Thelema Lodge Calendar for May 1997 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for May 1997 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, 1997 e.v.

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

May 1997 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Beltane Overlooking the Bay

    Celebration of the mid-spring festival of the European pagan tradition will be held in the Berkeley Hills early on Monday evening 5th May, with transportation leaving from Oz House at 6:15. Sol will have passed the mid- point of Taurus at about 5:00 that morning. Be at Oz a little early to help coordinate the event, bringing portable picnic feast supplies and drinks, or call Oz at (510) 654-3580 for information.

Initiations in O.T.O.

    Initiation in the Man of Earth degrees of Ordo Templi Orientis is offered to applicants at Thelema Lodge and various other official bodies of O.T.O. in the area. The next scheduled date here will be Saturday afternoon and evening 17th May, with all members planning to attend requested to contact the lodge in advance regarding the times, the degrees to be worked, and other details. Applications for O.T.O. initiation are available at most lodge events, and may also be requested by mail (please include a stamped self-addressed envelope for return). There is a mandatory minimum candidacy period of thirty days after the proper completed form has been submitted by the lodge to the order's initiation secretary, and in many cases some additional time will be required to schedule the ceremony, especially when multiple candidates are involved. After applying, candidates who are not able to be present occasionally at events here must take it upon themselves to maintain contact with the lodge. No advance payment of fees or dues will be accepted at Thelema Lodge, with all payments due on the occasion of the ceremony.

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

    The regular weekly celebration of Aleister Crowley's gnostic mass is the focal point of the ritual life of our lodge community here, and all are welcome to come and take part in this pagan eucharist ceremony with us. Arrive by 8:00 any Sunday evening to await the call to the temple at nightfall or slightly thereafter. Those attending for the first time should call the lodge ahead of time at (510) 652-3171 for directions and information. Members who desire to serve mass for the lodge are invited to contact the lodgemaster when they have begun to organize into a mass team. Our temple schedule has usually been full for up to eight or even ten weeks in advance of late, so prospective officers will do well to make good use of the delay by working together extensively in private.

