Thelema Lodge Calendar for August 2000 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for August 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

August 2000 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers


    Lammas, feast of fire, height of summer, with Sol in the heart of the Lion, will be observed by Thelema Lodge at Cheth House on Sunday afternoon 6th August. The ritual, beginning at 1:11, has been adapted from speculations upon the Thelemic "Gold Sabbats" (solar festivals) in the Book of the Jackal. For directions to Cheth House in the Berkeley hills, or information about the ritual, call ahead to (510) 525-0666. All participants are invited to bring food to spread upon the altar, and plenty of drink to wash it down afterwards (beers and ales being probably the appropriate libations for this holiday). A celebration of fertility and plenty, the festival of the "loaf mass" (named from association with the grain harvest) marked a critical turning point in the old agricultural cycle of the year, upon which the renewal of the community's staple nutritional resources depended. Lust, the Atu of Leo in the Book of Thoth, takes as the bed of its working the comfort of this plenty, so that many of the Lammastide traditions partake of the nature of fertility rituals. Ceremonial bathings, baptisms, and cleansings also figure in the lore for this occasion, which was equated in the calendar of the old aeon with the feast of Saint John the Baptist.
    Baptism, as Ebony used to like to remind us, "means getting it wet," and he furthermore instructed his students at this feast to "remember the Baptism of Fire in the House of the Flame!" The Book of the Jackal quotes in this context Liber AL (chapter 2, verse 15): "For I am perfect, being Not; and my number is nine by the fools; but with the just I am eight, and one in eight: Which is vital, for I am none indeed. The Empress and the King are not of me; for there is a further secret." Ebony then offers the following analysis in response to this passage: "Perhaps it is only a curiosity that the festival of Mid-Summer occurs in the midmost of the sign Leo, and that this is the sign of the Hebrew letter Teth = 9 (419 spelt in full). The season begins with the sun at the beginning of the sign Cancer = Cheth = 8 (418 spelt in full). The beginning and mid-point of Summer: these signs signify, by their rulerships of Sun and Moon, the Beast and His Bride."
    Appropriately, the precise astrological point of 15° occurs just as we are likely to be accomplishing the Mystic Marriage and Consummation of the Elements in the gnostic mass that evening in Horus Temple, at 10:20 o'clock. Special thanks from the lodge to Grace Astrological Service for this calculation; it seems odd that the mid-season festivals are not commonly ephemerized (hence, perhaps, the neo-pagan "tradition" of observing them in the most approximate fashion). There is bound to be a special fiery and "lion-hearted" energy in the temple for this mass, although of course the ritual remains the same Liber XV as performed every week.
    To be included amongst the circle of communicants in the gnostic mass at Thelema Lodge - at Lammas or on any other Sunday - newcomers should call well ahead to the lodgemaster for information and directions. Arrive by 8:00 on Sunday evening for mass, which begins as soon as possible after nightfall, and typically takes just under an hour to accomplish. Aleister Crowley's gnostic mass is a Thelemic communion ritual celebrating the divine energy which animates both the microcosm and the macrocosm. A eucharist, or edible talisman, is constructed in two parts, and sparks of the divine fire of nature are invoked into these substances with ceremony and enthusiasm. At the Consummation of the mass the two elements are combined in the process of their consumption, first by the priest and then by the People, each in turn, partaking of their cakes and wine at the altar. The affirmation of the gnosis which each then declares is that of the self and the universe mutually aware, the ancient cry of the triumph of the will: There is no part of me that is not of the Gods! This ritual has been performed on a weekly basis at Thelema Lodge for nearly twenty-three years. The record of Horus Temple remained perfect during the 93 month administration of our founding lodgemaster Hymenaeus Alpha (who was also Patriarch of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica), and again we have an uninterrupted temple book for about 350 weeks in our present location. During several difficult periods now many years past, however, a few masses were missed here and there, or were celebrated only in private, or omitted in favor of alternate rituals. The maintenance of a temple for the gnostic mass has always been the first priority of Thelema Lodge, ever since Grady McMurtry first discussed plans for this lodge in 1946 e.v. with Jack Parsons. The temple necessary for mass is not simply the reserved architectural space which houses the ritual, nor the furniture and equipment (stipulated in the script) which it must contain; it most truly consists in the assembly of celebrants and communicants who actually achieve "the miracle of the mass" within that space. The strength of this temple of participants is based upon a shared and continually renewed ritual trust, which preserves the mass from the vulgarity of shame and ignorance which might overwhelm it in "savage countries" (about which the mass itself warns us). The advantage of repeating the same liturgy each week, we find, is that the phrases and the movements and the symbols of the mass, along with its larger patterns and meanings, achieve for each a subtle and secure place in the back of the mind, and thus in the shared ritual language of the community. Mass never becomes wholly familiar; the mystery remains in its strange glad wonder undiminished by the knowledge it imparts. We represent this in one way by the unveiling of the eternal feminine, which to be comfortably and reliably achieved requires the most lovingly prepared ritual context, elaborately constructed each week to support the mass. It is into this temple - this community of celebration - that we invite new and returning participants to attend our gnostic mass in Horus Temple at Thelema Lodge.
    The canonical Feast for the First Night of the Prophet and His Bride, among Thelemites traditionally observed on 12th August in commemoration of the Scottish wedding night in 1903 of Frater Perdurabo and the Seeress Ouarda, is - also by tradition - not the occasion for a lodge event. Members are invited to consider the advice which Ebony used to give, that they "emulate the behavior of the Prophet and his Bride on their wedding night." (Except that Crowley's later account seems to delay the consummation of this marriage for at least 36 hours - so there may seem no hurry to complete the celebration.)


