Tag Archives: gnostic mass

In the Adeptus Minor ritual, the aspirant in effect becomes the Chief, and receives the hidden knowledge of the Tomb. The symbolic truth is revealed in the descriptions of Christian Rosenkreutz’s mythological life and teachings, where the initiate learns of the secrets of the sanctuary of the temple. Through a ritual passing into the Inner Temple, the aspirant enters the sanctuary and becomes aware of the hidden truth. By contrast, in the Gnostic Mass, the communicant goes forth to commune with the Priestess, who holds in her hands the fruit of the mating of Understanding and Wisdom, and offers it unquestioningly to the communicant in the form of the Cakes of Light and the sacramental wine. Both individuals take back the seed of gnosis within their bodies; one through the revelation of the tomb, the other through the ingestion of what could well be termed the symbolic fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.

Robert Furtkamp, Liber XV and the Adeptus Minor Initiation

Hermetic quote Furtkamp Liber XV and the Adeptus Minor Initiation gnostic mass individuals take seed gnosis back revelation tomb ingestion symbolic fruit tree knowledge

Rites of Public Celebration

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Rites of Public Celebration [deluxe edition], edited by Mesniu, from Behutet Publishing.

Fr. Mesniu is to be applauded for his work in assembling this convenient and attractive collection of liturgical materials for the use of Gnostic Catholic clergy in the United States. The physical design and composition of the book are admirable, and his editorial introduction is clear and to the point. The title is Rites of Public Celebration, and yet the final text included, a “Last Rites” ceremony composed by Helena and Sabazius, is not one that would be conducted publicly in the vast majority of cases. Still, it completes the set of current “official” liturgical texts (i.e. those approved by the Patriarch and Primate for standard use), excepting only the ceremonies of priestly ordination (useful only to bishops) and consecration to the episcopate (private and officially secret).

The purpose of this book is to serve for study and aide memoire. It will suitably adorn any Gnostic Catholic Church sanctuary. With respect to Liber XV (the rule of the Mass), it should be noted that this edition is not “authorized,” and cannot settle disputes regarding the genuine text or instructions. I must admit that I am myself referenced as an authority in this book, but without any self-interest I encourage all EGC clergy to acquire it, both for its basic usefulness (and attractiveness), and because proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the operation of the Church.

At the same time, there are any number of small criticisms that occur to me. Fr. Mesniu disavows any attempt to interpret Liber XV in the document at hand, and yet there are several points where he tacitly does so. He has not noted any of the instances where there are variations among authorized editions, and in some cases he has muddied the water by dropping brackets that served to distinguish interpolated direction from Sabazius and Helena in their annotated version of Liber XV. (For example, “The PRIEST [hands the lance to the Priestess,] genuflects…” etc. on page 40.) As Sabazius and Helena note, “These bracketed [ ] stage directions are added for clarity. They reflect our experience and opinions, and do not represent definitive standards.”

The various art images and illustrative photos throughout the book are all attractive and well-presented, but there is at least one with debatable implications regarding ritual performance. The photo at the top of page 13, captioned “Raising the Lance,” actually shows the lance in a lowered position. Moreover, the manner in which it is lowered in that picture, while not uncommon, contradicts the practice described by Sabazius and Helena thus: “According to AgapĂ© Lodge tradition, the Priest holds the Lance vertically upright before him with both hands, the butt end of the Lance on the floor, during the entire time the Priestess runs her hands up and down its shaft.”

Finally, while the verbal content of the texts seems to have been reviewed with care, and despite the overall beauty of the book, the typography fails to excel. The generous font size is suited to the book’s purpose, but the Times-style face betrays too obviously the cut-and-paste incorporations of the source texts, through such stigmata as the inconsistent appearance of straight and curly quote marks and double hyphens for dashes. Italics are used for rubrics in the supplementary rituals, but not in Liber XV.

As the reader can infer from the trivial nature of my objections, this book, while imperfect, is very good, and in fact the best yet of its kind. [via]

ARARITA’s First Gnostic Mass Temple

You may be interested in this crowdfunding effort to help build a mass temple for ARARITA, a local body of Ordo Templi Orientis in the Valley of San Diego.

“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

The officers of ARARITA Encampment are proud to announce that, after one year of operating as a chartered body of O.T.O., we are nearing completion of our Mass temple. Our first Mass has been scheduled for September 21, 2014 and will be the first official Mass in San Diego in well over a decade.

Despite this exciting news, there is still some work to be done to get our temple ready for its grand opening. To this end, we are asking our Brothers and Sisters, guests, and friends for assistance in raising the funds necessary to obtain the rest of the necessary Mass equipment.

We need another $500 to obtain a Stele, enough chairs for our guests, and to put the finishing touches on the rest of our equipment.

Donate today to help us make this historic event a reality!

