Thelema Lodge Calendar for September 1994 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for September 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

September 1994 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Autumnal Equinox Greetings

    On Thursday evening 22nd September the sun enters Libra, and we accomplish the mid-point of our ninetieth year in the aeon of Horus. Feasting and ritual are planned at the lodge, beginning at sunset in Horus Temple, and concluding at 11:19 PM, the moment when Sol attains balance. Please speak with the lodge officers during the preceding week to help us coordinate a complete dinner.

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

    Each Sunday evening the lodge gathers for Gnostic Mass in Horus Temple, beginning at nightfall. Communicants should arrive before 8:00, to be ready to enter the temple when the deacon opens the outer veil. There has been some interest lately in holding brief informal group readings from the Holy Books of Thelema in the temple shortly before mass, and we will experiment with this in September (provided the mass teams can be ready to accommodate us in the temple ahead of time); arrive before 7:30 for these readings. Aleister Crowley's Gnostic Mass is the primary public ritual of the O.T.O., and as Crowley himself once wrote (in a letter to Frederic Mellinger on 6th July 1943 e.v.), "unless there is a weekly Mass, there is no Order at all worth speaking of." Communion is open to all with the will to partake of it with us. Members of the Order, working together as mass teams, are invited to confer with the lodge master to schedule masses at Thelema Lodge.

    The lodge holds a monthly study group to promote understanding of our liturgy in the E.G.C., led by Bishop T Dionysus, on Wednesday evening 28th September at 8:00. Officers in the mass (whether of long experience or newly in training) and also newcomers to the body of communicants who wish to begin a serious study of the mass, are especially welcome to this group. Participation by mail (postal or electronic) is also encouraged.

Events and Gatherings

    Initiations in Ordo Templi Orientis will be held on Saturday 17th September, beginning before sunset. Members please contact the lodge ahead of time regarding attendance at this event, which is limited according to degree. For those seeking initiation, application forms are available from the lodge officers. The application period in the Order involves a required minimum wait of forty days, and candidates are encouraged to evaluate their own progress through this procedure as a measure of their abilities to manage their time in the accomplishment of their wills.

    Thelema Lodge Meeting (also known this month as "Labor Night") will be held on Monday evening 5th September at 8:00. Lodge members are invited to prepare the coming month's calendar schedule, and to help plot the future course of our work and play together. Requests and offerings for classes and events are coordinated at this meeting, initiation plans are set, and the business and correspondence of the lodge is discussed. Members who have scheduled events should prepare descriptive notes for the lodgemaster, either at the lodge meeting or within the following week.

    The lodge offers a monthly luncheon for our Sustaining Members Group, with an invitation to all members and friends of Thelema Lodge to consider supporting the lodge at the rate of thirty dollars per month as a privileged and appreciated Sustaining Member. This month's luncheon meeting will be held on Sunday afternoon 11th September at 1:00.

    Sirius Oasis meets on Wednesday evening 14th September at 8:00 in Berkeley. Phone the Oasis Master for directions at (510) 527-2855. Oasis business and initiation arrangements are handled at these monthly meetings, which also offer opportunity for discussion and study together. This month, we plan to "get Sirius" about the Dog Days, bringing on the close of summer with an evening of readings and illustrations (and even an oversized barking example) of the friendly beast in whom God is not to live. Canis est Deus Inversus.

    Our annual cycle of Liber DCCCL, Aleister Crowley's Rites of Eleusis, concludes this month with celebrations of the innermost planetary gods. The Rite of Mercury will be held at 7:30 on Wednesday evening 7th September in Horus Temple at Thelema Lodge, and the Rite of Luna begins at sunset on Monday evening 19th September at Battery Alexander in the Marin Headlands. For further information, and to pool transportation for the Rite of Luna, call the lodge at (510) 652-3171. Celebrants at the Rite of Luna will be welcome to sleep overnight afterwards in the state campground there; bring warm bedding and breakfast supplies if you can stay. A Rite of Earth, our own local addition to the cycle, is scheduled for Saturday afternoon 1st October at 2:00 to ground out the Rites.

    The Thelema Lodge "Section Two Reading Group" with Caitlin meets at Oz House on Monday evening 12th September at 8:00. We will be looking this month at Undine, by Friedrich Freiherr de la Motte Fouqué, a fairy-tale novella originally published in German in 1811. Exploring the possibilities for relations between elemental water spirits and humans, this story was seen frequently in dramatic adaptation throughout the last century, especially in opera and ballet. Its author was a Prussian military officer who wrote prolifically in the German Romantic manner.

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

    Join Bill Heidrick in San Anselmo for the Thelema Lodge Magick in Theory and Practice Series on Wednesday evening 21st September at 7:30. Call Bill at (415) 454-5176 for directions if coming for the first time. If possible, preview the material beforehand; our focus this month will be on the final chapter in the "theory" section, number XXI (the Universe), concerning Magick (black and otherwise) and the Powers of the Sphinx.

