Thelema Lodge Calendar for December 2002 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for December 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

December 2002 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

The Infant Sun

The Mysteries of the Latin Bacchus, who is Dionysos in Greece and Assyria, and Osiris in Egypt, are thus spoken of by Macrobius: "The images or statues of Bacchus, represent him sometimes as a young man, at other times with the beard of a mature man, and lastly with the wrinkles of old age. The differences relate to the sun, a tender child at the winter solstice, such as the Egyptians represent him on a certain day, when they bring forth from an obscure nook of their Sanctuary his infantine image, because the sun being then at the shortest, seems to be but a feeble infant gradually growing from this moment"
    (John Yarker, Arcane Schools, page 86).

    The winter solstice, as Crowley explains in The Gospel According to St Bernard Shaw, "was regarded as the Nativity of the Sun, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that turning-point in the year." He cites a "remarkable" ritual from Syria and Egypt where "celebrants retired into certain inner shrines," from which at midnight they set up a cry: "The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing!" The Egyptians then "represented the newborn sun by the image of an infant which on his birthday, the winter solstice, they brought forth and exhibited" in ritual. Since in "the Julian calendar the twenty-fifth of December was reckoned the winter solstice," Crowley comments with reference to the Christianization of Yuletide that "No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the twenty-fifth of December was the great Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of Astarte." Likewise the popular god Mithra "was regularly identified by his worshippers with the Sun -- the Unconquered Sun, as they called him -- hence his nativity also fell on the twenty-fifth of December." While the "gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ's birth (and accordingly the early church did not celebrate it)," a tradition arose among Egyptian and Eastern Christians of observing Christmas on the sixth of January. Gradually the Western church adopted the solstice date as their Christmas, because it "was a custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity." (Indeed the "heathen origin of Christmas is plainly hinted at, if not tacitly admitted, by Augustine when he exhorts his Christian brethren not to celebrate that solemn day like the heathen on account of the sun, but on account of him, who made the sun.") Thus it was "that the Nativity of Christ" came to be "assigned to the winter solstice in December because that was deemed the Nativity of the Sun" (Liber 888, pages 189-92).
    In an age when the ancient structures of matriarchy and patriarchy have been succeeded by our ascendancy of the Crowned and Conquering Child, the celebration of the annual birth of the youthful sun puts us again in mind of the possibilities for Thelema in the new aeon. Sol enters Capricornus on Saturday evening 21st December at 5:15. Members and friends of the lodge will gather at 4:18 in Horus Temple for a ritual which will conclude at the solstice moment and dissolve into a great feast. Bring plenty of your favorite cuisine, along with drink to share, and see the year around the corner with Thelema Lodge. Contact the lodge officers ahead of time for parts in the ritual, or to coordinate food.
    Join the lodge now during the dark of the year -- or in any season year around -- for gnostic mass in Horus Temple on Sunday evenings. Members, friends, and guests of the lodge assemble each week as Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica for the celebration of Aleister Crowley's Thelemic eucharist ritual Liber XV, the mass of the Gnostic Catholic Church. To attend mass here for the first time, call well ahead for information and directions. People present at mass all communicate in the multiple climax of the operation, taking each in turn the place of the Priest before the enthroned Priestess and receiving the sacraments from her hands (assisted by the Deacon as wine steward, while the Priest typically just stands beaming by). Most masses include a first-time communicant or two, but we have one of our gnostic bishops speak with all newcomers before we enter the temple, to explain just how to deliver that supreme ritual proclamation, "There is no part of me that is not of the Gods." Members take turns in the clerical roles, signing up with the lodgemaster in teams of officers to serve the lodge at mass time. Find two friends in the temple after next mass and set up a team to work together on the ritual until you can officiate gracefully and effectively together, and then come to the lodgemaster for a date on the temple calendar. We like to keep the schedule about six week ahead, so as this issue is posted a few January dates probably remain open.

418 / 93

    The Companions of Monsalvat continue this month through 20th December their ceremonial readings from The Vision and the Voice to mark the 93rd anniversary of Aleister Crowley's original scrying of the Enochian aethyrs. Most readings will be held in the evenings at 8:30 at Ashby House in Berkeley, where attendance should be arranged in advance with Leigh Ann. Note the dates of your favorite aethyrs, and make e-mail (or telephone) contact ahead to confirm the specific arrangements for those readings. Some aethyrs may be read apart in alternate locations or at other times of day, and only from the Companions will your find the way to join each one. Write to or call (510) 849-1970 to leave word for contact.
    Here follows the schedule of original workings conducted by Aleister Crowley with Victor Neuburg in the Algerian desert in 1909 e.v. according to The Vision and the Voice. The times here given are not those at which our readings this year are being held, most of which will begin at 8:30 on the evenings of their anniversary dates. The 8th Aethyr will be read in Horus Temple at 7:00 on Sunday evening 8th December an hour before the gnostic mass.

