True will, Transgender and Thelema
I just joined this forum, but have been a thelemite and active in the thelemic community, both AA and OTO, since 1990. On some level I "knew" since I was seven years old that I'm (MtF) transgender, but have been trying to repress that, attempted to kick that back in my subconsciousness for the last 35 years. I was afraid and prejudiced against myself. As a young child I was the only "boy" attending classical ballet; all my friends were girls, I played with dolls and fully identified with the feminine role before I was even aware something like gender or sexual identity existed. This went on for about two years, until the moment a school bully attended a performance I was a part of and "outed" me in school. The following two years I was beaten up almost daily for being a "faggot".
So I decided to go "undercover" with my identity, stopped doing ballet and started focusing on martial arts, successively taking vengeance on all my bullies. I even overcompensated male behavior by joining the Israeli military, became a father, started a business, projected the image of a strong male. I did succeed, because I'm a good actor. But being a thelemite, clearing up all my repressions and inhibitions while searching for my true will, I was again confronted with my female identity time after time: my angel, "myself made perfect", spontaneously appearing to me in female form, being tapped into lunar rather than solar mysteries, always being sexually receptive, having been recognized in the XI* for writing about the inversion of polarities, crossdressing.
This has recently resulted in a diagnosis with "gender dysphoria". It's official now and I have started transitioning. My brain has been measured to fully function like that of a woman and my anatomy may be male, but the way I'm sexually wired is definitely female. I don't even touch my penis when I have sex and experience orgasm through prostate stimulation while being fucked, crudely put.
This will be a long process of about four years, at which time I've officially become a woman. Or have I, not having the matching procreative capacity? My body will represent the AMA formula rather than the AIMA (maybe ten years from now, they'll be able to implant artificial ovaries and a womb). I will have a fully functioning vagina though, which is capable of experiencing pleasure. With the nerve ends over there they create a functioning clitoris and even a g-spot, the prostate will stay and start having a lubricating function when excited and according to trans people I talked with, they do experience a female orgasm.
But how will this work out on an energetic level? I'm a practitioner of both Tantra and sexual Magick and always performed as a male, a "god" during hieros gamos. Will I still be able to raise my kundalini energy when I'm post-op? Will I be able to perform as a priestess during gnostic mass? I know the caliphate would allow me to be a priestess for reasons of political correctness, but would it be "right"? Will i be able to be a proper Shakhti? Also, I'm finding out that the thelemic paradigm as explained by Crowley relates one's given anatomy and bodily functions with true will. Somewhere in Book 4 he writes for example, that it's the true will of a woman, to become pregnant. But it's not my true will to have a cock. At all.
So how do transgenders fit in the thelemic paradigm?
welcome to the forums and congratulations on your work discovering your true nature in the face of such difficulties. I'm afraid I don't have any answers for the questions you've asked - but I did want to extend a warm welcome and am looking forward to your participation here.
There was quite a long thread on this topic a couple years back; search should turn it up.
In that thread, I pointed out that Thelema must surely welcome transgender folk. Our Prophet's first love was a transgender performer, Diane De Rougy/Herbert Charles Jerome Pollitt.
Crowley was clearly a product of another era (pre-Aeon of Horus) in his sexual politics and praxis (as in so much else), so some extraplation, and "making allowances" for this may be necessary.
"Every man and every women is a star"; your Will is yours alone. Welcome to the forum.
But how will this work out on an energetic level?
Depends on what you mean by "on an energetic level."
I'm a practitioner of both Tantra and sexual Magick and always performed as a male, a "god" during hieros gamos. Will I still be able to raise my kundalini energy when I'm post-op?
Why wouldn't you?
Will I be able to perform as a priestess during gnostic mass? I know the caliphate would allow me to be a priestess for reasons of political correctness, but would it be "right"? Will i be able to be a proper Shakhti?
What's a "proper" Shakhti (?), and why do you think a transgender individual couldn't fill the role?
Also, I'm finding out that the thelemic paradigm as explained by Crowley relates one's given anatomy and bodily functions with true will. Somewhere in Book 4 he writes for example, that it's the true will of a woman, to become pregnant. But it's not my true will to have a cock. At all.
Yeah, Crowley's explanation of True Will in those places is exceedingly shallow. We can't identify the individual's True Will entirely with simple biological urges or functions. For example, it's a natural bodily function for my fingernails to grow, but it can be part of my True Will to cut the nails, thwarting that function of my body so as to fulfill my Will. In a similar way, it's a natural function for a woman to give birth, but it could be part of her True Will not to get pregnant or to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
I don't see any reason that one should have to continue having a cock if one would feel more comfortable without one.
So how do transgenders fit in the thelemic paradigm?
