Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 1995 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for June 1995 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, 1995 e.v.

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

June 1995 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Happy Solstice!

    "Sumer is icumen in; lhude sing, cuccu!" Join Thelema Lodge for an open ritual in celebration of the summer solstice, on Wednesday evening 21st June, beginning at 7:30. (The Sun enters Cancer at 1:34 that afternoon.) Frater Majnun will be organizing the event, and he may be sought out beforehand by those wishing to participate. Our plans do not include dinner apart from the ritual, but all attending please bring bread, cheese, fruit, or wine for the altar. "Wel singes thu, cuccu; ne swik thu naver, nu!"

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

    Beginning at nightfall every Sunday evening Thelema Lodge celebrates the Gnostic Mass in Horus Temple. All gnostic communicants are welcome to participate, and should arrive by 8:00. Mass teams will want to be in the temple a couple hours beforehand, to sweep out and set up. Members are urged to organize mass teams, and to consult with the lodge master regarding available dates for the celebration of Gnostic Mass here. Inexperienced teams should also seek out the guidance of those who have been consecrated in the church to maintain its traditions; His Excellency Bishop T Suleiman, known in everyday life as Frater Shaitan, would be an excellent choice for the gnostic novice. There is always a need for new officers; even a seasoned ritualist can learn much, not only from guiding a novice through the rite, but later from watching the new ritualist at work.
    The study and discussion group devoted to our evolving understanding of Liber XV (the canon of the Gnostic Mass), directed by Bishop T Dionysus, meets in the Thelema Lodge library on Wednesday evening 28th June at 8:00. Topics include the history and development of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, and of the text of Crowley's mass, along with modern performance traditions, explications of the gestures, speeches, vestments, and tools, and analysis of the role of ceremonial religion in Thelema. New ideas are always invited, and correspondence is encouraged with those too distant to attend.

Mysteria Mystica Maxima

    Initiations into O.T.O. will be held at Thelema Lodge on Saturday evening 3rd June, with all involved requested to arrive by 6:00. Members planning to attend should make advance contact with one of the lodge officers so that we may know how many to plan the feast for afterwards. Please bring contributions of drink for the meal.
    Candidates for initiation in Ordo Templi Orientis may obtain application blanks from the lodge officers, and these should be returned when complete to the lodge master, well in advance of any anticipated initiation date. A minimum forty day period of candidacy is enforced by the Order, and additional time may be required by the lodge to arrange for the desired degree. Initiation is also available at Sirius Oasis, and at other local bodies of O.T.O. (see the directory in The Magical Link for locations).

Classes and Workshops

    The Astrological Study Group sponsored by Thelema Lodge will meet as usual on the last Friday of the month, 30th June, from 7:00 to 9:00 in the evening. "Cycles within Cycles" continues as the theme, and the planet Neptune will be the focal point of our search into planetary cycles this month. Join us to see how this mystical, magical, nebulous, and deceptive energy plays in our personal birth charts, and it our very lives. The group meets at Grace's house in Berkeley, and all who plan to attend are asked please to call ahead at (510) 843-STAR.

    At 8:00 on Friday evening 23 June, Thelema Lodge will sponsor a reading of selections from Farid ud-Din Attar's Memoirs of the Saints, to be held at Oz House. These classic tales of the Sufi masters are not to be missed by any who seek after "al-Haqq" (the Truth). As presented by Shaykh ibn-Musa al- Ibri, the pearls of wisdom of Mansur al-Hallaj, Bayazid al-Bistami, Rabi'a Basri, and many others are strung into a necklace of His Living Word. Come and lose yourself in the ecstasy. Call Oz House at (510) 654-3580 for directions.

    Caitlin offers a plunge into the dank depths of decadent diabolism at Oz House when the Section Two Reading Group looks at the French occult novel Là-bas (Down There) by Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907), on Monday evening 19th June at 8:00. The novel's autobiographical central figure, called Durtal, makes his first appearance in this book, published in 1891. He will go on to shelter from his spiritual crisis in a Trappist monastery in the 1895 novel En route (also on the A A reading list, but long out of print), and end up an oblate in a Benedictine monastery in L'oblat (1903). We first see him here as a writer, researching the outrageous fifteenth-century crimes of Gilles de Rais, and exploring the spiritual possibilities of the nineteenth-century "black mass." Crowley considered the tale an instructive illustration of magical failure, and assigned the book to A A aspirants as "an account of the extravagances caused by the Sin-complex." The narrative incorporates a great deal of information about the satanic tradition at the close of the Christian era. For these perverse and guilty Roman Catholics (Huysmans himself eventually returned to the church), "without sacrilegious priests there is no mature Satanism", whether saying mass with a naked prostitute for an altar, or attempting even more fanciful alternatives such as the "aphrodisiac-pill mass," or the Spermatic Mass.

