Thelema Lodge Calendar for May 1996 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for May 1996 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.

Copyright © O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 1996 e.v.

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

May 1996 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Rites of Eleusis

    In 1910 e.v. Crowley organized the probationers of his original London- based A A group to produce a series of theatrical performance-pieces incorporating offerings of music, dance, ritual, poetic recitation, ceremony, and feasting. The leading initiates selected performances from their own repertoires, while Crowley organized the staging principles and (with some assistance from George Raffalovich) wrote dialogues to connect the solo pieces. Their earlier "Rite of Isis," extemporized in a private setting, provided the prototype which Crowley expanded using a planetary structure with zodiacal and elemental correspondences. The Rites of Eleusis were advertised and open to the public (by subscription), and were successfully produced on consecutive Wednesday evenings at Caxton Hall in London in the autumn of that year, to mixed reviews. Although not thematically related to the ancient initiatory Mysteries of Eleusis -- which were being explored so evocatively in German classical scholarship at that time -- the cycle of rites was named in honor of the Greek initiations, and traditionally is pronounced by us somewhat after the German manner as "you-LOY-sis".
    The revival of The Rites was one of the great early accomplishments of the Thelemic community which gathered around Grady McMurtry in the mid-1970s e.v. More than fifteen complete cycles have been produced in the San Francisco Bay area since then, usually scheduled according to a lunar cycle keyed to the planetary days of the week. This year's schedule is a sequence of twelve-day intervals, beginning in the dark of the moon on Saturday 18th May with "The Rite of Saturn" which will open the cycle at Rosslyn Camp in Hayward, located at 1471 "B" Street; call for directions and details at (510) 886-9642. "The Rite of Jupiter" follows on Thursday evening 30th May at Oz House, then the "Rite of Mars" next month on Tuesday 11th June eventually we will conclude with Luna at the full moon on Monday evening 29th July.
    When attending The Rites, consider dressing in accordance with your own preferred system of planetary correspondences, and bring appropriate offerings of food and drink to contribute to the feasts. Call ahead to the announced venue before setting forth to attend, and whenever possible coordinate your participation with the Godforms and organizers of the evening. The Eleusis cycle is a complex magical operation in the form of a series of programmed parties, which can be appreciated on several different levels and enjoyed with various styles of enthusiasm, so that we strive to produce The Rites without too much vulgar disturbance. The performances are held in the homes of various members, and require the focus and consideration of all present, with special care always necessary to avoid alienating the surrounding neighborhoods.

    Grace will be offering a special workshop this month on the Astrological Foundations of the Rites of Eleusis, on Friday evening 31st May, beginning at 7:00. These performances are tightly constructed out of the imagery of astrological relations, so that their dynamics can often be barely evident without reference to the celestial cycles. Many of the dramatis personae of The Rites are not even given names, being identified only by their astrological data as types. Grace has agreed to interrupt her regular workshop series to offer Thelema Lodge this comprehensive astrological overview of The Rites, which will be held in her home in Berkeley. To attend please call (510) 843-STAR or check with Grace ahead of time. Next month Grace will be concluding her "Cycles" series with an evening devoted to the cycles of the asteroid Charon.

The Fires of Beltane

    Thelema Lodge plans a bonfire on the beach for Beltane as Sol goes 15° Taurus shortly before midnight on Saturday evening 4th May. Transportation will be leaving from Oz House at 4:18 that afternoon; please arrive early to be included. We will probably be heading for one of the more remote Marin County beaches, to a site not yet finalized; those who are not coming from the East Bay and wish to meet us at the beach should call for directions the previous evening. Call the lodge at (510) 652-3171 or Oz House at (510) 654- 3580. Bring warm clothing, picnic dinners, and flashlights.

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

    Nineteen years ago in Berkeley, through the spring and summer of 1977 e.v., a few dozen Minerval initiations into O.T.O. were performed, and the community which became Thelema Lodge began establishing itself around Caliph Grady McMurtry. As this fraternity of initiates extended outwards into the world, the O.T.O. in its modern organization began to function. And even before Thelema Lodge was formally opened (on 12th October 1977 e.v.), as plans were being made for "the Rite of Chartering the Headquarters Lodge," the weekly celebration of Crowley's Gnostic Mass was also being established here. A temple notice from that time reads as follows: "Weekly rehearsals of the Gnostic Mass are underway, and preliminary work on the robes and instruments has been done. We will present the Mass in semi-dress form at Crowleymass" - O.T.O. Newsletter 2 (autumn equinox, 1977 e.v.).
    Come to Hours Temple at Thelema Lodge in Oakland any Sunday evening at 8:00 to participate in our weekly celebration of the Gnostic Mass, an open communion ritual. Those not familiar with the lodge are invited to call ahead for information and directions at (510) 652-3171. Members of the lodge officiate for each other in this ritual as a celebration of the gnosis, of community, and of love under will. Those interested in learning or returning to the ritual have only to ask for an introduction to one of our gnostic bishops for guidance and advice. Temple dates are to be finalized with the lodgemaster.


