Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 1998 e.v.
Thelema Lodge Calendar
for June 1998 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, 1998 e.v.
Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
June 1998 e.v. at Thelema Lodge Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Lodge Members and Officers
"Nowe welcome somor . . . "
The moment of Summer Solstice occurs first thing Sunday morning on 21st
June when Sol enters the sign of the side-stepping moon-child, Cancer the
crab, at 7:03 AM. Celebrations at Thelema Lodge will be centered around the
Sunday evening gnostic mass, but we will also be gathering a few hours before
sunset for a Solstice circle, very likely in the back yard at the lodge. We
plan a group reading of one of the Thelemic holy books, beginning in the
afternoon at 6:00, with the mass beginning afterwards at nightfall. As the
lodge does every Sunday evening, we will be welcoming guests and visitors for
the mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, where all who attend do so as
participants in the communion ritual. Those who have not previously attended
should call the lodgemaster ahead of time at (510) 652-3171 for information
"Jurgen held his lance erect . . ."
Then Anaitis said: "Yea, for I speak with the tongue of every woman, and I shine in the eyes of every woman, when the lance is lifted. To serve me is better than all else. When you invoke me with a heart wherein is kindled the serpent flame, if but for a moment, you will understand the delights of my garden, what joy unwordable pulsates therein, and how potent is the sole desire which uses all of a man. To serve me you will then be eager to surrender whatever else is in your life; and other pleasures you will take with your left hand, not thinking of them entirely: for I am the desire which uses all of a man, and so wastes nothing. And I accept you, I yearn toward you, I who am daughter and somewhat more than daughter to the Sun. I who am all pleasure, all ruin, and a drunkenness of the inmost sense, desire you."
Jurgen Mass is to be celebrated in Nu Temple at Oz House on the second day
of summer, beginning at sunset on Monday 22nd June, as a festival of the
season. This ritual is based upon James Branch Cabell's odd parody of
Crowley's gnostic mass in the novel Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice, which
appeared just a few months after the publication of Liber XV in the "Blue"
Equinox of 1919 e.v. It has long been a Thelema Lodge tradition to reclaim
our mass by ritualizing the Jurgen version, which in Cabell's story depicts
the "mystic marriage and consummation" of Anaitis ("insatia") and the errant
hero Jurgen. Though it sometimes seems as hastily written and as innocently
obvious as a comic book, Jurgen Mass has in its own strange encryption the
fire of the gnosis bound up within, and makes a great party for those who
"will try any drink once."
Dogma N.O.X. Off Your Socks
In the late 1970s Grady McMurtry used to teach classes in Kundalini Yoga at
his house in South Berkeley. I remember him talking about the organization
from which he had learned the practices he taught; he thought their techniques
were excellent, but in order to learn them you had to sit through all of the
group's other doctrines and dogmas. Grady's advice was just to ignore
everything beside the physical practices. Years later I was led to ponder the
difference between doctrines and techniques when I became a student of the
very same group. One thing Grady had always insisted on at his classes had
been that everyone remove not only their shoes, but their socks as well. He
said that this was a necessary measure to allow the Kundalini energy to
circulate freely. I later found out that this was exactly what was taught by
the aforesaid organization. Now, clearly the practice of going barefoot is a
matter of technique, but just as clearly the explanation for it is a matter of
doctrine. Apparently this particular doctrine was one that agreed with
Grady's experience (or preferences), so he communicated it. But I don't
recall him communicating their curious doctrines about clothing (i.e., the
pure wear mainly white, the lust-driven primarily red, while the evil attire
themselves in black). All this goes to show that, in matters of spiritual
import, what constitutes knowledge and what constitutes dogma are extremely
subjective questions. Any discussion group devoted to such matters must
necessarily be an exchange of subjective perspectives rather than a
delineation of objective reality.
The College of Hard N.O.X. will welcome all comers, be they in stocking
feet, jack-booted, or unshod and unhosed. (Dress in purple at your own
peril.) A fee of at least $0.02 will be charged per student per class. The
suggested donation is $1000, but thus far no one this suggestible has chanced
to attend. This month's meetings are scheduled for 8 o'clock on the evenings
of June 3rd and 24th. The first session will be largely occupied with the
great mystery of the universe's apparent sexual nature, as we find it
expressed in the metaphors of the Mystical Marriage, the Chymical Wedding, the
Beast & the Scarlet Woman, and manifold other myths of the courtships and unions of various gods and goddesses of nearly infinite description. On the
24th we will follow up on the controversy stirred by last month's conversation
on gender issues in Thelema by proposing the topic, "Is the Gnostic Mass
sexist, and what should be done about it if indeed it is?" (For more
information call the lodge ahead of time or speak with Mordecai after mass on
any Sunday night.)
Previous NOX article Next NOX Article
"Curiouser and Curiouser!"
