Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 1998 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for June 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

June 1998 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

"Nowe welcome somor . . . "

The moment of Summer Solstice occurs first thing Sunday morning on 21st June when Sol enters the sign of the side-stepping moon-child, Cancer the crab, at 7:03 AM. Celebrations at Thelema Lodge will be centered around the Sunday evening gnostic mass, but we will also be gathering a few hours before sunset for a Solstice circle, very likely in the back yard at the lodge. We plan a group reading of one of the Thelemic holy books, beginning in the afternoon at 6:00, with the mass beginning afterwards at nightfall. As the lodge does every Sunday evening, we will be welcoming guests and visitors for the mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, where all who attend do so as participants in the communion ritual. Those who have not previously attended should call the lodgemaster ahead of time at (510) 652-3171 for information and directions.

"Jurgen held his lance erect . . ."

Then Anaitis said: "Yea, for I speak with the tongue of every woman, and I shine in the eyes of every woman, when the lance is lifted. To serve me is better than all else. When you invoke me with a heart wherein is kindled the serpent flame, if but for a moment, you will understand the delights of my garden, what joy unwordable pulsates therein, and how potent is the sole desire which uses all of a man. To serve me you will then be eager to surrender whatever else is in your life; and other pleasures you will take with your left hand, not thinking of them entirely: for I am the desire which uses all of a man, and so wastes nothing. And I accept you, I yearn toward you, I who am daughter and somewhat more than daughter to the Sun. I who am all pleasure, all ruin, and a drunkenness of the inmost sense, desire you."

Jurgen Mass is to be celebrated in Nu Temple at Oz House on the second day of summer, beginning at sunset on Monday 22nd June, as a festival of the season. This ritual is based upon James Branch Cabell's odd parody of Crowley's gnostic mass in the novel Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice, which appeared just a few months after the publication of Liber XV in the "Blue" Equinox of 1919 e.v. It has long been a Thelema Lodge tradition to reclaim our mass by ritualizing the Jurgen version, which in Cabell's story depicts the "mystic marriage and consummation" of Anaitis ("insatia") and the errant hero Jurgen. Though it sometimes seems as hastily written and as innocently obvious as a comic book, Jurgen Mass has in its own strange encryption the fire of the gnosis bound up within, and makes a great party for those who "will try any drink once."

Dogma N.O.X. Off Your Socks

In the late 1970s Grady McMurtry used to teach classes in Kundalini Yoga at his house in South Berkeley. I remember him talking about the organization from which he had learned the practices he taught; he thought their techniques were excellent, but in order to learn them you had to sit through all of the group's other doctrines and dogmas. Grady's advice was just to ignore everything beside the physical practices. Years later I was led to ponder the difference between doctrines and techniques when I became a student of the very same group. One thing Grady had always insisted on at his classes had been that everyone remove not only their shoes, but their socks as well. He said that this was a necessary measure to allow the Kundalini energy to circulate freely. I later found out that this was exactly what was taught by the aforesaid organization. Now, clearly the practice of going barefoot is a matter of technique, but just as clearly the explanation for it is a matter of doctrine. Apparently this particular doctrine was one that agreed with Grady's experience (or preferences), so he communicated it. But I don't recall him communicating their curious doctrines about clothing (i.e., the pure wear mainly white, the lust-driven primarily red, while the evil attire themselves in black). All this goes to show that, in matters of spiritual import, what constitutes knowledge and what constitutes dogma are extremely subjective questions. Any discussion group devoted to such matters must necessarily be an exchange of subjective perspectives rather than a delineation of objective reality.
The College of Hard N.O.X. will welcome all comers, be they in stocking feet, jack-booted, or unshod and unhosed. (Dress in purple at your own peril.) A fee of at least $0.02 will be charged per student per class. The suggested donation is $1000, but thus far no one this suggestible has chanced to attend. This month's meetings are scheduled for 8 o'clock on the evenings of June 3rd and 24th. The first session will be largely occupied with the great mystery of the universe's apparent sexual nature, as we find it expressed in the metaphors of the Mystical Marriage, the Chymical Wedding, the Beast & the Scarlet Woman, and manifold other myths of the courtships and unions of various gods and goddesses of nearly infinite description. On the 24th we will follow up on the controversy stirred by last month's conversation on gender issues in Thelema by proposing the topic, "Is the Gnostic Mass sexist, and what should be done about it if indeed it is?" (For more information call the lodge ahead of time or speak with Mordecai after mass on any Sunday night.)

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"Curiouser and Curiouser!"

