ref lectio ns on why i decided to co-formu late the chthon ic/aur anian branch of ordo tem pli orientis by alobar greywa lker (who was once known as bill sieber t) pref ace to intro this littl e essa y is far fro m comp leate. it took me near ly 20 years to get this far, so i don’t expect i’ll fini sh it up thi s year , or probabl y not even this decade. cons ider it a work-in- progre ss. this little history need s to get out - for my own sens e of complet ion, even if nobody else cares to read it. it is proba bly rife with error s. i am not real good at kee ping all the date s/plac es/peo ple neatly compart mental ized in my head and i do not hav e time time/ energy to go back and re-read my magicka l reco rd. but with all these flaws and in- comp letedn ess, i am posting it to the web. the tale will be revised from time to time . not mate rial added on to the end, but new mater ial inserted in place. and old para graphs revis ed and /or deleted. the revi sion hist ory is noted at the very end. intr oducti on when i beg an con templa te an outlin e for this docu ment, i ran into compute r prob lems and my window s-xp part ition got trashed. gon na tak e me a week at lea st to sort thru it all . thi s is not the first (or even the 20th time) compu ter problems have made me stop and think abou t some proje ct i have been wri ting. gett ing omens from the univers e is the eas y part . interpre ting them, is what takes effort. so i began to think about this pro ject (while i also bega n to figure out how best to save as much informa tion and settin gs as possib le, before i began the work of movi ng fil es, formatti ng my win- xp parti tion, and re- buil ding my alte r-ego) . the mor e i thought about this proj ect, the vas ter it becam e. jaso n had asked me to deline ate some of my rea sons for leavin g the typhon ian oto and my rea sons for hel ping foun d the chthon ic/aur anian oto. i had been plannin g to do a simpl e 5- 10 parag raph outline of my reaso ns. but afte r a one-day medita tion on the projec t, i realize d that i was being all too has ty and short -sight ed in my appr oach. in the mann er out lined by unc le al in lib er this rab (sp?), i reali zed the poin t in time i had planned to begin speakin g of my diff iculti es wit h the typhon ian

Siebert Oto Memoir

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Page 1: Siebert Oto Memoir

ref lectio ns on why i decided to co-formu late the chthon ic/aur anian branch of ordo tem pli orientisby alobar greywa lker(who was once known as bill sieber t)

pref ace to intro

this littl e essa y is far fro m comp leate. it took me near ly 20 years to get this far, so i don’t expect i’ll fini sh it up thi s year , or probabl y not even this decade. cons ider it a work-in- progre ss. this little history need s to get out - for my own sens e of complet ion, even if nobody else cares to read it. it is proba bly rife with error s. i am not real good at kee ping all the date s/plac es/peo ple neatly compart mental ized in my head and i do not hav e time time/ energy to go back and re-read my magicka l reco rd. but with all these flaws and in-comp letedn ess, i am posting it to the web. the tale will be revised from time to time . not mate rial added on to the end, but new mater ial inserted in place. and old para graphs revis ed and /or deleted. the revi sion hist ory is noted at the very end.

intr oducti on

when i beg an con templa te an outlin e for this docu ment, i ran into compute r prob lems and my window s-xp part ition got trashed. gon na tak e me a week at lea st to sort thru it all . thi s is not the first (or even the 20th time) compu ter problems have made me stop and think abou t some proje ct i have been wri ting. gett ing omens from the univers e is the eas y part . interpre ting them, is what takes effort.

so i began to think about this pro ject (while i also bega n to figure out how best to save as much informa tion and settin gs as possib le, before i began the work of movi ng fil es, formatti ng my win- xp parti tion, and re-buil ding my alte r-ego) . the mor e i thought about this proj ect, the vas ter it becam e.

jaso n had asked me to deline ate some of my rea sons for leavin g the typhon ian oto and my rea sons for hel ping foun d the chthon ic/aur anian oto. i had been plannin g to do a simpl e 5- 10 parag raph outline of my reaso ns. but afte r a one-day medita tion on the projec t, i realize d that i was being all too has ty and short -sight ed in my appr oach. in the mann er out lined by unc le al in lib er this rab (sp?), i reali zed the poin t in time i had planned to begin speakin g of my diff iculti es wit h the typhon ian

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oto (early 1980' s) wou ld hav e left the reader with far too many very erroneou s impr ession s. so i mentally roll ed bac k the clock. aga in, there were far too many thin gs lef t un- explain ed. after about 36 hour s of this rab- like reg ressio ns, i now realize that there really is no star ting place and no matter what i writ e and no matt er how far back i go to begin, impor tant threads and curr ents will of neces sity be left out or glos sed over.

apol ogies to jas on who asked to see a simple write-up of my reasoni ng. this text is far far lon ger and far more compl ex tha n jaso n ever wante d. i suspe ct he may be able to use 5% of it (if that!) in the arti cle on the hist ory of the c/a-oto he is writi ng. hopeful ly he can cond ense things better than i can. i feel the need to expl ain all sort s of things which many of my readers may not be int ereste d in. i leave it to you, my reader s, to sort thru what i write . i hope you fin d my meander ings inte restin g and/ or use ful.

ded icatio n

pil grim- talk o you that set out upon the path , fals e is the phanto m that you seek. when you has t it you shalt know all bitte rness, thy teeth fixed in the sodom- apple. thus has t you been lured along that path, whose terror else had driven you far away. o you that str idest upon the mid dle of the path, no phanto ms moc k you. for the stride's sake you stride st. thus art you lured along that path, whose fascina- tion else had driv en you far away. o you that dra west toward the end of the pat h, effort is no more. fast er and faste r dos you fall; thy wearines s is changed into ineffa ble rest. for ther e is not you upon that path: you has t become the way.

from the book of lieswhich is also falsely called breaks

the wanderings or falsifications of the one thought offrater perdurabo(aleister crowley)

which thought is itself untrue

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sett ing out on the pat h

i begin this tale in 1966, when i first began exploring the huge collection of magic, witchcraft, and occult philosophy texts at the cornell university libraries. one of the earliest texts which leapt out at me (figuratively speaking) was the sacred magic of abramelin the mage. i did not know what to make of that book. is it real and literal? is it a hoax? is it meant to be taken allegorically?

i went to a science fiction convention that year and met richard pero, who became a very large influence in my magickal development over the next dozen or so years. one night at the convention, i began talking to richard of the abramelin book. richard knew of the book and asked me to share my thoughts on it with him. being somewhat drunk at the time, i told him of all my mis-givings and quandaries. richard smiled and said i should "read crowley". i had no idea who this crowley person was, and no inkling that richard's simple admonition to read crowley would inexorably change my life.

the following spring (1967), while at another science fiction convention in nyc, richard took me to weiser's bookstore (which was vastly different than the more modern re-incarnation of that book shop). i had some small amount of money set-aside for my expedition to nyc and richard made suggestions (book of lies, magick in theory and practice, my first tarot deck (rider waite -- which i soon came to hate), and the book of thoth). i purchased everything richard recommended even though it was far more than my budget allowed. i read. i was totally lost.

