Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 2001 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for June 2001 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, 2001 e.v.

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

June 2001 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Summer's Eve

is Sun in his Northern declination, the form of Horus in his strength of Summer. He appears in his dual form, as it were the pillars between which the Hegemone, who bears a mitreheaded wand, symbolical of the Balances, is seated. (See the Neophyte Ceremony -- Equinox, I, II, pp. 244-261.) -- footnote 1 to the 19th Aethyr, Liber 418.

    As the dancer whirls, she chants in a strange, slow voice, quickening as she goes: Lo! I gather up every spirit that is pure, and weave him into my vesture of flame. I lick up the lives of men, and their souls sparkle from mine eyes. I am the mighty sorceress, the lust of the spirit. And by my dancing I gather for my mother Nuit the heads of all them that are baptized in the waters of life. I am the lust of the spirit that eateth up the soul of man. I have prepared a feast for the adepts, and they that partake thereof shall see God. This is a form of Babalon. There is a reference to the story of Salome in the lesser mysteries of the dagger and disk in the cult of "the God, John". "John" is "ON" - Oannes, Nu, Noah, Jonah, etc., the Sun entering the watery sign of Cancer (the sign of the whale, ark, etc.) at the summer solstice -- The Cry of the 15th Aethyr (appending footnote 2).

    Horus at the height of his powers blesses the earth with the season of summer as Sol enters the Crab first thing Thursday morning at 12:38 AM on 21st June. The lodge will feast that evening, toward the close of the year's longest day, for a picnic in the park at Lake Temescal, beginning at 6:30. Bring meats to grill and salads to share, and drinks to go around, all packed to carry a quarter mile, since we will be on the south shore. Transportation leaves the lodge at 6:00 PM sharp, but anyone coming after that can simply continue on another half a mile up the hill past the lodge, and find us on the lawn by the pond. Arrive any time before sunset, when the event will be concluding with a reading from the Holy Books.
    Celebration of the gnostic mass continues every Sunday evening at nightfall in Horus Temple, with visitors welcome to participate in our pagan eucharist ceremony along with members and friends of the lodge. Call well ahead of time for directions and information when planning to attend for the first time. Teams of mass officers ready to serve the lodge in this ritual may request a date on the temple calendar by discussing their preparations with the lodgemaster.
    The lodge schedules initiations in the Man of Earth grade of Ordo Templi Orientis by application from candidates who present themselves free, of full age, and of good report. Pledge forms for specific advancement may be requested at most temple and library events, and when properly sponsored should be submitted to the lodgemaster. Applicants must wait at least one month, and must maintain close contact with the lodge during their period of candidacy in order for their rituals to be scheduled. This month, initiations for advancement in O.T.O. will be held on Saturday 16th June, with admission possible only by advance arrangement. Members should speak with lodge officers or call the lodge for information well in advance to attend.

Chymische Hochzeit R+C

    The wild alchemical allegory which appeared as a German pamphlet in 1616, The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz will be our topic this month for reading and discussion with the Section Two reading group at Thelema Lodge. Gather around with Caitlin in the lodge library on Monday evening 18th June beginning at 8:00 to join in. Recently a newly arrived lodge member asked about the name of this enterprise, since we don't seem to be sticking very close to the actual list any more. The explanation is that we long ago just about exhausted Crowley's old list, and ever since we've been making it up as we go. We have also been exploring the more directly erotic bibliography in Liber Artemis Iota, and various other "recommended literature" from the Master Therion, as well as taking suggestions from the recently published O.T.O. Curriculum. This month, in keeping with our summer program for exploring the range of allegorical literature, we return in an indirect way to the "official" Section Two list, with includes several presentations of the Rosicrucian pamphlets. As we saw last month with Goethe's "Fairy Tale," and as we hope to see when we press further on into a grand allegorical orgy next month with comparisons of various samples from the genre (bring your favorites!), allegory as a narrative mode can have its delights. Despite its nearly universal bad rap from twentieth century writers and critics (apart from George Orwell and C. S. Lewis), allegory bares some essential relations with many of the characteristic stances toward narrative with which we are most familiar. The integrity of icons, the fascination with self- consciousness, our sense of genre and the typical, the wide-ranging games of reference we so continually play in our stories, frequently betray their foundations in traditional allegorical figuration.
    As an account of one gnostic saint (Father Christian Rosenkreutz) written by another gnostic saint (Johann Valentine Andreae), The Chemical Wedding seems an obvious choice for the O.T.O. Curriculum. Most likely based upon Andreae's experience of the elaborate allegorical ceremonies of the Knights of the Garter, conducted at the ducal court of Württemberg and the University of Tübingen in 1605 while Andreae was a student there, the symbolic narrative was first written when its author was just nineteen, although he does not seem to have shown it to many people at the time. Then in 1614 and 1615 Andreae was apparently involved in the secret group which published the first two Rosicrucian manifestoes, and a version of the Wedding appeared as a third pamphlet in 1616. This was most likely a revision of Andreae's discarded student work, but due to all the secrecy surrounding the Rosicrucian campaign very little information survived about the preparation of the texts. The elaborate and extended alchemical parable, bursting with personified concepts and their symbolic accouterments, coded messages, and paradoxical formulae, continually demands interpretation from the reader while offering no "key" to restrict its meanings. As a dream- like fantasy the process continues until we have a sense of an entire world, functioning hermetically within the story. One of the great pleasures of the Chemical Wedding in relation to English literature as that from its achievement we can look through the entire allegorical tradition, across such works as The Pilgrim's Progress, all the way to Alice in Wonderland.
Summa scientia nihil scire.
(The height of knowledge is to know nothing.)

