Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 2002 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for June 2002 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, 2002 e.v.

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

June 2002 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Summer's Feast and Song

Come away! The volume of the book is open, the Angel waiteth without, for the summer is at hand. Come away! For the Aeon is measured, and thy span allotted. Come away! For the mighty sounds have entered into every angle. And they have awakened the Angels of the Aethyrs that slept these three hundred years.
                    -- Liber 418, Second Aethyr

    Come away to Horus Temple for a celebration of the triumph of Sol in the noontide of the year at summer solstice on Friday 21st June. The sun moves into the sign of the crab that morning at 6:24, and the lodge will gather for a feast beginning in the evening at 7:00. Our communal dinner will be preceded by a brief ceremonial reading from one of the holy books of Thelema, and members are invited to contact the lodgemaster in advance to read one of the parts in this presentation. Bring dinner contributions and drink to share, and speak with the lodge officers over the preceding days to coordinate cooking for our feast.

The Ocean of Stories

    Set forth once more upon the sea of tales with the Section Two reading group, which this month will be devoting a second meeting to the Arabian Nights Entertainments. The group meets with Caitlin in the library at Thelema Lodge on Monday evening 17th June from 8:00 until 9:30. Join in for further readings together from the John Payne translation (1882-84), and some discussion comparing it with the better known version produced almost contemporaneously by Sir Richard Burton (1885). These editions, the only two "complete" presentations of the Arabian Nights in English (along with their various "supplemental" volumes), were privately printed and sold by subscription, thus successfully avoiding prosecution under existing obscenity laws. Many of the stories were already well known in England, especially from Edward Lane's abridged and bowdlerized translation (1838-41), which had become one of the great Victorian nursery books. Whether or not Crowley encountered these tales in childhood, by the time he went up to university (October 1895) he had come to idolize the recently deceased Burton. The crowded bookshelves in Crowley's student apartment at Cambridge included a set of Burton's Nights, which he read in the midst of his philosophical and scientific curriculum.
    Although well known in the Arabic world, the tales of the Nights were at that time not much appreciated by educated readers in their own lands, being dismissed as part of a vulgar sub-literary oral tradition of narrative entertainment. The Arabic collection known as Alf Laila Wa-Laila (One Thousand Nights and One Night) had been expanded from a Persian collection, the Hazar Afsanah (Thousand Tales), augmented by stories and fables from every available tradition. The classic collection in Arabic contains material dating from the eighth through the sixteenth centuries, although hardly any two manuscripts contain all of the same tales, and many include later additions. No "complete" version was ever made, but the notion of a seemingly inexhaustible compendium of stories became established, with additional items always available to extend the collection. Nineteenth century scholarship viewed these stories as an outgrowth of the ancient Sanskrit tradition of story collections, but they also contain many elements from the indigenous pre- Islamic populations of the Near East. Particularly there are many influences from the dispersed Hellenistic culture of the ancient eastern empire, and indeed the framing structure of Shahrazad's storytelling is probably Byzantine in origin. There seems to have been a tradition in medieval Constantinople of "evening stories" which were fantastical and intended for entertainment (as opposed to the news of the day, valued for its truthfulness).
    The influence of Arabic and Persian narrative modes upon literary writing in Europe can be seen in a number of medieval romances, and especially in the Italian romance epics of the Renaissance. The most significant influx of "Oriental" styles of storytelling, however, began with the eighteenth century, when the Arabic scholar Antoine Galland (1646-1715) began collecting old Arabic stories in manuscript and publishing French translations from them. His edition of the Sinbad cycle of seafaring tales (the original of which had never been associated with the Arabian Nights collection) was so successful in 1701 that Galland and his assistants went on to publish twelve French volumes of Les Mille et une nuits between 1704 and 1717. It was not a "complete" version, since much "unsuitable" and problematic material had been omitted, and Galland also felt free to mix in other Arabic stories never before included in the Nights. Some of these interpolations, such as the tales of Aladdin and Ali Baba, became, like the voyages of Sinbad, forever assimilated into the European versions of the Nights, and indeed characteristic of them. Printing was not developed in Arabic until the nineteenth century, so when manuscript dealers in Cairo found demand among European orientalists for copies of the Arabian Nights which included these well-known extraneous tales, they were quick to add them in, even when (as apparently happened several times) they were forced to translate some of them back into Arabic from the French books!
    Galland's versions were widely read, and soon translated into English and many other languages. They established a new style in European writing that has endured through the three centuries since, making middle-eastern locales, fantastic and magical situations, and the dream-like shifts of scene and circumstance which characterize these stories, into familiar literary devices. Many writers including Voltaire, Samuel Johnson, and William Beckford successfully imitated Arabic tales in the eighteenth century. Some of the leading writers of the next century, particularly Coleridge, De Quincey, Dickens, Meredith, and Stevenson, grew up reading the Arabian Nights, and were never able to escape its influence on their imaginations. George Meredith's first novel, The Shaving of Shagpat (1855), included on the Section Two curriculum, was written in direct imitation of the Nights. Several of the major literary figures of the century just past, especially Proust, Joyce, and Borges, likewise read the Nights in childhood and remained devoted admirers of the work all their lives. The influence was especially strong upon writers in the fantasy tradition, such as Machen, Dunsany, Cabell, and Clark Ashton Smith.
    Sir Richard Burton planned his great translation of the Arabian Nights for nearly thirty years before he seriously got down to work on the text around 1880. Originally he had looked for a collaborator to translate the prose while he gave his primary attention to the 10,000 lines of Arabic verse included in the collection, but he could persuade no scholar with the requisite expertise to take on so vast a project. Burton and his wife sent out many thousands of circulars offering subscriptions to the first complete and accurate English version of the Arabian Nights, accompanied by his extensive commentary. But he had not got much of his work done when, late in 1881, the first volume of Payne's complete translation of the collection was announced for subscription. At first Burton, who was nearly 60 years old and in troublesome health, offered to give up his project and assist Payne's work. They did in fact correspond extensively about the translation, and Payne's ninth volume bears a dedication "to Captian Richard Francis Burton, in token of admiration and gratitude for much kindness." When Burton saw that Payne's subscription project had turned a profit of nearly £4000, and that after agreeing to a strictly limited edition of 500 copies he had been forced to turn away 1500 additional subscription offers, Burton got back to work on his alternative edition with Payne's blessing. Payne's volumes had been lightly annotated; Burton's were massively so, and included an extensive "Terminal Essay" on the nature and background of the tales. Burton had a special interest in the poetry of the Nights, which he felt Payne had rendering dully, and he also enjoyed emphasizing their erotic elements, which Payne had toned down without censoring. (Burton has been accused of elaborating some of the erotic passages -- and also of intruding certain racist tensions foreign to the original.) Burton was seriously ill early in 1882, and had a heart attack in February 1883, but continued to write in bed. A great deal of his work was completed very rapidly over the year 1884, and he was still writing notes until the printer called in the final proofs. When his ten volumes of the Nights were released in 1885, followed over the next three years by six more volumes of "Supplemental Nights," Burton had included about 70 more stories than Payne, but he had relied upon revising Payne's version for at least half of the prose in his own edition (all of the verse in Burton's translation is his own). He made many incidental alterations to the vocabulary, partly to disguise his reliance on the earlier version, and partly because Burton loved collecting strange and obsolete words and reviving them in his own writing. The result was a masterpiece of translation and scholarship which is nevertheless quite stilted, cumbersome, and sometimes fairly silly, so that Payne's version is usually the more readable of the two (though Burton's notes alone are worth the bulk of his edition).

