Word to The Wise
I ran across yet another attempt (Yes, I should talk, I know) to carry on an A.'.A.'.-style "Thelemic Inner Order," which prompts a brief comment, FWIW. Ahem.
Remember how surprised you were to learn for the first time that the illustrations on all Smith-Waite based Tarot cards had actual, specific meanings
behind them?* Remember how stupid you felt for every time you'd insisted that they weren't meant to have specific meanings at all? (or worse yet, that this swell book over here gave the "real" meanings?). Well, that's how history is gonna look at some folks' present understandings of Aleister Crowley, and particularly of his interlocking initiatory systems.
Don't get me wrong: any divinatory system can
be used intuitively**, often with fine results; and any initiatory system developed by smart and dedicated people can provide manifold benefits, particularly in its lower grades. But that said...
Well, remember the mystical books "interpreting" the "meanings" of Egyptian hieroglyphics, before they were actually deciphered? However spiritually useful these revelations, they were inventions projected onto an actual language, with recoverable meanings
. So, umm, oops.
It's largely AC's fault that his riddles are hard to solve; he constructed them for people with a background almost nobody trying to work the riddles has today. That said, to give up trying, declare them solved, and substitute one's own version will, I fear, give future (and some present)*** Thelemites more than a few chuckles at one's expense. :/
93 93/93 -- AJ
P.S. Somebody recently suggested to me that there "appears to be a lot you don't know about OTO." They're absolutely right -- I know comparatively little about the OTO, being by choice only an "honored guest" at Minerval, and have never claimed otherwise. That's not the only reason (but it's a really good reason) that I wouldn't set up the "AJOTO" and claim to be the "real" OTO, see?...nor, for that matter, attempt to carry on "A.'.A.'.". I'm just saying the same caution should be exercised by people trying to carry on any aspect of AC's system, without having understood it fully.
* For those not up on Tarot, I'm not talking Waite's published "divinatory meanings"; I'm referring to the original Golden Dawn meanings Waite was taught.
** Actually, they all have
to be; what I mean is, "with meanings divorced from those intended by the system's designers."
*** Not myself, btw. I don't laugh at anybody's sincere efforts to carry on the work of the Great and Holy Order, period.