There Is No God but Wo/Man

(Being an Introduction to the Law of Liberty )
Do You Accept Yourself As Your Own Lord and Saviour?

“There is no God but man”
So begins the text Liber Oz, published in November 1941 in response to the war and the crumbling of Western society. These words come from the author, poet, philosopher, spy, artist, mountain climber, chess master and occultist Aleister Crowley, who declared an end to the old social structures and the beginning of a new world characterized by self-determinism and self-realization. He summarized this new structure or law as “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”. The main principle of this Law is that each human being has his or her own definite object in life. Each has every right to fulfill this purpose and none to do anything else. It is thus a law of freedom, but freedom is a two-edged sword, liberty and responsibility come hand in hand.
Do what thou wilt, does not mean ‘do as you like’. It is further explained by ‘Love is the law, love under will.’ Each experience we have is an act of love or union, between ourselves and one experience available to us, each experience must therefore be ‘under will’, chosen to fulfill rather than thwart ones true nature.
This true nature is God nature, and yet this nature of self and of God is not something of the starry dome above us. Aleister Crowley speaks about “Every Man and Every Woman is a Star” – we are the spark of the infinite and this divine or star nature is “the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star.”
Some have said that “God is dead”, and certainly the moral absolutism of some bearded God-man in the clouds is rightfully dying, along with the age of oppressive morals and superstitious tyranny; being replaced by the recognition of our ability to steer the course of our own lives. With that goes the abolition of arbitrary judgement of worth based on race, religion, gender and sexuality, and a law for each and every person – Deus est Homo – God is the human being.
In previous times people have been condemned for ‘sin’ and called upon to be ‘good’ by the law of moral absolutism. In the new age we are open to choose from a breadth of possibility and to determine what is the right path for the individual, and to accept what is right for one person, may not be right for another. In establishing the right to self-determination we are also called upon to protect that right for each individual, each other person also a God or Goddess, a shining radiant star. God is expressed as the expression of will, or following ones natural momentum and direction – so that our work in the world is an expression of our own divinity. This work leads to liberty and the abolition of past conditioning and prejudices based on the superstition of Old Gods.
“There is no grace, There is no guilt, This is the law: DO WHAT THOU WILT.”
The Irish Order of Thelema is a body dedicated to the study and practical application of this new law in everyday life, building communities committed to the emancipation of each individual from the shackles of slave Gods, and cooperating to build a society and community based on the principle of the individual liberty of all.
Though we have entered a new age, many relics of a long obsolete worldview clamber to hold their control of the thoughts and actions of humanity today. From the religious right, to the undue influence of mass media and corporations, there are many threats to the recognition of the sovereignty and divinity of the individual. We can collectively help to establish, promote and grow the new law, being “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”, and we will do this by meeting, by organizing and by cooperating to build a new and better world. For more information and to join the battle for individual liberty, contact us and join the Revolution!

Adjustment, Emanations and the Equinox

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law
Déan cibé atá do thoil féin is é an dlí iomlán
The Equinox is upon us again. As sol enters Libra I find myself looking at the Adjustment card, and the idea of balance. My sun sign is libra, and though I remain skeptical of astrological technology, I often find myself typifying certain qualities of Libra. I find myself seeking the balance as my lifes Work, and I can often experience this as extremes of imbalance. In the Irish Order of Thelema we aspire to work with the balancing of opposing extremes. The thelemic initiate is described as having “their head above the heavens, their feet below the hells” (Liber Tzaddi) – they are told to ‘achieve both weddings’. One of these weddings of extremes is found, in reconciled form, to the four quarters of our temples.
One of the elements we work with are the four emanations of the law, emblazoned on our lamen as light, life, love and liberty. As emanations, there is an implied fifth point in the centre as the law, from which these emanations emit, and express from. If we look carefully at the lamen of the order we see the word of the law, THELEMA, firmly standing at the centre. We find writings around these emanations in De Legge Libellum, and in the Heart of the Master. While recently reading The Heart of the Master, I came to a quote dealing with the process of equilibrium and I revisited the ideal temple as a set of equilibrated forces.
“Balance against each thought its exact opposite. For the marriage of these is the annihilation of illusion.”

The emanations of the Law can be experienced as the archetype of libra, a set of equilibrated forces, and their expanded form are a description of the 0=2 formula of Aleister Crowley. Three of the four of these emanations are recognisable in wider streams of western esotericism through the ancient and primitive rites of Freemasonry (especially the rite of Memphis and Mitraism). Equally the mythological mother lodge of the Golden Dawn, from which the cipher document of the Golden Dawn allegedly originated, was called Licht, Leben, Liebe (Light, Life, Love) and these words form a significant part of the John Gospel. To this Thelema adds liberty as the watchword of our age.

