Thelema and Theism


“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”

In an answer on Tumblr it was stated that “Thelema is atheistic”.

I do not think this is entirely correct.

 

Stele

First of all we have to distinguish between atheism, nontheism, apatheism and so on. Atheism is a statement that one does not belive in the existence of Deity.

Several religions dont have a central God but this leaves them either nontheistic or transtheistic  Crowley mentions that we dont know wether God(s) exist or not (and it is not relevant to the great work any more than faith is ).

Buddhism and Taoism are fundamentally and originally nontheistic, or in short, religions without a central or creating Deity.

Later versions ,syncretized with local polytheistic cults have made them rather transtheistic. Meaning that there is no ultimate God. Ultimate truth is not a sentient being or “God” but a “state” (actually not even that term suffices….since no term does). Their Gods are in a sense like man (though on a “higher” level), on the way to the same goal, the same union or henotheosis with the ultimate.monadic truth.

Similar thoughts could be found in ancient Greece among several philosophers.

Terms like Kether (Kabbalah), Bythos (Gnosticism), Monad (Neoplatonism) and in the east Moksha, Nirvana and so on being this first emanation without duality (and thus obviously without a “personality” too).

To categorally say that all Thelemites are atheists is simply wrong ( i am not an atheist and i have been a “devout” Thelemite for over 20 years ).

Among fellow Thelemites there are differing ideas on Deity, cosmology, objective reality and even wether Thelema is a religion or not (Crowley makes statements to both ).

Defining Deity is a problem within comparative religion and philosophy of religion that one encounters rather soon.

Anthropologists have the same problems with “Religion, Magic, Good, Evil” and many other “Christocentric” concepts that doesent nessecarly apply to another culture or philosophy.

Besides, the argument is made that the only “Divinity” in Thelema is “the universe”. That would make it Pantheistic, not Atheistic.

In some cases there is not only cultural or philosophical differences to the concept of “Gods” but also demi Gods, daemones, angels, lwas / orixas and other supernatural beings to wich there are different opinions to wether they are “Gods” or not.

Clear is that Crowley did think of supernatural beings influencing the lives of man (in one way or another). I´m thinking of (some of ) “The Secret Chiefs” that seems to be more than human.

If Aiwass, why not Michael? If Michael, why not Thor?

There is also a statement that Satanists do not generally worship Satan or think of him a a literal Deity.

This is correct for LaVeyan Satanism (wich actually states that it is,literally, atheistic) and other “philosophical Satanism”.

There are however several (and quite diverse ) forms of Theistic Satanisms.

Both Gnostic such, “inverted Christianity” and others.

Just like entire ontologies, cosmologies and epistemologies of different religions differ, so does their concepts of “God(s)”.

The Greek “Theoi”, Roman “Dei”, Norse “Aesir” and Egyptian “Netjeru” are not understood exactly the same, even if Christian ethnocentrics call them all by the Germanic term “God”.

God is not even viewed the same way throughout Christendom (with rather big differences like unitarian, trinitarian and even monolatric views of him as a physical being ).

Complex philosophical systems focused on the individual such as Thelema will obviously render diverse thoughts on the concept too.

One Liber Al quote that is supose to disprove the existence of anything supernatural is: “Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof.” And, the text states that “there is no other God than me.” .

To ME it clearly says “there is no OTHER God than me”

If you now look at “Every man and every woman is a star”

The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.”

Hadit being a point of view (a center, a “star” or “khab”), Nuit being the starry sky, the circumference / sum of all possabilities, each star being a Hadit from it´s own point of view that statement makes perfect sense (and in a sense also proves your own divinity ).

In short, if Jehova literally exists, his “center” would also be Hadit and he to a “star”.

This would be equally true for Santa Claus though.

Liber Al II: 23 says : “I am alone: there is no God where I am.”

This being Hadit, too makes sense. Like the Thelemic Hermit (who is not alone at all in the traditional sense ) he says that he is “alone”. Being the center of the center of the center ad infinitum, ofcourse he is alone. Hence “center”. There can only be one absolute middle.

AC

The quote “There is no God but man” is also presented in the answer, given with a clear “only truth” interpretation despite the fact that this can be seen in a number of philosophical ways, including Gnostic ones, solipsistic ones and a bunch of others (and some of them combinable ).