i went back to the libraries at cornell and read even more in the hopes of understanding crowley. i learned qabalah from dione fortune and her students. i read regardie's golden dawn (all four volumes -- cover to cover). i read the garden of pomegranates and the all else by regardie i could locate. eventually, i discovered the rare books room at cornell, and began reading the equinox (the original editions with yellowed pages and the ancient smell of old books). as i was unable to take the equinox out of the rare books room, i paid the library to make photocopies of whatever i could afford, but i was severely limited by my budget. at the time i was making $60 a week and cornell charged 25¢ a page. so it was very slowly that i began to build my out of print snippets from the equinox.

every week i went back to the rare books room and asked for 3 or 4 volumes (based upon research at home with the photocopies of indices copied in previous weeks). i had once asked for volume 3 #1, the blue equinox, but i was told the library no

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longer had that volume. i had read elsewhere (maybe in theory and practice) that liber lxv (in the blue equinox) was to be given to all who were accepted as probationers into the a.'.a.'. i very much lusted after liber lxv, but it was not in print anywhere i could locate. while i sometimes envy those who grew up in the internet age and their free access to much of crowley's writing, i also feel there is something to be gained from the discipline of spending most (if not all) of one's discretionary income in pursuit of arcane lore.

the more i read the equinox, the more i became convinced that i needed to locate the a.'.a.'. and join up! somewheres along the way, i had purchased a copy of the thoth tarot deck (what a relief to be rid of the rider-waite deck!) which listed a contact p.o box for the oto in california. i wrote to the address, but never received any response -- which i now feel to be a real turning-point in my personal history.

i felt totally on my own. i knew of no active thelemic groups and no people to talk magick with in any deep sort of way other than richard. i came to feel richard was my "secret" contact in the a.'.a.'. in much the way crowley considered his mountain climbing teacher -- eckenstein, if memory serves me correctly -- his superior in the a.'.a.'.).

i formally accepted the law of thelema on july 6th, 1972 (e.v.), and i swore (as only a young zealot with a highly charged poetic imagination can swear) that i would pursue the great work on my own, attain kandc of hga, as i continued to seek the order out in the world. and if i if could not locate the order on the outer, i further vowed that would cross the abyss to attain the fountainhead of the order, then come back to malkuth and spend my life and my fortune to do my best to re-manifest the order on the outer, slowly build a complete catena from malkuth to kether, and promulgate the law of thelema within the realms of politics, government, and the social fabrics of the earth. as i said above -- i was young and zealous. looking back, i am quite glad i made those vows. but i also freely admit that my vows and my mindset were so very full of hubris.

[it just shows what can develop from an impressionable naive young man spending long hours reading crowley late into the night instead of going out on dates and getting drunk like his peers! [christian zealots spend far too much time worrying about sex and drugs -- it is libraries they should fear.]

the next time i went to the rare books library, the librarian told me not to bother asking for specific books of the equinox. he told me to sit at one of the reading tables and he would bring all of them out to me. i sat (being lost in my own thoughts) and did not notice the clerk walking towards me. he stumbled, and books went flying everywhere. most landed on the

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(rather large) reading table i was sitting at. the volume which fell right in front of me (startling me out of my reverie) was the blue equinox (which i had previously been informed that the library no longer owned). the book had flown open when the librarian stumbled. as i looked down the first thing i saw was the seal of the a.'a.'. (none of the a.'.a.'. instructions in the previous 10 books of the equinox were published with the a.'.a.'. seal) on the left page and the beginning text of liber cordis cincti serpente on the right page. i looked up at the librarian with my jaw agape and said "i thought this volume was missing from the library!" the librarian saw that i was very freaked out and he smiled at me with a grin which was fraught with hidden meanings to my young impressionable self and stated simply "maybe it's magic!"

given my impressionable state, the fact that i had heretofore been unable to obtain the text before me, my recent acceptance of the law of thelema and my pledge (outlined in paragraphs above), and my belief that liber lxv (now open before me!) was to be given to newly accepted probationers of the a.'.a.'., i went into a kind of trance as i read the text of the liber. i had no words for what i felt back then. since then i have gotten into very intense magickal/mystical states, and talked a lot about various mystical states with many seekers from many traditions. looking back, it now seems to me that i was experiencing my kundalini rise. i felt hot and my face flushed. my breathing alternated from rapid and shallow to slow and deep and back again to rapid and shallow. there was an incredible head rush like i was having an orgasm, only it was not momentary like an orgasm, but on-going. i had this tingling feeling shooting up my body. the hairs on the back of my neck and head stood up -- i became very dizzy and had to hold on the the edge of the table to prevent myself from falling over. but there was no mind chatter until much later. i nodded to the librarian, then turned back to the book. i have no idea how long the librarian stood there or if he said anything more to me. there was nothing in the world i was aware of except the book in front of me and the heat/feelings in my own body (and even my awareness of my body went away after a time). as i read the text of liber lxv, i heard the words being spoken aloud as i read them -- with echoes like tinkling bells and a roar like the rush of my own blood which one hears when holding a seashell up to one's ear. the tingling and feeling in my neck and head increased. then i fell into the words i was reading/hearing and everything went away except my experience of the words:

i am the heart; and the snake is entwined about the invisible core of the mind. rise, o my snake! it is now is the hour of the hooded and holy ineffable flower. rise, o my snake, into brilliance of bloom on the corpse of osiris afloat in the tomb!

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o heart of my mother, my sister, mine own, you are given to nile, to the terror typhon! ah me! but the glory of ravening storm enswathes you and wraps you in frenzy of form. be still, o my soul! that the spell may dissolve as the wands are upraised, and the æons revolve. behold! in my beauty how joyous you art, o snake that caresses the crown of mine heart! behold! we are one, and the tempest of years goes down to the dusk, and the beetle appears. o beetle! the drone of thy dolorous note be ever the trance of this tremulous throat! i await the awaking! the summons on high from the lord adonai, from the lord adonai!

when i came back down from my little kundalini adventure, gathered myself together, and got back home, i thought on it endlessly for a long time. as i said earlier -- omens come easily to me, but interpretation of the omens is not something i felt comfortable with. on the one hand, it seemed perfectly clear that i had obviously been accepted as a probationer into the a.'.a.'. on the other hand, i had to laugh at my own hubris and my belief in such nonsense. so i told no one and continued reading all i could and practicing magic as much as i had time to do without neglecting my obligations to my job and the anti-war political movement which i served.

