Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 1994 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for June 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.

Copyright © O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 1994 e.v.

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

June 1994 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers


Solstice Greetings

Sol enters Cancer at 7:48 AM on Tuesday 21st June, and Thelema Lodge will celebrate the shortest night of the year on Monday evening 20th June beginning at Tum resh. Call the lodge for car-pool information to a nearby outdoor site, and bring bread, cheese, and wine packed to carry for a short walk to the circle.

Initiations into O.T.O. are scheduled at Thelema Lodge for Saturday evening 18th June at 6:00. All active initiate members of the Order are welcome to attend this event, with a feast to follow. Please call ahead or speak with one of the lodge officers beforehand.


Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

Join Thelema Lodge for Gnostic Mass in Horus Temple on Sunday evenings beginning at nightfall. Mass teams should arrive by 6:00, and communicants by 8:00, with the ritual scheduled to be underway by about 8:30. Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass is a communion ritual, open for participation by interested members of the public. Please call the lodge for information when attending for the first time. O.T.O. members of the First Degree and above are encouraged to celebrate mass for the lodge, and should organize into mass teams and then consult the lodge master regarding scheduling. Several E.G.C. Bishops are available for tuition in Liber XV performance practices, and Caitlin is happy to instruct mass officers in Gnostic confectionery technique. Call the lodge for an introduction if interested.

A special additional Gnostic Mass will be celebrated in Horus Temple this month with the gender roles reversed (female priest and male priestess), on Thursday evening 30th June beginning at 8:30.

Our Gnostic Mass Study Group meets Wednesday evening 29th June with Bishop T Dionysus, beginning at 8:00. We are now engaged in an extensive project to prepare annotations to the text of Liber XV, and would welcome contributions and questions regarding specific points in the Gnostic Mass.


Workshops and Events

Thelema Lodge provides a forum for members to share their magical, artistic, scholarly, and other interests with the local Thelemic community. Most lodge events are free and open to the public, with donations requested to help meet basic expenses of rent and upkeep for our temple and library. Those not in regular touch with the lodge should call ahead before setting forth to attend events in case our schedule is altered after the calendar goes to press. Lodge members are encouraged to offer or request classes, rituals, or events at the regular monthly Lodge Meeting, when other lodge business is also coordinated. Volunteer secretarial, gardening, and library assistance is always welcome, and may be arranged with the lodge officers. Thelema Lodge meeting will be held on Monday evening 6th June at 8:00.

A multi-media presentation entitled "The Funky Bardos: A Psychedelic Journey through the Tibetan Book of the Dead" is offered in Horus Temple on Friday evening 10th June at 8:00. Utilizing video, narration, an electronic music soundtrack, and lighting effects, this event explores parallels between the psychedelic experience (as described by Timothy Leary) and the Bardo existence between lives (outlined in the Tibetan account of reincarnation). It will be produced by Br. Tom Herr, visiting with us that weekend from Pyramid Lodge in Buffalo, and from accounts of performances back East it promises to be quite a show!

Looking for a course in practical magick? Aleister Crowley outlined just such a series of exercises in Liber Aleph vel CXI: The Book of Wisdom or Folly. The Aleph Group meets every Tuesday at Thelema Lodge, both as a discussion group organized around Liber Aleph and in particular as a support group promoting the practices suggested in chapter 16, "De Cultu". Topics to be covered in June include Dream Yoga and Astral Visioning. For information call Michael Sanborn at (510) 601-9393. Please note that class will begin at 8:00 PM starting in June.

Thelema Lodge hosts Father John Mabry on Wednesday evening 22nd June at 8:00 for a talk on his book, God as Nature Sees God (soon to be published by Element Books), an encounter between Creation Spirituality and philosophical Taoism. Father John is managing editor of the periodical Creation Spirituality and a graduate of the Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality at Holy Names College. This event is offered as a special fund- raising benefit for the lodge, with voluntary donations especially encouraged.

Grace offers two meetings of the Thelema Lodge Astrology Workshop in June, each to be held at her home in Berkeley from 7:00 until 9:00 in the evening. "The Astrology of Gemini" on Friday evening 3rd June will focus on this gifted and multi-faceted sign, so often associated with artistic expression. Many Geminis seem to have vicariously, if not actually, kissed the Blarney Stone. Three weeks later, on Friday evening 24 June, "The Astrology of Cancer" will be our topic. Being ruled by Luna, Cancerians tend to love their homes, and excel particularly in the culinary arts. We will also explore the administrative capacity of these sensitive souls, who may not appear too sensitive after all. All participants please phone ahead to attend these workshop discussions; call Grace at (510) 843-7827.