    Initiations into Ordo Templi Orientis will be held at Thelema Lodge on Saturday evening 11th May at 6:00, with a feast to follow. Active initiate members of O.T.O. are welcome to attend, but all please call ahead or mention your intentions ahead of time, so that the lodge officers may gauge the attendance and provide efficiently. Donations of drinks or desserts to go with the dinner will be most welcome.
    Membership in the Man of Earth degrees of O.T.O. is by initiation, for which any may apply. Forms will be provided by the lodge upon request, and when complete may be returned to the lodgemaster for submission to Agape Grand Lodge. Questions regarding initiation scheduling may also be discussed with the lodgemaster.

Classes and Events

    Wednesday evening 22nd May -- new series by Bill Heidrick continues with a second meeting on Tarot in San Anselmo at 7:30. this meeting will start an analytic passage over the Major Trumps.

    Caitlin offers an evening of Black Magic at Oz House for the Section Two reading group on Monday 20th May at 8:00. Crowley described Marjorie Bowen's historical fantasy of the dark ages (originally published in 1909 e.v.) as "an intensely interesting story of sorcery." Black Magic, however, is apt to strike modern readers as a shallow and conventional narrative, written quickly by a precocious nineteen-year-old, and relying for its interest on its sensational themes: the reign of Anti-Christ within the Roman Catholic church, the millennium, and the legendary Pope Joan. Call Oz for directions at (510) 654-3580, and approach the novel as an exercise in speed-reading. As an indication of the conflicting responses provoked by this book, we reprint here the brief review of it which Crowley published the year after it appeared.
    "Marjorie Bowen knows nothing of the real magic, but she has learnt the tales spread by fools about sorcerers, and fostered by them as the best possible concealments of their truth.
    "Of these ingredients she has brewed a magnificent hell-broth. No chapter lacks its jeweled incident, and the web that she has woven of men's passions is a flame-red tapestry stained with dark patches of murder and charred here and there with fire of hell.
    "Marjorie Bowen has immense skill; has she genius? How can a stranger say? So many nowadays are forced by sheer starvation into writing books that will sell -- and when they have taken the devil's money, find that it is in no figure that he has their souls in pawn.
    "I am told that it is the ambition of W. S. Maugham to write a great play."
    -- A. C., The Equinox I:4 (autumn 1910), p. 331.

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

    The Enochian Liturgy project continues its course in crystal-gazing as a means to the spirit-vision, meeting on Saturday evening 25th May at 8:00. Previous visions will be reviewed, followed by actual scrying practice. As before, participants are requested to wear comfortable clothes and to bring a notebook or journal. For information contact Michael Sanborn at (510) 601- 9393.

    On Sunday afternoon 12th May Thelema Lodge will present a three-hour workshop called "Bodywork and Improvisation," beginning at 2:00 and led by Deborah Warner. A bodyworker with experience in Watsu, massage, and breathwork, Deborah will also be utilizing her skills in choral singing, music theory, and group movement. The program will include chant, dance, meditation, massage, and explorations of awareness through movement, including paired synchronization, divination, and musical improvisation. Bring comfortable clothes, musical instruments, and a small personal object.

    Our lodge luncheon meeting this month will be Sunday 19th May at 12:30, and is open to all members who call ahead and let us know they plan to join us for lunch. Library nights are set for Monday evening 6th May and Tuesday evening 21th May, from 8:00 until 10:00, for which also please make advance arrangements.

    The John Dee reading group will not be meeting this month, and in June we will be switching to Saturday evening meetings, as we begin with Clay's nearly-completed transcription of John Dee's Liber Mysteriorum Tertius. Also, Sirius Oasis will skip its May meeting, concentrating instead on the Rites of Eleusis and the Ancient Ways festival. Watch for Oasis meetings on the final Friday evenings of each month, resuming in the summer.

Crowley Classics

    Written upon the eve of the First World War, this essay was set in type as the "Foreword" to a volume of Crowley's selected poetry, intended for publication in 1915 e.v. as The Giant's Thumb. This book was never printed, and Crowley had the corrected proof sheets bound as his own unique copy of the abortive project. © Copyright O.T.O.

