Thelema Lodge Calendar for May 2003 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for May 2003 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, 2003 e.v.

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

May 2003 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Beltane with Monsalvat

    Thelema Lodge hosts the Companions of Monsalvat in Horus Temple to celebrate the feast of Beltane early Monday evening 5th May beginning at 7:00, with a communal feast to follow the ritual. As we enter the temple Sol will have achieved the heart of Taurus about two hours earlier, and we mark the halfway point in the season of spring. Festivities will include music and dancing, the usual Monsalvat smells and bells, an inspired reading from the Holy Books of Thelema, and then a grand feast to which it is hoped that everyone involved will generously contribute in one way or another. To assist with the presentation, make contact ahead of time with Leigh Ann (our blood- and-thunder preacher-man from the third chapter of Liber AL last month), or contact the lodge to coordinate cuisine for our meal afterwards.

Vehicle of the Joy

    All are invited on Sunday evenings in Hours Temple to take communion with the members and friends of Thelema Lodge in our celebration of the gnostic mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. Arrive by 8:00 and gather in the library to await the summons of the deacon into the sanctuary of the gnosis. To attend as a guest for the first time, call the lodgemaster well ahead for directions to the temple and further information about the ritual. Communicants can study our liturgy in Liber XV, written ninety years ago by Aleister Crowley in the office of Baphomet, Patriarch of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica. Once familiar with the canon of the mass, those willing to serve the lodge as officers in this celebration should begin by practicing privately with others as a mass team. Novice clergy will want to work with the mass by themselves until they know it well enough to ensure that the ritual will be "rightly performed with joy and beauty" when they celebrate it for the lodge. They may gain valuable advice and encouragement along the way from our gnostic bishops and other temple officers, discussing their progress with those they see already fulfilling the clerical roles. When ready to reserve a date on the temple calendar, the team should seek out the assistance of the lodgemaster. New officers are welcome to approach any of our clergy for help with the mass. This is a liturgy which has sustained our Thelemic community for decades, and we maintain it for ourselves by teaching it to each other whenever the opportunity arises.

Frosts are Slain and Flowers Begotten

    Next, amid a cloud of angels bearing silver trumpets, came one with great height of brow, and eyes of golden flashes. In him the whole heaven rocked with harmonious music, and faint shapes formed up among the waves, like Venus born of ocean foam. They had not substance . . . they were too great, to godlike, to be human. Not one was there of whom it could not be said "Half a woman made with half a god." And these, enormous and tragic, fiery, with wings and sandals of pure light, encompassed him and wooed him. Thus appears the figure of Saint Algernon Charles Swinburne, in the parade of souls shown to the heroine of Crowley's novel Moonchild (written mostly in 1916 e.v. although not published until 1929). Appearing there in the sequence of worthies between William Blake and Richard Strauss, he was a poet whom Crowley very much admired, and whose verse does much to give a distinctive flavor to The Rites of Eleusis. Swinburne was both a strong poetical influence on Crowley's own writing, and a partner in the mutual influences they both felt from the works of Milton, Shelley, and Baudelaire. This month we will be making a brief study of Swinburne's poetry at Thelema Lodge, and then invite all interested readers and listeners to join Caitlin and the Section Two reading group to read from Atalanta in Calydon on Monday evening 19th May in the library from 8:00 until 9:30.
    Swinburne was born wealthy in 1837 and educated at Eton and Oxford. At Balliol College he became associated with the artists and writers who would soon establish themselves as the "Pre-Raphaelite" movement, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris, and Edward Burne-Jones. While in Europe after leaving university without a degree, he became a close friend of fellow gostic saint Sir Richard Francis Burton. A prolific poet renowned for his facility in suggesting the effects of classical Greek verse in English, Swinburne emerged at the age of 28, upon the celebrated publication of Atalanta in Calydon, as one of the great Victorian poets. A poem of just over 2300 lines, in the form of an ancient Greek tragedy, Atalanta in Calydon appeared in 1865, and when he followed it up the next year with his first collection of Poems and Ballads, Swinburne's reputation was established. Unfortunately the success also confirmed his extravagant habits of life, leading to a period of alcoholic dissolution which he barely survived. Whispered about as a pervert and fetishist, he built a reputation as a very difficult house-guest, despite his poetical gifts, and several times had to be rescued from scandals by his family. Friends at last persuaded him to retire to the country, where good care was taken of him and he lived until 1909, writing copiously.
    Crowley writes of himself in The Equinox of the Gods that in 1900 he "was tested in the works of Shakespeare, Shelley, Swinburne (1st series of Poems and Ballads), Browning and The Moonstone" and was "able to place exactly any phrase from any of these books, and in nearly every case to continue with the passage." It was a skill which he had built up as a child when his father hired a series of tutors to help him become familiar with the Bible. Crowley's devotion to the works of Shelley and Browning is well known, especially during his early years. Shakespeare too he read throughout his life and knew quite well. (It is amusing to think that Crowley was also thoroughly familiar with Wilkie Collins's great 1868 novel of detection, The Moonstone, a triumph of elaborate plotting but hardly a stylistic model.) Just who tested him on these works and in what circumstances is apparently not recorded; it could have been, that year, McGregor Mathers in Paris, Allan Bennett in London, Oscar Ekenstein in Nepal, or even "Don Jesus de Medina- Sidonia in the City of Mexico." It often seems to a young poet that his own time -- whatever that time may be -- is an especially poor period for poetry. So it seemed to Crowley sometimes, seeing the London literary scene of the Edwardian era through the influences of a somewhat sophisticated (i.e. French) literary perspective. "No more terrible period than this is to be found in literature," he writes in the "Preface" to White Stains. In his own country, "Swinburne stands on his solitary pedestal above the vulgar crowds of priapistic plagiarists; he alone caught the fierce frenzy of Baudelaire's brandied shrieks, and his First Series of Poems and Ballads was the legitimate echo of that not fierier note. But English Art as a whole was unmoved, at any rate not stirred to any depth, by this wave of debauchery. The great thinkers maintained the even keel, and the windy waters lay nor for their frailer barks to cross."