Section Two returns to Wonderland this month; our meeting at Oz on Monday evening 15th June at 8:00 will be devoted to Lewis Carroll's Alice books, along with The Hunting of the Snark. The mid-Victorian Oxford mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who published Alice to world-wide acclaim in 1865 and 1872 (the Snark following in 1876), brought a careful and complex sense of play to the numbers inside his tales. Crowley's thrice repeated recommendation of these books as "Valuable to those who understand the Qabalah" is more teasing than elucidating, and a comprehensive assessment of the Alice Qabalah is no simple task. Indeed, it was this very challenge with which our reading group began, and now after four years of investigation into the literature of suggestion we're back for another look. We'll have to deal with being 9 feet high, having 10 hour lessons, and entering a 15 inch door, as well as abiding by Rule 42. Carroll's Qabalah is not limited to figures and sums, for it also includes proportions and alternate methods of counting. It encompasses the system of playing cards in Wonderland and the chess game beyond the Looking Glass. And it extends in all directions into nonsense, though not into chaos or gibberish or vacancy, for Carroll's nonsense is that of a perfect calculating system without any exterior references to give it relation or significance. In Qabalah, however, nothing is without reference:
"Humpty Dumpty is of course the Egg of Spirit, and the wall is the Abyss -- his 'fall' is therefore the descent of spirit into matter; and it is only too painfully familiar to us that all the king's horses and all his men cannot restore us to the height. Only the King Himself can do that! But one can hardly comment upon a theme which has been so fruitfully treated by Ludovicus Carolus, the most holy illuminated man of God. His masterly treatment of the identity of the three reciprocating paths of Daleth, Teth, and Pe, is one of the most wonderful passages in the Holy Qabalah. His resolution of what we take to be the bond of slavery into very love, the embroidered neckband of honour bestowed upon us by the King himself, is one of he most sublime passages in this class of literature" -- from the "Interlude" in Book Four, part two.

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Correspondence and Coherence

Join Thelema Lodge at the home of Bill Heidrick in San Anselmo for the concluding meeting of our seminar on the tables of correspondences in Liber 777, which will begin at 7:30 on Wednesday evening 17th June. Using slides of the tables and of other related images to facilitate discussion, we will be giving particular attention to the many sephirotic columns which occupy the second half of the tables. We may also examine some of the techniques which Crowley employed to generate and verify original correspondences. In an appendix prepared for the revised edition of Liber 777 (posthumously collected through Gerald Yorke's efforts and still available in Regardie's edition, now 25 years old), Crowley formulated a series of definitions which expand from the simplest to the most universal notions of usefulness. He begins considering Qabalah as a technical language, comprising terms and symbols for the expression of complex ideas, together with interpretative strategies and systems of classification, for generating and analyzing new responses to problems. His definition comes to encompass all of the branches of art and science, but then he carries it one step further. What Qabalah is finally to establish and maintain is a "system of criteria by which the truth of correspondences may be tested with a view to criticizing new discoveries in the light of their coherence with the whole body of truth."

"Darkness gives way . . ."

The Magic Flute, Mozart's opera depicting freemasonic initiation as a pathway to sex magick, will be the subject of an informal discussion and video presentation on Friday evening 5th June at 8:00. Organized by Leigh Ann and Caitlin under the auspices of Oz House, this gathering will nevertheless take place at Thelema Lodge, up in the lodgemaster's quarters. The Magic Flute stands alongside the Requiem mass on which he worked simultaneously during his final year as one of Mozart's greatest creations, later acknowledged by Wagner as the real origin of German opera. It was the result of a collaboration with one of Mozart's lodge brothers (who wrote the libretto), and besides being a supreme artistic expression of the Enlightenment, it preserves many specific elements from the rich and influential masonic culture of Mozart's Vienna. The heroic couple, Tamino and Pamina, are presented as candidates for initiatory testing in preparation for their mystic marriage. They are guided by an Egyptian solar-phallic cult through experiences equivalent to the basic degrees of freemasonry, and are finally admitted into the sanctuary of the gnosis. If it sounds like a familiar idea, consider the probability that the wild bird-man Papageno ("parrot") is meant to be identified by symbolism representing the original Minerval degree (just then introduced in the Illuminati system): a bird's body with a human head.
Even years before his own 1° apprentice initiation in freemasonry on 14th December 1784, at the lodge in Vienna where his father also became a member, Mozart had been setting masonic texts to music on commissions. One such piece was written for performance at a garden party given by Dr Anton Mesmer, and others were incorporated into various lodge rituals. At 17 he composed the music for a masonic drama entitled Thamos, which concerned the Egyptian cult of sun-worship at the temple of Heliopolis. During his brief adult life Mozart was quite active in the Loge zur neugekrönten Hoffnung, or "Hope Newly Crowned Lodge," and many of his social contacts were based upon the brotherhood he helped cultivate there. Despite resistance from the Roman church (Mozart was a Catholic) and occasional government restrictions, freemasonry was thriving in Vienna in the 1780s. The network of men's lodges also acknowledged women's organizations pursuing their own parallel rituals of initiation, most notably the Order of the Mopses which designed its own illustrated deck of Tarot cards. At the same time the traditions of Qabalah and Hebrew mysticism were entering the freemasonic culture of Vienna through another lodge which had a concentration of Jewish members, so that for the first time all of the basic elements which were to become the magical system of the Golden Dawn were available in one active, idealistic, and organized culture. Mozart's opera gives us a wonderfully entertaining window into this unique and seminal milieu.