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Magical Forum

    The Magical Forum steps up the pace this month, meeting every Wednesday evening from 8:00 till 10:00 in the lodge library. Nathan will present papers at the first three meetings, and the final Wednesday will be devoted to our on- going survey of The Book of Thoth. The topic for 6th June is "Chacras and the Energies of the Body," including discussions of the Middle Pillar Ritual and Liber Reguli. On 13th June the topic is "The Eucharist and its Rituals," including an analysis of Crowley's presentation of the subject in MTP, with several other ritual examples also considered. On 20th June Nathan's paper will be entitled "Rituals of the Hexagram," looking at the symbolism and procedure of the Golden Dawn hexagram ritual and Crowley's Star Sapphire variation. On Wednesday evening 27th June Paul leads our study of the Hierophant and Lovers trumps from the Tarot.


Wisdom to each apportioned to his want
By modes of Light, shed forth, great Hierophant!

To each his Understanding sooth discovers
Wordless: your mode, immortal Twins and Lovers!

Building the Mysteries

    The Rites of Eleusis opens next month with "The Rite of Saturn" on Saturday 21st July, continuing at twelve day intervals through the system of planetary powers to conclude with "The Rite of Luna" on Monday 1st October. As we collect our announcements here for the month of June, just over half of the Rites have been conclusively cast, and there is still plenty of opportunity to get involved in the production. Another meeting to organize this summer's cycle will be held of Monday evening 4th June at the lodge at 8:00, with Caitlin working to coordinate the over-arching structure of the project again this year.

Crowley Classics

   The following section is reprinted from Vanity Fair (London: 3 March 1909), page 264. Following his visit with Allan Bennett in Burma in February 1902, Crowley traveled back to India to begin preparations for the K2 expedition that summer. This article shows him there as a British tourist, making some rather typical comments about the standard sights shown to visitors. We follow his progress here from the 12th through the 20th of March. There are some significant comments regarding divination by geomancy, and the alchemical alloy known as "electrum magicum" (recommended in Liber XV for the gnostic priest's uraeus serpent crown). The essay mentioned in the final paragraph, written on the 20th and 21st of March 1902, was one of Crowley's most significant early philosophical writings, which was published privately in Paris the following year, then collected in the second volume of his Works in 1906. It is entitled "Berashith: An Essay in Ontology, with some Remarks on Ceremonial Magic." During the same week Crowley was also working on his long poem Orpheus. Later in chapter 33 of his Confessions, he gave another account of some of these same events, including this diary entry for 12th March regarding his tour of the Taj Mahal:

"Saw Taj. A dream of beauty, with appallingly evil things dwelling therein. I actually had to use H.P.K. formula! (This means that I assumed the god- form of Harpocrates to prevent the invasion of my aura by objectionable ideas.) The building soon palls, the evil aura is apparent and disgust succeeds. But the central hall is like a magic circle, of sustained aura, like after the banishing."

