Thelema Lodge Calendar for October 1998 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for October 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

October 1998 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers


Brother Satyr, Scourge Forth

"Behold her, Madonna-like, throned and crowned, veiled, silent, awaiting the promise of the future. She is Isis and Mary, Istar and Bhavani, Artemis and Diana." The Rite of Luna concludes Aleister Crowley's cycle of Rites of Eleusis on Monday evening 5th October at Sirius Oasis in Berkeley, beginning at 8:00. This will be the evening of the Harvest Moon, full in Aries. Onlookers are invited to contribute to this ritual by bringing a good supply of some favorite beverage for the libations, of which the traditional nine- fold service is planned; feel free to bring lunar snacks as well. Dress if you please in white and silver or pale shades of blue. "But Artemis is still barren of hope until the spirit of the Infinite All, great Pan, tears asunder the veil and displays the hope of humanity, the Crowned Child of the Future."
"The Rite of Earth" is a grounding exercise which has been added by local tradition to many of our cycles of the Rites. This year a newly written Rite of Earth ritual will be offered, as a summation to close out our nineteenth performance of Liber DCCCL, in the back garden at Oz House in Oakland, on Saturday afternoon 17 October. Call Oz at (510) 654-3580 for time and directions, and to contribute to the event.


Thelemic Birthday Boys

Early in the autumn we observe the lesser feasts of three pioneering Thelemites, each of whose leadership efforts was critical in determining the style and direction of Ordo Templi Orientis, particularly as it came to be established in California in the 1930s e.v. and revived here in the 1970s. Not only was Aleister Crowley born this month in 1875, but Jack Parsons and Grady McMurtry, his two young correspondents who first discussed in 1946 e.v. the establishment of Thelema Lodge in northern California, had also been born under the sign of the scales. As Grady enjoyed pointing out, all three men were poets, and often sent their verses to one another. Our celebrations of their lives will take the form of readings, with all who attend welcome to bring favorite short passages and texts to read. If possible, try to bring a favorite portrait photograph or an artistic representation as well, to show around. For the feast of Jack Parsons on Friday evening 2nd October we have not confirmed a location at press time, but those interested are welcome to call the lodge in the preceding days for information. (That same night there will be a tenth anniversary party at the Ancient Ways store -- for which Thelema Lodge extends warm congratulations -- which is likely to be infused with the spirit of Jack Parsons later on in the evening. No, we don't mean tequila!)
Crowleymas will be celebrated there at the Ancient Ways store in Oakland, at the corner of Telegraph Avenue and 41st Street, beginning at 7:30, and sponsored by Sirius Oasis. Bring light food and drinks to share, and your favorite short Crowley texts to read, as well as your favorite portrait of the Beast. The following Sunday afternoon at 6:00, before mass on 18th October, we will gather at Thelema Lodge to read from the poetry and other writings of Grady McMurtry, who founded this lodge on Crowleymas Day 21 years ago.


Gnostic Catholic Church

The gnostic mass celebrated every Sunday at nightfall at Thelema Lodge is an open ritual, and all whose will it is to participate with us in communion at the climax of this pagan eucharist ceremony are welcome in Horus Temple. Arrive by 8:00 to be ready when the deacon calls us into the sanctuary at the opening of the ritual. Those who have not previously attended lodge events should contact the lodgemaster by telephone for directions and information. To serve the lodge as an officer in the gnostic mass, get together with other communicants to learn and rehearse the ceremony, and discuss your efforts with one of our gnostic bishops, then ask the lodgemaster for a date on the temple calendar.


M M M

Initiations in Ordo Templi Orientis are next scheduled at Thelema Lodge for Saturday afternoon 31st October, Hallowe'en Day. All who wish to attend are asked to confer ahead of time with one of the lodge officers for information regarding the degrees to be worked and the time to arrive. Initiation rituals usually conclude with a feast for all involved, and those attending as witnesses are welcome to contribute drinks and dessert dishes to this meal. Application for candidacy may be made to the lodge, using the requisite form for each degree, by anyone who is free, of full age, and of good report. Each application must be signed by two active members of the degree being sought. Following submission of the completed application to the lodge, it will be mailed to the U S Initiation Secretary's office for registration and verification. The applicant assumes responsibility for maintaining good contact with the lodge throughout the period of candidacy, which will always exceed one month in duration. When one is not able to attend lodge events during this interim, or otherwise communicate with the officers of the lodge, candidacy will lapse for all practical purposes. No initiation can be performed without full payment of dues (including any past dues still owing), which are forwarded to the O.T.O., and of the initiation fee, which is retained by the lodge. At Thelema Lodge we do not accept any payment prior to the day of the initiation, so all accounts are to be settled at the time the "red book" registration is completed here by the candidate.


