Thelema Lodge Calendar for August 1997 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for August 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

August 1997 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

    Join in the community at Thelema Lodge when we celebrate Aleister Crowley's pagan eucharist ritual of the Gnostic Mass each Sunday evening in Horus Temple, beginning at nightfall. Initiate members and visitors as well as non- initiate associates and guests begin gathering at 8:00 to be ready when called to mass not long thereafter. We are the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, perpetuating an organized tradition of religious ritual for the aeon of Thelema which celebrates the wonders of life, joy, liberty, and diversity. We open the mass to all whose will it is to take communion with us; those who have not attended before are welcome to call (510) 652-3171 for directions and information. Members of the lodge (and occasional guests) take turns serving as officers in the mass, and all are encouraged to study privately its text in Liber XV to enable them to minister to the community in the temple. The lodgemaster keeps the temple schedule, and should be consulted in order to set a date, as members get their mass-teams organized. We are currently scheduling mass teams about four to six weeks ahead.

Rites of Eleusis

    Our eighteenth cycle of the Rites of Eleusis continues this month with the Rite of Sol on Sunday afternoon 10th August. Jen will be returning from Texas to produce this event, which will take place in the back yard at Oz House, beginning at 2:00. Call Oz at (510) 654-3580, or call Thelema Lodge, for further information. The Rite of Venus on Friday evening 22nd August will be held at Sirius Oasis in Berkeley, featuring Terri Sal back in town as our goddess of the evening. Our cycle will be concluded next month, with Mercury and Luna in September.

    When Liber DCCCL, The Rites of Eleusis, was first published in Equinox I:6 (March 1911), Crowley's dedication inscribed the text "to my friend Commander G. M. Marston" of the Royal Navy, "to whose suggestion these rites are due." The allusion is to a weekend early in May of 1910 e.v. when Marston, a high- ranking officer in the Admiralty, had entertained Crowley, Leila Waddell, and Victor Neuburg at his home in Dorset. A student of occult and primitive religions, with special skill as a ritual drummer, Marston had signed his pledge as a Probationer in the A A three months earlier, and he assisted one night when the group performed with impressive success a ritual version of the evocation of Bartzabel, the spirit of Mars, (later published Equinox I:9), which Crowley had lately been working on. In this traditional goetic working, the long-suffering Neuburg was put into a charged triangle, and when the spirit was constrained to speak through him he managed to deliver (in response to Marston's questions) Bartzabel's predictions of approaching war in the Balkans and in Germany. Marston was so impressed that he suggested they might finance the growth of the A A by selling tickets for spectators to attend similar rituals.
    Despite the author's nod to a wealthy host for this expression of probationary enthusiasm, Crowley himself maintained a strong prejudice against the idea of charging admission to any spiritual operation, and the Rites which developed out of the impulse enunciated by Marston turned out to be of a different and somewhat more formal character. Although more of an educational, or "revivalist," campaign than a concerted commercial effort, the performances were nevertheless promoted vigorously during the autumn by Crowley, with an impresario's eye to the receipts. The form of this dramatic ritual cycle is not goetic, but modeled upon the basic religious techniques of classical paganism, utilizing an insight Crowley credited to his study of masonic rituals. "The ancients were accustomed to invoke the gods by a dramatic presentation or commemoration of their legends," as he puts it in Confessions (p. 633).
    The basic performance technique was what he called the "artistic dialogue" between several solo performers in an organized recital which including dances, instrumental music, poetic recitation, and ceremonial ritual. The concept had been developed out of "casual rituals adopted during the Anhalonium experiment" of that same summer, when a "Rite of Artemis" (very similar to the "Rite of Luna" with which our cycle closes) was performed by Crowley with Waddell and Neuberg. This was an invitational event, performed to an audience of initiates, friends, and selected reporters and press critics at the offices of the Equinox, 124 Victoria Street, London S.W., a spacious suite which also functioned as the A A headquarters and as Crowley's own residence when in London. On this private occasion, participants were offered doses of anhalonium, a preparation from the peyote plant which was at that time experimental and perfectly legal. It was the success of this ritual which inspired the public cycle of performances mounted that autumn at Caxton Hall, which were rehearsed and publicized with an intense effort during the preceding months.

Holidays, Gatherings, and Classes

    The festival of Lammas, a traditional pagan celebration of the summer harvest, is observed by Thelemites at the astrological mid-point of summer, when Sol achieves 15° of Leo. This year the half-way point occurs shortly before sunrise on Thursday morning 7th August, and our celebration will be held at Oz House early that evening, beginning at 7:00. Bring food and drink to share, and come prepared to take part in the circle; call Oz at (510) 654- 3580 for details.

