Welcome to The Beast Bay General Thelema Science Art Scholarship The Beast Bay website
 up a level
 search
 main


  And the Horse You Rode In On
General Thelema Posted by Xnoubis on July 02, 2001 @ 12:18 AM
from the womb-with-a-view dept.

I once attended a workshop given by a teacher of the Sufi persuasion who said, in his crazy wisdom sort of way, "Ask any woman: a man is of no importance whatsoever. A man is merely a life-support system for something really important."

With that in mind, I've sometimes thought of the line from the collect in the Gnostic Mass pertaining to the Lady: "...be thou ever ready, thou and thine handmaiden, in thine office of gladness." If the collect for the Lord concerns the phallus, isn't the Lady intended to be the kteis? And then is her handmaiden not the woman she is attached to?


<  |  >

 

  Related Links
  • Articles on General Thelema
  • Also by Xnoubis
  • Contact author
  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


    That's no Lady, that's...
    by Dionysos Thriambos on Tuesday July 03, @12:49PM
    Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

    When examining Crowley's writings, a sensitivity to biblical allusion is vital. In the case of "handmaiden," there is no mistaking the reference. In chapters 16 and 30 of Genesis, there are instances of a husband taking his wife's "handmaid" (KJV) as a surrogate mother for his children. (Those stories are also the reference in Atwood's Handmaid's Tale.) The idea of the "handmaid" as a surrogate in the marital act is thus full of precedent.

    So returning to the Lady Collect, we are presented with the now fairly transparent question of what might serve as the surrogate of the vulva in its "office of gladness."

    Liber Aleph, chapter 82 among others, may be read profitably in this connection.

    Love is the law, love under will.

    (This message was copied from a recent post of mine to the GnosticMass Yahoo!Group. "Steam-Engine Time," I suppose.)

    • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
      by Kaladevi on Wednesday July 04, @06:52PM
      Chapter 82 would be Beta Pi. Where is the reference in that chapter?

      Seems to me that the interp could vary.
      Anus for surrogate for vulva or mouth for surrogate for vulva. For that matter, the male's anus or mouth or ear for that matter. Try any orifice. But, it seems to me that the attachment to any physical orifice is wrong-headedness. Seems to me that the key is the cosmic and the human attitude of acceptance/receptivity to the Divine, whatever the Divine has to offer one.

      Love,

      Kaladevi... wanna date, bay-bee? ;-)


    • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
      by Aleph on Thursday July 05, @08:35AM
      Only a moron would believe the interpretation you are suggesting. The Lance and Cup are sufficient symbols of Lingam and Yoni so the dehumanization of the Priest and Priestess is quite unnecessary. The Gate of Life is referred to twice in the collects. Once under 'the lady' and once under 'birth'. Woman is the 'Gate of Life' and also the 'Gate of Love'.

      Since anyone who has read Crowley seriously knows he had a high opinion of procreation, it is easy to see that the primary meaning of 'office of gladness' intended is that of bearing children. The handmaiden is the midwife, which is exactly the role that the 'handmaid' of Genesis played - midwife (and with a little help from hubby, wet-nurse!). Sexuallity is the secondary meaning of 'office of gladness' (though not very secondary).

      Your particular flavor of deconstructionist bullshit is exactly why I find the EGC to be inadequate to the needs of true Thelemites and thus formed Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis.

      Though I must say, it does give me a new way to call you an as^H^Hhandmaiden.... I suppose that you will next be implying the the concregation is nothing but pubic hair! In short, you should be ashamed of yourself...

      93/696
      Aleph


      • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
        by Paradoxic Alfalfa on Thursday July 05, @02:38PM
        93 Aleph,

        IMO, that was completely uncalled for. Just b/c
        Dionysos is both an ordained priest of the EGC
        and a Lodgemaster of OTO doesn't mean he isn't
        permitted to spread disinformation. Of course,
        all the aspirants who might read his words are
        intelligent enough to both get his meaning, and
        realize that he is making a joke (I think), so
        there is (almost) no chance of them confusing
        his words for any official position (or is
        there?). OTOH, with some of the things I've heard
        recently, perhaps this IS the officially illuminated
        OTO or EGC position.

        But still, there was no need to tear him a new
        handmaiden!

        93's
        P.A.


        • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
          by Akephalos on Thursday July 05, @05:14PM
          93 Aleph,
          Stop talking to yourself in public.
          A

          93 93/93


          • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
            by Aleph on Thursday July 05, @05:31PM
            Damn. Why didn't I realize that Dionysos is my evil twin!


            • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
              by El Nigma on Friday July 06, @03:46PM
              I say toss dice to see who's more evil. :-)

              Love,
              Star


        • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
          by Kaladevi on Saturday July 07, @08:57AM
          Dear Paradoxic Alfalfa,

          In a recent issue of Behutet zine, Lon Milo Duquette was quoted from his 5 hour deconstruction of the Mass as saying that a communicant should approach the altar with a concrete idea of his desire for manifesting something... say a cadillac. Those who are not familiar with Mr. Duquette's wicked sense of humor or who believe that to be exactly the manner in which one should focus Will might take that statement seriously and label it peasant black magic or sympathetic (or perhaps 'pathetic') magic.

          Why should one who does not know Dionysos construe his statements as anything but a serious statement of his beliefs? He placed no emoticons after his statements or any other indication of joking.

          Love,
          Kaladevi


          • Re: concrete ideas
            by Paradoxic Alfalfa on Saturday July 07, @10:01AM
            A friend of mine once did a Pan working in which
            he specifically asked for a 'concrete manifestation
            of Pan.' He completed the Working, but was somewhat
            disappointed that no material manifestation had
            occurred. A few days later, he did get *exactly*
            what he asked for - he stopped at a yard sale, and
            found a *concrete* lawn ornament representation of
            Pan. Sometimes you have to not only be careful
            what you ask for, but also of how you word your
            request...


            • Re: concrete ideas
              by Mordecai on Sunday July 08, @11:21AM
              >Sometimes you have to not only be careful what you ask for,
              >but also of how you word your request...

              Sometimes?


              • Re: concrete ideas
                by Aleph on Sunday July 08, @12:50PM
                Well, if you have no power, maybe you don't have to worry about it ;-)


      • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
        by Dionysos Thriambos on Friday July 06, @12:56PM
        Aleph,

        Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

        You wrote:
        "The Lance and Cup are sufficient symbols of Lingam and Yoni so the dehumanization of the Priest and Priestess is quite unnecessary."

        Where specifically is such "dehumanization" indicated? I was moving forward from Xnoubis' reasonable postulate that the "Lord" of the Collects is the phallus, and the "Lady" is the cteis. I do not identify the "Lord" with the Priest, nor the "Lady" with the Priestess. Liber XV provides no positive grounds for such identification, in my opinion.

        Regarding your "midwife" interpretation of Genesis, it is at variance with the simple text of the KJV as understood by any reader of English.

        Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children, and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. ... And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian...and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. ... And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. (from Genesis 16)


        My interpretations of Liber XV in this instance are my own opinion. My standing as a Priest in EGC authorizes my performance of the Mass, not my intellectual interpretation of it. Neither is what I have proposed any kind of "party line." Nor is it "deconstructionist," and your suggestion to that effect looks like empty-headed bluster.

        With respect to "moron," "bullshit," your empty claims for your church, and so forth, they are all of a piece, as far as I can tell.

        Love is the law, love under will.

        (You're welcome!)


        • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
          by Aleph on Friday July 06, @03:12PM
          93 Dionysos,

          I have this great thing called a mind.

          Through using it, I don't find a need to build a house of cards from cross-references.

          Creativity is much more fun than pointless analysis of the works of dead Englishmen.

          And I don't end up with the ludicrous image of the priest as a phallus bearing a lance that's a phallus, leaving the priestess to stroke the phallus of a phallus. What a phallacy!

          Ta ta!

          93/696
          Aleph


          • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
            by Kaladevi on Saturday July 07, @09:09AM
            >the priest as a phallus
            >bearing a lance that's a phallus,
            >leaving the priestess to stroke the phallus of a >phallus.

            or...

            the man with the phallus (instincts, desire, etc.)
            bearing a lance (consciousness/awareness pierces the veils of illusion)
            the priestess to stroke (providing new, pleasurable experience, an expression of Love, to overwhelm the senses and the mind and run pleasurable energy to run over old memories of pain... rubbing salt in the Fisher King wound... the salt transforms pain to pleasure.)

            Love,
            Kaladevi


            • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
              by Kaladevi on Saturday July 07, @09:15AM
              er... that posted before I completed it.
              to continue...

              the priestess to stroke the phallus of a phallus:
              new, pleasurable experiences (priestess could equal kundalini shakti=naturalness) inform the consciousness (lingam/phallus) of a sleepwalker (phallus could also equal a person who is acting unconsciously).

              Love,
              Kaladevi


              • Re: That's no Lady, that's...
                by Mordecai on Sunday July 08, @02:47PM
                This brings to mind a Dr. Seuss book, There's a Wocket in my Pocket. How about a Dr. Seuss version of the mass, There's a Lance in my Pants? "Will you eat green cakes and sperm?"


