Thelema Lodge Calendar for August 1995 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for August 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

August 1995 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Bonfires of Lammastide

    Lammas is the ancient European consecration ritual marking the first grain harvest (hlaaf is the Old English for "loaf"), appearing on the astrological calendar as the literal "Midsummer Night," halfway between solstice and equinox (Sun 15° Leo). This year the moment falls late in the afternoon on Monday 7th August, though in the interests of a full ceremonial observance we will celebrate together on the preceding weekend. Oz House and other friends are putting together a seaside ritual, to be held probably along the coast of San Mateo County at some beach to be announced about one week ahead. We'll meet at Oz House before 10:00 on the morning of Saturday 5th August, when transportation will depart for a 45-minute drive to the beach. Bring the best possible picnic food and drink (packed to carry for a short distance), along with ritual garb (and also warm coverings for when the wind picks up around sunset, and good shoes for the trail down), and a flashlight. Ancient practice involved bonfires, and we will hope for a good driftwood fire, with the possibility of camping over night afterwards. Those planning to take part are urged to contact the lodge a week beforehand to help coordinate transportation for this outing.

Rites of Eleusis

    August closes with the onset of our annual cycle of ceremonial planetary workings, The Rites of Eleusis. At press-time for the present issue, final venue decisions have not been reached for most of the rites, but this information will be readily available from Sirius Oasis at (510) 527-2855 or from Thelema Lodge at (510) 652-3171 a week or so before each performance. We will open in the darkness with "The Rite of Saturn" on Saturday evening 26th August, beginning about 9:30.

    Sirius Oasis will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday evening 9th August at 8:00 in Berkeley. You may be wondering what the difference is between a Sirius Oasis meeting and a rehearsal for "The Rite of Jupiter," but by reflecting upon the day of the week you will be able to distinguish them. Drop by and assist in the planning of O.T.O. initiations and other oasis projects, and volunteer at the last minute for half a dozen minor roles in The Rites while you're at it! Contact the Oasis Master for directions at the number given just above.

Mass in Horus Temple

    Thelema Lodge invites visitors to join in our weekly communion celebration of the Gnostic Mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, held every Sunday evening at nightfall. Guests should call ahead to the lodge at (510) 652-3171 for information regarding attendance at this and all other lodge events. Arrive for mass at Horus Temple by 8:00 to await the parting of the outer veil and the Deacon's opening cry of "Procul, O procul este profani!"
    Like one or two other minor "local additions" to the mass as heard at Thelema Lodge, this opening cry was introduced by Patriarch Hymenaeus Alpha in the early days of our temple. It was adopted from the call of Brother Capricornus before the temple of Saturn at the opening of The Rites of Eleusis, and in fact it was a formula in widespread use throughout the ancient Roman world. The standard form in which Crowley revived it comes directly from Virgil's Aeneid (vi:258), where Aeneas (as magician) and the "vates" (the seer or skryer) begin their complex divination working in the Sibyl's cave. Some dogs approach the sacrificial animals near the shrine, disturbing the seer, who uses these words to banish them. The line is imperative -- a command -- and might be better translated as "Get away, oh get away, any of you who may be uninitiated!" than just "Somebody get those damn dogs out of here!"
    Despite this traditional call, our Sunday evening Gnostic Mass is an open ritual, where initiation in O.T.O. is not required for admittance. Initiation is, however, the royal road to the comprehension of the gnosis which the mass celebrates, and is available by application here and at other official bodies of the order in this area. Aspirants to the preliminary degree of Minerval in O.T.O., as well as active initiates seeking advancement, should consult with the lodge master regarding the application process and initiation scheduling.

    Another approach to the gnosis of the mass, along with the road of initiation, is the way of the scholar. This is the way of comparison and collation and considered comprehension, and it is the way of the Thelema Lodge Liber XV Study Group, which meets on Wednesday evening 30th August at 8:00 in the library. Bishop T Dionysus has prepared the following report of a recent meeting as a sample of our fare in this specialized endeavor, which is open to everyone interested in the ritual of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica.

    June's session of the Gnostic Mass Study Group concentrated on the physical accouterments of the ritual: the temple furnishings, the props, and the costumes. We took note of exactly what the Master Therion does and does not say about each item, and we compared that to the present-day usages as we experience them. Why, for instance, are so many of our brothers' lances blunt rather then pointed? We can't decide whether they are making a blunt point or blunting the point entirely. And why is the Priest's "cap of maintenance" more likely than not to resemble an Egyptian nemyss or an Arabic kafiyah, while in fact such a cap is a garment of feudal European provenance? Was the lodgemaster flippant in suggesting that this is due to the widespread publication of photos of Crowley in Egyptian and Arabic ritual garb? After all, besides our lucky study group, how many people know exactly what a cap of maintenance looks like anyway?

