Thelema rejects the idea of original sin. So, for us, baptism represents a symbolic birth into the Thelemic community. The child heeds the call of Nuit, who declares, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law." The child enters the portals of Her Church, where he or she is welcomed into the community of worshippers, leaving the profane world and its materialistic obsessions behind.
The baptized child joins the community at what is
essentially a probationary level. The recitation of the creed
by the congregation during the baptismal ceremony represents the
instruction of the child in the essential tenets of the church.
The child is not a full member of the community until he or she
has learned these tenets and has made a conscious, informed decision
to accept them.
(The Temple is arranged for the Gnostic Mass,
but the Veil is closed. The guests are admitted and seated.
The child to be baptized, who is at least eleven years old, enters
with his or her parents and Godparents; they sit near the Tomb
in the West. The Godparents should be confirmed members of the
The Priest, Priestess and Deacon are all present,
clad in plain white robes. The Deacon holds a small towel over
his arm, and a goblet of wine is ready near the Font.
The part labeled PRIEST(ESS) may be filled by
either the Priest or by the Priestess; or the Priest and Priestess
may allocate the lines between each other and administer the ceremony
conjointly if both are ordained and recognized.)
The DEACON (facing
East, with the appropriate gesture): "APO PANTOS KAKODAIMONOS."
(He turns, and invites the Candidate and the Sponsors
to advance to the Font.)
The DEACON: "Every
man and every woman is a star." We are all born free, independent,
shining gloriously, each one a radiant world, according to the
Law of Liberty. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of
The PRIEST(ESS): It is
written in the Book of the Law:
"Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!"
"They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men."
the object of the baptismal rite in the E.G.C. The following
language is suggested.] The origins of the Rite of Baptism
are lost in antiquity, but its meaning is as clear as living water:
it symbolizes birth. The object of this Rite is to commemorate
the birth of a child as a member of the Body of Nuit, whose Life
is one, individual and eternal; to welcome this child through
a symbolic second birth into the knowledge, fellowship and sanctuary
of our Congregation; and to remind us of our duties toward each
other and toward all children.
PRIEST(ESS) (to the parents): Brother N and Sister N, there are Bonds which lead to Slavery, and Bonds which lead to Freedom. We are all bound in many Fetters by Environment, and it is for ourselves in great Part to determine whether they shall enslave us or emancipate us.
Consider the Bond of a harsh Climate, how it maketh Man a Slave; he must have Shelter and Food with fierce Toil. Yet hereby he becometh strong against the Elements, and his moral Force waxeth, so that he is Master of such Men as live in Lands where bodily Needs are satisfied without Struggle.
Consider also him that willeth to exceed in Speed or in Battle, how he denieth himself the Food he craveth, and all Pleasures natural to him, putting himself under the harsh Order of a Trainer. So by this Bondage he hath, at the last, his Will.
Now then the one by natural, and the other by
voluntary, Restriction have come each to greater Liberty.
It is not the Will of any person which ultimateth
in his own Ruin and that of all his Fellows; and that is not Liberty
whose Exercise bringeth him to Bondage. Thou mayst therefore
assume that it is always an essential Part of the Will of any
Child to grow to Manhood or to Womanhood in Health, and his/her
Guardians may therefore prevent him/her from ignorantly acting
in Opposition thereunto, Care being always taken to remove the
Cause of the Error, namely, Ignorance, as aforesaid. Thou mayst
also assume that it is Part of the Child's Will to train every
Function of the Mind; and the Guardians may therefore combat the
inertia which hinders its Development. Yet here is much Caution
necessary, and it is better to work by exciting and satisfying
any natural Curiosity than by forcing Application to set Tasks,
however obvious this Necessity may appear.
It is important that thou shouldst understand
as early as may be what is the true Will of the Child in the Matter
of his/her Career. Be thou well aware of all Ideals and Day-dreams;
for the Child is herself, and not thy Toy. Recall the comic Tragedy
of Napoleon and the King of Rome; build not an House for a wild
Goat, nor plant a Forest for the Domain of a Shark. But be thou
vigilant for every Sign, conscious or unconscious of the Will
of the Child, giving him/her then all Opportunity to pursue the
Path which he/she thus indicates. Learn this, that she, being
young, will weary quickly of all false Ways, however pleasant
they may be to him/her at the Outset; but of the true Way he/she
will not weary.
Now in this Training of the Child there is one
most dear Consideration, and it is this, that since that which
can be thought is not true, every Statement is in some Sense false.
