Thelema Lodge Calendar for December 2000 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for December 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

December 2000 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Why Two Kay?

    Millennial in the vulgar reckoning, the year which this month completes will mark the last go-round not only for the twentieth century but for the second thousand-year term, dating by convention from some hypothetical advent of the dying and rising (phallic) god known (among other names) as Dionysus, or Osiris, of Christus. While the civil calendar of the "common era" lacks ceremonial significance for Thelemites, the fundamental concepts supporting it are analogous to (as well as influential upon) those of our own new aeon, so that it should be instructive to review some of the millennial mythology as we observe the cultural transition about us. Notions of progressive dispensation, in which spiritual significance unfolds in history at specific measured times from the past to the future, involve us in one of the central mysteries of Thelema, as well as relating closely with a venerable heritage of esoteric prophecy at the heart of the "western magical tradition" of the old aeon. From a Thelemic perspective, ninety-six years into our celebration of the age of Horus as the Crowned and Conquering Child, the aeon seems quite young and new, remote from the apocalypse of its conclusion, thus affording us a measure of objectivity in observing the public embrace of the "twenty-first" century.
    In the media of our public discourse a vague suspicion that the millennium ought to have been crucially significant was converted into the untrue and uninteresting (and very quickly forgotten) "Y2K" computer panic. All through the late '90s this empty story occupied concern which might have more meaningfully focused on consideration of just how long it could be worthwhile to continue dating our public life by a system based upon the mythical birth of "Jesus" the supposed "Christ." After two thousand years of one of the silliest and nastiest religious traditions ever cooked up, how long do we need the calendar to draw out the old aeon, instead of pointing us ahead into the new? Somehow, according to the concocted dread behind all the news-filler about "Y2K" we were asked to be ready to sacrifice our information technology upon the altar of the unknown future. Computers, finally house-broken and office-friendly, for fifty years our symbolic ambassadors into futurity, and now nearly ready to serve as personal guides into good times ahead, might not be able to accompany us into the promised land after all. It was as if we had to purge the old century's extravagant expectations for a science fiction future before venturing into the fresh opportunity of a new page on the big calendar. The simple arithmetic of the 2000 date in "era vulgaris" supposedly threatened our most complex patterns of information and intention, as if to expel us like savages into an unknown time beyond history and prediction.
    What were the patterns in our collective expectation which left anyone vulnerable to so foolish a notion? What residue of the exhausted legacy of the dying gods' cults kept people focused on the conundrum of the date like that? "Millennium" faced us with a theological pun, a confusion between the arbitrary 2000 figure and the old messianic delusions of the Judeo-Christian cults of the Roman Empire which defined the Christian universe of the past aeon. For a couple of thousand years in Western culture the pattern of messianic millennialism provided an escapist fantasy for the weak and the defeated who remained "faithful," unwilling to look beyond the religious culture which served them so poorly. The sense of Jewish defeat following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (in the old aeon year 70) pervades the Christian text of the Revelation of John with which the Roman church decided to conclude its New Testament. Influential because of its evocative symbolism, this complex but unsophisticated series of visions predicts a divine justice to make up for all the failures of its worshippers, and to "redeem" them from their situation by shutting down the world on their behalf. In Revelation (chapter 20) the battle of the monsters ends with "the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan," bound for "a thousand years" by a heavenly angel. During this millennial period the "souls" of the martyrs (meaning the first few generations of faithfully suffering Christians) are raised up, "and they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years" on earth (after which come the general resurrection, "last judgment" and the end of the world). It is this interval of a divinely administered earthly kingdom with a fixed millennial term, this last great thousand year reich when the messiah will come down and make all the trains run on time, that still gives dread meaning to a "millennium."
    The book of Revelation is a shallow, confused, and desperate document, which has the advantage of meaning nearly anything its readers want to believe. As Christianity became established and powerful it grew suspicious about unstable and subversive readings of this text, and put aside the longing for catastrophe to settle all the scores of the oppressed. Augustine taught that the history of the church on earth was in fact this very millennium, already established by Jesus and safely on track -- in his time -- for another five hundred years. The tenth century, of course, had to bear the brunt of this interpretation, and there were indeed some predictions of doom in the 900s. A man called Bernard the hermit was seen wandering around in 960 announcing the end of the world. (One wonders if he carried a sign like the crank prophets in cartoons, but of course nobody on the streets of most towns in that century could have read a sign anyway.) Coming at a time of cultural decline and communications breakdown, the first millennium (like our second one) turned out mainly a fizzle; most people at the time never knew what the date was anyway.
to be continued

Ritual in the Dark

    Sol enters Capricornus in the dark of the morning at 5:38 on Thursday 21st December, the first and shortest day of winter. That evening the lodge will assemble in Horus Temple to ring in the first night of the season with a ritual circle beginning at 7:00, from which we will break into a communal dinner feast. Bring good food, high spirits, and all manner of portable fun, and talk ahead of time with one of the lodge officers in order to have a part in conducting the ritual.