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

    A second organizational meeting for participants in this summer's projected ritual cycle of Aleister Crowley's Rites of Eleusis will be held along with the regular Sirius Oasis meeting on Wednesday evening 14th June at 8:00. Upcoming initiations and other activities will also be on the agenda. Call the Oasis for directions at (510) 527-2855.

    The Thelema Lodge library devotes one evening a month especially to poetry, and all are welcome to gather with this intimate circle of regular readers of verse, who meet on Saturday evening 24th June at 7:30. The Grady McMurtry Poetry Society, for which Frater P.I. is our facilitator, is an open forum for the oral delivery of verse of all kinds. Bring your favorites, or select poems from the library. Recent readings in this group have included works by Rainer Maria Rilke, the late James Merrill, Hungarian poet Gyula Illyés, the 13th century Persian dervish Rumi, T. S. Eliot, and (of course) the Beast himself.

    Library Nights for open study are scheduled this month for Thursday 15th June and Monday 26th June, beginning at 8:00. Please call (510) 652-3171 and give advance notice to the lodge regarding library nights, which can sometimes be rescheduled by request to meet the needs of our members. The lodge offers a large collection of Thelemic periodicals, magical and historical writings, religious and literary texts, scientific and technical materials, reference works, and many shelves of prime genre fiction for paperback addicts.

    Please note that Thelema Lodge's Magick in Theory and Practice Series with Bill Heidrick will not be meeting this month, as the scheduled evening coincides with the summer solstice. Bill will continue our guided tour through the various magical practices outlined in the closing appendix to M.T.P. with next month's meeting on Wednesday evening 19th July.

    Calendar scheduling and events planning is accomplished at the monthly Thelema Lodge business luncheon, to be held on Sunday afternoon 11th June from 12:30 to 2:30. We will sit down about 1:00 to a meal prepared by the lodge officers for members and friends attending. Requests and offers for classes and events, advance plans for holiday rituals, and items for the Thelema Lodge Calendar will be organized and discussed.

    Classes and most other events at Thelema Lodge are free and open; members and friends are requested to keep in touch, or to call ahead to the venue of the event before setting forth to attend. Donations are welcome at all events, with the funds thus collected going to support the modest rent which the lodge pays on our temple, library, and oasis facilities.

Reports of Recent Events

    Oz House entertained us for Beltane last month with a ritual for the flowing of the sap, adapted by Frater Lewis Jack from a magical incident in the nineteenth-century Flemish novel Tyl Ulenspiegl. Frater Majnun was perfectly cast as Lucifer the King of Spring, with Terri as the not-so- helpless Nele, and Lew narrating, assisted by Frater Shaitan, Soror Phoenix, and others as spirits, bugs, and hunchback dwarves.

    The lodge project for the construction of an Enochian liturgy has convened three very interesting meetings thus far, establishing the parameters for an angelic mass to be based upon the Enochian workings of John Dee. Several historical students of the Christian eucharist (including two active catholic priests), and a handful of distinguished local Enochian magicians, along with an accomplished latinist, are contributing to the work. We began by imagining that Dee's innovations in angelic magic had been incorporated into a reform of the central Christian ritual -- the eucharist ceremony celebrated with a mass of communicants -- as the angels instructed Dee to do. What would the Enochian mass have consisted of? Dee was hopeful that the spiritual techniques he developed would enable a new breed of Christian magi to bridge the many divisions between schismatic movements which were beginning to shatter Christendom as the last aeon slipped into decline. Now we are using them to bridge the even greater gap between Thelema and contemporary Christianity. The group meets informally, usually on lodge library nights. Contact Michael Sanborn if interested in joining or corresponding.

from the Grady Project:


We saw them coming high, that dawn,
      Their silver wings aflame
With morning sunlight, driving on,
      In endless streams they came;
They filled all heaven with the spawn
      Of dragon-seed, and flame.

Beyond the hard-won beach, their sound,
      Beyond St. Mere Eglise
They opened bomb-bays over 'Trond
      Then spilled their cargo free;
Concussion rolled and rocked the ground
      From St. Lo to the sea.

The sky fell in that summer's day
      On friend as well as foe,
And good men died to pry a way
      For tanks, who stole the show;
Smashing hard on a line-drive play
      That broke us through St. Lo.

-- Captain Grady L. McMurtry, U.S. Army
6/11/1945 e.v.                    

Originally published in Ecclesia Gnostica I:4 (1985), then in The Grady Project #3 (March 1988 e.v.).

