PDA

View Full Version : Thelema



Fr. INRI
October 16th, 2005, 12:27 AM
Since I am a Thelemite, which is one of the less-represented of Pagan paths, I thought I'd open this thread up so people who have questions about what Thelema is; our beliefs and practices, can ask me and others here knowledgeable about Thelema.

93!!

Toki Wartooth
October 16th, 2005, 01:05 AM
What is Thelema?

(Besides a Pagan path, as you said.)

Fr. INRI
October 16th, 2005, 05:33 AM
Thelema is the religio-magickal path, often considered to be Pagan or Neopagan, which was founded in 1904 by Aleister Crowley. Our belief system, to oversimplify, is based on shifts of paradigm in human consciousness, the most recent of these shifts (Which, when spoken of chronologically, we call "Aeons") took place in 1904, when the being Aiwass spoke to Aleister Crowley and dictated to him the three-chapters of what would become the most important Thelemic Holy Book, Liber AL vel Legis. Crowley named the two previousAeons and the current one after Egyptian gods, the aeon we are living in now being the Aeon of Horus.

Precisely what it means to be a Thelemite is up to debate, as we have been warned not to make any dogmatic interpretation of our Holy Books; each Thelemite has to determine, for themselves, what Liber AL means, but, at the risk of offending other Thelemites, here is how I define Thelemic Belief:


-Belief in the progression of the Aeons, that humans began civilization in the Aeon of Isis the Great Nourishing Mother, moving onto the Aeon of Osiris, the Dying and Reborn God, and to the present, the Aeon of Horus, the child who has become self-aware.

-Acceptance of the Law of the New Aeon as transmitted through the prophet, Aleister Crowley. Our Law, Do what thou wilt, is usually interpretted as striving for the True Will, something akin to one's "purpose" in life, and trying to live in harmony with it.

-Practice of Ceremonial Magick, with the goal of ascending the Tree of Life to reunite with the supreme Godhead at Keter.

-Belief in the freedoms granted to us by the Lord Horus in the new Aeon, and that these rights are worth fighting for.

-Veneration of the human will as the strongest untapped power in the universe, and desire to hone one's will to a razors edge.

Toki Wartooth
October 16th, 2005, 03:25 PM
Ah. I have seen bits and pieces of when I've seen Aleister Crowley mentioned. I didn't know I was running into anything of Thelema. Thanks for filling me in. I think I should like to read more on this. :)

Bix
October 16th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Why did Crowley choose Egyptian mythology over the others? Do you have to be initiated in Thelema? Why did you choose this path?

Fr. INRI
October 16th, 2005, 03:55 PM
Crowley didn't so much chose the Egyptian pantheon as it chose him. He came from a magickal background in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which combined Egyptian and mystic Christianity, and he received the Book of the Law while on his honeymoon in Cairo.

You do not have to be initiated into any sort of Order to be a Thelemite; you simply must accept the law of the new Aeon and live Thelemically (which is not always easy). And the simple answer to why I chose this path is much the same as my answer to your first question; I did not choose Thelema as much as it chose me. I hate to say it was my calling, but after studying various religio-magick systems, the only one which was right for me (or I was right for) was Thelema.

Bix
October 16th, 2005, 04:10 PM
How do you go about living Thelemically, as you put it?

Did Crowley take a lot of aspects from the Golden Dawn, or did he put forth new material?

Wow...just realized we're born on the same day. :)

Fr. INRI
October 16th, 2005, 04:15 PM
Living Thelemically, at least in my mind, means recognizing each individual as the stars which they are, and thus with respect, while at the same time being on guard to fight for what is right against those who would impede the attainment of my true will.

The magickal system that Crowley put forth is derivative of the Golden Dawn system, with several changes initiated to bring the old rites into accord with the New Aeon. As much as he hated many members of the Golden Dawn, the influence it had on his ritual style would never leave him.

And woot for sharing the birthday. ;)

Bix
October 16th, 2005, 04:34 PM
What is your will? And how do you go about dealing with those that threaten your true will?

Toki Wartooth
October 16th, 2005, 04:39 PM
Did that "93!!" mean something?...

Fr. INRI
October 16th, 2005, 04:57 PM
Lemme answer this in order, heh.

Finding your true will is one of the main goals of being a Thelemite. As I am still a Neophyte, I havent yet figured it out. My ritual work and study is helping towards getting to it.

As for how do you go about dealing with those who threaten your progress in the Great Work, it is up to the individual. Crowley said nothing short of killing those who would keep man from his gods-given rights to life, light, love, and liberty, but thats a wee bit extreme, I'd say.