    We are now sponsoring a local access number for "Castle Anthrax" as one of the activities of the Thelema Lodge Computer Club (a.k.a. "The Butterfly Net"). "Castle Anthrax" is the San Francisco bay area's Thelemic Bulletin Board Service, active throughout Northern California. It is an official Hub of PODS(93)Net and Vervan's Gaming Network. It also carries all echo message areas for ALnet, BeastNet, NuitNet, NovenNet, as well as cross-feeds from UUCP such as alt.pagan, alt.magick, and more. Callers in the areas of Oakland, Berkeley, E'ville, Alameda, Piedmont, Moraga and Lafayette, as well as downtown San Francisco, and even South City, can dial in locally at (510) 635- 9393. Long-distance callers, and also those local to the San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Pleasanton & Livermore, Castro Valley, and Danville areas, should call (510) 886-9393. Doubtful local callers should consult their telephone book or service provider to select the nearest of these two lines. The Computer Club is establishing a members' forum on "Castle Anthrax" with special files and features. To be included, log on to the Castle, and come to the Butterfly Net meeting on Monday evening 26th September at 8:00 in the lodge library.

    Grace offers a monthly Thelema Lodge Astrology Workshop at her home in Berkeley, usually scheduled for the last Friday night in each month. This month, Grace will be offering two meetings: "The Astrology of Virgo" on Friday evening 2nd September (held over from August). "The Astrology of Libra" on Friday evening 30th September. All attending are requested to call ahead for each meeting at (510) 843-7827 so Grace can know whom to expect; classes begin at 7:00 and go until 9:00 PM.

    The Grady McMurtry Poetry Society meets in the library at Thelema Lodge on Saturday evening 24th September at 7:30. Frater P. I. is the facilitator for this reading group, which invites all comers to share verse aloud together. Bring any poems you like to read with us.

    Library Nights at Thelema Lodge are scheduled twice each month, but are subject to change if other dates are requested. Our facilities are open for study by arrangement with the lodge officers whenever possible, with suggested dates being Tuesday 13th September and Thursday 29th September, beginning at 8:00. Please call or give advance notice whenever attending. Volunteer library work is needed on a continuing basis to maintain and improve our facilities, with some cataloguing and shelving work still remaining despite much good progress.

Phonecalls to the Lodge

    Member and friends are encouraged to keep in touch with Thelema Lodge, and to call when in any doubt regarding attendance at events. The lodge number is (510) 652-3171. Please note that we do not "screen" in-coming calls, so if you hear only the tape machine it is because we are unable to respond to the telephone. We will not be listening to you covertly. In such a case please leave a brief, coherent statement of the matter of your concern, a return phone number, and a couple of specific times when you will be available to receive a call back. The lodge takes many phonecalls and responds to most of them. If the message you leave is very vague or general -- or if it is something more easily handled in writing -- our attempts to return your call are likely to be less urgent. Keep calling back if you'd really like to talk; when we are available, we will answer the phone directly.

Crowley Classics

    This article is reprinted from its original publication in The English Review 15 (London: November 1913), 578-95, the present portion being the second of three serial installments. The great American journalist and literary critic H. L. Mencken, an admirer of Crowley's writing, who published Crowley's story "The Stratagem" in his magazine The Smart Set (September1916), also recommended this article in particular. In an extensive essay entitled "Puritanism as a Literary Force" in Mencken's volume A Book of Prefaces (New York: Knopf, 1917), the reader is sent in a footnote to Crowley's article for its discussion of "naive suspicion" toward the arts in America, and the attitude of "moral engrossment, a delusion of moral infallibility" which arises out of ignorance. Ezra Pound, who never met Crowley but was prejudiced against him because of stories he heard from W. B. Yeats, admired Mencken and considered his "Puritanism" piece an important essay, but objected to the citation of Crowley's article. In a letter from London to the American editor of The Little Review on 17 November 1917, Pound complained about Mencken: "He makes one awful slip . . . i.e. he refers to Crowley's article in The English Review . . . which would queer his effect at once over here. . . . skip that footnote, as most American readers will not notice it anyhow."
    Mencken himself came to have some doubts about Crowley when they met in London in 1922: "He had by that time taken to mysticism and was surrounded by a group of idiots who regarded him as inspired and almost, indeed, a god. Inasmuch as it was whispered in London that a certain amount of homosexuality was intermingled with the devotion of these disciples, I avoided him as much as possible, but after I got home he began bombarding me with mystical literature, all of it elaborately printed and brought out at his own expense, or that of his followers. He became, in the end, the recognized head of all of the English occultists, and a figure of some consideration in the life of London." -- H. L. Mencken, My Life as Author and Editor (New York: Knopf, 1993), 119. However, Mencken's appreciation for Crowley as a writer was undiminished, and long afterwards he wrote to the editor of Twentieth Century Authors (on 2 February 1943), recommending that Crowley be included in that reference work.