Previous Section Two                   Next Section Two

The Four Dignitaries

    The journey continues this month with the Book of Thoth study circle, meeting in the lodge library on Thursday evening 27th June at 8:00. Join in as we proceed with our reading of The Book of Thoth, Crowley's last major literary work, completed just a few years before his death. In May we concluded our investigation of the "trump" cards, and now begin our progress through the minor arcana. While the major arcana correspond to the paths between the Sephira on the Tree of Life, the minor arcana correspond to the Sephira themselves. Thus a wide range of planetary symbolism becomes prominent in the suit cards. This month we will begin with the court cards, and in addition to reading and discussing Crowley's text on Egyptian Tarot, we will conclude the evening with a meditative ritual involving the images of these cards.

Anything Fine is Difficult

    The Maat-Tahuti Reading Circle continues this month with two meetings devoted to reading and discussion of the dialogues of Plato. Meetings are held at Cheth House in the Berkeley hills on alternate Tuesday evenings beginning at 7:30. This month on Tuesday 4th June we will look at the dialogue between Socrates and Protagoras, and two weeks later on 18th June it will be the dialogue known as Hippias Major (being the longer of Socrates' two recorded discussions with Hippias). In these dramatized conversations Socrates demonstrates his distinctive style of criticism, concentrating upon the usage of Greek moral terminology, and upon the eternal concepts which he considered to be the true foundation of language. In both of these dialogues Socrates questions representative philosophers of the itinerant "Sophist" school, and sometimes he does not seem to argue quite fairly with them. The results may be less than successful as formulations of the concepts they set out to investigate, but the process of inquiry and discussion is nevertheless portrayed wonderfully. Only such an age of great dramatic writing for the stage could have also produced these informal conversational records of the interactions between its leading thinkers. The dialogue with Protogoras is as much concerned with the participants in the discussion and the process of their exchange as it is with the philosophical content of their arguments. In it Socrates demonstrates the essential unity of all the virtues, showing that all human powers and skills result from knowledge. Hippias Major is more sharply focused; it is one of Plato's early attempts to define the basic virtues, and here the concept under examination is that of "to kalon," the beautifully ordered symmetry of being and design which lay at the heart of Greek aesthetic culture. The notions of the well-ordered, the beautiful, and the elegant seem to have been undifferentiated for the Athenians, a concept that is often translated by the word "fine."

