Donald Michael Kraig (August 17, 1951 – March 17, 2014)

March 20, 2014 by  
Filed under news in magick, spotlight

Donald Michael Kraig (August 17, 1951 - March 17, 2014)

On Monday, March 17, 2014, Donald Michael Kraig passed away.

Mr. Kraig was the author of a number of books, including the seminal Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. I first bought the book in college, a few years after it was published. Though I read it cover to cover at the time, it would be more than a decade before I really delved into it.

I was saddened and shocked to hear of his passing.

I had the honor of meeting him briefly at the 2013 PantheaCon. I don’t think we said anything of great importance, but it was a pleasure to speak with him.

To give some idea of the influence of his work, in my crowd both he and Modern Magick are simply referred to as “DMK.” His is the first book passed on to serious students. Mr. Kraig’s vision and lucidity influenced a generation of practitioners. As Isaac Newton, the renowned scientist and devout alchemist said,

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Mr. Kraig was one of those giants. We have all seen a little further because of him, and his gifts and clarity will be missed.

Safe travels, Mr. Kraig. And thank you.

©2014 by Christopher Drysdale.

Dave Evans is Gone

November 27, 2013 by  
Filed under news in magick, spotlight

Dave Evans is Gone

We’re sure most of you have already heard about the sad passing of Dr. Dave Evans this past August. We may have been the last to know. Dave submitted several dozen of his pieces, under his own name, the name Francis Breakspear, and the name Kate Hoolu, before his passing. Rending the Veil will be making a supreme effort to publish these in 2014, so they can remain a part of our archives and accessible to everyone.

Rest in peace, Dave. You will be missed.

NLP Training with Philip H. Farber

February 22, 2013 by  
Filed under news in magick, spotlight

NLP Training with Philip H. Farber

RTV practitioner Philip H. Farber (a longtime associate of Robert Anton Wilson) is offering several different options for personal training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in 2013. For information on how to register, visit the Facebook page here or the official registration page here.

Encore Performance – Free Class in Perceiving Spirits

December 2, 2012 by  
Filed under news in magick, spotlight

Encore Performance - Free Class in Perceiving Spirits

Since it went so well last time (woo hoo!), Sheta is offering a new opportunity to attend a free class in perceiving spirits. This one will be Friday, February 1, 2013, and you can sign up at our brand new and spiffy appointments page! As mentioned, this class is free. It will run about two hours, but I am happy to stick around a while if anyone still has questions.

This class will only be free for a limited time, so sign up now. Spaces are limited to 25. This time, we’ll probably be meeting in a Google talk chat room.

— Sheta

Tune in to Paranormal Noise

September 21, 2010 by  
Filed under news in magick, spotlight

Sheta Kaey, editor in chief of this struggling magazine, has recently come into focus for a pair of interesting interview opportunities. First, she was recently interviewed for the A&E network’s Paranormal State television show regarding a haunting in the Pacific Northwest. Though we aren’t sure yet if she’ll make the cut for the episode or when it will air, new episodes begin airing Sunday, October 17 at 9 p.m. Eastern.

On Monday, September 27, Sheta will be interviewed live for the Paranormal Noise internet radio show. You can tune in here, as well as join the chat room during the show, at 11 p.m. Eastern. Odds are this interview will be the first of several; Sheta will be discussing spirit contact and sex with spirits, and it’s possible that her spirit companion, Meridjet, will be featured on a future show.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Contributor Tonya Kay Immortalized in Comics

December 27, 2009 by  
Filed under news in magick, spotlight

 

Famous comic illustrator, Jim Balent, and Hollywood actress, Tonya Kay, team up to create a story that will “break Medusa’s spell”.

Broadsword Comics (November 25, 2009) 34 pages The Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose comic series is the story of Tarot, a warrior witch, and her family, foes and Lovers. Featuring stories of fantasy action and adventure, frequent scenes of nudity have grown progressively stronger as the series has gone on. Each issue is backed up with interviews with actual magicians and spells written by actual witches, whom sometimes choose to pose nude themselves. One of the strongest aspects of the Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose series is the reader community which has developed around it. Community readers are often included in photographic as well as drawn-in publication.

