Thelema Lodge Calendar for January 1994 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for January 1994 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, 1994 e.v.

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

January 1994 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica at Thelema Lodge

    Celebration of Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass is offered each week on Sunday evening in Horus Temple at Thelema Lodge, located at 5977 Keith Avenue in the Rockridge district of Oakland. Our mass is a communion ritual, open to interested members of the public who wish to participate with us. If attending for the first time, please phone the lodge ahead of time for confirmation and directions. All communicants are requested to arrive by 7:30 to await the Deacon's call of "Procol!" at approximately 8:00. Members seeking a date to offer mass to the lodge are invited to propose a team and consult the lodge master to be scheduled on the calendar.

    The Thelema Lodge Gnostic Mass Seminar holds its first regular meeting Tuesday evening 4th January, beginning late at 8:30 in the lodge library. Organized by Bishop T Dionysus, this enterprise promises to be one of the lodge's most significant cooperative projects. The goal is to prepare a new and comprehensive performance edition of Liber XV, placing our liturgical canon in its spiritual and historical contexts, tracing its performance tradition, and offering commentary upon the text. The seminar includes a study group devoted to the Gnostic Saints, a collation project comparing all previous presentations of the mass text, an editorial group to prepare our preliminary working edition of Crowley's text, and numerous opportunities for specific research into gnostic and thelemic arcana. Participants may work independently, and anyone unable to attend meetings is especially urged to call the lodge and discuss individual contributions to this endeavor.

O.T.O. Initiations

    Minerval initiations will be held on Saturday evening 15th January at Thelema Lodge, beginning at 6:00, with a feast to follow. All attending please communicate ahead of time with the lodge officers, or call us at (510) 652-3171.

    Initiation into Ordo Templi Orientis is offered to all who are free and of full age, and of good report, at Thelema Lodge in Oakland just as it is throughout the world. Applications are available from the lodge officers, and may also be requested by post. Candidates are invited to work with the lodge in scheduling initiations, but it is necessary to plan well in advance, awaiting the mandatory forty-day period of review. Other officially chartered bodies of the Order also perform initiations into O.T.O. in our area, and Thelema Lodge recommends to all members the widest possible participation in these rituals. Sirius Oasis in Berkeley is an active initiating body, and Ra Hoor Camp plans to reach down from Petaluma for several initiations this winter, hosted by our greatly honored Past Master, Frater Achad Osher. These bodies should be contacted directly regarding dates, times, and grades to be worked.

Classes and Events in January

    The next Thelema Lodge Meeting will be held on Monday evening 3rd January at 7:30. Members are urged to attend with ideas for next month's Brigit celebration, and to help organize the calendar of lodge events for February. Fund-raising activities will also be on the agenda, along with further work on our library and oasis facilities, and various tasks of ongoing lodge business in which volunteer involvement would be most welcome. Looking ahead to next month, our Thelema Lodge Meeting will be held on Monday evening 7th February at 7:30.

    Thelema Lodge offers a variety of workshops, classes, and study groups to which members and friends are welcome. Except where the work of some particular degree of O.T.O. initiation is concerned, these events are free and open to the public. The lodge requests donations at most events, and it is only through the continuing support of its membership that Thelema Lodge is sustained. To offer or request other projects and pursuits for the lodge, members may address the lodge meeting, or speak with one of the officers. For calendar listing, notes for a brief description will be required.

    Who says Capricorns aren't sexy? Come to Grace's dynamic astrological discussion group, where the modus operandi of Capricorn will be examined, and light will be shed on Capricornian characteristics which will prove the case quite otherwise. This group has been organized with both beginning and experienced astrologers in mind, and will be held at Grace's home in Berkeley on Friday evening 7th January, beginning early at 7:00. All attending please be in touch beforehand; phone (510) 843-7828 for information and directions.

    "Enochian Structures", offered by Michael Sanborn, is a class in two parts. Part One on Tuesday evening 11th January will provide an orientation to Angelic Magic and an outline of the hierarchy of the Enochian Watchtowers. Part Two on Tuesday evening 25th January will focus on a variety of coordinate systems associated with the Watchtowers, including a discussion of the Thirty Aethyrs, the Golden Dawn system of the pyramids of the squares, the functions of the angels as known to John Dee, and more. Both meetings will be held at Thelema Lodge and will begin at 7:30; for information call (510) 601-9393.

    There will be a planning meeting to organize an Internet access point at Thelema Lodge on Thursday evening 13th January at 7:30. Ebony has agreed to consult with the lodge for this project if sufficient interest can be generated to sustain it. All netheads, cyberpunks, neuromantics, and other concerned parties are urged to attend, and claim the fast lane on the information superhighway. For information, or to be included if unable to attend, call (510) 652-3171.

