Touto esti to sperma mou. Ho pater estin ho huios dia to pneuma hagion. AUMGN. AUMGN. AUMGN.
Aleister Crowley, Theodor Reuss, Hermann Joseph Metzger, Chevalier Le Clément de St.–Marcq, Austin Osman Spare, Spermo–Gnosis, Ordo Templi Orientis, Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, Episcopi Vagantes, Rosicrucians, Illuminati, Michael Bertiaux, Guido Wolther, Johannes Maikowski, Amrita, Transgender
The Technology of SexThe structure of the O.T.O., like that of Freemasonry, is based on a staged series of initiations or degrees.
The essence of the Ordo Templi Orientis is in its higher degrees; strictly speaking only members of these degrees are considered to be members of the O.T.O. proper.
Degrees could also be of a purely administrative nature. See the Minutes of the Special Ninth Degree Caliphate Election Held September 20/21, 1985.
More about this new American O.T.O.: 'Caliphate'.
But like some free variation of a Monty Python sketch, in the O.T.O. sexual magick always came down to semen in the end — more recently it has been more prosaically compared to a pre–formatted computer hard–disk ready to be loaded with software and used at will.
Crowley: "The industrial use of Semen will revolutionize human society"; journal 8th August 1923.
His instructional text Amrita, dated 23rd January 1933, defines the use of semen as a remedy for "Asthma, Bronchitis, Neurasthenia, Obesity, Stricture, Some cardiac distress, Greying hair, Loss of interest in sex," reprinted in O.T.O. Rituals and Sexmagick (Anthony Naylor, ed.) London 1999, p. 412.
To avoid any danger of being charged with quackery, the current American O.T.O. or 'Caliphate' denies it makes medicinal use of this Elixir of Life, and claims that it "does not practice medicine" (as noted in ‘Thelema Lodge Newsletter’, Berkeley, September 1993).
For sacramental purposes, this O.T.O. uses hosts made from honey, meal, and wine–lees, called Cakes of Light (which may however contain small quantities of blood or semen: "ashes from burned cakes of light prepared according to AL III;23[–25] would be acceptable as an additional ingredient") (Supreme Grand Council meeting, April 3, 1993).
|According to Crowley these Cakes might also include menstrual fluids, but "In my Mass the Host is of excrement"; diary 5th July 1920 — magically speaking, blood and excrement attract spirits, while sperm keeps them alive. He also noted in his diary on May 30, 1923 that "The Dalai Lama is right to have the faithful eat his excrement."
|Between 1963 and 1967 the Swiss O.T.O. (umbrella name: Psychosophische Gesellschaft) used a total of 3,000 genuine Catholic hosts obtained from a convent, in their Crowleyan Gnostic Masses; the incense also being opportunely supplied by the Chief Sacristan of St. Gallen Cathedral, while their sacramental wine came straight from the Bishop’s private cellars.
There are other parts of O.T.O. doctrine that could damage its PR image: for instance a requirement for a frog to be crucified in an O.T.O.–related ritual (part of a 1916 version of the VI°) or advice given to members in 1919 that they should look on those without the pale of the Order as inferior beings. Of course more current O.T.O. policy (from 1999) claims that "OTO does not now encourage its members to treat those outside the Order as inferiors who possess no rights." But there are blatantly anti–democratic elements in the various O.T.O. constitutions and rules, and anti–semitic statements in instructional texts that would certainly curtail religious freedoms if they were ever applied, just to mention a couple of examples. Theodor Reuss went even further in 1920: he proclaimed that within the O.T.O. community the use of money was henceforth to be forbidden, and that every member over 18 was obliged to work daily; those refusing the tasks were to be punished by forced labour. In Reuss’s O.T.O. utopia, each child was brought up by the community; "doctor–priests" under parental supervision would teach children from the earliest age on that the sex–organs were holy (maybe the origin of Crowley’s 1921 idea that even babies should be exposed to sex: "Moreover, the Beast 666 [Crowley] adviseth that all children shall be accustomed from infancy to witness every type of sexual act." (Israel Regardie: The Law is for All, Arizona 1975, 114.) And again: "Let children educate themselves to be themselves. Those who train them to standards cripple and deform them." ‘On the Education of Children’ in The Revival of Magick, Tempe 1998). Those found incapable of producing healthy offspring by a medical board were not allowed to breed, while those who produced children despite this decree would be punished by forced labour.
