Thelema Lodge Calendar for November 1995 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for November 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

November 1995 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Enochian Studies

    Explore the Enochian universe this autumn with Caitlin in a ritual series reading The Vision and the Voice, which will be held at Oz House beginning Tuesday evening 14th November. As she has been doing annually for many years, Caitlin will read Liber 418 in its entirety over the course of five weeks, with each of the Thirty Aires or Aethyrs to be heard upon the date and time at which the original workings were conducted, eighty-six years ago in the deserts of Algeria. (The two opening Aethyrs, TEX and RII, had been investigated experimentally in Mexico nine years previously, in November 1900.)
    The lower twelve of the thirty concentric Aethyrs will be read throughout the second half of this month. The first two readings will begin at 8:00 in the evening, since Crowley neglected to record the exact times for his Mexican workings; the two following Aires, BAG and ZAA, also begin at 8:00 PM, on the 23rd and 24th, respectively. Thereafter the reading schedule for the rest of the month will be as follows: Saturday 25th (DES at 1:30 PM and UTI at 9:00 PM), Sunday 26th (NIA at 2:30 PM), Tuesday 28th (TOR at 9:30 AM and LIN at 5:00 PM), Wednesday 29th (ASP at 2:00 PM), Thursday 30th (KHR at 9:30 AM and POP at 10:00 PM).
    Some of the Aethyrs which fall at inconvenient times in the middle of the day may be repeated by request at 8:00 on their respective evenings. To attend any of the readings in this series, please contact Caitlin in advance at (510) 654-3580; she will provide directions to Oz House, the site of Nu Temple where the series is held. The readings will conclude next month with the fourth part of the Second Aire, which is called ARN, beginning at 8:35 on the evening of 20th December.

    The Enochian Liturgy group will meet at Thelema Lodge this month to refine a draft of the Enochian eucharistic ritual which has been prepared according to the principles discussed last spring in our planning meetings. This "Enochian mass" is not an adaptation of Liber XV, but is based upon a historical reconstruction of the Christian mass as John Dee would have known it, incorporating textual material from angelic revelations recorded in Dee's diaries.
    This project will afford students of the John Dee manuscripts a unique opportunity to hypothesize regarding the central mystery of the spiritual diaries; that is, their religious significance to Dee himself and to his time, and the potential for radical religious reform which is strongly implicit in them. Join us in the lodge library on Sunday afternoon 19th November at 2:00, or call Michael Sanborn for information at (510) 601-9393. Besides some fine tuning to the ritual itself, we will be arranging for its debut public celebration next month.

    The John Dee Reading Group with be meeting in the lodge library at 8:00 with Clay Holden on Monday evening 13th November. We will be reading further together in Dee's diary sequence known as Mysteriorum Liber Primus, using the transcription Clay prepared for the John Dee Society, with page by page facing reproductions of Dee's original record in Sloane manuscript 3188 for comparison (by courtesy of the British Library). This material dates from 1581-2, preceding the bulk of Dee's angelic workings, edited in the seventeenth century by Meric Casaubon under the title A True and Faithful Relation of . . . Spirits (available in the John Dee Society's facsimile edition published by Magickal Childe of New York three years ago).
    Last month's opening meeting for this group was an outstanding success. The handsomely produced and marvelously accurate preliminary edition which Clay generously distributed to all fifteen participants made this difficult material truly accessible to everyone, without the least compromise of historical immediacy in its presentation. We read first Elias Ashmole's "Preface" concerning the survival of some of the Mysteriorum Liber Quinti manuscripts (unknown to Casaubon), discovered hidden half a century after Dee's death in a piece of his furniture, just in time to be rescued from the great fire of London. We continued with Dee's prefatory Latin prayer (or "vehement ejaculation") ad Deum, blessing our sister April -- herself a founding member of the John Dee Society -- both for her skill with Dee's Elizabethan Latin and for her ritual familiarity with this particular text, for which Clay provided a translation. We quickly analyzed Dee's etymological note on the names of angels, and then read the two long pages of introductory justification -- protestatio fidelis -- addressed again ad Deum. Dee's transcriptions of the scrying sessions then commence, and we read the very first, conducted with Barnabus Saul on 22nd December 1581, and the second, when Dee began working with the great scrier Edward (Talbot) Kelly, at 11:15 AM on 10th March 1582.
    It won't be too late to join this reading group at its second meeting this month, and Clay even has a few more copies of the text available for participants. We will commence on Monday evening 13th November with Kelly's second session, begun with John Dee at 5:00 on Saturday afternoon that same 10th March 1582, in which the Holy Table and the practical technique of Enochian working were first outlined. For information call Thelema Lodge at (510) 652-3171.

