Thelema Lodge Calendar for May 1991 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for May 1991 e.v.


   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.

   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, 1991 e.v.

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

May 1991 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

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

    Days of celebration are planned for the half-holiday with which the month begins. The lodge will observe Beltane (technically Sol fifteen degrees Taurus) at Kirby Cove beneath the Marin Headlands for a camp-out and Resh cycle together, from noon Sunday 5 May until noon Monday 6 May. The project includes moving the Gnostic Mass out to the Kirby Cove beach that evening, and we'll precede it in the afternoon with the ritual of Tyl Ulenspiegl and Lucifer the King of Spring (no relation to the Christian fantasy of the same name --- ED). We have reserved the state-operated group campground there, with locked off-road parking. See the following map for directions, or meet at the lodge to car-pool, departing at 11:00 Sunday morning. Join us for the day, the evening, and spend the night too if possible (sleeping bag and tent suggested).
    Get an early start for Beltane with Hypatia Camp's expedition to the Oakland hills to meet the New Reformed Druids of North America on Saturday 4 May. Call 537-3212 for details, and assemble at the lodge at 2:00 that afternoon for guidance to the site.
    There's even been talk of raising a pole somewhere for May Day; call ahead to organize, or join the tangled dance.

    Except for Sunday evening 5 May, when the temple will be transported to Kirby Cove, the Mass of the Gnostic Catholic Church continues each Sunday in Horus Temple as always, beginning shortly after 8:00 PM. This is a public ritual, when the lodge is especially happy to receive guests, but please call ahead. Communicants and prospective mass teams interested in exploring Liber XV in a workshop together are invited by the presiding Bishop T. Suleiman to Horus Temple Sunday afternoon 26 May at 4:18. That's also the afternoon of the doubly popular Gemini birthday dessert. On Sunday 19 May please come by early to assist with temple clean-up all afternoon. We will provide mops, brooms, and other magical implements as required.

    O.T.O. initiations at Thelema Lodge are planned for Saturday 18 May, always by prior arrangement. Candidates submit their applications forty days ahead minimum, and all attending kindly inquire ahead regarding times, locations, and degrees involved. The lodgemaster directs initiations, and he can be reached at 658-3280. He's agreed to conduct a workshop on the Minerval or First Degree ritual this month by request; if interested, give him a call about a week before initiations are scheduled.

    Classes in May at the Lodge include the Tarot series with Bill Heidrick, gathering for its sixth and seventh Wednesday evening meetings on 15 May and 22 May in Horus Temple, beginning at 8:00. These illustrated lectures will each be complete in itself, and can always be counted on for iconographic as well as divinatory delights. The series will continue through a total of ten meetings, with the last three or four being special request nights for Major Trumps selected by the class.
    The Magick in Theory and Practice Study Circle with Marlene will assemble twice, on Thursday evenings this month, at 8:00 on 9 May and 30 May. Our method of science is relentless questioning, and we've been dissecting the chapters of this classic Crowley textbook one by one.
    Our lodgemaster Frater Achad Osher is offering two lectures in the temple in the "Jerry's Logorrhea" series, on Saturday 11 May and Friday 24 May, with subjects to be announced--or call 658-3280 as his topics are finalized.
    A new study group is forming to read and discuss the A.'.A.'. Reading List given in Book IV, page 127. We are planning an organizational meeting on Sunday afternoon 12 May at 3:33 for all interested in working on this project. For information call Frater Telos at 658-8783.

    The Magick Theater opens on Wednesday 29 May in the temple, beginning at 7:30--note the switch from our usual Tuesday nights. We'll be reading two dramatic pieces from the beginning of Crowley's literary career (both written in 1898), The Alchemist and The Poem. The first is probably Crowley's earliest dramatic effort, a verse fragment in the style of Browning and Swinburne. The second is a miniature mystery-play which its first editor cited as an example of the young Crowley's "astonishing perversity", noting the work's basic "struggle for the supremacy between his sense of the ridiculous and his sense of the sublime". Copies of both these ninety-three year old plays will be distributed by the Magick Theater.

    Thelema Lodge meeting on 27 May, at 8:00 in Horus Temple. Proposed lodge events and celebrations, as well as Gnostic Mass teams, treasury business, and other plans, are open for discussion at this time.
    A Thelemic Ladies' T-- will be held on Monday afternoon 13 May at the lodge from 5:30 to 7:30. Come share tea, secrets, and bellydancing instruction with Sal and the gals.
    There will be a private Lodge of Perfection meeting on Thursday 16 May.

