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  On the Cup
Magick Posted by David R. Jones on May 04, 2001 @ 12:46 PM
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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    Re: On the Cup
    by Jon Auviere on Friday May 04, @01:21PM
    I take it that the consumption of the host is the equivalent of consuming the priest and his life-blood. Thus taking on the meaning of "Blood Blothers". But is the formula that crucial of an aspect? And does this embodie a supreme secret? Or are there jucier parts in say "The General Principles" even though one may say these to be a bit brief? -These are the questions that I find noteworthy to explore. And beyond this I don't see the point that you are trying to make other than to appear somewhat "authoritizing" on obscurity/enigma.

    Comments?

    • Re: On the Cup
      by Thelemick Knight on Friday May 04, @03:40PM
      Si Valetis, Valeo

      There is a bloodline implied by the methodology in the Mass which goes as far back as the Prophet and extends to the present communicant. The way that Mass is performed these days does not readily lend itself to this idea. For reasons that David has so elegantly pointed out, I don't believe that the "secret" is conveyed by today's masses, nor do I believe that the intended spiritual effect is administered.

      Pax Profundus,
      GM




      • Re: On the Cup
        by Jon Auviere on Saturday May 05, @07:41AM
        >There is a bloodline implied by the methodology in the Mass which goes as far back as the Prophet and extends to the present communicant.

        Come again?

        >I don't believe that the "secret" is conveyed by today's masses, nor do I believe that the intended spiritual effect is administered.

        What are some instances/examples that would help clarify the above statement. What is the secret and/or desired spiritual effect? Also, can you give the translation from the enigma machine with your answer?
        ;)


    • Re: On the Cup
      by the Reverend Rob on Friday May 04, @08:52PM
      " But is the formula that crucial of an aspect? And does this embodie a supreme secret?"

      If it isn't, and it doesn't, then what is the point of the Mass?


      • Re: On the Cup
        by Jon Auviere on Saturday May 05, @07:35AM
        >If it isn't, and it doesn't, then what is the point of the Mass?

        Celebration, congregation, awareness, bonding, promotion/stating of the aims/general principles. All these are comparable traits.


        • Re: On the Cup
          by Martin Hettland on Saturday May 05, @09:28AM
          Hi Jon!

          The point of the Mass is not only the psychodrama involved.

          If you read the Liber Agape I am sure you will have a clearer understanding of the enigmatic replyes you have been making remarks about.

          Regards: Martin Hettland.


          • Re: On the Cup
            by Jon Auviere on Saturday May 05, @09:58AM
            I would prefer it if you or others on list would help to clarify--this list is for open discussion, not for referrals, yes? So if there is a miscommunication and a misuse (?) of these things that the few have already mentioned, then perhaps they should also back up their claims/remarks. Also, if this is so then why don't said persons shed light on the whole subject here and now. I've seen a lot of accusations by magicians that others are not doing this right or not understanding that, but they refuse when pressed to enlighten us all. It is nonsense - is it not?


            • Re: On the Cup
              by Martin Hettland on Saturday May 05, @01:41PM
              Hi again Jon, I agree with you in calling it nonsense.
              But I am not free to publish any O.T.O. secrets on this site.
              Feel free to send me an e-mail, and I will forward the mentioned document to you.

              All the best: Martin Hettland.


              • Re: On the Cup
                by Jon Auviere on Sunday May 06, @07:51AM
                If I could find a way to best express my previous responses maybe it is that I don't think the ceremony of the physical host to be a perfect conveyor of the secret. And let's be honest, the author didn't have to think very hard on it, because he borrowed it from the Roman Catholic Church. The problem with this is that Thelema doesn't serve Jesus, so I find it surprising that the xtian canon is incorporated within a Thelemic mass. If there dared a man to rewrite at least the ending to better accomodate Thelema ? Or perhaps wrote a mass from scratch and heavy on the evil and mysterious! Then we'd have a deal.

                Someone in this thread quoted Crowley's Confessions as to a need of satisfying religious instinct. I don't think it's altogether that, save a need for the mystical to open doors that are otherwise shut.



                • "Evil and Mysterious"
                  by Dionysos Thriambos on Sunday May 06, @11:52AM
                  Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

                  'Twas I who quoted Confessions. And in its original context, the quote appears to be a definitive statement about Crowley's intentions in composing the Gnostic Mass.

                  I personally think the Gnostic Mass is a fine exemplar of Thelemic ritual: more Christian than Christianity, more Satanic than Satanism, and willfully delivered from good and evil.

                  Mystery is as Mystery does. Not only do I find that the Gnostic Mass is mysterious in itself, but it has shown me how to discover great Mystery in places where I once thought that there was little...like Christianity.

                  Love is the law, love under will.


