Thelema Lodge Calendar for April 1994 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for April 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

April 1994 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Feast of Liber AL

    Thelema Lodge celebrates the feast of the three days of the writing of the Book of the Law on 8th through 10th April with our traditional reading of the three chapters of Liber AL. For "the manifestation of Nuit" (chapter one) on Friday evening 8th April, Thelema Lodge will gather at OZ house in Oakland, beginning at 8:00. OZ is an informal thelemic household consisting of Thelema Lodge members who maintain a private temple for occasional ritual events; call them at (510) 654-3580 for information and directions. On Saturday evening 9th April we will be the guests of Sirius Oasis in Berkeley for "the hiding of Hadit" (chapter two) at 8:00. The number there for information and directions is (510) 527-2855. Chapter three, "the reward of Ra Hoor Khut," will be read in Horus Temple at Thelema Lodge on Sunday 10th April, beginning early in the evening at 6:00, with Gnostic Mass to follow at 8:00. Contributions of bread, fruit, cheese, and libations will be welcome at each of these events.

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

    Join the lodge for our weekly Gnostic Mass on Sunday evenings in Horus Temple. Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass (Liber XV) is a communion ritual, and interested participants are welcome to celebrate it with us. New guests should phone ahead for directions. Plan to arrive by 7:30, with mass scheduled to be underway at about 8:00; as the days lengthen we will sometimes be beginning a little later. Members interested in performing mass for the lodge are urged to organize a team and arrange a date with the lodge master.

    At the request of numerous prospective mass officers, Priestess Caitlin Aliciane has consented to repeat her demonstration workshop on the preparation of Cakes of Light for the Gnostic Mass. All members who contemplate taking the roles of priestess or priest in the mass at Thelema Lodge are strongly urged to attend this informal workshop, to be held in the lodge kitchen on Sunday afternoon 17th April at 2:00.

    The Thelema Lodge Gnostic Mass Study Group meets monthly with Bishop T Dionysus, and our new preliminary edition of Liber XV will probably be ready for final proofreading this month. This edition will be the foundation for our eventual comprehensive presentation of the gnostic liturgy, with annotations, commentary, and performance notes, currently being researched and collected by the group. Meet Tuesday evening 26th April in the lodge library, beginning at 8:00. New participants are welcome to join us, with a wide range of topics to focus on, from hagiography to pronunciation, from textual variation to ritual gestures. Reports of individual contributions are shared and discussed at the meetings. (Next month the Mass Study Group will switch days, meeting regularly on the last Wednesday evening of each month.)

Meetings, Classes, & Events

    Most events at Thelema Lodge are open to the public and are free of charge. Voluntary donations are requested to help cover basic expenses, and the lodge depends upon the generosity of its members and friends to continue our activities. Those not in regular contact with the lodge should always call ahead to conform the schedule before setting forth to attend any lodge event. Lodge members are encouraged to share their studies and interests with the local thelemic community by offering classes, workshops, study groups, or ritual presentations at Thelema Lodge. To be included on the calendar, members should attend the monthly lodge meeting with notes for a brief description of their event. Lodge meeting this month will be on Monday evening 4th April at 7:30. Those unable to attend may make calendar arrangements directly with the lodge master, but all scheduling details and description notes must be submitted before the middle of each month.

    Initiations into Ordo Templi Orientis are scheduled at Thelema Lodge on Saturday afternoon 16th April at 4:18, with a feast to follow in the evening. As always, members are requested to contact the lodge regarding attendance at initiations, which is limited to active initiate members of the degree to be worked.

    The lodge library has been greatly expanded recently, and much additional volunteer work is needed to organize, catalog, and shelve our books. Two library evenings are scheduled this month to organize this effort, and members are requested to contact the lodge officers ahead of time to take part. On Monday evening 11th April and again on Thursday evening 21st April the library will be open for work, beginning at 7:30. Additional library hours can be arranged, usually in conjunction with other scheduled events. To utilize our facilities for individual study, contact the lodge and request a time.

    Brother Bill Heidrick offers an extensive guided tour through one of Aleister Crowley's greatest works, Magick in Theory and Practice, at the Thelema Lodge M. T. & P. Series, meeting in Marin this month on Wednesday evening 20th April at 7:30. The location is Bill's home at 5 Suffield Avenue in San Anselmo. Newcomers should phone ahead for directions and information: (415) 454-5176. Our focus for this meeting will be chapters XII and following; a review of this material before the meeting will enable participants to derive maximum benefit from the class.