    Crowley interpreted the "feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride" in the Book of the Law's calendar of Thelemic festivals as an observation of the anniversary of his own first marriage. The elopement with Rose Kelly had been solemnized in a Scottish civil ceremony on 12th August 1903. By his own account, they hardly knew each other, and had planned their wedding "in name only" to free the feisty but rather silly young widow Rose from the constraints of her family. Only after the familiarity of several days travelling together did it occur to them to consummate the marriage. Our local tradition leaves this festival to the private ritual observances of couples and individuals as they see fit. The gap of several days (Crowley later could not remember just how many) between the registration and the actual marriage of the Prophet and his Bride gives us an anniversary not well suited to the common calendar anyway.

    The aces and other "small cards" of Tarot compose the majority of the deck, although their designs and symbols are much less familiar to most of us than the "trump" and "court" cards. We will begin a study of the "number cards" this month in the Thelema Lodge Tarot series with Bill Heidrick, which will soon be drawing to a close. It's never too late to join the group, and all are invited to attend on Wednesday evening 20th August in San Anselmo at 7:30 for an illustrated discussion of these cards and their attributions. We may devote several sessions to this topic. As usual, the evening will close with a few demonstration Tarot readings, illustrating various interpretive techniques and styles. For information and directions, call ahead to Bill at (415) 454-5176.

    The Section Two Reading Group, meeting at Oz House with Caitlin on Monday evening 11th August at 8:00, will be expanding this month upon Crowley's generalized recommendation of "Roman classics" with an evening devoted to the appreciation of two of the last great Latin poets of Imperial Rome, Juvenal and Martial. Writing around the end of the first century of the past era, these two urban poets were probably friends, although Juvinal, who remained almost unknown during his lifetime, was a generation younger than the very popular and widely published Martial. Decimus Junius Juvenalis (?60-?130) published sixteen satires in five books between the years 110 and 130, expressing a righteous indignation at the degeneracy of Roman life and culture. The sixth satire (which alone comprises book two of his ouevre, and at circa 700 lines is his longest single item) concerns sex and marriage, amounting to one of the most sustained invectives against womenkind ever to shame the Occident. Marcus Valerius Martialis (c. 40-c. 104) was born and died in Spain, but spent his entire professional life in Rome, publishing twelve books of epigrams and various other brief Latin poems in the final decades of the first century.

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    Socrates did his greatest teaching in the street, at parties, in jail, anywhere but in school. Stocism began with people talking on the porch. Such is the inspiration for the College of Hard N.O.X., and though we can hardly claim to be today's Zenos the discussions have been at times fascinating, and almost always entertaining, to the assembled students.
    To distill such free and full conversation is to do injustice to the participants, so instead of attempting a summary we merely present some of the questions: What is gnosis and how does it differ from gnosticism? How does the infinite differ from the limitless? Is Heidegger's concept of authenticity related to Crowley's concept of true will? The Book of the Law; text or experience? Does everyone have their own individual book i.e. life) of the Law? Is Thelema inherently Fascist? Liberterian? Anarchist?
    Bring your questions (and answers -- know-it-alls are especially welcome) to the next sessions of the College of Hard N.O.X., on the first and last Wednesday evenings of each month (6th & 27th in August) at Thelema Lodge. Conversation commences promptly at 8:00.

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    The Dog-Star rages! Sirius Oasis meets on the final Monday evening of each month in Berkeley; call the master at (510) 527-2855 to join the circle on 25th August and celebrate the Dawg Daze. After all, you know canine kind must really be okay, when the entire old Bible, through and through, has never a single good word to say about dogs. (There is a nice dog in the book of Tobit, but that's probably why it was relegated to the Apocrypha.) Open your big book backwards (Hebrew-style) to the final incoherent page of mean, ranting Revelation, and consult the silly curse linking oi cunes, kai oi pharmakoi, kai oi pornoi (dogs, drug-users, and fuckers) with some extraneous criminal company, and also oi eidololatrai, kai pas o philon, kai poion pheudos (those who charge talismans, and all those who are loving, and those who perform plays). We'll be out back, most likely, this time of year, exo de as the black book says, with the dogs.

    The Thelema Lodge Astrology series will be on vacation for the coming few months due to Grace's travel plans. Beginning in November we plan a series of workshops on various astrological topics at Grace's Temple of Astrology in Berkeley. Contact the lodge in the mean time to suggest special areas of interest for this new and open-ended series, which Grace will begin scheduling in the autumn.

