by Soror Puella Dux
This article is referring to OTO’s decision to limit the Gnostic Mass roles to certain genders (Priest must be male, Priestess must be female), a gender essentialist position which also relegates non-binary individuals to the Deacon Sacerdote position. And yes, this article is satire.
Thelema is all about personal freedom. Nevertheless, with freedom comes responsibility. In order to run a church that will have any kind of broad acceptance, we need to avoid confusing the public. Our E.G.C. rules around gender and clergy balance this need with our freedom of choice. This is why if Aleister Crowley were alive today and wanted to serve as Priestess in the Gnostic Mass, I would suggest he write his own ritual.
The rules of our church are as wise as they are woke. The office of Priestess shall be filled by a woman. This means an individual assigned female at birth, or a transgender individual who identifies as a woman in her daily life as well as her spiritual practice. If Aleister Crowley aka “Alys Cusack” were alive today, he would be impressed by the precise wording of this rule just as much as by the fact that it excluded him from serving in a female role.
Aleister Crowley did not self-identify exclusively as male or female. In his spiritual practice, he sometimes identified as female. He even said that those who attain in A∴A∴ are women, regardless of what gender they were assigned at birth. By today’s standards, Aleister Crowley would be considered non-binary or genderqueer and therefore a transgender individual. But times change, and rules are rules. This is why if Aleister Crowley wanted to serve as Priestess in the Gnostic Mass, I would warmly and without a hint of condescension suggest he write his own ritual and perform that one instead.
Aleister Crowley said that the soul of each individual was beyond male or female. Truth cannot be captured by simple binaries like “man” or “woman”. We have to get beyond all that! But there is such a thing as going too far. Which is why if Aleister Crowley were alive today and wanted to sit naked on the altar, I’d say, “Sir! That’s what private masses are for!”
E.G.C. is all about the New Aeon, and the Gnostic Mass is about celebrating sexual freedom. No one would be in a better position to appreciate how far we’ve come besides Aleister Crowley. But Crowley would also understand our reluctance to create a public spectacle. We Thelemites believe in freedom of expression. That’s why if Crowley were alive today and wanted to serve as Priestess in the Gnostic Mass, he’d totally understand that Liber XV was written for a specific purpose, and if he wants to express his “alternative” lifestyle, he’s free to write and perform his own ritual instead.
- Gnostic Mass Heresy: Breaking OTO’s Binary
- Breaking The Binary In The New Aeon
- Atu XV: The Key To Unlocking The Binary Of Liber XV
- Gender Is Not A Zero-Sum Game
- Heteronormativity And Gender Essentialism In Thelemic Ritual And Communities
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