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April 1999 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter

Subject: April 1999 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter

Mailed free within 100 miles of San Francisco California

Printed edition otherwise: $12 per year North America, $12 per year surface

overseas, $24 per year air mail overseas.

Copyright (c) O.T.O. and the Individual Authors, 1999 e.v.

  Limited license is hereby granted to reproduce this file without fee, with

this message intact.  This license expires April 2000 e.v. unless renewed

in writing.  No charge other than reproduction costs is permitted under this

license to the receivers of copies of this file without O.T.O. written

permission.  This file is not to be altered or incorporated in whole or in

part within another electronic or printed publication without written

permission from O.T.O.

  Thelema Lodge

  Ordo Templi Orientis

  P.O. Box 2303

  Berkeley, CA  94702  USA

Phone: (510) 652-3171 (for events info and contact to Lodge)

  Production and Circulation:


  P.O.Box 430

  Fairfax, CA  94978

Compuserve: 72105,1351          (Submissions and circulation only)

America on Line: B Heidrick         "    "       "        "

Internet:         "    "       "        "

Calendar events in the San Francisco Bay Area for April 1999 e.v., in

brief.  Always call the contact phone number before attending.  Some are

limited in size, change location and may be subject to other adjustments.

When you call, you don't get lost or disappointed.  Initiations are private.

Donations at all OTO events are welcome.


The viewpoints and opinions expressed herein are the responsibility of the

contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of OTO or its



4/3/99    O.T.O. Initiations (call to attend)  (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

4/4/99    Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple     (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

4/7/99    College of Hard NOX 8 PM             (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

          with Mordecai in the library

4/8/99    Feast of Liber AL, Chapter I 8PM     (510) 654-3580    independent

          at Oz House

4/9/99    Feast of Liber AL, Chapter II 8PM    (510) 653-3244    Sirius Oasis

          at Ancient Ways

4/10/99   Feast of Liber AL, Chapter III 8PM   (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

          at Horus Temple

4/11/99   Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple     (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

4/13/99   Planning meeting for the Rites of    (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

          Eleusis 8PM

4/15/99   Ouranos Ritual Workshop 8PM          (510) 602-9393    Thelema Ldg.

4/17/99   O.T.O. Initiations (call to attend)  (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

4/18/99   Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple     (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

4/19/99   Section II reading group with        (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

          Caitlin: the literature of Utopia

          8 PM at Oz House

4/22/99   Ouranos Ritual Workshop 8PM          (510) 602-9393    Thelema Ldg.

4/25/99   Sirius Oasis Tea, 4:18 PM            (510) 527-2855    Sirius Oasis

4/25/99   Gnostic Mass 8:00PM Horus Temple     (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

4/28/99   College of Hard NOX 8 PM             (510) 652-3171    Thelema Ldg.

          with Mordecai in the library


Announcements from

Lodge Members and Officers

                             Days of the Writing

   Every April we celebrate the reception in Cairo in 1904 e.v. of the Book of

the Law, transcribed -- according to Aleister Crowley's account several years

later -- from "preternatural" dictation during three mid-day hours on the 8th,

9th, and 10th of this month.  This majestic, apocalyptic, and fundamentally

liberating scripture, which he recorded in 220 verses on 65 pages of hurried

longhand, opened a new aeon of Thelema for us all, and remains the cornerstone

of the rituals and philosophy of the O.T.O.  In light of the message of this

book, it is certainly fitting that we leave it up to each individual to

determine exactly what is meant when, as candidates upon application for

membership in the O.T.O, we are asked to swear to "accept Liber AL vel Legis

Sub Figura CCXX, also known as the Book of the Law, without wishing to make

changes in it."

   What is it that makes a text "holy," and what sort of responsibility is

assumed in subscribing to this acceptance?  How does it differ from the

reader's approach to other texts, or to other holy things?  Are all books

sacred, and is all communication holy?  One takes up "Paradise Lost" or

"Finnegans Wake" without wanting to change their texts.  Can the same be said

of such traditionally idolized writings as those attributed to Moses, Paul, or

Mohammed?  Is a holy text like holy ground, requiring the reader to approach

it with a special "barefoot" kind of criticism, intimate and vulnerable and

unprotected?  Is it like the voice of the divine aspect, unknowable and

ineffable and deafening?  Or is it not just another arrangement of the same

words we are speaking every day, which hold their meanings in the same manner

as we are used to giving and taking them?

   What is unique about Liber AL and about our acceptance of it?  In one

sense, the holiness of language is a matter for each one who encounters it to

determine and apprehend, so in the final analysis it must remain a personal

consideration.  But as we agree in common to regard specific texts as holy, we

are also building for ourselves a shared encounter with the language we use

together.  Our own speech is thus extended into the divine by the work we are

doing as we approach our holy book.  This process becomes most obvious when we

put these texts into our own voices to share.  Memorization is one method of

making these pronouncements available to our own linguistic lives, and it is a

discipline which has been recommended to aspirants at all stages.  Another

method is simply to read these books to each other, giving them thereby a

renewed meaning in each new social context where we give voice to them.

