Thelema Lodge Calendar for May 1998 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for May 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

May 1998 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

The Bonfires of Baal?

    As Our Father the Sun gains the mid-point of Taurus on Tuesday 5th May, Thelema Lodge will gather to observe the festival of Beltane at Oz House, beginning at 8:00 in the evening. (The precise 15° point will have passed late that morning around 11:00.) Bring food and drink to share afterwards, and come prepared to dance and sing.

    In English the names for the "cross-quarter" holidays - which fall mid-way between the solstices and equinoxes - have most commonly been adopted from ancient Celtic in the forms preserved by Scottish usage, designating them as Hallowmas, Candlemas, Beltane, and Lammas. In the Old Irish calendar, beltene, or belltaine, was the name of the first of May, marking the beginning of the summer season. In a Highland tradition, those "born between the Beltans," during the first eight days of May, were considered likely to be especially clever and skillful. Later missionaries and monks, imposing a foreign faith on the indigenous "heathen," corrupted their word to beltine in order to condemn it with a false etymology. Ignoring the feminine gender of the name in Celtic, then forcing a pun on teine (meaning "fire"), and joining it to a specious interpretation of bel as the Old Testament god Baal (or Bel), they denounced the ancient seasonal holiday as a bonfire in honor of one of Jehovah's oldest rivals. It was true enough that the traditional observance of Beltane - and also of Lammas and Hallowmas - involved kindling great bonfires, often on hilltops. Human couples as well as cattle and other livestock were encouraged to leap through (or around) the flames to promote health and fecundity.
    We don't do cows in Oakland, and no bonfire is planned at Oz, but we can't promise you won't run into any of Jehovah's rivals at our ritual; in fact, one of Baal's typical forms as a husband or bride-groom might make a worthy successor to our local tradition of observing Candlemas as the feast of Brigid the bride.

Gnostic Catholic Church

    The time to arrive at Horus Temple for the gnostic mass on Sunday evenings this time of year is eight o'clock, with the ritual expected to begin shortly thereafter. Our mass, published as Liber XV, was written in Moscow in 1913 e.v., and has been celebrated by O.T.O. members in California since 1933. Those interested in this liturgy of Thelema are welcome to attend as participants in the communion circle at Thelema Lodge on any Sunday evening. Before arriving for the first time, call ahead to speak with the lodgemaster at (510) 652-3171 for directions and information. Teams of clerical celebrants, whether novice or expert, are welcome to take a turn at leading the lodge in this ritual, and as they become ready should consult with the lodgemaster for a date on the temple calendar.

    Concerning the Cup or Graal of Our Lady Babalon:
    "This cup is said to be full of the Blood of the Saints; that is, every 'saint' or Magician must give the last drop of his life's blood to that cup. It is the original price paid for magick power. . . . Of the preservation of this blood which Our Lady offers to the Ancient One, Chaos the All-Father, to revive him, and of how his divine Essence fills the Daughter (the soul of Man) and places her upon the Throne of the Mother, fulfilling the Economy of the Universe, and thus ultimately rewarding the Magician (the Son) ten thousandfold, it would be . . . improper to speak in this place" - M.T.P., ch. vii.

That Ob-N.O.X.ious College

    The school bell rings at eight o'clock on the 6th and 27th evenings of May in the lodge library. The Dean would like to express his appreciation to all of the many knowledgeable and articulate students who have made the College of Hard N.O.X. such a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend two Wednesday nights each month. Last month the session on April Fool's Day marveled at the following tale derived from the Daoist "Classic of Complete Emptiness," Lieh-Tzu:
    A man went hunting in the thick wilderness. He set fire to the woods in order to stampede the animals, while he waited by a cliff face to cut them down as they emerged from the trees. Suddenly he saw an old man, naked and filthy, walk straight out of the rock and continue right on into the burning forest, entirely oblivious. The hunter, curiosity conquering fear, nimbly followed after him, just in time to see the old man step unscathed out of a roaring pyre. Catching up, the hunter asked him, "Tell me, sir, how is it that you can walk through solid rock?"
    "Rock? What do you mean by rock?" answered the old man as he continued his march.
    "And you can also walk through fire!"
    "Fire? What is fire?"
    And then the old man, unable to distinguish anything at all, walked directly into a nearby lake, and quickly disappeared beneath its muddy waters."
    The general topic proposed for 6th May is "initiation," with specific attention to the questions, "Is initiation a social event or a spiritual process, or both? and how so?" The topic for the 27th has yet to be determined.

Previous NOX article                   Next NOX article

777 Seminar in Marin

    A second meeting of the seminar on Liber 777 with Bill Heidrick will be held in Marin on Wednesday evening 20th May, beginning at 7:30. We will gather at Bill's home in San Anselmo for two hours of illustrated discussion, explanations, and historical background pertaining to the magical correspondences as outlined in the columns of 777. This elaborate index to the magical system of the Golden Dawn is organized into 192 columns, numbering up to 32 ranks which are organized upon the Tree of Life as the ten numbers and twenty-two letters. In April at our opening session we explored the general structure and background of the book, and then worked through the first 21 columns, often in considerable detail. This month we will continue more rapidly through the huge variety of religious and mystical traditions which demonstrate how the system of magical correspondences may be infinitely expanded. For directions contact Bill ahead of time by e-mail to or call (415) 454-5176.