Crowley Classics

    This essay, dating probably from early in 1907 e.v., is concluded here from last month's issue. The text has been taken from Crowley's Works, volume 3, where it was first published in that year. Although in some ways a good index to Crowley's personal sense of mission at that time, the essay shows signs of hasty composition, and the modern reader will easily spot several instances ofthe most shallow and stupid prejudice, as if the pretentious voice of philosophical elitism which he adopts here were only meant to appeal to a readership drawn from his own narrow culture.
    Crowley quoted from this essay in a promotional pamphlet for the Rites of Eleusis, and it is easy to connect the expressions here of the need for a wide-spread spiritual revival with the efforts by the early A A to stimulate such a response with the public performance of the Rites.
    As we resume the text in this installment, we seem to have interrupted the philosopher in mid-stream; the discussion was turning upon a submerged philosophical tradition, encrypting "the whole Mystery of Godliness" for a future renaissance of spiritual freedom which could again put the secrets to use.


by Aleister Crowley


    Such writings are those of the neo-Platonists, and in modern times the God- illumined Adept Berkeley, Christian though the called himself, is perhaps the most distinguished of those who have understood this truth.1
    But the orthodox Christian, confronted with this fact, is annoyed; just as the American, knowing himself to be of the filthiest dregs of mankind, pretends that there is no such thing as natural aristocracy, though to be sure he gives himself away badly enough when confronted with either a nigger or a gentleman, since to ape dominance is the complement of his natural slavishness. So the blind groveler, Mr. Conformity, and his twin, Mr. Nonconformity, agree to pretend that initiates are always either dupes or impostors; they deny that man can see God and live. Look! There goes John Compromise to church, speculating, like Lot's wife, on the probable slump in sulphur and the gloomy outlook for the Insurance Companies. It will never do for his Christ to be a man of like passions with himself, else people might expect him to aim at a life like Christ's. He wants to wallow and swill, and hope for an impossible heaven.
    So that it will be imprudent of you (if you want to be asked out to dinner) to point out that if you tell the story of the life of Christ, without mentioning names, to a Musulman, he will ask, "What was the name of that great sheikh?" to a Hindu, "Who was this venerable Yogi?" to a Buddhist, "Haven't you made a mistake to two? I wasn't a dove, but an elephant with six tusks: and He died of dysentery."
    The fact being that it is within the personal experience of all these persons that men yet live and walk this earth who live in all essentials the life that Christ lived, to whom all His miracles are commonplace, who die His death daily, and partake daily in the Mysteries of His resurrection and ascension.
    Whether this is scientifically so or not is of no importance to the argument. I am not addressing the man of science, but the man of intelligence: and the scientist himself will back me when I say that the evidence for the one is just as strong and as weak as for the others. God forbid that I should rest this paper on a historical basis! I am talking about the certain results of human psychology: and science can neither help nor hinder me.
    True, when Huxley and Tyndall were alive, their miserable intelligences were always feeding us up with the idea that science might one day be able to answer some of the simpler questions which one can put: but that was because of their mystical leanings; they are dead, and have left no successors. Today we have the certitude, "Science never can tell," of the laborious Ray Lankester

    "Whose zeal for knowledge mocks the curfew's call,
    And after midnight, to make Lodge look silly,
    Studies anatomy -- in Piccadilly."

