Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Join Greg and Dean in this episode, recorded on April 26, 2009, as they delve into the distant cousin of Freemasonry—the OTO. For the show, they’re joined by Frater Hrumachis who was the Former Public Information Officer for the U.S. Grand Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis.
This was a particularly rough episode, for a variety of reasons. On its surface, the episode had more than a few audio issues (sorry for all the popping). This was also a hard subject to explore for the hosts. I’ll let you listen to see how that evolved in the show. And then this was one of those “lost” episodes that only resurfaced a decade after it was recorded.
We plan to discuss the Order’s history including its early Masonic roots in European Freemasonry as well as the Order’s modern operations of philosophy and its path of esoterica and fraternity under the teachings of Thelema.
Most importantly, we want to explore what the Thelemic practice is, what it isn’t, and why its relevant to the OTO and how it applies to each of us.
This subject came to mind as I had the unique opportunity recently to attend a Gnostic Mass with LVX Lodge of the O.T.O. a short time back. The mass is presented as an open ceremony that is the public face to the orders otherwise private activities.
For those unfamiliar with the O.T.O., it is a separate philosophical system from Freemasonry whose origins are tied to some late 19th century founder, Karl Kellner, who had feet firmly planted in Freemasonry. In Kellner’s original formulation, the O.T.O. was to serve as a Masonic Academy of sorts that would enable all Freemasons to become familiar with all of the Masonic degrees.
In lieu of a broader exploration, essentially the Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of Oriental Templars) was an esoteric order founded on the idea of re-instilling the esoteric ideas of magik (self development, not hocus pocus) and mysticism into a system that at that time had essentially excised out most of its esoteric leanings. Essentially, it formed and took shape in the absence of these things in the preeminent system of the age, especially as Aleister Crowley took over after his introduction to it in 1910.
It seems to me that in its original context this system was it adopted as a similar practice of the craft and only later did it evolve into their present participatory rites.
I think we may be surprised how many similarities we share and the few differences between one another. For those who have never before heard of the OTO, this program will be an excellent primer to open that door, and for those who have crossed paths with the order, this will be an excellent rediscovery of a past member of the Masonic family and put to rest some of the misconceptions that may exist.
More on the Ordo Templi Orientis: