Category Archives: Ordo Templi Orientis

The Wand, Summer 2013 ev, An IVxxi

The Summer 2013 / An IVxxi issue of Wand, the journal of Coph Nia, a local body of Ordo Templi Orientis in the valley of Eugene, OR, whose body master is Hermetic Library fellow David Richard Jones, has arrived courtesy of that body and is now part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Coph Nia Wand Summer 2013 An IVxxi
Cover: Frater Achad, Charles Stansfeld Jones from An XV, Sun in Aries

Charisma & Magic

You may be interested in a recent You Can’t Eat The Sunshine podcast episode titled Charisma & Magic, hosted by Kim Cooper and Richard Schave of Esotouric, which includes an interview with “Craig Berry of the Star Sapphire Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis, for an introduction to Aleister Crowley’s Law of Thelema, and the impact of Crowley’s mystical thinking on the culture of Southern California.”

“Join us this week as we talk with Gale Banks, the guru of high-performance automotive turbo-charging, about his time as a child prodigy on the Southern California evangelical circuit in the 1950s. We’ll also visit with Craig Berry of the Star Sapphire Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis, for an introduction to Aleister Crowley’s Law of Thelema, and the impact of Crowley’s mystical thinking on the culture of Southern California.

We’ll also discuss the seating area at Union Station now open only to Amtrak and Metrolink passengers, abandoned South LA rail tracks could become a greenbelt, and the 2014 season at Brookledge and beyond kickstarter project. All this and more as Kim & Richard usher in the week of December 16th, 2013.” [via]

Overthrowing the Old Gods

Overthrowing the Old Gods: Aleister Crowley and the Book of the Law by Don Webb, the 2013 paperback from Inner Traditions, which includes a commentary on Liber AL vel Legis by Michael A Aquino, and includes, as part II, the collection of essays once available in the old Rûna-Raven Press book Aleister Crowley: The Fire and the Force as well, is part of the collection at the Reading Room courtesy of the publisher.

Don Webb Overthrowing the Old Gods from Inner Traditions

“Received by Aleister Crowley in April 1904 in Cairo, Egypt, The Book of the Law is the most provocative record of magical working in several hundred years, affecting not only organizations directly associated with Crowley such as the Ordo Templi Orientis but also Wicca, Chaos Magic, and the Temple of Set.

Boldly defying Crowley’s warning not to comment on The Book of the Law, Ipsissimus Don Web provides in-depth interpretation from both Black and White Magickal perspectives, including commentary from Michael A. Aquino, Ph.D., who served as High Priest of the Temple of Set from 1975 to 1996. Webb examines each line of the Book in the light of modern psychology, Egyptology, existentialism, and competing occult systems such as teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff and contemporary Left-Hand Path thought. Discarding the common image of Crowley formulated in a spiritually unsophisticated time when the devotee of the Left-Hand Path was dismissed as a selfish evildoer, Webb unveils a new side of Crowley based on his adoption of the Loki archetype and his aim to become a vessel of love for all humanity. In so doing, he shows how The Book of the Law is connected to both Right- and Left-Hand Paths and reveals how Crowley’s magickal path of mastery over the self and Cosmos overthrew the gods of old religion, which had kept humanity asleep to dream the nightmare of history.

Providing in-depth analysis of Crowley’s sources and Webb’s own self-identification with the First Beast of Revelation from a profound esoteric perspective, Webb takes his views out of the Golden Dawn matrix within which he received The Book of the Law and radically recasts the Cairo Working as a text of personal sovereignty and a relevant tool for personal transformation.” — back cover

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Lessons in De Cultu ΘΕΛΗΜΑ 1 & 2

A set of Lessons in De Cultu ΘΕΛΗΜΑ (On the Cultivation of Thelema) have arrived at the Hermetic Library courtesy of Coph Nia, a local body of Ordo Templi Orientis in the valley of Eugene, OR, and Hermetic Library fellow David Richard Jones.

Lessons in De Cultu THELEMA from Coph Nia

These are booklets created locally for Coph Nia’s De Cultu θελημα study group, with lesson 1 on The Holy Books of ΘΕΛΗΜΑ and lesson 2 on Liber Resh vel Helios, Book 200.

