Thelema Lodge Calendar for April 2004 e.v.
Thelema Lodge Calendar
for April 2004 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, 2004 e.v.
Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
April 2004 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Lodge Members and Officers
Feast for a Century of the Law (Anno C = IIII12)
The hundredth anniversary of the Cairo Working at the Equinox of the Gods
will be celebrated this month by Thelema Lodge with three evenings of feasts
and ceremonial readings from the Book of the Law. Join us for these Holy Days
of Liber AL, and attend anew to the words of Aiwass which established our aeon
of Horus. Recorded in longhand from dictation of the spirit during the second
week of April 1904 e.v. by Aleister Crowley (with assistance from his wife
Rose), this text established itself over the intervening century as the
essential expression of a new Thelemic culture. At its centennial, on three
consecutive spring evenings, the 8th, 9th, and 10th of April, members and
friends will gather in Horus Temple and listen to the three chapters, one by
one, with a variety of feasts to follow the readings. For chapter one, the
manifestation of Nuit, join us on Thursday evening 8th April at 8:00, when
sister Temple will be our reader. The feast for Nuit is to be champagne and
chocolate, so bring some of both to share if you are able. On the following
evening, Friday 9th April, we will hear the hiding of Hadit, chapter two, read
by brother Nathan, beginning at 8:00, with a feast afterwards of cakes and
fruit. Again, please bring some of each to share if possible, with drinks
optional. On Saturday evening 10th April we will be once more in the temple
at 8:00 for the third chapter, the reward of Ra Hoor Khut. Brother Matthew is
to be our reader, and this final chapter will be followed by a complete
Mexican-style dinner feast, with all invited to contribute entree dishes as
well as drinks.
Gold and Ivory and Marble
Celebrate the secret of secrets in the sanctuary of the gnosis with the
members and friends of Thelema Lodge any Sunday evening as a participant in
the communion ritual of Aleister Crowley's Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica.
Arrive by 8:00 at Horus Temple for the gnostic mass, which will begin shortly
after nightfall. If attending for the first time, please call well ahead and
speak with the lodgemaster for additional information and directions to the
temple. All communicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the
canon of the mass (as set forth in Liber XV, available in The Equinox or as an
appendix to Magick), and to learn the ritual by practicing it with others.
Once you know the speeches, the gestures, and the steps, and have begun to
internalize the process of the mass, organize as a team of officers with two
others, and begin celebrating mass together privately. Concentrate at first
upon the mass as a program for a complex symbolic interaction between
priestess and priest, assisted by the deacon. Only when the three officers
have begun to develop a magical relation in their working together are they
ready to begin worrying about such things as robes and tools and temple
furniture. (The "gold and ivory and marble" of our temple is no more physical
than in any private room with a sheet held up as a veil, and it is to be hoped
that we are all magicians enough not to depend upon tusks taken from elephants
as proofs of our grandeur.) Some teams will want to improvise their own
temples, and most will do well to arrange rehearsal time here in Horus Temple
if they are working toward serving the lodge as officers in the mass. Confer
along the way with one or more of your favorite working officers from the
temple, who can offer assistance and encouragement, whether you are exploring
one of the more ambiguous technical directions in the ritual, or some of the
loftier sacred rhetoric in one of its speeches. When your team is ready to
offer the gnostic mass to the lodge, simply speak with the lodgemaster for a
date on the temple calendar.
Our temple has been open without fail for the celebration of gnostic mass
each Sunday evening in its present location for well over ten years, and since
1977 e.v. Thelema Lodge has endeavored to offer mass on a weekly basis to all
whose will it is to take communion with us. In the great tradition of our
founding Gnostic Catholic Patriarch Grady McMurtry, and in the words of the
priest in the mass, "we claim communion." The gnosis is not a franchise, and
can neither be granted by authority nor conferred as a privilege; it lives in
the individual will of each of us, and is available to all. Although some
enjoy the romance and glamour of such now meaningless trappings of old
Christian authoritarianism as clerical ordination and "apostolic" succession,
gnostics have always known that we are each priestesses or priests by nature
and in our own right, and have only to claim these roles by developing our
abilities to fulfill them. Ordination
for the priest, according to the closing instruction in the canon of the
mass itself, comes with the learning of "certain secret formulae" of the
ritual. In the natural course of training he may learn these with an
instructed priestess. There
is no mention in the mass of ordination for the priestess or the deacon, and
the qualifications set forth for priestesses make it clear that even her
"dedication" is optional. The new little ceremonies of baptism, confirmation,
ordination, and so on, are available from some E.G.C. officers, here and
elsewhere, for those who request them. The Lodgemaster views these as completely
personal options, having no meaning beyond the devotion they commemorate. Our
officers, whether or not they find such ceremonies worthwhile, each claim
their own true ordination in the gnosis, when they succeed at achieving the
ability, and then arranging the opportunity, to celebrate the miracle of the
Bought, Conferred, or Won
The Master Therion warns all Aspirants to the Sacred Wisdom and the Magick
of Light that Initiation cannot be bought, or even conferred; it must be won
by personal endeavor" (Aleister Crowley, in a letter to Wilfred Smith, 1934
e.v.). O.T.O. initiation is scheduled at Thelema Lodge on Saturday 3rd
April, with all who would like to attend asked to speak with one of the
officers of the lodge ahead of time in order to be included in our plans for
the event. The times, locations, and degrees to be worked are not announced
openly for these events, and must be communicated directly to those qualified
to learn them. Initiation through the Man of Earth degrees of Ordo Templi
Orientis, from Minerval to the Fourth Degree and the rank of Perfect Initiate,
is offered at Thelema Lodge and at lodges and oases of the Order throughout
the world. Candidates should submit the proper application form to the lodge,
complete with the sponsorship of two initiate members. The requirements for
initiation are that the candidate be free, of full age, and of good report,
and that the degrees be taken in proper sequence with the requisite time spent
in each before going on to the next. There is also a one month minimum period
of candidacy to be awaited after an application has been accepted by the Grand
Lodge Initiation Secretary (with additional time sometimes required locally
for the ritual to be scheduled). Forms are available, and may be requested
from the lodgemaster at most temple or library events.