The Rite of Luna

    The Rites of Eleusis conclude this month with "The Rite of Luna" at the full moon on Monday evening 6th November at 8:00, to be presented as a multi- media masque honoring the wedding of Pan and Artemis. There is a new location for this rite, at the John Wiketts Exotic Museum at 2671 Sutter Street in San Francisco. This private conservatory houses a diverse and fascinating collection of erotic objects and antiquarian delights, including Tantric and religious artifacts, tapestry, taxidermy, statuary, and whatnot, representing diverse eras, species, and cultures. It is Luna's promise that the breath- taking, awe-inspiring coolness of the museum's atmosphere will be much more than just compensation for the $6 minimum suggested donation for admission (necessary to defray the cost of engaging this performance space), especially when coupled with the musickal and magickal prowess of your humble hosts. Luna will herself be responsible to the curator of the museum for $5 per head present, and the additional dollar is calculated to cover admission for the musicians only (who are donating their skills and setting up their own equipment); all other participants in the rite, including Luna herself, will be donating the same admission price as those in the audience, without asking compensation for their own additional expenses. It is hoped that by thus sharing the costs amongst all involved we can afford something truly magnificent. We have enjoyed an amazing cycle of The Rites of Eleusis this time around, and Luna has arranged to end it with a perfect flash of ecstasy.
    Wear comfortable clothes, sensual to the touch, seductive to the eye; of indigo, violet, black, grey, white, or silver. You may bring any food or drink you consider lunar, though when eating, drinking, smoking, or engaging in any potentially messy activity, please respect the museum as well as the comfort of others. It will be necessary to contact the Lunar crew ahead of time if you are able to attend; because of the complex arrangements required for this unique event, no one can be admitted from whom we have not heard. Call Luna directly at (510) 655-9542, or send e-mail to; IAO Core may be reached at (510) 464-3009 (voice- mail), or use the web-site address:
    Voice-mail may be left even on the day of the rite, but everyone must make themselves known to Luna before arriving at this event; include your name, telephone number, and the number of your party in your message, so that your reservation may be confirmed and directions provided.

Samhain Greetings

    About one week after the witches have put their pumpkins away, and the school-kids everywhere (even in Los Altos!) have doffed their demon ranger suits, old Sol passes his perch at the heart of the Scorpion. A little before sunset on Tuesday 7th November we observe the sinister counterpart of Beltaine, with the Sun 15° Scorpio. As the height of spring is a time for the play of love and growth, this is the time for the play of darkness and corruption. It is worthwhile to ponder these things as the year turns, although at Thelema Lodge we will continue a tradition of darkening the temple and not gathering for this holiday. We all plan to be about as partied out as we can get for "The Rite of Luna" the previous evening, so for us the year will be turning on its hinges just a few hours early. Anyway, you'll get more candy Hallowe'ening with the heathen!

Initiations into O.T.O.

    Active initiate members of all degrees in Ordo Templi Orientis are invited to the tent of Salidin at Thelema Lodge on Saturday evening 18th November at 6:30, to join in welcoming some of our guests in amongst us as brothers in the Order. "Brethren" in this usage is not a gender-specific term, but signifies an essentially human relationship of mutual respect, balancing kindness and rivalry, which is not precisely egalitarian -- siblings in biology, after all, relate hierarchically -- but which supports development at all levels, the physical as well as spiritual -- where "sisters" is perhaps the more apt term. A century ago, when the O.T.O. began to emerge from the upper strata of esoteric freemasonry in central Europe, our Order was one of those which pioneered the notion of carrying this fraternal bond over the boundary of gender to unite women and men together in "brotherhood." It often seems that we are still only beginning, even with the utmost effort carried bravely forth now these ninety-one years, to explore the implications of this fundamental aeonic innovation.
    Initiations for advancement in O.T.O. are planned for early next month, very likely on Saturday evening 9th December. Please contact the lodge in advance for information whenever planning to attend any initiation here; the lodgemaster's number is (510) 652-3171. Candidates for admission and advancement in Ordo Templi Orientis may make known their will using the appropriate application form, to be obtained from any of the lodge officers and returned to the lodgemaster. Plan well in advance for initiations, since a minimum forty-day period of review is required between the posting of the application and the ceremony itself; also additional time is sometimes required by the lodge for scheduling. All prospective candidates should discuss their applications and sponsorship informally with the members of the lodge, and must keep in touch afterwards as we anticipate the event.

Gnostic Catholic Church

    Join Thelema Lodge for our weekly celebration of the Gnostic Mass, every Sunday evening beginning at approximately 7:30. Participation in this Thelemic eucharist ceremony is open to all who wish to take communion with the lodge; newcomers should call ahead at (510) 652-3171 for information and directions. Last month Thelema Lodge celebrated our one-hundredth consecutive Sunday evening Gnostic Mass in Horus Temple as currently established at our Rockridge location. We observe this milestone in gratitude to all the members who have served the lodge as mass officers, and especially to the dozen or so regular priestesses who grace our temple and serve our communion. It seems possible that few Gnostic temples, ever since the decline of the ancient world at the turn of the aeon before last, have maintained so strong a circle of priestesses as has the community here at Horus Temple, with now an entire generation (over eighteen years) of weekly masses to build upon.
    The conception of our lodge may be dated back to 1946 e.v., when Captain Grady McMurtry returned to California from the European war to discuss with Jack Parsons his idea of setting up a temple for the Gnostic Mass in the San Francisco Bay area, as a balance to the temple at Parsons' mansion in Pasadena where Agape Lodge was then celebrating a weekly Sunday evening Gnostic Mass. It took Grady thirty years of hard work to establish his lodge and temple, but since 1977 e.v. Thelema Lodge has maintained the tradition of weekly mass (as had Agape Lodge between 1933 and 1941 e.v.). To participate in this tradition as an officer in the Gnostic Mass at Thelema Lodge, members should contact one of our four bishops for advice on forming a mass team, which will then be scheduled for the temple in consultation with the lodgemaster.