    Really, we almost echo his despair. When, only too many years ago, I was learning chemistry, the text-books were content with some three pages on Camphor: today, a mere abstract of what is known occupies 400 closely printed pages: but the Knowledge is in no wise advanced. It is no doubt more difficult to learn Paradise Lost by heart than "We are Seven"; but when you have done it, you are no better at figure-skating.
    I am not denying that the vast storehouses of fact do help us to a certain distillation (as it were) of their grain: but I may be allowed to complain with Maudsley that there is nobody competent to do it. Even when a genius does come along, his results will likely be as empirical as the facts they cover. Evolution is no better than creation to explain things, as Spencer showed.
    The truth of the matter appears to be that as reason is incompetent to solve the problems of philosophy and religion, à fortiori science is incompetent. All that science can do is to present reason with new facts. To such good purpose has it done this, that no modern scientist can hope to do more than know a little about one bud on his pet twig of the particular branch he has chosen to study, as it hangs temptingly from one bough of the Tree of Knowledge.
    One of the most brilliant of the younger school of chemists remarks in the course of a stirring discourse upon malt analysis: "Of extremely complex organic bodies the constitution of some 250,000 is known with certainty, and the number grows daily. No one chemist pretends to an intimate acquaintance with more than a few of these . . ." Why not leave it alone, and try to be God?
    But even had we Maudsley's committee of geniuses, should we be in any real sense the better? Not while the reason is, as at present, the best guide known to men, not until humanity has developed a mental power of an entirely different kind. For to the philosopher it soon becomes apparent that reason is a weapon inadequate to the task. Hume saw it, and became a sceptic in the widest sense of the term. Mansel saw it, and counsels us to try Faith, as if it was not the very fact that Faith was futile that bade us appeal to reason. Huxley saw it, and, no remedy presenting itself but a vague faith in the possibilities of human evolution, called himself an agnostic: Kant saw it for a moment, but it soon hid itself behind his terminology; Spencer saw it, and tried to gloss it over by smooth talk, and to bury it beneath the ponderous tomes of his unwieldy erudition.
    I see it, too, and the way out to Life.
    But the labyrinth, if you please, before the clue: the Minotaur before the maiden!
    Thank you, madam; would you care to look at our new line in Minotaurs at 2s. 3d.? This way, please.
    I have taken a good deal of trouble lately to prove the proposition "All arguments are arguments in a circle." Without wearying my readers with the formal proof, which I hope to advance one day in an essay on the syllogism, I will take (as sketchily as you please!) the obvious and important case of the consciousness.
    A. The consciousness is made up exclusively of impressions. (The tendency to certain impressions is itself a result of impressions on the ancestors of the conscious being.) Locke, Hume, &c.
    B. Without a consciousness no impression can exist. Berkeley, Fichte, &c.
    Both A. and B. have been proved times without number, and quite irrefutably. Yet they are mutually exclusive. The "progress" of philosophy has consisted almost entirely of advances in accuracy of language by rival schools who emphasised A. and B. alternately.
    It is easy to see that all propositions can, with a little ingenuity, be reduced to one form or the other.2
    Thus, if I say that grass is green, I mean that an external thing is an internal thing: for the grass is certainly not in my eye, and the green certainly is in it. As all will admit.
    So, if you throw a material brick at your wife, and hit her (as may happen to all of us), there is a most serious difficulty in the question, "At what point did your (spiritual) affection for her transform into the (material) brick, and that again into her (spiritual) reformation?"
    Similarly, we have Kant's clear proof that in studying the laws of nature we only study the laws of our own minds: since, for one thing, the language in which we announce a law is entirely the product of our mental conceptions.
    While, on the other hand, it is clear enough that our minds depend upon the laws of nature, since, for one thing, the apprehension that six savages will rob and murder you is immediately allayed by the passage of a leaden bullet weighting 230 grains, and moving at the rate of 1200 feet per second, through the bodies of two of the ringleaders.
    It would of course be simple to go on and show that after all we attach no meaning to weight and motion, lead and bullet, but a purely spiritual one: that they are mere phases of our thought, as interpreted by our senses: and on the other that apprehension is only a name for a certain group of chemical changes in certain of the contents of our very material skulls: but enough! the whole controversy is verbal, and no more.
    Since therefore philosophy and à fortiori science are bankrupt, and the official receiver is highly unlikely to grant either a discharge; since the only aid we get from the Bishops is a friendly counsel to drink Beer -- in place of the spiritual wine of Omar Khayyam and Abdullah el Haji (on whom be peace!) -- we are compelled to fend for ourselves.
    We have heard a good deal of late years about Oriental religions. I am myself the chief of sinners. Still, we may all freely confess that they are in many ways picturesque: and they do lead one to the Vision of God face to face, as one who hath so been led doth here solemnly lift up his voice and testify; but their method is incredibly tedious, and unsuited to most, if not all, Europeans. Let us never forget that no poetry of the higher sort, no art of the higher sort, has ever been produced by any Asiatic race. We are the poets! we are the children of wood and stream, of mist and mountain, of sun and wind! We adore the moon and the stars, and go into the London streets at midnight seeking Their kisses as our birthright. We are the Greeks -- and God grant ye all, my brothers, to be as happy in your loves! -- and to us the rites of Eleusis should open the doors of Heaven, and we shall enter in and see God face to face! Alas!

    "None can read the text, not even I;
         And none can read the comment but myself."3

    The comment is the Qabalah, and that I have indeed read as deeply as my poor powers allow: but the text is decipherable only under the stars by one who hath drunken of the dew of the moon. Under the stars will I go forth, my brothers, and drink of that lustral dew: I will return, my brothers, when I have seen God face to face, and read within those eternal eyes the secret that shall make you free.
    Then will I choose you and test you and instruct you in the Mysteries of Eleusis, oh ye brave hearts, and cool eyes, and trembling lips! I will put a live coal upon your lips, and flowers upon your eyes, and a sword in your hearts, and ye also shall see God face to face.
    Thus shall we give back its youth to the world, for like tongues of triple flame we shall brood upon the Great Deep -- Hail unto the Lords of the Groves of Eleusis!




