Thelema Lodge Calendar for November 2003 e.v.
Thelema Lodge Calendar
for November 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.
Ordo Templi Orientis
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
November 2003 e.v. at Thelema Lodge
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Lodge Members and Officers
Members, friends, and guests of Thelema Lodge gather on Sunday evenings to
celebrate the mass of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica each week in Horus Temple.
Communicants are welcome to participate, and should arrive by 7:30 to be ready
when the deacon calls us into the sanctuary shortly thereafter. As the feast
of Samhain this month takes us into the dark of the year, mass will tend to
get underway a bit earlier, so please endeavor to arrive in good time. Those
attending mass here for the first time are asked to call well ahead for
further information and directions to the temple. Communicants willing to
serve the lodge as officers in the mass are advised to study our liturgy and
form teams to practice it together. Confer with others who are already active
in the temple for advice and encouragement, and bring your technical questions
to one of our gnostic bishops. When your team is ready to celebrate the mass
on behalf of the lodge, sign up with the lodgemaster for a date on the temple
The feast of the season, marking the midpoint of autumn, will be celebrated
in Horus Temple on Samhain, Friday 7th November. Join in for the ritual
beginning that evening at 8:00, bringing food and drink to share at our
holiday table for the dinner to follow. Sol will have passed through the
heart of the Scorpion that morning at 7:52. Eat all the candy and kick all
the pumpkins you like a week early with the last dregs of Christianity on
their Hallowe'en, but then dress up like pagans and Thelemites and come out
for the true cross-quarter festival!
Initiations in Ordo Templi Orientis will be held on Saturday 29th November.
To attend, members are asked to speak with the lodge officers in advance in
order to learn the place, time, and the degree to be worked. All who are
involved in this event must make their plans known to the lodge in advance.
To become a candidate for Minerval initiation, or for gradual advancement
through the Man of Earth degrees of Ordo Templi Orientis thereafter, persons
presenting themselves free, of full age, and of good report may obtain the
requisite application form by request at any temple and library event. There
is a minimum thirty day period of candidacy following the submission of a
The lodge is happy to announce a new class this month in the theory and
practice of yoga, beginning at 6:00 with our sister Caroline on Tuesday
evening 18th November. (Please note the early time.) A professional yoga
instructor of long experience, Caroline will provide an introduction to yoga
and its special value as a discipline for Thelemites. We will only have her
for a few months before she returns to India to continue her own training, so
all members are urged to take advantage of her generosity in offering this
class for us.
For an evening of group chanting come to the Mantra Yoga circle led by
brother Jeffrey Sommer, meeting in the temple at 8:00 on Thursday evening 20th
November. Experimenting together with Indian techniques of vocalization,
repetition, and concentration, this group applies the ancient traditions of
verbal yoga to Thelemic purposes. Sessions open with a historical, cultural,
and theoretical introduction, followed by instruction in some particular
mantric formula which is taught to participants, and then repeated in unison
for 108 cycles. Bring along your beads and add your voice to the great
Analysis and instruction in the basic techniques of the western magical
tradition is offered in the Magical Practices series, meeting this month from
7:30 to 10:00 on Thursday evening 13th November. Facilitated for the lodge by
three of our senior initiates, brother Greg Peters, sister Leigh Ann Hussey,
and brother Samuel Shult, this series offers an introduction and review of
individual practices often recommended to Thelemites. Now completing a deep
reading of Crowley's Liber O, the Book of the Hand and the Arrow, this group
is currently engaged with the book's two final sections, pertaining to Golden
Dawn traditions of astral travel and the magical projection of the conscious
identity into the symbolic universe of the Tree of Life.
In the Region of the Seven Dimensions
Returning to Crowley's original "Section Two" reading list for a second
look at Lilith (1895), the "dream romance" by George MacDonald (1824-1905),
our Section Two reading group at Thelema Lodge will be meeting on Monday
evening 17th November at 8:00 in the lodge library. Originally a Scottish
Congregational minister (until he was dismissed from the pulpit for heresy in
1853), MacDonald became a writer and lecturer, a prolific novelist, and at
length a Professor of English Literature. Although only his fantasy stories
continued well known through the twentieth century, MacDonald also produced
several volumes of verse and nearly two dozen realistic novels, mostly set in
the Scottish villages of his native Aberdeenshire. His allegorical narrative
Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women (1858) first made his
reputation as a writer, and was influential upon the developing genre of
imaginative fiction intended not for the nursery but for a serious readership.
Lilith (1895), the fantasy novel produced in his old age, is a more complex
and sustained narrative, much admired by Tolkien and the "Inkling" writers of
the 1930s. MacDonald also produced "fairy" stories for children which remain
popular, the most remarkable being At the Back of the North Wind (1871). He
was a friend of the Oxford mathematics lecturer Charles Dodgson, who loaned
him at one point the manuscript of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, asking
that MacDonald read it to his own children and then report back to Dodgson
about whether it might have any success if it could be published.
(MacDonald's critique was enthusiastic -- his young son thought the Alice
story ought to go on for 60,000 more volumes -- and provided the necessary
encouragement for his friend to have Alice printed -- with extraordinary
success -- under his pseudonym of Lewis Carroll.)
"The only way to come to know where you are is to begin to make yourself at
"How am I to begin that when everything is so strange?"
"By doing something."
"Anything; and the sooner you begin the better! for until you are at home,
you will find it as difficult to get out as it is to get in."
Lilith is a "dream novel," a story about imaginative travel in astral
realms, other dimensions, and alternate universes. Written with the
thoughtful cleverness of a very good preacher, who constantly surprises his
audience into unexpected contemplations and compelling connections, the story
skirts the edges of narrative coherence with amusing skill. One fine critic
(the English-American poet W. H. Auden, contributing an introduction to an
edition of MacDonald's tales fifty years ago) considered Lilith to be "equal
if not superior to the best of Poe" (and his novel The Princess and the
Goblins "the only English children's book in the same class as the Alice
books"). MacDonald's "greatest gift," in Auden's judgment, "is what one might
call his dream realism, his exact and profound knowledge of dream causality,
dream logic, dream change, dream morality: when one reads him, the illusion of
participating in a real dream is perfect; one never feels that it is an
allegorical presentation of wakeful conscious processes."