    Initiations for advancement in Ordo Templi Orientis will be held by Thelema Lodge on Saturday 19th August, at a place and time to be privately communicated to those initiates who contact the lodge officers ahead of time to attend this event. For reasons of security, as well as for efficiency's sake in the planning of initiation feasts, only those eligible members who have given notice in advance of their intention will be admitted to the initiation rituals. It is important for all concerned to arrive on time to these events, and candidates in particular must be precise to their appointed times, taking care to be neither early nor late.
    Ordo Templi Orientis offers a sequence of graduated initiations grounded in the systems of qabalah, tantric wisdom, and Thelemic enlightenment developed in our Order over the past century. Initiation is available by application to Thelema Lodge - or to any other lodge or oasis of O.T.O. throughout the world - for any individual who is free, of full age, and of good report. Applications for the preliminary Minerval or 0° initiation are available from the lodge at most events. Applications for advancement in the Man of Earth triad of O.T.O. - from Minerval through the first, second, third, and fourth degrees to the stage of Perfect Initiate - are available to eligible initiates on request. Completed applications submitted to the lodgemaster are at once sent on to the Initiation Secretariat for the O.T.O.'s U S Grand Lodge, whereupon a thirty day period of candidacy begins before the applicant becomes eligible for initiation. Exemptions for premature initiation are almost never requested by this lodge (and even if considered in unusual circumstances they would not necessarily be granted to us), so candidates are advised to plan well ahead with their applications. It frequently takes an additional month or two for the lodge to schedule the working of a specific degree, and the lodgemaster will simply advise patience for anxious candidates. After the first month, the wait largely depends upon the number of candidates and the convenience of our initiators. All applicants are required to maintain close contact with the officers of the lodge during their period of candidacy, and none should consider themselves candidates here but those conferring at least on a monthly basis with the lodge officers (if not at lodge events then by mail or telephone).
    Annual dues for membership in the Order will be collected from each initiate on the day of the ceremony, along with an initiation fee retained by the lodge. (Fees at this lodge are usually somewhat reduced from the Order's current schedule, but there's nothing we can do about the dues.) No payment is accepted here until the day of the initiation ritual, when fees and full dues must be current and paid.

With Winged Staff the Fleet God N.O.X.

   . . . and N.O.X. our College meeting off the calendar for the first Wednesday this month, since "The Rite of Mercury" will occupy that evening. The College of Hard N.O.X. will indeed be meeting at the performance of the Mercury rite (to be held at Arkadia in Richmond), doing its part by encouraging critical analysis of the ritual as a form of devotion to the god Mercury. Invoking the winged pedestrian not just as technician, analyst, messenger (and thief), but also as the divine spirit of communication, language, and learning, we will do our best not to chat away in his honor throughout the performance. The single regular meeting of the College this month is on Wednesday evening 30th August, as usual at 8:00 in the lodge library. Join Mordecai, the Dean of Hard N.O.X., and the College of Fellows, for an evening of deftly directed discourse in an open forum for Thelemic issues.

From the Navel of the Universe

    Our twenty-first presentation of Aleister Crowley's Rites of Eleusis cycle of ritual drama garden parties will conclude this month, and this summer's cycle has been such an outstanding success that we are especially looking forward to the two "last rites." "The Rite of Mercury" will be presented by Nathan on Wednesday evening 2nd August beginning at 8:00, at the "Arkadia" ritual space located at 5808 Solano Avenue in Richmond. (Call for directions or use a map if you don't know the place; this is a different Solano Avenue from the one at the Berkeley-Albany border.) Information may be had from the presenter by calling ahead at (510) 534-5739. Twelve days later Michael & Kat offer us "The Rite of Luna" on Monday evening 14th August beginning at 7:00. It will be held at a novel venue, the Takara Sake Factory in Berkeley, located at 708 Addison Street.
    In place of an apocryphal "Rite of Earth" this year Cheth House will be holding a group chanting of the Hundred and Sixty-Nine Cries of Adoration of God and the Unity thereof, from Liber DCCCCLXIII, the Treasure-House of Images, on Saturday evening 26th August, at 8:00.