[at a later point when i had probationed in the typhonian oto (see below) and needed an order name, i chose otz ptn-690, meaning the serpent on the tree of life. i also created a glyph representing myself as the hooded kundalini serpent (a cobra) entwined about the middle pillar of the tree of life, with the hood of the cobra opened behind the supernals (my head). this glyph is a representation of how i felt that day in the rare books room when liber lxv dropped to my desktop unexpectedly.]

inti mation s of the one true order

some years passed. i continued the great work as best i knew how, as i continued searching for the a.'.a.'. i was in a small bookstore in toronto with richard (at another science fiction convention) and he showed me an occult magazine i had never seen before called gnostica news. i bought a copy. back in the hotel room, i was looking thru the classified ads and came upon one which read "the oto is alive and well in florida"). i mentioned the ad to richard, who was reading something he had just purchased at the con. he replied (somewhat distractedly) "i wonder which oto they are talking about?"

talking with richard was very frustrating at times. he knew a

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lot about the many things which interested me, but said very little unless i asked him a clear question. at that time i was sure he was connected to the order, but not letting on. richard briefly outlined modern oto history and the major players -- metzger in switzerland, grant in england, motta in brazil, and mcmurty (the one mentioned on the thoth deck card) in california. i no longer believe richard was a member of the order or even a thelemite, but to me he represented a link to that which i was seeking -- so he was for a number of years my "secret superior" in the a.'.a.'.

typh onian connec tions

so i wrote to the florida address in gnostica, contacting frater iadnamad, and thus began the next stage of my adventure. the oto which iadnamad was connected with was the typhonian oto, headed by kenneth grant. through iadnamad i began corresponding with soror tanith in buffalo. as i was quite obsessed with the idea of ix° sex magick, i focused on getting to know tanith on the off-chance she would find me interesting in that way.

[remember: this is back in the days when there was very little occult community outside of larger us cities. i hardly ever met anyone who knew what magick was, or had heard of aleister crowley or the ix°. once, when i lit some candles in my bedroom for a romantic mood, my lover, penny, freaked out and accused me of trying to involve her in a black mass. i say this merely to put my "interest" in tanith into perspective.]

i obtained and read grant's magical revival. i thought very hard about the oto. i had been looking for the a.'.a.'. , which i could not locate anywhere. i perceived the oto as a masonic outer order of the a.'.a.'. (as i also perceived the oto's sister current, wicca), and (therefore) of lesser interest to my long-term goals than my quest for the inner order -- the a.'.a.'. but (on the other hand), frater aossic aiwass--718 ( kenneth grant) seemed to be running his oto a lot more like the a.'.a.' than like the g.'.d.'. , crowley's oto, or any other rosicrucian/masonic order i had read about. i had hopes that the inner grades of the typhonian oto (the sovereign sanctuary of the gnosis, or s'.'s'.') might hold keys to crossing the abyss as well as opportunities for initiation into and continued practice of the ix°.

because of my oaths of self-initiation made back in 1972 to work to realize kandc of my hga, then cross the abyss , i considered myself within the a.'.a.'., but upon the very dangerous path of self-initiation -- dangerous, because i was so warned by most every occultist i met during that period. i figured out liber samekh was a key to attaining kandc of hga.

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liber a'ash seemed to me to be the analogous formula for crossing the abyss. one star in sight indicated that i once i crossed the abyss, i would then be able to establish an order along the lines of the a.'.a.'. upon malkuth.

i knew i was not quite ready to perceive any/all phenomena as a direct communication between the universe and my soul, but i was working on it. i knew (as much as anyone can *know* anything) that richard was not really my superior in the a.'.a.'., but i also felt very strongly that if i acted upon the strange synchronicities which surrounded meetings with richard and letters from him that it was *as though* he really was my superior in the a.'.a.'. so i viewed my interactions with him as an occult window into the abyss. i worked to make that window less occult, then open that window, stick my head out, and then (once i had the courage to do so) climb thru the window to become a babe of the abyss.

i found over time that there were many such occult windows. at various times and places, people (many of whom were strangers) would speak to me and interact with me in such a way that i was able to let go of rational skepticism and accept them as messengers of the a.'.a.'. self-initiation (as i began to figure out) is (from my perspective) an ever moving path which balances between the two strange attractors of skepticism and insanity without any absolute referents that one can implicitly trust. before i opened myself up to trusting myself and trusting the process of self-initiation, i feared madness and self-delusion. i learned (slowly over time) to simply accept the possibility of both madness and self-delusion without fearing either -- as i accept the possibility of serious injury or death in a car wreck every time i drive my car or ride in any other car, bus, or taxicab. but, back then, i fervently yearned to contact the a.'.a.'. to help guide my path and remove the terrifying responsibilities from me!

one of the rules of probationing in the typhonian oto was that i had to break all ties with organizations which had not accepted the law of thelema. the only organization i was involved with was the shadow a.'.a.'. of self initiation. and as the a.'.a.'. is decidedly a thelemic organization, i was all set to proceed with no mental reservations or hindrances. with very high and hidden expectations, i probationed in the typhonian oto under soror tanith potnia therion --789, vii°. i continued to correspond with iadnamad, but that began to fall off as i began to focus on my letter writing relationship with tanith. somewhere along the way (chronology uncertain) i was given an address to write to 718 and i began corresponding with him.

i found exchanging letters with 718 to be very frustrating. i realized i had 718 on a high pedestal (718 being the o.h.o. of the oto, writer of serious occult texts, heir to crowley, and all

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that). so i wrote 718 to explain the probem i was having. i assumed 718 would put my mind at ease and lessen the tension between us. 718 never responded to that portion of my letter. over the years, 718 never responded to many portions of most of my letters. it seemed to me that he was avoiding all questions i had which pertained to anything personal, dealing with emotions (mine or his), or any matter which troubled me in any way. 718 was a very cold and distant father figure. unapproachable. being very provincial, i assumed a lot of the problems i was experiencing stemmed from 718 being english and me being american. i continued to work to bridge the gap in communication, but i must admit i felt hurt by 718's behavior. on the one hand, i chalked it up to "english reserve", but, on the other hand, i could not help but feel he was closed, unapproachable, and he was hiding things from me -- and i did not understand why. 718 seemed about as thelemic in his relationship to me as the pope, or a victorian headmaster.

i did not discover until years later (from tanith) that 718 regularly wrote of me to tanith and complained about me. he told her to put me back into line. tanith never acted on his instructions to me, other than to inquire more deeply into what i was doing and thinking. based upon what she learned, she would kick me in the butt for foolish notions while encouraging me to further explorations. i have always had difficulty with low personal self image. my relationship with 718 made me angry and my relationship with tanith made me try harder. neither is (imo) psychologically balanced or thelemically healthy. it took me a long time to figure out that my feelings and my path are not the responsibility of other parties. frustrating as my typhonian relationships were at times, both 718 and tanith had a strong influence on my personal evolution.

at one time (not sure when) 718 told tanith to expel me from the oto. she did not tell me of this until the ixaxaar period (see below) when tanith and i was assisting her in her contemplation of the formulation of an american oto (ixaxaar templum oto) grounded in tanith's x° sovereignty over north america which she (at that time) held within the typhonian oto.