In thelema we also find the four emanations in the work of the A.’.A.’., specifically on the probationers oath, one emanation in each corner.


This aspect transmits an important esoteric formula. In the probationers oath of the A.’.A.’. we encounter these four emanations in the four corners, enclosed in triangles, and with additional words underneath. These triads are specific to these emanations as encountered in the outer college of the A.’.A, but communicate a formula of wider significance. In the A.’.A.’. we meet a path of unfolding based on aspiration and attainment, one of the analogies for which is the building of a pyramid. In each of the pyramids on the probationer oath we have a successive building up – first the foundations hewn in the living rock (D), the ascending walls (P) and the capstone (L). D corresponds to the Hebrew letter Daleth (d – the Emperess), P to the Hebrew letter Pe (p – The Tower) and L to the Hebrew letter Lamed (l – Adjustment). We find in this the thelemic formula of 0=2 or (+1) + (-1)= 0 – the balancing and encapsulating of extremes to arrive at a singularity, which in its perfect balance is innately transient and without value – thus being valued zero. It is a process of reconciliation. This formula is found in the work with opposing qualities, the work with upright and averse formulas, and in the work with the ‘creature of the slime’ and the ‘glittering image’.  We can also view these extremes as the three figures encountered in the Book of the Law as Nuit, Hadit and the reconciler of extremes, the child of the Aeon Heru-Ra-Ha (described as a composite of the extremes of Ra-Hoor-Khuit and Hoor-Paar-Kraat). Last year we performed a ritual exploring these three faces of Horus. All are a diverse series of experiential extremes which lead to the annihilation of illusion.

I am reminded of the words of Horus in the Cry of the First Aethyr:

I am light, and I am night, and I am that which is beyond them.
I am speech, and I am silence, and I am that which is beyond them.
I am life, and I am death, and I am that which is beyond them.
I am war, and I am peace, and I am that which is beyond them.
I am weakness, and I am strength, and I am that which is beyond them.
Yet by none of these can man reach up to me. Yet by each of them must man reach up to me.


While the A.’.A.’. works with the path of aspiration (building the pyramid) through often opposing images, the Irish Order of Thelema works with the developed forms of these (the capstones or balanced forms) as a recognition of innate capacity. Thelema does not posit spiritual development, or becoming more, or better, but a process of unveiling, simplifying and becoming better able to embody who you already are. Our initiations are recognitions of the law of thelema and its developed emanations as a human birthright.

This can be seen in our temple spaces, where the four emanations are placed in the four quarters. At the centre sits the lamen or a volume of sacred law (The Book of the Law). They are attributed in our Order as follows, but in other traditions, such as the A.’.A.’., they are differently attributed.


These are some elements of our Work, which is also echoed in our initiatory system. While our use of the emanations may be idiosyncratic, the principles, and the process of balance and reconciliation is a Work for all.

Frater Fionn

Love is the law, love under will
Is é grá an dlí, grá faoi toil

Small Scale Thelema

On ‘Independent Orders’, Diversification, and Experimental Approaches to Thelema

Frater Fionn

I am a thelemite, and I belong to a thelemic Order. Many people assume thilamens means I belong to the OTO, or Ordo Templi Orientis, which is the largest and most well known of the Thelemic Orders. However I have not and do not belong to this Order (though I am a congregant of the EGC). I belong to a small and independent Order called the Irish Order of Thelema. Of course the term ‘independent’ could also be easily applied to the OTO as a self sovereign organisation, but I mean this much more in the sense of an independent bookstore. While OTO has lodges across the world which have a certain culture and way of running their ‘bookshops’, there are also those who, out of reading and really enjoying books decide to open a bookshop that reflected their specific vision and emphases. We are thus independent of those streams of established practice and history, even though we are inspired and informed by them.

But enough of comparing or referencing ‘in relation to the OTO’. Don’t get me wrong, I think the OTO and their work is great and very important (and I know some wonderful thelemites who work with OTO), but there was an unfortunate time in the history of the thelemic movement where lots of people and groups were claiming to be the OTO, or like the OTO, or better than the OTO and so on so forth.   ::Yawn::   Luckily those days are behind us, and there are increasing numbers of small scale groups, organisations and Orders which are bringing Thelema in new directions, or with specific emphases and focuses without piggy backing on other Orders.

So why an Irish Order of Thelema? What impulses does it carry? And why does it appeal to me?

The Irish Order of Thelema finds itself working in an idiosyncratic way with the specifics of the land we live on. While this system is geographic and not necessarily universally applicable, we get inquiries and requests from the four corners of the world asking to join or to bring our system to their country.