Seven Hundred and Seventy-Seven
The book 777 has for its primary object the construction of a magical
My extended travels throughout the world had brought me into contact with
religious and philosophical thinkers of every shade of opinion: and the more I
knew the greater became the confusion. I understood, with bitter approval,
the outburst of the aged Fichte: "If I had my entire life to live again, the
first thing I would do would be to invent an entirely new system of symbols
whereby to convey my ideas."
We can refer everything in the Universe to the system of pure number, whose
symbols will be intelligible to all rational minds in an identical sense.
The 10 numbers and 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, with their
traditional and rational correspondences (taking into consideration their
numerical and geometrical interrelations), afford us a coherent systematic
groundwork sufficiently elastic for our superstructure.
------ Aleister Crowley, "A Brief Essay Upon the Nature and Significance of
the Magical Alphabet" (from 777).
Every number is infinite: there is no difference.
------Liber AL vel Legis, I:4.
Ways to Scale a Snake
by Brother Gregory Peters
The book of qabalistic correspondences that we know as 777 is a fundamental
text in practical magick for the occultist. The rows and columns of data are
the ingredients used to construct rituals upon qabalistic lines; plot ones
course during astral travel; test and communicate with spirits and
intelligences, angels and demons, and even the Gods; synthesize seemingly
disparate mythologies using the true inner symbols which they represent, and
The book is layed out in tables of correspondences under the qabalistic
Tree of Life as the master pattern. Each column addresses different aspects
of the magical universe, and these are catalogued according to the rows which
are numbered 0 through 32 in the order of the Tree of Life, with 0
representing the Three Veils of Naught, 1 - 10 mapping to the sepheroth on the
Tree, and 11 - 32 the connecting paths (with the addition of two extra rows
for the dual attributions of earth/Saturn and fire/spirit, 32 and 31 bis.
Column I is marked Key Scale, and this gives the master association or
placement on the Tree from which all other correspondences will be attributed.
Going down column I, the numbers are placed either in the center (to represent
the primary sephiroth and planetary attributions), the left (to represent the
elements of earth, air, water, fire, and spirit), or the right (to represent
the zodiacal attributions). One may easily find the ideas associated with any
given aspect of the magical universe by reading the appropriate row from each
column. In several instructional documents, such as Liber O, Crowley remarked
that many of the more important columns should be committed to memory, for in
this way one will "begin to understand the nature of the correspondences."
Not to be neglected are the extensive notes on the columns, given after the
tables themselves. It is here that Crowley goes into detail, explaining many
of the primary attributions, as well as the main object of the book itself:
Firstly, to analyze any idea soever in terms of the Tree of Life.
Secondly, to trace the connection between every class of ideas referring it
Thirdly, to translate any unknown symbolism into terms of any known one by
Fourthly, to make a concatenation of any part of any idea with the rest by
analogy with the similar concatenation of the Sepheroth and the paths.
The extensive writings of Crowley are rich with qabalistic associations,
many of which may be illuminated by familiarity with the correspondences of
777. As an example, Liber VIII, the ritual Invocation of the Holy Guardian
Angel (taken from the vision of the 8th Aethyr of Liber CCCCXVIII) instructs
the magician to "make himself a wand of almond wood or of hazel cut by his own
hands [. . .]." A possible significance to this choice of woods may be found
from examining the correspondences in 777. Column XXXIX is titled "Plants,
Real and Imaginary." We find almond in flower associated with row 1, which is
the Key Scale attributed to Kether on the Tree of Life. Almond is also
attributed to row 13, corresponding with the Hebrew letter gimel on the 13th
path, which connects Tiphareth to Kether, crossing the Abyss. Hazel is also
attributed to the 13th path, seemingly making these choices identical.
However, when reading the notes to column XXXIX we find some fascinating
The Almond in flower is connected with Aaron's Rod that budded.
The Almond is the proper wood for the wand of the White magician, but the
attribution should really be to the middle pillar as a whole.
-- 777, notes to column XXXIX, row 2.
These attributions are again traditional. The Hazel is suitable for the
wand of the Black magician whose typical deity is the Moon just as that of the
White magician is the Sun.
-- 777, notes to column XXXIX, row 13.
The notes to 777 are filled with such insights, including gems of wisdom
that are not mentioned in any other sources. Have you ever wondered if the
august fraternity of the A A has a sacred flower? Wonder no more as Crowley
describes it clearly:
Gorse, the sacred flower of the A A was chosen as their heraldic emblem
to be a symbol of the Great Work. Its appearance is that of the Sun in full
blaze, and suggests the burning bush of Moses. Its branches are exceedingly
firm, as should be the Will of the Adept, and they are covered with sharp
spikes, which symbolize, on the one hand, the phallic energy of the Will and,
on the other, the pains which are gladly endured by one who puts forth his
hand to pluck this bloom of sunlight splendour. Note that the Great Work is
here concentrated in Tiphareth, the attainment of the Grade corresponding to
which is in fact the critical stage on the path of the Wise.