    June projections include the Summer Solstice on Friday 21 June; Sol enters Cancer at 2:19 PM. Established classes and functions have provided tentative dates on the advance June calendar (in this issue).

Love is the law, love under will.

from the Grady Project:

Toast of the Schowlar *

Skoal to the Norse man!
Skoal to the Souse man!
Skoal to the Yeast man!
Skoal to the Welsh man!

Scowl and Skoal and School together
Whose to know at when or whether
Rain or shine of sun or weather
He's not born who's built to tether
You and I, birds of a feather.

Skoal!        Skoal!        Skoal!

-- Grady L. McMurtry
(2 March 1942 e.v.)

* As differentiated from scholar. [author's note]

[This poem here published for the first time.]

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Pan Pagan festival notice

(non O.T.O. event)

    Five day annual event in the Midwest with camping, feasts, rituals, things to buy and various presentations. August 7-11, 1991. Call or write early to reserve a place: (312) 767-1113 --- no collect calls.

Midwest Pagan Council
    P.O. Box 160
    Western Springs, IL 60558-0160

    (A drug-free event; supervised children and controlled pets welcome)

Crowley Classics

The Crisis in Freemasonry

By a Past Grand Master
[Aleister Crowley]
Originally published in The English Review, Vol. XXXV,
August 1922, London.

    The author of this article wishes to emphasize the fact that he regards his brother English Craft Freemasons as constituting the most high-minded and worthy class of men in the country, and their friendly and charitable activities as most useful and laudable. The opinions set forth are purely speculative considerations advanced in the interests of the Craft, which are seriously threatened by recent developments in Masonic movements, particularly outside England.]

    The conversation veered round to the subject of Freemasonry naturally enough. It was a perfect day for a final half round of golf; yet Ashford, plus 2, our captain, had gone up to town, excusing himself, with a certain brusque solemnity, on the ground that he had to attend Grand Lodge, of which he was, as books of reference attested, V.W.P. Pres. Brd. G. Pur.
    "Must have cost him over a thousand, one way and another," remarked a long lean sallow man in the corner, who looked as if he had spent most of his life in the tropics.
    "Oh, then you are a Mason?" chirped our favourite club Wit, a cross between a magpie and a monkey.
    "Try me and prove me," murmured the dark man, without stirring.
    "I'm the 28th degree myself."
    "Shake hands."
    The Wit was rather embarrassed, but did not quite see how to refuse. He complied, rather awkwardly.
    The long man grimly smiled.
    There was a curious tension among the crowd. We all felt as if we were present at some mysterious event, and as if the lean campaigner had us all at his mercy.
    Thompson, the Secretary, threw himself (in the name of us all) frankly on that engaging quality.
    The tall man took the bitten vulcanite of his briar from between his bicuspids.
    "Our friend," he said slowly, "may belong to the 28th degree of the Ancient Order of Humbugs; but he isn't a Mason at all."
    Johnstone rose to the occasion, and saved the situation by suggesting a general adjournment to the tee.
    But I am convinced that I foozled my approach to the third by undue pondering upon the sinister incident of the smoking-room.
    It happens that I am a reader at the British Museum, and spend a good deal of my spare time in that appalling library, that ordered chaos from which no cosmos can possibly arrive by any Fiat soever. However, I determined to find out as much as I could about Freemasonry from the "authorities."
    It took me a very few hours to discover that Waite was as ignorant as he was pompous - and he was very very pompous.
    I was nearly led away by Mackey, but discovered in time that his book was a system of deliberate falsification.
    John Yarker was learned, accurate, and sincere; but those very qualities made him too cautious to assert what was doubtful. And about Masonry nearly everything is doubtful.
    It was hardly encouraging when one afternoon I found a smiling professorial face bending over my shoulder.
    "Studying Masonry, my young friend? I am the Grand Master of Germany, and I have studied it these forty years and more; and I know nothing whatever about it."
    He was kind enough, however, to help me considerably with my studies; and I am able to present a rudimentary Synoptic Table of the principal rites.
    I can make no pretence to completeness, to historical treatment - indeed, my main purpose is to show the utter impossibility of building a house even of stacked cards on such shifting sand as Masonic History.