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Independence for Eleusis

    Members of the greater Thelemic community centered in the eastern San Francisco Bay area have determined to perform this summer's traditional cycle of Aleister Crowley's Rites of Eleusis as a free and independent project. The Rites this year will not be O.T.O. events, and will be open to participation by all who cooperate to produce and enjoy them together. The lodge applauds this spirit of Thelemic independence, recognizing that the Rites of Eleusis were originally organized here without charter from the O.T.O. by initiates and others working freely and informally together. To get involved in the Rites or to attend them when the cycle opens at the end of this month, contact anyone involved in last year's performances for information regarding how to network into the new system.

A Dozen Points of Order

    Officers and senior initiates at Thelema Lodge have often been asked to recommend a course of study to accompany the O.T.O. Man of Earth degree sequence. The response has been a variety of informal suggestions offered from different perspectives to suit a broad range of individual requirements. Some years ago the lodge organized a project to assemble some of these suggestions into a more formal curriculum which could be made available to everyone, but no definitive version emerged at the time. Combining many of the suggestions contained in the old program known as Liber MCLI with traditional advice often given to newer members and points from Crowley's own programs for the Order, the following formulations are offered as a draft for discussion within the lodge. Of course no predetermined program nor established curriculum can succeed by itself in teaching magick; the science of belief operates in the realm of human relations (either with others or with oneself) and the meanings which the magician comes to control can best be appreciated as they are shared and communicated. It is however easy to suggest a few technical possibilities to those who are training themselves in the Thelemic tradition, and if such a program as this is to have value at all it will be in the questions which it raises. The lodgemaster will welcome any comment on this project, and if there is sufficient interest an evening may be set aside next month to discuss and revise the points outlined here. Thanks to several distinguished lodge members of the past for helping years ago to express some of these points, especially Ebony Anpu, Lola De Wolfe, and Julie Weber.

A Magical Curriculum
Optional for Initiates of the M M M
at Thelema Lodge, Ordo Templi Orientis

0. space
Become proficient in the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Observe performances of this ritual by various initiates. Experiment with vocal range, depth, volume, size of circle, location, visualization, and timing. Record in a ritual diary any observations, insights, and effects. Gradually expand your repertoire to include the Star Ruby, Star Sapphire, Hexagram, and other basic rituals of banishing and invoking. Modify them to invent a version of your own for private use, and experiment also with non-ceremonial techniques of banishing and invocation.

1. time
Learn Liber Resh and perform it daily, using precise times for the four quarters of the day whenever possible. Develop an awareness of the planetary government of hours, and the ability to maintain this system throughout the day, and to use it as a foundation for personal ritual. Pay attention to the stars; cultivate an awareness of the sun, moon, and planets, following them through their signs, phases, and cycles. Select either astrology or astronomy as a discipline from which to make a complete study of the heavenly system.

2. process
Regarding all work, all study, and all play also as ritual, keep a private diary of selected operations and engagements, including circumstances and effects. Maintain notes from different stages of your work, and experiment with the creation of ritual practices corresponding to successive insights and perspectives. Apply the method of science in developing, executing, and evaluating ritual work, using it as controlled experimentation from which to gather useful data.

3. memory
Read the Book of the Law and the Holy Books of Thelema, along with other sacred writings of all varieties. Learn to work with meditation, memorization, analysis, and discussion as methods of comprehending complexly meaningful texts, and work to expand the scope of literature which may be read as sacred, until the holy nature of all language becomes evident. Strive to read honestly and critically in deriving meaning from texts, and then extend the techniques of reading beyond language to the signs and symbols which fill the worlds of nature and humanity.

4. religion
Learn to sketch the images of the principal gods of Egypt, especially Nuit, Tahuti, Hadit (the winged globe), and Horus. Make a study of the Stele of Revealing, and of the universe as outlined in the Book of the Dead. Develop methods for the pursuit of parallel studies in a variety of other religious cultures, with special attention to divine iconography, invocation, cosmology, sacrament, and enlightment. Then expand these methods of study to include the widest conceivable spectrum of culture and science.

5. qabala
Experience the universe as an extension of the divine. Make a deep study of Qabala and Tarot, becoming familiar with the organization of the Tree of Life, and with the Book of Thoth (as well as other presentations of the Tarot cards). Learn the basic values for Gematria in Hebrew and Greek, and experiment with conversions of these systems into English. Study Sepher Sepheroth and the Greek Qabala, as well as Liber 777, outlining its principal columns along the diagram of the Tree of Life. Include at least the following columns:

I.Key Scale
II.Hebrew alphabet names
III.meanings of the Hebrew letters
IX.Tree of Life
XIV.Tarot attributions
XV through XVIII. color scales (especially the Queens scale
   of the sephiroth and the Kings scale
    of the paths)
LIII & CLXXXV. Greek alphabet and numerical values
LXIII.four worlds
CLXXV.Hebrew letters
CLXXVI.numerical values of the Hebrew letters
CLXXVII.Yetziratic attributions:
    elements (mother
    letters), planets
    (double letters),
    zodiac (single letters)
CLXXXVII.magical formulae

Test your progress in these techniques by making frequent use of Qabalah and Tarot in communication with others, and find methods of gauging the validity and usefulness of your work according to your success in making yourself understood.

6. discipline
Exercise the arts of yoga and concentration, after those manners best suited to your own intentions, abilities, and circumstances. Develop those disciplines you find most productive, and avoid obsessing on irrelevant practices. Include the athletic, the erotic, and the aesthetic in your yogic studies. Do not neglect the exercise of silence.