"Whence then came thy dream?" . . .
"Out of my dark self, into the light of my consciousness."
"But whence first into thy dark self?" . . .
"My brain was its mother, and the fever in my blood its father."
"Say rather . . . thy brain was the violin whence it issued, and the fever
in thy blood the bow that drew it forth. . . . Whence came the fantasia? and
whence the life that danced thereto? Dids't thou say, in the dark of thy own
unconscious self, 'Let beauty be; let truth seem!' and straightway beauty was,
and truth but seemed?"
Man dreams and desires; God broods and wills and quickens. When a man
dreams his own dream, he is the sport of his dream; when Another gives it him,
that Other is able to fulfull it.
Previous Section Two Next Section Two
This second part concludes our presentation of one of Crowley's best stage
plays, originally published in The International (New York: March 1918).
The Saviour (continued)
(The Herald of the Gnogues enters. He is a short, thick-set, sturdy man in
black chain armor. He bears on a staff the dreaded banner of the
THE HERALD OF THE GNOGUES: Greetings of a soldier to brave enemies! I bear
the most merciful message of my most mighty king. Your army is reduced by
half; your citizens starve; you must submit to terms.
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: Succor is promised us from the Emperor.
THE HERALD OF THE GNOGUES: Where is his promise?
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER (lifting a parchment): This reached us fifteen
THE HERALD OF THE GNOGUES: Where is his message of yesterday?
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: We have received no message.
THE HERALD OF THE GNOGUES (pulling from his shirt a bloody parchment): Here
is his message of yesterday. (He hands the parchment to the Fool.)
THE FOOL: Ten to one this is a forgery. It is a regular Gnogue trick. (He
hands it to the Most Venerable Elder.)
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER (reading): "The internal troubles of our empire
prevent us from sending the aid promised you. May God defend you in your
THE PROPHET (rapt as in ecstasy): The extremity of Blabre!
(All, sunk yet deeper in apathy, heed him not. A pause. The Fool examines
the message with attention.)
THE FOOL: I am sure this document is a forgery. Previous letters have been
written by a clerk. This is his majesty's own holograph. It is much too
genuine. (a pause) If this paper be genuine, it must have been written
from the capital. That is ten days' journey off. The ink on this
document has been wet within the last four-and-twenty hours.
(The Dumb Elder gesticulates.)
THE DEAF ELDER: My colleague says that it is infamous to suggest that his
Majesty would lend himself to forgery.
THE YOUNG PLUMP ELDER: Let me see the document. (a pause) There is
something in what the Fool says.
(The paper is passed round.)
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: This was never written by the hand of one of our
race. It is a clever imitation of the hand of the Emperor. Also, the
strokes are not even enough. Also, the words "our" and "us" are spelled
with small letters. It is not genuine, in my opinion.
THE DEAF ELDER (examining the paper with his dumb colleague, and holding a
rapid interchange of signs with him): My colleague and I agree that this
is a forged document. The parchment is not of the quality used by our
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: It is our fears that tell us it is genuine.
THE BLIND ELDER: I am absolutely convinced of the authenticity of the
document. It bears the strongest possible internal evidence of its truth.
There is no doubt possible.
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: There is no doubt possible.
(All relax once more their momentary alertness. They sink visibly into the
very abyss of dejection. A pause.)
THE HERALD OF THE GNOGUES: You must submit to terms. The most mighty King
of the Gnogues offers you of his clemency the right to withdraw with all
the honors of war. Recognizing a gallant foe, he will not embitter defeat
by humiliation. You shall leave the city with all your arms and
ammunition, and with all such goods as you can carry with you. But, if
you refuse these terms, then expect the direful judgments. He will put
every living thing to the sword; he will burn every building with fire; he
will efface the City of Blabre from the memory of man. I have spoken.
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: Does it comport with the terms of your command
that you retire a while, that we may deliberate?
THE HERALD OF THE GNOGUES: I shall wait your pleasure. (He goes out.)
THE YOUNG PLUMP ELDER (leaping to his feet): Who could have hoped such
terms? We are saved!
THE BLIND ELDER: Shall we believe it? May we trust him?
THE DEAF ELDER: We must trust him. (The Dumb Elder gesticulates.) My
colleague says that it is madness to trust him.
THE FOOL: Why do we not ask an oracle of the Prophet?
THE PROPHET: Why do we not ask an oracle of the Fool?
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: He is not in his sacred trance. Let us rather look
for guidance to antiquity!
(He grasps a parchment; others follow his example. A pause, while they
search. The Dumb Elder gesticulates.)
THE DEAF ELDER: My colleague says that he remembers dimly a passage in the
third book of our sacred bard, Glingue, which may help our case.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: I knew it. It was that of which I was thinking.
(He turns over the parchments.) Here it is!
THE BLIND ELDER: Read it! Read it!
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER:
"In the extremity of Fate
The full moon shone, our master's mate.
In silver armor rode the duke
Against the heathen."
THE PROPHET: It is full moon tonight.
THE FOOL: What fumbling amid fusty folios!
THE BLIND ELDER: No: that is not prophecy. I remember it now. It is this:
"Look to the moon for safety! Dragon helm
Of rubies, and cuirass of silver, whelm
The tides of heathen hate. The sword and axe
Beat down the blows of pike and scramasax!"
THE DEAF ELDER: That is a proper prophecy! That is the true strain of our
THE FOOL: Only where is the duke? Where is the hero with these famous arms
and accouterments? The only part of the prophecy that has come true as
yet is the part about the extremity of Fate.
THE PROPHET (in deep meditation): The extremity of Blabre!
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: The Fool is wise for once. We had better trust
the Herald, and accept the terms of peace.
THE DEAF ELDER: It is absolutely certain that the Emperor's letter is
THE BLIND ELDER: It is absolutely certain.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: Here is another prophecy:
"The dragon's helm! Like the red moon it glows!
See where amid the flying ranks of foes
The silver champion sweeps!"
