A.˙.A.˙. End of Term Essay
While much is known about the numerous O.H.O’s of the O.T.O over the years, it seems that little, if anything at all, has been openly published about the I.H.O. (Inner Head of the Order) Who or what holds this mysterious position? Is it even possible that anyone at all fills this position? Having an O.H.O certainly implies an I.H.O, and one can automatically assume that anything with an outer must have an inner. Are we not all presenting an outer face to the world while keeping our inner self hidden? So, then this perhaps implies also that the Outer and Inner Heads are one and the same. In the case of Aleister Crowley this fits well with the theory. The outer man, magician, mountaineer, poet, sexually anomalous drug addict, adventurer, and general, “man about town”, but behind this mask is the Hidden God, to borrow from the title of Kenneth Grant’s excellent work. 1 The Hidden God who feeds off the pleasures sought out by its host; although this sounds more like Nosferatu, than a God. Our “God” lies bathing in a chandu induced dream world of, what for us, is realty. The question now needed to be asked is whether this is this true of all O.H.O’s? The Ordo Templi Orientis to give its full title, is the Order of the Rising Sun, the sun from the east the place of the yellow river in China whose journey along the stream of the heavens (the milky way) ends in the west followed by the rising of the star Sirius or child Horus and his twin brother, Set. He is the crowned and conquering child, and sun / son, but not the son of the father, the Christ of Christian theology, but the son of the Beast, the antichrist the false profit. Yet ultimately his fate too is sealed for: “He walks away, The sun goes down, He takes the day But I’m grown, And in your way, In this blue shade, My tears dry on their own.” 2 This line has profound meaning with reference to the Typhonian tradition and further the quabalistic indications within the work present us with a viable working formula. With this reference we can also appreciate the importance of the last major work by Aleister Crowley.3 One is also reminded of the line in Liber AL III v47, “it shall be his child and that strangely.” The verse that includes a cipher along the path of the serpent to the true Word of the Aeon. The Word which can only be uttered by a Magus in silence. The Word which is uttered by the true son / sun of the Beast, because the Beast is incapable of uttering the Word. Once uttered the son / sun is then free to return to his rightful throne in the starry heaven as the Sun at Midnight.
The initials O.T.O reminds one of the German name OTTO which means, “wealth”, “fortune”. However, in terms of the O.T.O this has nothing to do with wealth in its material sense of money, property and assets and so on, and this is the mistake that Germer and his successors have made, and continue to make. Rather, it is the wealth of the noble harvest which is at the heart of the O.T.O. This brings into focus the connection between the O.T.O and The Priory of Sion with it’s royal bloodline. With the double “T” it suggests an Order with twin towers and is represented in the zodiac by Gemini, the twins Set and Horus. So, if we should consider the “T” as double what other word could it possibly stand for? My suggestion is, “Temporal”. So, now we are left with two Orders represented by the doubling of the letter “T”. The Ordo Templi Orientis and the secular Ordo Temporalis Orientis. Looking at the word, “Orient” as “from the east”, we should be reminded that as a verb it means to “adapt”, or “adjust”. Similarly, the Latin word, “occasus”, means “a setting”, “ruin” and “downfall” and the west. This would then give us two choices for the “O” leaving us finally with: Ordo Templi Orientis and Ordo Temporis Occasus, “Occasus” being the opposite to the Orient, or east. Are we being given a choice, or are we being mislead? Of course it is without question that the sun shines brighter than the star Sirius. So, to simplify things we can now see that the “T” in O.T.O is really double, indicated by the upper bar, offering us two choices or paths.
