Thelema Lodge Calendar for August 2002 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for August 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

August 2002 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Rapturous Garden

More somberly the secret summer broods
    -- Victor Neuburg, Rosa Ignota

    Celebrate Lammastide at Temescal with Thelema Lodge on Wednesday 7th August as the sun passes through the heart of the lion. Sol achieves fifteen degrees of Leo at about 9:48 that morning, marking the mid-way point in the summer season. We will gather for a barbecue picnic in the park near the southern end of Lake Temescal in Oakland, beginning in the evening at 7:00 (or meet by 6:30 at the lodge to drive up together). Bring meat for the fire and plenty of your favorite cook-out contributions, along with drinks and dessert to share. At sunset we plan to conclude our feast in a circle for a shared reading of Liber Tzaddi vel Hamus Hermeticus.

    Every Sunday evening the mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica is celebrated in Horus Temple by members and friends of the lodge, with participation welcome from all. This Thelemic eucharist ritual consists in the consecration and then the shared consumption of a talismanic host of two elements. The small ginger cookies known as Cakes of Light, partaken in communion by each of the congregation along with a goblet of red wine, begin the ritual as ordinary food from the kitchen, to be converted by the mental alchemy of our concentration into sparks of the universal gnosis within the being of all. Mass begins at nightfall, and to attend for the first time guests should call several days ahead to speak with the lodgemaster for directions. Arrive by 8:00 any Sunday evening and join us in the lodge library to await the deacon's call for entry into the sanctuary. Communicants may deepen their experience in the Gnostic Catholic Church by studying the canon of the ritual in Liber XV, and by training privately in the roles of the celebrants as part of an informal mass team. Along the way some consultation with a few of the more experienced members of our local gnostic "clergy" would be encouraging, and before long you'll be ready to arrange with the lodgemaster for a date on the temple calendar when your team can serve mass for the lodge in Horus Temple. As Thelemites the true church of the universal gnosis is complete within each of us, shared among all of us, and potent still with the mysteries of each new star that comes amongst us.

    Thelema Lodge will hold a special feast on Monday 12th August observing the ninety-ninth anniversary of the marriage of the Beast and his Scarlet Woman, "which made possible the revelation of the New Law." Our "feast for the first night of the Prophet and his Bride" will consist in a light supper of beer and bread and cheese and fruit (with alternate menu items also welcome should anyone prefer), along with some shared reading from The Book of Lies. Pick out a several memorable chapters from Liber 333, and a few of your favorite bottles, along with a loaf of bread or some fresh fruit, and a couple lumps of the best cheeses you can find, all to bring along and share. Stop by between 7:00 and 9:00 that evening to join in, and bring your spouse/spice if so inclined. "(This is not an Apology for Marriage. Hard Cases make Bad Law.)"

O Thou summer-land of eternal joy, Thou rapturous garden of flowers! Yea, as I gather Thee, my harvest is but as a drop of dew shimmering in the golden cup of the crocus.
    -- J. F. C. Fuller, Liber 963

Battling in Black Floods

    "Take leave of the flesh" bids the aged spirit of Saturn, and this year the dark rite will be rendered as a carnival in the old New Orleans style. Funerary fun awaits those who brave the opening act of this summer's twenty-third bay area cycle of Aleister Crowley's Liber 850, The Rites of Eleusis, beginning at 8:00 on Saturday evening 10th August. The abominable Baron herself, beckoning out of her big box, will catch you and carry you away into the labyrinth of black. Join Leigh Ann for "The Rite of Saturn" in the Labyrinth at Market & 20th Streets in Oakland.

Destruction's Formidable Kiss

    Eleusis continues at intervals of twelve days on into the autumn. Jupiter is next, at Sirius Encampment, beginning at 8:00 on Thursday evening 22nd August in north Berkeley. Call Glenn at (510) 527-2855 during the preceding week for directions. Dress in purples and rich blues (or not at all, as this may be rather a wet rite), and come bearing gifts of wine and fruit and joviality. Maenads and tigers will be welcome volunteers at the last minute, should the spirit move you!

Like a Flower in the Heart

    Sirius Encampment offers a seminar on the symbolism of the O.T.O. first degree ritual, with attendance limited to I° initiates. At 2:00 on Sunday afternoon 25th August in north Berkeley, participants will take the ritual apart for a discussion both of the candidate's experience and the officers' roles in this degree. Experienced officers and new members of the first degree will be especially welcome.

    At Thelema Lodge O.T.O. initiations this month will be held on Saturday 31st August. Candidacy must be arranged at least thirty days ahead, and all who attend must speak well in advance with the lodge officers to known the time, place, and degree to be worked. Candidacy in the Man of Earth degrees is available by application; request the proper form for your next degree from the lodgemaster.

