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Women in Thelema and Magick - in Theory and Practice

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 Anonymous
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Greetings!

Hey! It’s Women’s Day today! 😀
I’ve been trying to find something special to do for all the Lashtalian Ladies today, so I thought to open this thread, about Women in Thelema and Magick, in Theory and Practice.
(I guess this thought was also triggered by wellbreadwellread’s last post regarding Thelemic and Typhonian concepts about women, in the “Correspondences between Thelema and the Typhonian concepts” thread.)

Babalon and the Scarlet women are some of the most prominent figures in Thelema, but what about all the rest women? -Let's call them “rainbow women” today 😉
What is their role supposed to play in the world of Thelema and Magic? I haven’t been able to form a very clear idea about that yet.

In Northern Greece, there is the peninsula of Mount Athos which is also called “Virgin Mary’s Garden”, as it is dedicated to her. It is inhabited only by monks who live in monasteries or scetes and no woman has been allowed to enter for the last 1000 years. One realizes that, the place which is supposed to celebrate the Divine Feminine, is forbidden to any of Her earthly representatives. It is obvious that this is not the case when it comes to Thelema but, could it be that the celebration of Lady Babalon and the Scarlet Women have created a similar reaction somewhere in the Thelemic subconscious? What would a Thelemite’s spouse think about the impact of this celebration on one’s everyday life?

Finally, what do the Thelemites in general think about the role of Woman in Thelema and Magic and, of course, what was Aleister Crowley’s idea about that (in theory and practice)?

Regards
Hecate


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ianrons
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If you don't mind I'd rather not "celebrate" a Soviet political event... and leave the poor monks alone!

"Women of the world unite"?

🙄


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 Anonymous
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Greetings

"ianrons" wrote:
If you don't mind I'd rather not "celebrate" a Soviet political event... and leave the poor monks alone!

"Women of the world unite"?

🙄

"a Soviet event"!

Ok, Ian.... if you can resist answering all those questions, it's fine with me.
LOL 😀 😀

Regards
Hecate


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antares93
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93

Personally, I think Women's Day is an opportunity to reflect on the status of women around the world. There are many places where women are still subject to archaic biases which too often lead to forced sterilization, rape, abuse, murder... As a Thelemite, I personally see these atrocities as symptoms of an old aeon. So I see raising awareness around these issues as one way to help establish a new age where "Every man and every woman is a star." (Liber AL vel Legis, 1:3) No exceptions. I'm not concerned with what Uncle Al said or thought much of the time. He was a product of his time and life experiences and had strengths and weaknesses just as we all do.

93 93/93


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ianrons
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"Hecate" wrote:
"a Soviet event"!

Alright, it was only later co-opted by the Soviets. However, it's a highly political event which has its roots in the Second International (hence "International Women's Day", along with "International Workers' Day"). I'm not going to celebrate "International Workers Day" either!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_International

I do realise that a lot of people don't have a clue about politics, but you are conflating Socialism and Thelema with your question... so when you say "What would a Thelemite’s spouse think about the impact of this celebration on one’s everyday life?" I would suggest the answer is "none", unless that individual Thelemite is also a Socialist (how is this possible?!).

You may as well ask how Thelemites should celebrate Christmas.


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 Anonymous
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Greetings

See? I knew you would have something (new for me) to say!
I didn't know about the Second International...

However the celebration worked merely as the Troyan Horse for all those questions about the role of women in Thelema...

"ianrons" wrote:
"Hecate" wrote:
"a Soviet event"!

Alright, it was only later co-opted by the Soviets. However, it's a highly political event which has its roots in the Second International (hence "International Women's Day", along with "International Workers' Day"). I'm not going to celebrate "International Workers Day" either!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_International

I do realise that a lot of people don't have a clue about politics, but you are conflating Socialism and Thelema with your question... so when you say "What would a Thelemite’s spouse think about the impact of this celebration on one’s everyday life?" I would suggest the answer is "none", unless that individual Thelemite is also a Socialist.
You may as well ask how Thelemites should celebrate Christmas.

I’m afraid I did not put it quite clear… The question “It is obvious that this is not the case when it comes to Thelema but, could it be that the celebration of Lady Babalon and the Scarlet Women have created a similar reaction somewhere in the Thelemic subconscious? What would a Thelemite’s spouse think about the impact of this celebration on one’s everyday life?” is about the impact of the celebration of Babalon in a Thelemic couple’s everyday life… 🙂

Regards
Hecate


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antares93
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"Hecate" wrote:
“It is obvious that this is not the case when it comes to Thelema but, could it be that the celebration of Lady Babalon and the Scarlet Women have created a similar reaction somewhere in the Thelemic subconscious?