Workshops, Classes, and Meetings

    "Yoga with Ann" is a new series at Thelema Lodge, beginning on Saturday afternoon 11th November at 1:00. It has been several years since we had a regular yoga group on our calendar, and we are very glad to have our sister Ann (who is newly reactivating her O.T.O. membership), to lead this series. It will meet twice a month, with the second meeting two weeks later on Saturday afternoon 25th November at the same time. Geared to offer fundamental instruction to beginners and also directed group practice work for intermediate yogins, this series will be held in Horus Temple, and is open to all.

    The Thelema Lodge Magick in Theory and Practice Series with Bill Heidrick will conclude this month on Wednesday evening 15th November at 7:30, meeting at Bill's home in San Anselmo. Call (415) 454-5176 for directions and information. This two-year course, begun in September 1993 e.v., has conducted its participants through a complete guided reading of Book 4, part 3, with commentary and discussion of all aspects of this great compendium of Thelemic liturgy and philosophy. For this final meeting our presentation will examine the last Libers of MTP, including Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni (156) and Liber A'ash vel Capricorni Pheumatici (370).
    As one contemporaneous review of Magick in Theory and Practice (published in the popular New York magazine The Patriot early in the 1930s e.v.) complained perceptively, this "book is tainted with gnostic and sexual imagery. . . . The power of the Beast is universal generation, the universal magnetic agent . . . . [and] his God is merely Nature's creative principle . . . [the] universal generative powers. Pan, Io Pan!" The reviewer was Christina Mary Stoddart -- G. D. Soror Il Faut Chercher, writing pseudonymously as "Inquire Within" -- who quoted from the piece in her book Trail of the Serpent (New York: circa 1937; facsimile edition circa 1980, under the imprint of the "Omni Christian Book Club" of Hawthorne, California), pages 258-9.

    The Jovian Cycle in Astrology will be the subject of a workshop this month, presented for Thelema Lodge by the Grace Astrological Service of Berkeley, on Friday evening 24th November, from 7:00 until 9:00. For admission to this event all attending are requested to make advance contact with Grace, who may be telephoned at (510) 843-STAR; she will provide directions to her home, where the workshop is held. Utilizing the extensive collection of astrological resources assembled in her wonderful parlor, Grace will outline the meanings and symbolism of the planet Jupiter in various astrological contexts. Bring your natal chart with you for comparison if possible, or the data necessary for casting one if need be.

    The Thelema Lodge "Section Two" Reading Group meets on Monday evening 20th November at Oz House with Caitlin, beginning at 8:00. Call Oz at (510) 654- 3580 for directions. From the "Suggestive Literature" list given to Aspirants of the A A we have drawn this month The Blossom and the Fruit, a relatively obscure novel by Madame Blavatsky's close friend, the pop-Theosophist and psychological "ladies' novelist" Mabel Collins (1851-1927 e.v.), who published a prolific stream of fiction and non-fiction of appeal to esoteric enthusiasts at the turn of the aeon. Her novels include The Idyll of the White Lotus, Through the Gates of Gold, and The Star Sapphire, as well as The Blossom and the Fruit (1889), which Crowley recommended as "valuable for its account of the Path." Originally published with the subtitle A True Story of a Black Magician, the novelist and her anonymous co-author "claim only to be the scribes and the editors" of a "strange story . . . brought in a mysterious manner" which outlines a "theory of the re-incarnation of souls." Here is a sample of the writing, from page 140 of the novel; Hilary is the hero's name, and the woman with whom he speaks is named Fleta:
    "I am yours," he said, "but I know not how to prove it."
    She held out her hand to him, and lowered her eyes from the light to which they had been raised until they met his.
    "We must discover the great secret, together, Hilary. No longer may you give yourself to me without knowledge. Hitherto our lives have been but the lives of the blossom; now we must be wise and enter the state when the fruit comes. We have to find out what that power is which the sun represents to us; to discover the pure creative power. But we have not strength, yet, Hilary; alas! I dread and fear sometimes. More strength means more sacrifice."

