Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #52 (my new barbershop quartet Hildegard of Bingen cover band)

Hermetic Library Newsletter - Issue #52 (my new barbershop quartet Hildegard of Bingen cover band)
By John Bell the Librarian • Issue #112 • View online
This week I’ve got: you don’t ever join OTO, interchangeable initiations, all initiation is gatekeeping, Mr Block, and the Singing Deists. Along with this week’s #OccultLoveFest, memes, updates, quotes, reviews, mail call, and more!
And, as always, I worked on various other things on website, blog, and more … Enjoy!

You don't ever join OTO
Even if you join OTO, you don’t ever join OTO. To be fair, no one else does either. But even joining OTO isn’t actually joining OTO. In fact, no one, even those vanishing calculus-of-zero few who receive upper degrees, can join OTO because the real OTO degrees are invitation only.
John Bowie covers how the original three degree system of Fraternitas Lucis Hermeticae is contained in VII° thru IX°. Add to that the point that every degree after IV/PI° is only by invitation.
Basically, even what Crowley said is the “natural stopping-place of the majority of men and women” at V° is both outside the original OTO degrees and almost no one ever gets there anyway. Also, the various pathways of service which one might take to get to V° seem to don’t stop there, so, as far as I recall, it’s unlikely that you’ll actually stop at V° if, against all odds, you get there at all. Not only is the “natural stopping-place” not even an original OTO degree, but, if almost no one gets there and those that do don’t stay there, one might wonder how exactly then is that even the “natural stopping-place” again?
But, essentially, the point remains that you don’t ever join OTO, and, statistically, you’ll never get there by invitation either.
Interchangeable initiations
The Mysteria Mystica Maxima used by USGL are not the only system for MOE that has existed or exists. The masonic-like story of an MOE degree system “can be said to act as a training program for the development” (Bowie) of potential candidates for invitation to upper degrees.
Originally, OTO was designed for people who were already initiates in Freemasonry, so there would have been no need to reduplicate or retell the masonic story.
Reuss wrote a replacement for the masonic experience for use by OTO, and then Crowley revised those scripts several times and eventually developed into MMM as it is these days. Since then, there’s been some revisions and rediscoveries that have made changes, but that’s the “peg” that fits the “hole”.
At least, that’s what the “British Section” ended up doing, and by extension and expansion what became all of OTO as Crowley’s system took over.
But, there were other groups working other national systems for the lower degrees. For example, Mysteria Mystica Veritas in Switzerland and, perhaps, Mysteria Mystica Aeterna linked to Steiner, although Steiner may have only had a Memphis-Misraïm warrant from Reuss.
Furthermore, I was also told that, at the time and it may still be true, that the degree scripts used by OTO International were different, though I do not know for sure in what ways, than those in use by USGL.
As an aside, whilst I’ve been known to say that you can only ever experience an initiation once without spoilers, it turns out that I personally may be one of the few that have had the experience of being initiated twice to the same MOE degree. I experienced a regular initiation at my local lodge using the current USGL script. But, I also experienced, as a candidate, the ritual presentation of the “Original Crowley 1st Degree O.T.O. Intitiation” which was “adapted from materials provided by USGL and presents a quasi-Masonic style ritual, that is entirely different from the ritual now in use by O.T.O.”. So, in a way, I got to experience that degree twice, as I made a point not to read ahead before participating in the presentation!
All initiation is gatekeeping
Setting aside, for some other time, a discussion about how Crowley’s development of A∴A∴ and redevelopment of OTO were influenced by and a reaction to his experience of Golden Dawn as part of Mathers’ faction, and intended to address his concerns about keeping authority and control over the system, it should still be clear that by definition: All systems of initiation are a form of gatekeeping.
Aside from any initiatory system you are in, consider keeping esoteric-interest, and adjacent, social connections outside your particular system, even if, and perhaps especially when, that becomes difficult to do for various reasons, of being over busy or not being able to, if you stay strict to your oaths, talk plainly and directly about your current experiences. Also, keep connections across degrees within the system, such as having mentors and being a mentor, even when not formally part of the system.
Furthermore, consider the benefit of developing your own study group of friends or acquaintances that aren’t part of your order or initiatory system, who are not subject to the gatekeeping system you participate in, and visa versa. They could help ground your own process as well as enrich it. And, they could be a lifeline if you ever want or need it.
Mr Block
If there’s one thing Dump Truck and Bloviate Indiscretion have shown is that what the platriotic “manly men” simp for most over TV dinner is blubbering bumbling blonde queens who findom and cuck them. So, you know maybe Cinema actually does have a chance?
Utah Phillips - Mr. Block
Utah Phillips - Mr. Block
“And Block he thinks he may
Be President some day.”
It sure does seem that the luser platriot “specials” love nothing more than to watch “their” faux-folksy (actual-Volksy) heroes wine and dine themselves & yuck it all up on the public dime and at the public’s cost and expense.
And, I don’t know about you but I got chills when Bloviate Indiscretion recently mentioned at PMQ about restoring everyone to their “ancient liberties” …
Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) - 19 January 2022
Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) - 19 January 2022
Monty Python - Constitutional Peasants Scene (HD)
Monty Python - Constitutional Peasants Scene (HD)
Somehow I feel like Bloviate and Munchin’ would agree about wanting to restore everyone else to the constraints of their ancient liberties as serfs …
The Singing Deists
Wait. Whut?
Someone, quick, send in the Singing Deists! They’re our only natural and reasonable but unorthodox hope!
The Singing Deists is my new barbershop quartet Hildegard of Bingen cover band.
To Cease-and-Deist is when you remove all the supernaturalisms from the Book and all you have left is a Letter.
This week 𒀭𒂗𒆠Amalgamated Tsundoku Psychohazard mentioned they were working on a 2nd issue of their occultism + horror zine Devilry Quarterly. Check out Devilry Quarterly, Volume 1 until then.
patacelsus mentioned their blog where they write “on the fusion of Rene Dumal and Alfred Jarry’s pataphysics with Leftist critique of Capitalism which [they] call patæconomics.”
adrian.f.anthony mentioned they they were working on an occult inspired project they will be adding to their insta soon. Meanwhile they’re writing and drawing comics, so check out their feed.
ouroboros_press mentioned they’ve been “shipping copies of a new translation of John Dee’s MONAS Hieroglyphica of late.” You can check that out on their shop page, along with all the other publications they’ve got available.
fuzzbringer mentioned their “experimental metal/noise music, reading occult texts and philosophers or Crowley’s erotic poems over ad hoc improvisations.” You can check that out over on the Fuzzifer Bandcamp.
Things to check out at Hermetic Library
And on the blog
Also, elsewhere
Mail call
Let’s open some stuff for Postal Exchange that’s arrived at the Reading Room!
(The brown envelope is one I sent out for the holidays but got returned to sender. Bummer!)
Also, as a reminder, if you want to participate, I occasionally send stuff out to certain Patrons as a postal perk; but, even if you aren’t able to be a Patron, if you send something I’ll send something back! It’s that easy!
Did you enjoy this issue?
John Bell the Librarian
By John Bell the Librarian

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