THE DEAF ELDER: Yes: that is the same thought again!
THE PALSIED ELDER: They all seem to be concerned with a warrior in silver
(The Dumb ELDER gesticulates.)
THE DEAF ELDER: My colleague says: "A giant."
THE BLIND ELDER: Yes, a giant, wearing a helm with a dragon of ruby upon
THE FOOL (apostrophising the images of the gods): Is it come to this, after
all these years, that men take poets seriously? they have not sense
enough to know that all these prophecies are but myths of moonrise!
THE BLIND ELDER: The dragon helm of rubies! How do you explain that?
THE FOOL: By the law of ampupatoptatous ambubaboptaton!
(The Dumb ELDER gesticulates.)
THE DEAF ELDER: My colleague says that this is ribaldry and blasphemy.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: The gods, who made him half-witted, cannot be
offended at the outrushings of that feebleness.
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: Yet what the Fool says is truth. The prophecies
agree on the main point. We of Blabre have waited and longed for him
these four hundred years. There is even a statue of him in the Guild
Hall. But by what right do we assume that he will appear in this present
crisis of our city? We must decide on action. My council is surrender.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: Are we all convinced of the genuineness of the
letter of the Emperor?
THE BLIND ELDER: It is positive beyond the possibility of doubt.
(The Dumb ELDER gesticulates.)
THE DEAF ELDER: My colleague agrees with the Most Venerable. His council is
THE PALSIED ELDER: Mine also.
THE DEAF ELDER: I agree.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: With regret, even with dissent, I must agree. Of
what use would it be to divide the Council?
THE BLIND ELDER (in sudden exaltation): I protest. I see him now; I see
the Saviour! He is almost at the gates. He is followed by a vast
victorious army. The Gnogues flee before the mere jingle of his harness.
(The moment of exaltation passes.) Ah me! The visions of the blind! (a
pause) I agree.
THE YOUNG PLUMP ELDER: I agree. Let us save ourselves, and leave Blabre to
THE FOOL: Oh, triple fools! Tricked by the forgery of the letter!
Rummaging antiquity for the rags and bones of folk-lore when you should
have been taking measures for the defense of the city! Praying to your
gods when you should have been making the enemy pray to theirs! Hold on
but a day! The Emperor will surely be in time to save the city. Also, by
all your gods, it were better we perish fighting than fall into the hands
of the Gnogues. This offer is black treachery. I know them.
(No one takes the slightest notice of the speech. The Dumb Elder does not
even trouble to repeat it to his colleague, but makes a contemptuous
gesture to indicate to him that it is rubbish.)
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: Summon the Herald of the Gnogues!
(The Sentinel obeys.)
THE PROPHET (mechanically as ever): Woe unto Blabre! Woe to the wicked city!
(The Herald of the Gnogues re-enters.)
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: We have ended our deliberations. We are disposed
to accept the terms of honorable capitulation offered to us by your
master. It is understood that we depart unharmed, every man with all such
goods as he may carry with him, and that the army of the Gnogues will not
molest us on our march, or enter the city until four-and-twenty hours be
THE HERALD OF THE GNOGUES: It is understood. It is agreed. Give me the
keys to the city.
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER (rising, and detaching a bunch of enormous iron keys
from his girdle): Here are -- --
THE PROPHET (with wild eyes, leaping to his feet with a furious gesture):
Hear ye the Word of the Lord! The whirlwind awaketh! The Lord flingeth
forth the lightning! The Lord maketh to resound his thunder! Hear ye the
Word of the Lord!
(All the ELDERs, dominated by his personality, spring to energy and
resolution, or rather to the simulation of these qualities which are
conferred by contagious hysteria, from their previous drooping dullness.
They seem to drink his words gluttonously. The Herald and the Sentinel,
even, abandon their military discipline, and listen with all their ears.
But the Fool yawns, and appears board, while the Herald of the Gnogues
shows violent amazement, as one beholding the antics of some incredible
THE PROPHET: The Lord hath lifted up his hand! The Lord hath appointed a
Saviour! Behold, even now is the hour of our salvation! Glory to the
Lord, that hath had mercy upon his servants! Blessed by these eyes, that
have looked upon the moon of resurrection! The Saviour cometh! The
Saviour cometh! The Saviour cometh! I see him with mine eyes; mine eyes
rejoice at the music of his harness as he strides to our salvation. O
Saviour of the City of Blabre! O thou that art the sword in the hand of
the Lord against the heathen!
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER (in a thrilled intense voice): Do you see him? Do
you see him?
THE PROPHET (very calm, on a sudden): I see him. I see the champion of the
Lord. He cannot come to us as long as we defend ourselves. It is by the
ordeal of faith that the Lord tries our souls!
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: What is he like?
THE PROPHET: He is an head above the common height of man. On his helm is a
dragon of rubies. His armor is of silver. His sword is bare; it flashes
on the moonlight. On the crook of his left arm is his battleaxe. He shall
split asunder the heathen; they shall be as an old rotten tree that splits
when it is stricken with lightning!
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER (in a voice of thunder): It is the fulfillment!
The ancient prophecies come true!
THE PROPHET (to the Herald of the Gnogues): Depart, thou carrion of the
vultures that watch Blabre! Before the night fall thou shalt be with
THE HERALD OF THE GNOGUES (to the Most Venerable Elder): I do not
comprehend the ravings of this madman. Give me the keys of the fortress.
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER (in a frenzy of senile rage): Dog! Heathen!
Murderer! Begone! The Saviour of Blabre is at hand. The Prophet of the
Lord hath spoken! (to the Sentinel) Out with him! Out with the heathen
(All are now in a fury, and threaten the Herald of the Gnogues with their
fists. Even the Palsied Elder tries to scramble up after him. The
Prophet, the Fool, and the Herald do not join in the demonstration. The
Sentinel, catching the insensate rage of the Elders, thrusts out the
Herald of the Gnogues, and slams the door upon him. A breathless silence;
heaving of great breasts.)
THE PROPHET (calm yet intense): The Voice of the Lord is in my mouth. Let
the people be gathered together! Let the voice of the people go up in a
great cry to the Most Holy One that watcheth over the City of Blabre!