My answer to this is no. Because I'm not aware of a single Thelemic subconscious. However, could this be true for a specific Thelemite? Sure, I suppose so.

"Hecate" wrote:
What would a Thelemite’s spouse think about the impact of this celebration on one’s everyday life?” is about the impact of the celebration of Babalon in a Thelemic couple’s everyday life… 🙂

Once again, there are probably various equally valid answers to this question. Perhaps this is an opportunity for anyone interested to share their specific answers, including yourself. 🙂


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 Anonymous
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I would think that a woman's role in Thelema (true Will) would be the same as a man's role, to know and do their true Will.

As for Magick, unless that be one's true Will, it would not be relevant to one.


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mika
 mika
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Do you really believe the only roles or archetypes available to women in Thelema is Babalon and the Scarlet Woman? And, do you really believe only biological women can fill the roles of "Babalon" and "Scarlet Woman"?

You are apparently confusing male and female physical gender with masculine and feminine archetypes.

Consider Horus - do only male magicians experience being the Babe of the Abyss? Of course not. Every archetype, every role, station, grade, god form, whatever, is relevant for men and women regardless of whether the role is masculine or feminine (or both or neither). We are each the entire qabalistic tree (or the entire IOT formula, or the entire macrocosm, or the entire universe... however you want to label it, we each include all masculine and feminine forms).

Yes, certain symbolism is more accessible to one gender over another. I'll never know what it's like to have a penis so the image of penis as representative of will is purely symbolic. However, despite being a woman I'll also never know what it's like to have a baby, so the image of motherhood as representative of creation is also purely symbolic.

The idea that only females can take on feminine archetypes and only males can take on masculine archetypes is itself sexist, or at a minimum, demonstrates lack of understanding or misunderstanding of what these roles or 'stations' really mean.


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 Anonymous
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Thanks for posting this, Hecate. The topic of women is too often neglected among Thelemites, except for people occasionally wondering aloud where all the women are. The matter truly deserves more attention than merely repeating, "Every man and every woman is a star."

Oh, but what a pain it is to have to think about the experience of other people! I thought the point of getting involved in a religion like Thelema was so that we didn't have to do that crap all the time!

Being a female in the Thelemic community reminds me of being left-handed in a right-handed world. Lefties are no longer accused of being in league with the devil, but most tools are created with right-handed people in mind. Left-handed people either adjust or perish, which, according to statistics, we do much earlier than right-handed people, even after a lifetime of adjusting to a world oriented the other way around.

Whether it's comfortable for some of us to admit it or not, a religion full of sex magick written from a male's point of view is inherently exclusionary. O phalle! In the case of unexpected womanhood, pretend your clitoris is a penis...Well, a clitoris is really not a penis. A female experience of sex is different than a man's, and Crowley might have been a prophet, but he didn't understand what it is like to be a woman, sexually or magically. Some enterprising female Thelemite will write all about it for us someday soon, I hope, but in the meantime I hope we can all agree that Thelema has certain deficits in this area.

The WORLD has certain deficits in this area, and pretending that they do not exist just because we may not be able to eradicate them is very un-Thelemic. Probably no one here will recognize the name of Meredith Emerson. She was a young woman who took her dog for a walk at a well-populated nature preserve a few years ago on New Year's Day. She was kidnapped and tortured (and no doubt raped) for days by a serial killer who eventually decapitated her and left her head on a stump. He let her dog go, though, because he couldn't bring himself to hurt it.

Her story is not that well-known, and sadly it is not that astonishing, in terms of crime stories. What happened to Meredith Emerson is just what can happen to women sometimes when they go for a walk in the woods by themselves. Men do not fear this, not in the same way. Crowley was able to wander the world on his own. The experience of women in this world is very different.


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 Anonymous
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Occultism aside, especially since this not an occult website according to the owner, these 'special days' dedicated to nationalism, racism or, in this case, genderism, do tend to distract and detract from the degree of individualism that is essential to Thelema, imo.


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antares93
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"Gentian" wrote:
Whether it's comfortable for some of us to admit it or not, a religion full of sex magick written from a male's point of view is inherently exclusionary. O phalle! In the case of unexpected womanhood, pretend your clitoris is a penis...Well, a clitoris is really not a penis. A female experience of sex is different than a man's, and Crowley might have been a prophet, but he didn't understand what it is like to be a woman, sexually or magically. Some enterprising female Thelemite will write all about it for us someday soon, I hope, but in the meantime I hope we can all agree that Thelema has certain deficits in this area.