On a Burmese River

part four

from the note book of
Aleister Crowley

    The Maharaja (Sri Swami Swayan Prakashan Raithila) said that the expedition would succeed "after some trouble." The trouble turned up all right, I wish I could say as much for the success. In the evening I went to nautch, and am compelled to concur in the usual European opinion as to dullness and lack of music; but for all that there is a certain fascination. One feels that one could dream away many years listening to the cacophonous instruments and the tuneless voices of the dancers, and in watching the dull and decent movements of her shapeless and overclothed body and limbs. The next day I was entirely lazy and went off to Agra on the 12th.
    On the 13th I went over Agra fort, which was very beautiful in places, but on the whole vulgar and depressing. There is too much of the thing altogether; and although it is well worth one visit, I cannot imagine anyone paying two. The next day was devoted to the Taj Mahal. The first impression is one of extraordinary beauty, though perhaps not of any great fascination. There is no human quality in the building. Very soon indeed, one becomes aware that it is inhabited by loathsome and disgusting larvae. The feeling of deep disgust pervades one, so that whatever beauty there may be in the building (about which I am not at all sure) is entirely discounted.
    The central hall, however, containing the sarcophagus, is less objectionable. In the evening I went again to see a nautch, and this time I must confess that the sensation was most unpleasant. Perhaps I was in a different mood. The dancer was certainly far less talented than the one in Benares; but it may be that the novelty of a first visit masks one's critical faculties and prevents the entire badness of the whole thing from appearing. The next day, Munshi Elahi Baksh, the astrologer and geomancer, called on me. His geomantic method was interesting. He obtained the "Mothers" not by points drawn in the sand or on paper, but by throwing little brass dice, four on a string, each side of which had one of the four possibilities of arranging points from two to four in number in two lines, one combination on each face. He had two such strings, and by putting them together, one obtained four figures, every possible variety being thus represented. He then proceeded in the ordinary way known to Westerns, though he gave different names to the figures, and attributed different qualities, though usually rather sympathetic: Puer, for example, he attributed to Saturn.
    Above I have spoken of the dice as brass, and that is what they looked like; but he told me they were composed of "electrum magicum" as described by Paracelsus, prepared correctly by mixing the seven metals during the conjunction of their corresponding planets.
    The same night I went on to Delhi, where I arrived the following morning, and immediately sat down to literary work, as I wished to finish up everything I could before joining the party, being afraid that afterwards there would be very little time. On the 19th I gave myself a little holiday and went to see the fort. With me was "Major Graham, D.S.O." who had just conducted a convoy of Boer prisoners to Ambala. I put him down as a prize fool; but I was wrong, as I heard afterwards that he had managed to let in the Hotel and the Bank for quite a lot of money. However, his manner was very fine and noble.
    The Audience Hall in the fort is a very delightful and restful place. Unfortunately two or three of the rooms have been whitewashed by the prudish stupidity of the inevitable Briton, it being considered that some of the pictures were calculated to make the young person blush. I pass over the appalling depth of immorality which such prudery invariably implies; but what are we to say when we hear that a perfectly innocent room was also whitewashed "in order to secure artistic uniformity"? Surely stupidity could not go any further. I spent the 20th March in writing an essay on cosmic problems from a mathematical standpoint.

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from the Grady Project:

   In editing this transcript of the conversations recorded twenty years ago in Glenn's "oral history" interview with Caliph Hymenaeus Alpha, no additions or rearrangements have been made, but numerous verbal hesitations, unintelligible utterances, outside interruptions, and even a number of discursive statements (when they seemed excessively irrelevant, impersonal, or incomplete), have been excised editorially. This month's reminiscences concern hard luck times in the Midwest in the middle 'thirties, the worst days of Depression in the Dust Bowl. "Okies" like the McMurtrys with the "California fever" worked their way across the country, crashing out along the way as opportunity presented, generally winding up -- the unbusted ones, at least -- in the actual Golden State to make their last stand. Proper Californians greeted them with scorn for their shabbiness, rural manners, and regional culture (many of them were second and third-generation ex- Confederates originally from the back woods of the South), but their families assimilated quickly if they could finally make things work out somewhere. Relocating from rural central Kansas (his last midwestern domicile) in 1937 to Berkeley in 1947 -- by way of Pasadena and the War -- Grady was himself one of the remarkable success stories to emerge from an emergency population transfer of major proportions. Thanks again to Sirius Oasis for the recording of these sessions.

Grady Louis McMurtry

interviewed regarding his
upbringing and early life

by Glenn Turner

in Berkeley, 7th April 1981 e.v.

(ninth extract)