Even on the Sea of pure Reason, we may say that every Statement
is in some Sense disputable, therefore in every Case, even the
simplest, the Child should be taught not only the Thesis, but
also its opposite, leaving the Decision to the Child's own Judgment
and good Sense, fortified by Experience. And this Practice will
develop his/her Power of Thought, and his/her Confidence in herself,
and his/her Interest in all Knowledge. But most of all beware
against any Attempt to bias his/her Mind on any point that lieth
without the Square of ascertained and undisputed Fact. Remember
also, even when thou art most sure, that so were they sure who
gave Instruction to the young Copernicus. Pay Reverence also
to the Unknown unto whom thou presumeth to impart the Knowledge;
for he/she may be one greater than thou.
PRIEST(ESS): Sister N
and Brother N, is it your will that your child be brought under
the wings of our Gnostic and Catholic Church?
Parents: It is. (To
the child:) "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of
the Law." (They kiss the child, and leave the room.)
PRIEST(ESS) (to the Godparents): These are the responsibilities of the members of our Church towards children:
All children of members are to be considered as children of the whole Church to be protected and aided in every way by its members severally, as by its organization collectively. No distinction is to be made with regard to the conditions surrounding the birth of any child.
There is an especially sacred duty, which every
member should fulfil, with regard to all children, those born
without the Church included. This duty is to instruct them in
the Law of Thelema, to teach them independance and freedom of
thought and character, and to warn them that servility and cowardice
are the most deadly diseases of the human soul.
PRIEST(ESS): Is it your
will to accept, protect and aid this child as you would your own?
The Godparents: It is.
PRIEST(ESS): Do you swear
to defend his/her freedom, and bring him/her to initiation?
The Godparents: I do.
PRIEST(ESS): Then lead
us in the confession of our Creed.
The Godparents: (lead
all in reciting the Creed.)
PRIEST(ESS): Will you
instruct this child, and assist him/her in his/her way to true
knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of our Creed?
The Godparents: I will.
(to the child, taking child's hand): Say
after me: I will know my own Will. I will do my own Will. I
will rejoice in the Will of my God.
DEACON: Lord of Life and
Joy, grant unto this Child the Power of the Holy Spirit to persevere
in this intention, and to grow in Knowledge and Understanding.
[consecrates water. The following formula is suggested.] (holding
hands over the Font): "This is the
world of the waters of Maim; this is the bitter water that becometh
sweet." (breathes over Font).
wine. The following formula is suggested.] (brings a goblet of
wine, and elevates it over the Font):
"I came to the house of the Beloved, and the wine was like
fire that flieth with green wings through the world of waters."
(makes with wine over Font).
DEACON (to Godparents):
Under what name does this child approach baptism?
Godparents: (Give Baptismal
Name of child.)
[The child is now baptized with water, then with wine. The following formula is suggested.]
(The Deacon helps child position his/her head
over the Font, and places the towel at the child's breast to protect
his/her clothing. The Priest(ess) then takes the Ewer, fills
it with consecrated water from the Font, and pours the water over
the child's head thrice into the Font [alternatively, the PRIEST(ESS)
may take a rose from the altar, dip it in the font and sprinkle
the child with the water from the rose], saying:)
Name] I baptize thee in the name of NUIT (pour), of HADIT
(pour) and of RA-HOOR-KHUIT (pour).
(The Priest(ess) then pours the consecrated wine
from the goblet over the child's head into the Font [alternatively, the PRIEST(ESS) may sprinkle some of the wine over the Candidate's head, or apply a small quantity of the wine to the Candidate's head with her hand], saying:)
PRIEST(ESS): "I am
uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard
upon thy body."
[The Child is received.]
PRIEST, PRIESTESS and DEACON:
We receive thee into the Gnostic and Catholic Church of Light,
Life, Love and Liberty, the Word of whose Law is THELEMA.
(If more than one child is being baptized on this
occasion, each is brought in turn to this point, then all assemble
beside the Font.)
hands in blessing): Gloria Patri et Matri et Filio et Filiae
et Spiritui Sancto Externo et Spiritui Sancto Interno, ut erat
est erit in saecula Saeculorum sex in uno per nomen Septem in
(Deacon rings the bell 333-55555-333)
DEACON: Now I begin to
pray: Thou Child,
Holy Thy name and undefiled!
Thy reign is come; Thy will is done.
Here is the Bread; here is the Blood.
Bring me through midnight to the Sun!
Save me from Evil and from Good!
That Thy one crown of all the Ten
Even now and here be mine. AMEN.
(delivers exhortation.) [This may be
extemporaneous or pre-written. It should be tailored to the particular
Candidates, if possible, and should encourage the Candidates to:
(a) find their own way of life through the active pursuit of self-knowledge;
(b) respect and learn from the experience, both positive and negative,
of other members of the Church; and (c) contribute to the growth
and welfare of the Church and the Order.]
(Applause. The Veil is opened. The Officers
retire and prepare for the Gnostic Mass. The Gnostic Mass is
then celebrated, with only the child(ren) baptized partaking of
communion. Afterwards, the child(ren) baptized receive instruction
in the step and sign, and a copy of the Creed.)