A N.O.X. Is As Good As A Boost

If, as is self-evidently the case, everything causes any particular thing, then if we wish to understand the cause of anything at all we must therefore inquire into everything. That is the purpose of the College of Hard N.O.X., to inquire into everything (though the present Dean blissfully expects to be long dead before we get around to O.J., Princess Di, or the President's moral stature). This month's inquests will take place on the evenings of October the 7th and 28th at eight o'clock in the lodge's commodious yet cozy library. The tuition charged is whatever you wish to give, though you must at least put in your two cents.
For the 7th we will take one of our occasional forays into the analysis of a specific text by considering the questions raised in Gilbert Murray's lecture, "The Stoic Philosophy" (given as the Moncure Conway Memorial Lecture at South Place Institute, March 16, 1915; copies of the text, for anyone interested, are now available at the lodge). Murray was an eminent British classicist, regius professor of Greek at Oxford for nearly thirty years, justly famed for his translations of ancient Greek drama, and an outstanding scholar who produced new insights into Homer, and Greek religion and philosophy. In the decade before World War I he acted as a major contributor to the beginning of the still ongoing revival of ancient Greek drama as a living art by personally directing many theatrical productions of plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes The lecture under consideration gives a brief outline of Stoicism, a philosophical movement which began to coalesce in the Athens of the fourth century b.c.e., and eventually became one of the principal ideologies of the educated classes of the Greco-Roman world. Its two most famous exponents were remarkably different individuals. Epictetus, a Phrygian slave brought to Rome in the first century c.e., is reputed to have calmly said to an abusive master who was twisting his arm behind his back, "If you keep on doing that, you'll break my arm.", and when his arm was indeed finally broken he just said, "I told you that would happen." The other well-known Stoic was Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 c.e., who was perhaps the most conscientious, hard-working, and civic-minded of all the men who held that office (though his utter failure as a father left Rome saddled with the sixteen year reign of his paranoid, athletics-worshipping, and megalomaniacal son Commodus). His collection of Meditations was apparently written merely as informal and fragmentary notes to himself, but it is now generally considered to be Stoicism's greatest classic.
On October 28th the College will take up in detail the thorny issue of the relationship between Thelema and Satanism, specifically the questions, "Is Thelema a form of Satanism?", "Is Satanism Thelemic?", and "Was Aleister Crowley himself a Satanist?".

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Sidonia the Sorceress

Join Caitlin at Oz House on Monday evening 19th October at 8:00 for a reading from Sidonia the Sorceress, the obscure German Romantic historical novel which became a late-Victorian occult best-seller. Crowley himself most likely read the combined edition of Wilhelm Meinhold's two great witch novels, published in two volumes by the Reeves and Turner company of London in 1894. Very possibly it took the place of his assigned texts in chemistry and history and philosophy for several evenings as a Cambridge undergraduate. (It seems that a good deal of what later would become the Section Two reading list for Probationers of the A A formed Crowley's personal undergraduate curriculum of alternate and occult education, pursued in the freedom of college scholarship at the University of Cambridge in the mid-1890s.) The two works, Sidonia the Sorceress and The Amber Witch, are recommended together on the reading list, with only the bald comment that "These two tales are highly informative." As the text of Sidonia is quite long and now extremely rare, we will share a xerox copy and discuss the romance of witchcraft and the descriptions of occult practices in this story, with readings of a few selected passages.
Johannes Wilhelm Meinhold (1797-1851) was raised on the remote Baltic island of Usedom, where his father was a Lutheran pastor; he was educated and took orders in the Lutheran church, qualifying as a Doctor of Theology. After receiving an isolated parsonage he began an obscure literary career in his spare time. He took his subjects from local Pomeranian history, and produced an early tragedy and a quantity of lyric verse. A collection of his poetry was circulated in 1824, and was commended by Goethe. In a historical magazine Meinhold published a chronicle of the Thirty Years War, claiming to have transcribed it from a seventeenth century source, though in fact he had fabricated the entire text. When Frederick William IV, King of Prussia, took enthusiastic notice of the forged document and wanted to have it republished, Meinhold was forced to admit his fraud, but the king nevertheless praised the work, and financed an edition of it which appeared in 1841-2 as Die Bernsteinhexe (The Amber Witch). It fed in to a current historical controversy regarding the role of the Roman church in local German witch prosecutions afterthe Reformation, and hence attracted attention at first, though this turned to resentment as Meinhold's forgery of the document became known. Some critics refused to believe him, and he even showed his notebooks and rough drafts to reviewers as evidence of composition. After the controversy died down he was punished for fooling the literary establishment by being ignored completely for the rest of his life. A few years later he published a second, and even longer, work based upon another Pomeranian witch prosecution, originally entitled (after the defendant in the case) Sidonia von Bork. It appeared as volumes 5, 6 and 7 of a collected edition of Meinhold's works published near the close of his life (in 1846-8), attracting no attention whatsoever.
Meinhold remained obscure in Germany, where his works are still ignored, and he does not rate mention in the standard reference works. There was however a vogue for his tales among English readers after his death, and both of the Pomeranian witch-trial accounts appeared in English translation. Sidonia the Sorceress was translated by Lady Jane Francesca Elgee, wife of the great ocular surgeon Dr William Wilde, who in her youth at mid-century had been a fashionable celebrity in Ireland, publishing romantic poetry in the newspapers under the name of "Speranza." Six feet tall, flamboyant and beautiful, "a very odd and original lady," she was a learned woman, particularly accomplished as a linguist, and a committed patriot who looked to future European involvement for Ireland as an alternative to British domination there. She published thirteen books, Sidonia being by far the most successful and going through many editions. Her son Oscar Wilde, whom she supported and encouraged throughout his life, became one of the greatest literary critics, comic dramatists, and tragic victims of the 1890s, and always admired her greatly.