   In this spirit we traditionally read the three chapters of the Book of the

Law together on the Holy Days of its anniversary in the spring, and this year

a number of Thelemic groups will be combining their efforts to organize these

readings in Oakland.  Each will begin at 8:00 in the evening, with members

also encouraged to organize their own private readings at noontime for a

preview of the day's chapter.  On Thursday evening 8th April we will gather at

Oz House for the first chapter, which will be read in Nu Temple, with a feast

to follow.  Call Oz at (510) 654-3580 or (510) 655-7708 for directions,

additional information, and to coordinate feast contributions.  The second

chapter will be read on Friday evening 9th April at the Ancient Ways store

(corner of Telegraph and 41st Street), and will be presented jointly by Sirius

Oasis of Berkeley and Rosslyn Camp of Hayward.  We conclude on Saturday

evening 10th April when the third chapter will be heard in Horus Temple at

Thelema Lodge, in a ritualized reading presented by members of Hodos

Chamelionis Camp of Sacramento.

                          A Thousand Cakes of Light

   Over the past few years it has become an established habit at Thelema Lodge

for the master to record an exact count of the communicants at each gnostic

mass.  Attendance at mass usually varies from about one to three dozen

(depending upon the weather, the time of year, and the other events of the

weekend) with our average holding fairly steady year by year at about twenty-

two persons.  In the fifty-two Sunday evening celebrations of the mass held

during the ninety-fourth year of the aeon of Horus (ending last month with the

vernal equinox) our total was the largest ever: 1,072 cakes of light consumed

at regular communion by priests and people at the altar.  (Priestesses,

deacons, and mass children do not communicate and are not included in this

figure, which also excludes occasional babes-in-arms present with their


   Celebration of the gnostic mass each Sunday evening in Horus Temple is the

central public rite of our community, and the best time to visit Thelema Lodge

and meet the members here.  This ritual provides a symbolic overview of the

O.T.O. system of initiatory work, as well as a focus of fellowship and magical

trust within our community.  Our mass is a pagan eucharist service at the

culmination of which all who attend participate in communion together.  The

communion elements consist of a "cake of light" (a small home-made cinnamon

cookie) and a cup of wine, each of which has been consecrated in the ceremony

by the priestess and priest.  (For those who cannot partake of wine we simply

substitute water or fruit juice; anyone requiring this replacement should

alert the deacon before the mass begins.)  To be included in the gnostic mass

please arrive at the lodge by 8:00, assemble in the library, and await the

summons into the temple when the mass team is prepared to begin.  Call ahead

for directions and information if you haven't attended previously.  Members

who have studied the mass and would like to serve the lodge as officers are

encouraged to rehearse together as a team and to seek the advice of one of our

gnostic bishops, and then to speak with the lodgemaster to schedule a date on

the temple calendar.

                       N.O.X., Lodge, and Conversation

   "April is the cruelest month" for both poets and tax attorneys, and for

both such cruelty is  necessary in order to earn their keep.  For the rest of

us April comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  What else can we

expect from the month which saw the three days of the writing of the Book of

the Law?  In honor of the occasion (and because we would have anyway) the

faculty of the College of Hard N.O.X. will join for colloquia twice during

this month, at 8:00 on the first and last Wednesday evenings, the 7th and the

28th.  You are all cordially invited to join us as guest lecturers (though a

small registration fee will be required).

   On April 7th we will discuss the bewildering array of opinions concerning

the A.'. A.'., starting with Crowley's statement that the A.'. A.'. "is a

sempiternal institution, and entirely secret.  There is no communication

between its members.  Theoretically, a member knows only the superior who

introduced him, and any person whom he himself has introduced.  The Order is

run on purely spiritual lines."  Clearly this description is hard to square

with the organization which AC ran in England before WW I, the organization

which enjoined its members thus, "He shall everywhere proclaim openly his

connection with the A.'. A.'. and speak of It and Its principles", the

organization which with its papers, charters, Chancellors, and Grand

Neophytes, certainly cannot be sempiternal (a word which means 'eternal' or

'everlasting') any more than any other human social institution can.  Perhaps

a few of the Proph's comments on the Secret Chiefs of the A.'. A.'. will help

to illumine the paradox, "They may be incarnate or discarnate: it is a matter

of Their convenience.  Have They attained Their position by passing through

all the grades of the A.'. A.'.?  Yes and no: the system which was given to me

to put forward is only one of many.  "Above the Abyss" all these technical

wrinkles are ironed out.  One man whom I suspect of being a Secret Chief has

hardly any acquaintance with the technique of our system at all.  That he

accepts The Book of the Law is almost his only link with my work."  Perhaps

there are really two A.'. A.'.'s, one an Outer Order, founded by Crowley, with

its records and rituals, warrants and workings, and the other a true inner

order linking humanity with the Absolute.  What the relationship is between

the two, if any, would be a fine topic for further debate.  A.'. A.'. members

and non-members are equally welcome to join in.