    The lodge is expected to provide basic guidelines for mass officers, and the following points have been considered in defining the practical responsibilities of those who are privileged to serve us as clergy in Horus Temple. Please consult with the lodgemaster or one of our bishops for further discussion of these matters.
    1. The basic necessities of wine and roses for each mass are the responsibility of all three officers in the mass team. At least seven fresh roses of some suitable color, and at least 3 liters of still red table wine or any sparkling wine. (Three liters amounts to two magnum bottles, or four standard wine bottles.) The total cost is likely to be about twenty-five dollars, and the three officers may apportion the responsibility among themselves as they see fit. Officers for whom the cost of these supplies represents a significant burden must take care to find a supportive team with which to work. The lodge welcomes gifts of red taper candles (or other candles), but mass teams are not expected to concern themselves with the temple candles.
    2. Celebration of mass requires the magical focus of the officers in advance of the ritual, and the roles of priestess, priest, and deacon entail several hours of preparatory concentration. Officers ought to arrive quite early, and unless special arrangements have been unavoidably necessary and fully worked out in advance, all mass officers are expected to be present in the temple at least a full hour in advance of the calendared mass time. At least two of the officers are strongly advised to occupy the temple even earlier, to see to airing and sweeping the room when necessary. Careless delay on the part of the team while the assembled people are awaiting mass is inconsiderate, and causes problems for those who must schedule their return home afterwards. (Officers absent without adequate notice half an hour before the announced mass time should expect to be replaced with at least a tinge of disgrace.)
    3. It is the duty of the team, traditionally undertaken or coordinated by the deacon, to cleanse and purify the temple before mass. The temple is best swept clean in daylight. Since it is not possible to enforce much clean-up after mass, it becomes the responsibility of the incoming mass team to be sure all vestments and equipment are properly hung, stored, or positioned when they first occupy the temple. If repairs or adjustments are needed, or if any special arrangements of temple furniture or temporary ornaments are contemplated, these are to be worked out in consultation with the lodge officers.
    4. On nearly all public occasions we strive at Horus Temple to avoid alterations to the wording of Liber XV, or to the directions it provides. When slips occur, it is unwise to try disguising them as intentional changes, and much better to simply back up a bit and get it right. Although performed as a dramatic ritual, the mass is not a stageplay; it is a magical working done according to precise formulae, and it succeeds on the intimate level of the inner alchemy of its officers and of each communicant, where no clever line or silly pun, no fancy robe, no ornate tool, no "abbreviated missal for popular response" or spiffy script can take us. The priest's and priestess's parts ought to be completely and comfortably memorized, although it seems better to request prompting from the deacon, or even to consult a script during a brief pause, than to rush nervously through, or to omit, any portion of the liturgy. A deacon whose knowledge of the ritual and whose presence of mind are less than absolute should ordinarily have a mass script open and ready, to assist or to prompt calmly if necessary. Deacons are also encouraged to know their lines very well, but should concentrate on leading the people and projecting an understanding of their part, rather than making too much of a stunt out of being able to glibly reel off the words.
    5. The national administration of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica within the O.T.O. resists our long-accepted local practice of occasionally introducing minor and appropriate variations to the list of gnostic saints' names. If in the preparations for a mass it emerges that the team's developing understanding of gnostic sainthood has led to special consideration of the claims of additional saints which are likely to spill over as inadvertent spontaneous interpolations during mass, the officers are requested to discuss their ideas with the lodgemaster or one of the bishops. (It would seem a terrible violation of privacy and autonomy to mythologize a living individual as a saint, and despite Crowley's own bad example we do not appropriate in this way the unfinished lives of our biological contemporaries.)
    6. National church policy would like to see baptism and confirmation be considered necessary for mass officers. This qualification is accepted in Horus Temple as a completely personal matter for each individual, and the lodge cannot undertake to administrate over such fine points of ecclesiastical status among its members. Only in the office of gnostic bishop, in those cases where the bishop demonstrates familiarity and understanding both of the mass and of our local community and its traditions, is clerical status likely to be accepted as conveying any special authority in Horus Temple. All of our regularly involved gnostic bishops are now technically designated as "auxiliary bishops" by the Order, meaning that they are likely to have deserved their authority through long practical familiarity and leadership in the E.G.C., rather than having it conveyed automatically in one of the upper degree initiation ceremonies. The rituals of baptism and consecration are occasionally offered in Horus Temple following the mass, and any enthusiasm for them should be directed to one of our bishops. (If any of our officers ever suspect that they have had the audacity to celebrate light, life, liberty, and love without having attained to all of the requisite degrees, ordeals, blessings, and accomplishments as outlined by the national church of their choice, then let them deal internally with the most high for these irregular joys, and keep the problem to themselves.)
    7. Cakes of light for Sunday communion continue to be always fully cooked and biologically sterile according to the established practices of our temple as directly outlined by the church Father. (It has been our experience here that those members who choose to cultivate an obsession upon theoretical objections to this directive -- however needless and silly it may seem -- are usually seeking an excuse for unrelated non-participation.) If cakes are to be baked in the lodge kitchen, this process ought to be complete no later than an hour before calendared mass time, and officers will be expected to bring their own ingredients and supplies (and also to clear away all their materials as soon as they are finished, of course). No extraneous ingredients should be present in the cakes, nor should they be so large, thick, rough, or hard as to physically challenge the communicants who will consume them. Cakes of light should be dry when served, and the ideal shape and size might be that of a nickel. (The cake which the priestess especially prepares for the priest is not bound by the popular protocol, and they may determine its nature for themselves.)

Workshops and Study Groups

    The Tarot series, with Bill Heidrick, returns for a thirteenth session on Wednesday 21st May, beginning at 7:30 in San Anselmo. Call Bill ahead of time for information and directions at (415) 454-5176. For this meeting, the Moon XVIII and Sun XIX trumps will be our special focus, with the major portion of the evening devoted to an exploration of their designs and images, illustrated by slides. Afterwards we'll put the cards to work with a few sample readings, explained in progress by the instructor.

    The Section Two reading group meets at Oz House on Monday evening 19th May, beginning at 8:00. Join Caitlin for a discussion and selected reading of En Route, a novel published in 1895 by the Parisian civil servant Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907). We follow the continuing spiritual adventures of Durtal, the central character of Huysmans' notorious "decadent" novel Là-bas four years earlier. Both books are included on Crowley's "suggestive and helpful" reading list of imaginative literature, probably because they were influential in the fictional presentation of ritual and of spiritual psychology. Huysmans defined a new kind of narrative figure with his hypersensitive, aesthetically motivated, morally complicated, and basically helpless, unhealthy, and unhappy hero Durtal. This autobiographical character had been drawn "down below" to experiment with Satanism and sadism in the earlier story, criticized by Crowley as "extravagances caused by the Sin- complex." En Route finds Durtal in recovery, dazed from the "black" rituals and the heartless copulations of his averse Catholicism. As any true Satanist will, he ends up a devout Christian as a punishment for his sins. Crowley calls it "an account of the follies of Christian mysticism," and indeed this novel captures the texture of obsessive devotion and the spiritual techniques of monastic perversion to an extent not often penetrated by nineteenth century fiction. It may not sound like good clean fun, but Huysmans is also a fascinatingly intelligent writer, throwing away ideas and researches of all kinds throughout his fiction, and En Route contains some outstanding passages on the spiritual implications of music and architecture.