A detailed reading and wide-ranging discussion of one of Aleister Crowley's greatest works, Magick in Theory and Practice, is offered by Brother Bill Heidrick at the Thelema Lodge M. T. & P. Series, meeting in Marin on Wednesday evening 15th June at 7:30. For information and directions, call Bill at (415) 454-5176. Chapters XV and XVI (part 2) will be discussed, more if time permits.

The Sustaining Members Circle at Thelema Lodge now meets on the second Sunday morning of each month at 11:00; this month's brunch meeting will be on Sunday 12th June. The wide variety of programs offered at the lodge would be impossible without member support. If you are in a position to help, a monthly $30 donation entitles you to our membership brunches and other benefits, while enabling the lodge to upgrade our services and facilities. Please join us if you can; for information call (510) 601-9393.

The Butterfly Net meets at Thelema Lodge on Thursday evening 23 June at 8:00. Strange at it may seem, the Net membership is working to convert our enthusiasm for electronic technology and information management into viable media for magical communication and human understanding. Membership is now available to members and friends of the lodge, with mail-box service offered at $15 monthly. (510) 601-9393 is the information number to call for this service.

Lovers of poetry are invited to this month's meeting of the Grady McMurtry Poetry Society at Thelema Lodge, on Saturday evening 25th June at 8:00. Participants read verse of their choice to the group, with all welcome to share their own writing, old favorites, or selections from their recent reading. The group is organized by Frater P.I., who undertakes to laugh with us, not at us.

Sirius Oasis hosts a second organizational meeting for participants in this summer's cycle of the Rites of Eleusis, on Wednesday evening 8th June at 8:00. All prospective God-forms please attend or send word. Call the Oasis at (510) 527-2855 for information. Next month Sirius Oasis returns to its "Magick of Thelema" workshop series with a discussion of Crowley's various pentagram rituals.

Library Night at Thelema Lodge this month is Thursday evening 16th June, beginning at 8:00. The lodge needs continuing assistance in maintaining the library, and this valuable resource will serve us best if we keep working to organize, catalog, and offer our materials for use. Additional library hours may be arranged with the lodge officers for individual research projects.


Crowley Classics

This essay originally appeared in The International (New York: May 1917), p. 149. Tagore had just been knighted at the time, after winning the Nobel Prize for literature four years earlier, although he resigned this knighthood in 1919 in protest against British Indian policy. Tagore translated much of his own work into English from the Bengali language, and the results (although enthusiastically championed by the Anglo-Irish Golden Dawn killjoy W. B. Yeats) are loose devotional "lyrical prose" fragments which Tagore himself seems not to have taken very seriously.

Sir Rabindranath Tagore

by Aleister Crowley

Let me make confession of a personal prejudice. It would be an indeed unhappy home that I would leave to revel in even the best kind of Oriental poetry. The trail of the pedant is over it all. Its formalities, its affectations, its redundancies stifle the cries of the babe genius. The spirit of poetry cannot live in the air of the inhumanities of the grammarian. All Indian arts are peculiarly tainted with precision and precosity. Indian music must be composed in an approved "rag" or (to them) "it is not music." Indian art is mostly ancestor worship; Indian religion is more rigid than Presbyteriansim. Originality has been crushed under the stone of a petrified civilization. Such new art --- in every branch --- as has been created in India in the last thousand years is definitely due to the influence of some invading civilization, and even this imitative stuff has been seized on by the frozen perfections of classicism, its life vampirized by the suction of atavism, and its throat caught by the dead hand of tradition.

Now far be it from me to utter a word in dispraise of one who has received the rare and ineffable honor of knighthood from so gracious and discerning a sovereign as the latest --- perhaps, if Providence in its inscrutable wisdom so decree, the last --- of the Georges, but the poetry of Sir Rabindranath Tagore is certainly Oriental poetry, and I must plead prejudice and incapacity in excuse of my failure to admire it.

The people of New York are doubtless more fortunate than I in being able to read his works in the original Bengali, which I am unable to do. Their rapture is thus easily explicable. But some persons, even in New York, share my ignorance of Bengali, and these (so it seems to me) are possibly a little perfervid in their enthusiasms, a shade obsequious in their genuflexions.

As to the originals, though, one may remark that the people of Bengal are themselves as insensible as I myself to the beauties of Sir Rabindranath. His popularity in that great but unpleasant province depends upon a few popular "nationalistic" songs. The work on which he makes his American appeal is totally unknown in his own country. It consists principally of what appears to me to be a type of mysticism as spineless and amateurish and affected as Maeterlinck's, a collection of pious phrases tricked out with the tinsel of conventional similes. Ladies of a certain age are prone to weep when warmed with sherry and this kind of poetry, for the transference of the emotional stimulus from sex to religion is often accompanied by serious instabilities of mind. It is apparently to such individuals that Sir Radindranath Tagore makes his most effective bow. Besides, he is a polite person; he says nothing, and he says it very nicely; he has a most noble and venerable beard, and the royal sword has been laid upon his shoulder. Keats, Shelley, Swinburne, Chaucer, Shakespeare himself --- none of these attained that height.