All of this could damage O.T.O.'s public image.
An Extended Commentary on THE BOOK OF THE LAW
by Aleister Crowley"
Edited with an Introduction
By Israel Regardie
"Moreover, the Beast 666 [Crowley] adviseth that all children shall be accustomed from infancy to witness every type of sexual act." [page 114]
These extreme ideas have not survived in modern versions of the O.T.O., if indeed they were ever espoused beyond Reuss’s and/or Crowley’s various propaganda pronouncements.
Aleister Crowley maintained that the task of his Ordo Templi Orientis was "to restore Christianity to its real status as a solar–phallic religion." (letter from Crowley to William Bernard Crow (1895–1976), dated 11th November 1944). But if the O.T.O.’s initiatory system is little more than an over–elaborate bureaucratic game, it does have a religious section under its obedience: the Gnostic Catholic Church.
In 1906, the Chevalier Le Clément de St.–Marcq published a booklet called ‘L'Eucharistie’ about Sacred Spermatophagy. It described what Reuss called the ultimate secret of the O.T.O.’s religious aspect: the more sperm you ate, the more the manifestation of the Christ took place within you: no women were necessary for that. This consumption of sexual secretions borders on a form of sacred cannibalism, effectively assimilating selected individuals possessed of awe–inspiring powers, to neutralise or even enslave them. The Gnostic aim is to release humanity from its stifling entanglement with the physical universe, and to help the pure Spirit in its return to its Divine potential.
One thing all these Spermo–Gnostics within most of the O.T.O.’s many variants have in common, is their reduction of sexuality down to male physiology alone.
Crowley: Chapter 35 of The Book of Lies, which after condemning the female body as "ugly" states, "the Lingam and the Yoni are but diverse developments of One Organ". In the comment to the chapter, Crowley refutes any appearance of egalitarianism. Placing the female in a distinctly inferior position, he writes, "the female body becomes beautiful in so far as it approximates to the male. The female is to be regarded as having been separated from the male, in order to reproduce the male in a superior form".
Having an orgasm simply out of lust is eschewed, unless ejaculation is avoided, or the attention is wrenched away from the imminent orgasm and diverted onto wishes that, under the circumstances, appear drearily mundane: in Crowley’s case the object was almost invariably money. Sperm was the entire focus. In the enthusiastic high of genetic and gnostic male superiority, femaleness vegetates in a bizarre no–man’s–land of androgynous necessity and complex superfluousness.
The female Logos remains mute or in a thimble.
In the O.T.O.’s Gnostic Mass (Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Catholic Mass (Liber XV — Ecclesiæ Gnosticæ Catholicæ Canon Missæ) the host is called a Cake of Light and is supposed to contain the Logos; this Gnostic host’s ingredients may include sperm, blood and vaginal secretions. Cakes of light are made and consecrated outside the ritual of the Gnostic Mass itself, but not with the intention of transsubstantiation. Instead, a deity is conjured to subsist within each cake of light, known as the "Childe" — more specifically an aspect of Horus is invoked as a sort of alchemical homunculus, rather than Osiris or the cognate Christ. The cake is transmuted or changed in form, as a passage in Crowley’s Mass asserts, by the chemical processes of digestion after it is swallowed. Transsubstantiation, on the other hand, is a change of essential quality without change of form. Transmutation is a physiological process, transsubstantiation a non–physical one. Thus, a cake of light is transmuted as it is swallowed, to afford a character appropriate to the "miracle of the Mass": it is effectively a sex–magical medium for the participant’s Will (the ritual itself can be interpreted as a mirror of the perpetual creation of the Universe). Similar passages can be found in the VIII° ritual of the ‘Caliphate’ O.T.O.: "and, forasmuch as meat and drink are transmuted in us daily into spiritual substance, I believe in the Miracle of the Mass. […] This is the Blood and the Body of the Logos." Consumption, or at least bodily contact with the host is absolutely necessary. Some say it is not the host that is changed, but the consumer of that host who is transformed through its contact with their mouth, saliva, and stomach acid. This transformation is hence a unification of the host with its consumer. The thelemic host changes the consumer — unlike a Roman Catholic host, which is said to change its invisible essence (absorbing the real presence of Christ) without a change in its appearance or chemical qualities. If a host were to be both transmutated and transsubstantiated into the body and blood, it would theoretically become a gobbet of actual bleeding flesh.