I. Common to, and essential to, all Freemasonry soever:
The Three "Craft" Degrees.

    IA. Swedenborgian Masonry: the 1° - 4°, 2° - 5°, and 3° - 6° explaining the Three Craft Degrees respectively.
    IB. Martinism, the Sat Bhai, and similar systems, which attempt to replace the Three Craft Degrees.
    IC. The Three First Degrees of O.T.O., which claim to restore the lost meaning of the Three Craft Degrees.
    ID. "Clandestine" Masonry; this adjective is applied by any Mason to any other Mason with whom he is not officially allied; though the "Secrets," Rituals, etc., may be identical. It is a question of jurisdiction; a sectarian squabble the rights and wrongs of which probably never existed, and are in any case lost in antiquity and confusion. The reason of this will appear later. Remember only that to a "just, lawful, and regular" English Mason practically all European Masons are anathema maranatha.

II. Degrees purporting to give further details with regard to the Second Degree.

    IIA. Most of the degrees of the Scottish Rite of 33°, especially the 30°.
    IIB. Most of the degrees of the Rites of Memphis and Mizraim, of 97° and 90° respectively. These rites seem to have been mere collections of all known degrees - as a connoisseur might collect bric-a-brac. The 97° is honorary: "Grand Hierophant," the supreme ruler of these (united) rites. Many 96° - 90°'s exist; but they have never gone through the degrees. There is, however, a Reduced Rite of Memphis of 33° of which the 20° corresponds with the 33° of the Scottish Rite; this is recognised by the Grand Orient of France and other civilised countries.
    The 32° of a well-known Rite in America is sold for so many dollars, like canned pork. It even cadges for members. It is an association given overmuch to graft of the most specious kind. Only master "craftsmen" attain the 33°. It is a business, political, anti-Catholic hierarchy, tyrannical and treacherous. Its conduct has made the decent citizen fight shy of even the common Craft Freemason. This is the "Pike" rite, notoriously founded on the absurd forgery of a scoundrelly adventurer named Morin; its opponent, the Cerneace rite, has a legitimate title, from the Duke of Sussex; but its defeat has disgraced it, and its present members are little better than the others.
    IIC. Various odd rites of little importance: Mark Mason, Royal Ark Mariner, etc.
    IID. The V°, VI°, VII°, VIII°, and IX° of the O.T.O.

III. Degrees which claim to explain, or complete, the Unsolved Mystery of the Third Degree.

    Of these the chief is the Royal Arch.
    Unfortunately for the student, there are several kinds of Royal Arch degree, one leading out of the Third, the second at the end of a string of degrees so leading, the others dotted about the various rites in picturesque places. This, by the way, is typical of the total confusion of the entire system; there ought to be a Necessary Order in Freemasonry, as there is in Nature. And there is; but the workmen have bungled.
    IIIA. The IV° and P.I. degrees of O.T.O., which carry on the true work of the III° to the end of philosophical possibility.
    IIIB. The degrees (some of them) leading to Knight Templar and Knight of Malta; the York Rite so called is a mixture of these II and III.
    It is amusing to note that an English Freemason can be frightened into any folly by threatening to establish the York Rite; it is similar to that bogey of ecclesiastical dignitaries, Sarum.
    The more I looked at my effort the more unsatisfactory did it appear. I have hardly touched upon the various bitterly opposed jurisdictions.

*        *        *

(to be continued next issue)



(compiled by Lew, with thanks to Thomas Moore, Marsilio Ficino, and Plato)

The MAGICIAN is garbed as s/he deems fit.
    'My guiding star is above my head.
    The center of the world is beneath my feet.'
The MAGICIAN moves forward, in the Sign of the Enterer, to the East:
    'Here, it seems, is an airy nothing.'
The MAGICIAN, in the Sign of the Enterer, moves to the South:
    'Here is the mountain of vision.'
To the West:
    'Here is a temple of gold and ivory and marble.'
To the North:
    'Here is the bed of longing.'
The MAGICIAN completes the circle, moves back to the center:
    'Divine madness, fury of inspiration, I invoke thee!
    Before me, the poet.
    Behind me, the priest.
    On my right hand, the prophet.
    On my left hand, the lover.
    Above my head shines my guiding star,
    beneath my feet is the center of world.'



dramatized by Lew (see The Planets within by Thomas Moore)

    Officers of the Rite:
MERCURY in a Yellow            Robe
BACCHUS  in a Purple             Robe
APOLLO     in a Golden            Robe
NUIT           in a Blue                Robe
GEB            in a Red or Brown Robe