Art in America

[part two]

by Aleister Crowley

    In Art a man's views count for nothing. It is a curious paradox that a man can only write if he is so white-hot over something that his work pours through him, not from him; and yet it is not of the least importance what that something is.
    I agree with Walter Pater; but I know that Bunyan, with whom I disagree, was first-rate, and Pater second-rate.
    What does it matter whether anyone is right? If he does right, it will last.
    This tirade is, however, to be taken as from the point of view of the purely literary mind. It is easy enough for the university-trained European to avoid the blunders which shock purists in Walt Whitman, and we consequently obtain a quite false idea that such European work is "good."
    From the philosophical, and even more from the human view, Whitman is an artist supreme in so far as he mirrors the spirit of his time and country. He has the childish petulance and bombast and enthusiasm, the gross, naked lust and the ultra-refined delicacy, the essential rough vigour, the hurry, the conceit, the egoism, the astounding incompetence and the still more astounding capacity, the Jingoism, even the cant, of the American-as-he-is-in-himself, the Yank an sich. I find meaning even in the strings of names; I understand how, in a country so new and generous, the mere crying of the names of things fills the soul with ecstasy -- the ecstasy of poetry. Whitman says "lint, bandages, iodoform" as the Greeks said "Thalassa! Thalassa!"1 and thereby conjures a vision of all the heroism and suffering of the War of Secession. That war was never sung as we understand song. But there is many a heart to thrill at "O tan-faced prairie boy." Two "lines" which are not lines! Yet the superhuman rapture of an unexpected love in the open air -- not beyond the experience, I hope, of those who live there! -- is given, naked and gorgeous beyond all royal pomp, in those two lines that are not lines.
    All this America is crude, formless, hurried, crowded. There is little real music, even of the simpler lyric sort, in the Americans. "Culture" is a pose; even common education sits ill on him. We must not expect his literature to follow our lines. His literature is to come. We shall know when it does -- it will be stupendous, it will be gigantic and elemental beyond all our experience. It will not keep our rules. It can only come with a settlement of some of the main social and political problems; but when it does, we shall, I believe, clearly recognise Walt Whitman as the fountain and origin of it all.
    I am well aware that I am thus placing on the highest of all possible pinnacles a man whom I detest and despise; but I deliberately do so. A Balaam come to judgment!
    Whitman is America. He is the real thing, the spirit of the new continent made word. Not the voice of imported culture, or of any other thing inessential. He is raw, untutored, tameless, crude, the America of the War. I have lived on the prairie myself, and I recognise the note.
    The claims of Emerson, Longfellow, Bryant, Whittier and the rest are more easily delt with. Emerson's ruggedness saves him from the barber's-assistant fate of the others. In some ways Emerson is quite the greatest of the Americans. His outlook is wide, and his thought profound; but his speech (as far as the poetry is concerned) is very imperfect, and (as far as the prose is concerned) too perfect, while the quantity of his best work is quite negligible if we think of Carlyle, or Nietzsche. Nor do the Essays rank with Bacon or Montaigne.
    Longfellow is merely the polite professor; he has little learning, even for an undergraduate, and he has never penetrated a single GR:mu into the varnish of any 'drawing-room idea. Smooth, shallow optimism, a faith even more frock- coated and silk-hatted than Tennyson's, a style absolutely wooden.
    Said Poe, having printed a long passage of "Evangeline" as prose: "There is good, respectable prose, and no one will ever again run the danger of mistaking it for poetry."
    There are one or two lyrics, good second-class: for example:

          "The day is done, and the darkness
             Falls from the wings of night
         As a feather is wafted downward
             From an eagle in its flight."

    That is fairly fine poetry. It is simple; the image is clear and coherent, as well as beautiful; and the infinite purpose of the Universe is suggested by the introduction of the eagle. But there is not much else of this calibre; most of Longfellow is pop-gun loaded with pop-corn. Bryant is, on the whole, even more spectacled than Longfellow; and Whittier is little better than Moody and Sankey.
    If most of these people had lived in England, should we have had a quarter as much fuss made about them? But in the desert which Childe Roland crossed "a burr had been a treasure-trove."
    Of Bryant the best quotations which Poe (who was trying to extol him) can find are this sort of thing:

          "And what if cheerful shouts at noon
            Come, from the village sent,
         Or songs of maids beneath the moon
            With fairy laughter blent?
         And what if, in the evening light,
            Betrothèd lovers walk in sight
            Of my low monument?"

