Thelema Lodge Calendar for November 1994 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for November 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

November 1994 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

The Vision and the Voice Readings

    A guided tour of the universe will be conducted from Oz House in Oakland this season, according to The Vision and the Voice. Join Caitlin for this year's complete month-long reading of Liber Triginta Aerum vel Saeculi, sub figura CCCCXVIII. (The title might be translated as the "book of the thirty Airs [atmospheres] or Ages", or of "the Thirty Spaces or Times", or even of "the Thirty Styles or Fashions".) We begin on Monday evening 14th November with TEX at 8:00 at Oz, immediately preceding the "Section Two" reading group meeting. Readings will continue on through the remainder of the season, with each of the thirty individual visions of the Aires read on the anniversary of its original reception. Call Caitlin for details at (510) 654-3580.

Gnostic Catholic Church

    At the heart of the life of the lodge is our weekly celebration of the Gnostic Mass together on Sunday evenings. We open this communion ritual to anyone wishing to partake with us, with newcomers requested to call ahead for details and directions. Communicants should arrive by 7:30 at Horus Temple in the lodge location at 5977 Keith Avenue, which is in the Rockridge district of north-eastern Oakland.

    Those officiating in the celebration of mass within the O.T.O. are required by our Gnostic Catholic Patriarch to be first degree initiates in the order. Members who are qualified to represent the lodge in this capacity are encouraged to perform mass for us in Horus Temple. Prospective mass teams should study the text of Liber XV in detail together, and then confer with the lodge master regarding scheduling (and also temple time for rehearsal, if necessary). All mass teams, especially those including novice officers, are strongly encouraged to seek out one of the local bishops of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica for advice.

    Gnostic Bishop T Dionysus conducts a monthly evening devoted to the study and explication of Crowley's Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass liturgy used in the E.G.C. Join us in the lodge library on Wednesday evening 30th November at 8:00 to share ideas and interpretations of the mass, and to contribute to the general commentary on the Gnostic Mass which this study group is preparing. For an example of the sort of commentary this group is producing, see the study of the Gnostic Creed in this issue of the Thelema Lodge Calendar.

Man of Earth Initiations

    Initiations in Ordo Templi Orientis are scheduled for early next month, on Saturday 3rd December, at 6:00 PM. All members wishing to attend are requested to make their interest known ahead of time to the officers of the lodge, either by calling ahead or by speaking directly with us at preceding events. Attendance at initiations, and at the feasting which follows, is strictly limited to active members of the degree being worked. To become a candidate for O.T.O. initiation, obtain an application from one of the lodge officers, and return it complete for the minimum forty-day waiting period, during which a date will be set for the ceremony.

Classes and Events

    The Thelema Lodge Magick in Theory and Practice Series with Bill Heidrick continues on Wednesday evening 16th November, meeting at 7:30 in Bill's home in San Anselmo. We are now discussing the appendices of M.T.P., the practice section of the work, and this month's focus will be on the list of Libers and "One Star in Sight". Those unfamiliar with the location should call Bill at (415) 454-5176 for directions.

    The Rape of the Lock is our subject this month at the Section Two Reading Group, hosted by Caitlin at Oz House on Monday evening 14th November at 8:00. Alexander Pope's satire of heroic poetry, one of the most skillful pieces of verse in the language, was written and revised between 1711 and 1714 of the past aeon. The story is based upon a scandal among London fashion celebrities of the period, and involves not the forceful insertion of a key, but the covert clipping of a lock of hair. We will examine the poem in light of Crowley's recommendation that, like Undine, it is valuable for its account of elementals.

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

    The fiery sign of Sagittarius will be the focus of the Astrological workshop offered by Grace on Friday, December 2nd, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The multidimensions of this dual bodied sign amaze and excite those who explore its significance. Famous for its free spirit, its open, honest optimism, its independence and generosity, the archer ever aspires to intellectual and spiritual heights. Traditionally depicted as a Satyr or as Pan, one is reminded of the Sagittarian reputation for the enjoyment and spontaneity of sexual pleasure.
    Please call 843-7827 if you plan to attend.

    Our poetry reading group, the Grady McMurtry Poetry Society, has been rescheduled this month to avoid Thanksgiving. Meet with verse to share at 7:30 on Saturday evening 19th November in the lodge library.

    Library Nights at Thelema Lodge will be held on Thursday evening 10th November and on Monday evening 21st November at 8:00. Please call ahead when attending, as the library schedule is sometimes altered by request. To arrange to use the library at other times, speak with the lodge officers.

    The Butterfly Net, our lodge computer club, will next meet early in December. Keep in touch or see next month's calendar for the date.