7. fraternity
Cultivate an awareness of your self which includes the magical projection of your will. Choose a motto or name to represent at its present stage the pursuit of your own Great Work. (Consider whether you want to keep this name private, or use it openly among your brothers.) A traditional practice within the O.T.O. is to take one name for the 0° and I° initiations (determined either before or after the Minerval ceremony), and thereafter to take another name at each subsequent initiatory advancement, with the earlier names maintained in usefulness as appropriate. Magical names may be used for the preservation of anonymity in public circumstances, but it is rude to represent oneself in ways which lead to confusion or alienation among others. Cultivate an awareness of other selves which allows for the projection of other, independent wills. Become aware of the fraternal relationships which you are forming, and of those of others around you. Consider the difference between fraternity and friendship, and the additional responsibilities of brotherhood, particularly with regard to honesty, respect, and justice, the strengths which encourage generosity and accomplishment.

8. magick
Undertake a specific magical project of your own design. Outline the project for yourself before beginning, and consult with others to whatever extent may be useful. Take special care regarding the manner and extent to which you involve others, and be able to account for their influences and contributions. Keep a record of your progress throughout the course of your project, concluding with an evaluation of your success. Become involved in group rituals on a larger scale, as at holidays, in the Rites of Eleusis, in a lunar circle, or in the gnostic mass, and contribute to collective workings. Making use of both individual and group experiences, develop ritual into a religion for yourself.

9. dedication
Consider fully for yourself whether or not it is your own true will to continue pursuing your magical work along these lines of study. "Thou hast no right but to do thy will." Seek out and discover on your own the secret fountains of enlightenment, celebration, and community. Become wise in the consideration afterwards of how best to share the findings from your search.

10. judgment
Cultivate a critical and discerning consciousness. Work at the analysis of culture from a Thelemic perspective. Devote a critical scrutiny to persons, institutions, and ideas, especially those which you have decided to invest with value and authority. Take responsibility for yourself, and continually reevaluate your own True Will, especially when taking advice, accepting authority, or following directions (such as these).

11. autonomy
Commune magically apart from the Order with human and natural systems of all kinds. Your independence makes our Order strong, just as your knowledge and your honor keep it true.

Crowley Classics

   This one-act play appeared in the weekly magazine The New Age (London) on 30th May 1908 e.v. under the pseudonym of Lavinia King. That was the name Crowley later used for a character based upon Isadora Duncan in his novel Moonchild (written in America around 1916 e.v. and published in London thirteen years later). The editors extend gratitude to Frater Superior Hymenaeus Beta, who originally provided a photocopy of this text to the Magick Theater Camp of Santa Cruz for a reading of the play held at Thelema Lodge a dozen years ago.

The Suffragette: A Farce

by "Lavinia King"
(Aleister Crowley)

Mr Asterisks -- -- -- Home Secretary
James -- -- -- His Valet
Miss Belloney -- -- -- A Suffragette
A Policeman, played by B.
Duke of Portland, played by B.
Field-Marshal Lord Oven, played by J.
False Minister, played by B.
A Constable, played by J.

scene: The Home Secretary's Study

Enter Asterisks, ushered by James -- Asterisks has a very large,
   red hooked nose and a drooping fair moustache
Asterisks: I shall be writing all the morning, James.
James: You're always right in everything, sir.
Asterisks: True, James. Bring up the Monster Petition from the Associated
   Bottle-Washers when it arrives, James.
James: Yes, Sir. (Goes.)
Asterisks goes to cupboard and searches in it.
Miss Belloney climbs through window, unnoticed, and runs
   into the well of the table.
Asterisks: Ah, well, a Secretary of State has a dog's life. (A growl.) Dear me,
    and there's the dog! (Looks round.) Owch! it's bitten me. (Jumps up,
    and hops about, holding his leg.)
It's under the table! (Miss Belloney
    crawls out.)
What in the name of heaven do you want?
Miss Belloney displays placard.
Belloney: The Vote!
Asterisks: You've got it. I vote you a public nuisance. How did you get here?
Belloney: Up the spout.
Asterisks: Where your clothes came from. Well, I thought you were a dog;
    it seems you're a -- Never mind, I'm going to see if you're a bird.
    (Throws her out of the window. Rings.)
Enter James.
Asterisks: James, you will find the mangled remains of an elderly and
   hideous female on the lawn. Inter them decently.
James: Indecently; yes sir. (Exit.)
Asterisks: Now for my letters. (Settles down.)
Enter James.
James: The Monsters' Petition, sir.
Asterisks: Put it down!
James does so -- it is an immense brown-paper parcel,
   tied with string.
Exit James.
Asterisks: There'll be a hot time in the old House tonight. Hum! hum!
    (Bending to his work.)
The parcel rises, bursts, and clasps hands over his eyes.
Belloney: Guess who it is.
Asterisks: Oh, there's only one person it can be -- you, my own darling.
Belloney (mimicking): Oh, yes, it's me, my own darling.
   But who's "you, my own darling"?
Asterisks: Not my wife. Surely it isn't Flossie Slapdash!
Belloney: No, it isn't, you old sinner! Now, you've given it away a bit.
Asterisks: Gertie, by Jove! I wouldn't have had you guess -- I mean,
    it isn't what you think it is.
Belloney: Nor am I what you think I am -- oh, your Gerties and Flossies!
Asterisks: Who are you then?
Belloney: I'm Votes for Women! (Releases him.)
Asterisks: Oh, you -- (Rings.)
Belloney: Hush! hush! What would Flossie think if she heard you?
Enter James.
Asterisks: James, this isn't the Monster Petition; it's the Monster itself.
    Remove it!
James: Yes, sir. This way, Monster! (Pushes her out.)
Asterisks: Dear, dear, these interruptions are very trying. To work, to work!
The door opens, James gives a series of little discreet coughs,
   then withdraws.

