Thelema Lodge Calendar for April 2003 e.v.
Thelema Lodge Calendar
for April 2003 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, 2003 e.v.
Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
April 2003 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Lodge Members and Officers
Unto Us the Law!
Thelemites celebrate Liber AL, our "threefold book of Law," with a three
day feast of readings on the Holy Days each April. This month's ninety-ninth
"feast for the three days of the writing of the Book of the Law" will find us
gathered for readings of the three chapters at familiar locations in the area
of north Oakland and Berkeley, beginning at 8:00 each evening. Thelema Lodge
invites members, friends, and visitors to listen to chapter one, the
manifestation of Nuit, on Tuesday 8th April in Horus Temple. Call well ahead
at (510) 652-3171 if you need directions. The second chapter, the hiding of
Hadit, will be presented by Sirius Encampment on Wednesday 9th April at
Ancient Ways in Oakland. The store's address is 4075 Telegraph Avenue (at
41st Street) and the telephone there is (510) 653-3244. Listeners are welcome
to share light snacks and soft drinks at the first two readings, but save any
substantial dinner contributions for the third night. For the reward of Ra
Hoor Khut at Ashby House in Berkeley, the Companions of Monsalvat will
entertain us on Thursday 10th April with a reading of chapter three. Send
electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call ahead at (510) 849-1970 for
directions to this venue. There will be a communal feast following the
reading of the third chapter, with everyone who attends invited to contribute
dinner entrees, salads, or desserts, as well as drinks for all to share.
The acceptance of Liber AL vel Legis as a Holy Book is central to the
Thelemic tradition on which our lodge is founded. What this means for readers
encountering the text individually is of course up to each one to determine,
while as a community using language together we also have a shared experience
of the sacredness of our texts. Whether quoting from them in ritual contexts,
reading them aloud together, building upon them a system of qabalistic values,
or studying them formally in research to be presented to each other, we invest
meaning and authority in the specific language of these texts by the use we
make of them together. One practice which has long been suggested to
initiates in the Man of Earth degrees of O.T.O. is the memorization of Liber
AL (along with other holy texts). Both as an individual reader, and as part
of a community who share this language in their expressions of "the holy"
together, the technique of memorization has much to recommend it. Not only do
the elements of the text take on greater coherence and structure in the mind
of one who so thoroughly knows them, but also these phrases become
increasingly available for spontaneous use together in the free exchange of
our speech. A group effort has been organized at Thelema Lodge to promote
memorization of Liber AL this spring, meeting with brother Michael Sanborn for
a series of Sunday evenings, one hour before the gnostic mass. Arriving by
7:30 on Sundays between the vernal equinox last month and the concluding
meeting on 8th June, participants will systematically memorize all three
chapters, while enjoying a dozen opportunities together to "Recall, Recite,
and Revel in our Sacred Erudition!"
Source and Seed
Join the communion in Horus Temple for our celebration of the gnostic mass
at Thelema Lodge, beginning shortly after nightfall every Sunday. Members and
friends arrive around 8:00, gathering in the lodge library on Sunday evenings
to be ready when the deacon emerges from the outer veil to summon us into the
sanctuary of the gnosis. Guests are welcome to take part with us, and most
masses here include a first-time communicant or two; to attend as a newcomer
please call well ahead at (510) 652-3171 and speak with the lodgemaster for
directions to the temple.
The Heptarchial Mystery
"This is a seat of perfection; from which things shall be showed unto thee, which thou hast long desired."
The Heptarchia Mystica series of Enochian seminars under the tuition of
brother Charles Humphries continues on alternate Wednesday evenings from 8:00
until 10:00 in the lodge library. Meeting three times this month -- on the
2nd, 16th, and the 30th of April -- this class surveys the magical heritage of
John Dee and Edward Kelly, and the record of their operations to communicate
with angelic powers. Much of our study has focused upon permutations of
letters with which the angelic data were encrypted, but members of the seminar
are working also to augment Dee's historical achievement in their own ongoing
practical engagement with the system. As we trace through the myriad names,
variously extracted from the Sigillum Dei Aemeth, we are (in Dee's terms)
participating in the divine impulse to open out the created cosmos and make it
meaningful. The names of the powers in this Enochian model of the universe,
when we come through wisdom and skill to comprehend them systematically as he
sought to do, comprise Dee's great project for a unified magical theory,
according to which the speaking power of the magus may be made manifest as a
creative logos to participate in the divine operations of nature.