[unbeknownst to me until the ixaxaar period, tanith had (before i started corresponding with her) been lovers with peter arnold of buffalo, whom 718 did not like (for reasons never explained to me). 718 had ordered tanith to expel peter and she did so. that (needless to say) ended her sexual relationship with peter, and also their friendship. peter went on to join the caliphate oto. when i met peter back around 1986, he was deeply involved in pyramid lodge of the caliphate oto in buffalo, and (understandably) resentful of the typhonian oto.]

because of her expelling peter from the typhonian oto, tanith refused to go along with 718's wishes with regards

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expelling me. tanth told me that she had written 718 to tell him that if he wanted me expelled, he would have to do so himself. by this time tanith was ix° and head of the typhonian oto in north america. i did not find out about 718 wanting me expelled until the ixaxaar period (again, see below).

even though i did not know any of the details between tanith and 718 for several years, it was plain to me that my relationship with 718 was very strained, and that tanith was very close (magickally and personally) with 718. 718 (to use psychological terminology) was the distant father figure to me, whereas tanith was the stern but approachable mother figure.

at some point i stopped trying to correspond with 718 and focused all my letter writing into correspondence with tanith. this strange tension between myself and 718 was a stalemate i found frustrating, but of no significant import until tanith left the order and her successor (frater kephra-ma-ast) -- with whom i had bad blood (see below) -- used his office (i assume with 718's blessing) to destroy any hope i had of ever being accepted into the s'.'s'.' of the typhonian oto. again -- see below. if i were to point to one single event which led to my co-formulating the c/a-oto, it would have to be frater kma's treatment of myself and other members of the typhonian oto. while i was very angered by kma at the time, i am now very thankful that he precipitated my leaving the typhonian oto because i do not think my remaining in the typhonian oto was healthy for me, good for the typhonian oto, or served the long-term interests of the order as a whole.

the secret socie ty and learn ing who to trust

when i told richard of my probationing in the typhonian oto, he mailed me a cryptic little essay entitled the secret society by jean ferry (which patrick --whom i did not meet until some years later -- has placed on his website at http://www.io.com/~patrik/secret.html ). this little essay is one of those initiatory keys which changed my life forever. i had a lot of mis-givings about my path of self-initiation within the shadow a.'.a.'. -- fears of madness and/or self-delusion. i had a lot of faith that being in a real order would solve my problems as to where to place my trust. the secret society dissolved my self-delusory trust in formal manifest orders. not that formal manifest orders were of necessity corrupt or flawed -- just that they were no guarantee against grand delusion. the secret society crystallized for me the niggling doubt that no matter which path i chose (self-initiation or advancing within a formal order), i was left with the same dangers of madness and self-delusion.

it was a short time later that i came upon a question whose

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answer proved to be a key to the riddle of the secret society and also a key to allow me to fully open up that little window into the abyss. it somewhat surprises me that i can no longer remember from whence or whom i first heard the question in time s of difficu lty and dang er in whom do you place your trus t? on the one hand, i suspect it was from some book (francis king's secret rituals of the oto springs to mind) or in a late night telephone conversation with richard. but whomever posed the question of crowley's to me, i instantly realized i had best figure out the answer before continuing either with my path of self-initiation in the shadow a.'.a.'. or getting much more deeply involved in any group claiming to represent the oto.

i did figure out the answer (which i will not divulge here) and came to realize i was now (as i ever would be) ready to open myself up to the oath of the master of the temple.

[looking back inside my memory, i come upon a strange aspect of my narrative. in this little retrospective, i mention the shadow a.'.a.'. on many occasions, and i speak clearly of self-initiation. but at the time, i never voiced (or wrote in my diary) either term. i spoke of mega polist omancy (a term from the pale brown thing by friz leiber given to me by richard (of course!!!), and the shadow knights who were a personal mythic embodiment of strange mystical encounters (sometimes real and sometimes just in my imagination) while wandering through nyc on the highly accessible drug of sleep depravation looking for occult adventure. it is only in retrospect that i am able to perceive and acknowledge self initiation into the a.'.a.'. through the means of opening myself up gradually into the oath of the abyss. it would be years in the future (mid-1980's) that i realized that i had never aspired to become master of the temple whose seat was at binah, but a different sort of master, altogether -- mast er of forbid den alchemie s whose seat is at daät h.

i do not know if i am usual or un-usual in this, but i kept looking (for much of my life) for external verification -- not only in magick, but in all i did. it is only over the past dozen or so years that my obsessive need for external verification has slowly given way to internal self-reliance. the answer to in whom do you place your trust? did not sink in and become real to me all at once. oh, the answer was obvious to me after less than one night's meditation, but the manifest reality of trusting the answer completely and utterly was not something i could reify in a day, a week, a year, or even a decade. it has been an on-going recursive process (much like crossing the abyss has been) which is part of the life-time (perhaps many lifetimes long) process of accomplishing the great work.]

the magic ring(s )

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[my chronology may not be perfect here. i could consult my diaries, but if i start reading them, i will never finish this little essay by the time jason needs to my input to finish writing his history of the c/a-oto, so am am doing my best to recollect as best i can.]

it was somewhen in the mid to late 1970s, but i cannot pin down the month or even the year. i was in syracuse visiting richard. he took me to a small occult shop (as richard was wont to do) i had never visited before. the name seventh ray comes to mind but i may be mis-remembering the shop's name as i am not real good at remembering names). i saw a notice in the window about a local oto group. so i copied down the address, then wrote to the syracuse address asking about the group. i stated in my letter that i was in the typhonian oto (either member or probationer -- as i am not sure of the time, i am therefore also unsure of my rank within the typhonian oto at the time of my letter) and asked which of the various oto's had placed the notice in the shop window in syracuse.

i received letter back from mike ripple (whom i had never heard of prior to his letter) informing me there was only one oto, headed by the caliph and he (mike ripple) was in it. i did not want a fight. but i could not just ignore ripple's petty sectarianism. i wanted to connect with people in *all* oto groups, and i could not do so wiyout exposing my deep seated beliefs about the various branches of the order. so i gave the letter a lot of thought before answering it. when i did so, i recounted to him a legend (from memory) about a magic ring.

[before i recount that legend, a bit of a digression -- back in german class in highschool (circa 1962) i read a fable (in german) by an author i do not remember. the fable had a strong impact on me and is perhaps the seed from which has grown my philosophy of looking beyond sectarian differences to accept any many divergent sects as possible as being valid. raven tells me that she is familiar with this tale from books of yiddish folklore. i have no idea if she and i read the same version of the tale. i suspect the version i sent off to mike ripple is different than the one i laboriously translated in highschool (german was not easy for me) as i wrote to ripple on a typewriter (so no editing) from memory. what follows is my memory of what i wrote to ripple (which may be different than what i wrote ~25 years ago). someplace i probably have a copy of the letter i wrote to ripple, but (once again) if i go hunting for it, this essay will take much more time than is feasible at present. suffice to say that this little fable has become an important part of my personal mythology and a cornerstone of how i came to accept many independent manifestations of the order upon the outer.]