Aleister Crowley, diary 30th June 1920: "When I was [Eliphas] Levi, I drew myself as Ayin or Baphomet, ‘The Devil’, with the Beast’s Head. This is the Beast throned, crowned, exalted; the leaper, the erect, the butter–in. Her womb is my city, Babel. This Ayin is then my Phallic Will, my Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwaz, who was afterwards called Satan." Crowley’s diary 19th/20th January 1918 on Baphomet: "I find 729 = the curse of Satan! Of course."
The name Baphomet is used to signify the Lion–Serpent or semen. This is the blood of the phallus in which its life–force is concentrated. The Phallus is also the Wonder–Tree (in Crowley’s Gnostic Catholic Mass) and the semen is the sap that continues its existence from generation unto generation. Baphomet as semen is also the Holy Ghost, the continuity between the Father and the Son, and one part of the matter of the Sacrament. This is the Holy Spirit on the Inner.
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The technical term for a Gnostic Catholic bishop in the context of the O.T.O. Phenomenon is as one of the 'Episcopi Vagantes', otherwise a 'Wandering Bishop'.
This status is not defined by their character, abilities, education or theological position. Such bishops are neither elected by a canonical church, nor proposed as an ordinand by a suffragan, nor bound to an historical episcopal see or consecrated by an official bishop according to accepted canonical procedure. A real bishop is not the successor of a sole apostle because only a synod or college of bishops in toto is considere an heir to the apostles in both Catholicism and other episcopal denominations. Therefore, orthodox churches assert no Wandering Bishop has a real apostolic succession because the Holy Ghost is not thought to have been present at their consecration, and their documentation or instrumentum consecrationis has no apostolic value.
Nevertheless, Wandering Bishops are assiduous collectors of papers and diplomas in the hope that at least one of the consecrations they record has taken. In this context, Reuss tried in vain to make Crowley’s Gnostic Catholic Church the "official religion for Freemasons" in 1920.
In the introduction to his edition of the 'Ecclesiæ Gnosticæ Catholicæ Canon Missæ', (Zürich 1955, p.4) Swiss O.T.O. leader Hermann Joseph Metzger claimed he had the "Antiochite–Jacobinic Succession, Syro–Malabarite Line of Mar Athanasius". Today, newer O.T.O. groups like the ‘Caliphate’ try to continue this tactic.
The sexual ideas of the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (F.R.A.) are based on the aversion to ejaculation, and its leader Arnoldo Krumm–Heller’s Gnose and Hitlerianismo remained largely Christian and ascetic in nature.
As a firm believer in homeopathy, Krumm–Heller followed a strictly ascetic version of sex–magic using the Christian Gnostic text the 'Pistis Sophia' as his guide. There are no spermo–gnostic passages in his ceremonies and Masses, no invocation of Kyrios Phallos or mystic–tantric re–creations of the universe in the rituals. He was however, every bit as mysogynistic as his spermo–gnostic confrères: "The prostate is the power of creation while the uterus is only the vessel: women therefore only imitate creation." Also Crowley believed that only "man is the guardian of the Life of God; woman but a temporary expedient; a shrine indeed for the God, but not the God."