93 is derived from Crowley's Greek Qabala, and is the numeration of both the words "love" and "will" (agape and thelema). So, in the mind of the qabalist, love and will have analagous meanings. We use it as a greeting.

Keep the questions coming!

Toki Wartooth
October 16th, 2005, 05:04 PM
Killing? Wow.

Could you elaborate on "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of the Law. Love is the Law, Love Under Will"? Wouldn't someone consider that almost amoeral?

Fr. INRI
October 16th, 2005, 05:09 PM
It can be construed as ammoral, certainly, because everyone is to interprett the law for themselves. However, the largest Thelemic organization in the world, the Ordo Templi Orientis, explains the law of Thelema in the following way, and I must agree wholeheartedly:

"According to Thelemic doctrine, the expression of Divine Law in the Æon of Horus is "Do what thou wilt". This "Law of Thelema", as it is called, is not to be interpreted as a license to indulge every passing whim, but rather as the divine mandate to discover one's True Will or true purpose in life, and to accomplish it; leaving others to do the same in their own unique ways."

This may be a little obtuse, but essentially when we say "Do what thou wilt" we mean "Do your true will."

Bix
October 17th, 2005, 08:12 AM
What if your will is going on a murderous rampage across the country? I know that sounds a bit extreme...but I guess I'm asking what if somebody finds their true will to be really harmful to others. Is that type of behavior condoned?

Xentor
October 17th, 2005, 08:36 AM
There's a class on Ceremonial Magic in the CoT.

Fr. INRI
October 17th, 2005, 12:55 PM
It's impossible for ones true will to cause harm to others. If everyone was doing their true will, then there would be no conflict. Conflict arises because everyone is NOT doing their true will. Anyone who uses "It's my true will to..." and hurts some one isnt a Thelemite; they're a maniac.

Paracelsus
October 17th, 2005, 04:24 PM
It's impossible for ones true will to cause harm to others.
I know where you're coming from on this, and I concur with your definition of thelema, but I feel that the example of AC would suggest that in fact, it is pretty damn possible for one's true will to cause harm to others....
Not suggesting that this is usually, or optimally, the case, I just think that you're overstating it.

Fr. INRI
October 17th, 2005, 04:28 PM
I would argue Crowley didn't do his true will all the time. He was the prophet, but he was not perfect. When he was good, he was the best. When he was too-drugged out or horny, well...we all know those stories. The important thing to remember with Crowley is that he was as human as any of the rest of us, and his journey was as much a warning of the dangerous of excess as it was an inspiration towards perfecting ourselves.

RainInanna
October 22nd, 2005, 01:34 PM
I agree with Fr. INRI. Crowley having harmed others only shows that he was also not perfect at following his true will, not that true will includes harming others.

If every individual were to follow his true will, every individual would evolve and develop without impeding the development and evolution of every other person. This is because "every man and every woman is a star". To follow your true will you must recognize that every individual is a point of light and that your own will can not impede the true will of others.

This may help explain;


The True Will is a mystical concept that could be described as the one path of possible actions and encounters one finds no resistance in going. It is presumed that to do one's True Will is to be assisted by the whole universe, and that two True Wills can never contradict. Hence, to follow one's True Will means to respect every other True Will, which is described in "Love is the law". Opinions vary on whether one can know one's True Will, or merely judge by one's "success" in life.

Thelema stresses personal Freedom (balanced by disciplined responsibility), the inherent divinity of every human ("Every man and every woman is a star" –AL I:3), and the battle against superstition, tyranny, and oppression.


http://www.answers.com/topic/thelema

Fr. INRI
October 22nd, 2005, 02:04 PM
I agree with Fr. INRI. Crowley having harmed others only shows that he was also not perfect at following his true will, not that true will includes harming others.



I couldn't have put it better myself. An important thing to remember is that while Crowley's influence is vast and all encompassing, Thelema is NOT Crowleyanity, no matter what it's detractors say. As facsinating and often inspiring as Crowley's life and work was, it was also a good warning against indulging oneself too freely. I like to take a stance on Crowley much the way Muslims take on Mohammad; he is the Prophet, but he is not the god.

RainInanna
October 22nd, 2005, 02:27 PM
Ohmigoodness, check out this link I found Fr. INRI - http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Main_Page

It has over 759 articles covering gnosticism, kaballah, astrology, organizations, Thelemic concepts, sacred texts, etc. etc.