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Crowley Classics

    Concluded from last month's issue, this essay is reprinted from Stellar Visions 2 (San Francisco: Stellar Visions, O.T.O., [1981]) by kind permission of Frater Ebony Anpu, the original publisher. This part consists principally of Crowley's catalogue of the paintings he completed at the Abbey of Thelema, which operated for three years in the early 1920s e.v.


(part two)

by Aleister Crowley

South-West Wall --
Lower right of door: (belongs to North West Wall main picture).

Middle right of door: Chinese Dragon-Dog on Guard.
    However hideous any Force may appear, it can be used to protect you.

Upper right of door: "Satan trembles when he sees the Weakest Saint upon her Knees."
    Offer your love frankly, humbly, and freely: that is True Prayer.

Wall above doorway: Blonde Lady and Her Negro Lover.
    Ease and delight are obtained by blending opposites.

The doorway: Pregnant Swiss Artist holding young Crocodile. (arch, right)
    If you have the Fruit of Love growing within you, you can handle dangerous enemies without hurting them or yourself.

Morbid Hermaphrodite from Basutoland. (arch, left)
    However well you are provided with natural faculties, you will be unhappy unless you have intelligence.

Panels, inner: Old Cathedral by the Sea in Thunderstorm. (top right)
    The soul, however fantastic its faith, can dominate, and harmonize with, the most brilliantly attractive yet conventional environment.

The Great Booby Glacier. (middle right)
    The summits of the soul, purity (of ice) and environment (of rock) send forth a slow irresistible river which, melting as it reaches the outer world, fertilizes the Valleys of Life.

Moonlight on the Watzee-Matterhorn. (middle left)
    Illumination comes in its season to one who lives in a house on the mountain-side, in the shadow of the Holy Trinity, and is ready to embark on the Sea of Death.

Blasted Oak being Blasted Some More. (bottom left)
    Nature soon destroys altogether those who have already lost the principle of Life by arousing her anger. Lightning only damages things that are not capable (in kind or in degree) of conducting it. Make yourself One with ALL Things.

Venus on the Loing Canal. (bottom left)
    If you make a proper Way for your Will, and dwell in peace thereby, Love and Beauty will not fail to visit you, unveiled and at ease.

Panels, outer: Portrait of a Wife of a British Official. (top left)
    If you allow yourself to depend upon a system, you become like a sow.

The Devil our Lord. (top right)
    The Sacred Symbols -- the Horns of Power, the Egg of Purity, Safety and Life, etc., exist in the most terrifying appearances. Everything that is, is Holy.

Undergraduate (in LMBC scarf) Bathing. (middle left)
    The first task of a young man is to "cleanse his way"; he should bear the scarlet banner, which stands for Light, Life, Love, and Liberty.

The Beast, Robed as a Major Adept, in Baltistan. (middle right)
    Wisdom and Power may be applied to the most remote regions of experience.

Acrobatic Blonde on High Bar in the Coliseum of Ed Djem. (lower left)
    Purity and Beauty, self-balanced, compel the attention and applause of the whole world.

The Scarlet Woman in Bokhara. (lower right)
    Love is ready to travel to every part of the world, and stand supreme there.

Panels, below shutters: Flowers. (right)
    Beauty is an object in itself.

Fruit. (left)
    But Beauty develops into Nourishment.

Main Wall --
HEAVEN -- The Equinox of the Gods.
    This picture is a hieroglyph of the Body of Wisdom contained in many Volumes of the Holy Books of Our Order; it is therefore not possible to give a succinct account of its meaning.
    The general idea is as follows: Above the earth, spinning in space among the planets and the stars, are its Two Wardens, Unchanging Wisdom and Changing Life. Between them, His head in the midst of the Sun, is AIWAZ, the Intelligence who brought to Mankind the Word of the New Aeon, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law". He is shewn as "night-sky blue" because His Mother is "Infinite Space"; and He has the Scarlet Horns of His Father, the Secret Spring of all Being. Before Him run His Ministers, the Beast and the Scarlet Woman, dressed in their respective colours, the one Black & Gold, the other White & Red; and they bear the Four Magical Weapons, Wand, Cup, Sword, & Disk. They have set up a Memorial Pillar on the Earth: it is inscribed with various symbols descriptive of the Work of bringing the new Message of the Masters of Wisdom to Mankind. Especially,

A  I  W  A  Z      gave      W  I  L  L
as      a      L  A  W
to      M  A  N  K  I  N  D
through      the      mind      of
THE      BEAST      6  6  6.

South East Wall --
Wall above door: "Nevermore" (Raven on bust of Pallas; phantoms of Horror in background).
    If the Virgin Wisdom of the All-Father be but a dead image, it becomes the perch of the Evil Wisdom of Despair.