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the legend

back during the time of the crusades (the legend goes) there was a time of truce between the crusaders and the moslems. saladin hosted a dinner at which he invited both christian knights and moslem warriors. saladin led the discussion around to religion and as to which religion was the real one ordained by god. tensions were high between the crusaders and the moslem warriors. saladin played his audience well and tweaked the polarities until all were nearing the point of drawing their swords. at this point, saladin brought in an old and learned rabbi.

the rabbi (who was totally ignorant of the conversation prior to his arrival) was asked to give his opinions as to which religion -- christianity, judaism, or islam -- were the real and true religion. the other members of the feast were all ears. they greatly liked having the rabbi put on the spot. if the rabbi said the jews had the correct religion, he would be opening up the jews to a bloody persecution no matter who ruled jerusalem after the truce was over. but if the rabbi indicated that either christianity or islam were the true religion, the rabbi knew he would be expected to convert to that religion on the spot.

the rabbi did not answer the question directly. instead he told a fable.

once upon a time there was a man who given a magic ring. the ring granted him wisdom and from that wisdom grew prosperity. his family flourished. just before he died, he called his favorite son to him and gave him the ring. thus, the magic ring was passed to the next generation. this pattern continued for many generations. but at some point, the man who had the magic ring had 3 favorite sons. he was unable to decide who to give the ring to. so he made 2 counterfeit rings. and he gave a ring to each favorite son in secret -- telling each of them not to reveal the ring until after the old man had died.

when the old man died and the 3 sons all proclaimed themselves as his magical heir, there was discord and anger. none could tell the rings apart. there seemed no way to know which ring was the real ring.

at this point the old rabbi presented the puzzle back to the crusaders and saracens. they began to argue amongst themselves. saladin (ever watchful lest a fight break the truce) called for the rabbi to answer the question for his guests.

the rabbi smiled and said that the real magic ring bestowed wisdom upon the owner of the ring. not all at once, but slowly over time. and that that wisdom would breed prosperity. not

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necessarily wealth, but true prosperity. to discover who had the true magic ring, one would need to look (generation after generation) into the 3 families which possessed one of the rings to determine which family had most wisdom and which family prospered most.

[next comes a part i am not certain if it was in the tale i remembered from highschool, or if i added it from my own imagination to demonstrate the point i was trying to make.]

the rabbi then introduced the idea that the because ring was a magic ring, the old man was able to clone the ring and give each of the 3 sons the "real" magic ring. [i probably did not use the word clone as that word had not yet come into common usage, but i cannot remember my exact words.]

ripp ling consequ ences

in my letter to ripple i stated that i felt the 3 manifestations of the oto (motta, grant, and mcmurty) all felt they had received the "magic ring" from crowley, and only time would tell which was the true magickal heir. i went on to say that i felt crowley had given his blessing to each of them (each in a different way), and that (from my perspective) all 3 were indeed each crowley's magickal heir and therefore all 3 manifestations of the oto were valid emanations of the order.

[again, i am not certain of my exact words here. the concept of applying the legend of the magic ring to the manifestation of the oto has become a very important concept to me. i have been refining my words and thinking this concept for about a quarter century now. so i cannot say with any degree of certainty exactly how clearly i presented my ideas to ripple in that letter.]

ripple never answered me. instead, i received a letter from another person in the caliphate oto (i believe it was bill heidrick, but after all these years, i am not 100% certain if it was from heidrick or someone else). the letter said that he (the letter writer) had received a phonecall from mike ripple informing him that ripple had received a letter from one of 718's people (me) saying that the typhonians wanted back into the oto. the letter went on to invite me to syracuse for a meeting with the caliph to discuss the matter. looking back on the incident, i have no way of knowing whether grady actually knew anything about this scheme, or if it was something which the letter writer cooked up on his own, or in concert with person(s) unknown.

i freaked out. i had no intention of representing the typhonian oto. i was either a probationer or a ii° at the time (my memory is not clear as to time, so i am likewise uncertain as

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to the grade i held a that time). i could not (and still cannot) understand how my letter had been misinterpreted that way. i quickly sent a copy of the letter from the person mentioned in the previous sentence, plus a copy of the letter i received from ripple off to soror tanith, along with a poorly xeroxed copy of my letter to ripple. i was not on easy terms with 718 (see above) and was fearful that i had somehow managed to get entangled in things which were way beyond my grade. i was pissed at mike ripple for his idiocy in mis-interpreting my letter in his phone conversation to his superiors, although (looking back) it may well have been an error by other person(s) unknown to me. by hindsight i am prone to suspect that there was a person (or persons) who was/were looking for a way to get 718 (and the entire membership of the typhonian oto) back into the fold of dues-paying caliphate membership. i suspect my letter may have been misinterpreted because of the mindset of the person(s) hearing a verbal recapitulation of my letter via telephone.

tanith forwarded xeroxes of the material i sent her onto to 718. 718 was unable to read the poor copy of my letter to ripple i had sent to tanith. 718 fired off a letter to me. 718 was ever the english gentleman, but i could tell he was very pissed at me. he demanded a clearer copy of my letter to ripple along with an explanation. my copy of that letter was very ratty. it took several tries, but i managed to get a clear readable copy which i then sent to 718. i feared i was gonna get expelled because of the fuck-up in interpretation by the caliphate of my letter to ripple.

in the meantime -- remember this is all happening in the 1970's, long before the instantaneousness of e-mail -- tanith wrote to me saying she was planning to go to syracuse to meet the caliph and see what transpired. she told me she had no intention of asking anything about re-unification. tanith was merely curious about exactly what they were offering. i was not sure if i was invited to go with her or not. i was about to write to tanith to find out if she would mind if i attended the syracuse meeting along with her, but then 718's response to the letter mentioned above arrived. 718 forbade me to meet with the caliph or go to syracuse for any of the caliphate oto events, whether the caliph was there or not. i later found out tanith received similar instructions from 718.

718 was never clear about his feelings or his logic in any of his letters to me on this matter (which is not surprising given my previous experiences with him). i deduced that while 718 did not fault me for the letter i had written to ripple, he was still pissed at me. it did not seem very thelemic of him to order me to not attend caliphate functions in syracuse. but i was enough of a newbie that i complied without question.