"Hereafter shall you perceive that the glory of this table surmounteth the glory of the sun."
When All the Stars Return
The Dream of Scipio, one of the most widely known documents of visionary
paganism to come down to us from classical Roman culture, is the subject this
month for our Section Two reading group at Thelema Lodge. Meet with Caitlin
from 8:00 until 9:30 in the lodge library on Monday evening 21st April for an
introduction to this brief and fascinating text, and join us in reading it
aloud together. As recorded a century later by Cicero, the Somnium Scipionis
describes a prophetic dream experienced by the younger Scipio Africanus, a
leading military and political figure of the republic. Crowley listed the
account of Scipio's dream in the primary bibliography of the A A Curriculum,
commenting that it is "Excellent for its Vision and its Philosophy," and a few
years later in The General Principles of Astrology he referred again to
Cicero's "most lasting achievement, the Somnium Scipionis, almost the only
mystical treatise which the Latins have left to us." Cicero's philosophical
dialogue De Re Publica (which he worked on through the late 50s B.C.E.)
recounts a fictionalized discussion held in 129 B.C.E. to explicate the
various systems of constitutional government, in which the younger Africanus
(at this point in late middle age) is portrayed as the most distinguished
contributor. Scipio closes the entire enquiry by recounting his dream from
many years before, leaving his interloquitors with the exalted notion that it
is by taking part as citizens in the political process of a just government
that human individuals can best fulfill within themselves the universal
pattern which gives meaning to the macrocosm.
Early in the second century before the common era, the First Punic War had
been won for Rome by the great general Publius Cornelius Scipio with a
decisive victory over the invading forces of Carthage, driving them back to
north Africa. Granted the honorific military title of Africanus as an
addition to his family name, the elder Scipio enjoyed enormous civic renown in
the glory days of republican Rome. His son later inherited the title, passing
it in turn to a nephew he adopted as his legal heir, Cornelius Scipio
Aemilianus. This younger Scipio, while visiting the continent over which he
had inherited a formal title as conqueror, spent an evening listening to
praises of his patriarchal grand-uncle, then went to bed and had a memorable
vision in his sleep. He dreamed he saw the elder Africanus come to his room
and then carry him up beyond the sky into the heavens, offering him prophetic
advice about the honor he was to win in a life of successful public service. His somnium, or dream vision, included a guided tour of the cosmos, venturing
to the far reaches of the universe, where Scipio listened to the music of the
spheres and was instructed in their great cycles. From such a perspective
even the greatest human reputation, bounded upon the little earth at the
midpoint of all the spheres, came to seem completely inconsequential. Scipio
realized that even Rome's greatest citizens can hope at most to be famous only
for a few generations over a limited part of the inhabited earth. Throughout
the vast reaches of the universe, or even in the austral regions of our own
globe, all Rome's grandeur goes unknown. If however wise persons can
internalize the entire harmony of the cosmic system, and behave is their own
lives according to the pattern of its perfect order, they partake of its
divine majesty within themselves.
Previous Section Two Next Section Two
A Show of Anger
The latest work by Thelemic film maker Kenneth Anger has been scheduled for
a public showing in San Francisco this month, at the Artists' Television
Access studio, located at 992 Valencia Street, on Saturday evening 19th April.
Anger's fifteen-minute documentary collage entitled "The Man We Want To Hang"
will be the featured work in an evening of occultly oriented short films, part
of the ATA's Other Cinema series. Anger's film includes many images
photographed from his extensive personal collection of clippings and
memorabilia relating to Aleister Crowley and his reputation in the popular
press. The program begins at 8:30 and admission costs $5; for further
information call the ATA at (415) 634-3890. (This public event is in no way
associated with O.T.O., but a number of lodge members plan to attend
A sequel to Crowley's article which appeared last month in this column, this
piece was originally published in the London Sunday Dispatch on 2nd July 1933
e.v. No biography of Crowley reports the circumstances of these
autobiographical articles, which apparently were written on commission for the
newspaper. Their style and content seem consistent with Crowley's authentic
authorship, and some of his comments here may even raise a few eyebrows
seventy years later. There is also a rare reference by Crowley to the
celebration of the gnostic mass at the Abbey of Thelema in the early 1920s
e.v., and a few very amusing and silly comments regarding witches.
