College of Thelema: Thelemic Education

Temple of Thelema

AN OPEN LETTER to All who seek the Light of Gnosis and the Pure Light of Truth

There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli & jasper are there; and all rare scents; jasmine & rose, and the emblems of death. [...] enter in turn or at once the four gates.


– Liber Legis, I v.51
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

If you have been seeking long and are already familiar with the formal avenues of initiation into the path of magick and mysticism, this short letter may tell you most of what you need to know about Temple of Thelema.

If the terms and references given here are less familiar to you, simply read on. The passages that follow will give a more careful explanation and serve as your introduction.

Temple of Thelema is an initiating Order—a modern Mystery School and nonprofit organization that facilitates the ongoing practice of group ritual work and the systematic training of its members in the spiritual disciplines of magick and mysticism. The teaching combines traditions of the East and West, from the ageless wisdom of Yoga meditation to the Hermetic Qabalistic traditions of Western esotericism. In our work, the ceremonies of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn have been recrafted to resonate with Thelemic symbols and principles, while remaining true to the original patterns of the Cipher Manuscript Formulae. A tremendous amount of residual sexism—some overt, some exceedingly subtle—has been weeded out of the system, allowing the pure energy within the rituals to radiate through.

In addition to the simple "Knowledge Lecture" teachings of the old Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, we have published many teachings and practices that expand upon these sources. Much of the work focuses on self-exploration and self-knowledge, approached from multiple perspectives and with regard to innovations in spiritual technology.

We invite you to read further and to ask questions. By this letter, we invite all to search themselves sincerely, look within, and decide if they are of us.

We have discovered that there is a fairly precise methodology to the means of preparation that allows a seeker to experience a lucid breakthrough in the conscious recognition—and inner articulation—of his or her own True Will. Our aim is to empower those in our Order to attain precisely this breakthrough.

Temple of Thelema operates on a "Three Ray" model that fosters the balanced development of Wisdom, Love, and Power, based upon practical methods that include intellectual training, meditation, and magical ritual at every stage of progress. Integrating these three forms creates a unifying quality that is the essence of self-knowledge (Self-Gnosis).

In this matter we give but one sage piece of advice: "By their fruits shall ye know them!" The Works of the Adept, the fruits of the Adept's garden, are the signs of his or her attainment. "Success is your proof."

The initiation rituals and other ceremonies published by Temple of Thelema are frequently described by members as having tremendous beauty and strength. The regular group ceremonial celebrations, and the ongoing group healing work that we perform, are central to the training method. In tandem with this, magical and mystical practices, undertaken at home by each individual, strengthen both the individual and the work done together.

Love is the law, love under will.
  • Ayesha Adamo—Grand Praemonstrator
    Ayesha Adamo
    Grand Praemonstrator

Initiation, Magick, & Mysticism

In all systems of religion is to be found a system of Initiation, which may be defined as the process by which a man comes to learn that unknown Crown.
Though none can communicate either the knowledge or the power to achieve this, which we may call the Great Work, it is yet possible for initiates to guide others.
Every man must overcome his own obstacles, expose his own illusions. Yet others may assist him to do both, and they may enable him altogether to avoid many of the false paths, leading no whither, which tempt the weary feet of the uninitiated pilgrim. They can further insure that he is duly tried and tested...
Now the Great Work is one, and the Initiation is one, and the Reward is one, however diverse are the symbols wherein the Unutterable is clothed.

– from Liber Causae Cap. I, v. 51
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

THERE have existed, in all known periods of history, societies or orders or schools which have taught magick or mysticism or spirituality under these names, or others. The maxim of these orders has ever been, "Know thyself!" And the self-knowledge acquired has been represented as"Light in extension"(or by a kindred expression). That gnostic LIGHT has survived throughout humanity's history, being conveyed from temple to temple by those who have received it and, knowing its worth, have seen fit to feed it, and to bear it to new temples where it again ignites the hearth fire of teaching. Thus have the true Wisdom Schools propagated from generation to generation.