Gather together the people in the marketplace: let not one man fail
thereof! There let them await the coming of the Saviour!
THE YOUNG PLUMP ELDER: It is well spoken; it is the voice of the Lord. Let
every man obey, except such are employed upon the defenses of the city.
Most Venerable Father, let order be given!
THE PROPHET: O faithless and unbelieving men! Why will ye perish? Trust ye
even now in the arm of flesh, when but a moment, and ye were ready to
surrender the city? Withdraw the garrison: abandon the fortresses; leave
open the river-gate! It is by the gate of the river that I see him come,
shining in his burnished silver armor. The dragon of rubies glitters upon
his helm. In his hand is the sword of the Lord! (to the Sentinel) Go!
join the acclamation of the people! Shall we sentinel our gate against the
(The Sentinel, whose enthusiasm has been constantly growing, throws down his
pike and rushes out.)
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: The word of the Lord in the mouth of the Prophet of
the Lord! The ancient faith is justified of her children!
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: Blabre is saved! Proclaim it! Proclaim aloud the
coming of the Saviour!
THE HERALD (he blows a rousing and triumphant blast upon his trumpet):
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Rejoice, we conquer! The years of his silence are
past; the Prophet of the Lord hath spoken. Rejoice, we conquer! The City
of Blabre is saved. He cometh, like a mighty tower that is moved against
a city wall! He cometh, the Saviour, in silver armor, and on his helm is
a dragon of rubies! In his hand is a naked sword, and in his left
armrests the battleaxe of victory. Rejoice! Rejoice! Moreover, be
attentive! Be attentive! Be attentive to the order of the Council!
Gather yourselves at once together in the market-place, man, woman, and
child; let none fail thereof at his peril. Let the soldiers withdraw from
the lines and from the fortresses and from the gates and from the
battlements; let the river-gate be left open, that the Saviour may enter
thereby! Gather yourselves together in the market-place, and await the
coming of the Saviour! Rejoice, we conquer! (He blows a yet more
confident blast upon his trumpet.)
(This speech has been listened to in silence; but toward the end a murmur of
excitement begins, and swells to a roar, ending is a thunder of cheers.
Then some one starts the Te Deum Laudamus, which, however, grows faint at
its close, as the crowd disperse in pursuance of the orders of the
THE FOOL (tearing off his cap, and throwing down his bauble): I resign mine
office! You must find some younger man -- or some older man -- for the
place. The competition is too strong for me. (He goes out. No one
notices his outburst.)
(There is a pause of silence, during which the hysteria of the Elders
subsides. The Herald stiffens once more into his military demeanor. Only
the Prophet is unchanged, his fixed and glassy stare probing the Unseen,
his lips moving in intense prayer. The Elders become uneasy and
embarrassed. They begin to wriggle. Several half start to speak; but
none dare voice the contagious spirit of distrust which oppresses them.)
THE YOUNG PLUMP ELDER (with infinite tact and diffidence, tentatively): I
think the Saviour cometh at the hour of sunset.
THE PROPHET: Verily and Amen! The Lord hath lightened thine eyes, O blessed
among the Elders of Blabre! The red sun blushes on his silver armor!
(A pause. The Elders are by no means reassured.)
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER (trying another gambit): Is there any sign of his
coming? Should we not make ready to receive him?
THE PROPHET: You are not ready to receive him. You have not faith. The sign
of his coming is the extremity of our helplessness. To your knees, faint-
hearted ones, beseech the Lord that he may make free your spirits; it is
with awe and gladness that ye should await the coming of the Saviour. (to
the Most Reverend Elder) And thou, false fox, if thou be worth aught
beneath thy mummeries, speak for these, even for these, unto the Lord!
(The Elders rise, and group themselves before the images of the gods. They
kneel. The Palsied Elder is assisted by his neighbor. The Most Reverend
Elder standing before them spreads his hands and prays. The Herald also
kneels, a little apart. The Prophet sits down upon the floor, and about
half way between the table and the west window, but near the footlights;
he faces the door.)
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER (lifting his hands): Hear us, most high, most holy,
of the gods of Blabre! Hear us, who humbly -- --
(The door opens. A courier, booted, spurred, and dusty, but recognizably in
the same uniform as the Herald, rushes in, breathless and exhausted. In
his hand is a parchment, which he extends mechanically; with the other
hand he clutches the table for support.)
THE COURIER (gasping): Salvation to Blabre from the Emperor! Greetings and
victory! Hold out for six hours more, at the most, and all is saved! The
Emperor is at hand with his whole army; the heads of his columns are not
two hours behind me. And yet I have ridden! I have ridden! (He clutches
at his heart; the parchment falls from his hand. He staggers.) I have
ridden! (The words burst from his throat. The blood gushes from his
mouth, and he falls dead.)
THE YOUNG PLUMP ELDER: The Fool was right!
(All shrink, appalled, realizing the risk they have taken, and the
needlessness of it. A long silence of agony.)
THE PROPHET: Pray, pray, thou favored of the Lord! There is no salvation in
the arm of flesh!
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER (trembling): Let us lift up our eyes unto the Lord in
the hour of our distress; let us utter our calamity in his ears, and let
our hearts be humbles before him!
CHORUS OF ELDERS: Let the Lord give ear unto the complaining of his
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: In the extremity of the City is our hope fixed upon
the Lord; let the Lord send us a saviour in the time of our great need,
even a saviour to lead us upon the mountains of victory!
CHORUS OF ELDERS: Let the Lord behold our disquietude; let him open the Eye
of Mercy upon us!
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: O Lord, thy people await the outpouring of thy
salvation; as a great river bursting from the ice-dam let thy might flood
forth upon us; as the moon that breaketh from a cloud, as a panther that
leapeth from the woodland, so let thy victory shine forth!
CHORUS OF ELDERS: O Lord, let thy glory be manifest in our salvation!
