Description: In 1960 Robert A. Heinlein wrote the novel Stranger in a Strange Land. This science fiction tale full of miracles and sex deeply inspired the counter-culture of the following decades who came to “grok” its criticisms of conventional society. Most readers have little suspected the extent to which the book was informed by the philosophy of Aleister Crowley’s Thelema, as communicated by rocket scientist Jack Parsons. This talk will treat the secret history behind Heinlein’s novel and the effects that it had on later rebels and magicians.
Presenter: Dionysius Rogers is a Thelemite and an independent scholar of religion based in the Denver area. One of his particular interests is the intersection between fantasy fiction and real-world occultism. He was in Egypt for the centennial of the Cairo Working and in England for the centennial of the founding of Mysteria Mystica Maxima. He gave the original, shorter form of this presentation at a conference in Barcelona, Spain on Magick, Mysticism, and Art.
One of the most intriguing figures in all of Western magical practice, the Sigillum Dei as detailed in the diaries of John Dee is an exceptionally intricate wheel of unintelligible names – or so it would seem. This presentation breaks down this fascinating symbol into its core components, all of which will be very familiar to the student of the occult. Deciphering its many strata of angels, archangels, and divine names, we will collectively unfold hidden within the Sigillum Dei a complete system of planetary magic in its own right!
This presentation is based on research used in The Magic Seal of Dr. John Dee: The Sigillum Dei Aemeth by Colin Campbell, published by Teitan Press.
Colin has been a member of OTO since early 2001, founder and past master of Abrahadabra Oasis after serving for ten years. He has written several books on topics that span his interests from the early Renaissance grimoire period through to modernity, including The Offices of Spirits, Of the Arte Goetia, The Sigillum Dei: Aemeth, The Concordance to the Holy Books of Thelema, and Thelema: The Life, Work, and Philosophy of Aleister Crowley. He has studied Western esotericism for over thirty years, is a collector of Crowley’s works, and frequently presents at NOTOCON, the bi-annual USGL conference.
Join us as Christeos Pir presents his lecture “Orishas on the Tree of Life”. African-inspired religions have found expression in a startling number of ways in the Americas. From the slave trade-driven Diaspora of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, the migration of African peoples and culture during and since that period, and the revolutionizing of communication in the contemporary era, African forms of spirituality have intermingled with, and sometimes co-opted, Anglo-European and Native American religions in those areas of creolization where these disparate cultures met, struggled, and fused. Elements of African Diasporic religion are found in such varied expressions as Candomblé, Umbanda, Palo Mayombe, Obeah, Santería/Lucumí, Vodou, “Hoodoo,” and more. In the U. S., for example, a local derivation of Haitian Vodou known as New Orleans Voodoo has been dated to the late eighteenth century or earlier. And in Brazil, some half dozen or so partially-overlapping forms of Afro-Brazilian religion have evolved. Drawing upon primary and secondary sources in anthropology, popular culture, and religious studies, this workshop explores some of the new and eclectic practices on the fringes of Afro-Diasporic religious expression. Two case studies will be examined: the synthesis of tarot and Umbanda Orixá or spirits, and the blending of tarot and qabalah with New Orleans Voodoo.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. This presentation can now be viewed here:
Please join us at 7pm Central time on Thursday, December 16th as the Education Committee of O.T.O. US Grand Lodge hosts Fr. Tlacatecólotl’s presentation on the magic of corn in mesoamerican tradition. This presentation will be free and open to the public, so please share this event far and wide!
Mesoamerica and its peoples have a particular vision of human life and well-being, which is reflected in the customs they call medicin and in their oracles, mainly corn reading. This oracle demonstrates the cultural, magical and esoteric value of corn. In this talk, we will estudy the basic technique of this oracle, an explanation of its structure, as well as some of the philosophical terms necessary to understand its mechanics, along with the history of the encounter of Europe and America and the resulting mestizaje, will be touched.
We’re excited to announce the newest module from the Education Committee of O.T.O. US Grand Lodge. This module deals with all aspects of the Holy Grail- its history, symbolism, and relevance to Thelema. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this module for your local body, please email us at:
Please note that these modules can only be requested by an officer of a duly chartered body of O.T.O. and are not available for distribution to the public.
Join us on Monday November 29th at 7pm Central Time as Harper Feist presents her lecture on the history and development of Liber Samekh. This is a public presentation, so please feel free to share this invitation far and wide!
This presentation discusses the evolution of the late Classical exorcism known currently as the Headless Rite to Liber Samekh, a Thelemic ritual to facilitate achievement of Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. The talk will focus on the meaning and translational history of the Headless Rite and the fact that the original ritual is very similar to a neo-Platonic theurgic exercise. This current is especially palpable in Samekh, one of the most important of Crowley’s contributions to the Thelemic canon.