But then they were not colored. There is something about the mere fact of color which appeals irresistibly to a certain type of female. This country in particular has been overrun with "Yogis," who have all succeeded beyond wonder, disputing the favors of idle women with Pekinese dogs and dancing masters. At least the Indian poet is on a higher level than these; but, for all that, he owes much, if not all, of his popularity to some such itch of odleness, as accounts for the vogue of the others. It is an indignity for the artist to allow himself to be exploited in the salons of the nouveau riche; a man of virility and self-respect does not consent to be treated like a bearded lady of an ossified wonder. The true artist has then yet one more handicap in America; for if the devotees of culture learned to tolerate him, they would desire to pet him. Mrs. Leo Hunter never yet bagged a real lion; it is the straw-stuffed models, breathing by dint of bellows, that roar to order in the gaudy junk-shops which in this country pass for "artistic homes."

However, we will quote a little of Sir Rabindranath's poetry, and leave the reader to judge whether it be the lyre of Apollo, or the voice of Bottom; in any case, the style is W. B. Yeats, who varnished these poems from a "crib."

I.

I was walking by the road, I do not know why, when the noonday was past and bamboo branches rustled in the wind.
The prone shadows with their outstretched arms clung to the feet of the hurrying light.
The koels were weary of their songs.
I was walking by the road, I do not know why. {Nor do I. -- A.C.}

II.

The hut by the side of the water is shaded by an over-hanging tree.
Some one was busy with her work, and her bangles made music in the corner.
I stood before the hut, I do not know why. {Tired, possibly? -- A.C.}

III.

The narrow winding road crosses many a mustard field, and many a mango forest.
It passes by the temple of the village and the market at the river landing place.
I stopped by this hut, I do not know why. {Nearly stopped by this stanza; I do not know why. -- A.C.}

IV.

Years ago it was a day of breezy March when the murmur of the spring was langourous, and the mango blossoms were dropping on the dust.
The rippling water leapt and licked the brass vessel that stood on the landing step.
I think if that day of breezy March, I do not know why. {Memory is indeed a strange thing! How profound is this thought! -- A.C.}

V.

Shadows are deepening and cattle returning to their folds.
The light is grey upon the lonely meadows, and the villagers are awaiting for the ferry at the bank.
I slowly return upon my steps, I do not know why. {Closing time? -- A.C.}

It is faint, intangible stuff.

Previous Crowley Classics                   Next Crowley Classics


An Abramelin Ramble,

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

PART IV -- Picnic on Bald Mountain.

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

STALE FOOD IN THE PICNIC BASKET:

A daemon is an intelligence that doesn't require a body, but finds one convenient sometimes. There's a lot of ignorance about these friendly creatures. Most popular religious stuff has been canned for years and has gone bad on the shelf. It's lost all its flavor and nutrition. People who are physically hungry will do anything, and you can bribe them to forget their religion for awhile, because it isn't doing them any good. Which is more like "demon worship": selling out your god for a sandwich or being different because you have a real thing going? Most other religions haven't gone through the mercantile sea-change that happened with Christianity. It used to be a nice little Jewish religion. It was kind of heretical; but nobody was interested in it other than Jewish heretics, so who cared outside Palestine? After the Diaspora it got commercialized into a brand-X --- just like frozen food or bottled gefilte fish. Some preserved foods are advertised with pride in the fact that they are bland. That goes right on the label. Sadly, most Christianity is that way too. People can't thrive on such stuff unless they put something more into it.

ANGEL CAKE AND AMBROSIA:

Standard Christianity uses the guardian angel to explain how a kid lives through childhood. God knows that little kids are likely to totally destruct any minute, so each of us is born with a nice little guardian angel. It's sometimes depicted on nicknacks, e.g. a little switch cover with a picture molded on it for the child's bed room. Click on the switch and it's belly- button lights up. That's tasteless, but cute. Cute can really get out of hand if it proliferates. Such a guardian angel guides and protects in childhood. It leaves at the age of reason.
Sometimes the guardian angel is identified with the idea a conscience. Freud calls it the "super-ego". This is the part that says: "Mmm..., are you sure you want to do that? You could get caught." or "That's stupid!" There's this little thing inside that keeps telling you things that restrain you. That's about as far as most people get with the idea of "conscience".
The more educated Christians realize that such ideas aren't adequate. A conscience doesn't have to "just say No." The guardian angel doesn't have to limit itself to watching during the age of chronic danger of self-destruction. It may be a part of you. It may be somebody who is in some way related to you; alive once, but not of this world any more. Nearly all religions are based on dead people, so that possibility should be no surprise. It may be a spirit that is a part of you in another world. Perhaps there really are angels, and the things Greeks called Daemons really exist. The Greeks and Romans believed that a Daemon attaches to each of us as we come into the world. It's like a marriage or like twins, a physical twin and a spiritual twin. All kinds of theories abound.
Find something inside that you can listen to without fretting over having enough toilet paper, whether the flashlight is about to run out of batteries, or whether you paid that bill. Perhaps it's nothing more than a part of you that is just a little bit out of it when it comes to the Earthly plane but is very together otherwise. Whatever you want to call this thing, it isn't a concept that is met with very often in popular Christianity. It's been pretty well buried. You can think of it as a soul, but you might need some help with that idea.

