The Creative Power

Peter-R. Koenig

The Creative Power Golem Ordo Templi Orientis homunculus Egregor Fraternitas Saturni Theodor Reuss Hanns Heinz Ewers

Jewish mysticism, particularly the Kabbalah was the source of the golem, often produced via the magical use of Psalm 139:16 and Genesis 2:7. Ever since the first mystical and magical commentaries for using the ‘Sepher Yetzirah’ (‘Book of Creation’), Jewish scholars have had designs on golems lurking in their heads. [1] In his commentary on the ‘Yetzirah’, the medieval author Eleazar of Worms (ca. 1160–1230) gives a formula for creating an artificial man by combining the sacred letters of the Hebrew alphabet while in a trance: only when the creator of the golem is in an ecstatic state will the creature come to life.

Obviously there are many kinds of scriptural interpretation and rendering possible with Kabbalists, though the golem has long been a central theme in Jewish mysticism and the Kabbalah, where the creation of a golem was seen as analogous to God creating the world and man. But reducing the creation of artificial humans to the level of a wholly technical process for purely practical purposes, aroused very little continuous interest. One justification for this was that such scriptural studies should only be done to understand the dynamics and power of God creating the world, and not to try and ape God by really making a Golem. [2]

In this context, the possibility of destroying an artificial being is of great significance: the potential dethroning of God by man (using his power of creation) was explosive stuff — and not only in ultra–orthodox religious circles. For modern gnostics, the pivotal point is just that: to become God.

De homunculus

Paracelsus (1493–1541) wrote of sperm in his ‘De origin morborum invisibilium, Lit. III’:

The incubus and succubus are formed by sperm, the semen of those who perform the unnatural, imaginary, simulated act of masturbation (in thoughts or desires). This proceeds only from the imagination; it is not genuine (material) sperm, but a corrupt salt. Only sperm from an organ intended by Nature for its development can germinate and become a body. When sperm does not proceed from an appropriate (nourishing) material basis, it will produce nothing good, but will rather generate something useless. For this reason, the incubus and succubus, which proceed from corrupt sperm, are harmful and useless according to the natural order of things. These germs, formed in the imagination, are born of Amore Heress: the kind of love where a man imagines a woman, or vice versa, to copulate with an image created in the sphere of thoughts. The result of such an unnecessary evacuation of ethereal fluid will not produce a creature, but is able to bring it into the world of larvae. Such imaginings are the mother of an exuberant lewdness which, if continued, can make a man impotent and a woman sterile, as in the frequent practice of nourishing a sickly, unhealthy imagination, one loses much authentic creative power.” [3]

Paracelsus also supposedly gave a recipe using blood and semen for the fabrication of a homunculus: “... the sperm of a man in a closed cucurbit [alembic or still] buried in the highest putrefaction, ventre equino [“from a horse’s stomach”: manure] putrefied for forty days or longer, will become alive, moving and shifting of itself, which will be easily seen. After this time it will come to look very much like a man, but with a transparent body. If constantly and wisely nourished after that with arcano sanguinis humani [“the secret of human blood”] for 40 weeks and always at the same heat ventris equini [“horse’s stomach”], it will become a genuine living human child, with all its parts like any other child born of a woman’s labour, but much smaller: that is what we call a Homunculus, which should be raised no differently to any other authentic child, with great diligence and care, until it comes to its days of wisdom.This is one of the greatest secrets that God has revealed to mortal and weak man." [4]

Paracelsus’s belief that human embryos are formed of sperm and blood goes back to the ideas of Aristotle (384–322 BC) and Pliny the Elder (ca. 23–79 AD). Such imaginings are also found in ancient Vedic and Hindu texts [5] which claim that foetuses are formed of sperm combined with menstrual blood — a belief seemingly confirmed by the fact that menstruation ceases during pregnancy. Aristotle taught that there was no ‘female seed’, believing male semen alone gave the impulse for an embryo to grow, and also determined its gender. If the masculine nature of the seed wasn’t strong enough, so Paracelsus believed “then necessarily the opposite is born, and the opposite of man is woman.”

In all cases, menstrual blood only served as nourishment and contributed to growth. Continued menstrual blood from women would nourish a passive soul, but not give rise to a rational and sensible soul. Thus the woman’s function was to give the foetus its body, while the man’s was give it energy, character and being: in short to make it a well–rounded human soul. Like Aristotle, Pliny believed that sperm worked as a clotting agent which fermented menstrual blood, claiming that sperm (if it continued to live) made the blood take on a corporeal form. Paracelsus thought that for the formation of the Homunculus, deformation was essential to life, in which he was following the alchemical tradition, which viewed precreation as symbolic of the search for the Philosopher’s Stone. Semen (argentum vivum or quicksilver, the living Mercury of the alchemists) must be put in manure, which symbolizes mother earth. After the deformation there follows the high tide or river (of semen).

The scene in part two of Goethe’s (1749–1832) ‘Faust’, written in 1808, in which a homunculus rises from an alembic, follows Paracelsus’s ideas:

Part II, Act II Scene II: A Laboratory

Wagner :
But stifle your breath, and words’ power,
A noble work is likewise being weighed.
A Man is being made.

Mephistopheles :
A Man? And what loving couple
Have you got hidden up the chimney?

Wagner :
God Forbid! How unfashionable!
We’re free of all that idle foolery.

It brightens! See! — Now there’s a real chance,
That, if from the hundred–fold substance,
By mixing — since mixing makes it happen —
The stuff of human life’s compounded,
And distilled in a flask, well–founded,
And in proper combination, grounded,
Then the silent work is done.

Mephistopheles :
In years of travelling,
and in my presence,
I’ve seen, already, crystallised humanity.

Wagner :
Up till now attending to the phial
It rises: flashes, there’s expansion
In a moment more it will be done.
Great aims seem foolish at the outset:
But we’ll laugh at Chance itself, yet,
And brains, with thoughts to celebrate,
In the future, a Thinker will create.