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

    Sirius Oasis, an independent initiating body of O.T.O. based in Berkeley, holds its monthly meeting on Wednesday evening 8th November at 8:00. Call ahead for information and directions at (510) 527-2855. Lately Sirius has been quite active, and besides initiations there have been entertainments of various sorts at the recent meetings. Also, "PantheaCon 96" is approaching this winter in San Jose, and the Oasis Master will have plans to share regarding this event, as the schedule of rituals, workshops, speakers, parties, and performances is organized. Now is the time to make contact if you want to be involved!

    Library Nights at Thelema Lodge this month will be scheduled for Wednesday evening 1st November, and for Monday evening 27th November, beginning at 8:00. Contact the lodge officers regarding library use, and please call ahead to confirm the library schedule, which can be altered by request.

    Our "lodge luncheon" and business meeting will be held on Sunday afternoon 12th November, from 12:30 till 2:30. Call ahead, and come by for lunch and open discussion regarding the activities of our lodge and temple. This month's luncheon meeting will be devoted especially to Horus Temple, with attention to vestments, furniture, weapons, and equipment, and also to maintenance and supplies. Our luncheon date also functions as an editorial deadline for the following month's issue of this Thelema Lodge Calendar, by which all contributions and notes for events descriptions should be turned over to the lodgemaster.

Crowley Classics

    The various introductory notes collected here are drawn from the whole range of Crowley's career as a poet (approximately in proportion to his comparative productivity over the years), including his very first published volume. The first and third selection may be found, in the context of the verses they introduce, reprinted in Crowley's three-volume Works. The second item was deleted from the poetic drama to which it refers when the latter was included in that collection. The other two have not been collected before, but may have occasionally been hawked as reprints in pamphlet form.

Five Poetical Prefaces

by Aleister Crowley


Preface to Aceldama: A Place to Bury Strangers In

    It was a windy night, that memorable seventh night of December, when this philosophy was born in me. How the grave old professor (C. G. Lamb, Demonstrator in Engineering at Cambridge) wondered at my ravings! I had called at his house, for he was a valued friend of mine, and I felt strange thoughts and emotions shake within me. Ah! how I raved! I called to him to trample me, he would not. We passed together into the stormy night. I was on horseback, how I galloped round him in my phrenzy, till he became the prey of a real physical fear! How I shrieked out I know not what strange words! And the poor good old man tried all he could to calm me; he thought I was mad! The fool! I was in the death struggle with the self: God and Satan fought for my soul those three long hours. God conquered -- now I have only one doubt left -- which of the twain was God? Howbeit, I aspire!
1898 e.v.


A Note on Jephthah

    A short explanation of the scheme of theology adopted in this play appears necessary. The Hebrews of the period had formulated the idea of Deity as manifesting from the fundamental conception of NEGATIVE EXISTENCE: The Ain, Ain, negativity, unfolded; the Soph Ain, Ain Soph, the limitless, and thence derived the Aur Soph Ain, Ain Soph Aur, the limitless light. This limitless ocean of negative light concentrates a centre Keter, Kether, the Crown, and this is our first positive manifestation of Deity, or, as the Hebrews technically call it, an emanation or Sephira, Sephira. Of these Sephiroth there are ten, each emanating from the last, and successively male or female toward the next below or above. These are: I. the Kether; 2. Chokmah, Chokmah, Wisdom; 3. Binah, Binah, Understanding, often symbolized as the great Sea; 4. Chesed, Chesed, Mercy (or Gedulah, Gedulah, Magnificence); 5. Geburah, Geburah, Strength; 6. Tipheret, Tiphereth, Beauty; 7. Netzach, Netzach, Victory; 8. Dalet, Hod, Splendour; 9. Yesod, Jesod, the Foundation; and 10. Taw, Malkuth, the Kingdom.
    In the Tetragram YHVH, translated in our Bible Jehovah or "the Lord," the last nine Sephiroth are summed up. The first also contains the idea of existence, the Divine Name connected with this Sephira being Eheieh, Eheieh, Existence. Below this world of Atziluth or of God is that of Briah or Thrones; to this world belong the Archangels; still lower that of Yetzirah or Formation; to this world ten orders of angels are attributed; and lastly, the world of Assiah, or of action (the material world). The further development of these facts, their connection with the numerical system, the parts of the soul, and many other interesting details may be studied in the seventy-two volumes of the written Qabalah, though, perhaps (a word to the wise is enough) truth lies hidden deeper yet in the ten volumes of that Qabalah which is unwritten, and which is only granted to those who by previous incarnations have fitted themselves for so sublime a knowledge. The brief sketch above will, however, make clear the Oath of the people and the Prayer of Jephthah, among other phrases which may seem at first sight less unintelligible to ordinary analysis.
    That I have made Jephthah a Magician is also in accordance with tradition. Great captains were always great priests, in the secret Qabalistical sense. The priests themselves, then as today, were foolish old men trained to bolster up the externals of religion. The real rulers, then as today, were not, officially, priests; the sceptre was wielded by those who, swathed in thick darkness, and enthroned on their own thunderclouds, looked with the eye of gods upon this earth, and carried out the designs of God with tranquil power. I have depicted such a Servant of God stepping down from his throne at the precise moment when his presence was required, and the tragedy represented in the play stands for the impotent spite of the Evil One, venting itself in personal malice.
    In short, I have ventured (I trust that in so doing the human pathos of the story has lost nothing, even from the merely legendary point of view), behind the veil of man's blindness, and the inexorable Até, to hint at the cloudy conflict of the mysterious forces that rule beyond our vision or our comprehension; and if, at the end, I have dared to lift that veil, and to put in the mouths of uninitiates words appreciative of those glorious destinies that overrule the cruelties of fate, let me find my excess in that love for, and faith in, "the holy spirit of man," which itself may do so much toward the final regeneration of humanity, and the uniting of man once more with that God of whom Porphyry has written, "We are but a little part of Him."
1899 e.v.