93

I don't agree. Individual Thelemites may have deficits in this area, or not, but my interpretation of Thelema does not necessarily include the deficits you write of.

93 93/93


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mika
 mika
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"Gentian" wrote:
Being a female in the Thelemic community reminds me of being left-handed in a right-handed world... Left-handed people either adjust or perish, which, according to statistics, we do much earlier than right-handed people, even after a lifetime of adjusting to a world oriented the other way around. ...
Whether it's comfortable for some of us to admit it or not, a religion full of sex magick written from a male's point of view is inherently exclusionary. O phalle! In the case of unexpected womanhood, pretend your clitoris is a penis...Well, a clitoris is really not a penis. A female experience of sex is different than a man's, and Crowley might have been a prophet, but he didn't understand what it is like to be a woman, sexually or magically.

Yes, to your whole post. This is the thing, though - since nearly all available documents related to hermetic magick are written from a man's pov and women have to "adjust or perish", women are more likely to truly explore the meaning behind all the symbolism than men, who are more likely to mistake the symbolism for actual reality.

For example, if women read the word "penis" in a magical text, we will fairly automatically convert the word from literal to symbolic and reinterpret the context of the word accordingly. If men read the word "penis", the first response will most likely be to consider a literal context. But it's not just men who get stuck like this - as demonstrated by Hecate in the orignial post for this thread, who assumed that Babalon and Scarlet Woman = women's roles (see my response to that post).

Anyway, my point is, it is very easy to take sexual or gender-based magical symbolism literally. Women have the "benefit" of training ourselves against this habit early on, since we have to if we're going to get anything personally meaningful out of magical literature. But the need to do this applies to everyone, male and female.

"Gentian" wrote:
Some enterprising female Thelemite will write all about it for us someday soon, I hope, but in the meantime I hope we can all agree that Thelema has certain deficits in this area.

I do not agree that Thelema has deficits in regards to gender roles/representations. As far as I know, nowhere in any Thelemic document does it say "women are/do X and men are/do Y". Crowley himself had a particular perspective that was pretty biased, but his magical texts are fairly balanced and abstract, like other historical alchemical and/or qabala based hermetic magick work.

Again, don't assume references to masculine and feminine or to male and female god-forms are equivalent to references to men and women. We all are both masculine and feminine in different degrees and different forms of manifestation. I am just as much Osiris Risen as a man is Isis in Mourning, I am as much the Emperor as a man is the Empress, etc. The belief that only men are "Beasts" and only women are "Scarlet Women" etc is completely mistaken.


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 Anonymous
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Nicely put, Mika. With regard to Crowley's personal problems and any modern Thelemic communities that might emulate them, Crowley should be understood for what he was and wasn't and alternative Thelemic communities should be identified and sought out by inquirers, or new ones started by interested parties.


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Tiger
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Crowley was able to wander the world on his own. The experience of women in this world is very different.

Madame Blavatsky, Alexandra David-Néel are some women adventures that traveled and wrote. Nema seems of interest which I haven't gotten around to yet.

But yes I think The experience of women in this world is very different and is changing as well as mans world.


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 Anonymous
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Greetings!

"mika" wrote:
…demonstrates lack of understanding or misunderstanding of what these roles or 'stations' really mean.

I plea guilty! 😀
I’m guilty for being ignorant about Thelema, even now, 5 months after I first heard about it!
But then, this is why I asked the questions in the first place…. 😉

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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"antares93" wrote:
93

I don't agree. Individual Thelemites may have deficits in this area, or not, but my interpretation of Thelema does not necessarily include the deficits you write of.

93 93/93

93 antares93,

That's good. I agree with you that a true above-the-Abyss understanding of Thelema transcends concepts like gender. But we all start in Malkuth and (especially when it comes to promulgation) I think it's worth examining why, for instance, Thelema attracts more men than women, more white people than people of color, and so on.

I would like to add that my personal experience in the Thelemic community, both on and offline, has only been positive. I have never felt discriminated against by anyone; in fact, I have felt that other Thelemites welcome my perspective both as a woman and as a magician.

93 93/93. Gentian.


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mika
 mika
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"Hecate" wrote:
"mika" wrote:
…demonstrates lack of understanding or misunderstanding of what these roles or 'stations' really mean.

