"Sandi Peterson" <seagal@...> wrote:
> Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
> > my understanding of the Mysteries (after Angus
> > and other text sources primarily, other than my
> > own initiation to modern cults, which are few),
> > is that these are facilitated or gated by social
> > cults, surrounding ritual or dramatic plays, and
> > in modern times these may associate themselves
> > to initiatic orders which are quasi-masonic and
> > Rosicrucian in character. there are blocking and
> > subjective visualization instructions provided to
> > initiates who are part of group ritual in 'lodge
> > openings' and mystical initiatic ceremonies along
> > the lines of the Golden Dawn and others.
> Wish I'd said that - you have a great way with words.
thank you kindly.
> > this is, to my knowledge, how the Thelemic religio-
> > mystical community has proceeded, posterior to the
> > Golden Dawn, of which Crowley was a member, and
> > after which his groups developed their own procedures.
> > this is probably why you will hear such conventional
> > response to your inquiry such as is offered by Sandi
> Conventional response? I've never heard anyone say
> there were no differences in the practical/psycho-
> spiritual and classical approaches to Thelema - quite
> the contrary. Everyone seems to have a different theory.
interesting. I guess maybe i don't know to what they may
be referring when they have the notion of ceremonial and
lodge-oriented magic based on the Golden Dawn and how this
might be varying through time such that Thelema is in some
way different. I suppose we could break it down into types
of workings and expose from what different manners of style
or function the rites engaged proceed. as such, it seems to
me that Thelema utilizes a subset of Golden Dawn workings
for purpose and then incorporates variations on a number of
other ceremonials that have in fact been revised in time.
I'll elaborate on this since i'm sure there is a great deal
of interest in the subject here and you seem to be willing
to engage discussion on the whole.
'grade initiations' -- it was these to which i referred
somewhat obliquely (because in part i like to keep them
secret for surprise purposes for anyone who doesn't want
to go looking for them) when i said it was a 'conventional
response' to indicate techiniques were the same. my somewhat
unstudied impression is that from the Golden Dawn through
to the OTO, at least, there isn't much that is substantial
that has varied in terms of the quasi-masonic operations
enjoined during initiatic ceremonies, though i gather that
the OTO compares the GD instead with the AA for its purpose.
it was to these that my attention was drawn when speaking
of 'the Mysteries', though as well any number of other
works of personal, and less group-oriented, conduct could
be considered and we'd have then a different comparison.
let me venture into realms with which i am FAR less
familiar, and risk being incredibly off-base, to offer up
an opinion of comparison *where mechanics are concerned*.
'Bornless Rite' -- I gather that this is pretty much taken
straight from the Golden Dawn. it may well have been given
a variation by Crowley in its verbiage.
'Qabalistic Cross' -- I gather that this is taken straight
from the Golden Dawn.
'Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram' -- I gather that
this is taken straight from the Golden Dawn and incorporates
the Qabalistic Cross mentioned above.
'Resh' -- I gather that Crowley created this Solar-oriented
ritual, but i really don't know if it has correlates or its
origins in the Golden Dawn or some other esoteric context.
it might be said to be patterned after Muslim salat and
given a quasi-egyptoid envelope.
'Star Ruby' -- I had the impression this was original to the
Thelemic ceremonialist culture after the manner of Crowley.
'pathworking' -- I think this is a passed on convention for
personal and social engagement of the Mysteries through the
tool of the Tarot's Major Arcana. I somewhat rarely hear
about the mechanics of it as they may be few, but the general
idea seems to have been originated with the Golden Dawn and
taken up by the Thelemic community using the Thoth deck aka
the Harris-Crowley Tarot.
'planetary rites' -- I am under the impression that this was
and may still be a convention of the Golden Dawn and possibly
that of other Rosicrucian-derived ceremonialists, though i am
aware that the ritual text and blocking will have changed.
'Invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel' -- my impression is
that this is a variation on the activities as encompassed or
described by "The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage" as was
(somewhat?) translated and presented by Mathers (of the GD).
it was given a greatly reduced or extracted form by Crowley.
'venturing through the thirty aethyrs' -- my impression is
that as performed by those after Crowley (whose 'Vision and
Voice' is a key study guide for this kind of Thelemic work),
this again may be treated more simply and is extracted from
Enochian Magic as was practiced/developed by the Golden Dawn,
itself a reflection or expansion of what was inherited from
Doctor John Dee and Edward Kelly.
