of the new aeon. The library facilities are available by appointment to members of the Order and to friends of the lodge. We offer "library nights" on the schedule each month as suggested dates on which such arrangements might be most easily made with the lodge officers. Other dates may sometimes be available by request, and occasionally the "library night" dates may be rearranged accordingly, or superseded by other lodge projects (such as the mailing of this newsletter, toward the end of each month). This month the suggested dates are Tuesday evening 10th September and Wednesday evening 25th September, from 8:00 until 10:00. Please make advance arrangements with the lodge officers to confirm these dates.
Sirius Oasis meeting Monday evening 30th September at 8:00 in Berkeley. This independently-chartered body of Ordo Templi Orientis performs initiations and observes the cycle of the Thelemic year with celebrations, rituals, and gatherings both scheduled and spontaneous. To attend the regular monthly Oasis meeting, contact the master at (510) 527-2855 for directions and information.
4. An eight-page dialogue in free verse (or "outline" form) between "Mr Stuart" and "Prof. Fisher," regarding the ideas of price, cost, and property, of which the final speech by Stuart concludes with
"... man not only has always failed
to fix things himself
but has never yet found anything fixed,
nor does his vision,
roam where it will
in Heaven or Earth,
find anything fixed; --
All is flux --
The very tombstones fail to fix the 'Dead.'"
A.C.: This argument is extraordinarily subtle and profound, and cuts at the roots of the matter of exchange. The triumphant conclusion in the Panta Rei of Heraclitus stamps this dialogue as great literature.
6. A long letter dated 9 May 1913 in opposition to the gold standard, based upon the conviction that "the concept of 'value' is inseparable from labor."
A.C.: A magnificent demonstration of the impossibility of using anything valuable as a means of exchange. One is reminded of the proverb: You cannot eat your cake and have it too.
7. A brief letter of 12 May 1913 proposing nationalization of the banks, because "the Bankers are rapidly coming to monopolize the means for exchange which once belonged to the people, thereby directly controlling their activities."
A.C.: Here attention is called to the trouble created by the fact that the possessor of wealth in whatever form cannot mobilize his resources at any desired moment owing to his lack of a medium of exchange. Under the present system he is not credited even with what he possesses -- for this reason the possession of money has come to imply wealth. A man with immense resources may starve unless he can realize them immediately; but money is accounted wealth because it can immediately and without question be exchanged for whatever commodity is required. And since the proportion of dollars to the amount of business done is as one to sixty or thereabouts, the man with the dollar can disorganize the business of the world and inflate the value of his perfectly worthless bill still further by merely threatening to withhold it from circulation.
10. Notes on "currency 'Reform'" dated 4 June 1913, the final paragraph of which argues that "it was not 'luxury' that killed Rome but that for which luxury was the symbol -- slavery at the other end," leading to unwieldy concentration of wealth in the hands of a few large owners. He concludes that "the only safe cities in this land today are those where the common people own their homes . . . . The others will be wiped out when the class-war strikes us."
A.C.: The note of warning sounded in the last paragraph of this letter deserves the most careful consideration.
14. A short letter of 12 October 1913, condemning bankers for abuse of money, which "the people want and must have" as a "means for exchange," in order to monopolize it "as a means for enslaving the world."
A.C.: This very acute criticism of the gold standard should be final. It is absurd for the banker to demand gold and at the same time to complain of over- production. It must be obvious to every one who thinks for a moment that the only reason that this is desired, or rather, that people pretend to desire it, is because it is unattainable. Unless there were artificial restrictions, there could be no trouble. Every one in the world is really rich. Poverty has been created deliberately by holding up the means of exchange.
17. A brief article dated 11 August 1914, rejected by the financial editors of several periodicals, angrily complaining of the war-time controls over stock-trading.
A.C.: It is amazing how pungent and acute is this criticism. It exposes completely the hypocrisy of the governments. No destruction of wealth takes place when stocks fall to a tenth of their former prices, and yet everybody acts as if something terrible had happened. It may be answered that I am committing a husteron proteron, that it is because of some terrible happening that the stocks decline in value. True. But if so, why attempt to conceal the fact? You do not alter it by an arbitrary suspension of business. Even calamities become no worse by being boldly faced.
21. A letter of 29 November 1914 to the British Prime Minister Lloyd George.
A.C.: A splendid piece of satire with a core to it. The opening of the war was the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen for wiping out sham values. And if Mr Lloyd-George had had the sense to listen to Mr Stuart, it might have been done.
