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.
– At the summer solstice we performed a ritual at the Giant’s Ring which had around 20-30 in attendance. It was celebrated as a ritual Wedding of the King and the Land via personifications of Lugh and Macha.
– For Lughnasadh it lashed down games so the traditional lughnasadh games were traded in for a more chilled festival with food, sharing and fun.
– For the autumnal equinox we saw a well attended event in Belfast with the Reconciler Ritual.
~ At Samhain we celebrated in our temple in Belfast with a festival for the dead.
~ Also in the community space during the winter several workshops were held, and a Red Tent space
~ For the Winter Solstice the Belfast Grove celebrated the season with ritual and fine food.
~ At Imbolc Belfast Grove performed a seasonal ritual.
~ In March we had a workshop on the Thoth tarot and Thelemic Qabalah
~ For the Vernal Equinox the National Sovereign led the grove ritual. It was a ritual of purification in which all present where involved. A group banishing, purification and invocation was performed that each person may get rid of anything they don’t need, purify what’s left and invoked what they need to accomplish their True Will in the coming year. It was a potent rite enjoyed and appreciated by all present.
~ In April there was the celebration of the Three Days with an AGM and readings of the Book of the Law.
~ In April we had a workshop on the theurgic formula of Magick in Theory and Practice, including general content on the dynamic of ritual.
~ For Beltaine there was Poets, Bards and Blaggers, with performances of music, poetry, storytelling, dramatic performances and more.
~ Members of the Order continue to facilitate the Belfast Pagan Moot which happens in the temple space once a month.
~ We published two printed books in the last year. At the autunnal equinox we published the Fortified Island Anthology with material from the first five volumes, and just after the three days we published the journal of ogam studies
– We formed a ritual proficiency group to train community celebrants and to impart ritual skills. This group of members meets on a regular basis.
~ We have offered space to the esoteric, pagan and alternative communities for ritual, workshops and meetings.
~ We have also continued to offer liferites including handfastings, greater feasts (funerary services), child namings, and other associated rites.
~ We continue to offer initiation into our unique system and spaces to explore the rituals and their precepts and to look at and work on the associated coursework.
~ We have had a donation of hundreds of books by a member to found a members library and we are currently working towards housing this and making it available for members use as soon as possible.
Looking back we would like to thank all those who have organised, participated, volunteered and made all this possible. We’ve had lots going on, and we’d like to see this continue. Most activities and projects have arisen from the impulses of individuals who had an interest, and either offered to share it, to organise something or otherwise pioneer an impulse. If there is something you would like to happen, be it an area of work, a study group, a working group or something else entirely vocalise it, ask for help and help to make it happen.
In Autumn 2014 one of the members donated a sizeable library to the Order with the purpose of establishing a cornerstone to a reference library and loan library for members. This collection includes work on the qabalah, ritual magick, paganisms, shamanism, celtic studies, divination and more.
Some of the donated library is indexed on Librarything. This now serves as a foundation catalogue for this library but is incomplete and will be updated and expanded as the library is indexed. Our goal is to put up book shelves, finish indexing and put in place a system for loans and reference for members of the Order. It will be housed in the Belfast temple/ community space. If you would like to help us with this work, donations are welcome.
We would appreciate donations of money (for shelves), shelving, time for indexing, and donations of relevant books (with an emphasis on esotericism and philosophy).
Below is the current library thing index (in drastic need of update and expansion but gives a bit of an overview)
Do what thou wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law
The 30th of April saw The Irish Order of Thelema celebrate the annual Poets Bards & Blaggers event to bring us into Bealtaine. Community members and guests were met by tea and coffee in the reception area for a bit of mingling and chat of the day ahead while the Ritual Crew put the finishing touches to the Bealtaine Rite.