FILLET OF SOUL:

Modern Christianity in the last few hundred years, certainly no more than the last thousand years, has come up with very unwholesome ideas. The Devil is only one of them. Another of these ideas is the doctrine that you've only got one soul. What nonsense! What absolute foolishness! Have you only one arm? Some people do, but most have two. Have you a pair of eyes? Yes. You got only one eye? Not if you are lucky. Why would you have only one soul?
In certain of the older cultures, medical practice assumes that there are various intelligent little souls or chakras living in different parts of the body. A lot of healing simply consists of communication with these various parts. Meditate or use massage to wake them up and say; "Really, do you want to leave us this way? This part is your job. You live there. Fix it." That sort of thing works, and it's not at all difficult once you get over the simplification problem.
In Qabalah there is a series of souls. There's even a soul for the physical body that IS the physical body. Wonder of wonders, it's called the "Goof" --- whence we derive our word "goofy". Then there is the Nephesh, which is what keeps the Goof running. That's in animals too. A Nephesh sometimes lingers after death. When the body drops, this soul tries to look for another one. That's the ghost. It's not particularly intelligent. It's just able to hold the pattern it had. A wandering Nephesh will generally look like the can it was in. Electrical, who knows? It may have an explanation, and it may not. It's there. It doesn't seem to require an explanation to exist. Beyond the Nephesh is the human identity, something called the Ruach, the intelligent or human soul. This is the "somebody in there." Look at people. Maybe they are just not into looking back, but quite a lot of people appear to be like what Castenada and Don Juan would call elementals. There may be something in there, but there sure isn't anything looking out. Other people seem to be home, as it were. That's the Ruach. It's seen in people's eyes.
The Holy Guardian Angel is deeper. In Qabalah, it's called the Neshamah. It's the first immortal part of the soul, or the first immortal soul. Calling these entities parts or souls doesn't matter. If you insist on having just one soul, call them parts. If you don't have a problem with that, call them souls. The Egyptians had a group of terms for them. The Neshamah is the first immortal part of you. Your body will rot, smell bad and become a mess some day --- unless you are weird enough to have it stuffed. Neshamah is not like that.
Nephesh, the animal principal, is corruptible. The Nephesh is the memory people have of you as though you were in the room. It's the thing that makes friends think your ghost is present when they feel some intangible thing and suddenly see it as you. When a friend dies, a week or a year later, you may see that friend walking down the street. You hurry to catch up, because you don't understand what is going on. Suddenly, it's somebody who doesn't look at all like that person. For a moment it did. That's the ghost. Shade is another word just as good. The Nephesh eventually will die. When the last person who sees you in things or remembers you in mind passes away, when the last person who has heard stories about you goes, your Nephesh dies. There are ways to keep it alive independently for a time. Some theories of Magick describe how to make a house for the soul or help it live in a tree. That can be done, but many people doubt whether those things work in themselves or only because the person who performed the appropriate ritual made a conscious effort to keep this spirit around.
If you write a book or leave a journal, it's possible to call your Nephesh back from the dead. A sympathetic person may read your literary effects. It's not enough to imagine seeing a person or to imagine what they are like. That won't bring back the Nephesh. The person must be seen as though physically present. It's quite a spooky thing to start thinking someone's thoughts and later see that person. Another way to approach this idea: to understand what life was like 300 years ago in some other part of the world, reading a book or visiting a place isn't enough. It's necessary to hallucinate what it would have smelled like. The impressions must be more real than imagined. It's one thing to read a book and imagine the life of some famous person. It's quite another matter to read the same book and begin to think like that person.
The Ruach survives well in books, buildings and works of art. That's the next soul after the Nephesh. If you don't smell the animal soul, you can still get ideas from the intellectual soul. Things that a deceased person left behind still function in the world as products of the personality. The Nephesh and the Ruach can be kept alive, but they will pass away if not deliberately kept alive. They depend on physical things or people still living. The Neshamah doesn't. The Neshamah is immortal by itself. It always existed. It always will exist. In a sense it is divine. That's where the idea of a Holy Guardian Angel comes in.
Consider the concept of reincarnation: you're born and born and born again until finally you get it together with your Neshamah; finally the part of your that's immortal unites with the part of you that's mortal. After that occurs, you don't have to be born again. Ultimately freedom from the wheel of incarnation is attained. In one-chance-only types of religion, there's less to talk about and the single incarnation is thought to pass more quickly. The same idea is there. You must unite with the immortal part of yourself or you will go to Hell and cease to have the quality of immortality, at least in a desirable way.

