Reflections On the Moment

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I have been struggling with what kind of statement to make since the death murder of George Floyd and the explosion of activism in its wake.  What right do I have to say something as a middle class white woman?  Or as a part of middle management of a small charitable organization?  Yes, I have written poetry, shared posts for awareness, given family funds to causes supporting the protestors and people of color, continue to serve as emergency contact for protesting friends, and had some productive conversations with my fellow privileged suburban housewives about how we can all learn and do more.  But, as President of the Electoral College, what could I say?  So, I didn’t.

We just celebrated Juneteenth, aka Freedom Day. A holiday known as the day African Americans achieved freedom, because the southern states chose to ignore the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 because they were still in rebellion until Lee surrendered in April 1865 and the final proclamation was read in Texas on June 19th, 1865.  Further researches show that freedom did not come that day, but rather the tyranny of slavery turned into monetizing the nascent criminal justice system by renting out Black prisoners to perform menial or dangerous labor, which continued until World War II. I don’t know what I am going to say about the rage and sadness I feel inside, but by all the gods, I am going to say it right now.  So here we go…

I am 15/16ths White American.  I grew up in the Deep South in a city renamed for Andrew Jackson, Florida’s first territorial governor and later our 7th President.  He claimed to be for the common man instead of the wealthy, but like most, he meant the common white man.  Not the African Americans, the Native Americans, or any other people of color, or women of any race. A city named for the president whose legacy is the Indian Relocation era culminating in the Trail of Tears under his successor.  In the seventies and eighties when I was growing up there, racism was overt. The N-word was common. Everyone was judged by their skin color and socioeconomic status.  May your god help you if you were the wrong one in both. Being what I think was lower middle class, raised by a single father who worked three jobs, I was what we used to call poor white trash.  I was still considered above people of color and given preferential treatment.  Even when we were “broker than broke,” I existed in a world of privilege.

My father raised me to love people for who they were and how they treated others, not for our superficial commonalities, but I had little contact with people of color, even at school, as in that time we were two distinct social groups. The Black people I met were old men and women my father knew from one or another of his jobs and they were beautiful, loving people, and they deserved so much better than the life they had, even though they found the joy of it.

I could outline my years of complicity through silence combined with my growing awareness that this could not stand, but I do not want to talk about that.  Just like when women shared their #MeToo moment, we didn’t want to hear from men so we could just for this moment in time focus on the systemic abuses of women, though men had obviously suffered, too. We are all victims of the abuses of the powerful.  That is the way of the world and it cannot continue.

Now, we must set aside our stories to listen to those of our brethren and friends and strangers of color.  If they wish to share their story, it is our responsibility to listen, and to support them in seizing their moment in time.  As the lot of women has begun to improve through finding our allies and using our voices, so too must we now be allies and lend our voices where we may to all people of color, but especially to Black people who are really still not free and equal, as they are beaten down figuratively and literally by the existing structures of American society. 

Meditate magicians, act upon your conscience, educate yourself, offer yourself in service through providing support at the demonstrations (first aid, water, cleaning up after, a safe ride home, bail, etc), donate to causes shown to be getting the money where it needs to go, promulgate the message of people of color, or whatever else you are called to do by the dictates of your soul. But no longer turn a blind eye to the injustice all around us. No longer think that you can’t do anything as only one of many.  

If you are a sibling of color, if it be your will, volunteer for leadership or the U.S.G.L. Diversity Task Force, write for Agape or the EC blog, or reach out to the leadership and tell us how we may help you. We are listening. How we bring true diversity to our Holy Order must be guided by you and your experiences, or it will be guided by a bunch of well-intentioned, slow-moving white folk (no offense to my peers on these teams).

Let 2020 be the year we saw ourselves and each other clearly. The year we set aside our comforts to lift up or defend another star. Siblings of color or those allies fighting injustice in the streets, reach out to us to assist you. Let us move forward together.

#BlackLivesMatter, don’t talk to me about the others right now.

#CryMotherfuckers for the injustices Black people are faced with and die from

#endracism

Love is the law, love under will.

Fraternally yours,

Hattie Quinn
President
U.S.G.L. Electoral College

Local Body Events and Practices: Pandemic Edition

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I wanted to share some things on my radar from various local bodies.

Gnostic Mass – Pandemic style

Gnostic Mass Liber XVWe have one local body that can celebrate the mass and then share it via video, most local bodies don’t have enough people co-located together to do that. But local bodies are still focusing on our central rite.