I plea guilty! 😀
I’m guilty for being ignorant about Thelema, even now, 5 months after I first heard about it!
But then, this is why I asked the questions in the first place…. 😉

Ah, I see. What other forms of magick, esotericism or similar have you studied, if any? (Looking for a common language).

The short and simple answer is, these roles (or stations, grades, god-forms, however you want to describe them) represent aspects of the human experience of the self/universe; combined they represent the microcosm and macrocosm, thus all of them apply to all people in some way or another at some time or another as we do our magical work. A man can embody "the Scarlet Woman" just as a woman can embody "the Beast", since the "gender" of these archetypes are purely symbolic; they point to the inherent nature of the god-forms rather than actual physical characteristics.


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 Anonymous
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"mika" wrote:
The short and simple answer is, these roles (or stations, grades, god-forms, however you want to describe them) represent aspects of the human experience of the self/universe; combined they represent the microcosm and macrocosm, thus all of them apply to all people in some way or another at some time or another as we do our magical work. A man can embody "the Scarlet Woman" just as a woman can embody "the Beast", since the "gender" of these archetypes are purely symbolic; they point to the inherent nature of the god-forms rather than actual physical characteristics.

Yes! But I don't think that this is emphasized often enough.


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 Anonymous
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Greetings Mika.

"mika" wrote:
Ah, I see. What other forms of magick, esotericism or similar have you studied, if any? (Looking for a common language).

I have studied the Silva method for Mind Control, a little bit of Theosophy (H.P.Blavatsky and A.Bailey), a little bit of Astrology (enough to make charts with the help of some books), a little bit of Agni Yoga, a little bit of Qabalah and much of new age stuff. Probably I’ve done a few other things too that I don’t remember right now.

I haven’t studied Magick at all, but I recently realized that everything I used to do in the context of the new age movement (i.e. meditations and various techniques) and everything my inner guide taught me to do was Magick. I’ve also read 3 or 4 of AC’s books until now.

I believe I can understand the way the archetypes work pretty well. However, although your explanation about the roles and the archetypes is perfectly understood, it does not seem to answer the specific questions about women’s role in Thelema and Magick according to Aleister Crowley and the Thelemites….

Perhaps you have a very clear idea about what this role is supposed (or not supposed) to be, but I have the impression that a discussion over this subject would clarify many things not only to me (who do not claim to be a Thelemite), but to many Thelemites as well.

Regards
Hecate


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mika
 mika
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"Hecate" wrote:
However, although your explanation about the roles and the archetypes is perfectly understood, it does not seem to answer the specific questions about women’s role in Thelema and Magick according to Aleister Crowley and the Thelemites….

Perhaps you have a very clear idea about what this role is supposed (or not supposed) to be, but I have the impression that a discussion over this subject would clarify many things not only to me (who do not claim to be a Thelemite), but to many Thelemites as well.

When you say things like "supposed to be", you get into very tricky territory (or very simple, depending on how you look at it). Women's roles in Thelema is the same as men's - to live in accordance with our essential nature. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" - not women shall do this and men shall do that. In other words, the requirements of Thelema (and Magick in general) are not based on what kind of genetalia you were born with, they apply to all people the same way.

Crowley may have had his own opinions about women's roles, but I don't see what relevance they have in relation to practicing magick or Thelema, so I'm not interested in commenting about that.

Perhaps I'm not understanding the heart of your question - are you asking if the practical work is different for women and men? Or are you asking about assigned roles within magical organizations such as the OTO? Something else?


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 Anonymous
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"mika" wrote:
Crowley himself had a particular perspective that was pretty biased, but his magical texts are fairly balanced and abstract, like other historical alchemical and/or qabala based hermetic magick work.

I agree, and this has always been one of the most infuriating things to me about Crowley. Infuriating because he was obviously so intelligent, so well-read, and so learned in so many areas, yet he would still routinely resort to misogyny and anti-Semitism in some personal writings. Yet in his magical writings, women are praised. And where would Thelema be without Qabalah and the Hebrew alphabet? It likely wouldn't even exist. I know a lot of people write this off as a case of "Crowley was a man of his time," but not everyone of that time held these feelings. And not everyone who did made such extensive study of Jewish mysticism while still calling the Jews "parasites of man" as he does in The Law is For All and repeating the infamous blood libel as he does in Book 4.

As mika stated, the system of Thelema itself has no deficits when it comes to the roles of women. "Every man AND every women is star," of course. It's just a shame that I've never been quite sure that Crowley himself ever actually believed that.