After Crowley’s death in 1947 Karl Germer succeed Crowley as O.H.O of this Order, complete with a satchel of lack lustre enthusiasm, but did he succeeded as I.H.O too? Would he have been willing, or even qualified to take on both of roles? This is a difficult question to really answer fully, but in my opinion, no he didn’t, nor was he in anyway adapt enough. But then of course this raises the question as to who did succeeded Crowley as I.H.O? Who was the real driving force behind the O.T.O at this time and indeed, now? Here we begin to move onto more difficult and controversial ground. We are entering the tunnels of Set with nothing but hail stones raining down upon us. It is clear from both Crowley’s and Grant’s writings at the period covering 1944 – 47 that they had a close and special relationship. In fact, Crowley made it quite clear to Germer that Grant was key to the continuing of the Order and that he should maintain in special position in the Order, despite bathing in his halcyon days. Crowley clearly recognised in Grant something unique. Crowley had awarded Grant with the IX° O.T.O. for Grant’s proven ability to give a the true explanation of that degree,4 something which has never openly been disclosed or published at that time, or now. Grant was clearly more qualified and skilled in, “occult matters” than Germer. He was busy editing Crowley’s work along with John Symonds, while publishing his own researches in his, “Typhonian Trilogies”. He also founded an offshoot Order, know as the New Isis Lodge to transmit a specific magical current from the star Nu Isis. It does seem then, that Germer’s role as X° was a mere figurehead then anything more, and that the O.T.O under his direction was impotent, leaving the real work to be carried on under Grant’s direction. X is the number of the ten sephiroth, the visible manifestation, of what is hidden below, underneath the paths. It does appear on the surface then that Aleister Crowley’s intention was to set up two Orders or paths, one going one way, and another in a completely opposite direction. Two Orders bearing identical initials, but with different words attached as was outlined earlier. For what reason we can never be quite sure, but we do know that Crowley was in the habit of setting false trails. This also leads us to the question of what happened to all the secret papers of the Order which were in Crowley’s possession? Perhaps, they were removed for safe keeping at the time of his death, or possibly intentionally destroyed. Also there is the question as to what was concealed in Crowley’s copy of, “The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra Melin the Mage,” which was kept locked up in a cabinet. The only book which even Kenneth Grant was not allowed access to.5 Of course, it may have just been a very valuable edition that Crowley was protecting. One can never be certain of what actually did happen during the final days in Hastings in1947.
During the war years my grandmother had what was, a very close relationship with Aleister Crowley. This relationship had begun after the death of her husband in the early 1930’s. She preferred to keep this ongoing relationship secret, a condition to which Crowley accepted. She made this decision out of respect for some members of her family whom she wanted to protect from the glare of Crowley’s open character, bound to what was often negative publicity, so my grandmother chose to work, “Against the Light”, to borrow from the title of a work by Kenneth Grant.6 One of my grandmother’s children, my aunt, was “Clanda Fayne” (to use her magical name) and was introduced to Crowley by Kenneth Grant. Crowley had an instant attraction to her and likened her to a daughter.7 My grandmother had given Clanda up for adoption while in difficult circumstances during the 1920’s. Her husband at the time did not want to be burdened with an extra mouth to feed and so she was forced to give Clanda up for adoption or face divorce and poverty. Her husband’s drinking and violent outbursts were also not the best environment in which to bring up a child, so the hard but sensible decision was made by my grandmother to place her with a young childless couple living in Brighton under a new name. Despite this unhappy start, my grandmother and Clanda were reunited many years later and spent time together in Brighton, where they shared a flat together. They both enjoyed a love of the hidden side of things, and Clanda was a skilled artist. However she was not in the best of health and suffered from bouts of epilepsy and unlike today, at that time there was a lot of misunderstanding and prejudice regarding the disease. For her, it was the dreaded Typhon. It also meant that she was unable to work in any kind of stable profession. She was fortunate however, to secure a small part in the celebrated 1947 film, Brighton Rock. These circumstances led to a small group of like minded souls forming an acute triangle of power zones in London, Brighton and Hastings during the 1940’s. My grandmother was certainly an equal when it came to the intellectual side of her relationship with Crowley and he was always open to her advice and guidance on certain matters, occult and otherwise, which she was happy to give him. If she was a member of the O.T.O it was certainly not under her own name, and would have been under her own terms, and would have definitely remained a secret within this closed circle of associates. When my mother was a teenager, my grandmother introduced her to Aleister Crowley as “Mr Wrapson”. It was typical of both Crowley and my grandmother to use pseudonyms. Likewise, after Crowley’s death in 1947, my grandmother chose to remain in the background, although in contact with Kenneth Grant up until her death in 1957. Like Crowley, she died in Hastings, although during the later part of her life she lived in London with relatives who knew nothing of her connections, nor would have approved. Crowley wrote a poem about her entitled, “Sekhet” which appears in a book published by Kenneth Grant.4 It is not unlikely that my grandmother held a senior position within the O.T.O after Crowley’s death, but this would have remained hidden. Perhaps she assumed the position of I.H.O during this time, while Kenneth Grant built upon the work of his mentor and preparing his way to assume fully both O.H.O and I.H.O. My grandmother was in ill health and knew she would not be able to continue much longer in this incarnation. Kenneth Grant was the ideal man in both age, ability and enthusiasm to move forward with the O.T.O.