Gnostic Mass

    The mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica which we have been celebrating at Thelema Lodge on Sunday evenings for twenty-three years is a ritual written specifically for the O.T.O. to represent its magical teachings. (Liber XV, the canon of the gnostic mass, is not included in the curricula of the A A and is assigned no "class" designation in that system.) Under charter as Baphomet from Theordore Reuss, Crowley produced the gnostic mass shortly after becoming conversant with the O.T.O. tradition of sexual magick, and in the same year he also rewrote the Man of Earth initiation rituals for the Order. In an important sense the mass and the initiations outline two parallel courses of training: while the initiations are by definition private and secret, the mass may be performed openly, although it still remains secret in the sense that its truths are forever revealing themselves anew and cannot be contained in any particular formulation.
    Guests and initiates alike are welcome to celebrate the gnostic mass in Horus Temple on any Sunday evening at Thelema Lodge. Our Thelemic eucharist ritual is essentially participatory, and communion at the end is for all who attend. For further information and directions to the temple those who have not previously attended should contact the lodgemaster well in advance at (510) 652-3171, and to schedule a mass for the lodge, teams of officers are likewise invited to confer with the lodgemaster for a date on the temple calendar.

Yahweh's Pet

    It's back to the Bible this month for the Section Two reading group, and thus back also to the second section of Crowley's original A A curriculum. Here "the Bible, by various authors unknown" is recommended, among many other items of occult fiction, as "generally suggestive and helpful" to the aspirant. Besides the "Qabalistic value" of "the Hebrew and Greek originals," the Bible "contains also many magical analogues, and recounts many tales of folk-lore and magical rites." Join us in the lodge library with Caitlin on Monday evening 18th December at 8:00 for a discussion of the Old Testament books of Samuel and their story of King David. The "books" known as 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel compose a single text which was simply cut into two scrolls, and gives an account of the first kings of Israel written perhaps only a generation or two after the events it chronicles. Modern scholars date the end of David's forty year reign "circa" 970 B.C.E. and conclude that a mid-tenth century account was probably edited about 350 years later, with a further redaction in the sixth century during the Babylonian exile, to yield more or less the text which has come down to us.
    The archetypal "poet, priest, and king," whose memory quickly became the basis for Jewish ideas of royal leadership as well as of personal religious observance, David became the model for the divine warrior "Messiah," expected to redeem both the religious and political traditions of his people. Personally however he seems to have conformed hardly in any manner to the accepted patterns of worship and righteousness set forth in the old Mosaic stories which established Israel's identity. A murderer, extortionist, outlaw, and liar, David was also both exhibitionist and voyeur, as well (to use a phrase applied to Aleister Crowley on the dust jacket of the new American biography) as a bisexual seducer, completely unconcerned with the moral standards or even the laws of his society. Yet his name means "darling" and so he was treated by all, from the petulant tribal god Yahweh on high, to the armies he led, to the common people of his kingdom, including even his political enemies. His checkered career forms the narrative center of the Hebrew scriptures, and recent scholarship suggests that the books of Torah may have been first put into their literary form as a textual foundation for the royal biography of David, whose story is among the earliest near-contemporary accounts in the Hebrew texts. He may even be seen as a sort of proto- Thelemite, who identified the divine will with his own and insisted on formulating an individual law for himself accordingly. Thus David becomes a model for human participation in the divine, later cited as a warrant for the Christian "son of god" who claimed ancestry from him. We will be discussing David's story with an emphasis upon both his heroic and his religious identities, and upon the myth of his return to kingship in the future, in which he prefigures such gnostic saints as Arthur, Charlemagne, and Frederick II.

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

Hard N.O.X. and Tough L.V.X.

    The College of Hard N.O.X. at Thelema Lodge will soon be undergoing a transition, and this month may be the last for awhile when our regular twice- monthly discussion group meets face to face in the library as of old. Join Mordecai, our Dean of Hard N.O.X. and conversational coordinator, on Wednesday evenings the 6th and 27th of December at 8:00 to participate in person. Topics are proposed at the opening of each meeting, although in practice the discussion ranges freely; sometimes so freely that it must be all the Dean can manage to extract "any" pertinent responses to post against the topics. Fortunately our actual chat is only the raw material for a greatly expanded virtual discourse, with electronic participation also available at any time with "N.O.X. On-Line" for remote members of the College. The on-line enterprise will continue while the Dean sets up his family in new digs down in Santa Cruz County, and the lodge extends best wishes and many thanks for our years of enlightening talk in the library here. To keep in touch contact the College at:

The "A" List

    The Magical Forum meets this month in the lodge library on Saturday evening 9th December at 8:00 for a rescheduled discussion on the subject of "Working with the Holy Books." The paper to be presented will cover a broad range of magical, ritual, and linguistic approaches to the Thelemic "class A" inspired texts. Contact Nathan, the facilitator for this group, at (510) 650-9393 for further information, or to propose a future presentation in the series. Each month the Magical Forum consists of a prepared ritual or paper to be scheduled in advance by guest presenters, following which there will be opportunity for questions, discussion, and analysis by the group.