   The topic for April 28th will be ordeals.  The Book of the Law refers to

"tribulation of ordeal, which is bliss." (III:62), and the ordeal is a well-

known feature of initiation from the harrowing terrors of the ancient Greeks

to the sheer physical trials of the native tribes of the Great Plains to the

adolescent hazing of present day college fraternities.  The College will

discuss the meaning of ordeal in the context of those mystic initiations which

are referred to by the phrases "Attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation

of the Holy Guardian Angel" and "Crossing the Abyss".  The story is related by

Sir Richard Francis Burton of a Bedouin tribe of southern Arabia which

subjected its adolescent boys to a severe test of their readiness for manhood.

The candidate (if we may term him so) was blindfolded and taken several days

away from the camp into the midst of the wilderness.  On the night of the full

moon, while he lay sleeping, his escort would silently depart, leaving him

with but an old camel and a few days supply of water.  The boys who never

returned to the tribe were deemed to have been unworthy, but those who came

back (even if, as in one rare case, it took many years) were heartily feasted

and welcomed into the ranks of the tribe's adult men.

                              Vacation in Utopia

   The Section Two reading group embarks in April upon a two-month study of

the literature of utopia.  Our meeting at Oz House on Monday evening 19th

April at 8:00 will open a discussion of traditional utopian fictions from the

Renaissance, beginning with Sir Thomas More's original "Utopia" of 1516.  We

will glance at some related elements in the writings of Francois Rabelias: the

Thelemites at the end of "Gargantua" (1534) and the utopian colony in

"Pantagruel" (1532).  Then we will visit the magical "Civitas Solis" (the City

of the Sun), written in 1602 by Tommaso Campanella, before venturing into the

ideal commonwealths of two other gnostic saints, "Christianopolis" (1619) by

Johann Valantin Andreae, and "The New Atlantis" which Francis Bacon, Lord

Verulam, left unfinished in 1626.  These invented city-states embody the

ideals of their own age; the dream of a just society in fully developed form,

where the rights and responsibilities of every citizen are clearly defined,

personally fulfilling, and fairly distributed.  At the same time they are

experiments in imaginary ethnography, or synthetic travelers' tales, whose

alternate customs and perspectives offer a scale against which readers are

invited to measure their own actual, unfinished, imperfectly defined

communities.  Perhaps the essential element in these invented foreign cultures

is the realistic detail of their presentation, and its implicit comparison

with our own, a function which excludes from the definition such completely

fantastical societies as Martians or Hobbits.  Following the Renaissance there

have been several other utopian "booms" in literature, particularly during the

final decades of the nineteenth century and again after the second world war.

These will be our subject in May, when we will examine the brief optimism for

a bright clean efficient future and then the backlash into technological

nightmare which turned "ou-topia" (nowhere) from "eu-topia" (the good place)

into the totalitarian mechanized "dystopia."

                              Red Ritual Magick

   Thelema Lodge hosts the Ouranos Collective twice each month as a ritual

workshop group where magical practitioners from a variety of traditions can

experiment with cooperation across organizational and stylistic boundaries in

order to share enthusiasms and performance techniques.  The group, which has

now entered its second year, usually meets on the two middle Thursday evenings

of each month, from 8:00 to 10:00.  The dates this month will be the 15th and

22nd of April.  The group's current project is an extensive exploration of the

"Chaos system" as expounded by Peter Carroll, and we are now mid-way through a

color-coded sequence extended over eight months of workings.  For April the

color is red, and in observation of the sun's track through Aries the group

will be celebrating belligerence, blind impulsive urges, and the warrior

spirit of Mars.  This can be a path of enthusiastic honor and vigorously

dynamic accomplishment, or all organization can be lost in a shambles and the

brave effort degenerate into a bloody mess.  The distinction is made in the

magical will of the collective as it formulates its group work, and the

magicians involved are brave enough to claim control over the spirits of

conflict without allowing themselves to succumb to squabble and distraction in

their service.  To join in the fun and begin working with the collective

contact Cynthia at the lodge.

                           Eleusis Planning Meeting

   The Rites of Eleusis are being scheduled again, with our twentieth cycle

planned for this summer.  Possible dates being discussed are for an old-style

cycle at five-day intervals from 29 May through 28 June, or for the more

leisurely sequence of twelve-day intervals from 14 August through 25 October.

Either plan would present its own challenges, though the earlier one seems at

this point to have the most going for it.  A number of participants from the

past couple of cycles have been traversing the sequence of god-forms in their

own predetermined patterns, so there is already an established interest in

many of this year's rites.  We will hold an initial planning meeting at

Thelema Lodge on Tuesday evening 13th April at 8:00 to put the schedule

together and design the summer's rites.  All wishing to be involved in Eleusis

this year should attend this meeting or else make separate arrangements to

contact each of the others involved in the cycle.