The question is not “Is Thelema Theistic in any sense of the word”, but “Is this Thelemite Theistic in any sense of the word?”.

 

“Love is the law, love under will”

“Healing” and Healing!!!


Maybe i´m not really that pissed that i´m still coughing my lungs up.

I´ve been sick before.

Sooner or later germs tend to get the hell away, deciding i´m to icky for them.

Maybe the answer from Eir and other Gods would give me sense of order.

Order in the universe and a sense of control.

A mere cough would be a shitty thing to complain about.

My human tribe being greatly diminished perhaps the Divine and Ancestral part of the tribe is what keeps me together, makes me belong.

Gives me a place.

Polytheism


When i search for polytheism on Tumblr i get a whole lot of not so educated Abrahamic “monotheistic” bullshit, rewriting history and explaining what is wrong with it.

Too bad.

1. To refer to polythistic religions as primitive is not only bigotry but outright stupid.

These are customs and cultures that in many cases where around in one form or another for thousands of years before two guys invented Christianity in Rome (and no, neither was named Jesus and only one of them even met him).

2.Abrahamic “monotheists” (i only consider certain forms of Islam as truly monotheistic. Christianity is a text book case of soft polytheism….just like most forms of Hinduism) like to spell God with a capital “G” when its a monotheistic God, and with a “g” when its a polytheistic God. That says a lot.

3.Romantic shrines to pagan Gods, supposedly Germanic, built in Victorian times or during the nazi romanticism are NOT part of any culture, Germanic or otherwise.

Well. Now there is a post by a polytheist, about polytheism tagged “Polytheism”

Heathen idols and cult objects


Mjollnir (Danish type)

A silver charm in the form of Thor's hammer, Mjollnir, crafted in Uppland, Sweden, during the 10th century. The hammer was named after the thunderbolt with which Thor defended the gods from their enemies, and the ornamentation incorporates a pair of staring eyes. 10th century


Drinking horn. Can (but doesent have to) be used for libations in blot and in Symbel


Key(s). Important as a symbol (as well as ...well,key) for the female authority of the homestead and lands (when the man was away authority did NOT pass to some brother or eldest son but to the wife. Women where often buried with their keys as an object of authority, power and status).Modern Thor Altar

Anglo / Saxon Fyrn Sidy Altar

Mjollnir By Casper Art

Weapons. Free men (the karls) we expected to bear arms (there where no military or police to turn to). It should be said that an axe or a knife constituded a weapon then as now. Men where buried with weapons.

Freya with cats (Modern)

Silver hoard, Gotland,Sweden Iron Age

Hammer and Oath Ring. The ring is held during the swearing of oaths.

The Norse people where always a boating people (notice that i´m not saying longship, you dont need them for fishing) Gudvangen, Norway (by scott photos)

Horses has always been important for Germanic peoples.


Religion as a Christian concept


 Religion as a Christian concept The social constructionists In recent years, some academic writers have described religion according to the theory of social constructionism, which considers how ideas and social phenomena develop in a social context. Among the main proponents of this theory of religion are Timothy Fitzgerald, Daniel Dubuisson and Talad Assad. The social constructionists argue that religion is a modern concept that developed from Christianity and was then applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures and European pre Christian cultures.

The social constructionists

In recent years, some academic writers have described religion according to the theory of social constructionism, which considers how ideas and social phenomena develop in a social context. Among the main proponents of this theory of religion are Timothy Fitzgerald, Daniel Dubuisson and Talad Assad. The social constructionists argue that religion is a modern concept that developed from Christianity and was then applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures and European pre Christian cultures.

Similar views to social constructionism have been put forward by writers who are not social constructionists. George Lindbeck, a Lutheran and a postliberal theologian, says that religion does not refer to belief in “God” or a transcendent Absolute, but rather to “a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought … it is similar to an idiom that makes possible the description of realities, the formulation of beliefs, and the experiencing of inner attitudes, feelings, and sentiments.” Nicholas de Lange, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, says that “The comparative study of religions is an academic discipline which has been developed within Christian theology faculties, and it has a tendency to force widely differing phenomena into a kind of strait-jacket cut to a Christian pattern. The problem is not only that other ‘religions’ may have little or nothing to say about questions which are of burning importance for Christianity, but that they may not even see themselves as religions in precisely the same way in which Christianity sees itself as a religion.”