Echo answers "what?"
    A sonnet beginning

               "Ay, thou art for the grave,"


    "We will trust in God to see thee yet again."

    After this we wonder if Poe was not smiling softly to himself in concluding his appreciation:
    "He is married (Mrs. Bryant still living), has two daughters (one of them Mrs. Parke Godwin), and is residing for the present at Vice-Chancellor McCrown's, near the junction of Warren and Church Streets."
    Walter Savage Landor was an exile in Italy, and in any case I find it difficult to read him. How he came to conquer Swinburne one cannot imagine, unless one knows all about Swinburne.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne and Washington Irving are difficult to rank in the first class. The sentimentality of the one and the obviousness of the other are enough to bar them from the Immortals. And Hawthorne at least was caught red-handed in a very open plagiary. In their time and place, however, they stood for a good deal of good. They did excellent work of its kind. R.I.P.
    Of others who had their measure of fame some seventy years ago, there are some surprisingly facile writers.
    Amelia Welby has these excellent lines. I cannot quote better from any English writer:

           "And softly through the forest bars
               Light lovely shapes, on glossy plumes,
           Float even in, like wingèd stars,
               Amid the purpling glooms."

and keeps it up, more or less, for nearly fifty lines.
    But this is a very solitary swallow.
    May I be pardoned a note of flippancy in dealing with the rank and file? Their names are forgotten even by their umquhile flatterers. I revive them because one or two of them were most richly endowed by Mr. Robert Ross' favourite 10th Muse -- the "Muse of Bad Poetry."
    Seba Smith, for instance, became immortal on this:

           "But bravely to the river's brink
               I led my warrior train,
           And face to face each glance they sent
               We sent it back again.
           Their werowance looked stern at me,
               And I looked stern at him."

    Of the Channings, one need only remark that the uncle was a pedant, and the nephew an ignoramus.
    Kentucky, however, produced a very fine few lines from the pen of a Mr. William Wallace.
    He saw:

         "A swathe of purple, gold and amethyst
           And luminous, behind the billowing mist
             Something that looked to my young eyes like God."

    Of course, one might object to mixing purple and amethyst; but the last two lines are first-class. Only -- only -- only -- there it seems to stop. He never wrote anything else.
    Anna Lewis talks about "Rapine and Vice" disporting "on Glory's gilded tomb" and "the dark inscrutable decrees of Fate," and we pass rapidly to the Reverned Joel T. Headley, who wrote the most comic account of the Crucifixion that has ever been penned. It is impossible to transcribe it, unless in a professedly religious journal, without risking the ire of Mr. Joseph McCabe and the other supporters of the Laws against Blasphemy.
    George P. Morris, of whom I know little but that he is dead, appears to have been the original of Frederick E. Weatherley and Mr. Clifton Bingham.
    There seems also to have been a Robert M. Bird, who would have imitated Sir Walter Scott well enough if his mind had not so constantly wandered.
    And there was undoubtedly one Cornelius Mathews, who burst his poetic gun the very first time he fired it.
    W. G. Simms was at one time exceedingly popular as a writer of short stories; they resemble those of Poe, but lack alike his genius and his style. Still, they were good enough to alarm the older writer, and perhaps it is a pity that they are now only to be found in the national collections.
    Ambrose Bierce has at least one magnificent short story to his credit.
    James Russell Lowell is better known in England than any of the last dozen I have mentioned; but his work is altogether without merit. It is the worst Journalese, and the man hardly better than a political hack. His success is worth no more than that of a new kind of pole-cat might be.
    The only touch of true satire that I recall is the excellent

           "I dew believe in Freedom's cause,
           As fur away as Paris is."

    Henry James, good or bad, is too important and too sub judice to discuss in this brief appreciation of the literary stars that spangle Old Glory.
    Another writer well-known in England is Fennimore Cooper. He, again, succeeded chiefly by the novelty of his themes; his method is stilted, and after all he is only boyhood's friend. That I still like him only proves -- what everybody knows -- that I have never grown up.
    But I do like him, and, if pressed, will maintain against the world that his pictures of the manners of an extinct race may be one day the most trustworthy data that posterity can command. (But what has that to do with Art?)
    There are some dozens of others, Sprague, Dana, Hulleck, Willis, Hoyt, Hunt, Authon, Bush, Cheever, Mowatt, Francis, English, Stephens, Cranch, Dyckink, Aldrich, Kirkland, Fuller, Epes Sargent, W. W. Lord, Sedgwick, Clark, Walsh, Child, Hewitt Hoffman, Ward, Richard Adams Locke, Wilmer, Kettell, Brainard, Hirst, Drake, and the prince of them all, Rufus Dawes, author of "Geraldine" with its immortal climax:

    "He laid her gently down, of sense bereft,
        And sank his picture on her bosom's snow,
    And close beside these lines in blood he left:
        Farewell for ever, Geraldine, I go
    Another woman's victim -- dare I tell?
        'Tis Alice -- curse us, Geraldine! -- farewell!"