    Cabell Night at Thelema Lodge will be Saturday evening 2nd April at 7:00, organized by Lew and John. The popular American fantasy writer James Branch Cabell was one of Aleister Crowley's favorite novelists, as attested by the article featured in this issue's "Crowley Classics" section. The twenty volumes of Cabell's magnum opus, The Biography of the Life of Manuel, include several well-known novels such as Jurgen and The Cream of the Jest which contain perceptive, if eccentric, commentary upon Crowley's rituals and philosophy, and even perhaps on the secrets of the O.T.O.

    Sirius Oasis meets in Berkeley on the second Wednesday evening of each month. This officially chartered O.T.O. group is independent of Thelema Lodge, and offers an alternative opportunity for initiations, rituals, and discussion. The meeting on Wednesday evening 13th April at 7:30 begins a new magical workshop series which will be based upon The Magick of Thelema: A Handbook of the Rituals of Aleister Crowley, recently published by the O.T.O.'s own Lon DuQuette. Call the Oasis Master for details at (510) 527- 2855.

    The Aleph Group meets every Tuesday evening this month with Michael Sanborn, beginning at 7:30. This series offers a regular opportunity for group work in Magick and Mysticism, organized around a comprehensive study of Liber Aleph vel CXI: The Book of Wisdom or Folly by the Master Therion. On 26th April, the Aleph Group will be meeting at an alternate location, due to prior scheduling of the Liber XV Study Group at the lodge. Call Michael Sanborn at (510) 601-9393 for information.

    The Egyptian Magical Workshop meets with Ebony on Thursday evening 14th April at 7:30. The pervasive importance of Egyptian elements in the magical system developed by Aleister Crowley is the subject for this discussion group, led by our leading Egyptian ritualist and scholar. Among the subjects this month will be Ebony's own recent work with Egyptian god-forms in thelemic ritual, including an advance look at some of the magical material he is currently preparing for publication.

    An evening of verse is offered in the Thelema Lodge library each month with the Grady McMurtry Poetry Society, organized by Frater P.I. Gather on Saturday evening 30th April at 7:30 with poetry of your choice to read and share. Bring your own work for supportive appreciation, or bring your current favorite poet's best pieces, or any verse to read aloud. You don't even need to tell anyone whether its yours or Yeats. (What are Yeats, anyway?)

    Grace presents "The Astrology of Taurus" at her home in Berkeley on Wednesday evening 27 April at 7:00. The loving and stubborn nature of this sign may sometimes grasp even harder than it charms us, and we will explore the fixed strength of earth in relation to the luxury of Venus and the enduring laziness of the Bull, with minimum reference to its proverbial excreta. All participants must call Grace to confirm the date of this event, which has been scheduled (and described) in her absence by the editor. Please call (510) 843-7827 before attending.

    The Thelema Lodge Butterfly Net is our computer information network, scheduled to go online this month after a season of planning. Ebony is our adviser in this endeavor, and he will lead the monthly coordinating meeting on Thursday evening 28th April in the lodge library at 7:30. Inexpensive membership subscriptions are available, with custom software and expert advice freely offered.

Crowley Classics

    The following essay was originally published in The Reviewer 3:11-12 (Richmond, VA: July 1923 e.v.), 907-914. Crowley's original "note" on Cabell was a single-page review notice of Beyond Life which appeared in the Blue Equinox (3:1, March 1919 e.v.). Crowley had not previously known of the American fantasy novelist, and he hints in Confessions that it was H. L. Mencken who suggested the first review. Although very positive, the Blue Equinox notice tends to generality and rhetorical extravagance, and barely begins to establish a critical perspective on Cabell. Crowley opened a long correspondence with Cabell in 1919 e.v. and sent him a copy of the Book of the Law as a guide to thelemic literature. In the late spring of 1922 e.v. Crowley determined to outline his growing admiration for Cabell's work, and to suggest a more positive direction for his future novels. He wrote requesting free copies of Cabell's books, and Cabell probably sent him three or four volumes. The result was this essay.

Another Note on Cabell

by Aleister Crowley

    Commercialism has destroyed literature in the United States with a thoroughness to which Puritanism never pretended. The latter merely emasculated the artist; the former has removed his spinal column altogether. Criticism has been eliminated, for who will pay for it? The publisher, and the newspaper which lives on his advertisements, wants every book to sell: therefore, the reviewer must confound them all in a common Te Deum. The result has been in the case of James Branch Cabell that practically nobody, even among his admirers, has any idea of what he has tried to write.

    My first introduction to him was Beyond Life. I was pleased, got Jurgen, and recognized at once that a new star of the first magnitude had arisen. But I did not connect the two books; I was rather annoyed to find one Horvendile recur. I had no suspicion that Horvendile was one of the principal characters in an epic of unprecedented scope. Now that I have read a number of Cabell's books, it is clear that each, though independent, is also one piece of a vast jig-saw puzzle. I have now sufficient of these sections to begin to perceive dimly the design of the gigantic picture of the Universe which he has undertaken.