Workshops and Classes

    "Samekh Without Fears" will be a demonstration and discussion of a modified form of the Goetia's preliminary invocation, to be conducted at Thelema Lodge on Monday evening 14th August at 8:00 by Brother Lackluster Crowney ("Who thinks me a Brownie, calls me Crowney; Who known I'm a phony, calls me Crowney."). Some hints on memorization and a few mnemonics will be shared, some names of power analyzed, and also some questions raised like "Why should a mystic do magic?" Ritualists and nonritualists alike are encouraged to attend.

    Grace leads the monthly Thelema Lodge Astrological Cycles Workshop, which meets in the resource center of the Grace Astrological Service at her home in Berkeley, on Friday evening 25th August from 7:00 to 9:00. In this "Cycles" series we are exploring various movements and patterns in our local universe, and this month we return to the giant cycles of the outer worlds, with an evening devoted to the Uranian planet, named for the archaic progenitor of the Titans. After dipping into Aquarius for a couple of months this past spring, Uranus is now receding into Capricorn for the remainder of the year, and won't go direct again all summer. Uranus tends to be an unpredictable influence to come to terms with in astrology, illuminating with its lower spectrum the limits and simplicities of the little worlds we know so well. To be included in this group, please consult ahead of time with Grace, or call before arriving at (510) 843-STAR.

    All students of magick will enjoy the comprehensive review of Crowley's practical and theoretical legacy being offered in our monthly discussion series led by Brother Bill Heidrick, Treasurer General of O.T.O. and a founding member of Thelema Lodge. Meetings are held at Bill's home in San Anselmo, with the next one scheduled for Wednesday evening 23rd August, beginning at 7:30 . Call Bill at (415) 454-5176 for information and directions if you haven't attended before. All aspects of Magick in Theory and Practice have been covered, with particular focus this month upon the extensive battery of ritual practices outlined by the Master Therion for his own magical students in the 1920s e.v. These can be consulted in the closing appendix to M.T.P., now available in the Order's authoritative new edition issued by Frater Superior Hymenaeus Beta, published by Samuel Weiser of New York.

    The Section Two Reading Group is a Thelema Lodge project for study together in the course of general reading as set forth in the A A Curriculum, with our mid-month Monday meetings open to all interested students, readers, and aspirants. Caitlin hosts these meetings at Oz House, and she can be reached at (510) 654-3580 for directions and information (or contact the lodge). The bibliography issued by the A A Praemonstrator at the Abbey of Thelema in Course I is divided into two sections, designated as "serious" and "suggestive" reading. On Monday evening 21st August at 8:00 we will continue with the "suggestive" books, devoting an evening to oriental narrative with Burton's Arabian Nights. This collection is far too extensive for a single evening's survey, but many of the tales are familiar, and if you have a favorite, or have time to sample a few of them, your suggestions will be welcome. We hope to read a tale or two together, and share our impressions of the collection.
    Sir Richard Frances Burton's sixteen volume translation of Alf Laylah Wa Laylah assembles a comprehensive collection of the Islamic storytelling traditions of the middle ages, under the name of The Thousand Nights and a Night. The volumes were issued "to subscribers only" between 1885 and 1888. Along with the stories themselves, which Burton first dared print uncensored in their details of erotic lore and carnal magick, more than ten per-cent of the work consists of the translator's commentary and notes. Burton ranks among the greatest travelers, conversationalists, geographers, linguists, and ethnographers of his century, and was also profoundly experienced in several traditions of spiritual discipline (including initiation as a Kamil or Sufi Master, entry into a Sikh worship circle, and a full appreciation for the secret world of Islam from the inside). Devoting the last thirty years of his life to the Nights, Burton supplied a wealth of data from the world of the stories, enough to qualify him easily as the gnostic saint of footnotes.

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    Develop your proficiency with the gestures and secrets of O.T.O. initiation at this month's "Signs, Grips, and Words" night at Thelema Lodge, to be held on Monday evening 14th August at 8:00 in Horus Temple. Volunteers from among the lodge's senior initiates will be on hand to take members through the grades to which they have been admitted, offering a demonstration and review which is sure to stand us all in good stead the next time we find ourselves gathered in a secret oasis. Participation is limited according to initiatory standing.