Black Magic is Not a Myth
by Aleister Crowley
"The Worst Man in the World"
Black magic is not a myth. It is a totally unscientific and emotional form
of magic, but it does get results -- of an extremely temporary nature. The
recoil upon those who practice it is terrific.
It is like looking for an escape of gas with a lighted candle. As far as
the search goes, there is little fear of failure!
To practice black magic you have to violate every principle of science,
decency, and intelligence. You must be obsessed with an insane idea of the
importance of the petty object of your wretched and selfish desires.
I have been accused of being a "black magician." No more foolish statement
was ever made about me. I despise the thing to such an extent that I can
hardly believe in the existence of people so debased and idiotic as to
In Paris, and even in London, there are misguided people who are abusing
their priceless spiritual gifts to obtain petty and temporary advantages
through these practices.
The "Black Mass" is a totally different matter.
I could not celebrate it if I wanted to, for I am not a consecrated priest
of the Christian Church.
The celebrant must be a priest, for the whole idea of the practice is to
profane the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Therefore you must believe in the
truth of the cult and the efficacy of its ritual.
A renegade priest gathers about him a congregation of sensation-hunters and
religious fanatics; then only can the ceremonies of profanation be of extended
black magical effect.
There are many ways of abusing the Sacrament. One of the best known of
which is the "Mass of Saint Secaire," the purpose of which is to cause an
enemy to wither away.
At this "mass," always held in some secret place, preferably in a disused
chapel, at midnight, the priest appears in canonical robes.
But even in his robes there is some sinister change, a perversion of their
There is an altar, but the candles are of black wax. The crucifix is fixed
the head downwards.
The clerk to the priest is a woman, and her dress, although it seems to be
a church garment, is more like a costume in a prurient revue. It has been
altered to make it indecent.
The ceremony is a parody of the orthodox Mass, with blasphemous
The priest must be careful, however, to consecrate the Host in the orthodox
manner. The wine has been adulterated with magical drugs like deadly
nightshade and vervain, but the priest must convert it into the blood of
The dreadful basis of the Mass is that the bread and wine have imprisoned
the Deity. Then they are subjected to terrible profanations.
This is supposed to release the powers of evil and bring them into
alliance. (It is rather the case of the mouse trying to make a friend of the
In the congregational form of the Black Mass the priest, having finished
his abominations -- these are, quite frankly, indescribable -- scatters the fragments of the Host on the floor, and the assistants scramble for the soiled
fragments, the possession of which, they believe, will allow them to work
their petty and malicious designs.
My most memorable personal experience of the effects of black magic
occurred when I was living in Scotland. The machinations of a degraded and
outcast member of the Order caused my hounds to die, my servants to become
insane. The struggle lasted until the recoil of the current of hated caused
the luckless sorcerer to collapse.
The explanation of its effects is that, if you believe passionately enough
in your will to do something, then power to achieve it will accrue to you.
My enemies say that the celebration of the "Black Mass" was one of the most
innocuous of my activities in Sicily and in France.
"Why was he thrown out of both those countries?" they ask.
The explanation of why I left is quite simple and unsensational. I took a
villa at Cefalu in Sicily for work and play. We began the day with family
prayers; we occasionally celebrated a semi-religious ceremony known as the
Several people who were my guests at the "abbey" made imaginative copy out
of their visits.
Then the Fascists came into power and some foreign newspaper correspondents
were asked to leave.
And so was I. There was no rough turning-out. I was treated with the
greatest of courtesy.
The reason I left Paris was that the authorities refused to renew my carte
d'identité. No charge was made against me; and no explanation given.
Somebody I had quarreled with had gone to the authorities and succeeded in
making them think that something was wrong.
Spiritualism -- more correctly, spiritism -- is not a form of black magic.
Through their mediumistic acts, spiritists sometimes get hold of
disintegrated pieces of the mental apparatus of a man or woman who has died
The apparatus has lost its guiding control, the spiritual side of a man,
and it can be -- and often is -- taken by elemental spirits of evil and turned
to any base use.
Spirits are playing with malicious forces.
Witchcraft is a more or less solitary form of black magic.
By working herself into a diabolic ecstasy the witch can achieve success in
her schemes. She is willing to sacrifice her first-born, a usual price
demanded by the demon, or sell her soul.