In Issue 59, “Medusa’s Stare”, Tonya Kay, (featured in Stan Lee’s Who Wants to Be a Super Hero, and an actress and chaotic witch) finds herself trapped in a nether world of despair with Tarot. Queen Medusa rules in this underworld and intends to turn both witches to stone, preventing them from shining their inspiration and light to the waking world forever more. Surrounded by living stone serpents, the two witches must battle for their freedom or face eternity as statues by the magick of the Medusa.

More below.

Tonya Kay cover for Tarot issue #59
Click image to see larger version. Scroll down for more images.

 

Jim Balent, best known for his long run on Catwoman, only writes roles for unstoppable females. His popular comic, Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, challenges socio-sexual stereotypes with its artistic nudity, gender equality and pagan storyline. Jim Balent felt that Tonya Kay’s life was already heroic and would inspire his readers.

Twice in its 9 years of publication, Jim Balent, the author and illustrator, has selected real-life public pagans to star as heroines in his comic series. The first tribute comic starred Australian Wiccan/ author/ recording artist, Fiona Horne, and the second tribute comic stars Tonya Kay, chaote/ Hollywood actress/ raw vegan activist. Tribute issues are special to Tarot’s community-building focus, as readers value strong, female role models and visibly public witches illustrated as heroines in their favorite graphic art series.

Tonya Kay Tarot issue #59, page 2
Click image to see larger version. Scroll down for more images.

 

“I want to see every woman daring to be her unique self. Whether it’s biased news, an unrewarding job, a mediocre relationship or destructive marketing, women and men both find themselves trapped in unfulfilled lives — essentially; turned to stone” says Tonya Kay, whose real life is a courageous example of daring to be unique.

When she is not volunteering with endangered wildlife or writing on raw vegan health and nutrition, Tonya Kay is a film actress and television personality in high demand. This year alone, you have seen her on The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien, ABC’s Criminal Minds, Comedy Central’s Secret Girlfriend, Showtime’s Live Nude Comedy, the History Channel’s More Extreme Marksmen and she just shot a role on the Hallmark movie of the week.

Tonya Kay Tarot issue #59, page 17
Click image to see larger version.

 

“My dreadlocks used to keep me from booking, but I knew it wasn’t as simple as ‘cutting my hair’,” says Tonya Kay. “My uniqueness encompassed my spiritual beliefs, dietary choices and dangerous hobbies as well. I decided long ago that there is nothing wrong with me being bold, but rather there is something wrong with the uninteresting roles women are expected to play.” Tonya Kay’s choice to stay true to her self has rewarded her as Hollywood’s go-to girl for what she calls “the fun” parts. “I want to see the archetype of the unstoppable woman written into roles — written into society.

“I am grateful for how my acting career has skyrocketed, though I am still looking forward to a film/tv writer to be a visionary, like Jim Balent, and write a breakthrough role for an unstoppable woman like me,” says Tonya Kay, who feels that art and performance affect world consciousness. Tonya Kay feels it is essential, now more than ever, for women and men to live their dreams. And she’s not afraid to show them how.

Autographed copies of Issue 59 of Tarot are available online at http://kayosmarket.com. View photos of Tonya signing the comic here.

Call for Writers: Women’s Voices in Magic

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under news in magick, spotlight

Email for inquiries and submissions: brandyeditor at gmail.com

Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A) is seeking submissions for an anthology on women working in the magical communities, particularly in communities where women have not been extensively published or in which women face stereotyping and misunderstanding within and without the community. These communities include (but are not limited to) groups and individuals working in the Golden Dawn, Thelemic, Aurum Solis, Alchemy, Chaos, and Experimental Fields.

Women have been involved in traditional and ritual magic since the late Victorian era. However women are often viewed as tangential to these communities or as soror mysticae, assistants to the magician. Today women are actively involved in ceremonial magical groups and lodges, alchemy, chaos magic, and Experimental Magic, overcoming stereotypes and creating new visions of magic within the communities.

Here are some suggested topics to give you an idea of the focus of this anthology.

