Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Happy New Year Anno Vix!
“Let the rituals be rightly performed with joy & beauty! There are rituals of the elements and feasts of the times” – AL I:35
The holy season is upon us once more. For most of us, this busy time of year brings a flurry of activity around the Equinox for various reasons. The OTO is an eclectic bunch and we bring a broad range of traditions into the mix – many of which have their own special days of celebration that fall around or on the Equinox itself. The change of season and abundance of the harvest make this a natural time of feasting and celebration in many cultures and spiritual traditions. For Thelemites, the new year falls on 20th March and a two-part roman numeral system (based on the Tarot) is used to number the years. Happy New Year Vix (5-9)!
The Equinox of the Gods: A New Perspective Another thing that makes this season special in Thelema is that, in tandem with recognition of physical geographic changes, we also commemorate the spiritual Equinox of the Gods, in which the initiatic formula of Osiris is superseded by that of Horus – specifically Horus in the form of Ra Hoor Khuit. Ra Hoor Khuit appears in the Third Chapter of Thelema’s primary holy text, Liber AL vel Legis (received 8th, 9th and 10th April, 1904), and so it’s fitting that we also celebrate the Reception of Liber AL (pronounced ‘el’) during our holy season. A change of initiatic formula is a change of spiritual perspective. The dominant expression of the initiatic formula of Osiris for the last two thousand years or so is Christianity. Those who adopt this spiritual perspective frequently use certain specific Bible verses to summarize that point of view:
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." -- Psalm 51:5 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” -- Romans 3:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” -- Romans 6:23 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -- John 3:16
For many in the West, especially those with Christian backgrounds, these statements may sound so familiar that we forget that they represent a very specific outlook on the universe - as opposed to, say, a Roman outlook, a Mayan outlook, or a Native American outlook. Likewise, to say that one is a Thelemite is to say that one has adopted a specific spiritual point of view. The spiritual perspective of Thelema is often summarized by using specific verses from Liber AL, such as:
“Every man and every woman is a star.” -- AL I:3
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” -- AL I:40
“Love is the law, love under will.” -- AL I:57
“Remember all yea that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.” -- AL II:9 “Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.” -- AL II:20 “Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!”
“There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.” -- AL III:60
As thoughts inform actions, so does adopting a new outlook on things. One’s perspective is the basis for one’s decisions and actions.
A New Year Challenge: Think and Act
“I am the Hawk-Headed Lord of Silence & of Strength... There is a splendour in my name hidden and glorious, as the sun of midnight is ever the son.” – AL III:70, 74
At this special season for Thelemites, a two-part (silent/hidden and strong /glorious) challenge to all of us might be a good way to start the new year. The silent & hidden part is internal: to think about what it means to be a Thelemite, specifically (versus any other kind of spiritual path). Of all the perspectives out there, why choose the Thelemic one? What it is specifically about Thelema that resonates with you? The strong & glorious part is external: to get “out there” and Do our will. It’s not a mistake that the ‘Do’ in AL III:60 is capitalized. Ra-Hoor-Khuit is a god of Action, of Doing, of Going. Thinking is in vain if it doesn’t result in Doing. If the sun of midnight is to rise as the Son, action is required. But action ... to what end? As the Thelemic tradition of saying ‘will’ before meals reminds us, all of the actions that we consider to be part of our will are to be dedicated to the accomplishment of the Great Work. I urge you ever onward to your Goal at this festive time of year. Love is the law, love under will. Frater T