Presentations

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11 KEYS TO AN EFFECTIVE TEMPLE

Christeos Pir, Scarlet Woman Lodge

This workshop is intended to provide some tools for Strategic Planning for growing a thriving O.T.O./E.G.C. group. Whether you are a R+C Chapter officer or member, a local body officer or occasional visitor, an E.G.C. ordinand, novice, or congregant, you should find something meaningful, and more-to-the-purpose, useful, in this presentation. Some topics explored will include: 1) Where are you now, and where do you want to be in five years? 2) How should you prioritize your energy and expenses to reach those goals? 3) There are Leaders, and there are Workers – Can you be both at the same time? 4) When should you ask for help, and who from? and 5) When does fundraising become self-defeating?

ART IS MAGICK

Frater N^T^N, Knights Templar Oasis

What does it mean to live a “magickal life?” How do we manifest our dreams in physical reality? Through an analysis of the Art Card, we will discuss the alchemical symbolism of visionary creation, not only in terms of manifesting works of art such as paintings, but also in a larger context, in viewing our lives, relationships, and bodies as works of art.

THE AVES OF THE MASTER

Tim Simmons, Swirling Star Lodge & Hidden Spring Oasis

Inspired and centered around the Aves section from The Heart of the Master, this lecture explores the variety of bird symbolism present throughout the works of Aleister Crowley. The primary focus of the literary research is on the swan, phoenix, raven, eagle, hawk, pelican, dove, ibis and vulture. We will review the historical significance of these symbols, with an emphasis on analyzing the presence of these Aves in the corpus of Crowley’s works. Analytic methods include cross-referencing Crowley’s literature, Qabalah, the Book of Thoth, Gematria and more.

BLURRED LINES: GENDER CHARACTERIZATION AND IDENTITY IN THE PAINTINGS OF ALEISTER CROWLEY (1875-1947)

Chris Giudice, PhD, Deus Est Homo Lodge in Göteborg, Sweden

In the past 15 years, the study of Western esotericism has focused more and more on what may be considered the most influential among twentieth century occultists – Aleister Crowley. Since 1999, when Crowley scholar Marco Pasi published his seminal study, Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics, a plethora of essays, articles and books have been devoted to the many facets of the British mage’s life. These include Crowley as magician, as Edwardian taboo-breaker, as mountaineer extraordinaire, and as countercultural icon of the acid-laden 1960s; all aspects that have been, to a certain extent, explored, and Crowley’s rise to academic fame was further established with the publication of a scholarly anthology edited by Henrik Bogdan and published by Oxford University Press. One aspect, which has been touched only in scarcely circulating publications, mostly in the same articles translated into different languages, is an attempt at interpreting Crowley’s paintings, which with the discovery of the Palermo Collection in 2006, comprising of a dozen of hitherto unknown works by Crowley, has become an even more urgent task. This presentation will consist of a brief introduction on the artistic circles Crowley moved in in the early-twentieth century, an account of some incidents which determined his artistic career, and an analysis of gender characterization and gender identity in select works.

THE BODY AS A SCRYING SENSOR

Harper Feist, Leaping Laughter Lodge

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.

CONJURING FROM THE LESSER KEY

Rufus Opus, Leaping Laughter Lodge
with Harper Feist

In this presentation, Rufus will begin with 15-30 minute lecture on working with demons from the Lemegeton’s Goetia. This presentation will cover the cosmology of the approach he uses, the tools that will be used, the basic structure of the conjuration ritual and a description of the spirit we will be calling on. Then, Harper Feist and Rufus will work together to conjure Bune, with the intent of bringing wealth and eloquence to the members of the O.T.O. Rufus has worked Hermetically with the spirits of the Lemegeton’s Goetia for nearly two decades. In this time, he has picked up methods of operation that increase the effectiveness and interactions with the spirits conjured.

DEVELOPING FEMALE LEADERS IN O.T.O.

Soror Hypatia, William Blake Lodge

Are equal numbers of women and men walking through Camp/Oasis/Lodge doors? Are the new women in your body engaged by your program? Are the women in your body reluctant to volunteer for highly visible roles and positions? Do your female Chapter members have Man of Earth Charters? Why are all of O.T.O.’s X°s male? Are your Sisters successful and visible leaders in their jobs? Stop scratching your head and build women up with tools and discussion; and turn men into advocates for balanced leadership that make a difference not only in O.T.O. bodies, but in fostering Thelemic women as trailblazers in the workplace and beyond.