Beyond the Ogdoadic Region

    The Corpus Hermeticum is our topic for the Section Two reading group this month, meeting with Caitlin in the lodge library from 8:00 to 9:30 on Monday evening 19th August. In the first section of his reading list Crowley recommends the "Hermetic" books under the title of the first dialogue in this series of esoteric teachings. The A A bibliography entry reads (in full): "The Divine Pymander, by Hermes Trismegistus. Invaluable as bearing on the Gnostic Philosophy." The Hermetica comprise a small library of eighteen brief pedagogic dialogues, plus a longer essay on Egyptian temple techniques entitled "Asclepius." They are pagan, but with a monotheistic leaning, and primarily concerned with theosophical piety and with Egyptian spiritual traditions. They seem to emerge from the Greek-speaking administrative society which governed Egypt as part of the Roman empire, and they date from the second and third centuries of the common era. Ascribed to Hermes, or Thoth, the inventor of writing, these pseudopigraphic teachings attempt to reconstruct a primal perspective from the very beginning of human culture, and present themselves as the earliest written records of the world's oldest civilization. Hermes Trismegistus (the Master of Three Arts, or the Thrice-Greatest), a form of Tahuti, was long held to have been an older contemporary of Moses, and to bear witness to a spiritual tradition parallel to that of the Torah. The recovery of these texts was seen (at the time) as a turning point in the Italian Renaissance, and their translation into Latin by Ficino preceded his edition of Plato. In fact the Hermetica seem almost to be the writings of tourists in Egypt, impressed but confused, and concerned mainly with external and accidental curiosities. They contain diverse syncretic elements from many religious traditions current in the Roman empire, including some clear echoes of Genesis. In the early seventeenth century Greek scholarship was able to date these texts more accurately, and they lost their status as the primal evidence of an archaic spirituality. We read them partly for the impression they made upon the great magicians of the Renaissance who accepted them at face value, and partly as a record of the classical pagan spiritual culture which fabricated them, and partly for the view they afford of their actual authors' projections of the archaic beginnings of the human spirit which they attempted to reconstruct.

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Fac Quod Vis Totum Legis Erit

       "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." The accompanying figure, an eighteenth century engraving illustrating a French edition of Gargantua by Rabelais, shows the entrance to the original Abbey of Thelema. The triple- crowned Pope stands before the gate, inspecting a ground plan of Thélème on his visit to the abbey. Upon the lintel appears the abbey's motto in Latin, reminding us that although Rabelais wrote in French he lived largely in a latinate culture, and doubtless would have imagined the Latin language as basic to the institution of his idealized coeducational monastery. Below this motto, on the archway of the gate, the single word "Thelemae" has been inscribed.
    Amor lex est, amor sub voluntatem.

Rites in Review

   The two items in this section appeared in a program leaflet distributed in 1910 e.v. to patrons at the original Rites of Eleusis performances at Caxton Hall in London. Headed simply "The Rites of Eleusis," the first article seems to have been written especially for this leaflet, most likely by one of the participants in the production. Its style and perspective are distinct from Crowley's own, and this anonymous piece was apparently not published elsewhere. The second item reprinted here from the Caxton Hall program leaflet is a review by Raymond Radclyffe which had been published on 24th August 1910 e.v. in a London arts magazine called The Sketch. It describes the original invitational performance of "The Rite of Artemis," which was later recast as "The Rite of Luna" and became the prototype for the other rites in the Eleusis cycle. An abbreviated version of Radclyffe's review appeared in this column last year (TLC, September 2001 e.v.) when no complete text was avaliable; the present version restores several paragraphs at the opening and closing of the piece. The essay by Aleister Crowley which appears in the following "Crowley Classics" section was the third and final item in the Caxton Hall leaflet. It too seems not to have been published elsewhere in its present form, although sections of it were borrowed in other publicity material distributed from the Equinox offices at the time of the Rites production. Thelema Lodge again thanks Caliph Hymenaeus Beta for providing a photocopy of the rare 1910 e.v. theater program from which all three of these texts are reprinted.

The Rites of Eleusis

    "We are the poets! We are the children of wood and stream, of mist and mountain, of sun and wind! We are the Greeks! and to us the rites of Eleusis should open the doors of Heaven, and we shall enter in and see God face to face. . .
    Under the stars will I go forth, my brothers, and drink of that lustral dew: I will return, my brothers, when I have seen God face to face and read within those eternal eyes the secret that shall make you free.
    Then will I choose you and test you and instruct you in the Mysteries of Eleusis, of ye brave hearts, and cool eyes, and trembling lips! I will put a live coal upon your lips, and flowers upon your eyes, and a sword in your hearts, and ye also shall see God face to face.
    Thus shall we give back its youth to the world, for like tongues of triple flame we shall look upon the great Deep -- Hail unto the Lords of the Groves of Eleusis!
           -- ALEISTER CROWLEY in "Eleusis."