Orderly Decorous Ceremonies

    A second planning meeting for this summer's cycle of The Rites of Eleusis will be held in the lodge library on Monday evening 3rd June at 8:00. The Rites have been scheduled over the late summer and early autumn, at twelve day intervals beginning with "The Rite of Saturn" on Saturday 10th August, followed by "Jupiter" on Thursday 22nd August, "Mars" on Tuesday 3rd September, and so on down through the spheres of the gnosis to ground out as Pan in "The Rite of Luna" at the full moon on Monday 21st October. Last month's organizational meeting got things well under way, with nearly all of the individual production responsibilities assigned to their "god-forms." We need to select venues for this cycle, and that will be the focus of our meeting this month. In addition, anyone wishing to become involved in one or more of the productions is encouraged to attend this meeting and lend a hand in their planning. Assistance with feast preparation, costuming, and logistics will be especially welcome. A number of roles in the rituals are still available, as well as many opportunities for technical support. Contact Caitlin for information about our plans for this Rites cycle, or to be put in touch with any of the year's seven god-forms.
    When Crowley originally staged this seven-part serial drama (at Caxton Hall in London in the autumn of 1910 e.v.) it amounted to a sort of magical variety show, spotlighting the ritual and artistic talents of the early A A membership under his direction at the time. Although somewhat hastily organized by a group of theatrical amateurs, the original Rites were well publicized and made quite a splash that season in the drama columns of the daily papers. When some of this media attention became bullying and inaccurate, Crowley was given the opportunity to reply in The Bystander, providing his own characterization of the performances. Here he wrote that "the rites of Eleusis, as now being performed at Caxton Hall, are orderly, decorous ceremonies. It is true that at times darkness prevails; so it does in some of Wagner's operas and in certain ceremonies of a mystical character which will occur to the minds of a large section of my male readers [i.e. freemasons]. There are, moreover, periods of profound silence, and I can quite understand that in such an age of talk as this, that seems a very suspicious circumstance!"

Crowley Classics

   The rare 1904 volume Snowdrops from a Curate's Garden, a collection of obscene sketches in verse and prose, contains many autobiographical fantasies based upon Crowley's early married life and travels with Rose. She was stylish and attractive and fun, but uncultivated and unphilosophical, and apparently altogether unenlightenable. Her poetic husband found she was not interested in his established styles of late-Romantic (Swinburnesque) rhapsodies, or snidely sophisticated, perversely playful "modern" (Browningesque) dramatic lyrics. Rose was happy to be entertained with indecent jokes and sexy stories, but otherwise she preferred reading magazines to Aleister's literary accomplishments. In order to cater to the tastes of his beloved consort, Crowley produced the Snowdrops volume, which as he knew would be unpublishable in England. As with a number of his other more daring literary collections, Crowley amused himself by creating, in this introduction, an elaborate fictitious persona upon whom the production of such dreadful material could be blamed.

"Introduction" to
Snowdrops from a Curate's Garden

by Aleister Crowley

    Two philosophers of an empirical type, R. Browning and J. Christ, agree in disputing the possibility of obtaining a silk purse from the traditional sow's ear. Can rapes spring from horns? or pigs from whistles? asks the latter; while the former (by the mouth of his sophistical hero Caponsacchi), declines to believe the sexton who claims to have transfixed a scorpion on the very act of issuing from the mouth of Madonna, and suggests (what seems to us quite as improbable) that it issued from the sexton himself . . .
"like from like,
By way of the ordure corner . . ."1

