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Some thoughts on Thelema, all of which could be wrong

mia may, 1919, Die Herrin der WeltPeople keep asking me questions about Thelema. I have no idea why, because I am a Minerval.

But here is what I have to say about some matters Thelemic. Mind you: this is MY OPINION and nothing more.

And by the way: if anyone ever tells you that there is ONE absolute interpretation of this or that part of the Book of the Law, or Crowley’s writings, or Thelema, or whatever, that person is to be avoided. Do what THOU wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Not what he wilt, she wilt, they wilt or even what the Grand High Walla Walla of the Secret Order of the Ingdab Pigbones wilt. What THOU wilt.

So nothing I say is to be taken as writtten in stone. Nor is anything else anyone else says to be taken as written in stone.

1) A Thelemite is simply someone who accepts “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” and “Love is the law, love under will,” as a guiding rule of life. That is all. And that is according to Crowley, not me. You don’t have to be a member of the OTO, or the EGC, or A:.A:., or any other Order of any kind to be a Thelemite. You just have to accept the principles of Thelema as a guiding rule of life. The End. All these other orders I named above can be extremely helpful in understanding Thelema. However, membership is not necessary for being a Thelemite.

2) You should believe very little of what you hear about Aleister Crowley, and almost none of what you read online. The best bio of Crowley is by Richard Kaczynski, and it’s called Perdurabo. It is also about the size of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and weighs approximately the same as a brick. That’s not to say that it isn’t interesting as hell and well written; it is. And if you want to know about Crowley, that’s your source. And it will confirm or deny all the rumors you ever heard about Aleister Crowley. So rather than make assumptions, I wish people would read the biography and have done with it.

Was Aleister Crowley a nice man? No, he was not. Was he a complete wretch? No, he was not. Like the rest of us, he did things that were good and bad. He made some awful mistakes and had some grand triumphs as well. But there is no denying that he could be a quite difficult person. There is also no denying (as far as I am concerned) that he was the leading occultist of his age. Without him, a lot of what we know as occultism now would not exist, or it would be in a very different form. That includes Wicca, because Gerald Gardner was involved with the OTO and was a sometime student of Crowley.

Could Crowley be an awful person? Absolutely. But I will assert: why does it matter? I worked for a hospital as a secretary in the Cardiology department. I knew doctors who were horrible people to work for, horrible people to be around, cheated on their wives with nurses, spent way too much money, partied hard, you name it. But in the operating room they worked miracles and saved people’s lives routinely. Does it matter if they were horrible people? Good question.

Crowley put himself in the position to be an occultist. He could have done just about anything, but he chose to be an occultist. He put his money where his mouth was. Whatever else you can say about Crowley, he did the work. He put himself in harm’s way and did everything he could do to get in contact with the Divine. That is not in question. He had a considerable fortune, and blew every cent of it. Most of it went for publishing his books about Magick, philosophy, yoga and other esoteric subjects. Sure, he definitely spent a chunk of it on wine, women (and men) and song. But the majority of it was spent in the pursuit of the Divine.

When Crowley died, he was in his 70s and had a lot of health problems related to his asthma. He was pretty sickly there at the end. He died broke, but he had a suitcase of money under the bed that he didn’t touch. It was earmarked for publishing his last book. He could have made his life much easier by spending it, but he didn’t. That says something about him.

I’m not cutting the guy any slack. But if you separate what he did as a magician from the car wreck he could be as a person, it’s a fairly amazing body of work. And I am someone who did not start out as a fan of Crowley. So, for whatever that’s worth. My opinion only.

3) The worst place to learn about Thelema is online. DO NOT go to the Facebook groups. DO NOT snoop around the Thelemic bulletin boards, news groups, and all such. (There are a few exceptions, but even then you must be careful.) There are a lot of people with a lot of axes to grind, and a lot of people who are ex-members of Thelemic organizations who are very angry. There are a lot of people who were wanna-bees and dropped out because of their misinterpretation of what Crowley was talking about or their misinterpretation of what this, that, or the other person purporting to explain Thelema said. Nitpickers and nutcases abound, conspiracy theorists and flying saucer reptile people from the Pleiades enthusiasts, and on and on and on and on.

