Thelema Lodge Calendar for March 1998 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for March 1998 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, 1998 e.v.

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

March 1998 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Vernal Equinox:
Year of the Lovers

    Vernal Equinox falls on Friday 20th March, at five minutes before noon. As the sun enters Aries we celebrate the triumph of Horus and the coming of the spring. There will be a ritual in Horus Temple at the lodge that evening at 8:00 in commemoration of the Thelemic New Year, anno 94, designated according to the Book of Thoth as IV6, the year of the Lovers trump in Tarot.

Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

    "At all my meetings with you shall the priestess say -- and her eyes shall burn with desire as she stands bare and rejoicing in my secret temple -- To me! To me! calling forth the flame of the hearts of all in her love-chant" -- Liber AL, I:62.

    Join with the members and friends of Thelema Lodge in celebration of the Gnostic Mass in Horus Temple, every Sunday evening beginning after nightfall. Call the lodge ahead of time for information and directions if you have not attended before. Arrive by 7:30 to await with us the Deacon's summons into the temple, leaving a few minutes to spare for lounging in the library and chatting in the kitchen -- or smoking on the porch -- with fellow Thelemites before we all go in together. There are often guests and newcomers to meet at mass, or old friends returning from afar (like our beloved brother "Mr C." whom we successfully invoked after seven years away, no doubt via Nikolai's mention of him in these pages last month). By communicating together in the mass just as the Priest has done, all of the People present are participating, and lending their Wills to the unified intention of the ritual. It is the strength of our shared trust together which enables us to accomplish this, and which keeps us truly a Community -- and somewhat sorry for the sober, circumspect citizens of "savage countries".
    In keeping with this concept of a community of celebration, it has long been a tradition in our temple -- ever since it was founded by the then E.G.C. Patriarch, Hymenaeus Alpha, twenty-one years ago -- to be as inclusive as possible, particularly in regard to the availability of the officers' roles, and the training of the whole community in the workings of the ritual. The best mass is one in which many active celebrant "clergy" are present as People in the temple, and where even the guests can easily find instruction in the central roles. Our temple schedule, usually posted in the lodge kitchen, is kept by the lodgemaster. All who are involved with the temple community are invited to consider serving the lodge as officers in the mass. If you want to give it a try, get a team together and make sure everyone knows the parts, and then request a date on the temple calendar.


    Initiations for advancement in O.T.O. are planned here on Saturday 14th March, with all active initiate members who wish to attend requested to make contact in advance with one of the lodge officers for details. There will be a feast at the end of the evening for all. Candidates for O.T.O. initiation should declare their intentions by submission -- with valid sponsorship -- of the proper application form, obtainable from the lodge. It always takes more than one month to arrange for initiation, so get the process underway ahead of time if you want to manage the course of your own progress. Pending candidates are also required to maintain good contact with the lodge.

