Gnostic Mass – August 18

a gold chalice

The Gnostic Mass (Liber XV) is a ritual celebrating the union of the divine male and female through the pageantry of the lance and the cup. The ceremony culminates in a sacrament of a cake and wine consumed by the participants in the congregation. The ritual is graceful, joyful and a high dramatic ritual rich in esoteric and ecclesiastical overtones. The ritual officers consist of a priestess, priest, deacon and two “children” representing the positive and negative polarities. The Gnostic Mass is the central ritual of Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O., or the Order of Oriental Templars) and was written in 1913 by Aleister Crowley. Water is available for those who choose not to drink alcohol. Please notify us in advance if bringing anyone under 18 to this ceremony (but they are certainly welcome).

The ceremony begins at 4:30pm. Doors open at 4:00pm. 

0nce the ceremony begins there will be no further access to the temple.

Baptism and/or confirmation available today by advance request. Please email contact@williamblakeoto.org to request either sacrament.

$10 admission; free for dues-current WBL members.
Note: admission fee waived for first-time visitors. If this is your first time at a Gnostic Mass, it’s a good idea to read the ritual ahead of time, so you’ll have some idea of what to expect. You can also watch a video 93 Impressions of a Gnostic Mass, or a video of the full Gnostic Mass.





Spirit Possession at Notocon XII

Could it be…Satan? Nah, it’s
Buné! Know your Goetia Kids!

WBL members James Gordon and Rebecca Doll presented at the Unconference track at Notocon XII on “Spirit Possession Rituals: Safety and Consent – Lessons Learned,” drawing on several years of experience with rituals at WBL OTO, Azul Nox, and working with UTOS and other local groups.

The complete Handout and Notes are presented below. The Handout includes a history of spirit possession as a core element of religion dating back to 70,000 BCE, its relevance to Thelema, and a breakout of lessons learned concerning the safety of Attendees and Mediums.

Lilith Ritual (age 18+ only) – July 27

Lilith

Eclectic Witch High Priest Crimson Corvus Luna will lead a Lilith Ritual followed by a potluck feast. This ritual focuses on Lilith’s invitation to fly free from the shackles of our physical world and man’s patriarchal laws, to embrace our full unbridled power and essence of expression. She challenges us to move beyond patriarchal power and convention, to honor our hearts’ desires and true nature as Divine. She asks you to be loyal to your own inner passion and make no compromise to your authentic self. Her wisdom and power challenge all that we know of our culture, yet she leads us into the re-emergence of the Goddess ways of joy, pleasure and love as the core guiding wisdom.

Please plan to wear black robes or all black formal wear.

Adults only! There will be nudity.

Please bring a dish for the potluck feast.
If you plan to imbibe, bring an adult beverage to share.

5:00pm
Please arrive no earlier than 4:30pm and no later than 4:50pm.
$10 admission; free for dues-current WBL members.

What is Afro-Cuban Orisha Worship? – July 13-14

A beautiful collection of ceremonial beads

Afro-Cuban Orisha Worship, or Lucumí, is an African diasporic religion that is rich in culture and beauty. The Orishas are like demi-godforms who interact with us here on earth and intercede for us with Olodumare or God as we journey through life. They teach us through stories and divination. We honor them in song and dance. Come join us at William Blake Lodge as Brother Jeren (an Olocha of 15 years) shares his knowledge of this practice and a bit of his own journey with the Orishas.

Saturday will begin with a small ceremony where we will ask the Ancestors for blessings as we open ourselves to learn about this dynamic practice. Afterward will be a group discussion of how we all incorporate the honoring of the Ancestors in our own practices, setting the tone for a look at some history about the Orishas in the New World and specifically Cuba. Throughout the day we will talk about the Orishas, their stories, cosmology, stories, divination, and, if there is time, some song and dance. How do any of these concepts correlate to Thelema? All of these discussions are welcome.

Sunday will be individual divination sessions for those from Saturday who are interested. Readings run about an hour, though sometimes longer.

Saturday lunch is provided.

10:00am-6:00pm both days
Please arrive no earlier than 9:30am
Admission: Saturday $25; $15 for dues-current WBL members. Sunday readings $30 per person.


What is Afro-Cuban Orisha Worship?

Heaven & Hell wants you!