    At first sight it may seem that Science endorses this dogma in its fullest sense; but the truth is that if we apply the fundamental fact to man, we are led into error. For the nature of no man is simple thorn or simple grape: in the incalculable tale of his ancestors must inevitably be found, not only both these types, but a host of others.
    Further, in the complex chemical nature of the cerebral secretions lies the profound possibility of extraordinary divergence from the normal. So many, so fickle, are the combinations which constitute Cerebrin, Lethicin, and the rest; so subtly is the thought dependent upon changes proximate or remote in the composition of the organism, that we must expect character -- which is but the statement of the sum of deep-seated habits of thought -- to show similar instability. The word "habit" may seem to invalidate such a conclusion; but must we expect habits to be homogenous? Must the religious man be also merciful? We know that it is not so.
    In the infinite variety of character thus formed we occasionally meet a case in which distaste of the normal, vital scepticism, or some similar trait, may push the individual to contrary poles of thought and action. We shall err if we fail to recognize the common basis of the audacities of piety and impiety which may manifest in the same man.
    As one of our great specialists has shewn, it is unphilosophical, indeed contrary to proved fact, to suppose that a man like Jabez Balfour2 is necessarily insincere. His cruel frauds, his callous scepticism are no less genuine and no more so than his narrow religious convictions. As well accuse a typewriter of deceit because it is capable of writing both the brilliant good sense of a Hall Caine and the vapourish outpourings of a Meredith!
    As well accuse a spaniel of hypocrisy because he will retrieve game, and yet refuse to devour it.
    The outlines of this truth have been allegorically sketched by R. L. Stevenson in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Outlines, for in reality there are as many sides to character as there are ideas capable of influencing the individual. No doubt, in all cases the one is leavened by the many; even in stark madness there is an underlying essential harmony.3 This is of course the case, but such harmony dwells far deeper than anything which we commonly intend by character.
    Such an expression of violences is found in the author of the following works.
    It is the custom to study, even if briefly, the life of a great writer from the biographical standpoint. In this case it is impossible to follow the usual course, for I have no wish to blast the useful public career of the most talented artist of our day, and there can be no doubt that precision of allusion would cause his innumerable friends to recognize in the infamous blackguard who penned these abominations the saintly and delicate-minded hero of their dreams.
    But there is at my disposal sufficient matter of a noncommittal character to enable me to indicate for the purposes of the student the circumstances in which K--- has lived, and lives. He was born about the year 1860 in a hunting shire of England. His parents were of that lesser class of county magnate which does not care to make any great show. They had enough self-respect to live the life of their choice. The boy, delicate in his youth, was not able to bear the roughness of public school for long, but he passed with honours through Oxford, respected for his piety and learning by his professors and (I am ashamed to say) adored by a certain unsavoury coterie for the babyish beauty of his face, with its unfathomable eyes, its small and scarlet mouth, and the impudent cynicism of his -- bottomless lust, I would say, but for the peculiar inappropriateness of the epithet. In a word he was the foremost scholar and courtesan of his year.
    It would be admittedly ridiculous to claim the latter note of his life as hypocritical; only prigs will so stigmatize the former. A boy of 20 does not render Thomas à Kempis into Greek Anapaests4 without genuine scholarship and equally sincere piety. Yet he is the author of the nauseous hexameters beginning:
    "Hail to the f---ing lips of an open Athenian a---"
    He it was who capped the hexameter in St James:
    "Husbands! love your wives and be not bitter against them!" with
    "Husbands! f--- them often, or surely somebody else will!"
    A few examples of his quaint, often recondite, wit will delight all who hear.
    One night in Paris some of us took him to No. 8 rue Colbert. He was very disgusted, and remarked, "My uncle might stay, if he came, but I'm off." None of us saw any joke, but I happened to call at the old gentleman's house the next day, and found him suffering from gout in both thumbs!
    On another occasion he walked into a house in Paris, lazily surveyed the grinning girls, snapped out "Une douzaine de Marennes!" and made for the door. He it was who painted a number in immense characters on the door of a girl he disliked. He had at one time a small studio. Two nuns came thither a- begging. Opening the door to receive them, he wittily cried "Pas de Modèles" in the monotone of disgust which artists so quickly learn, and banged the door. On another occasion he caused to be printed and stuck up in all the urinoirs of the Latin Quarter the following smart satirical parody on French quack advertisements, directing it against the crapulous punk whom he also speaks of in the following pages under the pseudonym of "Sal B-----s," which I retain.

METHODE B-------
Guérison de l'impuissance dans 2 minites
par un simple massage
du Salecon Anglo-Négro-Hollandais:
Gonorrhée en 3 à 5 jours,
Syphillis en 3 semaines
Prix de l'application: 1 franc
Enlèvement des fromages du prepuce
dans la salle dentaire
Et rien qu'en jetant les yeux sur le Docteur
les constipations les plus obstinées disparaissent
Cabinet (et urinoir) de Docteur 69, rue