And all for what? To stop her neighbour's cows from giving milk; to send
a surly enemy to a sick bed.
The effect is completely ridiculous compared with the waste of spiritual
forces required to produce it.
The true magician is above spite and venom. He tries to bring about the
results for which he is working, not by sudden and disruptive interference
with the existing order of things, but by slow natural processes.
Elixir of Life
In theory there is no limit to the power of magic. A magician is like a
mathematician; he has complete control of the symbols as long as he keeps to
I have prepared the elixir of life, that magical draught which gives
eternal youth. Like the touch of Midas, it is not an unmixed blessing.
I made it first when I was forty. It was done hastily and with imperfect
knowledge. I took seven doses, as the first two or three had no apparent
effect. The consequences were extremely violent.
One day, without warning, I woke up to find that I had lost all my
maturity. I became mentally and physically a stupid stripling. The only
thing I could think of doing was to cut down trees!
I was living in a cottage in New Hampshire; for fifteen hours a day I
toiled at felling trees. I worked like a madman. No feat of strength was too
great for me.
These fantastic physical powers lasted for about two months, and were
followed by reaction. For half a year I was in a state of lassitude. I had
been playing with a dangerous recipe.
Six years later I experimented again with the elixir, taking precautions to
avoid such drastic results. The result was that at 47 I was as powerful an
athlete as any man of 30.
I still retain much of the good effect of this experiment.
My intellectual activity has not only been conserved but intensified, and I
am still enjoying perfect health and energy.
Previous Crowley Classics Next Crowley Classics
from the Grady Project:
This poem is published here for the first time, from the author's typescript
in the editorial archives of The Magickal Link.
The Benediction of the Devil
---- Grady L. McMurtry
|Day is come and where it spills|
Night has gone, beyond the hills
The shadows linger yet awhile,
There is no malice in their smile
For they have found they need but wait
While garish Day in tarnished state
Proclaims his reign, then totters on,
About his heels the swirling dawn
Of darkness follows, and the bright
Joy of the nether world of Night
Resumes its pleasures; jokes and smirks
At daylight Parzival, who works.
Previous Grady Project Next Grady Project
from the Library Shelf
Originally issued as volume five of the Collectanea Hermetica series by
William Wynn Westcott for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1894, this
translation was made by G. H. Frater Levavi Oculos (Percy William Bullock).
First initiated in 1890, Frater L. O. achieved the grade of 5 = 6 by 1892.
He served as Sub-Cancellarius and then as Sub-Imperator of the Isis-Urania
temple in that year, and later in the same year succeeded Florence Farr as
Cancellarius, a post he held until 1896, after which he again served as Sub-
Imperator. Following the break-up of the Order when the lies of its leaders
became evident, Bullock joined A. E. Waite's faction of the Independent and
Rectified Order R. R. et A. C. after its constitution in 1903. His wife Pamela Carden Bullock, the famous Soror Shemeber, was also a leading member of
the early Golden Dawn.
(The Vision of Scipio)
by Marcus Tullius Cicero
translated by Frater L. O. (Percy Bullock)
edited by William Wynn Westcott
When I came to Africa, where, as you know, I was Tribune to the Fourth
Legion of soldiers, under the Consul Manius Manilius, nothing appeared to me
more desirable than that I should meet Masinissa, a Monarch who had ever been
most friendly to our family for just reasons. When I came to him, the old
man, having embraced me, wept, and, after a pause, looked up to Heaven: "Ah,
thanks," said he, "to Thee I render, O highest Sun, and to ye other Celestial
companions, in that before I depart this life, I am permitted to behold in my
own Kingdom and under these skies P. Cornelius Scipio, whose name itself
refreshes me: for, never from my soul has the memory of that best and most
invincible of men departed!" Then I inquired of him concerning the affairs of
his Kingdom, and he of me respecting our Republic; and our day thus passed in
lengthened conference. After a royal entertainment our talk again drew out
into the far night, when the old man would speak of nothing save the elder
Scipio (Africanus Major): everything about him he remembered, not only his
deeds, but even his sayings. When, therefore, we parted to retire to rest,
what with the journey and our nocturnal sitting, I was more than usually tired
and fell sound asleep.