Love is the law, love under will.”

Omnium Gatherum: June 25th, 2014

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for June 25th, 2014

Eddy Stevens' Magical Paintings
Eddy Stevens’ Magical Paintings Capture The Bond Between Woman And Horse — Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein, Beautiful/Decay

 

  • UNEARTHED IN PARIS: The Tomb of Golden Dawn Founder S.L. MacGregor Mathers — David Griffin, Golden Dawn Blog [HT Spiral Nature]

    Considering the importance of the Vault of the Adepti to the Golden Dawn and of the Tomb of the Founder, Christian Rosenkreutz, to the entire Rosicrucian movement, the discovery of the tomb of the Golden Dawn’s Rosicrucian founder, S.L. MacGregor Mathers (nearly 120 years after his death), is an event of unparalleled Rosicrucian and magickal importance.

    MacGregor Mathers tomb in Paris 2014

     

  • The Necklace of Power — Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold, The Starry Cave

    Sacred necklaces, guias or elekes are a form of talismans with a rich and long history both as sacred decoration, as an extension of the witches ladder or cord and in the form of prayer beads, they be the Hindu mala or the Catholic rosary to Freya’s brisingamen. In Lucumi a set of elekes are given to mark the first step towards initiation where the candidate binds himself to the godparents responsible for giving the elekes.

  • 12 Undeniable Signs That The Illuminati Is EVERYWHERE — Julia Edelman, CollegeHumor [HT disinformation]

    No one is safe, but especially you (I don’t know why, you just seem sort of fragile and susceptible to accidents). At any rate, the Illuminati grows stronger every day, and it is only a matter of time before they control every aspect of your life — no detail too small. It would be too dangerous to overlook the evidence. Let this carefully curated list of Illuminati hotspots guide you, strike fear into your heart, and who knows, maybe even protect you. Godspeed.

  • Tim Lambesis quoted at Christian Heavy Metal Band Frontman Admits He’s Actually an Atheist — Kyle Chayka, Time [HT disinformation]

    In the process of trying to defend my faith, I started thinking the other point of view was the stronger one.

    In 12 years of touring with As I Lay Dying, I would say maybe one in 10 Christian bands we toured with were actually Christian bands.

  • A Reader Writes of his Experience Among the Dark Enlightenment Types — Mark Shea, Catholic and Enjoying It! [HT disinformation]

    The thing about nascent movements like this is that it’s hard to know when to pay attention and when to ignore them. If you ignore them they can grow in the dark, like mushrooms on dung. If you make too much fuss, you can attract idiots–particularly extremist idiots–who automatically assume that anything normal people find objectionable must be awesome, radical, and “not PC” and therefore good.

  • Dan Harms has been posting a series about “Charm Stick” objects at Charm Sticks and Charm Wands: A Little-Noted Item of Folklore, More on Charm Sticks and Charm Wands and Charm Wands and Charm Sticks: The Final Chapter? over on Papers Falling from an Attic Window.

    According to Hughes, these curious shepherd’s crooks first appeared in the 1770s as part of a fashion fad, possibly inspired by ceremonial maces. They saw a resurgence in the 1820s, and they continued to be known throughout the nineteenth century. The first clue that we have as to their use as “charm sticks” is in Soames’ Curiosities of Literature, from 1847, dealing with superstitious practices in Devon.

    At this point, it seems that the glass rods were originally created as fashion accessories, which later became associated with disease and good luck, and later became explicitly connected with spirits.

  • Five False Rumors About Aleister Crowley — Brandy Williams, Star and Snake

    His behavior is minutely chronicled by his biographers; whatever we think of him, we should at least get the facts of his life straight.

  • Nathan Kesling, tweet

    Solomon spearing a prostrate female demon

     

  • Sarah Veale, tweet

     

  • Older Than the Rolling Stones — Douglas Quenqua, The New York Times [HT disinformation]

    Could it be that Stonehenge was actually a prehistoric glockenspiel?

    “Everybody’s been running a silent movie of prehistory for so long,” [Paul Devereux] said. “We’re only just now trying to recover the soundtrack.”

  • An Occult History of the Television Set — Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG [HT Spiral Nature]; about Stefan Andriopoulos’ Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media

    The origin of the television set was heavily shrouded in both spiritualism and the occult, Stefan Andriopoulos writes in his new book Ghostly Apparitions. In fact, as its very name implies, the television was first conceived as a technical device for seeing at a distance: like the telephone (speaking at a distance) and telescope (viewing at a distance), the television was intended as an almost magical box through which we could watch distant events unfold, a kind of technological crystal ball.