    We have had Homer and others to combine the affairs of gods and men in a single epos; we have had Balzac and others to combine the affairs of various families. But Cabell has done far more than either of these types of artist. He has taken the ideal forces of the Universe, and shown their relations with mankind over a period of many centuries, from the legendary demi-gods of Poictesme to the inhabitants of present-day Virginia. He has set no limits to his canvas; and while every detail is exact and brilliant, it retains its proper subordination to the complete Idea.

    It is impossible to convey the effect of the fertility of Cabell's invention. He creates so many characters, and furnishes them with so many biographical and bibliographical details, that one is utterly bewildered to decide whether --- in the "historical" or even "folk-lore" sense --- such people existed or no. The mythology itself is partly conventional and partly imaginative; and one cannot draw the line. Nor is there any criterion of reality by which one can distinguish between Koshchei, who made things as they are, Helen of Troy and Guinevere of Caerlaon, Manuel the Redeemer and Count Emmerick of Poictesme, and the Musgraves, Charterises, and Thurstons, of Lichfield, U.S.A. President Roosevelt is introduced --- a figure no less and no more fantastic than Mother Sereda.

    One perceives that Cabell has outwitted the Lords of Illusion: the ideas derived from our impressions are as objective to him as the apparent external causes of those impressions. He gives us a direct presentation of the substance of the Universe as a spiritual reality. The adventures of Jurgen are the futile wish-phantasms proper to an elderly pawnbroker who failed to be a poet; those of Manuel are the romantic dreams of a boy with a genius for sculpture. These fairy stories are thus realistic psychology no less than the meditations of the philanderer in The Cords of Vanity. Equally, the doings of Virginian society are symbolic parables, eternal in their application. There is no veil between the so-called material world and that of pure Romance of Idea. The most solid human being may at any moment find himself in touch with some personified Theorem of Philosophy: one plane interpenetrates and influences the other without interfering with it or challenging its claim to existence. Thus we are shown, exactly as in our own experience, the continuity of Nature. Our dreams and our desires are, on the one hand, symbols of our "actual" life determined (as to form) by the contents of our intellectual storehouse; on the other, they are graphic glyphs of the true self which lurks behind normal consciousness. For it is not wholly true to say that the Ego projects the non-Ego, as Fichte and the Advaitists maintain, nor that the Ego is an imaginary synthesis of the non-Ego, as Schelling and the Buddhists declare. Both positions are equally true and equally false; reality exists in every idea, in one sense of another. If what we see and hear be "true," in the Victorian interpretation, the quintessence of our impressions must be so no less. Nor does Berkeleyan idealism destroy the reality of the objects of sense; for since God has chosen to think them, they exist. No writer previous to Cabell has made this manifest; and his demonstration is only the more convincing for the admirably artistic form of his expression.

    The above thesis is a necessary preliminary to any proper study of Cabell; only when it is assimilated is it possible to estimate either the scope and purpose of his work, or its ultimate implication.

    We may then proceed to sum up the essence of his philosophy. He has done exactly what the Buddha did long since; he has investigated the Universe in detail and as a whole, and he has come to the same conclusion, "Everything is sorrow." But, like Buddha once more, he has failed to perceive that Sorrow is itself an illusion. Nothing is worth having, nothing is worth keeping, nothing is worth trying for: true, but only in part. Every being must come ultimately to Nothing, for there is nothing for it to attain. Every curve is closed. Every equation must cancel out to zero. Yet every being has only to rid itself of Desire, to follow out its own natural course without hankering after false ideals: so soon as it learns how to do this, sorrow disappears. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." Sorrow arises from our failure to understand ourselves, to calculate our proper orbit, to acquiesce in our true identity. Once we realize our relation to the Universe, the sum of things becomes part of our own Selfhood. We cease to interfere in the necessary order of Illusions, and the collisions which have hurt us in the past no longer occur. It is true that the total is Nothing; but what we call Ourselves is merely a symbolic manifestation of Nothing as a system of equal and opposite forces. The true Self is enabled to become conscious of itself by this method, and the rest of the Universe is the complement of that Self. Each phenomenon with which we come into contact affords an opportunity for the appropriate part of the Self to unite with it by "love under will"; and each such act is an ecstasy. It destroys the yearning of that part, satisfies its hunger for completeness, and at the same time as it destroys itself, it adds to the Self that part of the Universe with which it unites in mystic marriage.

    Now Cabell has not yet arrived at this annihilation of the Universal Sorrow. He sees only the futility and hopelessness of all endeavour. Yet this conclusion is based upon a strictly intellectual enquiry into Nature; and indeed, his position is impregnable by strictly rational artillery. He has, notwithstanding this, an instinct that there is a deeper form of perception. He cannot justify his spiritual sense by any appeal to reason, experience, or philosophy; but the ineradicable intuition is always present. He is compelled to admit despite himself that there is a sense in which life is worth living. Thus Rudolph Musgrave, the quiet, dignified gentleman of Virginia; Manuel, the heroic saviour of Poictesme, and Perion, the romantic lover of Dame Melicent, can each say in his own way: "Things gained are gone, but great things done endure." The noble Ideal and the courageous determination to live up to it, the high holding to Honour and the scorn of Circumstance: these things are unreasonable, unphilosophical, ridiculous. The goal is glamour, the path is puerile and perilous. The premises are absurd, and the conclusion fatuous. Yet somehow this insane intensity of devotion to imaginary idols fashioned in one's own likeness makes life seem valuable, and --- "death is the crown of all." It is the formula given in the Book of the Law.

    To know one's true Will, and to do it; that is the secret of Life. It is absurd, from the standpoint of common sense, to love a woman who is no different from thousands of others, and is in any case mortal, to build a temple which Time will destroy, to fight for a kingdom which must certainly perish, to write a poem which hardly a dozen men living will appreciate, and become the prey of Oblivion, to aspire to any achievement on a planet which is doomed to extinction, to take any interest whatever in a Universe so vast, callous, and unintelligible. Yet it is worth while to dismiss all these mocking demons of thought, and to perform every act with utter faith and love, as if it were the sole and supreme sacrament.

    Cabell is himself a sublime protagonist of this theory of life, which his enormous intellectual range, and piercing perception, constantly mock. He has toiled unceasingly to erect the cathedral of his life-work to the god whom he well knows to be the fantastic figment of his adolescent follies. He has builded it of his own brain and bone, moistening the mortar with his heart's blood. Year after year he has laboured, while humanity passed him by with indifference or contempt, until, with Jurgen, the superb spire, it became impossible to ignore him any longer, and the only policy was persecution. With smiling scorn he has gone on, and added, with Figures of Earth, the noble foursquare Tower of Manuel; and now, at last, in his latest book, The Lineage of Lichfield, he has revealed this architectural plan, showing how every detail of the mighty structure is of necessity of the whole.

    It is out of the question, within the limits of an essay, to do more than indicate a few points of the technical accomplishment which has subserved the majestic conception. But much of Cabell's work demands the highest intelligence and the broadest knowledge from his readers. The humour of some passages, the sublimity of others, can only be appreciated by those whose studies enable them to grasp the character of the allusions. He sometimes criticises an entire period of history or literature by a single paragraph of exquisite subtlety. He invents authors and statesmen by the score, giving specimens of their work which illuminate the conditions of human society and thought as has never been done --- and one is only too liable to miss the whole purport of his page, from ignorance or carelessness. I have read and re-read these books again and again; every fresh application of the mind has revealed a new vision of beauty, wit, nobility, or wisdom. And I still feel that I have failed to reach the deepest and holiest sanctuaries of his thought. In Jurgen and Figures of Earth, especially, I am confident that there is an unfathomable well of Truth of which I have yet drunk but a few sparkling cupfulls. From personal correspondence, indeed, I feel certain that Cabell himself has written "as he was inspired by the Holy Ghost" more subtly and stupendously than his own intelligence is aware. It may be that so colossal a conception as his can never be wholly comprehended by the conscious mind. Certain characters, for instance, such as Manuel's wife, Horvendile, Ahasuerus, Anaitis, Freydis and Beda --- the last especially when identified with Mimir --- baffle by their simplicity and profundity. One cannot bring into clear consciousness why they really are. Again, one feels the organic necessity of the sequence of certain events without being able to satisfy one's philosophical reason about them. Yet again, there are problems connected with the plane of being on which various characters manifest which leave one eagerly dubious.

    In Cabell's technique there are two principal features of exceptional interest and significance. One is the insidious introduction of rhythmical, riming and antistrophic forms. These give an almost uncanny quality to the texture of the tapestry; besides their beauty and their power to exalt the soul, they possess a magical faculty of conveying fine shades of meaning and of enlightening the mind by suggesting allusions to history, literature or philosophy which enrich the explicit expression in an indescribably effective manner.

    The other feature is the employment of repetitions. Some apparently casual phrase is made to recur throughout a volume in such a way as to alter the values of the episodes in which it occurs with the most magical effect. It is impossible to explain exactly how the miracle is worked; one can only say that the theme is rendered coherent and ineluctable. The use of the "leit-motif" by Wagner is a very crude prototype of Cabell's device.