The Magical Record of the Beast 666

Magical Record of the Beast 666: The Diaries of Aleister Crowley, 1914–1920, edited with copious annotations by John Symonds and Kenneth Grant, the 1993 third impression of the paperback from Duckworth, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Aleister Crowley John Symonds Kenneth Grant The Magical Record of the Beast 666 from Duckworth

“Crowley called his Diary a Magical Record because it contains accounts of his magical experiments, including the details of his secret sexual magick and of his consumption of a variety of dangerous drugs. it was not written with an eye to publication. ‘I don’t particularly expect anybody to read it,’ he wrote. Hence the unguarded way in which he recorded his innermost thoughts and performances of secret rites. There is a veiled reference to this extraordinary journal in his Magick in Theory and Practice, 1929. ‘Yea, he [Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwaz] wrought also in me a Work of Wonder beyond all this, but in this matter I am sworn to hold my peace.’ The ‘Work of Wonder’ was his supreme initiation into the highest grade of the mystical Order of the Silver Star, the beginning of which is described in this volume. Crowley, who died in 1947, had to hold his peace about that, and certainly about his sexual magick. Today, in these confused times, strange creeds thrust themselves forward, asking to be examined. everything is in the melting pot and a way out of the chaos in being anxiously sought. There is no stranger creed than Crowley’s doctrine of Do What Thou Wilt. Nor are there any experiences more exotic than his mystical illuminations and initiations.

John Symonds is Crowley’s literary executor and biographer. Kenneth Grant is the present world head of the Order of Oriental Templars, the magical order which Crowley reorganized in the 1920s.”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

AMeTh Lodge Journal Vol I No 2

AMeTh Lodge Journal Vol I No 2 was recently issued for June 2013, and is available directly or via Weiser Antiquarian Books.

AMeTh Lodge Journal Vol I No 2 June 2013

“This fabulous, high quality, beautifully printed and bound second issue of the Lodge’s Journal should not disappoint!:

  • Br. Shaun Johnson analyses Crowley’s negative opinion of mediumship, seeking to place this in a socio-historical context and thereby reclaim the field as a legitimate and useful area of research for the practising magician.
  • Fr. Vaoanu describes what happens when a goetic spirit runs amok, creating havoc in the everyday life of the unsuspecting ritualist.
  • Fr. Wahdaniah delves into the annals of a working group meeting each week to scry the Tree of Life, describing the ritual approach adopted by the group, the sort of results that were obtained, and the psychological factors involved in scrying.
  • Br. Gary Dickinson traces the cultural origins and subsequent peregrinations of the mysterious figure of Lam, highlighting a major area of influence on Crowley’s thought and work which has been elided by later commentators.
  • Sr. I presents an illuminating approach to using astrology as a tool in the quest to discover the True Will.
  • Sr. Dwale gives a first-hand account of an initiation into a ceremonial magic group, recounting what happened one night somewhere in the depths of Cornwall.
  • Fr. Sotto Voce, is something of a ‘call to arms’ for those in the Order.
  • Fr. Lamogue, has written a wonderful fable about the Order of practically Sufic simplicity.
  • For the first time, in this issue – an article by a guest author who is not a member of O.T.O.: a fascinating study of Aleister Crowley’s trip to Russia with his troupe of Ragged Ragtime Girls, written by Geraldine Beskin.

This edition also offers an eclectic selection of rituals written and performed by Lodge members for the reader’s delectation:

  • There is the Pyramid of the Sphinx, a ritual written by Fr. Spiritus which utilises some of the key ideas detailed by Crowley in Liber Aleph.
  • Fr. Dharmakaya draws on his background in Witchcraft to construct a Thelemic Witchcraft Ritual.
  • Fr. 515 presents The Rite of Hekate, a ritual invoking an ancient goddess using the formulae of ceremonial magick, accompanied by an essay outlining the key considerations and sources which featured in its composition.
  • Not to mention an interview with the eminently edifying Lon Milo DuQuette, who offers his own unique view on a whole host of magical topics mercilessly hurled at him by his interlocutors.

All is adorned by excellent artwork and photographs created by Lodge members and printed in full colour, including the magnificent image which graces the front cover of this second issue.” [via]

To Perfect This Feast

To Perfect This Feast: A Performance Commentary on The Gnostic Mass by James and Nancy Wasserman will be available in October, 2013, in a further revised third, and they say final, edition.

