Thelema Lodge Calendar for May 1994 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for May 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

May 1994 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Thelema Lodge Events
Schedule for May

    The Gnostic Mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica is celebrated by the O.T.O. each Sunday evening in Horus Temple at Thelema Lodge. All attending should arrive by 8:00, with the mass scheduled to begin at nightfall. Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass is a communion ritual, and our service is open to interested members of the public who wish to participate with us as the "Universal Church of Those Who Know." When attending for the first time, please call ahead for information and directions. Members interested in performing mass for the lodge are invited to organize teams and then schedule a date with the lodgemaster.

    The Thelema Lodge Gnostic Mass Study Group meets with Bishop T Dionysus on Wednesday evening 25th May, beginning late at 8:00. This group has produced a newly-edited and comprehensively collated text of Liber XV, copies of which are now available from Thelema Lodge. Now we can concentrate on the real work for which the group was organized, gathering and preparing explanation, annotations, and notes on performance techniques for the Gnostic Mass. Participation is open to all interested students of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica; those unable to attend the monthly meetings are invited to contact the group to arrange for cooperation by mail or internet.

    Priestess Caitlin Aliciane offers another workshop this month on the preparation and use of Cakes of Light in the Gnostic Mass, meeting in the lodge kitchen on Sunday afternoon 15th May at 2:00. Although she is also available for private tuition on the performance of Liber XV, all mass team members are urged to take advantage of this informal opportunity to review the E.G.C. policies with regard to Cakes of Light and share experiences with their magical efficacy.

    The Aleph Group meets each Tuesday evening in Horus Temple for practice and discussion of the magical curriculum outlined by the Master Therion in The Book of Wisdom or Folly, originally for his "magical son" Frater Achad. Brother Michael Sanborn is the coordinator for this group, which features study, yoga, and meditation, using Liber CXI as a guide to Crowley's magical system. Call (510) 601-9393 for details.

    Sirius Oasis meets Wednesday evening 11th May at 7:30 in Berkeley for a workshop on The Magick of Thelema, organized around the book recently published by Lon DuQuette of Heru-Ra-Ha Lodge. Call the Oasis at (510) 527- 2855 for directions. The Master of Sirius Oasis also extends a special invitation to all members and friends of O.T.O. to attend the eleventh annual Ancient Ways Festival at Harbin Hot Springs from 18th through 22nd May. This clothing-optional pagan gathering features rituals, workshops, hot and cold pools, and fun. Contact Ancient Ways at (510) 653-3244 for information and fee schedules. The Ancient Ways Festival is an independent non-O.T.O. event at which a wide range of pagan traditions (including O.T.O.) will be represented.

    The monthly Egyptian Magical Workshop meets with Ebony at 7:30 on Thursday evening 12th May at Thelema Lodge. This group explores the application of ancient Egyptian magical techniques to ritual work in the aeon of Thelema, with special emphasis on Crowley's Egyptian symbolism and the god-forms of the Holy Books.

    The Thelema Lodge Magick in Theory and Practice Series with Bill Heidrick meets in Marin on Wednesday evening 18th May at 7:30. The location is Bill's home, at 5 Suffield Avenue in San Anselmo; those attending for the first time should call (415) 454-5176 for directions. The M. T. & P. Series offers a guided reading through Crowley's great manual of modern magick, with commentary, discussion, and demonstrations. This meeting will begin with chapter XIV, with advanced review advised for maximum comprehension.

    The library at Thelema Lodge will be reorganized on two Monday evening this month, on 9th and 23rd May, with volunteers encouraged to assist in further cataloging and shelving. Call the lodge for information, or to arrange for alternate library hours for private research and study.

    The Grady McMurtry Poetry Society meets in the library at Thelema Lodge every month to promote the enjoyment of verse. Participants read poetry of their own choice to the group, which welcomes original work as well as selections from favorite poets. Stop by on Saturday evening 28th May at 7:30 to join Frater P.I. for an evening of poetry.

    The Butterfly Net meets with Ebony at Thelema Lodge on Thursday evening 26th May at 7:30. "When cryptography is outlawed, bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl."

    Grace offers "The Astrology of Gemini" next month on Friday evening 3 June, beginning early at 7:00. Being multi-faceted and gifted with dexterity, many artists are found among the twins. Most Geminis seem to have vicariously, if not actually, kissed the Blarney Stone. So bring your talents to the next astrology workshop and enlighten us by sharing your experiences.

    The Astrology of Cancer will be offered on June 3rd, a Friday, at 7:00 P.M. until 9:00. Being Moon ruled, Cancerians tend to love their homes and are often the greatest of chefs. But beyond these talents let us explore the administrative capacity of many of these sensitive souls, who may not appear too sensitive after all.