18th Aethyr, ZEN -- December 1 (2:30 - 4:10 p.m.)
17th Aethyr, TAN -- December 2 (12:15 - 2:00 a.m.)
16th Aethyr, LEA -- December 2 (4:50 - 6:05 p.m.)
15th Aethyr, OXO -- December 3 (9:15 to 11:10 a.m.)
14th Aethyr, UTI -- Dec. 3 (2:50-3:15 & 9:50-11:15 p.m.)
13th Aethyr, ZIM -- December 4 (2:10-3:45 p.m.)
12th Aethyr, LOE -- December 4-5 (11:30 p.m. - 1:20 a.m.)
11th Aethyr, IKH -- December 5 (10:10-11:35 p.m.)
10th Aethyr, ZAX -- December 6 (2:00 - 4:15 p.m.)
  9th Aethyr, ZIP -- December 7 (9:30-11:10 p.m.)
  8th Aethyr, ZID -- December 8 (7:10-9:10 p.m.)
  7th Aethyr, DEO -- December 9 (8:10-10:00 p.m.)
  6th Aethyr, MAZ -- December 10 (7:40-9:40 p.m.)
  5th Aethyr, LIT -- December 12 (7:00 - 8:12 p.m.)
  5th Aethyr, concluded -- Dec. 13 (8:15-10:10 p.m.)
  4th Aethyr, PAZ -- December 16 (9:00 - 10:30 a.m.)
  3rd Aethyr, ZON -- December 17 (9:30 - 11:30 a.m.)
  2nd Aethyr, ARN -- December 18 (9:20 - 11:52 a.m. & 3:10 - 4:35 p.m.)
  1st Aethyr, LIL -- December 19 (1:30 - 3:30 p.m.)
  2nd Aethyr, concluded -- Dec. 20 (8:35 - 9:15 p.m.)

The Mass of the Golden Topaz

    On Sunday morning 8th December at 11:11 Brother Rey De Lupos presents a Thelemic Buddhist communion ritual in Horus Temple. The Golden Topaz Mass is an assembly of elements that "reflect" the inner nature of the Sun and is intended as a ritual for the "laity" as a means of communication with their Holy Guardian Angel (HGA). The Golden Topaz is made up of a collection of writings taken from the Gnostic Mass (Liber XV), the Holy Books of Thelema, and other sources, with a "synthesis" of Buddhism and Thelema at its core. The beauty of this Mass is found in the "assembly of companions" who share in the Great Work, while not directly attached to any particular Order. The Mass is simple in its layout, offering points of contemplation in which to hear that "still, small voice" of our own Angel. The Mass ends in a shared Eucharist of purifying water, consecrating fire, aspirational incense, and the body and blood of the Angel in Tiphereth which we know as our Buddha-nature.

The Whole Heptarchial Revelation

    This work shall have relation to present time and present use, to mysteries far exceeding it: and finally to a purpose and intent whereby the majesty and name of God shall, and may, and, of force, must appear, with the apparition of his wonders and marvels yet unheard of.
    Join Brother Charles Humphries this month for two meetings of the continuing seminar on John Dee's Heptarchia Mystica, which will meet in the lodge library on Tuesday evenings, 3rd and 17th December. Providing a survey of the spiritual workings of John Dee and Edward Kelly, with an analysis of the tools and implements they were guided by their visions to construct, and a survey of the results they obtained, this popular series is meant to establish a foundation for personal Enochian working and an appreciation of the angelic methods of magick.
    Beware of wavering: blot out suspicion of us, for we are God's creatures that have reigned, do reign, and shall reign forever. All our mysteries shall be known unto you. Behold, these things and their mysteries shall be known unto you: reserving the secrets of him that reigneth for ever. (The voice of the multitude answered saying, "Whose name is great for ever.")

Sword and Disk Against the Heathen

    The Section Two reading group at Thelema Lodge meets monthly to share the appreciation of "suggestive" works of literature such as those assigned in the second section of the original A A curriculum. Readers and listeners meet in the lodge library with Caitlin to discuss and share passages from a selected book, author, or written tradition, which in some way preserves a linguistic record of a past engagement with the traditions or foundations of Thelema. Material is proposed a month ahead for advance study, with several participants arranging to familiarize themselves with it, while others are welcome to join in to sample an unfamiliar topic and see whether they might want to investigate it later on their own. With a range expanded from Crowley's own diverse bibliography of recommendations (which we went thoroughly through in the earlier years of our study together) the group has attempted everything from classical epic to pulp fiction, and this month those extremes will meet somewhere in the middle when we assemble on Monday evening 23rd December from 8:00 to 9:30 to savor the glories of the last great romantic epic of the Italian Renaissance, Jerusalem Delivered. The Italian courtly poet Torquato Tasso (1544-95) devoted much of his career to several grand accounts of the first crusade. His greatest work, Gerusalemme liberata (completed in 1575 but not fully published until 1581), records the triumph of Godfrey of Bouillon, who (nearly five hundred years earlier) conquered and briefly ruled the "holy" land as King of Jerusalem. Tasso combined the elaborate and headlong narrative tradition of Ludovico Ariosto's "epic" romance of the Paladins of Carolus Magnus, Orlando Furioso (1532), with a sophisticated critical study of the ancient epic tradition and of the canons of epic style in Aristotle's Poetics. The result in Jerusalem Delivered is a carefully crafted piece of narrative artistry sustaining an almost stupidly serious celebration of the crusading spirit, which is also brimming with charm, fun, sex, violence, and chivalric pageantry. Like his contemporaries Cervantes and Spenser, Tasso explores the limits of seriousness for the grand tradition of heroic narrative, and daringly toes the line across which his storytelling will venture into "camp" and burlesque and artificial play. It is no accident that Tasso's work provided one of the greatest sources of subjects for opera and painting during the following two centuries, gradually burning out into obscurity only in the final century of the old aeon. Several excellent translations of Jerusalem Delivered have been recently published, and a sample of the earliest English translation (by Edward Fairfax in 1600) is given in the "library shelf" column later in this newsletter issue.