Section Two returns to Wonderland this month; our meeting at Oz on Monday
evening 15th June at 8:00 will be devoted to Lewis Carroll's Alice books,
along with The Hunting of the Snark. The mid-Victorian Oxford mathematician
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who published Alice to world-wide acclaim in 1865
and 1872 (the Snark following in 1876), brought a careful and complex sense of
play to the numbers inside his tales. Crowley's thrice repeated
recommendation of these books as "Valuable to those who understand the
Qabalah" is more teasing than elucidating, and a comprehensive assessment of
the Alice Qabalah is no simple task. Indeed, it was this very challenge with
which our reading group began, and now after four years of investigation into
the literature of suggestion we're back for another look. We'll have to deal
with being 9 feet high, having 10 hour lessons, and entering a 15 inch door,
as well as abiding by Rule 42. Carroll's Qabalah is not limited to figures
and sums, for it also includes proportions and alternate methods of counting.
It encompasses the system of playing cards in Wonderland and the chess game
beyond the Looking Glass. And it extends in all directions into nonsense,
though not into chaos or gibberish or vacancy, for Carroll's nonsense is that
of a perfect calculating system without any exterior references to give it
relation or significance. In Qabalah, however, nothing is without reference:
"Humpty Dumpty is of course the Egg of Spirit, and the wall is the Abyss -- his 'fall' is therefore the descent of spirit into matter; and it is only too painfully familiar to us that all the king's horses and all his men cannot restore us to the height. Only the King Himself can do that! But one can hardly comment upon a theme which has been so fruitfully treated by Ludovicus Carolus, the most holy illuminated man of God. His masterly treatment of the identity of the three reciprocating paths of Daleth, Teth, and Pe, is one of the most wonderful passages in the Holy Qabalah. His resolution of what we take to be the bond of slavery into very love, the embroidered neckband of honour bestowed upon us by the King himself, is one of he most sublime passages in this class of literature" -- from the "Interlude" in Book Four,
Previous Section Two Next Section Two
Correspondence and Coherence
Join Thelema Lodge at the home of Bill Heidrick in San Anselmo for the
concluding meeting of our seminar on the tables of correspondences in Liber
777, which will begin at 7:30 on Wednesday evening 17th June. Using slides of
the tables and of other related images to facilitate discussion, we will be
giving particular attention to the many sephirotic columns which occupy the
second half of the tables. We may also examine some of the techniques which
Crowley employed to generate and verify original correspondences. In an
appendix prepared for the revised edition of Liber 777 (posthumously collected
through Gerald Yorke's efforts and still available in Regardie's edition, now
25 years old), Crowley formulated a series of definitions which expand from
the simplest to the most universal notions of usefulness. He begins
considering Qabalah as a technical language, comprising terms and symbols for
the expression of complex ideas, together with interpretative strategies and
systems of classification, for generating and analyzing new responses to
problems. His definition comes to encompass all of the branches of art and
science, but then he carries it one step further. What Qabalah is finally to
establish and maintain is a "system of criteria by which the truth of correspondences may be tested with a view to criticizing new discoveries in
the light of their coherence with the whole body of truth."
"Darkness gives way . . ."
The Magic Flute, Mozart's opera depicting freemasonic initiation as a
pathway to sex magick, will be the subject of an informal discussion and video
presentation on Friday evening 5th June at 8:00. Organized by Leigh Ann and
Caitlin under the auspices of Oz House, this gathering will nevertheless take
place at Thelema Lodge, up in the lodgemaster's quarters. The Magic Flute
stands alongside the Requiem mass on which he worked simultaneously during his
final year as one of Mozart's greatest creations, later acknowledged by Wagner
as the real origin of German opera. It was the result of a collaboration with
one of Mozart's lodge brothers (who wrote the libretto), and besides being a
supreme artistic expression of the Enlightenment, it preserves many specific
elements from the rich and influential masonic culture of Mozart's Vienna.
The heroic couple, Tamino and Pamina, are presented as candidates for
initiatory testing in preparation for their mystic marriage. They are guided
by an Egyptian solar-phallic cult through experiences equivalent to the basic
degrees of freemasonry, and are finally admitted into the sanctuary of the
gnosis. If it sounds like a familiar idea, consider the probability that the
wild bird-man Papageno ("parrot") is meant to be identified by symbolism
representing the original Minerval degree (just then introduced in the
Illuminati system): a bird's body with a human head.
Even years before his own 1° apprentice initiation in freemasonry on 14th
December 1784, at the lodge in Vienna where his father also became a member,
Mozart had been setting masonic texts to music on commissions. One such piece
was written for performance at a garden party given by Dr Anton Mesmer, and
others were incorporated into various lodge rituals. At 17 he composed the
music for a masonic drama entitled Thamos, which concerned the Egyptian cult
of sun-worship at the temple of Heliopolis. During his brief adult life
Mozart was quite active in the Loge zur neugekrönten Hoffnung, or "Hope Newly
Crowned Lodge," and many of his social contacts were based upon the
brotherhood he helped cultivate there. Despite resistance from the Roman
church (Mozart was a Catholic) and occasional government restrictions,
freemasonry was thriving in Vienna in the 1780s. The network of men's lodges
also acknowledged women's organizations pursuing their own parallel rituals of
initiation, most notably the Order of the Mopses which designed its own
illustrated deck of Tarot cards. At the same time the traditions of Qabalah
and Hebrew mysticism were entering the freemasonic culture of Vienna through
another lodge which had a concentration of Jewish members, so that for the
first time all of the basic elements which were to become the magical system
of the Golden Dawn were available in one active, idealistic, and organized
culture. Mozart's opera gives us a wonderfully entertaining window into this
unique and seminal milieu.
