The Law of Thelema, Will and Sovereignty

Our work is based upon the foundation of ‘the Law of Thelema’ which states:

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

The most common source of this Law is ‘The Book of the Law’, a short three-chapter work which was allegedly dictated to the magician Aleister Crowley in 1904. While this law is commonly connected to and popularised by Aleister Crowley, it actually finds its origins in the work of Francois Rabelias. Rabelias was a Catholic monk who lived in the 15th century France. Rabelais loved the monastic lifestyle, but could not agree with many of the principles embodied by the Church. His vision was of cooperative community in which the individual was perfectly free and sovereign, acting out of their will, but creating a mutually tolerant society by extending these rights to each other person.

Ord Thoil Eireanach (“Irish Order of Will” / Irish Order of Thelema) accepts this principle as the sole and sufficient rule of life. The Tuath places this universal law of mutual conduct at its core, working exclusively in the traditions of Ireland. It is not ‘Thelemic’ in many of the ways traditionally or typically associated with this term, choosing to focus on the cultural and mythological wellsprings of indigenous Irish traditions.

This expression takes the form of an initiatory journey through the Irish provinces, learning lessons that aid in the emancipation of the individual, culminating in the place of sovereignty in Meath. Within the Irish magical tradition the sovereignty is symbolically embodied in the king and in the idea of fír flaithemon, rulers truth. Rulers Truth was inherent in the king’s person simply because he was king but a king also held his position by virtue of his Truth. While fir literally means truth, it has overtones of righteousness, judgment, and “right living.” Fir cannot be acquired but it can be lost by a king who engages in falsehood, violates his geisi, or makes poor judgments. It is thus the perfect integration of word and action, and the ever present acting out of the will. In progressing the idea of kingship and rulership to the 21st Century, the Order sees sovereignty as vested in each individual who has developed their capacity for self determination, each one king or queen of their own destiny.

While the work of Rabelias and Crowley are part of the history of ‘Thelema’, we are focused on the future and the social needs of our time and place in the world as an evolving and progressive identity. Our will is tied to our personal stories and experiences, and how we live in the world today. People come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds including those interested in the idea of personal liberty, those exploring their relationship with Ireland and Her traditions as well as those more broadly searching real alternatives to outmoded social, cultural and religious strictures that seek to oppress the individual and their personal sovereignty.