                          Magical Points and Edges:

                        A Reminder about Temple Safety

                                by Liesl Reese

   All members and especially mass and initiation officers at the lodge should

be mindful of the critical need for caution and safety in the use of magical

tools when we are assembled at ritual events.  Lodge policy -- here and

throughout the Order -- stresses that no sharp-bladed or sharp-pointed

instruments may be utilized in temple, oasis, or at any other ritual.  Only

good sense and reasonable care can forestall mishap when individual members

are working privately together, but at lodge events we have an added

responsibility to each other to work actively at preventing any potential for

harm.  No amount of regulation alone can accomplish this; even were we to

insist upon rubber blades in all our events we would still be using sharp

knives and forks at the feasts with which some of the rituals conclude.

   The sword which a priestess uses to symbolize "the power of iron" in

awakening the priest at the beginning of the gnostic mass is of course not any

kind of slicing or skewering device.  Obviously there is no reason -- and

indeed there can be no excuse -- for employing a sharp-edged or sharp-pointed

sword in a crowded temple at mass.  The same hold true for the use of smaller

blades in banishing rituals, and for the few other occasions when we use

swords or daggers in any other setting.  These are "magical" tools, which

cause their effects within our ritual intentions rather than on the physical

plain.  Of course the blunt material props which we handle correspond to the

infinitely sharp faculties of our will, but physical tools, unlike the will,

are subject to the accidents of gravity and friction in the imperfect control

of muscles and sinews; they must therefore be designed to serve a dramatic

purpose only.

   Recently it has occurred anew to the officers of Thelema Lodge that the use

of personal tools at lodge events can only be permitted with careful

inspection and constant awareness of the potential for harm.  Members who

choose -- for whatever reason -- to collect or possess weapons which are

actually sharp, either in their edges or their points, are absolutely required

to leave these objects at home and never to combine them with their lodge work

in any manner.  Do not bring sharp swords or daggers to the temple or to lodge

functions at all.  Not to banish with, not to demonstrate, nor to exhibit.

There may be carving knives in the kitchen and razor blades in the bathroom,

but when we assemble in temple we need no such things.  Although this

represents no alteration in our temple policy, it now seems apparent that we

must also forego any displays of swordsmanship even with the thickest and most

blunt of blades, and there must be no swift or abrupt gesticulations with any

blade at lodge events, however "safe" it may seem.  One priestess offers the

wise suggestion that the "power of iron" not be drawn out until the serpentine

dance has been concluded and the priestess is no longer in motion; a careful

reading of Liber XV would support such a delay.  Even then she will need to

exercise special caution in this use of her blade.  There can be no

brandishing or swinging of blades in the air, and no tolerance of any magical

tool which, were it accidentally dropped, would be likely to do significant

harm to the foot on which it landed.

   At any mass, initiation, or other ritual, all officers and even all

participants must assume the practical responsibility of ensuring the safety

of everyone present.  In order to facilitate such a policy, we will sometimes

have to insist that participants forego the use of personal magical tools in

cases where there is the least question of their acceptability, in favor of

using tools provided for temple use by the lodge.  One definition of magick is

"control over meaning," and those whose magical confidence or expertise is

insufficient for the challenge of parting with their fetishes will simply have

to forego the privilege of functioning amongst us until their can train

themselves to handle the work safely.


                               Crowley Classics

Continued from our last month's newsletter, this second installment of

Crowley's account of the 1902 expedition to the mountain known as K2 (or Chogo

Ri) is reprinted from the London periodical "Vanity Fair" (15 July 1908, pages

71-72 ).  Although unsuccessful at approaching the peak, the achievement of

these climbers was nevertheless quite considerable, setting a record for high

altitude mountaineering in their day.  Dressed in tweeds and flannel, and

using equipment of their own invention, they enjoyed none of the advantages of

"canned air" and artificial insulation which eventually made their goal

accessible more than fifty years later.  Despite terrible sickness and severe

weather conditions, they managed to remain on the mountain for most of the

summer.  (The casualties mentioned in our editorial note last month were not

in fact suffered on this expedition, but occurred several years later on

Kangchenjunga during Crowley's final Himalayan climb.)

   Last month we left the seven Europeans and their army of coolies in the

course of their journey toward the great mountain just as their attempt was

about to be forestalled by the arrest of Oscar Eckenstein, the expedition's

leader.  The Deputy Commissioner of Rawalpindi interrupted their progress with

an order from the Viceroy of India, apparently forbidding the climb, and

ordering Eckenstein back with him.  Continuing under Crowley's direction, the

party did not give up, and with their long caravan of baggage and equipment

they forged ahead  toward the mountain.  Whatever the problem was -- even if

Crowley understood it he minimized the incident in his accounts -- they hoped

it could be cleared up, and in a few weeks it apparently was.  Eckenstein

returned to join them, and again they looked toward the mountain.