We encourage individuals to look around and see what other Orders are active in their country as well as to feel empowered to create local activity and local expression as they will. It was always part of our intent to be a very explicit example to others internationally and the Order of Thelema is an international Order of which we are the Irish branch (and currently only branch? We are happy to hear from others worldwide with similar endeavours) Our policy is to encourage others to follow our example in regard to their own culture, autonomous but cooperative.

The Irish Order has a culturally specific initiatory cycle through the powers of the Irish provinces, but beyond the theurgic journey of awakening there is the question, what then? The Irish Order of Thelema also acts as a social laboratory, with three additional rites which are areas of research and practice. Each of these is a reflection of one of the three chapters of Liber Al vel Legis, the Book of the Law. These are necessarily of a more universal and experimental nature. Research and practices for living with the law of Thelema as exemplified in the Book of the Law really belongs to a social experiment that reaches beyond the Irish context. Thus this is an area of work for an International Order or cooperation of Thelema, with the opportunity to collaborate, share and create social, political and magical forms that can be both social laboratories and eventual models for real change in accordance with will.

 We are a modern thelemic group, and we do not claim masonic style lineage or ‘entitlement’ from any outer Order, nor do we acknowledge temporal power as having any significance beyond its own immediate sphere of function. We are, on one hand, a group of self-contracted people who have come together and are bound by contract and common culture to create the Order, however we have other aspects that connect us with the land and its unique expression through the Order, and other aspects that connect us with both the thelemic current and the ultimate source tradition.

 Today there are a lot of groups around that have started to define themselves through the idea of egregore, that there are elements of tradition that through repetition and longevity are alleged to build up an equivalent independent presence or identity on the astral. In Ireland there is a perceptible sense of tradition and entity, but it is not experienced as just an astral presence outside ourselves and the immediate world. There is an eminent sense of the Gods, and stories, and cosmology that can be experienced in and through the land. This is a difficult experience to convey, and like the egregore of a group or stream, it remains an abstract concept until it is experienced. There is a fitting resonance in the land with the work we endeavour to do, and a resonance with the land by those actively engaging with this work. This is the uniquely Irish element which forms part of our syncretic tradition and which, in its component parts, is often shared by others immersing themselves in the land and Her traditions. In other groups this very specific flavour, resonance or stream may be different, but is most likely there in some respect.

 There are also elements of Thelema which have an egregore. In a very general sense this is often described as the aeonic or 93 current, but beyond the immediate social implications of thelema there is the Golden chain which links us to the very source of the tradition. This golden chain is both the inheritance of certain ideas we wrestle with and practices that impart methods of achieving higher levels of consciousness, and a continuing line of communication by those who actively use these methods with the source or intelligence of the Tradition. The full implications of this are best understood in the context of Aleister Crowleys own initiatory journey, his founding of the A.’.A.’., his reformulation of the OTO in accordance with the law of Thelema, and the repercussions this has for later expressions of thelema. The understanding of this source is explicitly clear in the literature of the A.’.A.’. while in the OTO the office of the OHO or Outer Head of the Order speaks to an Inner Head or at least awareness of this source. In an Account of the A.’.A.’. the relationship between the A.’.A.’. and outer Orders is described as follows.

 From all time there has been an exterior school based on the interior one, of which it is but the outer expression. From all time, therefore, there has been a hidden assembly, a society of the Elect, of those who sought for and had capacity for light, and this interior society was the Axle of the R.O.T.A. All that any external order possesses in symbol, ceremony, or rite is the letter expressive outwardly of that spirit of truth which dwelleth in the interior Sanctuary. Nor is the contradiction of the exterior any bar to the harmony of the interior…. But all exterior societies subsist only by virtue of this interior one. As soon as external societies wish to transform a temple of wisdom into a political edifice, the interior society retires and leaves only the letter without the spirit. It is thus that secret external societies of wisdom were nothing but hieroglyphic screens, the truth remaining inviolable in the Sanctuary so that she might never be profaned.

 In Liber CCC: Khabs am Pekht we are told:

 But remember this clearly, that the Law cometh from the A.’.A.’., not from the O.T.O. This Order is but the first of the great religious bodies to accept this Law officially, and its whole Ritual has been revised and reconstituted in accordance with this decision.

 While the OTO serves as the first, and largest outer temporal vehicle to promulgate the law as the word of the magus of the aeon, others were expected to follow and both spread and diversify the manifestation of the law. Liber CCC then goes on to describe diverse ways to extend the law through temporal vehicles including education, university study, social impulses, publishing and more, a movement happening today through various bodies of endeavour.