And indeed, it rises, boils and bubbles; the glow gets brighter, the glass flask rings and vibrates, a tiny being develops in the thick and whitish liquor, emerges and takes a voice. The Homunculus in his phial salutes his scientific father, rejoices that he is alive, and fears only that his father might break his crystal envelope too early by kissing him: this is the law of things. What is natural extends throughout Nature; but a work of art can occupy only a limited space. The homunculus also greets Mephistopheles the devil, whom he addresses as cousin, and asks for his protection to live in the world. The devil tells the creature to give immediate proof of his vitality, with which the homunculus slips from Wagner’s hands, and floats to the forehead of the sleeping Faust. There, he seems to take part in the doctor’s dreams of antiquity; he dreams of the birth of Helen of Troy.

The idea of the homunculus as an alchemical mannikin produced in a bottle was familiar to Theodor Reuss, the O.T.O.’s founder, although this very organic concept differs from that of the golem. The prescribed reading–list for O.T.O. members included a work called ‘Genesis — das Gesetz der Zeugung’ (Genesis — the Law of Procreation) by Prof. Herman (a pseudonym for Max Ferdinand / Max Ferdinand Sebaldt, who was also active in the circles around Theodor Reuss and Leopold Engel) which describes the production of a being who is realized through the odic power of materialization, and which as odic mist streams from the vulvae, and under the traditional uterine influence easily forms child–souls. [6]

Herman's 5 volumes appear to be Reuss' main source for the "Bausteine zum O.T.O.-Tempel". With references to Blavatsky, Stanislaw Przybyszewski, Schrenck-Notzing and other Occultists Herman undertakes a well-informed Tour de Force through the occult-scientific activities and publications up to 1900. G. Herman, Max Ferdinand Sebaldt, Maximilian Ferdinand, Ariosoph, Theosoph,

On the 20th of September 1914 Crowley promulgated his O.T.O. instructional text ‘De Homunculo Epistola: under the seal of the Obligations of the IX°’, which included his particular objections to abortion: “Thus, supposing that the re–incarnating Ego enters the foetus at the third month of gestation, it would not serve to remove such foetus from the mother, and cause it to live; for it is already human. But a foetus of two months might become Homunculus."

The IX° instructions themselves are simple. One was to acquire “a suitable woman willing to aid thee in this Work,” and then “a man suitable; if convenient, thyself or some other Brother Initiate of the Gnosis; and so far as may be, let his horoscope also harmonise with the nature of the work." Next: “Let the man and woman copulate continuously (but especially at times astrologically favourable to thy working) and that in a ceremonial manner in a prepared temple, whose particular arrangement and decoration is also suitable to thy work.” The child born of all this copulating would be “of perfect human form, with all powers and privileges of humanity, but with the essence of a particular chosen force, and with all the knowledge and might of its sphere; and this being is thy creation and dependent; to it thou art Sole God and Lord, and it must serve thee.” [7]

Abortion was a constant theme for Crowley: “Abortion is to be punished as selfish and cowardly, a slave’s vice, [8] “All pregnant women are especially sacred to members of the Order, and no effort should be spared to bring them to acceptance of the Law of Freedom, so that the unborn may benefit by that impression. They should be induced to become members of the Order, so that the child may be born under its aegis." [9]

In 1917 Crowley wrote his novel ‘Moonchild[10] in which he talks again about the astrological and sex–magical production of a homunculus. [11] Here we find his objection to abortion restated: “Abortion being the black magical operation at the heart of the intrigue of the 'Black Brothers'." [12]

Some interpreters believe the homunculus to have an entirely symbolic meaning and not to be taken literally. We should see it rather as a “metallic embryo” or the Philosopher’s Stone: the aim of occultists in China, India, Egypt, Persia and Europe through the centuries. The search for the Stone was allegedly what lay behind the bloody sacrificing of hundreds of small children by the notorious hero of the 15th century French wars of liberation, Marshal Gilles de Rais (1405–1440) for example; it was claimed as the real reason for the Grail quest. The Philosopher’s Stone took the place of the Grail for the first time in the works of Wolfram von Eschenbach as a consequence of Islamic influences on Europe in the 13th century.

In Literature

In India, it has been a tradition amongst certain Tantric cults to anoint their phallic lingam images with oil, milk, and sometimes semen. A similar tradition involving living statues and images exists in Western culture — at least in literature. E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776–1822), [13] Edgar A. Poe (1809–1849), Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914), Jules Verne (1828–1905), Prosper Mérimée (1803–1870) and George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) amongst others, reinterpreted Ovid’s original myth of Pygmalion; a faint reflection of it can even be discerned in the musical ‘My Fair Lady’: [14] the production of artificial life with the help of the gods or of magic [15] or bringing the dead back to life. Inspired by the reanimation experiments done with chopped worms by Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802; Charles Darwin’s grandfather) Mary W. Shelley (1797–1851) wrote her novel ‘Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus’ (1818) when she was still only 19 years old.

There isn’t space in this small essay for a detailed literary exposition of the theme, but I shall take a brief glance at the relevant activities of a few occultists within the mainstream culture of pre–WW1 Europe.

The German author of occult and erotic potboilers Hanns Heinz Ewers (1871–1943) added a sexual twist to the legend with his novel ‘Alraune’ in 1911. Ewers was an acquaintance of Crowley’s and in 1906 was possibly in contact with Theodor Reuss and the O.T.O. [16] In 1915, Gustav Meyrink (1868–1932) wrote the novel ‘The Golem’. In the same year, Paul Wegener (1874–1948) directed a film adaptation of ‘The Golem’, while later German films like ‘Nosferatu’, ‘The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari’ and ‘Dr. Mabuse’ evoked a fascination with evil. [17] In 1926, the prolific composer Eugen d’Albert (1864–1932) produced an opera also called ‘The Golem’. [18]


There are countless stories related to the origin of the Alraune, or mandrake (Mandragora Officinarum), a plant with a forked root that can resemble a small human figure. The Greeks called the goddess of love, Aphrodite, ‘The Goddess of Mandrake’. Herbalists claimed that masculine mandrakes were white and female ones were black: a distinction which continues in English folklore, where dark–coloured mandragora roots are sometimes called womandrakes.