-- 777, notes to column XXXIX, row 6.
In column XL, precious stones are catalogued. We find here glimpses of an
important doctrine that concerns the Exempt Adept. In the notes to row 3
The Star Sapphire suggests the expanse of night with the Star appearing in
the midst thereof. Note that this light is not in the stone itself but is due
to the internal structure. The doctrine is that the stars are formed in the
body of night by virtue of the form of that night by the impact of the energy
of a higher plane. The Pearl is referred to Binah on account of its being the
typical stone of the sea. It is formed by concentric spheres of hard
brilliant substance, the centre being a particle of dust. Thus, that dust
which is all that remains of the Exempt Adept after he had crossed the Abyss,
is gradually surrounded by sphere after sphere of shining splendour, so that
he becomes a fitting ornament for the bosom of the Great Mother.
-- 777, notes to column XL, row 3.
Throughout the text of 777 will be found the Hebrew names of countless
intelligences, spirits, genii, angels, and other Yetziratic and qliphotic denizens. In order to work with such entities, it is often helpful to be able
to create a form that will be the object of sustained visualization during
workings. The form built up is constructed of the imaginative yetziratic
faculties -- the astral light. It is into this form that the force is
compelled to indwell for the duration of such rival practices. Many of these
beings have no traditional forms catalogued, and so it is left up to the
individual magician to construct talismatic images. This may be accomplished
by means of the yetziratic attributions of the Hebrew alphabet. Each letter
has associated with it certain qualities of talismatic imagery; thus, by
taking the letters of a spirit's name, one may build up a suitable vehicle in
the astral light. This practice may be applied to other languages which have
yetziratic values associated with the letters; Greek is a classic example, and
many magicians have constructed talismatic images of the four beings invoked
in the Star Ruby, for example. Take the name of the being and write it
vertically, from the top down. The first letter will generally give the
qualities of the head, the next of the torso, and so on down to the feet.
This is a practice where the artistic abilities of the magician will come into
play, as intuitive associations will help to build up the imagery based upon
Join the Magical Foundations class this month at Thelema Lodge on Thursday
evening 15th April as we explore some of the practical applications of the
book 777. The highlight will be a workshop on how to create talismatic
images, using 777 as our sourcebook to explore the vast realms of the Tree.
Class runs from 7:30 until 10:00, and please note that we are meeting one week
later than usual this month due to the preceding Feast of Liber AL.
Bohm's Bursting in Air
Communication has been ailing in the human race for a long time and
Dialogue is concerned with that. But the primary purpose of Dialogue is not
to communicate. It is much deeper. It addresses the blocks in communication,
not merely to understand them, but to meet them directly. ------ David Bohm
This month, as part of our continuing quest to discover alternative modes
of learning, we will explore the method of Dialogue, as formulated by
physicist David Bohm, within the context of Thelema. Dialogue is a group
activity intended to support the observation of the thought process. It is
open and free-form, and so a little difficult to grasp at first, but these
characteristics were suggested in the original paper, "Dialogue -- A Proposal"
by Bohm, Donald Factor, and Peter Garrett, writing in 1991:
* Suspension of thoughts, impulses, and judgments so that they can be seen
and felt by oneself and reflected back by the group.
* Listening is at least as important as speaking.
* Serious attention to any implicit rigidity which might take hold.
* Conversation between equals.
* No content should be excluded.
Please join us in the library on Wednesday evening 28th April for a very
special form of conversation.
Section Two Review
On Monday evening 12th April in the library at Thelema Lodge our Section
Two reading group will offer a summation of the project upon which we have
been engaged in monthly meetings for nearly a decade, exploring the magical
possibilities of occult literature. Starting with a discussion of the qabalah
of Lewis Carroll's Alice books in the summer of 1994 e.v., this small group of
literary students has conducted a comprehensive investigation of the course of
reading which Aleister Crowley suggested for beginning students of magick.
The second section of this A A Curriculum was intended to promote "a general familiarity with the mystical and magical tradition" and to "suggest many
helpful lines of thought." Drawn up most likely around the beginning of 1914
e.v., the list of "generally suggestive" titles was published five years
later in the "blue" Equinox, appearing again without revision another decade
after that in an appendix to Magick in Theory and Practice.
The forty-one individual items and five generic categories in the Section
Two bibliography, ranging from Genesis to the year 1913 e.v., provide a
comprehensive survey of magical topics as characterized in literature. A few
are concerned directly with ceremonial magick, such as Jepson's Number
Nineteen (1910) and The Tempest (1611) of Shakespeare. Many offer accounts
adapted from folklore concerning various orders of spiritual beings, including
fairies, demons, vampires, djinn, and the four orders of elemental creatures
outlined by Paracelsus. Some of the works portray pagan religious cultures,
or the religious life of the Orient, or occult Christian traditions such as
"Satanism" and witch-hunting. Others outline alternate perspectives upon
history, religion, or philosophy. Several -- the Alice books (1865-71) as
well as Hinton's Scientific Romances (1884-85) -- even outline alternate
perspectives upon logic and mathematics. The majority of the items date from
the nineteenth century, but the list includes a few works from classical
antiquity, half a dozen from the Renaissance, and a couple from the age of
Enlightenment. The century of Crowley's own education supplies twenty-four
titles, in French and German as well as English. Crowley read contemporary
French with ease and pleasure, but used translations of Rabelais and of the
German Undine (1811), as well as of the Meinhold witch stories (1841-48),
whose English versions had been quite popular while the originals remained
practically unknown in Germany. There are also six works from the opening
years of the twentieth century of vulgar reckoning listed, some of which have
survived as classics, such as Kipling's Kim (1901) -- or demi-classics like
The Magician (1908) by Maugham -- while others have long since faded into the
Celtic Twilight and are forgotten, like Maurice Hewlett's wonderful fairy book
The Lore of Proserpine (1913), the most recent title on the Section Two list.