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: O Lord! the Prophets have prophesied in the market-
place, and in the cathedrals have the preachers made proclamation of the
Saviour. The sacred bards of olden time have made songs concerning him;
the carver and the gilder have limned our hope upon oak and upon marble;
in bronze and in orichalc hath the sculptor cast his statue.
CHORUS OF ELDERS: We have believed the word of the Prophet! We have had
faith in the word of the Lord God.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: With the eye of faith may we behold him, a span and
a half a span above the common height of man. His silver armor flashes in
the moonlight; on his helm the ruby dragon glows and sparkles with the
fire of his wrath. In his hand is the sword of vengeance; and in the
crook of his left arm is the battleaxe of victory!
CHORUS OF ELDERS: O Lord, let us behold also with our eyes! Let us come to
the hour of fulfillment!
(The sun is now near his setting. His rays strike through the western
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: O Lord! O God of Blabre! By the devotion of thy
people, we adjure thee to hear us! By thy saints and martyrs, by thy
hermits and they virgins, we recall thy favor! We invoke thee by the
commemoration of thy glory!
CHORUS OF ELDERS: We adjure thee, we commemorate thy glory!
(A pause, while all bend deeper in prayer. The door opens, and the Fool
rushes in, disheveled.)
THE FOOL: The suburbs are filled with the advancing armies of the Gnogues!
They move slowly, fearing stratagem, O brother fools! But they advance,
inexorable as death himself. The banner of black crawls in the suburbs of
Blabre! (He goes to the window.) All the other fools are kneeling too --
and the black banner creeps towards the heart of Blabre!
(They do not notice him, openly, but a trembling again takes hold on them.)
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: O Lord, vouchsafe unto thy servants the earnest of
CHORUS OF ELDERS: O Lord, hear us!
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: Lord, suffer not the enemy to enter the city!
CHORUS OF ELDERS: O Lord, arise and smite the hosts of them that hate us!
THE FOOL: From every side the banners of black writhe on like serpents.
(The sunlight, leaving the kneeling crowd, now strikes nearer the roof.)
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: O Lord! it is the hour. It is the hour of our
CHORUS OF ELDERS: Lord, let thy mercy be extended upon us! Let the last ray
of the sun be darkened before the dawn of thy salvation!
(The Herald rises, as if by a sudden instinct, and takes a position by the
side of the altar, on a raised dais, so that he can see fully out of the
THE FOOL: The heads of the main columns issue from the alleys. They see the
people kneeling; the captains halt in amazement.
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER (losing patience): Is there no sign, no sign, O
Lord, of the Saviour?
THE HERALD: There is no sign of the Saviour.
(The sun's rays, striking the ceiling, grow pale. The scene begins to
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: O Lord, it is the hour of the fulfillment of thy
word! It is the hour of the salvation of Blabre at the hand of the Lord
THE HERALD: There is no sign of the Saviour.
THE FOOL: The captains meet at the edge of the market-place; they consult;
they withdraw; it is as if they waited even as we wait!
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: The fear of the vengeance of the Lord is already
THE FOOL: The captains are whispering some order; it passes down the ranks
like the wind through a field of wheat.
THE HERALD (turning to the western window for a moment): The rim of the sun
is gone down beneath the waters.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: Is there no sign of the Saviour?
CHORUS OF ELDERS: Is there no sign of the Saviour?
THE HERALD: There is no sign of the Saviour.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: Mighty and merciful! Strong to save! Lord of our
people. Lord almighty. Lord God everlasting, send us, we beseech thee,
send us the Saviour!
CHORUS OF ELDERS: Send us the Saviour.
THE FOOL: The Gnogues are deploying; it is as if they were forming in four
ranks, ready to charge.
(The stage is now in total darkness.)
CHORUS OF ELDERS: Send us, O send us, the Saviour.
THE HERALD: There is no sign of the Saviour.
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER (to the Prophet): Hast thou lied into us in the
name of the Lord?
THE HERALD: Look! I see a glint as of silver upon the bridge of the river-
gate! (This is visible to the audience, a single spark.)
THE FOOL: O triple fool! (He has joined the Herald at the eastern window.)
It is the first glint of moonlight that shall see us murdered every one!
They will put every living thing to the sword; they will burn every
building with fire; they will efface the City of Blabre from the memory of
THE HERALD: I see the dragon helm of ruby!
(There is a faint red spark visible in the darkness, above the silver spark.)
THE FOOL: It is the blood of the veins of your mad eyes.
(The light increases through the eastern window, very slowly.)
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER: O Lord! Wilt thou not have mercy upon thy chosen
people? Wilt thou not remember thy people in the hour of their extremity?
CHORUS OF ELDERS: O Lord! O our Lord God! Is there no help for the city?
(A pause. All bend deeper, muttering in prayer. The moonlight strikes the
roof of the council-chamber. The Fool returns to the western window.)
THE FOOL: The captains turn to the ranks; they exhort their men to be
pitiless. The spearmen charge their pikes, and the swordsmen raise the
THE MOST VENERABLE ELDER: Where is the sword of the Lord? And the battleaxe
in the hands of the Saviour?
(Moonlight now floods the council-chamber, but as a diffused gleam.)
THE MOST REVEREND ELDER (furiously, to the Prophet): Thou hast lied in the
name of the Lord!
(The door opens. There enters a man of gigantic stature. He is clad in
silver armor. On his head is a helmet with closed visor above which
towers a dragon of rubies. He moves to the center of the stage, near the
footlights, and turns to face east. The moon, rising through the window,
throws him into startlingly bright light. In his hand is a naked sword,
and in the crook of his left arm rests a battelaxe. He surveys the scene
with perfect self-possession.)
THE HERALD (who has been passionately gazing out to the east, now turning, as
so the first to observe him, as the Elders are all in prayer, the Fool
watching the market-place, and the Prophet again sunk in self-absorption):
Behold the Saviour!
(All except the Prophet and the Fool rise and rush toward the person thus
indicated, even the Palsied restored to energy by the ecstasy of relief
which floods them all. They sink on their knees before him in adoration.