    Lodge library nights in August are scheduled for Wednesday evening 16th and Monday evening 28th August, from 8:00 to 10:00. These are times when we have arranged to have a lodge officer on hand to open our library and temple facilities for the use of members and friends. If you have a word or a formula to research in the reference shelves, or some lines of poetry to find for use in a ritual, or if you have individual ritual work to do in the temple, or a mass or rite to rehearse, give the lodge a call and plan to do it on one of these dates, or contact the lodge to reschedule library nights when possible.

    Members are requested to help plan events for Thelema Lodge, and take on a share of the business of the lodge, at our monthly lodge luncheon meeting on Saturday afternoon 13th August from 12:30 to 2:30. The lodge officers will serve a meal (please bring drinks!) and we can go over the calendar together and share our hopes for the progress of our community. Notes and notices for the newsletter are due at this luncheon, and should be handed to the lodgemaster or read on to our telephone tape no later than this date.

    The lodge will not be having a meeting of our poetry circle in August; Frater P.I., who coordinates this series, has canceled it in accommodation of the opening of The Rites of Eleusis. This group will next meet on the last Saturday evening in September. Last month's meeting of the Grady L. McMurtry Poetry Society, in contrast to our usual unique mix of poems and poets, was mostly taken up with extracts from Robert Penn Warren's sixty-page narrative poem Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. It's a broodingly moving description of the U.S. government's subjugation of one of the last free bands of indigenous Americans. Warren won Pulitzer prizes for both his fiction and his poetry, and was the first Poet Laureate of the United States. A couple of passages from an English translation of Goethe's poetic drama Faust provided a trenchant counterpoint.

Crowley Classics

    This essay seems to have been printed in some unidentified New York periodical in early 1917 e.v., from which it may have survived only as an unattributed clipping, or in proof sheets. Crowley was a frequent contributor of all kinds of writing to several publications at that time, especially those associated with the editorship of George Sylvester Viereck. This piece is of special interest, since IX° members of the O.T.O. do not often address "the egg question" in print.

An Improvement on Psycho-Analysis:
The Psychology of the Unconscious

(for Dinner-Table Consumption)

