On a board I occasionally visit in search of intelligent conversation amongst other like-minded and learned individual, it was noticed by another user that I greeted yet another with the traditional Thelemic salutation of 93, and closed my short message with its farewell counterpart. The perceptive brother then sent me the following message:
93! Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole of The Law!!
I have read your books and blog, and enjoyed them a lot , but I never knew you were a fellow Thelemite! I am proud to call you brother! Are you with the O.T.O.? Or The A.A.? I have always though and believed there were more O.T.O brothers who were well known but who kept their membership closely guarded and I am hoping you just confirmed that! ........
The message trailed on from there, asking my feelings on certain aspects of Crowleyana and the Corpus, and we engaged in some dialogue afterwards, but his initial inquiry set me to thinking, AM I a Thelemite?
Certainly I am a member of no Thelemic organization, nor do I put much stock in the grade structures, politics and all of that. Likewise, I have been an outspoken critic of Aleister Crowley with regards to certain areas of his teachings and his personal life, being a firm believer that he was, in fact, capable of far more than he ever accomplished during his lifetime, and that despite having been found worthy by Gods whom I hold very dear, he failed to realize his true potential or achieve even half of what he could have. Despite that, I have always conceded that the man was a genius, and contributed more to the Work than most anyone, and it cannot be logically argued that he did more to bring about the resurgence in Magick than anyone (The GD as a whole notwithstanding) in recent memory, and for that I respect him.
But back to the question at hand - Is Frater MC a Thelemite? (Albeit a solitary one, now that I've disavowed any membership in such groups).
The answer is quite complex, or quite simple. I do not practice Thelemic Magick, nor have I put any effort into learning it beyond a cursory examination in my younger years, by way of Gems from the Equinox and Rodney Orpheus' Abrahadabra. So if the question were, am I a Thelemic Magician, the answer would be an emphatic no.
Am I a Thelemite, though? I have read, and re-read often, The Book of The Law, which I consider far above and beyond most anything else I have ever read. It has a place of honor in my home, and I hold it in far higher esteem than any other such "holy book". Does that in itself make me a Thelemite?
Liber OZ. Crowley's Statement of the Rights of Man. This, for me, is his Crowning Jewel, excepting of course The Book of The Law. Many, Many years before I had ever heard of Aleister Crowley, Thelema, or Liber OZ, I was living, breathing and shedding (literally) blood, sweat and tears for these exact principles. The brotherhood to which I am privileged to belong and to which I have devoted every moment of my life since the tender young age of 13 was established by in large to uphold these rights amongst its membership. To protect our rights to live our lives as we Will to do so, to pursue liberty, prosperity, spirituality in whatsoever form we find truth in, and to defend ourselves by all means from any and all who would seek to deny us these rights, against great opposition and oppression, and, quite literally, against all odds. In short, long before I had any idea what Thelema was, way back when OZ was, to me, a movie about a chick named Dorothy, I was living, fighting, and walking the Thelemic path outlined in Liber OZ.
An I repeat, FUCKING RIGHT.
Can anyone seriously argue this?
And DAMNED be him or her who try to deny him that right
Agreed on all points.
So does that make me a Thelemite? If so, am I any less of one because these principles were not instilled in me by Crowley but by another to whom Crowley was wholly unknown? If wholehearted belief in OZ does make me a Thelemite, does it make me less so because I openly criticize certain areas of Crowley's life and work, or that I have found (in my experience) Thelemic Magick to be far lesser than the systems to which I have devoted myself?
You tell me.