Thelema Beyond Crowley and Grant

Are you interested in Thelema Beyond Crowley? Have you had some experience of the cults of ‘Crowleyanity’? Have you visited this website in the hope of finding an atlernative to egotism and madness? Then read on, before you begin your deep and prolonged enquiry.

Theleme Beyond Crowley: Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Hrumachis IVThe founder members of the O∴ A∴ are based in England, UK. Our membership is international. Initiation requires faithfully following out the practical methods of the Order and the keeping of a diary Record on a strict daily basis. We work by the correspondence method. A brief account of the history of this tradition is given on the page introducing our Probationership course: VITRIOL.

There follows a list of provisos to address frequently asked questions. This is usually enough to dissuade those with a superficial interest in the mysteries, who suffer the delusion of ‘others’. The tyros are like a crowd at a theatrical event that is more interested in other persons in the audience than what is taking place on the stage. However, both the crowd and the stage are fiction, a phantasmal theatre of ego projection.

We have no involvement with Lodges, after the manner of Freemasons. We eschew social clubs, public events and Internet discussion forums. There is no ‘virtual’ Order or membership. We do not use the term ‘self-initiation’, which is an oxymoron. Although initiation is about personal work done, Thelema is not in any way personal, and cannot be personalised. While personalities are inevitable, they tend to be obstructive to the Great Work.

Magick denotes the noun. When we use the word as an adjective, it is spelled magical. A person who does magick is a magician. In the last two cases, adding the ‘k’ is superfluous.

The Hermetic Qabalah is the basis for ritual magick. It is quite different from Kabbalah, which denotes traditional Jewish esotericism. We have nothing with Cabala, which denotes a kind of ‘invented’ Christian esotericism.

There needs to be an intellectual understanding of the work for the rituals of the O∴ A∴ to become meaningful. Nu Hermetica—Initiation and Metaphysical Reality is required reading and study for our Students. It is not a practical handbook but provides the necessary intellectual and metaphysical basis. The introduction to our practical methods, the training and work of a Probationer, is given in The Enterer of the Threshold.

Interested outsiders first subscribe to our monthly Journal, Metamorphosis, and become Associates. This does not require any commitment beyond studying the Journal, but it is the first step on the way. Many seek a spiritual path that is ‘made to measure’. Sooner or later they find something disagreeable in our literature or methods and we will not hear from them again. The interest was superficial, not deep and all consuming as it should be if practical work is to be taken up. The person must prove to us that they are worth our time and our commitment to their Great Work. We are not interested in those who are merely looking to further personal interests and ambitions.

Beyond Crowley: My Prophet is a Fool

We do not regard Aleister Crowley as any kind of prophet. He awarded himself that title in the (Egyptian) Book of the Law, I: 26.

Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign?

These are Crowley’s words, a poeticised question put to the communicant Aiwass, who was conveying the oracle of Nuit (infinite space). The question is not answered directly, and Crowley later changed the wording of the reply as it did not satisfy him.[1] Thereafter, Aiwass mocks Crowley’s presumption.[2]

Crowley, Kenneth Grant and others have interpreted the Egyptian mysteries in a spirit of modernism, and particularly from the point of view of early nineteenth century German humanist philosophers (Schiller, for example). The Book of the Law has an ancient Egyptian basis that is at least 4000 years old and in reality is much older than that.

There is no Old Aeon or New Aeon in reality. The mysteries of Liber AL, as it has come to be known, are extremely ancient. Truth does not change with the fashions and fetishes of the human race. Thelema is not time-bound. It is not a new product or “New Law for Humanity” as was put forward by Crowley when he adopted the guise of the salesman and propagandist.[3]

Beyond Crowley: Words and Spells

In our rituals we do not invoke the biblical demiurge Tetragrammaton.

Ishtar, invoked in the North in our Ritual of the Pentagram, is a Phoenician and Sumerian deity, though at one time she was celebrated in Egypt (as Ashtaroth, whom we invoke in the East) and renowned throughout the world. Isis is the ‘goddess of a thousand names’, and we invoke her in the West. Babalon, invoked in the South, is derived from Babylon, a corruption of the ancient Egyptian per-hapi-en-aunnu, goddess of the ‘Nile Temple of the nome centre Aunnu’.[4] Together, these are the four faces of Nuit defining the magical circle of the place. The magician is Hadit, the exorcist in the midst.[5]

All grades of initiation are relative to the individual and can have no meaning outside of the Order. Grades and offices are therefore a strictly private matter and are never publicly disclosed. Those who wish to take their enquiry further than the website are welcome to apply to become an Associate, which requires subscription to our monthly Journal. Details of how to apply are given on the website here.


Notes

1. The original wording of Nuit’s oracle, evident in the holograph MS, was, “Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the unfragmentary non-atomic fact of my universality.” The last five words are essential to Esoteric Thelema. Crowley later changed these words, substituting the dull  theological convention, “the omnipresence of my body”.
2. In the Book of the Law, I: 48, Aiwass declares, “My prophet is a fool with his one, one, one; are not they the Ox, and none by the Book?” There are many other instances, too numerous to mention here.
3. Crowley’s introduction to the book Magick is one of the worst examples of such hype, though it is closely rivalled by his absurd introduction to the 1938 OTO edition of The Book of the Law, in which he declares that the book “lays down a simple Code of Conduct”.
4. A colossal image of the goddess, likened to Isis-Hathoor, stood at one time outside the gates to Heliopolis (Aunnu) on the processional route. See pp. 86 and 263 Babalon Unveiled.
5. This is fully explained in ‘Comment on the Pentagram Ritual’, The Enterer of the Threshold.