Whereupon (as I believe arising out of the subject of our talk, for it
often happens that our thoughts and conversation produce some such result in
sleep as that which Ennius relates to have happened concerning Homer, whom it
appears he was frequently accustomed to meditate upon and to talk about during
his waking hours) Africanus appeared to me in a form which I recognised more
from his bust than from my knowledge of the man himself. When I recognized
him, I trembled indeed: he, however, speaking said, "Take courage and banish
fear, O Scipio; commit to memory what I have to say."
"Seest thou yonder City, which, compelled by me to submit to the Roman
people, yet renews its former wars, unable to remain at peace -- here he
shewed me Carthage from a certain clear and brilliant spot in the celestial
heights, full of stars -- and to the assault of which thou comest, as yet a
mere boy? This City, in two years from the present time, thou as Consul shalt
overthrow, and that hereditary name, which hitherto thou bearest from us,
shall belong to thee by thine own exertions. When moreover Carthage has been
razed by thee, thou shalt effect thy Triumph and be made Censor; then as
Legate thou shalt proceed to Egypt, Syria, Asia, and Greece, being made Consul
a second time during thy absence, and undertaking thy greatest war, destroy
Numantia. But when thou are borne upon the triumphal car to the Capitol, thou
shalt find the Republic thrown into confusion by the policy of my grandson.
Here, O Africanus, it will be necessary for thee to display to the Fatherland
the light of thy spirit, thy genius, and thy wisdom; at this period of thy
life I see but darkly the course of thy destiny, though when thine age shalt
have completed eight times seven circuits and returns of the Sun, thus
bringing thee to the fatal epoch of thy life by the natural circuit of these
two numbers (each of which is held to be perfect, the one from a different
reason to the other); to thee alone and to thy name the whole State will turn;
to thee, as Senator, all good people, the Latin allies and the Latins
themselves shall turn; thou shalt be the one upon whom the whole salvation of
the State shall rest, and, lest misfortune befall, it behooves thee as
dictator to firmly establish the Republic if you would escape the impious
hands of thy kinsmen." At this portion of the recital Laelius cried out and
the others bitterly lamented, but Scipio, smiling slowly, said: "I beseech you
not to arouse me from slumber; peace for a little, and hear the rest."
"But, O Africanus, in order that thou mayest be the more devoted to the
welfare of the Republic, mark this well: for all those who have guarded,
cherished, and assisted their Fatherland, a particular place in Heaven is
assigned, where the blessed enjoy everlasting life. For nothing on earth is
more acceptable to that supreme Deity who reigns over the whole Universe, than
those assemblages and combinations of men united by Law which we call States;
the rulers and preservers whereof coming forth from this place, return
At this point, although I was thoroughly terrified, not so much by the fear
of death, as by the treachery of my own kinsmen, I asked notwithstanding
whether he himself was really alive and my father Paulus and other whom we
believed to be annihilated.
"Yea," said he, "in very truth, those still live who have flown forth from
the bonds of the body as from a prison; for indeed, what is called your life,
is but a death! Why, dost thou not see thy father Paulus coming to thee?"
At that sight I indeed burst forth into a flood of tears. He, on the other
hand, embracing, kissed me and forbade me to weep; and then, when my tears had
been repressed, and I began to be able to speak, "Prithee tell me," said I,
"most revered and excellent father: Since this is life, as I have heard
Africanus say, Why do I tarry upon Earth? Why do I not hasten to come hither
"It may not be," he replied, "for, unless that Deity who is the Lord of
this Universe which thou beholdest, shall liberate thee from the prison of
your body, hither approaching, it is not possible to come. For men are born
under this Law to be faithful guardians of that Globe which thou seest in the
midst of this Universe and which is called the Earth: and a Soul has been
given to them from those sempiternal fires which you call Stars and
Constellations; these being spherical and globular bodies, animated with
divine Souls, pursue their circling orbits with marvellous celerity.