 As well as the temporal vehicles which spread the sublimely simple word of the law, the law as applied to the course of everyday life and a confirmation of the law inherent to human nature, there are deeper layers of aspiration and attainment described as the ordeals of knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel and the crossing of the Abyss inherent to the system of the A.’.A.’.. At a certain point in the progression of an aspirant to the A.’.A.’. there is attainment. The aspirant receives a word upon which a new school of thought is founded and they expound on this as an entire cosmology. For those who accept the law of thelema as an aeonic utterance, this individual attainment supplements the universal nature of the law in our age, forming an outer Order or movement of aspiration and attainment that expresses a unique emanation of the law.

We are one such body of endeavor, and these are exciting times for the development and progression of a still young philosophical, cultural and arguably religious movement. We are also aware of others who are engaging in these small scale experiments as thelemic covens, groups, colleges, Orders and many more and diverse forms and in writing this I wanted to highlight the importance of continuing social experiments, idiosyncratic manifestations and doing what feels right. It is my hope that with the growth of Thelema, there will be increasing numbers of interesting projects and experimental forms as we spread the law of liberty through pluralism and diversity.

Reblogged from: Standing At The Centre

Ard Ruide (the Irish Provinces and Their Attributes)

“Connacht in the west is the kingdom of learning, the seat of the greatest and wisest druids and magicians; the men of Connacht are famed for their eloquence, their handsomeness and their ability to pronounce true judgement.

Ulster in the north is the seat of battle valour, of haughtiness, strife, boasting; the men of Ulster are the fiercest warriors of all Ireland, and the queens and goddesses of Ulster are associated with battle and death.

Leinster, the eastern kingdom, is the seat of prosperity, hospitality, the importing of rich foreign wares like silk or wine; the men of Leinster are noble in speech and their women are exceptionally beautiful.

Munster in the south is the kingdom of music and the arts, of harpers, of skilled ficheall players and of skilled horsemen. The fairs of Munster were the greatest in all Ireland.

The last kingdom, Meath, is the kingdom of Kingship, of stewardship, of bounty in government; in Meath lies the Hill of Tara, the traditional seat of the High King of Ireland. The ancient earthwork of Tara is called Rath na Ríthe (‘Ringfort of the Kings’).”

(Taken from a poem called Ard Ruide. the Dinnseanchas)

Fortified Island #6: The Method Of Science

The Irish Order of Thelema are proud to announce the publication of the 6th issue of its journal, Fortified Island. Method of Science, the 6th issue of the journal of the Irish Order of Thelema is an anthology on the theme of scientific illuminism, amosfinal

theory of skeptical occultism espoused by Aleister Crowley. As well as content supporting his position, there are developments, counter images and critiques to this approach.

Contributors include: John-Paul Patton (author of the Poets Ogam), IAO131 (author of Naturalistic Occultism), Frater Achad (author of The Anatomy of

the Body of God), Alan Moore (author of V for Vendetta), Lupa (author of Nature Spirituality from the Ground Up), Anne Ruadh, Brian Breathnach and others…

Also including ritual and book reviews, Method Of Science is essential reading for those interested in scientific illuminism and its implications…

Check out a preview and purchase on

The Stele of Revealing

I would like to take the opportunity to write about the Stele of Revealing. If you enter our Community space in Belfast, you may notice that in the North-East there is an alcove with a piece of wood painted with Egyptian designs and heiroglyphs. This is the funerary Stele of an individual named Ankh af na Khonsu. This particular reproduction is handpainted by Frater Ildanach of the Irish Order of Thelema. It is an important item in the thelemic tradition.


The Stele was initially discovered in 1858 in a mortuary temple in Egypt. In the Equinox of the Gods, there is a description of the discovery of the Stele of Revealing and of the channeling of Liber Al vel Legis, the Book of the Law. In this account, the wife of Aleister Crowley began acting as a channel for Horus, the hawk headed God, and she indicated the stele as a depiction of Horus. According to Crowley it is a depiction of the three principles or ‘deities’ descriped in the Book of the Law and several translations or interpretations of the text appear in Liber CCXX – The Book of the Law.

In the Book of the Law it is also identified as a religious item to be placed in a place of veneration:

Get the stele of revealing itself; set it in thy secret temple – and that temple is already aright disposed – & it shall be your Kiblah for ever. It shall not fade, but miraculous colour shall come back to it day after day. Close it in locked glass for a proof for a proof to the world.

While working with Irish myth and cosmology, the ‘deities’ of thelema offer us core principles or archetypes of experience and we continue to work with these principles as images for the path.

