Monday, June 14, 2010

You are a Sovereign in the Chthonic Auranian Ordo Templi Orientis. What exactly is it, and how is it different from the OTO?

The Chthonic Auranian OTO is now called the Chthonic Auranian Temple of the Chthonic Auranian Templars of Thelema depending upon who you talk to. Some still go the old name. Despite not agreeing on what to call it these days, there has been no schism. Different sovereigns have always been able to represent it however they like. I like Chthonic Auranian Temple.

As to what it is you need to understand its origins. In 1985 there were lots of groups squabbling about who the real OTO was and the whole current in general seemed to be devolving into court battles and politics. In response to this three people: Bill Seibert (now known as Alobar) who was a member of the Typhonian OTO, Cliff Pollick a member of the Caliphate OTO, and Sam Webster also a Caliphate member among other things, decided to form their own OTO, which was meant to disengage from this kind of nonsense and preserve the Radical Freedom that these three men perceived as inherent in Thelema.

Apart from the idea of radical Thelema, and influenced by the blending of the Typhonain/Nightside and Caliphate/Solar approaches, the order was founded on the principal of approaching magic by encompassing opposites. We in the CAT hold the last words of Liber Tzaddi as particularly relevant to our work:

"Many have arisen, being wise. They have said "Seek out the glittering Image in the place ever golden, and unite yourselves with It. Many have arisen, being foolish. They have said, "Stoop down unto the darkly splendid world, and be wedded to that Blind Creature of the Slime. I who am beyond Wisdom and Folly, arise and say unto you: achieve both weddings! Unite yourselves with both! Beware, beware, I say, lest ye seek after the one and lose the other! My adepts stand upright; their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells.But since one is naturally attracted to the Angel, another to the Demon, let the first strengthen the lower link, the last attach more firmly to the higher.Thus shall equilibrium become perfect. I will aid my disciples; as fast as they acquire this balanced power and joy so faster will I push them.They shall in their turn speak from this Invisible Throne; their words shall illumine the worlds.They shall be masters of majesty and might; they shall be beautiful and joyous; they shall be clothed with victory and splendour; they shall stand upon the firm foundation; the kingdom shall be theirs; yea, the kingdom shall be theirs.In the name of the Lord of Initiation. Amen." - AC

There are only three grades:

The Hermit: which can be entered by anyone at any time simply be developing the aspiration to join the sanctuary. The work of this grade is to get your basic training underway and to make contact with members of the order willing to initiate you further.

The Lover: which is conferred by being initiated by one or more Sovereigns. It is almost always done in person, and I am aware of only one exception.

The work of this grade is to become aware of and firm in your true will. This awareness and accepting the responsibility thereof qualifies you for the next stage.

The Sovereign or The Man of Earth: recognition of which is conferred by being recognized as a Sovereign by at least two other Sovereigns. To be clear, no one can make you a Sovereign. To be recognized as one within the order however you need act as one at least well enough that two others in the order recognize it within you.

Though there are certain things which must happen during the course of the rite, the actual initiation into the Lovers grade is tailor made for the candidate by the Sovereigns. Some have been simple circle feasts, others have been formal rituals, some have been all night psychedelic journeys, and others have been kinky sex fests.

Other than the above, different people come to us looking for different things. Some are just looking for tribe. Others, having fallen out with other Thelemic orders are looking for a way to continue their journey without compromising their principals. Still others come looking for the traditional sex secrets of the OTO. Cliff Pollick was passed Emblems and Modes of Use, the primary 9th degree document, by Grady McMurtry and told to do with it what he can. What he famously did was share it with Bill Seibert and publish it in an unauthorized issue of Mezla, which they gave away for free.

I myself went looking for all three and found all three.

The Temple is mostly silent these days, existing as a psychic sanctuary and source for our members. Perhaps one day it will jump to active life again.

I had thought about starting Cabal for those interested in exploring pre-Crowley Thelema with rituals based on the Hypnerotomachia Polifili and using the Nymph Thelemia as our guide. I still may when life allows me the time to travel and initiate interested people.

Ask me anything

1 comment:

Γιώργος Ιωαννίδης said...

Is there any relationship between CAOTO and Cthulhu Mythos? I found this link (Cthulhoid Copulation) among the archives but it doesn’t work!!