Twelve of the 41 texts are foreign, but most of these have well established
English versions. This concluding discussion will examine the Section Two
reading list as a whole, explore some of the attempts to update the list since
Crowley's day, and glance also for comparison at the recently published O.T.O.
Previous Section Two
The birthday bashes are back! Calling all Aries (Arieses? Ariae?) for a
collective birthday party, at 8:00 on Wednesday evening 14th April. We'll
supply the cake, you bring your party hat, and we can all butt heads with
abandon. Look forward to similar events for the rest of the zodiac in the
The Association for the Study of Thelema is a student organization recently
founded by Thelemites at San Francisco State University. For their inaugural
meeting, they've invited Michael Sanborn of Thelema Lodge to lecture on the
topic "What is Thelema?" There's no telling what he's likely to do with a
subject that broad, but he's hinting that it may involve looking at Thelema
both from a historical perspective and within a contemporary context. Come to
room 279 of the Humanities Building at SFSU on Monday evening 5th April at
7:30, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Thelema Lodge hopes to effect a transfer of mastership this month, with our
longest serving auxiliary officer slated to assume primary responsibility to
the O.T.O. for our charter as an official body. Pending administrative
approval for this transfer, we are looking toward a few changes, particularly
with regard to the monthly lodge newsletter. As master of the lodge here for
the past ten and a half years, I have also served as editor of the Thelema
Lodge Calendar, a position from which (along with my other official
responsibilities) I hope to be stepping down in a few weeks. Brother Bill
Heidrick, who as publisher of our newsletter (and its various precursors) has
contributed enormous efforts every month for more than twice as long as I
have, plans also to retire from those duties. The current projection is for
the newsletter to cease publication this month in our present format, with
this April issue as our last, and for a new monthly magazine to be issued from
the lodge. This new publication, edited by brother Michael Sanborn, is to be
professionally printed and bulk-mailed to subscribers, under the banner of the
Thelema Community Calendar. An inaugural issue should be appearing this
month, concurrent with this final April number under the old format. Designed
to be somewhat longer and more varied, the Community Calendar will need a
great deal of new involvement from throughout the community if it is to
succeed. Both editorial and publication efforts will need to be greater than
we have ever managed before, and many regular responsibilities will require
reliable coordination. Members and friends who have sometimes given a thought
to this publication, or have speculated upon the potential of the good old
written word as a medium of communication, should take this opportunity of
gathering around our new publication effort with support and contributions of
The Thelema Lodge Calendar, as a twelve-page printed newsletter, developed
in 1986 e.v. out of a single sheet calendar that was mailed to local members,
after The Magical Link moved to New York and began appearing out of Agape
Grand Lodge. An additional sheet -- and then two and then more -- got attached
to the calendar page, bearing announcements of events, and soon a regular
magazine of monthly features was being issued with each calendar. Although
intended for a readership throughout the Order (and beyond, into the wider
Thelemic community), the newsletter kept its local orientation. Our Calendar
appeared until 2001 e.v. in its paper-and-ink format, continuing for three
additional years as an on-line electronic publication. The man who made it
work all along was Bill Heidrick, who had previously been the printer and
publisher for the early O.T.O. Newsletter (1977-80) and for The Magickal Link
(1981-85). While Bill has been keeping the international corporation of
O.T.O. thriving, as its most stalwart and longest-serving grand officer, he
has continued to donate his sustained effort in the enormous undertaking of
this newsletter, toward the ongoing support of the lodge which he had
originally helped Grady to establish, even in its often rather strange new
incarnation as the local East Bay O.T.O. body.
I began volunteer work on the Thelema Lodge Calendar as soon as I was
initiated Minerval and taken from the Magick Theater in Santa Cruz to visit
Bill Heidrick in San Anselmo, in the autumn of 1986 e.v. The newsletter even
then was not exclusively a paper-and-ink publication, and before the internet
it was also posted electronically on the early bulletin boards used by
computers back then. Most of us knew it as six sheets of paper, stapled once
and folded twice, and sent as bulk mail through the US Postal Service shortly
before the beginning of each month. Members and associates in northern
California received free subscriptions, along with official bodies and senior
members of the Order world wide, so there were hundreds of copies for Bill to
print, collate, staple, fold, seal, and then sticker with address labels each
month. (We used to estimate there was a circulation of around 666.) There
were times when a happy party of Thelemites crowded into Bill's parlor to
share the chore -- perhaps with pizza and videos on the side -- and there were
a few times when Bill probably had to do the entire job by himself, but generally it was somewhere in between, with a few of us making the trek up to
Marin from the East Bay to work and chat for a couple of hours together.
My own first contributions to the content of the Calendar were maps and
display announcement for holiday events, and then late in 1987 e.v. Caitlin
got me interested in a project for editing the poems of Grady McMurtry for
serial publication in the newsletter. We transcribed all of Grady's verse
upon which we could lay our hands (mostly from Bill's own collection),
prepared a few preliminary pamphlets in order to share our work, and over the
course of more than eleven years we published the Collected Poems of Grady
McMurtry in the Calendar. The project then continued, finding other writings
of Hymenaeus Alpha, including previously unseen early diary material,
transcripts of interview tapes, excerpts from academic papers on magical
subjects, and many articles and essays (some previously unpublished and others
reprinted from the old Magickal Link and other early magazines). In 1991 I
took over the work of writing or editing the announcements column which
typically led each issue, describing seasonal events, regular activities,
classes, rituals, and everything else that might happen to be going on. I
also had the idea back then to reprint obscure articles by Aleister Crowley,
taken mostly from magazines between 1908 and 1918 e.v., which I could research
at the library or trade as photocopies with other Crowley scholars. Although
I had a break from this work for a year beginning in 1992 e.v., ever since the
late summer of 1993 e.v. I have been back at the keyboard in this position.