    Of all these there is not one whose name is today familiar to any American of whom I have inquired, though W. W. Lord made a big bid for fame -- of a sort -- by his impudence in publishing

    "And the agèd beldames napping,
    Dreamed of gently rapping, rapping,
    With a hammer gently tapping,
           Tapping on an infant's skull."

    Ward is best known by his

    "Bees buzzed, and wrens that thronged the rushes
    Poured round incessant twittering gushes."

and the inimitable

    "Oh, curl in smiles that mouth again,
       And wipe that weeper dry!"

    I momentarily forget -- the world will remember -- who wrote:

    "His sinuous path, by blazes, wound
    Amongst trunks grouped in myriads round."

But it matters nothing. The conclusion of the whole matter is that English is rare -- one gets constantly "done" for "did," "took" for "taken," and the like -- music rarer still, imagery and thought alike almost never stirring from the commonplace unless to fall into the abyss of the absurd.
    I have not exhausted the list of claimants to literary fame; but Mark Twain's "James Ragsdale McClintock," whoever he was, is not really very much worse than the rest.
    I have a prize specimen of my own, but (for all I know) he is still living, while this article is principally concerned with the dead, and, besides, I have endeavoured elsewhere to divert the discerning public very greatly with him in an article entirely devoted to so rare a bird.

1. All language is hieroglyphic, from the blessed word Mesopotamia downwards. When I was a child my favourite Bible readings were the genealogies with the far-sounding names.

Previous Crowley Classics                   To be continued

from the Grady Project:

This I Remember

Quiet your ceaseless burbling

I am remembering
Let me sit and think
There things happened long ago
Before you or I were born
Within our present boundaries
You are lovely, yes, I know I have said it before
But you are
Nevertheless today I would remember
The night the comets crashed
Above a land that never was
Before the time of yesterday
When gods were mortal as the stars
Yes Yes hush now
While I reminisce
On days the sun shone mottled red
Through clouds of shifting calcium
And threw loose shadows clumsily
Across the dying citadels
It is good to sit in the sun again
And dream of one vast empire manned
By giants who were never men
But builded on an alien world
Colossal monuments that stood
Long aeons ere they crumbled back
And then within a nighted sea
Where phosphorescence glowed and fought
Around the pistons of machines
Whose turbines rolled and rumbled deep
Beneath the braced sea bottom roof
This I remember
A jagged rock careening past
The mellowed sun, with hyperbolic
Arcs athwart its orbit course
Deflected, straight it shot
Into the interstellar space as strange
Dark lichens died again
And wilted back upon its face
This I remember . . . .
-- Grady L. McMurtry

First published in The Grady Project #3 (Oakland: Thelema Lodge, O.T.O., March 1988 e.v.).

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An Abramelin Ramble,

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

PART VII -- Flatland, Revenge of the Squares..

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

    In the back of the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin are strange squares made up of Latin or English letters. To approach these, just take up a good Hebrew lexicon. A dictionary wouldn't help. A lexicon gives you the roots of words. A dictionary may say: "In Hebrew, in order to say 'Hello', say 'Sholom Aleichem'. In order to say 'Hello' back, say 'Aleichem Sholom'." Bull! "Sholom Aleichem" is "Peace be with you". It's just used like "hello" in English. A dictionary doesn't need to go further. A lexicon always does.


The Abramelin book says: "to discover any magic" and shows this grid of letters. That's nice, but rank superstition. There's this little thing full of letters in the book. What the hell do you do with it? I suppose you draw it on paper and jump around screeching a while, burn incense on it and stick it in your pocket or something. That's not particularly helpful. Since the book claims to be Qabalistic, try to figure these squares out as Hebrew words or roots. Hebrew spelling is more flexible than modern English spelling, and chances are the original author was playing with word roots rather than true words a lot of the time. The top line is HORAH, in English. There are a lot of ways for transliterating from English to Hebrew. Also, Hebrew is written right to left, opposite to English. When transliterating between the English and Hebrew alphabets, don't forget to reverse the direction of the words. Those first two letters, "HO" can be transliterated into Hay-Vau, the definite article, "The". "RAH" is one of many words which mean a "Mother", "Woman". This first line can mean: "The Mother". The second line "OSOMA" can be transliterated as, Vau-Shin-Vau-Mem-Aleph. Make guesses at the letters and look in the lexicon for words that make sense. "VaShem" --- "Shem" means "name", especially "divine" or "holy name". Next, take the middle line: "ROTOR". There are a couple of words vaguely like that in Hebrew. One of them means "to shape" and another means "to enclose" or "to fence about". Try an educated guess: "trembling enclosures". Now, consider the second line from the bottom "AMOSO" -- Aleph-Mem-Vau-Shin-Aleph, transliterating English into Hebrew. That line probably refers to "night"; there's a Hebrew word similar to this spelling. Hebrew is flexible because it has so many short words. You will find almost any three letter combination if you fish a bit. Finally, the bottom line "HAROH" is very close to a Hebrew word meaning "to increase" or to "wax" as the moon does, "to grow more". What do we have here? If you treat this square as though it's badly spelled Hebrew or Hebrew that's altered to make nice symmetrical patterns, you can get: "The Mother names the trembling enclosures of the night's increase". That didn't come out in the first draft, but it got that way with a little effort. What does it mean, "the Mother"? The Abramelin book has the traditional four major "demon" princes but also includes one more section just for Kore. Kore is Diana. That's a goddess. Interesting. So "the Mother" might refer to Kore. "... names the trembling enclosures of the night's increase". This goddess tells you about those mysteries of the night that become strong. It sounds like a poetical reference to the idea of Magick. That's why it's "to discover magic." It's a little prayer or affirmation made into a pattern. They're all like that.