Poets and Priests

    At Oz House on Monday evening 11th May at 8:00 Caitlin will lead a reading and discussion of a select group of baroque British writers known from their fondness for scientific and philosophical conceits as the "metaphysical" poets. We will be concentrating upon five of them: John Donne, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Richard Crashaw, and Robert Herrick. The basic suggestion comes from the course of reading outlined in Liber Artemis Iota. Like Crowley's earlier A A bibliography, this "study" list comprises mainly classical and European authors, along with generous selections from his own work. There is only a glance at the literary tradition in English, concluding the curriculum with an allusion to "English and Americans too numerous to list, but notably the poets in Holy Orders: Swift, Sterne, Herrick, Donne, and Herbert." Reserving the first two figures for some other eighteenth-century evening, we will encounter in selected works of the other three some of the most intense, amazing, and difficult lyrics in any literature, with ideas and images that can still inspire shock and dismay even in lovers of Aleister Crowley's own poetic "excreta."
    John Donne (1572-1631), Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London and one of the greatest preachers of his day, set the "metaphysical" style in his early erotic lyrics and later "divine poems." His strong lines, packed with meaning and avoiding ornament, meditate over the mysteries and the rituals of eros and ecclesia. The sacraments of sense, intelligence, and spirit combine powerfully in Donne, and in his seductions he seems to succeed all the better for a style that "perplexes the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy, when he should engage their hearts, and entertain them with the softness of love" (John Dryden, 1693). Like Sappho and Catullus, Donne is a poet of fulfillment, whether sexual or spiritual. Love for him is based in the physical grace and coupling of bodies, however far it may be extended into the realms of science and theology.
    George Herbert (1593-1633) was an academic rhetorician, priest, and member of Parliament. All of his verse is religious in nature, memorable for its plainness and precision, achieving intense effects of psychological intimacy as he explores the essential challenges of worship. Herbert was also a pioneer of "concrete" poetry, and deals intensely and fully with the ritual of the mass in much of his verse.
    Henry Vaughan (1622-1695) is not specifically mentioned by Crowley, but deserves a place at our gathering for his alchemical and Hermetic orientation, which he shared with his twin brother, our gnostic saint Thomas Vaughan. A royalist during the Civil Wars, educated in the law but also practicing as a physician, Vaughan never took holy orders despite his fervent religious devotions.
    Richard Crashaw (1612-1649), a Catholic convert, died in exile at Rome, where he held a minor clerical post. Although unmentioned by Crowley, he is included as the foremost lyric poet of the bodily fluids. His extreme excesses of baroque sensibility, wallowing in the tears, the blood, the milk, the sweat, and who can tell for sure what other oozings, drippings, gushings, and spurts from the bodies of his favorite soggy saints, record a devotion to the physiology of enthusiasm which seems worthy of the Temple ov Psychick Youth.
    Robert Herrick (1591-1674), a priest and an aristocratic chaplain, was a prolific poet of romantic emotions, rosebuds, kisses, and other less rigorously philosophical delights. Though Crowley appreciated him, Herrick can easily seem too light and innocent to fully qualify as a "metaphysical" poet, but like the Latin poets he imitates he is capable of careful descriptions of erotic details which are of sufficient technical interest to justify his inclusion.

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

Slouching Toward Eleusis

    Our nineteenth cycle of the Rites of Eleusis in Northern California is being scheduled for the last half of this coming summer. Planned at twelve- day intervals to begin in the dark of the moon with Saturn on 25th July, this will put the Rite of Luna two and a half months later at full moon on Monday 5th October. In a "great cycle" of 49 complete performances of the Rites, this would be our "Venus of Mars" set of the planetary parade of god-forms in their temporary triumphs. A co-ordinating meeting will be held at Oz House on Friday evening 15th May at 8:00, open to all interested participants from past Rites or new-comers willing to jump right in.

Crowley Classics

Crowley constructed this dialogue, which includes (in quotation marks) phrases from actual trial testimony previously given by Macgregor Mathers, at the time of the Looking Glass lawsuit in London. His motive may have been partially to render an account of his own complicated relations with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which had been called into question in testimony admitted into several law suits in 1910 and 1911. He originally had the piece printed in 1911 as a pamphlet for private distribution in London. His pseudonym Leo Vincey (translatable as "the avenging lion") is borrowed from the young hero of H. Rider Haggard's African adventure novel She (1887), apparently not for association with that story, but only for its meaning. Most of the text consists of Crowley's fictionalized version of a hypothetical examination of Mathers as a trial witness. (For presentation in these pages, the original footnotes have been parenthetically incorporated into the text.)

