Tag Archives: liber xv

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

Antichrist

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Antichrist: A novel of the Emperor Frederick II by Cecelia Holland.

Cecelia Holland Antichrist

Historical novelist Cecelia Holland is the author of Antichrist: a novel of the Emperor Frederick II (1970). The British issue of the same book had a more timid publisher, it seems. The title there was Wonder of the World, in reference to Frederick’s renown as stupor mundi. The US Primate of the Gnostic Catholic Church identifies Frederick II as the “Frederick of Hohenstaufen” enumerated among the saints of Liber XV, and he points to Frederick’s notable antagonism with Rome, but he fails to note the item that gave Holland her title: a tradition of identifying Frederick as the Antichrist.

Antichrist is an inherently prophetic figure, and the prophecies of Frederick’s Antichrist status were initially derived from Joachim of Fiore’s writings. Holland observes this fact with a brief notice in her prefatory “Note” (ix). The Super Hieremiam was a pseudo-Joachimist work that identified Frederick as a head of the apocalyptic dragon and as the emperor whose death would inaugurate the age of the Holy Spirit. The prophecy regarding Frederick is one of the elements that made Joachim’s work topical for the Franciscans who became interested in it during the 1240s.

Holland’s story is set in the 1220s, with Frederick’s prosecution of the Sixth Crusade. She depicts the Franciscans in Outremer as opponents of the Emperor, and she has them accuse him of being Antichrist. Whether they would have done so at that time, before taking up the ideas from Joachim, or whether the accusation in the novel was anachronistic, I don’t know.

Besides the Franciscan Order, Antichrist includes a rough and caricaturing treatment of the military Orders of the Temple and the Hospital. Of the former, Holland writes that they “were beyond doubt Satanist,” choosing to take the French court proceedings as gospel on this count (xiii). She depicts both Orders—who were, after all, opposed to her protagonist Frederick—as corrupt and malevolent. In fact, her depiction of them is much in keeping with the villainous roles that they play in the novels of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832).

An important aspect of the novel (and the events it attempts to describe) is the relationship between Christians and Muslims, both in southern Europe and in Palestine. The idea that Frederick was Antichrist had much to do with his perceived and actual intimacy with Saracens and Islam. Holland creatively adds a member of the Order of Assassins to Frederick’s bodyguard in Palestine. This touch on her part leads to a historical error, in which she has the “Assassins” in question refer to themselves as Hashishiyyun (164). The Muslims associated with Alamut whom the Crusaders called “Assassins” were sometimes called hashishis as a term of derision by their Muslim antagonists, but they were in fact, and knew themselves as, Syrian Ismailis of the Nizari sect.

Holland’s book was great fun to read: it has a lot of witty dialogue and vivid description. If handled respectfully, it would probably make a terrific movie. Although she makes some outright errors, the author provides the unusual courtesy among historical novelists of pointing out which principal features of the story are her conscious interpolations (xii-xiii). As far as the broad outlines of her narrative go, there is nothing to contradict any of the history I have read. [via]


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

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]

Gnostic Mass Video Project

You may be interested in this Gnostic Mass Video Project by Anahata Chapter of the O.T.O. Rose Croix in Seattle, WA to raise funds for a full-length, high-quality video celebration of Aleister Crowley‘s Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass. The video is being produced by Jon Sewell, of Eleusyve Productions, and, among others, will have the participation of Hermetic Library anthology artist David Shoemaker and fellow Sabazius.

“Anahata Chapter of the O.T.O. Rose Croix, with the sanction of the United States Grand Lodge, O.T.O., is proud to sponsor the making of a professionally produced, high quality video of Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass.

When completed, this video of Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass, will serve multiple purposes. It will be a US Grand Lodge-sanctioned representation of the central ritual of the O.T.O. for reference and teaching purposes all over the United States.

It will serve as an historic document of the celebration of the Gnostic Mass in the early years of the 21st Century and, it will serve as a worthy introduction and provide continuing access to the Magick and mystery of the O.T.O., even in areas of the country and the world where there is not a local O.T.O. body immediately accessible.

We believe the staging and content of this video presentation will be of great interest and value to both O.T.O. Initiates as well as those interested in Magick, Thelema, and Western Esotericism, and we invite all interested people to support the completion of this project by contributing through this Indiegogo page!” [via]

Priest/ess

Priest/ess: In Advocacy of Queer Gnostic Mass by Michael Effertz, which was privately printed and circulated, has arrived at the library courtesy of the author. A trade paperback edition is in preparation and planned to be available in this Spring.

Michael Effertz's Priest/ess

 

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.

American Idol: On Nietzsche in America

American Idol: On Nietzsche in America” by Ross Posnock is an article in the Nation from Nov, 2011 which talks about Friedrich Nietzsche and a book American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen.

 

“Nietzsche paid a heavy price for daring to strip away the comforting props of Victorian piety, bringing readers face to face with the imperative ‘to become what you are.’ He launched his own version of Emerson’s project, which begins with the recognition that man is but ‘a half-man,’ a ‘dwarf of himself.’ The time was ripe: how thrilling it must have been for Americans long shackled to the ‘agonized conscience’ of Puritan rectitude, the ‘yoke’ of the genteel, in George Santayana’s phrasing. Cease hiding behind conformity and habit and laziness, Emerson and Nietzsche implore; the former invites ‘every man to expand to the full circle of the universe,’ while the latter will eventually call for the overcoming of the human, summoning what he will name the ‘overman.'” [via]

 

“Nietzsche-mania erupted in Europe a decade before the philosopher’s death in 1900, spreading throughout the continent and on to Russia, and reaching the United States in the new century’s first decade. A question raised almost at once (and periodically revived) was why Nietzsche was proving so popular here: ‘What is the philosophy of an anti-Christian, antidemocratic madman doing in a culture like ours? Why Nietzsche? Why in America?’ Ratner-Rosenhagen wonders. Nietzsche became the exemplar for those seeking, in Emerson’s words, ‘not instruction, but provocation’; not intellectual doctrine but the visceral sense of liberation in hearing the inadmissible given voice. Radical leftists—anarchists, socialists and feminists—were early enthusiasts, including Emma Goldman, Randolph Bourne and the Harlem socialist Hubert Harrison, who found in Nietzsche’s contempt for religion and democracy a way to rouse the masses from obedience to Christian ideals of submission and democratic fictions of a free market.” [via]

 

 

Of course, Friedrich Nietzsche is proclaimed Saint of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica in the Gnostic Mass and there are other resources in the collection of the Hermetic Library. You may also be interested in these other articles at the library which mention Nietszche, to name a few:

Black Magic is Not a Myth in Articles by Aleister Crowley.

“‘Why was he thrown out of both those countries?’ they ask.

The explanation of why I left is quite simple and unsensational. I took a villa at Cefalu in Sicily for work and play. We began the day with family prayers; we occasionally celebrated a semi-religious ceremony known as the Gnostic Mass.

Several people who were my guests at the ‘abbey’ made imaginative copy out of their visits.” [via, also], [see]