The Vindication of Nietzsche


by Aleister Crowley

    Is there any man who still shuts his eyes to the plain fact that homo sapiens is but a primate, cousin of the gorilla, with a brain over-developed to think abominations, and a larynx evolved to aid their execution, a creature whose prime pangs are hunger, lust, and hate, and his fundamental solaces rape, robbery, and murder? I laughed with open throat at the "atrocity" Press Campaigns in the Balkan War. "The half-civilized peoples of the Near East!" Is the present war any less prolific of such stories when the compatriots of Tolstoi, and Gorky, and Goethe, and Anatole France, and Shelley are at war? And are the stories true? True of false in detail, I knew them true in essence, and I knew also that the primmest old maid in Dorchester whose palsied hands dropped her knitting as she read of them was horrified because, although she did not know it, and could never be brought to know it, those atrocities were in her blood from everlasting. "There, but for the Grace of God, goes Charles Baxter" was the wisest remark that ever came from a fool's lips. And it is because we have persuaded ourselves bitterly and obstinately, against the deeper knowledge that is instinct in every organism, that these things cannot happen, that we have lost the manhood that could have prevented them. Some there are so priggishly purblind that fact itself, naked and bleeding at their thresholds, battering on the gates of their ears with the Ram of actuality, fails to force those waxed-up tympana. When the nations were already at each other's throats, when men had seen their brothers blown to atoms before their eyes, drilled through with nickel and lead, slashed and gashed with steel, ridden down beneath the hoofs of the horses1, we heard that President Wilson had offered to arbitrate! To arbitrate, when the diplomatic and economic pressure of a decade, and the consciousness of ineradicable race- hatred since time began, and clan tore clan with flint, had forced the Boar of Germany to turn at last upon the Borzoi and the Bulldog, to lash out with tusk and hoof at the invisible pack of hounds that closed upon him.
    And we are still babbling of the Cause of Liberty, and the Banner of the Democracies, and the Truth, and the Righteousness, and the Justice, and the Equity, and the Humanity, and the Progress, when every man that is not stultified beyond the surgery of war by his own hypocracies, knows well that the battle is a battle of over-population, the haemorrage of a plethora, and that its terms are merely "My life or yours!" -- "The hammer or the anvil?"
    The Chinese (till Europe infected them) murdered all but a few selected female infants, and consequently lived in peace and prosperity for two thousand years. Civilization and the arts flourished; famine has been rare, and floods and plague welcomed as a purge.2 Our squeamishness has forbidden us to take this elementary precaution, this restraint imposed on prosperity by wisdom; and where are our civilization, our prosperity, our liberty, our Progress? In fifty years will there remain so many monuments of what we were two months ago as Egypt has of its Pharaohs, Greece of its Republics, Rome of its Caesars? We have used bricks and iron for stone and brass, pulp for papyrus and palm-leaf, rhetoric for fact, pharisaism for publicansim, and our era will perish ere our own bones rot!3
    We have pretended4 that there was no such thing as sex, no such thing as venereal disease, that our publicists were True Believers in Christianity, that our women were pure and our men brave; we have howled down every man who dared to hint the truth: we have sowed the wind of pious phrases, and we must reap the whirlwind of war.
    It has been the same in every drawer of our cupboard -- and now the skeleton is out. Swinburne's prophecy has come true; we must amend him to read:

"They are past, and their places are taken,
  The gods and the priests that are pure."

    We have had a credit system which when analysed meant that we were all pretending to be rich, a social system in which we all pretended to be esquires at the least. We had Dukes who never led, Marquesses with no marches to ward, Knights who could barely sit on a donkey; we called our slattern slaveys lady helps, our prostitutes soiled doves, our grumbling mumbling fumbling politicians statesmen.
    And it is gone like a ghost -- and an unclean spirit sure it was that haunted us.

    And if I write for England, who will read?
    As if, when moons of Ramazan recede,
    Some fatuous angel-porter should deposit
    His perfect wine within the privy closet!
    "What do they know, who only England know?"
    Only what England paints its face to show.
    Love mummied and relabelled "chaste affection,"
    And lust excused as "natural selection."
      .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .

    Caligula upbraids the cruel cabby,
    And Nero birches chior-boys in the Abbey;
    Semiramis sand-papered to a simper,
    And Clytemnstra whittled to a whimper!
    The austerities of Loyola? to seek!
    But -- let us have a "self-denial week"!
    The raptures of Teresa are hysteric;
    But -- let us giggle at some fulsome cleric!
    "The age refines! You lag behind." God knows!
    Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose.
          .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .

    To call forced labour slavery is rude,
    "Terminological inexactitude."
    This from the masters of the winds and waves
    Whose cotton-mills are crammed with British slaves!
    Men pass their nights with German-Jewish whores,
    Their days in keeping "aliens" from our shores.
    They turn their eyes up at a Gautier's tale,
    And run a maisonette in Maida Vale.
          .       .       .       .       .       .       .       .

    Your titles -- oh! how proud you are to wear them?
    - What about "homo quatour literarum?"
    The puissant all their time to vice devote;
    The impotent (contented) pay to gloat.
    The strumpet's cartwheels splash the starving maiden
    In Piccadilly, deadlier than Aden.
    "England expects a man to do his duty."
    He calls truth lies, and sneers at youth and beauty.
    Pays cash for love and fancies he has won it --
    Duty means church, where he thanks God he's done it!