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Enochian Structures

As an orientation to Thelema Lodge's anniversary reading of Liber CDXVIII, The Vision and the Voice, beginning in November, Michael Sanborn, an Enochian magician of many years' experience, will conduct a two-part intensive workshop exploring the structures of the Enochian Watchtowers within the Thelemic tradition, on Tuesday evenings 6th and 13th October, beginning at 8:00. Part I will provide an introduction to the basic angelic hierarchy of the Elemental Tablets, while Part II will touch upon a few of the many coordinate systems used to express the richness of the magical dimensions uncovered by the Elizabethan magus John Dee and his scryer, Edward Kelly.


Finnegan at the Frederick

On the theory that the next best thing to doing it must be sitting around with a Guinness all afternoon punning about it, a growing group of Re-Joyce- ing reiteraters have been assembling monthly for a complete pronunciation through Finnegans Wake, a Thelema Lodge "work in progress." We hold our readings in Eric's penthouse in the Frederick Apartments, usually on the third Sunday afternoon of the month; this time it's on 25th October at 4:18 (due to the lesser feast of 777 at the lodge the week before). Call Eric ahead at (510) 428-0870 for directions, or to find our place in the book in order to look ahead at the pages we'll face.


Crowley Classics

The Beast Takes a Ticket
Part Two: Aleister Crowley at the Theater

The tradition of lurid melodrama at the Theatre du Grand Guignol, an infamous salon in late nineteenth century Paris, became synonymous with the dramatic presentation of violence, gore, torture, and perversion. In the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe, short plays and tableaux were presented to depict famous murders and outrages, with trick staging and a suggestive prurience intended to shock and thrill the jaded Parisian bourgeoisie. The extreme stylized violence and the casual immorality came from a vulgar French tradition after which this theatrical style was named, the Guignol "theatre" of hand-puppets, which was popular in provincial France, and was the direct precursor to the animated cartoons of our own century. This piece was published at the end of a volume of Crowley's comic poetry, In Residence: the Don's Guide to Cambridge (Cambridge, Elijah Johnson, 1904).

Au Theatre du Grand Guignol

Le System du Docteur Goudron et du Professeur Plume1

What this system really implies.

Poe!
Poe by the gift of the
Poe in his tragedy,
Black melodrama,
Horrid, overwhelming,
Nerve-shattering maniacal effort
Dictated by morphia, Poe
The American poet
Translated by Baudelaire,
Stephen Mallarmé
And other people
Of singular and perhaps
Unique talent
(Now joined by
André de Lordes)
Is a splendid success
At the quaint little theatre
Of Montmartre.
Speed! -- I mean Poe!

(Unhappily our contributor returned alive from watching the start of the Paris-Madrid race. He had provided himself with a copy of Mr Henley's "Imperishable Poem," and the meter, in which there is but one rule, viz. "anything scans," seems to have run away with him. Would the motor had done as the meter! He will be printed as prose. - [1904] Ed.)