    "Especially for Seconds" is a class devoted to issues relevant to the II° of O.T.O., particularly the construction of original rituals for the experienced Thelemic practitioner, with many examples taken from the work of the local community. Led by Michael Sanborn, this event is limited to O.T.O. initiates of II° and above, and meets at Thelema Lodge on Tuesday evening 18th January at 7:30. Call for information at (510) 601-9393.

    The fifth meeting of the Thelema Lodge Magick in Theory and Practice series with Bill Heidrick will be held in Marin on Wednesday evening 19th January at 7:30. Our focus this month will be chapters VIII and IX in Crowley's M.T.P., along with Liber A and Liber Samekh. The location is in San Anselmo, at 5 Suffield Avenue; first-time participants should call (415) 454- 5176 for directions.

    The Greater Pentagram Ritual Workshop, with Fran, returns this month by popular demand, meeting at Thelema Lodge on Thursday evening 20th January at 7:30. Participants will have an opportunity to expand the scope and power of the Lesser Pentagram Ritual as preparation for more advanced workings. For information call (510) 658-9393.

    Join us for an evening of Burmese Astrology with Kathy on Friday evening 21st January beginning at 7:00, hosted by Grace in Berkeley. Though little known in the West, this simple alternative system of plotting celestial influences offers an interesting new perspective to complement conventional astrological investigations. Please be in touch before attending; call Kathy at (415) 457-8076 or Grace at (510) 843-7827.

    The first in a series of Egyptian Magical Workshops with Ebony will meet at Thelema Lodge on Thursday evening 27th January at 7:30. An open discussion of the Stele of Revealing, with specific attention to the hieroglyphic text and the iconography of the god-forms, will be the principal focus this time, with discussion invited on all aspects of the former Boulak Museum exhibit number 666.

    Are Aquarians unpredictable? If that is so, who can tell what will happen at a workshop where the zodiacal sign of Aquarius is the focus of discussion. Theories concerning the dating of the beginning of the Age of Aquarius will also be presented. Grace leads this group, which meets in her Berkeley home on Friday evening 28th January, getting off this month to an early start at 7:00. Please phone ahead to attend --- (510) 843-7828.

    Everyone has at least one poem that expresses their soul's delight. Bring yours to the next meeting of the G. L. McMurtry Poetry Society and share it with the whole jovial crew. Readers and listeners are invited to join Frater P.I. at Thelema Lodge on Saturday evening 29th January at 7:30. We promise to laugh with you, not at you!

Other Local O.T.O. Events

    Past Master of Thelema Lodge Jerry Cornelius will be hosting an Open House on Saturday 8th January at 328 Forty-Ninth Street in Oakland. Events scheduled include an Academia Masonica lecture at 2:00 by Brother Keith Schurholz on the secret history of the Antient and Accepted Primitive Rites of Memphis and Misraim. Celebration of the Gnostic Mass follows at 4:18, with a vegetarian potluck feast afterwards at 6:00. Call (510) 658-3280 for information and menu coordination.

    Sirius Oasis continues its focus on Thelema and Witchcraft. On Wednesday evening 12th January at 7:30, a well-known local Gardnerian priest and researcher will be our guest to share his perspectives with the meeting. Phone the Oasis at (510) 527-2855 for information and directions. Sirius Oasis will continue to meet regularly in Berkeley on the second Wednesday of each month.

Crowley Classics

Four Broadsheets
Issued from Tunis in 1924 and 1925 e.v.

by Aleister Crowley



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

    My term of Office upon the Earth being come in the year of the foundation of the Theosophical Society, I took upon myself, in my turn, the sin of the whole World, that the Prophecies might be fulfilled, so that Mankind may take the Next Step from the Magical Formula of Osiris to that of Horus.
    And mine Hour being now upon me, I proclaim my Law.
    The word of the Law is GR:Theta-epsilon-lambda-eta-mu-alpha

Given in the midst of the
    Mediterranean Sea
    An XX Sol in 3° Libra die Jovis
    by me GR:Tau-Omicron Mu-Epsilon-Gamma-Alpha  Theta-Eta-Rho-Iota-Omicron-Nu DCLXVI
    GR:Lambda-Omicron-Gamma-Omicron-Sigma  Alpha-Iota-Omega-Omicron-Sigma GR:Theta-epsilon-lambda-eta-mu-alpha

Whoso understandeth may seek through



-oO 2 Oo-

    All communications relative to this Message Should be addressed to Seniat El Kitou, La Marsa, Tunisia.



The World-Teacher sayeth:

    Find, each of you, your own true Way in the Universe, and follow it with eager joy!
    There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt!
    Do that and no other shall say nay.
    Greeting and Peace!
    the Priest of the Princes.
    Sol {&}
    Luna in Aquarius. An XXI.

-oO 3 Oo-



    The Avenger sayeth:
    You have done well to protest against the grotesque mummeries of the bottle-fed Messiah; you will still do wisely to beware of its Jesuitical wire- pullers. The attempted usurpation is most sinister Black Magic of the Brothers of the Left-hand Path.
    I need not remind you of the shameless and nauseating fraud by which the Grand Old Procuress worked herself into the presidency of your Society, of her blatant attempts to capture various rites of Freemasonry, of her imbecile parodies of the Romish heresy, of the obscene manustuprations practised by Leadbeater on the wretched Krishnamurti, with a view to making him a docile imbecile, in imitation of the traditions of the Dalai Lamas, or of a thousand other duplicities, tergiversations, and crimes. It is your daily shame to remember. Nor need I indicate your only proper course.
    With regard to the recent intrigue of the S.J. to introduce their cult into Hinduism:
    You are free to use the Sign of the Cross -- or the Sign of the Blue Posts -- exactly as you will. The Theosophical Society is, first of all, not a sect.
    The World-teacher will not try to enforce on Englishmen Hindu restrictions of diet, or on Hindus English restrictions of marriage.
    The word of Sin is Restriction!

-oO 4 Oo-

    Madame Tussaud-Besant has produced yet again a waxwork World-Teacher.
    Well, he certainly looks lovely; but the question is: what has he got to teach?
    It is hard to write seriously about such antics; but it must be done for the sake of the well-meaning if weak-minded dupes of Mrs Barnum-Besant.
    Let it be understood that any World-Teacher must comply with certain conditions known only to initiates; but above all with one condition which can be appreciated by all men.
    He must utter a New Law; and this Law must be capable of full expression in one single word.
    Thus, in the past, we have the Word Tao uttered by Laotze, Jahweh by Moses, Anatta by Gautama, Iao by Dionysus, Allah by Mohammed, and so forth: the full interpretation of these words, when investigated philosophically, historically, or qabalistically contains the whole doctrine.
    Further, the Word must be self-evidently Truth, that is, it must be recognizable as fitted --- and uniquely fitted --- to the immediate necessity of Mankind, or to that section of Mankind for whom it is uttered, at the moment of its utterance.
    Let it moreover be known that the World-Teacher has indeed appeared, having fulfilled every one of the necessary conditions; that representatives of all the authentic Orders of Initiates have borne witness to his advent; and that he has in due form proclaimed his new Law. The Word of the Law is THELEMA.
    It was necessary to express this Law in the Greek language for philosophical, historical and qabalistic reasons, which will be explained to all enquirers.
    But, for this time, be it enough to say that the most general meaning of the Word is Will, with the sub-meaning Love; so that the elements of the Law may be expressed in these two phrases:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under will.

    Fra H.I.
    An XXI Sol in 0° Aquarius.
    Luna in 28° Aries

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Of Myths and Maths

by Frater P.I. continued from last issue

    Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, in many religious contexts there are obvious social motives for people to maintain that particular religious metaphors are factual statements. If Jesus is an archetypal myth rather than a historical personage then how does one justify the enforcement of his worship to the exclusion of all others, especially when some of the other archetypes (e.g., Dionysus, Orpheus, Mithra, etc.) are so very similar? In societies where religious literalism acts as an important justification for the dominant position of particular individuals and classes it has almost invariably been a capital offense to question the mundane truth of received wisdom; although mystics may teach that the popular religious tradition has a metaphorical significance that may even outweigh the importance of its literal truth, they will do so at their own, often substantial, risk. Even in our so- called enlightened society, there are many Christian denominations wherein theologians who question the historical details of the gospels are liable to lose their jobs, and may even face ostracism and harassment.
    At its most extreme this "historicization" of myth even manages to entirely displace the original mystical metaphor. For example, the passage in Matthew's gospel where Jesus gives Peter the "keys of the kingdom" is redolent with spiritual meaning to practitioners of Kundalini yoga, but in the hands of the Roman Catholic authorities this story has been robbed of its inner veracity and reduced to a mere pretext for theocratic tyranny. At some later point, after the gospels were written, Peter was credited with being the first bishop of Rome by the early Christian community. As there is, to me, no discernible mystical metaphor involved in such an elaboration of the legend it must be either based upon actual fact (a highly dubious premise) or a fiction invented to add weight to the papal claims of universal sovereignty.
    Despite the social embarrassments, throughout the ages insightful mystics have understood and appreciated the crucial differences and interfaces between the metaphors of eternity and the actualities of space-time. In today's milieu, for instance, it is possible (though not, alas, ordinary) for a person to find great psychological value in "out-of-body" or "near-death" experiences, "past-life" or "precognitive" visions, and yet still not become a true believer in "astral planes", "the afterlife", "reincarnation", or "akashic records". However, it is usually far more common to find people (including the most hard-core of skeptics) being seduced by their desires and assumptions into mistaking the "three-dimensional" signs and symbols of their experiential map for the "four-dimensional" reality of the territory which they actually inhabit.
    Even the most authentically sacred revelations are necessarily viewed in the distorted mirror of individual (and hence, social) consciousness. Muhammed had no acquaintance with concepts like "archetypes of the collective unconscious"; for him, his visitations with the angel Gabriel could only have had an entirely exterior meaning. It is therefore only natural that most of his followers insist upon the literal truth of an eternal Quran. For Crowley on the other hand, in an era rich with psychological jargon, Aiwass was "almost the 'Unconscious' of Freud", and it is therefore unsurprising to find that some Thelemites consider "the fresh blood of a child" and the "dropping from the host of heaven" mentioned in the Book of the Law to be not literal prescriptions, but rather metaphorical references to semen and feces. Of course, the initiated "know" that these metaphors actually refer to a mixture of menstrual blood and semen, and to pure semen, respectively. In fact, sooner or later most Thelemites are forced to recognize that a literal interpretation of their scripture is repugnant to the very law of love which it proclaims.
    Yet despite living in relatively sophisticated technological cultures, the individuals who make up the modern Book of the Law --- based Thelemite movement (for let us not forget that a Thelemite way of life was also described by Rabelais in the 16th century) are hardly immune to experiencing the common confusions between spiritual and mundane reality. Crowley himself was very often leaping to untenable conclusions in his interpretation of Thelemic metaphor (of course, as an experienced mountaineer he usually did not stop to rest in these places, but quickly stepped onto firmer ground), and his writings are littered with unsupported assertions, and (it seems) deliberately ambiguous tropes which are sure to mislead his unwary followers into wishful thinking at best or knee-jerk fundamentalism at worst.
    One example of the kind of potentially dangerous chimera which AC often pursued in his quest to define Thelema was his recurring and enthusiastic belief in the inestimable value of the Book of the Law as an aid and guide to scientists, especially mathematicians, in the making of great discoveries and advances. Careful reading of The Confessions of Aleister Crowley suggests that the dedicated pursuit of such a chimera helped to contribute to the decline and fall of one mathematician, named Norman Mudd; and it appears that two other men, a science writer and mathematician named J. W. N. Sullivan and a mathematician named Edward Saayman, narrowly escaped a similar obsession. Needless to say, no one, from Crowley and his hundreds of students down to the several thousands of present-day enthusiasts, has yet publicly produced any discovery or advance in math or science as a direct result of some clue in the Book of the Law.
    In fact, to expect to find any new scientific knowledge in spiritual communications is naive at best, and more often than not it is seriously deluded. Of course, it cannot be categorically denied that such a discovery, involving a clue from the BOOK OF THE LAW, may possibly occur in the future (or even that it has already occurred and is being kept secret for one good reason or another), and in any event it would be tyrannical to attempt to refuse people their right to conduct and interpret their own "spiritually- inspired" researches. Still, I must also admit that the arguments of "creation scientists" might possibly be true (if God is indeed the cruel joker they make "Him" out to be!), and also it's true that I would never dream of trying to prevent creationists from speculating publicly on the subject. But nonetheless, I do not want creationists to control how my children's schools' science textbooks are written!
    By the same token, since I believe that Thelemites are almost certainly wasting their time when they try to discern new mathematical or scientific principles in the texts of Crowley's holy books, I would rather see AC's misplaced enthusiasm become an object lesson to his followers instead of an example. Indeed, it is true that scientists and mathematicians may derive real inspiration from religion or philosophy, perhaps even especially from Thelema, but measuring the Great Pyramid or counting the letters in the BOOK OF THE LAW is not the way to revolutionize scientific thought. The practice of numerology may involve arithmetic, but that fact does not make numerology a branch of the science called mathematics.
    Fortunately, in most of Crowley's published commentary on the BOOK OF THE LAW, he concerns himself primarily with the ethical and metaphorical significance of his revelation; however, too much of the time he is also trying to read in whatever literal significance he can (e.g., how many present-day Thelemites believe that the outbreaks of many 20th-century wars, including the two World Wars, were integrally linked with the publication dates of various editions of the Book of the Law? Crowley apparently did, and it seems that most of his devotees concur!). AC's almost schizoid approach to interpreting the text of Liber CCXX is particularly evident when he is commenting upon its repeated nihilist/dualist themes; his perusal led him to propose the equation 0=2 to graphically express one of the book's primary motifs (though of course he had devised this equation all by himself several years before he met Aiwass - one more illustration, like "Abrahadabra", that you'll never learn anything from a spirit unless you've already known it all along!).

Previous Of Myths and Maths                   To be continued

from the Grady Project:

A Fall of Angels

Prismed world of planed dispersion
Jonah Mona, Nojah Boa
Crystal sphere reflects immersion
Of thornes and stones and bones and tones

             Star of East
             Bride of Beast
             Star of West
             Dragon's crest
             Star of South
             Lion's mouth
             Star of North
             Shadow forth

"And be forever falling
      Around the edge of the world."


Published in McMurtry: Poems (London & Bergen: O.T.O., 1986 e.v.), and in The Grady Project #3 (March 1988 e.v.).

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    Adapted from the unpublished MS Thirty-Two Emanations --- Revised Copyright © by Bill Heidrick.

The Path of Initiation
Part III

The Path of Chet
Geburah to Binah

    This is the way of Merkabah. One who can sustain the might of Geburah, and who has touched Chesed, makes a meditative descent through seven infernal palaces --- checks for personal flaws in the seven levels called Chesed, Geburah, Tipheret, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malkut. This meditation may be done in different ways, but it should be through.
    According to legend, each of the infernal palaces is held by an evil spirit, a personified vice opposite to the virtue of the corresponding Sephira. In Babylon of 3,000 or more years ago there was a belief in seven evil spirits. It's possible that the several different lists of seven tenants of the infernal mental palaces descended to us from Babylonian-Sumerian mythology: The South Wind that brings death. The Dragon whose great mouth is beyond measure. A grim Leopard which carries off the young (Lilit?). A terrible Shibbu. A fearless and furious Wolf. A rampant creature which marches against god and king. The evil Storm Wind of vengeance.
    After descent into this ancient inferno and confrontation of each vice, one ascends through seven purifying heavens. This is a return up to the levels of the lower Sephiroth. Finally the purified mind is able to rise up the path of Chet to the vision of the shining veil of the throne chariot and beyond, the place of Binah.
    Another method of descent and return uses two forms of the Fifty Gates of Understanding. On the way down, seven faults are examined in each of the levels called Chesed, Geburah, Tipheret, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malkut. In all, seven times seven or forty-nine mental questions must be answered during this descent. These are forty-nine "gates" which must be unlocked by possession of the "keys," knowledge of right thought and conduct pertinent to each, and opened at the saying for the forty-nine "passwords," declarations that one is free of the corresponding vices. Very similar procedures are outlined in "The Egyptian Book of the Dead", as translated by E.A.Wallis Budge and others. The form given in this Egyptian equivalent of Merkabah, called "the negative confession", is particularly useful. After the forty-nine gates have been opened, the fiftieth gate, the Sephira Binah, opens; and passage across the Abyss become possible.
    The second form of the Fifty Gates of Binah is used on the way back up the Tree of Life. In this case, forty-nine gates are again passed, but as experiences of glory and increasing bliss instead of trial. The form of the ascension is different from that of the descent. Malkut, Yesod, and Tipheret are combined to form one composite Sephira. When this Sephira is taken with Hod, Netzach, Geburah, and Chesed, the whole Tree below the Abyss becomes a tree of five levels of consciousness instead of seven. Each of the five levels is subdivided into ten "gates" for a total of five times ten or fifty. It is this set of gates that is used by passage up to Binah.
    According to the Old Testament, the prophet Ezekiel attained to the vision of the Merkabah, but Moses did not attain it at his death. It is said that those who fully attain the Merkabah do not die as other mortals but are taken up at the end of their days by the flaming Chariot of the Most High. The study of Merkabah is in some ways a Hebrew preparation for a perfect death, just as the Ancient Egyptians prepared for death with their own "book of the dead" prayers and meditations. Many cultures have similar things. There is evidence that the Coptic Christians considered the New Testament a "book of the dead."
    Before returning to the description of the Tree of Life, there is one more curious point about the Fifty Gates of Binah. The Hebrew letters each have number values. The letter having the value fifty is Nun, to which the Order of the Golden Dawn attributed the Tarot card "Death". This "Death" is not an end of existence but a great transformation of life into Life. The Tarot card "The Chariot" is attributed to the Hebrew letter Chet by the same group. Many Jewish Qabalists distrust the work of Masonic Qabalists, but gold is gold even if it's sometimes gathered by the less learned.
    A digression before the Abyss is permitted.
    For a glimpse of Binah, examine your successes in attaining the consciousness levels of Chesed through Malkut. Practice these and rise above your best effort.
    The Path of Chet is the raising of Geburah power to the seat of all rational abstraction, the redirecting of mind, from attention to doing, to attention to thinking.

The Path of Zain
Tipheret to Binah

    A gleaming sword is the path to paradise. It turns every way, and only those who walk the blade can pass from the land of day to understanding beyond night. This blade has ten points or turnings. Study of the ten Sephiroth unifies the mind. To rise up the path of Zain, learn how to resolve all opposite qualities into unity. Unflinching determination to reach the source of all understanding brings consciousness from Tipheret to Binah.

The Sephira Binah

    Binah is Understanding that reaches to the limit of what can be rational.
    Above a great gray wall is a sky filled with dark clouds. This sky is alive and can see. The blind wall sinks by concentration of mind, and more sentient sky shows. Beyond the gray wall is a vast black sea of waters from before the creation of the would. Not all the science of the world can make that wall descend more than a few inches. The mind of the greatest mathematician who ever existed can only cause it to lower a fraction more. No mortal mind can force the gray wall down to the level of the great sea. Yet all the Understanding that is Binah is at the bottom of that sea, that great black womb of all the worlds. The whole understanding of humanity is only mist above the wall. Leap over the wall blindly and bathe in the consciousness of Binah.

The Path of Vau
Chesed to Chokmah

    A teacher sits among disciples. They all want to know what god is like. The teacher says; "She's black." "No, no," they cry. "Tell us what god is like." "God is you, but you are not god," responds the teacher. "Heavy!" chant the disciples. "God is fire and water, a baby pregnant with its own mother, a sound in airless space, the taste of C-sharp, pure light and total darkness." One of the disciples picks his nose. With a sigh, the teacher looks down at his navel, contemplates the lint of this world, and mutters about losing weight. Quickly, before the disciples can chant "Heavy!" again, the teacher announces; "I'm going up to take a look. Follow me and become wise." After eating to Popocatepetl Red-Hot Chilies and taking a cold shower, the teacher returns to her disciples. They want to know what to do.
    The unexpected and irrational can raise the mind from peaceful Chesed toward excited Chokmah.

The Path of Heh
Tipheret to Chokmah

    Women run races and men shout encouragement. Fighters battle to see stars. Fireworks light the sky. Rams crash heads for the joy of it. Screams of laughing children cut the air. Lightning crashes merrily from earth to sky. Lover's cries sunder the vault of heaven.
    From the contemplation of these things, mind can rise toward Chokmah.

The Path of Dalet
Binah to Chokmah

    This path is beyond the Abyss.
    The symbol of Venus has two parts. Below is a cross and above is a circle. The cross typifies all rational processes and all joinings of two currents of force. The circle is a sphere of pure power. Below are two lovers in their passion. Above is orgasm. Binah is a fire drill, and Chokmah is the flame that leaps from the friction. Understanding is the work of thinking, and Wisdom is the release of discover.

The Sephira Chokmah

    Chokmah is the Wisdom of not questioning power.
    In the center is a cold, opalescent flame that burns forever and consumes nothing. All the power of a universe is here, but nothing clothes it. No body holds this soul. Chokmah is the animating principle of the universe. It is resident in all matter, all thought, all form, all action. The consciousness of Chokmah is a hum without a dynamo, a turning without a wheel.
    Chokmah is action without limitation.

The Path of Gimel
Tipheret to Keter

    This is the last path across the Abyss of Abada.
    A gift from a stranger is a precious thing. Sadness vanishes at the smile on a face never seen before. A piece of shell holds wonders when two people discover it. "I like the sound of the sea." "Yes, and the touch of the sand." This innocent acceptance of the unity of mind is the essence of the path of Gimel.
    Through the letter Gimel, Gimel the Aleph-Bet-Dalet-Hay is closed.

The Path of Bet
Binah to Keter

    A hawk flies high up in the sky. An ape looks at the horizon. An old woman holds her grandchild's hand and looks at death. The gaze that sees without involvement is the essence of the path of Bet.

The Path of Aleph
Chokmah to Keter

    People occasionally go to live alone in the mountains. There is something about a high, snow covered peak that says; "I am;" and says it so clearly that nothing else matters.
    Uncluttered awareness of Being is the essence of the path of Aleph.

The Sephira Keter

    Keter is the Crown of unity.
    A great and lidless eye is all there is. The pupil is white, not black. The iris is gray. The outer orb is black, not white. About the eye are all colors of the rainbow in concentric circles. This is the eye that sees all. The eyes of the earth are eyes of destruction. When an earthly eye gazes, it sees what is outside and grants the power to change the world. The eye of Keter sees the world into existence. Before this eye looks, Nothing exists. The black eye of the world is a camera that takes in what it sees. The white eye beyond the world is a projector that produces what it sees. Earthly eyes are forever changing one vision for another, but this eye of creation sees all places, times, and directions as one. Keter is unity beyond even the questions of difference. Consciousness of Keter is consciousness of total unity.

Ain Soph Aur

    Beyond Keter there is only a featureless, limitless light. Unqualified perception.

Ain Soph

    Beyond the light there is only a sense of limitlessness. Space.


    Beyond the limitless, nothing. Silence.

Previous portion of the Path of Initiation

Three Poems

In the cold steel grey of winter
The only Sun is born
The harvest dawn long over
The cutting of the corn.

The diamond seed is planted
Deep within the earth . . .
And glows within the silence
The coming of rebirth.

-- Firebird             
9/24/93 e.v.           


Winter brings the vision
Of granite and the stone,
I go within the shadows
For testing of the Crone.


Dreams shatter all around me
I stand naked and alone,
I weave the light around me
Its radiance calls me home.

-- Firebird             
11/9/93 e.v.           

Quiet changes
Arrange themselves
In a floral bouquet

-- Firebird             
11/23/93 e.v.           

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Primary Sources

    Although there were other letters broading the powers of Grady McMurtry, Hymenaeus Alpha, and detailing the succession, these two letters from Crowley chartered the Grady and provided for the continuity of O.T.O. following the Greater Feasts of Aleister Crowley and Fr. Saturnus, Karl Germer.

    The first document was dated March 22, 1946 e.v.

Ex Castro nemoris inferioris {"From the Camp of Netherwood"}

An. Ixx Sun in 0 Aries

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
    This is to authorize Frater Hymenaeus Alpha (Capt. Grady L. McMurtry) to take charge of the whole work of the Order in California to reform the Organization in pursuance of his report of Jan 25, '46 e.v. subject to the approval of Frater Saturnus (Karl J. Germer). This authorization is to be used only in emergency.
                         Love is the law, love under will.

{11-fold cross} Baphomet O.H.O.


    The second document was dated April 11, 1946 e.v.

Ex Castro Nemoris Inferioris
(The Ridge
Hastings England)

An. Ixx. Sun in 20° Aries

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
These presents are to appoint

-- Frater Hymenaeus Alpha --
-- Grady Louis McMurtry IX° O.T.O. --
as Our representative in the United States of America,and his authority is to be considered as Ours, subject to the approval, revision, or veto of Our Viceroy
Karl Johannes Germer IX° O.T.O.
of 260 West 72nd St., New York City, N.Y.
Love is the law, love under will.
Witness Our Hand and Seal.
                                             {11-fold cross} Baphomet X° O.H.O.

{seal in wax -- from the same ring used now to seal O.T.O. certificates}

    A subsequent letter from Crowley to Germer removed the condition of prior approval. With the death of Frater Saturnus (Karl J. Germer) in 1962 e.v., these articles of authorization automatically went into effect.

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From the Outbasket

Here's are responses to questions asked of Agape Grand Lodge, edited for publication. An announcement follows at the bottom of this column regarding Crowley texts for computer.

JM of NE asked about the Church of Thelema:

    The Church of Thelema was incorporated by Wilford T. Smith, head of old Agape Lodge in Southern California in the 1940s. It was intended to be the legal entity for O.T.O. in the US, but Crowley got upset with details of the incorporation and with Smith. The upshot of the matter was that O.T.O. disowned the Church of Thelema and W.T.Smith was forced into retirement. The publication of Liber II: The Message of the Master Therion came out under the Church of Thelema name in the 30's, but it was actually a part of Agape Lodge at the time.

DK of LA needed to know if he had a rebound 1st edition of the Equinox.

    The easiest way to identify a 1st edition set of the Equinox would be to look in Number 7. There should be a gate-fold facsimile of the manuscript of Liber AL in that number, like that bound into the front of Regardie's 1975 e.v. edition of The Law is for All. The Equinox reprints out of Weiser replaced that glossy gate-fold with pages of enlarged text facsimiles of the individual pages of the MS, four to a page. Also look for complete illustrations in several different colors. Some of them appear to be half- tones at first glance, but are actually colotypes (no dots under a magnifying glass) and at least one multi-color lithograph (The Regimen of Seven). There are some half-tones, mostly black and white photos, in some of the numbers. Look at Number 3, around pages 1 through 3. There was a change made during the law suit by Mathers against Crowley in some copies of that issue. Sales was temporarily suspended because of an injunction by the courts. The issues to come out before the injunction are intact. After resumption of sales, there is a half-page tipped in and a change to the editorial. The Weiser reprints have the intact editorial, but many of the 1st editions extant have the half-page and a reference to the lawsuit in the editorial.