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over the following few years, heidrick and i exchanged letters. heidrick likened our situation (him and i) to bishops in the r.c. church during the middle ages when there were 2 different popes, and bishops under different popes kept in touch informally. not to promote unification, exactly, but just to keep lines of communication open in case sometime in the future such lines of communication might prove useful. i realized that 718 would have a fit if he was informed of what i was doing. but i also felt it might prove useful to the future of the order. weighing my obligations both to the typhonian oto and to my conception of the order as a whole, i chose the jailhouse lawyer approach and decided that so long as i was not in direct violation of 718's orders, i would continue to follow my internal guidance system. and as i was not under any obligation to inform 718 of my thoughts, plans, or action, i deliberately kept 718 in the dark while i corresponded with heidrick. whether grady knew of heidrick's actions, or whether he was likewise silent to his superior, i know not.

i began subscribing to the magickal link, organ of the caliphate oto. i got to know grady a bit from his writings in the link and liked what i read. grady seemed far less distant than 718. i never met grady or exchanged letters with him, but his thought-provoking articles in the magickal link caused me to think.

while i never got close enough to heidrick to really know him or call him friend, i did feel (during that time period) that we respected one another and were both working towards similar goals. after my brief sojourn within the caliphate, i came to feel that heidrick's association with me had become an embarrassment to him and/or he felt somehow betrayed by something(s) i had done (or which he imagined i had done). while i regret any bad blood which may be between us, i can say that i never disrespected heidrick and never meant him any personal embarrassment or harm.

paradox and the myth of linear time

linear chronology becomes a bit twisted here. many years ago, i read that crowley had been invited into the oto because he had printed the secret of the ix° in the book of lies. crowley stated that there must have been a loop in time because the book of lies had not yet been published at the time he was invited into the oto. for years i was baffled by that paradox and attempted to explain it away rationally as errors in record keeping and/or bad memory on crowley's part. but now, i find myself in a similar situation.

prior to the formulation of the c/a-oto, many different events transpired which all influenced my decision to work with

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sam and cliff to reify the c/a-oto. but looking back on that time, i find myself realizing that the events all influenced each other in non-chronological sequence. according to richard feynman (nobel laureate in physics) quantum equations are symmetrical in time. saying that the future creates the past (on a quantum level) is just as valid as saying the past creates the future. i am not saying (nor am i *not* saying) that magick is necessarily a the summation of discrete quantum equations, but magick does seem to (at least sometimes) operate according to feynman's findings. likewise, every decision (again, on a quantum level) causes a branch in time (schrödinger's cat paradox). so we have an infinitely branching time net which seems to create itself both from past to future, and from probable future(s) to decision points in the past. nema spoke to me of similar interactions of probably future contacting we in the past who have not yet made that future real. [all this sounds so science-fiction-y to me, but i have not yet figured out a better way to explain what appears to me to be going on.]

it is very difficult for me to place various events of this narrative on a timeline because it seems to me that many of the events are in a mutually exclusive sequence. and the closer i attempt to view the months leading up to the omega point (the events at spiral at which the chthonic oto (now the chthonic/auranian oto were reified), the more jumbled cause-and-effect seem to become. saying that a strongly influenced b which then caused c to occur seems to me to be no more valid than other memories which indicate that c was somehow the genesis of both a and b. but i am not speaking of just a, b, and c. there are dozens of events which are enmeshed in paradox pertaining to my reasons for deciding to help formulate the c/a-oto.

looking at cause-and-effect another way -- consider observing a quiet pond as an analogy for being outside of linear time. think of time as an imaginary axis moving from left (past) to right (future). dropping a small stone into the pond causes ripples which influence other events both left (past) and right (future) of the event itself. compound this by dropping several stones into the pond. the ripples caused from each stone influence the ripples from all other ripples by all other stones. normally, we live day to day with the illusion that time is linear and proceeds at a fixed rate from past to future. but linear time is but one illusion out of very many. it appears to me that some events seem to influence decisions which precede the event. not that i have clear pre-cognition. just that the probability matrix is influenced which assists me to make certain decisions. looking back, it appears to me as though i somehow knew of certain events before they occurred. but i did not. i simply behaved in much a way that it would appear (in hindsight) like i actually was aware of the future. rather than pre-cognition or pre-destination, i like the term pre-disposition.

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the i xax aar perio d

718 and i grew steadily more distant, while tanith and i grew steadily more close. it seemed to me to be a classic tetragrammaton formula. 718 was the old king. i was a young prince. tanith was 718's queen. 718 feared me because i was a potential threat to his throne and to the allegiance of his queen. i later discovered 718 also prevented rob crosby from probationing in the typhonian oto, so the tetragrammaton formula was operating on many different levels within the typhonian oto. when i could not get 718's approval, i sought (and received) the approval of tanith. when tanith began to open up to me and express her own mis-givings with 718 (i believe tanith was in love with 718, alyough she never spoke to me that openly), i encouraged her to follow her own will and path.

tanith and i had a sexual encounter at the second warrior lord working during the first trip circle i hosted outside of ithaca. if i had not had tanith on such a pedestal, we probably would have become lovers beyond the trip circle and perhaps she would have moved in with anne and i at the humm. but as it was, i was so overly fraught with the concept of ix° initiation from her, i missed completely that she was probably not intending to confer initiation on me, but was just engaging in some plain-and-simple down-home fucking with the possibility of a relationship in her mind.

after our sexual encounter, we opened up to one another far more than before. tanith shared with me her vision of ixaxaar templum oto over several months. we spoke of the concept of sovereignty in many ways over many exchanges of letters. there was a science fiction story i read during that time period from analog magazine. i do not remember either the title or author after all these years. this story greatly influenced my concepts of sovereignty. i sent a copy of the story on to tanith and tanith shared with me how the concept of sovereignty operated within the typhonian oto (which was decidedly beyond my grade to have been given such information). we then discussed how sovereignty would work within tanith's proposed ixaxaar templum oto. later, i brought many of the ideas which tanith and i had discussed to the founding of the c/a-oto. at that time, tanith was x° for north america in the typhonian oto. she planned to remain in the typhonian oto, and continue to accept 718 as o.h.o. while manifesting the ixaxaar templum oto totally independent from 718's conceptions of how to best encourage members under her. tanith felt that she wanted to run the north american oto very differently than 718 did. she felt that as a x° oto sovereign she had that right.

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it was at this time tanith told me about peter arnold's expulsion (but did not name him -- it was some years later i found out peter's identity when i started hanging out with the pyramid lodge folk from buffalo) and about how 718 had wanted me expelled also. she told me that 718 had interfered in north american oto affairs many times in many ways. she felt that 718 was very much micro-managing the north american order from a very british perspective which just did not work with americans, and that 718 was preventing her from doing the job he had appointed her to do. so tanith was going to change all that by manifesting ixaxaar templum oto in accord with her vision. she asked me for input to help formulate ixaxaar templum. i do not know if she had others on her advisory board or not. tanith spoke to me of some of the difficulties which 718 had engendered within the american typhonian oto:

718 had expelled someone (i think i remember his name being michael james, but my memory is not clear on this point) from the typhonian oto as he was about to enter the s'.'s'.' . he was expelled for using a name other than the name he was born with -- alyough there was nothing in any order oaths i had ever seen which prevented someone from using another name. 718 did not understand the american mentality and the whole hippie movement which was filled with people with self-chosen names.

in another instance, a group of typhonian oto members formulated the horus/maat-lodge as an independent double-current order. as they wanted to attract membership from outside the typhonian oto, they clearly stated to 718 (and to me) that they did not want the hml to be a cell of the typhonian oto, but an autonomous order. 718 published info on the hml in one of his books and named the hml as a cell of the typhonian oto. i was in contact with several members of the hml and they were quite upset at 718's statement. the hml planned to correct 718's statement in print in their next newsletter. when 718 caught wind that the founders of the hml were going to correct 718's mis-conception in an hml newsletter, 718 threatened to expel soror noctua, one of the co-founders of the hml.

in a third instance, nema (co-founder of the hml) did a painting of an astral working depicting cthulhu. 718 liked the painting and had it printed in one of his books ). 718 labeled nema's painting as being not of cthulhu, but some other entity (yog-sothoth, if memory serves me correctly). from what i heard from nema (and independently from tanith), 718 just decided that he knew what was going on far better than nema, who was actually present at the invocation pictured in the painting.