    Sirius Oasis meets on Wednesday evening 9th November at 8:00 in Berkeley. Call the Oasis Master at (510) 527-2855 for directions and details. This independently chartered body offers O.T.O. initiations, rituals, and magical study groups by request.

    Our Thelema Lodge meeting will be held on Monday evening 7th November at 8:00. There will be a brief business and calendar discussion, following which we have some interesting photographs of past events to share.


The following message appears at the request of an incarcerated associate member:

10 October 1994 e.v.
93 & Greetings, O Aspirants within the Caverns of Bondage (prison):

    With pleasure I invite participation in a Thelemic prison correspondence network, developed for the purpose of uniting those brothers and sisters whose will it is to share our ideas, experiences, and personal work. Those interested, or requesting further information, may write to Al Rickey Lewis #118871, Box 330, Tiptonville, TN 38134. If your prison does not allow correspondence between prisons, write instead c/o Fra. I.H.S.V., 6394 Macon Road, Memphis, TN 38134. All are welcome to participate, to the glory of Ra- Hoor-Khuit and the establishment of his perfect kingdom. Love is the law, love under will.

Fra. I.H.S.V. 515

Crowley Classics

    This tale was selected for reprinting as a "Crowley Classic" based on inquiry received from Mimers Brunn Camp, O.T.O., of Angered, Sweden. Little seems to be known of the date and provenance of this little piece, which has not been previously published in this country. The situation resembles that of a train trip which Crowley took around September 1915 e.v. from New York to California, in the company of his mistress and student Jeanne Robert Foster (Soror Hilarion, called "the Cat") and her husband, who was an aged invalid unaware of the magician's participation in the vacation. It was in these circumstances that Crowley visited Santa Cruz, and conducted with Sr. Hilarion the Autumnal Equinox working of 1915 e.v. which occasioned the recognition (nine months later) of Charles Stansfeld Jones as Crowley's (short-lived) magical son.

Only a Dog

by Aleister Crowley

    It was not even his own dog. He said it barked, and had the mange. Most dogs bark: if it had a tenth of the diseases he has, it would have been kindness to kill it. But what business was it of his? It was her brother's dog; it was her mother's pet.
    Anna had come up to my room in the hotel. I had explained the truth (God's truth, not man's) to the clerk, so there was no difficulty. Besides, you can get away with anything in America if you have an English accent. She had her mother's letter in her hand when she came in. I had never heard of Jock before --- Jock was the dog's name --- I only knew there had been some trouble about a dog. Now the whole story came out. H --- that's her husband, only he was never that, more than twice her age, and a permanent invalid --- hates everything and everybody and himself into the bargain. A little like Count Genesi, without the nobility of the passion. A little like Guido Franceschini --- and to tell you the truth, that's what I'm afraid of. Well, his hatred concentrated on this dog. He's a liar and a coward; he kept off inquiries for weeks, saying he had sent it away to be looked after, or given it away, or --- oh! any lie that sounded plausible. And now the truth was out; he had confessed to Anna he had had it murdered. So she had some straight round to me. Poor little Jock. If it did bark, what affair was that of his? A few days, and he would be going away West perhaps --- probably --- I pray God --- never to return.
Of course he is mad. I have suspected softening of the brain for some time. His brother's death last year shook him heavily. He hears his brother's voice calling him --- that's insanity without doubt. And he bursts into violent rages or violent tears on no provocation.
    He is an utterly vile old man. He has even tried to make Anna's sisters his mistresses. (And he threatens me with the Blue Laws.) However, this is the main point; he is mad. The neighbours are all ready to testify; if he makes one more step against us, we shall assume the offensive and send him to Matteawan or wherever it is. Then Anna will have no further scruple in divorcing him. Only her sense of duty has stood in the way so far. Her heart's so beautiful! She will suffer anything herself rather than give pain to her worst enemy. So there she is, tied to this monster, and I honour her so for her pure heart that I won't urge her to do other wise. But I'm not bound in any such way myself: I'll free her somehow. (Oh God! God! I pray God for her freedom!) Yet I would not hurt him. I would only put an end to his unhappiness. For he is utterly wretched, as are all who hate. And when she met me, and loved me (that very first minute), and went back to his house, he saw it in her face that she was happy, and for that he hated her the more. What I am afraid of is that his madness may break out in violence, that he may murder her as he murdered the poor little dog.
    I don't know which of us began it. I was sitting in the big arm chair; Anna was standing against the wall with her hands behind her, resting against them, and swaying on their lovely elasticity. She told me all the story so simply and so sadly. Yes, I think I began it, because she came over when she saw me fighting with the tears, and knelt beside me, and took me in her arms, and petted me, and hushed me --- but it was no good. We broke down, both of us; we cried for quite ten minutes in each other's arms. I was so ashamed of myself; it was so silly to cry over a dog I didn't even know. But it was so cruel and so senseless that it seemed a very parable of the universe itself. There was Weltschmetz in those tears, be sure.
Then it was time for me to play the man, to console her --- as God gave me grace and power to do. Amor vincit omnia. But I am still moved by the crime; months later, as it is, I cannot think of it without something pulling at my heart. If there be a soul of good in all things evil, it may here be this, that Anna knew then without possibility of doubt how utterly tender I am of heart, and childlike, I am not really ashamed that I cried; I would be ashamed if I had not. For another thing, the incident may help to steel her when the crisis comes.
    For he is coming East in a week or so, and her sister and I have agreed to strike home, if there's half a chance of it. Even Jock, who was only a dog, and barked, and had the mange, may find avengers.
    But what strange creatures women are! Anna's mother had written a letter full of tears, so simple, so pathetic: "Where is my little dog? I want my little dog." All the while it was lying dead. Anna wrote back, told what the monster has at last confessed --- and the next time her mother wrote, it was to minimize the tragedy; after all, Jock was only a dog.
    My own heart's of different stuff; I'll not forget Jock, --- whom I never knew --- so long as I live; and if God put not forth a hand to avenge him, I will. Only a dog!