Note: Initiates of all genders welcome.

DIAGONAL DEMONS AND DOORWAYS TO THE HEPTARCHIC ANGELS

Chris Harden (Frater Brihisphati), Crux Ansata Oasis
with Dian Ericksen & Skott Holck

Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley had a fascinating set of conversations with groups of spirits in which they received very detailed sets of information on a variety of topics concerning these spirits. The two sections of information gained detailed a class of spirits called the Heptarchic Angels, and another called the Angels of the Watchtowers. By the time The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn began incorporating the so-called Enochian work of Dee and Kelly into their system, not all of Dee’s diaries had been found. The result was that they incorporated the Watchtowers in a way that became fundamental to their system while having almost nothing to say about how to work with the Heptarchic Angels. This workshop aims to explore ways in which the Heptarchic Angels can be approached and worked with in the context of Golden Dawn Enochiana, and to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the realms of the Watchtowers and the Heptarchic.

DO NOT GO GENTLE: EUTHANASIA, EUGENICS & LIBER OZ

Frater N.D.N.S.N., Alombrados Oasis

In this session, we will examine the policy and practical ramifications of euthanasia and assisted suicide from a Thelemic viewpoint, specifically the juxtaposition of policies that appear to enable free will within a society that creates restrictions on the ability to choose. We explore the history of eugenics in the West, up to and including current practices; and how euthanasic practices currently operate in the US and elsewhere, in order to inform our key question: How to fulfill Liber OZ in a non-Thelemic society?

FINDING YOUR H.G.A. IN THE ORISHA OF WESTERN NIGERIA

Isha Everidge Martin (Iya Efunkemi), Heru Behutet Oasis

It is said that the most powerful Orisha one will ever encounter is your own Ori (head). The Ifa tradition has its roots in the city of Ile-Ife, the spiritual seat of the Yoruba of Nigeria. Virtually every aspect of this tradition is guided by divination utilizing Odu-Ifa comprised of sixteen “letters” that guide the diviner and are accompanied by “patakis,” the sacred stories or proverbs of the tradition. The Odu bear remarkable similarity to the sixteen geomantic figures and this topic will be included in the lecture. In this presentation we will also discuss the cosmology of the Ifa tradition and how its seeming primitive aspects intersect with the Thelemic axiom, “There is no part of me that is not of the gods.”

FRATERNITY: THE KARMA YOGA OF ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS

Jon Sewell, Horizon Lodge

Karma Yoga is defined as the discipline of selfless action as a way to perfection. What does this have to do with the O.T.O., and the development of a Thelemic culture? Consider this, from Magick in Theory and Practice: “The Oath is the foundation of all Work in Magick, as it is an affirmation of the Will.” This lecture is an exploration of the specific Oaths and requirement of the Minerval through III° of Ordo Templi Orientis, focusing on the explicit and implicit discipline inculcated within the initiations that promote the autonomy and harmony necessary for the growth and development of a Thelemic culture.

GOETIA: A HISTORICAL EVOCATION

Colin D. Campbell, Abrahadabra Oasis

The infamous book of black magic known as Goetia is generally referenced via a set of manuscripts in the British Library, but in fact has a long tradition prior. This presentation and workshop will trace the lineage of this text and reconstruct an actual working from the Latin source-works and likely applications of the various implements.

HEPTARCHIAL EVOCATION

Scott Michael Stenwick, Leaping Laughter Lodge

Scott Michael Stenwick will be presenting an evocation from John Dee’s De Heptarchia Mystica, as outlined in his published book, Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy. His approach combines the original attributions communicated to Dee, with modern ceremonial forms and concepts from the Thelemic tradition.

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Dionysos from the Villa of Mystery at Pompeii

LA DOLCE VITA

Soror Ixel Balamke & Frater Hunahpu, Leaping Laughter Lodge

In Rome, one can not experience their life without realizing that they have “La Dolce Vita” (the good life). Even though magic was illegal to practice in the Roman Empire, this did not stop people from practicing magic. This presentation will examine the folk magic of everyday Romans. Some of these practices will look familiar to Thelemites, while some practices will seem rather silly, and others are nothing less than amore. We will also taste five Italian wines. Italians make wine to complement food; Italians do not separate wine from food. To Italians, wine is food. In order to better to examine the wine, we will pair a particular food from the region that the wine is created to enhance your tasting experience.