The same way everyone else does. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
There are at least a few temples that perform rites with female members in God roles and male members in Goddess roles, just to mix things up. Not just opposite each other - they sometimes end up with a 'male God' interacting with a 'male Goddess'. Your question shows why that is so important, for all Thelemites, trans to cis, gay to straight, everyone in between. The rites represent inner workings; all roles including Priest and Priestess, God and Goddess, Queen and King, Babalon and Beast, every single one of those currents are in each one of us, regardless of the state of our genitalia.
The expectation that ritual godform representation must conform to physical genitalia blinds us to the fact that if these rituals are going to 'work' (impact our consciousness to further our magical or alchemical development) then we need to identify with each role, current and station, not just the ones that conform to our genitalia and/or gender identity.
In Francis King's Secret Rituals you can read the secret instructions of the highest magickal degrees which tell of how the elixir of life is to be produced and it's a very annoying thing for trans people (like myself) to find that the whole sex magick thing centers around male and female fluids mixing together in a vagina.. Sigh.. but there is hope! I look to male solo sexual alchemy for my practices, being that my genitals are basically an inverted phallus which can still function as far as sensation is concerned. I know it's weird but check out this guy, It helps me. As for the law I think we all know where we stand on that so no point beating a dead horse. https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Golden-Phallus-Alchemy-Century/dp/154139321X
Long story short: My golden phallus is within my body of Nuit.. hope that helps!
Thank you for your all-encompassing viewpoint, exposition, and link.
Alostrael, 93 and welcome to Forums!
Your experience of yourself and understanding of your True Will parallels mine in many ways. Like you, I felt an identity with, and attraction to, the Lunar Current rather than the Solar. Coming from a Paternalistic family of Appalachian-Mountain Hillbillies didn't help at all, and I especially had a bully cousin who constantly threatened to beat me up for being a "sissy". This was at a time when homosexuality was not a "proper" public topic, as I'm now 68 years old; but I've been studying Thelema for 52 years, have been a member of the Typhonian O.T.O. headed by Kenneth Grant since 1973, and functioned as Tenth Degree (Administrative Head) of that Order in America for 13 years after the resignation of Ms. Janice Ayers from the position. I've only recently come to LAShTAL, however.
Like you, I felt "inwardly female" from the time of my earliest childhood, only it manifested as an interest in Drama rather than Ballet (as in your case). My interest in the Dramatic arts was instigated by my urge to learn the art of makeup, and even today I have a close friend who was the makeup artist and floral designer for the Miami Opera Guild for many years.
Similarly, I learned some karate, and (while majoring in Drama at college) learned the "male" art of Fencing. Yet, I was also required to take Dance.
While "inwardly" female, the idea of a sex-change never appealed to me, and my transgender nature manifested itself in the form of transvestism. I formulated a Power-Zone in the Typhonian O.T.O. (The K'rla Cell) after my H.G.A. appeared to me on Key Bridge over the Potomac River on September 23rd, 1977 in Washington, D.C. (the city of my birth on July 4th, 1950); in the form of a woman -- like yours. I did not (or, was afraid to) accept Her as my Angel for three months (then, on September 23rd); and only after a letter from Kenneth Grant, who accepted my experience in no uncertain terms. When he did, I dropped my theater career for good (although I'd already made it into S.A.G.), and devoted my life to the O.T.O. and to the service of my Angel, who provided me with the formula for working that I then had to spend years developing. After that meeting, I corresponded with Kenneth Grant once (and sometimes twice) a month for nearly 35 years, and visited him in the U.K. on a number of occasions. I always found him very friendly and accepting, and he had no problems with the way I chose to Work, seeing it as a genuine manifestation of my True Will. He encouraged my formulation of a Power-Zone (the K'rla Cell) which he wrote about in Chapter 6 of "Beyond the Mauve Zone" (recently republished by Starfire Publishing, Ltd., at the Spring Equinox, 2016). In Chapter 6 of that book (the eighth in his series "The Typhonian Trilogies") , the Seal of the K'rla Cell Cult appears on page 93. It was designed and drawn by me, with the additional help of Kenneth Grant's wife (now, widow), Steffi (who added a finishing touch). She is a teacher at the Royal Academy of Art in London. He initially planned three chapters on the Work of the Cell, but we were never able to find other occultists interested enough to enable us to develop the Work quickly. Even among those I was told by him to send the Work on to. Nevertheless, I was once even accused of "intentionally holding up" his work. That accusation was not made by Mr. Grant, however, who could see the problems I was having, and was being patient.