718 did not want to encourage "fraternization" among members (which i thought darkly humorous in a fraternity). so when tanith outlined all these instances to me, i began to see my own problems with 718 in a much larger context, which i had not

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been fully aware of because each member was pretty much isolated from most other members. tanith felt (my words, not hers) that 718 was unable to even perceive he was being heavy-handed towards those members he disagreed with. likewise he was unable to acknowledge that he was in any way improper in his handling of the north american order as a whole, or the members within it. both of which prompted tanith to want to bud-off a north american oto -- ixaxaar templum oto. my discussions with tanith about the future evolution of the oto seeded my fertile mind and imagination. i had great hopes for ixaxaar templum oto, but when the vision for ixaxaar templum oto did not manifest, i continued to dwell on possible future evolution of the oto.

in my letter exchanges with tanith, i felt a great deal of relief at hearing her plans. i had my own problems with 718, and i was hoping very strongly that ixaxaar templum oto would lift the cloak of censorship which covered much of my writings. in one instance (a history of the order) 718 told me that if i ever published the essay, i would be expelled from the oto because (in 718's words) i was "using the oto as a thrusting block with which to destroy itself." i published other essays, but did not send 718 any copies. i did sent tanith copies of all of my pamphlets and she never had any problem with any of them.

i did not like going behind 718's back, but i saw no clean choice at that time. i was not ready for a direct confrontation, but neither did i feel it was 718's right to censor my writings. i was eagerly anticipating the day when tanith would assert control over north america and i would no longer have to choose between being sneaky, or kow-towing to 718's control. my other choices (leaving the oto altogether, or starting another branch of the oto) were not things i contemplated or even perceived as choices at that time.

early on in my discussions of ixaxaar templum oto with tanith, i asked her why she felt 718 would acquiesce to her plan. tanith told me that (according to the rules by which the oto operated) once someone was in the sovereign sanctuary, they were in for life and could not be expelled. she felt 718 would have no choice but to ratify her plan. while i very much supported her in her plan, i harbored serious doubts that 718 would allow her to remain in the typhonian oto. i felt (and still feel) that 718 would have unilaterally passed whatever ex-post-facto regulations he needed to retain absolute monolithic control.

but it never came to a test of wills between tanith and 718 (at least not that i was privy to). tanith and 718 grew more distant as tanith and i concretized plans for ixaxaar templum oto. i gather that steffi (718's wife) was very jealous of 718's closeness to tanith and that caused friction between tanith and 718. i also suspect 718 was also placing more pressure on

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tanith to expel me and/or certain oto members, which also caused more tension between them. tanith resigned the x° and went back to ix°. she ceased speaking of ixaxaar templum oto to me at all. then (some months later) she left the typhonian oto altogether. before she left, she asked me if there was anything she could do for me in her official capacity before she gave up her credentials.

cali phate sojour n

while all the talk with tanith about ixaxaar templum oto was going on, i also received initiation into the caliphate oto (hadit chapter in philadelphia) both to concretize connections i had already made with caliphate oto members at the harriman working, and to explore fraternity within the caliphate oto. by this time, i had no real hunger after (but was still respectful of) formal grade initiations. i was looking for magickal family. i was looking for people to do magick with outside of all formal order structure. i was looking for thelemites who understood fraternity, how to improvise in potent magickally transformative circle, and who were willing/eager to explore in realms of altered consciousness.

kma decima tes the amer ican typhoni an oto

frater kephra-ma-ast took over tanith's position within the typhonian oto. not her x° status, but her duties as supervisor of american members. there was bad blood between me and kma. kma and his lover (who were, i believe, both v° at the time), as were myself and soror 0-maku(tz) (who was co-owner of the humm with me) lived at math of the chrystal humm with 0-maku(tz) and myself for a few seasons in 1981. kma and i came to disrespect each other's magick and personal lives completely during the time we all lived together. i won't go into any of the details here because they have nothing to do with typhonian oto policy or administration -- suffice to say when we parted company, neither one of us had any intention of trying to re-kindle a friendship. when kma and his lover left the humm, they did so in a fit of anger. kma totally trashed their personal temple and left the mess for me and 0-maku(tz) to clean up. they owed us quite a bit of money (by our very poor standards of living in 1981) for their share of unpaid bills. kma abandoned his kitten (which revolted me in the extreme). when kma became my superior, i knew there would be trouble.

tanith once likened "grade" within the typhonian oto to climbing a ladder. the ladder has two uprights which support the steps. the steps are the paper grades. one upright is personal attainment which grows out of doing the practices dictated by the typhonian oto and from having one's magickal

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record judged by one's superior. the other rung is the promulgation of thelema by bringing new members into the typhonian oto, and over-seeing their progress. both personal advancement and caring for the growth of the order are required for grade advancement. before anyone was given an invitation to join the sovereign sanctuary (vii° and higher) one must complete certain magickal tasks to the satisfaction of one's superior, and one had to have brought into the order at least two probationers who each passed probation, and who were each active members (ii° or higher) in the typhonian oto at the time one an invitation was offered to the s'.'s'.' .

[another aside: i am fully aware that by speaking openly of grade requirements within the typhonian oto i am breaking oaths i took while a member. i am also aware that 718 would feel that *any* mention of internal typhonian oto business or personal relationships between he and any other member(s) of the typhonian oto would also constitute a clear breach of order policy. i learned from crowley that one's oaths to any order must be tempered by doing what one feels to be the right thing. speaking openly of typhonian oto matters with regard to the whys and wherefores of how i came to decide i had no reasonable choice but to connect directly into the fountainhead of the order beyond the veil of daäth and reify (as best i knew how) a new branch of the oto in the here-and-now supercedes (imo) all oaths of secrecy i took insofar as i need to speak openly for the historical record. if the order is to evolve, there can be no deep dark secrets about how its branches operate. we learn from both the good examples and (via the method of antimony) from the strange twists, errors, and non-thelemic hierarchical bullshit which is rife in any human institution. there are still secrets i maintain -- e.g. specific magickal requirements for each grade, number of members active in each grade at the time i was v° (prince of the outer court), legal names of members, etc.]

kma was as much of an ass as i feared. kma did his best to decimate all lineages within the north american branch of the typhonian oto except for his own and those whom he actively liked. it was a purge. it was a bloodless purge. but it was a purge, nonetheless. kma demanded reports from members far more regularly than tanith ever did. he demanded to review magickal records. he took away the right of certain members to read/review magickal records (myself included).

i cannot fault him for wanting to personally check into all members to evaluate what they were each doing. as a new supervisor, he was only doing his job. but his arrogant snotty tone was offensive to many order members besides myself. kma ran rough-shod over people who had been close to tanith. the 2 members whom i brought into the order both resigned because they would not put up with kma's arrogance. so did several other members. the ranks of the american typhonian oto were decimated.