Blazing Star Oasis  normally had mass celebrations on Sunday evenings. They are currently facilitating EGC related discussion. At a recent session, they discussed Crowley’s comments on the portions of Liber AL from which the Priestess’ speech from behind the veil is taken.
They are also looking at ways to incorporate group meditations or guided visualizations into various aspects of the Gnostic Mass.
Thelesis Oasis is doing “Dramatic Readings of Liber XV” and broadcast via a Zoom group.
They have a Priestess and Priest working together at home while a Deacon works from Thelesis’ stand alone space in Philadelphia as he lives a few blocks away!
To make their dramatic reading more visually interesting they have pulled together Mass equipment from around the house. Funny the things you’ll find around occultists’ homes!
They’re doing these every two weeks, on Saturdays at 1PM EDST. The next one will be Saturday May 9.
(Note from the editor: have you seen any of the youtube videos with symphonies playing alone at home, but together? I love seeing this applied to our Gnostic Mass. Very creative!)

Other News

Thelesis Oasis is holding online events including a recent lecture by Frater Lux Ad Mundi, “The Structure of the OTO” which reviewed the Constitution of the OTO and compare the written document with what modern day members actually experience. No secrets were discussed of course, but there were still plenty of surprises.
All of their events are being recorded and released through their YouTube channel and to their patrons on Patreon.
Blazing Star Oasis is currently hosting online events three times a week.   They have been pleasantly surprised by the number of attendees at events, and their generous donations and contributions.  It has been encouraging to see how many people have been able to make it out to these events.   Under normal circumstances BSO holds classes every Tuesday evening.  They’ve now transferred that schedule online.  Currently they are running a Book of Lies reading and discussion group and also an extended series on ancient and modern forms of Gnosticism.  They’ve also started up a Friday night study group on Carl Jung’s Red Book, which has been quite popular.
Star Sapphire Lodge has developed an affiliate membership program but they’re calling it a Class Pass. I only knew that term from yoga type classes but the term seems to resonate better than “affiliate membership”.
As they started planning out an online schedule in response to the pandemic, they initially only thought about how to keep the local body connected. But they had an uptick in email subscriptions and received an inquiry from a non-initiate that sparked a bigger idea. The email inquiry was from someone wanting to pay dues and wanting to get plugged into the community even if it couldn’t be face-to-face yet.
That was the impetus for the Class Pass. Subscribing to it for $22/month gets you access to up to 2 events/week!
If you want a Class Pass, you can sign up here:
https://starsapphire-oto.org/membership/
Since launching on April 8, they have 11 subscriptions who are mostly non-initiates.
Star Sapphires use of technology will be featured in an upcoming post.

Local Events (that we can all attend these days!)

Blazing Star Oasis calendar
Thelesis Oasis calendar
Star Sapphire calendar
Love is the law, love under will.

Liber XV in a Pandemic

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The Gnostic Mass is the central public rite of Ordo Templi Orientis. In normal times it is regularly celebrated at most local bodies in the United States.

In a pandemic, some local bodies have found new ways to connect with this central rite.

At Horizon Lodge, 4 initiates live together and are also ordained clergy so they were able to celebrate the mass and live stream it.
Here’s a fun time lapsed video of them turning their living room into a Gnostic Mass temple. They had to get creative with some of it since Horizon Lodge has free standing temple space where mass is usually celebrated!
We were able to do mass in our living room because we have four ordained clergy living in the same house, which is enough people for a barebones mass team and a cameraman. It was important to us to not break the physical distancing rules not only for our own sakes but also because of the message it would send if he had other people present – we wanted to encourage people to stay safe at home.
We borrowed some mass equipment from the lodge (tealights, large stele, etc.) but a lot of it we either already owned or MacGuyver’d out of things we had lying around. Our tomb is some black cloth draped over a couple banner poles and a broom handle tied to the curtain rod. The shrine veil is a bed curtain and its rod on some banner poles tied to the wall. The altar is a piano bench, and the super altar is a piano. It’s been pretty fun.
It’s kinda difficult to tell exactly how many people have watched it, and it kinda depends on how you define that, but for each of the two publicized ones we’ve done so far we’ve had 65 to 70 people online the entire time. I don’t know if those people were present for the entire ritual. I presume that’s just viewers at any given time.
We did not have children or congregants. Since we stuck to only the four people in our house we had a priest, priestess, deacon and camera operator.
We mostly don’t notice the camera when we’re actually celebrating, with the possible exception of during the various circumambulations when you have to walk by it a few times. We did practice cheating out a little bit so that people could hear more clearly and get a better view of what’s happening. Given the limitations of our space and our ad hoc temple if we hadn’t done this a lot of the second half would have just been the priest’s back. You wouldn’t have been able to see the priestess because she was sitting on the piano bench.
The only things I’d add to that is that we’ve been really humbled by people’s response to this and humbled by all the support we’ve received, and also that doing mass online is far more nerve wracking than doing mass for an in person congregation – it feels very much like we’re doing mass for everyone, and since it’s recorded any of our mistakes will be there forever! Also, we’re all really happy that we haven’t had to turn any of them into requiems. Good job staying healthy everyone!
You can watch the mass here

Stay tuned for more news on what local bodies are doing during this very weird time we’re in!

