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Thelema Without Sneers
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Date:2005-05-31 15:21
Subject:My thoughts on the biography Perdurabo

This was, as it happened, the first biography of Crowley that I read. It was my birthday, and my husband, seeing it at the top of my Amazon Wish List (and thus as the most recent addition), bought it for me as a gift. I'm not sure where I heard about it--perhaps from DuQuette's The Magick of Thelema? In any case, I received this massive book as a birthday gift.

I got interested in Crowley largely because an online friend of mine did a hobbit-y sort of thing and gave me the first volume of Alan Moore's Promethea as a gift on her own birthday. *g* If you don't know Promethea, I heartily recommend it--it's a graphic novel series which is not only a beautifully illustrated story about a kick-ass heroine, but also a primer of Western magic. Moore researched not just magic generally but Crowley in particular for this story, and it shows, and that got me hooked.

Perdurabo left me thinking for a couple of weeks after I read it. It is an extremely complete biography which takes seriously *all* of Crowley's accomplishments--in magick, in mountaineering, in literature. It is also extremely detailed, sometimes too detailed for my taste. While it read well, there were more than occasional sentences which seemed awkwardly constructed and needed editing. But the chief thing which troubled me was that the author seemed to be trying to whitewash Crowley--or, if that is too strong a word, to be overcompensating for the tendency of most writers in the past to blacken Crowley's name unjustly. The author is so determined to justify Crowley's achievements and his importance as a writer and a magician that he refuses to face the unpleasantness of Crowley's personal history as a man and in his relationships. I could not help but notice that an awful lot of people who were close to Crowley wound up broke, or with ruined reputations, or forswearing magick entirely, or dead, usually by their own hand. Not to mention that his behavior toward women seems, at times, to blend sex addiction with the worst of sexism, as if his partners were extremely clever pets rather than people.

Still, given that I came away with such an ambivalent impression of a subject the author seemed determined to admire, I have to say that the book is, on the whole, a fair treatment and an informative one, well worth reading.

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Date:2005-05-27 15:26
Subject:M-A-G-I-C-K - the dirtiest word!
Mood: hungry

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

I don't want to get on a rant here.... we're all here because a lot of Thelemic communities can be a little- snarky.

But does it bother anyone else... when you see the sort of snobby attitude that some people of non-Thelemic orientation... have when they complain that Magick is spelled improperly?

I see this more and more and it's frustrating me because it is so very misinformed. I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone here why it is misinformed, (but for the sake of argument I will)

M-A-G-I-C-K *is* an accurate spelling for Thelemic related work. You don't even need a special book to learn that the spelling was changed to differentiate between parlor magicians and Ritual Magick in a time and atmosphere when saying "Magic" meant parlor magicians to 99% of the population. To quote another article (that is easy for me to share *and* find.) "The Law of Thelema, also called Scientific Illuminist and Magick (spelled with a terminal 'k' to distinguish the authentic science of the Magi from sleight of hand), ".

I wonder why people who expect to be taken as well read, by correcting the "K" on the end of Magick thinks this makes them look more intelligent- to me, it makes them look the opposite of well read.

I find spelling for a lot of esotetic things merely reflects a background of where the writer is coming from. It would be very easy for someone who was say Kemetic Orthodox (as many of us here are) to say 'Nuit' is spelled improperly, and we prefer 'Nut...' but in reality. Nuit *is* spelled properly especially for the Thelemic context. We all know who/what we are talking about when we say Nuit or Nut. Magic, or Magick.. don't we?

This sort of nitpicking completely distracts from the point of communities that come together to increase enlightenment, knowledge and acceptance of one another. I don't know.. maybe I'm just soap boxing? I was just wondering if *I* am perhaps misinformed, (don't think I am... I'm sure I'm not ::hugs sources:: but would stand for correction) or if others experience this frustration too.

::Dreaming of LJ banners to promote the spelling of Magick with a "K":::

Anyway, I think Tori Amos said it best when she said "Teach me how to love, My brothers who don't know the law" lol

*edited to finish the thought and to include forgotten 93s

Love is the Law, Love under will.

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Date:2005-05-22 14:33
Subject:*waves hello*

Hello, folks. I joined this community recently because it looked like a good community for someone who's very much interested in Crowley's life and writings, and in applying some of his ideas magically, but is *not* interested in becoming a doctrinaire Thelemite. (Or a doctrinaire anything else.) I hope we can get some discussion going, so I'll toss out a question: Who has read the recent Crowley bio Perdurabo, and what did you think of it? My own thoughts on the book later.

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Date:2005-04-03 17:06
Mood: productive

Thelemic Nuit. Kemetic Nut. To which extent are they the same? How are they different? Discuss.


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Date:2005-03-27 03:15
Subject:Hadit, Hadad, who dat?