    Throughout the epos, there is an almost constant consciousness of the relativity of time and space, of their subjectivity. They are perceived from without, as being merely conditions through the postulation of which existence makes itself manifest. We are led to realize that the events of the past and the future are presented to us in sequence for the sake of convenience; they are contributions to our knowledge of a self which is independent of them. One's first love-affair and one's death merely help one to form a mental concept of one's self, just as one's head and one's feet do in another way. All Jurgen's adventures, whether he is traveling backward in time to the Garden between Dawn and Sunrise, or foreward to postmortem conditions, are just so many windows through which he may behold himself. Manuel's "Month of Years" with the Head of Misery is no longer or shorter than Jurgen's "replevined Wednesday"; both episodes are alike facets of the souls of their respective heroes. So, too, the various scenes of our experience are not in reality separated in space; everything occurs in one place and at one time --- or, rather in no place at no time at all. The apparent dividuality is only a matter of the convenience of dramatic representation. This may perhaps be clearer if we use an analogy. The letters of the word l-i-o-n are separate in space and sequence; but this is merely the accident of the method chosen by us to represent the idea of a lion. None of the letters, moreover, is by itself connected with the idea. So, none of our experiences is a direct expression of ourselves; but their sum, interpreted in the light of our knowledge of the hieroglyphic language of which they are letters, is an intelligible artistic symbol thereof.

    Thus we find Cabell constantly breaking up the conventions of human experience in order to demonstrate the ultimate independence of true Self- Consciousness. He enables us to become free from our natural tendency to mistake the alphabet of the intellect for the Word of the Soul. He makes Life intelligible by releasing it from the obsession that any of its phenomena are in themselves finally significant. Yet he avoids the pitfall of the ordinary mystic; he does not tell us that any experience, even the slightest, is "illusion." Every impression that we receive is, like the letters of l-i-o-n, a necessary term in our Personal Equation, although its function only applies indirectly and symbolically, having no true meaning in itself.

    This intrinsic depth of Cabell's thought is to be found, in one way or another, in all his writing. Here it is only possible to explore tentatively the main branch of the Mammoth Cave of his mind; his philosophy leads into many obscure and tortuous side-issues. Equally there is apparently no limit to the range of his raids upon humanity; time, race and caste oppose no barriers to his forays.

    It is for these reasons that this brief introduction may be summed in the statement that he is at once the most ambitious, the best worth study, of living authors. To attempt to do more would be presumptuous and futile; each man for himself must bring his own bucket to these springs of deep yet sparkling water. It is no unworthy service to mankind to urge it to look for light to the nebula of James Branch Cabell.

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from the Grady Project:


I, Star, swing out the perihelions of my round.
A million streaming tendrils coruscate and bound
Into the sky. They would escape, but no. I hold
Them yet more firmly, crush them, back into the fold
They slump with laggard bodies, yet their writhing souls
Strain out. White, fear lapped eyes are rolled in knotted boles
Away. Ha. Come to me my little ones, I play.


Published in The Grady Project #2 (December 1987 e.v.).

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An Abramelin Ramble,

with visits to roadside attractions along the way
and sundry personal advice.

PART II -- Books Alive continued..

Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
Copyright © Bill Heidrick

    To continue the tradition forward, it was said that the Torah, the Invisible Torah, the archetype of all things that are, remained with the Creating Deity. Down into the world where the first human beings were made there was another thing, as it were an abstract, a shortened version. Qabalistic Tradition calls this "Sepher Ha-Adam", the Book of Man or the Book of Adam, the knowledge whereby any human being could learn to command all forces on earth and out as far as the moving stars, the planets. One thing that man could not do with this book, would be to command forces beyond the planets, from the fixed stars. That would not belong in the Book of Man, but in the book of the "Torah", the Book of the Word of Truth beyond this world. Some legends of "The Fall" suggest that improper mastery was attempted by man, and the Book of Adam was taken away in consequence. Legends in the Talmud and elements that became attached to Qabalah recount that in the course of time a man named Enoch or Hanoh walked the Earth. He's also mentioned in the Old Testament. It's said of Enoch that: "He walked with God and was no more." It's also said of Ezechial that: "He walked with God and was no more." It's never said that either one died. Much is made of this. According to the legend, when the primordial Man and Woman lost their great powers and were sent out into the world, they were given another book. This book conferred power over many of the things of this world, the things below the layer of cloud, and influence on the things that in the sky. It was not power, but influence only. This book was called "Sepher Raziel", which literally translated means: "The Book of the Secret of God." That brings us to actual written books on magic. There are many books, some going back almost to the Roman period but most from the last 1500 years, that are called Sepher Ha- Raziel. When such books first appeared, Qabalah was called "Raz" or "Sod", both words meaning a mystical or holy secret. Such a book was said to have the powerful part of Qabalah. That part of Qabalah is called Ma'asseh Merkabah or "The Way of the Chariot" because of Ezechial and the flaming chariot. The direct, non mythical books of Ma'asseh Merkabah are called "Hekhaloth" literature, and often pre-date the Christian era.
    There is also a story about Enoch, that he had a book called "Sepher Ha- Enoch". There are ancient surviving Books of Enoch. This fellow Enoch really had a friend in a high place. He got to talking with God. Consider the Yeminite Jewish people; there are places in Israel where the Yeminites settled. An old man will sometimes go out in front of his tent, and just have a conversation with God in the morning. That's his morning prayer, not the standard Jewish prayers. He says; "Hello God, how are you?"; and he gets answers! There's a conversation going on. It looks an awful lot like the descriptions in the Bible, the Torah. Maybe Enoch was like that; but the story goes on to say that he was given a book. Remember that the word "book" in this context means "knowledge". This "book", reasonably enough, was called "Sepher Ha-Enoch", the Book of Enoch or the "Enochian Book". It was written in the language of the Angels and restored most of the powers that had been removed from the book of Raziel, to the level of the Book of Adam. Enoch was so powerful that he was like legend said of the first Man and Woman. He was not the size of a normal human being, but something like 12 feet tall. When he walked, the earth shook. Sometimes he could be seen, and sometimes he couldn't. When he became angry, his anger leveled a mountain, not by touch but by the anger alone. This is the background of magical books. It later became what we see now. There are books called The Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon. It's the same sort of tradition. Solomon was said to have power over the king of the demons. Obviously he had knowledge of this kind. Spell books that give power over demons are often called "Keys of Solomon", the keys whereby Solomon unlocked or controlled the powers of these great forces. In the Arabian Nights, there are genies, Jinn and Marids. These are strange spirits who either do or do not believe in Allah. They all have terrible powers. Those are just the words used in Arabic to refer to these kinds of spirits. Realize that Hebrew and Arabic are similar languages; when we say Solomon son of David, Hebrew sources say Solmon ben David and Arabic sources say Suliman bin Daoud. In the Arabian Nights, everywhere you go there are Genies popping up and wondering if Suliman bin Daoud is still around. The last time, he jammed them in a bottle! The Book of Solomon, the Key of Solomon, the tradition of the magic of the Arabian Nights, are all from the same stories. Many of these magical books derive from the influence of the Islamic culture in Europe. Islamic occupation of Western European land didn't end until 1492 e.v., the same year Columbus made famous. That was the year of the fall of Granada, the last Moorish center of learning and outpost in Western Europe, 100 years after the Abramelin book was allegedly written.
    There are two principle works in common circulation called the Key of Solomon. One is called The Greater Key of Solomon, and the other is called The Lesser Key of Solomon or Lemegeton. The Greater Key of Solomon gives detailed instructions on how to make things: magical circles, implements, clothing, right times to do things during the week; all that sort of thing. It has a few interesting rituals in it. It also has a lot of rather nice Talismans, most of them derived from traditions common in the middle ages. A few are older, like the SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS square that's on the cover of some editions. That square was actually found etched in the wall of a public lavatory in Pompeii. It's just pure luck that archaeologists happened to dig up a public john in Pompeii where somebody had long ago decided to offend everybody by drawing a sacred thing on the wall --- the equivalent of a telephone number under a scurrilous remark. The earliest depiction thought to represent Jesus Christ is also on a bathroom wall in Pompeii, a crucified jackass. It probably isn't Jesus Christ but Mithras and might even be related to Venus, who was associated with making asses of people. There is a marvelous book by Lucius: The Golden Ass, called that because it's got an ass in it and good books should be thought of as golden. That book describes the mysteries of the goddess Venus. Returning to the Solomonic Keys, or Clavicals as they are sometimes called; they have turned up in very odd places. Ben Johnson was an Elizabethan playwright. He wrote the first musical, the Beggars Opera, and was a contemporary of Shakespeare. There exists in the British Museum a copy of the Greater Key of Solomon with Johnson's signature on it. Jacques Casanova was another student of magical books. There's a movie about Casanova, but it's marred. They cast a white man in the role while Casanova was black. He was imprisoned by the Council of Ten in Venice, under the roof of the Doge's palace, and the record of his imprisonment survives. The charge on which Casanova was imprisoned was possession of these magical books. Casanova's memoirs detail workings with Solomonic evocations, alchemy, numerology, the transfer of souls from one living person to another and work with his own Holy Guardian Angel. Some years ago somebody finally came out with a facsimile full version of the Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon, but usually you only find a little part of it, one chapter call the Goetia. It was supposed to be everything the Greater Key of Solomon wasn't. The Greater Key of Solomon is a nice handbook, more classical with less Christian influence. The Lesser Key or Lemegeton is a collection of damn near everything, including a lot of corruptions and poor quality late material. The Goetia just deals with the 5 degree divisions of the Zodiac into 72 parts, and only the evil or destructive aspect of that. Consider Astaroth in the Goetia, a terrible demon, one of those imprisoned in the brass bottle by Solomon. There is a design for a ring to be worn to protect yourself from his evil breath. Actually, "Astaroth" is one of the Near Eastern words for "goddesses", in particular, goddesses of beauty. Another cognate name is "Astarte". "Ishtar" and "Isis" are dialectical variations on the same name, "Asha". These things degenerate after illiterate copying and ignorant addition of sectarian opinion. Such books don't help much. They give general instructions along the lines of, "Ok, now do this"; but they don't explain in detail. It's rare to get instruction like: "If you can't find parchment, skin a sheep, get a big crock, fill it full of lime, thrown in some water, throw in the sheep skin, fish it out of there after a while when it stops stinking and bubbling, dry it out, pound on it a while, put it back in ..." The Abramelin book starts with the assumption that you know nothing. It explains how to use any popular method to attain the goal of learning magick. That is the main value of the Abramelin book, but also where it has problems. All the helpful suggestions are for the 14th century. They've stopped making a lot of that stuff.