Door, upper panel: Chinese Landscape with Pagodas.
    Nature and man are equally essential to the Manifestation of Beauty and Truth.

Door, lower panel: "WHO ART THOU?"
    You must find yourself in this picture; it is the omniform Universe whose interpretation depends on your own point of view.

Alcove, right: The House of Pleasure.
    There is a Beast of Prey on the Threshold of Pleasure, and a Giantess beckoning the passers-by; do not lose sight of these, hypnotized by the half- hidden allurements in the twilight within.

Alcove, left: The Eternal Idol.
    Man has made God in his own image; but he has made Him very badly. To him that image is none the less his God. Gross strength, brutal lust, idiot glee, crowned by material wealth, are only the Universe to those who accept it as such.

Main Wall --
EARTH -- "Love is al." Nine lovers of various species, watched by spotted dog and bowl of newly-invented fishes, in an Arabian Nights city, by a river; a volcano and other mountains in background.
    All life is one. Every variety of life comes into more or less intimate contact with every variety, without regard to any theatrical ideas of "fitness". The business of every self-conscious sentient being is therefore to find Truth & Joy in every such contact; otherwise he has failed to master his environment. Whatever may come your way, meet it with "love under will"; the Union with it, however horrible or repulsive, will be Union with God, because ALL that exists is wholly God, though in a partial and imperfect Manifestation of His Essence. Thus, a Herculean dwarf (1), a dilettante in religion, elegance, and art, may be thrown into [the] society of a dragon-fly (2); it is Refinement menaced by Frivolity. But it is also the soul alighting upon the Body, to indwell its Unconscious Self. This Body is Diphues, ambivalent, containing all possibilities in itself. (Figures 1 & 2 from right.)
    Gross desires (3) may be compelled to supply themselves with morose satisfaction, while their object (4) is in the power of bestial lust (5). But equally "God helps those who help themselves", and services to others nourish oneself; while Beauty delights both by actively informing unenlightened Nature, and passively awakening ecstasy in merely animal instincts. (Figures 3, 4, & 5 from right.) The perfected Ideal of Human Beauty (4) may be the prey of shameless degradation both as to the satisfaction of its active desire to creation, finding itself sterilized by the greed of society (3) and of its passive aspiration to receive the Grace of God, in whose stead the Goat of Obscenity (5) defiles it wantonly with agonizing abominations.
    The instinct of maternity may be starved into substituting loathsome craving for its proper satisfaction. But also, the natural yearning after God may find true fulfillment in the mutual help of mortals to each other. (Fig. 6 & 7 from right.) And the Wisdom of the East (8) may be obligated to transmit its Truth to a gaudy and unintelligent parrot (9). Alternatively, True Philosophy seeks the Truth in the winged and many-coloured Image of its Dreams, despite their unintelligible message, rather than in any being of its own order of existence. (Fig. 8 & 5.) The Serpent (10) may find itself utterly neglected by all creation, unable to communicate the Knowledge which would "make man as Gods". On the other hand, the Wise One, Lord of Life and Death, is contented with its own divine and kingly function; he does not need to come into actual contact with the existence which he has created. (Lower right corner, apart.)
    The dog's loyalty (11) may be so despised that he is banished to a lonely pedestal whence he must contemplate the crazy callousness of the world (upper left corner, apart.); and the fish (12-20) who might nourish the brains of mankind may be enclosed in a bowl for the casual sport of sight-seers. (Left centre.) YET, equally, faithful and unselfish Love finds happiness in contemplating the pleasures of others, without seeking to share them; and the Fish, sacred to Hermes and the symbol of Christ, go their way in the pure Waters of Meditation within the translucent globe of Insight-of-Truth, the pure and luminous Universe which is their proper sphere. They are set apart and uplifted as an example to mankind so soon as it ceases to seek satisfaction in animal enjoyment.
    In vain does man build the towers of thought; nobody inhabits them: and an unbridged river separates him from barren and ruthless nature whose beauty only serves to add horror to its essential inanity. (Background.) On the other hand, once more, the monuments of human aspiration serve as viewpoints whence men may behold the flowing Force of Purity, beyond which lie summits higher than they themselves can build, where Firmness in Aspiration (Rock), Chastity covering Materiality (Snow), and Interior Energy bursting forth in Light and Fire (the Volcano), soar in eternal diversity toward the immanent Canopy of Heaven.

Love is the law, love under will.