Filled with anticipations of the most blood-curdling order, we sought the breezy heights of Montmartre. The Sacré Coeur, looking more than ever like a compromise between an Indian mosque and a Buzsard cake, towered above us in the frosty twilight.
It is, however, invisible from the theatre itself, so that we were able to give our undivided attention to the system of Doctor Goudron and Professor Plume, and it is our interpretation alone which has any real value. It will be necessary first to call the attention of the reader to our own system, without some account of which he may find himself embarrassed, even bewildered.
Mr George Macdonald in his masterpiece of Haggardized Rabbinical tradition, Lilith (Off, Lilith!),2 has broken the wind of the poor phrase to this effect:
"To grow and not to grow; to grow larger and to grow smaller at one and the same time; yea, even to grow by the simple process of not growing."
In these unpretending and innocent words lies hid (for the eye of the wise to discover) the germ of the most stupendous and far-reaching system of philosophy that has ever been presented to the astounded consciousness of mortal men. Quickly overrunning the civilized world, it has penetrated (auspice Teucro) into the very remotest steppes of Central Asia, the wildest savannahs of the American prairie, where dog and oyster burble in plethoric harmony among the verdant shoots of cactus and coyote, where the giant Appomattox rolls in sulky majesty to the red bays of the Pacific. The Society formed to exploit this unheard-of invention is, naturally, of a most secret nature: perhaps I am revealing too much when I say that members are permitted to inscribe after their names the letters L.A.L. By the New Method, therefore, let us continue our interesting studies of the system of Doctor Goudron and Professor Plume. Laure, the first of three curtain (and hair) raisers, is a charming little drama. An ingénue comes by accident into possession of a letter compromising her mother. Discovered by her father, she saves her mother by accusing herself. The mother, secure once more, bullies and ill-treats the heroic child, so that the curtain falls on her despairing shriek of "Misérable!" Here then is truth! Not in a well, as lewd fellows have impotently pretended: but here, here in the stage of the Grand Guignol. It was just what happens every time, when anyone is fool enough to sacrifice themselves. It was magnificent; it was war!
Curtain-lifter No. 2 was a still wittier scene, yet the element of improbability3 damped, not indeed the enthusiasm of the mob, but our own more sober and judicious pleasure. You ask therefore in vain for detail. "La Mineure" (No. 3) was, on the other hand, even more life-like than No. 1.
A witness retained by justice to identify a criminal discovers him by chance in the person of the President of the Court himself. She is hauled to the deepest dungeons of Saint Lazare, and everything thus ends happily. For one moment the nerves of the spectator are braced up to meet the sword of Damocles -- and then, with a single blow, the Juge d'Instruction subtly and delicately strikes in, and we can breathe again.
The Docteur Goudron was now to appear, and it was a spectacle saddening to the serious philosopher to observe everybody pretending, often most elaborately, that they had read Poe's story on which the play was based. Alas! that we should have been among them! Yet so it was. Many years have elapsed since our feet trod civilized MacAdam; many years since we spent hour after happy hour poring over our Poes. Surprising? Ay, but true. Yet some dimmest recollection of Dr Tarr and Professor Feather does hurtle heavenward to us across the mist-kissed abyss of memory: so much, no more.
The actor who represented Doctor Goudron -- his name is worthy to be graven on tablets of iron: it is consequently not to be printed here. His self- restraint, his command of expression, his elocution were alike wonderful.
Booth, Irving, could not have done it better: it could have barely been equaled even by Wilson Barrett in his prime.
Horror holds one from the outset: but when from words we go to deeds, the formulation of the Logos in the plastic, alas! the element of music-hall supervenes -- O Catulle Mendès! didst thou say, forced like Galileo to thy knees by an iniquitous tribunal; Personne ne croit à ces cadavres!"? Yet we do so. The director's murder is done magnificently; better then Macbeth, better than the Cenci; better than the Mother's Tragedy.4 No! this praise is too fulsome, too indiscriminate; but any way, better than the other two. He groans like laureled Martial in Burns's poem; yet his assassin does not tickle the ears of the groundlings with a coarse "Crévé, non de D----!" but in supreme self-mastery, the iron control of a lunatic whose sanity is at stake, enters stern and silent, his eyes glittering with fiendish joy -- Bavière, thy poster is superb! -- and develops with calm and scientific precision his system to the raving crowd of madmen and madwomen. Per Gynt! ay! but Peer Gynt with a tang! Peer Gynt vital, real, terrible.
What is the system? That is fine; but remember, my friends, that our own system comes first! Charity begins at home and ends in the workhouse: so the new method must absorb our space -- ay! and infinite space! -- to the exclusion of our unworthy imitators, Doctor Goudron and Professor Plume. To Montmartre then, reader! to the Grand Guignol! To the Madhouse, ha, ha, ha! Shudder, shiver, shake, shriek, do everything that begins with sh, except hush -- and that is Irish, after all.
Of one thing only do I warn you: from start to finish there is not a word or a gesture that could shock the most innocent maiden, or bring a gleam to the eye of the least hardened roué, or the most expert member of the Vigilance Society.
This, in a French theatre, is as rare as it is delightful;5 and though it is conditioned, like all phenomena, by space, time, and causality, it is none the less refreshing.6
VLADIMIR SVAREFF, P.L.A.L.

Notes:
1. A review on "the Soothing System" in its original French dress.
2. The Qabalah. 3. A debutante with her mother finds herself by inadvertence as a "gros numero."