This one's "to obtain the friendship of some particular person." Some letters are easy. "L" is always the letter Lamed. "A" may be Aleph; chances are it is, but it may not mean anything. "I" is most likely Yod; so is "Y". With a little experience, it's not too hard to figure it out. Taking some liberties with secondary words, this square yields: "Divine Maid, beautiful of breath, grant us the lordly pearl. Protect us from harm. We exclaim at Thy Holy Breath." It looks like praying to some goddess and asking her not to give you bad breath. You have to think, this was done in the 14th century. People didn't take too many baths. They sure didn't have tooth paste. Most couldn't even afford salt for mouth wash. When somebody in that age opened his mouth, you knew what he ate ten years ago. It was quite important to be relatively attractive to people, even if it was only to do business with them. If people couldn't stand being near you down wind when you talked, you had a serious economic problem. There's a certain amount of common sense to that square. Another person could pick up another Hebrew lexicon or some other approach and get an entirely different result for this square. The results of such work are products of meditation, not true translation of the squares. With meditation, somebody else would get something different and both versions would be absolutely correct. With translation, there would be a more narrow objective constraint on accuracy. The process of doing this is intoxicating. If you keep at it, you always get something interesting. Those who devote themselves to the symbolism of the Hebrew letters can see the letters and their combinations as sacred things, as magical things. To a student of Qabalah, study of this kind actually consecrates the talisman automatically.
    Check symmetrical squares and the ones that are asymmetrical. Experiment by completing ones that are incomplete in the book. Finally, try making some of your own, using the mental states acquired through meditation. Sit down with a blank grid and think: "that's an 'A', that's a 'G'..." If you work at it, you can get way out there. Start by writing down what you want the square to do. Although it's not described as part of the Abramelin system, you can then decide on the size of the square by the system of the Olympic seals, where 3 is for Saturn, 4 is for Jupiter, 5 for Mars, 6 for the Sun, 7 for Venus, 8 for Mercury, and 9 for the Moon. Make a square of that many on a side, depending on whether the question is more appropriate to Venus or the Sun or whatever planet. For the Moon, you will need a lot of language, since lunar squares are nine on a side.

    Next Month: Son of Square, the Sequel.

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(A communion ritual concocted by Pandaimon upon the basis of a novel, The High Place, by James Branch Cabell.)

    The temple should be decorated to look like a cave (or at least be dark and relatively featureless). In the east is a large altar upon which are a paten and a cup. In the center of the temple is a small altar bearing a cake (large enough to provide a slice for each communicant), a knife, and a large bottle of red wine which has been decorated to look like a white bird whose head comes off (it symbolizes a living white hen).
    Seated on elevated thrones to one side of the large altar are the children: Helmas, a red-nosed man, robed in scarlet with white fur, his crown containing a silver feather, holds a quince (or failing that, a yellow pear); at his side Pressina, with her faintly blue skin and undeniably green hair, bears an unbroken raw egg. The priest, Florian, sits on an unelevated throne on the opposite side of the large altar from the children; he is clothed in dark green and silver, and wears a fancy three-cornered hat with a flower on it. Next to the small altar stands the deacon, Hoprig, in robes of white, with purple accenting, crowned by a wreath of mistletoe and a halo. Once the guests are all seated, Hoprig purifies and consecrates the temple, then he stands in front of the large altar, facing west.

Hoprig: We are met in the temple of the Peohtes in the kingdom of Brunbelois to celebrate one last marriage according to the rites of Llaw Gyffes of the Steady Hand. Despite the fact that my recently discovered canonization has forced me to resign my former office as high-priest of Llaw Gyffes, I, holy St. Hoprig, shall officiate here today because my successor as high-priest has not yet been appointed. Therefore, (bows briefly toward children) by the grace of King Helmas and Queen Pressina of Brunbelois, I call upon Lord Florian, fourth Duke of Puysange, to arise and stand here before me.