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from the Grady Project:


Along an orbit charted by the sun
A charging cruiser swings,
With flaring jets
It sweeps a path elliptic.
At his set
A somber man keeps vigil for the call
Of other ships that rendezvous.
It comes
On beamed light that pulses as alive
With modulated frequencies
And hums
An alien intelligence.
He nods
And scans the message,
Then returns to sit
And contemplate again with weary gaze
A universe.
He idly tunes
The photophones to scope a sullen sky
Whose barren waste of star embedded night
Has settled on his own immortal soul
A touch of its aridity.
He sighs
And listens, half unconscious, to the dry
Hypnotic rustle of the myriad stars,


Originally published in Kaaba I:4 (April 1979 e.v.)

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PantheaCon in 1995 e.v.

    Ancient Ways presents PantheaCon on Feb. 17-20, 1995 (Friday to Monday) in San Jose at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. Memberships are $40 and go up to $50 on January 1st. Hotel room rates are very reasonable, especially when sharing a room with others. Friday night will present a ritual with Star Hawk and the Reclaiming Collective. Saturday night features a Rock n Role ritual and Masquerade Ball, with light show and other bands (perhaps the band Bitchcraft, etc.). Sunday night is still not fully scheduled, but will have rituals. During the days we will have workshops from many spiritual traditions --- Wicca, Norse, Celtic, Yorba, Umbanda, Western Ceremonial Magick, and more. We will also have panels, scholarly papers, book signings and readings, as well as a Bardic room, gaming, and videos.
    Many groups will be renting a room or two and will host "open house" parties at night. O.T.O. members are invited to present a Gnostic Mass, Magical scholarly papers, and lectures on Ceremonial Magick. Call (510) 653- 3244 for information and registration forms.

Beyond Belief:
The Gnostic Creed

by Bishop T Dionysus

    A creed is a formalized statement of religious beliefs, an 'authorized' profession of faith describing some particular church's main principles. Though such statements are not at all required by the religious quest for (re)union with the source of all being, they do often seem to be required by the social quest for individual and group definitions. Though I know of no evidence to indicate that an obligatory creed was enunciated by any of the shamanic traditions among our hunting & gathering ancestors, it seems clear that as societies increased in population and technological mastery their religions became organized, and developed into permanent social institutions. They collected sets of 'orthodox' beliefs, often making a formal confession of these beliefs into a pro forma part of religious observance. The more that a religious group is a social movement (as opposed to a technology for individuals to experience divinity) the more importance it usually places upon the acceptance of a specific creed. This tendency is at its most extreme in religions which are also 'complete' social systems, e.g., Islam, where the first of the five essential duties of every Muslim is to profess the 'shahada', la ilaha illa'llah muhammadun rasulu'llah (which means, roughly, "there is no God but God and Muhammad is His prophet"). In the history of Western culture the major political points at issue have often involved one of the many significant formulations of religious belief. The famous Nicene Creed, developed once the Catholic Church had consolidated its control of the Roman Empire, and the Augsburg Confession, which defined Lutheran practice, both clearly demonstrate that creeds were often determined, not by abstract theology, but in order to meet the evolving exigencies of practical political and cultural conflict. Formal creeds are most often identified with highly organized, socially active, and group-oriented religious movements.
    Therefore, when I first encountered the Gnostic Creed I had an awful lot of problems with it. There I was, a seeker after wisdom it's true, but still rebelling against every conventional and organized religion, and suddenly some person in vestments is getting me and a bunch of other folks to chant "I believe" in this, and "I confess" to that. Before truly believing and confessing I had to go through a very long process of finding out exactly what the words of the Creed could really mean to me. So far, I know of no "orthodox" interpretation of the Creed to blindfold, lead, and ultimately enslave us (but then who knows what may happen in time!); however, Crowley's own attitude toward interpretation of the entire Gnostic Mass seems to be summed up by this statement in his Confessions: "I resolved that my Ritual should celebrate the sublimity of the operation of universal forces without introducing disputable metaphysical theories. I would neither make nor imply any statement about nature which would not be endorsed by the most materialistic man of science. On the surface this may sound difficult; but in practice I found it perfectly simple to combine the most rigidly rational conceptions of phenomena with the most exalted and enthusiastic celebration of their sublimity." Of course Crowley does not, after making this sweeping claim, proceed to illustrate it with any examples. But, even though recognizing AC's tendency to exaggerate, I found that by approaching the Creed in the spirit of these comments I was at last able to begin to somewhat convincingly, if very loosely, paraphrase its words to myself:

"I believe in one secret and ineffable LORD"
--- that is, I experience existence as ultimately a unity (what Qabalists call the Sephira Kether). It is a highly philosophical concept at best, something along the lines of 'the substrate of consciousness', and in the end, as the text makes explicit, nothing can truly be known or said about it;
    "and in one Star in the Company of Stars of whose fire we are created and to which we shall return"
--- Sol is physically both the son and younger brother of those myriad ancient and contemporary stars which have been born, lived, and died to create the atoms of the elements of which we ourselves, along with Sol, are constituted, and some of which same atoms must eventually be part of successor stars, star systems, and life-forms;
    "and in one Father of Life, Mystery of Mystery, in His name CHAOS, the sole viceregent of the Sun upon the Earth"
--- life was probably born through the operation of paradoxically predictable patterns of randomness in the interactions between Solar radiation and the Earth's physical and chemical components. This process by which order arises out of disorder and simplicity out of complexity, this Chaos, acts as the terrestrial viceregent to that Solar energy which powers it, just as the Sun itself is the physically manifested regent of the secret Lord of being;
    "and in one Air the nourisher of all that breathes"
--- the atmosphere of Earth, absolutely unique in the Solar system, supplies oxygen to animals and carbon dioxide to plants by the chaotic action of its winds and currents, which are continually reblending the various gases' molecules into new configurations. Thus, what comes out of a car's tailpipe in Los Angeles may eventually go into a penguin's lungs in Antarctica, and the more livestock we keep the hotter the climate may become. In addition to nourishing us breathers, a healthy atmosphere also protects living beings from too direct an exposure to that Solar might and power which, while it certainly sustains, can also destroy;
    "And I believe in one Earth, the Mother of us all"
--- the ancient Greeks worshipped Gaia as the goddess of Earth and original mother of all life, while modern ecologists use Gaia as a name for the Earth considered as one unified living system, of which each species may be rather poetically reckoned a 'tissue' and each single being a 'cell'. Looked at from this perspective modern humanity can only be seen as a seriously diseased tissue, multiplying cancerously, and ravaging much of the rest of Gaia's body;
    "and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON"
--- for it is almost as natural that one should find rest in the blessed Vagina as it is that one should be born out of Her, or less poetically, sexuality has not only a reproductive reason, but also a spiritual significance, or even more poetically, where wisdom ever sees a womb, there in truth is a tomb (and herein hides the beauty of a bomb!);
    "And I believe in the Serpent and the Lion, Mystery of Mystery, in His name BAPHOMET"
--- that old devil Penis, weeping tears of joy unto his death, certain to live again in the son (by the tender care of the mother), the interpretation of which phrases is perhaps too obvious to need explication even for scientists. The phallus stands to the Sun as that star stands to the Lord, which is the triune message of all the so-called solar-phallic deities, Mithra, Abraxas, Iao Sabao, Pan, Satan, etc.;
    "And I believe in one Gnostic and Catholic Church of Light, Life, Love and Liberty, the Word of whose Law is THELEMA"
--- one thing which seems to characterize all the varied groups generally classified as Gnostics is an avowal of the ever-present possibility of direct communion, via mystical experience, with "the secret and ineffable LORD". Thus Gnostics are often not just the passionate followers of some other prophet's revelation, but rather they are active seekers after their own divine revelations, even when they operate within frameworks laid down by tradition and hierarchy. The label Catholic (when stripped of the distasteful connotations imparted to it by the less savory practitioners of that superstition commonly called Roman Catholicism) means all-inclusive, tolerant, pluralistic. Church comes from the Greek phrase, 'doma kyriakon' (house of the Lord). In other words, the E.G.C. names itself as a place where virtually all who desire it may come to seek a personal revelation of 'divine truth', and then the further assertion is made that this 'divine truth' is manifested through any spontaneous, creative, joyous, and free exercise of an individual human will;
    "And I believe in the communion of Saints"
--- 'Saint, sacred, consecrate', all these words come from the same Indo- European root (hypothetically, 'sak-'). Specifically, a saint is a sacred (divinely consecrated) human being, and thus if we define all life as sacred then to us every human who has ever lived is a saint, and, at every moment we are communing with these sainted ancestors because each life they lived, every decision that they made, affects us whether we know about them or not. The words which you speak in, and think in, have their roots outside you, and no matter how clever you've become in using, abusing, improving, or twisting them they still just represent only one of the many aspects of your communion with the past of the entire human race, that is, + Saint Humankind;
    "And, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass"
--- that which we consume becomes us, it becomes our bodies, and thus all the substances which our bodies must then produce in order to maintain individual life and to insure the perpetuation of the species, and it also becomes our energies, our thoughts, and even our creations. Yet another interpretation of the miracle of the mass would here substitute 'semen and menstrual blood' for "meat and drink";
    "And I confess one Baptism of Wisdom whereby we accomplish the Miracle of Incarnation"
--- our science may arrive at the point when it is possible to produce a human baby without a male's ejaculation baptizing a female's egg somewhere along the line (even if just by indirect means in a laboratory which neither father nor mother has ever visited!), but somehow I think that orgasm is unlikely to go out of fashion anytime soon. And even if it eventually does we'll still only remain immortal as a species as long as we`re able to continue producing new individuals;
    "And I confess my life one, individual, and eternal that was, and is, and is to come"
--- of all the clauses in the creed I still find this the hardest one to interpret in a way that would be endorsed by Crowley's "most materialistic man of science". The most difficult phrases are "my life", and "eternal". Certainly materialists wouldn't endorse the concept of personal immortality, rather they would point to the lack of evidence for even such an object of universal belief as 'life-force'. In fact, this confession might only make some sense in a purely philosophical context, as in a description of all life as one unified phenomenon. Otherwise one would have to have recourse to 'reincarnation' and 'souls' or other similar metaphysical concepts which would certainly provoke snorts of derision from most good scientists, and hence leave unfulfilled Crowley's claimed criterion for inclusion in his Mass;
--- for the Qabalistic significance of this formula (as 'reformed' by AC) see Magick in Theory and Practice, Chapter VII, section V. Reading that passage, Crowley's hypothetical materialist must once again be scratching his head, "Surely this Qabalah is the language of a poet, not a physicist!", and as for the physical or psychological effects of Mantra Yoga, scientific investigation has been so far too limited to fully catalog, much less endorse or debunk, all its claimed efficacies.