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    The Houses in Astrology workshop with Grace meets on Friday evening 30th May at the Temple of Astrology in Berkeley. Call (510) 843-STAR to attend this workshop, which will be covering the twelfth house this month. With this meeting we complete a cycle through all twelve of the houses, and as we observe the closure we will also be plotting a future course along some new organizational principle.

    The Law is for All is being read and discussed verse by verse in a cozy study circle meeting in the lodge den an hour before the gnostic mass each Sunday. Call Michael at (510) 601-9393 for information, or simply show up by 7:00 on Sunday evening and offer to take part.
    Accepting the task half a century ago of introducing this carefully simplified "popular edition" of one of Crowley's more difficult works, Louis Wilkinson recommended Crowley's Commentary on Liber AL in the plainest possible terms: "The gain that the reader will get from this book will be primarily religious. For the 'Law' is in its essence a religious Law; its sanctions, its injunctions, and its prohibitions are religious. At the same time it is not a dogmatic religion in the sense in which most religions are dogmatic; it is a Faith for the individualist, as is clearly shown by its central text, 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.' 'Discover your own true will,' is the meaning of this; 'and then act in harmony with it to the utmost of your powers.' The aim of the Commentary on the Book of the Law is to guide the reader along the path of the discovery of his own true will, in accordance with which, and only in accordance with which, he can rightly think and act. This is why 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.' Only by so doing will you be shown your own true thought and life."

    The Ancient Ways Pan Pagan Festival at Harbin Hot Springs will be held on 4th through 8th June. Contact the Ancient Ways store at 4075 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland or call (510) 653-3244 in the afternoons for information, or call Sirius Oasis at (510) 527-2855.

Crowley Classics

    This article was one of a group of literary reviews written by Crowley in New York as he attempted to earn a living by journalism and magazine writing. It appeared in The International: A Review of Two Worlds 11:2 (February 1917).

Percy Mackaye:
An Appreciation,
So Far as Is Possible

by Aleister Crowley

    A publisher, hearing recently from Mr Percy Mackaye, to whom he had sent a book for review, was advised by this great poet to have the volume rebound; for the cover was so brutal and repulsive that, for his part, he had thrown the book into the wastepaper basket without further investigation.
    Here is the calibre of Mr Mackaye's mind.
    What insight! What knowledge of the world! How much must one know who judges of literature by what is not even its outward show, but an accident for which the writer is not, as a rule, in any way responsible.
    This revelation of genius, the power to divine Hercules not from his own foot, but from the boot of somebody whom Hercules had never met, sent me headlong to the library; for alas, my own shelves were bare of any such masterpieces as Percy Mackaye's.
    The covers of his books were neither brutal nor repulsive; my path to the chefs d'oeuvre themselves was easy.
    The "frightfulness" only appears on beginning to read. I began with A Thousand Years Ago. In a preface the great poet explains why he wrote this play; for which much thanks.
    The scene is laid in Pekin. Mr Mackaye has read the encyclopedia for China under the letter C, and for Drama under the letter D, and confined his information. But it must have been a somewhat poor encyclopedia.
    All his characters rant like Ancient Pistol; wordy bombast, all at the top of their voices. "By the carcass of Charlemagne, I am dog-aweary of twanging these gutstrings for breakfast." (Dog-aweary is a new one on me, but it is probably poetic license. This stuff is printed as if it were blank verse, but the scansion is as poor as the sense.)
    To get the Chinese flavor, Mr Mackaye deems it sufficient to preface every other speech by an oath introducing the name of what he probably supposes to be a Chinese God. The emperor keeps on ejaculating "by holy Confucius!" "Great Buddha!" "My star!" His name, by the way, is Altorma, which does not sound very Chinese, somehow. But it doesn't matter much, for his courtiers talk Arabic, saying "Salaam!" when asked to salute a superior, who then assumes a "toploftical" attitude, though probably still "dog-aweary."
    The book is full of such delightful finds -- almost every page has a gem. "Is he at the door?" "Not him."
    The play itself is the veriest rag-bag of stale device. The princess whose hand depends on the guessing of three riddles; the potion which if dropped on a sleeping lover's lips will make him tell his secret thought; the prince who disguises himself as a beggar, and so on. As the princess herself says, "O, you poor, bloody heads on Pekin's wall. Have you, then, died for this?"
    I thought perhaps that Mr Mackaye might be happier at home; so I turned to Yankee Fantasies. Here also he graciously explains himself, and why he did it, and his importance to the theatre, and again I am very glad. He tells us how impossible it is to represent dialect graphically, but in the text he proceeds to do it, and by great Buddha, I am dog-aweary.
    But I do adore his stage directions; the climax of Chuck woke me up. Here you are:

    "A locust rasps in an elm.
    "Faint crickets chirp in the grass.
    "An oriole flutes from an apple tree.
    "From his hole, the wood-chuck crawls cautiously out, nosing, as he does so, a crumpled and earth-soiled veil, which clings to his dusky hair, half clothing him.
    "Pulling from his burrow an ear of corn, he sits on his haunches, silently nibbling it -- his small eyes half shut in the sunshine."