Enter a bearded spectacled gentleman.
Asterisks: Hullo, Druce, the top of the morning to you. (Advances to door,
   and holds out his hand.)
Oh, my mistake. Portland, of course. How de do?
Belloney: How de druce?
Asterisks: What can I do for your Dru -- grace?
Belloney: A trifle, a mere trifle.
Asterisks: We are quite alone -- won't you take your beard off?
Belloney: I will. (Does so, and is discovered. Astericks startled.) All I want
   is Votes for Women.
Asterisks: I suppose you came through the Underground Passage! Good morning;
    just a word. I'm going to send for a constable, and if you come in here
    again -- Hollow way -- the other one.
Belloney: So that's what Highgate [I get]. (Exit.)
Asterisks: This sort of thing really does take one's mind off one's work.
    (At telephone.) James, let a constable come up and guard the door,
    please. Now to my letters!
A knock at the door.
Asterisks: Come in!
Enter Constable.
Asterisks: Just stand at the door, please, officer, and if any aged and
    decrepit female of gigantic size and murderous disposition --
Constable: I understand, sir. (Draws his truncheon, and whacks at
   an imaginary Suffragette. Asterisks buries himself in his letters.
   The constable whistles "God Save the King." Asterisks looks up
   as he stolidly goes through the tune. Constable sings.)
"Confound their politics!
Frustrate their knavish tricks!"

    (Seeing Asterisks listening.) That's the women, sir?
Asterisks: Yes it is, I'm sorry to say, constable. But I am very busy this
    morning, and I must really ask you --
Constable: Begging your pardon, sir, there's only one way to do it -- (Sings.)
"On thee our hopes we fix" --

    and that is to give them Votes. (Throws off helmet and tunic, and
   is disclosed. She thwacks the Minister with truncheon, still humming.)
"And make them fall."
Knocks down Asterisks, and runs out.
Asterisks slowly rises.
Asterisks: God save us all!
Enter James hastily.
James: Oh, sir, such an hawful riot in the square. There's a lady with a
    shotgun and two loaders, and she's bagged a hundred and thirty-three and a
    half braces of specials before lunch, and, well, sir, the millingtery was
    to fire on her, sir -- but they couldn't bear to look at her, sir!
Asterisks: Peace, James; be a man!
James: I'm sure I'd be a woman if I could, sir. O the hawful --
Asterisks: Peace, James. We are not without resource. You may go now, and
    -- be very careful not to enter the room again. But you may allow anyone
    else -- anyone else, James -- male or female --
James: What about herumfrodites, sir?
Asterisks: Anyone else, James, is to be allowed to pass unchallenged.
James: Very good, sir. (Exit.)
Asterisks goes to cupboard, takes out a drawer and a very large stone
   bottle of ink. He pours this into the drawer, and poises it deftly on
    the door, which he leaves ajar. Executes a dance round the room,
    rubbing his hands, nearly knocks the door and drawer over himself;
    returns to desk.
Asterisks: Now, we await the assault. For (declaims)
"In the hands of men supremely great
The Ink is mightier than the sword."
Bends to his work.
James (off): Walk straight in, my lord, I pray you.
The door opens, and the drawer falls. A mass of ink, partially
    concealing a Field-Marshal in full uniform (played by James)
   rushes into the room.
Asterisks (squaring up): Now, Votes for Women! Come on!
Field-Marshal: My dear Asterisks, a joke's a joke, I dare say, but I must say
    that when I call on official business upon one of His Most Gracious
    Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, it is highly unbecoming and
    indeed indecorous, partaking, almost, I might almost say, of the nature of
    aw-- (Very pompous, to contrast with his absurd appearance. Asterisks,
   who has been shrieking with laughter, recognises that this is the real
   man, is struck with the most dreadful apprehension -- collects his wits --)
Asterisks: My dear Lord Oven, this is a most dreadful business. That you
    should suspect me of playing you such a schoolboy trick! We are both
    victims of these terrible women, I fear. That trap was meant for me, I
    make no doubt. Come along, I must give you a bath and a change of
    clothes. See! I'm a good deal splashed myself!
Field-Marshal: Well, I suppose --
Asterisks: No supposing; come along. (Exeunt.)
Belloney disguised as the Minister re-enters almost immediately, and
   starts busily writing letters, humming cheerfully in a shrill falsetto.
    After him -- Enter a real Constable (played by James) and salutes.
Minister: Constable, I expect to be attacked by a most desperate female
    woman. Destroy her instantly when I give the signal!
The Policeman exhibits a brace of revolvers and three toy cannon, which
    he trains on doors and window.
James: Ready, sir, ready!
Enter, wildly, a man in a bath-towel, with his hair full of soap (played
   by Asterisks); starts at seeing the presentment of himself in the chair.
Asterisks: By heaven, I'm going mad! Constable (grasping his arm), you're
    solid anyhow! Tell me, before I rave -- is there anybody sitting in that
    chair, or is there not?
James: Ho, yus, La Milo. That's Mr. Hasterisks, the 'Ome Sekertury.
Asterisks: It's the devil! It's the woman! And she's got my clothes!
Belloney (rising with dignity): Constable, arrest that woman!
A struggle. They go out. Belloney gives a short dance of triumph,
    comes forward and bows, removing the false nose and moustache.

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from the Grady Project:

   This essay, reprinted from the O.T.O. Newseltter I:2 (Autumn 1977 e.v.), was the first in a series of memoirs which Grady contributed to the original Thelema Lodge periodical. Footnotes have been added with editorial notes supplied by Bill Heidrick.