    Most events at Thelema Lodge are open to the public free of charge. Donations are requested at many events to assist in meeting our basic rental expenses for the temple and library facility, and the lodge thanks all our members and friends for the generosity with enables our work to proceed. Unless you are in frequent contact with the lodge, we request that you call ahead for confirmation before setting forth to attend any scheduled offering. Thelema Lodge members are encouraged to share their studies, ritual endeavors, and other interests by offering workshops and classes at the lodge. These are scheduled at our lodge meeting, at the beginning to the preceding month, where the business of the lodge is also discussed and coordinated. This month's Thelema Lodge Meeting will be held Monday evening 2nd May at 7:30 in the library.

    A meeting of the Lodge of Perfection will be hosted at Thelema Lodge on Thursday evening 19th May at 7:30. Initiates of this O.T.O. degree are invited to attend to discuss the work of their grade, plan activities, and organize toward future L.O.P. initiations. Please note that in the past some members have been confused by inaccurate use of the term Lodge of Perfection, which is not a secret "lodge council" or a private club, but a grade of membership in the Order.

    The Rites of Eleusis are planned for this coming summer, with a preliminary organizational meeting at Thelema Lodge on Monday evening 30th May at 7:30. The proposal for this year's schedule is a variation on our successful innovation last year, performing the seven planetary rites at intervals of twelve days rather than five, beginning with a dark moon for the Rite of Saturn on 9th July, and winding down to the Rite of Luna at the full moon on 19th September. Discussion of teams for the individual rites, and locations for their performance, will begin at this meeting. A second meeting will be held next month at Sirius Oasis.

Crowley Classics

    This essay was originally published in The International 11:10 (New York: October 1917), 315-316. The editors thank Brother Ebony Anpu for making the text available in his Stellar Visions publication of The International Magazine Excerpts (San Francisco: O.T.O., 1986).