                  • Re: "Evil and Mysterious"
                    by GM on Sunday May 06, @12:43PM
                    Dear Dionysos:

                    You said:
                    I personally think the Gnostic Mass is a fine exemplar of Thelemic ritual: more Christian than Christianity, more Satanic than Satanism, and willfully delivered from good and evil.

                    I couldn't agree more. Crowley used Christianity as a springboard for Thelema. Some elements are so obviously Christian that they cannot be ignored if we want to understand our own paradigm.

                    As to "Jesus." There is an entry in the New Testament, in which Jesus is said to claim that upon his return he will wage war... not peace.

                    I see no conflict between esoteric Christianity and Thelema.

                    Pax Profundus,
                    GM


          • Re: On the Cup
            by GM on Sunday May 06, @12:26PM
            Dear Martin:

            Si Vales, Valeo

            You said:
            The point of the Mass is not only the psychodrama involved.

            Thank you for saying this. It needs to be said over and over and over again for the benefit of those people who look upon the Mass as simple performance art.

            Pax Profundus,
            GM


            • Re: On the Cup
              by Jon Auviere on Monday May 07, @12:42PM
              You can shout it all you want, but that still won't make it a fact or change the way others look at it. I would rather caution against obsession than force my will against all who disagree (for the sake of disagreeing no doubt!).


              • Re: On the Cup
                by Nexist on Thursday May 10, @10:45PM
                Beware therefore! Love all, lest perchance is a King concealed! Say you so? Fool! If he be a King, thou canst not hurt him. (II:59)

                Sorry couldn't help it...


          • Re: On the Cup
            by Ericson on Sunday May 13, @08:40AM
            What does Agape have to do with the *ceremony* of the mass?


      • The Point of the Mass
        by Dionysos Thriambos on Saturday May 05, @10:57AM
        Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

        In the words of the author of the Canon of the Gnostic Mass:

        Human nature demands (in the case of most people) the satisfaction of the religious instinct, and, to very many, this may best be done by ceremonial means. I wished therefore to construct a ritual through which people might enter into ecstasy as they have always done under the influence of appropriate ritual. (Confessions, Chapter 73)


        While the rubric of the Mass may adumbrate the Supreme Secret of O.T.O.--and, although not being an initiate of the Sovereign Sanctuary there is some supposition involved in my saying so, I believe it does--that doesn't mean that it embodies or enacts the Secret.

        In response to the thesis of the original article of this thread, I don't see why the magick benefits of the Mass to the People should be the same as those enjoyed by the Priest, nor why he should be expected to transmit his "bloodline" to anyone who attends his Mass. Given that the explicit mechanics described in Liber XV do interfere with such operations as Br. Jones has explained, I think it is simpler to conclude that Crowley (no stumbler in such matters) actually intended there to be a certain "firewall" between the clergy and the laity in the operation of the sacrament.

        Love is the law, love under will.


        • Re: The Point of the Mass
          by Peter Grey on Wednesday May 09, @06:08AM
          93,

          The need for a firewall between Priest and People is what I find problematic about the mass.
          It is not very gnostic to institute firewalls.
          IMO If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Magick is all about getting your fingers burned, that way you learn.
          If you take part in any mass then have your cake and eat it.

          93 93 93


          • Re: The Point of the Mass
            by Dionysos Thriambos on Wednesday May 09, @07:37AM
            Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

            Since EGC has sacerdotal functions, but not sacerdotalist doctrine (i.e. no vicarious sanctification through the priest), I think it is "very gnostic" to have the eucharistic elements be magically distinct for each sovereign communicant, rather than linked dependently to that of the priest.

            To continue your mixture of my metaphor, I'd rather that people burned their own fingers, rather than one another's.

            Love is the law, love under will.


    Re: On the Cup
    by Tim Maroney on Thursday May 10, @06:20PM
    I'm curious why people remain so fascinated by the particular 19th-century marriage manual that became the OTO sex magick formule. Do people remain this concerned with, for instance, the HBL, PB Randolph or the Cromlech Temple? What is it about Reuss' musings as retold by Crowley that makes them so very interesting compared with other sources from the time?

    Tim

    • Re: On the Cup
      by Martin Hettland on Monday May 14, @10:37AM
      Yes, fascinated they are, the "pecing out the eyes of Jesus" produced over a hundred replyes on this site.
      The fascination might be due to the OTO sex magick formule involving refrences to the Old Aeon order.
      When people are fed up with the Old Aeon teching, they might go looking for a spiced up version of it in the place you mentioned.

      Regards: Martin Hettland.


    • Re: On the Cup
      by Mordecai Shapiro on Monday May 14, @01:03PM
      >What is it about Reuss' musings as retold by Crowley

      The answer is here in the question. Crowley has many present-day fans and followers. HBL, Randolph, etc. have far fewer and far less fixated admirers.