                          The Expedition to Chogo Ri

                           Leaves from the Notebook

                             of Aleister Crowley


   Knowles and I did not go on with the main party, as we had to go off in a

chikara (a sort of punt with pointed ends and an awning) to the Nassim Bagh,

where we saw Capt. Le Mesurier and arranged one or two final details.  The

Nassim Bagh is a most charming spot, more like an English park than anything

else.  The sward is level and covered with grass, while everywhere are stately

and vigorous trees.  We hurried back to the town, where a dunga was waiting

for us.  A dunga is a very large flat-bottomed boat which can be and is used

as a sort of inferior house-boat.  It is divided into compartments by "chiks"

-- that is, curtains of bamboo or grass.  In this boat we went off to

Gandarbal, engaging coolies to tow us all night, so that we reached this

village at daylight on the morning of the 29th.

   I found Eckenstein under a tree holding durbar with Mata Kriba Ram, the

Tehsildar of this district.  When we had settled with him we strolled gently

off to Kangan.  I found myself somewhat thirsty and footsore, as I had taken

no exercise for so long.  The following day we went on to Gundisarsingh.  We

got off the coolies, 150 in number, as ponies were not to be had at this stage

without any great difficulty.

   I should explain here the system on which we worked.  With such a large

party of men it was impossible to keep the same men for more than two or three

days; in any case it is impossible to know them all by sight, the more so that

one is changing repeatedly.  We therefore gave each man a ticket with his name

and the number of his load, on the production of which and the load in

question he was paid.  Had we not done so, of course, every man in the

neighbourhood would have hurried up like vultures scenting the carcass and

claimed his pay as a coolie.  Some of these naive persons actually travelled

four days in order to collect one day's pay which they had not earned!

   Though this stage is only 14 miles I arrived in a complete condition of

collapse, a state which I always reach after doing a very little work.  On May

1st we got on to Gagangir.  The coolies tried to make us stop a good deal

short of the proper stage.  I was in the lead, however, and suspected that

they were not telling the truth.  I sent back a message to Eckenstein, and

between us the conspiracy was overthrown.  After getting to camp it began to

rain hard and we had to put up the tents.

   The next day we went on to Sonamarg through a most marvellous mountain

gorge.  The valley is exceedingly narrow and the path winds at the base of

tremendous cliffs.  Opposite, peaks, insignificant in themselves, tower to

what seems a tremendous height, and their shapes and colouring are of very

great beauty.  Also on the opposite side of the river were the remains of vast

snow avalanches, some of them broken off and kept under by the torrent.  About

half way the valley opens out, still affording fine views, however; Eckenstein

and I were behind with the doctor, acting as rearguard.  We passed a small

village, crossed the stream below, and came across a lot of our coolies

surrounding one of their number, who was lamenting his woes at the top of his

voice.  It seems that Abdulla Khan had hit him with a stick.  He showed us a

very insignificant bruise on his wrist and a big lump on his head; but the

doctor was equal to the occasion.  With regard to the arm, he touched him

several times in places which would have hurt had the wound been genuine, and

he remained calm; the doctor reversed the operation, when he screamed like a

maniac.  As to the lump on his head, it had been there 15 years!  So we told

him to shut up and go on.

   At Sonamarg they came to us in a body with a somewhat threatening aspect

and refused to go if Abdulla Khan was allowed to hit them.  This was the sort

of occasion where hesitation would have been fatal, so I walked up to them and

told them that I would discuss the question after tiffin, and in the meanwhile

there were to go off and not worry us.  Of course they went away.  Eckenstein

and I agreed to settle the question by taking charge of the rearguard

ourselves, an arrangement which was accepted eagerly, as they had already

learnt to trust us.  The following day we sent Pfannl and Wesseley, whose

exuberant energy had hitherto been so useless, to go up the Zoji La to

prospect.  The Zoji La was, of course, the one difficulty we were likely to

meet.  It is a pass about 11,000 feet high and snow-covered till late in May.

We reached Baltal at the foot of the pass about noon.  There was already snow

in the valley at this place.  There is no village, but a strong and sheltered

house of stone, very convenient and indeed necessary for the dak-runners and


   Pfannl and Wesseley returned in the afternoon.  Their report consisted of

three principal statements -- (a) They could not see; (b) the pass was very

steep at the Matayun side; (c) there was no snow on the Matayun side.

Ignorant as I was of the topography of the place, such geographical knowledge

as I had, and such geological data as I could get, forbade my believing the

last two statements.  To the first I gave my implicit adhesion.

   A good deal of the afternoon was given over to a general inspection of the

coolies by the doctor.  Dark spectacles were given out to those whose eyes

were weak or already inflamed.  It was very amusing to watch the attempts at

malingering on the part of perfectly sound men who wanted to get goggles,

though, of course, we only lent them for the passage of the pass.  Each coolie

moreover who received a pair had a mark put against his name in Eckenstein's

note-book.  At four o'clock the next morning we had got everyone started.