Ritual Workshop Series
Meeting this month on Thursday evenings 18th and 25th June, the Ritual
Workshop group at Thelema Lodge includes ceremonial magicians from a variety
of traditions, with a core of regular participants welcoming guests and new
members to join in their magical experimentation. On each occasion, at the
conclusion of the ritual work of the evening, the group determines by common
consent their program for the following meeting. Participants may propose any
magical project or performance for which they have made the advance
preparations, and copies of any texts to be involved are usually distributed
ahead of time. Thus far the offerings have been from traditions as diverse as
Hindu and Hebrew, with Thelemic, Chaotic, and Wiccan elements also prominent
at times. The style is determined by whomever has the most energy to put into
the enterprise at any given moment, and the group acknowledges no leader. Cynthia has agreed to serve as a facilitator for scheduling concerns, however,
and it is to her that interested persons should direct their questions if they
want to join in. Call (510) 601-9393 or speak with her after mass for program
information on the upcoming meeting. Usually the group will be gathering on
the middle Thursday evenings of each month, but this time things are a week
later because everyone will be off at the Ancient Ways Festival during the
second week of June.
The Looking Glass lawsuit of April 1911 arose out of a hostile review of The
Rites of Eleusis published in that periodical the previous November. To follow up his exaggerated and vulgar condemnation of Crowley's planetary rituals, the editor De Wend Fenton prepared another article in December, full of scandal about Crowley's personal life, which included several unsubstantiated and malicious rumors. In particular Crowley was accused of "unmentionable immoralities" with his house-mate and fellow occultist, "the rascally sham Buddhist monk Allan Bennett," and other members of the Golden Dawn. George Cecil Jones, who was named in this connection, decided to sue the magazine, though Crowley declined to join him and was not directly involved in the litigation. Neither Crowley nor Mathers (who had himself sued Crowley the previous year) gave testimony. Still, when damaging evidence regarding Crowley's reputation for "unnatural vice" within the Golden Dawn was elicited from Dr Berridge, the jury seized upon Crowley's established notoriety and returned a verdict against Jones. Both Jones and his friend Captain J. F. C. Fuller resented this so much that they immediately dissociated themselves from Crowley, as well as from the Equinox magazine on which they had been working with him. With them went several other mutual friends who had been involved with Crowley, including George Raffalovich. They apparently felt that Crowley "owed" it to their friendship and support to at least pretend to some shame and secrecy regarding his bisexuality (which was the basic "unmentionable" prejudice on which the case had turned), and this sort of sham shame was a pose Crowley refused to assume. Instead, he offered a back-handed defense of his involvement with the Golden Dawn in the form of this fictionalized transcript of testimony which might have been given had Mathers been called to the stand. We conclude our presentation of the piece this month, which was begun in last month's issue.
The "Rosicrucian" Scandal
by Leo Vincey
Scorpio, K.C. Now as to this "Rosicrucian" Order. Let me read to you from
the Obligation of a Neophyte: "All these I swear to keep under the no less penalty than that of . . . submitting myself to a deadly and hostile Current of Will set in motion by the Greatly Honoured Chiefs of the Second Order; by which I should fall slain or paralysed, as if blasted by the Lightning Flash."
Is that correct?
Scorpio, K.C. Is it meant to be taken seriously?
Scorpio, K.C. Members of the Order, were, in fact, afraid of the penalty?
Mathers Yes. Scorpio, K.C. On April 2nd, 1900, you write to the revolting members,
saying: "I shall for the first time be compelled to formulate my request to
the Highest Chiefs to prepare the Punitive Current."
Scorpio, K.C. If they refused to obey you, you would cause them "to fall
slain or paralysed, as if blasted by the Lightning Flash"?
Mathers They deserved it, and worse.
Scorpio, K.C. Is it a threat of assassination?
Mathers Of occult assassination, yes.
Scorpio, K.C. You did actually rattle peas in a sieve, ceremonially?
Mathers It is a well-known practice of Sympathetic Magic.
Scorpio, K.C. Like sticking pins in a wax figure?
Mathers Exactly. One identifies the rebels with the peas, and rattles them.
Scorpio, K.C. That explains their subsequent debâcle?
Scorpio, K.C. But you expected them to "fall slain or paralysed"?
Mathers I hoped so.
Scorpio, K.C. Actually, not in a figure of speech?
Scorpio, K.C. It is attempted assassination?
Mathers Occult assassination, yes.