The "Rosicrucian" Scandal

by Leo Vincey

[Aleister Crowley]

    Mr Aleister Crowley, editor of The Equinox, having published the facts concerning the "Rosicrucians" in various numbers of that magazine, has been attacked by the gang whom he exposed in such a way that he has had no opportunity to make clear the facts in a more public manner.
    Mr Crowley is debarred from taking legal action by the reasons set forth hereafter. I have therefore determined to publish in a striking form the truth of the matter, less to defend him (he has no need of it) than to bring to an end the villanies of the "Rosicrucian" gang.
    I have proceeded on the principle that Mathers is obliged either to tell the truth or to repeat his previous statements. The latter are indicated by inverted commas.
    It is against the express wish of Mr Crowley that I have, in his own phrase, "played scavenger;" but I rather break my Vow of Holy Obedience than allow his work to be hindered, as I cannot but maintain that it has been hindered hitherto.

    Summary of Persons Referred to in the Dialogue

    4 Rue de la Source, aux Gressets, par La Celle-Saint-Cloud
             Self-appointed "Head" of the "Rosicrucian Order."

    5 King's Bench Walk, Temple, W.C.
             Perjured shyster. (Details of Cran's perjury in the Court of King's
             Bench in April 1911 are here omitted for reasons which may
             become clear hereafter.)

    Homoeopathic doctor, etc.

             Editor of The Looking Glass. Turf trickster until warned off;
             since professional blackmailer to the nobility and gentry.

    396 Camden Road, N.
             Coroner, sorcerer, etc. Dupe and victim of Mathers.

             Ex-dupe and victim of Mathers.

The Cross-Examination of Samuel Sidney Sylvester Scherzerade Socrates Scipio Schiller Simmons Scrutton Shacaback Swank Swizzle Liddell Diddell Macgregor Mac Kerrow Mathers, James IV of Scotland, Comte de St Germain, Earl of Glenstrae, Comte Macgregor, Chevalier Mac-gregor, Macgregor-Mathers, S'Rhiogail mo Dhream, Deo Duce Comite Ferro, Chevalier of the Order of St Germain, etc., etc., by Mr Q. Scorpio, one of His Majesty's Counsel learned in the Law.

Scorpio, K.C. What is your name?
Mathers The whole lot?
Scorpio, K.C. The name on your birth certificate.
Mathers Mathers.
Scorpio, K.C. You were educated at Bedford Grammar School?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. And became a lieutenant in a Hampshire volunteer regiment?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Yet in Paris you were engaged in Jacobite conspiracies to overthrow the throne of England?
Mathers I pretended to be.
Scorpio, K.C. Were you actually so engaged?
Mathers I refuse to answer the question.
Scorpio, K.C. You became a Rosicrucian?
Mathers "Yes."
Scorpio, K.C. You hold high rank in the Order?
Mathers "I am the Head of the Rosicrucian Order."
Scorpio, K.C. You have read the constitutions of that Order?
Mathers "Yes."
Scorpio, K.C. It is a secret Order?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. By the constitution no member is permitted to declare himself to be a member?
Mathers That is what Waite says.
Scorpio, K.C. Who is Waite?
Mathers The greatest living authority on the Rosicrucians.
Scorpio, K.C. Let me read what he says. "Let me warn my readers that all persons profession to be Rosicrucians are simply members of psuedo- fraternities, and that there is that difference between their assertion and the fact of the case in which the essence of a lie consists." What have you to say to that?
Mathers "I am the Head of the Rosicrucian Order."
Scorpio, K.C. You are however responsible to secret chiefs? Mathers "Yes."
Scorpio, K.C. Who are they?
Mathers "I am sworn not to divulge them."
Scorpio, K.C. In the constitutions of the Golden Dawn a Fräulein Sprengel or Sapiens Dominabitur Astris is named as one of them?
Mathers I suppose so.
Scorpio, K.C. Is it so or not?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. In your letter to Mrs Emery of the 16th February 1900, you say: "It may interest you to know that Soror Sapiens Dominabitur Astris is now in Paris working with me"?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Was this Fräulein Sprengel?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. Who was it?
Mathers Madame Horos, better known, perhaps, as "the Swami."
Scorpio, K.C. The same Madame Horos who in 1901 received a sentence of seven years penal servitude for abominable offenses against children?
Mathers How was I to know that she would be found out?
Scorpio, K.C. You acknowledged her as your spiritual superior?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. As a secret chief 8= 3?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Thank you. Now with regard to Allan Bennett. He was staying with you in Paris?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. How employed?
Mathers In trying to make rubies from ruby dust.
Scorpio, K.C. Did he succeed?
Mathers He made a small worthless ruby.
Scorpio, K.C. With better apparatus he might have made a commercial success of the process?
Mathers I cannot say.
Scorpio, K.C. In point of fact, a precisely similar process is being worked at this day with success?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. What was his moral character in regard to sexual matters?
Mathers He had an aversion to all such matters amounting to horror.
Scorpio, K.C. What was the condition of his health?
Mathers He was a constant sufferer from spasmodic asthma in its most aggravated form.
Scorpio, K.C. He took drugs habitually?
Mathers Yes, by the orders of his doctor.
Scorpio, K.C. Never for pleasure?
Mathers Never.
Scorpio, K.C. How can you be sure?
Mathers When he left England, the change of climate cured at least temporarily his disease, and he instantly abandoned the practice.
Scorpio, K.C. He left you on good terms?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. And you have never quarreled with him since?
Mathers Never.
Scorpio, K.C. Then why do you defame him now and allow the vilest crimes to be imputed to him?
Mathers Anything to damage Crowley!
Scorpio, K.C. Did you quarrel with him ever at the time?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Let me read you the published account of your quarrel:

    He (Crowley) had, as we have seen, induced Mathers to put in force the Deadly and Hostile Current of Will, but, as in the case of the Jackdaw of Rheims, nobody seemed a penny the worse. One might have expected that Mathers having failed, Aleister Crowley would have abandoned him. No, for it seemed still possible that Mathers, really in touch with the Supreme Chiefs, had yet finally decided to say with Christ upon the Cross: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," even though this theory was somewhat rudely shaken by Mathers spending the whole of one Sunday afternoon in rattling a lot of dried peas in a sieve under the impression that they were revolted members: as subsequent events proved, they were only the ideas in his head. So we find Aleister Crowley still loyal, if a little skeptical, and searching within himself to discover a touchstone by which he might prove beyond doubt the authenticity of Mathers' claim to represent the Masters. Now, there had been a good deal of talk of an adventure that happened to Mathers and Allan Bennett, who was guest in his house, in which a revolver figured prominently; but the story was only vague, and Allan Bennett, who could, and would have, told the truth about it, had departed for a distant colony. So on arriving in Paris, Aleister Crowley lured Mathers into telling the story, which was as follows: That he and Allan Bennett had disagreed upon an obscure point in theology, thereby formulating the accursed Dyad, thereby enabling the Abramelin demons to assume material form: one of his own shape, another in that of Allan Bennett. Now, the demon that looked like Allan Bennett had a revolver, and threatened to shoot him (Mathers), while the demon that resembled himself was equally anxious to shoot Allan Bennett. Fortunately, before the demons could fire, Mrs Mathers came into the room, thus formulating the symbol of the blessed Trinity, of which her great purity of character would naturally fit her to be a prominent member. Now, the only probability about this story, which Mathers related on his magical honour as a 7= 4 (the highest grade of the Rosicrucian order), was that Mathers saw double. Crowley, however, was not going to judge any isolated story by the general laws of probability, so, bowing gracefully, he rose and set out to find Allan Bennett, whom he eventually ran down at the house of a holy Yogi in Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo, to hear his account.
    Allan Bennett's account was less of a strain upon Aleister Crowley's faculties of belief. They had had, he said, an argument about the God Shiva, the Destroyer, whom Allan Bennett worshipped because, if one repeated his name often enough, Shiva would one day open his eye and destroy the Universe, and whom Mathers feared and hated because He would one day open His eye and destroy Mathers. Allan Bennett closed the argument by assuming the position Padmasana and repeating the Mantra: "Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva." Mathers, angrier than ever, sought the sideboard, but soon returned, only to find Allan Bennett still muttering: "Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva." "Will you stop blaspheming?" cried Mathers; but the holy man only said "Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva." "If you don't stop I will shoot you!" said Mathers, drawing a revolver from his pocket, and leveling it at Allan Bennett's head; but Allan Bennett, being concentrated, took no notice, and continued to mutter "Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva."
    Whether overawed by the majesty of the saint, of interrupted by the entry of a third person, Allan Bennett no longer remembered, but Mathers never pulled the trigger.
It was only after this interview, which did not take place till August 1901, that Aleister Crowley definitely decided against Mathers.
Is this account accurate?
Mathers "My account is accurate."
Scorpio, K.C. You really ask his Lordship to believe this yarn about Abramelin demons?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. With regard to Dr Wynn Westcott, now: Was he your colleague?
Mathers Yes. Scorpio, K.C. Was his name printed on the MSS. of the Order of the Golden
Dawn as the person to whom they should be returned in case of the owner's death or disability?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. And these MSS. contain practical instructions for raising devils, making yourself invisible, transforming men into animals, making gold, making rain, and all the other fabled arts of sorcerers?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. In short, you and Dr Westcott were teaching the vilest practices of black magic?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. You quarreled with Dr Westcott?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. You were jealous of his authority?
Mathers Divided authority is no authority.
Scorpio, K.C. You are not a careless man?
Mathers One cannot be too careful in matters of magic.
Scorpio, K.C. Did you ever leave any magical MSS. in a cab?
Mathers The best of us may err. Even Homer nodded.