    Aleister Crowley is one of those men who can never remain satisfied. His ambitions are insatiable. He desires the unattainable with the fervour of a fanatic. Whether he is climbing volcanoes in Mexico or traversing the vase snowfields of Kinchinjunga, editing a paper or playing golf, he proceeds on his way with swiftness and passion. In Ceylon he was a Buddhist. In Paris he was the beloved of Rodin. Wherever he may be he must lead the way. Whilst Maeterlinck was delicately suggesting that there was more in magic than most of us imagined, Crowley was saturating himself in all the mystical works of the middle ages. He learnt Magic as certainly no living man has ever learnt it.
    Eighteen months ago he started a periodical called The Equinox, brilliant from first page to last. Some of it is pure literature; some semi-magical: the greater portion intended for the study of those who see a serious side to Ceremonial Magic. The Equinox has been a great success. Even those who have never heard of the Taro or read Eliphas Levi buy The Equinox.
    Aleister Crowley is a poet; no minor bard twittering in gentle verses the praises of his mistress's eyelash, but a virile singer, robust in his hates, passionate in his loves. He may not be as morbid as Baudelaire, but he is bolder than Swinburne. And he has equal mastery of verse. But he is still a young man, and so only known to a select circle. It is certain that one of these days Crowley will be considered to rank with Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Swinburne. In many of his poems he strikes the highest note.
    Crowley is not only a poet, he is also a philosopher. He studies mankind from outside. He earnestly desires to help humanity. He believes that he has a mission in the world. He is so much in earnest that he has already a large following amongst those who, whilst essentially religious, have no creed. Captain Fuller has written a book upon Crowley and his aims. In this book he not only calls attention to the poems of the writer, but he devotes some hundred odd pages to the new philosophy that is to lead mankind to happiness and a nobler life. What is this philosophy? It is devoted to a search after Ecstasy, and is called Scientific Illuminism. "Religion and Science for many years seemingly ran antagonistic to each other; but in reality their antagonism has been of a superficial nature, and fundamentally they at heart are one," thus writes Captain Fuller, whom we may accept as an authority. Crowley is the mouthpiece of a society the object of which would seem to be the attaining of religious ecstasy by means of Ceremonial Magic.
    Dr Maudsley defines Ecstasy or Samadhi as a quasi-spasmodic standing-out of a special tract of the brain. W. R. Inge defines Ecstasy as a vision that proceeds from ourselves when conscious thought ceases. But however you may feel about Ecstasy there is no doubt that it is an essential part of true religious feeling. Crowley says, "True Ceremonial Magic is entirely directed to attain this end, and forms a magnificent gymnasium for those who are not already finished mental athletes." By act, word, and thought, both in quantity and quality, the one object of the ceremony is being constantly indicated.
    In order to induce this religious ecstasy in its highest form Crowley proposes to hold a series of religious services; seven in number. These services are to be held in Caxton Hall, Westminster, and will be conducted by Aleister Crowley himself, assisted by other Neophytes of the A A, the mystical society, one of whose Mahatmas is responsible for the foundation of The Equinox.
    The seven services will be typical of Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man, and each one will be dedicated to the Planet that rules its particular age. For example, Saturn "the lean and slippered pantaloon," or sad old age. Jupiter the solemn and portentous justice, the serious and serene man who has arrived and controls. Mars the soldier, full of energy and life, vigorous and formidable. Sol the man who has still something of his youth left, and is gay betimes and serious betimes, the man who loves and the man who works. Venus explains itself in Shakespeare's words, "the lover with a woeful ballad." Mercury the schoolboy, happy, careless and gay, mischievous and full of animal life. Luna the age of childhood and innocence, unsmirched and white as the planet herself.
    Each will have its own ritual, arranged for the purpose of illustrating the particular deity to which it is devoted; each ritual will be both poetic and musical. Verses of the great poets appropriate to the planet and all that the planet represents will be recited, and the ideas suggested to the spectators will be translated into inspired music by an accomplished violin player. There will further by mystical dances by a brilliant young poet who thus draws down the holy influence.
    The ceremonies will commence at nine o'clock precisely, and no one will be admitted after that hour. They will occupy about two hours, and those who attend will be requested to centre their whole minds upon the idea of the evening, the object, of course, being to induce in the spectators a feeling of religious ecstasy.
    One hundred seats only will be available and the rent for these seats for the seven ceremonies will be five guineas. The proceeds will be devoted to The Equinox, and the object for which The Equinox was established.
    The following is a description of a ceremony in honour of Artemis held in July at the offices of The Equinox. The present series will be even more elaborate and perfect.