Krumm–Heller conquered his holy grail via coitus reservatus.
Ernst Tristan Kurtzahn: The Gnostics. — About the Gnostic Catholic Church, Androgyn + Gynandria, and the immissio membri virilis in vaginam in avoidance of the ejaculatio seminis.
Austin Osman Spare, born in London in 1886, became a member of Aleister Crowley’s Argenteum Astrum and contributed some of his drawings to Crowley’s periodical 'The Equinox' in 1910. In 1913 he published 'The Book of Pleasure (Self–Love): The Psychology of Ecstasy', in which he explained how he tried to conjure thought–forms to manifest visibly and to communicate with the unconscious and the world beyond. For this he used a method somewhat similar to the automatic writing and drawing techniques used by the Surrealists, where the hand lets a line go for a walk, drawing or writing without using the conscious mind.
The sigils and emblems thus produced formed the letters of Spare's so–called Alphabet of Desire claiming that "each letter in its pictorial aspect relates to a Sex principle." The basis of this alphabet, together with many early examples of the letters composing it, is given in Spare’s 'The Book of Pleasure' where he described his use of art and sex to explore the subconscious mind.
|Spare’s sigils were created quite straightforwardly: for example if you wanted power, you wrote out the word “POWER” and then eliminated all the vowels, then combined the remaining consonants P, W and R into a monogram–like sigil as symmetrically as possible.
|Spare’s magic was analogous to that taught by Crowley in his Ordo Templi Orientis. When visualized while one is sexually aroused, the sigil supposedly stirs the subconscious and a corresponding image arises in the mind; eventually communication with the supernatural world starts — or one’s wish is fulfilled — though consciousness of that wish is said to interfere in this process. Spare called this forgetting of one’s original desire during magical evocation "union through absent–mindedness" and he advocated the yogic method of emptying the mind of all but the sigil. The sperm produced during orgasm was used to anoint the sigil, which was then was buried in a box or urn. Spare admitted he "copulated merely with the atmosphere, or rode [imaginary] whores, witches and bitches of all kinds, there being few virgins" — in other words, Spare practised magical masturbation.
Nevertheless, Spare remained cautious about those who "praise ceremonial magic and are supposed to suffer much ecstasy! Our asylums are crowded and the stage is over–run. Is it by symbolizing that we become the symbolized? Were I to crown myself King, should I be King? Rather should I be an object of disgust or pity."
Spare died in poverty–stricken obscurity in 1956, but today is very influential among a number of mainly UK–based occult groups like the so–called Chaos Magic movement and the Typhonian Order (the English O.T.O.) founded by Kenneth Grant.
Alastair Campbell + a poem by his partner, Ann Campbell: 'The Minotaur'.
Page 40 of 'Starfire' Vol I, No.1, journal of the Typhonian Order, published in April 1986.
Grant’s Typhonian Order (sometimes called the Typhonian O.T.O.) is concerned with acting on transmissions and communications from beings in outer space to open up what it calls Gateways.
The Typhonian deities oversee specific ‘operations of psycho–physical alchemy’ — sex–magic, in other words — using certain subtle essences or elixirs said to be secreted (or excreted) by the vagina, which Grant (adopting a Tantric term) called kalas. Its formula is supposedly that of the XI°, but as these kalas are entirely absent from the masculine organism, it differs greatly from Crowley’s XI°.
The Typhonian Order cannot easily be compared with other O.T.O.s, mainly because there are no group rituals or ceremonies of initiation at any stage of its degree structure, the basis of initiation being the direct assimilation of magical and mystical working. It follows that all Typhonian initiation is in effect self–initiation, though there is a small amount of set grade–work; the emphasis is on the initiate charting his or her own course, though there is of course the experience of others to draw upon.