    I wish I could quote the whole poem;5 but it may need another six months before prudery has a final "seizure."6
    It is this prudery which has fought Nietzsche. In its last ditch it is still pretending that Nietzsche, who hated the Germans, was a German. "The Anglo-Nietzschean War!" True it is, the Germans were the only people who had the common sense, the clear sight, the ability to face, grasp, and use the facts which Nietzsche thundered to the planet. Had England done so, she would have had two million men always under arms, and Germany must have surrendered without a blow, could never have dared even this desperate dash, this madness which comes of pushing sanity to the wall, and bidding it fight for its life. Nor could I write that the British army
    has been
    is being          annihilated.
    is about to be
    Are we fighting to preserve peace, to hold the balance of power, to save civilization, to relieve the burden of armaments, to smash the tyranny of militarism, to sentinel liberty?
    Then we should have had an army equal to Germany's, and our fleet should have destroyed hers while we were three to one. You must fight fire with fire. Shelley's "Laon and Cythna" and his "Masque of Anarchy," Tolstoi and the whole school of non-resistance, where are they now? The "big blonde beast" who visits women with a whip under his arm has not been impressed with the moral superiority of the conquered. He has robbed them and enslaved them and murdered them, he has ravished their women and tossed their children on his bayonets, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen. Thus spake Zarathustra.
    Oh rapture! Font of Medea! Baptism of Rejuvenation! The old world is bathed again in blood; its limbs glow with the crimson; it is the angry sunrise of a new aeon, and Apollo shakes himself clear of the dawn-mists, Nietzsche his morning star!
    The grey breaks to gold.
    Is it not written in the Seventh Invocation of the Book of Liber VII (that is of Lapis Lazuli) by Him that is I: --

    "The forest of the spears of the Most High is called Night, and Hades, and the Day of Wrath; but I am His captain, and I bear His cup.
    "Fear me not with my spearmen! They shall slay the demons with their petty prongs. Ye shall be free.
    "Ah, slaves! ye will not -- ye know not how to will.
    "Yet the music of my spears shall be a song of freedom."
    "O my God, but the love in Me bursts over the bonds of Space and Time; my love is split among them that love not love.
    "My wine is poured out for them that never tasted wine.
    "The fumes thereof shall intoxicate them, and the vigour of my love shall breed mighty children from their maidens."

    Is not Earth purged? Is not the Pillar established in the Void? , ! Thou art arisen! Is there not an end of the anaemia of the Humanitarian, and the hysteria of the Suffragist, and the stark sunning lunacy of the Cubist-Futurist-Vorticist-Parallelipipedist-Feminist, and all the onanism of the Knut and the Flapper?
    Will not man arise again, and hunt and fight and master his mate, and will not woman return to her cooking and her housewifery and the breeding of lusty children to her man? And if Nietzsche be the dawn-star, shall there be no son of man to be a Sun of men?
    Had we no prophet? Had we no poet, O all ye weary criticasters of the prostitute-prude Press?
    Was there not one to put into the mouth of his king-priest-magus, baffled by fate in the hour of the birth of Christianity, this prophecy of the Antichrist --7


                                            "I will away
    Into the mystic palaces of Pan;
    Hidden from day,
    Hidden from Man,
    Awaiting there the coming of the Sphinx
    Whose genius drinks
    The poison of this pestilence, and saves
    The world from all its lords and slaves.
    Ho! for his chariot-wheels that whirl afar!
    His hawk's eye flashing through the silver star!
    Upon the heights his standard shall he plant,
    Free, equal, passionate, pagan, dominant,
    Mystic, indomitable, self-controlled,
    The red rose glowing on the cross of gold . . .
    Yea! I will wait throughout the centuries
    Of the universal man-disease
    Until that morn of his Titanic birth . . .
    The Saviour of the Earth!"

    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

    It is nine years -- nearly ten -- since I wrote this essay -- a spasm of royal Rapture enkindled by the Sparks struck from the steel of the Sword by the Flint of Fate -- at the word War my soul leapt singing with the Sunlight. My life for England, and to win the World! So, die I did, not once but many and many a time in these strange years. No stranger years were ever written upon the scroll of Thoth! All values have changed and changed and changed again; dark and tempestuous have rolled the thunder clouds of Fact, the Föhn of abject Fear has blown out almost every lamp of Truth, and unless the blunder lies there ever unknown;{last phrase not clear in text} but the earth rolls Sunward, Light pierces, Night is daunted, and her ministers are understood to have been shadow-phantoms imagined by Ignorance and Superstition. "Do what thou wilt!" has been proclaimed to many a million; and myself, the Prophet of that Law, made manifest to men as being indeed the Great Wild Beast. Already they have learnt to hate, fear, shun, and drive me forth: the hour is even now at hand when "the keen and the proud, the royal and the lofty" begin to accept my Law as the touchstone of Kingship, to come to me, saying: We worship thy name, foursquare, mystic, wonderful, the number of the man" -- "blessing and worship to the Prophet of the lovely star." For I am Man himself, the avatar of his Solar and Royal essence: Light, Life, Love, Liberty being the functions of my true self, whose Word is GR:Theta-epsilon-lambda-eta-mu-alpha. For this is "the end of the hiding of Hadit", the realization in consciousness of his boundless Sovereignty, that is the opening of the Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child for every Man that
    Will; and the manifest token of his lordship is his fearless frankness in adherence to my Law, his Oath of Fealty to me as "the priest of the princes", the Prophet in whose Word is his Energy and his Authority, the Beast of whose solar Substance he shall build the Temple of deathless and impregnable Beauty to the child his God and King. For his "light is in me and its red flame is as a sword in my hand to push His order: so that to me his Holy Chosen One", from whom all lordship is derived shall every Lord and King pay tribute to Truth, ranging himself beneath my Banner of Love under Will, as Warrior Lawgiver of the Hosts of Light.