Ritual Workshop Series

Meeting this month on Thursday evenings 18th and 25th June, the Ritual Workshop group at Thelema Lodge includes ceremonial magicians from a variety of traditions, with a core of regular participants welcoming guests and new members to join in their magical experimentation. On each occasion, at the conclusion of the ritual work of the evening, the group determines by common consent their program for the following meeting. Participants may propose any magical project or performance for which they have made the advance preparations, and copies of any texts to be involved are usually distributed ahead of time. Thus far the offerings have been from traditions as diverse as Hindu and Hebrew, with Thelemic, Chaotic, and Wiccan elements also prominent at times. The style is determined by whomever has the most energy to put into the enterprise at any given moment, and the group acknowledges no leader. Cynthia has agreed to serve as a facilitator for scheduling concerns, however, and it is to her that interested persons should direct their questions if they want to join in. Call (510) 601-9393 or speak with her after mass for program information on the upcoming meeting. Usually the group will be gathering on the middle Thursday evenings of each month, but this time things are a week later because everyone will be off at the Ancient Ways Festival during the second week of June.

Crowley Classics

The Looking Glass lawsuit of April 1911 arose out of a hostile review of The Rites of Eleusis published in that periodical the previous November. To follow up his exaggerated and vulgar condemnation of Crowley's planetary rituals, the editor De Wend Fenton prepared another article in December, full of scandal about Crowley's personal life, which included several unsubstantiated and malicious rumors. In particular Crowley was accused of "unmentionable immoralities" with his house-mate and fellow occultist, "the rascally sham Buddhist monk Allan Bennett," and other members of the Golden Dawn. George Cecil Jones, who was named in this connection, decided to sue the magazine, though Crowley declined to join him and was not directly involved in the litigation. Neither Crowley nor Mathers (who had himself sued Crowley the previous year) gave testimony. Still, when damaging evidence regarding Crowley's reputation for "unnatural vice" within the Golden Dawn was elicited from Dr Berridge, the jury seized upon Crowley's established notoriety and returned a verdict against Jones. Both Jones and his friend Captain J. F. C. Fuller resented this so much that they immediately dissociated themselves from Crowley, as well as from the Equinox magazine on which they had been working with him. With them went several other mutual friends who had been involved with Crowley, including George Raffalovich. They apparently felt that Crowley "owed" it to their friendship and support to at least pretend to some shame and secrecy regarding his bisexuality (which was the basic "unmentionable" prejudice on which the case had turned), and this sort of sham shame was a pose Crowley refused to assume. Instead, he offered a back-handed defense of his involvement with the Golden Dawn in the form of this fictionalized transcript of testimony which might have been given had Mathers been called to the stand. We conclude our presentation of the piece this month, which was begun in last month's issue.

The "Rosicrucian" Scandal


by Leo Vincey
[Aleister Crowley]

