Thelema Lodge Calendar for June 2003 e.v.

Thelema Lodge Calendar

for June 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

June 2003 e.v. at Thelema Lodge

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

Announcements from
Lodge Members and Officers

Summer Solstice

The season shifts to summer at the solstice on Saturday 21st June. Sol enters the Crab at the height of the day, just eleven minutes after noon. Thelema Lodge will gather late in the morning for a ritual picnic celebration in the park at nearby Lake Temescal, with members and friends invited to share food and drink to mark the occasion. To assist with the ritual, confer ahead of time with brother Michael Sanborn. We hope to have a charcoal pit to grill some meat, with all who attend invited to bring plenty of good things to share. Enter from the southern end of the park to leave cars in the lot nearest to where we will be spreading our picnic tables, beginning at 11:00 in the morning. For those using public transport, arrive at the lodge by 10:45 for a ride up the last half mile to the lake. Come celebrate the noontide of the year and the strength of Our Father the Sun in all of his glory with a festive frolic on the shore of our little local lake.


Hidden Spring of All

Every Sunday evening the lodge offers a celebration of the gnostic mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, beginning at nightfall in Horus Temple. This Thelemic eucharist ritual, performed according to the rubric of Baphomet in Aleister Crowley's Liber XV, is open to those who wish to participate with us in communion. Arrive by eight o'clock to assemble in the lodge library and await the summons of the deacon into the sanctuary of the gnosis. To attend for the first time, contact the lodgemaster well ahead by telephone at (510) 652-3171 for additional information and directions to the temple. Communicants are encouraged to study our gnostic liturgy, and to practice celebrating the mass privately as a preparation for serving the lodge in the capacity of novice officers. Our gnostic bishops, and many of the more experienced clergy here, are often available to assist novices in learning their roles. When you have organized a mass team and practiced together until all three officers are ready to represent the lodge in temple, speak with the lodgemaster to arrange for a date on the mass calendar.
Many of the senior initiates at Thelema Lodge have been celebrating the gnostic mass together for fifteen years and more, and it has been this weekly communion ritual, more than any other activity or tradition we share, which has held together the spirit of Thelemic fraternity here. Even when occasional failures of leadership, long ago, seemed to let down the aegis of the lodge as the custodian of our gnostic sanctuary, members of the community continued working together unofficially to maintain celebration of the mass together. This month we plan to offer our 500th consecutive Sunday evening gnostic mass in the present location of Horus Temple at Thelema Lodge, and such a record of weekly masses (unrivaled at any time in our Order) is a measure of our dedication in communion. Only upon a foundation of abiding trust and respect among those who participate can a community of celebration such as ours be maintained, and it is this spirit of fellowship which we cultivate in our commitment to the working of the mass here each week.
Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica depends not upon hierarchy but upon inclusion, and perhaps the only justification for having any sort of a "spiritual hierarchy" is to facilitate the inclusion of new (and returning) communicants. Keeping our tradition vital means involving the whole community in the mass, and continually training new officers. The higher the proportion of able celebrants we have among the People in the temple, the more meaningful and compelling our ritual is likely to be for us all. Also, the wider we can spread the effort of maintaining it, the longer we are likely to see the our gnostic liturgy continue. As they used to say long ago at another gnostic temple in Berkeley (at Ankh-af-na-Khonsu Lodge in the middle 1980s e.v.), "there are no innocent bystanders!" at mass. Everyone in the temple -- including even the newcomers in the congregation, although they hardly know how -- works together to perform what the People in the ritual refer to as "the miracle of the mass." In order to sustain our miracle over the next 500 celebrations we are likely to call upon nearly everyone to do everything possible to support it. If you appreciate the mass, contribute to its upkeep, become involved in its celebration, introduce the right new communicants to its sanctuary, and help keep everyone encouraged to do our best possible work together.


Foundations of Practical Magick

A new monthly series gets underway in June to outline a basic curriculum of magical practice for Thelemites. Meeting on the first Thursday evening of each month from 7:30 until 10:00, this series will be organized for the lodge by Greg Peters, Leigh Ann Hussey, and Sam Shult. At the opening meeting on Thursday evening 5th June in the lodge library, magical practitioners and students at all levels of skill and experience will be welcome to discuss an outline of the project, and to suggest additional subjects. The series plans to offer meetings on a variety of magical practices and techniques, with future sessions organized around specific topics.


Don't Just Do Something

Alan Watts once said that "we must go out of our minds to come to our senses." He was referring to the timeless practice of meditation, the essential basis of mysticism. For those who have never meditated, or anyone who is looking for a refresher, brother Michael Sanborn will provide a brief look at the basics from 6:00 until 7:00 on Wednesday evening 11th June in Hours Temple. There's no place like Om.


I Wanna Go Om

This month brother Jeffrey Sommer is holding a class on Mantra-Yoga, delving into sources from Crowley to Swami Sivananda. He will teach the structure, meaning, and use of mantra in meditation and magical work. If possible, bring a mala (a Hindu rosary; a string of 108 beads used in mantra recitation), or any string of beads for counting repetitions. We will touch upon both Hindu and Thelemic conceptions of mantra, the reasons for doing them, and the results to be expected. The class begins at 8:00 in Horus Temple on Wednesday evening 18th June.


Filling Out the Forms

Plato's theory of forms, as outlined most forcefully in the Phaedo, has served as the conceptual foundation for occult doctrines ranging from the Kabbalistic four worlds to the theory of correspondences behind Liber 777. On Thursday evening 26th June in the lodge library, for an hour beginning early (and promptly) at 6:00, we'll examine this idea, its history, its influence on magical thought, and explore how we can make sense of it in our modern-day world view.