attributed to Aleister Crowley

    Psycho-Analysis, the investigation of the nature of the mind, is an old diversion. But science -- if such really be science -- has found a new method for such analytical parlour games. By it the reactions of a man to various impressions, through the nerves, are measured. The quickening of his pulse, when the professor suddenly shouts the word "Muriel" at him; the depressed expression when he whispers the words "income tax"; all these can now be weighed in the scales of science.
    After a labourious research of months the whole nature of the soul is laid bare, and the reasons of a preference for Cherrystones over Little Neck clams, unmasked. Even the character of a man's dreams is supposed by this school to reveal his hidden nature.
    Professor Freud of Vienna is the best known of those who have been developing this line of study, but recently Professor Jung of Zürich, has challenged his teaching and his supremacy alike with a book called Psychology and the Unconscious (Moffat, Yard & Co.).
    There is, in short, a split in the psycho-analysis camp. This essay will give in outline the main doctrine of psycho-analysis, and explain the nature of the quarrel between Freud and Jung. The subject is quite a fascinating one, and will probably be discussed at every dinner-table during the coming social season.
    Our grandmothers, before we had finished teaching them to extract nutriment from ova (by suction), were wont to spend the hours of night-lights with divines -- or rather, with their Works. They would interpret their own dreams by the aid of a variety of theological works. Mais nous avons changé tout cela. Today our grandmothers dance the hula-hula at Montmartre, or at the Castles in the Air, until the dawn breaks, and they now interpret their dreams by the aid of Professor Freud or Professor Jung, for Joseph and his ilk have been tried and found wanting.
    Psycho-analysis has been but ill understood by the average man. Most of us, however, will acquiesce in the necessity for an inquiry into the cause of dreams -- and of the poet's dreams, dreams which are in reality the myths of a race. For all effects have psychic or hidden causes.
    The Victorian age was distinguished by its mechanical interpretation of all phenomena. Not only did it destroy our ideas of the divine nature of the soul, but it would not even permit us to be human. A live man only differed from a dead one as a machine in motion does from one at rest. The only exception to this analogy was that we did not know how to restart a man that happened to have stopped.
    Dreams, therefore, were regarded as undigested thoughts. I made a small research of my own in this matter, recording the dreams of a month. All but two of some fifty of my dreams were clearly connected, either with the events of the previous day, or with the conditions of the moment. Rainfall on my face would start a dream of some adventure by water, for example. Or a battle royal with a man at chess would fight itself all over again, with fantastic additions, in the overtired and overexcited brain.
    I am bound to say that the theory that dreams come from natural causes in our every-day life seems to me perfectly an adequate and satisfactory one. I conceive of the brain as an édition de luxe of the wax cylinder of a dictograph. I imagine that disturbances of our blood currents (intoxications, and the like) reawaken some of these impressions at random, with the same result, more or less, as if you started a victrola, and kept on jerking it irregularly. Our thoughts are normally criticized and controlled by reason and reflection and will; when these are in abeyance they run riot, combine in monstrous conspiracies, weave wizard dances. Delirium is but exaggerated nightmare.
    But since the Victorians, the universe is conceived more as dynamic than kinematic, more as force than as motion; and the will has at last become all- important to philosophy.
    We ought not to be surprised to learn that Dr Jung of Zürich balked at some of Freud's conclusions. Instead of relating will to sex, he related sex to will. Thus, all unconsciously, he has paved the way for a revival of the old magical idea of the will as the dynamic aspect of the self. Each individual, according to the initiates, has his own definite purpose, and assumes human form, with its privileges and penalties, in order to execute that purpose. This truth is expressed in magical language by the phrase "Every man and every woman is a star", which stands at the head of all hieratic writings Liber Legis. It follows that "The word of Sin is Restriction"; "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law". So, once more, we see Science gracefully bowing her maiden brows before her old father, Magic.
    Dr Jung has, however, not reached this high point in conscious thought. But he sees clearly enough that neuroses and insanities spring from repressions, from internal conflicts between desire and inhibition; and he does apparently accept fully the definition of "libido" as Will, in the magical sense. Bergson's "élan vital" is very much the same, if a shallower conception. At any rate, let us rejoice that the tedious and stupid attempt to relate every human idea to sex has been regulated to oblivion; or, if you prefer to put it that way, that we must now interpret sex in vaster symbols, comprehending and achieving the ancient and modern worships of Pan as embracing the universe more adequately than almost any other conception. The charge of anthropomorphism still lies; but this is necessary. "God is man" -- the third and secret motto of the knights of the Temple -- is, after all, for humanity at least, a proposition of identity, and relative only in so far as all Truth is relative.
    The main practical issue of Jung's acquiescence in magical theory is, as explained above, his interpretation of myths. The myth is the dream of the race. He sees that Freud cannot sustain his thesis that every dream is a picture of unfulfilled desire; but he seeks to prove that the great myths of the race, being really the poems of the race, are the artistic and religious expressions of the will of the race. For the will of the world becomes articulate in the true poet, and he is the incarnation of the spirit of the times (the Zeitgeist). He was of old limited by the frontiers of his own civilization and time, but today his footstool is the planet, and he thinks in terms of eternity and of infinite space.
    Now Jung's great work has been to analyze the race-myths, and to find in them the expression of the unconscious longings of humanity.
    We cannot think that he has been particularly happy in selecting wooden, academic exercises like Haiwatha, which has as much inspiration as the Greek iambics of a fourth-form boy in a fourth-rate school; and he is still obsessed by the method and also by the main ideas of Freud. Much of his analysis is startling, and at first sight ridiculous.
    Can we close our eyes to the perpetual contradictions in his alleged symbolism? Jung regards a serpent or a monument as desire, or the obstacle to desire, or the presence of desire, or the absence of desire, just as suits his purpose. There is not consistency in the argument, and there is no serious attempt to bring all cognate symbols into parallel. He brings many, it is true -- but he omits certain important ones, so that one is bound to suspect that all his omissions are intentional! However, the main point of this paper is to illustrate the prime line of reasoning adopted by Jung. This understood, the reader can ferret out his own explanations for his own dreams, desires and myths!
    Jung is a determinist. The Victorians -- especially Herbert Spencer -- denying "free will", would argue that a man ate an egg not because he wanted to do so, but because of the history of the universe. The forces of infinity and eternity bent themselves in one herculean effort, and pushed the egg into his mouth! This is quite indeniable; but it is only one way of looking at the egg question.
    Now Jung treats literature in just this way. He will not admit that an author has any choice of material. If Rupert of Hentzau wounds somebody in the shoulder, it is because of the story of Pelops and Hera, in which the shoulder is a sexual symbol. If the other man ripostes and touches Rupert in the ear, it is because Pantagruel was born from the ear of Gargamelle. So the ear is a sexual symbol. If the hero of a novel goes from Liverpool to New York, it is the myth of "the night journey by sea of the sun". If he goes on to Brooklyn, it is the Descent into Hades of Virgil, or Dante, or anybody else! There is no evasion of this type of argument; but all arguments that prove everything prove nothing! If I prove that some cats are green, it is interesting; but if I go on to show that all cats are green, I destroy myself. "Greenness" becomes included implicitly in the idea of "cat". It is senseless to say that "all bipeds have two legs".
    However, Dr Jung does not mind this at all. He definitely wishes to reduce the universe of will, which we think so complex and amusing, to a single crude symbol. According to him, the history of humanity is the struggle of the child to free himself from the mother. Every early need is met by the mother; hunger and fatigue find solace at her breast. Even the final "will to die", the desire of the supreme and eternal repose, is interpreted as the return to earth, the mother of us all.
    It will occur to the reader that there is much in this; for instance, the myth or religion of the race tends to disappear with its emancipation from the mother and family system.
    But we cannot conquer one's revolt against what seems the essential absurdity of the whole Jung argument; that, considering -- let us say, the importance of the horse to man, with so many horses to choose from, Jung can see nothing in a story of a man on horseback but a reference to the "symbol of the stamping horse", which has something to do with the dreams of one of his neurotic patients on the one hand, and the mythical horse in the Rig-Veda on the other!
    We almost prefer the refinement of modesty evidenced by the young lady who always blushed when she saw the number "six" -- because she knew Latin!
    However, we should all study Jung. His final conclusions are in the main correct, even if his rough working is a bit sketchy; and we've got to study him, whether we like it or not, for he will soon be recognized as the undoubted Autocrat of the 1917 dinner-table.
    Just ask your pretty neighbour at dinner tonight whether she has introverted her Electra-complex; because it will surely become one of the favourite conversational gambits of the coming social season!