Scorpio, K.C. Now as to this "Rosicrucian" Order. Let me read to you from the Obligation of a Neophyte: "All these I swear to keep under the no less penalty than that of . . . submitting myself to a deadly and hostile Current of Will set in motion by the Greatly Honoured Chiefs of the Second Order; by which I should fall slain or paralysed, as if blasted by the Lightning Flash." Is that correct?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Is it meant to be taken seriously?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Members of the Order, were, in fact, afraid of the penalty?
Mathers Yes. Scorpio, K.C. On April 2nd, 1900, you write to the revolting members,
saying: "I shall for the first time be compelled to formulate my request to the Highest Chiefs to prepare the Punitive Current."
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. If they refused to obey you, you would cause them "to fall slain or paralysed, as if blasted by the Lightning Flash"?
Mathers They deserved it, and worse.
Scorpio, K.C. Is it a threat of assassination?
Mathers Of occult assassination, yes.
Scorpio, K.C. You did actually rattle peas in a sieve, ceremonially?
Mathers It is a well-known practice of Sympathetic Magic.
Scorpio, K.C. Like sticking pins in a wax figure?
Mathers Exactly. One identifies the rebels with the peas, and rattles them.
Scorpio, K.C. That explains their subsequent debâcle?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. But you expected them to "fall slain or paralysed"?
Mathers I hoped so.
Scorpio, K.C. Actually, not in a figure of speech?
Mathers Actually.
Scorpio, K.C. It is attempted assassination?
Mathers Occult assassination, yes.
Scorpio, K.C. And in any event, if they were really afraid of it, the threat amounted to black mail?
Mathers I am not a lawyer.
Scorpio, K.C. Now then, let us get back to James VI. You say you are James VI?
Mathers "I refuse to answer the question."
Scorpio, K.C. James VI was killed on Flodden Field?
Mathers "Tradition asserts that he escaped."
Scorpio, K.C. A lady of unblemished reputation, Mrs Markham, has gone into that box, and sworn that he was so killed.
Mathers One must not contradict a lady.
Scorpio, K.C. Well, what happened to him?
Mathers "I - I mean he - escaped to the Continent, and became an Adept and found the Elixir of Life, so that I - I mean he - should live on indefinitely."
Scorpio, K.C. When do we hear of him again?
Mathers "As the Comte de St Germain."
Scorpio, K.C. And again?
Mathers "I refuse to answer the question."
Scorpio, K.C. Have you read Mr Crowley's poem "The Rosicrucian," dedicated "à sa Majesté Jacques IV d'Ecosse"?
Mathers Yes. Mr Crowley was a very young and foolish boy.
Scorpio, K.C. He believed you to be James VI?
Mathers Very likely.
Scorpio, K.C. Did he or did he not?
Mathers It was not my fault if he didn't.
Scorpio, K.C. You borrowed considerable sums of money from him?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. On that ground?
Mathers That sort of ground.
Scorpio, K.C. He was rich?
Mathers I believe he had just come into some £30,000.
Scorpio, K.C. He offered you the whole of his fortune in order to help you in your trouble with the revolting members?
Mathers I wrote to thank him for his "loyal and honourable offer."
Scorpio, K.C. Why did he make it?
Mathers He believed my stories about James IV and the Secret Chiefs, I suppose.
Scorpio, K.C. Madame Horos had promised you £2,000? Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Was that why you admitted her to be your superior?
Mathers I refuse to answer the question.
Scorpio, K.C. Crowley offers you his fortune; and you immediately appoint him to the sole power in England, over the heads of Dr Westcott and Sir Henry Colville and W. B. Yeats and Mrs Emery and Sir William Crookes and Dr Berridge and dozens of others who had been members of the Order for years?
Mathers I did.
Scorpio, K.C. This is only a coincidence?
Mathers Certainly. I acknowledged Madame Horos because it was a slap in the eye for Mrs Emery; I gave Crowley the supreme power partly to snub the rebels, and partly (as I said, in another place) "to make a better man of him."
Scorpio, K.C. Besides the money that Crowley lent you, did he ever give you any?
Mathers Yes; a wealthy lady, the wife of an English officer, a Colonel, being interested in occultism, once gave him £20 for me.
Scorpio, K.C. Is that all?
Mathers She gave him some jewels for the purpose of decorating a statue of Isis for my temple.
Scorpio, K.C. She quarreled with him subsequently?
Mathers I believe so. In fact, I made quite a big story of it.
Scorpio, K.C. They are good friends again, however?
Mathers He has a whole sheaf of the friendliest letters from her, up to date.
Scorpio, K.C. Well, we left Mr Crowley as your Envoy Plenipotentiary to the "rebels." He shortly afterwards went climbing in Mexico?
Mathers Yes, with Mr Eckenstein.
Scorpio, K.C. What was Mr Eckenstein's Christian name?
Mathers I - er - I see ladies in Court.
The Judge Any ladies in this Court are probably beyond any scruples of that sort.
Scorpio, K.C. Answer the question.
Mathers Oscar. (Sensation. At this point Counsel fainted, and threw up his brief; but was induced to continue by the Judge, who had not had such a jolly day for years.)
Scorpio, K.C. Did Mr Crowley on his departure leave anything in your charge?
Mathers Some books of poetry. I couldn't get a single franc on them; I returned them to him when he came back.
Scorpio, K.C. Anything else?
Mathers A fifty-guinea dressing case, and another portmanteau.
Scorpio, K.C. Where are they?
Mathers I refuse to answer the question.
Scorpio, K.C. Did you return them to the owner?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. In Konx Om Pax Mr Crowley accuses you of stealing these bags?
Mathers He didn't mention the bags specifically. He only said I was a thief. Messrs Nussey and Fellowes, my Solicitors, wrote threatening him with an Action.
Scorpio, K.C. What did he reply?
Mathers "I care as little for your threats of legal action as for your client's threats of assassination. . . . I am surprised that a firm of your standing should consent to act for a scoundrel."
Scorpio, K.C. What did you do?
Mathers I changed my solicitors.
Scorpio, K.C. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that your solicitors changed you! You several times threatened Mr Crowley with legal proceedings?
Mathers Often.
Scorpio, K.C. Did you ever take any?
Mathers Once, for breach of copyright.
Scorpio, K.C. And tried for an Injunction against The Equinox?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. What happened?
Mathers Dismissed with costs.