1. Note the date of writing. The use of Poison Gas was still to come;
    so were the cold-blooded murders of Edith Cavell, Mata Hari, Sir Roger
    Casement and the Dublin martyrs Erskine Childers, and countless others.
2. P.S. The introduction of Idealism, which left the True Will of the Mongol
    out of account, has resulted in unrest and anarchy.
3. Great achievements of permenant value (other than utilitarian) are evidence
    of a surplus of wealth and energy. The Temples and Tombs of Egypt and
    Hindostan; the Dayobes and Pagodas of China, Cambodia, Burma, and
    Ceylon; the monuments of Assyria. Greece, [Apul?] Italy; the musjid [?]
    of Ismal; the Cathedrals, Churches, and Chapels of Initiated Solar-Phalic
    mystagogues of the Daihotees [?]; none such are possible since power has
    passed from Prince, Prophet, and Priest to the mindless mass with neither
    Blood, Insight, nor Control of the Secret Energy of the Universe.
4. If everyone ceases to call a spade a spade, the term "agricultural implement"
    soon becomes "bad form." It has been universally agreed to avoid all
    reference to the phallus, and so we find sections of society to be horrified
    at the word "trousers." Consent to this, and the prude will soon find a new
    and even remoter object to stir his slime.
5. "The Worlds Tragedy," Preface.
6. P.S. The apparent "Victory" has made it possible for publicists to make a last
    desperate attempt to conceal the fact of the practically universal collapse
    of the pretence that Christianity survives -- or ever existed, in any real sense,
    outside the stews and shambles of serfdom.
7. "The World's Tragedy": concluding passage.

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from the Grady Project:

The Child

Around, around, the circling Hound
Around, around He goes
A zero ground, the Hound has found
A land No Body knows
Around, around the Hound has clowned
Enquiring through his gnose.

Around, around, the troubadour
Walks on the precipice
The crocodile and tiger war
The dove and serpent kiss:
The troubadour will now explore
The precipice Abyss.

Around, around, the world of sense
The weary warrior led
Around, around: His recompense
A tall and thorny bed.
A Child of Perfect Innocence
The fiery Angels dread.

-- Grady L. McMurtry        
6/61 & 7/61              

Originally published in Grady McMurtry, Poems (London, England & Bergen, Norway: O.T.O., 1986), then in The Grady Project 4 (Berkeley: O.T.O., December 1988).

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XV -- Self Initiation.