Fr. INRI
October 22nd, 2005, 02:31 PM
Rain, I absolutely love that site. *high-five*

semi
October 22nd, 2005, 10:34 PM
Can you tell me about the Sleep of Shiloam?

Tulip Tree
October 23rd, 2005, 08:09 AM
It can be construed as ammoral, certainly, because everyone is to interprett the law for themselves. However, the largest Thelemic organization in the world, the Ordo Templi Orientis, explains the law of Thelema in the following way, and I must agree wholeheartedly:

"According to Thelemic doctrine, the expression of Divine Law in the Ĉon of Horus is "Do what thou wilt". This "Law of Thelema", as it is called, is not to be interpreted as a license to indulge every passing whim, but rather as the divine mandate to discover one's True Will or true purpose in life, and to accomplish it; leaving others to do the same in their own unique ways."

This may be a little obtuse, but essentially when we say "Do what thou wilt" we mean "Do your true will."Fr. INRI, thank you for starting this thread. I know very little about Crowley or Thelema, but I believe wholeheartedly in everything you have said so far.

Because of my pre-life memory, I believe we each do have a purpose in life and that it's important not to let the words or actions of naysayers stop us in our path once we know our purpose. As you said, if a person believes that doing harm to others is their prime agenda, even if they see it as "cleansing" or "fighting evil" that's just nutty. Crowley may have been speaking from the perspective of someone who had seen not just one World War, but two, and England was worried about invasion from Germany both times. When he spoke of killing to protect his right to free destiny, I'm sure he meant it from the perspective of a threatened nation, not the everyday concerns most of us face like protecting his parking space, getting the girl he wanted, or getting a new job.

I think our purpose always comes down to love. Not squishy, passive, light and flowers love, but love as in fighting your own personal demons so you can maintain a relationship with your imperfect mother and aid her through her times of need. Or love as in learning to love yourself and not allowing yourself to be abused. Real love is a challenging quest of will, it's an endurance race, strength training... and it requires self-awareness just as you explained when you named the God of this age.

I'm curious about one point. In many of the stories of the living and dying god, the mother goddess physically gave birth to the new god. In other words, the new age was a natural progression of the prior age. The living and dying god becoming self aware... well, it reminds me of the Journey of the Fool in Tarot. It's a natural progression of seeking wisdom. Dying to your old illusions, no matter how lovely, leads to self awareness. In Thelema, did Crowley ever compare the ages of man to the Fool's Journey or say that the ages were leading toward a specific point?

Fr. INRI
October 23rd, 2005, 01:54 PM
Can you tell me about the Sleep of Shiloam?

From my understanding, the Sleep pf Shiloam is another name for the crossed-position of the legs of the Hanged Man in the Tarot deck, and is used as a meditation position.





I'm curious about one point. In many of the stories of the living and dying god, the mother goddess physically gave birth to the new god. In other words, the new age was a natural progression of the prior age. The living and dying god becoming self aware... well, it reminds me of the Journey of the Fool in Tarot. It's a natural progression of seeking wisdom. Dying to your old illusions, no matter how lovely, leads to self awareness. In Thelema, did Crowley ever compare the ages of man to the Fool's Journey or say that the ages were leading toward a specific point?

There are strong parallells between the Fool's journey and the Aeonic progression, and while I have yet to read everything Crowley wrote (And with the volumes upon volumes being published still, I may never get to), I would have a hard time believing Al missed that one. Crowley was, however, far more interested in the individual's journey, rather than the world at large, his thinking being that if everyone was on the right track, the world would obviously fall into line. Mentioning the god "becoming self-aware" is a term Crowley himself used when describing the current Aeon, we as a race are the divine child who is becoming self-aware. The longterm hope , and goal, would be that eventually everyone would be doing their true will, and usher in a nee age of peace and happiness. Considering the amount of people who don't do their true will, Im not so sure this is going to happen for a long time, but then again, thats why it's the "Great Work." Rome wasn't built in a day.

Please, keep the questions coming, Tulip (and everyone else of course! :) ) You sound like a Thelemite at heart.

Tulip Tree
October 23rd, 2005, 05:58 PM
Please, keep the questions coming, Tulip (and everyone else of course! :) ) You sound like a Thelemite at heart.That's what I was thinking.

Ceremonial magic is part of Thelema, is it a strict set of rituals or can you do your own?

Fr. INRI
October 24th, 2005, 12:24 AM
That's what I was thinking.

Ceremonial magic is part of Thelema, is it a strict set of rituals or can you do your own?