The Spoils to the Strong!
An Appeal to England and Germany

by Aleister Crowley

    I have four reasons for objecting to the Campaign of Hate. (1) I mention the first only to earn a sneer. It is this: By hating we damage ourselves. We undo our progress from the savage state toward the brotherhood of man.
    Also, we fool ourselves by regarding our brothers as monsters. Consul Litton, in his explorations of the Upper Salwin Valley, found most hearty welcome in every village on his journey north. Yet in every village the elders warned him that he could not go on, because the people of the next village were not, like his informants, quiet, peaceable, civilized folk, but thieves and murderers, with a specialty in poisoned bamboos, pitfalls and spring traps. They were also cannibals. What asses hate and ignorance make of man!
    (2) The Campaign of Hate, in the second place, has upset everybody's nerves. To conduct war properly, one must be calm and business-like. "Now could I drink hot blood and do such bitter business as the day would quake to look on" is quite unnecessary in the conferences of a Great General Staff. The man who loses his temper in a fight will probably lose the fight.
    (3) The Campaign of Hate, in the third place, involved the Campaign of Lies. We are thoroughly muddled mentally, in consequence. In the same issue of the same paper we learn from General Maurice that Germany is beaten to a standstill; from General Pershing that America is up against a much bigger proposition than any of the Allies, and from others that there is no food in Germany; that England has no more ships; that Cadorna is thundering at the gates of Vienna; that Von Hindenburg is on his way to Petrograd, et cetera ad nauseam, until we have absolutely no idea what is happening, and therefore no idea what ought to be done. In England the lie about the million-odd Russian troops in Flanders stopped recruiting; so did the lie that the Germans were such cowards that they dared not advance except behind a shield of old Belgian women; so did the lie that Liège was holding out. If Germany is starving and on the point of revolution, why should we send troops? Hate, and fear, and falsehood, are the worst heart-tenants in any human necessity, but worst especially in war. The man who faces the facts in cold blood, who kills out all emotion, is the man who gives the best chance to the Will to Conquer.
    (4) The fourth reason concerns the future. The Campaign of Hate makes it very difficult for us to come back to Common Sense. President Wilson has emphasized this point again and again in his notes. We are not fighting the German people, or even their rulers; we are attempting to break their Political Will. Von Bernhardi explained long ago that this was the true object of any war. Once we break the enemy's Political Will, peace follows naturally, and we can all be friends again. But how can we be friends with monsters, assassins, Huns? The press, with Hamlet, "must, like a whore, unpack its heart with words, and fall a-cursing like a very drab, a scullion." What contemptible moral weakness! Could not the President have gone one step further, and asked the newspapers to refrain from epilepsy?
    But it is only the public who are thus intoxicated with the hashish of hate. The rulers are busy measuring real advantages. I think the time has come to summarize the situation, and to propose a solution. The weakness of the Pope's note was that its appeal was sentimental.
    The real enemies in this war are England and Germany.
    America may be eliminated, for she, by her own showing, wants no material advantages.
    France can be eliminated by the restoration of Alsace and Lorraine. Let us give her so much, for the sake of a little quiet, and proceed.
    Russia has eliminated herself, for her Political Will has been broken by revolution.
    Belgium, Servia and Roumania have been eliminated by destruction.
    We may then say that the obstacle to peace is single, the conflict of the two unbroken Political Wills of England and Germany.
    How may this conflict be composed? Firstly, one of the two may be broken. But the objection to this solution is that whichever won would be at once confronted by a new set of opposing wills. Neither France nor America could tolerate a complete English victory any more than a complete German victory. The defeat of England would throw open the competition for the mastery of the sea; that of Germany would leave England intolerably powerful.
    Now, it must be observed that at present England and Germany are both heavy winners. Surely it is sensible for them to have "cold feet" and break up the game! "Peace without victory" sounds awfully silly to a victorious people. From a slave State it is the natural whine, and sounds much better than "Vae Victis." England has lost nothing so far but a few ships and men; on the other hand, she is in possession of four-fifths of the territory of the German Empire!
    Germany has lost ships and men, no integral territory; and she is in possession of immense tracts of conquered country.
    Why, then, do not England and Germany call it off, shake hands, and go out for a drink? Where is the essence of the conflict? What is it that England cannot endure? There are two vital points: one, the mastery of the seas; two, the control of the route to India. Germany is threatening both these, by (1) the submarine campaign and her naval program; (2) the advance to Asia, the Drang nach Osten. Germany, on the other hand, cannot possibly endure the complete cutting off of her commerce, the grip of the "Ring of Iron." Is it possible to come to terms on these points? I think so. Both parties are absolutely right; for it is life or death in both cases.
    I think that Germany's need of expansion can be satisfied, and the iron ring broken once for all, by an agreement on the part of England to allow her the fullest development, by annexation, in Germanized Russia. The change is, in addition, about the only hope for Russia herself. NonGermanized Russia might be made stronger and smaller under a Cossack Tsar. We have, then, the conception of a Mittel-Europa from the Rhine to the Ural Mountains. In return for this, Germany should withdraw her threat to England's naval supremacy by permitting a reconstituted and strengthened France, to include Belgium, and possibly by offering Heligoland as a naval base to England. The war has shown the worthlessness of navies for attack upon any mainland; and England is an Island Empire with a right to hold open her channels of communication. Germany would also agree to a limitation of her fleet; in fact, she would no longer need this weapon.
    The only possible access to India save by sea is through Afghanistan and Beloochistan. The idea of invasion through the Pamirs is a joke at least fifty times as funny as that of invading Austria through the Trentino. England must, therefore, be allowed to defend herself by expansion towards Persia if necessary. The Turkish Empire must be reconstituted and consolidated on a religious basis, and united under a Caliph. This will act as a big buffer state between India and Mittel-Europa. The Turks, on the other hand, must abandon Palestine to the English, for the weak spot in England's communications would then be the Suez Canal. This, however, would not be so vital, once India became impregnable.
    A matter of further benefit would be the federation of the South American republics, and a Latin league of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. The outlying States, Scandinavia, Holland, Switzerland and Greece would gradually be forced into one or other of the great combinations by the peaceful pressure of economic forces.
    It is true that Germany, under this scheme, would be forced to surrender her South American and African ambitions. But the South American adventures were mainly commercial, and the proposed scheme would rather help than hinder them. As to the German colonies, there were a weakness. Germany has no talent for dealing with alien psychologies, and is not the collapse of the Russian menace and the gain of that huge territory a more than adequate compensation?
    We should thus have a simplified and concentrated planet, as a preliminary step towards world federation.

    (1) The Island Empire -- Brittania.
    (2) The Latin League (includes N. Africa).
    (3) Mittel-Europa.
    (4) Islam.
    (5) Cossack Russia.
    (6) Mongolia.
    (7) The North American (Anglo-Saxon) Republic.
    (8) The South American (Latin) Republic.

    If England and Germany can agree on some such programme, there is nobody who can stop them. (Except, of course, the unconquered and unconquerable U. S. A.)
    I heartily commend this plan to the consideration of all parties concerned.

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from the Grady Project:

The Ballad of the Spaceman's Woe

You'll never know what you can do
Until you crack that sky of blue
And feel the dark space 'wash of you
You'll never, never know.

And in that vast sidereal sweep
Your old star bucket's cosmic creep
Will take you to strange worlds and reap
The commerce that they grow.

Of iron and ore there is no dearth
Or metals all for what they're worth
To build fleets for Imperial Earth
The giant ships a'row.

And if there should be anyone
From Pluto's rim to farthest sun
Who doesn't like what we have done
They know where they can blow.

For Earth's Galactic Empire knows
No combination of her foes
Who could our great Grand Fleets oppose
Out in the ether flow.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *       

A spaceman's life is hard indeed
Without there ever being need
For war with any alien breed
To give the spaceman woe.

There was a time when we were told
The new transstellar drive would hold
A warp in space that we could fold
From here to there, like so.