Of course, Crowley was anything but perfect (don't we all know that!). In the end, he was subject to the same foibles as all of us. It's just that these particular foibles have never made sense for this particular man. The drugs, however, those made perfect sense.


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alysa
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I also doubt very much the case wether Crowley ever took seriously the believe that every man and every woman is a star.


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 Anonymous
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The most sensible answer I can presently find to a question of the 'role of women in Thelema' is pretty much the same as the question of role of men in Thelema. It's whatever they (and the rest) find it to be.


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 Anonymous
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Greetings!

"mika" wrote:
Perhaps I'm not understanding the heart of your question - are you asking if the practical work is different for women and men? Or are you asking about assigned roles within magical organizations such as the OTO? Something else?

I ask everything... 🙂
Apparently, to answer this question fully, one would need to examine it from many points of view.

For instance, I do realize that Babalon is an archetype and probably the Scarlet Woman is a role which helps one to identify oneself with this archetype. However, one question could be “how is Babalon connected with Quan Yin, Virgin Mary, Isis, and the rest symbols of the Divine Feminine?"

Another question could be “Is it possible to define clearly the factual changes experienced by someone who practices the relevant rituals?” That is, how does working with the archetypes influence the consciousness, and how can it alter and improve one’s daily life?

In other words, I think it would be enlightening to have this subject of “The Woman in Thelema and Magick –in Theory and Practice” expanded in every possible direction -both theoretical and practical, but I guess this will depend on the process of the discussion itself, as many more questions are going to appear in time and every participant can add a valuable perspective…

Regards
Hecate


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the_real_simon_iff
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Hecate, 93!

You might be interested in the essay "Feminist Thelema" by Brandy Williams, a course she held at the Sixth Biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference in 2007. From the blurp: Brandy Williams is Master of Vortex Camp in Tacoma, Washington, an ordained priestess in E.G.C., and chartered initiator. Published works include Ecstatic Ritual: Practical Sex Magic and Practical Magic for Beginners. She has been an active teacher and organizer in the magical communities for twenty years and a feminist for thirty years."

The book containing this essay is available here for example: http://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Strength-Proceedings-Biennial-Conference/dp/143924734X/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268142069&sr=8-11

Mabe you find some more perspectives in her essay. The book is overall also pretty interesting featuring texts by Lon Milo DuQuette, Richard Kaczynski, James and Nancy Wasserrman, Eric Muhler, Marlene Cornelius and other Thelemic "celebrities".

Love=Law
Lutz


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 Anonymous
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"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
Mabe you find some more perspectives in her essay"

Love=Law
Lutz

Thank you Lutz! I've never claimed being a feminist (didn't care to) but I'm sure it would be very interesting to read this essay.
Thanks again.

Regards
Hecate


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antares93
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"quatermass" wrote:
As mika stated, the system of Thelema itself has no deficits when it comes to the roles of women. "Every man AND every women is star," of course. It's just a shame that I've never been quite sure that Crowley himself ever actually believed that.

Of course, Crowley was anything but perfect (don't we all know that!). In the end, he was subject to the same foibles as all of us. It's just that these particular foibles have never made sense for this particular man.

93

The only good I can see from Crowley's apparent ignorance around these matters is that many Thelemites go through a process of separating the man from the system. There is less of a danger of Thelema evolving into Crowleyanity with AC as a Jesus for the new aeon. Did he do this on purpose? I will probably never know...but it's food for thought in any case.

93 93/93


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 Anonymous
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Greetings!

"antares93" wrote:
...many Thelemites go through a process of separating the man from the system. There is less of a danger of Thelema evolving into Crowleyanity with AC as a Jesus for the new aeon. Did he do this on purpose? I will probably never know...but it's food for thought in any case.
93 93/93

This is something I've been thinking for some time now.
I would take it further saying that, manifesting a personality which acted as he did, was his soul's gift to humanity in order to help people disengage the messenger from the message, thus empowering them to express their real Self.

Regards
Hecate


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thamiel
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unless that individual Thelemite is also a Socialist (how is this possible?!).

Ha Ha. In my utopian reveries I'm an anarcho-communist, but practically a socialist.

What does that leave you...liberal capitalist...fascist...Nihilist..?


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ianrons
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"thamiel" wrote:

unless that individual Thelemite is also a Socialist (how is this possible?!).

Ha Ha. In my utopian reveries I'm an anarcho-communist, but practically a socialist.