An Appreciation of Liber 963

by Michael Sanborn

    Most Thelemites I know only think about The Treasure House of Images (Liber DCCCCLXIII) during performances of The Rites of Eleusis, when Treasure House sections are recited in every rite but that of Venus. Even then, they are sometimes omitted or read in a way that makes them indecipherable to the audience. But I happen to be a big fan of the book, and would encourage everyone to become more familiar with it.
    It is officially called Liber Thesaurou Eidolon, Sub Figura DCCCCLXIII, and except for Crowley's prefatory note, is written by Captain (later General) J. F. C. Fuller, a leading member of the early London A A It was originally published in Equinox I:3, as Class A-B, with the note being the Class A part.
    It is referred to as "the Book of the Meditations on the Twelvefold Adoration, and the Unity of GOD." The Twelvefold Adorations may be seen as the Zodiac, and with the Unity making thirteen, thirteen is the dominant theme of the work. This may be seen as the thirteen principal chapters of thirteen verses each, the chapter following these which has 169 (or 13 x 13) verses, by the magic square of thirteen which opens the work, and by the numeration 963, which is Achad, Unity, spelled in full:
    A (ALPh = 111) + Ch (ChITh = 418) + D (DLTh = 434) = 963
Spelled out simply, of course, Achad is 13.
    Most of the chapters are devotional poems corresponding to the Zodiac. They all follow a set pattern. In the chapter devoted to Aries, for example, "The Twelvefold Affirmation of God and the Unity thereof," the first verse also corresponds to Aries ("Thou snow-clad volcan of scarlet fire"), the second to Taurus, and so on around the Zodiac through verse twelve and Pisces ("my joy is but as a raindrop smitten through by an arrow of the Western Sun"). Careful reading will reveal that the verses define each sign by each of the signs themselves. By understanding Aries of Aries, Taurus of Aries, etc., we come to understand Aries more fully.
    The first verse of the Taurus chapter, of course, corresponds to Taurus of Taurus, working all the way around to Aries of Taurus in verse twelve. And each chapter concludes with a thirteenth verse which characterizes the unifying aspect of the sign, or the quality of the sun when seen through the sign. Similarly, the thirteenth of these chapters consists of thirteen devotions to the Unity.
    It is true that the verses are of uneven quality. Some of the imagery and phrases are repeated, and the writing is far more flowery than we are accustomed to these days. But it seems to me that Fuller was perceiving the energies of this 169-fold pattern directly, and used the verses as a way of communicating this insight. When I consider them this way, they often seem to possess great power. For instance, verse 8 of the Cancer chapter:

    O Thou Sovran Surging of wild felicity, whose love is as the overflowing of the seas, and who makest our bodies to laugh with beauty. I know Thee! O Thou outrider of the sunset, who deckest the snow-capped mountains with red roses, and strewest white violets on the curling waves.

    Or this, from verse 2 of Pisces:

    O how can I cleave the shield of Thy might as a little wanton child may burst a floating bubble with the breast-feather of a dove?

    It is perhaps an acquired taste. But I would say that it's a taste worth acquiring, for the glimpse it provides of a unique and penetrating devotion as well as for the insight that it can provide to the Zodiac.
    Besides the chapters already mentioned, "The Perception of God that is revealed unto man for a snare" is a strange erotic construction of the Spheres of the Tree of Life at the beginning of the book. And at the end, "The Unconsciousness of God that is hidden from man for a sign" is an exploration of the mystical identity.
    There is a brief instruction on the title page: "The Probationer should learn by heart the chapter corresponding to the Zodiacal Sign that was rising at his birth; or, if this be unknown, the chapter "The Twelvefold Unification of God." The Class A note continues in more detail.

    A Note Upon Liber DCCCCLXIII

1. Let the student recite this book, particularly the
169 Adorations, unto his Star as it ariseth.
2. Let him seek out diligently in the sky his Star;
let him travel thereunto in his Shell; let
him adore it unceasingly from its rising
even unto its setting by the right adorations,
with chants that shall be harmonious therewith.
3. Let him rock himself to and fro in adoration;
let him spin around his own axis in
adoration; let him leap up and down in
4. Let him inflame himself in the adoration,
speeding from slow to fast, until he can
5. This also shall be sung in open places, as
heaths, mountains, woods, and by
streams and upon islands.
6. Moreover, ye shall build your fortified places in
great cities; caverns and tombs shall be
made glad with your praise.
7. Amen.

    Now this practice reminds me of the Golden Dawn doctrine of the Tree of Life projected on a sphere. In brief, they held that we can come to see that we are in the Tiphareth of a spherical Tree of Life that encompasses the entire solar system. This Tiphareth is at the level of the ecliptic. At our birth, we face the same direction in this celestial sphere as the position of the sun. And we don't recognize it, but we remain facing that direction for our entire lives, even though the sun continues to move. I also think (although I can't find the source for it right now) that the Golden Dawn taught that there was a star on the horizon of your birth that is the star that you are, and on which your vision is fixed.
    This would seem to be the ancestor of the Liber 963 practice. One possible difference was that the Golden Dawn used a sidereal system of astrology, using the star Regulus as 0 degrees Leo. This enables the Zodiac signs to line up neatly with the constellations; unlike our more familiar tropical system, which is out of synch with the constellations by nearly a full sign. In later years, Cyril Fagan published persuasive evidence that the sidereal system used by all the great astrological civilizations before Greco-Roman times held the star Spica to denote 29 degrees Virgo. This also lines up the constellations, but about 5 degrees off from the Golden Dawn system.
    As an illustration, my ascendant in tropical terms is 27 degrees 17 minutes Pisces. This would mean that I would memorize the Pisces chapter of Liber 963 (and I have, a couple of times, but forgotten it soon after). Then I would determine my star, which as I see from a cursory glance through a couple of star charts might have been Azelfafage, or Pi Cygni. If I become confident that this was indeed the star, I could then greet myself as I rose over the horizon, reciting, rocking, spinning, and leaping.
    Most people have a different rising sign under the Golden Dawn system, and thus have to consider a different chapter of Liber 963. In my own case, since I'm so late in the sign of Pisces tropically, I'm a Pisces rising according to the Golden Dawn system as well. So I'll just stick to my one chapter, thank you very much.