Scorpio, K.C. These MSS. were taken to Scotland Yard?
Mathers I cannot say, of my own knowledge.
Scorpio, K.C. That would be the usual course?
Mathers I suppose so.
Scorpio, K.C. Dr Westcott's name and address being on them, the authorities would return them to him?
Mathers I suppose so.
Scorpio, K.C. Did they further intimate to Dr Westcott that he was paid to sit on corpses, not to raise them; and that he must choose between his Coronership and his Adeptship?
Mathers I believe so.
Scorpio, K.C. So that he resigned active membership in the so-called Rosicrucian Order?
Mathers He did resign.
Scorpio, K.C. Very fortunate piece of carelessness for you!
Mathers Fortune favours the brave.
Scorpio, K.C. I put it to you, this was a premeditated treachery on your part.
Mathers I refuse to answer the question.
Scorpio, K.C. In your letter of February 16th, 1900, you accuse Dr Westcott of "forging, or procuring to be forged" the warrant on which the Order was founded?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. And did anyone believe you?
Mathers Yes; five persons.
Scorpio, K.C. Who were they?
Mathers Dr E. W. Berridge, Mr G. C. Jones, Mr Aleister Crowley, and a Mrs Simpson and her daughter.
Scorpio, K.C. What of the other fifty odd in the London Temple?
Mathers Mr Crowley expelled them.
Scorpio, K.C. By what authority?
Mathers By mine. He was at that time my plenipotentiary in London.
Scorpio, K.C. And what did they do then?
Mathers They expelled me and Mr Crowley.
Scorpio, K.C. And then?
Mathers They all quarreled and expelled each other.
Scorpio, K.C. The whole Order broke up?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Why did they revolt against you?
Mathers Firstly, because they thought that by declaring the Warrant to be a forgery, I had destroyed my own authority. Secondly, because they couldn't make my methods of magic work properly. Thirdly, because they were tired of my incessant demands for money. Fourthly, because I refused to expel Dr Berridge from the Order.
Scorpio, K.C. What complaints were made against Dr Berridge?
Mathers That girls who came to him for examination in the Knowledge Lectures were subjected to insult.
Scorpio, K.C. Did you investigate this charge?
Mathers "Astrally, yes."
Scorpio, K.C. Was there any other charge?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. What was it?
Mathers That he was disseminating objectionable literature.
Scorpio, K.C. What?
Mathers The works of Thomas Lake Harris.
Scorpio, K.C. What is objected to?
Mathers He recommends his pupils to invoke elemental spirits or "astral counterparts" for the purpose of carnal copulation.
Scorpio, K.C. Was this charge denied?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. What did you do?
Mathers I expelled his accuser.
Scorpio, K.C. Name the accuser.
Mathers Miss Horniman.
Scorpio, K.C. The daughter of the great tea merchant?
Mathers The same.
Scorpio, K.C. And who is Dr Berridge?
Mathers He is the famous Dr Berridge.
Scorpio, K.C. For what is he famous?
Mathers For his Magic Clasp.
Scorpio, K.C. What is that?
Mathers A Mrs Cunningham, a member of my Order, claimed £1,000 from him as the price of a Magic Clasp said to have been given by Cagliostro to Marie Antoinette. She sued him on a promissory note for the amount. Her story in court was that she went to his house with a friend on the date when it fell due. Dr Berridge tried to destroy the note. A struggle ensued; the note was torn, Dr Berridge retaining the half which bore his alleged signature. In court he declared this signature to be a forgery.
Scorpio, K.C. And what did the experts decide?
Mathers They had no means of deciding.
Scorpio, K.C. How so?
Mathers Dr Berridge had burnt his alleged signature.
Scorpio, K.C. What? He burnt the proof of his own integrity and of their dishonesty?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. How did he account for so extraordinary an action?
Mathers The excitement of the moment.
Scorpio, K.C. What did the judge say?
Mathers That it was all very mysterious; that he did not believe either party to the suit; but that as the onus of proof lay on Mrs Cunningham, he must dismiss the case.
Scorpio, K.C. Thank you. Now, has Dr Berridge any animus against Mr Crowley?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. How has Mr Crowley wronged him?
Mathers Mr Crowley has laughed at him.
Scorpio, K.C. Anything else?
Mathers Mr Crowley did him a good turn.
Scorpio, K.C. How? Mathers In March 1910 Mr Crowley received an anonymous letter from "White Magician" enclosing a pamphlet by T. L. Harris, and accusing Dr Berridge of the foulest vices.
Scorpio, K.C. What did Mr Crowley do?
Mathers Sent a friend with the letter and pamphlet to Dr Berridge to warn him he had an enemy, and offering to help him in any way possible to defeat such anonymous assailants.
Scorpio, K.C. Why did Mr Crowley act thus, if he had no respect for Dr Berridge?
Mathers He would probably say it was because, however much he disagreed with a man, he would not see him the victim of foul play.
Scorpio, K.C. And how did Dr Berridge repay the service?
Mathers By perjuring himself to Mr Crowley's disadvantage.
Scorpio, K.C. Thank you.