    I do honestly hope the greatest success for Mr Mackaye, the modern Shakespeare, because I want to see Sir Herbert Tree as The Woodchuck.
    And now I am awake enough to get on to Gettysburg. This play is printed in blank verse, minus capitals at the beginnings of the lines. But Mr Mackaye is out to prove that blank verse need not be poetry. He ambles along with perfectly commonplace thought and language, which happens to scan. It simply makes the play read like shocking bad prose.

    "O' course; but I must take my little laugh. I told him I guessed I wasn't presentable any how, my mu'stache and my boots wa'n't blacked this morning. I don't jest like t' talk about my legs. Be you a-goin' to take your young school folks, Polly?"

    Mr Mackaye, like other amateur minor poets -- if you can call him that -- never suspects that there is a reason for using blank verse, that the only excuse for using it is to produce an effect which cannot be produced elsehow. Without exaltation of theme and treatment, blank verse is a blunder, and one can usually spot the poetical booby by his abuse of it.
    In the books at my disposal I can find few lyrics. It may by that Percy Mackaye -- how full of suggestion is that name! -- has written some odes which leave the "Nightingale" and the "Grecian Urn" and "Melancholy" in the wastepaper basket along with that book with the brutal and repulsive cover; he may have "Prometheus Unbound" beaten a mile; he may have "Lycidas" and "Adonais" taking the count; he may be able to give cards and spades to "Atalanta" and "Dolores" and "Epipsychidion" and "Anactoria." Hope so. I want some first-rate fresh poetry to read. Hope so. But I have not seen it. Instead, I see this!

    "Long ago, in the young moonlight,
    I lost my heart to a hero;
    Strong and tender and stern and right
    And terribler than Nero.
    Heigho, but he was a dear, O!"

    At the conclusion of this, one of the listeners asks: "Was it a fragrance or a song?" In my considered opinion, it must have been a fragrance.
    I am aware that this is a very short article, but there are really limits to the amount one can write about Nothing.

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from the Grady Project:

The Dragon's Head

Pragmatic Earth Sign, Bird of Light
Dramatic Birth Line, Word in Flight

Star Snake Shining, Blind Sperm Spinning
Bright Roots Twining, First Beginning

        -- Grady L. McMurtry

This poem was originally published in 1986 e.v. in the London/Bergen volume of McMurtry: Poems and then at Thelema Lodge in The Grady Project two years later. More recently it has appeared in Australia in the O.T.O. journal Beastly, and subsequently in The Red Flame.

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XXVII - Recapitulation, toward the Practical.