Thousands of Bright Secrets

The Conference of the Birds, a Persian poem illustrating Sufi doctrine, completed in the year 1177, is our subject this month for the Section Two reading group. Join in the reading and discussion of this mystical classic, meeting with Caitlin from 8:00 until 9:30 in the lodge library on Monday evening 16th June. Crowley concluded the second section of his Course of General Reading in the Curriculum of A A with a brief cross-cultural outline of traditions he considered worthy of investigation "for Mythology, as teaching Correspondences." Here his central item is "Sufi Poetry generally." The esoteric Sufi teachings of medieval Islamic mystics seem more similar to Hebrew qabalah than either tradition would happily admit, particularly in their central doctrines of divine emanation constituting the universe. Correspondences are likely to occur easily to readers who delve into our poem this month, which offers a collection of parables and exemplary stories, exchanged between allegorical birds as they set forth upon the great migration of life. Although it has been compared in English to the Canterbury Tales and the Pilgrim's Progress, the Conference spends almost no time in accounting for the journey itself; nearly the whole exchange between the birds is preliminary to their departure, with only the barest mention at the conclusion that, by the way, a few of the birds have made the difficult trip. In fact what may seem most evident in the Birds' chatter is not the originality of either its doctrines or its sensibilities, but rather the limitations inherent in the spiritual monoculture of Sufism. Insisting on a uniformity of response to so many of life's basic questions, the Birds reduces the world to typical examples of devotion or error, uninterested in the interplay of differing individual responses which might flourish in a more balanced and inclusive culture.
Mantiq Ut-tair, "the birds' discussion," by Farid ud-Din, known as Attar, "the perfumer" (otherwise Farid al-dion Abi Hamid Muhammad ben Ibrahim), is a collection of inspirational tales and anecdotes, unified in the account of a pilgrimage proposed among the birds to find the home of their divine leader, known to them as the Simurgh. Inspired and instructed by the hoopoe bird (renowned as the guide of King Solomon), the various other aviary species discuss the difficulties and ambiguities of the path before them, leading to realization of themselves in the divine. For much of the poem, various excuses are put forth by the different birds for abiding in the cares of the world, but in each case the hoopoe directs them to abandon their external concerns and put aside their personal lives in order to merge toward the divine, which seems to lie just beyond their individual reach. At length most of them have turned back or fallen by the way, but thirty representative birds manage to arrive at the court of the Simurgh, where at last they recognize themselves upon the heavenly throne. Attar regarded himself as a follower of the Sufi martyr Mansur al-Hallaj (executed in the year 922), who had openly declared his own divinity, celebrating the freedom he had attained from his individual self, and his ultimate reabsorption into the universal haq ("truth" or "godhead").


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Sirius Encampment

Sirius Encampment will be meeting monthly over the summer. The dates are as follows: Sunday 22nd June, next is Saturday 26th July, and Saturday 16th August at 7:30 PM at Glenn's home in Berkeley. For directions, please phone 510-527-2855 or email glennturn@aol.com. The topic for Sunday 22nd June is the 28 Lunar Mansions and Early Alphabets. We will try to out line the use of lunar mansions in magic, as found in the Picatrix along with a further key to the mansions provided by the 28 letter South Semitic early alphabet. We may stray into numerology of the letters and also the Hebrew alphabet. The topics for the July and August meetings are as yet to be chosen.


Feast for Life

Thelema Lodge rejoices in the birth of Eliana Lenta Govoni Hauswald, on 26th May at 5:01 PM, to our sister Jessica Govoni and Damon Hauswald. Weighing seven pounds eleven ounces, and measuring twenty and a quarter inches tall, the baby is beautiful, healthy, and happy, like her mother.

Crowley Classics

Published in The International: A Review of Two Worlds, volume 10, number 7 (New York: July 1916) on pages 209-10, this book review was among the earliest of Crowley's contributions to editor George Sylvester Viereck. Quite anxious for a steady income in the New York publishing world, Crowley took no chances in making his appeal to this editor, who controlled not only the monthly International, a journal of arts and cultural opinions, but also the weekly Fatherland, with funding from the German government to present the Teutonic point of view and encourage American neutrality in the Great War. Crowley's book review for Viereck was carefully written to be just the sort of article that the editor would happily accept and be likely to feature prominently. This extravagant praise for Viereck's own collection of bombastic wartime verse spotlights a volume now utterly forgotten in the annals of American poetry (as the Beast seems to have known all along it would be). Songs of Armageddon and Other Poems by George Sylvester Viereck was published in New York by Mitchell Kennerley in 1916.

The Most Notable Book of the Year:
"Songs of Armageddon and Other Poems"

reviewed by Aleister Crowley

It is impossible for contemporary minds to distinguish between the good poet and the great because nobody can tell what the Zeitgeist is really thinking; we are all too apt to suppose that it is thinking as we think. Now the great poets are all direct expressions of the Zeitgeist, and for this reason it always appears, as soon as time enables us to identify them, that they are not only poets, but prophets. I am consequently not going to tell anyone that Mr Viereck is a great poet. That will be the obvious comment -- though a quite unnecessary one -- upon that admirably edited library edition of his works which is to be published in A.D. 2216.
But it is very easy to distinguish the good poet from bad poets. The greatness depends on what he has to say -- the goodness can always be detected by the way he says it. If a man is obviously not master of the language in which he writes he is certainly not a good poet. If his grammar is confused, if his epithets are feeble, if his style is redundant, stilted, and artificial, you know that he is not even good. If he is not master of his metres, if he is compelled to twist his sentences about for the sake of rhyme, you know that he is a bad poet.