In Australia, in addition to the remnant of Motta's old S.O.T.O., there are other groups beside our's claiming to be O.T.O. One such group has argues that it is a "pre-Reuss", or at least pre-1900's O.T.O. This group published some correspondence between Reuss and Westcott from the beginning of the 20th century. Here's an edited excerpt from a letter on the issue:

    There is a book called Occult Theocrasy by "Lady Queenborough", aka. Edith Starr Miller. It was published in two volumes posthumously in 1933 e.v. as an attack on Masonry and similar institutions. Westcott-Reuss correspondence about Swedenborgian Freemasonry, the SRIA and plans to form a Masonic society under names "like O.T.O." are in that book. The October 16th 1902 e.v. letter from Westcott to Reuss published through Tillett is also found in Occult Theocrasy, in facsimile in the latter part of that book. Whatever the truth or lack of it in Tillett's version, we are not that critter and that critter is not the O.T.O. that emerged from Kellner, Reuss and Crowley. Tillett's thesis may be genuine, but it is unrelated to O.T.O. as we have it. Tillett's representations may also be a fabrication based on books and purchased documents not unlike that foisted off by Metzger on Germer in the 1950's. Frankly, I suspect that Tillett's material is a questionable use of published matter from Occult Theocrasy. Let him provide a letter that is not in the book --- even then, what does it prove about his connections? I have handled letters written by Crowley that did not come through O.T.O. All that proves is that you can get old papers from collections.
    Occult Theoracy was reprinted about five years ago.

    A new catalogue of Crowley and other texts available for IBM PC compatible computer will be out in February. The selections have been increased in number, and disks are now available in three formats: 5 1/3 inch 360K or 1.2 meg and 3 1/2 inch 1.44 meg. In addition, file compression can be requested using PKZIP 2.04G or LHARC 2.13 at 50% size reduction or better. For example, all of Equinox volume I, numbers 1-10 complete in ASCII will fit on two 3 1/2 1.44 meg diskettes in LHARC self-extracting compression and all of Confessions fits on one such diskette. O.T.O. Lodges, Oases and Camps will receive the updated list in March of 1994 e.v., and individuals will be able to receive a copy of the catalogue on request in February '94 e.v. by writing to: O.T.O. Diskette Catalogue, P.O.Box 403, Fairfax, CA 94978 USA. The previous arrangements apply: suggested donation is $1.50 per diskette OR send two diskettes and get one back with no further expense. Postage paid. Requests for catalogues received before mid February may be responded by mailing of the old catalogue.-- {Obsolete, now available by email attachment and via the Web. -- Note to TLC Web edition}

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for January 1994 e.v.

1/1/94Incit anno 1994 era vulgarisPope Gregory
1/2/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
1/3/94Thelema Lodge Meeting 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
1/4/94Gnostic Mass Seminar 8:30PM
with Bishop T. Dionysus
Thelema Ldg.
1/7/94Astrology of Sagittarius with Grace
in Berkeley, call for location
Thelema Ldg.
1/8/93Open House at 328 49th St. with
Lecture at 2PM, Gnostic Mass 4:18PM
and Vegetarian Potluck at 6PM
in Oakland.
1/9/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
1/11/94Enochian Structures Lecture, Pt.I
with Michael Sanborn 7:30PM
Thelema Ldg.
1/12/94Witchcraft & Thelema 7:30PMSirius Oasis
1/13/94Internet access point planning
meeting with Ebony 7:30PM
Thelema Ldg.
1/15/94Minerval initiation 6:00PM
(Call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
1/16/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
1/18/94Especially for Seconds 7:30PM
with Michael Sanborn
Thelema Ldg.
1/19/94Magick in Theory and Practice 7:30PM
with Bill Heidrick in Marin County
(5 Suffield Ave., San Anselmo)
Thelema Ldg.
1/20/94Greater Pentagram Ritual workshop
7:30PM with Fran
Thelema Ldg.
1/21/94Burmese Astrology 7:30PM with Kathy
at Grace's (Call to att'd)
Thelema Ldg.
1/23/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
1/25/94Enochian Structures Lecture, Pt.II
with Michael Sanborn 7:30PM
Thelema Ldg.
1/27/94Egyptian Magical Workshop 7:30PM
with Ebony
Thelema Ldg.
1/28/94Astrology of Sagittarius with Grace
in Berkeley, call for location
Thelema Ldg.
1/29/94Poetry Society 7:30PM in the library
with Fr. P.I.
Thelema Ldg.
1/30/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.

    The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its 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.

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

Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)

Production and Circulation:
P.O.Box 430
Fairfax, CA 94978 USA

Internet: (Submissions and circulation only)

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