Tales from the Caliph:
Continuity in the Order

by Hymenaeus Alpha 777

    It just so happens that I am perhaps the only person who knows the exact story on this. Aleister Crowley's Number Two man in the O.T.O. in the '40s - '50s1 was Karl Johannes Germer, otherwise known as Frater Saturnus. Karl was a Prussian and a veteran of five years service in the German army in War I. He was the typical Dutch Uncle and nobody, except Crowley, could ever tell Uncle Karl anything. His position in the Order was that of Grand Treasurer General, as I said, the Number Two position to A. C. as Outer Head of the Order. There is no doubt to his sincerity as a Thelemite. In fact, he was a hero, perhaps a martyr of Thelema in a way, because as a Thelemite and associate of the notorious Aleister Crowley, he was thrown into a concentration camp by the Nazis. (Many of us have forgotten that before Hitler started liquidating the Jews and others, the Nazis had to first eliminate their native German opposition.) Indeed Karl had the sublime experience of the "Knowledge and Conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel" while in a Nazi concentration camp. The fact that due to his "anality" (a fact confirmed by F. R. who, as Crowley's secretary in Paris in the '20s, had of necessity to read Germer's diaries as they were mailed in) his "Angel" turned out to be somewhat of a faggot. (His advice to myself and others as a result of his experience was, and I quote, "one must allow oneself to be the boy to one's Angel!" -- surely a specious application on a universal level to a special situation.) But anyway --
    His primary claim to fame as Aleister Crowley and the O.T.O. are concerned is that for many years while living in New York in the '40s and '50s2 (where I met him once on my way overseas to England in 1943 and once on my way back in 1945) he was able to transmit -- this was known as the monthly transfer -- $200 a month every month for several years to Aleister Crowley who by then was living in England. This money was not, strictly speaking, considered to be A.C.'s living expenses. In fact, there is a rather poignant record that when Crowley was dying in Hastings in 1947, in abject penury so far as earthly goods were concerned, that he had to be reminded that he had several hundred pounds in a box under the bed. This was the Aleister Crowley Publication Fund. (To relieve your anxiety, yes, he did use some of it out of necessity for medical expenses at or near the end.) The way it came into being was this: There had been a number of O.T.O. Lodges under Crowley's jurisdiction in various English speaking countries in the '20s and '30s -- in Canada, the United States, Australia etc.; but these had somehow disappeared -- I remember seeing a file of letters from those days and one of the curious things that struck me at the time was their way of addressing each other; "From the valley of Vancouver to the valley of Los Angeles" -- anyhow by the late '30s these had all died out and the only Lodge under Crowley's control was Agape Lodge in Hollywood-Pasadena. I myself was initiated into Agape Lodge when it was still on Winona Boulevard in Hollywood in the late '30s -- but that's another story. I must sometime tell you about Ray Bradbury and the Los Angeles Science Fiction Club. Also about Wilfred Smith and Liber 132 -- Anyway. The way the Aleister Crowley Publication Fund came into being was that a small number of dedicated Thelemites -- Jane Wolfe, Wilfred Smith, Regina Kahl, Ray and Mildred Burlingame, Roy Leffingwell -- we really must get the list together some day -- were mostly living in the Los Angeles area at the time. Jane Wolfe had been a feature player. Wilfred was an accountant until his association with Crowley became known, whereupon he was demoted to bookkeeper. Roy was a bartender. Mildred was a waitress. Lew3 was a sometime bit player in Hollywood. Regina taught Drama at U.C.L.A. -- These people literally went without (passed up that "better house" or that "better car") during the Depression to contribute a few dollars a month. This money was given to Wilfred Smith as the head of Agape Lodge. He would transmit it to Germer, who would put it together with whatever other money he could and see to it that Crowley got $200 every month. As I said, this went on for years. Obviously Karl Germer was a dedicated man. Crowley died in 1947 e.v.