Clanda Fayne 8 was also one who may well have secured a senior position within the Order and she was of a similar age to Kenneth Grant and would have certainly fitted in well with the couple as also being an accomplished artist like Grant’s wife Steffi. She was also connected with the Bricket Wood Coven run by Gerald Garner. Unfortunately, her life was cut short and she died in 1953 at a very young age. If one thing is certain, it seems that whoever was I.H.O at this time, they chose to keep it secret, which is precisely what it should be. Occult Orders have never really been clubs, social circles, fundraisers, venues for afternoon teas, or anything else that reminds one of the ‘Womens’ Instiute’. They are something which unfortunately does not really fit in with any conventional thinking on these matters. Occult Orders can never be governed by copyright, legal charters, or suchlike, and this applies to the O.T.O. as with any other Order. The letter “T’ is hidden between the two ‘O’s”. Where this leads is to the point of crossing between the known, or outer world and the hidden one, each world represented by an “O”. The “T” invites entry, and is the the place of crossing over indicated by the eye, or window in the O.T.O lamen the dove which in its original form was the wren, or crow, represents the spirit. This crossing is the most important and central focus with regard to the functioning of the O.T.O. and it’s manifestation, from the, “background of consciousness of which the individual is a transient outcropping”.9
Clearly then, the O.T.O is something more than real estate, glossy brochures, grades, badges, subscriptions, A.G.M’s – something that David Curren was to discover. 10 Thus then the I.H.O should represent the true function, or inner workings of the Order. I am indebted to my late grandmother who though a Hierophantic means was able to pass on at least something of the hidden cult which lies like a sleeping crocodile with one eye open beneath the Nile.
The question is obviously who is now the rightful air to this position? Well, again this is very controversial, and without leaping to any conclusions you can be assured that you won’t find details of this person listed anywhere on the internet, or advertised in any occult periodical. They remain hidden like the inner workings of the the Order, and I am sure will remain so. Contact with the Order can only really ever be though what one might term as, “intuitive understanding”, and it was precisely this sort of understanding that brought Kenneth Grant into contact with Aleister Crowley during the 1940’s. It is the cultivation of this creative ability which directs ones thinking along new lines. This allows the individual to become both sensitive and receptive and to be guided by a force which is outside, yet also within; an umbilical cord which transmits and receives as required. This is often explained in terms of astral projection, shamanism and such like. This willingness to be receptive is very similar to the oath of the Magister Templar which is, “to interpret every event as a dealing with God and my soul”. This can be quite a dangerous oath from a psychological point of view, but cultivation of this new thinking based on what is essentially the ability to see the hidden side of things can bring results and set the individual on the right track, or stream. What is in effect, a magical current and with reference to this discussion, the 93 current itself.
