Khephra Rising Camp

This month’s Local Body Spotlight is on one of our newer local bodies, in the Valley of Boise, ID, Khephra Rising. This article was written by Sr. Sinistra with the Local Bodymaster’s encouragement and permission.

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

As a lone bastion of Thelemic practice in the geographically isolated valley of Boise, Idaho, Khephra Rising Camp beat the odds to come into being. A dedicated contingent of Thelemites worked together to create a study group at first, which grew into the chartered body we have today – with much help from our brothers and sisters around the country. The nearest bodies, in Ogden and Salt Lake City, contributed their time and effort into bringing the first Gnostic Mass and initiations ever to Idaho even before Khephra Rising had any hope of materializing. It was support like this that inspired us to reach ever higher for the golden ring of OTO officialdom.

Because of our unique location, it has been imperative for nearly anyone who wishes to be initiated to travel to other cities. Our members have been willing and eager to do this, and our sister bodies have graciously accommodated us. We owe debts of thanks to the aforementioned N.O.X. and Horus Oases in Utah, as well as Sekhet-Maat Lodge in Portland, and Horizon Lodge in Seattle.

Still maintaining our close ties with bodies who shepherded us, Khephra Rising has taken the reins and performed several Minerval initiations. First Degrees will happen in September. Throughout our short history, we’ve cultivated and maintained friendly, cooperative relations with local Pagan groups, with access to meeting spaces and classes attended by Pagans as well as our own membership. This community bonding has strengthened our visibility and stimulated curiosity in who we are and what we are about. For the last several years, long before Camp status was even dreamt of, our group, then known as Thelema, Love, and Magick represented the Law at the largest Pagan gathering in Idaho. Goddess Fest attracts Pagans, Wiccans, Druids, and more with informational and sales booths, as well as public rituals, music, classes, divination – a great venue for promulgating the Law to those who might be the most amenable to our path.

Our officers have met with other local groups to answer questions about the OTO, and we sponsor public meetings for anyone who wishes to meet and query us. Individually, our members have written and presented classes on such widely diverse topics as astrology, the history of magick, sex magick, the correspondences in 777, chaos magic, the Scarlet Women of Crowley, and an ongoing series of classes reviewing The Book of Lies. A study of Hriliu is beginning; in concert with plans to build and perform the Mass.

The Camp’s most fun event takes place every year on Crowleymas, October 12, when we draw names and have a Thelemic gift exchange and party to celebrate the lesser feast of our Prophet. This has become tradition, and all members anticipate it each year. While we have social get-togethers periodically, the focus of Crowleymas makes it the most meaningful. Great care is put into the selection of gifts for our siblings.

While progress seems slow sometimes, the very fact that our Body Master, Fr. M A B U S, had this vision and inspired all of us to achieve it speaks to the dedication and love each of us has for the Law and the goals of the OTO. The welcoming and fun atmosphere here should serve to not only strengthen our bonds with each other, but to attract new members to our fold.

Love is the law, love under will.

 

Written by Soror Sinistra

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U.S. Grand Lodge or of O.T.O.

Statement from the Supreme Grand Council: Formally Endorsed by the Electoral College

The Supreme Grand Council of United States Grand Lodge made the following statement on 8/20/2017:

It is no secret that Aleister Crowley’s writings include a number of statements that are demeaning to women and to specific racial or ethnic groups. We make no attempt here to justify or explain away those statements. They are what they are, and they are now part of our history as an organization. However, at this time, we find that ideas of the inherent superiority of one sex over the other, or of the inherent superiority or inferiority of specific “races” or ethnicities of humanity, relative to each other, are not supported by the best science, and are contrary to our stated goals of promulgating the Law of Thelema and realizing the age-old vision of the Universal Brotherhood of Man, which includes all Humankind. Therefore, the U.S. Grand Lodge of Ordo Templi Orientis hereby formally and unequivocally rejects all such ideas. O.T.O. draws strength from diversity; we welcome the participation and friendship of Thelemites of all sexes, genders, “races,” and ethnic groups, and from all cultures; and we are committed to opposing their unfair treatment, within and without the Order. We further remain committed to opposing ideas and doctrines–whether religious, political, philosophical, or pseudo-scientific–that tend toward the enslavement of the human spirit, which indwells “every man, every woman, and every intermediately-sexed individual.”

Adopted unanimously, An. Viii Sol in Leo, Luna in Leo; 20 August, 2017 e.v.

Formally ratified and endorsed by the Executive and National Grand Master General, same date.

Please note this was unanimously endorsed by the Electoral College, 22 August, 2017 e.v.

Summer 2017 e.v. Electoral College Meeting Actions

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

The US Grand Lodge Electoral College, at its Summer 2017 e.v. meeting, held on August 11th, 2017 e.v. at NOTOCON, took the following actions concerning duties in its charge:

Local Body Closures

None.

Change of Body Status

None.