COPING WITH ANTS:

Qabalah is a big subject, lots of tradition going back more than a couple of thousand years. Some of the theories disagree with other theories, so don't think there's just one. When one theory makes perfect sense, something else about it will make perfect nonsense. In Qabalah there is a particularly chauvinistic tradition that says that all souls begin as the souls of men (I wouldn't sell this to anybody, but it is a historical view). If you don't have a son while you are alive as a man, you will be born next as a woman. If you don't have a son as a woman, you will be born next as an animal. After that, it's true death! Don't get caught and think something like that is the only theory there is. Another theory from Qabalah, quite different, is that souls come from roots. There is a root soul, usually identified with a famous person in the Old Testament, or one of the twelve tribes of Israel, descended from one person. Just as bodies descend from ancestors, so souls descend from other ancestors. Your soul is from that other person. You are not that other person born again. It's just that the Neshamah is the same. Neshamah, in a higher sense, is said to have three parts. In its higher parts, especially in the highest part called the Yehidah, it is the same for everybody. The Chiah, or second part, can be shared by many. The lower form of the Neshamah is just your own part, and is simply called your "Neshamah". That's your part of the root of the full Neshamah soul. That lower Neshamah joins with the Chiah of many and all such "roots" unite in the divine tree of the Yehidah. Chiah means "life". If there were just as many souls as living things, that would present quite a confusing situation. But, the individual Neshamah, the lower part of the three-fold Neshamah, is divided out of the Chiah. It's immortal in the sense that it's characteristics will never be lost, but it's not quite as immortal as the Chiah. The number of the manifestations of the Chiah does not change, no matter how many living creatures exist. There are crops of these things seasonally. When bug spray happens a lot of the really cheap ones "go home".

There's something going on involving souls or parts of the soul. That's what this whole operation is about.

Next month: Care and feeding of Angels, or: How to paper train the H.G.A.

Previous Abramelin Ramble, Part III                   Next Abramelin Ramble


from the Grady Project:

A Worm In Earnest

Oh little worm who burrows, burrows
Making tiny, hollow furrows
Deep beneath my sagging mound
Here within the loggy ground;
Boasting of your courage brave
Of your campaigns in my grave;
Blazing trails through wilderness
Braving stagnant lakes of cess;
Pioneering through the muck
Making camp within the guk.
Tell us, little worm, please do
How the welling slush did goo
When you opened up the hull;
How you crept around the skull,
Where the water level stood
When you peeked beneath the hood,
How you traversed all alone
Many leagues of softened bone,
Where you found the floating lobe
Of my ear, how lay the robe
On my shanks. And did you note
Those loosened scabs on my throat?
When you skided down my foot
How large was the myrtle root
That had spread between my toes?
What was that within my nose?
When you took those playful nips
At the scale upon my hips
Are you sure that there you saw
A drooling fester, fat and raw?
I will take you at your word
If you wipe away that curd.
You must learn to be discreet;
Form a habit to be neat.
As your winding way you squirm
My blessings on you, little worm.

          -- Grady L. McMurtry

This previously unpublished poem is undated, but was probably written about September 1940 e.v., when the 22 year old poet was a student in Pasadena. Two similar poems dated during that month are among the earliest verses from the collection which he preserved in typescript throughout the rest of his life.

Previous Grady Project                   Next Grady Project


Primary Sources

Karl Germer, the dark years:
Last issue, we published documents appointing Karl Germer, Fr.Saturnus, to high rank and authority in O.T.O. In this issue, the darker aspect of Karl's tenure as O.H.O. will be reviewed in three letters. This is done to provide an understanding of the years of dormancy of the O.T.O., not to bring disrespect on the memory of Br. Karl or others, living or past. Karl Germer had been imprisoned by the Nazi's in the 1930's for his service to O.T.O. and Aleister Crowley. Following his release from a concentration camp, he made his way by the difficult route necessary to refugees to the USA. As a German citizen, Karl was categorized as an "Enemy Alien", a war time term indicating a US resident national of any country at war with the US. Karl never understood this. In time, his mind became obsessed with finding enemies everywhere, especially in O.T.O. The effect on O.T.O. during the Grand Mastery of Frater Saturnus was simple suppression of the Order and all leaders in the Order other than Karl himself. These three letters are a window into those dark times. In reading them, remember three things: 1. Karl Germer was a martyr to Thelema; judge him not unless you have yourself been put to torture in a concentration camp for your religion. 2. Realize that the things said here by Karl against others are born from pain, not from reason. 3. Through the efforts of Karl Germer, Crowley's works continued in print, thus keeping a vital channel of the Gnosis of Thelema open until better days.
Names of living people have been reduced to single letters followed by blank under-scores to protect their privacy. Expansions and notes not part of the original letters are enclosed in square brackets.