Cover of 2018 Edition of Heaven and Hell

Looking to contribute to the next issue of Heaven and Hell? The next volume will focus on Witchcraft and the intersection of Thelema and Witchcraft, but other contributions are welcome and encouraged. Materials should be submitted in rich text format, and will be accepted through June 30, 2019. Please email deputy@williamblakeoto.org for details, or to contribute submissions. Feel free to also email for queries or to let us know about planned submissions.

Theme: The Intersection of Witchcraft and Thelema
Our focus for the 2019 issue will be on the Intersection of Thelema and Witchcraft. Submissions can be within this theme, related to elements of this theme, or not thematic at all.

Some Ideas for Thematic Submissions

  • Regarding the shared history, or shared practices or concepts between Thelema and modern witchcraft
  • Thelemic readings of traditional witchcraft practices and history
  • Thelemic varieties of Modern Witchcraft (Gardnerian, Hawk and Jackal, Parsons)
  • Witchcraft and traditional learned magic
  • Cunningfolk and ceremonial magic
  • Materials on witchcraft, historical, traditional, or modern

Ideas for Non-Thematic Submissions
essays, articles, poetry or artwork concerning:

  • Thelema
  • magic – modern or traditional
  • spirituality
  • sex/sexuality
  • mysticism
  • ideas of interest for Thelemites, Magicians, and Mystics

Format
Please submit in Rich Text Format. Please avoid significant special formatting. Submissions should not have decorative artwork unless discussed prior but may contain artwork which illustrates the topics in the written work.

Length
Submissions may be of any length. We are not worried about them being too long or too short. 

Rights
Authors retain all rights to their work but grant us permission to use It in this and any other print, electronic, or online editions of Heaven and Hell or other WBL publications. 

Infinite Stars Chapter of Rose Croix presents: How I Got Advanced to Fifth Degree – June 23

rose

Please note that this event takes place at Azul Nox Oasis in scenic Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Hopefully you’ve read the Minerval Guide regarding “Eligibility and Advancement” in OTO, but what does someone actually DO with themselves to get advanced to the Lover’s Triad? What kinds of projects, services, and activities have contributed to people reaching “the natural stopping place?” Three Infinite Stars Chapter members will spend 30 minutes each sharing their stories about what they think happened (because some of us still aren’t sure!) to get them advanced to Fifth Degree.

2:00pm-3:30pm at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg

Thelemic Rite of Dionysos – July 6

Dionysian revels

It’s madness I tell you! Pure and utter madness! Or just a wicked good time. Perhaps the closest you’ll come to attending bacchanalia, but with a modern sensibility. This ritual, wildly popular, and back by popular demand will invoke The God Who Comes. Dance, revel, drink flowing wine, and cry the names of Dionysos as you destroy the things which prevent success, happiness, and freedom within your life, and as we alchemically transform the bonds which enslave the spirit into the true symbol of freedom. If you’ve ever considered exploring dramatic ritual, this is a truly intense opportunity, if you’ve participated in rituals before, we’re sure you’ll find this one worth your time. Through dance, chanting, wine, and a bit of antinomian blasphemy we’ll breach the bounds of ecstasis. Wine and cakes will be served after the ritual. Your contributions of other treats are welcome!

Please arrive no earlier than 8:00pm and no later than 8:20pm
$20 admission; $5 for dues-current members; $5 additional discount for potluck contributions.

A Demon’s Sabbat, Celebrating Tobias’s Birth and His Successes – June 15

The altar of Tobias at William Blake Lodge

Over the time since the William Blake Lodge 25th Anniversary at which we conjured the Demon Doolas from the Book of the Offices of Spirits to provide our lodge with a familiar, we have worked well with Tobias, the demon familiar who was provided to us by Doolas. Tobias has been credited with helping us rebuild our environment and draw in truly excellent people. Tobias’s efforts are compensated with alcohol, incense, and a spirit home. For this ritual we will celebrate Tobias by bringing him into the temple and engaging him in a more freeform spirit ritual inspired by those supposed of the “other magicians” who practiced wilder more direct spirit magic than that of the learned conjurers. Join us for chanting, drinking, drumming and celebration. Bring alcohol to offer to Tobias or to share with your lodgemates.

Please arrive no earlier than 7:00pm and no later than 7:20pm.
$10 admission; free for dues-current WBL members.