    I hope you have found these comments enlightening, or infuriating, or novel, or trite, but I especially hope that whenever you are standing in a congregation at a Gnostic Mass, reciting the words of this creed, that you will also be reflecting upon their meaning to you.

48 Claves Angelicae Offer

    The following notice was received via electronic mail, with a sample of the book mentioned also received by regular U.S. Postal mail. The book itself is quite nicely printed, letter sheet size and easy to read in open temple -- once the Old English type face becomes familiar with a little practice. Students of Enochiana may find it very useful in Temple work, possibly preferring to re-bind it for permanence.

Book available:
48 Claves Angleicae
Enochian Calls from the
original manuscript of John Dee
(in the Enochian language)

1. Enochian Keys typeset in the Enochian language according to the original manuscripts of Dr. John Dee.
2. Four tablets with Enochian lettering in color (with colored elemental attributes) according to the original manuscripts of Dr. John Dee.
3. Four tablets with Enochian lettering in black & white with all alternate spellings.
4. The signals of all the governors superimposed over each tablet.
5. Separate Keys typeset in old English with translation.
6. A pentacle of calling designed by Aldion with the 30 Aethyrs inscribed in Enochian lettering.
7. The Keys are placed in accordance with their elemental attributes, in a spiral bound book designed for ritual use.

Price $25 + $3 s&h

Contact via Internet E-mail:

An Abramelin Ramble,

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

PART IX -- Whip Me Daddy, 4 to the Bar..