    I might multiply examples, but to what good purpose?
    On the other hand, he would employ his fine wit in the service of piety and charity. Many is the good and generous deed done by him under the cover of a light practical joke or quaint whim. Still less need I speak of this side of my friend; all the world knows more than I could say. His character was more than dual, however. Not only did the "r" of predicor vanish and return, as in the epigram of Priapus, but the devotion to literature of all kinds bore many diverse fruits. Before he was thirty he had published a volume of semi-sacred verse, a notable collection of Carmina Mariana, a short and most lucid history of the metaphysical controversies which culminated in the birth of Scholasticism, a contribution to the Encyclopaedia Britannica on some refinements of electric measurement, a series of articles on a micrococcus which he supposed himself to have discovered (his only failure, for he proved himself to be mistaken, and manfully recanted in a very honourable letter to the Editor), a short study of heraldry, which made an immense impression on the small body of thinkers who interest themselves in this curious question, and his revolutionary masterpiece upon the relation between Comparative Anatomy and Political Science.
    In his personal life he had similar breadth of experience.
    He was beloved of the thieves and prostitutes in an obscure drinking-cellar in Belleville, the most dangerous quarter of Paris, not as a comrade, but as a missionary. He was at home in the most exalted social circles, and it is a well-known fact that many persons of importance relied on his subtle intuition and keen vision to resolve political difficulties which baffled their less fertile brains.
    Sought after by rich and poor for his personal beauty, he yielded to none, save a single boat-captain on a Seine steamer, to whom he continued faithful until his marriage. But the devotion to his young and beautiful wife exacted too much, imposed too severe a strain upon his constitution. They had been married barely a week when he took her to the infamous T------ Club in Cairo, where the dissolute officers of the Army of Occupation, merchants, fish- porters, pimps, all the cream of Egyptian society and its dregs, gathered every Wednesday night to commit appalling orgies.
    He gave her to their tender mercies and saw her violated a dozen times before his eyes. In a month no more debauched woman walked the streets than this dainty English girl.
    She became a mother, after innumerable adulteries on both sides, committed shamelessly in each other's presence, even in spinthriae of ten of more persons; it was during the severe physical strain which her confinement imposed upon him that he wrote the Nameless Novel.
    All this time of his marriage, about two years, he had been also performing miracles of piety. Ordained three years before, he rapidly gained the favour of his superiors by his modesty and eloquence. He obtained a valuable private chaplaincy in Paris, a most suitable post, allowing him plenty of leisure for other work. During this period a delicious volume of hymns came from his pen, and his self-sacrificing ministrations to the poor were the wonder of the French capital.
    His evenings were spent in that witty and high-thinking informal club which met nightly at the restaurant Au Chien Rouge, whose members are so honoured in the world of Art. There he met C--- the brilliant but debauched sculptor, caustic of wit, though genial to his friends; N---, the great painter, whose royal sense of light made his canvases into a harmonious dream; he also the sweet friend of Bacchus, who filled him with a glow and melody of colour and thought. There, too, were D--- and L---, the one poet and philosopher, the other painter and -- I fear -- paederast. Twins in thought, the two were invincible in argument as they were supreme in their respective arts. Often I have sat, a privileged listener, which D---'s cold acumen and L---'s superb indignation, expressed in fiery swords of speech, would drive some luckless driveller from the room. Or at times they would hold down their victim, a bird fascinated by a snake, while they pitilessly exposed his follies to the delighted crowd. Again, a third, pompous and self-confident, would be led on by them, seemingly in full sympathy, to make an exhibition of himself, visible and hideous to all eyes but his own. L---, his eager face like a silver moon starting from a thundercloud, his hair, would pierce the very soul of a debate, and kindle it with magic joy or freeze it with scorn implacable. D--- , his expression noble and commanding, yet sly, as if ever ready to laugh at the intricacies of his own intellect, sat next to him, his deep and wonderous eyes lit with strange light, while with words like burning flames of steel he tore asunder the sophistries of one, the complacencies of another. They were feared, these two! There also did he meet the well known ethicist, I---, fair as a boy, with boy's golden locks curling about his Grecian head; I---, the pure and subtle-minded student, whose lively humour and sparkling sarcasm were as froth upon the deep and terrible waters of his polished irony. It was a pity that he drank. There the great surgeon. and true gentleman, in spite of his exaggerated respect for the memory of Queen Victoria, J---, would join in with his ripe and generous wit. Handsome as a god, with yet a spice of devil's laughter lurking there, he would sit and enjoy the treasures of the conversation, adding at the proper interval his own rich quota of scholarly jest.
    Needless to say, so brilliant a galaxy attracted all the false lights of the time. T---, the braggart, the mediocre painter, the lusty soi-disant maquereau of marchionesses, would seek admission (which was in theory denied to none). But the cutting wit of C--- drove him headlong, as if by the Cherubim, from the Gates of the Garden of Eden. G---, the famous society painter, came one night, and was literally hounded out of the room by a swift and pitiless attack on the part of D--- and the young ethicist. A bulletheaded Yankee, rashly supporting him, shared the same fate, and ever after sat in solitary disgrace downstairs, like a whipped hound outside its master's door. The subject of conversation did not matter. A fool reveals himself, thought he talk but of greasing gimlets, in such a fierce light as beat upon the Chien Rouge. Nor could any fool love long in that light. It turned him inside out; it revealed him even to himself as a leper and an outcast; and he could not stand it.
    In such a circle humbug could not live. Men of high intellectual distinction, passing through Paris, were constant visitors at the Chien Rouge. As guests they were treated with high honour; but woe to the best of them if some chance word let fall led D--- or L--- to suspect that he had a weak spot somewhere! When this happened, nothing could save him: he was rent and cast to the carrion beasts for a prey.