Scorpio, K.C. Have you paid those costs?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. Did you then bring the action?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. It was a frivolous excuse for the injunction?
Mathers I refuse to answer the question. Ask Mr Cran.
Scorpio, K.C. Let me read you this passage from The Equinox of September 1910:
I had almost forgotten dear old Mathers.
Yet it was only last December that a colleague of mine was told by some greasy old harridan, in her best nominal 7= 4 voice (she had paid hundreds of pounds for that nominal 7= 4, and never got initiated into any mysteries but those of Over-eating) that Imperrita (? Imperator, Mathers' title of office in the "Golden Dawn") was coming over from Paris to crush Crowley; and Crowley has fled before his face.
Anyhow, I sneaked back from Algeria, trembling all over, and began to enjoy the comedy of a lawyer pretending that he could not serve a Writ on a man with an address in the telephone directory, who was spending hundreds of pounds on letting the whole world know where to find him. It was perhaps unkind of me not to warn Mr Cran that he was putting his foot in it.
But if I had said a word, the case would have been thrown up; and then where would our advertisement have been?
So, even now, I restrict my remarks; there may be some more fun coming.
* * * * *
But at least there's a prophet loose! Some anonymous person wrote:
Cran, Cran, McGregor's man,
Served a Writ, and away he ran
before a Writ was served! Though he might have guessed that it would be. But he couldn't possibly have known that the action would be dropped, as it has been.
And Mathers has run away too -- without paying our costs.
* * * * *
It reflects seriously upon Mr Cran's professional honour, does it not?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Has he taken action?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. So Mr Crowley laughed at you?
Mathers Those who laugh last laugh best.
Scorpio, K.C. What did you do?
Mathers I waited for my opportunity.
Scorpio, K.C. Did it arrive?
Mathers All things come to him who waits.
Scorpio, K.C. Describe what happened.
Mathers A paper called The Looking Glass attacked Mr Crowley. I went to the editor (Mr W. F. de Wend Fenton) and told him all I knew - and a good deal that I didn't know.
Scorpio, K.C. Was the editor actuated by malice against Mr Crowley?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. How can you be sure?
Mathers The day after his first article appeared he telephoned to a mutual friend, a Miss O--, explained that he meant no harm, and would like to meet Mr Crowley at dinner and have a chat with him.
Scorpio, K.C. What happened then?
Mathers Miss O-- told Mr Crowley.
Scorpio, K.C. And what did he say?
Mathers He made an answer so remarkable that I remember it every word. Scorpio, K.C. What was it?
Mathers He said "I suppose you wouldn't like me to be blackmailed over your coffee."
Scorpio, K.C. What does this show?
Mathers Mr Crowley's horrid suspicious temper.
Scorpio, K.C. What did Miss O-- do?
Mathers Cut Mr Fenton.
Scorpio, K.C. You really know this of your own knowledge?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. How?
Mathers "Astrally."
Scorpio, K.C. Astrally?
Mathers "I am the Head of the Rosicrucian Order."
Scorpio, K.C. Did Mr Crowley take action against The Looking Glass?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. Why?
Mathers On the advice of a friend with twenty-five years experience of City Journalism.
Scorpio, K.C. What did the friend say?
(Counsel objected. A long argument followed, in the course of which the Judge remarked: "This trial is like the trial in Alice in Wonderland. I wouldn't spoil it for the world and I am going to admit anything!")
Scorpio, K.C. What did Mr Crowley's journalistic friend say?
Mathers "Let the fellow alone! He's been warned off the turf, and his City Editor's a jail-bird, and he isn't worth a bob, and if you touch pitch you'll be defiled."
Scorpio, K.C. Was Mr Fenton in fact warned off the Turf?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. You blame Crowley for not taking action?
Mathers It's very annoying.
Scorpio, K.C. You're not very ready to take action yourself.
Mathers I am a man of peace.
Scorpio, K.C. The "military bearing" is only for show?
Mathers That's all.
Scorpio, K.C. Mr Crowley has written books, which houses of the highest standing have published, in which you are openly called a common thief, an habitual swindler, a blackmailer, and accused of drunkenness and attempted assassination?
Mathers Yes; but he supports his charges by unimpeachable documents, and witnesses of unassailable integrity.
Scorpio, K.C. And there is no ground for the charges against Mr Crowley?
Mathers There is Dr Berridge's evidence.
Scorpio, K.C. Let us go into that. Mr Crowley's conversation with Dr Berridge took place in 1900?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. And was first repeated in the Court of King's Bench in 1911?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Dr Berridge must have a splendid memory. What were the relations between Crowley and Berridge in 1904?
Mathers They were friends and colleagues. At the Ceremony of the Vernal Equinox in 1903 Crowley was Hierophant, and Berridge Praemonstrator or Cancellarius, I forget which.
Scorpio, K.C. So it took Dr Berridge some time before he attached a criminal significance to Crowley's remark?
Mathers The mind of Berridge works slowly, but it works exceeding small.
Scorpio, K.C. As to the remark itself. Take the first part. Berridge mentions to Crowley the ugly rumours that his enemies were circulating. Crowley replies: "So and So and So and So and So and So have been to my flat and passed the night." I suggest that the names mentioned were those of mutual friends of Crowley and Berridge, men beyond suspicion. Mathers It may have been so.
Scorpio, K.C. And that Crowley added, implicitly or explicitly: "Is that any reason for making such abominable charges?"
Mathers Perhaps.
Scorpio, K.C. I must ask you to remember that Crowley was brought up among the Plymouth Brethren, and that at this time he had no more knowledge of the world than most boys of 16. He swallowed your yarns easily enough, didn't he?
Mathers He did.
Scorpio, K.C. Now take the second part. "For the last eighteen months or two years there has been nothing that the police could get at me for." That implies that previous to that date there was something.
Mathers Undoubtedly.
Scorpio, K.C. Let me read you this passage from Crowley's Works, volume I, page 115, published in 1903: "Sonnets . . . To the author of the phrase 'I am not a gentleman, and I have no friends'."