So what is the best way to learn about Thelema? Personally, I think that reading the Book of the Law is a good start. It is a short book and an uneasy read. Crowley himself was very troubled by it and hid it away for a number of years. The first time you read it, it is very unlikely that you will understand it. I don’t. But if it’s any consolation, Crowley himself never fully understood it.

And that’s the point, I think. If we keep reading, keep experimenting, and keep on until the end (and there is no end) we will learn who we Are. And that, I think, is the point of Thelema. From my POV. Individually. As a person. Who could always be wrong.

 

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August 23, 2014 · 6:41 pm

Gratitude List 8/16/13

Gratitude List, 8/16/13:

Three things I am grateful for today, as requested.

1) I was able to educate some of my fellow professionals today, even though I think some of them thought I was nuts.

2) I was able to see a person who is sober and whose life is improving as a direct result of what I do at work.

3) I am grateful that I am still able to explore the world of sound by playing guitar and experimenting with music, even after all this time. I’ve been playing guitar for over 30 years now, which is kind of crazy to think about.

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August 19, 2013 · 4:16 am

Molly and Star at home

“You got a package,” Star said to Molly as she came in the door of their apartment. Molly looked over the package, glanced at the address, and grimaced.

“What?” said Star. Star seldom missed anything. “You didn’t want to hear from this guy Henry Steinman?”

“That’s an alias for them,” Molly said with a sigh. In answer to Star’s look, she continued: “The Confederation of Mercy. They still get mail for me there, and every so often they forward it to me like this. It’s never anything good, half of it is junk mail they could throw away. I think they just send it here to annoy me.”

She tore it open and dumped it on the table. Star’s eyes lit up. “Ooh, a superhero’s mail,” she said mischievously. Molly made a face at her. “Look,” said Star, undeterred. “This one looks like an actual personal letter!”

“I don’t know who that would be,” Molly said. “What’s the address?”

“Someplace in Iowa,” Star said. “Can I open it?”

“Sure, who cares,” Molly said, eyeing the rest of the mail with trepidation.

Star opened the letter. “Dear Mistress Lightning,” she began.

“Oh no,” Molly said. “Give me that!”

“Nuh uh,” Star said gleefully. “Dear Mistress Lightning, I feel that this would be a far better name for you than Lightning Girl. I worship your strength and beauty – ”

“What beauty, I wore a full face mask!”

“A full face mask with a skin-tight green and white suit that had a diamond cut out over your cleavage. Now hush up,” Star continued. “‘I worship your strength and beauty and I know I have no right to ask anything of someone of your status, but Mistress, I beg you to send me some of your urine – ‘”

“STOP!” Molly said.

“No, this is too good! ‘I beg you to send me some of your urine so that this lowly worm might pour it over himself while he imagines your highness urinating on him, which is all he deserves…’ ” At this point Star dissolved in giggles.

“Oh, laugh it up, Sabrina the Teenage Bitch,” Molly grinned in spite of herself. “I used to get those all the time.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, I mean, lots of them. All the female superheroes used to get them, all the time. Any time one of us kicked someone’s ass and it got on TV they would come flooding in.”

“There are that many subby guys out there?”

“Oh yeah,” Molly said. “There was this one guy that kept writing me and begging me to kick him in the nuts. He wrote this 15-page letter about his fantasy of me tying him up and kicking him in the nuts repeatedly till he passed out. He started calling the Confederation of Mercy after that and one day he showed up.”

“Did you go out and fulfill his fantasy?”

“Oh hell no, we sent security out there and they had him arrested.”

“Superheroes have security?”

“Yes. I mean, we’ve got stuff to do. I mean, they had stuff to do.” Molly corrected herself. She wasn’t on the team any more. “It’s not just sitting around. We have to check the computer and there’s a lot of paperwork to fill out.”

“Paperwork?” Star said incredulously.

“Yeah, we used to get sued all the time. We kept lawyers on call. There was the whole thing about whether metahumans had the right to apprehend human criminals. That’s still on its way to the Supreme Court.”

“Well, you could hardly blame the guy though,” Star said. “I mean, big strong women going up against big ugly guys and thrashing them. Admit it, you were all dommes, weren’t you? And the biggest one was the Golden Lasso, right?”