Note: This presentation has sold out, but registration for the waitlist is available. In the event a spot opens up, the person(s) selected from the waitlist will be notified via e-mail and will then have 72 hours to complete their registration. There will still be the additional cost of $35 to attend this presentation for anyone selected from the waitlist.

LIBER 231: THE CIRCULAR PATH STORY, COSMIC EVOLUTION AND INITIATION

Bob Stein, Pyramid Lodge

An interpretation of Crowley’s notes on the manuscript of Liber 231, and J.F.C. Fuller’s later work on the path of Tarot.

LIBER TRIGRAMMATON: AN EXPLORATION

Michael Kolson, Horizon Lodge

This presentation will look at an interesting and often neglected Holy Book, Liber Trigrammaton. This text consists of permutations of the Tao with the Yin and Yang and provides one of the few ontological statements presented within the Thelemic Canon. In addition, The Book of the Law, Chapter II, Verse 55 reads, “Thou shalt obtain the order & value of the English Alphabet, thou shalt find new symbols to attribute them unto.” Crowley did this within Trigrammaton by indicating which letters match the individual, Trigrams, creating an “order & value.” Further correspondences will be examined as we work through the text of this short, but important, work.

LUNCH WITH LON (DEPUTY GRAND MASTER’S ADDRESS)

“Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!”

Lon Milo DuQuette, Heru-ra-ha Lodge

Note: Lunch with Lon is included in the price of your registration. Unlike with previous NOTOCONs, there will not be an additional cost for this lunch/presentation at NOTOCON XI! 

THE O.T.O. IV°/P∴I∴ INITIATIONS: HISTORY, DEVELOPMENT AND PARALLELS

Dr. Richard Kaczynski, William Blake Lodge

Following his prior NOTOCON presentations on how the Minerval through III° ceremonies developed over the years, Dr. Kaczynski will now trace the evolution of the O.T.O. IV° and P∴I∴ initiation ceremonies from their early drafts to how they are currently performed. This exploration will cover important similarities to historical versions of haut gradé masonic rituals that were available in Crowley’s day, and which served as a model for what he wrote. What Crowley kept from these older rituals, as well as what he added to them, sheds greater light on these ceremonies.

Note: Initiates of P∴I∴ and above welcome.

PURIFICATION AND CONSECRATION OF MAGICAL OBJECTS: A FORMULA OF INITIATION

Phillip English, Hidden Spring Oasis

The Formula of the Neophyte is the formula of the first matter of initiation in the Golden Dawn tradition. In Magick in Theory and Practice, Aleister Crowley states that it “should be employed in the consecration of the actual weapons used by the magician.” Purification and Consecration, the primary elements of this formula, are also present as crucial components of both the Gnostic Mass as well as the Initiatory Rituals of the O.T.O. This interactive workshop will explore the theory behind Purification and Consecration of magical items as an act of initiation. Special attention will be paid to parallels within the ritual corpus of the O.T.O. Participants will be guided step-by-step through a bare-bones ritual of purification and consecration of a personal item using the Neophyte Formula as our guide. Attendees will have the opportunity to bring an item of their choosing to ritualistically purify and consecrate to a specific purpose in the manner outlined in Magick in Theory and Practice. This is a particularly potent working for the charging of talismans.

Note: Limited to 25 attendees.

QUINTESSENTIAL, ONCE AGAIN

Catherine Berry, Star Sapphire Lodge

From its inception, the new aeon has seen vibrant and cathartic challenges to previously rigid gender roles. Just in this decade, gender transition has gone from the freak-show sidelines to the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. As usual, we of Thelema are on the forefront of this revolution. In this talk, Catherine will present a highly personal view of the frontiers of gender expression, of the nature of the masculine and feminine principles, and of the magical resonances of gender transition in her own life. At the center of all will be her understanding of what is changing and what remains constant in her relationship with Ordo Templi Orientis.

THE ROLE OF VISIONARY WORK IN THE PATH OF INITIATION

Dr. David Shoemaker, 418 Lodge

Magicians across the ages, including John Dee, Aleister Crowley, and many more, have sought to expand their consciousness and advance on their mystical and magical paths via visionary work. In this engaging presentation, Dr. David Shoemaker will discuss the role scrying and other visionary experiences can play in the work of a modern magician. David’s own experiences scrying the 30 Enochian Aethyrs (as published in his recent book, The Winds of Wisdom) will be a specific focus of discussion.

