Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
January 1997 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Lodge Members and Officers
The Hanged Man, pertaining to inversion and enlightenment, will be one of our two featured images this month for the illustrated portion of the tenth meeting of the Tarot series being offered by Bill Heidrick for Thelema Lodge. The following card, Death, thirteenth of the Major Trumps in Tarot, the card of passage and transformation, will also be explored in the same manner. Then Bill will lead the group, which meets in his home in San Anselmo on Wednesday evening 22nd January at 7:30, as we shuffle up an actual deck and work step- by-step through a complete reading or two, responding to queries from those in attendance. For information or directions, call ahead at (415) 454-5176.
The Thelema Lodge Astrological Study Group continues its series on the astrological houses in the horoscope as Grace leads a discussion of the eighth house, which will be held at the Temple of Astrology in Berkeley on Friday evening 31st January. With the eighth house we face issues of the limits of personality; in particular, death and the erotic impulse are both related to this area. In earlier ages when predictions of the time, manner, and place of death were more common in horoscope interpretations, elaborate planetary schemes were developed in the eighth house to render these details. Relationships also establish the boundaries of personality, and it is this aspect of sexuality (the potential for magical rather than biological fertility), along with the whole texture of ordinary cooperations and exchanges we conduct with others, which the eighth house rules. All are welcome at this workshop, but to be included please call Grace ahead of time at (510) 843-7827. She will provide directions, and take your birth-time data for charts with which we can illustrate our ideas together.
"A magnificent magical allegory" is Crowley's recommendation of Balzac's novel Le Peau de Chagrin, the title of which is variously rendered in English as The Magic Skin, The Wild Ass's Skin, The Deadly Skin etc., and perhaps literally means "the sorry pelt." We will be reading and discussing this very enjoyable supernatural tragedy when Caitlin hosts the Section Two Reading Group meeting at Oz House on Monday evening 20th January at 8:00.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), author of the grand series of nearly fifty novels and many short and long stories, collectively known as The Human Comedy, was an almost scientific novelist, systematically recording the complexities of sensibility and the developing styles and values of French culture during his lifetime. Although especially concerned with the psychology of social manners, the Balzac oeuvre also contains precisely formulated studies of mystical and philosophical problems, with the story of the magic skin (a beautiful piece of onager hide which has been charged as a talisman) outstanding among the latter category. The novel was first published in 1831, but Balzac loved to go back and revise his work, and issued seven new versions of this book through 1845. The story explores the human faculty of will, about which Balzac enjoyed speaking in grandious, confidant, and progressive nineteenth-century terms as a potential "material force similar to steam-power." It would become capable of powerful new achievements when refined by the development of subtle techniques in new directions of research involving etherial mechanics, animal magnetism, mental electricity, and other marvels of the day. In another story a Balzac character claims of the human will that "nothing in the moral world could resist it when a man trained himself to concentrate it, to control the sum of it, and constantly to direct upon other men's minds the projection . . ." of his will ("Louis Lambert" in Le Livre mystique, 1835).
Thelema Lodge library nights this month will be held on Wednesday 15th January and Tuesday 28th January, with all attending requested to call ahead for confirmation. The monthly luncheon meeting for lodge business, which also requires advance arrangements, is scheduled for Sunday afternoon 12th January. Sirius Oasis will be meeting as always on the final Monday evening of the month in northern Berkeley. Call the lodge at (510) 652-3171, Oz House at (510) 654-3580, or Sirius Oasis at (510) 527-2855 for information and directions.