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Primary Sources

       With the Holy Days upon us, it's good to look back to the past as well as the future. Here are selections from the minutes of old Agape Lodge and Camp. Nothing earth-shattering is here, just a moment of reflection to bring us peaceful rememberance.

Jan. 9 AGAPAE Camp assembled at 8.10 p.m.
SALADIN: Brother Smith
WAZIR:          "       Parsons
EMIR:      Sister Parsons
BLACK GUARD: Brother H.Pastor

Present: Sisters Canright, Foreman, Northrup, M. Graham
        Brothers R.Pastor, Burlingame, Canright.

    Saladin requested that all present repeat the Oath of the First Degree, which was done. He then called for the report on new members, which was rendered by Sister Canright and Sister Foreman.
    The Finance Report was presented by Sister Parsons.
    Sister Wolfe reported on the proposed News-Letter.
    The daily performance of liber Resh was recommended for the group.
    Brother Canright was assigned the understudy of the role of EMIR.
    Librarian Duties: report as to instructions given individuals re Duties & Privileges (Harry & Rudolph, to read once each day for one week.)
    Seating order, separating degrees.
    There being no further matters, the meeting adjourned.
                                      {signed} Jane Wolfe

Feb. 7 AGAPAE Camp assembled at 8.20 p.m.
The usual officers presided.

Present: Sisters Canright, Foreman, Northrup.

    SALADIN spoke of the word AUM, and explained the addition of the New Aeon GN.
    There being no business before the camp, the members read from the books of the Order as well as articles designed for The Oriflamme, (formerly News- Letter) the aspiration of the members of the Order having taken on a more serious turn, now planning to use the magazine for missionary duty rather than solely for the edification of members only.
                                             {signed} Jane Wolfe

June 1 AGAPAE CAMP assembled at 8.10 p.m.
SALADIN, Brother Parsons
WAZIR          "       Canright
EMIR       Sister Forman
BLACK GUARD, Sister Canright

Present: Brother Rose
    Sisters Northrup and Wolfe.

    Saladin spoke of standing by the principles of the Order, and that to keep the Order moving and the premises at 1003 worth their upkeep, it would be necessary to increase membership and other activities. Brother Rose spoke of possibility of some Spanish people.
    Sister Northrup performed the Pentagram, after which Saladin spoke of its occult significance, strengthening the aura, controlling the Astral and its inhabitants, etc., the sign of the Microcosm, etc.
    Sister Forman asked about the Second Yearly Party. Saladin designated June 22d for a Solstice Party, saying it should be small & select, only possible candidates invited, and made Brother Canright Chairman.
    Brother Canright proposed stressing the fraternal side of the Order, benefits, sports, a Club House, rather than the philosophical side.
    Saladin suggested Badminton, Fencing. Also that the Second Degree should be pushed through that there might be a special group who would push on to the Third Degree.
                                         {signed} Jane Wolfe

June 19 A very successful Solstice party of over forty people.
    At 10 o'clock Brother Parsons gave a talk on the O.T.O. briefly outlining its purposes, and welcomed the guests in its name.

    Dancing and refreshments followed in due course, and at 12 o'clock a candle-light procession, with accompanying tom-tom, wound in and out around the grounds, and finally assembled in the Pergola, where first six of the Collects were recited by Brother Canright, Sisters Northrup and Wolfe, followed by a fire dance by one of the guests, couples leaping over flames, etc., etc.
                                         {signed} Jane Wolfe

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TLC Running Late & UGLY!