    • Re: On the Cup
      by Jon Auviere on Monday May 14, @01:04PM
      >What is it about Reuss' musings as retold by Crowley that makes them so very interesting compared with other sources from the time?

      What other sources are you referring?

      The question I'd place is what is so great about displaying the formula in sexual language insofar as would prove terribly perverse?


      • Re: On the Cup
        by Martin Hettland on Friday May 18, @11:26AM
        I can not speak for Tim Maroney, but among other soureces I would mention "L'Euchariste" from 1906 written by Clémente de Saint-Marcq[published by Peter-R. Koenig 1999],(Crowley comments upon this text in chapter twenty of "Magick in Theory and Practise).
        Another source is Theodor Reuss' "Parsifal and the Secret of the Graal Unveiled" from 1914.

        Some Randolph stuff is published in Allan Greenfield's("Gnostic Bishop")"The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor", but much about Randolph is easely found on the net.

        Regards: Martin Hettland.


    • marriage manual
      by Dionysos Thriambos on Tuesday May 15, @08:01PM
      93

      I think I follow your implication here, Tim.

      OTO Sovereign Sanctuary sex magical praxis probably descends through the H.B. of L. from P.B. Randolph, who also wrote some "esoteric" sexual instruction that is basically marital advice and nothing more. But that doesn't mean that what he passed to OTO predecessors/originators was a mere marriage manual, nor that it was retained without further development.

      Are you suggesting that I should be uninterested in such questions?

      93 93/93


      • Re: marriage manual
        by Tim Maroney on Tuesday May 15, @10:11PM
        I don't really mean to make an implication, Dionysos. I think I was perhaps a bit indirect in my original statement but it seems to me you have grasped my intent on a formal level. I try to be clear but sometimes I fail. I will try again.

        I think this quest for ultimate sexual meaning in archaic and misguided sexual-spiritual interpretation is an illusory quest, the spoor of the questing beast. I also mean to say by that, the IX° secret is over-rated within discourse in some spiritual groups that work with Crowley material. Crowley is even over the top in tipping his hat to us that he is doting a bit excessively on a system he has taken closely from Reuss. His inclusion of anti-Christian material in other parts of the OTO system may be in part his own defense reaction against adopting such an uncharacteristically Christian-Trinitarian doctrine (q.v. MTP).

        My readings of his published journals do not seem to indicate that when he was working sexual formulae he placed such a high priority on what the particular IX° secret was supposed to be. His own sexual exploration reuses some concepts from the OTO system but is largely variegated, features multiple partners, places male and female in different juxtapositions relative to each other, and otherwise shows large differences from the formula he referred to as the IX° formula.

        As for whether anyone else should or should not be interested in such questions, I also meant to point out the scope of thought on sex and spirituality in a ritual or magical context in the West in the late 19th century, and what a narrow slice of thinking the OTO sexual system represents to the student of the field of sexual occultism, or even specifically to the student of Crowley.

        The question of HBL descent in the OTO system is an interesting one but not the one I meant to raise. I find much more striking doctrinal and practical instances of HBL descent in Dion Fortune's The Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage than I do in the OTO system, where there is really nothing tangible from the HBL and Randolph. And yet the OTO's papers claim descent from those sources. So far this is an anomaly I do not have much to say about, and I have not seen a compelling treatment. It's possible that this is a sort of ritual co-optation such as could be seen in the XV saint list or other examples of the historiola, but the matter remains unproven to my knowledge.

        As for whether you personally should be a student of matters bearing on this IX° secret I have no reason to trust my opinion on such a matter over your own, and no intent to imply otherwise. Does it follow that from what one person considers the spoor of the best another might find a quest fulfilled? Of course.

        Tim


        • Re: marriage manual
          by Dionysos Thriambos on Thursday May 17, @07:54AM
          93

          I think there is a certain point on which we agree here. In discourse among Thelemites, there has often been an unfortunate collapse of categories between the idea of sex magick as a whole and that of the OTO IX°. I don't think that it is really in the interest of magicians generally or the OTO in particular for us to gloss over the fact that the IX° material pertains by definition only to people using it in that initiated context. I would like to see an increased realism where people will acknowledge that it is possible to be a fully fledged Thelemic sex magician without possessing or even aspiring to the IX° secrets as such, and that the IX° material is only profaned, not revealed, when it is removed from the Sanctuary.

          That said, I don't consider myself to have any sort of comprehensive or exhaustive view of the OTO's Sovereign Sanctuary instructions, so I overtly abstain from comment on your mentions such as "the formula he referred to as the IX° formula" and "in the OTO system...there is really nothing tangible from the HBL."

          93 93/93



     
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