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from the Grady Project:

3 Pears Dormant

Roosevelt the god
Lies dead in a flower garden
Lenin in his tomb
Has been deified by the icon worshippers
And tomorrow
Is tomorrow
Is tomorrow

-- Grady L. McMurtry

The Nike's On the Hill

The Nike's on the hill
God's in his Heaven
All's well with the world

           -- Grady L. McMurtry

Both of these poems were originally published in The Grady Project #3 (Berkeley: Thelema Lodge, O.T.O., March 1988).

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part VI -Asiah Tree exercise..

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

IV. Meditations for

    These are activities for each of the traditional parts of the Tree of Life.

    Do these things:

10.Pick up a clump of moist earth and smell it.
32.Listen carefully to a TV set for at least half an hour without once looking at it.
9.Turn off the sound on a TV set and look carefully at the picture for at least half an hour.
31.Call telephone information and ask for your own number and address -- even if you haven't got a phone.
30.Read a children's story and write about it as if it were a news story.
8.Make a detailed plan for tomorrow.
29.Spend a half hour in a dark garden at midnight.
28.Stand naked before a mirror and gaze into your reflected eyes.
27.Copy a page from a book by hand and immediately burn the copy.
7.Spend half an hour at noon in the same garden you used for # 29.
26.Enter a room which has a closet. Sit there and slowly say one hundred times: "There is a monster lurking and waiting to grab me in that closet." Turn off all the lights, close your eyes and go into the closet. -- Try holding an ice cube while you say the words.
25.Get some of your favorite food or drink. Wait until you are hungry or thirsty; then taste but do not eat or drink. After an hour you may eat or drink something else, but not your favorite that day.
24.If you like meat, sit before some cooked meat; imagine the birth of the animal; then eat. -- If you don't eat meat, sit before a vegetarian meal; imagine someone in another country dying of starvation; eat the food.
6.Rest today and think of the Sun that shines equally on all.
23.Drink a glass of water and then wash the glass.
22.Visit a courtroom while a trial is taking place.
5.Imagine yourself on trial.
21.Read a book by a prisoner who was later released. -- for example: Angela Davis, An Autobiography; the Biblical Book of Job; Mein Kampf by Hitler; the second volume of The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova.
20.Go to a public place like a subway station or a bus terminal. Figure out the routine of the place. Write a set of helpful instructions on how to use the services offered.
19.Take some coins. Walk downtown. Put them in parking meters (if legal where you live ... otherwise, purchase a news paper from a vending machine and leave it unread on top of the machine.).
4.Feed a wild animal or bird -- not a pet or a zoo animal, but a house mouse will do for the animal.
18.Wear your best formal clothing.
17.Read or write a love letter.
3.Find a book (go to the library for it if necessary) that gives instructions for delivering a baby. Read it. 16. Show someone how to do something.
15.Aside from knowledge and skill, what makes an expert different from an ordinary person? -- explain this to someone or write it as an essay.
14.Talk seriously to a plant for at least fifteen minutes. Tape record this (borrow a recorder if necessary) and play it back.
2.Write a description of a familiar object. Run around, jump, yell, dance to lively music, have someone tickle you. Immediately, sit down and write another description of the same object.
13.Relax in a warm bath for a couple of hours.
12.Try to imagine what is involved in supplying everyone in your city with food, power and water.
11.Try to find out who is in charge.
1.Delegate your authority today.

