Tag Archives: Sabazius

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 Agapé 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]

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]

Neither East nor West

Hermetic Library fellow Sabazius has posted his keynote speech from NOTOCON IX, which had the theme “Neither East nor West” and which took place earlier this month in Sacramento, California. This was the ninth NOTOCON, a biennial conference for the US Grand Lodge of Ordo Templi Orientis.

“Neither East nor West. Neither the house of dawn, nor the house of dusk, neither the realm of beginnings nor the realm of endings; neither here nor there, neither black nor white, neither the past nor the future, neither the old nor the new. We find ourselves in transit; in the interstices, the in-between places, partaking of partialities, gradients, nuances, and transients. Familiar things pass away, and strange, new things confront us, leaving us excited, but also perhaps somewhat unsure, insecure, and anxious. We feel well rid of some of the old, and we welcome some of the new—but not all, necessarily.

In the face of the insecurity of the impermanence that confronts us, comfort and courage can often be found in belonging to, and identifying with, an institution that is anchored, to some extent, in history and tradition, and which exhibits the size and strength to endure into the future. We want to be a part of something larger than ourselves. It is a natural human impulse, one not lightly to be dismissed. I daresay this is why many of us are here tonight. It is, in fact, I think, one of the very foundations of human culture, and we see this tendency everywhere, manifesting in mysticism as well as in a propensity to gather together in tribes of various sorts.” [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]

NOTOCON IX presentations

The list of National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference (NOTOCON) presentations, and presenter bios, has been posted for the upcoming ninth biennial event on Aug 9th – 11th, 2013, being held in Sacramento, CA this time. In addition to several names you may recognize from posts here or content on the library site such as Lon Milo DuQuette, Richard Kaczynski, Christeos Pir and more, you will find Hermetic Library anthology artist David Shoemaker and fellows Colin Campbell and T Polyphilus are presenting this time around. Of course, library fellow Sabazius will also be there.

NOTOCON is the biennial conference for current members of OTO, with attendance minimally restricted to those who are initiates of at least Minerval, or 0°, with many presentations and events of interest. If you aren’t already a member, there’s still time to become a Minerval initiate before the conference, of course.

MOE Delegate Nominating Panel Update

Sabazius has posted an update about the full implementation of nominating panel to accept applications to a particular element of Ordo Templi Orientis structure from Liber CXCIV, An Intimation with Reference to the Constitution of the Order, which is to help select volunteers as delegates from the Man of Earth triad, over on his blog at “MOE Delegate Nominating Panel Update“.

“I am pleased to announce that The Man of Earth Delegate Nominating Panel is now fully operational and is accepting applications from O.T.O. initiates of the II° who are interested in volunteering as Man of Earth Delegates to speak on behalf of the entire Man of Earth Triad in accordance with Book 194.

The recently created MOE Delegate Nominating Panel, currently comprising 30 representatives from across the United States, has been diligently working with me to create a seamless selection process of the four Man of Earth Delegates to provide the Man of Earth Triad with a strong voice within Ordo Templi Orientis.

From Book 194: In order that the feelings of the general body may be represented, the Men of Earth choose four persons, two men and two women, from among themselves, to stand continually before the face of the Father, the Supreme and Holy King, serving him day and night. These persons must not be of higher rank than the Second Degree; they must volunteer for this service at the conclusion of that ceremony; and therefore they give up their own prospect of advancement in the Order for one year, that they may serve their fellows. This is then the first lesson in our great principle, the attainment of honour through renunciation. – BAPHOMET XI°” [via]

Non-Consensual Sexual Conduct

Hermetic Library fellow Sabazius has posted on his blog a reminder about United States Grand Lodge, Ordo Templi Orientis, policy about “Non-Consensual Sexual Conduct“.

“The time has come for a reminder that U.S.G.L. does not tolerate rape or any form of non-consensual sexual conduct or sexual harassment by or upon its members.” [via]

“As a Local Body, as a Grand Lodge, as an Order, we need to be united in the goal of creating and nurturing an environment where free relations between our brothers and sisters can be enjoyed without fear.” [via]

 

Update 2012sep11 @ 11:11a:

Sabazius has posted a follow-up to this in another post at “Follow-up on Last Post: Dealing with Violence” which may be of further interest.

“Since my last post, I have received several reports from women who have been subjected to violence within some kind of an O.T.O. context in the past. One of these women told me that she had been in touch with several other sisters who never reported their mistreatment, and saw no reason to now because their attackers were no longer active members. Others reported that when they attempted to discuss their troubles with their brothers and sisters, attempts were made to either ignore or excuse the bad behavior, occasionally offering such quotes as ‘There is no guilt’ as if that were an excuse for assaulting someone. This is simply unacceptable.” [via]

You may be interested in a new post by Sabazius about the implementation of a specific part of Liber CXCIV (Book 194)

You may be interested in a new post by Sabazius over on his blog at “A new method of selecting Man of Earth Delegates” about the implementation of a specific part of Liber CXCIV (Book 194), which is one of the O.T.O. specific Libri, also called “An Intimation with Reference to the Constitution of the Order“.

“Heretofore, these Man of Earth Delegates have volunteered directly to the USGL Volunteer Coordinator, who would then pass their information on to me for consideration. However, according to Book 194, the Men of Earth are to ‘choose’ these Delegates. Note also that the closing paragraph of Book 194 states that the system of O.T.O. ‘combines monarchy with democracy.’ There is no other component of the O.T.O. governmental structure that involves democratic election; therefore, the choosing of the MOE Delegates by the members of the Man of Earth Triad would appear to be the sole constitutional opportunity to include an element of ‘democracy’ in our system.

To date, it has appeared impractical to implement any kind of direct election of these Delegates by the members of the Man of Earth Triad, especially given the criteria that their terms are for one year only, there must be four of them, and two must be male and two female. If the Delegates were each to be chosen by open vote of the entire Man of Earth Triad, these criteria would put Grand Lodge in a painful state of perpetual election that would pose essentially insurmountable logistical obstacles. Over the past year, however, we have developed a system that overcomes these obstacles, and fully implements a system permitting the Man of Earth Triad to choose its own Delegates according to Book 194; and the Executive has just formally adopted this system.

The essence of the system involves the creation of an intermediate Nomination Panel—composed exclusively of members of the Man of Earth Triad—to evaluate and nominate volunteer candidates to the National Grand Master General for appointment as Man of Earth Delegates”

You may be interested in a new post by Sabazius over on his blog about the Tunis Comment, or The Comment

You may be interested in a new post by Sabazius over on his blog about the Tunis Comment, or The Comment, at “A Brief Examination of ‘The Comment’“.

“These days, The Comment is sometimes regarded as a bit of irony, or an anachronism, or an example of ‘reverse psychology,’ or even a joke. But Crowley took this statement quite seriously, even if not perfectly literally.” [via]

“There is nothing wrong with studying Crowley’s evolving commentaries and writings dealing with Liber AL, such is encouraged by The Comment and was clearly the intent. But we know from experience that group discussion, especially in official contexts within a hierarchical organization, inevitably evokes the dynamic of intellectual leaders and followers, and subtle pressures to conform. O.T.O. is full of what might be considered operative paradoxes, and this is a significant one. We believe that by actively working to discourage the creation of social contexts in which individuals are expected to state their personal views on Liber AL and its meaning, we preserve their freedom.” [via]