                • "There's a Lance in my Pants"
                  by Dionysos Thriambos on Monday July 09, @09:43AM
                  ROTFLMHO!


    Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
    by Fra THA;M on Wednesday July 04, @09:02AM
    ...Handmaiden...hmmmmmm.....

    screw You and the Horus you rode in on.

    Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
    by Micha deBarca on Thursday July 05, @03:16AM
    You've come a long way...
    A sufi workshop and the Gnostic Mass?

    You cannot have your cake of light and eat cous-cous too, y'know.
    And the whole workshop-formula, what's that about? Sellout!

    Anyways, the 'really important' would be the liberation of the spark.
    And whether one gets help from a handmaiden or ones own hand, oh well. Have fun, do the alpha-male thing! Or lose these sorry equations alltogether.

    Tearing off thights with my teeth, Javelin_

    • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
      by Xnoubis on Thursday July 05, @03:35PM
      > You cannot have your cake of light and eat
      > cous-cous too, y'know.

      And why's that?

      > And the whole workshop-formula, what's that
      > about? Sellout!

      There are all kinds of financial models for perpetuating the work. It seems to me that the issue is not the model itself, but how carefully it's administered, that makes the difference. Most workshops are smarmy, especially the ones that compete in the workshop market. That's not to say that a group or individual couldn't carefully plan an event and charge admission for it, if consideration is made regarding where the money goes, and exactly what's being offered in exchange for it.


    Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
    by jazzcat goodshiplollypop on Friday July 06, @12:55AM
    ..all this handmaiden stuff aside, has anybody that has performed the Gnostic Mass actually felt the spiral starry force funneling through thier psyches...?

    • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
      by Aleph on Friday July 06, @06:21AM
      93,

      What, and focus on something important instead of arguing about stupid details of interpretation?

      What are you, some kind of heretic ;-)

      93/696
      Aleph


      • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
        by jazzcat goodshiplollypop on Friday July 06, @08:35PM
        ...well, well, well i be looken fo thee
        holy grail...well well well...!

        heretic by nature, hermit in beds of purple
        by nomenclature...!

        cuz when i performed the Mass, with my mate priestess, and i set her on the alter,
        it was all i could do , not to be blown
        away by that invoked starry spiral force,
        when i looked into her eyes,(o)(o) there it was,
        looken back at me...!!!*666*!!!93939393939393

        jazzcat


        • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
          by El Nigma on Saturday July 07, @08:32AM
          I read the Mass and go "ew. that should be this way, and I don't like that line - but this line's good- etc. etc.. " and when i think it through that way I don't understand its power. Yet there it is when its performed.. and it happens, all BIG like that, how you described it so well. It ends up being a tad addictive anyway. ;-)

          Love,
          Star


    • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
      by El Nigma on Friday July 06, @03:39PM
      hell yeah, Priestessing has put me and others in that zone, despite the "office of gladness" shit. I personally do not like this Collect at all, perhaps from a different interpretation then Xnoubis's (and no, so far nobody's told me what I must think in particular portions of the Mass in the EGC), enough I've no desire to Deacon one, cause I'd feel gladness in office at punching something if I had to say that stupid line. I see it as Crowley's amusing attempt at suggesting women to lay down and be easy, and accomodating to having other women in the bed too. It always puts an interesting challenge to me up there when I hear it, if my mind isn't far away.. I think of ways I'll reverse that role..

      Anyhoo, said too much, I'm sure.
      Love,
      Star


      • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
        by Kaladevi on Saturday July 07, @08:39AM
        >suggesting women to lay down and be easy, and
        >accomodating to having other women in the bed >too.

        You say that as though it's a bad thing. Should the sharing of pleasure be restricted?

        >I think of ways I'll reverse that role..

        Ah, and yet another sensate pleasure... Thou phallus and thy men servants. ;-)

        Love,
        Kaladevi


        • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
          by El Nigma on Saturday July 07, @09:49AM
          93!
          Kaladevi said:

          >You say that as though it's a bad thing. Should the sharing of pleasure be restricted?

          No way!! No actually I was thinking more how Priestess may prefer to do the riding.

          >I think of ways I'll reverse that role..

          Ah, and yet another sensate pleasure... Thou phallus and thy men servants. ;-)

          Hehehe.. lets rewrite these Collects!

          Love,
          Star


          • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
            by Aleph on Saturday July 07, @10:10AM
            93 Star,

            Hehehe.. lets rewrite these Collects!