Our Egyptian Tarot of Thelema Atu Hrumachis IV is explained in detail here.

© Oliver St. John 2019, 2022 (revised)

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The Star of Egypt

George Gheverghese Joseph has produced a radical revision of the globally accepted Eurocentric view of history in his book, The Crest of the Peacock.[1] Joseph is not concerned with religion or esotericism; his subject is the history of mathematics. With mathematics came science, astronomy, agriculture, irrigation, architecture, spiritual philosophy, fine arts and working with metals. These designations include the profane sciences, which came along at a relatively late stage in the cycle of manifestation, as well as the sacred science, for example yoga and theurgy. The notion that all learning has its source among the classical Greeks and Romans is a myth. The source is Egypt.

Nebhet and the Star of EgyptThe facts have been suppressed down the ages, wittingly or no, through deep-seated prejudice. A canine corpus has been produced, and is served up every day in schools and universities. It has become part of our language; it is in the very terms that we use. The cunning fictional narrative insists on a pristine lineage, a fountain of knowledge that springs not from Africa, the ‘dark’ continent, but to the hallowed halls of an ‘Indo-European’ heritage. The Indo-European source of language—which includes ancient Greece as part of the European continent—is a complete fantasy that was made to fill a gap in the explanation of language, when that explanation excludes Egypt.

To contrast this, we could posit Shambala, which is thought by profane scholars to be ‘mythical’ and not really existing, or having existed. Shambala is a type of the ‘holy city’; its validity surpasses all profane or ‘historical’ considerations. Historical fact is an illusion created by profane science, which regards the Indo-European notion as ‘real’ and Shambala as ‘myth’, by which it means ‘not existing’—whereas the original meaning of ‘myth’ is that of spiritual truth that is not directly communicable by words, and which can only be conveyed in any way through symbolism, for example, the holy city that exists in all cultures and traditions.

Egypt and Pythagoras

To return to the historical narrative: in times of great antiquity the knowledge of Egypt travelled first to Mesopotamia, which was the purest stream as it was closest to the source. Much later, the Greeks took it out of Egypt—though Egypt was by then already in decline and much had been forgotten. We may suppose that those who had progressed further than the Outer Court kept their esoteric knowledge to themselves, having sworn oaths of strictest secrecy. Pythagoras, for example, did not write down what he knew. In short, the external framework of the mysteries was rationalised, reduced and from there promulgated to the world through war and conquest.

The rejection of the plain facts about the Egyptian heritage was reinforced through the sheer cultural prejudice of the ‘learned gentlemen’ of Europe and America, all of whom were infected by what Guénon termed as the ‘modern mentality’. By this, we do not mean to exclude Britain and America.[2] It was unacceptable to historians, Egyptologists and the rest, that Egypt could have had a civilisation far more intelligently organised than ours, and which had spiritual and scientific knowledge that makes our civilisation look utterly primitive by comparison. Consequently, Egyptologists and historians have always focussed on the later Dynastic period of Egyptian history, when the real knowledge was already being fast forgotten and the rituals had degraded as far as the mummification of the dead, animal sacrifices and so on. This satisfied the learned gentlemen that the Egyptians could not inconvenience such notions as ‘progress’ and ‘evolution’.

The Mesopotamian Influence

In very ancient times, India received the knowledge from Mesopotamia, close to the source. Later, the Hindus received the rational Greek influence. Some of the Tantrik schools, especially the Vamacharya, retained elements of the earlier Mesopotamian version of the Egyptian mysteries.[3] When the Vamacharya gurus did write or teach anything, they used what is called in the Sanskrit of Hindu scholars, the ‘twilight language’.[4] Both Crowley and later Grant and the postmodern Left-hand path schools of thought assumed the most exoteric practices of the Vamacharya cults, the preliminaries, to be methods of ‘high initiation’. Consequently, the so-called advanced practices adopted by Crowley, for example, were only used by real Vamacharya cults to test and prepare the veriest beginners.

If we persist in thinking we can understand the ancient Egyptian legacy as filtered through the minds of Western philosophers, Egyptologists and egocentric occultists, we have no hope of understanding what Thelema is really all about. Egypt will not come to us. We must first visit Egypt in our hearts and minds. Then she will come to us. Only then can we break the shackles of causal determinism.[5] At the last we may come to know Nuit, not through the veils of abstract conception such as ‘emptiness’ or ‘one’, ‘spaciousness’ or ‘ground of all’, but as Nuit truly is.


Notes

1. The Crest of the Peacock, George Gheverghese Joseph. Of particular interest is his historical map, ‘A non-Eurocentric historical timeline of Mathematics’ (pp. 45).

2. Modern America was founded by European apostates, who sailed there in ships looking for a ‘promised land’. They found what they were looking for, but there happened to be an indigenous, nomadic people already inhabiting the place. The fictional fabric of the ‘American Dream’ veiled the resultant genocide. The cover-up was achieved with remarkable success for the lie is told and retold in a countless variety of ways on a daily basis. Belief is self-perpetuating, for its function is to gratify the concealed wish-desire.

3. Vamacharya means literally, ‘Left-hand path’. Profane commentators have distorted the meaning of this, so that it is supposed to indicate some kind of ‘enlightenment through sex’—a typical modernist reversal of spiritual knowledge.

4. By which is meant, symbol and metaphor.

5. Esoteric Thelema is explained in ‘Lapis Philosophorum’, Babalon Unveiled [Ordo Astri Books]. This includes a concise guide to the influence of causal determinism, and the remedy for the ill.

© Oliver St. John 2019, 2021 (revised). The illustration of Nebhet (or Nephthys) and the Star of Egypt is a detail from the Esoteric Tarot of Thelema trump Isis IX.

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