Shakespeare (1564–1616) has several mentions of people affected by mandrakes, sent mad by the deadly supernatural scream the root was said to emit when pulled from the ground: And shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth, That living mortals, hearing them, run mad.” (‘Romeo and Juliet’, IV,3); it’s also claimed that the mandrake’s screech can be fatal (‘Henry IV Part 2’, III,2) or that it is a strong narcotic: “Give me to drink mandragora ... That I might sleep out this great gap of time...” (‘Antony and Cleopatra’, I,5).

The acquisition of the small mandrake manikin (called an alraune in Germany) is often described in European folk–tales; indeed the superstitions about it go back to Flavius Josephus (37/38–100 AD) and Aelian (175–235 AD), who advise that pouring urine and menstrual blood on the root will render it safe while unearthing it. To gain the greatest magical power from the root according to folk–magic, one is supposed to dig up a mandrake at midnight; the best specimens were said to grow under gallows and gibbets, a spontaneous generation of the urine, tears or sperm falling from those hanged there. During the unearthing, the mandrake screamed so horribly that anyone who heard it would die. To prevent this, one needed to stuff one’s ears with wool, wax or peas, and gently loosen the earth round the root, before drawing three crosses on it. One was then supposed to tie the tail of a hungry black dog to the mandrake, and wave a piece of bread in front of it: as the ravenous dog strained to reach the food, it pulled the root out of the ground, but fell dead from hearing the scream.

During a witch trial in Rottenburg (near Württemberg) around the year 1650, the accused claimed that to gain money by magical means he went naked into a forest, and there masturbated, ejaculating into a small vessel before sealing it tight and burying it in the earth. After a suitable interval, this resulted in an alraune being born in the vessel, which he claimed procured him money all the time. [19]

In 1911, Hanns Heinz Ewers published his novel ‘Alraune’. The story describes how a female being is created (firstly in thoughts, afterwards physically) by the artificial fertilisation of a prostitute with a hanged criminal’s sperm. The rampantly oversexed girl thus created later proceeds to ruin all the men she encounters, until she is finally tricked into falling to her death from a roof–top by her remorseful creator. [20]

Ewers gained international celebrity with his novel, but also attracted much personal criticism because of its blatantly sexual content. In Germany the book was also seen as politically questionable by some critics, who claimed foreigners would be persuaded that German men were no longer virile enough to father children by normal means, and were resorting to artificial fertilization for breeding. [21]

In 1915–16 Ewers wrote a follow–up called ‘Vampyr’ which owed most of its content to occult themes: each chapter of the novel is attributed to a constellation, a gemstone and a Hebrew letter; the precious stones also representing one of the 12 Tribes of Israel and one of the jewels on the ephod or breastplate worn by the High Priest of the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem in the Old Testament. The story is thoroughly bloody, full of slashed breasts, supernatural bloodlust and blood–drinking at the behest of a bloodthirsty deity. [22]

In this environment of golems, homunculi and artificially fecund beings, pre–WW1 neo–Gnostics and adherents of secret societies found more than enough material to enrich their orders’ “secrets”.

Three years after Ewers’s novel appeared, Eugen Grosche named his daughter (born in 1914) “Alraune” after its anti–heroine. Crowley was so impressed by Ewers that he considered him as a possible translator for the German version of his ‘Gnostic Mass’; [23] both men had published articles in the New–York based English–language German propaganda journal ‘The International’. [24]

Fraternitas Saturni and the Alraune: Philter, Zaubertränke, Räuchermittel, Hexensalben und Lebenselixiere.

You are my Creator, but I am your Master — Obey! [25]

One of the most salient features in certain lodges of the German–based Ordo Saturni is the theme of the lodge’s egregore or group spirit being brought to life. Represented by a statue–bust in each lodge, such egregores are reminiscent of the long literary tradition of living statues, or the legend of Salome using the severed head of John the Baptist to gain his visionary powers.

The classical prototype for such ideas is “Baphomet”, the supposed idol of the Knights Templar, who was also worshipped in the form of a head or bust (as were deified Roman emperors. [26] In the secret statutes of the Knights Templar [27] Baphomet was said to be invoked by reciting the first sura or chapter of the Qur'an, and dismissed with chapter 24 of the apocryphal ‘Book of Sirach’. [28]

O.T.O. groups all made use of the idea of Baphomet — but in Saturnian lodges it was given far more emphasis, and valued more greatly than in other O.T.O. offshoots. [29] So, although Baphomet also occurs in the initiation rituals of the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (F.R.A.), it seems that they were never involved in Saturn–type shenanigans. [30]

In several Ordo Saturni lodges a definite connection was made between the subject of artificial astral beings and vampirism. The egregore and its “incarnate tenant” (the holder of the highest degree in the lodge) were empowered by the sexual vitality of all the lodge members combined. They were trying to create a form of “astral vampire”, which they hoped eventually would incarnate as a flesh–and–blood being. It was an inversion of the Christian eucharist, where the congregation consumes the transubstantiated flesh and blood of God in the form of bread and wine. [31]

If one believes that gods are created by man, then it follows that an occult order’s egregore is also a god. To successfully create a golem might therefore mean that even a god could be vicariously destroyed by that golem; a dream of omnipotence realised. In the Saturn lodges it is assumed the highest office permits its possessor’s personality to be merged with the group spirit or egregore. Likewise in the O.T.O., the Outer Head of the Order (OHO) also becomes the Inner Head of the Order (IHO). Deus est Homo — Homo est Deus, as was stated similarly (though in a different connection) in Reuss and Crowley's ‘Liber Agapé’. Another transformation of the personal union of IHO and O.T.O. is attributed to the highest and most secret degree, the XI°, by some Crowleyan O.T.O.s.