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

    The Tree diagram itself belongs to Hod, since it is a way of organizing and understanding in rational terms. The Tree as an idea also belongs to Netzach and other Sephirot. Life is more complete in Netzach. After deliberate intellectual work in Hod, a point is reached where the right decisions are automatically made without intellectualizing. The whole heart and soul participates. It takes time to reach such a stage.
    Before we go on, let's look again at the idea of putting Trees within Trees. This is a crucial thing. Using a single Tree of Life to analyze situations over simplifies. With compound Trees within Trees, if you can't find meaning in one way, you can find it in another. A Tree may describe a single task or experience, or what life was like during the daylight hours. Such a Tree can be considered to be within one Sephira of the Tree of night and day. That Tree, in turn, is within one Sephira of a myriad of other Trees, encompassing an entire life and continuing on to a further Tree which encompasses all of humanity. This sort of nesting of things, within things, within other things can be used in studies of many different systems of knowledge. The atoms are like society; their electrons orbit a center. Society is like the solar system with the planets orbiting the Sun. The solar system is like the galaxies orbiting one another. This relation goes on indefinitely. This nesting of Trees within Trees is a version of that, using the pattern of the Tree of Life. More complex relations are also possible using this and other ways of projecting or multiplying the diagram, like parallel universes relating mathematically.
    In solid state physics the structures of crystals are studied. Crystal lattices are examined, among other things. The lattices show positions of atoms, ions or molecules, whatever makes up the crystal. They are all very regular patterns, like the Tree of Life, but three dimensional. That's all very nice, but the mathematics that describes such things can become awkward. A mathematical physicist may choose to go into what is called phase space. Instead of plotting the locations of the atoms, phase space involves plotting the dimensionality of the space between the atoms, as though those separations of atoms were discrete things like atoms themselves. What is the crystalline Tree of Life? The positions of the Sephirot are easily seen, but for some things the Sephirot are not easy to use. They are ten separate things, not obviously interrelated. It can be a strain to always speak in terms of the Hod relating to Chokmah and similar matters through complex situation changes. Instead of focusing on the Sephirot, we can study their separations. There are 22 paths on a Tree of Life connecting Sephirot, a little more or less in different designs of the Tree. Instead of thinking about paths connecting the Sephirot, think about Sephirot connecting the paths. In this way, the paths become 22 letters. Given this context, what is the relation between the letter Aleph and the letter Gimmel? Keter directly ties them, but Chokmah, Da'at and Tipheret mark differences between these two letters. This is a very different sort of perspective, one we haven't discussed before. It's a world in which some things suddenly become much more difficult and others become very easy. Each of these different ways of using the Tree of Life is a similar little mind wringer. Learning and experimenting with different modes or methods enhances the mind, giving it a selection of tools for different situations.
    The principles of the Tree of Life are valid in one Tree; but, once you have learned something of this simple Tree, it's time to learn other perspectives and relations. Learning the basic Tree pattern amounts to discovering the Tree of Life. Projecting the Tree of Life involves changing it or extending it. Multiplying it is the kind of thing we've been discussing here. Take ten Sephirot, each one containing a full Tree of Life with ten Sephirot. That makes 100 Sephirot. Each one of those contains another Tree of Life, that's a 1,000 Sephirot. Each one of those contains yet another; 10,000 points of real, individualized and aware consciousness which can be mastered. Such complexity cannot be held all in the conscious mind at one time, but it can be reached as though through the index of a book. Focus on any particular Sephirot. Proceed with any detail within that particular Sephirot or until you get down through successive stages to a point of clarity.
    This approach was pioneered by Moses of Cordova. Someone might come with a problem: "My mother in law has a skin disease and my wife hates me, and I don't understand what all these things are about." Moses of Cordova could say; "Well, what is happening there is that within Yesod there is a Binah. Within that Binah there is another Yesod. In your home, in the Yesod that is the place where you are just relaxing and thinking, your Mother in law is like a Binah, ruling that home. Because she has a skin disease, her daughter is upset and this upsets the life of your home. There are three Trees nested within one another ..." -- the poor fellow would wander away thinking "what is going on!?" For Moses of Cordova, it made sense. It can make sense to you too, but it takes practice. Find occasions to string a Tree of Life simply, like a gauze net over a part of your life, a little experience or encounter. Identify the parts of that in very small detail. Usually it's easy to find a polarity, something that you can build a Tree of Life across, perhaps something that you like or dislike -- either one, it doesn't matter which. That's the two extreme points, the Keter and Malkut of a Tree beginning to manifest. Beyond this, the analysis may begin.

Previous, Part XXVI                   Next: A little more practical look

Primary Sources

Karl and Edgar:
    Here is Karl Germer's account of mounting alarm at signs and portents. Some of this is true enough, but much is paranoia feeding paranoia. We open with Karl's partial transcript of a letter to an unmentioned OTO member and continue with his notes concerning experiences, the latter historically interesting for dates and places. Karl began collecting notes and editing such things in folders about this time, in similar fashion to his multiple notes and drafts of experience in a Nazi concentration camp. In our September '96 e.v. issue, we published a letter on the 1943 e.v. worry mentioned below, from Karl Germer to Max Schneider. There is some independent speculation that a part of the FBI attention may have been related to racism. Sascha Germer taught voice at Carnegie Hall and was perhaps the only prominent "white" voice teacher in the country to engage an African-American student for main stream concert solo study. Mr. Hoover was considered to be unhappy over such contact between the races. Whatever the actual situation, Karl became very repressive of any overt OTO activity, including meetings and initiations. In their last years, both Karl and Sascha became convinced that their car was bugged, that every plane flying overhead was photographing them and that every noise in the bushes was a spy.

K.J.G. Oct 17/49

    In this connection I think I better tell you that the FBI has been and is hot on my trail. You will probably remember their investigation of Agape Lodge in 1942 or 1943 where -- as far as I know -- Jack and WTS were involved because of complaints by neighbors. Have any other Lodge members been questioned at that time? O was called, or better, summoned to the F.B.I. H.Q. and severely cross questioned. At least since that time (1943), possibly since 1942, my telephones have been tapped. A friend of mine was called to the FBI last week (they had recorded a phone talk) to tll {sic} them about it (whether I am a Nazi, or a Communist, what he knew about A.C., whether he had been in California, whether he knew thelemic literature, etc. etc.). It so happened that I had not seen that friend for a year or two, and that he knew or remembered only vaguely about my talking or showing him Liber AL, and OZ; and that he is a loyal friend. He has been the first who -- to the annoyance of the FBI -- called me up at once and asked me what I had committed, and that they had a 200 page file on my case.