"Self-damned, the leprous moisture of thy veins
Sickens the sunshine, and thine haggard eyes,
   Bleared with their own corrupting infamies,
Glare through the charnel-house of earthly pains,
                        Horrible as already in hell . . .
Self-damned on earth, live out thy tortured days
           That men may look upon thy face, and see
   How vile a thing of woman born may be . . .

I need not continue. But I will read the footnote of Mr Ivor Back, F.R.C.S., the editor: "The virulence of these sonnets is excusable when it is known that their aim was to destroy the influence in Cambridge of a man who headed in that University a movement parallel to that which at Oxford was associated with the name of Oscar Wilde."
It is clear from this that Crowley had been associated with a man of bad character; but that on discovering him to be so, he instantly disowned him?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Mr Crowley may have thought that even an innocent association with such a person was criminal?
Mathers He was very young and foolish.
Scorpio, K.C. Is it this that he referred to in his remark to Dr Berridge?
Mathers May be.
Scorpio, K.C. The date tallies? [The poem (not the footnote) was first published in 1899, having been written during one of the eclipses in late '98 or early '99.]
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. And that is all there is against Mr Crowley?
Mathers There is The Sword of Song.
Scorpio, K.C. What is that?
Mathers Out of some hundreds of marginal notes, there are two (some say four) the initials of whose words make other most improper words. [For an example of what this kind of criticism may lead to, vide Appendix.]
Scorpio, K.C. Did anyone discover this before you did?
Mathers Not to my knowledge.
Scorpio, K.C. Did Captain Fuller in his three years' laborious study of Mr Crowley's works discover it?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. Is there any point in these - do you call them jokes?
Mathers No point at all.
Scorpio, K.C. Are Mr Crowley's jokes usually pointless?
Mathers Alas, no!
Scorpio, K.C. And did not the reviewers discover this? Mathers Unfortunately, no. On the contrary, Mr G. K. Chesterton wrote a
column in the Daily News, in which the book is treated as a serious contribution to Philosophy.
Scorpio, K.C. Is there anything else?
Mathers There's The Mother's Tragedy.
Scorpio, K.C. What is that?
Mathers A book of poems one of which deals with a subject which I blush to mention.
Scorpio, K.C. Has any wretch previously dealt with it?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Who?
Mathers Sophocles in Oedipus Rex; Shakespeare in Hamlet and in Pericles; Malory in Morte d'Arthur; Byron in Parisina, Manfred, and other poems; Shelley in The Cenci, Rosalind and Helen, and in Laon and Cythna; Wilde in Salome; Ford in The Unnatural Combat and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; Moses, Wagner, Schiller, Alfieri, and many other authors of the highest reputation.
Scorpio, K.C. But Mr Crowley tries to sell his works by printing reviews which describe them as "revolting"?
Mathers Yes, that's the bad part.
Scorpio, K.C. Has not Mr Crowley habitually reprinted all sorts of reviews of his works, good and bad, with a giant's contempt for reviewers?
Mathers Of course.
Scorpio, K.C. But was this particular review really so unfavourable?
Mathers Not at all; but by picking out a single sentence, I made it appear so.
Scorpio, K.C. What about these aliases of his? Why did he assume the name of MacGregor?
Mathers At my suggestion. He was about to take a house in Scotland, and I thought it would attract less remark if he took a Highland name.
Scorpio, K.C. But why MacGregor rather than any other Highland name?
Mathers To assert an "astral link" - what you might call a bond of sympathy - between himself and me. He had gone there to perform a magical operation detailed in a book which I had just published.
Scorpio, K.C. He was at this time quite under your auspices?
Mathers Under my thumb.
Scorpio, K.C. And why did he call himself Lord Boleskine?
Mathers Principally to annoy the snobbish society of Inverness.
Scorpio, K.C. And did it annoy them?
Mathers I believe so.
Scorpio, K.C. But why Lord Boleskine?
Mathers He is the Laird of Boleskine, and Laird is only Scots for Lord.
Scorpio, K.C. And why did he call himself Count Svareff?
Mathers In the book of mine I referred to it says that the Aspirant to the Sacred Magic would be much annoyed by his family seeking to dissuade him. So he changed his name and disappeared.
Scorpio, K.C. Why Svareff?
Mathers The romantic young idiot had just come back from Russia.
Scorpio, K.C. Why Count?
Mathers All Russians are Counts, I believe, when they're not Princes!
Scorpio, K.C. You say he obtained a large sum of money from a celebrated singer?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. A married woman?
Mathers Yes.
Scorpio, K.C. Of what age? You must remember that Crowley was a mere boy.
Mathers Ten or fifteen years older than Crowley.
Scorpio, K.C. On what pretext did he obtain the money?
Mathers She proposed to Crowley to go with her to Texas, divorce her husband, and marry him.
Scorpio, K.C. What did Crowley do? Mathers He gave her a fifty-guinea engagement ring.
Scorpio, K.C. Did the scheme come off?
Mathers No.
Scorpio, K.C. Did she return the ring?
Mathers Crowley complains in The Sword of Song that she did not.
Scorpio, K.C. And what about his obtaining money from her?
Mathers Oh! that's only my fun.
Scorpio, K.C. You mean, it's a lie?
Mathers Well, it's not true.
Scorpio, K.C. Is that all you have against Crowley?
Mathers No; he was divorced from his wife.
Scorpio, K.C. What was his fault?
Mathers Chivalry.
Scorpio, K.C. Give the facts.
Mathers They are known to all Mr Crowley's intimate friends, who approve his action throughout, and they may be surmised from the poem "Rosa Decidua," published in The Winged Beetle. But the facts being detailed in Mr Crowley's petition for the reduction of the decree of divorce, they cannot be entered into more fully at this moment; and as the unhappy lady became insane in September 1911, I think we may well leave the matter in its tragic silence.
Scorpio, K.C. Then Mr Crowley was not to blame?
Mathers Not in this matter. But he is an associate of the notorious Jones.
Scorpio, K.C. Oh, well! we won't go into that. Thank you.