    How often have I seen some literary or pictorial Pentheus, impious and self-sufficient as he, disguise himself (with a tremor of fear) in his noblest artistic attire, as the foolish king in the bassara of the Maenads!
    How often have I seen Dionysus -- or some god -- discover the cheat and give him over to those high-priests of dialectic, D--- and L---, to be stripped and ravaged amid the gleeful shrieks of the wit-intoxicated crowd! But once the victim was upon the altar, once he rose from his chair, then what a silence fell! Frozen with the icy contempt of the assembly, the wretch would slink down the room with a scared grin on his face, and not until he had faced that cruel ordeal, more terrible (even to a callous fool) than an actual whipping would have been, not until the door had closed behind him would the silence break as someone exclaimed "My God, what a worm!" and led the conversation to some more savoury subject.
    On the other hand, there was B---, a popular painter, upon whom the whole Dog pounced as one man, to destroy him.
    But when they saw that his popular painting was not he, that he had a true heart and an honest ambition, how quickly were the swords beaten into absinthes, and the spears into tournedos!
    S---, again, with a face like a portrait by Rembrandt, a man of no great intellect, but making no pretension thereto, how he was loved for his jolly humour, his broad smile, his inimitable stories!
    Yet it must not be supposed that the average man, however sincere, had much of a welcome there. Without intention to wound, he was yet hurt -- the arrows of wit shot over his head, and he could never feel at home.
    I am perhaps the one exception. Without a ghost of talent, even in my own profession -- medicine -- I had no claim whatever to the hospitality of the Dog. But being perfectly unobtrusive, I dare say I was easy to tolerate, perhaps even of the same value as a background is to a picture, a mere patch of neutral colour, yet serving to harmonize the whole. Certainly nothing but my silence saved me. The remark a few pages back about Hall Caine and Meredith would have caused my instant execution, by the most painful, if the least prolonged, of deaths.
    Aye! no society, since men gathered together, was ever so easy to approach, to seat oneself among, to slip away from, or to be hurled in derision from their midst!
    Dreaded as they were by the charlatan, no set of men could have been more closely-knit, more genial, more fraternal. United by a bond of mutual respect, even where they differed -- of mutual respect, I say, by no means of mutual admiration, for it was the sincere artistry that they adored, not the technical skill of achievement -- they formed a noble and harmonious group, the like of which has perhaps never yet been seen.
    Of this circle K--- was an honoured member. Perfectly at home in all societies, he endeared himself to this one by his singular versatility and charm, his sincerity and brilliance. Once they grasped the many-sided nature of his mind -- an operation which took about two hours' hard work on the part of D--- and L---, for K--- dissimulated, with amusing effrontery, the real harmony of his character -- they knew him for a man, and loved him.
    It was at the Red Dog that I first had the pleasure of meeting him. He was then living apart form his wife, who had returned to Cairo for the sake of its vice, and he occupied a small flat in the Avenue Matignon; I was myself living not far away, and about ten o'clock we left the Dog, and he suggested that I should walk home with him.
    Near the Place St Michel, however, he suddenly hailed a closed cab -- it was the depth of winter -- and motioned me to enter. I was exceedingly surprised, for he was fond of walking, and hated travelling by any kind of vehicle. Near the Pont-Neuf he stopped the cab, removed his great blue cloak and coat (an elaborate tunic trimmed with ermine, for he was an eccentric in costume to the point of monomania) and stepped outside with me, bidding the cabman to wait. We stood in the shadow of a large urinoir and he anxiously consulted his watch. "Damn the b---!" he exclaimed after a few minutes, "will she trick me after all? Or has my note miscarried?"
    I was more and more astonished, even embarrassed, but I dared not question him. Suddenly, however, there resounded the echo of a pitiful cry apparently proceeding from a house which stood upon the quay. A smile of pleasure chased the frown from his face. In a few moments came the sound of softly running feet upon the road, and a disheveled woman with a face set hard like ivory dipped into the light. A movement -- his strong nervous hand pressed me back -- she stood upon the parapet and dived. Like a flash he was after her, and almost before I could reach the edge of the river he was swimming steadily to the steps with the unhappy girl. He bundled her into the cab with but little assistance from me, and, giving a brief excuse -- and a louis -- to the constable who ran up, we drove off home. He revived her with a million kisses and endearments -- rather embarrassing for a third party -- and when her eyes opened and she saw his boyish face she had only one word -- "It isn't true then? Oh my God, it isn't true?" -- and fell to murmuring his name with every accent of infinite love and tenderness.
    At his house my astonishment was tenfold. Ready and waiting for us were hot drinks of every kind, blankets toasting before a splendid fire, a bright open bed in the luxurious room -- in ten minutes he had her nude and dry and warm and happy. He dismissed me queerly: "I suppose I must follow," he laughed, lifting her tenderly into bed with yet another kiss. "I'll tell you about it one day."
    So I left him. She was his mistress for more than a year -- perhaps is so still. It turned out that he had spent six weeks driving the poor child, whose only folly was her love for him, to suicide, by a calculated series of abominable cruelties, above all by his refusal to return her love. The final "coup" was as I have described; he had foreseen all, provided for all.
    Such incidents are characteristic of the man; he had not (I firmly believe) even the excuse of love for her.
    As I have observed, the Nameless Novel was written during his wife's convalescence. The verses which composed the Bromo Book are due to many occasions. Some are mere exercises in metre. If he heard a new form of rhyme, as in the "Sailor ashore," he would compose in it, and, lest his vanity should lure him into publishing one of such exercises, he chose words which would make it impossible.
    I obtained the MS. by a simple act of burglary. Being sure that he would never consent to their publication I had no scruples, for he might have destroyed them. It seems to me that the most versatile genius of this, perhaps of any age, is best served by exhibiting that genius, even where, as at present, it turns to the most incredibly loathsome forms. The portrait of the Twelve Disciples would be sadly marred by so inartistic a blunder as the exclusion of Judas Iscariot.