Bill always did all the printing, on a temperamental lithographic press
that took up what would have been the breakfast room off of his kitchen in San
Anselmo. This press was never free of trouble, and was eventually replaced by
a similar machine, which continued to present similar difficulties, so that a
few years ago we at last decided to suspend the paper edition of our
publication. Since then a monthly issue has been posted on line in more or
less the same format, and all of the old issues -- going back eighteen years --
are available for reference electronically. Here at http://www.billheidrick.com we have accumulated a library of over seventy
essays by Crowley, as well as numerous short stories, plays, prose poems,
prefaces, broadside announcements, and other scarce items, not otherwise
collected. There is also a wealth of early O.T.O. letters and documents,
transcribed by Bill for his "Primary Sources" column, amid articles and
reviews of all sorts from over the years. There is a good series of
thoughtful and entertaining essays by past master Mordecai Shapiro from the
early '90s e.v., clever and eclectic pieces scattered throughout by brother
Michael Sanborn, and in recent years some good analytical articles by brother
Nathan Bjorge. There are some valuable articles by (and about) the late Ebony
Anpu, the late Cris Piss, and others whom our community has lost over the
years. I have been grateful for all the many contributions seen over this
whole time (even the few of which we were unable to take advantage), and for
the support for the newsletter around the lodge and throughout the community.
Thanks to all who have been involved with this great project.
by brother John Brunie
This unusual article, as much a prose poem as an essay, consists of two
fragments recording a fantasia of nocturnal impressions of urban life in
Manhattan, experienced by a recently arrived English man of letters who hoped
to set himself up in the publishing world of New York. Only two sections of
the piece survive, although their numbering suggests that several more were
contemplated. The extant fragments seem to have been rapidly written, and
probably did not receive much revision before they were abandoned (yet
preserved) by their author. The opening section appears to chronicle the
reverie of a spectator at the ballet, and begins by headlining a program of
four Russian dance titles. The other section is a meditation upon the crowds
on the city. Here the great man, far from home yet at peace amidst the general mid-town scurry, pauses a moment before meeting his date, in order to
glance at the prostitutes to see whether he knows any of them. Never
published during Crowley's lifetime, this article was edited ten years ago
from archival materials in the Humanities Research Center in the University of
Texas at Austin, for publication in the second issue of The Scribe: The
Journal of Tahuti Lodge, O.T.O. (East Elmhurst, NY: autumn 1994 e.v.), and is
reprinted here with gratitude to the editors of that periodical. © 1994, 2004
e.v., Ordo Templi Orientis.
A New York Night
by Aleister Crowley
The Ballet Russe
LE SPECTRE DE LA ROSE
The hunt is up. Color shall chase through the rainbow of the spectrum,
sound spur upon sound from octave to octave. The great hound love shall leap
from the broken leash, his deep and dreadful bark awakening to alarm the deer
of innocence as she dips her muzzle upon the waters of the wooded upland pool.
Death shall lurk like a boar amid the rushes, keen to ensanguine jutting
tusks. The hunt is up.
We thrill to fate and consequence. Let us hie away to lands of faery, that
lie somber beneath the measureless laughter of old Ocean. There lie monstrous
and fantastic kingdoms, where beauty matches her magic against creatures of
nightmare; there love dances all unconscious of the sad symphonies of wisdom,
and there the cadence of ripple, and the clash of storm pass overhead
unheeded, while giant polyps, and starfish like a battle of crocodiles, and
anemones like volcanoes in eruption, dispute the mastery of that silence that
broods sterile thoughts weighed down by the proud and perpetual body of the
sea. Stranger than dream, this antiphone of happiness and horror! Yet like a
dream the pageant vanishes. Oblivion unrolls its fatal veil -- look! we are
in a market place, a smiling mouth of plenty with the frowning brows of lofty
castles beetling over it. Who is that mocker that intrudes upon the simple
folk that throng the streets? Who, masked in mockery, flouts their staid
worth or their harmless happiness? Who is it that calls forth the spirit of
perverse glee, conspires with youth against time, raises the banner of anarchy
in the house of order? We see fatality in every impish gesture; each prank is
played upon the precipice-edge; for there, shrouded and sinister, is the stern
angel of retribution, the weight of the world's woe incarnate in that hooded
man that stands apart, nor breaks his silence for all the extravagance of the
masquers; he knows his hour must come. And so we witness the steady stride of
the soldiery, the firm step of the catastrophe without a pang, even as we
acquiesce in our own tragic destiny, we, ephemeral jesters with eternal
jealousies! Come, there is the great gallows; the ropes creak; the mock king
sprawls in mid-air under the lurid crimson of the executioners' lanterns.
About him stand the frightful brotherhood like vultures -- and the dance of
delight reawakens with moon-pale lamps swung high by merry men and maidens!