Projecting Anger

    Last month the lodge's Magical Forum was canceled so that participants could join Thelemic filmmaker Kenneth Anger at the San Francisco Art Institute for a reception and cinematic exhibition in his honor as recipient of this year's Phelan Art Award for achievement in film. Bright beautiful new 16mm prints of Eaux d'Artifice (1953) and Lucifer Rising (1967) were shown to a packed audience, and Anger introduced the films with some fascinating commentary on their production challenges and the personalities who contributed to them. Following the premier of his latest completed work at this year's Silverlake Film Festival, Anger has been discussing a project to document the O.T.O.'s gnostic mass on film at Scarlet Woman Lodge, and also a feature-length movie based on the magick of Jack Parsons to be entitled "Sex and Rockets." "I've been able to write on my own -- writing on celluloid," Anger told the "Bay Guardian's" interviewer in connection with his visit, "poems or sometimes haiku -- but in my fantasy I'd like to do epic things."

Crowley Classics

   Originally published in The International (New York: April 1918), pages 103- 6, this story was one of Crowley's final contributions to the magazine on which he had been employed as a writer and sub-editor for two years. It seems strange that Crowley chose a name for his principal character in this tale which so closely resembles that of the well known Golden Dawn initiate Miss Annie Elizabeth Frederika Horniman (1860-1937). Initiated in January 1890 and adopting the motto Fortier et Recte, Annie Horniman continued into the inner order, serving as Sub-Praemonstrator in the original Isis-Urania Temple from 1892 until her resignation from the Order in 1896. A moderately wealthy woman, she was a generous supporter not only og MacGregor Mathers, but also of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, and in 1912 had appeared publicly in New York on tour with the Manchester Gaiety Company. She was not an old lady when this story appeared, nor was she disabled, and she had no connection with Lincolnshire, but she was famous as a difficult, emotional "old maid" who accented her financial generosity by frequent quarrels with her friends. What private associations the phrase which forms this story's title may have had with the actual Miss Horniman we have nowhere found mentioned.
    The name Cynara and the line in which it appears at the close of the story are quoted from the poet Ernest Dowson (1867-1900), from a passage in his "Non Sum Qualis Eram" which was quite well known at the time (it also provided the title for one of the great American schlock classics, the 1936 civil War novel):

"I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses, riotously, with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion."

Robbing Miss Horniman

by Aleister Crowley

    I am getting very tired of sitting in the Cafe Royal without Fée. However, she may be back any day now; and thank God! her health is all right. But people are pointing me out as the lonely poet, which I bar. It must be nearly six months. We had certainly been setting the pace even to Hilda Howard and Campbell and Izeh and John and Euphemia and Shelley and Little Billie and that crowd; and one day Fée just dropped. I took her round to old Jensen. Milk all day, said he, by the gallon; lie about on the grass; general massage an hour every day; no love affairs; no books. When you can't stick it a day longer you'll know you're better. I gave her a monkey -- just half my last thou. -- and started to earn some more. I'm still starting. What the devil can I write about?

    Talk of the devil, dere diry! Just as I wrote those words in came Harry Austin, and said he owed me a lunch. I let him pay. Over the coffee he said: Do write me something, cher mâite! What? said I. Oh, there's a story in that Spalding business, only the journalists have hacked it about. Do it like a tale, only stick to the facts. "How many words, and how many quid?" I asked him, as business poet should. Fifty pounds, said he; I'll trust you to do me your best; your wit must tell you how long to make it. He left me a tenner on account, and went off. Jolly decent. Well, here goes for the first draft: I'll call it

Robbing Miss Horniman.