    (1) "There is a mystery about this visit to Dublin. 'I propose to set out for Dublin about a month hence,' he writes to 'dear Tom,' 'but of this you must not give the least intimation to any one. It is of all things my earnest desire (and for very good reasons) not to have it known I am in Dublin. Speak not, therefore, one syllable of it to any mortal whatsoever. When I formerly desired you to take a place for me near the town, you gave out that you were looking for a retired lodging for a friend of yours; upon which everybody surmised me to be the person. I must beg you not to act in the like manner now -- but to take for me an entire house in your own name, and as for yourself; for, all things considered, I am determined upon a whole house, with no mortal in it but a maid of your own getting, who is to look on herself as your servant. Let there be two bedrooms, one for you, another for me, and as you like you may ever and anon lie there.
    "'I would have the house with necessary furniture taken by the month (or otherwise as you can), for I propose staying not beyond that time, and yet perhaps I may.
    "'Take it as soon as possible. . . . Let me entreat you to say nothing of this to anybody, but to do the thing directly. . . . I would of all things have a proper place in a retired situation, where I may have access to fields, and sweet air, provided against the moment I arrive. I am inclined to think one may be better concealed in the outermost skirt of the suburbs, than in the country or within the town. A house quite detached in the country I should have no objections to, provided you judge I shall not be liable to discovery in it. The place called Bermuda I am utterly against. Dear Tom, do this matter cleanly and cleverly, without waiting for further advice. . . . To the person from whom you hire it (whom alone I would have you speak to of it) it will not be strange at this time of year to be desirous for your own convenience, or health, to have a place in a free and open air!'
    "This mysterious letter was written in April. From April till September Berkeley again disappears. There is in all this a curious secretiveness of which one has repeated examples in his life.4 Whether he went to Dublin on that occasion, or why he wanted to go, does not appear."
    (2) "I abhor business, and especially to have to do with great persons and great affairs."
    (3) "Suddenly, and without the least previous notice of pain, he was removed to the enjoyment of eternal rewards, and although all possible means were instantly used, no symptoms of life ever appeared after; nor could the physicians assign any cause for his death.

   I resolved to absent myself suddenly and go away . . . and lead a solitary life.

    I am about here to set down in writing the difficulties, temptations, and hindrances which will be caused him by his own relations . . . beforehand thou shouldst arrange thine affairs in such wise that they can in no way hinder thee, nor bring thee any disquietude.

    I took another house at rent . . . and I gave over unto one of my uncles the care of providing the necessaries of life.

    "Should you perform this Operation in a town, you should take a house which is not at all overlooked by any one, seeing that in this present day curiosity is so strong that you ought to be upon your guard; and there ought to be a garden (adjoining the house) wherein you can take exercise."

    "Consider then the safety of your person, commencing this operation in a place of safety, whence neither enemies nor any disgrace can drive you out before the end."

    "the season of Easter. . . . Then first on the following day . . . I commenced his Holy Operation . . . the period of the Six Moons being expired, the Lord granted unto me His grace . . ."

    "a solitary life, which is the source of all good . . . once thou shalt have obtained the sacred science and magic the love for retirement will come to thee of its own accord, and thou wilt voluntarily shun the commerce and conversation of men, &c."

    "a good death in His holy Kingdom."

    It is surely beyond doubt that Berkeley contemplated some operation of a similar character to that of Abramelin. Note the extreme anxiety which he displays. What lesser matter could so have stirred the placid and angelic soul of Berkeley? On what less urgent grounds would he have agreed to the deceptions (harmless enough though they are) that he urges upon his brother?
    That he at one time or another achieved success is certain from the universal report of his holiness and from the nature of his writings. The repeated phrase in the Optics, "God is the Father of Lights,"5 suggests an actual phrase perhaps used as an exclamation at the moment of a Vision to express, however feebly, its nature, rather than the phrase of a reasoner exercising his reason.
    This mysterious letter which so puzzles his biographer is in fact the key to his whole character, life, and opinions.
    This is no place to labour the point; I have at hand none of the necessary documents; but it might be worth the research of a scholar to trace Berkeley's progress through the grades of the Great Order. -- A. C.

1. See appendix -- ED [1997].
2. Compare the problems suggested to the logician by the various readings of propositions
    in connotation, denotation, and comprehension respectively; and the whole question
    of existential import. -- A. C.
3. Tennyson must have stolen these lines; they are simple and expressive.
4. The Italics are ours. --ED. [1907].
5. It occurs in James i, 17.

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from the Grady Project:

    Written as he neared his twenty-second birthday in California, this is among the earliest of his poems which Grady preserved, only one or two of which seem to antedate the month in which these lines were written. Newly returned as an upperclassman to Pasadena City College, he would in just a few more months be meeting Jack Parsons and begin attending the Gnostic mass, shortly thereafter joining the O.T.O. at Agape Lodge. This poem is unusual for Grady in its appeal to conventional theological rhetoric of the old aeon, as if intended for vulgar publication (as in a newspaper). Although there are tones of satire and cynicism present, its statement does seem to be formulated from not very far outside of this perspective. The poem was originally published in the third issue of The Grady Project (Oakland: Thelema Lodge, March 1988), but having been mis-catalogued in that project's list of the McMurtry poems, it had been previously omitted from the newsletter.