Now, America has more bad poets to the cubic inch than any other country since the beginning of the world; and taking them all in all they are worse than time has ever born. Most of them have frankly abandoned the question of technique, as utterly beyond them, preferring to cut up exceedingly bad prose into lengths and to print it as poetry. There is hardly one who understands the first principle of rhythm, or who could tell you when a spondee may replace an iambus and when not. Most of them are totally incapable of grammar, and are either commonplace beneath the level of the lowest hack journalist, or so afraid of being commonplace that they use strange words and phrases without feeling them or even meaning them. They adopt eccentricities merely in order to be eccentric. Incapable of expressing themselves in a recognized medium, they invent new forms of punctuation, which mean nothing, if only because they are totally unaware of what punctuation really is. But the good poets of America can be counted on one hand by a hero just returned from the front, who has had nine fingers shot away.
This poet is Mr Viereck. You can read his latest book from cover to cover and hardly find a stanza which would not read just as simply if it were printed as prose. It is extraordinarily free from Miltonic inversions and other forms of so-called poetic license. Poetic license is the pitfall of poets. They are told in youth that they may say "the cat black" when they mean "the black cat" -- so whenever they want a rhyme for "stack" they do it. Mr Viereck's verse flows quite easily, naturally, and simply. But, it may be said, this is merely preliminary. And so it is. Anyone who does not achieve this is merely unworthy of our consideration. True, this might be coexistent with a perfectly commonplace style. But Mr Viereck is one of the great masters of phrase. He has for anything not merely the good, or the musical, or the beautiful, but the necessary expression. That he should get expressions at all is a miracle. That he should cause them to fall naturally into their places, that he should use the sweep of the verse to hammer them home, is a miracle of miracles.
Let us quote:

The Czar whose septre is the knout.

Here is a complete arraignment of the Czar down in a single phrase, a perfect symbol, a perfect image. It would not be possible to add a single word to that phrase or to subtract one from it -- and that is the supreme test.

The sidling submarine.

Can anyone find a better epithet? It is complete. It indicates the whole method of the submarine in a single word.

To Italy:

Tear from thy brow the olive wreath!
Thy laughter sickens to a leer.

Here is a perfect picture, simple and symbolic, of the fall from paganism to prostitution. Again in the same poem:

These are not Caesar's Seven Hills,
Nor this the land that Dante trod.

Always in Mr Viereck's verse we get the picture, we get the allusion; he has the trick of invoking the great name and the great memory. "Caesar's Seven Hills" is the sort of thing that magicians call a Pantacle; it contains everything in microscopic form. At the phrase the whole history of Ancient Rome springs to the mind. So, too, "Dante" is like a word of invocation. Say it, and the whole of the Renaissance leaps into the mind, with the suddenness and spontaneity of sunrise.

Again:

We are the Paladins of God.

Here the word "Paladin" calls up the entire romance of Charlemagne, the supreme fight against the heathen.
"Quite true," you say, "quite true, very natural -- but why make a fuss about it? Why would not 'heroes' of 'Berserks' do equally well?" Because this is a poem against Japan. It is the great new crusade that the poet is celebrating. Therefore, to him, because he is a good poet, there comes the word which is inevitably right. No other would serve.

Now, while this word is necessary in that particular poem, the question arises as to whether that particular poem is necessary to the universe. That is the distinction between goodness and greatness. We know that Prometheus Unbound is a great poem, because it expressed the emancipation of man, which was being worked out in other fields by Danton and his kind. History has set her seal upon Shelley. The question is whether she will do the same to Viereck. Now, by all obvious methods it appears that she must do so. We can hardly keep thinking that the European war and the Yellow Peril are the important issues of our time -- but we have no guarantee that we are right. Shelley himself was totally mistaken on many points, for instance, the situation in Greece. But the poet in Shelley made no error. His Prometheus Unbound was couched in cosmic terms. His poem about Greece, on the contrary, was entitled "Hellas," thereby localizing and limiting its application. So now, today, there may be a movement incomparably vaster than anything political or social, of which we are all ignorant or careless. We cannot "look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not."
There is, however, another test of poetry, this time of merely lyric poetry. Almost every human being perpetrates a few lyrics under the influence of the first sex-awakening, and when the victim has a reasonably decent education such lyrics are quite passable, and no canons of criticism, as ordinarily understood, avail to distinguish the twitterings of the sparrow from the scream of the eagle. History again, however, serves us as some sort of a guide. It is to be observed that those who have written really great lyrics, have always done much more. They have attempted epics, or dramas, or something of the kind; something so big that, if their work were equal they would all be Shakespeares. In them the lyric appears merely as a trapping. Very often the "big" work is quite worthless, as in the case of Coleridge, but the point is that the size of their ambition is a measure of the size of their soul.