    The life of the little market town of Spalding in Lincolnshire is as flat as its situation among the fens. In consequence of this circumstance, death and its approaches do not seem to the inhabitants of any importance, since the states of life and death have no such sharp dividing line as in less favored spots. Miss Anne Horniman, although quite an important inmate, if one may use the word, of Spalding, by reason of her considerable wealth, excellent family, and personal refinement, aroused little attention by falling into a decline and going "abroad" for her health. The town was, however, slightly shocked at hearing of her return, especially as the announcement came in the shape of the arrival of a brisk young architect from London, with orders to make the house up-to-date for her reception. "Up-to-date," thought Spaulding dully, "What's wrong with 1066?" However, the activities of the new-comer were not unduly revolutionary. He merely knocked the two main rooms of the ground floor into one, installed an acetylene gas system, and turned the steps that led into the garden and orchard into an inclined plane by the application of a little cement. He explained his object to the local builder. "Miss Horniman is a permanent invalid," he had said, "she lives between her bed and her bath- chair. So it must be easy to wheel her to and from the garden. There is just one other feature of the improvements; she is nervous of robbers, having lived for some years in South Africa; and she has asked me to establish a very complete and elaborate system of burglar alarms." Ten days later the house was ready, and Miss Horniman arrived with her nurse.
    She was a little old lady laid up in lavender from the early days of Queen Victoria, timid and yet positive in her manner, a gentlewoman from her neat bonnet and gray ringlets to the mittens on her wrists and ankles. She covered her poor thin body with a charming grey silk dress, and over her shoulders she wore a shawl of such lace as Venice used to make a century or so ago. The nurse was a stalwart woman, big yet gentle, as is needed where the patient has constantly to be lifted. Miss Horniman had written to the vicar of the parish, a chubby cheery old fellow, asking his assistance in finding servants. He had found her a capable cook, an industrious housemaid; also an honest yokel for the garden, and to wheel her chair should she deem it fit to venture far beyond the grounds of the house, which extended for about an acre, and were devoted to vegetables for use, and tulips for ornament, while some old apple-trees served to combine profit with pleasure.
    Miss Horniman welcomed the vicar to tea on the day after her arrival. "I went to South Africa to seek health," she said in her soft faint voice, "but I was unsuccessful. So I thought that I would rather lay my bones beside those of my own people." "I trust indeed, under Providence," replied the vicar, "that the day may be far off for that; but we are all in His hands, dear lady. And we know that all things work together for good." But the old lady turned the subject to less distressing themes; she spoke almost brightly of her experiences in South Africa, where she had taken up the hobby of buying diamonds, and had indeed invested a great part of her fortune in them. She drew the attention of the vicar to a varnished chest that stood beside a walnut chiffonier. It was about eighteen inches square, and three feet high. "Here is where I keep my toys," she said to the clergyman; "perhaps you would like to look at them?" She wheeled her chair slowly across, with the aid of her visitor. "This case is of special steel," she explained; "though thin, it would take a good deal of time and trouble to force it. But I am not afraid of thieves; surely there are none in dear old Spalding, of all places. And I have an efficient system of burglar alarms. Besides this," she added with a tightening of her thin lips, which showed the vicar that the spirit of Lincolnshire, the last stronghold of resistance to the Normans, was far from being extinct even in this charming old maid, "in South Africa one learns to protect oneself. Day and night for five years I have had this under my hand." And she produced from her chair an exceedingly deadly cavalry revolver of old pattern. "My hand and eye are still true," she said softly, "and I think I could hit an apple every time at thirty paces." She proceeded to open her little safe. The vicar fairly gasped. Tray after tray of perfect shining stones! Each bore a ticket, with the name of the mine where it was found, the date of the finding, the date of the purchase, the price paid, and the name of the seller.
    The simplicity and beauty of the display reduced the vicar to admiring silence. "In my will," she said, as she shut up the trays again and closed the safe, "I have provided that you shall have the contents of whichever tray you choose, towards the rebuilding of the church. You see, I have made you my partner," she smiled gently, "and I will ask you not to mention the existence of these stones to anybody." The vicar was overwhelmed; he gladly promised; and presently he took his leave.
