Thelema Lodge Calendar for February 2000 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for February 2000 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, 2000 e.v.

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

February 2000 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Winter Revels

    Our cross-quarter feast of Brigid, in observation of the sun's half-way course through Aquarius and the calendrical mid-point of winter, will be held at Cheth House in the wooded hills of north Berkeley, on Friday evening 4th February. Arrive by 7:30 for the ritual, and bring a good share of food and drink for the feast afterwards. To help with the festivities, or to confer about cuisine, speak with Michael or Kat. For directions call well ahead of time to Cheth House at (510) 525-0666. This occasion will also be our celebration of the Eve of the Dragon, as the Chinese New Year of the Dragon (anno 4698) begins Saturday 5th February with the New Moon and a solar eclipse (visible mainly to penguins), so bring extra champagne.

    Celebration of the gnostic mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica is held each Sunday evening in Horus Temple at Thelema Lodge. Visitors are welcome to participate with the community of members, friends, and guests who perform and sustain this Thelemic eucharist ritual here. Those curious about the lodge or the Order may come and be a part of it for an hour and see how it feels. Our mass offers the principle of love under will as an image both of the universe and of the self, and members alternate amongst each other in embodying this principle as officers in the ritual. Newcomers should call the lodge for information and directions, and mass teams speak with the lodgemaster for a date on the temple calendar.

    Initiations for advancement in O.T.O. will be held on Saturday 26th February. Admission of members to this private event is limited strictly to those who make advance arrangements with the lodge to attend. Active initiate members are encouraged to speak with one of the lodge officers (at some prior event or by telephone) well in advance to learn the time, place, and degree being worked. Ask the officer to inform the initiation team if you are interested in being present. To become a candidate for initiation, obtain an application form from the lodge and complete it, along with sponsorship by two qualified members, for submission to the lodgemaster. One month is the minimum period of candidacy, and longer is often required to schedule the rituals, so it will be necessary to stay is good contact with the lodge after your application is sent away.

Scales of the Serpent:

The Case of the Inverted Imps

    My fascination with Liber Arcanorum began with a coincidence that occurred to me during my Minerval year. I had pretty much joined the O.T.O. as a lark, because Crowley's writings amused me. My focus remained on my participation in what I then regarded as more "serious" spiritual traditions.
    One of these traditions brought me to an ashram in Denver, Colorado, where, although the school's practices were quite useful, the outlook was extremely authoritarian. On a rare afternoon when we students were allowed to leave the house, I visited a record shop and, starved for cultural input, started browsing the bins from one end to the other. Then I noticed an EP by a band unknown to me, Current 93. (This was LAShTAL, their first record, as far as I know.) This must have been around 1984, and while we're all accustomed nowadays to seeing Thelemic references in popular culture, at that moment, seeing the words "Current 93" struck me like a thunderbolt. So of course I had to buy the record, and tore off the shrink wrap as soon as I was out of the store. Blessedly, there were liner notes within: to my amazement, the title track turned out to be an evocation of the Qliphotic demon of the path of Mem, named Malkunofat. His scary sigil was duly imprinted in the corner. Unfortunately, I wasn't immediately able to listen to my little prize since there were no record players in the ashram.
    When it became apparent to me that this yogic school was intent on taking over the world, and that the world was going to be a lot less fun once they succeeded, I returned home with a newfound appreciation for Thelema. Once home, I quickly developed an appreciation for Current 93's EP as well. I came to feel that I had been destined to discover this disc: not only did it serve as my signal to come back to Thelema, but it also felt to me as if the brooding sounds of the "LAShTAL" track, along with the sigil (seeming to depict a ghost split in two, with an expression of total ambivalence), spoke directly to my particular fixations.
    Shortly before it was time for me to take my first degree initiation, our camp put on a ritual based on the second Aethyr chapter from The Vision and the Voice. My task, which in retrospect I did a pretty poor job of, was to set the "infernal adorations of OAI" to music. While we were waiting to begin, I started wondering what I should choose for a first degree motto.
    Then it occurred to me: if I am particularly haunted by the demon of the path of Mem, shouldn't I choose as my motto the balanced intelligence of Mem to act as a curative? So I took out a copy of the newly published Holy Books of Thelema, and discovered that the name of the intelligence, "Malai," was also present it the OAI adorations I had just set to music, and that we were about to perform. That was proof enough for me! So "Malai" became my first magical motto, and my preoccupation with Liber Arcanorum was fixed.
    Unfortunately for my sentimental associations, I have recently come to believe that the attribution of the sigil of Malkunofat is mistaken.
    There is an obvious but harmless error in the sigils of Liber Arcanorum. As a general rule, the sigils of the "good" intelligences run from right to left, top to bottom, even as the demons run from left to right. But in the left-hand column of the intelligences, the sigils of He and Vau are reversed. Upon examination, it's clear that each letter is matched to the correct sigil; it's only the sequence that's jumbled.
    Over on the side of the Qliphotic demons, the sigil attributed to Mem seems at first glance to be apt enough. Mem is the path of the element of water, the realm of feeling, where the emotional acceptance of one's present state is crucial. Therefore, the unhappy, conflicted image in the Mem cell looks to be the embodiment of everything that water should not be.
    However, look over at the sigil attributed to Saksaksalim, the demon of Samekh, and we have the figure of a man hanging upside down. Doh! Suddenly, the resemblance to the Hanged Man, the Tarot trump corresponding to Mem, is unmistakable. Similarly, if we return to the sigil given as Malkunofat, we notice the presence of the arrow, and recall the attribution of Sagittarius, the archer, to Samekh. There's also that word, NVH, defined as "habitaculum" (home) in Sepher Sephiroth, and having the numerical value of 61. Could it be that it's intended to recall the letter Samekh and its numerical value of 60, as in: "Close, but no Samekh"?
    Given these points, along with the observation that the shape of Samekh could look quite similar to that of Mem in the eyes of a printer unfamiliar with Hebrew, I am forced to conclude that the sigils of the demons of Mem and Samekh are transposed in the printed text of Liber Arcanorum. If anyone out reading this can provide an argument to the contrary, I'd be most grateful. I'd really prefer to keep the figure of the ambivalent ghost within the path of Mem.