Doug Blake offers a reading of the heiroglyphs of the stele, and their meaning:

Frater Fionn




Seeking Submissions: Journal of Ogam Studies 2017

The Journal of Ogam Studies: Seeking Submissions for Spring 2017


We are currently seeking submissions for inclusion in the issue for release in Spring 2017. Significant contributions (of 5+ pages) will receive a free copy of the journal or an A5 advertising space to promote your book or initiative. Shorter submissions will receive a digital edition of the journal.

We welcome research pieces, profiles on individual ogham stones, links between ogham and tree medicine, esoteric interpretations, linguistic research, innovative applications, as well as artistic renderings of ogham studies from artwork to poetry. The editorial can be reached at:

If you know of interested individuals or interesting voices please pass this on.

Deadline for submissions: 1st March 2017


The first volume of the Journal of Ogam Studies was published in 2003, to include the research of John-Paul Patton. This research was later integrated into the book The Poets Ogam: A Living Magical Tradition by the same author. The original vision was to create a space where ogam research, both academic and as a living system could be presented side by side, as well as artistic renderings of the ogam. We would like to create a space for inspiration, dialogue and cross pollination. We published a 2nd issue in April 2016 and would like to continue with this project by releasing a 3rd at the Vernal Equinox (late March) 2016.


Fortified Island Press is the publishing arm of the Irish Order of Thelema, a not for profit community based organisation. All proceeds go to the costs and maintence of a temple and Community space in Belfast, Northern Ireland and towards future publishing ventures.

Summer Solstice

For the Summer Solstice the Irish Order of Thelema celebrated the season with ritual and community at the Giants Ring outside Belfast. Photographer Dermot Faloon was onsite to capture the days festivities. [hover over the picture with your mouse or click on your phone to go to the flicker feed]

Summer Solstice 2016



The Irish Order of Thelema and the Three Grades

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law
Déan cibé atá do thoil féin is é an dlí iomlán

“But all members must of necessity work in accordance with the facts of Nature, just as an architect must allow of the Law of Gravitation, or a sailor reckon with currents.So must all Members of the A.’. A.’. work by the Magical Formula of the Aeon.They must accept the Book of the Law as the Word and the Letter of Truth, and the sole Rule of Life… This is not in contradiction with the absolute right of every person to do his own true Will. But any True Will is of necessity in harmony with the facts of Existence; and to refuse to accept the Book of the Law is to create a conflict within Nature, as if a physicist insisted on using an incorrect formula of mechanics as the basis of an experiment.” – One Star In Sight (being an account of the A.’.A.’.


I have been musing on the Irish Order of Thelema in the greater scale of the thelemic movement, and how it seeks to serve the impulse of the law of liberty, and indeed how its work goes well beyond this island and its temporal manifestation.  This also includes turning to the idea of the Order of Thelema and the Three Grades. The Order of Thelema is described in Liber Al vel Legis as follows:

Who calls us Thelemites will do no wrong, if he look but close into the word. For there are therein Three Grades, the Hermit, and the Lover, and the man of Earth.
Liber Al vel Legis I:40
There have been various manifestations of the Order of Thelema since 1904, one of which was the Irish Order of Thelema, founded in 2009. In forming the Irish Order of Thelema there was a deliberate move away from the pseudo masonic structures of much contempory initiation, and a wish to firmly base the work of the Order in the new Aeon, and in the guidance and indications of Liber Legis and other Holy Books of Thelema. This work has taken many forms.
The community membership is a vital aspect of our work as the space where we can meet as a community and society based around the law of liberty. The social implications of the law are vitally important and it is here people first meet community, the law of liberty and the possibilities of a thelemic world. The rituals of the community membership offer an equilibriated set of symbols, expressed as four emanations of the law, being light, life, love and liberty.
The elemental/ provincial cycle of initiations are a further, more detailed and conscious exploration of the symbol set encountered in the community rite as an individual journey through the provinces, and the exploration of the key teachings of thelema. These are given as specific lessons found in Liber Al vel Legis, the Book of the Law, and are extrapolated to offer fodder for individual exploration. These lessons are specifically emphasised by Crowley as the primary statements or teachings of the Thelemic tradition.
The Rite of Thelema is the first of the book of the law degrees. Members of the Rite of Thelema dedicate their lives to the establishment of the law of thelema. This includes an overview and service to the community membership and to the elemental rites of initiation.
The following three degrees function as three areas of applying this lifelong dedication of the law of liberty to everyday life, and function as social laboratories for the law of thelema, constituted as the rite of Nuit, the Rite of Hadit, and the Rite of Heru Ra Ha. These are spheres of function and devotion to particular modes of application of the law. These rites are necessarily practical.
This is the basic structure of our Order, aside from government, which is an act of service. Our government (being those who serve the Order) are drawn from members of the rite of Thelema and above (or people symbolically allied with this rite through service to the law) and is thus incorporated in the work of the Book of the law degrees.
The Book of the law degrees can also be seen as an expression of the three grades mentioned in the Book of the Law, being the Lovers, the Hermit and the Man of Earth. These can be seen as corresponding to the rites of Nuit, Hadit and Heru-Ra-Ha respectively.
These three grades can also be considered as manifest in other ways throughout the Irish Order of Thelema, and throughout the thelemic movement.
In the commentaries to the Book of the Law by Marcello Motto (Frater Arjuvo) he speaks of the three grades as three distinct types of thelemite.
The man of Earth, the Lover and the Hermit are the three types of Thelemites. The man of Earth is “the adherent”; the Lover ‘gives his life unto the Work among men’; the Hermit ‘goes solitary, and gives only of his light unto men’. (See Liber 418.)
The enumeration of the Three Grades, followed by the injunction Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law, means that no discrimination of “superiority” or “inferiority” is to be made between the Three Grades. It is a matter of the Will, and nothing else, that decides to which Grade a Thelemite is to belong. In a sense, the man of Earth ‘is the adherent’, that is, he is loyal to Thelema, adheres to it. In another sense, he adheres to the material world. He is the husbandman, the householder, the man attached to temporal things. To despise such a man is stupid. He is a Karma Yogi by definition, and who are you to trace another star’s orbit?
The Lover is a Bhakhti Yogi. He abandons temporal interests and dedicates his life to service of the Order. He will kill himself, if need be, that the Order may live. Such men organize Thelemic movements, thereby incurring the risk of persecution on the part of Old Aeon organizations and the ‘Black Lodge’–a better name for such organizations, and particularly for the ‘Black Lodge; is ‘the die hards.’
The Hermit is a Gnani or Raja Yogi. He gives only of his light unto men. Those who understand what this means are either Hermits or on their way to become Hermits. Those who do not understand what it means are better off without further information. Should they seek it, however, let them study Libri 156, 370 and 418.
This understanding is an image of three kinds of Thelemite – the adherent, the dedicated servant, and the hermit. These could be considered as three areas of involvement with the Irish Order. The adherents (man of earth) are those who accept the law and who follow the word of the law, the servants (lovers) take a role in governance and service, and the hermit are those whose main focus is a personal practice (and the sharing of experience) – this is also the path of the silver star or A.’.A.’. Experience has shown these are not always individual personalities, but rather areas of involvement. People often find themselves acting as lovers, (ie in service) from the moment they become community members and first accept the law (man of earth). Skills and knowledge from personal practice (Hermit) are also shared horizontally to create communities of mutual learning. The three book of the law degrees can thus also be considered an expression of the lovers grade.
Other, more vertical understandings of the three grades are also possible. The structure of the three grades (which are often sub divided into grades on the life tree in thelemic Orders) can be referred to together as the Order of Thelema. This Order of Thelema is taught about in several vehicles of Thelema .
Many aspirants find themselves aspiring ultimately to the grade of the hermit, but in the process of their aspiration they are also men of earth and lovers. The men of earth are properly those who have accepted the law of thelema as the word and letter of truth.

The lover has accepted the law as the supreme rule of life, and has commited to the spread of the dominion of the law. This is the work of a lifetime. This work is in service to an outer Order, or work in the world as an expression of the law of liberty. This is an act of love, uniting inner convictions with outer action, but in a deeply pragmatic way as a path in the everyday world. All deeds, from the magickal to the mundane become a reflection of the law as the supreme law of life, and is thus appliciable to all spheres. This work is often manifest in the service to one of the outer Orders such as the Irish Order of Thelema.The Hermit is the aspiration of an aspirant to the A.’.A.’. (meant in the broadest sense), though the journey will certainly lead through the man of Earth, and the Lover grade. The Hermits are those who give of their Light only to the Law of Thelema and they are bound by no Law, except for the service to humanity.. A Hermit proper has passed the abyss, but the function of the Hermit as the transmittor of the light of gnosis is achievable through the Golden chain which links us to the third Order. The key to all of the grades are service, though each serves differently.