In recent decades, increasing numbers of people have turned (or returned).to a renewed spirituality. They have recognized a greater need for answers about themselves, their lives, and their world. This awakening spirit of inquiry reflects a stage of ripeness, a readiness, to move into a new phase of life, a stage of expanded awareness, participation, and responsibility, valuing tolerance over intolerance, unity over divisiveness, and inclusive acceptance over exclusive bigotry and parochialism.

It is a fundamental teaching of the Mysteries that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Each of us is led to the level of teaching that he or she can hear. Inherent safeguards ward the inmost sanctuaries from those not ready for them, and protect the unprepared Seeker as well.

But for those who are prepared, there come the methods of the Mysteries. This pamphlet, now in your hands, gives you the opportunity to explore these pathways.

Each of history's great religions (where we have a record of their establishment).was founded by an individual who actually experienced what may be called illumination, or realization, or liberation, or consciousness of the Divine, or union with God, or superconsciousness. The exact description does not matter. From culture to culture, religion to religion, era to era, the language employed has necessarily varied, because spiritual experience cannot be encapsulated in words, nor circumscribed by the boundaries of reason.

It exceeds reason. Despite a diversity of details unique to each culture and era, the messages of these liberated individuals have been wondrously alike. Looking beyond mere surface details, we find that essentially identical practices (or religious observances, or methods of spiritual inquiry).were taught and employed in each case. The essential methods, where known, are so universal that only the enormity of human religious prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry could have kept this similarity from being widely recognized all along.

The Mysteries of Initiation teach that the attainment of the goals of religious aspiration — actual spiritual experience — are obtainable in this life, on earth, now; that while the nature of the Supreme Experience (or "Truth") is necessarily unique for each individual, it can be universally recognized by all; and that these wonderful results are producible by known methods that, in one or another variety, have been employed for thousands of years.

The general populace, when sufficiently content with their circumstances in life, may not choose to undertake this great spiritual adventure which we call the Great Work. For the masses, conventional religions are provided. Each such orthodoxy is suitable to the time and place that it serves. In these orthodox religions, we therefore find greater diversity of outer form and specific doctrine.

Yet behind each, serving each, and the source of each, are universal and ecumenical spiritual principles. These principles are known. They can be verified — in fact, discovered anew — by each individual without the need of dogmatic assertion. Personal experience will confirm or, if necessary, deny the efficacy of these methods of meditation and of ceremony — that is, of mysticism and of ritual magick — so that each person who undertakes these methods will know, from practice and experimentation, what is true for him or her, and what is false.

Silent Masters Of Wisdom

FOR thousands of years, the principal methods of spiritual progress have been confined predominantly to the Mystery Schools, or initiated instruction, in the East and West alike.

Nearly four hundred years ago, a current was unleashed upon the Western world with the intent of preparing the day when the full secrets of Wisdom could be disclosed. The opening years of the 17th Century brought one of the greatest declarations of spiritual liberation in modern times — a message not yet for every man and woman, but at first only for the erudite, the elite, the spiritually privileged who would bear, thereby, the responsibility of establishing its principles for all, by necessary political, economic, social, and religious reforms in the centuries ahead. Europe was with child; and the birth announcement came under the banner of a Rosy Cross.

Early in the 17th Century, two small books appeared, initially in Germany, called the Fama Fraternitatis and the Confessio Fraternitatis. These two pamphlets purported to be the manifestos of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, more popularly called the Rosicrucians.

Since 1612, more rubbish has been written about the Rosicrucians than about any other detail of occultism. In one sense, that was the entire point! These manifestos were written and released to draw attention to the principles they enunciated — to stir the gifted to write and to think and to create. Although the resulting malarkey added much disinformation to the data pool, this, too, is of service; for an intuitively-informed sense of

discrimination has always been one of the qualities that has sorted from the masses those who are ready for actual initiation.