Pfannl and Wesseley had been sent ahead to cut steps if necessary.  The doctor

and Knowles formed the rearguard, while Eckenstein and I were to keep running

up and down the line of coolies and see that there was no shirking.  The

duties of rearguard, however, became very heavy, and Eckenstein soon fell back

to help them.  About one o'clock they caught me up at a stone bungalow, which

I imagined to be somewhere about the end of the stage.  Yesterday's

reconnaissance by the Austrians had been worse than useless.  So far from the

descent being steep it would have been difficult to locate the actual summit

of the pass within two or three miles, and everything was deep in snow, as we

found out before long.  This snow continued not only right down to Matayun but

beyond it, nearly half way to Dras, before the valley was entirely clear.  I

had gradually drifted backwards from the van, waking up and moving on the

slack, who would have otherwise hung back on to the rear.  After some rest at

this stone bungalow, we of the rearguard, having transferred our duties, which

had been extremely arduous, to Salama and Abdulla Bat, wandered slowly on.  We

kept together for a good deal of the way, though Knowles lost about two miles

through trying to avoid getting wet.  By this time the snow was abominably

deep, and the walking utterly tedious.  I sat down to wait for Knowles, and

when he arrived after a long time, he was, if anything, in a better condition

than I.  We went on together some distance, but my knickerbockers had begun to

chafe my legs and my marching became a very painful process.  I arrived

eventually at about five o'clock completely worn out.  I must warn everyone

that "Pattu" is a most unpleasant material.  It is in no sense equal to the

best English tweeds.  I was unfortunately compelled to wear nothing else

during the whole expedition, and the roughness and coarseness of the material

entailed a good deal of suffering.  Still worse is the stuff of which they

make shirts.  These are simply impossible.  The hair shirt of the Asiatic is a

bed of roses in comparison.  Fortunately Knowles was able to get me have a

shirt of very sound Welsh flannel, which lasted me for more than four months

of continuous wear night and day, and was even then only worn thought at the

elbows.  On arrival at Matayun I simply rolled into my valise; drank half a

bottle of champagne; ate a little food, and went to sleep like a log.  I was

very doubtful, indeed, as to whether I should be able to go on on the morrow.

   On the 5th we moved on to Dras, a very pleasant march, though rather long.

We consoled ourselves, however, with  the idea of a day's rest there, as we

thought it very unlikely that coolies or ponies would be at our disposal.

When we got in, however, we found 50 ponies waiting for us, and after a short

consultation we decided to go  on.

   I gave orders for a saddle pony for myself, and Knowles followed my

example, though Eckenstein did not altogether approve, for some reason that I

have not been able to understand.  If Knowles and I had known it was possible

to ride nearly all the way to Skardu, we should have brought our riding-

breeches; but Eckenstein, when he found it possible, seemed still unwilling,

though in a very few days he came round to our views.  The foreigners would

not consent to ride; they were in that stage when hardship has its

fascinations, and they thought there was something rather grand in making

things as unpleasant for themselves as possible.  I need not waste time in

remarking on the fatuous imbecility of this idea.

                              (To be continued.)


                           from the Grady Project:



                        ---- Grady L. McMurtry

                        (13 November 1962, 2:30 p.m.)


                          An Introduction to Qabalah

                      Part XLV --The Shimir in the Stone

         Derived from a lecture series in 1977 e.v. by Bill Heidrick

                         Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick

   Even if a magical device is not directly related to the Tree of Life, it is

possible to make connections and modify the design to good effect.  Let's work

up a talisman.  Draw a thick counter-clockwise coil or spiral that makes two

and one half circles, one end at the top and the other tucked in the center.

Draw two lines inside and along the length of this coil, so that the effect is

that of three parallel coils all wound up together like a sort of watch spring

of three strips.  At the top, spread these out and give them the appearance of

serpents' heads.  Place a crown on each head.  In the middle, where the three

serpent bodies end, take an eraser and smudge the dividing lines for a quarter

turn, so that the effect is of three serpents coiled together, joined in a

single tail.  Color the heads red, yellow and blue.  Color the in-most part,

the tail, citron, olive, russet and black, ending with the tip black and the

other colors crossing like bands of the conjoined tail, not separate to each

body like the heads.  Finally, draw dividing lines across the three bodies so

that each serpent has 72 stripes, lined up on all three serpents to make a

triplet of each set of stripes.  This is a coiled triple serpent with seventy-

two bands across, to match the 72 three letter names of divinity, and a single

tail of a different pattern .  We will color code in proper form in due


   This design is not taken from the Tree of Life but from another very

powerful formulation, the Shemhamphorash, or great divided name.  It's found

in Exodus Chapter 14, verses 19-21, in the Hebrew version of the Old

Testament.  That passage describes how Moses got through a little problem with

the Red Sea and Pharaoh's army through the apparition of a cloud by day and a

column of fire by night.  These three verses have exactly 72 Hebrew letters

each.  To create the great name, write the first of them in the normal Hebrew

way, directly below it the second in reverse, and below that the third one in

the normal way again.  This yields three rows and 72 columns, which we will

use to mark the bands on the triple body of our coiled serpent.  These

triplets of letters are said to be the 72 names of God, the great

Shemhamphorash.  Tradition goes on to say that those who know how to combine

this pattern with the four letters of the Tetragrammaton can create and

uncreate the universe.  In our talisman, we'll take a more moderate course and

use this to link with the seasons of the year and the magical powers that are

involved in them.  Each of these names rules five degrees of the Zodiac.  Each

Zodiacal sign is divided into six five-degree Quinances.  The names that

comprise the Shemhamphorash are the angels that govern the world when the Sun

is in five degrees of each sign in regular succession.  For more on the

Shemhamphorash, see the "Thelema Lodge Calendar", April, 1991 e.v.