    Florian leaves his throne gracefully and poses nonchalantly in front of Hoprig, projecting an air of superiority.

Florian: I am Florian de Puysange.

Hoprig: And are you acquainted with those ancient usages by which we in Brunbelois insure the preservation of domestic tranquility?

Florian: I fear, most holy sir, that I am not so acquainted. But I assure you that this is not from any lack of enthusiasm on my part, but rather is the unfortunate result of my having only just arrived here yesterday, that is, upon the feast day of that most holy Saint Swithin of Winchester.

Hoprig: Well then, in belated recognition of one of my so estimable colleagues you shall not be immediately disemboweled, as would be our usual practice with a bridegroom who is unacquainted with our usages. Instead you will be instructed, as if you were a mere boy, by listening here to the words of our princely sage, the honorable Lord Janicot Buckley of Poictesme, as he discourses upon the customs of our ancestors.

    Lord Buckley's rap "The Chastity Belt" is played, and Helmas exits the temple; immediately after the rap ends the priestess, Melior, is ushered into the temple by Helmas. She wears upon her head a wreath of thistles, and about her middle a remarkable garment of burnished steel fastened with a small padlock; in her hand she carries a distaff, flax and a spindle. She is escorted to the side of Florian by Helmas, who then resumes his seat.

Hoprig: And are you, Melior, Royal Princess of Brunbelois, acquainted with those ancient usages by which we in Brunbelois insure the preservation of connubial bliss?

Melior: You know perfectly well that I am so acquainted Hoprig, since you yourself have often instructed me in those arts, even as recently as just last night, and rather a bit late if I do say so!

Hoprig: Be that as it may, we can now proceed, according to the ancient and primitive rites of Llaw Gyffes, to perform this marriage ceremony.

    Helmas and Pressina rise and come down from their thrones. Helmas gives his quince to Florian, Pressina gives her egg to Melior, then they resume their thrones. Florian offers the quince to Melior, who takes it and eats it, spitting out the seeds into the cup, which Hoprig proffers. Then she gives the egg to Florian, who cracks and empties it into the proffered cup, and then puts the empty shell into his hat. Hoprig replaces the cup on the large altar, then walks over to Florian and whispers in his ear. Florian looks momentarily astonished, but he soon tries to reassert his appearance of complacency, speaking to Hoprig out loud, if not with confidence.

Florian: Well, let us say, ___ times. (fill in the blank with the number of people who will take communion, that is, everyone except Hoprig)

    Hoprig uses the knife to cut the cake into the same number of pieces, and then places the pieces in the paten on the large altar. He then returns with the knife to the small altar, and taking up the bottle of wine, opens it, while making as if he is cutting off the head of a "white hen". He returns to Florian and Melior, standing at the large altar, and pours a little wine upon each of their feet. There is fanfare of trumpets and Helmas comes forward, with a great flourish, to present Florian with the key to a small padlock. Helmas remains standing next to Florian. Hoprig holds up a piece of the cake.

Hoprig: You know full well what this represents.

    Hoprig hands Florian the piece of cake, which is accepted, and then eaten, only after a good bit of hesitation and coaxing. Hoprig fills up the still egg- and seed-laden cup with wine and hands it to Florian.

Hoprig: According to the immemorial custom of the rites of Llaw Gyffes and the kingdom of Brunbelois it is both the privilege and the obligation of the bridegroom to specify the particular wedding toast which he desires all assembled to offer on this momentous occasion.

    Florian studies the cup in his hand queasily for a moment then, summoning his inner resources, declares himself resolutely.

Florian: Thou shalt not offend against the notions of thy neighbor!

    While the guests, led by the deacon and children, join in an exuberant cry of "Hear, hear!", Florian drains the cup, gagging only slightly, then returns it to Hoprig, who refills it and hands it to Melior along with a piece of cake. She eats it, then declares "Thou shalt not offend against the notions of thy neighbor!" and drains the cup while everyone cries "Hear, hear!". Then, together, Florian and Melior take their seats, while Pressina leaves her throne and the same tasting and toasting is repeated next by her and Helmas, who then also resume their thrones together. The taste and toast is then repeated by each guest, either individually or, if lovers, together. When at last everyone but Hoprig has communicated and resumed their seats, Helmas gets off his throne and goes over to Florian, who rises to greet him. Helmas pantomimes that Florian should accompany him and then leads his new son-in-law out of the temple. Then the deacon looks out over the entire congregation.

Hoprig: Now of course we all hope that our blissful newlyweds will always enjoy the same ecstatic happiness which they feel at this moment, but still, one must also be logical.