But we betray our correspondent's reticence. Enough. -- [1904] Ed.
4. We have discovered too late that this is a despicable effort of our correspondent's jejune
graphomania. Had we suspected that he was a poetaster as well as a degenerate and
imbecile, we should not have printed this rubbish. -- [1904] Ed.
5. The MS. is almost illegible; the word might be "disappointing." [1904 Ed.]
6. Ditto. ditto. ditto. "refrigerating."

Our other item is an early dramatic sketch by Crowley, unpublished until it circulated during the 1970s in the early journals of Thelemic studies from "a typescript attributed to Aleister Crowley in the University of Texas collection." This comically sinister stage piece is found on five sheets of secretarial typescript among the J. F. C. Fuller papers in the Humanities Research Center at Austin. The attribution to "Aleister Crowley" has been penciled in, possibly by the author himself. The piece is a sort of theatrical pantomime; a dumb-show or silent dramatic skit, with the succession of emotional responses to be displayed by the leading lady blatantly indicated in each scene by the typist's underscoring (here rendered in italic type). Reminiscent of an early silent film scenario, the directions seem to indicate that it was conceived instead for a small stage, perhaps very much on the order of the Grand Guignol. It might almost be the outline for a cheap Roger Corman horror film from the 1950s, or a sleazy Wes Craven shocker from the 1980s.

The editors thank Frater H. B. at O.T.O. International for assistance with this text from the archives of the Order.

The Opium Dream

by Aleister Crowley

Never mind the excuses for the presentation.

The Story

A girl is dragged on to the stage, half unwillingly, by a page. We understand that she is the captive in one set of circumstances or another, of a Chinese Bonze. She expresses abandonment.
The page tries to reassure her.
She sinks into deeper apathy, but gradually becomes interested enough to express timidity. She is told that Bonze will visit her in a moment or two.
Presently she shows impatience, while the page disappears.

Scene 2

The Bonze comes in, and soothes her in a kind of fatherly way, until she registers resignation.
He tells her of all the beautiful things he will give her, and she shows anticipation.
He then goes off, and she shows contentment and tranquility.

Scene 3

The page comes back, and proceeds to undress her. She has very beautiful clothes and lingerie. This undressing is carried until almost the last point, but the final act is concealed from the audience by manipulation of the Chinese robes which are put on her. The page makes her move around to display her new costume, and get accustomed to it, so that she registers vanity.
The page runs off to tell her master.

Scene 4

The Bonze comes in, and starts to woo her. She expresses coquetry, and other suitable feminine imbecilities, eluding him with great skill, but she gradually flutters down to the lure; and there is a certain contest which develops to a high point.
She is quite satisfied with her situation, and abandons herself to his embraces.
At this moment the page rushes in in disorder.

Scene 5

The page explains that the head wife is at hand, on the war path.
The girl does not understand what is wrong, but judges from the behaviour of the others that some danger is at hand, and registers alarm.
The Bonze tries to quiet her, telling her that by his wizardry he will remain master of the situation; but tells her to conceal herself.
She does a fade-away behind the second set of curtains, which conceal the cage. The cage terrifies her, but ultimately she opens the door and goes in.
The Bonze assumes an attitude of indifference.

Scene 6

The head wife comes in, and makes a violent scene. The Bonze tries to reassure her in vain. She will not be pacified. He loses his temper, and after ill-treating her savagely, finally stabs her.
During this time the girl has been peeping through the curtain, her white face lit by a shaft of moonlight against the blackness of the background. She expresses horror.
The page comes in to remove the body, and the Bonze manifests triumphant satisfaction.
When this is done he calls the girl from the cage. She resists, and registers abhorrence.
He drags her into the room, she wrenches herself free, and exhibits denunciation and defiance.
He chases her, finally becoming angry, and threatens her. She becomes cowed and shivers, crouching in a corner of the divan. He tears off her outer robe.

Scene 7

He now threatens her with various tortures, and proceeds to apply them. She resists them, rising from height to height of rage.
Finally, he threatens to imprison her in the Cage of Thunder. After a violent struggle, in which all her clothes are torn off, he thrusts her in, pulls back the curtain, and turns on the lightening.
This has the effect of driving her insane, and she leaps and shrieks furiously.
The Bonze is amazed that she is not killed, and attributes this to the magic of her race.
He in his turn begins to be afraid, and withdraws to the front of the stage; whereat she bursts open her cage, and rushes forward.
Grappling with him, she throws him to the ground, and strangles him.

Curtain

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from the Grady Project:

Two Poems from Army Training

(Untitled)

Once on an inspection morn
There was a sleepy soldier, torn
From downy bunk and slumber land
They led him to his place, to stand
A weary lad. Upon his shoe
There was no shine, nor yet a clue
As how to find the vanished pants;
And so he stood, and so he stants.
It is such sights as this, you see,
That make an officer to be
A trifle gray above the gills;
For all his work, for all the drills,
That this should happen on the day
When they are placed upon display.