And then what did those Brass Hats do?
They said, "That's just the thing for you
And on these ships your jolly crew
Can sail forever!" Oh.

And that's the reason why, you see,
No farthest nook of space is free
From our inquiring scrutiny
Above or down below.

But I would rather take my tuck
Aboard a creaking freighter truck
Than try a Flying Dutchman's luck
Oh moan the spaceman's woe.

On Ganymede I met a chick
Build like a certain house of brick,
'Twas then I said, "Right here I'll stick
And never, never go."

And right there I set up my shack
And would have stayed until the crack
Of Doom, but I was shanghaied back
Oh, hear a sailor's woe.

Oh, bend an elbow, lend an ear
And gather round so all may hear
The story of a life so drear
Oh hear the spaceman's woe.

A thousand years are but a day
Asleep aboard the "Cosmic Ray"
And so we snooze our years away
Such is the spaceman's woe.

And if we die out in the deep
There's none to wail and none to weep
Our bones are in dry space to keep
Oh hear our tale of woe.

Or if we've been too long in space
We foul our jets and then they place
Us in a ship for Earth, Prime Base,
And tie us up like so.

But after one year in the crate
We're glad to grab a sky bound freight
To let our nerves recuperate
Oh hear the spaceman's woe.

And when our rest has just begun
The long haul transgalactic run
Will need replacements, everyone,
And off again we'll go.

And what will this time be our fate?
A robot brain to navigate
To make of us more meteor bait
Oh play the dirge strains slow.

Or else we'll foul on piracy
As cruel as ever on the sea
They'll hull us with incendiary
And out our air will blow.

In sagas of the spaceways old
The tale of woe is often told
About the 'A-CH-ING hero bold
In days of long ago.

Who streaked his racing comet where
The methaned moons of Jupiter
Could grab him by his shortened fur
And end him up a glow.

And that is why 'tis often told
"There's heroes old and heroes bold,
But heroes bold are never old."
Oh drown our tale of woe.

   -- Grady L. McMurtry

This undated poem, probably written in the early 1940s e.v. with other science fiction verse, has been previously unpublished.

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An Abramelin Ramble,

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

PART III -- On the Road Again..

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


    In the 19th century, Mathers published The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage. An illustration by Mona Mathers decorates the title page of the first edition. The Mathers had what was called a "chaste marriage." Avoiding sex apparently kept them busy with small projects into the later hours of the night. On one evening, Mona did a sketch for hubbie's book. They got up in the morning and took a look at the sketch. The figure of Abra Melin was shown, bearded and with his initials in Hebrew on his chest. A spirit held a little box out to him. That little box wasn't in the drawing when they went to bed, but it was there when they got up. At that point, the Mathers realized that they had something, although they might have done better to consider that they were holding out on each other too much.


    The Abramelin book was considered by Aleister Crowley to represent the proper approach to learning Magick. According to the book, the work is "to seek the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel". The instruction goes more or less like this ... Do you want to learn this stuff? First a word of discouragement, its not easy. 1,000 people try; maybe one succeeds. Here is the rule. Get yourself a place to be private for maybe six months or more. Six months is the minimum, not necessarily the best time, not necessarily the proper time. Begin it at the time of quickening in the year, Passover or Easter. Remember, you've got to go six months, and it's nice to have decent weather. Spring is traditionally the time of all beginnings in many religions, the season when the life of the Earth renews. It's the true New Year, whether it's called March, April, the beginning of Aries, or the first appearance of growth in the fields. Passover represents the passing over of the angel of death during the ten plagues in Egypt, but most cultures celebrate a time of escaping the dead time of the year. The angel of death passes by in one night. Night could be Winter. When the angel of death went by at the eleventh hour of the night, that could simply be a reference to the darkest time of the year when there is no food, just great cold and privation. People die then for no good reason, as though the hand of the angel of death touched them. Just after that is the time to begin a magical working. There are other times fixed by particular theories; but, for a good start, consider Easter, Passover, some time in March, April or thereabouts.