   This example is typical of individual work.  It's not something that

tradition demands should be done in any particular way.  In a sense, it's a

means of stirring up the forces of the universe through the agency of the

mind.  To use the various nick-nacks and patterns one finds in Qabalah, one

combines and manipulates them in new ways.  Laying all 72 names around a

circle is the usual way this pattern is done up, like a compass rose for

sailing the seas of another universe.  Such a pattern is somewhat interesting,

but not particularly inspiring in itself.  To do much with it, you have to add

other patterns that fit with your own work.  The Tree of Life can be used as a

means of anchoring this.  We will go further with legend.  According to the

story of the building of the Temple, Solomon was not allowed to use tools made

of iron.  Since the stone of the temple had to be fashioned in some way,

Solomon trapped the demon king Hasmodai (Asmodius) and commanded him to help.

Hasmodai brought the worm Shimir to Solomon.  This worm hues stone, perhaps by

boring into it; but that part of the legend is not given in detail.  In

Metaphor, the worm Shimir is like the spinal cord that goes up inside the

stone of the back bone.  Kundalini Yoga is also associated with this.  To

bring these notions together, depicted the Shimir as coiled in the muladhara

chakra at the base of the spine, using colors borrowed from the patterns on

the Tree of Life in the Golden Dawn system.  The colors given in this example

to the tail are those of Malkut.  The three heads are in the primary colors

associated with Chesed, Geburah and Tiperet.  The bands of the triple serpent

each have Hebrew letters, from the Shemhamphorash, and the Golden Dawn system

assigns colors to these.  We still haven't figured out how to color the body

of our serpent, but we are getting close.

   This talisman must be used.  It affords a focus for meditating on the force

of each of the 72 angels of the great name.  These can be considered 72

separate steps in a path of enlightenment.  Each five degree sweep of the

Zodiac amounts to close to five days, a little less than a week.  Meditate on

the three letters of the name corresponding, one three-fold band of the

Shimir, for that period, using the paths on the Tree that match them and other

correspondences found in "Liber 777".  For the next, meditate on the next

band, and continue until completed.  This practice invokes the energy of each

of those times into the working of the Magician.  The problem that remains is

where to start.  Which is the first one?  There are several conflicting

traditions.  For in as much as Aries is traditionally the first of the Zodiac,

should the start be with the first five degrees of Aries?  Should the start be

instead with Aquarius, since this is the age of Aquarius?  Is greater

precision advisable, perhaps one particular five degree quinance between

Aquarius and Pisces to mark the exact celestial vernal Equinox point as it is

in the sky now?  Also, how do the 72 "names" match up with these quinances?

Should the correspondence run from the end of the year and the end of the

sequence of names or should the match occur somewhere in the middle of one and

the end of the other?  All of this can get pretty stiff and discouraging, but

the very process of working through these questions in a talisman parallels

spiritual accomplishment, just as physical experiments in Alchemy comport with

the development of the spirit.  The Order of the Golden Dawn decided to start

association with the quinances with Leo, borrowing from a tradition that the

Procession of the Equinox was discovered when the Vernal Equinox occurred in

the constellation now called by that name.  After such a decision is made, the

talisman can be completed and used.  Perhaps the forces may work more

perfectly in another alignment.  Still, they will work once they are given a

chance to function.  That's the kind of thing that brings it down to Malkut.

Even if you don't fully understand, you have to do something to get along.  A

lead and a first step begin a path that will walk you of its own accord.  From

this we advance to a series of mediations, uniquely devised by the individual

magician and joined to the course of the year.  Every five and a fraction

days, the password of the Universe changes.  This is a workable technique.

                                Next: The Axe


                              From the Outbasket

  Here are the annual demographics of the O.T.O. from International

Headquarters.  These membership totals have been obtained from central

accounts at the end of February 1999 e.v.: 3,125 all, 2,678 of which are

initiates.  The International O.T.O. financial statement for fiscal year 1998-

1999 e.v. will be available toward the end of April.  For a copy, enclose an

SASE and write to: O.T.O. Annual Financial Statement, Ordo Templi Orientis,

P.O.Box 430, Fairfax, CA  94978  USA

                        ADV ----------------------  99

                        Associates --------------  348

                        Minervals ---------------  820

                        Ist Degrees -------------  670

                        IInd Degrees ------------  459

                        IIIrd Degrees -----------  307

                        IVth Degrees ------------  239

                        Vth Degrees -------------  119

                        Higher Degrees -----------  64


   In the list which follows, all data is drawn from the International mailing

list.  Accordingly, the membership counts here are less than the actual total

count, owing to changing and lost addresses.