The Slaughter

Father, why have I died today?
Life to me was so very sweet.
Please tell me why I must lay
Mixed with the mud, no more complete.
Is it a sin that I should be
So virile, cocksure, full of fun,
That youth's tidal spirit we
Find adventure in the gun?
There's tropism in the flashing sword,
Though I'm not taking you to task,
Yet why is this our doom, Lord?
Do you mind if I ask?

God, my thoughts are in such a daze,
This whole thing seems so out of place.
Please sweep away the gray haze
That blanks out your mighty face.
You give us bodies that are strong
With which to please our many whims;
To enjoy must be a wrong
The smooth power of our limbs.
You sculptured from Creation's hod
And then you gave First Man his breath,
You give us all of this, God,
And then you give us death!

I haven't had the time, as yet,
To see the justice of my loss,
But if your plan requires it
Why, I guess you're the boss.
It isn't that I mind to die
I know that that's for you to say.
What I want to know is why
Must you take your gifts away?
I'll come when you give me the nod,
My life was by your grace, I know.
But if we are your image, God,
Why can't you keep us so!

              -- Grady L. McMurtry

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XXX -Of Trees and Stones, One Thing.

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

    The illustration at left is of Fr. Achad's "Prismatic Tree", from his The Anatomy of the Body of God, a three dimensional Tree of Life. This looks a little like it was made out of tinker-toy. In any one of three directions, it looks like a flat Tree of Life. One common center pillar has Malkut, Yesod, Tipheret and Keter. Three corner pillars provide three Sephirot each. The Sephirot of those corner pillars appear differently, depending on how the object is viewed. Instead of one pillar of Mercy, one of Severity and the Middle Pillar, other points of view see the pillars of Mercy and Severity as aspects of these. From one point of view, the Pillar of Mercy may either be the Pillar of Severity of a different angle of view or hidden behind the Middle Pillar. Don't try to understand this in depth, just get a beginning grip on it for now. On this level of a Tipheret approach to Qabalah, we are surveying some of the ways of using the Tree of Life. This particular Tree shows how three different points of view may interlock, even though apparent contradictions seem to be involved.

    The next illustration, also from Achad's book, is a compound structure composed of these "Prismatic Trees of Life. The Trees are represented by plains, not showing the Sephirot. There's a Keter in the tip of each component Tree, and way down in the middle is a Malkut that is common to all of them. Hods and Netzachs on these Trees are points of junction, differently perceived from multiple perspectives. All together, this is a solid grab of reality, a crystalline three-dimensional awareness called by Achad, "The Garden of Eden". It can be seen as more complexly formed still, with little crystalline trees inside the larger ones, a sort of multiplication we have observed earlier with flat, two dimensional Trees. This form can be contained in a regular solid. There are several ways to do that, with five sided outer faces formed by lines between the points as a dodecahedron and otherwise with three sided outer faces as an icosahedron. A dodecahedron has twelve regular pentagonal sides, while an icosahedron has twenty regular triangular sides. The pentagon, like the pentagram, is a symbol of the human form. The regular triangle is a symbol of the divine nature. From this three-dimensional representation of thoughts and perspectives, little shadow images of the human mind are formed, personalities if you will. Beyond them, the divine emerges. Plato said that the duodecahedron is the symbol of the Universe, a solid of twelve faces, each face having five edges. There are five "Platonic solids", the only five things that can be formed in three dimensions with exactly the same measurements on all edges and identical faces on each example. Those faces can be squares, triangles or a pentagons. The cube has squares, this duodecahedron has pentagons and the remaining three are made up of triangles (tetrahedron-four triangles, octahedron-eight and icosahedron-twenty). Only those three geometrical equal edged flat shapes that can be made into solid figures with identical sides in three dimensions, although with higher dimensions there are more. There is no other way to get a simple flat object to make a three dimensional solid without mixing different shapes or changing the sizes of the faces.
    Plato looked at these things and thought: "We have four here that we can make the elements; obviously the cube is Earth." He decided that the most pointy looking one should be Fire, having eight sides and points up and down. That left Water and Air, attributed to the twenty and four sided solids by character of their shapes. The fifth figure, the twelve sided one, he attributed to the fifth Element, as it unites the four others to form the Universe.
    In the Near East of the ancient world of 2,000 years ago there were many communities. Some spoke Greek and some spoke Aramaic or used Hebrew. Many of the people in those communities were half Greek and half Jewish. The Greeks had come either as willing colonists or as displaced populations from times of war. The Jews were there already, but both were from advanced cultures with complex systems of learning and world view. Although the religions of these two cultures seem very different, on a deeper level there was much in common. A Jewish community or a Greek community would be aware of the other's philosophical ideas, sharing discussion and insights. Jewish graves from that period were sometimes made by Greek stone masons and vice versa. Many of the Jewish graves have Gnostic inscriptions and artifacts. Greek graves from that place and time often contain little menorahs and similar things. Often it's only possible to tell the ethnic heritage of the person whose bones were interred by the name alone. If it was in Greek, it was probably a Greek. If it was in Hebrew, it was probably a Jew.
    Like these Trees of Fr. Achad, points of view interlock and emerge as a greater whole. That's the nature of Qabalah, a gathering and merging of many perceptions into a greater whole. It is enduring and reemergent. More than 2,000 years ago, these notions were taught in a variety of ways in the schools of the mysteries. This little thing was rediscovered by Charles Stansfield Jones, Fr. Achad, in the last century of the millennium now approaching its close.