'Gnostic Mass' -- I gather that this is fairly unique to the
O.T.O., and is derived moreso from a liberal Catholic and/or
Gnostic Christian ritual, rather than from anything Hermetic.
and that is what comes to my mind. please understand that i am
NOT a ceremonialist, that i have not played any important role
in any these rites myself (aside, for example, being of 'The
People' in numerous Gnostic Masses) in part because they
aren't my interest and seem wrongly tuned to me, though i have
made a study of their elements so as to become familiar with
what passes for Thelema and magic. understand too that i may be
misinformed as to the details of their origins (this is not
always provided in presentations either written or verbal and
history of them isn't always what is paramount of importance).
corrections by those who know would be welcomed.
> From what I've seen, as far as Thelemic discussion goes,
> the religio-mystical Thelemic community can't even
> agree on what "Do what thou wilt" means.
meaning, particularly in any group or subculture which
employs the Method of Religion, or abstruse philosophy,
will necessarily become variant and splayed into factions.
even Crowley said in his Commentary that 'Do what thou wilt'
might be taken to mean anything, if one be illuminated.
arguments to the contrary may be geared for the unilluminated,
naturally, and then we're talking Slave/King analogies.
> The "mechanics" and techniques may vary to a great
> extent, is completely beside the Point to me.
that may be, but that was the question put to us.
> Far as I
> know, all psycho-spiritual approaches attempt to contact
> the Mystical Unknown. Pulling a rabbit out of a hat
> seems no different animal or any less a Trick than
> grabbing the Mystical Bull by the horns - especially
> if we have reason to think the Objective is Known by
> the Subject of the Objective... "the foundation from
> which magic springs"... "an energy or force which
> seems to potentiate or cause change at a distance,
> and at least change in a local zone".
conventional, traditional, traceable, and social methods
tend to solidify and become known. that to which you are
referring in the immediately above paragraph are in fact
metaphors, and therefore will have different referents to
which they apply. they may or may not be referring to the
same referents. that will vary with the person. what does
NOT vary with the person is the mechanics of social rites,
or rites that are traditional to a given subculture like
Thelema. these may be studied, traced, identified. their
nomenclature may derive from or be applied to personal
spirituality, and that's quite fine and dandy.
> > there is an entire metaphysic supposed beyond the
> > imagination where it may be ascertained that these
> > activities are taking place ("on the astral plane", "in
> > the spiritual realm", "on the plane of the gods", etc.)
> But why do you say "supposed"?
because i am not in the least convinced of its reality as
stated. I tentatively suppose that it is wholly imaginary
and is thus mediated, through imagination, to consciousness.
these other separable (and distinguishable somehow from the
ordinary, mundane, material, physical) dimensions or planes
are stipulated by occultists as operating by different laws
or principles, having different effects in their engagement,
and generally as being different than facets of mind and
> > and the Mysteries themselves may be said to have
> > egregoric or quintessential existence beyond the
> > strict workings of the magicians involved.
> Why, "may be said"?
people might claim it. I have no reason to conclude that
this is actually the case. I am attempting to describe, in
general terms with which *i* can agree, the status of things.
> > "(no other dimensions can i confirm as real)".
> First of all, who can confirm this dimension is real? ...
I can, after Descartes, Chuang Tzu, and any number of others.
substitute 'operating', 'functionally well-described', or even
'has separable integrity' if you like. I use Occam's Razor. ;)
> ...I've never
> met anyone who comes as close to convincing me
> they "ascertain", "egregoric or quintessential existence
> beyond the strict working of the magicians involved",
> as you do.
they MAY ascertain it. the consistency and integrity of their
reflection on the matter warrants observation, by my standards,
but it doesn't warrant my agreement if other evidence i can
dig up doesn't substantiate them.
Sandi regarding 'Thelema':
> > > it's a religion
> > as a social phenomenon it is a religion and this seems
> > to be comprised of a batch of cults gathered to worship
> > strange gods and peculiar prophets in reference to abstruse
> > texts (including Neopagan Egyptian/Kemetic deities in
> > association to Liber Al vel Legis, and others).
