| up a level
from the crater-noster dept.
I posted on this issue in some detail in "On The Bloody Eucharist." Mostly this was answered with the charge that the entire issue of communion and transubstantiation was a symbolic and not a literal one. I concede that Thelemites of conscience can be of either opinion on this particular issue and we need not, like John Calvin or the Spanish Inquisition, burn those, at either a figurative or a literal stake, who hold a contrary opinion. But I think the weight of textual evidence is that Crowley and the upper degree formulae (not to mention considerations of the Mass and the sacraments and the principle of the magical link in other, more accessible places, Book 4 and Liber Aleph in particular), indicate rather unequivocally that a direct link between the sacrament, as consecrated by the Priest and Priestess at the altar, and the cake and cup consumed by the congregant, is necessary for the sacrament to be efficacious.
One could certainly bring a cup of their own, but it must be filled from the cup used in the formal consecration of the clergy for the formula not to be balked. The Deacon could easily use a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol or even vodka to wipe the rim of the cup if the issue of germs was a serious one.
I want to tread very lightly here, but I think bringing one's own charged cakes is actually contrary to a particular formula implicit in the Mass, the "emblem" of the Pelican, and that this aspect is essential if the the Mass is to be a correct explication of all the initiatory formulae that compose the pageant of the Mass. This, of course, implies that the cakes used by the congregants once contained the "live matter" correctly "prepared" by the proper "mode," even if the essential elements were (possibly properly) burnt before being distributed into the cakes. And further that the cake used by the clergy in the formality of Consecration, and made visible to the congregation during the performance of Liber XV, also contains the live and properly prepared elements, here unburnt (at least not subsequent to being charged in the invisible rite, prior to the resurrection from the tomb that initiates the public performance of the Mass*), thus attracting the Holy Spirit/Ghost (cf. Liber Aleph) that all may partake of the "light" that gives the cakes their name.
*I am loathe to roll away this particular stone any further lest I be accused of disclosing whose tomb it is that is empty and which woman it is that might be said to be kneeling before the gaping maw thereof. But this is the morn upon which all of the true brethren and sistern should, in remembrance, cry "He is Risen." For though the cock may well have crowed thrice, and we may even have denied him, we are indeed reminded at every performance of Liber XV, unless we are blind indeed, what rises when the priestess kneels before the priest; who being resurrected no longer lays in the tomb but stands boldly before it.
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