       Known OTO member addresses by regions at end February 1999 e.v.

        (Associates and initiates both) Total: 2,950 in 42 countries.

                    UNITED STATES TOTAL -------------- 1,664

      Alabama ------------  16           Mississippi ---------  3

      Arizona ------------  50           Missouri -----------  13

      Arkansas ------------  4           Montana -------------  2

      California --------  344           Nebraska -----------  16

          (North Cal: 164)               Nevada -------------  40

          (South Cal: 180)               New Hampshire -------  5

      Colorado -----------  23           New Jersey ---------  33

      Connecticut ---------  7           New Mexico ----------  9

      Delaware ------------  3           New York ----------  106

      Dist. of Columbia ---  3           North Carolina -----  15

      Florida ------------  51           Ohio ---------------  24

      Georgia ------------  55           Oklahoma -----------  30

      Hawaii --------------  3           Oregon ------------  116

      Idaho --------------  11           Pennsylvania -------  80

      Illinois -----------  37           Rode Island ---------  1

      Indiana ------------  50           South Carolina ------  4

      Iowa ----------------  3           South Dakota --------  1

      Kansas -------------  29           Tennessee ----------  23

      Kentucky ------------  6           Texas -------------  156

      Louisiana ----------  18           Utah ---------------  20

      Maryland -----------  29           Virginia -----------  30

      Massachusetts ------  35           Washington ---------  74

      Michigan -----------  32           West Virginia -------  6

      Minnesota ----------  31           Wisconsin ----------  16

                                         Wyoming -------------  1

                    EUROPE TOTAL ----------------------- 903

      AUSTRIA -------------  1           NETHERLANDS --------  19

      BELGIUM -------------  2           NORWAY ------------  101

      BULGARIA -----------  14           POLAND --------------  2

      CROATIA ------------  92           PORTUGAL ------------  1

      DENMARK ------------  26           RUSSIA --------------  2

      ENGLAND -----------  142           SCOTLAND ------------  7

      FINLAND -------------  4           SERBIA -------------  84

      FRANCE -------------  20           SLOVENIA -----------  78

      GERMANY ------------  98           SPAIN ---------------  6

      GREECE --------------  2           SWEDEN ------------  118

      ICELAND -------------  7           SWITZERLAND ---------  1

      IRELAND (N&S) -------  8           UKRAINE -------------  1

      ITALY --------------  57           WALES ---------------  2

      MACEDONIA -----------  8

                    CANADA TOTAL ----------------------- 152

      Alberta ------------  27           Ontario ------------  50

      British Columbia ---  59           Quebec -------------  14

      Manitoba ------------  1           Saskatchewan --------  1

                    OCEANIA & ASIA TOTAL --------------- 145

      TURKEY --------------  1           AUSTRALIA ----------  90

      BAHRAIN -------------  1           NEW ZEALAND --------  30

      MALASIA -------------  1           JAPAN --------------  20

      SOUTH KOREA ---------  1           ISRAEL --------------  1

                    PANAMERICA (exp. US&CAN) TOTAL ------ 84

      BRAZIL -------------  79           MEXICO --------------  3

      MARTINIQUE ----------  1           WEST INDIES ---------  1

                    AFRICA TOTAL ------------------------- 2

      SOUTH AFRICA --------  2

                               Previous years

        2/89   2/90   2/91   2/92   2/93   2/94   2/95   2/96   2/97   2/98

  ADV    42     49     54     72     91     90     87    104    118      88

  Assoc.194    245    211    273    317    221    246    286    375     223

  Min.  403    443    526    605    660    642    706    889    890     898

  Ist   358    380    457    483    485    487    573    700    685     727

  IInd  173    217    249    291    290    311    378    441    447     451

  IIIrd 109    145    178    198    221    226    225    296    325     331

  IVth   64     66     80    111    125    160    194    204    212     239

  Vth    49     63     65     67     70     66    102    113    107     118

  Higher 16     19     24     31     29     35     35     41     57      54

      =====  =====  =====  =====  =====  =====  =====  =====  =====   =====

Total 1,408  1,627  1,844  2,131  2,288  2,238  2,546  3,074  3,216   3,129

                   ----  TG  (Bill Heidrick)


  April 1999 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar

  Mailed free within 100 miles of San Francisco California

                                                Ordo Templi Orientis

                                                P.O. Box 2303

                                                Berkeley, CA  94702  USA

  Production Editor and Circulation:


                                                     P.O.Box 430

                                                     Fairfax, CA  94978

                                         (CIS 72105,1351)

                                         (AOL BHeidrick)


  Various locations are used for individual events for April.

  Phone: (510) 652-3171


    Please feel free to forward this file to any BBS willing to take it


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