A New Religion

by Raymond Radclyffe

    A certain number of literary people know the name of Aleister Crowley as a poet. A few regard him as a magician. But a small and select circle revere him as the hierophant of a new religion. This creed Captain Fuller, in a book on the subject extending to 327 pages, calls "Crowleyanity." I do not pretend to know what Captain Fuller means. He is deeply read in philosophy, and he takes Crowley very seriously. I do not quite see whither Crowley himself is driving; but I imagine that the main idea in the brain of this remarkable poet is to plant Eastern Transcendentalism, which attains its ultimate end in Samadhi, in English soil under the guise of Ceremonial Magic.
    Possibly the average human being requires and desires ceremony. Even the simplest Methodist uses some sort of ceremony, and Crowley, who is quite in earnest in his endeavour to attain such unusual conditions of mind as are called ecstasy, believes that the gateway to Ecstasy can be reached through Ceremonial Magic. He has saturated himself with the magic of the East -- a very real thing, in tune with the Eastern mind. He is well read in the modern metaphysicians, all of whom have attempted to explain the unexplainable.
    He abandons these. They appeal only to the brain, and once their jargon is mastered they lead nowhere; least of all to Ecstasy. He goes back upon ceremony, because he thinks that it helps the mind to get outside itself. He declares that if you repeat an invocation solemnly and aloud, "expectant of some great and mysterious result," you will experience a deep sense of spiritual communion.
    He is now holding a series of seances.
    I attended at the offices of The Equinox. I climbed the interminable stairs. I was received by a gentleman robed in white and carrying a drawn sword.
    The room was dark; only a dull- red light shone upon an altar. Various young men, picturesquely clad in robes of white, red, or black, stood at different points around the room. Some held swords. The incense made a haze, through which I saw a small white statue, illumined by a tiny lamp hung high on the cornice.
    A brother recited "the banishing ritual of the Pentagram" impressively and with due earnestness. Another brother was commanded to "purify the Temple with water." This was done. Then we witnessed the "Consecration of the Temple with Fire," whereupon Crowley, habited in black, and accompanied by the brethren, led "the Mystic Circumambulation." They walked round the altar twice or thrice in a sort of religious procession. Gradually, one by one, those of the company who were mere onlookers were beckoned into the circle. The Master of the Ceremonies then ordered a brother to "bear the Cup of Libation." The brother went round the room, offering each a large golden bowl full of some pleasant-smelling drink. We drank in turn. This over, a stalwart brother strode into the centre and proclaimed "The Twelvefold Certitude of God." Artemis was then invoked by the greater ritual of the Hexagram. More Libation. Aleister Crowley read us "The Song of Orpheus" from The Argonauts.
    Following upon this song we drank our third Libation, and then the brothers led into the room a draped figure, masked in that curious blue tint we mentally associate with Hecate. The lady, for it was a lady, was enthroned on a seat high above Crowley himself. By this time the ceremony had grown weird and impressive, and its influence was increased when the poet recited in solemn and reverent voice Swinburne's glorious first chorus from "Atalanta," that begins "When the hounds of spring." Again a Libation; again an invocation to Artemis. After further ceremonies, Frater Omnia Vincam was commanded to dance "the dance of Syrinx and Pan in honour of our lady Artemis." A young poet, whose verse is often read, astonished me by a graceful and beautiful dance, which he continued until he fell exhausted in the middle of the room, where, by the way, he lay until the end. Crowley then made supplication to the goddess in a beautiful and unpublished poem. A dead silence ensued. After a long pause, the figure enthroned took a violin and played -- played with passion and feeling, like a master. We were thrilled to our very bones. Once again the figure took the violin, and played an Abend Lied so beautifully, so gracefully, and with such intense feeling that in very deed most of us experienced that Ecstasy which Crowley so earnestly seeks. Then came a prolonged and intense silence, after which the Master of Ceremonies dismissed us in these words: "By the Power in me vested, I declare the Temple closed."
    So ended a really beautiful ceremony -- beautifully conceived and beautifully carried out. If there is any higher form of artistic expression than great verse and great music I have yet to learn it. I do not pretend to understand the ritual that runs like a thread of magic through these meetings of the A A I do not even know what the A A is. But I do known that the whole ceremony was impressive, artistic, and produced in those present such a feeling as Crowley must have had when he wrote:

So shalt thou conquer Space, and lastly climb
              The walls of Time;
And by the golden path the great trod
              Reach up to God!

Crowley Classics

This essay on The Rites of Eleusis appeared late in 1910 e.v. in the same program leaflet from which the two foregoing "Rites in Review" articles have been reprinted.

The Why and How of Ecstasy

by Aleister Crowley

"There is a land of pure delight,
  Where saints immortal reign."

