Does anyone here have any experience working with the Ordo Templi Orientis? Are they accepting of students of EA’s courses, or are Thelema and BALG too different to be compatible?
I’m a rank beginner at this, though I’ve had some experience with a Wiccan-style coven roughly 15 years ago. Problem is, I can’t perform any sort of ritual work at home. I either need to find an isolated place in a public park (not good with Ohio winters), or seek an indoor facility somewhere.
It turns out that the OTO has an “oasis” headquarters about 2 miles from where I work in Dayton, OH, and the chapter’s web page states that among the benefits of full dues-paying membership is “the individual use of [the chapter’s] facilities”. This could be extremely helpful for me. Does anyone else here have any knowledge of anyone else establishing a relationship with OTO and using their ritual spaces for private practice? If so, how did that work out? Several searches of the forum here didn’t seem to turn up any useful info on the subject.
I don’t work with the OTO but they did invite EA to speak at one of their gatherings, though there are some members who are afraid of him and his “army of black magicians.” LOL. There are also members on here who identify as Thelemites so I don’t see Thelema and BALG as incompatible.
As for finding a ritual space, you can do most rituals in your head. There is a tutorial on the forum for building an astral temple. You can do all rituals there. Comes in handy if you don’t have space. When you get really good at it, you can even do ritual while you are physically out and about, like riding a bus.
Thanks, @DarkestKnight. That was a very interesting article, and a very interesting idea. I could basically use my car for pre-work rituals every morning! I’d expect something like this would work better if someone first had some “real world” experience, but then maybe I ought to decide to consciously expect the opposite, eh?
Just keep in mind that OTO groups will all be different. They may do the Gnostic Mass and (depending on the “level” of the group) do different degree initiations, but really beyond that each group will do their own thing. Some groups will be more ritual based while others may be more study based, some may focus entirely on Crowley while others may dig into all kinds of different areas of the occult. You’ll have to check them out and see if they are a good fit for you. Also, doing your Minerval degree doesn’t mean any real commitment to the OTO or the Thelema. This is just coming from a guy who did the Minerval degree years ago to check them out.
@zorrito, @Ghocifer, and @Reaper182, thanks for your input. Reaper’s right, that the only sure way to know about the local OTO group is to check them out personally. They could be totally accepting of me while a group in, say, Seattle might not be, or vice versa. Only one way to find out. But Ghocifer, I don’t think BALG is necessarily “hardcore” LHP, though hardcore LHP is definitely supported by BALG. I’ve seen references to BALG materials that also sound conducive to, as you put it, “rightist LHP”.
On the other hand, problems with my working with OTO might come more from my side rather than theirs! I’ve glanced through the Gnostic Mass, and their theology doesn’t quite fit with mine. Still, their web sites make the point that their worship and magickal practices are related but separate activites and one doesn’t necessarily have to participate in the one to participate in the other, though it’s encouraged. I once read in a chaos magick book (one of Peter Carroll’s?) where the author recommends that each morning one chose a different religious faith and fully embrace that faith for the duration of the day, then pick another completely different (and perhaps diametrically opposed) one the next day. Sort of like Lewis Carroll’s “believe six impossible things before breakfast” idea. One could approach OTO’s Gnostic Mass with that attitude.
@NecNec you’re thinking of carroll’s Liber Null. He talks about rolling a dice and each number representing a different belief system and fully believing for x amount of time. It’s training in belief as a tool
Yeah, that sounds like the one I was remembering. I’d forgotten the bit about the dice. Been a long time since I read it; thanks for confirming the source. “Training in belief as a tool” sounds even more relevant now after looking at some of the BALG material!
@Fuego1, it’s not a full lodge in Dayton. It’s listed on their website as an “oasis”, which I gather is a smaller group. The main OTO website has a map showing the locations of their local groups. Check it out; you might be surprised. They don’t make themselves hard to find.
Hey, @Fuego1. As I’m going to be in the Detroit area next week, I got curious and checked. There’s an OTO group in Madison Heights on the north side of Detroit, less than an hour’s drive from Ann Arbor. The Blue Equinox Oasis. www.blueequinox.org , if you’re interested.
Oh! I’m sorry, I’m going to Detroit to do a job. I’d no plans to check out the Detroit OTO group, and probably wouldn’t be able to anyway since we’ll be putting in 12-hour days and the guy I’ll be travelling with and I will only have one vehicle to share between us. Maybe you could check out their web site and ask if maybe they’ve got a member who lives in Ann Arbor who could give you a lift to one of their open gatherings. There’s a good chance they’d be open to that; I saw somewhere on one of their web pages that, among their responsibilities, members are expected to encourage new membership.