    Andriopoulos’s book puts the TV into a long line of other “optical media” that go back at least as far as popular Renaissance experiments involving technologically-induced illusions, such as concave mirrors, magic lanterns, disorienting walls of smoke, and other “ghostly apparitions” and “phantasmagoric projections” created by specialty devices. These were conjuring tricks, sure—mere public spectacles, so to speak—but successfully achieving them required sophisticated understandings of basic physical factors such as light, shadow, and acoustics, making an audience see—and, most importantly, believe in—the illusion.

  • A Journey To Avebury: Stewart Lee Interviews Julian Cope — Stewart Lee, The Quietus

    [Julian] Cope’s sentence structures collapse into rhythmic repetition and editorially suspect sub-clause clusters, three at one point all ending in the same three words, and all heroically deliberate. One section attempts to convey a character’s drugged confusion by repeating variations on the same three letters for five pages. The fool persists in his folly. He becomes wise. Likewise the eighty minute drones of cope’s Queen Elizabeth records were a conscious choice. “Yes,” he agrees, “I didn’t just stumble across a sound and then forget to turn it off. And I worked really hard on the cadences of the book, on the rhythms. That’s the musician part of me. People will get it who wish to get it but I don’t want to turn on tossers.”

    “It’s like Christianity,” Cope says, brilliantly comparing his fiction debut with a major world religion of some 2000 years standing, “If you’re going to stand on street corners shouting you’re only going to pick up people who are utterly lost. I don’t want people attaching themselves to me who are lost. I want them to already be in some way on a trip. It’s demanding but great art is demanding. I really wanted to write something that people could complete themselves.”

  • There Are No ‘Sheeple’ — Marcel Voltlucka [HT disinformation]

    Just remember that you were likely a “sheep” once too.

    Alas, this sort of insular arrogance is not only more prevalent than we’d like to admit, it’s our own worst enemy. The idea of stupid, hopeless “sheeple” evokes the contempt that a hardcore Statist has for human ability, reason, freedom, and – for lack of a better word – spirit.

  • The occult conspiracy hidden in the new emoji — Jess Zimmerman, The Daily Dot

    In short, the bell, book, and candle are used to damn people to hell. And sure, they’re all objects, but they’re not the same kind of objects! What are they doing together? What’s going on?

  • Four Imperatives — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti

    Drink, eat, have fun, make love.

  • A Third Century A.D. Inscription from Eumeneia — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti

    I did not have much wealth or much property for my livelihood, but I worked hard and gained a modicum of learning. This enabled me to assist my friends, as far as I was able, freely putting the ability I had at the disposal of all. Helping anyone who was in need was a joy to me, as, in the case of other people, prosperity brings joy to the heart. Let no one deluded in his wealth harbour proud thoughts, for there is one Hades and an equal end for all. Is someone great in possessions? He receives no more, (but) the same measure of earth for a tomb. Hasten, mortals, gladden your souls at all times as (allegedly) a pleasant way of life is also the measure of existence. So, friends. After this, no more of this—for what more is there?

  • Let’s Agree to Disagree, Part II — Michael Gilleland, Laudator Temporis Acti

    Many men tend to contradict on every point,
    but contradicting rightly’s out of vogue.
    Well, as for them there’s one old saw that’s all we need:
    ‘you can keep your opinion, I’ll keep mine.’
    But the intelligent are soon persuadable
    by reason, and they’re easiest to teach.

  • Why I left the OTO — Psyche, Spiral Nature

    It’s no secret that in the Gnostic Mass, this central rite, involves a (fully dressed) priest, a (usually naked) woman on the altar, a simulation of hetero sex initiated by the priest, and a simulation of fellatio performed by the priestess. There’s a lot more involved — more people, more symbolism, magick words, all that great stuff — but these two roles are fixed. A woman may never serve as the priest, and a man may never lay upon the altar. When I asked about that, the instructor burst out laughing, “What, with some dude’s dong on the altar?” He was amused and horrified in equal parts.

    I should stress that I don’t hold this lodge at fault, nor, necessarily, its members. They’re passing along the tradition as it’s given to them. Ok, they weren’t challenging it — true — but they didn’t invent it. They made it clear that any deviations in the performance of the Gnostic Mass meant it was no longer an OTO rite. This was it. I could learn to accept it, or leave.

  • Warburg Institute: library saved from Nazis awaits its fate: Collection could be broken up in legal action over 1944 deed of trust — Jack Grove, Times Higher Education

    Four years after Warburg’s death, the collection of about 80,000 books, many rare Renaissance volumes, was moved to London as Nazism took hold in 1930s Germany. However, the University of London is now seeking to challenge the status of the deed of trust it signed in 1944 when accepting the collection.

    That document promised to maintain and preserve the collection “in perpetuity” as “an independent unit” – a pledge that now appears onerous as the Warburg runs a reported £500,000 annual deficit.

    Professor Grafton meanwhile raised concerns over the future of the “highly skilled librarians” at the Warburg, which also has a small number of academic staff who supervise arts and humanities graduate students each year.

