Portal:Thelema

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The Thelema Portal
The Stele of Revealing

Θέλημα in Greek, means Will.

Thelema is the name of the philosophical school and religious matrix established in 1904 with the writing of Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law) by Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). The Law is summed up in two phrases from the Book:

  • “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (AL I:40) and
  • “Love is the law, love under will” (AL I:57).

The central goal of a Thelemite (as adherents refer to themselves) is to discover and perform his or her True Will, which is generally defined as the innermost Nature or proper life course of the individual. The techniques used to achieve this goal fall under the heading of Magick.

There are also strong political, ethical, aesthetic, and cultural aspects to Thelema. Although there is no strict literal doctrine concerning these matters, Aleister Crowley wrote many articles and essays regarding his ideas about the proper behavior of individual Thelemites and for an ideal Thelemic society. These ideas have continued to develop into modern times. However, the primary themes involve personal freedom, a recognition that men and women have an inherent divine nature, and that Love is the basis of the Great Work.

 
 
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Aion and Gaia with four children, perhaps the personified seasons, mosaic from a Roman villa in Sentinum, first half of the 3rd century BC, (Munich Glyptothek, Inv. W504)

Gaia ("land" or "earth", also spelled Ge or Gaea) is a Greek goddess personifying the Earth.

Hesiod's Theogony (116ff) tells how, after Chaos, arose broad-breasted Gaia the everlasting foundation of the gods of Olympus. She brought forth Ouranos, the starry sky, her equal, to cover her, the hills, and the fruitless deep of the Sea, Pontus, "without sweet union of love," out of her own self. But afterwards, Hesiod tells, she lay with Heaven and bore the World-Ocean Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and the Titans Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and Phoebe of the golden crown and lovely Tethys. "After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire."

Hesiod mentions Gaia's further offspring conceived with Uranus, first the giant one-eyed Cyclopes, builders of walls, later assigned individual names: Brontes ("thunderer"), Steropes ("lightning") and the "bright" Arges: "Strength and might and craft were in their works." Then he adds the three terrible hundred-handed sons of Earth and Heaven, the Hecatonchires: Cottus and Briareos and Gyges, each with fifty heads. (more...)
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A salamander unharmed in the fire. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, KB, KA 16, Folio 126r
The mythical salamander resembles the real salamander somewhat in appearance, but makes its home in fires, the hotter the better. (Similarly, the salamander in heraldry is shown in flames, but is otherwise depicted as a generic lizard.) Early travelers to China were shown garments which, or so they were told, had been woven of wool from the salamander: the cloth was completely unharmed by fire. The garments had actually been woven from asbestos. Later Paracelsus suggested that the salamander was the elemental of fire.
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