Stay up to date with Horizon Lodge events by following them on Facebook.

Love is the law, love under will.

Spring 2020 e.v. Electoral College Meeting Actions

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The Electoral College took the following actions pertaining to local bodies at its Spring meeting held online due to the covid-19 pandemic:
Local Body Master Requests
-Transitioned mastership of Blue Equinox Oasis (Detroit, MI) from Fr. Lynx. to Sr. Amelia Ann
-Transitioned mastership of N.O.X. Oasis (Odgen, UT) from Br. Christoper G. to Sr. Danielle J.
-Transitioned mastership of Sapphire Current Camp (Memphis, TN) from Sr. Rachel Renee M. to Fr. Jubal Eunice.
Tenure Limit Extension Requests
-Extended the tenure limit of the master of Golden Lotus Lodge for a period of one year.
The Electoral College thanks all outgoing and incoming and still seated masters for their devotion and dedication to our Most Holy Order.
Love is the law, love under will.
Fraternally yours,
Hattie Quinn

Fall Electoral College Meeting 2019 e.v.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.


The Electoral College took the following actions pertaining to local bodies at the 139th regular meeting held at Blazing Star Oasis in the Valley of Oakland.

  1. Confirmed the removal of Sr. Stephanie O. as Master of William Blake Lodge effective August 4, 2019 e.v.
  2. Appointed Sr. Stephanie O. Acting Master of William Blake Lodge effective October 19, 2019 e.v.
  3. Confirmed Br. Christopher F. as Master of Swirling Star Lodge effective October 19, 2019 e.v.
  4. Transferred mastership of Black Sun Lodge from Br. Andrew L. to Sr. Lori L. effective October 19, 2019 e.v.
  5. Rechartered Sekhet-Maat Lodge as an Oasis and transferred mastership from Sib. Leslie M. to Br. Stephen K. effective October 19, 2019 e.v.
  6. Chartered Company of Stars Camp in Houston, TX and appointed Br. Alex A. as Master effective October 19, 2019 e.v.

The Electoral College thanks the outgoing Masters and Acting Master for their service to the Order.


Love is the law, love under will.

Summer Electoral College Meeting 2019 e.v.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. 

The Electoral College took the following actions at NOTOCON (Cleveland, OH) on August 2, 2019 e.v.:

  1. Passed the Mastership of Sekhet Bast Ra Oasis (Oklahoma City, OK) from Br. Geoffrey W.  to Br. David D. 
  2. Chartered Leaping Laughter Oasis as Leaping Laughter Lodge (Minneapolis, MN) under Sr. Harper F.
  3. Extended the tenure limit of the master of Alombrados Oasis for a period of one year.
  4. Closed Seven Gates Camp ( Louisville, KY) at the request of the Master. 
  5. Appointed Fr TLMID to the office of the Revolutionary.

We also announced the creation of an intern pool to assist with the work of the College.

Love is the law, love under will. 

On Confidentiality

From the National Grandmaster General, Sabazius

OTO membership is confidential. The fact that someone comments here, or in other fora, is not proof that they are an OTO member. If someone chooses to be open about their membership, that is their choice; but there are members who choose not to do so, and their reasons for not doing so are their business. Intentionally violating another member’s membership confidentiality in order to “expose” them is an extremely unfraternal act.

Sabazius

Request for Study Guides and Related Materials

Today we have a guest blog post from the Office of the U.S.G.L. Historian.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Hi everyone! I am currently gathering the (largely anachronous) materials listed below. I hope you can help.

  1. Local Body Study Guides

Before the availability of official degree study guides, several local bodies developed their own study guides to be given to new initiates. These varied from a basic study program, typically based on Liber MCLI (more details below), to elaborate and ambitious book-length stacks of documents, speculations, and recommendations.

Please do not send copies of Liber MCLI itself, but rather study guides and programs written specifically for local or regional use- even if they are simply re-worded and locally branded derivatives of MCLI.

  1. Local Body Supplementary Study Guides

When official study guides were issued throughout the 1990s, local body study guides became less common. Instead, some LBs would supplement the official guides with additional materials in the form of symbolism papers, excerpts from books or encyclopedias, further study recommendations, and other materials.

What I am specifically looking for are supplementals that were given out by a local body to every initiate as a part of the degree study materials as opposed to general papers or presentations on degree symbolism.