The Lance and the Veil

    "There is no law in Cocaigne save Do that which seems good to you."
    When the once celebrated -- and afterwards neglected -- American novelist James Branch Cabell (1879-1958) picked up the March 1919 volume of The Equinox, it was primarily to read a review of one of his own lately published books. Found under the heading of "The Tank (Treat 'em Rough)" and signed by "Robinson C. Crowley," this enthusiastic but somehow underhanded little notice may well have left the author a bit puzzled. "I quite understand why," Crowley writes, "the Times says that Mr Cabell is 'one of the most pretentiously attitudinizing of American authors' . . . . But what does the Times matter?" H. L. Mencken had suggested Cabell to Crowley, who found the new novel Beyond Life "an extraordinarily good book," although in the rest of his brief review he hardly refers again to the work. (Instead, it all degenerates into an alcoholic joke about "insane fish": evolution got underway when some fish "discovered that he could not get a drink, except water" while beneath the surface, and thus "decided to emigrate.")
    If perhaps Cabell then turned back a few pages in The Equinox to establish just what sort of magazine he had got mixed up with, he would have seen first another brief book review, signed "Alexander Tobasco," praising the novel Shelley's Elopement as "one of the most glorious blasphemies ever printed," and then two anonymous poems, one in French. Cabell must have been intrigued, because we know that he kept turning the pages backwards a bit further, and he next came to an item which really did catch his attention; it was the Gnostic Mass, Liber XV, signed by an ecclesiastical entity called Baphomet. (Presumably Cabell would have had no way of knowing that Robinson C. Crowley and Baphomet had been writing with the same pen.) The mass was a text to which Cabell must have devoted some careful study, and he quickly produced a sustained satirical adaptation of Crowley's ritual, for which he found space in the novel he was just finishing at the time.
    The previous summer Cabell had sold a story to Mencken's magazine The Smart Set entitled "Some Ladies and Jurgen," which he afterwards decided to expand into a novel, to be called, originally, The Pawnbroker's Shirt. This eventually became Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice, arguably his greatest book, of which he privately snickered that "it is either a very fine thing, or else it is abject nonsense." It took him several months to "fatten up the Pawnbroker," with interruptions for seeing Beyond Life through the press, and for several other minor writing projects. From the first, Jurgen was intended to be a sexy book, in which the hero (as Cabell wrote to a friend) "symbolizes the resplendent, journeying, procreative sun." After a while Cabell was finding it difficult to stop adding episodes and draw his story to a close, and even more difficult to get the basic biological facts across without risking legal trouble for his publisher. It seemed to him the book was nearly complete by the spring of 1919 when the Equinox review appeared and Cabell got a good look at the Gnostic Mass.
    Cabell's challenge in Jurgen was to sustain an elaborate allegory of erotic symbolism which pushed continually but delicately against the boundary of what New York's "community standard" was disposed to allow by way of free expression to the literary publishing industry. Then, in the midst of this sustained erotic texture he needed a way to represent in the narrative the actual consummation of Jurgen's relations with Anaitis (an anagram for "Insatia"), despite having left himself no leeway whatsoever for increasingly explicit content or suggestiveness, with which to indicate the importance of this "mystic marriage." Cabell found in Crowley's Gnostic Mass a solution to this narrative problem; an elaborately detailed and structurally balanced symbolic portrayal of biological and spiritual consummation between Priest and Priestess, in language so evocatively liturgical that even the most intelligent legal system would have a very hard time elucidating its pornographic truth.
    It was true that he needed to bring Jurgen quickly to a close, with insufficient time to really absorb the deep lessons of the Gnostic Mass, and then to generate his own original consummation ritual, incorporating his own insights from Crowley's work. Instead, Cabell good-naturedly adapted Crowley's own specific wording and structure, making his characters nearly "act out" the E.G.C. ritual as a kind of wedding ceremony. Of course Cabell dressed this up in his own giddy and elaborately niggling ornamental prose, and with the noncommittal postromantic gentlemanlyness of his own attitudes.
    When Jurgen appeared in the autumn of 1919 it was well reviewed and seemed a minor success, until the New York D.A. denounced it to a grand jury in January 1920 as "a lewd, lascivious, indecent, obscene, and disgusting book" and got it banned. Cabell had previously not mentioned his debt to Crowley for the most memorable erotic sequence in his book, but in assisting his publisher to prepare a legal defense he now provided a citation to The Equinox which accounted for his "Lance ceremony." It helped their case to consider that this material had been in print already without any previous prosecution. Cabell must even have done some bibliographical research: "It is also, perhaps, of importance that these ceremonies were originally printed in a fifteen cent magazine, the International, which was never arraigned for lewdness." Jurgen eventually was acquitted, with the judge deciding that its immorality was of a high literary quality, and too difficult for "more than a very limited number of readers" to be harmed by it. The notoriety of course boosted sales considerably when it could be republished in 1922, and Cabell's reputation was established by its success.
    We have added Cabell to the reading list for our Section Two group, which meets at Oz House on Monday evening 9th March. Join us at 8:00 to discuss Jurgen and any other works of Cabell which participants would like to include. "And I did not know that civilized persons any longer retained sufficient credulity to wring a thrill from god-baiting!"

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Ritual Workshop Series

    Cynthia is organizing a new ritual working group which will begin in March, meeting on the second and third Thursday evenings of each month at 7:30. This will be an experimental, free-ranging, and practical enterprise, examining ritual and magical techniques from a variety of contemporary occult traditions. Join us at the lodge on the 12th and 19th March with your own ideas and practices, and help determine the topics of concentration for our opening meetings. Call Cynthia at (510) 658-9393 for further information.

Opportunity N.O.X.

    The College of Hard N.O.X. is a college in the original sense of the word; that is, it is a formal community of persons assembled for a specific purpose. In this case the purpose is that of open discussion and free inquiry. For each session the Dean proposes a topic for debate, which may then be accepted or rejected by those present. The usual meeting days are the first and last Wednesdays of each month. In March these are the 4th and the 25th. We will gather in the Thelema Lodge library at 8 o'clock in the evening, ready for a few hours of enlightened (or perhaps benighted) conversation.
    The topic for the March 4th session will be, appropriately enough, "Is the militant imagery of Thelema a literal call for warfare?" We will also determine on that evening a tentative topic for the March 25th meeting. Interested persons are encouraged to attend and make their preferences known.