    Grady: All right, my grandfather had a truck patch -- what we in Oklahoma called a truck patch. We raised tomatoes. He was trying to sell tomatoes to market. Now, a tomato patch is about forty acres, with a little shack, and the barn yard (with all the horse shit), and the chicken coop (with all the chicken shit). That's why my grandmother called me "June bug" because I was the one who always ran through the horse shit and the chicken shit and picked up the eggs for her. So, somebody pulled a bank, there in northern Oklahoma, and one morning -- Dad was home at that time, and so was Mom (Cora) -- and, I'm sweeping up in the back yard while they were in the front. And all of a sudden, "bang, bang, bang." What? What's going on? We had a posse of sheriffs that you wouldn't believe. And I remember -- I'm just a kid, right? -- I'm looking at this guy who had this Thompson sub-machine gun. (I'm going to get very involved with that Thompson "sub" in the next few years -- oh, I used to blow people away with a Thompson "sub." You know, the way you fire a Thompson "sub" is, you don't hold it vertical, you hold it horizontal. You put it over there, you pull the trigger -- chullp!) And I'm looking at this god-damned thing, and I'm looking at the polish on the hood of their car, while they took my Daddy away. There'd been a bank robbery in northern Oklahoma, and he was a known bank robber, so they came and picked him up.
    Glenn: So then you were traveling. Did you just sort of travel with your father and mother, and then to California, during the 'thirties? And then get drafted into the world war? Or join, or -- ?
    Grady: As a matter of fact I joined. Well, I might as well tell you the story. I mean, as long as we're on oral history. What happened was this. I told you about the California fever, right? And how we in Oklahoma caught it, right? Okay, fine. Well, there were two segments to the story. One: we drove west, from Oklahoma through the dust bowl. I remember the dust bowl very vividly. Looking at it. I mean; thinking to myself, my god, I don't want to go through it. I mean, who would be so dumb, to do a trip like that, any way. I mean, these abandoned farm sales. These people had come west, you know; the farmer had come west, and they'd tilled the soil, built their houses, and so forth --
    Glenn: And they just left it?
    Grady: - but then the rain didn't come.
    Glenn: Oh. Yeah. {laughs} I can recognize that, living here; it could happen.
    Grady: Dig that. Right, dig that, okay. The rain didn't come. So those farm houses are still there, to this day, to the best of my knowledge. They were there then, but the people were gone. It was like war time -- it was like a war-time experience, in a way; it was that weird. I mean, here you are, out in this strange universe; like, there's nobody there, except you. And you wonder, where the hell is everybody? Wow. So anyway -- so we drove over this highway sixty- six, which you'll find celebrated in The Grapes of Wrath. To Cayman, Arizona, where we turned north. Now at that time the road from Cayman, Arizona, up to Boulder City was pretty rough. Today it's much smoother; in those days it was pretty rough. In other words, we had a good long car, and it was a little hard to get around some of those curves. And at that time they were building Boulder Dam. Boulder Dam wasn't there yet; they were just digging a tunnel that would allow the river to flow through while they built the dam. And I had probably the most embarrassing time of my life, when I tried to -- in fact I did -- sell the Salt Lake City Tribune, as a news boy on the streets. There would be all these bars, right, and all these guys getting drunk and everything like that. And these great big high- wheelers; you know, those god- damned trucks have wheels eight foot high! They were digging the tunnel for the Boulder Dam, right? And Dad was down there, down in the tunnel, you know, sweating his fucking lungs out. Because he started to get "wet lung." And I learned my act, I guess -- well, as long as this is oral history -- I guess so -- by being a street boy in Boulder City, selling the Salt Lake City Tribune. I had to yell out "SALT LAKE CITY TRIB-UNE!" And I was so embarrassed I couldn't do it, at first; then I leaned I could do it, and I did. And that's what happened there in Boulder City. And then, of course, after my Dad started to get "wet lung," we split for Colorado. Now, we had some relatives in Colorado. These relatives were very interesting. They did what we call dry land farming, in the west of the mountains. They had this farm up there, so we drove up, you know, in this old battered nineteen-thirties pick- up, and we lived there for awhile with them. And that's when I first learned about sun tan, and how to avoid it {snickers} because we went down to the creek one day, to, ah - you know, skinny-dip.
    Glenn: Oh, yeah.

    Grady: And I learned what it means to get burned, on the skin. Because - oh boy! oh boy! - that's why, even today, if I get really sweaty, out in the field, from here to there, {gestures along his body} and from here to there, you won't see any dust, because all of my sweat glands have been burned off, due the fact that I got sun-tanned twice. And also then I learned how beautiful it is, to have nature -- beautiful. And my experience, Glenn -- I don't know about you; I mean you've learned in your own environment -- but my experience was this: we kids were walking across this meadow one day and there was this wild plum tree, and the plums were ripe. And I reached up, and picked one, and it was so sweet, I couldn't believe it. That was the day I got sunburned.
    Glenn: Wow, that must have been a beautiful place. So, did you stay in Colorado for - ? What year would that be? That would about nineteen - ?
    Grady: That would have been 'thirty-five, 'thirty-six. Surely no sooner than 'thirty- six; maybe 'thirty-four; I'm not quite sure. Anyway; so, we were there for awhile, and -- oh, that's when I learned about Indian ruins. Yeah. Now that place is loaded with Indian ruins, and in fact for years and years and years I had a few souvenirs from there. Those Indians had been up in those places for centuries. And there are rock canyons you would not believe. The other kids and I, we'd go up in this rock canyon; we'd do tricks. And that's when I found out about how you don't sit down in a rock canyon without looking for the cactus spurs, because those winds blow those cactus spurs every place, and you {laughs} would be very surprised to discover - where you're - sitting. That was the place where the old horse died; that's a whole different story.