    MERCURY leads the Candidate into a room which is rather dark. NUIT and GEB have formed an arch with their bodies and outstretched arms, NUIT on tiptoes, their fingertips touching, but GEB's left hand is down at thigh level, the thumb extended forward, fingers clenched (a version of the sign Puer).
    MERCURY: 'Enter the gateless gate and know yourself in the realm between heaven and earth.'
    The Candidate passes through the arch, is seated on a cushion.
    MERCURY: 'You know well that the gross body is nourished by the four gross elements. Know then that the spiritual body is nourished by its own kind of four subtle elements: wine corresponds to earth;'
    BACCHUS drinks a cup of wine, fills it for the Candidate, who drinks.
    MERCURY: 'the aroma of wine takes the place of water;'
    BACCHUS takes a long, slow, deep whiff from a cup of wine, as does the Candidate.
    MERCURY: 'songs and musical melodies are air.'
    A pause of silence, then APOLLO strums a harp.
    MERCURY: 'Light stands for the element of fire.'
    APOLLO lights a brazier or cauldron - whoosh, flames the light.
    MERCURY: 'Spirit is especially nourished by these four.'
    A feast, a party, song and dance, are now appropriate. VENUS is not a formal officer of the rite, but her spirit, the soul of love-making, if it does not actually manifest in one of her fine forms or another, will not be far from the Candidate and the proceedings.

From the Outbasket

The following has been edited for this presentation.

S.G. of HI asked if the signs Aries and Aquarius need to be switched on the Tree of Life Along with the Emperor and Star Trumps in Crowley's approach. This is one of the most puzzling points on Liber AL. With the standard disclaimer that the expression of my views is intended to be "food for thought" and not an attempt to definitively explain the liber, here are some ideas about AL I,57:

    "Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.
    "All these old letters of my Book are aright; but * is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise."

          (*In MS, a mark in this place is commonly read as the Hebrew letter Tzaddi.)

    The matter of switching Hay and Tzaddi in Tarot is poorly dealt with in Crowley's works. For me, it comes down to just switching the two Trumps and leaving the Hebrew and Astrology where it was on the Tree of Life. There is little doubt regarding the letters staying where they were. Crowley sometimes went one way on the astrology and sometimes the other. Probably owing to a tendency of thinking of the cards as "the Aries Card" and "the Aquarius Card", he usually had the astrology follow the Trump rather than the Letter in the Sepher Yetzirah correspondences. Here's what he says in his commentaries to the verse in question in Liber AL:

from THE NEW COMMENT to this verse, by Crowley:

    "Tzaddi is the letter of The Emperor, the Trump IV, and He is the Star, the Trump XVII. Aquarius and Aries are therefore counterchanged, revolving on the pivot of Pisces, just as, in the Trumps VIII and XI, Leo and Libra do about Virgo. This last revelation makes our Tarot attributions sublimely, perfectly, flawlessly symmetrical."

    Some further observations:
    There is a strange thing, hardly a tradition but something seen. In some old manuscripts and publications dealing with the twelve banners of Tetragrammaton, the banners for Pisces and Aries are counterchanged. In the book Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio de Santillama & Hertha von Dechend, Gambit, Boston, 1969, mention is made of a common tendency in myth to remark the Zodiacal signs in which the sun is found at the Equinoxes as "gates" of some mysterious divine power. These signs progress through a cycle of about 20,000 years; and the Equinoxes now occur at the leading edges of Aquarius and Leo rather than Pisces and Virgo, as they have for 2,000 years to the present. Perhaps Crowley had a particular insight at the opening of the Age of Aquarius that the Equinoctial points and the divine gates were changing. This may have influenced his interpretation of this passage of Liber AL into an exchange of the sign for the traditional Vernal Equinox (Aries & Emperor Trump) with that of the new sign for the Vernal Equinox (Aquarius and Star Trump, progressed from Pisces). The actual Vernal Equinox as determined by the position of the Sun in the star field in the sky in Roman times was Aries. Modern Astrology has kept that 1° Aries Vernal Equinox definition as the starting point of the Zodiac, despite the fact that the actual star observed positions have moved about 30° since Roman times, owing to the procession of the Equinox --- a derivative of the gyroscopic properties of the Earth's rotation. In simple words, the star positions in the sky and in an astronomical ephemeris are about 30° behind the positions given in a standard astrological ephemeris. In the Codex Brucianus, an Ethiopian Manuscript in the British Museum, there is a very old treatise on the mystical meanings of the Greek Alphabet, a sort of Sepher Yetzirah for the Greek Alphabet instead of the Hebrew. According to Mead in his Fragments of a Faith Forgot, this Manuscript gives Astrological personality profiles for the signs about one sign off of what modern Astrology uses --- exactly right for the Vernal Equinox occurring in Taurus. Returning to the present, the Autumnal Equinox now verging on the actual stars in the sky of the constellation Leo might have something to do with Crowley's fascination for the Leo card, Strength (Lust), along with the Golden Dawn counterchange of that card with the Justice Trump.
-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law -- Liber AL vel Legis I:40

May 1, 1776
   Adam Weishaupt founds the Illuminati

May 1, 1923
   Aleister Crowley is expelled from Italy by Mussolini. He goes to Tunis.