Magical work

What magical work are you doing now? How do you describe it? Do you work alone, in a group, or in several settings? (For example, I do is traditional Ceremonial magic, traditional Witchcraft, experimental Ceremonial in a group setting, and I create experimental Ceremonial work.)

Women’s work

Is your magical work centered in a community where women do not have a strong presence, or in which women face stereotyping? Does it matter to your work that you are a woman? Do you feel that you approach the work in the same way that the men in your field do, or does being a woman affect your magic? Is that affect biological, cultural, magical, or all three? Do you present yourself to the world as a magical worker (”I am an alchemist”) or as a woman in your field (”I am a woman alchemist”)?

Stereotypes and prejudice

Has anyone ever told you “I didn’t know women were involved in that?” (”You’re the first woman I’ve met in the O.T.O.!”) Do outsiders assume that only men do the kind of work you are doing? Do people assume that because you are a woman you are doing the work in a particular way? (For example, do people assume that because you are a woman, you are doing psychological alchemy, not physical chemistry?)

Do you actively encounter prejudice? Do people talk to the man standing next to you rather than you? Are you silenced in person or online when you try to speak about your own work?

How do you counter stereotypes and prejudice when you encounter them? Are they only annoying, do they actively hinder your work, do they prevent you from doing your work? How important is it to you that your work is understood by others?

Women’s history

Women’s history has been difficult to document. This is as true in the magical fields as in any other endeavor. Mary Greer wrote about the lives of some of the early women in ceremonial magic in Women of the Golden Dawn. Are you aware of stories about women in the traditional and ritual magical fields that have not been told? Are you involved in documenting women’s history in the magical communities?

Soror mysticae

Stage magicians sometimes have women assistants. This image holds true in the magical field as well; Renaissance alchemists spoke of “soror mysticae” or women who assisted their work. Do people assume that you are not primarily directing or benefiting from your work?

Do you work on your own, with a partner of your own sex, with a partner of the opposite sex, or with a group? Do the people you work with support your work? Do you yourself have assistants whose work you direct?

Traditional cultures

In your work do you study or interact with people in other cultures and traditional cultures? Do the gender roles in those cultures differ from those of your own culture? Are those roles more or less restrictive, or just different? In what situations does your gender come up, and how do you handle those situations?

Honoring the cycle

Women’s magic has been associated with women’s fertility cycle. Do you find that comforting and supporting, or angering and limiting? How does your menstrual, pregnancy, and menopausal cycle affect the magic you are doing – deeply, tangentially, or not at all? Do you do any specific magic to honor the cycles of the body?

Feminism

If you are a feminist, do you present yourself as a feminist in the magical field in which you work? Are the others you work with in your field receptive to your feminism, or are they resistant or defensive around feminist discussion? Do you feel that feminism is central to your work, or do you see your feminism as social rather than magical?

Women’s communities

Is there a sense of women’s community in the field in which you work? Are you actively involved in building women’s community? Do you encounter resistance to this work? Are women you work with excited by women’s community? Do you and the women you work with see women’s community as a way to socialize, a magical path, a parallel community to the mens’ community? What is your vision for the women’s magical communities of the future?

Rough drafts are due 18 May, 2009. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editor. Essays should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it – we can discuss this during the editing process. Do drop us an email if you are unsure whether your idea fits into the content. The sooner you start the communication process the better, as after the deadline we won’t be considering additional ideas.

Essay requirements

  • Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material
  • Bibliography of works cited
  • Prefer APA format

Do write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like. If your work entirely talks in the first person about your own experience, please include this also. There is a wide range in women’s voices, and we are interested in being as inclusive of style as possible.

Compensation will be ($25) (paid via twice-yearly royalties from book sales) plus a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributers. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays, not when they are accepted for editing. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.

The anthology will be edited by Brandy Williams. She is the author of author of several pagan/occult nonfiction books. She may be found online at http://www.brandywilliams.org and her email address for this anthology is brandyeditor at gmail.com.

Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine in 2003, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at http://www.immanion-press.com.

News in Magick appears as often as we receive press releases. If you’d like to send us a press release of potential interest to RTV readers, please email your materials to admin@rendingtheveil.com and be aware of our issue publication dates.