Previous Grady Project                  (to be continued)

from the Library Shelf

A Gnostic Vision of Ascent into the Copulative
Cosmos, brought on by a course of Energized
Enthusiasm, from "The Succuba,"
one of Balzac's Contes Drolatiques.

    Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) produced the great fictive chronicle of French culture during his own lifetime in a structure of interlocking novels and stories to which he gave the collective title of La Comédie Humaine. Writing (and revising) at full steam for twenty years, Balzac worked about ninety novels and stories into this huge enterprise, finally collected in forty volumes. Most of the material first appeared in periodicals, the novels in serial form, and Balzac seriously assumed the journalistic responsibility of dealing with the great moral and philosophical problems of his time. Readers enjoyed the dramatic dialogues full of grand lines, the recurring characters between stories, and the mature sociological outlook of the fiction, which was as significant for the publishing industry in Paris as the works of Charles Dickens were in London. Apart from some early works which he disowned, and occasional pieces of straight journalism, nearly all of Balzac's career went into the Human Comedy project, which was extended beyond any hope of completion. There was just one significant exception, in which Balzac left his own nineteenth century behind to explore the earlier strata of French storytelling. He published the Contes Drolatiques in series between 1832 and 1837, presenting the stories as traditional accounts of medieval French life, "collected in the monasteries of Touraine and given to the light" (according to the subtitle) as the great writer's contribution to antiquarian research. This editorial pretense actually functions as a fictional frame for the tales, which are synthetic texts written in a clever imitation of sixteenth century French. The narrative distancing brought into play by these extra layers of history in the tales, together with their literary obscurity, and the obvious appeal to the tradition of Boccaccio, Rabelais, and Marguerite of Navarre, permitted Balzac a degree of erotic frankness surpassing anything he attempted in the contemporary settings of the Comédie Humaine. Crowley was a great reader of Balzac in French, and suggested several of his works on reading lists for initiates of the A A and O.T.O. traditions. The Comic Tales collection is recommended specifically in the curriculum attached to Liber Artemis Iota (Liber 666).
    Of the thirty Contes which Balzac completed (out of a projected Boccaccian hundred), the nineteenth is perhaps the most striking. "The Succuba" gives a distressing account of the legal process in the years 1271-72, by which an obviously innocent woman is arrested, questioned under torture for months, and finally executed by the civil authorities of Tours. Her "crimes" are nothing more than being foreign (a converted heathen), and enthusiastically acquiescing in the intense sexual interest which a number of men in the town have taken in her. This Egyptian or "Moorish" woman whose name in Arabic had been Zulma, orphaned and brought to Europe at fifteen as the concubine of a returning crusader, has been plying her trade in France as an expert prostitute for twelve years, using the name of Blanche Bruyn. She is a striking beauty who speaks quite openly about her enjoyment of sex, but denies any unnatural or heretical motivation. Most of her trial is taken up with the irate testimony of parents whose sons have devoted themselves so immoderately to their affairs with this woman that they ended up isolating themselves with her for weeks at a time, in some cases copulating until they wasted away and died of the strain. Determined to regard her as a demon, the authorities require an expert opinion, and a priest is called in to interrogate the woman, who is found to have retained her charms even under the harsh confinement. This aged holy man, whose name is Jerome Cornille, never has a chance against Blanche; she spectacularly seduces him as soon as he enters her cell, and though he is eventually pulled off of her by the attendants, he never recovers from his exertions, and gives this testimony about the experience from his death bed. His visionary account of their lovemaking is excerpted here in a revised English version based upon the anonymous translation dated "London, January, 1874." This text has been reviewed in comparison with the excellent 1958 translation by Alec Brown (London: Elek Books), and the present editor has revised it slightly where the old wording was obsolete or unclear. In particular, Brown's use of the feminine form "succuba" has been preferred to the traditional "sucubus" throughout.