Previous M. Sanborn article

That Blackguard Crowley

    "This is serious, Holmes! We must find Crowley soon."
    The "Section Two" reading group at the lodge meets Monday evening 21st August in the library at 8:00 with Caitlin. This month our story is the very lightest of summer reading, a philosophical exploit where Sherlock Holmes has occasion to conduct a lengthy (and not altogether unsympathetic) interview with the Beast 666. The Case of the Philosophers' Ring by Dr John H. Watson (1978), was really the work of Randall Collins, Ph.D., a specialist in the Cambridge philosophers of the period. It is one of the "additions to the canon" of Sherlock Holmes adventures that has proliferated ever since the decline of Conan Doyle (who figures briefly as a character in the novel, speaking on behalf of Spiritualism).
    "Have you never heard of the Cabbala, Watson?"
    There is a large share of anachronism in this account, but we are to suppose that sometime around 1913 e.v. the celebrated fictitious consulting detective Sherlock Holmes is engaged by the radical and high-born Cambridge don Bertrand Russell to retrieve a lost mind, which turns out to belong to philosophy's maddest new star, Ludwig Wittgenstein. As they investigate, Holmes and Watson keep encountering John Maynard Keynes - legendary for his mastery of profit - who appears to be peddling drugs. Holmes nearly seduces Annie Besant, and goes on to interview Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey, but then they encounter an enigmatic female violinist, and much of the trouble gets traced back to good old Aleister Crowley. Russell and Crowley, it seems, were up at Trinity College during the same years at Cambridge, and are still playing tricks on each other. It adds up to rather a silly romp in the end, perhaps, but some of the philosophical snippets are perfectly valid, and the entire notion was a nice one.
    "Your acquaintance with magick is superficial, Mr. Holmes."

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Crowley Classics

   This odd piece of what is apparently German propaganda was originally published in The Open Court (New York: August 1915), pages 499-502. Presumably the "prophets in the shrine before me" alluded to in the fourth paragraph, who "understood what was seething in Europe" were the gnostic saints Richard Wagner ("the weapon of one was music") and Friedrich Nietzsche ("the other philosophy"). In the course of this little essay (eighteen paragraphs, only half of which are directly concerned with the Kaiser) Wilhelm is compared favorably to Lohengrin, Siegfried, Parsifal, Agamemnon, St Michael, Christ (twice), Lucifer, Castor and Pollux, Milton's Satan, Balder, Adonis, Arthur, Mohammed, and Napoleon. The greeting "Hail Saviour of the World" in the seventh paragraph had previously appeared as the caption to a photograph of Crowley himself -- bearded during his Asian travels of 1905 e.v. -- used as the frontispiece to Book Four, Part Two (1912-13 e.v.). The old king Titurel, with whom Kaiser Franz Joseph is compared in Crowley's footnote to paragraph nine, is the ghost-father of Anfortas, the wounded king in Parsifal.

The New Parsifal:

A Study of Wilhelm II

by Aleister Crowley

    World-crises are always preceded by world-prophets. The artist is the secret incarnation of the Zeitgeist; his contemporaries always fail to recognize him even as an artist, unless he lives long enough to impose his will upon them, and so see the world swing slowly towards his sun.
    I am fortunate in that, young as I still am, I behold the establishment of the moral principles for which I fought even as a boy. I see the death agony of sham religion, the destruction of that cave of petty tyrannies and narrow ideals that the "good" called the "home," the general recognition of what was then called degeneracy, but was in truth moral courage asserting its divine destiny, as part of the normal life of the best men. Hypocrisy is squirming still, but such is the habit of slain reptiles. So, before I am forty, I find the world almost an ideal place to live in. Being an optimist, I had hoped much; but this greatest thing I had hardly dared to hope, the dissolution of Syphilization in universal war. Only in my prophet-mood could I speak it aloud.
    I feel that there is a certain historical importance in making this claim, for the Celtic race, the holy clan that derive even their blood from Osiris and Isis, must constantly deserve the golden harp upon the banner of green, the symbol of poetic inspiration, and the older banner, the sun blaze, which I bear on my own shield, token of the fatherhood of Apollo.
    For there were prophets in the shrine before me, and it is of them I speak. The weapon of one was music, of the other philosophy. And these two men understood what was seething in Europe, were torn by the throes of the birth of this giant child of Time, Horus, the God of War. And so secret and so awful was this labor that no poet could join their godly company, else it may be the birth had been hasted and the child still-born. Even now when he is come, he appears in so black a veil that men, remembering the prophet of Khorassan, shudder and pass on.
    But after the rule of the prophet comes the rule of the king. In the world-crisis which they foresee arises the hero. And just as they are forced to prophesy against their will, so often enough the hero is a man of peace. Any one who has studied the history of Napoleon with broad clear vision will not read ambition, but necessity, in his campaigns. The shallow mind forgets that at that time France, already self-mutilated and bleeding from the revolution, was beset by the armies of the world. Napoleon saved France from Bourbon sloth, stupidity and selfishness in the hour of the ruin they had brought about. His subsequent wars were the fruits of his past victories. If you disturb equilibrium ever so little the whole universe shakes. In order to readjust the machinery which has slipped a single cog, it may sometimes be necessary to scrap the whole plant and rebuild it from new material. It is impossible to localize war. For the moment the affair may be prevented from spreading, but the force continues to operate invisibly.
    So by the irony of the gods the warrior king is often a man of peace. The popular mind is unable to perceive these subtleties. It tends to regard Julius Caesar as a warrior rather than as a legislator, and Mohammad to this day is considered rather as the conqueror than as the greatest author and lawgiver of the Christian era, the man who built up a civilization whose essential force carried Europe through the dark ages, and prevented the destruction of knowledge from being complete.
    Thus, it being necessary for the popular mind to interpret the prophets in some concrete manner, the popular imagination seizes on some convenient figure and makes him a hero. These he stands, in marble sometimes, more often in bronze, but always colossal, with the inscription "Hail Saviour of the World" upon the pedestal.
    In the present crisis there are more pigmies than men. Obscene dwarfs like George V, pot-bellied bourgeois like Poincaré, could only become heroic by virtue of some Rabelais magic-wand. Joffre and Kitchener are quiet business- like subordinates with no qualities that can seize the reins of the horses of Apollo. The Czar is a nobody.
    But there is no necessity to seek so far. The lavish gods have matched their prophets well with their hero this time. Wilhelm II1 has always been to a certain extent conscious of himself as an incarnation of Lohengrin, Siegfried, Parsifal.
    The last thing that Wagner wanted to draw was an overman. Wagner's intellect was socialistic. But the prophet in him, as in every true artist, was aristocratic; and every time he drew, he drew a saviour. His hero was not merely a king, but a holy king. He was the custodian of a sacred treasure; he wielded magic weapons, and wore armor consecrated and invulnerable.
    It was a great thing for Germany that she had an emperor with the intelligence to perceive what these things meant, and to realize himself as the Messiah of whom the prophet Wagner spoke. This being so, he stepped readily and naturally into the place, as on a well-rehearsed stage. Already, before the war is ended, he is apparent even to neutrals and to enemies as the central figure of the drama, the new Agamemnon.
    This is the age of fairy tales. The newspapers have weaned us from the truth. So even the All-lies have conspired in stupid hate to endow the Kaiser with all the qualities of a demigod. In truth, to his own soldiers he appears, flashing hither and thither, like St Michael, to rally, to encourage, to lead forward in the charge. Where the fight is thickest, there is the emperor, pale and stern, like Christ as he arose from Gethsemane and walked forth to meet Fate, and to find triumph and immortal glory. From front to front he rages, whirling aloft the consecrated sword of his fathers. He never spares himself; he is a comrade to every soldier in the ranks.
    There is something here to catch the popular imagination. To his very enemies he seems like Lucifer or Atilla. not wholly human. They endow him with the magic gifts; he is reported simultaneously on every battle-front, as well as in a dozen of his castles. Even the Crown Prince is killed a hundred times and rises to renew the combat, ever more glorious because more glittering as he breaks through the spider-web of myth whose gossamer shrouds him as with the veil of a high priestess over the silver armor of a knight of the Graal.
    There is no such magic drapery about the Czar. He is in Petrograd, and goes to the front now and again, a mere king, hardly a warrior king, certainly not a sacred king, and still less a demi-god. But Wilhelm II is the genius of his people. He has the quality that Castor and Pollux had for Rome. He seems omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, the very angel of God, terrible and beautiful, sent to save the Fatherland from savage foes. Even if he perish, he will not perish as a man. He will acquire the radiance of Milton's Satan, and go down the ages as the hero of the great lost cause of humanity.
    None will know the place of burial. Legends will grow up around him as they did for Christ, for Balder, for Adonis, for Arthur, for Mohammed, for Napoleon. "He is not really dead; he will come again to lead his people to the final triumph," will be the word in the mouth of every peasant, and a subconscious hope in the heart of every noble. The poet will know that this is mystically true; for he knows that there is no death, that character ismore permanent than flesh and blood, that men are in truth the incarnation of some god. He knows that the hero, compact of myth, is yet more real than the historical figure of the man himself. Imagination holds more truth than science; art is real, life is illusion. For art holds the idea complete and pure, the divine thought clothed about with beauty. Art formulates deity; art, from the quarries of the amorphous earth, builds its imperishable palace of white marble, or of onyx, porphyry and malachite.
    Ave, Guglielme! Rex, imperator! Hail, Saviour of the world, that, clad in golden armor, with the helm of holiness, wieldest the sword! Hail, sovereign and saviour, that healest all the disease of the ages, that hurlest back the heathen from the sacred realm.
    Welcome to the world that lay in anguish, hungering for thy dawn, O sun of righteousness! The holy kings of old salute thee; the prophets anoint thee with the oil of benediction; they offer thee the crown of Europe. The poets see thee, and know thee; their songs weave silken veils about thine armor!
    Ave, Guglielme, rex, imperator!