Wherefore, O Publius, both by thee and all pious persons, the Soul should be
retained in the keeping of the body: not without His command, by whom that
Soul is given to you, must it depart from mortal life, lest you should appear
to be untrue to that duty to Mankind which has been assigned to you by the
Deity. But do thou cultivate justice and piety, O Scipio, following in the
steps of thy Grandsire and of myself, who begat thee. These qualities,
although excellent among parents and relations, become still more noble when
practised towards one's Country. Through this life lies the road to Heaven
and to the assemblage of those, who have already lived upon earth, and now,
released from the body, inhabit this place which thou seest (this Sphere shone
forth with the most resplendent brightness amid blazing stars) and which,
after the Greeks, you call the Milky Way. From this place all other bodies
appeared to my gaze exceedingly bright and marvellous. There were, moreover,
those Stars which are never seen from Earth; and the magnitude of all of them
were such as we have never suspected. Among these I beheld the smallest to be
the farthest from Heaven and the nearest to Earth, shining with a borrowed
Light. Moreover, the spheres of the Stars far transcended the size of the
Earth. Thus, the Earth itself already appeared small to me, so that I was
grieved to observe how small a part of its surface we in reality occupy.
As I continued to gaze steadfastly, Africanus continuing said, "How long
wilt thy mind remain rivetted to the Earth? Dost thou not behold into how
glorious a Temple thou are come? Now know that the Universe consists of nine
circles, or rather Spheres, all connected together, one of which is celestial
and the furthest off, embracing all the rest, the supreme Deity preserving and
governing the others. In this sphere are traced the eternal revolutions of
the Stars and to it are subject the seven spheres which revolve backwards with
a contrary motion to that of the Celestial Sphere. The first (of these Seven)
Spheres is occupied by the Star which on Earth is called Saturn. Next comes
the sphere of that splendid Star, salutary and fortunate to the human race,
called Jupiter. Then comes the Red Sphere, terrible to the Earth, which you
call Mars. Following beneath these spheres, and in almost the middle region, is placed the Sun, the Leader, Chief and Governor of the other Lights, the
mind of the World and the organizing principle; of such wonderous magnitude
that it illuminates and impregnates every part of the Universe with its Light.
The Spheres of Venus and Mercury in their respective courses follow the Sun as
companions. In the lowest Sphere the Moon revolves illumined by the rays of
the Sun. Below this in truth nothing exists which is not subject to death and
decay, save indeed the Souls, which by the gift of the Gods are bestowed upon
the human race. Above the Moon all things are eternal, but the sphere of the
Earth, which occupies a middle place and comes ninth, does not move: it is the
lowest and to it all ponderable bodies are born by their own gravity."
When I had recovered from my amazement at the sight of these things,
"What," said I, "is this sweet and wondrous melody which fills my ears?"
"This," said he, "is that harmony, which, affected by the mingling of
unequal intervals, yet notwithstanding in harmonious proportions and with
reason so separated, is due to the impulse and movement of the spheres
themselves; the light with the heavier tones combined, the various sounds
uniformly going to make up one grand symphony. For not with silence can such
motions be urged forward, and Nature leads us to the conclusion that the
extremes give forth a low note at the one end and a high note at the other.
Thus the celestial sphere, whose motion in its starlight course is more rapid,
gives forth a sharp and rousing sound; the gravest tone being that of the
lunar sphere, which is lowest; but the Earth, the ninth sphere, remains
immovable, always fixed in the lowest seat encompassing the middle place of
the Universe. Moreover, the motions of those eight spheres which are above
the earth, and of which the force of two is the same, cause seven sounds
supported by regular intervals; which number is the connecting principle of
almost all things. Learned men, having imitated this divine mystery with
stringed instruments and vocal harmonies, have won for themselves a return to
this place, just as others, who, endowed with superior wisdom, have cultivated
the divine sciences even in human life."
"Now to this melody the stopped ears of men have become deaf; nor is there
any duller sense in you. Just as at that place which is called Catadupa,
where the Nile falls from the highest Mountains, the people living there lose
the sense of hearing on account of the magnitude of the sound, so, indeed,
such a tremendous volume of sound arises from the rapid revolution of the
whole Cosmos that the ears of men are not capable of receiving it, just as you
are unable to look straight at the Sun, whose rays would blind the eye and
conquer the sense."