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Symbolic and Philosophic Quotations related to the Doctrine of Ancient
and Accepted Freemasonry,
selected by Frater Drax

1. "I may say that the secret of the O.T.O., besides what has been mentioned above, has proved to all intents and purposes the simplification and concentration of the whole of my magical knowledge. All my old methods have been unified in this new method. It does not exactly replace them, but it interprets them. It has also enabled me to construct a uniform type of engine for accomplishing anything that I will. My association with Freemasonry was therefore destined to be more fertile than almost any other study, and that in a way despite itself."

-- Aleister Crowley, "A. A. Scottish Rite," 33° [Mexico]
The Confessions (New York: Bantam Books, 1971), p. 774.

2. "The wise and well-informed Mason will not fail to be the votary of Liberty and Justice. He will be ready to exert himself in their defense, wherever they exist. It can not be a matter of indifference to him when his own liberty and that of other men (with whose merits and capacities he is acquainted) are involved in the event of a struggle to be made: but his attachment will be to the cause as the cause of man; and not merely to country."

-- General Albert Pike, A. A. Scottish Rite, Grand Commander 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA (1871)
Morals and Dogma (new and revised edition, 1950), p. 156.

3. "Though an almost infinite diversity of creeds has come into manifestation since the primitive doctrine of the first ages, these creeds have all sought to achieve a single end: i.e., the restatement of that primitive revelation which, according to the doctrines of the Cabala, was revealed to the patriarchs by the angelic schools. A Hermetic philosopher writing anonymously in the sixteenth century, declared in his interpretation of The Book of the Seven Seals that there existed in the heavens above the circles of the earth a university of divine knowledge, a sort of college of celestials."

-- Manly P. Hall, A. A. Scottish Rite 33° (1931 e.v.)
The Phoenix (Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Society, Inc., 1968), p. 6.

Next Cornerstone

Primary Sources

   Crowley's Ancestor:
    Here's a letter from Crowley to F.Mellenger in 1945 e.v. Owing to the poor quality of the copy used for this item, it is not possible to definitely get the spelling of Crowley's claimed ancestor. Let's see if any of our readers can help.

       The Ridge
     St. Leonards-on-Sea
                      19 . 7 . 45

Care Frater,

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

    Thanks for your letter of July 4th.
    I have not been feeling too well for the last week or so, mostly the treacherous and depressing weather, so I thought I had better delay my reply until I felt equal to it.
    Please disillusion the local nobility and gentry about the name Crowley. It is
DeQu{?}rouaille -- a Dukedom in Brittany. It was Alys of that ilk who was the great Monarch's ambassadress to Charles II. We came over with the Duke of Richmond (later Henry VII) to fight the Battle of Bosworth and settle down in England by stealing abbeys and becoming Sheriffs of London and Bishops who wrote highly improper poetry and all that sort of thing. I have for this reason always considered myself a Frenchman of the time when France was France. I certainly do not want to claim kinship with the gutless and dishonest imbeciles that have wrecked their country in the last 20 years.
    I have had similar reports about the modern trend from McMurtry, who flew over here a week or two ago to see me. Why should we work to rebuild our country, everybody asks, as long as we can get other people to do it for us. That is not the way in which any country ever was rebuilt.
    Hoping that your luck will bring you in this direction earlier than you at present expect.

Love is the law, love under will.
Yours ever,
{signed: Aleister Crowley}

Civil F. Mellinger,
    PP.10045 APO887
      Local U.S.Army

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part IV - Body meditation concludes.

Derived from a lecture series in 1977 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
Copyright © Bill Heidrick

    In the last installment, we reached the Abyss, following a passage over the lower seven Sephirot and paths. There will be another brief pause after the three supernal Sephirot and their several paths. After that we will descend down the tree with a chant of the divine names, in effect, creating a new universe, a universe cleansed of imperfections. This is a way of healing the soul and body, of making peace in the world.

    Gather now to cross the great Abyss.