The Young Plump Elder, on the side next the footlights, clasps his knees
and kisses them. All cry aloud in rapture --) "The Saviour!" "Praise to
the Lord!" "The Saviour of the City of Blabre!" "Glory to the Lord God
Most High!" (-- etc., in a violent and confused manner. The clamor makes
no impression upon the dignity and immobility of the newcomer.)
THE HERALD (rushing to the west window, and blowing a tremendous blast upon
his trumpet): Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Rejoice, we conquer! The Saviour of
the City hath appeared in the Chamber of the Council of the fathers of the
City! Rejoice, we conquer! (He blows another yet more joyful blast.
Cries of joy without; the people raise the National Hymn. The Elders
continue their confused cries of rapture. The Herald returns.) Hail,
Saviour of Blabre!
(A standard bearer, and two soldiers of the Gnogues, enter. The former bears
the banner of black; the latter drag by her long fair hair a young girl of
the people of Blabre. Behind these are as many other soldiers as may be
convenient. At the same moment the Saviour slowly raises his visor.
These two directions must be carefully synchronized. He is seen to be of
the race of the Gnogues.)
THE KING OF THE GNOGUES (without excitement, but in the peculiar harsh
intonation which is natural to Gnogues): Put every living thing to the
sword; burn every building with fire; efface the City of Blabre from the
memory of man. (He pinches the cheek of the Young Plump Elder, who like
the rest is paralyzed by the horror of the situation.) Roast me this man
for supper! Let him be larded with the fat of this young girl, when I
have finished with her.
(The standard-bearer goes to the window, and signals. The National Hymn turns
to shrieks, which mingle with the roar of the charging Gnogues.)
THE PROPHET (above the tumult, an ecstasy of joy thrilling his hollow voice):
Woe unto Blabre! Woe to the wicked City!
(The curtain falls quickly.)
Previous Crowley Classics Next Crowley Classics
from the Grady Project:
Written six weeks before his 64th birthday, this was among Grady's last poems,
and has never been previously published. Several typescript versions are
found among the editorial archives of the old Magickal Link, each of which bears the signature "Hell's Angel" instead of "Hymenaeus Alpha." We present
this poem according to Grady's typescript, where the "echo" effect has been
indicated simply by giving the variant words in parenthesis after each
couplet, together with the parenthetical instruction "repeat." Whether the
entire couplet was to be repeated with the variant word substituted, or only
the second line repeated with the variation, is not clear from the text. In
one copy the author added the word "agony" after "ecstasy" in the first
couplet, but did not indicate whether this was to serve as an echo after the
manner of the following couplets, or whether he was altering this word in a
couplet which has no echo. He also added the title "Drop Troop Soldier" above
the earlier title, which has been retained as a alternate title.
Drop Troop Soldier,
or, Forward Satan's Angels!
to the Horst Wessel Song*
Jacques de Molay Redevivus
Because they lied, and torched our Lord
We'll be revenged, and flatten all
How little do they know
the fate of Drop Troop Soldiers
But we'll rejoice
beyond the wide Abyss!
|Sep 7 1982 e.v.
* Horst Wessel was a German pimp who got himself killed in a tavern brawl
over the price of a whore. The perfect parable of BABALON AND THE BEAST
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from the Library Shelf
This installment continues our presentation of the fourth chapter of The
Arcane Schools: A Review of their Origin and Antiquity; with a General History
of Freemasonry and its Relation to the Theosophic, Scientific, and
Philosophical Mysteries (Belfast: 1909) by Jonathan Yarker (1833-1913). When
Yarker died Crowley opened the following issue of The Equinox (I:10, September
1913) with a long article in tribute to his masonic accomplishments, including
quotations from the obituary notices in various masonic publications. From
among the many honors and investitures mentioned here, a few may be of special
interest to O.T.O. members: "In 1869 he was admitted into L'Ordre du Temple,
the continuation of the Knights Templars in Paris. This body claims an
uninterrupted succession of Grand Masters from the time of Jacques de Molay,
who, it is said, invested as Grand Master Marc Larmenius in 1307, when the
Order was first impugned, before he himself perished at the stake. Later,
Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, and several scions of the French Royal Family, were
Grand Masters. It was a time of much activity, a Masonic Renaissance, in
which the Very Illustrious Brother John Yarker played an important role, and
many other old Rites were rescued from the oblivions into which they had
fallen -- such were the Rite of Mizraim, the degree of Ark Mariners, the Red
Cross of Constantine, Babylon, Palestine, Philippi, etc., and the most notable
of all, the Ancient and Primitive Rite which was established by him in
Manchester in 1871." More than an entire page of the article is devoted to a
simple listing of the various exalted degrees and quasi-masonic honors which
he had accumulated during his initiatory travels. Of the present work it is
said that "in 1909 the Arcane Schools, an epoch-making book, was produced. It
is the flower of his devotion to the Craft, and the crown of all his labours,
so in accord with his family motto, 'the end crowns the work!' The data for
this book took years to collect, and the result is monumental -- an immense
array of facts, systematically arranged, which form a valuable reference book.
In it he traces the sources of the teaching of the philosophy and rites of the
Craft, right back into the night of time -- before the Aryan civilization.
The mystery tradition was the sole survivor in the West, and in the Operative
Guilds a genuine mystery tradition was preserved and handed down to modern
times. This splendid book carries conviction in every line, and all brethren
who take a serious interest in Masonry should study it."
The Mysteries in Relation to Philosophy
-- continued --
from The Arcane Schools (1909)
by Jonathan Yarker
Such was the nature of the Lesser Mysteries; the Greater were intended to
shew the felicity of the soul when, purified from mortal passions, it was
reborn to the realities of its spiritual nature. They are again an
exemplification of the further teaching of Crishna to Arjuna, that he who
worships good angels will go amongst them, but that he who, in thought and
deed, joins himself to the Supreme Deity will enjoy an eternity of happiness:
"Thou must be born again." An Initiate to the Lesser Mysteries, or those of
Ceres, had his place in the Vestibule of the Temple, beyond the sacred curtain
was reserved for Initiates into the Greater Mysteries or those of Bacchus.