Scorpio, K.C. And in any event, if they were really afraid of it, the threat
amounted to black mail?
Mathers I am not a lawyer.
Scorpio, K.C. Now then, let us get back to James VI. You say you are James
Mathers "I refuse to answer the question."
Scorpio, K.C. James VI was killed on Flodden Field?
Mathers "Tradition asserts that he escaped."
Scorpio, K.C. A lady of unblemished reputation, Mrs Markham, has gone into
that box, and sworn that he was so killed.
Mathers One must not contradict a lady.
Scorpio, K.C. Well, what happened to him?
Mathers "I - I mean he - escaped to the Continent, and became an Adept and
found the Elixir of Life, so that I - I mean he - should live on
Scorpio, K.C. When do we hear of him again?
Mathers "As the Comte de St Germain."
Scorpio, K.C. And again?
Mathers "I refuse to answer the question."
Scorpio, K.C. Have you read Mr Crowley's poem "The Rosicrucian," dedicated
"à sa Majesté Jacques IV d'Ecosse"?
Mathers Yes. Mr Crowley was a very young and foolish boy.
Scorpio, K.C. He believed you to be James VI?
Mathers Very likely.
Scorpio, K.C. Did he or did he not?
Mathers It was not my fault if he didn't.
Scorpio, K.C. You borrowed considerable sums of money from him?
Scorpio, K.C. On that ground?
Mathers That sort of ground.
Scorpio, K.C. He was rich?
Mathers I believe he had just come into some £30,000.
Scorpio, K.C. He offered you the whole of his fortune in order to help you
in your trouble with the revolting members?
Mathers I wrote to thank him for his "loyal and honourable offer."
Scorpio, K.C. Why did he make it?
Mathers He believed my stories about James IV and the Secret Chiefs, I
Scorpio, K.C. Madame Horos had promised you £2,000? Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Was that why you admitted her to be your superior?
Mathers I refuse to answer the question.
Scorpio, K.C. Crowley offers you his fortune; and you immediately appoint
him to the sole power in England, over the heads of Dr Westcott and Sir Henry
Colville and W. B. Yeats and Mrs Emery and Sir William Crookes and Dr Berridge
and dozens of others who had been members of the Order for years?
Mathers I did.
Scorpio, K.C. This is only a coincidence?
Mathers Certainly. I acknowledged Madame Horos because it was a slap in the
eye for Mrs Emery; I gave Crowley the supreme power partly to snub the rebels,
and partly (as I said, in another place) "to make a better man of him."
Scorpio, K.C. Besides the money that Crowley lent you, did he ever give you
Mathers Yes; a wealthy lady, the wife of an English officer, a Colonel,
being interested in occultism, once gave him £20 for me.
Scorpio, K.C. Is that all?
Mathers She gave him some jewels for the purpose of decorating a statue of
Isis for my temple.
Scorpio, K.C. She quarreled with him subsequently?
Mathers I believe so. In fact, I made quite a big story of it.
Scorpio, K.C. They are good friends again, however?
Mathers He has a whole sheaf of the friendliest letters from her, up to
Scorpio, K.C. Well, we left Mr Crowley as your Envoy Plenipotentiary to the
"rebels." He shortly afterwards went climbing in Mexico?
Mathers Yes, with Mr Eckenstein.
Scorpio, K.C. What was Mr Eckenstein's Christian name?
Mathers I - er - I see ladies in Court.
The Judge Any ladies in this Court are probably beyond any scruples of that
Scorpio, K.C. Answer the question.
Mathers Oscar. (Sensation. At this point Counsel fainted, and threw up his brief; but was induced to continue by the Judge, who had not had such a jolly day for years.)
Scorpio, K.C. Did Mr Crowley on his departure leave anything in your charge?
Mathers Some books of poetry. I couldn't get a single franc on them; I
returned them to him when he came back.
Scorpio, K.C. Anything else?
Mathers A fifty-guinea dressing case, and another portmanteau.
Scorpio, K.C. Where are they?
Mathers I refuse to answer the question.
Scorpio, K.C. Did you return them to the owner?
Scorpio, K.C. In Konx Om Pax Mr Crowley accuses you of stealing these bags?
Mathers He didn't mention the bags specifically. He only said I was a
thief. Messrs Nussey and Fellowes, my Solicitors, wrote threatening him with
Scorpio, K.C. What did he reply?
Mathers "I care as little for your threats of legal action as for your
client's threats of assassination. . . . I am surprised that a firm of your
standing should consent to act for a scoundrel."
Scorpio, K.C. What did you do?
Mathers I changed my solicitors.
Scorpio, K.C. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that your solicitors
changed you! You several times threatened Mr Crowley with legal proceedings?
Scorpio, K.C. Did you ever take any?
Mathers Once, for breach of copyright.
Scorpio, K.C. And tried for an Injunction against The Equinox?
Scorpio, K.C. What happened?
Mathers Dismissed with costs.
Scorpio, K.C. Have you paid those costs?
Scorpio, K.C. Did you then bring the action?
