Thelema Lodge Calendar for December 1987 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for December 1987 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.

   Note to update: the addresses and phone numbers in these issues of the Thelema Lodge Calendars are obsolete since the closing of the Lodge. They are here for historic purposes only and should not be visited or called.

Copyright © O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 1987 e.v.

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

December 1987 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

This Month at Thelema Lodge

    Gnostic Mass every Sunday at 8 p.m. Lola does Mass classes by request Sunday afternoons, except the 20th.
    Nu-Babalon Lunar Rituals; Full Moon at 9 PM on the 4th, New Moon after Mass on the 20th. "bring bread and wine"...
    December's Lodge meeting is on the 8th at 8 PM. Join us with ideas for classes, suggestions, get your event on the Calendar, find out about the Solstice rituals and gift exchange (ask LodgeMistress!)
    All Initiations are by prior arrangement. Ist and IInds on the 5th, Minervals and IIIrds after the Illuminati games on the 12th. Call the Lodge for details.
    "Yoga with Lola" is moving to Monday evenings; 7th, 14th, 28th at 8 PM. The quest for "true pretzelhood" a time less prone to Yama- Yoga!
    The Qabalah series with Bill concludes with two more meetings on the 9th and 16th. 8PM
    LabourArmy assembles at 1:11 Sunday the 6th. Their mission- Clean Lodge grounds.
    Chili Potluck and Illuminati Game Saturday the 12th starting about 1:11. Caitlin will teach this game by request any free evening before then.
    Magick Theater Reads... Liber CCCXXXV (Adonis) set in ancient Babylon. Come read or listen- John provides copies to readers. 15th, 8 PM.
    Winter Solstice Ritual and Celebration will start the evening of the 21st and run 'till DAWN the 22nd -- Location to be announced.
    "Secret Meeting- By Invitation Only" 23rd.
    Gather Goats and join us for the Capricorn Alchemical Birthday bash at 3:33 PM the 26th. Cake, ice cream, and Newton fans. NO DEAD GODS
    The Lodge Mistress describes New Year's Eve...." A drunken brawl... Tantric lab session...elixirs of life, love potions...bring your own!" 9:30 start.

Testy Notice:

    Although Thelema Lodge has expanded to include both units of the Duplex at 588 and 590 63rd St., the 590 unit (upstairs) is not open to the general public and membership. The Lodge Mistress has an office up there which also deals with some Grand Lodge Business for the O.T.O. Corporation, and the rest of the space is private residence for several members of O.T.O. In like manner, some of the downstairs rooms are private residence. This has recently lead to argument with two members who did not wish to take "no" for an answer. Please consider that you wouldn't want people walking about without your knowledge in your bed room, and the Thelema Lodge members in residence feel the same way. Through share rental, we can afford the building. Although no membership records are missing, some pilferage has occurred, including theft of reference materials and prescription medication. The prescription medication is a special concern in that some of our members are asthmatic (absence of medication may result in death), and some medications are dangerous when mixed or taken with alcohol. I remember back in the late 60s and early 70s when some nuts would drop in and "do" medicine cabinets on the shy when they were unable to find "recreation". Evidently some of this self- endangered species of subhumanity is still about. Visiting at 590 and the private quarters at 588 is by accompanied invitation of the residents only. The common rooms and Temple at 588 are open to members in good report and the general public at appropriate times and announced events. If you want to visit, call (415) 655-4942 to be sure the Lodge is open for company. O.T.O. religious and reference literature is available for sale. Sales or solicitation for sales of illicit materials on O.T.O. premises is grounds for suspension of Lodge Charter and expulsion from membership. Thelema Lodge, her residents and members want to remain in O.T.O. Thank you for your consideration.

from the Grady Project:

Greetings for a Cool Yule
("The Beatnick Mother Goose")

Like, man ...