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

    The first step in the Abramelin working is to find a place to do the working. Next, you need a method of divination. You can use Tarot cards, astrology, or anything like that. The Abramelin book mentions white river sand. That's a tip-off. The form of divination that this particular author used was geomancy. More than that, it was probably a bit like foxmancy. Foxmancy is a practice of divination used in Africa. You put little bits of food in circles traced in sand or dirt. Each circle has one of the 16 geomantic symbols in it (vertical figures composed of four lines of dots, one or two dots per line). You are supposed to look for the prints left by a fox the next day, after the fox has had a chance to come by and check out the food during the night. Where the fox stepped, that's what you've got. For modern apartment dwellers, roachmancy would be workable, but probably a little too talkative. Older apartments dwellers may also wish to consider ratmancy. There are other methods of getting and using the geomantic symbols. You will find them written up in a number of books: A Rectification of the Oracle of the Yoruba by Judith Gleason, Crowley's Liber Gaias (Liber XCVI) or "Handbook of Geomancy" in the Equinox. The geomantic signs are related to Astrology and have names like "Vir" for "Man", "Puela" for "Girl" and so forth. There are elaborate ways of working the oracle. One method of obtaining the geomantic symbols is to take a stick, supposed to be a camel switch about five to eight feet long, thin and whip-like. People often don't understand the principle and just pick up a short stick or even a pencil1. It should be a camel switch because such a stick is long enough to vibrate. You can get it going in a rhythm that continues after you have stopped shaking your hand. It won't quit when you do. Get a long, slender switch vibrating up and down, bring it near the ground and move it along. Count the number of times it hits the ground before you lift it up again. This trick is intended to prevent unconscious manipulation of the number of strikes and "cheating" the divination. If the switch strikes an odd number of times, that's one dot. If makes an even number of strikes, that's two dots. Do this four times for each geomantic sign you need to make a complete divination. Crowley apparently thought that you just hit the ground until you felt like stopping. If you do that with direct hand motion, you don't have the element of independence that a vibrating switch would have. That's alright. He learned it in England. There aren't too many camels in England. There's another sort of Geomancy where you take a sand table and just go crazy in there with your hands. It's like finger-paints, only with sand. Smash it, bash it, kick it about. When you are done, you look at it. "Looks like a frog", whatever. Cloudmancy works too: "Looks like a man eating a fish". Plastermancy --- use the sort of plaster walls that have a complex texture, not the modern type with the little pimples all over but the kind that looks like somebody skipped the trowel every so often. If you can find old fashioned linoleum, do linoleum-mancy, (they don't sell proper linoleum for floors anymore, try to find really nifty looking linoleum with a random pattern. It doesn't matter what method you use, as long as you have some way of doing divination. You are going to need it. Lintmancy, TV-snowmancy, there is nothing so degrading that you can't use it for divination. Recall that the official way of doing divination in the Roman State, required of certain elected officials, was augury, reading fresh bird guts. The famous Cicero, who wrote all those essays and was too noble for Caesar to execute, was the official auger of the City of Rome. Cicero's principal job was to stick his hand up a bird's ass, pull it out and say "it's gonna rain tomorrow." Me, I'll take Tarot! Divination is intended to give you information that isn't just from you talking to yourself. There are levels that aren't verbal. Those are the ways you can reach this Knowledge and Conversation most quickly. Verbal consciousness is tied up in social conceits and beliefs fostered in childhood. You need a method of divination, like one of the ways described, to get to the next thing.

    It's good to have unusual garments. Something comfortable, not too distracting ---robes are traditional. As long as you aren't into expensive cloth and things that form-fit, a robe is cheap and easy to make. If you are into good looking robes, you probably don't need them for this. The basic idea is to have some kind of clothing; it doesn't have to be robes. You can decorate and embroider a pair of pants and a coat to match. Those will do just as well. You can also use ready-made things. Perhaps a Japanese robe.

Next month, Interlude of This and That.

1. Sometimes a pen is used, like that used by a lawyer, apparently to check the pending verdict in the William Kennedy-Smith sexual battery trial in Florida some years after this presentation. Anyone watching CNN as the end of the trial was televised could see one of the lawyers for the defense tapping a pen on a piece of paper rapidly in lines. He counted the taps and made notes -- that's classic Western Geomancy! He probably picked it up in a Harvard {correction of speculation in Web edition} fraternity. There are tables of interpretation for this type of Geomancy which concentrate on trials and imprisonment.

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Primary Sources

    Here are the minutes of a meeting of Agape Lodge, in the month following Crowley's Greater Feast.

Meeting of Agape Lodge at Burlingame Residence, JAN. 6, 1948

    Minutes of last meeting read and accepted. Treasurer's report indicated that $50 had been sent on to Brother Karl, leaving a balance in the treasury of $17.00. Nothing definite or tangible to report on conditions in England as yet.
    Next on the agenda was the letter from Lady Harris to Brother Karl regarding momentum of a picture of 666, but the information was rather indefinite until we can learn the cost of the block, etc. which Brother Karl has written for. When this is received, a more definite decision can be arrived at.
    Following this, Brother Roy read the charge to all members of the Order, jointly and severally, to do what in them lies to watch over and ensure the welfare of Aleister Ataturk, the natural son of the body of Aleister Crowley, in respect of his memory, which was dated May 22, 1947. An interesting letter from Aleister Ataturk's mother also read.
    Remarks made on the funeral services of 666 which were carried out as per his wishes, with Louis Wilkinson officiating. Also comments on the misleading statements made by the news press.
    Brother Roy stated there were two male members lined up to join the Order at the first opportunity. Sister Mildred remarked that Jean Schneider had volunteered the use of their tent for putting on initiations.
    A charter to give legal identity to the Order is on the agenda and in process of being taken care of.
    After setting Feb. 20 as the next astrology class and Mar.5 as next lodge meeting, Agape Lodge was formally closed.