©2009 Taylor Ellwood
Edited by Sheta Kaey

News in Magick #13 – Call for Writers: Queer Magic Anthology

News in Magick #13 - Call for Writers: Queer Magic Anthology

E-mail for inquiries and submissions.

Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press (Stafford, U.K./Portland, OR, U.S.A.) is seeking submissions for an anthology on queer magic and/or ritual.

What We Don’t Want

For the purposes of this publication, “queer” is primarily defined as anything of a non-majority sexual orientation (e.g. gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc.), or atypical gender identity (e.g. transsexual, transgendered, intersexed, genderqueer, metagender, etc.). Other things may be part of the widest understanding of “queerness,” including relationship styles (e.g. polyamory, etc.) or sexual practices (e.g. BDSM, fetishes, kink, etc.), and indeed magic, occultism, and paganism themselves (since they are “non-normative,” which is an agreed-upon definition of “queer” within many academic circles), but the focus of this volume will be on queerness particularly as it applies to gender and sexual orientation.

This is not an anthology that is intended to be about personal stories of the intersection of magical, occult, pagan, or spiritual identity and queerness, but instead about queer perspectives on magical, occult, and esoteric topics especially, but also possibly the impact of queerness on pagan or spiritual topics (e.g. theology). Further, where and when these topics of paganism and/or spiritual identity and affiliation might be addressed, this is not an anthology about coming out spirituality (e.g. the idea that it is okay to be LGBTQ and pagan/ Thelemic/ Santero/ Hellenic/ whatever/ &c.; “coming out” as ritual, initiation, etc.), nor should essays primarily be about how queerness of whatever sort gives one a better perspective or understanding on energy polarity or gender wholeness within any of these magical, occult, or pagan paradigms (e.g. the idea that gay men are more naturally gifted, magical, or shamanically-inclined because they are more in touch with their femininity, etc.). The latter has been done to death already; the former is an important first step in these matters, but as with all Megalithica publications, the intention with this anthology is to go beyond introductory matters whenever possible.

Personal stories that are primarily about alienation from mainstream magical, occult, or pagan circles because of one’s queerness are not the focus of this volume; if discussion of such is relevant to the wider aims of one’s essay, that’s fine, but having those wider aims is a necessity. If you want to do a piece on “queer love spells,” it would be better to address theoretical issues of how they’re different or in what ways their methodology is unique and presents challenges or enrichment, rather than giving templates or sample ritual/ magical texts. Essays on how to adapt “non-queer” spells, rituals, or practices to a queer context, or lists of correspondences and deities for particular queer issues, are not very desirable… unless they’re extremely innovative and unique!

What We Do Want

Some particular issues of interest might include:

  • How does one’s queerness suggest different viewpoints on particular aspects, methodologies, or theories of magical practice?
  • Just as one’s queerness may give one more useful insights on some magical or spiritual matters, are there likewise blind spots that one’s queerness may cause, and how can one address those usefully from a queer perspective?
  • Are there historical precedents or particularly interesting figures in relation to queerness within one’s magical or spiritual tradition?
  • Are there any useful practices or texts from the past (e.g. the Greek Magical Papyri; mythological tales featuring queer figures; established traditions with queer themes; historical figures who were known to be what we understand as queer; etc.) which can be used today, usefully adapted, or mined for insights for use in the very different contexts of the modern world?
  • What are some magical methods or procedures that one might use to creatively deal with what are viewed as queer-specific issues, like homophobia, transphobia, etc., safer sex practices and education, forming and interacting with the LGBTQ communities, legal and political activism, LGBTQ rights and equality struggles, etc.?
  • Are there “pop cultural” and “multi-media” magical techniques (see Taylor Ellwood’s various publications for further ideas/information!) or practices that can be employed in interesting ways for queer folks? Ideas may include:
    1. use of personals websites/Craigslist for spell casting or divination
    2. drag performances as aspecting/invocation
    3. uses of cruising and the entire bar/club scene for ritual work (which can be rather edgy, and not always in a good way, but nonetheless it’s a possibility)
    4. using queer-themed literature and films as bibliomancy or interactive ritual texts and/or sacred drama (on the latter, think The Rocky Horror Picture Show as ritual/ liturgy, but with other possibilities for the film that is the subject of the interaction)
    5. use of historical figures (e.g. Harvey Milk, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein), living personalities (e.g. RuPaul, Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John), or characters (e.g. Valerie from V for Vendetta, Sterling [Patrick Stewart] from Jeffrey, Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist from Brokeback Mountain, etc.) as archetypes or spirits, deity-forms, egregores, etc. for queer magical/ spiritual work

    and so forth.