    These tasks are intended to produce a complex set of feelings and perceptions that pertain to each of the parts of the Tree. For example, consider number 9. This is something to do. "Turn off the sound on a TV set and look carefully at the set for half an hour." Doing so should send you into a realm of fantasy, it's a physical exercise to study the fantasy of Yesod. Some of these exercises should be done in sequence, e.g. #29 has to be done before #7. #29 is the path of Qoph, "spend half an hour in a dark garden at midnight." (Please choose the garden with caution, as there are some places where this isn't safe.) This will put you in a place where the sense of sight is suppressed, but all of the other senses are more than usually active. Sight is closely connected to the mind, and we think too quickly about what we see. When we are limited to scent, sound and temperature, emotional reaction comes more easily. Number 7, has one doing the same thing for an hour at noon to let things of the mind draw together with things of feeling. Number 26, on the Tree of Life, is the path between Hod and Tipheret, and the Tarot card is the Devil. The suggestion is to fix firmly in the mind a fantasy feeling that there is something bad, something to harm you in the next moment. This path from Hod to Tipheret is the place to break self-imposed limitations on logical thought.
    The sets of exercises in the previous installment of this column, together with this one, are intended to progress from rational thinking and learning through images of nature to doing things. Somewhere in the progress you'll be getting a grip on each and every part of the Tree of Life.
    For more exercises of this sort, see the booklet: Qabalah #1, by the author. Q1 is also available on 93 Net BBS's and elsewhere as the ASCII file "QBL-1.ASC"

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Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Critic

    Fresh from Minerval in the UK and points East, a part of the workings of the O.C.O. (or the Ordo Canon Occidentis: the Order of the Western Canon.

Of the LBRC

by Soror Mary Magdalene / 974

i.Touching the forehead say Unto Me,
ii.Touching the breast say The Text,
iii.Touching the right shoulder, say The Author,
iv.Touching the left shoulder, say and The Reader.
v.Clasping the hands upon the breast, say To The Pages, Amen.
vi.Turning to the East, make the appropriate gesture of opening a book. Vibrate ANTI-Feminist! Visualise the "quilt making" (The Western Canon) Feminist critics melting away behind the force of the text.
vii.Turning to the South, the same, but vibrate ANTI-Marxist! Visualise the rampaging crowds of aging Marxist critics melting away behind the force of the text.
viii.Turning to the West, the same, but vibrate ANTI-Ethnocentric! Visualise the "rabblement" (The Western Canon) of Ethnocentric critics melting away behind the force of the text.
ix.Turning to the North, the same, but vibrate ANTI-Deconstructers/New Historicists! (Whichever may be the most appropriate for the prevailing academic climate of the locality.) Visualise the Deconstructionist/New Historicist critics flinging themselves, lemming-like, over a cliff, due to the force of the text.
x.Turning back to the east, and extending the arms on the form of a cross, say,
xi.Before me, Shakespeare;
xii.Behind me, Homer;
xiii.On my right hand, Dante;
xiv.On my left hand, Tolstoy.
xv.For around me flames the Anxiety of Influence,
xvi.But in my Column, I'm the Star.
xxi.Repeat (i) to (v), the Critic's Cross

    This ritual should be performed before commencing any part of the Great Critical Work, in order to clear the area of undesirable influences which might otherwise obsess the Critic.
    Specific demonic critical entities, such as the Feminist Critic, may be effectively controlled by studying the Inertia, which contains the Dread and Awful Names of all the major hierarchies of all the Feminist, Marxist, Ethnocentric, Deconstructionist and New Historocist Critics in the infernal world of the Crackpot, which forms their dwelling place.

    The motto of the O.C.O. is of course: "Read what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. The Canon is the law, the Canon under Will" (Will being Shakespeare).