After welcoming guests to the Craobh Rua, The Belfast Grove of The Irish Order of Thelema, the opening of the temple space began with a cleansing, the Emerald Star was performed, followed by our powerful Bealtaine Ritual for the 15+ guests…
A short break, while the temple was transformed into a performance space, while our younger guests retired to the reception area for an afternoon of arts and crafts. Decorating the winter tree to bring us into summer with colourful flowers and green leaves and making festive headbands to wear during the children’s performance of the Bealtaine Maypole Dance, which finished off a full day of shared, creative energies brought in the form of songs, dance, poetry, story telling and spoken word at the Poets Bards & Blaggers section of the day…
The joyous event was wrapped up with a hearty feast for all who attended. As the temple brought to a close we had the rite of community membership and welcomed one of our honoured guests as a new community member of the Belfast Grove of The Irish Order of Thelema. All in all it was a successful celebration.
The Irish Order of Thelema is proud to announce the publication of Volume 2 of the Journal of Ogam Studies.
The Journal of Ogam Studies is an occasional publication focusing on the ogam, its history and its innovative use in contemporary spiritual practice. Ogam (or ogham)is an ancient Irish written language. Many have also posited a more esoteric interpretation of its history and use. The field of ogam studies is equally interesting to scholars, as well to as spiritual practitioners drawing from ancient sources and finding new and exciting applications. This publication may be of special interest to druids, pagans, magical practitioners, divinators and people interested in Irish studies, and specifically the ogam.
In this issue we have:
A reevaluation of the Ogham Tree List
An Invocation of Ogma (ritual)
Ogham and Hyper Diffusionism in America
A Herb Ogham
A Bird Ogham
Ogham and Fidchell
as well as a series of tree “doodles” throughout the journal…
To celebrate the publication we are offering 15% off all publications from the Irish Order of Thelema/ Fortified Island Press including the Fortified Island Anthology. Offer lasts until the 15th of May. Check it out!
On the 17th of April we hosted a workshop on Magick In Theory in Practice in the Temple space in Belfast. Facilitated by Frater Fionn, a long time thelemic initiate (including involvement in the Irish Order of Thelema), we had an interesting day.
Aleister Crowley is one of the best known occultists of the 20th century. We explored Croweys definition of magick and the specific methods he employed. Towards the end of his life Crowley wrote Magick in Theory and Practice, his magnum opus on magick. In MITP Crowley offers a model for ritual magick.
Included in the day was an extended discussion of what ritual is, what makes for good ritual, theatre analogies and why good theatre makes for good ritual, warm ups and body work as a preliminary for ritual, voicework, the formulas of ritual described in magick and theory in practice (batteries, banishing, purification, consecration, statement of intent etc).
With lots of practical work with body, voice, magical gesture, a good and informative day was had by all.
On the 9th April The Irish Order of Thelema met in Belfast to mark the Three Days of the writing of Liber Al vel Legis, The Book of the Law. We held an AGM to discuss and reflect both on the year behind us and the year ahead of us and worked on strategic plans and goals.
We also had a celebratory reading of the three chapters of The Book of the Law, followed by a festive feed and merriment!
The Spring or Vernal Equinox is a significant time for Thelemites as the New Year in the Thelemic calendar, as well as the anniversary of the equinox of the Gods, in which the new aeon was ushered in. This year the theme of transitions was reflected in our Equinox ritual.
At Spring Equinox the National Sovereign led the grove ritual. It was a ritual of purification in which all present where involved. A group banishing, purification and invocation was performed that each person may get rid of anything they don’t need, purify what’s left and invoked what they need to accomplish their True Will in the coming year. It was a potent rite enjoyed and appreciated by all present.
Several people met on the 12th of March to look at the qabalah and tarot in a thelemic context. Starting with a discussion of the development of esoteric Judaism including Merkevah, Hassidism and the Qabalah, the day focused on the Thoth tarot as an experiential medium through which we can encounter the cards and their principles as beings. This also included a look at how the deck has changed in the new aeon. Included an introduction to Liber 231, the day also had several interactive exercises and a group skrying of the mercurial sigil of the Lamed and the Adjustment card from Liber 231. A great Day was had by all.