    The ladies of Spalding made haste -- for Spalding! -- to welcome the strayed wanderer home; but Miss Horniman was too feeble to exchange more than the few polite words necessary; she seemed to sink more rapidly than ever in the chill and damp of the fens. Certainly the visitors were disappointed; for she never referred in any way to her treasures, of which the jade Rumor had whispered a good deal more than was prudent. For though the vicar had loyally and sensibly held his tongue, he could hardly conceal his exultation, and in that suspicious population any manifestation of life appears eccentric, and due to some great matter. Now as in Lincolnshire there is nothing to do, the minds of the people ponder incessantly and unfathomably, though with sobriety and even bradytudinity, so that before Miss Horniman had been home more than two months a connection had been established in the public mind between three things; her residence in South Africa, the diamond industry of that country, and her precautions against burglars. A genius for generalizations, named Abraham Perry, at last crystallized the sentiment of the public in one sparkling phrase: "The old girl's house is chock-a-block o' di'man's," he stated solemnly before closing time, one Saturday night, at the old "Bull and Bush."
    As a matter of fact, the syllogism in question had been concluded several days before by cowans and evesdroppers from London; for on that very night certain knights of the Jimmy, moving in the very best burglarious circles in London, made the first recorded attempt to rob Miss Horniman.
    Only one of them was caught, for the Spalding police have to use motor- cycles to pursue a snail; but that one, having a .45 soft-nosed bullet in his hip-joint, was not able to emulate the humblest creatures of Miss Horniman's garden.
    It was expected that further attempts would be few, but this was not the case, though none were attended with quite such disaster as the first. However, Miss Horniman victoriously expelled all assaults without loss. But there are two ways of reducing a fortress. One is to batter down its defenses; the other is to induce the garrison to surrender by fair words.
    Now the attention of a certain Mr Gordon Leigh of Spalding was attracted by the fame of the adventure. He would have paid little heed to the gossip of the Lincolnshire peasants; but when the stocks of the railways serving Spalding bounded almost daily, owing to the popularity of the excursion in the Underworld of London, he concluded, as many a wiser man, that so much smoke indicated the presence of fire; and he began to angle for an introduction to Miss Horniman.
    Mr Gordon Leigh was a person of portly presence. He had amassed a considerable fortune in thirty years of pawnbroking in Conduit Street, London; and a great deal more in his secret trade as usurer. Once, however, he had lost a great deal of money; and that was by the failure of a bank. He had further observed, in common with many others, that those who had disregarded the plain warning of Holy Scripture, and put their faith in princes by investing in British Consuls, had lost half their capital in about ten years, for no visible reason. But he had never heard of anybody losing money by keeping it, except the trifle of interest, two or three per cent, which seemed little enough to him who had made his fortune by lending at as many hundreds. So he took the good old way; he built a strong room in his house at Spadling, on his retirement from business, and kept all his money there in gold. It may well be asked: why Spalding? The worthy man had a second passion in his life, almost rivaling his love of money; and the name of that passion was tulips. Now, outside Holland, there is but one soil in the world which will grow tulips to perfection; and Spalding is the center of that well-endowed district.
    Gordon Leigh had not spared money in the building of his strong room; there was none safer, no, not in London or New York; and he did not spare money on his hobby. Also, there is money in tulips.
    But when it came to diamonds! He could smell a diamond across three counties when the wind was in the right direction. But he always took his profit at once when a diamond came into his hands; for he never knew whether de Beers might not suddenly unload and put a hole in the bottom of the market.
    Such was the amiable and farseeing individual who was warily and adroitly approaching Miss Horniman. When the introduction was at last affected, through the good offices of the vicar, Miss Horniman proved unexpectedly cordial. Leigh had never been to South Africa, but many of his friends had been in the I. D. B. business, and he had a wealth of stories to exchange with the old lady. Their passion for tulips, too, was a bond. In short, the heir of all the Leighs (poll-deed, ten pounds, and well worth it) got on much better with her than he had any just reason to expect. For in temperament they were decidedly opposite. Mr Gordon Leigh was a gross and florid person, thick-set and heavy-jowled, with a nose as fleshy and protuberant as Miss Horniman's was delicate, aristocratic, and tip-tilted. However, as the novelists assure us, it is between two just such opposites that the spark of love frequently springs up. But let us not insist too closely upon electrical or chemical analogies.
    Mr Gordon Leigh pursued his suit with extreme tact. He brought rare tulip bulbs; he read aloud to the old lady by the hour; he often made her simple meals brighter by his presence; and he never referred by so much as a wink to the rumors about treasure, save in the jocular way which had made the affair the staple jest of the district. It had become proverbial to announce the non-success of an enterprise by saying "I've been robbing Miss Horniman!" It even became a catch-word in London itself. But one dark afternoon in December, after a peculiarly determined attempt on the previous night, the lady broached the subject herself. "I don't see why I shouldn't treat you as a friend, Mr Leigh. You must be curious to see what it is that they are after." And she wheeled over to the little safe and opened it. Nonchalantly she drew out tray after tray, and closed them again. "This," she said suddenly, picking out the central stone from the lowest drawer, "is the best in the little collection." She put it in his hands. "Wonderful!" he exclaimed, and asked permission, readily accorded, to take it to the light. It was indeed a diamond! Mr Leigh looked at it with keen professional eyes; he even whipped out a glass which he had brought with him every day on the chance of this occasion. It was of the first water; cut in an unusual and most effective shape, it was the finest stone of its size he had ever seen. He would have been glad to lend a thousand pounds on it in his pawnbroking days. And it was only one of many! With many murmurs of congratulation, he returned the stone, and delicately transferred the conversation to tulips.