It depends on how you chose to go about it. If you are a solitary Thelemite, you are pretty much free to do as you want (or, what thou wilt ;) as far as it comes to your ritual work. However, even if you do not join an order (they aren't for everyone; I just happen to be one they are for), I would highly recommend following some sort of syllabus, as laid down in Crowley's works. The Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn, my Order, has a syllabus and all the gradework online for free, though I can tell you actually joining the Order and having a real living teacher has been invaluable to my own progress. Also, I'd be more than happy to communicate with you and help you out as well. Send me a pm if you want more personal contact, or just keep posting here and I'll see if I can help!

semi
October 24th, 2005, 08:41 PM
Frater, I know that the Sleep of Shiloam relates to that card, but that's all I know about it. I'd like to know more. If you find any further info, please let me know. Thanks.

Fr. INRI
October 25th, 2005, 12:59 PM
Other than the name for the meditation pose, I havent seen it anywhere else.


Frater, I know that the Sleep of Shiloam relates to that card, but that's all I know about it. I'd like to know more. If you find any further info, please let me know. Thanks.

Londubh
October 27th, 2005, 01:28 AM
Frater, I know that the Sleep of Shiloam relates to that card, but that's all I know about it. I'd like to know more. If you find any further info, please let me know. Thanks.

Because you piqued my intrest, I dug around. I just sent you your answer in a pm. I was going to put it here, but was afraid of violating copwrite rules.

Fr. INRI
October 27th, 2005, 03:16 AM
Because you piqued my intrest, I dug around. I just sent you your answer in a pm. I was going to put it here, but was afraid of violating copwrite rules.

I myself would be interested, if you wouldnt mind sending it to me as well.

mol
October 29th, 2005, 05:10 AM
Do what thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law

I can't believe I missed this thread. Thanks for sharing, Fr. INRI. Did I get the opening and closing right? I haven't done it in text for a long time.

Love is the Law, Lover Under Will

merlo
October 29th, 2005, 02:18 PM
Yea, I'm hanging out too here. I've been studying Dion Fortune's interpretation of the tree, she uses some of A.C.'s work. Very interesting. Your order doesn't mind you sharing information with "the public" ? I've never been in a group before, but I always thought they had these vows of silence.

Fr. INRI
October 29th, 2005, 09:15 PM
Do what thou Wilt shall be the Whole of the Law

I can't believe I missed this thread. Thanks for sharing, Fr. INRI. Did I get the opening and closing right? I haven't done it in text for a long time.

Love is the Law, Lover Under Will


Looks good to me, Frater.



Yea, I'm hanging out too here. I've been studying Dion Fortune's interpretation of the tree, she uses some of A.C.'s work. Very interesting. Your order doesn't mind you sharing information with "the public" ? I've never been in a group before, but I always thought they had these vows of silence.


We do have certain vows, mostly regardring the distribution of certain information and documents. If any of that stuff ever comes up, I'd have to respectfully decline to talk. But so far, this is a really good thread. Let's keep it going!

RainInanna
October 31st, 2005, 07:23 PM
Just a quick thought - if you are interested, there is another forum I visit with a large percentage of ceremonialists. YOu'll likely find a lot of interesting threads and people there if you're into THelema - http://www.occultforums.com/

SilverClaw
October 31st, 2005, 07:46 PM
Occultforums is where I have been reading alot of the information I have learned on cermonial magic and Enochian magick for the past year and a half now.


And thanks Fr. INRI. for the information you have posted..

RainInanna
October 31st, 2005, 08:33 PM
Hello Hymnia,

Do you use a different nick there?

cartweel
November 1st, 2005, 02:47 AM
Ooh, pretty thread! Nice, INRI!

If you're interested, here are a few other links to pages containing thelemic material that I've found helpful:

OTO Grand Lodge (http://oto-usa.org) with introductions to Crowley, The Book of the Law, and thelemic cosmology and theology.
Thelema Coast To Coast (http://www.thelemacoasttocoast.com), a podcast by John Crow.
The Libri of Aleister Crowley (http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/), containing Liber AL vel Legis and other works.

While I'm also quite the neophyte, I've been studying Thelema for the past six months and find it incredibly fascinating. I'd love to follow Frater INRI's example by answering any basic questions you might have -- hell, I just love discussing this stuff!

mol
November 1st, 2005, 02:08 PM
Just a quick thought - if you are interested, there is another forum I visit with a large percentage of ceremonialists. YOu'll likely find a lot of interesting threads and people there if you're into THelema - http://www.occultforums.com/
Yes, but please....let's cultivate our own cm community here. I will even donate some subforums to the cause if we want to segregate discussions, etc.