The concept of an I.H.O also leads to the discussion of “Secret Chiefs” – these mysterious “individuals” who were behind the Golden Dawn, and A.˙.A.˙. Again, very little is know or has been written about these, “individuals”. So who or what are these, “Secret Chiefs”? Again, you wont find a page where you can follow their services, but their function is one of referral. In any occult Order there has to be a “governing” body, so to speak, but their role is more advisory than governing. They are to all extent and purposes outside of any accepted form as we understand it, yet, they can, if desired, make themselves known at, agreed locations and times. They operate most when their services are required or when a service is called upon a brother or sister of the Order. This is the true meaning of the word, “service” in Thelemic terms within the O.T.O. and it may well be that a debt has to be recovered. It is this contact with the Secret Chiefs which forms the real foundation of any Order and without it nothing can really move forward. They certainly don’t restrict themselves to just Order members, or those at the higher degrees, and often form contacts with the most unlikely of people who are not necessarily members of the Sovereign Sanctuary. It is Their mode of working and it’s not always easy to understand exactly what Their future plans might be. Their language is not conventional and requires and initiated and intuitive understanding and comes in a variety of forms, both written and visual. The Book of the law, Liber Pennae Praenumbra, OKBISh, or the the art of Austin Osman Spare, Dali, Balthus, Gauguin or Bruno Schulz are just a few examples. The information which they supply is key to the functioning of any Order and it’s correct interpretation vital. The publication, digestion and conception of this material is of course vital to their continued input. This is their essential goal. These Secret Chiefs occupy a special inner scantum within the O.T.O which Kenneth Grant linked to the Priory of Sion. As stated in the introductory page, it is the Priory of Sion that is the heart of the O.T.O, in effect, the Sovereign Sanctuary and my grandmother was certainly wearing the insignia of the order in her younger years. As well as the Priory of Sion, mention should be made of another key Order strongly linked with the O.T.O. This Order first came to my attention some years ago through a contact working at the British Museum in London. The Order is know only as, “The Black and White Dealers”. They are very secretive and certainly little is know about them. All that can be said for sure is that their continued association with the O.T.O is key to their functioning. One last point concerning the I.H.O. There is a legend circulated within the O.T.O that states that whoever is in possession of the Great Secret Seal of the Order, is the rightful I.H.O. The seal is said to be in the form of the Scarlet Woman and below her feet is the true and secret seal. Descriptions of the seal are vague but it is said to include some sacrificial beast within it’s emblem. It is in fact the true seal of the O.T.O but it is unknown as to whether it was ever used by any of the previous I.H.O’s or O.H.O’s or where it resides now. Finally, mention should be made of the A.˙.A.˙. as many people confuse these two Orders which are very different, although operate in synchronisation. In simple terms, the O.T.O is a magical Order, the A.˙.A.˙. a mystical one. The O.T.O serves the A.˙.A.˙. in this respect.
So what advice is there for those very young aspirants seeking initiation and a way to discover their True Will, or identity? Well without giving out any false hopes, perhaps the best advice would be to be guided by your own intuition. If it looks like a path then to all intense and purposes, it probably isn’t. If you get to hold a overstated degree or title or wear a brightly coloured badge then it is likely that you are doing nothing more that boosting your own ego and other people’s at the same time. If its run by anyone bearing the title, “Grand Master”, or something similar, then think again. If it charges you a fee for “initiation” through various degrees then it is something which begins to sound really fishy, especially if these fees involve large sums of money. Initiation is not paid for but gained though hard work. The O.T.O runs its own bank and receives voluntary contributions from members. If it seems like everything is being handed you on a plate, then you are certainly in the wrong Order. If the manifesto contains the word, “religion” anywhere then be beware. If it publishes any kind of material that reminds you of, “The Watchtower”, then take heed as it’s probably unstable. Try to see things differently and things will see you differently responding in their own way, and perhaps this illusive Order that you seek will be discovered in the most unlikely of places. Make sure you prepare your groundwork, after all you wouldn’t leap out of a plane without a parachute would you? Your “membership” may have been set down a long time ago and it may just be a question of building bridges to make the necessary contacts within the Order. You may well find that behind the Order is a person that has been around for a long time, watching and waiting for you to wake up from the dream, maybe even someone you know. Remember, the Order is a family and just like all families they are there to support and help you when needed. If you can challenge the very basis of what you perceive as, “reality”, you will begin to see underneath the facade. You have to choose. The choice is yours, but whatever decision you make it will, without doubt, be the right one, at that time and in the end no matter hard it all seems, you will find that karma is really just plain sailing!
“And now I know what they’re saying
As our hearts go to their graves
And we made our love on wasteland
And through the barricades” 11
© Agent 719
1Aliester Crowley and The Hidden God – Kenneth grant. Pub. Muller
3Magick Without Tears – Aleister Crowley
4Remembering Aleister Crowley – Kenneth Grant. Pub. Skoob
6Against the Light, A Nightside Narrative – Kenneth Grant. Pub. Starfire
7Remembering Aleister Crowley – Kenneth Grant. Pub. Skoob
8Clanda’s self-portrait appears in The Ninth Arch by Kenneth Grant pub. Starfire. A new addition of this book has recently been published. It features the portrait in full colour and is also published by Starfire.
10Brother Curren, Brother Crowley ed. Henrik Bogdan