    It was on the following afternoon that Miss Horniman fainted in her chair from weakness. Leigh saw his opportunity, and took it. When she recovered, she could doubt neither the refinement and respect of his conduct, nor the generous warmth of his affection. He did not press the advantage, and her maidenly spirit thanked him also for that courtesy. But on the Sunday following, after church, whither Mr Leigh had accompanied her, she asked him to stay for lunch, and after lunch, the day being bright and sunny, she ventured to wheel her chair into the garden. "Alas!" she said, with ineffable sadness, looking upon the westering sun, "it is the sunset of life for me." "Say not so, dear lady," cried the now impetuous lover, "please God, there are many years of life and happiness before you." "It cannot be, sir," she answered simply, lowering her head. "I am a doomed woman." "If you had someone to love you and care for you," cried Leigh, "'twould be a new lease of life." "I pray you," she answered, "not to speak in this way to me; I will not pretend to be ignorant of your chivalrous attention; but I cannot accept it." However, Leigh pressed on, and won at last a promise to think of the matter at leisure. He explained that he was no fortune-hunter, that he had eighty thousand pounds in his strong room at Spalding. "That is a great sum," answered the invalid, "it is more than all my pretty toys are worth. But I know your spirit," she went on, "it is a noble and chastened one. I could never suspect an unworthy motive in you, Mr Leigh."
    The lover went home in high spirits; he felt sure that she would yield. Ultimately she did so. "I cannot be a true wife to you, Gordon," she said, "we must be resigned to the will of Heaven that we did not meet thirty years ago. But I offer you what I can, and it may be that Heaven will in some way ratify these true vows exchanged on earth."
    And thus the woman who had defied the greatest crooks in South Africa and London stepped blindly into the net of the wilier scoundrel.
    She was to live in Leigh's house, of course; it was far finer than her own, and he had made the necessary alterations for her convenience.
    She sent over to his house only two trunks, for she needed few clothes, poor lady; but the little safe went with her on her chair to the church. She would not let it out of her sight, even with Leigh to take the responsibility for its safety. And indeed, the attendants at the wedding included a couple of private detectives paid by him to look out for the London contingent.
    After the wedding they went to the house of the bridegroom. Leigh heaved a sigh of relief as he pushed to the door of the strong room on the precious little safe. "Now everything is in good keeping, little wife!" he cried cheerfully, "I won't reveal the combination, even to you."
    It has previously been remarked that Mr Gordon Leigh had not neglected the study of Holy Scripture in the matter of putting trust in princes; but he should have gone further, and read more attentively that passage which advises the wayfaring man not to lay up treasure upon the earth, where rust and moth do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
    For the night had not passed without event. In the morning Mrs Leigh expressed a desire to see her diamonds; she wished to choose a brilliant for her husband's hand. But on arriving at the strong room, the door was found wide open; the little safe had disappeared bodily; and so had Mr Gordon Leigh's Eighty Thousand Pounds.
    The police were, of course, notified; London was telegraphed; everything possible was done; but to the hour of this writing no clue has been found.
    I wish I could end my story here. But I must add that Leigh's behavior was insufferably brutal. Marital recriminations became acute, though the bride's health hardly permitted her to raise her voice above a whisper. But she told the Scotland Yard people flatly that she had no evidence of the existence of the gold beyond her husband's word, that she believed the whole affair to be a plot between Leigh and one of his Illicit Diamond Buying Friends to rob her of her property. I doubt whether the Yard dissented very strongly from this view. But when the inspector had gone, Leigh said roughly; "get out of here, you -----" I shall not soil my pen with his epithet. The poor lady burst into tears. Half fainting, she was wheeled back to her own house by the indignant nurse.
    The next day the vicar called to condole with her -- and incidentally, with himself.
    "You shall not lose," she said, "by this affair. On my death I shall see to it that an equivalent sum reaches your fund. I have still some private fortune. As for me, after this loss, and what is more to me, this humiliation, I cannot remain in Spalding. I will rest my bones elsewhere. This blow has broken me."
    The good vicar did his best to cheer her.
    "No," she sighed, with yet a sweet and subtle smile that bore witness to her resignation to the will of heaven, "no. I feel myself fading imperceptibly away."
    Here, in tragedy and pathos, ends the record of a true Englishwoman.