Some Thoughts on Leadership
from the Tao Teh Ching

    In a hierarchically structured organization like O.T.O. the issue of leadership often takes on inflated dimensions. In many a lodge, for instance, when things are going well the master receives a disproportionate share of the credit, and conversely, when things go wrong she or he gets most of the blame. Sometimes this results from a misunderstanding, on the part of both the leaders and the communities, of the real nature of leadership. Therefore, in the spirit of instruction, we present the following extract from the treatise attributed to our very sainted Dinosaur, Lao-Tze:

    The greatest master leads by emptying people's minds and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition and toughening their resolve.
    Are you then able to love people and lead them without imposing your will? Next best is to be a leader who is loved. Kings who rule by fear are worse still. A ruler who is despised is the worst of all.
    Strength may make one a master of others, but true power makes us masters of ourselves. Empowerment of self is incompatible with power over others. Masters don't take sides, they welcome both saints and sinners. Rejecting none, the master is available to all people.
    A real master governs so that the people are hardly aware of her existence. Trying to control is no way to govern. Stop trying to control, let go of fixed plans and concepts, and the world will govern itself. Supreme virtue for a leader lies in not trying to control.
    Rely on actions, not words, to govern, and then the people will say that they are leading themselves. Employment of force in order to govern will always rebound upon the government. Just following the people is the best way to lead them.
    Your words are most trusted when you have the least to prove. Residing in the Tao, the master sets an example for all beings.

Crowley Classics

    Originally published in The Fatherland 5:22 (New York: 3 January 1917), this article appeared with a parenthetical subtitle, "Being a prologue and epilogue to The Vampire of the Continent." An editorial note drew attention to "this remarkable work," a book which was at that time being promoted and sold by The Fatherland Corporation, directed by George Sylvester Viereck, whose slogan was "Fair Play for Germany and Austria-Hungary." This note continues: "We herewith publish Aleister Crowley's analysis of the book. Mr Crowley is an Irishman, a member of Cambridge University, and a poet of fine distinction. Frederic Harrison, editor of the English Review, stated some time ago that Mr Crowley was the first metrical artist in the English language since Swinburne."
    Crowley published more than a dozen essays under his own name which expressed sympathy for the German cause during the First World War, and criticism of England in various tones of hatred or disgust. More than many of these wartime pieces, all of which were written for Viereck in New York between January 1915 and the American mobilization for war nearly three years later, this piece presents puzzles regarding Crowley's actual attitudes and sympathies, and his status as an Englishman. Claims (supported only by a few transparent publicity stunts) made by Crowley to Irish nationality during the war were a complete fiction; he had never been in Ireland and could claim no Irish ancestry, nor had he previously represented himself as Irish.
    This essay presents none of the direct silliness of some of his earlier pseudo-treasonous writings, such as the directions he provided in 1915 for German bombers to single out his aunt's house in Addiscombe, Croydon. However, it seems carefully designed to progressively alienate its American readership, so that long before it concludes screaming for a century of continual Atlantic warfare, the possibility of any of its readers being able to agree with its thesis seems precluded altogether. If, as he later quietly claimed, Crowley made his declarations of German sympathy in coordination with a campaign by British military intelligence agencies to discredit Viereck and his cause in American eyes, it becomes easier to comprehend his statements here, which run contrary to opinions he is known to have entertained in any other context throughout his life. It is a simple matter to see how the statements with which this essay concludes might have worked to prepare Americans to enter the European conflict against the Central Powers, in defense of England, and how this article might have poisoned the readership against anything else in Vireck's magazine.
    The essay's title was adapted from a famous phrase, "Delenda est Carthago" (meaning "Carthage must be destroyed"), in a speech by Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE) urging Rome on to the Punic Wars (as reported in Pliny's Naturalis Historia XV:xviii:74). It is interesting to note that Crowley's vampire lore in the concluding paragraph seems to have been lifted wholesale from Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897).

Delenda est Britannia

by Aleister Crowley

    Count Ernst zu Reventlow's extraordinarily lucid and cogent work on historic English policy has one fault from the point of view of the philosopher -- he does not begin his history early enough, or derive the piracy of England from necessity. Will the distinguished publicist pardon us if we attempt to fill the gap?
    It is notorious that mountaineers are necessarily brigands. In their rocky fastnesses wheat will not grow, sheep will not grow fat. They are condemned to rough cereals like oats, to small and stringy sheep and goats. The dwellers of the plain care nothing for the products of the mountain, and will not surrender their goods except by force. The highlander consequently becomes a cateran or brigand. The mountain districts of every country in the world -- Scotland, Spain, India, China, or America -- prove the correctness of the theory.
    A similar proposition may be made with regard to islanders, as opposed to continental powers. The natural first industry of islands is fishing, in itself a piratical occupation. Just as mountaineers become hardy and desperate through the necessity of battling with the elemental forces of nature, so do fishermen. And when continental settlements begin to ship their merchandise by sea, they soon excite the envy of the fisherman, whose hardihood and desperate poverty emboldens them to become pirates.