Kenneth Grant had instructed the K'rla Cell to achieve communication with "the Old Ones", a concept which I found to be quite daunting. It took years to develop a method of Working to accomplish this, but the desired result was achieved. In "Beyond the Mauve Zone" (pg. 95), Grant wrote:
"The Evans-Keenan Cell Workings in the Tunnel of Niantiel established contact with the Old Ones in the specific
form of KRLAMKR. This formula has the numerical index of 511, or 93 plus 418, thereby revealing at its heart the
93 Current - Aiwass."
The contact manifested in the form of a geometry of the square root of five, such as that described by H.P. Lovecraft as being "the basis of the mathematics of the Old Ones". It also seems to be the basis of the mathematics of Thelema, and I can finally prove this. Getting other Thelemites (and, mathematicians!) to accept this is another matter, however. In school I had been an accomplished reader & speller, but a total failure at arithmetic, which I finally dropped for good after failing plane geometry when I was 13. In place of it I took Latin when I was 14 to help me get a grasp on religious terminology, and found that extremely helpful when I discovered "Magick in Theory and Practice" in 1966. The phrase "The Method of Science: the Aim of Religion" had a special appeal for me, but -- not being a mathematician of any kind --
I knew I could never be a scientist. However, in working the Rite of the K'rla Cell I accomplished a dual end: I became a "Thelemic mathematician", and was also able to function in the role of the Priestess. Thus, I accomplished my True Will in both these respects. I now realize that my early theater training was necessary for my development on the Path also, since in "Magick in Theory and Practice", Chapter 19 ("Of Dramatic Rituals"), Crowley writes:
"These Rituals are therefore well suited for such persons as are capable of understanding the spirit of Magick as
opposed to the letter."
The Rite of the K'rla Cell was designed specifically along the lines of Dramatic Ritual, since I have found very few occultists capable of understanding "the letter" of Magick who were willing to work along these lines. Fortunately, I
seem to have been blessed with some (at least) capability of understanding both.
In "Beyond the Mauve Zone" (supra), pages 92 - 94, Kenneth Grant writes:
"Setting aside the gematria of K'rla, a curious fact emerges which may be significant in connection with specific
magical rituals performed in New Isis Lodge on March 2nd, 1951. On the day in question, the word MARLA was
received by the priestess presiding at that time. The Yi King omen for that day was 23, Po, 'Falling',
glyphed astrologically by Cauda Draconis. The word Marla provides an interesting gloss on K'rla in respect of the
substitution of 'k' (the letter of of the goddess) for the chandra-bindu, which is alphabeticalized as the letter 'm'.
It is as if the bindu in the Sri Chakra had fleshed as the goddess of the K'rla Cell whose office is fulfilled by the
priestess. It is another curious fact that in the Tibetan Khorlo Rite it is the Priest, not the Priestess, who becomes
oracular, thus reversing the usually accepted procedure of the Hindu Tantras. The Evans-Keenan Rite adheres to
the Tibetan praxis in this respect since it is the ostensibly male component of the Rite that utters the Oracle."
After straightening up the Typhonian O.T.O. in America during my 13-year tenure as its Tenth Degree (Administrative Head), I turned that position over to Mr. Michael Staley of London, U.K., and was subsequently passed on to the Eleventh Degree in the Order (on September 23rd, 2000 e.v.) with a Certificate signed by Kenneth Grant, and co-signed by Michael Staley. That Degree gives me the right to found a Typhonian Order based on the Rite of the K'rla Cell, and the members of that Power Zone (or Lodge) are presently accomplishing this. In return for the move to Eleventh Degree, I turned all my papers, certificates, and past Order correspondence over to Mr. Staley, retaining only my Eleventh Degree Certificate, and Mr. Staley has now chosen to re-design Kenneth Grant's Typhonian O.T.O. along entirely different lines, calling it instead, Ordo Typhonis, and it seems to be composed entirely of U.K. membership.
Living again in Miami, Fl, since 1979, I have become a member of a Santeria/Palo-Mayumba Cult, although do not practice animal sacrifice, having sought out a Santero who works with sacrifices of fruit, candies, and other foods. His ile (or "house") is an ile di Yemanja (a feminine orisha, the orisha of Water). I was given a specially-constructed Eleggua with a sacred stone in it following the attributions in "777", and Him (plus my other Warriors Ogun, Ochosi, and Osun, along with my ileke) form the basis for my Altar and my Magical Weapons.
The first K'rla Cell Working was accomplished in Ithaca, upstate N.Y., on Dec. 31st-Jan. 1st, 1980-81 e.v., or three-and-one-half years after my Attainment of K&C of HGA.
Thank you for posting, Alostrael, welcome to Thelema; and, remember "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law",
and "Love is the law, love under will."
LGBT issues have been in the media a lot in the last decade or so. AC in the intro to Liber Al seemed to "prohesy" (interpret that as you will) this;
The New Aeon
The third chapter of the Book is difficult to understand, and may be very repugnant to many people born before the date of the book (April, 1904).
It tells us the characteristics of the Period on which we are now entered. Superficially, they appear appalling. We see some of them already with terrifying clarity. But fear not!
. Observe for yourselves the decay of the sense of sin, the growth of innocence and irresponsibility, the strange modifications of the reproductive instinct with a tendency to become bisexual or epicene,