    Now when this demon showed herself stripped to me, to be put to the torture, I was suddenly placed in her power by magical conjurations. I felt my old bones crack, my brain received a warm light, my heart overflowed with young and boiling blood. I was glad in myself, and by virtue of the magic philter thrown into my eyes the snows of my forehead melted away. I lost all consciousness of my Christian life and found myself a schoolboy, running about the fields, escaped from class and stealing apples. I had not the power to make the sign of the cross, neither did I remember the Church, God the Father, nor the sweet Saviour of men.
    A prey to this design, I went about the streets thinking over the delights of that voice, and the abominable, pretty body of this demon, saying a thousand wicked things to myself. Then, pierced and drawn by a blow of the devil's fork, who had planted himself already in my head as a serpent in an oak, I was conducted by this sharp prong towards the jail, in spite of my guardian angel, who from time to time pulled me by the arm and defended me against these temptations. But in spite of his holy advice and his assistance I was dragged by a million claws stuck into my heart, and soon found myself in the jail.
    As soon as the door was opened to me I saw no longer any appearance of a prison, because the succuba had there (with the assistance of evil genii or fays) constructed a pavilion of purple and silk, full of perfumes and flowers, where she was seated, superbly attired, with neither irons on her neck nor chains on her feet. I allowed myself to be stripped of my ecclesiastical vestments, and was put into a scent- bath. Then the demon covered me with a Saracen robe, entertained me with a repast of rare viands contained in precious vases, gold cups containing Asiatic wines, songs and marvelous music, and a thousand sweet sounds that tickled my soul by means of my ears.
    At my side remained always the said succuba, and her sweet, detestable embrace distilled new ardour into my members. My guardian angel quitted me. From that point I lived only by the terrible light of the Moorish woman's eyes, coveted the warm embraces of her delicate body, wished always to feel her red lips (that I believed natural), and had no fear of the bite of those teeth which drew one to the bottom of hell. I delighted to feel the unequalled softness of her hands, without thinking that they were monstrous claws. In short, I acted like a husband desiring to go to his affianced, without thinking that that spouse was everlasting death. I had no thought for the things of this world nor the interests of God, dreaming only of love, of the sweet breasts of this woman who made me burn, and of the mouth of hell in which I wished to cast myself.
    Alas! my brethren, during three days and nights was I thus constrained to toil without being able to exhaust the stream which gushed from my loins, into which were plunged, like two pikes, the hands of the succuba, which communicated to my poor old flesh and to my dried up bones I know not what sweat of love. At first this demon, to draw me to her, caused to course in my veins something of the softness of milk. Then came poignant joys which pricked like a hundred needles into my bones, my marrow, my brain, and my nerves. Then in this play all things became inflamed: my head, my blood, my nerves, my flesh, my bones. And then I burned with the real fire of hell, which caused torments in my joints, and an incredible, intolerable, flaying voluptuousness which loosened the very bonds of my life. The tresses of this demon, which enveloped my poor body, poured upon me a stream of flame, and I felt each lock like a bar of red iron.
    During this mortal delectation I saw the ardent face of the succuba, who laughed and addressed to me a thousand exciting words, such as that I was her knight, her lord, her lance, her day, her joy, her hero, her life, her good, her rider; and that she would like to clasp me even closer, wishing to be in my skin or have me in hers. Hearing which, under the prick of this tongue which sucked out my soul, I plunged and precipitated myself finally into hell without finding the bottom. And then when I had no more a drop of blood in my veins, when my heart no longer beat in my body, and I was ruined at all points, the demon still fresh, white, rubicund, glowing, and laughing, said to me: "Poor fool, to think me a demon! Had I asked thee to sell thy soul for a kiss, wouldst thou not give it me with all thy heart?"
    "Yes," said I.
    "And if always to act thus it were necessary for thee to nourish thyself with the blood of new-born children in order always to have new life to spend in my arms, would you not imbibe it willingly?"
    "Yes," said I.
    "And to be always my gallant horseman, gay as a man in his prime, feeling life, drinking pleasure, plunging to the depths of joy as a swimmer into the Loire, wouldst thou not deny God, wouldst thou not spit in the face of Jesus?"
    "Yes," said I.
    "If twenty years of monastic life could yet be given thee, wouldst thou not forfeit them for two years of this love which burns thee, and to be at this sweet occupation?"
    "Yes," said I.
    Then I felt a hundred sharp claws which tore my diaphragm as if the beaks of a thousand birds there took their bellyfuls, shrieking. Then I was lifted suddenly above the earth upon the succuba, who had spread her wings and cried to me: "Ride, ride, my gallant rider! Hold yourself firmly on the back of your mare, by her mane, by her neck, and ride! Ride, my gallant rider; everything rides!"
    And then I saw, as in a thick fog, the cities of the earth, where by a special gift I perceived each person coupled with a demon, and tossing about, engendering in great concupiscence, all shrieking a thousand words of love and exclamations of all kinds, and all toiling away with ecstasy. Then my horse with the Moorish head pointed out to me, still flying and galloping behind the clouds, how the earth coupled with the sun in conjunction, from which proceeded a germ of stars. And there each female world was embracing a male world, but in place of the words used by creatures, the worlds were giving forth the howl of tempests, throwing out lightning and crying thunders.
    Then still rising, I saw overhead the female nature of all things in love, coupling with the Prince of Motion. Now, by way of mockery, the succuba placed me in the centre of this horrible and perpetual conflict, where I was lost as a grain of sand in the sea. Then still cried my white mare to me, "Ride, ride, my gallant rider! All things ride!"
    Now, thinking how little was a priest in this torrent of the seed of worlds, with nature always clasped together, and metals, stones, waters, airs, thunders, fish, plants, animals, men, spirits, worlds and planets, all embracing with rage, I denied the Catholic faith. Then the succuba, pointing out to me the great patch of stars seen in the heavens, said to me, "That way is a drop of celestial semen spilt from the great fluxion of the copulation of the world." Thereupon I instantly clasped the succuba with passion by the light of a thousand million stars, and I wished in clasping her to feel the nature of those thousand millions of creatures.
    Then by this great effort of love I fell impotent in every way, and heard a great infernal laugh. Then I found myself in my bed, surrounded by my servitors, who had had the courage to struggle with the demon, throwing into the bed where I was stretched a basin full of holy water, and saying fervent prayers to God. Then had I to sustain, in spite of this assistance, a horrible combat with the said succuba, whose claws still clutched my heart, causing me infinite pains. Still, while reanimated by the voice of my servitors, relations, and friends, I tried to make the sacred sign of the cross; the succuba perched on my bed, on the bolster, at the foot, laughing, grimacing, putting before my eyes a thousand obscene images, and causing me a thousand wicked desires.