Viewing the magical system of these Saturn lodges psychologically, during sexual intercourse the libido could be transferred from the sexual partners to the egregore on the astral. In practice this meant that all heterosexual and homosexual activity was kept secret, veiled behind various code–words and euphemisms (Holy, Logos, Saturn, etc.) to feed the egregore’s vitality.

The efforts of these Saturn lodges to identify with an astral golem (at the very least), or else a homunculus, image or statue brought to life to build up power, is very different from the practises in other O.T.O. groups. These others are effectively engaged in a quest for the 'Elixir of Life' — in the form of psychosexual secretions — for self–empowerment or to contact spirits. [32] Some Saturnians are nonetheless also members of the ‘Caliphate’ O.T.O., (the best–known exponents of the elixir–quest), maybe to retain the widest possible choice of purchases from every aisle in the occult supermarket,

Baphomet and the O.T.O.

The egregore has never been an important issue to other O.T.O. groups. As Marcelo Ramos Motta wrote: “the Egregora [sic] does exist in the so–called ‘astral plane’; and it is a demon, that is to say, an illusory entity. And is not a true Microcosm, but a gestalt of vitalized shells, a focus for everything that is negative, defeatist, maudlin, bigoted, and introverted in human nature — a morass completely hostile to progress and to the spiritual evolution of mankind.[33]

The publication of an earlier version of the previous sections of this essay [34] attracted some interest among members of the UK–based ‘Typhonian’ O.T.O. Following the Saturnian example, they duly devised what they called an ‘Égregore Map’ populated by various more or less Crowleyan entities: Lam, Olun, Aiwass, Maat, Babalon, and the Beast: “It can be defined as the group spirit (super–consciousness) of all the members of a particular Order [...] It is analogous to the running of magical computer programs across a network of adepts or members, in order to access necessary gnosis and guidance from the Secret Chiefs. This can be done using these égregore maps because they express the laws of Creation and the Fall through their symbolism. They allow people to free themselves from the lust of result by the externalisation of the Holy Guardian Angel into the égregore.” [35]

The egregore is by definition a created soul (psychogon); according to Crowley it serves mostly to realise wishes, and is consequently a kind of “helpmeet spirit” who obeys the Holy Guardian Angel, as in the Abramelin system. The ‘Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage’ describes a method of attaining communication with one's guardian angel; every human being has an individual spiritual power, a divine mirror–image called the Holy Guardian Angel, who restores a link to the divine for human beings engulfed in matter. Once contact with the Guardian Angel has been established — after six lunar months of asceticism and constant devotional prayer — the magician may then (if he dares) invoke armies of demons and servile spirits to do his will.

The Angel even imbues the ecstasy of orgasm, the vision of the universe as a continuous phenomenon without blur or slur; this is a difference from the simple union of man with God. The Angel too finds perfection in his man. [36]

Likewise, during certain sex–magical practises in some Saturn lodges and Crowleyan O.T.O. groups, the libido of actual physical partners during sex is transferred from that partner to the astral egregore, but after that is transmitted by their own ego and its “detachments” (such as magical desires projected on talismans).

Most often, the O.T.O. acts as the mother of invention, while Crowley is its father. This had already begun with Carl Kellner who carried photographs of female members of his Memphis–Misraim group around in a locket. [37]

Kellner viewed himself in visionary terms as a Babylonian Priest. [38] He followed the beliefs of Richard Payne, in which the androgynous Baphomet unites passive and active polarities, though Kellner did not accept Eliphas Lévi's interpretation of Baphomet as the Devil — the same figure Crowley later used on his ‘Devil’ tarot card.

Indeed, Crowley always described himself as Baphomet in connection with the O.T.O., and claimed that this united both the Inner and Outer Headships of the Order in himself — both offices being linked by the homosexual eleventh degree of the O.T.O. [This might explain why the “Caliphate’s” otherwise heterosexual chief William Breeze suddenly assumed the XIth degree]. It is not known whether Crowley ever tried to bring an image to life (except possibly the skeleton he fed with blood in his Chancery Lane ‘Black Temple’), or to use Baphomet as an egregore in the Saturnian sense. [39] Certainly, when his follower Jack Parsons tried to create a homunculus with the aid of sex–magic (and the help of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology), Crowley reacted angrily, calling the affair “nonsense”. [40] In 1914 Aleister Crowley had written his Xº instruction ‘De Homunculo Epistola’ in which he described how a woman is magically prepared to conceive a homunculus, even though he was less than enthusiastic about it. Possibly he had got some inspiration from Somerset Maugham, whose 1907 novel ‘The Magician’ had a villain called Oliver Haddo based directly on Crowley; in the story Haddo manufactures a homunculus by devilish arts. [41]

In the original O.T.O. statutes, the O.H.O. was supposed to be elected by a ballot of all X° members, logically enough — a rule flouted by Hermann Joseph Metzger of the Swiss O.T.O., and William Breeze of the current ‘Caliphate’, since both were elected only by a number of IX° members. A few years ago, in an attempt to appear more legitimate, Breeze used the blatant ploy of selecting a few loyal followers to become temporary, honorary X°s, who in turn promptly “elected” Breeze as their leader.

From a Freudian viewpoint, Crowley (alias ‘Baphomet XI°’) [42] occupies the role of an idealised father–figure in his rescension of the O.T.O., even though he himself remained eternally searching for the “great absent Father”. By idolising Crowley/Baphomet in this way, his latter–day followers often nurture precociously regressive sadistic and anal attitudes, which tend to be acted out in the form of oral aggression — a consequence of a significant upset of the balance between fantasy and reality. [43]

As the central idol of the Crowleyan O.T.O. there stands a golden phallus, with which the sex–magician is meant to identify himself, in the form of an ejaculating penis. In O.T.O.s of this school there is little possibility of using such phallocentric and narcissistic behaviour as a way of obtaining communion with an egregore. Energies liberated in this way would generate disorder in practicing individuals (at least in the higher degrees), with the direct imitation of Crowley stimulating problematic relationships and drug–addiction. There is no Gnosis here, not even where the Gnostic sense of an intolerable existence is reflected in several different O.T.O. variations all at war with each other; these merely show that there is a yawning void between the gnostic rotten places and the Pleroma.