    It's better not to change, if the worker can cope with his or her original Religion. For those who can't stay with their childhood faith, something else will have to be used that suits them better. Modern ideas of religion are different from those in the 14th century. Long ago, intellectual acts were religion. Anything that didn't involve working with the hands was prayer, or something very like it. To read a book, to study a mental discipline, meant to pray. This categorization is still common in the orient. Discipline is always part of religious practice, mental and otherwise. In modern times, the study of mathematics might be considered a sort of religion. Some mathematicians do relate it to their religion as an effort to view the perfection of the greater universe. Music can be the form of religious expression. Art and many other creative expressions are essentially religious. When a book is involved there's usually a narrower expression of religion, perhaps more mystical, formulary, or theoretical: a "read it in The Book and say these prayers" kind of religion. Whatever it is, the one you have is the one you use. That's it, no matter what it is. The actual type of religion doesn't matter. Neither does the background or experience. This is a way to do things, to proceed with learning the Sacred Magick. Such flexibility is partly why Crowley was so turned on to the book. Here's an author who wasn't caught in a cultural trap, writing a basic outline. If you take the six months, you will probably fail. He says that up front. He doesn't say why. One reason for failure in six to nine months is simple lack of enough time to do it. Western culture is usually superficial, confusing, and lost in small detail. There is not much tendency to get very deeply into things. In this culture, accomplishing the work of the Sacred Magick in six to nine months is not very likely. To the extent that one is distracted, it's harder and should take longer. Six months, a year, maybe even ten years, might not be enough time. A magical retirement isn't just a time without distraction. After this kind of retreat, a person has to be permanently changed, not merely relaxed. To proceed with such a course, it's necessary to have something to do. The book explains how to use anything, but it doesn't supply that thing. The subject study should have an elaborate structure, but it's important to choose a study that isn't tied up with too many knots of worldly concern. In the middle ages religion was a good thing to choose because religion talked about a world so far removed from the physical that nobody had any real problems with the place. Nowadays, we have many immediate interests quite beyond the imagination of most intensely religious people in the middle ages. We don't have as clear a division between the sacred and the profane as people did in ancient times. We must find something that hasn't been poisoned by being too involved with mundane existence, something that seems isolated from the world of day to day matters. Mathematics is very good for that, as long as it isn't accounting, surveying or engineering. Pure mathematics, without application, may be quite adequate. Certain special areas of math may be better, including group theory, set theory, anything to manipulate and combine ideas. What's needed is something with structure, and it has to be a structure that doesn't get depressing. This discipline might be challenging, even difficult; but it shouldn't be something that makes one say, "Oh God, I hate this!" Many people feel that way about arithmetic. Arithmetic isn't serious mathematics. Arithmetic is the feces of mathematics. If you hate arithmetic, you needn't worry. You can still go on to higher math concepts unfettered by grammar school trauma.


    Prepare for an extended time without unnecessary complications. Avoid distractions. Grocery shopping and similar tasks should be minimized or done quickly and efficiently. The worst distractions are conversations that involve the lives of other people. The object is to change yourself. Personal conversations tend to keep us unchanged, that's what they are for, among other things. When friends or acquaintances talk and share aspects of their life with one another, most of the conversation isn't about a problem and interests. Most of that sort of communion is for keeping each other on the same mental and emotional plane, smoozing a friendship, keeping mutual influence and interdependence going. It's the stuff that monkeys do to remain a monkey crew, primate instinctual behavior. Wolves and dogs bite each other on the nose or smell the other end. Monkeys giber a lot and scratch each other. People shake hands and giber a lot. It's the same principle. This behavior interferes with changing. It keeps people the same; safe, predictable and reliable to others in the social group --- insuring safety of the community. In some cultures, instead of "I understand you" people say "I see you". Talking with a person makes a mental image of that person. All the people around you automatically try to either change you to their way or keep you the same. That's part of being human. It's one of the reasons we gather together and form cities. It's how our families exist. If it wasn't for that, we wouldn't be here, even in the most simple way. Without this ability to keep one another locked into a pattern, people wouldn't be able to raise children. Our children take years to get self sufficient. Most animals can put up with the little creep for six months to a year and then its gone, get out of here, you smell bad! With us, the rug rat has to grow into something independent over a couple of decades. It is necessary to separate yourself from most human contact to effect change. There are families where "he beats her up" or "she beats him up", and nobody can figure out why the family doesn't break up. They just keep patterning themselves into the same mold.


    Before taking the next point, here's a particular problem. It sometimes occurs that a couple, man and wife or less formally joined, will compact to do the Abramelin work. Perhaps one will offer to take care of mundane affairs while the other takes the magical retirement. After that is accomplished, they will change places and the other will do it. This rarely works. If the odds are 1,000 to one against for a person attaining this, the odds against two particular people succeeding are 1,000,000 to one against! Remember that many aspects of the personality will change if the retirement is successful. Other factors may arise which could be very disruptive to a marriage or partnership. A magical retirement of this magnitude, especially if forced into a short time like six months, is very risky for marriages. It's better to consider this effort either before settling down or after raising a family, like the Hindu rule to become a Sadhu. It isn't impossible to accomplish the Abramelin work while married, but it requires either an arranged marriage of convenience like the sort common in the middle ages or considerable maturity in both parties to the marriage.