Centuries of debate have ensued as to the identity of those who issued these manifestos. In the final analysis, it does not really matter who they were. No matter what individuals lent their hands to the production of these documents, the true Authorship, and the motivation for their production, must be credited to the Secret Masters of the Third Order. By this term, we designate those Wise Ones of that One and Eternal Order which has existed throughout history, silently guiding humanity's cultural and spiritual evolution. This "true and invisible" Order is the Arcanum Arcanorum ("Mystery of Mysteries"), and the Sanctum Sanctorum ("Holy of Holies").wherein the Sacred Ark rests inviolate. Every legitimate magical order, mystery school, fraternity, religion, or other agency disseminating some portion of Wisdom or Light has been but an Outer Vehicle of this Inner Fellowship of Light, this College of Masters. The Fama and the Confessio were, above all, Their manifestos, announcing Themselves anew to certain individuals who had a capacity to serve the cause of humanity's spiritual progress.

The impact of the Fama and the Confessio on the cultural evolution of Europe was inestimable. Furthermore, these two documents determined the pattern, the principles, and the mythos of the Mysteries for centuries to follow. Not until three hundred years had passed were these two manifestos joined, and even succeeded, by a third.

Thelema & The Book Of The Law

IN 1904, a British poet, magician, and philosopher named Aleister Crowley received the channeled dictation of a book called Liber Legis, or The Book of the Law. The angelic (or, as Crowley liked to say, "praeterhuman").intelligence dictating the Book declared its Name to be Aiwass, and identified itself as "the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat" — that is, the minister of the Egyptian God of Silence, virtually the "Voice of the Silence" itself. The Book of the Law declared the dawning of a new spiritual era for humanity, an on governed by the God Horus, Child of Isis and Osiris, rather than by the "slain god"archetype of Osiris or Christ which had governed, in different forms, the few thousands of years preceding.

The significance of such a world transition must not be missed. Mystics for many decades had been promising the emergence of a New Age. The implication is that those universal archetypes most likely to draw human consciousness inward toward its spiritual roots, the archetypal forces which would oversee both the intentional and the natural evolution of humanity, had undergone a quantum shift. The slain or sacrificed god had been replaced by the Eternally Borning Child.

The primary message of The Book of the Law is concentrated in the Greek words thelema, meaning "will" — referring to the True Will, or dharma, or Divine Word inherent in each person — and in agape, "love" (especially bhakti, or passionate love of the Divine as a basis for authentic human love). It is in the name of Love and of Will that the inward call is issued to this that we call the Great Work.

The Book of the Law declares that the old ritual forms and their accouterments were abrogated, and that new formulæ were to be prepared from the ashes. It charged Crowley with certain responsibilities in disseminating its message and in preparing the new ways of teaching, which he did.

The Book of the Law is a new manifesto authored by the same Source as the Fama and Confessio, addressed to men and women of a new age. No longer is the message addressed only to an elite. No, the new law is for all, and is open to every person in the world.

Our Temple

ALL of the foregoing is preparatory to understanding the nature and purposes of the magical Order which this invitation gives you the opportunity to explore further.

Temple of Thelema is an international spiritual, magical fellowship — a modern Mystery School — offering sincere and interested individuals the opportunity for ceremonial initiation, regular group temple work, association with like-minded companions, and a systematic and graded training designed to lead to a profound level of self-discovery, self-fulfillment, and service to life.

This transcendent experience of self-awareness (gnosis).is known by many names, depending on the teacher or philosophy which one follows. It is, in any case, the fulfillment of the deepest heartfelt need of every awakening individual. In the language of Temple of Thelema, each person has an inner Truth-of-Self, or True Will. This True Will is at once the deepest personal desire, and one's own self-created destiny. It is the key to absolute freedom, and yet — ironically — is not consciously known by most people. Its conscious discovery explains to a person the mysteries of his or her life, what he or she is best suited to give to the world, and the most joyous and self-fulfilling avenues of self-expression.