My Crapulous Predecessors, No. 1:
Robert Browning

by S. C. Hiller
[Aleister Crowley]

The method of critical analysis is not our own, who reverence Robert Browning as one of the greatest of the Victorian Poets. It is borrowed, with the acknowledgment of inverted commas (even the commas!) from distinguished luminaries of the Bench and Bar. - Ed. [1911]

"I have some hesitation" in printing "the following, as I see ladies" waiting at the booksellers'. - S.C.H.
"Any ladies" waiting at the booksellers' "are probably far beyond any scruples of that sort." - Mr Justice Mutton

Pippa Passes, by Robert Browning

"I would call your lordship's attention very particularly to the initial letters of . . . this obscene and revolting poem." Separately: how every Englishman must shudder and vomit at "the loathsome and abominable creature who has the effrontery to" have been dead and buried without giving posterity "a chance to cross-examine him"! Together: how every Frenchman must cry "Faugh! Ugh! Ugh! Faugh!" and blush! Transpose two vowels only: what hideous and filthy anagram springs to sight! "If this is accidental, Mr" Browning "is a very unfortunate man; if it is intentional, no words of mine can be strong enough to denounce the loathsome and abominable character of this book." But can it be accidental? Was not Mr Browning a friend - a friend! - of that Mr Scrutton whose name is an anagram of a sentence - not merely a word, mark you! - which asserts a pathological fact familiar to every Syphilographer and his clients, couched in the crudest and coarsest language!
And if this be an accident too, what shall we say of the infamous examples of paraprodokian from the plain text itself?
"Aesculapius, an Epic. Catalogue of the drugs: Hebe's plaister - One strip cools your lip. Phoebus' emulsion - One bottle clears your throttle. Mercury's bolus - one box cures . . ."
And --

"I have made her gorge polenta
Till her cheeks are both as bouncing
As her - name there's no pronouncing!"

And what of the whole scheme of the poem?

The chief character is a vile procurer who is trying to sell Pippa into the White Slave Traffic.
The first episode deals most realistically with adultery crowned by murder.
The second episode describes a plot to marry an innocent youth to a harlot.
The third episode shows a mother trying to prevent her son from committing a murder in cold blood, and failing to do so. This assassination has the open approval of the "so-called poet."
And "the loathsome and abominable creature" who "disseminates this unutterable filth" was allowed to die in peace ! "Where were the police? What were they about to let him escape" to Italy?
Italy, indeed! This horrible creature dedicates "his best intentions" (I'm sorry I can't think of any bad meaning for H.B.I.) "affectionately to Mr Sergeant Talfourd." Affectionately, mark the word! What do such "loathsome and abominable creatures" mean by affection? Gentlemen of the jury, if this Mr (sic) Sergeant (save the mark!) Talfourd (Ugh!) has come to court to ask you to clear him from a blackmailer's libel, you would have known how to brand him with everlasting infamy!