    In course of time the continental powers find it necessary to build a navy, to wreck these nests of pirates in self-protection, and the usual result is, that the island is annexed to the continent, and its people, properly policed, become tranquil; they may even be turned into excellent citizens, since they possess the material of courage and energy in that degree which originally started them on their piratical career.
    But where the island, while retaining in the full its insular characteristics, is large enough and strong enough to develop into a sovereign state, the sporadic piracies of its aborigines become incorporated in the policy of the nation. A nucleus is formed, usually upon the banks of some great river, and the central authority is not slow to perceive that the welfare of its increasing population depends upon sea-power. The history of all island nations illustrates this view. Islands form the natural stronghold of every lawless race. However extended a sea coast may be, it may yet be turned; if a hinterland exists, the pirates can be suppressed by overland attack. Thus we see that the Vikings soon lost their power, the Danish ships of war were ultimately conquered, not upon the sea, but by attacks upon their base. Venice was destroyed from the rear. The sea power of Holland fell, not so much because of British victories on the North Sea, but because the country itself was unable to resist internal pressure. We know how easily England herself was turned out of France; and to this day she has never been able to make good her footing in any country requiring an army to defend it. India is practically an island, owing to the impossibility of invasion from the north. Yet India has always been understood by England as her weak point. Egypt, by reason of deserts, is almost an island, yet there again is a weak point. Canada is politically an island, owing to the inveterate pacifism of the inhabitants of the United States. Gibraltar is only joined to the main land by a bare and narrow neck, which can easily be swept by the gunfire from the rocks. But since the range of modern artillery has increased so greatly that Gibraltar can be shelled from the hills beyond Algeciras, it has been recognized by military authorities that the fortress is indefensible, and proposals have actually been made to abandon it. We can see England's new fear of Spain in her policy towards that country, in her haste to place an English princess in the arms of the successor of Charles V. Further east we find Malta, an island -- Aden, insulated by many miles of the most inhospitable desert in the world -- Ceylon, the naval base of India, an island -- Penang, an island -- Singapore, an island -- Hongkong, an island. When England obtained possession of Wei-hai-wei she was compelled to abandon it without a struggle after a few years. Similarly the English outposts in the Pacific and in the West Indies are all islands. British Honduras can hardly be called a British colony at all; the conditions there are very exceptional.

    To turn to other island powers, history shows us the same picture. All successful Corsairs have been invulnerable by land. The islands of the Mediterranean have always been strongholds of pirates. The situation of Japan in the east is singularly like that of England in the west. Rome only beat Carthage after the destruction of her sea-power, by dint of using her command of the Mediterranean to land an army in Africa and attack Carthage by land. The power of Spain was not destroyed by the dispersion of the Armada, but by her disasters in the Netherlands.
    From all this we perceive easily that England is not at all to be blamed for her piracies. Her situation compelled it. We must further remember that not only were the original inhabitants of Great Britain of a predatory disposition, but the invaders who conquered England in part and mingled with the inhabitants were all sea-rovers: the Norsemen, the Danes, the so-called Saxons, and the Normans, were all brigands who were being pushed off the continent because their ravages had become intolerable to civilized people. It is therefore criminally unthinking in us to blame England for her policy of piracy. She is of necessity a pirate, by situation and by heredity. It would by equally absurd to blame the crocodile or the tiger. Even England's hypocrisy must not shock us. It must be regarded in the light of a tribute paid to continental virtue . . . . Perhaps we might even be optimistic enough to suggest that it represents the beginning of a conscience. This much being conceded, we must no longer regard England with detestation and contempt. To do so is unreasonable, and therefore immoral. We must not shed crocodile tears over the crocodile. But on the other hand, we cannot tolerate the crocodile. We need to cross the river, in pursuit of our peaceful avocations, and we must find the weak spot in the armor of the crocodile and give him to our handmaidens for a play! This weak spot is evidently to be found in Ireland. When Ireland becomes a sovereign, independent state, a good deal will have been done. But this is not nearly enough.

    Those politicians who are so soft-hearted, or soft-headed, that they talk of peace with England must be utterly blind to the lessons of history and geography. "Britannia est delenda" should be the one motto of every continental politician. Does not France understand that the strangle hold of 1814 has only become the embrace of 1914 that it may turn again into a strangle hold in 2014? Count zu Reventlow is admirable beyond words in his demonstration that England has never been bound by blood or sentiment or honor, but only by business considerations. England is already considering at this moment whether it would not be better to throw over France and come to an agreement with Germany. The only thing that restrains her is her fear of the German fleet. Such political insight as I am proud to share with Count zu Reventlow declares that any peace concluded between England and any other nation is a Judas kiss.
    There is only one solution to the problem of English piracy: the sovereignty of England must be destroyed once and for all. England herself has understood this with admirable, if devilish, clarity. It is for this reason that she has not only destroyed the sovereignty of Ireland, but deliberately ravaged and depopulated it. She must be made to swallow a dose of her own medicine. England must be divided up between the continental powers. She must be a mere province, or, better still, colony of her neighbors, France and Germany.
    Peace with England at this time would be a crime against humanity. The British fleet is unassailable; in spite of German valor it has remained practically intact. While this is so, England, at any moment, without giving any other reason but moral indignation (which is her principal industry and never likely to run short), can throttle the whole world. Those who talk of peace at this time must therefore be unhesitatingly suppressed. No matter what may be our sufferings and sacrifices, we must go on to the end. We must die, that humanity may live.