Fr. INRI
November 1st, 2005, 04:09 PM
Yes, but please....let's cultivate our own cm community here. I will even donate some subforums to the cause if we want to segregate discussions, etc.


Agreed. Let's have our own community. Besides, as Lon Milo DuQuette always says "Avoid talking to other Qabalists!"

mol
November 1st, 2005, 04:18 PM
Agreed. Let's have our own community. Besides, as Lon Milo DuQuette always says "Avoid talking to other Qabalists!"
Haha! Exactly!

SilverClaw
November 1st, 2005, 04:37 PM
Originally Posted by mol Yes, but please....let's cultivate our own cm community here. I will even donate some subforums to the cause if we want to segregate discussions, etc.
Ooooh that would be awesome :D

RainInanna
November 1st, 2005, 10:01 PM
Yes, but please....let's cultivate our own cm community here. I will even donate some subforums to the cause if we want to segregate discussions, etc.

Of course, wasn't trying to suggest otherwise ;) Just recommending one of my favourite forums for CM.

Fr. INRI
November 1st, 2005, 11:02 PM
Hmm..so lets get this jump-started again? Any questions for the Thelemites? I'd like this thread to stay as an introductory one, for Thelemites to answer the questions of non-thelemites, as opposed to a thelogical or philosophical debate thread.

cartweel
November 3rd, 2005, 03:48 AM
This might not be from a non-Thelemite, but I'll bite; I've been thinking about these things a lot recently, I'm interested in hearing someone else's opinions.

1) If all conflict comes about because of the negative interaction of two divine wills, how would a Thelemite account for seemingly negative occurances in nature? Take, for example, the recent hurricanes or earthquakes.

2) What does the word "evil" connote to a Thelemite?

Fr. INRI
November 3rd, 2005, 04:09 AM
This might not be from a non-Thelemite, but I'll bite; I've been thinking about these things a lot recently, I'm interested in hearing someone else's opinions.

1) If all conflict comes about because of the negative interaction of two divine wills, how would a Thelemite account for seemingly negative occurances in nature? Take, for example, the recent hurricanes or earthquakes.

2) What does the word "evil" connote to a Thelemite?


I will field this one, I think.

1) All conflict comes from the interaction between one Star which is not doing their true will with one or more other Stars who may or may not be doing theres. But natural occurances are not generated by man's behavior, nor are they "conflict". Tragedies are part of the work of the Infinite, and while they may serve a purpose to some, they are simply natural occurances, and reminders of death's power over the material. The human will cannot counteract such grand examples of nature's power.

3) An evil person is one who denies or obstructs other's rights as outlined in Liber Oz. That one's easy :P

cartweel
November 3rd, 2005, 04:20 AM
Concerning your second answer, Fr. INRI, is it evil to follow any course of action other than the divine will? I'm just not sure that I've really pinned down a definition for 'evil', let alone what makes a person evil.

Mouse
November 3rd, 2005, 07:23 AM
I'm not sure where it comes from, so i might be asking the wrong person, but I was told it was a Thelemite thing... anyways..

One of the "tools" or "props" I was told is a triangle, but the person couldn't tell me what it was for, only that they wanted to buy one. I was wondering (that is if you can figure out what i'm talking about) if you could tell me what this triangle thing is called and give me the general gist of what it is used for??

this has been a very interesting thread btw. :)
~mouse

Fr. INRI
November 3rd, 2005, 02:16 PM
Concerning your second answer, Fr. INRI, is it evil to follow any course of action other than the divine will? I'm just not sure that I've really pinned down a definition for 'evil', let alone what makes a person evil.


Actually, yes it is, at least in the purest definition. Any action which is not for the purpose of attaining knowledge and conversation is Black Magick.



One of the "tools" or "props" I was told is a triangle, but the person couldn't tell me what it was for, only that they wanted to buy one. I was wondering (that is if you can figure out what i'm talking about) if you could tell me what this triangle thing is called and give me the general gist of what it is used for?

The triangle of manifestation is used for the conjuration of spirits in ceremonial magick in general, not just in Thelema. It is to keep the summoned spirit in place.

Mouse
November 4th, 2005, 07:24 AM
Thankyou. :)

sidhe
December 27th, 2005, 07:10 PM
I mainly wanted to say "Hey" to any other Thelemites on here. :)