The Typhonian Order also received some limited inspiration from Chicago–based occultist Michael Paul Bertiaux, who explained the structure of his own Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua in 1987:
The same in the 18°–ring of the Fraternitas Saturni
|It was Guido Wolther a.k.a. Grandmaster/Frater Daniel (18°, 33°) who wrote several rituals for the Fraternitas Saturni in the 1970’s. One 18° ritual full of blood and semen roused strong feelings when it circulated, while many of Wolthers' sex–magical drawings and writings were exposed to disapproving scrutiny at the same time.
|Wolther’s drawings contained the usual Egyptian and Hebrew symbols found in much western occultism, but also featured clumsy sketches of sex–acts, penises and vaginas. Like Johannes Göggelmann aka Saturnius, Wolther sought to claim scientific authenticity for his works, in an effort to lend some greater meaning to his private fantasies. He imagined his world went beyond the normal, stepping over the threshold which causes death to others or "leaves them sick in body and soul."
Johannes Maikowski / Immanuel, who had been a member of the Fraternitas Saturni since the 1950s was appointed by Eugen Grosche as his successor and Grand Master of the Lodge in December 1963. He was re–elected by his own adherents in 1964/65.
Maikowski: "It is the exhalation, the orgasm that is at the centre." The sperm is osmotically "absorbed by a knowing woman," who stores it "in her OMEGA cells. And that is what gives both partners the power and the light."
"'Light and power' naturally accompany both the woman’s orgasm and the man’s sperm. If a man pours himself into a currently infertile woman, everything is still OK in the sense of S [S = It, one of the Gnostic deities in Maikowski’s pantheon]. Both sexes have had their pleasure; for the orgasm of the woman, like the ejaculation of the man, resembles a rocket engine that hurls a rocket up into the realm of deity or godhood; for gods that have emerged from mature human beings (see Manisola) can assume greater responsibility and power than an ordinary human being. The accidental pouring of sperm on a piece of laundry does not hinder the spiritual event associated with joy. The event of the increase of light and power is spiritual. Understood in this spiritual way there is of course no 'waste'. For it is not matter that is responsible for the spiritual event, but JOY. Therefore we have the beautiful saying: LOVE plus JOY = KNOWLEDGE. — The place of the OMEGA cells in the woman is, as far as I know, in the system of the 7 light centres along and within the spine, along which we as men and as women ascend into the Light of the deity Idéa [one of Maikowski’s Gnostic deities], which is brighter than any sunlight. Of course lesbian women are also capable of orgasm when their naked underbellies touch each other. These orgasms are of course also rewarded with supernatural light from S."
Maikowski continues: "Women who are forced into prostitution will certainly be rewarded with excess light due to the large amount of sperm they store in their omega cells and the orgasms that are very often triggered despite the force, which is certainly diminished by the force. She could still become more intelligent. But the term ‘powerful’ is used completely wrongly here. Because we are not striving for power. It’s only for the fools who haven’t yet learned or understood the truth as you and I know it."
Maikowski’s Gnostic revelations do not call for the constant repetition of fixed rites and rituals (as in the O.T.O. or the F.S.), but are meant as metaphors for a continuous strategy of illumination.
In the course of his life, Maikowski has experienced multiple visions, some of which contradict each other — but each fresh revelation only throws him into renewed efforts to make all his previous insights agree with each other. With his world–view in such a constant state of flux, it is no surprise that he frequently founds new lodges and orders, or renames those he has already set up, while being in a constant process of writing and rewriting rituals and doctrinal materials, which often differ only in the nomenclature used.
In the rapid stream of his ever–changing world–views, there are sometimes statements such as, "Woman serves at best for lust and the service of man, for lust gives the power and the supernatural light that youth signifies. Only man is spiritually equal [to the light] and, thanks to his Ruling Staff, predestined by lust to power and supernatural light" — which of course can soon evaporate again.
"I, as a cathar, teach that my lust is the most important thing in sexual intercourse, and all the more so when it comes to the reproduction of loving partners; for lust combined with the man’s lust in the exercise of power over the girl and the ejaculation in sexual intercourse gives the man the Over–Light."