Preparation for the Greater Mysteries required a nine days' fast, and
bathing in the river Ilyssus took place. The Mystic mundane egg of the
Egyptians was a part of the symbolism, for Macrobius says: "Consult the
Initiates of the Mysteries of Bacchus who honour with especial veneration the
sacred egg." Seneca defines Bacchus as the universal life that supports
nature. We have mentioned the Druid egg. Brother George Oliver, D.D., quotes
the Orphic fragments as follows: "In these Mysteries after the people had for
a time bewailed the loss of a particular person, he was at length supposed to
be restored to life; upon this the priests used to address the people in these
memorable words: 'Comfort yourselves all ye who have been partakers of the
Mystery of the deity thus preserved; for we shall now enjoy some respite from
our labours.' To these were added the following remarkable words: 'I have
escaped a great calamity and my lot is greatly mended.'" Julius Fermecius
gives this in the lines following:
"Courage, ye Mystae; lo! our god is safe,
And all our troubles speedily have end."
But the same writer informs us that the Initiate personated the God, for he
says: "In the solemn celebrations of the Mysteries all things had to be done
which the youth either did, or suffered in his death." The remarks of
Hippolytis from the source previously mentioned, are more curious, as they
seem to proceed from an Initiate who is comparing the ceremony with the
Christian Mysteries. The Naasene Gnostic is made to say:
"Those who are Initiated into the Lesser ought to pause and be admitted
into the Greater and heavenly ones. Into these no unclean person shall enter.
. . . For this is the Virgin who carries in her womb, and conceives, and
brings forth a son, not animal, not corporeal, but blessed for evermore."
This Initiate, in the agricultural symbolism of Ceres, represents "an ear of
corn reaped in silence." The re-birth of the Neophyte was represented
pantomimically, for he says that the hierophant vociferates: "by night in
Eleusis beneath a huge fire . . . 'August Brimo hath brought forth a
consecrated son Brimus,'" words which no doubt typified both the sun and the
initiate. The word Brimus signifies Powerful and was one of the designations
of the Cabiric gods.
Yet after all the Lesser and Greater Mysteries were rather a popular
version than a full revelation; we have hinted that there were three-fold
interpretations of the Mysteries and what almost approached real death and not
drama. Others existed of a more spiritual nature at various centres.
Sopatius says that even the Epoptae had only a part of the secret.
Theodoritos says that "all do not know what the hierophants know, the majority
see only what is represented." "The last term of the Epoptae" expressed high
initiation. It may aid us to recall that these Mystics held all nature to
emanate from two principles, of which Persephone and Dionysos, or Ceres and
Bacchus, are the allegory. The first is soul, the second spirit. Lactantius
(Divine Institutions, vii) says: "Should anyone dare to deny the existence of
souls after death, the Magician will soon convince him by making it appear."
Irenaeus, Clemens, Tertullian, St Cyprian, all affirm the same thing. The
Mysteries knew equally well with the Christians, that if the purified soul
remained attached to spiritual things it would eventually purify itself, as
the Alchemist purifies metals, and so attain immortal life.
We learn from various writers that the Mysteries had their secret signs of
recognition. Apuleius mentions in his Metamorphosis that it was pointed out
to him "in a dream" that he would recognise a certain priest by his walking as
if with a lame ankle; in the Apologia we read: "If anyone happens to be
present who had been initiated into the same Rites as myself, if he will give
me the sign, he shall then be at liberty to hear what it is that I keep with
so much care." Plautus (Miles Gloriosus, iv, 3) has: "Give me the sign if you
are one of the Bacchae." Iamblichus writes: "Give not your right hand easily
(that is, draw not towards you improper and uninitiated persons by giving them
your right hand), for to such as have not been tried by repeated disciplines
and doctrines, and have not proved themselves to participate in the Mysteries,
by a quinquennial silence and other trials, the right hand ought not to be
given." Homer makes Achilles to greet Priam thus: "The old man's right hand
at the wrist he grasped, lest he should be alarmed in mind."
Proclus advanced further and taught that there were Mystic passwords that
could carry a person from one order of spiritual beings to another still
higher, till reaching the absolutely divine. The Egyptians (Book of the Dead)
and Gnostics held the same view. Origen (Contra Celsus) says: "There are
names of a natural virtue, such as those used by the wise men in Egypt, the
Magi in Persia, and the Brachmans in India. Magic, as it is called, is no
vain and chimerical art as the Stoics and Epicuruans pretend; neither were the
names of Sabaoth and Adonai made for created beings, but appertain to a
mysterious theology concerning the Creator; hence comes the virtue of other
names, when placed in order, and pronounced according to the rules."
The doctrine taught in regard to the nature of the soul in these Mysteries
may be gathered from the Philosophers, but first we will see how they acquired
the right to speak upon the subject. The Chevalier Ramsay (Natural and
Revealed Religion) says that "we may look upon the Pythagoric, the Platonic,
and the Orphic theology as the same." Proklos, who was master of the School
at Athens about 450 A.D., in his Theology of Plato says that: "Pythagoras was
first taught the origies of the gods by Aglophemus; Plato next received a
perfect knowledge of them from the Pythagorean and Orphic schools." The last
named Rites were those upon which the Eleusinia were established. Proklos, in
speaking of matter, says "Plato was also of the same opinion concerning matter
because he is supposed to have followed Hermes and the Egyptian philosophers."
The philosophical schools, which followed the death of Plato, almost
universally accepted him as their master, and he and Pythagoras had like
veneration for the Chaldean and Magian teaching, and Ammanius Marcellenus
(xxviii, 6) teaches us that "Platon, the greatest authority upon ancient
doctrines, states that the Magian religion or Magia, known by the mystic name
of MACH-AGISTIA, is the most uncorrupted form of worship in things divine, to
the philosophy of which, in primitive times, Zoroastres made many additions,
drawn from the Mysteries of the Chaldeans." The Emperor Julian (Oratio) seems
to have been of a similar opinion and says: "Were I to touch upon the
initiations and the secret Mysteries which the Chaldeans Bacchised respecting
the seven rayed god, lighting up the soul through him, I should say things
unknown to the rabble, very unknown, but well known to the blessed
We have, however, given such matters very fully in our previous chapters;
the Egyptian Initiation of Plato is specially affirmed by several writers; and
we may add here that the more closely philosophy approaches Cabiric rites, the
more does it resemble Free Masonry.