1. It may be noted that this pure young man who loves Pompilia in such a
    virginal manner has some pretty foul ideas.
2. Or even Arthur.
3. Thus the visions of a St Francis assume the eidola of his maudlin
    devotion; those of a St Anthony are tinctured by the physiological reaction
    against his senseless austerities.
4. It must be understood that this was not exactly what he did, but an
    analogy as near as is consistent with his incognito. So throughout.

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from the Grady Project:

   Originally published in The Magickal Link volume II, number 8 (August 1982) on pages 1-2, this piece is part of a series of articles "On Technical Information and Curriculum," lately reprinted in these pages.

On Curriculum

by Hymenaeus Alpha 777

    What I have been doing in the last two articles "On Technical Information" is to acquaint you with a small portion of the plethora of information you are facing, and the simplicity with which it can be organized. There will be more, but at this point we consider how to study. That is curriculum.
    When I submitted "On Technical Information (2)," der Heidrick said, "Grady, this is impossibly compressed."
    I: How many of the kids do you think will get it?
    He: About a quarter.
    I: That's the whole idea. The bright ones will get it; the rest will ask questions. That's why they invented dictionaries. It's time we got them out of Sand Box I. They want to be Thelemic Magicians. Let them learn how to organize the material of their discipline so they can apply it. For our purposes Magick is defined "The Physics of Metaphysics."
    Curriculum is your specific course of study. It is divided into the subjects of your discipline. Take a shoe box (the one you swiped your rolling lid from), and a handful of file folders. Mark each folder with the name of a subject: Kabbalah, Tarot, Crowley, Latin, Sepheroth (Liber D), Astrology, etc. Set aside a stack of 8" by 11" three-hole punched pads for work sheets that will be filling these folders. The three-hole note paper is so you can later file them in your three-ring binder as your "executive loose leaf notebook." After all, that is your Thoth Tarot deck. An executive's loose leaf notebook on the pyramid mysteries of Egypt. Seen via the computer grid that is 777.
    Next set aside a separate folder and tear out twenty-two pages from your pad. Mark each page "Z" to "A." Put "A" on the bottom and "Z" on top. Words in the Hebrew code are spelled right to left so it is easier to read them back to front. Gets you to thinking upside-down like a typesetter. Believe me, this will stand you in good stead when you start revolving the cycles. Then as you go through and start numbering the Hebrew words in your 777, 418, Kaballah Denudata, Masonic readings, etc., you will start to build your knowledge of the Ship's Code Book and you will start getting acquainted with words like ZRO (AyinReshZain = 277). Why is that important? According to Crowley, in his story Atlantis, the production of ZRO (that is, "sow, propagate; seed, semen") was the principal object of the priests of Atlantis. Crowley was not always kidding. I suggest you take him seriously. Also other goodies:
    ZION Nun-finalVauYodTzaddi = 156
    Will-Power Nun-finalVauTzaddiResh = 346
    Vrihl LamedHayYodReshVau = 251
    The Understanding (Binah) HayNunYodBet = 67
    The Tree of Life Mem-finalYodYodChet Tzaddi-finalAyin = 228
    Torrentes Aquarum Mem-finalYodMem YodQofYodPehAleph = 291
    (O yez -- get a Latin-English dictionary.)
    Skull (Golgotha) TawLamedGimelLamedGimel = 466
    NUIT, THE STAR GODDESS TetYodVauNun = 75
    Long of Nose Mem-finalYodPehAleph Kaf-finalReshAleph = 352
    The end; appointed time Tzaddi-finalQof = 190
    Controversia Domini HayBetYodResh = 217
    Choronzon Nun-finalVauZainNunVauReshVauChet = 333
    Aquarius YodLamedDalet = 44

    And how do we get all those groovy English equivalents from the Hebrew- Egyptian fire alphabet? Well, you just invent your own, like Tarzan learning to read from a book he found in a jungle hut. But it's handy to have a guide. Ours happens to be:

AlephAlephA,X1Peh-finalLamedAleph    An Ox
BetBethB2TawYodBet    House
GimelGimelG,C3LamedMemGimel    Camel
DaletDalethD4TawLamedDalet    Door
HayH,E5HayHay    Window
VauVauF,V,U6VauVau    Nail
ZainZainZ7Nun-finalYodZain    Sword
ChetChethCh8TawYodChet    Fence
TetTethTe9TawYodTet    Serpent
YodYodI,Y,J10DaletVauYod    Hand
KafKaphK20Peh-finalKaf    Palm
LamedLamedL30DaletMemLamed    Ox-goad
MemMemM40Mem-finalYodMem    Water
NunNunN50Nun-finalVauNun    Fish
SamekhSamechS60Kaf-finalMemSamekh    Prop
AyinAyinO70Nun-finalYodAyin    Eye
PehP80HayPeh    Mouth
TzaddiTzaddiTz90YodDaletTzaddi    Fish-hook
QofQophQ100Peh-finalVauQof    Back Head
ReshReshR200ShinYodResh    Head
ShinShinSh300Nun-finalYodShin    Tooth
TawTauTh400VauTaw    Tau Cross