    The whole thing is against A.C. and against Thelema (they knew that I had testified in 1934 for A.C. in his libel suit and that the British since then have consistently refused a visa to me).

    I should not wonder now if they have not for a long time watched my envelopes to know the names of those with whom I correspond, in order to get data on the spy net that I control, in the USA and especially in California, but also abroad. For many years we have had the most peculiar, sometimes naive and childish experiences. The pieces only now seem to fit together into a scheme. I presume they know the names and addresses of everybody in Cal. To what extent they check on them I don't know. The fact is that our phone at H.Q. is also tapped. As nobody can find the place the first time, we have arranged for visitors to call us up on the phone from the nearest town or phone, so that I can meet them and take them up to our house. We are quite secluded and it begins to be funny for us to see soon after a visitor has phoned that some lout passes near by to try to get the number of the License Plate or see what wicked plotters are there.

    Of course, we have nothing to hide. We have no secrets. Nor do we try to do anything even in the slightest to the detriment of the U.S., or the Government. In fact, my friend advised me to frankly write to Edgar Hoover and ask for an interview (a thought I've had before). But I'm poor at talking, I could never expound 93, or, in case of an attack, defend my or our position decently. The time, I feel ever surer, will come for things of that sort. I like a fight, a real fight. But it is the Gods who will prepare the day, and patience can be a great virtue. One must know to wait.



I arrived in New York from France June 1941.

Soon after my arrival the surveillance of me and my movements seems to have started.

Since 1942 my telephones have been tapped; possibly since 1941 when I lived at
            1007 Lexington ave, though I have no evidence of this; but certainly
            when I lived at W. 71st St, during the whole period (eight years) when
            we lived at 260 W 72nd St. And, of course, when we took our house in
            Hampton N.J.

As a result whenever I began a new business enterprise it was interfered with
            and wrecked. Mrs. Germer's flourishing music studio has been
            destroyed with the most devilishly sinister means. Her best students
            have been weaned away or influenced against her, trained to spy on
            her, to trap her probably with a view ultimately to frame her, and
            through her, me. Some students quite likely were ordered to carry
            secret microphones.

It is true that telephones may legally only be tapped
                  (a) for a limited period only;
                  (b) by permission of established authorities;
                  (c) by notifying the persons tapped
            then we are not aware that any of these legal rules have been

The F.B.I. or organisation that has been organising this persecution had
            established an office just opposite, and one the same floor-level of
            our studio apartment in 260 W 72nd St. New York. From there close
            watch was maintained of all our activities. Cars (Cadillacs) were
            ready to trail us, even when Mr. G. himself went to meet an
            appointment with doctor or dentist, or took Mrs. G. there. From there
            a watch service seems to have been organized. When we went to a
            theater, opera, or movie there was sure to be a watcher to take the
            time of our return at the door, often very late at night.
            From the opposite window our apartment windows could be easily seen.
            Once Mrs. G.'s most successful singer was invited to the rooms or
            offices of the F.B.I. opposite, and was shown how well she could
            observe the goings-on in our apartment.

There is evidence that the superintendents of the apartments we had were paid
            to spy. This is positive of the apartment-building at 260 W. 72nd St.

Hampton N.J. -- our house there is secluded, but watched closely since we
            bought it. A great number of men, women, boys and girls keep close
            watch; they must follow instructions from a center which again has
            access to the telephone tapping and know our intended movements and
            returns. The license numbers of the cars of our visitors were
            regularly registered, probably to obtain their names in order to
            contact them later. They, though former friends, became invariably
            alienated, or began to ask strange questions such as Catholics,

            Worse than this; Both Mrs. G. and I. have personal files with books,
            papers, records, letters etc. While living in New York, we used to
            take long vacations, such as one month in the Adirondacks, the
            Catskills, 3 months in California, 2 months in Canada. The
            regulations in New York say that one key must be left with the
            superintendent of the building. We noticed that our papers have been
            carefully and systematically searched, not by burglars but people who
            were after other things. From Mrs. G.'s files some extremely (to her)
            important and valuable records of her former professional activities
            have been stolen. In my files, during the New York period, I could
            see how greatly they were in disorder. Some books were stolen.