Scorpio, K.C. It was a frivolous excuse for the injunction?
Mathers I refuse to answer the question. Ask Mr Cran.
Scorpio, K.C. Let me read you this passage from The Equinox of September
I had almost forgotten dear old Mathers.
Yet it was only last December that a colleague of mine was told by some greasy old harridan, in her best nominal 7= 4 voice (she had paid hundreds of pounds for that nominal 7= 4, and never got initiated into any mysteries but those of Over-eating) that Imperrita (? Imperator, Mathers' title of office in the "Golden Dawn") was coming over from Paris to crush Crowley; and Crowley has fled before his face.
Anyhow, I sneaked back from Algeria, trembling all over, and began to enjoy the comedy of a lawyer pretending that he could not serve a Writ on a man with an address in the telephone directory, who was spending hundreds of pounds on letting the whole world know where to find him. It was perhaps unkind of me not to warn Mr Cran that he was putting his foot in it.
But if I had said a word, the case would have been thrown up; and then where would our advertisement have been?
So, even now, I restrict my remarks; there may be some more fun coming.
* * * * *
But at least there's a prophet loose! Some anonymous person wrote:
Cran, Cran, McGregor's man,
Served a Writ, and away he ran
before a Writ was served! Though he might have guessed that it would be. But he couldn't possibly have known that the action would be dropped, as it has been.
And Mathers has run away too -- without paying our costs.
* * * * *
It reflects seriously upon Mr Cran's professional honour, does it not?
Scorpio, K.C. Has he taken action?
Scorpio, K.C. So Mr Crowley laughed at you?
Mathers Those who laugh last laugh best.
Scorpio, K.C. What did you do?
Mathers I waited for my opportunity.
Scorpio, K.C. Did it arrive?
Mathers All things come to him who waits.
Scorpio, K.C. Describe what happened.
Mathers A paper called The Looking Glass attacked Mr Crowley. I went to the
editor (Mr W. F. de Wend Fenton) and told him all I knew - and a good deal
that I didn't know.
Scorpio, K.C. Was the editor actuated by malice against Mr Crowley?
Scorpio, K.C. How can you be sure?
Mathers The day after his first article appeared he telephoned to a mutual
friend, a Miss O--, explained that he meant no harm, and would like to meet Mr
Crowley at dinner and have a chat with him.
Scorpio, K.C. What happened then?
Mathers Miss O-- told Mr Crowley.
Scorpio, K.C. And what did he say?
Mathers He made an answer so remarkable that I remember it every word. Scorpio, K.C. What was it?
Mathers He said "I suppose you wouldn't like me to be blackmailed over your
Scorpio, K.C. What does this show?
Mathers Mr Crowley's horrid suspicious temper.
Scorpio, K.C. What did Miss O-- do?
Mathers Cut Mr Fenton.
Scorpio, K.C. You really know this of your own knowledge?
Scorpio, K.C. How?
Scorpio, K.C. Astrally?
Mathers "I am the Head of the Rosicrucian Order."
Scorpio, K.C. Did Mr Crowley take action against The Looking Glass?
Scorpio, K.C. Why?
Mathers On the advice of a friend with twenty-five years experience of City
Scorpio, K.C. What did the friend say?
(Counsel objected. A long argument followed, in the course of which the Judge remarked: "This trial is like the trial in Alice in Wonderland. I wouldn't spoil it for the world and I am going to admit anything!")
Scorpio, K.C. What did Mr Crowley's journalistic friend say?
Mathers "Let the fellow alone! He's been warned off the turf, and his City
Editor's a jail-bird, and he isn't worth a bob, and if you touch pitch you'll
Scorpio, K.C. Was Mr Fenton in fact warned off the Turf?
Scorpio, K.C. You blame Crowley for not taking action?
Mathers It's very annoying.
Scorpio, K.C. You're not very ready to take action yourself.
Mathers I am a man of peace.
Scorpio, K.C. The "military bearing" is only for show?
Mathers That's all.
Scorpio, K.C. Mr Crowley has written books, which houses of the highest
standing have published, in which you are openly called a common thief, an
habitual swindler, a blackmailer, and accused of drunkenness and attempted
Mathers Yes; but he supports his charges by unimpeachable documents, and
witnesses of unassailable integrity.
Scorpio, K.C. And there is no ground for the charges against Mr Crowley?
Mathers There is Dr Berridge's evidence.
Scorpio, K.C. Let us go into that. Mr Crowley's conversation with Dr
Berridge took place in 1900?
Scorpio, K.C. And was first repeated in the Court of King's Bench in 1911?
Scorpio, K.C. Dr Berridge must have a splendid memory. What were the
relations between Crowley and Berridge in 1904?
Mathers They were friends and colleagues. At the Ceremony of the Vernal
Equinox in 1903 Crowley was Hierophant, and Berridge Praemonstrator or
Cancellarius, I forget which.
Scorpio, K.C. So it took Dr Berridge some time before he attached a criminal
significance to Crowley's remark?