23. Letter of 23 January 1915 to E. E. Pratt, Foreign Bureau Chief in the Department of Commerce, pointing to past oppression caused by monetary injustice. "The best English blood, today, comes from the red-blooded 'law'- made 'felons' she expatriated. At home, aside from the oppressors, there are naught but starveling runts. This is the English 'System' -- She eats her own."
A.C.: Here we begin to see how capitalism, in the bad sense, has not merely enslaved the people, but threatens to ruin the race.
34. A very brief statement, dated 27 April 1915, on the financial fiction of demanding gold for paper money.
A.C.: A valuable note of warning. The governmental method is to issue demand notes, with the proviso that if it should ever be inconvenient to meet the demand, the law may be suspended or abrogated. At the slightest hint of a crisis this step is threatened. As governments depend ultimately on the confidence of the people, it is a mistake to "woo them with honest trifles and betray them in deepest consequence."
37. An extensive report on Chinese and international financial challenges, purportedly related to a meeting of Sun Yat-sen and "the younger statesmen of New China," warning against the complexities of international capitalization and financial management for China.
A.C.: This letter contains the wisest advice ever given to a country. It seems possible at the moment of present writing that the Chinese, who after all are the wisest people on earth, may take it.
38. A long "open letter" to Dr. Sun Yat-sen (dated 16 June 1913), a copy of which Stuart mailed to President Wilson, and managed to have inserted into the
Congressional Record for 13 September of that year, on the careful management by China of foreign loans.
A.C.: If Dr Sun Yat-sen be wise, he will act on this when he comes to power. He could hardly do better than make Mr Stuart financial adviser to his government.
52. A letter of 7 October 1914 to British diplomat Sir Cecil Spring-Rice on finance as "the power of reaping where ye have not sown," and the risks of trusting "Mr J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr., and his associates" with the administration of war-time bonds.
A.C.: Note that this letter was written prior to Mr Morgan's appointment as Agent for Britain.
One of the most prominent bankers in New York said the same thing in private conversation, only the other day, to the editor of these letters. They know better than any one that borrowing leads to ruin. Those who financed the Allies are their worst enemies.
71. A brief note dated 29 November 1915, which reads in full: "Every 'civilization' that has 'passed' has met its doom through 'law and order' -- the vain effort of the oppressors of the day to maintain the then existing order; -- Whence the bloody violence of 'God,' who suffers no 'order' but CHANGE!"
A.C.: One of the profoundest metaphysical points ever made. The old tendency to regard the movement of the universe as a kind of accident -- the distinction between matter and motion -- must be abandoned. Matter without motion, or being without form, means nothingness. It is very remarkable that this doctrine, which has been taught in secret to the highest initiates for centuries, should be discovered independently by one who has no formal initiation.
75. A short note dated 5 January 1915 on the violence of war and the Anglo- Saxon use of the word "shocking."
A.C.: It is really a very remarkable fact that the idea which Anglo-Saxons express by the word "shocking" does not exist in the psychology of any other race. Only the Anglo-Saxon has built a wall against idea.
"Aunt Margery" [Woodrow Wilson]
76. A complementary letter to "Governor Wilson" of New Jersey, dated 1 July 1912, on integrity and political success, including the question "Can it be that a Man shall refuse all deals with the political spawn of Belial -- and survive?"
A.C.: If there by any blind spot in the eye of the prophet, it is that "last infirmity of noble mind" surviving even the desire for fame, of believing that any man is strong enough to work within any existing system without being corrupted by it. No. The only possibility of the establishment of righteousness lies through revolution.
78. A letter to President Wilson, dated 7 August 1913, on relations with Spanish-speaking countries, with a postscript comparing government by "revolutions in Spanish-America" with the U.S. election system.
A.C.: Special attention should be paid to the broadmindedness of paragraph one of the post-script. The ordinary mind is quite incapable of understanding that the methods of election and revolution are only local variations. But can the American people change their government by election? Is Mr Morgan dependent on majorities? It will take more than an election to pull him from his throne.
88. A letter of 11 June 1914 to Wilson in the White House, complaining of Latin American policy and "secrets . . . . in the matter of Canal Tolls."