    Virtue rewarded! I had just finished my diligent account when Fée came into the cafe. With her was our friend Sid Sloper, known to the world of racing as The Mite, in allusion to his stature, on the one hand, and his fondness for cheese, on the other. He shook hands with me; Fée embraced me before all the multitude. "Journeys end in lovers' meetings," she cried. "Now, Sid, you be off; don't dare miss the boat!" "He's riding at Monte Carlo," she explained, when he had gone. "But you, sir? Did I kiss you too soon? Have you been faithful to me?"
    "I have, Cynara, in my fashion," I evaded. "Well, I've been faithful in the old fashion, by the simple process of fidelity," she laughed. "And, I say, let's get married this very afternoon as ever is, and go off round the world!"
    "We will not," I said. "I don't know what you've been doing, but I've been 'robbing Miss Horniman.' Ten is all I have in the world!"
    "You shouldn't have robbed the poor old lady," she pouted. "Now, I did better. I was Miss Horniman!"
    "Your rest-cure seems to have done you no good!"
    "I'm serious, boykins, dear. You know what the doctor said -- milk -- complete rest -- massage -- no love -- no books. You see, Miss Horniman really happened to be my aunt, and she left me the house when she died, two years ago. So I made up like her, and had duplicate safes, one with a nice nest for the Mite, the other with trays and paste diamonds, and the one real one that Erphemia lent me to fool Mr Gordon Leigh, of whose little idiosyncrasies I had wind. So all I had to do was to get Sid into the strong room; at night he just walked out, and let in two pals, and they took all the gold to a car, and O! to see London once again! They took a quarter; I've got ten thousand in notes sewn into my frock; and the rest is in your name in about twenty different banks. So come along right down to the Strand and marry me, dear! It's not tainted money!"
    "The money's all right," I said, "though I must say it's playing rather low down to spring all this Wooden-Horse--Ali Baba stuff on us in the twentieth century."
    "You told me to read the classics!" she chirped. "Now for the Wedding March."
    "But I can't marry you -- you're the wife of that ass Leigh!"
    "Wife -- I don't think!" she laughed, dragging me from my settee, "I kept my fingers crossed!"
    I felt that the Cafe Royal was no place for a difficult legal argument with one's intended wife. Time enough for that on the way to Biskra!"