James and Nancy Wasserman's To Perfect This Feast 3rd edition

“The Gnostic Mass is a hymn to the wedding of scientific truth and religious aspiration. It offers a truly modern spirituality. The celebrant is encouraged to leave superstition and dogma behind and join in an ecstatic tribute to the glorious nature of reality. Aleister Crowley wrote the Gnostic Mass in 1913. He described it as the central ritual—public and private—of Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). Today it is being performed on a regular basis throughout the world.

The authors of this performance guide to the Mass are both longtime O.T.O. members and consecrated bishops of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica (E.G.C.). They share between them over half a century of diligent practice and training with this rite. Their devotion has been rewarded with long-sought-after insights into its complex choreography.

The detailed instructions presented here not only provide missing keys to the geometrical puzzle of the Mass, but offer a wider window into the workings of magical ritual. This book will thus be of value to spiritual aspirants, as well as to scholars and students of ancient myth, modern religious movements, and contemporary Gnosticism. The authors believe the Gnostic Mass to be a doorway into the highest realms of spiritual development and make a compelling case for that assertion.

In addition to a detailed commentary, they offer a corrected, uninterrupted Mass Missal suitable for use by individuals and groups interested in working with the ritual, along with valuable insights into magical ceremonies in general, and the Gnostic Mass in particular.

From the new edition:

‘The primary insight we received that prompted the first edition of this book in 2009 e.v. began in December 2005. It is described in the Commentary to Section VI, starting on page 93. It perfectly resolved the mathematical imbalance that had troubled me for over two and a half decades. We were humbled and felt compelled to share it with the wider Thelemic community. We then worked diligently to solve some of the other performance puzzles of which we were aware in Crowley’s stage directions. That quest led us through two previous editions of this book.

“We feel we have here solved problems that remained in our understanding of the choreography of the children and Deacon in Sections III, IV, and elsewhere. We noted the occurrence of two additional ‘X-switches’ during a training session conducted in 2012 e.v. They are mentioned on pages 94 and 102. We have refined and explained our version of the Communion in Section VIII better than ever before. We ‘road-tested’ this text twice with a group of five officers who had never done the Mass (three were not even O.T.O. members). That led to several important improvements in the instructions, and to the creation of the Temple diagram on page 52. We hope Mass teams will find the checklist useful on pages 125–127. There are another myriad of minor changes and refinements throughout.'” [via]

Manifest Thy Glory

Manifest Thy Glory: Proceedings of the Eighth Biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference was recently released, and may be of interest. This book includes the text of presentations by many Hermetic Library fellows, including Sabazius, T Polyphilus, Colin Campbell, and Beth Kimbell, and touches many topics related to the subject matter of the library.

National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference NOTOCON Manifest Thy Glory

Manifest Thy Glory offers a selection of papers from the eighth biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference (NOTOCON) of the United States Grand Lodge of O.T.O., held in the Valley of Detroit, Michigan, in 2011 EV. The papers cover diverse topics including the Holy Guardian Angel, talismans in magick, spatial orientation in ritual, and other magical methods; occult history and biography, including the Stèle of Revealing and Ida Craddock; promulgation of Thelema through publishing and podcasts; textual analysis from Catullus to ‘Liber Trigrammaton;’ a touching reminiscence from the incomparable Lon Milo DuQuette; and even space, the final frontier. Other highlights include a street guide to Thelemic historical sites in Detroit, and the address given by U.S. National Grand Master Sabazius. They represent some of best modern practical and scholarly work on Ordo Templi Orientis, Thelema, and the magick of Aleister Crowley.

The first NOTOCON conference took place in 1997 EV in Akron, Ohio, and has since been held on alternate years in different cities around the United States. Manifest Thy Glory is the third collection of papers from the national conference to be made available, following the inaugural volume Beauty & Strength for the 2007 EV conference.

Ordo Templi Orientis is an international fraternal order of men and women devoted to the pursuit of individual liberty, the study of magick, and the promulgation of the Law of Thelema. Founded in the early twentieth century, it has been shaped by such leading lights as Carl Kellner, Theodor Reuss, Aleister Crowley, Karl Germer and Grady Louis McMurtry.” [via]

Aleister Crowley: New, Used and Rare Books and Ephemera

You may be interested in Weiser Antiquarian Book Catalogue #110: Aleister Crowley: New, Used and Rare Books and Ephemera. Including a Selection of Books from the Library of Wilfred T. Smith.

Weiser Antiquarian Book Catalogue #110 Aleister Crowley

“Welcome to the one hundred-and-tenth of our on-line catalogues, this being another of our specialised Aleister Crowley lists.