    The first passage from the mortal world to the immortal one is Chet. Chet rises upward as a yellow orange beam of light from your right shoulder to the right half of your brain. It draws upward all of the rational thought to the purest level of thinking, a mind without doubt, a mind without hindrance, a mind without need, a mind with perfect clarity (vibrate "Chet").
    The path of Zain rises upward to the right half of your brain from the center of your heart. It's an orange beam of light. From the golden sphere at the center of your heart to the right half of your brain rises the path of Zain whereby all diverse elements in your life are seen as one and understood in clear relation to one another (vibrate "Zain").
    About the right half of your brain there is a glowing sphere that seems to be darkness, yet has the property of light. This is Binah, the crown of understanding; simple, absolute, powerful and perfect. Here is great force and wonderful silence, the sphere of invisible light about the right half of your brain (vibrate "Binah").
    The path of Vau is a red-orange beam of light, rising vertically from the blue sphere on your left shoulder to the left half of your brain. This is the path whereby all emotion is united to ascend to an immortal fire that consumes not, neither does it diminish in its glory (vibrate "Vau").
    The path of Hay is a red beam of light, ascending at an angle from the golden radiance about your heart to the left half of your brain. This is the path whereby all compounded feelings of living are raised up to join in the eternal light at the left half of your brain (vibrate "Hay").
    A green beam of light strikes from right to left across the hemispheres of your brain, from the mystical shining of midnight at the right side of your brain to the gathering of vital motion on the left side of your brain. This the path of Dalet whereby understanding takes flame in the voice that comes in the silence, herald of the Throne (Vibrate "Dalet").
    About the left half of your brain a great sphere of all colors and no color forms in endless turnings of light. This is Chokmah, the crown of Wisdom in which all essence of life and emotion moves ever changing and ever constant in its ways (vibrate "Chokmah").
    A blue beam of light strikes upward from the golden sphere at your heart to just above the top of your head. This is the path whereby all living and experience of life is unified to become one. All thought, all feeling, all form, all power unites along the path of Gimel (vibrate "Gimel").
    A yellow beam of light rises from the right half of your brain to just above the top of your head. This is the path of Bet where all thought is brought to oneness. All ideas are seen at the same time, as one idea (vibrate "Bet").
    From the left half of your brain a beam of pale yellow light rises upward to just above your head. This is the path whereby all feeling, all emotion, and the very fire of existence becomes one, the path of Aleph (vibrate "Aleph").
    Above your head there is a great radiant white brilliance. You have no consciousness of body, no consciousness of form. There is only the great radiant white brilliance above you. This is Keter about which no words can be spoken, the unsummed and indivisible all. It is oneness beyond the meaning of word (vibrate "Keter").

    About this are three veils which no mind can truly conceive, yet there are shadows of these that we can understand a little. Beyond Keter is a great limitless light, without color or brilliance. It extends infinitely far in all directions. This is Ain Soph Aur, the limitless light (vibrate "Ain Soph Aur").
    Beyond there is no light, only limitless infinity. Nothing can be recognized within, save only limitlessness. This is Ain Soph (vibrate "Ain Soph").
    And now the utmost quiet, not even a sense of the limitless, not even a sense of absence, but simply darkness without a sense of darkness. Ain, a word meaning nothing. Pure silence (vibrate "Ain")

    Pause in perfect stillness.

    Begin the creation of the world anew.
    Vibrate the Divine Names of the Sephirot in succession:
    1. Eheieh, a white light forms at the top of your head.
    2. Yah, a light of many colors, like mother of pearl about the left side of your brain.
    3. Jehovah Elohim, a light that is unnameable about the right side of your brain.
    4. El, a blue light at your left shoulder.
    5. Elohim Gibor, a red light at your right shoulder.
    6. Jehovah Eloah Va-Da'at, a golden-yellow light at your heart.
    7. Jehovah Tzabaoth, a green light at your left hip.
    8. Elohim Tzabaoth, an orange light at your right hip.
    9. Shaddai El Chai, a violet light at your loins.
    10. Adonai Melekh Ha-Aretz, beneath your feet the colors of the world in the four seasons of the year burst forth in earthly joy.

    Repetition of this practice is necessary and should be done frequently. In this way fluency and clarity of visualization can be attained. It is also very useful to paint the Tree of Life diagram according to the above color sequence so that these hues may become fixed in the mind. The colors have a curious purpose. They can give meaning, but their main function is to occupy a part of the mind that would be busy and interfering otherwise. In the type of meditation herein outlined it is best to create the whole pattern and hold it until Keter, then to dissolve it into Ain Soph. This is followed by a recreation of the pattern by successive vibration of the divine Names. After sufficient skill is attained in this practice one may elaborate the basic pattern. Later on, when ideas of Merkabah are presented, we will better appreciate the necessity of this fixation of the Qabalistic pattern of the Tree in the mind.

    Next: Discussion and a sample from a booklet of exercises on Tree of life meditation in the four worlds.

Previous Introduction to Qabalah, Part IVA                   To be continued

From the Outbasket

    MF of the UK opened an email discussion on Crowley's sexuality. Here's my part of the conversation, edited for publication. This is by no means a view of O.T.O., per say. Rather it's an example of the sort of thing one can get into discussing on the Internet, either in direct communication like this or in the various groups available.

MF offered that Crowley's Plymouth Brethren childhood might have conditioned him to see homosexuality as a mortal sin.

    That's possible, but unlikely. However much the Plymouth Brethren may have considered homosexual acts to be such a thing, there are two matters that might argue against Crowley having ever fully understood such a definite position while a child.

