My new years resolution was to do one magical act per day and write it down. While I try not to count the gnostic mass as a magical act into and of itself, as I get further down this particular rabbit hole I’ve come to realize it actually is a magical ritual. Thankfully the guys at Thelesis don’t always hand you stuff, but the zeitgeist is “If we’re not doing magic, why the fuck are we here?” It’s the correct answer.
I won’t bore you with the ritual, it’s been laid out 100 times on 100 different websites. Also needless to say I can only publish my interpretations of it. That being said, it’s pretty clear to me that I need to read Liber Aleph. Unfortunately the particular lodge/oasis I’m hanging out at doesn’t do a fantastic job of explaining things, but they’re slowly getting better at it. Someone dubbed it the stripper syndrome, where the stripper doesn’t remember how polite company dresses. I thought this was particularly amusing, since those of us who picked up magic outside of Thelema have a touch time accessing the thelemic space consistently. I find it potent and I particularly enjoy the english and Crowleys sense of humor, but the magical rituals are, at the same time, paradoxically clearly written and absolutely impenetrable.
Did I know about the gnostic mass before joining the OTO? Sure. Who hasn’t listened to TOOL and done some googling. “Oh, it’s about that”. Well, that’s sort of the rub. Until you go to one, you don’t really know what it’s about. You can read chapter 86 in Liber Aleph and sure it’s sigil magic, or if you have a more kabalistic bent, you could mentally reformulate your request into Hebrew and chant the request until the appropriate time. Myself, being practical, prefers to chant it in english.
A neat thing happens with the names of the Gnostic saints. They are, at the same time, barbarous names and a list of Crowley’s heros. It’s a great time to formulate Will and get into the mood. Shortly thereafter the priest (which is really you) blesses the cakes and wine with the rod (which is really your will) and then the goddess not only understands it but consecrates it so it might come back to you, and you receive it. The entire ritual, of course, is allegorical, and brilliant.