    So used some of us to sing in our childhood. And we used to think of this land as far away, farther even than death that in those days seemed so far.
    But I know this now: that land is not so far as my flesh is from my bones! It is even Here and Now.
    If there is one cloud in this tranquil azure, it is this thought; that conscious beings exist who are not thus infinitely happy, masters of ecstasy.
    So to remove this cloud have I cheerfully dedicated all I have and all I am.
    That I do not overvalue ecstasy is shown by this, that I am not one who denies himself the good things of this world. There are too many mystics going about like the fox who lost his brush. They cannot enjoy life, and so make believe to have something better.
    But I dine at the Cafe Royal, instead of munching nuts and "sirloin of carrots." I make expeditions to the great mountains of the Himalayas, and hunt buffalo and tiger in the jungles of the Terai; I love beauty in painting and sculpture; I love poetry and music; and I love flesh and blood.
    There is nothing that you enjoy that I do not enjoy as much as you do; and I bear witness that nothing is worthy to be compared with ecstasy.
    What is the path to this immortal land?
    To the Oriental, whose mind is, so to say, static, meditation offers the best path, a path which to us seems (and indeed is) intolerably irksome and tedious.
    To the Western, whose mind is active and dynamic, there is no road better than ceremonial.
    For ecstasy is caused by the sudden combination of two ideas, just as hydrogen and oxygen unite explosively.
    A similar instance in a higher kingdom will occur to every one.
    But this religious ecstasy takes place in the highest centres of the human organism; it is the soul itself that is united to its God; and for this reason the rapture is more overpowering, the joy more lasting, and the resultant energy more pure and splendid, than in aught earthly.
    In ritual, therefore, we seek continually to unite the mind to some pure idea by an act of will. This we do again and again more and more passionately, with more and more determination, until at last the mind accepts the domination of the Will, and rushes of its own accord toward the desired object. This surrender of the mind to its Lord gives the holy ecstasy which we seek. It is spoken of in all religions, usually under the figure of the bride going forth to meet the bridegroom. It is the attainment of this which makes the saint and the artist.
    Now in our ceremonies we endeavour to help everybody present to experience this. We put the mind of the spectator in tune with the pure idea of austerity and melancholy which we call Saturn, or with the idea of force and fire which we call Mars, or with the idea of nature and love which we call Venus, and so for the others. If he becomes identified with this idea the union is one of ecstatic bliss, and its only imperfection is due to the fact that the idea in question, whatever it may be, is only partial.
    Ecstasy is therefore progressive. Gradually the adept unites himself with holier and higher ideas until he becomes one with the Universe itself, and even with That which is beyond the Universe. To him there is no more Death; time and space are annihilated; nothing is, save the intense rapture that knows no change for ever.
    Then what of the body? The body of such an one continues subject to the laws of its own plane. Yet his friends find him calmer, happier, healthier, his eyes bright and his skin clear even when he is old. but he has this, which they have not, the power of slipping instantly out of this changeful consciousness into the Eternal, and then abiding, supremely single and complete, bathed in unutterable bliss, one with the All. And he knows that this body subject to disease and Death is not himself, but only as it were the instrument of his pleasure, a sort of houseboat that he has taken for the summer.
    The present series of ceremonies is designed for beginners, for those who have as yet no experience at all.
    Only the simplest formulas will be used, so that even those who are quite unfamiliar with the methods and aims of ritual may obtain the result, and comprehend the method. Yet they will be profound and perfect, so that even those who are already skillful may obtain further success.
    Let us add a short analysis of the present series of rites; they may be taken as illustrating Humanity, its fate both good and evil.
    Man, unable to solve the Riddle of Existence, takes counsel of Saturn, extreme old age. Such answer as he can get is the one word "Despair."
    Is there more hope in the dignity and wisdom of Jupiter? No; for the noble senior lacks the vigour of Mars the warrior. Counsel is in vain without determination to carry it out.
    Mars, invoked, is indeed capable of victory: but he has already lost the controlled wisdom of age; in the moment of conquest he wastes the fruits of it, in the arms of luxury.
    It is through this weakness that the perfected man, the Sun, is of dual nature, and his evil twin slays him in his glory. So the triumphant Lord of Heaven, the beloved of Apollo and the Muses is brought down into the dust, and who shall mourn him but his Mother Nature, Venus, the lady of love and sorrow? Well is it if she bears within her the Secret of Resurrection!
    But even Venus owes all her charm to the swift messenger of the gods, Mercury, the joyous and ambiguous boy whose tricks first scandalize and then delight Olympus.
    But Mercury, too, is found wanting. Not in him alone is the secret cure for all the woe of the human race. Swift as ever, he passes, and gives place to the youngest of the gods, to the Virginal Moon.
    Behold her, Madonna-like, throned and crowned, veiled, silent, awaiting the promise of the Future.
    She is Isis and Mary, Istar and Bhavani, Artemis and Diana.
    But Artemis is still barren of hope until the spirit of the infinite All, great Pan, tears asunder the veil and displays the hope of humanity, the Crowned Child of the Future. All this is symbolized in the holy rites which we have recovered from the darkness of history, and now in the fullness of time disclose that the world may be redeemed.
    For the corruptible shall put on incorruptibility, the mortal shall put on immortality; my adepts shall walk crowned in the Gardens of the World, enjoying the breeze and the sunlight, plucking the roses and filling their mouths with ripe grapes. They shall dance in the moonlight before Dionysus, and delight under the stars with Aphrodite; yet they shall also dwell beyond all these things in the unchanged Heaven -- Here and Now.

T H E     R I T E S     O F     E L E U S I S
will be celebrated at Caxton Hall, Westminster, as follows:
THE RITE OF SATURN9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19th.
THE RITE OF JUPITER9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26th.
THE RITE OF MARS9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2nd.
THE RITE OF SOL9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9th.
THE RITE OF VENUS9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16th.
THE RITE OF MERCURY9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23rd.
THE RITE OF LUNA9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30th.

    Tickets will not be sold separately; the rent for the series is Five Guineas. Tickets are, however, transferable. Doors will be open at 8:30; they will be closed and locked at Nine o'clock precisely. The ceremonies occupy from 1 to 2 hours.
    Application for seats should be made to the Manager,


   124, Victoria Street,

             London, S.W.

    Telephone: 3210 Victoria.