Now, I should feel very much happier in prophesying immortal fame for Mr Viereck if he had produced an epic of a million lines, not one of which was readable, and maintained that the said epic was the only decent poetry ever written. It is very largely a question of probabilities; where a man devotes his whole life to a subject it is highly probable that now and again he will exhibit perfect mastery of it, at least in patches. But there are too many people going about today who "do not know whether they can play the fiddle, because they never tried."
Now it does seem to me that Mr Viereck's lyrics are noble and powerful. They are at least incomparably better then anything else which America has to show. They compare only too favorably with those of many poets whose names are in the mouths of men more frequently than his. On the technical question there can be no doubt whatever. The severe pain in the neck from which I am now suffering is to be attributed entirely to the fact that the names of Stephen Phillips and John Masefield crossed my mind at the moment. Such American animalcules as Edgar Lee Master, John Frost, Horace Holley, and the "monstrous regiment" of sob-sisters do not cross my mind. These facts, however, although demonstrably true, are not sufficient. One cannot prove an unknown animal to be a dinotherium by simply disproving it to be a streptococcus. It is, therefore, small consolation for Mr Viereck that he stands apart from the average poet. He must match himself with the Sam Langfords of Parnassus and knock out the Gunboat Smiths of Helicon. In order to do this it is not sufficient for him to say: "Behold this lyric -- is it not equal to the 'Ode to a Nightingale?' Is not this a nasty blow to Herrick?" He must rather say: "Behold this epic; I will now go down and buy myself copies of the Iliad and of the Mahabharata and of the works of Shakespeare and of Virgil and of Goethe, for after all, there was some merit in those fellows. Now they will never be reprinted! It will be only kind of me to save them from oblivion --"

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from the Grady Project:

A sequel to the essay reprinted in this column last month, this article has likewise been taken from the O.T.O. Newsletter, where it appeared originally in volume II, number 1 (Berkeley: O.T.O., June 1978) on pages 3-5. Footnotes have been added with editorial comments supplied by Bill Heidrick.