THE ROOTS OF THE O.T.O. IN THE CRUSADES

James Wasserman, Swirling Star Lodge

As we examine the initiation rituals of the O.T.O., we note the constant dramatization of certain themes: chivalry, knighthood, military discipline, hierarchy, and the warrior creed. We are taught a series of ethical principles that include honor, loyalty, courage in adversity, courtesy, and ingenuity. The presentation will examine the journey of the Hermetic Mysteries of Egypt and Greece to Persia after the sixth century closure of the Neoplatonic academies in the Roman Empire. It is James Wasserman’s contention, as discussed at some length in his book, The Templars and the Assassins: The Militia of Heaven, is that these Mysteries were imported back to Europe by the Crusaders, particularly the Knights Templar, during the two centuries of the Crusades. The talk will focus further on the Assassins and the heretical Qiyama doctrines they embraced after 1164 as a primary source of O.T.O. beliefs today.

SEARCHING FOR PARSIFAL

Dr. Robert (Brett) Sherry, Abrahadabra, Knights Templar and Mithras Oases

A grand presentation on the lives of Gnostic Saints Ludwig II of Bavaria and Richard Wagner through art, music, epic Grail tales and a libation of mead. Searching for Parsifal was recently featured in Words of Power: An Anthology of Writings from O.T.O.

SEVEN CHALICES OF THE LADY

Grant Potts, Scarlet Woman Lodge

The Seven Chalices of the Lady is a devotional rite oriented on Babalon, written by Br. Grant, and is designed to align the participants with the Great Work and to remove any obstacles to achievement to their True Will. It is a meditational ritual involving visualization, mantra, and silent meditation structurally similar to deity practices found in tantric forms of Buddhism. A version of the Rite was recently published in the Three Hands Press volume, A Rose Veiled in Black. In this workshop, Br. Grant will briefly introduce the Rite and discuss how he went about developing and composing it, and will then lead a performance of it. Attendees are encouraged to bring any items they wish to adorn an altar for Babalon, and should plan on removing those items at the close of the Rite. A script of the the Rite will be available for each attendee.

SEX MAGICK AND CHOCOLATE SIGILS

Soror Gimel, Scarlet Woman Lodge and 718 Camp

This tasteful – yet decidedly adult class – will cover the basics of ritual sex magick construction. This will also tie in some subtler parts of the Gnostic Mass. We will start with divination for operation then move to sigil construction and creating sacred space. We will discuss the ethics and practical implications of this type of creative work. There will be optional participatory exercises in raising and circulating energy. We will cover how to charge sigils and then utilize them properly. There will be a tasteful slide show presentation on some of the various energy raising techniques using sex magick. Participants will have the option to take with them either a blank or a chocolate sigil created during the presentation for later use.

THELEMA AND THE YEZIDI CONNECTION

Azi Rasa, Pyramid Lodge

This presentation explores the very few oblique and weighty references Aleister Crowley made to the Yezidi and his claim that Thelema is in some way intimately connected with their ancient religion. Beginning with the historical context of the reception of The Book of the Law, Crowley’s critical experiences in NYC circa 1918, and his association with the extraordinary and somewhat enigmatic Samuel Aiwaz Jacobs, we examine these assertions. The main body of the lecture includes an introduction to Yezidi culture and an overview of key Yezidi beliefs. These Yezidi traditions are discussed in the context of other ancient Middle Eastern religions. Interesting parallels to Thelema including (but not limited to) ritual practices, cosmology, magical formulae, and sinister forces are identified.

THELEMIC SONG

M. Dionysius Rogers
Additional presenter: Oliver Althoen

After a brief talk on the esoteric philosophy of song, and particularly choral singing, the presenters will lead attendees in singing a variety of Thelemic songs, all of which have been composed over the years for various rituals, holidays, and social occasions. Presenters will also introduce attendees to Oliver’s tune for and arrangement of the Anthem of the Gnostic Mass, and Dionysius will create a set of musical scores and lyric sheets for the use. Besides the Anthem, songs will include (but are not be limited to) “Denzil’s Oath,” “The Fourfold Word Song” and “Nekam Adonai.”