The catalogue begins with three interesting new releases: signed copies of Marlene Cornelius’ Liber AL Vel Legis: The Book of the Law. An Examination of Liber XXXI & Liber CCXX; and David Shoemaker’s Living Thelema: A Practical Guide to Attainment in Aleister Crowley’s System of Magick, and the always-interesting and beautifully produced AMeTh Lodge Journal. Vol. I, No. II from AMeTh Lodge of the O.T.O. in London. The next item is “Dark Halo,” a signed and numbered Limited Edition Print of a portrait of Aleister Crowley by California artist Heather McMillen, with an accompanying hand-written poetic “homage to Aleister Crowley” by Blair MacKenzie Blake, author of The Wickedest Books in the World and other works.

The third section of the catalogue is devoted to books and ephemera by Aleister Crowley himself. Amongst the rarities included are a copy of the Cambridge University magazine Granta which includes an anonymous poem by Crowley, a copy of the vellum bound first volume of The [Collected] Works of Aleister Crowley with an extraordinary double inscription, and Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper’s personal copy of Magick In Theory and Practice, beautifully bound in full vellum. There is also a group of four autograph letters, signed by Crowley; each is significant in its own way, with topics ranging from Crowley’s alleged share holdings in Australia, to a defense of Aubrey Beardsley! A selection of copies of The English Review, each with a contribution by Crowley, are followed by a varied group of books and journals that in one way or another relate to “the Beast.” Included amongst the journals are a copy of Esquire Magazine from March 1970 with a detailed and heavily illustrated series of essays on Californian occultism, that also reproduces a newsclipping concerning the famous “Solar Lodge” “Boy in the Box” debacle; a complete set of Sothis Magazine from the 1970s, a collection of the first seven issues of the Typhonian magazine Starfire; and 3 consecutive issues of Picture Post Magazine from 1955 which serialised a well-illustrated but breathless account of Crowley’s life. Amongst the books in the same section are a first edition of The Macedonians by Mary Butts, the English novelist and serious occult practitioner who spent some time at Cefalu with Crowley, the very uncommon first edition of Tiger-Woman by Betty May, in which she recounts her own time at Cefalu, and Nina Hamnett’s Laughing Torso, a book which eventually led Crowley into bankruptcy after he sued it’s publishers for libel, and failed.

A selection of the rather abstruse “Ming” booklets by one-time Crowley acolyte C. F. Russell is followed by the first three volumes of his also often-baffling Znuz is Znees, Memoirs of a Magician. A link, to a separate page, leads to listings for a collection of 26 books that were formerly in the library of Wilfred Talbot Smith (1885-1957), founder of “The Church of Thelema,” head of Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. in California, a long term associate of Aleister Crowley, and subject of Martin Starr’s biography The Unknown God. The collection includes a copy of the First US edition of Aleister Crowley’s Diary of a Drug Fiend, and copies of a number of works that Crowley is known to have recommended to his disciples, including The Canon; three books by Sydney T. Klein; the James Legge, translations of The Tao Teh King and The Yi King; etc. Some of the books have presentation or other inscriptions by well known people within the Thelemic community, including C. Stansfeld Jones; Frederic Mellinger; and Helen Parsons Smith. Most of the books are stamped with the personal lamen, with phallic design, of W.T. Smith, which he used as an ownership stamp, and a few also have his ownership signature. Included in the collection are several books that are quite scarce in their own right; notably the works by the obscure American alchemical author Delmar DeForest Bryant and the First Edition of the Pancham Sinh, translation of The Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Returning to the present page, the catalogue finishes with a group of copies of the Cincinnati Journal of Ceremonial Magick, a magazine published by a small Thelemic group in Ohio known as the Bate Cabal in the late 1970s and 80s.” [via]

In the Center of the Fire: Aeons

In the Center of the Fire: Aeons” from Imperium Pictures is a video with James Wasserman discussing the concept of Aeons, and the New Aeon of Horus.

James Wasserman is the founder of the Ordo Templi Orientis’ (O.T.O.) NYC Tahuti Lodge and one of the foremost practitioners of the magical system of Aleister Crowley. His most recent book is In the Center of the Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966-1989, which chronicles the occult scene in New York City in the 1970s and ’80s. In this segment, he elucidates the Thelemic conception of history as a progression of aeons, represented by the Egyptian gods Isis, Osiris and Horus.