May 3, 1587
   John Dee and Edward Kelly with their respective wives signed a document swearing obedience to angelic commands on this date. They then shared all things in common, including their wives, at the counsel of the spirit-child Madimi.

May 6, 1586
   Dee and Kelly slip out of Prauge for Leipzig over the rumor of a 'Papal Nuncios' accusing them of having intercourse with angels.

May 6, 1883
   Victor Benjamin Neuberg was born in this date. His close friends called him Vickie.

May 8, 1891
   Madame Blavatsky is given her last mission by the 'Mahatamas' and dies in London at age sixty.

May 9, 1910
   Aleister Crowley evokes 'Bartzabel' the spirit of Mars at the Dorset home of G.M.Marston into Victor Neuberg. It was so successful that Marston suggested that they rent a hall and charge admission. The idea of the Rites of Eleusis was born.

May 9, 1945
   Rudolf von Sebottendorff, founder of the Thule Society, commits suicide by jumping into the Bosporus river.

May 10, 1941
   Karl Germer is arrested by the Nazis and held ten months in a concentration camp because of his association with Aleister Crowley

May 12, 1954
   Wilhelm Reich contacts a UFO hovering over his laboratory in Rangeley, Maine.

May 19, 1923
   Isabella Fraux is born at Cefalu, Italy to Ninette Shumway and Aleister Crowley.

May 29, 1981
   The last performance of Throbbing Gristle at San Francisco before breaking up. They performed songs like 'Looking for the OTO' and 'The Process'.

May 30, 1431
   Joan of Arc is burned at the stake.

May 31, 1875
   After three years of chronic illness Eliphas Levi dies.

Love is the law, love under will. -- Liber AL vel Legis I:57


Next History Heap

Beltane Observance --- 15 degrees Taurus
    The ritual of the Re-Awakening of the Sap



LUCIFER The King of Spring
(not the Xian critter)

2 PM


The Gnostic Mass

6 PMish


Campout (Noon Sunday till Noon Monday)

    All on Sunday May 5th, 87 Taw at Kirby Cove in Marin (Golden Gate National Recreation Area).

    Needed for TYL: Hunchback Dwarves, Men of the Woods, Emperors of the Mines, Flower Maidens, Star Spirits, Wind Genii, Sapbearers, 100,000 Giant Hortie Insects with murderous Weapons.

    Call the Lodge for more information and directions.

This event was in 1991 e.v.

Events Calendar for May 1991 e.v.

5/1/91May Day
5/4/91Beltane with New Reformed Druids of
North America in Oakland Hills
Departing the Lodge at 2PM
5/5/91Beltane with Tyl Ulenspiegl 2PM
at Kirby Cove.
Thelema Ldg.
5/5/91Gnostic Mass 8PM at Kirby CoveThelema Ldg.
5/9/91Magick in Theory and Practice
Study Circle with Marlene 8PM
Thelema Ldg.
5/11/91Jerry's LogorrheaThelema Ldg.
5/12/91A A reading Group 3:33PMIndependent
5/12/91Gnostic Mass 8PMThelema Ldg.
5/13/91Ladies' "T" 5:30 - 7:30 PMThelema Ldg.
5/15/91Tarot class #6 with Bill 8PMThelema Ldg.
5/16/91Lodge of Perfection meetingLoP
5/18/91Initiations at Thelema LodgeThelema Ldg.
5/19/91Lodge clean-up all afternoonThelema Ldg.
5/19/91Gnostic Mass 8PMThelema Ldg.
5/22/91Tarot class #7 with Bill 8PMThelema Ldg.
5/23/91Secret Meeting
5/24/91Jerry's LogorrheaThelema Ldg.
5/26/91Gemini Birthday party 4:18 PMThelema Ldg.
5/26/91Gnostic Mass 8PMThelema Ldg.
5/27/91Lodge Meeting 8 PMThelema Ldg.
5/29/91Magick Theater reads 2 Crowley plays
The Poem & The Alchemist 7:30 PM
Magick Theat.
5/30/91Magick in Theory and Practice
Study Circle with Marlene 8PM
Thelema Ldg.
Thelema Ldg.

   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.

    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.

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