We start -- the dream shakes us as a terrier shakes a rat -- we sink into a
deeper lethargy. It is a maiden's room of white and blue. Against the mighty
open doors she stands, awake and dreaming, while on the balcony the night is
thwarted by roses, souls of sunset incarnate in the world of flowers. At her
throat is one red rose; she plucks it forth. She sinks into a chair; she
sleeps; she dreams. The spirit of the rose bewitches her; her heart's love
formulates itself in flesh. Even as sunrise sheds its bloom upon the snows of
the Jungfrau, so her dream-lover breaks into her slumbers, dances through
every portal of her heart. Every gesture is a caress. Life flows in her
limbs; he carries her from measure to measure -- to beyond measure. For all
is lost and won; her limbs relax; the dream is over; sleep claims her last
allegiance. Ah no! she cannot so forget. The dream being gone, she must
awaken. Alas! She only clasps a crimson rose, a soul deciduous, null,
incapable! Quick! let us wake, we also; we cannot endure the melancholy of
our disillusion. We too were dreaming; life must be real, must be vivid -- or
-- or? The anguish and the passion of our souls create a new illusion in accordance with our desire; fierce and full-blooded, our imagination runs
amuck. This is a formulation of our will as monstrous as an afrite; as
horrible as the demon-queen of hashish, and as furious in fascination. The
Orient submerges us. The green and red of love and war; the vivid blue of
passion star-strewn, grim arches opening on the abyss of death. And death
indeed shall issue thence in gusty guise of lust, black-limbed and silver-
sandalled. See power -- fawned on by beauty, smiling and complaisant! A
moment's inattention, o king, beware of it! Take but thine eye from that
beast beauty, it will bite! Thine happiness is but thine own creation and
reflection; its price is vigilance. Trust not the guards; they are corrupt.
Turn not thy back upon them that say they love thee; they can strike up
between the ribs to the heart; they only wait for the moment. What avails thy
vengeance? Will the dead rise to caress thee as of old? Thou art twice
beggared -- ah! this time we wake indeed. Life tricks us all; love, justice,
death, the event, all stand mocking around us in our pillories, the scarlet
letter of our shame that we are men branded upon our foreheads. Ah, in our
very shame we are heroic -- for we willed our own doom when we accepted the
ordeal of life.
Where am I? What wave of sleep has overwhelmed me? I do not see the
swift, enormous limbs of Nijinsky, like the threshing of the flail of Time; I
do not hear the savage cunning of the clashing harmonies of Rimsky-Korsakoff.
I only see the soul of Russia as I have known and loved her -- the Kremlin,
passionlessly pallid, like the face of a brave man under the surgeon's knife;
for in its heart are knotted the torment of the basilica writhing in
damnation, and among them, more awful than they, the eyes of Ivan the Terrible
as he struck down his only son to death; I only hear over the frozen steppes
tumultuous and inevitable, the joy of the myriad bells of Moscow.
I came into Broadway at 45th Street; a few minutes had to pass before my
midnight assignation with Fun. So I moved idly in the multitude, and gave the
mood of the moment to taste to the tongue of my grave soul, my too clear-
seeing soul. I saw these people formicacious and futile; all that they lacked
of ants was order. On them all was the great load of humanity. Each bore his
soul like an old soldier with an ever-aching wound. In every eye I saw the
fearful hunger which is the heritage of man. Some needed economic
independence; some needed love; and fate had slowly doled out mere orts of
money and pleasure. Some, glutted with those false meats, drunk on those vain
delusions, thought themselves happy -- then why so restless, so intent?
Surely if there be happiness, its symbol must be peace. And this street --
It is like a mining camp; the tawdry flashing lights, the rotten planking
of Broadway full of deep holes where stagnant pools reflect the glare, the
insane traffic, the vulgarity and shouting, the coarse appeal of charity, the
apish mimicking of trade, cheap imitation jewelry, cheap imitation women --
Stop! where is Rita Gonzales? She was a real woman; she was a woman of gold!
So simple, so innocent, so gay, yet so profoundly passionate -- I would envy
De Quincey his leisure and his opium, that I might haunt eternally this street
where first I saw her, dawn of two miraculous months, where last I saw her
before the eternal curse drew her away from me, hiding her under the empurpled
robe of silence. I cannot ever weep. Such is our life; under the silence of
inexorable might we jostle and splash to artificial lights and sounds; we
struggle and show, going no whither, not understanding anything, not even that
when all is said naught may remain but the silence of inexorable night.
I am not moved by social inequality; the rich man in his furs, the poor man
drawing his worn coat about him, the successful prostitute, the starving
artist, fat props of drama, shrill haters of society, burgess and parasite and
worker -- high and low, all are so terribly equal in the eyes of inexorable night. Even on earth there is not so much to choose between the lots of fate;
weigh Franz Joseph 68 years an Emperor against that old woman selling potions
on the curb. Who can measure the ways of Fate?
And Fate is -- seems -- to me -- tonight -- on Broadway. The idea of purpose,
of intelligence, in the universe, becomes incredible; if I be wrong, then it
proves that I at least have no intelligence -- the Cretan paradox!
It is strange how few of the passers-by have any business. Some are going
to or from some place of amusement or refreshment; but most are merely flies;
drawn by the dazzle. They do not know why they are there. I too feel
something of the fascination; or why do I linger? May it be that once -- when
Fire was new on earth -- the light, the company of men, even strange men, were
symbols of safety? Are we still half-brutes, hunted by old growling instincts
no longer reasonable, no longer intelligible? It seems as if it might be so;
for here are all the primitive passions peering from these animal faces.
Civilization? I look for lofty brow, for grave calm eyes, for tightened mouth
and strongly-jutting jaw. I see only greed and cunning and brutality and lust
-- and that awful hunger of the half-human soul, struggling to grow, and
starving by reason that its brother the body hates it. Oh folly -- oh
homicidal race! These men and women do not even understand that they are
destroying their bodies also when they neglect their souls!