Previous Crowley Classics                   [to be continued in next month's issue]

from the Grady Project:

Saddle Saga
(re GO of Ft. Riley, Kans.)

On the western plains where the wind does blow,
Where water is scarce and the trees don't grow,
We trooped and we fought in the long ago,
And this is our fearful tale.
This is our tale of whoa!

The Colonel was good, though slightly gruff,
The Sergeants were men and they knew their stuff,
The Men were wild and plenty tough
And each was hearty and hale.
We soldiered where it was rough!

The Injuns were hard and lean as wolves,
They raided and plundered and fired the roofs
Of the settlers huts, and the thundering hooves
Of the cavalry drummed again.
The cavalry fought the Sioux!

Then, when the Injuns were layin' low
We'd rope and ride the buffalo
And rassle them in the patio
Of the Colonel's little shack.
Of the Colonel's bungalow!

There's one thing only we'd never do,
Tho' we'd toast the West on ration brew,
And that was to shoot where Headquarters grew
On the edge of the ground of parade.
That was a rule we ALL knew!

-- Sgt. Grady L. McMurtry

Previous Grady Project                   Next Grady Project

Primary Sources

   Big Change at Agape:
   After Jack Parsons was retired as Master of Agape Lodge, the position fell to Roy Leffingwell. Here's Brother Roy's letter to Karl Germer, setting forth circumstances and changes on entering into office. Roy carried Agape Lodge through Crowley's death and the presentation of Grady's credentials from Crowley. For an explanation the names given in brief below, please see the last issue of the TLC