    The environment is next. A different place is needed for the work. If it's done at home, a part of the home must be dedicated to this purpose. A room should be set apart. In some ethnic traditions, some religions, people who can afford it have rooms just for meditation, just for prayer like a little chapel. If that's not practical, a desk, a corner, even a closet can be used. To do it cheaply, run a drapery around a room to close off everything. Draw the drapes in front of the book cases, doors, windows and side furniture. That will change the room into a little world. The idea is to set up something different. It doesn't much matter what. If there are a lot of things in the meditation place, they should not distract or interfere. They shouldn't be things that have memories attached to them. Nothing there should evoke memories of relatives, friends, childhood, what grandpa was like, the taxes, or the ever dwindling supply of toilet paper. Even incidental shapes that evoke such thoughts should be removed. All that's really needed is an untrammeled field of view. One piece of cloth hanging down can do it, if it's possible to get close enough so that nothing else can be seen. The Abramelin book assumes that the student will find a place in the wilderness and that somebody will look after ordinary needs without talking or otherwise distracting. Variations, like Crowley's "China Walk", can also work if the circumstances are culturally isolating and there is lots of time for reflection. The book makes much about minimizing all human contact but makes exception for servants. In the 14th century, common chores were pretty demanding. Such common chores are not distraction in themselves, but only because we remember doing them with our parents. Daily chores are family stuff. All of those things have memories and emotional reflexes associated with them. It is difficult to do ordinary chores without distraction from the goal of the magical retirement. The same language that keeps you the same kind of person extends into the things you learned as you were growing up. If you are in a place like that where you grew up, you will think like you did then. It's so insidious that if you get drunk on something that you haven't gotten drunk on in ten years, you will think the way you did ten years ago. This is part of being human. It's helpful in the work to avoid these kinds of things.


    The next step is self-discipline. The book says to start easy and get progressively more severe. Cut back the ordinary things. Don't talk to people, or keep it simple if it can't be avoided. The first third of this time of retirement may involve minor efforts. Don't worry about doing it right. The Abramelin book gives some instructions which may or may not make sense nowadays, including how to purify the place of retirement. Those are mostly pretty good instructions. They are not too hard to follow. Orisons or prayers are required. Orison is speech to the deity. A prayer is often a memorized orison. Rituals are another form of prayer. Do this for a while to work up a consistent practice. Then comes the middle part. Do more, increase it, add more things of that kind. In the third and final portion, go at it as hard as possible. Get as crazy as a monk with six life-times of novinas to get through in a week. Go full blast. At that time the details of the procedure work themselves out. In time you will achieve the experience called "The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel". Other ways of saying it include; "contact with the Higher Self", "attaining a Master". Socrates would have said: "discovering the Daemon". It's said that Pythagoras had such a personal spirit. One day he went to a seer whose job it was to tell people what their soul or spirit was like. The seer looked at Pythagoras, went dead pale and freaked. He didn't see a spirit. He saw a god. This is the tradition: There is something that is part of you and yet not part of you. Some of you dies, some of you doesn't. We have nice simple ways of passing that off in this day and age. Most of these plastic, ready- to-go religions come out with: "O that's your immortal soul!" "It can burn in hell or live happily in heaven." "Don't forget to donate" (Don't let me jinx passing the hat. Your donation is welcome at all O.T.O. events.).

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Two Poems


Nuit --
      Fingers part
            the Veil
                  of Stars.

Hadit --
      Serpent's Kiss
            Venom's Bliss.


       Silver pulse of radiant light:
My spirit soars and then takes flight,
      Exploding stars in misty seas;
          Divers watch in ecstasy.

      Newer visions come to birth,
               beyond the stars . . .
                       beyond the earth.


-- Firebird                                    

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Primary Sources

   Karl Germer
    Shortly after his release from a Nazi concentration camp, Karl Germer received the following appointment from Aleister Crowley. After reaching the USA and the passing of some years, Karl used this authority to change the leadership of Agape Lodge in southern California, pursuant to Crowley's orders. The first step in this process was a securing of allegiance among the higher degree members of the O.T.O. in the USA. This was followed by removal of W.T.Smith from mastery of the Lodge and installation of new officers. Grady McMurtry received documents of authority from Crowley as well, placing him under Karl Germer, Fr. Saturnus, as head of California and U.S. O.T.O. operations. Here are the texts of Crowley's appointment of Karl, the notice of affirmation and Brother Smith's agreement.

{OTO lamen}{Mark of the Beast}
Abbey of Thelema
An Ixv Sunin Taurus

We, {11-fold cross) Baphomet O.H.O. hereby appoint the T.I., T.I., and T.I. Fr.
Karl J. Germer X°
(Grand Master General of the Free German-Speaking Peoples)
as our Legate in the United States of America to take precedence of all previously constituted Authorities with special power to revise to dormant Mount Sinai and rose of Sharon.
93 93/93

Given under our Hand and Seal
    {11-fold cross} Baphomet O.H.O. {seal}


K. J. Germer
133 West 71st Street
New York, N.Y.

March 15, 1943.
Care Frater,
    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
    The present situation has made it imperative to demand from every single one who claims to membership of the O.T.O. a clarification of his status and a re-affirmation of allegiance. You are requested to search yourself earnestly and, after mature consideration, sign the attached statement - or give your reasons for refusing to do in writing.
    Love is the law, love under will.
                                               Yours fraternally.
{11-fold cross} KARL GERMER X° O.T.O.