    The pathworking series The Scales of the Serpent continues on 3rd February with Ayin, Atu XV, The Devil, signifying individuality and impulse; 10th February is Peh, Atu XVI, the Tower, revolution and liberation; 17th February will be Tzaddi, which is the Star, Atu XVII, insight and possibilities; and on 24th February we'll honor Qoph, the Moon, Atu XVIII, imagination and reflection. Bring a small sitting cushion and an offering for the path of the evening to Cheth House in north Berkeley each Thursday evening at 7:30. Call (510) 525-0666 for directions.
-- Michael Sanborn

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A Pawn of the Child of Night

    Meeting on Monday evening 21st February in the lodge library at 8:00, the "Section Two" reading group will look this month at the classic pulp novel Darker Than You Think, Jack Williamson's occult adventure tale which develops the idea of witchcraft as a genetic "taint" in the human evolutionary heritage. Join Caitlin for a discussion with selected readings from this apocalyptic fantasy, depicting the rise of a witch messiah who will renew the prehistoric supremacy of his ancient race of ruthless shape-shifting predators which has menaced mankind by night down through the ages. Originally appearing as a story in the magazine Unknown in 1940 (from which eight years later it was expanded into a novel), Darker Than You Think was a favorite of Jack Parsons, who sought out Williamson and befriended him upon its first publication. Today a celebrated and prolific author of science fiction and fantasy novels (and a retired university literature professor), who is still publishing major new works after an almost incredible career of over 70 years, Jack Williamson was twenty years old when he saw his first story illustrated on the cover of Amazing in 1928, and still at it in 1999 when his latest book The Silicon Dagger appeared.
    Williamson was a leading pulp writer during the "golden age" of "scientificion" magazines (as he would be again in the "silver age" of "sci- fi" following World War Two) when in late 1940 e.v. he attended a series of informal discussions in the home of Jack and Helen Parsons at 168 Terrace Drive in Pasadena. Often there were other writers present, such as A. E. Van Vogt, as well as Wilfred Smith and other members of the O.T.O. (into which Jack and his wife would be initiated early in 1941 after attending events as guests for a year or so). At about the same time Parsons was getting to know Grady McMurtry, whose diary briefly records one of these evenings: Tuesday, 17 December 1940 -- Invited down to Parsons (John W.) home this evening for a general bull session with his partner in rocket research [Ed Forman] and Jack Williamson. Must have drunk a quart and a half of beer. Smith (Wilfred) couldn't make it. Talked about rockets, witchcraft, etc." Williamson also has recalled these contacts in a memoir: "I met John Parsons. An odd enigma to me, he was a rocket engineer with unexpected leanings toward the occult. He wanted to meet me because I'd written Darker Than You Think -- a good many people have taken it more seriously than I ever did." (He admits, however, that this work was also among his favorites from his own stories.)
    Parsons, who increasingly saw himself in the role of Antichrist (which he later adopted as a magical name) would have been immediately fascinated by Darker Than You Think when he saw it among the several magazines of speculative fiction which he perused each month and shared with his friends. In a small American university town a reporter becomes attracted to a mysterious girl with "flame-red hair" and strange eyes who admits "I'm a witch" on their first date. Slowly it emerges that she is part of an ancient underground cult which is becoming "organized, preparing for the time to test their power, awaiting the appearance of an expected leader -- the Child of Night -- to lead their Saturnalian rebellion." In a series of dreamy nocturnal runs with the witch-girl, in which she sometimes takes the form of a large wolf or else rides on his back naked as a woman while he shifts to animal form, they kill off the team of desperate scientists who have excavated some ancient relics which could expose the witch-people. Gradually our hero overcomes his fears and learns the ways of magic, until in spite of his own doubts he emerges as that "tall, lean, commanding figure, standing amid shattered rocks, terrible and black in a long hooded robe" -- the Child of Night himself.