Preface to The Sword of Song
(This passage is a parody on one in
Alice through the Looking-Glass.)

    "You are sad!" the Knight said, in an anxious tone; "let me sing you a song to comfort you."
    "Is it very long?" Alice asked.
    "It's long," said the Knight, "but it's very very beautiful. The name of the song is called 'The Book of the Beast.'"
    "Oh! how ugly!" cried Alice.
    "Never mind," said the mild creature. "Some people call it 'Reason in Rhyme.'"
    "But which is the name of the song?" Alice said, trying not to seem too interested.
    "Ah, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little vexed. "That's what the name is called. The name really is 'Ascension Day and Pentecost; with some Prose Essays and an Epilogue,' just as the title is 'The Sword of Song' you know, just in the same way, just in the same way, just in the same way . . ."
    Alice put her fingers in her ears and gave a little scream. "Oh, dear me! That's harder than ever!" she said to herself, and then, looking determinedly intelligent: "So that's what the song is called. I see. But what is the song?"
    "You must be a perfect fool," said the Knight, irritably. "The song is called 'Shout Doubt; or the Agnostic's Anthology,' by the author of Gas Manipulation, Solutions, The Management of Retorts, and other physical works of the first order -- but that's only what it's called, you know."
    "Well, what is the song then?" said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.
    "If I wished to be obscure, child," said the Knight, rather contemptuously, "I should tell you that the Name of the Title was 'What a man of 95 ought to know,' as endorsed by eminent divines, and that . . ." Seeing that she only began to cry, he broke off and continued in a gentler tone: "it means, my dear . . ." He stopped short, for she was taking no notice; but as her figure was bent by sobs into something very like a note of interrogation: "You want to know that it is, I suppose!" continued the knight, in a superior, but rather offended voice.
    "If you would, please, sir!"
    "Well, that," pronounced the knight, with the air of having thoroughly studied the question and reached a conclusion absolutely final and irreversible, "that, Goodness only knows. But I will sing it to you."
1904 e.v.


Introduction to The Whirlpool, by Ethel Archer

    In the waste horror of the Bralduh Nala, just before it opens out into the valley of Askole, is the hot spring. A perfect circle; water like a beryl, crowned with light sulphurous steam, the wall a mound like the breast of a woman of purest white, an efflorescence.
    It is the hell of sterile passion glowing in the heart of the hell of desolation.
    So also is this book. The intricacy of faery pattern which the witch weaves is the flowered marble. We find such rime-webs as abaaab-babbba and AaBCcAaBCcAaBC and bAbAcBcBAcCDaADA, more exquisite than all the arabesques of the Alhambra.
    The limpidity of thought and expression alike is the aquamarine of the pool: "Like foam-flowers falling from the breasts of Sleep their Lotus-kiss is," languid as Sappho writhing to the breeze of Leucadia, under a rain of roseleaves.
    The hot angry famine and pestilence of the soul is the sulphur of the spring and the poisonous mist that plays upon it. "Come, Love, nor list to tired dreams that twist thy lithe long limbs in fierce abandonment," fierce as Pasiphae in Edmond d'Haraucourt's secret masterpiece; all the joyous torture of the damned in a phrase.
    Dear lady, when this flask of perfume comes from the bookseller, you shall tire your hair, and paint your face, and gild your nails; you shall anoint yourself with the witch-ointment, and in the rosy twilight touch with a flame the pastilles of musk and ambergris. Then you lie upon the leopard's skin before the fire of sandalwood and read, and read.
    And you shall know strange devils; even, it may be, strange gods.
1911 e.v.