Change of Body Masters

  • Jason S. was confirmed as Master of Serpent and Lion Camp (Tampa Bay,FL) effective August 11, 2017 e.v.
  • Noah O. was confirmed as Master of Horizon Lodge (Seattle, WA) effective August 11, 2017 e.v.
  • Holly S. was confirmed as master of Horus Oasis (Salt Lake City, UT)
 effective August 11, 2017 e.v.
  • Mastership of Abrahadabra Oasis (Portland, ME) was passed from 
Colin C. to Cheri G. effective August 11, 2017 e.v.
  • Mastership of Sekhet-Maat Lodge (Portland, OR) was passed from
 Clay F. to Elizabeth M. effective August 11, 2017 e.v.
    The College wishes to express its appreciation to the past and present Masters of each of these Bodies. We wish each of them the best in their new offices and endeavors.
Love is the law, love under will.

In the Bonds of the Order,

David Hill
President, Electoral College, USGL

The Question of Retention – Thelema RVA

July’s Local Body Spotlight is not about or from a local body. It is from a Camp-in-Formation (CiF) Organizer who has a CiF that uses the name Thelema RVA in the Richmond, Virginia area.

Sr Capella writes about how they retain people in their region.

 

The Question of Retention – Thelema RVA, July 2017

What works in one group might work in another group. Therefore, feel free to use what works for you and discard what you feel does not.

  • Retention seems to be a formula equal to the number of people we reach x a factor of willingness x a factor of ability.

We review who we have not retained in order to understand what we need to do differently. So we looked at feedback from those who have departed or become inactive. We found the following:

  • About 50% of people who did not continue to come around were “Not Free” (e.g. not able to come due to distance, relocation, schedule, family, relocation, family/dependent intervention, car trouble or busy with school/work/family or a personal ordeal)
  • The rest were a combination of the following (mostly Not Willing):
  1. Trouble Working in Groups (as a result of mental health issues and/or personal prejudices)
  2. False Expectations (they did not find what they were looking for either due to a misunderstanding of Thelema or Crowley, or assuming an “anything goes” environment, assuming someone other than themselves is responsible for their learning or progress or assuming magick does not work because they did something once and it failed.)

Improving Retention

Expectation Setting

  • OTO Grand Lodge FAQ – reviewed with all joiners. Reviewing this singular document up-front has nearly eliminated misunderstandings.
  • Thelema RVA House Rules – reviewed with all joiners. Since implementation, there has been a much lower instance of behavioral issues.
  • Education Committee’s Classes on “Thelema Basics” and “Thelema Ethics” taught to all newcomers as one of their first classes.   This has been another key to reduce misunderstandings.
  • Crowley info added to our website.   This has helped with untangling individuals from misinformation they have received elsewhere. Hoping this will also help members manage any issues with misinformed intervening family members.
  • “Ticket System” employed whereby joiners are given a menu of classes on color-coded Tickets to choose from. In so doing, the approach became one of Self-Direction. Note: Members can also choose from non-Ticket items if the topic is appropriate.
  • Have Members take turns running the business meeting thereby deciding what goes on the calendar for the upcoming month. This is another approach to Self-Direction.
  • Do some Daily Ritual at every meeting. (Will, LBRP, Resh…) When folks say that the magick does not work, I say “are you doing your daily rituals?”…the issue here is with the proficiency of magician, not with the magick.

To correct Trouble Working In Groups (Much Improved)

  • The House Rules (6 Items) found in our Program Guide clarify acceptable behavior as well as outline the corrective action options employed in cases of an infraction.
  • Participation Guide clarifies schedule flexibility which may be needed as folks work through people-issues.
  • Keep a flow of communication open in order to receive the sage wisdom of others: Kaaba info, Mentor, other body masters, etc..   Problem-solve.
  • The Education Committee’s Class on “Thelema Ethics” class has helped tremendously in this area.
  • Keeping an open dialogue with members and ask them what is bothering them and ask them if they think the issue is themselves or the other person. Encouraging a little healthy introspection is always good.
  • Personal Alchemy classes help with driving the focus towards introspection / internal locus of control.

Various Forms of “Not Free” (Work-In-Progress)

  • The Personal Alchemy classes are what helped me through my ordeals, and may help others bounce back from a hit in their life (in the category of relationship, job, health issues, etc.). (As per the Book of the Law the ordeals are unwritten and the gross must pass through fire).
  • Referring individuals to OTO Bodies or Thelema Groups near them is a Distance Option.
  • OTO US GL correspondence@ email is another Distance Option.
  • By Appointment Option for Saturday 1:1 classes if they cannot make Monday night class.
  • OFF-SITE SELF-ORGANIZE & SELF-FACILITATE OPTION is available for folks who want to step up and teach a class or facilitate a discussion, activity or social on dates & times other than the Monday night class.
  • The Participation Guide has helped folks understand they can come and go as they please and show on a weekly basis, monthly basis or drop-in basis. They can also pursue the OTO degrees on an annual basis, which is ideal for some folks who are just too busy with their lives to commit to much else.

Written by Sr Capella

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U.S. Grand Lodge or of O.T.O.