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Crowley Classics

   A very different sort of "prose poem" from those on the Baudelarian model which we have been exploring over recent months, this piece originally appeared as the next-to-last item in a little self-published book of verse entitled Oracles: The Biography of an Art: Unpublished Fragments of the Work of Aleister Crowley (Foyers, Scotland: Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth, 1905). It was reprinted in the second volume of Crowley's Collected Works the following year. In a footnote the author promises "If this poem be repeatedly read through, it falls into a subtly rhymed and metrical form."

In the Great Pyramid of Ghizeh

by Aleister Crowley

    I saw in a trance or a vision the web of the ages unfurled, flung wide with a scream of derision, a mockery mute of the world. As it spread over sky I mapped it fair on a sheet of blue air with a hurricane pen. I copy it here for men. First on the ghostly adytum of pale mist that was the abyss of time and space (the stars all blotted out, poor faded nenuphars on the storm-sea of the infinite): I wist a shapeless figure arise and cover all, its cloak an ancient pall, vaster and older than the skies of night, and blacker than all broken years -- aye! but it grew and held me in its grasp so that I felt its flesh, not clean sweet flesh of man but leprous white, and crawling with innumerable tears like worms, and pains like a sword-severed asp, twiching, and loathlier than all mesh of hates and lusts, defiling; nor any voice it had, nor any motion, it was infinite in its own world of horror, irredeemably bad as everywhere sunlit, being this world, forget not! being this world, this universe, the sum of all existence; so that opposing fierce resistance to the all-law, stood loves and joys, delicate girls, and beautiful strong boys, and bearded men like gods, and golden things, and bright desires with wings, all beauties, and all truths of life poets have ever prized. So showed the microscope, this agèd strife between all forms; but seen afar, seen well drawn in a focus, synthesised, the whole was sorrow and despair; agony biting through the fair; meanness, contemptibility, enthroned; all purposeless, all unatoned; all putrid of an hope, all vacant of a soul. I called upon its master, as who should call on God. Instead, arose a shining form, sweet as a whisper of soft air kissing the brows of a great storm; his face with light was molten, musical with waves of his delight moving across: his countenance utterly fair! then was my philosophic vision shamed: conjecture at a loss; and my whole mind revolted; then I blamed the vision as a lie; yet bid that vision speak how he was named, being so wonderfully desirable. Whereat he smiled upon me merrily, answering that whoso named him well, being a poet, called him Love; or else being a lover of wisdom, called him Force; or being a cynic, called him Lust; or being a pietist, called him God. The last -- thou seest! -- (he said), a lie of Hell's, and all a partial course of the great circle of whirling dust (stirred by the iron rod of thought) that men call wisdom. So I looked deep in his beauty, and beheld its truth. The life of that fair youth was as a whiz of violent little whirls, helical coils of emptiness, grey curls of misty and impalpable stuff, torn, crooked, all ways and none at once, but ever pressed in idiot circles; and one thing he lacked, now I looked from afar again, was rest. Thence I withdrew my sight, the eyeballs cracked with strain of my endeavour, and my will struck up with subtler skill than any man's that in fair Crete tracked through the labyrinth of Minos, and awoke the cry to call his master; grew a monster whirlwind of revolving smoke and then, mere nothing. But in me arose a peace profounder than Himalayan snows cooped in their crystalline ravines. I saw the ultimation of the one wise law. I stood in the King's Chamber, by the tomb of slain Osiris, in the Pyramid and looked down the Great Gallery, deep, deep into the hollow of earth; grand gloom burned royally therein; I was well hid in the shadow; here I realised myself to be in that sepulchral sleep wherein were mirrored all these things of mystery. So the long passage steeply sliding ever up to my feet where I stood in the emptiness; at last a sure abiding only in absolute ceasing of all sense, and all perceived or understood or knowable; thus, purple and intense, I beheld the past that leads to peace, from royal heights of mastery to sleep, from self-control imperial to an end, therefore I shaped the seven tiers of the ascending corridor into seven strokes of wisdom, seven harvests fair to reap from seven bitter sowings.1 Here ascend the armies of life's universal war chasing the pious pilgrim. First, his sight grew adamant, sun-bright, so that he saw aright. Second, his heart was noble, that he would live ever unto good. Third, in his speech stood tokens of this will, so pitiful and pure he spake, nor ever from him brake woe-wingèd words, nor slaver of the snake. Fourth, in each noble act of life he taught crystalline vigour of thought, so in each deed he was aright; well-wrought all the man's work; and fifth, this hero strife grew one with his whole life, so harmonised to the one after-end his every conscious and unconscious strain, his peace and pleasure and pain, his reflex life, his deepest-seated deed of mere brute muscle and nerve! Thence, by great Will new-freed, the ardent life leaps, sixth, to Effort's tower, invoking the occult, the secret power, found in the void when all but Will is lost; so, seventh, he bends it from its bodily station into the great abyss of Meditation, whence the firm level is at last his own and Rapture's royal throne is more than throne, sarcophagus! an end! and end! Resounds the echo in the stone, incalculable myriads of tons poised in gigantic balance overhead, about, beneath. O blend your voices, angels of the awful earth! dogs! demons leaping into hideous birth from the imprisoned deserts of the Nile! And thou, O habitant most dread, disastrous crocodile, hear thou the Law, and live, and win to peace!