Preface to The City of God: A Rhapsody

    Poetry is the geyser of the Unconscious.
    Poetry is the intelligible musical expression of the Real whose mirror is the phenomenal Universe.
    Poetry is the Hermes to lead the "soul" Euridice from the murk of illusion to the light of Truth; "and on Daedalian oarage fare forth to the interlunar air."
    A living poem must effect a definite magical excitement-exaltation in the hearer or reader, similar to the experience of "falling in love at first sight" with a woman. Analysis and argument cannot convince, and may inhibit the reaction, which is above emotion and reason.
    The reception of a poem, being a ritual Magical initiation, suffers no interruption. The music must be perfect; hard, maybe, to appreciate, as is Beethoven, but unmistakably sublime when fully understood. Technical perfection, in the absence of Creative Energy, is vanity, like the playing of "Exercises."
    The "work of art" which appeals to contemporary judgment can never, save some rare accident, be of the timber of Yggdrasil. For one main factor of its immediate success must be its amalgam with the Zeitgeist, a mercurial element corrosive of true gold. Hermes Trismegistus distinguishes three degrees: (1) true, (2) certain beyond error, (3) of all truth. "The Way, the Truth, and the Life" is "the same yesterday, today, and for ever." Great Art is independent of conditions.
    T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden, haec turba taeniarum omnis, have log- rolled their heads and their styles until Bloomsbury, Brixton, Balham, Bournemouth, and Baaston believe them to be poets. Pedantry and preciosity, push and peacockry, are not the stuff of song.
    Go (with some trifle of aid from Socrates) and challenge their sycophants! It is easy to compel them to define "poetry" so as to exclude John Keats -- fed, by the way, on honest porridge, not on "cereals" out of a can. And one will not impossibly be competent to leave it at that!
    Here, then, is your chota hazri, fellow-pilgrims to the City of God, with the first blast of a challenge to the critics. Expect a fanfare, OLLA it shall be called; Reistafel for your breakfast dish! At the Solstice, with a bit of luck!
1943 e.v.

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part IX -- Color and Qabalah.

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

    Color is often used in diagrams of the Tree of Life, sometimes systematically but often obscurely. The Order of the Golden Dawn created four major color scales for this purpose, naming them after the four types of Tarot Court cards, to allocate these scales to the four Worlds of Qabalah, the Sephirot, Paths and Hebrew Letters. These color scales are combined and analyzed in various ways on the Tree diagram and in other applications. Crowley's Liber 777 presents the four scales in columns XV through XVIII. We will take a look at this approach now and in later installments of the Qabalah series. Six principal methods were used to obtain the colors: Qabalistic tradition, Artist's Color Theory, Alchemy and Astrology, European common usage, the Sepher Yetzirah and Aura experiments.
    The values of the King Scale (Liber 777 Col. XV) for the ten Sephirot are loosely adapted from the Zohar. These are: Keter -- Brilliance; Chokmah -- Pure soft blue; Binah -- Crimson; Chesed -- Deep violet; Geburah -- Orange; Tipheret -- Clear Pink Rose; Netzah -- Amber; Hod -- Violet Purple; Yesod -- Indigo; Malkut -- Yellow. These selections are not in the language of the Zohar but represent a similar pattern. Most of the colors in the original are varying proportions of red and white, to show admixture of the qualities from the columns of Mercy and Severity grading downward from the abstraction of the Supernals toward Malkut. The King scale is intended to represent the highest or most abstract of the four Qabalistic Worlds, the world of Atzilut.
    The color language from the Zohar is more accurately described in Dr. Jellinek's Beiträge zur Geschichte der Kabbalah, Erstes Heft, Leipzig, 1852 e.v. as: Keter -- Concealed Light; Chokmah -- Sky-blue; Binah -- Yellow; Chesed -- White; Geburah -- Red; Tipheret -- White-red; Netzach -- Whitish-red; Hod -- Reddish-white; Yesod -- White-red, Whitish-red and Reddish-white assembled together; Malkut -- Light reflecting all colors. This citation can be found in Ginsburg's and Mathers' treatments, of which there will be more to say later.
    Keter is called "the concealed light", represented by "Brilliance" in the Golden Dawn system -- this is something you cannot relate to as a color, a mystery partaking of that which is beyond color. Chokmah is Sky Blue, to show that it is something as clear and as vast as the whole sky. Binah is Yellow, like the sun in the sky, a gathering of force within that great blue sky -- the Golden Dawn allocated Crimson, perhaps as a symbol for the mysterious union of the ends of the rainbow. Chesed is White, being the symbolic color of purity, of gentleness, of kindness and of mercy -- the Golden Dawn choice of Deep Violet may have been intended to emphasize the mystery of Akasha. Geburah is Red, an opposing moral color to White. It evokes violence, drastic measures, activity, dangerous presences and a frightening quality; but it's also excitement and the movement of life. Orange, as used in the Golden Dawn approach, would be very close to this shade. If we mix the Zohar colors for Chesed and Geburah and we get White-and-Red -- a form of Pink for Tipheret, mixture of Justice and Mercy in equal balance in the center of life. Netzach is a little more red than white, Whitish-red, just a touch of white in ordinary red. Whitish-red implies that Netzach, although it looks gentle, only has the mercy color superficially. It's still harsh and unforgiving, being close to Geburah, even though it's in the column of Mercy. The Golden Dawn gave it Amber, being a dilution of Orange for Geburah. Hod is Reddish- white, rugged on the surface because of the touch of red, but having a primary gentle nature underneath. The Golden dawn diluted Chesed's Deep Violet to show this. Notice how distance in emanation (number) from Geburah balances with placement in either the column of Mercy or Severity to produce a graduation of influence. Even though Hod is in the column of Severity with Geburah, it is emanated later than Netzah and the influence of Geburah is diminished. These complexities of balance will be looked at again, later in this series. Yesod is divided into all of these: an equal amount of Whitish- red, Reddish-white and balanced White-red, signifying that it provides these aspects in a chaotic state. In Yesod, you can experience a perfect balance, a little to one side, or a little to the other of the qualities of Mercy and Severity. The Golden Dawn attribution of Indigo emphasizes this instability on the spiritual plane. Malkut is shown as light reflecting all colors, a balance to the concealed light of Keter. This is the nature of the earth; it doesn't have these qualities of justice and severity at all. It merely reflects them according to the light of the mind that's cast upon the earth itself. The Golden Dawn Order placed Yellow here, perhaps to call attention to their theme of the rising Sun.