    According to the constitution of the O.T.O. (see the Blue Equinox), the O.T.O. is an international body and the O.H.O. (Outer Head of the Order) is elected by a convocation of National Heads, i.e. Xth Degree members. However, as there was only one operative Lodge at the time -- one here in the United States -- special provision had to be made. This was done by Crowley himself, who instructed Karl that "a year and a day" following his (i.e. Crowley's) death, Karl as Grand Treasurer General of the Order was to call a convocation of the IXth Degree members of O.T.O. -- of which I would certainly have been included, having been elevated to the IXth Degree of O.T.O. by Aleister Crowley himself in London in the 1940's -- and this convocation of IXth Degree members would choose a new Outer Head of the Order. I still have my copy of the notice.4
    Now there is no doubt that Karl Germer would have been elected O.H.O. There was simply no one of stature to oppose him. I was living in San Francisco, using my War II GI Bill at the University of California across the bay in Berkeley, and certainly had no such ambitions. I was much too involved with my own affairs to worry about it. Wilfred Smith had been removed by the strictures of Liber 132. Jack Parsons was out of it due to the investigation -- of which I had been a part -- into his Babalon Operation. Roy Leffingwell? Ray Burlingame? Wonderful people and dedicated Thelemites; but no one thought of them in terms of Outer Head of the Order. Lou Culling? A joke. That left only Germer. So we went on doing our trip and waited for Karl to call the convocation. You can imagine how surprised we were one day to receive a letter from Karl saying that he was now Outer Head of the Order! What to do? Obviously there was nothing we could do. Karl Germer was the highest ranking member of the Order, short of revolt (no one could imagine that) there was no recourse. I remember that we wrote and talked to each other and wondered why Karl would disobey Crowley's instructions, but it was his Karma -- we had to let it go at that. True, it was unfortunate that Karl was only de facto O.H.O. instead of de jure O.H.O. as Crowley had meant him to be; but it was no matter. Karl was obviously O.H.O. either way.
    Sometime in here, '47 or '48 e.v., Karl got Crowley's library from England and decided he needed larger quarters; so he bought a substantial house with grounds outside Hampton, N.J. Whether he used any of the money from the Aleister Crowley Publication Fund for this no one could ever prove. Anyway, I visited him there several times in '51 e.v. Later he and his wife Sascha would come to California, and ultimately he bought a two story house outside West Point, which is up in Calaveras County in the gold rush country. By then I was back from the Korean War living in Berkeley, and doing the graduate student trip in political theory at U.C. Later I moved to Sacramento.
    Anyway, about this time -- the mid '50s -- I came to realize that the Order was dying because Germer wasn't initiating people. So I brought this up in one of my periodic visits up to West Point to see him. His reply, which I have in writing, was that, and I quote: "I consider all that to be the lower magick." Well, lower or not, and human mortality being what it is, you still have to have a supply of new members if an Order is to survive. Besides, to deny true Thelemites the opportunity in their incarnation to become a part of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis is in my opinion a crime. (See the description of grades of the O.T.O. on page 246 of the Blue Equinox where the indefeasible right of initiation up to and including the IIIrd Degree is emphatically stated.) So I decided to do something about it. I was just another IXth Degree Indian running around the old O.T.O. reservation; but there was the old problem -- I had no money. I had used up my War II GI Bill taking my B.A. in Philosophy, and the only thing I got out of the Korean GI Bill was that they would pay my tuition and buy my books. Stated simply, I was flat broke. Something had to be done. Now at that time, there were still enough survivors of old Agape Lodge living in southern California that, I thought, it was just possible we could get together and say to Uncle Karl, "Look Karl, we love you; we just don't understand you." At least that is what I had in mind. So, by hook or crook I was able to make four trips to southern California: once to Barstow to see Jean Sihvonen (widow of Max Schneider); twice to see Helen Parsons Smith, who was living in Malibu at the time; and finally I got them all together in the Burlingame's place in Lakewood one night. Brother Montenegro came in and I pulled a chair out into the middle of the room and said something to the effect; "Well, now that we are all here, let's get started." Whereupon Brother Monty completely blew my mind by grabbing another chair, planting it in front of me and saying; "Grady, you must stop what you are doing and promise never to do anything like it again!" Since what I was trying to do was get the O.T.O. back together again, my agreement was unlikely. Even more unlikely was that nobody had said anything. So I looked around to see what was happening. Jean Sihvonen and Aleister Ataturk MacAlpin and Rhea Leffingwell -- the Barstow contingent -- were standing behind me over against the wall looking as if they had been frozen in time. On my left, Ray Burlingame was sitting there smoking a cigarette -- he would die of emphysema a few years later -- with Mildred sitting next to him and their daughter Layla standing behind them. Were it not for Ray's cigarette smoke, you would have thought they were sculptured in wax! What I was looking for was some recognition that they understood what had just been said. For what Monty had just said to me was that he knew better than I did what my Will was, and no Thelemite can say that to another Thelemite. At that point I had a choice. I could wake them up, point out the impossibility of what Monty had said, and demand backing in my attempt to get Germer to reconsider his policy of "no initiation," or I could recognize that some things have to die before they can be reborn. I chose the latter. I turned back to Monty and said, "Not under any circumstances!" The group broke up in a smattering of small conviviality, and that was the end of that. In later years I would think that perhaps I had made a mistake; that maybe I should have argued it out with them and gotten their backing against Karl. But to what odds? It would have been like winning a battle only to lose the war. I also have correspondence from Germer at the same time telling me about how he knows about my visits to the south and how he knows about the "conspiracies" against him. If I had gotten the southern California people together, Karl would have expelled me from the Order as the head of a conspiracy -- just as he expelled Kenneth Grant at about the same time. True, he was not de jure Outer Head of the Order; but, like it or not, he was functioning as Outer Head of the Order. So I took a job in Washington D.C. in 1961 and disappeared for about 10 years.
    Karl Johannes Germer died in 1962 e.v. without having made provision for a successor as O.H.O. In his Will he left Aleister Crowley's library in the hands of his wife, Sascha, who was not and had never been a member of the O.T.O. A few years after, the house at West Point was raided by an outlaw gang from Los Angeles calling itself the "Solar Lodge of O.T.O." and much of Aleister Crowley's library was gutted and dispersed. Karl Germer's policy of not initiating new members into the O.T.O. had yielded a bitter harvest. That's why there has been a seeming discontinuity in the Order -- why people haven't been able to find viable lodges of the O.T.O. Karl Germer willed that it be so.
    With the publication of the Thoth Deck, however, I came to realize the necessity of activating the documents of authorization Crowley had given me, and of acceding to his plan. Laid out in his letters to me, Crowley said that I would be his Caliph following the death of Karl Germer. Thus, like the Phoenix the O.T.O. rises again. This time the Order is under the aegis of the Caliphate. The criterion of legitimacy is continuity, and this is supplied by the Caliphate letters, and my documents of authorization from Aleister Crowley. Despite silence and suppression, Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis remains alive and well and initiating in Berkeley.

1. Grady probably meant to say '30s to '40s, as born out by Crowley's charter documents to Germer, etc.
2. Sic. Germer was there, but Crowley was not alive after 1947 e.v.
3. Culling.
4 Grady's interpretation is disputed. The notice is for A A elections, and it is only by considerable
   construction that O.T.O. could be seen to be implied. The "Intimations" in the 1919 e.v. Blue
    Equinox omit the details of elevation, but the 1917 e.v. O.T.O. Constitution indicates the practice
   to be appointment of a successor by the reigning O.H.O. The latter is born out in Crowley's
   letters. Germer failed to appoint his own successor, a matter finally determined in US Federal
    Court, and Grady's status as O.H.O. by virtue of conditional notice by Crowley in correspondence
   was held to be valid by the same court. Grady made provisions for succession by election, and
   this was carried out in September 1985 e.v.

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   Our gnostic saint James George Roche Forlong, given the nickname "Dux" during his military career from the Latin title equivalent to "the boss", was a pioneer in the scholarship of comparative religion. His huge compendium of religious techniques and practices throughout the world and over the course of history was entitled Rivers of Life. Printed in London in 1883 for subscribers only, it was the life's work of a far-traveling, widely read, eternally curious, and rather daring Victorian social scientist. Crowley includes Rivers of Life in Section One of the A A curriculum as "an invaluable textbook of old systems of initiation," and it was selected for particular recommendation among the writings of the saints in the recently published O.T.O. Curriculum. In the present transcription, which begins on page 447 of the first volume, some of the notes and bibliographical references have been omitted, while others have been inserted into the text rather than rendered as footnotes.