In the Irish Order of Thelema we find expressions of the three grades, but the main focus is on the Man of Earth (community and elemental degrees) and the Lovers (book of the law degrees and service). These are the path of thelema in the world. Still, for some the path of individual aspiration may lead to the grade of the hermit, and the work of the source of our tradition, being the perennial tradition, expressed in the work of the A.’.A.’. and its outer manifestations. This path, though seemingly different, acts subtly by imbuing the temporal vehicles with the light of gnosis and lanterns to light the way of Hermits. The Irish Order acts in service to the A.’.A.’. by proclaiming the law of liberty as the word of the Aeon. Those who are aspirants to the A.’.A.’. within the Irish Order serve the work of the Order of Thelema in the temporal work that allow seekers to find the light of gnosis.
As for how this question reaches beyond the island of Ireland, there is a significant amount of work to be done in this regard, but there is also great potential.
The work of the community is geographical and the work of the elemental series is necessarily both geographical and local to this land in a way that may not be applicable to other cultures and lands. This said, the basic framework, removed from an Irish context could easily be applied as any other kingdom, or could indeed form the basis of a more universal or international Order of Thelema that is both a model for local manifestations and a universal rite in service to the manifestation of the Order of Thelema.
The work of the Book of the Law degrees has the potential to trancend local manifestations of the Man of Earth, and form a network and large scale social lab of those who work in service to the Order of Thelema. They may have various manifestations, but the practical work and potential for cooperation makes this impulse larger than the land we live on.
The manifestation of the Hermit in the Irish Order and in the potential for an international rite of Thelema sits in the recognition and the holding of links to something larger than just the land we live on, and the time we live in, to connect with something of the egregore of Thelema. This egregore is the golden chain to V.V.V.V.V., the chief of the third Order, and to the work which reaches beyond temporal vehicles, but which imbues them and empowers them in their work.
Love is the law, love under will
Is é grá an dlí, grá faoi toil