Karl's Karma

by Hymenaeus Alpha

Those of you who have read my rap on "Continuity in the Order" in volume I, number 2, of the O.T.O. Newsletter (in which I spoke of my disagreement with Karl Germer, Frater Saturnus, then de facto Outer Head of the Order, over his policy of non-initiation, and of what I tried to do about it) may have gotten the impression that I thought that Karl Germer was a bad ass. This would be a very great mistake. It is true that I thought that his policies were mistaken, and it is true that I did everything in my power to try to get him to change his ways of thinking -- short of getting myself kicked out of the Order -- but this was a disagreement over policy. As a person, it was my opinion, then, as now, that Karl Germer was a very great man. I have never known a more dedicated Thelemite. Therefore, if he made mistakes and let the Order die in the outer, we must look elsewhere for the explanations. It is possible that I am the only person who knows what really went down on that.
Let us begin with his motto: Saturnus. Time. Aleister Crowley told me that he had once said to Karl; "You must have come straight down!" What was his karma? To bring an end to the time of the Aeon of Osiris so that the Aeon of Horus might begin? It is a thought, but then the same could be said of Jack Parsons manifesting the Anti-Christ. If there is a Christ, then there must be an Anti-Christ to put an end to it. A matter of polarity. I discussed this with Mike R. when I was in Syracuse. Mike makes a goodly part of the family bread as a professional in the field of psychiatry. His comment, which I value, was; "Yes, but Saturn devoured his children!" I consider this to be extremely cogent. By refusing to initiate, Germer excluded any possibility of rivalry to his position. Had he followed the instructions in the private codicil to Crowley's Last Will and Testament, and called the convocation of the IXth Degrees, he would have been de jura Outer Head of the Order beyond challenge. Since he did not follow the instructions of his Prophet, and was only de facto O.H.O., he could always be challenged. Paranoia set in. Or did it? I believe that is goes much deeper than that.
Aleister Crowley died in 1947 e.v. Sometime in 1948 or '49 e.v. Germer received three enormous packing crates from England. It was the Crowley library. Germer was living in an apartment in New York City at the time and decided he needed larger quarters to house the library. That is when he moved to Hampton, New Jersey. It is also when he started to go crazy. He and his wife, Sascha, were absolutely convinced that their house was bugged by the FBI, and used to "talk" to each other by passing notes back and forth so that their conversations could not be recorded. Now Karl Germer was a very bright guy. Hearing him give an extemporaneous lecture on the influence of Napoleon on European nationalism could be a very enlightening experience. But I didn't find out how bright he was until I was serving in the Korean War. The saying there was that the secret of long life for a Second Lieutenant of Infantry was to survive the patrols long enough to inherit the Heavy Weapons section. Once you are behind the mortars and machine guns it is a hell of a lot harder to get to you, and Karl Germer rose from the ranks in the Kaiser's Imperial Army of War I to be a Major of Machine Gunners on the Eastern Front. So how to account for his craziness? Aleister Crowley was the greatest magician who has walked this earth since the time of the Pyramids. He would leave a legacy. There were things in that library that would drive anyone crazy.
In 1969 e.v. Putnam published a paperback of Justine Glass titled They Foresaw the Future. I have the old graduate student habit of checking the table of contents and the index; sure enough, on page 182 there is a story about a collection of the Magus' formulas that had been bought by the wrong person, who immediately developed an obscure disease and had to get rid of them to save his life. Suddenly I flashed. Of course. It was something I had forgotten for 30 years. You will remember how on page 18 of volume I, number 4, of this Newsletter, I said that Crowley's finger wagging lecture was "one of the only two times he ever got really pissed with me." This was the second time. It happened in much the same way. We had been playing chess and rapping. He disappears into the kitchen to brew up some tea. Again, there I am, big eyes all over the place. The black-out shades were on the window over on the left; light security against the German bombers patrolling upstairs. His main library consisted of two rows of books under the window. I went over to take a look. One book pulled my attention (the old "poison apple" trip: "Take me!"), which was strange because it had no title on the spine. It was black, oblong and rather thick. So I picked it up and went back to sit down and look. I opened it. But what kind of book was this? There was no printing. Rather there were, as best memory serves, 4 squares across and 6 squares down. The squares were matted. Each square had a very large, single Enochian letter in it. There was something funny about it. They were very black, and very perfect; but they looked much too big to have been printed. This was a curiosity. I wondered; so I started to reach out with my right forefinger to feel one of them to see if maybe they had been painted-on, when Crowley came out of the kitchen with the tea tray, saw what I was about to do, and yelled at me -- and I do mean he yelled at the top of his voice -- "DON'T TOUCH THAT!" I looked up in considerable surprise, closed the book rather gently and handed it back to him. He said, quietly, "You have no idea what forces you could have set in motion!" It was the only explanation he ever offered, and the incident was never mentioned again.
Now we come back to They Foresaw the Future. When I read this, and remembered the incident, I wrote to Frater V.I.,1 probably the most knowledgeable person in the world on the subject, and asked him about it. In a letter dated 14 March 1970, in the Archives of the Caliph, he wrote back as follows: "The books at 93 Jermyn Street were not left behind when A.C. gave up tenancy. I myself after his death sent to Karl Germer what you call Enochian tablets, but which were in fact charged Abramelin squares written in Enochian. If the Solar Lodge crowd did in fact beat up Sascha Germer and steal the archives, which they seem to have done, they will in time regret it. They are not to be trifled with." Addenda: it will be remembered that the so-called Solar Lodge group was busted on felony child abuse charges for the famous "boy in the box" case at Bythe, California. In a letter dated 28 July 1970, Frater V.I. further stated: "The incident mentioned in print by Justine Glass . . . is correct. Fitzgerald,2 after A.C.'s death, appropriated A.C.'s volume of Abramelin talismans and the consequences related appeared to follow."
Finally, in a letter dated 18 August 1970, Fr. V.I. stated: "A.C. kept the Book of Talismans wrapped in a piece of silk when I last saw it with him. In other words he treated them as sacred or as if they were sacred and not to be handled lightly." Now perhaps you will understand why I am so sympathetic to Karl Germer. He was carrying an impossible burden. If he made mistakes of judgment concerning initiating people into the Order, perhaps it was because his mind was affected by the forces beyond his control. As for the Solar Lodge group, so-called, obviously they had their fingers all over every one of those charged squares. I would really rather not think of the consequences.
Speaking of consequences, as I have said, Karl Germer refused to follow his Prophet's instructions and call a convocation of the IXth Degree members so he could be elected de jura O.H.O. The consequences were tragic beyond belief. When Francis King published The Secret Rituals of the O.T.O., I was so offended that at first I refused to have a copy. Later I would obtain one for research purposes. In this instance, it serves a purpose. When you take an initiatory degree, you take oaths not to reveal certain information that has been passed on to you. Ordinarily I could not discuss this. However I can quote from a book that has been published, and on page 44 of F. King's Secret Rituals of the O.T.O. he quotes from the Minerval ceremony: ". . . and if I break this oath . . . and betray the bread and salt, may the dogs devour my carcass: may I be mutilated and no more a man!" (italics mine). Karl Germer (Frater Saturnus) died in 1962 e.v. in West Point, California. He had developed cancer of the prostate. There is a gentleman in South America who claims that Germer declared him, Motta, to be his successor on his, Germer's, death bed. This is impossible. Karl Germer could not have declared anyone to be his successor on his death bed because Karl Germer died screaming. After Sascha Germer's death and after we were able to bring down the Court Order saying that Crowley's library by law belonged to me, we inventoried what was left of it. We found, in Sascha Germer's own handwriting, what had happened. The surgeons had made the incision (at the level of the lower Penal Sign known to our Order), found that the cancer was inoperable, sewed him up, and sent him home to die. Naturally Sascha was completely incapable of changing the bandages, the wound became infected, he was taken back to the hospital, and it was while the nurses were trying to clean him that he died screaming. We have this in Sascha's own handwriting. The document is vaulted in the Archives of the Caliph. It was the exact penalty prescribed in the Minerval ritual reported by King for one who had betrayed the bread and salt. Karl Germer paid a terrible price for having disobeyed the instructions of his Prophet by assuming the burden of Outer Head of the Order without calling the convocation specified by Crowley. Thelema is not something to be played with. Thelema is real. And -- if you take an oath -- you better be damn sure you intend to keep it.

Notes:
1. This would be Gerald Yorke, also one of the several individuals using "Frater N."
2. This is Noel Fitzgerald, IXth Degree O.T.O.

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from the Library Shelf

The earliest biography of John Dee, written in Latin by the Anglican priest and theologian Dr Thomas Smith, was published in London in 1707 as part of a series entitled Vitae quorundam erudissimorum et illustrium vivorum (Lives of the Most Learned and Illustrious Men). Two centuries later an English translation by William Ayton appeared on the tercentenary of Dee's greater feast, The Life of John Dee, An English Mathematician (London: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1908). The following selections have been taken from pages 41-48 (the introduction of Edward Kelley), 76-79 (the wife-swapping arrangement), and 90-94 (concluding remarks). Ayton's version stays so close to the literal text of the Latin original, even duplicating its long phrases and convoluted sentence structure, that it can sometimes be difficult to follow in English, but Smith's work is nevertheless of interest in its formulation of the early reactions to Dee's angelic investigations. The Reverend William Alexander Ayton was one of the oldest initiates of the original Golden Dawn, joining (along with his wife Anne) among William Westcott's earliest recruits just a few months after a the founding of the Hermetic Order in 1888. As G. H. Frater Virtue Orta Occident Rarius (those rising by virtue rarely decline), Ayton achieved the grade of 5= 6 a year later, at the age of 74. He was at the time still active as a priest, and as the Vicar of Chacombe in Oxfordshire; he had been a freemason for twenty years, and was also associated with the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. He retired on a pension in 1894 and lived into his 92nd year, dying in 1909 in Hertfordshire.