Mathers The mind of Berridge works slowly, but it works exceeding small.
Scorpio, K.C. As to the remark itself. Take the first part. Berridge
mentions to Crowley the ugly rumours that his enemies were circulating.
Crowley replies: "So and So and So and So and So and So have been to my flat
and passed the night." I suggest that the names mentioned were those of
mutual friends of Crowley and Berridge, men beyond suspicion. Mathers It may have been so.
Scorpio, K.C. And that Crowley added, implicitly or explicitly: "Is that any
reason for making such abominable charges?"
Scorpio, K.C. I must ask you to remember that Crowley was brought up among
the Plymouth Brethren, and that at this time he had no more knowledge of the
world than most boys of 16. He swallowed your yarns easily enough, didn't he?
Mathers He did.
Scorpio, K.C. Now take the second part. "For the last eighteen months or
two years there has been nothing that the police could get at me for." That
implies that previous to that date there was something.
Scorpio, K.C. Let me read you this passage from Crowley's Works, volume I,
page 115, published in 1903: "Sonnets . . . To the author of the phrase 'I am
not a gentleman, and I have no friends'."
"Self-damned, the leprous moisture of thy veins
Sickens the sunshine, and thine haggard eyes,
Bleared with their own corrupting infamies,
Glare through the charnel-house of earthly pains,
Horrible as already in hell . . .
Self-damned on earth, live out thy tortured days
That men may look upon thy face, and see
How vile a thing of woman born may be . . .
I need not continue. But I will read the footnote of Mr Ivor Back, F.R.C.S.,
the editor: "The virulence of these sonnets is excusable when it is known that their aim was to destroy the influence in Cambridge of a man who headed in that University a movement parallel to that which at Oxford was associated with the name of Oscar Wilde."
It is clear from this that Crowley had been associated with a man of bad
character; but that on discovering him to be so, he instantly disowned him?
Scorpio, K.C. Mr Crowley may have thought that even an innocent association
with such a person was criminal?
Mathers He was very young and foolish.
Scorpio, K.C. Is it this that he referred to in his remark to Dr Berridge?
Mathers May be.
Scorpio, K.C. The date tallies? [The poem (not the footnote) was first
published in 1899, having been written during one of the eclipses in late '98
or early '99.]
Scorpio, K.C. And that is all there is against Mr Crowley?
Mathers There is The Sword of Song.
Scorpio, K.C. What is that?
Mathers Out of some hundreds of marginal notes, there are two (some say
four) the initials of whose words make other most improper words. [For an
example of what this kind of criticism may lead to, vide Appendix.]
Scorpio, K.C. Did anyone discover this before you did?
Mathers Not to my knowledge.
Scorpio, K.C. Did Captain Fuller in his three years' laborious study of Mr
Crowley's works discover it?
Scorpio, K.C. Is there any point in these - do you call them jokes?
Mathers No point at all.
Scorpio, K.C. Are Mr Crowley's jokes usually pointless?
Mathers Alas, no!
Scorpio, K.C. And did not the reviewers discover this? Mathers Unfortunately, no. On the contrary, Mr G. K. Chesterton wrote a
column in the Daily News, in which the book is treated as a serious
contribution to Philosophy.
Scorpio, K.C. Is there anything else?
Mathers There's The Mother's Tragedy.
Scorpio, K.C. What is that?
Mathers A book of poems one of which deals with a subject which I blush to
Scorpio, K.C. Has any wretch previously dealt with it?
Scorpio, K.C. Who?
Mathers Sophocles in Oedipus Rex; Shakespeare in Hamlet and in Pericles;
Malory in Morte d'Arthur; Byron in Parisina, Manfred, and other poems; Shelley
in The Cenci, Rosalind and Helen, and in Laon and Cythna; Wilde in Salome;
Ford in The Unnatural Combat and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; Moses, Wagner,
Schiller, Alfieri, and many other authors of the highest reputation.
Scorpio, K.C. But Mr Crowley tries to sell his works by printing reviews
which describe them as "revolting"?
Mathers Yes, that's the bad part.
Scorpio, K.C. Has not Mr Crowley habitually reprinted all sorts of reviews
of his works, good and bad, with a giant's contempt for reviewers?
Mathers Of course.
Scorpio, K.C. But was this particular review really so unfavourable?
Mathers Not at all; but by picking out a single sentence, I made it appear
Scorpio, K.C. What about these aliases of his? Why did he assume the name
Mathers At my suggestion. He was about to take a house in Scotland, and I
thought it would attract less remark if he took a Highland name.
Scorpio, K.C. But why MacGregor rather than any other Highland name?
Mathers To assert an "astral link" - what you might call a bond of sympathy
- between himself and me. He had gone there to perform a magical operation
detailed in a book which I had just published.
Scorpio, K.C. He was at this time quite under your auspices?
Mathers Under my thumb.
Scorpio, K.C. And why did he call himself Lord Boleskine?
Mathers Principally to annoy the snobbish society of Inverness.
Scorpio, K.C. And did it annoy them?