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1. Compare the Noble Eightfold Path, as described in "Science and Buddhism" [Crowley's note, in reference to his essay, reprinted in the second volume of his Collected Works].

from the Grady Project:

This passage has been selected from Grady's 1954 thesis The Millennial Glow: Myth and Magic in the Marxist Ethic.

Extract from the section on "Magic" in
"The Universe of the New Tribalism"

by Grady Louis McMurtry

    The development of the life, i.e., movement or essence, of a thing, or phenomenon, by its inner contradictory tendencies ("All things come into being by conflict of opposites",1 Heraclitus the Obscure), the knowing of the thing, appearance, process, by going from appearance to essence, and from less deep to deeper essence, the repetition of the lower (microcosm) in the higher (macrocosm), the negation of negation as an "apparent return to the old" ("the wheel of Nature revolveth constantly"), the struggle of content with form (shape-shifting and the fluid personality of mythology), everything is connected with every other (substance is extended), and the passing of quantity into quality (metamorphosis). The use of this language, this terminology, this universe of discourse so familiar to the student of myth in the Metamorphoses of Ovid, to the student of the esoteric in the Tao Teh King of Lao-tse, and to the student of the "occult" in the Tabula Smaragdina of Hermes Trismegistos, re-emphasizes the myth and magic in Marxism.

1. Milton C. Nahm, ed., Selections from Early Greek Philosophy (New York: F. S. Crofts & Co., 1945), p. 96

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One Member's Opinion

Ebony Anpu and the Hawk and

Jackal System: a personal interpretation

part seven:

Magick of the Fixed Stars

by Nathan W. Bjorge

    If Elemental and Moon Magick relates to the Man of Earth, and Planetary Magick corresponds to the Lovers, then Stellar Magick is the Magick of the Hermits. Ebony's technique towards this class of workings involves using the planetary realm as a kind of interface between terrestrial consciousness and the zodiacal pleroma. His mature thought on the subject is expressed in statements he made during a 1997 e.v. lecture at Ancient Ways in Oakland. His comments also contain a good resume of his ideas on Planetary Magick as discussed in last month's article.

Ebony: "Well, you want to draw down fire from Heaven? Here's how you draw down fire from Heaven. You know you have Chakras, right? They're in the physical body, and they have [a] corresponding element that's in your aura, right? Okay. Your aura is affected by the astrological influences about it, correct? And so this is the connection between the macrocosm, or in other words 'above,' and below. So to draw down a planet, you wait till the planet is conjunct the Sun. You get all the energy of the Sun centering that thing. . . . Remember, all the planets shine by the light of the Sun. Okay. And you draw that down into you aura, and you can manifest it. You can store it in a bottle of colored water if you want, or fluid, or cup, or a sacrament. You can store it in bread or carve it or etch it or mold it in the physical plane. But you note in order to save the power to use it for later you have to use the so-called magnetic or feminine components. In other words Earth, physical something, or Water, a liquid something. It's really hard to store things in an air. You can; they don't stay around a long time, but you can store 'em in the air. Fire? Again, ditto. Even less time. But you can try to store it in the fire. But generally the masculine, or dynamic (I should say dynamic rather than masculine) elements, you know, are projective of force. And magnetic elements pull that force into them, and they capacitate that force or store it. So to draw down fire from Heaven you wait till the astrological phenomena are most intense, and in the case of fixed stars you're gonna have to work for the stars of the crown that are mentioned in one of the Aethyrs of the Vision and the Voice. Those stars are extremely important. Corona Borealis, Aldebaran, the stars in Scorpio, the rest of these; they're mentioned by name in that Aethyr. You can wait till a planet, or the Sun, or the Moon (the Sun or Moon being bigger, you have more odds), occult one or another of those stars (meaning cover it up). And then draw that down into the planetary realm from the Astral realm. And then draw that down from the planetary realm into the aura. And then either apply it to some object to store it, or utilize it directly by drawing it down into the Chakras, and then transmuting the force. So it's a matter of timing."