It is the task of each to discover that True Will and then to do it, with one-pointedness, detachment, peace, and joy

The initiated member so fortified with this clear and conscious awareness of his or her nature, is then admitted to the magical and mystical practices of the Inner Order which place in the initiate's hands full control of his or her spiritual destiny.

There are marked differences between Temple of Thelema and the original Golden Dawn order. More practical instruction has been added in the early (Outer Order).degrees, incorporating much that has been learned in the last century concerning self-exploration, the attaining of self-knowledge, and the internal processes of transformation or regeneration. Those who are charged with the formulation of Temple of Thelema ceremonies and teachings have worked mightily at removing both the overt and the subtle residuals of sexism which plagued and unbalanced our predecessors. Also — and of great importance — all of our work has been conformed to the Thelemic principles enunciated in The Book of the Law.

College of Thelema

Temple of Thelema was established upon the principles and methods of College of Thelema, of which it is a part.

C.O.T. is a magical and spiritual educational program founded by Phyllis Seckler in 1973. In addition to the formal initiatory and training functions of the Temple, College of Thelema offers courses of study (combining seminars, private instruction, solitary work, and other instructional techniques).that seek to guide students to a deeper understanding of themselves, their role in the universe, and the Law of Thelema which provides the necessary guidance. In many of its locations, the College also offers ongoing or periodic classes open to the interested public.

From 1976 - 1996, the College published In the Continuum, a journal featuring important (and rare).writings by Crowley, as well as other material. In continuous publication for over 20 years, all issues are still in print. This journal is recommended to all who are interested in any of the subject matter discussed in this present brochure. Further information can be obtained by writing directly to the Oroville address on the enclosed contact list. In addition, the new journal of the College, Black Pearl, commenced publication at the Vernal Equinox 1997.

AN INVITATION...

THE Temple of Thelema is selective in seeking only those who truly desire to grow in Love, Power, and Wisdom, and to serve humanity in conformity with The Book of the Law. Membership is, therefore, only by invitation. Interested parties are invited to submit a Preliminary Application.

An investment of time and effort is expected and required from each member. Each is expected to put the Great Work foremost in his or her life; to dare, with courage undaunted, to perfect that Work; and ever to apply best effort to effect Harmony within the Order, and within the world in general. Temple of Thelema does not urge any person to seek membership. The decision to seek initiation must be an individual one. But the Order does make itself and its principles known, so that those who seek initiation may find that which they seek.

By this present letter, we invite all to search themselves sincerely and decide if they are of us.

Preliminary Applications for an interview, or specific questions, should be addressed to the Cancellarius of any working Temple or Pronaos (see the contact list ).

By your present inquiry, you have taken a step that makes clear that your spiritual nature is seeking an avenue for its liberation and satisfaction. That avenue may be through Temple of Thelema, or through another path better suited to your own nature. Whatever your choice, we wish you the best in this, the most joyous and noble of all undertakings.

This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss.

—Liber Legis, I v.53
Love is the law, love under will.

Temples & Membership

Bodies Of The First Order

Temple of Thelema has two levels of First Order bodies (or working groups): Temples, which are fully operating initiatory bodies, and Pronaoi (singular, Pronaos).— literally pre-Temples, Temples-in-the making.

When sufficient initiated membership exists in a geographic area, the members will be authorized to form a Pronaos — a ceremonial and teaching group authorized to meet, celebrate ongoing group rituals, perform public ceremonies, and undertake other outreach activities. (This is in addition to the initiated members' personal practices.)

A Pronaos operates under the authority of a Temple (usually the one nearest in proximity to the Pronoas).and its Temple Chiefs, and may not perform initiations under its own authority. Various provisions are made for the initiation of approved candidates in developing areas.

Once a Pronaos develops a certain maturity and stability, and meets the criteria for Temple status, it is fully warranted as a Temple performing initiations and Degree Work.