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On the Veneration of the Earth
at the Winter Solstice

Fragments 6 & 7 from On Images
by Porphyry
(pagan philosopher of the late third century of the common era)

    The ruling principle of the power of earth is called Hestia, of whom a statue representing her as a virgin is usually set up on the hearth; but inasmuch as the power is productive, they symbolize her by the form of a woman with prominent breasts. The name Rhea they gave to the power of rocky and mountainous land, and Demeter to that of level and productive land. Demeter in other respects is the same as Rhea, but differs in the fact that she gives birth to Kore by Zeus, that is, she produces the shoot from the seeds of plants. And on this account her statue is crowned with ears of corn, and poppies are set round her as a symbol of productiveness. . . .
    But since there was in the seeds cast into the earth a certain power, which the sun in passing round to the lower hemisphere drags down at the time of the winter solstice, Kore is the seminal power, and Pluto the sun passing under the earth, and traversing the unseen world at the time of the winter solstice; and he is said to carry off Kore, who, while hidden beneath the earth, is lamented by her mother Demeter. The power which produces hard-shelled fruits, and the fruits of plants in general, is named Dionysus. But observe the images of these also. For Kore bears symbols of the production of the plants which grow above the earth in the crops: and Dionysus has horns in common with Kore, and is of female form, indicating the union of male and female forces in the generation of the hard shelled fruits. But Pluto, the ravisher of Kore, has a helmet as a symbol of the unseen pole, and his shortened sceptre as an emblem of his kingdom of the nether world; and his dog indicates the generation of the fruits in its threefold division -- the sowing of the seed, its reception by the earth, its growing up. For he is called a dog, not because souls are his food, but because of the earth's fertility, for which Pluto provides when he carries off Kore.
    Attis, too, and Adonis are related to the analogy of fruits. Attis is the symbol of the blossoms which appear early in the spring, and fall off before the complete fertilization; whence they further attributed castration to him, from the fruits not having attained to seminal perfection: but Adonis was the symbol of the cutting of the perfect fruits. Silenus was the symbol of the wind's motion, which contributes no few benefits to the world. And the flowery and brilliant wreath upon his head is symbolic of the revolution of the heaven, and the hair with which his lower limbs are surrounded is an indication of the density of the air near the earth. Since there was also a power partaking of the prophetic faculty, the power is called Themis, because of its telling what is appointed and fixed for each person.
    In all these ways, then, the power of the earth finds an interpretation and is worshipped: as a virgin and Hestia, she holds the centre; as a mother she nourishes; as Rhea she makes rocks and dwells on mountains; as Demeter, she produces herbage; and as Themis, she utters oracles: while the seminal law which descends into her bosom is figured as Priapus, the influence of which on dry crops is called Kore, and on soft fruits and shellfruits is called Dionysus. For Kore was carried off by Pluto, that is, the sun going down beneath the earth at seed-time; but Dionysus begins to sprout according to the conditions of the power which, while young, is hidden beneath the earth, yet produces fine fruits, and is an ally of the power in the blossom symbolized by Attis, and of the cutting of the ripened corn symbolized by Adonis. Also the power of the wind which pervades all things is formed into a figure of Silenus, and the perversion to frenzy into a figure of a Bacchante, as also the impulse which excites to lust is represented by the Satyrs. These, then, are the symbols by which the power of the earth is revealed.
-- translated by Edwin Hamilton Gifford

Crowley Classics

   Originally published in The International (New York: April 1918), pages 110- 111, this story is confirmed as Aleister Crowley's writing according to Karl Germer's catalogue of the Beast's American journalism produced between 1914 and 1918, which was assembled from Crowley's own notes and files.

