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


Cavalorn: Thelema and Death

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.thelema,talk.religion.misc,alt.magick.order,alt.atheism
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: Cavalorn: Thelema and Death
Date: 23 Dec 1997 22:23:33 -0800

[all from]

Cavalorn :

In message <>, writes
>> death for Thelemites is supposed to
>> be something we celebrate, more so even than birth. 'A feast for life
>> and a greater feast for death.'
>I thought you said that you had a problem with the term. Here you are
>using it. 

I have a problem with what I would see as the *misuse* of the term. (Oh,
no, a forthright opinion, flame the bastard now... ;) )

The feast for death is one of a listed series of feasts, the Calendar of
our Church as AC put it. There is a feast FOR death. This does not mean
that death IS a feast.

To say that Brother Bloggs 'celebrated his greater feast' when he had in
fact (in the words of Saint Cleese) shuffled off 'is mortal coil and
gone to meet 'is maker is just plain wrong. It takes the phrase from
Liber AL and twists it around so that the wrong person is the subject of
the phrase. Do we see Brother Bloggs rising from his bier and tucking
into the biscuits and petits fours? We do not.

Yes, you can look for mystical Second Meanings and all that, but I'd
rather keep that option in reserve... a second meaning is, after all, a
*second* meaning, and all too often the straightforward and obvious is
buried under drifts of mystic-minded guff.

>Agreed, but who says that that is what is happening here (other than

Good question. I call 'em as I see 'em, and what I see is a tendency to
call a spade a hands-on interactive excavation utensil. I'd be
interested to see if anyone else *does* agree. Remember that America is
the country where some people started calling themselves 'moon people'
instead of the star sign Cancer, because cancer was a nasty word... and
that's just the start of it.

>Perhaps the Greater Feast is that of the Universe swallowing the
>individual, or the earth swallowing the body. Sounds like a Great Feast
>to me.

Well, one can justify anything whatsoever by playing around with words.
If you're going to take that tack, you may as well say that the worms
are the Great ones, since they do the real feasting; that therefore the
common earthworm is the avatar of our Lord Hadit, 'hell's own worm'; and
that Lowly Worm should be added to the list of Gnostic Saints at the
next opportunity.

Personally, my idea of a Greater Feast is Finnegan's Wake... ;)


Cavalorn :

In message ,
David Greiner  writes
>So then, explain to me why using an expression with an upbeat ring to it
>for death, is somehow infringing on this concept of death being a


Death isn't a celebration. It's a process by which the physical vehicle
stops functioning. 

Now, this event is something that Thelemites are encouraged TO
celebrate, to erode (as I would see it) the Old Aeon fear of death, and
the tendency to mask death in sugary notions of 'going to heaven' or
'passing over' or whatever.

The other important function of celebrating death is that when one
finally snuffs it, if one has celebrated death during one's life, one is
likely to be better prepared for it, less afraid, and consequently more
likely to be able to remember previous incarnations in one's next
life... it is supposed to be the trauma of death that blocks
recollections of former lives.

>So then, what is the "Truth of Death?"  When you say that, it has a ring
>of finality to it, an idea that runs rabid in the minds of the people of
>the Old Aeon. 

A ring of finality? Ha! You can't get much *more* bloody final than

For the Ruach, and the Ego, physical death is the end of the road. (The
truly controversial might like to reflect on the ABSENCE of any
suggestion of reincarnation in Liber AL). The New Aeon is not the New
Age. The Point of View survives, true enough; but there is that which

We have to understand that while we incarnate Stars are playing the
parts of fragile human beings on a screwed-up planet, we will come into
contact with a lot of grief, loss and misery. Material existence is like
that. Shit happens. Now, it's one thing to apply ourselves magickally,
aspire, attain, and by dint of experience come to *perceive* that all
these fleshly accidents are merely the fulfilment of our Starry Natures,
and that nothing can truly do us harm; it is quite another thing to
glibly state that the pain and the suffering are not real. That is,
ultimately, cowardice.

If you deny the ending of things, you rob them of their meaning. It is
the limitation of any incarnation that gives it richness and makes it
worthwhile. That is the truth of death. 

Does anyone on this list *remember* their last death?


Cavalorn :

In article <>, "David R. Jones"
> But very few I have ever known
>are really up to the rigors of Liber Thisarb, 

Nor are the methods contained therein suitable for everyone. AC himself
couldn't do the backwards-brain bit at all... It takes more than hard
work to get results, it takes intelligent work.

>wherefrom, with diligent
>practice, the phenomena are pretty clear.  

True, but there is a difference between clarity and reality. If we're
quoting AC, you may wish to recall the fact that he 'does not care a
scrap of yesterday's newspaper whether he ever was Marius de Aquila'.
What seem to be memories of previous lives need not be taken at face

Besides, AC considered many of his earlier commentaries on Liber AL to
be wrong. The certainty that Nuit confers concerning death is not
necessarily anything to do with reincarnation. It is possible to
experience a certain kind of trance in which one effectively undergoes
death while remaining alive, the results of which do include a certainty
that while the experience is one hell of a shock, it is not to be

(emailed replies may be posted);; 408/2-666-SLUG
  join the esoteric syncretism in alt.magick.tyagi; 

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