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from the Grady Project:


I have stood upon the battlements
Of ebon stone, and jet
Black light has bathed my body
With the force it can beget.
The Brothers of the Shadow
In their sullen scapulars
Have ministered unto my wants
And healed my battle scars.
I have stood in their cathedrals
And the hymns of hate I've sung,
I have heard the Mass of Mendes
Chanted by a slitted tongue.
I have taught the works of sorcery
To students of the fane,
By necromancy I have raised
The elemental rain.
I have viewed the land of utter night
And worn the monkish gown
Of those beyond life's misty pale,
Have you ever thought . . .
                              How far is down?

          -- Grady Louis McMurtry

   This poem first appeared in this version shortly after Grady's death, in Ecclesia Gnostica I:4 (San Francisco: Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, O.T.O., 1985). It may be a mature revision of Grady's poem "Nadir," which is dated "9/28/41", and which was first published in the Magickal Link V; 3 (March 1985) and then here in the Thelema Lodge Calendar for October 1989 e.v. As Grady loved to recall, "Nadir" contained lines which made a special impression on Aleister Crowley, who quoted a couplet from it upon meeting Grady in London in autumn 1943 e.v. That poem, however, also contained some rather simplistic negative imagery, and it is possible that in this re-titled and shortened version Grady managed to salvage some of the great lines from his early poetic fluency, building them into a wiser and more durable work of art.

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Poetry by Frater Riotimus

Mother of Souls

I am alone as the cliffs that form the outline to the Ocean
And as barren as the rocks o'er where the framed frenzy pounds.
My heart is as void as the winds of the gulf, floating silently over the chasm.
No words may express it.
No thoughts may perceive it.

It moves like the tides of its own accord
And I am drawn to her as a babe in the abyss to her mother.

The cathedral of worship is all around her
Sea Lions shout their exuberance
The sparrows sing to her honor
And the timeless roar of the surf
Echoes her magnificence.
A butterfly floats in the caressing breezes as I am transformed
And requested to sit in her honor.

"O man, why has thou come?
You understand me but little
Yet I am the mother of all souls who dwell on this earth."
"I wish to love as you love," I replied in thought.
"To see as you see, to know as you know."

"Empty yourself unto me!" came the answer.
Give to my being your desires; your hopes. your aspirations, your ambitions.
For they are but smaller selves within you
And hide your true self within."

So I wrent unto her depths all that she asked.
And the waters of her being streaked with the hues of earth.
"I yearn to be, goddess of mercy!"
"Free me from the phantoms of illusion."

"O child, you are what you will become."
"I see thee struggling to understand, hence I will give you understanding."
"One cannot learn to live and love and know
Until one truly knows and loves oneself."

Now the wind knifed through me with its icy fingers
Into my brain and body.
The cold seared through my emotions
As the wind emptied my thoughts into
The eternal waters of her body.

"Go and love yourself," she spoke.
"For only by loving yourself will you have the ability to love others."
"And when you have proven your knowledge and love of self to me,
Then will you receive the love of love
And the knowledge of my being."

-- Richard Vaughan Gorton, K.E.W.                              
spring, 1990 e.v.                                                       

Primary Sources

   Crowley Casts a Chart:
    This letter from Aleister Crowley to Grady Louis McMurtry was written in August of 1944 e.v., as a follow up to the letter printed in our last issue. Of special interest is Crowley's use of a chart for the Equinox, with notes speculating on affairs in Europe.