The Ideal Idol
(Two Stories in One, but with only One Moral)

by Aleister Crowley
(originally published under the pseudonym of Cyril Custance)

    Reggie Van Rensesslaer was 42 and a bachelor. For just half his life he had been looking for a wife, and he had turned down a thousand promising opportunities, just because he was Particular. He was handsome and distinguished above all men; he had a nice little fortune in copper and the control of one of the biggest banks in New York. His manners were superfine triple X, formed in the best universities, and later in those foreign courts whither he had gone as a diplomatist. He was crazy to marry, and had had his pick of Europe and America. But he had not found his ideal. He wished a woman of birth, breeding, and fortune comparable to his own; she must be beautiful and brilliant, yet modest and domesticated; and there were various other points hardly worth discussion on this page, yet vitally important to the happiness of our gay and gallant hero. There had been several near- engagements; but sooner or later something had always turned up to prevent the wedding bells from ringing. It was by pure accident that Reggie discovered that the Marquise de Vaudeville had a bunion on the third toe of her left foot; the Gräfin von Solingen was barred by an unfortunate habit of lisping; the Princess Politzsky had once smoked a cigarette; Lady Viola Vere de Vere failed to laugh at one of Reggie's puns; Se&n~~tilde;orita de Sota had a question mark on part of her escutcheon in the earlier half of the twelfth century -- there was always something.
    But in the winter of 1916 the ideal idol came to Washington. This time there could be no doubt. Flossie Russell was of the most aristocratic of all the families that came over in the Mayflower; through her mother she was allied with the royal families of half the countries of Europe; her father controlled most of the railroads and shipping and mines in the United States, owned two of the largest packing houses in Chicago, and was one of the biggest men in the Corn Trust. Incidentally, he had used his leisure hours in making an immense fortune in munitions. It would endanger the reason of the printer were I to describe her beauty; and as for her manners, it would endanger my own reason to attempt the task in detail. I will only say, in a word, they were American manners.
    It was at White Sulphur that she and Reggie met. Swift but thorough investigation on his part assured him that at last he had found his destined bride. To avoid precipitation, he determined to take a long motor ride by moonlight -- alone. Absorbed in his own thoughts, he failed to notice an old woman who was crossing the road with a bundle of sticks in her arm. He knocked her down and broke her leg. The automobile swerved violently, and he was obliged to pull up in order to avoid running into a tree which might have damaged the machine. It struck him that his number might have been seen, and with admirable prudence he got out of the car and returned to where the old woman was lying, intending to compensate her for her crushed limb with some small change which he was wont to carry on his person precisely in view of such emergencies as this. The old woman thanked him profusely. "I see," said she, "that you are one of Nature's noblemen! Chivalrous as you are handsome, you should also be fortunate. Take this black stone -- for I am a witch! And if ever you should be in despair, dash it upon the ground; then you shall have your heart's desire." Reggie, charmed with her courtesy, was seized with an impulse of mad generosity, added a dollar bill to his already noble largesse, and even promised to stop at the next village, and tell some one of the accident.
    The next morning dawned sunny and glorious; all nature seemed to conspire to aid our hero in his suit. After lunch he sought the fair Flossie; together in the exhilarating air they rode for many miles. They stopped on a great height to admire the view. He saw the mood of his beloved melt to romance; he seized the moment. "Will you be mine?" he murmured. "Well," answered Flossie, brightly, "I guess not. You're about twenty years too old."
    Words cannot depict the rage and horror of our hero. Like a madman he thrust in the clutch; the auto leapt forward; he never stopped until -- the following morning -- he found himself held up in 42nd Street by the wreck of a Fifth Avenue stage and a lorry. At that moment he realized what despair was. As in a dream, he pulled out the black stone and dashed it on the ground.
    When he raised his eyes, wonder of wonders! They fell upon the ideal idol of his dreams. It was another Flossie, but a Flossie raised in every point to the twenty-seventh power. Her name -- as the event showed -- was Nina Yolande de Montmorency de Carbajal y Calvados. This time there was no hitch. The most rigid investigation proved her as pure as she was fair, as rich as she was well born; in short, she was IT. Even her modesty could not withstand even for an hour the impetuous advances of our hero; and when he said, only a fortnight after this first meeting, "Let us be married next week in the Cathedral," she replied, blushing divinely and with downcast eyes, "Why not this afternoon, at the City Hall?" No sooner said than done. A sumptuous banquet succeeded the ceremony; intoxicated with champagne and with delight, the happy couple retired to their luxurious suite in the Hotel Evangeline. Reggie Van Rensesslaer locked the door.
    As it happened, however, the Hotel Evangeline was an unusually family hotel, and on the dressing table was a copy of the Holy Scriptures, placed there by the Gideons, whoever they may be.
    Instantly that her eyes fell upon the book, the bride uttered a piercing scream. A moment later, and she had disappeared. In her place, smiling and bowing, stood Mephistopheles himself, complete to a hoof; and not forgetting the sulphur!
    "Young man!" he said to the astounded Reggie, "learn that humanity implies imperfection; those who, not content with the ordinary limitations of life, demand perfection, are liable to find the ideal idol an illusion created by the Devil. However, you have willed it; so if you would be so kind as to throw that book out of the window, I will turn back into Nina Yolande (and all the rest of it) and we can get to bed. It has been a tiring day.
    Reggie's answer has not been recorded; but six months later we hear of him on his honeymoon. The happy lady was a mulatto widow of forty-eight, with three children, a slight spinal curvature, a cast in her remaining eye, six gold teeth, and the manners of a dock laborer. And a jolly good wife she makes him!

