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From: Hsi Wang Mu 
Subject: Thelema
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 1994 12:54:47 -0700

49950113 [Friday!]

Do what you please, for that is my Law.

|If anyone has anything like an FAQ, it would be greatly appreciated.

There isn't enough traffic to generate questions that are 'frequent'.

|So anyway, just what the hack _is_ Thelema?

It, like most other religious principles, is different things to different
people.  To many people who associate with the term it is a religious,
political and/or ethical principle or 'Law' associated with Aleister
Crowley and those organizations/Currents which may tag along with him.

Apparently it is a Greek word for 'will' and can imply not only the
individual character within oneself of 'will power' or 'energetic passion',
but also it can mean propulsion or momentum, a kind of cosmic magical force
which changes aspects or configurations of universal phenomena, especially
when considered one's 'true will'.

To some it is a social movement, unsurprisingly, and in this way it is
also associated with certain religious forms of practice, such as devotions
to Sol, Masses of the Gnostic Catholics, and those who find value in the
Evil Tome of which I shall not speak futher here.

There are many who say that while Aleister Crowley popularized this Current
or movement in his works he did not originate it and that such individuals
as Rabelais (Francois, 1494?-1553 -- a French Humanist/writer) or Nietzsche
were instrumental in their influence.

And of course there are some occultists who think that Thelema is a magical
energy which may be found within the thriving elements of the social milieu,
sometimes in the rites and writes, sometimes in other works of the people
who comprise the movement.

Thelema is sometimes also seen as a Law of Nature which Crowley and others
have described, a formidable and unassailable principle of the cosmos in
which we do what we do and there is no justification, no rationale, no
reason or rhyme to give it meaning.  In this sense the statements that were
taken from the Evil Tome to symbolize or represent this principle may have
some value ('Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.' and 'Love
is the law, love under will.').

|I know the statement, and I think it originated from A. Crowley.

Crowley is fairly blunt in his assertion that it arrives after Rabelais,
I think.

|Sounds an awful lot like the Wiccan Rede

It is possible that the Rede was at least in part based upon The Ugly Book.

|...exactly how is Thelema pronounced?

Great question!  I have no idea.  I've always heard/said it

The - 'th' as in 'thing' and 'e' as in 'wet'
le - 'lay'
ma - 'muh'

I gather that Crowley pronounced his name in a specific fashion also:

Crow - as in the bird
ley - 'lee'

|Sorry to bother everyone, but I'm really curious.

Questions are the magical tool.  Those who do not continually ask questions
of others and themselves are false teachers and poor magicians.

|Since there aren't any threads for me to passively observe, I guess I
|have to get the ball rolling.

I think that shows a lot of willpower on your part.  Many just lurk and
complain because nothing happens.

Free love, right now!

Hsi Wang Mu

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