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several v° members (who had believed they were on the verge of being asked into the s'.'s'.') realized they would not be issued invitations at all in the foreseeable future. i felt (and still feel) that i had no real future in the typhonian oto. i did not resign only because i wanted 718 and kma to have to throw me out.

it was during this purge that tanith informed me she was leaving the typhonian oto completely. she never told me the exact reason. she no longer had any interest in formulating ixaxaar templum oto. she asked me if there was any documents or paperwork she could offer me while she still had the credentials to confer them. during my probation and at several other times, tanith had commented that there was material in my magickal record she could not comment upon because i was doing viii° grade work and she was not allowed to comment on such work to someone of my grade. i jokingly asked her if my mr would be good enough to pass the grade. she looked at me very seriously and said "yes". so, when tanith made her offer, i asked her for an viii° certificate and received it. because of my ecumenical work with other branches of the oto and with other orders altogether (much of which tanith knew about), i asked tanith for documentation naming me an inter-order diplomat. she sent that to me also.

when i was formally kicked-out of the typhonian oto (for not sending in reports and for not doing my assigned gradework) i was told to return all documents, grade papers, oaths, etc. pertaining to the typhonian oto to kma. i returned all the material which 718 had issued and all the rules which he promulgated. i did not return the documents penned by tanith mentioned in the preceding paragraph because they do not pertain to the typhonian oto but to acknowledgment of earned grade given to me by soror tanith potnia therion, who was my superior over many years, who read thru over a thousand pages of my diaries and several hundred lengthy letters, and who took the time to comment in depth on all that i wrote -- thus mentoring me more than any other human has done in this lifetime. while i am not greatly impressed by most paper grades, i am touched that tanith (who knew me so well) was willing to validate my claims.

tanith's ceasing to be my superior within the typhonian oto left a lacuna which her successor could never (imo) fill -- even if i had liked and respected him. as i neither liked nor respected frater kephra-ma-ast, i did not allow him to even try. i was done with the a.'.a.'.-like mentor/student relationship which did me so well within the typhonian oto. i felt the time was right for me to come together with close magickal family (sam and cliff) to formulate the c/a-oto. my main goal in helping formulate the c/a-oto the way i did was to encourage *fraternity* and *magickal family* without the difficulties/hindrances to brotherhood i had found inherent within the hierarchy/structures of the typhonian and the caliphate branches of the oto. i am not sure how much of my initial dream of order-wide family is

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possible without a lot more regular personal contact than now seems feasible within the c/a-oto. but i like to think both personal evolution and group connectedness will remain in the hearts, minds, and dreams of our members as we move thru the 21st century.


looking back on my past, i see my younger self as being much more naive and much more romantically enamoured with the vision of our order than i see in people around me of a similar age and interest. i was a very solitary child and a very very shy young man. coupled with this, the world was very different back then. no internet. very few occult books in regular bookstores and very few occult bookshops. very few people to talk with. in my years in high school and college i saw not one tarot deck, magickal text, or knew of anyone on the path. i was unable to have any meaningful conversations about magick with anyone save richard for nearly a decade after beginning my magickal journey.

i was a very emotional young man (and still am, alyough i am can no longer call myself young) and drawn to something i could not see in the world. when i read "the temple of solomon the king" in the equinox volume i, #1, my hands shook. i could not finish reading the text in the cornell rare books reading room for fear of embarrassing myself by exposing my emotions. after paying the huge sum of money (nearly $25, a full week's personal spend money) to have the text xeroxed, i continued reading in my apartment so while i alternately wept and laughed, i would not fear exposing my emotions to strangers. i got hooked on crowley from the very beginning. crowley's romantic and childlike approach to the ineffable coupled with his sharp mind seemed so like my own internal contrasts which i felt i could not share with anyone around me.

i came to see both the typhonian, and the caliphate branches of the oto (thru working within them) as being hopelessly steeped in osirean pyramid thinking. i am not saying either branch is unfit to call itself an oto. just saying i saw that neither one seem to fit me (and others i knew) very well. i saw many people leave the oto in disgust because of the structure/rules which seemed to crimp their magickal growth. i saw some people who left the oto throw away the baby with the bathwater. they not only gave up on a particular magickal order, but (from what i could see) on magick and thelema as well. for some reason, i was never tempted to follow suit. maybe i have done all this before. and maybe i was just strongly infected by the young crowley's words in the equinox, the book of lies, and magick in theory and practice when i was a very impressionable young man.

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but, for whatever reason, i was just not willing to toss out thelema or the order just because i was personally offended by those who claimed to be thelemites while running rough-shod over other thelemites in very osirean fashion. i kept remembering something tanith told me long ago -- one cannot have initiations taken away involuntarily, but one can cast initiations away consciously or through ignorance.

the roots of western occult orders are buried deep in the past. western occult orders arose within a milieu of european feudalism, the papal power structure, and osirean philosophy. western occult orders were (of necessity) secret societies and those joining those secret orders were risking their lives and their families to do so. and those already in any secret society were at risk every time a new member was brought into their ranks. so it does not surprise me that modern occult orders are the way they are -- although i do disagree with the necessity that they remain that way.

those who claim that the oto is a modern invention are (imo) missing the point. whether there is any direct paper trail of lineage or not, the patterns operable within the knights templar, the rosicrucians, the masons, european feudal society, and papal hierarchy are all operable in making the various branches of the oto what they are today

isaac newton once said we stand so tall because we stand upon the shoulders of giants. i learned how to see beyond the material world (and then wrap words around what i saw) from the magickal writings of crowley and grant (among many others), and i learned how to understand myself from mentorship by tanith (as well as magickal friendships developed over the past 2+ decades). i also learned (thru the method of antimony) from personal conflicts with 718, kma, and from the structure set up by 718 to govern the typhonian oto. to a lesser extent (because of shorter time exposure) i also learned both positive and negative lessons from grady, the structure of the caliphate oto, and all the caliphate members i was in contact with in those years prior to reification of the c/a-oto. strange as it for me to write, what i brought to the founding of the c/a-oto was also influenced (both positively and negatively) by events which transpired after the founding of the c/a-oto at spiral