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from the Grady Project:

   These little poems, comprising nearly half of a collection in typescript (with manuscript drafts and corrections), were found among Grady's papers in the editorial archive of The Magickal Link. Only the first of these "haiku" poems has previously appeared in print (in the Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 1989 e.v.).

Thirteen Haiku

by Grady McMurtry

Smokey the bear contemplating
Sounds of tourists departing:
A pile of tin cans in a high wind.
[Japan Air Lines 1964 National Radio Haiku Contest selection]

Runnel toothed pelvic tree root
Carved by the strontium enriched rain drop
Happiness is a Mickeymouse Civilization!
(10-24-64 / 1)

New car showroom blare lights
Shiny little pieces of God shimmer, glimmer
Tinsel I love to touch
(10-24-64 / 2)

Department store Santa canned laughter
Ho! Ho! Ho! echoes the parking lot!
America's great big mechanical heart.

Mutant, the wild sport species
Glowing by night in the suburb
Strontium 90, I love you!

Dinosaur state of Hobbes' choice
Shining in your armor plate waste land
Rust and Fall rains cometh
(12-22-64 / 1)

Android tech in space drift
Dead in the milling asteroids
What now, Deux Ex Programmer?
(12-22-64 / 2)

Painless Cartesian automata
Replacing your spare parts from the freezer
A wonderful world is Cyborgia!
(12-22-64 / 3)

Procrusted Red "Wall"
Bloodied chopping block logic
Back to the tree-tops!

Anubic New Moon
Guiding our steps in Night World
Who is holding your hand?

"Springtime" on Phobos:
On bright-side of far Home World
Are the healing woods.

Cold! the desiccated heart
Back to the pack, Jack

Up! Out! Astronaut!
Down, Fall firefly, on failed wings
Burning, offering

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from the Library Shelf

The Garden of the Enchantress Armida
(from Books XV & XVI of Jerusalem Delivered)

by Torquato Tasso
English translation by Edward Fairfax (1600)

But having passed all that frozen ground,
    And overgone that winter sharp and keen,
A warm, mild, pleasant, gentle sky they found,
    That overspread a large and ample green;
The winds breath'd spikenard, myrrh, and balm around,
    The blasts were firm, unchanged, stable been;
Nor as elsewhere the winds now rise now fall,
And Phoebus there aye shines, sets not at all:

Not as elsewhere now sunshine bright now show'rs,
    Now heat, now cold, there interchanged were,
But everlasting spring mild heaven down pours,
    In which nor rain, nor storm, nor clouds appear;
Nursing to fields their grass, to grass his flowers;
    To flowers their smell, to trees, the leaves they bear.
There by a lake a stately palace stands,
That overlooks all mountains, seas, and lands:

The passage hard against the mountain steep
    These travellers had faint and weary made,
That through those grassy plains they scantly creep,
    They walk'd, they rested oft, they went, they stay'd;
When from the rocks that seem'd for joy to weep,
    Before their feet a dropping crystal play'd,
Enticing them to drink, and on the flow'rs
The plenteous spring a thousand streams down pours.

All which united, in the springing grass,
    Ate forth a channel through the tender green,
And underneath eternal shade did pass,
    With murmur shrill, cold, pure, and scantly seen;
Yet so transparent that perceived was
    The bottom rich, and sands that golden been;
And on the brims the silken grass aloft
Proffer'd them seats, sweet, easy, fresh, and soft.

"See here the stream of laughter, see the spring,"
    Quoth they, "of danger and of deadly pain;
Here fond desire must by fair governing
    Be rul'd, our lust bridled with wisdom's rein;
Our ears be stopped while these syrens sing,
    Their notes enticing man to pleasure vain."
Thus pass'd they forward where the stream did make
An ample pond, a large and spacious lake:

There on a table was all dainty food
    That sea, that earth, or liquid air could give;
And in the crystal of the laughing flood
    They saw two naked virgins bathe and dive,
That sometimes toying, sometimes wrestling stood,
    Sometimes for speed and skill in swimming strive;
Now underneath they div'd, now rose above,
And 'ticing baits laid forth of lust and love:

These naked wantons, tender, fair and white,
    Moved so far the warriors' stubborn hearts,
That on their shapes they gazed with delight;
    The nymphs applied their sweet alluring arts,
And one of them above the waters quite,
    Lift up her head, her breasts, and higher parts,
And all that might weak eyes subdue and take;
Her lower beauties veil'd the gentle lake.