by Aleister Crowley
Derived from a lecture series in 1977 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
Copyright © Bill Heidrick
Here's a different sort of image:
In Violet Russell's book Heroes of the Dawn, there's a color plate on page 32. To the right, filling the frame from top to bottom, is a shadowy figure. It shows only outline, eyes and mouth. To the left is a warrior in the artist's idea of the garb of ancient Ireland, with spear and shield. Fire streams forth from the mouth of the great shadow, as the text goes: "Through the Darkness came a shaft of flame. Finn raised his shield to catch it." This is the image of a great, frightening, fire belching figure and a warrior defending himself against the fire. Qabalah uses a similar image in the formation of the Sephirot. There is a realization of something flowing, something appearing between you and the other, between the two poles. This is not an understood thing. It is merely a thing that you know exists. You may have dim knowledge as to its nature. Here it is like a torrent of fire. On the Tree of Life this is described as a lightning bolt or a sword twisting every which way, creating points of reference. In this Celtic picture, those points of reference are danger, direction, light, heat, ideas of defense, ideas of cause and steps to take. All those ideas are emitted by this ray or beam of fire, just as though they were physically part of it. This is interaction between two polarities, between a Malkut and a Keter. For the man on the ground, that's a very dangerous Keter. It may be an upside down Tree, a Tree of negativity in which he is the Malkut, the thing that must ground it, else he will fail. The great shadow figure is as a Keter or a Malkut from a different perspective. The torrent of fire is as different for the shadow figure as the spear is for the man. The shadow figure fears the spear as the man does the flame. Fear of harm or other perception of significance on either side generates all manner of ideas connecting back the other way. This is like the emergence of the Tree of Life in a situation. You see something in the window, and you want to buy it or possess it. All sorts of thoughts leap between it and yourself: How can you get the money to buy it? When will the store be open? How to get to it? These are the Sephirot appearing, but they are not connected. They are merely "there" as islets or fragments like stars of thought that don't shed light on one another. It's simply a torrent of imagery formed by a blast of energy.
Ordering such thought is the purpose of the Tree of Life diagram. The circles, the Sephirot, are the states of consciousness. They may not be ordered as they are in the diagram. They may be jumbled: desire in the wrong place, thinking confused, morality confounded with love. When these states get ordered, one becomes aware of interconnecting things, ways of going from one to another of the stages or partial steps that lay between the two polarities of one and ten, of Keter and Malkut. This kind of construction is a pulling together of the Tree of Life, so that what was made separate, the one and the ten, can be reunited. Theoretically, the unification can be done in any of the intermediate Sephirot. This is like looking at your own right hand. You see your hand as separate in the field of your attention; but a moment later it is a part of yourself, undistinguished from the rest. All of these kinds of things can be applied to almost anything in human life that has an element of polarity in it, be it yourself and other or two separate things which you chance to observe at the same time. This is a functional way to use the Tree of Life. Generally one would not need to use every path on the Tree to do such a thing. For this you have to get some knowledge of the thing and see how you are applying it unconsciously, look it up, get more aware of it. It's a matter of experiment, this sort of use of the Tree of Life. But it leads to something a little more important.
Consider now Fr. Achad's "Macrocosmic Snowflake", from his The Anatomy of the Body of God:
This is formed by laying Tree of Life diagrams around in a circle of six trees, with one central point as a common Malkut and adjacent trees overlapping Netzach and Hod, one tree to the next. In addition, each of the individual six trees that form this circular pattern have other trees of successively larger size going out in the six radial directions, such that the central point remains the Malkut of all, but each successive ring of trees overlaps the next larger, Tipheret on Yesod, Keter on Tipheret. Taken all together, a sort of snowflake is formed of Trees of Life.
You are in the center, the common Malkut point, and all the radial lines crossing overlapped Keters, Tipherets in this illustration, six classes of them. As the center is approached these goals or objects get closer and closer to the origin. This is yourself and the things that you need, feel and perceive. One can cast out from the center toward a distant objective along one of these radiants or points of view, but the energy may be insufficient to reach so far. Instead, a lesser goal is pursued in the same direction. Once that is reached, another is pursued further on, and then further ... We do these things automatically. The function of the Tree of Life in this is to help work the process in a more systematic way, a way that leaves fewer gaps and promotes coordination. These Trees not only overlap and align radially, but they also overlap side to side. From one success you can gain help in another effort, even if it is not in the same "line" or direct point of view. This is a way strength, order, and vitality grow in a human life.