1. It is remarkable that Franz Josef fits in quite well as the aged king. He is Titurel. -- A. C.


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New Crowley Biography

    On sale August 4th: A Magical Life: The Life of Aleister Crowley by Martin Booth, Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd., London, £20 in hardback, 508 pages and 40 illustrations --- more information to follow when review copies become available. This promises to be a serious look and a new approach; viewing Crowley in his troubles, achievements, origins and legacies to the culture. The author is an established international novelist, biographer and non-fiction writer.

from the Grady Project:

This presentation of the concluding section of Grady's 1954 thesis The Millennial Glow: Myth and Magic in the Marxist Ethic, submitted to the faculty of Political Science at UC Berkeley in qualification for the Master of Arts degree, brings to a close our year-long sampling of his study of Marxism as a magical system.

Conclusion to
in "The Universe of the New Tribalism"

by Grady Louis McMurtry

    We have discussed the magical universe of discourse within which the closed tribalistic society of Marxism functions. We have seen how this universe of discourse, this magical myth of ideology, is cast in compulsive terms because of the coercive relationship of knower and known in a closed world of homeopathic magic. Here, in this closed world of magic, we have found it possible to comprehend such things as the Myth of the Iron Hand of Lenin that could destroy, create, and control the universe, or the Myth of Stalin Magus, the Mythical Hero-King and Ritual Magician, who, as God of Grape and Grain, could Rule the People Wisely and Well and Forecast the Future that it might be Fruitful and Fulfilled. It is not necessary that we should agree that he can do this, but it is essential that we should be able to comprehend why the Marxist thinks that it is possible for him to do this. It is essential because we cannot adequately assess the power of Marxism to motivate men until we recognize that the Marxist is a normal flesh and blood human being motivated by a normal human conscience and intellectually grounded in the most ancient, and most common, of all universes of discourse, that of the closed world of provincial, parochial tribalism. Too often we have attempted to solve our problems of dealing with the Marxists by indulging in the cheap luxury of polemic and the comforting thought that because Marxists do not conform to our ideas of morality they are amoral and, therefore, are without a conscience. If they have no conscience to motivate them then they can be safely regarded as spring-wound mechanisms of some kind that will sooner or later run down and no longer bother us. Such a conception is a vitiating stereotype and would be the most fatal error on our part. Marxists have a conscience based on a goal-oriented ethic inclosed in a comprehensive intellectual rationale. Their world is complete, they have a purpose, and we must expect them to act as purposeful human beings. If we would devise ways and means for breaking the compulsive cycle of Marxist activism we must first be able to understand them, understand them as purposeful, if misguided, human beings, and in order to do this we must have a grasp of the universe of discourse which makes the world intelligible to them. It has been my purpose in writing this paper to explore the millennial glow, the myth and magic in the ethic, of this Marxist universe of discourse.


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Primary Sources

   OZ, yourself!
   Here's another early letter from Grady McMurtry to Aleister Crowley. It's quite argumentative, so much so that some might have tossed the thing, together with the young man to boot. Instead, Crowley continued the correspondence and, after meeting Grady, got even by putting him in line for succession to head-ship of OTO.

1803rd Ord S&M Co. (Avn)
68th Service Group
APU 182, Unit 1, % Postmaster
Los Angeles, California
July 28, 1943

    Dear Sir and Brother,

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

The time has come, the Walrus said - and at the strangest place. It seems that a soldier in the field will sometimes spend 10% of this time digging in, 10% of his time doing the fighting and dying and 80% of his time waiting for something to happen. Of course, as this is only playing tin soldier no one gets hurt. Much. Except by accident or should tempers get too hot when opposing armies meet. But the desert is a great crucible - literally and figuratively. Also "if, under the night stars of the desert thou presently burnest thine incense before me, etc". Assume the lotus position, pay your respects to the White Lady of the Night, let the breath of the evening (80°) whisper by, listen to the coyotes, speculate on how many rattlesnakes there are per square mile in the vicinity, hone your hunting knife down to a more razor edge with a slab of carborundum, and, refreshed by meditation sleep the sleep of the just - crucified. I hope we come to England. I would like to get in on the big push from there and then go on to India and China.