  • What are the challenges that can be encountered with the interactions of LGBTQ people and non-queer folks in magical/ spiritual communities, and (most importantly) how can they be overcome creatively? What are the challenges that can be encountered with having interaction with a non-magical/ non-spiritual person in one’s personal life as a lover/ partner/ relationship, and (most importantly) how can they be overcome creatively? (By “overcome creatively,” what is meant is anything non-manipulative, non-triumphalistic, and non-resentful that can be done to address and/or alleviate the issues in a situation — which is to say, specific actions, not adoption of attitudes or viewpoints that run the gamut of “try to be open-minded, understanding, and compassionate; deal with people on an individual and context-specific basis,” etc., as the main resolution offered. These should be things that are tried and tested, not theoretical matters. In this type of essay, of course personal experience and sharing of stories are necessary, but if the one you’re considering does not meet all of the above criteria, it will most likely not be considered for inclusion in this anthology.)
  • And anything else you might think of which is innovative, interesting, different, new, unique, fascinating, scintillating, wonderful, and fabulous that involves queerness of whatever type, and its relation to and intersection with the practice and theory of magic, occultism, paganism and spirituality!

Requirements for Submission

  • Citations for all quoted, paraphrased, or otherwise unoriginal material
  • Bibliography for works cited
  • Format should be “Vancouver Style” footnotes — look it up if you are not familiar with it!

Do write in your voice! If you’re academically inclined or trained, feel free to be as intelligent and technical as you like. If your work entirely speaks in the first person about your own experience, that is also permissible, but please use a more formal writing style for as much as possible in your piece that is not quoted speech. Unless you do so sparingly, or define your terms (either in the main text or footnotes), do not use lolcat-speak, text message speak, or anything else that could be considered para-English.

Rough drafts are due August 15, 2009. These drafts will be edited in a back-and-forth process with the editor. Essays should be 1500-4000 words, although if your work falls outside those limits, do submit it — we can discuss this during the editing process. Do drop us an email if you are unsure whether your idea fits into the content. The sooner you start the communication process the better, as after the deadline we won’t be considering additional ideas.

Compensation will be ($25) (paid via twice-yearly royalties from book sales) plus a free copy of the anthology when it is published and additional copies sold at 40% off the cover price to contributors. All contributors will be provided with a contract upon final acceptance of their essays, not when they are accepted for editing. If your essay is not accepted for the anthology, we will tell you after the first round of edits.

The anthology will be edited by Phillip A. Bernhardt-House. Phillip is the author of several articles (academic and non-academic) on religion, spirituality, mythology, theology, Celtic Studies, paganism, queerness, werewolves, and a variety of other topics, as well as a published poet, and is a Celtic Reconstructionist pagan and a founding member of the Ekklesía Antínoou (queer Graeco-Roman-Egyptian syncretist reconstructionist polytheism dedicated to Antinous, the deified lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian). Phillip’s e-mail address for this anthology is aediculaantinoi@hotmail.com.

Immanion Press is a small independent press based in the United Kingdom. Founded by author Storm Constantine in 2003, it expanded into occult nonfiction in 2004 with the publication of Taylor Ellwood’s Pop Culture Magick. Today, Immanion’s nonfiction line, under the Megalithica Books imprint, has a growing reputation for edgy, experimental texts on primarily intermediate and advanced pagan and occult topics. Find out more at immanion-press.com.

News in Magick appears as often as we receive press releases. If you’d like to send us a press release of potential interest to RTV readers, please email your materials to admin@rendingtheveil.com and be aware of our issue publication dates.