It was the night before Yuletide,
And all through the pad
Not a beatmo had eyes
Not even old Dad.
The mice were all tucked
In their war surplus sack
And the Snowman was a'banging
The bongos, out back,
While me and my chick
Were hung out and loose
With our eyeballs in orbit,
Like a bugged Mother Goose.
When what should I screen
On my old radar set
But the high screaming whine
Of a low flying jet.
And out of the Night,
Which was frigid and black,
Came a red flannel Cat
With a pack on his back
And a horn in his hand,
Blowing wild on the breeze,
He was riding the needle
Like, "Cut out and freeze!"
He came on like a bomb,
Dropping straight from the rack,
And left skid marks all over
The top of my shack.
So I pull an Espresso
And invite the man in
And he says, "Like crazy, Dad,
Slip me some skin!"
Then I light up the pad
And we ball it up big
And he sits there, like cool, man,
Flipping his wig.
While the mice were all stoned
In their little round beds
With visions of cool jazz
In their hip little heads.
And we make with the Zen,
Like the sound of one hand,
And the voice of the cuckoo
Is heard in the land!
'Till the wee hours have fled
Then he holds up the sack
And shakes down the goodies
For the mice in the pack.
A sax for the oldest.
A sip-blade for me (like Mack-the-Knife!)
A jolt for the Snowman
And bags of pure tea!
Then into the sandbox,
And he's out like a light,
And he gives it the count-down
And blasts out of sight.
But before he can go, man,
I lift that white thatch
And dig those glazed eyeballs
In their little round hatch.
And there in the Night
Like a square on the kick,
Why, it's smiling old Laughing Boy
"Jolly" Beat Nick!

Grady L. McMurtry

Previous Grady Project                   Next Grady Project


    Usually we feature a question and answer column in this place in the Thelema Lodge Calendar. In recognition of the season, here's a special essay on a topic that raises a lot of questions.

    Many people celebrate December 24-25th as the birth date of Jesus Christ, even though that date is historically impossible from the accounts in the New Testament. With all the commotion recently about Satan and the Devil in the media, I decided it was time to look into the birth of the Christian Devil for a change. From the old Roman Saturnalia, the last days December would be appropriate for a commemorative date. The century itself is difficult to determine. It turns out that the Devil is a lot younger than Christ. Because the modern Christian concept of the Devil evolved over time, no specific date is possible. There clearly was no such concept before 200 e.v., but there seems to be such a thing after 1000 e.v. Here's a cursory look at the history. O.T.O. doesn't worship Christ, Satan or the Devil; so this might be considered a disinterested perspective.

    The best place to look for Satan would be the Old Testament or Jewish Torah, since Christianity started out as a Jewish heresy. There is quite a lot in the OT, especially in the Book of Job. The basic story is this: Jehovah and Satan are talking together, about Jehovah's servant "Job". The general atmosphere is much like that of two drinking buddies talking shop. At one point Jehovah suggests that Satan cannot corrupt Job. Satan takes a professional stand and more or less says: "Wanna Bet?" Jehovah says: "Yer On!" Over the next several pages Job gets boils and loses his livelihood, wife and kids. Job's neighbors offer helpful suggestions like: "Why not curse God and die?" With a couple of minor thin spots of despair, Job finally manages to make it through the end of the bet without quite blowing it. Jehovah generously cuts him in for a piece of the action, and sets Job up with a better situation than before. This reminds me of a Colombian Educational Sanction! William Blake was so impressed with all this that he did a series of plates to illustrate the Book of Job, using the themes from the Tarot Trumps.

    Elsewhere in the Old Testament, there is a curious bit. "Zacharia: 3,1":
    "Then he showed me Josue the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, while Satan stood at his right hand to accuse him. And the angel of the Lord said to Satan, 'May the Lord rebuke you, Satan; may the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this man a brand snatched from the fire?'" --- Douay Version.
    Two observations on this passage: 1. Satan is the "accuser". 2. The angel of the Lord is not able to rebuke Satan, but must ask the Lord to do it. The most frequent commentary in Jewish literature and some Christian states that the angel must make this fine distinction for two reasons: 1. Satan is a servant of Jehovah who out-ranks the angel. 2. Satan is only doing his duty. Further research in the Old Testament discloses nothing to contradict this. In addition, there is nothing before the New Testament that could remotely connect Satan with the "leader of the Fallen Angels". The Temptation in the Wilderness of Jesus in the New Testament is in perfect conformity with the notion that Satan is no more nor less than Jehovah's Attorney General. It's clearly Satan's job to trap the malefactor and offer trials of temptation. Satan is literally the right hand of Jehovah in the Old Testament, and hardly less in the New. The only tie between Satan and the myth of the Fallen Angels comes from Revelations, also known as The Apocalypse of St. John. This is the passage about the fall of the Star Wormwood and one third of the stars from heaven. There are references in the Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles which might be stretched in another direction, but some of those are not genuine according to scholarly research. For that matter, the common conclusion of Exegetical scholars is that even the four Gospels are not actually by the Evangelists whose names are attached to them. None of the present "Gospels" seem to have been written until more than 100 years after the death of Christ. These Gospels seem to draw from earlier sources, including at least one lost Hebrew or Aramaic account. One wonders why the originals were lost or suppressed. For that matter, "Revelations" is a forgery according to some writers who profess to find the several visions of the book in pre-Christian mystical literature.
    We are left with the impression that Satan and the modern Christian Devil are two distinctly different critters. Satan was a sort of divinely appointed District Attorney well into the early Christian period. The modern Christian Devil is evil incarnate, and the equal of a divine Christ in many respects. Oh my! It doesn't fit! What happened?