Maikowski, who styles himself as a painter and author, once wrote an extreme–hardcore pornographic science–fiction novel which described any and every kind of legally dubious sexual practice, perversion and paraphilia — purely in the spirit of gnosis, or so he claimed. It is such a very ‘dirty’ book that even quoting excerpts from it here would only possible in a version so heavily censored as to be meaningless: Maikowski himself admits the practices and incidents described in his novel are criminal. It just reads like an imitation of the more mechanical parts of de Sade's books when the Marquis's invention was flagging, so he started in on the Grand Guignol stuff.
Perhaps the only thing one can safely mention about the novel is that it contains a spaceship powered by orgone energy; ‘orgone’ being the term coined by Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957) for his postulate of an initially biological, though later primordial, form of cosmic energy, which he claimed to have discovered in the late 1930s.
Eugen Grosche also experimented with it by sitting inside an Orgone Energy Accumulator Box to recharge his spiritual and physical batteries.
"I have never had the slightest interest in magic, nor do I today, because I am a mystic and teach my students the direct knowledge of the truth, that is, of the deity. He who follows me does not believe, need not believe anything, but knows, for the way within reveals all knowledge to us."
Maikowski is still convinced he is the only legitimate successor to Eugen Grosche although he rejects the Crowleyan and Thelemic slogans of the old Fraternitas Saturni i.e. "Love is the Law – Love under will – Pitiless Love" and "Do what thou wilt" [ = 'Thelema' according to Aleister Crowley].
TransgenderThe term gender denotes the male or female variations of a species, especially as differentiated by social and cultural rôles and behaviour; the term sex represents the biological aspect of the sexes, also including the context of semen and spermatozoon.
Increasing awareness of the often clichéd occult tropes of sexuality, gender, male, female (and indeed the entire esoteric topography of the sexes and their various representations, together with spermo–gnosticism and sex–magic) have recently come under closer scrutiny in connection with transgenderism.(The term transident is mostly used in the psychiatric fields of the USA).
Besides the various O.T.O. groups getting more public attention in new media, new mindsets and guidelines on gender–specific issues have emerged ro affect the traditionally rigid rôles still often inherent in occultism. Here the O.T.O. stands out, because on the one hand it propagates a type of religious transcendence, while on the other it still mimics traditional clichés in its rituals.
Crowley’s Gnostic Catholic Mass (Liber XV Ecclesiae Gnosticae Catholicae Canon Missae) poses some knotty questions over the status of sperm and transgender people.
Some Crowley adherents simply transfer the biological aspect of semen and sperm, as well as the question of gender, to the symbolical level, where everything can — theoretically — be easily resolved. Whether the semen contains spermatozoa or not, whether the priest or priestess is transgender, certain modern–day participants in the Gnostic Catholic Mass maintain the only thing that really matters is what the congregation (regardless of their sexual organs), really experiences (or wants to experience) during Mass. This has opened up a huge can of worms, for a symbolic Mass ceases to be a catholic one. There are already numerous discussions in progress on this thorny subject, with no sign yet of a resolution in sight.
Within the Fraternitas Saturni the intricate topic of sperm is certainly not the key point round which lodge debates revolve; instead there appears to be a tacit agreement to leave all such matters safely inside a general social context.
In 2005 a 36–year–old FS member ‘came out’ by revealing they’d had a male–to–female gender reassignment, despite knowing all about the "homophobic attitude of some of my brothers."
She went on to say, "How can I make people understand the great joy and happiness it was for me to be allowed to be as I feel? My special thanks go to my dear sisters who accepted me with amazing honesty and openness and who are now helping me adjust to being a women in comfortable surroundings. I am aware just how unusual it must seem to some of my brothers and sisters — mainly to my brothers — how threatening it must seem to those who, perhaps, are afraid of feeling these same impulses in themselves, which contradict social norms. But I am not deceiving myself."
Sadly, personal problems in the outside world cast a shadow over her membership, and since 2006 she has had to take time away from the Lodge.
© Peter–R. Koenig, 2009.
Translation by Mark Parry–Maddocks.
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