What does that leave you...liberal capitalist...fascist...Nihilist..?

I am not an ideologue, so don't fit into a neat box, although my views generally accord with the "habit of mind" that is conservatism. I regard individual liberty as being a fundamental right, not a privilege to be dispensed by social or communal decree. Socialism, in particular social authoritarianism, central planning and all the rest, seem to be a kind of grotesque nightmare to be fought at all costs; and a philosophy that has been proven not to work. Government is, however, necessary to a degree but ought to be limited principally to law & order and national defence (which includes, to a certain extent, the reasonable conservation of our natural habitat), extended insofar as it is the duty of free societies to help bring freedom to others and to defend the world from the encroachment of centralist or socialist forms of control.

Whether socialism is incompatible with Thelema is a dubious question. In many ways it has similarities to national socialism, but we are getting off-topic.


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thamiel
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generally accord with the "habit of mind" that is conservatism

So, conservatism in the vernacular sense as a social/ethical stance, or conservatism as a political stance, or both? If political which strain of conservatism; traditional conservatism, green conservatism, social conservatism...?

Anyway, we are off topic. Apologies.


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ianrons
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I don't think it's helpful looking for labels, or trying to define ideologies; as I have said, I am fundamentally not an ideologue, and as noted, "conservatism" is a "habit of mind" and not a fixed set of ideas. This is quite difficult to understand, to get across, sometimes. I suppose an analogy would be in sexual orientation: if you try to understand heterosexuality by asking boy A whether he prefers girl X, Y or Z, it always misses the point somehow. You probably won't really understand what drives a heterosexual man unless you are one.

Additionally, I would say the construction of labels, putting people into groups, is actually a socialist modality; but I am an individual.


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 Anonymous
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Hi Hecate. As I noted earlier in this thread:

"Camlion" wrote:
I would think that a woman's role in Thelema (true Will) would be the same as a man's role, to know and do their true Will.

But your intention with the thread seems to be more along the lines of this:

"Hecate" wrote:
I ask everything... 🙂
Apparently, to answer this question fully, one would need to examine it from many points of view.

For instance, I do realize that Babalon is an archetype and probably the Scarlet Woman is a role which helps one to identify oneself with this archetype. However, one question could be “how is Babalon connected with Quan Yin, Virgin Mary, Isis, and the rest symbols of the Divine Feminine?"

Another question could be “Is it possible to define clearly the factual changes experienced by someone who practices the relevant rituals?” That is, how does working with the archetypes influence the consciousness, and how can it alter and improve one’s daily life?

In other words, I think it would be enlightening to have this subject of “The Woman in Thelema and Magick –in Theory and Practice” expanded in every possible direction -both theoretical and practical, but I guess this will depend on the process of the discussion itself, as many more questions are going to appear in time and every participant can add a valuable perspective…

Am I correct in concluding that, although you say that you are not a Thelemite and, I assume therefore, do not accept the basic premise of Thelema regarding knowing and doing your own true Will, that you are looking for some other bits of value in the more superficial trappings of Thelema instead?

"the_real_simon_iff" wrote:
You might be interested in the essay "Feminist Thelema" by Brandy Williams, a course she held at the Sixth Biennial National Ordo Templi Orientis Conference in 2007. From the blurp: Brandy Williams is Master of Vortex Camp in Tacoma, Washington, an ordained priestess in E.G.C., and chartered initiator. Published works include Ecstatic Ritual: Practical Sex Magic and Practical Magic for Beginners. She has been an active teacher and organizer in the magical communities for twenty years and a feminist for thirty years."

The book containing this essay is available here for example: http://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Strength-Proceedings-Biennial-Conference/dp/143924734X/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268142069&sr=8-11

Mabe you find some more perspectives in her essay.

Excellent suggestion, Lutz. This is an inexpensive and quick read, which might provide some focus to an otherwise intentionally meandering and needlessly divisive* topic. 🙂

* Needlessly divisive because the question "what is the role of women" implies a conflict that is actually resolved by the Law of Thelema. The only "role" in Thelema is individual, unique and self-appointed by one's own nature.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
I am not an ideologue, so don't fit into a neat box, although my views generally accord with the "habit of mind" that is conservatism. I regard individual liberty as being a fundamental right, not a privilege to be dispensed by social or communal decree. Socialism, in particular social authoritarianism, central planning and all the rest, seem to be a kind of grotesque nightmare to be fought at all costs; and a philosophy that has been proven not to work. Government is, however, necessary to a degree but ought to be limited principally to law & order and national defence (which includes, to a certain extent, the reasonable conservation of our natural habitat), extended insofar as it is the duty of free societies to help bring freedom to others and to defend the world from the encroachment of centralist or socialist forms of control.