A.C.: It is true that government under Wilson has become more secret than it ever was in Venice under the Council of Three. Who is there among the ordinary classes of the people, that understands the reasons for non- intervention in Mexico, or connects them with the activities of Franz von Rintelen?
Wilson went into power, in all probability, imagining that the government of the country bore at least some more or less definite relation to the Constitution. It is the natural idea which a university professor would have. It was probably very bitter to him to discover that he was really in the hands of the money-trust. Had he been a Cromwell, he would have called the financiers together for a conference, shot them without more ado, and proceeded to remedy the situation. But he was only a spavined old hack, and had to acquiesce, with a more or less bad grace.
90. A letter of 28 June 1914 to Wilson on financial promotion of the Mexican Revolution, "Currency Reform," etc., concluding with "The honorable thing would be for you to resign, but such is your unfortunate position that you cannot resign, in that your successors are more incompetent still."
A.C. The idiocy of the policy of "Watchful Waiting" has by this time become apparent. The impunity enjoyed by first outrages leads of course to presumption. The Germans immediately took advantage of the situation, to induce Mexican troops to perform acts which should force America into war; and Washington, aware that this is the game, has its hands tied. If the murder of the first American had been followed up by marching to Mexico City and hanging about 500 people, there would have been no further trouble. At the present moment, January 1916, if Mexico were positively to declare war and invade the United States, it would hardly be possible to resist. So much more valuable is the invisible, spiritual thing, prestige, than all the dollars in the universe.
98. A note dated 22 January 1911 on the limitations of human sight and the immature development of "our spiritual natures," containing the speculation "May it not be that 'The Heavens' are right before us in plain sight, were our organs only suitable for seeing them? When we do see them it will be through the spiritualization of the faculty of sight."
A.C.: There is an extraordinary resemblance between the author of these letters and William Blake; which extends not only to the quality of the vision, but to their styles. There is the same curious difficulty about reading them, a sort of feeling that one is uncertain of the real meaning of the thought. And this is not a mere question of the connotation of the words used; it is a sort of fundamental misgiving as to whether one's mind is sufficiently in tune to be able to apprehend. If there be anything in the theory of re-incarnation, it is a good bet that Mr Stuart is William Blake come back.
114. Notes dated 17 January 1914 listing future inventions and sociological developments, such as colored sky-lights, "nurseries for adults" with playrooms of special toys, and underground meditation rooms "away from surface vibrations."
A.C.: A most splendid and practical idea. If I may do a little bit of prophesying myself, it is this; that the Turkish bath of the day to that of the future is as the old dandy-horse of 1820 to the modern motor cycle.
116. Notes dated 13 May 1914 on the relations between thinking, thought, and silence.
A.C.: Nearly all the letters in this section may be regarded almost in the light of dope. They are injections, in minute form, which can revolutionize the whole contents of the mind. Each letter should be taken separately, committed to memory, and brooded over while life lasts.
129. Notes dated 16 April 1914 on the efficiency of thinking upon Sunday, away from "the grating of the ill-fitting wheels of 'the system.'"
A.C.: The editor here regrets to part company with his author. In his own case, the universal misery caused by the suppression of all natural instincts and enjoyments, by the operation of sabbatarianism, reacts upon him, fills him with wretchedness, and paralyzes his energies. Even in Paris there is a sufficient number of people, deliberately destroying their own happiness, to vitiate the atmosphere.
|Cat Head Goddess, Lion of Light|
|Thy whirlpool pulls all things to Thee|
|To fire the Beacons of Thy Night|
|And justify Duality.|
|Angel glowing fiery light|
| Angel burning hot and holy|
|The Negative attracts the norm,|
|Black Space is vacuum to the Soul;|
|Reflected Light has stirred the storm|
|And lightning Arrows to Its goal.|
|Angel glowing fiery light|
| Angel burning hot and holy|
Written in correspondence with the Aeon trump (Atu XX) in the Book of Thoth, this poem was originally published in McMurtry: Poems (London & Bergen: O.T.O., 1986 e.v.), then in The Grady Project #4 (December 1988 e.v.). The French word folie means madness, folly, or mania.