Next from the Library Shelf

Primary Sources

   Lending Liber-ary:
    Here are four letters from Grady McMurtry to Aleister Crowley, from December 1943 e.v. Starting off with a discussion of Grady's proposal to clear A.C.'s public image, the focus moves through changes of address, military manners and enjoyment of the various books Crowley loaned for Grady's enlightenment and entertainment. The difficulties of arranging a visit are taken up. One of Grady's better known poems is here, in early partial draft.

1684th Ord MM Co (Avn) (Q)
APO 635
5 December 1943

Care Frater

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

Dispatched the £30 by telegraph on the 30th Nov.
Received your letter of the 27th Nov.

Have read through the "Legend". I suppose you have attempted to get an official statement from the Government concerning your activities as an "Irish Patriot"? If such were available, now or after the war, it would alter the entire campaign, of course. "Great patriot falsely accused". "Hero suffers scorn of countrymen for the sake of England", etc, etc, & etc. Was this what you were referring to when you mentioned "another Dreyfus case"? That should give us the needed "air superiority" articles by leading men and a play on your literary genius and mountain climbing, etc, should then be able to consolidate the position with the Law of Will and Magick (a strong play on the "philosophy" angle -- Americans at least are blase concerning religion and mysticism but philosophy makes them feel cultural) held as a strategic reserve to be used as a striking force in the next phase of operations -- all geared to a master time table. Such is tactics. I might suggest that you soft pedal your "getting America into the war on our side. We resent it. Strongly. Maybe that doesn't make sense -- maybe it was for our own good -- the fact remains that we, as a nation, resent it. And I am more interested in the spread of the Law of Thelema than in playing up to Crowley's cleverness.

Have received both of your letter of the 29th Nov. plus the one of 1st Dec. as well as "The City of Dreadful Night" since starting this. I hope I haven't appeared rude in not answering them sooner but I wanted to polish off "Nadir" and it has taken some polishing as you can see. Practically reworked with a totally different ending. Had to restrain myself from calling it "Elevator Down" -- you know "3rd floor -- pell, astrolabes, alembics, blood pots, best vampire tooth penpoints". Wrote "Oblivion" on the night of 4th Dec. while about half way through "The City of Dreadful Night". Had three double shots of rum under the old belt. 'Wings of the Shadow" is an earlier work.

{remainder missing}


1684th Ord MM Co (Avn) (Q)
APO 635 AAF 473
10 December 1943

Care Frater

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

So very about have to postpone my trip after having called you but the Army moves in strange and mysterious ways its wonders to perform. What was a beautiful idea one day was a total impossibility the next. Perhaps I can make it this next week end -- or maybe just Sunday and Monday. In any case I will call you.

Received the Equinox in good order. Will apply myself diligently. Had hoped to show you my latest poem when I came in this week but it isn't finished yet. This is the way it starts:


Ho! let there be rejoicing - for I, Pan,
Am come to bid ye welcome to my shrine.
Bid trumpets flourish - let my joy be thine
For by the beard of Zeus and Neptunes' tine
I've waited long enough - let him who can

Gainsay me. Come! the festal table creaks
With slabs of slaughtered ox and tender lamb
While from my procine herds we have sweet ham
To woo the taste of gluttony - and ram
Horn mugs awash with mead. Oho - who speaks"

Well, by my rough and harry soul, of course!
For each fair maiden here's a dainty paste
And age'd wine to suit the fickle taste.
Fall to! m'lads, or would you have me waste
This festal hour in talking? Here's the source etc

will inflict you with the rest of it sometime next week.

               Love is the law, love under will.
               Fraternally in the Bonds of the Order.