Filled with wonder at these things, my eyes ever and anon wandered back to
Hereupon Africanus said: "I perceive that even now you gaze upon the
habitation and abode of mortals. But, if it appear as small to thee, as
indeed it is, thus seen, strive ever after these heavenly things and lightly
esteem those of earth. For what glory or renown really worthy of being sought
after canst thou derive from the mouths of men? Thou seest that the earth is
inhabited in scattered places confined within narrow limits, such inhabited
regions are in themselves mere specks upon its surface with vast wildernesses
intervening; and those who dwell upon the earth are not only separated thus,
so that no communication is possible amongst them from the one to the other,
but they occupy positions partly oblique, partly transverse, partly even
opposite to yours: from these you can certainly hope for no glory. Also thou
wilt perceive this same earth to be, as it were, circumscribed and encircled
by zones, two of which, the most widely separated and situated at each end
under the very poles of heaven, are ice-bound as thou seest, while the middle
and largest zone is burnt up with the heat of the Sun. Two zones are
habitable, one of which lies to the South, those who dwell therein planting
footsteps opposite to your own, and having nothing to do with your race. As
to the other zone which you inhabit, and which is subject to the North wind,
see how very slender a part has to do with you: for the whole surface
inhabited by your race, restricted towards the poles and wider laterally, is indeed but a small island surrounded by the sea, which you call on earth the
Atlantic, the Great Sea, or Ocean. Yet, notwithstanding its name, it is but
small as thou seest. How then is it possible that from these known and
cultivated countries either thy name or that of any of us can cross those
Caucasian Mountains, which thou seest, or pass beyond the Ganges? Who, in the
remaining parts of the East, in the uttermost regions of the wandering Sun,
either in Northern of Southern Climes, will hear thy name? So then, with
these parts taken away, dost thou indeed perceive within what narrow limits
your glory seeks to spread itself, and how long even will those who sing your
praises continue to do so?
"Yea, indeed, if generations hence posterity shall seek to perpetuate the
fame of anyone of us handed down from father to son, yet notwithstanding, on
account of fire and flood, which will inevitably happen at certain fixed
periods of time, we are unable to attain lasting renown, much less eternal
glory. Moreover, of what importance are the things which shall be said
concerning thee by those to be born hereafter, when no one who existed before
will then be alive? More especially, when of those same men who are to come,
not one will be able to remember the events of even one year. Now, according
to common custom, men usually measure the year merely by the return of the
sun, or, in other words, by the revolution of one star. But when the whole of
the constellations shall return to the original positions from which they once
set forth, thus restoring at long intervals the original configuration of the
Heavens, then can that be truly called 'the Great Year,' within which period,
I scarcely dare say how many generations of men are comprised. For, just as
in time past, when the Soul of Romulus entered into these sacred abodes, the
Sun appeared to fail and be extinguished, so when the Sun shall again fail in
the same position and at the same time, then, when the Signs of the Zodiac
shall have returned to their original position, and the Stars are recalled,
the cycle of the Great Year shall be accomplished; of this enormous period of
time, know that not a twentieth part has yet passed away.
"Wherefore, it thou despairest of a speedy return to this quarter, wherein
all things are prepared for great and excellent men, pray of what value is
that human glory which can scarcely endure the smallest part of one cycle?
And so, if you would look on high and fix your gaze on this state and your
eternal home, thou shalt pay no heed to vulgar talk, neither allow thy actions
to be influenced by the hope of human rewards. True virtue for its own sake
should lead thee to real glory. Leave to others the care of ascertaining what
they may say of you: they will assuredly speak of you beyond all doubt. Human
fame is wholly restricted within these narrow limits which thou seest, and
never at any time has anyone gained immortal renown, for that is impossible
through the annihilation of men and the oblivion of posterity."
Whereon I said, "If indeed, O Africanus, for those who have deserved well
of their country, a Path, as it were, lies open to Heaven -- although from my
youth up I have followed in the footsteps of yourself and my father, and never
tarnished your great renown -- now nevertheless, with such a prospect before
me, I will strive much more vigilantly."
"Strive on," said he, "with the assurance that it is not you who are
subject to death, but your body. For thou art not what this form appears to
be, but the real man is the thinking principle of each one -- not the bodily
form which can be pointed our with the finger. Know this, then, that thou art
a God, inasmuch as Deity is that which has Will, sensation, memory, foresight,
and who so rules, regulates, and moves the body to which his charge is
committed, just as the supreme Deity does the Universe, and as the Eternal God
directs this Universe, which is in a certain degree subject to decay, so a
sempiternal Soul moves the frail body.