    Excerpts from the section on the month of May
in the "Sun Worship" chapter from volume one of

Rivers of Life

or, Sources and Streams
of the Faiths of Man in All Lands,
Showing the Evolution of Faiths
from the Rudest Symbolisms to
the Latest Spiritual Developments

by Major-General J. G. R. Forlong

    The Romans begin May by the worship of the Lares and Penates, offer sacrifices during the Comptialia, and continue diligent services to Hermes during the Terminalia throughout this month, ending it by celebrating the arrival of Agni, the Holy Fire, Holy Spirit, or Ool-Kan. In early times they freely sacrificed children in the month of May to please the generative powers of nature, and make the coming season propitious; but in later years the oracles permitted fruits and the effigies of men and women to be offered instead. May, it has been said, was so called in honour of the Roman Senate known as Maiores or Majores, as June was said to be in honour of the Juniores or lower senate. I incline, however, to eastern solar derivation, which connects May with Maya, the mother of Hermes by Jove, for May was sacred to the ever-bright Apollo, the son of Jove by Leto. Except in the first week, it was thought to be an unlucky month for marriage; at least, so say Ovid and other ancients, and Christians, following these, proscribed all marriages from Rogation week to Trinity Sunday, or from say the 7th to the 31st. From the 1st to 3rd of May is the Floralia, sacred to the goddess of flowers and love. It is still a charming fete in southern Europe, when all in Sylva's most lovely retreats, seek for Flora's favours, and revel once more in fields and vales, which wet and cold have for a long time previously prevented them enjoying. Our Keltic fathers, then too, lighted fires on every hill-top to dear Bel or the Sun, calling the first, Beltine-tide; and up to but a short time ago, idle kings, courtiers, and corporations used then to go out and pluck "May" and other treasures of fair Flora.
    The May-pole was once no trumpery matter, for it was the symbol of "the Lord of Life;" it was called "the Column of May (Maya, or Mary) -- the great Standard of Justice," a term only applied to Toths or Jupiter-Stators, such as this Teuton TUISKOM. Beside it, Dr Moresin tells us, was a judge with bough, wand, or rod in hand, which came to be called a mace, and the holder a Mayor, as presiding over these rites and ceremonies. Our King's crown, also, he derives from the phallic crown at the top of the May-pole, saying we should call the pole itself Mai -- the French term, although we know May is the Queen of the day. This is no doubt correct, all peoples calling the male and female -- man and wife, indifferently by the same name, just as Jews translate the Eduth, which they once worshipped (in Exodus xiv. 34) before they had either an ark or testimony, but which word they still use for "Testimony," and as the Irish called their Round Towers Fied Nemads, after the Lingam articles deposited in their most secret recesses. The May-pole, say the great antiquaries I have quoted, marked the boundary of the year, the confines of summer and winter, and around it contended two troops of youths, one in winter and the other in spring costume, the latter, of course, winning with their triumphal branches and May flowers. As the fires of love had to be renewed every midsummer by a ray from Sol himself, young men and maids had to see that their May-pole was so firmly set in its place,that it would stand there immovable and upright throughout the whole year. Some insisted that it should be "as high as the mast of a vessel of one hundred tons," and be worshipped with garlands and dancings round it by the youths of both sexes, every day throughout May. "It equally had its place, and was as important as the parish church, or the parish stocks; and if anywhere one was wanting, the people selected a suitable tree, fashioned it and brought it in triumphantly, and erected it in the proper place, there for year to year to remain." London was very famous for its May-poles; the parishioners of St Andrew's-under-Shaft set up every May morning a shaft that was higher then the church steeple, and after the usual observances put it carefully away under the eaves of their houses -- built so as to protect it. The Puritans cut this to pieces, as they did all other May-poles they could get hold of, showing thereby very distinctly their true appreciation of May-poles in matters of worship, i.e., Lingam-worship, and their desire to suppress this old faith. Some May-poles embraced tree worship also, having as large a tree as possible in a vessel at the top of the pole. The Parliament of 1644 passed an act for the suppression of May-poles; and though the Restoration favoured their retention, yet increasing intelligence and that sceptical spirit the Churches are so afraid of , became too strong for such faiths or frolics.
    We are not yet without remnants of the old "Nature-worship" amongst us. Mr F. Buckland tells us, in Land and Water, that on the 1st day of May all the choristers of Magdalen College, Oxford, still meet on the summit of their tower, 150 feet high, and sing a Latin hymn as the sun rises; whilst the fine peal of the bells simultaneously welcomes the gracious Apollo. In former days high mass was held here, and the Rector of Slymbridge, in Gloucestershire it appears, has still to pay £10 yearly for the due performance of sundry pieces of choir music, at 5 A.M., on the top of this tower. This May music, Christian priests explain, is for the repose of the souls of kings and others, which of course is quite an after-thought. Early mass for Sol used also to be held in the College Chapel, but it is now explained, that owing to this having been forbidden at the Reformation, it has since been performed on the top of the tower! After the present hymn is sung by choristers -- boys dressed in womanly raiment -- the lads throw down eggs upon the crowd beneath, and blow long, loud blasts to Sol through bright new tin horns -- showing us that the Bacchic and Jewish trumpet fetes are not yet forgotten by Christians. Long before daybreak, the youths of both sexes used to rise and go to great distances to gather boughs and flowers, and reach home at sun-rise to deck all doors, windows, and loved spots. This May fete is said to be "the most ancient of all," and to have been accompanied "with all manner of obscenity and lewdness." This we can well imagine, for the goddess was notorious in this way, and long before man was able to appreciate plowing and harvesting, he keenly felt the force of the winter and vernal equinoxes, and was ready to appreciate the joyous warmth of the May sun, and its energising power on himself as well as on fruits and flowers. The May fete of our "Pagan" ancestors used to occupy the last four days of April, and on May's day -- the 1st -- "Jack in the Green" and "the Merry Morris dancers," made their appearance; a dissipated riotous set, ready for any excesses, and more emblematical of Bacchus and his crew, than of Apollo -- the ever fresh and joyous god of the early summer. It is IAKO's name, too, that those roisterers vociferate, as with mirth and laughter they dance around the "green pillar god." This term "green," as most of my readers know, stands for griene or graine, Keltic for the Sun; and these old races certainly succeeded in making this god and his Beth (the Bethel) a perfectly shaped Muidhir (Sunstone) or Lingam. The rural plays in connection with the graine god, and his Grainne or Venus, consist of the green pillar whirling and occasionally dancing about, whilst a Bacchante-like female, is ever attendant on it, and wildly dances round; her symbol is a golden looking ladle or Argha with which she smites any who come near her. IAK keeps whipping her with a rod or baton which he ever and again projects from his leafy shell; his crown is finished off exactly like that of our kinds, and his golden tinsel all about it as befitteth a solar deity.