"What do you want to be in life?"
"What do you want to be in life?"
On Broadway the only answer begins, I want to have ----
What can one get? Food, drink, women, poverty, money -- and then more
money. So soon it tires, this game! Death is certainly the friend of those
whose orbit is no wider than this. Weariness would annihilate them as disease
does not; what else have they invoked?
We teach them to read, and what do they read? Music -- and for what do
they clamour? Science -- and how do they use it but to destroy each other and
themselves? Was it not better in the "dark ages" of humanity?
One light has dazzled us, destroyed us, moths in the flame!
Oh, men, you were right, perhaps, to kill your great ones!
Now you have spared us; you have let us give all power into your hands --
you will not accept our greater gifts, love under will, freedom and peace --
Virtue, and wisdom, and multiscient truth!
Ah! the adepts were wrong who lifted the bar of silence from inexorable
night -- but they invoked the abuse of knowledge without understanding, whose
name is madness, whose badge is universal suicide. And yet how else may man
attain? And -- to what?
We must go on --
But we must compel the acceptance of new aims, invoke light -- then
knowledge, the light of love and will --
En avant, mes enfants!
Previous Crowley Classics
from the Grady Project:
Grady's free verse memoir of US Army service in the Korean War is his longest
poem, and contains passages which are among the most personal and most
directly Thelemic expressions from his life-long work as a poet. Published
here for the first time, the piece has been serialized over the past three
months, concluding with the present installment. This poem remained unknown
for many years, although Grady mentioned it to O.T.O. sister Jean Sihvonen in
a letter of 19th April 1958 e.v., where he speaks of having written it while
still in Korea. (It seems likely, however, that he would not have assembled
and completed the poem until returning home to Berkeley.) Grady tells Jean
that he has not been writing the science fiction of which he had talked so much back in the 1940s, but he has "a satchel full of notes for a novel on the
Korean war, with what I think are some excellent characterizations mapped
out." (This material was apparently never heard of again.) After speculating
about the increasing relevance of science fiction -- "the tragedy of the
mutant generations may already be upon us, and the call of the space tides . .
." -- Grady goes on about Korea. "Speaking of my Korean experience, I did
write a long narrative poem while I was over there, Memo Pencilled On a
Helmet Skull." He then quotes eighteen lines (from the Centurion's hymn in
our installment of last month), but tells her no more about the poem. He
never seems to have attempted to publish it (which would have been somewhat
difficult at the time due to a few intrusions of authentic army language into
his verses), and the twelve pages of typescript in which it has been preserved
were not found again until recently. Thanks to Bill Heidrick for many years
of help and advice to the "Grady Project" in our search for the poetry of
Hymenaeus Alpha, and in particular for keeping this poem safe for all these
years. This final installment in the "Grady Project" series for the Thelema
Lodge Calendar is dedicated by the editor to sister Caitlin Aliciane, whose
enthusiasm for Grady's poetry seventeen years ago gave our project its start
(and its name).
Memo Pencilled On a Helmet Skull
by Grady L. McMurtry
R & R
I & I
A & A
L & L
For five glorious days
(Oh you know it!)
Shop for the home folks
Visit the shrines
See the sights
Walk the Ginza
And by the Imperial Moat on a winter evening
Watching the traffic swirl around the sweeping turns
With the red fire flies of their running lights
"Whatsamatta you, mishangay?"
"Tak'san kugema, GI!"
The Frozen Chosen on a Saturday night
The Light Colonels and their albino moose
("Don't look now, but she's a 'round eye!'")
And the American women in their social islands
Insulated and self-isolating
The 121st Evac at Yong Dung Po
"Captain, you know you're not supposed to have
that (Korean) girl on this dance floor!"
(sic transit gloria mundi)
Like it says in the phrase book
"Tall, robust, with hazel eyes and finely chiseled features."
(No, they were not chiseled with a broken beer bottle)
And it's Bedcheck Charlie with his Washing Machine
The "Dear John" letters
"Dear John," that's all she wrote
"Dear John, that's all" she wrote And little Johnny Peters took his trusty carbine
And blew his brains out.
"What do you hear from the Old Folks at home?"
"Save your money boys. Hard times' ahead.
There's agonna be snow balls in Hell!"
And the Sabre Jets thundering over
"Like Archangels in their might!"
Ch'wibong-san at Kwandae-ri
In the rain.
Taeryong-san at Ch'urch'on
Baking greenly in the heat.
And Kwanak-san south of Yong Dung Po
On the road to Suwon
Glaciating in the snow.
These I remember
And endless miles of unpaved roadbed
In a jeepo
(The Laundryman! The Laundryman!
I'll be washed as white as the driven snow
By The Launrdyman. The Laundryman.)
And now to leave this bloody place
The Big R
Riding the 8 Ball Express
And singing a little nursery rhyme
So happy you don't make good sense
Extinguishing themselves on the downsweep
Tokyo in the mist at dusk
And then back to the squirrel cage.
The East Coast
Cold, wet and miserable
So far up in the hills
They have to shoot beans at you with a howitzer.
And Yong the Rain Dragon
Writhing slowly on the hump backed ridges.
The Moon Festival
With fire dancing on the hills
And the long arching streaks of light
As they swing their fire pots far out
To scare away the darkness.
Up 29E into gooney bird country
The rock walls
The dead villages north of 38
Marking a roll call in limbo
And on north to Heartbreak Ridge
Or right to The Punch Bowl
Sand Bag Castle, and The Laundryman.