Selections from
Vita Joannis Dee
(1707)

by Dr Thomas Smith

translated from the Latin
by William Ayton (1908)

When Dee was occupied in investigating curious Arts and hunting after the innermost secrets of natural philosophy, and also the mysteries of celestial wisdom, above what it is lawful for mortals to aspire to, he had worked alone, but at the beginning of the previous year [i.e. 1582], or thereabouts, as from the circumstances of the times being compared it is permitted to conjecture (for neither can I precisely define the time) Edward Kelley, a young man of twenty-five or twenty-six years, being attracted by the fame of Dee, sought his friendship. From the similarity of their studies, the faith, the industry and the skill of this new stranger, especially in chymical operations and experiments, which he possessed above the common herd of Philosophers, with great outward show, of whom the spirits predicted he would afterwards be the artificer or worker of nature, the inner chambers of the earth being explored, Dee had taken to himself, having previously proved him, and in a short time Kelley was admitted as a guest as though fallen from heaven. Now therefore, Dee, having auspiciously obtained an associate, especially suitable and convenient according to the genius and plan of his life, for that which, for so many years of his past life, he had without intermission pursued, he dreamed that there would be nothing inaccessible, nothing impervious, nothing impossible to their conjoined deliberations by a most pleasing delusion of his mind, and ensnared by the fallacies of a hurtful and impious curiosity. Also concerning Kelley who in this astonishing drama performed not the smallest part, as it were, from super-abundance of material, is here necessarily brought in. But the other things which relate to him will be reserved to the end of this narration.
Edward Kelley was born at Worcester the first of August in the year 1555. Some will have it that he was a quack Doctor in his native city, but others, what to me seems more like the truth, that he was by profession an ordinary scribe. The business really pertains to writers of deeds, securities, and copying of Wills. Here, having wrongly used his abilities, and being clearly guilty of fraud, suffered the punishment of having his ears cut off at Lancaster, which place having left on account of the disgrace, turning to another employment, he applied himself to the study of Chymistry, from which, he flattered himself that he should accumulate immense wealth, because he was studious of the gold-making Art. Nor did his curiosity confine itself within the borders of the honest and the right. For it was proved that he1 having taken up the corpse of some one recently dead out of the sepulchre, consulted the infernal spirit evoked for the purpose upon the matters proposed, so that no doubt can be left that he had entered into a pact with the Demon. Now, from that time, in which he had insinuated himself into the friendship of Dee, frequent appearances of evil spirits were made to both present at the same time, whom, Dee being deluded in a most horrible manner, through the greatest folly, thereafter as long as life lasted, believed to be good Angels of God sent from heaven to illuminate his mind with clearer rays of Divine Wisdom and with the knowledge of future events. For he was wont to beseech God with most fervent and often repeated prayers, that being gifted with wisdom, he might attain to the faculty of understanding the secrets of Nature, not yet revealed to men; nor did he abstain from declaring openly that from his youth upwards God had implanted in his heart a zealous and insatiable desire of arriving at the truth; that this was the scope and end of his studies; that at length, God inspiring him, he being fully instructed, might attain to the true Philosophy, the treasure of heavenly wisdom, and the science of pure truth. Hence that he would be the messenger and administrator of the Divine Will newly to be revealed to men, by his unwearied vigils, genius, philosophical and mathematical studies, yea and from his piety and continual prayers, not for the glory of God, as he clamorously and earnestly pretended, but rather from self-seeking with over much confidence in himself, easily persuading himself with intolerable arrogance. When he was unwilling to be wise according to the dictates of right reason and the sacred Scriptures, but had eagerly sought by an unlawful and impious ambition to surpass the powers of the human mind, by the just judgment of God being left to himself and given over to the arbitrament of his own will, he became the sport, the laughing-stock and the prey of daemons, to whose wiles and illusions, without any distrust, yea most greedily embracing them, by so great a solicitation he had rendered himself apt and easy.
Those actions (under which name conferences with evil spirits are called) began on the twenty-second day of December, 1581, being comprehended in five books of the Mysteries, as yet not published, in which Dee had learned from Spirits the way of fabricating and accurately working out the form of the sacred table, of delineating the Seal, as it is called, of God, and he describes by what previous rites and preparations they could obtain visitations and conversations, bringing them out one by one, together with an appendix, which he finishes on the twenty-third day of May, 1583. These writings being hidden in the secret part of a certain chest, which, in that fatal fire of the city had escaped safe, as formerly told to me, Sir Elias Ashmole, a most eager investigator of that sort of things (I know not by what means he obtained it), most carefully preserved: which are now kept in the Museum at Oxford. But in these, as in the other papers which are found in the Cottonian Library, and which the revered and most learned man, Meric Casaubon, son of Isaac, published at London, 1659, Dee wrote with his own hand the history of those years, each being accurately noted, according to his custom, both as to circumstances of things and of time. The Cottonian Papers, to which is prefixed the following title, "The sixth book of the Mysteries and the parallel of the sacred first fallow land," take their beginning from the 28th day of May, 1583, five days after the last action, i.e., the last séance held with spirits, on the twenty-third day of the same month, following in regular order the appendix mentioned above. These, not bound together in one volume, but divided into various parts according to the purport of the matter there treated of and searched out, are stitched together apart, here and there befouled with mildew and moisture, as if a long time before hidden in a small box, and scarcely legible in the future, unless some opportune accident had brought them to light."
In one2 of the preceding Actions, which took place on the twenty-first day of November in the year 1582, Dee most obstinately asserted positively that a clear and transparent stone of a circular form, as he often calls it, of a crystal, in which apparitions are in future to be made, and voices, wanted for oracles, were to be produced, had been delivered by an Angel from these learned Priests. The same thing at Prague in the year 1584, having called to witness the most sacred Divine Being under a most horrible curse, with the greatest confidence, he asserted: adding, that that crystal was of such value and virtue, that no wealth of earthly kingdom could be compared with it as being equal to it, nor so dignified. Which he afterwards shewed to William de Sancto Clemente, ambassador of the King of Spain, as well as to Jacob Curtzius the Caesarean Counselor, having produced also the fourth book in manuscript, in which he stated by what means (the Angel bestowing it), it had come into his possession. Dee does not describe what sort of a movement he made, but that he appeared somewhat arrogant or proud, in whom were so many and various forms stirred with various movements, and so many sights were shown at the same time, he gives with a great appearance of truth. But if it were not altogether the same, at least to me it seemed equal and alike destined to the same diabolical uses (for thus, being then present, I believed) which I recollect to have seen exposed for sale, with a large quantity of magical appliances and magical books at a public auction which was held in London in November, 1694, perhaps at the same time with the glass vessel, containing in its hollow half a gallon, if it be lawful so to speak, with swelling out and roundness, and as the Masters of these horrible mysteries pretend that it is possible that the faculty of intuition should be given, if anything appeared in it, not promiscuously to all, but to those only rightly initiated. To this office Kelley seemed especially suitable, and was installed by Dee now seized with the most foolish credulity and aberration thence brought into his mind, as the closest confidant and constant friend, Uriel advising it, a mutual agreement being entered into, and an annual pension of fifty pounds being assigned to him, that he was to undertake the office and ministry of Inspector, in English, Seer or Skryer in future Actions.