Similar views to social constructionism have been put forward by writers who are not social constructionists. George Lindbeck, a Lutheran and a postliberal theologian, says that religion does not refer to belief in “God” or a transcendent Absolute, but rather to “a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought … it is similar to an idiom that makes possible the description of realities, the formulation of beliefs, and the experiencing of inner attitudes, feelings, and sentiments.” Nicholas de Lange, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Cambridge University, says that “The comparative study of religions is an academic discipline which has been developed within Christian theology faculties, and it has a tendency to force widely differing phenomena into a kind of strait-jacket cut to a Christian pattern. The problem is not only that other ‘religions’ may have little or nothing to say about questions which are of burning importance for Christianity, but that they may not even see themselves as religions in precisely the same way in which Christianity sees itself as a religion.”

Invocation


An invocation (from the Latin verb invocare ”to call on, invoke, to give”) may take the form of:

These forms are described below, but are not mutually exclusive. See also Theurgy.

AC as Osiris

Aleister Crowley as Osiris (in “Sign of Osiris risen – A 5-6 degree LVX sign, Golden Dawn)

A FORM OF POSSESSION

The word “possession” is used here in its neutral form to mean “a state (potentially psychological) in which an individual’s normal personality is replaced by another”. This is also sometimes known as ‘aspecting’. This can be done as a means of communicating with or getting closer to a deity or spirit and as such need not be viewed synonymously with demonic possession.

In some religious traditions including PaganismShamanism and Wicca, “invocation” means to draw a spirit or Spirit force into ones own body and is differentiated from “evocation”, which involves asking a spirit or force to become present at a given location. Again, Crowley states that

To “invoke” is to “call in”, just as to “evoke” is to “call forth”. This is the essential difference between the two branches of Magick. In invocation, the macrocosm floods the consciousness. In evocation, the magician, having become the macrocosm, creates a microcosm.

Possessive invocation may be attempted singly or, as is often the case in Wicca, in pairs – with one person doing the invocation (reciting the liturgy or prayers and acting as anchor), and the other person being invoked (allowing themselves to become a vessel for the spirit or deity). The person successfully invoked may be moved to speak or act in non-characteristic ways, acting as the deity or spirit; and they may lose all or some self-awareness while doing so. A communication might also be given via imagery (a religious vision). They may also be led to recite a text in the manner of that deity, in which case the invocation is more akin to ritual drama. The Wiccan Charge of the Goddess is an example of such a pre-established recitation. See also the ritual of Drawing Down the Moon.

The ecstatic, possessory form of invocation may be compared to loa possession in the Vodou tradition where devotees are described as being “ridden” or “mounted” by the deity or spirit. In 1995 National Geographic journalist Carol Beckwith described events she had witnessed during Vodoun possessions:

A woman splashed sand into her eyes, a man cut his belly with shards of glass but did not bleed, another swallowed fire. Nearby a believer, perhaps a yam farmer or fisherman, heated hand-wrought knives in crackling flames. Then another man brought one of the knives to his tongue. We cringed at the sight and were dumbfounded when, after several repetitions, his tongue had not even reddened.

Possessive invocation has also been described in certain Norse rites where Odin is invoked to “ride” workers of seidr (Norse shamanism), much like the god rides his eight-legged horseSleipnir. Indeed, forms of possessive invocation appear throughout the world in most mystical or ecstatic traditions, wherever devotees seek to touch upon the essence of a deity or spirit

 

AC as Foo Hee

Aleister Crowley as Pinyin 拼音 ,”The luaghing Buddha

 

Evocation


EVOCATION IS THE ACT OF CALLING OR SUMMONING A SPIRITDEMONGOD OR OTHER SUPERNATURAL AGENT, IN THE WESTERN MYSTERY TRADITION. COMPARABLE PRACTICES EXIST IN MANY RELIGIONS ANDMAGICAL TRADITIONS.