    Mr Marcus Keane tells us that although the Kelts of Ireland rejected the phallic worship of their predecessors the Tuath-de-Danaans, they yet retained their names and customs. May day continued to be called La-Baal-Thinna, and was always connected with the worship of Baal as "the green god" -- a very ancient term for Mercury, whose hue was green; and being so, we here see him in dress of suitable shape and colour, and with his Caduceus in hand. "Gad- el-glas or the Green-god-Snake," was an important Irish deity, and the name seems to correspond with "the green god," or "Primeval Boodh," which Coleman treats of in his Indian Mythology, but which I take the liberty of calling Primeval Goad; I do not think there is any connection whatever between him and Boodha. Ireland abounds with names connected with green or graine, as Balt- in-glas, "Fire of the Green Baal;" Tie-da-glas, or as they now call this in Tipperary, Terry glas, "the tower of the Green God," etc., which, with other corroborative matter, makes Mr Keane and others think that Ireland came to be called "The green Island" from this very prominent feature of its faith; and that dancings round May poles only took place after the people had been prohibited dancing round the real phalli of the country. I think, however, that dancing round poles was the oldest feature of this faith, and such as must have taken place long ere the race could erect towers or obelisks. Hindoos at this season have from time immemorial danced and swung round poles. They prepare themselves for May by purification in the Ganges, then adore Bavani, and cut and lacerate themselves; and as mid month approaches, fast and fete in honour of her as "goddess of generation," offering up special prayers for the removal of barrenness. When Greeks and Romans sacrifice to Agni, Hindoos celebrate a Dassera; worship the Snake gods and Jagernat, the Al- Fatah, ending the month with renewed ablutions. In like manner, Kiiths, Phoenicians, and Kelts seem to have loved dancing round poles, in early and mid May, and to have observed such days as Childermas, and sacrificed to Hermi or Termini. Bourne tells us that in most ancient times (and he quoted from very good Latin writers), naked women used to dance at Flora's festival, which is in entire accordance with the customs of Southern climes. Highland shepherds used to meet and hold "a rural sacrifice," says Mr Pennant, when a spot was first hallowed by a square trench being dug, leaving a turf in the centre, where a fire was made, and a strong brew of spirits prepared, part of which was offered to the fire and ground; then each made a cake with nine knobs, and turning solemnly to the Fire, broke there off one by one, and flung it over his shoulder, saying, "Preserve my lambs; this to thee, O eagle, this to thee, O fox." All then fasted, and whatever could not be eaten, was hid away by two persons deputed for the purpose, and finished on the next Sunday.
    May was called "the time of Bastards," whose arrival seems rather to have been looked for; certainly not frowned at. They were clearly the result of the autumnal fetes, of which Burns warned the revelers, in language which those acquainted with old Scotch can alone comprehend: "There's mony a fun this day begun, Will end in Hoch-ma-gandi." Highlanders are very much afraid of the early part of May, especially the 3rd, which they call "Dismal-day;" on whatever day of the week it falls they bear this in mind throughout the year, and will on no account begin any work on it. On the 2nd, fearing evil spirits and witches, Scotch farmers used to tie red thread upon their wives as well as their cows, saying these prevented miscarriages and preserved the milk. They then also placed boughs of the sacred mountain ash, and sprigs of honey-suckle over all cowhouses. At this time, all Christian Europe reveled in what came to be called the Passion-Spiel, but of which the Maypole with its Phallic insignia and trophies was always the centre. Christians throughout the month, but especially on the day after old May-day (when they asserted that "the Sun of Righteousness" had "ascended up on High" to give place to the new luminary -- the effulgent Dove, who comes in young June to gladden, confirm, and strengthen all) went about madly through the land with phallic crosses and banners on their "bounds" and crops. In some places, Rogations ceased on Ascension Day, because some said the god having ascended, his spirit had descended; but the worship of the Boundary Hermi continued as in "Pagan" Rome, up to the middle of May, when libations and garlands were showered upon the Lingams just as we see done this day in India.
    In most Eastern communities, groups of officials and priests may always be seen going round the fields and Bounds at this season, and I suspect the origin of Ganging or Rogation term is more mundane than Priests or Churches will admit. It is true, these have had prayers and a liturgy for blessing the crops and Hermi, and for inveighing against evil men and bad weather for some 1200 years; yet, on watching the leaders of Gangs going amongst the crops at this season in India, I have seen them smile and glance meaningly to one another as they passed promising fields, which made me remember that these were either the landlords, or the agents of shires or chiefs, who were all to be "paid in kind," and who here could, and undoubtedly did, estimate the acreage and weight of the produce of which they were all to get a regular percentage. This inspection could thus completely check any Ananiases or Saphiras who tried to keep back past of the produce, and if so, the prayers were a mere blind.

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for May 2003 e.v.

5/1/03New Moon in Taurus 5:15 AM
5/4/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/5/03Feast of Beltane in Horus Temple
7:00 PM Bring food and drink.
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/11/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/14/03Heptarchia Mystica, Enochian
with Charles 8PM in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/15/03Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in
Scorpio 8:36PM
5/18/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/19/03Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Swinburne's "Atlanta in
Calydon" 8PM in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/23/03Pathworking with Paul 8PM
in Horus Temple
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/25/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/28/03Heptarchia Mystica, Enochian
with Charles 8PM in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
5/1/03New Moon and Solar Eclipse in
Gemini 9:20PM

    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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