©2009 Taylor Ellwood
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Ego and the Ids Release LP

April 14, 2009 by  
Filed under music, news in magick, spotlight

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ATTENTION MUSIC RETAILERS, DISTRIBUTORS, and FILM MAKERS

Portland, Oregon, March 30, 2008

A new and exciting music album has been released by Portland musical project, Ego and The Ids, entitled Almost Masons. This marks their full-length recording debut.

According to project mastermind Gerald del Campo, Ego and the Ids’ new album boasts a sonic pallet of influences the band defines as their own. Also featuring multi-instrumentalist Delonde Bell, whose album Pearls has sold thousands of copies. Gerald del Campo is a veteran of Portland alternative rockers Trick Sensei, who recently released Sessions: Notes from a Free Cascadia.

The group defines their sound as melodic, orchestral, and experimental. Del Campo shares the project’s broader creative ambitions in “using music to evoke mental images of life, death, and everything in between, always taking the time to show the grandeur of the human experience.”

Fans of the Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Human Drama, Sisters of Mercy, NIN, and Pink Floyd will find themselves at home listening to Almost Masons. Del Campo describes this music “like nothing you have ever heard before… but strangely familiar.”

To buy this album and/or listen to samples, please visit CD Baby.

For more information, please contact:

Ego and The Ids at egoid@egoandtheids.com
http://egoandtheids.com

or write to:

Ego and The Ids
P.O. Box 80152
Portland, OR 97280

News in Magick appears as often as we receive press releases. If you’d like to send us a press release of potential interest to RTV readers, please email your materials to admin@rendingtheveil.com and be aware of our issue publication dates.

News in Magick #4

March 21, 2007 by  
Filed under news in magick, spotlight

News in Magick #4

The Feast of the Equinox of the Gods

The traditional Thelemic new year.

From Thelemapedia:1

According to Aleister Crowley (777, The Law is for All), each Thelemic year starts on the Aries equinox, coinciding with the Thelemic Holiday called the Feast for the Equinox of the Gods. There are, however, several different modes of observance among Thelemites today. These include:

  • Strict Observance: The Thelemic New Year is celebrated on the Aries equinox.
     
  • The Feast for the Supreme Ritual: This holiday is explicitly different from the Feast for the Equinox of the Gods, and Crowley states that the holiday is March 20 (The Law is for All). Since the Equinox of the Gods typically will be March 19, 20, or 21, this can be confusing. Quite often, in fact, the two holidays occur on the same day. Because of this, the two are sometimes conflated and the Thelemic New Year said to be March 20.
     
  • Thelemic High Holy Season: This holiday is recognized as the period of twenty-two days falling between the common dates of March 20 (The Feast for the Supreme Ritual) and April 10 (the Third Day of the Writing of the Book of the Law). Thelemites observing this season variously attribute the Thelemic New Year to the Aries equinox, March 20, or the First or Third day of the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law. Some have treated this Season as existing outside any “year,” in the conventional sense, or as one long, twenty-two day Thelemic New Year. Some celebrate the Thelemic High Holy Season by conducting a 22-day Pathworking.
     
  • Convenience: Due to the fact that Thelemites today live in a worldwide culture which does not use the Thelemic Calendar, the holidays are often translated to a date on the common calendar. When the Feast for the Equinox of the Gods is translated in this way, it is typically ascribed to March 20 as a matter of convenience. As another matter of convenience, Thelemic New Year is at times observed on the weekend, when the accepted date occurs on a weekday.

Many Thelemites combine two or more of the above approaches, and possibly others, sometimes varying from year to year.1

The Feast of the Three Days of Writing of the Book of the Law

Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) members, as well as other Thelemites, traditionally meet on April 8, 9 and 10 for a re-reading of The Book of the Law as a celebration of this Feast, which occurs on the anniversary of the original writing of the manuscript.