-oOo-

West Point, Calif.
             Box 258
     Dec. 23, 1957.
Dear Grady {McMurtry}:

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

Yours of Dec. 19 --- without the customary Greetings of the Winter Solstice!

Yours of Dec. 19, with check, and copy of H____'s letter of Nov. 18. I wish you had sent me that copy sooner.

There is a magical intrigue afoot, of which I had heard before, but did not think H____ would yield to it. The man with whom she is plotting is Culling, as you guessed. I know all their gossip about "Germer not doing anything" etc. etc., "all being scattered" and must be collected again" inside out. I had heard it for some years now.

Imagine H____ "uniting the scattered fragments"!! With the help of Culling, too, a fellow, who is, officially, no more than a II° O.T.O., because nobody trusted him, neither Jack {Parsons} nor {W. T.} Smith nor Leffingwell, nor Max Schneider? in fact there is not one in the former Lodge world or crowd, who has said one good thing for him. --- I tested him this last year, I took more trouble with him than with any one else, because he has some positive qualities. But they have grown on putrid soil. I have dropped him for good. More: I will have to warn all to beware of him because he is a subtle poison.

What you may not know is that Smith set up a document appointing his son Q____ as his heir, and successor, over the whole Order, and the Church of Thelema, making him a Supreme and Holy King! If it were not a farce eo ipso, one could think that Smith was half insane when he did it.

H____ told me some months ago, that I had to beware of Culling, because both Smith and she distrusted him and that Smith always locked all papers when he visited.

Smith, as you know, was formally, and finally, chucked out from the O.T.O. by A.C. A.C. had in January 1932 given Smith a Charter as X° O.T.O., which he had issued in a moment of despair when he saw his end near. Subsequently he got proof of Smith's magical, and especially spiritual, inadequacy, and in 1942, when I reappeared from French Camps, revoked that Charter, and confirmed this act repeatedly.

When I came to California I visited Smith whom I had never met, and had occasion to test him from several angles and planes, because I wanted to see for myself whether A.C.'s judgment might not have been too harsh and unjust. I found that I had to agree with it and more so.

All these childish so called "members" and "Thelemites" arouse in me only a deep contempt. They are intriguing against me, and trying to set up some personal order, or organisation, blissfully ignorant of their folly and the dire judgments that Ra Hoor Khuit metes out for such as have accepted the Law of Thelema, and then proceed to infringe criminally on some lower moral planes.

We have had several vivid examples in the very history of the thelemic movement in California of what happens to traitors or spiritual weaklings. Culling and such, with H_____ and her brood, and some others, will quickly find out.

As for myself? I wait and see and bide my time, if you care to hear it.

Smith's son to come to me and visit? With the poison of Smith's treachery bred deeply into the boy's very soul?

H_____ has my present address. She will, if she should ever answer my Greetings, only do so with the approval of Culling. I did not have your copy of H_____'s letter when I sent her my address, or I would not have done it.

"The flame of Thelema being in danger etc." --- and you comment: isn't this true of all of us? Don't judge superficies! The trouble with you is that you seem to be devoid of that high and lofty inspiration that you had when you were productive as a poet. If you consider this angle, you may get a glimpse of the meaning of my brief note of Dec. 16.

And you are mistaken to think that "it is impossible to come here and go to work helping me". You could help in thousands of ways up here. But not when you come up with your car loaded full up, and you come so late that you can stay only an hour.

Jane's {Wolfe} mind is gone for good. We cannot keep her any longer & remain responsible. I have taken steps for the Welfare Department to take over. You cannot imagine the things that have happened since you were here. She has been a drag and has become a definite danger; we have to watch her 24 hours a day-night.

Love is the law, love under will.

{signed} Karl.

-oOo-

Under the then operative rules of O.T.O. (since changed), Grady McMurtry borrowed money from the Order to purchase a car. He made consistent payments on schedule (I've seen the receipts), but had to purchase a new car on going to work as a salesman for a car agency in Marin. It was a condition of employment that salesmen drive the product. Karl's reaction was to demand rapid repayment of the loan.
Notwithstanding this awkward situation, Grady asked Karl's permission to seek new prospective members for O.T.O. The following letter mentions these issues.

