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  Secret Societies in Marin

General Thelema Posted by Effingham Hoofnickel on Thursday November 22, @11:37AM
from the redwood-menace dept.

"Toward a Fraternal History of Marin County" includes magickal fraternities such as the OTO and a thought-provoking introduction to magick.

As it relates to the Ordo Templi Orientis the article poses some interesting intellectual challenges. For instance before reading this, I'd never considered for a moment that the OTO and the Ancient Arabic Nobles Order of the Mystic Shriner (AANOMS or Shriners) were two sides of the same coin in pursuit of the Great Work or that the Shrine in any way may have been the progenitor of the OTO.

It also challenges readers to consider that Crowley (whom the article never refers to by name?) many have been less an avatar of the New Aeon but rather a follower building on the more studied works of orientalists like Sir Austin Henry Layard, Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, C.W. Goodwin, Gaston Maspero, and Sir James Frazer, and in that regard is similar to novelists/poets such as Scott, Moore and Hitchens.

It's also interesting in the glimpse it gives us of other ritualistic societies practicing the Great Work, which appear to have grown in imitation of Freemasonry. Some groups are so obscure that many probably won't recognize names like the Patriarchs Militant, Knights of the Golden Eagle, Knights of the Maccabees, or Knights of Pythias.

Reviewing the bibliography, I'm amazed at the access this Mason had to primary source materials, especially the rituals of esoteric work utilized by the various secret societies. I have to wonder if each Masonic Lodge has such in-depth access to the ritual texts of so many other groups? And, what don't they know about the OTO?

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

**Re: Secret Societies in Marin**
by Kingsley Low on Saturday December 01, @11:32AM

Is it true about Crowley?

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

Can anyone verify that Crowley studied or even accessed the works of Assyriologists like Rawlinson, Caldeaologists like Layard, or Egyptologists like Maspero? Can it be shown for Golden Dawn founders, McGregor Mathers, Westcott or Woodward. Its one thing to show that Crowley or his early compatriots in the Golden Dawn who he surpassed could have accessed existing and contemporary materials and another thing to prove that it actually influenced his own writings, either directly or through such filters as the Golden Dawn.

I'm also not impressed that the Masonic Shriners were an influence on Crowley even if the Shrine's founders had connections with the Theosophical society through Blavatsky. As to the Great Work, the Shrine is undisputedly doing “great work” through its chain of children's hospitals, but I've never heard anyone credible describe the A.A.N.O.M.S. as having any esoteric side of note. I did have a Freemasonry book by Mustafa El-Amin about Islam and the Shriners, which if I remember laid claims to the Shriners ritual having a deeper esoteric meaning than is commonly supposed, but I can't find my copy of the book anymore. Is there anything else on “esoteric Shriners?” Though I can't speak from experience, from comments I've heard about the Shrine ritual, I can't see that the Shrine was a “ progenitor of the OTO” except that the Shrine antedates the Ordo Templi Orientis by 34-years.

I don't agree that all of the groups covered in the “Survey of Secret Societies” is or was engaged in the Great Work. In fairness to the Survey's author (What's a F.G.C.R.?), he doesn't appear to make that claim since he clearly states, “ while each fraternity's ritual at some point required the candidate to contemplate death from afar, usually in the form of a human skeleton, Freemasonry and Freemasonry alone requires the candidate to personally experience their own mortality, a difference which marks Freemasonry as the heir to the Mystery School tradition of antiquity.”

In one respect I agree. Mill Valley Masonic Lodge seems to have quite a library of esoteric materials. It also seems to be quite a magnet for occult groups with not only an OTO Lodge, but also an Aurum Solis Commandery, and Fraternitas Lux Occulta group using their Temple. From perusing Mill Valley Lodge's home page (http://www.abaris.net/freemasonry) and some things its members have written, it looks like their Lodge pays attention to higher calls than those that originate in the stomach!

Love is the law, love under will.

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

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