    1. The Plymouth Brethren believed in predestination and the importance of faith instead of works. That would apply to sin as well.

    2. In my experience from being raised as a Catholic, heterosexual sin was widely discussed in a general way, insufficient to clearly identify the acts involved. Homosexual activity was only dimly alluded to, possibly out of fear of being explicit. By the time Crowley understood the nature of such things, he could well have been too old for full conditioning. Add to this Crowley's own account of youthful heterosexual and homosexual experiments. He took great exception to the perceived advances of a tutor of Plymouth Brethren orientation -- not explicitly described. He took considerable pleasure in early heterosexual experiments, noting the perception of great dishonesty by his family in the matter of a blackmailing maid. He fell deeply in love with a fellow who seduced him in his teens, to judge by the poetry &c.
    In my experience, Christian sexual prohibitions are most strongly imprinted in this order, from most severe to least.
    1. Pornography is prohibited.
    2. Heterosexual sex is prohibited.
    3. Masturbation is prohibited.
    4. Homosexual sex is prohibited.
    5. Bestiality (animal) is prohibited.
Fecal prohibitions are involved, coming somewhere near the level of #2. Whatever the dogmatic structure, this sequence is apparently the most common one imposed in practice. Typically, #1 is direct and obvious; #2 is most strongly linked to damnation, but is vague in details; #3 is impossibly vague in details and imposed as a "don't even think about it"; #4, if mentioned at all, is usually imposed as a social comment on same-sex couples, sometimes as a more detailed damnation link but not clearly described in that case. #5 is often forgotten altogether.

MF wondered about the influence of the XIth degree approach on Crowley's sexuality.

    The XIth degree is not specifically homosexual, but includes a number of other matters not widely known outside OTO. To the extent that XIth degree sorts of workings are homosexual, they don't include the possibility of pregnancy. Crowley records workings of this sort between himself and women, in his diaries. Pregnancy is possible by mishap in heterosexual workings of this type, but very unlikely. Judging by the tension in Crowley's descriptions, heterosexual congress was the most fought with moral imperatives. I would say that his parents failed to significantly impress him with practical anti-homosexual conditioning, as is the case with most Christians. Add to that the tension of the possibility of pregnancy, and you have the strongest bias against hetero-sexual behavior, not auto or homogeneous sex. Crowley's writings on homosexual self-conduct mainly include a worry that he would be less than manly in so acting. His writings on heterosexual self-conduct mainly include an absolute stricture that some spiritual justification be present.

MF suggested that Crowley may have tried to subconsciously rationalize his sexual conduct.

    It's fairly conscious and explicit. Read Confessions, World's Tragedy, Paris Working, some of the material in Works... and less importantly, Gospel According to St. Bernard Shaw. For a very explicit analysis of his self- appraisal, get the Astrological charts printed in Equinox of the Gods. Look up the aspects of those charts in "Astrology" -- not the book Complete Astrological Writings of Aleister Crowley, which only has a fragment of this larger composition; but the two books published under Evangeline Adams' name as Astrology, Your Place in the Sun and Astrology, Your Place Among the Stars -- Crowley wrote 90% of them. Crowley, in the "Adams" books, describes his own sexual and other self-perceived problems with astonishing candor and detail as anonymous examples for those particular Astrological aspects.

MF observed that congress between two members of the same sex is often denounced as more serious in Christian sermons than "illicit" congress between two of differing sexes, taking the example of Roman Catholicism.

    Two observations on that:
    1. It's abstract, more so than the prohibitions against heterosexual "sin". Hence, it's virtually useless as a prohibition during "the occasion of the sin".
    2. Common though this sort of distinction may be, it is condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, which imposes the rule that all mortal sin is to be considered equally grave. For a lay person who has not had education in the religion outside of the local parish, these observations often are unavailable; but, for most laity who go on to higher education at a Catholic college or university, it becomes quickly apparent that much of the rhetoric of the local parish sermon amounts to heresy or violation of Church Law. This is particularly true in the distinctions regarding sexual conduct and in a preponderant preaching of the Manichean heresy.

MF suggested that Crowley's working out the connection between abstract prohibitions and actual prohibited practice in his teens might have set him up for further conditioning related to his earlier exposure to the "rules".

    True, but what is the character of that conditioning? The teen years and the early twenties are usually a time of rebellion and inversion of formal rules. Crowley would have taken the superficial formulas of his family and "acted-out" against them. The deeper values tend not to be permanently altered by such rebellion, but the superficial formulas may continue reversed in some part throughout life.