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

    Self initiation amounts to you learning your own nature. The practice is not standardized and cannot be easily compared with the experience of others. Even so, some things will be similar for most people who undertake this path; and the advantage is that it's uniquely tailored to the individual. Self- initiation on the Tree of Life amounts to becoming very aware of each of the Sephirot and paths in your life. Everybody starts with Malkut.
    If you do manage to turn on your own personal Tree of Life, what happens if the environment changes? You may find that your situation doesn't work with the narrower conception of the Tree of Life you used earlier. The self initiation work isn't wasted, since it sets a basic pattern. If you have to adapt to a new situation, the basic routine is still there and the changed circumstances can be rapidly accommodated. Instead of taking years, a week or a month may suffice, depending on the situation.
    Self initiation usually begins with a part of your life, not everything that happens to you all day. Get it working in some limited area in space, time and focus: a set of meditations, a deliberate daily time in the park, study time reading a book, anything of that sort. Develop a full Tree of Life just from that reserved practice and state of mind. Using meditation on the Tree is particularly popular, but all approaches require preparation. Study until the Tree settles clearly in your mind, so that you can recognize when you have anchored yourself to a Sephirot.
    It's a common practice to take a special name for yourself when you feel you have identified with a new Sephira. Obviously the name for Malkut is the name your parents gave you. That is your legal earthly name and there may be no need to take a new one for Malkut. A Malkut name can be chosen to reflect the system being used for self-initiation, perhaps the ideal goal formulated for the whole practice. When you reach up into Yesod, a name from a dream would be appropriate. For Hod, the name should symbolize your practical side. The Netzach name may symbolize how you have endured emotional crisis. In Tipharet the magical name should symbolize your whole view of life. In Geburah the name should be a power that represents facing real trials of effort, not passing crises. A Chesed name should represent the manner in which your attainment will help all humanity. In Binah, in Chokmah and in Keter, it's wise to take names that are not symbolic of your normal life. For those highest Sephirot the names shouldn't reflect mundane and changing things, since these are states which transcend the usual meaning of life in the outer world.
    The nature of the self or soul is an interesting subject. Obviously, your body is a form of yourself in Malkut. Vague feelings about what you are and what you are doing belong to the "lower self". Those feelings are the ones that don't connect up to a coherent identity. They might be overly critical or overly lazy in some small matters, the kind of feelings that would lead one to work or sleep too much or otherwise not take care of oneself. Such feelings constitute a sort of fragmented self in Yesod. The self that has its "act" together, the "I know what to do" self is in Tipharet.
    To try a simple self initiation, pick a quality and work with it. If you choose a quality of imagination and try to learn what is happening with the Tree of Life in your dream world, that's a type of self initiation into Yesod. For Hod, consider some aspect of practical things, typically some project with a final result, like building something or writing and publishing something. With Netzach, the quality is emotions, particularly relations with individual friends and family. Consider what you are doing in life and society for Tipheret. That's about as far as it goes with any natural momentum. Geburah is difficult, being a matter of personal morality and self-improvement generally. If you catch yourself being too forceful or not forceful enough in various situations, that's an indication of need for work in Geburah. The mark of Chesed is a mixture of benevolence and intense mystical yearning, very difficult to characterize but unmistakable once experienced. This approach to self initiation in the lower seven Sephirot is successful when there is a clear sense of what's going on in each of these categories and an accomplishment in balancing the corresponding states of mind in living circumstances -- not just as abstractions.
    There are other indications of success with the Tree of Life. To take Hod for an example, if you find that you automatically make plans or outlines with ten divisions matching the Sephirot on the Tree of Life, that is a practical application of the Tree on a working level. If you can both communicate your ideas and interest people, that is a Netzach attainment.
    Why work from the bottom up on the tree, instead of from the top down? If you are engaged in self-initiation, you are working from the bottom up, from the world where you find yourself in this life, to a higher or less mundane awareness. That requires "raising the world" with you, taking the life you live up to these levels as you advance in understanding and wisdom. Working from the top down can provide insight and allows a sort of random seeking for experience. Descent from Keter is a vitalizing but passive experience. It's like sugar instead of a hearty meal and exercise. Such a process, after first rising from Malkut to Keter, can be very useful in the world; but just going down the Tree does not develop the kind of strength a person needs to be able to call up at difficult times in life. This can be seen in other, more localized ways. If you suddenly see something beautiful, that's a gift of Tipharet. If you suddenly feel a warm, kindly feeling for the world, that's a gift down from Chesed. If you can produce that same warm kindly feeling along with the things that go with it, and make it real by will, then you've succeeded in attaining from the bottom up. That's the difference between these two approaches.
    The 22 paths on the Tree are part of the passage upward, a sort of sequential clue to help one figure out the best way to do this. Those lesser paths come popping out on the way down, but on the way up they can be used to see how states of mind and feeling in individual Sephirot connect dynamically to other individual Sephirot. Once that experience has been gained by a simplified progress, it's time to start working with it again. Trees of Life will seem to spring up from many different chance experiences. Some of these will overlap others in complex ways, producing multi-directional living, multi-dimensional thinking and feeling. A linear one dimensional thinker says "this ... therefore that ... " etc. Two dimensional thinking is concerned with freedom and the lack of it. Three dimensional thinking is concerned with other influences. The more tracks you can lay across your mind, the more Trees of Life you can have functioning, all gradually adding to and diversifying the same pattern in your unconscious mind. Over the course of time you will become more efficient and self possessed, with only one thing increasing in difficulty. It will become harder to talk to a person who simply thinks linearly. Suppose you have a stone. When you look at it from one side you can only see so much, but the more angles of perception you consider the more complete becomes your image of that stone. Multi- dimensional thinking leaves you less susceptible to problems. Inability to consider antinomies(pairs of opposites) with equal objectivity inevitably leads to confusion. Such bewilderment can precipitate a whirling fall down the Tree of Life and levels of consciousness. Moral perplexity produces a fall from Geburah to Tipharet, thence to Netzach and finally to Hod. In Hod a person can make the error of trying to be practical and moral at the same time, a total insanity, since morality can only guide practical choice but cannot dictate functional details. The delusions that result from that impossible pressure come out in Yesod and eventually lead to inertia in Malkut. This is an extreme case of falling down a Tree of Life. If you have multiple Trees in your experience, you can swing from one to the other like a mental "Tarzan". That's the way to avoid catastrophe in these practices.

Previous Introduction to Qabalah, Part XIV                   Next Issue: A look at the Sepher Yetzirah.

Book Review

The Magical Diaries of Aleister Crowley, edited by Stephen Skinner, has been reissued in paperback this season by Samuel Weiser Inc., of York Beach, Maine, reprinted from a volume some of you may have seen in 1970.
    This diary covers the period when Crowley, Leah Hirsig, Norman Mudd, and others were in Tunisia -- 1923. It was not a great time in Crowley's life; he was often broke, and the diary shows this struggle, along with his struggle against drug addiction. All of this was played out on the stage set by the explorations that are elucidated in The Vision and the Voice. Despite the intense hardships he delved into quite a few mysteries. The Tunis Commentary on the Book of the Law was written during this year, and he was at work on developing the O.T.O. in the context of the modern world, trying to find his own place as a prophet. But spiritual crises such as these were what initiated him. Crowley states that this was his intent; that what is necessary to produce initiation in others is to precipitate a spiritual crisis and then let nature take its course. The person will then either succeed or not. This was a time of crises in his own life, as these diaries show so well; he too was deep in thought about what was honorable and what was not.

