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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13 thoughts on “If Aleister Crowley wants to be Priestess, he should write his own ritual”
Energy is energy. If a ritual requires female energy, you cannot replace it with male….
If ritual calls for blood, do you use koolaid?
comum contém farinha de kamut, mel, algumas gotas de ” óleo de abramelin “, azeite, asas de abelha, cinzas e, às vezes, fluidos corporais específicos, como sêmen, fluidos vaginais ou uma mistura de ambos, e geralmente é cozido na forma de uma pequena bolacha plana.
Do you think men aren’t capable of having “female energy” & vice versa?
If my ritual requires semen, how will a woman do it?
Non binary people aren’t restricted to the DS role though. They are allowed to serve in the role that corresponds to their birth sex.
This is a brilliant little summary of so much that is wrong with the heteronormative take on the Mass in Liber XV.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.”
I never express My opinions publicly about subjects such as I’m about to state because Liber AL does not reference such subjects. In fact, AL makes it pretty clear of the significance of the symbolic roles that a Man and a Woman play in Nature,-Hence, in Ritual. However, it DOES state that…
“Every man and every woman is a star.” AL I(1):3
The goal in life is to discover Your role in the Universe for this existence and time in this place of mortality and follow that role. So, I want to make it clear that What I’m about to say is just MY opinion based on the beliefs that I have and NOT doctrine in Thelema.
For the LGBTQs’ community of categories, sub categories, titles and gender identities (etc.) I will simply refer to these as the “other” category. No offense intended for not using “technical” or “politically correct” terms, I just want to keep it simple for an easy reference.
I want to make it clear from the start that I view ALL humans as equal to Myself and as individuals in Their own right as human beings. I hold no judgement of a person for following What They feel is right for Themselves.
“(…) Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” AL I (1):40
There is Love and then there is Love. I Love all humans,-regardless of sexual “other” category. But I, personally, don’t Love the “other” categories for romantic &/or sexual relationships.
All these “other” categoric titles just complicate What can be defined simply. No matter what sex You feel You are suppose to be or that You dress as You’re STILL that sex You were biologically born as, no matter HOW You dress or What “other” category You want to label Yourself as. In MY opinion, You’re either straight, gay or bisexual. If You’ve got a penis, than You’re a man regardless of which sex You like to have sex with. If You’ve got a vagina, than You’re a woman no matter which sex You like to have sex with. If You feel like You’re a different sex than You were born as, than You’re still that sex You were born as. No matter which sex You like to have sex with.
The FACT is that You can get Your penis cut off and a vagina made (or vice versa) but Your DNA still says that You’re a man or woman based on the biological sex You were born as. No matter What sex change or hormones You might take, DNA will ALWAYS define What biological sex You are by birth.
Even if You have a sex change, if You get arrested, You’re going on the side of the biological sex body part that You have. If You have a penis, You go on the men’s side. If You have a vagina, You go on the women’s side. As far as prison is concerned, a penis is a penis and a vagina is a vagina. There’s no sexual sub categories and there’s no uni-sex/transgender/family bathrooms in prison.
The issue here is thus…
At the time of You go to have sex, You’ve gotta ask Yourself, “What am I going to do with this?” If You’ve got a penis, are You sticking it in an anus or a vagina? Because, regardless of How You dress or What sex You feel more comfortable as or identify with, it still boils down to “What am I going to do with this” When You take Your clothes off and get naked. And, What You’re doing with it is pretty much, for the most part, defines whether You are gay, straight or bisexual.
Now, I DO have to admit that it DOES frustrate Me that every time We see a rainbow now We have been programmed to think of all the “other” categories instead of a rainbow just being a beautiful thing. Those “other” categories take symbols and words that had an original meaning, redefine it and rename it.
Now I need to express MY opinion on the position that the O.T.O. takes on these subjects because, being a Thelemite Myself, I feel it is My responsibility to do so, it is a relivant subject of conversation and needs to be addressed.
I’m obviously not a Christian and don’t even endorse the institution of Marriage as needed to proclaim Your commitment to another person. I DO believe that the “other” categories should have the legal Right to get Married. But if You observe Nature and the Laws of procreation than You’ll have to admit that NOTHING in Nature Procreates without a “Male” and “Female” role in some form or another. So I endorse equality Laws for the “other” categories. However, from a “spiritual” point of view based on the observation of Nature, I’m opposed to any other type of relationship that is not Straight.