{signed} Gene Cooper
cc. KG

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From the Outbasket

Continuation of the digest of an e-mail exchange on subjects related to Thelema and OTO, from our last column. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Grand Lodge.

How does OTO view Jesus?

    As somebody who succeeded at what we all are supposed to be doing.

Once you are united with deity don't you realize even your lower self is holy and perfect?

    Only in a very broad sense. One can improve the lower self up to a point, but to perfect it is very difficult. This lower self is a collection of habits of mind and body, including prejudice, fear, and self doubt, that one acquires by imitation and accident as a child. It is what forms the crude personality, and is by nature a haphazard mixture of discordant elements. One clings to it very tightly, like a hoard of dragon's gold. Until the true self is discovered, this mish-mash is usually believed to be the real person. Even after transcending it, one comes back to this lower self and tries to improve it. That's part of the labor of incarnation.

Do you use a feminine Egyptian god?

    Among others; any deity is ok and any religion is true, up to the extent of it's understanding. We use deities as personifications of the forces of nature, including human nature. Consider the Egyptian goddess Nuit. She is the sky at night, mother of all. That is true, of course, in a literal and physical sense --- all matter beyond simple Hydrogen is the product of stars. If you look up on a clear night, you can see her as the milky way, the stars spangling her robe, touching the earth with her feet and hands. What better natural thing to personify by this myth? Look up and experience the certainty. Use a gentle mother as an image for that certainty at other times.

You use direct experience of God?

    Yes, but this does pose some risks. Since something very similar to this is the matter in Thelema like faith in Christianity, we do get some rather interesting people. It's surprising tho', what peer experience can do. "I've seen god" --- "So?" "I've talked to god" --- "I'll mention you next time I do." "(so-and-so) is god!" --- "who isn't?" "God told me not to pay taxes." --- "Better find another one!" Quite a different approach in real life from the way it looks on the surface.

Do you believe that Jesus was misquoted and misinterpreted in the bible?

    Well, yes, to put it mildly. Not that it matters. Muhammad left writings for the Islamic Koran, which we respect. It's that "direct experience" issue again. To attain to such a state is part of the goal. That is respected. What comes of it is still up to each to find value or not. The four Gospels are an interesting study, along with the rest of the NT and the non-Canonical Patristic works. Tampering in both NT and OT seems to be quite extreme in places. I do wish somebody would dig up the lost Hebrew Gospel mentioned in the Patristic literature. Judging from the Epistle of Barnabas, that would be something to read!
    Thelema usually follows the view that each individual who attains in this extreme way obtains a "Word" --- not necessarily a simple sound, but usually symbolized by such. That "Word" is the work of the Magister who received it for the remainder of the incarnation and for as much beyond it as may be the natural duration of the "Word". The "Word" of Christ is usually held to be identical for all intents and purposes to that of Osiris, Adonis, Mithras, and most other dead and risen saviors of that sort. There are unique qualities to each in origin, but together these set a sort of common pattern for an age of the world.

Magick is inherently dangerous?

    Yep, so much so that there is a list of the three traditional dangers: Sickness, insanity and an early death.

What's this word business?

    Two points might help.
1. "Word" in Greek is "Logos". Same meaning as "The Word..." in Christianity, but not so sweeping. This Logos is for an age of the world, not for all creation.
2. In Thelema and many other Gnostic traditions, it is the practice to take a name, motto or word for oneself at different stages of spiritual growth. This term is chosen, often in mystical trance, as a mark of one's present progress and immediate goal. At the stage of "Crossing the Abyss" between the mortal world and the immortal supernal world, this becomes a word for the purpose of the incarnation of the individual. It is a mantra or catch-all sum-up of the message to be delivered and the work to be done for the remainder of the incarnation.

Are there things you consider fundamental truths, that you are not able to speak to me about?

    "Able" is the right word for it. Fundamental truth, like the sayings of our fathers, only comes out by induction --- not by literal meaning. Context helps, but isn't enough. There has to be a rapport in the minds to pass the substance over. Words are only a verbal code for ideas this deep. There has to be a state of mind that can resonate and allow the idea to form in the other person in that person's own unique terms and concepts. That's why there are formal "secrets" in initiatory organizations --- key phrases that don't carry much meaning outside the context of the shared experience of the initiations. Without that shared experience, the key phrases trigger nothing.