THERE IS PLENTY OF ROOM FOR ALL: UNITY IN DIVERSITY IN M∴M∴M∴

Keith Readdy, Sekhet-Maat Lodge

This talk will discuss the importance of diversity, particularly within the first steps of O.T.O. membership (the Man of Earth Triad), and how it may contribute to more efficient functionality and greater participation within local bodies. People approach the O.T.O. for many different reasons. Some are drawn to it for fraternity, while others enjoy the community that is shared by participation in the Gnostic Mass. Still, others may come to learn about practical ritual work or to gain from our material intellectually. Similarly, each and every person is unique in skill and ability, ranging from carpentry to administration. It will be suggested to our seasoned members, both in M∴M∴M∴ and beyond, that attention should be given to our Men of Earth, especially new and interested members so as to create more awareness of what is needed at the local level. It will be argued that active attentiveness to members within M∴M∴M∴, especially new members, will result in 1) an increased ability to meet the demands of members more effectively, 2) generate greater interest and participation at the local level, 3) create a pool of skills and abilities to draw from to execute tasks more efficiently, 4) successfully delegate responsibilities to appropriate members while simultaneously training them in service to the Order, and 5) operate with more organization and discipline in local bodies overall.

“THEY SHALL NOT HARM YE AT ALL”

Soror Mariri, Hidden Spring Oasis

This presentation will examine the use of sacred medicines/entheogens in light of Liber AL, 2:22; “I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all…” Focus will be on the use of these substances throughout history for healing and spiritual attainment as well as modern uses, legalities, and a Thelemic perspective on the entheogen experience. We will look at why a Thelemite might want to experience a sacred medicine ceremony and how the responsible use of these substances can aid in the discovery and fulfillment of one’s True Will. The main entheogens discussed will be ayahuasca, huachuma (San Pedro), and psilocybin mushrooms, briefly touching on complementary medicines such as kambo (frog medicine), rapé, and coca leaf. Soror Mariri will discuss examples of health benefits as well as precautions that must be taken, and preparations that should be made, both physically and psychologically, before an entheogenic experience. The presentation will be educational and highly visual with photos of the medicines and will feature an “icaro” (traditional ceremonial medicine song). Soror Mariri will also discuss the work she is doing with these medicines in at her center, Awakening Spirit in Urubamba, Sacred Valley, Peru.

UNITY UTTERMOST SHOWED

Terry Murdock, Golden Thread Camp

Unity Uttermost Showed is a ritual celebration of the O.T.O. initiatory system which includes a member of every numbered degree of our Order – Minerval through IX° (and possibly X°). The intent of this ritual is to provide a historic overview of our system, while also displaying the harmonious unity of purpose across all of the degrees. The ritual is designed for public display and contains no confidential information. Each degree is highlighted and personified by a ritual participant and the history of each triad is presented. The total performance time is about 20 minutes. Just to see members of every degree, Minerval through IX°, working together in one rite, perfectly reflects the theme of NOTOCON XI, “for the chance of union.”

wakeworldTHE WAKE WORLD: A DRAMATIC RENDERING

Tahuti Chapter R+C
with James Strain, Genevieve Breeze, Mike Estell, Soror Cassie & Colin D. Campbell

The Wake World, written by Aleister Crowley in 1906-07, and first published in Konx Om Pax, is a poetical allegory of the relations of the soul and the Holy Guardian Angel. This charming short story – “a tale for babes and sucklings” – will be performed as a dramatic ritual by members of Tahuti Chapter R+C. The performance will be accompanied by introductory remarks on the magical process of transmuting a narrative story intended for individual reading into a potent group ritual.

THE WAY OF AGAPE: THE OASIS OF OUR BROTHERHOOD

Frater IAO131, Blazing Star Oasis

The Way of Agape: The Oasis of our Brotherhood is a presentation that seeks to strike at the heart of what it means to live the principles of True Will (Thelema) and True Love (Agape) while being embedded within the matrix of a fraternity. The purpose is finding our true authentic nature that is not tied to passing desires, and living out of that sense of Being with our Brothers and Sisters. There will be a focus in particular on the nature of one’s Way within the context of our Brethren, and how living in the Way of Agape is possible with daily stressors and interpersonal conflicts.

SALONS AT NOTOCON

Please have a look at the Salons page to see additional events taking place at NOTOCON XI.