Arrows in the night
Here in the land of Moscow Mollie
Mona the Mongolian
The Honey Buccaneers
The Rice Paddy Daddy
And the "A" Frame Pappa-san.
The charge of the Korean moose
To the cry of "She-e-e Ain't Got no YO-YO!"
ON YOUR HORSE, AMIGO!
EE-chee-bahn #'ACK'in One
Mo sko'shi, GI, MEE-gook moosey-may EE-so! E-ee-YAH-hoo!
Exultingly shouting (to the sound of fife and drum)
"Last night I slept in the wilderness
The wolves were howling 'round me
But tonight I'll sleep in a feather bed
With the girl I left behind me."
Ta- um- tum-
tum dul- tum- tum
tum- Ta- tum
Tum- tum Ta-
tum- Ta- ah-
tum- tum- um-tum dul-
Ta-dul- dul- um
Previous Grady Project
Foundations of Magical Practice
Evocation of ANODOIN
An evocation of ANODOIN, Mercury Senior
of the Great Southern Quadrangle of Fire After the style of the R.R. et A. C.
by Brother Gregory Peters
[The ritual is to be performed during the course of the Tejas tattva; that
is, 48 minutes after sunrise (or in 2 hour increments after that time). The
day should be Mercurii, or alternatively dies Solis. Luna should be full, or
Let the magician be robed as for his grade. At the center of the Temple is
the black cubical altar, with Liber AL vel Legis placed at the center, and the
Triangle with the Cross surmounting it on top. Also on the altar are the
Censor and Incense, some coals, and the Cup of Purification, properly
prepared. Incense should be Olibanum, or some similar fiery odour. To the
South of the Temple is the Enochian Watchtower of Fire hanging from a stand,
with a red votive before it. At the beginning, the tablet is covered in a red
burse. The magus is armed with the Wand.]
Statement of Purpose
[Stand West of the Altar, facing East in silent meditation. When ready,
* This Ritual is an Invocation of ANODOIN, the Mercury Senior of the Great
Southern Quadrangle of Fire.
[ When ready, begin by purifying the Temple by water. Take up the Cup, and
walk to the East:]
"For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result,
is every way perfect."
[Purify E, S, W, N, walking about the temple as you do so. Complete circle
in East, then return directly West of Altar, facing East.]
[Perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.]
[Take up the Censor, and walk to the East of the Temple:]
"I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon
[Consecrate E, S, W, N, walking about the temple as you do so. Complete
circle in East, then return directly to West of Altar facing East.]
[Perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram.]
[Returning to the Altar, direct your aspiration to the Highest, and perform
the Supreme Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel.]
[Trace cross in the air above Altar, then assume the Sign of Set-Triumphant
while invoking with the Ib en Suti:
Anet-hra-k ser er Neheh
Anet-hra-k ser er Sehetch her-ib Ukha
Em khena ba-a sauti khaibit-a
Un uat en ba-a en khaibit-a maa-f Netjer aa
Maa-a ba-a khaibit-a Netjeri Ib en Set-heh
Keku samau i-na kher-k khu-k ua ib-kua
Sem-a ab-a en unnut-f nebtet kerh
Ba-a pu Netjer ba-a puh heh
Nuk se Suti se Nesert
Nuk ab en set-heh aasha
Nuk Set-heh aasha mes-khut Ukha.
"Homage to thee, Prince of Eternity!
Homage to thee, Prince of Light in Darkness!
Let my soul not be shut in;
let my shadow not be fettered;
Let the way be open for my soul and for my shadow, may it see the Great God
May I look upon my soul and my shadow,
the Divine Heart of the Everlasting Fire of Set!
Within night and darkness, I have come to thee --
I am glorious, I am pure.
May I follow me heart at its season of Fire and Night.
My soul is God, my soul is Eternity.
I am the Son of Set, Son of Fire!
I am the Heart of Eternal Set!
I am the everlasting fire of Set,
Child of the Radiant Darkness."
[Assume the Sign of Baphomet, and allow the connection with the Lord to
Invoking the Forces of Fire
[Perform the Greater Invoking Pentagram Ritual of Fire.]
* * * Let us adore the Lord and King of Fire! [Face South.] YOD HEH VAV HEH
TZABAOTH! Blessed be Thou! Leader of Armies is Thy Name, Amen. [Give Sign of
[Quit the Throne and proceed to the South, before the Tablet of Fire.
Unveil the Tablet (if all four are in the Temple, they should all be unveiled
at this point). Make with Scepter, in the air before the Fire Tablet, the
Invoking Circle; Invoking Active Spirit Pentagram; and Invoking Fire
And the Elohim said: "Let us make Adam in our image, after our Likeness,
and let them have Dominion." In the Name of ELOHIM, Mighty and Ruling, and in
the Name of YOD HEH VAV HEH TZABAOTH, Spirits of Fire, adore your Creator!
[Taking the Censor from before the Tablet, and making therewith the Sign of
Leo in the air before the Tablet:]
In the Name of MIKHAEL, Great Archangel of Fire, and in the Sign of the
Lion, Spirits of Fire, adore your Creator!
[Making + with the Censor:]
In the Names and Letters of the Great Southern Quadrangle, Spirits of Fire,
adore your Creator!
[Elevates Censor on high:]
In the three great secret Divine Names that are borne upon the Banners of
the South, OIP TEAA PDOCE, Spirits of Fire, adore your Creator!
[Trace the invoking whirl:]
In the Name of EDLPRNAA, great King of the South, Spirits of Fire, adore