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The Night Before

A strange chaos, my dreams
lingering between doubt and joy . . .

Phantom lips against my own,
A singularly tender kiss in this dark madness.
Pounding waves of energy dancing in the night
the universe convulsing in long red waves of fire.

I am somewhere between the night and the dawn.

Some goddess in purple beckons and She calls herself
by my name . . . I forget the name She used now,

She said Love as you Will
whom, when and why you Will

I asked her why she takes such long vacations.

She smiled a long poignant smile and said,
Me, come to Me . . . COME to Me,
Come TO me, come to ME . . .
I am always right there, where ever you are . . ."

I suddenly know
It is I who must go . . .

I dream. I can not recall it exactly,
but it was so lovely at the time . . .

7/13/97 e.v.                                        
-- Ruthanne                                           

Primary Sources

Traces of the Lost:
This is a table of content, made out by Karl Germer from a mixed TS, MS and clipping book in the OTO archives of the 1950's. The original is no longer in OTO hands, possibly lost during the time after Karl's Greater Feast and before the recovery of the remnant of the archives by Grady McMurtry and OTO from Sascha Germer's estate -- alternatively, it may have been sent off to Gerald Yorke for safekeeping. Still, many if not all of the component works are extant. Although the archive volume may have been nothing more than a convenient storage book, the title suggests that Crowley contemplated someday going to print. The text dates from Crowley's writing in the US around WWI, mostly from the pro-German periodical, The Fatherland. The volume was catalogued just before issues of The International, another pro-German periodical of the period to which Crowley contributed.


Humanity First (Introduction) Preface. Ts. 6 pp
Through August 1914.7 pp
No. 2. The Whole Duty of Woman8 pp

Honesty is the Best Policy.

   The FATHERLAND Clipping
I-IX pp. 11-15


The Vindication of NietzscheTs. 13 pp
The Attitude of America to the War.

   Galley proofs
4 pp

   from the "Magazine Sixty-Seven"

The Future of the Submarine.

   The Fatherland, clipping

   from The Fatherland
pp. 152-154
The End of England, clipping,

   The International
pp. 167-172
The Blunders of Edward VII. And How to Repair
   Them, clipping. The International

pp. 212-218
England on the Brink of Revolution, clipping,
    from The Fatherland, N.Y., July 21, 1915

pp. 3-5

Perhaps Germany Should Keep Poland?Ts. 9 pp

Appel Au Bon Sens Francais Par A.C.
    essay in French
    clipping from The International

pp. 301-302

The New Parsifal, essay by A.C. printed,
    Reprint from ? ?
    with annotations by A.C.

4 pp.
Sweet Reasonableness, clipping,
    from The International

pp. 358-361

Culture versus Kultur.Ts. 15 pp
The Irish Republic
    (with annotations by A.C.)

Ts. 1 p
Declaration of Independence of Ireland Ts. 6 pp
The Occult Brotherhoods and The WarTs. 4 pp
The Norman Conquest 1066 (new title)Ts. 20 pp.

Three Great Hoaxes of The War, Blessed are they
    that have not seen and yet have believed)
    "Vanity Fair", January 1916,
    clipping, damaged,

2 pp

Leaves from a lost Portfolio Ts. 13 pp
The same as an article in The Fatherland
    Vol. Iv. No. 5
    March 8, 1916.
In the same issue {text left x'd out} an essay:
       -- In The Fatherland: --
Behind the Front. Impressions of a tourist in
    Western Europe. By Aleister Crowley
                                     Part I.
    ditto.                         Part II.
   ditto.                         Part III.

pp. 67-69

p. 365
p. 383-384
p. 85-86

Degenerate England     essay Ts. 8 pp.

Delenda Est Britannia, Being a prologue and
    epilogue to "The Vampire of the Continent"
    by A.C. "The Fatherland" N.Y. January 3,
    1917, Vol. V. No. 22
England's Blind Spot, The Fatherland,

pp. 355-356

2 pp.

America's New Danger Ms. 15 pp.

England or Germany? Mr. Harris. Short essay by
    A.C. The Fatherland          (evidently)

p. 566

Skeletons In the Cabinet by an Englishman,
    clipping (? from the Fatherland (evidently

A Great Irish Poet's Endorsement of The
    The Fatherland. Contribution by A.C.

Ireland as Peace Arbiter clipping

Letters from the People -- somewhere in America,
    Letter signed by A.C.

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From the Outbasket

Here are some edited selections from recent correspondence:

L.A. asked: "Is Thelema the only spiritual system today that teaches the merging with one's Holy Guardian Angel as being the ultimate path?"

    Actually, Thelema does not teach this. In A A, the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is one of the most important middle goals of the work of that Order. There are steps beyond it, as indicated in Crowley's note to Karl Germer in the July '97 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar. OTO uses another method, similar in a general way perhaps, but different in most details. Liber AL appears not to mention it directly, although Crowley at times considered that Aiwass might be his personal HGA. Earlier versions of Thelema usually do not mention the idea at all.
    That said, many modern groups use a notion of attaining K&C of the HGA. The Order of the Golden Dawn popularized this approach in the last century, but it is much older. The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova described something similar, not so much in the method of attainment as in the relationship and guidance to be expected of such a spirit. The classic is The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage, which apparently not only set forth the method in great clarity for the first time but also appears to have originated the terms for it. Crowley's Holy Books contain frequent illustrations of his own efforts in this approach, and his Vision and Voice concludes with several levels beyond it. Taken more widely, the notion of a familiar spirit or even a marriage between a mortal and a spirit is similar in many respects. Numa, the founder of the ancient Roman religion, had a sacred marriage with a woodland spirit, apparently the basis of his work in creating the rites, theology and canons of Pagan Rome.

A.R. asked for the meaning of the term "initiation."

    "Initiation" = start of something. The same word can be used to describe the action of starting a business, turning over the first shovel of dirt before constructing a building, beginning a new period of development with a ritual drama, getting married or any other start of something. It signifies "initial or beginning action". In OTO and similar organizations, an Initiation is usually a ritual drama intended to start a new course of study, growth or attainment. For OTO, an Initiation carries a new "degree" of membership with it -- Minerval, Ist, IInd and so on. For A A, an Initiation marks attainment of a Grade and the beginning of work on the next grade.

G.E. asked about what parts of rituals should be vibrated, also what work should follow the Lesser (Earth) Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

    All divine names should be vibrated. All particular words of "power" should be vibrated. Angelic and other names are usually vibrated, but that is not done every time. A lesser vibration (actually a chant) may be used for the general text of the rituals. A rule of thumb, if it is in all CAPS, Bold Text, Greek or Hebrew, vibrate it.
    The Greater Pentagram Ritual and the Lesser and Greater Hexagram Rituals are optional, but may be undertaken after working with the Lesser Pentagram Earth Banishment regularly for six months or a year. The idea is to "set" the symbolism and pattern of the Earth Banishment Pentagram in your unconscious mind to act as an orientation for more elaborate uses. The other 23 pentagrams for the Lesser Pentagram ritual are also best undertaken after some time with the Earth Banishment. Crowley's Star Ruby, Star Sapphire and Liber Reguli rituals are variations based on the Lesser Pentagram Ritual.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for August 1997 e.v.

8/3/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/6/97College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai
Thelema Ldg.
8/7/97Festival of Lammas at OZ House 7 PM
8/10/97The Rite of Sol 2PM at Oz House
8/10/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/11/97Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Roman Poets, Juvinal &
Martial at Oz house, 8 PM
Thelema Ldg.
8/12/97The Feast of the Beast and his Bride
8/13/97Thelema Lodge Library night 8PM
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.
8/17/97Lodge Luncheon meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
8/17/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/20/97Tarot with Bill Heidrick, 7:30 PM
in San Anselmo at 5 Suffield Ave.
Thelema Ldg.
8/22/97The Rite of Venus 8PM at Sirius OasisSirius Oasis
8/24/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
8/25/97Sirius Oasis meeting 8:00 PM
in Berkeley
Sirius Oasis
8/27/97College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai
Thelema Ldg.
8/31/97Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema 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
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Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)

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