1684th Ord MM Co (Avn) (Q)
APO 635 AAF 473
15 Dec. 1943

Care Frater

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

My address is as above. 1684th Ordinance Medium Maintenance Company (Aviation)(Quartermaster), Army Post Office 635, Army Air Field 373, U. S. Army. From the States it would be the same only leaving off the U. S. Army and adding instead % Postmaster, New York, N. Y.

Am sending along ye monumental (for me) Pagenetor! You can wile away the evenings building bonfires with it.

At the moment I think I will be able to come in for a three day pass -- but you will know by the time you receive this whether or no by phone call.

I find it more than worth while to spend the time it takes to come and see you even for six hours on a Saturday evening but I have found my time on my hands from 2230 hours on. My billiards game is a bit rusty -- maybe you have some suggestions. Have had little chance to play around here as my evenings have been well taken up reading, writing and chess. And very little chess.

Am curious as to your attitude towards such blunt and hearty phrasing as Move! Fall to! etc. Exclamation point and all. That is common parlance in the Army - especially among Sergeants who are handling men. It also reflects the attitude that an Officer must have if he is "on the ball", i.e., "That which can't be done we do immediately, that which is impossible will take a little longer". The emergency measures necessary by the field expediency and ingenuity of Officers and Men in expanding an Army such as ours breeds that. Take a brace! Snap to! and many more uncouth phrases help it along. Remind me to tell you about the T.S. tickets. Which reminds me of the story of the Negro Sergeant who was dressing down his platoon and to give emphasis to his instruction said: "And when ah sez 'Eyes right!' -- ah wants to hear them eyeballs click."

Had a slight argument with a British Leftenant over the phone today. I kept telling him I wanted white (unleaded) gasoline and he kept telling me I wanted "Spirit of Petrol". I almost said "Spirit of St. Louis" right back at him but restrained myself.

               Love is the law, love under will.

{Written in hand: "Pangenetor:" "Ecstasy" "Frater H.'. A.'. 777" with an obscure mark below. Two lines below left to that, illegible.}

{Postscript written on the left margin. Several illegible words indicated by dashes}


Magical Record mentioned as something every --- --- should have. --- full instructions


1684th Ord MM Co (Avn) (Q)
APO 635 AAF 473
25 Dec. 1943
Care Frater

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

Trust you have received Moon Child by now. I found it very interesting.

Am inclosing ye strategic plan. If this is not what you want let me know! If it is suggest that Mrs. Sutherland be acquainted wit it and that I be given her address so that we can begin correspondence.

In re the third chapter of Liber Legis. Where it gives a string of letters and numbers and says that the prophet will not understand. Did you by any chance have the impression that they were given in Enochian? There is a G M sequence in there that would seem to a G M sequence in that article on "Kelly's Universe".

While reading Moon Child I again came to an impression that I believe I spoke to you once before about. That is, that if the Law of Thelema was the established Church we would certainly appear like a group of blue noses with "but always unto me", strictest discipline in matters magickal, etc.

Finally received a V-mail from Jack acknowledging my letter of 4 Nov. and expressing complete accord with the Order. But, as usual, defending Wilfred.

Have been applying myself diligently to the Chess manual and "The Vision and the Voice". Should have it in the mailing in the near future.

Received a letter from Jane mailed to an old address of mine postmarked 28 Sept! She has probably spent the last three months, whenever she happened to think of me, in thinking that I had deliberately snubbed her in not answering the letter. Hope not.

Finally found your letter by going to the post office and digging it out. Some mail clerk had put it in the wrong box. Your "Songs for Italy" arrived in good order. Will forward the $10.00 come payday. This has been a tight Christmas but as the Christmas spirit was on the cuff I got by.

               Love is the law, love under will.


Previous Primary Sources                   Next Primary Sources

Crowley Incarnations!?

   Here's a birth chart for Edward Kelley, rendered by Elias Ashmole from the calculations of John Dee.

Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for June 2001 e.v.

6/3/01Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/4/01Planning Meeting for the Rites of
Eleusis. 8PM Library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/5/01Full Moon in Sagittarius 6:39 PM
6/6/01Magical Forum with Nathan. "Chakras
and the Engergies of the Body"
8PM Library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/10/01Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/13/01Magical Forum with Nathan. "The
Eucharist and its Rituals"
8PM Library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/16/01O.T.O. Initiations (call to attend)(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/17/01Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/18/01Section II reading group with
Caitlin: The Chemical Wedding of
Christian Rosenkreutz. 8PM library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/20/01Magical Forum with Nathan.
"Rituals of the Hexagram"
8PM Library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/21/01Summer Solstice picnic feast at
Lake Temiscal 6:30 PM
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/24/01Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/27/01Magical Forum with Paul. "Book of
Thoth study circle. 8PM 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)

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