As far as the “Amended Vision and Values Statement” of the O.T.O., the O.T.O. HAS recently taken a (very controversial amongst O.T.O. members and Thelemites) new stance in regards to whether all the “other” categories can play Priest and Priestess roles different than the stereotypical Priest and Priestess roles as defined by Your biological sexual body parts. In other Words, the O.T.O. now approves of a member that biologically is a male CAN play the Priestess role in Ritual if “He” is gay or feels more like a woman (etc.) and vice versa. The sighting of this Amendment doesn’t SPECIFICALLY state What I just said but, that was the Amendment that was a direct result of the change to the new stance. So, the O.T.O. made a change that, in a very broad interpretation, can be understood to condone that new stance. When it comes to the O.T.O.s’ new stance on this subject I TOTALLY disagree with it and MY opinion has nothing to do with whether such “other” categories should have the legal equality rights or not. It has to do with the observation of Nature. Since ancient times these observations of Nature have defined the role of the symbology that defines the role of each of the Priest and Priestess. Which, in MY opinion, includes that a Man can not accurately represent a Woman (and vice versa) in Ritual.
(…) Love is the law, love under will. (…) AL I(1):57
With “blessing & worship”,
Daimeon Mac Aleister
In response to: “Even if You have a sex change, if You get arrested, You’re going on the side of the biological sex body part that You have. If You have a penis, You go on the men’s side. If You have a vagina, You go on the women’s side. As far as prison is concerned, a penis is a penis and a vagina is a vagina. There’s no sexual sub categories and there’s no uni-sex/transgender/family bathrooms in prison.”
Yes, the OTO should model its policies according to US prison standards.
In response to: “if You observe Nature and the Laws of procreation than You’ll have to admit that NOTHING in Nature Procreates without a “Male” and “Female” role in some form or another.”
I guess this means none of the 2000 or so species of asexual reproducers found in nature are real. No such thing as parthenogenesis; no cell mitosis either! /Shrug!
Wow, shoehorning heteronormative gender roles into Thelema? What would Lady Jaye Breyer and Genesis P-Orridge do?
It would be better if you avoided self-contradictions and moderate your beliefs to be more in line with reason
Here we go again… It’s gender essentialist… It’s a ritual! It’s a dramatic ritual, it’s a play! There’s a script where it says what should be said, done and by whom. If we do Macbeth, but the main character is the Danish prince Hamlet, it’s not Macbeth. It might not be Hamlet either, but it sure as hell ain’t Macbeth.
If Crowley wanted to be a priestess he would be fully aware that he was doing a different ritual. It would probably be a good one, great even, but it would not be the Gnostic Mass.
Why is it so hard for some people to understand: If Stan wants to have babies, but doesn’t have a womb, he can’t have babies. He can get kids in other ways, but not that way. He can be Loretta, but he can’t carry a baby in a womb he doesn’t have.
Can we please stop discussing Stan’s baby-situation? It won’t change it.
When did the Thelemic community go completely off the rails?
A ritual is more than just a symbolic play, (In fact the play done publicly is really meant to be instructions for the real thing done privately.) The public ritual does not actually mix sperm and blood, the alchemy or the actual ritual does. You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip, so it does not make any sense to change up the gendered roles in the mass.
If a recipe calls for orange juice and you try to juice an apple that was painted orange, that may be good enough for a display in a dramatic exposition, so long as the people believe its a real orange and so long as no one tastes the result.
But when you do the real recipe you need a real orange. When you put a clearly fake orange on display it’s an insult to your audience. You are breaking the forth wall and really being a bit deceptive.
The Ritual requires alchemy be represented symbolically, and you should try to be as convincing as possible. A beach ball painted orange is not fooling anyone, and a bearded man with a beer gut sitting on the altar isn’t either!
I find myself disappointed in how… limited self-professed Thelemites here are. Egos so huge, brains so unimpressive. We may all be stars, but there’s some dim ones ’round these parts.