Derived from a lecture series in 1977 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
Copyright © Bill Heidrick
In Geburah the problem becomes one of trying too hard. Consider the Polynesian myth of Maui pulling the world out of the great Ocean. This cannot be a worthwhile activity for most people -- you can't pull the world out of the sea of confusion. Perhaps only all of human kind in their concerted effort over the ages would be able to do something like that. In Geburah the flaw is of being too forceful, much like the Qlipot of Hod. Instead of Hod being too rigid, Geburah is more active in trying to force change externally. If you want to improve yourself, improve your lasting conception of life, it's the function of Geburah to do that. If you find that some things you do seem better and some worse, you can make a moral decision regarding your own conduct. If you try to take a personal set of moral decisions and apply them uniformly in all places it's like trying to raise the world in one single chunk. Parts of it are going to fall off and you will break yourself trying. That form of morality is impossible. One should not make absolute judgments about oneself or other people. These sorts of decisions can be useful as experiments in Hod. If applied with full Geburah will to change the whole core of life, such rigid patterns taken to excess tear chunks out of life and lead to obsessions with immorality.
Consider the expulsion of Loki by Thor and a few other of the Norse gods. All Loki did was a little bit of a practical joke, and the other deities didn't take that kindly. Loki is the trickster god of Norse mythology. He's a little like a crazed Mercury. Some people associate him with the Christian devil in the sense of mucking up things. In another sense he is Pan as an ungovernable nature force. The Geburah mind can be too severe and is prone to condemn any variation from an arbitrary standard.
Consider the princess of the demons who tried to seduce Rama, in the Hindu pantheon. She was turned down somewhat too abruptly and took great offense. For revenge, she called all the demons together to descend upon the god. Geburah is the state of mind that directs improvements, but it is hard to learn to do this subtly. As soon as you get what seems to be the right idea, or the proper way of doing things, memory goes out the window. Patient explanation and tolerance are required to interest others, to lead along the path of mind that reached the positive idea for you. Where these skills and virtues are lacking, one tends to forge violently ahead, condemning anyone who has another opinion or simply doesn't follow the reasoning. This is a flaw of Geburah -- trying to apply too much, too soon and too strongly.
There is an ultimate flaw associated with Geburah, the flaw of meddling. The death of Socrates illustrates this, coupled with stubbornness. Socrates, although a great and learned man, had a little problem with trying to bug anyone who was walking around the streets of Athens. He loved to get in complex arguments with people, with the goal in mind of leading them to the point that they didn't know what they were talking about. In the end, he was accused of undermining the morals of the youth of the city. Socrates refused to gain freedom by compromising his principals of always obeying the law. He died of his own poison. Socrates is considered a very remarkable person, as anyone who has attained Geburah for a time will tend to be. He lacked immortal detachment, the quality approached in Chesed. This failing undermines the ultimate effect of anyone who has attained only to the Geburah quality. It is necessary to be able to set aside rigid rules if one is to go on to Chesed.
133 West 71st Street
New York, N.Y.
|August 14, 1943.|
As I had to take enclosed letter home anyway to add this note for Betty, I might as well refer to one more matter.
About four weeks ago I got a note from the FBI: commanding me to appear forthwith under penalty of internment for the duration if I would fail to do so. I went at once: I was questioned in presence of a witness about my antecedents; stays in various countries, grade of acquaintance with A.C.
The man had a typewritten, rather long document of several pages in front of him. One question was: have you been on the West coast? I said yes. When? Some 35 or 40 years ago. He said, Oh, I mean recently, during your last stay in this country. I said No.
It has seemed to me since, that this was really the vital question: there seems or seemed to be an investigation pending against Agape; they found my connection and that I am an alien.
Sascha said that immediately after my visit a man called at the door with some silly pretext asking for me; also that the telephone at home was tapped.
While I have nothing to hide, yet I would like to know whether anything has happened at 1003 that has caused this investigation. There was something of which I heard some months ago when Smith was still there. But as things are, I would like to have a full report with details of charges, if any; result of the investigation, if any, and if known; if anything is still pending to Jack's knowledge.
I should really have written this to Jack, but the letter to him was in the letter box, so I am enclosing it to you, please discuss the matter with him.
P.S. Also the censor rang me up this afternoon because of a cable I sent
yesterday to A.C. All kinds of, I must confess, silly questions were asked: I
had cabled $100 in advance because of a cable by A.C. They wanted to know
from whom they were, whether from California or whom else; what "three
sections" meant (of Liber 132); what Liber 132 meant; what "stop" meant -- No,
I apologize, this is my mistake, they seemed to know this. What "Disquieting"
meant; what "Distressing" meant; what "Unhelpful" meant. -- I did not have my
dictionary at hand to give them the definitions; but I was in a good humor,
and apparently satisfied them.
