a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Gnosticsm vs. Thelema

To: alt.magick
From: Paul Hume 
Subject: Re: Gnosticsm vs. Thelema
Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 10:42:34 -0400

Mitch -
> Crowley repudiated the rest --
> But the Gnostic Mass was patterned after the Greek or Russian
> orthodox.

Sorry, but I have to question you on this one as well...while Crowley
wrote Liber XV while in Moscow (or was at least inspired to write it
then, say The Confessions), and I can certainly see him or anyone else
being inspired by a fist encounter with the Orthodox order of service
(best show  in town in the liturgical Christian churches these days),
the structure of the Gnostic Mass is almost directly derived from the
Tridentine (ie. Roman Latin) Rite. I am told it also resembles some
earlier orders of Catholic worship, such as the Sarum Mass, but haven't
found a copy of that text other than a massively expensive edition.

But reading the Chrysosotom liturgy, I don't see much similarity to
Liber XV, whereas its anatomy is real familiar to this ex-Catholic boy.

> You are correct in asserting that the eternal only deals
> direct, but Crowley created a Priest and Priestesshood. The
> implication is that Thelema still relies on intercession...

Implication is one thing, but I would point out...

- the offices of the Mass (at this Oasis anyway) are filled ad hoc by
anyone willing to do the work to learn them. Within the structure of the
EGC as an arm of OTO, yes, you have to have be ordained to exercise some
of the sacerdotal jobs, but celebrating Mass is NOT among those
"restricted" functions.

- I am by no means in agreement that the Priest, Priestess, and Deacon
are in an intercessory role. One could do Mass that way, certainly, but
it seems to me to miss the meaning of the rite. Acting as the spokesman
for the space of a ritual for those present, in a unified aspiration
towards the Divine in which the officers provide a focus for the Will of
each participant towards gnosis, does not strike me as intercessory. I
may have a more limited view of that term - again, ex-Catholic, in which
the magico-religious efficacy of the Roman Mass is absolutely
conditioned by the official status of the priest. Whereas the Gnostic
Mass (like the agapemones of the Valentinians) is a communal celebration
of a Mystery, in which anyone in the community can fill a given role at
a particular meeting.

Obviously, everyone who works a given tradition will have different
views of how it functions...your experience as Priest is not the same as
mine, and vice versa. But I cannot (equally of course) ignore my own
perception of the office, as the member of the community who is doing
that particular job this time around, providing the visible component of
a Mystery drama from which everyone draws sustenance or comfort, or
whatever they Will, according to their own gnosis.


The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races