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So according to his custom, Dee fascinated by the diabolical lies, was hardened in embracing and retaining his errors and dreams. I will not deny that he had been so far pure from base wickedness, that he had been zealous for probity, earnest in prayers to God, that he had practiced great holiness and reverence for the Christian Religion in the midst of these illusions by which he was circumvented. But, behold a most astonishing specimen and example of the most deplorable trickery and diabolical tyranny exercised towards him! There appeared in the crystal a white column, upon whose stem the heads of Dee, Kelley, and their wives were joined together in one, hanging over under the same crown, their bodies included within as a sign of consecrating by this emblem of the closest union between them, which Dee wished to be understood in a Christian and pious sense, but contrary to the intention of the pseudo-angels, who being consulted upon the matter, interpreted it as not being of spiritual love only and the union of minds, but also of carnal and promiscuous conjunction and concubinage, and they most expressly commanded that it should be done. To Dee it was dreadful, saying that it would be a manifest violation of the Divine Law and the Gospel; but being reproved, he dared to doubt as to this new command whether it could be from God, at length after a long dispute he ceased. His wife, being made aware of this proposition, trembled, ready to weep, vowing she would never consent to such an infamous deed, but being overcome by the subtleties of her husband, the secret counsels of God, so deluded she felt, almost unwilling, she decided to obey. In the meantime, when they were struggling against it, nor could be easy in their mind, by repeated commands from their Preceptors, and especially from him personating Raphael, yea, and even by Christ himself, which things are horrible to be said, that that advice of the Angels was dictated and delivered by the Angels as a trial of their faith, asserting that it had gone forth from Him, but by no means the doctrine which referred to them alone, and ought to be published to other mortals; and that which they call lawlessness, or iniquity is to be followed out and done with joy, because of the high authority commanding it, for thus he most impiously blasphemed, these four being incited to enter into this solemnity with God, subscribing their names the third of May, 1587, they entered into the pact, deprecating the anger of the offended Deity, inasmuch as they had not consented to it from lasciviousness and the lusts of the flesh, but solely out of regard to the Divine command, from faith and obedience, even as Abraham had formerly done in the proposed slaying of his son. O what deplorable stupidity! O execrable insanity! It would seem incredible that a man well instructed in the Christian Religion, yea, even imbued with only a slight sense of moral virtues, should have been so nearly blind, that he was not able to see so far as the furthest cord of this foolishness and madness, unless Dee had committed it to writing explained with ample commentary and made clear by wonderful circumstances. So much indeed was he ashamed of this promiscuous intercourse, that, more certain and sure precautions should be taken lest it should ever become known to any one of mortals, that all impiously entering into this pact swore that a dreadful imprecation uttered solemnly before God, that to each of those four revealing to any one, and also to each and every other person to whom this horrible secret shall be revealed, a sudden death shall be inflicted in that very moment.