AR of St.Petersburg, Russia, asked about Time and Crowley's opinion of it.
Time is an interesting illusion, a very complex one too. Mechanical devices can measure rhythmic changes and serve as clocks, but the human perception of time is not by regular duration and sequence. Different states of mind have different rates of time, and it would appear that one can experience several different rates of time simultaneously -- something easily seen when an old friend visits after long absence. It's as though the last meeting with that person resumes as if the intervening years never passed. It is possible in certain meditative states to experience a slowing, speeding up and even a stoppage or reversal of time. The human brain seems to measure time in such a way that we see it accumulating, or moving in one direction. Philosophically, there is no reason to consider time to be other than a direction of measurement, like any other dimension, including the three dimensions of space.
Crowley apparently experienced similar things and considered that time itself was not meaningful beyond the Abyss on the Tree of Life.
CW of South Africa expressed confusion over the terms: X°, OHO and Caliph.
OHO = Outer Head of the Order = Frater Superior -- International head of the OTO, -- only one at a time.
X° = Supreme and Holy King -- always at least one, but can be as many as there are OTO national provinces.
Caliph = Crowley's picked successor line as OHO of OTO -- until March of this year, this individual was also serving as X° in the USA. At that time a new X° was created for the USA, and the Caliph continued to govern as the International Head of OTO.
From another quarter, Mu, the mysterious, asked about the history of the word "Caliph" in OTO, mentioning PK's strange WWW site.
Crowley originated the application of the term to OTO. It is from Islam, being a formal title of authority in that religion descended from a lateral line of the relations of Mohammed, after failure of direct descendants. Crowley explained it to Grady McMurtry (Hymenaeus Alpha) in a few letters, stating that he wished to insure continuation of the headship of OTO by this means. Crowley told Grady to be ready to assume headship of the OTO in the event of a failure of Karl Germer to either make a success of leadership or to name his own successor. To this end, Crowley wrote a series of letters to Grady, giving him various authorities. Crowley also made somewhat lesser efforts to alert Frederic Mellinger to the possible need of taking headship of OTO, but did not give Mellinger any formal letters of authority.
Finally, Crowley wrote to Grady with the instruction that Germer was "the natural Caliph" and would be A.C.'s direct successor, but that Grady should continue himself in readiness to succeed Germer. -- This latter characterization of Germer as "Natural Caliph" is different from the Islamic, indirect line, usage. The present OHO descends by charter and procedure from Hymenaeus Alpha, hence he is also known as "the Caliph of OTO".
Mu also wanted to know who worked up the implementation of the OTO Constitution in recent times, and a little of the history of that effort.
The Corporate Articles and Bylaws are amended as we get larger and more able to implement provisions of the old Constitution. The first set was done by Grady, James Graeb and myself -- after several partial drafts by others. That was discussed in Berkeley and shared with others. It was minimal, being just enough to make the OTO stand as a corporation with adequate identification of its nature.
Additional resolutions were passed over the years to implement the Constitutional provisions as regulations under the Bylaws -- at open meetings of the board of directors, mainly in Berkeley and attended by anyone who wanted to come at the published dates and times, OTO members or not. We had constitutional study committees all over the place, not only in different states but outside the USA as well. During part of that time, I mailed a copy of Crowley's Intimations... to every II° degree with the letter of congratulation on initiation. Sometimes the discussion got a little hot. There was a bit of fisticuffs in New York over it, when S. influenced some OTO members to walk out of the OTO over a biased argument about the Constitution. A couple of OTO members who were on the side of the Constitution were roughed up in open meeting. Discussions in Southern California went more smoothly, leading to several good ideas with less confrontation.
By the mid 1980's and Grady's Greater feast, a lot of this had been worked out. We had reached the point of activating the Electoral College in the USA and were experimenting with what proper business it could successfully handle.
Under Hymenaeus Beta, the Bylaws underwent an extensive re-write, absorbed many of the resolutions previously passed during that eight year experimental approach and brought in most of the functional details of the rest of the old Constitution of 1917 -- to the extent the civil law and practical circumstances allowed. That included details of governing bodies and sections of the OTO still pending, along with conditions for implementation when those could be activated.