Applying For Membership

Temple of Thelema is selective in seeking only those who truly desire to grow in Love, Power, and Wisdom, and to serve humanity in conformity with The Book of the Law. Membership is, therefore, only by invitation. Interested parties are invited to submit a Preliminary Application.

An investment of time and effort is expected and required from each member. Each is expected to put the Great Work foremost in his or her life; to dare, with courage undaunted, to perfect that Work; and ever to apply best effort to effect Harmony within the Order, and within the world in general. Temple of Thelema does not urge any person to seek membership. The decision to seek initiation must be an individual one. But the Order does make itself and its principles known, so that those who seek initiation may find that which they seek.

By your present inquiry, you have taken a step that makes clear that your spiritual nature is seeking an avenue for its liberation and satisfaction. That avenue may be through Temple of Thelema, or through another path better suited to your own nature. Whatever your choice, we wish you the best in this, the most joyous and noble of all undertakings.

Preliminary Applications for an interview, or specific questions, should be addressed to the Cancellarius of any working Temple or Pronaos:

  • Nuit Mother Temple No. 0

    Officers

    • James A. Eshelman—Prolocutor General
      James A. Eshelman
      Prolocutor General
    • Zeph Bender—Prolocutor
      Zeph Bender
      Prolocutor
    • Ayesha Adamo—Grand Praemonstrator
      Ayesha Adamo
      Grand Praemonstrator
    • Chad Augur—Grand Cancellarius
      Chad Augur
      Grand Cancelarius
    • Juan Ramirez—Grand Imperator
      Juan Ramirez
      Grand Imperator

    Contact Information

    Find Us On:
  • Harpocrates Temple No. 1 — Los Angeles, CA

    Officers

    • Gabriel Osuna—Praemonstrator
      Gabriel Osuna
      🜔
    • Hannah Bender—Cancelarius
      Hannah Bender
    • Kimberly Manibusan—Imperator
      Kimberly Manibusan
      🜍

    Resources

    PO BOX 1433
    Hawthorne, CA 90251
    harpocrates@thelema.org
    Find Us On:

    Download an Application:
     PDF -- 11kb

    Events

    Tarot Revealed: The Empress — Thu, Jun 27 07:00 PM
    Tarot Revealed: The Empress
    Thu, Jun 27 07:00 PM
    Regular Classes:

    In Person classes resume September 1, V9

    Burning Hearts Pronaos No.9 — Oakland, CA

    Officers

    • Gabriel Osuna—Dean
      Gabriel Osuna
      🜔
    • Aleph Kali—Scribe
      Aleph Kali
    • Billie Austin—Bursar
      Billie Austin
      🜍

    Resources

    195 41st St PO BOX 11194
    Oakland, CA 94611-9991
    burninghearts@thelema.org
    Find Us On:

    Download an Application:
     PDF -- 11kb

    Events

    Gods of Thelema: Theurgy Theory & Application — Wed, Jun 19 08:00 PM
    Gods of Thelema: Theurgy Theory & Application
    Wed, Jun 19 08:00 PM
    Regular Public Meetings:

    3rd Wednesdays Monthly

  • Aiwass Temple No. 8 — New York, NY

    Officers

    • Juan Ramirez—Praemonstrator
      Juan Ramirez
      🜔
    • Lana Popovic—Cancelarius
      Lana Popovic
    • Tamara Wyndham—Imperator
      Tamara Wyndham
      🜍

    Resources

    PO Box 156
    New York, NY 10185
    aiwass@thelema.org
    Find Us On:

    Download an Application:
     PDF -- 57kb

    Events

    Witch Fest 2024: TOT Table and Shenanigans — Sat, Jul 6 10:00 AM
    Witch Fest 2024: TOT Table and Shenanigans
    Sat, Jul 6 10:00 AM
    Regular Public Meetings:

    Hathor Pronaos No. 7 — Toronto, ONT, Canada

    Contact

    P. O. Box 81535
    1057 Steeles Ave West
    North York ON M2R 2S0
    hathor@thelema.org