    For the Rite of Saturn you are requested, if convenient, to wear black or very dark blue, for Jupiter violet, for Mars scarlet or russet brown, for Sol orange or white, for Venus green or sky-blue, for Mercury shot silk and mixed colours, for Luna white, silver, or pale blue.
    It is not necessary to confine yourself to the colour mentioned, but it should form the keynote of the scheme.
    The etiquette to be observed is that of the most solemn religious ceremonies. It should be particularly borne in mind that silence itself is used as a means of obtaining effects.

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from the Grady Project:

Originally published in The Magickal Link volume II, number 10 (October 1982) on pages 1-2.

On the Holy Books

by Hymenaeus Alpha 777

    Traditionally we have accepted six of Aleister Crowley's works as "the Holy Books." They are Liber AL, Liber Cordis Cincti Serpente (Liber LXV), Liber Liberi vel Lapis Lazuli (Liber VII), Liber DCCCXIII vel Ararita, History Lection (Liber LXI), and Liber Trigrammaton. I verified this with Germer twenty years ago when some doubt arose. They were originally published by Crowley in a small three-volume set very expensively in white leather with gold stamping and were entitled in Greek. Of these we will consider Liber VII, Liber LXV, and Liber DCCCXIII. These poems, hymns in praise of his H.G.A., are a record of the highest spiritual attainment: the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, the Crossing of the Abyss, VIII°, Magister Templi. And they follow a curious pattern.
    In the first, Liber Liberi vel Lapidis Lazuli VII, we have the ecstatic breakthrough into communication with that Unknown where the poet knows union with the geyser of the unconscious. II:11 -- Thou art like a beautiful Nubian slave leaning her naked purple against the green pillars of marble that are above the bath. The poetry speaks for itself, but the pattern is curious. If we take the formula I A O, beginning with the "Prologue of the Unborn" as an added chapter, the pattern goes IAO, IAO, IAO, IA, IA, IA, IA, IAO. One can presume that the failure to reach that last ecstatic "O" in the in-between chapters were beautiful experiences that were not quite completed.
    Liber Cordis Concti Serpente vel LXV (The Heart Girt with the Serpent) is the record of a more mature experience of the same kind, and is loaded with reverse sexuality. As Crowley goes through the various levels of experiencing this phenomenon he slips in and out of sex roles easily, as could be expected at this height of tantric androgyny. II:54 -- Crush out the blood of me, as a grape upon the tongue of a white Doric girl that languishes with her lover in the moonlight! III:40 -- I am become like a luscious devil of Italy; a fair strong woman with worn cheeks, eaten out with hunger for kisses. And, III:50 -- That which went in as a brave boy of beautiful limbs cometh forth as a maiden, as a little child for perfection. Just about as alchemical as you can get. All of this is summed in the last verse: So also is the end of the book, and the Lord Adonai is about it on all sides like a Thunderbolt, and a Pylon, and a Snake, and a Phallus, and in the midst thereof He is like the Woman that jetteth out the milk of the stars from her paps; yea, the milk of the stars from her paps.
    With DCCCXIII vel Ararita we have the culmination of this experience recounted in a relaxed, almost familiar style. For a taste of the poetry we can try VII:7 -- At the touch of the Fire Qadosh the Brilliance of our Lord was absorbed in the Naught of our Lady of the Body of the Milk of the Stars. For the pattern we notice the chapter heads. Seen across the board they run as follows:


Obviously the formula of Ararita -- AlephTawYodReshAlephReshAleph -- its literal meaning and noteriqon. This is the seven-fold name used to command the seven ancient planets in Renaissance Ceremonial Magick. Agrippa, in his Occult Philosophy, gives the Noteriqon thusly:

DaletChetAleph VauTawReshVauMemTaw VauDaletVauChetYodYod ShinAlephResh VauTawVauDaletChetAleph ShinAlephResh DaletChetAleph

The meaning of this is roughly: "His principal is one, his beginning is one, and his permutations are one." The gematria can be numbered out in the usual way. It is not often that a master of the Art can make his intentions so plain.
    Of the other three Holy Books, Liber AL vel Legis and Liber Trigrammaton can be ordered from the O.T.O., and Liber LXI vel Causae can be found in any copy of "blue" Equinox.
    These three Holy Books should prove invaluable to the true seeker of Initiation. May they guide you in that quest.

Clear Light of the Void Encampment, Salt Lake City, Utah
    -- consecrated to the destruction of the universe.

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    Reprinted from an edition of Everard's translation of the Divine Pymander (Madras, India: P. Kailasam Brothers, 1884).