    There are a number of root causes for this strange identification of the OT Satan, Auriel, Angel of Light or "Lucifer" with that modern superstition, the Christian Devil. I can only explore a very few of them in this limited space.

    One source of the idea of an evil being comes from the Goths and other ancient Germanic Tribes. These people lived in very rough country from an unknown time in antiquity. They definitely had an idea of evil spirits capable of defying the unsummoned will of higher deity. You try living in winter in a very cold primeval forest full of starving wolves and worse. It can definitely make you paranoid of the dark! Julius Caesar had some negative reports about these and other Germanic people that may be more than just war stories. According to one account, kids had to keep away from Papa in some of these tribes. If the kid got in the way, Papa would kill the kid! There are human sacrificial victims in Northern European bogs going back 12,000 years, mostly young people. When the Roman Galba was captured by some of the neighbors of these people, he was tortured by having his sexual organs burned off with a torch. Because Galba didn't cry out, the tribesmen decided Romans were regular folk after all, and they capitulated. Our modern tradition of the Christmas Tree comes from these Germanic tribes. The original was a little different from our present version, however. Old Germanic law, according to Frazer in The Golden Bough, had this interesting penalty. Charge: "...dared to peel the bark of a standing tree." Penalty: "The culprit's navel was to be cut out and nailed to the part of the tree which he had peeled, and he was to be driven round and round the tree till all his guts were wound about its trunk." Would I kid you about a thing like that? Of course, our modern Xmas Trees just symbolize this by winding "garlands" around the branches. Human sacrifice to Germanic tree spirits also included decoration of the tree with severed human body parts, and these are the other ornaments we see symbolized in more tasteful form today. It's one hell of a holiday these Christians celebrate! Most European depictions of devils and evil demons borrow strongly from the Old German evil spirits.
    How did the Goths and other German tribes influence Christianity, you ask? In the most direct way possible is the answer, conquest. The city of Rome was sacked by Christian Visigoths under Alaric in 410 e.v. He was succeeded in that same year by Ataulphus, who led the Visigoths to settle first in Southern Gaul and then in Spain in federation with the Roman Empire. In about 428 e.v the entire Teutonic nation of the Vandals (catchy name what?) sailed to Northern Africa under the leadership of Gaiseric the Bastard. All 80,000 of them were kindly transported in ships provided by Bonifacius, Count of Africa. It appears that Bonifacius had fallen into disgrace with the Roman Court at Ravenna, and felt a new deal was in order. Boy did he get a new deal! Bonifacius didn't waste any time returning to the good graces of Ravenna, but by the then all of the Roman cities in Africa except Carthage, Hippo and Cirta were in the hands of the Vandals (our English word "vandal" does indeed come from the name of these good folk). When Rome signed a treaty with Gaiseric to cede some territory, including Hippo and the other six African provinces, in return for Roman control of Carthage, Gaiseric displayed almost modern diplomacy. The Vandals immediately took Carthage, the third most important Roman City of the time, and held it for 94 years as a pirate's base! Gaiseric took the city of Rome itself, on invitation by Eudocia, widow of Valentinian, in 455 e.v. He spent 14 days extracting everything of value, and the other Christians began seriously to wonder if there just might be real evil in the world.

    This brings us to St. Augustine, reformed libertine and Bishop of Hippo from 395 e.v. The worthy Bishop was not amused by the Goths sacking Rome. He was also not amused by complaints heard throughout the Roman Empire that the fall of Rome was due to forsaking the traditional Roman deities for Christianity. Augustine wrote The City of God, finishing about 426 e.v., just in time to have its message fully punctuated by the Vandals. The central theme of The City of God is that there is a celestial city of the blessed to stand as a hope instead of the earthly city of Rome. In the process of building this theme, Augustine trashed every pagan idea he could identify. This is the single most important work to stress the Christian idea of abandonment of the earthly for the heavenly. He starts out with: "...defending the glorious City of God against those who prefer their own gods to its Founder." He cites the theory of evolution in Book XII, Chapter 12 as irrelevant (yep, an old idea). He considers that souls enter human bodies through God's breath (unborn babies don't have human souls?) in Book XII, Chapter 24. He goes on about devils and demons as pagan gods in many places, including Book XIX, Chapter 23: " is perfectly clear in the Septuagint version of Psalm 95: 'For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils.'" (that's commonly listed as Psalm 26,5 in Protestant and Jewish versions). Perhaps the fault is in my English copy of Augustine, but the Jewish and Catholic versions give "things of nought" where City of God gives "devils". Protestant versions sometimes render the same word as "Idols". This coloring by deliberate mistranslation is very common. "Things of nought" simply means "unimportant to us", "meaningless things". "Devils" and "Idols" create evil from nothing!