Two Poems
by Firebird 397

Mid Day Resh

Brilliant globe          of light inspire
Flaming sun          drawing higher
Midday travels          of thy bark
Golden pathways          holy arc


O holy angels
Present before me
Enflame my heart
With passion and tears

Shower thy radiance
Upon the aeon crowning
In new light


-- Firebird 397

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Primary Sources

   Crowley Minutia:
    Here are three letters from Aleister Crowley to Grady McMurtry, illustrating the times and a variety of small matters of occasional interest. The first, 11/29/43 e.v., mentions the aftermath of a long visit by Grady, also noted in A.C.'s diary. The second, 5/23/44 e.v., employs numeric short form for the Thelemic salutations, a matter of some conjecture in recent months on the Net as to origin -- at any rate, here's proof that Crowley used them in the 1940's e.v. This letter also mentions the start of Magick Without Tears and a delayed-action bomb, possibly the one that caused Crowley's final departure from 93 Jermyn St. in London. The last, dated Oct., 1st, 1945 e.v., has a hand correction to upper case "L" in the opening salutation, thus highlighting the fact that Crowley's later letters were frequently dictated and odd forms of the salutations may have been inadvertent. This letter also has a brief discourse on "k" spellings.


93 Jermyn St.
SW. 1

Nov. 29 '43 e.v.
Care Frater Hymenaeus Alpha!

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

    Money Order will be the best (safest) way to send the £30.
    Most sincere hopes that you can manage a daylight meeting. Also, 6 hours is too long for me at my age to talk continuously. I was quite knocked out. [Not "up"! By the way, nock, not knock, is that sense of the sound (nocking- shop &c). Nock = to copulate: from an old French verb 'nocer'. "Faire la noce" literally "to make the wedding" is modern slang for "to go on the tiles:]
    Yes, it was indeed the morning after. Slept till 10, breakfast, slept till 12.30, milk & Eccles {T.C.} cake, slept till 5.30. Now I'm beginning to pick- up. It would have been all right if we could have taken it easy part of the time, lunch, exploring odd bits of London &c.
    Still, I did enjoy it!
    Worrying me at the time, but I couldn't say why, was "healed any battle scars?" Just what you can't do, nohow: a scar is evidence that the healing has been completed.
    You must look out for these fine points: you can't be too minute in the use of words. It is the grand curse of to-day that hardly any one writes fine English any more.

Love is the law, love under will.

Documents will be sent off to-morrow
Books probably a day later



Bell Inn
      Aston Clinton

May 23 {'44}
Dear H.A.


Yours of May 20. I wrote you yesterday, and now you have changed your A.P.O.
    The important item -- in case you didn't get it -- is to send the £20 to Aylesbury P.O. as I don't go to London at all any more, unless some dread emergency arises.


    Many thanks for the criticisms: most useful. At present I cannot determine the final form of the book; it might, e.g., be a mixture of several methods. Perhaps it might even be worked into a semi fictional form; a account of the training of a "made-up" pupil, with the essays, letters &c worked in as milestones or turning-points in his progress.
I may want one or two of the letters back, when you send me the list of what you have.

    No more now: I'm dog tired: the delayed-action bomb has been too much for me. Too long & too painful to write details.
    So, for the moment, adios!

93 93/93 Yours A.C.

P.S. M.A.Sutherland 10 NORMAND Mansions {TC} W.14. wants his Lasher back. Please send it to him direct. So sorry I haven't been able to get you one yet.

{Corrections to difficult readings above from Br. T.C.}


The Ridge,
Hastings, Sussex
   1. 10. 45

Dear Grady,

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

    What a blow to all my hopes that you should be shipped off to the ends of the earth! I had counted so much on having at least three months with you. I had such a nice plan by which they could have fixed up something useful for you to do in California while you were waiting and working with me.

    The letter 'k' is not really Latin and only occurs in borrowed words such as Kalium for Potassium; they use the hard 'C' instead. Konx is a corruption of the Greek, as Kabbalae is a corruption of the Hebrew; but in the Middle Ages they spelt the word either with a C or a K indifferently.

    What you say about Chess is very intelligent. You ought to get on well if you are staying any time in the S.F. there will certainly be a first-class Club there, and if you can, I should get some training from a professional, or semi-professionals. We are having a great "do" in Hastings at Christimas -- an International Victory Congress.

    I do not think I have anything more to say at the moment. I got a chill in my tummy last week which was very trying at the time and has left me an absolute wreck, especially in the way of nerves; I am shakey all over. There has been a little difficulty with the local doctor; who was rather deaf, and I could never be sure that he understood what I was telling him. He has now retired at the good old age of 74, and I shall take myself a bit seriously with his partner, who begins to-morrow.

    I am half way through with the dentist.