122 South Stoneman Ave.,
Alhambra Calif.

March 25th, 1946

Dear Karl:
    I suggest that you light your pipe, climb into a favorite chair, and settle back for a long session. When one has not sent a word in months, one has much to answer for, and this doesn't look like it would end in being a brief note!
    There were many reasons behind my silence. Periodic spells with my physical ailments; living out and working through, to the best of my ability, the utterly fantastic 1003 set-up; the long and arduous endeavor to find a studio that would not only solve my personal teaching problems, but also help Sascha when she arrives; then the further delay until I had called a meeting of Agape Lodge and had something to report to you on that angle -- Oh, a million and one valid or invalid reasons for not bothering you until I had something of interest and value to write. I knew, and was very grateful for, your letters and help to Reea -- Reea, who has so many problems of her own to struggle through -- none of them helped by the fact that her age, and the upsets of the menopause, color her usually lucid viewpoint at times. In spite of this, however, I much doubt if Thelema has a more faithful and practical adherent.
    Certainly a long enough paragraph, but maybe it sums up the preliminaries. Now to work.
    First: the physical ailments. The fact that I have accepted the responsibility for Agape, and am finally writing you, prove that at least enough of them are over to change my mental condition and outlook.
    Next, the 1003 set-up. That, my dear Karl, has been just what I wrote above -- utterly fantastic. It's all water over the bridge now, so I shall not bother you with any of the gruesome details. My only comment at this time is -- "Thank God it's all over with".
    Then, the studio search. I was never unmindful for a moment of your views and plans on Sascha's teaching here, and your trip this Summer. But -- trial after trial of local schools and teachers developed only an over-cautious stand on their parts, due to the fear of losing to Sascha some of their precious students. Especially on the part of those many Hollywood bluffs who could not afford to have their phony background set up for comparison! This does not mean that there are no legitimate contacts that would help. But of them, most prefer to "Wait and see". You cannot imagine the number of grandiose, monumental fakers that inhabit Hollywood under the guise of voice teachers. Because they have no real training to impart, students drift from each boastful 'master' to the next. There seems to be, however, a never- ending crop of aspiring vocal students!
    So, when 1003 was sold, and I had to find sleeping quarters, and a place to work on my music writing, I looked for a place that I could also use as a studio, teaching there, and with an eye to Sascha also having her own headquarters if she did not wish to affiliate herself with a school of what- not. The present address is the result of long and arduous searching. Any type of rental is next to utterly impossible out here now. However, we have a place, and she may teach here, use it for phone and business headquarters, or in whatever way she feels she wishes to operate. It is in the center of town, here in Alhambra, about 30 minutes from Hollywood, and fifteen or twenty from down-town L.A.
    And now, at long last, the lodge set-up. I am of the opinion that you have had much correspondence on the whole matter with Jack. At any rate, when he wanted to withdraw from any participation in Lodge work, and insisted that I was the logical one to take over, he answered me that it met with your, and A.C.'s approval. I stipulated that I would not touch it, with a ten foot pole, unless certain glaring misconceptions were cleared up. First, that Betty be entirely eliminated from any connection with the Lodge. This because at least half the trouble stemmed directly from her.
    Next, that I was going to try to eliminate the three basic causes for past failures, namely -- the tail wagging the dog, Agape and its Master assuming precedence over Baphomet, and yourself as X in this country, making the flat statement to members that "Agape was the only working 'example(!)' of the O.T.O. in existence, or ever had been," secondly, that the infernal stressing and overstressing of sex, sex and more sex, among lower degree members, and also all prospective members, plus the attempted or successful seduction of all new members, be stopped. Smith, and Jack after him, constantly jeopardized the Work and The Order, by their actions and preachings on this point. Thirdly, no misuse, by anyone, of the Lodge funds, and no using of Lodge funds for liquors, etc., for "parties", Equinoxial or otherwise. There are to many vital needs for those funds, and creating "expenses" which decrease Grand Lodge's share is on a par with evading taxation on net income. by reducing the "net".
    Jack's reaction to all this was to offer me carte blance in all matters, (and rather relieved to do so, I imagine). With that understanding I had my first meeting with members last Friday night, at Burlingame's house. It was surely good to see Max and Jean, and Georgia, back in Agape, assuring me of their loyalty, support, and complete co-operation. It was good to have every member, without exception, do the same thing, and this after I had stipulated to them just as I did to Jack before I agreed to take over. The spirit of everyone was fine. I shall not elaborate, for Jane and Max and the rest will probably write you what they sensed there. I feel very grateful, and very, very humble, that they think I can help to lead them out of the wilderness, for they are truly all fine, sincere, earnest children of Thelema when they get values straight.
    For nine or ten years, Karl, I have stood by and watched first Smith, and then Jack, utterly confuse new members, most of them only of the first degree, and frighten off prospective members, with their enthusiastic sales talk of the entire freedom of sex taught and practised in O.T.O., until it has become anathema, to all but a very few hardy souls, as a 'love cult'. I have seen constant efforts made to decry and destroy all family life, among these same faintly Thelemic 'children', and then they would wonder why their lodge did not grow as other fraternal organizations have!
    I have seen weird extractions made from Lodge funds applied as "rental" or alleged "profess houses" (and I assure you, as can Max, Jane and Georgia, that "call houses" would have been the only fitting term). I have seen money desperately needed go, $50 at a time, for liquors for a party, designed not to get new members, but to "take care of the social aspects of the Order". When I called for a financial statement from the treasurer, (Mary Precott) I find about $70.00 in the treasury. This after some ten years of operation! When I tried to find out what property, in books, lodge furniture, etc., we had, I get vague statements that nobody seems able to clarify. Apparently, "we don't got anything".
    Alright, then. That's all water over the dam. I just wanted you to get a picture of what is here, or isn't here, and you will at least see where I start from. I have accepted this responsibility because I feel that it is the thing first before me to do, for the Work, and not because I wanted it in any way shape or form. Now as to plans.
    First, Max and I work together in complete harmony. So do Jane, Georgia and myself. We are in agreement on all the necessary steps. Max is to continue his classes, as a sort of "Mystery Schools" branch of the Order, for those members serious enough to want to study the Kabala, tarot, etc. He is to use his open classes as a fertile field for new members. I shall undoubtedly use him as an officer in initiations. Georgia's utter devotion to The Work, and her loyalty through all to Baphomet make her invaluable when real effort is called for. Jean, too, by the way, is completely sincere and willing to work. Jane is not well, and I have relieved her of her part, while reserving her experience, length of devotion, loyalty and knowledge, for the support and enlightenment of the lower degree members, and prospective ones.
    Then there are Mildred and Ray -- real Thelemites in every sense, whole- hearted co-operators in all real effort for the Work, fiercely loyal to A.C., willing to do any and all things to make up for the past mistakes of others. They have brought I don't know how many members up to 1003, only to have them never come back after the first meeting, or initiation, and it takes a lot of loyalty to stick with the ship after many experiences of that kind.
    I have delegated Georgia to see about a Hall that we may rent for stated meetings, and for initiatory work, so that we may have no more silly ideas about "process houses" which never have functioned as such in any way. I even stipulated that whatever Hall she decided upon should have no bedrooms attached! Yes, it really was that bad, Karl. When the weather permits, we will hold out-of doors initiations, especially of the minerval, at Rancho Royal.
    By the way, in addition to my personal letters and reports to you, I shall, of course, keep you officially informed of all Lodge doings and activities, and I have instructed the new Secretary, (Jean Woods) to send you a copy of the minutes of all meetings, at least until you want them discontinued.
    There has been so much vagueness about all supposedly official action that I can't get too much information from anyone, so will you please keep me well informed? What percentage of Lodge dues, etc., are now sent to you -- when -- and by whom? Shall I start including $14.00 a month for my Sanctuary dues with Agape remittance, and what about Georgia and Max, also Jack? For instance, I supplied some $40.00 of Jack's $125 remittance for the new commentary. Nobody seems to know what more is needed, when, and by whom.
    Well, there is ten times too much to put in any one letter, but because this more or less brings us up to date, maybe I won't have to wear you out again with so much verbiage.
    Spent the day with Max and Jean yesterday, and Max showed me your last letter, relative to the 49 letters, Commentary, etc. Sure looks interesting. Also, your statement about coming out about July 1st also looked interesting! I am looking forward, mightily, to personally meeting you, my beloved Brother, and Sascha too.
    Address all my letters here, since I only get to the ranch about once every ten days now, and it would delay matters to send them there.
    With all my love to you and Sascha, which I am sure Reea would join in sending were she here, I am,
Fraternally yours,                        
Roy {Leffingwell}            

Previous Primary Sources                   Next Primary Sources

An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XXXVIII - Mercurial Tree.