    Now, there is only one way to destroy the power of England: the country must be conquered. And before it is conquered, it must be invaded, or starved into surrender, such surrender to involve the destruction, or handing over, of her whole fleet. Now, before England can either be starved or invaded, her fleet must be either destroyed or rendered impotent. There is only one way to do this: it is by ruthless prosecution of submarine warfare. While England's fleet exists, trade with America could always be stopped, when it suited British policy to do so. The only thing for Germany to do is to concentrate the whole of her intelligence and power upon the building and manning of submarines, in such numbers, and of such excellence, that England is starved, and her fleet destroyed. If it takes ten years -- or a hundred years -- it must be done. From the broadest standpoint of humanity, nothing else is really worth doing.
    Let Germany make peace with France and Russia -- if we must talk peace. Let her give up, if necessary, the territory which it has cost so much blood and treasure to take and hold. Let her do this, that she may be able to concentrate her whole power against the vampire.
    Count zu Reventlow has found the word of the situation: that word "vampire." Let him look therefore to tradition. It is not enough to kill a vampire in the ordinary way. Holy water must be used, and holy herbs. It must be severed, limb from limb, its heart torn out, and a charred stake thrust through it. If one precaution is omitted, the vampire lives again, to prey upon the innocent and the just. Britannia est delenda.

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from the Grady Project:

[untitled: target practice]

Deep within the pits we sit
And look to where the bullets hit.
That is, I mean, to where they should
The bulls-eye target, not the wood
That framed the circles in the square.
The ricochets that part your hair
And sizzle off the parapet
To leave their profiles in the net
Are harmless once they've passed you by --
But never say they didn't try!

-- Sgt. Grady L. McMurtry, U.S. Army
(undated; circa 1940s e.v.)           

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XXXVII - Personality and the Sephirot

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

    For this topic, the following simplified associations for the ten Sephirot may be helpful. Always realize that any list of key words for the Sephirot is only useful up to a point -- the point this time being to get a notion of bias to personality on the Tree of Life diagram:

    10. Malkut: Physical sensation.
    9. Yesod: Dream, imagination.
    8. Hod: Reasoning about material things.
    7. Netzach: Emotional feeling about material things.
    6. Tipheret: Perspective on life.
    5. Geburah: Reasoning about right and wrong.
    4. Chesed: Feelings of spiritual well-being.
    3. Binah: Very abstract reasoning.
    2. Chokmah: Excitement without known cause.
    1. Keter: Peaceful feeling with lack of distinction between self and not- self.

    The idea of Shadow Trees is related to the study of trees within each Sephirot. It often happens in a person's life that there is a kind of a bias or tendency to limit thinking to one point of view. Such a bias is occasionally described by saying that a person is "locked into a Sephira". This may be caused by mistaking the little Tree that grows within one particular Sephira for the whole Tree of Life. In the case of Geburah, all the experiences of life are there, but all are over-shadowed by Geburah. Such a person would be overly moralistic; always insisting on doing the right thing, always demanding of themselves and of others that there be no flaw or irregularity. In such people, the standards are set so high and prosecuted so rigidly that every avenue of life takes on the blood red hue of Mars. Such a person can be said to be locked into the shadow-tree of Geburah. With points of view based in Malkut, Yesod, Tipheret or Keter, there is more of a balance of perception. If a person is locked into either the left or the right pillar Sephirot, the point of view will generally seem lopsided. In the case of Hod, the point of view demands that everything make sense. In the case of Geburah, everything has to be "right", not just logically but morally. Homicidal maniacs are a prime example of people who are locked into Geburah. For a person locked into Hod, stubbornness on detail is more common. Hod personalities are not particularly violent or dangerous, but tend to be overly critical of surprises, unable to relax and unwilling to let things take their own course. A Geburah personality has force enough to be dangerous. A Binah personality is more rare, typically a person so distant or so abstract as to be virtually inhuman.

    On the other side of the Tree, a Netzach personality constantly tries to grow but never really holds ground anywhere. Such a person continually makes decisions on a non-logical basis.