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Although Dee by some in published books and by our forefathers in familiar conversation about him is most commonly called Doctor, whether of Medicine, or as some think, of Theology; it however certainly is proved that he was content with the laurel of M. A., which he had formerly gained in the University of Cambridge, that he had neither sought for nor wished to obtain the higher degree and title in the University, whether ours or a foreign one. In the records of the College, of which he had chief charge, as to the income pertaining to elocutions, as it shown by the Register, he is always called Master of Arts; nor is it prejudicial to this statement that in the parchment roll in which the names and the family crests painted in a long series are contained, from Thomas La Ware, Priest, and afterwards his elder brother departing this life without male issue, a Parliamentary Baron in the time of King Henry the Fifth, the founder, even to John Dee, above the proper designation of his family is inscribed in English, M. Goannes Dee, Doctor in Mathematics; on the other part he is the Royal Mathematician: since this title was given to him "honoris causa," conferred on him because of his passing skill in the Mathematical Sciences, never by any public authority by which the Professors of other Faculties are distinguished with the Doctorate.
Now Dee sometimes calls that crystalline globe, the Show-stone or Skry- stone, sometimes the Stone of Manifestation, the Sacred Stone; also the Mystical Stone, and finally the Receptacle. After the Operations3 with it, there very often appeared on the opposite side of it a golden curtain, sometimes also a white veil, both produced by the contrivance of daemons. He had most foolishly believed that this stone had been given into his hands by an Angel. It will therefore to no one appear wonderful that a short time before his death he called this celestial gift his Gem, and held it in the highest honour and reverence. Lest, therefore, it should be touched, as it were, by impure hands, when it was necessary to remove it from one place to another, or, from the roundness of the material might fall on the floor, or, from the smoothness of the glass this accident might happen, he took especial care to have a small mechanical contrivance made of gold in which it might remain fixed in a frame exactly fitting it. Assurance indeed being first given in concise words that no evil spirit, to whose deceits and illusions it might have been liable, should enter into it, when Kelley would have preferred to hold conversation with Angels outside the crystal, floating, as it were, in the liquid air and balancing themselves. For this reason Dee forbade it, lest deceit might be practiced from it, although he afterwards confessed that a certain daemon in the form of a huge Molossan dog4 of a black color had appeared within it, pretending that he was a good Angel: whom therefore with revilings he called the infernal dog. But with these doubts often entering into his mind, and as often vanishing by the guile of the daemons, by the renewed promise of the feigned Michael that no unclean thing should ever in future invade that vessel, Dee falls back into his former madness, although soon after a certain daemon of that sort, in whom the people of the earth will be cursed, i.e., Antichrist, as he interprets it, appearing in the crystal made himself visible.
In the next place comes the noted Mensa Faederis, in English the "League Table" or "Table of Covenant" whose whole fabric he largely describes as to its form and dimensions together with various lines, figures and dimensions and characters, especially, as he had been taught by Gabriel. Besides, that figure which occupies the centre of the Table, composed of oblong squares, in each of which cut crosswise, unknown characters are engraved, being always the same, is called "Sigillum Dei," never to be looked at but with the greatest reverence, upon which in all Operations, the Mystical Stone was to be placed. That very Table, which we may truly call Magical, exists to this very day in the Cottonian Library; nor will there need any further description of it, whose likeness engraved in brass before the history of these Operations was written, was published by Dr. Casaubon.
To this Table appertained a peculiar sacred, as it is called, Apparatus, that is to say, a coverlet, a white linen cloth spread over it, a desk, a candlestick, a wax candle burning at the time of Operation, a shrine in which red Crosses were interwoven, all of which were kept, as is the custom, in the Oratory devoted to these horrible mysteries: which it was not lawful for any but the initiated to enter, if we give willing ears to their fables. For when a certain servant of Lasco had broken violently into the chapel of the house at Mortlake destined for these uses, on account of the impious profanation of the Sanctuary, the angry avengers of these violated rites foretold that he would be drowned after a few months.
Besides that famous crystal above mentioned, which is called the first sanctified and principal one, there appears to have been another very like it. It is reported that he also made use of other glass globes smaller in form, which are in frequent use with the Magi. It is believed these were supplied privately to Dee; but whether made by art, or whence they were brought, not any one, so far as I know, has shown in any published work.

Notes:
1. See the famous book of that eminent man John Weaver, whose Title is "Ancient Funeral Monuments," published at London
in the year 1631, pages 45, 46, where many proofs and documents are given as to the truth and that without doubt,
that this thing really took place.
2. As the end of the fourth book of the Mysteries. He says that there on that day he had seen an Angel, about as big as a boy,
towards the West window of the Museum, holding that stone in his hand: from whom, being ordered that he should go
thither that he might receive it, he perceived it to be cold and hard, but shining clear and glorious.
3. The Latin word is "actio." We now call it "seance." At Cambridge a public controversy is now called an Act; probably from
this word "Actio."
4. Molossia, a district of Epirus, famous for its breed of dogs called Molossi.

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Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for June 2003 e.v.

6/1/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/5/03Magical Practice, 8PM Library(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/8/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/11/03Meditation Class with Michael
6 to 7 PM in Horus Temple
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6/14/03Full Moon in Sagittarius 4:16 AM
6/15/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/16/03Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Attar's Conference of the
Birds
8PM in the library
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6/18/03Mantra Yoga Class with Jeff Sommer
8 PM in Horus Temple
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6/20/03Pathworking with Paul in Horus Temple
8PM
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6/21/03Summer Solstice Picnic 11 AM at
Lake Temescal (bring food)
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6/22/03Greek Magical Workshop, 7:30 PM(510) 527-2855Sirius Camp
6/22/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/26/03Magick and Platonic Forms Class
with Michael 6 to 7 PM in the library
(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.
6/29/03New Moon in Cancer 11:39AM
6/29/03Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple(510) 652-3171Thelema Ldg.

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