With these O.T.O.s, the light at the end of the tunnel for seekers is a corpse–like glimmer from carefully contrived schemes and inducements towards sensuality and self–indulgence; it shines on a mouthful of semen, illuminating no more than ready–made images, which are endlessly imitated, regurgitated and competely manufactured. [44]

The Neurosycrucians

Daring a little magico–psychological interpretation, it is reasonable to assume that the Saturn lodges we have been examining never succeeded in achieving the union of the human holder of their highest office with the egregore. This is apparently why the O.T.O. fell into schism during Crowley’s time; the Saturn lodges have not been able (so far that is) [45] to invoke the spirits of Pluto necessary to the union, and this means that the Saturnian golem (or rather the O.T.O. Fraternitas Saturni Golem) has fragmented into the narcissistic offshoots of Eugen Grosche and his allies.

If this human Saturnian leader is not a charismatic individual, then his followers’ efforts can only be devoted to the service of the egregore, charging it up like a battery; but if this leader does not stay in the background, then the magical energies can flow back and not drain away. This latter possibility might only work if the leader avoids the trap of narcissistic folly through excessive dependence on the egregore — so long as the leader separates himself from those lodge members who have an influence on psychological transmission. This practice has only been tried in the ‘Caliphate’ O.T.O. (in contrast to H.J. Metzger's group) where the chief of the Order, the ‘Caliph’, remains officially incommunicado except for ex–cathedra pronouncements; [46] paradoxically enough, the Caliph has to be regarded as magically powerless. [47]

A repressed identification [48] with Crowley as a bisexual or homosexual all–father figure has proved to be a particular barrier to the personal development of many Caliphate followers. The result has been a fanatical, supposedly socially involved “coming out” of the Caliphate as a publicly recognised religious community, [49] and led to them concealing almost all their magical [50] and sexual doctrines. [51] Thus many of their doctrinal publications are classified as deriving from Crowley’s other occult order, the Argenteum Astrum [A.·. A.·.] when they do not directly mention the O.T.O. [52]

Recently this group has instructed its membership to separate the “problematic” figure of Aleister Crowley from his doctrine of Thelema, even though Thelema is still to be considered as “the Highest Truth of this Æon”. This has effectively replaced critical thought with all the trappings of belief in a cult, with an emphasis on the importance of ritual for its own sake, and the addition of irrelevant new myths. Any information which might promote dissent is suppressed, [53] and measures to censure those who step out of line are now included in the group's statutes. [54] Spermo–Gnosis is treated as a trade secret to be protected by (largely empty) legal threats, used regularly to frighten off outsiders. So the Caliphate — which now asserts it is the one and only “true” O.T.O. — proclaims that it is incapable of error, while still using the courts to fight every criticism from critics, the moral 'majority', the press or the police. A strategy of active news–management has been introduced, and as always truth is generally the first casualty.

Broadly speaking, the less prominent a Saturnian leader or O.H.O. is, the more important the magick of the Members will be. Obviously, such a lodge or order would fall completely outside the context of mainstream society. Possibly that is one of the reasons why William Breeze has so graciously permitted his full name as Caliphate Caliph to appear as editor of several “official” Crowley reprints.

Men are Terribly Deformed by the Light [55]

In the end all sex–magical systems seem to fail, when psychological equilibrium (not to mention the body's metabolism) is upset by its techniques; any gaps (such as a void in the image of the self) are filled with synthetic replacements (the phallus, the egregore, Crowley, etc.). Despite a rigid regulation of daily life, interpersonal relationships outside the artificial reality of O.T.O. groups or Saturn lodges shrink to the level of blaming one’s own failings on others. This produces dependency, fears of persecution, a reliance on curses or rituals of destruction, and evoking the aid of demons. For instance, during Easter 1992 Gertrude Zellhuber (a.k.a. ‘Lara’, mother of a putative future reincarnation of Fraternitas Saturni founder Eugen Grosche), had convinced herself she was under magical threat from a former Grand Master of the F.S. called Walter Jantschik. Although the egregore and necessary spirits of Pluto [56] were duly evoked, Jantschik noticed absolutely nothing, which presumably left these hostile intentions free to go off and wreak havoc among Lara & Co’s other supposed enemies, such as the Temple of Set. [57]

A slowing of self–development can be a direct inducement to magical thinking, while overemphasis on instinct and impulse may cause weakening of control over sexual and aggressive behaviour. This particular polarised state is characterised by an exaggerated emphasis on autoerotic and self–centred activities — in other words, “do what thou wilt” vulgarised into “do as you like”. It can alter a person's self–esteem, identity, sexual and societal rôles. Deliberately distorting the libido can become a dangerous game to play in sex–magic.

Crowley clearly identified himself with his own religion/philosophy called Thelema. [58] Has Thelema therefore turned out to be a defect in the Oedipal phase [59] of the New Aeon, fostering tendencies towards neurosis [60] and psychosis? [61]

Here, one could also cite Sigmund Freud, who opined that the neurosis called religion originates “from the Oedipus–complex, the father–relationship”. [62]


[1] Research by the Jewish Historian Gershom Scholem (1897–1982). An extremely informative view of golems is given by Moshe Idel in his monograph ‘Golem, Jewish Magical and Mystical Tradition on the Artificial Anthropoid’, New York, 1990. The same in German: ‘Der Golem. Jüdische magische und mystische Traditionen des künstlichen Anthropoiden’, Frankfurt am Main, 2007.