Mathers I believe so.
Scorpio, K.C. But why Lord Boleskine?
Mathers He is the Laird of Boleskine, and Laird is only Scots for Lord.
Scorpio, K.C. And why did he call himself Count Svareff?
Mathers In the book of mine I referred to it says that the Aspirant to the
Sacred Magic would be much annoyed by his family seeking to dissuade him. So
he changed his name and disappeared.
Scorpio, K.C. Why Svareff?
Mathers The romantic young idiot had just come back from Russia.
Scorpio, K.C. Why Count?
Mathers All Russians are Counts, I believe, when they're not Princes!
Scorpio, K.C. You say he obtained a large sum of money from a celebrated
Scorpio, K.C. A married woman?
Scorpio, K.C. Of what age? You must remember that Crowley was a mere boy.
Mathers Ten or fifteen years older than Crowley.
Scorpio, K.C. On what pretext did he obtain the money?
Mathers She proposed to Crowley to go with her to Texas, divorce her
husband, and marry him.
Scorpio, K.C. What did Crowley do? Mathers He gave her a fifty-guinea engagement ring.
Scorpio, K.C. Did the scheme come off?
Scorpio, K.C. Did she return the ring?
Mathers Crowley complains in The Sword of Song that she did not.
Scorpio, K.C. And what about his obtaining money from her?
Mathers Oh! that's only my fun.
Scorpio, K.C. You mean, it's a lie?
Mathers Well, it's not true.
Scorpio, K.C. Is that all you have against Crowley?
Mathers No; he was divorced from his wife.
Scorpio, K.C. What was his fault?
Scorpio, K.C. Give the facts.
Mathers They are known to all Mr Crowley's intimate friends, who approve his
action throughout, and they may be surmised from the poem "Rosa Decidua,"
published in The Winged Beetle. But the facts being detailed in Mr Crowley's
petition for the reduction of the decree of divorce, they cannot be entered
into more fully at this moment; and as the unhappy lady became insane in
September 1911, I think we may well leave the matter in its tragic silence.
Scorpio, K.C. Then Mr Crowley was not to blame?
Mathers Not in this matter. But he is an associate of the notorious Jones.
Scorpio, K.C. Oh, well! we won't go into that. Thank you.
My Crapulous Predecessors, No. 1:
by S. C. Hiller
The method of critical analysis is not our own, who reverence Robert Browning as one of the greatest of the Victorian Poets. It is borrowed, with the acknowledgment of inverted commas (even the commas!) from distinguished luminaries of the Bench and Bar. - Ed. 
"I have some hesitation" in printing "the following, as I see ladies"
waiting at the booksellers'. - S.C.H.
"Any ladies" waiting at the booksellers' "are probably far beyond any
scruples of that sort." - Mr Justice Mutton
Pippa Passes, by Robert Browning
"I would call your lordship's attention very particularly to the initial
letters of . . . this obscene and revolting poem." Separately: how every
Englishman must shudder and vomit at "the loathsome and abominable creature
who has the effrontery to" have been dead and buried without giving posterity
"a chance to cross-examine him"! Together: how every Frenchman must cry
"Faugh! Ugh! Ugh! Faugh!" and blush! Transpose two vowels only: what hideous
and filthy anagram springs to sight! "If this is accidental, Mr" Browning "is
a very unfortunate man; if it is intentional, no words of mine can be strong
enough to denounce the loathsome and abominable character of this book." But
can it be accidental? Was not Mr Browning a friend - a friend! - of that Mr
Scrutton whose name is an anagram of a sentence - not merely a word, mark you!
- which asserts a pathological fact familiar to every Syphilographer and his
clients, couched in the crudest and coarsest language!
And if this be an accident too, what shall we say of the infamous examples
of paraprodokian from the plain text itself? "Aesculapius, an Epic. Catalogue of the drugs: Hebe's plaister - One strip
cools your lip. Phoebus' emulsion - One bottle clears your throttle.
Mercury's bolus - one box cures . . ."
"I have made her gorge polenta
Till her cheeks are both as bouncing
As her - name there's no pronouncing!"
And what of the whole scheme of the poem?
The chief character is a vile procurer who is trying to sell Pippa into the
White Slave Traffic.
The first episode deals most realistically with adultery crowned by murder.
The second episode describes a plot to marry an innocent youth to a harlot.
The third episode shows a mother trying to prevent her son from committing
a murder in cold blood, and failing to do so. This assassination has the open
approval of the "so-called poet."
And "the loathsome and abominable creature" who "disseminates this
unutterable filth" was allowed to die in peace ! "Where were the police?
What were they about to let him escape" to Italy?
Italy, indeed! This horrible creature dedicates "his best intentions" (I'm
sorry I can't think of any bad meaning for H.B.I.) "affectionately to Mr
Sergeant Talfourd." Affectionately, mark the word! What do such "loathsome
and abominable creatures" mean by affection? Gentlemen of the jury, if this
Mr (sic) Sergeant (save the mark!) Talfourd (Ugh!) has come to court to ask
you to clear him from a blackmailer's libel, you would have known how to brand
him with everlasting infamy!