As when the morning star escap'd and fled
    From greedy waves with dewy beams up flies,
Or as the queen of love, new born and bred
    Of th' ocean's fruitful froth, did first arise:
So vented she, her golden locks forth shed
    Round pearls and crystal moist therein which lies:
But when her eyes upon the knights she cast,
She start, and feign'd her of their sight aghast;

And her fair locks, that on a knot were tied
    High on her crown, she 'gan at large unfold;
Which falling long and thick, and spreading wide,
    The ivory soft and white mantled in gold:
Thus her fair skin the dame would clothe and hide,
    And that which hid it no less fair was hold:
Thus clad in waves and locks, her eyes divine
From them ashamed did she turn and twine:

Withal she smiled, and she blush'd withal,
    Her blush her smilings, smiles her blushing graced;
Over her face her amber tresses fall,
    Whereunder Love himself in ambush placed:
At last she warbled forth a treble small,
    And with sweet looks her sweet songs interlaced;
"Oh happy men! that have the grace," quoth she,
"This bliss, this heav'n, this paradise to see.

"This is the place wherein you may assuage
    Your sorrows past, here is that joy and bliss
That flourish'd in the antique golden age;
    Here needs no law, here none doth aught amiss;
Put off those arms, and fear not Mars his rage,
    Your sword, your shield, your helmet needless is;
Then consecrate them here to endless rest,
You shall love's champions be and soldiers blest.

"The fields for combat here are beds of down,
    Or heaped lilies under shady brakes:
But come and see our queen with golden crown,
    That all her servants blest and happy makes;
She will admit you gently for her own,
    Number'd with those that of her joy partakes:
But first within this lake your dust and sweat
Wash off, and at that table sit and eat."

While thus she sung, her sister lur'd them nigh,
    With many a gesture kind and loving show,
To music's sound as dames in court apply
    Their cunning feet, and dance now swift now slow.
But still the knights unmoved passed by,
    These vain delights for wicked charms they know;
Nor could their heav'nly voice nor angel's look,
Surprise their hearts, if eye or ear they took:

For if that sweetness once but touched their hearts,
    And proffer'd there to kindle Cupid's fire,
Straight armed reason to his charge upstarts,
    And quencheth lust and killeth fond desire:
Thus scorned were the dames, their wiles and arts,
    And to the palace gates the knights retire,
While in their stream the damsels dived sad,
Asham'd, disgrac'd, for that repulse they had.

The palace great is builded rich and round,
    And in the centre of the inmost hold
There lies a garden sweet on fertile ground,
    Fairer than that where grew the trees of gold.
The cunning sprites had buildings rear'd around
    With doors and entries false a thousandfold;
A labyrinth they made that fortress brave,
Like Dedal's prison, or Porsenna's grave.

The knights pass'd through the castle's largest gate
    (Though round about an hundred ports there shine),
The door leaves fram'd of carved silver-plate,
    Upon their golden hinges turn and twine:
They stay'd to view this work of wit and state,
    The workmanship excell'd the substance fine,
For all the shapes in that rich metal wrought,
Save speech, of living bodies wanted naught:

[descriptions of the carved figures on the walls are omitted here]

. . . The knights these stories viewed first and last,
Which seen, they forward press'd, and in they pass'd:

As through his channel crook'd Meander glides
    With turns and twines, and rolls now to now fro,
Whose streams run forth there to the salt sea sides,
    Here back return and to their spring-ward go:
Such crooked paths, such ways this palace hides;
    Yet all the maze their map described so,
That through the labyrinth they got in fine,
As Theseus did by Ariadne's line.

When they had passed all those troubled ways,
    The garden sweet spread forth her green to show,
The moving crystal from the fountains plays,
    Fair trees, high plants, strange herbs and flow'rets new,
Sun-shiny hills, dales hid from Phoebus' rays,
    Groves, arbors, mossy caves, at once they view;
And that which beauty most, most wonder brought,
Nowhere appear'd the art which all this wrought.

So with the rude the polish'd mingled was,
    That natural seem'd all, and every part
Nature would craft in counterfeiting pass,
    And imitate her imitator art.
Mild was the air, the skies were clear as glass,
    The trees no whirlwind felt, nor tempest's smart,
But ere the fruit drop off, the blossom comes;
This springs, that falls, that rip'neth, and this blooms.

The leaves upon the self-same bough did hide,
    Beside the young, the old and ripened fig;
Here fruit was green, there ripe with vermeil side,
    The apples new and old grew on one twig;
The fruitful vine her arms spread high and wide
    That bended underneath their clusters big;
The grapes were tender here, hard, young and sour,
There purple ripe, and nectar sweet forth pour.

The joyous birds, hid under greenwood shade
    Sung merry notes on every branch and bough;
The wind, that in the leaves and waters play'd,
    With murmur sweet now sung, and whistled now;
Ceased the birds, the wind loud answer made,
    And while they sung it rumbled soft and low:
Thus, were it hap or cunning, chance or art,
The wind in this strange music bore his part.

With party-color'd plumes and purple bill,
    A wond'rous bird among the rest there flew,
That in plain speech sung lovelays loud and shrill,
    Her leden was like human language true;
So much she talk'd, and with such wit and skill,
    That strange it seemed how much good she knew;
Her feather'd fellows all stood hush'd to hear,
Dumb was the wind, the waters silent were.