Frater Fionn

Cheth: Gateway of the Summer Solstice

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law
Déan cibé atá do thoil féin is é an dlí iomlán
Greetings of the Sun on this, the summer solstice. The Sun will enter Cancer (the Crab) at 22:34 GMT or Universal Time today on Monday 20th June. If we turn to the Thoth tarot we find the card corresponding to cancer is the Chariot. The Chariot is also corresponded with the Hebrew letter Cheth.
The 18th path of Cheth connects Binah, the sphere of Saturn, with Geburah, the sphere of Mars and mediates this passage between the martial element experienced in sol in aries and the energies of the crowned and conquering child, and the supernal intelligence encountered at the solstice. ‘Supernal’ could be considered ‘spiritual’ but I would like to look at why that ‘spirit’ is very much in nature.
The title of the path of Cheth is Child of the Powers of Water: Lord of the Triumph of Light. This thought brings me to a series of inter related thoughts. The first is the relationship of this time of year with Liber Porta Lucis in the system of correspondence of ‘Holy Books’ and important texts as they are encountered in the unfolding of the year that I use. This system of correspondence can be used to advantage by local groves as a way of introducing festival participants to some of the Holy Books and core ideas of Thelema, and the rationale behind the correspondence is shared in a separate musing. The Porta Lucis is the gateway of light and describes the journey of a dark star (an individual who has not discovered thelema) towards initiation and the construction of “the Life that abideth in Light”. It was issued to aspirants to the A.’.A.’. at student level through its open publication in the Equinox. The aspiration of the dark star leads to the doors of our Order, or to another body dedicated to the law of liberty. Here is the text of Liber Porta Lucis.
Porta Lucis, the Gate of Light is numbered 10, and likewise the term Gate of Light is one of the esoteric descriptors of the 10th sephiroth of the tree of life, Malkuth. The Roman numberal for ten is X, and a specific symbol incorporating an X is used in thelema to designate the formula of the Night of Pan and the false dicothomy of dualistic thinking which seperates material and spiritual. This symbol is the X in the circle. We are reminded that on treasure maps X marks the spot – in other words this is it; the amazing brilliantness we are looking for can be found in the here and now. That Malkuth is the Gate of Light really speaks to the quest for the Holy Grail starting in the here and now. ThROA is the Hebrew word for Gate. ThROA has the same number value as the word Adonai. Words with the same number value are said to be related in the school of numerology called gematria. This method of comparision is in regular use in Thelemic circles. In Thelema the word Adonai, meaning Lord, is used in a very specific way to refer to the Holy Guardian Angel. The links between ThROA and ADNI also show a link between the entry into the gate of light in Malkuth and the knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel in Tiphereth. The shrouded light is a seed which will grow and reach to the zenith of the sun. Incidently the name of the grade of Malkuth in Crowleys A.’.A.’. is Neophyte, literally meaning seed.
ThROA ( Tav-Resh-Ayin-Aleph) can also be rendered simply as TROA. This word has several other important words associated with it and is an Anagram of these other words. Frater IAO131 of the OTO speaks of these in his exegesis of of Liber X (Porta Lucis). Readers are encouraged to visit this here.
In it he details the significance of TROA and the other words of which it is an anagram, being TORA, ROTA, TARO, ATOR and ORAT. He says:
The second consideration is that the word ThROA (henceforth, simply “TROA”) is also an anagram of 4 other words: TORA (Law, “Torah”), ROTA (Wheel), TARO (Tarot), and ATOR (Lady of Love, “Athor”). So there is an identity, or close relation, between Malkuth as the ideas of the Gate, the Law, the Wheel, and Love.
  • The relation to “Gate” is explained above.
  • TORA — “Law” pertains to Malkuth as it is the final consolidation of Divine Law that is established or begun in the first Sephirah, Kether. It is also ruled by inexorable laws, such as gravity.
  • ROTA — “Wheel” pertains to Malkuth as it is where the circle of life, death, and rebirth occurs (i.e. samsara), the place where the cycle of life perpetuates itself generation unto generation, ad infinitum.
  • TARO — “Tarot” is essentially a pictorial representation of the Word manifested. This is the same idea that Malkuth or Earth is the crystallization of the divine Will, the full manifestation of the Law. Further, the 22 lines of Liber Porta Lucis correspond with the 22 Trumps or Major Arcana of the Tarot and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, both of which imply the full manifestation of creation or Light.
  • ATOR — “Athor”, or “Hathor” or “Ahathoor” or her many other names, is called “the Lady of the Path of Daleth” (Liber LVIII) and Daleth is the Path of Love. Further, Crowley attributes Ahathoor to Netzach, the 7th Sephirah which corresponds to Venus, the planet of Love. This conveys a particularly Thelemic doctrine: The Earth is a place where “Love is the law, love under will” (AL I:57). In the New Aeon, we no longer attribute the color black to Malkuth/Earth, but rather green. Green is the color of vegetatian and growth and life, rather than darkness and death; it is also the color of Venus, the Lady of Love. We of the New Aeon therefore see the Earth as a place of rejoicing, where we are “divided for love’s sake” (AL I:29) that we may take our joy in our acts of love under will.
  • ORAT — Finally, “Orat,” which means “speaking” or “The Word,” relates to the Logos of V.V.V.V.V., the Light of the World, being mentioned throughout this text.
That is a lot of correspondence! The ROTA can also be seen as the traditional crossed circle that is the symbol of both earth and malkuth is shifted onto its side to form a diagonal cross or X in the NOX sigil found on the Lamen of the A.’.A.’. (see the perpheral section with the writing). From the dead cross of Christianity, it becomes a spinning sun wheel and a symbol of the living earth.
The Seal of the A.’.A.’. is explicitly linked to Babalon, and the living Earth. At the centre of the seal is also a city of pyramids in the form of a seven pointed star. Babalon is related to the Earth, and yet she is simultaniously corresponded to the sephiroth of Binah on the tree of Life, the symbolic aim of the aspirant to light. This is the location of the city of pyramids described in the initiatory mythos of the A.’.A.’. This ultimate goal is also mirrored in the living earth in the solo expression of the formula of Liber ThROA, being Liber Pyramidos. We also find this link between the earth and Babalon in the Creed of the Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, the religious wing of the Ordo Templi Orientis. It states:
And I believe in one Earth, the Mother of us all, and in one Womb wherein all men are begotten, and wherein they shall rest, Mystery of Mystery, in Her name BABALON.
In looking at the Chariot card we see he holds a swirling cup which we are told is the grail or cup of Babalon. This brings us to another Holy Book of Thelema, named after the Hebrew letter the Chariot is corresponded to, Liber Cheth. Liber Cheth begins explicitly drawing all of this together:
This is the secret of the Holy Graal, that is the sacred vessel of our Lady the Scarlet Woman, Babalon the Mother of Abominations, the bride of Chaos, that rideth upon our Lord the Beast.
In Crowleys summaries of the contents of the Holy Books he describes Liber Cheth as “Sexual Magick veiled in symbolism.” This link between cancer, the chariot, the gate of light the cup of fornications, and Babalon speak to a living nature, alive and buzzing with light and life – the Light that Abideth in Life. For the khabs in in the khu, not the khu in the khabs. A recently written ritual (to be performed as a mystery drama) for Lughnasadh reflects this formula of life and natures endurance and innate ‘spirituality’, of which Babalon, and Her mystery in the form of the sexual act as sacrament, is one of the most potent and appropriate expressions.
Love is the law, love under will
Is é grá an dlí, grá faoi toil
Frater Fionn
Sol in 29* Gemini, Luna in 4* Capricorn, Dies Luna, Anno Vi