> As a personal phenomenon, Liber AL is my Religion. I'm
> not a member of any cult or gathering besides 93Thelema.
by my estimate, then, and given that this constitutes the
entirety of your religious activities, you are not a member
of any religion. you may be having your own spirituality,
but religion as i understand it is a social phenomenon
with coordinated actions and, at times, ideations/doctrines.
this may be a strictly semantic issue, since for a book
to BE your religion requires what i would regard as a
perturbation of the English language to arrange. Religions
of the Book tend to make such assertions, granted.
> My Gods are not strange, they are intimate to me - the Sun,
> Strength & Sight, Light!
my evaluation was with respect to the conventional context of
the culture which surrounds them. that isn't Egypt, btw, and
it tends to incorporate anti-Christian John-Revelations bits.
> I call myself a Thelemite because
> I have Initiated into the Three Grades - I Understand the
> Meaning, and Work & Will ALWays to Abide in the Law.
> For me, being ever joyous is the horn blower.
> Liber AL only appears abstruse, at first glance - it was
> Designed to be difficult to understand... a Word Puzzle
> and Treasure Map.
this appears to be how many puzzle-books are apprehended.
> Peculiar Prophets?... if you're speaking of Aiwass & Crowley,
> you're talking about two of my best friends and Greatest
fun. I hope they serve you well. Ankh-n-f-Khonsu too if he is
at all different from these others. I have long ago given up
sugar-coating my descriptions of occult matters to occultists
or being upset by the fact that they want to control these or
combat with them. I welcome the disputation and solemnly pledge
to respect your viewpoint even while i may criticize it or give
to it a review that it is based on imaginary foundations. ;)
Crowley *is* peculiar where prophetic standards are concerned.
of course these will be familiar to YOU. that doesn't change
the character of that with which you involve yourself. and the
same goes with respect to Sufism, which you describe in a way
that makes it plain you're not talking about conventional
Sufi tariqas such as Naqshbandis or Jerrahis. I'll defer to
your knowledge of the Oshoan 'universalist' sufi character.
to my knowledge Osho (Rajneesh) wasn't Muslim or Buddhist.
he was a Jain-become-tantric-crazy-wisdom-guru.
> > Sufism per se does have a church (Islam) and it does
> > have membership and (a few sets of) dogma (based on
> > the Qur'an). Sufis have social orders aka 'tariqas' headed
> > up by sheikhs, and these are tutelary and theological in
> > orientation. they are in a sense 'non-denominational' as
> > far as their usual Muslim worship, though there are
> > 'universalist sufis', as i would call them, who combine
> > religious and mystical accoutrements.
> You've evidently been hanging out with a whole different sort
> of Sufi than I've ever met.
I visited with some for a time. they were conventional Muslims.
I understand more obliquely that there are multicultural and
'universalist' sufis also (what, 'Dances of Universal Peace'?).
you can see a sociological map i made for the whole here:
A MODEL FOR DISCUSSION OF SUFISM
and get an idea what kind of Sufi i mean by this reflection:
REFLECTIONS OF A SUFI EVENING
> Ancient Sufism is an oral Tradition.
> Sufis' have no text, holding firmly the belief that once a Word
> is Written it hardens, "cakes" and "crystallizes" - becomes like
> concrete and subject to distortion, reinterpretation, distortion
> and perversion. ....
very interesting. I'd call that New Age idealism, and i doubt that
it is ancient in any social sense. what you may be describing is
something on the order of what Idries Shah has proposed. neat. I
tend to enjoy reading his materials. he even branched into grimoires.
> > Aleister Crowley didn't add much in the way of magic
> I'd imagine, this depends on who you ask...
not really. he fashioned a post-GD Magick which is very important
to many Thelemic cultists of orders and religion, but where the
supportable magic comes in as i conceive of it (based on standards
which are anthropological, rather than ecclesiastic or mystical),
his writing avoids analysis of much of its detail and tends to
remain insular in character (exceptions include some wonderful
portions of Part Three of Book Four, aka "Magick in Theory and
Practice"; this was what initially drew my attention to him,
along with the beautiful Tarot that Lady Frieda Harris painted).
> Crowley gave me an entire Nu World of Magick.
> Who on this list would be here, if it weren't for the Beast?
I might, and a few others might whose interests run to the will-
based philosophy end of the thelemic spectrum. seeing Crowley as
one amongst a number of such expressions during the turn of the
20th century helps to put him in a class of his kind, however
different might have been his ethics/moral character otherwise.
that's less important than that we are inclusive in our method.
> Love is the Law, Love under Will.
Invoke me under my stars.