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XXXIX - Venus and Netzach point of view.

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

Consider the Golden Dawn diagram of the symbol of Venus on the Tree of Life, cognate to Netzach. In this version Da'at is not important, but Keter is attainable. The lower part of the tree is fixed with a cross and the upper freed in a circle. The mind of Netzach sees the next stage as being definitive of all its works. All things below Tipheret are balanced, and all things above are in a more subtle perfection. This division is related to the problem in Netzach of accepting the beginnings of success but considering the completion already done.
The threshold issue in Hod is to find a way to break through, rather than a reason for staying unchanged. In Netzach, it's easy to go beyond; but the tendency is to assume that all will be well without adequate preparation.
We have learned many things about the Tree of Life diagram, enough to lead us to use the Tree to analyze a situation or personality problem. This is one of the chief uses of the Tree of Life, aside from an organizing system for more abstract things. If you find yourself in an unpleasant situation, take a blank diagram of the Tree and analyze the situation on it as much as you can. Look for one or two Sephirot which seem to be dominating the others, or one or two which don't seem to fit with the others. If you find one that seems to be dominating, that's probably your difficulty. Focusing too much on that center, from that point of view may be the cause of the trouble. If you find one or two which don't seem to make sense with the rest, those may be the weak spots.
In a more practical example: Suppose you find yourself being very irritable with people who live where you live. You have some reasons for feeling that it's your house rather than theirs' because maybe you pay more of the rent or have title to it or do more work around it, something of this nature. You have a reason for wanting to be in charge. Yet something is very difficult, people around you are not reacting to you well, you find yourself becoming angry. There must be something to explain this, a help to understanding. Look over the Tree. Where's the hole? That's simple, in this case, Malkut, the physical home. No help there. That's the manifestation of the problem, not the cause or the solution. For Yesod, perhaps some feelings and loose ideas about what could be, just vague things. For Hod and the practical side of things, some things are right to do and some not. You don't leave food out all over the living room for days at a time, that's not practical. You put it away or you throw it in the garbage. There are many other practical things about living in a home.
We'll continue this example in the next installment. In the mean time, take a little time to think about the problem and where it might originate. Hint, Tipheret will give us some particular insights; but the nexus of the matter is a little further up the Tree. Our particular example deals with Netzach and perception of the higher Sephirot from there. We should expect that Netzach point of view misses something about those higher Sephirot.

Previous Introduction to Qabalah -- Part XXXVIII   Next: The example continues, more on analysis.

from the Grady Project:

Two Poems from Army Training

Sabby (Sabotage)

Always quiet, never gabby --
That's the way that Mr. Sabby
Goes about the slimy job
Of playing every sort of hob
With Uncle Sammy's ships and men,
Which is the reason why we've been
Up late at night and out all day --
To see that Sabby doesn't play.

-- Sgt. Grady L. McMurtry

Chow Hound Serenade

Morning, noon and night you'll find
One place the Mason Men don't mind
To gather and to do their share;
As chow-hounds they have no compare,
In taking sustenance and vim.
There is no place or food for him
Who would be dainty with his mess,
From which it's not so hard to guess
Why we do say and advocate
This motto for the "Cup & Plate",
using forks we do insist
You must not spike above the wrist!"

-- Sgt. Grady L. McMurtry

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Our regular columns will resume next issue. No room for the Primary Sources and the Outbasket this time.

Events Calendar for June 1998 e.v.

6/3/98College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
Thelema Ldg.
6/5/98Oz House at Thelema Lodge. Mozart's
Magic Flute discussion 8PM
with Leigh Ann
Thelema Ldg.
6/7/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/14/98Lodge luncheon meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
6/14/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/15/98Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Lewis Carroll's "Alice" and
the "Snark", at Oz house, 8 PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/17/98Class series on Liber 777
7:30 PM with Bill Heidrick at
5 Suffield Ave. in San Anselmo
Thelema Ldg.
6/18/98Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia
8:00 PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/12/98Summer Solstice Circle, 6PMThelema Ldg.
6/21/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/24/98College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
Thelema Ldg.
6/25/98Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia
8:00 PM
Thelema Ldg.
6/26/98Rites of Eleusis co-ordinating
meeting 8PM at Oz House
6/27/98OTO initiations, call to attendThelema Ldg.
6/28/98"Finnegans Wake" reading 4PMThelema Ldg.
6/28/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
6/29/98Sirius 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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