Pleasant speculation but to the task at hand. The inquiry into, and of, certain principles of the Order as I understand them: There is a "natural" aristocracy known as "Kings", all others are dogs, empty headed Athenians, morons, bullet headed Americans (The Spirit of Solitude), (also known as the dregs of humanity (Eleusis), stupid and malignant insects, etc. which doesn't interest me. What does interest me is the method of determining who are "Kings" and who are "Dogs". So far as I can determine you consider the ideal system to be a condition of economic scarcity wherein we would have craftsmanship as opposed to mass production, feudalism as opposed to democracy, scarcity instead of abundance (of the economic necessities of life), whoredom instead of chastity, etc. Now wait a minute, don't blow a fuse. For your writings also indicate that every man and every woman is a star (which is the essence of true democracy), chastity is as desirable as whoredom, that the noble should overshadow the base (which, in human values, can only be complete when the mass of humanity is collectively raised to such a high level of economic independence that they can afford to allow their more noble tendencies to assert themselves and can never truly be so long as the majority grub for a living, thus always subordinating their true will to the necessity of keeping alive - (the editor)), and by all means that we should "gather goods and store of women and spices", etc. To the uninitiate this no doubt would represent a chaos of confusion - to him who would integrate all data it is a cosmos of truth, and to him who would stand aside and be skeptical it is a wonderland of questions. And as long as I can ask all of my questions before having my ears batted down I shall do just that.

The corruption of humanity is due to the overwhelming of the noble by the base, the replacement of craftsmanship by mass production? Malarky. Humanity may be corrupt, it may ever be bestial, but whether it is any more corrupt today than it has ever been I doubt very seriously. Craftsmanship is a method of producing goods, almost invariably limited by the number of craftsmen to a small portion of the demand. If the supply should, through a freak of circumstance, exceed the demand, the supply must be immediately restricted until a scarcity again exists to protect the craftsmans' investment in time and labor else, in a surplus, his product would sell at a loss. Or so the history of economics attests. Mass production is another method of producing goods. Its products can be shoddy - and those who have exploited this faculty for profit have given it that stigma - but it is not necessarily so. No matter to what ends "business" men may turn the miracle of mass production the truth yet remains as one simple statement - mass production is a method of producing goods. Well trained management and labor, machinery made by the master craftsman, proper materials - and that which is mass produced will be all that is desired. And what is desired? The necessities of life. And thereon hinges the greatest miracle of all time in the slow upward climb of humanity. For when we have reached a state of technological advancement whereby less than 10% of the population of a nation can (by supervision of machinery, not actual labor directly expended upon the end product) produce the necessities of life (food, housing, clothing), or, to put it another way, when 80% of the population working 10% of their time (or less) in the same occupation, and this abundance of mass produced goods can be given to the public (of the nation, not the world, at the moment) then we will have a solid foundation for the advancement of humanity. Immediately the question - who gives a damn about humanity? let 90% of the "malignant and stupid insects" knock themselves off. Who cares? Well, for some selfish reason I do. And I do mean selfish. Strictly. It is all very well for a Commander in Chief to throw men by the hundred thousand into a battle so that his cause may triumph, to establish a principle, but it would be rather futile for him to do this with absolute foreknowledge that by this very act he would accomplish nothing and his cause would be doomed. You speak happily of the fact that "It may quite soon become impossible for mass production to be continued at a profit". May, hell, it's in the cards. It is really very simple. From the U. S. Statistical Abstract, circa 1940, we find the following information. Year - 1919, % of goods produced - 100% (an arbitrary figure taking into consideration all known consumer goods produced in the U.S. in 1919), man hours used - 29 billions; year 1929 (boom year), goods - 129%, MH - 22B; year 1932, goods - 100%, MH - 14B; year 1937, goods - 159%, MH - 19B; year - 1939, goods 160%, MH - 8.8B. It is all very simple, and it is all very deadly, and your mysticism doesn't have a damn thing to do with it. Put those figures on a graph. You will see something in human that is unique. Never before in the history of mankind, no matter what Golden Age you trot out, has there been such a phenomenon, i. e., such a decline in the amount of work done to bring about such an increase in production. The same thing approached from different angle. From the dawn of human history until 30 years ago it took at least 80%, sometimes more, of a nations' people working all the time to keep the population even partially supplied with the necessities of life plus a small trickle of luxuries (furnished by your beloved craftsmen) for the ruling classes. On such a slender margin was culture carried down the ages. No wonder it took Mankind thousands of years to get someplace. In most parts of the world that 80% still goes, most of the troubles of the modern industrial world can be traced to the failure to recognize the fact that this percentage has been reversed. In America it has been reversed within the last generation. Now 10% of the population working full time can and does supply the American people with the necessities of living. (Dean Whitmore, President of the American Chemical Society) This is probably the main reason why the German High Command has, in two wars, so fatally underestimated our ability to mass produce. It isn't necessary for us to have the bulk of our nation producing the needs of life. Ah yes, but that is just where your boil is. You prefer "honest porridge" to "cereals out of a can". May I take it that this means that man must earn his living by that most honorable of offerings - the sweat of his brow? If so I will be surprised. Can your "honest porridge" escape referring to anything else than the hard, physical work necessary to produce the ingredients thereof? And does not your "canned cereals" refer to machine produced foods - "Pies Just Like Mother Used to Try to Make - Never Touched By Human Hands"? I infer that it does, if so - then the majority of humankind must forever be chained to the earth, enslaved to the whims of the element for their fate and fortune, allowing the advance of culture to flow along as a small trickle at the largess of philanthropists and kings. And, again I say, Malarkey. You have proclaimed the Aeon of Horus. I proclaim the Aeon of abundance! To hell with the niggardliness of nature - let culture run rampant. He who would sing - let him sing, he would paint, sculpt, draw, carve, write, learn, love, live, play, rest, work - as he will. Yes, that is liber Oz but can't you see that we can never have it until man is in control of earth and not the earth in control on man? and that man can never control the earth - conquer the mundane plane - without the tools of technology? and that the tools of technology are, by their very nature, products of mass production? let us relegate the production of the necessities of life to its true place in the scheme of events - a mere incidental to full living. I suspect that one of your withering replies will be - "who cares - only a small percentage of the populace is capable of that sublimity of spirit and fortitude of character to attain the Great Work anyway". Sure now and we're agreed. Do you think I actually care a fig for these prunes? Don't be a chump. But this I do know. That if these prunes are living in a culture of abundance - I will be too. And should I prove out to be as "natural {can't read next words -- ED} come seven - I could pursue my studies and live my life in my own way.