Previous Crowley Classic                  Next Crowley Classic

from the Grady Project:

   In this third installment of our transcript of the nineteen year old interview tape provided by Sirius Oasis, a few bibliographical references have been skipped over previous to the passage with which we open, but all audible responses within the segment have been rendered as exactly as could be made readable. Grady mumbles and stumbles frequently as the interview continues, often attempting to change the subject and evade the questions in favor of digressions upon impersonal topics.
    Further information received on Stand Watie, the distinguished Cherokee commander for the Confederacy who was mentioned in last month's segment of this interview, demonstrates that Grady knew exactly what he was talking about. Watie was on the Cherokee tribal council for fifteen years previous to the Civil War, and was among the first to declare his people's support for the Confederacy. He raised one of two cavalry regiments in which about 3,000 Cherokee soldiers served. He was distinguished as a wise and courageous leader, promoted to brigadier general on 10 May 1864, and is indeed known to have been "the last Southern general to capitulate" on 23 June 1865. (Thanks to Mordecai for the article from "Wild West" magazine.)

Grady Louis McMurtry

interviewed regarding his
upbringing and early life

by Glenn Turner

Berkeley, 6th April 1981 e.v.
(third extract)

   Glenn: Well, tell me about your mother meeting your father; that sounds like a good one.
   Grady: All right, fine; all right, fine -- all right, fine; now, all right; this is the story, and we'll -- look; tell -- ask me again, some other time, when we're on tape --
   Glenn: Oh yeah, we'll keep --
   Grady: -- about how the Scotch-Irish came to America, and how they inter- married with the Cherokee.
   Glenn: Yeah, that was it; yeah, okay.
   Grady: I'll tell you that some other time; now this is -- it will take at least fifteen minutes, but in any case -- in any case, I'll tell you about my father and my mother and how I got born. Okay, fine; the way it was was like this: Once upon a time I saw a -- a -- picture; a photograph of my father when he was a young man -- a very young man. He was dressed in a black cowboy suit, he had a black Stetson hat on, he was -- had black cowboy boots on, and he was mounted on a black horse, because that was his business outfit. Because in those days, he was running bootleg liquor from -- um -- Fort Sill, Arkansas, across to Salosil, Oklahoma, in the dark of the moon. That's the only way he could do it; with a black outfit on, in the dark of the moon.
   Glenn: {laughs}
   Grady: {laughs} All right; now this is the picture. You could make quite a romance out of this.
   Glenn: It sounds romantic, I think.
   Grady: This is romantic; but it's going to get better -- getting a lot better, okay; a lot lot better, okay; this is the background. Once upon a time, in the 'forties, or something like that -- late 'thirties, I was home from Pasadena Junior College (where I would meet Jack Parsons), and all --
   Glenn: Where was this?
   Grady: I was -- this is Selma, California, which is over by Fresno, in the Central Valley.
   Glenn: Oh, you went to school there and met --
   Grady: I went to school in Pasadena Junior College, and met Jack Parsons --
   Glenn: {turns tape over}
   Grady: Are you recording?
   Glenn: Now we're recording again.
   Grady: All right; well, what happened was this: um -- so, ah -- Dad, um -- being my -- my father (when I say "Dad," I mean father) --
   Glenn: Yeah.
   Grady: By the way, his name for me was Buck. He always called me Buck. (B- U-C-K.) I don't know why, but that was his nick-name for me.
   Glenn: Uh-huh.
   Grady: Fine. I did not pretend to understand him, but, in my own way I rather admired him. He was rather like a medieval knight, it's just -- he didn't know it. When the family needed groceries, he took the old family hog-leg and went out and robbed himself a store. You know, it's not a lot of fun. Anyway, what happened was so fucking romantic I can't believe it, you know. Anyway, to get back to the story, okay: So I'm up from Pasadena Junior College here in Selma, California, which is out of Fresno; we're working in the little canning plant; I'm canning part time until I can get a good job, which is not often; working twenty-four hours a day when I can, because it's extra money -- and so forth. And I'm also studying my books, of course; I'm a print junkie from the word go, right -- and so I'm reading this book in German, right; and Dad looked at it and said "What are you doing?" and I said "I'm just reading my German," and he said -- now this is the kicker; this is the kicker -- you know, now -- get it -- he said, "What are you doing, Buck?" and I said "I'm studying my -- foreign language." And he laughed, and he said, "The way you study a foreign language is to get a walking dictionary." And he was remembering the Cherokee girl he used to walk around the Cherokee hills there in east Oklahoma when he was a young guy. And that's how I got born, because -- {laughs} -- okay; anyway, what happened was -- I -- I mean, even when I stop and think about it, it's too fuckin' romantic. Okay; what happened was this: he -- like -- like he starts -- starts to get interested in my -- in the girl who would be my mother, right. She's the only daughter of a guy who is himself a mountain man; has four or five sons, and she's the youngest daughter; I mean she's the only daughter. Well, you know what --
   Glenn: The youngest child and the only daughter.
   Grady: That's -- that's the only daughter. Now -- now, you have some idea what a Southern family is --
   Glenn: A bunch of big brothers.
   Grady: That's right. Okay; fine. Well this guy comes around, right. And so Granddad, the dude himself, sees him; he knew the deed that he'd do, right. {snickers} And he told him to get lost, and if he didn't get lost he was going to blow him fucking away! Oh, I forgot to tell you about the time that they blew away the six Indians. Anyway, he had married my grandmother, and he was living in a soddy out in the plains, right. You know what a soddy is?
   Glenn: No, I don't.
   Grady: You don't know what a soddy is? Well, a soddy is -- like energy conservation (today we would call it), because what you do is you dig a hole into the hillside, and you build a house there.
   Glenn: Oh, a real earth-house.
   Grady: That's right; that's right. And the goats run on the roof. That's right.
   Glenn: Wow, that's an old Scotch --
   Grady: Sure; that's right --
   Glenn: -- hill house.
   Grady: Sure. That's right; see. So, he was living in a soddy, with his Cherokee old lady, right, and -- but, a problem. The problem was this: she's got some Cherokee brothers, right, and they're Indians, and you know what -- you know the difference -- you know why -- why -- why liquor does strange things to Indians?
   Glenn: Well, no.
   Grady: Well, just as we each have different -- like, white -- whatever -- skin color, we also have inner --
   Glenn: -- different metabolism.
   Grady: That's right. All right -- now, the American Indian was keyed to smoke. The European was geared --
   Glenn: Right; there was no alcohol.
   Grady: It has to do with the pancreas. You see, this is one reason why I have hyperglycemia, being part Cherokee, you see. My hyperglycemia, which means when I get too stoned I sometimes get a little nervous -- like -- you know --
   Glenn: Well, whatever; yes.
   Grady: Well, anyway --
   Glenn: It's just balance --
   Grady: Yeah; the point is, it makes you crazy. Ah -- sometimes. Okay, fine; so what happened was this: so, Granddaddy was living in a soddy with his girl, who would become my grandmother, of course, and -- but she of course had brothers, and one of these brothers gets some of the other Cherokee braves there, all -- you know -- all liquored up, and they decide to come over and -- and off him. After a -- you know, he's on about "What's that white man doing with our sister?" -- right? And so they came up, and they explained to him in great detail, while he's standing in the door of the soddy, about what they were going to do to him. First they were going to cut his nuts off -- like that -- and then they were going to -- you know. And one thing they didn't notice was that he had his hands behind his back, like this. So when they made their move he just came out with it, and fanned her back six times, and all of a sudden six dead Indians were lying there.
   Glenn: So, what did -- ? Oh, he had a gun, behind him? Oh, right.
   Grady: Yeah, of course; the old family hog-leg -- of course.
   Glenn: So he had the gun behind, and then just wiped them out.
   Grady: Just wiped 'em; all of a sudden, six dead Indians. And after that they didn't mess with him any more.
   Glenn: No; you don't mess with somebody that does that.
   Grady: Well, that's -- that's where I come from.
   Glenn: So -- so that's the kind of man your grandfather was. Then he sees your father coming up, being just the same kind of guy --
   Grady: That's right. Now, okay; now we get back to the romantic part of the story. That's the violent part of the story; now we get back -- okay, fine. So Granddad says to Daddy, "Get lost; if you come around I'm going to blow you away," right. Yeah! You see those {pointing to military insignia on his old army jacket} -- you see the "flaming piss-pots" of explosive ordnance, right here? Where do you think I'm coming from? I mean, "I'll blow you away!" -- right? {laughs}

Previous Grady Project                  to be continued

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    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for December 2000 e.v.

12/3/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/6/00College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/10/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/16/00Magical FORUM: "Working with the
Holy Books" 8PM in the library
with Nathan
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/17/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/18/00Section II reading group with
Caitlin: the Old Testament story of
David (I&II Samuel) 8PM library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/21/00Winter Solstice ritual & feast 7PM(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/24/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/27/00College of Hard NOX 8 PM
with Mordecai in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/31/00Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(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.

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Ordo Templi Orientis
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Berkeley, CA 94702 USA

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

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