A libertarian then, Ian?


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ianrons
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No, not a libertarian. I sympathize with their views, but disagree with them on foreign policy (I am an interventionist, and for instance I spent some time trying to help the Iranian "moderates" lately), and I also think the libertarians have seriously misunderstood the whole debate on gun ownership (if they were serious about it, they would allow everyone to purchase their own aircraft carrier -- you can't defend your rights with an AK, if the other side has stealth bombers). I can explain this in detail, if you like... but just for fun, try this: http://lpuk.org/pages/take-the-test.php and post your results.

The leader of LPUK writes an amusing and wonderfully sweary blog though: http://www.devilskitchen.me.uk/

If I were to choose a label, as I've said, I'm a conservative with a small 'c'; but that doesn't exactly define a fixed set of views, and is more of a "habit of mind".

If this carries on any longer we may have to ask Paul to split the thread...


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
No, not a libertarian. I sympathize with their views, but disagree with them on foreign policy (I am an interventionist, and for instance I spent some time trying to help the Iranian "moderates" lately), and I also think the libertarians have seriously misunderstood the whole debate on gun ownership (if they were serious about it, they would allow everyone to purchase their own aircraft carrier -- you can't defend your rights with an AK, if the other side has stealth bombers). I can explain this in detail, if you like... but just for fun, try this: http://lpuk.org/pages/take-the-test.php and post your results.

The leader of LPUK writes an amusing and wonderfully sweary blog though: http://www.devilskitchen.me.uk/

If I were to choose a label, as I've said, I'm a conservative with a small 'c'; but that doesn't exactly define a fixed set of views, and is more of a "habit of mind".

If this carries on any longer we may have to ask Paul to split the thread...

Yes, I'm very familiar with that little test, in various versions. 🙂

I would call you a 'California libertarian' or an 'enlightened libertarian.' There are many here, many of whom also happen to self-identify as 'Thelemites,' in fact.


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ianrons
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Well I'm so glad you're able to label me 😉

Re: Thelema, I don't see it as a political philosophy. TBOTL describes an entirely personal philosophy, in my view. I don't think it describes any given political structure, although AC obviously had his own views on how it should pan out in practice. For instance, you could certainly map Thelema onto national socialism, I think; or onto a form of anarchism, quite plausibly. Thelemites tend to be a very varied bunch, on the whole.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
Re: Thelema, I don't see it as a political philosophy. TBOTL describes an entirely personal philosophy, in my view. I don't think it describes any given political structure, although AC obviously had his own views on how it should pan out in practice. For instance, you could certainly map Thelema onto national socialism, I think; or onto a form of anarchism, quite plausibly. Thelemites tend to be a very varied bunch, on the whole.

I don't see either national socialism or anarchism as fitting the bill for a government that best supports and does not hinder individual freedom and independence (self-reliance, etc.), which I see as the cornerstones of the sort of Liberty implied by the Law of Thelema. I do see how these very superficially might be perceived as such, however.


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ianrons
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It would be nice to see an extrapolation of Crowley's political views, done decently, perhaps by Patriarch if that's up his street. The reason I mention (national) socialism and anarchism is that those seem to be the two main interpretations of Thelema by Thelemites. AC said hat the first nation to accept TBOTL, etc., etc.; but also there are strong libertarian, neo-feudal or anarchist ideals within it too. Unfortunately, Thelemites spend a lot of time trying to export their own preconceived views to Thelema -- in many ways it provides a blank slate for all sorts of thinking, and I've been guilty of that myself many times in the past.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
It would be nice to see an extrapolation of Crowley's political views, done decently, perhaps by Patriarch if that's up his street. The reason I mention (national) socialism and anarchism is that those seem to be the two main interpretations of Thelema by Thelemites. AC said hat the first nation to accept TBOTL, etc., etc.; but also there are strong libertarian, neo-feudal or anarchist ideals within it too. Unfortunately, Thelemites spend a lot of time trying to read their own predetermined views upon Thelema -- in many ways it provides a blank slate for all sorts of thinking.

Yes, political science was not one of AC'c strong suits, nor did he live in a time such as our own, and he can be forgiven for lacking foresight on how much the world was to change so quickly.


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ianrons
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He was a bit of an opportunist, it's true. His intelligence work makes it quite difficult to situate him reasonably, too.