In Jungian psychology, a pattern like this is called a constellation. A thought in the center relates to other thoughts by more or less complete intervening steps. Word association shows this simply: Somebody says "dog". You say "cat". Then, "rat". Then, "furry".... All these things are associated in your mind. The complex starts with one concept, and the others emerge to interrelate around it.
This is the way the Tree of Life actually works in human consciousness. It's a system of building patterns and recognizing the inner structure of those patterns. You don't have to be conscious of everything involved to benefit from such insight; but once the basic ground plan of the Tree of Life is set in mind, you can look at an evolved complex and repair or strengthen where necessary. The Tree of Life is like a trellis for a vine growing in garden. The difference between this view and what we have discussed up to this point is one of complexity. No longer a single trellis for a single vine, now the Tree becomes a pattern for design of an entire garden of many plants, and, by extension, of the human mind.
Frater P, known to the world as John P. McClimans, 1947-1996 e.v., II° OTO, of Sirius Oasis, died in his sleep in the evening of 10th November of complications of diabetes and a heart ailment after a stroke on 24th September. Frater P was a founder of CAW (the Church of All Worlds), and a Gardnerian of the Proteus Coven of New York City; had worked in the Chicago Temple of the Pagan Way; and had COG and Spiral ministerial credentials.
|Phantom walls and phantom halls|
|The universe exploding|
|Desiccation in the soul|
|A phantom wind eroding|
|Imago and Jericho|
|Our tiger blood is urgent|
|Son of Midnight and the Sun|
|A winged splendor emergent|
|Ram's horn and Unicorn|
|The star-track waves are twinkling|
|A sieving Siva's inkling|
This poem corresponds with the Sun trump in Tarot, one a cycle of Grady's lyrics which he entitled The Angel and the Abyss. Published first as a fragmentary quotation in The Magickal Link 3:10 (Berkeley: O.T.O., October 1983), it was first printed in complete form in McMurtry: Poems (London & Bergen: O.T.O., 1989), then in The Grady Project (Berkeley: O.T.O., December 1988).
|I was just beginning.|
|I wanted it all.|
|I was determined to succeed.|
|Nothing could stop me.|
|I made my first move,|
|And I was victorious.|
|I sat bathing in my glory.|
|The next move was to be difficult,|
|But I was determined to succeed.|
|I gathered my resources.|
|I was plotting my coming victory.|
|My preparations piled high,|
|I was fighting to the Death.|
|I only knew victory,|
|And I was granted it.|
|My crowning glory shone forth.|
|I was brighter than the Dog's star.|
|Victory was to be so easy now.|
|I was to have it all.|
|One veiled obstacle remained:|
|A single figure clad in blue.|
|I was determined.|
|I swept aside the veil,|
|And I was met by a flame of cold.|
|My defenses crumbled into dust.|
|I lost all that I had,|
|And I was defeated.|
|But I worked so hard!|
|I was to be victorious!|
|Aiwaz, was I?|
|Nothing lay around me,|
|But abomination and desolation.|
|Were my victories all apparitions?|
|What was I without victory?|
|I had nothing.|
|I was nothing.|
|I had everything.|
|I was everything.|
|5169 1/4 Fountain Avenue,|
Los Angeles, 29, California.
June 30, 1954
Copy of Cameron's last letter to me is enclosed. Reference to I Ching: She asked me to throw the sticks for her -- this over the phone. I do not permit an inquirer to tell me the question -- I feel much freerer. There seemed to be an urgency, so I typed it immediately, and posted it to her. I learned afterward that it had to do with her new art unfoldment, done on parchment, and which seems to have put her over -- to some extent at least. She is being talked about, etc., but I have not yet seen these paintings, which is rather annoying and disappointing.
She gave me good news: "Jane, my Messianic Drive is over -- finished!"