A quick question. According to Thelemic understanding, is there any connection between Hadit and the Akkadian Hadad (besides the obvious similarities in their names). I can think of several points of contact between them, but would like to know if there is any sort of consensus on this issue among Thelemites. Thanks in advance.

(Cross-posted to several communities - sorry if you get this multiple times.)

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Date:2005-02-24 10:18
Subject:Capital Letters and Blasphemy
Mood: curious

Figured I'd let people more knowledgable than me give some input... What do you think of the following quote*, and is there truly a hard and fast capitalisation rule to the Thelemic greetings?

"[Jerry Cornelius] says that Crowley:

...would never have allowed, and I mean never allowed all the use of capitals in the Thelemic greetings. This is forbidden in Thelemic circles and something he would have reprimanded a student very severely from doing. To sign his name to such a document would have been blasphemous."

So... where exactly do the capital letters go? Is it Love, Law and Will or love, law and will?

*From Heselton: Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration: An Investigation into the Sources of Gardnerian Witchcraft (Capall Bann 2003)

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Date:2005-02-19 10:17

Good morning (well, it is morning when I write this), and thank you, nehmet, for letting me in. I think everyone who's currently here knows me, at least in passing, but I figured an intro post wouldn't hurt. Name's Jem (believe it or not, it didn't originate from that 80's cartoon). I'm an Alexandrian Wiccan, a member of the House of Netjer, and a daughter of Sekhmet-Mut. I wouldn't call myself a Thelemite by a long shot, but my research into the roots of British Traditional Wicca brought me into contact with Crowley's work and sparked my interest. While the "Gardner paid Crowley to write the Book of Shadows for him" myth has - thank Gods - been debunked ages ago, I find that there's much in Liber AL alone that is worth studying for a serious Wiccan. In fact, I affectionately think of Crowley as one of the weirder uncles in the Wiccan family tree. ;)

I'm looking forward to interesting, snark-free discussions with all of you.

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Date:2005-02-18 11:30
Subject:An introduction, some musings, and maybe a bit of a vent.
Mood:gratefully confused

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

Hi all, I think most of you know me. I'm Djedet, I Identify myself as a part time/half-assed/ or Baby Thelemite to Explain my lack of knowledge when it comes to the great work, and my lack of practicing it. I have felt very strongly connected (for lack of a better word) with the law of Thelema, and have some history with it, as it was what I tried to follow before Wesir made himself known in my life, and gave me some spiritual direction.

I would like to say that I am almost Dual Trad- for the dedication and love for both are firmly implanted in my soul... However I never do because there is so much that I don't know, and remain uninitiated to. it's a frustrating Dilemma to be very drawn to two paths, where one is very easy to reach and connect too (Kemetic orthodoxy) and the other is hard to grasp, mysterious, and even harder to learn- even with a strong will.

I am at times very off put by most Thelemic communities, and while I mean no disrespect to other magicians who I honestly do admire (if not envy) for their dedication, knowledge and book-smarts, which makes it very difficult for someone to ask the most basic questions everyone must ask to get started. Nehmet has been a great help and friend to me in understanding those concerns.

So anyway, now that I am here I have a question I have often times been too embarrassed to ask:

Why *is* it so hard to get started? Why is there so often no clear point to start from once the book of Law has been read and stolen your heart? Perhaps I have been spoiled having had the direction of a god, and eventually a faithful community. Why is it so difficult to become a student of Thelema, with an actual physical mentor to help you along?

I often joke to my husband, I just wish there was a "Thelema for Dummies" Primer. It seems to me that just the suggestion of such a publication even as a joke would have many seasoned thelemites laughing me out of the room - because I am fully aware that "guides for idiots" books are often under informed, if not completely inaccurate.

But Oh how I crave some sort of outline, study guide, hell, even misguided information that might lead me on to the eventual right track (If it works for Kemetics, who often start out with Budge, can it not also work with Thelemites). I don't crave to have anyone do the work for me, I don’t look for someone to lay out any Thelemic inspired dogma for me to follow blindly. But I do yearn for some direction, or order, or syllabus that might lead a Struggling Thelemite in the right direction. Every man and woman is a star, each of us with a path on of our own- but is it impossible for us not to help each other orbit in the way our wills, will?

Could such a thing be done? is it such an insane idea to consider primers, study guides, groups, or even classes on what the arcane basics are? I seem to recall in Magick without tears, Aliester Crowley, writes that no Magician should really have a need for other Magicians- and yet he himself took Cara Soror under his wing? Even a lexicon or pronunciation guide (it is The-LAY-ma isn’t it?) would be of such use. But Alas, these resources seem surprisingly nonexistent for such a book-frenzied group of folks!

It makes me wonder how other Thelemites have managed, how they learned… is it that I really am just not as aggressive and witty as I need to be to start on my own? Possibly, and in any event I am okay with that.

But oh! do I ever crave a foundation and scafolding to build my work on! (and yes I got so excited I for got my 93s and edited them on after)

love is the law, love under will

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