In 2018, Fr. Sabazius ordered the creation of the Diversity Task Force as an arm of U.S. Grand Lodge, dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion within our Order. Guided by the U.S.G.L. Mission and Values Statements, a subgroup of the Task Force known as the MoMod (Monthly Module) team has spent the last eight months creating educational modules which the Education Committee is distributing on the local level. Join us on Sunday, April 25th at 6pm Pacific Time as we welcome a panel of members from the Task Force’s MoMod team who will be sharing their experiences working with the team. This event will be open to the public, so please feel free to share it far and wide!
(note: This presentation was not recorded. Anyone interested in viewing it is welcome to contact Felicia Heidrick directly. It was awesome.)
Join us at 6pm Pacific Time, Thursday February 25th as we host Felicia Heidrick as a special guest lecturer for this presentation. Though not a member of Ordo Templi Orientis, Felicia has a profound wealth of experience and we’re delighted that she has volunteered to share her time and wisdom with us! This presentation is open to the public, so please feel free to share it far and wide.
You’ve read Magick in Theory & Practice and perhaps The Equinox, in which Aleister Crowley refers to the Shiva Samhita. You’ve celebrated and perhaps memorized Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass. You’ve learned that you are the talisman, the point, the Mystery, incarnate; that Thou art That and That am I. BUT do you really know it with every fiber of your being? Join Felicia Heidrick (yes, that Heidrick) to explore “waves of bliss” (the literal translation of Anandalahari) another method of Crossing the Abyss. And, because our method is science, you can look forward to science-based supporting facts. Buckle your seatbelt, it’s not gradual. Come prepared to take your own notes–Felicia doesn’t share hers.
About Felicia: In 1997, Felicia met author Donald Michael Kraig. From Don, Felicia received pathless path mentoring in the practices of a Shakta tantric tradition based in Sri Vidya which, as it happens, is quite Thelemic. She will be sharing what worked for her all those years ago.
Join us on Wednesday, January 27th at 6pm Pacific Time as Sr. Harper Feist presents “The Body as a Scrying Sensor”, which she previously delivered in 2017 at NOTOCON XI in Orlando, FL.
“Scrying as an art and skill is necessary to successful conjuration work. Harper has a useful understanding of communion with the invisible world, and has developed a series of techniques that put her “in the zone” to be able to interact with the entities we call into our crystals. She’ll be discussing methods of moving out of the way, the cultivation of an internal emptiness, and the premise that the entire human body is a sensory device that the spirit world will use to commune with you.”
Harper Feist is driven to sense the invisible world. In her day job, she is a scientist making use of wavelengths of light unseen to the human eye to better understand the universe. In a similar vein, many of her esoteric efforts are focused on using somatic techniques to improve ritual and religious experiences. To the latter point, she has taught several workshops at national conferences and an online class focused on helping practitioners develop a scrying practice. She prides herself on the creation of a friendly and accessible approach to sensing to the invisible world. Her current research interests include Iamblican theurgy and the notion of ritual purity.
(note: This presentation was not recorded. Anyone interested in viewing it should contact Gordan directly. It was amazing.)
Join us on Tuesday, December 29th at 6pm Pacific Time as Br. Gordan Djurdjevic presents “The Bird Fights Its Way Out of the Egg”. This event will be public, so please feel free to share the link far and wide! This presentation will not be recorded, and we ask that all participants refrain from recording and part of it.
An Esoteric Reading of Hermann Hesse’s Demian.
The literary oeuvre of Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) is known for its thematic focus on issues involving search for the meaning of life and the authentic self-knowledge. His novels often display a disenchantment with the established religious and social forms and engage with non-conventional modes of spiritual quest, which is arguably one of the main reasons for his popularity among the countercultural youth of the 1960s. Hesse’s most popular work, a short novel Siddhartha (1922), set in India at the time of the historical Buddha Śākyamuni, promoted Asian religious ideas. An earlier novel, Demian (1919), on the other hand, abounds with gnostic undercurrents reflective of alternative religious traditions in the West. It is well known that Demian was influenced by the ideas of the Swiss analytical psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, while the admiration for Friedrich Nietzsche is explicitly acknowledged in the novel. However, Hesse was also influenced by the countercultural milieu of Monte Verita in Ascona and it is conceivable that he was even familiar with some representatives of the Theodor Reuss’ Ordo Templi Orientis, active in the area during his visits. This presentation will interrogate the relationship between major ideological strands in Hesse’s works, with the main emphasis on Demian, and the philosophy of Thelema, and will highlight some points of their mutual congruence.
About the Presenter: Gordan Djurdjevic is a contributor to the anthology Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism (Oxford University Press, 2012); co-editor, with Henrik Bogdan, of the collection of essays Occultism in a Global Perspective (Acumen, 2013; Routledge, 2015); and the author of Masters of Magical Powers: The Nath Yogis in the Light of Esoteric Notions (VDM, 2008); India and the Occult: The Influence of South Asian Spirituality on Modern Western Occultism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); and, with Shukdev Singh, Sayings of Gorakhnath: Selected Translations from the Gorakh Bānī (Oxford University Press, 2019).