"The gently budding rose," quoth she, "behold,
    That first scant peeping forth with virgin beams,
Half ope, half shut, her beauties doth up-fold
    In their dear leaves, and less seen fairer seems,
And after spreads them forth more broad and bold,
    Then languisheth and dies in last extremes:
For seems the same that decked bed and bow'r
Of many a lady late, and paramour:

"So in the passing of a day, doth pass
    The bud and blossom of the life of man,
Nor e'er doth flourish more, but like the grass
    Cut down, becometh withered, pale and wan;
Oh gather then the rose while time thou has,
    Short is the day, done when it scant began;
Gather the rose of love while yet thou mayest,
Loving, be lov'd, embracing be embrac'd."

She ceas'd; and as approving all she spoke,
    The choir of birds their heav'nly tunes renew;
The turtles sigh'd and sighs with kisses broke,
    The fowls to shades unseen by pairs withdrew;
It seem'd the laurel chaste and stubborn oak,
    And all the gentle trees on earth that grew,
It seem'd the land, the sea, and heav'n above,
All breath'd out fancy sweet, and sigh'd out love.

Through all this music rare and strong consent
    Of strange allurements, sweet 'bove mean and measure,
Severe, firm, constant, still the knights forth went,
    Hard'ning their hearts 'gainst false enticing pleasure,
'Twixt leaf and leaf their sight before they sent,
    And after crept themselves at ease and leisure,
Till they beheld the queen sit with their knight
Besides the lake, shaded with boughs from sight:

Her breasts were naked, for the day was hot,
    Her locks unbound wav'd in the wanton wind;
Some deal she sweat (tired with the game you wot),
    Her sweat-drops bright, white, round, like pearls of Inde;
Her humid eyes a fiery smile forth shot,
    That like sun-beams in silver fountains shin'd;
O'er him her looks she hung, and her soft breast
The pillow was where he and love took rest:

His hungry eyes upon her face he fed,
    And feeding them so, pin'd himself away;
And she, declining often down her head,
    His lips, his cheeks, his eyes kiss'd as he lay;
Wherewith he sigh'd, as if his soul had fled
    From his frail breast to hers, and there would stay
With her beloved sprite. The armed pair
These follies all beheld and this hot fair.

Down by the lovers' side there pendent was
    A crystal mirror, bright, pure, smooth, and neat;
He rose, and to his mistress held the glass
    (A noble page, graced with that service great);
She, with glad looks, he with inflam'd (alas!),
    Beauty and love beheld both in one seat;
Yet them in sundry objects each espies,
She, in the glass, he saw them in her eyes:

Her to command, to serve it pleas'd the knight;
    He proud of bondage, of her empire, she.
"My dear," she said, "that blesseth with thy sight
    Even blessed angels, turn thine eyes to me,
For painted in my heart and portray'd right,
    Thy worth, thy beauties, and perfections be;
Of which the form, the shape, and fashion best,
Not in this glass is seen, but in my breast;

"And if thou me disdain, yet be content
    At least so to behold thy lovely hue,
That while thereon thy looks are fix'd and bent,
    Thy happy eyes themselves may see and view;
So rare a shape no crystal can present,
    No glass contain that heav'n of beauties true:
O let the skies thy worthy mirror be,
And in clear stars try shape and image see!"

And with that word she smil'd, and ne'ertheless
    Her love-toys still she us'd and pleasures bold.
Her hair, that done, she twisted up in tress,
    And looser locks in silken laces roll'd;
Her curles garland-wise she did up dress,
    Wherein (like rich enamel laid on gold)
The twisted flow'rets smil'd; and her white breast,
The lilies there that spring, with roses dress'd:

The jolly peacock spreads not half so fair
    The eyed feathers of his pompous train;
Nor golden Iris so bends in the air
    Her twenty-color'd bow, through clouds of rain:
Yet all her ornaments, strange, rich and rare,
    Her girdle did in price and beauty stain;
Not that (with scorn) which Tuscan Guilla lost,
Nor Venus' ceston, could match this for cost:

Of mild denays, of tender scorns, of sweet
    Repulses, war, peace, hope, despair, joy, fear,
Of smiles, jests, mirth, wo, grief, and sad regret,
    Sighs, sorrows, tears, embracements, kisses dear,
That mixed first by weight and measure meet,
    Then at an easy fire attemper'd were,
This wond'rous girdle did Armida frame,
And when she would be loved wore the same:

But when her wooing fit was brought to end,
    She congee took, kiss'd him, and went her way;
For once she used every day to wend
    'Bout her affairs, her spells and charms to say.
The youth remain'd, yet had no power to bend
    One step from thence, but used there to stray
'Mongst the sweet birds, through every walk and grove,
Alone, save for an hermit false call'd Love:

And when the silence deep and friendly shade
    Recall'd the lovers to their wonted sport,
In a fair room for pleasure built they lay'd,
    And longest nights with joys made sweet and short.
Now while the queen her household things survey'd,
    And left her lord, her garden, and disport,
The twain that hidden in the bushes were,
Before the prince in glist'ring arms appear.