-- Grady L. McMurtry
(undated)           


(Untitled)

We have often heard it said,
And in the papers we have read,
That when Aquatic Park is set
Aside for Army use, they'll let
The soldier boys upon the beach
Where each will rate a gorgeous peach
To wile away a summer's day
With healthy fun and frolic, play
Is good for boys away from home;
This is one beach we'd like to comb!

-- Grady L. McMurtry
(undated)           

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An Introduction to Qabalah

Part XLII - Difficulties above the Abyss.

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

We'll have a look now at the Supernals, the three Sephirot above the Abyss. Since the main topic of the moment is human faculties and problem solving, we will just touch on matters related to that for now. Unless one studies Merkabah, which we will take up later in this series, most of the discussion of the higher Sephirot has to be simple or we will quickly become lost in abstractions. In this sense, Binah may be considered as the ability of the mind to be quick, to be able to form ideas and interrelate them easily to one another. This is the same approach that considers Geburah to be the place of making judgments and Hod to be the work table where details are assembled. These are all functions that can quickly lead to frustration when things don't go as smoothly as they aught. There is a tendency to take these manipulations personally, to shift out of the Pillar of Severity toward Tipheret and other Middle Pillar Sephirot. Does arithmetic and algebra sometimes drive you up the wall? Mathematics, being abstract by nature, is often associated with Binah. If you get to the point where you just don't want to add two more numbers together and your mind stops like an over-heated motor, you have a problem with Binah. This is a resistance to something that should be done with trivial ease. Even though a problem of this sort is a matter of Binah per-say, it is more likely to come from the lower part of the Tree -- a problem appearing in Binah but not a problem originating in Binah. The cause may be physical tiredness in Malkut starving the brain. This takes the form of Saturnian feelings: dark anger against the self, depression and melancholy.
Chokmah is energy, the full energy of life. A problem here may take the form of enervation, lassitude and failure to continue an effort. This is not the same as the form taken in Binah. There is no anger or even anguish. It's more like trying to use a flashlight with run-down batteries. Again, this is an effect seen in a Supernal, Chokmah, which actually has its origin in Malkut. Other Sephirot may also be involved. Chesed may not be active enough, giving insufficient joy in doing things. Perhaps there was insufficient persistence near the conclusion of some other task, a problem of Netzach. In most instances, the Supernal or highest three Sephirot are not the seat of these problems; rather they offer a way of determining which Pillar on the Tree, left or right, contains the weakness that ultimately anchors in Malkut. Problems of the middle pillar may be seen in Keter, rarely; but problems are more often seen as faults in Sephirot of the side pillars, spilling through to Tipheret or Yesod.
Yesod formulates the work of the Sephirot above it like a rehearsal on a stage. Tipheret coordinates all this like a director. Malkut is the fusion of the play in both players and audience, the thing complete. When Yesod is poorly served by either Hod or Netzach, it's as though a prop door that won't open or an actor going "up" in his lines. If one or more of the other Sephirot dominates Tipheret, it's like the director has a favorite and the whole play goes lopsided to feature one actor. As soon as details begin to emerge in this way, you have descended down below the Abyss in the analysis. A mental limitation is properly associated with Binah only until it can be pinned down in a lower part of the Tree. An energy lack or emotional limitation is likewise associated with Chokmah until it can be traced on the lower Tree. This sounds rather simple, but there's a bit more to it. If you just plain don't have energy enough for thinking, that is a problem in Chokmah. When you eventually find out why you don't possess the energy, you have managed to clean up the basic problem in Chokmah and you are focusing on getting settled down into reality on a lower level. The state of consciousness of the mind is the important thing. If you look at something and don't see detail, you are fairly far up the Tree. If you see detail, you are fairly far down the Tree. It's abstract near the top and detailed or concrete, near the bottom. This is the nature of the thing.

Previous Introduction to Qabalah -- Part XLI                   Next: Problems from Keter and Da'at


Primary Sources

Karl Germer's Charters:
In the 1930's and 1940's e.v., Aleister Crowley wrote several letters of appointment and authority to Karl Germer. Our readers may wish to compare these to similar documents written to Grady McMurtry and published earlier in the old OTO Newsletter, Magic(k)al Link and previous issues of the TLC.
There are several more hand and typed copies, and the first two presented here are from the facsimile copies published in the Magic(k)al Link of August 1984 e.v., chosen now so that folks with that actual ML issue can compare with the holograph for accuracy. Crowley made several for Germer in two styles and a hybrid of both with differing wording on the more legalistic (the ones most often citing contractual representation). I theorize that this was to give Germer fancy versions for OTO use that he could send in the mail and more practical documents that he could attach to forms in his work on behalf of OTO copyright filing in the USA.