Previous Crowley Classics Next Crowley Classics
An Introduction to Qabalah
Part XXXIX - Venus and Netzach point of view.
Derived from a lecture series in 1977 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
Consider the Golden Dawn diagram of the symbol of Venus on the Tree of
Life, cognate to Netzach. In this version Da'at is not important, but Keter
is attainable. The lower part of the tree is fixed with a cross and the upper
freed in a circle. The mind of Netzach sees the next stage as being
definitive of all its works. All things below Tipheret are balanced, and all
things above are in a more subtle perfection. This division is related to the
problem in Netzach of accepting the beginnings of success but considering the
completion already done.
The threshold issue in Hod is to find a way to break through, rather than a
reason for staying unchanged. In Netzach, it's easy to go beyond; but the
tendency is to assume that all will be well without adequate preparation.
We have learned many things about the Tree of Life diagram, enough to lead
us to use the Tree to analyze a situation or personality problem. This is one
of the chief uses of the Tree of Life, aside from an organizing system for
more abstract things. If you find yourself in an unpleasant situation, take a
blank diagram of the Tree and analyze the situation on it as much as you can.
Look for one or two Sephirot which seem to be dominating the others, or one or
two which don't seem to fit with the others. If you find one that seems to be
dominating, that's probably your difficulty. Focusing too much on that
center, from that point of view may be the cause of the trouble. If you find
one or two which don't seem to make sense with the rest, those may be the weak
In a more practical example: Suppose you find yourself being very
irritable with people who live where you live. You have some reasons for
feeling that it's your house rather than theirs' because maybe you pay more of
the rent or have title to it or do more work around it, something of this
nature. You have a reason for wanting to be in charge. Yet something is very
difficult, people around you are not reacting to you well, you find yourself
becoming angry. There must be something to explain this, a help to
understanding. Look over the Tree. Where's the hole? That's simple, in this
case, Malkut, the physical home. No help there. That's the manifestation of
the problem, not the cause or the solution. For Yesod, perhaps some feelings
and loose ideas about what could be, just vague things. For Hod and the
practical side of things, some things are right to do and some not. You don't
leave food out all over the living room for days at a time, that's not
practical. You put it away or you throw it in the garbage. There are many
other practical things about living in a home.
We'll continue this example in the next installment. In the mean time,
take a little time to think about the problem and where it might originate.
Hint, Tipheret will give us some particular insights; but the nexus of the
matter is a little further up the Tree. Our particular example deals with
Netzach and perception of the higher Sephirot from there. We should expect
that Netzach point of view misses something about those higher Sephirot.
Copyright © Bill Heidrick
Previous Introduction to Qabalah -- Part XXXVIII Next: The example continues, more on analysis.
from the Grady Project:
|Two Poems from Army Training|
|Always quiet, never gabby --|
|That's the way that Mr. Sabby|
|Goes about the slimy job|
|Of playing every sort of hob|
|With Uncle Sammy's ships and men,|
|Which is the reason why we've been|
|Up late at night and out all day --|
|To see that Sabby doesn't play.|
|-- Sgt. Grady L. McMurtry|
|Chow Hound Serenade|
|Morning, noon and night you'll find|
|One place the Mason Men don't mind|
|To gather and to do their share;|
|As chow-hounds they have no compare,|
|In taking sustenance and vim.|
|There is no place or food for him|
|Who would be dainty with his mess,|
|From which it's not so hard to guess|
|Why we do say and advocate|
|This motto for the "Cup & Plate",|
|using forks we do insist|
|You must not spike above the wrist!"|
|-- Sgt. Grady L. McMurtry|
Previous Grady Project Next Grady Project
Our regular columns will resume next issue. No room for the Primary Sources
and the Outbasket this time.
Events Calendar for June 1998 e.v.
|6/3/98||College of Hard NOX 8 PM|
with Mordecai in the library
|6/5/98||Oz House at Thelema Lodge. Mozart's|
Magic Flute discussion 8PM
with Leigh Ann
|6/7/98||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/14/98||Lodge luncheon meeting 12:30||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/14/98||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/15/98||Section II reading group with|
Caitlin: Lewis Carroll's "Alice" and
the "Snark", at Oz house, 8 PM
|6/17/98||Class series on Liber 777|
7:30 PM with Bill Heidrick at
5 Suffield Ave. in San Anselmo
|6/18/98||Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia|
|6/12/98||Summer Solstice Circle, 6PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/21/98||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/24/98||College of Hard NOX 8 PM|
with Mordecai in the library
|6/25/98||Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia|
|6/26/98||Rites of Eleusis co-ordinating|
meeting 8PM at Oz House
|6/27/98||OTO initiations, call to attend||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/28/98||"Finnegans Wake" reading 4PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/28/98||Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|6/29/98||Sirius Oasis meeting 8:00 PM|
The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the
contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its
Ordo Templi Orientis
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