What is the "Abyss"?

    The term "Abyss" was used in the Order of the Golden Dawn to refer to a gap on the traditional Qabalistic diagram of the Tree of Life. There is a place with room on the diagram for a Sephira between the top three and the lower seven Sephirot. This location is referred to as the site of the missing Sephira "Da'at" ("Knowledge" in English). The diagram itself predates the G D by many centuries (theoretically a millennium or two, but forms of the complete diagram of that great age have not been found).
    What crossing the Abyss signifies varies from tradition to tradition, sometimes greatly even within related traditions. Kenneth Grant, in his version of this approach, deliberately reverses Crowley's views. Hence, despite Grant's assertions to the contrary, you can't get Crowley's views by reading Grant's explanations. For Crowley, the crossing of the Abyss involves a crisis. At a particular point in the spiritual progress, one has to enter an ultimate dark-night of the soul, denying by abandonment all mortal characterizations and dependencies on ideas and interpretation of things and visions. Such abandonment included ideas of the deity and the "Holy Guardian Angel". After this crisis, assuming the mind can be stilled long enough, a new formulation of world-view becomes possible, without all the concretions acquired in childhood and mundane life. The descent back to below the Abyss then takes place, reentering life with all its prejudices and errors, but carrying along an underlying "message" to be spread throughout the world either in words or by example of living. Older traditions approach the same crisis with more structure, usually a series of visions and meditations in a setting of the world after death. In Jewish traditions, this is called Ma'aseh Merkabah (including the procedures before and during the experience) and is described in pre-Christian Hakilot literature; in Ancient Egyptian tradition, this is to be found in The Book of the Dead, where the place is called Amenti; in Tibetan traditions, there is a description in a book usually called The Tibetan Book of the Dead in English translations, and the visions themselves are called "Bardos"; In Coptic Christian traditions, there is even a book about the descent of the Virgin Mary into hell to raise Christ from the dead, very reminiscent of the Orphic Mysteries where Orpheus goes into Hades to rescue Euridice.

You mentioned apocryphal writings, could you elaborate?

    I wasn't referring to the apocryphal stuff, although that can be most interesting, even amusing, like the Infant Gospels.
    "Patristics" is a formal scholastic term referring to the study of early Christian writings up to the beginning of the Middle Ages. The writings are divided into two groups: Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene, with the watershed being the Council of Nicea in 325 e.v. The Ante-Nicene writings (1st through 3rd century) are collected into eight rather hefty fine print volumes (actually a fairly comprehensive selection of the most important --- there are many left out) published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan in the USA. Other collections exist, and other publishers handle it in other countries.). It is impossible to understand Christianity without study of the first three volumes in the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Some of the Apocryphal works are included, but only those that formed a serious content of Christian belief for a span of over 500 years. The Post-Nicene Fathers is a much larger set, with The writings of Augustine coming about in the middle by bulk. These collections do not include the major Gnostics, since those works were banned early. However, most of the banned works turned up in the desert at Nag Hammadi in this century; translated (rather poorly) in The Nag Hammadi Library, James M. Robinson (editor), Harper & Row, New York, 1977.

    Example from the Epistle of (pseudo) Barnabas (c. 100 e.v.).: "For [the Scripture] saith, 'And Abraham circumcised ten, and eight, and three hundred men of his household.' What, then, was the knowledge given to him in this? Learn the eighteen first, and then the three hundred. [and then making a pause] The ten and the eight are thus denoted --- Ten by I, and Eight by H. You have [the initials of the name of] Jesus. And because the cross was to express the grace by the letter T, he says also, "three Hundred." He signifies, therefore, Jesus by two letters, and the cross by one...." --- note that the Gematria is to Greek in the passage, not Hebrew which has different numerations for "H" and "T".

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for November 1994 e.v.

11/6/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/7/94Thelema Lodge Meeting 8:00PM
(with slide show)
Thelema Ldg.
11/9/94Sirius Oasis meeting 8:00 PMSirius Oasis
11/10/94Library Night 8PM Call to attendThelema Ldg.
11/13/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/14/94Section II Reading Group: Rape of
the Lock
. 8:00PM at OZ House
Thelema Ldg.
11/16/94Magick in Theory and Practice class
with Bill in San Anselmo 7:30PM
Thelema Ldg.
11/17/94Butterfly Net Computer Group 8:00PMThelema Ldg.
11/19/94777 Poetry Society 7:30PM w.Fr.P.I.Thelema Ldg.
11/20/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/21/94Library Night 8PM Call to attendThelema Ldg.
11/27/94Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/30/94Liber XV Study Group w. Bp. T
Dionysys 8:00PM
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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