-oOo-

On letterhead with OTO Lamen and Mark of the Beast, written in pen with an italic nib:

Abbey of Thelema
Torquay
An Ixv Sun in Taurus
93,
We, {eleven-fold cross} Baphomet O.H.O. hereby appoint the T.I., T.I., and T.I. Fr Karl J. Germer X (Grand Master General of the Free German-Speaking Peoples) as {word omitted here and obscure in original - not found in the other version typed and sealed by Crowley} Legate in the United States of America to take precidence of all previously constituted Authorities with special power to revive the dormant Mount Sinai and Rose of Sharon.

     93 93/93
Given under my Hand and Seal

{eleven-fold cross} Baphomet O.H.O. {Ankh-f-n-Khonsu ring impression on wax seal}

-oOo-

On letterhead with OTO Lamen only, written in pen with ordinary nib:

93 Jermyn St.
London S.W. 1
Dec 10, 1942 e.v.

I, Edward Alexander Crowley (Aleister Crowley) of 93 Jermyn St. London S.W.1. do hereby authorize my representative in the United States of America, presently residing at 133, West 71st Street New York City N.Y. to act as my agent and attorney in every respect, and in particular to conduct all business in reference to my song "L'Etiucelle" (at first Entitled "La Gauloise") as if I were myself present. And I pledge myself to recognize, confirm, and honour any and every document that he may sign on my behalf.
Witness my hand
      Edward Alexan. Crowley (Aleister Crowley)

-oOo-

There are more than half a dozen of these letters, varying in the details from this simplest one:

-oOo-

40 Cambridge Terrace W.2.
Oct 9' 33 e.v.

This is to authorize Mr Karl Germer whose signature appears below
    {signed Karl Germer}
to act as my agent
Aleister Crowley

-oOo-

through the kind shown above, mostly typed rather than handwritten and mostly relating to legal power of attorney, down to the next, also hand written. This is not the most recent, but a little more elaborate than the 1942 e.v. one above. Dashes were present in the original, apparently intended to square to the right margin to avoid any alteration, like lines added to the written amount in a bank check:

-oOo-

{OTO lamen}
July 18, 1941 e.v.
c/o Demnes and Co
Cliffords Inn
London E.C.4

By these Presents I, Edward Alexander Crowley, otherwise known as Aleister Crowley, or as To Mega Therion, chief of the A A, or as Baphomet, Frater Superior and O.H.O. of the O.T.O. (Ordo Templi Orientis) do appoint Mr. Karl J. Germer, now residing at 1007 Lexington Avenue, New York City N.Y. to be my personal agent and representative in the United States of America.----------------
I hereby authorize and empower him to initiate, carry through, and conclude all contracts that he may see fit to make on my behalf, especially as concerns my work as a writer and lecturer.---------------------------------------------------------------
All persons in authority under me in connection with the A A and O.T.O. are to recognize him as their chief.----------------------------------------------------
This present document is to be regarded as Equivalent to a Power of Attorney, and is to be valid until further notice--------------------------------------------------

Witness my Hand.
Edward Alex.Crowley
Aleister Crowley
Tau-omicron  Mu-epsilon-gamma-alpha  Theta-eta-rho-iota-omicron-nu 666 9=2 A A
{eleven fold cross} Baphomet O.H.O.
X 33 90 97

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From the Outbasket

C. began a discussion on Goetic working with me via email. Here are some clips from observations and comments from my part.

On efficacy of consecration of the triangle:

Doubt weakens the effect more than the character of the consecration.

On placement of incense:

Incense on the altar for general ambiance is ok, but the circle is the most important material part of the ritual protection. If incense is used to attract the spirit or to give it something to use for manifestation, the triangle is the right place for it.

On not having a hexagram of Solomon for protection:

Good thing. Solomon used a pentagram, not a hexagram.

On strange after effects, mainly half-seen things or feelings that something is misplaced:

The leakage from such a working uses one's overactive imagination to manifest. Such problems are usually not serious and will likely fade in time if moderate banishing is done at intervals.

On the use of a mirror:

A mirror can be hazardous if not properly placed. By seeing his own reflection, the magician tends to identify with the spirit. If the mirror is angled so that you cannot see your own reflection in it, that is not a problem. If you look into the mirror and see yourself as the spirit, evocation can shade over into invocation and possession. Flickering lights seen in a mirror on an angle can be an indication that scrying is starting to work.