    The Stars of the Crown referred to are discussed in the 15th Aethyr of the Vision and the Voice: "And the tablet blazeth ever brighter till it filleth the whole Aire. And behold! There is one God therein, and the letters of the stars in his crown, Orion, and the Pleiades, and Aldebaran, and Alpha Centauri, and Cor Leonis, and Cor Scorpionis, and Spica, and the pole-star, and Hercules, and Regulus, and Aquila, and the Ram's Eye."
    It should be noted that not all of these stars lie in the ecliptic, so some innovation of method from that described above may at times be called for, but no one who has actually reached this level of work should have any difficulty in this.
    This completes the general outline of the Hawk and Jackal system. Next month we'll return to Earth with a discussion of the Moon Coven ritual. This will be followed by an overview of Ebony's system of multidimensional Magick.

Previous article -- part six     (to be continued)

An Introduction to Qabalah

Part LII -Of Ascension and Angels..

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

    By successive steps one can rise from physically oriented meditation, to story or myth, to communication with spirits, and finally break into a pure state beyond the veils of such techniques. This compound method is used in Ma'asah Merkabah, a practice that has been lightly touched upon in other installments of this series and which will be examined in further detail as we go along. The parting of the last veil comes at a stage near the end of the Merkabah experience. This veil is called Paroket Zohar, or the veil of splendor. At that stage, there is a feeling of something so great that it could not be perceived with normal senses. Beyond that, words fail and distinctions are lost. Profound states of consciousness come in which it is impossible to tell the difference between one's own identity and the rest of the world. All is unity, without differentiation.

    Prior to this state, the Universe seems peopled with strange beings. These beings are ordered, assembled as though in the court of a king. Visions occur of a particular character, often described as the Court about the Throne of the Most High. It's like that, entering a special place where powers and dominions are arrayed in their places about a monarch. From such experiences, various systems or pantheons of spirits are attributed. Systems of this nature ascribe angelic and other spirits of different classes to each of the Sephirot. Attribution of choirs or orders of angels is not strictly required in the work; as there are other ways of meditating. Owing to the human tendency to seek help from some sort of person at time of need, such spiritual entities can be useful. With each advance of meditation cycle, the Tree pattern is passed over again and again in successively distant modes from mundane consciousness. Beginning in Malkut, the Aishim, sometimes called the Aralim, are approached. These are personified forces of shape and change in the outer world. Most of the names of angelic orders are drawn from the Torah, through manipulation of words found in the physical shadow that is the book itself. The Kerubim of Yesod are the Angels that guard all the ways. They are angels of the wind. Whenever a breeze touches you it is the Kerubim passing by, brushing you with their wings. The angels of Hod are as ideas that flicker through our minds; the touch of their breath directs our thoughts one way or another. The angels of Netzach, sometimes called Tarshishim, are beautiful ships, the more elaborate thoughts that sail by in our minds, glimpses of beauty that light the whole world in their passing. The angels of Tipheret stand before us in a bright light. Sometimes, when we see them, we take them for visions of what we should be in daily life. They are the sign of the oneness of life, blending and working with the lives of others. In Geburah are the Saraphim, the burning ones. They sing of the glory of the universe, with such intense rapture and delight that they are consumed in flame. Their song is a sort of vibration, a humming, like the sound we sometimes hear in the center of our heads as we sit quietly. There are angels of Chesed, the Tzdackim, whose every thought is truth. These are the angels that cause the earth to tremble and set the sky shaking, as they pass. There are angels of Binah, whose substance cannot be described. They simply are presences, eyes filling the universe with sentience. The angels of Chokmah, are the essence of motion and life. The angels of Keter are many and One.

Previous part (LI).    Next: Of mnemonics.

Primary Sources

   Four Letters from '46:
   Here is a set of letters written to and from Crowley in the penultimate year of his life. The first two form a pair, a letter from Grady McMurtry and Crowley's answer. The third is from Crowley to Karl Germer, written between the first two. Crowley was experiencing eye and dental troubles, which apparently worsened from March through April but improved later in the year. The last is a letter toward the end of the year to Grady from Crowley.

    We begin with Grady reporting on distribution of Book of Thoth advertisements, discussing finances and suggesting plans for future Lodge and book work.