From Thelemapedia:2

The full title of this book is
Liber AL vel Legis
sub figura CCXX
The Book of the Law
as delivered by XCIII=418 to DCLXVI

The religion known as Thelema was established with the writing of The Book of the Law. It was written (or received) by Aleister Crowley in Cairo, Egypt in the year 1904. It contains three chapters, each of which was written down in one hour, beginning at noon, on April 8th, 9th, and 10th. Crowley claims that the author was an entity named Aiwass, whom he later identified as his own Holy Guardian Angel. The teachings within this small book are clearly expressed in the Law of Thelema, expressed by these two phrases:

  • “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” (AL I:40) and
  • “Love is the law, love under will” (AL I:57)

Interpretation of this book is considered a matter for the individual, and openly promoting personal ideas about its meaning is strongly discouraged. Although Crowley expressed the desire to see the Law of Thelema promulgated in all areas of society, success in this endeavor is to be based on others willfully following the the good example of Thelemites rather than by evangelization or direct attempts to convert others. “Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!” (AL III:42)2

From Thelema.org:3

This book is the foundation of the new Aeon, and thus the whole of our Work.

It was dictated in Cairo between noon and 1 P.M. on three successive days, April 8th, 9th, and 10th in the year of 1904.

The Author called himself Aiwass, and claimed to be “the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat;” that is, a messenger from the forces ruling this earth at present. The elements are Nuit — Space — that is, the total of possibilities of every kind — and Hadit, any point which has experience of these possibilities. The third element is Horus, from whom we may come to perceive events as a continual growth partaking of both these principles.3

Ostara

Ostara is a Neo-pagan holiday celebrated on the Vernal or Spring equinox, typically either March 20 or 21, when the sun enters the sign of Aries. It corresponds to the Christian Easter, and is emphasized particularly in Wicca. Celebrate this sabbat by planting a garden, gathering and coloring eggs, and conducting fertility rites in preparation from Beltane.

From Summerland.org:4

The Spring Equinox brings a time of balance. The Sun God has overtaken the darkness, and day and night are of equal lengths. The Goddess, our Earth Mother, awakens from Her long slumber to replenish the Earth. We see new Life rising from the cold ground.

The Horned God has grown weak from the Winter and at this time dies in order to return to the healing Earth. From His “death,” He is reborn as the Green Man. He has shed his antlers and fur for green leaves and vines. He is young still, but as the days grow longer he gains strength. He is a God of fertility, to aid our Goddess in the growing of our fields and livestock.

From triskelion.com:5

Ostara is the beginning of the fertility festivals. Buds begin to push their way through the earth to reach the strengthening sun’s light; animals in the wild feel the ancient instinct to breed; the energies of Nature shift subtly from the torpor of Winter to the exuberant activity of Spring. It is a time of new beginnings, of action, of saying goodbye to the old and making room for the new. We can see this urge reflected in our lives even today. We talk of “Spring cleaning” and “In Spring, a young man’s fancy turns to…”; the desire to run the greening fields (or, in our world, walk the parks, fish, and other outdoor activities) vies urgently with the obligation of our workday routines, often resulting in sick leave days and spur-of-the-moment “personal days” where the real excuse is “Spring Fever.”5

March Dates of Note

  • March 21 (GMT) — Vernal Equinox (sun enters Aries). Ostara. Thelemic New Year. International Earth Day.
  • March 25 — First quarter moon (Cancer).
  • March 29RTV’s managing editor Sheta Kaey’s birthday.
  • March 31 — Pluto goes retrograde (Sagittarius).

April Dates of Note

  • April 2 — Full moon (Libra).
  • April 6 — Jupiter goes retrograde (Sagittarius).
  • April 8-10 — The three days of the writing of The Book of the Law.
  • April 10 — Last quarter moon (Capricorn).
  • April 17 — New moon (Aries); release of Beltane issue of Rending the Veil.
  • April 19 — Saturn goes direct (Leo).
  • April 24 — First quarter moon (Leo).

Footnotes:

  1. Thelemic Holidays http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Thelemic_Holidays#Thelemic_New_Year
  2. The Book of the Law.
  3. www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/The_Book_of_the_Law
  4. The Book of the Law http://www.thelema.org/aa/documents/the_book_of_the_law/index.html
  5. Sabbats www.summerland.org/sabbats.htm
  6. Ostara Rituals http://www.tryskelion.com/ostara.htm
  7. News in Magick appears as often as we receive press releases. If you’d like to send us a press release of potential interest to RTV readers, please email your materials to admin@rendingtheveil.com.

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