About two years ago, at Cameron's request, Estai endorsed a copy of Liber AL to Renee Loomer, and one to LeRoy ...... I now learn that LeRoy has organised Voo Doo Ceremonies in Pasadena and Los Angeles. His photograph shows a fine upstanding negro, with power and personality. Did A.C. ever do anything about "the obeah and the wanga"? Those are Voo Doo terms. But LeRoy would never come to see me. Cameron Renee and Paul Andre (her partner) have a growing group, so Paul told me. I was so stupid I did not ask about it; but I shall have a chance later on.
Cameron again. I have let her alone, for the most part, as she always phones or calls when in deep trouble, or in need of talking it out with some one. When here two weeks ago she told me the past year has been hideous -- that her two selves were in conflict -- that she was insane for a time -- she always carried the means of suicide -- but now thinks she has faced the lurking fears. Out of this chaos came an art expression which she has sought for years, and it is in art she is to express herself.
Phyllis. You gave me a Commentary on Liber VII some years ago, asking me not to show it to anyone. Is Phyllis now entitled to read it?
Monty is not in any position to work on Qabalah, etc., at present. Desperate about money, some of his Mexican friends plotted out a section of L.A. (East) through which to canvas for insurance (Life). This he will do every evening. It is thought he can make $50 a week after he learns the techniques. His debts are troubling him mightily -- money his sister loaned him, a Bank in Beverly Hills, his daughter's support -- the wife maintains herself.
Louis had supper with us two nights ago, he was full of talk about this and that, but after he had gone I realized I had not heard anything about the remaining books!! The fool's cap and corner for me.
|1203 Inchon Avenue.|
July 1, 1955
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
A.C.'s letter to Jack. My recollection -- which I feel is correct -- is that Jack was to work in secret. Also that the Working, and the Result, were not to be told anyone -- Jack himself to put it out of his mind when finished.
Whether Jack followed the instructions at first, Ron Hubbard later became an assistant. Hence my shock on receiving Jack's report. I do hope that Report turns up!
You have seen Jack's pencilled Liber 49 (now in your possession). Did Ron Hubbard have aught to do with the typed Liber 49, Ron eliminating many superfluous words?
Did A.C. think Jack capable of such work? Or was Jack capable but being tested for the Four Powers of the Sphinx.
By the way, I was told (by whom? Culling?) that Ron Hubbard had some powers. For instance. That he nailed W.T.S. to a board? a cross? There he stayed till Jack could no longer tolerate Smith's pleadings to be released. Ron then let him loose.
Hubbard was a successful contributor to "Weird Stories" Magazine.
Ero, Jean and I leave early Saturday a.m. for L.A. They return the 4th.
| 1203 Inchon Ave.|
August 13th, 1955.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Cameron will not get to Mexico at the time she stated, July 26. She came to the Burlingames to see me the 3rd of August, and then stated she was to go the following Tuesday. She also told me somewhat of Muir. He is divorced and has with him 3 children of that marriage. In the group destined for Mexico are Muir, a second wife(?) and their three children, Cameron and the three children above mentioned. These three Cameron cares for; she also keeps conversation going, when needed. This discipline is a strain, but she feels there is something waiting for her in Mexico -- possibly a thought to keep up her spirits?? -- something she wants but fears. Also, she is without a home and has worn out her welcome now here, now there. No letter from Mexico as yet.
This from Cameron. Anger is in Majorica, for 3 years; no pictures during this period; no people other than those of his present line of thought, one of which is a group of people named "The Circle of Saturn", of Germany. Anger wrote C. at the time of the "Pleasure Dome" experiments in London, but she did not answer him. But told me she now will write him. At no time did she write Kenneth Grant -- her "instinct" prevented it.
I feel Cameron will go ahead or fall off her perch. She is hard pressed and looked worn and thin when I saw her.
Jean has written re Meeka and Louis, so I add the remark of Phyllis. "Saw Mica and Louis and was amused and annoyed. Louis still dangerous to our best interests. He is always the monkey on the lookout for the cat's paw, and unprincipled."