    Let's take a practical example. Crowley says someplace that the Tree of Life and the Thirty Aethyrs coincide only at certain points. So take the Index of Aethyrs in your 418. Note which ones relate to a Thoth card. On a work sheet start with:
            Atu I, The Magus Third Aethyr, ZON for the paths and work down. Also start a separate sheet for the Sepheroth with:
            (1) Kether ReshTawKaf Aethyrs 21 and 16
    You will find quite a different universe. A world of planes and islands where reality exists only where certain vibrations coincide. Rots of ruck, and good hunting!
    Oyez -- If you prefer to use "X" for Aleph and save "A" for the Greek
    Kabbalah, Ararita would look like this:
X Th ' R X R X
    ---- H. A. 777

Inspired by Hadit Encampment, where they know NOT (TetAyinNun = 129) what they do.

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from the Library Shelf

    This story comes from The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, now first completely done into English prose and verse, from the original Arabic, by John Payne, in nine volumes (London: printed by private subscription, 1882-84). The text was transcribed from a facsimile reprint, the Khorassan edition (London: by private subscription, 1901). This tale is told on the 398th night (pages 244-5 of volume 4).

The Khalif El Mamoun and
the Pyramids of Egypt
A Tale from the Arabian Nights

translated by John Payne (1883)

    It is told of the Khalif El Mamoun, son of Haroun el Reshid, when he entered the God-guarded city of Cairo, was minded to pull down the Pyramids, that he might take what was therein; but, when he went about to do this, he could not avail thereto, for all his endeavour. He expended great sums of money in the attempt, but only succeeded in opening up a small gallery in one of them, wherein he found treasure, to the exact amount of the money he had spent in the works, neither more nor less; at which he marveled and taking what he found there, desisted from his intent.
    Now the Pyramids are three in number, and they are one of the wonders of the world; nor is there on the face of the earth their like for height and fashion and skillful ordinance; for they are builded of immense rocks, and they who built them proceeded by piercing one block of stone and setting therein upright rods of iron; after which they pierced a second block of stone and lowered it upon the first. Then they poured melted lead upon the joints and set the blocks in geometrical order, till the building was complete. The height of each pyramid was a hundred cubits, of the measure of the time, and it was four-square, each side three hundred cubits long, at the bottom, and sloping upward thence to a point. The ancients say that, in the western Pyramid, are thirty chambers of vari-coloured granite, full of precious stones and treasures galore and rare images and utensils and ungents, so that they may not rust till the day of Resurrection. Therein, also, are vessels of glass, that will bend and not break, containing various kinds of compound drugs and medicinal waters. In the second Pyramid are the records of the priests, written on tablets of granite -- to each priest his tablet -- on which are set out the wonders of his craft and his achievements; and on the walls are figures like idols, working with their hands at all manner of crafts and seated on thrones. To each pyramid there is a guardian, that keeps watch over it and guards it, to all eternity, against the ravages of time and the vicissitudes of events; and indeed the marvels of these pyramids astound all who have eyes and wit. Many are the poems that describe them, thou shalt profit no great matter thereby, and among the rest, quoth one of them:

The high resolves of kings, if they would have them to abide
In memory, after them, are in the tongues of monuments.
Dost thou not see the Pyramids? They, of a truth endure
And change not for the shifts of time or chances of events.

    And again:

Consider but the Pyramids and lend an ear to all
They tell of bygone times and that which did of yore befall.
Could they but speak, assuredly they would to us relate
What time and fate have done with first and last and great and small.

    And again:

I prithee, tell me, friend of mine, stands there beneath the sky
A building with the Pyramids of Egypt that can vie
In skillful ordinance? Behold, Time's self afraid of them,
Though of all else upon the earth 'tis dreaded, low and high.
My sight no longer rests upon their wonderous ordinance,
Yet are they present evermore unto my spirit's eye.

    And again:

Where's he the Pyramids who built? What was his tribe,
His time and what the place where he was stricken dead?
The monuments survive their lords awhile; then death
O'ertaketh them and they fall prostrate in their stead.

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for June 2002 e.v.

6/2/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/3/02Rites of Eleusis Planning Meeting
8PM in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg
6/6/02Ancient Ways FestivalIndependant
6/7/02Ancient Ways FestivalIndependant
6/8/02Ancient Ways FestivalIndependant
6/9/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/10/02New Moon. Solar Eclipse in Gemini
4:46 PM
6/11/02Maat-Tahuti reading group at Cheth
House: The Dialogues of Plato 7:30PM
6/16/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/17/02Section II reading group with
Caitlin: The Arabian Nights, trans.
by John Payne 8PM in library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/21/02Summer Solstice feast and ritual
7:00 PM in Horus Temple
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/23/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/24/02Full Moon. Lunar Eclipse in
Capricornus 2:42 PM
6/25/02Maat-Tahuti reading group at Cheth
House: The Dialogues of Plato 7:30PM
6/27/02The Book of Thoth study group
8:00PM library with Paul
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/30/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM 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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Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)

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