  1. Official O.T.O. Study Guides (1992) and USGL O.T.O. Study Guides (1998)

The above dates are when these guides were issued, internally they may include earlier dates of composition. I do not need study guide revisions from 2002 forward. I have seen a few examples of LBs altering these guides – removing some pages and adding others in, if this is the case please include the local body name, location, and reason for the alteration (if known).

  1. Tests and Exams

Written in the late 70s, Liber MCLI became the standard study program and examination criteria for the Order under Caliph Grady McMurtry. Some local bodies used MCLI as a basis to develop local and regional examination forms and tests. (And other LBs took it much further, greatly embellishing on that program – resulting in high standards that looked hardcore on paper but were rarely enforced.) By 1986, MCLI was no longer required, but still encouraged. It continued to be widely used until the mid to late 1990s.

I am looking for any LB or regional degree test and examination forms either based on or inspired by MCLI or developed locally.  

Please do not send any documents with personal information on them. Ideally, I am looking for clean pages without additional notes when possible.  I am looking for materials used within the U.S. before and after the formation of the U.S. Grand Lodge. Currently, my focus is on MOE materials, but I will happily accept materials up to the degree of KRE.

For 1,2 & 4 please include as much of the following as possible: Local Body name, date written or assembled, years of use, author or compiler, and any other information available.

Please send digital copies to historian@oto-usa.org

I am also happy to receive physical copies, contact me at the above address for mailing instructions. Please let me know if you have any questions. When in doubt – send it in!

Love is the law, love under will.

Thank you!

Terry

USGL Historian

Event Announcement: The Scarlet Tent Tour

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

The U.S.G.L. Kaaba Colloquium team would like to invite all female identifying initiates to join us in celebrating the power of female leadership in The Scarlet Tent!

What is the Scarlet Tent?

The Scarlet Tent is a limited tour of regional retreats that brings together female identifying members of O.T.O. together to learn, share, celebrate and find the joy in communion with each other. It will be a two day workshop held at a local body near you. 

Events for the weekend will include workshops held by regional Sisters on topics that are predetermined by the local Sisters as topics in need for leadership as women in O.T.O. 

Who Can Attend?

You must be an active current member with O.T.O. to attend. 

Registration for all six of our tour dates are opening TODAY. Our date in Dallas sold out in THREE days, so register now! You are welcome to register for more than one date as long as you actively plan to attend.

Format and Schedule

Each event’s schedule will be as follows:

Friday Evening: Opening reception open to all members locally

Saturday Day: Workshops and open discussions, breakfast and lunch included. 

Saturday Evening: Reception for attendees only

Sunday Day: Workshops and open discussions, breakfast and lunch included. 

Sunday Evening: Reception for attendees only (for most locations)

Tour Schedule and Registration

Registration is $40.00 per person and all monies support the local body in providing meals for the weekend. 

Horizon Lodge, Seattle WA – Oct 26-27, 2019
https://forms.gle/9CyRbQ5GBG5hjdQk8

Alombrados Oasis, New Orleans LA – March 7-8, 2020
https://forms.gle/KZHrAcnUzg26dHm68

Knights Templar Oasis, Salem, MA – Sept 11-13, 2020
https://forms.gle/8fT35dD4Zo5hB3VaA

Blazing Star Oasis, Oakland CA – Mar 5-7, 2021
https://forms.gle/oDjmxK8K9KNVQafT7

Crux Ansata Oasis, Denver CO – Sept 17-19, 2021
https://forms.gle/kGDUGRU54ZuU3G5w5

Black Sun Lodge, Cleveland OH – March 4-6, 2022 – The Revival Tour – Open to all new and previous attendees!
https://forms.gle/ychZ14viqY6P9qAK7

Join us in the celebration of the power and joy of women’s leadership styles, approach and success! We’d love to see our Sisters come out in force, there’s women’s work to be done.

Please send questions regarding registration or the events to: hattie.quinn@oto-usa.org

Love is the law, love under will.

Spring 2019 e.v. Electoral College Meeting Actions

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. 

The Electoral College took the following actions in Denver on April 20th:

  1. Passed the Mastership of NOX Oasis (Ogden, UT) from Br. Michael S. to Br.  Christopher G. 
  2. Passed the Mastership of Scarlet Woman Lodge (Austin, TX) from Br. Dr. Grant P. to Soror Musick
  3. Passed the Mastership of Song of Freedom Oasis (Albuquerque, NM) from Soror Promethea to Br. John P. 
  4. Chartered ARARITA Camp ad ARARITA Oasis (San Diego, CA) under Soror AMRITA. 
  5. Closed Eleusis Camp (Knoxville, TN) at the request of the master. 

Love is the law, love under will.