On acquiring a skill from a Goetic spirit or directing a task:

There's always a little more risk acquiring a skill from one of the 72 than getting a specific thing done. The risk is in doing two things at once:
1. The swearing by the spirit must be on a physical talisman with the sigil of the spirit. This is a routine part of the ritual, but it is typically one of the most difficult parts.
2. Acquiring an ability in yourself through the agency of a spirit requires a continued presence of the spirit. A talisman is used to take the impress of the spirit for this purpose. On the one hand, you risk becoming dependent on a material object for a mental skill -- the talisman. On the other hand, you risk the spirit gaining a further influence over you when you relax caution around the talisman at some future time. Finally, this is not a specific task once commanded, once done and then ended. Since a typical ability like rhetoric, a talent for persuasion that sometimes depends on deception, is a living skill, you in effect marry the spirit to an extent in its own "house of deception".

On use of a mixture of Frankincense and Myrrh:

Myrrh would work for a Saturnian, but Assafoetida would be better. Frankincense isn't a good match. For summoning to visible appearance, Dittany of Crete is best.

On the composition and quality of the circle:

If your sense of visualization is strong and persistent, it would be better to trace a triple circle in the air with the sword (deosil, then widdersins and finally deosil) than to depend on a visibly deficient circle. The purpose of the circle is to contain a minutum mundum for the worker inside in such fashion as to exclude the spirit. If the circle can be seen as broken or faded, that acts as a weakening of the banishment. Normally such a circle is painted on canvass or traced on the floor with a powder like flower or sulfur. In the case of a painted circle, the sword is used to re-consecrate it from inside and to break it later by passes over the tracing. In the case of a powder traced circle, the circle is consecrated by the sprinkling of the powder through a funnel or tube and physically cut by the sword after the final banishment. A cord or string can also be used as the circle, with the ends twisted together in such fashion that they can be separated with the tip of the sword at the end of the ritual.
The LBRP and Hexagram rituals can suffice to clear a circle, but the circle should be traced between the two rituals. Liber Samekh is an invocation of power, not a casting of the circle but a good preparation for working once one is inside the charged circle.

On strange sounds:

Such sounds should be noted as to time and direction in the course of the ritual. It is typical for a totem animal or other creature of the particular spirit to manifest in that way at the coming of the spirit. If the source of the sound can be seen, it is probably not from the spirit. If it is out of sight, even if of a known animal, it is probably a sign of the imminent approach of the spirit.

On disastrous consequences:

A rough experience now and then can be educational toward the Great Work. The problem with being possessed is that one becomes sure of things, but those particular sureties and things do not go toward the attainment of the Great Work.

On the character of the spirits:

The Goetic spirits are stupid but crafty. They play tricks but otherwise should be considered like violent children, strong beyond their appearance. These are mostly disparaged or lesser malific aspects of deities; e.g., Asteroth is described as male with bad breath but is derived through Christian slander and ignorance from Astarte and Asherah, two aspects of the middle- eastern goddess also associated with Ishtar, Aisha and ultimately by confusion of centuries with the Virgin Mary! The use of Goetia for betterment of self involves working through one's own faults, problems and weaknesses by seeing and controlling these deficient qualities in the spirits. In controlling the Goetic spirits, some narrow task is always necessary. In dominating and understanding them, more examination into their qualities is the proper approach. Thus, when such a spirit is said to teach something, it's always some particular applications of that thing, one at a time, not an entire discipline at once. To try for a general skill is to put yourself at the mercy of one of these "hell's angels".

On epilogue:

One of my favorite things to do was to sit in a Chinese restaurant with friends and discuss ritual magick whilst watching the other patrons out of the corner of my eye.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for October 1998 e.v.

10/2/98Lesser feast of Jack Parsons
10/4/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
10/5/98The Rite of Luna 8PMSirius Oasis
10/6/98Enochian Watchtowers class with
Frater Majnun 8PM
Thelema Ldg.
10/7/98College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
Thelema Ldg.
10/11/98Lodge luncheon meeting 12:30Thelema Ldg.
10/11/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
10/12/98Lesser Feast of Aleister Crowley
at Ancient Ways Store in Oakland
7:30 PM
10/13/98Enochian Watchtowers class with
Frater Majnun 8PM
Thelema Ldg.
10/15/98Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia
8:00 PM
Thelema Ldg.
10/17/98The Rite of Earth at OZ House
(call for time)
10/18/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
10/18/98The Lesser Feast of Grady McMurtry
10/19/98Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Sidonia the Sorceress
by Meinhold. 8PM OZ House
Thelema Ldg.
10/22/98Ritual Study Workshop with Cynthia
8:00 PM
Thelema Ldg.
10/25/98Finnegans Wake reading 4:18 PM
10/25/98Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus TempleThelema Ldg.
10/26/98Sirius Oasis meeting 8:00 PM
in Berkeley
Sirius Oasis
10/28/98College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
Thelema Ldg.
10/31/98All Hallows Eve OTO initiations
(call to attend)
Thelema Ldg.

The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its officers.

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

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