Many Hands for Blake – July 21

storage room

Over the years the Lodge has accumulated a lot of stuff and things have drifted into the main path of escape if the door isn’t available.

With us starting to rent the space out and have larger events this MUST change for the safety of ourselves and our guests.

Many hands make light work. This is a reorganization so that:

– Commonly used things are stored neatly at the front
– The path to the fire escape is clear and stands a chance of remaining so
– The back storage area is still available

Please come help assist in this reorganization that improves the safety of the lodge for everyone!

Can’t move heavy things? Come anyway and keep us in drinks and snacks or do one of the other less taxing tasks that keep the Lodge running comfortably.

10:00am-1:00pm
Price: free. Bring snacks and beverages to share!

Requiem Gnostic Mass – July 21

gold cup

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 3:30pm. Please arrive no earlier than 3:00pm and no later than 3:20pm. Once the ritual 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.

A dear brother recently passed from the land of the living and we will be honoring his memory by naming him in The End collect of the Gnostic Mass. If there is a deceased person whom you would like recognized in this way, please email contact@williamblakeoto.org with their name.

$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.

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?

Baltimore Reiki Share (Open) – July 7

Hands with light around them

We will have a special celebration and study of the Japanese “Tanabata” 七夕 Star Festival before beginning the Baltimore Reiki Share this evening. “Tanabata celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. In present-day Japan, people generally celebrate this day by writing wishes, sometimes in the form of poetry, on tanzaku (短冊 tanzaku), small pieces of paper, and hanging them on bamboo. The bamboo and decorations are often set afloat on a river or burned after the festival, around midnight or on the next day.”

Reiki Master/Instructor Richard A. Davis will then lead a Reiki Share and give free Reiki Level 1 (Shoden 初伝 – “First Teaching”) Attunements (Reiju 霊授) to attendees. Anyone is welcome to come and receive a Reiki treatment, or practice giving Reiki to those who are willing to receive it.

Richard began studying Reiki in Florida in 2007, studied under and received attunements from Reiki Masters in Tokyo and Kyoto from 2008-2010, has visited several sacred sites of Reiki, Shinto, and Shingon Buddhism such as Mt. Kurama, Mt. Fuji, and Mt. Koya, and has taught and attuned hundreds of students to Reiki since 2010 in Tokyo, Texas, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, and DC. We will also study Reiki’s compatibility with such practices as Yoga, Asana, as Pranayama as they relate to one’s spiritual development. Our group’s study of Reiki will examine the influences of Mount Kurama, Esoteric Buddhism, and Japanese language and culture on the Reiki system, in addition to teaching techniques from both the Eastern and Western lineages that have been the most effective for Reiki treatments.

Whether you are a beginner or already attuned to the Master/Teaching level of Reiki, all paths and all practitioners are welcome to join our Baltimore Reiki Share and learn more about the Japanese view of Reiki, the cultural influences on the Sacred Symbols, and how these concepts are understood in the Japanese language. Attendees will also examine the connections Reiki has to the mythos and deities of Mount Kurama, and come to appreciate the full meaning of the Reiki Principles written by Usui Mikao through an in-depth study of their Japanese/English translation. Our primary aim is to cultivate a holistic sense of understanding that can be passed on and shared with all practitioners of Reiki.

5:00pm
Please arrive no earlier than 4:30pm and no later than 4:55pm.
Suggested Donation: $10 (No donation necessary to attend.)