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

    Various experiments have been made to try to see how classical symbols can give insights on the Tree of Life. The Order of the Golden Dawn produced a diagram like this to show Mercury drawn on the Tree. Mercury is associated with Hod, as a Sephira, and we might want to see if this would be the kind of Tree you would get in Hod. The bottom Sephira are pretty well anchored in the cross part of the symbol. Malkut, Yesod, Hod itself and Netzach are associated in a way that seems to be the proper thing for generating Tipheret. Geburah and Chesed are pretty much equal with Tipheret. Da'at, the pseudo- Sephira, gathers all of this together upward in the circle and into the horns to reach Binah or Chokmah; but Keter is utterly beyond reach. The diagram is a fairly good way of relating to someone who has a strongly developed Hod consciousness and is thinking about the Tree of Life. The bottom parts of it, especially those parts that are near or below Hod on the Tree, are well anchored. Whether a person feels that they are firmly active or not is not so important. Those lower Sephirot are well understood, well defined.
    For the Sephirot starting with Tipheret and continuing above, the arrangement represents an idealized or more abstract configuration, a circle leading into a crescent rather than a cross. In this, Keter is beyond reach to show that the rational mind cannot build a perfect construction of unity. Since Hod, the Mercury consciousness on the Tree, is constantly involved in trying to explain things, the highest is out of reach for that state of consciousness. Many Qabalistic representations that leave Keter out on the Tree and include Da'ath come from this sort of bias, the Hod or the Mercury perspective on the Tree. They describe Keter as too holy to touch. The word "holy" is used as an excuse to avoid thinking about it. Da'at is given increased importance as a syncretic concretion, rather than Keter as the crown of natural unity. This is just an example of a Tree growing out of Hod. It's the consequence of trying to pin everything down. Other diagrams using the alchemical and astrological symbols can provide similar insights.

Previous Introduction to Qabalah -- Part XXXVII         Next: A contrast with Netzach and intro to analysis.


She waits,
Single and silent.
He enters,
The shouting of a multitude.
He pierces her, and she consumes him.
Death is his transformation; life is hers.
She becomes container, temple, center void (of course)
Covered chalice of earth bearing a wine that burns
like fire, like sun
And the wine of Oblivion -
Nothingness so vast that it erases all existence
a woman's body threatens to destroy creation
in a part no larger than her clenched fist.
A God intervenes, throwing itself into the abyss
leaping into the dragon's mouth, arrow to heart
So small, this heart -
but inside it is universe, it is World Without End
and the god sleeps into dreams
and forgets its name
and realizes, for the first time (again),
that it is alone
trapped within its own limitless self.
So the god focuses inward until it finds a voice
and speaks to itself in the code of mystery
and plans its escape.
Its first command to itself is: DIVIDE
and the second: MULTIPLY
and the third: GO FORTH
and the final: RETURN.

- Kalyx                                
Spring Equinox '98 e.v.                              

From the Outbasket

Here are some edited selections from recent email discussion:

H. Asked about Da'at on the Tree

    In traditional Kabbalah, there are only ten Sephirot. If you have Keter, you can't have Da'at - unless the Tree below Da'at is ignored. If you have Da'at and the lower Tree, you can't have Keter.
    The usual way of describing Da'at is to say that it is either the emanation immediately below Binah as the Tree is created by passage of the lightning bolt or that it is the summation of all seven lower Sephirot. It can't be united with any of the Supernals, without the elimination of Keter, other than in emanation. In terms of Chakras, associating the Ajna with Da'at only works when the Ajna is closed or inactive. Da'at is the great blindness, knowledge rather than awareness.

G.W. raised an issue that led to discussion of visions and passage of the Abyss

    On approach to the Abyss, you have to teach yourself, via HGA or whatever means. That's the "graduate school research period".

    Visions on passage usually can be characterized in two groups:
    1. personal - unique to you and your background.
    2. universal - everybody gets something that has common elements with that which all others receive.

    In the latter, the vision of the veil is one. This is sometimes characterized as falling water in bright light of an unknown color - with the remark that anyone who thinks it to be water will fail. This may present as a scintillating metallic curtain. There is the vision of the Great Sea - a sky that stretches infinitely before you, with a dark barrier in the lower part of your vision, slowly lowering and a sea, possibly invisible, beyond. The first is the entrance into the Abyss. The second is the approach to Binah. There is also the apparition of a figure in a simple robe, white or like white, and the voice that speaks in what seems to be the language of your childhood.

TSG (Bill Heidrick)

Previous Outbasket                   Next Outbasket

Events Calendar for May 1998 e.v.

5/3/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/5/98Beltaine Ritual at OZ House 8PM
5/6/98College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
Thelema Ldg.
5/10/98Lodge luncheon meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
5/10/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/11/98Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Metaphysical Poets: Donne,
Herbert, et al, at Oz house, 8 PM
Thelema Ldg.
5/14/98Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia
8:00 PM
Thelema Ldg.
5/15/98Rites of Eleusisco-ordinating
meeting 8PM at OZ House
5/17/98Finnegans Wake reading 4PMThelema Ldg.
5/17/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/20/98Class series on Liber 777 begins
7:30 PM with Bill Heidrick at
5 Suffield Ave. in San Anselmo
Thelema Ldg.
5/21/98Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia
8:00 PM
Thelema Ldg.
5/23/98OTO initiations, call to attendThelema Ldg.
5/24/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
5/25/98Sirius Oasis meeting 8:00 PM
in Berkeley
Sirius Oasis
5/27/98College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
Thelema Ldg.
5/31/98Gnostic 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.

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

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

Production and Circulation:
P.O.Box 430
Fairfax, CA 94978 USA

Internet: (Submissions and circulation only)

Home away from Home