MF remarked that secondary conditioning in teens and 20's would have been at a time of continued exposure to the Plymouth Brethren culture.

    Not in Crowley's case. His father had died by this time and Crowley was traveling or living away from Plymouth Brethren culture much of the period. Consider also that Crowley had a strong bias against his aunts and uncle in regard to perceived hypocrisy during this period. His bitter denunciations of the deeds and talk of those relatives abound in his writing down to the middle of the 2nd decade of the 20th century. That suggests to me that Crowley had an experience of discontinuity in regard to the Plymouth Brethren stemming from that time. Such a discontinuity amounts to a renunciation of the formula and expressible faith of the religion, while the less verbal ideals and concepts of the religion are conserved on a level that may be unalterable throughout life. Thus, one can abandon belief in a saviour and even a personal deity, but the forms of similar beliefs then become necessary for discussion as metaphor and the fundamental needs remain. In Crowley, this manifested in one area as denunciation of the Plymouth Brethren idea of the Elect, Who are Destined to Heaven and Who Guide US ALL, for an embracing of personal Will in conformity with the Governance of the Secret Chiefs.

MF expressed curiosity as to whether Crowley's sexual preference was inherent or perhaps simply latent and environmentally evoked.

    Crowley was bisexual, to the extent he was able, into his last five years of life. Opportunity and inherent tendency seem to cover the whole range from abstinence, through selected sexual preference to locked sexual preference. Either strong environmental imprinting or genetic predisposition may dominate. It would appear that there is usually a sort of democracy of the drives and mores in operation. Crowley was extremely inhibited about sex in many ways, as seen in his constant spiritual justification of sexual acts and in his rhetoric on the subject in word and painting. Whatever his genetics or his social imprinting, Crowley was, in fact, bisexual. Some forms of eroticism are more narrowly expressed by Crowley: Autoeroticism is given it's place, including some magical writings, but it is rarely discussed. Animal bestiality is mentioned lightly and in passing, suggesting that it wasn't particularly interesting to Crowley. Child-adult sexuality is either not mentioned at all or so lightly that it would appear Crowley could no more entertain it intellectually than he could entertain justified abortion.

MF then suggested that Old Testament condemnation of homosexuality and auto- eroticism may have influenced Crowley.

    Let's distinguish what is in the OT from what is said about it.
    Incest is required in some instances, notably non-blood incest between a man and his deceased brother's wife. Otherwise, incest is barred.
    There is no mention that I can recall of masturbation in the OT -- the sin of Onan being coitus interuptus to avoid impregnation of his brother's widow.
    Bestiality (animal-human) is usually handled indifferently in the OT, as a matter of some disgust but subordinate to more important violations.
    Homosexuality of male variety is chiefly condemned as a frustration of procreation, while the female variety is hardly mentioned (if it is mentioned at all).
    Inversion (dressing and/or behaving as a member of the opposite sex) is vaguely treated, except in relation between a priest and the deity -- in which case it appears to be required at times.
    Often, as is the case with "the Sin of Onan", the text is twisted to produce a contrary or non-present meaning. For another example, consider Sodom and Gomoriah -- the fault requiring destruction in that case appears from the text to be abuse of guests and strangers rather than the sometimes sexual character of the abuse, crime against hospitality being a cardinal public sin throughout the region in ancient times right through the present.
    Instances of homosexuality abound in the OT as love and its tragedy, Saul and David being an example that can be read between the lines. Yet, love of that sort is as often held in high regard as it is condemned in the OT.

MF remarked that an individual tends to come to a homosexual experience as often as not blind to the actual practice itself.

    That's exactly my point. Failure to detail the prohibition in childhood results in ignorance on the occasion and a later complex that often can neither reject nor fully accept the practice.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for June 1995 e.v.

6/3/95Thelema Lodge Initiations 6:00 PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
6/4/95Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/11/95Lodge Luncheon Meeting, 12:30Thelema Ldg.
6/11/95Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/14/95Rites of Eleusis Prep. 8:00 PMSirius Oasis
6/15/95Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
6/18/95Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/19/95Section 2 reading group, 8PM at OZ
Huysmans' La-Bas with Caitlin
Thelema Ldg.
6/21/95Summer Solstice Ritual 7:30PMThelema Ldg.
6/23/95Memoirs of the Saints at OZ 8:00PM
with "Shaykj ibn-Musa al-Ibri"
Thelema Ldg.
6/24/95777 Poetry Society 7:30PM w.Fr.P.I.Thelema Ldg.
6/25/95Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/26/95Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
6/28/95Liber XV Study Group w. Bp. T
Dionysys 8:00PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/30/95Astrological Cycles with Grace
7 PM, Berkeley. 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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