    Hoprig takes out the key to a small padlock and hands it to Melior.

Primary Sources

The Terrible Burden:
A few months before his own death Crowley sent this letter to Grady McMurtry. The letter makes incidental mention of Grady's royalty rights in Magick Without Tears and warns Grady of what was to come.


   {Mark of

   the Beast


    The Ridge

            17th June, 1947.

Dear Grady,

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

    It seems a long while since I heard from you. This is a great mistake: I will tell you why, in strict confidence. In the event of my death, Frater Saturnus is of course my successor, but after his death the terrible burden of responsibility might very easily fall upon your shoulders; for this reason I should like you to keep closely in touch with me.

    I am sending you a bound copy of "Olla" to remind you of me.

    By the way, "Magick without Tears" is almost finished, but there are two letters missing; these will either have to be found or re-written. There appears to be quite a good chance of getting the book issued through a regular Publisher. This means, of course, that the discount will be very much heavier, but this is all to your advantage, because it means the selling of many more extra copies, and your share is 25% of the gross receipts, not of the nett.

    I am very busy this afternoon so I must break off here.

               Love is the law, love under will.

Yours Fraternally,
{signed} Aleister

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From the Outbasket

Frater Achad Osher 583, Editor and Biographer of the book introduced below, is a Past Master of both Brocken Mountain Lodge and Thelema Lodge.

    Red Flame No. 1, A Thelemic Research Journal, has appeared this July with The Poetry of Grady Louis McMurtry. Edited with a biography of Grady by Fr. Achad Osher 583, this work is the definitive edition to date both for the Poetry of Fr. Hymenaeus Alpha and his life story. The first edition is limited to 56 copies with most already sold, but a strong demand should evoke a second printing. US$26 (includes postage and handling) from Pangenetor Lodge, c/o M. Cornelius, P.O.Box 11667, Berkeley, CA 94701-2667. Other numbers of Red Flame are promised in the future at irregular intervals, No. 2 being "Friends and Acquaintances of Aleister Crowley", 30 chapters with short biographies of notables and their relations with Aleister.
    Grady's poetry has been a regular feature of the Thelema Lodge Calendar throughout its existence, including the tenure of Fr. AO. Many other OTO publications have carried parts of the Opus, and some short collections have appeared. Here at last is the great collection. Every presently available poem is here, beautifully typeset in large paper-back format, over 130 poems in all. A 26 page appendix gives all known variations in print, TS and MS, with notations of the sources. Readers of the TLC will be familiar with these poems, but here you have them free of the errors a rushed newsletter is err to. This is the edition to have for those who want to see Grady's poetical works and to enjoy them in banquet. The poems have been gathered from several collections, including the slides made from Fr. TawMemAleph's microfilm and provided by John Brunie, current Thelema Lodge Master.
    Not less important is the 40 page biography of Grady in the front of the book. Composed from accounts in letters, Crowley and Grady diaries and personal recollection, this is the best and most likable telling of Fr.H.B.'s life to date. From Lesser to Greater Feasts, with extensive coverage of the days with Crowley and the re-building of O.T.O., this is not to be missed.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for September 1994 e.v.

9/2/94"Astrology of Virgo" with Grace
7 to 9 PM, Call to attend.
Thelema Ldg.
9/4/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
9/5/94Thelema Lodge Meeting 8:00PMThelema Ldg.
9/7/94Rite of Mercury 7:30 PMThelema Ldg.
9/11/94Thelema Lodge Sustaining Members
Lunch 1 PM
Thelema Ldg.
9/11/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
9/12/94Reading: "Undine" with "Section 2"
and Caitlin at 8 PM (OZ House)
Thelema Ldg.
9/13/94Library Night 8PM Call to attendThelema Ldg.
9/14/94Sirius Oasis Meeting 8PM BerkeleySirius Oasis
9/17/94Initiations (call to attend)Thelema Ldg.
9/18/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
9/19/94Rite of Luna (Sunset) at Battery
Alexander on the Marin Headlands
Thelema Ldg.
9/21/94Magick in Theory and Practice class
with Bill in San Anselmo 7:30PM
Thelema Ldg.
9/22/94Autumnal Equinox Feast & Ritual
in Horus Temple Sunset to 11:19 PM
Thelema Ldg.
9/24/94777 Poetry Society 7:30PM w.Fr.P.I.Thelema Ldg.
9/25/94Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
9/26/94Butterfly Net Computer Group 8:00PMThelema Ldg.
9/28/94Liber XV Study Group w. Bp. T
Dionysys 8:00PM
Thelema Ldg.
9/29/94Library Night 8PM Call to attendThelema Ldg.
9/30/94"Astrology of Libra" with Grace
7 to 9 PM, Call to attend.
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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