Ordo Templi Orientis

OTO is an international society of men and women who aspire to spiritual self-realization. We believe that every person has an essential nature or path in life that is unique to each individual, which we call True Will. This Will is the expression of one's deepest, most genuine self which acts in perfect accord with the Universe. This belief is the basis of a mystical system called Thelema, whose central activity is the Great Work of discovering and manifesting one's own True Will.

OTO does not claim to know what anyone's True Will is—no one can, and that's why we don't have “gurus” or spiritual authorities. However, we do offer an environment wherein members can potentially discover it for themselves, which we accomplish through the use of various ceremonies, esoteric education, and the development of supportive communities.

I joined OTO in 1995 at Scarlet Woman Camp, and I retired from active participation in 2008. You can see a list of my major Order activities in my brief resume, Milestones.

The following essays are my observations regarding the Order. They are not really beginner-level works, in that they require a fair bit of knowledge regarding the history and organization of OTO. They are strictly my own personal opinion, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or point of view of OTO.

Structure of Core OTO Aspects A graph showing how the OTO is organized in terms of its primary functions.

My Vision for OTO A statement of willful aspiration.

An Examination of Liber CI An in-depth exploration of Book 101, “An Open Letter to Those Who May Wish to Join the Order,” written by Crowley in 1917 detailing OTO members' duties and privileges, along with numerous institutional projects and services of the Order.

The Threefold Nature of OTO OTO has three interconnected aspects: the Path of Initiation, creating a Spiritual Society, and Promulgation of the Law.

The Four Functions of a Local Body MMM/EGC, Ladder from First to Fifth, Member/Thelema Gateway, and Spiritual Community.

The Principles of Fraternity A short explication of the the underlying principles that guide fraternal behavior within OTO.

Getting to Fifth An outline of competencies useful for getting advanced to the Fifth Degree.

Making It Happen A short set of common sense suggestions for promoting the three core functions of OTO.

The Revival of Tolerance Reasserting the importance and vitality of this essential Virtue.

On Worthiness What makes a person worthy to be recruited as a member?

The Social System of OTO A model of OTO using Systems Theory to understand the interactions of individual initiates, Order groups, and the external culture.

Building OTO Communities Three practical essays on outreach, member retention, and the paths to leadership within our local bodies.

The Big Picture Discussion of local body dues in the context of the Big Picture.

OTO! Ra! Ra! Ra! I love O.T.O.

On Community as a Goal of OTO Essay on the community-based goals of OTO and some common obstacles

Three Spheres of Buy-In A model for looking at membership in a local community in terms of levels of commitment, motivation, and participation.

The Three Pillars of Stewardship Material Sustenance, Service to Community, & Fraternal Support

The Four Ideal Character Traits of the OTO Initiate Courage, Integrity, Cordiality, & Foolishness

On Profess-Houses A summary of Crowley's writings about this yet-to-be-realized aspect of O.T.O.

Our Symphonic Great Work Each member of OTO has two responsibilities: to the self and to community.

Letting Christianity Go It's time for OTO members to stop defining ourselves according to what we are not.

O.T.O., Magick, & Community The real deal with the O.T.O.

On Showing Up get your butt to the temple!

O.T.O. Organization Chart [PDF format] A single page layout of how everything connects within OTO

Latin of OTO what does “Ordo Templi Orientis” really mean, anyway?

Benefits of Local Membership on why you should bother to affiliate with your local body

The Glory of Ritual Theatre musing on our theatrical traditions in Austin

OTO Forms of Address How to say howdy