1661 Sacramento St., Apt. 3
     San Francisco. 9, Calif.
   19 February 1946

    Dear Aleister,

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

Your air-mail of 12 Feb. came in this morning so I will answer it immediately. Yes, the promotion comes in very handy. Mostly because it will be gratifying to be able to step in as a Captain in the next war instead of having to fight my way up from the ranks again. Methinks that the Army may be the safest place to be in the next war. All that is, of course, pure cynicism. We should have our program rolling long before a definite break between the big powers becomes inevitable.

I am sorry to report that I have no money that I can invest in anything. All I have is brains, ideas and the guidance that you have given me. Jack is the boy to look to for finance. By the way, Jack has not written to me since my return from Pasadena. I wrote to him shortly after I came back to San Francisco. This leaves me under the impression at the moment, though I hope I am wrong, that all the plans we made for incorporation, etc. while I was down there have either been thrown over-board for something else or he is simply dragging his anchor. It is possible that he has been away on his project. I have no way of knowing.

I believe that you are right concerning my first loan having been canceled. I have sent Karl a full report on my contributions. You will know more about my references to copies of the Book of Thoth that may have been unsold when you read my report. My primary interest is to have a fund here with which to start operations of the Order. In this connection I am sending along a sample of what we will have to combat from AMORC. These three advertisements were taken from two issues of one of the cheaper pulp magazines. Number (1) was taken from one issue and numbers (2 A) and (2 B) from another. Number (1) is the type of advertising they have been doing or years. Numbers (2 a) and (2 b) appear to be new departures -- you will note the "atomic-era" appeal of (1 a). They also illustrate another point. It is poor finance to take money out of a business before it becomes a paying proposition. Rightly or wrongly Jack seems to think that he could have done great things had he not been called upon to contribute so much to Grand Lodge. Maybe yes and maybe no in his case. The principle is, however, a sound one. I have told Karl that I will try to send him $10 every month, and that I intend to use the money I receive on the sale of Books of Thoth for a lodge fund to promote the O.T.O. here in San Francisco. Now I could send the entire amount of these sales to him -- and continue my $10 contribution. Or I can take a chance on forming a Lodge and hope to send a substantial contribution each month from a number of members. The first method is a temporary expedient and as soon as that money is gone we will be scraping again. The second method is sound business and the only way to build the O.T.O. into any kind of an organization.

Along with the AMORC advertisements I am inclosing a study in robotics. I thought it good for a laugh.

I must admit that I had no idea of the size of your correspondence until I untook {sic} this little investigation. Then one and all proceeded to pull out their little files and say "This is what I wrote to A.C. and this is what he said to me". Almost I am surprised that you don't chuck it. But then you asked for it, didn't you? Perhaps that is unkind -- let us say that this is your Will and that you are stuck with it, including all of the asinine things that go with it. But cheer up, we are bound to come out on top!

I must be off now. I have a number of posters advertising the Book of Thoth that I am going to take around to various book stores here in San Francisco. Wish me luck.

Love is the law, love under will

Yours ever,

    Crowley responded in a limited way, owing to difficulty with his vision. Jack Parsons is mentioned in passing, and the financial dynamics of Lodge work are touched upon briefly.

    The Ridge,
    HASTINGS, England
      {added in hand} 14 April '46

Dear Grady,

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

    Yours of Feby. 19th came in this morning. There is something in the matter with my eyes, but anyway you have been using a weak ribbon in your typewriter and the letter is difficult to read. It is not altogether your fault; I am going to tackle an optician to-morrow. I think I must have my glasses changed, it is 5 or 6 years since I had any. Anyway it makes it awfully difficult to read such complicated letters as yours.

    I do not really know what is happening with Jack. He wrote me the sort of letter that would have been useful if I had only left him a fortnight before; he always expects me to know what the actual position is down there without any sort of information whatever. It makes it very difficult to answer him.

    I do not think you need fear the competition of AMORC. People who fall for that bunk about learning to play the violin in 6 easy lessons are not going to have anything to do with us, however simply we may try to put things.

    The financial position of the Lodge with respect to Grand Lodge has never been properly understood, I think, by any of you. The idea was that all fees and subscriptions from any of the Lodges should be sent to Grand Lodge and re- distributed to the several Lodges in accordance with their needs. I see now that this plan was really only practicable in an "era of abundance", because it makes no allowance for time lag.

    Anyhow, I cannot see any sense in it; for one thing, Jack clamors for the 5th degree, but as no-one has yet put on the Minerval the way it should be put on, this is nonsense.

    I think it is a great mistake for any one to write to me for advice. I am altogether too far away. I now too little about the situation, and I have not the sort of mind that is needed to organize things properly.

    I have not been through your report properly yet. I have been out of sorts for the last few weeks; and every time I pick up a long serious document I just sigh and put it down again. I think I shall be better after I have finished with the dentist, which should only be 2 or 3 weeks from now.