    Psychological problems often involve more than one Sephira. A manic depressive type might bounce back and forth between Netzach and Geburah. The depressive state can degenerate from a Geburah perspective, while the manic or excited state tends to come from Netzach. It's rare to find a pure example of a person's entire consciousness embedded in one Sephira. Two or more Sephirot may be involved, often in a sort of "leakage" from one to another. Excessive pressure in Geburah will usually vent itself through Hod. A person who is in an extremely tense, earnest and effortful state will try to figure out how solve some problem or produce some desired change. Since the awareness of Geburah forces absolutes, the practicality of Hod can be overridden; and inappropriate things may be attempted. Brutality on the small scale or world impacting outrages like those of the Nazis may result.

    A preponderantly Chesed personality is typically found in someone who makes no provision for his or her own welfare. Everything seems blessed and blissful, but this type has to depend on luck to stay alive.
    It would be very rare to see anyone maintain a Chokmah point of view for any length of time. The physical body itself tends to collapse in that state. Such a perspective ignores the limits of the material world, so great is the energy and so transcendent the perception.

    For the middle pillar Sephirot, points of view are less extreme. Malkut is itself the base condition of all things, the natural state. Every life begins there. Such a personality would be slow, boring to others but very reliable. There is nothing particularly wrong; just little going on.
    A Yesod personality tends to overindulge in fantasy. So long as it is passive fantasy, there will be little harm. Such a person may be creative, an originator of stories or artistic designs. However, without aid from other people or involvement of other Sephirot, the stories remain untold and the art never fully manifests outside the mind.
    A person with the point of view of Tipheret is pretty well off. That's about the best place to be stuck, if you are going to be stuck anywhere. Tipheret is not only balanced from left to right, between mind and emotion, but from bottom to top, between matter and spirit.
    Keter is oneness, and a mind in such a state is profoundly at peace. A Keter point of view sees no distinctions and feels no concerns. Such a state is fleeting, but may seem eternal while it is experienced.

Previous Introduction to Qabalah -- Part XXXVI                   Next: The Symbol of Mercury.

Primary Sources

Germer in the '40s:
    This group of letters and a charter spans a curious transition in Karl Germer's OTO involvement. After Karl's release from a Nazi concentration camp, A.C. made him OTO Grand Master of the "Free German Speaking Peoples", a title probably inspired by the idea of the "Free French" in WWII. When Karl came to the USA, Aleister gave him an additional charter of authority for the US OTO. Around that time, Cora Germer died, leaving a contested estate. The correspondence sheds light on relations between Germer and Crowley as well as Agap(a)e lodge and the progress of the Thoth Tarot. The first letter is from Crowley to Karl Germer.

c/o Demes and Co
Clifford's ...
London E.C.A.
{Noted: "Rev. Aug. 5 '41}
March 23

Answer to yours of Nov 16
from Camp de Garo:
previous letter not
to hand

Carissime Frater


    I am overwhelmed with joy to hear that you are alive and well. I have had death in my heart since May 1. I kept on cabling you as long as Brussels was on the wire. I {...} sure that the Gestapo had caught and murdered you. Naturally, I have been blaming myself! It made me very ill all summer; I cam to Torquay for the winter, and after a month fell very sick indeed -- the doctors and nurses kind of sick -- for some six weeks. Since hearing from you I have been quite a new man; and, though my heart is definitely not too good, and I have a ghastly time ahead with the dentist, news of you give me the courage to go on.


The Tarot is finished, though F. is doing two or three over again. Also my book to go with them. {Name can't be made out} sure he had a backer to .. them it needs some £1500 actual cost. Probably he was lying, as usual.
    When we get them out, I want to lecture in U.S.A. -- I hope you are there by now! I have written several names and addresses in my covering letter to Cora {K.Germer's wife at that time}, and am enclosing with the Word of Spring {Word of the Equinox sent to OTO members}, instructions to welcome you and help you in every way. It is not much use going into more detail until I hear that you have received this.
    With all deep love

93 93/93 Fraternally 666.

I am just moving once more; will let you know when I get settled. Meanwhile c/o Demes seems safest.



Abbey of Thelema

April 41


We, Baphomet O.H.O. hereby appoint the T.I., T.I. and T.I. Fr. Karl J. Germer (Grand Master General of the Free German-Speaking Peoples) as our Legate in the United States of America to take precedence of all previously constituted Authorities with special power to revive the dormant Mount Sinai and Rose of Sharon.

Given under our Hand and Seal

    Baphomet O.H.O.


REGENT 4-2493

July 10, 1942.

Dear Aleister,

    Yours of June 26th just came in. There are two other letters of yours, dated May 24th and June 8th to which I haven't replied. I don't know what to say, what to do; things just don't develope as we expected.

