Behind the scenes, I’ve been taking piles of notes. However I haven’t published anything public facing in a bit and certainly nothing particularly positive about the present situation. One of the OTO guys took it upon himself to try to put me right on the path and in return I’ve said I’m going to make my best efforts to fix things up here. This jives with E’s effort to do the same, so I think there’s some real potential to put the tread back on the tires. If anything it’ll be an adventure.
Hanging out on reddit can be fairly productive. I was complaining about my OTO experience and really ended up meeting someone decent enough to have both what I was looking for and willing to share. That is – some sort of instructional course so I feel like I’m getting something for my time and money.
We struck up a conversation via gmail and I’ll paraphrase the high points. While I have permission to use the material for sponsees, that’s way down the road, if everything holds together long enough to get there. Unfortunately it was a really eye opening experience for both what it could be – and what the experience presently is not. In standard hermetic fashion, as without is that which is within. I suspect there’s a much larger disconnect where sponsees aren’t getting quality material from sponsors, so The Next Generation simply doesn’t know.
Why invest the effort at all? “Didn’t you say all the OTO secrets were published and linked us to the book where all the OTO secrets are published?” The OTO style of magic, or ceremony, makes the assumption that the practitioner is living comfortably enough to make philosophy from magic. This has it’s origin in the Jewish tradition where practitioners were supposed to be at least 30, married, a landowner, and own a business or “be in good standing with the community”. Unfortunately, I meet or exceed all those things. At this point I’m not concerned with getting shot in the sandbox, I will eat three times a day, I will have fresh water and a place to poop. Magic for me isn’t going to be about survival and day to day activities, it’s going to be about learning things about me and the universe and about the Godhead.
This is really the reason why reading is not the same as doing. Anyone can read the rituals, but until they start thinking about them and writing and talking, it’s really not proper philosophy. I almost feel like the OTO should have operated with the professorship model of Publish Or Die.
Practical trumps tradition for mundane things. I was given my minerval papers and study guide… on paper. When I mailed asking for another copy, I was told I could pick them up at the next Gnostic Mass. (Long story short – kids). Then the person didn’t attend, so it was another month before I got another copy. I lost all of my momentum here. If we wanted to be really pedantic here, the way the papers used to work is the sponsor (or bodymaster) lent you their copies, you copied them via writing or type, and then you returned them. In the web 2.0 life, there’s no reason not to use Google Docs, wordpress, whatever. Like this example, its facebook. Use the publishing medium of the age.
Use challenge signs. I completely flubbed the signs. This is because my memory doesn’t work anymore having two kids, and a career, and approaching midlife, but also because no-one seems to use the challenge signs anymore. While it’s nice to be in such a tight knit group everyone knows your face, the downside is when I really do need the signs, I don’t recall them.
Learn magic history. I had mentioned The Code in The Book of the Law. At the minerval level at least the emphasis seems to be on realizing that the universe is the reflection of the emanations of God. And, similar to Bardon’s rampant abuse of the term “magnetism”, sometimes getting into the concepts requires abandoning “we know better” and trying to figure out the authors intent. That being said, The Code actually smacks of proper spiritual contact. S/He asked, out of all things, why the code stuck out. I replied:
I’m a systems engineer in real life so I’m fairly used to looking at pages of symbolic information flowing by with no particular meaning to the layperson. Chapter 2 v 26 had a “WTF” moment. Having read my Agrippa and my Dee, it stuck out. Putting it into google pulls this up – http://4638abk24algmor3yx2489rpstoval.com/ – which someone (Marc Mesmer) spent a lot of time putting the GIF of the apparent motion of the planets together… I believe this is (one of) the correct solutions: http://www.horusmaat.com/silverstar/SILVERSTAR11-PG40.htm
I would like to point out, however, that the argument made for the authenticity of the Enochian system is that Dee’s seer (Kelly/Tolbot/Solomon) could not have memorized the tables. Solomon was a fake, Kelly was mentally unstable and probably had brain worms. Similarly, I doubt Crowley would have known about the square, but he would have known about enochian magic, and Dee would have recognized the square but did not know about the square. Enochian Magic in Theory (Wilson) and Dees Five Books of Mystery (Peterson) reproduce a majority of the significant material and all of what Mathers would have known and more, and the square is not present, nor is the Pater Noster square. Unless Crowley is absolutely ahead of even his own game at the time and doing his own research, it’s a spiritual hat-tip to the forerunners of the Thelemic magical current. The fact that we don’t see it at all in The Vision And The Voice I think tells us Crowley didn’t know the square, but yet here it is.