June 10, 1923, 7:30 p.m.
    " . . . There is no connection between truthfulness & ability to keep one's word. The former is a debatable metaphysical puzzle hardly worth consideration except at Christmas after a bad dinner in Minnesota (I was reading Main Street, a novel about this State); the latter is like any other ability. It is a good example of the way in which Christianity has confused moral questions. It has made them unrecognizable. It requires endless analysis to disentangle the elements of the problem. It has taken me I can not say how many hours, each second of which was packed with thought at the highest pressure, assisted by Ether & absence of Heroin, merely to ask the simplest question about right & wrong to be imagined. It sounds paradoxical to say that I have simplified the ethical problem by defining Truth as one's peculiar variety of Untruth. The parallel of Einstein, once again, is absolutely good. By introducing a slight complication into the formula for the straight line, he has in reality simplified the problem. Note also that each ray of light is responsible to itself for itself, according to the intensity of the gravitation fields in its course. It was, in fact, the cardinal heresy of Christianity to distinguish between different kinds of force & so deny unity to Nature. Incidentally, all religions have made a similar error except perhaps Buddhism."

    Crowley spends considerable time wrestling with moral questions. He is writing letters to everyone he knows, and most of the parents and relatives of his friends, trying to make ends meet. Even though Mussolini had thrown him out of Sicily there are still others living at the Abbey that depend on him. He writes Leah's mother pleading that she is ill (which she was) and that money is necessary to save her life. He tries to secure necessary funds by any means possible; to interest publishers and promoters, to stall on paying his bills. He even considers taking a straight job, but decides that -- no matter what -- he must succeed by working for the establishment of the Aeon, or not at all. He wants to address the slanders that are being published about him, but has no money to do so.
    There is a good deal of Greek Qabalah in the book, mostly in the form of Gematria, that will be of interest to readers. Crowley worked hard to decipher the formula of the Aeon, and to define his own place in it. This Tunisian diary shows his human weaknesses and strengths in all their stark reality. If you have placed him far up upon a pedestal this will knock him down for you. He was a man, and represented man to the Gods, in all ways, both good and bad.
    Crowley's curses of Mussolini, and his attempt to figure out how to deal with Frater Achad, are also highly illuminating. Crowley tried throughout his life to groom someone for succession after him, and to deal with the troublesomely prejudiced, irrelevant, and hysterical reactions to his beliefs on the part of various governments and institutions. In neither attempt did he succeed very well.

July 24, 1923, 2:25 a.m.
    "Frater Achad: how to deal with him -- a letter should be written in the Occult Review & other rubbish heaps which he respects -- being a Copyright Hound (see From Crystal Gazing to Crystal Vision) - to challenge his position. Is he a member of the A A he boasts about all the time, &c. Point out that he has not complied with the Regulations of 7 = 4 of R. R. et A. C. by publishing a complete statement of his Point-of-View, &c. True, 666 has accepted him: but that only means he has taken advantage of the rule that any man can be 8 = 3 if he dare to claim the Grade. As in fact he did. This leaves a slur on him, as ignorant of intermediate Grades . . ."

    Appendix Three, by Stephen Skinner, the "Magical Mottoes" of Crowley's contemporaries, is in itself worth the purchase price of the book; a who's who that would take quite a bit of research to put together on one's own.
    A recommended read if you want to understand the nitty-gritty of our prophet.

                                                                                          ---- Frater 137


To my Holy Guardian Angel

O, Holy Angel
Ignite the fires,
Of my aspiration.

What I see in passing
Is but a dream....

I call to Thee
Through ordeals and trials
To guide me by Thy Holy light.

-- Firebird 397          

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Primary Sources

Crowley, 60 years ago this month:
Since we have a review of a Crowley diary this issue, here's another look at what A.C. was doing and thinking. This is from his Royal Court Diary for May of 1936 e.v., tough times 60 years ago this month. Copyright © OTO. From Gerald Yorke's transcription:


Sat. 1. Bus strike
Do you think the pub will trust us
For a cask of rum? (When broadcast by B.B.C. read 'case of ... Mumm).
F--- my shit-hole wetter, Hector,
F--- my piss-hole drier; f___ me like the f-----g rector
F---- the f-----g choir.
Thrushes pipe Hey nonny nonny
Linnets twitter sweet
Praise God for Joe, Hector, Johnny
Paul, Augustus, Pete.
Heaven & earth serenely blended
By our Lady's Grace ---
Now my f-----g song is ended
F--- my f------g face.
                   Natus est Filius 666

Sun. 2. Lunch with Lawrence. Saw Kenrick in P.M. Crowds in utter chaos. Worked out plans for Crush Barrier. & horror for May 12. Worst planets I ever saw.