“Her?” Molly laughed. “Oh God no. She was a total sub. That Navy man she was connected with was totally her top.”

“It doesn’t make sense,” Star said.

“Of course it does,” Molly replied. “You’re super strong, you can fly, you’re one of the most powerful women on earth and you’re responsible for protecting humanity from aliens, mad scientists and evil beings from the 12th dimension. The last thing she wanted to do is be dominant in bed.” Molly leaned in conspiratorially and Star perked up. “He used to use her own lasso on her. We got drunk one night and she talked about it. I mean, think about it, he could spank her as hard as he wanted, it wasn’t like it was going to hurt her. They were pretty kinky.”

“Oh, this is wild,” Star said with a gleam in her eye. “You should write a book!”

“God, no, they’d flip out.”

“So, no dommes?” Star said slyly. “Not even you?”

“NO,” Molly said firmly. “And besides I am not getting back in that game again. There was one domme out of all the girls.”

“Tell me! Tell me!”

Molly grinned. “It was Pearl Light.”

“The one whose power was manipulating light and wore the shiny dress and heels all the time? Her?”

“Yep, she got a letter like that one you just read and contacted the guy. They kept up a relationship for five years until it got too weird for Captain Megaton and The Black King.”

“So that’s why she retired,” Star said.

“Yeah, they’re kind of hung up there in the Tower of Mercy. But the exercise thing is working out for her. ‘Sculpt your body like a superhero!'”

Star shook her head. “Like regular people,” she said.

“Yeah,” Molly replied. “Exactly like regular people. Even though they try to bullshit you that they’re not. They bullshit themselves. Even though they might say ‘Oh, it was nothing,’ or ‘Well, I couldn’t have done it without the Army,’ or ‘my teammates,’ or whatever. Deep down inside all of them, even the best of them, think that they’re gods. That’s part of why I left.”

“All of them?” Star asked. “That’s pretty scary.”

“Not all of them,” Molly said. “A lot of them.” She thought of her sister, and then stopped that thought. Not fast enough, because Star saw it in her face.

“Hey, look at this.” She snagged another letter off the table and ripped it open. “Dear Lightning Girl, my name is Reg Preston and I am the president of International Inc., publishers of Busty Gal Magazine, and I would like to offer you a unique opportunity…”

Molly growled, “I swear, they send me all that shit to drive me crazy,” and looked at the letter. It promptly caught fire, and Star dropped it.

“OW!! No fair using your heat vision, beeyotch. And we didn’t get to the part about how much he was going to pay you!”

You pose for him,” Molly said. “Maybe there’s a Nekkid Witch Magazine.”

“Yeah,” Star said. “It’s called the Internet. We’re naked all the time, nobody cares.”

Molly stood up and stretched. “OK, that was sordid enough that it gave me an appetite. What do we want to eat?”

“I say Mexican, because that cheese in the fridge is becoming something that you might have to fight some day.”

“Very funny,” Molly said. “Mexican it is. Be back in a little bit.” With that, there was a faint blur and she was gone.

“Showoff,” Star said to herself. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that.”

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February 10, 2013 · 2:50 am

The thing about the Internet

The thing about the Internet, and by extension Facebook or any other social network, is this. Along with all the possibilities for connection and creation, it also offers reprehensible, repulsive people the opportunity to aggressively promote and glorify their reprehensibility and their repulsiveness, and to spread it widely.

Before the internet, these people were marginalized, many times rightly so. Now they can pretend that they have followers, and they can believe that their opinions, no matter how idiotic or disgusting, count for something. They don’t, they never did, and they never will. Paying any attention whatsoever to these wretched, lifeless subhumans in their dirty apartments at the edge of pitiful podunk towns typing filth into their stolen work laptops only feeds their ego-masturbation sessions. In return, I receive nothing. I get angry, or bitter, or cynical, or just plain misanthropic.

The deceit of the Internet is that it pretends that everyone’s opinion is worthy of our notice. The opposite is true.

Who determines who and what is worthy of my notice? I do. I have that perfect and absolute right. The fact that someone bought a computer and learned how to type with two fingers does not make them worthy of my notice. The lie of the Internet is that it does.

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July 14, 2012 · 9:14 pm