[2] This is probably why there are no explicit instructions for the production of a golem. Several hints are given, like the requires Hebrew letters which are to be combined, and whether the resulting magical names are written in dust or with water, but no clear and specific rules.

[3] Cited in Charles Waldemar: ‘Magie der Geschlechter’, Munich 1958, p. 277. Waldemar had published an authoritative book on cults under the pseudonym Gerhard Zacharias: ‘Satanskult und Schwarze Messe’, Wiesbaden 1964. On October 12th 1955 he made his first contact with "Frater" [sic] Anita Borgert from the Swiss Ordo Templi Orientis, using his "names in the World of Maya". He owned some rare Crowley manuscripts, over which he expressed his enthusiasm. He signed at least one of his letters to me, the present author, as a 5°=6° Argenteum Astrum, and wrote books containing his formulæ "for love without the worry of coitus", as well as for self–confidence, potency, attracting love, and yoga. Waldemar's Electro–Acupuncture Apparatus, Gold–Plated Back–rollers, Sunproof Sheets, Oxygen–Ionising Equipment, and Foot–Reflexers were all available for purchase at this time.

[4] Paracelsus: ‘De generatione rerum’, in ‘Werke’, Leipzig 1921. Cited in Charles Waldemar: ‘Magie der Geschlechter’, Munich 1958.

[5] A.W. Meyer: ‘The Rise of Embryology’, Stanford 1939.

[6] Volume IV, Leipzig 1906, p. 207. Immediately after the next section the author suddenly expounds the reasons why homosexuality exists, a “problem” which would be solved “only in a psychometric way”.

[7] Francis King: ‘The Secret Rituals of the OTO’, London 1973, p. 231; Crowley's holograph in P.R. Koenig: ‘How to make your own McOTO’, Munich 1996, p. 162; Anthony Naylor & P.R. Koenig: ‘O.T.O. Rituals and Sex–Magick’, Thames 1999, p. 475.

[8] ‘Consideration of an Open Letter to Labour’.

[9] ‘Liber CI. Ordo Templi Orientis. An Open Letter to Those Who May Wish to Join the Order, Enumerating the Duties and Privileges’, Detroit 1919,

[10] Only published 12 years later. ‘Moonchild (Liber LXXXI — 81)’ Mandrake Press, London 1929.

[11] Possibly William Somerset Maugham inspired Crowley with his 1907 novel ‘The Magician’, in which Maugham’s villain (one Oliver Haddo, plainly based on Crowley, who Maugham had met in Paris) manufactures various monstrous homunculi.

[12] p. 274.

[13] In ‘Sandmann’ (1817) E.T.A. Hoffmann tells the tale of an automaton which is also a vampire.

[14] Revived as the musical ‘My Fair Lady’ in 1964.

[15] Today with the help of genetic engineering, cybernetics, etc. Excerpts from such stories appear in ‘Künstliche Menschen. Dichtungen und Dokumente über Golems, Homunculi, Lebende Statuen und Androiden’, edited by Klaus Völker, Munich 1971. A short essay dealing with robots from this aspect in John Cohen: ‘Golem und Roboter’, Frankfurt am Main, 1968.

[16] Wilfried Kugel: ‘Der Unverbesserliche’, Düsseldorf 1992, p. 411.

[17] The Fraternitas Saturni protagonist Albin Grau designed the sets for all these movies.

[18] More on this theme appeared more recently from authors like Philip K. Dick (as in the movie ‘Blade Runner’ an adaptation of the 1968 novel ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’), Alfred Bester (‘Golem 1000’, 1980), Stanislaw Lem (‘Golem XIV’, 1967/1987), Karel Capek (who coined the word Robot for the artificial workers in his 1921 play ‘R.U.R.’), and the simulacra of Gilles Deleuze, Paul Virilio, Jean Baudrillard and Pierre Klossowski.
     A theatrical piece based on the classical myth of Galatea premiered in Switzerland in 1972, expressing the eternal dream of a man for a woman who is wholly devoted to him. In the play, a reworking of an ‘Alpensaga’ (Swiss mountain fairy tale): some farmers create a 'Sennentuntschi', an artificial woman grown in a bottle, from a mixture of dung and cheese. Needless to say, the Sennentuntschi soon frees herself from their attentions.
     This play was shown on Swiss television in 1981, and attracted a prosecution for blasphemy. The theme of the Sennentuntschi was revived in a 2010 horror–film of the same title. Some greedy peasants, drunk on absinthe in an alpine hut, bring a straw doll to life and rape her. But the voluptuous pleasure doll mercilessly kills one of its tormentors, pulling his skin off over his ears, tanning and nailing it on the hut’s roof.

[19] ‘Handbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens’, Volume 1, Berlin 1927, p. 318.

[20] In 1952, the novel ‘Alraune’ by Hanns Heinz Ewers was adapted as a film starring Hildegard Knef in the title role. She sang the ‘Lied vom Einsamen Mädchen’ [‘Song of the Lonely Girl’] in the film, a tune covered by Nico of ‘Velvet Underground’ fame in 1985, and in 2003 by Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore.

[21] Wilfried Kugel: ‘Der Unverbesserliche’, Düsseldorf 1992, p. 165.

[22] Kugel, Der Unverbesserliche, p. 227.

[23] Aleister Crowley’s diary for 31–10–1930: “Idea: to get Ewers to translate Gnostic Mass.”

[24] Facsimile at

[25] ‘You are my Creator, but I am your Master — Obey!’, Mary W. Shelley: ‘Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus’, 1818. Part of this section, focusing on the Ordo Saturni, was given by the author as a C.E.S.N.U.R. speech at the London School of Economics in 1993.

[26] There are numerous academic works that appeared around 1900, for example: Konrad Schottmüller: ‘Templer–Orden’ (2 Volumes), Berlin, 1887; Wilhelm Havemann: ‘Geschichte des Ausgangs des Tempelherrenordens’, Stuttgart 1846; Hans Prutz: ‘Die geistlichen Ritterorden’, Berlin 1908, and many more.