And you may wonder - if this is the way I think then why am I so all fired hep on being a soldier? Well, that too is simple. You are an Englishman. You England even if the English are a bunch of "empty headed Athenians". I am an American. And I love America. Imperfect as we are, crude, cruel, crapulous. I know that we have here on the North American Continent the technology, brains, and resources to set up a civilization whose culture, power and knowledge has never even been approached. Not Democratic, not Communist, not Fascist, not Feudal, not Monarchy, not anything that has ever been seen on the face of Mother Earth - the natural synthesis of a culture of abundance. Abundance not only of food, housing, and clothing - those would become trivia - but of learning, arts, research, exploration, science and - living. And that is why I take so earnestly to being a soldier. I am willing to fight and kill so that a true civilization might have a chance to come into being. You will find all this in a lot less words in "Spirit of Earth". This is also what I was referring to in "The Great Chipmunk Experiment". Wilfred (when I was in contact with him) was always burbling happily about "that place in the country - where we could stock up - and let the world go to hell". Poor chump. As if tho if the king pins were pulled out from under our economy it wouldn't drag him down too.

Resume: You would just as soon live the "simple" life, let the slaves labour, and let those few who are capable of being individualist enough rise above the herd on the wings of Will. I object that (1) you will have more people of a higher caliber (mentally and physically) with more consumer goods produced by mass production and therefore a bigger herd out of which more "kings" can rise, (2) a higher standard of life for the herd means a higher standard of living for the freaks, (3), if ever "homo superi" is to come into being, as opposed to "homo inferi", he would hardly be satisfied with an agrarian culture (incidentally - Nietzsche was a piker), (4) you have always appeared to consider women as nothing more than interesting playthings - that is something that I would like to put to the test. Remember the free mothers of Karnak? Have you ever thought of what woman might be like if a nation of them were rendered economically independent of men? Sure, you would have your clinging vines, and emotionally unstables - but most of them? I rather expect that it might take some mighty good men to persuade a lot of them that they should do their share to perpetuate the race. Of course I could be wrong. Want to experiment? (5) I say craftsmanship is just another method of producing goods - it has lots of uses, and that (6) a complete industrial collapse in an economy such as ours would be more than a catastrophe - it would obliterate the population of this continent. I may not like the people here but at least they are fellow Americans which is more than I can say for the rest of the world - I do intend to live here for some time - and I am not interested in being obliterated in such an avoidable accident. Also (7) one DeMolay was enough.

Seems that I have overshot my mark a bit on the original theme but once started the letter wrote itself. From your high and mighty perch you may be able to puncture my arguments at will or consider the while episode as irrelevant. I have tried to stick to generalities, except for certain statistics, as otherwise I would be writing a book. If you consider my conclusions and opinions as erroneous I would appreciate a letter giving me the whyfore. If you wish me to go into greater detail on any particular I would be glad to do so.

Love is the law, love under will!

                  Fraternally in the Bonds of the Order,

                                                                                  Grady L. McMurtry
                                                                                         1st lt., Ordance
    {poems enclosed:}

    The Rebel Soul                  An Apish God
    This I remember                Saturn
    Entity                                 As Above
    Ego                                    Changling
    Elusian                              Atavism.

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    The Qabalah series will continue next with a look at a few examples of the use of Gematria in both Greek and Hebrew in literature from the first centuries e.v. to the 18th century. In the mean time, those with a liking for research might try looking up the Epistle of Barnabas.

       -- Bill Heidrick


Events Calendar for August 2000 e.v.

8/2/00The Rite of Mercury at Arcadia in
in Richmond 8:00PM
(510) 534-5739
8/6/00Lammas ritual 1:ll PM at Cheth House
8/6/00Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/12/00Feast for the First Night of the
Prophet and his Bride
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/13/00Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/14/00The Rite of Luna Takara Sake Factory
in In Berkeley, 7 PM
(510) 525-0666
8/19/00OTO Initiations (call to attend)(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/20/00Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/21/00Section II reading group with
Caitlin: "The Case of the Philosopher's
Ring" by Randall Collins. 8PM Library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/26/00Ceremonial reading from Liber 963
at Cheth House 8:00PM
(510) 525-0666
8/20/00Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/29/00Sirius Oasis meets in Berkeley 8PM(510) 527-2855Sirius Oasis
8/30/00College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.

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

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

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

Production and Circulation:
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