"Now, that which is always in motion is eternal, whereas that which only
communicates motion, and which itself is put in motion by some other cause,
must necessarily cease when the motive impulse is withdrawn. Accordingly that
alone which moves spontaneously because it is ever all itself, never indeed
ceases to move, and is moreover the source of motion in all things. Now a primary cause is not derived from any other cause; for forth from that do all
things proceed, and from no other. That which springs from something else
cannot be the primary cause, and if this indeed never had a commencement,
neither will it ever have an end. For the primal cause once destroyed could
neither be generated afresh from any other thing, nor itself produce anything
else: for all things must necessarily proceed from the primal cause. This
eternal principle of all Motion arises out of that which is moved by itself
and of itself, and cannot therefore be born or perish; or else of necessity
the whole heavens must collapse, and all Nature come to a standstill, unable
any longer to derive the impulse by which it was set in motion at the first.
"Since, accordingly, it is manifest that that is eternal which moves of
itself, who will deny this eternal principle to be a natural attribute of
Souls. For everything which is moved by an external impulse is inanimate: but
that, on the other hand, which energizes from within is truly animated, and
this is the peculiar operation of the Soul. If then the Soul is the one thing
above all, which is self motive, it certainly is not born, but eternal. Do
thou then exercise this Soul of thine in the noblest pursuits: solicitude and
care for the welfare of one's country are the best; for, animated and
controlled by these sentiments, the Soul passes more swiftly to this sphere --
its true home. And this may be the more speedily achieved if, while
imprisoned in the body, it shall rise superior to terrestrial limitations, and
by the contemplation of those things which are beyond the body, it shall
abstract itself to the greatest degree from its earthly tabernacle.
"For the Souls of men who have delivered themselves over to the desires of
the body, and of those women who, as abettors, have surrendered themselves,
and by the impulse of passions obedient to sensual gratifications, have
violated the laws of God and of Man, once liberated from the body, are whirled
around this world, and such tortured Souls will not return to this place, save
after many centuries."
Here he ceased, and I awoke from sleep.
Previous from the Library Shelf Next from the Library Shelf
From the Outbasket
Here are the annual demographics of the O.T.O. from International
Headquarters. These totals have been obtained from active central
accounts at the end of February 2003 e.v.: 3,711 all, 3,003 of which
are initiates. It will be seen that the number of associates has
dropped to about half the figure reported last year. Association was
extended past the paid period until regular issuing of the Magical
Link could resume. Since the 'Link has now returned to two issues a
year, these extensions have been ended.
In the list which follows, all data is drawn from the
International mailing list. Accordingly, the membership counts here
are less than the actual total count, owing to changing and lost
Currently recorded OTO addresses by regions at end February 2003 e.v.
(Associates and initiates both) Total: 3,274 in 47 countries.
UNITED STATES TOTAL: 1,929
|(North Cal: 140)
|(South Cal: 188)
|Dist. of Columbia
EUROPE TOTAL: 893
CANADA TOTAL: 132
OCEANIA & ASIA TOTAL: 146
||U. ARAB EMIRATES
PANAMERICA (exp. US&CAN) TOTAL: 157
AFRICA TOTAL: 17
Detail of February 2002 e.v. Demographics (last year)
---- International OTO Treasurer General (Bill Heidrick)
Future OTO demographic reports will be circulated internally within
OTO. This may be the last to appear in the TLC
Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for April 2003 e.v.
|4/1/03||New Moon in Aries 11:19 AM|
|4/2/03||Heptarchia Mystica, Enochian|
with Charles 8PM in the library
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/6/03||Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/8/03||Feast of Liber AL: chapter I|
In Horus temple 8:00 PM
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/9/03||Feast of Liber AL: chapter II|
At Ancient Ways 8:00 PM
|(510) 652-3244||Sirius Camp|
|4/10/03||Feast of Liber AL: chapter III|
At Ashby House 8:00 PM
|4/13/03||Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/16/03||Enochian class with Charles|
in the library 8PM
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/16/03||Full Moon in Libra 12:36 PM|
|4/18/03||Pathworking with Paul 8PM|
in Horus Temple
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/20/03||Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/21/03||Section II reading group with|
Caitlin: "The Dream of Scipio"
by Cicero 8PM in the library
|(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/27/03||Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple||(510) 652-3171||Thelema Ldg.|
|4/30/03||Heptarchia Mystica, Enochian|
with Charles 8PM in the library
|(510) 652-3171||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
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O. Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)
Internet: email@example.com (Submissions and internet circulation only)Home away from Home