[27] Hans Prutz: ‘Geheimlehre und Geheimstatuten des Tempelherren–Ordens’, Berlin 1879, reprinted Munich 1979.

[28] Probably written around 180 A.D.; classified as belonging to the Apocrypha.

[29] The Inner Head of the Order might be Baphomet. A few also see Crowley’s tutelary spirit Aiwaz as I.H.O: “its function is destruction” or even the Stele of Revealing / of Atrocity. The Outer Head of the Order is the “organ of speech” or spokesperson, andmeans the worldwide leader of the O.T.O. In the O.T.O. Baphomet does not exist in the form of a bust.

[30] In the Ariosophische ATB–Tempel–Hof–Gesellschaft of Vienna, Baphomet figures as a two–headed bust (man and woman), supposedly to guarantee harmony between God and mankind by “Baphometic force” in a “cosmic wedding”. ‘Einblick in die Magische Weltsicht und die Magischen Prozesse’, Vienna 1988.

[31] This reminds one of the short story ‘Rautavaara's Case’ by Philip K. Dick (included in: ‘We Can Remember It For You Wholesale’, London 1991). Dick's biography and works reveal him to have been a modern–day Gnostic. For example, his sister (dead in real life) emerges as an evil female creative deity in his novels. Lawrence Sutin: ‘Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick’, New York 1989. Sutin is also author of a biography of Crowley: ‘Do What Thou Wilt’, New York, 2000.

[32] This “secret” (that the highest degree is in personal union with the egregore, which is then to incarnate in the flesh) was known for a long time only to the 33° of the Ordo Saturni. Johannes Maikowski (leader of another Saturnian Lodge) for example, knew nothing of this. The publication of this secret at the beginning of the 1990s led to chaos in many Saturn lodges and a loss of members, such as Barbara Weisz and Ottmar Domainko, who both deserve many thanks for first disclosing these details. There was a hole in the egregore–bust of the Ordo Saturni leader Dieter Heikaus (1942–2007) used to acquire the special ingredients: blood and sperm. This bust had to be periodically “revived” through group–rituals. Letter from Dieter Heikaus to Walter Jantschik (former Grand Master of the Fraternitas Saturni), 30–7–1984.

[33] Marcelo Ramos Motta: ‘Letter to a Brazilian Mason’, Nashville 1980, p. 12 (letter dated 9–12–1963), online at–lettre.htm.

[34] Barbara Weisz, Ottmar Domainko, P.R. Koenig: ‘Saturn–Gnosis’, in ‘Abraxas’, Texas, March 1993.

[35] Michael Staley in ‘LAM: The Gateway’ in: ‘ Starfire’ 1:5, London January 1996, p. 93.

[36] Crowley in H. J. Metzger’s ‘Aequinox’ magazine, No. IX 49.10.

[37] Another picture shows the lamen of the Memphis–Mizraim rite: a sphinx in front of a pyramid, above a shining sun.

[38] At the beginning of Volume 3 of ‘Ordo Templi Orientis RELOAD’, Munich 2011, cited as ‘Asana ist stetig’ [Asana is steady].

[39] Crowley's feeding a skeleton probably doesn’t count as reviving an egregore.

[40] Jack Parsons and Marjorie Cameron Parsons Kimmel (born 23–4–1922) were aiming to give birth to the Thelemic deity Babalon. Marjorie Parsons remained a close friend of the Caliph’s until her death on 24–7–1995.

[41] Turning this drawing, made in 1919, upside down, discloses the image of a woman giving birth through her anus. See also:

[42] Again the personal union of the egregore with the highest leader. Probably this is the reason why Eugen Grosche would not accept Aleister Crowley as leader of the Fraternitas Saturni.

[43] In ‘Liber OZ’, his own Thelemic declaration of human rights, ‘Holy Father’ Crowley claims that ‘”Man has the right to kill those who would thwart these rights” and “the slaves shall serve.”

[44] G. Herman (alias Max Ferdinand Sebaldt): There remains “before all things the sewing machine as the great seductress of solitary sensuality”, Herman's citation from Pouillet's ‘L'onanisme chez la femme’ (Paris 1880) and mandatory reading in Reuss’s O.T.O., as follows (the scene is a factory for making military uniforms):
In the midst of the regular whirring of about 30 sewing machines, I suddenly heard a machine running at a much higher tempo. I turned to the relevant seamstress, a brunette of 18 to 20 years. While automatically tending to the piece of work she was sewing, her face brightened, her mouth fell open slightly, her nostrils trembled, her feet moved the pedals with steadily increasing speed. Shortly thereafter I noted a fixed gaze, her eyelids sank, her face became pale, and she threw back her head. Hands and feet suddenly paused and stretched themselves: a suppressed cry, followed by a deep sigh, lost itself in the noise of the surroundings." Theodor Reuss: ‘ Aufbau–programm und Leitsätze der Gnostischen Neo–Christen OTO’, Bad Schmiedeberg 1920; in P.R. Koenig: ‘Der Kleine Theodor Reuss Reader’, Munich 1993, p. 77.

[45] More on this magical necessity of the egregrore concept in: Marlene Leander (pseudonym for Weisz, Domainko, König): ‘Von Kopf bis Fuss auf Liebe eingestellt’, in ‘AHA’ 2/93. Facsimile in P.R. Koenig: ‘In Nomine Demiurgi Nosferati’, Munich 1999.

[46] Michael Staley of the Typhonian Order, on the other hand, is easily available on MySpace and

[47] The fact that there is no unbroken line of succession from Crowley to Breeze, renders the ‘Caliphate’ comparable to a photocopy of a photocopy.

[48] Because Crowley died a long time ago, there are always newly self–proclaimed reincarnations of him. Leaders are already adored almost as devotedly as a father figure. In the museum of Metzger’s Swiss Order, one can still admire his children's preserved baby–shoes displayed in a glass case.