    I have never thought much or too highly about the Cleveland people. But why not use them if they can be useful? However, I have not been able to extricate a definite word from either Gordon or anybody else. The last I heard was that Bisiker was away; that he was expected back any moment; that they would be notified the moment he came to his office; that they would then see him at once and take the matter up as suggested by you. This was weeks ago; I wrote Soule again, after I had phoned him before, but there is no answer. What shall I do but wait? If there isn't much hope, waiting is not a vice.

    How do you see the possibilities of your coming over from your end? What would you consider as favorable propositions coming from here that might ease matters over there? If this present scheme falls down, as it seems it will, we would have to try and do something new, unless one considers that it is just as much waste of time and energy, a useless war of nerves.

    Your letter of June 26th reflects about my frame of mind. I haven't got much energy or spirit left. With a new partner (I mailed you the Hor.{escope} on June 1-) this does not seem a good sign. I don't know what to make of it all. My heart and soul are not engaged, and I doubt whether I should go on or not.

    I got the 'final' version of La Galoise. Shouldn't it be 'de la tricolore'? Also, it seems to me that 'Vaincrons' is English. In my opinion it should be 'Vainquons'. (The idea of a foreigner writing a Hymn for another nation seems to me basically wrong, despite precedents to the contrary.) I'll mail a copy to R.L. {Leffingwell}

    I note what you say about transfers. Jane {Wolfe} said in one letter that $100 had been collected by various members for a card {probably a proof color print of a Thoth Deck Atu} to be inscribed 'Agapae Lodge'. I never heard anything from 132 {W.T.Smith} direct, so don't know whether that sum has been sent you direct. In any case I think I will be able to cable you the customary sum by July 15.

    I wonder whether some operation of Max' {Schneider} brought about this Cleveland contact? I have been too busy with the assured regularity of the monthly transfers to work in the direction of your trip. Besides, it had appeared to me from the correspondence of the last three months or so that you were loath to leave England really. It seemed to me that your main preoccupation was not your coming here, no matter under what conditions, but rather that the conditions were in some grand or at least appropriate style. Those are two different things.

    Your remark on poetry: Don't fool yourself, I do understand that. No need for your explanation 'for the nth time'. What I object to is the need to vilify your antagonist. I am not used to it; it is not customary where I grew up. However, I notice you are in good company as you will see from the enclosed article by Louis Alber on Churchill. Now Ch. is not a man of the street, yet he uses that language at a time when international relations gave no excuse. Is it arrogance? Is it contempt? Is it supposed to be a joke? I have lived long enough among the British, yet I fail to find an explanation or justification for it.

    In Vienna, before the European War of 1914, it was customary to bring the figure of a Czech on the stage, ridicule his exterior, his way of speaking, his manners; to the violent resentment of the Czecks. Well, they took their revenge and the Viennese had to drink the cup to the dregs.

    No, Yorke can't be made to pay; he took his precautions. I have taken a lawyer to get the Will {of K.Germer's previous wife} probated. It turned out that I am not the only executor and beneficiary. However, the lawyer pointed out that according to law the husband cannot be debarred from at least fifty percent; as soon as the Will is probated he wants to take steps to obtain that sum for me. If these steps should be successful, it would mean a possibility of getting ultimately several thousand at my personal disposal, provided I can sell that part of the mortgage for cash. However, this is a long way off.

    A female is around, as mentioned before, but I wonder whether I won't have to wait for the proper thing to turn up a year from now. Yet, Lotte is an amazing woman. A remarkable astrologer, grown up among artists all her life; her husband (as she is convinced) a reincarnated William Blake; her brother his inspirer; Why shouldn't she be useful somewhere? Her brother having dropped out, she dreams of you inspiring her Husband to express 93 in printing. Well, this is all so far off.


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Here are some edited selections from recent internet email and discussion. Some of these will just be short lines, intended here to serve as jumping-off places for discussion:

H. had several questions about the Chakras, OTO degree work and rituals. Here are some observations that came up in the process of the email exchange:

    The idea of working with chakras is that the mind is distributed over the body, not only in the brain or any single site in the body. There is considerable anatomical evidence that this is correct.
    Crowley's notes on the OTO degrees and the chakras in Equinox I, 10 are helpful, but brief. Interestingly, medieval European illustrations and older Roman images often show faces on body armor and mystical statues where parts of the body are associated with chakras in Hindu studies.
    Some methods (Tree of Life approaches in Qabalah) favor a mental approach. Some methods directly or indirectly attempt to work with chakras and kundalini. However, each of us is human. The direct method may vary, but the end result may be the same. This can include the mechanisms, such as the glandular and nerve complexes that are especially associated with chakras and the raising of kundalini.
    It's good to remind oneself from time to time that the chakra idea originated as a medical concept, not a spiritual concept. Chakras are locations in the body, usually associated with nerve plexi and glandular sub- systems, which behave with a degree of independence or autonomy from the body as a whole. In a sense, they are little minds associated with functions and regions of the body. Everyone uses such things to stay alive and to perform learned actions. If we had to directly and consciously control every internal part of our bodies, we would die. These parts mind themselves to an extent, as though they had little computers inside. When they are directed to work together for a certain over-all result, that is similar to having a dance or sporting event involving many people.
    The Muladhara may seem to be silent only from the continuity of its sound. That is the steady hum of the dynamo, maintaining existence. When Kundalini awakens, the dynamo increases its revolutions from maintenance to active power. The other chakras brighten, like lights receiving full voltage. In this way of likening the body to a machine, the machine begins to perform its proper functions.
    It is also appropriate to use the microcosm (individual human) and macrocosm (world or universe) parallels in this. Just as the Muladhara and other chakras in the body of one person have "mantras" of sorts -- not just the sounds one can make to stimulate them, but the actual characteristic "vibrations" of those chakras --, so also there are parallels in the world at large. The Muladhara in a human body is like the Mantra that maintains the Universe. One can find those macrocosmic things, through harmonies with the microcosmic things. But, of course, that is the material magick.
    All mystical systems use at least one paradigm or model. Sometimes it's as simple as character identification in a myth or story. In Freemasonry, social life is the principle model, although myth is used as well. In the case of the Golden Dawn system, it is the concept of attainment via the Sephirot on the Tree of Life. In Kundalini, it is the natural pattern of awareness and function in the physical body -- something also used by many sorts of martial arts training.

M.K. raised some points of discussion about the Eternal Child. Here are a few short affirmations and thoughts along that line in consideration of Thelema.

    The Child is also the ancient. Through those eyes, everything is NOW and the ages are a mantle about the shoulders. That is not something that people can handle very well in company. The calm gaze of a child can be difficult to meet.
    The Child is an absolute god-form, not one which has little attributes and is subject to assignment of place. It is too strong to look at. People shy off and try to identify "childishness" or enmity instead.
    The Child will be there, but it can be hidden. It comes back at the end, no matter how hidden. The fall of ideals is the breaking. It is necessary to fulfillment of incarnation, but it obscures the Child for a time. The Child sometimes draws the mantle of ages close about. Our end is ashes in this world. To shed the last drop of blood for the Lady is to feed the fire of time like wood tossed on a hearth. It's the fire that's immortal in the world. We will come back to warm ourselves by it, consuming incarnation after incarnation to keep it burning into the light of ages to come. The adept strives to become a little pile of dust in the City of the Pyramids, then not one particle of dust; but that's the greater emancipation. Through all of this, the Child is ever the same, back and back again with the eyes of eternity.

G. passed along a question from another: What would be done for gender in associations on the Tree of Life, if another species on a distant planet studied it?

    The use of gender, male or female, on the Tree is a symbolic thing. Because human beings have bodies of those two types and many human cultures make a group of male and female stereotypes, it is useful to speak of masculine and feminine in explaining things to human beings from such cultures. If there are beings on other plants, they might or might not have gender of two types and cultural conditions that make our symbolic language useful. Such things are not essential to the ideas that the Tree of Life shows.

A. Raised a question about the path of the serpent on Trees other than the usual kind.

    On the simple Achad prismatic tree, the easiest way to picture the serpent would be to have it branch and merge, with three bodies at some points and one at others. That not particularly difficult, since maintaining three modes of thought at one time isn't an extreme use of the Tree.
    With the multiple or icosahedral tree, it's a little more difficult. In that case the branching and reentrant serpents of each prism have a common tail. The head can also be considered common, but not easily since it would have to be the surface of the inscribing sphere.
    More simply, considering the surface of a sphere, Draconis and the celestial globe can form a very different sort of Tree but one also applicable to the Sepher Yetzirah. The Golden Dawn approach to Astrology and Tarot on a sphere would be usable.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for March 1998 e.v.

3/1/98Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
3/4/98College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
Thelema Ldg.
3/8/98Lodge luncheon meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
3/8/98Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
3/9/98Section II reading group with
Caitlin: "Jurgen" and other works by
J.B.Cabel at Oz house, 8 PM
Thelema Ldg.
3/12/98Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia
8:24 PM
Thelema Ldg.
3/14/98OTO initiations, call to attendThelema Ldg.
3/15/98"Finnegans Wake" reading 2PMThelema Ldg.
3/15/98Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
3/19/98Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia
7:30 PM
Thelema Ldg.
3/20/98Vernal Equinox Ritual 7:30 PM
Thelema Ldg.
3/22/98Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
3/25/98College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
Thelema Ldg.
3/29/98Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
3/30/98Sirius Oasis meeting 8:00 PM
in Berkeley
Sirius Oasis

    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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