            When I moved to our house in Hampton I bought steel filing cabinets
            with keys and locks. Yet the Yale locks did not prevent the intruders
            from entering our house during our absence, but also had means to open
            the steel cabinets, search and take books, papers away from my library
            and files. We were while we still had our apartment in New York, in
            the habit of leaving our house in Hampton Monday morning, working in
            New York till Thursday night, then returning to Hampton. This
            schedule was known accurately by the spy system. During the three
            days they had ample time to search and keep a tab on what letters were
            being written, to whom, and from whom received. The things that have
            been stolen have no interest or value to an ordinary burglar. The
            hand that is manipulating this has other interests.

            Another angle is that our apartment at 260 W. 72nd St. in New York was
            wired or connected to a microphone system. The owner of the next-door
            apartment was contacted by agents and from being a close friend of
            Mrs. G. in particular, began silly questions, and peculiar talk.
            Later she tried to interfere in the music lessons of Mrs. G., and
            finally the wall connecting to our apartment had either a microphone
            installed or otherwise wired. This on top of the automatic telephone
            tapping practice.

            In our house in Hampton N.J. it seems evident that one has gone a step
            further, and that it is wired electrically to record even intimate
            conversations. If we plan to drive to Washington N.J. there are sure
            to be agents appointed to watch our movements. The same applies
            generally. When we plant to drive to New York, or visit so-called
            friends (now most of them active agents of the 'System' trying to trap
            us into certain kinds of statements which they lead up to, or at least
            alienated) out of town, the spys are informed beforehand by phone
            tapping or microphone, and can lay their plans to search our records
            in our absence.

(to be continued.)

    And continue it Karl did, more than forty pages of it, dated as late as 1955 e.v. In the course of time, nearly every American acquaintance, OTO or not, came to be considered a spy.

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Here are some edited bits from responses to recent email:

P. remarked about a psychological theory that release of repressed emotions or memories is identical with ecstasy and spiritual development.

    That view seems to be an exaggeration made to put forward a particular theory. There is some truth in it, but not to that extreme. Attainment of the heights of spiritual development does require transcending petty worries and such repression. Some spiritual development is always possible, without that release. Many of the more effective techniques actually use such stress emotions to break through, and it is possible that spiritual ecstasy requires some balancing with such flaws in the psychology -- the old theory that beauty is not possible without ugliness to give it a contrast. Tarot uses imagery to open paths in the mind which may be inaccessible to words alone. Magick explores the paths of the mind, often applying the functional relations of mental processes to things sensed in outer life. Qabalah combines structure with mysticism. All transform the conscious mind via unconscious association.
    Initiations are forms of psychodrama, and most employ crisis induction to produce the necessary change. Religious initiations, such as marriage, 1st communion and priestly consecration, may ask little more than overcoming stage fright and making a commitment in plain words before witnesses. Even those initiations commonly require formulas of dramatic change that involve a death and rebirth of sorts.
    Initiations intended to advance grades or degrees in organizations of a mystical or magical character commonly employ sensory stimuli (lights and physical exertion are the most common) and crisis induction questions or situations.
    For individual work, the Goetia are sometimes used to externally personify character and emotional faults as "spirits" which may be controlled by external means. Crowley advocated what he called the NOX formula, deliberate use of stressful emotion to induce excitement for ultimate use in another way.
    The normal state of a living organism, human as well as everything else, is passivity, bordering on sleep. Stimuli are required to do anything, whether those stimuli are physical drives (hunger, pain, pleasure etc.) or mental drives (conceptions of necessity, of impossibility, of attraction etc.). To obtain an ecstatic experience deliberately, it is necessary to create a situation in mind and/or in body which provides the correct stimulation. Refined methods may use purely mental structures for this; but commonly some physical aspect is also necessary, even if it is only a form of body yoga where internal body sensations are used to induce ecstasy.
    It is also necessary, for a deliberate and controlled ecstatic experience, to prepare oneself to "go in that direction" when the conditions are created for that effect. This includes both avoidance of distraction and training to react in a particular way to the selected stimuli.
    The ecstatic experience requires some stress or problem to exist. Resolution of that problem is liberation from that stress. Ecstasy is the by- product of that release. More narrowly still, this is why people sky-dive -- the fear of free fall overcomes some other mental, emotional or physical problem for a moment of ecstasy. In the latter case, the resolution is usually temporary, but the ecstatic experience may be enjoyed repeatedly. In the former case, a permanent resolution of a repressed negative emotion may produce ecstasy only once, with no possibility of recapturing that pleasure by the same means later. Magical techniques are intended in part to produce either repeated ecstasy or a progression of ecstatic experiences. Initiations are intended to induce an ecstatic experience under circumstances that imprint or re-direct the mind into some new sort of work, new view on life or other association with the purpose of the initiation. As the name implies, initiations are beginnings of something new. The ecstatic experience may take place during the ritual or later, as the situation produced by the ritual plays itself out.