[49] Crowley refused to accept that his O.T.O. was a religious order. But religious status has many legal and tax advantages in the USA: the Caliphate can have recourse to religious anti–discrimination laws if it feels threatened, is able to openly advertise products to its followers, and can even determine statutory minimum wages for its members. Thus new Caliphate members must complete 12 hours of free work for the order — and those who refuse have to pay $12 extra. ‘Magical Link’ III:12, Berkeley, December 1983.

[50] Liber XXII is a particularly egregious example of this, and is in fact a sub–chapter of Liber CCXXXI.

[51] For example, already mentioned: the Mass of the Phoenix, Liber Nu, Liber Had, Liber Astarte, Liber Thisharb, Liber VII, X, LVX, XC, and CCXXXI.

[52] Also demonstrated in the extreme litigiousness of the Caliphate regarding alleged copyrights.

[53] Especially here, they react extremely sensitively to any criticism.

[54] Disobedient members are subjected to a so–called Inquisition, a practice introduced by Crowley, which is indeed rather like a Spanish inquisition: no defence, no witnesses, and no anonymous testimonies. The “Grand Inquisitor” is the investigator, prosecutor, and judge rolled into one. To avoid summary expulsion by the (anonymous) inquisition committee (and without consultation or the chance to defend themselves), the convicted parties must apologise publicly and beg for forgiveness. In the case of the Caliphate, several accused members eventually broke away to found new O.T.O.s: for example after “Grand Inquisitor” Ben Fernee interrogated British members Irene and Frank Rietti in 1996, they established their Foundation O.T.O. Three years later, Fernee suffered the same fate, proof that even inquisitors are not safe from being summarily dismissed.
     Public apologies serve less as a punishment, than as a discouragement to further dissent and misbehaviour. The Caliphate’s control of public behaviour and its threats of inquisition and expulsion are more important than any idea of thought–reform. Though there are also attacks from the outside — useful because a common enemy tends to unite the group — the dominance within the group is the most ruthless: the leader lording it over members, while more dedicated members persecute the less committed; it’s a non–stop show within the Caliphate. Examples in ‘Fetish, Self–induction, Stigma, and Role Play’.

[55] Rainer Maria Rilke: ‘Das Buch der Bilder’, ‘Menschen bei Nacht’.

[56] According to the statements of various eye–witnesses, the Ordo Saturni Grand Master Dieter Heikaus stated several times that Ms. Zellhuber and he himself alone represented the lodge. I have seen for myself that Zellhuber, during meetings of the lodge (possibly supported by sex–magic and “rare drugs, of which I shall tell my prophet”?) was seized with spasms and had to retire to bed. Ms. Zellhuber still possesses one of the five egregore busts made by the Ordo Saturni. During a visit to my home, she once told me she had done a ritual dance on a swastika flag in the cellar of Heikaus's house. Her nervous breakdowns were seen by her as magical attacks, and answered with magical counter–attacks, for example against Walter Jantschik and former members of the O.S., or the Temple of Set. See also: Barbara Weisz and Ottmar Domainko (alias Marlene Leander) ‘Der OZ in der Krise — Requiem auf einen esoterischen Studierverein’ in ‘AHA’ 1993; facsimile in Koenig, ‘Nosferati’, p. 337.

[57]We call the GOTOS ‘venerable’ in the Ordo Saturni [...] We bring to You, GOTOS UTUIT, the perfect and spotless sacrifice. Sor. Lara [Ms. Zellhuber] daughter of the night, carry out the Holy Work [...] GOTOS UTUIT, with sperm I anoint your head [...] Sanctus Saturnus, you cannot tolerate treason, you do not tolerate infidelity, you punish all who wish to harm the Ordo Saturni (and Sor. Lara) [...] Agiel, Sanctus Saturnus, Zazel, Adonai, Braphiel, Barzabel [...] Execute my divine will [...].” Allegedly drafted by Guido Wolther (alias ‘Daniel’ also a former Grand Master of the Fraternitas Saturni), spiced with sperm, Crowley and Thelemic ideas by Dieter Heikaus. Talk with Ms. Zellhuber/Lara on 14–10–1992.

[58] For example 22–10–1920: “I am the Beast [...] I am Thelema” and 27–5–1917: ‘”I myself AIWAZ have been considering all the time how to act as to Crowley's body and mind.” 14–6–1917: “I am getting quite to the point of habitual recognition of myself as AIWAZ.” In both cases, AIWAZ is spelt in Hebrew letters.

[59] There are several attempts at a definition of what can be understood by the so–called ‘Oedipal phase’. In the O.T.O. phenomenon context there is a liasion between father–figures and mother–roles; or in other words, with Crowley, the order and the rituals. On rituals see ‘Fetish, Self–induction, Stigma, and Role Play’.

[60] There are several attempts at a definition of what can be understod by “neurosis”. Briefly, neuroses are connected with the need to forget aspects of reality at the partial cost of its perception.

[61] As with the term “neurosis” there are several attempts at defining what we can understand by “psychosis”. Here I take “psychosis” to connote the need to acquire partial realities outside mainstream perception.

[62] Sigmund Freud: ‘Die Zukunft einer Illusion’, Vienna 1927; volume 2, Frankfurt am Main 1978, p. 357. The prohibition of killing the father is connected with the incest taboo and the Oedipus complex. If a boy, during his Oedipal phase of development desires his mother or sister, the taboo prohibits the desired pacification.

© Peter R. Koenig, 2011/2017.

Several parts are taken from and

Translation by Mark Parry–Maddocks.

The Creative Power. Golems and Homunculi.

This is a shortened sub–chapter from Der O.T.O.–Phänomen RELOAD.

At the right: Golem and P.R. Koenig in Prague.

Secrets of the Rosicrucians, Templars and the Illuminati

Secrets of the Rosicrucians, Templars and the Illuminati, Peter-Robert Koenig

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