published in "Cincinnati Journal of Ceremonial Magick"
Volume I, Number 5, 1983
It's been about eight years since Liber Pennae Praenumbra was written;
the present commentary is considerably more recent, but it was written
in the same metaphorical context as its subject. The passage of time
hasn't rendered Liber P.P. false or obsolete in and of itself, but it
has afforded growth in the perspective of which it is the seed.
Magick is a peculiar human endeavor. It's a philosophy, a lifestyle, a
hobby, an obsession, a subculture, a point of view, a way of looking at
oneself and the universe that de mands growth and change. There are as
many methodologies in practice as there are Magickians, all of which,
in the English-speaking "Western World" at least, have been influenced
by the unique genius of Aleister Crowley.
The Maat material is rooted in the work of Aleister Crowley - the very
name "Maat" comes from his system as representative of the final He' of
Tetragrammaton, the Daughter, the stage of evolution designated for
manifestation or "earthing". The Egyptians held Maat as Truth, the
highest good. She is not so much a personality as an abstract principle
of ethics and behavior, an essential honesty in living.
These past eight years have seen the growth toward this abstraction
accompanied by an increasing awareness of the need for profound change
in the individual and in humanity at large. There is further material
in preparation detailing means whereby the whole of human society can
be restructured, means which can assist the transition from our present
inadequate and artificial institutions to a way of living that
originates organically in the nature of our humanity.
Such has been the course of this development that it is of necessity
addressed to the Magickians of the world, both the formal and informal.
The formal Magickians are those of us who have undertaken a number of
practices to the end of self-knowledge and/or "spiritual attainment",
usually in an environment hostile, or at best indifferent, to our
endeavor. We read a lot on the topic of Magick and related
subjects, correspond with others of like interest, or, should we be
fortunate to live near other Magickians and friends, spend long hours
in discussion or argument, group rituals and adventures, etc.
Many of us print magazines and newsletters for circulation among the
worldwide "occult" community. There's a connection among Magickians,
witches, druids, and other practitioners of non-Judeo-Christian rites;
some individuals have multiple membership in a coven, a Magickal order
and other groups. The commonality of interest lies in the failure of
the "Established" religions, governments and economies to provide a way
of life satisfactory to the needs of the human body, mind and soul.
The informal Magickians share in this dissatisfaction, and have
gravitated into associations that would, in all probability, reject the
appellation "Magick". Who are they? They include: Science fiction
writers and fans (who also have a thriving underground publishing
network); political activists of various stripe who are still trying to
effect a revolution to outmoded and failed systems; garnespeople of the
Dungeons and Dragons type; the Society for Creative Anachronism;
Erisians, Libertarians, former Flower Children; avant-garde artists of
all media; scientists whose entireties are open to the impact of their
discoveries - almost any human being of clear intelligence and
creativity who sees beyond the dream of personal financial and
It is to both types of Magickian that the Maat material must address
itself, in order that the intended changes in contemporary human life
occur before we destroy ourselves.
Formal Magickians are invited to examine this proposal: To effect
global change, while at the same time removing from ourselves a type of
invisible restriction of our own growth, we must let go of the
parameters of Crowleyanity and archaism of any kind. The awesome
accomplishments of "the Master" have shaped our awareness into a
relatively narrow view that knows not how to think, discover or create
in truly new ways. We accept his work and methodologies as our
unquestioned premises, adopt his interests as our own, and spend time
and energy going over old ground. So great is his light that it tends
Other archaisms that the Initiate family ought to closely examine for
current usefulness include gods and goddesses, the Qaballah, the
Enochian "language", the Tarot, the I Ching, various other divinatory
rnethods, Orders, Covens and Lodges with hierarchal structures,
dramatic rituals and sexmagick. That which is True and universal will
withstand honest scrutiny; that which human consciousness has outgrown
will suggest its own successor or replacement.
The Maat material has employed terms, metaphors and concepts derived
from Crowley's work. This now seems to be a bridge or transitional
device that has served its purpose and presently awaits transcendence.
We need to express ourselves lucidly in the common language, rather
that relying on Magickal shop-talk or jargon. Not only will this help
to integrate our consciousness, but it will also provide a
communications-facility with the informal Magickians among us.
The proposal to the Informal Magickian is to suspend disbelief in
Magick long enough to give it a fair trial in practice. It will require
some hard work, study, action, and sometimes surprising changes within
the practitioner. The upcoming Maat material will endeavor to
streamline the process without neglecting essentials. The existing
literature abounds in metaphor unintelligible to the modern mind
without the concomitant experiences and the linking of experience to
These past eight years have seen a heartening response to the Maat
material from various adepts around the world. They have used it
successfully and creatively to produce further theory, practice, art
and change, adding to the Maatian literature and opening new avenues
of exploration. Unfortunately, certain opportunists have also
manifested and have attempted to subvert the "Maat Current" to their
own irrelevant ends.
The Maat material is open to all who would use it for its intended
purpose: the development of individual consciousness and the effecting
of worldwide species/societal change. It will not "prove a point" for
any individual or group, nor be a grindstone for personal axes.
For anyone who attempts to use the Magick of Maat for purposes other
than those stated above; who would claim it as their "own", or would
use it to validate personal or group superiority, lineage, or
authority, it carries an automatic curse:
BY THE SAME MOUTH THAT INVOKES MAAT UNWORTHILY, ARE THE STRICT TERMS OF
SELF-BINDING DECLARED; BY THE SAME MOUTH THAT WOULD SUBVERT THE
FEATHER, ARE THE FAINT SCREAMS OF DISPERSAL CRIED FORTH.
So mote it be.
As of Spring Equinox, 1982, I am no longer a member of the O.T.O. My
resignation was the result of a lengthy period of contemplation, and is
an ethical imperative. There are no regrets for having been a member
and no regrets for resigning. All heirarchical structures are defunct,
based as they are upon ideas of superiority/inferiority
relationships. We are equals, freemen and freewomen. No one can
initiate another; we can but work together toward a new way of life.
We are One, we are None.