From that time to this, there have been additions, many of them intended to deal with the integration of the EGC and management of international v. national OTO structure. This year there was another major revision, with additional details to implement the structural separation of the international OTO from the largest national subsegment -- the latter becoming the US Grand Lodge and having it's own parallel Articles and Bylaws.
In brief, we have been working on it for almost 20 years, with involvement (whether they know it or not) of every member of the OTO -- at least by record of what works and what doesn't work in various situations as they develop. I can't give an accurate estimate of the number of persons who directly contributed to the language of the thing, but it would be at least a couple of hundred. It's not done yet, but very far along the way. Not all of the details end up in the Bylaws. Safety during ritual, for example, is placed in the initiator's manual. Detailed regulations and procedures for handling records and dues usually are worked out to suit changing conditions, either through resolutions of the Councils or by the officers in charge.
MM in the UK asked for a general character of the tenets of Thelema.
In simple, Thelema is a good deal like Buddhism. There are levels of thought compatible with it, from belief in literal gods to a form of rarefied atheism. The primary tenet is that each person has a reason for existence and that only the individual can discover that reason or "True Will" for him or herself. We have a sort of "default pantheon", a version of the Egyptian deities, but all religions are considered true up to the point that some of what they understand is valid. Our holy book is called Liber AL vel Legis or The Book of the Law -- it is considered to be a matter for individual interpretation, some viewing it as a direct and literal revelation while others consider it a mixed hyperbole with a lot of personal bias.
OTO is one particular Thelemic organization, with characteristics and limitations. There are many others.
WC of Canada asked for a bit of help understanding Crowley's references to the Lust and Adjustment Atu's, remarking that the numbers 8 and 11 seem to be applied differently to those Trumps in several Crowley texts.
This mix-up can be traced to the Order of the Golden Dawn. To get a better match between Libra-Lamed-Justice and Leo-Tet-Strength in Tarot, using the Sepher Yetzirah correspondences between Hebrew letters and Astrology, the Golden Dawn writers switched the usual numbers on the Tarot Trumps of Strength and Justice. The traditional order is Strength (Thoth Lust Trump) XI and Justice (Thoth Adjustment Trump) VIII. Crowley restored the traditional Roman numerals on the cards themselves, but liked the sequence with those two cards reversed in the Golden Dawn approach. This led to the mix-up in numbers in different texts Crowley wrote. Sometimes he refers to the traditional placement and sometimes to the Golden Dawn placement of these two cards. Usually the context will make it clear as to which is which, but not always.
MC in South Africa is hot on the trail of a lost bit of OTO history. It seems
that there is a wine producing farm in that country, called Thelema. On his
enquiry, it turned out that the present owners, McLean Family Trust, bought
the old farm "Thelema" in the mid 1980's e.v. from John Kidson, born on the
farm in 1916 e.v. The present owners market an upscale wine under the name of
the place and have heard stories from locals that the farm once belonged to
"some German satanistist organisation" in the old days. That sounds like a
public misconception of the kind people would have about OTO at that time.
Thomas Windram was the OTO head in SA, with a charter from Crowley to operate
the Order of Thelema in the 1920's. Who knows? Maybe the Gnostic Mass will
one day be celebrated with genuine "Thelema" wine from the old plantation -- if
anybody can come up with 32 Rand per bottle and a way to get it from one place
Late developments suggest that this may not connected to an OTO presence after all, but it remains an interesting possibility.
|9/1/96||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/8/96||Lodge Luncheon meeting 12:30||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/8/96||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/10/96||Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM|
(call to attend)
|9/14/96||OTO Initiations (call to attend)||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/15/16||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/18/96||Tarot with Bill Heidrick, 7:30 PM|
in San Anselmo at 5 Suffield Ave.
|9/21/96||Enochian Liturgy Gp. Scrying|
|9/22/96||Autumnal Equinox Ritual 2:30PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/22/96||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/23/96||Section 2 reading w/Caitlin at OZ|
The Book of Johan 8:00 PM
|9/25/96||Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM|
(call to attend)
|9/26/96||Jnana Yoga discussion 8PM with|
|9/27/96||"The Houses in Astrology" workshop|
with Grace in Berkeley 7 PM
|9/28/96||John Dee Reading Group with Clay|
7PM in the Library. Mysteriorum
|9/29/96||Cakes of Light workshop 2 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/29/96||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|9/30/96||Sirius Oasis meeting 8PM Berkeley||Sirius Oasis|
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.
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:
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