Mon. 3. Celebrated the Event of May 2.
Louis Fox Kenrick P.W.Sergeant & wife. Violet Hulton at C.R. after dinner.

Tues. 4. A day so absolutely blank that it made other blank days look cheerful by contrast.
Lunch with Monty. Dinner with Pearl.
Met ... Kleine Newport.

Thur.6. A blank blank day. Spent night at Collin's. Met Cowan. Talked till 3.a.m.

Fri.7. Another blank.
Sat.8. Another blank: but my brain is gradually clearing. I played good chess.

Sun.9. Spent night with Collings &c. The Abbe: his "toute petite epreuve" 1 plus 2 p 2 squared p 2 cubed plus ... plus 2 to the nth is composite when n plus 1 is composite. P.S. This is a well-known proposition: see any good text-book. Silly cheat!

Mon.10. All day as a "literary solutionist"!
Turker at night: down to 6d.

Wed.12. Coronation Day.
Sun in 21° Taurus
Moon in ° Gemini

Neptune in 16° Scorpio Rx
in 10° Taurus
Saturn in 2° Aries Fall
Jupiter in 27° Capricorn Fall P.Mars

Mars in 1° Sagittarius Rx PJupiter
Venus in 20° Aries Detriment
Mercury in 20° Taurus Rx Conjunction PSun
Saw "Coronation" of dummies by very live people. Bed with Collins

Thur.13. Bullets with Collins. Lunch with Pam & Co. Kenrick at dinner. Louis Fox paid 10/- for book. (I gave him a "Clouds without Water" worth 35/- )

Fri.14. Met again Helen Buchannan Bell. Fox gave me dinner, invited me to Ashburnham for Whitsun, to start 8 1/2 a.m. Sat. telephoned delay & would I meet him at Cafe Royal Saturday P.M. When I 'phoned to confirm he had left for Sussex!!!

Sat.15. The usual struggle-day. Collins away too, though he told me he had "Home Circle" this night. Kenwick? Can I sell his shares?

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From the Outbasket

MT raised some points and questions last year in email. Here are topics and my edited responses from that discussion.

Crowley and Conscience

    "Conscience" is a loaded word, with very many deviations of definition in different religions and approaches to psychology. At times the term is limited to Super Ego and negative prompting involving guilt and prohibitions exclusively. That's not the Roman Catholic definition, which includes both that quality and the quality of positive prompting toward closer relations with the deity. Crowley tended to abhor obsession with guilt, favoring instead the positive intimations of communication with the HGA and similar ideas. For Crowley, conscience amounted mainly to a sense of "what's right", not "what's wrong". He is remembered as explaining mistakes by "You do what seems right at the time".
    A.C. had his problems with regrets and the like, but he favored a more positive orientation. As to his sanity, he had food, shelter, friends and was never arrested past the time it took to establish his identity (one instance of mistaken identity in France for a few hours). That satisfies the legal and clinical definition of functionally sane. His psychology was unusual, and he had neuroses. His personality exhibited disorder at times, including touches of hypochondria and social problems. That isn't uncommon and may be little more than the result of a Victorian childhood plus being "born before his time".

Note on Vibration

    There are four traditional voices, falsetto through basso. The two middle voices use the mouth and throat for a sounding box. Falsetto uses the sinus cavities and basso the abdomen. The middle voices can damage your throat, but either basso or falsetto can get you high without much risk. Some people try for pitch, and BOTA has a set of notes for the Hebrew letters (based on the division into Mothers, Doubles and Singles and the twelve black and white keys in a piano octave). Experiment seems the best approach.

Note on Tarot and Path Workings

    Pick a theory and run with it. There are a number of different arrangements, the simplest being to start with the Fool, progress through the Magus and treat each successive Trump as an increasingly material incarnation of the Fool. The first seven (starting with the Magus) are abstract or spiritual, the next are intermediate and the last seven are materially oriented. Putting the Trumps on the paths of the Tree of Life is a different method.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for May 1996 e.v.

5/4/96Beltane Beach Bonfire, meet at
OZ 4:18 PM for car pool
5/5/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/9/96Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
5/11/96OTO Initiations
Call to attend.
Thelema Ldg.
5/12/96"Bodywork" with Deburah 2 PMThelema Ldg.
5/12/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/18/96The Rite of Saturn (in Hayward)Rosslyn Cmp
5/19/96Lodge Luncheon Meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
5/19/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/20/96Section 2 reading group w/Catlin
Marjorie Bowen's Black Magick8PM at Oz house
Thelema Ldg.
5/21/96Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
5/22/96Tarot with Bill Heidrick, 7:30 PM
in San Anselmo at 5 Suffield Ave.
Thelema Ldg.
5/25/96Enochian Liturgy Group 8 PM
Scrying Workshop
Thelema Ldg.
5/26/96Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/30/96The Rite of Jupiter (Oz House)Independent
5/31/96Astrological of the Rites of Eleusis
with Grace in Berkeley 7 PM
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.

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Berkeley, CA 94702 USA

Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)

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