    Lots of work to do this afternoon, and hardly any energy to do it with, so I shall now break off, hoping that you will be able to find some dodge of getting over here after all.

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

Lt. G.L.McMurtry,
3637 Fillmore Street
Apt. 110, San Francisco, 23

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From the Outbasket

Here are extracts from email discussions on the Internet, substantially edited for publication.

A.C.Y. asked about dangers in Goetic (and other operations):

    The principal danger is obsession. It's worse with a religious childhood overloaded by fear of Hell. After that, the necessary emotional stress to get results depends very much on easily overlooked details. Finally, the rituals themselves presuppose a hostility to the spirits involved and at least a minor degree of Roman Catholic ordination (exorcist).
    The usual warnings about Abramelin spirits should be divorced from the Goetia. Although there is an overlap in some senses, the spirits and methods are very different. The Goetia involve an extremely decadent Christian view of what amounts to a mix of old deities and some casual spirits. The Abramelin spirits are quite different. The Enochian more different still, although John Dee did start with the Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon.

Is it necessary to wait for the K&C of the HGA before undertaking Goetic operations?

    That's hybridizing the Abramelin and Goetic traditions. It makes sense in the Abramelin tradition, in that the HGA is near the top of a chain of authority used to control the spirits. In the Goetic tradition, the authority is supposed to come from ordination as a sort of priest.

What are some differences and similarities between Goetic, Enochian and Abramelin traditions?

    The three groups have things in common and differences of exposition. Goetia tends to demonize in a Christian sense, e.g. Astaroth in place of Astarte, with major alteration of detail from older religious traditions. The Goetia can be re-worked to handle these spirits as destructive aspects of deities and demi-deities also having beneficent and neutral aspects. The Abramelin system uses a closer approach to classical relations with spirits. The Enochian system uses an essentially Elizabethan Celtic slant on what starts as a Greater Key of Solomon system and quickly fans out into new spirits. The Abramelin squares are frequently composed of symmetrical arrangements of Hebrew words and short verse. The 200 odd Enochian squares are mainly composed of text, written in rows, except for the watchtowers. Dee's Enochiana is not traditional, rather it applies "Enoch" to a late "Solomonic" system. Old Enochiana was Merkabah Qabalah, as seen in the Ethiopian texts of the books of Enoch. All three traditions make some use of the classic Demons of the Four Quarters, but the Abramelin and Enochian Systems are more geographical. The Abramelin System tends to make very few changes in the allocations, e.g. Kore is one of the spirits, identical to the Persephone of the Greeks. The Enochian system of Dee greatly enhances the allocation to political regions of the earth. The Goetic system is more random, including what amounts to the spirits also used in the 1,001 Arabian Nights.
    For a Merkabah reading source, I recommend starting with: Gershom G. Scholem's Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1965, Library of Congress Catalogue Card Number: 60-10743.

P. expressed concern about visiting the Gnostic Mass, on grounds that she might explode in giggles. I tried to "help" by the following observation:

    When the rubric in the Gnostic Mass has the Priest saying "virgin, pure without spot", my mind kicks back to a grammar school reader, Fun with Dick and Jane, which had a dog named "Spot". Perhaps you can see the difficulty: Here's a priest of a semi phallic rite ("Dick") leading his innocent sister Jane about (Virgin), and trying to avoid the damn dog of reason (Spot) that will disrupt the flow of the mystery.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for August 1995 e.v.

8/4/95Signs, Grips and Words 8:00PM
Horus Temple (members only)
Thelema Ldg.
8/5/95Lammas Ritual at the Beach
meet at OZ house 10:00AM sharp
8/6/95Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/7/85LAMMAS, Sol 15 deg. Leo 5PM
8/9/95Sirius Oasis Meeting 8PM BerkeleySirius Oasis
8/10/95FULL MOON in Aquarius 11:16 AM
8/13/95Lodge luncheon meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
8/13/95Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/14/95"Samekh without Fears" ritual class
Horus Temple 8:00 PM with Rr. L.C.
Thelema Ldg.
8/16/95Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
8/20/95Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/21/95Section 2 reading group, 8PM at OZ
Sir R. Burton`s 1,0001 Nights
with Caitlin
Thelema Ldg.
8/23/95Magick in Theory and Practice
8:00PM in San Anselmo with Bill
Thelema Ldg.
8/25/95Astrological Cycles with Grace
7 PM, Berkeley. Call to attend.
Thelema Ldg.
8/26/95The Rite of Saturn. 9:30PMThelema Ldg.
8/27/95Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/28/95Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
8/30/95Liber 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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