-oOo-

West Point, Calif.
               Box 173
Nov. 10, 1959.
Dear Grady {McMurtry}:

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

There are two things I have to mention to-day and I hasten to write you.

The first and urgent one is that things have turned up forcing me to put up cash before Nov. 30. The only way to pay it is that I have to accept your offer to raise the balance of your debt now. Please act in the sense you offered, and try to send me your check as early as possible.

The second point refers to your desire to form a group to teach Thelema, to which I gave you my approval. I still do and hope you succeed in bringing in fresh blood. What has made me doubt is when I saw you in the total ignorance of many of A.C.'s works, and especially are not familiar with the Holy Books, one of the fundaments of the Work. Smith, at least, despite his distortion of the idea of Thelema, knew them by heart more or less. He had the best collection of A.C.'s works, had studied them, and worked hard. His aspiration was impure and he was thrown out of the Order by A.C. But how do you expect to teach what you do not know, what you have not gone through yourself --- which is entirely against the first rule of the A
A?

I suggest you search yourself severely before you begin something that is bound to break you forever if started on the 'wrong foot'.

My condition remains: that you inform me about the method you employ to gather adherents; the way you test them: how you plan to protect yourself; that you send me the names (and possibly horoscopes or birth data) of members.

Love is the law, love under will.

                           Fraternally
{signed with Saturn symbol and} Karl.

-oOo-

Note in the above letter a tendency to confuse AA with O.T.O., a problem Karl exhibited at times. Consider also that in a separate letter, Karl once explained to Grady that he (Karl) had never been able to understand Magick in Theory and Practice, especially the Pentagram Banishment, or to work the initiation rituals of O.T.O.
As to the allegation that Grady did not know the Holy Books, all I can testify to is that he knew them well in the 1970's, when I met him.
The next letter was written on the same day as the last, to another member of O.T.O. Note that Karl appears to confuse O.T.O. money with his own.

-oOo-

West Point, Calif.
               Box 173
     Nov. 10, 1959.
Dear Georgia:

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

Last Saturday, Nov. 7, Grady McMurtry came here, after I had had to pull him together severely for his failure to meet his debt payments. Yet he came with a new car despite the fact that I loaned him about $660 4 years ago to be able to buy a car. He has this new car without having paid for the old one for which I gave him the money! No sense or feeling of magical, or even the lowest type of moral obligation.

All the time I felt that he had acquired a new car (a Lark) which he used to drive around to Barstow (where Jean cast her spell on him): to L.A., and elsewhere.

This only to give you somewhat of a background.

He wants to form a group among the old Agape Lodge members. He asked for your address which I did not give him. It is just possible that he contacts you. In that case --- though I do not think you will plot with him as the others did, I suggest to stop, look and listen, and draw him out. And tell me.

I much regret that I don't have a chance to visit Los Angeles these days, if for no other reason of the Work. However, if the spirit should move you, we would be happy if you would pay us a visit. You need not drive, a plane ticket to Sacramento or to Stockton is simpler, and I could meet you there.

All the best to you and your health!

Love is the law, love under will.

{signed} Karl

-oOo-

Karl had a tendency to give with the right hand and take with the left, as evidenced by the above: on the same day, a letter authorizing a new beginning and another letter to undermine that same effort!
Grady paid off the loan as rapidly as possible, under pressure of veiled threats of expulsion if he did not. Grady moved to Washington D.C., and dropped out of touch. Years after the Greater Feast of Karl Germer, Grady was apprised of a crisis involving theft of the Order's archives from the home of Karl's widow. That was the first notice to Hymenaeus Alpha of the death of the Head of the Order. Grady came back to California, displayed his credentials and the rest is history.

Previous Primary Sources                   Next Primary Sources


From the Outbasket

Here are some more responses from the GTG to questions and discussion on America on Line and Internet, edited for publication.

Why so long to go from one O.T.O. Degree to another?

Three reasons, one silly, one real and one significant.
1) In old operative masonry, 7 years as an apprentice was mandatory (most of the time).
2) O.T.O. membership is intended to last a life-time, and most of the degrees above the first few should match the normal development that accompanies different ages in life --- even accelerating that development through initiation takes time. Why rush and then twiddle for forty or fifty years?
3) Since O.T.O. initiations depend for success on a complex sequential activation of certain chakras and combinations of chakras, it usually takes a few seasons or a year to get the results. During that time, an initiate should be keeping a diary of what happens and what has changed. In addition, there is a point where it "feels right" to take the next initiation, and when it also looks right to others for the brother or sister to move on.
Think of it as a holistic initiation process. No intense doses of artificially concentrated Western concoctions. Just slow-acting, natural ingredients.

Why are initiation rituals, words, etc. kept secret?