Mr. Karl Germer
133 West 71st Street
New York, N.Y.

Care Frater,
    I herewith renew my allegiance to the principles and the constitution of the O.T.O.
    Especially I give my personal pledge of loyalty to the Officers of Grand Lodge themselves.

Place, date and time                               {signed} W.Talbot Smith
of signature.                                      1003 S. Orange Grove Ave.
                                                   Mar 30th 1943 E.V. 8.47 pm

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From the Outbasket

    Anyone with a Computer and modem can access 93-Net BBS's in the USA and Canada, and many do. For those who have Internet access or E-Mail ability, Compuserve, America On Line and many other forwarding services for E-Mail can also be an interesting experience. Discussions on the 'Net can be reached in the alt.magick Newsgroup. On Compuserve, try the New Age Forum. For AOL, the Religion and Ethics section, subsection Pagan/Crowley carries most of the discussion --- "Pagan" isn't exactly a sensible category for Thelema in all respects, but the Masons aren't too happy to be lumped under "Other Religions" there either. 93-Net provides much discussion and many of Crowley's works for download, as does AOL in the R&E libraries. Compuserve is increasing access to Crowley texts, and many such texts can be obtained by Anonymous FTP on Internet ... There are other resources on the Net, including a Thelema mailing list ... and the beginnings of a WWW hypertext of Crowley's works (WWW URL for this is: When the butterfly net comes on, there will be a local internet access and node for OTO near Thelema Lodge. See the Magical Link for Compuserve addresses and 93- Net BBS phone numbers.
    {Note to Web edition: Compuserve and other access has changed and the files on AOL have been moved to an "Aleister Crowley Download Library". Discussion continues on AOL in the Ceremonial Magick section, now separate from the Pagan section.}
    Here are some selections from GTG response to discussion on AOL and the Net, edited for publication.

On secrecy of O.T.O. initiation rituals:

Are the rituals kept secret just to assure the correct levels of fear and terror?

    Specific instances of deliberate fear and terror are avoided in O.T.O. ritual. Fear and terror are crude and rarely of any value in initiation; hazing yes, initiation no. If a candidate evidences too great emotional distress at an initiation, the initiator is supposed to use common sense and explain that no physical harm is intended. If this occurs during an initiation, the initiation should be stopped; and if the candidate recovers and wants to go on either then or later, the initiation may be resumed.
    The language of such ritual includes dire threats and other psycho drama which can induce fear and terror. To avoid this undesirable result, it is common to select at least one officer with an infectious giggle ... seriously, we do inspect to the extent we can. O.T.O. has expelled initiation offices permanently from membership in the rare instances in which officers at initiations have been found to actually try to convince candidates for initiation that penalties for violation of oath and other potential terrorizing elements of initiation are more than symbolic.
    Excessive emotional reaction destroys the ability of a candidate to remember key elements of the initiation ceremony. This sort of thing defeats the purpose of initiation. If simple group membership was the only goal, hazing would accomplish this. O.T.O. bans hazing. Our initiation rituals are more subtle, intended to manipulate the mental and perceptive state of the candidate just enough to activate certain chakras and to impress key information on the mind of the candidate. To this end, sudden sounds, sudden light, brief sensory deprivation, brief falling sensations, mental puzzles and other harmless experiences are used to accomplish these necessary effects. If physical stress which would be harmless to a healthy individual is involved, the instructions for the initiator include health questions and the taking of the pulse of the candidate to insure that the candidate does not have an undisclosed medical condition that would make the procedure dangerous. If such a hazard is detected, either the procedure is diminished to a safe level or the initiation is put off until the candidate is in better health. Pregnant women near term are asked to wait until delivery and recovery before certain initiations are undertaken. Safety before by-the-book accuracy is required.
    Humor does occur at times before initiation. It is not unusual to hear some members tease a candidate with remarks about "the Minerval sacrifice" and other such fal-de-role. If the candidate appears to take such kidding seriously, the initiation does not proceed until the candidate is let in on the joke.
    Note by the way that some of what I have written above highlights why O.T.O. initiations are believed to be ineffectual if not actually and physically performed. Since chakra activation is involved, some physical and sensory stimuli are necessary. The mind is induced to contain a specific pattern of thought and a specific sensory stimulus is provided at that exact time. This is as much physiological as psychological. You can't cure hick- ups by reading "boo" 99% of the time.