    Forgive me if I break off here, my eyes are really bothering me so much that I feel totally unable to deal with your letter as I should like.

    Love is the law, love under will.


                                         Yours fraternally,
                           {signed} Aleister

Capt. Grady L. McMurtrie
1661 Sacramento St., Apt. 3 San Fran. 91.

    In this letter, Crowley discusses his medical problems briefly with Karl Germer and then goes into comments on the members and others about Agape Lodge in California. "Betty" was with Jack Parsons for a while, before going over to L.Ron Hubbard. Louis Culling had apparently written an opinion to Crowley about Jack's situation. Others are mentioned, Frederic Mellinger, Louis Wilkinson and even, deprecatingly, Charles S. Jones, Fr. Achad. It's interesting to see Crowley both discouraging the giving of advice and advocating it in two letters so close together.

  The Ridge,
    HASTINGS, England

Mr. Karl Germer

    Dear Karl,

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

    Thanks for yours of the 25th ult and 26th ult.

    Please thank Sascha for her programme and message.

    I went to London last week and saw a first-class man about my eyes. He says -- as I expected -- that the local imbecile (Mason) is a fish, and that his only title to have any connection with eyes is that the potatoes with which they made the chips with which they served him were full of them.

    Anyhow, he says that the cause of my trouble is tobacco and amblyopia, and I must cut off smoking immediately and for ever. This I am doing in rapid stages.

    He wrote, however, to my physician and suggested that I am suffering from two completely fatal diseases, and I think that this is probably the case. I shall know in about a week or 10 days. It is really a very nice game they have of playing ball from one to the other. You find you are getting bald, and the man is not content to treat you, but sends you to a chiropodist as well! Well, we shall see what we shall see.

    I do not quite follow Cullings' letter, but I cannot see that Jack is anything but a victim. Of course he should never have done anything without asking my advice.

    The appearance of Betty's mother on the scene is rather sinister: she must have been abominably brought up. I think it is nearly always the fault of the mother when you find a young woman running around playing the fool as Betty has done for so long.

    To round off this subject I have just had a long letter from Jack. He is very penitent and admits his own abject folly. I am enclosing with this a copy of my reply to him. I am sure there is no need for doing anything drastic. You must, above all, be just. I think of course that you should insist on his carrying out his obligations to Dr. Wilkinson. The rest of what I have to say on this subject will be found in my letter to Jack.

    With regard to Achad's communications, I can make no sense of any of them, and shall ignore the whole matter. Achad went completely insane in the strict medical-legal sense of the term in 1925, and he has been getting deeper in ever since.

    I am writing to Frederic by this post, and as I hope to be seeing him towards the end of August I do not think I need deal with this matter in this letter. Why he should have tried to put the authorship of the Three Wishes on to you is a complete mystery to me. I have written to explain how absurd any such idea is.

    I have got so much work on my hands this afternoon that I really cannot say any more except to wish that you have had a really fine journey so far, and that it will continue in the same vein.

          Love is the law, love under will,


Yours fraternally,

    In the concluding selection, Crowley writes in better mood to Grady, discussing Grady's son, work on Liber 777 and progress on Magick Without Tears.

  The Ridge,
    HASTINGS, England


Capt. Grady L. MacMurtrie,
1661, Sacramento St., Apt. 3,
San Francisco 9, Calif.

Dear Grady,

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

    I am very glad to hear of your good news, but please remember the dangers of family.

    The difference between myself and the Pope is that his definition of the word Sin is different from mine. The "word of sin is restriction" -- if you bend the young tree out of the straight you cannot expect it to grow straight. For all that, I agree with the practical side of what the Pope says, and Confucius would agree with both of us. Men have lost their feeling for good manners. But this of course happened after every war; it is a well-known historical fact.

    It is nice of you to compliment me by asking me to set up a horoscope for Grady Shannon, but you had much better ask Karl, because he will set it up right, whereas I may make mistakes when latitude and longitude are so far away from London. If you want me to write a judgment on the figure you have only to ask him to send me a copy and I will let you have one, you can rely on me confidently for that.

    I am very glad that you are working your 777 as you should. I could not possibly find time to make copies of the new Columns and so on. You will find most incorporated in The Book of Thoth."

    You should be glad to know that I have found a person eminently suitable for re-arranging the Letters in the book "Magick without Tears" which you remember you have a quarter share in. I think after Liber Aleph we shall be able to get that book out.

    I have eleven letters to write this afternoon, and am three parts dead already, so forgive me if I break off. With blessings upon you and the boy, {written in} and "mom"!

Love is the law, love under will


                {signed} Yours ever Aleister

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From the Outbasket

JL and I had an extended discussion of matters related to K&C of the HGA and other things. Here are some re-written excerpts of my part of the discussion.