There is, however, a refinement of the coarser part of the dramatic
Aphanism and Euresis -- the concealment and the finding of the slain god --
thus applied, in what follows.
As to the nature of the recondite teaching of the Arcane Mysteries we will
now quote various writers who have given us hints upon their doctrine.
Plutarch says: "As to what thou hearest others say, who persuade the many that
the soul, when once freed from the body, neither suffers ... evil, nor is
conscious, I know that thou art better grounded in the doctrines received by
us from our ancestors, and in the sacred orgies of Dionysos, than to believe
them, for the Mystic symbols are well known to us who belong to the
Brotherhood." Antoninus says: "Soul is all intelligence and a portion of the
divinity." Proklos: "Know the divinity that is in you, that you may know the
divine One, of whom the soul is a ray." Heraclitus says of souls: "We live
their death and die their life." That extraordinary man Apollonius of Tyana,
who visited the Indians, entered the Mysteries of various nations, and
reformed the Greeks', taught that both birth and death were equally an
appearance, the first being the confinement of the Real in matter, and the
second its release. Plotinus, who was a pupil of Ammonius Saccus, says: "for
to be plunged into matter is to descend into Hades and there fall asleep," and
of the doctrine itself he tells us that it is "what is taught in the
Mysteries, and that liberation from the bonds of the body is an ascent from
the cavern, and a progression to the intellectual." Macrobius (Dream of
Scipio) says that the first death is when the soul falls into the body "as a
sepulchre," and that "the second is the natural death." (A translation by
Brother W. W. Westcott has been recently published.) Plato in his Hippias
says: "The supreme Beauty consists in their resemblance to the divine sun, or
light of all intelligence;" he also refers to Orpheus as terming our natural
body (soma) or (sema), a sepulcre. Hierocles quotes the Chaldeans
to the effect that "the oracles called the etherial body the thin and subtle
vehicle or chariot of the soul." Suidas tells us, out of Isidorus, a Spanish
bishop of the sixth century, what is interesting to old Masons, especially as
Isidore is quoted by the author of our old MSS. Constitutions called the
"Cooke MS," that, "according to some philisophers, the soul has a luminous
vehicle, called star-like, sun-like, and immortal, which luciform body is shut
up in this terrestrial (body) as light is in a dark lantern." Moderns would
generally use the terms soul-body, and spirit, but Plato designates the former
a "winged chariot." Here the reader may be reminded that a lantern, in form
of a five-pointed star-light, was formerly used by Masons in the most solemn
part of their ceremonies. There are portions of the Divine Poemander that
must allude to Mystery-rites: "Hast thou not heard in the speeches, that from
one soul of the universe are all those souls, which in all the world are
tossed up and down and severally divided? Of these souls there are many
changes, some into a more fortunate estate and some quite contrary; for they
which are of creeping things are changed into those of watery things, living
upon the land; and those of things living in the water to those of things
living upon the land; and airy ones are changed into men; and human souls that
lay hold of immortality are changed into daemons" (The Key, iv, 23). "The
like also happeneth to them that go out of the body; for when the soul runs
back into itself the spirit is contracted into the blood, and the soul into
the spirit, but the mind being made pure and free from these clothings, and
being divine by nature, taking a fiery body rangeth abroad in every place,
leaving the soul to judgment, and to the punishment it hath deserved" (ibid.,
56). Again, in the drama of the Mysteries: "Dost thou not see how many evils
the wicked soul suffereth, roaring and crying out, 'I am burned, I am
consumed, I know not what to say or do, I am devoured unhappy wretch, of the
evils that compass and lay hold upon me, miserable that I am, I neither see
nor hear anything'" (ibid., 70; reprints by R. H. Fryar, Bath; also by Dr W.
It necessarily follows that to be entombed symbolically and raised
therefrom, as was done in these Mysteries, was emblematically, if not
actually, to be spiritualised or exalted out of the body. Coupled with this
recondite teaching as regards the soul was the theory of REMINISCENCE.
According to this mystic doctrine which was advocated by Plato, Origen, and
some of the early Christian Bishops, as Synesius, all souls have pre-existence
and have descended from the spiritual world into the earthly prison of the
body, but some souls are more divinely advanced than others. Reminiscence is
therefore that faculty of knowledge which the soul brings from its heavenly
source, never entirely obscured, and, when its facilties are stimlated by
discipline and a pious abandonment of the passions, is the cause of all
civilising influences and discoveries. More than this, but we have said all
that is necessary. Socrates, at his trial by the Areopagus at Athens, and to
the hour of his death by hemlock, asserted the guidance of his Daemon, or
tutelary spirit, and has the following placed to his credit by Plato in his
Republic: "The eye of the soul, which is blinded and buried by other studies,
is alone naturally adapted to be resuscitated and excited by the mathematical
disciplines." It is a repetition of the apothegm of the Persian Dervishes:
"The man must die that the saint may be born;" it is the divinely illuminated
eye of the Cabirian Cyclops, and the awakening or resuscitation of the
consciousness of the divine image, implanted in the human soul.
to be continued
Previous from the Library Shelf Next from the Library Shelf
Thelema Lodge Events Calendar for November 2003 e.v.
|Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple
|Feast of Samhain 8:00 PM
in Horus Temple
|Full Moon in Taurus
Lunar Eclipse 5:13 PM
|Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple
|Magical Practice series 7:30PM
in Horus Temple
|Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple
|Section II reading group with
Caitlin: Geo. MacDonald's Lilith
8PM in the library
|Yoga Theory and Practice 6:00 PM
With Caroline in Horus Temple
|Mantra Yoga Class with Jeff Sommer
8 PM in Horus Temple
|New Moon and Solar Eclipse 2:59 PM
|Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple
|OTO Initiations -- call to attend
|Gnostic Mass 7:30PM Horus Temple
The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the
contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its
Ordo Templi Orientis
P.O. Box 2303
Berkeley, CA 94702 USA
Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)
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