M. asked about summoning a spirit to material manifestation and about shape changing.

    To manifest on the physical plane, a spirit must have either a material observer capable of transforming a spiritual perception into physical results or a vessel to inhabit. The former is called a "materializing medium" -- in that case the effects on the physical plane are produced by a human being. The latter varies greatly, from using a human being as a container for the spirit, using some object, using a material like water or smoke on to the extreme of producing some sort of substance just while the spirit is present. These different approaches also vary in difficulty. The easiest is to allow the spirit to inhabit a living human being. The most difficult is to have the spirit use some lifeless matter or form itself to a physical presence from whatever is already in the environment. A materializing medium works well, but this sort or person is very rare and the results may have more to do with fantasy than the independent workings of a particular spirit.
    In the case of shape changing, the same conditions apply for summoning of a spirit. Each of us is in fact a spirit inhabiting a material body. It is very difficult to change the shape of that body to resemble another physical thing, aside from minor and gradual adjustments. Through practice, one can change ones self-image to another form. It is more difficult to make that form visible to others. The most common technique for shape shifting aims at possessing another body, not changing ones own body. This is the practice of inhabiting the body of a bird, animal or other human. The last is considered immoral, but all of these acts of possession are difficult.

J. raised a question about "Laws of Nature" and modern science.

    Although some physicists still favor the notion of Laws of Nature, most do not. The water-shed was Heisenberg and Schrodinger. The Uncertainty principle is often explained as "observation altering results", but that's a euphemism. Heisenberg notes that knowledge of the state of small quanta presents a fundamental ambiguity. To an extent, knowing position fuzzes out knowledge of motion and knowledge of motion fuzzes out knowledge of position. When Schrodinger and Dirac described small quanta, probability distribution mathematics turned out to be necessary. The classic case is a particle in a "box". It turns out for small quanta that there is a finite probability of finding the particle outside the box, even through system constraints would appear to require the particle to stay in the box. Bose and Fermi discovered that some particles, notably electrons, do not have the quality of identity. It is not possible to solve the equations for a Helium atom and conserve the assumption that electrons can be distinguished from one moment to the next. Although electrons are often described as particles, they also exhibit a wave phenomenon nature, as though they were patterns of wave interference which mimic some of the behavior of particles. In particular, an electron can go from one place to another without traversing the space between those points.
    The upshot of all this was fall-back to the model theory of epistemology: The "laws" of physics are actually summaries of data, not anthropomorphic constraints on the universe from a divine mind or set of rigid relations. All phenomena described by modern physics are held to be described by probability relations, not absolute laws. One outcome of this was the development of chaos math and physics, the mathematics of progressed random perturbations in large aggregate systems. In Newtonian physics, the systems are artificially simple and predictable with precision. In large aggregate real systems, as also in small quanta systems, prediction is only possible by probability distributions. For large aggregate systems, the number of events and particles tends to produce "strange" but stable results. For small aggregate systems of small quanta, single events have no finite solution predictability at all, just probable result distributions, which have no significance for precision prediction of a single event.
    Even in older physics, the "action at a distance" nature of vector force fields presented an intractable problem in terms of a philosophy of "Laws of Nature". The system began to totter when Michelson and Morley were unable to detect motion through the luminous aether. The rise of Uncertainty and Quantum Mechanics put paid to the hope of a "law" that would explain away these difficulties. All this upset Einstein, who did not want to believe in a god who played craps with the universe.
    Actually, stepping out of physics, this really comes down to the same issue seen in theology on the questions of Determinism and Free Will. It turns out that all large aggregate, large quanta systems appear to be determined. All small quantum single events are undetermined. When you pour sand in a box, you cannot predict where individual sand grains will lodge. You can predict the general shape of the composite mass of sand grains in the box.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for May 1997 e.v.

5/4/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/5/97Beltaine in Berkeley Hills. Leaving
OZ house 6:15PM
Thelema Ldg.
5/6/97New Moon in Taurus 1:47PM
5/11/97Thelema Lodge Luncheon Meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
5/11/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/13/97Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
5/17/97Thelema Lodge OTO initiations
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
5/18/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/19/97Section II Group reading with
Caitlin: Huysmans Enroute
8PM at OZ House
Thelema Ldg.
5/21/97Tarot with Bill Heidrick, 7:30 PM
in San Anselmo at 5 Suffield Ave.
Thelema Ldg.
5/22/97Full Moon in Sagittarius 2:13 AM
5/18/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/26/97Sirius Oasis meeting 8PM BerkeleySirius Oasis
5/28/97Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
5/30/97"The Houses in Astrology" workshop
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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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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