    Further, there is speculation that a court defeat would mean that the collection would return to Hamburg where much of the Warburg family is still based. The US-based branch of the Warburg family are also known to have taken a keen interest in the case.

  • #HowILibrary

    ALA How do you library? 2014

     

 

If you’d like to participate in the next Omnium Gatherum, head on over to the Gatherum discussions at the Hrmtc Underground BBS.

Occult Conference in Glastonbury, UK on Mar 22nd, 2014

Occult Conference 2014 will be held in Glastonbury, UK on March 22nd, 2014, with tickets available online through March 16th. This event will have vendors, workshops, lectures, a Gnostic Mass ritual, keynote, an evening ball, and more.

“The new and re-imagined Occult Conference will be investigating five Initiatory Traditions within British Occultism:
· Alexandrian Wicca
· Dion Fortune Western Mystery Schools
· Illuminates of Thanateros
· Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids
· Ordo Templi Orientis

We have brought together fantastic representatives of these Traditions, and will be offering lectures and workshops to allow attendees a glimpse behind the curtains, and to gain hands-on experience of the praxis within.

After a packed day, we will be converting the venue into a Temple for a very special celebration of Liber XV: The Gnostic Mass by Ordained Officers of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, under the auspices of O.T.O. All will be welcome to celebrate the Divine in Humanity, and the Generative and Creative forces of Nature.

The Jupiterian Ball will round off the evening with aplomb: Dance and enjoy cocktails to music from Swing to Rockabilly, decked out in your finest evening-wear or vintage dress. Separate tickets for partners or friends will be available for this section.

We will also be hosting Peter J. Carroll and Matt Kabryn as they launch EPOCH: The Esotericon and Portals of Chaos! Make sure to attend for an exclusive chance to buy signed first editions, and discuss this work with the authors themselves.”

The Mass of the Phoenix public and private

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 sent a sheet with two version of Liber XLIV, The Mass of the Phoenix; one is the familiar version which is a eucharistic ritual for an individual Magician, and the other is a version you may or may not know about, a version once ‘ordained for public service’, which is designed as a public eucharistic ritual that predates the Gnostic Mass, which was first published in The International in March 1918 and written in 1915 during Russian tour of Crowley’s Ragged Ragtime Girls troupe, as a Thelemic ritual designed for public service. This last “was publicly performed, in London, by Crowley, Leila Waddell & possibly Victor Neuburg” in 1913, and you can find it published in Equinox IV 2, p 370, as a footnote to Liber CDXV, Opus Lutetianum or The Paris Working. This handy reference has arrived and is now part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Coph Nia Mass of the Phoenix

Dangerous Minds punks out before attending Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass

Dangerous Minds correspondent Thomas McGrath totally punks out before attending Aleister Crowley‘s Gnostic Mass in the UK, and actually writes about it at the inaccurately and click-bait titled “‘DO NOT EAT THE CAKE OF LIGHT!’ Dangerous Minds attends Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass“.

Dangerous Minds Gnostic Mass

The article is barely worth mentioning, but it’s an interesting example of how newbies perceive things and apparently freak themselves out (or are freaked out by ill-informed friends) around attending such things. Frankly, that kind of self-induced frission is nothing compared to the funky mind games one can play with themself before an initiation (“OMG, what did they put in this WATER they offered while I wait my turn?!?!” or “I hope the GOAT is GENTLE this time!!!”), but this was an example of someone who might have stayed for a much fuller and richer experience of, you know, actually attending the Gnostic Mass ritual if they had been allowed the opportunity to pass the first time they attended, which some local bodies do offer.* However, on the other hand, in spite of the author of the article, I think the amiable and welcoming as well as both funny and serious nature of most actual Thelemites I’ve known comes through a bit as an example for those able to get over themselves long enough to join in.

 

* The point about being expected to partake is actually one of those issues. The text of Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass, itself says, “Those of the PEOPLE who intend to communicate, and none other should be present, having signified their intention, a whole Cake of Light, and a whole goblet of wine, have been prepared for each one.” And, so … but self-care and self-determination, tho.

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]

The Argument That Took the Wrong Turning

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews The Argument That Took the Wrong Turning: A Vindication of Priest/ess and Queer Gnostic Mass in Reply to T Polyphilus by Michael Effertz:

Michael Effertz's The Argument That Took the Wrong Turning from Luxor Media Group

“The Argument That Took the Wrong Turning” is an all-too-apt title for Michael Effertz’s 33-page pamphlet, written in reply to my 700-word review of his book Priest/ess. He treats my brief book review as though it were an attempt at an exhaustive critique of his position and his writing. Despite his ability to quote me accurately, he often misrepresents my views, drawing inaccurate inferences and overlooking the genuine implications in my review. It is a disappointing but hardly surprising outcome. [via]

 

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.