Extracts from an Introduction
to the Divine Pymander
of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus

by Hargrave Jennings

    The Greeks applied the name and term of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus, so significant and suggestive, certainly to the Egyptian Thoth, as early as the fourth century, B.C. He was believed to be the origin of everything formed or produced by the human mind. He was, therefore, esteemed as the inventor of all the arts and sciences. He was the contriver of the hieroglyphics. Of these there were various kinds. There was a profound system of hieroglyphical rendering, adopted among the Egyptians, the true meaning of which was only known to the higher ranks of the priests. There were other systems of representation by marks of figures which were less reserved, and some of these mysterious signs were fitted, or adapted, for the comprehension of the multitude. Hermes was the prolific and versatile interpreter between nature and man; the repository from which issued all the application of the methods of explaining the phenomena of nature and their uses, perceived by the human mind. In his hands, and through his means, lay the demonstration of the conclusions of reason.
    The epithet, Trismegistus (omicron-tau-rho-iota-sigma-mu-epsilon-gamma-iota-sigma-tau-omicron-sigma, or "superlatively" greatest), as applied to Hermes, is of comparatively late origin, and cannot be traced to any author earlier than the second Christian century. Most probably, it arose out of the earlier forms derived by the Greeks from pristine Egyptian sources. But various other explanations of the appellation have been offered, such as that of the author of the Choronicon Alexandrinum (47 A.D.), who maintains that it was because Hermes, while maintaining the unity of God, had also asserted the existence of three supreme or greatest powers, that he was called by the Egyptians Trismegistus. This view, which is also adopted by Suidas, seems preferable at least to that met with in Nicolai's History of Greek Literature, according to which an apocryphal author named Hermes was called tau-rho-iota-sigma-mu-epsilon-gamma-iota-sigma-tau-iota-omicron-sigma, simply in order to indicate that he had succeeded and outdone a certain Megistias of Smyrna in astrological, physiognomical, and alchemistic theories. The name of Hermes seems during the third and following centuries to have been regarded as a convenient pseudonym to place at the head of the numerous syncretistic writings in which it was sought to combine Neo-Platonic philosophy, Philonic Judaism, and cabalistic theosophy, and to provide the world with some acceptable substitute for the Christianity which had even at that time begun to give indications of the ascendancy it was destined afterwards to attain. Of these pseudepigraphic Hermetic writings, some have come down to us in the original Greek. Others survive in Latin or Arabic translations. But the majority appear to have perished.

***** ***** *****

    The connection of the name of Hermes with alchemy will explain what is meant by "hermetic sealing," and will account for the use of the phrase "hermetic medicine" by Paracelsus, as also for the so-called "hermetic freemasonry" of the Middle Ages.
    Hermes was called by the Egyptians TAT, TAUT, THOTH. It is concluded that, because of his learning and address, and in wonder at his profound skill in the arts and sciences, that the people gave him the name of TRISMEGISTUS, or the "THRICE GREAT." Thoth -- or the being named with these varieties of appellation, Tat, Tot, Taut, Thoth -- was the counselor and friend of Osiris. This much has been declared of him by Diodorus Siculus. He was left by Osiris to assist Isis with his counsels in the government of the country, when Osiris embarked in the design of regenerating the earth, and visiting and civilizing the several nations. The historian adds that Hermes improved language, invented letters, instituted religious rites, taught mankind a consistent and philosophical knowledge of Providence, instructed in astronomy, music, and other arts. Many are of opinion that this Thoth, or Hermes, lived long before the time of Moses. Some have been so fanciful as to make him one with ADAM, while nearly all historiographers, in surrounding his character and doings with mystery, ascribe to him the power of magic, if not the very invention of magic itself. There have not been wanting those who have looked upon him as the same person as ENOCH or CANAAN, or as the patriarch JOSEPH. Perhaps -- in spite of all the foregoing exaggerations, which are always the lot of very great and highly distinguished men, who become deified in after-times -- the most probable judgment to be formed concerning him is, that he was some person of superior genius, who, before the time of Moses, and invented useful arts, and taught the first rudiments of science; and who caused his instructions to be engraved in emblematical figures (hieroglyphics), upon tablets or columns of stone (obelisks), which he dispersed over the country, for the purpose of enlightening the people, and of fixing the worship of the gods. And it is reasonable to conclude that the same symbolical inscriptions were made use of in calling up and inspiring the awe inseparable from the contemplation of spiritual beings -- the guardians of the lives of men, and the disposers of their fates. Maxims of political and moral wisdom went hand in hand with these religious teachings.
    Another Thoth, or Hermes, is said to have lived at a later period. He was equally celebrated with the former, and to him is particularly appropriated, by some, the name of Trismegistus. According to Manetho, he translated from engraved tablets of stone, which had been buried in the earth, the sacred characters of the first Hermes, and wrote the explanation of them in books, which were deposited in the Egyptian temples. The same author calls him the son of Agathodaemon; and adds, that to him are ascribed the restoration of the wisdom taught by the first Hermes, and the revival of geometry, arithmetic, and the arts, among the Egyptians, after they had been long lost or neglected. By the interpretation which he gave of the symbols inscribed upon the ancient tablets or columns, he obtained the sanctions of antiquity to his own institutions. To perpetuate their influence upon the minds of the people, he committed the columns, with his own interpretation, to the care of the priesthood. Hence, he obtained a high degree of respect among the people, and was long revered as the restorer of learning and the arts. He is said to have written a very large number of books, as commentaries upon the tables of the first Hermes, which treated of universal principles, of the nature of the universe, and of the soul of man; of the governing of the world by the movements of the stars (otherwise in astrology); of the Divine light, and of its shadow, or of its OTHER SIDE (presented away), in the MORTAL LIFE, or of the articulate breath or inspiration, or means of being in this world -- which, in contradistinction to the life of the unbodied light, is the DARKNESS. All these ultra- profound ideas were treated of in the theosophical teaching (strictly Platonic, as it afterwards became) of HERMES, the "THRICE GREAT." He discourses of the nature and orders of the celestial brings; the populace of the elements; and herein he enumerates all the cabalistic notions of the ROSICRUCIANS. He reduces astrology to a system; he produces treatises on medicine; and enlarges, in a brilliant and inspired manner, on all the positive and recognizable side of anatomy, and also upon the mysticism connected with the origin and working of the world, and of the nature of the life of MAN. Clemens of Alexandria gives an account of his having written thirty-two books upon theology and philosophy, and six upon medicine, and mentions the particular subjects of some of them; but they are no longer in existence. The two dialogues which have been attributed to him ... -- "Pymander" and "Asclepius" -- so known from the names of the principal speakers in them, are most striking and eloquent, They give eloquent proof of the greatness of the author, real or supposed. But we are inclined to the opinion that he was a real being, supernaturally gifted; and thus offering to the world two characters -- the one human, the other spiritual and divine.
    The titles appropriated to HERMES MERCURIUS TRISMEGISTUS were, in part, the titles of the DEITY. THEUTH, THOTH, TAUT, TAANTES, are the same title diversified, and they belong to the chief god of Egypt. Eusebius speaks of him as the same as HERMES. From Theuth the Greeks formed Theta-Epsilon-Omicron-Sigma, or Theos, which with that nation was the most general name of the Deity. Plato, in his treatise named Philebus, mentions him by the name of theta-epsilon-upsilon-theta, or Theuth. He was looked upon as a great benefactor, and the first cultivator of the vine. He was also supposed to have found out letters, which invention is likewise attributed to Hermes. Suidas calls him Theus, and says that he was the same as Arez, and so worshipped at Petra. Instead of a statue there was, "Lithos melas, tetragonos, atupotos," a black square pillar of stone, without any figure or representation. It was the same deity which the Germans and Celtae worshipped under the name of Theut-Ait or Theutates; whose sacrifices were very cruel ...
    The Hermetic of Hermetical art is a name given to chemistry, on the supposition that HERMES TRISMEGISTUS was the inventor of chemistry, or that he excelled in it. Very little is known, indeed, of this Hermes, and still less of how much or how little he had to do with the invention of the art of chemistry. He is reputed to be an ancient king of Egypt by some who have endeavoured to trace his history. The era of Aesculapius is ancient enough, but these explorers will insist that the age of HERMES TRISMEGISTUS far proceeded it. These assign his time to a thousand years before the period of the Aesculapius. They carry HERMES TRISMEGISTUS into perfect mystery. Zozimus Panopolity mentions him as having wrote of natural things, and there are many pieces existent under his name which are certainly -- to speak the least of them -- under some doubt.