    For duration, Crowley recommends a full, deep breath on each name, completely expended. In the case of general utterance, contrasted with names, vibration is optional but chant does help. The principle of vibrating is sustained sound. The pitch can vary, likewise speed and volume. Different voices help too. You can use falsetto(nasal), mouth, throat (somewhat dangerous, too much force can cause soreness or bleeding) and basso(abdominal resonance). Skilled vocalists can sometimes manage more than one "voice" at once, with special training available in some Hindu approaches. On single words, the duration per syllable is not necessarily fixed. Neither is it strictly necessary to use up the whole breath on each word, per A.C. Experiment and record the results. Do what seems and feels right at the time.


    A magical circle defines a little world of order within a field of indefinite and uncontrolled extent. It has elements in common with a desktop, computer screen, home, office, persona, church, fortress and field of concentration. More narrowly, it is a controlled microcosm, established to give the magician a role like a deity in the center of a small universe. To break the circle or depart from it is to void all those mental aids to concentration. All the things used, seen and done in ritual are meaningful. If the circle is seen as protection, breaking or leaving it amounts to saying: "I abandon my nature and safety. Creatures of the outer world, do with me as you may." Actions speak louder than words.
    Traditional circles are made by tracing in the soil, surrounding a place with a line of flower or sulfur, painting on a canvas floor-cloth, using a long rope or even tracing in air with the point of a sword or wand. Permanent, physical magical circles are relatively rare and difficult to use --- instead, a room or sanctuary supplemented by a temporary circle usually makes a better choice. Astral circles can be more powerful, but require training --- a familiar example of an astral circle is the one produced by the Lesser Pentagram Ritual. Depending on the visualizations used, an LPR circle can actually be a sphere. For very powerful astral "circles", it is sometimes necessary to build in a defect or "weak spot" to act as a door to the outer universe. Otherwise, the working within the "circle" may not be able to effect anything outside the "circle" itself. Like all other magical "weapons", tools or symbols, the effect on the mind of the magician is the key. A cat or dog might recognize physical boundaries, some of the time; but a spirit is a compound thought. Such a spirit will respond, not to the physical circle, but to the image of the circle with all its associations in the mind of the magician.

More on the initiations:

    If a ritual is as structured and didactic as the Golden Dawn initiations, there could easily be a case for the revealing of the ritual after it has ceased to be worked. O.T.O. initiation rituals, on the other hand, are more a matter of guiding the candidate through experiences designed to awaken the chakra groups corresponding to particular degrees. There is little intellectual matter beyond form and word in the O.T.O. initiations that cannot be found easily in Crowley's writings or those of many others. As a dramatic ritual, the O.T.O. initiations chiefly do two things: 1) Provide a tangible and physical point in time, witnessed, when the candidate joins a particular O.T.O. degree. 2) Provide a series of experiences, physical tropes if you will, intended to stir the innards and mind of the candidate to the awakening of the subtile body. #1 could be done more easily by a diploma ceremony. #2 is severely damaged if the candidate knows what comes next after every phase. Knowing an element in the initiation and it's explanation beforehand would vitiate the emotional confusion designed to bring home the point and fix it in the mind of the candidate. These emotional stresses are an essential part of initiation in O.T.O. Nobody is intended to be "freaked out", but some emphasis beyond simple private reading is necessary to make the whole thing work. How many of us have tried and failed to learn some programming language or complex computer program from a book alone. You have to go hands-on to really get some of these things. In initiations like those of O.T.O. which depend on the chakras of the physical body for efficacy, the rituals need to be done. For an intellectual paradigm like the Tree of Life in the Golden Dawn rituals, meditation alone can work. The harmless cantrips in the O.T.O. initiations won't work properly if known in advance. You can read in books every intellectual "secret" of the O.T.O. You may not know what particular "secret" you are reading, but you can always get the information. Initiations are intended to make sure you know the information and to drive it home through surprise, minor emotional stress and a real event.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for May 1994 e.v.

5/1/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/2/94Thelema Lodge Meeting 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
5/3/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
Thelema Ldg.
5/8/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/9/94Library Night 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
5/10/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
Thelema Ldg.
5/11/94Meeting: "Magick of Thelema" 7:30PM
Sirius Oasis
5/12/94Egyptian Magical Workshop
with Ebony, 7:30PM
Thelema Ldg.
5/15/94Kakes of Light wrkshp 2PM w/CaitlinThelema Ldg.
5/15/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/17/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
Thelema Ldg.
5/18/94Magick in Theory and Practice 7:30PM
with Bill Heidrick in Marin County
(5 Suffield Ave., San Anselmo)
Thelema Ldg.
5/19/94Lodge of Perfection 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
5/22/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/23/94Library Night 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
5/24/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
Thelema Ldg.
5/25/94Gnostic Mass Study Group 8:00PM
with Bp. T Dionysus
Thelema Ldg.
5/26/94Buttefly Net with Ebony 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
5/28/94777 Poetry Society with Fr. P.I.
Thelema Ldg.
5/29/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/30/94Rites of Eleusis Planning Meeting
Thelema Ldg.
5/31/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
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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