Part II, Ape of Thoth:

The words, grips and signs change with different implementations, as do the actual sequence and flow of the scripts --- those matters should remain private as long as the organizations using them are still viable, working and need proprietary secrecy to do their thing. The functional elements are and should remain public property, available to all.
There is a parallel phenomenon with the words and titles of degrees and grades, highlighting another problem related to secrecy. Everybody who takes the small effort required can find the grade titles of A A and G D. That has led to imitation without understanding. Virtually the first thing an average person does when learning something like the title "Magister Templi" is imagine what it would be like to reach that grade. It's meaningless, of course, without the lower attainments. New orders have multiplied like bugs, adopting these Grade Titles for lesser attainments, but without really understanding what they mean. This is part of the perpetual failure of the initiations over time. People mistake the Grade Titles for the attainments, begin neglecting the ritual drama elements involved in the original meanings of the Grade Titles, and the whole thing blands down to mummery and egotism. Then someone like Mathers, Westcott, Crowley, Gardner, Yarker, Pike or perhaps somebody reading this now has to come along, maybe with new Grade Titles, and restore the ancient mysteries from these bits of drama. Less known, but an example both of the success and failure of the passage of initiation is the matter of the alternate titles of the Golden Dawn initiation Grades, e.g. "Monoceros de Astris" and so on. These alternate titles were taken from old Rosicrucian "brotherhood names", pass-words of a sort, intended to change periodically --- see Mackenzie's Royal Cyclopaedia of Freemasonry and Manly Hall's 1938 Codex Rosae Crucis, p. 13. The Golden Dawn used them for permanent grade titles, completely voiding their original use.
"The rituals of old time are black" --- perhaps for this reason, they pass slowly into mummery. Only an infusion of the ancient elements of ritual, modernized in language to a new vitality, can restore them. Study of books like Yarker's Arcane Schools can help restore the mystery. Secrecy aids in retarding decay through rip-off and false representation.

Parallels to ponder:

Ever compare the symbolism in the Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot Deck to Waite's Rider Pack Tarot Deck? At first glance, the former has more symbolism. On study, the latter has far more just through the integration of the designs alone. The Thoth deck Two of Wands has two wands crossed and the Mars symbol plus Aries symbol in the margin. The Waite deck has the Emperor(Aries) standing on a Tower(Mars) --- same decan symbolism, just more subtle. With the Major Trumps it's even more, or at least different. Waite has the Royal Arch Triple Tau suggested on the Charioteer's breast. AC has the Manipura Chakra whirling on the abdomen of the figure --- match it with the horizontal cut-away of the Charioteer's abdomen in the Lust Trump. All that symbolism is there, even down to Frieda Harris' deliberate misspelling of Crowley's ABRAHADABRA as ABRACADABRA on the canopy. You need to look deeply to see. From Waite you get a clue to the Royal Arch Degrees. Add Crowley's Yoga and you get a blooming hypertext out of it. Knowledge comes not so much from amassing quantity as from cross-connecting for quality.

-oOo-

To E-mail the GTG, address to the following

On AOL: B Heidrick

On Internet: heidrick@well.com
or bheidrick@aol.com

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

Previous Outbasket                   Next Outbasket


Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for June 1994 e.v.

6/3/94Astrology of Gemini 7 PM
with Grace, call to attend
Thelema Ldg.
6/5/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/6/94Thelema Lodge Meeting 8 PMThelema Ldg.
6/7/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
8 PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/8/94Rites of Eleusis Plan-meeting 8PMSirius Oasis
6/10/94"Funky Bardos" multimedia show 8PM
with guest speaker Tom Herr
Thelema Ldg.
6/12/94Supporting Members' Brunch (call)Thelema Ldg.
6/12/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/14/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
8 PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/15/94Magick in Theory and Practice 7:30PM
with Bill Heidrick in Marin County
(5 Suffield Ave., San Anselmo)
Thelema Ldg.
6/16/94Library Night 8 PMThelema Ldg.
6/18/94Initiations 6PM (call to attend)Thelema Ldg.
6/19/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/21/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
8 PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/22/94"Creation Spirituality and the Tao"
8 PM guest speaker John Mabry
Thelema Ldg.
6/23/94Butterfly Net meeting 8 PMThelema Ldg.
6/24/94Astrology of Cancer 7 PM
with Grace, call to attend
Thelema Ldg.
6/25/94777 Poetry Society 8 PM w. Fr. P.I.Thelema Ldg.
6/26/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/28/94Aleph Group practice and Discussion
8 PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/29/94Liber XV Study Group 8PM
with Bp. T Dionysus
Thelema Ldg.
6/30/94Reverse Gender Gnostic Mass 8:30 PMThelema 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.

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

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

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

Internet: heidrick@well.com (Submissions and circulation only)

Home away from Home