***** ***** *****

    HERMES TRISMEGISTUS is generally asserted by the alchemists to have been a priest, who lived a little after the time of Moses. According to Clemens Alexandrinus, he was the author of forty-two books, containing all the learning of the Egyptians. Others tell us that he was the author of several thousand volumes. Plato speaks of him in the Phaedrus as the inventor of numbers and letters. He was, in fact, the Egyptian god of letters, and as such, of course, could be described as the author of multitudinous works. He was the deified intellect, and hence has often been confounded with THOTH, the "intellect." Sir Gardner Wilkinson speaks of HERMES as an emanation of THOTH, and as representing the "abstract quality" of the understanding. It may be well to note the extent of the symbolism associated with the sculptured representations, and with the hieroglyphics associated with the name of HERMES TRISMEGISTUS. In one hand Hermes holds the crux ansata, the symbol of life -- a master symbol which is the most persistent and determined in its appearance (and in its re-appearance) in all the sculptures of Egypt -- in the other hand the figure grasps a staff, associated with which are a serpent, a scorpion, a hawk's head, and above all a circle surrounded by an asp, each with its special symbolical significance. On the Rosetta stone Hermes is called the "great and great," or "twice" great. He was called TRISMEGISTUS, or "thrice great," according to the twelfth aphorism of the Emerald Tablet, because he possessed three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for August 2002 e.v.

8/4/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/7/02Feast of Lamas. Cook-out at Lake
Temescal, 7PM (rides from the lodge
leaving 6:30)
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/8/02New Moon in Leo 12:15 PM
8/10/02The Rite of Saturn at the Labyrinth
(Market at 20th) in Oakland 8:00PM
8/11/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/12/02Feast of the Beast and His Bride 7:00PM(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/18/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/19/02Section II reading group with
Caitlin: The Corpus Hermeticum
8PM in library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/22/02The Rite of Jupiter at Sirius
Encampment in north Berkeley 8:00PM
Sirius Camp
8/25/02Ist degree seminar at Sirius 2PMSirius Camp
8/25/02Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/30/02Pathworking with Paul 8:00PM
at Horus Temple
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
8/31/02OTO initiations -- call to attend(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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