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
He was a bit of an opportunist, it's true. His intelligence work makes it quite difficult to situate him reasonably, too.

yeah, and WWI was a while ago, too. Much has changed.


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frater_anubis
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93

To return to Hecate's question!

AC needed a Scarlet Woman to take on a magickal role during ritual, to recieve the sacrament and to enable his magickal Will to be heightened and focussed at the climax of the rite. That was her primary role, but second was to support him in the Great Work, to be muse, scribe and if she was really lucky, mother.

Now, that's my thinking. I also think that he loved Rose because she fullfilled all his ideas about the Scarlet Woman.

His attitude towards his other women could be cavalier at the end of the relationship and despite being bisexual he would go on "shikar" and find a replacement if one didnt appear and knock on his door for the interview. Women were essential in AC's life.

Regards

Johnny


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 Anonymous
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Topic starter  

Greetings!

"Camlion" wrote:
Am I correct in concluding that, although you say that you are not a Thelemite and, I assume therefore, do not accept the basic premise of Thelema regarding knowing and doing your own true Will, that you are looking for some other bits of value in the more superficial trappings of Thelema instead?

No Camilion.
By saying “I don’t claim being a Thelemite”, does not mean that I do not accept the basic premise of Thelema regarding knowing and doing my own Will. It simply means that I don’t claim being a Thelemite.

Why don’t I? Why should I? Thelema existed before I was born, but I believed in that premise and I’ve been working to help myself and others on this path, long before I even hear about Thelema.

Please, do not take me wrong, I respect Aleister Crowley’s work deeply, I resonate with his philosophy, and the truth is that I keep talking about him and his work (and Thelema) to people. I’m just not sure that I need the label (or that the label needs me) now.

And no, I don’t feel that I’m “looking for some other bits of value in the more superficial trappings of Thelema” as you say. As a matter of fact, I don’t see my questions as superficial, but I guess that one can deal with them as deeply as one wishes to.

And I need to say this too:
It was quite dispiriting to realize that some people here felt uneasy because my question referred specifically to the role of women (although it embraced much more than the outer, earthy aspect). However, I asked only because I believe that, when someone focuses on one thing, it does not mean that one excludes everything else, but merely that one chooses to examine a detail of the whole picture. So, I guess there is the need for all to show some Good Will here.

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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Greetings!

While I was browsing the Thelemapedia this morning I found the list of the Gnostic Saints and I realized that there aren’t any women included there.

Well, at first I found some humor behind this and smiled, but… is it me that missed the relevant references about women or is it just a coincidence that no woman have managed to reach the state of a saint in Thelema until now?

Or, perhaps it is a belief in Thelema that no woman can be considered as Saint? And if so, is there any special meaning and symbolism behind this belief?

Any ideas?

Regards
Hecate


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 Anonymous
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"Hecate" wrote:
Greetings!

While I was browsing the Thelemapedia this morning I found the list of the Gnostic Saints and I realized that there aren’t any women included there.

Well, at first I found some humor behind this and smiled, but… is it me that missed the relevant references about women or is it just a coincidence that no woman have managed to reach the state of a saint in Thelema until now?

Or, perhaps it is a belief in Thelema that no woman can be considered as Saint? And if so, is there any special meaning and symbolism behind this belief?

Any ideas?

Regards
Hecate

A popular topic of discussion and some criticism of AC's Liber XV within OTO/EGC, the Thelemic organization in question, Hecate. One Thelemic organization among a number of others, but one that AC personally invested much hope for the future in. (COT/TOT has their own version of the 'Thelemic Mass,' you might Google it for comparison.) At any rate, the idea of 'Saints" is not necessarily to be taken as representative of Thelemic religion in general, and certainly not of Thelema (true Will) in essence, imho.


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 Anonymous
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Me, I´m anarcho-communist, too 🙂


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 Anonymous
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Personally, I see it perfectly compatible with Law- true democracy is identical with true aristocracy... But it´s off topic, sorry 🙂 Is there any topic which would fit to discussion of this kind?


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 Anonymous
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"Black_fox" wrote:
Personally, I see it perfectly compatible with Law- true democracy is identical with true aristocracy... But it´s off topic, sorry 🙂 Is there any topic which would fit to discussion of this kind?

Not without objections from at least a few purists who believe that such lowly mundane matters are not worthy of having the word Thelema applied to them. 😉

But yes, there's been a topic thread or two concerning political interpretations and applications. Try the seach function, if you Will.


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