As the fierce steed for age withdrawn from war,
    Wherein the glorious beast had always won,
That in vile rest, from fight sequester'd far,
    Feeds with the mares at large, his service done;
If arms he see, or hear the trumpet's jar,
    He neigheth loud, and thither fast doth run,
And wisheth on his back the armed knight,
Longing for jousts, for tournaments, and fight:

So far'd Rinaldo when the glorious light
    Of their bright harness glister'd in his eyes,
His noble sprite awaked at that sight,
    His blood began to warm, his heart to rise;
Though drunk with ease, devoid of wonted might,
    On sleep till then his weaken'd virtue lies.
Ubaldo forward stept, and to him held
Of diamonds clear that pure and precious shield:

Upon the targe his looks amaz'd he bent,
    And therein all his wanton habit spied,
His civet, balm, and perfumes redolent,
    How from his locks they smok'd and mantle wide;
His sword, that many a Pagan stout had shent,
    Bewrapt with flow'rs, hung idly by his side,
So nicely decked that it seem'd the knight
Wore it for fashion sake, but not for fight.

As when from sleep and idle dreams abray'd
    A man awak'd calls home his wits again,
So in beholding his attire he play'd,
    But yet to view himself could not sustain;
His looks he downward cast and naught he said,
    Griev'd, shamed, sad, he would have died fain,
And oft he wish'd the earth or ocean wide
Would swallow him, and so his errors hide.

Ubaldo took the time and thus begun:
    "All Europe now and Asia be in war;
And all that Christ adore, and fame have won
    In battaile strong, in Syria fighting are:
But thee alone (Bertoldo's noble son)
    This little corner keeps, exiled far
From all the world, buried in sloth and shame,
A carpet champion for a wanton dame!

"What letharge hath in drowsiness uppend
    Thy courage thus? What sloth doth thee infect?
Up! up! our camp and Godfrey for thee send,
    Thee fortune, praise, and victory expect:
Come, fatal champion, bring to happy end
    This enterprise begun, and all that sect
(Which oft thou shaken hast) to earth full low
With thy sharp brand strike down, kill, overthrow."

This said, the noble infant stood a space
    Confused, speechless, senseless, ill, ashamed;
But when that shame to just disdain gave place,
    To fierce disdain, from courage sprung untamed,
Another redness blushed through his face,
    Whence worthy anger shone, displeasure flamed;
His nice attire in scorn he rent and tore,
For of his bondage vile that witness bore:

That done, he hasted from the charmed fort,
    And through the maze pass'd with his searchers twain.
Armida of her mount and chiefest port
    Wonder'd to find the furious keeper slain;
Awhile she feared, but she knew in short
    That her dear lord was fled; then saw she plain
(Ah, woful sight!) how from her gates the man
In haste, in fear, in wrath, in anger ran.

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for December 2002 e.v.

12/1/02Liber 418 6:30 18th Aethyr ZEN(510) 849-1970
12/1/02Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/2/02Liber 418 17th Aethyr: TAN and
16th Aethyr: LEA 8:30 PM
at Ashby House
(510) 849-1970
12/3/02Liber 418 15th and 14th OXO & UTI
(510) 849-1970
12/3/02Enochian 8PM in the library(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/4/02Liber 418 13th Aethyr: ZIM &
12th Aethyr: LOE 8:30 PM
at Ashby House
(510) 849-1970
12/5/02Liber 418 11th Aethyr: IKH
8:30 PM at Ashby House in Berkeley
(510) 849-1970
12/6/02Liber 418 10th Aethyr: ZAX 8:30PM
call for location
(510) 849-1970
12/7/02Liber 418 9th Aethyr: ZIP
8:30 PM at Ashby House in Berkeley
(510) 849-1970
12/8/028th Aethyr: ZID 6:30 in the temple(510) 652-3171
12/8/02Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/9/02Liber 418 7th Aethyr: DEO
8:30 PM at Ashby House in Berkeley
(510) 849-1970
12/10/02Liber 418 6th Aethyr: MAZ
8:30 PM at Ashby House in Berkeley
(510) 849-1970
12/13/02Liber 418 5th Aethyr: LIT
8:30 PM at Ashby House in Berkeley
(510) 849-1970
12/15/02Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/16/02Liber 418 4th Aethyr: PAZ
8:30 PM at Ashby House in Berkeley
(510) 849-1970
12/17/02Liber 418 3rd Aethyr: ZON 7:30
in the temple
(510) 652-3171
12/17/02Enochian 8PM in the library(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/19/02Liber 418 1st Aethyr: LIL
8:30 PM
(510) 849-1970
12/19/02Full Moon in Gemini, 11:10 AM
12/20/02Pathworking with Paul 8:00PM
at Horus Temple
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/20/02Liber 418 2nd Aethyr: ARN
8:30 PM
(510) 849-1970
12/21/02Winter Solstice ritual & feast
5:00 PM in Horus Temple
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/22/02Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/23/02Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered
8PM in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
12/29/02Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.

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

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

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

Internet: (Submissions and internet circulation only)

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