EVOCATION IN THE WESTERN MYSTERY TRADITION

John Dee and Edward Kellyevoking a spirit

The Latin word evocatio was the “calling forth” or “summoning away” of a city’s tutelary deity. The ritual was conducted in a military setting either as a threat during a siege or as a result of surrender, and aimed at diverting the god’s favor from the opposing city to the Roman side, customarily with a promise of better-endowed cult or a more lavish temple. Evocatio was thus a kind of ritual dodge to mitigate looting of sacred objects or images from shrines that would otherwise be sacrilegious or impious.

The calling forth of spirits was a relatively common practice in Neoplatonismtheurgy and other esoteric systems of antiquity. In contemporary western esotericism, the magic of the grimoires is frequently seen as the classical example of this idea. Manuals such as the Greater Key of Solomon the King, The Lesser Key of Solomon (or Lemegeton), the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage and many others provided instructions that combined intense devotion to the divine with the summoning of a personal cadre of spiritual advisers and familiars.

The grimoires provided a variety of methods of evocation. The Spirits are, in every case, commanded in the name of God – most commonly using cabalistic and Hellenic ‘barbarous names’ added together to form long litanies. The magician used wands, staves, incense and fire, daggers and complex diagrams drawn on parchment or upon the ground. In Enochian magic, spirits are evoked into a crystal ball or mirror, in which a human volunteer (a ‘seer’) is expected to be able to see the spirit and hear its voice, passing the words on to the evoker. Sometimes such a seer might be an actual medium, speaking as the spirit, not just for it. In other cases the spirit might be ‘housed’ in a symbolic image, or conjuring into a diagram from which it cannot escape without the magician’s permission.

While many later, corrupt and commercialised grimoires include elements of ‘diabolism’ and one (The Grand Grimoire) even offers a method for making a pact with the devil, in general the art of evocation of spirits is said to be done entirely under the power of the divine. The magician is thought to gain authority among the spirits only by purity, worship and personal devotion and study.

In more recent usage, evocation refers to the calling out of lesser spirits (beneath the deific or archangelic level), sometimes conceived of as arising from the self. This sort of evocation is contrasted with invocation, in which spiritual powers are called into the self from a divine source.

Important contributors to the concept of evocation include Henry Cornelius AgrippaFrancis BarrettSamuel Liddell MacGregor MathersAleister CrowleyFranz Bardon and Kenneth Grant. The work of all of these authors can be seen as attempts to systematize and modernize the grimoiric procedure of evocation. Only more modern authors, such as Peter Carrolland Konstantinos, have attempted to describe evocation in a way independent enough from the grimoiric tradition to fit similar methods of interaction with alleged supernatural agents in other traditions.

However, the most enthusiastic and romantically inspired figure in the field of evocation/invocation arts and overall a devotee of the Western mystical tradition is known today by the name of Carol “Poke” Runyon, the Grand Magus of O.T.A. and the author of several books, who attempted to describe particularities of ceremonial working in order to summon spirits to “physical appeareance” and even provided a video as an example of going through a real process of “Solomonic Magick” which is an alternative name for Goetia or simply a complex of techniques to conjure lesser deities of a lower astral realm (demons) to the temple of the magician.

Native American ”conjuror” in a 1590 engraving

Conjuration in traditional and most contemporary usage refers to a magical act of invoking spirits or using incantations or charms to cast magical spells. In the context of legerdemain, it may also refer to the performance of illusion or magic tricks for show. This article discusses mainly the original and primary usage, describing acts of a supernatural or paranormal nature.

The word conjuration (from Latin conjureconjurare, to “swear together”) can be interpreted in several different ways: as an invocation orevocation (the latter in the sense of binding by a vow); as an exorcism; and as an act of producing effects by magical means.

The word is often used synonymously with terms such as “invocation” or “evocation” or “summoning”, although many authors find it useful to maintain some distinction between these terms. The term “conjuring” is also used as a general term for casting spells in some magical traditions, such as Hoodoo. In that context, amulets and talismans are often kept in a “conjure bag” and “conjuring oils” may be used to anoint candles and other magical supplies and thus imbue them with specific magical powers.

Alternatively, the term “conjuration” may be used refer to an act of illusionism or legerdemain, as in the performance of magic tricks for entertainment.

One who performs conjurations is called a conjurer or conjuror. The word (as conjuration or conjurison) was formerly used in its Latin meaning of “conspiracy”.