Cameron is pressed for money, yet refused the program. Meeka bragged about the money one could get on T.V. Smith refused. She and Louis were quite melodramatic -- especially Meeka -- who stood out front watching the actress rant and rave, preening herself on her ability and beauty. But then, sincerity is not in either one. I was glad to hear Coates, the Confidential columnist, tell the audience, the Ritual was a hodge-podge, but even so could do some damage to some people. I was surprised to hear him say there are 40 groups in L.A. who practice witchcraft and sorcery. But on thought, there are Mexicans interested in some such thing, and the negro vodoo. Cameron says that is practised in L.A.
|Vortex spinning seeds of change|
|Blinding light and icy rage|
|Towers crackle in the fire|
|Jump the wind whirling higher . . .|
BW asked about negative spirits and depression a friend experienced.
This sounds like a classic case of attracting things that feed on pain and fear. Such spirits take the form of perceptions and mental states which tend to produce that sort of food. Saturnian states of mind and emotion are very powerful tools, but usually are poorly understood, badly aimed and inadequately contained. They leak, and attract parasites. This is connected with the Muladhara Chakra in eastern approaches. It is the same thing as the "creative crisis" or massive depression that people have to endure to reach a changed state of consciousness or to make some new thing. If it is not understood in that way, it is the principal source of suffering in humanity. These hungry spirits are always a hazard. Any major working attracts them, as does any state of depression. One simply has to keep busy and learn due proportion and balance in many aspects of living.
MP wanted to know if Magick was without limits, particularly in regard to time travel.
Magick is entirely dependent on limits. To work Magick, one changes the limits in such a way that intended things happen. The act of perceiving the physical body is a question of time. Abolish time and you have to leave aside many of the perceptions that constitute a sense of the physical. As to the limits changed to go back in time in the spirit, there are many ways to do this. The simplest is by affinity, learning and sympathizing with people of the past, including their environments, to the point that one accepts the limits that define a bygone age and place. The senses and prejudices are very important in that. One must "smell it" and be bound by the beliefs of the age.
WJ remarked the similarity of sex and prayer.
This is something that often takes a while for a Westerner to accept, or at least verbalize. Sex and Religion are essentially similar. Prayer and sexual activity are the same thing in all but outer forms, if earnest and successful as actions. Religion also includes aspects of parent-child and fear-safety, but Sex pretty much deals with the rest. This is sometimes easier to understand if one thinks of animal behavior, since the only correspondence in animal behavior to prayer is sex and the tolerant behavior associated with mating and courtship. In sexuality and prayer alike, the common point of success is utter release, followed by a sense of calm and ecstasy. There are passages in the Bible and other religious literature which describe the relationship between the worshiper and the deity in sexual modes or roles, and the Song of Solomon is only the most obvious. Most worship buildings and rites are essentially sexual, even downright gynecological, in structure and symbolism. Nearly all religions develop a rite of marriage or otherwise dignify and sanctify sexuality. Sexual abstinence in clergy is found in some religions, whereby the sexual matters are reserved for prayer directly with the deity or a feminine counterpart. Other religions permit or require marriage for clergy, commonly including a sympathetic mode between the married couple and a similar divine activity, often requiring sexual congress on the Sabbath.
|1/5/97||Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/8/97||New Moon in Capricornus 8:26 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/12/97||Thelema Lodge Luncheon Meeting 12:30||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/12/97||Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/13/97||The Law is for ALL reading and|
discussion, Library, 7:30PM
|1/15/97||Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM|
(call to attend)
|1/18/97||OTO initiations. Call to attend||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/19/97||Sol into Aquarius 4:43 PM||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/19/97||Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/20/97||Section 2 reading w/Caitlin at OZ|
Balzac's The Magic Skin, 8PM
|1/22/97||Tarot with Bill Heidrick, 7:30 PM|
in San Anselmo at 5 Suffield Ave.
|1/23/97||Full Moon in Leo 7:11 AM||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/26/97||Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple||Thelema Ldg.|
|1/27/97||Sirius Oasis meeting 8PM Berkeley||Sirius Oasis|
|1/28/97||Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM|
(call to attend)
|1/31/97||"The Houses in Astrology" workshop|
with Grace in Berkeley 7 PM
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.
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O. Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)
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