    The German invaders were mostly Arian Christians. Despite modern usage, that term did not refer to race at all, at first. Arius was a priest of Alexandria, who lived from about 280 to 336 e.v. His "heresy", or teaching contrary to Roman Christianity, was simply that Christ was created, and hadn't existed from all eternity. This made simple sense, being mainly a statement that Christ was a man chosen by god to lead mankind. It was the popular belief of the time because it made simple sense of rather vague ideas and appealed to people used to human leaders and prophets. For primarily political reasons this doctrine was denounced at the Ist Council of Nicaea in 325 e.v., probably in reaction to the growth of military danger from the Arian Goths. Declaration of religious error was and remains a major political tool. So complete was this identification of "Arian pollution" with the Goths and their quaint folk ways that Arian became a sobriquet for German. The seed was sown for a harvest of detail about the devils or "nothings" that these Goths had once worshiped. Nasty beasts, they probably got all their evils from the devils!
    Because declaration of heresy seemed to be a powerful tool, the Eastern Empire used it often. The concept of the Christian Trinity was the main focus, because it was always easy to split a hair with a little distortion and ace out a political or ethnic group. There was Macedonianism, Modalism, Monophystism, Monothelitism, Nestorianism, even Priscillianism, to name a few. The concept of a triple Christian divinity became so complex that an angel is said to have told Francis of Assisi that he could no more understand it than empty the ocean with a child's sand bucket! There were other heresies besides ones dealing with the Trinity, of course. Gnosticism was stomped as an effort to beat down the intellectuals (Red Guard anybody?). Montanism was a "heresy" that taught the second coming was close (can't have people selling their possessions and ignoring authority can we), and that was hit by Pope Zephyrinus in the late 2nd century. The big one got away too long.
    A Persian named Mani lived from 216 to 276 e.v. He taught a doctrine derived from Zoroaster and the other teachers of the Parsi. In the original, an ultimate god of light created two brothers, one good and one evil. These two brothers war for the universe. Mani decided the ultimate god of light was an unnecessary complication. It was just evil and good at war, both equal. This doctrine entered the Roman Legions via the cult of Mythras, a Persian derivative deity who was confused with Christ extensively in the first two centuries. The doctrine of Mani, called Manicheism, spread through the Roman military, and became infused with Arianism in Europe. It was after all a solder's simple faith. "There's real evil out there boy! No shit! We need a good commander to beat those devils. No shit! It's the same with religion! No shit!" (The Romans ate mainly grain on the march, and no grain meant being weakened by constipation from other foods, hence my choice of expletive.) Because Manicheism was the solder's religion, there was no desire to "deprive our boys of anything that helps them fight." Most "heresies" were nailed almost as soon as they could be identified with a political or ethnic group. This Manicheism was overlooked for the sake of control of the legions until the legions were long gone.
    Manicheism was finally denounced as heresy in the fourth General Council in 1215 e.v. It had almost 1,000 years to spread, and it was too late. Practically every priest and preacher in Christendom had unconsciously integrated Mani's idea of an evil Devil into his beliefs. To this day, even Roman Catholic priests, under this determination of Manicheism as heresy, consider that the "Devil" is a sovereign power. Most Protestant denominations go so far as to deny that Christ or Jehovah creates evil. That is a refutation of the omnipotence and omnipresence of the Christian deity! To be a Christian and say that Christ or Jehovah does not also create and know that which mortals take to be evil is to worship a Devil as a god! That's not Christianity at all. Satan as the adversary, loyal to Jehovah, is one thing. Satan as the Devil, able to act without the presence of Jehovah is quite something else.
    When did Devilmass occur? I don't have the day and month, but it must have been sometime between about 600 e.v. and 1,000 e.v. when Manicheism became the predominant form of Christianity for ever more. That's when Christianity began to be displaced by a superstition of the same name. In those days, December 25th was taken to be Christ's birthday to overshadow the Saturnallia. Whose birthday is it really, do you think? Some Christians celebrate around December 5th, St. Nick's traditional birthday.
    Certainly Christianity had all but died out for William Blake (1757-1827) to be able to write this in his Marriage of Heaven and Hell:

A Memorable Fancy

Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire, who arose before an Angel that sat on a cloud, and the Devil utter'd these words:
    'The worship of God is: Honoring his gifts in other men, each according to his genius, and loving the greatest men best; Those who envy or caluminate great men hate God; for there is no other God.'
    The Angel hearing this became almost blue; but mastering himself he grew yellow, & at last white, pink, & smiling, and then replied:
    'Thou Idolater! is not God One? & is not he visible in Jesus Christ? and has not Jesus Christ given his sanction to the law of ten commandments? and are not all other men fools, sinners, & nothings?'
    The Devil answer'd: "Bray a fool in a mortar with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath and so mock the sabbath's God? murder those who were murder'd because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defense before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments. Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.'
    When he had so spoken, I beheld the Angel, who stretched out his arms, embracing the flame of fire, & he was consumed and arose as Elijah."

    Can it be that the history of Christianity has reversed the outcome of the Temptation in the Wilderness?

    At the end of every long essay, it's good to restate a conclusion. Perhaps this will help. Consider that Satan, in the original Old Testament version meant simply the "Accuser who stands before Jehovah", the Attorney General of Jehovah in modern terms. With that precise meaning, we could say this: As Satan is to Jehovah, so Ed Meese is to Ronald Reagan. Even some of the Republican Fundamentalists are coming around to that view.

    Have an enjoyable Equinox, a merry Mithras and a safe Saturnalia. If you must celebrate Christmas, please don't kill a tree for Christ. Jesus was a nice man who liked gardens with live plants --- until the Establishment got him.

-- Do I really want to sign this?
What the heck, Bill Heidrick.

{Note to Web edition. These offerings are from 1987 e.v.
They are no longer current.}

Events Calendar for December 1987 e.v.

12/1/87IInd Degree workshopHriliu Oasis
12/2/87Class on "Oratory" with JeffThelema Ldg
12/4/87Luna Ritual for the full moon 9 PMThelema Ldg
12/5/87Tarot intensive 8PMSelene Camp
12/5/87Ist and IInd Degree InitiationsThelema Ldg
(at the Gopher Hole in Marin)
12/5/87Actual Full Moon in Gemini 12:01 AM
12/6/87Workday at Thelema Lodge 1PMThelema Ldg
12/6/87Gnostic Mass at 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
12/7/87Yoga with Lola 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
12/8/87Thelema Lodge Meeting 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
12/9/87Class #9: Qabalah SeriesThelema Ldg
Chokmah. 8 PM. With Bill.
12/12/87Chili Potluck & Illuminati GameThelema Ldg
1:11 PM start
12/12/87Minerval and IIIrd Deg. initiationsThelema Ldg
(by prior arrangement only)
12/12/87Tarot intensive 8PMSelene Camp
12/13/87Class on Voice at 4:18 PM w/DougThelema Ldg
12/13/87Gnostic Mass at 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
Last quarter moon 3:41 PM
12/14/87Yoga with Lola 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
12/15/87Gnostic MassHirilu Oasis
12/15/87Dramatic Reading at 8 PMMagick Thea.
Liber CCCXXXV, "Adonis"
12/16/87Class #10: Qabalah Series endsThelema Ldg
Keter. 8 PM. With Bill.
12/19/87Minerval initiationHe Akratia
12/19/87Tarot intensive 8PMSelene Camp
12/20/87Gnostic Mass at 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
New Moon Ritual and gift exchange
after mass. New Moon in Capricorn
12/21/87Class on Voice 7:18 PM w/DougThelema Ldg
12/21/87Solstice Ritual, call the LodgeThelema Ldg
12/22/87Winter Solstice at 1:46 AM
12/23/87Yule Celebration Potluck & Ritual 6PMSelene Camp
12/23/87Secret Meeting by Invitation onlyThelema Ldg
12/26/87Capricorn Birthday Party 3:33 PMThelema Ldg
12/27/87Gnostic Mass at 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
Ist Quarter Moon 2:00 PM
12/28/87Yoga with Lola 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
12/29/87IIIrd Degree workshopHriliu Oasis
12/29/87Enochiana Class with Dave 8:00 PMThelema Ldg
"Heptarchica Mystica"
12/31/87Class by Lodge Mistress on ElixirsThelema Ldg
of Life, hazardous concoctions
and Love Potions. BYO 9:30 PM
(Translation, New Year's eve party)

    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.

   Note to update: the addresses and phone numbers in these issues of the Thelema Lodge Calendars are obsolete since the closing of the Lodge. They are here for historic purposes only and should not be visited or called.

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