    Distractions should be avoided, but anything that can be used to acquire the Knowledge and undertake the Conversation is worth doing. Don't limit approaches unduly. The HGA will say in plain ways what should be done in accord with ones own nature We are often unwilling to understand such direct instruction. The pain of the experience is largely from being drawn to necessary deeds, through veils of illusory refusal.

    In mundane life, most who attain are outwardly no better or worse than those who don't follow this path. To live in the world means that all should continue in the ordinary way of the world. There is a time of disruption, of attainment beyond the scope of one life. After that the gain is permanent, but the adept reenters the world to live out a normal existence more or less continuing where that normality was left off for the effort.

    K&C is the beginning of awakening, not its culmination. It is never just an internal or mental event, any more than the ringing of a bell is a sound heard only in the loft of the church. The world echoes it and passes a wave of change outward like the ripples that spread from a pebble tossed into a quiet lake. The difference is that this pebble does not vanish, neither do the ripples cease.

    The form is always the same, when the full appearance of the Angel occurs. There are other effects that vary from individual to individual, and vary as well within the practices of one person. Descriptions do not suffice, for that instant. In translating the experience into the words of men, some have said that it is of a human form in a white garment and the sound of a voice heard in earliest childhood memory.

    No attainment by the Middle Pillar can endure. It's necessary to snake around to make it stick. Meditate on the entire Tree of Life, with ten Sephirot and 22 connecting Paths. The Middle Pillar exercise is a cleansing and revitalizing, not the key to the entire Great Work.
    The Netzach-Tipheret path is one of the hardest for a rational thinker. There is a change from control to riding the waves at that point. A need for control as a protection of self should be dealt with before Netzach; but for a strong pillar of severity bias, it persists in some form to that point.

    When a person naturally becomes used to this notion: that every communication is with a spirit, be it reading or auditing, that person has started to approach K&C of the HGA. The rest is refinement and sifting of the self from the noise. A "14 year old personality" is characterized by a tendency to either embrace or invert every opinion heard recently, failing to center on one's own identity. Without fear or confusion, let the identity emerge even as precious metal is refined from crude ore.

    Traditional instructions are to set mundane existence in order before undertaking this effort. That ordering is relative. Normally it means that mundane concerns should be stabilized or rendered predictable and given proper times for attention. The more the mundane has to be dealt with, the longer the process takes, and one should allocate time accordingly.

    "Multi mental media" working should be attempted, after familiarity with simpler exercises. The more senses involved in a projection, the more profound the effect. E.g.: reciting the pairs of Hebrew letters (mental, not physical sound) while holding a visualization of one pair is effective. Other sensory associations can be added to keep the mind from wandering. The more a person has going to a proper focus with multiple astral sense cognates the easier it will be to avoid breaks in concentration. This only works with very familiar objects, like the alphabet or systematic combinations of other familiar symbols. The set of symbols must be appropriate to the object of meditation and one particular unit of the set needs to be given dominance. Experiment with increasingly complex and moving visualizations with the Lesser Pentagram and similar ritual is also very good; the trick being that complexity needs to be added to the visualization as each new addition to the ritual is mastered

    Early religious training sets patterns and expectations. The formal religion of childhood cannot possibly meet the expectations of later life, so an accommodation must always be made by the sane ones. For some, religion is actually relegation to limited area of life. For others, there's a drive to find what was promised and not delivered, in new work. For the mass of insane humanity, religion is a binding and blinding -- which keeps them from hurting any more people than can reasonably be avoided. Obsolescence of religion is justified when the efficiency of protecting against harm by the crazy gets a little too low and love fades away.

-- TSG (Bill Heidrick)

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Events Calendar for February 2000 e.v.

2/2/00College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
2/3/00Scales of the Serpent series on
Liber Arcanorum. 7:30PM
At Cheth House: "Devil"
(510) 525-0666Thelema Ldg.
2/4/00Feast of Brigid at Cheth House 7:30PM(510) 525-0666Thelema Ldg.
2/6/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
2/10/00Scales of the Serpent series on
Liber Arcanorum. 7:30PM
At Cheth House: "Tower"
(510) 525-0666Thelema Ldg.
2/13/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
2/17/00Scales of the Serpent series on
Liber Arcanorum. 7:30PM
At Cheth House: "Star"
(510) 525-0666Thelema Ldg.
2/20/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
2/21/00Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Jack Williamson's "Darker
than You Think", Lodge library 8PM
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
2/23/00College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
2/24/00Scales of the Serpent series on
Liber Arcanorum. 7:30PM
At Cheth House: "Moon"
(510) 525-0666Thelema Ldg.
2/26/00OTO Initiations. Call to attend(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
2/27/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
2/28/00Sirius Oasis meets in Berkeley 8PM(510) 527-2855Sirius 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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Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O. Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA

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

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