            Yes, let's!

            Adonai spake unto V.V.V.V.V., saying: there must ever be division in the word. For the colours are many, but the light is one. Therefore thou writest that which is of mother of emerald, and of lapis-lazuli, and of turqoise, and of alexandrite. Another writeth the words of topaz, and of deep amethyst, and of gray sapphire, and of deep sapphire with a tinge as of blood.

            Therefore do ye fret yourselves because of this?

            Liber LXV.I.2-6


            93/696
            Aleph
            Ecclesia Gnostica Universalis


    Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
    by Fra THA;M on Friday July 06, @05:22PM
    As a non-denominational Thelemite (I exclude here the AA) lacking any affilal relationship to the OTO or these post-Crowleyan derivatives, I have read this thread with puzzlement. Why is such energy expended upon petty and juvenile bickering, and arguement over what seems to be minor theological points? I notice this same phenomenon abounds, as well, in childish feuds over lineages in the OTO. It portrays these groups extremeley negatively to the gazes of individuals who aren't members of these communities. What a waste.

    • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
      by Kaladevi on Saturday July 07, @07:30AM
      Dear Fra THA;M,

      Discussion is a way of connecting. If you feel this is a grand waste of energy, try the following tantric exercise:

      Examine your own labels for the form a discussion seems to take. This may reveal to you your own underlying attitudes and behaviors, your projections on others, etc. Note how your body responds (and where) to the words others use. Note your changes in breathing pattern. One's response to the spoken/written word may reveal hindrances to realization of one's own divinity... more Work to be done.
      So, perhaps this beastbay forum and the discussions here are a tool for body/mind/spirit transformation toward achievement of the Philosopher's Stone and not a waste, at all. It is whatever each individual makes of it, n'est-ce pas?

      Love,
      Kaladevi


    • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
      by El Nigma on Saturday July 07, @08:17AM
      One, people like to argue, often over minor theological points, so thats never going to end. ;-)
      I've seen A.A. lineage bickering as well, and seen some of the same games made by covens against each other. I could be told someone (Wiccan) would only initiate women if he could sleep with them (omg, horrible) and he's openly and exclusively gay, if you don't know, you'll be afraid to go visit him, and miss the chance to meet a greatly learned pagan. Then you can get mad at your friend's being busted on. This stuff happens - games, you know? Ugly.
      Love,
      Star


      • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
        by Fra THA;M on Saturday July 07, @03:36PM
        I apologize, and stand chastised. I had been perusing AA sites on the web (specifically DBGK Arrghhh...) and projected my indignation upon those undeserving of my criticism. Sorry.


      • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
        by Mordecai on Sunday July 08, @11:15AM
        >I've seen A.A. lineage bickering as well

        Right now there's a doozy, raging over whether there is such a thing as an A.'.A.'. lineage. Quite enjoyable for those who enjoy that sort of thing.


        • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
          by El Nigma on Sunday July 08, @11:23AM
          Maybe there should be a Consumer Reports guide to Pagan paths, cause finding impartial information can't be come by. Buyer beware, path may need inspection.

          Love,
          Star


        • Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
          by Kaladevi on Sunday July 08, @04:11PM
          Ahhhhhhh, passion fire, in all its forms, is so wondrous to behold. All in the name of Love.

          KD


    Re: And the Horse You Rode In On
    by Sophia on Tuesday July 10, @04:00PM
    Dear All,

    This subject arose from a conversation my intelligent, fascinating and well-read husband and I were having one evening.

    All I have to report is that my handmaiden and I have a wonderful relationship.

    Cheers!

    Mrs. BeastBay


    Where's Georgia O'Keeffe when we need her?
    by Marfiza on Wednesday July 18, @01:19PM
    Heh. Just shows you what unenlightened filthy-minded lowlife scum I am ... I always interpreted the gate of life and love to be the vulva, and her handmaiden to be the clit.

    What gladder office could there be?

    Speaking of which, check out: the vulva page

    Sure wish I could find that "yoni print" page I ran across the other day ... folks @ Burning Man do it ...

         - M

    • Re: Where's Georgia O'Keeffe when we need her?
      by Parlertriks on Thursday July 19, @07:30PM
      great velvet, probly the best a lotta guys can do! even the cheesy vewrsion of "Whiter shade of pale" seemed right. but they should optimize their graphics with Adobe Imageready or something like it, the photos load way too slow.



     
    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


        "As St. Paul says, 'Without shedding of blood there is no remission,' and who are we to argue with St. Paul?" -- Aleister Crowley
    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments are owned by the Poster.
    [ home | search ]