    Owing to press breakdown and family matters, your Editor/Printer/Mailer has been unable to get the Thelema Lodge Calendar out on time the last few issues, including this one. This issue is the first printed on the new press, and looks as bad as it does owing to the press being adjusted. There was no time to complete tuning and still get our newsletter in the mail. By next issue we should be able to get the TLC out in more reasonable speed and good quality, assuming progress with tuning and adjusting the new press continues at the present rate. The old printing press was a Chief 15, affectionately known as the "Secret Chief of the O.T.O." It did good duty from 1977 e.v. until last month, producing in it's season the O.T.O. Newsletter, about half a decade of Magic(k)al Links, sundry booklets and the TLC. The Chief was over 40 years old, and parts could no longer be had. The new press is a 1989 e.v. Gestetner 313, 17 inch format.

From the Outbasket

    Here are the annual demographics of the O.T.O. from Agape Grand Lodge. These membership totals have been obtained from Grand Lodge accounts at the end of February 1994 e.v.: 2,238 all, 1,927 of which are initiates.
    Last year a general billing was undertaken for Western Europe for the first time in several years. Taken together with the more routine billings elsewhere, the moderate growth seen below for initiate membership is both pleasing and surprising. Billing for dues will become more regular in the coming 18 months, and next year's membership figures will be more accurate. Dues billing in most of the countries formerly composing Yugoslavia is still being deferred, owing to the present unrest in the region.

ADV 90
Associates 221
Minervals 642
Ist Degrees 487
IInd Degrees 311
IIIrd Degrees 226
IVth Degrees 160
Vth Degrees 66
Higher Degrees 35


    In the demographic list which follows, all data is drawn from the Grand Lodge mailing list, except for Bosnia-Hercegovina --- estimated owing to cessation of the mails during the current war.

    Known OTO member addresses by regions at end February 1994 e.v.
    (Associates and initiates both) Total: 2,185 in 38 countries


Alabama 12 Missouri 13
Arizona 47 Montana 1
Arkansas 4 Nebraska 19
California 306 Nevada 7
    (North Cal: 172) New Hampshire 5
    (South Cal: 134) New Jersey 13
Colorado 5 New Mexico 2
Connecticut 12 New York 113
Delaware 1 North Carolina 11
Dist. of Columbia 2 Ohio 19
Florida 35 Oklahoma 18
Georgia 38 Oregon 72
Hawaii 6 Pennsylvania 28
Idaho 7 Puerto Rico 2
Illinois 27 Rhode Island 3
Indiana 38 South Carolina 2
Iowa 1 South Dakota 1
Kansas 6 Tennessee 9
Kentucky 2 Texas 60
Louisiana 13 Utah 20
Maine 1 Vermont 1
Maryland 1 Virginia 14
Massachusetts 22 Washington 41
Michigan 16 West Virginia 3
Minnesota 13 Wisconsin 20
Mississippi 4




Alberta 50 Ontario 43
British Columbia 42 Quebec 31
New Brunswick 1







Detail of February 1993 e.v. Demographics (last year)

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Events Calendar for April 1994 e.v.

4/2/94Cabell Night with Lew & John
4/3/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
4/4/94Thelema Lodge Meeting 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
4/5/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
4/8/94Holy Days of Liber AL at Oz House
Ist Chapter, 8:00PM
4/9/94Holy Days of Liber AL at Sirius O.
IInd Chapter, 8:00PM
Sirius Oasis
4/10/94Holy Days of Liber AL at Thelema Ldg
IIIrd Chapter, 6:00PM
Thelema Ldg.
4/10/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
4/11/94Library Night 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
4/12/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
Thelema Ldg.
4/13/94"Thelemic Magick" workshop 7:30PM
in Berkeley (call for location)
Sirius Oasis
4/14/94Egyptian Magical Workshop
with Ebony, 7:30PM
Thelema Ldg.
4/16/94Thelema Lodge Initiations 4:18PM
call to attend.
Thelema Ldg.
4/17/94Cakes of Light Workshop 2:00PM
with Caitlin
Thelema Ldg.
4/17/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
4/19/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
Thelema Ldg.
4/20/94Magick in Theory and Practice 7:30PM
with Bill Heidrick in Marin County
(5 Suffield Ave., San Anselmo)
Thelema Ldg.
4/21/94Library Night 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
4/24/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
4/26/94Gnostic Mass study Group 7:30PM
with Bp. Dionysys in the library
Thelema Ldg.
4/27/94Astrology of Taurus with Grace 7PM
in Berkeley. Call to attend.
Thelema Ldg.
4/28/94Buttefly Net with Ebony 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
4/30/94777 Poetry Society with Fr. P.I.
Thelema Ldg.

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