From A.Crowley
Bell Inn
Aston Clinton

Aug 4, '44
Dear Louis,

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

    Yours of 29 July very welcome.
    I hope you have the music by now; in case of loss, I will have another few copies made; this may take 2 or 3 weeks.
    Surely I spoke to you of Roy Leffingwell, who manages {?} ranch out Barstow way? But, perhaps not, as you hadn't met Max.
    I agree with your optimistic estimate: "Kukri" suggested short, sharp, & final, of course. But look at the figure for Sun in Libra (I enclose data for London, no time to set up others. But at Berlin Saturn on cusp of M.C. spells crash -- crash crash and then some!) My health improves constantly. The Book still sells {Book of Thoth} -- I hope your copy has come -- & I do 3 or 4 letters a week for "Aleister explains everything" {Magick without Tears}. The word {?} {?} as the Song. {"La Galoise"} I thought it quite a point for Alliance if I got Dely{?} to sing it; French words & singer -- British bard -- American composer.
    No more now; I must take my daily "constitutional" about an hours stroll though lovely woodland. I think of getting a regular pied-a-terre here.

    Love is the law, love under will

Yours A.C.

{on an included scrap of note paper}

Figure for the Heavens for the Autumnal Equinox '44 e.v. London.

{drawn-in English style chart, data:

House boundries:                         Planets:
2.  2LibraSun  0 0' 0" Libra
3.  0ScorpioNeptune  4
4.  5SagittariusMars17
6.15AquariusMoon  2 Sagittarius
7.11PiscesCauda Draconis24Capricorn
8.  2Aries13Gemini
9.  0TaurusSaturn10Cancer
10.  5GeminiMercury12Virgo
12.15Leo }

{Notes in Crowley's hand -- difficult to read some words}

Mercury Lord of Jupiter Quartile Sextile Saturn Semi-Sextile Mars
Sun Conjunction Neptune Sextile Moon
Venus Solis

AUG 4 '44

Gemini rules London & the U.S.A.
Virgo    "    France
Libra    "    Austria China
Sagittarius     "    Spain
Cancer    "    Germany (but Aries rules Prussia
Scorpio    "    England, squaring it with Aries;

The aspect Quartile Jupiter is a bit thick Esp as is in M.C. culminating Jupiter is Asc Conjunction Mercury R.I.{?} for France, but the Quartile of looks like {?} as to who is to boss her. Saturn also, so high, threatens all sorts of troubles -- but complete {?} for the Boche{?}

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From the Outbasket

Here are some bits of Internet and Email discussion, edited for publication:

S. asked if most or all of us might be unable to carry out our Will in the Thelemic sense.

    If you mean "do it regardless" -- that we do. If you mean "do it knowingly by awareness of the details" -- that is rare and inconstant. Incarnation has limits on comprehension and imposes a sequence in time. With that, it's a function of how in touch you are at any given moment with that part of you that is beyond such limits, whether or not you can consciously unite yourself to the mundane details of your will at that moment. This can be improved in ways, but it is always subject to the traditional limits or Qlipot that come with incarnation: tiredness of the body, error of the interpretation of the senses and deficiency of reason. There is a fourth: excess of confidence.

Should everything be done with Love?

    That is somewhat easier than conscious and unbroken union with Will. Love is an intention that can color any action. Crowley defined Love as the action of Will. Taoism has a similar idea of the state of oneness with the Tao, although that is perhaps better seen as being filled with a feeling of rightness (not righteousness) than with the more common idea of love.

G. raised some points about Magick as an objective art not requiring belief, as well as faith and function.

    Magick is functional at the point where there is no distinction between objective and subjective. Not otherwise. Faith (even faith as belief) may lead up to that point, but must be set aside for Magick to function. Both belief and faith are too weak in the final measure. Faith is an involuntary belief in something not presented to the senses (St. Paul). That's a detriment to Thelemic Magick. It draws a curtain across the Will, depending on an imagined truth. To cause change, Will alone is necessary, but not the lower (sometimes called "human") will. Faith is a state of mind predicated on absence of the thing believed, therefore, as long as faith persists, the thing itself will not come to pass. Faith must dissolve for the "miraculous" to occur. Will carries a form of ecstasy in which no alternative is admitted, even as an imagined thing or an unconscious feeling. Certainty, not faith, is awareness of union with Will.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for November 1995 e.v.

11/1/95Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
11/5/95Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/6/95The Rite of Luna 8:00PM in SF
11/7/95Samhain (Sol 15 deg. Scorpio)
11/8/95Sirius Oasis meeting 8:PM BerkeleySirius Oasis
11/11/95Yoga with Ann, 1PM at Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/12/95Lodge Luncheon Meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
11/12/95Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/13/95John Dee reading group 8:00PM
with Clay in the Library
Thelema Ldg.
11/14/95Vision and Voice reading series
begins 8PM with Caitlin at Oz House
11/15/95Magick in Theory and Practice last
meeting in San Anselmo 7:30 PM
with Bill
Thelema Ldg.
11/18/95O.T.O. Initiations 8:00PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
11/19/95Enochian Liturgy Group 2PM in Libr.Thelema Ldg.
11/19/95Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/20/95Section 2 reading group, 8PM at OZ
Mable Collins The Blossom and the
Thelema Ldg.
11/24/95Astrological Cycles workship 7PM
with Grace in Berkeley
Thelema Ldg.
11/25/95Yoga with Ann, 1PM at Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/26/95Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
11/27/95Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(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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